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168245563One handed heir apparent, Grigor Dimitrov (above), about to cut a deadly slice from beyond the tram line on Tuesday.

In October of 2012, world #1 Novak Djokovic came upon talented upstart Grigor Dimitrov in an early round match at Shanghai, on a liberal hardcourt (where Djokovic is hands down the best in the business, despite losing the 2012 USO final to Andy Murray), and made short work of the lad, then ranked around 50-something in the world.  It went to the king, 6-2, 6-3, over the squire, but the kid played better than the score line indicated.  As you may know, we’ve had Dimitrov marked as prime stock since his junior days, and whenever we are asked who will carry the mantel as the next great one hander, we say Grigor Dimitrov.  Even at 18 and 19 years old, rarely has the kid stepped on the court and not flashed the brilliant potential we associate with him.  Dimitrov is in a class of comers, with Milos Raonic (who made for one half of an interesting if unsuccessful doubles pairing here with Dimitrov this week, coincidentally) who you know we love, and Jerzy Janowicz, who has an electric game and a fluid serve motion reminiscent of the king of swing himself, Pete Sampras.  We’ve taken to Raonic and Janowicz because they play the game on their toes, and their countenance is aggressive.  But with Dimitrov’s arrival, we find it not only refreshing but proper and rightful to see a one hander compete at the highest level in this era, and one who we think is destined to win majors.  If Janowicz and Raonic and their big time serves are the new kings of swing, then we’d like to anoint Dimitrov as the new king on the backhand wing.  His Tuesday tussle with Novak Djokovic would be an excellent barometer of the kid’s flat out superb skills on that wing, as Djokovic has the best backhand in the sport, but could not take Dimitrov in BH to BH rallies–  on clay–which is extremely notable, since the higher bounces favor 2-handers.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/skistar-mercedes-cup-semi-finals-odds-analysis/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/one-handers-figure-prominently-in-day-2-legg-mason-young-americans-looking-good/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/isner-nadal-odds-dimitrov-other-odds-on-americans-from-roland-garros-tuesday-vegas-odds/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/grigor-dimitrov-rises-in-the-mens-game/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/grigor-dimitrov-one-handed-tennis-prodigy-out-in-2nd-round-at-queens-club-see-dimitrov-clips/

We thought that Djokovic was far more impressive off the forehand side, and dictated play much better with the forehand, which has improved so much, along with his heart and grit, as he has ascended into the stratosphere with his game.  Good news for Dimitrov, especially since he does not have an imposing forehand.  That wing will need to improve dramatically in order for him to one day claim the top spot, which we think he is destined to do.  As for the grit and heart, he already has it.  Despite serious cramping, Dimitrov bucked up late in the 2nd set on Tuesday, and found his way to match point, though he had a 10 or so minute stretch during which he could barely move.  We must also note that Djokovic was more or less good to go, after 2 weeks of rest that followed his spanking of Rafael Nadal at the MMC, handing the Spaniard what was only his 3rd loss ever on French clay (counting MMC and Roland Garros).  We had our own questions about Djokovic’s ankle going into the MMC, but after his fine form and 2 weeks recovery, there are zero questions that still persist.  Now if Djokovic, the former king of quit, and by our count, the only top player to retire at 3 of the 4 majors, could learn to turn that weakness into a strength, then so too can Dimitrov with the forehand, which, after all, is a tennis shot.

Especially in the case of a Dimitrov, as we do not really usually assume improvement, and when we do, we don’t do it lightly.  We never assumed James Blake was going to have his big break through, and we even knew he’d still lose that match to Agassi in the QF’s at the USO in 2005 when he was up 2 sets and on fire.  Good thing we didn’t assume greatness for Blake, because if we had, we’d still be waiting. Dimitrov however is a rare breed.  This no Bernard Tomic.  This kid gets up to play matches, comes with a plan, and believes he can win.  Even if the plan seems rather lacking in sense, like going backhand to backhand with Djokovic on slow dirt.  Or believing he could play with Rafael Nadal, as an 18 yr old at AMRO in Rotterdam, and playing him closely in a  7-5, 3-6, 6-3 loss in which he was not afraid to go after Nadal’s (who was then #1) forehand, which most players are terrified to do.

