Wednesday, March 30, 2005

In the Fade

In the fine journalistic tradition that I still hold proud, I'll report the most important news first: Lily started walking last night. She'd been taking tentative steps for a few weeks now, no more than three or four at a time, but generally she's been satisified with a combination of crawling and walking while holding onto furniture. But last night, when we tried to get her to walk, she finally did it. Walked right across the room, in classic Frankenstein fashion. And then she did it again, and again, and again. Pretty cool stuff.

And the rest of the blogitudinousness:
  • The Queens of the Stone Age show Monday night rocked most steadfastly. Josh Homme and the gang laid down their patented brand of twisted grooves for two hours. Mark Lanegan was there to contribute his classic ragged vocals to several songs, providing a good counterpoint to Homme's higher voice. The sold-out show attracted a wide range of fans, from indie to college to dorks to metalheads. I even saw a few dolts crowdsurfing like it was 1992 or something.
  • Check it out: A thief that Beavis & Butt-head would love. The lead says it all.
  • Being a native Canadian, I love that country. That being said, and keeping in mind that I'm not a member of PETA, this is just messed up.
  • Played in what could be the last hockey game ever at the Waltham MDC (i.e., state-run) rink last night. The city is buying the rink and there's some uncertainty as to what will happen with it. At the very least, after six years playing there, our group of friendly hackers may have to look elsewhere for ice in the fall. I actually scored the final goal, although there was no goalie in net, but why quibble over details? The group will continue playing next week in a different rink for the spring and summer.
  • For the first time since 1992, there will be no representative from Hockey East playing in college hockey's Frozen Four. UNH, BC, and Maine all lost in the second round of the NCAA playoffs last weekend. UNH was knocked off by last year's defending champ, Denver. Bah.

Will blog more tomorrow. Later.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Crosseyed and Painless

As the month of March quickly glides by, there is much to talk about:

  • It's nice to see our government tackling real issues. Steroids in baseball? Call a congressional hearing. Need to intervene in a family dispute over someone in a vegetative state? Call another hearing. The next big issue needs to be stair safety. Last week, former Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz died after tumbling down the stairs in his home, then the same thing happened a few days ago to Rod Price, guitarist of '70s rock act Foghat. Not a fun way to go. Call your senator now!
  • Holy crap! Morty Seinfeld died, too. No stairs were involved. That we know of.
  • Dean Karnazes has serious issues. The dude ran 262 miles non-stop (in 75 hours) just to see if he could do 10 consecutive marathons. Now he's aiming for 300. Geez, these days I'm just happy to run 3 miles pain-free.
  • Don't read this if you just ate supper. Hey, that stuff is bad for you, anyway.
  • Nice to see the Toronto Maple Leafs have revived an old tradition by renaming their top farm club the Toronto Marlies. The Marlies (short for Marlboros) were bought by Leafs founder Conn Smythe in 1927 and played through to the 80s until they were sold. Ninety-eight Marlies went on to become Leafs. The AHL team was in St. John's, Newfoundland, for the last 14 seasons.
  • No shocker, but the NHL cancelled the 2005-06 draft in June because no collective bargaining agreement is in place. Sidney Crosby, the most highly-touted prospect in years, will likely have to wait another year before he finds out his pro team.
  • Ah, the rock. I harken back to the late 80s/early '90s for a local band that I enjoyed back in tha day, O-Positive. They played a catchy brand of REMish jangle pop and actually signed to Epic Records for the 1990 release ToyboatToyboatToyboat. Saw them play live at the old Beverly rock club Grover's a few times after I moved to town; they put on a good show. O-Positive got decent radio airplay in Boston on WBCN and WFNX, well before they were ever signed to a major. One song I particularly dug was Back of My Mind, off Toyboat. Things have changed: Grover's closed down in the early '90s and is now a restaurant; O-Positive singer Dave Herlihy is now an entertainment lawyer. As for me, I'm just some dude with a blog.
  • Getting psyched to see Queens of the Stone Age Monday at the Roxy. The new album, Lullabies to Paralyze, kicks the proverbial arse. Always a good thing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Whiskey in the Jar

Who better than Thin Lizzy to invoke when doling out early St. Patrick's Day greetings? I'm sure the fine MP3 blog Kitty Text will have an appropriate posting tomorrow for Thin Lizzy Thurzzday.

