Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Albums

Here are my favorite albums of 2009, ranked in order, 1-10. I wanted to do a box score for every album, but my soul is not strong enough. Look for the Album Box Score to get a much needed re-birth next year. In the meantime, enjoy this list.

1 - AVETT BROTHERS - I And Love And You
This almost didn't make it as the top album until Kanye took me aside and said, "Fanfarlo is good, but the Avett Brothers had one of the best albums of all time." I really think this album has considerable staying power and timeless qualities.

2 - FANFARLO - Reservoir
This album made the hardest charge at the end of the year than any album this year...and that included some very stiff competition. Laura Gibson, The Swell Season, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lots of great stuff. And like I said above, this album had all the makings of a number one, but I gave the nod to The Avetts.

3 - THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN - Know Better Learn Faster
A strong follow up to a spectacular album last year. I still regret missing her shows every time she comes through town. Please consult with my important schedule next time...pls.

4 - DARK WAS THE NIGHT - Various Artists
The Dirty Projectors easily had my favorite song on this all-star compilation. The tune is great and it has lyrics written by David Byrne...in the 70's. Bon Iver had a monster song as well. Lets not forget great tracks by Arcade Fire, The Books, Feist and Ben Gibbard, The National, and My Brightest Diamond. Every time this double disc makes it back onto the player, there is another gem that begins to sparkle. Most recently, Yeasayer.

5 - HARLEM SHAKES - Technicolor Health
I rarely do this, but I bought this album based on the album art alone...and loved it from day one. The band had broken up by the time I heard it for the first time, which is a shame, but sometimes the best career move is death.

6 - MEGAFAUN - Gather, Form, and Fly
Like I mentioned in my live show list, this album would have been nowhere near my ears if it wasn't for seeing them live in Portland. Amazingly enough, the album does a good job of capturing the completeness of the live show.

Just when I think this album and its quirkiness has finally done me in, another part makes its way to the surface and gets me. Most recently, from the song Useful Chamber, the repetitive singing of "Bitte Orca, Orca Bitte" with a killer guitar lick mixed in.

8 - GRIZZLY BEAR - Veckatimest
I was talked into this album by the local record store owners. I really didn't want to get it, but they are so nice. The selling line was, "Its like a creepy Beach Boys album." It took about 5 times through but it finally caught on. I had tried in the past to get into their other stuff, and it failed miserably. I still can't get into Yellow House or Horn of Plenty, but Veckatimest is going to stay with me.

9 - THE SWELL SEASON - Strict Joy
This spot was reserved for Wilco (The Album) until about two weeks ago. The Swell Seasoners have unseated a end of year list staple for me. They managed to make an album almost as good as the Once Soundtrack, but they didn't remake the Once Soundtrack which now gives them a a wide open future. What they did is not easy to do by any means, which is why the landed on this list.

Maybe what got me into this album was the extended time I spent in New Orleans this year. Maybe it was my deep love for James Brown and the shades of "the hardest working man in show biz" that is found all over this album. Maybe it was both. Either way, they are both great reasons to like such a quality album.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (41-75)

41. John Prine- Fair & Square
Years and years into a stellar career and maybe his best album?
42. Great Lake Swimmers- Ongiara
43. Postal Service- Give Up… with apologies to Owl City
44. Bright Eyes- I’m Wide Awake, It's Morning
45. Radiohead- Hail To The Thief
46. Travis- The Man Who
47. Rhett Miller- The Instigator
I'm not an Old 97s fan, but this album rules. And Jon Brion only makes it better. Take a listen to Our Love or Terrible Vision and tell me its poptastic goodness doesn't get you.
48. Feist- The Reminder
Let's not forget that, before the Apple spot, this album was supersolid.
49. Ray Lamontagne- Trouble
50. Rachael Yamagata- Happenstance

