Friday, May 29, 2009

Superchunk - "Crossed Wires" b/w "Blinders (Fast vers.)"

that's our new single -- out July 7! you can preorder now from the Merge site. limited to 1000 copies on clear vinyl. comes with a download card that allows you to download both songs plus a demo version of "Crossed Wires" that will sound extra lo-fi once you have it in an iPod.
the two 7" songs we recorded recently with Scott Solter (producer of fabulous records by Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, and others) producing, here in Durham at Overdub Lane. John Plymale (Indoor Living, Laughter Guns, Leaves in the Gutter) also was in on the action. We did some overdubs at my house. it's 2 new songs, and we recorded a couple more while we were at it. if we keep doing that we'll have an album before long, which is a radical concept, i know.

note the cover art by Will Yackulic, you can see more of his awesome work at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in NYC.

Friday listening:
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (this is the summer jams!)
Jorge Ben - Jorge Ben (1969)
Dirty Projectors - Stillness is the Move 12"
Various - Children of Nuggets box
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Arena Rock

so i always assumed that the NHL sent out a CD boxed set called "Cliched Music for Athletic Events" to every arena in the league, and that the music on the Jumbotron PA system was drawn from that set. however, it seems from watching games on TV or listening on the radio to away games, that not only do different arenas play different music, but that the RBC Center plays a particularly stultifying mix of Top 40 / Classic rock / Emo (? i don't know what to call some of the songs on there) / Sports Disco compared to some other joints.

Back in 2006 we brought them a couple Merge CDs including Spoon, Arcade Fire, and Superchunk, and they did indeed play "Punch Me Harder" during the '06 Finals.
Luke DeCock, columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer, is a long-time advocate for new/different music at the RBC Center and had a couple columns about it during this playoff run by the 'Canes. He even asked me for my input as to what we'd like to hear more of on the PA during the breaks in's that list -- i had to stop after thinking about it for an hour because i could have kept going all night....what does everyone here wish they would play during hockey matches? maybe they already play what you like at your local enormodome!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The Pens had a gear that the 'Canes couldn't find in this series, and tonight was no different. Like Game 1 and Game 3, the game started even, with an edge to the 'Canes even, and Staal, who was on a mission tonight, scored the first goal. But then the Pens tied it up and went ahead on a flukey goal that bounced off a 'Cane and went up and over a standing Ward. The 'Canes never stopped playing, and had some chances in the third even, but Fleury shut that down and did what he had to do. In fact he reminded me of Ward in the NJ series.

Other than Malkin and Crosby, who are in a class by themselves with Ovechkin hanging there too, the Pens are not appreciably a better team than the Hurricanes (we saw that in the regular season), but they played better when they needed to, made few mistakes, and the 'Canes made some choices as to how they decided to take on the Pens that would haunt them. The series was closer than the scores and the sweep would imply, but not so close that the Pens ever seemed worried about it; they were the better team and were usually in control of the pace and the flow of the game, which was the Hurricanes' undoing.

If someone had said to me in January, just after the coaching change and with the 'Canes floundering a bit, that Carolina would get to the ECF and be swept by the Pens, but that they'd first beat #1 seed Boston and Division Champs NJ, both in Game 7's, i think that i and most fans would have taken it, and i will take it now. the last half of the season was great to watch and the playoffs were amazing, with literally unbelievable moments in each series. What's funny is that our cable box / DVR is actually broken -- the HD jack is messed up -- but i don't want to take it back to Time Warner to get a good one because i have both Game 7's on there and i need to watch them again!

the Pens i am assuming will be playing the Red Wings. and while i can not pull for the Red Wings, and usually take the stance that i want the team that beat us to go on to win to prove that we were beaten by the best team, when i see the Wings play, i see them mowing down the Pens like everyone else.

Thanks 'Canes!


