Canadian goof balls

The Barenaked Ladies don’t get enough respect. There I said it.

Sure some of their music was really played a ton when it would be all over the radio in the ‘90s but times change man.

For an example take a look at this video:

(which I can’t get to embed)

Boy do times ever change. I heard the early ‘90s didn’t get to Canada until like 1997 down here in the states.

But still I would have loved to see these guys with Steven Page. Consider this my late gift to these Canadian dorks for Canadian Thanksgiving.

Unplugged Enigma

I’ve done something I’ve always wanted to do last night; I drank a New Glarus Unplugged Enigma.

This is premium, small brewed craft beer, available only in Wisconsin, so those who may be headed to the Cities might want to make a trip to exit 2 in Hudson for a four pack.

To express the quality of this nectar of the gods the following statement runs on the side of the bottle: “Some people paint, some sing,… others dance, I brew.”

Also, because I dislike George Thorogood and his song “I Drink Alone,” I called the sports dorks over the collectively bask in the bottled glory.

I will say that Mikey “Stacks” Savaloja knows his beer better that Davey “Ice” Griswold.

Mike had a number of dynamite drop ins, including the beer is sweet, tart, and not for dark beer drinkers.

He said it has a wine cooler quality with beer traits.

I noticed how the hops are almost nonexistent and the flavor must come from fermented cherries, which make the drink excellent to sip while watching leaves change colors and drop to the ground.

Griswold chipped in with “The chicks will dig it,” also “I know nothing about beer, I just like drinking it.” Stay classy Dave.

It’s a little more pricey at $10 a four pack and it’s not the type of beer where you can enjoy more than two or three because of the strait-up-sweetness.

But man o man sharing a bottle was plenty goodness for this guy.

Cheers! Prost! Vashi! Salut! A vorte sante! Noroc! Djam! Chia! Bottoms up and to your health.

Smooth kicks

As my loyal readers know I recently returned from Wisconsin, and one of the best things about my hometown Oshkosh is that there is a shoe store there.

My two pairs of go-to footwear had a combined age that would make most wines look good, so it was indeed time to stock up on some apparel for my feet.

I was delighted when I found this pair of Pumas to replace my other Pumas which were falling apart and had some holes.

Of course my brother wasn’t with me at the time of the purchase so I couldn’t get his opinion on the shoes when I bought them, but I showed him when he got back from football practice.

You see my 16-year-old brother Alex has got the athletic ability in the family and he’s focusing on basketball and with good reason, he can really ball.

I said to Alex “check out my fly new shoes.” He responds, “Ben, those are not fly.” Instead he called them smooth.


I just got served by my brother who is hands down getting way to into the basketball culture. He proceeded to show me his new Jordans and explain what it takes for a shoe to be fly nowadays.

He even tried getting me to listen to this rap by something called the Young Money Gang, but is probably spelled more like Da Jung $ Gang.

I guess at my age I’m too old to be fly, I’ll have to take my new smooth kicks.

SWAG ALERT: I got some Jamestown Sun swag I’m dying to give away. The local person who comes closest to guessing how many pairs of Pumas I’ve owned will get a Jamestown Sun coffee mug. This includes soccer shoes… Good luck.

So it comes to this

You came here for football picks? I can’t believe it. Honestly this season is going so horribly for me right now that watching football on Sundays is almost depressing.

Between two fantasy teams, these lousy picks and my loyal Green Bay Packer fan ship football season is making me look even more like a total moron.

That’s why with total confidence I make the Pack over the Skins by 2.5 points my Lock Of The Week. Rodgers and company will come together for this tough road win over the McNabb drab Redskins.

Look for the Chargers to rock the Raiders by more than the 6 point spread.

Kansas City will give the Colts and run for their money and cover the 7 point spread.

I’m taking the Lions to trump the Rams and restore the roar by the 3 points.

And on Monday night I’m looking for Raaaaaaandy Moss and the Vikings to cover the 3.5 points at the Jets.

Hacking up a Hairball

You read that correctly, Saturday night the Jamestown Civic Center will host Hairball.

This ‘80s cover band uses two lead singers who are known for their spot on impersonations of the mullet mashing rockers who were glorified gods in their decade.

We’re talking Guns ‘N’ Roses, Kiss, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Quiet Riot that sort of thing.

I for one am pretty excited, this gives me a chance to break out the leather chaps and mullet wig, business in front and party in back baby!

But no really, I won’t dress like a freak anymore than I normally do but I will be there with my rock n’ roll fingers out in force. Especially if they rock out to “Love Gun.”

