Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pearl Jam and Tool record reviews: Rock and Roll is back... for a day, at least

Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam

10,000 Days

I have been thoroughly enjoying the new records from Pearl Jam and Tool, Pearl Jam and 10,000 Days, respectively. They've both been great company on my nearly two hours of driving time to and from Frederick these past couple of days.

By the way, definitely feel free to consider this "Pearl Jam and Tool Week" for this blog.

Quick summary: new PJ is one of their best records, period. Not as good as Ten or Vs., but still a five star album - and before anyone asks, "How can one 5-star album be worse than another 5-star album?", let me say that I think of scores for records from 1 to 100, with anything above a 95 getting a 5-star rating. It's also worth noting that, in my book, a lackluster Pearl Jam album is better than pretty much any other record you could ever buy.

Even though Pearl Jam is a classic, and superior to 10,000 Days, I find myself addicted to the new Tool and listening to it more. I'm just constantly amazed at the complexity, mystery, and pure anger behind Tool's songs.

Monday, May 01, 2006

new Tool tomorrow: May 2

One of my favorite bands currently recording is Tool.

the band members are:

Danny Carey - drums
Justin Chancellor - bass guitar
Maynard James Keenan - vocals
Adam Jones - guitar

Highly adored by their fans, Tool's brand of guitar-heavy rock music proves to also be lowly accessible to the mass-consuming, music-buying public; let's just say that their music is considered extremely "loud" and "angry", and "only dudes seem to like it".

The musical virtuosity and synchronicty of their songs is what makes the band great. Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor are an incredible rhythm section, and both can be counted among the best at their respective instruments. Carey is often cited as one of the most talented rock drummers in the world.

Tool is a band I wish recorded far more material (just 4 LP's in about 12 years).

Their new record is entitled 10,000 Days, and it's due out May 2nd. "Vicarious", the lead single, while sounding like several of their other radio tracks ("The Grudge", "Schism", "Stinkfist"), is nevertheless a strong song, featuring metal guitarwork and drum hits during the closing seconds which harken Metallica's classic opus "One".

Pearl Jam's self-titled record comes out the very same day, so I'll be a happy camper at the record store tomorrow.

Two 90's powerhouse bands releasing highly anticipated albums? Count me in.

Both Tool and Pearl Jam have reputations for sick, exciting live shows. I can vouch for the latter first-hand, but I cannot - as of yet - safely say that I've witnessed the Tool live experience.

Speaking of the devil, I'm going to try to catch Tool in Philadelphia on May 17th, and Pearl Jam in DC on May 30th. The summer concert season in 2006 is looking like a great one.

more to come...

Tool Unveils North American Tour Plans

Official Tool Website

New Pearl Jam Update: World Wide Suicide MP3, Record Album Cover Artwork, Tour Dates - new PJ drops tomorrow

by F.J. Delgado
originally posted March 8, 2006

First of all, check out merz's money MP3 Pearl Jam post...

The brand spanking new Pearl Jam single is available for free MP3 download on their official site (link below), and I've been listening to it non-stop. It's pretty badass, and things look good for the 8th studio album.

Stream the new record here

The song sounds like some songs off of Yield and Vitalogy. As Eddie Vedder has mentioned in recent articles, one can definitely hear some punk influences, as well as some sweet Who-inspired touches.

To be completely honest, "World Wide Suicide" is probably Pearl Jam's best lead single in more than a decade.

Pearl Jam could bust a move up the Letter Never Sent Best Bands of All Time list after this new studio record, we'll just have to wait and see.

download new PJ here ---->


One of the gentlemen in charge of online promotion for the new Pearl Jam record got in touch with me with the album cover artwork.

Here it is:

My Morning Jacket will open on the first leg of the tour.

Public on-sale dates and ticket information will be announced in local markets in the coming weeks.

Leg One of Pearl Jam's 2006 World Wide Tour follows:


May 9 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
May 10 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
May 12 Albany, NY Pepsi Arena
May 13 Hartford, CT New England Dodge Music Center
May 16 Chicago, IL United Center
May 19 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
May 20 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
May 22 Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
May 24 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden
May 27 Philadelphia, PA Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
May 30 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
June 1 East Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena
June 3 East Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena

also... the below is reprinted from the following Rolling Stone article:


Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Out: May 2nd

"A couple of rock songs, a couple of ballads -- it's not rocket science," says Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard about the band's new disc. Not that he wants to undersell the hard work the band put into its eighth studio album, and its first studio record for Clive Davis' J Records. Pearl Jam entered Seattle's Studio X in November 2004, each member armed with ideas. After whittling about thirty songs to sixteen working tracks, singer Eddie Vedder took the rough sketches and wrote lyrics for them. "That took a while," says Gossard, "but it was worth the wait: He wrote some beautiful lyrics for this record." The title, Pearl Jam, reflects the group's most collaborative effort yet: It produced the album together, along with Adam Kasper; each member will receive writing credits; and, for the first time ever, guitarist Mike McCready contributes lyrics, to the album closer, "Inside Job."

