Thursday, February 10, 2005

Funky But Chic

Hey. I've meant to blogmatize over the last several days, but I've been busy. Anyhoo, here's the second MP3 in my weekly series. This week, I'm featuring a band that predated the latest Detroit rock 'splosion by a full decade: Big Chief. Formed in the late '80s by a group of punk veterans, Big Chief took their music in a different direction, combining the sludge of Sabbath and the MC5 with some seriously funky grooves a la Parliament Funkadelic. But they weren't aping the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Fishbone; these guys had a distinct and awesome sound. They put out several singles on Sub Pop, which were compiled on Drive It Off, before making their debut with 1991's Face. I first became aware of them in '93 when they released Mack Avenue Skullgame, a faux movie soundtrack about big pimpin'; my buddy Johnny Mack's sister worked at Sub Pop and sent him some new tapes, one of which was the new Big Chief. It looked intriguing to me, but I stuck with the Mudhoney and Nirvana stuff I was listening to at the time. Then the following year, I caught a Big Chief video on MTV for Lion's Mouth, the first single off Platinum Jive, their major-label debut on Capitol; the song kicked butt so I ran out and picked it up and it quickly became one of my favorites of the year. Not long after, I purchased Mack Avenue Skullgame, which I also dug immensely. Alas, there were no more Big Chief albums; apparently, they weren't "grungy" enough for Capitol and the band decided to hang it up in '96. They recorded a record backing up Thornetta Davis, who sang backup on their albums, but other than that, they've gone their separate ways--much like Journey, only different. Here's a sweet track from Mack Avenue Skullgame, One Born Every Minute (Doc's Theme). Enjoy, and don't forget, if you like what you hear, buy one of their albums; they're wicked cheap now!

In other news, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. Pretty amazing stuff. It was also their third championship won by a field goal. Earlier that day, I attended another Lowell Lock Monsters game with my bro-in-law Steve; this time against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Gave me an excuse to break out my old Whalers jersey. Lowell shut out the Rangers farm team, 3-0.

Looks like that will be the only pro hockey we'll see around here. The NHL supposedly set Sunday as a drop dead date for cancelling the season, although the players union has already told the league to drop dead several times. At this point, just put us out of our misery so we can move on already, you money-grubbing bastages.

Speaking of money-grubbing bastages, it appears that Major League Baseball is looking to corner the market on fantasy baseball leagues by forcing them to pay exorbitant licensing fees. Now for you normal, law-abiding folks, that's no big deal. But for rotisserie baseball geeks like myself, this is just another case of the Man trying to keep us down. According to this column from (thanks to my Jays-lovin' homies at for the tip), MLB is trying to horn in on the free (or inexpensive) fantasy baseball leagues offered by ESPN, Yahoo and CBS Sportsline. So far, they've been rebuffed by all but one company, MLB Advanced Media, which paid $50 million for "exclusive rights" to host fantasy games for five years. The other companies have purchased licenses in the past to use logos, photos, etc., but now MLB is essentially claiming that companies should pay to provide the stats, which are universally considered public data. Some of the companies have filed a lawsuit challenging the deal with MLB Advanced Media, but they also have refused to take any signups from leagues yet. With training camp about to start, it should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Here's some more nerdosity, but from the world of rock. My good friend Dr. Doobs turned me on to this awesomely dorky and fun site, BandtoBand, which does the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing with rock bands. It's ridiculously fun. You click on two band names, no matter how disparate, and it instantly details how they're linked. For example, it linked hair metal poofs Slaughter and indie gods Husker Du in 19 steps; according to the site, the longest-known link is 32 steps.

All right, I've been at the computer all day. Enuff z'nuff.


jbreitling said...

That BandtoBand is amazing. The longest link I could find was 18, from ELO to Lorelei. Good news: Clicky Clicky goes back online with fresh material over the weekend.

Jay said...

Yeah, it's a pretty cool site. Hours of nerdtastic fun!

That is good news about your blog. It's been way too long.