Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cry Baby Cry

I agree with Damien Cox that it's tough to see Ryan Smyth leave the Edmonton Oilers.

But I won't shed a tear for Alberta. Seems to me that a province with a 7 billion dollar budget surplus could have figured a way to keep their favorite son.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jack Todd in this morning's Montreal Gazette:

"Only in Toronna ... would they celebrate 40 years without a Stanley Cup by trotting out the geezers who won it last time (and that was a fluke that broke up what should have been a string of five straight for the Habs) and whooping it up as though somebody had colour photos of Johnny Bower and Dave Keon.

Think about it: It has been so long since the Leafs last won a Stanley Cup that the Expos were born, lived and died since Hogtown's last parade. And this is the team that gets shoved down our throat 24/7 by the national media."

Love you Jack!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Go on and get your bad-self out to Chatham's Carnivore Preservation Trust

It's a race to the bottom as the Habs and Canes square off tonight

If anything it will be interesting to see Steve Begin and Scott Walker cozy up this evening, but Carolina and Montreal are delusional if they think these two journeymen will make the difference for the clubs. Walker has a three game point streak (whoopee!), The Habs are losing ground faster than Begin's losing his hair.

Fear not. My mask will give us the power to defeat those Caniacs.

What's ailing Carolina? umm... they could use some speed. Brind'Amour and Staal look exhausted. As for the Habs; glassman Kovelev is out three weeks - that's not necessarily a bad thing (deal this paper tiger already). With Huet out I say give Halak the start (what-the-hell? ... things can't get worse). Though The Gazette is calling Halak's mask (which has pix of Patrick Roy on it) the inspiration that will revitalize the team: that is so sweet and so very, very pitiful

And we hear some guys are still recovering from the flu.

Ya, about that flu. I saw Jagr play with the flu against Carolina on Thursday. He had an assist, played for 22 minutes and controlled the pace of the entire game: MTL, stop being such pussies.

The top seven teams aren't going anywhere (yes, even Toronto is looking good). That leaves Montreal and Carolina for the 8th spot with NYR and the Islanders coming up fast. I predict the Canes will take the final spot only to go out in 5 against either the Sabres or Devils (sweet revenge).

As for the Habs: It's a seller's market, rebuild for next year.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Have You Heard About B Flat?

NPR finds its funny with amusing piece by Robert Krulwich

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Scientists Agree: Police Reunion Confirms Gen X Mortality

This is me in 1980 (the tall one in the back):

And this is the look I was going for:

So I'll cop to it, I was absolutely ga-ga for The Police.

At a time in my life when I was in emotional free-fall - and music meant everything to me -New Wave came along at just the right time. I believe my brother bought me Regatta de Blanc for Christmas 1979. Soon I bought some Tama Octabans and the garage band played sets that covered The Police almost exclusively:

So Lonely
Message In A Bottle
Regatta de Blanc
De Do Do Do
Driven to Tears

So devoted was I that I wrote "Fuck You" on my tom-toms just like Stewart. When my mom complained I chocked it up to artistic emulation.

So disgusted was I with the bloated Synchronicity, and the mess of a solo career that followed for Captain Tantric (how dare he brake up my favorite band!).

Music died for Gen Xers when David Byrne learned to mambo, when Joe Jackson discovered Cole Porter, the day Sting started playing free-form jazz. There was a brief respite with John Lydon's PIL, but that quickly faded. The apotheosis came with last Sumner's lute-fest.

Then - unpredictably - Sting woke up. I watched the Grammy performance with skepticism, but came away impressed. Not only did The Police sound great (read "raw"), to add insult to injury - with the exception of Andy Summers who is now 65 - they haven't aged. As I contemplate the growing goo-sack developing around my midsection, Stewart Copeland looks better 25 years later.

Yes, I'd love to hear them play again, but I won't fork over $250 to relive the magic. Here is my ticket stub from 1981 when they played the University of Montreal:

Ten bucks, general admission... and I bounced up to the front and had a ball. Sting in his jump suit, Copeland in Adidas shorts, Andy in his pin-striped jacket. You can't get that back.

I saw them two years later with the Go-Gos and The English Beat (for free!... they played the McGill stadium and I was living in an apartment adjacent - I watched from the roof top.), but it was already all over.

So here's to The Police; you make me feel old, but I'm glad you'll be out there on tour this summer. Just don't ask me to pogo again.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Goofy joins growing list of Deviant Disney Characters

Tigger whomped a kid upside-the-head

Now The Goof's copped to kiddie porn charges

Man, Disney World's got everything!

UPDATE: "Beast" also allegedly involved.

Raleigh Joins the Power Void

With Chapel Hill Police Chief Gregg Jarvies set to retire and Durham Chief Chalmers on the way out and perpetually AWOL,

Raleigh's Chief, Jane Perlov says it's time to get out of Dodge.

Who will protect the Triangle? Oh well, at least The Police are reuniting.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In the climb we're breathless above the rest

For the month of January I clocked an average running pace of 9:20 / mile. I attributed the slowdown to age; I've a 43rd birthday coming up, maybe I'm winding down. Then along came February and I started running under 9. You could chock it up to my recent decision to start playing hockey again, but that would discount the Max factor.

Last week I picked up a copy of the first Max Webster album on Ebay. I downloaded it to my Ipod and I've been running 8:40 ever since.

I forgot how much I love Max Webster.

They came out of Sarnia, Ontario in the seventies. They were silly, irreverent and rocked hard. Canada's other prog rock outfit was led by lead guitarist Kim Mitchell, a cross-dressed scarecrow who once claimed he only owned one LP; Captain Beefheart's Dock at Radar Station.

Kim Mitchell

Before Kim went for a soda in search of the perfect rock song, Max Webster experimented with all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds. I played Toronto Tontos for my daughters on the way to school this morning. They hailed it as the most wonderful-retarded song they'd heard in their lives.

I became acquainted with Max Webster under unfortunate circumstances. My family was visiting relatives in Trenton, Ontario for Easter when we learned that my sister had died. While my parents dealt with arrangements I was whisked away with my cousin who had an MG and an 8-track. I remember driving around Lake Ontario,

I am perplexed
I am distressed
Where did I park my wheels, Where did I park my wheels

For a time my brother and I were in a garage band that played pretty much exclusively Max Webster. The set included:

Coming off the Moon (a monster)
Only Your Nose Knows
High Class in Borrowed Shoes
America's Veins
Lip Service

Their New Years Eve concerts at Maple Leaf Gardens were legendary. I saw them twice; once in Moncton, New Brunswick backing up Rush, and once at The Spectrum in Montreal (Oh War was heav-eeeey).

My concert stub... I went with my brother and his girlfriend

After 5 albums the band split. Frankly the market didn't know what to do with them, and they slowly got caught in the middle of a New-Wave vacuum.

Today Kim Mitchell still plays (he has a nice new song on his website), and he hosts a radio program on Toronto's Q107 (too much top 40 and commercials for my taste; they should just cut him loose for a couple of hours and let him play what he likes).

Keyboardist Terry Watkinson is now at U of T doing medical drawings (I wonder if he wanders the academic halls in his old lab coat).

Basist Dave Myles left the band in 1980 to manage KFC restaurants back in Sarnia (which goes to show you how Canada treats its rock n roll royalty).

(with thanks to Scott Feeney's fine Max Webster site)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind

This weekend the action was at the Chapel Hill Public Library where The Carolina Chocolate Drops performed a free concert:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Snow Day (Su-thern' Style)