Thursday, November 30, 2006

All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes (remaster)

A beautiful mess? Beautifully frustrating? How about "arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh..."

Finally picked up the reissue last week (I'm saving the good ones for the winter). This could truly be called a "transitional" record, in that it got Pete from the Who-ish Empty Glass to the visionary White City at the occasional expense of the listener. We get four truly great songs out of the deal, along with a few other decent cuts and some real clunkers.

Right from the start something smells funny with Chinese Eyes. "Stop Hurting People" is one of those songs that makes classic rockers uncomfortably glance around the room like somebody farted. Then Pete barrels us over with the too-long "Sea Refuses No River" for almost six minutes, complete with corny harmonica and over-intellectual phrasing. I always thought this song could have worked on Quadrophenia, but only with The Who's muscle behind it. The Butler/Phillips rhythm section is tight here (as always), but tight like an asshole instead of a left hook.

Just as you start walking over to put on the new Van Halen record (pretend it's 1982), "Prelude" brightens things for just long enough to make you sit back down. Then we're rewarded with "Face Dances Part Two"-- one of the great singles of the 80's. Pete nails it to the wall here (and in 5/4) for all time (I mean, when was the last time you actually danced to a song in 5/4? Don't gimme that Brubeck b.s.-- that's not really dancing.). Here's the marriage of 70's rock and 80's new wave that "Let My Love Open the Door" heralded two years back (try dancing to King Crimson and you'll sprain your damn ankle).

"Exquisitely Bored" is great, but then things return to the art-swamp. "Communication" pales in comparison to its future father "Face the Face", so don't even bother with it. In fact, check out "North Country Girl" and then skip to the end. No, not the crappy bonus tracks, the real last track.

"Slit Skirts" is easily one of Pete's top 20 moments (that's saying a lot). It's Who's Next for post-punk and post-everything. You can't fucking deny it. OK, there's at least one clunker of a line in there, but who cares? I sure don't.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Monday, November 27, 2006

Finger Lakes

Had an amazing vacation this past weekend in beautiful Geneva, NY. The self-proclaimed "Gem of the Finger Lakes" doesn't have a whole lot of competition up there, but so what...

First let me say that traffic was unbelievably light for Thanksgiving weekend. I drove from Long Island to Geneva by way of Manhattan (had to pick up my date)-- BOTH WAYS-- and hardly had to slow down. The only congestion was (as always) at the Delaware Water Gap on Rte.80. Probably people trying to figure out why they call it a "water gap" and not just a valley or bridge or something like that.

We stayed in a huge mansion from the early 1900's. We were in the "Dining Room" technically, but you wouldn't know it from the strict diet of chips, pretzels and wine we were on. Fireplace, jacuzzi, free toothbrushes-- we had it all. Not to mention a DVD player, which we kept running with about 15 hours worth of "The World at War" and season one of "The Wire" episodes. Things blended together a bit-- at one point I wondered aloud why Stringer Bell didn't just pop a cap in Himmler's ass after he intercepted the re-up.

Only one scary moment (aside from my spending Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's assisted-living facility with two stuck-together contact lenses in my left eye, making my eye look and feel like a microwaved onion) for the whole weekend: a more-or-less blacked out late night trip to the local supermarket (Wegman's) in our Chevy Cobalt. Inspection of our receipt the next morning confirmed our strange purchases: two packages of ball point pens, a pint of "Chubby Hubby" ice cream, 4 wine coolers and a cat toy. Don't ask.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What the hell's going on with my favorite show?

The new season of Aqua Teen is seriously fucked up. The first two episodes featured Chinese food delivery guys eating human dicks, followed by guys getting raped by a dog named "Hand Banana". I actually stopped watching the show.

I tried picking it back up tonight, and it was even weirder. I think one of the main characters shot himself in the head. I wasn't really paying attention.

Chocolate explosion

Went to my first Knick game of the season last night. Unbelievable seats right behind the Knick bench-- I could practically strangle Isiah Thomas from where we were sitting. I didn't really get a chance, as Thomas was thrown out of the game for arguing with officials. I think he just wanted to get the hell out of there.

The Knicks opened the game with a 10-0 run against the Celtics. That didn't last long. Wally Sczrerzxbiiyak was scoring at will on Channing Frye, who looked like he had lead in his Keds. Paul Pierce did his usual combination of whining and dining on the court (39 pts), and the Celts won by 4. In all, not a terrible showing by the Knicks.

Lets get to the fun stuff:The Knicks City Dancers were mysteriously absent for the first half hour or so, including the game intro. Probably because somebody stole their entire wardrobe set. They finally pranced out onto the court in hideous-looking pale orange felt skirts, looking like extras from a middle school production of Peter Pan. I heard at least three different people say they looked like "fucking pumpkins."

We were also treated to the rhythms of the New York Sticks, a bunch of kids from some local music program. I liked it better when they just let that kid with the plastic bucket play for 10 minutes.

Things reached a cultural and creative high point with the halftime show of the
"Acko Airs" (?). A loosely-knit troupe of acrobats and gymnasts, the Airs were supposedly united by some sort of anti-drug message. Unfortunately, their performance was absolutely impossible to understand unless you were on some sorts of drugs, which I was. Truthfully, at that point I was simply relieved that I wasn't chosen for the halftime lay-up contest...

After the game we staggered over to 8th & 34th (about 200 feet away) for a raucous midnight showing of Borat, which was absolutely hilarious. Somebody shit diarrhea all over the men's room after the film, which led one group of drunk patrons to speculate that "it looks like Borat was in here..."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Small Frye

Channing Frye's really stinking up the joint. He's scoring 3.3 points a game on 21% shooting, with almost no rebounds to speak of.

Thank G_d for Quentin Richardson, who I used to hate.

This is a pathetic blog.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Losing Isiah

Haven't written in a while because... the Knicks stink. Really stink.

I tried to make a fun thing out of Isiah not really caring about defense, but now we see he doesn't really care much about rebounding of any kind either. If all he cares about is offense, he's got the wrong bunch of guys-- they can't shoot to save their lives.

Zeke is proving to be a great quote machine, however:"I have zero favorites. I'll bench anyone."Yeah, I think we all have "zero favorites" on this crappy team (and as if benching a guy who sucks and everybody hates is somehow a ballsy thing to do)!

My favorite Knick? Clyde. Hands down.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Tiny Beers

Kudos to Michael Heaton for taking me to see Stuart A. Staples (Tindersticks) at St. Ann's last night. Great show. So what if the drummer totally stole my look...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Knicks win!

Last night's NY/Memphis game was just like an ugly breakup: it was painful, it went on for way too long, communication was poor, nobody took charge, and everybody involved should be ashamed of themselves. Nobody could shoot to save their life either.

The Knicks do seem to make their free throws, though. The Grizz were shooting from the line like they spent the afternoon drinking sizzurp with 8-Ball and MJG. Let's hope games against Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Charlotte include similar collaborations with dat purple drank...

Isiah really seems lost. How about these quotes:

"It's never pretty on the road. It's always ugly..."
"I knew there would be a point in the game we'd come unglued..."

Maybe he's onto something.