Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Movies of 2013

At this point in my movie-going life (and my life in general), I’ve grown weary of hipster irony and I crave the films of directors who seem to care about something. The directors (and actors) that I return to again and again (e.g., John Sayles, Ken Loach, Nicole Holofcener) have a mission and purpose to their work and aren’t just trying to dazzle with special effects. Here are  my best moments in the dark this year:

1) Before Midnight – If it were up to me, Richard Linklater would keep updating this story of Jessie and Celine, the couple we first met in Vienna in 1995, every nine years for the rest of his career. In the latest update, they adorable twins and fight their way across Greece.
2) 56 Up – Any time an update of the “Up Series” directed by Michael Apted comes along, it’s a de facto favorite movie of the year. Started in 1964 as a World In Action feature, Apted has followed his group of seven year olds over their lifetimes, with
fascinating results.
3) Nebraska – Alexander Payne’s new film is the most honest and loving look at the father/son relationship since Kramer vs. Kramer. Bruce Dern will get all the Oscar plaudits but SNL’s Will Forte is a revelation.
4) The Sapphires – Probably the most fun I’ve had with a movie this year. In a similarly charming way that “The Commitments” did 20 years ago, “The Sapphires” shows the magical resonance of blues based music around the world. In this case, it’s an aboriginal girl group who travel to Vietnam to entertain the troops.
5) Stories We Tell – Sarah Polley, my favorite actress, has now become an accomplished director. Her latest is a documentary about a shattering secret inside her own family. It’s astonishing to see how deep and unflinching she is in exposing the truth.
6) Fruitvale Station – On the heels of the terrible verdict in the Zimmerman case came this cautionary tale about the last day of the life of Oscar Grant, an Oakland, California resident who was shot to death on a BART platform.
7) Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen’s best movie in this millennium centers on a never-better Cate Blanchett as a New York socialite trying to survive a marriage to a Madoff type by holing up with her funky younger sister in San Francisco.
8) The Way Way Back – In a summer full of coming of age pictures, this was the best. Sam Rockwell steals the show as a water park owner who mentors a young kid during the most challenging summer of his life.
9) No – Gael Garcia Bernal stars as an advertising guy who’s recruited to head up the “No” campaign against Augusto Pincochet’s dictatorship in Chile in 1988.
10) Spring Breakers – Harmony Korine’s trippy gonzo take on spring break in Florida was marketed as a teen exploitation film but it’s much, much too weird to be satisfying for voyeurs.

Notable Others:
* The Bling Ring
* The Book Thief
* Brooklyn Castle
* The Company You Keep
* The East
* Frances Ha
* The Kings of Summer
* Mud
* The Place Beyond the Pines
* Side Effects
* Step up to the Plate
* Unfinished Song
* What Maisie Knew

Admission – This Tina Fey/Paul Rudd romantic comedy vehicle sheds very little light on the college admissions process, and worse than that – it was incredibly unfunny.
*Inside Llewyn Davis – What could have been a loving tribute to the Greenwich Village folk scene, in the hands of the Coen Brothers is a really unpleasant, depressing story about a sad sack musician.
Promised Land – John Krasinski’s new anti-fracking drama starring Matt Damon as a natural gas hustler is full of promise but also flaws –a missed opportunity. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Footie Trivia

Here's another brain teaser from BBC Five Live to ring in the New Year:

"There are 10 Michaels who have each made more than 100 appearances in the Premiership. Name them:"

(And no - "Peter Sch-MICHAEL" is not one of them!)

