Saturday, April 05, 2008

My Back Pages

Now listening to: "My Back Pages" from the Bob Dylan Tribute Concert Album. Quite a collection of talent on that track, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bob Dylan.

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

I was listening to Oasis while waiting in the KFC line, and it struck me that I've seen Noel Gallagher (I think. Maybe Liam. I don't know. One of them.) on a lot of shows commenting about songs and songwriters. Now, Oasis has more hit songs than, say, I do. But what is it that makes him more qualified than a lot of other people to talk about rock and roll music? Maybe he's just willing to talk.

But asking Oasis to talk about rock and roll is a little bit like asking Alfredo Griffin to talk about the great shortstops of all time. Sure, he's more qualified than me to talk about it, but is he exactly the BEST person to ask?

"Hey Joe"(Live), Jimi Hendrix

Whenever I run into someone named Joe, I usually do the same thing. "Hey, Joe. What are you doing with that gun in your hand?" Most people don't get it. It's a pretty stupid joke.

Another great Dan Carlin Common Sense this week. ( He had an intriguing notion that the education problems in this country is really a national security emergency. The current generation can't afford to pay to support both our parents and a generation of uneducated younger people as well. And I still can't get my son to do his homework.

Thank goodness Josh Beckett starts for us tomorrow. Trouble is, after that, we get the Tigers and Yankees at home. This could get ugly if we're not careful.

Aerosmith, "Hole in my Soul"(Live)

Thinking about bands on my IPod from whom I only like one or a few songs (Oasis, I'm looking at you...)leads me back into thinking about the music business. (Aerosmith is far from one of these bands.) Part of me wants artists to get money in exchange for all the joy they have provided me. But part of me is still mad about all the thousands of dollars they took from me over the years-as John C. Dvorak noted in a recent No Agenda podcast, the price of CDs never, ever dropped from the moment they came on the scene. So I don't exactly weep for the CEO of Elektra losing his bonus.

Beatles, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

Then sometimes the Beatles come along and wipe the floor with everybody who ever pretended they knew anything about music.

Metallica, "Attitude"

"Satisfaction's here and gone again..."

The Beatles, "For You Blue"

This song has some great parts in it that are clearly audible on the "Naked" recording. George sings "Go, Johnny, Go" at one point, and you can really picture the Beatles as a band, for a minute, just jamming. That's what Billy Preston always said-people forgot they could really play.

Simon and Garfunkel, "Baby Driver"

Another cool song overshadowed by being on the side opposite a mega hit song, like "Misty Mountain Hop" and "She's Right on Time".

It instantly marks you as being a fuddy duddy when you talk about songs being on "sides".

The Cult, "Nirvana"

Saw them open for Metallica. They were a great group on record, but their live show was very disappointing. Of course, when Metallica hit the stage they wiped the floor with anyone who came before. But even in light of that, The Cult were lame.

Ian Astbury of the Cult, it was rumored, was going to lay some tracks with John Densmore and Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of the Doors. I wonder if anything ever came of that?

Jackson Browne, "The Load Out"

Have always loved this song, even though the only other thing he ever did that I even tolerated was the Eagles' "Take It Easy", which I believe he co wrote. It's such a clear, vivid tale.

Chess, "Quartet(A Model Of Decorum and Tranquility)"

Why hasn't anybody made a movie based on this musical? I hate ABBA, but I love this musical, every last bloody note of it. You would have to do hardly anything to it-it would work perfectly as a work of history-the Soviet Union being gone nearly 20 years.

Baseball as it oughta be: Jered Weaver, strangling the Rangers on 3 hits, is lifted after 7 innings in favor of Darren Oliver. According to ESPN, he had thrown 93 pitches. Oliver immediately gives up a jack to close the gap to 2-1. Darren Oliver? Really? That was your best idea? Sheesh. I mean, it's not Adam Eaton, but jeez.

Page and Plant, "Nobody's Fault But Mine"

GREAT version of this song. Slowed down, soulful, and emotional.

