I’ve Never Been To Detroit.

I’ve never been to Detroit. I’ve been to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I’ve been to Grand Rapids, but I’ve never been to Detroit.

I’ve never been to Detroit but I’ve been to Detroit.

I’ve never been to Detroit. I’m from Western Pennsylvania. I was born in Pittsburgh. We left Pennsylvania when I was 2 because my father joined the Air Force. So it goes.

Western Pennsylvania was always home. Pittsburgh was always home.

As I grew older, identifying with the Pittsburgh sports teams was a way to not only set myself apart from the people wearing the popular teams and the local teams, but also to connect with the place I so desperately wanted to be. Back home.

“Steeler Nation” is not just a clever nickname, there are Steelers fans in every hamlet and podunk town in this county, though not all of them are originally from Western Pennsylvania, obviously. And that’s okay. One need not be from the area in which a team resides to support that team. However, while one may relive great moments in Steelers history with these fans or cheer the ones that are happening at that moment, there is something about he way the interaction always plays out – not being able to connect about drinking a Yuengling or looking out over the gorgeousness that is dahntahn Pittsburgh from Mount Washington or your grandma’s pierogies – that makes the short lived friendships I’ve struck up at bars simply because of the jersey on my back a little hollow. They follow the Steelers for one reason or another, but Pittsburgh is not in their heart.

I’ve never been to Detroit, but what’s happening there is what could have happened to Pittsburgh were it not for a tremendous amount of luck. I’ve worried that Pittsburgh would become what Detroit has and, for a while, it sort of did. So, when I say I understand what the people of Detroit are going through and what they’ve been though, I understand as much as someone who has never been to Detroit can. My city has been there. Pittsburgh came back. Detroit is coming back. As Mark Twain said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

I’ve never been to Detroit, but I know that Detroit is not dead.

Say that with me, “Detroit is not dead.”


I started playing soccer as a wee lad of about 5 or 6, like most people in the most of the world, I suppose. We were stationed at Hanscom A.F.B., northwest of Boston, and I played on a base rec league or something like that. During the summer, I attended the John Smith Soccer Academy, started by the U.K.-born former New England Patriots kicker. I’d never watched any soccer on TV up to that point but seeing Smith juggle the ball on his feet, head, chest – effortlessly – hundreds of times impressed me as a youngster. I think at that point a love of soccer was planted in me but years of living in places where only basketball, American football and baseball were the sports anyone cared about, left me unable to fully explore my love of soccer in the way I should have.

That love wasn’t really nurtured much until I started going to college and had Wednesday afternoons off, which allowed me to watch Premier League soccer on ESPN, since there was nothing better on in the middle of the afternoon. That, coupled with the 1998 World Cup in France rekindled my love completely. Being part Scottish, I was not happy Scotland had to face Brazil in the opening game of the World Cup. Scotland had little chance to keep up with the Brazilians and everyone, myself included, expected a blowout.

It wasn’t. Scotland played with Brazil, they were equal with them. The game was tied, 1-1 and probably would have ended that way if not for a fucked up bounce off a defender that ended up in the back of the Scotland net. I lived a mini-lifetime of being a Scottish football fan in those 90 minutes. From Brazil’s early goal to Scotland playing quite well and tying up the game to a heartbreaking odd bounce that lost the game…and I was hooked. My parents happened to be in Scotland at the time so I begged them to bring me some gear, which they did. Because I was (and am) a huge hockey fan, my favorite player from that Cup was, of course, the toothless wonder, Craig Burley, who played for Celtic.

Craig Burley of Scotland reacts after scoring his team's first goal against Norway during their World Cup Group A soccer match at Parc Lescure stadium in Bordeaux Tuesday, June 16, 1998. Others teams in Group A are Brazil and Morocco. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Craig Fucking Burley (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Because of Craig Burley normally played for Celtic, I became a Celtic fan. Because of Celtic message boards (remember those?) I discovered St. Pauli. Because ESPN only ever seemed to show Premier League matches I decided I needed an EPL team so I started supporting Liverpool F.C..

I’ve never been to Glasgow. I’ve never been to Scotland. I’ve never been to Hamburg or Liverpool. I love these teams. I have cheered their victories and swallowed their defeats. I’ve loved them for years.

I’ve been to Pittsburgh. I have attended Penguins games at Civic Arena and waived my Terrible Towel at a Steelers game. I can watch these teams from my home in Kansas or at bars with friends. That is my connection. These teams, this black and gold they wear – this black and gold I wear – it binds us, Pittsburgh and I. I have looked out at Pittsburgh from the top of Mount Washington and have never felt more safe or at peace. I’ve been to Pittsburgh. I’m from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is home. Pittsburgh is in my heart.

I’ve never been to Detroit.

But I’m going soon because of Detroit City F.C.. I read this. That’s all it took, an article that came out a little over two weeks ago and I’m a supporter – a fanatical supporter of DCFC. The people who founded the team, who run the team and chose the colors and logos have done everything right. Detroit needed DCFC in 2012 and it needs it still as it recovers. The city will always need the team and the team will always need the city.

