Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Things that Scare the Shit out of Me

In honor of Halloween, I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 things that scare the shit out of me. Some are obvious and practical; others just terrify me beyond belief. And anyone close to me already knows Number 1, a cartoon character that has terrorized me since I was a wee lad.

10 – The Ghost of 95 East Oakdale Street – If you’ve spent more than one night with me in my bed – and who hasn’t!?!?! – you’ll know I’m constantly visited by apparitions, and I often end up engaged in bizarre conversation before losing my sanity. This has occurred since I was a child, growing up in the room where the previous homeowner had died. Some real poltergeist shit here, and the bastard, in all his myriad shapes and sizes and forms, has followed me to Boston.

9 - Sitting in the cheap seats at the TD Bank North Garden – As much as I loved being called a fag by some pig fucker from the North Shore, sitting high up watching the Bruins (lose) brings out the worst in local sports fans, and once made me fear for my safety. (And hey, nothing's scarier than Bruins hockey, ba dum ching!) But I’d be wicked bitter if I was 34 and I never saw my favorite team win a Stanley Cup. Shit, I’m bitter I’m 28 and I’ve only witnessed THREE.

8 - Reading my stories once they’re published – Maybe it’s because I can’t edit it, or maybe because it’s usually 30 percent inaccurate, or maybe I think it’s absurd I’ve carved a career out of my Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing writing ability. But I’ve never re-read anything I’ve written for publication. However, I stare at my byline like it’s Mindy Main’s tits.

7 - The last 30 minutes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre – I appreciate the hour-long build-up, but for fuck’s sake the final scenes terrify me. Each time, I’m fatally pierced by the sucker-punch sunlight when the chick jumps through the glass window. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

6 - "Savoir Faire" by Suede – I was doing the dishes with the iPod shuffle on last week, and this back-alley wire-hanger of an abortion of a song came on. I still don’t get this, and spare me the whole "nursery rhyme" excuse. My God this band fucking sucked from 1998 on, and I’m probably the biggest Suede fan ever.

5 - People with non-MA plates driving in MA – Our roads are as entangled as Deidre Riley’s old dreadlocks, but nothing is as terrifying as some redneck hump with Georgia plates trying to figure out either "Allston" or "Cambridge" when exiting the Mass Pike. You fuckers get Geico, but we don’t, so don’t touch my Jetta and I won’t send you home chopped up and wrapped in a stained confederate flag.

4 - The victorious New York Rangers – This makes me angry more than anything, but I still live in fear of it. Thankfully, the spooks have been few and far between, though the ghosts of "Matteau!" still haunt me. By now, I hope my middle school teacher who taunted me with that chant in 1994 is buried deeper than the Rags$ are in the standings.

3 - White Vans – Being a kid in the suburbs of Long Island in the ‘80s meant one thing: At some point, some sociopath chester in a white van will come to your playground, lure you inside with a box of Cherry Clans and then proceed to fondle your ass and penetrate your eye sockets while you’re tied helplessly to a tacky velour couch. Maybe it’s because I’m adopted and always suspected I was bought on the black market, but non-family abductions always terrified me.

2 - Thong flip-flops – Bipedal creatures have developed some terrible habits regarding feet, and none is worse than simply exposing them. Flip flops make me want to find that Eastern Eropean torture chamber from "Hostel," where I’ll gladly cut off my own dogs. Or permanently relocate to the Yukon Territory, where flip flops are as rare as a faithful woman. This is the greatest fashion tragedy of our modern time.

1 - The Planters Peanut Man – Who knows, I may have been molested as an infant by a peanut-shaped man (like a Canadian?) wearing a monocle, maybe I've been sodomized by a long black cane. Regardless, I can hardly look at this peanutted fuckstick whether I’m in Tedeschi, watching TV or being interviewed for a promotion (true story!). Someone book me an appearance on Maury Povich or Montel Williams, and I’ll sit right next to the chick from Alabama who lives in fear of uncooked Thanksgiving turkeys. Just don’t show me the peanut man ever again. And there he is...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lines around the block at Salem T-Bell

Thanks to Tacoby Bellsbury, today was a national holiday for taco eaters. Look at this shit. These pics were taken this afternoon by Al Quint of Suburban Voice and posted on the Lemmingtrail board. I can't imagine what the BU Bell was like today. EDIT: This just in! The Taco Bell on Providence Highway in East Walpole has run out of tacos! I repeat: Walpole T-Bell has run out of tacos!

Chicken strip seahorse eBay update

After two days on eBay, viewed by 37 prospective buyers, I am saddened to report there have been zero bids so far. I repeat: zero bids. America will wait in line for a free .79 cent taco, but no one wants my seahorse.

