Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shaun Livingston's Knee Injury

This is nasty...

Cavs Win, Cavs Win....(well, vs. the Hornets...)

Brian Windhorst has some interesting observations today...

--The Cavs have taken zero (0) free throws in the fourth quarter in the past two games yet got up 19 3-pointers.
--Zydrunas Ilgauskas was 5-of-8 from the floor in the first half and was permitted two shots in the second half and none in the fourth.
--In the fourth quarter the Hornets were using Bobby Jackson and Devin Brown to defend LeBron James and he didn't take much advantage at all by working to get low post position, from which he would be unstoppable against those two. Which isn't all that surprising since I watched him not abuse Jason Kapono like I thought he should Sunday in Miami.
--Without LeBron on the court tonight, the Cavs were a -7 in plus/minus. Over the last three games, it is something obscene like a -30. Which just shows how vital bench production is for this team.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Watch Family Guy

Family Guy is just a hilarious show. Sometime the episode is a little boring but if you are not familiar with the show, the best parts are when they cut away to to some clip from seamingly abstract 80's/90's pop reference. Here are a few samples.

Luke Skywalker Humiliating Rebel Pilot

The A-Team

They have several other parodies that I swear must go over some peoples head like references to:
School Ties
Different Strokes
The Never Ending Story

Friday, February 16, 2007

Vox in the Box (13)

SamVox,...shove your Machiavellian, overly dramatic, alternative opinions up your torn ass. I'm stumping for Obama, my favorite director is Spike Lee, and, thrown bricks aside, Hot Rod Williams will be the NBA's next great coach.

All right, got that out of my system. Yall should enjoy that one. My readers love my ambiguity, evidenced by the positive response I got from the opening paragraph of Vox 11. Sopranos creator David Chase once said everything out of every character's mouth is a lie. And fans love the show anyway. And if you're here with me for 13, then you are a person that happily decides for yourself. If you want it spoon-fed, go read Bud Shaw. Other than his Ameachi column last week, his space is just a collection of sarcastic paragraphs with no real insight. If you want controversy, check out TMQ. Easterbrook is bound to touch a nerve if you read him long enough. If you're looking for objectivity, you won't like it here. If that's your thing, grab the Cleveland Jewish News. They won't endorse a political candidate, unless of course you can shell out the dough for a full-page ad.

Despite popular opinion, I have only a modest amount of free time. It's a damn shame I waste it playing speed chess. It not only fucks up your game, it sucks brain power and now I have nothing to say. What to write, what to write? Hey, if you want to kill a column...just do a running diary. Cavs/Lakers on TNT tonight. Yeah, I think I'll go Simmons and bust out a diary.. 18 minutes to tip off. I'll be right back. Sit tight, I'm going to make myself a sandwich (if you know what I mean).

-- brief interruption, Sam Vox is making himself a sandwich--
I'm back, bra. I love how local and national media members picked the Cavs to win the East this year (Kenny Roda), but all they've done this season is constantly complain about Z and ESnow. Um, when you picked the Cavs to win 59 games and dominate the NBA, you were aware that Eric Snow is our starting point guard, right? That's what so comical about people's expectations. The Cavs did not upgrade in the offseason. Last year, they benefited from basically stealing Flip Murray and then barely beat one of the league's worst defensive teams, the 42-win Bullets. They had a nice run with house money against the aging Pistons (whose liabilities were finally exposed-- mainly the ineffective Ben Wallace in crunch time). But the Cavs were essentially a one-man team offensively. How did you think they would contend this year? You didn't think. That's the problem. This city is filled with NBA novices that discovered pro ball when Bron arrived, but have no clue what it takes to win in the Association.

I have no problem with Snow, actually. He was the 2nd best Cavs player on the floor in the payoff. He rarely turns it over and plays as well as BJ Armstrong. What the Cavs need is a top-notch, bruising defender and a shooter that can spray it the way John Paxson did in the '91 Finals when MJ was doubled. Get off Z and Snow. You didn't mind them when you made your preseason picks. They didn't became duds overnight. OK, 10:30, it's game time. Damn, Mavs and Rockets running over. I hate that.

10:39 Here is that awesome commercial with the Nike Dream Team walking in unison in their white warm-ups; then scrimmaging in slow motion to a badass rap. Steve Nash looks out of place, but studly with his locks cut. They should show Bron throwing up fall-away threes with 20 seconds left on the shot clock and his team down eight. Man, they take those pick-up games more serious than they do the Bobcats.

10:49 Jeff Van Gundy, GET OFF THE FUCKING COURT.

10:50 Tracy McGrady forces up a horrendous shot with 6 seconds left and Houston down one. There was absolutely no chance of him passing. None.

10:51 Mavericks win. Mavericks win. Thuh-uh-uh Mavericks win. Cuban is already in Vegas, I think.

10:53 The Dwayne Wade/Charles Barkley commercial where the idiot waitress knows who Wade is, but not Barkley. She must be one of those new NBA fans from Cleveland. I'd still bang her.

10:55 SVAC time, in progress. Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins, courtside. I don't care who the announcers are, as long as both of them aren't Fred McLeod.

10:59 Doug Collins would like to see Anderson more aggressive tonight. Be careful what you wish for Doug.

11:00 Have you ever seen the size of Eric Snow's ass when he penetrates. That is a Virgin Pimp ass, no question about it.

11:06 Doug's Keys to Victory. Great graphic. He actually thinks LeBron and Kobe should "lead the way" tonight. Great analysis. He wants Cleveland to MANUFACTURE OFFENSE. I'm turned on now.

11:11 Hughes with a vicious fake wrap-around pass. Ok, he's struggled this season. I may have been wrong about him. But he used to torch us with Washington.

11:13 Closer promo. I love you Kyra.

11:16 Donyell doesn't even attempt to guard Kobe. Three ball is good.

11:19 Memphis has to go outside.

11:24 Poor thing, I think he's constipated

11:27 Scot Pollard with the worst foul attempt I've ever seen. He didn't foul; he fondled. Three-point play.

11:28 Close-up of that Cavs assistant coach that looks like John Witkowski.

11:30 Close-up of Kobe on the bench allegedly contemplating his next rape victim.

11:24 Lew Alcindor in the house. Reminds me of when Kareem guest-starred on Diff'rent Strokes. He played Arnold and Dudley's teacher. Dudley told Mr. Drummond that Kareem hit them, but it was a lie. Where's Dudley's dad? Remember when Dudley's dad promised to quit smoking, but then lit up at the end of the episode; the screen froze dramatically and the credits popped up on the screen. Powerful stuff on NBC in the early 80s.

11:43 Bad credit? No credit? No problem! Serpentini Chevy guarantees approval.

11:47 I like when black players scream super-loud after they release a shot, letting everyone know it's off.

11:48 Chris Jent sighting. It sure seems like yesterday he was slapping the ball down the court so time would expire on Minnesota. I loved that Buckeye team. Jent, JJ, Perry Carter, Treg Lee, Jamie Skelton (used to get his haircut at that place Telly did), Coach Ayers. 1991. Flat-tops on the brothers. Severance was a mall, not a shopping plaza. You're down wit OPP.

11:56 OK, I just noticed Kobe is now wearing #24. WTF? What happened to 8? I guess Kobe is a Jack Bauer fan. Nope, according to Collins it's because there are 24 hours in a day and 24 seconds in a shot clock. Brilliant. PJ Johns wore 24.

12:02 A Serbian hits a three at the buzzer to end the half. Wasn't Sasha.

12:03 The usless pre-halftime interview. Cheryl Miller and LeBron. There has never been an interesting pre-halftime interview. It's mandatory fluff. Except for the Penn State v OSU game. The interviewer inquired about a slip of paper that Paterno handed to Tressel as they ran off the field. Tressel said one of OSU's defensive players had dropped one of their play sheets and Paterno returned it, because "they don't want any advantage." Classic line, and I'm not sure why. If I'm Paterno, I use that as toilet paper, rather than having to book to the bathroom in front of 100,000 plus people.

12:12 Halftime. Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Barkley and Reggie Miller live from Las Vegas. They're commenting on the Tim Hardaway fiasco. Barkley says only God can judge us. Kenny "If we both stopped for gas" Smith uses a white rapper/blacks in the suburbs analogy that made so little sense, it was amazingly funny.

12:16 I'm ready for bed and it's only halftime. I'm going to take a snooze and hopefully wake up for the last two minutes. Those are the only minutes that matter in an NBA regular season game anyway.

naptime, bra

12:53 Collins voice wakes me from a light sleep. What happened to the Doug Collins that ran around the Colisuem court like a maniac after The Shot? You know, with the curly half-mullet? His hair has changed almost as drastically as Mike Fratello's. Phil Jackson has aged too. I wonder if he whistles when he's banging the owner's daughter. Get off your wife and on to a Buss. Lakers romance rules.

12:56 When I played ball, I was the king of assists. I still enjoy helping people.

12:57 Oh my God! The dude from Class Act, Yo Damida: why don't you play with my frog, is in a video game ad.

12:59 The Goose is up. She's crying in her crib. I better get her before Mrs. Vox wakes up and sees me blogging.

1:08 I dare Phil Jackson to put in Smush Parker and play him the rest of the game. Doesn't Kobe need to rest up for All-Star weekend?

1:11 7:57 left in the 4th. Cavs by 1. Someboody tell Hughes to stop gunning threes.

1:13 Hughes bricks a short jumper in transition. Somebody tell Hughes to stop shooting period.

1:16 I wouldn't mind playing the never-see-you-again-game with Drew Gooden. Maybe the
most over-valued player in Cavs history. He blows.

1:20 Lakers up a bucket, and they're going to win this game. TNT couldn't be happier.

1:21 LeBron at the free throw line. He mumbled something to himself. Seal it with a kiss, baby.

1:24 I wish Sedale Threatt still played for the Lakers. AC Green too. Talk about a VP reunion.

1:27 Nike commercial using Motzart's final requiem. Quality dude.

1:31 HUGE 3 BY SASHA; that may have won it for us.

1:35 ESnow having a great game. Come the playoffs, I want it in his hands. Not Gibson's.

1:39 Kobe drains a three they had to have. LeBron back at the line, and TNT is absolutely
desperate to make this game Bron v Kobe.


1:42 Rebound Andy. This one's all but over.

1:44 You can book this one to the Cavs.

1:45 Post game interview. I hate to be catty, but Cheryl Miller needs a makeover. She tells Bron she'll see him in Vegas. TNT cannot stop promoting the All Star weekend. War Amon Jones beating out Arenas for the 3-Point Championship.

I need sleep.

Well V told me at Grinders
I swore we'd always remember
No Retreat Cavaliers No Surrender

I am Potaps in the box

We're going to be good next year...Parting is inevitable

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Tim Hardaway's comments. Certainly more clear than the "fuzzy" comments that Lebron made.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gilbert rips Lebron

Today among other things, Gilbert Arenas claims that Lebron doesn't want the last shot...

"The guy LeBron needs is Sam Cassell," says Arenas, "He needs someone who wants to take the big shots at the end of the game." I interject that LeBron would never stand for that -- it would kill his ego. "LeBron would much rather have Cassell take the final shot," says Arenas. "People don't realize that LeBron doesn't want it."

My First Blog Movie Review

Top movies from ’06 (That I saw)
1. The Departed: Great Movie.

2. V for Vendetta: One of the better movies I can remember in years. It sure didn’t hurt having Natalie in the movie, best looking bald chick ever (Sorry Sinead)

3.Half-Nelson: There is talk that Gosling is the new actor of our generation, at least from my wife. I think I like him because his name was dropped in the "Lazy Sunday Rap"... Like Adams loves Gosling! Pretty good drug movie, if your into that. Michael from the Wire plays a small roll in it.

4. United 93: It doesn’t really feel like a Movie. But I stood in my Living Room speechless for the last 20 minutes and then a few minutes after the credit rolled. Side note: 10X better than that other Nick Cage WTC movie. They totally got it wrong with the off duty white Marine guy who found the 2 Police officers. They found out after the movie it was a black guy from Columbus. (He is getting his house redone on Extreme Home Makeover on channel 5 right now)

5. Lady in the Water: I might be the only person you know who dug this flick.

6. Little Miss Sunshine: I prefer Steve Carell in this more subtle role than 40 year old virgin or even as Michael Scott on the office.

7. The Illusionist

8. Thank You for Smoking

9. Inconvenient Truth: The way Al gore talks kinda of bugs me, but the content was good, well actually bad.

10. A Scanner Darkly: There must be a Keanu movie on my list every year. Robert Downey, Woody & Wynona add to it.

Worst movies from ‘06 (That I saw) while we are at it:
1. Superman Returns: This Movie just plain sucked. Finally Superman wills his way past the powers of Kryptonite (WTF). Somebody call me if Kevin Spacey is ever in another movie worth watching again. See bottom for Spacey list

2. The DaVinci Code

3. X-Men: I enjoyed the first 2, and hated the third

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: I kinda of liked the first one in a Disney way. When we went to the theatre there were a bunch of idiots dressed up in Pirate outfits in front of the Theatre with a Pirates Flag, a Sail, and a Pizza. That was the best part of the movie.

Top/Bottom 3 of his movies:
1.Usual Suspects
3.LA Confidential
Worst 3:
1. Pay it forward
2. Superman
3. K-Pax (I never saw it, but I thought I would go out on a limb and throw it on this list)

In my Queue
Iwo (Disappointed with Flags)
Half Nelson (Just saw it, see above)

Sunny Days

As I sit looking out my window, watching the snow blow sideways, the Sesame Street tune plays on repeat in my head... "Sunny days, thinking of..."What to do with my snow day? I could work at home since I have my laptop with all my files on it... or I could catch up on things, namely this blog. Tough choice, but I think I'll choose the latter...

Quick comment on the latest, and always entertaining, Vox post. To me (not much of a music enthusiast) Halen definitely has its place in R-n-R history, but today their tunes (especially with Hagar) seem a bit campy. Honestly, I turn the channel when most of their songs come on... that is when I'm actually listening to music.

Secondly, I have to ask... how the hell do you see so many movies? I don't think I've seen 10 movies in two years.

Anyway, when you want to do that radio show, let me know. We'll kill it like we did on MS-n-LL. We can even invite that Johnny Mike to talk about Winslow's kid.

"Sunny days..." I can't get that song out of my head, so I'll embrace it and give you people my...
Top 10 Sesame Street Characters.

10. Hoots the Owl... a jazzy saxophone-playing owl, Hoots is a low to mid-carder who makes periodical appearances mostly in musical numbers. The first ever Jive-talkin' fowl, Hoots' deep baritone voice resonates strongly as he sings "Ernie, put the quacker down", just before blowin' a smooth tune on his sax. Amazing he's that good on a wind instrument considering the beak.

9. Elmo... without a doubt the most popular Sesame Street muppet, Elmo is simply a phenomenon. No disrespect to the Undertaker, but he is THE Phenom. Elmo isn't a classic SS muppet and didn't even exist in the 70's when I was watching. But he/she (Elmo's sexual orientation is purposely ambiguous) is definitely here to stay. This cute little fuzzy monster (ironically puppeteered and voiced by a 6'-2" African-American) is supposed to represent a 3 year old... and does he ever connect with today's toddlers. I could never understand the obsession, until I had a kid and see first hand what Elmo means to his world.

8. Cookie Monster... until Elmo, perhaps the most popular muppet. Cookie has been eating the Number of the Day for years. Conservatives want to blame Cookie for the obesity problem facing our youth, but all I know is that I was a scrawny little nothing and I loved Cookie Monster. After all, parents should ultimately have control over their kids. Someone has to give those kids those "cookies"... they aren't pulling from the tv screen from Cookie Monster's plate are they?

7. Mr. Mumford... the resident magician on Sesame Street, Mumford's tricks do not always have the intended effect. Among his magical miscues have been transforming would-be "La-La-ers" into "Bah-Bah-ers" making Big Bird's quest for the best musical show more difficult than imagined. Known by his magic phrase, "A-la-peanut-butter-sandwiches!", Mr. Mumford is now in semi-retirement, only appearing on special shows and DVDs in "Gimmick Angles" and "Kayfabes".

6. Baby Bear... was there a Baby Bear when we were kids? I don't think so, but there's one now. Telly Monster, Elmo, and Baby Bear... they're like the Three Amigos... thick as thieves. Baby Bear has a terrible speech impediment but delivers in a way that kids still learn properly. He loves that porridge, every day he seems to eat "the best porridge he's ever had".

5. Telly Monster... a truly underrated muppet, I don't even remember Telly back when, meaning he's gone from nothing to one of the main characters (i.e. from a "Jobber" to a "Main Eventer") and a good one at that. Telly has a lot to offer, you just have to get past his clumsy, worrisome, comedic exterior.

4. Snuffleupagus... more of a side-show similar to Andre the Giant in his later days, Snuffy is somewhat of an elephant/wooly mammoth type creature who spent his best days as Big Bird's friend. As more characters surfaced on Sesame Street, Big Bird seems to have less and less time for Snuffy. Some say his appearances have lessened because of the complexity of operating him, but I say he's suffering from physical deterioration from years of performing on that large frame, much like the aforementioned Andre the Giant, The Big Show, and Giant Baba.

3. Bert... I always said Bert reminded me of my late grandfather Poppy Harold. That's not meant to be an insult... I love my grandfather... just a childhood thing that's stuck. I don't get his pigeon fetish, but some people don't get my loves like wrestling, Buffy, spots talk, etc. At one point, rumors ran wild that Bert was actually going to be killed off because the Right Wing feared his "friendship" with Ernie represented homosexuality. Whatever... and Cookie Monster's cookie fetish causes kids to be fat... how about parents look at themselves in the mirror instead of blaming the boob tube for everything. Bert bought Ernie a new Rubber Duckie on X-mas... perhaps the most touching moment in television history?

2. Oscar the Grouch... now scram! Classic. The irony about Oscar is that he loves Slimy his worm, his pet elephant, and trash. Quite a conflicted character deep down... kinda like Kane, the Big Red Machine.

1. The Count (full name Count Von Count)... is there anything better than a vampire who is actually embraced by kids instead of scaring the crap out of them? Only Jim Henson could pull that off. I've always loved The Count from when I was a tot to now, watching with my son. His purple skin, his Jewish nose, his Batty Bats, and his Carpathian accent simply rule. He's number VON... AH, AH, AH!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Q and A with the Sports Guy

I ran across this article last week it is from March of 2006, it's about the sports guy and the history of his column. Kind of interesting.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Vox in the Box (12)

I am tired of checking this site to see if you turkeys wrote something, only to run into that picture. Being on the grounds of Cleveland Sports Torture, I feel obligated to write about the BCS game. I was near certain before kickoff (and about 9 seconds after) that BCS stood for "Buckeyes cover spread." But I can't write about a game that never happened. You know how Simmons has talked himself into believing that Rocky V never happened? Same thing here. I quote Vox 11, after beating Michigan "we won the national championship in my mind that day." We all figured the two best teams in college football were meeting on that brisk November Saturday afternoon in C-bus, anyway. So there you have it, we're national champs. That was easy. Ohio State: two national titles in five seasons. 14-0 in 2002. 12-0 in 2006. Tressel: undefeated in BCS bowl games. Nice. Macys actually manufactured a few thousand Buckeyes National Champions T-shirts. So they're out there somewhere. Too bad Florida lost to Auburn. I heard the Gators had a great squad this year, but I'll never know cause I never saw'em play. Man, I love it when the lie becomes the truth. Hey, hey, Billie Jean is not my lover.

So since there's been so much press about the dominance of TSmith and another Buckeye National Championship, won't you indulge me a bit as I write about 2007's Rock Hall induction. You may have heard REM and Van Halen lead the class that will be enshrined in March-- two bands that resonated with me particularly between the ages of 17 and 24. Two great American outfits at opposite ends of the rock spectrum. I could write a term paper on REM-- an efficient, durable and provoking four-piece that emerged from Athens, Georgia to compose some of college rock's most enduring anthems. Despite enormous commercial success from 87-91 with chart-toppers Stand, Losing My Religion and the nauseating Shiny Happy People, REM actually peaked creatively with their next two albums, the hauntingly incomparable Automatic For the People and the unabashedly plugged-in follow up, Monster-- which proved REM sounded better loud, and maybe wasted much of their career on meditative string arrangements. Sadly, REM albums haven't been relevant since '98, the year Bill Berry left the band and REM went drum-machine. So that's your condensed VoxNotes of REM's history. Before we get to Halen, I should mention REM are a very underrated live act thanks to Stipe's unexpected energy and a very diverse set list.

OK, here's the theme of Vox 12:
1. Edward Van Halen is a jackass
2. Edward Van Halen is the luckiest musician alive
3. I'm down with David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar

I'm aware that EVH's gunslinger guitar-playing spawned thousands of imitators and single handedly created the hair metal genre. Without Halen, we wouldn't have Def Lepard, G&R and Bon Jovi. Of course, we also wouldn't have Winger, Dokken and LA Guns. Eddie didn't strum chords; he touched strings, and the sounds that came out of his Peavey Amp went beyond what anyone thought possible from a guitar. He reinvented the instrument. We all know this. Van Halen is to the electric guitar what Vince McMahon is to wrestling, what Tony Hawk is to skateboarding, what The Real World is to reality television. A pioneer.

That being said, he's an asshole. A lucky asshole. Did you know that, as children, Alex was on guitar and Eddie's first instrument was the drums? When Alex was kicking his ass on the drums, Ed turned to guitar out of frustration. So if Alex wasn't such a percussion prodigy, Eddie never would've learned to play guitar. And if you didn't know, Van Halen kicked bassist Michael Anthony out the band. Why? So his teenage son, Wolfgang, could be the bass player. Anthony had been VH's bassist since it's inception playing frat parties in 1970s southern California. While Eddie and Alex feuded with frontmen, it was Anthony that was the stabilizer-- just like on stage with his muscular bass lines. Anthony never could have imagined that Eddie Van Halen's little kid was being groomed to take his place. You take away Eddie's family, and he has no band. And you know he's probably pissed he never had another kid to assume lead singer duties. When you're a lucky asshole, you benefit from the most successful lead singer transplant in rock history...and you just keep flushing it down the toilet. The Van Halen front-man timeline looks like this: Roth, Hagar, Roth, Cherrone, Hagar, Roth.

Diamond Dave vs the Red Rocker: The induction ceremonies should be great theatre-- even though Hagar and Roth have gotten past their differences. Because VH had a distinctly different sound and fanbase as Van Halen and then Van Hagar. I am one of the only VH fans on the planet that actually digs David Lee and Sammy. Despite a limited range, Roth's bravado, acrobatics and stylish pontificating made him a complete original among rock vocalists. It seemed like Roth was born for Eddie's guitar, neither as a backdrop or to nail the notes, but to confidently surf Eddie's dazzling shrieks and squeals. Sammy's refined and balanced tenor was an extreme departure from Roth's vocal gyrations. The Red Rooster could be tough if necessary, but he could also project vulnerability if the melody lines demanded it. Hence, the Van Hagar era is overloaded with stonewashed romance and idealism in tunes like, When It's Love, Love Walks In, Why Can't This Be Love, Can't Stop Lovin' You, Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do). I think you get the picture.

David Lee didn't talk about love. No time for that when you're having one night stands with your ass against the record machine. So maybe that's why rock purists embrace early Van Halen. Roth has always been a poster boy for rock-star antics and rebellion. And I love him. His radio show ruled; his auto-biography, Crazy From the Heat, convinced me he's one of the 10 smartest dudes on earth. I even liked his solo career, right down to that Eddie-ripoff playing a talking guitar in Yankee Rose. (Speaking of Yankee Rose, there's a Goose story here. I'll try to not to bore you with "my kid" tidbits. Like Simmons, I'm perfectly aware that people really aren't interested in reading about somebody else's kid. But this is relevant. Goose and I were watching VH1 classic. It's a weekday ritual for us. She bounces to the We Are the 80s beats in her exersaucer while I fuck around online, enjoying vintage videos as background noise. Well, I've always loved the beginning of Yankee Rose when David Lee dresses up as a cannibal, walks in to the Convenient store and tells the clerk: Give me a bottle of anything. And a glazed donut. To goooo. There's an extreme close-up of Dave's face when he says those lines and Goose just flipped out. She was perfectly fine, then came the Roth close-up and she's crying her eyes out. I though it was a coincidence. But today, Yankee Rose came on again and Goose freaked out at the exact same part. Go figure. She doesn't seem to fear anything. Dogs, snowstorms, bigger kids at daycare, titanic poops, etc. But she's lights-out scared of David Lee Roth. Sorry, had to share. It's my column. Fuck you, I'm from Brush.)

Back to the point; truth be told, Roth only had one great album with Van Halen-- their debut. The following efforts produced a hit single or two but were messy, formulaic attempts to recreate the spontaneity of Van Halen 1. On the other hand, Hagar made three excellent albums with VH-- the legendary 51/50, F.U.C.K, and the underrated Balance. I heard Why Can't This Be Love on 98.5 yesterday,and, even though NCX pays its rent spinning Van Halen, the track sounded so fresh. Ditto for the opening bars of Standing On Top of the World, which TAM still uses for Tribe games. And the Right Now video is epic (must use that word once a column). Right now, Hey! It's Your Tomorrow. Right now somebody is walking on to a nude beach for the first time. Right now, Ed's got his hands full. Right now, it's time for the Random Top 10.
SamVox's Top 10 Movies of 2006

1. The Departed. Calling it Scorcese's best since Goodfellas, doesn't do it justice. That's true, of course. But this film succeeds at levels of complexity that would amaze any great filmmaker. DiCaps turns in a performance rivaling Diaries. Damon is ridiculously good as always, in a role that's a combination of his characters in Talented Mr. Ripley. Oceans 11 and School Ties. Wahlberg is incredibly intense. Alec Baldwin, hilarious. Only the overhyped Jack Nicholson muffs it, choosing to go cartoonish (as usual) and over-the-top when the Frank Costello character called for restraint and subtlety.
Best scene: Leo gets his in a thunderstorm and shadows sex scene; Scorcese nicely underscores the mood with Comfortably Numb wailing at the forefront.

2. A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. This film will have it's way with you. When you come out of the theatre, the wind has been knocked out of you and breathing in the here and now won't make much sense. You just want to turn your life back 20 years and see if you can dodge the moment somebody beat the innocence out of you. And you're not sure if you've been conned by first time director Dito Montiel, who cant resist The Big Tragedy. He borrows from Spike Lee and Scorcese in almost every scene, but manages to pound out one of the most authentic films I've ever scene. This movie is pure contradiction, and nobody plays conflicted like Robert Downey Jr. And to think I only saw this one because I caught Rosario Dawson's name in the credits on the movie poster outside the theatre. I figured she might show her rack. No luck, but this is her best role ever-- atoning for the nightmarish Clerks II.
Best scene: Eric Roberts in the state pen. I'm convinced if you want to make great art, just cast Eric Roberts. The rest takes care of itself.

3. Little Miss Sunshine. Greg Kinnear nails it, as usual, as Father Dysfunctional in a messed-up family. Or are they? Like Ferris once espoused to us-- every family is slightly dysfunctional even if they don't wear it as outwardly as Cameron's did. It's too simple to say Sunshine shows how to battle dysfunction by laughing in its face; the film is more of a satire on the American Dream.
Best scene: Any close-up of Steve Carell's face.

4. Borat. I like movie very much. I think, maybe Borat go to far in quest to find CJ. I see in American news, so many sue Borat for reasons I do not know. In my country, we support your War of Terror. Everyone is united in U, S of A. Everybody sue anything that moves. Eh, why not? Borat need dirty Jewish lawyer, no?
Best scene: All scenes with CJ. I love her. Where to find?

