Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dustin Stomps Chicago

The D Train Stomp photo output_l4b63O.gif

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Top V Albums of 2012

I agonized way too long over this year's list.  Hope you will check out some new music after reading it!

5. Norah Jones - Little Broken HeartsI am very manly and so I am not supposed to admit I really enjoyed the 2012 release from the same woman who gave us "Don't Know Why," but I really did, and I think if you love music you'll like it too. Part of me thinks I will wake up one day and hate this album and regret the loquacious stream of hyperbole I want to write about this release, so how about I just slot it in at #5, tell you to buy the album and leave it at that?

4. Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten:
Admittedly it is hard for me *not* to like a New Jersey punk band that is influenced by Tom Petty and Matthew Ryan, loves Pearl Jam and is often compared to Bruce Springsteen, but Gaslight brings the goods in their own right. If you have the chance to catch them live, you NEED to, but in lieu of that, blasting this album will make for an acceptable substitute. This album’s only flaw is its sequencing: The first few times I listened I thought the songs kind of ran into each other, but when I put the album on shuffle on my iPod, the diversity of the songs really seems to shine. If I ever meet Brian Fallon, it is something I can talk to him about, along with our favorite tracks on Southern Accents and whether Matt Cameron or Jack Irons is Pearl Jam's best drummer…

3. Heartless Bastards – Arrow:
I almost always have music playing at low levels in my office, and this year when people asked me about a song that was playing, most of the time it was Heartless Bastards. Their 2009 album, Mountain, was fantastic, and this album is completely different yet still fantastic. I don’t know why they don’t get more attention – this band led by singer/guitarist Erika Wennerstrom makes flat-out outstanding rock music. She is Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in one person, without the bombast. If the music doesn’t move you, get your pulse checked - there is something wrong with you.

2. The Shins – Port of Morrow:
I don’t know what the title of this album means, and for that matter I can’t even really tell you what any of the songs on this album are really about. I can only tell you The Shins make truly interesting, gripping music. In the vein of Arcade Fire, The Shins craft four-minute sonic masterpieces of melody with the ability to change the listener’s mindset. After a tough day, strapping headphones on and listening to Port of Morrow is like staring into the Grand Canyon to reframe your perspective. Guaranteed de-stressor.

1. Jack White – Blunderbuss:
Rolling Stone can write as many articles as they wish putting soulless poseur John Mayer in the same category as the likes of Eric Clapton et al, but I know that the true Guitar God of today's era is Jack White. No matter how many times I listen, this album never disappoints. Head out on a long drive with the CD on repeat and this disc will continue to surprise you, even when you get all the way through and it repeats from Track 1. I can’t say I don’t miss Meg White’s underappreciated influence, but this album is just killer. If I suddenly found myself on my death bed tomorrow, never getting to see Jack White perform live might be one of my biggest regrets.

So, that's the list.
And now for some Honorable Mentions:

Chuck Prophet – Temple Beautiful:
Leaving Chuck off my Official Top V was the toughest decision I made about the list.  Temple Beautiful is a concept album of sorts – all the songs are about San Francisco.  It works, and Chuck Prophet doesn’t get near the attention he should.  The standout song on this album is “Willie Mays is Up At Bat,” but the entire album is solid and interesting.

Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine:
I love Adam Duritz songwriting and usually don’t like the bands he endorses (Counting Crows opening acts are almost always snoozers), so on paper this album concept sounds like a dud: covers of mostly obscure songs from really obscure bands.  However, it really, really works.  Adam and the entire band sound energized by the material and make almost all the songs sound like Counting Crows originals.  I’m hoping the creative exercise propels them to make a killer disc of original songs soon.   

The Hives – Lex Hives:
A tight release from a terrific live act.  The Hives don’t necessarily stretch themselves here, but it is an earnest pop punk effort and if you work out to this record you are guaranteed to break your personal records. Or at least literally break the inferior CDs in your collection for rocking less than the Hives do.

Neil Young With Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill: 
I inexplicably missed this release when it came out in the spring, but it popped up on so many year-end best-of lists that I went and got it.  I’ve listened to it about a half dozen times now and holy crap it is good.  I’ve never taken a psychedelic pill but it seems to me locking yourself in a dark room with this music playing on repeat would give you a pretty good high and make you think about the world in a new way.

