I’ve Got a Rampant What? or: Live at the Inferno (Eugeology Entry 49)

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Salutations™!!

Inching closer, we’re at the penultimate position in this countdown. The last entry was okay. It was more a question to Eugene about why the album for me. It was a good listen but it wasn’t anything spectacular. I know he has a way to go but I really want to read his review of that one. Jon meet ether… Ether, Jon. Let’s do the next to last ‘un…

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©Megaforce Records

 

#49 – Live at the Inferno by Raven.

We waited over half the countdown for this one. It was a matter of getting it for all of us. It is available from Amazon Prime Music and I never had any troubles, but it isn’t available on any other streaming service. I also listened when it first was mentioned but am revisiting it with research this time.

I was amazed that so much sound came out of a trio. This is full! If I’m remembering correctly (and I could be mistaken), from what Eugene said it’s a show with no overdubs so what you hear is what they gave. You get hit from the opening until the end. I believe they proclaim that on the album itself. Another drawback to having to listen to stuff digitally, I don’t get to hold the media, thus missing a major advantage of being a music fan; marveling in the packaging, thought and effort that went into an album.

I knew nothing of Raven, just the name. I thought it was yet another five-piece New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) music. They give you all that you’d want in such an album: rapid double kick with galloping rhythms, high-pitched screams, fast guitar riffs, etc. It was all in there. You can tell they were having fun and the crowd seems to be really into it.

This is no “gettin’ by” band, either. They’re the real deal. John Gallagher did things on the bass guitar that many guitarists would be jealous of. Listen to the solo “I.G.A.R.B.O.” That’s him slinging his c**k around. Figuratively, obviously. In fact, he has stated that the title of that song is “I’ve Got a Raging Boner On.” Whether that’s true or not, I have no reason to not believe him. We’ll go with it. Johnny G is also the one with all the glass-shattering screams in a register that makes even me say, wow (if you don’t know, I do a lot of falsetto screams and I’ve kind of gotten to be known for it in the VSS circle; he has me beat). I don’t know how he can growl at the crowd but still maintain the smooth vocals while singing. His jumping from lower to higher registers and back again, in the middle of the phrase is pretty cool. He does it the whole time but the verses of “Break the Chain” is where you can really hear it happen. And, his screams in “Hell Patrol.”

John’s brother Mark is all over the fingerboard. Sometimes it’s almost as if it’s too much, but he seems to reign it in and makes it work. He’s got chops, for sure. His tone is certainly in line with the status quo of NWOBHM era. That’s good – give them familiarity, but then break their face. The tone is heavy and meaty but it cuts through. He’s certainly not afraid of the tremolo bar, either. He whammies pretty darn well. Also, his pinch harmonics are pretty mean.

Future Harry Connick, Jr. audio engineer, Rob Hunter (known to his pals as “Wacko), is the one holding down those cliche galloping beats (not a bad thing) with some pretty mad fills and rolls. I love the crisp snap of his snare drum. He also does the backing vox for the show.

If I’m going to pick things that I don’t like (there aren’t many), I would start with the growling demon sounds in “Hell Patrol.” JG pretty much undermines the ingenious screams with that. I know he was just feeling it and playing the crowd and in 1984, it was definitely part of the landscape. So, just ignore that, I did. Also, nothing else stood out enough for me to gripe about it.

This was a fun listen. It’s probably not something that I’d want to hear a lot of, but I think the boys were good. I’d have it on vinyl if I came across it. They’re still together, at least the Gallagher brothers and a new drummer, Joe Hasselvander (who has no known nicknames). My faves on the album were “All for One,” “Mind over Metal,” “Break the Chain,” “I.G.A.R.B.O.” Thanks Eug for adding it. We have one more to go, I’ll get that assignment today, I hope, and we’ll be ready to close this thing out. Jon, (sigh), nevermind…

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“That complacent tramp setting the world on fire. C***s to smell you’re ready to kill and the father that calls me a liar. You can’t shimmy down, be her in this town. You won’t know the score to the break of the dawn. You’re totally wiped out!” – “Wiped Out” (Hunter/Gallagher/Gallagher)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or: Sing It Sister!

