Friday, March 31, 2006

MUSIC: Ray Davies at SXSW/Austin Convention Center 3/17/06

Professor Davies delivered an amazing lecture & video presentation on the making of his great new album Other People's Lives. An unfinished future documentary, the video footage also centered on Ray's 2001 Storyteller's Tour and the difficulties encountered touring America in the days immediately after 9/11. Fascinating stuff. Ray also performed a handful of tunes from the new album, accompanied by guitarist Mark Johns. With what appeared to be freshly colored hair, Ray looked and sounded great, and he seems quite intent on making sure that the rest of the world knows exactly just how great his new record is. During a question and answer period following the presentation, Ray assured a questioner that stroke victim brother Dave’s health is good, and they plan on sitting down and maybe making some music together after Ray finishes his current tour.

MUSIC: The Amazing Pilots at SXSW/Soho Lounge 3/17/06

'Twas fitting to have seen our Undertow Records homies from Ireland perform their SXSW set on St. Patrick’s Day. The Wilkinson brothers played an excellent set of their quietly melodic pop, pop reminiscent of The Trash Can Sinatras and The Dream Academy. Magnolia Summer's Chris Grabau joined them on lead guitar and kicked ass as well. Some sort of buzz was in the air for their show, as the majority of the crowd consisted of perky college girls, but what the fuck—they all gabbed on their cell phones throughout the Pilots set! Odd...

MUSIC: The Stan Ridgway Acoustic Trio at SXSW/Mother Egan's 3/15/06

The beer garden of an Irish pub at 4pm in the afternoon isn’t the kind of place one usually thinks of when it comes to seeing the Raymond Chandler influenced dark cinematic pop of the great Stan Ridgway performed live, but the backyard setting worked quite well and Stan's music turned out to be a perfect happy hour soundtrack—who knew? Backed by Pietra Wexstrun on keyboards, Rick King on acoustic guitar, and a sampler, Ridgway delivered his tunes with a deceptively full band sound that one certainly wouldn’t call "acoustic." Ridgway’s enjoyable acerbic wit was on display as well. Mostly a Wall Of Voodoo greatest hits set, the highlights for me were the cover of "Ring Of Fire," and of course, "Mexican Radio," done Tex-Mex style in honor of the occasion.
ray-dee-oh... ray-dee-oh...
ray-dee-oh... ray-dee-oh...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm Moving On...

I’m leaving Vintage Vinyl. No big drama or anything, I’ve got nothing but love for my Vintage Vinyl family, but after nine and a half years it’s time for me to move on. I’ve stayed at this particular party too long, and one hell of a party it’s been! My last day on the job will be April 7.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

POLITICS: Meet The Next President? Same As the Old President?

Yet another reason why John McCain should be feared and not trusted, here, by way of Daily Kos. The time to start calling McCain on his flip-flopping bullshit is now. 2008 is closer than you think...

POLITICS: America Hates Atheists

As we inch closer to the day when it'll be go to church or go to jail, check out this major DUH! under the heading, The Lowest Of The Low (3/27/06), from John Digby's Hullabaloo.

STEVE ROCK: The Geezers Unite!

Here's three Love Experts with old buddy Tom Lunt of The Numero Group, somewhere on the streets of Austin at SXSW. If you've yet to check out Tom's great blog Geezers United, you should be reading it daily.

Dominic Finocchio, Steve Carosello, Tom Lunt, & Bob Trammel.

Monday, March 27, 2006

MUSIC: Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs at SXSW/The Dog & Duck Pub (day) & The Drink (night) 3/18/06

Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, a.k.a. Sid ‘n’ Susie, blew us away at the Pop Culture Press party on Saturday afternoon, and then again later that night at The Drink. Backed by their fantastic band of Paul Chastain, Greg Leisz, Tony Marsico, & Ric Menck, they stormed through ‘60's classics from their upcoming Under The Covers Vol. 1 album like a loose locomotive. But that’s not to say the band wasn’t tight and excellent, or the harmonies weren’t scintillating, cause they were. They rose above minimal rehearsals and the traditional no SXSW sound checks to deliver two very special performances.

The nighttime show at The Drink was particularly memorable, as the crowd overflowed into the street. Many not lucky enough to get in were content to watch the band’s backsides through the club’s front windows. To say the setting was, uh, "intimate" would be an understatement, but the tight surroundings and tiny stage only enhanced the performance. We in the audience knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime special show. Susanna seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself, and looked quite moved at the constant adoration. That trademark smile rarely left her face. Matthew played ringmaster, keeping the pandemonium onstage in some semblance of order, and did I mention how great and versatile the band is?

