Friday, October 31, 2003

Please Don't Be Waiting For Me

I'm off this blog and computers for ten days or so. If you get bored, you could:

1) Make a list - what are the Top Five Rock 'n' Roll Cities of All Time? I come up with Detroit and Memphis tied for first, then get lazy and put my pen down.

2) Figure out the lyrics to Paul Westerberg's "Knockin' Em Back" and email them to me.

3) Read a book. I know I will.

Enjoy the break.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Fast Eddie

You'd think I'd be excited that someone from MTV emailed me earlier today (I wasn't exactly the guy they were looking for anyway), but really I'm more thrilled about recently receiving two emails from folks who are under the impression that I am able to pass them on to Ed Schultz.

Did I hear you say that you wanted another Eddie Schultz story? Okay. Last January, the KFAN radio network has him fill in on a Friday show for my fave Dan "The Common Man" Cole. Eddie is doing the show from his studio up in Fargo, that night the North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey team starts a two-game series against the Minnesota Gophers in Minneapolis. People are calling in to talk about the hockey game, Eddie is assuring everyone that the #1-ranked Sioux are going to hand it to the hated Gophers and sweep 'em. He also keeps plugging his second-hour interview with Sioux coach Dean Blais, makes some oh-Dean-is-an-old-buddy type of remark about how Deano loves to fish in the offseason.

It gets to be close for the time of the Blais interview. Suddenly, Eddie finds out that Blais has cancelled the interview - there's some coaching duties he needs to attend to. Eddie goes ballistic, says that he is now officially cheering for the Gophers, and repeatedly calls the Sioux coach "Bush League Blais." He is freakin' PISSED.

And I'm sitting at my kitchen table laughing and damn near crying. Mad Dog Eddie does it again.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

$183 Million Just Can't Buy What It Used To
A Frontrunner Shoots His Mouth Off

Alright! The Yankees got knocked off in six games! I caught the last four innings of the game last night and Josh Beckett had one hell of a gutsy performance. Good job Marlins.

As for the Yankees ... three years in a row of their not winning it all is sweet for us Yankee haters. In 2001 it was to an expansion team, in 2002 it was to a one-season wonder, and in 2003 it was after giving up a 2-1 lead and then losing at home in a sixth game to an expansion team who may turn out to be a one-season wonder. Bye-bye Yanks: we'll enjoy our winter of constantly-mentally-replayed sweet memories like Zimmer getting dumped and of Jeter's Game Six throwing error.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Grin And Bear It
Stay Away From My Schlitz

I went to the dentist yesterday to have a cavity filled. Before the procedure, the dental assistant asked if I wanted a "white or silver filling." I replied "I don't know." Hey - I'm dentally uninformed and haven't had a filling in over ten years. Turns out you can get white fillings that aren't as readily visible as the silver ones. I went for the silver filling because: 1) it would match all the rest of the ones in my mouth, and 2) it was seventy bucks cheaper.

The assistant said that many people prefer the white ones for aesthetic reasons and that some people have had their old silver fillings replaced with white ones. (After all, my dental clinic is located in Minnetonka.) Which led me to believe that in ten or twenty years, hipster kids will be going to dentists in droves to have their white fillings replaced with silver ones because it's "retro."

So like Chuck Taylors and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the hipster kids will be embracing something that I have enjoyed continuously and unironically for decades. (Okay, I don't exactly enjoy my fillings - but you know what I mean.) It makes me want to shove all my old mesh hats down their throats!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

St. Louis Park Bigot Refuses To Celebrate The Wonderful Contributions Of Diversity And Multiculturalism

A City Pages letter-writer describes my neighborhood, he does not have on rose-colored glasses:

East Lake Street has turned into a third-world slum. The whole neighborhood from Lyndale to well past 35W is filthy, with garbage on the street, drug dealing, gangs, check-cashing and liquor stores, and thousands of illegal aliens, mostly Mexicans.

