Month: April 2019


Updated status of The Softer Side of Indie 2019 Playlist on Spotify

Back in December, I announced intentions to launch a playlist specifically of 2019 music of a chill variety — soft rock, adult contemporary,m ballads, blues, folk, alternative, pop. Songs released after December 15, 2018, are eligible for placement on the playlist.

At this time there are 36 songs on the list with most discovered on’s indie music subreddit. Others were found while I was checking on other songs by artists who were queued for the Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist. And in one lone instance, I had a PR firm reach out to me so that a major act found it’s way onto the list. Yeah, unlike “Underexposed”, I’m not limiting this to underground acts… While most of the songs are by the Do It Yourself indie variety, there’s at least two by acts who have some hold on the mainstream in their alt/indie variety. Some of the DIY indie acts have more exposure and success online than acts I tend to highlight on the other playlist.

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2019 NHL Playoffs: Oh, how the mighty have fallen

Ring around the Rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down!

  • Ring Around the Rosie

I told you I ain’t a betting man and while I stood and fell with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL playoffs, while ridicule was poured heavily on the franchise (by fans and general sports followers) for their exquisite failings… Well? The best of the best have failed.

All of them.

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It certainly feels like networking – indie music promotion on Twitter

I love how networking can go and what it can show you – about yourself and your colleagues.

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Will the start of Steve Yzerman’s tenure in Detroit bring transactions with Tampa Bay?

I could be dead wrong on this but I’ve also got a certainty tied to it, so here goes: I have an inkling, this feeling, that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn is Detroit-bound.

If it ain’t Killorn, it’s going to be somebody wrought through the Tampacuse system. All with thanks to the fact what Stevie Y wants, Stevie Y gets.

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Hulk smash!…with an intellectual approach few employ when angry

Via Facebook. It’s (at least) 7 years old, but still funny:

Without a job and without a path forward

I’ve got a conundrum.

In the business world, it’s not a problem really: Long-time veteran of a field of business leaves said-field for two full years and then gets an inkling to re-enter as issues faced personally or an attempt to find a career in a new field hadn’t pass muster. This ambiguous jargon makes it seem plain and simple, don’t it?

It’s not that simple. Not for me.

You can see in a couple of recent blog posts I’ve done that I’ve been touching on my old forte in hockey blogging. I am one of the original hockey bloggers, having founded in February 2004, running it independently for five years before being recruited by my long-time colleague James Mirtle (who started his own writing career independently at Blogspot) to SB Nation where I founded Raw Charge. I blogged about the Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL for 12 and a half years before resigning due to burnout (a burnout which also seen as symptoms of a surprising health issue that almost killed me).

Blah, blah, blah… Maybe I should ge back in? I’ve got nothing else going for me.

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The simple truth; 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning playoffs post-mortem summary

They don’t call the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs the Second Season for nothing. Accomplishments during the NHL’s regular season be damned; everything starts at zero, every team starts on an even keel. Every team has a chance.

Game One and the first period of play, the Lightning did what was expected of them. The high flying ability of the 2018-19 President Trophy winning club was on display.

After the first intermission of Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, things changed. The next eight periods of play were rife with… what? I don’t know. It just didn’t come off like the gameplay that so many bore witness to from the club during the regular season. Chippiness, penalties, scrums, and fights. One might put the spotlight on the Columbus Blue Jackets for that as if they were the antagonists… No, no… It was an NHL game and the team that was antagonizing most heavily was the Lightning. Penalizations ensued. Opportunities rained down on the Jackets by way of it.

Eight periods of play – the bulk of Game One, Game Two and THree in full… the damage was done and Columbus capitalized on it with sound play, leading to their own imposing play and victories. Excuses could be made — primarily that chief defenseman Victor Hedman was playing while injured and was sidelined with Anton Stralman for Game Four — but that’s just it, an excuse. That’s not to say Hedman being hurt didn’t cause issues, it’s that what was going on in Lightning team play wasn’t defensive lapses. It was overall team play and perhaps game-plan lapses

The titans of contention during the 2018-19 regular season turned into the also-ran roster of the 2019 Second Season. That’s it. That’s the way to look at it.

