Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Springsteen - Soldiers & Sailors Hall / Consol Energy Center

I've never really been a big fan of The Boss.  Back in the mid 80's, I liked the Born in the USA album.  But for the last 20 years, I never paid much attention to his music.  Cousin Mike refers to his voice as sounding "perpetually constipated."  Until this weekend, that consensus seemed good enough for me.

If you ask me, "Saf, have you ever seen Springsteen?"  I'd be inclined to lie.  Why would I lie about this?  To be honest, I have no idea.  I lie about other trivial matters as well.  Have I ever been to a Sonic fast food restaurant?  Have I ever been to London (technically yes, but I was only 13 years old and it was just Heathrow Airport)?  It's been so long since Consol opened, I might start lying about having seen a Pens game at the new arena.  Fortunately, with the NHL lock-out and all, this hasn't come up in normal conversation.  You get the drift.  But like I said, it's almost always trivial shit.  This weekend the Springsteen lie would finally... die. 

Saturday morning I got the call.  "I scored us free tickets to the Obama rally / Bruce Springsteen solo acoustic afternoon performance at Soldiers & Sailors Hall.  Doors open at 2pm.  If we get there by 3, we should be just in time."

For those unfamiliar with this venue, it's a spectacularly archaic building on the University of Pitt campus.  In 2011, I seriously contemplated the concept of "tarring and feathering" televangelist Benny Hinn at this very same location.  Fortunately for the both us, he canceled the faith healing services.  Nobody knows exactly why he scrapped the miracle crusades.  I sometimes pray that I was a contributing factor.

So we got there about 3:15 pm.  Surprisingly, security seemed nonexistent.  Nobody even asked to see our tickets.  We opted to stand on some steps in an outlying area to the right of the stage.  Obama had an inspiring, polished video on the screen.  "Fired Up!  Ready to Go!  Fired up!  Ready to go!"  He'd be well-advised to take a look back at his 2008 campaign and assume a more passionate, speaking role (from a motivational perspective) in the 2012 race.  Not sure if he has enough time.  Looks like the rest of the election will coincide with Frankenstorm.  This would require a more serious, muted approach.

I wondered if the crowd would sit or stand during Bruce's show.  He came on stage and everyone jumped to their feet.  For the duration of the show, the crowd on the floor would stand and those in the balcony would stay seated.  I've always been fascinated with crowd reaction.  I remember a 1989 King Diamond encore at the South Hills Theater in Pittsburgh that completely silenced the crowd.  Of course, he did finish the show with the murder of his grandma.  Not exactly an uplifting closer.

So Springsteen came out and sang a few songs...

Oct 27
  1. No Surrender
  2. The Promised Land
  3. Forward and Away We Go
  4. Youngstown
  5. We Take Care of Our Own
  6. Thunder Road
In between tunes, he'd talk about health care, military sacrifice, social security, women's rights... basically, all the Democratic talking points.  On one occasion, he dragged on a bit.  But for the most part, he wasn't too preachy.

I'm just not too hip on solo acoustic stuff.  It's usually kind of a downer.  Plus, you've got to contend with that wailing, ill-miked harmonica.   Very screechy, makes you wanna chew on tinfoil while simultaneously shaving your head with a cheese grater (Sam Malone - Cheers).  All in all though, he was "fine."

Oddly enough, the highlight for me was Gigi scoring this box of free pens.

"She's a Bic bad ass."  (Say it like Forrest Gump would say it).  And she also snagged me a Pitt-Temple ticket from earlier in the day.  I will tack it up in the downstairs bathroom where strict rules regarding "event attendance" are neither acknowledged nor enforceable (as opposed to upstairs bedroom).

Upon our return to the North Side cottage, the cats had experienced a violent upheaval.  When I use the term "upheaval," we're not talkin' revolts or insurrections.  I'm referring to the "heaving up" of cat vomit.  A few blogs ago, I spoke about E.V.S., or if you will, empathic vomit syndrome.   It's the ability to vicariously experience the pain of others as the purging process unfolds.  Anyway, there was cat puke everywhere.  Floor, blanket, laptop (some vomit actually seeped into the keyboard).  Fortunately, none of my belongings were impacted.  I think Gigi got a little irritated.  While I played on facebook in the living room, she was relegated to vomit detail.  And when I use the term "play on facebook," that's exactly what I mean.  I left all kinds of LOL and haha haha comments and even a few symbols.  I was laughing hysterically like a little school girl.  It's just what I do.  It's who I am.

Somehow, Gig persevered and threw a Red Baron pizza in the oven.  Mild peppers and chopped cloves of garlic were added.  But unfortunately, she burned her hand clearing out a pan from the oven.  So 25 minutes later following a spirited vomit cleansing, she lamented, "The pizza's burnt.  It's ruined."  Truth be told, the pizza was fine.
So we gathered up our shit and literally choppered into the Moors church parking lot in the hood.  It was pretty crappy out.  Sometimes this type of weather aids the ticket acquisition process.  People are less likely to stand around and haggle.  They just dish them off.  And dish 'em off they did.  With the assistance of this innovative front/back sign...

