Saturday, October 01, 2005

Random notes

So the Angels won, Lackey was good. GA homered. And, well, honestly, I didn't really see any of it. I was watching the Sox and Yankees, fell asleep, and the next thing I know, it's midnight. So I pretty much just slept all evening, which is why I'm awake on a Saturday before noon.

Anyway, you may have noticed a couple of new additions to the sidebar. First up is 3 Bulls!. Why are they called 3 Bulls!? Fuck if I know, because there's like seven of them, and that doesn't include PupH and Captain Trollypants. So head over and enjoy the antics of Pinko Punko, The Uncanny Canadian, Yosef, GregH, and my favorite, '?'. Also, they have links to the informative "song of the day", and the thought provoking "delicious or disgusting" (hint: It's delicious), where you can weigh in on your musical tastes and, well, taste tastes. They're funny, but a word of advice: Sometimes it's better not to let on that you have no idea what the hell they're talking about.

Also added is a link to Tuning Fork Media, which I admittedly stole from the Song of the Day blog. Tuning Fork exists to keep tabs on the uber-pretension of the guys at Pitchfork, and they add a little snark in the process. Also, they're gonna give me free stuff, which is more than I can say for the rest of you deadbeats. I will, say, however, that as good as that review of Pitchfork's review of the Warlocks album is, it's not as funny as Pitchfork's review of the Jet album, which I still think is a classic. Ironically, the PF review that TF spoofed was written by Nick Sylvester, who also wrote the Jet review.

And just a quick word about the coming dilemma. Work issues and MLB's douchebaggery will likely prevent me from a) watching playoff games that occur during daylight hours, and b) attending games that the Angels play against the White Sox. Just a note to forewarn. I'm not happy about it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm all clairvoyant and shit

How smart am I? Well, today I was searching around Primer looking for an old story that really should never be retold because it's pretty gross. Any, I'm poking around an old lounge thread, searching for comments by and about me, because that's all that's important. Anyway, I run across this little nugget:
scotto (post #87): Pitchfork gave the London Calling reissue a 10.0, which was the first I saw of that.

Me (post #93): OK Computer and Kid A got 10.0s. I would gather that, depending on the reviewer, if they were to re-review "In the Aeroplane over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel, it would get a 10 as well.
Well lo and frickin' behold. Time to start playing the lottery. Only, I need to buy tickets for the one that will be held a year from now.

Oh yeah, Angels won, couple of homers, lots of runs for the good guys, Bart gets number 21. It's weird not to care about the outcome all that much, isn't it? This must be what it's like for Royals fans, but for the whole year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Alright, seriously, what the fuck?

I've had three unique visitors today, from three different search engines, who were all searching for "Sean Been". It leads them to this post. This raises two questions. First, are they really searching for Sean Bean? Ya know, the dude who was in Patriot Games and Goldeneye? Second, if they are searching for Sean Bean, why? I assume it's because he was in that movie "Flightplan", which Matt said sucks? FWIW, I read the plot summary at the the Movie Spoiler, and it sounds really, really stupid.

By the way, some poking around the cast list of Flightplan reveals that they're doing a remake of the Wicker Man. Now, I haven't seen the original, but this still pisses me off for some reason. Hollywood sucks.

And in other site news, today we pushed past the previous record and officially made September my largest month since reloading this blog. Granted, about a thousand of those hits are from me, but whatever. I'm up to about 6,500 visitors since the beginning of May. Doesn't sound like much, but then again, I'm not that good. Thanks for stopping by. I'll try not to bore you to death during the off-season. Mostly going to write about music, the LA Kings, UCLA football and basketball, Illinois basketball, the hot stove league, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Angels 4; A's 3: Back to back Western Division Champs!

Best fifty bucks I ever spent.

I talked to my dad after the game, and he said it was anti-climactic. I agreed. It's just the way I like it. After falling behind in the first inning, the Angels came back with two in the second, added two more later, and the kid made those four runs hold up. For the second consecutive season, the Angels are the A.L. West Champions. By the way, I just found a new comedy site. A few of these threads are HI-larious.

I've mentioned it before, and it's fairly obvious, but you can't say enough about how important it was to wrap this series, and the season, up as soon as possible. They now have a week to set the rotation. They have a week to rest the bullpen. GA has a week to stay off his feet and rest up for what will hopefully be a long grind in the post-season.

I'm guessing the rotation will depend on where they play. If they end up with home field (unlikely), then it will be Colon, Lackey, Wash, and Byrd. If they start on the road, it will be Bart, Wash, Lackey, Byrd. I think they'll set up Washburn's first start on the road.

Now we sit back, enjoy the dogfight for the final three playoff spots, with the White Sox-Indians and Yankees-Red Sox series to close it out. Hopefully those teams will find their tanks on empty much like the Angels did last year.

Congratulations, Angels.


Good Pitchfork review of one the best albums ever produced. It's one of those albums that's criminally underrated outside of indie circles, and some would claim that it's criminally overrated inside indie circles. Personally, I think it's a classic. Certainly in my all time top 10.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Angels 4; A's 3; Lead is 5 games; Magic # is 2

One more win. That's what it's down to. One win in the next three games and the Angels go to the post-season in back to back years for the first time in their history.

They got the scoring going early tonight, a Bobby Crosby error in the second inning opened the door. Erstad followed with an RBI double, and after a Steve Finley fielder's choice, a clutch two out single by Juan Rivera drove home the second run. The old man jacked a two run shot a few innings later, and although the A's crawled back, Kelvim and Frankie closed the door tight enough to bring home the victory, the last two outs coming on a controversial check swing call, and a borderline strikeout looking.

