Monday, November 30, 2009

We've Got A New Podcast For You!

Today I have something different to offer, apparently my 10 year old sister in law Faith got tired of the fact that I haven't done a podcast in awhile, so she did her own. Not only is the only one on the show, she chose the music and was her own engineer. I'm afraid she may either shame me into finally getting better at these things or just giving it up. If you are subscribed to my podcast (which you can do by following the buttons on the right) her show will show up in your iTunes. If you aren't, you can listen to Faith's show right here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seems Weird That This is a Holiday Week When All I Want to Do Is Work

Ya gotta love gun owners, don't ya?

It seems people are flipping out about the Cowboys and their crappy offense the past couple weeks. My thoughts are, if this is as bad as it gets, I'd rather it happen now then next month.

Cowboys headed nowhere with this offense

Ft. Worth Star Telegram

ARLINGTON — Some 46 million turkeys, so say the pilgrims who track such things, will have died this week by the time we get to Thursday. And then there’s the Dallas Cowboys.

"Stayin’ alive," said receiver Patrick Crayton, who was describing his game-winning end zone-improvised route, as opposed to pop songs of the ’70s, or even the shaky condition of his team.

Beating the Washington Redskins by a final score of 7-6 sounded more like a Frankie Francisco bullpen collapse two blocks to the east, but it actually defined the Cowboys in Sunday’s desperate and, finally, successful survival act.

Lose this one, and even with Oakland on the Thanksgiving platter for Thursday, this was a team that was cooked, along with those 46 million turkeys, even before the dreaded December death march.

By winning this one, it was almost historic. The last time the Cowboys won a game scoring seven points or fewer was in December 1970.

Some 40 years later, the Cowboys are attempting to reverse history by, first, getting to the postseason, and, second, winning in the post-season, something the franchise hasn’t done since 1996.

But it won’t happen. No way. Not the way Tony Romo and his receivers have suddenly run out of meat and potatoes, not to mention points. Unless that changes, pronto, forget it.

The math is not complicated. Two touchdowns in the last two games. Fourteen points, period. And totally outplayed by an outmanned Redskins defense on Sunday.

The big local debate after Green Bay a week ago was "giving up on the run." For nearly 58 minutes on Sunday, the Cowboys had plenty of yards on the ground. Except there were no points on the scoreboard.

In the NFL, if you’re not passing to win, you’re not winning. OK, it was Washington, a club with so many issues that anything is possible. So a win became possible.

Romo suffered a back injury early, and he was also awful until late. But when it was absolutely up-against-the-wall Redskin mothers, then Tony delivered, as did his receivers, on a gut-grabbing clutch drive in deep stretch.

Afterward, the locker-room theme was mostly the typical "a win is a win in this league," and if the players and coaches had noticed it, they would have pointed to what happened to the Steelers in Kansas City on Sunday, or, yes, how those incoming Raiders shocked the Bengals.

But until Romo escaped pressure late in the fourth quarter, until he drifted outside to his left, until he signaled Crayton in the end zone (the prearranged "wrong" signal in pointing the other way), until Tony ignored 85,000 voices urging him to "ruuunnn" it, the Cowboys were on the brink.

Bruce and the band wrapped up the Working on a Dream tour last night in Buffalo.

November 22 / HSBC Arena / Buffalo, NY

When Backstreets interviewed Bruce Springsteen shortly before this Magic/Dream E Street Band trek began, back in 2007, the Boss had this to say: "I envision the band carrying on for many, many, many more years. There ain't gonna be any farewell tour. That's the only thing I know for sure."

True to his word, two years later, that's exactly how he ended this tour: no time for sentimental goodbyes, mentions of a "last dance," or even a glance at the notion of retirement. There were still too many other good stories to tell. Some showgoers were expecting "Blood Brothers" or something like it here in Buffalo, and for good reason, but Springsteen seemed determined not to put any kind of real punctuation mark on the evening. Excepting, of course, the exclamation points spread throughout this 34-song, nearly three-and-a-half hour show.

Of course, everyone in the room, onstage and off, was well aware of the momentousness of the occasion. In "Working on Dream," there was considerably more weight to the usual building-a-house spiel: "The E Street Band has come thousands of miles tonight to be here one last time... for a little while... to fulfill our solemn vow to rock the house!" He soon added, "Really, it's been just about the best time in our band's work life. We want to thank you for supportig our old music, our new music, our tour."

But up next, they plowed forward, doing something they'd never done before — "Tonight! One time only!" — the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album, start to finish. Whatever partciular significance the night's album choice might wind up having — in terms of ending where they began, if tonight was indeed any kind of ending — went unspoken. Springsteen merely put the record in context, as he has with other album performances on this fall leg. "This was the miracle," he said, "This was the record that took everything from way below zero to... one." That got a big laugh. Bruce went on to speak of John Hammond, "one of the great legends of music production," and of manager Mike Appel, whose "incredible talking" got him a crucial audition with said legend. Tonight's album performance was dedicated "to the man who got me in the door. Mike Appel is here tonight — Mike, this is for you." He added, "We've never done it... hope we can do it!"

