Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

last night forever, last chance for you to see, GSQ's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - come see what all the nasty rumors are about - 7:30, Warrior

RIP Deb Vetter . . .

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tivy over Champion 56-24, Smithson Valley 49-7 over Lockhart, ITM on the low end of 52-18 vs Comfort . . .

RIP Deb Vetter . . .

Lyle Lovett will be singing the National Anthem at game 4 of the World Series this Sunday.

more cool . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

World Music News Wire #27

Tundra Songs and Musical Saws beyond the Arctic Circle: Norway’s Jienat Has You Surrounded with Arctic Echoes


“We could be banging on mammoth skulls and logs millennia ago,” modestly exclaims Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Andreas Fliflet behind Jienat. “The feeling would be the same.” Yet if Jienat got their hands on them, bone and wood would resound in full-on, crystal-clear surround sound to the beat of samba, reggae, or candombe.

Recorded in an old parish hall 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, in a quaint church on a Finnish island, on the cobbled streets of Bahia, Brazil, Mira puts age-old sounds in a cutting-edge frame, thanks to Fliflet’s musical curiosity, instinct for found elements, and skill with his portable multi-microphone rig. To maintain the high audio quality of the album, Mira includes an audio-only Blu-Ray disc, as well as a standard CD/high-definition SACD, the first world music recording to use this format and recording approach.

Jienat_mira_cover Drawing on everything from Sámi (Laplander) joiking (a form of chant-like singing from an indigenous people in Scandinavia) and Finnish-style musical saw to Afro-Uruguayan rhythms and Argentine vendors’ cries, the band Jienat (“voices” in Sámi) imagines how the world might echo on the streets of Hammerfest, the world’s northern-most town.

“The influences are obvious: West Africa, Sámi culture, Bahia,” Fliflet explains. “We’re not playing Brazilian music or joiking, however. This is our music, Arctic world music.” Having played with everyone from Afropop diva Angelique Kidjo to passionate Sámi singer Mari Boine, Fliflet comes by his omnivorous interests honestly.

His music purposefully relies on purely acoustic sounds, to reflect the back-to-the-future spirit Fliflet finds intriguing, and to avoid the often time-stamped quality of electronic instruments. Yet he doesn’t shy away from technology. Fliflet used a sophisticated portable studio—small enough to fit under the seat of an airplane, powerful enough to record in surround sound—to capture unique sonic moments. These range from black market vendors in front of his in-law’s Argentine home (“Radio Belgrano”) to a beautiful balafon in a hallway in northern Norway (“Adama”).

“I’m presenting sounds that aren’t thought of as music in a musical context,” Fliflet reflects. “As far as I’m concerned, everything is musical raw material. It’s just the context that makes us think if it’s music or not. It’s not unlike Warhol’s soup can or Duchamp’s Fountain.”

To do the final mix of these recordings he turned to Lindberg Lyd in Oslo, one of the most innovative surround sound studios in the world. He attempted sonic acrobatics that left engineers shaking their heads in wonder and dismay. “The rhythm on ‘Fredrik Albert’ is stolen from Uruguayan candombe. We recorded it on the equivalent of about six hundred standard mono tracks,” he recalls with a smile. “It crashed the mainframe computer in the studio in Oslo, and the recording software programmers in Switzerland had to give up some vacation time to create a new version of the software. No one had been crazy enough to try that before.”

Though not originally from the Far North, Fliflet became fascinated by life on the tundra as a boy, when he won a drawing contest and got to spend a week in a Sámi summer camp. While living in a peat-covered shelter among the reindeer herds, he recalls being amazed by “seeing fresh bear tracks in midsummer snow, hearing adults joiking at midnight when the sun was still up, and tasting reindeer jerky and Sámi flatbreads.”

This first experience led to a life-long connection to the once denigrated languages and culture of the Arctic nomads. Together with Sámi singer Marit Hætta Øverli, Fliflet started Jienat in the late 1990s, as a response to the formulaic production and predictable arrangements on many Sámi recordings. Øverli and Fliflet wanted to get away from squeezing the joik into a jazz or pop template and started imagining what acoustic accompaniments would work harmoniously with vocal traditions.

This experimentation shines on tracks like “Andreas/André,” an acoustic mashup of two joiks, the first performed by Øverli. The second, “André,” is in Kildin Sámi, a language now spoken by just a few hundred people in far northwestern Russia. Composed for Fliflet and his frequent collaborator, percussionist André Ferrari, they reflect the uniquely Sámi understanding of this type of song. “People may dedicate a joik to a place, person, or mood,” explains Fliflet. “When they’re joiking, they’re not joiking about a person, say, but actually joiking that person. As Sámi multi-media artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää explained it ‘A joik is not about. A joik is.’”

Just as Øverli honored her long-time friend, Fliflet pays tribute to loved ones, such as his Finnish-born mother, for whom he composed “Tudeer,” a pensive ballad for the musical saw he picked up at a Boston hardware store. “It had to be a ballad,” Fliflet laughs. “You can’t cover a fast bebop tune on the saw. It’s like a weird form of singing.”

Mira also conveys Fliflet’s wry love for his chosen Arctic home, for its crazy weather, white nights, rusty Russian trawlers, and herds of errant reindeer (a fence runs around Hammerfest to keep them out of the streets). “It fascinates me to contrast the tiny languages and the small remote places with the big ones, the old sounds with new processes,” Fliflet muses. “While the recording technique is cutting edge, there is really nothing essential in the music that could not have been done 5,000 years ago—or 5,000 years from now.”

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the higher you fly into rarefied atmosphere the more likely you'll be alone, and no one's there to share their parachute when yours fails

yummmm, just in time for Halloween, Scorpionflies feasting on chicken corpse . . .


if the apocalypse is coming might as well have some fun . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

cool . . .

the new facebook smart-phototagging contraption is a nightmare . . . anyone know how to turn that thing off?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Smithson Valley 39-0

Tivy wins 71-6

rangers . . . cool . . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

help out a classy Aggie soccer player with your vote . . .

another wow . . . thanks Brett . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

second weekend of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof coming up . . . Fri and Sat at 7:30 and Sun at 2:00 . . . check us out

wow! via @alfbarba

here's my vote . . . yes on Torres to Man U! . . . see you later Wayney

Graham on Tour!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World Music News Wire #26

The Laughter and Crying of a Persian Jew: Galeet Dardashti Gives Voice to Provocative Women of the Bible


This is the story of why the brilliant Queen of Sheba shaved her legs, how the stunning Vashti laid down the line for her drunken husband, and how a mysterious witch spoke King Saul’s doom and then served him a nice dinner. The Naming, the upcoming release from singer and composer Galeet Dardashti, draws on the Persian classical music and Middle Eastern Jewish singing deep in her bones to transform the ghostly outlines of Biblical women into full-blown flesh-and-blood personalities.

The Naming’s release on September 14 occurs smack in between the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (September 9-10) and Yom Kippur (September 18). She is the first woman in her family to continue her family legacy of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship.

