Thursday, January 14, 2016
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
KAMASI WASHINGTON: "Change of the Guard", from The Epic (2015, Brainfeeder Records)
QUIET HOLLERS: "Cote d'Azur", from Quiet Hollers (2015, self-released)
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: "Mary, Please" from Take it from the Man (1996, Bomp! Records)
Thursday, December 10, 2015
In yet another startling departure from previous years, TOTP-2015 edition features a short list of "Honorable Mentions", records that are really, really good but not quite good enough to make the Top Ten. I'm not a believer in giving out "Participation Medals" to the kids who came in 4th through 17th, but sometimes you gotta invite some other achievers to the podium, so herewith, my list of also-rans:
RYAN ADAMS: 1989
Sunday, November 29, 2015
For the 2015 installment of Tiger Scat's annual "Top of the Pops", the editors have decided to snazzy things up a bit. The list of the year's best releases appears in descending order and is accompanied by YouTube clips of a representative cut from each selection. This adds to TotP that 'countdown' element in this age of pitch counts, t.v. clock graphics showing 'days until the next presidential debate' and that disturbing ticker on 44th Street displaying the national debt. In the past, we didn't want to divide your attention by including cuts from the albums, but we've come to the conclusion that the average attention span has become permanently divided anyway, so why not? Plus it's fun... its a lot of fun. Here goes, 'Scatters, the list of our choices, and as always, comments are welcomed:
8. THE DECEMBERISTS: WHAT A TERRIBLE WORLD, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WORLD
The ultimate post-punk girl group returns after a long break (to make babies, star in hipster-sendup t.v. shows, etc etc) with the first great album of the year, released in mid-late January. A blitz of a record, clocking in at less than 33 minutes, "No Cities" deals with issues like the working mom holding down jobs to keep food on the table, losing friends to tragic events and the loss of punk-rock influence (auto-biographical, perhaps?). Every cut has a grit and power that is, somehow, unique to this Seattle trio which has lost none of it's bite. It might take another ten years for Sleater-Kinney to make a new record, but if its anything like "No Cities to Love", it will be worth the wait.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
---> I sometimes wonder if people go to the newest hip & trendy restaurants not for the food, but for the abuse. I've recently read a review of such an establishment that has opened in Long Island City. On a Saturday evening, after waiting outside on a line to get in the joint, and if you are fortunate enough to get on the wait list, you are required to don a pair of disposable gloves, choose your own fish from the ice-chest, carry it over to the counter, have it weighed, and pay for it. It then gets added to the "cooking queue". As you are forced to hover over diners who sit stuffed into the thimble-sized dining area, you could be waiting for up to an hour. The Greek owner is also your hostess and the only waitress. She was quoted by the reviewer as saying at one point during a very busy evening, "Oh my God, I'm getting dizzy!" To add to the festivities, some asshole in the crowd decides to switch the lights on and off while yelling, "Opa!", just for effect I suppose. It all seems so very New York faux-cool.
The article also quotes a young man who has been waiting (and hovering) for an eternity, an experience that he compares to jury duty. You are pushed, jostled, forced to wait for your food, but they give you complimentary garlic bread (which was described as 'run of the mill'). And if they seem to have misplaced your order? The response is a casual "Oh, well, the kitchen forgot. It's okay." All this for the privilege of eating at a BYOB shithole for a plate of broiled cod that I have to shell out $22 for? I would rather spend my Saturday night at jury duty.
---> Why does the word "emergency" always precede the word "appendectomy"? Aren't they all emergencies? I mean, how many people have had an appendix removed either voluntarily or via a scheduled surgical procedure?
---> Here's an update on a subject that was a 'hot topic' here on the 'Scat a few years back, the US Postal Service. I had a pleasant conversation with a letter carrier a few weeks back who told me that the recent agreement between FedEx, UPS and Amazon was a boon for the agency, which had been reporting huge billion-dollar losses. They have turned the corner, according to this fella, and their pension fund has never been more robust. A new delivery truck is being designed specifically to handle the extra volume and the previously dark and gloomy mood of the whole mess has become bright and sunny. You see? If the post office can make it happen, anyone can.
---> And finally, an update on another big story, the wreck and sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship. It is in Genoa, Italy, getting scrapped in a recovery shipyard. Some smaller bits are being sold to the public as 'souvenirs', but there's been a much more interesting discovery: apparently, in one of the holds of the ship, a 'big cargo' of cocaine has been found. The vessel is under 24-hour surveillance and a new investigation will be undertaken to get to the bottom (tee hee) of this latest development.
Where else are you going to get news like this, folks, but here on Tiger Scat? If you really like what you read here, and would like to make a donation to help keep the operation afloat (tee hee again), shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll gladly accept your money. Opa!
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I know my 'Scat faithful are eagerly awaiting a status update on the various boycotts that I have in place, so here goes with the latest:
The local diner (name still withheld because I like the waitresses who work there): The full boycott is still active. First off, we have moved the studio out of the neighborhood, so there's one convenience that is no longer at my disposal. Secondly, we don't eat out that often and if we do, it sure as hell is not going to be at a shitty diner. Thirdly, the owner, although a naturalized Greek, is a big Chelsea fan and for that alone, he sucks. ... I miss exactly two things about it: the eggplant parmigiana, which was better than any version served up by the Italian-American restaurants in the area. And the aforementioned waitresses, some of the hardest working, genuinely friendly servers anywhere. But those two items are not compelling enough for me to lift the boycott.
The shoe repair place: I broke down and dropped off a pair of expensive shoes that needed a serious glue job for the rubber soles, purely out of convenience. To my surprise, the miserable Chinese guy who runs the place now has a woman (his wife? his daughter? his half-sister? who knows?) running the counter and she's a lot more pleasant to deal with. Maybe she steps outside every so often to take a break from inhaling the toxic chemical fumes, maybe she's not affected by them or maybe she's just plain nice. No matter, I asked her to put a rush on the job, and she did so, at no extra cost, and with a smile. Boycott ended.
The NHL: My heretofore beloved New York Rangers are current holders of the Presidents Trophy, given to the team that ends the regular season with the best record. They have put to shame their arena mates, the hapless, embarrassing and altogether disgraceful New York Knickerbockers, yet I still have not been following them. Oh sure, I catch up with the latest in the papers and on line, but without cable (more on that next) and with a seriously decreasing interest in all sports, the Rangers are but a footnote in my life. I wish them luck in the playoffs, but here's how I see it: if they lose, oh well, too bad, if they win, good for them. Boycott over, but interest at an all-time low, so fare thee well, hockey, hope we meet again some day on some frozen backyard pond in the sky.
Cable TV: I really can't categorize this as a 'boycott' any more. I'm not a cable t.v. subscriber any longer just because I'm mad at them; I just don't need it. I have a Roku streamer and I'm "borrowing" the log-in information for Netflix from my nephew. Netflix is the best fucking thing to happen to my t.v. screen, ever. So, let's put this down as boycott over, permanent cancellation in place.
NPR: I have in recent weeks been tuning in every so often to the increasingly mainstream NPR, so I suppose you could say that my boycott has ended. Here's the thing: there is so little quality news broadcasting on the radio that I am almost forced to tune them in to get the headlines, etc, and the occasional special interest feature. I also visit the website more often for the same reason. They distill their stories down to the bare minimum, to avoid listener fatigue. They are funded by some dubious benefactors. Their on air personalities have some of the most annoying voices (and names) on the dial, but in the end run, they are the only game in town. Boycott over.