Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the NFL

This is the time of year I like best. Every sports media outlet is trying like crazy to prove that every team is somehow, someway a Potential Super Bowl Contender. The best thing about the NFL is that nobody knows anything. Up is down, night is day, and everybody will rip your heart out every week. Especially when you've got 2 G's on them -3.5.

This is the time of year when every shitbag is trotting out their pre season predictions. There is only one thing to remember...every one of them is wrong. Nobody knows anything. Don't believe me? Here's from about 34 seconds of research on the web from last year's posted predictions from "experts". Try this on for size...

"The Bears are sitting pretty to win their third consecutive NFC North title." -John Clayton ESPN
Bears 2007 record 7-9

"St Louis Rams Scouts Inc. Predicted 2007 Finish 2nd"
St Louis Rams 2007 record 3-13

"Young provided the Tennessee franchise momentum after winning only nine games in the last two years. But because the Titans stole a few wins last year, in part because of Young's individual feats of heroism, some observers feel the surge was a bit of a fluke and think that Tennessee will slip a bit in 2007." - Len Pasquarelli ESPN

Tennessee Titans 2007 record 10-6 and playoff team

What you people need is a completely random rundown of the NFL. I don't think I'm going to be right. In fact, I'll be way the hell off. But the point is, I'm as qualified as any other of these schmoes and this will be entertaining to read. I'll just make a bunch of crap up, and chances are it'll be in the ball park. I bet I go 2-1 on the season with these. Here's a horribly brutal run down...

Cleveland Browns: Why these cock gobbling queers seem to think they are playoff bound is beyond me. Nobody on the panty waisted defense can tackle anybody, and the defensive backfield is as horrible as the legendary 1976 Buffalo Bills led by Tony "The Matador" Greene at free safety. Two prima donna injury prone ballerina receivers lead the offense in Braylon "Look At My Finely Pressed Outfit, and No I'm Not Gay, Why Do You Ask?" Edwards and Kellen "Boy, I Would Have Been Great Except For That Pesky Motorcycle Accident, Can I Have A New Contract Anyway?" Winslow Jr. If this team wins more than 6 games it will be because they don't make a single turnover and opposing teams decide to run the "line plunge" into 465 lb dead weight Sean Rogers all year. Prediction? 6-10

Dallas Cowboys: If HBO ran a bigger puff piece on the Cowboys than the Hard Knocks HBO series, owner Jerry Jones would be ejaculating onto a heaving Eva Longoria's breasts as she wore a ripped Cowboy cheerleader uniform while gasping how sexy Jerry's facelifted skull was. (Was that too harsh?) Every convict in the last 4 years of the NFL is on this team except Chris Henry because as I understand it he was killed in a rain of bullets in a botched impromptu robbery of a Piggly Wiggly on his way driving to the Cowboy Training Camp Facility. How did they not sign that bald guy from solitary in "The Longest Yard"? Salary cap? The last time this team won a playoff game, 11 year olds were jacking off to sexy ankled Melissa Gilbert in "Little House on the Prairie" primetime action. Prediction? They win the Wild Card and flame out in the playoffs as usual. 10-6.

New York Jets: I don't know if you heard, but Bret Favre went to the Jets in a trade. There was limited coverage of this incident, so this may be the first time you have read anything about it. I'll recap it for you. Bret Favre had a "ride into the sunset" season last year after two years of utter failure. This year he went on TV and complained about how the Packers moved ahead with their plans after he quit his job. He didn't train with his normal trainer guys, and signed to a horrible 4-12 based New York football team. Now everyone thinks dreams will come true and he will lead them to the promised land. Here's the way this usually works out in the NFL. Favre will break his spine and have to eat out of a tube that dumps Tang and mushed carrots into his stomach. His crying wife will have to empty a plastic bag filled with his feces in front of a prying Network TV camera on the Jets sidelines by Week 4 while New York fans tell her she "sucks ass". Prediction? 7-9.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Five Records

I was talking to the semi legendary Robert Cornelius at the El Vez show about different records that define what kind of music the Whiskey Daredevils like to make. That’s always an open ended discussion, because frankly, I steal ideas from all over the place and mash them up together. However, when asked about what records (and I still like to call them records) are important to me, I came up with this quick list.

