Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I give thanks for Patrick Reusse, the best writer in the Twin Cities. Today's Strib had his annual Turkey of the Year column, in which Don Lucia was a runner-up:

He coached the Yankees of college hockey to seventh in the WCHA, then ran off assistant Mike Guentzel as the scapegoat. In mid-September, Lucia was a warmup speaker for a John McCain-Sarah Palin rally -- with polls at the time indicating Minnesota was a tossup.

For now, Lucia is strutting about with the No. 1-rated team in the country. Yet, no matter past and future glory, The Don will never be able to change this: He's the Gophers hockey coach who finished an amazing seventh in the WCHA and helped the Republican ticket to a 10-point defeat in Minnesota in the same calendar year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How Do You Say "Consider My Mind Blown" In Spanish?

Found while egosurfing: My essay Best Band in the Land ... in Spanish.

I used Google Translate to determine what the intro says. (Hey, it has my name in it - you knew I'd die of curiousity if I didn't try to figure it out.) It reads:

Sometimes the truth has been so distorted that to talk about it an accurate invent a story. And unfortunately on the rocanrol have been dumped so many phrases sententious that what we really should care, music, is the substance of all the verbiage. Today it is dance-punk, progressive-house yesterday morning and secure the cumbia-industrial-pre-Hispanic ... At the same sector of the criticism of rock that has developed a musical based on the division of schizophrenic genres that separate the "honest "From the" sold "interested in the sordid biographies and anecdotes curious than artistic merit. How should we be surprised? After all, and Salman Rushdie has said that the rocanrol is very close to a mythology of our day. In any case, it appears that Bill Tuomala, author of the text to read below, originally published in the journal Exiled on Main Street number 27 and included in the anthology Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 (with curating the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening) - felt that to rescue one of his favorite bands from the claws of the big trends of demiurge, should use their own jargon, to rewrite history with a little story put out of the kingdom's setback, recreating the myth of a band called Van Halen. The version at the Castilian, of course, courtesy of Erre.
Time To Get My Band, The Recount Five, Going Again

I feel the same way as Chad over at Fraters Libertas does about the Franken/Coleman recount:

For the reality is that no matter how much someone claims to know about what's happening and what the end result of all this be, no one really knows who's going to emerge the victor or whether the events of any particular day really matter or not.

And after the recount is over, the inevitable ugly legal proceedings will kick in, and the recount will eventually be decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Tuomala 'Fesses Up To Mancrush, Obama Wants You To Get To Work

My senior year roommate at UND had a poster of a smiling Ronald Reagan above his bed, meaning every morning I'd get out of my bed and see Grandpa Ronnie grinning at me. Ugh. Geez, I'd think, who'd want a poster of a president on their wall? I'd only had sports stars and the hot chicks in those free posters you'd get from the booze distributors on my walls. The day that the Iran-Contra scandal story broke, my roomie took the poster down and put up a hot chick instead.

But a couple of weeks ago my pal Def Jeff made this photo into a poster and it's going up on my living room wall. USA! USA! USA!

(And on the day after Obama rolled out his economic team, two of my clients who were behind on their payments paid up. Coincidence?)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Game 6

Last night I watched Game 6, a movie I had never heard of until I read Don DeLillo's entry at Wikipedia. It deals with a playwright, played by Michael Keaton, who has life-long been obsessed with the Red Sox. It just so happens that his latest play is opening on the same night of game six of the 1986 World Series. The writer skips his own opening to go watch the game in a bar. Keaton's ability to run down a team (and hence himself, for always cheering for them) makes him the actor who could best potray the futility of rooting for a team who continually lets you down. His ongoing misery and its accompanying sarcasm is remarkable:

"Twenty-four game winner pitches seven solid innings. They scratch out a one-run lead. (Shrugs) Of course he gets a blister."

"Sure. Of course you put Greenwell up when you got Baylor on the bench!"

