Monday, December 31, 2007

Ending 2007 on its first high note

Well, it’s over. Good fucking riddance to 2007, undisputedly the worst year of my life.

I took a few steps backward, many steps to the left and right, and stumbled cluelessly throughout most of the year. Finding a highlight is as difficult as Patrik Elias finding the back of the net. There were some good times (finding Lola, the myriad pill events, writing for Spin), but mostly my life just sunk to depths rivaled only by my very-awkward 5th grade experience. What do they say about all that "fool me twice" bullshit?

But hey, suddenly, stabilization has come swiftly, and hopefully 2008 brings me back to where I was mentally, emotionally and physically in mid-2006 or so. I’m still very blah about everything, and still have Los Angeles in my sights for September (unless my spirits and impression of Boston Hate City improves drastically between now and June). But for the first time in more than a year, I like where my life is heading, even if it still lacks any coherent direction and focus. I guess I have another year to figure all that shit out.

In any event, tonight we celebrate, as '07 goes to heaven, and '08 promises the great. We (the pill) are throwing a dance party at O’Brien’s this evening, because fucked if I saw anything remotely interesting this New Year’s Eve. I’m not staying on the couch like I did last year; talk about a bad omen. As Jarvis Cocker sang so proudly, "dance, drink, and screw, because there’s nothing else to do."

See you in 2008, and thanks for reading Vanyaland. It’s been my best therapy yet. xo

Friday, December 28, 2007 AOTD: Tigercity

Another day, another Artist of the Day feature. This time around, it's by Brooklyn's Tigercity, no stranger to the Boston scene, and perhaps the modern era's answer to Hall & Oates. Yacht Rock now has original material to work with, and it's fucking aces. This is some smooth shit right here. Check it here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Last minute birthday gift? (please?)

So if anyone is looking to get me a belated birthday present, look no further. This hideous thing of beauty is only $9.99 on eBay, and straight out of late-'80s Red Hot Chili Peppers video.

I've never bought anything on eBay (or sold, chicken strip seahorse sucka!), so the gift can even just be winning/purchasing it for me, and I'll promptly pay you back.

If I get this, I'll totally wear it backwards and to the side the way the singer in EMF did with his Oakland Athletics hat in the "Unbelievable" video. And I'll pimp my christmas tree Chris Terreri jersey and mack down the street like an unstoppable Lamorielloian soldier on a mission for the ghost of John McMullen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 AOTD: Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts are a very cool Australian electro trio who toured the US with Justice earlier this year, and will soon headline their own springtime stateside romp. In the meantime, I wrote about them for's Artist of the Day series.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Florida report: Day 2

Christmastime in Florida took on an all new tradition yesterday, as I hit the race track for the first time in my life. They Derby Lanes greyhound races in St. Petersburg have been the highlight of the trip so far, and I only lost about $20 after a few hours of racing. My big wins: $11.50 and $16. What a thrill, and I think I have a new addiction. I’m going to personally bring the Wonderland track back to prominence in Boston. Dog racing is the new coke, and it was certainly more thrilling than spending the night at some random aunt’s house surrounded by cousins I’ve never met before.

It was a fairly ho-hum, and muggy, Christmas Eve, drenched in Jager and Cosmos and pomegranate drinks while awkwardly surrounded by close-knit “relatives,” one of which is in law school in Vermont and kinda resembled Rocky Dennis from “Mask,” and another adorable, young, hopefully of-age cousin that strongly resembled the foreign exchange student from “Better off Dead.” I may or may not have been creepy towards her, I don’t remember. (I spent most of the dinner, augmented by the biggest King Crab legs I’ve ever seen and a full, seven-course seafood meal, trying to figure out what she’d look like sprawled out naked on the Christmas Eve dinner table with an apple stuffed in her mouth and clam shells draped around her still-developing body). Some of the elders kept bringing up politics, especially when the daily tab that pays my bills was brought up, but I wasn’t gonna bite.

Overall, it wasn’t terrible, and these are very friendly, well-meaning people, but once again vodka became my ally in the always-a-struggle familial battle. Then again, back home we spent Xmas Eve at my teeny-bit psychotic aunt’s house, who is now hopped up on meds, and without a husband since he ghosted after learning my dead grandmother didn’t exactly leave the bounty he anticipated. So it beat previous years, and the kids in the room (I hear they are cousins, but without a detailed family tree layed out in front of me, who the fuck knows) were duly impressed by my knowledge of Guitar Hero-creators Harmonix, and how I knew some of the Boston bands included in the game. One “cuz” was all into Freezepop from playing the game, but I declined to tell him about the bathroom shenanigans at the singer’s pill afterparty just, oh, 72 hours earlier. And even kids in Florida know who Bang Camaro is, another sure sign of the apocalypse.

But through it all, I still miss my kitten, and it’s my birthday. More on that to come later on. Maybe once I’m done swimming in the pool. On Christmas. Swimming. It’s still all wrong.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Florida Report: Day 1

So I’m in Florida, you may have heard.

The first day here has been pretty chill, and yesterday’s flight was, thankfully, fairly painless. I got about five hours sleep after Sean Lifestyle’s afterhours, drove down to Quincy to drop Lolabear of at Kristin’s, then trudged north on 93 to fly out of Manch Vegs. Nothing like being hung over with a bunch of ugly snowbird New Hampshire people in an equally ugly airport more than an hour away. My life is a Disney film, it really is.

But to my shock and amazement, the flight flew by, as I started -- and finished -- “The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America” (working title: “Another Book About Boston Racism, This Time Eschewing A Noose in Favor of Clever Usage of the Stars and Stripes”). It’s a book passed on to me last week by the Weekly Dig’s David Day about a photo that ran in the Herald American in 1976, of a white teen attempting to harpoon an American flag-draped flag pole into the chest of a helpless black lawyer caught in a busing protest. Good read (review coming later, maybe when it’s released in March) and even the meek brunette hermaphrodite sitting beside me seemed to be interested as well. Now, I often board Southwest in Group A, race to the back of the plane, saddle up next to the window and pray that the fattest fuck boarding the plane doesn’t plop his ass next to me. (Mind you, I’m in NH, so the odds of a Dunkin Donut-fueled double-man sitting next to me are tripled than when jetting out of Providence, the other SWA hub.)

But things got a bit awkward when I, feeling all inspired-like, decided to tackle Book II. After taking a racial romp through photojournalism history, I pulled out “Money Shot: Wild Days and Lonely Nights Inside the Black Porn Industry,” which shoulda just been called “A Year in the Life of Lexington Steele and his Monster 11-inch Dick.” The hermaph was visibly startled, and it suddenly made me uncomfortable. So I settled on playing Tetris on my pink 1997-model Game Boy. You pick your battles when flying to Florida alongside subjects of Porno for Pyros songs.

My parents have a fake tree, which is fitting, as Christmas in Florida is pretty fucking artificial. But I'm warn, so whatever.

But that was it for ambition. Since I’ve arrived, I’ve done very little, as according to plan. Within 24-hours or so, I’ve watched several movies: the Departed, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Christmas Vacation, the 40-Year Old Virgin, and the overrated feature called The Pats Own the Dolphins. I’ve lounged around and sang Bertie Higgins’ “Key Largo” in my head over and over. I thought I saw the Olsen twins this morning, but it was just two other anorexic hobbit daughters of some other retired parents here at the oh-so-elite Heritage Springs country club clubhouse. I’ve drank way too much Jager and enjoyed a breakfast buffet and two ace home-cooked meals from Momma Dukes. Tastes like Bay Shore in my belly, and I couldn’t ask for more. Not having to do scrum-fuck all day is fantabulous, though waiting for ESPNews to show the Devils-Flames highlights is sawing away at my patience stick.

Tomorrow we’re going to the dog track in St Petersburg, and I will try my bloody hardest to reenact the “Parklife” album cover. Then we’re going to the house of some relative I’ve never heard of, and before I know it I’ll be 29 and heading back to my own personal snow-ridden hell. As Belinda Carlisle once so graciously sang, “leave a light on for me.”

Friday, December 21, 2007

Heading south for winter

I have my birthday dance party tonight at the pill, then I leave bright, early and hungover tomorrow morning for sunny Florida. Get me the hell out of here. See you on the flip.

Best of 2007

Because I'm too lazy to do a separate, more comprehensive Best of 2007 list (and because the year kinda sucked), I'll just reprint my list that was printed in today's Boston Herald, which includes all releases: CDs, DVDs, videos, commercials, whatever. Anything music-related that was "released."

1. Bat For Lashes, video for "What’s a Girl to Do"
Donnie Darko on a bicycle, set to the spookiest single of ’07.
2. Editors, "An End Has a Start" (Epic/Fader)
On this album, a band breaks away from its idols in a meteor shower of sonic haze.
3. Jupiter One, "Countdown" (Cordless/WMG)
Space rock ascends to dizzying heights in this New York band’s single.
4. Wonderful Spells, "The Prophecy of Smarmulous Rex" (self-released)
A sterling EP debut from Boston’s new melody makers.
5. Justice, video/single for "D.A.N.C.E." (Ed Banger/Vice)
Neon T-shirts flash along in this video to one of the year’s best dance singles.
6. A Place to Bury Strangers, "A Place to Bury Strangers" (Killer Pimp/Vacancy)
Avalanches of piercing noise cradle this CD’s infectious pop melodies.
7. "Control" (Rhino)
A movie soundtrack reminder of how music used to be, even with the Killers involved.
8. Feist’s "1234" iPod ad
At 20 seconds, the song’s irresistible; at three minutes, a bit overdone.
9. Okkervil River, "The Stage Names" (Jagjaguwar)
Underrated band making its way to a mainstream breakthrough.
10. "The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit-Pop Gems of the Last Millennium" (Rhino).
A concise four-CD history lesson.

Other releases I’ve enjoyed: The Information’s “Natural Language” EP*, Emergency Music’s “You’ll Be the Death of Us All, Honey”*, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s “Baby 81,” Kaiser Chiefs’ “Yours Truly Angry Mob,” the entire Bat for Lashes album, the Blakes EP, and other stuff I’m clearly forgetting. Thank God I didn’t hear that Miley Cyrus song until now. (*: Deemed too close to the pill circle to be included in my published "best of")

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snow Day

In a bedroom chock-full of misery, depression and holiday anxiety, watching Lola marvel at the snow this morning was maybe the best thing I've witnessed all season.

Happy birthday, pops

So my dad turned 60 today, which is kinda strange because he looks like he's in his mid-40s. This also confirms that, yes, I will be turning 30 next year.

Well, my popa-dukes is mad old, but I don't feel bad for him. Right now he's probably wearing shorts, a white polo and a straw hat down in sunny Florida, while I get to spend a half hour digging my car, nay, tauntaun, out of these Hoth-like New England conditions.

Happy birthday Dad, may you playfully choke on your pool-side cocktail, and may your ice cream cake melt prematurely under the non-seasonal Florida sun.

And on a side note, I'll be in Florida in just more than 48 hours. I can't say I've ever looked forward to a trip to the Sunshine State quite like this, though I'm dreading being away from my cat for five days. But yay, me and Bill Parcells, headed South for the holidaze.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My taste in music takes another hit

Fucking hell.

So I’m driving home from some shitty attempt at Christmas shopping last night, zipping recklessly up Memorial Drive and staring at the Boston skyline – which remains on the ever-dwindling list of things I love about this fetid corpse of a city I soon must leave – and I hear some saccharine-soaked, addictive-like-whoa pop song come on the radio.

Now, understand, I’m listening to Kiss FM. Well, not listening listening, but flipping through the stations, hoping to hear something decent, maybe even that Cascada song I’m obsessed with. (Yes, you all know how much of a bitch I am for euro-girlpop.)