Taco Tuesday in America

It’s a great day to be alive in Boston, and it has little to do with the Red Sox’s 'rwoalin rwally,' as Mayor Menino would so eloquently put it.

No, today is Taco Tuesday, when from 2 to 5 p.m. all of Boston – and everyone in America not from Colorado – gets a free taco. They’re only offering hard-shells, which kinda sucks, but a free taco is a free taco, and word is Jacoby 'Tacoby' Ellsbury will sling tortillas at the Cambridgeside Gallery T-Bell.

First he steals the base that fed America, and now he’s in the kitchen making sure everyone in the Boston area’s four Bells – Cambridgeside, East Somerville, Hampshire St Somerville and Comm. Ave. – walks away with a stomach ache. I’m stuck in the newsroom all day, so I won’t be able to take advantage of the greatest marketing ploy in faux Mexican food history. God damn I want a grande soft taco right now.

Lost in all the Taco Madness... oh shit, Morrissey’s in town tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gammons bitchslaps A-Rod

Anyone who knows me knows I revere Peter Gammons like few others, and meeting him at Fenway over the summer may be my highlight of 2007. I’ll never forget him talking to anyone who’d listen (mind you, the room ran the spectrum from Sox GM Theo Epstein to, uh... me) about Curtis Granderson’s MySpace profile and how light a bat Jeff Cirillo uses.

But the Legend of the Commish took another step last night when he took Alex Rodriguez to task for opting out of his Yankee deal in an attempt to upstage the World Series. "Total disrespect for the game of baseball," indeed Peter. Check the rest of the ESPN spot on the Awful Announcing blog. Hopefully Epstein heard the "Don’t sign A-Rod!" chants at Coors Field during last night’s post-game and promptly signs Lowell for three years is done with 3B.

- This guy is also my hero, catching 30 hockey games in 30 nights, spanning every NHL city.

- Well, we’re certainly playing bad enough to get pissed on. (Thanks to the always entertaining UniWatch.)

- If you call T-Pain, he’ll call you back! Sup, T-Pain!

- And I end with three IMs from my mother, who still, after all these years, remembers my teenage love of Meerkats:
XXXX: I can't believe how popular Meerkat Manor is.
XXXX: Did you hear about Mozart's passing?
XXXX: A jackal got him they believe. It's on the AOL welcome page news.
myriadcause22: This might be the first time a TV show's main character was literally killed mid-season, on camera.
XXXX: Maybe.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Congrats to the Red Sox

I admittedly grew up a Yankee fan, and nothing could touch my love for the New Jersey Devils. Beyond that, I'm a fan of sports in general, and nothing is like watching Boston react to a World Series title. Maybe because every time I celebrated the Devils' Stanley Cups, I was cheering by myself, and I'm drawn to an etire city coming together this way, in both celebration and destruction.

This was a bit different than the all-or-nothing 2004 -- ok, much different -- but it's still fun to watch. Allston is on shut down, and unruly fans are blocked out of Kenmore and rioting on Boylston. I hear sirens, screams and horns outside my window near Union Square. I bet only Toronto winning the Stanley Cup would elicit this type of shit in any other city.

Congrats to Mike Lowell, a Yankee farmhand, and classy dude all around on the MVP. And then there's this guy, who should have been a World Series MVP and and still be considered a rookie for 2008:

The Chicken Strip "Seahorse" hits eBay

Clearly, I've lost my mind. But yes, I fully expect someone to bid on this, even if it's just $5. I will admit I'm doing this solely for entertainment value. Bid now, bid often, and we'll see you a week from today, seahorse fans!

the Pravda's Ziggy Stardust

As most around Boston know, the pill's Halloween show is Wednesday at Great Scott, uniting the first real rock star, David Bowie, with the last, Pete Doherty, and with some Blur and the Stone Roses thrown in to rep the Britpop '90s.

To get the glittery juices flowing, the Daily Pravda have posted a recording of "Ziggy Stardust" on their MySpace page.

Now, us over at the Barrows' pill HQ don't fancy Bowie as an opening act (unless it's the Earthing-era), and neither should you. When listening to the Pravda, close your eyes and visualize the theatrical glam rock spectacle. Then imagine Ian Brown and John Squire on the same stage together -- with dynamic chemistry that launched the Stone Roses; witness a fully-functioning Pete Doherty leading the drug-fueled Libertines -- well, almost functioning; delve into the Cool Britannia popscene with the one and only Blur -- in a world where Coxon and Albarn hug every hour.

