Archive | July, 2006

She doesn’t, therefore you can’t

31 Jul

With thanks to the emailer who pointed me in the right direction, read:

Brad Mehldau and Renee Fleming, “Love Sublime” (Nonesuch). I’m torn here. I adore Renee Fleming’s singing, I admire Brad Mehldau’s jazz piano playing, and, since I was a teenager, I had great faith in the Nonesuch label. But I’m not sure who would enjoy this dark, dull venture. The texts Mehldau has set to music, some by Rainer Maria Rilke, can be moving, and I think I like what he’s trying to do. And the accompaniments, which reflect a variety of jazz and classical song influences, can sound interesting. Unfortunately the heavy, abstract melodies aren’t very creative or inviting. Sometimes, jumping erratically around, they become actively annoying. There’s a lot to admire academically, I’m sure, in this earnest, well-meaning effort. But I can’t figure out who would want to listen to it. Review: 2 stars (Mary Kunz Goldman)

“I’m not sure who would enjoy this dark, dull venture.” “…I can’t figure out who would want to listen to it.” Why? Because it’s academically good, can sound interesting, but because MKG didn’t like it, she can’t imagine anyone liking it.

Now obviously, a great part of reviewing is subjective. However, none of the other short-take record reviews in yesterday’s News were as personalized as MKG’s. She’s intimidated by the scary, dark music, therefore everyone should be.

In other news, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians have a new record out and Jeff Miers gives it 3 1/2 stars out of 4. I used to love that group back in the early 90s.

Therefore, all of you must love that group, or refuse at your peril.

Quick Quiz

31 Jul

Which was the least surprising nugget of news this week?

  • The New York Times endorses Ned Lamont
  • Lance Bass announcing that he’s gay
  • Some hipster doofus from New York magazine gets an excellent tour of Buffalo from Newell and still refuses to write anything positive
  • Discuss amongst yourselves.

    Ka-Ching

    31 Jul

    Chalk up another $200,000 of politically motivated contributions to the Spitzer campaign.

    Gubernatorial front-runner Eliot Spitzer has accepted more than $200,000 from companies bidding for the lucrative rights to run the Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga horse racing tracks, the Daily News has found.

    A spokeswoman for Spitzer, who has promised to end Albany’s “pay-to-play culture,” said the current attorney general has a history of showing no favor to his financial backers.

    I’ll file this one away and see if this group wins the rights to a percentage of the $3.4BN that is annually bet on the ponies.

    Garden Walk

    31 Jul

    Did you come into the city to enjoy one of the nation’s largest and most beautiful Garden Walks?

    If not, why not? If so, did you put in your order for the high quality book and DVD that showcases the most memorable gardens in Buffalo? If not, why not?

    Support a budding Buffalo business and pick up a copy!

    Williams v. Rumore

    30 Jul

    I’ve been around the block enough to know that The Buffalo News has invested a lot of column space and money into the success of Buffalo School Superintendent Dr. James Williams. It doesn’t take a PhD in journalism to note the obvious bias in the article summarizing his first year as chief cook and bottle washer of the Buffalo prison system school sytem. It also doesn’t take a degree in anything at all to determine that Phil Rumore is a tool. I know you come here for that kind of in-depth situational analysis…you’re welcome.

    Anyhow, the article goes through the litany of reforms that Dr. Williams is in the process of implementing with middle finger fully extended to Rumore and his army of handout whores.

  • A three-year phase-out of social promotion.
  • Mandatory summer school for nearly 5,500 struggling students.
  • The establishment of an alternative school and a math and science academy, both scheduled to open in September.
  • A Commencement Academy for eighth-grade graduates who aren’t ready to move on to ninth grade.
  • A foundation to raise funds for athletic and arts programs.
  • The introduction of Advanced Placement courses at all city high schools.
  • For those not in the know, I’m a big fan of leaders who rule by dictum and suffer fools poorly. So, I’m a big fan of Dr. Williams who has not only taken on the teachers union but also the citizens of the city for their lackadaisical support of quality education, neighborhood groups who don’t support school reforms, parents who don’t participate, and the Urban League which stands idly by while the students in this city fail to learn.

    Dr. Williams feels that we need to spend our money in a smarter manner, while Rumore feels we simply need more money. Last time I checked, we spend more per pupil than just about any school district in America and we have the second highest average teacher salaries in the nation. With the piss poor results we’re posting, it’s doubtful that spending MORE will actually produce better results.

    Which is why statements like this one really piss me off.