Each of the full album performances on this tour have come loaded with their own questions. Born to Run — for starters, who would handle trumpet on "Meeting"? Curt Ramm has since elevated every show, through tonight, with the addition of his horn parts. The River — would Springsteen and the E Streeters be able to maintain the intensity required for a 20-song sequence? Absolutely, it turned out. And for Greetings, would Springsteen finally grace "Growin' Up" with a full-blown story once again? The answer came with three magical words: "There I was...."

There have been plenty of near misses in recent years, just as Springsteen almost revisited the "Sad Eyes" portion of "Backstreets," so has he come close to true storytelling in "Growin' Up." But tonight, the interlude was fully realized, and it was one of toight's most powerful moments.

"It was a dark and stormy night in Asbury Park, New Jersey," Bruce began, "Me and Steve were in a litle club on the south end of the street." He proceeded to once again tell the story of his first meeting with Clarence Clemons, starting with the door blowing off in the Big Man's hand. "King Curtis?" Bruce recalled thinking, "King Curtis has come out of my dreams and landed right here!" Here in Buffalo in 2009, Clarence joined Bruce at the center to reenact that fateful night. "He walked to the stage and said" — Clarence speaking now — "I wanna play with you." "What could I say? I said....'Sure!'" Then, step by step, Bruce and Clarence recreated the pose from the cover of the Born to Run album right there on the HSBC Arena stage. It was a wordless act, unfolding slowly, inevitably, engendering one big smile throughout the building. The full-bodied laugh would come shortly, as Bruce concluded the story: "We got into a Cadillac at the end of the nght, drove out to the outskirts of town.... we got very sleepy and we fell into this long, long, long, long, long dream. And when we woke up, we were in fuckin' Buffalo, New York." Crowd goes nuts, in no small part due to the way Springsteen just compressed 35-plus years of E Street Band history. And tonight it does feel like a dream.

A furious solo from Bruce on "Lost in the Flood" has to be another of the night's highlights — Garry, meanwhile, playing complex runs behind him, the bassist being the guy who can easily fade into the background if you let him but who, anytime you choose to pay attention, is always doing some seriously interesting shit — and Bruce's solo contines, building, as Max matches his intensity, the two facing off until the end. Roy brings it all back home, spotlight on the white baby grand.

Another question that came with the Greetings performance: could Bruce actually make "Mary Queen of Arkansas" and "The Angel" compelling? A resounding yes on both counts, particularly "The Angel." With Bruce lit up at center stage, the only other accompaniment for most of the song came from Roy Bittan, who segued right into this number from his "Lost in the Flood" coda. Roy gave the song a Born to Run-era majesty, capped by the surprise addition of a viola toward the song's end. Much of what made it work was Bruce's vocal — as a friend of mine turned to me and said, "He knows how to sing now." Coupled with Roy's piano work, it came off as a beautiful, lost '70s vignette... which I guess is exactly what it is. "Mary," too, was surprisingly successful, with Bruce on acoustic guitar in Devils & Dust mode, accompanied only by Nils on harp.

And of course Bruce and the Band brought all the right moves to the remainder of the Greetings sequence, including a rollicking "Does This Bus Stop" with a stand-out solo from Charlie; a full-band "For You," as opposed to the solo piano version Bruce has been doing lately; "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City," ending with Bruce and Steve facing off, flashing guitars like switchblades, while Max is a perpetual drumroll machine.

And that's just one of the night's stories. After "Sunny Day" and "The Promised Land," it's on to the next: "We've got a birthday boy in the house tonight!" Yep, Steve Van Zandt's birthday just happens to coincide with the final night of the tour, and Bruce decides on an extended fete.

First up: "Restless Nights." "Stevie is... my age, and for years he's been asking to play this one song. This is Stevie's very favorite song of all time, it's very obscure, it's on the Tracks record. We're gonna do this for his birthday tonight." If The River at MSG seemed like a gift for Steve, this outtake performance was the icing on the cake. "By request!" Bruce said at song's end, pointing at his old pal, "Dammit, he might have been right all these years!"

But the party wasn't over. Speaking of cake, guitar tech Kevin Buell emerged with a guitar-topped birthday cake, covered in lit candles. With a little help from Max, the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" while Bruce and Steve blew the candles out together. "For Steve!" Bruce cried as the smoke rose, taking the band into "Surprise Surprise." And while some fans have heard this Working on a Dream song as too frivolous, it was hard not to appreciate the apropos lyrics at this moment:

Well today is your birthday, we traveled so far we two
So let's blow out the candles on your cake and we'll raise a glass or two

Bruce fed Steve a piece during the song, and by the end was still licking icing off his fingers, mouthing to Steve, "Not bad!" Darned if the song didn't serve as a fitting benediction, too:

And when the sun comes out tomorrow, it'll be the start of a brand new day...

