Friday, May 25, 2007


Am i the only person who sees the Red Skull Riis resemblance?
Riis admits to doping. Damn. There is something so depressingly resigned and Scandinavian about him that I like. Even his comments, "my yellow jersey is in box, you can come get it" are kind of morose and crazy.
So Tour Winners from 96-98 are all admitted or suspect for doping
97-Ullrich (?)

I can only hope that the work these guys do now as DS can actually improve the sport and make up for their deceptions.

neurosis given to the rising

This is an influential band that never really grabbed me. Saw them in 89 or something and thought they were some brutal Amebix type shit. Saw them 10 years later and they were on some tribal power overload. Both times they stood out, but neither time did they win me over. I think they always hinted at a greatness that they never achieved. This is a minority opinion. I have always respected their independence and willingness to forge their own path. When you buy a Neurosis album, you know what you are getting, but like any band that has put out more than 3 records, there are new takes on the formula.
This new record, though, caught my ear right off the bat. Super heavy. Track 3 "In the Wind" is super powerful. Like a Roman legion trampling your village. Still some longs songs with most over 7 minutes, but I managed to stay focused and not lose the plot. There are some more melodic elements as well.

To me these guys are like some scary dudes that have a junkyard at the end of the street and you are intrigued and scared at the same time.
No matter what, you already no if you are going to grab this the day it comes out our not.
Check this too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cycling odds and ends

DiLuca rides the Saunier Duval train to victory and takes the jersey from Noe, but keeps it in the Liquigas family. Andre Noe's nickname is awesome. "Brontolo" which means the complainer in Italian. Also an inspiration since he is the oldest rider to wear the Maglia Rosa! Liquigas is having a hell of season. Impressive day out for DiLuca! The GC is starting to look a little more familiar. Popovych and Salvodelli are both further back than I expected. Salvodelli cracked and they let Mazzoleni.
As predicted Wim Van Huffel vaulted up to 22nd today! The top 10 are all with in 3.5 minutes so the race is still on. Especially with 2 time trials and the Zoncolan stage to come!

Jesse Anthony lost the lead in the FBD Milk Ras today, but is still in a podiums position with 3 stages left. Another American U23 rider John Devine got 16th at the French race Ronde de l'Isard-a three day stage race.
Can't really get excited about the Volta a Catalunya. Sevilla takes the stage and overall today, Allan Davis yesterday-it's like the Puerto follies. Maybe next year....
I was saddened that Zabel admitted to doping(the whole "just once" thing I have to take with a grain of salt. Mussew ruined that one for me. Just like Dario Frigo ruined the "I had the drugs, but only for emergencies" excuse that Basso used), but at the same time kind of proud that he choose to stand by Aldag and make his admission side by side. The bond of friendship between them as highlighted in Hell on Wheels was touching. Was it a Soviet era view on racing that made it so prevalent at Telekom? Hard to say.

Wim Van Huffel Giro update

My predictive qualities remain in question. Right after marking Wim Van Huffel as a man to watch, he announced he had some injury problems and was in danger of not finishing,
Well 11 stages in, he is sitting in 30th place at 7:57 back. With the potentail shakeups in the weeks to come, it is possible he could slide up into the top 20
Go Wim!

Oliver Nelson A Dream Deferred 2LP

Double LP collection of Flying Dutchman of a bunch of previously released tracks. I became aware of Oliver Nelson based on his work with Jimmy Smith and then got his "Blues and the Abstract Truth" LP which is brilliant. This is mainly late 60s and early 70s material repacked and released in 76. Nat Hentoff does the liner notes. Runs that gamut from quartet to larger groups.
Title of and Track of the album go to "Dumpy Mama" a funky workout featuring Lonnie Liston Smith and Willie Bobo. Originally on the Skull Session LP, you can probably grab this track cheaper here. "Spy who came in from the Cold" is a decent but not essential. -"previously unreleased" track. Grady Tate appears on several tracks.
If the price is right this is a great way to check out several albums worth of material without shelling out big bucks and you can't go wrong having "Dumpy Mama" in the crates.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

T-Mobile Scandal

One of the biggest mistakes in Irag was the "de-Baathification" of the army and government. Anyone linked to the former regime was blacklisted. That left a lot of people with nothing to lose or everything to lose depending on how you look at it. Either way not good.
The T-Mobile/Telekom 90s doping scandal puts cycling and T-Mobile at a similar cross roads. How these revelations and people are handled will set a precedent that will either clean up the sport or perpeturate the omerta that has prevailed.
I think there needs to be an amnesty period for people to come clean without punishment. It is more important to break the silence and bring this into the open than to end a couple careers as the doping machine spins on.
Once the amnesty period is over, I guess, aggressvie punishment and testing is the only alterntative. Testing in the Slipstream/CSC style.

Mid Week Cycling news

Slipstream's Will Frickshorn drops some knowledge on cycling myths and science in his latest velo news column. Some of these "rules" have been around since LeMond started complaining about them. Really intriguing old wive's tales. Check it.
Satchel Paige did not get famous on a bike, but some of his theories and rules on how to succeed as you get older could have been right out of the Belgian rule book, for example:
1.Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
2.If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
3.Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
4.Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
5.Avoid running at all times.
6.Don't look back, something might be gaining on you.
Take it to heart people!

