Thursday, February 28, 2008

March 16-20, 1992

I'm probably one of the biggest Uncle Tupelo fans you know. Their third album, March 16-20, 1992, has stood the test of time to become my favorite and I've returned to it again and again over the past couple years. When it was released, fans were a bit taken aback because it is a collection of traditional folk songs and traditional sounding original tunes and lacks any of the rock edge that had been found on their prior two albums. I won't go into their full history here, but Uncle Tupelo are recognized as being one of the seminal bands to merge country and punk rock in a meaningful way. One of the strengths of this album is that it is really hard to tell which of the tracks are traditional and which were penned by the band.

The track Moonshiner, in particular, has been on repeat regularly on my iPod and in my head.

Moonshiner (traditional)

I've been a moonshiner
For seventeen long years
And I spent all my money
On whiskey and beer
And I go to some hollow
And set up my still
If whiskey don't kill me
Lord, I don't know what will

And I go to some barroom
To drink with my friends
Where the women they can't follow
To see what I spend
God bless them pretty women
I wish they was mine
With breath as sweet as
The dew on the vine

Let me eat when I'm hungry
Let me drink when I'm dry
Two dollars when I'm hard up
Religion when I die
The whole world is a bottle
And life is but a dram
When the bottle gets empty
Lord, it sure ain't worth a damn

Previously recommended songs:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Swedish Leaf

"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL Club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."

Way to go Mats. You're a class act. Some of us appreciate you taking the high road. Say hi to Denny for me.

Make art! Make art!

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova just won the Oscar for their song "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once". I just watched the film last week, but I picked up their Swell Season album several months ago and both the movie and the Swell Season are fantastic.

Glen was in the Irish band The Frames and has been making music for 20 years, mostly unheralded. It's terrific to see someone like him get recognized for this great song in such a small film. It cost $100K and was filmed with handycams in 3 weeks.

As he left the stage after giving his thanks, Glen called out "Make art! Make art!". I thought that was beautiful since the Oscars are dominated by Hollywood which is often not concerned with art, but with profit.

...And then Diablo Cody won best screenplay for "Juno". Awesome! I'm glad I actually tuned in to the Oscars this year.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I was a lift operator at Alta ski area in Utah for a year and it changed my life. Alta has received almost 500" of snow this season and that is far beyond what most people comprehend and twice as much as its Colorado counterparts.

At the Turf Club in St. Paul tonight I met a guy wearing an Alta cap and felt an immediate bond. Alta is the kind of place that does that to you. Its a special place and I can't give it proper explanation here. Ya gotta live it. It's the greatest snow on earth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To Quote Morrissey

Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ

Norwegian Proverb

There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Too cold for you? Well cry me a river. Put on some sensible clothing fer chrissakes and quit yer whinin'. I'm so sick and tired of hearing adult Minnesotans complain about the cold weather. You seriously won't walk 3 blocks when it's zero degrees? Then get out! Get out of my state and move to Whinerville. How can you be an adult and be such a whiner? I just don't get it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wild - Preds

Classic Wild vs. Nashville game tonight. They always seem to play some of the best games of every season. For the first few years of the franchise, my season ticket buddies and I would always sell off the Predator tickets because they were just another lame expansion team (and from Nashville no less!). But they consistently played really exciting games. So eventually we figured out we should probably keep the tickets. Wild win in OT tonight after blowing a 4-2 lead in the 3rd. Marian Gaborik had 2 goals including the game winner on which he was assisted by fellow Slovakian Pavol Demitra.

Best Pizza in Town

My top 3 pizza joints in town are, in order:

1. Carbone's -- best thin crust around with a perfect combination of crust, sauce and cheese, the 3 cardinal ingredients in pizza which should only be accented with some nice pepperoni.

2. Dulono's -- more great thin crust pizza made even better by some kickass bluegrass music. This pizza is best when you're down to the last few pieces and the cheese is congealing after having some time to cool.

3. Skinner's Pub -- mostly unknown neighborhood bar on Randolph in St. Paul whose pizza rivals the above.

As you can see, I'm a thin crust guy. That's not to say that I don't like other types of pizza, but simple thin crust is my favorite. Cheese, crust, sauce, pepperoni. Anything else is just added waste.