Gigi secured two freebie printouts (face value - $98 each) to the soldout show.  She snagged them in about 7 minutes from a middle aged couple who were more than happy to assist.  I liked the "straightforward begging yet sophisticated/deferential" tone of the sign.  I usually just scribble "I want a free ticket."  I could see how the random passerby might think that's a bit crass.

We journeyed inside and found some "overhanging bar stool seats" in the 100 level behind the stage.  This is quickly becoming my favorite place in the arena (for completely sold out shows) because you never have to worry about people showing up and claiming their seats.  Plus, you can sit or stand whenever without people bitching. And you don't have to worry about seat encroachment from concert-goers in the 300 lb. range.  We saw a man fitting this description (a drunken young Pitt student I named "Disheveled Oaf").

Anyway, the actual concert was far better than I envisioned.  The energy level was tremendous as Springsteen and his entire entourage took the stage.  I'd forgotten that Silvio Dante (Tony Soprano's consigliere, little Steven Van Zandt) would be on hand.  And I had forgotten that Clarence Clemons died last summer.   A few songs in, they played "The Ties That Bind."  This has always been a favorite of mine but I never knew it was a Springsteen song.  I've never given it much thought.  Towards the end of an almost 3 hour set, local balding rocker, Joe Grushecky came out on stage for a cool rendition of "Glory Days."  All in all, I wouldn't say I was blown away... but I was definitely impressed and I promise to NEVER AGAIN make fun of Springsteen or his ardent fans.
Aside from the lengthy performance, another highlight came when the show ended.  A middle aged female usher tilted her head to the side and "hocked a lugee.".  Gig and I both noticed the event as it unfolded and immediately began to celebrate.  For some reason, the phlegm made us downright giddy.  It seemed like a fitting way to finish off the night.  Also, it loosely paralleled the earlier cat puking crisis.

While exiting the arena, Gigi scored a freebie Wrecking Ball Tour t-shirt from a "Donnie Brasco-like, law enforcement officer operating under deep cover"... aka a "t-shirt cop."  And she also snagged us some his and hers t-shirts from a box near the concessions.  Much cooler than a $40 concert t-shirt.

And I snagged this monster Washington Redskins officially merchandised umbrella from a bin of confiscated property deemed dangerous by Consol security 

which I left on the porch of local Redskins enthusiast Jon R.  It's in good condition with a retail value of roughly $25.00 (or whatever the going rate is for unnecessary crap like that which the NFL sells to its dutifully trained minions aka "fans.")

The next morning, I cruised down to the Redskins game.  As expected, tons of no-shows (62,371 out of 65,050).  Way to go Steeler nation!  Only about 3,000 no-shows.  The weather was balmy and it would later become rainy and semi-miserable.  Good football weather.  With minimal effort, I accumulated 3 free tickets with the help of another "I WOULD LIKE A FREE TICKET" sign.  I kept one for Gigi who would eventually join me near the end of the 3rd quarter.  And I sold the other one for $50.  Sure enough, two undercover vice squad P.P.'s (Pittsburgh Pigs) saw the transaction as it was unfolding.  The one charged the scene and was very accusatory and aggressive.  His partner was agitated, but exhibited a little more restraint.  After a 5 minute discussion with regard to the crime of the century (selling a single, 500 level ticket for $30 below cost), they finally decided it was time to move on.  But they did take down both of our addresses.  That's fine though.  Everyone has my address these days (FBI, DHS, FCC even the DOE (Dept. of Education).  They just wanted to strike the "fear of god" into both of us.  Since I don't believe in imaginary deities and have very little concern for the Pittsburgh police department, I left the scene feeling relatively unscathed.   

Despite the unusual bumblebee throwback uniforms which will be re-pollinated at an upcoming Baltimore Ravens night game, the Steelers cruised past the "Wash Redfaces."

Steelers  27
Redskins  12

In my Odd, Oh Biography, I reference an all-time favorite/historic quote in the 8th chapter entitled "Sports"...

"If that boy billionaire thinks he can shut me up, he should stick his head in a can of paint." - Steelers announcer Myron Cope, after Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder sent someone into the broadcast booth during a game to tell Cope to stop referring to his team as the "Wash Redfaces" (2000)

Interesting weekend.  I went from one extreme to the other.  Lying about having previously seen a Bruce Springsteen concert to seeing him twice in the same day.  Not bad.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mitt Romney endorsements

In the waning days of the campaign, I'm getting a big kick out of the "star power" unleashed by the Republican party.  Let's see here.  You've got that formidable clown/conditionally venerable, charitable douchebag/carnival barker/world's biggest ego-driven asshole... Donald's Trump.

