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Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day at Barrett's: A half-assed live blog

3:25: OK, OC, sambuca, and napa have been here since, oh, 11. They've had to refill the Coors Light twice. Welcome to Opening Day!

3:28: Hales informs us that Mark Grudzielanek was signed by the Royals "for his glove, and certainly not his bat."

Grudzy has a .289 career batting average, and 5 seasons have hit over .300--including 2003 with the Cubs, where he received 27 votes for MVP. In other words: Hales makes shit up and tries speaking as though it were fact.

3:35: Looks like the tarp is coming up again at Wrigley. Good times!

3:42: We discuss in what different ways Hales is going to hell. There are a lot of reasons, sadly.

3:57: It's B from Exit 177! A welcome addition. Oh, and Felix Pie just struck out again. Stunning. It's also weird how much he looks like Corey Patterson.

3:49: The Royals are in first place! Alex Gordon with the final put out, not to mention a homer. Oh, and Grudzy went 3-4 with a HBP. Thank God they've got his glove this year.

4:01: Watching the White Sox/Indians game on TV2. The new Indians' uniforms are unbelievably awesome.

4:02: WGN's new HD is...well, put it this way: the highlights of Ernie Banks they showed during the delay looked better. Ugg.

4:04: Prince Fielder's chew in his mouth is about as big as his gut. It's a beautiful thing.

4:12: Forgot to mention: Hales and OC have dirty staches. Hales has been permanently referred to as "Trooper Hales."

4:13: Only the second "Major League" reference of the day: Soriano weakly grounds out to first, followed by a chorus of "who does he think he is, Willie Mays Hayes?" The first one came with the revelation that one of the Royals' pitchers threw a perfect game in the Mexican League last year...which of course was met with "Is that you, Tolbert?"

4:16: D-Lee just ran into Zambrano going for a pop up, which led to Sgt. Hales saying that Lee "will probably get a Columbian neck tie" from Big Z. No one in the room really blinked, and generally accepted it as truth.

4:18: Bill Hall just hit a ball that hit the bottom of the basket in the outfield. Len Kasper lets the viewing audience--desperately looking for commentary--know that "the ball has to be hit exactly like that to hit the bottom of the basket." Looks like Len and Bob are in mid-season form!

4:28: Lame moment of the day: I have to go to class pretty quick. Chances of this live blog continuing after class: 4%. Not too good. Looking forward to seeing everyone blind-drunk when I get back, though. Enjoy the rest of the day!

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's Opening Day Eve!

Just like when I was a kid at Christmas, knowing Santa will have come along and left toys by the tree, the anticipation is at a level that is quite high: it's the night before Opening Day!

(Note: I officially hate MLB with their ridiculous "Opening Series-In Japan!," "Opening Night," and then "Opening Day." It's insane. Fire Joe Morgan may not care, but I say that Opening Day should be the same every year: the first game of the year takes place in Cincinatti, as it did for several decades before this "let's have an opening series start in Japan, end in Oakland, but then still market the first night game and the first round of day games like it's the first!")

ANYWAYS, with Opening Day comes another wonderful and honored tradition: running up unimaginable tabs at Barrett's!

It should be another fun day with the Heavy Soul crew at Barrett's--it's supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow. Where else would you rather hole up and avoid the weather? Not to mention watching a few games of baseball? It's going to be fun, friends.

I believe people will be arriving around 12:30 or so. We will be drinking and dining in the basement of Barrett's. Tiger was nice enough to set it up so we should have it to ourselves, and I believe we arranged to have a few coolers stocked waiting for us.

I hope everyone that can will make it. It wil be another great day, and another fabulous season of Major League Baseball--this year with less steriods!

See you tomorrow.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Breaking News: Callahan Was Not A Great Teacher

Interesting--albeit not surprising--article in the World-Herald today (and we can actually link to it!):

Practices under Bill Callahan were way too complicated and no one really taught anyone anything.