But again, tonight there were other stories to tell. After the "Green Onions" sign collection it was a holiday double-shot, with Bruce taking "Merry Christmas Baby" right into "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." In between, channeling Christopher Walken, he said, "I feel Santy fever coming on. You know what this night needs? More Santy. We need more jingle bells...." The second of these came with a sign so nice, "I'm gonna put it on my front door!"

A left-field request from some Italians, Chuck Willis's "(I Don't Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes," brought us close once again to some closing night sentiment: "This sort of captures the theme of our feelings this evening," Bruce said beforehand. But the song was a blast, blowing away any poignancy with it's full-throttle rock 'n' roll. And followed by "Boom Boom," also by request? We're back in the moment. "My Love Will Not Let You Down" and "Long Walk Home" continued this forceful stretch, Steve shining as always on the latter. Following the setlisted "Born to Run" set-closer, Bruce called an audible of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" for another theme he wanted to hit, hollering, "I wanna tell you the story of the band!"

For the encore, Bruce led off with his take on what the tour has meant to him, a nice reprise from the Magic tour: "It's been a pleasure being out here working for you.... I'll work for your love any day!" By the time we got to "Higher and Higher," with special guest Willie Nile, there was no longer any escaping the inevitable. "We don't wanna go home!" said Bruce from the rear-pit platform. But at the end of the song: "We ain't going home yet!"

And amid speculation about the last this or the last that, talk elsewhere of retirement of the E Street Band, one more song kept the ending on a high note, John Fogerty's "Rocking All Over the World." It was a celebration of the tour, of the band, of rock 'n' roll... not of a band on the verge of retiring, but of a band firing on all cylinders at this very moment. Bruce's final words matched the mood: "We appreciate you coming out to see the E Street Band. So we're gonna say goodbye, but just for a little while... a very little while... because... because..." before singing again, "I like it, I like it, I like it!"

After acknowledging fans who came from all over — other states, other countries — to take part in these shows, Springsteen said, "I want to thank our crew, who work all day and all night to bring this show to you in your town." He thanked the E Street Band, the road crew, the truckers, carpenters, and everyone in every department by name, from security to sound, video, production, management... and while tonight was certainly the end of something, and no one's quite sure what he means by "a very little while," the overwhelming feeling at the end of the show was summed up by a sign that Bruce and Steve grabbed and paraded across the stage during the encore, laying it to rest below Max's drumkit, Steve every once in a while checking to make sure it was still visible:

It's only rock 'n' roll, but it feels like love.



Wrecking Ball (with Curt Ramm)
The Ties That Bind
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Blinded By the Light
Growin' Up
Mary Queen of Arkansas
Doe This Bus Stop at 8nd Street?
Lost in the Flood
The Angel
For You
Spirit in the Night
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Restless Nights
Surprise, Surprise
Green Onions
Merry Christmas Baby (with Curt Ramm)
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (with Curt Ramm)
(I Don't Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes
Boom Boom
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Long Walk Home
The Rising
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)


I'll Work For Your Love
Thunder Road
American Land (with Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Curt Ramm and Willie Nile)
Rockin' All Over the World

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Once Again, That One Wasn't Pretty

I'm not sure there is much that bothers me more than people treating their dogs like dolls.

2 weeks in a row now the Cowboys have looked like crap. At least they pulled this one out. Romo was having a rough day until the very end anyway.

Romo the problem, solution in Dallas Cowboys' 7-6 win

08:58 PM CST on Sunday, November 22, 2009

Column by JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News |

Jean-Jacques Taylor
Archive | Blog | E-mail

ARLINGTON – Tony Romo, still wearing his uniform pants and a sweaty T-shirt an hour after the game, slowly pulled himself out of a chair and gingerly walked out of the Cowboys' interview room.

He was sore – he took a knee to the back in the first quarter – yet satisfied.

In this instance, that's OK, because Romo helped the Cowboys win a game that seemed lost for much of the day.

For more than three quarters Sunday afternoon, Romo was absolutely awful. Sorry, but there's no delicate way to describe his performance.

Those throws that didn't sailed over his receivers' heads landed at their feet. Hopefully, we can blame Romo's sore back for his inaccuracy.

But with the game on the line and all of the feel-good moments the Cowboys had amassed during the first 10 weeks in jeopardy, Romo played his best football.

Dallas 7, Washington 6.

The game was every bit as close and as difficult and as tenuous as the final score indicates. Feel free to blame Romo.

With 7:06 left in the third quarter, Romo had a passer rating of 36.7, having completed just eight of 18 passes for 98 yards with an interception. Romo, though, refused to yield to frustration.

It's a little something he and Tiger Woods have discussed from time to time. It's about performing at a high level during the moment that determines whether you win or lose.

At that point, the past becomes irrelevant. Only the present matters.

Trailing 6-0, Dallas took over at its own 40 needing a touchdown to win.

