Saturday October 27, 2007

Time’s Your’s.

Filed under: Sports , Lists — Matt @ 10:50 am

Last Sunday’s Eagles’ loss to the Bears was gut wrenching. After watching the Birds struggle all day to get into the end zone, they finally broke the plane late in the 4th quarter. There was no reason to believe that the Bears anemic offense could muster a 97 yard drive with less than 2 minutes to go and no timeouts. Yet, Jim Johnson’s bend-don’t-break defense played on its heels, allowing Brian Griese to drive the Bears all the way to a game winning touchdown.

Like I said, gut wrenching.

But is it one of the worst of Andy Reid’s tenure? Here is my list of the 5 most stomach churning losses during Big Red’s time in Philly:

Honorable Mention: Tampa Bay 17, Eagles 0 (Sept. 7, 2003)

After closing out the Vet with a horrendous loss to the Bucs, Eagles Nation was well-oiled to open the Linc with some revenge against Tampa Bay. Sly Stallone was even there. Instead, The Buccaneers shut us out. Nice.

5. Tampa Bay 23, Eagles 21 (Oct 22, 2006)

McNabb threw 2 pics to Ronde Barber that were returned for TDs and the Buccaneers had a 17-0 lead at one point. Tampa Bay had Bruce Gradkowski at QB. In other words, we should have one this game easily. Instead, McNabb engineered a 4th Quarter comeback, only to see Bucs kicker Matt Bryant hit a 62 yard field goal with time expiring to lose the game. Un-fucking-believable.

4. Arizona 21, Eagles 20 (Oct. 7, 2001)


The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 10:19 am

The Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine
one of my favorite songs of 2007

Tegan and Sara - The Con


Mink - Talk To Me


Bloc Party - Flux


Saturday October 13, 2007

The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 9:45 am

The National - Apartment Story

The Veils - Calliope

KT Tunstall - Hold On

Amy Winehouse - You Know I’m No Good

Paul McCartney = Ever Present Day


Wednesday October 10, 2007

Live Review: The Donnas at World Café Live

Filed under: Reviews , Music , Live — John @ 8:30 pm

There’s no pleasure guiltier than the affection I have for The Donnas.

On paper, there’s no way I like this band. I’ve never enjoyed the brand of hair metal that inspired the self-taught foursome to form a band in the eighth grade back in Palo Alto, California.

I rolled my eyes when Brett Anderson, Allison Robertson, Torry Castellano and Maya Ford stole a page from The Ramones playbook by identifying themselves Donna A, Donna R, Donna C and Donna F.

I could never quite decide whether they were the brash, loud, misbehaving Guns N Roses-loving liquor drinkers they purported themselves to be or just a very slickly produced piece of counter programming to the indie rock boom.

In the end, it doesn’t matter that much to me. Their 2002-Spend the Night album is a fun collection tunes highlighted by Robertson’s thick, meaty guitar riffs and lead singer Anderson’s systematic emasculation of cocky frat boys and Mai Tai-drinking poseurs.

With titles like “Who Invited You?” “All Messed Up,” and “You Wanna Get Me High,” Spend the Night is not all that sophisticated or lyrically ambitious, but it’s the perfect soundtrack for the keg party that gets just a little bit out of control.

The group’s World Café Live show this week brought out a predominantly male collection of aging hard rock fans. We saw KISS T-shirts, denim jackets with the sleeves torn off and a mohawk hairdo that could put an eye out. Even The Donnas took the stage sporting shirts pledging their allegiance to the likes of Iron Maiden and Poison.


Live: Interpol at The Tower Theater

Filed under: Music , Live , Philly — Matt @ 12:18 am

It nearly took me a month to get to this. Wow, that’s embarrassing.

Anyway, here are pictures from the Interpol show on September 15th at the Tower. I took my brother, who may have attended his first concert ever put on by a respectable band. I feel like breaking out into Art Brut’s “My Little Brother”.

Interpol put on a very solid show. Carlos D was his typical aloof self, while Paul Banks was slightly more talkative than when we saw them at The Electric Factory back in ‘05. The setlist was a nice mix of all 3 albums.

Our Love To Admire is really starting to grow on me, although Brian and I have polar opposite opinions of the album. I prefer the first half, with the more memorable, catchy endeavors like “Pace Is The Trick” and “No I In Threesome”, while Brian thinks that’s the weaker part of the album, and prefers the second half. Hey, I guess there’s something for everyone in there.

More pictures from the show .


Sunday October 7, 2007

Hey Phils, No Offense, But……

Filed under: Sports — Matt @ 11:06 am

Only in Philly can it take less than a week to go from dreams of parades to complete despondency.

