Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Roots: Rising Down!
You thought I was not going to post anything about The Roots' eighth album--"Rising Down"--the day it was released????
Well, you're crazy then.
Needless to say--and completely predictably--I think this is yet another great album coming from the Legendary Roots Crew. Sonically it is pretty crazy. And there are tons of collabs on here, all of which I think are pretty damned good. They include Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Saigon, and a bunch of other up and comers.
At the very (very) least, you need to go download the track "Rising Up." It is easily one of the best songs The Roots have ever put out--Jay Z is pissed he didn't get to put this on one of his albums.
Other than "Rising Up," however, it's a pretty dark album. There are some crazy sounds and production on this album. I've only listened to it a few times (Hales got the leak last week), but have to say it is another solid, solid effort. And needless to say, it is so far advanced of what is being released in the hip-hop world right now it's crazy.
So if you want to hear some got damned fine music, this is the album to go pick up.
SUPPORT GOOD MUSIC!
As a bonus for putting up with my Roots posts, here is a link for last night's performance of "Rising Up" on David Letterman:
The Roots - "Rising Up" ft. Chrisette Michele and Wale, Live On Late Night With David Letterman
Woodhead on USA Today Sports Section Front Page
As a follow-up to yesterday...
Not exactly a take home to mom type, boys.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Holy Roger Clemens
Seriously though, check this out and tell me I'm wrong (bolded by me to add emphasis and EUUUGGGGGGG!):
Roger Clemens carried on a decade-long affair with country star Mindy McCready, a romance that began when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer performing in a karaoke bar and Clemens was a 28-year-old Red Sox ace and married father of two, several sources have told the Daily News.
I mean, this is disgusting. Outrageous. Seriously, how the hell does a 15-year-old get into a karaoke bar? *rimshot*
Thank you folks, I'll be here all week! Tip your waitresses!
Jets sign Woodhead
And on a side note, I was shocked to see Danny go undrafted.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Are The Lakers This Good? Or...
I'd say it is a disastrous (for Denver fans, anyway) combination of both.
Not to take anything away from the Lakers. They are damn good. They pass as well as any team I've watched in the playoffs; maybe Boston is equally good.
But these Nuggets are just embarrassing. Think about it: the have Carmello Anthony, who is (supposedly) one of the best players in the league. They've got A.I., who still can ball--I don't care how old he is. They have an explosive PF in Kenyon Martin, and a 2- or 3-time Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Camby. Throw in a bunch of really good role players, and on paper, this should clearly be one of the best teams in the NBA.
But that's on paper. Anthony is vastly overrated with a shitty attitude. Kenyon Martin, the same. A.I. seems to be the only guy who actually gives a shit as to what is going on during the game (and I suppose Camby). They whine, they swear at the refs, and seemingly blame each other for bad plays on the court. In fact, in the last 5 minutes of this game, Mello got T'd up, every call that goes against them gets an exasperated look from their players and Karl, the crowd is booing every call...and he doesn't call a time-out. Doesn't make a substitution. Doesn't call a play to try to get an easy bucket. Literally, the guy didn't do one thing. And now LA is up 21 points.
If I were a Nuggets fan, I would want George Karl fired not at the end of the season--no, I would want his dumb ass fired during the fourth quarter. Unprecedented move? Yes. Deserving? Emphatically yes. This is just as embarrassing of a performance as you could imagine. Your team goes down in a 2-0 hole, but you've got the home crowd to look forward to (who were jacked up at the beginning of the game)--and you respond by whining and blaming everything on the refs. Meanwhile, the Lakers put on an assist clinic and completely undress you at home. Ridiculous.
Again, no slight against the Lakers--I think after watching these first 3 games, they have to be my favorite to make the Finals. Perhaps us few NBA fans left will get to see the dream Lakers-Celtics series we have been hoping for the entire second half of the season after all.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Pete's NFL Picks: Draft Edition
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A. Peterson, Draft Guru
Unless you are a member of the Peterson family, in which case you have worker, writer, and NFL addict A. Peterson, who will spend hours discussing any facet of NFL football without prompting and in most cases to the enlightenment of all.
For A., the draft is like a combination of Kwanzaa and Arbor Day, only with football. Check out parts I and II over at his friend Carlin's blog The Realness Hurts. Approximately a 4,000 word read with one part left to go. It's a great read, and we are linking to it here in exchange for his comprehensive analysis of the Cleveland Browns strategy over the last year.
Also, Pete's NFL picks will run on Thursday with its NFL Draft preview.
