12/27/09

12/17/09

Before we get into the utter excitement that should be and has been sweeping the Philadelphia area over the past few days, a moment of silent respectful mourning is in order.


On July 29 of this year, the Phillies traded four prospects from their farm system for the Cleveland Indians venerated, 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner Clifton Phifer Lee. Mr. Lee took the mound for the Phillies days later, pitching six innings of no hit ball on his way to a complete game win. This performance set the bar high for Cliff, who took the momentum and carried it straight into the postseason, where he went 2-0 in the World Series, becoming the first pitcher in history to pitch a complete game in the Series with 10 strikeouts, no walks, and no earned runs. His two wins were the only two wins for his team in the World Series, who went on to lose the Series in 6 games.


Lee's no-nonsense, cavalier attitude, coupled with his take-no-prisoners approach to pitching and his notorious hustle to and from the dugout between innings quickly earned him the moniker of 'fan-favorite' in a town oft-bedeviled for their harsh treatment of players on both sides of the aisle. Lee's composure was evident through the season. He embraced the city, and Philadelphia fully embraced him.



When the Lee deal went down, it was universally regarded as a stroke of utter genius on the part of GM Ruben Amaro Jr. All indications pointed to a deal being done to obtain Roy Halladay, widely regarded as the best in baseball (with Cliff Lee coming in close second). Everyone wanted Halladay, and Amaro was on that boat. However, the Blue jays insisted on scoring Phil's top pitching prospect Kyle "son of Doug" Drabek in the deal, along with other potential aces like J.A. Happ and others. The Phillies were unwilling to jeopardize their future in this regard, especially considering that Halladay would be a wide open free agent only a season and a half later, at the end of 2010.


So Amaro called the Blue Jay bluff and walked away from the table, unwilling to toss away the future for one man. In the back channels, only two days before the trading deadline, Amaro moved to score Lee, and did so through a deal that could only be characterized as a steal for the Phils. Utter brilliance.


Here we are five months later. Mr. Lee earned his Phillies pinstripes, but burning a hole in the back of everyone's minds (especially the Phil's front office) was the fact that Cliff Lee's contract expires at the end of next season, and despite his expressed love of the city and team, this had to be weighed against his stated desire to score BIG money on the free agent market, vis a vis CC Sabathia.


The Phillies faced a worst case scenario. Come the end of the 2010 season, they could be without their man Lee, out of the game in a Halladay bidding war, and facing the doldrums of a moderately (though not extensively) depleted farm system. Of course, Lee could res-sign. But money talks, and initial indications implied Lee would be willing to walk for the right number, which is well within his rights as a premiere player.


In the face of this, the Phillies acted boldly. We all know what happened over the past week. Historic trade. Nine players. Two Cy Youngers. et al.


The Phillies have brilliantly locked in Roy Halladay, the "best pitcher in baseball", through at least the 2013 season. In doing so, they were forced to heavily deplete the deep bench, trading away dreamy Kyle Drabek in a package of three minor leaguers. Interestingly, the Phillies were able to pull this off without touching Lee at all. In this way, it is interesting that this is being characterized as a four team, nine player deal. In reality they are almost all separate deals.


The need (or desire) to trade Lee arose because of the stark pain that trading such potential gems as Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor exacts on the Phillies future. Even with Halladay, the Phils could have held onto Lee and acquiesced the loss of money and prospects for one year of beautiful greatness where your top three starters are Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. This is in part likely why they were out there shopping Blanton somewhat earlier in the week, and whoever else they could throw into a deal to get some equity.


In the end, I suppose, no such deal was attainable. No one bit hard enough on Blanton et al. Additionally, one could make the argument that two years of Blanton is better than one year of Lee, and also that we could always deal Blanton in the future for additional prospects or help.


I wonder as well if they were also considering the development of Cole "Chinadoll" Hamels in the equation. Being unable to trade him for a solid deal, they likely still see him as the future of the team, a player who had an off year but will come back strong and confident. But with him in a Phils uniform, at the #3 spot, could deal a harsh blow to his occasionally tender psyche. Probably not.


