Friday, February 13, 2009

The 7th Inning Stretch at the New Yankee Stadium

(As sung from my seat in section 230. Someone awesome is leading the song from the area behind home plate, but I couldn't tell you who without craning my neck and throwing my back out)
Take me out to the ballgame
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me a seat where I cannot see
Paid for with millions of my tax money
'Cause it's root root root for the Yankees
Except for the A-Face we BOOOO
For it's HIGH!
It's FAR!
I can't tell if it's GONE
From my seat with the obstructed view!

From the New Stadium Insider, if this is true I'm going to shit in Randy Levine's cereal.

Seriously Yankees, explain yourselves right now.

You spent $1.3 BILLION on this place, including shadily obtained public money. I feel like that's enough to cover minor details like, oh I don't know, seeing the field. I know you guys wanted to give us modern-luxury-meets-old-school-Original-Stadium-charm, but OBSTRUCTED EFFING VIEWS!?!? And those seats cost what, 80 bucks for a single game? Ok Schiff, calm down. We'll just have to set up shop in the bleachers and save a little money. Not the best view of the action but at least we can see the entire field...

Apologies to my black and white buddies, but WHAT IN THE FACK IS THAT?!?!

I know everyone is pretty well worn out on A-Face and almost done caring about that story (even Boston writers are standing up for him - where am I?), but why does it always have to be some kind of nonsensical drama with this club? All I should be excited for today is pitchers and catchers reporting, but somehow the story of baseball players actually playing baseball is buried under a big pile o' bullshit, which is what I will now go personally deliver to the Yankees front offices.

Effinay Yankees... you've got some 'splaining to do.

UPDATE: The Yankees got wind of all the fuss on the innertubes and have vowed to remove the obstructed seats. Apparently they were installed to see if the view from them would in fact be obstructed. Because it would have been too difficult to simply stand in that spot and say, "Gee, sure is tough to see through this giant steel beam." Then again, what's a few thousand more of my dollars to rip out these seats, right?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Put down the chicken fingers and read Bruce's Super Journal

Great stuff this week from Mr. Springsteen, in a slow week for Bruce news which most likely won't require an extensive recap. The Boss' official site has published Bruce's Super Bowl journal, complete with some awesome behind-the-scenes photos by Danny Clinch. It's just a thoughtful and intimate look inside the mind of an artist - let alone an artist of Springsteen's stature - that you don't get to experience all that much these days. And please don't tell me that the caps-locked ravings of a mulleted lunatic qualify. Ye might rap about being self-conscious, but his self-serving egomania can't touch Bruce's candid journal entry, in which he admits that his last thought before taking the stage was "Lord Don't Let Me Screw the Pooch in Front of 100 Million People." The Boss goes on about the intense camaraderie shared by the E Street Band; his on-stage thoughts of his career journey, reflected in the setlist; and of course the details of his now-famous crotch crash, and how his powerslide went awry. Bruce declined to do the Super Bowl gig for years, but to me, his diary entry makes it clear that he made the right decision at the perfect time for him and for all of E Street to finally accept the challenge this year.

It should be pretty obvious that this journal entry blew me away, so do yourself a favor and read it already so you don't have to rely on my ramblings to convey its awesomeness. Of course, when you're done, come right on back and let me know what you thought.

Everybody form a line (More Bruce on SH):
The Boss doesn't pump his gas - he pumps his fists

Sans GMen, Sunday was still Super


Who decides? The Boss decides

It's (almost, ok not really but pretty much) official!

Suck it Philly: Springsteen Edition

Phish Happens? [Rumors, speculation and hearsay]

And I paid all this money for a seat with a view [Babes On A Plane]