The boys are also bracing for a yearlong world tour, to kick off in late spring. "All of our new stuff is so much fun to play," says Gossard, on a break from rehearsing the album's first single, "World Wide Suicide." "I can't wait." (AUSTIN SCAGGS)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Vanessa, do I make you I make you randy baby, do I?

The WPT championship has just concluded. I kept up with the progress of the tournament, since I"m just a tourney nut. There were 3 women who made it deep...and all 3, are surprisingly hot.

Evelyn Ng was one of them. I was rooting for her to make it through, as she nursed a nice rack after days 1 and 2. She hasn't really broken through, and unfortunately this tourney wasn't meant to be. She finished in a respectable 39th.

Read above.

On the 6th day, 2 more hotties were left in the hunt. Erica Schoenberg, a successful black jack player turned poker player, comprised one of the last 19. She was a former model/volleyball player and has a dexterous handle on anyone's balls. Her tourney run premature ejacked when her AK lost to KQ. I remember seeing her play on GSN for some made for TV "Young Guns of Poker" crap. She played scared and confused. One year later, she's improved tenfold with +100k to boot. I hope for her future success.

Yep you are a hottie.

Last but definitley not least is a law student vixen, Vanessa Rousso. Vanessa is pretty hot (for poker standards I guess some would say). But all poker skills aside, there is something about her that gets my cajones going. First the pictures then the discussion.

Yes Ride 'Em Cowgirl

If I fold, will you show me more cleavage?

Can you imagine Doyle in a Von Dutch hat?

All right, now that you got that beating off out of the way, Vanessa made it really balls deep into the tournament. When the table got 7 handed, she was one spot away from tv stardom where fame and celebrity would've surely followed her. She went all-in with AK and got sucked out by AJ and that was that. As Pauly said, "The final table was set and Vanessa Rousso is not going to be at this one. The entire crowd filtered out with the largest case of blue balls after Vanessa Rousso's run. She failed to advance and a lot of media reps were bummed out that she's not going to be on TV."

Yeah that's too bad. I'm sure she was bummed out too, since it seems she already made preparations of winning a big one. I mean she has an agent/manager and her OWN website--

This is pretty good for someone who hasn't WON anything. I don't mean to be critical, but WTF right? This is like Anna Kournikova syndrome blown to egregious proportions. As I went to her site, I realized I was wasting my time on one gigantic self-cock stroking adulating shrine, immediately evident by her diva-like pictures appearing sequentially in flash media (as I guess you could see this once you open the page). Some amusing snippets from her biography:

A dual-citizen of the United States and France, Vanessa's eclectic upbringing molded her into an unconventional spirit often noted for her avant-garde approach to life. Her upbringing straddled two continents, four states, and half a dozen schools - taught in four languages. Her original style and quirky charisma along with her entrepreneurial instincts have led others to describe her as the Lady Maverick of Poker.

Lady Maverick of Poker? She signed a blog entry Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso. Perhaps a publicist helped her coin that? Somewhere, Jodie Foster is pissed.

The daughter of a business mogul and school psychologist, Vanessa's logical savvy complemented her inherited intuition about human behavior and allowed for her to excel in competitive endeavors at a young age. At five years old, she could be found hustling adults in gin, poker, and backgammon. At thirteen, she was voted middle school vice president. In high school, she excelled as one of the
nation's top debaters.

Dude when I was thirteen, I finally got pubes. Gotdamn!! Unfortunately, I was not talented to be elected middle school VP. If I had gotten elected, wow...let me tell you the myriad of things that would be different now....Mainly, I would've had a site dedicated to myself with my accomplishments centered around being elected middle vice president...middle school vice PREZ bitches!! EAT IT!

addendum: at first, I did not believe her when she said she had excelled as one of the nation's top high school debaters. I mean are you serious?!! No one can be THAT good!! Thank you for presenting us with a link to remove any suspicions whatsoever...

