Thursday, April 26, 2007

Canuck Blues ... But Not Sad

The Vancouver Canucks entered the National Hockey League the same season as the Buffalo Sabres, so they have been an NHL team for more than 35 years.
Both teams started with jerseys with blue the main color, and both original jerseys were much more attractive than the newer versions, with Vancouver also taking the award for ugliest jersey not only between these two teams but possibly in NHL history with the yellow, brown, black and red monstrosities.
Val and I both like the medium/slightly dark blue original Canuck jerseys, including the simplicity of the hockey stick on a white bed surrounded by blue. So we were unhappy, but not surprised, when Don Cherry, in one of his typically stupid statements on Hockey Night in Canada, not only criticized the jersey and its color a few days ago, but referred to it as "powder blue." Like or dislike them, is Cherry just blind? Powder blue is about 5-10 shades lighter on the blue scale, but the innuendo is oh, so wonderful.

Madison Sabres Fans Welcome

Traffic here has again greatly increased, mainly due to topics referring to the Buffalo Sabres and the NHL playoffs. But I was particularly pleased with one search that found this blog earlier today.
Someone from Madison, Wisconsin, found our blog through the search "Madison, Wisconsin Sabres fans." Not only are Val and I are pleased to know that there are Sabres fans in Madison, we are happy that people in that fine city are also interested in finding other Sabres fans there.
Also, as some readers here know, Val and I are major University of Wisconsin football and men's basketball fans, and that Val has serious, close links to Madison. Val's mom, Janice Dunne, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison; Val's late grandmother, Gertrude Wagener, worked at the University of Wisconsin at Madison for many years and lived right on Munro Street in Madison, two blocks from Camp Randall Field. Val spent many summers with her grandmother in Madison and lived in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, for a time.
So we welcome all Sabres fans here, and we are especially interested in Sabres fans in Madison and elsewhere in Wisconsin and urge them to contact us to let us know what it is like to be a Buffalo Sabres fan from so far away, and how they are keeping up with the Sabres during the playoffs.

Not Dancing in the Streets, Yet

But following last night's 5-2 win by the Buffalo Sabres over the New York Rangers in game 1 of their NHL playoff series, you just know how much happier and friendlier people will be in offices across Buffalo and Western New York today.
While the Sabres need to tighten up their third-period defense a bit, Buffalo outplayed the Rangers and earned their win, and like most of you readers, I can hardly wait until Friday night for game 2.
For a fine recap of the game, perusal of last night's open thread or the most amusing and mostly accurate Sabres' information, check out Kevin and Mark at Bfloblog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dining Out to Help Fight AIDS

Val and I were among hundreds, and indeed probably thousands, of Buffalo and Western New York residents who ate at restaurants tonight as part of the Dining Out for Life Event. We ate a wonderful dinner at Chef's Restaurant and are still full.
A minimum of 25 percent of the bills for meals purchased at more than 90 local restaurants will benefit AIDS Community Services of Western New York and AIDS Family Services, two deserving and hard working groups.

Beer Is NEVER a News Bulletin ... Really

I try not to sound like a broken record, but I get irked when certain media outlets overdo their adoration for and inflation of the Buffalo Sabres, particularly during their National Hockey League playoff runs.
Remember, this is coming from not only a Sabres fanatic but someone whose first journalism job was as a sportswriter and who was fortunate enough to win a New York Press Association first-place award for weekly sports coverage: It is not "breaking news,"as one television newscast called it today, to report during the news part of the broadcast, not sports, that you just found out that beer sales will not be conducted during Wednesday's outdoor party before Game 1 of the Buffalo Sabres-New York Rangers NHL playoff series outside the HSBC Arena.
The Sabres are basically saying that beer wont be sold because the team wants to promote a family atmosphere at the party. While that is a commendable theory, I don't know of many Buffalo/Western New York families who don't involve beer/alcohol somehow.