Romo threw an incompletion on first down. It was the only ball that hit the ground during the possession.

A 7-yard pass to Felix Jones and a 5-yard scramble on third down produced a first down. Then Romo hit Jason Witten for 7. Miles Austin for 9. Witten for 12 and Austin for 11.

Suddenly, Romo found a rhythm, and the Cowboys were at the Washington 9 with 3:26 left.

A false start penalty moved the ball to the 14, but Romo found Austin for 4 yards to the 10. On second down, Romo made the kind of play that few others can duplicate.

Feeling pressure, Romo bent over and spun away from Washington defensive end Brian Orakpo while searching for a receiver. As Romo drifted left, he began directing Patrick Crayton, who was trying to lose his defender in the end zone.

A moment later, Romo zipped a pass to Crayton.


Romo thrust both arms triumphantly in the air. A fist pump followed. The pain disappeared.

"It hurts right before and right after," Romo said of his back, "but during the snap you're just playing the game. That's part of football."

The best quarterbacks figure out how to win games when they struggle. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is the master. No matter how poorly he plays during the game's first three quarters, Roethlisberger plays his best football at winning time.

I've been fairly surprised about the show Cougar Town, it's a horrible title for a show and it's a one trick pony but it's pretty funny. Anyway, apparently Courtney Cox is having issues and they have halted production.

'Cougar Town' halts production
Star Courteney Cox dealing with 'private family matter'

By Nellie Andreeva

Nov 22, 2009, 08:16 PM ET

"Cougar Town"
Production on ABC's freshman comedy series "Cougar Town" was shut down late last week to accommodate star Courteney Cox.

In a statement, the network confirmed the work stoppage, noting that it was done "in order for Courteney to deal with a private family matter."

There is no word when filming on the series, which has been picked up for a full season, will resume.

"Cougar Town" was already scheduled to go on hiatus this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.
'Cougar Town' halts production

By Nellie Andreeva

Nov 22, 2009, 08:16 PM ET

Production on ABC's freshman comedy series "Cougar Town" was shut down late last week to accommodate star Courteney Cox.

In a statement, the network confirmed the work stoppage, noting that it was done "in order for Courteney to deal with a private family matter."

There is no word when filming on the series, which has been picked up for a full season, will resume.

"Cougar Town" was already scheduled to go on hiatus this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bruce played the 2nd to last show of the Workin on a Dream tour Friday night in Baltimore.

November 20 / 1st Mariner Arena / Baltimore, MD

Truly into the home stretch of the Working on a Dream tour, Bruce and the E Street Band began their second-to-last show of 2009 with a call to "bring on your wrecking ball." But judging by how long this night stretched out — a little past the 3:20 mark — they're not quite ready to pack it in.

This was a long-awaited return to Baltimore, which hadn't seen a Springsteen show since the earliest days of the now-legendary E Street Band. "We haven't played here since 1973, I think," said Bruce, recalling opening for Chicago back then with a ticket price of two bucks. What stayed in his mind was someone saying, "Hey, man, we didn't come here to see you." To which he replied, "Oh yeah? Well, the next time you do, it's gonna cost you five bucks."

With question marks surrounding the post-tour future of the E Street Band, a palpable feeling of finality coursed through tonight's performance of Born to Run — the very real possibility of finality, if not finality itself. Could this be the last time we'd hear some of these songs with the E Street Band? Certainly on this tour, with Greetings slated for Buffalo. Springsteen confirmed it was on his mind, too, at the end of the album sequence: "Born to Run — for the last time." In addition to the album's original players, Springsteen gave an extra shout out: "Produced by Jon Landau... he's in the room tonight."

After chasing the clouds away with "Waitin' on a Sunny Day," Springsteen took note of the newsboy cap worn by the girl he'd brought on stage, and decided, "For you, in honor of this hat.... in honor of this hat, this song." And right into "Spirit in the Night." From there, a spontaneous new sign collecting vamp: "A little 'Green Onions,' everybody, key of E!" Booker T and the MGs transitioned right into "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" (for a sign that pictured the Big Man and even provided hats for both Clarence and Bruce) followed by "The E Street Shuffle." "For You" was Bruce alone at the piano — "This is dangerous ground over here," he said, "I only semi-know what I'm doing." And though his fingers may have demonstrated some truth to that statement, his vocal was out of this world.

"Radio Nowhere" led to "My Love Will Not Let You Down," as it always seems to want to. And then, an all-too-rare performance of "Long Walk Home." Building on Steve's solo vocal turn at the end, Bruce began a gospel call-and-response with his old friend, the kind of intimate, spontaneous moment that both depends on and displays the level of wordless communication these guys have developed over so many years.

While "the end" had hung heavy over some of the main set, the mood shifted in the encore as they blew it out with "Ramrod" to start. Instead of saying "You've just seen... for the last time for a while..." as he had at other recent shows, the encore found Bruce not going gentle into that good night. Well, he went with Frost, actually, not Dylan Thomas: "We're shutting down for a little while, but we will see you in the future, further on down the road, because we have miles to go before we sleep!"

