Saturday, November 20, 2004

Keeping The Early- To Mid-Nineties Alive

Saw J Mascis at North Six in Brooklyn last night. That dude plays LOUD. My ears survived, because I had plugs in, but my head didn't fare so well. But this headache is completely worth it.

You may remember J Mascis from his old band Dinosaur Jr. Now he plays solo shows, and as "J Mascis & The Fog," with two other dudes, which is what I saw last night. It was so cool because they played so many Dinosaur Jr songs that it may as well have been a Dinosaur Jr show. They played "Freak Scene"! If you were an early 90s music fan, you know this song from the video "1991: The Year Punk Broke." Most Mascis songs have this underlying sadness to them in the way the music and the vocals sound, but they're totally rockin' and loud and energetic and make you feel happy. It's weird.

Seeing him always brings me back to the good old days of bands that were cool while not being invented by some record company. I like how J just keeps on going, doing what he wants to do. His long black hair is now long gray hair, but his youth lives on in his music.

I like musicians that keep doing things, long after major labels think they're "unmarketable," even though they probably never cared about that anyway. Like Sonic Youth, Bob Mould, Kristin Hersh, Mike Patton, Les Claypool, people like that. I could probably see one of these people every few months or so for the next ten years. It's sweet living between New York and Boston.

I saw one Sox fan last night in Bklyn, gave him the thumbs up, we were both psyched. Not a yankee fan in sight. I still haven't seen any yankee fans make eye contact with me out in public. The magic ray is still eminating from my "B."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Connecticut's Team

One thousand people showed up on the New Haven green today to see the trophy. On a weekday. I'm proud of us, Southern CT. According to the news estimates, we more than doubled the turnout in Hartford.

Pat & I were hoping that Sox announcer and Hamden native Joe Castiglione would appear. And our wish came true. Not only was he there, but he acted as emcee for much of the time. After having listened to him on the radio since 1983, it was great to actually SEE him while he was speaking. He was great. Somebody yelled out for him to do "the call." He thought about it for about a second, then just broke into it. It didn't hit me until then, as he was imitating his own World Series-ending description, that he used one of his favorite phrases: "(Foulke) stabs it!"
Other favorites include: "Rice is under it, he staggers, but he makes the catch," "Popped up in foul ground, Quintana going over, by the dugout, but he'll need a ticket," "Catorce ponchados por Pedro," "Boddicker rocks, kicks, and deals," " retire the side," and of course, the time-honored classic, "...(excitedly) back to the warning track, back to the waaaaall...(then dejectedly) but the wind holds it up and he tracks it down."

If I ever do get NESN, I think I'll still listen to games on the radio every once in a while, just to hear the best announcer in baseball. He looked so happy today up there. What a day for Castiglione. And look at those quirky quotes he has. So much more real than the contrived BS calls of Jon Sterling, announcer of the chokingest team of all time, the New York yankees. I'm just gonna say right now how happy I am that those arrogant A-holes lost, and we won. Just look at highlights of Games 1 through 3 of the ALCS. Get a good look at the faces of the yanks and their fans. Those are the expressions of people who knew 100% in their minds that they COULDN'T LOSE, and that they were better people for it. Think of that, and then watch the highlights of Game 7, when the Red Sox celebrated on THEIR field. But you cn't see the yankee fans' faces at that moment, because they all WENT HOME. In about the fifth inning. All that talk by Michael Y2K about how "Red Sox fans know deep down that something bad is about to happen," while yankee fans know they're going to pull it out-- For those statements to be proved TOTAL BULLSHIT has made my life complete. While leaving the event today, I got such a great feeling, thinking about how fun next year is going to be. That's right, media poet wanna-bes, the Red Sox have finally won it all, and I'm more excited about next year than I've ever been going into a season. I haven't lost my passion, I haven't switched to rooting for the Cubs, I haven't "lost my reason to live." Oh, but I'm "just another fan" now. Amother completely meaningless statement. The Red Sox are just another team because they did what every team is trying to do? A hundred plus years of history and tradition, now meaningless? You're a dumbass if you buy any of this. You want me to admit that the Carlton Fisk homer wasn't that great after all? Because the team won the World Series in 2004? Keep tellin' yourself that. If it'll make you stop writing crappy, untrue articles about my team, then please, consider them "just another team." Fine. No different from the Devil Rays. But I won't believe it until I hear someone say the words "Devil Ray Nation."

