Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cool video.

Brian Johnson, AC/DC frontman, slams Chuck Berry for his behaviour toward autograph seekers. Berry is certainly a far cooler musician than Brian Johnson, but Johnson is clearly a far cooler person than Berry. Great video, set for some reason to the tune of Rock And Roll Rockin' Rock Train.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaRptOgNg8Y

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preparing for Brutus the Barber

Ben McCully, as many of you reading my blog have discovered, used to be a pro wrestler named Vinnie Glyde. And I guess some of that wrestling career carries over into your new job, whether you want it to or not. And recently, he got into a war of words with Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, a wrestler (from...I believe...the 80s?) who is coming to town on Friday. One thing leads to another, and of course they eventually set up a match. It's one of those wrestling deals where the loser gets his head shaved by the winner...which is the Brutus the Barber deal and always has been. So I owed McCully a favour (or, rather, the Doc and Woody show owed McCully a favour, and when Doc and Woody owe someone, they get ME to pay them back). And he wanted me in his corner, being familiar with the wrestling as I am. So I showed up at the Team Bushido MMA training centre to help out. But frankly, I don't care too much about the wrestling. Or about Ben. So I let him do his thing. Amazingly, it was a pretty short training session. By the time I was finished my dinner, he was almost done. And I dropped one of my hamburgers! Here is the video of that monumental training session:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=-WOIf871uhI

The big event takes place at the Jim Durrell Complex on Walkley Road, this coming Friday, at 8:00 pm. Tickets are 15 bucks in advance, and are available at ticketweb.ca, all Popeye's locations, and at the Jim Durrell recreational complex.

NFL picks Week 13.

I am now the owner of a better record straight-up than I am against the spread. For the first time this season. Straight up, 104-72-1, ATS 103-74. A correction - last week, I said the Rams had handed the Giants their only loss of the season. It was pointed out to me that I was wrong - the Browns beat the Giants. The Rams have beaten two other NFC East teams, recording back-to-back stunning upsets over the Skins and Cowboys. Then they have returned to...what's less than mediocrity? Suckitude?

Dallas - Seattle: Dallas is favoured by 12 1/2. And with Tony Romo back, and playing very well, I don't see the Cowboys losing here either. But 12 1/2 is too much for a Seahawks team that is playing extremely tough late in games, and not giving up (although it is clearly time that they do). Seattle to cover, Dallas to win.

Cowboys, 34-9. Well, Seahawks didn't exactly cover, did they? However, I still managed to win the side bet I had with my buddy Boz, taking the "under" in a 48-point over-under. Although it looked dicey at halftime. It really is unfortunate the way injuries have decimated a reasonably talented Seattle team.

Philadelphia - Arizona: Here's a tough one to call. The Eagles - who are they? Are they that great, talented team who can beat anyone on any day, or are they the crappy team that can end up tied with the Bengals? Is Donovan McNabb the real starting QB, or is his job hanging by a thread at every moment of every game? Andy Reid has said that McNabb will start this game. But how's his confidence? Eagles are favoured by 3 in Philly. I'll cop out here and say Eagles to win, Cards to cover.

Eagles, 48-20. OK...Eagles covered. And then some. And then again. Turns out the good Eagles team showed up. If this was the team that played all season, the Eagles would be fighting it out with the Giants for the title of Best Team In the NFC. But they can't seem to string two games like this together. Ordinarily, I would say look for a big letdown next week for Philly, but I am going to guess that last week's McNabb benching was a catalyst for a great close to the season. But then, I'm guessing.

Tennessee - Detroit: Well, the Titans are no longer unbeaten. Which is probably a bad thing for the Lions. Tennessee will want to re-establish themselves as the best team in the AFC, and the first step is to hammer the Lions. And they will. The spread is 11. It should be 30. Titans to win, Titans to cover.

Titans, 47-10. Even a 30-point spread, it turns out, would not have been enough. The Titans are still deserving of serious consideration as the best team in football, and the Lions are really looking as though they want to put an emphatic stamp on their status as the worst team in football. Tennessee had run twelve plays from scrimmage when they were leading 28-3.

