Kovalchuk contract negotiations about to begin in earnest, according to reports at the AJC and the Fourth Period (whom Jay Grossman, agent of the Czar, has spoken to directly). Rumors of Malhotra still floating in the cyber-ether. Otherwise, no hockey. And very little interesting Thrash-news. If anything happens we've got the Short Handed Mole on the beat.
Since there's no hockey this time of year, why not listen to the Music? I've always found it a fine way to pass the time. Not that you asked, but some suggestions for summer days, cloudy and sunny:
I've made two great discoveries this week. One of them is Blur/Gorillaz auteur Damon Albarn's record label Honest Jon Records. It's the exact musical equivalent to New Directions Publishing: it puts out records by great musicians from all over the world, from Morocco to India to Latin America to Iceland, in all genres, American blues to Czech jazz to baile funk to Japanese noise-rock. Best of all, perhaps, it's brought great old bossa nova, Delta blues, and funk records back into print. Just how do the likes of Blind Willie McTell and Sarah Vaughan go out of print? Anyway, have a look; it's a treasure-house.
The other great discovery is seminal 80's L.A. roots-punk band the Gun Club. They played a combination of country, punk, and surf rock. Their songs are unbelievably energetic, passionate, and catchy. Their song titles are mysterious and tantalizing: "Ghost on the Highway," "Black Train," "Like Calling Up Thunder," "Devil in the Woods," "Texas Serenade," "Sleeping in Blood City." Their lyrics are a mix of Raymond Chandler noir and Biblical warnings of apocalypse. The singer occasionally drifts into anguished-sounding Spanish crooning. They've done a bitchin' cover of CCR's "Run Through the Jungle."
Listen to their masterful 2nd album Miami right here, all the way through if you wish. It's a warm and overcast summer day in the form of a record.