Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Howard Thompson - The Spangler

Hey folks;

Time to plug some great music being played by a great guy.

A lot of industry folks will recognize the name ‘Howard Thompson’ as one of the industry’s best A&R guys … (remember back when labels actually used A&R guys to find new, good music???)

You can check out some of Howard’s credits here:

Well, now he’s got a great On-line radio show going:

For a little taste, here’s the last update that I received from the man, the myth, the legend … and most importantly … the fan of great music!

To tune into CAKE, click here - then click on the yellow speaker icon. The radio stream will open the media player plug-in (iTunes, Real Player, Windows Media Player etc.) that you have set as your default player.

It’s FREE! (Or if you subscribe, it’s COMMERCIAL - FREE)

Cake Top 11 – January 27th 08

1. The Kinks: Did Ya
2. The Neville Brothers: With God On Our Side
3. Mary-Margaret O’Hara: Not Be Alright
4. Willie Nile: The Day I Saw Bo Diddley In Washington Square
5. Paul McCartney & Elvis Costello: The Lovers That Never Were, demo
6. Reverend OrganDrum: James Bond Theme
7. The Psychedelic Furs: Flowers
8. Rico Rodriguez: Man From Warieka
9. Percy Mayfield: Ha Ha In The Daytime
10. Freedy Johnson: The Sad Café
11. Roxy Music: In Every Dream Home A Heartache

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Bad Day At Boothill Graveyard

So … here's the story:

I was home one night, reading the November issue of PASTE magazine. PASTE runs a monthly column called 'The Ugly American' by a writer named Hollis Gillespie. It's a really great column, and this month it was on Boothill Graveyard, Tombstone, Arizona. The title: “Another Bad Day At Boothill Graveyard.”

Well, that seemed to be the perfect title for a song, so off I went. I even put Hollis in the song (she gets to shoot me in the last verse). I knocked out a guitar & vocal demo on the song, found her website: (check it out - she's written loads of cool stuff!!!) and I e-mailed her an MP3.

Next thing you know, Hollis zips me back an e-mail; she digs the track and was not offended at all that I portrayed her as a gambling drunk who shoots her lover. (Fair play to her!!!). Hollis decides to share the MP3 with a few folks … and next thing you know, someone with very questionable taste in music decided that it would be a good idea to post an MP3 of the song on the PASTE website:
(Scroll down to the “Listen” section of the web page)

Have a great day!
Life … You Never Know Where It'll Lead You,

Another Bad Day At Boothill Graveyard

Hollis walked in with a bible in her hand
And a cap and ball Colt in her belt
She looked at me and said; How you doing lover man
Then she sat down at the table as I dealt
She ordered up a shot then tipped the girl a buck
She said to follow this, bring another one
I whispered; Slow down, drinking hard is bad luck
She smiled and said; Baby, I've just begun

It's another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
A dead piece of land in the middle of nowhere
Another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
Who'll be the next to end up there?

Doc was on my right, he had a big pile of chips
Wyatt was standing behind him - at the bar
You were drinking hard & betting hard - then you got pissed
When I stood up and folded my cards
I hate to see you when you get this way
So I walked outside for some air
As I turned away I could have sworn I heard you say
Don't you even bother coming back here

It's another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
A dead piece of land in the middle of nowhere
Another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
Who'll be the next to end up there?

When I finally came back the bottle was empty
You were stumbling, drunk in the street
I called your name but I guess you didn't hear me
Through the booze, the pills and the heat
I touched your shoulder and you spun around
I bet that cap & ball Colt felt good
You fired once and I went down
After the smoke cleared
After your eyes cleared
After your mind cleared
Then you understood

It's another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
A dead piece of land in the middle of nowhere
Another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
Who'll be the next to follow me there?

It's another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
I see you putting fresh roses on my grave
Another bad day at the Boothill Graveyard
I see you putting fresh roses on my grave

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moral Octuple Standard

No one has done what Jim Brown has done.

Hall-of-Fame NFL legend. Civil-rights activist. Racial barrier smasher. Movie star.

The racial obstacles he had to overcome are unimaginable for athletes today. His life 's accomplishments are a wellspring of inspiration.

The guy has gone into the scariest neighborhoods in America and rescued African-American kids from gangs.

There is greatness about him.

I even cried when he died in The Dirty Dozen.

But it's time for him to shut up.

At least when it comes to dictating the moral duties of star athletes.

Specifically, Tiger Woods.

Here's the thing, Mr. Brown —

Tiger Woods is not you.

He's not as angry as you are.

He's not as prone to violence as you are.

He's never had trouble acknowledging his offspring.

As far as we know, Tiger has never threatened to snap his wife's neck.

We're pretty sure Tiger hasn't smashed the windshield of his wife's car — with her in it.

We're almost positive that Tiger didn't jump into the spotlight as Maurice Clarett's advisor and then disappear once the kid really could've used some help.

Of course Tiger Woods isn't perfect. Just like you, Jim, are not perfect.

Tiger seems to be a world-class grudge-holder (Is he part Irish!?!?), a bit of a control nut and he is way too successful for anyone to truly like. But all he has done is revolutionize his sport and handle the daily crushing pressure and expectations with (mostly) grace and a prickly sense of humor.

So Kelly Tighlman — someone none of us had ever known existed prior to this — said something idiotic, insensitive and reprehensible: that young players on the PGA Tour would "have to lynch him (Tiger Woods) in a back alley" to keep him from winning.

She's a moron. We all understand that. Most of all, Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods said that it was not the brightest thing Tighlman ever said but he considered it a "non-issue", that he and Tighlman are friends and that was that.

That pissed Jim Brown off.

Evidently, Tiger is not allowed to be mildly offended.