Trouble and Happenstance will always be connected for me- two of the unofficial albums of my "courtship." Best of Leonard Cohen and A Ghost Is Born are in there too.
51. Nada Surf- Let Go
52. Radiohead- In Rainbows
53. Teddy Thompson- As a giant Teddy Thompson fan, I couldn't pick just one. Having seen him about a dozen times while living in NY (and once, oddly, opening for Elliott Smith in Salt Lake City), I think I've earned the right to mix/match (which you'll see more of, trust me) . Here's to all of Separate Ways/his self titled debut/Upfront & Down Low/Piece of What You Need/I’m Your Man/Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. This is one of those cases of "How Did I Rank This So Low?" The answer is: "impetuousness and low I.Q."
54. Frightened Rabbit- Midnight Organ Flight
55. Death Cab For Cutie- Plansatlanticism
Continuing my artistic license of fusing albums. I loved Transatlanticism when it came out but a) their live show on that tour wasn't exactly impressive and b) Plans has stuck with me and borne more repeat listens over time.
56. Caitlin Cary/Thad Cockrell- Begonias
57. Joe Henry- Scar
58. Felice Brothers- s/t
59. Coldplay- Parachutes
Before they were trotting around in Gay Sgt. Pepper knockoffs, there was some real nuance to Coldplay (hey, A Rush Of Blood To The Head is in my Top 10, so clearly I have an affinity).
60. Mark Kozelek- Rock N Roll Singer
61. Once soundtrack
62. My Morning Jacket- It Still Moves
63. Pedro the Lion- Achilles Heel
64. Lucinda Williams- Essence
65. Atherton- Skyline Motel
66. Dan Bern- New American Language
67. Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine
68. Clem Snide- Soft Spot
Eef Barzelay is one of the unique voices (both literarily and aurally) of our time and this is him at his best. "I saw you, doubting yourself in the mirror. But you look good to me." Simple moments captured through a distinctly Eefy lens.
69. Whiskeytown- Pneumonia
70. Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights
71. Damien Jurado- Caught In the Trees
I have listened to this album a ton over the past 2 weeks and have to say that my Top 10 of 2008 assessment was spot on.
72. Radiohead- Amnesiac
73. The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
74. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- BRMC
75. Low- The Great Destroyer

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (11-40)

Continuing the list that is less definitive every time I look at it. (How's that for a vote of confidence?)

11. Wilco- A Ghost Is Born
12. Joe Henry- Tiny Voices
13. Elliott Smith- Figure 8
14. Gillian Welch- Time (The Revelator)
15. Aimee Mann- Bachelor #2
16. Cardigans- Long Gone Before Daylight
Some people think this band just has the hit. Those people are idiots. If you are an idiot, go pick up this album and get your mind all changed.
17. Broken Social Scene- You Forgot It People
18. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss- Raising Sand
19. Low- Things We Lost In The Fire
20. Jon Brion- Meaningless
This album/artist changed everything for me and I totally realize that this is personal bias with no objectivity whatsoever.

21. Patty Griffin- 1000 Kisses
Just for the fact that Long Ride Home is one of the best songs ever written. And the bridge on Chief.
22. Kathleen Edwards- Failer
23. Leona Naess- s/t
24. Johnny Cash- American Recordings (All, yes I'm lumping them. They are essentially the same in spirit and sometimes session. So I'm taking the liberty.)
25. Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
26. Doves- Last Broadcast
criminally underrated.
27. Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
It's hard to remember a time when this album didn't exist, before Wayne & Co. were singing Do You Realize and Yoshimi to the world.
28. Steve Earle- Transcendental Blues
Why is this album so low? Because I am not just a moron. I am a lazy moron who refuses to redo the list.
29. Sigur Ros- ( )
30. The Strokes- Is This It?
31. Fugazi- The Argument
32. Pete Yorn- musicforthemorningafter
33. The Weepies- Say I am You
34. Matthew Ryan vs The Silver State
This album would be higher if I didn't fear how recently it came out.
35. Iron & Wine- Our Endless Numbered Days
36. Josh Ritter- The Animal Years
37. Wilco- Sky Blue Sky
That's 3 for Wilco in the top 40. Kasey Casem would be proud.
38. New Pornographers- Electric Version
39. The Innocence Mission- Befriended
40. Arcade Fire- Neon Bible

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Live Shows

The live show is an essential part to the Year in Music. More often than not, the live show makes or breaks an albums inclusion on the Top Ten list of that year, and really good shows can influence decision making for years to come. For example, Andrew Bird and his latest album Noble Beast would have been nowhere near my radar if I hadn't seen an inspiring performance out of him last year. And Wilco's failure to tour anywhere accessible to me this year undoubtedly led to their first even exclusion from my year-end praise.