In 2001, Vanessa graduated as the Valedictorian of her high school in Wellington, Florida. She
accepted a full scholarship to Duke University. In a record two and a half years, she graduated cum laude with a major in economics and a minor in political science. While at Duke, her studies in economics focused heavily on game theory - to which she attributes much of her poker playing success.

What record? Whose record did she break? Damn I bet that person is pissed.
Fuck..also,I did not get a Duke scholarship...I'll give her credit there. Hell if I had gotten a scholarship, I also would've graduated a year and a half early...I mean if I'm going to school for free, why not save Duke some money while I'm at it..I'm THAT much of a good person. Did I tell you I was middle school vice president?

addendum: is everyone a fucking game theory expert now? apparently, I asked why Phil Ivey has been so good in poker...he attributes his skills to reading the writings of Von Neumann and John Nash every night. Talk is cheap mother fucka!! But not game theory bitches!!

In May 2005, at the New Orleans World Series of Poker Circuit Event One, Vanessa final-tabled in a field of over 700 players. She earned
seventh place, almost seven thousand dollars, and became the youngest woman to final table in World Series of Poker history - all at her very first professional poker tournament appearance. In New Orleans, Vanessa also won a $10,000 mega-satellite seat into that circuit's main event. She lost the main event with an ace high flush to an astonishing straight flush on the river. Nonetheless, her New Orleans experience ended on a positive note - with a 14th place finish in a field of hundreds of women in the Ladies International Poker Series event held there.

Actually, I know of this event in which my friend played. She final tabled the Special Olympics WSOP $20 buy-in event. She was 21. I'm sorry, but now my friend wants to use that title for her own site. It's can be called the 2nd youngest ever...I mean it's just as good since it IS the WORLD SERIES OF POKER and by WORLD SERIES OF POKER I MEAN THE WORLD SERIES OF MY ANUS.

In the summer of 2005, Vanessa continued to work on her g
ame - reading every poker book she could get her hands on. She won the Palms Summer Series $200 buy-in and placed in the Women's World Championship event at the World Series of Poker. In the fall of 2005, she earned her first World Poker Tour victory by cashing in the Aruba circuit $500 buy-in event.

Victory...cashing...whatever it's all the same..I mean seriously, we're all gonna die anyways, right?

In 2006, Vanessa played the $1500 buy-in at the World Series of Poker Atlantic City Harrah's event in her bathrobe - going on to final table and earn
fifth for almost twenty thousand dollars. This feat made her the youngest woman in history to final table twice in the World Series of Poker.

She actually bolded that part herself. Funny thing is that I played a tournament in my bathrobe too....One night I was doing my rounds...I wake up to find my ass getting booted out like a hangover on a Sunday morning. Before I could get my clothes, I was given 5 dollars for my services and told to never return. Where was the adoration on that one? God I always get fucked.

As a blonde, twenty-three year old female, Vanessa considers herself the 'Master of Low Expectations' at the poker table. She is known for her tight a
ggressive style and talkative table-demeanor. She is also notorious for supplying her tablemates with random sources of entertainment - from spontaneous freestyle raps to various tricks with cigars and chips.

What type of cigar tricks? I know someone who taught me some cigar tricks. Her name started with an "L" and ended in "-ewinksy".

I write this not because I am bitter or jealous (ok maybe I am..I mean I've always wanted my own agent and website without ACCOMPLISHING JACK CRAP). I like to compare this rant to Paul Phillips' incessant probing into Phil Hellmuth's grill. I mean this shit is great. I love a good ego of narcissim and self-cock stroking. Can you imagine going to Tiger Woods' site mixed in with a little Vanessa? Where would it even start?

"Hi, I'm Tiger Woods....I became victorious in every tournament, since I did CASH in all of them. You MAY have heard of me...I could tell you how great I am...but all I really want to tell you is that in middle school...I was elected vice president. Were you? That's what I thought........bitch."

Also check
here for her law student's about as gold as her website. This is good stuff:

She was extremely involved in campus life and leadership positions at Duke. In addition to her involvement with the debate team, the business club, mock trial, and her sorority, Vanessa was the founder and president of the Duke Tax Assistance Program, the vice president of the Moot Court Club, the vice chair of the Duke Honor Council for Academic Integrity, and the spirit chair for the Cleland Selective House. Active in community service as well, Vanessa has volunteered for MADD, Toys and Tales, Walk for the Cure, Palm Beach Youth Court, Make-A-Wish-Foundation, and the Center for Race Relations at Duke. Between undergraduate and law school, Vanessa founded The Celebrity Players Tour Florida, a limited liability company that hosts several Florida-based celebrity golf tournaments for the benefit of charities.