But this BEGS the question. Exactly WHAT is the Phillies' projected 5 man rotation going into Spring Training??? Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Kendrick? That is pretty strong. But I almost feel, that for next year, we have weakened ourselves: a.) because a five man rotae with Halladay and Lee is unfathomable and also b.) b/c previous to these trades, our 'wild card' potential sixth man seemed to be the Young Drabek, at some point in the season when injury or performance begs a change. Was Drabek deemed unready for this task? Has new recruit Phillippe Aumont developed to the point of MLB performance?


In reality, Drabel nor Aumont will be ready this year, I suppose.


In either case, fans, drop from your consciousness names such as Drabek and Taylor and embrace Aumont, J.C. Ramirez and Tyson Gillies as the potential future of the organization.


I'm thrilled and excited to have Halladay, but I can't help feeling like there wasn't a better way to replenish the coffers. Cliff Lee was a class act, and in his short time here he earned a space as one of my favorite Phillies of all time. I would love to have seen the dream rotation, if only for one year, and I will miss Cliff Lee. I know Halladay is a right hander, MC Ben. And I am utterly floored that he will be our pitcher for the next three or four seasons.


For me, the price is fair, and logical, but almost too high. I would have held Lee. Trade Blanton midway through the season if necessary, or Werth, or someone else with a big payday on the horizon. I get it on every level, and i absolutely love it, but I can't help but admit that it hurts a little.




12/16/09

from forthesound.com

Against Me!

The Original Cowboy


One could argue that Fat Wreck Chords' sort of re-release of Against Me!'s exceptional and pivotal album As the Eternal Cowboy, as a companion piece of sorts called The Original Cowboy, is a cynical tactic designed to drum up nostalgic dolla bills for a label who has not had the privilege of releasing their more recent, less exciting efforts. Hmmmm......


It is presented as a demo version of the final copy, in the vein of: "[we recorded these demos as a preliminary attempt at molding what would become the final record, but we kinda almost like these original versions better, almost.]"


The album contains about 80% of the songs contained on As the Eternal Cowboy, in 2003. There is a slight change in song order, and the record does not open up with the quintessential "The party's over... the CD's skippin..." vocals. Also, there is some song edits and additions that did not appear in the final cut.


If you are some kind of weirdo, and have somehow not heard of Against Me!, then I would advise against making it your first venture into the band. Go with Reinventing Axl Rose or the originally released As the Eternal... Go see them live, or get their DVD.


Don't get me wrong. This is an excellent record. I thoroughly appreciate the revelation of the artistic process by way of this newly released record. The original, that is, the Eternal Cowboy was very, very good, so it is hard for new Original Cowboy to go wrong. However, there is not a whole lot of difference in the sound, overall, except I suppose that this is a tad bit grittier and loose. To the Against Me!'s credit, the final version they originally released maintains this sense of looseness and grit, and is part of the reason As the Et. Cowboy is such a seminal release in the punk rock soundscape.


To those who would say this venture by Fat & Against Me! is cynical and revenue driven, I say, in the end, nay!! Records like this are good for the collective mental environment. This record is cool, and is the kind of thing that I like to see from artists. But Against Me! was too good the first time around for their own good. Fan of the band? Audiophile? Get this, you'll enjoy it.


Otherwise do as previously instructed.

12/4/09

"Mr. President...
at our college we've been studying some criminology..."


i totally love how the dude wants to legalize "non-violent crimes"
stay classy, Philadelphia.

12/3/09

BILLY FROLIC
WORLD TOUR!!!
Catch me, acoustic style throughout the month of December


MONDAY 12/7/09:
Showcase @ Mojo 13 (Wilmington, DE)

WEDNESDAY 12/9/09:
@ Homegrown Cafe (Newark, DE)
w/ Hot Toddy & the Wilmington Wastoids

MONDAY 12/28/09:
@ the Note (West Chester, PA)

12/2/09

coming to a city near you...
TIT PATROL
TIT PATROL
DECEMBER TOUR:
12/11 Baltimore, MD
12/12 Shepherdstown, WV @ Shepherdstown Train Station
12/13 Virginia Beach, VA @ Custom Made Music
12/14 Chapel Hill, NC
12/15 Rock Hill, SC @ P.A.F. House

12/16 - 12/19: Recording the much anticipated follow up to
"Gets Less Worse" @ Monster Zero Studios w/Joe King!

