Monday, March 24, 2008

3 Dimes Down

Manoman, that was a busy weekend. I kicked it off Friday night with the annual fantasy baseball draft extravaganza. We had to hold our draft a week early this year, so I didn't have much time to do research, but I always procrastinate, anyway. It seemed to take longer than usual this time around; we were done close to midnight. We traveled to tony Andover for the event again at the house of a fellow manager. I had to draft two teams, mine and a buddy's who couldn't make it. I think my team's decent, but my pitching's a little suspect, especially the bullpen. The first game of the season is actually tomorrow morning in Japan, where the Red Sox will play the A's; they have another game Wednesday and then the rest of the games start next Monday.

Saturday morning, I got a 15-mile run in before showering and taking the girls to a friend's 5th birthday party. After getting home, taking a nap (this was key) and picking up some pizza for dinner, I headed off to the Drive-By Truckers show at the Paradise. I've been listening to the band for a few years now, but this was my first time seeing them live and by gum, it was pretty frickin' amazing. Unlike the Gutter Twins show, I decided to snag myself a spot up in the balcony so I could have a full view of the stage without having to jostle for position. It was a good move because the show was sold out and everyone was pretty packed in. Lots of burly dudes with camo Red Sox caps; definitely a lot fewer females than Tuesday night. The Whigs opened up with an ass-kicking set of straightahead rock that really impressed. I like their new album, Mission Control, and seeing them live just proved that they were the real deal. Really tight band, and drummer Julian Dorio is ridiculously talented, just a whirling dervish behind the kit.

DBT came out around 10:20 and played a marathon 2 hours and 15 minutes, digging into a lot of their excellent new album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark, but also playing a broad range of songs from throughout their career. Unlike the Gutter Twins, DBT kept plenty of booze at the ready, with all band members regularly swigging from a couple of bottles of Jack Daniels throughout the show. I'm sure the 'Dise made out pretty well with its beer sales, because it was a hot and sweaty Saturday night and folks were drinking up a storm. Most of the songs were divvied up by frontman Patterson Hood and guitarist Mike Cooley, who ripped off crackling solos all night long. Between the two of them and pedal steel/guitar player John Neff, DBT created a swirling storm of rock, country and everything in between. When all three guitarists were soloing during thunderous rockers like "Let There Be Rock" (not the AC/DC song, but it references it) and "Hell No I Ain't Happy," it was reminiscent of great southern guitar bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Outlaws (who I saw at the Kingston (NH) Fairgrounds back in '85). Hood told a story about playing their first gig in Boston in '99 at an Irish pub where patrons had to walk up through the stage area to get to the bathrooms. The band had a blast and seemed truly appreciative of the sellout and the love shown by the fans. By the end of the show, my feet were killing me but I didn't care. I was already a fan, but that show made me a fanatic. The message board posts seemed to concur, as did the Globe and Herald reviewers. Ultimately, the measure of a great band is their live show, and DBT is truly a great band. Next time they come around, go see them. I know I will.

So I got out of the club by 12:45 and home by 1:30. The girls woke up at 6:45, excited to see what the Easter Bunny brought. I dragged my butt downstairs to see them rip through their Easter baskets and then Deb mercifully told me to go grab another hour of sleep. We went to church, then had Easter lunch with Deb's mom and brother and then went up to NH to have dinner with my mom. Needless to say, by the time we got home, we were all pretty wiped. Deb and I spent the evening catching up on TiVoed television.

Spring? What spring?
  • It's March Madness time, the only time of the year I pay any attention to college basketball. Deb also gets into it, driven by her goal of beating me. Right now, she's a point ahead of me. We both have all our final four teams left, so we'll see what happens.
  • All my nights out last week meant I missed all three Leafs games, which were all victories; their playoff hopes are still alive but remain slim. They're four points out of a playoff spot with seven games to go and four teams ahead of them. I also missed Friday night's UNH-BC Hockey East semifinal, which BC ended up winning in triple overtime. Probably just as well that I missed the last one; I might have thrown something through the friggin' TV. The game was the second longest Hockey East playoff game; the longest being the UMaine-UMass final game a few years back that I attended that also went to 3 OT periods and nearly got to a fourth before Maine won it. Fortunately UNH still got a NCAA tournament bid and will go out west to play Notre Dame Friday night.

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