Category Archives: Life

The Last Hamilton Essay of 2015

Rob

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob

In case you don’t know, Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical based on Rod Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It takes a non-traditional approach for a play about a bunch of dead white people; most of the cast is nonwhite and the music features a lot of hip-hop. It is very well reviewed and incredibly hard to get tickets (unless you are rich, famous, or lucky). If you’re reading this, you have an internet connection, so how could you not know about Hamilton? If my twitter, tumblr, and facebook feeds are any indication, Hamilton is the only thing people wouldn’t shut up about this year. In fact, I’m posting this on New Year’s Eve as a concession to the fact that the last thing the world needs is another thinkpiece about Hamilton. This won’t even be the best late year think piece about Hamilton that concedes that it’s written by yet another person who won’t shut up about Hamilton.

And yet even though I know no one wants to or maybe even should read this, I was lucky enough to see Hamilton this month and it touched me in such a way that I feel compelled to add to the pile of words spilled about this show. This best way to quantify how strong it affected me is to describe how much I cried. I am not a crier. I don’t say this to sound tough becaused I am decidedly not tough; this is just a fact about me. I teared up a little when my wife and I had to put down our cat Professor and when my sister-in-law’s childhood friend gave a speech at said sister-in-law’s wedding about my wife’s late Grandma (who I spent a considerable amount of time with in her final years), but I can’t actually remember a time I’ve cried in the last decade. By the end of Hamilton, I was sobbing uncontrollably.

RIP Professor
RIP Professor

Why did it touch me so?

Continue reading The Last Hamilton Essay of 2015

’90s Week+!

Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

The dream of the ’90s is still alive at SportsAlcohol.com, and during our thorough examination of the decade, we did the following:

…ranked and wrote about the top 90 songs of the ’90s in three groups (90-51, 50-11, and 10-1), and included a little behind-the-scenes about the voting process. (Before you ask: Yes, there is a Spotify playlist.) The ranked lists are worth clicking on for the era-appropriate photos of our contributors alone.

podcasted about the list so we could gripe about each other’s choices.

…defended some songs that didn’t make the list, including seven tracks that received No. 1 votes, and a few stray others that weren’t No. 1s but should have been in contention anyway.

…put ’90s music in context of music videos, movie soundtracks, and videos from movie soundtracks that specifically featured Elastica (a band that did not make our list).

…remembered that time that Chris wrote Rob an email entirely about Dana from Morphine.

…linked to some other articles that proved we’re not the only website still talking about the ’90s.

No fear.

For Further Reading (Or, We’re Not the Only Ones Who Are ’90s-Obsessed)

Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

We just spent the last week exploring the ’90s through music. I know 2016 seems like an odd time to take on such an endeavor, but the decade seems to be having a moment right now, even outside of SportsAlcohol.com. The ’90s have officially passed through the era where they were embarrassing (which usually happens to a decade at the 10-year mark), and has come around to being cool again.

Don’t believe me? Here is how the Decade of Flannel is rearing its head around the interwebs.

My neighborhood had a ’90s fest, and the fest ignored almost all of what we at SportsAlcohol.com considered good about the decade (save Salt-n-Pepa). The A.V. Club did a good job taking apart how awkward it can be to go to a ’90s fest in 2016, while Flavorwire talks about the decade’s commodification through the event.

Still, that doesn’t stop the sisters Haim from wanting to bring back Lilith Fair.  Maybe they can get some advice on bringing back the ’90s from Sleater-Kinney.

Our Spotify playlist isn’t the only place to hear ’90s music. You can also hear what Kmart was playing in its stores, thanks to a dude who took all of Kmart’s cassettes with him and uploaded them for our pleasure.

“As the ’80s wore on, [music] got less interesting and I think things got more interesting again in the ’90s. So I think it’s just the way it goes.” Who said it? Joe Jackson in Salon.

We talked about the many reasons that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ranked as our No. 1 song, but we missed one: science! New evidence says the Nirvana tune is the most iconic song ever. (Take that, decades-older classics like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.)

And yet, there’s still no talk of rebooting Dead at 21.

Dana from Morphine is sitting 4 feet away from me…

Chris

Chris has always known more about computers than you. You can see the things he made for you at the55.net. You can see the things he blogged about for you at ruinsorbooks.com.

Latest posts by Chris (see all)

[ed. note: chris sent me this email years ago and I asked that we be allowed to publish it as part of our ’90s music rundown because it is the best email I’ve ever received]

Dana from Morphine is sitting 4 feet away from me…

at a cafe.

I see Dana from Morphine all the time.

Dana from Morphine is a carpenter or fix-it dude of sorts.
He does work at the bookstore that my boss owns.
He drives a pick up truck with assorted band stickers on the back.
It is parked outside my office building all the time.
One of the stickers is a Twinemen sticker.
The Twinemen suck.
Compared to Morphine, at least.
duh.

My office is on the fourth floor.
On the fifth floor is Hi n Dry studios.
Morphine recorded and hung out there all the time.
Various Dana from Morphine related projects record there still.
Sometimes i can hear Dana from Morphine playing the saxamaphone.
Often the same thing over and over again.
For a long time.
That is what recording is all about.
The saxophone carries, so often that’s all i can hear.
wahwahwah, through the ceiling.

Sometimes i pass Dana from Morphine on the loading dock.
Or the stairs.
And i say “hi”,
like he’s not Dana from Morphine,
and he’s just some dude, that plasters ceilings,
carrying a baby car seat,
and i think about telling him that i was way way into Morphine.
That when i was, like, 15,
Morphine, was, like, my fourth favorite band,
between, like, TMBG and Weezer.
That i remember exactly where i was,
and what i was doing,
when i heard that Mark Sandman was dead.
But i think about all that for a sec,
and that he’s got a baby carrier,
and ‘hi’ will have to do.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND BIOGRAPHY IN BROOKLYN (FEBRUARY EDITION)

Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

They Might Be Giants is going to play a show on the last Sunday of every month at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Jesse and I have tickets to all of the Williamsburg shows that have been put on sale so far, and we will be reporting on each show. Here is the second installment of our TMBG musical biography.

