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Archive for March, 2009

DUI on a bar stool

I don’t know where to even begin with this one. Police in Ohio recently arrested a man for DUI. Happens all the time. I won’t say it’s no big deal because, as you well know, people shouldn’t be driving drunk.  Only this guy was driving a motorized bar stool.
And if that isn’t asking for it, crashing the bar stool and calling the cops on yourself sure is.

Sounds like someone wanted to go to jail real bad. That’s like putting a bumper sticker on your car that says “Please pull me over as I’ve been drinking.”

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
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Jason Newsted to reunite with Metallica at Rock Hall

Rolling Stone verified that Walnut Creek’s own (at least the last time I saw him) Jason Newsted will perform with Metallica when they’re inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4

It’s a good move, mostly because Newsted deserves it. Everybody knows how Metallica put him through the wringer over the years. And it certainly couldn’t have been easy to compete with the ghost of Cliff Burton, not to mention being replaced by someone the band all but came out and said was better in “Some Kind of Monster.” Newsted is a heckuva player and a class guy. I’ve sat down with him a few times and I can’t remember him ever saying anything but nice things about his old bandmates, even when he could’ve gone off the record. He’s one of the all-time underrated members of a big band.

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009
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Penn, Carrey and Del Toro are new Three Stooges.


In what could either be great or a well-intentioned mess, Sean Penn, Jim Carrey and Benicio Del Toro are reportedly going to play Larry, Curly and Moe in the Farrelly brothers “The Three Stooges.”

It’s not a bio – it’s going to be a straight, Three Stooges romp. Carrey is planning on gaining 40 pounds to play Curly, while Penn will somehow re-grow his sense of humor to play Larry. Production will begin in the fall, with a slated 2010 release.

I always thought Shemp was underrated.

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
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Supergroup: Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins … Hanson?

Coincidentally, I was going to attempt to gather my thoughts about the greatest power-pop groups of all time today, when I stumbled upon info on the newest, so-called supergroup attempting to be a better sum than it’s individual parts. It usually doesn’t work, but at least this one is intriguing for a couple reasons.

It’s called Tinted Windows, and features Taylor Hanson, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne. The reason I find it interesting is, contrary to the misguided joke status of his last name, I always though Taylor Hanson and his brothers were a talented bunch who were victims of their own success at a young age by writing an incredible hook that America came to hate because it couldn’t get it out of its collective head.


Oh God – I just watched that and heard that song for the first time in years. Sweet mother – it’s back in my head. And the thing is … I like it.

I feel dirty.

Sorry 21st century, Disney kids, but Hanson in its prime would’ve destroyed the Jonas Bros.

The other thing I find intriguing about Tinted Windows is, of course, the inclusion of the great Bun E. Carlos, of what is likely the greatest (or at least the coolest)  power-pop band ever, Cheap Trick (I know it’s not an original thought, but I’m not THAT much of a music snob to deny it).

Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
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Drunk gorillas

Apparently when you’re a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, and you’re looking for a good time, you chew on a lot of bamboo. Inside is alcoholic sap (I know one or two alcoholic saps) that gets you (the gorilla) lit up. As these pictures show.

Just because I may or may not be suggesting that pictures of drunk gorillas are funny, doesn’t mean I’m endorsing the concept of drunk mammals. Which may or may not include human beings. The Contra Costa Times doesn’t endorse drunk mammals either. At least as far as I know. Though I may need to consult the employee handbook and get back to you.

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
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The Watchmen and movie theater restrooms

I really should’ve written this yesterday instead of Saturday, when no one looks at their computer. But maybe I didn’t because I was taking my last unpaid furlough day and didn’t want to work on principle. Or maybe I was just too lazy to type after devouring an entire frozen pizza at 4 p.m.

That’s right … somebody was leading the GOOD life on their furlough day.

But because it was a furlough day, I decided to take a little solo vacation and go to a movie. I’ve been one of those freaks who likes going to movies alone ever since I lived in West Hollywood with four other guys in the same house and frequently needed a place to go for a few hours at a time, lest I commit violent crimes that would’ve sent me to prison for many years.

So I’ve been waiting to see “Watchmen,” to let the crowds clear and because, not wanting to hurt my feelings, my wife hedged on whether she wanted to see it. Which, I finally figured out yesterday, meant “Hell no I don’t want to see a confusing movie about a bunch of psychotic and violent freaks when I haven’t read the confusing graphic novel about a bunch of psychotic and violent freaks to prepare me for the movie.”