This should be awesome. Tickets are available at Great Scott and

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cigarettes are a hell of a drug

While I’m still reeling over my Seahorse Chicken Strip and busy figuring out how to pawn this off on eBay, I thought this was pretty funny:

In other news...
- The day my Herald story ran about the Red Sox fucking up all sorts of concerts and shit, Ryan Montbleau, who is my new hero, revealed on his blog how Live Nation and his tour manager tried to convince him to cancel two weekend shows at the Paradise. He declined, with reasonable compromises. Way to raise a finger to the Nation, bro. I’ve never heard his music, but I now love this guy.

- What is this, 1988? From Yahoo’s front page yesterday, pulling a better-than-the-tagline-suggests story from the WSJ: Preteen fashion bullies - Kids are getting more critical of others' clothes, and some people blame stars like Madonna YES! Bad fashion in 2007 among 12-year olds is DEFINITELY Madonna's fault.

- I’m no basketball fan, but how many times will Michael Doleac be traded in his career?

- And finally, a shout out to Hearts Like Stars, a fashion blog so in-depth and hardcore I don’t even know what I’m reading half the time, and when I do I feel like Tim Gun with broad shoulders. Jennifer never ceases to impress, though I still hit up Glitter in the Water every day to see which of my after-hours guests are passed out in our back alley stairwell.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

From KFC: Chicken strip as Seahorse

This needs no introduction.

Raspy Voices (Carry) on NPR

Ahhh, NPR. Only in the magical playland that is National Public Radio can you, devout listener, tune in and hear within 10 minutes of each other: David Lazarous of the Los Angeles Times discussing insurance issues relating the San Diego wildfires, a guy talking about how he translated Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities into Morse code, and then Michael Marotta revealing his love for Til Tuesday’s "Voices Carry" to a national audience.

They played (re-played?) my Here & Now segment on 90.9 WBUR today, and aside from the horror of realizing my voice is really raspy and creepy sounding over the radio airwaves, I’m relieved I whispered nary a controversial note. The fact that my parents tuned in from sunny Tampa kinda blows my mind, too, even though I sound like a dispatched offspring from one of the Simpson's aunts.

Overall it was a cool experience at BUR, and I had no idea their offices were on Comm. Ave. in the middle of BU. They didn't play the Information's "A Simple Plan" like they promised, but the peoples were friendly, and hopefully it gave some props to the Rock the Hub competition, which sets out to find the best Boston song of the past 25 years. Yes, I still think "Voices Carry" should win, but with Red Sox fever sweeping the region, I fear "Tessie" will come out on top. Oh well.

New dance night at Redline

So Kane's Sunday night gig at Redline has shifted to Thursdays, and since we're all friends among friend he's enlisted the pill to cross the river and throw down with him. Shit kicks off tonight, there's no cover, no name, just DJs Ken, Kane, Terence and myself living the high life in a dope room that needs to be taken over like the Drowners. Hit us up. xo

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tale of the Tape leftovers

Earlier I posted my Denver Vs. Boston tale of the tape in preparation for tonight’s World Series. The published list had 13 categories, but I submitted 20. My long-time goal of getting the Quebec Nordiques and Denver the Last Dinosaur into the Herald’s new section must wait another day. At the risk of getting fired, here’s what was edited out:

Category: Famous street near the ballpark
Boston: Lansdowne Street
Denver: Blake Street
Verdict: Boston – Dante Bichette knows both very well.

Category: Reasons to retire Ray Bourque’s number 77
Boston: 21 years of All Star-caliber defense
Denver: One successful Stanley Cup run
Verdict: Boston – The Avalanche retiring Bourque’s number is a joke.

Category: Infamous stolen item
Boston: Independence, from the British
Denver: The NHL’s Nordiques, from Quebec City
Verdict: Denver – Independence didn’t win a Stanley Cup a year later.

Category: Worst Super Bowl Loss
Boston: 46-10, by Chicago, 1986
Denver: 55-10, by San Francisco, 1990
Verdict: Denver – They got us on this one.

Category: Best Super Bowl Victory
Boston: Shutting up the Rams, 20-17, 2002
Denver: Shutting up the Packers, 31-24, 1998
Verdict: Denver – John Elway’s TD lunge was an instant highlight.

Category: Cartoon-like mascot
Boston: “Wally” the green monster
Denver: “Denver the Last Dinosaur” ‘80s cartoon
Verdict: Denver – That lovable teenage t-rex was from California, but he’s got more pride than Wally the shameless marketing cash cow.

Category: Homegrown Pro Athletes
Boston: Patrick Ewing, Nancy Kerrigan, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte
Denver: Roy Halladay, Chauncey Billups
Verdict: Boston – We have too many to list.