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Disappointed by Lightning play and fan reaction

I’m going to go with a simple take going into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:

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Morning Song by Babe Rainbow (music and lyrics)

By the Australian Alternative/Indie group Babe Rainbow, “Morning Song” was released last week and I crossed it by chance… It’s had me hooked with its mellow sound since. Have a listen via the official music video and read the lyrics below:

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Another Lightning record: Drawing viewers to their historic regular-season performance

Another Tampa Bay Lightning broken record for the 2018-19 NHL season. The only difference with this one, it was a feat fans helped them achive: It was the most popular season of Lightning hockey in Fox Sports Sun broadcast history. (Damn shame local news coverage by Tampa Bay media didn’t reflect the popularity during the regular season… just sayin’…)

I’ll let the official press release from Fox Sports do the talking. Read below:

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The Great Outdoors and the first Eastern Conference Quarterfinals watch party for Lightning fans

It’s the time of the season for fans to congregate together and watch Tampa Bay Lightning hockey during the 2019 NHL Playoffs. Seeing everyone can’t make it to the Amalie for games (or venues of opposing teams — in this instance, Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio), watch parties by the Lightning are a nice way to do it.

It was announced Monday that hockey fans in Tampa Bay can hit up an official watch party at Curtis Hixon Park for Wednesday’s Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It won’t just be hockey watching in Curtis Hixon on Wednesday as the rock group Cage the Elephant is also supposed to perform.

Details from the Bolts press release are as follows:

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The gamble and the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Once in a while, I get contacted with hockey-related stuff that reminds me I actually established myself in coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning while blogging on Boltsmag/Raw Charge. In this instince, the question led me to want to post a reminder for NHL fans out there. No, it’s not a crowing (which would be expected from a fan of a team that just tied the NHL’s record for wins in a season). It’s something I’ve written in past blog posts when the playoffs commence.

Here’s the question and what follows is my response:

I hope you are doing well.  Who would you take if you were forced to place a bet about the upcoming NHL playoffs;  Tampa Bay or the rest of the field?  I thank you again for your time.

— C.R.
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Call him “Roy”; Jeremy Sande’s pitch to play John McClane in the 6th Die Hard film, “McClane”

In October 2017 I wrote an immediate reaction to the bare-bone synopsis of the next Die Hard film. It’s not that I’m not a fan of Die Hard or Bruce Willis/John McClane, it’s more about the fact that I’ve seen the franchise move away from the wrong-place-wrong-time, fixed location presentation. By way of it, the franchise was getting away from John McClane and what made the character a draw in the original film and early sequels.

Here it is, a year and a half later and I’ve been wondering casually what the deal is with the film tentatively titled (at the time of my original write-up) Die Hard: Year One. The bare-bones synopsis that came out with the news of the sixth film said that the movie would be a prequel/sequel hybrid that Willis would be involved in. Yet casting news, filming news, it all slipped by without actually being news… or so I thought because I haven’t heard or seen shit.

In some ways, it’s understandable that the movie hasn’t moved forward – those “some ways” being the merger of 21st Century Fox (20th Century Fox) and Disney. Unlike when Walt Disney Pictures took control of the Star Wars franchise, there’s a hell of a lot more to organize and oversee with the acquisition of the entire 21st Century Fox motion picture studio (and more holdings of various sorts). Moving forward quickly with the Die Hard movie (that’s to be helmed by Len Wiseman and titled McClane) may have been slowed by the sale logistics or other various things, I wouldn’t know for sure.

I was updated a touch by a surprise email a few days ago. This blog isn’t one that tends to get PR email or press contacts (whereas my days writing for Raw Charge has added me to alot of hockey-related and Tampa Bay-area PR stuff). The contact wasn’t from Fox, not Disney, or a third-party agency or talent firm, but from a would-be Officer John McClane.

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Another benchmark change is looming for the Lightning in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

As it stands, with the 2018-19 regular season still in play, Tampa Bay Lightning history has a total of five players who have played with the club in five Stanley Cup Playoffs: Pavel Kubina, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman. All five players were around for the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

History is about to change, obviously…

The forthcoming 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be Stamkos and Hedman’s sixth time, setting the new franchise paramount in their tenth and ninth NHL seasons respectively. It just seems fitting that this new “record” is being set in a season with so much record-breaking by the Bolts.

Kubby, Vinny, and Marty won’t e alone in the five-season playoff appearance category; they just didn’t play with the guys who will be joining them in the ranks. Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, and Nikita Kucherov have been in all of the playoff seasons helmed by current head coach Jon Cooper (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018). It’s also worth mentioning that Johnson, Palat and Killorn were also part of  Cooper’s 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals team that won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup. Also worth noting is Kucherov’s struggles of 2013-14 (communications) limited his ice time during the Bolts Eastern Conference Quarterfinal failure; he only played in two of the five games of The series.

Of all the aforementioned Lightning players, it’s just Kubina, Lecavalier, and St. Louis who have their names etched on the Stanley Cup. We’ll see if the results from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff’s changes that.