They didn’t seek to Americanize soccer like my local owners did when The KC Wiz joined MLS in 1996. (Those fucking uniforms, right?) Once they rebranded as Sporting Kansas City things got better but that took 15 years. 15 years of this…

Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
4/21/1996: KC Wizards before match vs San Jose Clash in San Jose. Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport

No. Fuck that noise.

But I digress, in 2011 I became a true fan because I didn’t feel like Sporting was trying to dumb down soccer for Americans. Sporting KC I could get behind. Sporting KC I could support. I could wear a Sporting jersey on the street and not be embarrassed. The KC Wiz – and the pee jokes it encouraged – I could not support. Even the Wizards, with its lame attempt at a Wizard of Oz reference was forced and stupid.

Regardless, despite the fact that matches at Sporting Park are family-friendly, they’re still quite fun and you can chant and yell as loud as you want. But something is missing. It’s the same thing that was missing for me with Celtic and Liverpool and all the shiny national teams I’ve watched in friendlies and all those World Cups since 1998. They’re too big, too polished…they’re on the same level as the NFL or MLB in the States. Too slick. Not rough around the edges.

But not Detroit City. Not the Northern Guard. Finally someone, somewhere has done American soccer fandom right. The Northern Guard and other DCFC supporters aren’t “fans”…they’re maniacs. They’re insane. DCFC could lose every match and they’d be in the stands, as many as there ever were, singing and chanting and banging drums because it’s not about being slick or corporate, it’s about coming together to support their team and their city. Detroit. The real Detroit.

I’ve never been to Detroit but I am a Detroit City Football Club supporter. Even though I’ve never met the Northern Guard, I will proudly stand with them in rougue and gold. It was only two weeks ago that I discovered DCFC and the Northern Guard but it feels as though I’ve been here forever.

I’ve never been to Detroit but I understand Detroit.

I’ve never been to Detroit but my heart is there tonight. My heart is with the Detroit City Football Club and it always will be.

I’ve never been to Detroit.

Detroit City Til I Die.

wu-tang clan ain’t nothing to fuck with.

Before I drop mad science and go off on a tangent, the likes of which even god has never seen, let me just hit you up with this: M.Wardin concert.

Moving on…

I discovered this on NPR’s Music Interviews & Profilespage, it’s “the story of a sample” of Wu-Tang Clan’s C.R.E.A.M.. I love stuff like this, it basically tells you every song used to create C.R.E.A.M. and stuff like this, to me, anyway, is like a musical hand grenade. It blows shit up and sends you off in a million directions. Think of the music you could discover based on C.R.E.A.M. and six degress of separation. It boggles the mind.

Have you ever thought about how, musically, you get to some of the places you get and end up listening to some of the things you end up listening to? I can attribute several bands I listen to now to friends turning me onto them but I mean, you hear a song, start listening to it and either follow the same trail (as illustrated by C.R.E.A.M. above) or start listening to related artists, or guest artists or both.

I started listening to Rilo Kiley after I found their CD at the library, my friend started me listening to Death Cab For Cutie (although, having watched the first two seasons of The O.C. with all it’s Seth Cohen-DCFC love didn’t hurt, I suppose) which led to The Postal Service, recommended by the same friend who introduced me to DCFC saying “It’s Ben from Death Cab and this DJ guy,” who is Dntel, aka James Figurine, aka James Tamborello, not to be confused with Danny Tamberelli, aka Little Pete Wrigley.

Rilo Kiley to Little Pete Wrigley…everything is connected. And now, one of my favorite episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete, featuring Iggy Pop as Mr. Mecklenberg and Luscious Jackson, who I adore. This episode also features the term “gut fludge,” which I find useful in so many social situations and the phenomenally gorgeous Larissa Oleynik of The Secret World of Alex Mack and 10 Things I Hate About You fame as a nurse. This episode also features such as notorious villains as Drawstring, Hairnet and, of course, Pit Stain.


I wish Paramount would hurry up and bring season 3 out on DVD already.

This is your brain on Hogs.


I haven’t posted an entry since July 28th. The reason for that is quite simple. I’m ridiculously fucking busy. So busy, in fact, that I’m not even doing my beloved radio show this semester. It’s very sad, I know, but never fear loyal readers/listeners, I’ll be back next semester with a vengeance, better production, more music and, of course, more Bacon. Just because I’m not on air, however, doesn’t mean you can’t listen to the other awesome DJs here.

Now that the sort of housekeeping issues are taken care of, we can dive into the meat and potatoes of the blog.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are the reigning Stanley Cup champions. I never get tired of saying that.

They raised their Stanley Cup banner at what will be the final home opener at Pittsburgh Civic (Mellon) Arena. How unreal is Dennis Miller as a narrator?

If you’ve read this blog before you’re probably well aware that Camera Obscura is my favorite band in the whole world. They’re going to be playing some US dates later this year, one of which happens to be at Off Broadway in St. Louis on December 1st. I’m going, of course, and I’m so excited that sometimes I lose feeling in my extremities.