Get Your Lucinda Williams Here, Um, There

My review of last week's Lucinda Williams show at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts is now online at our web site, Buffaloroots, for your perusal.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lucinda Williams Review Coming Soon

Sorry for the delay, but we will have my review of last week's Lucinda Williams show at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts posted at our website, Buffaloroots, in a day or so.
Thanks for your patience.

Not Even a Sellout?

I mentioned earlier today that Val and I watched New Jersey defeat Tampa Bay, 3-2, to win their first-round NHL playoff series, on DVR because we were busy most of the day.
As soon as we began to play back the game, I started making dinner, so I was just out of hearing distance. I heard Val remark, "You've got to be kidding me. Honey, come here," and when I did, she mentioned that the announcers just said that the game was being played before a "near-capacity crowd" at Tampa.
Can you even imagine a Sabres' home playoff game not being sold out? And with Tampa Bay winning the Stanley Cup in 2004, there is really no excuse.

Feeling Like Grandpa Simpson

As I unloaded my groceries from the cart into my car at Wegmans this afternoon, one of the store's parking lot employees came up and asked me, "Can I help you put your groceries in your car, sir?"
Amazed, I told her that no, I was fine, and she then asked me, "Well, can I wait here and take your cart when you're done?" "Yes, you can certainly do that," I replied, never turning down a favor like that.
But then I thought to myself, "Is 46 the new 66, at least when grocery shopping?"

Another Great Day

This has been a wonderful weekend at the Hosey-Dunne Estates; today, we've been kept rather busy again with lots of stuff, much of it actually fun while accomplishing something.
We had to be out in Amherst today, so we started with breakfast at the Original Pancake House on Main Street in Williamsville; damn, was that a good meal, including possibly the best fresh-squeezed orange juice in Western New York (a large glass for each of us).
We then went to Brodo on Main Street for the opening of a photography show by our neighbor, Eileen Graetz, who Val did a show with at the College Street Art Gallery last year. Eileen has some wonderful digital work up, so stop over and take a look at it.
On our way home, we stopped at Tricia and Brad's, Val's sister and brother-in-law, to drop something off, but they were out somewhere with their son Jack. We then came home and took Walker Evans back to Squaw Island for another romp, and this time, Val brought her camera and took photos of the dog as well as some scenery and architecture.
After we returned home, I started a load of laundry and while Val rested, I went to Wegmans for the weekly grocery shopping. When I got back home and put the groceries away, Val and I cleaned up/out the mud room, because we are having a new back door and double widow put in tomorrow.
We are tired in that happy, knowing-we-accomplished-something, mood and feeling right now and we will start watching the New Jersey-Tampa Bay hockey game on DVR soon; Val is currently eating her potato-and-cheese pierogies from Guercio's. Yes, there's sour cream, fried onions and apple sauce involved.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good, Busy Day

Like many people, Val and I took advantage of a day of good weather and the wish to get outside to get lots of things done, and for me to have to wait until now to write.
We started with a stop at Spot Coffee on Delaware for breakfast before going to the Downtown Library to return a few books and take out a few more, as well as take out a Phillip Glass CD I actually don't have.
We then went home, did a bunch of garden and yard work, and then went to West-Herr Chevrolet to get an oil change for Val's Chevy Aveo and to have her car inspected. After we returned, we took Walker Evans to Squaw Island for a more than hour-long romp through the park, part of the time joined by another dog and dog owner. We returned home, fed the pup, cleaned up and went to the Century Grill for a great dinner, and, due to my hankering and sweet tooth, then went to Anderson's on Delaware for ice cream before coming home for the night to watch the Dallas-Vancouver hockey game and for Val to do some blogging.
With even better weather predicted for Sunday and another full slate of activities, we should have more to report tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Radio, It's the Sound Salvation