On the other side of the argument, a disappointing album will keep me away fro seeing an artist perform. Case in point, Great Lake Swimmers. Their latest effort didn't grab ahold of me like their previous album did leading to me not making the effort to attend their show on their way across the country. Attending that show may have renewed hope in Lost Channels, but it wasn't going to happen.

In a related note, after watching the Kings play a time or two on TV this season, I am starting to look forward to our unavoidable date with them in the lower bowl. Spike, having fallen under the same spell, has already purchased an Omar Casspi jersey in anticipation for that game and a subsequent playoff run.

Having spelled that out, here is a rundown of the best and most important shows of 2009 and included is some of their video performances that compliment the live show. Show are in some kind of an order, from first of the year to end of the year.

*Irrelevant to this years Top Ten list, but still a good show

Delta Spirit*

Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson - Where Have All Your Good Words Gone from playgrrround on Vimeo.

The Hold Steady*

Josh Ritter*

Bon Iver/Jenny Lewis - Poor Jonathan Rice. He has to play the Elvis Costello part and the Roy Orbison part in the same set. In a way this show has no bearing on the list, but at the same time it has so much bearing. Bon Iver contributed heavily to the Dark Was The Night compilation, songs that he played at this show and killed.

Dark Was The Night - I didn't see this show but these Vincent Moon videos are in some ways better than a live show.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Maybe it was the extended amount of time I spent in New Orleans or maybe its the cross between Chris Rock and James Brown, either way the music is great.

Shawn Smith* reissues don't count

Megafaun/Bowerbirds - This show was interesting because had I not attended, Bowerbirds could have made the top ten and Megafaun would have been nowhere on my radar, instead it was the other way around. There was something off putting from the Bowerbrids. Likewise, there was something incredibly amazing about Megafaun.

The Avett Brothers/Heartless Bastards - This show brought Heartless Bastards into the race and cemented the Avetts near the top. Anyone who has seen either band knows why.

Frightened Rabbit*

The Get Up Kids* re-issues don't count.

Over The Rhine*

Fanfarlo - Possibly show of the year and because of that, possibly album of the year. They started out with a recreation of their video for The Walls Are Coming Down, complete with an escape artist hanging overhead in a straight jacket and then nearly brought down the house at the end of the show with I'm A Pilot. That doesn't even include covering Low's It Was Just Like Christmas in the encore.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (1-10)

'Tis the season to be listing. So we'll add ours to the pile. This one? THE BLACK CONVERSE'S BEST ALBUMS OF THE 00'S (since Charlie T consulted and wisely opted not to compile his own). Yes, this is supposed to be a hoops and music blog, even if we don't always do the greatest job showing it.


200ish albums nominated in a manner so unscientific, so anti-methodical that it might actually be genius. Why is In Rainbows so low? I don't know. You're right: it should be higher. And what about this year's albums, why so low? Again, you're right, but I felt like they needed more time-testedness.

All in all, these are the albums that meant something to me/us this decade- a decade that saw me at two different colleges, in 4 big breakups, graduate, first big job, move to NYC, get married, move to UT, have a kid. Big stuff. Rather than elaborate on every single one, I've picked some at random to talk about and just listed the remainder. Surely this list will change tomorrow, maybe tonight. But I'll stand by it today.

So let's get to it. Ladies and gentlemen, "our" Top 10 of the 00's. (Notice how we don't make you rifle through a heap of albums before getting to the meat. Yeah, we rule. You can read the also-rans later on.)
10. The Hold Steady- Boys And Girls In America

We've never hid our love of The Hold Steady on TBC. And we ain't starting now.

This album was- poetically, considering the subject matter- my fist-pumping gateway drug.

9. Beck- Sea Change

Like I said, this decade saw 4 big heartbreaks. And this album was there for half of them.

The 1-2 combo of The Golden Age and Guess I'm Doing Fine still destroy me.

My favorite Beck album by a sampleslide. Or kitschslide. Or schtickslide. Whatever.

8. Sun Kil Moon- Ghosts of the Great Highway

Mark Kozelek's best record.

If you need more explanation than that, you need more Mark Kozelek in your life.

Particularly your ears.

Sad, mournful, nostalgic, gorgeous.

7. Ryan Adams- Heartbreaker

This album changed the way I listen to music forever. Most fans have spent a good deal of time wishing Ryan Adams would revisit this world. I spend that time just happy he ever did.

