Thursday, February 28, 2008

Keith does the pubicity circuit...

The UK based fan rag Uncut posts the "revealing" insights of Keith Richards during a publicity interview for Martin Scorsese's upcoming concert film release "Shine A Light". Here's the highlights...

On Mick: "power freak. Mick's a maniac. He can't get up in the morning without knowing immediately who he's going to call. Meanwhile, I just go 'Thank God I'm awake' and wait for three or four hours before I do anything."

On dope: “Lay off the dope... Give it up, it ain't really worth it. I know the fascination, but it ain't worth it,”

On CD's: "They sound tinny to me". (Must be a vinyl guy!)

On the Zeppelin reunion show: "They had one? Well, well done Jimmy and Robert... Fuck off. 'Stairway To Heaven' don't make it for me, baby."

On contemporary English rock bands: "I didn't like Oasis. I didn't like the Sex Pistols. I don't like any of those English rock'n'roll bands. They're all fucking crap."

What's left to say?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Holy shit crap costs a lot!!!

My main man Jackson joked recently about obtaining some Magma to add to his already enormous collection of recorded music. The Misanthrope has fallen in love with their work as well. For yucks I went out to see if any of their catalog still existed through traditional channels and was shocked to discover most of their stuff is retailing at at an average of about $40 a disc with some records going for $57+. Boy, those French are more gullible than George McFly.

Spinal Tap's got nothing on these guys. They even invented their own language to use for their lyrics. If you've got fifty bucks burning a hole in your wallet you can either buy twenty rocks of crack and smoke it, or you can buy a Magma disc. The health risks of either are pretty much a wash.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Songs for Lisa UPDATE...

UPDATE 2/25/08: All is well, all is well. Lisa had a tough Friday morning when the nurses/doctors screwed up her pain meds and she subsequently ended up locked out of getting any at all. My dad was there during the whole ordeal and contrary to his usual demur personality, became a little unglued at the nurses. I'm glad I wasn't there, because someone else would've been hurting as bad as Lisa. By the time we got into see her Friday night, she looked and felt great. It was hard to believe that she was that bad off only hours before. All weekend proved marked improvement each day. They're weaning her off the pain meds and hopefully she'll be home today with any luck.

There is a LONG road of challenges ahead for her and the rest of us. The doctors told her to go ahead and plan on being out of work the rest of the school year. They said chemo will make it impossible to be there regularly. That doesn't sit well with her at all. The reintroduction to food and eating is going to be tough. 3 months of bland puréed food followed by slow reintroduction to regular fare all the while she's starving and dreams of food at night.

All said and done, we're all grateful that she got through it in good order, and with the support of her man Merv and the rest of us she'll get through the next few months. Thanks for all the support and good vibes. Lisa is and the rest of us stand amazed at all of it.


Just to keep you up to date, I'll drop in my Dad's note from last night...

"It went almost exactly as the surgeon, Dr. Goza, had outlined for us on Tuesday. Couldn't do it with a laproscope, made a bigger incision, removed a baseball-sized tumor from the large intestine and an unspecified length of intestine, an unspecified number of lymph nodes, then reconnected the colon. No other organs affected. No cholostomy. Chemo with the previously advertised "kick ass" drugs to follow at some point.

The only thing different was that the post-op activity went from "get her up walking Thursday evening" to "have her sit in a chair and flex Thursday evening" to "we'll wait until Friday."

The iPod project is going well also. Mrs. Alva and I worked pretty late on it and have loaded every song you all have passed on to us. She'll be ripping and downloading throughout the day today. It's not too late if you think of one to add, so don't be shy. The plan is to wrap up last minute work on it, and go over and deliver it this evening (the new Nano is pretty awesome!).

For those interested, my brother Mathdude has posted as good a bio on Lisa as one could write (great job Bro).

Thanks again to all your efforts gang. Like I said, it matters.


Original Post:

I’ve been debating whether or not to blog about it ever since I was informed of the news not more than one short week ago, but I think I’ve come up with a reason to draft a post.

