It was 10 years ago today…

Posted in Whatever Else on May 11th, 2015 by bill

…that I first clicked “Publish” to post something to this site (I have since gone back and added some previously written pieces, because I can and why not).

There are just short of 800 posts now, and 1,233 comments. Not a substantial life’s work, exactly, but considerably more than nothing; and this makes me happy.

Many thanks are due to the two people who have made this site a reality: Christian T.S. “Crispy Bacon” Crumlish, who did the original design and hosting; and Knox Bronson, who has hosted and provided tech support for the last five years or so.

I’d also like to thank my most frequent commenters, Merle Bagg(h)ard, The Old Man, and Cecil Vortex. Comments are a blog’s lifeblood, and while it’s been flowing a little thin lately, that’s mostly due to lack of content.

And so much for the past. Onward to the exciting world of The Future!

Round 2, Game 3: Grizzlies 99, Warriors 89

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 10th, 2015 by bill

Will the real Steph Curry please stand up?

Let the official worrying begin.

One game could be written off as a fluke, but last night’s contest was a virtual carbon copy of Game 2. The Grizzlies’ swarming defense forced the Warriors into bad shots and turnovers, Stephen Curry continued to be off his game after winning the MVP award, and the Dubs as a whole looked confused and overwhelmed. To their credit, after being down 15 at the end of 3, they battled back and got it to within 4 with about three minutes left. Draymond Green went coast-to-coast for a layup that would have cut the lead to two, but couldn’t get the shot to go down. Courtney Lee hit a three at the other end, and that was that.

The first half was just plain miserable. A self-hating Warriors fan two stools down from me at Sidelines wouldn’t shut up about how bad the team was sucking, and while he wasn’t exactly wrong, I can’t stand that kind of negativity in my space. At halftime we relocated around the corner to Tomo, where we had sake and Japanese food and watched the rest of the game in peace. It was actually fairly entertaining, just didn’t have the right result.

The Dubs face their first honest-to-god must-win game of the season tomorrow night in Memphis. Win that one, and they tie the series at 2-2 and get home court advantage back. Lose it and they go down 3-1, which is pretty much a death sentence. There’s not much to say about this; either they will or they won’t. Game time is 6:30, be there or be square.

What’s Blowing My Mind, 2015 Edition (Part 4)

Posted in Dancing about architecture on May 8th, 2015 by bill

“Your mind…blow it, blow it.”
-David Bowie, “The Gospel According to Tony Day”

Shriekback

For a few months in 1983 there was a station in Philadelphia that played quote unquote Modern Rock, and for that brief period it was like a window onto a whole other world had opened. Despite the fact that it is a large city on the Eastern seaboard, Philly is a bit of a backwater burg whose musical tastes run toward the Springsteen end of the spectrum. (With some notable exceptions — for instance, Philadelphia absolutely loves Bowie, for reasons that no one has been able to fully explain; he has opened several of his tours there, and David Live was recorded at the Tower Theater.) So it was a bit of a shock to the system when suddenly there was a radio station that would play New Order, the Cure, and other more obscure post-punk artists.

It was at this time that I was introduced to Shriekback, whose debut album Care appeared in 83. The song that got airplay was “Lined Up,” which was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. I could try and describe it to you, but in this age of the YouTube, I can just embed it right here instead, so I think I will:

This song employs what I now know as the classic Shriekback strategy of deploying the tools of funk for different — more sinister — purposes. This kind of stuff hits me right where I live, so I started looking for more Shriekback, but it was not easy to find. Care was released by Warner Brothers in the U.S. but deleted almost immediately; I did not see a copy of it until many years later. It was not until a trip to Cambridge, Mass. with my senior class in 1985 that I ran across a copy of Shriekback’s second album, Jam Science (and I am talking, of course, about a real, old-fashioned vinyl record here). I wore that motherfucker out over the following months, and introduced it to everyone I could. As always, it was very satisfying to be into a great band that no one knew about.
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Round 2, Game 2: Grizzlies 97, Warriors 90

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 6th, 2015 by bill

Props to Mike Conley. See you in Memphis.

In retrospect, you could kind of see this one coming. At 7:30 last night, Warriors fans were ogling Steph Curry’s MVP trophy and arguing over where the championship parade was going to be. At 9:00, not so much; our team scored only 39 points in the first half to Memphis’s 50, struggling to adjust to a suddenly inspired Grizzlies defense.

The second half was not much better. Shots were clanging all over the place. Klay Thompson missed a wide-open 3 and an uncontested dunk – on the same possession. Steph Curry shot 2-for-11 from beyond the arc. It was just a bad night all around. Thank heavens for the good people at Sidelines Sports Bar in Arcata, who kept me supplied with enough alcohol to numb the pain of the first Warriors loss this postseason. It had to happen sooner or later, but that doesn’t make it fun.

For all the reasons enumerated above, I’m not feeling especially loquacious today, and I just read an article that says everything I want to say in better language than I’m capable of at the moment. I herewith refer you to:

http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2015/5/6/8559353/nba-golden-state-warriors-memphis-grizzlies-2015-playoffs-game-2

Game 3 in Memphis is not until Saturday, which gives the Dubs plenty of time to a) stew in bitterness or b) come up with some new ideas. I trust it will be the latter.

Round 2, Game 1: Warriors 101, Grizzlies 86

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 4th, 2015 by bill

The Grizzlies' Tony Allen looked lost, wandering out onto the court in the middle of a dance routine. He was subsequently booed every time he touched the ball.

The Memphis Grizzles supposedly present a problem for the Warriors, because they are so big and strong down low, but it didn’t look that way yesterday. Memphis bully-boys Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol got theirs, but it was not nearly enough to make a difference. Admittedly, the Grizz were playing without their star point guard, Mike Conley, who recently sustained some facial fractures (and appeared on the sidelines sporting a creepy, blood-saturated left eyeball). But the Dubs were able to pretty easily return everything Memphis threw at them, and served quite a few aces to make the game not really close.

I was on a barstool at Sidelines, settled in for a tough slog, but the writing was on the wall by halftime. One Warriors fan there confessed to me that he was now hoping for a 16-0 run through the playoffs. Yes, we are getting greedy. One game at a time, people, one game at a time.

Today Steph Curry was officially named NBA MVP, surprising absolutely no one with internet access. He had a pretty routine Game 1, scoring 22 points to go with 7 assists, and generally drawing so much attention that the Grizzles’ defense seemed to forget that there were other players on the team. This left people like Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut to roam at will, creating all kinds of wide-open passing lanes. Even Klay Thompson, who you’d think people might want to guard, was sometimes left alone. This is a big part of why Steph is MVP; he makes the players around him better just by being there, making every eyeball turn his way.

No reason to expect that to change in Game 2, which is tomorrow night in Oakland. Conley is not expected to play, from what I’ve heard. It will also be Cinco de Mayo, with Mother’s Day on the horizon; so Sonya Curry will no doubt be enjoying her customary courtside margarita.