An Important Message From The Entertainment Divison Of Cumbucket Media, re : Empty Markets

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 2:14 pm by


Milwaukee-to-Austin transplant Drew Schmitz has made his presence felt in bands ranging from Brain Attack, Gremlins UK, Party Garbage and most recently as the 4th wheel in the long-running paragon-of-excellence that is The Hex Dispensers. All of those cultural contributions aside, the one project of Drew’s that probably most relevant to this discussion is the trio known as Cruddy, whose 2011 12XU LP ‘Negative World’ was one of the year’s more acclaimed releases, and Schmitz’ bleaker-than-bleak worldview (to say nothing of inventive guitar work) was an awfully big part of that.

Fast forward a few years and armed with a new rhythm section in the shape of drummer Jordan Rivell and bassist Wendy Wright*, Schmitz’ newly formed Empty Markets aren’t entirely removed from the vision of Cruddy (you’ve got the same fella yelling and playing guitar, no arguing that) but am I allowed to use the dreaded word PROGRESSION without morphing into Alan Parsons? Make no mistake, on ‘Stainless Steel’, engineer Ian Rundell (fresh off recent knob-jobs for Spray Paint, The Rebel and Xetas) has captured the tumult, the agitation, and perhaps most importantly, the precision of Empty Markets in glorious fashion. There’s few other bands mining this sort of territory with nearly as much confidence or as little concession to genre considerations. If Cruddy was a grim snapshot of a hopeless future, Empty Markets is a Hasalbald-quality, full-scale portrait of a hopeless present. If you find an occasional moment of daylight seeping thru, please trust it wasn’t a manufacturing error.

(* – following the recording of ‘Stainless Steel’, Sweet Talk’s Stephen Svacina replaced the eastern-bound Wright on bass)

First 125 on clear vinyl. Preorders received a limited print of the album art via Port Au Prints Get yours here.

EM1 copy




Stitches : Preparing To Violate The Sanctity Of Celebrity Boxing

Posted in Boxing, Hip Hop at 10:34 pm by

In what we can only hope will prove to be as long and storied boxing career as those of Cowboy Bob Orton, Jose Canseco and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Stitches, the man behind THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME, has agreed to face Philly MC Jemal “Supreem” Carter as part of something called  the World Xtreme Entertainment Celebrity Boxing championships.  From New Times’ Ryan Pfeffer :

This isn’t the fight Stitches really wants. He wants to fight the Game, a rapper whom he’s publicly feuded with over the past six months. Stitches actually did try to Fight the game back in December. He stalked the rapper outside Story, where the Game was making an appearance, but he was eventually knocked out by a member of the Game’s entourage. The whole thing was caught on video. Soon a mugshot surfaced showing Stitches with actual stitches. The whole thing, again, was either very funny or sad, depending on your perspective of life.

The Game did not respond to World Xtreme Entertainment Celebrity Boxing’s request for a match, according to owner Damon Feldman. Feldman hopes this match will build enough hype for the Game to eventually step in the ring.

The three-round fight will take place May 7 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.


Most Likely The First & Last Time You’ll Contemplate Owning A Shirt With Ted Cruz’ Face On It

Posted in Fashion, politics at 3:54 pm by

If you’ve spent much time online this week, you’re already aware that all signs point to Ted Cruz being The Zodiac Killer.  And by “all signs”, I mean, you have to love the way it sounds out loud.  Since no meme is complete without being hijacked for political purposes, these wonderful people (who may or may not have some connection to this organization) are peddling the above garment with funds going towards El Paso’s West Fund.

Ted Cruz is a terrifying monster. You know who else was a monster? The Zodiac Killer, who claimed to have killed 37 people in the Bay Area. Ted Cruz has never denied being the Zodiac Killer. The conclusion is simple—and Ted Cruz has never publicly refuted it.*

After paying the artist $100 for his work, all proceeds from the sale of this shirt ($11±1/shirt) will benefit the West Fund, which provides funding and support for abortion services to the people of southwest Texas—women most severely punished by the barbaric policies of our own Zodiac senator. 