World Series fever

Red Sox fever has swept the region, and it's the rare time of year where my professional life as an A&E writer crosses paths with my love for baseball. So aside from my Boston Vs. Denver smackdown in today's paper, I'm sitting at my desk wearing swim goggles and sliding pants, looking like Lord Jon Papelbon, and writing a shit ton of Red Sox-related stories. So this morning I offer up some fairly interesting sports links in honor of the 2007 World Series, which the Sox should take home in 5 games.

- I dug this up because Max was asking for it, and it never disappoints. During a moment of silence before an Isles-Sabres game at the Nassau Mausoleum on the night of the Virginia Tech shootings, a fan displays his dislike for the Rangers. Very disrespectful, but so freaking amazing. The way it echoes through the building is priceless.

- I consider myself a fan of the Devil Rays (yup, I'm the one), but not the hideously sunkissed blue-and-yellow uniforms they'll wear next year. What's even more bland than the uniform is the news that Kevin Costner will unveil it at a party sure to be attended by dozens.

- Us Long Island folk lived through the Fish Sticks Era, but this is just cruel.

- And they say Cleveland is a glutton for punishment. Looks like the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on deadlines tighter than Travis Hafner at the plate, made a writer pen two stories, one if the Sox won, another if the Tribe came back. Here's the draft of your 2007 American League Champion Cleveland Indians!

Monday, October 22, 2007

All in together now

King Richard's Faire, glass squids and Lord Pap

My first real "clean weekend" resulted in me feeling better than ever, and got my once-Elmered ass out of bed and into society. After last week’s emergency cancellation, I finally got down to King Richard’s Faire with Lady Riley of NH. I didn’t bring a camera, but it was just as ridiculous as I hoped it would be: knife throwing, arrow shooting and turkey leg gorging. And the drive down to the South Shore was therapeutic as well – it was the first time I’ve seen the leaves this season. Oh yeah, baseball has been epic, as well. Other things of note this weekend:

-- Scientists have found a glass squid in a remote underwater mountain area of the North Atlantic. Holy fuck. I don’t know if I want to stuff it with izm and smoke it or raise it to learn showtunes.

-- The MBTA, in all its infinite wisdom, is now pumping T Radio in subway stations at North and South Station and the Airport stop, with plans to expand to all stops (even the ghetto fabulous Orange line) by Thanksgiving. Now, before the excitement runs through your heads at the thought of hearing Bonnie Tyler or Bernie Higgins while chill-ackin’ on the Red Line, this will effectively kill off the T’s myriad street performers. If you don’t view these people as a societal scourge (and hey, Eli "Paperboy" Reed once did this in Harvard), sign the petition to stop it. Do this.

-- If we needed another reason why dried up llama flatuelence such as Van Halen should not reunite, check this out. Apparently the pre-recorded synth loop to “Jump” ran a bit too fast. Jesus these dudes are washed up.

-- What’s this? Oh, just Jonathan "Lord of the Dance" Papelbon dumping a can of Bud Light onto the American League Championship trophy. And people wonder why I love this city so much.

-- If anyone listens to NPR, listen to me discuss local music and other stuff on Boston’s WBUR 90.9 FM. I’ll be on at 2pm. Full report to follow. xo.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vanya killed the Radio Star / Randomness

I make my radio debut this Tuesday at 2 p.m., as I’ll be a guest on NPR’s WBUR 90.9 FM for a segment on local music. The show is called Here & Now, and I’ll be talking ragtime about the Boston Herald’s Rock the Hub online music tournament. An appearance on ‘BCN later in the week will follow. Cool shit.

Other random crap:

- Apparently the Blur reunion is off. From Blur's official site: "In light of recent press speculation, would like to confirm that Alex, Damon, Dave and Graham met for an enjoyable lunch on Monday, but there are currently no other music plans for Blur."

- Now granted, I wasn’t paying full attention to the television, but last night I was watching the remarkably entertaining 50 Cent flick Get Rich or Die Tryin. (Quick Note: Anything that stars Simon Adebisi from Oz and the immortal Bill Duke gets Four Star treatment in my grade book). Anyway, about midway through, I flipped through the channels, and after about 15 minutes, went back to Get Rich. The only problem was that I stumbled on Hustle and Flow, and watched that for about 30 minutes until I realized I was watching a completely different fucking movie. Whoops.

- The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked fans to redesign the Indians uniforms, though it seems only 8 year olds got the memo. This, at the very least, bodes well for the future of journalism. We’re told no one under 45 even reads the newspaper. (Speaking of the Tribe, this ALCS is going back to Boston. Bet on it.)