On that note, we have a bone to pick with Milos Raonic, who repeatedly approached the Nadal backhand at the MMC and got burned, winning 3 of the 1st 4 games and then losing 11 of the last 12.  We aren’t gonna say Raonic’s development has stalled or taken a hit, as talent needs to develop and breathe and can not usually be measured strictly week to week.  That’s why we are measuring these 2 against top talent instead.  Raonic’s gameplan was flawed, and we felt, lazy.  A Spanish team (Raonic coach Galo Blanco who we usually have high praise for) should understand that tall players that go after Nadal’s forehand, in rallies or on the approach, are having success, since they deal well with the high strike zone and have the power to do something with his topspin, whereas giving Nadal a target on the backhand, which he can direct with the top hand, is really the only backhand he hits for winners–passing shots.  To that end, Raonic also quit on that match, and had we paid to see it, we’d have been very angry.  The listless play bordered on lack of sportsmanship.  By the way, Raonic was abysmal on 2nd serve that day, which we also could not understand so well, since Raonic gets so much action on his 2nd ball and since Nadal returns serve from so well beyond the BL.

By that measure, Dimitrov took Nadal to 3 sets at the MMC, was in every point, was unafraid, and had a real shot to win at 4 all in the 3rd.  Theoretically it is the Raonic type matchup that Nadal recoils from and the Federer type matchup he embraces.  But Dimitrov is a much better player than Raonic right now, despite Raonic’s ranking and wealth of weaponry.  That Raonic can’t get near executing an Isner type strategy against Nadal is perplexing.  That Dimitrov can execute the Federer type strategy against Rafa (which not even Roger can do) is enormously encouraging.  Dimitrov has a real it factor, and moments do not intimidate him, nor do shots or reputations.  Why does Dimitrov’s backhand hold up so well?  We see him as an extremely early ball striker, reminiscent of Blake in that regard, but far better at it on clay, probably closer to an early to mid prime Gustavo Kuerten, or as we ponder it, perhaps even Ivan Lendl, though Lendl was a forehand player.  Dimitrov also shows a lot of patience in backhand exchanges, and relishes them, unlike Federer, save for a few times in his career, like against Davydenko in Melbourne in 2010.  Dimitrov seems to have tremendous bite on his slice, which stayed out of Djokovic’s strike zone even on clay.  Anyone watching closely enough might have noticed that in Federer’s last two major victories over Djokovic, in 2011 at Roland Garros and last year at Wimbledon, that slice played a major factor.  As far as Dimitrov, he understands when to go to the safe, deep cross corner topspin backhand, coming way over top of the ball, and then, at 2-1 and 30 all in the 3rd on Tuesday, he zaps the backhand down the line after he had pinned Djokovic into the opposite corner.  Bravo.  And this is after GD nearly pulls out that tie-breaker while cramping, and loses it, which would have broken many a player, young, veteran, top ten, etc.  It was the best point we’ve seen all year.  Mark it down, and do not discount the pressure of the moment, as if he misses there, he is down a BP to the greatest returner in the game and his odds of winning reduce dramatically.  Because giving that break back right there after the game he put together to earn it in the first place gives Djokovic whatever he needs, as even at 2-2 that match is probably over.  Djokovic is just that good.  Check out the play of this kid, especially on the backhand side, in this clip below:

We totally agree with the call, “this is magnificent!”, which comes at 11:29 of the video when Dimitrov hits the particular down the line backhand that we already described above.

