A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Charlotte, NC has the triple-A baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. This year they opened BB&T Ballpark, and it was one of the priority items on my list to visit on my tour of the East Coast. Rather than explain too much, I will let my pictures speak for . . . → Read More: A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Recently I saw one of the very few bands/artists whom I’ve come to love during the past (largely desultory) musical decade, Hartford CT’s The Magik Markers, who played a headlining show at Seattle’s Chop Suey.

I first saw their lead singer/noise guitarist/front person, Elisa Ambrogio, in November 2008, entirely by accident, as she . . . → Read More: The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Weezer – Back to the Shack

Weezer has released their first new song since 2010, which they describe as “an ebullient slice of alterna-rock awesomeness.” Gotta love, “…more hardcore, rockin’ out like it’s ’94…” This time out Weezer reunited with the man who helped them record their strongest album-length work, Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The resulting album, Everything Will Be . . . → Read More: Weezer – Back to the Shack

Jimmy Garner, RIP

Portland humanitarian and actress Gretchen Corbett played Jim Rockford’s sexy lawyer, Beth Davenport.

Sad news from the world of entertainment today.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/james-garner-tv-star-dies-aged-86-1405856731

I’ve had a variety of scattered thoughts since I heard the news an hour ago:

I just can’t believe that a man that good-looking would ever die.

He was the John Wayne . . . → Read More: Jimmy Garner, RIP

The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

It’s Saturday morning and I’m still on a high from Thursday night when I ventured to Seattle’s Showbox to witness the glorious, long-awaited return of the Aquabats. Like the Phenomenauts, they infuse elements of ska, punk rock and corny kids’ science fiction into one fun filled show. Celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, . . . → Read More: The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

This year marks the Golden Anniversary of many events and milestones of the Woodstock generation. LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” King’s “Dream Speech” and the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night to name a few. And anyone tracking the news in any media will be hard pressed to avoid this long look into our cultural rear view . . . → Read More: Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago I happened to be in Palm Springs, CA with a couple of spare hours, so I paid Frank Sinatra a visit. For those unfamiliar with his life, he made Palm Springs his permanent home in the 1950s, so far as it was possible for someone whose career required a nomadic . . . → Read More: A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

“Weird Al” Yankovic – Word Crimes

Where were you when you first heard about the homecoming? by Claude Iosso

I was at work, preoccupied with the World Cup, not the next destination for King James and his cadre of close friends, the LeBrontourage. I am glad he’s going back to Cleveland and that that poor city has a chance at sports glory, but I realized that I don’t like players deciding where next . . . → Read More: Where were you when you first heard about the homecoming? by Claude Iosso

I love you. I hate you‏. By Claude Iosso

Rihanna tweeted this photo of her with Mario Goetze claiming it to be a selfie. With parts of both of her lovely arms/hands in the field of view, she clearly could not have taken this herself.

The World Cup final between Germany and Argentina delivered much. The world’s best player on the biggest stage. . . . → Read More: I love you. I hate you‏. By Claude Iosso

Charlie Haden RIP‏, by Tom Kipp

Sad news for those of us who loved/still love “Jazz with a Future”….and the precious few musicians with the courage to reach for it, much less actually ARRIVE there, as Charlie Haden did on so many occasions.

P.S. This Fred Kaplan is NOT the academic and Nineties Gore Vidal biographer with whom Gore had . . . → Read More: Charlie Haden RIP‏, by Tom Kipp

More from Swedish TV, I think‏

Actually I have no idea where this pitchy March 1964 live take of “It’s My Party” is from.  I only say Swedish TV because it has high quality black and white television images and an unresponsive audience, which are two indicators of potential Svensk involvement.

Lesley is lovely here, an ingenue in the . . . → Read More: More from Swedish TV, I think‏

The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner, by Claude Iosso

Neymar in contention no more

Pity Brazil, for the historic pasting by Germany and  for the weight that was slowly crushing them throughout the tournament. They were a middling bunch asked by a desperate nation to sprint past cheetahs.

According to the brackets I’ve collected, most people figured Germany could take Brazil . . . → Read More: The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner, by Claude Iosso

LA Ska Masters Fishbone Play To A Small But Enthusiastic Crowd at Seattle’s Neptune, by Holly Homan

It’s a warm Sunday night in Seattle and the Neptune Theater is hosting LA’s ska masters, Fishbone. Fishbone, although primarily a ska band, play a variety of musical genres from fusion, to rock, and even some rap poetry tossed in.

Sax player and main vocalist, Angelo Moore never stays . . . → Read More: LA Ska Masters Fishbone Play To A Small But Enthusiastic Crowd at Seattle’s Neptune, by Holly Homan

The Joy Formidable dig into something organically Welsh with ‘Aruthrol’

By Peter Dysart

‘My favourite habit,’ as I’m calling them now, have returned with new music and an interesting new project. It was about a month ago that I received word from the band that they had a new project in the works, and that something would be arriving soon. The Saturday before . . . → Read More: The Joy Formidable dig into something organically Welsh with ‘Aruthrol’

What about the goals?‏ by Claude Iosso

Angel DiMaria – Reuters Photo

Yes, the Group of 16 games were all stemwinders, packed with drama to the end as scrappy underdogs repulsed the big boys time and again. The U.S. got the script too, pushing Belgium to extra time with a Herculean effort by goalkeeper Tim Howard. But I’m not satisfied. I . . . → Read More: What about the goals?‏ by Claude Iosso

Legendary Ska Masters Fishbone Make Long Awaited Return To the Northwest, by Holly Homan

This coming Sunday and celebrating twenty-five years as a band, legendary LA ska masters Fishbone finally returns to the Pacific NW with a show at the Victoria Ska Fest on July 4 and a show at Seattle’s Neptune Theater on July 6.

Fishbone play a variety of musical genres from the aforementioned ska to . . . → Read More: Legendary Ska Masters Fishbone Make Long Awaited Return To the Northwest, by Holly Homan

King of the Ticos‏, by Claude Iosso

Bryan Ruiz

Let me introduce you to my favorite hero of the World Cup so far — Bryan Ruiz, the cheerful captain of Costa Rica — who seems bent on proving nice guys can finish first.

I had never heard of the sprightly midfielder before June. Fulham has been loaning him to Dutch club . . . → Read More: King of the Ticos‏, by Claude Iosso

Lucky little fish, by Claude Iosso

Neymar

So I had Chile beating Brazil. It didn’t happen. The weight of 75 years of history and a poor nation’s passion for futbol finally crushed the lusty lads in red. Still, my skepticism about Brazil was confirmed. Neymar is awfully good, maybe even great, but his teammates are just good. Many start for . . . → Read More: Lucky little fish, by Claude Iosso