Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where Are They Now? Rick Mirer

This is the second post in my series, “Where Are They Now?” featuring Notre Dame athletic greats and showcasing how their lives have changed since leaving South Bend. This week, former Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer.

As we get ready to start the interview, Rick asks me if I can give him five minutes to go get his dog Lola, because she is lonely. We wouldn’t want Lola to be lonely! He explains to me that his three children, ages 13, 11, and 8 talked him into getting a dog a little over a year ago, but guess who takes care of Lola? Good ole Dad! Okay, on to the interview!

Read more at NoCoastBias!


Friday, May 18, 2012

It's a Shame About Ray

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band The Lemonheads, and the song "It's a Shame About Ray."

The Lemonheads are an American alternative rock band founded in 1986 by Evan Dando, Ben Deily and Jesse Peretz. Dando has remained the band's only constant member.

Since its formation in 1986, recording and touring lineups of the band have included co-founders Deily and Peretz, John Strohm (Blake Babies), Doug Trachten, Corey Loog Brennan, Byron Hoag, Ben Daughtry, Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies), Nic Dalton (Godstar, Sneeze, The Plunderers), Dave Ryan, Patrick "Murph" Murphy (Dinosaur Jr), Bill Gibson (Eastern Dark), Mark 'Budola' Newman, Kenny Lyon, Vess Ruhtenberg, Devon Ashley, Karl Alvarez and Bill Stevenson (Descendents) and P. David Hazel among others.

After their initial release, which was heavily punk-influenced, they toured as an independent/"college rock" band in the late '80s.  The Lemonheads' popularity grew on a much larger scale in 1992 with the major label release of the album It's a Shame about Ray, which was produced, engineered, and mixed by The Robb Brothers (Bruce Robb, Dee, and Joe). This was followed by a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson", which eventually became one of the band's most successful singles. The Lemonheads were active until 1997 before going on a hiatus, and then reformed with a new lineup in 2005 and released The Lemonheads the following year. The band released its latest album, Varshons, in June 2009.

My two favorite songs by the band The Lemonheads are both off the It's a Shame About Ray album. The first being the song with the same name as the album, "It's a Shame About Ray." The band that we were "band-aids" for in college, played this song quite a bit. They were the ones who turned us on to The Lemonheads in the first place, in the fall of 1992. My second favorite song off this album is the cover of "Mrs. Robinson." It is a fantastic, edgy version of the original Simon and Garfunkel classic!

And here they are, for your listening pleasure!

It's a Shame About Ray ...

Mrs. Robinson


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where Are They Now? -- Oscar McBride

This is the first blog post in my new series entitled, “Where Are They Now?” The purpose of this series is to partly walk down memory lane with some of Notre Dame’s athletic greats, but also to show what they have done post Notre Dame, and after their pro careers, to really make a difference in this world. 

My first interviewee is Oscar McBride, and he has certainly set the bar high. 

Oscar McBride was born on July 23, 1972, in Gainesville, Florida. Growing up in Florida, he had always had his heart set on going to Florida State University. That is until he made his official visit to Notre Dame. 

My first question to Oscar was:
Growing up as a kid in Florida, what made you decide to go to Notre Dame? 

And Oscar’s reply, “Two words … Irv Smith.” 

Want to read more? Head on over to
NoCoastBias to see the rest of Oscar's story! 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Unfinished Stories

I always thought I did not like stories without endings; that I did not like instances in which I did not receive some sort of closure. But after yesterday, I am beginning to think that those situations in our lives in which we do not receive the closure that we think we need, are just nudges from God to walk by faith, and not by sight.

I thought I was like that Mother of three children (under the age of 5), who was a school teacher by day, and Mother by night. She had been reading a fictional book in her down time, only to get to the end and find out that the author had not wrapped up any of the story, in an attempt to encourage the reader to use their imagination. At which point she pens a letter to the author saying, “I am a Mother of three children and a school teacher. I use my imagination non-stop in my classroom and at home with my children. The last thing I want to do is use my freakin imagination to figure out how your book ends!”

Upon some reflection yesterday, though, is not the ultimate of unfinished stories Matthew’s gospel? Matthew writes (MATTHEW 28:1-10) about the women arriving at the tomb of Jesus and being told by the angel that Jesus is not there and that they should instruct the disciples to go to Galilee.

That moment right there, is the ultimate faith moment. They have no idea where Jesus is or where he has been taken. They have no idea what awaits them in Galilee, and yet they go with the faith and belief that everything will be okay.

Maybe I don’t need the tidy little boxes after all. Maybe that’s what life’s journey is all about … walking by faith and without sight. Enjoying the journey without worrying about what is around the corner. Living in the here and now, and not worrying about the yesterdays, the tomorrows, and the what-ifs.

What say you?!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Wild Horses

Today's Retro Friday post features the band The Sundays ... and in honor of the return of Triple Crown racing season, features the song "Wild Horses."

For some reason I really thought I had already done the band The Sundays, but for the life of me I cannot find any posts on them, so here we go!

The Sundays are one of my all time favorite bands from the 80s. The Sundays were an English alternative rock band. The band formed in the late 1980s and released three albums in the 1990s. The band began when singer Harriet Wheeler and guitarist David Gavurin met at Bristol University. Wheeler had played gigs with 'Cruel Shoes' an early incarnation of the band Jim Jiminee. The duo soon formed The Sundays with bassist Paul Brindley and drummer Patrick Hannan.

The Sundays secured their first recording contract with Rough Trade Records. Their debut single was "Can't Be Sure," and their first album, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic was released in 1990. This was followed by the release of their next single (one of my all time favorites) "Here's Where the Story Ends". Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic was a Top 5 hit in the United Kingdom.