On the Upside...

ok the Credit Card bill that Obama signed into law last week lacks teeth on a number of major issues, and none of it takes effect for 9 months so consumers get screwed without restriction for awhile longer, but here's one good thing to come from that law -- apparently the inanely horrible, horribly inane "free credit report . com" commercials with the awful singing guy could become a thing of the past! It's not a cap at 15% on interest rates, but still...

Here's to Smooth Skating Tonight

...for the 'Canes anyway. Staal (Eric), please reappear in this series. Defense, step up instead of backpedalling. Make Fleury face a decent number of shots. Don't leave anything on the ice, as they say, and send the series back to western PA.

here's some fun gameday reading from Sunday's NY Times:

The Zamboni Glides On

I heard Mike Lang on 850 the Buzz this morning, it sounds like Chuck Kaiton's been keeping him out late! He also related that he was there the last time a team lost a 3-0 lead in a playoff series ('75 Pens)...not saying it will happen here, but that's why they play the games people!

Go 'Canes!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Glad I Didn't Bother to Tape It

Game 3 of the ECF was another ugly one for Carolina, final score 6-2 including 2 empty net/garbage time goals.
'Canes came out looking good, Cullen scored the first goal of the game, which was tied 1-1 with about a minute left in the 1st period. Penguins score 2 goals in the last minute, game over.
After that the 'Canes look a step slower than the Pens, who have rush after rush on Cam Ward (who did make some amazing saves to keep the game at 3-2 after Samsonov scored a goal in the 3rd). Malkin, Crosby, and other Pens skate in untouched, when Hurricanes should be at least attempting to put them on their asses. Doesn't happen. On the offensive end, the 'Canes had a measly total of 16 shots on goal in the first two periods combined (added 18 in the 3rd, but it was too late). Fleury is not a brick wall, but you have to put the puck on the net.

What made the game even less pleasant was having to watch it surrounded by Pens fans. Now don't get me wrong, they're not Buffalo or even New Jersey or Boston fans, but still, how an arena ends up with 20% opposing team fans filling the seats during the playoffs i have no idea -- it's ridiculous. Sure there were a few NJ and Boston fans at the RBC during those series, but you'd think that the ECF is a tougher ticket, and there were many more opposing fans than in either of those series. I don't get it.

Back at it on Tuesday, hopefully the 'Canes will give us something to cheer about. One game at a time right now obviously, but frankly i don't see the series coming back to NC even if they can pull something out on Tuesday. Yes, I've been wrong before, many times.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

'Canes in a 0-2 hole

wow it was the Malkin show tonight, the 'Canes decided to get in a shoot out and it didn't work out so well for them. they actually had a lead at one point, and there were a few ties, but Malkin kept scoring and the 'Canes didn't.

back to Raleigh and we'll see if Carolina can make a series of it....

Game Day Listening

Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride (I hear that's the pride of a 'Canes fan)
Go-Betweens - 1978-1990
Richard Thompson - Capitol Years
Grandaddy - Sumday
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications

Pre-game thoughts from Mr Forslund here.
No definitive word on whether Ruutu goes tonight, but it appears doubtful. Cole however seems likely, which is great (if he can skate)...Let's even this up, 'Canes!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Didn't Actually See It, But...

during the pre-inauguration celebration on the Mall back in January, i was excited to see Bettye Lavette come on singing "A Change is Gonna Come," only to have my excitement, uh, dampened a bit by the appearance of noted Civil Rights Expert JON BON JOVI on the stage with her.

anyway, not that i watch the show, but i am fairly certain that however the American Idol guy sang "A Change is Gonna Come" last night, it's not the way to do it.

however, Luther knew how to do it...the band is great, too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ECF Game 1 Tonight

very much looking forward to having a new opponent on the ice vs the 'Canes, dangerous as the Pens might be.

Scott Walker became "Public Enemy No 1" in Boston for giving Aaron Walker a black eye, what does that make Brooks Orpik, who lined up Erik Cole and broke his neck back in March of 2006? What's insane is that if you watch he clip Cole skates off under his own power somehow (with a broken vertebrae in his neck), and of course he actually recovered in time to re-join the team during the finals vs Edmonton that year.