Clint Eastwood didn't fare too well in his extemporaneous, non-choreographed empty chair routine.  But he did close with the infamous "Make My Day" line.  Mission accomplished I suppose.

And then there's greaseball, hillbilly rocker who peaked back in 2004... Kid Rock.  He might just be that hip drug czar/rock'n'roll liaison the Romney/Ryan administration was searching for.

And don't forget the aging rocker who rose to stardom in the late 70's.  He played a bit role as a narco-trafficker in a poor episode of Miami Vice.  Wango Tango, Waco Bako gun nut, David Koresh admirer/sympathizer, freedom loving Hitler enthusiast (strictly from a World War II historical standpoint)... Ted Nugent. 

But finally, in the stretch run... the Romney team has sent in the big guns.  Yep, Meat Loaf is back.  And he's pouring his heart out in a campaign event in Defiance (appropriately named), Ohio.  You must watch this in its entirety.  The best shit is at the end.  Now I understand where they got the term, "I need to pinch a loaf."

What the fuck was that?  I thought he was having a heart attack (again).  Anybody remember the Station Square Pittsburgh show from last year?  I'd post it but it the footage has been removed compliments of "Red Pony Tours."  How about that?  Apparently a Meat Loaf onstage heart attack is censurable material.  Why oh why can't they can't they censure that horrific Dashboard Light anthem?  But this time was different.  He fell to his knees but seemed instantly resurrected by the prospect of delivering presidential fellatio.  Was Meat speaking in tongues with Mitt simultaneously guffawing?  It looked like a Pentacostal religious service.  I call this move a Mormonic blow-job.  And yes, I realize my hero Bill Clinton succumbed to something similar.  But trust me... it's just not the same. 

And it was an especially sad testimony when the "fuddy duddy Republican neo-con guidance counselor," John Sununu (former NH Governor and disgraced Bush cabinet member) criticized the Colin Powell endorsement of Obama.  They're likely brainstorming in the quality control room.  We need to fight fire with fire.  They've got Springsteen!  We need more celebrity endorsements.  Maybe we can get Dionne Warwick to sing "That's What Friends Are For" with the Romney sons.  Perhaps Englebert Humperdink should be served tea and crumpets with dutiful wife Ann.  Someone check and see if piano crooner Liberace is alive.  Hmmm, he's in stable condition in a San Franciscan nursing home.  Alright, he can't make it.  See if we can get Muhammad Ali up on stage in a non-speaking, but heavily shaking role.  That could be the sought after lynch pin to acquiring the uncommitted black vote (currently projected at 1.3%).  All this conjecture wouldn't be so amusing if it weren't so true.  I truly believe conversations like this take place within the Romney brain trust.

And despite all of this warped Republican strategy, I still worry that none of it will matter.  If the stampedes hit the NFL stadiums on Sunday, it would have maximum impact.  The Obama bid for a second term would be completely upended.  Eight 1 pm cities (Green Bay, Chicago, NY/NJ, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Nashville, Detroit, Pittsburgh) and even London, England gets ensnared.  How's that for maximum impact?  Forcing the artificially generated stampedes onto another continent.  You could even throw in the 60,000+ Nascar race in Martinsville, VA.  Human beings still don't seem to acknowledge that TIME is a neutralizing weapon unto itself.  Our government, regardless of party leadership, just can't come to grips with this.  For them, it's still all about trains, planes and automobiles.  Oh yeah, and guns.  Tons of guns.   

I watched Dick Morris (whose opinion I have the utmost respect for) on Fox News.  Now I've said this before.  Morris has unbelievably acute political instincts.  And he claims the polls are WAY OFF.  He even thinks written-off states like Pennsylvania are in play.  He's predicting a Romney win in excess of 300 electoral votes.  Morris might be just trying to distinguish himself from all the other gutless commentators.  But my instincts tell me he truly believes his own "polling sources."  Probably some renegade Rasmussen vitriolic upstart.  Either way, I rarely agree with the Fox news team, but Dick Morris is a major exception.  The guy is simply in a word... brilliant.

Last night I watched an independent pollster on Bill Maher.  He claims that Obama stands a 74% chance and Romney is 26%.  If you translate the money line into NFL terms, that's about a -7 or -8 point spread.  I'll even further translate the odds.  On Sunday, if you take St. Louis (+7) over New England OR Carolina (+8) to beat Chicago... then there you go, that's the wagering equivalent of a Romney victory.  It's really just that simple.  Numbers don't lie.

