Monday, September 15, 2014

5j Barrow

I stumbled on to this band through one of the lead singers: Jason Hite. He was in the off Broadway show Bare that I saw a year ago in January. In his Playbill bio was information on the band he played with 5J Barrow. I went to a site (which one I’m not sure any more) and listened to some of the music. I really liked it. They had an EP called 5j Barrow. I downloaded it.

I really liked it. I then found them on Facebook.

I found out, too late it turns out, they had a Kickstart campaign for their first album and tour. Got the first full album. Then noticed that they would be in DC for part of their first tour. Thankfully was able to see them (see story below for reason I missed the first part of their show).

A little on the band:
Any Broadway fan (singers Eryn Murman and Jason Hite performed in Spring Awakening and Bare) should check out 5J Barrow for their fill of drama-tinged folk music. The band was selected as Best Manhattan Artist at WNYC’s latest Battle of the Boroughs. Taking their everyday experiences as evidence of the magic we overlook too often in NYC, first single ‘Talking My Soul’ discusses streets named after wheeping trees, and why it’s better to discuss your life while at sea... not to mention a fiddle freakout halfway through that could raise the dead.

Great interview here.

Here’s a little more about the band.

On their new album:
Brooklyn-based sextet 5j Barrow hits the ground running with “Talking My Soul,” the first track on the just-released From the Dim, Sweet Light. It’s clear from the outset that lead vocalists Eryn Murman and Jason Hite have a synergistic musical relationship that is only heightened by the collaboration with Eric Namaky (keys), Michael Hunter (violin), Ian Hunt (percussion) and Harden Frank (bass).

5j Barrow celebrates the dramatic, dynamic and collaborative nature of storytelling with the release of From the Dim, Sweet Light. From top to bottom, the players provide a wide and diverse range of skills and instrumentation that not only makes this album appealing to musicians, but accessible to fans. It’s a rollicking, energetic glimpse into a collective of performers that click when they play together, enhancing each others’ strengths in a way that’s exciting to listen to. There can be little doubt they would put on a hell of a live show, and I’d be surprised if this band didn’t pick up even more buzz with the release of this album. Take a listen, you’ll be glad you did.

Finally here's a video of one of their songs. They really are a great group so enjoy.

Saturday Evening Metro “Service”

I made the huge mistake of taking Metro on Saturday evening to hear a band that was playing at a bar in Chinatown.

I will admit that I left my house late. I knew I would not be able to catch the start of their set. I had no idea I would miss out on more than half of it.

The reason was the ever unreliable and undependable weekend “service” of Metro. I waited at the Rhode Island Avenue stop for 25 minutes for a train going in the direction I needed to travel. In that time four trains going in the opposite direction came through the station. Four trains. I was so pissed off.

And the next train signs were of absolutely no help. All they showed were the trains going in the other direction. Then again I guess the sign was correct because it is supposed to show the trains coming into the station. It turned out all of them were going in the opposite direction I needed to go.

This is the type of service we get from Metro. I can’t believe it. Imagine if I’d had to switch lines. And the ride back was just as bad.

I had decided I wouldn’t drive to the bar because I was concerned I would not be able to find a parking place. That finding parking would take too long. But after this charming experience I will be driving from now on. I’ll just add some extra time so I can find a parking place. Sort of like adding extra time for the Metro ride.

The thing that really gets me is that this is the type of weekend “service” Metro is going to be providing for years to come. It’s part of their as Metro puts it “rebuilding” program. If you could actually see some positive results it might be worth it. But you don’t see any results. All you see is the weekend after weekend after weekend of disrupted service. For now on the weekends, at least at night, I’m driving.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Looking to Sweep Atlanta

An afternoon game at Nats' Park. Hoping to sweep Atlanta. 

First pitch came in by skydivers. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hypocrisy thy name is NFL

I like to say I’m surprised at this but I’m not. The NFL was shocked by what they saw on the Ray Rice video. Really?

From the Post:
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice lost his job Monday, and the National Football League endured a fresh salvo of criticism after surveillance video surfaced showing Rice knocking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said he met with General Manager Ozzie Newsome, team President Richard Cass and owner Steve Bisciotti to make the decision to release Rice. According to Harbaugh, he and Newsome spoke to Rice in the afternoon.

“It changed things, of course,” Harbaugh said of the video at an evening news conference at the team’s training facility in Owings Mills, Md. “It made things a little bit different.”

You need video to figure out what happened in that elevator. What did they think happened they fist bumped each other. No one and I mean NO ONE should need to see what happened inside the elevator when there was footage from the lobby showing what happened when the elevator doors opened. Rice moved his then financee’s limp body out of the elevator like it was a sack of potatoes and showed no interest what so ever in her condition.

