Monday, December 31, 2007

End the Year with Jalabert

Happy New Year!

Bike Repair is like Xmas come early

My winter bike was on the back of my car when I went into a Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee. I come out and a bunch of people are kind of looking at me and the car funny, but nobody says anything so I jump in and go. I get to my destination and as I'm taking the bike off the back, the teeth of the big ring pop out of the bumper as if something had forced them into the bumper-as if maybe a car backed into my car and that is why the silent people were staring.... Thanks for the heads up people.....
Bike won't shift for shit and feels funny so I take it into the shop. Older aluminum frame so I am prepared for the worst. An examination revels only a bent big chain ring-everything else fine. Not bad-short money to replace a chain ring, but since this is my winter/training bike, and I have been thinking about trying a compact crank, maybe now is the time??
Before I can think about the repercussions, I price it out and get ready to leave. Expecting an FSA crank, the shop dude comes back with a compact Campy Centaur with the new "ultra-torque" set up. Cool, more bells and whistles. Bike will be ready the next day.
When I pick it up, I was suddenly blown away like a kid in front of the xmas tree, the cranks looks sick. Arms and spider seem super beefy. High polish finish (like Record had before they went all carbon-maybe those expert metal polishers now do the lower end aluminum gear???) And the kicker, thanks to the Ultra-torque set up you can see through the bottom bracket, so like Rube Goldberg I am just staring going "golly gee".
Upgrade worth it on looks alone. Road report to follow...............

I have had about 10 rides on the new cranks. I was expecting a real black/white experience, but it was more subtle. As far as increased stiffness from the outboard bearings and new bottom bracket, no massive change. The bike (Canondale Caad3 Saeco team issue) was stiff and is still stiff.
I expected more difference between the gear ratios of a standard vs compact crank, but it was not that extreme. Worth it, but not as life changing as the endless web entries led me to believe it would be.

Thumbs up to Campy for finally changing from the square taper.

The biggest dilemma now is with the new design on cranks, older Record and Chorus parts(even carbon) are getting their prices slashed-so do I upgrade my main road bike which is old style Centaur using the old system or wait and redo it with the new Ultra-Torque at whatever level I can afford as well?
Tough choices for sure, so I guess in the end it's a hearty "thanks" to the asshole that backed into my car and helped me upgrade some parts....

Top Tunes of 2007

I actually reviewed a lot of records this year, here's my top.

1.Fix speed of twisted thought cd reissue(touch and go).
2.Dan Higgs Metamppsychotic Melodies CD (holy mountain)
3.Versoma Life during wartime CD (robotic empire)
4. Merciless Death Evil in the Night CD (heavy artillery)
5.Prodigy Return of the MAC
6.East of Underground (waxpoetics)
7.White Lace and Strange Compilation (psychic circle)
8. Bovachevo S/T CD
9 amy winehouse back to black
10.Bone Awl meaningless leaning mess (nuclear war now)

On the Bubble.
Manzuran LP,Ted Leo Lp, Black Cobra Bestial CD,Snake Apartment LP,Amnesty CD,Watain CD,Villians, Dead Child,Pissed Jeans, Cloak/Dagger,Neurosis, Jay Z, Ghostface,Wu-Tang, all the other Psychic Circle Comps, Jabaldav

What did I listen to the most? Both Clipse CDs,Lil Wayne mixtapes, classic rock reissues, and krsna rock nuggets. If I made a list of top singles or most played, not much of my top ten would be on it. "Whamp, Whamp" would most likely be number one.

Tragically it was a year without Wrest/Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice. Hopefully some grim masterpieces await for 08

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gone Epic Trilogy CD

For every timeless SST Band there was an oddball or junkball band or side project release. Gone was Ginn's instrumental project. Flagish for sure but no vocals. 2 records on SST. Fast forward to 2007 and Gone is back with a 3 song double disc**. Not three songs over 2 discs like ELP or something, but the same 3 songs twice. Once instrumental and once with HR singing. HR as in Bad Brains/Soul Brains/Internet rumor king.
The opening track gives Ginn some room to stretch out, but he lays down some Flagish shredding around the 6 minute mark. Most of the track has almost an All/Descendents type feel with a weird breakdown(reggae failure?) in track one. Despite the length the first track gets the thumbs up. Despite the reputation for "getting gone" it is pretty straight ahead rock.
All three songs are over 15 minutes and they all have everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. At times it veers into a NoMeansNo/late Dead Kennedy's type sound.
Once again on track two, some Flaggish noodling emerges at about the 6 minute mark and disappears just as quickly.

As far as the HR vocals, his opening salvo of "yummy,yummy,yummy,yumpcious" would be enough to make you think he has been watching too many TV commericals. It is amazing that he keeps scatting and singing for almost the entire song. They don't ruin the tunes, but I would be unlikely to pick this disc over the insturmental version. HR is a living legend, but his vocals here lack the power of some of his classic performances.

**According to their website Gone have released over 10 records, that was news to me as I have only seen the 1st two. and if you are interested. Or of course myspace....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Burial Chamber Trio 10"

Another release from this doom supergroup. Like their LP, this is low and slow with some demented vocals. Music sounds like heavy objects being pushed along a floor at times, but is allegedly all bass, guitar, and analog effects..... Vocals are creepy and sparse. Think random Melvins fucking with the crowd low end feedback,drone, and scrape.
Somehow this manages to be more arty and kult than SUNN, but more enjoyable to me.
Costumes for the stage show are probably heading to a more Peter Gabriel than WickerMan level and they might not hold up as well as the music over time.
Graphics are totally over the top and impressive. Picture disc 10", multiple layers on clear backgrounds. Skulls, Worms, killer.
Sounds good on 45 or 33.
Their infrequent gigs are documented on Youtube for those of you without frequent flyer miles.
Grave Temple too for all you necro doom drone completists.
Rock on Southernlord.

Cycling Year Wrap Up

Top Moments of 07
1.O'Grady wins a dusty Paris Roubaix and survives a heinous crash and then comes back to win a track race before the end of 07! Harden the Fuck Up!
2.Ballan wins Flanders. I had him picked for something special-maybe a Het Volk win or something, but he comes up big
3.Riccardo Ricco, the Schleck Brothers and other young guns starting to win. Hopefully some fresh faces to close the door on the EPO generation.
4.Kemmelberg controversy in Ghent Wevelgem. The crash was no highlight, but this stretch of road needs to stay in the race. Remember back to when Cipo bridged up to a breakaway containing Hincapie to win on this stretch? History.
5. Jens Voigt. Period. Like Jackie Durand, but with tactical savy and the ability to win races.
6. Zabel stepping up to support Altag and admitting to doping. Stand up move.
7.Monte Paschi Eroica. White Gravel Road Race in October in Italy. Cool. A lot of newer races don't seem that exciting, but this is something I want to see again. Kolobnev's performance here and at the worlds was impressive.
8.Bettini caps a not so good season and last minute political fury with a commanding win at the World's. Italian team rode as a team and set it up nicely.
9.Pavel Brutt and Mikhail Ignatiev from team Tinkoff battling at the Giro. Tinkoff seems like an idiot and his signing of tainted older riders was a bad move, but these two guys have promising future. Hopefully these 2 Russian maniacs are not going to follow the Eugeni Berzin example and flame out.
4.Slipstreams power moves for the future??? They have grabbed a curious array of riders, but what can they do with it? Big Maggy in argyle? Bring it on. The expansion concept seems a little shakey but maybe some luck at Pari Nice or Roubaix will help them. Millar better ask Mike Jordan about the whole onwer/player problem.
5.Svein Tuft in Virginia at US Open Championship or whatever is was called. Hard Man for Hard Day. Snow and cobbles in Virginia?
6.Het Volk not cancelled due to bad weather.