Alright, enough rambling.  I just scored a ticket (compliments of Gigi) to the 3 pm acoustic Springsteen performance/Obama rally at Soldiers and Sailors Hall on the Pitt campus.  Then, onto the real show at Consol.  So I must gather my belongings and get moving.  But do not fear.  There will be no monetary exchange whatsoever.  Why would anyone want to give their money to Bruce Springsteen or for that matter, Barack Obama?  Any denomination is offensive.  And yet I still get about 5 poli-spam emails per day.  URGENT: WE NEED YOU - Just donate as little as $5.00 for the opportunity of a lifetime.  Dinner and dancing with Tagg Romney?  Take Janet Napolitano out as my prom date?  Have doughnuts with Chris Christie?  Play the slots in Vegas with Harry Reid?  WHO THE FUCK COMES UP WITH THIS SHIT?  Seriously, what does any of it mean?  Oh yeah, it all comes down to money.  How quickly I forget.

Well, not for me.   And I won't give money to Dan Rooney either.  Tomorrow should be an easy one.  Cold and rainy with the Redskins in town.

As for Springsteen at Consol Energy Center tonight, one of these signs be sufficient.

If you give me a FREE ticket, I won't make fun of your mustache.  The obvious insinuation here being that homely male Boss fans seem overly eager to embrace homo-inspired, outdated facial hair.


If you give me a FREE ticket, I won't make fun of you for coming to a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Come to think of it, this could be a Pittsburgh news headline for today...

Attendance of Pitt-Temple game at Heinz Field dwarfs Springsteen-Obama rally at Soldiers and Sailors Hall.

It's on right now.  This place has to be the most embarrassing (attendance wise) stadium in all of NCAA Division I football.  Neyland Stadium in Tennessee is pretty bad, but it's got nuthin' on the Pitt games.  Cue up James Taylor and Sweet Caroline.  They do a nice job of covering up the empty seats.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Magnetic Jesus Dress Up / In Wheeling magazine

First things first.  I just saw this on facebook.

You're probably thinking... what a fucking dipdouche full of shit bag.  Who's responsible for this abomination?  Around election time, we here in West Virginia call it an Obamanation.  Truthfully though, I think it's part of a sinister plot.  Take a breath.  Calm down.  Hear me out on this shit.

It's obviously a slam directed toward Ken Whisencunt.  Some bad blood there in the upstairs office I reckon.  They're sending the Arizona Cardinals a subliminal message - loud and clear via a Pitt Panthers Heinz Field parking/security pass.  If we see you in a repeat of

we is gonna kick your ass with another narrow victory in the waning seconds.  But at 2-3 and with a slew of injuries, I'm just not seeing it.  What really sucks is that we're losing prime time games.  Not accustomed to this.  Usually, we show up for the night games.  Curious to see how the rest of these NFC East matches unfold.  A losing record is good for only thing - easy free ticket acquisition.  And by that time, the stakes have lessened considerably.

Now, second things second.  Our government is notorious for declaring "war" on anything they can.  War on terror, war on poverty, war on drugs, war on illiteracy, war on malnutrition or whatever.  In the event of urban, civil unrest following a Mitt Romney victory, perhaps the time has finally come for the Department of Homeland Security to declare a "war on suicide."  Think about it objectively.  If rioting and looting persists, Janet Napaolitano could use this as justification for a large scale extermination.  "We gathered sufficient intelligence that 'these' citizens were deemed suicidal so we were compelled to take action."  I don't think it's too much of stretch.  If the TSA can fondle an eight year old's testicles or force a woman to drink her own breast milk... if the govt. can throw you in jail for up to a year for smoking a doobie or confiscate your property for possession of nonpasteurized milk... well, a "war on suicide" seems like a reasonable strategy for keeping the population in line.  Just sayin'.

Thirdly, I was once again decimated at Fantastical Football.  Gigi was victorious this week by a final of 39 to 27.  Her record is now 4-2.

All my NFL instincts have seemingly gone to shit.  Next week, I need to start thinking of all this stuff in old school Romper Room terms.  In a fight between a viking and a cardinal, who would win?  Probably the viking of Minnesota.  In a brawl between a colt and that which is brown?  A raven vs. someone regarded as a Texan?  A jaguar against a raider?  Come to think of it, things have changed.  Teams used to be easily identifiable... e.g. (exempli gratia) bears vs. lions.  In the expansion/relocation era... not so much.

By the way, I almost pulled off a real-world, last second hail-mary victory.  We both asterisked the Monday Night game, and I almost (but not really) got the score exactly correct.  I could have had 34 points on that one game (unprecedented), but Denver ended up running away with it.  Go Denver!

So last night I was watching Monday Night Football (Broncos at Chargers).  I was growing increasingly disinterested and decided to revamp my refrigerator.  I'm getting rid of all the pictures and information.  Well, except for the Magnetic Jesus Dress Up (before photo) and the Breast Buddies.

I stumbled upon this killer website that lets you electronically dress up Jesus in every way imaginable.  Sadomasochistic Jesus, Lady Ga Ga Jesus, Halloween or Star Wars themed Jesus.  The guy who constructed this site is my new hero.  He goes by the name Normal Bob Smith. 

