Friday, January 28, 2011

My Brett Keisel Beardisms Beat Your Brett Keisel Beardisms' Ass and Took Their Lunch Money

Oh, really? Brett Keisel's beard could kick Chuck Norris's beard's ass? Wooow. Took you half an hour to think that one up? STEP YOUR GAME UP.

• Some states execute death-row inmates with the electric chair. In Utah, they rub a balloon on Brett Keisel's beard and touch your nose.
• "In my country, I see great men with great beard. Brett Keisel beard is greatest beard of ages. Thanks, Dan." - Evgeni Malkin
• Filtered tap water is not clean enough for Brett Keisel's beard. Brett Keisel's beard makes its own water. The hardest part is keeping the oxygen in the bowl.
• Schindler saved all those Jews by hiding them in Brett Keisel's beard. But Steven Spielberg on his high horse, he won't make a movie about a heroic hair mountain. That's racist.
• If you have five dollars and Brett Keisel's beard has five dollars, Brett Keisel's beard has more money than you. In fact, now Brett Keisel's beard has ten dollars. Punk.
• If Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears had Brett Keisel's beard, they wouldn't have been so embarassed by those paparazzi shots.
• Brett Keisel's beard's favorite movies are "To Kill a Mockingbeard," "Beard Science," "Beard and Present Danger" and "The Big Lebeardski." And "Rocky IV."
• If Brett Keisel's beard had a voice, it would sound like a combination of Darth Vader, Barry White, Howlin' Wolf and Godzilla.
• When Brett Keisel braids his beard, every Norwegian woman in a 99-mile radius simultaneously becomes sexually excited.
• A foolish man once tried to produce a likeness of Brett Keisel's beard using a Wooly Willy. A bolt of lightning struck his left testicle. Brett Keisel's beard does not tolerate such insolence.
• Brett Keisel's beard can watch '60 Minutes' in 20 minutes.
• "Damn, that thing is hairy." - Signed, 1970s Porn Stars
• "Brett Keisel's beard is out of control." - Sincerely, the 1992 L.A. Riots
• If Abraham Lincoln had Brett Keisel's beard... well... he'd still be dead, but you see where I'm going with this: Brett Keisel's beard can deflect bullets.
• "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy beard. Thy facial hair come, thy will be done, in Arlington as it is in Pittsburgh. In the name of Keisel's Beard, Omar Epps and the Rooney Family. Fear the beard. Amen."
• When Aaron Rodgers' beard saw Brett Keisel's beard, it ran to Mississippi, grabbed a clipboard and hid in Brett Favre's 5'o'clock shadow for three years.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: Fear the Beard

Fear. The. Beard.

Almost as fantastic as my hometown Steelers heading to Super Bowl XLV is the tremendous campaign that has been waged in honor of Brett Keisel's glorious hairy upside-down mountain. As a bearded man myself, I can only look and marvel at what the Diesel has been able to accomplish, both on the field and on the face. And so, a few "beardisms" in the run-up to the big game. Feel free to add yours:

• When Brett Keisel's beard gets tangled with Polamalu's hair in a defensive pile-up, Alec Guiness feels a great disturbance in The Force.
• Michael Scofield used a hair plucked from Brett Keisel's beard to escape Soma prison.
• Brett Keisel does not have to wipe his nose in the winter. Snot spontaneously combusts upon coming into contact with Brett Keisel's beard. This is also why Brett Keisel does not require a napkin while eating.
• Brett Keisel's beard once got into a fight with Polamalu's hair while on a fishing boat. The resulting shockwave carved the Marianas Trench.
• Hairs that fall when Brett Keisel combs his beard are capable of recording two sacks and a forced fumble in a Pop Warner game.
• HAVE YOU HEARD?!?!? BRETT KEISEL JUST SHAVED HIS BEARD! When he did, out popped Tupac, Biggie, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, the Loch Ness Monster's dried-up skeleton, D.B. Cooper, a working magic lamp and a dodo (partial credit to my boy Shady on that one)
• Stroking Brett Keisel's beard can cure The Ninja.
• Brett Keisel once jumped into the ocean while on vacation in New England. The resulting wave killed George Clooney and Marky Mark in "The Perfect Storm."
• Brett Keisel doesn't, in fact, have a beard. What you see on his face is simply an extension of his indestructible skeleton, which is constructed of BEARDAMANTIUM.
• The world's greatest scientists were able to stretch out a single strand of Brett Keisel's beard until it was 727 feet high and 1,244 feet across. That strand now plays defense against the Colorado River, and is commonly referred to as "The Hoover Dam."
• If you want to secure America's borders... weave a fence out of Brett Keisel's beard.
• Brett Keisel's beard isn't into the whole brevity thing
• Brett Keisel's beard does not shave - it has attained the power of invisibility.