Galeet_cover Leaping from passing mentions and phantom females, Dardashti seeks names and lives for the many women in the Bible, Talmud, and the Midrash, the millennia-old Hebrew commentaries. “I am not going to sugarcoat everything,” Dardashti explains. “We know that women get the short stick. Women are marginalized. I am trying to show how for the most part women try to overcome that inequity. And how they can rise to the challenge and be powerful and funny.”

Women like the Queen of Sheba (“Sheba”), whose interest in King Solomon blossomed into romance, but only after he had the brains to answer her riddles and only after she overcame one more obstacle. “In both Muslim and Jewish tradition, Sheba is a really cool character, a gorgeous queen who perhaps hailed from Ethiopia or Yemen. One of the stories repeated in both religious traditions says that just as they are about to make out, Solomon finds that her legs are really hairy, like a horse,” Dardashti laughs. “So, the commentaries say, he has her remove the hair before he is willing to sleep with her. It’s taking her down a notch. She’s not really a woman. She couldn’t be a woman and be that powerful and have such chutzpah and ask all those questions.”

Strong, powerful women—both Israelite and non-Jewish—are everywhere in the Bible, from the bold Persian Queen Vashti who refused her carousing husband’s orders to dance naked for his buddies (“Vashti”), to the witch of Endor, who foretold Saul’s bitter end but then showed him motherly kindness (“Endora”).

For Dardashti, these women’s stories intertwine with her own family’s tales of women breaking the rules: Just as the Biblical Michal donned the tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (leather prayer bands) only worn by men, so did Dardashti’s childless great-aunt Tovah in Tehran years ago, who reasoned that since she did not have children to care for, she should take on the same religious obligations as men and use the same accoutrements. Dardashti links their stories musically in “Michal,” singing the text recited while fastening the tefillin.

They also echo through her own story, and Dardashti’s personal transition into motherhood drew her to the intriguing female shadows flitting through Jewish tradition. “I don’t know if I would have done this project if I hadn’t been pregnant. I’d never written about gender or gone to women’s groups. But so much of what is mentioned about women in the Torah is about giving birth, or not giving birth and not being able to,” Dardashti reflects. “And suddenly, I was linked to those stories, that identity as a woman with a child.”

Binding texts in several languages from the Torah, Talmud, Midrash, and elsewhere, Dardashti crafts songs inspired by her heritage, the Persian classical music that her legendary grandfather Yona Dardashti performed in Iran, and the Persian Jewish liturgical tradition she learned from her father, Hazzan Farid Dardashti. The intertwined texts resonate with the sound of the Persian santur (hammered dulcimer) and Arabic qanun (zither), as well as in the Middle Eastern cantorial and Persian classical vocal techniques Dardashti employs to tell her stories. “In ‘Vashti,’ for example, I open with passages from the Book of Esther,” Dardashti explains. “I chant that in the Persian style,” the Hebrew liturgy sung the way it evolved among Iran’s Jews.

Though Dardashti grew up in the U.S., singing in a family band “sort of like the Partridge Family, but without the van,” she was separated from her grandfather’s world and her Persian heritage by language and custom. “At that point, I thought my grandfather’s music was beautiful, but it was definitely something foreign, different,” Dardashti recalls. “In Iran, my grandfather was huge. He was one of the biggest singers in his day. He would sing at the Shah’s palace, he had a weekly radio show, back when there was no TV, so everybody would listen every week. They knew he was Jewish,” Dardashti recounts. Yona Dardashti was so popular as a singer, in fact, that even when he acted as cantor at the synagogue in Tehran, Jews and Muslims would line up to hear him. Dardashti’s father carried on the family tradition with his own TV show, becoming a teen heartthrob before eventually leaving for the U.S. to attend college, and becoming a renowned cantor.

Only after she began research in Israel as a student, where Yona Dardashti and many other Persian Jews emigrated in the 1960s, did Dardashti come to a stirring realization. Her grandfather stopped performing locally after he established his new life in Israel. “The émigrés were less interested in keeping their Persian identity than in becoming Israeli, which was becoming more and more Western and less accepting of Middle Eastern culture. When I understood that, I was stunned.”

To reconnect with her roots, Dardashti set about learning classical singing from Persian Jewish musicians in Israel, including the elusive taqrir, a glottal ornament in the intro to “Michal” that at first confounded her then more Western-oriented voice. After weeks of frustrated attempts to emulate it, “My teacher mentioned that it was like crying. I remember that that really opened things up for me,” Dardashti muses. “Crying, but also laughing. It’s the sound of pure emotion,” a sound perfectly attuned to the bittersweet fates of Dardashti’s heroines.

While shedding light on the strong women of the Abrahamic religions, Dardashti also strives through her music to bring Middle Eastern Jewish traditions to wider audiences. “Most people don’t realize there was this shared culture or that there was such a thing as a Persian or Arab Jew. I am excited to share this music with people so that we can break these boundaries, these stereotypes of what Jewish is, what Iranian is,” Dardashti reflects. “It’s similar to what I am also trying to do in The Naming: breaking down walls about the characters I’m writing about.”

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speaking of crazy, what's the deal with the Quaids?

whatever happened to firefox dependability, it is sure crash happy lately . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LIT: Maliseet

N.B. program aims to increase the use of Maliseet language

Published Tuesday October 12th, 2010
Jennifer Pritchett

Andrea Bear Nicholas, a researcher at St. Thomas University, says the new program will help increase the use of the Maliseet language in New Brunswick.

A grant of $243,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, a federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training, is making the three-year pilot program possible.

Andrea Bear Nicholas of the native studies program at St. Thomas University will lead the project with Gina Brooks, a band councillor from St. Mary's First Nation and Donna Goodleaf, who is director of the Kanienkehaka Onkwawenna Raotitiohkwa Cultural Centre at Kahnawake reserve in Quebec, where there is already a successful native language immersion program.

"The ultimate goal is to bring back the language," said Bear Nicholas.

Less than 10 per cent of aboriginals who live in New Brunswick's 15 First Nations communities speak their native language. Six of the 15 communities are Maliseet and the remaining nine are Mi'kmaq. Most of the remaining native speakers are 60 years of age or older.

Bear Nicholas said the initiative on St. Mary's First Nation, located in the north end of Fredericton, aims to reverse that trend.

"The language is all there - it's all elders and to revitalize it means that we need to have people of all ages speaking the language," she said.

The early stages of the immersion program will include community planning, encouraging and training speakers of the language to become teachers in the program, interviewing elders who are fluent in the Maliseet language, preparing texts in the language and studying other First Nations communities that have successfully developed language programs.
The full-time immersion classes will begin in the second year of the program.

The third and final stage of the program will focus on evaluating the success of the program in its ability to create new Maliseet speakers and boosting the use of the language in the community.

A major emphasis of the language immersion program, said Bear Nicholas, is to train enough fluent speakers who can become preschool and elementary teachers who can instruct in the Maliseet language on St. Mary's First Nation and at schools in aboriginal communities across the province.