As I was saying, a Maury Povich refrigerator makeover seemed long overdue.  So I had this stack of "In Wheeling" magazines.  Let me first say that I know Dom Cerrone (co-founder of the In Wheeling magazine and an all-around great guy).  And I salute his journalistic efforts to shake up the banality of Wheel-town.  And the glossy magazine is a first-rate, quality publication.  To be honest, Wheeling is not even remotely deserving of this fine periodical.  But I wasn't quite sure why I was holding onto this magazine stash.  When I host a party, it's not as though someone wanders off into a private reading corner and leafs through the contents.  Searching desperately for that juicy tidbit of Wheeling gossip.  Nope, guests at my house would be more likely to use the magazines for kindling

So here's the deal.  I'm in the process of clipping out tons of local faces.  I'm going to create the first ever "Jesus Dress Up In Wheeling."  I like this because it sounds like one of those Jeopardy game show "run-on word" categories.  "Wheeling Feeling Jesus Dress Up" sounds slightly better.  Perhaps I'll go with the that one.  The point is this - you'll be able to dress up some of Wheeling's most prominent celebs!  Wheeling is a town consisting of 99% godly, church-going Christians and 1% indifferent, heathen buffoons (I'm part of the latter).  So it makes for a good fit.  

Anyhoo, every magazine is loaded with pics.  So I'm going to use the head shots of locals I've had conversations with.  Just knowing "of" them is insufficient.  They need to know me.  And the pics must be a reasonable fit size-wise.  I'm about halfway done with the clipping process.  I'll finish up  during tonight's Hofstra presidential debate.  And I'll post a pic of the final result.

I'm also inclined to resurrect some refrigerator art from the 2010 era of the Jewish Ski Lodge.  Yep, the ReTriberator and the Frigsagis...

These pics really don't do them justice.  It's more of a conceptual thing.  Oddly enough, Patrick Tribbet was processed yet again on October 13, 2012.  Not much in the paint realm though.  Just a mere hint of silver below the nostril.

Compared to...

If you seek any of the infamous "gold paint" mugshots from the 2000-2010 era, you really need to search the web.  Most of them pre-date the Northern Regional Jail / Arrest.com website.  By the way, why doesn't someone just duplicate all this shit?  It's obvious whoever owns the site (I've heard he resides in Florida) makes a killing off charging people to remove their mugshots.  $63 per photo.  Who the fuck would honestly care about the ethical dilemma in sabotaging this guy's "intellectual property" rights?  Just copy all the code and content.  Give it a new name and alter the billing information.  Maybe incarcerationstation or jailfail.com.  Something of that nature. 

Back in the real world, the Broncos ended up winning this game.  Crazy second half performance from Peyton manning and the Denver defense. 

"Calling Papa Bear... Hut-hut, Hike!"

Here's a hip analogy for you kids about to take your Linsly Sports SAT's.

Bob Backlund: WWF
Peyton Manning: NFL
I've just never been a big Peyton Manning fan.  If it's not the endless theatrics, it's the goody two shoes disposition.  This guy...  this is just not my kind of guy (Frank Costanza).

During the Monday Night game, I also put the finishing touches on 2 new mix cds!  In keeping with the Jeopardy themed "run-on words" category, I'm calling this double cd "Son of Flytrap Sister Christian."

Sonofsister (flytrap).  When normal human beings think of insect incarceration, it usually involves the infamous Venus Flytrap.  Those commercials haunted my soul in 1978.  "Look mom, it's gonna eat the fly.  We need one of them."   In the late 90's, I became engulfed in a different flytrap.  This one was a band that played at the Office Lounge in downtown Wheeling.   Flytrap Sister.  It included a barefoot, sassy Joelle on lead vocals.  A calm, yet resolute keyboardist named Jen.  A Black Sabbath-looking bass player they referred to as Uncle Hozo.  A guitarist I never spoke with named Reverend Cash Money.  And finally a drummer... Peepers, or if you will, Peeps.  These days, it seems that reunion tours are all the rage.  Having said that, I long for the triumphant return of "The Trap.".

HBO's Boardwalk Empire is becoming completely bad ass.  They're incorporating plenty of high profile actors.  Here's the extended version of the theme song by The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Weezer never permits taping or radio broadcasts of their shows.  So finding this 2002 bootleg from the Brixton Academy in London, England was pretty cool.  Here are two, two syllable songs - Hash Pipe and Dope Nose.

I've put "The Kiss" by The Cure on several sonofcds.  I never tire of this song.  Here's a version from an outdoor festival in Roskilde, Denmark (2001).

"Black Diamond" is my favorite Kiss song.  This cover by the Smashing Pumpkins at a recent concert in Lisbon, Portugal (2012) is worth a listen.

And here's a Foo Fighters appearance on David Letterman.  "These Days."  I have no idea how Dave Grohl can scream like that, night after night after night.  Probably a wise idea to take a little time off.  Kids at the University of Syracuse will live.