Baltimore - Cincinnatti: The Ravens defense showed what they could do last week. Now they are playing a team in even greater disarray, and the Bengals have, I believe, no shot. Ravens are favoured by 7 in Cincy, I think they will win by even more than that. The Bengals are terrible and Baltimore wants to make a run toward the top of the AFC.

Ravens, 34-3. Yep, Baltimore covered the spread, and won the game handily. Because the Bengals are awful, not because the Ravens are that good. Cincinnatti had no shot at all in this game.

Buffalo - San Francisco: Let's not read too much into the Bills hammering of the Chiefs last week. Kansas City is just awful. And the Bills have not been playing too well over the past six weeks. But I think this has righted their ship a little, and they should beat the weak Niners. But seven points is too much, even in Buffalo. Bills to win, Niners to cover.

Niners, 10-3. What a boring game! The Bills really are not very good at all any more. The Niners are certainly better than the Chiefs, and Buffalo just doesn't look like they can hang in against even these average teams any more. I'll give them one more shot at convincing me they are good. Then that's it. Well, the Niners certainly covered, didn't they?

Green Bay - Carolina: Both teams coming off surprisingly decisive losses. Both teams playing below the level to which they are accustomed. And both teams desperately need a win. But the Packers need the win more. So I am gritting my teeth and picking them to grab that win. But barely. They are favoured by 3, I will take the Panthers to cover. This one should be awfully close.

Panthers, 35-31. The Packers played so well in the second half. That last drive by Aaron Rodgers for the field goal. The crazy comeback to tie the game at 21 then take the lead 28-21. Then they let the Panthers go down and get the instant score to respond. Come ON! This really was the closest game of the week though. Panthers cover, but the Packers lose.

Indianapolis - Cleveland: The Browns have been surprising at times this year, but the Colts are not going to look past them. The Colts need every win they can get from here on in, as they are in a dogfight with the Ravens and Patriots for the wild card berths right now. Colts are favoured by 4 1/2, they will cover that spread.

Colts, 10-6. Well, the Colts almost covered the spread. At least they won. But I've been watching this game, and I don't think they looked good at all. Cleveland's defense isn't that good. And Cleveland played a pretty sloppy game themselves. Not good all around.

Minnesota - Chicago: In Minnesota, this game goes to the Vikings. In Chicago, it goes to the Bears. This game is in Minnesota. Neither of these teams is that good, but the Vikings are excellent at home. Vikes are favoured by 3 points, they will cover.

Vikings, 34-14. And cover they did. Boy howdy. I really don't understand why the Bears don't put Devin Hester back on kickoffs any more. I know he isn't tearing it up like he did last year, but he does get into the head of the kicking team. Just put him back there, it probably means an extra ten yards, on average, just because of his presence.

Pittsburgh - New England: The Patriots are favoured by one, I suppose because they are at home. But I think the Steelers ARE a better team, although Matt Cassell is playing some excellent football. But he hasn't played that excellent football against the Steeler defense. Pittsburgh to win in the "upset".

Steelers, 33-10. The Steelers are just this good. The Patriots are still on the bubble, and need the Colts and Ravens to lose some if they are going to make the playoffs. Or they need the Jets to collapse fully, which I don't think is likely. After all, they are playing the Broncos this week...

New York Jets - Denver: Those stupid Broncos. I still, firmly, believe that Denver IS a terrible team masquerading as a decent one. But here's the problem - they beat the teams they should lose to, and they lose to the teams they should destroy. A twenty-one point loss to the Raiders? Come ON! The Jets, right now, are the best team in the AFC, but the Broncos are ridiculous and could surprise. Jets to win, Broncos to cover the 7 1/2. Or, possibly, Jets to win by 50. Which should happen. And then, there is the possibility that the Broncos win by 50 as well. Which they won't. I hope.

Broncos, 34-17. The Broncos are ridiculous. This team makes me angry every week. Have I ever picked them right this season? I am guessing that I have not. Not once. They should have lost this game by 50. But with a sloppy field and bad conditions, anything can and will happen. And somehow the Broncos blew up the Jets. I hate the Broncos!

New York Giants - Washington: Division game, anything can happen...blah blah blah. The Giants are too good to be touched by anyone, barring a big collapse where they beat themselves. And they will not beat themselves against the one team who is pushing them most in their division. Giants to win, covering the 3 1/2.

Giants, 23-7. The Skins are just not in the same class as the Giants. But then, who is? New York is clearly the best team in football, and they are putting a stamp on their own conference and division, going unbeaten against everyone in the NFC, and hammering the NFC East, for the most part. Obvious Super Bowl favourite, again.

Oakland - Kansas City: Could the Raiders...win...consecutive games? Yes they can. The Denver game was more a result of the Broncos being terrible. Because the Broncos are terrible! But the Chiefs are even worse. And they will lose their eighth in a row, as Oakland runs it up at home. Raiders to cover the three points.

Chiefs, 20-13. I guess the Raiders are incapable of winning back-to-back games, even against the lowly Chiefs. No one cares about either team any more, but it appears as though the Chiefs cared more about this game. Well, at least we know Kansas City will lose next week. Because they are not winning consecutive games.

San Diego - Atlanta: How are the Chargers still getting favoured in games? At all? Especially against good teams with winning records? Were this last year, the Chargers would be favoured by 20. But it's this year, the Falcons are 7-4, and the Chargers have four wins. They are favoured by 5 here, and Atlanta should cover that, and win the game, and maybe put to rest this idea that the Chargers can still turn this season around. Because they can't.

Falcons, 22-16. It's OVER. The Chargers season is DONE. Can we now stop giving them credit for last year? Can we stop holding our breath and waiting for that breakout game where they turn things around and win out the rest of the season and squeak into the playoffs and storm to the Super Bowl? The best this team can finish now is 8-8. Both teams in a wild-card position in the AFC have 8 wins already. The Broncos need to win just one more game in the division to get to 8. And the Broncos are stupid, so that win will likely not come against the Chiefs this week, but against Carolina IN Carolina next week. But they will get that 8th win, and the Chargers are finished. Stop favouring them.

St. Louis - Miami: For some reason, there is no line on this game. What gives! Miami should clearly be favoured, what with the Rams having lost five in a row. Before last week's Patriots loss, the Dolphins had won four in a row. And they are not going to lose two straight games, especially when the second game comes against the lowly Rams. Miami to win. And cover, since there's no spread.

Dolphins, 16-12. I am, frankly, surprised that Miami let this one stay this close. Big win, their 7th. Would anyone have believed that Miami would have seven wins this year? Let alone seven wins with four weeks to play? And the Rams...are still terrible.

Tampa Bay - New Orleans: The Saints looked unbelievable against the Packers on Monday night. And Green Bay has a pretty darn good pass defense. But that was in New Orleans. This is in Tampa. And the Saints have been a totally different team on the road, with just one win this year. Tampa, on the other hand, has been perfect at home, and are now tied with the Panthers for the division lead. Tampa to win, covering the 3 1/2.

Buccaneers, 23-20. Well...they almost covered the spread. Saints were very tough in this game, but Tampa is just plain too good at home. Bucs look like they will be the team to beat for that second first round bye.

Houston - Jacksonville: Can someone imagine a worse matchup for a Monday night game? Lions-Chiefs, perhaps? No one cares about this game, and that includes the 4-7 Jaguars and the 4-7 Texans. Tied at the bottom of their division, no shot whatsoever at the playoffs, and nothing left to play for. Nothing left to lose either, so this one could easily go either way. Houston is better at home, the Jaguars are better on the road...I'll take the Jaguars in the upset (Houston is favoured by 3 1/2). Because I have to pick someone.

Texans, 30-17. Because someone had to win. I think it is time to start the debate - who is the most disappointing team in football this year? The Jaguars or the Chargers? Both are 4-8, both have absolutely no shot at the playoffs any more, and both were supposed to be very, very good. I know a fair number of people that had a Chargers-Jaguars AFC final this year. No more.

Now I am...straight up - 115-77-1, against the spread - 113-80.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Breaking! Rock! News!

Some decent stuff today...check out the previous blog post for the trailer to The Wrestler, a new Mickey Rourke movie that looks awesome and features a great new Springsteen song. You can also check out "Working On A Dream", the title song from his upcoming album, on the front of the CHEZ webpage.