Stunning, I know. But I do believe that this kind of article is going to be the norm as the players get used to "the good life" with Bo Pelini and staff. Some excerpts:

The most infuriating:

"Coaches weren't really in teaching mode," safety Larry Asante said.

So whoever understood the information, Asante said, "that's the guy who played."

"There were guys out there lost."...

The problem, Swift said, wasn't so much the volume of material, but how coaches waited until film-room sessions to point out mistakes and answer questions from the previous night's practice.

"You had to watch film (of practice) and kind of correct while you were watching," Swift said. "With the younger guys learning the system, I think it's definitely helpful to correct them right on the spot."

And on and on.

Again, this is not too surprising. But I do believe that the philosophy of Coach Pelini and staff of "well if they don't get it, we do it again tomorrow," rather than "whoever gets it plays, and whoever doesn't get it we'll address in a meeting room, and assume it will sink in that way."

Yeah...because as everyone knows, the only way to get better at a task is to watch film and read about it rather than practice it.

Welcome, Spring practice starting today with a new staff! I sincerely believe it is going to be a totally different team and year. There's a ton of talent that rotted on the bench last year, apparently because they couldn't do monotonous drills exactly the right way. Not to mention guys were waaaaaay too heavy and slow--I've seen it reported that Zach Potter and Barry Turner are both about 30 pounds lighter than they were last year.

This team is going to fly around the field and force turnovers on defense, and we've got an offensive coordinator that builds his offense around his talent, not his ego. It's going to be a fun year, Husker fan.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

HeavySoul March Madness Prize Pool

The Roger's Fine Foods, Grain Belt, and brought to you by Barrett's Barleycorn NCAA bracket presented by Wild Bill's is a moderate success, with 25 entries in total.

As such, and after deciding upon a $10 entry fee, and assuming everyone pays, here is the prize pool:

1st Place--$150 and $5 of Wild Bill's Jerky
2nd Place--$60 and one short stack of hotcakes from Roger's Fine Foods, where pancakes are their "specailty"
3rd Place--$30 and a 1/4 two-four of Grain Belt Premium
Last Place--money back and 1 cocktail of their choice at Barrett's Barleycorn

This is contingent upon collecting from everyone entered.

Collections: Shockingly, the only person I have collected from is MIB (Rick). I know. I can't believe it either.

If you are from out of town, I don't know what to tell you, other than not making payment or arrangements will result in a DQ. We can do Paypal if necessary or work something out.

Enjoy the games everyone! And good luck! From all our sponsors!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Well That's An Interesting Way To Give Someone A Company Car

This story is incredible, on a couple levels. First of all, it's probably about a 10 on a hilarity level, but then it is a 10 on a "holy shit, what a cool deal" level.

Apparently the Cubs pitching staff decided to have some fun with their strength and conditioning coach...and he reaped the rewards of putting up with one of their pranks:

When the Cubs began practice in the morning, Aramis Ramirez pointed to a wrecked '95 Nissan Sentra near the Cubs bullpen and asked: "Hey 'Bussy,' what's your car doing on the ramp?"

Buss looked over at the wreck and replied: "That's not my car."

But then Buss did a double take.

"Dude," he said to Ramirez. "That's my car!"

Buss soon discovered his car was demolished beyond recognition, but this was no ordinary crime. The car windows all had been smashed in, the front, back and sides all were severely dented and the smoking guns—a couple of baseball bats and balls—were strategically placed in the windshield.

"I figured (Jon) Lieber, (Kerry) Wood immediately, (Ryan) Dempster …" he said. "Then I realized it was every pitcher we have."...

After the workout ended, Dempster told Buss to "quit pouting" and come with him to the weight room to "see something."

As they walked out the back door, Buss saw several players and a 2008 Nissan Xterra parked in the walkway. Dempster gave him the keys for the new SUV, valued at about $25,000....

