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Friday, October 7, 2011

ARod and other cliches

It is difficult for me to wrap my hands around the new Fall tv schedule because for a few weeks I am very much tuned into Major League Baseball playoffs.  I like them so much I put up with watching TBS and learning to hate more and more announcers and commentators.  So eventually I will get back to "Homeland" and "George Harrison" and "Prohibition" and "New Girl" etc...

And as there was the day after in Boston last week...  today Yankee fans say goodbye to 2011.  For a Yankee hater like me it is bittersweet.  See, I happen to like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.  I think objectively so I appreciate the brilliance of Robinson Cano.  And when the Yankees are in the mix things tend to be a bit more exciting.  They are, and always will be, the "Evil Empire."

Best thing about all this is it further proves money can't buy you every thing.  And it is why I hope the sport never has a salary cap.  Milwaukee and St Louis have one game to move forward.  Detroit is already there.  The disparity in their payrolls is remarkable when compared to the Yankees or Red Sox.  Those two teams are finished.

Players play the game.  Anything can happen.  Sometimes, when the steroid cycles are over and a movie star isn't sitting in your private box, fastballs whiz by you and make you look like a child.  Sometimes the other team is more hungry.  Sometimes they are younger.  Sometimes the other team is better, both in mind and skill.

If the Tigers play each other 100 times this year NY would probably have won 60.  This illustrates why the 5 game playoff series should remain intact.  Please, no expanding the playoffs either.

The formula is strong and so far has provided plenty of thrills.  Unless you are going to contract teams and go back to 4 divisions I beg MLB to leave well enough alone.

Money, we also learned this week, is surely not going to beat cancer.  Steve Jobs could have bought any damn thing he wanted.  Hell, I am surprised he did not find a cure for his fatal disease himself.  But, at 56, he lost his battle.  We are worse off for it.

There are those who will argue he was aloof, or lacking in his philanthropic ways.  He may not have been a great husband or father too.  So what.

Find me someone who is.  In this economic climate I have little confidence.  When we lose innovators and "job creaters" these days it hurts us all.  Do we seem on the brink of another fuel source for our vehicles?  Is there a viable solution to our health care woes on the books?  Will the cancer cure be invented this decade?

Those things all pale to our love of gadgets, and shopping.  We are consumers.  Jobs (pun intended) gave us both.

Not sure how you replace that?  Mark Zuckerberg can only do so much.  I have been to Newark recently too and his $100 million gift is far from visible (yet.)

I try to remain optimistic.  Signs are not great.  Think next week I spend an hour or so with the protestors downtown.  I will first tell them the big banks moved uptown in the 80s (thanks Frank N for this astute observation.)  Once we end up on 50th and Ave of The Americas real change can happen.  After all no one drives downtown... so when they "takeover" Wall St it is the most activity down there in years.  I bet it feels a bit like 9.10.01 down there.

You start clogging up traffic and demonstrating around Matt Lauer and Radio City maybe you get the coverage you are looking for.  I say go get em!!  This whole system needs to be blown up and started over.  Weird too that Obama looks like a young Hosni Mubarek.  Coincidence???

Finally, a word to our sponsors...

Hank Williams Jr lost his Monday Night Football gig this week when he compared Obama to Hitler.  Ok, let's look at this from a few angles please.  First, why would anyone want him on their show to speak?  His big hit is "All my Rowdy Friends are Coming Over?" isn't it?  He is a self proclaimed good old boy, right?  A hick.  A redneck.  I guess that is not too much a stretch for Fox News.  But can he really enlighten anyone on thoughts political?

And, when he makes an absurd comment as he did, are we really surprised???  "Are you ready for some lunacy?"

ESPN knew full well what they had in Williams Jr.  Stop the hypocrisy and keep the guy on your damn opening.  I think we can be smart enough to turn him on mute or ignore his nonsense altogether.

John Lennon married Yoko and I still listen to "Abbey Road."

Johnny Depp thinks photo shoots are like rapes and I still watch "21 Jumpstreet"

OJ done killed his wife and I still love those old Buffalo Bills uniforms and "Naked Gun"

Same goes for AFLAC...  hire Gilbert Gottfried back please!!!  The new duck is creepy and sounds nothing like Gilbert.  You mean to tell me the execs never saw him perform on a Comedy Central roast???  He makes a few tasteless jokes about the Tsunami and it's lights out.  I know Aflac is a Japanese company.  But we all have to settle down and laugh at ourselves a bit.  Life doesn't have to be this serious and grim.  In fact, I find, it can be pretty darn amazing.

On a picture perfect Friday in the Northeast all things are good.  Fall has arrived in full color.  Go out and enjoy the weekend.  I can safely report art and culture are alive and well.

Some notable highlights:

I plan on doing a piece for the disappearance of album rock in the coming days.  Napster and Steve Jobs did more than create portable music and sharing.  They made it far more common to purchase, steal or listen to one song, rather than an album.

The past few months I have posted single songs from bands myself.  It is what we do anymore.  I have made an attempt to listen to entire albums since I became a Spotify member.  I was also encouraged to do so from a few friends I trust too (thanks TN and RC.)

Let me give you a few albums worth listening to start to finish...  and some highlights of each.  2011 has become a very strong year for music.  Hope you enjoy.

The Decemberists "The King is Dead"

Purists hate it.  Many other can't stand it or me for liking it so much.  No worries.  I think Colin Meloy writes beautiful songs.

"This is Why We Fight"  Smart video.

"Calamity Song"  Smartest video

"Down by the Water"  Live from Conan

Dawes: "Nothing is Wrong"  LA band hits it out of the park on this one.  Warren Zevon meets Jackson Browne meets Avett Brothers.  Alt Country and pop with a side of folk.  You get the point.

"Time Spent in Los Angeles"  Good God this is a terrific song.  Cannot hear it enough.

"A Little Bit of Everything"  I heard this a few times before today.  Caught it on the radio this afternoon as I drove home from my sister's.  Perhaps it was the emotion of a good Nicolosi's lunch, or realizing how lucky I am to have a great family, or all of it, but I had a moment on 78East.  The power of a good song cannot be overlooked.  This is true beauty.  It is art.  It can bring a smile in a smile-less World.  I cannot wait to see these guys live.  It is hard for me to quantify how perfect this song is.  I envy the lyrics, the voice, the whole effin package.  I am a better person for knowing it.  Oh, and the lesson here is I found this listening to the whole damn album, not waiting for them to release it.

"When My Time Comes"  Ok, this is from their debut album but who cares.  It's good.

Caveman "CoCo Beware"

Can't say enough good things about these New Yorkers and their debut album.  Jazzy, tribal, rock and roll with a heart and mind.

Every track is good.  You be the judge.

"Old Friend/Vampirer"


"My Time"


That is probably good for now...  and I have yet to mention Radiohead, or Wilco, or Jayhawks, or Foo Fighters.  There is always next week.

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