So this "I can’t wait to see you again" jam comes on. And the volume gets louder, and louder, and louder, until it reaches the point where if 5.0 doesn't stop a 9-year-old in the car, I'm going to jail. By the time I hit the BU Bridge I’m in full-blown, full-motherfucking-frontal Rock Out mode. Holy shit this song rules. I’m hooked.

I get home, and plug the lyrics that I can vaguely remember into Google. Then it appears, smacking me in the dome like a bleary-eyed haddock fresh out of the water. The fucking song is released by Disney, and it’s by Miley Cyrus, who is not only Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter, but also the "Part II" or whatever to the Hannah Montana phenomenon/empire/black tar heroin fix for pre-teen girls.

Great, now I’m CREEPY too. But I dare you to listen to this song and tell me it doesn’t rules eight ways north, south, east and west to Sunday. Enjoy at your own risk

Rolling Stone sued for $195.3 billion

Oh boy. A couple of bands are apeshit -- and rightfully so -- after Rolling Stone published a Camel cigarette ad linking those bands to the tobacco products. Extra extra! Read all about it!.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand saves

Credit due to Richer's Ghost over at the Hockey's Future Devils board. I don't post there as much as I used to, but I still lurk for gems like this (click to enlarge):

New Batman trailer

Oh this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Heath Ledger looks pretty badass as the Joker, and Christain Bale still rules in everything he does.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Papelbon's dog eats game-winning World Series ball

Great find by Phil, as apparently Jonathan Papelbon's dog chewed up the game-winning World Series baseball. Of course, there was a mini-controversy in 2004, when Doug "Eye Chart" Mientkiewicz said he pocketed the ball used for the final out in St. Louis, and was gonna pawn it off to put his kids through college.

Well, leave it to Pap to settle the ball dispute like this. From the article:

Well, the 2007 mystery is now solved. The World Series baseball is in Hattiesburg.

At least what is left of it is.

"My dog ate it," said Papelbon, who has a home in the Canebrake subdivision.

"He plays with baseballs like they are his toys. His name is Boss. He jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces. Nobody knows that. I'll keep what's left of it."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Most offensive-yet-amazing headline ever

Leave it to the New York Post to steal all the glory away from Ike Turner's death with this absolutely unbelievable headline:

Ike Beats Tina to Death. Just, wow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Immortalized in Uni Watch

Well shit, this just made me day:

From Paul Lukas' Uni Watch Blog: My heartfelt thanks to the two Boston journalists who stopped by, beginning with Michael Marotta, who wrote a preview of the event for the Boston Herald (and who augmented his Nordiques jersey with a Devils tattoo). The other scribe in attendance was Danielle Dreilinger, who was covering the party for the Globe (I think her story will be running either this weekend or the weekend after that). Her gorgeous Milwaukee Braves jersey is a game-used original, and was on loan from her uncle.

So far, 120 comments have been posted, and no one is making fun of my tattoo, which is clear as day in the photo link.

the real Mitchell

So at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sen. George Mitchell will release the eagerly-awaited Mitchell Report, which will likely name major league ballplayers who have used illegal steroids. While this day could be huge for baseball (or reveal very little, continuing this cat and mouse game with the American public), every time I hear the senator's report, I think of one man*.

And that man is Joe Don Baker. To quote the great MST3000, "How do you like your Scotch?" ...By the quart, of course.

(* With all due respect to former NL MVP Kevin Mitchell.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nickelback to live in Allston while recording?

First Hollywood, now the dregs of the music industry.

Carl Lavin of Great Scott is spreading all kinds of silly rumors over on the I can't see how Nickelback would blend in among the undesirables and Todd/Taras of Allston, but if you want suggestions on where to look, this is a good start.

Monday, December 10, 2007

2007 NHL Draft: Porn Star or Frat Boy

The other night I started to study over NHL drafts dating back to 1988. I skipped around a bit, and focused on the two best drafts, possibly, of all-time: the famed ’90 draft (with Martin Brodeur, Jaromir Jagr highlighting a deep first round and several significant late picks) and the Everyone-in Attendance-Gets-a-Great-Player-But-the-Rangers Draft of 2003 (the depth overrides any one mention, except for Zach Jesus Christ Parise at 16, of course.)

After a while, I eventually stumbled across the most recent draft, and noticed something peculiar about the selections that day in Columbus – their ridiculous names. I don’t know why it never dawned on me. I don’t know why this became evident now, and not when I was wasting hours reading through the Hockey News draft guide, and then watching the fucking draft on television.

But almost half of the 30 picks on that surely-sunny June day in Ohio’s fine capital can fit into one of two distinct categories: porn star or frat boy. From their names alone, we determine that if they weren’t hockey players, would they be laying pipe with Mindy Main out in Van Nuys, or are they doing a keg stand at the cornbread frat house down University Way? Finally, we settle this.

Round 1:
Pick 2, Philadelphia: James Van Reimsdyk – porn star, armed already with an offensive surname.

Pick 3, Phoenix: Kyle Turris – frat boy, though some porn stars might contract a bad case of turris. Sounds itchy.

Pick 4, Los Angeles: Thomas Hickey – porn star, naturally.

Pick 9, San Jose: Logan Couture – porn star, though argyles are involved.

Pick 10, Florida: Keaton Ellerby – frat boy, and lives right here in Massachusetts.

Pick 12, Montreal: Ryan McDonagh – frat boy, chapter president

Pick 14, Colorado: Kevin Shattenkirk – porn star, from Germany, though would benefit from cooler first name, like Henrik or Johan.

Pick 16, Minnesota: Colton Gillies – both

Pick 19, Anaheim: Logan MacMillian – frat boy, and astonishingly not even the first “Logan” taken in this draft. Boston’s airport nomenclature has finally caught on, thanks to the several couples’ first decision in the asinine parenting epidemic of 1989.

Pick 20, Pittsburgh: Angelo Esposito – porn star, with greasy hair and toothpick to match.

Pick 21, Edmonton: Riley Nash – porn star, a redheaded firecracker specializing in reverse cowgirl. C’mon admit it, Riley Nash sounds hot.