A week ago right now,the Phils hadn’t even stepped onto the field to play their final game of the year. The Mets were still in it for Christ’s sakes, and the Rockies were on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

Now here we are on October 7, the Phils are as available for golf as the Mets are, and the Rockies move on for a dreadful NLCS against the Diamondbacks. Oh, the history, the storied franchises, the old ballparks. Makes me just want to stay up until Midnight to see the start of the games.

How the hell did this happen so quickly? Well, for starters, the Phillies worked so hard to beat the fading Mets, and fans were so jacked up by the prospects of postseason glory, that we actually didn’t pay attention to the fact that the offense was beginning to sputter as the regular season waned. In addition, we partied like it was V-J Day, as though we’d won something really big. Sure, the National League East crown was sweet, but isn’t that what we’ve expected from this team? Were they so drunk from that win that they couldn’t get up for the Rockies? Brett Myers suggested as much after the Game 2, loss, and while most of the other Phillies disputed that, it’s hard to argue with Myers when you look at the facts. The Phils struck out nearly 9 times per game during the series, while collecting just 16 paltry hits. The Rockies pitching staff is good, sure, but not that good. Not against one of baseball’s best offenses.


Saturday October 6, 2007

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Filed under: General — Matt @ 9:08 pm

Yogi was known for his goofy comments, but if you are a Phillies fan 1/2 hour away form the start of possibly the last game of you beloved teams’ year, it’s quite apt.

The Phils can take 2 in Colorado just as easily as the Rockies came to the Bank and shook up the Philly faithful with back to back wins to open the NLDS series.

In order to do that, they’ll need better, pitching, hitting and coaching. In fact, an improvement in just 2 of those 3 probably won’t be enough. The Rockies have proven to be a dangerous combination of both good and streaky. Right now, they’re riding a high that the Phils have to find a way to halt.

For those of us who follow this team religiously whether the team is winning 90 games or losing 90 games in a year, a loss tonight will surely be deflating. A win elating. Win or lose, this is certainly the most entertaining year the Phils have given us since ‘93.

Here’s hoping for at least 1 more day.


The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 8:49 pm

Beirut - Guyamas Sonora

Iron & Wine - Upward Over The Mountain

Leave Artie Alone!


Sunday September 30, 2007

Phillies!!!!

Filed under: Sports — Matt @ 9:19 pm

Before we begin celebrating the Phillies amazing NL East crown, let’s enjoy the Mets’ suffering:

Met’s highlights…err…lowlights:

Head over to metsblog.com to enjoy the misery….

Go Phils!!!!!!


Saturday September 29, 2007

The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 12:35 am

Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

Interpol - No I in Threesome

The National - Slow Show (Spinner’s Interface)

Maps - You Don’t Know Her Name


Wednesday September 26, 2007

Updated Philly Shows thru December

Filed under: Music , Live , Philly — Matt @ 12:12 am

Great Lake Swimmers at World Cafe looks nice. So does British Sea Power at Johnny Brenda’s. How about Gil Mantera’s Party Dream at Northstar on Dec. 2nd? C’mon, they’re fun .

Sept. 26th–Fujiya and Miyagi–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 28th–Iron & Wine–Tower Theater
Sept. 28th–Magnolia Electric Company–First Unitarian Church
Sept. 29th–Devendra Banhart–The TLA
Sept. 29th–Okkervil River–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 29th–Animal Collective–Starlight Ballroom

October

Oct. 4th–Great Lake Swimmers–World Cafe Live
Oct. 8th–The Donnas–World Cafe Live
Oct. 7th–Voxtrot–First Unitarian Church
Oct. 8th–Minus The Bear–The TLA
Oct. 9th–Klaxons–The TLA
Oct. 10th–!!!–The TLA
Oct. 10th–Architecture in Helsinki–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 11th–Of Montreal–The Troc
Oct. 11th–The Pipettes–First Unitarian Church
Oct. 14th–Hot Hot Heat–The TLA
Oct. 14th–Grizzly Bear w/ Beach House–First Unitarian Sanctuary
Oct. 16th–British Sea Power–Johnny Brenda’s
Oct. 18th–Rodrigo y Gabriela–Electric Factory
Oct. 19th–Spoon–The Electric Factory
Oct. 19th–Smashing Pumpkins–Tower Theater
Oct. 21st–Justice–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 22nd–Yo La Tengo–First Unitarian Sanctuary
Oct. 23rd–Art Brut/The Hold Steady–Electric Factory
Oct. 24th–Stars–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 26th–The Go! Team–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 26th–The New Pornographers–The Trocadero
Oct. 29th–Shout Out Louds–First Unitarian Church
Oct. 30th–Type O Negative–The Troc

November


Tuesday September 25, 2007

Phillies/Eagles Thoughts

Filed under: Sports , Rants — Matt @ 11:38 pm

The Phillies

It took Jamie Moyer’s piss poor performance tonight to wake me from my months long blog slumber.