Highlights for me were "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," "Different Drum," and of course Sue’s dedication of the Left Banke’s "She May Call You Up Tonight" to Love Expert Steve Carosello! And kudos to my old buddy Paul Chastain for perfectly nailing Michael Brown’s original piano part! Go Paulie!

Susanna Hoffs, Rick Menck, & Matthew Sweet rocking the Pop Culture Press Party.

Susanna gettin' dreamy at The Drink, with the great Tony Marsico laying down the grooves behind her.

That trademark smile!

Susanna Hoffs, Tony Marsico, Paul Chastain, & Matthew Sweet.

My old buddy Ric Menck mugging with yours truly after the show...

MUSIC: Nikki Sudden RIP

Legendary rock n' roll gypsy Nikki Sudden has passed. Very sad news indeed. I was a big fan of the guy...

TV: The Greatest Television Show---EVER!

Was that a classic episode of The Sopranos last night or what? Edie Falco just won herself another Emmy, and it was great to see real life husband and wife Steve and Maureen Van Zandt finally given some significant scenes together. So, like the conversation between Gabby & Silvio in last night's episode, do you think Maureen has ever turned to Little Steven round the Van Zandt household and asked, "So, god forbid something should happen to Bruce, have you ever thought about who would become boss of the E Street Band?" :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

MUSIC: Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 at SXSW/Caribbean Lights 3/15/06 & The Dog & Duck Pub 3/18/06

The next time someone tells you nothing is happening in American rock n' roll, shut 'em the fuck up by ramming Steve Wynn and his incredible band the Miracle 3 down their throat. I had the pleasure of catching two great SW&M3 shows at SXSW, and both times they walked on water! Really not much to say, you can see my thoughts on their latest album here (scroll down a bit), except that they are one of the greatest bands playing rock music in the world today. DO NOT miss them if they come to your town! And oh yeah, Jason Victor is a budding guitar superstar. Here's hoping Steve can sign him to a lifetime contract...

Dave DeCastro, Steve Wynn, Linda Pitman, and Jason Victor.

Jason and Steve "goin' there" at the Pop Culture Press party at the Dog & Duck Pub.

STEVE ROCK: Undertow Homecoming Show/Duck Room 3/25/06

Thanks to all who came out to the big Undertow show last night at the Duck Room. Turned out to be a very special evening. All three bands kicked ass, the alcohol flowed, and much love was shared on stage and off. And big congrats to Magnolia Summer’s ace guitarist John Horton, who missed performing with the band last night for the birth of his daughter, Grace.

Ok, time for the Love Experts to head back down Joe Thebeau’s basement to finish recording our album. Meanwhile, keep an eye out in May & June for the release of new albums by Magnolia Summer and Waterloo. I just heard both of them and they’re great!

Mark Ray, Chris Grabau, & Joe Thebeau in dressing room pre-show rehearsal of Big Star's "Ballad Of El Goodo".


The Love Experts with disco ball!

Steve Carosello & Joe Thebeau duet on a couple of tunes by mutual heroes The Mutton Birds.

Magnolia Summer

Last call hootenanny with Grabau, Thebeau, Carosello & Ray.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

STEVE ROCK: Steve & Jules at SXSW/Dog And Duck Pub 3/18/06

Here's Love Experts singer and songwriter Steve Carosello with legendary singer/songwriter Jules Shear, at the big outdoor Pop Culture Press thingy last Saturday. Steve had just assured Jules that of the 1300 bands at SXSW, we were probably the only one to have listened to Jules' classic Great Puzzle album at top volume on the drive down to Austin. Jules was thankful and got a chuckle out of it...

MUSIC: World Party at SXSW/Club Exodus 3/15/06

So there I was in the middle of the aforementioned packed dance floor of Exodus, surrounded by limeys, all in heavy anticipation of the return of the mighty World Party. Seems like every conversation I overhead featured a British accent going on about how long it had been since they’ve last seen the band. I hear you guys, seems like decades ago I last saw them in St. Louis. So yeah, we all then had a bit of a collective freak out as Karl Wallinger took the stage, backed only by fiddle player David Duffy and master electric guitarist John Turnbull, and kicked the show off with a devastating version of "Put The Message In The Box"—still the greatest pop song ever written about the act of voting. And a slew of World Party greatest hits proceeded to follow. Everyone in my immediate vicinity knew and sang along to each and every word of every song, including the "woo-woos" on the highly spirited and loose version of "Way Down Now." And during "Love Street" I noticed a steady stream of tears rolling down the cheeks of the very beautiful woman who was standing next to me. Easy to see how Wallinger’s brilliant tunes can have that effect on people.

