If You Must Go Out

Friday 8-10: Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick at the Dream Away Lodge- 1342 Country Road, Beckett


Deer Tick (top ten worst name for anything) is the band that would have benefited so much from 1980’s- early 90’s MTV because people would have seen their videos in the “Buzz Bin” (top ten worst name for anything) and bought their records. If classic rock had a foothold on radio, we would hear Deer Tick because they are a local act from Providence, and their songs are cool- their unique sound harkens back to the days of folk rock. The Dream Away is as cool as it gets for music venues, and nothing I can say about it in my cute little blog can really do it justice. You can eat fresh food, sit in a bar that more closely resembles a coffee house, and browse pictures of Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan as you walk through a former brothel whose decor looks just as it did when Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review came through in the mid seventies. Where else but in Berkshire County can you find that type of place? By the way, if you get curious about Deer Tick, I’d recommend “The Brown Dirt Sessions.” Deer Tick falls into the same “new classic rock” genre that is populated by the likes of J. Roddy Walston and the Business.

Saturday 8PM: An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel- 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington

Sunday 2PM: Robin Spielberg- Colonial Theater


Beloved pianist/composer Robin Spielberg has been capturing the hearts of listeners around the world for years with her gripping melodies and intricate piano technique. Since debuting her first recording of original piano solos in 1993, Heal of the Hand, Spielberg has sixteen recordings under her belt, and appears on over 40 compilations around the world.  With hundreds of thousands of recordings sold, Spielberg has the masses head over heels with her touching live performances.

Just Stay In

Pearl Jam- SPAC Live Bootleg Series 8/27/2000


The best thing about being a teen in the 80’s and early 90’s? The Walkman http://www.pop-topia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/sony.jpg. As 90’s kids, we could all see past the magnetic hiss caused by the simple, analog technology, the fake technological innovations meant to keep the technology seem cutting edge like “megabass” and “bass boost,” and the size of these gaudy, bulky contraptions. The advantage of having a Walkman was simply that you could trade tapes and copy the ones you liked most making school buses rides that much cooler. The problem became that practices like taping made a band’s intellectual property available for pirating. Fast forward 10-15 years and Pearl Jam conceived an idea to counter tape traders by making the sound board recordings of every show available for purchase from the band. This Saratoga show features Pearl Jam on the comeback trail. 1997-1999 saw the band fight Ticketmaster while their album sales sagged. As people moved away from their music, Pearl Jam decided to age with their core audience and mix old favorites with progressive new songs that incorporated any music style imaginable to create a punk rock sound for people that go to bed at 8:00. This show from SPAC represents the genesis of this comeback with hard driving punk sound mixed with greatest hits and quirky numbers like “Soon Forget,” which is simply Eddie with a ukelele. This resurgence in 2000 is the reason why longtime PJ fans like Glass Joe can’t get a Pearl Jam ticket when they tour in 2015. Thankfully, we have these bootlegs so that we may experience the resurgence anytime we want. Take a look at the setlist here.

The Animals- Greatest Hits Live: Rip It to Shreds


Trendy rock critics trash bands when they go on greatest hits tours, and for what reason? I bought the full, multi album, career spanning compilation: Complete Animals and bathed in the raw punk sound at a volume loud enough to offend Ed Sullivan’s remains. The Animals kick ass, but in 1984 when people were listening to bubblegum metal and punk, the Animals still toured and had to lean on their hits to sell tickets. Why do bands get trashed for this? Eric and the Animals had talent enough to get noticed in the sixties with the company of the Beatles, Stones, and Beach Boys. They had hits of their own, covers, and Eric Burdon still sounded great, so the fact that they toured in 1984 and played only the songs we know makes way too much sense to me. Still, there exists the hipster music reviewers that think these bands sell out when they cater to fans of their top 40 hits rather than putting out new music. The Animals probably could have written new songs in the 1980’s, but even if they were good, times had changed, and the new music may not have gained the traction necessary to make them money. I guess my point is that songs are the wares that these creative artists produce. If they find a recipe that works with their customer base then why should they change that recipe?