So back to today: Theo was there, as it turns out, and we all went nuts for him. He was pretty embarrassed about all the cheering, telling us to save it for Youk, since he likes the attention more. He also said he used to play soccer on the New Haven green. I got a lot of shots of Theo and Youk with the trophy right in front of them. We were about three people back from the stage, ten feet from the trophy. Lucchino saud some good stuff about RSN taking over southern CT from the empire. (Lots of talk about pizza from everyone, too. Not a big deal to me. The way I see it, asking me if I like thin or thick crust is like asking me if I want a thin or thick stack of money. Unless you tell me the thin stack is made up of hundreds, and the thick is all singles, I'll probably just take the thick, because, yeah, it contains MORE.) Everybody stayed around, signing for people for a good while. Just now I sat like a drooling idiot watching (and taping) basically the same story about all of this on every different CT news channel.

Quickly about Pedro, don't believe anything you read about what's going on. Especially things that appear in the New York Post. (This also goes for ANY story in the New York Post.)

And about Pavano, I don't see how we wouldn't get him.

I'm psyched about all the Johnny Damon's appearing inBrooklyn lately. I just happen to be going there soon, so I'll be on the lookout for them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

For My Files, I Guess

I saw seventeen Red Sox games in person this year (which is probably more than I saw at my house on TV, what with being snubbed by NESN and MLB, and not having been allowed by my landlord to have a dish). Fourteen at Fenway, two in Toronto, one in the Bronx. The team went 11-6 in those games. Not bad. Not as good as '03, though, when I went like 10-2 or something, and the schedule allowed me to get to Pittsburgh, Philly, and Baltimore, as well as NY and Boston; I'll have to recap that year at a later date for you, since I know you're dying to know the score of each and every game I saw.

But now, I give you, my 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox live experience, in a beetle shell.

4/17 vs NY W 5-2
4/28 vs TB W 6-0
5/12 vs CLE L 6-4
5/13 at TOR L 12-6 (yes, I saw a game in Boston one night, Canada the next)
5/14 at TOR W 9-3
6/9 vs SD L 8-1
6/12 vs LA L 14-5
7/7 vs OAK W 11-3
7/22 vs BAL L 8-3 (Game 1)
7/22 vs BAL W 4-0 (Game 2)
8/14 vs CHW W 4-3
8/28 vs DET W 5-1
9/15 vs TB W 8-6
9/17 at NY W 3-2
9/22 vs BAL W 7-6 (12 inn.)
9/25 vs NY W 12-5
10/16 vs NY L 19-8 (ALCS Game 3)

Total Runs: Red Sox 101, Opponents 98

HRs I saw: Manny 4, Ortiz 4, Tek 2, Damon 2, Millar 2, Bellhorn 2, Trot 1, Mirabelli 1, Youk 1, Cabrera 1, Nomar (sniff) 1.

Starters w/appearances (record): Wakefield 5 (1-2), Schilling 4 (3-1), Arroyo 4 (0-1), Pedro 2 (2-0), Lowe 1 (0-0), Abe Alvarez 1 (0-1).

Pat & I have probably seen Wakefield pitch one million times. It's amazing, we'll see two games that are three days apart, assuming we'll get two different pitchers, and Wake will end up starting both games. We've definitely gone through phases of "Not Wakefield again!" and "Sweet, Wakefield!" and "Wake again, eh, better than Rolando Arrojo". I remember my first time seeing him, during his amazing first summer with the Sox, when he couldn't lose. It was the day Jerry Garcia finally kicked the bucket, vs. Cleveland, and Wake did great. I think it was the last win of his streak that year. My Uncle Bubs got me pretty sweet seats that day.

Baseballs I got: Brian Daubach BP homer at Skydome, David Newhan flipped ball to me at Fenway.