Pick 22, Montreal: Max Pacioretti – porn star, because “Max” was his first pet’s name, and Pacioretti Road is the fucking street he grew up on in the suburbs.

So there we have it, porn takes the rare public victory straight to the hole, winning 8-5, a score reminiscent of the NHL’s good old days, before the Devils came along ruined everything.

The power of Flashdance, 25 years later

It was just another miserable Monday this morning, as I spent too much time in bed trying to make sense of my stingray-in-the-nightclub dream all while providing a warm cocoon in which Lola could sleep snugly. I was slow to rise, staggering to shake the malaise of the previous weekend of nothingness, the haze of izm clouding my head and the taste of Jager palatable in the back of my throat.

After fleeing the Joker’s Cave, my next challenge was to chip away the ice on my car. Once inside and revved up (the car, not me) I was aurally met with a sonic barrage of radio feces: the new Spoon jam, that late '90s Alice DeeJay club song "Talk to Me," another shit sandwich of a single by Jet, and something else that might have been Deep Blue Something's follow up to "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but I remained unconvinced until I changed the station and stopped thinking about it.

But as I glide down the slippery Mass Pike to where I-93 appears with reckless abandon, my spirits were suddenly lifted, as if the talons of pop's hawk-like masterpiece grabbed me by the shoulders and carried me through the sky and carefully placed me in the comforting lyrical womb of the legendary Irene Cara.

"First, when there's nothing but a slow glowing dream / That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind / All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride / In a world made of steel, made of stone..."

Then, moments later... the song explodes, taking me on a journey like few others in my morning commute…

"What a feeling, bein's believin' / I can't have it all, now I'm dancin' for my life / Take your passion, and make it happen / Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life"

And as quickly as it arrived, the joy ended. I pulled into the Herald parking lot, and braced for another day, knowing its apex is already behind me, and it's not even 10am. But emotions come and go, and time rarely stands still. Yet, though it all, like a sterling beacon in the cloudy skies of tepid depression, there is the Flashdance Soundtrack.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unnecessary upgrading of the NJ Devils logo

Some interesting New Jersey Devils redesigns at the always-entertaining NHL Tournament of Logos blog. (Note: This is a fan site, created for entertainment. These aren't real.)

The proposed primary logo draws inspiration from the team’s nickname origin, which derives from the legend of the Jersey Devil (a mythical, 18th-century South Jersey creature who was, according to legend, the beast-like 13th offspring of a suspected witch – read more about it here).

Since I was about 7 years old I’ve maintained the NJ Devils’ logo is the best in all sports. It’s subtle, yet obvious, and ties in four points of reference – the N, the J, the spiked tail and devil horns, all screaming nothing other than New Jersey Devils – in a very sharp and distinguished crest.

There’s really no need for a cartoon beast of a logo, just as I’ve never cared for the Satan figure-on-skates look that pops up in holiday catalogues. The slightly modified secondary logo doesn’t do it for me, either, as the divot in the horns makes the J look a bit like a Y. No need to remind people of New York. But altogether just looks like a cartoon-sexy, Valentine's Day update of our classic logo.

But I do like the upgraded jersey designs, and wouldn’t be bothered if I saw the real logo thrown on those sweaters. I doubt Lou would go for it, as the Devils are only one of three teams (the Red Wings and Hurricanes are the others) to never have a 3rd or alt jersey.

If there were to be any modification of the logo and crest, the only modernization I’d be down with would be squeezing the outlining circle at the top and bottom to create a more oval-shaped and slightly aerodynamic new logo. Check it to the left.

Otherwise, no need to fix what's broken. Now, about this power play...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Call them the 21st Century Boys, with bacon

Cheers to Nick Balkin of Logan 5 & the Runners for organizing tomorrow's Electric Warriors Glamstravaganza. Read all about it in my T-Rex-reference-heavy piece in today's Herald.

I'd write more, but I'm busy gorging on chocolate-covered bacon, sent to me by Vosges Haut Chocolate. Holy shit. It's not actually a bacon strip covered in chocolate -- it's more like tiny bits of swine among the chocolately goodness. The first bite is kinda weird, I ain't gonna lie, but it gets better and the bacon taste outlasts the chocolate. Not a bad way to start Friday.

And go check out Jupiter One at the pill tonight. Dope band from NYC, and their singe "Countdown" will be all over my Best of '07 lists.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

John Maine doppleganger wants your girlfriends clothes

Kinda weird story from the NY Daily News about NY Mets SP John Maine:

The Mets say pitcher John Maine is the victim of an impostor who has been asking women for their outfits. Thursday, a woman named Abby Cohen called the club Touch to get "John Maine" a table at their opening night. When the man arrived, he identified himself as the Mets pitcher and asked several young ladies if he could try on their dresses (even offering a reporter $200 for hers). Despite being "recognized" as Maine by doormen and publicists for Touch, the Mets insist that he has not been in New York since October and was in Virginia on the night of incident.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Amy Winehouse is a tra(i)n(y)wreck

I realize I'm breaking no new ground here, but when did Amy Winhouse morph into a brunette Dee Snider? I've always been minimally amused by the Rehab Queen's livestyle and desperate grasps at publicity, but what in the name of Dr. McTeague causes someone to start pulling out her own teeth. Oh, drugs. Well that explains the wandering the streets in the buff. But not the other things.

From the Daily Mail article, which has gotten quite the linky-link beej from Vanyaland this week: "Amy is very upset about her teeth because they have literally been falling out," a source said. "She has one missing from the front of her mouth, and another one at the back which is less visible. Her mouth is full of holes and she is desperately worried she is going to lose more. She has actually pulled a tooth out herself, which is absolutely disgusting."

But not the most disgusting thing.

If it's in the papers, it must be true

So the Uni Watch conference is slated for tomorrow night at 8:30pm at BBW, allowing myself to saddle up with D&D kids and VNV Nation fans in the annals or excessive dorkdom. I tried to get a hold of Paul Lukas, at right, for a Uni Chat, but he wasn't available, so I wrote something anyway, talking to a few people who, like me, are kinda obsessed with sports uniforms. Hopefully I'll get to catch up with Lukas tomorrow night. I've read his Uni Watch column since it was in the Village Voice, so it's a real treat.

