Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

I was perusing my cable listings the other day and saw a replay of the ceremony, which happened on April 14th, 2012.  It was a strong showing of inductees: The Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n' Roses, The Faces, Freddie King and Donovan were among the inductees.  Watching it after the passing of Adam Yauch added a somber tone to the affair, especially when we got to see Steven Adler and Duff McKagan (two guys who have no business being alive) speak and perform.  I'm sure HBO will re-air the event, and I encourage you to watch it for some pretty cool moments. 

There were highlights, lowlights and yawn moments throughout the show, which made it a fantastic DVR event.  The format works like this: a famous musician introduces the artist (taking far too much time doing so), the artist gives his acceptance speech (taking far too much time doing so), and then the artist or somebody else plays a mini-set of their classic tunes.

Highlight #1: Freddie King induction.  ZZ Top introduced him posthumously and then they played I'm Going Down, along with Joe Bonamassa (who I should probably know more about) and Derek Trucks (who I thankfully know a lot about).  The crispest musical performance of the night. 

Highlight #2: The Beastie Boys induction. Since this happened a couple weeks before Yauch passed, it was likely that the other band members were aware of just how sick he was. They kept it pretty even-keeled, not being too somber or too giddy, and read a written statement from Yauch. The live performance featured Kid Rock, Black Thought and Travie (Don't worry. I didn't know those last two either). There isn't anything good on YouTube to show this, but it was pretty cool (poor quality clip is below). What was especially great about this performance is that the entire crowd seemed to be into it. And LL Cool J (one of the two inductors, along with Chuck D) gave one of the more heartfelt speeches of the night, thanking the Beastie Boys for playing his demo to Rick Rubin, which gave him his big break.

Highlight #3: Remembering how much RHCP drummer Chad Smith looks like Will Ferrell. 

Highlight #4: Seeing Jani Lane from Warrant make the list of deceased rock legends.  Sorry if that's inappropriate, but it made me spit up my scotch, partially because he looks like a long-lost Baldwin brother. 

Highlight #5: Watching a sloppy version of Paradise City performed by three former band members, an unknown rhythm guy, a lead vocalist I didn't know and Matt Sorum with a tambourine and being reminded that Appetite for Destruction will probably be the greatest rock album ever released in my lifetime. I wanted to echo the "No Roger, No Rerun, no rent" rant from What's Happening at the start, thinking "No Axl, No Izzy, no GnR", but was sucked back into that song that I've hear a thousand times already.

Lowlight #1: Green Day's introductory performance to kick off the show.  They played a tune that was not nearly catchy or rocking enough for an introduction to a show like this.  Despite some forced histrionics by the band and a guitar heaved up in the air at the end of the song, it fell flat. 

Lowlight #2: GnR's introductory speech. While Axl's absence was to be expected, I was bummed that Izzy Stradlin was also AWOL.  Nobody in the band acknowledged either member.  And they let Matt Sorum speak after Steven Adler.  Pretty awkward to have both the drummer that replaced the drummer who got booted for heroin and the drummer who got booted for heroin have a turn.  And let's be honest - nobody wants his war stories from the road when they toured after the Use Your Illusion albums. 

Lowlight #3: Anthony Kieidis taking his shirt off for the RHCP set.  I'm the first to admit that I'm not in as good shape as him now, and won't be in as good shape when I'm 50, but it just looked weird and gross, like he was some sort of 1940's strongman. 

Lowlight #4: Ronnie Wood's face in HD.  Enough said on that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Draft Lottery Night, NBA Fans

And that means only one matter where the Washington Wizards end up selecting, they will likely f**k that pick up like nobody's business.

"TJ, you exaggerate, you loud mouth fatty."

No, I really don't. The Wizards suck a bag of dicks when it comes to drafting NBA-caliber talent. The proof:

Look at that list. What a traveshamockery.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Memorial Day post, G:TB-style

I hope everyone is enjoying their long holiday weekend, in remembrance of Memorial Day. I am not one to ever wax poetic, but since I am writing this post I would just like to thank all those who have fought and sacrificed for this country, and think I speak for the entire G:TB community in doing so.