"If we're successful and if we can create at least a handful of people who could become teachers in the schools, it's possible that those children could be fluent 15 years from now," she said.

Bear Nicholas said that offering native language immersion in the schools would provide incentive for First Nations parents to send their children to schools on reserves.

"In areas where immersion has started, parents have brought back their children from the public schools to the community schools because that becomes a real unique offering that the schools on reserve have," she said. "Right now, schools on reserve are taught in English and schools in town are taught in English. There's not a lot of choice for parents. They're still getting the imposition of English in both places."

Earlier this year, the provincial government committed to improve its core language programs for high school, but Nicholas questions the true effectiveness of such programs because she feels that immersion is the only way to create fluent speakers and to preserve the language.

"We've tried the public school route for now really 30 years ... it's a failure of the fact that they only get to hear (the language) for one-tenth of the day maybe," she said. "They're not required to learn to use it in all contexts."

Memorizing certain expressions or words doesn't teach people how to think in the language, she said.

More aggressive steps need to be taken to save native languages from dying out, Bear Nicholas said.

"Really what we need is a law - a law in Canada and in New Brunswick that mandates not only respect for our language, but mandates funding support for the development of programs and the training of teachers in immersion programs," she said.

One of the challenges to revitalizing the language, she said, is that many of those people who are fluent "went through school at a time when they were severely punished for speaking their language" and as a result, they didn't speak the language to their children.

Bear Nicholas also said that the funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada will only cover the cost of planning, preparing and researching the early stages of the immersion program. She said additional funding will have to be accessed in order for it continue after the three-year pilot is complete.

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SOC: Curren NT Rankings & Holden

From the Men's US National Team . . .

Soccer America Women's Top 25
(Oct. 4 rankings)
1. Stanford (9-0-2) 2
2. Boston College (9-1-1) 1
3. North Carolina (10-1-1) 3
4. Portland (12-1-0) 4
5. Maryland (9-1-1) 5
6. Virginia (9-2-1) 6
7. Notre Dame (11-1-0) 7
8. Florida (9-1-1) 8
9. Florida State (10-2-0) 10
10. Oklahoma State (10-1-1) 11
11. Texas A&M (9-3-0) 14
12. BYU (10-1-1) 15
13. UCLA (7-3-1) 9
14. South Carolina (9-2-2) 19
15. Santa Clara (7-3-2) 13
16. California (6-1-4) 16
17. Illinois (9-2-0) 21
18. Ohio State (8-2-1) 24
19. UCF (8-2-2) 18
20. UC Irvine (10-1-2) 23
21. UNC Greensboro (9-1-1) 25
22. Denver (10-2-0) 25
23. Marquette (8-3-2) NR
24. Minnesota (9-2-2) 12
25. Siena (10-0-0) NR
25. New Mexico (7-1-3) NR
(Records through games played Oct. 3.)

Soccer America Men's Top 25
(Oct. 5 rankings)
1. Akron (7-0-1) 1
2. Connecticut (7-0-2) 4
3. North Carolina (6-2-0) 2
4. Virginia (6-2-1) 3
5. Tulsa (7-1-0) 7
6. Maryland (5-2-1) 10
7. Louisville (7-0-2) 11
8. Michigan State (7-2-0) 5
9. SMU (9-1-0) 6
10. Duke (4-2-3) 8
11. Boston College (5-2-2) 9
12. Creighton (7-1-0) 12
13. Butler (8-0-0) 13
14. Brown (6-0-2) 15
15. Monmouth (7-1-0) 16
16. UC Irvine (8-1-1) 18
17. UCLA (7-2-1) 20
18. Ohio State (6-2-2) 23
19. California (5-1-2) 21
20. Indiana (5-3-1) NR
21. San Diego State (7-2-1) NR
22. Notre Dame (4-2-3) NR
23. South Florida (6-2-1) NR
24. UCF (6-2-0) NR
25. Florida Gulf Coast (6-2-2) NR
25. Old Dominion (5-3-1) NR
(Records are for games played through Oct. 4.)

Stuart Holden's looking sharp for USA and in EPL
by Ridge Mahoney, October 12th, 2010 1:14AM

[USA] His battle to regain fitness in time for the 2010 World Cup didn’t measure up to the struggles of Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu, but midfielder Stuart Holden showed Saturday against Poland a bit of what he might have been able to do in South Africa given a little more time.

Holden, who recovered from a broken leg just in time to make the World Cup squad but played only four minutes, looked lively and sharp against the Poles. A botched clearance led to Poland’s first goal and his corner kick swerved perfectly for Oneywu to head home the second U.S. goal in a 2-2 tie; during the run of play while stationed at right midfield he drifted wide to hit threatening crosses and veered inside to play combinations and look for lanes to goal.

“We want to take these opportunities every time we come together to push forward and not rest on a good World Cup,” says Holden, who headed for English club Bolton last winter after playing four seasons in MLS with Houston. “Obviously, we don’t want to take two steps backwards, we want to strive to be a better team and win on a regular basis.”

He made the World Cup roster despite playing just one game for Bolton after recovering from a fractured right fibula playing for the USA against the Netherlands in early March.

“When I broke my leg I wasn’t sure I was going to make it back in time for the World Cup,” says the 25-year-old Holden, who was the victim of a Nigel de Jong foul. “I put lot of effort and energy into my rehab to make it back in time for the tournament. I knew it was going to be tight.

“I only managed to play one game before the end of the season and one friendly against the Czech Republic. I wasn’t as sharp then as I was now, seven games into a Premier League season, starting every game, feeling healthy and feeling confident.”

Manager Owen Coyle has installed the native Aberdonian in central midfield as one of Bolton’s attacking catalysts. His workrate, guile, and prowess at striking crosses and dead balls has earned praise though Bolton has won just one of its first seven league matches and is 12th in the 20-team Premier League. The club signed him to a new 3 ½-month contract two weeks ago; the deal replaced a short-term contract he’d signed last winter while on trial.

“He wants us to keep the ball on the ground,” says Holden of Coyle, who got word of Holden while at Burnley, and maintained the contact after taking over Bolton last January. “For me personally he’s asked me to bring some energy to the field and at the same time link the defense to the forwards, to get on the ball and make passes and get into the box.

“It’s a role that I’ve relished: being in the middle of the park, being on the ball a lot, and being an important player on the team. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed.”

Coach Bob Bradley used him out wide against Poland, yet Holden found opportunities to slide inside thanks to the overlapping runs of right back Steve Cherundolo, fluidity of the Jermaine Jones-Michael Bradley pairing in central midfield, and incisive activity of Clint Dempsey. Cherundolo and left back Carlos Bocanegra have returned to Europe; FC Dallas players Brek Shea and Heath Pearce have been brought in to face Colombia Tuesday, so Holden's position and his role could be vastly different. He's not fixated on himself, however.

“I’m not into making predictions, but if we play like we did the other night and eliminate those mistakes I think we can come away with a victory,” he says. “We’ve talked about those mistakes and done things to correct them and put up a better result.”

His family moved to Texas in his youth, and after growing up in Sugar Land (a few miles southwest of Houston) and playing two seasons of college ball for Clemson, he left for a trial with Sunderland, which ended abruptly in March, 2005, when an attack by a rival fan fractured his left eye socket.

Houston signed him as a discovery player prior to the 2006 season; he scored 15 goals in 88 league matches and helped the Dynamo win the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups. During the 2009 season, his father Brian died of pancreatic cancer after fighting the disease for six years. By signing with Bolton, he’s gone back home though his mother and sister still live in Houston.

Last February, he went with his grandparents to visit his father’s grave in Hindley, where Brian Holden grew up. A few miles from Hindley is Bolton’s home field, Reebok Stadium.

“When I moved to Houston I was 10 and became pretty ingrained in American culture, but when I came back to England it felt like I hadn’t skipped a beat,” he says. “I have family here, my grandparents are 15 minutes from where I live, I’m able to see them on a regular basis. Friends and family members are able to come and watch games, I have an aunt who lives in London, so I have a lot of familiarity with that area and it’s helped make it an easy switch for me.

“I have guys like Tim [Howard] and Clint and other guys who play in England and I’m able to see, to have dinner with. It’s helped me to feel welcome. I haven’t felt homesick at all and it’s helped me to enjoy football and life in general.”

His work with charity organizations and community groups has twice earned him the U.S. Soccer Humanitarian of the Year award. Like father, like son.

“My dad was a huge role model for me,” he says. “Anyone who’s followed me knows that. Losing him was obviously tough not only for me but for my family. He raised me and helped me become what I am. He’s proud of me and obviously I want to continue that and make my family proud every time I play, and also be a role model for younger kids playing soccer in America, to show them that they can do it, too.”

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Friday, October 15, 2010

THE: Cat Opening

We open tonight!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Daily Silliness

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The Daily Silliness

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THE: Cat & Cobu

Two great shows this weekend - these guys at Cailloux, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Warrior!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LGT: Defending Childhood

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The Daily Silliness

Never underestimate a lawyer who gives herself the title 'Queen' and signs her online musings "Asate sinah beep beep." -- thanks TC . . .

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The Daily Silliness

here's a good place to start and be sure to explore a little . . .

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GSQ: Hungry for Cat? . . . Here's a taste . . .

GSQ opens the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Friday

The Guadalupe Stage Quartet hopes theatre fans will be as excited to see the all-time classic Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on Hot Tin Roof” as they are to stage it. Onstage at Warrior Theatre in Ingram, the play will run for eight shows from October 15th to the 30th, including a Sunday matinee.

Big Daddy Pollitt is dying. He just doesn’t know it yet. The plantation is on fire though with bickering and backstabbing in preparation for letting him know.

One son, Gooper, is an established attorney with a nose for the family money. His wife, Mae, is the manipulative one in that family. The other son, Brick, is Big Daddy’s favorite son, but wants nothing to do with much of anything. His wife, Maggie, the ‘Cat', wants something more from life.

Much can be made of the complexities of this masterpiece of American literature. The machinations never stop, the shallowness of love never fails to surprise.

The area’s finest actors were tapped for this production, directed by the venerable actor/director Andy Ritch, assisted by ITM theatre teacher and producer Holly Riedel. Reprising his acclaimed “Cat” role as Big Daddy is veteran actor and playwright John Ruth, while Big Mama is played by ITM theatre teacher Marie Cearley. Taking the central roles of Brick and Maggie are the suave Philip Huddleston, and the charming Lillian Beaudoin. Mae is being handled by the wonderfully gifted Sarah Tacey, while Gooper is the province of a GSQ newcomer, Aaron James.

In the supporting roles are a number of other local actors including students Aoife Scott and Caleb Hall making their debuts, Tony Gallucci as Dr. Baugh, and Jon Cearley as Rev. Tooker. Technical staff includes Eowyn Scott as stage manager, and professional scenic designer Jim Weisman as lighting designer, Rudy Castillo on sound, and technicians Ainsley Daniel, Rachel Taylor and Fred Tally-Foos. Costumes are by Ruthie Schmuck.
GSQ opens the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” Friday

GSQ is a production company dedicated to bringing serious dramatic theatre and intellectual productions to the Hill Country theatre community. It was founded in 2006 by Riedel, Cearley, Gallucci and the late Roy Burney, to whom all their productions are dedicated. 100% of the proceeds from all GSQ shows are dedicated to a scholarship fund in his name and to educational opportunities for the ITM Thespians.

The show runs October 15, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 2010 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Ingram’s Warrior Theatre. The theatre is located at 510 College Street in Ingram next to the Ingram ISD Administration Building. From the light at the ‘Y’ in Ingram turn right on Texas 27 towards Mountain Home. At the next, blinking, light, turn left onto College Street, go two blocks and you’ll see the theatre up the slope to the right. Plenty of parking is available. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students, all at the door. Group rates or reservations are available by calling Riedel at 377-8957.

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World Music News Wire #25

Bohemian Philanthropy: Songs from the East Village Taps Deep Roots, Bolsters Unique Public School


Most public schools facing the current funding crunch mount desperate donation drives or bake sales. But at the arts-based East Village Community School in the heart of one of New York’s historically bohemian and global neighborhoods, parents, students, and school staff opted instead to raise money by singing compelling ballads, making funky beats, and recalling unexpected family stories.

Fresh, savvy, and chock full of infectious songs and history, Songs from the East Village maps the world of childhood, as it spans the globe. Like the school and its neighborhood home, the album unites Iraqis and Tibetans, immigrants by choice and refugees, deep historical roots and edgy innovations.

Eastvillage_cover Grammy Award-winning Irish vocalist Susan McKeown is among the accomplished musician parents at the school, and has led the project from brainstorm to production. The idea first came to McKeown under the tragic circumstances of the death of East Village Community School (EVCS) student Juliet Harper. During the memorial service, one of the school’s parents, flamenco singer and flautist Alfonso Mogaburo Cid, sang a heartbreaking lullaby learned from his mother.

“The song had the power to carry people through an event like that,” McKeown reflects. “It was overwhelming. It brought us all together.” It also sparked the realization that within the school community, there was a wealth of incredible musical talent and an opportunity to engage children in creating music.

The compilation that started as an extracurricular activity has developed into an exciting album, filled with world-renowned neighborhood talent as well as yet-unheard beautiful young voices. Behind each song is a story that is as much East Village as it is American, the tales of immigrants. And it is as much American as it is universal. These melodies of childhood playgrounds and imaginations express shared experiences of play, loss, and longing.

McKeown helped organize a “CD Club,” an optional group for students of different ages, with the end result being a professionally produced album. Wanting to draw on the rich cultural heritage of the families in the school, the club solicited songs from parents and staff, asking for children’s songs from their own childhood that could be included in the project. With each song came incredible stories that illustrate the web of experiences that brought people to the Lower East Side of New York.