Buss nearly was moved to tears by the players' generosity.

Seriously, how funny/cool is that?

Also, how do I apply for a job where I am around Cubs players a lot? I could use a Nissan upgrade, myself...

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In other news, the sky is blue

In the least interesting and predictable item the Weird Herald has published since Mike Kelley's last column, some unlucky bastard got a DUI at 7:20 AM on St. Patty's Day.

St. Patty's Day or not, it's Monday at 7:20 AM. That's something to tell the grandkid's about.

What I find most remarkable is not the perpetrator's utter ignorance to drinking and driving on such a heavily patrolled holiday, but the fact that Omaha has a law in place, I believe, that means establishments can't begin to serve alcohol until 6AM.

This means our drunken assailant on the roadways did one of three things:

a. Began drinking at a private residence before 6AM
b. Managed to get himself over the legal limit in a timeframe that could not have exceeded longer than 1 hour and 20 minutes. On a Monday morning. Between 6 and 7:20. Jesus.
c. is Robert Downey Jr.

Congrats on your milestone, drunken Omaha bastard!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

HeavySoul March Madness--The Pool

While I was watching the Selection Show today, in between wanting to stab Billy Packer and continuing my three year quest to figure out just who the hell Seth Davis is and where he came from (my current theory: he is the love-child of Dr. Tom Davis and Geena Davis, and a University of Maryland-Baltimore County alum), it dawned on me that I do not as of now have even one pool to participate in. This saddens me.

Therefore, I decided to start my own. Below are the details to The Official Heavy Soul March Madness NCAA Tournament Pool, brought to you by Grain Belt, Barrett's Barleycorn, and Roger's Fine Foods of North Platte, NE.

Who: anyone reader or poster who wants to participate

What: The Offical Heavy Soul March Madness NCAA Tournament Pool, brought to you by Grain Belt, Barrett's Barleycorn, and Roger's Fine Foods of North Platte, NE.

How: We are going to CBS Sportsline, GA and a few others, I emailed you the link. I'm horrible with email addresses so leave one in the comments and I will make damn sure we will get you the link sent out. GA, I know you have most of these as well, so we will make sure we get you an invite by Monday night at the latest. The site is set up, I just need to get the invites out. That's where the email addresses come in.

Cost: $5 or $10 entry fee? Vote in the comments and most votes will win. Prize pool will be announced on the blog at a later date based on number of participants. I will collect whenever, but have your money to me by Opening Day of Baseball at Barrett's at the latest. That will actually be a great time to collect.

When: You can turn brackets in anytime before Thursday at 11AM CST, but keep in mind you will be missing the play in game on Tuesday night so there is a bonus for early entries.

Any questions, let me know. Again, I will be sending invites tomorrow.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Update: Sports Gods Not Remotely Worried About Kentucky

Yes, I know this is probably a shocker to most of you. But it's true: God doesn't care much about a basketball program, even if it is the program that He made in his image.

As I am sure many of you have seen, a tornado--TORNADO!--ripped through downtown Atlanta. And because of this, Kentucky's second round game against Georgia has been moved to 11am tomorrow morning.

The kicker of it is, however, that a TORNADO in Atlanta isn't going to fuck with CBS' 60 Minutes broadcast that is watched by roughly 1/4 of the people that watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.

So as it is, Kentucky and Georgia play at 11 tomorrow morning at Georgia Tech's arena (which holds less than 10,000 people--they don't have enough room for the media there to cover the tourney, let alone the 20,000 (as reported by ESPN) Kentucky fans alone that are in Atlanta), then the winner plays Mississippi State tomorrow night.

Either way, Kentucky and Georgia are screwed. I would argue Kentucky is more screwed: the advantage of UK earning the #2 seed in the SEC and the first-round bye have gone bye-bye, because the advantage of UK playing a Georgia team who played an emotional overtime game the night before is gone. And then the winner is screwed against MSU, because obviously a major college conference team playing two games in the same day probably hasn't happened in the past 30 years.

