"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Put the Needle to the Groove

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Dust & Grooves interviews Jeff Gold, a record collector out in L.A.:

Q: In one sentence, can you define your record collection?

A: Years ago I read an opinion piece in the New York Times–the writer talked about how collecting doesn’t have to be just about accumulating, it can be about editing, about collecting only the most essential examples of something. That’s how I look at my record collection. If I’m not going to play a record, don’t need to own it. So I only have records I truly love and play.

Q: Do you remember your first record?

A: The first album I remember owning was Mister Ed, The Talking Horse, which I got as a gift. But the first one I chose myself was Beach Boys Concert. I was given a children’s album as a gift and made my mom take me back to the record store to exchange it. I have a copy, but unfortunately not my original one. The first 45 I got was The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” which my parents gave me as a gift. I think I’m pretty lucky that these were my first records. I loved records as soon as I knew what they were. My parents had a few Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums that I loved and played constantly. Many years later I had the good fortune to work for Herb at A&M, and we’re still friendly. It blows my mind. Still.

[Photo Credit: Eilon Paz]

The Unwritten Ruler

Hey look, it’s Brian Fucking McCann.

Don’t walk, strut or stand,

Just run to first as fast as you can.

And don’t you dare clap your hands,

Says Brian Fucking McCann.

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If you have a rhyme, please leave it in the comments.

PS:  He should still sign with the Yankees. They have no sense of humor either.

Taster’s Cherce

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Calzone, anyone? This one actually looks good. 

Morning Art

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Drawing by Franco Matticchio via This Isn’t Happiness.

New York Minute

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This past July the Times had a story on the future of the Brill Building:

If ghosts paid the rent, Eric Hadar would have an all-star tenancy: Freddy Bienstock, Johnny Burke, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Jimmy Van Heusen, to name a few. Not to mention J.J. Hunsecker and Danny Rose.

But ghosts do not pay the rent. Neither do fictional characters. Their onetime home, the Brill Building, 1619 Broadway, at West 49th Street, now stands more than half empty, after the closing last year of Colony Records and the Sound One postproduction studio.

I worked for Sound One when I was in high school and college and then later as a freelancer. That building is where I came of age in many ways. Bummer what’s going on there now.

[Photo Via: The Brill Building Documentary]

Turn Out The Lights…

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Eduardo Nunez hit a double and home run in his first two at bats last night. So David Price threw one high and tight to start Nunez’s third at bat. Nunez jerked his arms back and let go of the bat. It popped in the air and fell on the ground.

That amusing moment is all I’ve got from last night’s game. Oh, there’s one more memory. The sight of Phil Hughes sitting in the dought, pulled early again, embarrassed and mad, looking as if he was about to cry. He’s had an awful season and he lost his manager’s confidence. Watching him pitch this last month is like being a student driver with the instructor sitting next to you, their foot inches away from the break.

I felt for him.

The Rays beat the Yanks 8-3. Evan Longoria hit two home runs, giving him nine against the Yanks this year.

It’s official, the Bombers won’t be in the playoffs. Now, all that’s left is to play the next four games like professionals.

That said, it wasn’t a season without some pleasure. And I am looking forward to the playoffs. So long as the 2013 season doesn’t end with a championship in Boston I’m cool with whatever happens.

[Photo Credit: Christophervu]

I Got Five On It

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Chad Jennings has some interesting stuff from C.C. Sabathia:

“I don’t think I’m ever going to be that same guy again,” he said. “I’m 33 this year, but pitching against San Francisco the other night, I felt like back to myself more so than any other start. It wasn’t velocity — I was 90 to 93 — but just pitching inside, being aggressive, throwing fastballs in hitters’ counts. Just going out there and being a bully. That’s something I feel like I was before and kind of lost that this year.”

…“I’m just talking about going out and pitching like I did the other day (against the Giants),” Sabathia said. “Grinding games out. That’s something I feel like I didn’t do a good job of this year. Getting runners on base and being able to get a double play. Giving up a run or two, and being able to shut the inning off. I feel like I gave up too many big innings and big situations. We come out and score a couple of runs off a tough pitcher, and I come back and give the lead right back. That’s stuff that I didn’t do, or I don’t do, and it happened this year. I think that’s what I say when I talk about coming back and being right.

“I think I’ll be back to myself. I know a lot of people have written me off and said I’ve thrown too many innings and whatever, whatever, but I’ll still be here and still be accountable and still be the guy that signed up in 2009.”

He’s a likable guy, easy to root for. We’ll be pulling for him.

Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s lineup. Phil Hughes gets the start. Will it be his final outing in pinstripes?

Eduardo Nunez 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Vernon Wells RF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

Never mind the chill in the air:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Michael Wolf]

BSG: Summer’s End Recalls Memory of a Faded Dream

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Excerpted from From Black Sox to Three-Peats: A Century of Chicago’s Best Sports Writing (University of Chicago Press), edited by Ron Rapoport and featuring stories from the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Daily News, and the Chicago Defender, among other papers.

Today gives John Schulian’s column from the Sept. 24, 1983, Sun-Times.

“Summer’s End Recalls Memory of a Faded Dream”

By John Schulian

Up ahead, you could see a full moon sandwiched by thick, wet clouds. Beneath them glowed the lights of Chicago, turning the soggy heavens red-orange and proving that this ribbon of highway actually led somewhere.

Another country radio station faded into oblivion inside the car, so you pressed a button and came across the White Sox, summer’s golden children at play on a night made for antifreeze.

Their presence should have been a comfort at 70 miles an hour, just as it had been since they used June as their launching pad to glory. But now the Sox were bidding adieu to their regular season at home. They weren’t going to return to Comiskey Park until October’s playoffs, and the thought left you feeling as empty as a farewell at a train station. Summer was over.

All you could do about it was punch another button on the car’s radio, punch another button and hope you would hear the Police singing “Every Breath You Take.” For that was the song that provided the background music for the last three months, lingering in your mind whether you were mowing the lawn or trying to describe the cosmic significance of the infield fly rule. The melody haunted you, the lyrics left you wondering about the residue of your own tilling and threshing. And, like a lot of other things this summer, that hadn’t happened for a while.

Maybe you have to go back as far as the days before baseball finally defeated you, days of keg parties and a curveball pitcher who lay down next to a stereo speaker filled with the Rolling Stones’ voices and begged his kid brother to turn the music louder. The season was over by then and the unraked diamonds had started turning hard under the fading sun. Every morning, the chill sunk a little deeper and lasted a little longer, and you began to realize how impossible it is to hang on to summer and all the things it represents.

No team you played on would ever be the same, no chance for a professional contract ever as good, no friendships ever so unencumbered. And that was what mattered to a catcher with a strong arm and a weak bat, a kid who hid inside a game and thought it would always sustain him.

Even on the night he graduated from high school, he tried to flee what scared him most for the safety that the Salt Lake Bees provided. But before he got to his $1.50 seat, before he even got out of the auditorium where he had received his diploma, there was lipstick on his cheek and a pretty girl saying, “Now you can go.”

Funny how long a kiss can last. Ask the man who got it now and he will tell you that summers should have such staying power. For he would think about it from time to time, smile and wonder about the girl who didn’t dance off into that happy night before she had made sure he was remembered. And when it came time for the 20th reunion this summer, when he flew back to the place that used to be home, he wondered if she would remember her own kindness. He looked for her and found only a mutual friend with bad news: “She’s very sick. I understand it’s terminal.”

What do you do then? Do you write a letter, or do you pray? Do you retreat into the silence that has become your comfortable enemy, or do you hope that the next knock on your door brings a smiling face and laughter that tinkles like chimes in an ocean breeze? Do you see your own life reduced to what the poet Yeats called “day’s vanity and night’s remorse,” or do you borrow from Tom T. Hall, the hillbilly songwriter, and tell someone dear, “You love everybody but you”?