The East Village has long been a multicultural bohemian space, rich in sounds, sights, and smells from around the globe. It’s also home to an extraordinary group of talented musicians, actors, writers, and artists—many of whom send their kids to the arts-based East Village Community School, and lend their striking voices and ideas to the album.

Ray Santiago, a Puerto Rican pianist who has been a staple in the East Village Salsa scene for decades, is featured on “Arroz Con Leche,” a Puerto Rican playground song. Bassist and Black rock icon Melvin Gibbs lays down the Afro-funk grooves he’s perfected in “The Tiger.” This track also features the words of actress Sarita Choudhury, who starred in films like A Perfect Murder, Mississippi Masala, and Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. “The Tiger” weaves a sonic forest around Choudhury’s tale of a trip to Rajastan where she comes face-to-face with the fearsome, stunning predator during the making of a documentary.

Two Iraqi girls, forced by war to stay inside their Baghdad home for two years brought in a playground song that dates from the 1920s, “Belly a Belbool.” Belbool was a Jewish Iraqi swimming instructor, who would teach his students rhythmic strokes in the Tigris River, to the beat of the song. It is still sung by girls in Baghdad playgrounds.

“Snow” is a Tibetan song performed a cappella, by a Tibetan fifth grader in his first year at EVCS. The boy and his younger brother, who arrived just a year ago, walked through the snow-covered Himalayas to India, before settling in their East Village home, among other refugee families. The emotion of that experience seers their voices.

More commonly known songs like Irish tune “Molly Malone” and the classic Americana song, “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground” are given a fresh take with this interplay of different voices—big and small—and the children’s character that shines in each. The British song, “Soldier, Soldier” was brought by a mother who sang with her sister in their Northern England childhood. Her EVCS daughter added a verse where the maid takes her revenge on the soldier’s ungentlemanly behavior—a 21st-century twist to an old tune.

The album also captures a new generation, embracing traditions from the old. “Echi Bu Uka Amaka” is a Nigerian song that an EVCS parent learned from her father in their New York City apartment. Similarly, an African American family brought “Hambone,” which the father had sung in his grandparents’ house. These recordings are among the up-tempo highlights of the album.

“Every voice gets heard, like a camera focused on each child,” McKeown explains. “In this you get a great sense of how much is communicated in someone’s voice.”

Songs from the East Village will do more than document and celebrate these voices; it will keep them singing, both by encouraging musical performance at school and by raising money for the special arts-focused programs that make the EVCS such a jewel in the community.

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ATH: Johnny Manziel!!

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COM: Bad Dog at Home

bad dog news of the day hitting close to home . . .


Monday, October 11, 2010

ATH: What a story . . . -- thanks Justin!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

ART: The incredible vision of the Koppenbergs

a little over a year ago, through methods i won't detail now, and coming with an amazing backstory it would take me days to write, i came to know two young men, twins, Arthur and Oliver Koppenberg, who live south of town here. besides the fact that they have fascinating stories, i first became enchanted by their poetry and writings, which they had only been at a few months at the time. even newer were their attempts at art -- and yet you would never have guessed that they were in fact 'new' at either venture. i don't know which i'd rate them better at -- art or writing -- but they clearly excel at both. i struggle wondering about their future as they haven't a clear path to anywhere right now. in the meantime i am trying to expose them to as much as i can, and to expose the world to them.

so, with that in mind, here are some digital copies of some of their art, a few of these have been submitted to an art contest. clicking on the picture will take you to a high-res version.

if you want more of a taste of that they can do, check out Arthur at, and Oliver at

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

ATH: US v Poland -- Holden!

in Chicago: US 2, Poland 2 -- Altidore and Onyewu with goals, Holden with an assist!

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ENV: African Penguin

African Penguin Receives U.S. Endangered Species Act Protection

Wed, Sep 29, 2010

A species of penguin from Africa is now protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), following the publication of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service final listing determination in today’s Federal Register.

The African Penguin Spheniscus demersus, a species native to Namibia and South Africa, has been listed as endangered. The determination comes after a thorough review of best available scientific information, comments from the general public and peer reviewers, and any new information received during the public comment period following publication of the proposed rule to list this species. This rule implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for this species.

The African Penguin population has declined 60.5% in the past 28 years due to food base declines and competition for food with the fishing industry and Cape fur seals. The population decline has been severely exacerbated by rapid ecosystem changes at the northern end of the penguin’s distribution and by major shifts of prey resources to outside of the accessible foraging range of breeding penguins at the southern end of its distribution; habitat modification and destruction; predation; and oil spills.

Climate change contributes to these threats through rising sea levels, increasing sea surface temperatures, declines in upwelling intensities, predicted increases in frequency and intensity of El Niño events in the Benguela marine ecosystem, and predicted increases in sulphide eruptions.

Granting foreign species protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act means that the import or export of any of the species, or their parts or products, as well as their sale in interstate or foreign commerce, is prohibited. Take of listed species, which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or to attempt any of these, within the U.S. is also prohibited. Permits for these prohibited actions may be issued for specific purposes consistent with the Endangered Species Act.

African Penguin’s IUCN Red List Status recently changed from Vulnerable in the 2009 category to Endangered in 2010.

African Penguins are currently the focus of extensive conservation action which is being conducted by a number of organizations in South Africa, and a concerted effort will be needed to lift this embattled penguin from its precipitous population decline.

“Along the coast of Namibia and South Africa (the only current breeding sites for the species), only seven islands now support 80% of the global population which decreased from 141,000 pairs in 1956-1957 to an estimated 25,262 pairs today, representing a decline of 60.5% over three generations”, explained Dr Ross Wanless, the Manager of BirdLife South Africa’s Seabird Division.

The final rule appeared in the September 28, 2010 Federal Register and will become effective on October 28, 2010. For more information visit the Service’s website at

African Penguin is one of the species benefitting from the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme. In June 2009, the Charl van der Merwe Trust became a Species Champion for African Penguin. The programme is spearheading greater conservation action, awareness and funding support for all of the world’s most threatened birds.

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ENV: Taita Apalis

Major population crash of Critically Endangered Taita Apalis

Wed, Sep 29, 2010

Taita Apalis Apalis fuscigularis is endemic to the Taita Hills, in south-eastern Kenya. It is one of the rarest birds in the world, surviving in only five small forest fragments at altitudes of between 1,500 and 2,200 m. Its known global range is less than 600 ha. In 2001, the population of this species was estimated to only be 300-650 individuals, thereby qualifying it for the highest threat category, Critically Endangered.

Field work carried out in 2009 and 2010 with support from BirdLife International, RSPB, CEPA and Chester Zoo strongly suggests that a major population crash is underway.

