Song In My Head #110: “Ready To Rock” by Pianosaurus

The New York-based band Pianosaurus gained a fair bit of notoriety in the ’80s, not least for playing toy instruments. (I recall an MTV News segment where drummer Stephen Dansiger waxed rhapsodic about his Muppet Babies drumkit, followed by a sequence where the band destroyed their instruments post-show in classic Who fashion.) Nevertheless, their 1987 album Groovy Neighborhood boasts delightful songs, this one being my favorite. Word has it that a long-shelved sequel exists…

(Sadly, Psychotic Reaction was the name of the show from which this performance was taken. I, too, had hoped that “Ready To Rock” would segue into the San Jose garage-rock classic by the Count Five.)

At last, a teal lining!

I present you all with cause for celebration. Sure, the nightly news still has me wringing my hands. Writing deadlines loom before me, and a threatened Northern California power outage has me typing frantically. Yet tonight, I cheer. Why?

Patrick Marleau is a San Jose Shark again.

Of course, to most devotees of Team Teal, he never stopped being one. Nevertheless, if my mom’s tears and hugs following the announcement were any indication, this is a happy development indeed. Welcome back, Patty!


Welcome to San Jose, Kendall Coyne Schofield!

It’s been an up-and-down summer for San Jose Sharks fans, but there have been some welcome bits of good news here and there. Most of the enthusiasm has focused on Logan Couture taking over the captaincy following the loss of Joe Pavelski to free agency. (It seemed like a natural choice to me, given that Couture is equally adept at scoring and painfully honest postgame media interviews.) I’m surprised that more people aren’t excited about this recent announcement:

Kendall Coyne Schofield joins San Jose Sharks TV broadcast team

If you watched the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition, you may have seen Coyne Schofield blazing down the ice as the first-ever female participant in the Fastest Skater Competition. As part of Team USA, she won gold in the 2018 Olympics, and helped to secure the 2017 IIHF championship during one of the most exciting games ever televised. At Sharks FanFest this Sunday, she’ll compete with fellow members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) against Sharks alumni in the Legends game. I’m definitely intrigued, and eager to hear her perspective this coming season!

For Santa Cruz Warriors fans who are Stanford basketball newbies…

In August, I read the fantastic news that Kris Weems would become the new head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors for the upcoming season. For some reason, local papers only mentioned his tenure as athletic director (and former coach) at Menlo School in Atherton. “Good grief!” I muttered. “Does NO ONE remember Weems’ role as the second-highest scorer on the greatest Stanford men’s basketball team in recent memory?” I’m speaking, of course, of the 1997-98 team that reached the NCAA Final Four that season. (I know there must be some people out there with major street cred who watched the NCAA championship-winning team of 1942. If you’re one, please comment!) “Am I going to have to rant about this to the entire county?” I lamented.

Don’t worry, everybody, I won’t do that. (I won’t even mention the afternoon I cut class to attend the celebratory rally for the team at Maples Pavilion, where I got so turned around walking from my grad dorm that I had to ask someone strolling nearby for directions, who turned out to be former Wonder Years star and then-Stanford senior Fred Savage. I guess I just did. Sorry about that.)  Jim Barnett and Weems himself explain things well in this interview from 2011, so you can watch it instead. (In the meantime, welcome to Santa Cruz, Kris Weems!)

Mission St. BBQ article in Summer/Fall 2019 SANTA CRUZ STYLE

Admittedly, Northern California is not a region that springs to mind when people think of barbeque. On page 40 of the latest issue of Santa Cruz Style, I introduce you to Larry Ingram III, who (with his brothers and father) is changing that perception with Santa Cruz’s Mission St. BBQ. You’ll learn the secrets of the menu, why the brothers insist on featuring live blues performances nightly, and how Santa Cruz carnivores prompted the family to add this location to their thriving group of barbeque joints! In Santa Cruz County, find free print copies at these locations. The online edition appears here.

Question for San Francisco foodies

Where would one go to find a great slice of chocolate layer cake in the city? Every place I can think of serves European-style tortes or plated desserts (both great, but not always the ideal choice). I did fall for Bi-Rite Market’s Chocolate Midnight Cake a few years ago, but my hopes were dashed when their ice cream shop stopped selling it by the slice. So, if anyone knows a bakery or restaurant with the goods, hit up the comments to bask in my eternal gratitude!

Song In My Head #109: “Dead End Justice” by the Runaways

As longtime blog readers might guess, I’m not exactly a horror devotee. (True story: I sat down to watch the Alice Cooper episode of The Muppet Show as a little girl, burst into tears shortly into “Welcome To My Nightmare,” and didn’t try again for another thirty years. Even though I had become an Alice Cooper fan by then, I still ended up pretty spooked by the end.) Nevertheless, I found myself reading We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix this past week. How did that happen, you ask? Well, even though I had to take occasional (okay, semi-frequent) squeamishness breaks, the guitar-wielding heroine and the rock ‘n’ roll in-jokes kept me riveted. One running gag involves Kris and her bandmates invoking the lyrics to the Runaways’ “Dead End Justice” at every opportunity. Needless to say, I had to track the song down. Why it’s not a karaoke bar standard is beyond me:

At one point I gasped, “Redd Kross HAS to cover this song!” Guess what?