Not to be outdone, also check out the Milky Way going all Radiohead in Hotline, and my Stylish Man Gift Guide, with a huge, Adam Oates-like assist from Gary Ritacco at Uniform in the South End.

It's been a hectic week, though I finally got around to checking out Church on Monday. It's the new joint in the Linwood space, and I'm really impressed with the vibe. I gotta get some electro night in there before the goth kids find it.

Project Runway Party tonight, which I will honor by trying to decide what to fucking wear to the Uni Watch thing tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mozzer in a National Front Fiasco

Oh Morrissey, back in the news with more throat related tomfoolery. The former Smiths frontman has caused an international ruckus with comments that he doesn’t live in England because it’s rife with immigrants, and that England "threw away" the country and lost its identity to foreigners. Tough to really argue with the man, here.

England for the English, oh, England for the English...There's a country, you don't live there, But one day you would like to...

But wait! According to Mozzer aficionado Roommate Terence, our favorite coiffed mopester has filed a lawsuit against the NME, the high-class, Pulitzer-winning publication where the comments originally ran. He claims he was grossly misquoted, and will release the interview transcripts to reveal his innocence. Apparently the reporter in question has distanced himself from the story, and originally asked NME editors to remove his name from the byline. Stay tuned, fragmented nation, stay tuned.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Suede's Dog Man Star

The temperature has plummeted, the first real snow has fallen on Boston, and winter has arrived. And with that, there is only one suitable soundtrack. Save your "Disintegration," your "Long Cold Winter" and your mispronunciations of "Agaetis Byrjun." There is nothing like Suede’s "Dog Man Star" on the first real frigid day of the season. A truly magical band at its absolute apex.

Friday, November 30, 2007


And this concludes November, which has ended just as depressingly as it began. I think I need meds or some shit. Emergency Music at the pill tonight, which should be fun, but damn, I'm just not feeling much of anything right now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

DJing at Redline tonight, and the Weekend Ahead

I’ve been hibernating all week in a haze of pot smoke and stale buffalo sauce, so it’s high time to break out of the Joker’s Palace at le Barrows and do something/anything/everything. Just in time, too, as there’s much shit going on in the week ahead.

Kane of the Lie Society and I will be hitting the deks last minute at Redline in Harvard Square. Chill vibe, no cover and laid back while I bust out the electro jams and Kane reps the indie. If undesirables roll up, I have a full disc of lost French synthwave songs from 1979, courtesy of the BIPPP comp coming out in February.

Our brothers in arms Emergency Music hits the pill for Night 1 of their CD release party. These are always a blast, and you can score a free copy of E-Mu’s new album, the wonderfully-titled “You’ll Be The Death Of Us All, Honey.”

Two options, of which I’m undecided: There are the Boston Music Awards at the dreadful Orpheum Theatre, where Extreme, Bobby Brown and Township will all share the stage. And across the river is the December Sound’s CD release party at T.T. the Bear’s. (Speaking of T.T.’s, Buffalo Tom is playing one of the many “Benefits for Jeanne” on Dec. 29, to help cancer-stricken bartender Jeanne Sheehy fend off a mountain of medical bills.)

Fenway Recordings does it again, in bringing you a dope band you’ll love three months from now. This Sunday, it’s the UK’s Los Campesinos, creators of my new profile song. Good enough to replace Cascada, good enough to catch on a lazy Sunday night.

Church, the new joint in the Linwood space, has the best show so far of its young existence, with the pill’s new friends the Wonderful Spells and MMOSS, a Granite State band of hippies with flutes and shit proving more than just Ben Protokoll’s new band.

And later next week, the Chinese Stars play a free show at the Milky Way, the Uni Watch Conference hits Boston Beer Works and NYC's Jupiter One takeover the pill. Good times!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Killer cell phones

As loosely prophesized in Terminator, the machines have begun to kill us. In South Korea, an exploding cell phone has taken hold of its first victim. And it’s not Paris Hilton. Let's just hope this isn't some Order 66 kinda thing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bindi Irwin raps about pandas

Truly, there are no words to describe watching Croc Hunter daughter Bindi Irwin rap about pandas and other furry creatures. This might be the single most horrific thing on the internet, and the single most laughable rap performance since Brian Austin Green dropped "One Stop Carnival" on an unsuspecting public in the early '90s.

Yes, I know she's like 10 years old. Yes, I know she's not even a real human. Yes, I know her “True Hollywood Story: Hobbit Edition” in 2011 will be must-see TV.

But if we can make rehab jokes about the luscious Dakota Fanning, then we can admit that Bindi's mom needs to go for a swim in shallow waters off Queensland. Where the fuck is a stingray barb when you really need one.

Hollywood takes Allston, Extreme back together, the Joker

So this morning Harvard Avenue in Allston came to a celeb-standstill as the Hollywood Invasion 2.0 continues to reinforce Boston stereotypes to the rest of the world ("The Depahted was a wikkd pissah bra!"). This time, scenes were being shot at the Grecian Yearning Diner - perhaps the only storefront on Harv-Ave I've never even looked in - for some new flick called "The Lonely Maiden," starring Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken. Yesterday in Southie, Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, A****a Peet and Donnie Wahlberg were milling about filming "Real Men Cry." Jason Corey needs to move back here stat.

But more importantly on the Boston news front, Extreme has reformed, and will play the Boston Music Awards this Saturday. Peep my chat with Nuno Bettancourt. First I interviewed Kip Winger a few months ago, now Nuno Bettancourt. It's like I'm seeking out all the bro-dudes my middle school girlfriends were thinking of while making out with me before Mr. Athanasian's math class in Brentwood USA.