I never put any Jimi Hendrix stuff on these compilations.  So here's two in a row. 
Paul Rodgers of Bad Company (weak) and The Firm (strong) fame.  "Little Wing" at Electric Lady Studios in New York City in 1993.
And I found this outtake of "Voodoo Child" by Buddy Guy at a club in Chicago (2001).  I even like the commercial exit info.  Too bad it's truncated.

This version of The Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" is a little hollow in the mix.  But you've got to be realistic.  It's Paris, France in 1965.  For all I know, it was snagged off AM radio.

I found this bizarre excerpt from the Purple Rain vault recordings.  It's entitled "When Doves Cry - the Scream Demo."  I just threw it in for kicks.  Prince sounds a little, wee bit pissed off.

I've always thought that "Election Day" is one of Duran Duran's better, unknown tunes.  In honor of Obama, Romney and all the others who lay themselves bare for the amusement and wrath of others, here's "Election Day."  This one's from a soccer stadium in Rio De Janeiro in 1988.  We went to see them this summer at Stage AE.  At the last second, the show was canceled.  We sat and witnessed the disappointment of everyone who showed up.  In retrospect, it was time well spent.

In the post Jew-annihilation era, Nuremberg, Germany is the site of a yearly summer rock concert.  Here's Fleetwood Mac w/ the timeless voice of Stevie Nicks playing "Gold Dust Woman back in 1988.

Some Wilco songs kind of bore me.  But there are some that I enjoy.  Here's one of them - "War on War."  This is from a live radio broadcast at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago (2008).

Not sure why I threw in this cover of "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard, but I did.  And now, it is forever immortalized as the next-to-last song on Sonofsister (Flytrap).  It's from the cunt-tree Mecca - Nashville, Tennessee (1981).  I've always thought it would be cool to have a personalized TN license plate that just said JED.

Let's close this Flytrap with a venerable rock anthem.  Queen - "We Will Rock You" - Tokyo, Japan (1985).


I don't have any sisters.  But I do have 2 older brothers.  I'm not very religious, but I do know a ton of Christians.  Therefore, I submit my newest effort.  A special 2012 pre-election release called "Sonofsister (Christian)."  No "One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus" songs on this one.  I was tempted to include some material from our local hometown heroes The Chrisagis Brothers.  But during the creative process, this particular cd took on an immeasurably and indecisively darker tone.  Mostly old school metal.  Hence, no Chirsagii.  Speaking of whom, here's a quick knock-knock styled joke.

Question: What did the Chrisagis Brothers order from the Burger King in Bell-Dirty?
Answer: The Double CHRISAN'WICH Meal.

And even though this cd invokes the anguished oink of Night Ranger, I'm not throwing in a live version of "Sister Christian."  I already put "Sentimental Street" on the Sonofsons of Anarchy cd.  Enough deliberation.

Soundgarden's my favorite, actively touring band that I've never seen live.  This version of "Searching with my Good Eye Closed" is from the headlining Lollapalooza show in Chicago (2010).  So I will continue my search.  Without my glasses I am legally blind.

Back in 1989, me and a bunch of guys went to see Megadeth/Warlock/Sanctuary in Greensburg, PA.  "What's the opener," they asked.  I replied, "Obviously it'll be Wake Up Dead."  Imagine my shock and disbelief when they came out on stage with "Set the World Afire."  At the time, it really blew my mind.  Here's the song from a Buenos Aires show in 2005

Sick version of Radiohead's "Airbag" from Atlanta (2003).  Great bass, cool effects.

Followed by a sick version of Korn's "Got the Life" from CBGB's in New York City.  Once again, great bass.

I never cared much for "Werewolves of London."  That is until Rev. Smitty and the Backsliders rocked the hell out of it at Jaybo's.  I found this Warren Zevon cover of the tune from a 1982 club show in Passaic, NJ.   I like how he cleverly exchanges 'London' for 'New Jersey.'  I could see how that would be a big hit for a crowd during the early years of the Reagan administration.  Watch for the Kung Fu Fighting keyboard snippet.

If anyone on the planet earth hears this cd and says, "Holy shit, that's Fates Warning playing their hit song, "Silent Cries".... than my entire existence will have served a purpose.  I mean this.  I wish the beginning wasn't clipped.  It's from neighboring New York.  To be exact, the Bayshore section of Long Island back in 1988.  When I originally saw this concert post, I couldn't believe that someone would possess it, let alone bother to download and post it.  Sorry - it's a little tinny/staticky, but still well worth it.

And back to 2002 New Jersey.  Overkill's anthem "In Union We Stand" from Asbury Park, NJ.  Good thing the band stopped by to buoy everyone's spirit following 9/11.  They were the perfect band for this mission.