Frustrating stuff all around. It is incredible to me that the City of Atlanta and the SEC don't have contingency plans in place for Wrath-of-God weather coming down during their tournament--I mean really, when is the last time a basketball game has been called due to weather?--but how can this be excusable? What happens to the roughly 15-20,000 people who bought tickets who aren't going to be able to get into the games? How do they pick who gets in (check that, it's called money)? How do you rectify UK/UGA having to play two games in one day?

What a mess. Hopefully UK takes care of business and beats UGA and they are without a doubt in the NCAA's and all of this doesn't matter. However, after seeing the truly masterful coaching job Coach Billy Clyde has done makes me pretty pissed off that he's not going to get an honest opportunity to win the SEC Tournament.

I guess the moral to the story is that if you want a situation completely messed up, leave it up to city planners and the NCAA.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Save The CWS / Omaha Councilman Jim Suttle's Response

So B at Exit 177 sent along a e-mail yesterday regarding the Omaha College World Series stadium issue.

B--like myself and several Heavy Soul contributors--is in favor of building the new stadium. So he sent along a link to a website called "Build It Omaha," and the contact info for every Omaha City Council member. As a public service, I'll post these at the end of the post.

Anyways, although I hate everything that has been involved with the stadium issue and how it has been handled, I do support the new stadium being built. I think it is going to completely suck-ify the CWS into the Corporate World Series. I think a new stadium will kill a lot of the charm of the CWS.

That said, everything above does not trump the simple fact that anything is better than no College World Series whatsoever. And the way that King Fahey has gone about this--apparently using "Negotiating and Public Office for Dummies" as a guide--has left us in a spot where it's his way or the highway. So I wrote into my Councilman, Mr. Jim Suttle. Here's what I wrote:

Mr. Suttle,

Just wanted to send along some support towards the city building the new stadium.

While I do believe that with the new stadium comes a "new" CWS, which is not a good thing. I'm very afraid that the fun and innocence of the CWS is going to go away with Rosenblatt, and be replaced by a new stadium and a new corporate sensibility, which is unfortunate.

That said, I would take a corporate-ized CWS over no CWS. I hope that you, the rest of the Council, and the people of Omaha keep that in mind. Omaha without the CWS is unimaginable, and it would be an incredibly sad day to see it go away.

Thank you.

Here is the response I got from him:


Thanks for sending your note. I appreciate having your thoughts.

After the initial Baseball Committee press conference 3 weeks ago, I said that I would go back on the “listening mode” with the public and with businesses. I wanted to verify my position of supporting Rosenblatt as our baseball facility.

To date, my verbal conversations, telephone calls, letters and e-mails have fluctuated, but now seem steady again at 80% ‘no’ on the Downtown Stadium. The order of the reasons has shifted to 1) uncomfortable with the financing burden on the City; 2) serious traffic and parking concerns; 3) nostalgia for the Old Stadium. Comments are from City wide sources. Throughout the summer, fall and winter, the count was 80% for Rosenblatt.

I just had a briefing by the financial consultants. I asked for a sensitivity analysis. That is, if the numbers changed, does their conclusion on the Downtown Stadium change? For example:

• The City has assets but little cash without going into debt or foregoing services in order to do this Stadium. Can’t the City have a cash credit for the fair market value of Lots C/ E and for the 47 acres at Rosenblatt? (My guess is $ 20m each site)?

• How can the City get out of issuing bonds and providing its credit guarantee? Thus, no extra hotel nor rental car tax. This would let the City hold these options for more pressing problems (e.g. Qwest principle payment; higher national tourism advertising; etc.).

• Where is the ante from Creighton and the Royals into the capital pool for this new stadium?

