Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Summer Concert Scene

With the current financial climate being what it is, you'll be getting less bang for your buck during this year's summer concert season, as promoters have been forced to economize and settle for booking somewhat "lesser" talent, like the following, coming to a town near you...

—The Doobie Cousins
—The Green Man Group
—Fred Nugent
—Richard Petty & The Heartbreakers
—The Whom
—Jethro Dull
—Clapton & Tennille
—Bachman-Turner Overdrawn
—Decent Company
—Normal Al Yankovic
—The Old Rascals
—Jerry Lee Lipschitz
—The Dave Matthews Bland
—Tin Zeppelin
—The Beagles
—Dire Circles
—Arthur Frampton (the man with three buttocks!)
—The Indigo Boys
—Darn Yankees
—Chuck Barely
—Kenny Rogers & The Worst Edition
—Big Richard
—David Lee Roethlisberger
—Off-Black Sabbath
—Judas Rabbi
—Cheapest Trick
—Def, Dumb & Blind Leppard
—April Beer
—Gordon Hotfoot

—The Average White Guy
—The Moody Teals
—Steve Nicks
—Bruce Ringtone and the G-String Band
—Candle Light Orchestra
—The Stationary Wilburys
—The Ponderous Thunderbirds
—The Four Pots

—Shallow Purple
—John Cafferty & The Brown Beaver Band
—Paul Revere & The Pacifists
—The Larry Davis Experience

—Pink Lloyd
—And, last but not least—Elton Johnson!

Rock on, peoples!

Oh No! More Lists!

(In order of deservedness)

1) Paul Revere & The Raiders
2) Kiss
3) The Moody Blues
4) Deep Purple
5) Neil Diamond
6) The Doobie Brothers
7) Jim Croce
8) The Hollies
9) Chicago
10) ABBA
11) Stevie Ray Vaughan
12) Bad Company
13) Rush
14) Dave Edmunds
15) Motorhead
16) Barry White
17) Cheap Trick
18) Genesis
19) Alice Cooper
20) Nick Lowe
21) Jethro Tull
22) Grand Funk Railroad
23) Three Dog Night
24) John Hiatt
25) Judas Priest
26) Heart
27) The Stylistics
28) Dire Straits
29) Yes
30) The Spinners

(In order of un-deservedness)

1) Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
2) Miles Davis
3) The Sex Pistols
4) Patti Smith
5) Elvis Costello
6) Bonnie Raitt
7) The Clash
8) The Grateful Dead
9) The Staples Singers
10) Percy Sledge
11) The Velvet Underground
12) Traffic
13) The Lovin’ Spoonful
14) Rick Nelson
15) Van Morrison
16) Dion
17) Blondie
18) Jackson Browne
19) Prince*
20) Ritchie Valens
21) The (Young) Rascals
22) The Pretenders*
23) Talking Heads*
24) R.E.M.*
25) Aerosmith*
*=Not yet, anyway!

The floor is now open for debate...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Rant, Therefore I Am

Hate to lean so heavy on the negativity today, but I gots to get stuff out of my system.  So, I'll warn you in advance that this ain't a real positive post, thus giving you, gentle readers, the option of passing or playing...

Let’s hear it for "The Today Show" for seizing the chance to broadcast their show live from the Virginia Tech campus.  It’s not as if these poor people haven’t had enough disruptions there without you people to get in their way, is it?  It wouldn’t surprise me if the other morning shows did this too, but "Today" was the only one I caught in the act.  As I’ve previously ranted about on this blog, I think it's total bullshit when TV news outfits do this sort of thing—using the scene of a tragedy as the stage for their shows.  It doesn’t make them look any more timely or enhance their credibility at all—it merely makes them look like a bunch of opportunistic vultures, and it’s just plain wrong!