World Series Parades attended: 1.

Times I saw the trophy (after tomorrow): 2.

It's Official

The official times for the trophy in CT (Wednesday, Nov. 17th):

11:30 AM: New Haven Green w/Youk, Lucchino, Steinberg

3:00 PM: Hartford, Old State House w/Youk & Steinberg

Look for me, I'll be the Asian girl with the Red Sox cap. No, I mean, the white guy.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Quiz #7

Quiz #6--Time's Up. Whenever the Sox play the Blue Jays, Joe Castiglione inevitably says, " retire the side. After three from Skydome, Bostonians 1, ToronTONians 1." So the answer was "Torontonians."

Since I've now completed 227 blog entries, the next quiz will be about the TV show "227."

Quiz #7: Fill in the blank, from the old commercial for "227."

"227 is a comedy, it's about ________ and her family."

Wednesday: Call In Sick

CT Sox fans:

Wednesday, Nov 17th, Noon, New Haven Green, World Series Trophy. Theo, Larry, player(s) to be named later. Let's all be there!!!!!!

Let The Blossoming Of Milhouse Begin

[Disclaimer: I don't really know the rules when it comes to italicizing or putting titles in quotes, and if those rules are the same with movies as they are with TV shows, etc., etc. I started italicizing, then sort of tired of it toward the end. So just don't worry about it.]

The Simpsons is still good, in my opinion.

But moving on...

One September night in 1996, my friend Gumby and I sat on his couch, like we had done almost every night that summer, staying up late, watching reruns of Small Wonder and Mr. Belvedere until about 4 AM. I think Three's Company started at 4:30, but that was usually the time he'd wuss out and send me home. Our friend Chan, the third member of the late-night-rerun-watching triumverate, had left for college, while Gumby and I, for different reasons, would stay in Connecticut that winter. I'll never forget Gumby & I calling Chan in Florida during Game Two of the World Series, with me mocking the yankee fan Chan, singing that stupid Braves war chant at him, as the Braves whipped up on the yanks. God, I hated that chant, but when they played the yanks, I was all for it. Of course, it all went downhill after that, what with eventual yankee Mark Wohlers deciding to throw a fat slider to Jim Leyritz instead of his 105 mile-per-hour fastball.

So anyway, one night Gumby and I saw a piece on TV about quirky movies that had come out that year, and were now coming to video. One such movie was Bottle Rocket. We were intrigued by it, and we rushed out to rent the video.

I loved that wacky little piece of cinema, and within a week I had the movie's logo tattooed on my ass. Actually, I didn't do that at all. But I bought the tape at Kim's Video in NYC, and tried to spread the glory that is Bottle Rocket to everyone I knew, receiving mostly blank stares in return.

When I heard that the director, Wes Anderson, was releasing another film a few years later, I was psyched, naturally. But when I saw the preview for it (Rushmore), I knew that this guy was headed for the big time. I'd always wondered how the hell he'd gotten James Caan to appear in his first film, but he topped that by getting Bill Murray to co-star in his second.

By the time The Royal Tennenbaums was released, the usual actors from Wes's movies (like his childhood friends, the brothers Luke and Owen Wilson), were still working with him, despite having had become actual movie stars doing other movies. And stars were lining up to work for him. How else could he have landed Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Anjelica Huston, Danny Glover, and Gwyneth Paltrow to play in Tennenbaums?

And the amazing thing is, each movie seemed to top the last, which seemed like an impossible task, going into each subsequent film.

So now Anderson has a new one coming out: The Life Aquatic. I've been wondering what mega-star he'd be getting for his next film. And in a way, he's outdone himself. Bud friggin' Cort. That's right, Harold from Harold & Maude, will be in this movie. How does he do it? Well, that's a silly question, considering that Bud's probably begging for work. I guess what I mean is, How did he even think of getting Harold? I mean Bud. And besides Cort, he's got basically all the stars from Tennenbaums back as well. I don't know, but if this movie tops the last, well, I won't be surprised, I guess. Needless to say, but of course I'll say it anyway, I'm very excited to see this movie. It opens Xmas day, but I'm sure I'll see it on the tenth when it opens in NYC.