Camera Obscura have a blog on their website and they posted a video of some live acoustic performances they did while on tour in France. My favorite song from the new record, James, is included. Really amazing stuff. It looks like a beautiful day.


Fall has finally reached Kansas and I am loving it but I know it’s only fleeting. By the end of October it’ll be winter so I’m enjoying my month of autumn while I can. Yesterday, I hooked my MacBook up to my stereo, selected the Magnetic Fields, put the nine albums of theirs I have in iTunes on shuffle and opened my windows. I suggest you do that same (or do what I did today, which was the same thing except with Camera Obscura.)

Coming to you from Jeph Jaques of Questionable Content fame is a link to a very strange, yet quite cute website Asian Poses. There are probably people out there who enjoy sites like this a little too much. I’m not one of those people. I don’t have an Asian fetish or anything but the cute poses (such as the cat-inspired Nyan-nyan) are amusing and adorable enough to provide relief from boredom in much as the same way as my other guilty pleasure websites, Texts from Last Night, People of Wal-Mart and Stuff White People Like. Anyway, Asian Poses is weird but cute. Just don’t get too into it, know what I mean?

Speaking of weird but cute, Little Boots has a remix of Earthquake you can download here.

The Paper Raincoat is releasing a CD tonight which I’m excited to hear.

My beloved NPR has a first listen of British band Noah and the Whale which isn’t really my cup of Earl Grey but if you’re into that sort of thing you may dig it. NPR also has a Sunny Day Real Estate concert up as well as Death Cab For Cutie who were on World Cafe last week. (They also have an app for iPhone, incidentally, if you’re silly enough to sign up with AT&T whose 3G deployment is pathetic, but I digress…)

My wonderful friend Meglet knows an author she refers to as “Augie” but whom the rest of the world refers to as August Kleinzahler. His book, Cutty, One Rock is one of the most exposed, honest, beautiful books I have ever read. Meglet was nice enough to loan me her copy (I’m mailing it back next week, Meglet, I swear) and after I finished it I immediately bought my own copy. I urge everyone to read it. Now. Do it now.

Kleinzahler was featured in an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. (Note: at about the 1:50 mark in that video, you can see Meglet listening intently. Love it!) But seriously, read Cutty, One Rock now or I will come to your home and set fire to your pets.

I saw Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It last night and it was great. It was well cast, funny and heartwarming, which sounds like a vomit-inducing romantic comedy, however, I assure you, it was well worth the price of the ticket. Andrew Wilson was wonderful as the team’s coach, Razor.

If you’re interested at all in the recording industry, Tape Op magazine is a good read. In the US & UK you can get subscriptions free, because the magazine is heavily supported by advertisers and they have some good articles about the recording process some of which I find interesting and some of which are so full of technical jargon that I have no idea what is going on but they also have album reviews and interviews with artists. The Sept/Oct issue features a great article on Moby and an interesting interview with Snuff Garrett, who produced more number one hits than Phil Spector and, to my knowledge, hasn’t murdered anyone.

Canadian twins Tegan and Sara have a new album and book box set Sainthood & ON/IN/AT. You can preorder them via the provided links.

I’m going to try and cook more and post pictures of the things I cook and recipes and whatnot. This is a little ambitious, so we’ll see if I actually accomplish this. I guess I hope to be a less awesome version of Not That Anyone Cares with less talk about NIN and NASCAR.

Regardless, I have obtained a flat iron steak and, at the urging of the aforementioned Meglet, I shall be preparing it au poivre with a red wine reduction as a sauce. Meglet suggested I serve the steak with frites but I’ll probably go with mashing the potatoes I got from the farmer’s market recently. I do love good mashed potatoes.

My friend Elam suggests the following for a sauce, I figure I’ll follow his instructions to the letter because the man knows food and I rarely cook anything French.

“Basically, you want to pour about 1 cup of red wine into the hot skillet after removing the big hunk o’ meat, and reduce the liquid on high heat until the result is a thick, syrupy mixture. Gently stir everything so the fond (what’s left from the meat) combines evenly with the wine. You’ll probably end up with about 1/4 cup or a little less. You can even season it to taste with additional salt, pepper, and maybe a little garlic powder, but it’s not necessary. I should add that it’s really important not to let the meat burn, because your reduction will then be full of nasty charred bits.”

Mmmmm…charred bits.

This may be my longest blog post to date, I had a lot to catch up on. I hope to be doing this more often now so they won’t be as long or scattered in scope or subject. I leave you now with one of my favorite artist, Tori Amos.

This is your brain on Hogs.

P.S. – Holy shit, I can’t believe I forgot this in the original post.

My friend Jamie told me about a web program called Yacht Rock and it is bloody hilarious. Do yourself a favor and watch every episode now.

Step One: Ask Nicely
Step Two: Make Him An Irrelevant Joke
Step Three: Loggins