Wallinger was as charming as ever. His customary and affable between song one-liners were plentiful and dead on funny, and Turnbull’s amazing guitar work nicely filled the absence of a full electric band. Given the time restraints of a SXSW set, the show was just about perfect. As he left the stage, Wallinger promised a new album and US tour in May. Bless you, Karl Wallinger...

Friday, March 24, 2006

STEVE ROCK: Steve 'n' Sue at SXSW/Austin Convention Center 3/17/06

Love Experts singer and songwriter Steve Carosello with Her Majesty Susanna Hoffs.

MUSIC: The Plimsouls at SXSW/Club Exodus 3/15/06

Club Exodus. As we knew we'd be heading there for the World Party/Plimsouls show, we joked about the name of the club all day in relation to the Bob Marley song of the same name that features the line, "Movement of jah people..." Well, there was NO movement of people at all at Exodus that night, as they literally packed us in like sardines. It was wall to wall and you couldn't move---the perfect setting for a Plimsouls show. Don't know how I pulled it off, but I was able to worm my way up front to about six feet from the stage, and was perfectly placed to catch one of my all-time favorite bands. A band I never dreamed I'd get a chance to see live again in this lifetime. Seconds before the show started I had a nice and humorous chat with a sweet "kid" in his mid-thirties who was standing next to me. He was in "awe" when I told him I had seen the Plimsouls a few times way back in the day. As a youngster in the '80's he became a fan after seeing the 'Souls in the movie Valley Girl on cable, "a couple hundred times," yet never had the chance to catch them live, as he was far too young for rock clubs then. So as Peter & the boys took the stage, I told the kid to brace himself...

Yep, it's the Plimsouls all right! BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM! A dose of sixties R&B & British Invasion influenced hard rock n' roll---right between the fucking eyes! They were loose, yet every bit the balls to the wall live force they were in back 1982. The original front line of Peter Case, Eddie Munoz, and David Pahoa intact and kicking out the jams, were backed by a youngish looking drummer who's a dead ringer for power pop afficionado Jordan Oakes. Eddie was particularly "on" this evening. His ace guitar lines punctuated by constant Townshend-esque windmills. And you really have to take your hat off to a guy whom 25 years later can still pull off taking the stage in tight purple pants and bright green desert boots! Big props to Eddie!

And geez, Peter Case is still one of the all-time great singers of rock n' roll! Sure he had some rough vocal moments during the set, but damn, you rarely see rock sung with such passion and soul anymore, as the packed and enthusiastic crowd inspired Peter to keep giving more and more. The set list for the evening was everything I hoped it would be---did they read my mind or something? All the old favorites were delivered hot and hard: "How Long Will It Take?", "Great Big World," "A Million Miles Away," "I'll Get Lucky," and my personal favorite, "Hush." Their traditional set closer, the Kinks' "Come On Now," is a cover they still own, and the crowd brought them back for an encore I certainly wasn't prepared for: The Easybeats' "Gonna Have A Good Time." GEE-ZUS!!! The version was a bit of a shambles, as the stage was complete pandemonium by that point, but so what---a good time is exactly what we were all having!

STEVE ROCK: Big Undertow Rock Show

Just one more reminder of the big Undertow Records show at the Duck Room, Saturday Night, March 25th. Here's the line-up and set times:

Magnolia Summer: 11:30pm
Love Experts: 10:15pm
Waterloo: 9pm

Hope you can make it out, it's going to be a fun show...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

MUSIC: The Bats at SXSW/End Of An Ear Records 3/17/06

Ah, the Bats! I've loved them since my friend Fred Anderson turned me on to them back in the '80's, and never dreamed I'd have the chance to see them live outside of their native New Zealand. So I really couldn't believe it when I was standing in a record store off the beaten path in Austin, watching them work the magic that is their wonderful and unique jangly/dissonant pop. They're a genre unto themselves, and super-sweet people to boot. Now run out and buy their latest cd, At The National Grid, cause it's great.

STEVE ROCK: Undertow In The Funny Papers

Annie Zaleski reviews the Undertow SXSW showcase in this week's Riverfront Times, here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

STEVE ROCK: A Brief SXSW Overview...