Best of luck for this one and for 2014!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Fascinating Sunday Matches

Yesterday we saw the bottom half of the table in action. Today it's primarily the top half of the table as it's the Toon vs the Gunners followed by Chelsea vs Pool on NBCSN. There are several other Prem matches as well  as a full schedule of Championship and matches from other divisions too. A must see.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Relegation Saturday

The Grim Reaper beckons for many of the sides playing in today's holiday Saturday fixtures, with only Citeh and United from the top half playing. We start with second-bottom West Ham against manager-less West Brom. How long will the Hammers board stick with unpopular Fat Sam? A thumping by the Baggies today might be the final straw.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 18 Update

Happy holidays, lads. The matches are coming thick and fast over the holiday period, so it's definitely time to take stock of the PPP standings. Our points continue to suffer the poor form of United and the sparkling form of Everton. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez's goalscoring form is continuing to provide a safety net for Red Devil FCK1. Here are the current standings:

1. Yellows - 29 points
2. The Red Dragon - 27 pts
3. United We Stand - 26 pts
4. West Ham Rising - 23 pts
5. Man Utd Rules - 22 pts
6. Gooner71 - 19 pts
- Matt - 19 pts
- What's Up Wheaton Simon - 19 pts
9. The Red Devil FCK1 - 18 pts
- Swansong - 18 pts
11. Blue Devil - 17 pts
12. Sporting Real Salt Lake United Football Club Juniors FC - 16 pts
13. Someone Said - 15 pts
14. Chelskilad - 14 pts

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day Footie

It's a special day in the footie calendar and a day that brings back childhood memories. It's a full schedule. of footie matches starting with Hull City vs United and ending with a big one in Citeh vs Pool.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Christmas, LOBers!

Merry Christmas, LOBers! Hope that Santa was good to you today and you've enjoyed a hearty Christmas feeding. Now, though, how about a slice of my pie? Cheers!

Monday, December 23, 2013


Join me for the Capital Clash at the Emirates. The weather will be a factor tonight. Rain and more importantly the wind! Could be 80 mph gusts!

Should be a corker of Pre-Christmas Cracker!

I am in the red corner tonight

Join me


Music of 2013

I'll start straight off with my favorite shows that I saw this year.

At #3, Shuggie Otis at the Howard Theatre. First off, I'll admit that I thought ole Shuggie was dead. Then by accident, I saw a list of upcoming shows and there he was, scheduled to play at the Howard this summer. Shuggie is tiny, Prince-tiny, but he played the hits and some psychedelic soul he's been working on and played a nice long energetic set. His stage patter is all inside jokes kidding around with the band. He would be a fantastic impression for Dave Chappelle to work on.

At #2, Sparks at the 9:30. If you're as big a Sparks fan as I am, you realize that opportunities to see the Mael brothers are getting less and less frequent. Both of them are in their mid-sixties and aren't the greatest road warriors to begin with. I crossed off a bucket list act when they took the stage. Who would have thought in 1974 when they burst into your house via TOTP that it would have been Ron, he of the comb back, the tiny mustache, and the nerdy shirt-tie combo that would have the more current look? Now, Russell is wearing some Japanese 80's cowl like shirt with matching shorts over footless tights, and bright yellow sneakers onstage. That aside, they play the hits from all the eras of their career and are on the cusp of a new record which is a concept piece, conversations with Igmar Bergmann during the filming of his most famous movies. It takes their normal playful weirdness to the nth degree.

But at #!, was the Robert Glasper Experiment at the Birchmere. I've become a huge fan since Bob slipped me his first Experiment record in 2012. He's released a new record as good as that one called Black Radio II which he played extensively from. And he and his band are so tight and work so effortlessly and joyfully on stage that their music is doubly transporting.
This year I liked the Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio II record, the Daft Punk Random Access Memories record, and James Blake's Overgrown, but my favorite record this year was Public Service Broadcasting's Inform--Educate--Entertain. Take Appetite-era Prefab Sprout, add a Motorik beat, and play it over PSA's from the 1950s and that's the wild mix that this guy is working with. I've been playing this record non-stop since I got it and would have played it a lot more if the band's merch site had not waited over a month to mail it out to me.

But again, in this era of ever declining venues to browse through discs and find something captivating, I'm drawn again to the individual song format over the record. Even this year, Barnes and Noble, the remaining local vendor which had a good variety of discs has quit stocking music cds. Now it's Target, and Best Buy that's left and neither stock anything but the Top 50. That's great if you want to put more dollars into the ever more ridiculous Mr. Kardashian's pockets, but not good at all if you hear PSB's Everest and want to pick up a copy of their record.