- Who knew, Vol. 67: Did you know that Gremlins 2: The New Batch received three fucking stars? This was a three-star film in late’80s America.

- Ominous messages floating around about a possible return of Boston post-punk band Read Yellow. It seems this is no reunion, just the long-awaited news that their final album will finally get proper distribution. We’ll see.

- Can someone confirm that Spoon’s new single "The Underdog" sounds a lot like an old Billy Joel song?

Hot Springs

The best part about writing for Spin is being exposed to a ton of bands I'd probably never get to hear until Ticketmaster surcharges are involved. Without getting too deep into the process, we get to hear a ton of shit every week, and call dibs on what we'd like to write about. I've gotten into The Blakes, Grand National and Great Northern this way, and the latest discovery is the blistery punk of Hot Springs, out of Montreal, QC, CA. Peep it here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back from the dead

It’s now Wednesday, and I’m finally feeling like myself again. Near-tragic events early Saturday morning have opened my eyes to a long-standing disease perched atop my shoulder, but along with realization came biological vulnerability. At the point that my body finally gave in to all the abuse, accelerated one evening through a series of missteps, I must have opened myself up to viruses. Between the uncontrollable shakes, head nausea and mental sprints through alleys of my past, my body lay broken and susceptible to evils. And so this flu-like strain has kept me in bed ever since.

I’ve never slept so much and watched so many shitty movies. My room smells like six-day-old ham left on the kitchen counter, mildew has built up in the corners, and I can still sense traces of dank sweat breathing between the bed sheets. My burgundy Stussy hoodie is still wet. It’s like the Velveteen fucking Rabbit in this room, and it all needs to be burned.

Today, Wednesday, finally, I’m back to my usual 70 percent. It feels good, though it seems like the past few days never happened. No music, no news, no anything. Marginal sports, mostly baseball with the sound turned off as I stare at the wall and put all of my senses on the eight-inch strip of my thigh that Lola is pressed up against. I’ve done more dreaming than living, and that’s pretty terrifying given my state of mind. But I sense a future of health, and really hope this was some sort of turning point.

Come tomorrow: the return of my irrelevant pop culture notes and manic hockey observations (Though I’ve only watched one Devils game this season... Gentlemen, don’t ever bring a lady into the world you love – when she leaves, she’ll only take it with her). Until then, I’m going back to bed, and getting rest. Lola’s already got soup on the stove.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cleveland vs. Boston, the weekend ahead

Oh boy. To quote a good friend of mine, "I'm TGIFin like a motherfucker." My Friday began with seeing my Boston vs Cleveland Tale of the Tape in glorious print, which not only earned approval of my only Cleveland-native friend, but was also discussed for a few minutes on Fox 25 Morning News. Sometimes I forget how many people read the paper I write for. This ain't Woburn.

If the rain holds off, a trip to the King Richard's Faire with Lady Riley is in order for Sunday. Couple that with a jaunt down to Providence tomorrow, and I should have some interesting stories to report on Monday. And next week, The Trucks are at the Middle East, Doug Stanhope does Punk Rock Stand Up at O'Brien's, and I get to catch a screening of Control (the Ian Curtis flick) on Thursday. Good week.

See you at the pill tonight. And if anyone's interested, I posted my DJ set list from last night's Bon Savants show. Good times.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Published material, Oct. 10 2007

Got a nice little triple play action in the Herald today: Word on what locals think of the Radiohead download ploy; a review of the sterling new Hard-Fi disc; and news that the National is playing Faneuil Hall. All in a day's work. Right now I'm setting up a screening for the new Ian Curtis movie, Control," so more on that TK TK. See you at Digitalism tonight.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Song of the Day: Bat for Lashes' "What's A Girl To Do"

I remember sometime early last year, some (at the time) unknown-ass band called Silversun Pickups played Great Scott without much fanfare. About three weeks later, I fell in love with "Carnavas" and it'll ultimately have a spot in my Ten Best Albums of the 2000s. Thankfully, I caught them at the Middle East Up in mid-October, before they returned to play the ginornous, and seated, Agganis Arena.

So it comes as no surprise when I see Bat for Lashes played Great Scott last week, only a few days after finally hearing their single "What's a Girl To Do."

I heard it while in a dream-like state of awakeness watching Subterranean (watching obscure music videos on late-night TV -- how 1991, Mr. Lewis Largent!). Now I'm kinda obsessed, but obsessed in the way I was with that Mono "Life In Mono" song from the Great Expectations soundtrack from the cultural vortex known commonly as the late '90s.

