Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Canines and Stomaches; Fun For All

I've mentioned in the past that our dog, Walker Evans, a blend of breeds, has serious stomach issues, including bloat (which he somehow survived) and gastritis, causing us occasional fun. The last 15 or so hours has featured some of this.
When I got home from work yesterday, I was greeted by a pile of dog puke in the living room, with some plastic wrap inside it. I found out exactly what it was the old fashioned way; I stepped in a little bit of it, and with the light not yet on in that room, I didn't recognize it and picked it up with my bare hands.
After cleaning everything up, I took Walker on his neighborhood jaunt (lots of pooing), and after we got back, along with starting to make dinner, I had to boil him some rice for his meals for the next day or so.
He was quiet for most of the night, but at 4:40 a.m.today, he woke Val and I up gagging in the hallway. I actually jumped out of bed, searched the bedroom and hallways, but found no actual puke or wet spots where Walker would have pulled the dog tradition of eating his own vomit, and then rushed him into the backyard, where he pooped but did not puke.
While Val and I tiredly get ready for work, Walker is now resting quietly on the bed, although Val could hear some interesting noises coming from his stomach as she got out of bed. Man, do I hope the story ends here, and yes, this is why I haven't written about Lou Saban or the dumbass "Ralph Wilson is dead" rumor.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Musical Memory Time

Time does seem to pass fast when you're not paying attention, in small ways as well as large, and music often is how I notice.
As I was driving to get two new tires on Val's car (I was following her so we could eat breakfast and go to Wegmans while they installed the tires), I popped Lucinda Willians' self-titled album on Rough Trade (reissued by Koch Records) into my car's casette deck. Yes, cassette deck.
It is a great album and one of the three consecutive works (followed by Sweet Old World and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road) that rival any recording artist for three consecutive great works, and are by far her best recordings.
Starting off with "I Just Wanted to See You So Bad," and including "Passionate Kisses," "Am I Too Blue" and "Changed the Locks," it is a classic record, and not just a classic Americana record.
This album was also released in 1988; 21 freaking years ago. I am still trying to figure out how more than two decades have passed since this record was released. Several live songs were added to the original recording when it was reissued.
Sometime this past weekend, I pulled out "2 AM Tragedy" by Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys, a classic local CD of razor sharp guitars, vocals and songs blending country, rock and punk, and noticed it was released in 1995, 14 years. Where the hell has the time gone?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hockey Blast from the Past

As Val and I loaded Walker Evans into the car to take him to the Lasalle Park dog park Saturday, we saw a sight to make us hockey fanatics smile.
A man was walking his child in a stroller across the street, with lots of coats, blankets and other baby care items, wearing a white, classic St. Louis Blues Bernie Federko jersey. Federko scored 1,130 points in a 1,000-game NHL career and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.
And the Lasalle Park dog park was jam packed yesterday when we went at about 1:30 p.m.; one person counted 41 dogs when we were there, and the two enormous Great Danes who chased each other almost non-stop, and the pug who chased and barked at them in a high-pitched whine almost non-stop, were the stand out canines.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spreading Good Cheer

I get to say good morning to Val from the media room/my closet room when she gets up from bed during the week and I am done in the shower, and there was more joy in it this morning.
I was able to tell Val that Villanova routed Duke, 77-54, in yesterday's NCAA men's basketball tournament. There is no college basketball team that Val likes less than Duke, so I am glad I was able to lift her spirits this early today.

Caffeine Will Be Medicinal Today

Despite getting more than 5 hours sleep in two shifts last night (dozed during the second NCAA basketball game and then after I went to bed), I am zombie-like tired and may be in need of more than my morning coffee today (Chery Coke, anyone?).
What sucks more is that when I came upstairs to go to bed, I was in that too tired/sleep stunned mode and did not even have the mind to get ready and go to bed right away, but instead I futzed away on the computer for a while.
I usually get 4-5 hours sleep a night during the week with no ill effects, but even though the total was about 5 1/2 hours in two shifts, I don't feel refreshed and bet that I'll be rather quiet in the staff meeting I have this moirning.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Like the Smell of Oats?