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Salutations™!!

So, I know the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is at times controversial, sometimes political and always polarizing subject. Some think it’s contrived, others a complete waste of time. I have been critical of their inability to nominate qualified artists over some that have been sketchy at best.

Now, I know opinion is a major boiling point in things like this. I don’t like this band so they shouldn’t be in there. How can they say that’s rock and roll!? Where’s KISS!? They let N.W.A. in? Those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the HOF. I was guilty of that, as I’ve said (and said above). But, I have to look beyond my personal tastes (because there’s not account for that I’ve always been told) and look to the importance of the artist.

First off, what constitutes Rock and Roll? Is it just a genre of music that includes predetermined instruments with or without vocals? Or, does it go beyond that and stretch into attitudes as well? My admitted idol, Gene Simmons, sparked a bit of controversy last year over the inclusion of N.W.A. in the HOF. According to Rolling Stone, Gene said this to Ice Cube: “Respectfully, let me know when Jimi Hendrix gets into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. Then you’ll have a point.” Ice Cube shot back about Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Chubby Checker inventing rock and roll and, from what I can understand, Cube made it about race (but… wasn’t Jimi black?). Gene said in response: “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me. That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing.” I don’t know that I agree with him on that part. Yeah, rap is a different animal altogether but I believe what Cube said in response to that part was all telling: “I respect Gene Simmons, but I think he’s wrong on this because rock & roll is not an instrument and it’s not singing. Rock & roll is a spirit. N.W.A is probably more rock & roll than a lot of the people that he thinks belong there over hip-hop. We had the same spirit as punk rock, the same as the blues.”

I want to focus on six words in that last part. Rock & roll is a spirit. 

It took me a long time to realize that. It wasn’t something that I liked, therefore it wasn’t something that needed to be in the Hall of Fame. Well, bullstein on that! Anyone can look at my music reviews on this blog in particular and tell that I am no expert on anything other than my opinion. My backstory and history and the music industry’s backstory and history don’t necessarily run in the same circles. I like what I like and I’m pretty staunch in those things, right or wrong, I’m there. What I like compared to what most others like is hit or miss (usually leaning more toward the “miss”) and certainly my ideas on what something should be is just a personal incantation. It’s not gospel or even informed a lot of the time. That’s one reason why with the Eugeology list, I have tried to pay very close attention, do some research and craft the proper responses and or thoughts for each entry. Rock and roll is a state of mind, or, well, spirit.

This brings us back to the HOF and the inductees for 2018 have been announced. First, let’s see who was actually nominated this year: The Meters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, J. Geils Band, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Link Wray, Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Depeche Mode, The Zombies, The MC5, The Cars, LL Cool J, Bon Jovi, Nina Simone and Radiohead.

I voted many times (you were allowed one per IP addy, per day) and my votes were always the same with one alternating. I voted for The Cars, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Nina Simone, Dire Straits, and Eurythmics. I guess my newfound love for first wave/new wave was showing. However, three of those actually made it in. I wasn’t not for Judas Priest, The Zombies, Kate Bush or MC5 to get in, I would have been fine with them, as well. But, not who I was voting for this time. The final list was as such: Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, Dire Straits, Moody Blues, The Cars and listed as “an early influencer,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe. I hate that title for her, “early influencer.” I’m not a fan of blues and I’ve made no bones about that, but man this lady could wail some serious blues guitar and she sang like nobody’s business. She belted her tunes with major conviction and regardless of whether she was relevant mostly in the 1940s or not, I believe if she’s worthy of being in, she’s worthy of being in. It doesn’t need a special category. At least not in that direction. She deserves to be here because she was influential to many of the top blues musicians, either directly or indirectly. I wanted a few YouTube vids to get myself more acquainted with her style and man, it was pretty great. Yeah, I just said that.