Now if you still are over there questioning Dimitrov’s ability to improve, just consider how strong his serve has become.  Djokovic, for our money, is by far the best returner in the game.  Dimitrov aced him 13 times on slow clay, and held his nerve on several critical 2nd balls placed deep in the box, a skill that Milos Raonic has lost track of.  Dimitrov won 63% of all his service points, 52% on 2nds, and saved 10/12 BP’s.  If his serve can get to that level on clay, then his forehand can go a lot farther, as top dogs like Djokovic’s and Azarenka’s has.  Elite class players are always developing their game (recall Federer adding the forehand dropper), and right now Dimitrov is pre-prime, though still poised to move from #28 into the top twenty with nice showings in the coming weeks, already up more than 20 spots now than where he was at the end of 2012.  Dimitrov should also expect his best results come the fast court legs of the tour on grass and American hards (as a junior, Dimitrov won Junior Wimbledon, the Junior USO, and the Orange Bowl).

The obvious comparisons, from hairstyle to sponsor to the one handed backhand is Roger Federer, and that they were both coached at the junior level by Peter Lundgren doesn’t diminish the comparisons, though Dimitrov seems to learn from all his coaches, which have also included Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou and current coach Michael Tillstrom.  We think the Federer comparison weak stylistically if not substantively.  Federer is a forehand player and Dimitrov is a backhand player.  Dimitrov does not manipulate backhands into inside out forehands.  He doesn’t have to.  But we think he will be able to in time.  When he does, look out.  This kid is marked for greatness the same way Roger was, which might be their greatest commonality.  That, and his ability to put points together, which might even be a stronger skill set than Roger’s, especially pre-prime, have us very high on one handed tennis again, which as any purist understands, is the most dynamic and talent affirming style there is, and which is noticeably absent from the game these days due to the game’s over-homogenization at the hands of safe baseliners, safe baseline coaching, clay, slow hardcourts, and thick grass.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/australia-plexicushion-bad-for-tennis-the-state-of-one-handers-and-the-game/

If you’re wondering about Djokovic going out so early at a Masters Level tourny, recall that Querrey got him at the Paris Indoor, which there was no shame in, considering that Djokovic rebounded by claiming his 2nd career Year End Championship title.  The last time it happened at a Masters Level tourny on clay?  Date back to 2006 when Federer took out a very green Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo.  Speaking of dating…

Unknown-1Yes, that is Dimitrov with “serious girlfriend” and career slam champion Maria Sharapova.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

613494-agnieszka-radwanskaWorld #4 Agniezska Radwanska (above), as she struggles to deal with oppressive conditions at The Apia in Sydney.

One of our ones to watch, the very talented and stylish young one hander Grigor Dimitrov, makes his 1st ever tour final over the weekend.  This week, he rolls out to Sydney where he gets bounced, 1 & 3, by Fognini, a vastly inferior player.  Maybe Dimitrov, still young, doesn’t yet have mastered the art of the quick turn around.  Not exactly likely since to break into the main draw bubble at lesser tournies like these, he’s had to go the hard scrabble qualifier route to make his bones, often playing 3 matches before his 1st round match.  This, after a prolific junior career in which he won both the Wimbledon and US Open junior titles.  Maybe though.  Also unlikely that Benoit Paire, after a strong week in India would fall so flat the next week, another 1st round  casualty, this time in Auckland.  Certainly couldn’t be the problem for John Isner, already lame this new year despite virtually no match play at all.  But only in Australia is freshness and injury such a concern, though the new year has yet to see it’s 10th day.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/tennis/american-john-isner-withdraws-from-australian-open-with-knee-injury/story-fnddkxkr-1226551036599

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/grigor-dimitrov-one-handed-tennis-prodigy-out-in-2nd-round-at-queens-club-see-dimitrov-clips/