"Come Pick Me Up." Best Song of the Decade? Or Best Song Ever?

The album art, however, has always been baffling to me.

6. Coldplay- A Rush of Blood To The Head

Oh, Coldplay, we hardly knew thee.

5. Radiohead- Kid A

No Top 10 list is complete without it.


People think that In Rainbows was their groundbreaking move.

How about recording an amazing-but-not-particularly-radio-friendly follow-up to OK Computer?

It saved them from themselves. And gave us all an incredible record.

4. Arcade Fire- Funeral

All of these records are great,

but I think 20 years from now

this will be the one that was perhaps

the most game-changing.

Listen to Fanfarlo,

one of our favorite records of 09,

and tell me differently.

3. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago

Too soon, you say?

That's funny. I was thinking, "too low."

2. The National- Boxer

Everything about this album works for me.

Smart lyrics and melodies, especially in light of the mumbliness.

Incredibly moving and layered arrangements.

And if it has a weak spot, well, it doesn't so stop pretending it does.

1. Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

T-Maq is Baq

When I saw that the Rockets had finally allowed Tracy McGrady to play last night, the knee jerk reaction was to revoke all of Daryl Morey's smart points. They guy is a basketball genius. Not the kind like Magic or Legend who who show their IQ on the hardwood, but the kind who seems to evaluate his team and his talent better than anyone and pull the right strings from behind the scenes. Inserting T-MAK back into the an aggressive and overachieving Rockets team seemed counterintuitive. Why put in a guy who is notoriously lazy, ruins the rhythm of any offensive team and plays no defense? Are you all of the sudden thinking the John Wall sweepstakes is worth it?

Then I came back to reality. This guy is smarter than that. I realized that there are two obvious scenarios. The first is that David Stern would rather McGrady get voted into the All-Star game as a starter rather than having to stuff the ballot box himself for Chris Paul or Deron Williams. The second scenario is that Morey is going to parade McGrady around the league in order to trick someone into trading for him.

Scenario 1
Currently the second leading vote getter as a guard in the Western Conference, t_maK making the All Star team would be almost as infamous as the 2002 MLB All Star game in terms of blunders. It would be even worse if he hadn't played a single game all year. So the Commish undoubtedly made a call to Morey's office and made a deal with him that was about as one-sided as a game between the Lakers and the Sparks. "Play McGrady." You don't question the Commish.

Scenario 2
Morey is trying to get his 1993 Corvette out of the shop and parade it around the neighborhood a little bit in order to get some sap in the midst of a mid-life crisis to offer him something, anything, for it. (The Corvettes of the late 80s and early 90's are by far the worst of any Corvette made. Every Corvette from that era all seems to be the same terrible maroon color. No car should ever be that color, but certainly never a muscle car. I like comparing McGrady to a crappy 90's "muscle car" because he is that era of muscle car. He is the NBA player people like who don't know anything about the NBA just like that Corvette is the car people get when they don't know anything about muscle cars. To them its a Corvette, or someone who scores a lot of points. Never mind the fact that he hasn't won a single thing in his career.) The timing is just right if you are going to parade him around the league, like bringing out the Corvette during the first warm day of the year with the top down. People get envious. Lets look at the teams/GMs coming up on the schedule between now and the trading deadline on February 18th. (note: all games mentioned are road games because that would all but guarantee that the other owner/GM will see him play)

Dallas - Cuban is always buying right?

New Jersey Nettes - His name is Tracy.

Cleveland - Just in case they want to add one more washed up All-Star or buy LeBron insurance

Charlotte - He would fit real well on top of the Scrap Heap

Memphis - Do I really need to spell this one out?

Miami - Rumors are building for this one, heaven help us. Dwyane might as well pack his bags now if the rumors continue.

Milwaukee - Last chance to see him before he is shipped out of town or back to the DL, could be the last time we ever see him in the NBA

There you have it. My guess it that both scenarios are true and that with any luck we can finally be rid of T-Maq for good. If you're listening Mr. Morey, it will be worth 50 TBC Smart Points.

Nettes v Jazz

Some storylines going into tonight's Jazz @ Nettes game:

The Road
The Jazz have to ask themselves: "Will this be more like Willie Nelson's road or Cormac McCarthy's road?" A pretty lousy road team lately, the Jazz will find out which way- Willie or Cormac- this trip's gonna go tonight. Atlanta/Charlotte*/Miami/Orlando. The teams only get tougher after the turnpike.