Nina Simone, it’s about danged time. She stood out. There was none like her. She was scary, too. She thought nothing of pointing out someone in the audience that was being an idiot or disruptive and she’d tear you a “new one” anytime she thought you were wronging her. Great musician and great raspy, yet smooth vocals. My first introduction to her was in the film Point of No Return (the Americanized La Femme Nikita) which wasn’t that great of a film but whatever. I also loved her version of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” (the Jaffa Remix). And, she’s a North Carolina girl! She’s from Tryon, NC.

The Cars were never known for their dynamic stage presence, but they wrote some catchy-arsed tunes. Their first album is darn near perfect start to finish and I really dug Heartbeat City, as well. They were the inspiration for a good many new wave and mainstream artists alike. One of my votes, I am glad they’re getting in. I hate Ben Orr won’t be here to see it.

Dire Straits. I was never a “fan” per se, but they have some serious moments. Brothers in Arms is a fantastic and powerful album from end-to-end, even if you leave in “Money for Nothin'” and “Walk of Life.” As overplayed as those songs were, they were well written and what guitarist isn’t at least a little bit jealous they didn’t write the opening riff of “Money?” I have to admit I didn’t know what that song was about until about two years ago. It snapped and I was like… wait! It’s about that!? I don’t know what I thought it was about, really. But, it’s a little twinge of jealousy from two working joes that they have to do all this heavy lifting and these “yoyos” playing their guitars get paid for nothing. Not true of course, but we all choose our “work.” Of course, their career is far beyond that album forward and backward. Mark Knopfler is a great guitarist and his work on the soundtrack for The Princess Bride was quite awesome. I’m glad they got in.

I really know very little of Moody Blues other than that sappy arsed “Nights in White Satin,” “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)” and 1986’s “Your Wildest Dreams.” I know I should know more. I will probably get educated on my lack of knowledge by those who read this blog. I would go as far as saying that I want to know more. I do have The Other Side of Life on vinyl (with the aforementioned “Your Wildest Dreams”). Perhaps that will go on soon. I know it’s a pale representation of the band’s collective work but you gotta start with what you’ve got, right? I guess.

Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi. Hmmm… Okay, I’ll admit it. I like Bon Jovi from New Jersey back. My favorite album from them is the first one, cleverly called Bon Jovi. It was piano/keyboard driven rock and I liked that. “Love Lies” and “Shot Through the Heart” are great. On CD the only one of those in the range I mentioned that I don’t have is 7800° Fahrenheit. I don’t know why, either. I know they get a bad rap when it comes to rock and roll. It was cheesy and hair bandy, sure. But, they sold records and they put on a good show. The songs, as juvenile and over-polished as they sometimes were, were well-written. I can’t complain about them, really. Plus, they outright beat the pants off the other nominees in the fan votes. I mean it wasn’t even close. The fan vote was easily twice as many as the next closest nominee if not three times. It was crazy. I knew they’d not have a problem getting in, so I never voted for them.

Well, that’s my thoughts on this. I will probably get wrung for it, but hey, it’s the way it is. What are your thoughts, Dear Reader? Who do you feel should be in the HOF that isn’t? Of what are your thoughts on the HOF in general? What could be done to make it a more legitimate accolade? Is it already legit? Answer me those things. Thanks in advance.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I don’t mind you coming here and wasting all my time. Cause when you’re standing oh so near I kinda lose my mind. It’s not the perfume that you wear. It’s not the ribbons in your hair. And I don’t mind you coming here and wasting all my time.” – “Just What I Needed” (Ocasek)

A Hiatus or: Just a Bit

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Salutations™!!