And lastly, check the cover of Empire Magazine, pimpin out Heath Ledger as the Joker in the new Batman movie. "Batman Begins" was phe-fucking-nominal, an opinion I maintained long after the vicodin wore off from my first screening of it on Long Island with the 'rents. So I'm pretty excited for this next go-round with the Caped Crusader.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quiet Riot singer dead at 52

On a day I interviewed Nuno Bettancourt of Extreme, news breaks that Kevin DuBrow died. My glam rock metal past (when I was 11, of course) can never be denied.

Sad news about DuBrow, though. While I can't stomache hearing "Cum on Feel the Noise" ever again, there's no debating it was a massive hit in the '80s and helped, for better or worse, usher in glam metal to MTV audiences.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nothing doing this Thanksgiving (and notes)

Ok, the Thanksgiving extended weekend is almost over and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a strange past few days, experiencing the holiday by myself for the first time in 28 years of existence, and generally just reflecting on how great life was this time last year. I knew the Thanksgiving-Christmas season was going to fuck with me all sorts of ways, and if nothing I’m just glad Part I is over.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that people who shop at Petco alone on a rainy Tuesday night are the loneliest people on the planet. Random strangers, shopping for small furry creatures who love them more than any human ever has, trying to find a modicum of happiness in a relationship with four-legged animals. It didn’t exactly uplift my spirits, but it reinforced that I’m not the only one by myself these days.

So with that, I admit my Thanksgiving was pretty unremarkable, and possibly downright miserable. I enjoyed the rest, enjoyed the freedom, and Lola and I enjoyed some turkey (that took way too long to cook) but missed the entropic fun of the traditional family get-together. I’m heading to the Sunshine State for Christmas (and my birthday), so I reserve the right to change my opinion on Thanksgiving once the four-year-old mid-state town of Trinity has its way with me. But even then, there will be something of an escape to rest upon.

Other random shit:

My hockey jersey collection is 50+ strong, but nothing beats a game worn jersey, especially if it’s a game-worn from a dead Dallas Star who hanged himself amid rumors he thought he contracted HIV. (And in honor of my former copy editor Peg Finucane, RIP see below, I remind folks that pictures are hung, and people are hanged)

And somewhat related, a great find by Phil coming across a complete rundown of NHL players to die young.

A woman in Idaho was struck by lightning and instantly turned into Max Headroom.

I loathe few things as much as the Toronto Blue Jays’ black abortion jerseys, so if this alternate throwback design is coming in 2008, I’ll be wikkid psyched and my summers will once again be all rainbows and puppies. Reminds me of the Crime Dog.

Reports on largest bug ever. Alert the "Cloverfield" nerds.

Season ticket holders for the Edmonton Oilers donated their tickets to a weekend tilt to Canadian soldiers, and it looks like most took part.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

iPod Touch has many "Boyfriends"

So the new iPod commercial is making several musicians people famous, according to yours truly in today's Herald.

Though the ad features CSS’s "Music is my Hot Hot Sex," people are hearing the first lyric "Music is my boyfriend," and searching for those words on Google. This misguided hunt leads them to songs of the same title by indie folk band the Hidden Cameras and some shit-tastic metal-core chick named Skye Sweetnam, who now boasts 70,000-plus listens to her song of that title on her MySpace.

Ironically, both bands are from Canada, where that pesky music is stealing mad bitches by the second, and surely Younge Street is littered by recently-single waif-like boys crying into their argyle scarves.

Nevertheless, this might be the first time an iPod ad made three bands famous while only playing one song. The Fratellis and Jet got undivided attention, but Cansei de Ser Sexy must share this Apple pie.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RIP Peg Finucane

RIP to Peg Finucane, a former Newsday editor and one of my professors at Hofstra University, who passed away this week. She taught me copy editing (stop snickering), and was truly a class act. Seven years later, and I'd give anything to go back to my senior year at Hofstra.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Internet is now complete

Just when you think the Internet has reached its apex, along comes a YouTube video of two chickens breaking up a fight between two rabbits. Amazing, and much more uplifting than singing murder reports in Morrissey's voice.

I started something... no I didn't

So a 13-year-old girl with mental problems in Missouri kills herself when a month-long online flirtation abruptly ends. Turns out, the flirtation was between her and some fake-profile on MySpace, which was run by the mother of the girl's friend, who wanted to see if the soon-to-be-dead girl was talking mad shit about others in the ol' neighborhood. Oh boy. Levittown, this ain't.

But I’m not sure what’s more fucked up – the fact that a 13-year-old girl with mental problems killed herself, or the fact that I couldn’t help but read the headline and pull quote "absolutely vile" as sung by Morrissey from the Smiths song, which made me chuckle to myself and lose interest in this stupid ass story about the mom suing the neighbors. Aww, the girl was lonely. So is every other 13-year-old girl not whoring herself out to score coke for her 17-year-old boyfriend.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Harper's feeling heat after racial incident

It may very well be an undesirable venue with by far the most insufferable collection of door staff asshole Todds I’ve ever witnessed, but the recent discussion about Harper’s Ferry in Allston being a racist venue is being blown out of proportion. Here’s the recap of last week’s events, courtesy of the Basstown blog.

For the anti-link crowd, apparently one of the HF sound guys used a racial slur during the sound check at last Tuesday’s Bus Driver show. Regan Farquhar of Bus Driver was dining at Grasshopper at the time, but was relayed this info by his DJ, of whom the slur was indirectly spoken, and after group deliberation Bus Driver decided to cancel the performance. The sound guy was sent home immediately, and fired the next morning.

It seems the venue acted swiftly at the time, and acted properly the next day in the aftermath of the incident. I’m not sure what Harper’s could have done to prevent this, outside of screening for racial hate during the interview process. Harper’s is a pretty diverse venue that caters to several genres (even though it specializes mainly in white boy jam shit) and there’s been more independent hip hop shows there than any other venue this side of the Middle East. Allowing one sound guy to brand the venue and its staff is unfair.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New pill flyer

It was the weekend of divides, from the exceptionally good (sold out and ace night at the pill Friday, Martin Brodeur finally winning his 500th game Saturday) to the bad (Revs losing the MLS Cup for the 4th time in 6 seasons, an awkward party in the shadow of former flames). Busy times, but we at the Barrows compound found enough strength to shoot a flyer, featuring the lovely Clementine. Wearing something of Emily’s.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Poor Jake Peavy

So Barry Bonds has been indicted on federal perjury charges, and Alex Rodriguez signs a 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees. Within an hour this became the biggest off-season day in baseball history.

