Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rowing the boat

Last March* Kevyn Orr, the Emergency Manager charged with cleaning up Detroit’s balance sheet came to speak at the Michigan (University) Union. Being a frequent visitor of the city, an (I like to think) alert and responsible regional denizen, and always looking for an opportunity to blow off lab,** I went.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hold Steady, Part II

There is a Replacements song called “Treatment Bound.” It’s a freewheeling number; like most of their stuff it sometimes sounds sloppy and sometimes comes off tight, but most of all is just perpetually threatening to fall off the highwire. It took me a while to realize it, but Paul Westerberg and company weren’t beating their chests or telling fishing stories when they sang, “First thing we do when we pull up / get shiiiiiitfaced drunk / try to sober up.” They didn’t care about labels, hits, or SNL and even if The Mats didn’t live every single line they sang, at least they could have. With the recent release of Teeth Dreams, The Hold Steady’s sixth album, I’ve come to a similar realization about Minnesota-born but Brooklyn-bred group.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The BIG EAST’s Tweet Coast Bias

On New Year’s Eve, 10 private colleges took part in the (re)inauguration of BIG EAST basketball.  The BIG EAST* kicked off the fall season several months earlier, but the primary purpose of the “new Big East” was basketball.  If the conference was born (again) with soccer and volleyball, New Year’s basketball was its baptism.

*OK, that’s enough of that all-caps thing

As a graduate of the school on the western heel of the new Big East’s footprint, I was concerned that the new conference would neglect much of the news out of Nebraska.  Just as Stephen Colbert does not see race, I do not see regionalism.  However, with this anecdote, my friend showed me that it is a legitimate concern.  He went to school out east and, when he introduced himself as being from Minnesota, his fellow student responded with “Oh, cool.  Is that in Wisconsin?”* Almost a month has passed since the coronation of the new conference and I wanted to check in on my concerns.  So, as I think to myself almost daily, thank goodness for Twitter.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

North by Northwestern

This. This this this this this.

The football programs may not be worth the decaying frost-covered post-industrial arctic hellscapes* that its universities are dotted across but damn if the B1G isn’t leading the pack into the future of college athletics.**

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

State of Grace

We might as well get this out of the way first: Grace Potter is a stone cold fox. Of course, you can’t tell that from any of her studio tracks. All you can really gather is that she can absolutely shred a B3 organ and she’s got an easy singing style that can jump from embers to inferno at a moment’s notice. And that’s more than enough.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chris Klu-less

Last week Chris Kluwe published an open letter on Deadspin taking the Minnesota Vikings organization to task over his firing nearly a year ago. By the end of the letter, it becomes clear that his chief motivation was to discourage anyone in the NFL from hiring Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer. Ever. Again.* I had initially decided to let this one go, but I’ve been asked about it a couple of times and still see it floating around on the internet nearly a week after, so I suppose I’ll add my two three cents. Here goes: