Buffalo, Homogate

So there's bad news and good news swirling about the Blue Jays as their toilet-bowl circling season enters its final, "let's play the spoilers" phase. Word broke yesterday that the Jays will be relocating their AAA farm team from Las Vegas to Buffalo, essentially trading places with the Mets.   Some baseball friends and I heard rumours to this effect from Buffalo fans during a Bisons game at Coca-Cola Field this summer.  It's something we had all wished for - having your AAA farm team as far away as Lost Wages just made no sense, especially with the frequency of call-ups this season - the travel was murder for some of these guys on the yo-yo back and forth.  The Jays may be announcing the move today, with the last roadblock having been lifted yesterday, namely the Mets agreeing to move their AAA team to Vegas (they had little choice, Buffalo is set on the Jays and were fed up with the Mets as a partner/sponsor, or whatever.)  I know what some of you are thinking, this way we have a choice of catching two minor league squads live - the one on the field here in T.O. or the one just down the road in wingland. Seriously though, this really is good news for the organization and us fans, probably the best thing to happen in Jayland this season other than EE's breakout season.  It may help to allay the bad news, the coming shit-storm of "Homogate", the controversy over shortstop Yunel Escobar's dim-witted decision to wear eye-black patches with a Spanish homophobic message more [...]

Flying High At the Beaver

The stylish singer John Alcorn launched a series of Wednesday night musical offerings this week at the Flying Beaver Pubaret (488 Parliament St.), accompanied by Reg Schwager on guitar and yours truly on bass.  John is calling this the Songbook Series; each week he will be presenting two sets of songs by a different major contributor to the GAS (Great American Songbook), kicking things off with fifteen of Cole Porter’s best.  I promise this will be the last of such puerile jokes, but I ask you, when was the last time you heard Cole Porter and “beaver” mentioned in the same paragraph?  Anyway, if the first of these nights was any indication, this could turn into something very special and lasting, my fingers are crossed.  Lord knows the city needs more outlets for quality music, and the combination of this setting and Alcorn’s musical vision mesh very nicely indeed. As to the venue, I hadn’t been to the Flying Beaver before, it had been described to me as a “lesbian bar on Parliament.”  Though true as far as it goes, this is also misleading.  Yes, the place is owned and operated by Maggie Cassella and Heather MacKenzie who both happen to be lesbians and certainly both gay women and men frequent it.  But, it’s not a “gay bar” in the stereotypical sense of that term, people of all persuasions (except anti-gay morons and other assorted boors) are welcome and comfortable here.  I found it to be a smart, fun, friendly place, unpretentious yet brainy, more [...]