And from this moment on, no one will ever remember that the Padres' Jake Peavy won the 2007 NL Cy Young.

Pithy thoughts on the Project Runway premiere

The 4th season of Project Runway began last night, and while the cast doesn’t seem as strong as the previous seasons, the show still gets all angles right. For some reason I feel like I’ve already seen these 15 cats on that interior design show over the summer, but I might just be getting old. I can't even say some shit like "young people all look the same to me," because only two of these "rising designers" are younger than I am. Thank you Project Runway, for making me feel young again!

But anyway. I will say that Christian is, as predicted, a complete tool, and he lacks any and all bite to accompany his wanna-be sass. I think Kit Pistol has the goods to win the whole thing, though I can see Chris, the token overweight gay dude, battling out through Bryant Park. He seems to possess the spontaneous ingenuity that’s required on this crack TV show.

As far as the rest of the cast, Pixie made it known how much she hates the already-established Elisa, who while I'm trying to figure out if is fuckable or not, has already been already coated in Vogue’s glittery spooge. (Hearts Like Stars with the scoop!) Oh, her Wikiis here.

And I can’t get over how much Carmen looks like the dude from King’s X. The rest are a collection of pretty weak personalities and 8-ball-in-a-sock-smacked faces, though I suspect Jillian has some hidden bite beneath the Elaine Bennett demeanor. I already hate the dude from Chicago who looks like the singer from UB40, and wonder how long Marion the Florist will last when his nose starts to grow after discussing his sexuality.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what the premiere of Project Runway is all about – decoding the characters and finding their celebrity look-alikes (Kevin resembles Joey Fatone too much for me to take him seriously). Yes, I know they partook in a challenge, but most of the results actually made Milan's attire look desirable, with the exception of Kit Pistol's "I'm the new Jeffrey Yay!" cocktail dress.

What else did we learn... Ohh! In this upcoming season, the two big hooks are a surprise guest (either Santino, Jeffrey or Daniel V, I bet) and a "shocking" announcement, which is so obvious "the Real World’s" Pedro Zamora is blushing. (If dead people could blush.)

So hopefully soon, we’ll see which attitude emerges, since you know by now the producers are casting for conflict as much as stylistic results. But you can’t help but think that after three seasons of this, we have the same problem that soured "the Real World" by the time Season 4 hit London: All these designers have seen the show, and know the framework of the competition. We’re past the point where people "stop being polite and start getting real," and thankfully this show centers around talent and not chillaxin on the couch all day.

But Christian knows if he’s catty he’ll stick around even if he makes dresses as shitty as Simone’s. I’m not entirely sold on this group, but it’s up to him – and the rest of these interior designer cast-offs – to make it worth watching. Curiosity and reputation are good for a only a fortnight of attention.

And in the meantime, can someone get Michael Kors a new fucking wardrobe?

Where there is smoke, there are Pipettes

So that free Pipettes show ended abruptly when a malfunctioning speaker mistook Jake Ivory's for the Station in West Warwick. Full report found in today's Herald.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Random: Jesus pancake, Tlusty likes to party, Project Runway

Well, I lost out. As you all know, no one bid a cent on my chicken strip seahorse. But a pancake resembling Jesus Christ scores $338 on eBay. Fucking hell. As Kristin duly noted last night, I should have somehow tied in the seahorse as a good luck charm of the Boston Red Sox, since I got it right before the World Series. Or marketed it to idiots in Florida.

As I mentally prepare for the monumental Devils-Rangers game tonight (Oh, just Scott Gomez’ return to Jersey and Martin Brodeur sitting on 499 career Wins) it appears the Maple Leafs’ Jiri Tlusty likes to photograph his penis, and make out with dudes at parties. Good to see Jiri puts the "lust" in Tlusty, but we fear that’s not Maple on his Leaf.

Another season of Project Runway begins tonight (Bravo, 10 p.m.), which serves only as another thing to make me reminisce about people I don't want to think about. Who knows if I’ll watch it... But I do know that Christian, pictured, looks like a tool. I wonder what kind of scarf Daniel Vosovic is wearing these days. Lauren Beckham Falcone talked to Tim Gun and Heidi Klum about Season 4.

Lastly, I interviewed Dane Cook last week, and the Herald story ran today. I also briefly wrote about the Dead Trees moving to Oregon, and other random shit in today's column.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Free Pipettes show tonight on Lansdowne

Rumor has it the Pipettes are playing a free show tonight at Jake Ivories, bringing their polkla-dotted retro girl-group pop to Lansdowne Street, of all places. The Jeff Buckley-as-fuck-sounding Shills are opening, and shit is apparently free. Quite the score for those left out of the Pipettes Great Scott gig on Thursday.

Update: It's true. Apparently it's a part of something called Rock 'n Rag, and you need to bring an article of clothing to get in. More details from Filter Mag here. A highlight: "Beginning on November 13th at Jake’s Ivory in Boston, American Rag is teaming up with the Pipettes to deliver a night of fashion and music and the best part of it all, it’s free. So what’s the catch? All you have to do is bring in one article of clothing for donation and you can glutton yourself on as much fashion, music, and Macy’s gift cards as possible."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Scott Stevens inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

It’s Monday, but not really. I’m told today is a holiday, but so was yesterday apparently, so all bets are off. But as the country celebrates Veterans Day yesterday and today, this evening represents an unofficial holiday to fans of the New Jersey Devils hockey club.

Tonight, Scott Stevens becomes the first Devil player to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, not too far from his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario.

