…but with a younger cast. From the NY Times’ Robert Levine.
(the Hanson Brothers, before it all went wrong. Actually, long before it all went right, too. Pic courtesy Kim Fowley.net)
Plenty of bands have written songs complaining about their frustration with record labels. But Hanson, the band of three brothers that helped usher in a teenage pop craze with the 1997 hit “MMMBop,” has made an entire documentary film about its dismal experience on the label Island Def Jam.
Originally signed to Mercury Records, Hanson found itself with Island Def Jam as a result of major label mergers. In the fall of 2000, Hanson began recording what was to be its third major-label album of new material and hired a director, Ashley Greyson, to film the process. “About eight months in, we realized there was going to be more difficulty than we thought,” said Taylor Hanson, 22.
The movie, “Strong Enough to Break,” follows the band’s disagreements with label executives – over the choice of producer and the need for an upbeat single, among other things – and ultimately its decision to leave the label and found its own, 3CG Records. The album, “Underneath,” finally came out on Hanson’s own label in April 2004 and sold 130,000 copies, a healthy figure for an independent release.
Between concerts on its current tour, the group is screening the film at colleges. The brothers, who have made it into their 20’s without attracting much attention from tabloids, say they would like to educate students about the music business; they take questions after the screenings. Of course, Hanson is also hoping to arouse interest in its new live album and its current tour. “We’re not unaware that we’re reconnecting with people and a few of them might come to the concert,” said Zac Hanson, who is 20.
From the AP:
Closer Braden Looper’s $5.5 million option was declined Monday by the New York Mets, who will pay the reliever a $250,000 buyout.
New York also exercised right-hander Steve Trachsel’s $2.5 million option and declined a $4 million option on first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who gets a $450,000 buyout.
And now the attempts to overpay BJ Ryan or Trevor Hoffman can begin in earnest.
The White Sox have exercised a $1.2 million option on reliever/Journey lover Cliff Politte, along with declining the club option for ’06 on noted paleontologist Carl Evertt.
From the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman :
Theo Epstein stunned the Red Sox and the baseball world this afternoon by walking away from his job as general manager.
Just hours before his deal was set to expire at midnight, Epstein told his bosses and associates at the Red Sox™ Yawkey Way offices that he had decided not to accept a three-year deal worth $1.5 million a year, an extension for the contract he signed on Nov. 25, 2002.
Epstein had done some agonizing soul-searching the past few days, torn between staying at the job he had always coveted since his childhood days in Brookline and leaving because of intra-organizational politics and power struggles that he ultimately decided he could not live with any longer.
Epstein had come close to agreeing to a deal Saturday evening but had not officially conveyed acceptance of it. On Sunday, he began having serious misgivings about staying on. A leading contributing factor, according to sources close to the situation, was a column in Sunday™s Boston Globe in which too much inside information about the relationship between Epstein and his mentor, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino, was revealed — in a manner slanted too much in Lucchino™s favor. Epstein, according to these sources, had several reasons to believe Lucchino was a primary source behind the column and came to the realization that if this information were leaked hours before Epstein was going to agree to a new long-term deal, it signaled excessive bad faith between him and Lucchino.
Interestingly, Toronto’s J.P. Riccardi is not included on Silverman’s short list of candidates for Boston’s new opening.
Turkeynecks around the world are in mourning. Or at least they were, last week.
Thanks to Dave Martin for the link. Needless to say, I’ve been reading the wrong newspapers.
The Associated Press is reporting that Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein has resigned:
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein resigned Monday, surprising Boston and the baseball world just one year after he helped build the franchise’s first World Series championship team since 1918.
The team said in a statement that Epstein will continue working for several days to assist in the transition and prepare for the offseason.
The Boston Herald, which first reported the news on its web site, said the Yale graduate has told associates that he may leave baseball, or at least take a year off.
Chessboxing : not since Gymkata have two disparate sporting endeavors made for such a hot combination. From the Guardian’s Georgina Turner.
The brainchild of Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, chessboxers alternate between board and ring, engaging both brains and brawn through 11 rounds (four minutes’ chess, two minutes’ boxing), to see who comes out on top. Contests are won by checkmate, knock-out, retirement, exceeding the time limit at the board or a refereeing decision. If the chess game ends in stalemate, the highest scorer in the boxing rounds wins. Ties are won, for no apparent reason, by the player with the black pieces.
On first inspection, there are probably no two sports that are more ill-matched: one minute you’re having your skull battered, the next you’re sat down trying to work out why you appear to have 48 pawns, let alone what to do with them. Wrong again, apparently.
“The combination is just fascinating,” says German fighter Andreas Dilschneider. “There are parallels. Both are about giving and taking, reacting to the move your opponent just made, whether they’ve thrown a punch or moved a piece.
“You always have to think about the end goal, what you want to do.” The World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) highlights this philosophy in its motto: ‘Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board’.
…with a zeal that would make a rational person (well, Harris Bloom at least) wonder “what’s the big deal?”, presenting DePodesta For President.