11/15/09

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the show on Friday night @ Mojo 13. The other bands were great, and the crowd was super nice and fun. Extra points to Jerad for spectacular sound engineering. And a special thanks to Ally for typically excellent camera work, as evidenced below:



11/13/09

Starry Eyed Virginians


I know I've gone WAAAAYYY over my Pearl Jam limit of late, and i promise, it will subside.
But this is pretty cool, so dig up on it.

11/10/09

MOST PLAYED ARTISTS
Week Ending 11.08.09

1. Destructors666
2. Jonny Manak And The Depressives
3. Fed Up
4. The Pivot Foots
5. The Chuckies
6. The Headies
7. C.D. Truth
8. Pinhead Gunpowder
9. The Rogue Nations
10. Yesterday's Ring
11. The Dick Panthers
12. Werevilsdare
13. Dirty Boulevard
14. Ellen Degenerate
15. Ese
16. My Son The Bum
17. North Lincoln
18. Revenge Of The Mormons
19. Skinny Dick Jones
20. The Bomb
21. A.F.S.
22. Control
23. Disassociate
24. Fanshen
25. Kamikaze

That is correct! Two Madison Underground artists in
Hussiskunk's Top 25, with Tit Patrol coming in at 35 and climbing! (I hope!) Congrats to my fellow Headies (21 spins last week) and Skinny Dick Jones (18 spins last week)! And, most importantly, drop Hussieskunk an email (request@hussieskunk.com) and request your fave Maddy tracks and help us reach the top! May I suggest The Headies - "Super Booty." Thanks everybody!

11/6/09


BRIAN MCGEE & THE HOLLOW SPEED

LIVE
November 7, 2009

@ MOJO 13
w/ My Friends

11/5/09

One Great Show: Three Great Fliers!



THE GOOD IRISHMAN!
We've all known for quite some time that Delaware's Mr. Kevin Murphy is an Class A gentleman and model citizen. But our man had to take it to the next level last night.


Dateline: Wilmington, DE
(courtesy Wilmington NewsJournal)
story by Terri Sanginiti

Woman robbed, Good Samaritan beaten in Wilmington

A 31-year-old Wilmington woman was robbed at gunpoint and a neighbor who attempted to help her was assaulted early today in Wilmington’s west side.

The incident occurred about 12:45 a.m. in the 500 block of S. Harrison St., said Wilmington police spokesman Master Sgt. Steven Barnes.

The victim told officers that she was standing outside her home when two men walked up.

She said she tried to get inside the door, but the men grabbed her and pulled her back outside and demanded cash.

The victim said she handed over what cash she had, when two residents on the block attempted to intervene.

The assailants, one of whom was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun, beat the 30-year-old man in the face and tore the 28-year-old woman’s purse from her arm.

The two men then ran south on Harrison Street and out of sight, Barnes said.

Police are asking anyone with information on this robbery to call detectives at 576-3620 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Paraphrased from the man himself: "I got off of work and went to the bar with some friends afterwards. When I got home, I noticed a neighbor being robbed by two guys. I went up, knocked the gun out of the one guys hand, tussled with him a bit, and then they ran off. Sure, as the newspaper reported, I got punched in the face and have some scraped knuckles, but I hit him twice in the head with a bottle of Löwenbräu, so I think he got the worse end of the deal...."


Murph, you truly are a modern hero! Three cheers for Murph!


THE DAILY SLOUGH

It finally comes out where Jon Stewart's ardent hatred of Philadelphia comes from. He tells his guest, later in this episode, of a time, as a boy, when he came to Philly for a sports event wearing a Giants hat, which was promptly knocked off his head and stolen as a band of ruffians took him to the ground, beating him up. Fair enough, Jon.

However, I must take issue with one of the clips in the tableau below... the shot of the crowd of guys wearing green and white chanting "T-I-T-S Tits! Tits! Tits!" is implied to be Eagles fans. I remember when that happened, and those guys are totally Jets fans at a Jets game. However, the Eagles bus shown with the moniker "show us your tits" clearly painted above the Eagles logo is genuine, I'm sure.

Great, hilarious video though. And we may be bigger douches, but NY fans are bigger prigs, no?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Clash of the Cretins
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

10/21/09

GO PHILS!!!

