Live Performance

Posted: February 24, 2015 in Music
Tags: , , , ,

Layne Staley performing with Alice ‘N Chains at University of Washington’s Kane Hall, May 1986.

Monday: The Washington Post reveals his congressional office’s Downton Abbey-themed makeover:

The Rayburn House Office Building is a labyrinth of beige offices.

And then, there’s . . . Rep. Aaron Schock’s new digs.

Bright red walls. A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles. A Federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top. And this is just the Illinois Republican’s outer office.

“It’s actually based off of the red room in ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” said the woman behind the front desk, comparing it to the luxurious set piece at the heart of the British period drama.

Thursday: Schock communications aide Benjamin Cole resigns after a series of racist Facebook posts he wrote were discovered by Buzzfeed and ThinkProgress:

A top adviser to Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has resigned after controversial posts were found on his Facebook page.

Benjamin Cole, a senior adviser to Schock, told POLITICO he resigned and that Schock, a Republican, accepted his resignation.

The posts had Cole likening black people to animals and said a mosque should be built on the White House grounds for President Barack Obama.

It caps quite a strange week for Schock’s office. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Schock had decorated his office in the manner of the British show “Downton Abbey.” Cole had interacted with the reporter and tried to tamp down the story. His back and forth with the Post reporter was detailed in the story.

Friday: Blue Nation Review reports Schock sold his Peoria, Illinois home to a wealthy donor for a nearly $797,000 profit:

Now there’s this: the month before the 2012 elections, Congressman Schock sold his house to a major Republican donor who was also one of his campaign supporters for a price that appears to far exceed the market value at the time.

If Schock had some sort of quid pro quo real estate deal with the donor, this is the exact same thing that brought down Duke Cunningham ten years ago.

Twelve years ago (!!!), I wrote my first story for CNN. The subject was Australian Gitmo detainee David Hicks, who had just gotten access to a lawyer at the time.

The BBC is reporting his lawyer expects the U.S. will clear his conviction on terrorism charges.

It’s been a while since I posted anything about my Alice in Chains biography.  Here’s something to start off 2015:

CD2EAF98-B583-4D6F-A1DC-7F3CFFD58347The Book Is DONE: I’m reviewing a hard copy of the manuscript (pictured above) for final edits and changes.  Once that’s finished, that will be the final version that goes to the presses for mass production and publication.

Mark Your Calendars: The other bit of news is the book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with a scheduled release date of August 4, 2015.

More updates to come in the weeks and months ahead…  I look forward to getting the book out there and for people to have the opportunity to read it.  Best wishes to all of you for 2015…

AIC Book Cover

Soccer Theatrics

Posted: July 6, 2014 in Sports
Tags: , , , ,

In light of the amazing World Cup tournament that is winding down in the next week, and all the controversy about Arjen Robben’s flopping that led to the game-winning penalty against Mexico, here are a few other clips of flopping and other shenanigans which should win awards for bad acting or flat-out chutzpah:

Ding! Dong! The witch king is dead!

I’m a few days late on this, but for those of you who haven’t heard, the most reprehensible inbred brat in television history got whacked at his own wedding.  For the back story from the show perspective, I would recommend reading Entertainment Weekly’s interviews with Jack Gleeson, George R. R. Martin, and David Benioff/Dan Weiss. Naturally, the Internet had to chime in, here are a few responses via Twitter [full disclosure/shameless self-promotion: some of the tweets are mine]:

And last, but certainly not least – here’s a clip of Tyrion slapping Joffrey around for 10 minutes, set to Led Zeppelin’s “Achilles Last Stand.”

Today marks the 20th and 12th anniversaries of the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. Take some time to reflect on them, their music, and their individual legacies.

Kurt Cobain:

Layne Staley:

Beyond these links and videos, if you want to know more about both of them and the broader Seattle scene in general, I would highly recommend reading Greg Prato’s Grunge Is Dead and Mark Yarm’s Everybody Loves Our Town.