You build that amount up and you can win stuff like shirts and hats, but you can also be paid out real money. Once you hit $20.00, you can get a check. All the money for this site comes from ad revenue (in fact, after you place a bet, if you click on the sponsored ad, it will accelerate your bet. For example, I bet $0.01 on the D-Backs beating the Giants last night. But because I clicked on the ad, I got a 50% accelerator and actually won $0.015 on the bet).
I don't know, it's an interesting site, and perfect for someone like me that likes gambling, but is too big of a pussy to actually put money on it. Check it out.
(P.S. The Cubs rule.)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Big XII north spring game humor
Yes you heard that correctly, 3-0. A freshman kicker from McCook, NE (of all places) kicked a long field goal in the 4th quarter for the only points of the game. I really hope they give Coach Prince a contract extension, where's Steve Pederson when you need him.
2) More people showed up for yesterdays 4/20 smoke out at CU than showed up for their spring game the day before, even though good old Bill McCartney was asking their fans to sell the place out and get more than 50,000 fans into Folsom. Maybe they will market the smoke out and spring game on the same day next year, that would be a good way for their fans to not remember how bad they are going to suck the next year.
3) and finally, another good one from CU. Folks, i present to you the unveiling and first run of Ralphie V!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Cowherd Finally Adds Something to My Life
-The Magical World Inside the Abandoned Fridge
-Pop Goes the Hamster and Other Great Microwave Games
-You ARE Different and That's Bad
-Dad's New Wife: Robert
-The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking
-Grandpa Gets a Casket
-That's it, I'm Putting You up for Adoption
-Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet be Friends
So I've been trying to think of other such titles and here's a tentative list:
1) Putting Matches in Gasoline and Other Fun Afternoon Projects
2) The Submarine Controlled by the Knobs on the Stove
3) Daddy Drinks Because You're Naughty
4) Where You Came From and Other Tales from the Back of a Car
5) The Exorcist: Kids' Edition
6) Skin Carving Activities for Kids (by Charlie Manson)
7) Winnie the Pooh Gets Hodgkin's Disease
8) Sesame Street Presents: Bert Sodomizes Ernie
9) A Preteen's Guide to Home Abortions
Yes, I know I am a terrible person.
The Tunnel Walk: Spring Game
As you can tell from this blog and other media sources across The Good Life, the excitement for new head coach Bo Pelini is at fever pitch. The same can be said for the Spring Game: with a sell-out and tickets going for $85 at Ticket Express, it's safe to say that people are kind of fired up.
(Side note: Tunnel Walk gives an enthusiastic two middle fingers up to Ticket Express. Don't use them.)
Also with much hype comes...The Tunnel Walk! We know how excited Husker fans get waiting for us to put out the newest edition of The Walk, so the wait is over.
And because the Spring Game is just a glorified practice, we're treating The Tunnel Walk in the same fashion. So temper your expectations, and here we go....
Kickoff Classics: Start Me Up vs. Crazy Train
Assuming you make it into the stadium for kickoff, which can admittedly be daunting, especially if the game starts before noon or after six, either The Rolling Stones’ last big hit ‘Start Me Up’ or Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ will be blaring for some 165-pound orphan to put his boot to the leather prior to kickoff.
While both are seemingly appropriate for such malnourished foot-to-football contact, The Tunnel Walk feels that a tale of the tape needs to be done in order to establish The Official Tunnel Walk Kickoff Anthem.