To the Steeler nation — at least the fellas, or perhaps the girls with too much testosterone — if you aren't sporting the whiskers already, BEARD UP. Throw your hairy support behind Big Ben, The Beard and the whole Steelers squidder!

To get you pumped up for the game, here's a beat I cooked up as a tribute to the late Myron Cope, whose Steelers won the AFC Championship on his birthday. Perfect. (Link will be active until Jan. 30)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ricky Gervais is the Man (Yet I Still Didn't Watch the Golden Globes)

He might have to go back to the UK permanently, but f*ckit.

Listen, Robert Downey Jr., 'cause I like you a lot... I think you're hilarious and an excellent actor to boot... but if you're gonna do a monologue about the downside of going "full retard" in Tropic Thunder, you can't get pissy about Ricky Gervais making a rehab joke that a million people have already made. Okay, they didn't do it to your face.

But let's be real. The only reason I'm writing about the awards show at all is Gervais's dry, acerbic — and really funny — jokes. Who talks about the Golden Globes the day after? No one I normally run into at the coffee station, that's for sure. This at least got people talking about the show.

So kudos to you, Ricky Gervais, even if you did get pulled backstage and apparently neutered mid-show. You may never work in Hollywood again, but f*ck'em. That's on them.

And to Tim Allen... c'mon now... if the worst thing Ricky Gervais says about you is "you pale in comparison to Tom Hanks," you got off light. YOU WERE IN HOME IMPROVEMENT AND THE SANTA CLAUSE FRANCHISE.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh, Baltimore...

You crack me up. No sooner did the game end than the "Shittsburgh" and "know your role, white trash" comments started cramming the Ravens' and Baltimore Sun message boards.

I love it. Because if there's anything that "The Wire" has taught us, it's that Baltimore is the shittiest city in America.

Besides, how are you gonna call Pittsburgh folks white trash when your quarterback looks like a caveman with a unibrow? UNNNNNNNGGGHH! FLACCO THROW!!! FLACCO LOSE POSSESSION!!! UNNNNGGHH!!

Listen, I have the cure for all your ills, Baltimore. Just find Terrell Suggs, take him out for a few drinks and then kill someone. It'll make you feel a a lot better, and if there's anything ELSE that "The Wire" has taught us, it's that no one will probably notice, anyway.

No, Terrell Suggs. F*ck... YOU.

"Hey Pittsburgh... we're gonna fold like a motherfucking paper crane."

Oh dear sweet Lord, I can't really explain how satisfying it was to watch my Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens yesterday. I'll be the first person to say that if Terrell Suggs was a Steeler, I would love him. But he's a Raven. So fuck'im.

Maybe during the offseason, he can get a t-shirt made that shows him crying into his overapplied eyeblack. Seriously, when does caked-on eyeblack go from mildly intimidating... to makeup? Maybe we can get you a little lip gloss, too, and I'll start calling you "Terelle."

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge just called from 1940, and called that shit "an epic collapse":

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why the Solution to the Giffords Shooting is Congressmen Carrying Guns (Uh...)


It's tragically comic — but mostly just sad and pathetic — to listen to conservative pundits do their damndest to get huffy and worked up that the Giffords shooting in Arizona could IN ANY WAY have ANYTHING to do with the paranoid, us-against-them rhetoric which so many of their bulwarks spew day in and day out.

But I'm not strictly blaming conservatives. I've made my fair share of vitriolic President Bush jokes, and Democratic politicians ratchet up their rhetoric to ridiculous levels as well. But sorry to say, they just can't match hardcore conservatives in the "violence-tinged rhetoric veiled as patriotism and halfway masked as fact" department.

But like so many things in this country, it really comes down to money. It always does. The people who receive massive gun-lobby contributions could care less WHAT motivated this Jared Lee Loughner douchebag to go apeshit and start shooting people. They're gonna do whatever is necessary to ensure that gun companies can still sell all the guns they want.

I'll be honest, my eyes just glaze over when someone starts talking about gun rights in the U.S., or about how "They want to take our guns away." That's a paranoid, stupid thing to say... then again, a whole lot of the people who own guns are apparently paranoid and/or stupid, because they seem to shoot a lot of their own families and friends.

Of the 13,636 murder victims in 2009, the FBI reports that SEVENTY-SIX MOTHERF**KING PERCENT were killed either by a family member, or by someone they knew. (Source here). So if your argument is "I need to be able to protect my home from intruders," well, your home is probably going to need more protection from the people already in it. Nothing, though, will beat my favorite argument, which is "Someday we'll need to protect ourselves from the government, a well-regulated militia is essential, etc., etc."