Compared with 2009, sighting rates in April-May 2009 had dropped by about 38%; repeated counts done in September-December 2009 and May-July 2010 showed even larger decreases, approaching 80%. This means that the global population of the apalis might now be reduced to only 60-130 individuals, almost all of which are located in a single forest, Ngangao, which is only about 120 ha.

The causes of this extremely worrying drop are unclear. Little or no illegal logging is now occurring in the Taita, and human disturbance has been significantly reduced thanks to the effort of the Kenya Forest Service and local conservation groups. The impacts of other possible factors, such as nest predation and climate change remain unknown. Nonetheless, it is clear that all the possible candidates driving this apparent crash need to be urgently studied in order to stop this species from sliding further towards the brink of extinction. Similarly, research is also urgently needed on the second critically endangered bird of the Taita Hills forests, Taita Thrush Turdus helleri, whose population has not been assessed in recent times, but might be threatened by the same factors that are already affecting the apalis.

Taita Apalis and Taita Thrush are both receiving funding from the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme. The programme is spearheading greater conservation action, awareness and funding support for all of the world’s most threatened birds, starting with the 190 species classified as Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat.

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MSC: John, Sean, Julian & Yoko

Back in March i had the opportunity to work on a project with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, his brother Dan, and with Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl of Ghost of the Saber Toothed Tiger . . . and it seems everyone's been in the news this week . . . it would have been John's 70th birthday today, Sean and Julian partnered for some concerts to honor Yoko, and then there was the tragic death of Dan Gordon-Levitt . . . it's been a whirlwind week for me, with trips to College Station and Smithson Valley, and so there's a bit of overwhelmingness going on . . . anyway, here's a coll article from last week . . .

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2010

Julian and Sean Lennon Come Together

Having Grown Up Separately in the Shadow of a Beatle, the Half-Brothers Discuss Their Careers and Their Close Bond

  • Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono and Julian Lennon at the opening of an  exhibition of Julian's photographs in New York City.
  • Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono and Julian Lennon at the opening of an exhibition of Julian's photographs in New York City. (CBS)

(CBS) Fans of John Lennon plan to COME TOGETHER at events around the world next Saturday to mark the anniversary of his birth. Hard to believe, but that's the day Lennon would have turned 70. And who would have thought Lennon's two long estranged families would ever come together in peace and harmony. But as Anthony Mason now shows us . . . they have:

In the often-bitter history of the Beatles family . . . it was a surprising moment of unity.

John Lennon's first wife Cynthia and the woman he left her for, Yoko Ono, embracing.

On the eve of what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday, his two wives and their two sons . . . all together now.

Web Exclusive: Watch Extended Interview With Julian Lennon

"That was most curious how that came together," said Julian Lennon. "I did tell everybody that everybody was going to be there - and wasn't quite sure if everybody was going to turn up!" he laughed.

The occasion was the opening of Julian Lennon's first exhibition of photographs.

At 47, John Lennon's first-born son is already 7 years older than his father was when he was killed in 1980.

"If millions of people weren't coming up and asking you about your father's 70th birthday, is it something you would be marking in any way?" Mason asked.

"I'm actually looking at my age and his age, going, Jesus, what happened?" Julian laughed. "You know, time has flown. And now more than ever look back with a great deal of respect for him as a man, and his work, but not necessarily as a father. There's a lot of forgiveness now."

It's been the paradox of Julian Lennon's life that he spent his childhood chasing after his father's love, and the years since running from his father's shadow.

He scored a series of his own hits in the Eighties, but was always being measured against his father's almost mythological image:

But earlier this year Julian suddenly set out in a new direction . . . considering a career as a photographer.

"It's kind of unexpected, isn't it?"

"Listen," Lennon replied, "six months ago, I had no idea."

Urged on by celebrity photographer Timothy White, who admired his work, Julian began to put together a show based around a series of landsacpes and skyscapes:

"It sort of became a bizarre hobby. But I can't help myself for taking pictures of clouds," Lennon said.

"I guess also, the other side of the coin is, Dad wasn't necessarily known for his photography. Not that that's the reason I'm doing this by any means."

"But you don't have to suffer the comparison," Mason said.

"Yes, in that respect. So there's a joy in this and a freedom to this."

But Julian has also tried to hold onto him. For years he has been buying up Beatles memorabilia at auctions around the world.

He's collected the Afghan coat John wore on the set of "Magical Mystery Tour."

"How did you feel about having to do that?" Mason asked.

"Well, I mean, it does suck, doesn't it? But if that's the only way I can get them back, then that's what I'm going to have to do."

"What means the most to you?"

"I guess the postcards," Julian said. "It means that he was thinking about me at a time he wasn't around."

After the divorce, Julian often went years without seeing his father, who later doted on his half-brother Sean:

"When I saw the fact that, you know, he'd basically given up music for a couple of years to look after Sean, you know, that was - it was hurtful. I thought, 'Well, why didn't he do that for me?'

"But then in retrospect, and [seeing] what duress he was under at the time when the Beatles hit, I mean, they hit as big as it got. I started to grasp, Well, he couldn't have stopped. You have to let go and sort of say, Well, I get it. I understand. I really do."

The day before the opening of his photography show, his mother Cynthia arrived from Spain where she now lives:

"We've never seen my son so happy as he is now," she said.

When asked if he was nervous, Julian Lennon said, "Yeah. I do get incredibly anxious. Almost borderline panic attacks."

On opening night at New York's Morrison Hotel Gallery, Julian's show packed the house:

"I think it was more insane than backstage after a gig," he said.

The crowd included George Harrison's first wife, Pattie Boyd.

And then Yoko arrived with Sean.

Julian and his younger brother, who is now 34, grew up in different homes, in different countries, but they're very close:

"Julian is the reason I started playing music, actually," said Sean. "Because when I was a kid I remember when his record came out. And he was, you know, the biggest thing that existed in the world."

"Biggest thing in our family," said Yoko.

For the first time together, they talked about their relationship:

"Actually he taught me how to play guitar," Sean said. "I remember him teaching me the song, 'Faith' by George Michael."

"Oh, jeez," Julian exclaimed.

"But the truth is Julian was like my hero. He still is," said Sean.

The show included photographs Julian had taken of Sean, when he surprised him on tour in Eastern Europe a few years ago.

For two weeks, Julian rode the tour bus with his brother:

"So he was your roadie?" Mason asked.

"I actually became the sort of assistant tour manager for restaurants."

Sean said, "He's much better at organizing than I am."

"Just experience, my dear boy," Julian said. "Just experience."

"You're the organized one! Anyway, it was the most touching thing."

Julian's relationship with Sean's mother has been far more difficult.

For years he fought bitterly with Yoko for a share of his father's estate, before they finally reached a settlement.

"You've had your differences in the past," Mason said. "Forgive me, but you've decided to 'give peace a chance.'"

"Jeez!" Julian said. "It's just not worth the stress. It really isn't. The stresses and the strains. I think the key point to all this, for me at least, has been Sean. If I hurt Sean's mother, then I hurt Sean. It's a roundabout way of thinking about things. But because I love Sean so much, I just don't want to hurt him. I can get over it. Have gotten over it."