Oh, by the way, I’m amazed that Pat Robertson hasn’t proclaimed that all the victims of the massacre had it coming to them anyway because its God’s revenge over America’s "secular agenda"…

On a more positive note, a heartfelt salute to the Washington Nationals baseball club for wearing Virginia Tech caps during their game with the Phillies last night at R.F.K. Stadium.  It was a somewhat spur-of-the-moment thing, but a local D.C. sporting goods store helped round up the caps for the team, which they donned during the 2nd inning (with Major League Baseball's blessing) in a classy show of support for the people of their region.  It wasn't much, but it came from the heart, and I commend them for it.  Well done, gentlemen...

I wrongly accused Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss of saying next to nothing on their official website following Mark St. John’s passing a couple weeks back.  Gene and Paul did indeed issue subsequent separate statements regarding Mark, so I hereby take back my previous remarks.

"Mark tried his best to become the guitar player that KISS and our fans needed, so that we could continue moving forward. I enjoyed and am proud of our work together on Animalize and know how much he wanted to take that leap to the stage to play with us live. He was gracious in his acceptance that it wouldn't happen and was supportive of Bruce and a gentleman when it was clear that his ailment would end his time with us."Paul Stanley

"Mark was a great guitarist and a good man. He will be missed." —Gene Simmons

As for my belief in the sincerity of Gene’s statement, let’s just say that it rings pretty hollow and leave it at that…

I found the ESPN broadcast of the Dodgers-Padres game/Jackie Robinson tribute thing on Sunday night rather comical.  It was almost as if the ballgame itself was intruding on the celebration, the way they kept going on and on about him.  I thought for a while there that the Guinness World Record people might need to get their erasers ready for the Most Utterances of the Same Man’s Name in a Three-Hour Sports Broadcast...

Don’t get me wrong—I absolutely do think Jackie Robinson should be honored for what he did, and in fact, this whole tribute was about 35 years too late.  Where was Major League Baseball on the 25th anniversary of Robinson’s debut?  It would have carried a lot more weight if they’d honored the man while he was still alive, rather than doing it now when it’s so fashionable and good P.R. for the league.  And of course, our buddy Jesse Jackson was there doing his token appearance/photo-op.  It also seems kinda warped to do this L.A., because although the Dodgers were Jackie’s team, he never played one inning in California!  Doing this at a Mets game might have been more appropriate…

...this may not be the most appropriate time for the following anonymous adage, but here goes:  "Life is not a garden, so stop being a hoe!"

Enlighten us, oh Flatulent One!

The editors at The Kansas City Star are practically breaking their own arms patting themselves on the back over the way sports columnist Jason Whitlock has suddenly become the big (both literally and figuratively) media darling the past few days after he took Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task over their unabashed grandstanding in the Don Imus flap.  Whitlock has been all over the TV this week (again, both literally and figuratively), including appearances on CNN, Oprah, etc., discussing the Rap/Hip-Hop culture’s insidious effects on kids in terms of racial and sexual relations and all.  He’s been widely praised by both the powers-that-be at the paper and numerous letter-writers for “telling it like it is”, but to all that I just have one little thing to say…

Back the truck up a minute, people!

This is the same guy who recently used the term "hoes" in his AOL column (and he wasn't referring to garden implements).  This is the same guy who’s been known to use the term “pimp-slap” and other Hip-Hop lingo in his daily Star sports columns.  This is the same guy who once taunted New England Patriots fans from the press box while covering a Chiefs game at Foxboro Stadium with a handmade sign that read “Drew Bledsoe is gay.”  This is the same guy who routinely resorts to childish name-calling in his daily columns to get his point across (“King” Carl Peterson, “Tr-INT” Green, “Prie$t” Holmes, Ty “Flaw”, et al).  This is the same guy who would routinely rip players in his column for holding out for more money and not honoring their contracts, yet he abruptly quit his own radio show a couple years ago without notice, even though he had a contract.  And yet now Jason’s suddenly the avatar of social consciousness for all to behold?  Welcome, boys and girls, to Hypocrisy 101, because this guy does NOT practice what he preaches, so who is he to criticize what other people do and say?

