One Reporter's Opinion

Proud sponsor of The Partnership for an Idiot-Free America. Andy's random observations -- a potluck of politics, a mix of music musings, and whatever else transcends the transom. (Unless otherwise specified, all pictures are copyright of this blogger. Some rights reserved, subject to the terms and conditions specified under the Creative Commons license.)

Friday, April 04, 2003

So, week six of unemployment is just getting ready to go -- just in time for the Jayhawks vaunted bid for the NCAA Men's title. I was in Lawrence in 1988 for the "Manning and the Miracles" championship, and I developed a bit of fanboy jones for the music of Chuck Mead (now with BR5-49) in his incarnation with the Homestead Grays as they played at the satellite union. I was also there in 1991 for the finals against Duke, but no one remembers #2. That is, unless your blood runs Crimson & Blue, which mine does. If Mark Randall and Jeff Gueldner fell short, and if Adonis Jordan and Rex Walters couldn't get it done, and Raef LaFrentz, Scot Pollard, and Jacque Vaughn couldn't surmount the hurdle, maybe Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison can.

If nothing else, it will shut up all the damned wags who insist that basketball is the sole province of the southeast. Never mind that James Naismith was our only losing coach, ever. He only invented the game so that Phog Allen could go on to teach the trade to Dean Smith and "Baron" Rupp. No Kansas, no Kentucky. No Kentucky, no Indiana, no Duke. No North Carolina.

OK, enough soapbox. I'm only bitter, is all. I've been watching early exits and missed brass rings for the last decade & change, so I figure I've earned the (self-)indulgence.

Speaking of indulgences, I've really trimmed back my expenditure on music, so my reviews are going to be somewhat limited. A couple of honorable mentions:

Wilco, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, DVD. OK, Hayden, I'm willing to relent. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and Wilco itself, may be "embettered" by the departure of Jay Bennett. Not only that, but the album doth rock like the howling April winds. It is interesting to see the process by which this album was made. Even better, there's extant footage, culled for your viewing pleasure on a supplemental disc. Lurvely. Unforeseen side effect: I'm unrepentantly homesick for Chicago.

Speaking of extant footage: Beatles, The Beatles Anthology, DVD. Disc 5 contains uninterrupted "reunion" footage of Paul, George, and Ringo -- without the interference or presence of one dullard Jeff Lynne. Unfortunately, Disc 5 also contains "reunion" footage of Paul, George, and Ringo -- with Jeff Lynne's dullard thumbprints all over the take. If nothing else, this DVD re-release is worth getting for the 5.1 and DTS mixes.

Much of my musical intake lately has been pretty well limited to Black Flag '84, Rise Above, and a number of Elvis Costello Rhino reissues -- including This Year's Model, which has made hash out of erroneous prejudices I'd been harboring about ol' Declan. He's one of these artists I've more or less backed into. As DF likes to say, I had up until recently respected the guy solely on paper. I also listened to Pleased to Meet Me on my way to my interview today. I found everything invigorating, with the exception of "Can't Hardly Wait," which I now believe to be a ham-handed segue into the Don't Tell A Soul/All Shook Down era 'Mats.

The "Shite Wipes" new release, Elephant, left me cold at the preview party where I heard it in its entirety, looped a couple of times from beginning to end. Put me on the list as "unimpressed." I'd much rather listen to Andy Partridge B-sides.

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