1.Watching the O6 tour on the trainer and realizing all the strong performances of Gonchar, Mazzolini, and Sinkewitz were chemically enchanced.
2.Rock Racing. The big mouth on the owner is bad, but signing Botero and Hamilton is a joke. How is Hamilton going to stay upright in the crit based US racing scene? How long til they sign Kasheckin or worse? Maybe a Dario Frigo or Rumundas Rumsas could come out of retirement.
3.Horner to Astana. Don't know why, but it's a bummer. Kinda like Han Solo joining the Empire.
4. DiLuca has the season of his life tainted by drugs. Hard to not be suspicious as he is the right age to be part of the asterik generation.
5.Sinkewitz running into a dog being the primary media highlight for this years TDF.

I know I am missing out on several things but this is it for now

Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Aging" Tubulars Fact or Fiction?

Sitting on the bike in the basement during long winter nights, a variety of things pass through your mind as you try and keep yourself from getting bored.
I am a big fan of the Belgian Logic series on Velonews, and I wondered what other myths might be out there needing to be debunked.
There have been articles and news clips about "aging" tubular tires. Mechanics storing them in basements for a year or two to properly "cure" them for use. True/False? Works? Who knows. Tubulars like embrocation, leg shaving, etc have a mysterious romantic element that is as much fact as fiction, so in search of the truth, I posted the question to a couple cycling forums(#1, #2). Thanks to all who responded. Don't get to see the word shibboleth used too often. Even a quick search of Sheldon Browne's web world has Jobst Brandt shooting down the aging process as mythMakes sense to me, modern tires do not benefit from aging. Game over.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Starting the day of annoyed. Record Reviews that suck!

Sometimes bands make oblique references to their influences and sometimes they throw up giant fucking neon signs. The "new" Jon Spencer Blues Explosion comp on In the Red records for example. The cover is a tribute to the Crypt Records Back from the Grave garage punk comps.
How does someone miss that? If you are reviewing this how can you not be aware of the BFTG series? Today's annoyance is Pitchfork's review of this record. Not the music just the failure to know this. If you don't even get the cover, your review of the music is just as pointless. A basic name check of Stooges,Stones, and Howling Wolf is about as lazy as you can get. Come on it wasn't like he chose to mimic artwork from a a Desperate Bicycles or Space Negros record. Back from the Grave is music geek 101.
Maybe it's my fault for being old and spending most of the cash I've ever earned on records, or maybe I shouldn't read record reviews first thing in the morning, but this set me off. Remember you are dealing with a hairy old grump and I think it is always better to keep your mouth shut and keep people guessing if your an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

marzuraan solid wood lp

I was expecting drono doom boredom, but this slamming lurching beast would have been right at home in boston in the early 90s on a bill with Red Bliss, Kudgel, or Luca Brasi. Tortured Screams and drum work remind me of Burning Witch but it has a melodic edge and some hooks. Songs all keep your attention whether plodding or pounding. Harvey Milk are another band that comes to mind. Guitar sound also makes me think more of Hammerhead than Hellhammer. 4 songs
Packaging is awesome-killer artowork, printed insert, and nice sleeve. Dedicated to Piggy from Voivoid-kill trends.
Kult of nihilow #12 recorded in 2005, limited to 515 but still available. Band has a record coming out and is still active.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Murari S/T LP krsna rock #24

It took almost a year to track down, but I have finally found a record that lives up to Shakey at Jim's Deli's favorite saying, "The Best". This Murari record is head and shoulders better than the previous one reviewed and the closet to an "acid-folk commune freakout" or whatever off base catch phrase is generally used to hawk Hansadutta LPs. Way more Grateful Dead than Benediction Moon, but still crucial. Most songs celebrating life on the Murari farm/commune.
Stand out tracks include."Hard Struggle for Existence" which kicks ass in a slow blues rock lament with dueling male and female vocals. "Devotee of the Lord" tries out a Canned Heat/Dead kind of boogie rock groove. Awesome. Lyrics are kind of like
"turn the page" for devotees.... "Easy Journey" drops in and out of the Maha-Mantra in a rambling folk country track.

Desire Tree Records(GH108 -coincidence? they have 108 as a catalog number???? I think not.) 1979.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Latest Bad Hair Day in cycling

Cycling hair styles seemed to hit rock bottom with the Eastern Euro Mullet that seems to be hanging in their (eki, brutt, karpets, etc). Belgium seemed to be rocking the faux hawk and Wiggins was making sure the UK kept the Mod look locked down.
But only one country was ready to revive the Nikki Sixx LA Glam-Metal coif, that's right-Italy!
One can only hope that Grillo just has Sixx's hair and not his prodigious appetite for drugs

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

warm up madness

I remember a while ago one of the cycling message boards had a thread about pre-race warm up music. I was surprised how bland some of the selections were. Maybe bland is the way to go, because I can't claim any great results after listening to this mix, but at least it gets the Heart Rate up. About 49 minutes.

Ted Nugent-Stranglehold
Queens of the Stone Age Regular John
Slapshot-What's at Stake
Slapshot-Another Mistake
Foo Fighters-Overdrive
Mobb Deep-Get Away
Monomnen-Murder City Nights(Radio Birdman cover)
Rancid-Stand your Ground
Agnostic Front-Peace is not an Option
Slayer-South of Heaven

Perhaps just the above photo of Pavel Brutt with resplendent mullet is enough to race the heartrate to success??

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bettini on the track

Do you think this is a stock Langster?
Those wheels are as out of control as his helmet.
There is also a good Berlusconi joke caption in here. Maybe, "put it down, it's not real gold"................

Crucial quote from Ballan
"Mamma Mia. It is better not to look," said Alessandro Ballan to La Gazzetta dello Sport when observing the banking of the short track. "Let's say, for a velodrome, it would be enough if I only rode the one at the end of Roubaix. Anyway, I will try to better myself – at least I hope."

props to for the story and photo

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ghostface Killah Doll

Anyone can have a blog(as demonstrated here) and almost anyone can get an action figure made, but how many people can get their doll a blog? Always a trend setter, Ghostface made sure his figure gets love and it's own blog. Check it and good luck getting your own Ghost doll!
Good look for Ghostdini

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Xasthur VS Jandek

How long will it take for people to make the Xasthur Jandek connection? Loners who keep putting out the same record again and again and again. If the Jandek comparison holds, Malefic is in for a very long career as people seem more than happy to buy 20 plus Jandek records and still wait anxiously for the next. The blurrier the photo the better. Don't believe me? Play "defective epitaph" back to back with "sublimanl genocide" or "sgt corpse paint's lonely one man band" or whichever you choose. Vocals buried behind distorto feedback? Check. Plodding mid tempos? Check. Same drooling fans that grab it while still hot off the presses and spend hours analyzing it looking for clues. Check.
Musically they even explore similar plodding atonal depressive universe of sound.
As for me, I think one Xasthur record is more than enough and I would rather listen to Leviathan.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Universtiy of Illinoise Basketball Band Smith Walbridge LP

1979 was a good year for the University of Illinois' Basketball Band. Under the direction of Smith and Walbridge, they tackle so classics like Soul Man,Boogie Oogie Oogie and more. Yes there are breaks, not the thousand dollar kind, but breaks none the less. The "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto" has a wicked groove at the intro.
Worth it for Soul Man which would be a mix tape moment supreme. Side Two keeps it hopping with the Boogie Ooggie Oggie into Macho Man into YMCA medely which is also fodder for mix tapes.
The breakdown in BOO is pretty wicked.
Some Lord of the rings references and a killer title "he's the wizard" on side two.
You often see college and high school band records like this going for big money and they are rarely worth it, but if you do ever see this one for 5 and under, it's worth your money.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Murari Band Dreaming LP Krsna Rock Part 22