(In no particular order)

Jason and the Scorchers “Fervor”: I think this is out now as a package with their first two albums on one CD. This is what first showed that the honesty and heritage of country music was a great match with reckless rock n roll. I got into these guys listening to a double sided pre reecorded cassette while going on a road trip to Myrtle Beach when I was 19. I will always remember driving through Virginia countryside having my right arm out the passsenger side window with a can of beer in my left hand listening to “Hot Nights in Georgia”. We just listened to it over and over again. It’s an absolutely perfect record.

Dead Kennedys “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables”: As a teenager I listened to metal because a) it was the most aggressive music you could get in the 80s and b) I lived in Erie and wasn’t exposed to anything else. Then I saw the strange Dead Kennedys album in a secret back bin at the Millcreek Mall Record Den, and took a chance. It was one of two times in my life when it was like a light went off. Before I didn’t understand punk rock. I couldn’t make out the melodies through the noise. I didn’t get it. That all changed 10 seconds after “Kill the Poor” came on. Boom. It all made sense. I felt stupid for having bought those Iron Maiden records when this stuff was out there. It was funny and smart and aggressive and even a little subversive. I thought something was wrong with me because I couldn't stop listening to it. I still think this is the best punk rock record of all time.

Southern Culture on the Skids “Santo Sings” EP: The Cowslingers started playing shows to largely indifferent crowds in the early 1990s. Keith from the Penguin Pub told us about a band he thought we should play with next time they came through. He played us their first self released album on the sound system of the club prior to our rocking out the 12 people that had assembled there (probably by accident), and I was like “Whoa! What is this?”. We played with them the next month in Youngstown, and they were awesome. They were fun, entertaining, great on their instruments, and didn’t take themselves too seriously. They had just pressed a new 4 song seven inch with a Mexican wrestler on the cover that I bought for $4.00 and took home. It’s the best 7 inch I ever bought. Besides “Viva de la Santo”, there’s the first version of “Camel Walk” and two awesome instrumentals. This record shows you can goof around, embrace American junk culture and still rock your ass off. Estrus put this out on CD with extra tracks a few years back. Go get it.

Cracker “Cracker”: I always liked Camper Van Beethoven, but they sometimes got too “well read college in joke” for me. You just know that those guys could talk about the latest Chomsky book in depth, and maybe throw in some existential poetry references to boot. Still, the band is/was cool. Those pretend Eastern European folk songs are kind of funny, but ultimately I liked the stuff with David Lowery’s lyrics best. I was psyched when I heard about Cracker. When I saw them play, I was really psyched. Suddenly there was those smart ass cynical lyrics with some really badass country fried guitar playing behind it. The first record has some killer “country” tunes like “Mr Wrong” , and some smart/funny lyrics in “Happy Birthday”and “Doctor Bernice”. It’s probably sitting at a Record Exchange used bin for $5.00 right now. If I were you I’d spend my $5.00 on that instead of some shitty ham sub at Subway.

Shaver “Live at Olde Towne Tavern”: My friend The Enabler was always a big Shaver guy, but I didn’t get it. He just seemed like another country singer that put out over produced limp sounding records. The Enabler said “You really have to see him play live. He’s got his son playing guitar, and it’s…it’s…Well, I just drove 7 hours to see him last week.” Well, I’ll be damned he was right. The songs are all better than anything anybody else is writing, and Eddy Shaver’s guitar playing is Stevie Ray Vaughn meets Clarence White. Eddy since died of a drug overdose, and Billy Joe Shaver keeps on going. It’s what he does, and that comes through on the songs. This record is a great way to trick somebody into listening to country that doesn’t think they like country (like me). Perfect for those guitar wonk guys out there too.