Emptying the brain, as it were:

  • Late-breaking news: A jury acquitted former "Baretta" star Robert Blake of murder charges. Wow. I didn't follow the case too closely, but apparently the prosecution's evidence was pretty flimsy.
  • HBO's "Deadwood" has started its second season. Man, that's a great show. David Milch's characters make profanity almost poetic, with Ian McShane's Al Swearingen without a doubt the best character on TV. And Carnivale is winding down to a killer climax as well.
  • The AHL's Rochester Americans are experimenting with a blue ice surface to see if it makes the game easier to watch on TV; cuts down on the glare created by the white surface, supposedly. The Amerks, the top farm club of the Buffalo Sabres, will try out the blue ice for a couple of games. The blue lines will in turn be orange. Strange to think of, but at least there are some people using their imagination in the hockey world.
  • In college hockey, the Hockey East playoffs are this weekend with some great matchups: UNH vs. BU, BC vs. Maine on Friday night, the finals on Saturday. Hopefully UNH will prevail in the end, but it really could go to any of those teams. They're all excellent.
  • Bill Simmons is funny, but his fixations on the NBA and Beverly Hills 90210 can be annoying. That said, his column on the awesome terribleness of the 1986 crapfest of a hockey movie Youngblood is hi-larious. The movie starred Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, and featured a young Keanu Reeves in a bit role. The captain of the UNH hockey team at the time, James Richmond, had a small part in the movie as a player on an opposing team. It also features longtime NHL player Steve "Stumpy" Thomas as a teammate of Lowe's.
  • And now, for my MP3 of the week. This track harks back a mere 21 years, when Pink Floyd guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour released his second solo album, About Face. The album came as Gilmour's relationship with Floyd leader Roger Waters was at an all-time low; indeed, Gilmour emerged with a Floyd album a few years later after Waters left the group to go solo. I liked this album much better than A Momentary Lapse of Reason, the first post-Waters Floyd album, which was rather bland. About Face featured some great guitar playing and varied songs, including this Pete Townshend-penned scorcher, All Lovers are Deranged. It rawks.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Happy birthday, Lily! Posted by Hello
Cold as Ice

Normally at this time on a Tuesday night, I'm on my way to play hockey. But tonight, we're in the midst of a nasty storm that's more about high winds and freezing rain than snowfall. So rather than risk cracking up one of our cars on 128, I'm staying home.

This week, I'm featuring a song from a singer-guitarist named Kevin Salem, who released two excellent albums in the mid-90s before dropping out of sight. His 1994 album Soma City featured Neil Young-esque guitarwork and equally strong songs. The lead single, Will, was about as good a song as I heard that year. He followed his debut with 1996's Glimmer, another strong effort, but then was promptly dumped by his label, Roadrunner. According to the AllMusicGuide, Salem worked on his third album for several years before quietly releasing 2001's Ecstatic. Haven't heard it, but I'll have to pick it up someday.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Where You Been

I know, I know. A few quick thoughts before I hit the sack:

  • Lily hits the big uno tomorrow. We threw a party for her over the weekend. It's amazing to think it's already been a year since she arrived. And Miss Hannah's 3rd birthday is right around the corner. Yikes.
  • And some sad news. My grandmother died two Saturdays ago at the age of 84. She was my last living grandparent and was living in India, so I hadn't seen her since I was 12. It was one of those things where I've been meaning to go back to visit (I've been twice), but it's expensive, you can't go for less than two weeks, and it would be tough to do with the kids right now. I definitely want to go when the girls are a little older.
  • So it turns out my high school in New Hampshire, the one I actually graduated from, is planning a 20th reunion of our graduating class. If I had the means, I could attend two 20th reunions (the one of the high school I attended in Washington state) and feel twice as old.
  • Speaking of reunions, the original lineup of the awesome Dinosaur Jr. is reuniting for some shows in the UK and Japan this summer, according to band founder J. Mascis' Web site. If Mascis and Lou Barlow can keep from killing each other, they should play some U.S. dates, and by gum, I'll be there. Yes, I just wrote "by gum."
  • In hockey news, the NHL owners were offered $3 billion by Bain Capital for the league and all its teams. There was no chance it would ever go through, but was interesting nonetheless. The owners and the union are supposed to meet again this week. Meanwhile, the revived WHA (rival league in the 1970s where Wayne Gretzky made his professional debut as a 17-year-old) is kicking off with a round-robin tournament in May featuring a number of big name NHL stars including Jarome Iginla, Nicklas Lidstrom, Martin St. Louis, and Jose Theodore. We'll see if they can actually kick off a season in the fall. I see on the WHA Web site that they're accepting applications for franchises in Europe, Russia, and Japan, in addition to North America. Good luck with that.
  • Sad to see Sony file a lawsuit to force the great Beatallica--which combined the Beatles and Metallica with amazingly good results in songs like "Leper Madonna" and "Got to Get You Trapped Under Ice"--to fork over publishing royalties. These guys weren't in it for the money, they just posted their songs online. The Beatallica guys have taken down their Web site for the time being as they weigh their options, but it just strikes me as lame that the Beatles' publishing company has to go after a group that obviously loves their music and is just having some fun.
  • Okay, the girls are screaming, which is always fun at 11:30. More later in the week, including an MP3.