Saturday, Civic Center, opening band at 8:30 p.m. be there and maybe you’ll get lucky and I’ll pour some sugar on you.

If that’s not enough to make everyone want to check this band out. Here’s a video of the dudes thrashing it Kiss style.

Also trying to pursuade Griswald and the Maverick to come to this concert I found out that Marky Mark’s brother still is in New Kids on the Block. Who woulda thought?

Farm Aid: A review complete with videos

I drove and drove and drove and drove and on Saturday morning I finally arrived at Miller Park in Milwaukee for Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope For America.

The show kicked off at 1 p.m. but I was hungry and my buddy was grilling up a whole mess of organic turkey burgers and I figured, when in Rome.

After my lunch, which was tasty, fresh, produced locally and very healthy I made my way inside the hallowed grounds which normally host the Milwaukee Brewers.

I spent most of the early sets talking to Wisconsin farmers about the dangers that factory farms of all sorts produce. They pollute, the drain natural resources, and workers are an issue, but I digress. Let’s get to the tunes.

I walked in and called my friend from DePere who dropped his kids off at a babysitter and brought a big ol’ group for the Green Bay area. I haven’t seen him in what’s felt like five years but there he was in section 429. I trekked up four flights of stairs from my comfy 117 seats.

We caught up and saw the set of Jeff Tweedy, Wilco front man. I honestly wasn’t that impressed, sure he sounded good but it was slow, depressing music, kind of like he ripped off Bright Eyes.

My buddy in 429 told me while I was burning off the turkey burger walking up all those levels I missed the end of a great set by Amos Lee which he described as kind of a country voice, which the ability to croon a little jazz.

Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, played next and was unreal. I saw the kid back at Farm Aid 20 and he was ripping off some killer blues then. Like a fine wine age has done Lukas well. It must have been the part where he was flipping the guitar between right-side-up and up-side-down that really brought my house down. He was one of the better acts during the concert.

Band of Horses also played somewhere in there and if you know what a hipster is (therefore you are a hipster) you would dig this band. It’s hard to describe but I’d say it was a modern rock sound with the traditional instruments, check them out.

The big names started coming out next, Jason Mraz is an avocado farmer as well as radio hit wunderkid. He really enjoyed playing for Farm Aid 25 and it could show, his set was great even though it was a lot of poppy radio play.

He was followed by the always delectable Norah Jones, who proved why her sweet, soothing voice is next to that of a muse. It seemed the whole ball park quieted down when she played, kind of like Emmylou Harris at Farm Aid 20. She also did a duet with Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson. I think I would either be way more productive at work if I had my own personal Norah Jones to sing to me.

Kenny Chesney followed Jones and this was a great time to use the bathroom, get a drink, buy a T-shirt and not listen to country music, which I all did. But the country fans were hootin’ and a hollerin’ so he must have been lights out.

Next up was Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, hands down my favorite set. Dave and Tim went duo-virtuoso, which was mind blowingly awesome. It was only two people dueling their guitars but if you closed your eyes at times it sounded like four. I’ve seen the pair once before but Dave believes in the cause and he played his heart out, again hands down favorite set.

For the old-timers who read this blog I should probably mention John Mellencamp. He played almost all the same songs he did at Farm Aid 20 but the man has a stage presence unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. He whipped the crowd up, played his hits and rocked Miller Park.

The reason I felt generally disappointed with the show was the following artist and my favorite, Neil Young. Young played a solo set for the most part featuring songs from his new solo album, which I am not fond of. It’s like the basic elements of his music without all the parts that make them fun to listen to. He also went a little overboard with a message I’ll sum up here. We are all going to die and kill this country on the way because the vegetables in your can of Chunky Soup aren’t locally produced.

But that’s the legacy of Young, take what you can get, when you can get it, because he has historically released some pretty poor albums over the years, which tend to be followed by genius.

Now the final set Willie Nelson, as soon as Young was over I told my ride to give me 10 minutes because the line for the bathroom was really long. I come back and the ride is gone. People from Milwaukee we knew down there told me they had left. RIGHT BEFORE WILLIE!

I missed what I was told was the best set of the night because someone in the group couldn’t handle organic food, or someone was too drunk, or it was late at night, or I was being a prick who wanted to see Willie. It was probably a sick combination of those factors and many others.

But there it is my Farm Aid 25 experience in a nutshell. All in all the 35,000 plus tickets sold raised $2 million to help family farmers, I’m glad I went and if I get the chance to do it again I will.