A couple laides got to dance in the dark with Clarence; Ali Weinberg guested on both "American Land" (accordion) and "Higher and Higher" (tamborine and vocals). After the now-standard Jackie Wilson closer, it looked like that'd be it once again. Springsteen embraced his bandmates, and most of them left the stage. But after an extended hug and chat with Clarence, Bruce called 'em all back for one more. "Well, we ain't in no rush," he said, kicking into "Glory Days." "Steve, take this thing home!" Sez Steve: "I don't wanna go home!" Bruce: "Are you with me?" Steve: "I don't know!" Stevie, we know just how you feel.


Wrecking Ball (with Curt Ramm)
Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River (with Curt Ramm)
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Spirit in the Night
Green Onions
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
The E Street Shuffle
For You
Radio Nowhere
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Long Walk Home
The Rising


Hard Times
Land of Hope and Dreams
American Land (with Curt Ramm and Ali Weinberg)
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Curt Ramm)
Glory Days

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If you haven't figured it out, I've taken to doing the update in the evening rather than the mornings. It means I can post more often as my mornings have become very crowded lately but it also means I don't have much info on games anymore. So, as I type the stinkin' Yankees look like they are about to win another World Series. They are up 7-3 in the middle of the 8th. Have I mentioned that I hate the Yankees?

Roy Williams is getting annoyed because people think he sucks. Does it matter that I get annoyed because he sucks?

Criticism beginning to annoy Dallas receiver Williams

Ft. Worth Star Telegram

IRVING — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams is frustrated with his numbers and tired of trying to defend himself.

He said he is not complaining or pouting and is continuing to do everything he can to still help the Cowboys win.

But he wants everyone to know it’s not all on him_ especially when passes are high or behind him. "It makes me look like crap," Williams said. "The only thing that keeps me going is cause I know I’m not. I know what I am. I know what people are trying to make me be. I know I’m not that."

Williams has no answers when asked to explain the difference between his numbers and those of receiver Miles Austin. Williams has 14 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Austin has 26 catches for 563 yards and six touchdowns.

"He gets the ball thrown correctly," Williams said. "I’m stretching, falling, doing everything. My balls are everywhere."

Williams said quarterback Tony Romo are simply not on the same page _ which is downright shocking to him considering the work the two have put in together.

"It’s stunning," Williams said. "I anticipated us rolling right now. We are rolling in the win column. But as far as me and Romo’s production, we are not even close. I’m not mad or anything by no means. We are just not connecting. I am not going to rant or rave. I’m going to work. I’m just waiting for the switch to cut on one day...boom."

Bruce played Charlotte on Tuesday night.

November 3 / Time Warner Arena / Charlotte, NC

"Seeds" got things off to a rocking start at the Bobcat Arena, but it was the second song, "Darlington County," that really set the tone. It's one of the obvious choices for a local special (along with "Cadillac Ranch," unplayed this time), but Bruce actually hasn't broken out "Darlington" in the Carolinas in a year and a half. And it was as if everyone there had been waiting for it; a little thrill rippled throughout the arena at the opening guitar riff. An unusual choice for the second slot, but when the crowds sings "blasting off the T-top" as loud as they sing "Baby we were born to run," you know it was a good move. From there, through the "sha-la-las" and onward, energy flowed both ways all night.

The Born to Run album sequence continues to catch fire, not at all dampened by repetition (or by the word, just beginning to circulate prior to showtime, that Bruce would be digging deeper this weekend for his buddies in New York City). "This record... this was the record that started a lifelong conversation between our band and you," Bruce said before beginning with "Thunder Road," adding "Shout if you remember this one!" clearly knowing that this room would shout it out loud. "Night" was particularly intense, and "Meeting Across the River" keeps shining bright, Garry working the frets downstage and Curt's clear trumpet doing all the right things.

Following "Sunny Day," an armful of signs kept the "Darlington" party vibe going: "I Fought the Law" first, previously played just twice in Europe on this tour. Next Bruce hollered, "The biggest sign of the evening!" and he danced across the stage with it: "I'll Have Sad Eyes if You Don't Play Sherry Darling." That might seem like two requests in one, but they just took it literally, with Roy, Charlie, and Nils strapping on their accordions for "Sherry." The requests kept rolling: "We're gonna take one from the upper balcony," Bruce said, pointing up to the rafters, "Get a spotlight on that sign!" It was a horn-heavy "So Young and in Love," Curt Ramm joining back in, Bruce working the stage and dropping to his knees, and the whole band all smiles.

A fourth request was for one that the band had never played before: "Play 'Brown Eyed Girl' For My Brown Eyed Girl," read the sign. "We're figuring it out!" said Bruce, lightly practicing the riff before diving in. It didn't always groove, but it was a whole lot of fun: lights up, all hands in the air, and hey, as Bruce had already figured out, this was a crowd that liked to "Sha La La." "Just like that!"