Okay, before you point fingers back at me—yes, I’m guilty of a little name-calling here on the blog myself (i.e., "Anderson Pooper"), but it’s usually meant in fun at people who deserve it, and unlike Whitlock, I’m not pulling in a six-figure salary to write a column for a major-market newspaper with a reputation to uphold—big difference!  I ain’t making a dime off this little venture, and since there are no rules on my blog to break, I'll say what I want.  But, if I were indeed doing this for money, I would clean up my act a little.  Just a little, though.  But I digress…

I moonlighted (moonlit?) in the Sports Dept. at the Star as a stats editor in the mid-’90s, and I can tell you firsthand that Jason Whitlock is one big jerk.  The arrogance he exudes on camera and in his columns is no act—what you see is what you get.  He rarely ever came in to the office, but during the few times he did bother to grace us with his presence, he would saunter in like his shit didn’t stink (it does, trust me!), and would even engage in heated debates with other columnists while he was there.  And the Flatulent One would often indulge in his favorite hobby while sitting at his cubicle.  "Farting is very important to me. It's a huge part of my life. I've built my entire life around farting." [That's an actual Whitlock quote, folks--I'm NOT making that up!]

This is not to say that I totally disagree with what Whitlock has been saying this week regarding Sharpton and Jackson.  On the contrary—Jason does have some very valid points there.  But, for every brilliant, thought-provoking column the man writes, there are three ignorant ones.  Whitlock all too often shoots himself in the foot with the utter stupidity and childishness that I outlined above, as well as his silly obsession with his friend Jeff George (whom he claims is the greatest quarterback this side of Joe Montana, thus still deserves another shot in the NFL), and Jason also has this irritating habit of constantly creating racial issues where there are none.  Too bad, because he has the potential to be one of the greatest sportswriters of all-time if he could ever get past his own ego...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts on yesterday

I wanted to give myself time to let the Virginia Tech tragedy all sink in before responding with any kind of knee-jerk reaction, thus I waited a day, and here’s what I have to say…

Obviously, this miscreant was a nut-job, but even without the guns, he may well have found another way to commit these sickening acts, but it seems to me that the magnitude of this tragedy would have been lessened considerably if this whacko didn’t have such easy access to semi-automatic weaponry!  Now, before all you NRA-types out there get your collective panties in a wad, I’m not calling for a ban on ALL guns—what I’m saying is there need to be more restrictions on access to certain types of guns.

Charmin’ Chuck Heston, Ted Nugent and the rest of NRA-nation are going to have to go a long way to convince me that anyone other than military or law enforcement personnel have any need whatsoever to own semi-automatic handguns or rifles!  What the fuck are these kind of weapons doing in the hands of private citizens?  Sorry Ted, but you don’t need a fucking Uzi to kill rabbits, ducks, elks, or any other wild animals, and you can’t convince me otherwise.  Maybe I'm na├»ve about all this, but if you take away the semi-automatic aspect of yesterday's shootings, we might only be talking about ten deaths instead of 33.  Normal sane people shouldn’t even have access to this stuff—let alone psychotics like this creep who shot up Virginia Tech—yet these weapons are so damn easy to obtain in our country.  Hell, look at Columbine—those two little bastards amassed an arsenal that some small countries would be envious of, and they were high school students!

I have no doubt there will be tons of excuses spewed forth over the next few days from the NRA, but I’m so fucking tired of hearing their hackneyed rhetoric about it being their patriotic right (not to mention my patriotic duty) to bear arms.  And, oh by the way, I felt this way long before the likes of Michael Moore came along, so save your breath before you accuse me of being a "bleeding-heart" liberal.  Something’s got to change, folks…

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happiness Is A Warm Gun? Yeah, right...

Yes, I know John Lennon wrote that song in jest, but sadly there are too many people out there for whom that phrase is all too true—just ask the people of Blacksburg, VA tonight.  I'm too pissed off and too tired to blog about this tragedy tonight, but I do plan to post a reaction to all of this later after more facts come in, and I can assure all the NRA-types out there that they won't like what I have to say...

Meanwhile, my condolences to friends and families of all the victims of this senseless act of violence.