Yes, it's a bit odd that the week after I moved to Hoboken, NJ, I had to travel all the way across the country to see Yo La Tengo, a band that is from none other than Hoboken, NJ. But such is the fate of the craziest few weeks I've had in my life, where I sold my house, found a new place in a new city, packed all my stuff, and moved in less than 10 days. Then 5 days later I was on a plane to Los Angeles. Where I got to see Yo La Tengo at the Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard -- right next to those stars on the Walk of Fame -- an amazing venue for an amazing band and a night that was truly spectacular. The band opened for itself, in effect, by playing a full acoustic set of songs before taking a 20 minute break and returning for an electric set that lasted well into the night. They played my favorite song off new album Fade twice -- "Ohm" acoustic opened the show and "Ohm" electric came toward the end. They played some classics like "Autumn Sweater" and "Sugarcube" (which had me jumping up and down the entire song) and mixed in some obscure gems like "How to Make a Baby Elephant Float". They played a bunch from Fade ("Stupid Things", "Ohm", "Before We Run", "Paddle Forward", "Is That Enough", "I'll Be Around") but otherwise didn't focus on any single album from their extensive 25+ year career. They also played a couple Beach Boys covers (appropriate for where we were) and generally rocked the shit out of their set, getting the crowd on board early and often. An almost perfect show.
Ok I know I promised more posts after the whole moving thing but here's what happened last week.
Monday and Tuesday moving.
Wednesday I worked all day then walked to the nearest bar in Hoboken for a drink but it was packed. Then another bar that was packed. Then I finally found a place to have a drink (or two) then I came home and passed out. I still haven't unpacked.
Thursday I worked until 10 pm because I have a report to present tomorrow. It was killing me not o go drinking
Friday I "finished" the report then went via train to see the Bernard lakes at the Bowery ballroom who kind of sucked but I didn't need to drive into the city !!!
Saturday was just madness and if you follow me on Facebook you've seen the drunken pics
Sunday I finally got the new place a bit in order. Met the landlords because the dryer isn't workings and they were very nice. Damn is this place way too classy for me. Then I had to work to finish my report and then took the train to Brooklyn which got stuck under the river. Seriously. And I had to practically sprint on the bad foot to the concert. But I made it on time. And I saw spencer !!!! Spencer !!! His solo piano show which was only his 4th ever solo show he said. And it was awesome of course though maybe he could use more of a backing sound. He said he recorded an album but didn't like it so he re recorded it and it should be out in the fall on jagjaguwar. The songs are really really good.
But anyway got back home after midnight woke up packed and now I'm at Newark airport about to fly to LA. I have 2 days in chino for work then I'm spending 4 days in Los Angeles for fun so yeah. It's been a hectic time. Probably no posts this week. Maybe a recap of the debauchery in Cali will commence (assuming Jackie doesn't post it all on Facebook ). Oh well. Sorry again to my readers. Enjoy your weeks
Today I'm moving from the house where I've lived for almost 13 years and the town that I've lived for 15 years to a city, for the first time since I briefly lived in New Brunswick, which isn't much of a city compared to where I'm moving to. It's been a long time coming. My original plans to sell this house are going on nearly 3 years now and my plans to move to this particular location have been formed for at least 18 months. But I had all the terrible toe/foot problems that left me unable to function, then I needed to fix up the house to sell it, then I needed to sell it, then I got an offer and accepted and things went into this unrelenting hell of inertia of lawyers and home inspections and bank mortgages and all kinds of crap that came to an end all at once, last Friday, and I had to move in 10 days. So yeah, it's been about as crazy insane of a past 10 days as I've ever been through, but I'm through it, or all except for the actual moving part, which hopefully the movers can handle without a ton of effort from me and at some point tonight or maybe tomorrow I will be relaxing at my new place. Anyway, this is why I haven't posted in forever and why my posts have been so sporadic this year -- well this is part of the reason -- but I hope to get back into posting again soon, especially since I will be a lot closer to a lot more concerts in my new location. And where is it that I'm moving to? Well it's the home town of a certain band that is one of my all-time favorites. And this is one of my all-time favorite songs.