I had a great time doing my two-hour shift on WBNY 91.3 FM Alumni Weekend from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, April 14. I appreciate my lovely wife Val coming in with me and helping with some information, music and the phones, and I appreciate the calls I received from people listening over the airwaves and online.
I changed things a bit this year and played nothing that I played back in my days at WBNY, from 1984-1985, and concentrated on newer local and national music. Here, in order, is the music I played between nasal warblings:
6-7 p.m. - Elvis Costello and Alan Touissant, Tears, Tears and More Tears; Honky Tonk Confidential, Hangover Boogie; Tom Waits, Lie to Me; Willie Nile, Cell Phones Ringing (In the Pockets of the Dead); Jim Whitford, Poison in the Well; Loomer, Bang the Nails; Stoll Vaughan, Alright; Graham Parker, I Discovered America; The Silos, Top of the World; Mike Oliver, Little Miss Oblivious; The Ramrods, I Got a Full Tank of Gas/I'm in Love with My Car (live); Mark Norris and the Backpeddlers, Walk Out; Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Wired.
7-8 p.m. - The Flaming Lips, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song; Rosanne Cash, Black Cadillac; This Is Now, Planet Why; Terry Sullivan, Blow Out on the Thruway; The Old Sweethearts, Arms of the Town; Kathleen Edwards, Hockey Skates; The Bottle Rockets, Better than Broken; Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, Red Dirt Girl (live); The Transonics, Get On!; The Bird Circuit, Maryann and the Bridge; Rob Lynch, Smoking Accident; Los Lobos, Done Gone Blue.
I ran out of time while "Last Seen in Gainesville" by Audrey Auld Mezera was sitting in the CD player, ready to be fired. That was basically my only complaint about WBNY Alunmni Weekend, that with the response from us alumni that shifts had to be limited to 2 hours (mine were 4 hours when I jocked at WBNY). Of course, I could have had more time if I wanted to take the time of my first official, regular air shift 23 years ago, 2-6 a.m. Sunday morning.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Ladies

Well, based on the traffic we've received here since I posted my comments on the two television commercials using covers of pretty good songs from the 1980s/early 1990s, others share my dislike for these new versions.
I was also given links to find out who performed the rocked up cover of Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance" in the Volkswagen commercial: The Donnas. THE DONNAS! Damn, damn, damn; I really like the Donnas' revved up punk and metal with pop rock, but man, I still can't stand this cover.
If/when I found out more about the cover of Salt n Pepa's "Push It" in the Toyota commercial, I will let you fine readers know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Musical Abominations, Auto Department

It may or may not be coincidental that the two most recent annoying uses of music in television commercials are both covers and both in automobile advertisements I've mainly seen on NHL broadcasts.
The first is a Toyota commercial that uses a rocking, revved up version of Salt n Pepa's "Push It." The all-female vocals (and I assume instrumentals) sound a bit like a recording made about 10-15 years ago by a punk/punky band who probably thought this was a decadent/funny idea; it's not. "Push It" was a pretty good song that was done as it deserves to sound in its original form.
But what is worse, and fortunately I haven't heard as often as "Push It," is the Volkswagen commercial that uses a sped up, rawked up version of Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance." Yes, "The Safety Dance." It sounds as awful, inappropriate and out of place as it reads.

Transformation Via Sabres

Isn't is amazing how much better things are/feel in Buffalo, Western New York and all of Sabreland after the Buffalo Sabres got back on the winning track after downing the New York Islanders last night, 3-2, to take a 2-1 lead in their National Hockey League playoff series?
OK, so it's business as usual, but it sure feels a lot better this morning.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sabres Video

I'll admit it- I got misty when I saw this last night. Noting our traffic throughout the day today (MANY searches for this), I'm adding it, although many of the other Buffalo blogs have it up as well. This town is freakin' nuts, and we LOVE it!

New Michael Oliver Song on WBNY

As you can read below, I will be appearing on WBNY 91.3 Alumni Weekend from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, April 14; I was on the air there from 1984-1985.
Val was nice enough to send out a gang e-mail to musical friends and so on, and one message we quickly got back has me happy and excited. Michael Oliver, whose band, Go, Dog! Go, was extremely popular and talented around here for years and won several Buffalo Music Awards, sent me an MP3 of "Little Miss Oblivious," off his upcoming "Yin and Yanxiety" CD, to play on my show.
The song will be played between 6:30-7 p.m., so tune in or, again, check the streaming broadcast at this link.

Sabres' Goo Goo Dolls Opening

Val and I are among the many people who were very impressed and moved by the video opening for the Buffalo Sabres NHL playoffs of "Better Days" by the Goo Goo Dolls, which was played before the start of yesterday's 4-1 Sabres' win over the New York Islanders in game one of their playoff series.
The images matched the song nicely and depicted Buffalo/Western New York as strongly as any I have seen. My favorite scene was of the camera first capturing two young little league hockey players in their full masks, then panning back to show about 10-12 of them.
If you haven't seen the video opening or would like to watch it again or download it, has it posted at this link.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sabres Photo Found

While Val and I spent time at my mother's house Saturday, I searched for and found a photograph that many of you readers may become more familiar with soon ... but no details yet.
The photograph was one that appeared in The Buffalo News Sunday section from the famous 1973 Buffalo Sabres hockey game versus Boston, which Buffalo won, 7-3, behind two goals by Gilbert Perreault. But the most memorable part of the game was the three fights Sabres' defenseman Jim Schoenfeld got into, including the famous through-the-Zamboni-doors clash with Bruin Wayne Cashman.
The photo reprint I found was a shot from across the ice of the final fight of the game, a brawl at and inside the Sabres' bench. In the photo, a few rows up, you can make out my brother Brian, father Edward, grandfather William and me. My grandfather was retired and doing odd jobs for Seymour Knox at the time, who gave him the tickets as a gift.
Of course, finding the photo in a scrap book on Easter weekend and realizing that I am the only surviving Hosey family member in that photo is a bit sobering.

You're Gonna Hear Me on Your Radio

Yep, with a thank you nod to Joe Jackson for the intro lyrics, I will once again be part of the WBNY 91.3 FM Alumni Weekend at Buffalo State College, and will host a two-hour show from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, April 14.
I was incredibly fortunate to be on the air as a DJ, news anchor, reporter and talk show host, as well as a news and All Talk Monday producer, from 1984-1985 at WBNY (a time some people call the station's "glory years") while a student at Buffalo State College. My time there certainly helped lead me down the path of no return to writing about music professionally for more than 20 years, at least as much as writing about music for The Record, the college's newspaper, did.
While we had format clocks even back then, for people like myself, who were music geeks/lovers and certainly knew and enjoyed the format ("New Music Radio," which mostly meant new wave and punk back then) were able to shape particular sounds and formats for our shows to reflect our tastes and passions, including local original music. Even if you didn't, the format clock, prepared by Program Director Tom Calderone (a former roommate who is now a vice president at VH-1 Networks and certainly one of the true heroes of WBNY), along with the work from Music Directors Dave Johnston and Cal Zone during my time there, allowed those uninformed of the music or who disliked it to still have decent shows.
I was one of those student government, newspaper, radio station and tons of other activity geeks at Buffalo State College, but my decision to join WBNY and the experiences, friendships and creativity I experienced there are some of the best times and memories of my life. I wouldn't have believed it had I not experienced it firsthand, but those times on the air, when I let my mind, creativity and often visceral feelings for the music allow me to connect with the listeners and the music itself, I felt I actually created something.
I miss being able to play music and create for others in this manner badly, and that is one of the reasons why I, more than 20 years later, return each year for WBNY Alumni Weekend. Some great friendships were started there, and I was actually a roommate to two other station members: Calderone for several months after graduation until he got his first out-of-town job, and for several years with Tina Peel, who can now be heard doing great things on The Lake 107.7 FM.
I welcome all readers to listen in, even if for only a bit before the Sabres' game starts, at 91.3 FM or streaming at this link. Not only will you get a chance to hear me this weekend, but preceding me from 4-6 p.m. Saturday will be the wonderful Cal Zone with Down at Lulu's, and other luminaries you will get to hear are Tina Peel, Karl Shallowhorn, James Braun, Randy Bushover, Tom Connolly, Dave Debo, Crazy Eddie, Dan Page, Beth Connell, Dave Mahoney, John Hopkins, Rick Walters, Steve Myers, Julia Ciesla, Mike Parrish, Joe Bagodonuts and Dave Hawthorne.
Tune in and enjoy.