So there you have it - if you come over to my place to hang out, you can claim you are "slummin' with Billy T." But where are all those liquor stores?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Thirsty and Miserable

Last night after the movie we stopped at Mollly Quinn's for a drink. Sad to say, the place will be closing for wait October 31st.

Oh, wait. I'm not sad about it. Not sad at all. Last night's experience was typical of my time spent at Molly Quinn's: frustrating, lazy-to-nonexistent service and a beer selection that's a joke. Good riddance Quinn's - I won't miss ya!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Eerily Reminiscent Of My Elevator Ride With Prince

Earlier tonight at the Riverview Theater I checked out Come Feel Me Tremble, the absorbing new documentary on Paul Westerberg. At one point, Westerberg let on that he and Kurt Cobain once shared an elevator and exchanged nary a word. I believe the exchange between interviewer and Paul went something like this:

Interviewer: "Really? You'd think he'd be dying to talk to you."
Westerberg: "He was dyin' to be dyin'. I was dyin' to be somewhere else."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Or In Other Words: Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom

"It's one thing to demand technical excellence if you're Duke Ellington or Charles Mingus ... but I get so tired of repeating to bigoted jackasses year after year it has nothing whatsoever to do with rock 'n' roll ... Everybody, damn near, who's worth a shit gets subjected to this sooner or later (if they're lucky it's sooner and folks wise up later, or later, or later yet.) It happened to Bird, Ornette, Coltrane, Miles, Cecil Taylor, Bob Dylan, Phil Spector, Jim Morrison, the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, the Dolls, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Television, Patti Smith Group, Suicide, MC5 and the Faces in my lifetime."
- Lester Bangs, from untitled notes (collected in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung)

"(Matthew Johnson, head of Fat Possum Records) seems be looking for the anti-Whitmanesque strain of the American voice - the naysayers, the verbal bomb throwers, the primal screamers. His heroes are the anti-heroes: Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, Keith Richards, Axl Rose, Cobain, Eminem, plus the blue-collar heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock. Genre be damned - in his mind, these are the true descendants of the lonely, libidinous, and eternally damned Robert Johnson."
- Jay McInerney, from White Man at the Door (collected in the Da Capo book)

Friday, October 17, 2003

Oh, Inverted Gates Of Dawn

It's fun when all these years of listening starts circling back on itself. In high school, I was a big Pink Floyd fan - digging their seventies platinum albums with that Hipgnosis artwork. I didn't delve into early Floyd, furthest back I went was Ummagumma. Yesterday morning I heard a Syd Barrett tune on Radio K. I know Barrett as the original leader of Pink Floyd but hadn't paid attention to any of his songs before. This morning while at an accounting client's, he played Pink Floyd's first album with most of the tunes written by Barrett.

So tonight I listen to recent rotation-fave the Shins and say: "Holy Floyd, Batman!"

Thursday, October 16, 2003

American By Birth, North Dakotan By The Grace Of God

The guys over at Fraters Libertas are shooting their mouths off about invading good ol' North Dakota. (Okay actually, one guy over at Fraters - the Elder - wrote about shutting down the border and/or redrawing some borders, and a reader of theirs wrote about invading ND; but I'd hate to let the facts get in the way of halfway-solid intro to this post.) I think the cause of the beef with the Peace Garden State has something to do with an alleged chapter of the Fifth Column that is made up of NoDak ex-pats and operating here in the Twin Cities. I can't say whether I'm a member of this group or even whether it exists, but I can say I know who I proudly would have voted for in the cabal cell-leader election.

But as to this pending invasion of North Dakota by Minnesota - the Fraters instigators of this plot are pretty much already congratulating themselves for occupying their neighbor to the west. I would just like to point out three very-likely scenarios in which their plans fail:

1) Don't forget 1939: The Minnesota invasion could echo the USSR's invasion of Finland in '39. The Soviets expected to overrun heavily-outmanned Finland in twelve days. They ended up staying (and winning in) four-plus months. That doesn't sound too bad - but problem was, they invaded in November and weren't expecting to have to fight a winter war against an opponent that thrived in the bitter cold. The Soviets suffered 400,000 casualties during their invasion. The Minnesotans may invade soon and suffer a similar fate - Lord knows Twin Cities natives (who are convinced TC winters are tough, what a freakin' joke!) wouldn't last long in a North Dakota winter.

