Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brian

Today, February 28, 2008, would have been the 50th birthday of my late big brother, Brian Hosey, who died in June 1995. Damn, do I miss him, and would love to hear what he had about the way I have become, particularly since Brian was an arch conservative.
I know that he is very proud of how his family turned out; his wife, Janet, daughters Kim and Colleen, son Dan and grandson David, and I would love just one more time to argue politics, Sabres versus Bruins, Bills versus Raiders or The Clash versus the Beach Boys, with him. I with I could write more, but a certain emptiness remains.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Payback Is a Snowy Bitch

Yeah, I know I may have been a bit overboard and whiny in my complaint against snow a few days ago, and it looks like Mother Nature's sense of humor is a, well, mother, as we are expecting 7-12 inches of snow in the next 24 hours or so, according to the National Weather Service.
Do I even need to say, me and my big mouth and/or keyboard?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rock, Rock, 'Til You Drop

Living in the Elmwood Village, it isn't unusual to hear prospective and actual musicians practicing at home; our next door neighbor, Jim Whitford (Pine Dogs, Mark Winsick Blues Band, Stone Country Band) can frequently be heard playing his guitar and bass.
A new group of musicians moved into a house on the northwest (I think) corner of Norwood Avenue and West Utica Street recently. First, while Walker Evans and I were walking by Friday, I heard a drummer repeat a line over and over, and finally, as we were passing, a bass player joined in with a fast, deep rhythm. Today, Walker Evans and I passed it again, and as well as a rhythm section, we heard some serious progressive rock keyboards reminiscent of Genesis.
So, we have roots rock, country rock, blues, prog rock , folk and formerly punk and other bands in our neighborhood. Hmm, what's next?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland, My Ass

So, I woke up this morning at 6 a.m., looked out the window and saw that for once, the weather predictions were relatively accurate: There was already about an inch of snow on the ground and more was falling.
I am so freaking happy that for the fourth or fifth (or more?) time this week, there will be enough snow to have to shovel and having fallen at pain in the ass times, such as when I am at work (or closing in in 11 p.m.), so that the snow can be trampled down, more slippery than normal to walk on and harder to shovel and truly clean off the sidewalk and driveway.
Because there is nothing I would rather do than come home from work (today will be a particularly annoying day), take Walker Evans for his jaunt, and then clear snow out our yard until my clothes and gloves are wet with sweat, feel the accompanying aches and pains flaring up, and then try to get ready for when Val gets home from work.
Of course, this thread may seem a little but whiny, but as you may be able to tell, I have had it with winter at this point.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flatbed, Self-Titled: Good Stuff

Flatbed appears to have stuck to the basics on their debut, self-titled CD (Flatbedmusic), and I for one am glad they did; this is a really good CD.
Made up of Derek Bassett on vocals and guitar, Daniel Smith on guitar, Michael Tinsmon on bass, Joelle Labert on vocals (and tambourine), Ted Chubbuck Jr. on drums and John F. Brady on mandolin, dobro and vocals, Flatbed has incorporated a few more sounds to its roots rock sound, with more country and even jam and old-timey music coming to the forefront. The CD opens with "40 Miles," fast, chugging country rock with Labert singing of lost love and hope and her eventual broken heart. Her living in the country separates her from most people, her friends and the man she loves, and she takes to drinking away her problems, to no avail. Smith plays a nice, short solo. "Ride" is a jangly rocker of a relationship not working out; Bassett likes or loves her, but he loves the road more and his motorcycle is calling; Smith's solo is a bit punchier.
Labert's other songs feature her fine voice; "To Sea," a quieter, mostly acoustic song, has Joelle missing and praying for her man, who has gone to sea; "Roulette" is an upbeat two-stepper where she admires a Texan on the dance floor, apparently hoping he has moves elsewhere as well. Nathan Montague adds a fun harmonica solo.
Labert really steps out on two less country/rock tunes: the bluesy "Liver and Kidneys" is a great, slow jazzy/bluesy song where Joelle just wants to stay in for one night, knowing that if she goes out she'll be drinking and who knows what else, leaving her body sore again. Tinsmon adds some nice, smooth bass. "Big Winds Blow" is a cool old-timey song with touches of jazz and country (Bill Brandau's piano adds some magic); Labert sounds great as she seems to be watching life go by, as if she is recovering from the end of a relationship or hangover, possibly both. Bassett also sings on two lighter country rockers, "Lame Excuse," with a touch of southern rock, and "Lonely Dispatch," the tale of a rural vehicle dispatcher.
Flatbed can be contacted at: or

