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Nashville In 15 Minutes

Posted on 27 October 2014 (0)

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The SO’s brother got married in Nashville this past weekend. We’d never been there before, somehow, and were therefore more than willing to trek down to Tennessee. However, this also meant that our sightseeing time was incredibly limited because of family events. I drafted a top-down list of must-sees/must-do’s so that if circumstances dictated we had to cut some things, we’d still have gotten the most important things out of the way.

When I say “most important” I mean “most important personally.” This is where you have to do enough research to be able to know what that is. If you just ask people or rely on lists (even the helpful list supplied by the bride in the welcome bag) you will see someone else’s concept of what is important. Luckily, for Nashville, this was not difficult.

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Concert Review: The Afghan Whigs, Beacon Theater, 10-4-14 and Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10-5-14

Posted on 06 October 2014 (0)

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The Afghan Whigs arrived in New York City this weekend for two shows ostensibly as part of their Do To The Beast tour, but also in actual effect to celebrate the continued existence of the Greg Dulli Rhythm and Blues Revue as a living, breathing, thriving concern in the year 2014. Both nights were musical and emotional powerhouses, exceptionally performed and executed, with special moments and surprises. That is saying a lot for a band that always came to take prisoners and never phoned it in.

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Concert Review: The Replacements, West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, Queens, 9-19-14

Posted on 20 September 2014 (8)

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For my second Replacements show in a week, tonight we are in Queens, the borough that gave us the Ramones and Johnny Thunders and countless others (as we were reminded by Craig Finn, in another kick-ass set from the Hold Steady that was even better than Minneapolis). We are also standing on an old tennis court, former home of the US Open, that also once upon a time hosted concerts by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

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Concert Review: The Replacements, Midway Stadium, St. Paul, Minnesota, 9-13-2014

Posted on 14 September 2014 (1)

I stood front row center on the rail for the Replacements in Minnesota, and after last night I am now not quite sure how I can see any other concert ever again.

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Concert Review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Fenway Park, August 30, 2014

Posted on 07 September 2014 (0)

Let’s be honest: I went to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Fenway Park last week because I’ve never seen anyone at Fenway, hadn’t seen Petty in forever, and the Venn diagram between bands that could play Fenway and bands I would schlep to Boston in order to see was rapidly shrinking. (I suppose Springsteen could always do it again in the future—the dates in the past have never worked out for me—but I wasn’t willing to take that chance.) I am glad I had the experience, although I would not go out of my way to see a show at Fenway again. This was because the extreme party atmosphere (which I realize for many is part of the reason they want to see a concert at Fenway) detracted from the show in a major way for me. But what’s significant is that even with all of that, the show ended up being more profound than I had anticipated.

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Gaslight Anthem “Get Hurt” Record Release Show, 315 Bowery, 8-7-14

Posted on 08 August 2014 (0)

When I walked out of the front door of CBGB’s on October 15, 2006, I physically didn’t look back. It was a very deliberate choice, a very specific intention, a very definite goodbye. When I walked down Bowery for the first time after the inception of the John Varvatos store in that space, I didn’t realize it was there and I saw it and I reacted instinctively, flashing two middle fingers as the only conceivable reaction. From then on I made sure to walk on the east side of the street and confine my gestures to something that wasn’t quite as confrontational as that first reaction.

I got nothing against the guy, personally; he pays a lot of my favorite artists to appear in his ads and it’s not his fault that Hilly Krystal was an awful businessman. But he’s turned my “sacred ground” (to steal a thought from Jesse Malin) into a store that sells $350 sneakers. I don’t care if he left the walls intact and some stickers in place, it’s a temple to the kind of capitalist fashionista bullshit that we were all fighting against to begin with, and I vowed I would never set foot inside the joint.

This was a promise I was successfully able to keep until last night, when Gaslight Anthem played a ‘secret’ invitation-only album release show in the space, and it was time to put up or shut up.

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Ottermania: Visiting Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Posted on 02 August 2014 (0)

“I think I saw an otter!” I said, as we crossed over a bridge near Elkhorn Slough, on our way into Monterey. My significant other nodded indulgently. “No, seriously, I’m not making this up,” I insisted. But how would I know? It’s not like I run into otters every day or had ever seen one in the wild. But this is exactly why we were headed to Monterey.

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A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME Book Blog Tour!

Posted on 29 July 2014 (0)

I’m off on a book blog tour to promote A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME! Interviews, excerpts, character chats and more!

Day 1: The Next Best Book Club
Day 2: Booked In Chico
Day 3: : Book Puke offers a review and a short chat about the characters and their motivations.
Day 4: I talk about my favorite ballpark foods over at Books, With Occasional Food
Day 5: The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books reviews the book and has an interview with me.

And Then There Were None: RIP, Tommy Ramone

Posted on 12 July 2014 (3)

When the news came through last night, I poured a glass of whiskey and put on End of the Century, because I wanted to watch all of them alive and talking and and I didn’t want to have to scroll through YouTube and start curating. I just wanted to be with them for a little while.

There were no more Ramones in the world. They were all gone.

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On the 30th Anniversary of “Born in the USA”

Posted on 04 June 2014 (0)

Billboard asked me to write a classic track-by-track of the album on its 30th anniversary!