The Wallflowers – Glad All Over:
I am really impressed with this release from Jakob Dylan’s band.  There are enough songs that hearken back to The Wallflowers glory days of the late 1990’s yet enough creativity and risk taking that keep the album fresh and interesting.  Not everything works but I have a feeling over the next five years there is a chance I may be listening to as much of this album as any in my Official Top V Albums.

Alejandro Escovedo – Big Station:
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but  just discovered 61 year old underground legend Escovedo this year.  His 14th solo album, Big Station is the best Tom Petty-sounding album that Tom Petty didn’t make this year, and I look forward to uncovering the rest of the Mexican American storyteller’s catalog as time goes on.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Great News For Out-Of Market / Transplanted Mets Fans!

Hey, hopefully by now you have joined me at The Mets Police, but I wanted to make sure I passed along this great news for out-of-market baseball fans.

Starting in 2014, Fox Saturday Baseball games will no longer be blacked out of MLB.tv.

I watch all the games via ROKU or AppleTV, so this is great news.  I may never go back to cable or satellite again.

When the streaming is bad, it is really, really frustrating, but when it works it works great, and it works most of the time.  In 2012 the quality was much better than in years past and the service was much more consistent.



Credit: Eric Fisher Twitter: @ericfisherSBJ

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Meet Me At Mets Police

Starting today, I'll be a contributor to my favorite blog about the Mets, Mets Police!  Hope to see you there.

By the way, The team that plays in D.C. will finish above .500 this season, so I won't be able to call them The Expos anymore, but I cn ilmake fun of them for sealing their logo from Walgreens.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Armando Benitez Frank Francisco Comparison

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Top V Albums of 2010

And here are my favorite albums of 2010.  

1. Black Keys - Brothers
2. The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever 
3. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
4. The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
5. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Also loved:
Girl Talk - All Day
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Mojo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crazy Thoughts

Omar said this week he thinks Ollie Perez can bounce back. How can he possibly bounce back if he doesn't pitch?

Some have speculated that the Mets consider trading Jose Reyes. If you are going to break up "the core," wouldn't it make more sense to trade the more-replaceable David Wright? I am not saying either one should be traded, but honestly, isn't it easier to find a third baseman who does what Wright does than a shortstop with Jose's abilities?
I edited this because on second thought i realized I was insane.
OK, that is all. Except: Hire Bobby V.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bobby V is out there for the taking.

I am excited to go to Sunday's Mets Hall Of Fame Day and see Darryl and Doc and Davey and Cashen go into the Mets Hall Of Fame.  It will be nice to remember a team of winners.  It has been a long time!  I have actually enjoyed this season more than any other in many years, primarily because I had no optimism whatsoever going into it.

Yesterday's win was great and all that, but in conversing with my buddy for our plans on Sunday, I got all fired up about the state of the Mets.

On Opening Day I said that if they were going to implode, I hoped the Mets would implode early so they could fire Jerry Manuel and hire Bobby Valentine.  My opinion still stands, even though the word is that these players 'love' playing for Jerry.   I don't really care what a .500 ball club loves.  Every year ownership and Omar say the on-field performance is 'unacceptable' but they never follow through and do anything except give out more bad contracts.  Willie should have been fired earlier, Ollie should have been released, players should be benched when they suck.  That's how you show losing is unacceptable:  Consequences.  It is unfathomable to me how this team can have great homegrown players like Wright Reyes, Ike Davis and Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese and still have no idea how to build around them. 

The idea that the Mets are cheap is silly.  The Mets do spend money, but that doesn't mean the lousy  performance isn't ownership and Omar's fault. It is their fault because they never stick to a plan.  They just throw money at the problem.  They brag about how much money they spend while really they should be embarrassed.  Their teams play like a $65MM payroll, and that is actually an insult to the Devil Rays

I feel bad for Luis Castillo because the guys busts his ass out there and everyone hates him because Omar gave him a  bad contract.  As if that's Luis' fault.  He's a slap singles hitter with so-so defense and bad knees, that's what he's been and that's what he was when we signed him, and he had no business getting a four year deal, but what was he supposed to do, turn it down?

Meanwhile, Bobby V doesn't take any sh*t.  He said Todd Hundley was partying too much, he said he had losers in the clubhouse, and he got Benny Agbayani to play like an all-star.  Enough said.

