I Kan't Spell
My senior year of college I was introduced to a humble yet confident kid from UMBC.
Boogs: "Sup man? I'm Boogs."
Me: "Nada man. Where did you come from?"
Boogs: "UMBC. I played with Koz and Dirt. I remember you hit a bomb against me when we were Freshman."
Me: "Oh shit... that's right you did suck."
Boogs: *Biggest smile ever*
That's Boogs. His real name is Matthew Hewitt and he's in a lot of pain right now. He was in an accident a while ago and has been in critical care for almost a month. I don't know the complete extent of his injury because his parents wouldn't let us near him when we went to the hospital the 2nd day he was admitted. But, it's really serious. It was serious enough that it was ONLY family and it was in the balance for a while.
It's hard to write this because Boogs was always a little bit of an enigma to me. I didn't know him that long but we both smelled alpha male on each other and in that, we bonded, herded, and motivated those around us. But Boogs was a little more stand-offish, a little more thoughtful, a little more sensitive (if that's even possible) than I was. Every time we went out with the baseball team we seemed to gravitate towards each other at some point to have some sort of serious pull up, and I really loved those moments. He always wanted to talk about something deep and meaningful. But he also always wanted to celebrate life. He has a great light about him. It's a light filled with humor, love, talent, drive, and the ability to boot 3 balls in one game.
Anyway - I didn't know if anyone out there that knew Boogs hadn't seen the link below. It is his Caring Bridge link and if you want to read a good story about a great person fighting for his life and the love and support that surrounds him, you can find it there.
Boogs you are loved and I can't wait to see you when you get out. Hopefully we can pull up and have a good talk.
Upcoming Shows for dat Ass!
Kings of Leon
w/ Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
MON. SEP. 24
w/ Grand Ole Party & Art in Manila
THU. SEP. 27
Iron & Wine
Early Show! 6pm Doors.
SAT. SEP. 29
The New Pornographers
SAT. OCT. 27
For some reason Benjy Ferree is saying that he is playing that night as well... it's a win win situation!
The Mountain Goats
Andrew Bird (the poor man's Iron and Wine - if you are going to this you should just journey to DC to see the true man)
Sunday, October 28
The Black Cat
GIRL TALK, DAN DEACON, WHITE WILLIAMS $15 Mainstage 8:00
Wed Sept 19
THE HIVES $12 Mainstage 8:00
Wed Oct 17
SAY HI (TO YOUR MOM), THE VELVET TEEN, THE A-SIDES $10 Backstage 9:00
Tue Oct 30
THE THERMALS, REPORTER $13 Mainstage 9:00
Sat Nov 3 (THERMALS UNITE)
Roll Over Home
I hate it when she gets mad. I have never been a fan of the roll over routine or the word "fine". As a matter of fact, given my grandiose sense of insecurities followed by the inane desire to talk I find that "Fine" and the rollover may be the ultimate oil and water to who I am. And I don't blame her for it most of the time.
Some people go through a lot of things. I think right now she goes through them as if it is her fault.
The absolute kindness that exudes from some people cannot be measured. She wouldn't let me spend my birthday alone and even bought me little things that she knew I would love. She got me Post Office by Bukowski just because one time in a conversation I had mentioned how much I loved it. She comforts me and tracks me down and just sits there in light of needing anything. We haven't known each other all that long when you think about it - but the fact that someone picks up on my needs and my wants is refreshing at worst. I haven't had anyone care about me in years. I look forward to spending some new memories with her that should eclipse the fake pain of the past.
The pictures and the cards in the drawers are going to another place and it's time to sweep the streets clean of anyone I knew in the past. And the honest part of that is, that I didn't even want to sweep those streets. You can't help who you love but you also can't control when someone doesn't love you. I was swept away in lieu of anything. I was traded in in a cloud of pain. I was replaced by blue hair, pot, guitars, morons, and lies. And at this point, as I look at it, I don't care anymore. There isn't any ill will. And there isn't any hatred. In fact I miss my friend a lot. But... unfortunately I was never worth her time then and I am surely not worth it now. You have to sever off the arm that punches you.
But this post isn't about people who will never know me again. It's about someone I hope never to forget.
So I don't blame her or get angry anymore when she gives me the "fine" or the rollover. It's wonderful to have someone around who actually cares about me. It's nice to have someone who asks me how my day was or thinks that I'm a good person from time to time. It’s nice to laugh with someone again. There is a wonderful change of pace when you know someone that is caring and thoughtful. You don't have to worry about leaving the house to escape or running upstairs in a bar for relief. You don't have to walk around on eggshells because you aren't loved, and that you are just accepted as a replacement to what someone else really wanted. You don't have to hate life anymore.
It's also nice to have my friends back after such a long period of time. We may have our habits and our own egos but I wouldn't trade them for anybody ever again. I made that mistake once, and it won't happen again. However many times I ignored their cries of "What the fuck are you doing?" I was taken back an equal number of times with "God I missed you."
I don't know where this is all going but what I do know is that I'm pretty much healed and could pretty much care less about my past. The reason for that, is that my life now is starting to feel like home - once again. Thank you all.