I avoided all of the previews and coverage on the internet of this week's SI Swimsuit Issue in anticipation of it arriving at my apartment, and I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. It was like when you DVR the game and you painstakingly screen your calls and emails and alert all your friends not to text you during the game because you have to take Aunt Ida to bingo and you just can't get out of it. Inevitably, they try to sabotage you by texting you from their girlfriend's phone or sending you a disguised link, just like all my friends in the bloggerhood tried their hardest to force me to look at sexy pictures of scantily clad bikini babes days before the hard copy was slated to arrive in my mailbox. However, I remained steadfast in my belief that the payoff would be all the sweeter if I could somehow hold out, and I feel like I made the right decision. The raunchy stream of consciousness running commentary that came drooling out of my mouth as I flipped from one page of hotness to the next would probably not have been nearly as entertaining to the roommates had I been looking at these beauties all week on these here interwebs. Observe the latest scene from Schiff Happens Masterpiece Theater:

Roommate #1, checking emails while watching TV: Blah, blah, work sucks, blah, blah, what's the Duke-UNC score?
/Crickets chirp. Roommate #1 looks up.
Schiff Happens, nose 4 centimeters from SI, completely oblivious: You always gotta find the nip in the body paint ones...

I have been a SI subscriber for a while now, and the Swimsuit Issue is obviously highly anticipated every year, but honestly, is there a more perfect Member of the Tribe on this planet than this year's cover babe, Bar Refaeli? (I see you over there, Esti Ginzburg. You wait your turn you sneaky little Hebrew sex kitten.) Every picture of Bar is more sexier than the last. The photo to the right was probably my favorite in the entire issue (Just barely. I mean, when you're choosing between this, this, and this, the debate sort of has no wrong answer). Is that a swimsuit? Is it lingerie? Does it matter? It actually has a vajeen indicator strip right there on the bottom piece! It almost resembles an arrow, pointing at all times to the Promised Land. Right this way, boys! Of course, they had treasure maps covered in this issue as well. Brooklyn Decker wants you to journey to the forbidden city, and some lucky dude with a sharpie is going to make sure that you have every necessary detail to find your way. Does that qualify as the Prime Meridian?

All of this is essentially an unnecessary (like you're complaining) introduction to the sexiest airplane of all time, SI One, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 adorned with a decal of Bar and her mile-long curves (more pics here). The sad irony of this plane is of course that it is best enjoyed from outside, which means you could have the window seat over the Grand Canyon and still have a worse view than the teeny tiny people below. I think we can all agree on the only man who should be deemed worthy to fly such a beautiful vessel. Imagine if Bar had been plastered on the side of Flight 1549, her sexy body splashing into the Hudson. Hottest miracle plane crash/water landing ever? As crazy as it was to see the Miracle Flight floating downriver from my office window, I don't even think I'd have the words to describe a 110-foot Bar Refaeli airplane mermaid. Perhaps if I look to our shared Motherland I may find an appropriate expression. When I was in Israel they told us "Sababa" meant "cool," or "it's all good." Certainly that would apply. Maybe "Benzonah," as in "Sonofabitch! Mother-effer!"

But perhaps the most perfect Israeli slang for such an occasion: yam kusiot.

Am Yisrael Chai, friends.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just give me baseball already [or How to call A-Rod gay in 1864]

A-Fraud, A-Roid, maybe you wanna show her your A-Face.

I'm worn out on A-Rod, and steroids, and hypocritical hero-worshipping nonsense about athletes as role models.

Makes me long for the days when they used to play it like real men, the old fashioned way.

Conan O'Brien 1864 Baseball
by Youpinadi

Gammons: You seem peevish.
A-Face: I hope I have not caused you any vexation or unpleaseant cogitations.
Schiff Happens: You ass!
Interview ends, A-Face leaves the room.

Gammons: That gentleman likes to ply his seed in the other melon patch.

Sweet merciful crap, give me some apple hurling and stick mashing already.

Spring training is nearly here, and not a moment too soon.
I've been enjoying watching the NBA more than any season I can recall in a while, but I'm still watching the Knicks, who reminded me tonight that they still suck.

Besides, all of this A-Hole garbage gets me fired up. The season needs to start so I have somewhere to direct all of my hilarious anger.
Get out on the damn field and do what you get paid your millions to do.
Just win and the rest takes care of itself. In the end, that's all I care about. Any fan who says otherwise, or is willing to act shocked and disappointed that you did that shit is lying to themself.