"And thank you for doing that," Sean said.

"Thank you for being here tonight," Julian said.

In the end, Julian Lennon's show of photographs produced its own remarkable picture, that of John Lennon's family together.

Imagine that.

Musicians pay tribute to John Lennon and Yoko Ono

The singer’s widow and their son, Sean Lennon, take the Plastic Ono Band on the road with visiting guest artists. The Grammy Museum and others have scheduled events.
By Katherine Tulich, Special to the Los Angeles Times

After a well-received return to the stage in New York this year, Yoko Ono is bringing her “We Are Plastic Ono Band” to L.A. for the first time. “I have never done a show in L.A., so I am very happy to be finally doing it,” Ono says, speaking from her apartment at the Dakota in New York.

Part concert and part tribute show to both Ono and the late John Lennon, who would have turned 70 on Oct. 9, the revived Plastic Ono Band includes Sean Lennon, who also acts as music director, and innovative Japanese artists Yuka Honda and Cornelius, as well as a floating roster of guest artists.

“This new version definitely gives an Eastern twist to the Ono band,” says Lennon amid rehearsals earlier in the week. “Many people are rediscovering my mother’s music, and I think this is an ideal time to do a tribute show bringing different artists together.”

While the New York shows featured original Plastic Ono Band members such as Eric Clapton and performers such as Bette Midler and Paul Simon, the L.A. shows feature an edgier lineup, including Perry Farrell, RZA, Carrie Fisher, Vincent Gallo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Harper Simon (son of Paul Simon), Haruomi Hosono (founder of Japanese band Yellow Magic Orchestra) and indie hipster Tune-Yards. Iggy Pop, bassist Mike Watt and Nels Cline will guest on Friday night, while Lady Gaga is joined by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore on Saturday.

“Despite how varied the artists are, they all connect to my mother in some way,” says Lennon. “A hip-hop artist like RZA may seem like an odd choice, but one of the first songs he sampled was a very early recording of my mother’s, while Lady Gaga is also a great fan of my mother’s music.”

Ono plans to perform a mix of songs from her 2009 album, “Between My Head and the Sky,” and more familiar songs from her repertoire such as “Walking on Thin Ice,” while guest artists deliver their versions of her songs. “I tend to pick the songs because I am so familiar with my mother’s catalog, but I’m usually able to find a song to suit anyone’s style,” says Lennon. The finale is a rollicking communal singalong of “Give Peace a Chance.”

The idea to revive the band came from Sean Lennon. “He is the son of the two people in the band, and for him there’s a personal sentiment,” Ono says softly. But was she happy to revisit the past? “I get reminded all the time about John. Every day I get 20 to 30 requests, so when Plastic Ono Band comes up, it’s not really an earthquake for me.”

Ono is relishing the chance to work closely with her son. Comparing his style to his father’s, she notes, “[Sean] is much more finicky. He wants to get everything exactly right.”

“I can be meticulous,” Lennon says with a laugh. “My father came from a different generation. He would say,” breaking into the note-perfect Liverpudlian accent of his father, “‘It’s good enough for rock and roll.’”

While Ono’s discordant howls and wails bewildered fans when the Beatles’ John Lennon assembled the original Plastic Ono Band in 1969, Ono’s contribution to the avant garde and to pop music is now revered. “I sometimes think: Why did it take so long?” says Ono. “But I wasn’t really trying to make people understand it then. I suppose I was being an elitist about it, but now that people are appreciating it, it makes me very happy.”

The downtown concerts will kick off a bumper week of related activities commemorating John Lennon’s birthday. On Sunday evening, Ono will sit down for an intimate interview about her husband and his legacy in the Grammy Museum’s ongoing series, “An Evening With.” The museum will also unveil its new exhibit, “John Lennon, Songwriter,” which will open to the public on Monday. The exhibit was co-curated by Ono and includes many personal artifacts including hand-written song lyrics, original drawings, guitars, a Sgt. Pepper outfit and rare historic footage.

“We wanted to present John in a more focused way than what a normal retrospective would be,” says Robert Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum. “This celebrates his genius as one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century.”

On Monday night, the museum is hosting the West Coast premiere of the documentary film “American Masters: LennonNYC,” with Ono in attendance. The event is for members and invited guests only. The film focuses on their life together in New York and will be broadcast on PBS Nov. 22. Sam Taylor-Wood’s critically acclaimed feature film on Lennon’s troubled childhood, “Nowhere Boy,” also premieres at the Egyptian on Thursday, followed by a concert by the three surviving members of John Lennon’s first band, the Quarrymen.

“It’s a beautiful film and gives you a great understanding of John and how he grew up,” says Ono.

The Egyptian will be hosting a series of rare Lennon and Beatles films all weekend.
On Tuesday, Capitol/EMI will re-release eight of Lennon’s albums, including a newly stripped-down version of 1980′s “Double Fantasy” overseen by Ono (see Sunday’s Times for a rundown on the new discs).

“I have been getting hundreds of requests from all over the world from people planning celebrations of John,” says Ono. “It really feels like a landmark year in so many ways.”

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ATH: US v Poland Scouting Report

Go Stu Holden!!!

Scouting Report: Poland

By Clemente Lisi -- Taking advantage of two dates on the FIFA international calendar this month, the United States National Team has packed its October schedule with two friendlies. The Americans get the ball rolling Saturday when they take the field against Poland at Soldier Field in Chicago. The US faces Colombia on Tuesday at the Philadelphia Union’s new soccer-specific stadium, PPL Park, in Chester, just outside Philadelphia.

No European team has played the United States more times than Poland - 16 games dating back to 1924 – as the 2012 European Championship co-hosts (along with Ukraine) look to rebound following a string of poor results over the past few months. Back-to-black blowout defeats - a 6-0 loss to Spain on the eve of the World Cup and shutout 3-0 against Cameroon in August - have put the future of coach Franciszek Smuda in peril.

Making matters worse for Smuda, Poland could only muster a 1-1 draw against Ukraine last month, followed by a 2-1 loss to Australia. The off-field impact has been internal turmoil and the rapid decline of Poland on the monthly FIFA rankings list. On the September list, Poland was ranked No. 66 – it’s lowest ever since the system was put into place in 1993 – down 10 spots from the previous month.

Like the USA, however, Smuda will use the game to test players and tactics. With the Poles already qualified for Euro 2012, there is time to bring in younger players before having to play matches that really matter.

“I want them to play competitively. I want to bring Poland back to the level they played at in the 1970s and 1980s when they qualified for World Cups,” said Smuda, referring to Poland’s 3rd-place finish in 1974 and 1982.

But the turmoil that has seeped into the Polish camp was augmented recently by revelations that two players were kicked off the team following an alcohol-fueled fight that took place in a hotel after the loss to Australia. The players – midfielders Maciej Iwanski and Slawomir Peszko – were booted from the team after they were accused of hosting a party in their room. Both players had been slated for call-ups for Poland’s two-game North American swing before the incident took place.