The Equals: “Police on My Back”

Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness, the landmark double album by The Smashing Pumpkins is great if you just listen to disc 1. The Beatles’s White Album is awesome, but the last songs are pointless, Yoko Ono inspired twaddle. If artists want to release double albums then I will buy them, but these types of albums are plagued by the fact that listeners like me often imagine the best of the double album as a single disc release The Clash released Sandanista! at the height of their popularity and listeners and critics have long correctly surmised that the album’s highlights would have made a landmark 10-12 song LP. One of those songs in a cover of Eddy Grant and The Equals 60’s era song “Police On My Back,” which makes for a really interesting fusion of 60’s pop sound and reggae. It is said that the Clash version was intended to have the same reggae feel, but the Clash song sounds like a straight forward, fast punk song. It stands as one of the best songs on the album, but it does not remind any listeners that the Clash were landmark artists when it came to fusing punk rock with reggae. The original version by The Equals does accomplish a really cool blend of reggae and pop rock, and it is curious to me why this sound did not catch on.

Have a Drink

Carmel Apple Martini


1 part apple vodka

1 part buttershots

Bartlett’s Apple Cider to your taste

Hershey’s carmel sauce for the rim

Be a Kid Again

The game Spud was smash hit in my yard as a kid. We would get six of us together, and though the game usually calls for flat surfaces, we played where there were hills and trees for extra fun and strategy- consider also that a shot to the crotch was worth extra letters. Get the kids, some friends, or family members outside and teach them this game. Anything in life that simply requires a ball, people, and enthusiasm should rank amongst the best things in life. Watch this weird Talking Heads look alike explain the game or click on the link above.

Watch Sports on TV

NFL week 10 (Sunday games for those without the ticket)

2 shitty games…

Miami @ Philly (Kevin Harlan & Rich Gannon)


We let a talent like Harlan rot behind an NFL mic on a 3rd tier NFL announcing gig when he could make the Grizzlies versus Wolves game on Sunday sound like game 7 of the Finals. Just saying…

New Orleans @ Washington (Kenny Albert & Daryl Johnston)


The Saints could either light up Washington or this could be another 16-13 stinker. Either way no one cares about this game unless they have Drew Brees in their lineup. The Saints have allowed Brees to heave the ball all over the field to record setting results. Finish raking the leaves and skip this game.

…and a 3rd shitty game that everybody wants to watch

Pats @ Giants (Jim Nantz & Phil Simms)


Eli Manning is better than Tom Brady, but only when the Giants play the Pats. I like the Giants 75-0. Brady needs to stop being in awe of the lesser Manning and start trying to be like him if that’s even possible.

College Football (All Saturday Games)

Conference realignment killed CFB…

#1 Clemson @ Syracuse (3:30 ABC and ESPN 2)


Big money killed big conferences. There should be 8-10 teams in every conference and they should all play eachother. We should be getting great games between traditional and geographic rivals, but we get this shit…unwatchable. What team has a better combination of uniforms, logo, and pregame ritual where they rub the rock and run down the hill, than Clemson?

Wake Forest @ #4 Notre Dame (3:30 NBC)


Notre Dame is not in the ACC…yes they are…not hey aren’t…yes they are? Either way, they do not belong in the playoff and they get storied rival Wake Forest on Saturday. Try to contain your excitment.

Your best in conference games…

#2 Alabama @ #17 Mississippi St. (3:30 CBS)


Say what you will about the SEC, their teams are all good and they have ferocious rivalries with each other based on geography. Grab a Bartlett’s donut and some cider and watch college football in it’s truest form. Bartlett’s season is ending…

#12 Oklahoma @ #6 Baylor (8PM ABC)

Oklahoma could win this game and screw up the playoff completely or Baylor could win and leapfrog some teams.

#21 Memphis @ #24 Houston (7PM ESPN 2)

I miss you Big East…


Best game you won’t be able to watch because of the big money conferences…

Minnesota @ #5 Iowa (8PM Big Ten Network)


Iowa is far and away the most interesting team in college football. They are unbeaten in a power conference and if they run the table they would, presumably, be welcomed into the CFB tournament as the clear Cindarella. Minnesota, after losing their beloved coach and signing his replacement to an extension, is poised to play spoiler. I would bet the Gophers regardless of the spread in the most watchable, and least available, game that you will see this weekend.

P’n News Bowl…

Pitt @ Duke (12PM ESPNEWS)


What happened to Pitt? They had Tony Dorsett, no? And Duke got absolutely screwed a few weeks back in that farce finish against Miami. Those plays make football look ridiculous like wrestling. What happens if a ranked team has to play on ESPNEWS? It probably would never happen, but I know that in January and February the most intriguing match-ups show up on ESPNEWS.

Enjoy the Weekend…The cream always rises…


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