You're an entertainer. You perform for my amusement. You're a $300 million circus seal, only you are exceptionally good at the exceptionally difficult albeit relatively inconsequential sporting challenge of hitting a round ball with a round piece of wood...and I prefer baseball to the circus. I really don't give a shit if you want to cheat and make an ass out of yourself - it's your money and your reputation - provided of course that you WIN. 3-letter word, starts with "W" - stop me if I say something that rings a bell.

Not to say I condone what you did, you frosted-tipped lying sack of cheater; I just won't shed a tear for my poor kid brother and all your many fans who will never worship your lipstick wearing ass again. We always knew you were kind of a prick. Now you're just a Webster's-worthy douche defined. Either way, you were never some kind of American hero. Writers who built you up that way and want to rip you now, and "Think of the children!" loudmouths who want to call you out for being a bad role model, see above re: lying to themselves. Again, not off the hook. You still cheated, and everyone still hates you.

(3-letter word, starts with "B")

All of that is irrelevant if you just do your effing job, specifically in months ending in -ober.

Now just give me baseball, so I can watch it all happen.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Asher Roth - I Love College (Video) [Rappin Jews]

A lot going on musically in Schiff Happens land, somehow this one managed to slip through the cracks. It's the official video for Asher's signature jam, "I Love College," directed by Jonathan Lia. I featured this track here eons ago, because like anyone with a pulse, I love college.

do i really have to graduate, or can i just stay here the rest of my life?

The track list for Asher's album, "Asleep in the Bread Aisle," due to drop April 21, is also out. Let's check that out, shall we?

1. Lark On My Go-Cart
2. Blunt Cruisin’
3. I Love College
4. Bad Day” ft. Jazze Pha
5. Be By Myself ft. Cee-Lo
6. Sour Patch Kids
7. She Don’t Want A Man
8. As I Em ft. Chester French
9. His Dream ft. Miguel
10. Ladida
11. Leo The Lion
12. Fallin
13. Nothing You Can’t Do

This kid has already generated a fair bit of hype, and he's definitely, well, a little different than most rappers out there to say the least, so I imagine a lot more will probably be said, and opinions on him will vary widely. However, even if you didn't know about him already, you'd be able to tell by that track list that this is a dude who raps about what he knows and is true to himself. He may be a white kid from the suburbs who (kind of) went to college, but you must respect a man who dedicates a track to the greatest candy on the planet. I'm excited for this one.

More Asher:
MC Asher Roth readying major label debut [Billboard]
50 Cents Jackson agrees with Schiff Happens, calls Asher Roth "authentic" [IllRoots] (*note to Mr. Rick Ross, Schiff Happens does not necessarily agree with Mr. Cents Jackson's allegations of fraud. Please do not sit on me)

Asher on SH:

Asher Roth "Apparently Jack Bauer" [White MCs building street cred]

New Year, New Emcees

More tunes! aka where the F are my Friday Jams?
To all my people who don't wanna go to work [Friday Jams]

Blink-182 are back! [the one where the nerd goes "I HAVE NO LEGS!"]

I popped in on the Grammys a couple of times last night, mostly to A) check out Dave Grohl's positively giddy drumming with Sir Paul on "I Saw Her Standing There." If you didn't like seeing Grohl, a legitimate rock lord who has collaborated with the biggest of big names, reduced to giggling schoolgirl joy while playing alongside a walking rock god, then I'm not quite sure how to say this, but I don't think we can be friends. Free whoppers for everybody! Sorry. Wandered off a little bit there. Seriously though, "I Saw Her Standing There" can still rock a room. Like you weren't watching at home singing, "WOOOOOOOO." Meanwhile, somewhere, Ringo Starr turned to whoever he was watching with and desperately tried to convince them, "I used to be in this band, I swear! Who the bloody hell is that bloke? I'm Ringo! I'm in the band! I'M IN THE BAND!!!"