This was an odd one for the Krsna series. 1981 recording puts it much later than the rest of the things recorded so far. Southern locale as well(Atlanta GA) separates it from the predominantly west coast origin of many previously reviewed records. No sign of Michael Cassidy or Hansadutta. The cover is an amazing drawing with what looks like Queen Elizabeth and Prabu in it as well as a cobra and a mushroom cloud. Super trippy. Are they named after the Tennesse Krsna temple/farm?
This is Murari's 2nd LP(and yes I am looking for the 1st one). 8 songs with alternating male and female vocals.
Female vocalist, Lynda Hynes, has a kind of Country Folk Rock feel.
"Can Somebody Tell Me" has a dude stepping to the mike for a very Bad Companyish track. Not bad.
Side Two opens with "Poltical Man" and they try to pump up the tempo a little-think the Eagles not Black Flag.
Nice lazy country rock shuffle with male/female vocals on "Things ain't what they used to be".
Overall side 2 is the winner.
Each song has a sort of "purport" breaking down the lyrics which are pretty straight forward.
This is not a terrible country-rock record, but it is an odd ball for 81. Laugh knowingly if anyone tries to sell you on this as some "acid-folk" or something cause it is not. It seems that despite being a "cult" with a wild history in America, the Krishnas have made some really mainstream records-just like this.
According to this review which came with liner notes, they had 3 records plus books! Damn I have got to keep searching. There also appears to be another version with different artwork-some serious airbrush action puts the mushroom cloud front and center with no Queen Elizabeth to be seen.
At least one member is still active.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sufi Choir LP

Now this is what I expect out of cultish hippie commune bands. Right off the bat the album cover seems to be some kind of mandala featuring a Jerry Garcia'ish looking hippie playing a flute at the center. The back cover name checks everyone from Cecil Taylor to Pete Seeger. The back cover photo would make Devandra Barndoor jealous for the mid 70s beardo commune cred. Almost every drug rug, poncho, and robe variation is visible in the picture. These people were followers of Murshid Lewis a sort of Sufi proto-Univeralist known in the media as Sufi Sam.
Big choral vocals(male/female) but not a heavily produced feel. Runs the gamut from chorale folk to more Indian inspired rave ups. Understand It on side 2 is the killer on this one. A little more rocking with some bass/guitar/flute fireworks.
Akashic Records (surprisingly no relation to the GVB's book company) California 1973.

These hippies released at least four records right up into the 80s. Some killer photos here. A greatest hits CD is also available.
Probably should be part of the Krsna Rock Series.............

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Gear. What you want. What you can afford

With winter looming around the corner, all eyes turn to new winter and bad weather gear. I have lusted after this jacket, but can't balance the bigger than Assos price tag with my current pay scale. It was easier to pass on its predecessor with the Pink overdoses, but even an upgraded jacket is hard to comprehend at this price! For $350, it better peddle my bike or help me lose 15 pounds.
To ease my pain, I got a new sweatshirt from Trackstar. Regular clothes with jersey pockets are a good idea, I have an old cotton Campy longsleeve with jersey pockets and when I saw this one, I wanted it. It is a "basic black" sweat shirt with some thoughtful additions. The tougher material at the cuff and waist should help it last. It's light weight(think American Apparel not Champion) and just right to keep you warm without overheating. There are a couple minor complaints. The jersey pockets could have been wider. It might have been better to go with 2 bigger rather than a smaller than usual, but traditional 3. You can't stuff these like traditional jersey pockets. It will give you enough room to maybe skip a backpack, but it won't fit a lock, a 40OZ, or large sub.
Last gripe is the "sizing" which is "super slim jersey fit" which is more like NYC junkie model than euro cut. I got an XL and was glad cause anything smaller would have been way too tight. Sizes like this make it easy to pass on the nachos when you are watching football.
Check trackstar for some nice tee shirt designs as well

Rapha are apparently starting a

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lombardia predictions

Lombardia favorites? Ricco and Sammy Sanchez are lurking. Cadel and Frank Schleck. Cunego? Bettin obviously likes repeat wins. Horner riding hard for a new contract? Can't wait. It will be hard to match the tragedy and emotion of last year which was like an Opera on the bike. Race should be animated to say the least.
Shleck,Ricco, and Bettini will make up the podium.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ohio Players Observations in Time

It's hard to believe the band on the back cover of this album is the same band of freaks featured on Pain and Ecstasy but it is. The music is also a surprise. Funky southern soul with some rock influences. All the ingredients(minus disco funk cocaine sex overload) are present. The bass stands out and the recording is real live and popping.
The back cover photo is pretty priceless for the dude with a brief case and a pipe. Clearly he would become more at home in leather hot pants and chains a decade or so later.
This Pre-Westbound incarnation of the Players were the back up band for a lot of other artists and live shows. You've got 2 covers "Over the Rainbow"?? and "Summertime"
"Mother in Law" has a hell no vibe that any married man can relate to. "Find someone to Love" is an instrumental, but may be the stand out track on here. Summertime is pretty sprawling at 7 plus minutes with some scatted vocals and a nice flute solo. "Bad Bargain" returns to the Southern Soul sound with lyrics on hard times in the city rather than freaky times.

A deep soul or southern soul surprise from these funky freaks.
Capitol. There is another pressing of this with a different cover-not quite as cool. There is also another album, First Impressions, that collects more work in this style from their early days.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

First taste of cold. Fall is in here

No one likes dragging the bike out on cold,dark,rainy,freezing days to get the miles in. Winter makes you wish you choose a different sport cause the choice between Roubaix reruns on the trainer or the Andy Hampsten imitation outdoors, is not a great choice
But none of that matters on the first fall ride. The cold is a nice change, not a crushing pain. You can imagine you are in your own "Race of the falling Leaves"
Today was that day. It was 39' when I walked my dog and 44 when I started to get ready to ride.
First ride with knickers,toe covers,wool socks, and
embrocation. Fall in New England is here. Last weekend it was almost 90
and today it didn't break 50. This is my favorite time of year to
ride-even if it adds a few minutes to getting dressed. Where did I put all
that winter gear? Where is my other glove? All true cycling nerds get
pumped up at the smell of obscure embrocation potions.
Enjoy it while it lasts...............

Team America still in action in October -otherwise known as cyclingnews

Check this top ten from today's Giro dell'Emilia
1 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
2 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
3 Chris Horner (USA) Predictor-Lotto
4 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
7 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Lampre-Fondital

Most of these guys have been at the front of races all year! That is impressive from Ricco and Shleck to Evans and Rebellin. But Horner, who still hasn't signed a new contract, is charging! Just goes to show you that maybe there is no off season and you need to be ready to go at all times.
Then in today's Belgian cross news 2 Americans are in the top ten at the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne. Trebon th and Page 9th!! That is big.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Luck Jalabert

Laurent Jalabert was one of my favorite cyclists. A sprinter who remade himself into an all arounder capable of winning what he set his mind to. In Light of his long tenure in with Manolo Saiz, I would imagine he has as many skeletons as trophies in his closets, but none the less he animated many one day races and grand tours.
Since retiring he as run three marathons(including a faster NYC time than Lance) and is competing in the Ironman tomorrow in Hawaii.
Not unlike Zabel, Jalabert was a class act.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Plot Thickens Hendrix vs There's That Beat magazine

