Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Canes Finnish Devils

sorry for the pun, what can you really say about the way the Hurricanes came back last night to snatch Game 7 from NJ that explains how crazy it was? just crazy. i like many Carolina fans was on the couch beginning to have thoughts such as "well it was a great series," "at least we made the playoffs this year" etc -- luckily that's not how the players themselves actually think. Cam Ward kept the 'Canes in the game making incredible save after incredible save in the 3rd but it appeared that the game would end 3-2 Devils.

Then Gleason with a miraculous pass from his knees to keep the zone and get the puck to Pitkanin who passes through the box to Jokinen for the tie with 1.21 left, and then just as we're settling in with relief for some OT, Staal has no such plans and puts it away with 30 ticks on the clock. I had just been defaming Pitkanin to someone for fumbling the puck twice during a power play a minute or two previous...Joni i take it back!!

I probably watched the last 5 mins 4 or 5 times just trying to figure out what i had just seen...wild. Here's N&O writer Luke DeCock's take on it.

It's better with Chuck Kaiton's unhinged call, but here are the highlights just the same:

Carolina Stuns Devils

now onto Boston, who owned the 'Canes this year, but that doesn't always mean much this time of year...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

News of the World

it's just strange hearing the news-y voice of Charles Gibson saying the word "Superchunk."

for more on indie rock from your source of indie rock information, ABC News, there's an interview i did here with Dan Harris, who is actually a huge fan. Jeez i look uncomfortable....must stop watching now.

Game 7 Tonight...


Monday, April 27, 2009

National Poetry Month Almost At An End

nearly missed it did you?

yesterday i accepted an invitation to read two poems at a sparkling new branch of the Durham Public Library System -- this one way out in Far East Durham -- as part of their celebration of National Poetry Month and their "Poetry For Everyone" series.

some people read their own poems, like Bill Baker, an African American WWII vet who read a humorous epic poem about his ship breaking down in the North Atlantic on its return from Europe at the end of the war...he brought the house down.

personally i think that one gets more out of reading poetry than hearing it read, because so much is about the structure and the line breaks and things that get lost in the reading aloud of a poem...much in the way that conversely song lyrics are better heard sung than read on a page...but i guess it's just a different experience.

i chose a poem by Charles Simic called "The Forest Walk" and also a poem by e.e. cummings with no title but it's about Spring so it seemed appropriate:

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coachella Wrap / Canes In a Hole

the 'Canes / Devils round 1 matchup has become a series of thrilling games decided by the slimmest of margins....had the pleasure of seeing Jokinen's "buzzer beater" the other night in person, one of the craziest and best endings (if you're a 'Canes fan) to a hockey game i've ever seen, though i didn't think that giving up a 3 goal lead was a good harbinger. last night Brodeur just shut down the 'Canes in an imposing way, in the process tying Patrick Roy for most playoff shutouts. Carolina played really well, putting up 44 shots against Brodeur, Ward was sensational in his own right, but nothing was getting past Marty last night, it was intense til the clock ran out. of course things are looking good for the Devils but i have hopes that Carolina can at least send it back to NJ for a Game 7...

last weekend we were in the desert playing Coachella and the festival is incredibly well-run and friendly, but still exhausting as any festival is, especially one in the desert. at 94 degrees the day we played, it was still about 13 degrees cooler than the last time i was out there, but hot as blazes nonetheless. apparently it went over pretty well though, rented gear and all, and the record store they had set up on the grounds (Zia) for Record Store Day was really cool as well. on Friday we got to see some great Merge action -- M.Ward, Conor Oberst -- as well as some of the Giants of Modern Music -- Leonard Cohen & Paul McCartney. Cohen cleared the backstage yard and then eased into his set, getting his unique 80's vibe (backup singers, synthesizer sax thingy) up and rolling over the course of the first two songs but then nailing it the rest of the set, establishing his presence in a setting (Rock Festival) that grew less incongruous as the sun went down. His voice sounded amazing but it was also they way his smallest moves carried great (and humorous) dramatic weight.

would like to have seen a lot of Sunday -- Fucked Up, No Age, My Bloody Valentine, the Cure -- but two days in the desert is enough for this year...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Whatever It Takes

as in...if it takes Tim Gleason scoring his first goal of the year for the 'Canes to win in OT, then i guess that's what he'll do! Carolina evens the series at 1 up with a 2-1 overtime victory in NJ and a game that i had to follow via a series of delayed texts and screen refreshes on my phone as i was waiting for Leonard Cohen to play out here in the desert! LC was amazing, btw.

Superchunk plays today at 4.55 pm....then we're signing some copies of our new ep immediately following, wherever the on-site record store is....

Monday, April 13, 2009

There's Nothing Quite Like Playoff Hockey

the 'Canes are back in the post-season for the first time since they won the Cup back in 2006, and they got there by smoking nearly everyone they played over the last few weeks of the season.
we get the Devils in the first round, and while they are playing well to finish the season, ever since Kevin Weekes' saves to beat the Devils in the 2002 playoffs, i've had a good feeling when the 'Canes play the Devils. we'll see if that feeling stays good once the series starts in NJ on Wednesday night.

unfortunately for my hockey-watching, Superchunk is playing on Wednesday at the Cat's Cradle and knowing the Cradle there will be a meaningless NBA game on the big screen! maybe we can change that....then we head to Cali for Coachella, where we play on Saturday. Looking forward to the rock and the hockey!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cassette Culture

remember tapes? i still have a ton of them -- mix tapes, tapes with an album on each side and singles filling in the gaps, unmixed 4-track tapes (see the art of Some Small History for stacks of those) etc.

well some guys in the UK don't want you to forget about the lowly cassette and have put together an art happening called the Blank Tape Spillage Fete which is a really cool, open ended thing where they sent a bunch of artists (including me) a blank cassette and just said "fill it up". so i did...with stuff from 18 years ago and some new things as well including a Sisters of Mercy cover and a Julian Cope song too. will try to get those on the internets at some point. also everyone did art for their tape, and it's all on display from yesterday til saturday, see their site for more info.

Monday, April 06, 2009


that's how they say "cheers" in Finland, as in a toast. we said quite a few over the weekend. Helsinki is a small and beautiful city populated by kind people, also mostly gray this time of year (that's ice on the harbor outside our hotel above) but we did have one day of sun and 50 degrees so i'm not complaining. great food there, too...would love to go back in the summertime.

the conference itself was haunted by the ghost of Ed Banger, who i never happened to meet.

airplane listening:

Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Shout Out Louds
Julian Cope
Andrew Hill

plus as many episodes of Top Chef as our battery would allow....

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Going to Helsinki

isn't there a Mountain Goats song called that?

anyway i am indeed headed to Finland for a music conference called Is This It...

it's just too warm here in NC in the Spring, needed one more dose of Winter....

if anyone has tips for the Finnish capital city, leave them here!