So... it should pass, relatively soon. But for now, I'm all over it. Listen to it here.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pointless shit on a pointless holiday

- Everytime I watch a hockey game televised in Canada, I see a billion commercials for Boston Pizza, some Unos-like cheap-eats restaurant. Do Canadians realize Boston is fucking attrocious? They shoulda named the chain Wakefield Pizza in honor of Nono’s on Main Street. Best slice in New England.

- I’m really late to the Okkervil River party.

- I slept through the Rock of Love reunion last night, even though I was awake. It was midly amusing to see Riki Rachtman is still alive, which was cool. But I’ve already forgotten about Rock of Love and will now devote all of my thoughts to the wonderful Miss Tiffany Pollard. I Love New York Season 2 starts tonight!

- We’re really never gonna see Patrik Elias the 96-Point Scorer ever again, huh?

- Zach Parise the 96-point Scorer is about three seasons away, huh?

- Was that first ‘R’ in Gus Frerotte’s name always there? I didn’t really follow football until two years ago, but I remember bro-man smashing his head against a concrete wall (some sort of celebration, innit?). Are we just fucking with him now?

- Watching Lola wrestle with “Simon” the stuffed ferret is really one of the best sights I’ve ever seen.

- Just saw another Boston Pizza commercial. They have a BBQ ribs plate, dubbed Ribalicious. I give up.

- We've never had a band from Seattle play the pill before, but I'm pretty psyched about the Blakes show next month.

- So Jimmy Fallon crashed the stage at a Bang Camaro concert at Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Craziness. This is the first time any celebrity was involved with a show by a Boston band since Lewis Black attended, on his own dime, the pill’s 2004 Halloween show at the Middle East.

- I think my ex wrote this article.

- Interesting thought on Devils numbers: Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko finished their careers as Devils, and their numbers 4 and 3, respectively, have never been worn since. Scott Niedermayer, John MacLean and Scott Gomez signed with other teams after many successful years in Jersey, and all three had their numbers re-issued a few years following their departure: Niedermayer’s 27 is worn now by Mike Mottau (ouch!), MacLean’s 15 was eventually given to Jamie Langenbrunner (an honor both ways) and Gomez’23 is now filled out by David Clarkson. Don’t leave New Jersey if you want props in the new Prudential Center.

- Eric Karabell of ESPN is not only my favoritest fantasy baseball writer, but he’s got football locked in as well. Always a must-read.

- Finally, I can’t believe the Macy’s Gift Card epidemic will be the final nuance to end MySpace. Getting hacked is the new fashionable STD.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Random stuff: Devils, Reef, the pill

So not a victory last night in Boltland, but a decent game all things considered. No Colin White, no Jamie Langenbrunner, no cause for panic, as Tampa always gives us trouble. Marty looked invincible at times, and my David Clarkson jersey – complete with Gomez’ old 23 – is already in the mail. Zach Parise could he headed toward a monster year. The newer guys have much room to improve, but this nine game road trip should bring the boys together. It's amazing how far Vincent Lecavalier has come since his rookie season.

I replaced my anticipated Sarah Silverman watching with a trip to Reef Café, exposing another person to the glory that is Allston's famed Lebanese cuisine hut. This is, without a doubt, the best food Allston has to offer. The date agreed, and I've pretty much addicted to the chicken shawarma sandwich, rich pilaf and garlic paste.

But it's all in anticipation for tonight, the highly-anticipated 10th anniversary of the pill. I moved to Boston in 2000, in part because the pill was every Friday and I wasn't feeling the $10 drinks at Tiswas in NYC. Seven years later, I truly feel a part of Boston and it’s crazy how the night has grown into an institution. I’ve been looking forward to tonight for ages. Expect some extra Suede.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oct. 4: NJ Devils & Sarah Silverman, oh my...

So this weekend is going to be nothing short of chaos, but tonight is really where the magic begins.

The New Jersey Devils begin their quest for a fourth Stanley Cup in 13 years tonight in Tampa, home of Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St-Louis and the newly unveiled Gatorade logo. I was never a big fan of Tampa’s jersey to begin with, and I’m unsure if the new duds are an improvement. Few are, this year. (The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins are the only ones that I love.)