Objectively, this series should have started as a foregone conclusion. A four game lead is a tough thing to blow in one week. But anyone who has been in this situation knows that things can snowball. You lose the first one and you give your opponent life. You start to doubt yourself. They don't have to win four games. They have to win one game four times. It's not a herculean feat. That's why it was vitally important to go out and get this one tonight.

The Angels get a favorable matchup tomorrow night, as they send the kid out against the A's worst starter in Joe Kennedy. How awesome would it be to see Santana, who came in and held down the fort when Kelvim got hurt, to pick up the season clinching win? Now that this one is out of the way, it becomes equally important to win one of the next two. Bart needs his rest, and the bullpen could use some R & R.

For now, the chickens remain uncounted. No one is celebrating yet. The beer is still chillin' in the fridge. We do it again tomorrow.

Btw, A's fans are really a bunch of fucking assholes, aren't they?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Michael Penn w/ Rosie Thomas @ Schuba's - 9/25/05

The last time I saw Michael Penn (which was also the first time) was about a week or two before I re-started this blog, so there was no review. Anyway, he was back in town playing material from his new album, Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947. Some of you probably remember him as being the brother of Chris and Sean Penn who sang that Romeo in black jeans song. Or perhaps you know him as Aimee Mann's husband. You probably don't know that he did the music for P.T. Anderson films "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights". His new album is his fifth.

Rosie Thomas started the evening off. It's fairly typical singer/songwriter fare, but she was plenty entertaining, and pretty funny. She also has this weird voice thing going on. When she speaks, it's in a very high, Victoria Jackson-esque voice. Then she starts singing and her voice transforms into a lower, almost Joan Baez-like tone. But not really like Joan Baez. Anyway, it was a mystery. Still, she has a beautiful voice, and what seemed like a delightful personality. Michael Penn followed, and here's an incomplete and out of order setlist:
  • Out of My Hands
  • Denton Road
  • Don't Let Me Go
  • Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In)
  • Bunker Hill
  • High Time
  • Walter Reed
  • Brave New World
  • No Myth
  • Bucket Brigade
  • Me Around
  • Try
  • Figment
  • I Can Tell
  • A Bad Sign
  • You Know How
  • On Automatic
I'm pretty sure that's it. That's a lot though, so it's not like I'm complaining. He didn't play everything I wanted to hear, but he hit some of the big ones, inlcuding I Can Tell and Bunker Hill. He even gave the backstory to Bunker Hill this time, which, in his words, is a love story set during the L.A. riots. For those unaware, there's a big hill in downtown LA called bunker hill where a lot of rich people lived and lodged about 100 years ago. A funicular train was built to take people from third street to the top of Bunker Hill and vice versa. There are references to Angels Flight in the song. A couple of years ago, after it had been restored and put back in service, they had an accident and someone died. For my Angeleno readers, especially those with an interest in the area and some knowledge of it's history (Matt, I'm looking in your direction), you should check his stuff out. It's chock full of L.A. regional references.

Anyway, if you've never been to Schuba's, it's a little corner bar with a back room, which has a stage. The room can only hold about 150 people, so it's a really tiny venue. There's no "backstage". The artists enter from a side door that opens onto the sidewalk on Belmont. I think every time I've been there, the band/artist has talked about how they can't do the cliche encore, because there's nowhere to go. As MP put it, he'd have to go stand on the street like a jackass until we clapped loud enough for him to come back in, and if we didn't clap loud enough, he'd come back in anyway.

This show was recorded for playback on the WXRT Sunday Concert Series. I don't listen the radio enough to know when they're going to play it. And I'm not sure if they archive those, although I suppose it would be easy enough to figure out. You can go here and listen to him perform on KCRW. Probably a similar experience.

Thumbs up for this one. I'd still like to see him with a full band and an electric set up. He said he really longs to do that, but it would be too expensive. Maybe someday. Hopefully it's not another 5 years between albums.

One week left

Well, this one looks like it's about done. Good thing I missed it. There's still a chance, I guess, but we were due for a loss. I really question giving the start to Colon today, especially with Daryl Cousins behind the plate. Bart needs to work the corners to be effective, and Cousins has a strike zone about the size of a dime. But no use crying over spilt milk. Assuming an A's win tonight, the Angels take a three game lead into the final week, and a split with Oakland would all but guarantee the division. Still, let's hope the Rangers nut up tonight.

As for my fantasy team, I had a pretty rough week, but the guy I'm playing in the semi-finals has had a rougher week, and it looks like I'll be heading to the championship series, with three starters lined up to get two starts. I like my chances.

Missed most of today's game because I was playing Ruffled Feathers, pretty much right across the street from Cog Hill. They had a special today. Played in a steady, yet light rain, and the course was pretty wet. Opened with two birdies, then bogeyed 7 and 8 before parring 9 to shoot even on the front, which I've done only about once this year. Bogeyed 10, parred 11 and 12, birdied 13, parred 14, then snaked in about a 35 footer for eagle on 15, bogeyed 16 and 17, and parred 18 to shoot 36-36-72. Best round of the year, and one of my best rounds ever. I just need to be able to get myself to this point by June next year instead of September.

Seeing Michael Penn at Schuba's tonight, so maybe I'll have a review in teh next day or two.