Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Fifteen Feet and In" Playlist, 12/19/05

A little rusty on the mic, but a lot of fun...'Big Fun'...

I started out with 'Go Ahead, John' off of Miles Davis's Big Fun album. Nice tune to start with, and I had a taste for the Blues yesterday. With that said, I found a Big Walter Horton album off of Alligator Records that was phenomeonal. If you can find Albert King's Live 1973 album, that's a doozy as well.

On my wish list, I think 'Steppin' Into Tomorrow' has to be on the list. I played Donald Byrd's 'Think Twice', which was redone by Erykah Badu...It's not even close, people... 'Think Twice' seguewayed smoothly into Main Source 'Lookin' Out The Front Door', which also used Byrd's 'Think Twice' as a sample.

I'm also up on Tom Scott's LA Express. I picked up the lead on Scott during my teen years while listening to the Blues Brothers...People don't ever underestimate that band...The Blues Brothers had a pile-driving rhythm section with Tom Scott on the Trombone. You can catch him now in David Letterman's band led by former Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live band leader, Paul Schaffer.

With all that said, it was nice to be back on the air...Enjoy the list, and keep posted for more shows. I have some ideas for ya' coming your way...

"Fifteen Feet and In" Playlist 12/19/05

Miles Davis - Go Ahead, John
The Gators - Gator Bait
Dr. Alimantado - Best Dressed Chicken In Town
Edu K – Popozuda
Ethiopiques - Soul Tezeta
Tom Scott & The LA Express - Bless My Soul
Snooks Eaglin - Sophisticated Blues
Big Walter Horton - Have A Good Time
Albert King - I'm Going to Call You When The Sun Goes Down
(Request)Bob Dylan - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
Burning Spear - Our Music Our Music
Marley Marl - The Symphony
Medina Green feat. Mos Def - Crosstown Beef
Las Malas Amistades - Malo Jardin
Dave Ghetto - Hey Young World, Part 2
Thievery Corporation - Warning Shots
3rd Bass - Soul In The Hole
The Meters - Fire On The Bayou
Jimmy McGriff - Where It's At
Antimatter - Trip Computer
Johnny Lytle - Minor Soul
Ben Lee - In My Life This Bird
Donald Byrd - Think Twice
Main Source - Lookin' At The Front Door
The Doors - Peace Frog
John Lee Hooker - (I Got) A Good 'Un

Enjoy the hooks,

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Red Raider

I finally finished another Michael Lewis classic yesterday...

When I read his pieces, I turn everything off to let the master entertain, and I didn't want to go halfway with this one.

So, I waited for a good time slot to block out because this piece, "Coach Leach Goes Deep...Very Deep" that appeared in last week's (December 4, 2005) issue of the New York Times Magazine is worth every second.

What I love about Lewis is that he uses sports to define people who are finding inefficiencies in systems in order to gain a competitive advantage. In this case, he traveled to Lubbock, Texas to find Texas Tech head football coach, Mike Leach, who is utilizing inefficiencies of space and speed on the football field in order to achieve wins.

I saw Texas Tech play against Nebraska this past year. I have to admit that I couldn't stand them...To me, they were just another "Run and Shoot" team that was high-scoring and high-flying, but would crumple under serious banging from national powerhouses. Kind of like the Loyola Marymount of college football or another replica of the type of football that the University of Hawaii's June Jones displayed when he was with the Atlanta Falcons.

Yet, it looks like Lewis has found another Billy Beane for the gridiron...More importantly, he's discovered one of my favorite things to watch in sport...A new "Underdog".

If you're not a NYTimes subscriber, you're out-of-luck with your find. However, I did place this in my del.icio.us account last week, but you may have to cough up the $3.95. Here's the link from the New York Times.

Here's a tidbit of why I love this article...This arrived after depicting how the Red Raiders dismantled Texas A&M by the humiliating amount of 56-17.

Leach remains on the outside; like all innovators in sports, he finds himself in an uncertain social position. He has committed a faux pas; he has suggested by his methods that there is more going on out there on the (unlevel) field of play than his competitors realize, which reflects badly on them.

He steals some glory from the guy who is born with advantages and uses them to become a champion.

