Jimmy Fallon fun

With David Letterman's impending retirement, Kates and I have mentioned several times that we need to make the switch to Jimmy Fallon. By all accounts, the guy is on fire since what's his name retired ...

Then again, I don't feel like we're missing that much. Because the good stuff is almost guaranteed to show up on social media and make the internet rounds the morning after ...

Here are two recent bits that caught my eye and had me laughing out loud ...

First, Robinson Cano surprises Yankees fans while they boo a picture of him ...

Second, Jimmy faces off with Emma Stone in a lip sync battle. ... Emma Stone rocks.


Wrigley Field at 100

So Wrigley Field celebrated its 100th birthday this week. I wished I could have been there.

The Royals may get most of my attention these days -- I blame the slow passing of WGN's time as the Cubs' broadcast partner -- but I miss those summers of counting the days to my next visit to the old ballpark.

I managed to make it to at least one game there during every summer between 1995 and 2009, with the exceptions of 2001 and 2002. And made so many good memories.

I hope to make it back some day.

Good stuff ... 

There's some neat vintage photos of the ballpark here. And here's a nice video from The New York Times.

a Chicago Tribune: Wrigley Field at 100
a Design gives Wrigley Field a firm sense of place
a Worst seats in the Friendly Confines ... Ah, yes. I've watched games in the vicinity of Aisle 229 and Aisle 523
a Wrigley's quirks are charming and annoying... There's a lot of truth in this story, too. "Navigating the crowds can be as adventurous as the game."
a At Wrigley Field, the party should be over... Sadly, there's a lot of truth in this story, too.
a The end of an era — remembering the first night game at Wrigley Field
a 'Babe Ruth's Called Shot' about baseball, myth


Kansas City, here they come!

Ok, I take back a little of what I said about Kansas City being a music blackhole. For now.

Because …

(Cue angel chorus)

Nickel Creek has added a Kansas City date. My ticket is purchased. I will be there and crossing the trio from my concert bucket list.

This review in Paste about the breakup and decision to reunite is a great read.
“… Having taken the music business by storm with their eclectic approach to post-bluegrass acoustica, the wunderkinds realized they were tapped out. So, they did the unthinkable: in spite of momentum, money and conventional wisdom, they stopped. 
It wasn’t a matter of bravery or frustration. They reached the crossroads, and rather than harvest what was built, they stopped because it was the right thing to do.”

Paste also offers "The 11 Best Nickel Creek Songs." Mostly, I agree with the content of their list, but I'd order it slightly. "This Side" and "Out of the Woods" -- a staple on Faye's lullaby playlist -- are easily in my top three, along with "Speak," which the Paste list does not include.

I can hardly wait.

Photo by Perry Julien Photography


Prepare to Feel Old

This is funny and disturbing at the same time.

It's not that hard to figure out, kids. (On a side note, I need to check out this YouTube channel ... )


Having fun at 'Urinetown'

Kates and I spent a night on the town tonight -- er, a night on the campus, really. We booked a student's services to babysit the girls and walked to campus to see the university's production of "Urinetown: The Musical."

And it was fantastic.

Not only is the musical itself -- a satire of government systems and a parody of musical productions wrapped into one show -- hilarious and cleverly written, Kates and I left the performing arts center -- again -- in awe of our super talented students.

The acting was top-notch, and the cast played the comedy -- both spoken and physical -- to perfection. The choreography was so dazzling and fun. The vocals were terrific, with some heart-melting harmonies particularly by the actors playing Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell. The actress playing Little Sally also stole her fair share of the scenes. ... All of those elements combined made Act II especially funny and entertaining. We were wiping tears of laughter from our eyes after "Run, Freedom, Run!"

Kates and I knew little about the musical going in, other than that it picked up some Tony Awards several years ago. Now, having seen it, we're charmed.

Of course, after we got home and got settled, I started searching YouTube for comparable performances. I found a fair number of high school and college performances, in addition to some clips of the Broadway cast and the Tony Awards. None, though, seemed to have the wit, high-energy and rich quality we saw tonight.

Here's a performance of "Run, Freedom, Run!" at the 2002 Tony Awards. ...


Say it ain't so, Dave!

Just the other night, Kates and I were discussing David Letterman and wondering how long he would continue his Late Show. It was only a matter of time, I figured, that he would retire.

Last week, Dave announced his retirement. I purposely waited to post anything here before I could watch his retirement announcement episode on our DVR. I wanted to see the show for myself. Last night, I finally watched it.

I guess the clock is really ticking now on my bucket list item to attend a taping of the Late Show.

Fast forward to today, and CBS has announced Stephen Colbert will take over for Letterman. I don't approve.

As one of my media friends put it in a tweet today: Congratulations Jimmy Fallon ... Jimmy Fallon is clearly the new golden boy and ushering in a new era of late night TV.

Good reads ...
a David Letterman’s Legacy
a David Letterman to retire: 'His greatness will always be remembered'
a David Letterman's Top 10 Late Night Television Moments
a David Letterman: Last of the Stand-Up Guys
a 6 Iconic David Letterman Interviews


'Field of Dreams' cast plan Father's Day reunion in Iowa

In the words of Ray Kinsell, this would be so cool ... 

'Field of Dreams' cast plan Father's Day reunion in Iowa

The start of Major League Baseball last week and the first, faint hints of warmer weather are followed by another sign of spring: At least part of the cast of the classic 1989 movie set and filmed in Iowa, "Field of Dreams," is expected to reunite on Father's Day weekend in Dyersville.

Awesome April Fools classroom prank

This is great.

Hank Aaron hits record-breaking 715th homer 40 years ago today

So 40 years ago today, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth's career record. 

He's still the home run king in my book ... 

Here's a good read about how Dusty Baker, Al Downing and Davey Lopes recall witnessing Hammerin' Hank passing The Babe. And here's the legendary Vin Scully's call.

And here's a great clip of Hank appearing on David Letterman's show in 1982.


Kansas City, they don't come

My claim that Kansas City is a music black hole, it seems, is growing stronger by the month.

I’ve received a flood of concert announcements in my inbox lately, with several coming from my all-time favorite artists and bands.

Toad the Wet Sprocket is touring with Counting Crows.

Ingrid Michaelson is promoting a new album.

Fleetwood Mac is reuniting – with Christine McVie!

Nickel Creek is reuniting – after a seven-year hiatus!

Do any of those announcements include a stop in Kansas City or any place in its proximity?

Nope. Nada. Zilch.

If we were still living in Chicagoland? I’d be set.

Seriously. What is it about Kansas City?

For now, I'll take solace in the good chance I'll return to Summerfest -- the coolest and best music festival in the world -- this summer. Ray LaMontagne, Pentatonix, Fitz & the Tantrums, Foy Vance, Tegan & Sara, and -- if I'm really lucky -- Dave Matthews Band. For the record, Bruno Mars would be at the top of my must-see list, but that will be near impossible because I'm committed to something else the night after he makes his Milwaukee stop.

Behold ...