Yesterday was one of those interesting to nice days outside, with the temperature a bit warmer, even of there was rain before and at going-home time.
But what made it even better was the smell of oats and other cereal-making ingredients in the air, as General Mills was obviously producing cereal yesterday. But somehow, not everyone likes that scent in the air.
An acquaintance/friend I frequently see at work said he can't stand the smell and wonders what people like about it, believing it makes the city and its residents look bad for enjoying it. Val and I have another friend who simply does not like the scent. If either of them had allergies that were affected by the oat and cereal production, or were made nauseous by the scent, I could understand, but they almost seem to dislike it because other people like it.
I think the smell is great (yes, I like cereal) and how this would make the city, region or its people look bad is beyond me. I've only seen people smile when they smell the oats, never get violent or angry, so how can it be bad?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Are Words For ...

Let's see; writing about the weather here has been criticized, the Buffalo Sabres are still a losing proposition too often; I updated readers on the Continental, apparently no one cares about the Fems and the red, pink, orange, slightly purple and blue sunrise is almost beyond words.
So, despite wanting to mention that the weather remains way too close to winter temperature wise, I apparently have nothing worthwhile or fun to contribute this morning,which I bet those of you readers who have stayed with me this loing are thrilled to discover.
But I do still plan to watch the Sabres host the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. today, and I just read that Ronan Tynan will perform before the game. Good sign or bad?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Continental: Desolate

On my way home from work a little after 7 p.m. yesterday, I took Franklin Street a little more than usual to take a look a the state of the (former) Continental, 212 Franklin Street, Buffalo's former great punk/new wave club.
The sign that was being taken down a few weeks ago is all but gone, with a bare metal frame left, and the sign announcing that the building is available at 558-7292 is still there, but nothing at all at the door signifying that this was ever a club full of life, music, fun and memories. But there is a sign at the property immediately next door toward Chippwewa Street, now a parking lot, stating it is for customers of Bacchus.

Self-Inflicted Annoynace

I am two weeks and four days into a two-week cold, and while it has been getting close to gone/better, it still lingers.
So, being the helpful person I am, I decided to help it along in the shower this morning (the cold, that is), the helpful person that I am. I got a full shot of the shower water down my left ear, and now it once again sounds and feels like it and I am underwater.
Yeah, yeah; whine, whine and grumble, grumble, but I am so fucking sick of this cold at this stage. Thank heaven it isn't heading toward bronchitis or pneumonia.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Six Days, Man; Six Days

This week is going to be one of those really busy kind; work itself will be fun packed, and there are a couple of evening commitments to go along with it.
And even at its end, it will be busy; the Buffalo Arts Studio will be hosting its kind-of-annual/biannual Plates and Pasta fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the studio, on the fifth floor of the Tri-Main Center on Main Street in Buffalo, with plates made by BAS artists. Val is resident photographer and artist member of the Buffalo Arts Studio Board of Directors, so we are volunteering to work at it; Val at the sign-in table, me as a diswasher.
Plates and Pasta have been very fun and very good fundraising events in the past, and we still have some bowls and plates from it.
We urge you to attend this fine event for a fine arts and cultural organization.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Fems on 45

Oh, there was joy in the Dunne-Hosey Estates today when I checked the mailbox; from Buffalo's greatet punk band, the Fems' "Go to a Party" four-song 7-inch record, recently reissued by Drag City, had arrived.
I had heard about this from a few sources a month or so ago, and when I checked the Drag City web site, I was thrilled to see it offered and ordered this record for only $8, postage and taxes included, March 4.
There was originally an entry on the Drag City web site for the reissue, but, because the response has been so good, this is all that is on there as of today: "Oh, so the music industry is dying? If this is how it feels, then let it die! With rubble all around us, we continue to sell through virtually everything on the new release sheet. Because we underpressed out of economic fear? Nay, never! We always press with hope, not trepidation! Meanwhile, The Fems "Go To a Party" 7"? Gone!"
Drag City had this to say about the Fems' record in its mail order catalog: "Bring the Party home. Churning rhythm and spittle-spewing vocals are the focus of this lost punk 7" from '82. There's guitar, to be sure, but not in the normal punk sense of the word. It's distant and provides a background atmosphere for the pounding drums and bass. The lyrical sarcasm is unmatched and still sharp nearly 30 years later."
Yes, folks, the reissued Fems' "Go to a Party" is already sold out, and there is no word if Drag City will press any more or not, but it doesn't sound like it will happen any time soon, if at all. I am damn happy that I pre-ordered the 45 and since I have been busy, I haven't even had the chance to listen to it yet. For those who forgot, along with "Go to a Party," the songs on this record are "Is It Living?" "Order" and "Frustration."
Getting to hear this classic punk song, and to hear the work of Bob Weider, the late Mark Freeland and John Walters (Fred Mett played bass, and Kent Weber and Louis Mang had not even joined the Fems at this point) is great. I was always pissed that I had never been able to get the original 45 all those years ago, so I'm a bit happier now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh, We Hit a Landmark