Got a recent copy of "There's That Beat" fanzine last week. Didn't know what to expect, but man is this a good read. Extremely in depth run downs of records and personnel with a ton of info to help you dig.
The Johnny Brantley article alone got me searching for a bunch of records I never would have even looked at. Maple Records, Pre-Westbound Ohio Players, on and on.
A quick trip to a classic rock dinosaur shop got me this copy of allegedly early Hendrix. But thanks to TTB I realize I am holding a Herman Hitson album with him backed up by the Ohio Players and with most of his vocals scrubbed. Stumbling into research and knowledge on this level makes me feel like a kid at the adults table.
"All I want" is a killer track with most(?) vocals intact. Tracks run the gamut from up tempo blues to southern soul. "Psycho" closes it out with some fuzzed out horn driven instrumental madness. No Sonics cover, but not a slacker with Lonnie Youngblood honking away.
The best thing about this record is that almost anyone would overlook it assuming it is some bargain basement Hendrix rehash. It should be easy enough to find-much more so than Herman Hitson 45s or Maple originals! Also a good dose of "buyer's beware" cause if you were there are only trace amounts of Jimi Hendrix on this record.
Just goes to show you if you want to collect records, you've got to keep track of everyone's names on those 45s -then you might start making the connections.
Hat's off to There's That Beat for being a kick ass magazine and adding a half dozen or so records to my want list.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Props to Psychic Circle

Based on the monster "White Lace and Strange" comp, I threw down for 2 more Psychic Circle comps and while not the back to front killers that "White Lace" was , they all had some serious high points.
Mix a Fix features 20 tracks of "modish" soul aka "UK Floor Fillers". Which I guess is blue-eyed soul, but not necessarily? All from the UK is what ties them together. Most likely to be called "mod dancer" in an Ebay description. Elements of the Who and Small faces can be heard with some more poppy orchestrations. There are even a couple Sladey Pub-Rockers. Top 2 tracks are diamonds Gene Latter and the Detours "My Life Ain't Easy" is an upbeat rave up familiar to some as it was covered by the Plimsouls. Gene Latter is a dead ringer for Paul Weller (or perhaps vice versa given the chronology). Second banger on here is Louisa Jane White who despite her very plain name drops a funky gem "Speak the Truth".

Up next is the "Visit to the Spaceship Factory" which claims to cover "20 gems from the early years of Prog". No false advertising but also not a batch of Yes wanna bes. Hard rock and Psych fans will be stoked.
I don't know how many sub-genres they can manufacture but so far so good!

Bettini the Ruler and other cycling odds and ends

Despite the BS, the Italians and Bettini prevail!!! Excellent, Russian powerhouse Mikhail Ignatiev rode well and it can't be long before he says goodbye Tinkoff, Hello Pro-Tour.
Rock-Racing keeps grabbing dudes, but I hope Horner passes on them. Lotto need to pony up and keep him.
Quote of the day comes from Oscar Pereriro, "I didn't win anything this season. The only thing I won in 2007 is the 2006 Tour." Ouch!
Only a few races left before its time to settle in and ride the trainer.... damn winter.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tire Balls and more interbike madness

Maybe some day I will visit this for real, but until then I get to anxiously await internet bulletins for things like tire balls and Brooks roll up panniers- so sick, but almost 300 bones
DiLuca sent home??? Bettini being questioned WTF. Cycling governing bodies need to get it together.

Lonnie Youngblood African Twist 45 Loma

I guess Lonnie is showing some of his African roots on this by shouting "Swahili" and "Ungowa" through out the record. Where "Ariba" fits in? That I don't know.
Has kind of a Stax sound to it. "Live" recording? You tell me. 1967 on Loma Records.
He kicks up the sax antics on side two aka Part II. Good groover.
Not surprisingly Funky16Corners has already written this up along with the entire genre of African titled soul and funk 45s. They kick ass.
Lonnie Youngblood will be turning up again soon. Mainly for his connection to the shady world of early Hendrix rjavascript:void(0)
Publish Postecords and a legendary record man named Johnny Brantley.
You have been warned.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Hippies are Trying 45

I guess you can only write so many songs about drinking,loving,fighting, and being down on your luck. Junior Wells hit that wall around the time he dropped this single. Basic blues rocker, You got to tell Junior how you can be so mean to the hippies?
Flipside "You're tuff enough" is an uptempo horn driven enjoyable, but forgetable bar rocker that is also the title to the LP this is taken from. Perhaps this is the song that motivated Tigerman Kim Wilson to ask "Ain't that tuff enough"? Mercury/Blue Rock records.
If you dig this be sure and try and track down Otis Spann's Blues for Hippies 45. I can only hope there is a whole sub genre of post-woodstock hippie related blues records to find......

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thanks Coach

The boom in sports coaching has been pretty wild. You can benefit from a structured training plan and good feedback, but there are a couple things that make me crazy
1.Coaches who race-how can I trust you? Are you going to make me as fast as I can be or just a little slower than you?
2.McCoaching. Why drop money monthly for a plan with no personal feedback or assessment?
3.Ex-Pros who now coach, but never used coaches or training plans in their racing days? Then brag about it in interviews?
4.Half truths-coaches always tell you not to starve yourself and to "refuel" etc, but then you read coaches blogs that talk about skipping meals and cutting weight.
Cycling always comes down to a weight to power ratio. There isn't anyway around it.
Rule number one will always be "shut up and suffer". If you do that long enough, you might get better.

So with that all said I guess there are only two options until Jens Voigt turns coach. Nega Coach is probably suitable for 90% of aspiring racers.If you are uncomfortable with Nega-Coach, that leaves Greg Hill. He was wining before you were born. BMX you say? But of course, think about the BMX roots of some of today's top pros (Robbie McEwen for example.

Cycling Odds and Ends

1.Congratulations to Sammy Sanchez!!! He strikes at the Vuelta and pulls within 11 seconds of Cadel. That should keep it interesting. Menchov looks ready to win this one again, but this time get to celebrate. He is not the most exciting rider to watch, but then again neither are his competition. Sastre and Evans have always been in the top, but seemed to lack that defining attack.

2. Wheel Prices???? Improvements in frames trickle down and prices drop over time, but if you look at wheel prices they stay frustratingly high. Where is the trickle down effect? Most prebuilt sets can't competed dollar for dollar against hand built, but the median price seems to be trending towards $1500. Rotational weight or not that is a lot of loot.

3.Landis. Shut up already, you only make cycling look more crooked and stupid to boot.
It pisses me off that off all the 2007 cycling highlights (Ballan at Flandes for instance) Landis and Sinkewitz getting hit by a dog are what 99.9% of the world will remember and ask me about. Same thing with skateboarding. Off all the unreal action, all you hear about is Jake Brown's slam. I would rather people knew nothing than just these things.

4. De Peet. Peter Van Petegam retired last week. Hats off to the "black man of brakel" being a hairy fellow, I can feel some sympathy for this classics killer. The changing of the guard is almost done-hardly any pros that were around when I started riding are still in the game.

5. If Hincapie wins a stage race does anyone care?? I realize this is a little old, but I was on vacation. Tour of Missouri-not so much in the excitement dept.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Old School BMX

More sidehack madness and pay attention a tandem!

Sidehack Racing

The good old days never get old to me

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Is it a good move to name you companies first bike after Napoleon Dynamite's favorite animal?? Massimiliano Lelli throws caution to the wind with the Liger....
I have mixed feeling about Lelli's reemergence. Riding for Cofidis near the end of his career, Lelli was often highlighted in the media as a mentor to David Millar. Possibly mentoring him on all the wrong things. Lelli got caught up in some doping accusations as well.-Although he and Millar were acquitted by the French in the bigger "Cofidis Affair".
So is he a wily old Italian road captain? or is he a desperate ex-doper trying to make a buck? Or do those 2 things go together for Italians from the 90s? And most importantly is the Liger any good?