Anyway, I hope to whip up a Devils and NHL season preview sometime this weekend, as lately I’ve been busier than Jennifer Stuck in the kitchen. But I will say this: Don’t count the Devils out this year. I’m in love with newly-acquired Dainius Zubrus centering the top line, and think he can bring the same presence and strength Jason Arnott did in the A-Line days. Despite losing S***t G***z and Brian Rafalski (losing the latter will hurt more than the former, tenfold), our offense won’t suffer much of a drop-off, as Travis Zajac should pick up the slack and Brian Gionta should net more than 25 goals. Remember, G***z scored what, a dozen goals last season? Andy Greene will be a dark horse on the PP as an emerging NHL defenseman, though the real key to the D is the growth of new Number 1, Paul Martin. I also can’t wait to see Vitali Vishnevsky hit everything in sight, but I’m not looking forward to him being grossly out of position after applying said hits. Fuck it, at least it’s toughness. We haven’t had that since Daneyko retired.

So while the rest of the Atlantic Division got better and more bloated, we got bigger... and smarter. Hiring Brent Sutter was the best move any team made this off-season, though I don’t like the idea of splitting up Madden and Pandolfo on the checking unit. Nonetheless, we finally have a hard-nosed leader who demands accountability, and Sutter could easily be a Jack Adams finalist by the spring. He’s the best of Pat Burns and Larry Robinson in a head that relates to young players and has a great reputation as a nurturer. I’m giddy as shit over this hiring.

And lastly, as long as we have Marty between the pipes, we’re not dead. 35-years-young and still going strong, it’s an honor to watch this guy year in and year out.

Let the Rag$ celebrate overpaid FA signings while ignoring their D, let the Flyers continue to rape the Nashville Predators and maybe the city of Pittsburgh will choke to death on Sidney Crosby’s impenetrable superstar sperm. At least the Isles will enjoy their familiar slot of last place. Look for another division crowd and an extended playoff run from a team looking a lot like the ’95 Cup champs. Anyone up for a Devils-Sharks final?


Edit: Apparently this was on last night. Motherfuck. I seriously need a new day-planner. Now she'll never marry me. (I wonder if it's on OnDemand yet...)
If a Devils season opener wasn’t enough to get me excited as Scott Gomez at a strip club, immediately following the game is the season premiere of the Sarah Silverman Show. As many of you are well, aware, Sarah and I will one day marry and have a family of half-funny, half-athletic, half-motivated devil-children. But they will be beautiful. My god do I love this woman… I sometimes watch the show with the sound off, but I can be weird like that.

Next week is a fucking doozy: I Love New York Season 2 premiere on Monday, Gliss at Hennessy’s on Tuesday, Digitalism at the Middle East on Wednesday, DJing the Bon Savants gig at Great Scott Thursday and another edition of the pill, post-10th anniversary-style, on Friday.

But tonight, I masturbate feverishly to hockey and Sarah.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Countdown to the pill's 10th anniversary

The press accolades continue this week, as we're just three days away from the pill's 10th anniversary. Mad props to the Weekly Dig and Luke O'Neil for a dope feature, and Will Spitz of the Boston Phoenix should have something whipped up tomorrow.

How I miss those Upstairs Lounge days: endless amounts of drugs, the irreplacable and legendary Bridget Sweeny at my side, Perkins Street afterparties, the pill kids, the Scituate Mariner reporter's beat, listening to jj72 and Sigur Ros, frequent trips to Canada, the better half of my 20s, and not being bitter and jaded about Boston. What a motherfucker of a time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Playoff predictions and 2007 MLB awards

The fall is my favoritest time of year: Day trips to Salem, the cool autumn weather, the start of the hockey season and best of all, baseball playoffs. Here are some random thoughts on potential October glory, followed by 2007 award semi-predictions:

In the American League, my head is telling me the Cleveland Indians will not only be in the World Series, but win the whole fucking thing. My fandom and New England residence tells me it’ll be another Yanks-Sox ALCS, which is what we’re all hoping for in the Northeast. The gimpy Angels won’t do much against a rejuvenated Red Sox squad, and look for the Sox to ultimately prevail over the Bombers in a mildly anti-climatic six-game ALCS tilt. ALCS MVP: Mike Lowell.

In the Senior Circuit, shit, who knows. Can anyone accurately predict Phillies-Rockies and Cubs-Diamondbacks? I’ll just say Phillies in 5, Cubs in 4, and the Phillies over the Cubbies in 7 games for the NL title. Bartman the Sequel will cause more people to believe in that stupid assed Billy Goat Curse. NLCS MVP: Chase Utley.

So World Series? Red Sox over the Phillies in 5 games. But a Cubs/Sox WS would be worth a look, though the Cubs aren’t as sexy as they were in 2003, when they should have advanced to the Fall Classic. World Series MVP: Jonathan Papelbon.

2007 Hardware:

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
All-Everything picked a great time to evoke a contract escape clause and lead Jason Corey’s Orkney Road fantasy team to glory. Now here’s hoping he goes and signs with the Dodgers for $30M a season. Any other year and this award is Magglio Ordonez'. Not this one, though.