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You must know we’re quite likely to chalk up assorted leg, back, shoulder and elbow injuries Down Under to surface issues most of the time.  I mean, is it not a little curious that Rafael Nadal, who is practicing full bore on red clay, we hear, in Barcelona, and is making bold, confident proclamations on Twitter that he is great to go, and in fact expects to have a banner 2013?  Just not in Australia, which, apparently healthy, he has decided to skip entirely. Nadal is always subject to injury from his horrible defensive style–running, endless points, infinite pounding–but there can be no denying that a 6 hour, 5 set Aussie final on Plexicushion left him staggered.  So staggered in fact that despite today claiming perfect health, he is nowhere to be found around Melbourne not 5 days before a major, the 2nd straight major he is about to miss, making for a 7th straight month without match play.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/australia-plexicushion-bad-for-tennis-the-state-of-one-handers-and-the-game/

Rather quizzical to us that Nadal would then go play singles and doubles at Indian Wells, also on Plexicushion, but you’ll never hear us accuse Nadal of being bright.  Perhaps never more obvious were the negative effects of Plexicushion than in the IW semis, where Federer smoked Nadal easily, despite the sizable advantage the torturously slow, high bouncing surfaces affords a pusher like Nadal, for whom the basic total of his strategy is praying for high bounces.

But supposedly the Plex is so great on the joints, right?  And of course, it absorbs the heat so well, so much better than the previous surface, Rebound Ace (ever hear those myths about Rebound Ace melting in the sun to the point where the courts and the players’ shoe bottoms become one?  LOL.  Propaganda, thy name is Tennis Australia).  There is such a hypocritical dichotomy with Tennis Australia which is both insulting and disgusting at once. Rebound Ace was so great when it was in, despite widespread dissatisfaction with that.  Plexicushion is so great now, despite widespread dissatisfaction with this.  We can not temper our disdain for Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia’s major domo and the AO’s Director, who is greedy, moronic and an unabashed liar all at once.  This week,  Tiley has instructed tournaments to soldier on in the face of unrelenting heat.  Inhumane conditions, to be perfectly honest.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/tennis/australian-open-director-craig-tiley-plays-down-injury-curse-at-melbourne-park/story-fnddjf3n-1226549183121

 Drysdale, Hewitt, Pat Cash, Peter McNamara, Liz Smylie and Jason Stoltenberg were among a host of tennis figures critical of Tiley and TA.  As TA’s director of player development, Tiley yesterday accused his detractors of peddling misinformation.  Drysdale, a former TA employee, was incensed.

 “His comments show a complete lack of respect for the culture of Australian tennis,” Drysdale said. (You can read the full article at the link below.)

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/lleyton-hewitts-manager-slams-craig-tiley/story-e6frf9if-1225836305014

Tiley is a guy who wants us to believe Plexicushion plays like grass, that it absorbs heat in superior fashion, and that it is not slower than Nadal between points.  Fooling the public is one thing.  Fooling the players is another, as we see from a variety of Aussie players above.  Yet Tiley seems to challenge every negative player reaction.  Let us ask who’d be in a position to know better the true tendencies of the court?  Tiley, who is obviously over invested, or Lleyton Hewitt, who every summer has the same exact grade of Plexicushion poured in his own backyard, to spec, as the ones freshly laid at Melbourne Park?

On Monday, Wimbledon runner up Aggie Radwanska, whose game is dependent on conditioning, calls for the tournament director to ask for a suspension in play, as the temperature on court hits 50 degrees Centigrade, or 122 degrees.  After the match, Radwanska describes the conditions as essentially barbaric for all involved, from players to spectators to concessioneers.  How does Tiley spin that, pardon pun?  Below is a Youtube link to Radwanska’s press conference yesterday, in which she said, among other things, that Sydney is less about tennis and more about pure survival:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/suvival-more-important-than-tennis-agnieszka-radwanska/story-e6frg7mf-1226549614639