Though he began his career in Washington, as an offensive defensemen no less, and came to the swamp from his beloved St. Louis, Stevens will always be remembered as a New Jersey Devil. Drafted 5th overall in 1982 by the Caps with a reputation for pounding physical play and a flair for offense, he flourished in the defense-first system implemented in New Jersey, a system the league is still feeling repercussions from.

Though I was only 11, I remember the day he was “awarded” to Jersey. Before free agency in hockey was fully ironed out, compensation was awarded to teams that lost star players through Type II Free Agency.

When the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan (the reason the date still resonates, as I loved Shanny) in July 1991, the two teams couldn’t agree on compensation. The Blues reportedly offered Rod Brind’Amour, Curtis Joseph and several draft picks (The Devils drafted Martin Brodeur with the 20th overall pick in the 1990 Entry Draft, so CuJo was useless). The Devils countered with Stevens. Two months later, an independent arbitrator awarded Scott Stevens to the Devils, much to the chagrin of the Blues and Stevens himself, who at first refused to report to the so-called “Mickey Mouse organization” still searching for an identity in the ever-changing NHL.

Looking back, it’s hard to blame him. The Devils were a blip on the NYC Metro sports map, and barely registered in the high-flying NHL of the ‘80s.

Apparently, General Manager Lou Lamoriello convinced Scotty that coming to Jersey, and (whether they knew it or not) forming the foundation of a new NHL dynasty, would benefit his career. Though he continued to put up offensive numbers his first three seasons (an impressive 59, 57, and 78 points respectively), it was in the 1995 season that Stevens fully bought into the stay-at-home style preached by second-year Trapmeister coach Jacques Lemaire. His offensive output dropped by 56 points, but in exchange for offense (the Devils way, innit) Stevens perfected his craft in becoming the most feared open-ice hitter of all time.

He first served notice in the 1995 Stanley Cup finals against the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings. Though the Devils methodically swept the tilt in four games, the series effectively ended in Game 2, when Stevens leveled Slava Kozlov with what remains the most brutal hit I’ve ever seen. Like a freight-train, Stevens threw his entire weight into his shoulder and crushed an unsuspecting Kozlov, who then lay perfectly still on the ice as if just shot with a machine gun.

"For the next 10 minutes after the hit, I didn't remember a lot, I can tell you that," Kozlov recently told the Toronto Sun.

Moments afterwards, Stevens looked toward the Red Wings bench, pointed at Dino Ciccarelli, and shouted “You’re next.” Series over.

Over the next decade – and over two more Stanley Cup championships in 2000 and 2003 – Stevens’ victim list reads like an NHL All-Star lineup: Ron Francis (ironically inducted into the same HOF class tonight), Paul Kariya, Tomas Kaberle, Daymond Langkow, Kevyn Adams, Shane Willis and Eric Lindros, who was sent to the hospital about 10 minutes after returning from a concussion in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Final.

(Stevens may be known mostly for the Lindros hit, but it paled in comparison to the one levied on Kozlov. Check out a collection of hits – and other Stevens highlights - here.

In the three years after Stevens retired in 2004, his past on-ice presence was magnified in his absence. Teams now routinely rough up New Jersey, and constantly crash Brodeur without fear of retribution. Teams like Carolina and Ottawa have beaten the Devils to a pulp on their way to playoff advancement. The team, still, has no true captain. The Devils have players who wear the C, and have their share of enforcers – but Stevens filled both roles with passion and intensity matched by few in the game’s storied history.

When Stevens came to New Jersey, we were a rudderless squad in ugly Christmas Tree uniforms, never advancing to the Cup finals in its brief 10 year existence. Upon retirement, The New Jersey Devils are recognized as a model franchise, with three Stanley Cup banners, countless division titles and Number 4 hanging from the rafters.

Stevens’ tenure in the swamp was not without controversy. His refusal to first report in 1991 was only topped by his re-signing with the Blues for $17 million after the 1994 season, though the Devils leveled tampering charges against the Blues and won a settlement that included cash, draft picks and most importantly, the right to retain their captain. It was the season after that, it should be noted, that Stevens truly came into his own as a feared defender.

On the ice, there was no one like him. The only player to win a Conn Smythe (playoff MVP, 2000) based on defensiveness and physicality alone, Scott Stevens was hell on skates. He won playoff series’ with his presence and intimidation. He won games with his head. And despite a litany of open-ice hits that effectively ended careers (where have you gone, Willis?) he was only assessed three elbowing penalties in his entire career. All of his demolitions were within the NHL rules.

Despite that, opponents called him a dirty cheap-shot artist. But we called him our captain. And with the help of Lou Lams upstairs and Marty in net, that shinny new arena in Newark is truly the house that Scott Stevens built. The Devils are a team known for defense, and Stevens was our greatest defender.

But more than that, he was an ambassador who put the New Jersey Devils on the map. And gave Devils fans everywhere a sense of pride never felt before.

Thank you, Scott.

Scott Stevens’ HOF induction ceremony airs tonight at 7 p.m. on the NHL Network, Channel 259 on Boston-area Comcast. Congrats also to fellow ’07 inductees Ron Francis and Al MacInnis. Mark Messier can still suck my ass, as far as I’m concerned.

Friday, November 9, 2007

the pill wins Best Friday Night award

Well this certainly rules. The Weekly Dig’s 2007 “Dig This” awards named the pill as the best Friday Night in Boston. Like, overall.

Now usually we win stuff like "Best Dance Night," or "Best Night that Still Acknowledges Suede as a Significant Band" or "Best Night that Features DJs That Still Own Stacks of Select Magazine and Wear Too Much Merc and Ben Sherman."

Pretty cool shit, especially now that we’ve sprinted past the 10-year mark like a mod-ern day Roger Bannister. The beat rolls on tonight with Hiss & Chambers hitting the stage around 11pm, and DJ Ken and I spinning it up with the Britpop & Modern Indie until curfew.

(On a side note, I saw A Place To Bury Strangers last night, and my ears are bleeding. Word is they might be back at Great Scott in March.)

See you tonight. Dig it.