...and B) to see if M.I.A. was going to go ahead and have that natural childbirth right there on stage mid-"Paper Planes." She may have gotten shafted on the awards, but that was definitely the greatest live performance I've ever seen by a nine-months pregnant woman in a see-through dalmatian bikini, an honor which as you and I and Homer Simpson all know is more valuable than any Grammy. You feelin that, Weezy? Word? Me too - the performance that is. The black and white tripped me up for a minute, but it was a cool presentation and was delivered well. Weezy was a big winner on the night overall; he got 4 of these things including best Rap Album and Song, but he also paid homage to New Orleans alongside Allen Toussaint, Terence Blanchard and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. This performance was a surprise highlight for me. Dirty Dozen was a college favorite and I'm already lining up the convoy to Tennessee to see Toussaint in June. Aaaand there's your first Bonnaroo mention.

I honestly didn't see a single award handed out amidst all the performances, so I wasn't wa
tching live during what was definitely the biggest moment of the show if you were a teenager at any point in the mid to late 90s or if you vehemently believe that "Can't Hardly Wait" is a brilliant and sadly under-appreciated movie of your generation. Blink-182, together on stage for the first time since 2005 to present the Best Rock Album award to Coldplay (really? was nobody else nominated?), officially announced their reunion. Read their official statement, via Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily, if you don't believe me:
“Hi. We’re blink-182. This past week there’ve been a lot of questions about the current status of the band, and we wanted you to hear it straight from us. To put it simply, We’re back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed. 17 years deep in our legacy.”

The band leaves things with the words “Summer 2009. Thanks and get ready…”

It's already being rumored that "Summer 2009" means they're opening for Green Day, who - would you look at that? - have an album coming out in May. Well isn't that just convenient? It's safe to say that Blink/Green Day Tour '09 would make my summer concert schedule that much more epic. I had a quality high school flashback fairly recently, so while I'd probably be very excited to see a reunited Blink, friends of this airspace know that I'd about flip a shit at a Green Day concert. That's beyond a high school flashback, that's more like Pine Brook Elementary. I've only dreamed of seeing Green Day in concert since Dookie was my first CD in 1994. Of course, I shudder to think of attempting to get tickets,as TicketBastard and LineNation merge into a scourge of the hippies ticketopoly. But if Blink-182 really wants to go all out and conquer the world this summer, there's plenty of room on our convoy. What, you didn't think this was really a Grammys post? It could happen! I'll kick everyone's ass in this room!

Blink-182 make reunion official on Grammy stage
[Rolling Stone]

Peeler Man, I salute you [R.I.P. Joe Ades]

I saw Joe Ades on the street just once, and I stopped and joined the enraptured crowd as he waved around his magic peeler and raked in people's cash. He really was some kind of genius of a pitchman, and although he had all of his newspaper articles set up behind him (as you can see in the video) I didn't realize that he was sort of a big deal. Clearly I never did a lot of shopping in Greenmarket. You wouldn't think that watching a geezer peel potatoes and carrots would be all that entertaining, but I'll be damned if Joe didn't peel and slice the shit out of those veggies and love every second of it. Not only that, but he had the perfect booming, jovial voice and really put on a great show of it all.

We were also sort of neighbors, and the incongruity of his Upper East Side apartment with his street peddler occupation was part of what made him such a unique fixture. This was yet another thing I did not know about him when I stopped to watch him on 86th Street. However, the proof is in his New York Times obituary ::mental note - despite fame, NYT obit something to strive for::
"The sidewalk pitchman who was a regular at expensive East Side restaurants, where no one believed his answer to the “So what do you do?” question: “I sell potato peelers on the street.”
Clearly we didn't dine out at the same establishments, but I think that pretty well makes us neighbors. It also could possibly explain why I couldn't muster up the five bucks to buy one of his incredible wonder peelers that afternoon. Maybe I just hoped I'd get to see a future performance and buy one then. Sadly, Peelin' Joe Ades passed last week at the age of 75, and I'll never have that chance again. So here's to you, Mr. Sidewalk Peeler Salesman. An exceptional salesman with a great sense of showmanship and obvious love of his work.

Try to watch this video and not look away. Tell me you wouldn't buy 5 of those things for 20 bucks right now and I, sir, will call you a liar.

His Stage, the Street; His Rapier, a Peeler [New York Times]
The Gentleman Grafter [Vanity Fair]
Perfect Pitch [New York Daily News]
Potato Peelers Put Him on Park Avenue [MSNBC]