Tonight’s 10-6 loss to the Braves gets pinned almost 100% on Jamie Fucking Moyer. The offense scored 6 runs, and a depleted bullpen gave up 4 after Moyer left.

It’s no secret that JC Romero, Tom Gordon, Brett Myers etc etc. are pitching on pure guts at this point, victims of pathetic starting pitching. Since Sept. 1, only Phillies starters have gotten past the 6th inning (Moyer on 9/14 and Lohse on 09/04). Granted, I don’t expect starters to go all Cy Young on us and pitch all 9 innings, but this shit is ridiculous. It’s amazing this team is even in either the NL East or the Wild Card race.

In searching through the Phillies box scores in September, another interesting trend came to mind (at least on paper): Charlie is pulling some of these starters too early: in many cases during the 6th inning when the pitcher had only given up 2 earned runs. I know Charlie is trying to impress upon all of us that he understands how to make in-game on-the-fly decisions, but let’s not swing the pendulum too far to the other way, ok Chol?


Saturday September 15, 2007

The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 9:49 am

Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own

The One Remaining Britney Fan Defends Here - Priceless Meltdown

Interpol at The Tower Theater tonight - Evil

Slow Hands


Sunday September 9, 2007

The Ghost in Your Bookshelf

Filed under: Books — John @ 10:04 am

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Leslie McFarlane. Few of you will recognize the name, but if you’re a man under the age of 70, chances are good you’ve read him.

McFarlane was a prolific ghostwriter who, in the 1920s and 1930s, penned about 30 books under names like Roy Rockwood, Clinton W. Locke, Carolyn Keene and, most famously, Franklin W. Dixon.

Working for a New York syndicate that churned out children’s books at a frantic pace, McFarlane (as Franklin W. Dixon) authored the first 17 Hardy Boys books. He was the first and, many believe, best storyteller to helm the series, which documented the fictional exploits of Frank and Joe Hardy, the teenaged detectives from the town of Bayport.

The Hardy Boys series has captivated children’s imagination since The Tower Treasure, The House on the Cliff and The Secret of the Old Mill were released in 1927. While their status as great literary works has been argued for decades, there’s no debating that they taught legions of young boys that reading books could actually be fun.

You’d think the author at least partially responsible for the Hardy Boys phenomena would never need to work another day in his life. But, as a ghostwriter, McFarlane earned $100 to $150 per book and never saw another dime.

His agreement with the Stratemeyer Syndicate stipulated that he would have no further rights to the books once they were finished, so there were no royalties from the series that experts estimate has sold 80 million copies over the years.


Thursday September 6, 2007

Live: The National at The TLA

Filed under: Music , Live , Philly — Matt @ 11:56 pm

A bigger venue, a shittier sound system, but still an amazing show by The National on Tuesday night.

It was my first time at the newly named “Fillmore at the TLA”. They added some posters of seminal Philly concerts like Yes at the Wachovia Center in 2004 . Also, the sides of the venue are now draped in red cloth, the floor is now hardwood and there are chandeliers adorning the ceiling.

Unfortunately for the sold-out audience in attendance, the horrendous acoustics and sound system remained. There were times when Matt Berninger’s vocals were complete drowned out by the mix. On the slower songs, it was more bearable, but the TLA did The National no justice sound-wise.

Luckily, this band is more than capable of fending off little obstacles like shitty speakers. Their 17 song set was a powerful, passionate trek through their discography. Matt Berninger fought back a cold all night with what sounded like a minor overdose of Robitussin. His banter between songs shows a dry, sharp sense of humor.

When we last left the band, they had played Johnny Brenda’s coming off of a 5 night residency at Bower Ballroom in NYC. It was my first time seeing the Cincinnati-bred band, and they did not disappoint. The small room at JB’s was the perfect spot for an intimate set.

You can’t keep a good band down for long, and such is the case with The National. They have obviously picked up a new army of fans over the past fews months on the strength of Boxer , their 4th LP, and possibly the album of the year in my humble opinion.

The guys had much more elbow room to work with this time around and the crowd benefited. Berninger’s understated stage presence and passionate crooning fit like a glove with the band’s sound. Violinist Padme Newsome’s awe-inspiring playing on multiple instruments is, in many case, the spark that ignites this previously criminally underrated band’s intense fire.

The National have been written off at time for being too boring, but I do not see it. Unlike many throwaway acts with cheap lyrics and even cheaper hooks, the band elicits simple visuals about everyday life against the backdrop of phenomenal musical arrangements. The slower moments cut as deep as the burners do. There were times when I wanted to dive into the crowd and start dancing like a maniac. There are moments/lyrics/violin parts in The National’s music that get me there.

When the main set ended with a blistering version of “Mr. November”, I turned to Rant contributor John and wondered aloud how the band could top that in a encore. And then Berninger reached back into his sore throat and tore up all the best parts of Abel before closing with the beautiful, evocative “About Today” from their Cherry Tree EP. Brilliant.