The questions pile up, but there are never enough answers to clear them all away. Ten years ago, you couldn’t have imagined such a predicament. You knew everything then—knew it and said you knew it and expected the world to know you knew it. Perhaps it is only age that brings stupidity.

Summer certainly suggested as much. Whether you were gazing out at Lake Michigan or laboring over your prose, your mind kept drifting away from the business at hand. For too many hours, neither the splendor of Floyd Bannister’s left arm nor the foot in Dallas Green’s mouth held the appeal of life’s complexities. It was time to consider what you had let get away from you, and how, and why. The process was as unsettling as the gray taking over your beard and the lines growing deeper around your eyes.

“I don’t know,” you kept saying. “I just don’t know.” It was an all-purpose reply for a summer that raised new questions almost daily. It could also, however, be tiresome. “This is the place for you,” a friend said, passing a senior citizens’ center. And you couldn’t keep from laughing. You feigned anger, too. But down deep, you thanked God there was someone who cared enough to remind you that the sun always comes up in the morning.

It shows its face later and later now, though. You can’t ignore that. The leaves on the trees have already started to turn, and even if the White Sox go on to win the World Series, there won’t be many more trips to Comiskey Park. The days are growing short, and more and more you cling to the brightness that Ron Kittle, the rookie free spirit, brings to them. “Here’s my bat,” he said to a team trainer after two hitless nights. “Take its temperature.” What a pleasure to find someone who knows where to get answers.

But when they aren’t to your questions, the answers are only for enjoyment, not enlightenment. They serve the same function summer did this year as you spun your wheels for week after week, searching for something you hesitate to define and eventually heading back to the garage empty-handed. The answers made you forget the storm front, but by the time you got home it was starting to rain again.

 

John Schulian was a sports columnist for the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Philadelphia Daily News before moving to Hollywood, where he wrote for a number of television shows and was the co-creator of Xena: Warrior Princess. His work has been collected in several books, including Sometimes They Even Shook Your Hand: Portraits of Champions Who Walked Among Us. With George Kimball, he edited At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing for the Library of America. 

[Photo Credit: Sarah Elston and Paolo Di Lucente via MPD]

Afternoon Art

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R. Crumb.

Taster’s Cherce

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Alexandra gives Bulgogi with Cucumber-Apple Pickle.

Oh fuggin’ hell yes.

Beat of the Day

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Django!

[Picture by Sammy Slabbinck via Kateopolis]

Million Dollar Movie

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From Black Book:

“It’s been a favorite feeling in my whole life to be able to communicate without talking,” Harry Dean Stanton once said. “Communicating in silence in a powerful thing.”

Where & When Game #4

Welcome back to Where & When; to make up for my error from Monday, I’m presenting an extra challenge this week. Today’s game is hosted by RIYank who writes:

Let’s change decades for this one.
There are obvious visual clues for the approximate year, and also a kind of conceptual clue.
I don’t think it’s too hard to get the approximate location, but see how precise you can be.
I’ll release a clue later in the day.

Send guesses to:

whereandwhen.riyank@spamgourmet.com

Good luck!

[Photo Credit: Ephemeral New York]
another RIYANK where and when

Shhh, Baby’s Sleeping

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With a whimper. The Rays whupped the Yanks 7-0 last night.

With a whimper, folks.

[Photo Via: This Isn't Happiness]

In the Evening

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It’s the last home series of the year. The Yanks are all but cooked. They’ve got to sweep the Rays to even stand a chance.

Still, there are six more games left. We’ll be watching and rooting.

Ichiro Suzuki CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Vernon Wells RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C

It’s our man Hiroki.

Never mind the odds: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Rafael Alejandro Rodríguez]

Beat of the Day

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The Script she be flipped.

[Illustration by Sanderus ]

Afternoon Art

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Rothko.

Taster’s Cherce

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So fresh, so fresh. From Saveur comes this cucumber-pepper slaw. 

Thank you, James Oseland.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver