Blogs > Off Beat

Ah, blogging. Here's my little corner of it all -- in West Chester, and well, from wherever on whatever. I'll let you know what I'm thinking and you can let me know what you're thinking. But remember, I can delete your posts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Xmas Cheer

I don't know if anyone's read my story in today's paper on Warren Mercer, aka, Chester County's Santa Claus. It was a fun story to write. And it got me thinking.

I'm not really a Christmas person, or holiday person for that matter. But hearing everyone talk about him, the joy he brought, for some reason may have changed my mind -- at least for this year. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not running out to go shopping or see if I can watch as many Christmas movies or specials as possible (although I did watch "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" last night -- I'm just a sucker for Dr. Seuss stories).

But I think over the weekend, I'm going to go out and get a Christmas tree for my apartment. It's a small apartment so it won't have to be big but maybe small is better as I'm taking small steps in to the Christmas season.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jersey Fresh Festivals?

A friend of mine sent me this little article from With the proposal for a festival in Fairmount Park shot down, why not try Vineland N.J.?

C3 Announces Vineland

C3 Presents has joined forces with Festival Republic, promoter of the Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury festivals, to create the Vineland Music Festival, which is expected to take place in Vineland, N.J., next August.

The announcement comes on the heels of a reported attempt to bring a C3 festival to Philadelphia. Live Nation’s Philadelphia office – historically known as Larry Magid’s Electric Factory Entertainment – is expected to soon be providing more information as to the outcome of that venture.

Meanwhile, C3 – known for the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza in Chicago – will join forces with Melvin Benn’s U.K., company to bring a three-day fest to a campsite about 50 miles from Philly.

Details are slim, but the company released a statement hinting at "a heady mix of the greatest bands in the world, energy charged sets, new rising stars and the freshest acts hitting the stages before the press have had a sniff of them."

The three partners of C3 – Charles Attal, Charlie Walker and Charlie Jones – were unavailable for comment at press time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shooting Your Eye Out Isn't Possible

Ah, Thanksgiving is over, it's 50 degrees out and the paper is doing stories on the generosity of the community and its residents. It must be Christmas time, finally. I know, I know, there was Christmas in July, August, September and October but now at the end of November it finally feels appropriate. Especially since TBS has already done a marathon of "A Christmas Story." I ask you, best Christmas movie? Or best christmas movie ever?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving's Almost Over

Ahh, Thanksgiving. A time to go home and see friends and family. Ahh, such good times. I know this post is a day late, technically, but not if you have more family fun coming. It's great when the holiday gets extended and more driving and more time ensue. Here's a photo I found that is truly not in the spirit. Look for something along these lines for X-mas too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Tasty Post

Sometimes press releases are just too sweet not to share with the world. So here's one from Tastykake in it's entirety.


Tastykake, in conjunction with Peter Nero and The Philly PopsR, ask local
students to write the next line of this classic tune;
winning verse to be unveiled during Holiday Pops! concert

PHILADELPHIA (November, 2007) - Tasty Baking Company has launched its
"Search for the 2nd Verse" contest, which seeks to find a catchy line to
follow the beloved and well-known "Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a
Tastykake!" This contest, launched in conjunction with Tastykake's
sponsorship of Peter Nero and The Philly Pops'R Holiday Pops! series, is
open to anyone, ages 18 and under. Using the winning verse, two-time
GrammyR Award-winner Peter Nero will prepare a new arrangement of the
updated jingle. Lyric submissions (text only) will be accepted via and by mail through midnight, December 1, 2007. Contest
entries will be judged by a panel from Tasty Baking Company and Peter Nero
and The Philly PopsR.

Participants will compete for a variety of exciting prizes including:

* Grand Prize Winner

* The winner will be invited to join Peter Nero and the Philly PopsR
for a special live, debut performance of the jingle at the Holiday Pops!
performance at The Kimmel Center on December 15, 2007

* A $2500 donation from Tastykake to the Grand Prize winner's school
music program
* Six (6) tickets to The Kimmel Center on December 15, 2007 to see
Peter Nero and The Philly PopsR
* A Tastykake party at the Grand Prize winner's school with
Tastykake's mascot, "Kirbee the Krimpet"

* First Prize Winner

* A $1000 donation from Tastykake to the First Prize winner's school
music program
* Four (4) tickets to The Kimmel Center on December 15, 2007 to see
Peter Nero and The Philly PopsR

* Second Prize Winner

* A $500 donation from Tastykake to the Second Prize winner's school
music program
* Four (4) ) tickets to The Kimmel Center on December 15, 2007 to see
Peter Nero and The Philly PopsR

"We are excited to bring back our classic jingle and introduce an updated
version to a new generation of Tastykake lovers," said Charles Pizzi, Chief
Executive Officer for Tasty Baking Company. "Tastykake's Holiday Pops!
partnership with Peter Nero and The Philly PopsR offered a perfect
opportunity for two Philadelphia icons to join together to give new life to
this classic tune and promote the importance of music among local students."

To learn more about Tasty Baking Company and to read the official contest
rules for the "Search for the 2nd Verse", please visit

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whiskey and Rock and Roll

Last night, Nashville Pussy brought southern rock sounds to the TLA in Philadelphia. It was loud. And good. Lead guitarist Ruyter Suys is a mad woman. After the show all I wanted to do was drink whiskey and play my guitar. I was able to take my camera in thanks to a friend of mine and the management of Nashville Pussy so here is a quick slide show I put together earlier.

The song that goes with it is Atlanta's Still Burning.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dungeons & Dragons

Funny conversation happened Saturday night at a party. A friend of mine, who is in his late 20s, was embarking on his first D&D experience. What started off as an embarrassing story, how he agreed to play, against better judgment, how embarking into the fantasy world was going to mean embarking on an hour car ride to Newark, Del. to get outfitted, he was going to have to play. The conversation ended with him just as embarrassed. But being a good sport, he did. A quick text on Sunday asked how he was doing. The answer ... "Hungover-riffic." But he survived and I'm sharing this pointless story. Maybe the moral is, be careful drinking. He's a better person than I am. No way I would've went, no way I would've talked about it.

Anyone else have life-altering stories?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Man And His Metal

This guy Truman rules. He is playing his so called last show at Grape Street tonight and because of work, I can't make it. I'd like to get some people to visit his myspace page and say hey man, don't quit, METAL RULES. So, here's a video for you people to check out. Go to and search for one sonic jackhammer and keep Brian playing.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Good Hat

Things have been quiet around here for a couple of days. I really don't have much to add at the moment, haven't seen, heard or really talked about anything worth posting.

The only thing I did was a buy a Greek Fisherman's Cap. After deciding I wanted one last week and making some phone calls I found one at a shop called Oscar's on South Street in Philadelphia. The shop is a trip. Hats everywhere, people just seeming to hang around. If you're on South Street it's worth checking out. Oscar knows hats.

Now, I've met Oscar and I have my hat. It's really warm. And makes me want to go fishing on the Aegean and drink wine, eat bread with olive oil and the fresh catch on some Greek Island.

Maybe it hasn't been all that boring.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The 30-ton Cheers Elephant

It's been asked who is this Cheers Elephant that people keep talking about. To answer this question all I'm going to say is a band from the West Chester area that sent me some info. I checked out their myspace page and here we are ... I suggest others do the same ...