"Of course Greenwell strikes out!"

The movie clocks in at under ninety minutes. Solid.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Coffee Is For Closers."

Alec Baldwin being totally fucking awesome in Glengarry Glen Ross.

To my twenty-something friend who once said Charlie Kaufman is the greatest screenwriter ever: Check out David Mamet. (And a century's worth of other great screenwriters.) Oh, and for funny movies Harold Ramis tops Kaufman and it's not even close.

As to Baldwin's performance: I once was told that I sounded like "a fucking faggot" by some asshole client rep back when I had a real job. And you wonder why I don't look at the construction industry with such "it gets in your blood" wonder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Russian Player: We very much like Elton John in the Soviet Union.
Curtis Jackson: I'm into the Funkadelic myself.
Russian Player: Funkawhat?

A few weeks ago I bought Funkadelic's second album, today I got their debut one.

In Rock Dreams, Jimi Hendrix famously tells a New York Times reporter that he's from Mars. Which leaves me wondering exactly what planet Funkadelic was from. These albums are quite the trip...
The Charms Of Northeast

I work at a client's in Northeast Minneapolis every Tuesday late afternoon. Every few weeks, the paperwork pile is such that I'm there past six p.m. These days are unique for mel as there is a church in the neighborhood that rings its bells every day at six p.m.

It's hard to put into words, but the sound of these bells is quite special. I have nothing like it here in my south Minneapolis neighborhood. There is a church that rings its bells on Sunday morning, but I'm not up until the crack of noon on weekends. And the civil defense siren on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. is only comforting in that we know that the thing works in case of emergency.

The church bells in Northeast have a mystical quality that is soothing, calming. Here's to working late every once in a while.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nothing Matters But The Weekend From A Tuesday Point Of View

Tonight while working out, I decided that this Saturday night I should finally blast some loud music, drink some Heinekens, and have some fun ... instead of thinking about doing it and then watching college football, dinking around on the computer, and then listening to Bachman-Turner Overdrive before turning in. The options, so far:

1) Get out my soul/funk/R&B music and have a Saturday night dance party.

2) Get out the heaviest and sludgiest of my metal music, head bang, and pretend I've taken those downs-like allergy pills from the early nineties.

3) Get out my Dolls, 'Mats, Dead Boys, Yardbirds, Nuggets, Mott, Stooges, Run Westy Run, Faces and have a guitar/punk/proto-punk/swagger/have-a-few-then-play noisefest.

Come to think of it, putting these in rotation is an even better idea.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Kobe works well when he remains poised and trusts the triangle offense," Jackson added.

"We see the election of a black president, and Pau Gasol's good shooting night, as a positive sign of things to come," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "It's still early in the season, and there are a lot of things we need to work on, but I'm a product of the '60s, a baby boomer, so I'll blame our lull in the third quarter on me thinking back to the race riots during the civil rights movement, the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the separate but equal laws that plagued this nation, and how I thought then that in a million years we would never elect a black president. The fact that I am even saying these words is pretty fucking incredible."

Said Lakers forward Barack Obama to the entire world on his team's victory: "Yes, we can."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Running Up The Score

Barack Obama has unofficially won North Carolina; meaning he channeled his inner Steve Spurrier, viewed the McCain campaign as the Georgia Bulldogs, and during a blowout victory called a time-out with thirty seconds left in the game so that he could run a flea-flicker for a touchdown.
Today On The Radio

1) On KFAN, The Comman Man opened with "Lovely Day" combined with parts of Barack Obama's speech last night. Then Common went on to wonder when the rich people will start mailing us checks.

2) On Sirius Soul Town, heard back-to-back: "This Is My Country" by The Impressions and "Funky President" by James Brown.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Chris Berman Interviews The Candidates

It was on Monday Night Football last night. While these are "feel good" interviews, there was something I drew from each interview:

1) Obama called for an eight-team playoff in college football. If elected, he'll have his hands full but a presidential bully pulpit on this issue would be awesome.