NL MVP: Matt Holliday, Rockies
Jimmy Rollins had a great season, but he had Chase Utley and Ryan Howard propelling him to that 20-20-20-20 feat, which isn’t so impressive when we see Curtis Granderson also did it this year. Holliday hit .339, knocked in 6,745 runs and did it with a decrepit Todd Helton and overrated Brad Hawpe hitting behind him. He wins this, even if he didn’t touch home plate last night. Utley and Prince Fielder would be in the discussion as well, if Utley didn’t get hurt and Fielder’s Brewers didn’t suddenly remember, “Oh fuck, we’re the Brewers.”

AL Cy Young: Josh Beckett, Red Sox
The stat-heads are out in full-force here, as CC Sabathia and Josh Beckett should have the closest vote since the Blue Jays’ Pat Hentgen edged out the Yanks Andy Pettitte in 1996 by a vote of 110-106. I know Sabathia pitched about 35 more IP than Beckett, but to pitch in Fenway Park half the season and win 20 games should give him the edge. Even though being the Best Starter on the Best Team is usually enough to win it, I admit though, at no time watching Beckett pitch this year did I think I was watching the eventual Cy Young Winner. And that’s a problem.

NL Cy Young: Jake Peavy, Padres
Quite an unsexy list here for a second straight season. I thought the National League was all about pitching? No 20 game winners again, and Peavy has Petco Park in his corner. But so did Greg Maddux. I’ll spare my grandchildren the confusion of seeing Brandon Webb as a back-to-back Cy Young winner, and consider it a public service. If Cole Hamels stayed healthy, he could’ve had a say in this. If Aaron Harang played for a team besides the Reds, he'd get attention here as well.

AL Rookie of the Year: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Every talented team needs a sparkplug atop the batting order, and after a dreadful start, those 4- and 5-hit games started pouring in for Baby Eckstein. Dice-K wasn’t spectacular, and after the Bob Hamelin fiasco in Kansas City a decade ago, we’ll wait to see more results from Brian Bannister before bestowing him some MLB hardware. Alex Gordon rebounded nicely for double digits in HRs and SBs, but it wasn’t enough, same with future Royals slugger and Berkman-clone Billy Butler. Is Jacoby Ellsbury eligible next year? If so, the ‘08 trophy can be engrained now.

NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Braun, Brewers
Yeah, his glove has more holes in it than Pete Doherty’s forearm, but the guy fucking mashed for the final two-thirds of the season, keeping the Brewers from total freefall. I’m not sold completely on Troy Tulowitzky or Chris Young, despite his near 30-30 season. The Rox SS might have stolen the award with his team's redonkulous playoff sprint.

AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, Red Sox
This guy just doesn’t get enough credit. Eric Wedge did a good job in Cleveland, but that division was a mess after the Tigers. Francona deals with the pressure of Boston, handles an overbearing media and insufferable fanbase (with unrealistic expectations, suddenly) all while massaging 25 mega-egos in one confined, century-old clubhouse. He won’t come close to winning this award, but shit, he deserves credit for keeping this team focused, especially as the Yankees were throwing a beatdown on the AL. He’s not the best strategist, but in Boston that’s not the most important part of the job. The payroll, unfairly, works against him.

NL Manager of the Year, Charlie Manuel, Phillies
Ned Yost lost this in the final month, and getting suckered into a beanbag war with the Cardinals showed how much control he lost, in himself and the team. D-Backs skipper Bob Melvin deserves votes, but Manuel kept the Phils in the hunt in the NL’s best division despite losing its best positional player (Utley) and starter (Hamels) for more than a month each, as well as using wife-beatin’ Brett Myers and Tom Gordon as his closer. All in the pressure-cooker that is Philly. Damn.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Carlos Pena, Devil Rays
Pretty fucking obvious here. Northeastern University spawns a 46-HR monster. Too bad he was passed around by teams like a drunk hipster chick at an Allston afterparty before settling in down in St. Pete.

NL Comeback player of the Year, Josh Hamilton, Reds
I know Dimitri Young already won this today, but while D-Yo had a great season and helped nurture young Nats after dealing with a litany of personal issues last fall (from divorce to arrest to drugs), my vote goes to Hamilton. Almost ten years after selected first overall by the Devil Rays (ahead of Josh Beckett), he’s finally shaken drug addiction and mashed for a few months with the Reds before injuries derailed his season. The most encouraging story in sports this year, Hamilton came a long way. He’s got the tattoos – and lost years – to prove it.