Now, having said that, here's some Lee Greenwood to get you going:

And, as has become tradition for these patriotic posts, some Americana being displayed on the female form:

Original babe (brought back by request)

Replacement babe

One final note: word is Whitney will once again portray Abraham Lincoln in today's D.C. Memorial Day parade. We hear he's even more hungover than usual, which should be fun for him given the oppressive heat and humidity he will be exposed to while wearing non-breathable clothing in direct sunlight. Good luck, buddy.

Abe Update: the big man got mentioned by name on the air, as portraying Mr. Lincoln for the eighth time. He got literally three seconds of facetime, but I did manage to grab this pic:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Weekend

Here's a little joy for you on this holiday weekend morn. Irish rugby star Brian O'Driscoll recently brought the Heineken Cup to visit a young girl in the hospital. Awesome ensued:

Friday, May 25, 2012

18 Years Ago Yesterday...

With his team down three games to two, desperate to win a Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years, Big Balls Messier made this bold prediction:

As some may remember, the Rangers did indeed win Game 6...then Game 7 as welll, eventually winning the Cup.

Jerry sent this Friday filler to us, and as a Rangers fan I'm sure this evening was a seminal moment in young Flantzini's life. Hell, I even skipped my senior prom to watch Game 7 of this series.

Matteau, Matteau, MaMatteau!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

These Quakers kill it.

My college classmates frequently criticized hiphop by noting that "they don't play any instruments, all they do is sample." Whether music sounds good has nothing to do with how it is generated, at least to my untrained ears, but this limited the amount of music I could play while hanging out "Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1" and a few Pharcyde songs.

I suspect that most G:TB readers have come around to appreciate hiphop's lyrical and sonic virtuosity. For those of you who still think that music is only good if it is the result of someone using an instrument, I present Quakers, a 35-person collective produced by three different people, two of whom are associated with Portishead. Their new song "Fitta Happier" features Guilty Simpson, Teedge's favorite MC.

Act like you know.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Palmetto Bugout

It's been a while since South Carolina registered on our radar, but leave it to our friends in Columbia to give us something fun. Our last update from the state found gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley battling internecine innuendo about both her sexual proclivities and her ethnicity. The indomitable Haley prevailed, and succeeded nature boy Mark Sanford as the Governor.

The labor movement and traditional Democrats are, shall we say, somewhat less than vital in most of South Carolina. We've chronicled Alvin Greene's story here, perhaps the most feckless U.S. Senatorial candidate in the history of feck. I'm pleased to see, though, that the traditional bastions of the left are throwing off their normally mild-mannered approach to politics, and getting down to sticks and stones.

This video shows South Carolina AFL-CIO leader Donna Dewitt making an important and not-at-all batshit inappropriate statement about Ms. Haley at a retreat in Columbia, S.C. In the video, Ms. Dewitt whacks a pinata decorated with Haley's photo and the words, "Unions are not needed, wanted or welcome in South Carolina", a reference to language from the Governor's State of the State speech from earlier in the year.

In our exceedingly polarized and intemperate political clime, you may wonder why we consider Ms. Dewitt's actions so inappropriate. Look at the video, though, and it's fairly clear, and entirely embarrassing.

The pinata in question is a piece of shit.

I know times are tough for labor, but surely someone could have sprung for something a little higher quality. Instead of just taping a picture of Governor Haley to a cheap, store-bought pinata, couldn't a union seamstress been engaged to craft a real statement piece? This stunt smacks of desperation, but worse, it smacks of cheapness of thought and action. For shame, South Carolina AFL-CIO.

You could have at least asked Alvin Greene for help.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wordle Filler

Everyone (rob) seemed to enjoy the Wordle ghoogles word cloud last time around, so I thought I'd plug all of G:TB into the magic machine and see what we got. We needed filler, what do you want from me?

I'd say we have a bit of a CAA fetish, wouldn't you?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kyrie Irving: Coolest Dukie Ever?

I retweeted this on my twitter feed last night. And the tiny dictator loved it. So, of course he demanded that I post here this morning. Normally I'd tell him to go get bent but he did buy me a sweet bottle of whiskey a while back and this video is great.
Enjoy your Monday.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

And also pay homage to His most perfect creation:

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Hell's Breaking Loose

Ten years from now, when the storytellers recall the greed, fear, and ambition that spelled doom for the CAA, we'll know whether Wood Selig was right to press ODU to accelerate its gridiron plans. Whether VCU President Michael Rao was wise to forego a $5 million bird-in-hand in hopes of taking flight.

Today, though, we sift through the wreckage of a league that seemed on the verge of, if not greatness, then sustained upper middle class excellence. Just one year removed from its first three-bid NCAA Tournament and only six beyond the most unlikely Final Four in history, the CAA is no more.

Sure, it'll live on in name for at least a few more years. Maybe Commissioner Tom Yeager will pull another rabbit from his hat, and cushion the loss of ODU and VCU with a College of Charleston here and a Stony Brook there. But George Mason is as good as gone. Delaware and JMU are wondering how an upstart football program like ODU leapfrogged them into the big-time (complete with even bigger-time financial challenges - the way too underplayed story within the story), and likely inclined to take the call when the MAC is on the other end of the line. Even lowly Towson, now helmed by a hard-charging brand builder like Mike Waddell, must hear Destiny's sexy whispers. It's a matter of time, my friends.

Not that long ago, I'd have raged wildly at the almighty dollar's unfeeling rampage through the natural order of college athletics. Today, though, that naive wistfulness is replaced by resignation to the way things really work. Let's be clear - I think ODU is making a massive mistake. I think Georgia State is probably making a lesser error, though I really don't care that much. And as much as it pains me to say, I think that VCU made the right call, given the circumstances: they'll never be as marketable as they are right now, and they aren't encumbered by football dreams. Even if Shaka Smart leaves in two years (and I'm with those who think he's the exception that proves the rule, destined to stay in Richmond for some time), the Rams have parlayed a once-in-generation hire into a nicer house with better neighbors, on the whole.

Now that the dust is settling a bit, William and Mary's passivity will be examined more critically. One interpretation of my alma mater's positioning says that W&M is secretly happy to see the CAA implode, as it offers the Tribe an easy way path to a more academically aligned partnership with the Patriot League, and a way to credibly reduce athletic funding while still maintaining competitive programs. The proverbial other hand believes that Terry Driscoll had both no juice and no plan, and that W&M is left foundering in a league that will be an unholy mishmash of misaligned institutions, at best.

The other hand is a more plausible story, in my mind, but I think there's a real possibility that W&M climbs out of this pile of shit smelling like roses. I'd be happier at this point with the Tribe as members of the Patriot League, whether or not they planned it, and the CAA's demise gives W&M cover with alums who might otherwise be upset - most of us would damn sure rather associate with Army, Navy, and Lehigh than with Coastal Carolina and Stony Brook. If the Patriot League comes calling (and, hi, Patriot League! Please come calling!), I think W&M accepts the charges gladly.

Left unexamined in all this is the relative importance of football versus basketball. I care way more about hoops than pigskin, and W&M's got more economic interest in successful basketball, but I'd bet that most Tribe alums, especially those who give real money, are far more worried about the future of Jimmye Laycock's program. I probably underestimate this factor in this analysis, and if W&M stays with FrankenCAA it'll be because it makes sense for the football team.

In any case, we'll head to Richmond in March (on a Saturday, as there will be no need for Friday games with only 7 teams in the CAA Tournament - thanks for ruining my hooky-playing tradition, Wood) and cheer on a Tribe team that's guaranteed to only need one win to reach the semifinals. We'll hang out with MGL, Defiantly Dutch, an irrationally engaged Northeastern fan, a passionate Drexel booster, Eric Angevine (who'd better still come, even if ODU won't be there) and the rest of our patchwork quilt of futile superfans. We'll have it better, but maybe only this last time.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bustin' Loose

MCA, Duck Dunn, and Chuck Brown? God's orchestra just added some funky, funky, shit.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tribe Pride

Many years ago, a number of the members of the G:TB editorial staff were among the founding fathers of the Northern Virginia region of the Magnificent Seven croquet league. Not exactly Etonian stuff, Mag 7, in which teams of seven competitors engaged in parallel competitions that tested both their croquet skills and their tolerance for mid-label beer. The croquet, in most cases, served as a pleasant diversion while each team raced to be the first to finish their allotted keg of suds.