Dale Watson at the Sportsmen's Sold Out

Ken Biringer informs me that the Dale Watson show scheduled Monday, May 21, as part of the Private Party Series at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo, is sold out.
This makes at least the third show in this series to sell out (along with the Dave Alvin and the Guiltymen show and the upcoming show by Bill Kirchen), so when Ken and company tell you to get your tickets early for one of these shows, they mean it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shirtless Sabres Still Popular

Buffalo Sabres' star forward Daniel Briere did a commercial for Sabres' tickets last year in which he was shown part of the time naked from the waist up; Val in particular admired his physique/appearance and I was and am still impressed by how buff he is.
I wrote about the advertisement and Val's reaction just after the commercial was first shown, and we have received hits weekly, at the very least, from people searching "Daniel Briere shirtless." Indeed, we have received several this week, including 3 in the last 2 days.
Well, we have also received hits to the blog from two other searches for shirtless Sabres; Jochen Hecht has produced several hits/requests, along with a few on "Jochen Hecht wife," but today, from someone in Toronto, we received a search hit from "Ryan Miller shirtless."
While Hecht strikes me as handsome from a slightly uncertain viewpoint, all I can think of as per Ryan Miller shirtless is ... eesh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tarbox Ramblers at Sportsmen's April 11

The Tarbox Ramblers, led by guitarist/singer Michael Tarbox, will perform Wednesday night, April 11, at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street in Buffalo, with the Alison Pipitone Band opening the show.
I have been fortunate enough to catch the Tarbox Ramblers live a few times, review their CDs and interview Michael Tarbox, and if you like traditional roots music, gutbucket blues and roots rock with some growl, you need to catch the Tarbox Ramblers live. The show is free, another fine offering from Dwane and company at the Sportsmen's Tavern.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Because "The Sabres" Is a Great Name

I have said this all hockey season, probably at least once during every Buffalo Sabres' game, and since Val is probably sick of hearing me say it, I will write and share it with all of you.
STOP CALLING THE SABRES "THE SABES." It is only one letter shorter than the actual, real name of the team, and "The Sabes" is not cool, funny, interesting or representative of anything except laziness, gimmicry and stupidity.
While not a 100 percent declaration, you can be almost sure that anyone calling the Sabres "The Sabes" is a new fan or, more likely, a Johnny-Come-Lately bandwagon jumper. I can hear some readers saying, "People can call the Sabres anything they want." Of course they can, and I can hold them in contempt and mock them at every chance I get, young children excluded.
Fair enough?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Don't Interrupt My Breakfast