5. Inside Man. Not your typical Spike Lee joint, mainly because most of the stars are white. This film masquerades as a bank robbery, while successfully chipping away at the new New York stereotypes that have emerged post 9-11. Despite an abnormally plodding performance by Clive Owen and the usual cop song and dance that is no longer organic territory for Denzel, Lee still injects the audience with his brand of original politics and power. Yes, I'm a sucker for bank robberies, but Spike Lee is still a directing God. Many won't agree, but he keeps on kicking convention's ass while most Americans want the same old cliche for their $7.50.
Best scene: Denzel tackling Clive Owen down the bank's flighty staircase. You think you know what's going on, but you don't.

--- warning: serious drop-off in quality after the top five ---

6. The Night Listener. Hardly classic Robin Williams, but very disturbing and scary. Even if you walk out feeling unsatisfied, this is one of those flicks where you have to rate it just because you spent most of the movie afraid of what would be revealed to you next.
Best scene: That blind chick knowing Robin Williams is following her. Ok, that's my only spoiler moment in this Best Scene theme, but I'm pretty confident none of you will see it.

7. Beer League. Mrs. Vox dragged me to this one and I was ready to take a critical poop on it, but then Ralph Macchio appeared and I was disarmed. Seeing this film was similar to seeing Artie Lange's stand up act at the Hard Rock in Vegas. I thought the jokes were stupid, but I laughed pretty hard anyway. And afterwards, I just wanted to get drunk and slap some strippers in the ass.
Best scene: Anthony DeSando, former Sopranos thug, putting the Devanzo shift on Artie.

8. Right now I'm watching Match Point for the third time this week and wishing it came out in 2006. But every time I hit info, it says 2005. This is a very compelling movie that I cannot discuss with you on the '06 countdown. Email me and I'll share my theories. By the way, 2006 seemed to be the year of movies I was jacked up for that totally let me down: Rocky VI, Superman Returns, and most notably, Clerks II. Anyway, eight is Miami Vice. Sex, drugs and crime have perhaps never been pulled off so stylistically. Eff Michael Mann for not using the TV theme song-- that's really half the reason I rented it. Colin Farrel is ultra cool in the Crockett role, but the film suffers from a wreckless narrattive style. Slow it down, Mr. Mann. Slow it down. Some of us ain't that smart.

9. Invincible. Greg Kinnear making the countdown twice this year. I never would've predicted it. He rules as Coach Vermeil, and his wife is played by Paige Turco. That name means nothing to you, but she was "Melanie" on All My Children in the late 80s and I was obsessed with her. You think you're getting melted velveeta with this Disney movie, but instead you get fairly digestible cream cheese. Hard to go wrong with Mark Wahlberg as the symbol for Philadelphia's late 70s identity crisis.
Best scene: Vermeil raging on Marky Mark for missing that first tackle on special teams.

10. The Devil Wears Prada. In almost any other year, this flick misses the Top 10 (I didn't see United 93 or V for Vendetta-- both of these could've knocked Devil off this list, so maybe it's fate I'm supposed to write about it). Devil is really just a long episode of Sex and the City with better acting and hotter chicks. But it's saved by a few things:
A) Anne Hathaway (though I preferred her as a rodeo gal in Brokeback Mountain) and Vince from Entourage playing Vince from Entourage.
B) The use of City of Blinding Lights during Hathaway's arrival to Paris (best scene).
C) The great Meryl Streep (light years away from River Wild). Her character may seem far-fetched, but some of us (Pucky) can relate because we really have experienced that kind of bitch-boss.

Last call: Double-shot of Halen on the house--

I been to the edge
and there I stood and looked down
you know I lost a lot of friends there baby
I got no time to mess around
mmmm, so if you want it got to bleed for it baby


another world, some other time
you lay your sanity on the line
familiar faces, familiar sights
reach back, remember with all your might
ooooh, there she stands in her silken gown
silver lights, shinin' down

I am SamHagar in the box.

Hey Rae, what you said is true....parting is inevitable