We stared at the sun, too long until the shapes before our eyes turned into the sun, in our eyes We lied to ourselves for awhile in our usual style I wish we could lie To ourselves again
We made up our minds to lose and never once looked back We only looked back just once We opened our hearts, it's true But not to any of you Sold out of the myth too soon
And we tried, we tried with all our might We tore the playhouse down We ran headlong in our way We tried so hard
We stared at the road ahead Closed our eyes and then sped up to the turn, around the bend With nothing to lose, we lost Suffered every cost It still causes pain to calm
And we tried, we tried with all our might We tore the playhouse down We ran headlong in our way We tried so hard
Refused to let go of the air There was something there Sparks foam with gold A million strong and match forever lights in a row I'm still flushed from the glow I'm down on the road back home We stared at the sun, too long until the shapes before our eyes turned back into the sun, into the sun in our eyes We lied to ourselves for awhile in our usual style Now I wish we could ride, we wish we could lie to ourselves again And we tried, we tried, we tried with all our might we tore the playhouse down We ran headlong, headlong in our way... we tried so hard... we tried so hard... yeah we tried so hard...
SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.
Remember how our government pledged to do something about the gun violence that resulted in 20 elementary school children getting killed? Well, it's been 4 months and here's what happened when the Senate -- which took the lead -- finally had a vote:
As expected, the watered-down Manchin-Toomey amendment to extend background checks on guy buyers to some private sales collided in the Senate with a Republican filibuster Wednesday afternoon.
The vote was 54-46, four short of the magic number needed to pass it under the rules. Thus did a minority reject a move that 86 percent of Americans said they support in the most recent poll.
Five Democrats voted against the amendment: Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Mark Begich of Alaska; and Max Baucus of Montana. Reid voted against for procedural reasons, so he can bring the proposla up in the future. Four Republicans who voted for: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Mark Kirk of Illinois; Susan Collins of Maine; John McCain of Arizona.
In the gallery to watch the vote unfold were some families of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre of December 14.
And the other amendments being offered up right now are being shot down one by one...
Having defeated the Manchin-Toomey background-check bill, the Senate shot down three other amendments to the gun bill in quick succession Wednesday. With 60 votes needed to win:
Introduced at the last minute, the Grassley substitute amendment for Manchin-Toomey failed 52-48. It would have provided more money for school safety, for stepped-up prosecution of felons, and for mental health; easing of the interstate transport of guns by private citizens.
Leahy-Collins amendment failed 58-42. It would have imposed tougher penalties on gun trafficking and for straw purchasers (those who buy guns for individuals barred from legally owning firearms).
Cornyn amendment failed 57-43. It would federalize interstate reciprocity for concealed-carry permits. Currently, states have bilateral reciprocity agreements with each other which vary widely. Thus a person with an easily obtained Florida concealed-carry permit could carry a hidden firearm in California, where such permits are far more difficult to come by.
god bless America... disgusting... and god bless the stupid filibuster that has bills failing despite having majority 57-43 support.
Two other amendments—which would ban assault weapons and limit the capacity of ammunition magazines—have been DOA since they were introduced. Reid said in March that he could not even gather 40 votes for the assault weapons ban, something he has, in the past, opposed. But in a floor speech Wednesday, Reid surprisingly favored that proposal:
I will vote for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban because we must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence.
I chose to vote my conscience, not only as Harry Reid, United States Senator, but also as a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend. I choose to vote my conscience because, if tragedy strikes again—if innocents are gunned down in a classroom or a theater or a restaurant—I could not live with myself as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather or as a friend knowing that I didn’t do everything in my power to prevent it.