In the encore, "Cousin" Frank Bruno Jr. joined in for "American Land." Heading from there into "Dancing in the Dark," Bruce was apparently as excited as the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen, I've had an erection lasting more than four hours — I should get to the emergency room. But first!..."

One more after "Rosie," and one that's become an instant E Street classic since Bruce and the Band debuted it on night four in Philly: Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher." "You think we can take it any higher? Are you ready to help us take it higher?" They did, and we did, and I'd be surprised if this one didn't appear at every show from here to Buffalo. It's as perfect a show-closer, with sweet horns and killer vocals — even better now that Cindy and Curtis are taking verses, too, as they began to do in DC. The background vocalists are the tour's secret weapons that have never quite felt fully deployed until now; Cindy and Curtis already elevated "Hard Times" at the beginng of the encore, but their solo turns on "Higher and Higher" were breathtaking. Bruce got so inspired, he had to join the crowd to dance — he ran back around the pit, up to the platform in the middle of the floor (from which he'd earlier gone crowd surfing), and practically boogalooed. Soon back on stage — "We ain't done yet! Is the band ready? Is the people ready?" — Bruce took the sucker up like "Jacob's Ladder." "Up to C!" "We got one more build left!" "Up to D!" And if that was the top of Bruce's range, it was more than enough.
- Chris Phillips reporting


Darlington County
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River (with Curt Ramm)
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
I Fought the Law
Sherry Darling
So Young and in Love (with Curt Ramm)
Brown Eyed Girl
Lonesome Day
The Rising


Hard Times
Bobby Jean
American Land (with Frank Bruno, Jr. and Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Curt Ramm)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ever Wondered What's Going On?

And we wonder why animals attack.

This is news that will not make my wife very happy at all.

'Flight of the Conchords' might end soon
Jemaine Clement says a decision will be made in a month

By Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters

Nov 3, 2009, 02:25 PM ET

"Flight of the Conchords" star Jemaine Clement has said his offbeat HBO comedy series may not continue for a third season because it requires so much work, but a final decision will be made within a month.

Clement told Reuters that he needs to discuss the future of the show with his co-star, Bret McKenzie, and with the director of the series, James Bobin.

"It very likely might not" return for a third season, Clement said.

"It could come back in a shorter season or like a special," he added.

The largely autobiographical "Flight of the Conchords," an offbeat, cult favorite in the U.S., tells of two New Zealand bandmates named Jemaine and Bret who move to New York to try to make it in the music business.

The show began in 2007 and is based on Clement and McKenzie's folk parody band Flight of the Conchords. The second season ended this past spring on the U.S. network HBO.

This year, the show gained an Emmy nomination for best comedy series, but lost to NBC's "30 Rock." Clement also was nominated for best lead actor in a comedy series.

Clement, who took flight on a solo career last week starring in a new movie "Gentleman Broncos," said he and McKenzie are challenged to keep up with the work required for the show.

"We've got to write the series, but we've also got to write the songs, and just dividing your time into those two writing tasks is really tricky," he said.

Clement, who also told Reuters in January that Season 2 could be the last for "Flight of the Conchords," said its end would be "bittersweet" because "it's so hard" to produce.

"Flight of the Conchords" averaged 3.1 million viewers per episode last season, in-line with Season 1, HBO said.

"We've left their future entirely in their hands," said Nancy Lesser, a spokeswoman for the network. "We would love to have more, and we left an open door at HBO."

Last year, Clement and McKenzie's musical duo Flight of the Conchords won New Zealand's first Grammy since 1984, for their EP "The Distant Future." They won for best comedy album.

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are going to host the Oscars this year. Huh, that should be pretty good.

Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin to co-host Oscars

By Hanh Nguyen

November 3, 2009 4:09 PM

The 82nd Academy Awards will get into the buddy act with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Oscar telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman announced Tuesday that "the team of Steve and Alec are the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars. Steve will bring the experience of having hosted the show in the past and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event."

In true comedic form, Martin quipped, "I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin."

Baldwin also added, "I don't play the banjo but I'm thrilled to be hosting the Oscars -- it's the opportunity of a lifetime."

Teaming Martin and Baldwin up could bode well for the telecast. Not only are they starring opposite each other in the upcoming romantic comedy "It's Complicated," but they rank at No. 1 (Martin with 15 shows) and No. 2 (Baldwin with 14) for hosting "Saturday Night Live" the most times.

Baldwin is currently starring in the Tina Fey comedy "30 Rock," while Martin, who's hosted the Oscars twice, is currently touring with with the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers in support of his latest album "The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo."

The 82nd Academy Awards will be telecast on ABC from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 7.

Bruce played Washington D.C. on Monday night.