Sierra Neveda are kicking butt in Ireland. Jesse Anthony in the overall lead. This race has always been kind to US riders.
Giro stage should be one for the sprinters before tomorrow's potentially decisive mountain stage which should further shake up and finalize the GC. Big day for DiLuca if he hopes to get on the podium.

Telekom 90s doping scandal is getting more serious as 2 riders have confirmed what D'Hondt has claimed in his book. Can't wait to get the English translation of that.
If this is true it casts a huge shadow over Riis which creates a huge cloud of suspicion over CSC via Basso and Hamilton. I can only hope that Zabel isn't dragged into this. There are three riders that I want to believe do it clean Zabel,Voigt, and Bettini. I will be bummed if it turns out otherwise. The more conspiracy oriented part of my mind keeps trying to connect the dots between riders in a troubling fashion-who is friends with who and why kinds of thoughts. It is guilty until proven innocent, but you can't help but wonder sometimes. Joe Papp's testimony at Landis' hearing was troubling. If a domestic pro like that is willing to dope, what would a guy in the D1 or ProTour be willing to do to stay there? With the money on the line from sponsors, contracts, endorsments, etc, there seems to be a lot of reasons to dope.

Near Beer Last Night LP

This is some legit live Honky Tonk shit. Near Beer recorded this in 78. Live over the 4th of July weekend at the American Legion Post#474 in Matteson, Illinois. These guys are a bar band and also apparently "America's hardest working unknown band" The album cover is awesome. The covers are great-"Mama Tried","Understand your Man","I fought the law" and the Redneck Medley are all great. Wade Rivers originals like "I like country music(with my beer)" deliver the goods. Johnny Memphis on accordion adds a nice touch to the band and he gets to step out on side 2's "Chantay Boogie". Sounds like it was recorded in front of a crowd of several. Live production could be stronger, but doesn't detract from the band. Hoyt Axton's "boney fingers" makes up a third of the "redneck medley" and is good enough to make me want to track down the original
Picked it up for 3 bucks. It was in an LP bag that had $25 inked on it and I find that pretty hard to believe. Either way this is a nice slice of honky tonk obscurity and I would be stoked to walk into a bar and have these guys playing if I was planning on drinking.
This classic was released on Cowboy Carl Records out of Park Forest Illinois.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Headhunters God Made Me Funky 45

This record came to my attention on Paul Weller's installment of the "Under Your Influence" CD series. A seriously funky tune with some powerful heartfelt vocals. Winner. Half-heartedly looked for it in stores and online, never very seriously. One day I happen to search ebay and see a copy for 99 cents. I throw in a bid and figure no way will I get it. But perhaps, "God can give you anything you want", because I got it for 99 cents plus shipping. Very Nice. A Mono/Stereo white label turns up in my door a few weeks later. 1975 on Arista. From the Survival of the Fittest LP which has been reissued and bootlegged a lot. This song was also sampled by De La on "take it off" and the Fugees.which makes the second 45 featured on WWDIS that was sampled by De La.
This is a killer tune. Take away Herbie and these guys could lay it down. There are several ways to get your hands on this tune, so just do it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

This week in cycling

Giro continues, but it's not the only show in town. FDB Insurance Ras stage race in Ireland has Kelly Benefits and Kodiak Gallery Sierra Neveda from America in the mix. 8 stages wrapping up on the 27th.
Volta a Catalunya starts today with Team Slipstream in the mix. With all of Unibet't troubles, could Slipstream be aiming to snatch their spot and step up to the Pro-Tour? William Frischkorn got 10th overall at the Tour of Picardie. This race is going to be dogged with doping allegations lingering from Puerto. This race will have several TDF bound riders testing their condition. Stage one was a TTT which are very popular this year with the winner being, Caisse d'Epargne which puts Vladmir Karpets in the lead. It will be interesting to see which TDF contenders show strength Vino,Brochard,Rogers,Menchov,etc.
Danilo Napolitano got the stage today giving Lampre another victory. Happily JJ Haedo was at the right end of the race today ending up in 10th. Don't know if he was sick or just had a bad 1st week. Still hoping he can grab a stage. Bettini, too, seems back in the hunt for a win and riding better.
Riccardo Ricco has kicked up quite a storm with his brief appearance in yesterday's winning break.
Finally going to "rehab"? Nice try Will G. I didn't know their was a rehab for being a douche bag.

Rasa Everything you See is Me Krsna Rock Part 17

Rasa's "Everything you see is me" LP on Govinda/Iskon Records. 8 songs from 1978. 17 records in and I keep tracking down new Krsna related records. This one surprisingly shares no connection with the Michel Cassidy related records that have been featured previously in the Krsna rock series. This is kind of some Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers meets Cali soft rock hybrid. Side 1 didn't offer much that caught my ear. I made it to side 2 and they drop a funky track called "chanting" heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder. A nice surprise. The chanting/chant call and response is killer. Top track for sure. Side 2 keeps it rolling with "Within the Sound" which is not bad. Overall not a killer record, but the "chanting" song was a nice surprise.

***Breaking news. This record was sampled by Common and some other more conscious rappers.... small world.