2) McCain, who I generally find overrated as a humorist, was great with: "He. Could. Go. All. The. Way."

Note: These interviews are a couple of minutes longer than the ones that aired last night.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

How I Spent My Vacation

Actually, it was a staycation.

Too much MSNBC.

Not enough of Esquire and Mojo.

Dealing with stupid ongoing back trouble. Geez this crap gets old.

Finally got over my fear of "One Tin Soldier", a song that had freaked me out since I was six years old.


Wild Turkey Rye! It's like ten bucks more per bottle than Old Overcoat but so tasty and has a nice little kick to it. Decisions, decisions. (As for Jim Beam Rye, don't bother.)

Deep-ball poetry after ground-game prose wasn't working at all.

Teena Marie, Stargard, Funkadelic, Kool and the Gang, War, Roy (not Bill) Ayers, Parliament, Rufus, The Impressions, Earth Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, and many more. Glad I did some exploring on the Sirius radio and dug some dust-gathering albums out of the collection.

And aside from the previous-post-mentioned pizza and beers with Bob on the night I started my staycation (which - hello IRS - was a business meeting, I do his books), I stayed out of the bars! Congrats to those who bet the "under"!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

FSSN On The NHL Network

Friday night's North Dakota vs. Wisconsin hockey game was carried live on the NHL Network, using the Fighting Sioux Sports Network (FSSN) (in Grand Forks this is found on WDAZ channel 8) feed. Observations:

1) The FSSN obviously used portions of the between-periods intermissions as a recruiting tool. After the first period, Tim Hennessy gave a short tour of the glorious Ralph Engelstad Arena. After the second period, Ryan Martens provided a little overview of the NHL walls outside the Sioux's locker room - reminders of how many players the Sioux have put in the NHL over the years.

2) NHL Network fans who have never seen a FSSN broadcast got a feel for play-by-play man Pat Sweeney. He used to bore me, but I was used to the (almost-always enjoyable) histrionics of Frank Mazzocco on Gopher TV broadcasts. Now I find Sweeney to be a smooth, understated guy in the booth. Throw in the dry wit and some out-of-leftfield references (the constant phrasing of Jordan Baker's first and last name last season sealed it), and now Sweeney is my guy. Tonight's line was in regards to Badger player John Mitchell, who he once referred to as "Attorney General John Mitchell."

3) Unfortunately, the NHL Network went with their own ads at commercial breaks, so NHL Network fans weren't subjected to the amazingly catchy Home of Economy jingle. (Note: John McCain once had a map to the Home of Economy, but he threw it out the window as he couldn't read the map.)

4) I love it that people across North America tuning in the NHL Network were informed by Sweeney that Kittson County Central knocked off Stephen-Argyle in the Minnesota Section 8 Nine-man championship game. Stephen-Argyle had a 76-game winning streak on the line. (This game was played in the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, gotta love the cross-border help.)

Hats off to WDAZ for continuing to care about the northeastern North Dakota / northwestern Minnesota area. This local coverage got personal last summer when I was up at my parents' cabin an hour east of Fargo. It was a Friday afternoon and a tornado warning in the area and WDAY (WDAZ's sister station in Fargo) was the only one who had a weather guy live tracking the nasty weather and said a tornado had touched down a few miles away from me. I tuned in KVLY and KXJB out of Fargo and they were showing crap like Orpah and Access Hollywood. Oh, and three other tornadoes touched down in northwestern Minnesota that afternoon also, so it's obvious WDAY and WDAZ are the only stations that care about the safety of the residents in the Red River Valley area.

And to add insult to injury to KVLY and KXJB ... my sister, who was in EASTERN WISCONSIN that afternoon, called the cabin to make sure everybody was okay after seeing on TV that a tornado had touched down in the area. People in Wisconsin were getting better weather info than people watching channels 4 and 11 in the Fargo area!