So yesterday was perfect. I didn’t have to worry about spending four hours trying to explain the story to someone. I could laugh at the gore and violence (and sex, which was good for a laugh) without worrying the person next to me thinks I’m a psychotic and violent freak (though my wife pretty much has that one figured out).

But because the move was pretty long, and I purchased a pony keg of Pepsi beforehand, about halfway through, I could no longer ignore the barking in my pants. I had to go.

Now, one of the most charming things about Concord’s Brenden Theaters (other than the endless parade of Johnny Brenden-is-awesome ads before the previews) is the fact that, when building this sprawling, ground-breaking cineplex a bit more than a decade ago, someone realized that, when finished, they forgot the rest rooms. So they quickly stuck one upstairs and figured they’d done what was required.

That’s great and all – except when you’re in the last theater on the other side of the building … down a ramp about a half-mile long. Downstairs. In fact, I’m pretty sure – while the bathroom was in Concord, the theater was in Pleasant Hill. They should run shuttles to the rest rooms to save time.

Why a cineplex can have 448 theaters, but one bathroom … on the other side of the building, upstairs, four miles away, is an absolute mystery to me. They sell you pony kegs of Pepsi to drink while watching a 7-hour movie … then they put the bathroom far enough away that you get leg cramps trying to get to it. It’s a good thing “Watchmen” is seven hours long, or I might’ve missed half the movie.

Well, if I didn’t duck into the handicapped bathroom halfway there.

Look, I know that’s wrong. But it was 1 p.m. There was hardly anyone was in the theater. And they have two handicapped bathrooms side-by-side. What were the chances two handicapped people were in the cineplex, having to go to the rest room at the same time?

Besides, I was about to explode.

And speaking of explosions, the movie was much better than I thought it would be. It just proved to me that patronizing comic nerds have infiltrated the ranks of film critics. Wait – isn’t that a requirement of being a film critic? Outside of the parts that were chopped out completely – lest they make a 12-hour movie – it stayed about as true to the comic book as a film could. And that’s really saying something because that was one weird, albeit great, comic book. At times “Watchmen” could make “The Exorcist” seem like a romantic comedy.

Posted on Saturday, March 21st, 2009
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Simon and Garfunkel reuniting

Since our intrepid music writer is running amok in Texas this week at South by Southwest (lucky bastard), I’ll bring you the latest, exciting news on old musicians reuniting for truckloads of cash.

After getting together at some Paul Simon shows in New York last month, Simon & Garfunkel have decided to tour again, according to

So far, reports say they’re going to tour New Zealand, Australia and Japan. I think that’s right – to tell you the truth, I can’t remember what CNN said exactly. But I do remember there were no U.S. dates … yet.

But if they can stand each other through the first couple legs, consider it likely they’ll be around the States. I saw them on their last tour, which was very good. Of course, I mostly went because I wanted to see how Garfunkel’s afro is holding up.

Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009
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Dave Grohl’s metal poetry says Dave Grohl did a dramatic reading of the lyrics to Manowar’s “Gloves of Metal” last night at the Largo Theater in Hollywood. I never liked Manowar but going back and reading the lyrics – and watching the video – totally impressed me in a “I can’t believe this” sort of way. I forgot how awesomely metal these guys looked – it’s like the sequel to Spinal Tap.  It’s rare a band can dedicate themselves to wearing fur the way of Manowar. It’s a beautiful thing to see how much they meant it. And it, of course, really really funny.

Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009
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Slayer fan breaks it down

I was in a lousy mood until about 3 minutes ago, when I stumbled across this:

Sometimes, when life gets you down, you just need to stand up on your desk, rip off your shirt, throw double devil’s-horns, and bellow “SLAAAAAYER!!!!” in your best metal voice. Which I would do … if I didn’t already get on my desk this morning, rip off my shirt, throw double devil’s-horns, and bellow “VENOMMMM!!!”

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
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Worst Irish accents on film

Just because they say everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t mean you should attempt talking like it. If you’re going out drinking tonight, write yourself a note – perhaps on your hand where you won’t forget it – reminding yourself not to try speaking with an Irish accent. It won’t work and you’ll look foolish. Even actors can’t get away with it.

Then again, if you’re at a bar and you meet someone attractive who’s trying to speak in an Irish accent, start quoting Mel Gibson from “Braveheart.” He was speaking in a Scotiish accent, but the good-looking drunk person probably won’t know that. Say things like “I’m goin’ to kill some ANGlish,” and “I luff you – always haaaff.”

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
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