• Where are these missing costs for the Downtown Stadium proposal:

$16m for parking garages next to stadium per the NoDo Plan?
$10m environmental mitigation at Lots C & E?
$5m for a traffic control center for the Stadium/Qwest traffic /parking flow management?
$4m for trams and jitneys to shuttle to and from all parking lots?

I was criticized again recently by a rep from the Committee for asking these questions. I replied “If a Plan is that good, then it should hold up to the scrutiny of all questions”. I firmly believe that whether it is my idea or someone else’s, asking questions IS a good thing. I will continue to ask my tough questions.

I would appreciate having your thoughts on the above.


That's great and all, Mr. Suttle, but did you not READ my e-mail?? What a jackass this guy (along with the rest of our Council) is. He may as well have written "I assume you hate the idea of a new stadium as I do, so I went ahead and skipped reading your e-mail and formulated this ridiculous response that makes me sound like I'm out on the front lines, fighting the good fight for my constituency!" It's not that the questions he asks are not legitimate. But the tone and the fact that it does not in any way address anything that I said is ridiculous. I mean, it's not like I sent this e-mail to the White House. In fact, I've sent e-mails to U.S. Senator Ben Nelson before and I have a direct response from him or a staffer within 24 hours, and it's not some stupid canned Word document. I'm guessing that a U.S. Senator has a few more notes and commitments passed along to him in a day than a Omaha City Councilman does in 2 years.

Omaha's city leadership is honest to God embarrassing. I've never seen such a group of self-serving people all serving in public office at the same time (well, at a local level). They don't listen to anyone other than themselves, and they always assume that what they want is what the people want.

If I'm working at the NCAA and watching all of this from a distance, I would at first chuckle, then be bummed out. Bummed out because I know that I'm going to have to start taking bids from cities all over the country that want to host the College World Series. Because if Omaha even remotely had their stuff together, I would have another 10 years of 20 hour work weeks, because I wouldn't have to worry about all this crap. Instead, Omaha's city "leadership" is making this way too hard to justify letting them continue to host this event.

It is stunning to me that you can screw up a process as badly as Mr. Fahey and the Council have. You take something that is a source of enormous civic pride that virtually everyone in your city loves and somehow completely divide the same group of people into two angry mobs where compromise is no longer even a reality.

Well done, City of Omaha. When is the next city election again?

**EDIT** Whoops, forgot to paste in those Council contacts. Here you go--don't say Heavy Soul never did anything for you!

District 1
Jim Suttle
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, NE 68183
Work: (402) 444-5527
Email: jsuttle@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 1: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District1.pdf

District 2
Frank Brown
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, NE 68183
Work: (402) 444-5524
Email: fbrown@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 2: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District2.pdf

District 3
Jim Vokal
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Work: (402) 444-5525
Email: jvokal@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 3: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District3.pdf

District 4
Garry Gernandt
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Work: (402) 444-5522
Email: ggernandt@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 4: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District4.pdf

District 5
Dan Welch
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Work: (402) 444-5528
Email: dwelch@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 5: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District5.pdf

District 6
Franklin Thompson
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Work: (402) 444-5523
Email: fthompson@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 6: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District6.pdf

District 7
Chuck Sigerson, Jr.
1819 Farnam Street, LC-1
Omaha, Nebraska 68183
Work: (402) 444-5526
Email: csigerson@ci.omaha.ne.us
Map of District 7: http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/departments/city_council/district%20maps/District7.pdf

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Maybe The Internets Aren't As Smart As We Think

I was reading this article on Fox Sports.com about Michael Beasley being this "unselfish team player" (verdict: I don't buy it. The guy is douchey, and it is appropriate that he went to Kansas State), but then noticed this ad towards the bottom of the page:

We (and a lot of other people) go on and on about how we can't figure out how ESPN is so popular, so big, so powerful...well, when your closest competition sells YOUR GEAR in THEIR STORE, I suppose it's not too surprising after all, now is it?