From The Desk Of Randy L : In Defense Of My Good Friend, Lonn Trost

Posted in Baseball at 10:33 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, Bronx baseball executive Randy L. stops by CSTB to weigh in on the important matters of the day. Earlier this week, New York Yankees COO Lonn Trost addressed the club’s attempts to stop StubHub from trading in premium Yanks tickets at discount prices, comments that Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra considered, “snobby”. After reading Calcaterra’s column, Randy offered, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Greetings and a very happy Chinese New Year to all members of the Yankee Universe. With pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa this week, I’d hoped that shitty, barely read or updated blogs like this one would be focusing on baseball matters, but apparently the genius entrusted with running it into the ground knows more about what drives traffic than I do. But I digress. As you probably heard, my colleague, the very handsome and accomplished Lonn Trost attempted to spell out for some slovenly members of the Fourth Estate exactly what this club’s intentions were when it comes to protecting you, the loyal Yankee fans, from the predatory practices of a company like StubHub. Sadly, Lonn’s words were badly twisted around by a journalist seeking to advance some sort of class warfare agenda that might fly at a Bernie Sanders rally, but less so when dealing with savvy readers like yourself.

“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount . . . And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

OK, that all sounds pretty reasonable to me. But in the sick, cynical view of Craig Calcaterra, the following is considered a normal reaction to crowd-control realities :

“Mr. Trost: how often do you know how much the person next to you paid for their seat? And, more significantly, what about a person who doesn’t sit in premium locations might ‘frustrate’ your rich season ticket holders who do?”

Shall I go down a checklist? Hygiene. Manner of dress. Abuse of alcohol and other substances. Uncouth behavior not limited to attempting to engage in sexual congress. Are we expected to apologize for trying to maintain separate pricing tiers? Should this franchise simply allow every drooling patron who’d otherwise be pacified with a $15 Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar Classic Citrus Mojito to sample from my personal wine cellar at NYY Steak?

Of course not. I know there’s fantasists reading this who’d like to believe once we arrive at the ballpark, we’re all equal, but there’s always been a hierarchy in place. Sure, there’s a level of creature comfort afforded our premium seat holders your bleacher denizens can only dream of, but do you really believe Brian Cashman is allowed to use the same Executive Washroom as myself? There’s not enough penicillin in the Tri-State area for  that happen.

While our crosstown rivals operate in a venue that spreads food poisoning to the paying customers and uniformed personnel alike, the New Yankee Stadium is a glittering, spotless monument to what can be achieved if you strive for greatness (or,  in the case of Hank and Hal, you win the genetic lottery). Maybe socialism is making a comeback on college campuses and amongst the sports blog intelligentsia but my incredibly expensive shoes are firmly on the ground in a little place I like to call THE REAL FUCKING WORLD.

Legends & Champions Suites seating for Opening Day are on sale now. Make Ticketmaster Great Again.

The Randy L.

Post : Islanders Want Out Of Brooklyn

Posted in Hockey, The Marketplace at 8:22 pm by

In stark contrast to the Nets’ warm welcome at the Barclays Center, the NHL Islanders’ inaugural season in Brooklyn has alienated longtime fansand left the club’s new ownership underwhelmed. According to the New York Post’s Rich Kalder and John Kosman, both the franchise and their landlords are looking to severe ties far sooner then the end of the existing 25 year lease :

Jonathan Ledecky — who heads a group of investors set to replace Wang as the team’s majority owner July 1 — apparently is listening. A source close to the Islanders and other industry sources say he’s enamored with possibly moving the team to Queens or back to Long Island.

In either scenario, a new arena likely would have to be built — an expensive proposition considering it cost $1 billion to open Barclays Center in 2012. Another option is renegotiating the Barclays Center lease to salvage the relationship, sources said.

“The Islander deal was forced from the start because the club was hemorrhaging so much money playing on Long Island … and had to bail,” another source said. “Now you’re left with this weird situation where Barclays’ folks pay the Islanders to play there — but aren’t getting the bang for the buck they desired, not to mention all the crap they’re getting from Islander fans who are finding every little fault they can with being in Brooklyn.


Not For The First Time, The Wilpon Family Name Used For Something Questionable

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 9:57 pm by

Nearly 11 years after Amazins OF Mike Cameron was impersonated by a Long Island con artist, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (above, right) was the subject of a similar ruse, as Newsday’s John Riley details :

A New Jersey man who impersonated New York Mets executive Jeff Wilpon to secure financing in office equipment lease deals pleaded guilty to fraud Thursday in Brooklyn federal court.

Michael Conway, 40, of Verona, said he forged lease deals with the Mets — including a letter from Wilpon, the son of owner Fred Wilpon — as well as with law firms, hospitals, universities and hotels, to convince lenders to give him $3.5 million for the purchase of the equipment to be leased.

Conway pocketed most of the money, prosecutors say. He could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, and will also have to pay restitution under a plea agreement.

Pittsburgh’s ’79 Throwbacks : If You’re Gonna Charge Hundreds For A Dale Berra Jersey, You’d Better Get The Details Right

Posted in Baseball, Fashion, The Marketplace at 8:53 pm by

(Link courtesy Larry Brown Sports)