Bruce Springsteen, "Atlantic City" (Live)

Another great version of an excellent song.

"Everything dies, baby, that's a fact..."

Slip Sliding Away...(Game Six)

Toronto 10, Boston 2

The first really bad loss of the 2008 season.

Buchholz left after 5 trailing 4-2, but with a couple of cheap runs against him. Winnable, but Kyle Snyder and Bryan Corey gave up the ghost, a 6 run 6th that sealed the loss.

I guess if you have to have a weakness, middle and long relief is not a bad one to have, but it would be nice to get a decent performance out of someone at some point.

Kurt Vonnegut's new book is out. I swept in and picked it up the first chance I had, of course.

Today was Simon's first birthday party, with hordes and hordes of successful young adults at my sister in law's house. I was there, too.

But any chance I get to hold him is worth any degree of, well, anything.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Game The Fif

April 4, 2008

Game the Fif

(h/t Dave Chappelle)

The Red Sox (3-1) are back in action with a weekend set against Toronto(1-2), starting with today’s game, Tim (TIMMEH!) (h/t South Park)Wakefield against Shawn Marcum.

1-2-3 first for Boston, then a typical Wakefield inning-HBP, walk, then called strike, called strike, swinging strike three after going 3-0 on the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. The Inning of Living Dangerously.

After 3, still scoreless, as Wakefield gives up hits, but no runs. A strange sort of lethargy from the Boston bats. Of course, you can call that good pitching, too.

Wakefield games usually move right along.

Now 5 in the books, 0-0. The kid Marcum, who is on my fantasy team, is very, very sharp. Using a lot of changeups.

Matt Stairs cranks a 6th inning solo home run for a 1-0 lead. Then a walk to Rios, a stolen base by Rios, and another walk. Big Trouble.

Now a bloop single, and it’s 2-0. Now a long drive by Aaron Hill that Ellsbury catches at the wall, then drops, for a 3-0 lead. The Toronto announcers are arguing that it should be a catch, for an out, and then a drop on the transfer. Then a single by Scutaro, loading the bases. Zaun grounds into a 5-4-3 double play.

Yuck City.

Being one hit by Shawn Marcum? Priceless.

Then a walk to Ortiz, then a single to Lowell, then……..

Not so fast, Cochise. Thomas slams a two run double to left in the bottom of the seventh off of Manny Delcarmen, 5-3 Toronto. Dang.

A pile on run in the 8th, and that's all she wrote-a 6-3 loss.

Not a skullcrusher-we didn't deserve to win it-but one that could have been stolen.

Toronto, like Tampa, is going to be a pain in the neck this year.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Listen Without Prejudice

April 3, 2008

I have a trifecta today-birthdays for my wife, mother in law, and new nephew Simon, who is 1 today.

Other birthdays today: Marlon Brando, Doris Day, Gus Grissom, Jane Goodall, Wayne Newton, Tony Orlando, Lyle Alzado, Alec Baldwin, David Hyde Pierce, Eddie Murphy, Amanda Bynes.

Guess who gets most of the attention.

Heard a George Michael solo song on the Muzak today-probably haven’t heard that since the summer it came out. I was dating a girl who was into him, and I would have listened to anything at that time if she was into it. The album was “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I”, but I don’t remember what the song was.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Beautiful Children

Just finished Charles Bock's "Beautiful Children", the first fiction book I've read in a while. It was hypnotic, and heartbreaking, and cruel, and utterly, utterly brilliant.

The last paragraph, honestly, to me, rivals the end of The Great Gatsby.

"Each and every one of us moves towards fates we cannot possibly know. Each of us struggles against the pain of the world, even as we are doomed to join it. And for a moment Kenny wavered in his struggle. Slowing, twisting in place, he threw his hands up into the air. To no one in particular, he let out the choked, half whispered plea that would remain at the forefront of his thoughts for years: 'What am I supposed to do?' he asked. 'Just what am I supposed to do now?' "

It's the kind of novel that, as I left work, I was anxious to get home so I could continue reading it. It was terrific. Lovely, disturbing, warm, sad, and gorgeous.