It's been horrible for years, it seems like it's getting worse, but this postseason has been monumentally egregrious. First there was the mug-fest in the Big East championship where Louisville came from way behind by putting on a press that involved full-out tackling of Syracuse players in the backcourt without a call, allowing the Cardinals to get a bunch of easy buckets in a row and all kinds of momentum while the game spiralled out of officials' control until they called a phantom foul on Syracuse (!) on a 3-point shot, then followed it up with a technical on Syracuse (!) after Michael Carter-Williams swatted away a Louisville defender after 2 minutes of nonstop mugging without a call. Anyway, yes I'm still pissed about that game even though Syracuse made the Final Four. Then we all watched Wichita State get robbed by a call that directly led to Louisville's win and in the nightcap, the officials decided to decide the game yet again, yet again going against Syracuse. After playing miserably all night, Syracuse came back due to Michigan's poor free throwing shooting and struggles against our pressure, and we had the ball, down 2 with 20 seconds to play. Brandon Triche made the unwise move of driving from the free throw line to try to score, got called with a charge on a controversial call, fouled out, and after Michigan missed a free throw, little played backup shooting guard Trevor Cooney turned the ball over and the game was over, and Michigan would lose to Louisville in the title game... the two teams that the referees helped most to beat Syracuse this season. Cooney was handling the ball because Syracuse's two starting guards (Triche and MCW) had fouled out. MCW's last 2 foul calls were extremely questionable, and obviously this was the first time all season both of our starting guards fouled out of a game, as Boeheim had only one other scholarship guard on the roster (Cooney) and he rarely played. Long story short, despite how poorly we played and honestly did not deserve to win, the charge call on Triche cost us any chance to tie the game. So what about that call...
It obviously didn't end as I'd hoped but they went way further than anyone expected this season. So thanks to Brandon and James for four great years, and thanks to Michael for one great season, or at least one great post-season until his final collegiate game (as I'm sure he's gone). As for CJ, hopefully he comes back for his senior season and I still believe he will. And there isn't a whole lot of experience left around him, so we'll need big jumps for Jerami Grant and Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas and DaJuan Coleman to have any kind of a shot at anything next season. But there is a great recruiting class coming in (again) and not a whole hell of a lot was expected out of this year's team after losing Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph (and Fab Melo). So we'll see. It was a long wait between Final Fours and hopefully it's not another decade. And hoping one Mr. James Arthur Boeheim is back for yet another season on the hill.
This is not a Final Four post because (a) I'm still too excited to post anything and (b) I haven't posted anything about the tournament and do not want to jinx them at this point. This is strictly a post about the awesomeness of so many Syracuse alums that I followed for so many years being at the Verizon Center (along with Obama!) for the game on Saturday.
OK so you can't miss DC in the middle row there on the left with the Orange hoodie. But he's at most of our games. Also on that row are Hakim Warrick (Syracuse hat) and all-time leading scorer Lawrence Moten (to Warrick's left). Sitting above DC is Leo Rautins (who is before my time as a fan but fathered Andy Rautins of more recent fame). Above Rautins is Billy Owens and further down his row is Pearl Washington (in the glasses, also before my time). And in the row below DC is Sherman Douglas (white shirt, looking down). John Wallace is also supposedly in this pic but I can't pick him out unless it's the guy in the hat talking to Pearl but he looks way too old to be Wallace, right? Anyway, so much history and so much awesomeness and so many years of joy as a fan represented by that pic. And of course, out of the picture but just below this group is the Syracuse bench which includes famous alumni Gerry McNamara, Mike Hopkins, Adrian Autry, and of course Jimmy Boeheim, the guy responsible for all of it. Thanks to all you guys. And of course to Brandon, James, MCW, CJ, Baye, Rak, Jerami, Trevor, and the rest of this year's team :) Oh, and Brandon Triche has now passed DC as the all-time winningest player in Syracuse history. Congrats! Let's do this two more times.
Ok that fucking groundhog was soooo fucking wrong about spring coming early this year but it seems to kind of be here now and I'm so freaking excited to be done with this cold weather. And even though it's not yet summer, there's a new track from Young Galaxy off their forthcoming album that helps set the mood. It actually feels more like a spring/fall song than summer to me and I can't wait for Ultramarine, coming out April 23. Thanks to Gorilla vs. Bear for the linky link.