Baltimore: Mount Vernon Restaurant and Food Guide
Bret's Mount Vernon Food Review
Afternoon all - I have been working on this little document for quite a while. I have seen how many people come to the Federal Hill Food Review section and poke around so I figured I would write about my new little borough's eating establishments. Mount Vernon, as far as eating, per square block, is the Mecca of Baltimore. Little Italy is great and Fells and Canton have their moments but Mount Vernon has hidden gems, hidden menus, and the best palette teasers in town.
Let me explain the grading as well - when I grade the food as an 8, that is taking into account the style of restaurant; whether it be take-out, fine dining, or diner. If it is trying to be a fine dining establishment and it fails and receives a grade of 6 don't confuse that with the fact that the take-out place got an 8. I am not saying one place's food is comparative to the other I am saying that for whatever place it is trying to be - - that is how it will be graded.
Dionysus - The bar/restaurant down the street from me can come off as standoffish but it really isn't. Though the dining areas are often contorted and awkward, the food itself rarely lacks. Their upscale pizzas and burgers are pretty good staples for local upper echelon bar food. Their cheese plate is inconsistent in delivery (never been the same twice) but is always filled with new treats and welcomed surprises. The atmosphere of the "niceness" can be a bit awkward as usually the place is clad with forearm tattoos, tight black pants, Ryokskopp on the ipod, and heavy smokers drinking 4$ natty boh's. While I would not recommend this place for an out of towner, I would however recommend it for a nice change-of-pace mid week dinner or pull-up post work cocktail. This is a tiny hidden gem - but tiny.
Owl Bar - The Owl Bar used to be a Baltimore legend. Kings, Presidents, actors, and athletes have all dined at the Owl Bar. F Scott Fitzgerald held his daughter's cotillion there and preceded to haunt the place years later. It was THE place to be to hear about the great John Eager Howard or to have a fine dining experience in a fine hotel. Unfortunately for the Owl Bar, those fine days of 4 star cuisine and 5 star service have dipped into what feels like a bad night at Tully's. The new ownership and staff have switched what was once a robust yet classy dining room full of well dressed and kept waiters into some sort of cheap Bertucci's-esque show. The drinks are expensive. They are always out of something. They are slow at the bar and pretty unprofessional when it comes to the floor. The kitchen and prep area are viewable to all diners and it is not rare to see the entire wait staff joking, smoking, or lazing around while people wait to be served. The new Owl Bar ain't the old Owl Bar and if the Belvedere Hotel isn't careful they'll be expanding that into Ball Room C for future receptions. The saving grace to the dining experience is the 30-foot ceiling, stained glassed owl montage, and the history. But that's not enough to explain the appalling drop off in class that this place has sustained.
Brewers Art - Once the hipster saving grace of the Mount Vernon community has become just another run-of-the mill restaurant with a kick ass basement bar. I am not going to slam Brewer's Art because the clientele has gone form the Dostoyevsky reading, "what does it all mean?", bike messenger crowd to backwards hats, "Where's the oriole game?", computer nerd crowd. That is not the fault of the bar. They made a good product and like all good products the masses are eventually going to ruin it. However, take away that basement bar and the rosemary fries and you have a restaurant almost on tilt. I ordered something called "Airline Chicken" there a few weeks ago and it was roughly 25$ for a dry piece of chicken breast in alfredo sauce with peas and carrots. It was cute maybe as a joke. But I was pissed. The duck and Crème Bru Le are still staples that I would recommend going for. The dining room is impeccable, spacious, and very Mount Vernony in its presentation.
Viccino's - This new ghost town Italian restaurant boasts of Neo cuisine in a fine dining establishment. Unfortunately, if you don't get there quick it'll be gone or turn into something new. It's been close to over a year and besides the festivals or possible broken down tourist bus, that place attracts the bare minimum. Well - oddly enough - it's not bad. I mean it's not good but it's not bad. It's ruined for me because you can get the carry out from the same kitchen that serves the dining room. The dining room has some fresher garnish or something and more exotic items but their food should more than likely come in a tin receptacle as opposed to a Neapolitan plate. You also can't smoke in there, the bar is two shakes away from being a ba... And the inside looks like it used to be someone's long living room and then they put down fake wood floors and put up shitty Italian art.
Food - 5.1
Atmosphere - Laughable but clean
Viccino's Carry Out - Food from Viccino's going to your house. As far as delivery goes...you won't find anyone to compete with them in Italian deliverable cuisine. Calzones, pizza, and even pastas are more than eatable - they are servable to guests in a jam.
Food (takeout) - 8.5
Atmosphere - n/a
Tapas Teatro - The joint for the joints. This place is pretty great. The food across the board is solid. The food comes out quick and the place is set up pretty well. The only downside to Tapas Teatro might be that it's Tapas. Prepare to order 4 or 5 individual dishes at roughly 8$ per plate in order to satisfy your hunger. I recommend the white sangria and any piece of beef that they serve. The pea fritters and payaya are exceptional. It is located juuuust outside of what is considered Mt Vernon but trust me...it's worth the walk over 83. The place would normally be in trouble in the winter months if it wasn't so closely tied with the Charles theatre and the new "disco" down the street. The crowd tends to be young and hip or old and well-read. The atmosphere inside can be a bit stuffy and the wait staff isn't always the friendliest but the owner is a genuine good soul and the regular clientele's smiles combined with the aromas of the open kithcen make any wait or slight inconvenience palatable.
