Friday, December 19, 2014

BLUES N'AT

    Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold is singing some more songs of Christmas. Today's song was written and recorded by a legendary artist who was a member of a famous group that changed the course of music history. Perhaps you're familiar with John Lennon, former member of a little band called the Beatles.

      In 1971, John and his wife ,Yoko Ono, released "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". The recording featured the Harlem Community Choir. Not only did it celebrate the holiday season but it was also recorded as a protest to the Vietnam War. The '71 release came on the heels of John & Yoko's bed-ins for peace as well as billboards across the country that stated "WAR IS OVER! If You Want It-Happy Christmas from John & Yoko".

      John was the first former Beatle to release an original Christmas song following the band's break-up. Renowned producer Phil Spector co-produced with John & Yoko. Through the years, numerous artists have covered this classic including Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Andy Williams and Diana Ross.

       Although the song did not chart as high as John's Beatles-era songs the message still resonantes. Unfortunately, the world is still torn apart be war and  John & Yoko's words continue to ring true, "Happy Christmas. War is over, if you want it". And let us not forget those that are serving our country this Christmas. Until next time, boys and girls. Peace on earth, good will toward men and Keep It Bluesy!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

SLAP SHOTS

Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are #2 in the league on the power play at 26.3%. They'd better watch out because Colorado's penalty kill is ranked 6th at 85.5%. Man up, Pens! 2)The Pens are 3rd in the NHL with a 3.2 goals per game average. Colorado is a not-so-impressive 28th in goals against, allowing an average of 3.2 per game. Goals, goals, goals, baby! 3)The Pens are 5th overall with an 86.0% penalty kill. The Avalanche are 26th in the league on the power play at 13.0% Rock the Avalanche. Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BLUES N'AT

     Today, Mrs. Black-N-Gold shares another one of her favorite Christmas tunes, although is not really a song. What it is is a skit by legendary stoner-comedy duo Cheech & Chong. It's called "Santa Claus And His Old Lady"

      In the skit, which is played on classic rock stations around the country during the holiday season, Cheech Marin attempts to explain who Santa Claus is and what he does, to his friend Tommy Chong. Apparently, Chong is not familiar with this cat named "Santa Claus" and thinks he's a muisician. Cheech proceeds to explain to Chong that Santa Claus and his old lady lived in the projects with a bunch of midgets and were evicted because of all the noise coming from their apartment (banging and pounding). Cheech raves about the brownies Santa's old lady would bake.

      They decided to move up to the North Pole and created the "Santa Claus And His Old Lady Commune" to get their heads together. Once a year, they'd put the goodies that they made at the commune into a shopping back and deliver them to good boys and girls all around the world. Chong wonders how they would deliver these, was it by snowmobile? No, man, it was on a sleigh with reindeer leading the way. Chong can't believe that Santa and his elves distribute all the goodies around the world in one night. Cheech has to give him the lowdown on the "magic dust" that helps the reindeer take off and makes Santa small enough that he can go down the chimneys to leave his presents.

      Cheech goes on to say that Santa and his old lady and the elves had to go underground as they were beginning to feel the heat of  too much repression and were considered outlaws. Today, Santa can be seen in front of department stores ringing a bell with a red kettle. Chong is certain he's played with the dude but insists Santa doesn't know "any tunes".

      Originally released in December, 1971, this classic charted as high (pun intended) as #38 on Billboard's Hot 100. It's always a pleasure for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to hear this bit because it's just not Christmas without "Santa Claus And His Old Lady".

     Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy and don't bogart those brownies. Save a little bit for Santa Claus.



Monday, December 15, 2014

BLUES N'AT

    Ho, ho, ho! Christmas is just around the corner. And with Christmas comes Christmas music. Some radio stations have been ramming it down out throats since Halloween. Others give us just a smattering here and there between our favorite songs. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will look at some tunes that are essential for her to get into the holiday spirit. Some are bluesy, some are not but they're all classics.

     Today we look at some blues Yule, "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" by Albert King. King's smooth guitar playing helps Santa with his rap. See, it's a long cold winter and even Santa needs some lovin' to keep him nice and warm. Don't worry about the turkey or cake. Santa just wants a pretty little woman underneath his Christmas tree, for goodness sake. You can leave Santa cookies and milk, if you like. But if you hear some noise coming from downstairs on Christmas Eve, Santa may be helping himself to a different kind of treat.

      Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!


50-YARD LINE

     Winner, winner, Falcons dinner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers went into Atlanta yesterday to face a 5-8 Falcons squad and came away victorious, 27-20. Mrs. Black-N-Gold takes a look at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from yesterday's win.

The Good-First off, and this is good, congratulations to QB Ben Roethlisberger for breaking a Steelers record that he set. Ben now has 4,415 passing yards on the season, breaking the old mark of 4,328. Ben did this by going 27 of 35 for 360 yards with no picks for a 109.2 passer rating. With 2 games to go in the regular season, Ben is sure to add onto his new record. WR Antonio Brown continued to be mentioned as one of the best receivers in the league, hauling in 10 passes for 123 yards. RB Le'Veon Bell could not make much ground yesterday but he did break into the endzone twice. This was all good. However, there was someone that was better than "Good". Kudos for CB William Gay. Willie had his 3rd pick 6 of the season yesterday, a new team record. On a day when the offense scored a mere 14 points, Gay's interception, his 3rd of the season to lead the team, was certainly a game-breaker. Good job, Willie!

The Bad-How bad is the NFC South that the Falcons, now 5-9, still have a chance to win their division, even after yesterday's loss? Carolina leads the division at 5-8-1, followed by New Orleans at 5-8. You may remember New Orleans. They beat the Steelers a few weeks back at Heinz Field. Anyway, they play Da Bears on MNF. The Falcons are next at 5-9. They play at New Orleans next week and Carolina after that, still giving them a chance to win the NFC South. That's Bad.

The Ugly-The Steelers defense continues to give up big plays and had no sacks yesterday. They did pressure Falcons QB Matt Ryan quite a bit. They should have had a sack but the refs came up with a phantom roughing the passer call on LB Jason Worild's play. I'll give the zebras the Ugly award this week. This call came on 2nd & 8 in the 2nd quarter, giving the Falcons new life with a 1st & 10. They continued on this 85 yard drive all the way to the endzone, cutting the Steelers lead to 13-7. It could have been the difference in the game. Shame on Commissioner Roger Godell and the refs for continuing to take the defense out of the NFL.

     The Steelers keep their drive for the playoffs alive but so did some of their AFC North division opponents. Cincy won so they still lead the division. The Steelers and Baltimorons are still tied up right behind them as both teams won. The Clowns are coming back to earth as they lost again and are taking up residence in the AFC North basement.

     Next week, your Steelers go for 3 in a row as they come home to battle the 8-6 KC Chiefs. The Chiefs are still battling for their playoff lives, too, so this game should be a real dogfight. Enjoy the win Steelers and get ready for next week's game. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



SLAP SHOTS

I'll be cow-kicked, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins hit the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight as they faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)This will be a battle of division leaders in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay are 19-9-3 with 41 points to lead the Atlantic Division. The Pens are 19-6-4 with 42 points for the Metropolitan Division lead. Both teams are coming off losses Saturday night. Tampa Bay fell to the Craps 4-2. The Pens lost in a shootout to Columbus 4-3. Get back in the win column! 2)Tampa Bay is 2nd in the NHL with a 3.4 goals per game average. The Pens are #3 at 3.2. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens power play is ranked #2 in the league at 26.3%. The Lightning's power play is 9th at 21.7%. Light up the Lightning! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

50-YARD LINE

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to ATL today as they battle the NFC South-leading Falcons. Here are your keys for today's game. 1)The Steelers have put 40+ points on the board 3 times this season, a new team record. They've also tied the team mark with 7 30+ games. They play the NFL's worst defense. Don't try anything cute. Don't pull a Wile E. Coyote and try to outsmart Atlanta, either. Put the ball in the hands of your playmakers. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Falcons have a high-flying offense that can score points, too. They put 37 on the board in loss to Green Bay on Monday Night Football. WR Julio Jones is a game-time decision with a hip pointer. If he plays, their aerial attack is all the more dangerous. QB Matt Ryan has shown he can be rattled into making mistakes. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)The Steelers chipped away at Cincy's division lead with last week's win. This is another important game if they want to keep their drive for the playoffs alive. You gotta want it, to win it! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!