Nice Run

It's been a nice run, but tonight Third Man In, my fantasy hockey team, will relinquish the grip it has had on first place since the start of the season. This happened to me last year, too, as I recall -- first place all season long and then got clipped at the wire. Top Cheese has been coming on strong for awhile, but I got demolished 8-2 this week, winning only PIMs and SOGs. Season ain't over yet, so hopefully I can scrape back on top.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Went to Mancini's on West 7th yesterday after the Wild game. It's the best (only?) char house in town and we've been meaning to make more regular stops at this legendary local establishment. It has certainly made a strong case for supplanting the Happy Gnome as our watering hole of choice. To wit:

1. A kickass sign (see image)
2. $4.50 for martinis and gin gimlets
3. Great loungey atmosphere
4. Cheesey cover band and dancing patrons
5. It's a "Char House"
6. On the bus line

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Best Super Bowl Ad

Here's my fave. Pretty damn good.

I'm No Foodie

I'm no foodie. In fact I'll eat just about anything anytime anywhere, which is a long way from the more particular days of my youth. I figure that eating food that you know other people somewhere in the world eat regularly and don't get sick from is just the mature thing to do. But I digress.

Even though I'm not a connoisseur of food, I still enjoy reading and listening to people who are passionate about food. Take, for example, Lynne Rossetto Kasper on The Splendid Table and Dara Moskowitz in City Pages. They're both really good at their jobs and make me wish I could communicate in the language of food. Words describing tastes just don't readily find their way to the tip of my tongue.

Dara writes so well that she makes me realize my complete inferiority as a writer. Ever have those times when you think: "man, that person is way better at that than I could ever be"? Well, she's moving on to a new gig. I don't go out to eat much so I rarely visited the restaurants she wrote about, but I'll still miss reading about them.

Wow Me

I'm guessing that I am no different from most people in my expectations of being wowed by a prospective girlfriend (boyfriend), right? So am I just a tough crowd and it takes a less common set of traits to wow me? Or maybe my desires are simply incongruent with those of the type of person I'm looking for? I dunno. What some people refer to as "picky", I see as a difference in requirements that is just not understood by those who's perspective is their own requirements.

That makes sense, doesn't it? She's gotta be out there somewhere, but the search sure is getting frustrating.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Watch My Taillights Fade

Good Buffalo Tom show tonight, but not great. They were a little off and Bill's effects weren't quite dialed in. But it was still a good time. Weird to be at First Ave. and see virtually nobody under the age of 30, though, and it is a bit of a shame that the kids haven't been introduced to this great band. They may be a bit past their prime, but their records will hold up for a long time.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pizza Party Ordering Instructions

Ever have to order a bunch of pizzas for a large group of people? Then you've probably asked yourself questions such as:

  1. How do I satisfy everybody without specifically knowing what any one person wants?
  2. Will there be vegetarians present?
  3. Will there be people present from Cuba, China, North Korea or California?

Well here is a simple formula that will be sure to satisfy one and all:

  • 60% pepperoni, sausage, or pepperoni & sausage. Almost everybody likes or will eat these simple classics (adjust down if your gathering is comprised primarily of Californians or Communists).
  • 20% junk pizzas with everything. There are always a few folks who like pizza with everything on it. In case of leftovers, toppings can be pulled off and refrigerated for future use in salads, bouilliabaise or hot dish.
  • 10% cheese pizza. Vegetarians will eat cheese pizzas. And meat eaters might eat cheese pizzas. But fewer people will eat a veggie topping pizza, so play it safe here. Plus, most often there is not a vegetarian present, even though we have been conditioned to prepare for it.
  • 10% other. Sausage & mushroom is popular. Hawaiian can be good if ordered from the right pizzeria. Maybe you're into those fancy California pizzas with tomatoes and garlic and cauliflower and crap on 'em. But the key is to not get too much of these styles because there are many people who just won't eat 'em.

So there it is. May you never wont again for pizza ordering confidence.