2 going on 3
The Jazz boosted the Kryptowolves from two to four W's. The Nettes are understandably rooting for a bump (some psychologists would say all women are, deep down, wishing for a bump) from the Jazz. And let's just say the Jazz should take all precautions to keep from making Jersey the babymama of another little L.

Lack of Estrogen
The Jazz are notably lacking in feminine (or even androgynous) names- Ronnie being as close as it gets. Some of the names could be morphed a bit, if that will help motivate the Nettes to get their claws out: Carla Boozer, Andrea Kirilenko, Geri Sloan (dare you to try that to his face)...

* A quick thank you to the Bobcats for adding to the Knicks' L column last night. A fruitcake is in the mail.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knicks/Jazz/Wolves Grab Bag

Some random thoughts on the intertwined Jazz/Knicks seasons. Any true Jazz fan has a vested interest in the Knicks' stockpiling some L's.

I expected a little more from the Knicks. Which, as a Jazz fan, is to say: I expected a little less.

3rd place in the Atlantic/Titanic division? Yes, only the Celtics are over .500 and the rest of the division = the tragic Nettes, the glory-day-desperate Sixers, and a team that- let's be honest- will never be Canada's Team (but may very well be on their way to becoming Chris Bosh's First Team). Still, even in such a lousy division, third place is overachieving for what my Jazz Draft Expectations have in mind. With the Bobcats, Beat-a-bulls, and Clippers on the docket, this could be bad.

What can we do to turn this around?

Isiah Thomas should be given a second (third? eighth?) chance. Sign Spike Lee to a 10-day that he can film called Spike Going To Work or, alternately, Some Black Men Can't Jump Either. And why not bring back some former Knick to sell tickets? Ewing? Grandmama? I hear Sprewell is looking for work. And little Nate Robinson should be playing major minutes with an eternal green light (just remember, D'Antoni, how prominently green figured into Nate's dunk contest antics last season).

Speaking of Kryptonite...

The T-Wolves Own The Jazz
Kryptowolves have 4 wins this season, two of them against the Jazz, the most recent last night at EnergySolutions Arena, where the Jazz have formerly boasted a decent home court advantage. So much for building on wins against Orlando and The Kobes. Thank goodness Minny won't be a playoff threat. Now we just have to hope the Jazz are. Sheesh, it only makes me hate Mike Love all the more.

Johnny Flynn Has Wolves Fans Asking "Ricky Whobio?"
For one night, at least. I couldn't resist the headline.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Canada's Team/December Edition

Let's take another look into the Toronto Raptors' bid to become Canada's Team, both legally and in the hearts of the Canadian people. Of note this month: the rise of the Toronto Marlies and the regional popularity of Trevor Ariza's elbows. The current Top 10- based on a totally thorough and completely fake poll taken in Toronto- are as follows:

Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs/Leaves farm team)
2. Toronto Maple Leafs (currently 11-14-7 and down a spot)
3. whatever team signs Trevor Ariza 'cause that kid has hockey moves to spare
4. Minor Midget Jr Canadians (supposedly best junior team in the world)
5. Canadian National Team (apparently ALL of them)
6. Edmonton Oilers
7. Canadian Bacon (Mike Meyers and Kevin Bacon's undefeated Fantasy Football team)
8. Calgary Flames
9. Ottawa Senators
10. Phoenix Suns (Nash-loyalty is at an all-time high)

Other notables
13. Toronto Raptors (11-15, a substantial climb from last poll
14. Vancouver Canucks
Skater Boiz (an Avril Lavigne-inspired, Hot Topic-sponsored glee club out of Saskatchewan)
Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
47. Alanis Morrisette's road crew softball team, The Jagged Little Steals (steady)


Anyone who played NBA Jam in the 90s knew what it was like when Tim Hardaway or Reggie Miller (or Al Gore or P-Funk or Ad Rock, if you knew the codes). Same goes for anyone who's ever loved a team with a streak shooter. When they're on, life is good. When they're off, you deal with it. And keep praying for fire.

So goes this blog. Today, we're in for about 5 posts. But that's after 2 weeks of radio silence. Still, you gotta give it to Charlie T: the man is on fire.