Catch Up Time, Musically Writing

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking on a project here that I should have started earlier. Sadly, I have gotten behind in reviewing CDs sent in for consideration at our web site, BuffaloRoots, both local and national/international bands, so I am going to start publishing reviews of them here, and eventually get them over to the web site.
I have written about music for more than 25 years, and one of the best things about having your own blog, that you write about what you want when you want, is also one of the reasons I have written less about music recently, because deadline pressure and specific assignments have ways of making an old newspaper guy like me write more, and sometimes better.
As many of you know, I used to be known as a rather acidic music critic, never shying from strongly criticizing something, even if recorded or somehow performed by a local act, and while I still do now, I can now choose to simply ignore or just not review something that isn't worth me investing my time and energy in, which still frequently happens, especially with CDs.
There are too many CDs for me to fully catch up with (plus a good number I have no wish to listen to again), and the frequency of regularity of my reviews has not been determined, but today will feature my first installment.
If you have any questions or want to submit CDs for my consideration, e-mail me at

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Hosey Writer, or Time to Brag

My niece in Arizona, Kimberly Hosey, 27 (27? AARRGGHH! I have a photo of her at about age 10-12 months at a typewriter that I still think is cute), is an accomplished and published writer and editor, contributing to newspapers, magazines and other outlets, and has a web site here.
But my reason for bragging today is her blog, Arizona Writer, which you access by clicking here or by going to her web site and finding the link at the top right. Kim frequently writes about her son, David (a hilarious handful), her husband, Aaron, being a mother, writer and topics from restaurant conduct and Valentine's Day gifts to politics.
Val and I enjoy and often laugh out loud at Kim's writing, and I strongly urge you to check out her blog.

GOP: Raising Funds Like They End Wars

A day or two ago, I received in the mail an envelope with the bold red letters "FINAL NOTICE" above the recipient's address, and the return address was "Republican National Committee," etc.
I have received fund raising queries for Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney in the last few months, among other communications, as well as from the Republican National Committee, always a load of fun for a Democratic committeeman who has never had contact, financial or otherwise, with the Republican National Committee.
Don't worry, some of your and my favorite unfounded, nonfactual and simply paranoid cliches are included in this fund raising rant: "Senator Hillary Clinton's fundraising juggernaut is growing as we speak," "The Democrats have taken in $100 million more than the Republicans so far. And this doesn't even count the $500 million Big Labor, Hollywood elites and liberal groups like are planning to spend to defeat Republicans in 2008," and if the Republicans don't come closer to the Democrats' fund raising, "we will not be able to defend our candidates from their vicious attacks and outright distortions and get our message past the liberal media filter directly to the voters."
Every time I read this stuff, I feel like I need to shower.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sleeping Chocolatey Dreams

I assume at this point that most of the readers of this blog who work at, manage or own candy stores or make/manufacture candy are sleeping the sleep of the righteous right now, as Valentine's Day has come and gone for another year.
Val was the recipient of some fine coconut clusters and orange milk chocolate sponge candy from Watson's on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, and the store was packed a few days ago when I went there. Happily enough, everyone in the store at the time, whether customer or worker, was in a good mood.
I can't remember the last time I went to a candy store outside of a holiday to buy chocolate for someone else; I may still not trust myself enough to do so.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let's Go, Sabres; On, Wisconsin

Wednesday night was a very good one, sports wise, in the Dunne-Hosey Estates.
In the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 1-0, as Ryan Miller made 36 saves for the shutout, and in men's NCAA basketball, the University of Wisconsin knocked off the University of Indiana on the road, 68-66, as Brian Butch hit a three-point field goal with 4.5 seconds remaining.
Things are looking very interesting and on the up for the Sabres and Badgers, and no doubt you'll read more about it here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Al Franken Calling