    Peters, the Discovery School teacher, criticizes Williams for switching to a single-carrier health insurance plan without union consent and fears he might unilaterally impose other changes on teachers, including staffing rules and a longer school year and school day.

    “We’re going to get caught in the middle,” Peters said.

    Yeah, it’s all about you. Excuse me but, what the f*ck? In eight words, this teacher summed up a significant part of the problem in the Buffalo Public School system. Teachers who think of themselves before educating the children.

    Teachers deserve a fair wage for the incredibly valuable service they provide. However, being asked to stay an extra hour to extend the day, limit the number of study halls, up the number of electives available to students and to stay after to tutor is part of that gig. Teachers in Buffalo are more than fairly compensated when compared to teachers around the country,

    I’m just getting a bit tired of hearing how they are part of the oppressed masses…enough already. There’s about 5,000 people who were trained as teachers at Buff State, UB, Canisius, etc. who had to move all over the country to find teaching jobs. Most of them would love to move home and be subjected to these oppressive salary, benefit, and generous pension “punishments”.

    Start putting the kids first and then come talk to me.

    The Snowden Angels

    30 Jul

    One man’s lewd and indecent is another man’s ideal Saturday night

    Richard A. Snowden sometimes refers to the exotic dancers at his Cheektowaga strip club as “angels.”

    But less-than-angelic behavior by some dancers landed the club, Rick’s Tally-Ho, in hot water with the State Liquor Authority in recent years, according to government records.

    In 2003 and 2004, the exotic dance club on Genesee Street was penalized a total of $12,500, records show.

    A penalty of $4,500 was assessed in May 2003 after an undercover investigator witnessed what the state called “lewd and indecent conduct” that went beyond what is allowed in such clubs.

    So, what type of lewd and indecent behavior are we talking about?

    The first penalty came after the state said its investigator observed topless dancers performing lap dances, allowing customers to touch their breasts, and dancers touching each other’s breasts and other body parts.

    “[The investigator] was approached by a dancer in the premises and asked if he wanted to go into the back room. The charge was $125 and the dancer stated that she would do anything [the investigator] wanted her to do,” the SLA said in its report.

    Ya know, when this whole Snowden nonsense started up, I was nonplussed. Now, I come to find out that “the man” is leaning on Snowden and repressing the income of our exotic dancer community. I might have to go out there and do some investigation on my own. Pure citizen investigative journalism at it’s best. In fact, I’ll probably bring Jay and Marc along with me just to make sure we get the full story. WNYMedia.net, on your side.

    BTW, how much ass do you think a guy has to kiss at the State Liquor Authority to get on the strip club investigation team???

    The Real Odds dot com

    30 Jul

    Tom Golisano reiterates his opposition to the Buffalo casino.

    A downtown casino is a terrible business decision for Buffalo’s economy. Based on the Senecas’ own projections and government filings, the Buffalo Creek Casino will take in $154 million to $188 million from gamblers, mainly living in Buffalo and surrounding suburbs, in the first year alone. That’s money that will not be spent at local businesses. In return, the City of Buffalo would receive only $5 million to $7 million annually in lieu of taxes. What a “deal.”

    Furthermore, the money the Senecas take out of our local economy goes to them tax free. They pay no local real estate taxes, no sales taxes and, as a sovereign nation, the Senecas themselves pay no income taxes on monies earned from the casino. How can surrounding businesses compete on a level playing field when the casino can offer all its products and services tax free? They simply can’t.

    I tend to listen to billionaires. Incidentally, in his piece, he plugs this website. So, here’s a link to it.

    Sunday Stuff

    30 Jul

    Here’s a link to the post about the Control Board that Perfesser Hardwick brought up this morning, if you’re interested.

    Also in the News:

  • lewd & lascivious behavior in a strip club “upscale gentlemen’s cabaret”. Shock horror.
  • Ranking Schools Superintendent James Williams’ first 13 months.
  • I’ll see your removal of sheriffs’ road patrols and raise you a regional police force.
  • @buf.rr.com

    30 Jul

    Adelphia will soon be kissed bye-bye, and Time Warner will replace it. In fact, their WNY page is already up.

    So, you’re going to have to bail on the @adelphia.net e-mail address sometime soon, which will be a hassle. But we may get digital phone service and will definitely get a different channel lineup (the NFL channel is already axed, according to WIVB).

    I wonder what else they have up their sleeves?

    Plummet

    30 Jul

    At 7am on Sunday, when CNN switches from the London-based CNN International feed to CNN in Atlanta, the network’s IQ plummets catastrophically.

    It’s like going from watching BookTV on CSPAN to watching fricking Boobah.