So am I bragging about having been a Wes Anderson fan from way back? Definitely. I mean I'm way more proud of him for having made these wonderful films than I am of myself for discovering him. And I'm jealous; I wish I'd made these movies. Oh well. But it'll always make me feel good to know I saw Bottle Rocket before the other ones. I guess I'm a human being, after all.

There is one person I know who said they'd seen BR in the theater, but I (conveniently) forgot who that was. If they're reading this, they're gonna kick me in the Bottle Rocket tattoo. (Brian, see how I brought that back around? Comedy GOLD! Also--were you the one who saw it in the theater?) If any of you readers saw it in the theater, let me know, so I can forget who you are, too. You'll need to send me your stub for proof, though.

I think these movies have really influenced the culture. It's like moviemakers started thinking again. (And even sitcom writers. Have you seen Arrested Development? Right, the one with all the commercials during the playoffs. I liked it the first time when it was called Soap, but it's still pretty good, and kind of different from the piles and piles of crap on TV.) The movie I Heart Huckabees, to me, was awesome, but I don't think it gets made if it wasn't for Wes Anderson. And not just because the star of Rushmore, Jason Schwartzman, was the star in it. Maybe I'm wrong.

This brings me back to The Simpsons. I was watching it tonight (right before Arrested Development), thinking of writing what I'm writing now, and who comes on the screen in cartoon form, but James Caan. So I took that as a sign to write this. And to write about Elliot Smith.

I bought the new Elliot Smith cd during the World Series, but refused to listen to it at the time, because I knew it would be depressing, and I was trying to stay in happy mode. (The guy was so depressed, he recently killed himself by stabbing himself in the heart, and this is an album of his final recordings.) But I finally listened to it. It's good. You may know him from his song in Royal Tennenbaums. It's the one playing in the scene where the guy shaves his face and head before slitting his wrists in the bathroom. (The movie came out before Smith killed himself.) And one time on a Fenway trip, I was at Newbury Comics before the game, and I saw an Elliot Smith record. I noticed it was put out by a label called "Suicide Squeeze." I thought about what a cool phrase that was when taken out of baseball context. I guess I was too busy thinking about that, when I should've been thinking, Hey, the really depressed singer's album is on Suicide Squeeze. But that's the first thing I thought of when I heard the news of his suicide. (At the time I was proofreading a book--that's my job, I wasn't doing it for fun--about Nirvana, written by a guy named Smith. My last name is Smith, Elliot is a Smith. And of couse, Kurt Cobain committed suicide as well, so I guess I thought of a lot of things at that moment.) Which reminds me, I also wanted to say how along with Seinfeld and Bottle Rocket, Nirvana was my favorite thing to come out of nowhere in the 90's to change the face of the artform which they were involved in. And now box sets of both Nirvana and Seinfeld are coming out this month, and then the new Wes Anderson movie follows. So I think I've spelled out all the coincidences of my life for you. If you followed any of that, give yourself a pat on the back or something.

Also, on The Simpsons tonight, Marge was in a bake-off. She made a hot dog-shaped dessert. After a mishap, the judge referred to it as "Marge's Blackened Dessert Dogs." Blackened Dessert Dogs. Hmmm. What does that make me think of? Blackened Di-zz-irt Dogs. Dirt Dogs. Black-ston-ed Dirt Dogs. Bostondirtdogs. So I thought how that could be my new nickname for Blackened D'z'irt Dogs. And it fits, the way he blackens the good name of Red Sox fans everywhere. I'm still thinking about how this ID card thing went down: The team came up with an idea. The idea was leaked to the press, somehow, maybe purposely. That press is the newspaper that owns BDD, who includes a quote from him, which says how Sox fans don't like the idea, even though Sox fans don't know about the idea until the article comes out. Then BDD puts this all as a headline on his site, linking to that article. The next day, BDD claims the team is revamping the idea, due to negative feedback from fans. It still stinks to me. Something's going on here and I may or may not figure it out, damnit!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States