With Rough Trade's financial troubles and the band's decision to manage themselves, The Sundays' next single, "Goodbye" was not released until 1992. Their next album, Blind arrived the same year, reaching the Top 15 in the United Kingdom. Their cover of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" appeared on the US release of Blind and on the soundtrack for the popular television show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The band toured in support of these recordings. In 1997 their third album, Static & Silence dropped, followed by the release of their most successful single to date, "Summertime", which made the UK Top 15. The album itself reached the UK Top 10. However, the band has been on a lengthy hiatus since those releases, with Wheeler and Gavurin are now focusing on raising their two children.

The Sundays have such a great sound. Their music is very happy-go-lucky music to me, and it is always a mood lifter. Nothing like driving down the road with the windows down and The Sundays on the radio!

I know that "Wild Horses" is a cover of a Rolling Stones song, but there is something hauntingly beautiful about the way she sings it. I hope you enjoy both of these songs! Oh, and did I mention "Here's Where the Story Ends" is one of my favorite karaoke tunes?! Good times ...

"Wild Horse"


"Here's Where the Story End"

And here is a bonus "Wild Horses" track by my Charlotte Martin that I think you may like as well!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Get the Broom

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown (23) scores on St. Louis Blues goal Brian Elliott in Game 4 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Get the broom, there’s a spill on aisle three. Just like that, the Los Angeles Kings have managed to not only sweep the St. Louis Blues to advance to the Western conference finals, they have also succeeded in defeating both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the conference. This makes them the only eighth seed team in NHL history to eliminate their conference’s top two seeds in the same postseason. Quite an accomplishment.

Despite the St. Louis Blues coming out today with a spark that, for a moment, one thought was going to result in a rebound for the ailing Blues, the Kings were just too much for them to overcome. The Los Angeles Kings currently sit with an 8-1 playoff record, which is pretty amazing considering they never had an eight game win streak once during the regular season. ... Read more of this story at NoCoastBias!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Spin the Bottle

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the artist Juliana Hatfield, and the song "Spin the Bottle."

In keeping with last week's Reality Bites movie theme, I have picked another song this week from the movie's soundtrack.

Juliana Hatfield was born on July 27, 1967 in Wiscasset, Maine. She is an American guitarist/singer-songwriter as well as an author from the Boston area. She has a folk/indie rock sound, and has been a member of such bands as Blake Babies and Some Girls.

Juliana first acquired a love of rock music during the 1970s, after a babysitter introduced her to the music of the Los Angeles punk rock band X. This introduction proved to be a life-changing experience for Juliana. She also listened to the music of more mainstream artists such as Olivia Newton-John and The Police, which may explain the contrast in her later music between sweet, melodic "pop" songs and more hard rock oriented music. Ever since her high school years she pictured herself as a singer. She sang in school choirs and briefly played in a cover band called The Squids, which primarily played Rush songs.

Hatfield achieved alterna-rock stardom in 1993 with the release of Become What You Are, which was recorded under the group name The Juliana Hatfield Three. Several songs from the album received regular airplay on major North American rock stations, most notably the song "My Sister" which became the biggest hit of her career, reaching the #1 spot on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and the song's video become a staple on MTV.

My all time favorite Juliana Hatfield song, "Spin the Bottle," was used in the soundtrack of the Hollywood film Reality Bites (1994). Hatfield also made the cover of Spin magazine. Hatfield's popularity coincided with the success of multiple other female alternative rock musicians in the mid 1990's. In 1997 Juliana was invited to tour with the first ever Lilith Fair, a prominent all-female rock festival founded by singer Sarah McLachlan. Hatfield was featured in a number of girls' magazines at this time and was embraced by many pre-teen and teenage girls as a role model due to the positive way she addressed serious issues faced by young women in her songs and interviews. When reflecting on this time period she says: "I was never comfortable with the attention. I thought it had come too soon. I hadn’t earned it yet."

I think this song has a very catchy tune to it, plus it is a kind of dark "spin" on a game that is a party of many teenagers right of passage. It's that awkward moment when you get your chance with someone who you really like ... and try to brace yourself for elation or a total and complete let down. But really, that is almost everything in life, right?

Here it is, for your listening pleasure, "Spin The Bottle" ... I hope you enjoy it as well!

And as a bonus, here is the song "My Sister!"


Stay Calm and Carry On

Alex Pietrangelo returned for Game 3, but the Blues still fell 4-2 at Staples Center on Thursday night (Getty Images).
Stay calm and carry on. At this point, that is all the St. Louis Blues can do. Down three games to none in this playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, they had better figure something out, and fast. Watching the King stars Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick make easy work of the Blues is like watching men versus boys. It just does not even seem fair.

Despite being an eighth seed team in the Western Conference, no one has been able to slow the Los Angeles Kings down so far. Not the top seeded Vancouver Canucks, and certainly not the St. Louis Blues. ... Read more of this story at NoCoastBias!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Downward Spiral?

Anze Kopitar scores past Blues goalie Brian Elliott (left)
during the first period of Game 2 on Monday, April 30.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
You know a game didn’t break your way when Jeff Carter is able to bank his own rebound off Roman Polak’s mouth for the third and winning goal.

After giving up four goals in the first period, the St. Louis Blues never recovered, losing 5-2 in Game 2 on Monday vs. Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar scored two of the four goals in the first period, as the Kings came out of the block sprinting past a once again lack luster St. Louis Blues squad. Tonight’s win is the fifth straight postseason win for the Los Angeles Kings, and now the series moves back to the West coast.

Read more of my review of Game 2 in the Blues/Kings series at NoCoastBias!