The NFL said it had never seen the video.

This is from a column by Sally Jenkins which I agree with whole heartedly:
If NFL executives and Baltimore Ravens staff had never seen that tape before, there are only two reasons: willful blindness, and the determination to maintain plausible deniability. Two NFL analysts with reputations for impeccable sources, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, were told months ago the league had to have seen the tape. Ray Rice’s own attorney had a copy of it. It simply defies belief that league and team officials couldn’t have seen it if they wanted to.
This once again reinforces what the bottom line is for the NFL. The NFL’s image and ability to spin the issue. Concussions spin it for a while. Say riding a bike is more dangerous than a concussion. Call into question the conclusion of doctors on what’s going on in player's brains. Do that until players are killing themselves and the scientific evidence is overwhelming and then see the light. Settle a lawsuit pledge money for research. Blah Blah. Players are committing crimes right and left. Sweep it under the rug until the PR becomes so bad, you have to do something about it.

The reason the NFL did what it did was not out of some sense of outrage over what Rice did but the terrible backlash that was and is happening against the NFL in the media and public.

As I said in the beginning hypocrisy thy name is NFL

Tuesday Treat

All right everyone you survived Monday so here's your Tuesday treat. And what better treat then something from Peanuts on baseball no less.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Friday Follies at Nats' Park

Certainly was a fantastic night.

A very frustrating Friday night at Nationals' Park:

As Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere rounded the bases Friday night following his game-tying homer and the crowd at Nationals Park gasped, Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano stared out to right field. Soriano has struggled in the second half of the season, and more so of late. After blown saves in back-to-back outings, and his fifth in his past 21 appearances, Soriano’s struggles have put the Nationals and Manager Matt Williams into a difficult position.

The Nationals’ magic number was still trimmed to 16 thanks to Atlanta’s 11-3 loss in Miami, but it could have been more had the bullpen not squandered Stephen Strasburg’s strong start and the offense’s production. The Nationals had a 7-2 lead entering the eighth inning and watched it disappear before the next inning was over.

As I have said before Soriano allows too many people on base. And two home runs in one inning. OH my. It started a long end of the game where the Nationals lost by 9-8 in 11 innings. There were other flubs along the way but the main was the inability of Soriano to put the game away. Finally. Finally Matt Williams has decided to sit Soriano and have a rotating closer for now. It seemed to work on Sunday.

A good thing was that Atlanta lost on Friday too.

A bad thing was the Nationals lost again to the Phillies on Saturday.

A good thing Atalanta lost on Sunday.

An even better thing the Nationals one on Sunday. They are now 7 games ahead of Atlanta. The magic number is now down to 14.

A bad thing Atlanta (which has been the Nationals' kryptonite this year) are in town for the next three days. Hopefully the Nats can take at least two of these games. I'm going to the one on Wednesday afternoon.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Back to Nats Park

The Nats are back in town playing the Phillies. They are inching ever closer to winning the division. The magic number is 17.  

The carving station. Great turkey sandwiches. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Spectacular Hibiscus

I saw these on one of my walks around my house. They are just spectacular!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Oddest of Wrong Numbers

I stayed home yesterday because I wasn’t feeling well. I was surprised at the number of phone calls I got during the course of the day. I’d say at least four. And one in particular caught my attention.

It sounded very official and involved a legal matter that I needed to attend to. It would be the last time I was notified about this before legal proceedings were start. I was warned in the strongest terms that I essential was being served notice.

The one small problem is that this stern message was for someone named Robert Pedigrew (I’m guessing on the last name here). It’s funny because I hadn’t gotten one of these calls in awhile. They seem to go in cycles. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll get several more of these calls that will all say essential the same thing.

I guess the idea is for you to call them back and say they have a wrong number. I can’t think of any other reason for getting the call. The idea that leaving a message on an answering machine means someone is officially notified about a legal action that’s being pursued against them is just silly. How could anyone in this day and age believe something like that? My feeling is they are trying to get me to call them back and then attempt to get my number removed from being associated with this guy. I have feeling that in order to do that some amount of money would have to be paid to them to get this done. In stead I think I’ll just laugh as I erase the message from my answering machine.

It reminds me of another scam where the call says it’s about lowering the interest on your credit card. As the nice voice says on the recorded message there is nothing wrong with your credit card but you must act now to lower your interest rate to 6.99%. This will be the last time you are called. If that were only the case. I used to get this on my land line on a regular basis now all of a sudden I’m getting them on my cell phone which I’m finding really annoying.

I decided to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on the credit card call. I’m not sure what to do about the other one. The next time they call and leave a message (and there will be a next time) I’m going to Google the number and see what I find out about it.