Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warped Tour Lineup is Lackluster at Best

Warped Tour is an annual event for me.  I have gone almost every year since 2003(the year I got my driver's license) and it is always amazing.  I like to call it Punk Rock Summer Camp: A chance to see many of your favorite bands all in one day.  The lineup is always diverse, and always has something for everyone.  However, this lineup doesn't have the depth and diversity that it normally does.  There are a few bands that I would like to see, but the vast majority of them are complete and utterly shitty.  Here's some bands you should check out, and others you should avoid.

Check Out:  Go Radio:  Go Radio released their debut album; "Lucky Street back in March, and it is a pop-punk masterpiece.  The band will be playing all dates, so give them a listen.  Their album is my favorite of 2011.

New Years Day:  This is a female-fronted band; and singer Ashley Costello writes good lyrics, and they are working on a new EP.  Check out their 2007 album "My Dear."  The band also scored points, because the singer follows me on Twitter.

D.R.U.G.S.:  The new project by Craig Owens, formerly of Chiodos is surprisingly good.  It has a much rawer sound that his previous work, and the lyrics are much more personal and darker.  I am intrigued to see this band perform live.

While the bands above are good choices to check out, there are so many bands to avoid.  You have your terrible, generic screamo, which you get with bands like Black Veil Brides, The Word Alive and Woe is Me.  Shitty electronic music with bands that sing in autotune sound good to you?  Well they offer Blood on the Dancefloor and HelloGoodbye.

Perhaps I am starting to finally get old, since most of the garbage kids listen to bothers me.  I mean, if you're a band like Bad Religion, would you be happy sharing the stage with bands like 3OH3?  I can remember going to Warped, excited to see dozens of bands; now I can count all of the bands I want to see on one hand.  Come on Kevin Lyman, you are so much better than this.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Jose Canseco Named Player/Manager of the Yuma Scorpions

I can't tell which Canseco is a bigger douche..
Jose Canseco got a gig in professional baseball, sort of.  Canseco was named manager of the Yuma Scorpions, an independent team in something called the North American League. 

Canseco will manage the team, and play first base, as well as designated hitter.  His twin brother, Ozzie, will serve as a coach, and player as well.

The whole situation reeks of a publicity stunt, and as delusional as Canseco appears to be, I'm sure he thinks that he is being given a legitmate opportunity to manage a professional baseball team.  I remember when Jose Canseco signed with the San Diego Surfdawgs, an independent league team that played on the SDSU campus.  The gimmick then, was he would DH, and become a knuckleball pitcher; that experiment lasted all of one game.

Canseco was also one of my favorite "celebrities" to harass on Twitter, until he blocked me.  His tweets are a portrait into a very broken man; which means they are downright hilarious!  Here are a few of my favs: 

"Do you have the courage to fight a 7'2 360lb giant at the age of 46 with a torn knee for a good cause, I did." (who cares?)

"call 3108626309 if you want to know the truth about celebrity boxing all monies go to charity" (no it doesn't, I have yet to receive a check)

"my third book will be coming out soon named the truth hurts it destroyed my life the charity b.a.t will benefit greatly financially." (is b.a.t. what you call you bank account these days.)

For all my gambling friends, what is the over/under on games managed by Canseco?  I'm going 10, any takers.

Padres vs. Dodgers, The Game that No One Won That Night

The front row seats I snuck down to
Friday night, I attended my first Padre game of the very young season, and as always I was extremely excited.  I took my best friend, who has never attended a game at Petco Park, and we were ready for a fun time at the ballpark.  The game featured a great pitching matchup, pitting Clayton Richard, one of my favorite Padres, against Ted Lilly, the veteran lefty.  All signs pointed to a pitching duel, and a quick game.  Or so we thought.

As Clayton Richard went to work in the second inning, a hard rain started to hit Petco Park.  I was protected from it, since our section was right underneath a structural fixture.  While everyone below us decided to head for higher ground, my buddy and I were able to relax, and watch the Pirates vs. Rockies game that was being played on the Jumbotron.

As the evening progressed, it rained harder and harder.  It figures that I attend a ballgame that could be potentially rained out in San Diego.  I just hung out around my seat, talked to some people, and my friend and I took turns snapping each other with rally towels, the giveaway for the night.  Anything to kill the time, right?

The game resumed play in the first inning, at about 9:30 pm, with the Dodgers threatening to score.  The Padres decided not to bring back their starting pitcher, Clayton Richard after the delay, and turned to rookie Cory Luebke.  He did a masterful job, striking out the side.  The rain had backed off, and it looked like this game would continue without a hitch.

With a 2-2 score in the bottom of the sixth, the rain started again, delaying the game for a least another hour.  The fans that braved the elements in the first delay decided to take off after this one.  The section I was sitting in was now completely empty, except for my friend and I.  I paid to see 9 innings, and I wasn't going to leave until I absolutely had to.

Racist fun at the ballpark
My patience was rewarded, as play resumed in the top of the 7th, at around 12:15am.  Since all the pansy fans left, we were rewarded with front row seats just behind third base.  I even got a chance to exchange a few words with Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp.  We also tried to get Juan Uribe to say "Giants suck," he laughed, but did not obliged.  I hoped this was my opportunity to finally get a foul ball

As play resumed, they could not have been more that 1,000 fans in the entire field.  The entire upper deck section of the stadium was completely empty, and we remaining fans got a nice "beat LA" chant going on.  In between innings, my friend and I appeared on the Jumbotron, where he punched me in the nuts in high definition.  It hurt like hell, but how can you not laugh?

The damp, cold air led to a whole lot of pop-ups, and by the ninth inning, the score was still tied at 2.  Then the rain came again.  The rain that came at this time was the hardest of the night, and play was suspended once again.  Most of the people that were left headed for the exit.  I wasn't going anywhere, so I took shelter in the concourse, and waited for the rain to stop.  By now, I would put the attendance at around 300 or so.  I wanted play to resume, so I could snag some front row seats right behind home plate. We waited until 140am when they finally suspended the game.

I felt a little cheated, I didn't even get to see a full game, and the folks that had tickets to tomorrows game, got to see parts of two games, which hardly seemed fair.  It was also Mexican fiesta night, and even though we got to see plenty of funny, racist stereotypes, including the mascot wearing a sombrero and a mustache, I did not get to see the fireworks promised with my game ticket.  I didn't care about seeing fireworks, but some of the other people were throwing fits about it.

I kept my friends on Facebook updated about my crazy misadventures, and they suggested I call into the "Ben Maller show" and tell the story of the game.  My crappy smartphone battery was dying, so calling in was not an option.  However, I texted in my number, and they called me.  As I waited to get on the air, my phone died.  Luckily, I used my friends' phone, and got on the show in the last few minutes.  It was pretty great.

Even though I didn't get to finish the game, it was still a memorable experience.  How often does rain affect a game in San Diego?  I also got to see a few innings from the front row, something I have never experienced before.  Overall, I had the time of my life at the ballpark.  The Padres were even classy about the situation, allowing fans at that game to exchange the tickets for any weekday game.  A gesture they did not have to make, but one that shows that they care about the fans.  Overall, a night at the ballpark I will never forget!