Nevertheless, it's easy to be exposed to new music with all of the podcasts and aggregators that are online, to say nothing of the labels' and artists' sites.

And this year, I loved these songs:

When You Sleep Shonen Knife
Teenage Veronica Falls
Jeans Waving Amor de Dias
Tourniquet Jeremy Messersmith
Don't Play With Guns The Black Angels
The Sunset the Thermals
Nothing's Changed Tricky featuring Francesca Belmonte
Hollow Cloudeater
Blackout Wretch 32 featuring Shakka
Everest Public Service Broadcasting
Just Make it Stop Low Lady
You Shot Me Har Mar Superstar
Sonsick San Fermin
Designer Drug Mayer Hawthorne
Instant Crush daft punk
Kim Chee Taco Man Kelly Stoltz
Muizenberg John Wizards
Relocate (Psychemagik Remix) Kauf
Tennis Court Lorde
The Dream Machine John Zorn
Let It Ride Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Norah Jones

The biggest disappointment of the year was the new Arcade Fire record. And it's not because it isn't good because it kinda is. No, it's because it's not a move forward after their excellent Suburbs record last time out, and because when I read that they were recording in Haiti with local musicians, I expected to hear that out on the record. I've listened to it a number of times now and I don't get any Haiti off of it at all. I looked forward to this new record and all it turned out to be was decent, and not enough. I don't subscribe to the backlash against this band and their pretentions, but I'm also wondering if they have something creatively left in the tank.

Any of you heard anything this year that grabbed you by the lapels and gave you a thorough shaking?

Holiday Footer Trivia

Let's get this holiday week started properly with a trivia question that I heard of BBC Five Live the other day:

"Who are the 11 players who have scored hat-tricks during the Christmas period in the Premiership era?"

(Hint: One of these players actually scored two hat-tricks!)

Good luck, chaps!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Sunday Program

A couple of matches on the docket today. Spurs visit the south coast and take on the Saints. Everton visit Wales to play Swansea in the second match. Can manger-less Spurs overtake United with a win? Can the Saints keep hold of the top group? Can Everton keep it on a roll?
Join me


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Early Morning Footer - Lambs to the Slaughter Edition

I'm up early to watch what could well be one of the more lop-sided fixtures of the season. It's Liverpool with a Luis Suarez currently in unplayable form scoring goals for fun against an unsettled Cardiff City who gave manager Malky Mackay the message to either resign or be sacked. Join me this morning to see the goals fly in.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 16 Update!

As we get into the busy holiday period where the matches will come thick and fast, it's time to get up to speed with our Premiership Plus Predictions Game. The top and bottom of the Premiership looks relatively the same, with Arsenal on top and Everton overperforming and United underperforming. Leeds have crept back into the playoff positions in the Championship, much to my delight. And Red Devil FCK1 is being kept afloat largely to due Luis Suarez's spate of goals (16 and counting). It all means that we have a three-way tie at the top of our PPP game and a four-way tie at the bottom!

I've also taken note this week of the League Cup (now through it's quarter-final phase), which is down to City, United, West Ham and Sunderland. So - all of us who voted for the likes of Liverpool and Spurs are out - it's just down to Matt (who plumped for City) and West Ham Rising (no prizes for who he picked). Here are the latest standings then:

1. The Red Dragon - 27 points
- West Ham Rising - 27 pts
- Yellows - 27 pts
4. United We Stand - 25 pts
5. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 21 pts
6. Chelskilad - 20 pts
- Man Utd Rules - 20 pts
- Sporting Real Salt Lake United Football Club Juniors FC - 20 pts
- Swansong - 20 pts
10. Matt - 18 pts
11. Blue Devil - 17 pts
- Gooner71 - 17 pts
- The Red Devil FCK1 - 17 pts
- Someone Said - 17 pts

Capital One Cup Quarterfinal Action

It's the second night of the Capital One Cup quarterfinals as Stoke host United and Spurs host the Hammers
. Last night Citeh won 3-1 at the Crisps and Sunderland pulled off a shock 2-12 win vs Chelsea. Join mr e for the action

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. President

The constitution of Iran may have prevented another term, but you'll continue to be the LOB Republic's choice. Happy Birthday.