Motivational Purpose (fans): Start Me Up seems to be approachable for the octogenerarians, and of course the boomers in the stands love the Stones. Crazy Train motivates people to hang themselves. Advantage: Start Me Up
Motivational Purpose (special teamers): The Tunnel Walk seems to feel that most special teamers would be fired up if Enya was played prior to the kickoff, but thankfully for everyone involved it’s not. For sheer make-you-wanna-run-through-a-wall-ability, we gotta give it to The Dark Prince. Advantage: Crazy Train
Guitar Skills: This is not a slight to Keith Richards in the least, as the Tunnel Walk is a huge fan of his licks, particularly on “Tumbling Dice”, “Honkey Tonk Woman”, and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, but guitarist Randy Rhoads was on the fast track to becoming the greatest metal guitarist in history before he died in a plane crash. Crazy Train is his swan song and signature riff, while Start Me Up is maybe in the top 20 of best Stones’ guitar songs. Advantage: Crazy Train
Extracurricular Activities of Artists: Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off of a bat, pissed on the Alamo, snorted ants for the hell of it, and tried to kill his wife. All this and he still had time to father two of the most annoying children on the planet. But then there is Keith Richards, who snorted his dad’s ashes, has been banned from entire countries numerous times, arrested for drugs more times than Robert Downey Jr., and fallen out of a tree that he was sitting in for no apparent reason. Throw in the rest of the Stones, and this one is probably no contest. Advantage: Start Me Up
Careers: Ozzy was in Black Sabbath and a bunch of solo stuff, and also had a very popular reality show. The Stones are the fucking Stones. Advantage: Start Me Up
Most Effective at Psyching Opponents Out: Start Me Up kind of fires people up in a non-menacing way, like ‘Pump up the Jam’ without the Techno or ‘Rock and Roll, Part II’ without the pedophilia. Crazy Train tells opponents that their kick returner will be decapitated. Big Advantage: Crazy Train
Originality: Start Me Up gets played at practically every sporting event, and while Crazy Train is hardly obscure, after all, it has been covered (and well) by Tom Jones, The Tunnel Walk feels a little less pervasive. Advantage: Crazy Train
So there you, have it, by a slim 4-3 margin, your winner of the Kickoff Classic: Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, which would certainly get Tom Osborne’s approval.
Top 5 Beers of Spring
1. Sam Adams Boston Lager
2. Blue Moon
3. Old Style
4. Busch Light (perfect for grilling)
5. O’Douls (because Spring is the perfect time to quit drinking, you know, if you were so inclined.
6. Bonus: Top snack of Spring: Cheetos with hot sauce. Seriously.
Other Spring Position Changes of Note, besides Cody Glenn
1. Greg Sharpe to really good play by play guy
2. Steve Pederson to antichrist
3. Iowa State to official Big 12 doormat, replacing Baylor
4. Danny Woodhead to NFL
5. Coach Mike Anderson from also-ran to semi-god of Haymarket Park
Rosey, Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Ass On The Way Out
Ah, spring. Hope springs eternal, does it not? Indeed.
There’s a lots of reasons for optimism this Husker season. Gone are the no-looking-back-while-defending-the-pass-while-playing-roughly-80-pounds-overweight defense. Gone is Bill Callahan and his inability to fire up a meth head hopped up on a case of Red Bull (and his “too complicated for you!” shit attitude). Gone are Steve Pederson and his North Platte-rep-killing.
This all should be enough. However, there’s one extra treat for you, Husker fan: no more Jim Rose.
Jim Rose and his own special brand of complete insanity and lunacy can be found on 1110 KFAB on their “Good Morning Show.” Thankfully, it will not be gracing the broadcast booth at Memorial Stadium.
In fact, the only thing that concerned us about Rose “leaving” the booth was that the hilarious skits on Unsportsmanlike Conduct would fade away. Well, they haven’t. It’s literally the best of both worlds-situation here, folks.
We were going to do some more on this part of the Tunnel Walk; however, upon beginning to fire up the ol’ Google, we found this. This is the home page for one Jim Rose, who lives in Wickford, RI. It might tip the unintentional comedy scale all the way past 10. It will take you about 3 minutes to look at everything on his site, so make sure to do so. You’ll be happy you did.
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Adrian Fiala!
Prediction time! Considering it is impossible to predict the final score of a inter-squad practice, we will say this: Tunnel Walk is a pretty big fan of Coach Pelini splitting the teams up equally. It should be a lot of fun to watch, and we think there will be a lot of pent up aggressiveness on display after 4 years of Cosgrove systematically ripping these players' will to live away.
So who wins? You, Husker fan. Enjoy watching your beloved Cornhuskers take the field with some pride once again.
See you in the fall.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
In Defense of Kool-Aid Drinking Husker Optimism...
I saw that this post was linked here, here, here, and here. Apparently some don't share in the optimism (although some do).
First of all, I totally get that. I believed and believed and believed until my belief turned blue the past 3 years or so with Callahan. Every year was "the year," every year was going to be better, blah blah blah. So for a Husker fan to start pounding his chest talking about how great of a year it's going to be does seem a bit...desperate. Totally understand.
However, there are legitimate reasons to ignore those feelings of betrayal and to go ahead and hook back up with that cheating girlfriend/boyfriend that is overhyping the Huskers in the spring.
1. Talent. Talent. Talent. So much of this coaching/AD/philosphy change (er, change back) has been talked about, you all know all the talking points. But the big one is recruiting. How many times have you heard "we don't care about stars, we'll know a good football player when we see him"-type quote over the past few months? 1,000? 10,000? I certainly agree that Callahan lived and died off of star ratings on Rivals, which is ridiculous.