We came, we saw, we walked around— a lot. I went to SXSW with zero expectations or agendas, just a long list of artists I really wanted to see and a confidence that the Love Experts would do just fine, which we did. Did I learn anything about the current state of the industry? Not really, wasn't really looking to either, but that the old cliche keeps on keepin’ on: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

As my good buddy and SXSW "hanging" partner Tom Lunt learned from one of the panels and later touched a bit on his great blog Geezers United, traditional musical artifacts as we know them now may soon be gone, but hey, as hardcore music fans and musicians, we’ve surfed all the various sea changes that the nutty music industry has washed our way before, and we’ve hung ten with them and made it to shore each and every time, so no big deal. Or in simpler terms, the Plimsouls are six feet in front of me and rocking the shit out of me just as they did in 1982, so all is definitely well!

In times like these, when the world of music is supposedly turning upside down again and coming out in some new form, I return to an eternally inspiring quote from The Clash’s Mick Jones. A few years back during one of those "ROCK IS DEAD!" periods that English music journalists always seem to be reviving, Jones was asked his thoughts on the subject, to which he replied: "Rock is dead? Fine by me mate, I’ll see you at the gig tonight..." And year in and year out it always seems to go back to that. So there I was in Austin last week, having a great time bouncing from club to club, mostly seeing longtime favorites who’s records I’ve been pushing on folks for 25 years now, who are still making fantastic music today. And geez, there’s Ray Fucking Davies, 30 feet away from me, pushing that masterpiece that is his new solo record---and all at this advanced stage of his career! How the hell are you not going to be inspired by that? And just as the inevitable fatigue from the week starts to catch up to me, BAM!—four fresh faced kids from Scotland knock me out with a set so great and passionate, I realize I’m smack in the middle of one of those moments. And so it goes . . .

And of course I can’t avoid a mention of the political here as well. Sure, I’ve read and heard a lot about the Mega Church phenomenon currently sweeping across Red State America, but until you’ve seen it up close, you just don’t realize how "mega" it really is! There’s a church the size of the Savvis Center what seems like every ten miles or so throughout Texas. And each one has its own "Christian School" attached to it, so the kids can be duly brainwashed. But fear not. There are kids locked in these schools right now who in a few years are no doubt going to rebel like motherfuckers against the hideous indoctrinations their parents are currently forcing on them. And when they do rebel, it’s a sure bet that some of those kids will wind up as the new sensations of future SXSW Festivals down the road. And whenever they do emerge, you can bet I'll probably be digging their records---or whatever the hell we'll be listening to our music on then...

Over the next few days I’ll post recaps and photos of artists I saw at SXSW. Each recap will come as its own post, making it easier for you to skip the artists you’re not interested in.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006




One more time:

I can’t believe it either! I never dreamed Al’s three hour daily dose of truth would ever crash the monolithically red state conservative talk radio airwaves of St. Louis, but it has, so time to rejoice. Al can be heard from noon to 3pm, Monday through Friday, on KRFT, 1190 on your AM dial. This is a MAJOR breakthrough folks, so start tuning in when you can and help get the show’s ratings up.

Here's a press blurb on it, courtesy of STLMedia:
03-14-06 KRFT flips Wednesday ... from RadioOnline: Big League Broadcasting is launching "Talk Radio 1190," a new Talk outlet in St. Louis. Beginning tomorrow, Sports KRFT-AM will flip to a lineup of nationally syndicated talk programming, including Don Imus, Neal Boortz, Al Franken, The 2 Live Stews, Jim Cramer and Dave Ramsey. Big League also owns Sports/Talk KFNS-AM & FM (The Fan) in St. Louis. "We are extremely excited to launch a second station in the St. Louis Market, especially with such a dynamic lineup," says VP/GM Evan Crocker. "There is something for everyone, from political talk on both ends of the spectrum to a brand new form of sports talk that brings a new level of energy to the genre. One thing is for certain - Talk Radio 1190 promises to be unpredictable and never boring."