I don't imagine there will be a dull moment in this series, but in case you need something else to do during the games, there's always the Staal Bros. Drinking Game....

GO CANES! should we be worried if they don't lose 4-1 like the last two series!?

UPDATE Pens 3, 'Canes 2
Freaking Fleury -- the guy was out of his mind tonight in the first two periods, stopping nearly everything that came his way. Pens scored 2 early but Carolina settled down and had great chances, almost all nullified by Fleury, throughout the first two periods. 3rd period they hardly had any shots on goal until the end of the game, when Corvo cut into the lead, but then despite a couple great chances to tie it up with the goalie pulled, Pittsburgh hung on for the win. Pens are fast and swarming at times as we knew they were, but Carolina didn't shrink from the task. Unfortunately by the end of the game the Hurricanes had lost both Cole (who had a crushing hit on Orpik) AND Ruutu to injury, no word yet on how severe either is.

Health Care Cave In?

i like Robert Reich, though most of what he has to say these days is incredibly depressing. he has a column up over at TPM today that basically predicts an upcoming cave by Obama and the Dems on a health care plan that would provide, if not single-payer, at least a Medicare-type option run by the gov't which would have such a large base that it could negotiate the best rates from the Pharmacalogical, Insurance, and Med industries. well of course those industries are all pushing back hard -- didn't the White House, which promised this new insurance option on the campaign trail, predict that push back? if so why aren't they prepared to fight it to get what they want and more importantly what is right? Frustrating and sad to watch. You don't have to just watch can call your Senator! Daily Kos has an informative diary up now about the issue, phone numbers included.

Monday Listening

wow 50 degrees this morning, unseasonably chilly -- perfect hockey weather.

David Kilgour - David Kilgour & the Heavy 8's
Susie Ibarra - Drum Sketches
Kingsbury Manx - Ascenseur Ouvert!
Cocteau Twins - Lullabies to Violaine
McCoy Tyner - Time for Tyner

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beards, Lucky Shirts, etc

Cole has one of the best playoff beards.

OK i think we can all agree that the main reason the Carolina Hurricanes won Game 7 in Boston the other night (currently listening to the "instant classic" replay on the radio right now) was because i was wearing my lucky Rosebuds t-shirt, which i also wore to games 4 and 6 of the NJ series, and game 4 of Round 2, but which was in the freaking laundry for Game 6 vs Boston (why didn't i just wear it dirty?). also, i watched in the same spot on the couch where i watched the 'Canes shock the Devils in Game 7. also i made sure not to wear black socks with the yellow lines on the toe, because then i'd be wearing Boston's a sickness!

what are everyone's superstitious insanities when it comes to "helping" their team win?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Carolina 3 Boston 2 -- 'Canes win in OT

amazing game 7, Walker with the game-winner, incredible night if you're a Carolina fan.

i gotta get some sleep before i can think about the Penguins.


UPDATE: WHY do these clowns like Shaughnessy and Barnaby on ESPN keep saying things like "Scott Walker, who maybe shouldn't have been playing these games after his punch to Aaron Ward" etc -- even if the league HAD suspended Walker, it would have been for one game, Game 6, not Game 7, so it really doesn't change things. Get it right.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Game 7 Liveblog

1st period

8.20pm Bruins score directly as a result of a BLOWN CALL -- icing called, the wrong call, Bruins score after the faceoff in the 'Canes end. Ridiculous. Maurice and Francis going nuts.

otherwise, good start for the 'Canes but down a goal doesn't feel good.

8.31pm wow i'm glad the fridge isn't as close when i'm at the games as it is here at home...dangerous in nervous times! at the game i generally go with one beer because a) they're huge b) it's a climb to our seats c) i always drive and d) it's a habit, and as long as they're winning i don't change habits.
here at home it's a different story! but i'm trying to pace it out.

8.35 nice faceoff win by Staal and a power play....let's do this...
come on guys it's YOUR PUCK! do something with it.

