Sunday, December 01, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
We Hardly Knew Ye: Marcia Wallace
Monday, October 21, 2013
We Hardly Knew Ye: Don James
In 18 seasons, from 1975 to 1992, James lead the Huskies to 14 bowl games. They won ten of them, including four Rose Bowls. In 1991, his 12-0 Huskies shared the national championship with Miami.
Read more here.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
I recently bought 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana's In Utero, originally released in September 1993. Thinking back, '93 proved to be my rock 'n' roll high-water mark -- I bought more music, listened to more music, and went to more shows that year than any other, before or since. (I'm 44 now -- you do the math.) With that in mind, here are some of the songs and albums I dig most from nine-trey...
Bash & Pop -- Friday Night is Killing Me
Belly -- "Feed the Tree"
Frank Black -- "Los Angeles"
The Breeders -- "Divine Hammer"
Butthole Surfers -- Independent Worm Saloon (including "Who Was in My Room Last Night?", below)
Dinosaur Jr. -- Where You Been
Fastbacks -- "Gone to the Moon"
Girl Trouble -- New American Shame
PJ Harvey -- Rid of Me
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion -- Extra Width
Melvins -- Houdini (including "Hooch," above)
The Muffs -- The Muffs (including "Lucky Guy," below)
Nirvana -- In Utero
Royal Trux -- Cats and Dogs
Sebadoh -- Bubble and Scrape
Urge Overkill -- "Sister Havana"
Paul Westerberg -- "World Class Fad" (below)
Among the many live acts I saw in 1993: 7 Year Bitch, Belly, Come, Crash Worship, Dead Moon, Dinosaur Jr., Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Girl Trouble, Grateful Dead, Gumball, Love Battery, Lunachicks, Mudhoney, Iggy Pop, Red Aunts, Keith Richards, Rocket from the Crypt, Sebadoh, Soul Asylum, Superchunk, Urge Overkill, Velocity Girl, Paul Westerberg and X. I saw the bulk of these in San Diego, where I lived most of that year.
Along similar lines, I probably watched more MTV in '93 than in any other year, not just for the music, but also for nightly viewings of Beavis and Butt-head (which premiered on March 8)... Music aside, my favorite-ever show, NBC's Late Night with David Letterman, ended on June 25, 1993, and CBS's Late Show with David Letterman debuted two months later, on August 30. Meanwhile, The Simpsons was essential viewing in '93, ending season four and beginning season five... I didn't watch many movies, but I loved CB4 and Dazed and Confused...
My pop-culture tastes were further developed that year 'cause that's when I got into alternative comics, particularly Peter Bagge's Hate and Dan Clowes's Eightball (both of whom I met at that year's big San Diego Comic-Con, along with Matt Groening)... Additionally, '93 was the year I got into pinball, spending many a caffeine/niccotine-addled lunch hour playing Jurassic Park, Star Wars, The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family and Gilligan's Island.
So yeah. 1993. Cool.
Friday, October 18, 2013
My Top Five iTunes Songs
1. "Waterbed Babies" by Girls at Our Best!, from the album Pleasure (Happy Birthday, 1981).
2. "Nonsense" by Komeda, from the album Kokomemedada (Minty Fresh, 2003).
3. "Sunday Morning" by the Velvet Underground, from the album The Velvet Underground & Nico (Verve, 1967).
4. "I Am Free" by the Kinks, from the album The Kink Kontroversy (Pye, 1965).
5. "Wreck My Flow" by the Dirtbombs, from the album We Have You Surrounded (In the Red, 2008).
For best results, play all five videos at once -- it's the best song ever!
Labels: Rock 'n' Roll
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Happy 33rd, Sedins!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Happy 74th, Fred!
Fred Willard hits the big seven-four today.
He's been in a countless movies and TV shows over the last 40 years, including personal faves King of the Hill, Anchorman, The Simpsons, This Is Spinal Tap and The Bob Newhart Show. However, he's never been funnier than in Christopher Guest's trilogy of mockumentaries: Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show and A Mighty Wind (2003), from which the above clip comes.
Then there was this unexpected bit of unpleasantness last year.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Happy 46th, Louis!
Louis C.K. hits the big four-six today.
Aside from directing/editing/producing/starring in the consistently awesome, completely unpredictable Louie, he also created and starred in the criminally underrated Lucky Louie, and directed the criminally underrated Pootie Tang. As well as a bunch of other stuff.
He's also my favorite standup comedian -- I can totally relate to the above clip.
Labels: Happy Birthday
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
We Hardly Knew Ye: Cal Worthington
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
I Wrote This: Seattle Rain or Shine
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Happy 40th, Ghost Rider!
Toronto, Part 2: The Rest of It
Wrigley, where in 2009 I sat in the stands during a long rain delay before the game was officially postponed, so that one doesn’t count.
Rogers Centre (née SkyDome) is one of last of those circular, symmetrical, artificially turfed stadiums, though its retractable roof pointed to future stadium design. Besides the ballpark, I never liked the Jays either, mostly 'cause they began play the same season as the M's, 1977. In that time, Toronto has won two World Series titles, while the M’s have never even made it to the World Series. Also, the blue-blooded, all-American, flag-waving yahoo in me thinks it’s lame to have a major-league team outside the US... Here's Ichiro in centerfield, or what would roughly be the 20-yard-line if the field was situated for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts...
Still, Toronto loves the Jays, and there's apparently little interest in replacing their dumb stadium with something less bland and more up-to-date. For the record, the Jays beat the Yankees in both games I attended, 5-2 and 7-2, and Ichiro was 1-for-8 in the series.
Apart from baseball, I hit Toronto's hockey highlights, beginning with the Hockey Hall of Fame. The amount of jerseys, sticks, pucks, trophies and other memorabilia was overwhelming, but in a good way. Above is a closeup of the original Stanley Cup, with the etching "Seattle World's Champions Defeated Canadians 1917." Below is an old Seattle Metropolitans sweater...
Elsewhere, I walked around the newish Air Canada Centre and the old Maple Leaf Gardens, respectively the current and former homes of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The latter has since been converted into a smaller college hockey arena on an upper level (there was practice going on when I wandered inside), and a big grocery store on the main floor. On aisle 25, next to the cans of tuna, is a spot marking centre ice in its former days. Here it is, with my feet...
At the city's Reference Library I looked up some Evel Knievel-playing-hockey articles, and at various shops I picked up some hockey-related trinkets for friends (my own souvenir is a T-shirt with this sweet Penguins logo). The only bad hockey-related experience I had was at Wayne Gretzky’s sports bar -- the “Great One” burger (with a “99” seared onto the bun) tasted like a hockey puck, and the service sucked ass.
Far better was Shopsy’s and their killer corned beef sandwich, rivaled only by Dunn’s pastrami sandwich -- I call it a draw. Smoke’s Poutinerie had a food truck at Sunday's Riot Fest (see previous post), and I enjoyed their pulled pork poutine so much there that I had another one a few days later at one of their storefront locations. My pie at Pizza Pizza was so-so, and I never did make it to Don Cherry's Sports Grill. All along, I pretty much ate my own weight at various Tim Hortons -- I love that they have a Blue Jays donut...
Like I've experienced in other cities in recent years, Toronto also has a sensible public bike-rental kiosk system, here called Bixi. It got me around to lots of other places, like the CBC museum, The Beguiling (a comics shop where I picked up Adrian Tomine’s latest Optic Nerve), Honest Ed’s (a crazy discount emporium where I got some baby bibs) and Ella+Elliot (a high-end baby store where I got some little utensils). Here’s El Mocambo, where the Stones recorded side three of Love You Live in 1977.
As a lover of observation decks, I was stoked to go up the CN Tower, which until 2008 boasted the world's highest observation deck. At 1,467 feet, it's nearly two-and-a-half Space Needles tall! Aesthetically, the CN Tower has got nothing on the Needle, but even with some distant haze, the view was phenomenal (see the photo at the top of this post). Here’s a shot looking straight down at the Rogers Centre (with its roof closed, obviously)...
And here are my feet again, standing on a glass floor at the 1,122-foot level...
I hit one other observation deck on my trip, the Space Needle-esque Skylon Tower, 80 miles away in Niagara Falls (I rented a car that day). The falls themselves are impressive, despite the unchecked tackiness surrounding them -- myriad casinos, tourist traps, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville... Here's my token Niagara Falls shot...
While in town I visited an unofficial Evel Knievel Museum, where they have one of Evel's test Sky-Cycles, as well as lots of other motorcycle displays, Nazi stuff (!?!), and for some reason, a bunch of Dan Aykroyd memorabilia. There wasn’t much in the way of Evel’s personal possessions, just a bunch of mass-produced toys and photos and such, all fading under fluorescent lights. They didn't have my book, but they did have a shooting script of the movie based on my book, with my name on the cover...
So, Toronto. My lifetime experiences in Canada have mostly been limited to several trips to Vancouver and Victoria, so in my mind that's what Canada is supposed to "be like." Strangely, Toronto felt less like Canada to me and more like Chicago, in terms of size, scenery, and climate... Incidentally, on my way to T.O. (that’s what the locals call it!), I changed planes in Calgary, bringing my provinces-I’ve-visited count to three: I’ve been to British Columbia countless times, I made a quick spin through Windsor, Ontario in 2008, and now Alberta. Cool.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Toronto, Part 1: Rock 'n' Roll
Riot Fest would also include supporting acts Iggy and the Stooges, Dinosaur Jr., Rocket from the Crypt and Best Coast. I don't like big, daylong, outdoor festivals, what with the crowds, the elements, lots of waiting around, the abbreviated sets, and so forth. But still!
Here are some shitty iPhone pics along with my take on the various sets...
Honestly though, while all those other bands played, I was looking ahead in anticipation of the Replacements.
Well what about the tunes? They opened with "Takin' a Ride," covered Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” and Sham 69’s “Borstal Breakout," and played three songs from my favorite-ever album Pleased to Meet Me, including album opener/show closer “I.O.U.” (Before the song, Paul said that he once asked Iggy Pop for an autograph, and Iggy wrote down what became the song’s chorus: “I.O.U. nothing.”) Plus lots of other faves: "Color Me Impressed," "I Will Dare," "Bastards of Young," etc. For the encore, Paul came out wearing a Montreal Canadiens sweater, getting some good-natured boos from the Toronto crowd. Two songs later and they were gone, leaving me thrilled by what I just witnessed.
But that wasn't the end of it. By coincidence, the next morning I took a shortcut through the lobby of the Royal York Hotel on my way to the Hockey Hall of Fame, only to discover Tommy Stinson waiting around with his bags, looking like he just checked out. I went up to him and said, “Hey, Tommy, great show last night!” He thanked me, we shook hands, and he agreed to a photo...
I added that I got choked up the when they played “Alex Chilton” the previous night, seeing as how Paul's idol died in 2010. During the song, I noticed Paul glimpse skyward as he sang the line “If he died in Memphis, wouldn’t that be cool?”, though Chilton actually died in New Orleans. (Paul's touching New York Times memorial to Alex appeared shortly afterward.) Then, as a sort of tossed-off "see ya," I wished Paul good luck, and continued on to the Hall of Fame. It quickly occurred to me that it was kinda like the line in "Alex Chilton" where Paul describes his first meeting with Alex in New York: "Feeling like a million bucks, exchanging good lucks, face to face." Maybe it was a subconscious thing on my part.
Anyway, my Toronto trip peaked early, but the rest of it was good too. I'll post the other highlights soon.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Quickie PDX Roadtrip
Hillsboro Hops game with my pal Gabe. This is the inaugural Hops season, and they're playing in this nice new ballpark...
Portland Beavers left in 2010. It's only single-A ball, but still, much better than nothing. Gabe took this picture of me with Hops mascot Barley...
I've driven between Seattle and Portland dozens of times, but coming home today I finally stopped at some places I've long wondered about, like Kalama's Columbia Inn...
Yard Birds, and it didn't disappoint...
Sasquatch Brewing Company and Bigfoot's Burritos and Subs at Gee Cee's Truck Stop, both of which I added to my In Search of Bigfoot page. And now I'm home.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Scenes From an All-Star Game
Northwest League All-Star Game. Above, my ticket; below, the marquee...
NWL is a short-season A league, consisting of eight teams from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. The Everett AquaSox hosted the game; this is the best ad in the ballpark...
Here's a painting of AquaSox mascot Webbly...
ZOOperstar Ichiroach Suzuki...
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Happy 52nd, Eddie!
Eddie Murphy hits the big five-two today.
In the early '80s, the then-shit-hot Murphy could do no wrong: he ruled Saturday Night Live (playing Gumby, Buckwheat, Mr. Robinson, James Brown and Stevie Wonder, among others), he starred in a few decent films (48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop), and he recorded the novelty classic "Boogie in Your Butt" (above). Pretty much everything since then sucked... What happened?
What made the biggest impression on me by far was his 1983 standup special Delirious. I first saw it at the relatively tender age of 14, after school one day at the home of a pal who taped it off HBO. I'd never heard anything so incredibly filthy in my young life, and despite its grossly homophobic moments, I'd never heard anything so incredibly hilarious either. I don't think I'd even seen a full standup performance before, and though I was too young (and sheltered) to get many of the 22-year-old's jokes, Delirious thoroughly blew my mind.
Watch the whole thing here...
Goonie goo goo.
Monday, April 01, 2013
Happy 25th, Sub Pop!
venerable Seattle label hits the big two-five today, at least according to Sub Pop. Wikipedia says otherwise -- a lame April Fool's joke?
Toeing the company line, Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm mentioned today's 25th anniversary during tonight's in-store show at the West Seattle Easy Street Records. A good performance, and afterwards I went into total fanboy mode: I had all four band members shake my hand and sign my free Ed Fotheringham poster, and I even got a photo with Mark Arm himself, one of my all-time rock 'n' roll idols...
Looking forward to July's Sub Pop Silver Jubilee...
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Happy 25th, Surfer Rosa!
The Pixies' first full-length record hits the big two-five today.
Surfer Rosa was released in the UK on March 21, 1988, and it came out in the US that August. Sometime that summer I first heard the album's lead single, "Gigantic," on Seattle's KJET. Then that fall, my college roommate had the full-length LP, which I immediately dug (though I was disappointed that "Gigantic" was the record's only song sung by "Mrs. John Murphy"). I soon bought myself Rough Trade's import CD, which also had 1987's Come on Pilgrim EP tacked on at the end. To me, the two releases on that single disc have always run together like double album -- Rosa's "Brick is Red" flows seamlessly into Pilgrim's "Caribou."
Part of the fascination was that, at the time, the Pixies were largely a mystery to me. I had no idea what the band members looked like, nor was even sure of their real names. The CD booklet, designed by Vaughan Oliver, just had those sepia photos of a topless senorita.
Twenty-five years later, it's still my second-favorite album ever of all-time ever. This remains my number one.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Happy 40th, Raw Power!
Iggy and the Stooges classic hit the big four-oh this month -- February 7, to be exact.
This occurred to me today, upon reading that "Iggy and the Stooges" will be releasing a follow-up record in April. The new album apparently shouldn't be confused with The Weirdness, which "The Stooges" released in 2007 as a follow-up to 1970's Fun House. (I was too kind to The Weirdness here -- it totally sucked.)
Anyway, here's hoping Ready to Die -- featuring Raw Power guitar ace James Williamson -- doesn't totally suck.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Happy 25th, Mudhoney!
Monday, December 31, 2012
2012: The Year of the Chickens!
In this, the last of this blog's measly 26 posts in 2012, I'll recap the stuff I've covered over the previous year, along with some things I didn't address. For starters, in February, Eliza and I installed a chicken coop in our backyard, and then brought home four two-month-old pullets: Rocky, Dolly, Rhodey, and Li'l Sweetie (above, shot by Eliza). Sadly, Rocky and Dolly succumbed to Marek's Disease, but Sweetie and Rhodey have thrived - since May, those gals have pumped out a whopping 334 eggs!
In other bird news, a day after Rocky was put to sleep, three robins were hatched in a nest by our back porch. Here are two of the eggs...
Within a day, all three robin chicks were eaten by some goddamn crows.
In non-bird deaths, in 2012 we said goodbye to the Beastie Boys and Ween, Ralph McQuarrie, and John Belushi (albeit 30 years after the fact). Also passing this year, but unacknowledged by this blog, were Matt Groening's Life in Hell, and the Seattle TV clown who inspired Krusty the Clown on Groening's The Simpsons, JP Patches... In July was I driving through the U-District when I happened upon the demolition of the UW's Lander Hall, a dormitory where I lived for a couple years in my late teens and did many grown-up, um, things, that I never done before...
Celebrating birthdays in 2012 were Paul Stanley and Muhammad Ali, as well as the 50th anniversaries of Mad, the Rolling Stones, the Seattle Monorail, the Seattle World's Fair and Spider-Man, along with the 25th anniversaries of Pleased to Meet Me and the 1987 NBA All-Star Game.
On top of this being the sixth full calendar year of the SteveMandich.com blog, I continued to maintain two other blogs -- Super Ichiro Crazy! (where the big news was his trade from Seattle to the Yankees) and Bigfoot is Real (which I just put on "temporary hiatus"). Upon the (galaxy) golden anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, I started a commemorative blog. It was soon aborted, due to lack of both interest and inspiration. Still, I came away with this cool photo of some Space Needle models, taken at an art gallery near the Needle itself...
In Anaheim, my pal JP and I saw the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ducks, and the next night, we saw the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Kings beat the Oilers in L.A. I stupidly lost all my photos from those games, so here's a picture I took of the Watts Towers...
Earlier, and closer to home, I rode the Amtrak Cascades up to Vancouver, where I witnessed the Canucks beat the Coyotes in an overtime shootout. While in town, I attended the Vancouver International Boat Show, if only to see the insides of the revamped BC Place Stadium...
Here's another Vancouver photo, taken in Stanley Park...
In medical news, my Morton's toe that I viciously stubbed in 2004 finally got fixed in October -- the good foot doctor shaved away some arthritic bone and inserted a temporary three-inch pin. Here's a gnarly pic of how it looked a week after surgery...
Though 2012 was the Year of the Chickens, Eliza and I figure 2013 will be the Year of the Babies -- we're expecting fraternal twin girls on January 9! Here we are in our backyard on Thanksgiving...
Going into the new year, if I'm not blogging about it here, I'll be posting it on facebook.
As always, thanks for reading!