One of my top 5 thrash bands - Death Angel.  "Kill As One" makes for an excellent closer in 2007 at an event called the Sonic German Beatdown.

This is something I would have never known existed.  Ahh, the accidental, awesome power of the google search machine.   Forbidden playing a cover of the Judas Priest Priest classic cover.  "Victim of Changes" from the 1989 Dynamo Festival.

I wish the sound on this was fuller but what the hell.  It's a special appearance of Peter Gabriel singing "Biko" at a 1990 Sting concert in Santiago, Chile.

My favorite epic movie speech is the same as everyone else.  So to finish off Sonofsister (Christian), here's a true Christian hero. Mel Gibson just before he prepares to slaughter and bludgeon everyone within his grasp.  This planet is littered with bloodthirsty heroes... William Wallace, Michael Vick, George Bush Jr., Jeffrey Dahmer, Bashar Al-Assad, the list never ends.

As usual, there are no download links.  Just ask me for a cd (by its correct name) and I'll be happy to oblige.  Free of charge, of course.

And without further adieu, here is the inaugural photo of Wheeling Feeling Jesus Dress Up.  

Chosen entirely at random and portraying Jesus for the indefinite future... local realtor and insurance agent Gil White.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Could I vote twice with no fear of reprisal?

The news channels seem to be talking about early voting and voter fraud. Every announcer on  MSNBC claims there is a coordinated effort to suppress the minority vote.  FOX wants to eliminate voter fraud by demanding proper identification at the polls.  As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

It got me to thinking.  I'd be willing to bet that I could get away with voting multiple times.  I have no desire to commit a felony, I'm just virtually positive that nobody would catch it.  And even if they did, I doubt they'd make an issue of it.  As it would surely open up a pandora's box of issues and bring a heightened scrutiny to their level of professionalism and the entire process.

So how would I actually go about voting twice?  Well first off, I'd just go down to the city-county building and cast an early ballot.  Then, on Nov. 6, I'd just show up at the polls and cast a regular ballot.  Wow, Saf.  You must have spent weeks concocting this bold strategy.  So why do I think this would work?

Well, the giant ledger booklet they use at the polls is about the same size as a Torah.  The damn thing's huge.  And I've noticed my family members are still in it.  They haven't resided 'round deze parts since the early 1990's.  Kind of odd that West Virginia spent all this money on "error-free" electronic voting machines but they've never automated the initial "sign-in" process.

This part is purely speculation but I'm 95% sure, if you cast an early ballot, they don't scratch off your name in the "big Ohio County voting book."  Let me reiterate.  This is solely based on anecdotal observation.  I have no tangible evidence.  It would be interesting to try and legally confirm my suspicions, but let's be honest.  I doubt anyone would have a vested interest or desire in testing the system.

This reminds me of how I used to write about "system disruptions."  There was a cool one this weekend I must mention.  Gigi and I went down to the Eagles-Steelers game and tried to score freebies.  I had a hunch it would be a challenging one... and I was proven correct.  First shut-out since the NHL Winter Classic (also at Heinz Field).  Just all demand and no supply.  The going rate for a single seemed to be in the $200 range.  Booo.  That's more terrifying than a Chrisagis exorcism on Halloween night.

However, we did score 3 cans of discarded Bud Light.  Yum.  As the game kicked off, we headed over to Stage AE and saw a knapsack hidden in the bushes behind the Art Rooney statue.  I surmised it was likely a bomb or IED.  But Gigi disagreed.  Just as I was about to dial 911 and set up a caution tape perimeter, she bravely unzipped it.  Inside were a few cans of Miller Lite on ice.  So we surreptitiously removed the Miller Lite and replaced it with the Bud Light.  I'd love to see the look on their faces when they retrieved the book bag after the game.  Who would do such a thing?  What kind of mind game is this?  What could possibly be the angle here?  Why was our cheapo, race car beer replenished with urine, piss beer?  Why?

So yeah, we got shut out.  But we did watch the entire game at Stage AE which is a completely free, super cool place to check out the action.  All the games are on (for you fantasy addicts) and the screens are huge.  You even have your choice of watching indoors OR outdoors.  They're are workers stationed at the entrances but they don't perform pat-downs.  Plus, you can enter and exit at will.  So it's incredibly easy to smuggle in drinks and food.  Fans at Stage AE were enthusiastic but not overly raucous.  Far superior to that Jerome Bettis Grill, Tilted Kilt nonsense or any of the other dumbshit saloons along the North Shore.  Yes, Rivertowne North Shore... I'm staring directly in yo face.  Let's just say that I have deemed Stage AE as "fallback heaven."  It cannot be beat.