Following a failed treatment for a massive iron deficiency in her blood, my sister was sent for a CT scan of her abdomen. As happens a thousand times a day across the world over, doctors discovered a tumor in her colon. In a whirlwind of doctor visits over the past seven days, the doctors have elected to operate right away and she will have surgery tomorrow.

I could write paragraphs about the utter shitiness of getting news like this and how devastating this is for my family, her boyfriend, her friends, fellow teachers, and her students. I can assure you, all that you’ve heard about it is true.

Right now she is doing well and we are all feeling optimistic. The colon cancer survival rate is high due to the organ’s ability to contain it. So far, the doctors have found no traces or indications that it has spread to any of her other organs. She’ll have the tumor removed and do chemo therapy as soon as she recovers from the surgery.

Having a few survivors in our circle of friends and family has produced a metric ton of great advice. Keep it coming. I think the worst part for me personally is not being able to help, not being able to do something for her. Last night, Mrs. Alva came up with a brilliant idea, and as we discussed it over lunch today, I thought of a way the rest of you can help if you feel up to it.

We all know the awesome power of healing music can provide. My other sister works in a dialysis clinic and says that a popular thing amongst all her patients is to tune out to their iPods while getting their treatments. I’m certain it’s par for the course at chemo and radiation treatment centers too. My brother and sisters are going to get her an iPod and give it to her when she comes out of intensive care tomorrow, or more likely Friday. What I’d like to ask of you guys is to give me songs that you think we should load onto it. Whether you know her or not, you can be a big help to us. They can be inspirational, soothing, or whatever YOU think might help. Off the top of my head I can tell you she’s a big 80’s fan, hair metal, dance, new wave, but digs the Ramones too. Her tastes are pretty wide open. It would be awesome if I could set up an IDM created playlist for her. Hit me with as many suggestions as you can. I know Cup of Coffey can crank out a worthy list with her eyes closed, Jackson too. If you have original tracks just email them to me and I’ll ensure that they get loaded. If you feel like donating songs from iTunes, Amazon, etc… I’ll see to it that she gets it added to her account. In either case, I’ll make sure she knows which are from who.

Drop your ideas in the comment section or email me directly at Thanks in advance for anything you can suggest.

Fuck cancer!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So you wanna be a rock and roll star...

Well, well, well… I’d have never thunk it, but it looks like another member of the Alva family thinks himself worthy of partaking in the world of public dysfunctional political discourse and excruciatingly divisive musical debate all wrapped like bacon around a shriveled scallop of quasi-witty banter. It’s a leap that’s been taken by many and resulted in millions of lonely blog pages floating around out there which have gone without a new post for years after the initial blogging gloaming period had run it's course. I guess some folks come to realize they have less to say to the world then they thought, but that's not my brother. No sir. Mathdude is off to a great start with his inaugural post.

A blog is more of a challenge then many think no matter what your readership is. The motives for firing one up number as many as stars there are in the sky. For me, a few things compelled me to take the leap. I was being pegged as a serial commenter and my comment postings were beginning to become essays themselves. If you’ve met me you know I have a lot to say, and love debating the finer points of musical worthiness with others. I also realized that I could actually learn something from the blogs I read especially in regards to all things political. Lastly, I guess I realized I had what ALL bloggers must possess in order to go about this silliness: An ego. So the first order of blogger initiation is the recitation of the blogger pledge...

This my ego, there are many like it, but this one is mine.
Without my ego, my blog is nothing.
Without my blog my…

Okay, it doesn’t work the rest of the way through it, but you get the gist. My only advice to my brother here is to try your best to put up a couple or three posts a week, try to do it at the same time everyday if possible, and make sure you visit your blogroll regularly or as often as possible to leave your mess in comments sections. In no time flat you’ll be feeling guilty for not posting something while on vacation and wondering if your three readers will abandon you if you don’t get something up NOW! Bottom line, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to stay in daily contact with friends and perhaps make a new one every now and again. Let's now welcome a HUGE Ramones fan who has taught math to New York's most hardened criminal minds AND the states most bratty and affluent kids, Mathdude and his blog Eating Chicken Vindaloo!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Things I learned in Catholic school Part IVXCCICII...

Father O'Brien told us back in 7th grade at Our Lady of Mt. Cramel Elementary, "This is what happen's to boys who can't control themselves enough to leave "it" alone..."