Random Notes: I think it’s time the Indians have some straight talk with the fans about Travis Hafner. You mean to tell me that a guy goes on the DL in early May with a shoulder injury, cannot get his strength back to 75% despite 3 months of rest, and there is no definable cause to repair him via surgery? Oh, that sounds normal. This sounds like a degenerative condition that will end his baseball career. I hope I am wrong, but it looks like Hafner is done. This team needs to sign Adam Dunn in the off season, let him hit 54 Hrs and bat .234...Is it unpatriotic to say I could care less about the Olympics and I hope those cocky USA basketball guys lose to Argentina or Spain or Cameroon? If I see one more self important NBA player, it’s one too many…I love the under on the win totals for the Browns and Jets. Both teams are at 8 with heavy juice to take the under. The Browns schedule is murder and NO WAY will they stay as healthy as they did in 2007. Meanwhile the Jets added good ole Brett Favre to a team that won 4 games last year. (I don’t know if you heard about that. I guess ESPN covered it briefly.) Favre has not participated in the same workout regime he did in the 2007 off season, and has to learn a new offense. Plus, I think last year was an abberation. On top of that, Divisional rivals the Bills are improved, and New England is still at another level. I see the Jets and Browns at 7-9 tops...I saw the Foo Fighters a couple weeks ago. It was like going to see Ratt in the last 80s. What a bore…I’m not sure, but I think Ohio State Guy is already convinced This Is The Year. Again. Boy, do I hope USC wins on Sept 13 and we put that to bed early. I’m not in the mood to deal with the Scarlet Sweatshirt Khaki Army this year.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Three Kinds of Hate

Three quick observations from this week...

* If you are a man in his early twenties and drive a pick up truck, are you required by law to wear a backwards baseball cap while driving?

* Is it just me, or do most low budget Jesus paintings look more like Greg Allman than the Son of God?

* How is it that the current generation of 20 year olds have invented no culture of their own? The 70s was arena rock and disco. The 80s was new wave and rap. The 90s was grunge and mainstream punk. This decade is what exactly? Why is it every single band drawing more than 5000 people to a show (excluding disposable teen pop) made their mark from another time than now. How did that happen? Are you telling me that the only contribution this generation is going to make is Coldplay? Depressing...

Three Recommendations...

* Black Postcards By Dean Wareham is a good read. He's the singer from 90s indie rock bands Luna/Galaxie 500. They were on Elektra, had videos on MTV, made the charts, but never really broke all the way. If you want to know what it's like to be in a band that most people think have "made it", give this a read. I was stunned to read that the Whiskey Daredevils out drew those guys in Europe, despite them having 4 major label releases, a full time publicist, and actual resources. Who knew? I also learned it's a bad idea to have a wife, and get a super hot bass player to go on your tour. This was not new information, but it's always good to have a refresher course.

* I went to a Zinfandel tasting put on by ZAP that had about 100 different zins being poured. I'm a really big zin guy, so this was right up my alley. These are big chewy red wines that are perfect for knocking back on the back porch by the grill. If the best of these wines were a band, they'd be the Grateful Dead circa 1972 or The Byrds during "The Notorious Byrds Brothers" record. If I were you, I'd buy Ravenswood's Barricia Vineyard, Ravenswood's Tudeschi Vineyard, Hook and Ladder's Third Alarm, or Norman Vineyard's Classic Zinfandel. If you get lucky and stumble into a Turley Zinfandel or Petite Sirah, buy that instead.

* The best deal on the web right now is Paul Westerberg's "49:00". The deal is that Westerberg put out a forty nine minute track at for 49 cents. The track is actually about 12 songs and a bunch of fragments he recorded in his basement like that Grandpa Boy stuff he put out. It's kind of like "Hootenanny" era Replacements, and obviously worth 49 cents for the download.

Best Futures Bet in the MLB

* Take the Angels to win the AL. They've got the pitching staff with Santana, Lackey, and Saunders. They've got the best closer in Rodriguez. Now they went out and picked up another bat with Teixeira? All those media wonks will be focused on the Yankees (not enough starting pitching) and Red Sox (no protection for Big Papi). Take the Angels now before The Rubes drive the price down...