Setlist

Start A War
Mistaken For Strangers
Secret Meeting
Brainy
Baby We’ll Be Fine
Slow Show
Lit Up
Squalor Victoria
Racing Like A Pro
.html Nest
All The Wine
Apartment Story
Daughters of the Soho Riots
Fake Empire
Mr. November

Encore:

Abel
About Today (more…)


Saturday September 1, 2007

The Saturday Video Vault

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 5:54 am

The Manic Street Preachers - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

Art Brut - Direct Hit

Editors - Bones (Spinner’s Interface)


Thursday August 30, 2007

Get Out The Vote For Burndown Allstars

Filed under: Music — Matt @ 9:48 am

Our good friend Jamie was kind enough to inform us that Philly band BurnDown Allstars are in the running for a trip to LA to vy for a $1 million recording contract. But they need some votes to make it happen. Go here to stuff the ballot box . Voting ends at midnight Friday, so don’t delay.

If you don’t know BurnDown’s Dave McHale, take it from us. He’s good people. And the band is just as good. They’re a very tight, eclectic mix of R&B, hip hop, rock and blues. Dave was kind enough to give me a copy of their first release, Burndown Presents Vol. 1. You can hear some tracks here . Awesome stuff.


Saturday August 25, 2007

The Saturday Video Vault: Guilty Pleasure Edition

Filed under: Video — Matt @ 10:48 am

Benny Mardones - Into The Night

.38 Special - Second Chance

Rihanna - Umbrella

Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls

Irene Cara - What A Feeling


Tuesday August 21, 2007

Upcoming Philly Shows thru November

Filed under: Music , Live , Philly — Matt @ 11:56 pm

There are some great shows coming up. We’ll be at Interpol, The National, Midlake (maybe), Art Brut/Hold Steady (definitely), Okkervil River, Rod y Gab (maybe) and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (definitely).

Did I miss any can’t miss shows coming up?

September

Sept. 4th–The National–The TLA
Sept. 7th–Midlake–The TLA
Sept. 7th–Marah–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 8th–Marah–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 12th–Feist–Tower Theater
Sept. 13th–Amy Winehouse–Tower Theater
Sept. 15th–Interpol–Tower Theater
Sept. 21st–Kings of Leon–Tower Theater
Sept. 24th–John Vanderslice w/ Bishop Allen–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 25th–Rilo Kiley–The Troc
Sept. 26th–Fujiya and Miyagi–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 28th–Iron & Wine–Tower Theater
Sept. 28th–Magnolia Electric Company–First Unitarian Church
Sept. 29th–Devendra Banhart–The TLA
Sept. 29th–Okkervil River–Johnny Brenda’s
Sept. 29th–Animal Collective–Starlight Ballroom

October

Oct. 7th–Voxtrot–First Unitarian Church
Oct. 8th–Minus The Bear–The TLA
Oct. 9th–Klaxons–The TLA
Oct. 10th–!!!–The TLA
Oct. 11th–Of Montreal–The Troc
Oct. 14th–Hot Hot Heat–The TLA
Oct. 18th–Rodrigo y Gabriela–Electric Factory
Oct. 19th–Spoon–The Electric Factory
Oct. 19th–Smashing Pumpkins–Tower Theater
Oct. 23rd–Art Brut/The Hold Steady–Electric Factory
Oct. 24th–Stars–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 26th–The Go! Team–Starlight Ballroom
Oct. 26th–The New Pornographers–The Trocadero

November

Nov. 16th–Clap Your Hands Say Yeah–Starlight Ballroom
Nov. 29th–Cold War Kids–The TLA

December


Trotter

Filed under: Sports — Matt @ 11:29 pm

This one doesn’t feel right.

I know the Eagles have been very successful at determining the remaining shelf life of aging NFL players. I know that Omar Gaither was seen as the heir apparent to Jeremiah Trotter. I know that Trot’s knees were less than perfect.

Still, this one feels like a mistake.

I don’t think anyone expected Jeremiah Trotter to reinvent himself as a 23 year old tackling machine this year after a disappointing 2006 season, but there was reason to be optimistic. Trotter came back to his locker this year lighter than he left it. The net result should have been less stress on his battered knees. The addition of Takeo Spikes, the departure of Dahani Jones, and the collective emergence of Chris Gocong and Omar Gaither seemed to be signs that Trotter would have to shoulder less of the LB burden on the team, allowing him to become more of a run killing specialist and retaining his role as one of the emotional leaders of the team while grooming his eventual replacement.

Instead, he’s on the outside looking in, and what’s left is nerve wracking if, like Trotter, you bleed Eagles green.

It’s not about split times in the 40 yd dash and reconstructed knees. It matters little that Trotter was no longer an every down MLB.


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