The real story here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dis Guy...

You have to question the wisdom of this guy wanting to go to Baghdad for talks. You'd want to do this in Tehran, right?

Think about it from his perspective for a moment, visiting an extremely unstable capital city rife with armed men who want to kill you. Okay, I think it sucks that U.S. forces are going to have to provide security for him since he continues to allow munitions to flow to terrorists through his borders, but if you’re him how motivated should he think we are to keep some grinding teeth Sunni veteran of the Iran/Iraq war from downing his chopper with a shoulder launched missile. “Ah man, is that Ahmadinejad’s helio going down in flames? I just turned away for a second to light my cigarette and they got one off. Why didn’t we have coverage on that scary looking abandon warehouse where radical Sunni militants regularly hang out, play cards, and talk about hating Shiites all day? Oh well, we’ll be better prepared for the new puppet president of Iran’s next visit”.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

After 30 years some things never change...

What is it about skateboarding that pisses cops off so much? Put a military police uniform on this guy and it could be a clip from my past...

The Baltimore Sun reports,

"Reached at home Sunday, (officer) Rivieri said he was not aware that the incident had been recorded or posted to a public Web site. He acknowledged having encounters with skateboarders at the Inner Harbor last summer and told a reporter that he would review the video on YouTube.

"These kids, they've got nothing better to do," Rivieri said."

Nothing better other than enjoying their youth skateboarding, a horrible waste of time. What a dick. Geez...

Flav speaks the truth...

I was watching VH1's Flavor of Love season three kick off Monday night and recent events have given me pause to recollect something Flav said. One of the bimbos on the show asked him why he wore a clock around his neck. I don't know whether or not it was actually what compelled him back in the Public Enemy days to don the now ever present clock on a chain around his neck, but he offered this response: "The clock reminds me that more than anything else, time is our most precious and under appreciated commodity".

Indeed it is...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Alva's endorsement of McCain sidelines Romney...

Atlanta GA - Following uber blogger Tony Alva’s recent public endorsement of Arizona Senator John McCain on his Intravenus DeMilo blog, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has announced he would be suspending his campaign. “After Mr. Alva weighed in, I knew it was time to bow out”, the veteran GOP candidate said. “The flip flopping I was having to do, along with my corporate ass kissing, was beginning to give me a headache. At least now I can go get a drink and chill at my favorite strip club!” he went on to comment. Word from his campaign manager was that the Governor placed a call to fellow GOP candidate Mike Huckabee to give him the news and urge “God’s candidate” to hang up his cleats as well. Inside sources close to Romney said that the Gov. told the candidate from Arkansas during their brief phone call, “I don’t think the God thing is going to win it for us this year Mike, and I doubt you’d have a snowball’s chance in H-E-double toothpicks getting Tony’s endorsement”. Calls into Mr. Alva for comment revealed the truth in that statement. “As Mr. Alva has stated, the days of pandering to the religious nutjobs within the GOP ranks are over” an Alva spokesperson said.

Gov. Romney has not yet announced which candidate he will endorse.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bears Repeating...

I heard a DJ this morning use the term "Keep the driver in the bag..." with regard to John McCain's campaign. I thought it was a perfect analogy and very sage advice for the GOP front runner. “Keep the driver in the bag” is golfer strategy for when one is playing a great round, or if competing in a tournament, on top of the leader board. It's employed when a player has a large enough stroke lead which assures a win assuming he plays par golf through the remaining holes. There is no need to hit the green on remaining par 5 holes in two shots. For remaining par 4 holes, it dictates you use a three wood or an iron to keep the ball safely in the fairway even if it costs you a little distance. No need to do anything stupid or showy trying to break the course record, just win the match and take the check home.

I think John McCain is EXACTLY what this country needs at this moment and beyond. John McCain is exactly what the GOP NEEDS right now. The days of being overly influenced by the religious right morons and big business are over with a McCain nomination. John McCain will make a great Commander in Chief, better than ANY candidate in the field from both parties. I know the economy will end up dominating a great deal of the Tom Foolery like discussion running up to the conventions, but we must not forget we are at war (funny how Iraq hasn’t factored much so far now that some real progress is being made).