I wanted to take a few seconds to tell you about what is going on with The Less Desirables Network.TLDNetwork

Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking has been on hiatus for a few months now, due to a health issue in Jordan’s family. He’s dealing with that and we’re still off until further notice.

The Beer Dads Podcast is going to be on hiatus until at least January and possibly into February. Beer Dad Paul started a new day job and he needs a little time for training and assumption of duties. Beer Dad Jon has a lot on his plate, as well. As you’ll see with The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast, forcing content for the sake of content is bad for business and we don’t want to do that. Plus, during the holidays it’s not uncommon for some of our shows to take a little break.

Speaking of The Man Who Ate the Town, I will continue to record those on time, but as much as I would like to have a new one each week, sometimes there just isn’t anything outside of the holidays and history and I want it to be more about the food and WSNC/Triad food scene than aggregated internet info. Also, there may be something new about the show that I can’t talk about right now. There may be no changes at all, but you never know.

Fan Interference is off until at least January. I am thinking we’d like to have a show to talk about the CFB playoffs and the national championship. Plus, the NFL playoffs will be starting up. I’m sure there will be some NBA stuff to talk about as well. So, January.

The Less Desirables will be business as usual. This show has only missed one Wednesday in 409 Wednesdays in a row and I don’t plan on it to miss, now. We have Matthew Troy, the conductor and Executive Director of the Piedmont Wind Symphony will be on this week. My bestie Eugene will be on next Wednesday, 12/20, to talk about his top TV shows of 2017. Danielle is working on a guest for the 27th so check back then to see who it is.

So, there you have it. The Less Desirables Network will have some out and some in through the holidays and into the new year. As always, we appreciate your support and thank you so much for listening and I thank you for reading the blog, which, by the way is going nowhere!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I take a hiatus every now and again, but I’m not good at that. – Miley Cyrus

A Minor Flub or: Early Piggy

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Salutations™!!

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©Greensboro Daily

 

So, usually, I piggyback The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast on Tuesdays because that’s when I record them, right? Well, there was no Fan Interference today (and won’t be until January; our annual holiday hiatus) so I recorded both “tomorrow’s” TMWATT podcast and the “As Ardmore Turns” for this week’s The Less Desirables. Well, when I did the RSS feed for TMWATT, it was for tomorrow. However, as I did the blog post, I went ahead and published it (for both TMWATT blog and the TLD Network pages) before I realized I was supposed to schedule them for tomorrow, as well. Well, cripes. Anywhat! It’s there for you to hear if you’d like. I talk about The Traveled Farmer closing and Mario Batali. You can read about it and listen HERE.

Also, you should give me credit for fitting a shameless plug for all but two of the podcasts (and sites), those two would be The Beer Dads and Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking. But, I digress…

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Traveled Farmer offered the Triad community seasonal dishes based on local ingredients, a handcrafted drink menu and to-go meals for your home with “some assembly required,” according to the website, for just over a year.” – Yes! Weekly

Silent Sunday or: The Haul 12/9/17

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Salutations™!!

A lazy, snowy day in WSNC yesterday. It was great, though. It was cold enough to snow and the ground warm enough to not allow it to stick to the roads. They were navigatable and it was beautiful. The flakes were big and fluffy. The BCPF and I loved it. It was cool to stand in Underdog Records, talking records, life, music in general, everything. It was just cool. So, we walked out with this:

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©Virgin

 

So, there you have this week’s haul. Not a bad one, I don’t think. We have sure enjoyed listening to the five or six we got through yesterday (and into today). Right now you can get an additional 10% on a gift certificate (also a 45RPM record with a sticker, très chic!) to give to that record lover that you just don’t know what they have already (and don’t look at Discogs to find out). Jonathan has a few turntables, both new and used, in the store right now! Go check them out. And, if you haven’t noticed, I like Discogs, a lot!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Sukie was the kid, she liked to hang out in the graveyard. She did brass rubbings, she learned you never had to press hard. When she finished hanging out she was all alone. She decided that she better check in at home. There was an awful row between her mum and dad. They said she hadn’t done this, she hadn’t done that. If she wanted to remain inside the family home she’d have to tow the line, she’d have to give it a go. It didn’t suit Sukie, so she took her things and left.” – “Sukie in the Graveyard” (Kildea/Geddes/Cooke/Colburn/Martin/Jackson/Murdoch

Sounds Like Saturday: Cheap Turkey

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Salutations™!!