The Clippers Stink, Blake Griffin

Many have tried to speculate as to what will finally make the Clippers not stink. Even more have tried to go and play for/coach the other team in the Staples Center with the only thing changing being that they end up leaving town reeking of Clippers. Often times, the player thinks they can come in become the Febreze the Clippers desperately need. Ask Elton Brand how that went. Ask Danny Manning. Try Shaun Livingston and his ACLs. Ask Bill Fitch. Ask anyone. The list goes on. (Darius MIles, Pooh Richardson, Zach Randolph, Olowakandi)

Needless to say, maybe have made guesses at the solution for the Clipps. So we decided to turn this fun guessing game into a game of Hangman. Over the course of the year there will be theories presented, ideas tested and letters guessed. Eventually this will reveal the secret as to how to get rid of that famous Clippers Stink.

The first guess is the much ballyhooed Blake Griffin. Everyone penciled the Clipps in for the playoffs and wouldn't you know, down with an injury. We are going to guess two letters for this one because of the overwhelming confidence. B and G. His initials.

Free Jazz

In tribute to Ornette Coleman (who played on an album of Joe Henry's, whose new record will likely crack my End Of Year Top 10), here's some free Jazz- i.e. random, non-associated thoughts about the Jazz.

I hate to say it, but BOOZER IS A MONSTER. I have long derided his ability to have the least impressive 20pt/10reb games in the history of basketball, sneaking in bunches of points during inconsequential minutes, making little impact on the game. But, after a shaky start to the season and- if we're being honest here- a completely douchey offseason, he's coming through in a big way. Of course, you'd have to be stupid not to see the "Contract Year" and "Trade-ability" in his eyes, not to mention "Shove It, Fanbase" and "Do You Remember What I Did To Cleveland?". But, after so much open hostility on my part and a large part of Jazz fans, it had to be said: BOOZER IS A MONSTER.

MILSAP? The question mark is the operative part. This season, after Portland basically weaseled the Jazz into throwing money at Milsap (and look at the karma you get, Blazers, for your conniving ways), we knew it'd be a tough go. Especially with fewer minutes and the insecurity of knowing that you have to- in some ways- defer to The All Star/Olympian On His Way Out. I'm not saying this is a Steve Young/Joe Montana situation, but you've gotta feel for Milsap. I still love his energy and hustle, undauntedness and athleticism, not to mention fearless ability to get points/boards WHEN IT MATTERS. But, again we're being honest here, he's been pretty quiet this year. Last year, as an understudy thrust onto the main stage, he proved himself. So we stopped paying him understudy money, only to continue giving him understudy minutes. Can't blame the guy for being a little lost.

BEST HOCKEY TEAM IN THE NBA. That wretched 4th quarter in L.A. proved it. 3 great periods. And an historically hideous one. Watching the ORL and (second) LA games, it felt to me- even in W's- that their play became more tenative. Haters blame Sloan, but I don't see that. I see a team tightening up. And, mostly, it feels like D-Will sometimes hits the brakes (fatigue? coaching? nerves?). It sort of feels like the old adage about "not playing to win, rather playing NOT to lose" which is an epic recipe for losing.

WES MATTHEWS. The Jazz aren't the best draft team in the league, but- like all-time leader John Stockton- they've gotten some steals. Wes Matthews is the latest.

EXCUSES, EXCUSES. "Kobe was hurt." "Short-handed." "Blah blah blah." The media has no shortage of AP Stylebook-approved excuses for bigtime teams losing to the Jazz. But a W is a W. Orlando was up 18 and couldn't hold on. The Lakers got a clunker from an injured Kobe. Guess what, league? Coming from a team that's had more than its fair share of injuries over the past few years (Boozer, Williams, Okur, Kirilenko, Korver, CJ Miles and on and on), let me just quote Justin Timberlake (who was borrowing from about 18 gazillion other pop culture aphorisms): WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.

B-RUSS. I'm torn. I was never a big Bryon Russell fan in the first place (my brother would have me shot with rocksalt for saying so), but this whole publicity thing has me divided. Part of me likes that he's calling out Jordan (not that Jordan is listening to the little buzzing mosquito). And part of me is really sad at how desperate and smalltime it all sounds. My least favorite Beach Boy Mike Love called out the Stones (among others) during his Rock n Roll Hall of Fame speech. And the Stones didn't so much as bat a bloodshot eye. I'm not sure if Jordan is Mike Love in this situation (the speech part? yes. the talent/legend part? no.), but it seems like it fits somehow. And, by the way, is Mike Love really Kevin Love's uncle? Please say no.