Hire Bobby V, trade Jason Bay and K-Rod, find someone to take Beltran before his bum knees go out again, and find a new GM too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Joseaaaaaye, jose jose jose... Pelfrey... Pelfrey

The Mets win two in a row, on the backs of Jose and Big Pelf! I have almost no optimism, but I still can enjoy the hell out of a Mets win! In fact, maybe I am enjoying it more, now that the burden of hope is lifted. Maybe I should have tried lowering my expectations sooner!

Igarashi strains hamstring - how does this play out?

So Igarashi tweaked his hammy tonight. Who wants to bet against this chain of events:

-Igarashi is declared day to day

-after about 5 days of playing shorthanded, we're told he could be ready for action tomorrow.

-make that tomorrow.

-Igarashi is seen warming up but does not enter the game

-the next day, Jerry Manuel says Igarashi is ready to play. An hour later, he goes on the 15 day DL.

-After about two weeks, we hear he is due back by the weekend.

-he's due back by the next homestand.

-sometime this weekend.

-season ending surgery.

tools for transplanted baseball fans

If you re an out of market baseball fan, you need to get yourself an mlb.tv subscription and a roku player. The subscription is about $120 and the roku about $100. The roku is primarily used to stream netflix movuies to your TV, but starting this season you ll be able to stream mlb games in broadcast quality (or better). Plus if you re away from a tv you can listen to the radio broadcast for any game, any time, home or away. A much better deal than the directv extra innings package, and in fact, you don t need any tv service at all! Love it!

Friday, April 02, 2010

¡sǝʌıɹɹɐ ʎɐp ƃuıuǝdo lıʇun WITH OPTIMISM pɐǝɥ ʎɯ uo puɐʇs llıʍ ı

Well, if you are looking for optimism, this is the place. I have to admit, all the negativity leading up to the Mets Opening Day is not unfounded, but here is my silver-lining take on it:

The Mets have historically had awesome offseasons, leading to ridiculously high-expectations, where everyone dons their rose-colored glasses going into the season. We fans have been let down time and time again. This time it's different and so one of two things will happen:

The Mets will exceed all of our expectations and 2010 will be a most magical year, indeed.

Everything will fall apart, and Minaya and Manuel will be fired and teh roster turned upside down, ushering in a new era of Mets greatness (?led by Bobby Valentine?)!!

That is all. See you at the ballpark!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meet Me At The Apple!

Last year, I was fortunate to be able to go to Opening Day, the first regular season Mets game to be played at CitiField. The first sensory experience I had that day was Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts broadcasting from the plaza, discussing how little Mets-ness there was at the new stadium. Things will be different this year. I expect to meet my buddies at The Apple, because the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple is being moved to a very prominent location right outside the main entrance. We'll take a shot of ourselves there, then walk over to the left field entrance and walk on in through the Endy Chavez Rotunda. Can't wait!

I love Bobby Ojeda - Transplanted ex Mets Update

Mets World Series champ Bobby Ojeda answered five questions for the New York Post (one more than the number of full sized fingers on his hand), and Matt Cerrone posted a quote that states exactly why I feel Jerry Manuel shoulod have been fired last year:

Q: Coming out of spring training with Carlos Beltran out and Jose Reyes questionable for Opening Day, do you think the first month of this season is about survival for the Mets?
A: You can't have that attitude. You heard that ad nauseum last year. "Let's hold on until so and so comes back." It drove me nuts. On any given team, you are going to have people injured. The attitude has to be that you are going to go out and stick it to people. We are going to remember what happened last year and teams are going to pay. "Just survive until Beltran and Reyes get healthy" is a loser attitude.

Exactly!  That is a direct shot at Jerry Manuel, and it is completely deserved.  We hear all the time from the Wilpons that the Mets performance has been 'unacceptable', but Jerry M sent a consistent message to the contrary all season long.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Dwight Gooden arrested for DUI

The Mets got Reyes back on the field today, but Matt Cerrone passes along word that Mets graffiti artist Doc Gooden was arrested for DUI early this morning. Can the season start already?

UPDATE from the Associated Press:

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (AP)—Former Major League Baseball star Dwight Gooden has been charged in New Jersey with driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of an accident.

Franklin Lakes police Capt. Joseph Seltenrich says the 45-year-old former pitcher for the New York Mets and Yankees had a child in his vehicle at the time of the two-vehicle crash around 9 a.m. Tuesday. It wasn’t clear whose child it was.

If this isn't the saddest story you'll hear all day I feel bad for you.