Food - 8.8
Atmosphere - 6.9
Mic O'shea's - One of the best bars in town. The food at O'shea’s is unassuming and filling. There are no over the top frills or over the top prices. The portions are large and the chef and owner put a lot of time and thought into what they prepare. The menu mainly consists of fried bar food but the specials and portions cannot be ignored. Burger night is almost a staple of any single male in the surrounding area. But the menu is also compiled of traditional Irish fare and a really great steak for about 18$. The sandwiches and appetizers are about par for the course but the standouts for me are the Ploughman's Platter and fried wantons. The atmosphere at O'shea’s is pretty great. They'll more than likely know you, what you drink, and what you eat after your 3rd visit. You'll see bartenders laughing and shaking hands with customers throughout the night. The dining room isn't the most intimate of places but then again you are in an Irish pub, don't be surprised if a band with a fiddle takes the stage while you are in the middle of ordering desert. O'shea's is the warm bed where most people of the area lay their head when they want a meal they can trust and a place they can feel welcomed.
Food - 7.5
Atmosphere - 9
Midtown Yacht Club - Midtown always reminds you of your friend's old car that he has had for 10 years. It smells sometimes, it doesn't work sometimes, but when you are in it, you remember things and feel pretty at ease. That's what Midtown is like to me. The fare at the "yacht club" is oddly... mexi-centric. Although it's not bad food - it ain't exactly real Mexican food. It's a good leap above taco bell but don't look much further past Chi Chi's ..and Don Pablo's is a distant dream when comparing authenticity. Midtown wasn't really made for food, and they sort of know that. The prices are fair and the wait staff is ok. It's a mom and pop kind of bar that for some reason sells tacos...i don't know either. The peanuts are free though...and you can chuck the shells on the ground. Woohoo...
Food - 5.5
Atmosphere - 6.8
Sammy’s Trattoria - Sammy's opened last year in place of Babamex or was it AfganWhig, or maybe Italiano's, or possible was it Cuban Cuisine... who knows. What I do know is that they are the 4th restaurant in that space on the corner of Charles and Biddle in the past 4 years. And it's doesn't really look like it's going to improve. While the food isn't bad..it's heavy. It's real heavy and it's real expensive. 25$ for a bowl of pasta with 26 oz's of cream sauce and olive oil somehow jesusastically seeping through the china is interesting to some, but gross to me. There are some delicate items on the list but for the most part I think we'll be seeing restaurant 5 in a matter of months. The layout of the place is rather elgant and well thought out. The big windows allow walkers-by to see in and the eaters to see out (obviously). There is a small overlooking birds nest table above the kitchen and again they incorporated the open kitchen motif...which I think everyone loves at this point. The staff is friendly...especially his Mom who checks coats. But overall I think I'd give Sammy's a pass on my way up the street...unless it's -10 degrees outside and you haven't eaten all day and have to run a marathon tomorrow.
Food - 6.7
Atmosphere - 6
Akbar Restaurant - The website says "fine Indian cuisine" now if "Fine Indian Cuisine" means eating in a basement off a menu containing 794 items then...I guess yeah. This tiny Indian husk IS located in a basement beneath a sex shop and next to a sub shop in front of a bus station and it is remarkable that Akbar gets people to eat there. They eat there because it's possibly the best Indian grub in the city. But let's not call it "fine". From what I understand there are some really great Indian restaurants in the county but not so much in the city... well this may be the class of the saffron world for Baltimore. Akbar is Akbar - it's Indian and it's pretty authentic. The 8 different kinds of Nan and the plentiful portions and appetizers make the place what it is. The wait staff is kind of rude because well - they are Indian...which despite stereotyping (actually as a stereotype) they actually are very impatient due to the propensity of ill-prepared customers and MICA kids looking for a cheap meal. They often huff and guff at you taking your time trying to decipher between the 800 different styles of lamb Tankannu. I would recommend Akbar if it's 10 pm on a Friday and you are with some friends and want to have something fun and new to eat. This is not a romantic restaurant and it isn't a place I would frequent. They have a pretty good Sunday brunch that I would also recommend if you love Indian food...
Food - 7.1
Atmosphere - 4.8
The Brass Elephant - Known as the elegant "No we aren't an Indian restaurant" place to be. This relic from the 80's is what makes me hate word of mouth when it comes to restaurants. Undoubtedly within Baltimore you have heard the following things said at least once "You HAVE to eat at ------" Well the 3 main culprits of that inflated bullshit sentence are The Rusty Scupper, Sabatinos, and The Brass Elephant. Never in my life have I seen people clamor to pay 20$ for a cheeseburger. This place, much like the other 2 restaurants mentioned, may have been great in their day...but their day has spit the bit and walked the plank and then jumped off and eaten it's own face. The food is above average, the atmosphere is actually pretty nice but seriously if you are going to spend 100$ per person - do it somewhere else.
Food - 8.4
Atmosphere - 8.8
City Café - City Cafe is another tiny jewel outside of the eating world. Why is it outside of the eating world Bret? Well...because everyone seems to think it's a fuckin Donna's or a Barnes and Nobel because of the abundance of laptops on tables instead of food. Oddly enough though these people are missing some pretty decent sandwiches. I'm not saying that you should stop what you are doing and run there - but... if you are in the neighborhood, with your laptop (pre-req), feel like eating a big sandwich and overhearing talk about the latest hardback best sellers than this might be your joint.
Food - 6.5
Atmosphere - 7.2
George's on Mt. Vernon Square - Another small hidden gem inside the Peabody Hotel and now next to my work is quite apt to serve you for lunch, dinner, or a relaxing yet lightly elegant breakfast. Often overlooked because of it's affiliation to the hotel, this 30 top single room establishment churns out some pretty tasty dishes. The locals have been visiting for years and now I think it's your turn to go to the monument and look down at the hotel...walk there... and then have yourself a nice fine-esque dining meal.
Food - 7.9
Atmosphere - 8.2
The Helmand - The Helmand was close to ruins after the building on 9/11 fell and we decided to attack people in mud huts 10k miles away. Luckily for us, and wisely for them, the Helmand stood strong and kept serving under-portioned Afghani cuisine through it all. The Helmand is ok if you want some ethnic food that will undoubtedly not fill your large American stomach without ordering 2 entree's. The environment is pretty ho hum but the bar late night is popping with furry chubby women with accents... and you know... that i'll be cruising that. The food isn't that over priced and the atmosphere is ok. It's nice if you want some Indianish Pakistani food.
Food - 6.5
Atmosphere - 6.5
Cazbar - Turkish food abounds and again ... the furry chicks ooze out and squeeze into this low rent place. Again it's sorta ho hum unless you REALLY want some food on a stick. It's not as good as the Helmand and it's kind of strange in a few ways...namely the lack of the turks in the place. But - if you stay late night you'll be greeted by the local Turk crew. And on Saturday I'll more than likely find my future wife belly dancing and then shaving her toes. Honestly though the kebabs are kinda tasty.
Food - 6.0
Atmosphere - 6.5
Iggies - They were voted "Best Pizza in Town" this year by the City Paper and deservedly so. The pizzas are original and fresh. The toppings are abundant and the atmosphere is really cozy. It's a BYOB and the place almost doesn't look like it's going to last due to their lack of full time help and desire to close on Mondays. I hope it does last though. Overall the fresh made sides and the pizzas are well above par for the neighborhood and the city for that matter. You can also take home pre-made pizzas with you and cook them later. This place comes highly recommended.
Food - 8.4
Atmosphere - 6.0
Never on Sunday - the classic Greek movie becomes the classic Greek take-out sub shop. The Gyros are phenomenal and come old school off the spit instead of out of the bag. Don't get me wrong, this place is a deep friend spoon, but at least it's a deep fried spoon with some personality and a little bit of self accountability. Never on Sunday is obviously not open on Sunday but if you are in the area and need a quick Gyro to soothe your pallet I would recommend it above any other shop within 4 blocks.
Food - 7.0
Atmosphere - 5.0
Prime Rib - This used to be the quintessential deep dark gangster steak house. When Ruth's Chris and Morten's moved in to town the Prime Rib suffered at the hands of them and this is evident as they have become a relic of their former fine dining experience. It's way too dark. It's way too expensive and to be honest... it ain't that good of a piece of meat. The sides are kind of cheesy and to be honest if I wanted to pay 50$ for a piece of meat I can find it better elsewhere. However, if you are interested in impressing a rich girl on a first date then this might be your spot. A jacket is required, there is a cigar room (humidor room), a grand piano with a permanent player, a sitting room etc... I think you get the idea.
Food - 7.0
Atmosphere - 9.4
Sotto Sopra - Some people love the Sotta Snobra - I mean Sopra... but I am not one of them. I find the place arrogant, presumptuous and over hyped. I can't say to have eaten there more than 4 times and not at all with the past 3 years but - the last time I was there I was not impressed and I was even slightly pissed. However, our in house connoisseurs of fine dining; Teri and Doug, have confirmed what I may have dreaded - that this place is actually pretty good. So - if I were you I would trust their opinion and not mine in this regard but I would have to say that it would not be my first choice in dining.
Tio Pepe - Tio Pepe is a tough sell these days. I have some issues because the owner's children were childhood friends and I don't want to bad mouth the place that is responsible for getting me laid numerous times in my broke adolescence. But I can say that as the family has gotten older... the restaurant has started to show it's age as well. It is still a Baltimore favorite for numerous couples who had many an important date or ceremony there. The staff is some of the most professional and long standing in town and the atmosphere is usually crowded but still top notch. If you have not eaten here I would recommend it simply because it is a Baltimore staple. But, don't be too prepared to have a real fine dining experience.