Offenders "I Hate Myself" 45

Early 80s hardcore often had a overdriven trebly production that only magnified the angst and aggression being laid down(No Labels and Neon Christ for example). "I Hate Myself" is blessed with searing guitar sound that makes it twice as brutal.
This is a perfect slice of American Hardcore and American Music period.
Rabid Cat Records 1984. "Bad Times" is on the flip, but I don't think I've flipped it over since the first time I listened to it
The Offenders were along with MDC,Dicks,Big Boys, part of a wave of in you face, anti-redneck, anti bullshit Texas Punk and Hardcore that is hard to comprehend. I can't imagine the puds from falloutboy having the balls to try their schtick in the early 80s in Texas let alone this anti-everything agenda.
First heard the Offenders on the Peace Comp and tracked down their LP Endless Struggle. All of their offerings were good, but "I hate Myself" was the kind of all out reckless anthem that would fuel you to do almost anything. This is without a doubt one of the top ten US Hardcore tracks.

Looks like someone redid the cover art and reissued it. New art looks like some junkie meets loverboy bullshit, but grab this crucial track however you can. You can check it on myspace... of course.
Props to something I learned today blog for dropping some more MP3s
Good Discography here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Power of Zeus Gospel According to Zeus LP

It's not very often that you get to thank Obie Trice and Nick Salomon in the same sentence, but thanks to the eternal glory of Power of Zeus I am able to do so today. First heard the band sampled on Obie's second album. Total Sabbath overload-who were these guys?. I gave up searching and hoped I would figure it out one day. One year later, I grab the incredible "White Lace and Strange" comp on Psychic Circle. Fourth song in is the none other than the Uber-Sabbath song Obie sampled. Damn. Power of Zeus from Detroit on Rare Earth Records 1970. A Motown connection? Not to big a stretch for a Detroit rapper to sample.
So the record has been reissued and isn't so hard to track down. 10 tracks of "hard rock". No track reaches the Sabbath worship of "it couldn't be me", but elements of B.O.C and Bad Company are in the house. The can ramble on in a pseudo spiritual Zep/Sabbath type vein for epic lengths-for example on the mega opus "death trip" that closes side one
They open side 2 with a mega guitar and piano groove monster called "no time" that works the Sabbathy groove again before tripping out into outerspace. "Hard Workin Man" keeps the cow bell beer drinking plod going strong.
Lots of odd hits when you google the name. They may also be the first band to use the name Gangrene -at least the Skate to Hell crew spelled it better.
A quick check over at shows that "Sorcerer of Isis" is more sampled than "it couldn't be me" with Nas,Tribe,Common,Eminem, Spider Loc, 50 Cent, and Wiseguys all sampling it. The slow long,opening drum break should make it clear why. When the vocals kick in it is veering very close to Flower Travelling Band-it just never pushes the vocals to FTB's heights.
Perhaps most of this record resides closer to Vanilla Fudge than Sabbath but it is still a prime slice of forgotten US hard rock. The Motown connection only makes it better.

Monday, September 10, 2007

TDF another 2 cents

The TDF recap issue of Procycling had some pretty interesting doping allegations. They were pushing a France + Germany=clean vs Italy and Spain=doped agenda pretty hard. The DS of Bouyges Telecom (JM Bernaudeau) claims the UCI was distributing a dossier that should young red blood cell counts that were consistent with no doping for France and Germany, but "other nationalities were identical to each other, but in a completely different place on the graph". If the UCI really has this info and the science shows that to be consistent with doping, why aren't they dropping the hammers?

Sandy Casar had an interview that was pretty interesting. He didn't drop any names, but called a lot of things like he saw them. He called out Phonak,Pozzatto, Riis, Moser, and Armstrong for behavior he didn't agree with. He also cites Pat McQuaid and some UCI stat that 60% of Spanish and 50% of Italian rider's blood had "anomalies" in them. Again, why isn't the UCI cranking up the pressure?
It used to be easier to write off guys who were out of contention as "Sour Grapes" but as more and more winners test positive, they seem more and more credible.
In addition to conjecture there was a very MLB stat geek breakdown of Rasmussen's time trialing.
No matter how you cut it. This was not your usual TDF puff piece but an above average issue of a great cycling mag

Tons of racing this week

Unlike the TDF, other races aren't afraid to go head to head with the Vuelta. So this week you can sample race results from Poland,England, and Missouri.
Shocking result yesterday was CSC last in a team time trial???? Weather was the issue, not legs, but still that is strange to see. Especially with well drilled vets like Jullich, Voigt, etc. Big names like DiLuca,Ricco, and Ballan are all in Poland. Liquigas and CSC seem favorites. Tyler Farrar is reping for the US.
In Britan, Mark Cavendish grabbed the prologue win for queen and country. T-Mobile have a lot to look forward to with him. Weaker team selection than Poland due to Poland's Pro Tour status. T-Mobile looks the strongest. JJ Haedo and Robbie Hunter's presence will guarantee some good sprints. Rabobank's line up should be a mystery to all but the most diligent cyclo-stat geek. Navigators are back in action in the UK
Vuelta podium is coming into focus Menchov,Evans, Sastre perhaps?? Devolder looked good in the TT but paid the next day in the hills. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Sammy Sanchez to battle onto the podium and I really hope Sastre can find a way onto the top step.
Race of the future stars -the Tour D'Avenir is in it's 5th stage with Craig Lewis in 9th.
Finally the Tour of Missouri or Discovery Farewell Race will be underway tomorrow. Disco have a stacked team and Levi should be strong after his Nationals performance. All domestic teams have sent strong squads. Navigators, Slipstream, and Health Net look good. I am pulling for Svein Tuft. Tecos, Sparkase, and Saunier Duval add the international element.
That is a lot of racing for September 10th!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

East of Underground S/T CD crucial military funk gem

Imagine being in the Army in the 70s. Not much to do except get high and
hang around, mop the floor, and stop communism. Remember the movie Stripes? Well these
brothers were lucky enough to be stationed together, form a band, win a
talent show, and record this gem of an album. All covers played in a loose
garagey funk style that is phenomenal. Lots of not so serious banter, Off
kilter interpretations of the songs. A rough edge and straining quality makes this essential. Vocals are killer.
Wax Poetics wasn't going to put out a dud for their first release, but this
unknown soldier is a funk monster. Sly, Clinton, Curtis, James-all the heavy
hitters get a treatment. Even Santana and Bacharach get in the mix. So Mega. Get it on CD on limited LP and rock this into Indian Summer. You've got a much better chance of getting one of the 2000 repressed albums than trying to track down one of the "handful" of OG copies out there.
As if this isn't enough I've got a new Eccentric Soul on Deck. HomeSchooled-all kids and juveniles playing funk and soul. Unstoppable and a positive review is likely by Sunday. Roll down the windows and crank these labor's of love while the temperatures still allow it.

Wish I could just buy the poster.... black metal

This is a new level of "kult". Putting a shaved pig in a gasmask??? Speechless.
I guess Darkthrone kind of set the parameters of the playing field with the classic album covers like Transylvanian Hunger back in 1994 and since then we have had 13 years of refining the formula. Can't say for sure who first introduced gasmasks (maybe Revenge??) but they have become as integral as bullet belts and homemade weaponry.
Thanks to distro's like, I can check out all the latest permutations of black metal cover art without having to be subject to the latest redundant rehash of the black metal musical formula. Maybe if some of these dudes just focused on making photo books or zines they might maximize their talents.
Hard to say but when the photos are better than the music, I would be a lot more likely to buy a book than buy a cd just to look at the pictures.

Can Bettini Double at the Worlds?

Can Bettini repeat? Il Grillo will be a marked man at the world's. A savy rider from a weaker team could win by following his wheel and getting lucky, but the chances of back to back championships are pretty slim. 91/92 Gianni Bugno (of the ill Gatorade team kit!) did it and then you have to go back to 60/61 and Rick Van Looy. Bettini has definitely suffered from the curse of the rainbow jersey this year. He has scored only 2 victories! But he got one this week and has been at the front during the hard stages of the Vuelta's first week.

The Stuttgart course suits him and his team is arguably one of the strongest in the field. That might be as much a curse as a gift, as he will have serious competition from within his own team.

The course should be very selective and I don't have a list in front of me, but without Valverde there isn't another clear favorite. Maybe one of the Schleck brothers if they are on form. Perhaps Freire can handle the climbing and be ready to strike? Schumacher? Hard to say.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Peterbilt Reissues Rain and Deadline

DC was famous for bands that weren't built to last. Rain and Deadline are 2 perfect examples. Peterbilt was Guy from R.O.S/Fugazi's label and these are the 2 best releases (no offense to Black Light Panthers). The members of these bands are a who's who of DC music and I am guessing you know who if you are one of the handful of people that read this.
Previously hard to find in their distinctive manilla envelope sleeves, Dischord has been kind enough to reissue them on compact disc here -and save you a ton of cash as well. They have even attempted to mimic the Peterbilt packaging. I would think that they could have dug in the archive for some photos or stories (a la touch and go's reiusses perhaps)
Rain deliver the goods-87 era post-revolution summer emo. Still more straight ahead rock than what Fugazi would deliver later that year. My copy of the record skips-and I think a lot of them did, so it is nice to hear this with no blemishes.
Deadline (of the dreaded D.O.D crew) have a more classic DCHC sound from 1982. Maybe not standing the test of time as well as the Faith LP. Still a fun blast from the past that is worth your time.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Curse of the Selle Italia Signature Seat

Remember when Selle Italia dropped the big three signature seat series. Ullrich, Pantani, and Virenque all heavy hitting champions...... Seems like this may have been the moment that cursed all three to a life of infamy rather than continued success. Can't necessarily blame the corny Pantani and Ullrich graphics for their troubles, but like the Tiki Idol from the Brady Bunch it is hard to ignore the bad luck and decisions that followed.
At least the Virenque graphic has a sinister foreshadowing of the doping problems that would capture him.
Of all three it is the Virenque seat that has weathered the fashion trends the best. Not unlike Tricky Dick himself who came back after his ban and managed to still have half of France screaming for him. Maybe there is a lesson in that for Jan,Tyler,Floyd, et al.
At least Tinker and Super Mario have avoided the curse even if stuck with the corny saddle graphics.
So today's stars better beware if Selle Italia comes calling......

Saturday, September 1, 2007

2006 Three Peaks Cyclocross - Part 2

2006 Three Peaks Cyclocross - Part 1

Pariba Tires Tribute

I started buying Pariba tires when I started riding because they were always on sale. They went on with ease-some complained too easily and had a fantastic ride. Like all nice handmade tires, they didn't last forever and they had the chronic problems of strings from the casing unwinding off the sidewall, but even still they ruled and at the price you could get them for why complain? Handmade Euro rubber for less than 20 bucks??? Even cheaper if you could handle some ugly colors(maybe ideas like purple tires might explain why they are gone). I even ran some of the Pro-Courses in tan cause the price/performance factor outweighed the fugly factor-although they weren't any worse than the Michelin green that sprang up everywhere around this time. The Paris-Roubaix model was my default tire for a couple years, the ride was as godd as Vittoria's but for half the price. Just like Vittoria's they lost the their tread profile pretty fast, but they weren't as succeptable to cuts as the Vittorias (or Hutchinsons for that matter which seem to be cut magnets. Paribas opted for a tread rather than "dual compound" which also might have contributed to there falling out of favor.
At some point they got bought by Vredestien and got folded into that company. At about the same time, the supply of them began to dry up. Some research online looking for old tire photos seems to indicate the Paribas are still available in Europe, but they look to be budget/entry level models. Damn. I did see a review that you can check out can't tell how old it is, but I remember those tires.
The Paris Roubaix's had a much subtler tread pattern.
I have ridden a lot of tires since then (Hutchinson,Vittoria,Veloflex)-and most of them are good to great, but these I really miss.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Brand Nubian Time's Runnin' Out

Despite the overwhelming evidence, I do not push the "hip hop peaked in the early 90s" party line that may adhere to. NYC hip hop owned the early 90s, but plenty of good shit has come out since from all points on the compass.
One of my favorite MCs was Grand Puba from Brand Nubian. 2000 was a tour de force of game. But Puba got lumped with the "conscious" or "backpack" crowd and went under the radar for a few years. He had the blunted flow and word play but also a real cocky B-Boy attitude.
He's back with Lord Jamar,Sadat X, and Alamo. Beats are Jazzy NYC-just what you would expect. Uptempo rare groove samples. Brand Nubian deliver their classic formula -no frills, no updates, but they manage to keep it fresh while still being familiar.
My main point is Puba kills it so you should check this and go grab One for All, Reel to Reel, and 2000 if you don't have them.

Vuelta hopefuls

It is too early for predictions but I will be keeping close eye on V.Karpets (I don't think Pereiro has a chance),Brajkovic(who may have signed with T-Mobile for next year???),Devolder(who was hell bent on being at the Vuelta, and Sammy Sanchez who has been quiet after an impressive early season.
Cunego,Menchov,Evans, and Sastre are all obvious contenders.
Disco is bringing a strong team for their possible farewell race and CSC seems to be sending a B-Team behind Carlos. Lotto and Rabobank seem to have some depth as well.
With a lot of riders likely to bail out in preparation for the Worlds(Bettin,Boonen,Freire,Rebelin?? who else?), several teams will be left toothless for sprints or stages.
Over all it seems that the Vuelta suffers from a lack of big names, but this is a good thing as it serves to spotlight riders on the verge of a breakthrough. It at least forces you to keep an eye on different names and pay attention more.
The Vuelta has a much tougher first week than usual with a lot of climbing relative to flatter stages. Looks more suited to break aways and should provide some excitement for the GC crew

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

OG cycling mullet

For a guy that was world champion***, it is hard to believe that his hair is his true legacy. But looking at Vladi Karpets and others, how can you not give Brochard credit for his single handed defense of the mullet through the 90s? Even Jean-Claude Van Damme turned his back on this style.
You stay famous in France for small things-Virenque could climb, Durand would attack from the gun, and Laurent had the Mullet.
Thanks Laurent!

***Winning the 97 RR Championship while riding for Festina isn't proof that you were doping, but it is pretty close.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wish I read Italian better.......