I guess it either slipped my mind or wasn't as important as the other events of the day(s), but BuffaloRoots hit the 1,000-post mark Monday, and boy did we celebrate.
I notived that this blog was nearing that level of communication late last week, but I forgot about it until a day or two ago. If the posts average 100 words (seemingly a fair average), I have written and posted more than 100,000 words here.
Hitting 1,000 posts does allow one to reflect a bit, including at how many topics have been covered here over the years and how, if at all, my thoughts and approaches to them have changed or stayed the same. While I try to not repeat myself too often, there are certainly topics I regularly comment on and will continue to do so. Your comments are always welcome here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Foggy Morn in Buffalo Town

People like me waking up at 6 a.m. today were able to watch an interesting show outside, thanks to the weather.
There was some serious fog going on as I trundled to the bathroom to take my shower, an eerie, slowly-encompassing fog that left everything in an English Gothic kind of looming glow being overtaken by darkness. At one point, the streetlights around here started looking like scenery from "The Exorcist," and as things get brighter, it still looks rather spooky outside.
The fog is being cased by a lot of moisture in the air and the battle of somewhat warmer temperatures and the now more dominating colder air coming into the city. Val works at the waterfront and her workplace and parking lot have been caught up on the fog off the lake strangeness for several days.
At least as the weather gets colder for a few days, Mother Nature has decided to do it in an entertaining fashion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's All Over! Clap, Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap

If not mathematically, in any real sense of occurring, the Buffalo Sabres have basically lost any chance of making the National Hockey League Playoffs this season with a horrble 4-2 loss to Ottawa last night, after the Sabres took a 2-0 first-period lead.
The Sabres managed 13 shots on goal for the entire game, 6 in the first period, and simply looked outclassed, out-talented and outworked last night. It became painful to watch the Sabres' futility, including amassing one shot on goal for the second period.
It will take a miracle for Buffalo to make the NHL playoffs at this point, with 12 games remaining, and no one, from the players and the coaches to the front office, should feel as if their jobs are guaranteed with the team at this point.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michael Oliver Returns to the Stage

Michael Oliver, formerly of Go, Dog! Go and the pulpit, returns to Buffalo to perform new and older classic songs of his with his Sacred Band for a CD release party for his "Yin and Yanxiety" album Saturday, May 16, at the Tralf on Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
The band lineup is very impressive. Besides Oliver on lead vocals and guitar, it will be: Jim Whitford on guitar and vocals, Michael Patrick Swain on bass and vocals, Erin O'Brien on vocals and percussion, Paul Zablotski on keyboards and Rob Lynch on drums, along with "special guests" promised.
Oliver was more than kind enough to allow me to preview a song of his on my WBNY Alumni Weekend radio show in 2007, "Little Miss Oblivious," and with this year's WBNY Alumni Weekend slated for April 24-26, maybe Michael will be kind enough to send another MP3 file or CD my way to preview "Yin and Yanxiety" again this year. Hmm, Mike?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Please Continue, Mother Nature

Damn, we had nice weather this weekend, especially Sunday, and I am going out on a limb for all of Buffalo and Western New York in asking Mother Nature to please, PLEASE keep this great weather going a few more days.
I am willing it give up heartbreaking Buffalo Sabres' losses to keep the weather this nice; that is the kind of sacrifice I am wiling to make.

On Wisconsin - 12 Seed?