November 2 / Verizon Center / Washington DC

Bruce began the night dedicating the show to the recently departed Lenny Sullivan, "our brother in arms,” noting "this was his favorite song" before opening with the welcome return of “Outlaw Pete." Other early highlights included a strong rendition of "Night." Often overshadowed by the better-known Born to Run songs that surround it in the set, it really stood out as the top-notch rocker that it is.

Bruce had been picking fewer request signs at recent shows, to the point where it was beginning to feel like an obligation. But in DC he was ready to take plenty of setlist input from the fans in the pit, and he had fun gathering a good number of signs before making his picks. The tour premiere of "Stand on It" segued into "Seven Nights to Rock" in a transition that took the band a little by surprise, but came off pretty smooth regardless — a high octane medley with the sort of energy usually saved for the encores. "Growin' Up" was prompted by a very impressive sign; no story this time, but a great choice nonetheless.

"Pink Cadillac" returned to the set due to popular demand — three separate signs. Bruce had a lot of fun with this raunchy crowd favorite (probably his best known B-side), sheepishly declaring it "a masterpiece" at the song's end. The requests choices were all upbeat and fun numbers, and that was no mistake. The DC crowd tends to take some convincing to party, especially on a Monday night, and the cavernous, skybox-heavy Verizon Center seems better suited to corporate events than rock 'n' roll shows. But throughout the main set, Bruce put on a muscular and fun show despite poor sound quality, and by the encores he was winning over the fans in the nosebleed seats.

The encores had a couple of great moments. Ali Weinberg joined the band on accordion for "American Land," and Clarence's solo during "Hard Times” reminded everyone that he still knows how to bring it. Curtis and Cindy got their usual chance to shine during that song; but the real treat came after "Rosalita." Bruce led the band into a stunning and celebratory "Higher and Higher" and, in a clearly unrehearsed moment, brought the backup singers over to each sing a verse center stage at his microphone. When Cindy initially seemed unsure of the lyrics, Bruce started her out with some call-and-response vocals until she was ready to soar on her own, her soulful voice quite literally bringing the song higher. This was a truly wonderful surprise performance that deserves to be repeated over the next few weeks.

Spotted in the crowd: Rahm Emanuel (back for more Bosstime after catching the DC show this spring), David Axelrod, and Vincent Pastore.


Outlaw Pete
Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Stand on It
Seven Nights to Rock
Growin' Up
Pink Cadillac
Lonesome Day
The Rising


Hard Times
No Surrender
American Land (with Ali Weinberg)
Dancing in the Dark
Higher and Higher

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Wonder What Quiet is Like

Uhm, uhm. Yea, I've got nothing.

The remake of one of my favorite movies as a kid, "V" airs tonight. It's going to be a tough sell to get the wife to approve this one but here is a 3 1/2 star review, maybe that will help.

Re-imagined 'V' continues ABC's red-letter year

By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

When you're on a roll, even your more dubious plans have a way of panning out.

There's no doubt that, creatively, ABC is playing network TV's hottest hand. It has launched fall's best new sitcoms in The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town, and its most intriguing drama in FlashForward. And now it can add to that list of achievements the season's most entertaining new hour, straightforward division: V.

Think about how easily this idea could have gone south. Apply too little creative thought, and this souped-up updating of NBC's much-loved 1983 miniseriescould easily have become the same cheesy, tacky rehash mess that NBC made of Knight Rider. Overthink the project, and you risk bleeding all the fun out of it and creating an overly dark lump like Bionic Woman.

Tonight, writer Scott Peters, whose The 4400 was one of TV's best recent alien-invasion dramas, hits all the right chords. He adds just enough modern media twists and political/sleeper-cell parallels to contemporize the story without drowning it in paranoia. The clothes and hair have changed, no doubt for the better, but the essentials are all in place – including, we can only hope, the visitors' legendary fondness for hamsters.

What he and ABC have landed on is a show in which the effects are good but not dominant, the characters are strong, and the story is (as it was) crystal clear. Space visitors have landed, and it's up to a few hardy souls to save a gullible world.

Indeed, where FlashForward thrives on ambiguity and complexity, V offers the simpler pleasures of a good guy/bad guy adventure, and skilled actors head up both extremes. On "our" side, you have Joel Gretsch (who proved his sci-fi worth on 4400) as a questioning priest and Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell as a smart counterterrorism agent. On "their" side, you have Anna, the V leader played by Morena Baccarin, whose beauty and charisma are as alluring here as they were in Firefly.

Wisely, Peters has also trapped some of his best characters in the middle: Scott Wolf as an ambitious anchor, Logan Huffman as Mitchell's V-enchanted teenage son, and Morris Chestnut, who is on to the visitors' biggest secret.

Yesterday Was a Good Day

Who knew that when a Japanese Destroyer hits a Japanese Cargo Ship the Destroyer gets the worst of it?

Hey look at that, all of a sudden the Cowboys have a big game on the horizon, who knew a few victories in a row would make the season interesting?

