Saturday, July 17, 2010

Deer Crossing

Deer Tick
Lupo's - Providence, RI
July 16, 2010

I finally got a chance to hear Deer Tick play live. They play in Providence a lot, though not as much as you might expect for a band from Providence. For whatever reason, I always seem to be busy or out of town when they're in Providence. The show was hosted by Lupo's but it took place outdoors on Union St. between Washington and Worchester. The acoustics weren't the best and it was oppressively humid even at 10pm, but it gave the show a more raucous vibe. It was an all-ages show (perhaps because of the outdoor venue), which skewed the crowd to the young side and made me feel even older.

Deer Tick put on a good show. They played for almost two hours straight and it was pretty obvious that they were having a lot of fun up on stage. They played a good mix of songs from all three of their albums as well as a number of covers. Hearing a good band play covers really makes you realize how bad most cover bands are. They covered "Maybelline" by Chuck Berry, "Break Down" by Tom Petty, "Twist & Shout" by the Beetles, and "Cheap Sunglasses" by ZZ Top. Their "Break Down" cover was incredible - I liked it better than the original (and I really like the original). "Cheap Sunglasses" has always been a favorite of mine, and their uptempo, de-funkified, borderline psychobilly rendition of it was sublime.

I was also pleased to see that they recently added an organ player to the band. In my opinion, there are very few bands that wouldn't benefit from the addition of an organ player. The only real disappointment, and it was a minor one, was that the band brought a special guest on stage to sing "These Old Shoes". The guest was the author of the song, a local musician who was also part of the opening act. A magnanimous gesture no doubt, but I really missed hearing Jack McCauley's raspy vocals on one of my favorite Deer Tick songs.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Indemnity Theft

I just watched Double Indemnity for the first time. I'm not sure what else I can say about a 66 year old film still rightly considered to be one of the greatest of all-time, so I'll just say that it's quite good and I recommend it highly. I don't watch a lot of movies, but a lot of the movies that I watch are the so-called classics. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've managed to fall asleep while watching Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and The Maltese Falcon. In my defense, I was very tired when I sat down to watch all three of those masterpieces. Still, I think my inability to stay awake shows that I didn't take to those movies as strongly as I had hoped. I'm pleased to say that I never came close to dozing off during Double Indemnity.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In the Arena

While flipping through the channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I stumbled upon yet another arena football league. It's called the Indoor Football League, not to be confused with the American Indoor Football Association or the Arena Football League (the granddaddy of all arena football leagues, which shut down in 2008 and was re-launched this year under the same name). The game, which featured the West Texas Roughnecks verses the Amarillo Venom, was being shown on a weird channel provided by my cable system that I rarely watch but usually seems to be airing local high school sports or infomercials.

I didn't watch the game for very long. The last arena football game I had watched prior to this match was the 2008 Arena Bowl, which turned out to be the final game of the original Arena Football League's first incarnation. That broadcast was kind of interesting because the commentators apparently had access to both team's playbooks. The announcers were diagramming and calling the plays out as the coaches were sending them in from the sidelines. It was kind of weird, but it held my interest in a game and a sport that I cared little about longer than a more conventional broadcast would have. The IFL game that I saw featured no such insider information from the broadcast booth, but it did feature a stoppage of play that lasted a minute or two while Amarillo's quarterback and head coach searched for a contact lens that popped out of the QB's eye on the previous play. The IFL ain't the NFL, the XFL, the Arena League, or even the now defunct arenafootball2 league, but I'm sure that Gary Bettman is more that a little jealous that a third-tier semi-pro arena football league can get their games televised nationwide on basic cable. Check your local listings for the next IFL game in your market and start developing some allegiances so you're be ready to go when the 2011 NFL season is canceled.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thai Basil Chicken

We got some Thai basil from the farm this week, so I quickly went to the Google tonight to see what I could do with it. I found this quick and easy recipe and I was very happy with the results. I could have been convinced that it came from a restaurant, had I not prepared and cooked it myself. Try it if you have some Thai basil on hand.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Capital Gains

We recently got back from Greece. We had a great time on our trip and endured almost no travel-related hassles while there or en route, which was all the more amazing given the number of things that could have gone wrong.

One of the things I discovered while roaming around the historical sites of Athens is one of the few things I still remember from what little I ever learned about ancient Greece is architectural capital identification. As it turns out, this frequently came in handy, so if you're planning a trip to Greece and want to brush up on some history before going, learning your capital styles will give you a lot of bang for your buck. I've prepared the following image as a refresher:

Feel free to use the following rules to identify your capitals. Doric comes from The Dorians, whose invasion ushered in the Greek Dark Ages, so it's safe to say that they weren't known for their cultural refinement. Therefore, it's should come as no surprise that their capital style is the most austere. Corinthian capitals are the most ornate, not unlike Corinthian Leather. I don't have a mnemonic device for identifying Ionic capitals, but you should be able to use process of elimination.