I was happily surprised that Wisconsin received a bid to the 2009 NCAA men's basketball tournament after an uninspiring 19-12 record and tied for fourth-place finish in the Big Ten Conference.
But to see the Badgers receive a 12-seed in the East Region and will play 5-seed Florida State (25-8) Thursday, March 19, in Boise, Idaho (East Region in Boise? Nice sense of humor), was a major surprise, since several writiers thought that Wisconsin was a real bubble team and might not even make the tourament.
Hope springs eternal in this Badger fan, although I do realize how disappointing Wisconsin has been this season and how many close losses they have suffered. But we will see, and no doubt be cranking up the DVR Thursday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

BloggerCon 2009 Is Tonight

Val and I will join throngs of Buffalo/Western New York bloggers and assorted writers and geeks at BloogerCon 2009, which will start at 6 p.m. tonight, Friday, March 13, at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery on Pearl Street in downtown Buffalo.
It is nice to know that, according to the invitation announcement, "Bloggers, commenters, stalkers, all are welcome!" We wouldn't want to leave out too many maladjusted, egotistical types, now would we?
The Buffalo BloggerCons Val and I have been able to attend in the past have been a lot of fun and allowed us to meet a bunch of new people, many who are now friends in the "reality-based" world (one of my favorite terms from the Bush Monstrosity/Dynasty), so we are looking forward to tonight. It will be a busy night for Val and I, who wil also be attending the Bobo/The Irving Klaws show at Mohawk Place later tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Continental Closing - Confirmed?

My drive-by viewing yesterday basically confirms what I reported from my and Val's observations last week: The Continental, 212 Franklin Street in Buffalo, is closed and on the market.
I wrote that workers had ladders, doors open and red cones outside the club when I went by the punk/new wave club March 4, and that Val said when she drove by it March 5, the sign was down. After I dropped Walker Evans off at Puppy Play Pen yesterday, March 11, I drove by the club site on the way to work yesterday morning; the sign was down, including the metal border attached to the wall, and a banner sign reading "AVAILABLE," plus a 558-exchange telephone number, were posted to the club wall.
Damn; damn, damn, damn. I know it was a basic formality at this stage, but it still hurts to see the Continental closed and probably gone soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bobo Is Back at Mohawk Place

Bobo, the four-piece musical explosion/alcohol intervention that graced and pissed on stages in Buffalo for years during the late 1990s (and early 2000s?) will perform a reunion show at 10 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Mohawk Place, 37 East Mohawk Street at Ellicott Street, in Buffalo.
The band features frontman extraordinaire Jimmer Phillipps on vocals and (sometimes plugged in) guitar, Frank Sterlace on guitars and vocals, Marc Hunt on bass and backing vocals and Pat Shaughnessy on drums, and will perform a $5 late show, with The Irving Klaws bringing their sleazy rockabilly, psycho and 1960s garage rock onto the bill. For those who may somehow be unaware, Bobo played a sometimes melodic, sometimes shambling, sometimes sloppy, sometimes near-violent but always energetic form of power pop and punk rock blend.
And no doubt, donations will be accepted for the Jimmer Phillipps "Can I Borrow a Smoke Fund," but heaven knows if you needs the bar fund at this stage. Liver transplant donors are on call, just in case.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to Work

I may not be 100 percent yet, but I feel better enough to go back to work today; maybe my lingering cold will keep people away from me and allow me to get my work done.
Of course, the morning couldn't go without some kind of mishap; once again, like a month or two ago, I did the soapy-finger-in-the-eye trick while showering, and I have the boxer eye look again. Sweet.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ugh, Bleah, Cough and Sniffle

Yep, I've got a cold, a nasty one, and am feeling pretty crappy since Saturday morning. I was lucky to have gone this far into winter without getting one, as I always get one or two doozies, and this one waited until March to hit.
I may be back here later today to write something, but if not, I'm sure you can guess/see why. I have a feeling the couch and a comforter will be my companions, along with Walker Evans, for most of the day.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sad Continental News

Following up on my post yesterday on seeing a work crew, a truck, ladders and red cones at the Continental, 212 Franklin Street, Wednesday, Val told me that when she drove by the Continental on her way home from work Friday night, she saw that the club's sign was taken down/gone.
Sadly, that would explain the ladders and work crew I saw, and while the Continental has been closed for years, it remained a silent memorial to the 30 years that it represented the punk and new wave music community as well as original music in lots of other forms.
And more than just a place for bands to play and audiences to listen, the Continental was a home for many of us seeking certain music, people, lifestyles and so on that we could't find elsewhere. While the club closed as the crowd that used to go there for so long aged and grew into other interests, just seeing the club and the sign while driving by brought back great, and hundreds, of memories. Obviously, whoever owned the club couldn't just let it stand like a memorial and had to do something with it, but it hurts.
I will contiune to try to find out more on the club's status, because the Continental is such a large part of my personal and professional life. Time to look for Bud Redding's e-mail or telephone number.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Work at The Continental?