Radwanska was not alone.  Jelena Jankovic, extremely dependent on slow courts, basically marveled at the awful conditions.  When Na Li, a major champion and very well respected player, 1st ever and only Chinese player to win a singles major, who also displayed tremendous courage and set an awesome precedent by defying the Chinese Tennis Federation’s bid to dictate the terms of her career and her purse (quite a coup by her to bring in Henin mastermind Carlos Rodriguez too, as she always seems to be making solid moves), speaks about poor conditions, she does so for the sport at large.  As does Roger Federer, on record already saying the courts are too slow, who is not playing Kooyong as we expected.  Federer, to conserve energy, is playing no matches this year on Australian Plexicushion outside of Melbourne Park, and knowing Roger, that is another tacit indictment of the conditions.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/08/uk-tennis-australia-warmups-idUKBRE90705120130108 (“Kuznetsova Overcomes Wozniacki in Sydney Heat”)

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/tennis/agnieszka-radwanska-downs-kimiko-date-krumm-no-worries-at-sydney-interantional/story-e6frfgao-1226549552738 (“Tennis Stars Make Heavy Weather of Searing Heat at Sydney International”)

It is obvious that the players are not enjoying the Australian experience–even native Australians–with the season coming right at the heart of the unbearable Australian summer.

So you ask perhaps why we harp on Australia’s lamentable geography?  For one, we don’t think it’s realistic that Australia keeps their status as a major tennis nation.  They do little to justify that status on the court, the travel to and from is murder, it is by no means an economic powerhouse as a nation, they have dulled and diluted theirs and the world’s talent pool by their choice of surface, and those aspects of their geography they can control, like picking a surface that mitigates the extreme heat, they have miserably failed at.  Why?  Because they lusted after deals with surface manufacturers and put the tennis second, which is an unconscionable sin in our eyes.

We apologize to the good fans of Australia, but as always, we provide our opinions in keeping with what we believe to be the truth.

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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A juicy tidbit for electronic music fans: Danny Tenaglia, the best in the business, whose sets rarely become available for download, spun a 38 minute set in November which is available for download, recorded live at Pacha (and also called “Live at Pacha”) at the Hurricane Sandy charity benefit.  The set was also broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Area.  That the set was both broadcasted and is available make it a double treasure for Danny fans, as DT is notorious for safeguarding his sound and is extremely difficult to pirate when live.  Prior to the November Pacha set, it seems the last time a Tenaglia set was available was back at Electric Zoo in 2011, the common thread being perhaps that both sets were heard live on Sirius.  Maybe Danny has had a long overdue change of heart when it comes to being broadcast, at least, over satellite radio.  It wasn’t too long past when Danny refused to be broadcast from Ultra Festival at the WMC, causing Sirius to black out the entire hour long set.  Tenaglia is usually the only artist to withhold consent, but that instance, that he abstained was announced on the air, which let listeners know that the reason they couldn’t hear Danny…was Danny.  Though any real DT fan expected nothing different.  Danny’s rare accessible set from Pacha featured strong edits of “Walking on Fire” (though our favorite version is in Saeed Younan’s catalog from a Global DJ Mix back in 2005), giving us a window into classic Danny.  He also dropped “Be Yourself” and, in case you’re interested, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut — also classic Danny.