However, it should not be overlooked. When you look at the Rivals' team rankings over the past few years, it matches up with the top 25 pretty well:
USC - Top 5 recruiting class past 5 years
LSU - Top 10 recruiting class 4 of 5 years
Florida - Top 10 recruiting class 4 of 5 years
Georgia - Top 10 class 6 straight years
Texas - Top 10 6 straight years
OU - Top 10 4 of 5 years
And on and on. You get the point. Or do you? What's the point again? Oh, I remember: Nebraska has had a top 20 recruiting class the past 4 or 5 straight years. Now, I know this is confusing. You're saying to yourself "well, we sure as shit didn't have a top 20 team in any of those years." And you're right. However, there's a reason for that--none of the young talent got to play.
As has been my completely unfounded theory, Vrzal told me after seeing several practices so far this season "you would not believe the talent that has just been wasting away down there the past few years." I don't need to go on; I already typed about this in the first post. The fact is, however, that there is a ton of talent on this team that just never was A) Used, B) Motivated, C) Developed.
By all accounts, Bo Pelini and his staff A) use everybody as much as possible, whether that's at their "natural" position or not, B) motivates like few others do, and C) have a track record of developing talent.
The biggest thing in my opinion, however, was where the info was coming from. For anyone that has talked football with Vrz, they know that he is always from the "hope for the best, but expect the worst" camp--particularly the past few years. I remember specifically last year when everyone was fired up about the upcoming season, he predicted they'd be lucky to win 7. And this wasn't a Callahan thing; he has never predicted the Huskers would be better than an 8-win team since I've known him (circa 2000).
On top of that, the guy knows what a great team looks like. I mean, the guy played on the best team in the history of college football. He practiced against the best players in the nation every day for 5 years. I believe this is why he was never high on big Husker predictions; I mean, what's going to impress you when you've lived/played/seen the best?
So for him to talk this highly about a team with a guy who has never been a head coach in his first year HAS to tell you how great the team looks already.
I think when you couple this with every interview you read/hear from a current Husker--all the "we actually look forward to practice" quotes, and you hear how excited these guys are to play for this staff and to make up for last year...if there's as much talent on this team as I believe there to be, finally matched up with coaches that understand college football and have a penchant for coaching up their players, why would it be so crazy to think this team can win a lot of ball games and sneak into a BCS game?
I could cite a bunch of other things here, but what it comes down to is this: if you continue the success of the offense had once Ganz became quarterback, and add to it a radically improved defense, you should easily see a Top 20 team. Think about it: the Ganz-run offense AVERAGED 54 points a game. 54! They scored 39 on one of the best defenses in the country last year. So if Bo can just get his defense to only give up 4 or 5 touchdowns--which is insane and I do not think that will happen, it will be better--we should win most of the games we play.
So, jilted lovers that are Nebraska fans, I understand your trepidition. And I understand that people who think that the Huskers will win 9 or 10 are out of touch and are reminded "this ain't the '90's anymore, you suck!" However, I humbily submit to you the post above.
I think the Huskers will shock the world and be a legitimate Top 20 or higher in 2008.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
eBay Find of the Week
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Keep All-Ages Shows In Omaha!
Of course, this is a problem. Currently, there is supposedly more Council support to ban minors from attending concerts that are at Slowdown/Waiting Room.
(Of course, they're going to turn a blind eye to the Hanna Montana concert that featured thousands of 13-year-old girls who attended the concert while the Qwest Center served beer. Oh, and that Creighton basketball game--I'm pretty sure they let kids in there. What's that? Spamalot? You mean they let kids go to that? They did, didn't they...I think they sold beer and liquor at that joint. You get the point.)
If all-ages shows are banned, we're going to see a lot of bands that Omaha would not normally get (and used to not get) start to avoid the place, because 1% Productions will no longer be able to promise strong crowds for these bands. Not to mention that you're taking away an important opportunity for young people--and, in the end, all people--to be exposed to great art and culture.
Say what you will about the bands they get, what cannot be denied is how much national exposure Omaha has received because of all the incredible shows they get. And to see the City Council in all their arrogance and hypocrisies try to mess it up because they know how better for you and your kids to live your life makes me want to puke. Hopefully it does you, too. Three things you can do to help out (and two of them are incredibly easy):
1. Sign this online petition. Remember, after you enter in your info, you have to go into your e-mail and click on the link that is sent to you for it to be an "official" electronic signature. If you live out of town, just use 68104 for the zip code.