Paul McCartney (Apple records) and EMI are no closer on a deal to get Beatles songs onto iTunes. McCartney explained to a press conference that talks had "stalled". I sure hop he didn't call a press conference just to say that. I assume that it was about something else.


Guns N Roses fans in China have been unable to hear any news of their latest album, Chinese Democracy. There is a nation-wide internet firewall in China that prevents people from logging onto the official website, or searching for the words "Chinese Democracy". No one seems to know whether this is an official governmental effort to suppress knowledge of the album's existence, or an attempt to shield citizens from bad music, or whether the firewall just automatically edits the word "democracy". Who knows. Uh-oh. Now that I have used the words "Chinese Democracy" in this post, people from China will no longer be able to access my blog. Well, there go half my page hits.


This week, the Chinese government has been cracking down even harder on Tibetan demonstrators in Tibet. Installing roadblocks, intimidating the monks, stationing their military up and down the streets of the cities. Prosecuting those who have demonstrated against the Chinese authorities. Perhaps they are thrilled that the world is talking about their crackdown on Guns N Roses.


Speaking of Chinese Democracy, Best Buy isn't. Speaknig about it, that is. Or promoting it, or showcasing it, or acknowledging that it exists. After calling the album the "most anticipated release of all time" a few weeks ago, the actual release of the record, exclusive to Best Buy, has apparently been met with total apathy. Rolling Stone magazine reports that when they sent out reporters to New York-area Best Buy stores, only one had an actual display of the album, none of them had it playing in the store, and in most cases the CD itself was difficult to find, because it was thrown in with all the other music. This is probably not a problem with the hype over the record itself, but rather the problem with releasing it exclusively at a massive, faceless, corporate big-box store that has other things on it's mind. Like, Guitar Hero. And earphones.


Gene Simmons delivered the keynote speech at the Billboard Touring Conference on Thursday. Gene Simmons? Keynote speech? I guess he is still fooling a lot of people into thinking he is a wise, deep, genius. Instead of just a marketing one. Anyway, in his speech, he suggested that there is a "50-50 chance" that KISS will tour with Queen & Paul Rodgers next year. Then he complained that KISS weren't in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. A tour with KISS and Queen? Decent. I can get behind that. KISS in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame? Not so much. This is the reason there ought to be a Pyrotechnic Hall of Fame. Problem solved.


In the words of Daniel Lanois, U2 producer: "The president of the company is singing better than ever and the tracks are wildly innovative. I believe, well, rock & roll has been reinvented one more time." By "president of the company", he means Bono. But "rock & roll has been reinvented one more time", he means "I am making a gross overstatement about the quality of this record".


Yesterday, on the Doc and Woody show, we reported that the Vatican has finally, after forty years, forgiven John Lennon for saying the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus". It's about time, Vatican! Only, they still missed the point. They released a statement saying, basically, we get it. Lennon was a young, foolish man, who made an ill-advised statement...blah blah blah. Well, no. You still don't get it. He was saying the level of adulation the Beatles were receiving was more than even Jesus was getting in the world at the time. He was saying that this was ridiculous. And he was not wrong. The Vatican is wrong to "forgive" him. They should be apologizing for taking his comments out of context and persecuting him. I'm looking forward to the year 2048, when they forgive the Jewish people for complaining about the church's inaction during the Holocaust.


At any rate, they may want to rescind their silly little "pardon" of Lennon, because apparently he was in league with The Devil. A new book suggests that Lennon made a pact with Satan (a 20-year pact - Lucifer is all about the ironclad contracts) for the success he enjoyed with the Beatles. Actually, it's kind of funny. Here's a link to the website for the book:


http://www.thelennonprophecy.com/clues_gallery.html

The Wrestler. And Springsteen.

Here's a trailer for a movie that looks really cool. Mickey Rourke, on a career upswing since Sin City, stars as a broken-down old wrestler on the small-town circuit. onus: Bruce Springsteen wrote the brand-new song that can be heard in the trailer. Cool trailer, even cooler song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGnO1oQk2_w

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too funny.