While Danny still manages to dominate the tribal genre’s landscape, to the point where he does not need to court the promotional benefits of podcasting, thankfully there are quality artists in the genre who do.  We’ve sung to you before the praises of Saeed Younan’s Spotlight Series, which we feel is the best monthly series available.  Younan, who spun after hours in NYC for Static Bookings on Sunday, has gone almost 2 months without a new episode.  We’re hoping that means that Saeed will soon upload the peak time of that set as his Christmas present to us.  Anyway, our fingers are crossed.  By the way, congrats to Saeed, who now has his own Youtube Channel.  Well done.  If you like the tribal sound, or what Saeed has rebranded as “Afro-tech House”, then you probably already know about those Iberican beats.  In which case you are missing out if you haven’t subscribed to the InStereo! Radio Show podcast by Chus Esteban (DJ CHUS).  In our view, Chus has been extremely magnanimous in bringing us this series, which stands alone as the best weekly podcast in dance music.  With most series, the constant is infrequency, and we’re lucky to get 4-5 new editions per year.  That CHUS updates weekly not only demonstrates his connection to the fans, but also the depth of his library and connections in the industry (we particularly liked the 11/9/12 episode, spun by DJ Sabb).  When CHUS addresses the listeners to introduce the show, he says “Hello buddies!”   As are most things with CHUS, it comes off as sincere.  CHUS has also podcasted several live shows on his podcast series or at http://www.clubspace.com or on the Pacha podcast series, usually with partner Pablo Ceballos.  Since the elite duo recently played Cielo on Thanksgiving night, we are hoping that Cielo makes it available through their podcast series, also found on iTunes.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/tribal-house-people-should-subscribe-to-saeed-ms-jennifer-podcasts/

The CHUS series contains no commercials, a notable feature, and though CHUS does speak, the talk is minimal, an appreciable selling point.  To DJ CHUS and to Chus & Ceballos we say thank you.  The Scumfrog’s Glam Scum International podcast has both commercial interruptions and frequent voice overs.  We like it nonetheless.  We go way back with the Scumfrog, who we found to be a shy person, but who is extremely loquacious in his weekly spot.  The talkative deejay does not usually go over so well in Electronica.  Danny can get away with it because the tracks are that good.   That doesn’t work for most, like for example, Mark Knight, whose voice and accent are repugnant.  Knight is also very campy with the old school radio deejay shtick.  It’s completely grating.  The Scumfrog seems to have a perfect persona for radio.  He’s funny and honest.  On a recent podcast, when doing an announce for a track by a former member of the Hoxton Whores, when he referred to said British act, he said “his words, not mine.”  It gave us a chuckle.  What is even funnier is how The Scumfrog disdains mashups, as well he should.  In announcing why he killed the mashup segment of the program despite it’s popularity, he essentially explained that mashups are horrible, that he’s sick of them, that he won’t waste anyone’s precious time with them any longer, and that if you like them so much you can download an app for your phone for free and make your own shitty  mashups.  Oh yeah, and that, in theory, if a good mashup were to come into his hands, which is unlikely, don’t worry because he’d play it.  Theoretically.

The Scumfrog’s podcast is the cream when it comes to radio style podcasts, which, in case you are confused, is not really the style of DJ CHUS’s podcast, despite the name, The InStereo! Radio ShowGlam Scum is probably one of the very few radio style podcasts worth listening to at all, which is a credit to The Scumfrog’s ear and other sensibilities.  We’ve always regarded him as an immense talent, as one would easily find by listening to his DJ sets.  While the podcasts feature short, clipped tracks with tight ins and outs, which may not be suited to your style if you have grown accustomed to completely continuous flow, you pretty much have to listen, if just for what you might miss if you don’t.  If Scumfrog’s playing it, it’s hot, and if you don’t like it at first, you should probably reserve judgment until the 3rd or 4th time you hear something.  But Scumfrog has an appreciation for what the fans want, and so his website offers his podcasts, commercial and voice over free, because as he himself says, the last thing you’d want to hear, say, if you played the cast at a party, are breaks or his voice.  Talk about magnanimous.  Perhaps he can have a word with Danny.