Food - 7.0
Atmosphere - 8.2
Thai Landing - The Thai landing is the best Thai food in town. It is located across from Brewers Art and is now hurting a little in the nights because of the massive construction all around it. The wait staff and cook staff are all Thai and that comes through in their ability to spice up or down your food and even take traditional Thai food requests if you have them. The inside eating is far from luxurious and more resembles a cheap Asian eatery that you would find most anywhere.
Food - 7.6
Atmosphere - 6.2
XS - The quirky, spunky, place where the kids with blue hair, nose piercing, and lesbian habits work is actually quite the find for Sunday morning breakfast, late night mixed fruit drinks, and just overall highly aesthetic food with a purpose. The Sushi, from what I understand isn't much to rave about but it is there. The champion of the place seems to be the hipster clientele bringing in new DJ's and helping to keep foot traffic going from the new places across the bridge up to the Belvedere hotel. I view XS as a stepping stone establishment but one that has a sincere purpose in serving delicious food and bringing a very real flavor to a neighborhood that needs a place exactly like it.
Food - 7.2
Atmosphere - 7.8
Minato - The Sushi joint to end all Sushi joints apparently. At least that's all you hear around Mount Vernon. "Oh you have to go to Minato" yeah well - this ain't your daddy's Minato. It's fucking expensive and it's interestingly snobby and gayish. In a new facility because of the space (rats) they pack them in and charge them steep. The Sushi is apparently really good but I'm not a sushi guy - so... each his own.
Food - ?
Atmosphere - 7.5
La Tijuana Cantina - Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa - bring on the cheese! I have eaten here 3 times and each time I have been so amazingly unimpressed at what could be impressive that I have almost walked out. The idea of this restaurant seemed to have escaped everyone except for one mastermind somewhere who has nothing to do with it anymore. Because it's stupid. It's loud. It's uber weird and it's fod is nothing short of meh. The fajitas are pretty good but at 17$ a pop - I can make them at home.
Food - 6.9
Atmosphere - 6.8
BTW - what are we gonna do when we can't smoke anymore... tear...
And also on the corner of Madison and Charles there is a new club (it has no name). And when I mean club I mean awesome. The entire building has been refurbed into a big ball room. They have hipster night one night, big black guy night the next night, dorky 80's night for the cheesy white college chicks, and on the weekend it's just (good...i think atleast) hip hop, dance, and some tastefully chosen rock.
The man is back in town.... so don't you mess around. Party the 29th - bring on the piss!
Just in case anyone forgot
Maryland State Fair for the next week or so starting Friday - I'm gonna go this year and play withthe horses - righteous!
The Renaissance Festival - which I will never ever miss again after going last year. It is worth every second of awesomeness!!! Every year they have a new storyline - this is this years
Revel Grove, Oxfordshire, England
The year is 1540. The season of mourning for his late, beloved Queen Jane has passed, and now King Henry awaits the arrival of Anna, princess of Cleves. Anna, the woman who will become Queen of England and Henry's fourth wife.
Ever the romantic, Henry must marry for love, even if the alliance is political. He has been captivated by Anna's portrait and reports of her charm, beauty and talents.
The King, his Courtiers, and Councellors are in Revel Grove, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Anna. Will this first face to face meeting spark the passion of love as Henry fervently believes? And what will Anna think of Henry?
You are invited to attend on His Majesty and witness the historic meeting between Anna and Henry. Will it be true love? Or will heads roll. . .
In the Village
England in 1540: The country was concerned about possible foreign invasions. And in this time of heightened fear, the wrong man appears for the wrong job - and that would be Middle J. Middle, sheriff. Sheriff Middle had been deputy to the very able Zach Rackham. Yet, when their appointments were reconfirmed this winter, it appears Middle has been made Sheriff and Rackham has been demoted to deputy. Zach is determined to question the King, as he is positive it must be a mistake. But in the meantime, overzealous, paranoid Middle J. Middle is Sheriff and making many policy changes to heighten security around the village.
To protect against invasion, Sheriff Middle has hired the Felonius Fingers construction company - and security specialists- to construct a moat to surround the village. It was to have been completed before the King's visit, but alas - worker shortages and cost overruns have severely delayed completion of the moat. To be honest, they haven't even started digging the moat, and they are out of money. Sheriff Middle may have no option but to place a tax on the villagers to pay for the ongoing security costs. This news may just lead to a peasant revolt!
Justice of the Peace Sir Richard Southwell, and Mayor Hugh Wetherby, are starting to question the wisdom of Hiring Finger's construction team. But they have more urgent matters on their minds. Southwell has pinned his hopes to Master Secretary Cromwell to try and get him a place in Court. Meanwhile, Hugh Wetherby has only 24 more hours to watch over his very attractive neice Ursula before she is placed at the St. Scolastica convent. Oh, can he keep his neice away from the handsome rogues about town, just for one more day?
I CANT WAIT!!!
1. Thanks guys for dinner last night at the greatest chain restaurant in the world - Ruth's Chris. Next time - you'll remeber to just get the ribeye you fool. And Au Gratin anything there tastes like pepper lickins...
2. Thank you all for the birthday wishes.
3. Dave Trembley has been named manager for '08. He deserves it.
4. Wild Bill Hagy passed away yesterday morning. One of the greatest moment I ever got to see was as a child when Wild Bill tossed his cooler out into left field in protest of the Orioles banning alcohol from being brought into the stadium. Only Baltimore could have had a mascot like him...he will be truely missed.
But I won't be on AIM for a little while - - place is great and the people are great. Wish me a happy birthday for tomorrow as I'll be out of the office for most of the day.
Cheers and love
In observance of my moving on I decided to put in this video of Pipe Dreams by Travis. I know i've been playing alot of Travis lately but - - I've been in such a good mood with all these new beginning and thank God - new endings.
I feel today like I did when I left Elementary School. I remember I was sad but I knew that I was going somewhere new and that I was growing. It's not like when you leave High School or College for some people. People cry at those book closings. They cry because they don't want to lose what they have...and they don't really know if it will get better....well Fuck That! I can't wait to lose everything I currently know about my life. I can't wait to see what I'm made of... but it could be Pipe Dreams for all I know... But I don't really think so...
I'm loving life right now and I thank all those who know they should be thanked.
City and United play Sunday at 8:30 am. The Slainte will be rocking and I'll be the only boy in blue.... bring it on! City is 2-0 under the newly revamped City side and United are a surprising 0-0-2. Sven looks to be pushing the right buttons. A City win on the best Darby day in any league would be amazing.
Let's go CITY!.
The Internet and Breaking Up
How much harder does the Internet make breaking up with someone? I mean now you have to follow them through myspace, friendster, faceface, upskirt, adultfriendfinder or whatever the hell they are on. You can stalk and trace and hunt them down and find out who they are dating and the pictures OH THE PICTURES!!!! lol - anyway - how much easier was it to break up back in the day? There was only one thing you had to do - screen phone calls. Now - jesus - - nobody breaks up with anybody you just become stalker friends...lol
And btw - im peeling for the first time in like - 3 years - its SO MUCH FUN!
Day 4 - Today is Day 4 of the dry out process and I am sorry that I am avoiding phone calls, but I am attempting to coccoon myself into my apartment with good people and watch movies. Friday and the rest of the weekend there will be no celebrations. I am on my way to PA for the annual state fair - last year was really good, but this year I will mostly be working on my parents new house.
Also as far as my birthday on Wed. - I think this year it will be skipped - so...thanks for the thoughts and all but what I have going on professionally is more important than anything to me at this point.
I start my new job on Monday. Wish me luck.
Quote of the Day
When I was asked about the Michael Vick situation -
Today's Youtube Artist : Jackson Browne
When I was a kid - Jackson Browne is what my parents listened to and it was invariably what I listened to by the age of 8. By the age of 11 I had owned every album and memorized every song. I used to sit in my room and just listen to him bemoan and languish out these lyrics of hoe dashed and future's on interest. And it was then that I thought I could write poetry or it was at least him that made me want to write something. His lyrics made me think, cry, celebrate, and even laugh.
Here is a taste of some of the songs that I could find - -
Everyman - this is a covered classis by Bonne Raitt and Neil Young. Oddly both of those artists combined with Warren Zevon, The Eagles, CSN, and David Lindley all lived near each other in their early 20's and all give praise to Jackson in their early releases. Even Neil Young has touted Jackson as being the greatest song writer he ever met...(in actuality he's the poor man's Dylan - but Jackson is...just Jackson...he's like an old car that you love or a baseball mitt that you find in a closet that was yours when you were a child. Jackson is just a strong blow of dust away from being one of the greats.)
"Seems like i've always been looking for some other place to get it together. Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race and maybe find something better. In all my fine dreams and well thought out schemes to gain the mother land, have all eventually come down to waiting for every man."
Lives in the Balance - During the 80's Jackson got very political with No Nukes, Apartheid, and Farm Aid. He was going back to his roots as a man of the people and an advocate for what plagued his mind. In his elder years it wasn't about the passionate love of a boy anymore - it was about the future of his own children and the pain that comes with seeing lies through non-naive glasses. (this also features the amazing David Lindley on the wee picker)
"They sell us the president the same way. They sell us our clothes and our cars.
They sell us every thing from youth to religion. The same time they sell us our wars."
Before the Deluge - In the summer of 1974 Jackson released his master piece. At age 26 he released what his fans would consider to be a quinnessential piece of folk rock that would become part of the bed rock of any collection. If you were to buy one Jackson Browne album, I would recommend this one. It is unparalleled in it's breadth of subject and depth of morality. In this song you can hear how Jackson would soon become the mouth piece for a new peace generation.