Yesterday, as I wrote, was the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. So, why not play on it?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Temperature’s rising. Fever is high. Can’t see no future. Can’t see no sky. My feet are so heavy. So is my head. I wish I was a baby. I wish I was dead. Cold turkey has got me on the run.” – “Cold Turkey” (Lennon)

Dear John or: Silver in the Snow

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Salutations™!!

Today is December 8, 2017. It was December 8, 1980, when the world lost one of its most celebrated and controversial celebrities and brilliant minds. I’ve talked about this before but when this happened, I was 10. I had just gotten into some hard rock music, namely KISS a few years earlier and The Beatles and its various members were “old folk music,” to me; stuff my parents listened to. Well, at least Ma Mère.

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©The Guardian

 

I remember watching Monday Night Football and Howard Cosell coming on to tell the world that John Lennon had died. Shot twice in the back (according to Cosell) and rushed to the hospital where he was DOA. Now, a little bit later, Ted Koppel said on Nightline that he had been shot three times and died after arriving at the hospital. Most of the supported reports, now, state that he was shot at five times, hit four and was pretty much gone, pronounced DOA, upon getting to the hospital. It was surreal, to be sure, but it was also probably the first time I ever felt remorse.

For whatever reason, Ma Mère wasn’t home when we heard the news. She came home and I said in a mocking manner that someone of her “old music” had been murdered. I don’t know why I felt proud of that, but upon reflection of it, I felt really stupid and sad that I had said it and that I had felt the need to do so. That’s awful and I’ve never forgotten or let myself off the hook for it. I have since, obviously, discovered the genius that Lennon was, what he meant to the music world, what he meant to my musical heroes and what a loss it was.

So, 37 years later, people are still talking about him, much of his compositions are still relevant and still hold up in today’s musical realms. My favorite Beatle has always been and will always be Paul who was the heart, but John was the mind (George the soul, Ringo the body). RIP, Mr. Lennon.

So, on to happier things, if we don’t get snowed out, I’ll be playing with the Silver Alerts in Greensboro tonight. We’re playing the Crown of Carolina Theatre. The show starts at 7pm with Joshua West. Then, at 8ish, Doug Davis’ new band Gasket Hawkins goes on and then Doug joins Clay, Chad Huskey, Corky McClellan and me as a Silver Alert. I don’t know the cost of admission but we hope to see you there.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Yes, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps, of all of the Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which, in duty bound, we have to take.” – Howard Cosell

Hot to Trot? or: Wild Dogs (Eugeology Entry 48)

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Salutations™!!

I think I pleased Eugene with the last entry. The thing is he doesn’t comment much when I do like something. He indeed comments when I don’t. Jon doesn’t say a whole lot. He’s still sitting at #19. He may finish this time next year. We’ll see. Okay, let’s hit it. wild-dogs-541d88043e488

#48 – Wild Dogs by The Rods.

I have no clue who the Rods are. I have never heard of them, have never heard a single song (unless it’s been slipped in on me and me not know it). And, let me be clear up front, here. I think this is a fine album. I would say that I like it. Let’s leave that right there. Now, let me say some stuff about what’s going on here.

There’s not a wealth of info on the internet (Wikipedia is barren and the link to their website dies in transit) about them. The guitarist and co-vocalist David Feinstein (known to his pals as “Rock”) is the cousin of Ronnie James Dio. Okay. He played in the band Elf with his cousin. Okay. He’s a good riffing guitarist and I can’t tell who is singing what so I’m going to say he’s a good singer. He’s not overly flashy but just enough to make me say, “well, alright!”