Many Scumfrog sets have been made available through the years at no charge.  When live, there is no pressure on him to get in and out, and you can really get a feel for his music, which is diverse, unique, eclectic, and hard, and for his style, which is a very smooth and bold brand of Prog House/Tech House/Deep House, as far as we can tell.  We remember a set made public probably 8 or 9 years back, at the height of the Limewire/WinMX piracy frenzy, in which Scumfrog comes in with a quick voice over to say that you should enjoy the music, that he wants us to have it.  That’s class.  In that set, Scumfrog drops a most classic bomb, probably the biggest bomb of all time at that — “Trippin” by Goldtrix featuring Andrea Brown.  Now we’ve heard almost all of the versions of ‘Trippin” that there are, and whatever version this was, was the best that we’ve heard, to this day.  Unfortunately for us, we are talking about the pre-Shazam era, and the rip was on our computer 2 hard drives ago, and since lost.  But that “Trippin”, probably circa ’03 or ’04, is no doubt in The Scumfrog’s library.  We’ve also admired Scumfrog sets on Global DJ Broadcast, and are particularly fond of two of his more recent sets, the “No Sleep til Brooklyn” party from last February, and the Robot Heart set from Burning Man, which we’ve tweeted about, and from which we have tweeted a good deal of tags.  It’s rare that a producer hits on so many big tracks.  While we see very hot acts getting a lot of the spotlight, who are admittedly good, like Miss Jennifer and Nicole Moudaber, in overlapping genres, we don’t see them hitting home run after home run like Scumfrog, with tracks like “Pavement Cracks”, “Music Revolution”, and most recently, “If I Ever Lose My Faith.”  These are giant tracks and the sets are monstrous, so by our standards, this man does not receive the credit he is due.

Scumfrog has made his sets widely available through Soundcloud, Mixcloud, and iTunes, and they are among the best sets available anywhere.  Multiple Burning Man sets of his are available on iTunes at the Distrikt podcast series, and frankly, they are the only sets there that aren’t hideously trancey.  Just when we were especially lamenting Scumfrog’s relocation to New Mexico, thinking back on numerous Sullivan Room and Pacha dominant sets, our email pings, and lo and behold, Scumfrog is spinning this Saturday, back where he belongs, at the famed Sullivan Room in NYC.  Talk about luck.  We’ve got our tickets already.

Maybe Scumfrog will even be more personable than the last time we ran into him, which was at the old Limelight, or by then Avalon temporarily, for Steve Lawler’s Lights Out tour, which had to be about 9 years ago, if our math is decent.  There was a buzz that night at one point because Scumfrog was there, and a lot of people recognized him and were hassling him.  Including us.  We hate to be a hassle, really, and only wanted to pass on our respect, but we understand what it’s like to be surrounded by crackheads, and we also usually live by the credo that the best interactions are the ones that do not take place.  So we thought it was funny when Scumfrog denied being Scumfrog despite the fact that we all knew he was who he was.  Maybe that shit plays out west, we don’t know.  But this is NYC, and if you are out at Steve Lawler in a snow storm, chances are you can recognize Scumfrog, a blonde headed, skinny giant.  LOL.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/limelight-no-simple-pill-to-swallow/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/limelight-jen-gatien-comments-on-critique/

We are all about the music, and would tolerate being snubbed a thousand times over if it meant that Scumfrog was going to keep putting out so much accessible music.  So if he would rather stay tight up in the booth, but could find his way to dropping a bomb like “Trippin”, we’d be happy to consider ourselves ahead in the bargain, as we already are indeed.  And to him also, a hearty thank you.  Subscribe to the podcasts mentioned here in this space and support these artists whenever possible.  They are truly deserving and you will be happy that you did.

Season’s Greetings.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

images-1Comedy Central’s cult classic Workaholics has given us myriad memorable, moments, hilarious lines, and awkward predicaments, that it seems only the dream team trio of Blake (Blake Anderson, above, l.), Ders (Anders Holm), and our favorite, Adam (Adam Devine, above, r.) can get into and out of, or just into.  To recall a few:  The time, when, to avoid an overzealous security agent, our trio took to the sewers.  The result?  Well, um, shit.  The very, very classic episode called “Muscle I’d Like to Flex” when Laura Kightlinger guests as Sharon Lavarno, the cougar who owns the building where our boys ‘te-lemarket’, and whose gaze lands upon the inimitable Adam DeMamp, while he pumps iron on the roof of the building.  That episode begins with a clip from the beginning of the group’s Wizard Rap (“Wizards Don’t Die”), which we’ve cued for you below from a live set in which the full song appears, and where the sound quality is markedly better than the Youtube show clips.  Take a look:

That episode also gave us the following gem:

“Did you ever meet someone who like gets you on all levels?  Makes you feel like your souls are boning each other in the spirit world?”