Sweet jumpin' Jehovah, Fox Sports! That's like adidas selling Nike gear in their on-line store! "Not interested in our new Ryan Howard line? Well, that's not too surprising. How about some Jordan Brand Derek Jeters?"

LOL @ Fox Sports. Idiots. Then again, I guess I would rather have a t-shirt with Lee Corso on it than one with one of those stupid robots that jump up and down when Fox comes back from commercial. And with that realization--and the subsequent vomit in my mouth--comes another:

I think the terrorists have, indeed, won.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking News: St Patty's Day Rules in the Grain Belt!

According to one very well-placed, third-hand source, HeavySoul has learned that Coors distributors here in Omaha will begin selling Grain Belt Premium in River City on Monday, March 17th. This happens to be St. Patrick's Day, which will apparently be extra special this year.

Despite no ties, whatsoever, between Grain Belt and the holiday, the normally overrated St. Patty's Day festivities will finally be cause for celebration. Previously, the Twin Cities-brewed Grain Belt had been limited to outposts such as Sioux Falls, SD; Marshalltown, IA; and, of course, The Metrodome.

Drinkers not familiar with "Premies" should get acquanted. First, read this excellent history of the Grain Belt brewing tradition here.

Second, one should attempt to familiarize yourself with the beer. Buy a 2-4 of "Premies" and enjoy. I find that these beers are delicious afternoon beers, or also to eat with a bunch of chicken wings or BBQ. Personally, I do not feel that they will replace Coors Light as my steady drinker, but they will probably be the 2nd or 3rd star on Orion's Belt for me.

Third, help me convince Barrett's Barleycorn to carry them from now on.

Fourth, I would assume they will always be sold out West of 168th and South of Q. Just trust me on this one.

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Um, so I was wondering what people thought of this column:

David Mamet's (The Village Voice) "Why I'm No Longer A 'Brain-Dead' Liberal"

I thought it was a very interesting column. Not trying to start shit here whatsoever, my friends. Just curious what my liberal, conservative, and libertarian friends thought of it.

That's it. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less.

*Ducks to avoid rocks thrown*

Peace, my brothers!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Heavy Soul Opening Day 2008: It's T-ShirTABular!

Small update for you...for the first time, we will actually have t-shirts for an event! And not only will we have t-shirts, but we will have some kick ass t-shirts. HUGE ups to JimStock and B over at Exit 177 for helping us design these. They are exactly what we were hoping for, and are really happy with the outcome here.

So far, we obviously have shirt designs for Cub, Twins, and Royals fans. Because we are assuming Napa is coming, we'll have a White Sox shirt made up.

What we need from you, dear reader, is the following if interested:

-Desired Team
-Desired Size

We're not sure what the price on these shirts will be, but it should be minimal (talking under $15).

Details will continue to follow, but make sure to comment on this post if you want a shirt!

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Vampire Weekend

Just checking,
But does anybody want to go see Vampire Weekend in Madison on Friday, April 4th or in Milwaukee on Saturday, April 5th? I would be up for the Chi-town show, but its already sold out. Madison's three hours from IA City and Milwaukee is four. I'm going to one of them and just wanted to see if anybody else would be up for the trip before I made a decision between the two.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

The Hold Steady- Stay Positive

From Pitchfork 2/22/08

"Artwork for the fourth Hold Steady album! That's right-- after months of being hunkered down in the studio, growing their beards, the thing is finally in the can. All that needs to be done now is the mastering, sequencing, and, of course, artwork."

"It's probably going to be called Stay Positive," Finn says, adding "we can say tentatively. There's a song called "Stay Positive" we've been playing live, and it was just something that's been kind of hanging around in my head a long time. I would say it's safe to say that's the name of the record."

At the end of the podcast below Craig Finn tennitively says spring/summer of '08 for Stay Positive.

The Hold Steady- Live on KEXP (Gibson Showroom) NY, NY

Stuck Between Stations>Massive Nights>Interview
>Chips Ahoy>Your Little Hoodrat Friend>You Can Make Him Like You

Exciting NBA news...