On a related note - I recently read The Winter War by Eloise Engle and Lauri Paananen and noticed how the Soviets invaded Finland to "liberate" it from capitalism. Minnesota would likely similarly invade North Dakota to "liberate" it from socialism; after all, the web sites for its state bank and state mill virtually brag about them being unique state-owned institutions in the USA.

2) The spirit of '67: North Dakota has two Air Force bases. What if they were to pull a preemptive air strike ala Israel in 1967? What with all the saber-rattling and troops massing on the east side of the Red River, they might just do it. Minnesota has no air force to speak of. You could argue that they could quickly move to armament their air fleet, but they would run into two major delays: a) NWA would hold out until they got state bail-out money, and b) To put pilots into NWA's planes would require a sweep of Twin Cities airport-area bars that would take hours upon hours.

3) Grand Forks = Quagmire: The Fraters have already tallied Fargo to be on their side. That is fine. They can deal with all those Cow College fans obsessed with being a Division I power. The Fargoans soon will be boring you with how they want to play the Gophers in football (Glen Mason: "Yes!") and how they are "going to get a Division I hockey team and join the WCHA." So Minnesota will move its armies to the north in order to strike at Grand Forks. If the Fraters guys are in charge at the northern theater, it will be a slow doom. They'll get entrenched in their HQ at Whitey's in East Grand Forks on the MN side of the river, drinking reasonably-priced taps, plotting their invasion on cocktail napkins, and getting beer lazy. This scenario ends one of two ways: a) They end up trading down their weapons supply over a period of time for grinders from the Red Pepper, or b) They get busted after sneaking across the border and into a Sioux/Gophers game at North Dakota's crown jewel. (They'll lose control and blow their cover by cheering when the Gophers win at Engelstad like they always do.)

But I'm sure calmer head will prevail. Once the Minnesotans realize what a great deal they've been getting overall in NoDak imports, we'll all shake hands and smile over beers together. Give peace a chance, 'kay?

(Oh, and if I'm not posting to my blog or answering my emails, it's because I've cleared out of my Minneapolis abode as my homeland - or Pat Robertson - has decided to drop the big one on ya. Sweet dreams.)

Monday, October 13, 2003

A Consolation Prize For Yankee Haters

The Yankees are six victories away from clinching another World Series. All of us Yankee haters have one great memory of this season to hold onto: The sight of Pedro Martinez dumping Yankee mascot coach Don Zimmer on his ass. I just saw a replay on Fox that shows Zimmer making a beeline for Martinez, who was standing alone away from the melee. Many are outraged that Martinez would do this to a 72-year old, I say Zimmer's treatment was deserved AND hilarious.

Friday, October 10, 2003

God Says No

Traditionalists like Mel Gibson aren't the only Catholics being goofballs lately. The Vatican, in an apparent attempt to recreate its glory days of "Galileo Is A Heretic", unleashed two whoppers this week:

1) The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family said that condoms don't stop AIDS.

2) The pope's right-hand man pooh-poohed his Church's systematic cover-up of molesting priests. Dude, you're lucky the RICO Act wasn't unleashed on your organization!

The sad part is that some of the folks who think they see Jesus' mom in random cloud formations and sandwich toppings will eat the above crap up.

Meanwhile, Pat Robertson's wishes to nuke our nation's capital are going ignored. Shouldn't we be sending this clown to Guantanamo?