Let's Play Two (Game The Fourth)

Obviously, not two games in one day, just two posts about different games in one day.

In game 4, Boston wins again, 5-0, David Ortiz' first 2008 homer busting open a 0-0 tie. A passel of singles tacks on two more, and J-Tek slams another one for the capper.

Have to feel pretty good about that. You have to win games, and beyond that, you win series. Taking 3 of 4 is pretty good, the one loss being a somewhat close one.

Now, a day off and then on to Toronto.

Now THAT's more like it...Game The Third

Game Three of the 2008 baseball season came out pretty well.

Boston 2, Oakland 1

Dice K throws 6 2/3 strong, allowing only a home run to the Half Man Half Beast, Jack Cust. Only 2 hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts. Super performance.

No homers, but a triple from Youk and a double from Captain Courageous, Jason Varitek.

Great podcast from Bill Simmons this week, a long NBA conversation with Sean Grady mostly about the 07-08 Celtics. They are going to be fun to root for. I saw a ESPN Classics about the 85-86 Celtics, and it brought back a lot of memories. I forgot how much fun they were to watch-Bird and Parish and McHale, Walton and DJ and Sichting and Ainge. Brought back some good memories. I wish I had appreciated that team when they were there, and I wish I had appreciated being that age when I was.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Drain You

I'm trying to post something every single day, whether or not I really have something to say.

Game Three for the Red Sox is tonight. Oakland again, with a rematch of the pseudo opening, Matsuzaka and Blanton.

The march really begins now, with a more normal schedule from here on out.

I plan to detail each game, more to make myself pay attention to them than in the hopes that anyone will read it.

I could comment about a few things, but I don't have it in me right now.

The Riches is good tonight.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rays in first

American League East
March 31, 2008

TAM 1-0
BOS 1-1 0.5gb
NYY 0-0 0.5gb
TOR 0-0 0.5gb
BAL 0-1 1gb

Probably the last time they'll look like this.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Go Home?

March 30, 2008

Doctrinal problems tonight-John Adams against the MLB season opener. The second one, anyway. I think I’ll try to catch all of John Adams, then switch to the game. It’s being played in the Nationals’ new stadium, Nationals Park.

John Adams is fantastic, in my humble opinion. Incredibly realistic seeming, with a fair and balanced portrayal, it seems. I didn’t buy Paul Giamatti, initially, and you still have those moments of saying, “Hey, that’s Paul Giamatti.”
But after a while, that fades into the background. And Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin is genius, sheer casting genius.

When I watch historical dramas, I sometimes have to remind myself who is who-but not Ben. It’s not just the glasses, but the hair, the face-it’s perfect. Brilliant.

Just had one of those moments when I’m glad I bring a thumb drive to work.

“Her face was shaped like a teardrop, and her hair, once long and prideful, was now cut short and spiky, making her look almost like a gangly teenage boy. She was never really mine, but when I could have been said to have exclusive claim on her heart, she made me stop breathing for just a second when she fixed her gaze on me, like she was doing right now.

‘Please, Ray? Please? I wouldn’t ask you if it wasn’t important.’ ”

I’ve been trying to write the same story for, well, probably as long as I’ve been writing, which dates back probably 20 years at least. I’ve attacked it from several different angles, in different voices, different styles, focusing on different parts of it. It’s never been finished to my satisfaction, and I think I’ve only completely finished it once. The above just came to me. I’ll see if it leads anywhere, or if it’s like the other 37 times I’ve started it.

Probably, if truth be told, it will go as far as being given a file name and stored somewhere until I forget about it or give up on it or both.

I won’t summarize it, because if someone writes it better than me I won’t have any reason to go on living.

Well, other than the new REM album coming out Tuesday.