So, during the election Sarah Palin is kept away from the media as much as possible, because the Republican party is scared that she might be scary to the American people. Then when she IS allowed to be interviewed, she can't name a newspaper. Or a magazine. And Russia is right next to her, so that's foreign policy experience. And she doesn't know what the Bush doctrine is. And she isn't capable of stringing together certain sentences. So she is taken away from the media entirely. Now that the election is over, she is on TV every night. Repeating the same lines she memorized just in time to lose the election. Someone tell her to stop campaigning. It's over. And get off my TV, I'm tired of you. Especially since every time I see you, you're talking in an interview with a representative of the media about how the media is out to get you, and are interested only in "gotcha" journalism. Shut it. But every now and then, she provides us with a media miscalculation so hilarious that it must be shown. In this particular interview, it isn't what she says that is funny. It's what's going on in the background. Who says the staging of photo-ops isn't important?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/20/sarah-palin-holds-news-co_n_145375.html

Does this remind anyone of Marge Gunderson firing her gun at Peter Stormare as he runs across the frozen lake at the end of Fargo, while Steve Buscemi's foot is still sticking out of the wood chipper? Or is it just me?

Breaking Rock News today.

Not much of interest. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band have won some awards from Billboard, like Top Draw and Top Tour. These are sort of a foregone conclusion, however, since it operates entirely by numbers and not by votes. So the presentation of this award, I assume, is rather anti-climactic, like the Art Ross trophy in hockey. You already know who's gonna get it.

In other Awards news, the American Music Awards were last night, and no one cared. Least of all the Eagles, who were nominated for four awards, in such categories as "Best Rock/Pop Adult Contemporary Group, Duo, Trio, Ensemble or Electronic Arrangement of Artists Of The Year", and other such cumbersome titles. They won none, and probably didn't deserve to win any. I don't like their new album. But did they really deserve to lose to Daughtry? Or this "Chris Brown" guy? Music sucks right now. At least I've heard of Kanye West, and I like him.

Speaking of the Eagles, Don Felder, former Eagle, will be going on a five-stop "tour" called A Night at the Hotel California, starting in Niagara Falls February 20th and 21st. And...no one cares.

Pete Townshend will be releasing a CD/DVD of a couple of his "In The Attic" performances in March. That's pretty cool. These are little acoustic performances he's been doing with guest stars like Lou Reed, although no one seems to know which performances will be included on the DVD and CD.

Roger Waters has joined the lineup for Live Earth 2008, which will be held in India and already features Bon Jovi...wait, there's a Live Earth 2008?

Guy Peellaert, the artist who designed many memorable album convers, including Bowie's Diamond Dogs and the Stones' It's Only Rock N Roll, has died of cancer at the age of 74. Peellaert was also well known in the film community, having designed the movie posters for several classics including Taxi Driver.

Grey Cup. I'm so full of beef stew right now.

Well, the right team won. I say that only because I dislike the Alouettes, not because Calgary is specifically my team. (I'm a Bombers fan, truth be told.) But I have to feel bad for Anthony Calvillo, a guy who has done just about everything there is to do in the CFL (including winning one Grey Cup). And he does have that one Cup...but he also now has five losses in the big game. And that's a pretty rough thing to carry around with you, I imagine. Then again, it's the CFL, and he could play until he's 55, and make it back to eleve more Grey Cups. So who knows how it will all end for him.

Hats off to Robin Harper

I have seen the video of Robin Harper "fulfilling his obligation" to the CHEZ nation on the front page of our website. And although it isn't really shown on his video, he did get naked. And he did walk "down" Bank Street. Perhaps "walk" should be in quotation marks there. I was there, and I witnessed the event, and he did take three shambling, half-assed steps in the general direction of where Bank Street goes. But I must say, this was indeed the most half-assed "make good" on a bet I haev ever seen. LAME. He was actually naked for about nine seconds, he barely took steps at all, and then he ran back to his car. All of this was done about 40 minutes outside Ottawa, where it's not exactly clear whether Bank Street is really Bank Street or not. But, technically, he did fulfill his obligation, and sadly I had to witness this unfortunate display. Disappointing.