Print

Death of friend brought Torn and Frayed back together

Written by Scott Mervis on .

torn

A lot of old friends reconnected last year at the wakes held in the aftermath of Trash Vegas/Ultimatics bassist Tommy Osh dying in a car accident. One of the surprising things to emerge from those reunions is a new four-song EP from long lost ’90s band Torn and Frayed.

Taking its name from a Stones song, not to mention a good bit of its sound, Torn and Frayed formed in 1991 with members of Trash Vegas and the Zippers, and won the Graffiti Rock Challenge a year later. The band broke up a few years after that due to fatigue, and singer Mark Scheer returned in 2003 with the Beatlesque pop group the Discount Stars and then in 2008 in a more alt-country vein with Five Star Dive, using T&F members Vinny Q and Daryl Thumm on guitar and Rocky LaMonde on bass.

In recent years, the latter two have played in Dirty Charms and Q has been with Norman Nardini. Scott Wilson, who was considering selling his drums in recent days, was happy to jump back into Torn and Frayed.

The band had played a gig at Altar Bar about five years ago, but before that, it had been almost 20 years. The musicians picked up right where they left off on “Living Rock & Roll” with four rockers that hark back to the Stones, T-Rex and New York Dolls.

“As far as the arrangements go,” Scheer says, “everybody grew and it’s not as haphazard as it used to be. It sounds better, tighter.”

Since reuniting, Torn and Frayed opened for Ace Frehley — where the band members were told not to make eye contact with the former Kiss guitarist — and will be opening for Blue Oyster Cult at the Palace Theatre, in Greensburg in March.

The release show for the EP will be at Excuses, South Side, 10 p.m. Saturday. $5. 412-431-4090.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

PPP: a tough race for Toomey

Sen. Pat Toomey wins only lackluster approval ratings from Pennsylvania voters, but still manages to run ahead in trial heats against his most likely Democratic challengers, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling.
        The Democratic leaning firm, based in North Carolina, found that just 28...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6420-ppp-toomey

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

A new way to plant bulbs

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog Easy Bloom PadThese are Easy Bloom Pads on display at MANTS. Photo by Doug Oster

For two years my friend Randy Soergel of Soergel Orchards in Franklin Park knew about the Easy Bloom Pad, but was sworn to secrecy. He's the one who introduced me to people behind the product on my recent visit to the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. The Bloom Pad is a group of bulbs prepackaged in a biodegradable paper like disc.

Gardeners dig a hole and put the pad in the soil. It's clearly labeled which side goes down, which makes the pad fool proof.

One of the biggest advantages to the Easy Bloom Pad is for novice gardeners. Instead of planting the bulbs like a row of soldiers, the pad encourages making drifts of bulbs, which is the way many experienced gardeners prefer to grow them.

This video explains the new product-


It's going to be fun to play with this fall.

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

More on the ivory ban

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

OK, another post about the ivory ban. One question that naturally arises is: Why now? I briefly touched on these issues in the article but wanted to go into more detail here.

Poaching is not only an ecological problem but also a security issue, since selling wildlife materials is a way that militant groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabab fund themselves.

"At its most basic level, this is about exploiting natural resources for large amounts of money," said Craig Hoover, chief of the Wildlife Trade and Conservation branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

That means the clock is ticking on several endangered or near-extinct animals. Between 2010 and 2012, 100,000 elephants were poached for the illegal ivory market, according to the Wildlife Service. In 2007, South Africa lost 13 rhinos in one year; in the past year, that number exceeded 1,000, said Mr. Hoover. There are only a few thousand tigers left in the wild.

In nations such as Vietnam and China, rhino horn, tiger bone and black bear gallbladder are believed to cure various illnesses, such as cancer, fever or hangovers, or to improve nail growth. Other animals, such as shark (which, while not endangered, is regulated) and pangolin, are used in cuisine. Elephant ivory is a status symbol, popular in decorations, statues and carvings.

There's no demonstrated medicinal benefit of those materials that has not been synthesized in Western medicine, Mr. Hoover said. The increased demand is the result of savvy marketing in those countries. These days, consumers in those booming economies have more resources to afford expensive wildlife materials.

In addition to banning or regulating these wildlife materials, reducing demand for them is another way to rein in poaching. During the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. curbed demand for ivory "by essentially making it less cool" and "convincing people that only elephants should wear ivory," Mr. Hoover said. An educational campaign was part of those efforts, as consumers didn't know elephants had to be slaughtered to harvest ivory, said Christina Meister, public affairs specialist for the Wildlife Service. Indeed, that is a taller task for cultures that have used traditional medicine for hundreds or thousands of years.

No one I spoke with in the music community doubted the validity of curbing wildlife trafficking; indeed, Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, said it fully supports those conservation efforts. Musicians argue, however, is that instruments — which contain small amounts of ivory that were, in general, legally harvested long before endangered-species lists and ivory bans — are disconnected from today's black market for elephants and rhinos. Mr. Hoover agreed; the Wildlife Service is trying to strike a balance between its own objectives and those activities that don't pose a threat or contribute to the illegal ivory trade. 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Empty Netter Assists - 01-20-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-So far, so good for David Perron with the Penguins.

-Mike Johnston isn't concerned about Marc-Andre Fleury's workload.

-The Penguins recalled forward Bobby Farnham from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In 10 NHL games this season, he has no points and 19 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: The fourth line has been a non-entity for a few games recently as well as most of the season. At the very least, Farnham can give that line a presence.

-Former Penguins defenseman Douglas Murray has joined Kolner Haie of Germany's DEL.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins defenseman the great Dick Tarnstrom. A free agent signing in the 2002 offseason, Tarnstrom spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. In 2002-03, he appeared in 61 games and scored 41 points. He made some history during 2003-04 by becoming the only defenseman in franchise history to lead the club after he scored 52 points in 80 games. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Tarnstrom appeared in 33 games and scored 10 points for the Penguins in 2005-06 before being traded to the Oilers in exchange for Corey Cross and Jani Rita. He announced his retirement last week. In 174 games with the Penguins, Tarnstrom scored 103 points, 82nd-most in franchise history and the most among any Swedish-born player in Penguins history.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar. A third-round pick in 1997, Melichar spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2000-01, he appeared in 18 games and recorded two assists. He followed that up in 2001-02 by seeing action in 60 games and recording three assists. Injuries limited him to eight games and no points in 2002-03. He rebounded in 2003-04 by playing in all 82 games and scoring eight points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Melichar played in 72 games during 2005-06 and set a career-high with 15 points. In 2006-07, he saw action in 70 games and scored 12 points. He appeared in all five of the Penguins' postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. During the 2007 offseason, he joined the Lightning as a free agent. Melichar appeared in 310 regular season games for the Penguins and scored 40 points.

-After the Jump: Dan Carcillo gets suspended.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.