Groomed granular isn’t the ideal thing you want to read on a ski conditions report. But when you haven’t skied for more than two years — and you’re heading to Seven Springs tomorrow — it’s good enough.
My friend Sarah just posted one of these on Facebook, and I decided to not wait until I was invited to jump in (sticking with my usual practice of posting FB memes here, because I try to never pass up a decent blog post these days). If you want to join in, feel free to post your list in my comments, on your own blog, on Facebook, wherever — just let me know, because I want to see your list.
Sarah specified just a few rules: 1) Be sure to note your first concert. 2) Bands you’ve seen as openers or as part of festivals count, but try to come up with 50 headliners first. 3) Don’t worry about what order these are in — a stream-of-consciousness list is fine. And I’ll add one more: 4) Any additional notes you want to add are encouraged.
EDIT: I’m having way too much fun with this, and I’ll probably continue to add notes for a while.
1. Grateful Dead (the band I’ve seen the most, at 40-something shows)
2. Phish (First time should have been at The Dugout in Athens in 1991. First time instead turned out to be a year later at the Newport in Columbus.)
4. Blues Traveler
5. Spin Doctors (They were the biggest of the three likely Grateful Dead replacements [Phish and Blues Traveler were the others] in the early 1990s, and they were easily the worst band of the bunch. Saw them again years later during some festival on Walnut Street and they looked like they absolutely hated being there.)
6. Yonder Mountain String Band
7. Railroad Earth
8. Infamous Stringdusters
10. Steve Winwood
11. The Rolling Stones (In Richfield Coliseum [Tattoo You tour], at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville [Steel Wheels tour] and in Ohio Stadium in Columbus [Bridges to Babylon tour].)
12. Bob Dylan
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
14. Kiss (Headliner of my first show, in Cincy’s Riverfront Arena, just a few weeks before The Who’s disaster there.)
15. Judas Priest (Opened for Kiss in Cincinnati. Still the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.)
16. Eric Burdon Band (At what is now the Newport in Columbus. He didn’t start until about two hours late, testing my patience of my father, who took junior high-aged Juan and me to the show on a school night; the back of his tour shirts read “Fuck me, I thought he was dead,” testing the patience of pretty much all the adults in my life.)
17. Little Feat
18. B.B. King
19. The Fabulous Thunderbirds
20. Stevie Ray Vaughan (A co-headlining tour with No. 21 Jeff Beck, at Louisville Gardens while I was in the Army. I’d be hard pressed to recall a show with better guitarists. And I was lucky to see Stevie Ray when I did; he was killed in a helicopter crash not long after.)
21. Jeff Beck
22. The Allman Brothers Band
23. Greg Allman Band
24. Gov’t Mule
25. Widespread Panic
26. Jimmy Buffett (A fun thing — sneaking oranges loaded with vodka in to Blossom Music Center.)
27. Pink Floyd
28. Living Colour
29. Wilco (Should be higher on the list, as I continue to maintain they’re the best live band out there today.)
31. Black Crowes
32. Tedeschi Trucks Band
33. Georgia Satellites
34. REO Speedwagon (My buddy TJ and I drove from Athens to Cincinnati to see Georgia Satellites, the night’s opening act at Cincinnati Gardens; we didn’t stay for much of the headliner, REO Speedwagon, opting for a late dinner at White Castle instead.)
35. Molly Hatchet
36. .38 Special
38. Blue Oyster Cult
39. Hot Tuna
40. The Pretenders
41. Cheap Trick (My one and only concert at Ohio State’s St. John Arena. There were no tickets sold in the upper deck because it bounced too much.)
43. Sinead O’Connor
44. Avett Brothers
45. Black Moth Super Rainbow
46. Sonic Youth
47. Bruce Hornsby
48. Keller Williams
49. Disco Biscuits
50. Etta James
Note: I could keep going for a while…
In 2010, Mrs. Crappy and I ventured to Ohio for a terrific Groundhog weekend.
When we returned, our street looked like this:
This weekend, I am venturing to Ohio — Mrs. Crappy has to work — for what I hope will be a terrific Groundhog weekend.
Check out what could be happening when I return on Sunday:
So. OK then.
It’s winter. And we all need help finding some warmth, some color and some spice.
Me? I need some pho. Beef broth, simmered all day. A mound of rice noodles. Onions and scallions. Thin slices of beef that cook in the broth when that big bowl of deliciousness is carried out to your table. And sprouts, jalapenos, basil leaves, lime and chili paste on the side, so you can make that pho your own.
It’s so simple really, just beef noodle soup. Except that it isn’t simple at all — it’s a huge palette, ranging from a little sweet to wipe-the-sweat-off-your-forehead spicy, if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s deeply satisfying, especially this time of year
Thanks to a Facebook conversation sparked by Spoon and this video, we’re having a Pho Down* at 6:30 Wednesday night, at Vietnam’s Pho on Penn Avenue in the Strip. A couple things to keep in mind: I recall that Vietnam’s Pho is cash only and that BYOB is OK with them. If I’m wrong about either one, someone correct me, OK?
Think you might join us? If you haven’t already, let me know, so we can give them a heads up Wednesday afternoon.
Sure, late January can look pretty bleak. Meeting a group of friends and slurping down some pho is guaranteed to help.
*Yes, I know I have to pronounce “pho” incorrectly for this pun to work. Get your own blog, smartypants.
I need your help.
Mrs. Crappy has a rule pertaining to the Polar Bear Plunge coming up on New Year’s Day. She doesn’t mind that I’m dumb enough to jump in the freezing cold Monongahela River, but she maintains — correctly, I will grudgingly admit — that I’m not allowed in the water unless there are enough friends along to pull me out.
At the moment, I know Jenda is going to show up at the Mon Wharf on Thursday morning. And with all due respect to Jenda, that’s not enough.
Have you always watched the spots about the plunge on the news New Year’s Day and kind of wondered what it would be like? It’s kind of like this:
And let me tell you, boys and girls — the bragging rights are unparalleled. And this could be the year you finally do it.
Specifics? I have specifics. We swim sometime between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m., but you’ll need to be down on the Mon Wharf by 8:30, or you may not make it down there at all. When you get down to the wharf, head towards the Point and look for the red Honda Element flying at least one Ohio State flag; the river bottom and shore is easier to navigate, which means you’re out of the water faster.
Oh, and we usually go get breakfast and beer after.
I have plenty more advice, none of which Jenda needs. But if some newcomers — like, say, you — let me know in the comments that you’re plunging, I’ll be sure to share.
My former colleagues know me so well.
When it came time for my going-away party, I suspected there was a decent chance that I might take home a bottle of beer or two. And my friends at The Times didn’t let me down.
Because I am the beer nerd that I am, I promised that I would give each of these classics the full Beer Guy treatment. A couple Fridays ago, I broke ‘em all out, taking notes on each one. Here you go, boys and girls, in order of appearance:
Were there winners in this experiment? I’ll count myself among the winners, because it was legitimately fun getting back in touch with some of these beers. And if we’re talking about the beers, let’s go with Rolling Rock, because it may have actually improved when it was taken over by our A-B InBev overlords, and IC Light, because it sort of tastes like beer and not so much like bowl of corn flakes soaked in honey.
And I should point out one additional thing: my friends also came through with a very generous Bocktown gift card, so I was able to buy a few more six packs with beer that’ll prompt many fewer complaints.
Thanks again, guys. You couldn’t have done it any better if I had picked them out myself.