Evidently because Tiger isn't an opportunistic, hypocritical Jacksonian, Sharptonian flame-fanner, Jim Brown is heartily offended.

Well, I'm wildly offended that Jim Brown is heartily offended that Tiger Woods isn't more offended.

See, nobody's perfect.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Midas Touch ...

... is the polar opposite of That Henky Feeling.

And The Midas Touch is exactly what Tony Resch possesses.

So it is high time that the global BrothersMcC readership gets a load of one of the true good guys.

Tony Resch (AKA H-Squared for reasons that are none of your business) will be inducted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in February.

Why, you ask?

Oh, just your run-of-the-mill phenomenal success and leadership achieved with uninterrupted humility and a wickedly sly sense of humor.

Formerly known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL), the NLL has been in existence since 1986. Tony Resch played for the Philadelphia Wings from 1988 to 1993. A ferocious defender, he was the team captain for three of those years. The Wings won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990 and Tony was an All-Star in 1991.

In 1994 he became the Wings head coach. In 8 seasons, Tony won four championships and took the Wings to the title game five times.

That is quite a run. And done with dignity all the way.

Anyone who has sat at a Little League or a high school basketball game with assorted coaches and parents popping aortas and throwing Knight-ish temper tantrums knows the truth:

It's rare that a genuinely nice guy kicks the crap out of the competition year in and year out.

And it didn't start with the NLL.

Oh no, sir.

Tony graduated from Yale where he was a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Ivy Leaguer. And he played football as well. Plus he met his future wife there — the lovely, intelligent hoop-playing Irish girl Mary Gorman.

Talk about outkicking your coverage. Believe me when I tell ya, Tony went Ray Guy on that one.

His athletic exploits become even more impressive when you consider that during his junior year — smack in the middle of lax season — he had to share a dorm for six weeks with a wayward, alcohol-and-coed-crazed, broke, journalism-school intern malcontent who had a chip on his shoulder and no sense of boundaries.

Namely, me.

In spite of that, I've been lucky enough to count Tony as a friend ever since (personally, I think it was the Honeymooners marathon that cinched it) and I can think of no better subject than the ultimate stand-up guy getting his due.

Tony is currently the athletic director at LaSalle College High School in suburban Philly. He also is an assistant coach on the school's lax team. The team's leading scorer is some kid named Patrick Resch.

As if there were any doubt.

Congrats, H-Squared.

Psyched at you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

That Henky Feeling

Watching the second half of the Giants-Cowboys game, I had two thoughts:

1. Could we figure a way for neither team to win? To an Eagles fan, the Giants and Cowboys are Satan's identical twins.

2. No team with Wade Phillips prowling the sideline as head coach can ever win the Super Bowl.

I base Thought #2 — in keeping with BrothersMcC protocol — on a complete lack of data and analysis. It is a product of the Henky Instinct Theory — by which one gets a distinct and undeniable feeling that certain individuals are doomed to disappointment.

Wade Phillips is one of those unfortunates. And that's too bad because he seems like a heckuva good guy. Easy-going. His players seem to dig him. In fact, his polar opposite, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin — who seems like a total jackass — also is a member of the Henky Club. You heard it hear first — the Giants will end the season with a loss, and all subsequent seasons with Coughlin at the helm.

There are players as well that have a very high Henky factor:

No team with Ray Allen on its roster will ever win an NBA title. (Sorry, KG)

Ken Griffey, Jr. is the World Series equivalent of the Ancient Mariner's albatross.
(with A-Rod a close second)

Chad Pennington will be like a bad penny — no matter where he goes in the NFL — whether he's throwing or holding a clipboard.

God love him, but I think the US Open will always be Phil Mickelson's personal hellhole. I'll root for the bastard, but it'll suck in the end.

Who gives you that Henky Feeling?

I am a given, so don't even bother typing my name.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Redemption From Beyond The Arc

Until three hours ago, I had never heard of Kyle McAlarney. Now I might be his #1 fan.
And this is why college hoops is magic — even in the first week of January.

McAlarney is a 6-1 guard for Notre Dame who got booted from school last year after a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. At the time of the arrest he was the Fighting Irish's starting point guard.

McAlarney went back to Staten Island (where he holds the all-time high school scoring record) and took classes, worked out and paid the price for his mistake.

(While I have a working knowledge of many illicit substances from my college days, weed was not high on the list. However, my junior year I did smoke dope once before a practice with two of my more regularly stoned teammates. I shot the ball so well that our coach jokingly asked if I was on anything. I said yes and we all had a big laugh.
Not really — I was so freaked out and paranoid I nearly threw up.)

McAlarney and Notre Dame took on UConn tonight in South Bend. It was a raucous, fierce, physical and frantic affair and McAlarney was the best player on the court. He went for 32 points, hit every big shot for the Irish and even stuck his nose in on defense.

It would not be a stretch to say that McAlarney was the least gifted athlete on the floor (a position with which I have deep, intimate experience.) UConn's roster is filled with tough, rangy, quick, wildly athletic youngsters and McAlarney put on a clinic.

He rained three's and resurrected the seemingly lost art of the jump stop for feathery mid-range jumpers instead of plowing into people willy-nilly, pell-mell, helter-skelter. And when the Irish squandered all of their 21-point lead to fall behind, McAlarney rescued them with a clutch three. Notre Dame won 73-67.

He played the way most of us play the game — or played. Which is to say — below the rim. It was the game you always dream of playing — national television, flawless at both ends, putting your taller, more chiseled, faster teammates on your back and carrying them to victory in front of a gonzo crowd that includes your gear-wearing mom.

A year ago, he was disgraced. Tonight he was the best player in the country.

Hoop dreams, indeed.