“It was unfortunate, but the incident will not weaken me as coach,” said Smuda, a former defender who played for NASL sides Hartford Bicentennials, Oakland Stompers, Los Angeles Aztecs and San Jose Earthquakes. “It is part of the unpleasant experience that sometimes comes with building a new team.”

After Poland failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup (it had reached the finals in 2006 along with Euro 2008), the pressure is on Smuda to get results. Poland will get that chance against the USA and Ecuador, who it faces in a friendly next Tuesday in Montreal. Poland should feel right at home for either match since Chicago and Montreal both have large Polish communities.

The Poles are a young squad with only a handful of players who competed at the 2008 European Championship: goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, defender Michal Zewlakow and midfielders Dariusz Dudka and Rafal Murawski. The rest of the team is 23 or younger.
The all-time series between the United States and Poland is tied at 7-7-2. Since losing to Poland 3-1 at the 2002 World Cup, the Americans are unbeaten in the last four meetings (three wins and a draw). The most recent game, played in 2004, ended 1-1 after Carlos Bocanegra equalized in the 88th minute before 40,000 fans at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
As for the Americans, this is the first game since coach Bob Bradley had his contract extended through the next World Cup cycle. Although he has been vague as to which direction he hopes to go in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, Bradley has said he is up to the challenge.

“I think that around the coaching world, not only in soccer, the ability as a coach to continue every day, every year, to continue to challenge your players the right way, to know how in some moments to re-energize yourselves, refocus yourself and in some ways, re-invent yourself,” he told reporters during an August 31st conference call. “Obviously, it’s been noted at times where I’ve said I’ve been lucky to spend some time at Manchester United. And when I see someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, how he continues to know how to keep his environment fresh and sharp, I think that is what coaching is about.”

Bradley has said he wants to bring in new players, although his selections for the Poland game were hampered by the MLS playoffs. For the Poland and Colombia matches, Bradley recalled 13 of the 23 players who were on the World Cup roster. Among the new additions on his 20-man roster for this weekend are three uncapped players: defender Eric Lichaj and midfielders Jermaine Jones and Brek Shea. Jones has been eligible to play for the National Team since last year, taking advantage of new FIFA rules allowing a player to switch nationalities under certain circumstances, but has been sidelined with a shin injury.
“There are players out there we have watched and we do a thorough job of keeping track of players around the World as we go through games with the idea of looking for players who we believe can be moved into our program,” Bradley said.

What this means for the first-choice USA eleven is still a work in progress. It’s worth remembering that the United States wasn’t at first choice for the World Cup, with players missing through injury. Saturday begins a new cycle, with Bradley already preparing his club for their next big challenge – the 2011 Gold Cup this Summer and a shot at the Confederations Cup.

Thirteen Players from 2010 FIFA World Cup Roster to Head to Chicago and Chester, Pa.

Sep. 30, 2010

CHICAGO (Sept. 30, 2010) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named 20 players to the roster that will prepare for the upcoming friendlies against Poland and Colombia. The U.S. first takes on Poland at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sat., Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. CT, with the match to be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Three days later, the U.S. will host South American rivals Colombia on Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff for the USA’s first match on the Chester waterfront is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can follow both matches live online via’s MatchTracker and at

Thirteen players on the roster were part of the squad that led the U.S. to a first place finish in group play at the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 80 years, and six of those are 25 years old or younger.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to gather many of our players based in Europe and continue to build on the foundation we established during the last four years," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. "We believe we have a strong nucleus of talented players, many of whom we are going to challenge to assume greater leadership roles during the next four-year cycle. We certainly have ideas on how we want to move forward, and these games will be the start of that process."

With the fixture dates falling during the heart of the MLS playoff race, Bradley elected to choose a largely European-based roster. The FC Dallas duo of Heath Pearce and Brek Shea will join the U.S. team in Philadelphia on Oct. 10 following their weekend league match.

“We understand this is a critical point in the season for teams in MLS,” said Bradley. “Given the circumstances, we felt it was important that the MLS players be given as much opportunity as possible to remain with their clubs and continue to make important contributions as the playoffs approach.”

Clint Dempsey returns to the national team for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where his fearless run and shot forced the rebound that set up the game-winning goal against Algeria. Dempsey tallied his first career goal for the national team when he scored against England on May 28, 2005 at Soldier Field. He is one of seven players on the roster who ply their trade in the English Premier League. Tim Howard – whose shutout against Algeria is only the second for the United States in 22 World Cup matches dating back to 1950 - continues his long standing service as Everton’s first choice ‘keeper, while Stuart Holden has parlayed a starting role at Bolton into a new three-year contract.

Four players in the roster played every minute in South Africa this summer. Michael Bradley netted the game-tying goal in the 82nd minute of the 2-2 draw against Slovenia that salvaged the USA’s hopes for advancing in the tournament. Having recently been named captain at Hannover, Steve Cherundolo contributed perhaps his finest collection of performances in his national team career during the tournament.

Three players on the roster are playing on teams who currently lead their respective leagues. Carlos Bocanegra and Saint-Étienne are in first place in the French Ligue 1 after finishing in 17th place last season, going 5-1-1 to start the campaign. Maurice Edu has earned a regular starting role for defending Scottish Premier League champion Rangers – who are tied with rivals Celtic on points but ahead on goals scored - while Benny Feilhaber has scored five goals in his last three matches as AGF Aarhus hold the top spot in the Danish 1st Divisionen.

Villarreal striker Jozy Altidore has seen action in each of the club’s matches in the UEFA Europa League, starting three of four games. Villarreal are currently in second place in Spain’s La Liga behind Valencia and ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

FC Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones is making his first appearance on a U.S. roster since becoming eligible to play for the United States in August of 2009. Jones had been sidelined by a shin injury for nearly a year. Aston Villa defender Eric Lichaj has been named to the official roster for the full team for the first time, having participated in training in the team’s training camp in June prior to the USA’s final round qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras. Shea is the only other member for the squad seeking his first international cap.

Several members of the U.S. squad have ties to Chicago. Bocanegra played four years for the Chicago Fire, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year awards in 2002 and 2003 before heading overseas. Brad Guzan (Homer Glen), Lichaj (Downers Grove), and Jonathan Spector (Arlington Heights) are native to the area, while Michael Bradley played youth club soccer for U.S. Soccer Development Academy side Chicago Sockers FC.

In addition, U.S. coach Bob Bradley earned his first professional head coaching job with the Chicago Fire in 1998, launching the expansion franchise and capturing the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup titles in their debut season.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to South Africa to take on 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa on Nov. 17 at the magnificent Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. Coverage of the USA’s final match of the year begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the match will also be broadcast live on Galavision. Fans can follow the match on’s MatchTracker or at The U.S. will be returning to South Africa for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they finished in first place in Group C ahead of England, Slovenia and Algeria before going out in the Round of 16.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Étienne), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)

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