8.38 AND THEY SCORE! nice hesitation move by Seidenberg and then a bomb tipped by Brindy and we're tied up. Wooooo!
UPDATE goal credited to Seidenberg, though it still looks like Brindy tipped it on the replay

8.44 crap...Ruutu called for a slash, gotta kill this off...
killed it and then JONI WHY ARE YOU ICING THE PUCK

8.49 End of Per. 1 -- tied up 1-1

9.05 flipping around btw periods -- Wings/Ducks, Magic/Celtics -- but i can't focus on any of it

9.06 here we go, Period 2

9.07 great chance early for The Wizard, Thomas with a great stop

9.09 Cam stands tall with a stop on a Bitz breakaway

9.12 double crap - penalty called on Cullen, a weak hook...let's go 'Canes, kill it off!!

9.17 JONI! Pitkanen to Samsonov with a PERFECT pass and the 'Canes take the lead, 2-1....Woooo! Pitkanen drives me nuts at times but he has two points tonight and looks good.
Carolina keeps pressure on after the goal, forcing Thomas to make some serious stops...

9.21 ARGH another penalty called on Carolina...not what they need with the momentum they've created....

9.25 Tripp Tracy commenting on the tennis skills of Dennis Seidenberg and how it makes him a better defenseman...Forslund can't get onboard.

9.29 AND YET ANOTHER penalty -- a JOKE compared to what is going on in these games -- this one on Samsonov. Let 'em play, refs! Cripes.
'Canes kill it.

9.37 1.14 left in the period 'Canes get a power play when Ryder sits down for holding..."and the siren goes here in Boston" says JF and a period where the 'Canes had to kill 3 penalties comes to an end. what am i supposed to do now for the next 15 mins?!
50 secs or so left in the Carolina power play when they resume....

9.50 i LOVE Kaiton's Korner -- Chuck explaining the subtleties and arcana of hockey to laymen like myself...also getting to hear Kaiton's calls of the period highlights (radio is off synch with TV so can't listen to Kaiton live while watching Forslund is great)

9.56 Start of the 3rd LET'S GO 'CANES!!! Keep the pressure on!

9.58 HOLY COW a shot from Frank the Tank that hit the post and bounced on the goal line! but didn't go in....unlike LaRose's "no goal" earlier in the playoffs, this call was correct.

10.01 lots of pressure from Boston but some smart plays by Carolina as well...

10.04 F#$#! dammit damn Lucic scores....Savard from behind the net, you knew something bad was going to happen. Crap. COME ON 'CANES GET IT BACK

10.10 Boston getting a lot of momentum from that goal, Carolina needs Staal to do something here...'Canes' speed is good and they're outplaying Boston but it doesn't matter because the score is 2-2...

10.14 Ward makes a stop and gets a stick in the mask as a reward.

10.21 Ward stones former 'Cane Recchi with a great stop....some intense back and forth and good d on both sides...i'm just sitting here on the couch but i swear i'm re-herniating a disc in my back just from the tension...

10.24 FURIOUS play, 'Canes keep the zone wildly, hard shot from Whitney, Staal with a wrap chance but Thomas grabs the post and holds on...

10.27 Tracy: "we're getting into Jussi Jokinen time"....i coudn't agree more... LET'S DO THIS!


10.30 wow intsense action on Ward and he freezes the puck with 18 secs left...Recchi wins the faceoff, Jussi can't clear....
And we are going to OT my friends...i don't know if i can handle it. i need the announcers to STOP with the historical stats.

10.33 WHAT am i going to do for the next 15 minutes!?!

also: longest post ever....i guess that's what happens when you "liveblog" something like a hockey game (that goes into overtime)

10.48 Start of OT, someone needs to step up and WIN this for the 'Canes early in OT. who will it be?

10.53 some great pressure from the 'Canes, need to keep it up.

10.57 great chance for Walker on Thomas, Thomas makes the stop...Ruutu takes a brutal hit from Ward and gets back up...