"And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered
And in the end they traded their tired wings
For the resignation that living brings
And exchanged loves bright and fragile glow
For the glitter and the rouge
And in the moment they were swept before the deluge"
The Pretender – This is Jackson's greatest song and his most prolific. He talks about the death of the Hippie, of Love, and the rise of the Yuppie class. Released in 1976 after the Suicide of his wife, Jackson changed after this album. Even though Running on Empty was released after this it was recorded on this tour... and before his Wife's surmise. The Pretender is the anthem for any new lovers. It is the great Sunday morning song and Jackson might be one of the only people that I know, when he sings it, that I believe. (this also features a younger Lindley on Violin)
"and then we put our dark glasses on..."
Now on to my two favorite Jackson songs -
Your Bright Baby Blues - Another song about the death of the 60's and also released on the Pretender album. This may be Jackson at his Western Alt Country best. His tangling web of highways, women, drugs, and self loathing introspection that is spun in the loss of something enigmatic but tangible is Jackson’s way of hugging you. It's his way of syaing "I don't know either. But it's kinda fucked...and in a way...it's also kinda great." Jackson can speak your heart right out of your mouth. I still cry at this song times.
"It's so hard to come by
That feeling of peace
This friend of mine said
"Close your eyes, and try a few of these"
I thought I flying like a bird
So far above my sorrow
But when I looked down
I was standing on my knees"
Barricades of Heaven - This was recorded from Storytellers on VH1. I remember Jenkins calling me in high school and telling me that this was coming on. I had time to put in a VHS and record it. I had heard this song before - but it's the story - the acoustic guitar and the great way Jackson makes you remember your youth like it was the greatest thing ever (which it undoubtedly is) - - This song is just him at his matured best. Reflection at it's finest.
"Running down around the towns along the shore
When I was sixteen and on my own
No, I couldn’t tell you what the hell those brakes were for
I was just trying to hear my song"
The other song I would highly recommend that I can't find is - Looking Into You.
Boulevard - this song was during the Cocaine Jackson days - and the lyrics unfortunately suffered immensely. This was fused with the Fast Time at Ridgemont High single "Got to be Somebody’s Baby". This is not Jackson's best work - but oddly it is his most commercially successful - -seriously.
They talk about Forward County as if it were magical. In all the local papers they all talk about the "pride" the "heritage" and even the "patriotism" that runs down our creeks and even through our blood. But I'm here to honestly say "I ain't never seen it." I didn't see it when our boys came home in boxes in the 60's and 70's and I didn't see it when ain't no one here could afford oil, and I sure as sugar tits don't see it now that I'm old and my Social Security check is 1145$ a month. How is a man of 65 supposed to live on that? How am I supposed to thrive and enjoy my sundown years with 1145$?
Well ain't no more adjective left in us here. Ain't no "Forward" that I've soon seen.
You know what I have seen though? I've seen Jimmy Sparks riding that motorcycle of his to my Granddaughter's house almost every day. I see those still melting black tires hit her drive way. I see those jeans hop off that bike and that helmet go under his arm. He don't use no front door neither. He looks around like he's robbin' her blind and then shuffles his little ass to the back porch. The lights go on in her room, then the stairway, then the kitchen, and then finally the porch. Then they go off in the exact opposite order all the way up in to her room. She takes him into her bed like a whore caught cheatin'. Is this supposed to be my legacy?
Forwad county ain't nothing but a name.
SARA / IMP
Hola I met you once with people at a table. I didn't like you then and I don't like you now. You can't talk shit about Jas and then expect us to know each other.
GO FUCK YOURSELF! AND DONT COME BACK!! THANKS!
Song of the Day; I hope I think I know
This song makes me just want to pump fist, slap mits, and go spit! Bring it on!
"You're gonna miss me when I'm not there. You know I don't care!"
Black Crowes TONIGHT!!!
That's right boys and girls and children of all jean short ed men with mullets!! The Crowes are in town and they will shake the mighty, uhh, dainty, uhh, old meat hanger walls of Sonar. It will be weird watching them play in such a shithole but - man... I'm not even sort of semi-joking here when I say that the Crowes may actually embody my perfect kind of music. It's Southern, Bluesy, often times mellow and sad, and often times just kerosene filled bomb. They are the American Oasis in my opinion. Anyway - let the time of Bret start...
AND BTW - thank you everyone for the kind words and well wishes from yesterday. Saturday the walls of Fells Point and the Harbor shall tumble to our will....!!!
PDG is on binoculars.
I just heard this in the elevator and I was like...good Weezer song...
BTW - I had a great day. I got my new job!!! But ironically - all I think about is that I can't celebrate with her. Oh well... just me and the cronies...
Success for the Tired
It is often quite the most uplifting thing to follow someone's life and then when they finally do get that ovation, you are there to catch the bow. Last night she and they were there on that stage with what had to have been their 800th show in 400 days. It was starting to show on their faces.
"It was L.A. and then Santa Fe and damnit Bret if we weren't in Albuquerque...like fuckin Bugs Bunny. When I talked to you it was because we passed Winslow Arizona...you know from those awful songs that you would play when it was your turn. (even though I never ever ever played Take it Easy) We were just either gonna fuck each other, fight each other, or blow up. But when you said, 'The times that you spend toiling for what you love all comes to great fruition when you finally get to bow.' It sort of all became clear. I mean...it was just nice that someone knew that."