After dropping Walker Evans off at the downtown location of the Puppy Playpen on Ellicott Street near Chippewa Street Wednesday for his weekly dog day care session, I drove from Chippewa to Franklin Street and turned left to go to park at work.
This is not my usual route (basically Elmwood Avenue to South Elmwood Avenue to Niagara Street and the Circle four days a week), so I do not know when it started or of it is continuing, but after driving 1 1/2-2 blocks, I came up on the Continental, the classic and sadly closed punk/new wave club for those of you wondering (unfortunate people).
What really caught my attention was that there were 2-3 people there working on the club, with a truck, 2-3-story ladders, the doors to the Continental open and red cones set up in the street and on the sidewalk at and near the club, preventing people from walking by or driving too close. I wasn't able to see if there was any writing on the truck.
I have no idea if anyone has bought the club or is renovating it, or if these are just safety tasks being performed, so anyone who knows what is going on at/with The Continental, please drop me a line, electronic or otherwise.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Peter Case on the Mend

It appears that Peter Case is healing, if taking things one day at a time, following his January 15 emergency open-heart surgery in California.
In the comment/response portion of the last entry on his blog (click on announcements), Case, the Buffalo-born, Hamburg raised musician, 54, wrote this note February 19: "Thanks for writing, folks! It's been swell hearing from you. I'm doing fine, getting better daily, a few ups and downs, generally on the road back. I haven't been able to write here lately, so thanks for bearing with me. I'm hoping to get back to things pretty soon, but I've got a little ways to go, first. Best wishes Peter."
No announcements of the rescheduling of shows, guitar lessons or the 25th anniversary bash for his solo career have been announced. You can also check out his website here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sabres: Deal or No Deal?

Today is the trade deadline in the National Hockey League, and hockey people are waiting to see who makes deals and which teams do not as the playoffs approach.
Will the Buffalo Sabres make a deal or two? The Sabres, as every NHL team, have needs (big defensemen and forwards and a backup goaltender come to mind), but remember, first, owner Tom Golisano decides how much money is spent on players and on what players, not coach Lindy Ruff or even general manager Dacry Regier. Also, teams need to want players or draft choices the Sabres or other teams have to make a deal, and there are few Sabres other teams seem to want, and those (Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Craig Rivet) are certainly not available.
I and other Sabre fans are hopeful, but I for one am not expectant, for a trade today.

The Sportsmen Does It Again

Anyone wondering if the Sportsmen's Tavern Private Concert Series has been a success should now be able to determine that it is, even aside from my posts and reviews of several of these shows.
The biggest-ticket item in the series yet, $90 for May 13 the Western swing sounds of the Asleep at the Wheel show, did not keep local fans from selling out the concert, as recently reported by Ken Biringer, the club's PR svengali. Other shows in this series, from the Pine Dogs to Dave Alvin, have sold out and no doubt will contine to do so.
Upcoming shows at the Sportsmen's include John and Mary and the Valkyries at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7; Grammy Award-nominated Jerry Darlak and the Touch at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 15, and Greg Klyma at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 29.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Cypher Governor

Val and I watched the Morley Safer interview with Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal on "60 Minutes" last night, and we were laughing and shaking our heads as much as anything else.
This is the future of the Republican Party? Please, let it be so; he came off as smarmy, insincere, over-rehearsed, cliche ridden, opportunistic, flop-sweat infested and willing to say anything to make anyone happy or agree with him. Believes in having Intelligent Design taught in public schools and signed a law having it done in Louisiana? Wow, teaching creationism and bringing religion into public schools. Anti-abortion? Yeah, take away basic rights for women; freaking brilliant. Whose beliefs are these, the Duggar Family?
With the likes of former Congressman/current right-wing windbag and noted accomplisher of nothing positive Newt Gingrich among his big supporters, Jindal may be able to go far in national GOP politics, where accomplishment and collegiality have already taken back seats to jingoism, do-nothingism and attacks.
So please, please, please, Republicans, make Jindal or Alaska Governor Sarah Palin your future and examples, if not actual picks, for leadership posts and presidential and/or vice presidential candidates. This will help the Democratic Party retain the presidency and continue to keep the GOP a minority party, while certainly not a party of minorities.