The drummer Carl Canedy (also listed as vocals) is probably the flashiest of the musicians. The drums are more than solid, they are heavy and artful. The runs and fills are pretty impressive. Again, I don’t know who is singing what, so let’s say he’s good?

I believe this is the first album that had Garry Bordonaro as bass player with the band. I can hear some good riffing in there. There are runs and passages that are pretty good. He, too, is listed as “vocals.” I don’t know what that means, exactly, so I’m going to say he’s good?

As for the songs, there are a few that I really liked and a few that I didn’t. I am conflicted with the opening track. The song itself isn’t bad but I hate their use of the phrase “I’m too hot to trot.” I don’t know why that irks me but it does. I actually have used the phrase in conversation but its use in this song just bothers me. The rest of that song isn’t bad.

The pedophilia aspect of “Violation” is weird, but I can’t knock it too much because there were two songs from KISS that talked about the same thing and I loved both of those songs. The rest of the song lyrically is a violation. And it’s cheese. I’d say this is the song I don’t like the most. And, while I’m at it, I don’t like “The Night Lives To Rock,” the last song on the album, lyrically, because they say they’re gonna rock their arses off for me. That’s dumb. It’s very “Rock and Roll All Nite”-ish. Don’t force anthems, that’s anti-anthemic, I think.

I don’t care for the lead vox in the cover of “Keep Me Hangin’ On” but I do love the backing vox. It’s weird. Overall, that song’s pretty good.

Now, I do like “Burned By Love.” I love the harmonies in that. I like the title track. I like the guitar riffs in that. Also, there’s room for Canedy to show off his double kick work. After complaining about the lyrics of “The Night Lives To Rock” I’m contradicting myself by saying I do like the song “Rockin’ ‘N’ Rollin’ Again.”

My favorite tune on the album is “End of the Line.” The lead and backing vox are really good. “No Sweet Talk, Honey” is pretty rocking and good, too. So, I’d say it’s right down the middle, hit or miss. My faults are probably minor infractions in the grand scheme of the album.

Now, let’s revisit my initial statements on it: I think this is a fine album. I would say that I like it. However, my question is to Eugene. This isn’t a knock on the album, but why did this particular album make the Top 50? I feel that while it’s good, it’s a bit of a stretch. Even the ones in the past that I haven’t liked have been more obvious as to why you picked it. I don’t find a lot of memorable material on this. Until I just forced myself to pay attention, the best it could get was background filler. Again, I think it’s good, just I won’t ever seek it out and don’t care if I don’t hear it again. I know you’re several (okay ~20) behind and I should wait until you catch up with the review. I just think there could have been better albums for this spot. Again, this is your list and I don’t mean to question, just, I don’t know, it was kind of flat. NOT bad… flat. But, it’s still something I wouldn’t have heard and I appreciate the introduction.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“What are you going to do when I finally walk away? How are you going to feel when I’m gone? What are you going to do when I finally turn away? How are you going to feel when I’m gone? It’s the end of the line.” – “End of the Line” (The Rods)

Prioress or: The Less Desirables Beer of the Week

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Salutations™!!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a post like this. Danielle has been awesome and has brought a few growlers of things for us to try over the last little bit and I can’t thank her enough for that. But, here we go…20171206_125913

City Beverage, the Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Prioress Milk Stout from Southern Pines Brewing Company, The Less Desirables Beer of the Week.

I’ve had a few things from Southern Pines and I think I liked them. Then again, it’s beer and I like beer. I’m a sucker for stouts and milk stouts, too. So, here I am hoping that this week’s selection is nothing shy of fantabulous! The ABV is 5.6%.

