Days of Lore

“Oh my God, I see A. J.!”

“Oh my God, I see A. J.!”

TRULY TASTELESS JOKES I’d like to think I have good taste. I’m a smart dresser (OK, average), I have an eclectic music collection and I enjoy fine foods and beverages. I’m devastatingly handsome, too, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, according to a recent ad in The Synthesis for The Cheese Steak Shop “there are two types of people—those with taste … and those without.” Now I’m guessing since the CN&R and The Buzz logos fall under the “those without” portion of the ad that The Syn folk are saying we are of the tasteless variety. And apparently those “with taste” resemble a crowd waiting for the members of the Backstreet Boys to exit their limo outside a shopping mall. (Where did they steal that image from anyway?)

I’m thinking The Synthesis/The Cheese Steak Shop took issue with the less-than-glowing reviews of the chain that appeared in the aforementioned publications, which confuses me since they were, well, reviews. I know Synthesis “Emcee” Bill Fishkin is pals with the restaurant’s manager and that’s fine—I could care less. But it piqued my interest enough to make me want to go down there and see what this place was all about for myself.

FAST FOOD NATION I walked into the joint and it looked like any other chain restaurant—blaring florescent lights, a table of four guys wearing baseball caps (two of them backward) and a menu loaded with countless options and sizes. I ordered the 7-inch cheese steak sandwich and a side of Twister Fries and you know what? Our writer Christine LaPado’s review was spot-on. It is what it is—average sandwich, average fries—nothing horrible, nothing great. But that’s just another guy’s opinion. I’m sure the place will do fine with the college crowd. For me it’s like any other fast-food chain—sure maybe I’ll eat there in a pinch, but if I have a choice I’ll probably go to Burger Hut, or The Bear, or a taco truck, or The Graduate, or Spiteri’s, or …

WHY BOTHER? We receive thousands of press releases at the CN&R for bands and events, and it amazes me what sort of gibberish these press agents write in an attempt to “sell” their product. It makes for good comedy for Jason Cassidy and me. But reading these things makes our stomachs turn. Take this little passage describing a band called Slant:

“It doesn’t look like the photo now, does it?”

“Slants [sic] song writing process is like a construction zone, with each band member bringing something unique to each song and layering their talents on the foundations of ideas and song pieces established by Fahim.”

Then there’s this tasty bit of word play describing singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson’s songs that:

“ … comment on the direction our world is headed and peel back the thin layers obscuring the heart of what matters in these complex times.”

What? I missed the meaning because I was “drowning in the vast sea of brilliant prose that pulled me asunder like the mighty trident of the turbulent Greek god Poseidon as he laid his wrath upon Odysseus.”

But hey, it’s not the artists’ faults. Well, maybe it is for allowing this sort of nonsense to pass over our desks “like a befallen ovule leaving the sanctity of its pistil as it searches for life only to find itself interred in the darkness that is a trash receptacle at the CN&R.” Confused? Me, too.

ON A SERIOUS NOTE Several people have come up to me asking how local music legend and super nice guy John LaPado is doing. I talked to Christine LaPado this week to get an update and she said John still has a tumor in his abdomen and will spend the next three months at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, one of the world leaders in cancer treatment.

John will head off to Manhattan to begin treatment the day after a benefit being held for him at 33 Steaks, Booze & Jazz, Sun., Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. The event will feature a live jazz jam session and a silent auction. For more information contact Shigemi Minetaka at 343-2114 or by e-mail at It’s a worthwhile event for some incredibly good people.