Of course, the gem belongs to Adam, who, frankly, has had so many of them that we may reconsider our recent stance that Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas) of “The League” is the funniest character on television.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/the-league-rafi-funniest-character-on-television/

So so many.  On the death of “Homegirl”:

“Brain tumor.  Doctor said it was the size of a p’zone.”

On Anders’ remarks on the taste of spermicide:

“I can’t believe you know what spermicide tastes like.  Have you been deep throating condoms just because you can?”

On his disbelief that Ipecac will make him yack upon drinking some, because Ipecac is a scientific formula:

“Those scientists better check their hypotenuses, dude.”

Then he of course pukes, post haste.  On historical figures:

“Shakespeare was a super important dude.  He was like the president of Rome.”

Not only do we look forward to Adam Devine reprising the Adam DeMamp role, we also look forward to his role in the much anticipated return (to Netflix) of Arrested Development, S4.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/adam-devine-arrested-development-jason-batemen_n_1949055.html

Another favorite of ours is “To Friend a Predator”, when the boys set in motion a ruse to lure and catch “Topher” (Chris D’Elia), who has revealed himself as a pedophile, and connoisseur of boys aged “10 to 12.”  Only apprehending Topher becomes more difficult than planned because Topher is the coolest, rather, the “ballingest” guy they’ve ever met, arriving to the trap they’ve set for him at their Rancha Cucamunga, well, um, ranch, armed with a bag of herb and a spud gun to launch projectile potatoes.

Topher ends up taking the boys to Club Damnation, a club that they normally aren’t cool enough to gain entry to.  The boys are out of place but ecstatic nonetheless, despite their less than chic fashion sense being described as “90’s Canadian.”  And all the more ecstatic when Topher introduces them to three female model friends who live in “The Penthouse Penthouse”, a clever takeoff on The Playboy Mansion.  When one of the ladies takes Adam’s phone and enters what is presumably her number, Adam endeavors to dial it.  When Adam sees it is actually ringing, prompting the realization that she had in fact given him her real number, a bewildered Adam declares, “there really is a second time for everything.”

The boys also displayed a bit of a social conscience when they go all “21 Jump Street”, undercover style, at the local high school, to foil neighborhood vandals.  A truly priceless scene comes when Adam, who has gotten in with the cool kids, forces a “swirlie” on Blake when they catch him acting weird in the bathroom, because Blake has not gotten in with the cool kids.  The swirlie.  Long may it live.

Our boys also have time for fun, even in “Business Trip”, when Adam, Blake, and Karl, their friend and homeless drug dealer (Kyle Newacheck, who happens to write much of this brilliant comedy, along with the 3 stars, and who happened to direct the episode), crash Anders’ hotel room when he leaves to close an important client and skips out on their plans to do LSD together.

Adam on when his friend took LSD:

“My buddy did acid once, and he could immediately speak Cantonese.  He was like, “sooong ting taoooo!”

While the boys never actually realized their dream of getting to The Penthouse Penthouse, we’re hoping that that storyline gets revisited sometime during S4, which is set to debut in about 4 weeks time.  Perhaps they will work in more rapping as well, as the boys are the most talented comedic rapping team this side of The Rhymnoceros and The Hip Hop Opotamus, the alter egos of Brett and Jemaine, from an even greater classic, “The Flight of the Choncords”.

And on that note, a word to our recent “fans’ and their “comments”–both loosely termed.  Be more constructive with your feedback please.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)