Last night they signed a record contract. I was telling them that I wanted to write their biography from on the road or from stories and afternoons on couches watching Water World backwards, and then forwards, and then upside down, and the entire time thinking that it was the answer to all that was life. Their crazy little paper boat in the great big sea life was often quite refreshing to me. They told me not to mention anything personal or by name anymore. So I won't. But I told them I had to write them thank you for them thanking me. Because they didn't sign with a local waste of time Baltimore label and they aren't going to be playing the back stage at Sonar anymore. They get on a plane soon to move to the west coast to make their trillions (or Water World 2). They will be missed and they won't be back; not to live here anymore anyway.
"Do you want the apartment? Wait NO! We'll give it to the homeless...it's paid through September. Maybe I'll flyer for it."
Baltimore will miss them and I will miss them. While I have always told them that "This fuckin' sucks." when they would play their music, they would just laugh at me and know that I didn't mean it, but what I meant was "This is insanely off the wall and I love it." The fact that they knew that and I didn't have to explain it to them almost made me love them. The fact that my polo shirt and khaki cargo fratastic shorts never seemed to match their corduroy with crazy yellow stained t-shirts and yet I was offered the same "grape soda" whenever I saw them, made me know that I'm not all hot air and awful like I seem to think sometimes.
We weren't and aren't going to be life long friends, but what the 5 people that are leaving did give me was a little hope, a lot of happiness, and a rebirth to the idea that "pot smoking art"; as I like to call it, is actually fucking stupid and wildly overrated and boring. True art comes from being tired. True art is what comes out of you after your 800th day of being knocked down. True good, concrete, worthwhile art is pain, toil, sweat, and blood. True art that smells authentic has to be grown in a field not written down at 4 am while sucking smoke out of a skunk headed bong. True art is what is left after you don't have time for any stimulant; just art.
To see her finally take that bow last night and to see them all jumping up and down squealing like children when their dream came to them, was like seeing my own future. When someone else succeeds in what they want, you can tell where you are in life by your natural response. If you are jealous then you'll be quite aware of what might be missing in your life. I was at the end of the room and I saw them and I beamed. I clapped my hands and then I left. I didn't want to celebrate with them. I didn't want to be a 3rd wheel. I actually just wanted to hold someone and celebrate my life with them at that moment. It was time for me to celebrate something as well. But I had no love to celebrate with. I had no one to clap for me. And I was really quite fine with that.
Hopefully my phone will ring from some plane and the person on the other line will say something really stupid like "I am going to count to 3...there will not...be...a 4." And then they'll just hang up. Because while I think I helped them a little and I know they helped me a lot, that is ultimately how this relationship has to end. That is ultimately what it was going to be between us all. You can't keep a robin in a cage (he'll put all heaven in a rage). So while I'll wait for them to request that I write their on the road memoirs, I bid them the fondest of farewells and the safest of journeys down life's road of tired.
Pandora Song List
Amazon Wish List
Revolutionary Wealth - Tofflers
Things Making Me Smile
Listening - [out of 5]
Benjy Ferree - 4.8
The Thermals 3.1
David Gray 3.8
Like the guy with the beard? YES - like the guy with the beers. What? Yep
Bands That I Check Schedules For
Badly Drawn Boy
Belle and Sebastian
The Black Keys
Drive By Truckers
Mark Hopkins Band
Iron and Wine
Mates of State
Two if By Sea
Places I Rock in the Flesh
The Knitting Factory
The Otto Bar
Places I Eat/Drink in the Flesh
Cross Street Market
No Way Jose
The Irish Pub
The Waterfront Hotel
My Greatest Hits (that's so lame)
The time I almost killed a child
July 4th in Korea
Excerpts from Demian
Why I screen phone calls
Bret's Death Metal Report
A conversation at a cocktail party
A conversation at breakfast
So you think you are a Baltimorian
A conversation about a girl singer
Observations from a bar
Observations of strippers
Why I love Oasis
I would go to war
"You Son of a Bitch" An Open Letter to Tom Friend
Dance to Your Ocean
When men become pussies
Jason Whitlock is a racist propaganda promoter
Pitchfork takes music snobbery to new level
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
The Hatred that is Runts Candy
Starting corporate line-up
Do you know me? List 1 / List 2 / List 3
The Night I Burned Philly Down
So You Want to be a Booze Hound
She Said it was Free
Funniest Corporate Story Ever
Striped Shirts and the Fucks that Wear Them
Pieces of Morning
Oasis Album Revew
The Art of Tipping
Starting Fires With Grass Stains
Bret's Federal Hill Food Review
Sexcapades and your Picture on the Internet
Stupid Secrets the Return
Stuff I Swing By From Time to Time
Indie Video Archive
Large Hearted Boy
Pitch Fork Media
Scenestars MP3 Blogs
Sound Garden Baltimore
Angry Little Girls
Junior Varsity Meat Market
Baltimore City Paper
The Baltimore Sun
Villa Julie College Baseball
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