As the worlds approach, I wish I could read Italian better so I could enjoy the gossip and drama as laid out daily in La Gazzetta dello Sport. The intrigue and drama is just out of my reach,.
Franco Ballerini is the DS for the Italian National Team(but as pictured above he was also a beast of a classics rider). A position that ever year causes him to be at the center of drama,rumour, and treachery on a scale that is as epic as it is Italian. Remember Bettini vs Pettachi, Rebellin-is he in or out? Except the year everyone worked for Cippollini on a flat course, you never know what will happen on the road.
This year seems ripe for drama. DiLuca and Ballan have been having great seasons. Bettini and Rebellin not so much-but they will not be reduced to the role of domestique very easily.
Five are selected -Bettini,Ballan,Cuenego,Pozzatto, and Rebellin. The Stuttgart course could be good for all of them-it definitely doesn't eliminate any of them. That leaves four spots and 2 reserves. It is hard to imagine Ballerini leaving DiLuca off the team, but why add another potential leader to the team? They need some workhorse perhaps like Bruseghin aka "the donkey"
No matter what happens Italy will be putting a formidable line up on the start line and if they can work as team they should be unstoppable. But that is probably Ballerini's biggest task-to get them to work together.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Roots of Rock and Roll

The "origin of rock and roll", "the first rock and roll record", The "roots of rock". This subject is a nexus of debate for an argument so boring it makes you wish someone would douse the competing experts in gasoline while yodeling great balls of fire. Who cares who invented rock and roll just be happy they did. The only thing worse is competing experts arguing about which record marks the transition from rocksteady to lovers rock.
Regardless a quick read of Nick Tosches' Unsung Heros of Rock and Roll should get you fired up to check out these ancient pioneers. Tosches main thesis is that rock and roll turned to shit right about the time your grand parents probably got sick of fucking each other(in or around 53/54 to be more exact) So it was over before it started, or it was done by the time a bunch of white teenagers started howling about rock and roll. And this is more or less an argument everyone has-they just move the date that things started sucking after to suit their age or theory.
There are several comps covering this subject, but I picked up another recently. "Rock and Roll before Elvis,Before Little Richard,Before Chuck Berry,Bo Diddley, or Bill Haley" is the non-confrontational title of this double disc 44 track comp on Hoy Hoy LTD.
49-53 is the time frame. Most of the names you would expect to see are here (Joe Turner,Amos Milburn, Louis Prima, Ike Turner, Treniers,Wynonie Harris,etc) along with an army of couldas, wouldas, and shouldas. First time I played it through without paying too much attention and it was a good listening experience. FUN- no lags, no dogs, no skips. Throw it on and jump,jive,rock,roll,wail,stomp,shout, and boogie. While your at it don't forget to drink and dance.
Doc Sausage is probably the star of the of the unknowns. Especially since his track is "Sausage Rock"! Harry the Hipster, H-Bomb Ferguson, and "Fat Man" Humphries are no slouches either. Paul "HuckleBuck" Williams drops the super catchy "Rocking Chair Blues" and you better not confuse him with that creepy sorta albino dude with the same name. I wonder if there is similarly heated debate over the origin of the "hucklebuck"?
There was well known name on here that I didn't expect. Scatman Crothers apparently did more than act. Nice to know.
This comp has excellent liner notes and they dig deep to deliver the goods.
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what pre-50s roots of rock comp you get (or who invented rock and roll), just get one cause it will let you see that people were cutting loose after WW2. Do yourself a favor and get the Tosches book while your at it. It will help you realize how "old school" you really aren't.
If you can't track down this one there is a three cd set called "roots of rock and roll" that might be easier to find

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tour of Ireland- Game Over??

In a one week stage race winning margins are usually small and often can be determined by time bonuses. So how does a break get 13 minutes on the first day of racing and effectively end the race for anyone not in the break? CSC,T-Mobile,Slipsream,LPR, and Navigators all had men in the break and they are arguably the strongest teams in the race. Everyone else will be hunting for stages.
Will the Schelck brothers be grabbing bottles for Marcus Ljungqvist? I guess there will still be a battle for stage wins and some shuffling among the 10 from the break, but this does not make for an exciting race
People must have been asleep at the wheel to let that go. There were 8 other teams including Rabo continental(with Sven Nys as a ringer) that could have at least tried to pull it back. Ouch

It is rad to see Unibet always going full out when they get a race start. It is fucking ridiculous how bad the governing bodies fucked these riders with there bullshit politics.

Leiphemer transfer rumours incude Lotto(why?) and T-Mobile(makes more sense except for the T-Mobile transfer curse). On paper it seems like any of the French pro-tour teams should jump at him. Same thing for Slipstream or Saunier Duval. There aren't that many other Pro-Tour teams built around a GC guy. Moving to Quickstep almost guarantees, he would be one his own maybe hunting for stages or a polka dot jersey.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SUNN Oracle LP

Sunn O))) - Oracle

This record pushes the "how much art can you take" point of view way past its logical conclusion, past the ridiculous and right to the sublime. A soundtrack to a sculpture exhibition??? An entire massive back line of amps cast in salt and resin? OK. Over my head, but who cares.
Graphics are cool and I thought the shirt looked look like a cool post modern black flag photo negative tribute. But this is a band and they make records not shirts or sculptures-so how is the music? Fans of Grave-Temple and Burial Trio will enjoy this. Attila is in effect and of course recorded from a sealed coffin. But does the music even matter at this point? With each release they push the limit of commerce, art , and spectacle with music usually being discussed last or least. (Such as right here for example).
Southernlord of course is the home for this release.

cycling update late august

With transfer season approaching and teams disappearing, the dwindling number of races become very important for riders who will be looking for rides next year. Tour of Ireland and Eneco tour should have a more than a few riders desperate to impress-especially if they aren't doing the Vuelta. Rabobank are sending a strong team and a lot of sprinters will be present-including some JJ Haedo vs McEwen show downs. Schumacher will not be there to defend, nor Hincapie to avenge last years results.
Tour of Ireland has some heavy hitters-CSC is sending both the Schelck brothers. As usual Irish stage races have a heavy American presence and Navigators,Colavita, and Team Slipstream will all be there. Hard not to view this as a race between T-Mobile and CSC, but anything can happen on the road.
Slipstream is making moves and the domestic core of this team has got to be nervous about their job security. Millar,Backstedt,Vandevelde, and Zabriskie? Is the team really getting built around Millar for stage races? V and Z might be solid for the super domestique category and at least they have UCI points, but can Vaughters get them to a level that CSC hasn't??
In other transfer news, Hincapie to T-Mobile is up first. Probably a good move for him if he is getting a big paycheck, but as far as results??? Transfer to T-Mobile has equalled career over or wasted year for many before him...... And what does T-Mobile get? A savvy tactically astute veteran? NO. A no-excuses winner? NO. A handful of 3rds and 4ths and a lot of complaining? YES!
Ballan getting courted by AG2R???? Please don't do it. Ballan has had the breakout season of his career and deserves a good contract on a good team. Will there be anyone from AG2R with him at critical points in the one day classics when it counts?
Risky move if it happens. Lampre should pay up and keep him. The core of Ballan, Bennati, and Napolitano have gotten them most of their wins. Maybe the will try and build the team more around Cunego, but that seems risky based on what they accomplished this year.
With at least 2 teams departing and 2 other teams more or less dead in the water, that is going to leave a lot or riders looking for work. Maybe a very easy way to ease out some questionable riders? I hope so.
Outside of a handful of one day races in Italy that is about it until the Vuelta and the Worlds.
In non-cycling doping news is breaking some Baseball steroids news that could be major. I wonder how people will react if "scores" of names are published and will MLB take the kind of aggressive action cycling has?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Salted Radishes.

This is summer food at its simplest and most enjoyable. Go heavy on the salt and you can close your eyes and think potato chip with out the penalty.
Take a couple bundles of radishes and wash them and cut off the stalks.
Cut them into 1/8" slices. Maybe a little thinner if you like. Throw them in a bowl and toss them with a couple pinches of salt-aka season to taste. Put in a bowl and serve. Then sit back and watch the pounds melt away as you replace your junk food intake with spicy radishes. Damn you are you smooth. Goes well with beer, so get it going before summer is gone.

News you can Use #2 Gillie Suit

Perhaps you don't know what a Gillie suit is or perhaps you don't think you'll ever have the need for one. Well knowledge is power so consider yourself armed and ready when you do.
How to a make a Gillie Suit

Thanks to the "How to of the Day" website for this crucial piece of info.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Go Jen!!

Jens is the man, and if he ever test positive, I am taking up curling. Game over. Otherwise I hope he races until he is 80 years old.