Give... me... a f**king... BREAK.

I don't care how many of your hillbilly friends show up, even if they bring every single gun in the house and arm their damn toddlers... you aren't gonna beat the military. They turned Iraq into a giant pile of dirt in like three months. What do you think they're gonna do to your front lawn?

If you're looking for someone to blame for the Arizona tragedy, look to the legislators who lobbied for gun laws that somehow made it legal for this unstable dickhead to LEGALLY BUY A GUN. According to the BBC, two members of Congress have now said that they will start carrying a gun at all times.

Well, I would keep an eye out for a news story about a Congressman accidentally shooting his nephew, because that's the likeliest thing to happen. That's juuuust what we need: old white men walking around Washington, D.C., strapped. Noooo way THAT could ever go wrong. You'll NEVER see a story about a young black male being gunned down by a nervous, prejudiced Congressman once THAT happens.

Oh, and gee, I almost forgot, as long as we're looking to place reasonable blame: if the Bush-controlled Congress hadn't let the Brady Bill lapse in 2004, Lougher wouldn't have been able to buy the high-capacity clip he used to mow down all those people.

But hey, we have to be able to defend our homes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Concert Review: New Year's Eve with theCAUSE

"Playin' in the band..."

So, ever since my buddy hired them to basically play a Dead show at his wedding, I've been really into this local Pittsburgh band, theCAUSE (yes, that's spelled correctly). They're a Dead tribute band that plays original Dead sets — as opposed to a tribute band like Dark Star Orchestra, which "reconstructs" full Dead setlists — mixed in with Beatles, Dylan, and some originals.

They're a four-piece combo, with guitarist Eric "Pappy" Weingrad filling the role of both Jerry and Bob Weir, but they totally have the chops to pull it off. Pappy's guitar has the clear, cutting tone of Jerry's most recognizable axes, and bassist David Tauberg moves with much of the same fluidity as my main man Phil Lesh.

[On a side note, I have been completely obsessed with listening to Phil & Friends shows lately. I've been gobbling up as many reasonably-clean recordings of the '99 tour as I possibly can. For my money, you can't beat the 2000-'03 version of the "Friends," with Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Rob Baracco and John Molo, but in '99, Phil was experimenting with a ton of different lineups. So you have the main lineup of Lesh, Haynes, Baracco, Molo and Derek Trucks, who opened for Dylan on his tour that year... but you also have a great run of shows I usually just call "Phil & Phish & Friends," with Molo, Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell on keys and Steve Kimock on the other guitar. Then there are just random shows like the one with Jorma Kaukonen, Kimock, Pete Sears on keys, some dude named Praire Prince on drums, and two backup singers!

People just pop in and out of the lineup, and almost all the shows are good, if not great. For great, however, you just can't top the '00-'03 run. That group is probably the most muscular, ass-kicking jam band ever. Herring and Haynes are a two-headed monster, and the interplay in the quintet allowed them to transition almost any song into any other. They could go from beautiful and delicate to rip-snorting blues riffing to a 2000 version of "Cumberland Blues" where Haynes and Herring send flying shards of guitar in all directions until you brain almost melts. Okay, might have gone a little too hippie-dippy with that last one.

Alright, back to the main review...]

Okay, so theCAUSE... they played Frankie & Georgie's 4Wood Grille (used to be PD's Pub) in Squirrel Hill. And it was pretty great:

Set I: Quinn the Eskimo, Hard to Handle, Althea, Me & My Uncle > Jackson, If I Could > When I Paint My Masterpiece, Lazy River Road, Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again > Deal

Liked it a lot. Most of the set had a sort of mid-'80s-Dead-setlist vibe to it. Real nice "Quinn," a deliberate, spacey "Althea," two Dylan covers that were constantly in the '80s sets. They played "Lazy River Road" for the first time, and I was reminded of what a great song it is. I have to remind myself, because you don't hear it very often.

Set II: Midnight Countdown > Not Fade Away > Alligator > The Eleven > The Other One > Sittin' On Top of the World, St. Stephen > Wharf Rat > Not Fade Away

WHEW. "The Eleven > Other One" combo was a real rollercoaster. There's always several moments during a Dark Star Orchestra show where I find myself thinking, "They're really channeling The Sound right now." There were a couple of those during this set.

Set III: Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower, Easy Wind, Voodoo Woman, Passenger, Casey Jones, E: Liberty, Shakedown Street

The long and short of it? The next "Pause for theCAUSE" is Jan. 22, at Moondog's in Blawnox. I'm there.