2. E-mail your councilperson (scroll to the bottom of this post to get their contact info). Remind them they are elected to this position to make the city a BETTER place, not make it worse because they're afraid the kid who is old enough to go to war and vote for them might get a rouge beer at a rock concert. Remind Jim Suttle how strongly he believes in the arts. Remind them how much Saddle Creek and 1% Productions has meant to building up the national arts reputation of Omaha--and how important this is to actively courting and recruiting young professionals, so crucial to the long-term growth of Omaha.
3. Go to the Council meeting on Tuesday. What else are you doing on a Tuesday? Be active in your community. The more people that show up for the cause here, the more impact it will have. Democracy in action, people! The meeting is at 2pm--I would imagine to keep down the number of people that show up, but take a late lunch and show them what's up--and the address is:
1819 Farnam St
Omaha NE 68183
Let's get at it. At the very least, sign the online petition (it literally takes 30 seconds), and e-mail your councilman. Go to the meeting. Send in the letter you write to the Council to the Omaha World-Herald. Don't let the City Council ruin a great and growing music scene!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Credit where credit's due
Anyway, before we get into the nuts and bolts of why the Huskers are dominating this year, let's first talk about Spitz sunflower seeds. To the Spitz company: fuck you. These seeds are garbage. I picked some up at a QT because that's all they carry for some damn reason, and I must have gotten the Cascade or Dawn flavour, because they tasted like soap at first, then didn't taste like anything. Jesus. I know better now. Although I do feel bad about this, because their website is really earnest and they appear to be nice people. Sorry about your shitty product, nice people.
Here are acceptable seed brands:
1. Herman's Nut House (biggest seeds, locally operated, no gimmicks)
2. Giants seeds (the official seed of the Minnesota Twins)
3. Jim Beam (for obvious reasons)
4. David (becuase sometimes the above brands can be scarce, and these are better than Fisher or Frito Lay)
Anyway, back to baseball. Here are the keys to the Husker season as I see it:
1. Johnny Dorn has been a guaranteed win on Fridays. I didn't see his resurgence coming. Thank god HGH is in good supply in Grand Island due to the horse industry.
2. Nick Sullivan and the Two Jakes have anchored a solid, unspectacular lineup.
3. Thad Weber's knuckle curve and mind-numbing accuracy. Plus he's from Friend, NE.
4. Solid defense, for the most part. With the exception of the Sunday game in Austin.
While there is still a ton of baseball to be played, this team would have to really fuck up to not host a regional. Congrats to the team and Coach A for having a kick ass first half, and let's go get em the rest of the way!
Saturday, April 05, 2008
New (?) Wilco Song
Wilco - "Glad It's Over"
Friday, April 04, 2008
Former Player: "Don't be surprised to see the Huskers in a BCS bowl game"
"I'm going to go on record here and say this: don't be surprised to see the Huskers in a BCS bowl game. I'm not saying they're playing for the National Championship. But I would not be surprised to see them make a BCS game."
Naturally, I was very surprised by this. For one, Vrz has never been a shiny optimist when it comes to Husker predictions. In fact, when everyone was trying like hell to buy into the Callahan era and were predicting big things last season, he was one who said we'd be lucky to win 7. So I asked him about his bold prediction when I got there, and he had this to say:
"Fratty, I'm telling you, I would not be surprised. There is so much talent on that team it is scary. I've been to a bunch of practices, and there is some SERIOUS talent on that team. And the coaches are legit."
Now, that was not a direct quote whatsoever, but that was the gist of it. He also echoed much of what has already been said, but that because practices were so much like NFL practices, there was just tons of talent rotting on the bench as no one that wasn't at least 2nd string really got any reps under Callahan-run practices.
So there you are, Husker fan. Throw trepidation and cautious optimism to the wind! It's going to be a great year!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
THE ROOTS ARE COMING!
Holy shit, The Roots are playing in Omaha (er, Council Bluffs)!!!!!
June 1st, the Stir Concert Cove at Harrah's.
This is the best news I can imagine. The Roots! 10 minutes from my house!
And, I just saw they are also playing in Des Moines in August! It's a Roots-tastic summer, my friends! (I believe the date on this one is August 4th)
As for the rest of the Summer Concert Series, here's your lineup:
May 25 - Styx
May 30 - B.B. King
June 1 - The Roots
July 13 - Crosby, Stills, and Nash
July 20 - WEEN!
August 2 - Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos
August 23 - Bonnie Raitt