Steelers 16
Eagles 14

Still, the inability to snag freebie tickets loomed large.  This injustice needed to be rectified.  But how is the question?  Well... how about a ground-score print-out ticket to Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Peterson Events Center a couple days later?  Yeah, that might bring everything full circle.   Stollar got it handed to her by some kid.  Check out this "ticket."

compared to this

Pretty blurry, wouldn't you say?  I walked up to the ticket-taker dude.  He pointed his laser at it but it would not scan.  He tried the bar code multiple times but to no avail.  I gave him this look of disconcerting consternation (I don't understand... what could possibly be the problem... what's wrong with your Star Trek Next Generation phaser thingamajig).  He suggests I take the ticket to "guest services" and have it exchanged.  I shrug my shoulders and reassuringly remark, "Ohh, that sounds fair."

Fortunately, the guest service area is INSIDE the building.  That would make seem to make sense.  So not only did I get in for free, but it's a floor ticket to boot.  I found a comfortable spot on the general admission floor about 4 rows back on the left.  Here's a good trick.  Find an empty garbage can, drag it over and position yourself directly behind it.  Gives you an added buffer zone.

For those who don't know, Neil Young is 66 years old.  Perhaps the most underrated rock star of all-time.  I don't think that's an exaggeration.  Probably the best, pure, stripped down, straight-up rock and roll show I've seen in quite a while. 
Just 3 guys and a drummer interacting the entire night within a 20 foot radius.  The stage had plenty of room, but they made it seem like they were on a cramped stage in a bar.  No explosions.  No flashing lights.  No pyrotechnic crap.  No background dancers.  No unnecessary commentary.  Just a great rock concert.  I especially liked Born in Ontario.  Solid new tune.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Karate Kid analogy

Normally, I wouldn't write a post like this.  But I'm going to offer a rare degree of specificity because this stuff has plagued my mind all week long.  I often speak of the potential for artificially generated stampedes.  The rapidly approaching presidential election introduces a dangerous political component which I feel could be the "game changer" sometimes referred to as an "October Surprise" by the pundits.  Basically, it hands the presidency to Mitt Romney on a silver platter.

The following cities would be directly impacted - Washington DC, New York/New Jersey (metro area), Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Kansas City.  If timed properly, Jacksonville and Charlotte enter the picture.  Conceivably, these three other cities could be ensnared as well - Minneapolis, Boston and San Francisco.

And there's one of the biggest Nascar races in Talladega, Alabama which normally draws around 100,000.  I suspect it would be enveloped too.

Even though I'm willing to discuss and write about the conceptual nature of the A.G.S., I'm normally disinclined to post something like this.  But I've just had these nagging premonitions.  I think it's the added political frenzy - endless regional campaigning (once again, it seems like neighboring Ohio will be ground zero).  And of course, the debates have added a heightened sensitivity.  Unless dark political agendas have suddenly become irrelevant and inconsequential.  U.S. and world history would strongly lean to the contrary. 

Regardless, Gigi and I will try to score freebies tomorrow.  It's going to be a difficult one, but it's Steelers vs. Eagles.  You just don't miss this one.  With the Polamalu and Harrison back, I think the Steelers rebound big-time.  I like Pittsburgh to cover the -3.5.  Tomlin just doesn't lose two in a row, especially following the bye week.  Even though the defense is healthier, I'm leaning toward it being a shootout.  So I'd take the over 44.5.  Steelers just won't go 1-3 and then have 2 consecutive road games. 

Stripping everything down to raw numbers is a fascinating exercise.  It's even more intriguing with politics.  If you have any doubts, just look to Vegas (or ironically... Barbados, Costa Rica, etc.).  Most of the gambling websites have Obama's reelection chances at 80-85%.  Mitt's in the 15-20% range but likely got a slight bounce from the debates.  But I think it's that intangible element - Romney portraying himself as an underdog and a scrappy fighter.  Only in the United States could you get away with this shit.  A guy worth nearly half a billion playing the ultimate role of the comeback kid.  Give me a fucking break.

When I hear about all these "low information" voters, I just sit back and chuckle.  There's no such thing.  They're not low information.  They're just easily influenced one-issue voters (gods and guns).  So I guess the question becomes this... 

Think of it in terms of the Karate Kid (Part I), but in an alternate universe/bizarro world.

Is Mitt Romney the modern day equivalent of Daniel-Son from Reseda?

Did all that debate training pay off much like Mayagi's deceptive techniques - "sand the floor/paint the fence/side to side/wax on-wax off?"

Could the stampedes serve as the launching pad... a conveniently timed, epic macrocosm that Mittens Romney would surely take advantage of?  Hmmmm, perhaps something like this...

After all, for much of the United States, isn't this the real face of Obama?

Let's just say that if I'm correct... and I'll certainly concede that it's a pretty big if.  Well, I think it all goes down to wire.  Except the respective roles of Obama and Romney are surprisingly REVERSED.  Kind of like this...

And Mitt triumphantly takes the victory.  

Because this isn't the face of a battered and beaten Obama-Son.

this is...

And if you scroll down a ways, there's even a metaphorical portrayal of yours truly...