Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Black Angels

I recently spoke to my friend and ever-dependable indie rock guru, Gene.  Once beyond the pleasantries about the wife and kids and a brief tip of the hat to NFL football, our conversation predictably veered toward indie rock.  The last time we spoke, he mentioned the Crystal Stilts, whom, for whatever reason, I never took the time to explore.  I will.  A stone of dejection landed in my gut when he answered my querry about what's new or good in the scene by saying that he's always busy and hadn't been following as closely as in years past.  I concurred that I know how busy he is and mentioned that I'd caught wind of a possible Luna reunion.  He said he'd heard something about it, too.  I may have mentioned The Radio Dept. as well.  (Luna has a song called "This Time Around," too.  Ahhh, the circle turns.)  The switch flicked by the Luna reference apparently closed the the right circuit, prompting him to suggest The Black Angels. 

It turns out they've been around since '06, but

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Introducing The Best of C.B.S.

I've added a feature on the right side of the blog listing what I deem to be the best of


It's very interesting: when I started writing more regularly and getting feedback, I found that I was getting mixed feedback for various posts.  Since I've been writing less lately, I decided to go ahead and create this addition to the blog going by my own assessment of the writing and content.  Maybe I'm way off.  Any feedback is welcome.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


Recognizing in person someone you don't know personally can be a bit of an odd experience.  For New Yorkers, seeing famous people gets to be old hat--quick.  My girlfriend and I literally almost ran into Woody Allen once.  One of us had to give in to avoid a collision.  Being fans, we slowed our typical New York sidewalk rush to allow the legendary director to

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Substance Abuse"

More from the Bull's-Eye Dept.

The hyper-partisan rhetorical atmospshere intitiated and perpetuated by most TV news outlets pretty much ensures that like Ted Koppel, if you choose to be the voice of reason, you're going to get it from both sides.  I wonder if all the pundets are going to go after this guy the way they went after Koppel:

In an exchange that aptly illustrates what Koppel's talking about, he and Media Critic Jeff Jarvis met on NPR's Talk of the Nation the same week Koppel and Olbermann traded statements.  Upon listening, you'll notice that throughout the "discussion" Jarvis is rather hostile, even combative in tone compared to Koppel, who at one point had to say to a shouting Jarvis, "If you'll please let me finish..."  Case and point for T.K.

Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia qualifies for this group as well.

Writing Notes
Technically, I'm still on Hiatus.  I'm glad to see this issue has made it to the FCC, so I'm willing to do a few quick-hitters on it.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Since I was sitting in a very comfortable chair, had nice copy of The Economist to leaf through between plays and an eclectic jazz mix played in the room, I remained in front of the TV after the Ohio State Buckeyes late in the third quarter exteneded their lead over the Michigan Wolverines to 30 points.  No longer able to stand the boredom

Friday, November 12, 2010

"And such talk, as they say, is cheap."

From the "Bulls-Eye" Department:

Linked below is Ted Koppel's recent Washington Post Op-Ed piece in which the reigning heavyweight journalism champ delivers a pinpoint knockout blow regarding the Keith Olbermann situation and what it signifies for the big picture of cable and internet journalism.  In an inspiringly well-written analysis, Koppel cites

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Depth Perception

But first this message: 

          It is a common misconception among novice pool players that closing one eye while executing a shot results in greater accuracy.  The opposite is, in fact, true.  Having two eyes as apposed to one provides depth perception, an attribute of vision easily deemed necessary to excelling at billiards. 
During my two years at Nicholls State University, located in the deep south of Louisiana, I developed into a decent pool player.  The dorm building I lived in, Zeringue Hall (I hadn't been there a month before I swiped the 3-dimensional aluminum "Z" from the front of the building.), had a free table in the lobby, which was rarely not in use.  The table's surface was warped 6 different ways.  It was generally not decided until during a given game whether

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Football Helmet Impact Measurement Tech

Here's a very interesting article from today's New York Times by Alan Schwarz on the HIT system, an electronic device that measures and records force and location of helmet impact in football players.  North Carolina University leads the way in utilizing the technology:

 "That's it, baby!  If ya got it..."  (I felt compelled.  Hhhhawww.  Do I hear an echo?)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Charlie Don't Surf

"Duplicity--the refuge of the weak and the cowardly."
                                --Joseph Conrad

          I'm concerned that in the long run, this gentleman will not receive proper literary due outside of Poland and maybe San Francisco.  It is quite possible that, had I never seen Apocalypse Now, based on Joseph Conrad’s short story, Heart of Darkness, or hadn’t attended the University of Toledo for a total of 2 quarters, the gifted author may have never appeared on my reading list radar.  One of the two instances in which I recall the title and author being mentioned was, of course, in reference to the movie.  It was in some obscure interview with Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the award-winning film.              
          I was strictly a news reader until the last couple of years.  I would read 80% of the front section of the New York Times in one sitting.  It’s like a current history lesson and you will see items in it that you won’t see anywhere else.  Then, for some not clearly identifiable reason,I switched to mainly reading books, originally planning to

Saturday, October 30, 2010

From the "Where Would We Be Without Them?" Dept.

"Your reasonableness is poisoning my fear."
                        -- Stephen Colbert

          What a great message by the sanity advocates today.  It looked like a nice cross-section of Americans there on the Mall.  Cheryl Crow and Kid Rock playing with The Roots??  What more could you ask for?  Such scenes always remind me of a very cool song about a coast to coast adventure based on hope.  (If Elvis covered it, it must be good, right?) I think it was in the Ken Burns' PBS documentary about the history of the blues in which

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Media Coverage of Hidden Brain Damage Mounts

Recently Deceased College Football Player Diagnosed with CTE

            Former University of Southern California standout and professional ranks surface-scratching offensive lineman, Chris Brymer made a seemingly graceful transition from a brief, journeyman’s professional football career to founding his own mortgage company.  He then gradually slipped into a delusional state, which started with severe bouts of paranoia involving his wife before progressing to his making claims that he can control the weather and spending most of his workdays staring out his office window watching birds.  As outlined in Peter Jamison’s in-depth SF Weekly article, “Head Case,” Brymer’s story, which will likely become a watershed case in the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, recently took a decisive turn.  After months of living on the streets of San Francisco, Brymer is currently charged with four counts of felony assault stemming from an altercation at a soup kitchen allegedly including a racial epithet.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Late Night Looney Tunes

          When Conan O'Brien first walked onto The Tonight Show stage last summer, true fans of O'Brien and his cerebral, sometimes silly, sometimes profound, always sharp humor, knew something was wrong. For weeks, I kept telling myself it was the backdrop that surrounds his lanky frame during his monologue. The cartoonishness of the semi-translucent, sky-blue field with a muted glittery outline of a symmetrically choppy Pacific, flat-bottomed clouds, and a skyline silhouette that wouldn't seem out of place in a children's book is quite a