Monday, March 20, 2006

STEVE ROCK: Back From Austin

Love Experts had a great SXSW. Saw some old friends and heroes as well as made some new friends and saw some new heroes---hello the Hazey Janes! We also played two great shows. Only rough spot on the entire trip was a drive home that saw it pour rain for 700 miles from Austin all the way to Rolla, MO., turning the drive into a grueling ordeal. Time to get some rest now, stay tuned for complete SXSW reports and photos later in the week...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

MUSIC: What's On In the Car, Vol. 2

Ok kids, time for the second installment of me talking about the six cds currently playing on the cd changer in my car:

1. Tommy Keene—Crashing The Ether (Eleven Thirty)
The eternally classy songwriter delivers yet another brilliant addition to his legendary body of work. Tommy’s pop remains definitively powerful, his trademark sound firmly intact as he continues to easily rise above others working the angle of the jangle. Simply put, Tommy makes outstanding and intelligent melodic rock music. Some may complain he keeps making the same record over and over again, to which I say, "And the problem is?" From where I sit, it’s always been a great record. Tommy’s taken the obvious influence of classic ‘60's & ‘70's power pop and developed an instantly recognized sound all his own, and it’s all on display once again on this new record. Tommy’s resplendent guitar work remains the most formidable weapon in his melodic arsenal. Every riff melodically imaginative, every guitar solo perfect and exactly what you want to hear. And as always, Tommy’s lyrics intelligently rise above the usual sophomoric displays of others in the same genre. This time out they’re even more world-traveled and cinematic, with specific cities and persons name checked. We’ll assume the song "Warren In The ‘60's" is about you-know-who. I’ve loved everything Tommy has ever done, and I certainly hope he continues to forever make records as good as this one.

2. Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs—Under The Covers Vol. 1 (Shout! Factory)
In which the two pop masters team up and cover every great song from the late ‘60's that you’ve ever wanted to hear them sing. Simply put, it’s all very breathtaking. If you’ve ever loved any of the following classics, listed here, then prepare to be completely blown away. What’s so damn wonderful and refreshing about this record is how the duo let the greatness of the original versions be their guide. We’ve had years and years of artists offering their own various "original interpretations" of these tunes, so it’s fantastic and dare I say quite courageous to hear the fandom and passion Sweet and Hoffs have for this music obviously coming through as they deliver versions faithful to the vocal arrangements, instrumentations, and overall vibes of the originals. Sweet and Hoffs each posses distinct and classic pop voices of their own, which is why I think they were able to stick to the original arrangements of these songs and successfully pull them off so effortlessly. I mean c’mon already, Hoffs was born to sing the Left Banke’s "She May Call You Up Tonight", easily the standout track of the album. And for my money, Sweet’s vocal highlight comes on a devastating version of Neil Young’s "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"—a version that can teach the poseurs out there a thing or two. But hey, every track here is a gem, and I honestly think that their versions of the Bee Gees’ "Run To Me" and The Stone Poney’s "Different Drum" could actually be big hits even in today’s fractured commercial climate. I also need to give major props to my old homie Ric Menck’s outstanding drumming on the record as well. Faithful to the originals, yet like the singing on this record, Menck’s drumming is also refreshing and original in it’s own unique way. Ric is one of the best drummers in all of rock, and deserves greater recognition of it. The record also serves as a nice little homage to Sweet & Hoff’s hometown, as seven of the fifteen cuts are Los Angeles rock classics. I just keep playing this record over and over again, as it’s already my favorite album of 2006.

3. Sparks—Hello Young Lovers (In The Red Records)
Our heroes choose various takes on love and lust as the thematic center of their twentieth album. Of course love is never ever easy in Sparks-world, meaning you get songs knee deep in majestic yet bitter irony like "Dick Around" and "(Baby, Baby) Can I Invade Your Country." The overall sound and shape of Hello Young Lovers picks up where their previous masterpiece Lil’ Beethoven left off: A sound so original it can only be described as Sparks, but if you must have something to go on, disjointed-Broadway-show-tunes-on-the-strongest-acid-possible-yet-still- somehow-qualifying-as-rock-n-roll is the best I can do. The rock this time is represented by the increased use of crunchy electric guitar, something absent from their music over the past ten years. You either "get" Sparks or you don’t, and if you do, then you’ll be wanting to run out and get this one. It also features what may arguably be their greatest album cover ever, which is really saying something, given the many classic album covers in their legendary catalog.

4. Hampton Hawes—northern windows plus (Prestige)
A Prestige two-fer that pairs the jazz piano legend’s 1973 Montreux Jazz Fest live recording Playin’ In The Yard, with the David Axelrod produced funky masterpiece from 1974, Northern Windows. I picked this up after reading an interview with legendary bassist Carol Kaye in which she raved about her playing on Northern Windows as some of the best of her amazing career. ‘Ol girl wasn’t lying either, her playing on Northern Windows is pretty unbelievable. You rock fans out there who love Steely Dan’s Aja will probably find much to like with Northern Windows. Same era, same vibe, similar grooves, same outstanding musicianship all around, with both Hawe’s & Kaye’s respective genius meeting as it’s center. Definitely a document of it’s time, you’ll feel as if you’re cruising LA’s Sunset Strip in the Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino!