This link was provided to my attention by Brendan and James via facebook via youtube. Larry Anderson is wonderful. Speaking of wonderful, did you, like me, happen to miss the Sports Illustrated story on Charlie Manuel from this past summer? I had caught the segment about him on Real Sports with Bryant Gumble awhile back, but managed to have not read the SI story. The Real Sports segment was spectacular, and the SI article, which I finally got around to reading, is even better. Speaking of even better, have you SEEN this pictoral series Mr. Bobby Campbell has been putting out? I put up his Ryan Howard recently, and you can see his entire series @ Bobby's website. GO PHILS!!! Let's close this out TONIGHT!!!!!

10/15/09



from our man Bobby Campbell over at www.bobbycampbell.net

10/8/09

Sometimes, it takes me a good 20 or so listens to really get into a song. Such is the case with this Supersonic track on the Backspacer record. I liked it enough at first, but didn't love it. Now I am down. To help you get down, here are the lyrics as well as a chance to listen to the song twice, via two different videos from the same London show a few weeks back, where the song was played for the first time. Originally, I posted four different videos of this same performance, but decided to replace these with videos of other songs from the new record being performed live. Have fun with it!

Yeah I been dreaming of getting along
Now I’m awake, dreaming keep it on keeping on
I catch a break, then a punch to the head
I smile big with a toothless grin.

Supersonic gone & took my soul
I caught the rhythm but the clock was slow yeh
Supersonic, truth be told
I don’t need you to live, but I’ll never let you go

Yeah I been thinking, I already know
Nothing bout nothing, or so I have been told
I’m not the paper, I’m more like the fold
Cut the crease & put the shit in the whole

Supersonic, gone & took my soul
I caught the rhythm but the clock was slow yeh
Supersonic, truth be told
I don’t need you to live, but I’ll never let you go

Supersonic, gotta feel it now
I need to hear it, need to feel it loud yeh
Supersonic, truth be told
I wanna live my life with the volume full

Got Some:

Just Breathe:

The Fixer:

The End:

Gonna See my Friend

10/6/09

head on over to Dr. Frank's What's-It for all the news that's good to print
as well as a picture of yours truly, in exploration mode...

10/2/09

Tom's getting lost in Collingdale today has me feeling even more nostalgic than usual. This has lead to the discovery of the MacDade Mall Wikipedia page, amongst other things :::

MacDade Mall is an indoor shopping mall located in the Holmes section of Ridley Township, Pennsylvania.Coordinates: 39°53′55″N 75°18′10″W / 39.8986°N 75.3027°W / 39.8986; -75.3027 At present, the mostly empty mall features only two anchors (Acme-Sav-on and Kmart and two other tenants within its walls (Citizens Bank and Fashion Bug). One of the most recent departures, a Dollar Tree store, has led to a law suit by Dollar Tree against the mall owners. [1]

MacDade played host to many events throughout the years including job fairs, concerts, food festivals, spelling bees, and the Little Mr. and Miss MacDade Mall competition. It has been over ten years since management last freshened its appearance, and reports indicate mall management is choosing not to renew leases at expiration.

In December 2007, MacDade Mall played host to the set of The Lovely Bones, the adaptation of the Alice Sebold best-selling novel starring Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Rachel Weisz. The production transformed the mall into a 1970s shopping mall for the project. Some set decorations and mosaics remain.

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I could show you info on the Springfield Mall as well, but that is less interesting,

save for THIS on one Ms. Sylvia Seegrist.


Your 2009 NL East Division Champions!!!
Two years ago, when the Phillies clinched the National League East Division Championship for the first time since 1993, I was there. It was one of those classic experiences. In order for the Phils to clinch, a number of things had to go right. First, the Mets would have to have a end of season monumental collapse of atomic proportions (the likes from which they have yet to recover, three seasons later), the Phillies would need to win this, their final game of the season, and the aforementioned Mets would need to lose one more time, on what was in fact the final day of the regular season.

All of this came to pass, and it was wonderful. To be there was magical. The scoreboard in right field kept the fans updated on the Mets activities, and the players on the field demonstrated consistently their will and commitment towards getting the job at hand done.