We got a telephone call at about 6:45 p.m. tonight, between the first and second period of the Buffalo Sabres' 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers. I looked at caller ID, which read "1-402-476-3611 Al Franken for," with no more fitting on our display.
I checked to make sure, and yes, we got a call from Al Franken for Senate, because Franken, an incredibly talented writer for the early, and best, Saturday Night Live episodes and other venues, and later a slightly less successful radio talk show host, is running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota.
Not being able to vote in Minnesota, I assume this was a fund-raising call, and I am thrilled to be on another telephone number list, particularly one seeking to get money from me.

Flatbed Hosting Night of Fun February 15

After almost a half-year of being away, Flatbed, one of Buffalo's best Americana and roots-influenced rock bands, will perform with two other acts Friday, February 15, at the Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk Street in downtown Buffalo, with admission, as the band puts it, "A measly $5."
Friday's lineup will start with Brian Wheat and Groggy Darlin' at about 10 p.m., followed by Flatbed at "11 p.m. ish," as their e-mail states, and Leroy Townes and the Lonestars will finish the night at "12:30 a.m. ish."
This sounds like a real good night for music lovers, and this is a great time for me to apologize for not having reviewed Flatbed's excellent self-titled CD yet (soon, friends; soon).

All Aboard for Wayne 'The Train' Hancock

According to our inside source (Sportsmen's main guy Ken Biringer), tickets for the Wayne "The Train " Hancock show at 7:30 p.m. Monday May 19, at the Sportsmen's Tavern, on Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo, are now available and on sale at the tavern for $20.
This should be a fine Private Concert Series show in the comfortable confines of the Sportsmen's Tavern, so buy your tickets early.

Ice Ice, Baby

Now that I have horrified you readers, regular and new alike, I had an encounter today that was kind of an adjunct to the "It ain't the heat, it's the humidity" cliche during summers in Buffalo, something like, "It's not the cold, it's the freezing."
As Walker Evans and I started our neighborhood jaunt this afternoon, before we even got a block down Norwood Avenue, I saw my friend and former colleague Whitney walking around her car. After we said hello, she said that her car was frozen shut and, raising her had to show me a small metal nub, added, "And my key just broke off in the lock."
I asked her if she had any access to hot water, and she said yes; indeed, she had just poured a full glass of it into and onto her lock, but to no avail. Fortunately, Whitney had a person with a vehicle just two cars away with the engine running, so she wasn't stranded.
I have no idea what her status is, but this is why I have never driven without having AAA road service. Now this is not a commercial, but Val and I have AAA Plus, and in the few times we have needed tows, battery jumps or the like, we have always received fast and courteous service. I wouldn't take a chance and not have it for either of us.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Exercise Your Rights

I implore all Democratic and Republican voters in New York and all of the other states holding presidential primaries and caucuses today, Tuesday, February 5, to go out and vote.
This is regardless of who you support or don't support, and whether you plan to vote for one of the remaining major candidates, a write-in candidate or just go to register that you went to the voting booth but don't support any of the candidates. Today is the culmination of our individual voting process in choosing the major political parties' candidates for president (the conventions are the last step), and your voice needs to be heard.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super (Busy) Sunday

As I prepare to watch the Super Bowl, and both hope for and predict a New England Patriots' victory over the New York Giants, I haven't really had a chance to sit down much today.
All the while getting through Day 2 of a nasty cold, Val and I have gone out to breakfast, gone grocery shopping at Wegmans and gone to the funeral home. I have also walked the dog and am in the midst of doing laundry.
I am making your basic chicken and pasta for dinner, and Val is having a salad; she will be joining me on the couch tonight, but she will be watching a movie on her laptop computer rented from iTunes and is wearing her Green Bay Packers' sweatshirt because, to quote her, "Football is dead to me."
I join Kevin at Bfloblog on Super Bowl parties, not being a fan of them because I am here to watch the game itself and not to socialize and knosh.