Let's Have a Laugh Along with the Gooners!

The only thing that consoled Gooners this past weekend was the sight of the Spuds going down 0-5 at home at the hands of Luis Suarez and co. It's now gotten better with the sacking of AVB. Gooners everywhere are having a laugh at the bookmakers list of favorites for the Tottenham job, including Fab Cap and Glenda. Go on - laugh along with the Gooners - it'll do you some good!

Your thoughts on the fate of Spurs or the new boss?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

We've Got No Place To Go...

let it snow let it snow let it snow. NYS has been hit by a big storm. Looks like there is more than a foot on the ground. I can't go anywhere... what should I do?


My beloved United  need to start winning soon.. hopefully today will be the start. A big one from White Hart Lane follows. As Spurs host Liverpool in front of my brother Tony

Join me


Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Class of 92

Tom found the movie that has just been released in England!!



Best of Enemies

Tom just showed this to me earlier today.... a great show
Take an hour break and take a look


Snowbound Football Weekend

Greetings from the winter wonderland that is Fred-town. I'm bunkering in this morning with one of the tastiest propositions on the Premiership schedule - Manchester City v. table-toppers Arsenal. Both of them like to play a bit, and let's hope that they go out to do that today. At 10 am EST, we've got the usual 3pm kickoff; I'll have my eye on the Yorkshire Derby between Donny and my beloved Whites. Join me for all the fun!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Paul Shaffer as Cher

It's a holiday tradition here at LOB - Paul Shaffer remembering Cher's version of "O Holy Night" from the 1973 Sonny and Cher Christmas Show. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Books of 2013

Every year around this time we here at the LOB take stock of the cultural artifacts that have sustained us during the last year. As per tradition, I'll kick us off with my annual list of favorite books.

1. Rob Sheffield – Turn Around Bright Eyes: Rolling Stone’s Sheffield rediscovers love in a karaoke bar after the tragic death of his first wife.
2. Dave Eggers – The Circle: A dystopian look at a future dominated by the worst instincts of social networking.
3. Diane Ravitch – The Reign of Error: Ravitch continues her evolution from standards reform insider to its most incisive and important critic.
4. Tracey Chevalier – The Last Runaway – One of my favorite historical fiction writers tackles the abolition movement through the prism of quilt-making.
5. David Byrne – How Music Works: The former Talking Heads front-man shares stories about his musical life and the insights about the inner workings of music that he’s gained from it.
6. Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl: Flynn’s debut novel is a clever mystery about the disappearance of a young wife that will keep you guessing until the last page.
7. Lawrence Wright – Going Clear: A thorough-going expose of Scientology that felt like a follow-up to P.T. Anderson’s explosive 2012 film “The Master.”
8. Ian McEwan – Sweet Tooth: A taut Cold War drama based around the delicate relationship between a spy and a writer.
9. Parmy Olson – We are Anonymous: A beautifully researched book about the world of political hacking and the fascinating individuals involved with Anonymous, 4Chan and Wikileaks.
10. Sarah Gerkensmeyer – What You Are Now Enjoying: A haunting collection of short stories by one of my colleagues here at Fredonia. 
Notable Others:
Jimmy Burns – La Roja
Paul Carr and Brad Porfilio – The Phenomenon of Obama
Lisa Delpit – Mathematics is for White People
Ben Fountain – The Long Half-time Walk of Billy Lynn
Henry Giroux – Youth in Revolt
• Robert Powell - Juarez
Jeremy Scahill – Dirty Wars
David Sedaris – Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
Alain de Botton – How to Think More About Sex: A depressingly reactionary look at one of the most beautiful, yet confusing aspects of humanity from an author who once wrote convincingly about the value of reading Proust. 