[Marisa’s Note: Jesse was away for the February show. He left it up to me to cover it. That’s why you didn’t get a report until the eve of the March show. I am the worst.]

They Might Be Giants at the Music Hall of Williamsburg: 2/22/15

The theme of this show was They Might Be Giants, the self-titled “pink album,” so there are lots of oldies here. My date for the evening was the always-up-for-a-TMBG-show Rayme. (The Instagram photos of the show are hers,) Off we go.

Continue reading THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND BIOGRAPHY IN BROOKLYN (FEBRUARY EDITION)

They Might Be Giants: Bibliography and Biography in Brooklyn (January Edition)

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

I have been going to see They Might Be Giants in concert for almost twenty years. 2014 was the first year since I started seeing them (in 1996) that I did not catch their live show, mostly because they did just a handful of one-off shows. Through 2014, I had seen They Might Be Giants forty-six times. That number is about to shoot further up, as the band is putting out a wealth of new material this year, mounting a full tour, and also keeping a standing engagement to play a show on the last Sunday of every month at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Marisa and I have tickets to all of the Williamsburg shows that have been put on sale so far (though I’ll have to miss the February edition), and we will be reporting on each show. Here is the first installment of our TMBG musical biography.
Continue reading They Might Be Giants: Bibliography and Biography in Brooklyn (January Edition)

Should I Throw Out My Moxy Früvous CDs?

Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

When Jesse and I moved in together, we combined our dvds right away, but it took us a few years to combine our cd collection. (Yes, we still have a cd collection—but this post isn’t about getting rid of all our cds, just a few of them.) Jesse said it was because we had so many more duplicate albums than movies; I would say that he was just embarrassed by my Moxy Früvous cds and didn’t want to be associated with them.

At the time, I wasn’t embarrassed by them. Sure, they were nerdy and cheesy. But, even if I don’t listen as much any more, I liked them anyway, and they remind me of a good time in my life. I still love a lot of those songs.

This past week was the first time I’ve been embarrassed to own Moxy Früvous music, and it has nothing to do with sonic nerdery. It’s because former member Jian Ghomeshi, who went on to work at the CBC (I’ve heard him described as “the Ryan Seacrest of Canada”), has been accused of repeated violence towards women.

When I find out deplorable personal information about artists I like or have liked, I never quite know how to process it. Should the life of the artist matter in how you experience their art?

Continue reading Should I Throw Out My Moxy Früvous CDs?

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

It’s the Thursday before Halloween, so it seems like a perfect time for the good people of SportsAlcohol.com to indulge in some Throwback Thursday nonsense. This may sound strange, but sometimes you don’t get the full picture of our writers just from their bio pictures. Herewith, pictures and stories of Halloween costumes past.
Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

Falkor, Longshot, and Teela Brown: A Meditation on Luck

Michael

Michael likes The Fountain and does not like Pay It Forward. If you meet him in person, he will let you know about it.
Michael

Latest posts by Michael (see all)

Americans, at least some of us, have trouble with the idea of luck. John Chait once observed that “the argument that getting rich often entails a great deal of luck tends to drive conservatives to apoplexy.” Maybe this is because theodicy undergirds much of our society, or maybe because luck is a confusing and even possibly disturbing concept. After all, what is luck but a nametag-friendly moniker for that dark spirit: chance? Or, worse: random chance. Hence the derision in Obi-Wan’s sneering: “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck,” the word itself spat out from the wise beard of a man who knows how things work. Then again, Obi-Wan can deflect lasers with his lightsaber and also live, albeit with diminished opacity, beyond death.
Continue reading Falkor, Longshot, and Teela Brown: A Meditation on Luck

TRACK MARKS: “Can’t Hardly Wait” by the Replacements

Sara

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.
Sara

The first time I heard The Replacements I was not cool. It was 1999 and I was a shy, lonely twelve year old who had just rented Can’t Hardly Wait on VHS to watch at her grandmother’s house in Michigan. The movie itself was fun but forgettable and, I realized once I’d actually started high school, completely divorced from any of my own experiences. But I’ll always remember the second that opening chord progression hit over the closing credits, warm and inviting as a friend’s arm slung over your shoulder, the drums kicking in soon after, as the images of fake good times and memories scrolled by.

It’s a fairly straightforward song and, given its general upbeatness including the use of some funky horns, a bit of an anomaly in the Replacements catalog, something I learned the hard way after checking out Tim from the library not long after seeing the movie. Young me was unprepared for the more raucous, caustic side of the band but tastes change as we grow older and by the time I was in college I had discovered the pleasures of Let It Be and Pleased to Meet Me, on which “Can’t Hardly Wait” appears. As far as instant nostalgia goes, its Pavlovian effect is unparalleled for me. It’s about another time, sure – nobody has to worry about writing a letter tomorrow or borrowing a stamp when there’s text messaging. But it’s much more than that and it’s all in the title, which also provides the only lyrics to the chorus. “Can’t wait” is tossed-off excitement but “Can’t hardly wait”? That’s pure teenage ecstasy.

This Friday I will be seeing The Replacements in concert for the first time. I’m still not that cool and the show will likely not live up to whatever idea I have of the band from the old records I’ve listened to and loved. They’re not what they were, any more than I am what I used to be. But even so I can’t, well, you know the rest.


The Replacements play Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on Friday. Young old people and old young people will be there.