Val and I were in a hurry runing errands and so on Saturday morning before the Buffalo Sabres' afternoon game against the Washington Capitals (which Buffalo won, 2-0), so we stopped at Tim Horton's on Delaware Avenue near Linden for a quick breakfast.
For $8.03, the breakfast was rather good, and while we ate, the place, which was already busy, got even busier when 5-6 carloads of 5-6 people each, all very nicely dressed, parked and came inside. I suspected it was a group of people who had just come from a religious service or gathering, and this was basically confirmed when much of the conversation involved the service and sermon. No problems here.
But when Val and I stood up, a woman age 55-65 or so at the table next to us turned and handed me a small pamphlet, daying, "Here is something for you to read this afternoon." I looked and saw that the cover read, "God is Guiding You Through Today ..." and immediately replied, "Oh, no, thank you," helped Val on with her jacket and left the restaurant.
I am very well aware of people proselytizing their religious or other beliefs, but I was offended on several levels. First, just by looking at us, someone believes that Val and I need some religious or spiritual guidance, and that whatever religious or spiritual beliefs we have or don't have, that that theirs are superior to ours or the correct ones? And we were in a restaurant, eating a meal and leaving a private business establishment, and someone felt they had to intrude on us to do this?
As a Democratic commmitteeman, I hand out political literature by hand as well as drop it off at people's residences (never in mail boxes), but I never, ever would do it in a restaurant, whether solicited or not, and when I hand it out in public settings, I always tell people what it is before handing anything to them, giving them the choice of taking it or not.
Religious and spiritual beliefs may be the strongest and most private of feelings we have, often evolving and almost as often difficult to articulate. I don't need self-appointed spiritual police or proselytizers bothering me as in the above manner.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hail to Florida (Ouch)

I have to give credit to the University of Florida for winning its second straight NCAA Division I men's basketball championship after beating Ohio State Monday night, 84-75.
While I did not enjoy what I perceived as Florida's arrogance (maybe their fans and cheerleaders even more than the players) much of this season, I appreciated their high talent level and their actual play. Just before the game started, I turned to Val and said, "I am rooting for Ohio State, but I predict Florida to win tonight."
And even more galling to me, I was impressed with Jochen Noah running through the crowd after the game, with lots of fans trying to stop and congratulate him, and Noah not stopping until he found and hugged his mom. Nice.

Talking Weather Blues

I took Walker Evans on his daily jaunt through the neighborhood at about 4:45 p.m. today; our neighbor, musician extraordinaire Jim Whitford, was heading toward his truck. Just as we said hello, one of those 5-10-minute micro snow bursts hit.
"Gee, it's a good thing we've only got about two more months of this stuff," Whitford ruefully said.
Walker Evans was in full agreement; before we got to the end of the block, he had a white stripe from the start of his nose/snout to almost the end of his tail, from one to six inches wide, courtesy of this ridiculous spring snow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Sportmen's Tavern Private Parties

I told you about the first in the series of private party shows at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo, the sold out Dave Alvin and the Guiltymen show (which I reviewed and Val photographed at our web site, Buffaloroots), and I've also passed along the notice that the next show, Bill Kirchen, slated May 13, is sold out.
Well, Ken Biringer, the Sportsmen's press person and one of the legitmate unsung heroes of the Buffalo music community, provided me with an update on the next shows in this series.

According to Ken, "The "Private Party Series" continues with................

Dale Watson & his LoneStars Monday 5/21 @ 7PM. I just booked this last night, tickets should be avail. this week $15

Billy Joe Shaver Tuesday July 24 @7PM w/ Stone country opening. 60 some tickets left $25

Jim Lauderdale Saturday July 28 ( tentative ) should have this comfirmed this week

Wanda Jackson w/ The Lustre Kings Wednesday October 24 @ 7PM. 70 some tickets left $20

We hope, and expect these shows to sell out well in advance, so far so good. We are two for two.

Tickets are only avail. @ the bar."

Of course, with recent events still panning out, following the shooting incident Billy Joe Shaver is allegedly involved in out in Texas, there may be announcements pertaining to that show's status.
In describing the tickets for the series, Ken added, "All tickets for the series are very colorful, include nice graphics & pictures of the artist. They are printed on very heavy stock, much larger & very different than any ticket you might see for other shows. They were designed to look something like a back stage pass. They are not torn in half upon entry & are very much a souvenir."

Spring to Take a Break?

How lovely that just when we Western New Yorkers are thinking/believing that spring is finally here that the National Weather Service and others are predicitng high temperatures in the 30s and some snow from Wednesday through the end of the week and possibly to Easter.
Nothing gets me feeling festive more than the return to winter after an easy winter turned into a rotten one with a rather bad February and March, temperature and snow wise. Well, at least we can continue to prop up the home heating industry a bit more.