I'd love to see what you've had on your bed-side table this year. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Premiership Predictions Plus - Week 15 Update

It's been another hurly burly week in European football, with a full slate of Premiership and Championship matches over the weekend and culminating in the final group matches in the Champions League. The Gunners are still on top, ruining all of our predictions but delighting Gooner and Simon. Everton are back up in the European spots, ruining all of our predictions but delighting Someone Said (who is also distraught at his CL pick Napoli being dumped into the lowly Europa League today). Ah well - here are the current standings:

1. West Ham Rising - 33 points
2. The Red Dragon - 31 pts
3. United We Stand - 25 pts
4. Man Utd Rules - 24 pts
5. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 23 pts
6. Swansong - 21 pts
- Yellows - 21 pts
8. Chelskilad - 19 pts
- Matt - 19 pts
- Sporting Real Salt Lake United Football Club Juniors FC - 19 pts
11. Someone Said - 17 pts
- Blue Devil - 17 pts
13. Gooner71 - 15 pts
14. The Red Devil FCK1 - 11 pts

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Champions League Group Stage Wraps Up!

Thank goodness - we're at the end of the CL group stage this week. Today, it's the turn of the Manc duo. Both sides are safe but will be jockeying for position today as United host Shakhtar and Citeh travel to powerful Bayern. Join me for all of the action.

Monday, December 09, 2013

All Songs Considered Best of 2013 Podcast

It's that time again - as we're all making our end of year lists, take a moment to listen to Bob Boilen and his cast of anoraks as they discuss the highlights of this year's music, including My Bloody Valentine, James Blake and Daft Punk. You can download the podcast from iTunes or the NPR All Songs Considered site. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Prem and the Third Round Draw

I overslept  a little due to the unusually chilly weather, but Fulham have a 2-0 lead early in the second  half vs Villa. The Third Round Draw is in a few minutes , then Arsenal vs Everton late on.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Day Before and the Day After the Draws

The World Cup groups were decided yesterday and the FA Cup Third Round draw will be tomorrow. This morning we are down to the business of Prem matches, starting with United vs the Toon.

Friday, December 06, 2013

World Cup 2014 Group Stage Draw Live!

It's time to pull the balls out, chaps! Yes - the group stage draw for Brasil 2014 starts today at 11am. The 32 teams in the group stage are on pins and needles waiting to hear what their three group stage opponents will be. So - what's your dream draw for England? For the US? Join me this morning for all the action.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Premiership Predictions Game - Week 14 Update!

Hiya, lads! It's been a couple of busy weeks since I updated you on the standings in the PPP, and lots has happened. Arsenal are still top of the pops but Everton have snuck back into 6th after their heroics at Old Trafford yesterday. Fulham have dropped into the relegation zone and Leicester are tops in the Championship. Most happily for Red Devil FCK1, he's off the bottom of the charts largely due to his picking Luis Suarez for Golden Boot - Suarez had a blinder against his favorite opponents Norwich yesterday, grabbing four goals. A number of us are also earning 4 points this week for picking Juve for Serie A champions. Here are the latest standings.

1. The Red Dragon - 31 points
2. United We Stand - 27 pts
3. West Ham Rising - 25 pts
- What's Up Wheaton Simon? - 25 pts
5. Sporting Real Salt Lake United Football Club Juniors FC - 24 pts
- Yellows - 24 pts
7. Man Utd Rules - 22 pts
- Swansong - 20 pts
9. Matt - 19 pts
10. Someone Said - 18 pts
11. Blue Devil - 17 pts
- Chelskilad1 - 17 pts
- The Red Devil FCK1 - 17 pts
14. Gooner71 - 13 pts

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Moyesy Welcomes Some Old Friends to Old Trafford

Well, well, well - we have a Wednesday afternoon crammed full of the best of English footer today. It's all highlighted by the visit of David Moyes' old Everton side to his new digs at OT. I'll be hoping for the best as Leeds take on Wigan at the DW. Join me around 2:45pm if you've got the afternoon off.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Bloody Early Sunday Footie Matches

I am up earlier than I am on a school morning  to watch Spurs vs Man United at WHL. There are three other football matches this morning as well. Wake up and brew some really strong coffee and join me for all the action and usual chitter chatter.