As you might guess, most Mag 7 competitions ended in some form of disaster. On one (less than) memorable occasion, one of our number (who shall remain nameless but might be typing this) found himself passed out on top of a storage shed and ripped a hole in his jeans from crotch to ankle while attempting to climb down. On another, the homeowner who foolishly agreed to host the festivities looked up to see one of the participants urinating from a second story window upon the driveway below. Still a third time, the valiant warriors of the Sevens awoke to find a backyard tree entirely spray-painted copper.

Imagine our surprise and pride, then, to stumble upon news of the evolution of our sport. On April 28 and 29, the William and Mary Tribe Croquet Club swept both the individual and team titles to earn the overall championship in the UnitedStates Croquet Association Collegiate Division at the historic Merion Club in Haverford, PA. Stuart Veal and Dixon Muller won the individual title to pace the Tribe, who topped traditional croquet powers such as SUNY New Paltz, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Northern Virginia Community College to claim the title.

Hark on the Gale, young Tribesman. You’ve mastered half of the skillset necessary to succeed in Magnificant Seven play.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Scary Shit

Scared shitless takes on a whole new meaning in our Friday Filler.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Good Life

Lately Gheorghe: The Blog has become Gheorghe: The Celebrity Obituary -- with rainbow jimmies of Gheorghe: The Compost Heap of Inane Filler sprinkled on it.  But, in lieu of actual content, here we go.

Maurice Sendak, the author of a number of children's books, has passed away at age 83. His most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are, was published in 1963; the film version was developed and released a few years back.  As the book used to give me nightmares, I have yet to see the movie, but I know that the Avett Brothers provide a backing track for the film, so here it is:

Mr. Sendak was decidedly distinct in his stories and illustrations. While I'm more of a Seuss aficionado, there are legions of folks for whom Where the Wild Things Are and its accompanying works are the backdrop to years of their childhood. 

For whatever reason, the past week or so of my life has included a steady stream of reminders, whether painful or just curious, of the transitory nature of our existence. It began with the update that my stepdad’s latest mesothelioma scan can back clean, so he can stave off the dread of the disease’s return for at least a few months. Good news, but sobering, and if you know me, you know I’m not much into “sobering.” Then the MCA news hit . . . and, strangely, hit harder than I would have figured. Not sure why. I can’t say I was stunned; when Yauch missed the RnRHoF induction, I hypothesized glumly to someone that it surely boded ill for his health. Rather than surprise, I think my reaction owed more to a one-sided kinship with the Beasties by our band of random idiots. The three bad brothers you know so well who write for Gheorghe aren’t far removed from those three guys in age or mentality. And speaking of Seuss, although we were memorializing the good doctor in “Dr. Seuss,” our masterpiece is just as much a direct musical tribute to the B-Boys. (Assuming that “tributes” allow for blatant theft.) If you look at us, Rob is Ad Rock Shadrach while Dave P is Mike D Meshach, which leaves me as the scruffy-faced (right now, coincidentally, I’ve got a beard like a billy goat), deepest-voiced, baddest-assed MCA Abednego.

Anyway, it bummed me out.

Then my mom reminded me that like Adam Yauch, my Uncle Mike also died of cancer at age 47. Thanks, mom. The weekend came, and I began work on a collection of music for the next FlynnFest, wherein we’ll once again congregate to celebrate the life of a close friend who unceremoniously departed the planet six years ago. Taking a break from that, I lost myself in mindless television . . . somehow watching a chick flick that centers around an older gentleman trying to restore the memory of his beloved wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and then they die. Good times.

The best cure for that is ESPN, right? I immediately watch a pair of documentaries in the 30 for 30 series: first, the one about how Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic’s old friendship, torn apart by the war in Bosnia, never got repaired before Petrovic was killed in a car wreck; the second was the Terry Fox story, which, holy crap, was about the saddest, most unfair turn of events ESPN has recounted in the series.

All the while, I’m trying to plan summer visits with one of our G:TB staff who is dealing with a loved one battling cancer.

