Pomp and Circumstance

I’ve probably told you this story before, but: In or around 1998, I was interviewing for a job, and the boss asked me if I had any siblings.

I said, “No.” Then I took a beat.

Then I said “Wait. Yes. Yes, I do.”

They hired me anyway.

It was the first time since the birth of my brother in 1995 that I’d had to face the question. Prior to that, I’d spent 27 years as an only child. Thus my outlandish reply. I’m amazed Suzette didn’t pull my arm behind me and kick me in my ass while she threw me out the back door.

Anyway, today, said kid brother, who once was smaller than my forearm (I know because that’s where I held him), granulated from high school.

We were all offered a out from sitting on those uncomfortable field house chairs for two hours, but heck with that. After knowing this person for the first 18 years of his life, I wasn’t going to miss this benchmark.

It turned into the best weekend I’ve had all year. Family, friends, loved ones were here. There was good food. Not to mention the XRIJF was wrapping up.

That was quite a weekend. Thank you.


Also, KITTEH!

blackie lounging


Fine, Facedbook. I’ll Play Bitstrips.

Hot Blooded

My Dad and I find that the best stuff at the Xerox International Rochester Jazz Festival is usually at the little venues on and around Winthrop Street. Probably the best acts around last year were at the Little Theater, whereas when I took him to tour the currently not-open Hart’s Local Grocers, we found a nice jazz combo performing standards at the 2Vine next-door. Vocalist was Lindsey Holland. You can find what the 2Vine has in store for the rest of the week, re: Jazz Festival, here.

I got to hear the Lou Gramm sound check in the afternoon and scoped out another observation about the neighborhood: If the sign in the window is an indication, Stromboli Express will be moving across the street and will become “Stromboli Restaurant.” My hope is that this means you’ll be able to grab a beer with your slice. I also hope it won’t mean that long pants are required. All that pizzeria could use is permission to draw from taps. Much more ambiance than it already has could poke a hole in it.

Anyway, we arrived in front of the Lou Gramm Band stage just in time to hear the epic classics and, not to mention, just in time to miss the sappy power ballads. They played “Hot Blooded.” They played “Jukebox Hero.” I was happy.

Here was my view.

Jazz Fest Lou Gramm Band


Please pray for my yogurt. It’s really starting to lose its whey.


“Pee, for lack of a better word, is good. Pee is right. Pee works.” (Gordon Gekko, urologist)


Asshole Repellent

Fact: The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the same body that just denied the Redskins’ trademarks, voted in May to deny the mark of “Asshole Repellent” on the grounds that the mark was “scandalous and immoral” and that the term used was vulgar.

I am not making this up.


I really should be living in an apartment with a balcony, ya know?


That Was A Totally Farcical Call

Today is the 20th anniversary of the greatest phony phone call of all time.

If you wonder why fans of The Howard Stern Show are the rabid creatures we are, take note. Events like this, that’s the stuff that binds us.

I was one of the fortunate ones to have been planted in front of a television set watching ABC when this happened. It was beautiful.

The event was duly noted at The Concourse.

Here the man himself tells the story:

Even better is the analysis of the event afterward by Al Michaels, which gives what I consider to have been Billy West’s finest moment: “Peter, if Nicole calls, be suspicious.”

Peace and love to Maury from Brooklyn, wherever you are.


Hooray! New YouTube Poop from cs188!

Dance Hall Crashers Tonight

I stopped by the Record Archive over the weekend looking for storage solutions for vinyl. I ended up perusing the 2 for $5 used compact disc section and scored two, count them, two Dance Hall Crashers releases, “Honey, I’m Homely,” and “The Live Record.”

One of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen was DHC. In San Francisco. At the Filmore.

Good times.

Of course it’s the old stuff (“1989-1992”) that really gets me. There is a precision to this band’s rhythm work that is unique, and oy, Elyse Rogers and Karina Deniké…those voices. There is a seeming dichotomy to matching those harmonies with the backbeat, but the parts fit.

I learned, too, and did not previously know, that DHC started as a post Operation Ivy project, fronted for like five minutes by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman. That’s right. Friggin’ LINT named this band.

As just so happens, I came across this historical document of that same fella tracking down and interviewing the band. This clip is a nice look at that scene at the time.

By the way, the DHC sound? That’s certainly not all that Karina Deniké can do.

I’ve always liked to imagine that Gwen Stefani was influenced by these kids. Confirmed.


Look, everybody! It’s John Paul Jones with a banjo!

John Paul Jones with a banjo

Keep Reaching For The Stars

There were only two (2) radio shows that I considered to be so vital that I would regularly record them to listen to later.

The other one was The Howard Stern Show.

However, way before I was a rabid fan of the KOAM, I was listening to American Top 40. The show, which began airing when I was two years old, was certainly required listening for me by the time I was, oh, what, eight?

I can specifically remember acts and songs Casey introduced me to. “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward. “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh. “Emotion” by Samantha Sang (and the Bee Gees). “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran. And on and on and on and on.

Kasey Casem long passed on his mantle to Ryan Seacrest, and I have long stopped listening, except occassionally when I think to catch the rebroadcast on satellite radio. (And rebroadcasting the Casem-era countdowns is such a stroke of genius that I’m certain Sirius will end the practice soon if it has not already.) Because there’s only one fella as far as I’m concerned who was up to this task. (And also, admittedly, because I am an old man who is no longer interested in most of the product touted by the good ol’ Top 40.

Anyway, so long to the steadiest voice ever to air, and thanks for feeding me music for many, many years.

Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dead at 82

Not to mention: “A political liberal, he narrated a campaign ad for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign,[16] hosted fundraisers for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988,[17] supported Ralph Nader for U.S. President in 2000, and supported progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich in his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns.[18]”

And now for something glib and probably inappropriate, but utterly unavoidable:

Or this

Also of interest



Dad got one of these for Fadah’s Day.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Hope it fits.

(He confirms that it does fit. Can’t lose!)




“But [O.J. Simpson’s manager Norman] Pardo also says [O.J.] Simpson asked that race not be the focal point of his Nevada defense because Illinois senator Barack Obama was running in the presidential election that November and Simpson didn’t want to hurt his chances.”

Maybe the man is redeemable after all.

(C’mon. JOKING.)

Twenty years after infamous Bronco chase, O.J. Simpson still a mystery


“A sewer worker is like a brain surgeon. We’re both specialists.” (Edward Lillywhite Norton)