Gary O'Hagan, Leach's agent, says that he hears a great deal more from other coaches about Mike Leach than about any of his other clients.

"He makes them nervous." O'Hagan says.

"They don't like coaching against him; they'd rather coach against another version of themselves. It's not that they don't like him. But privately they haven't accepted him. You know how you can tell?

Because when you're talking to them Monday morning, and you say, Did you see the play Leach ran on third and 26, they dismiss it immediately.

Dismissive is the word. They dismiss him out of hand. And you know why?

Because he's not doing things the way they've always been done. It's like he's been given this chessboard, and all the pieces butnone of the rules, and he's trying to figure out where all the chess pieces should go. From scratch!"


I'm watching more of Mike Leach and Texas Tech...The NFL has to be calling this guy soon...Hello Al Davis?...

And again, thank you Michael Lewis for opening my eyes to take a better look at things. Because more importantly...

I learned again that you have to look deeper than you're first impression of what's going on in a system.

Masterpiece Theatre,

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Thank You

R.I.P Richard Pryor


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gladwell's Musing on Change and...Golf?

I found a crumpled Time Magazine crumpled in the hall the other day...

It's the October 24, 2005 issue that has Steve Jobs on the cover emboldened by light blue letters set on a blackened computer screen asking 'What's Next?'

In the issue, there's a great conversation between six...Would you say cultural leaders?...experts that are having discussion upon what's next in society, technology, religion, politics, progress and culture. The group includes Clay Shirky, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim O'Reilly, Ether Dyson, Mark Dery, David Brooks, and Moby.

I liked a lot of their viewpoints...Especially when the topics concern progress and change.

However, Gladwell touched upon 'The Myth of Progress' when he questioned that despite graphite and titanium golf clubs golf scores still remain the same...Why is that? Could it be that the human elements of fear, competition, pressure, and insight always keep performance to somewhat a constant?

Here's what Gladwell stated:

"I'd like to make a distinction between change and progress. A lot of what we've been talking about falls in the category of change, not progress. To use a prosaic example, techonology related to golf has improved and will continue to improve dramatically.

Golf clubs are way better today than they were 10 years ago, and will be way better than 10 years from now.

Golf scores, however, have remained absolutely stable. This is an important distinction because historically when we talked about the future, we always talked about hte possibilities for progress.

Today when we talk about the future, we talk about the possibilities for change, which says that either we have deliberately lowered expectations or we're playing a game where we're pretending what we're talking about is progress when all we're doing is talking about change.

So,while looking at Gladwell's statements, my questioning is: Are we instituting change just for the sake of change? And is that type of change good?

Sure, the knee-jerk reaction is that it leads to more innovation and change.

But is it really...Look at athletic footwear, I played in Puma Clydes last week, and my feet and game were fine, which led me to start wondering...

Do we need new forms of rubber and cushioning with shock systems to protect our feet? After all, more ACL injuries have occurred since the footwear wars...Now, also a lot more people are working out that never did before as well.

Yet, in the NBA there are significantly more knee problems since the days of the Chucks, Clydes, Top Tens, ProKeds, and Bruins.

Just something to ponder about when it comes to implement change....


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ferry Family Business

I know a lot about family business relationships, but here's a good on-court family relationship that's been surrounded by a lot of successful people over the years...

Check out David DuPree's USA Today article on Danny Ferry, and the work Ferry has been doing as the new GM for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I always knew Ferry's pedigree would push forth eventually in the NBA. Danny Ferry's dad, Bob, played for the Baltimore Bullets and was a helluva GM for the Washington Bullets where he was a two-time NBA Executive of the Year in '78-79 & '81-82...(The Sonics that ass in '79..;))

In a look back, I've been intrigued by Danny Ferry since his days at DeMatha. I always thought he would have been an incredible player...not that he wasn't at Duke...but at North Carolina. I know his final decision was between Duke and UNC. However, I've heard that he was lined up for Duke because of his father's past relationship with Coach Dean Smith...Now that's a rumored statement, peoples...Don't quote that on me!

(With that said, if you do know why he didn't go to UNC, drop me a line...Hey, where's Art Chansky when you need him?!)

Enjoy the article...He's got a ways to go in Cleveland.

DeMatha Stags,