10.59 INTENSE pressure from Boston and an amazing stop by Ward, popping the puck out of mid-air with his knee...

11.01 now Carolina brings the pressure, LaRose working so hard behind the Boston net, Boston clears, ices the puck, and calls their time out. Let's win this faceoff...

11.08 what makes me nervous is that Carolina seems to have the jump on Boston in Boston's end, but it almost feels like the Bruins are just kind of rope a doping until Carolina makes a mistake and then taking their opportunities, rare as they might be...scary when they do...

11.11 good active sticks by Carolina in their end, need to keep the energy up....

11.12 2 great chances by Staal, hitting bodies then getting his stick lifted KEEP IT UP

11.15 Timeout Carolina, Jussi getting his skate worked on, now they're showing highlights from Game 7 vs NJ to get our hopes up....would like to see that result again!

11.18 another BAD ICING CALL -- Aaron Ward CHOSE not to play the puck...

11.20 2.48 left in OT, great sequence by the 'Canes but Thomas made several sprawling saves...


of all people Scott Walker nets the winning goal on a rebound of a shot from Whitney....handshake


Play your game, make them chase you, get in front of Thomas and WIN THIS!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2 Down One To Go

'Canes have blown two chances to close out the #1 seeded Bruins, and have one chance left -- unfortunately they are travelling back to Boston, site of Sunday night's demolition and ensuing coming unglued, not where they should be after taking a 3-1 lead in the series.

Last night's game wasn't the no-show by the Hurricanes that Sunday night was, but chances are if you give up 2 goals in the first 5 minutes of the game, all the effort you've got isn't going to dig you out of that hole against a team as strong as the Bruins. 'Canes came out flat instead of desperate and the defense made some terrible mistakes early, hanging Cam out to dry. After giving up those two goals, the 'Canes tilted the ice their way for the last 10 minutes of the period but had nothing to show for it besides some Tim Thomas highlights. Cullen cut it to 2-1 with a pretty goal in the 2nd but the Bruins added two goals themselves, sealing the deal. The crowd was pretty good about staying in it, thanks to a Samsonov goal in the third but the 'Canes then wasted 2 power plays and time ran out on their hopes of ending this series at home.

The good thing about having seats where ours are -- top row, center ice -- is that you can see the whole ice and stand up the whole time (no one behind us). One of the bad things is that when visiting fans can get tickets they are often up in the rafters with us. Last night a bunch of Boston boys were really yukking it up across the aisle, actually more like in the aisles, making the loss that much more demoralizing to sit through.

It's not that i don't think Carolina can win at Boston -- they've already done this once. But that was the Carolina of Games 2-4. That team can win anywhere. But the team we've seen over the last two games looks like they're out of gas, which is depressing. The tools that the 'Canes have at their disposal to beat Boston -- speed, smarts, stamina -- hasn't been there the last two games, they were missing open nets last night and not making crisp passes, to say nothing of the defensive breakdowns that Boston will always make you pay for. Hopefully the 'Canes can play Game 7 like they did Game 7 of the '06 finals and extend a great season...60 minutes of desperate, disciplined play will do it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Words


Monday, May 11, 2009

Canes Shut Out in Boston

the Bruins tonight were the physical, dominant team that they were in Game 1 before Carolina took control of the series, and we come back to Raleigh for Game 6 with the 'Canes still up a game 3-2 but taking nothing for granted (i would hope) knowing how good Boston can be.

i've never heard Chuck Kaiton complain about a call from the refs but he was all over the hit from Lucic on Seidenberg that according to the media "set the tone for the game"...Kaiton called it charging and suggested some officials might want to work a few extra games....Seidenberg responded and ended up being the one to get called for a penalty a few secons later, leading to the first goal of the game. 3 more were scored by Boston and none by Carolina, who only put 19 shots on Thomas all night...

'Canes need to get back to game 4 form for Tuesday night!

UPDATE my DVR crapped out before the end of this game, mercifully so i didn't have to watch every minute of it, but i've seen some replays after hearing about the bellicose 3rd period on the radio this morning, and the 'Canes, who have been so disciplined all through the playoffs, lost their shit, took a bunch of penalties and i fear generally gave Boston all the momentum going into Game 6, feeling angry and righteous after Scott Walker took out Aaron Ward (who for some reason, saw Scott Walker and didn't realize he was about to get punched in the face) with one punch to the face. Hopefully this unraveling for the 'Canes doesn't continue into the next game.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ain't No Party Like A Jussi Party

Jokinen brings the magic to the RBC Center once again with an OT goal that wins game 3 for the 'Canes ... Amazing.

UPDATE and Jussi was at it again last as part of a dominating 3rd period display, Canes head north with a 3-1 series lead, though i don't think anyone is expecting a frustrated Boston to roll over. Still, as usual, 'Canes get no respect from the national media -- Versus tonight had their "emerging stars" segment with nary a 'Cane in sight, but at least one Boston player...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Maine Ruling

Maine's state motto is "Dirigo" which means "I Lead" and they certainly are doing that -- legalizing gay marriage today.


also, and it rhymes



St Vincent - Actor
Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
Noah Howard - Noah Howard Quartet
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock
Obits - I Blame You album & I Can't Lose / Military Madness 7"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dom DeLuise RIP

i've loved the comedy stylings of Dom DeLuise since i saw him in the first R-rated movie i was allowed to see in a theater (and then only because some precocious kid was taking his whole birthday party to see it and my parents didn't want me cast out i guess), The End (1978). he also featured in such other classic favorites of mine as Cannonball Run, The History of the World Pt 1 and The Muppet Movie. Of course he was also in Blazing Saddles, but i did not see that fine film until long after its 1974 run.

Sad to read that DeLuise died today at the age of 75. Thanks for the good times, Dom.

Ward Blanks Bruins

Sunday night the 'Canes elevated their level of play and the Bruins seemed surprised that they weren't cruising to victory like they had in the first 5 games of their playoffs. Ward stopped all 36 shots Boston threw at him including a couple amazing saves in the 3rd when the score was still 2-0....could have been 3-0 but a shot from LaRose with 2 secs left in the 2nd was ruled no goal and Toronto wouldn't overturn that despite TV views on Versus and other networks showing a sliver (a tiny sliver, but still...) of daylight btw the puck and the red goal line. Luckily it didn't matter! And the Bruins no longer are invincible.

Cullen got what i think was his first goal since returning from his injury, and it was shorthanded to boot.

I am missing Game 3 but will be back in the RBC center on Friday night, when the 'Canes will possibly (hopefully) be looking to send the series back with a 3-1 lead....but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Also this week -- The Nasher in Durham keeps their streak of awesomeness going with Christian Marclay's Video Quartet opening Thursday night. When 3rd Eye Foundation came over to tour the US i went up for a show that Matt (3EF) did opening for Sonic Youth inside the foundation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Marclay was doing a set in the next room between bands, he had hundreds of what i think were 78s (memory could be fooling me there), none of them in sleeves, in stacks on a table and was grabbing them and playing them collage-style, it was pretty amazing.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Well that could have gone better...Boston 4 Carolina 1

wow Boston is really, really good. large and fast. what's scary about the 4-1 final is that the 'Canes didn't actually have a bad game. they got some good pressure on Thomas (who's not flashy but solid and deceptively quick) and the 4th line had some great shifts, but as has been a bad habit this season there were some terrible passes and mistakes that Boston quickly turned into points. Savard was everywhere. hoping the 'Canes react with some urgency in Game 2....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Hurricane Headed for Beantown

Game 1 of Round 2 tonight....Chara and the Bruins are imposing, but i bet the 'Canes feel fairly invincible after the way Round 1 ended; let's hope that momentum carries over.


now playing:
King Kahn and the Shrines - What Is? (LOVING THIS still can't believe i haven't seen them live)