I don't know what that all said...but I think it's just one long paragraph for, "WHY DO I GIVE A DAMN SO MUCH."

Might as well check out her
myspace page too. At first I was writing this post to praise how hot she is and how awesome she would be for the game. Now I can only think how badly she belongs in a hardware store. In contrast, all the poker media have glamourized her, as they stroke themselves to her Von Douche hats. Pauly's statement:

"Vanessa Rousso is a great story I love typing her name. Sometimes I cut and past names because it's quicker than typing it out. Not for Vanessa Rousso. I get enjoyment with every key stroke. Vanessa Rousso is the Cinderella story of the year. She's the unknown who walked into the Bellagio and sat at the same table with Doyle Brunson, the Babe Ruth of poker and biggest swing dick in poker history... and the 23-year old law student held her own. Her mere existence gives me something to write about. It gives all of us hope that really anyone has a shot at the big time in poker. Anyone fool with $25,000 could have sat down and played. Some pros skipped the event. They knew it was -EV and stayed away. Vanessa Rousso gained more confidence after each player was busted. It's like getting into a fight. After you take the first and second punch you realize that it hurts, but that's the worst it's gonna hurt. You can take the pain and you're ready to dish it out."

Gutshot's comments:

"I'm going to take a moment to fill you all in on this Vanessa Rousso girl. She's hot, she's smart, she talks a good game, and plays even better. She has no fear and plays to win. She likes to talk trash and she likes to instigate. She is, the hottest girl in poker. A 23 year old law student from Florida, she was three hours late on the first day because she reportedly had class. The first hand she made quad queens and doubled up. Her stack has gone from over a million down to $30,000 and back up to over a million. You may not know who she is now, but I guarantee you everybody in the poker world will know and respect this woman."

There is no doubt she must be a talented player. I will give her props for her abilities. Phil Hellmuth commented on how she surprised him thinking her chips would start going on the down. Instead, she accumulated and wreaked havoc. It was also reported when she sat next to Doyle, he uttered, "Oh no not you again."

But seriously, I recognize talent when handled humbly. You think someone like Roger Federer tells everyone how GREAT he is. I think his game does enough talking. The great ones don't need to reiterate to everyone how GREAT they are. The ones who repeatedly do are actually not that great.

Plus, why the constant rant about your academic accomplishments? Yes we already know you're smart, but why overkill? Most people can't handle overt displays of success because most don't like feeling inconsequential (like myself). This brings me to the reason why I've been ragging on her so hard: her demeanor at the tables. Her arrogance and self-absorption reflects in her demeanor. You may ask yourself, "Well Whitney, a lot of players talk t
rash...why don't you rag on Matusow?" Well everyone's accepted that Matusow is a raving an idiot...but he usually needles his own buddies. I don't know how bad he really is, nor do I care. What
I do care about is that antics like these should be not tolerated:

Four players were in for $40,000. It was Deeb, Vanessa Rousso, Chad Brown, and Vinny Vinh.

The flop came down 8s9c9h...all checked around the turn was
5s. Checked to Vanessa who bet 25k. Deeb c/r'd for 100k more, Vanessa called instantly and said, 'You've got ace high.' The river is a Tc. Deeb counted out some chips. Vanessa mimicked his movements indicating she would be calling if he bet. 'Check,' said Freddy. Rousso flipped up 22. 'I called your hand Freddy, will you show it to me? You have ace high.' 'Sure I show it to you, I have ace high,' Deeb said and politely showed...As Jd 'It's poor etiquette to ask someone to show their hand. Sometimes new players do that, but it's not right,' Hellmuth interjected. 'Oh is it really? I'm sorry,' replied Vanessa sarcastically.

I'm impressed by her play, but not her etiquette. Jean Gluck, a poker pr
o who is also very hot, shared her opinion. Before I get into that, I need to show a collage of of Jean Gluck before I go on. In addition, I might as well tu
rn this post into hotties of the poker world (this excludes Paul Magriel, X-22). She seems like a really sweet girl and a reputed solid 100/200 Limit player. I would love her to mother my kids.

WTF, I was not out of town. This is bullshit.