White Lace and Strange US Heavy Psych and Power Fuzz 68-72 CD

"Heavy Psych and Power Fuzz"??? 20 tracks of bands that feel through the cracks. Think Hendrix, Zep, Cream, Blue Cheer, Sabbath, etc. Comps like this-obscuro old school odd ball types are always risky, but the occasional rewards are worth wading through the rivers of wanna bes.
This comp harkens back to the days when beer came in cans with pull tops and got drunk in large quantities in parking lots before classic rock dinosaurs kicked out the jams. Jeans were mandatory and shirts were optional. After who knows how many dozens of early to mid 60s garage comps, this dose of under the radar hard rock is total frenzied blast of fun.

The first 3 tracks are all killer, but my jaw hit the floor with track 4 Detroit's own Power of Zeus's(one album on Rare Earth) anthem "It Couldn't Be Me" which came to my attention last year as a Sabbathy sample on Obie Trice's 2nd LP. This nugget alone is worth the price of admission, but you get a lot more.
Boston gets 3appearances with Banchee, Eden's Children and Brother Fox and the Tar Baby who's "Steel Dog Man" has an awesome funky Hendrix groove. Walpole Mass gets on the map thanks to The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump! Who would have guessed MA was such a hot bed of hard rock! Don't forget my not so recent find of that Looking Glass 45! Genesis are up next with "Angeline" and push fuzz into the hard rock stratosphere on this midpaced stomper. Other stand outs are Mount Rushmore's "someone else's games". The bass playing on the Road's track "Spaceship Earth" might be familiar as it is Noel Redding at the helm. They also have a Rare Earth connection. T.I.M.E drop a jam that could easily be mashed up with any version of "Get Ready"- a more trippy take on that classic riff. Yellow Payges almost make you think Billy Childish snuck on here, but it just some standard bluesy garage stomp. You are so much better off grabbing this than dropping huge money on some Blue Cheer live boot.

Psychic Circle Records
are dropping some serious comps that are worth your time, but this is good place to start. Hats off to Nick S for putting this together. There is not surprisingly a connection to grunge godfathers Nirvana.... Liner notes are minimal but informative and readable for a change!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SportLegs and Power Beans

Addicted to Sportlegs
For the last year or so I have been eying the new style of supplement. Not the energy drink bu the pills and powders that will improve your lactate threshold,VO2Max, or whatever magic claim they have. Optygen,Sportlegs,EPNO,Lava salt rock extract. They all sprang up pretty quick. Can't affort to try them all and who wants to spend $40 bucks on snake oil? One day in the bike shop, I saw the little sportlegs display with single use packs. 2 bucks. No commitment. No leftover unused bottle in the cabinet if it sucks. Brilliant. Tried it for the 1st time before a metric century.(Genius move try something new before a long hard ride-luckily I they didn't cause explosive dysentery) and I rode well and felt good. Can't say if that wouldn't have happened with no SLs but this formed the basis of my addiction. Positive association and like a mouse in an experiment I went back for the cheese. Any ride over 50, I was pretty religious about popping my pills. Then it was any weekend ride, then any training ride..... Now I am in afraid to run out of the precious pills. Stockpiling, stashing, not making fun of the goofy logo, clearly addicted. The only thing that makes you a better rider is suffering on the bike and losing weight, but these things don't seem to hurt

When it gets hot, I have found that I cannot drink gatorade/cytomax/whatever on long rides-more than 2 bottles and I want to barf. With the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, I can drink just water but still get some electrolytes and sugar-basically get the gatorade taste without wanting to puke. Come on "sports" and candy a match made in heaven (so much cooler than a snicker's endurance bar) They are also easy to eat-so you never get that mouth too full chewing, choking,can't breathe, blowing clif bar out your nose sensation you get when you try and hoover a bar on the bike.

So there you have it. Two examples of me helplessly falling under the sway of new product's hype and loving it.

Rasmussen Rides Again

I guess the next logical step for dopers it to make like Rasmussen and just keep riding and going to races. Ronde Van Pijnacker criterium is not the TDF, but it is still a bike race and Rasmussen will probably show up in his plain yellow jersey and sob story about getting railroaded (and he will earn 15,000 Euros!). Tyler still says he never doped. Floyd wrote a book and will turn up to whatever event will let him start, and now Rasmussen(who I realize hasn't tested positive, but...) is just going to keep riding and pretend everything is cool. That is brilliant. Maybe they can run a "Pro-Modified" category so they can all get back in the game. There was nothing lamer or phonier than Virenque breaking down in tears years after getting busted, and I can't imagine how much lamer it will be if Rasmussen,TH, or FL change their stories.
The pile of circumstantial evidence around this guy is ridiculous. Your own team fired you when you were in 1st place in the biggest bike race of the year. You consistently missed tests and lied about your where abouts. You ride about 2 races a year and are no where to be seen otherwise. You were even one of the "men in black". Add in the older "take my shoes to Italy" story and you don't have a picture of an honest athlete.
Never mind the endless list of climbers past who doped. Is there some link between super elite climbers and a proclivity to dope?
What race would let him start? This is the problem. You cannot focus solely on riders to end doping. Team management and Directuers need to get fined, banned, and punished as much or more than the riders.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Harvey Milk Pleaser

Sometimes a record is so good, it brings a smile to your face. Not just a grin, but a full on, I am about to piss my pants laughing euphoria. The kind of joy that makes you want to drive fast and air drum as you blow through red lights. Pleaser is one of those records. Somewhere in the late 80s/early 90s, US post punk and pre indie rock heavy hitters like Bitch Magnet and Dino Jr hinted at the brilliance of classic rock bombast. Rapeman coverred ZZ Top and connected the dots between US rock groove brilliance and anglo post punk angst, and Jesus Lizard launched a thousand Travis Bean toting hopefuls in their wake.
Harvey Milk just soaked it all up and spat it back out like a mouth full of warm Pabst. By the time they put this out they were renowned (at least in Boston) as purveyors of some super slow damaged sludge. Epic, heavy, harsh, and glacial. Totally demented. This was pre Sleep, pre Sunn, pre whatever. In that framework rather than slow dooowwwwwnnnnn even further, they dropped this jaw dropping party starter. Echos of all your older brother's record collection can be heard as they blow through 9 tracks of power anthems. Think AC/DC not Slint "US Force", "Get it up and Get it on", "Shame", and on and on.
I am sure there are some tongues in some cheeks on the lyrics(which are delivered in a muffled Mule'ish style), but this is not shtick or retro-goof. It kills it.
If you missed it on Reproductive Records, you can thank Relapse for reissuing the entire Harvey Milk catalog which you have already bought to enjoy the extensive bonus tracks.
The bonus live on the radio disc is a nice walk down memory lane to late nights upstairs at the Middle East and long drunk walks home after too many Newcastles-followed by too early walks to work and barely hanging on listening to Breakfast of Champions and Late Risers Club.
You can't be blamed for being too young to have seen this band when they were around or missing the first run of CDs, but you can definitely be blamed for being too stupid to get these reissues now that hey have been served up on a silver platter.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bone Awl Not for our Feet LP

Klaxon reissue of a NWN Productions release. This is the third record of theirs I've reviewed so I must like them. Primitive and pounding US Black Metal. 9 songs from back in 2004.
Production on this is a little less over the top than previously reviewed records. Vocals are more clear and probably the most traditional black metal thing about the band. They are relentless and at times it definitely has a crusty Swedish feel to it. Just driving. This is the sound of getting run over or thrown down a flight of stairs set to music.
These guys have their graphics and imagery pegged. It is not straightforward, but distinctive none the less. Their style is sure to be imitated and jacked. Reminds me of Born Against but not for any musical reason.
If you missed it the first time be sure to grab it now and check their site for more cruical crushing noise