The Birdman is Back!!! Heavysoul readers, we apologize for not posting this more promptly.

Gotta admire a guy that focuses on the "Drugs of abuse." Screw the pot and booze, that crap is for guys like Pacman and Vick. The Birdman prefers amphetamine and its analogs, which include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP.

In all seriousness though, good for him to stick it out during his suspension. Two years is a long time, it would have been easy to pack it in and say Fu*k it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Peterson Link

I found this post absolutely hilarious.

Thank you other Peterson.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ground Breaking: Maxim Magazine Doesn't Practice High Journalistic Standards

So I was going to post about The Black Crowes new album "Warpaint." I'm currently into my first listen of the album, and it is pretty solid. It's a dirty stomp through Southern Rock and Americana. It's certainly their best album since "Amorica;" it's a spirited romp in dirty rock and roll. I also understand that no one that contributes to this blog really cares either way, but the Crowes are one of my favorite bands ever, and I was excited that they came out with a really solid new album.

That said, I did a Google search for "The Black Crowes," simply to find the "Warpaint" cover art. Instead, I found this article from Entertainment Weekly regarding a review that Maxim gave on the album (a 2.5 star rating). Problem is, Maxim never heard the album.

It caught us off guard. The [band's] publicist called and told me that there was a disparaging review in Maxim. And I thought, ''Well, that's not possible because we haven't issued any music, so I'd like to know how that came about.'' Of course, the initial explanation was that it was an ''educated guess.'' In the music business, a fabricated review is a serious concern that may ultimately harm all artists, because it calls into question the credibility of the entire review process. - Pete Angeles, The Black Crowes manager

How fucked is that? You can leave whatever snarky quote you want about The Black Crowes, but how messed up is that a major magazine (however embarrassing it is to admit that Maxim is a "major magazine") publishes reviews based strictly on what they kind of anticipate what they might think of the album. What if this album was a classic? What if The Black Crowes came out of the studio with a total masterwork that one day we would look back and tell our kids "that was our generation's 'Abbey Road.'? Again, take the band out of the equation here. Just imagine that the perfect album was made, but it happened to be made by a band that was seemingly washed up...what if one of the most widely-read magazines in America slammed it, because they assumed a washed-up band couldn't possibly release a relevant album?

I know it goes without saying, but Maxim magazine is an embarrassment, and they simply shouldn't get away with the bullshit they publish every month (hey reader--we assume you're dumb enough to think that lingerie pictures and cocaine jokes are pretty awesome!). I guess it's nice to see another fairly major publication call them out on it.

What do you think?

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Random Thoughts

1) Just heard Favre retired this morning on the way to work. Everybody's talking about how its the end of an era, but haven't we all been preparing ourselves for this moment for three or four years? Every off season has been full of "Is Favre retiring?" questions. We've been inundated with it so much that it didn't really phase me when I heard the news this morning. Don't get me wrong, I think Favre is great and I loved watching him and that team this year. I just think it was about time he finally hung up the spurs and finished his yearly hostage situation with the Green Bay Packers organization.

2) Found a cool student organization here that we should have thought of in college. The 10,000 hour campaign gets a popular artist to come play on campus (this year its Ok Go) and then if you contribute at least ten hours of community service for the semester, you get a free ticket to the concert. I think this is a fantastic way to get college students to go out and contribute to the community they drunkenly ravage every weekend. I wish we would have had something like this in college. Granted, we probably would have remained music elitists and gotten a band that only 200 people on campus would have cared about, but it still would have been fun.

3) I am getting ready to go to a presentation on the use of electronic medical records and the need for computerized physician order entry in today's hospitals. The worst part is that I am going voluntarily, without it being a required speaker. I wonder what happened to me sometimes.

4) Later this afternoon I am going to put out my "That Guy Manifesto" so look forward to that.

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