But truly, isn't it chuckle-worthy to see that both Catholic and Protestant can be equally stoopid?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Summer Summer Go Away

I'm playing the Jayhawks' Rainy Day Music in the hopes that it gets cloudy and the temperature drops twenty degrees or more. This week's weather (currently 77 and sunny) is complete and utter bullshit.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Talk About The Passion

A few weeks ago I first heard about the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie The Passion. Sadly, the controversy isn't over the "Who's the Hotter Mary Magdalene: Barbara Hershey or Monica Bellucci?" question. See, Gibson is a Traditionalist Catholic, a member of the sect who rejects the reforms of Vatican II - reforms which include ecumenic ideas such as allowing other Christians into heaven and not condemning the Jews as cursed by the Lord. The movie is still in production, but has both: 1) been praised as being a literal accounting of the Gospels' telling of Jesus' last days, and 2) been accused of dusting off the hateful "the Jews killed Christ" canard.

There is an excellent story in the September 15th issue of The New Yorker about Gibson, his beliefs, and the history of his movie's controversy. Gibson sometimes comes across as merely goofy. He sounds like a KFAN talk-show host when discussing the theory that the four gospels weren't actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John: "John was an eyewitness. Matthew was there. And these other guys? Mark was Peter's guy, Peter's scribe. And Luke was Paul's guy. I mean, these are reliable sources. These are guys who were around."

But things get darker when talking about the Jews. Gibson talks about his father, who has said that Vatican II was a Masonic plot backed by the Jews: "He never denied the Holocaust; he just said there were fewer than six million." Gibson later unleashed this ugly thought: "Modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church. And it's a lie. And it's revisionism. And they've been working on that one for a while."

Mel doesn't even spare his wife: "There is no salvation for those outside the Church. I believe it. Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's, like, Episcopalian Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's just not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it."

That last bit reminds me of David Puddy encouraging Elaine to steal her neighbor's paper because "I'm not the one going to hell." The controversy over the The Passion will continue until and after the movie's release in April of 2004. We'll see if Mel Gibson gets any more unhinged between now and then.

Friday, October 03, 2003

What The Hell Is A Joe Mauer?
Who's The Cretin?

I now see why Mark Prior continues to be a source of fascination for certain members of the local sports media. Tonight in a masterful performance, he pitched a two-hit, one-run complete game to beat Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves in Game Three of their series. The Minnesota Twins, of course, could have drafted Mark Prior out of USC in 2001, but instead went for a cheap PR move and selected Joe Mauer, a St. Paul high school kid.

Super - instead of watching Prior outduel Roger Clemens in the Dome tomorrow, we get to hear heartwarming stories about a local boy doing well (in the minor leagues.) The whole thing reminds me of the dubious and similar PR-minded draft skills of the long-gone Minnesota North Stars.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Happy Tenth Birthday To The Gem Of The AM Dial

The best radio station in town, Radio K, has started its PowerSurge. Yours truly will be joining the Cosmic Slop show on Sunday, October 5th from 2 to 4 p.m. to talk about Radio K and spin some tunes. Even better, also joining the show will be:

Leslie Ball, curator of BALLS Cabaret
Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber, host of KFAI's "Crap From The Past"
Marlee MacLeod, local musician
John Costello, longtime dedicated Cosmic Slop listener and caller

Slop hosts Chuck and Joel will be offering special premiums, including Cosmic Slop t-shirts (sweet!), CDs collecting their promos (cool!), and a special autographed photo of Joel going after Chuck's private parts with pruning shears (they might be pulling my leg here, but you never know...)

Radio K can be found at 770 AM or streamed online.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Damn Drunk Yankees?

Like I've said before: I'm a frontrunner. Part of which includes being a bandwagon jumper. I hadn't watched a Twins game all year ('cept three inning which happened to be on a TV at the CC Club one evening this past summer), but gladly jumped on the playoff bandwagon Tuesday morning about thirty minutes before the first pitch.

And now that the Twins have won Game One and because that victory was over the hated/dreaded Yankees ... I gotta unleash some trash talk.

Today's target: Bernie Williams. This is a center fielder? In the third, his girly throw to home wasn't even close to nailing a tagging Cristian Guzman. In the sixth, he dogs after a Torii Hunter line drive hit, and it gets by him. After the game, he said: "You win as a team and lose as a team."

Granted, the Yankees as a team did tend to play the field like they had tapped a keg of malt liquor before the game, but you can especially lose as a team when you have a defensive liability in center field.