5. Electric Six—Senor Smoke (Metropolis Records)
I’ve always thought of Detroit’s Electric Six as the bastard punk rock sons of What Up, Dog? era Was Not Was. And like the Was Brothers before them, this combo offers a non-stop melting pot of every great musical style to emerge from Detroit over the last forty years. Everything great about Detroit music is represented here, from the hardcore kick-out-the-jams hard rock to the hardcore R&B grooves, and everything in between—all delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer! What I’ve always liked best about Electric Six is their courageous use of good old "four-on-the-floor"disco as their main groove. And what’s so great about it is how effortlessly they make that undeservedly derided beat rock like a motherfucker. Lyrically, new school takes are offered on the old school Detroit "guns, dope, & fucking in the streets" socio-political. Their stance is "The world is fucked, we’re all gonna die, so meet me on the dance floor and we’ll dance our way through the apocalypse," all sung with humorous pirate-like flair and gusto also reminiscent of Was Not Was. Though not quite the full frontal assault of Fire, their masterpiece debut, Senor Smoke is still an impressive follow up. Simply put, Electric Six kicks some major ass!

6. Ray Davies—Other People’s Lives (V2 Records)
Though definitely not a Kinks record, it does happen to be one of the best records this man has ever made.

MUSIC/TV: VU & Beefheart DVDs!

A little something to ease the pain of Tax Day. Read all about it, by way of Harp Magazine.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

POLITICS: Molly's 2008 Manifesto!

Are you a Democrat worried about 2008? Well you can count me as one. But fear not, the inimitable Molly Ivins is riding to our rescue with THE PLAN. I’ve yet to hear a better one for 2008, so go forth and start spreading her words . . .

BASEBALL: Jose Can You See?

So, the Barry Bonds scandal. Should he be banned from baseball? Should his records be erased? I say hell no, of course not. As the saying goes, everybody’s got their something, and every Major League Baseball player since the beginning of time has had their own particular "something" to help give them the edge over the competition. And throughout baseball’s history, team owners have always been more than willing to look the other way when it comes to whatever it takes to keep their star players performing at peak levels and putting butts into the seats of their ballparks. Steroids are no different than booze, cocaine, sex, voodoo dolls, hypnotism, etc., etc., etc. The owners have never cared about what a player has used to help give them the edge over the competition, as long as that player delivered the goods on the field. And let’s not forget about speed either—the drug, not the thing that helps you steal bases. "Greenies" as they’re called in the big leagues, have been in use in baseball for over forty years now, and supposedly the percentage of players using speed during games is as high as 95%!

So it was of great interest the other night to see Jose Canseco share his thoughts on the Bonds controversy on MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Canseco’s persona non grata around baseball these days for his honesty and willingness to name names about steroids in the game. Well it’s vindication time for him now, as events of the last year are proving his allegations to be true. I totally agree with the guy, the players are not the ones to blame here. The owners, general managers, and player agents are.

Here's the video of interview (text transcript is also offered on the page). Get a load of how amazing Canseco looks! I almost didn’t recognize him when he appeared on my televison screen. He’s lean and mean and looks like a 25 year old movie star, as the bulk from his steroid days is long gone. Crazy...

Friday, March 10, 2006


A definite must read post, here, from Howie Klein's great blog, DownWithTyranny. Some of you old punk and new wavers from back in the day may remember Howie as the founder of the great San Franciso record label 415 Records. Howie went on to become president of Reprise Records, and was universally recognized as one of the good guys in the upper echelons of the music biz---a rarity who was able to keep his initial passion and fandom for music as well as the respect for those who create it intact. Some of that respect for the artist was on display in his appearance in the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Howie is retired from the music business, and is now kicking ass and taking names writing about politics on his blog. And notice how great minds share the same blog templates... :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

BASEBALL: Kirby Puckett RIP

Bob Costas named a son after him. Future US Senator from Minnesota Al Franken named his Labrador Retriever after him. He was half the punch line of one of Chris Rock's most famous jokes. He was a really good guy and one hell of a Hall Of Fame ball player. Age 44 is a ridiculously young age to die. Kirby Puckett, rest in peace...