Sorry I got carried away. Oh you can also get some video coverage of her here. And while I'm at it, might as well amp up the stalking abilities to her myspace page here too. Anyways, back to what I was saying about antics and douchebaggery. Jean chimed in on 2+2:

Some on this thread may think she's hot, some may not, but one things for sure this girl infuriated ALOT of poker pros. I think every person watching the final 6 tables and on (except her bf) wanted her to get knocked out. Freddy Deeb is not the only incident of foul poker play from her, there are a few others I heard about.

She rivered quads vs. Liz Lieu's full house, When Liz finally called on the river, Vanessa slow rolled by saying first "nice hand".

60 players left she flopped a Q high flush against a J high flush, when she saw her opponents hand she stood up to shake his hand before she showed her cards, She didn't even knock him out of the tournament!! A little arrogant.

The final thing I heard from was someone on the table asked her if she was afaid to play against anyone, she said no. The person asked "Even Doyle??". She responded "Why should I be afraid of Doyle, I have alot more chips than him". lol

I'm very suprised no one punched HER in the face the whole tournament. Also, I guess she was in Costa Rica at the same tournament I was, I don't remember her at all. I'm actually suprised she considers herself a pro. Her whole demeanor is very amateur. I'm sure she doesn't even realize she is hurting her future poker career

Stay Classy Vanessa!! She sounds like all the Duke doucheyness that comprise the spirit of the student body who enjoy raping strippers and using racial slurs. Everyday I thank Buddha that I did not go to Duke. The fact that I had initially sent in my deposit and confirmation to Duke when deciding over schools induces horror. Well, honestly I don't think I was good enough's not like I was voted middle school vice president or anything.

But all joking aside. When I checked the progress of the tournament I was hoping she would make it. However a part of me, after glancing through her webpage and the report of her antics, wished for her to get screwed out of the tv table. But it maybe too late to prevent a tidal wave of extreme bragging. I'd love to see what her site says next.

Ideally, it would've been great if Erica, Evelyn, and Vanessa all made the tv table. I wished at least one of them would make the final 6 and at best, win it all. I'm sure the WPT was aching for this to happen in light of their declining ratings and complaints on how awful the season has been. Add maybe a Hellmuth, Brunson, or Chan as well or maybe all of three and we would be getting Moneymaker Effect 2.0.

To think if Vanessa won, we would be geting throngs of young women and pubescent horny boys like myself more attuned to poker. Think whenever Anna Kournikova was playing in a tennis match; no one gave a damn about women's tennis, but people gave a damn when she shoved that tennis ball up her panties. Vanessa would've made a great tv personality with her douchebaggish personality (I have never applied the term "douchebag" to a female before until now) and her hotness. She also represents what is worst for poker. Networks clamour for more personality and less substance. This makes sense for the ratings. We've already laid witness to ESPN and NBC giving more coverage to the jackass personalities (think Sheiky), while shying away from the real solid players who don't talk a big game but play one (think a lot of the Asian players who don't speak English well). Her image will also impact the influx of players who will absorb such behaviors for display at your home game.

I like her for her potential to bring added growth (and fishiness) to poker. I look down on her for her potential to erode table etiquette. Just think of the many assholes who adopt such behavior in order to get tv time. I don't claim to know her. She may actually be a good person. She should be proud of her academic accomplishments and sounds like a very smart girl (her website got me sold baby!). In fact, I would love to meet her. On the other hand, I don't know Barry Greenstein, John Juanda, Daniel Negreanu or Greg Raymer either, and I can be sure they are genuine gentlemans. I hope people follow their example and not some has-been middle school president on some bitch storm to prove something. Happy masturbating.

Contributors' Archives

This blog has some awesome contributors who have made several stellar posts.

Please do yourself a favor and read them:

The Monitors

a bad day for Caesar

ask Andrew W.K.

A Litigious Proposal

a crash course in indie music

a controversial post - a rumination on my access to porn

Kid You'll Move Mountains

Songs That Filled Me With Abject Rage

Well, that was a mindfuck: A story of a viewing of the film "Donnie Darko"

Dewey in repose

I Want to Own an Aviary - by Count Langenhoffen


Pearl Jam As Requested

The Rest of the Request

By Request - Part I

Some Favorite Tunes


Vanessa, do I make you horny... do I make you randy baby, do I?

my poker project

First Day in AC, meeting up with the man Fern Dog

The Top 11 Tennis Hotties

Intellectual Steve

Siesta Time: The New World

Letter Never Sent - Deep Thoughts by Intellectual Steve