Most readers will wonder why I could be so energetic about McCain since I so vocally opposed to his brokered immigration legislation. My thoughts on immigration haven’t changed a bit and I still feel the bill was not a good one, but I also have to give props to the guy for WORKING with Democrats to get SOMETHING done and that’s what McCain does, works with others to get things done. I trust his ability to stick to his guns when it’s necessary and work with the other side of the isle the rest of the time. McCain possesses aged and tested integrity that is a warmth to me and is mostly absent in politics today. I would say that Obama possesses large amounts of integrity which I respect; it’s just that he’s too new to having had it tested for real. John McCain has been tested. He has paid the price for going against party line and here he still is. I’m afraid Obama would lose it all his first day in office when he would surely have to mutter words to this affect, “What? Did I say I was pulling troops out of Iraq? No, I didn’t say that. What I said was…”. I've even decided to overlook the fact that McCain's a squid.

To be honest, compared to past campaigns I’m pretty excited about this one. I have respect for all three front runners (McCain, Clinton, and Obama) and hope that honest forward facing debate based on current reality is what the remaining campaign will be about. So keep the driver in the bag John McCain and on to the conventions.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Back in the USSR...

What a blast I had in NYC. The Newcritics anniversary gala was tops. It was like meeting long lost relatives you only had previously spoken to on the phone. What a great group of folks. The event was held at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan which was once the Museum of Television & Radio. I used to have to truck down to this place during college days to do research. Perfect place for the event and by luck the most awesome Newcritics writer Ms. M.A. Peel happens to be one of the centers directors. As we chatted away at the reception, some killer newly restored classic footage of TV performances by all the 60’s and 70’s musical greats were playing on a big screen and pumping through the sound system. We moved into the theater for addresses from our blog’s host Mr. Tom Watson and others and were then treated to a great clip from the Dick Cavett Show in which Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal get entangled in a verbal slugfest that rivals any of today’s reality TV shows. Mailer even lashes out at poor ole Dick who’s doing nothing but trying to find a place to break in and go to commercial.

Afterwards, we all met for drinks at some swanky Manhattan club for more conversation and libations. Blue Girl, Tom K., Trickster!, Lance Mannion, not even half as cantankerous as they come off in their posts. From names in a blogroll to friends and collegues. In the immortal words of Spinal Tap's keyboard master Viv Savage "...amazing this computer magic".

Other than a trip to the Virgin Mega Store in Union Square, the rest of my visit was of course spent at the always accommodating Smoke & Mirrors studio working on a project that I’ve been at for awhile now and sitting in on other sessions. I’m always amazed at the talent that walks through the doors of S&M. Got to hear tracks from the new Get Help! record that are nothing short of brilliant. Silk Sheetz came by to drop a couple things into one of his hip hop tracks. Check it out on his MySpace page. Awesome 80’s era hip hop from back when the genre actually had something to say. Swag was in doing basic tracks for a song with a funky difficult part that was being mapped out during my last trip. All of it sounds great. Perhaps rock isn’t dead at all, it’s just living underground in Brooklyn NY.

My esteemed colleague in all things rock Jackson and his lovely young lady the Legal Diva were most gracious hosts for allowing me to clutter their living room couch yet again. I hope they can both make it down this summer for some chillin’ Peachtree City style. The whole trip was a moral boost that I’m hoping will carry me into the spring and out of the seasonal funk.

Anyway, glad to be back in the ATL with my girls and the rest of you.

UPDATE: My brother reminded me of a missing aspect of my post here. Yes, the excitement was palpable while in Gotham country. The fact that the young rag tag Giants we're playing for the big rings dominated all media and street conversation. Friday morning Jackson and I took in breakfast at a diner and I picked up both The Post and The News for yucks. The News had NO articles about anything but the game and the Giants. Not a word about super Tuesday or anything else. The Post had only two non-football pages and they were dedicated to Brittany Spears' latest meltdown. Everybody was pumped. Congrats to the Giants and NYC for slaying one of the NFL's Axis of Evil teams (the other being the Dallas Cowgirls). The best Super Bowl since the 49'ers last minute win eons ago.