Bango the Buck, Et tu Bogut?

Just when Bango thought he was back on top with all the Jennings hype finally wearing off, Andrew Bogut had to go out and do this.

Bango's career is starting to resemble that of one Julius Caesar. Once on top of the world, then a tragic fall from grace ended by a "friendly" knife in the back. It would be one thing if the fans came up with this on their own but when a player subsidizes a coup d'etat like this, well that's just cold.

Then again, the guy bankrolling this operation might not be playing with a full deck.

After a little research, I don't think you have much to worry about Bango.

Assault on Timberwolves History, part 2

Nothing but taillights for Terrell Brandon. A little like Springsteen's character in Highway Patrolman, minus the brothers angle. Here we are again, looking at Al Jefferson's ascent of the Timberwolves All-Time records.

T-Wolves All Time Points

8. Tom Gugliotta 4,201
9. Pooh Richardson 3,698
10. Anthony Peeler 3,622
11. Al Jefferson - 3,254
12. Terrell Brandon - 3,157

Meanwhile, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Wolves can run production on those Tom Gugliota bobbleheads. Jefferson could pass Googs when one of his (Googs') former teams, the Warriors, comes to town in April. Jefferson has 363 points through 22 games, an average of 16.5 per game, which is well under his normal clip of 20+ per game. What better way to celebrate the long, storied history of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the great career of Tom Gugliotta than by having Googs himself in house, on Bobblehead Night, against a former team of his, while Al Jefferson eclipses him on the All Time Scoring list?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Assault on Timberwolves History

Much has been said about the storied franchise that is the Minnesota Timberwovles. (Googling....nothing....searching...still nothing....Wikipedia....KG something....nothing) Okay, fine. So not much has been said about the long history of the Timberwolves because there isn't much of one. Aside from JR Rider going between the legs, KG giving it his all, and Kevin McHale's sweaters, (it appears all evidence of his terrible wardrobe choices have been eliminated from the internet but I know I've seen him in this sweater on more than one occasion) it's slim pickings.

Flashback to 2+ years ago: Al Jefferson arrives in the Twin Cities as the savior of this franchise. Since then he's been skyrocketing up the franchise's All-Time charts.

Just this past week, he moved up to 7th all time on the rebounding charts. Who did he pass? Doug West and Joe Smith. There's a bit of irony with the current icon in 'Sota passing one of its past, prematurely revered icons. In case you forgot, Doug West was a huge pickup for the T'Wolves, being compared to the likes of Jerry West. As for Joe Smith, well who hasn't he played for and gotten about 1,500 rebounds? Heck, half of his rebounds were probably KG's but since they looked so much alike on the court, they just gave every 5th rebound to Smith.

T-Wolves All Time Rebounds

7. Al Jefferson - 1,582
8. Joe Smith - 1,561
9. Doug West - 1559

Congratulations Al. Look out, Terrell Brandon, you're up next...where ever you are.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

76ers - Glory Days

To start the season, we really loved the Sixers going back to their old logo and uniforms. In fact, we loved it so much that we were going to sift through the Sixers history and bring back more of the Glory Days. Then Andre Iguodala got on board doing his own artistic Glory Days impressions. The Sixers haven't stopped. They are fully embracing the Glory Days theme.

Glory Days is obviously a reference to one of the Boss' better songs. Some would argue that Springsteen is a prophet of sorts. You be the judge.

"My old man worked 20 years on the line
and they let him go
Now everywhere he goes out looking for work
they just tell him that he's too old"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Outdone By The Truth

Sometimes fiction and farce and fantasy is trumped by fact.

Case in point, yesterday Charlie T speculated with varying degrees of seriousness about who would be the Nettes' next coach. He tossed around some guys-with-girls'-names, some androgynous types, a bona fide, and some real deal women's coaches.

And then the Nettes gave the job to:


First, I'm bummed we didn't stick him on our initial list of candidates. Second, wow, thank you, New Jersey, for validating this little blog of ours. Third, was there no one named Roxy or Krystal or Fantasia or Cinnamon available?