Throughout that game, cheers would be heard in pockets of the stadium, where cell phone updates would pre-empt the scoreboard with changes in the score in New York. The final inning came, and the Mets game was not yet finished. Just moments before the game ended in Philadelphia, word came over the elctronic messaging systems that the Mets had done their part and rolled over. Shortly thereafter,
Brett Myers did his job (of closing) and shut down the game in terrific, excited style. The place went ballistic, and after 14 years of subpar baseball and 24 years without a major championship, the excitement was well deserved. I must admit, my eyes teared up in joy at the realization that we had finally cleared this enormous hurdle.

It didn't take long for the
Colorado Rockies to thwart the Phillies and the city's dreams.

Last year, our boys plowed their way through the season admirably, and when I went to the stadium for the final game of the season, the Division had already been wrapped up nicely the night before. We were treated to an
impressive game full of bit and bench players. The playoffs ended beautifully last year, offering up for the city its first parade in 25 years.

Last night, the Phillies made it three in row, clearing out the opposition a full four games before the season's end. Where tears greeted the first achievement in this trilogy, a calmer, more determined self faced down this celebration, well aware that the task at hand involves a month of very hard work and focus before any true celebration can begin.
The Phillies know this too, but after a long, arduous season spent sloughing through with a target on their back, the catharsis that was last night's celebration was well earned. They know they need to focus. They know what needs to be done to get back on the parade route down Broad St. All of this made last night celebration all the better. The Phillies deserve to take a deep breath, and they are going to need it if they hope to repeat in theWorld Series.

While no tears of joy were shed (by me) last night over the clinching of the Division (old hat), a few tears did well up over the images and sounds provided via the television of one Mr. Harry Kalas, who passed away just months after making the call of his life: "The Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champions!" Harry singing "high hopes." Harry calling 2007 & 2008 Division clinchers. It is all bittersweet, as it always is upon the death of such a human, iconic figure. It was especially touching to see a group of the players head out towards the outfield as the post game celebratons wound down, in order to pay tribute to the 'K,' by placing their hands on the giant HK banner that was pasted to the outfield, and even spraying it with some beer and champagne.
As for the game itself last night, it provided healthy fodder for ruminations on the post season to come. Kyle Kendrick has been pitching like a man possessed, and did so last night, offering up three important, scoreless innings. The offense was on fire, lighting up the board as the often do not: through 'small ball' instead of monster home runs. Raul Ibanez fixed all that with a second decker late in the game, but by that point small ball had already won the day. Lastly, Coach Uncle Charlie Manuel, seconds away from clinching his third consecutive Division Championship as the Braves handed the game and their season over to ubiquity, walked slowly out to the mound to savor the moment and to hand the ball over to 'Mr. Perfect' Brad Lidge, in an attempt to better align his pitcher against the 'stros final batter, but more importantly to instill a modicum of confidence into the man who pitched so unbelievably well last year, and who has spent the majority of his encore season impressing with his ability to be so unimpressive.

The Phillies stand on the precipice of history.
Consecutive World Series victories are increasingly rare in this modern game, and have never been achieved in the brotherly loves' city.

As is stated and known, there is a long journey ahead. The Phils will likely face the hated Rockies in the initial round of the playoffs, and though they bested us two years ago, we should be able to shake them off our backs in short order. Next up will be a more difficult foe: either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Either team will prove difficult, but both are well within our capabilities. I see the Cardinals pulling out the series against the Dodgers, and the Cardinals are also my preferred foe. I hate the Cardinals WAY more than I hate the Dodgers, but also, they don't carry a revenge monkey on their backs over our defeating them in NLCS last year (as the Dodgers do) so that lack of an emotional edge should serve us well.
After suprising the country by easily disposing of all NL Playoff opponents, the question arises: who will our beloved Phillies face off against in their second consecutive WS appearance?

Popular sentiment aligns them against the hated Yankees, who with the best record in baseball gloat about being the team to beat throughout. Whatevs, Yank-os!

We shall see. A turnpike series would be exciting, and the Yanks would certainly be a formidible foe. I wouldn't count them Angels or Tigers out just yet either, although I would agree with the general perception we'll probably be seeing the Yankees in November. However, they do LOVE to shit the bed in the playoffs, and if they have yet to do so by World Series time, what better time could there be for them to embrace old patterns?

I'll be saving my tears this year for a WS repeat, but believe you me, I'm greasing them ducts!

Go Phils!!!!