Cowboys' 38-17 win helps with Philadelphia trip looming

02:53 AM CST on Monday, November 2, 2009

Column by TIM COWLISHAW / The Dallas Morning News |

ARLINGTON – With each Cowboys victory, the stakes increase and the stages grow larger. It just can't get much bigger than a battle for first place with the Eagles in Philadelphia next Sunday.

Unless maybe it was last year's battle there for second.

The Cowboys mostly like to forget about the season-ending 44-6 defeat that allowed the Eagles to reach the playoffs as the NFC's last wild-card team rather than Dallas. As coach Wade Phillips said about last season in training camp, "It is what it was."

But with a three-game winning streak after Sunday's 38-17 victory over Seattle, and with young playmakers enjoying new levels of success, the Cowboys may actually use the frustration of last year's elimination game as a springboard for success.

"Trust me, that 44-6 game is going to be in our heads," Patrick Crayton said after becoming the first Cowboy to return punts for touchdowns in back-to-back games.

In a league in which teams use free agency to fill gaps and collect draft picks to cut costs, rosters get overhauled quickly. Longstanding grudges don't hold.

But it's not necessarily the history of the Cowboys-Eagles rivalry that Sunday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field is all about.

"You couldn't talk about something that happened in a game two years ago or three years ago," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "There are not enough people in this room that were around. But a ton of players and coaches here remember last year.

"And I think we'll benefit from that."

The Cowboys will need any form of motivation they can find. The Eagles may be just two weeks removed from an inexplicable loss to Oakland. But after coasting through a Monday night win in Washington, the Eagles hit full speed with a 30-point first half in their 40-17 destruction of the New York Giants on Sunday.

If Marion Barber and Felix Jones were good in the Cowboys' backfield Sunday, first-round pick LeSean McCoy and unknown Leonard Weaver were even better in gaining more than 150 yards rushing against New York.

If Tony Romo was very solid in collecting his 256 passing yards and three touchdowns Sunday, Donovan McNabb was just as productive, reaching 240 and three TDs, but with 13 fewer attempts.

But if the Eagles' 23-point victory over the Giants was slightly more impressive than the Cowboys' 21-point win over Seattle, it makes no real difference. Both are 5-2, one-half game ahead of the Giants, and the team that plays better Sunday night hits the halfway point of the season in first place.

"Philly's gonna be a challenge because the last couple of weeks we haven't faced a defense like Philly's," tight end Martellus Bennett said. "But you've got to win three in a row to call it a streak, so we're hot right now."

A streak that began modestly enough with an overtime win at Kansas City now includes the finest run ever by a Cowboys wide receiver. The Eagles may feel like they struck wide receiver gold in the last two drafts with first-round picks DeSean Jackson of Cal and Jeremy Maclin of Missouri.

Both had touchdowns against the Giants on Sunday. But Miles Austin, undrafted out of Monmouth, takes a backseat to no one at the moment.

In his first three NFL starts, Austin has 21 catches for 482 yards and five touchdowns. By his standards, Sunday's production was modest – five for 61, one TD.

So, Miles Austin has a couple great games and now the officials are giving him the star treatment? I'm ok with that.

Officials making a case for Austin’s star status

Ft. Worth Star Telegram

ARLINGTON — What’s this, another Miles-stone in the suddenly booming career of Mr. Austin?

On Sunday, it appeared Magical Miles had advanced to that next level, the one where all NFL receivers dream to reach.

Star treatment?

Yellow hankies hit green plastic on two separate possessions at the Big Yard in Arlington as defenders were whistled for committing pass interference on Miles.

Both came on third downs. Both led to touchdowns. Add another touchdown for Austin and he was directly involved in three TDs as the Dallas Cowboys, on their seventh Sunday of the season, rested their case.

Yes, an outmanned opponent — in this case, Seattle — was dispatched rather swiftly, erasing a local concern that if you’re going to be a good team, then act like it against the bad clubs.

Not so sure in today’s NFL that it’s a totally valid issue, but Cowboys by 38-17 (and it wasn’t really that close) was the season’s first blowout.

"Hopefully," smiled Austin, when asked if it was "star treatment" on those, well, somewhat borderline interference calls. "I’m just out there running the routes, and I thought both were, yes, the right calls.

"Anyway, they were called, and that was good. Sometimes, you don’t get those, so when you do, I’ll take ’em."

Tony Romo got a good postgame laugh out of the "star treatment" question.

"Now, really, I think those were good flags," Tony answered. "[Austin] put the double move on them. Either you give up the TD or you get a flag."

Austin didn’t go statistical crazy on this afternoon (five catches, 61 yards) but his impact was very vital again in the continuing resurgence of the Cowboys’ offense. In the last 10 quarters, plus an overtime, there have been 10 touchdowns from the offense, and you can say Miles figured in seven of them, catching five.

Not bad for an offense that in early October appeared to be a red-zone field goal waiting to happen.

"I like the way we can score in a hurry," coach Wade Phillips said. "Today, we were just kind of rocking along, then suddenly, we got way ahead."