BeerAdvocate has it at 3.83 out of 5 (Very Good). Untappd has it at 3.81 caps out of 5. Have you had it? What did you think? If you’ve not had it or just have a hankering for more, head on down to City Bev and grab your sixer.Tell them that it’s the “beer of the week” and get 5% off your order. Tune in tonight or tomorrow and see what Haydee, Danielle, Bethany and I think of it. It looks like Groot has already decided he wants some, too.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Smooth, sweet, and complex, the Prioress is full of wonderful caramel, toffee, and bitter dark chocolate flavors, leaving a lingering chocolate covered espresso bean quality. Heaps of oats and lactose provide a velvety mouthfeel that is rich and elegant.” – Southern Pines Brewing Company

Et Tu Juju? or: Hammer to Fall

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Salutations™!!

Yesterday, about the time I posted the post, word came down that Gronk was suspended for one game. Kind of figured that would be it, okay. Brady is good enough to not have him and still win. He’ll be back just in time to be ticked off when they play the Steelers in Week 15.

But, the game last night pitting the Steelers against our hated rivals the Cincinnati Bengals (or Bungles as I call them) was a doozie. First, in a freak accident and not really any one’s fault, Ryan Shazier, the Steelers defensive leader jammed his neck making a tackle (from behind) and ended up with a spinal “contusion.” They carted him off the field and took him, by ambulance, to the hospital. He’s still there today and probably until tomorrow as they are doing more tests and evaluating him.

The Steelers and Bungles have a violent past, especially recently, and especially because of Vontaze Burfict. He’s a dirty player on the level of Ndamukong Suh. The Bungles also have Adam “Pacman” Jones who is at times a dirty player. He’s certainly an instigator. During the playoffs in 2015, Burfict took aim at Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown and put him out of the game. It was malicious and intended. Burfict was then suspended for the first three games of 2016. That just adds to the dangerous mystique of the rivalry.

Last night, when Le’Veon Bell was catching a pass and making a Steelers first down, Steelers rookie sensation Juju Smith-Shuster made a peelback block (where the player goes back toward his own end zone and makes a blindside block on a “defenseless” defensive player – I know there’s a better definition of that, but that’s what I got) on Burfict and it nearly knocked him out. Okay, so, I have to admit a part of me thought that was pretty bad-arsed. But, truly, I don’t want anyone hurt like that. The worst part of it wasn’t that he made the hit. The worst part was afterward when he stepped over Burfict, straddled him and looked at him like he’d just proven a point. That’s called taunting and is not good. Any other time I’d probably be okay with it, but this is after Shazier went down and the whole team was down and jittery. Good block but unnecessarily violent and absolutely ridiculous on the taunt. Now, I admire and am fond of the fire the kid has but you could really tell, by the look on his face, that he felt bad for it afterward. But, in the moment? Nah.

Later in the game, as Antonio Brown made his tie-setting TD catch, Bungles DB George Iloka squares up and delivers a helmet-to-helmet shot to Brown but Brown held on. The Steelers went on to win the game 23-20, staying atop the playoff picture leading into two important games. The Ratbirds (Ravens) come to town next week (when both Gronk and Juju are both suspended) and then the Patriots come in the following week. So, it’s important the guys in black and yellow keep their heads and buckle down! Hopefully, Ryan Shazier isn’t lost for the rest of the season. Really, as much as I don’t like a lot of teams and players, I don’t want them hurt like that, especially not from a Steeler’s moment of mental weakness. So, all of you stop making stupid mistakes and just play the game. Be safe, y’all! Thanks for indulging my sports rants two days in a row!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“You are suspended for the dangerous and unsportsmanlike acts you committed during the fourth quarter of last night’s game. Specifically, with 7:10 remaining, on a passing play to a running back, you lined up a defender and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to his head and neck area. You then ‘celebrated’ the play by standing over him and taunting him. The contact you made with your opponent placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury and could have been avoided. Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.” – Jon Runyan, NFL Vice President of Football Operations to Juju Smith-Shuster