Finally, I checked in with a pair of young lady-friends who were attending JazzFest, certain that tales from the Crescent City would be a much-needed salve. And though they were, for the most part, the lone photo the girlies sent me was of a sticker on a signpost. Five years ago in New Orleans, we met a group of guys sporting “FUCK ETHAN” t-shirts; they go to the Fest every year and celebrate the life of a close friend who unceremoniously departed the planet, cursing his name all the while for leaving them too early. Very similar to Flynn. And here’s the photo I got Saturday:

So what does it all mean? Beats me. For now, I’ve had enough of these sad reminders that life's a fragile thing, and that one minute you're chewin’ on a burger, and the next minute you're dead meat. I get it. It’s time I got back to the good life. It’s time I got back, and I don’t even know how I got off the track.

And what does that entail? I’ll gloss over how it means time spent with my daughters, because although my girls make my entire world go ‘round, they don’t make for good blog copy, and The Density can tell you why in an upcoming segment, “Other People’s Kids.”

But music and drinking, yes, please. I’ll be hitting as many of these shows as humanly possible:

May 17 - Carbon Leaf (Neptune Park, VB)
May 18 - Willie Nelson (Ferguson Center)
May 22 - Steve Winwood (NTelos)
May 22 - Flogging Molly (Norva)
May 25 - Todd Snider (Jewish Mother)
June 2 - Steel Pulse (VB 5th St Stage)
June 12 - Bonnie Raitt (NTelos)
June 13 - Bonnie Raitt (NTelos)
June 13 - The Cult (Norva)
June 17 – Dave Matthews Band (VB Amphitheater)
June 19 - Phish (NTelos)*
June 20 - Phish (NTelos)
June 27 - Carbon Leaf (Neptune Park, VB)
July 3 - Beach Boys (VB Amphitheater)*
July 7 – Crosby, Stills, & Nash (NTelos)
July 9 - Van Halen (Hampton Coliseum)
July 13 - New Potato Caboose (Norva)
July 14 - Stevie Nicks (VB Amphitheater)
July 17 – Wilco (Wolf Trap)
July 18 – Wilco (Wolf Trap)
July 20 – Wilco (Charlottesville)*
July 21 - KISS / Mötley Crüe
July 25 - Smithereens (Sullivan Sq, Williamsburg)
July 29 - Merle Haggard (NTelos)
August 2 - Ingrid Michaelson (Norva)
August 4 - Gipsy Kings (Sandler Center)
August 6 - Dark Star Orchestra (Norva)
October 3 - Adam Ant (Norva)*

And gatherings with cronies, yes, please. Like Marls’ nuptials. And Teej’s. And being Abe Lincoln in the National Memorial Day Parade. And the Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship in Philly. And the Outer Banks. Yep.

It’s easy to shake off the we’re-all-gonna-die-someday-and-I’m-ill-equipped-to-handle-all-that blues when you have a docket full of revelry, good comrades to run with, and tenets of the world like “A man will always be judged on the amount of alcohol he can consume. And women will be impressed with it, whether they like it or not.”

See you soon.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Wheelhouse Jerry Filler

No words required:

Losing the internet

This is what would happen if Jeopardy! came to William & Mary.


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Yeah, That's Right. My Name's Yauch.

This is new to me, though I suspect some of you may have seen it. Adam Yauch wrote and directed this, well, it's hard to describe. But it's juvenile, and stupid, and hilarious. And perfect.

Friday, May 04, 2012


Adam Yauch, known better as MCA of the Beastie Boys, has passed on.  He rocked his rhymes all the way to Hell's gate, but he's now up in Heaven.  (Where they chill White Castle, 'cause it's the best, and drink Brass Monkey, and they rock well.)

I'm mad at my desk and I'm writing all curse words, but you know . . . life comes in phases, take the good with the bad. 

So put your worries on hold, get up and groove with the rhythm in your soul.

Throw on some B-Boys tonight, drink some OE, and celebrate Sir Stewart Wallace, Nathan Wind, and Natty Hornblower.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The only time I will ever post a Fox News clip...

Shep Smith actually made me laugh with this one:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

rob can fly? ROB CAN FLY!!!

So, yeah, these exist in the Qinling Mountains of China. Absolute nightmare fuel.

Via © Burrard-Lucas Photography