Minihane is joined by Mike Mutnansky and Gary Tanguay as the guys discuss the Thursday night loss to the Yankees and John Farrell's job security going forward

[0:06:50] ... cause. It's part who's a good place first though I Travis sharp Aaron Hill I don't care and I I get I don't know. With exit date go backwards situation last night I'm not saying what ...
[0:10:53] ... have guys had a good coordinators Charlie Weis Romeo cry now. Well Bill Parcells was he was never coordinator. Pick out as a linebacker coach who went directly BA head coach people of told Maine. It ...
[0:12:47] ... fair they stuck peril with guys like Ali honored they gossip and Mike Napoli kept plugging those guys in it's a battle cherry tenor whenever the veterans kept line. He got sick. They traded on these ...





Minihane, Tanguay and Mut get right to the Patriots reaction at 6am the morning after the first preseason game of 2016 against the Saints.

[0:09:24] ... I think was on that the Freddie Ferrer seven a thirteen yes Larry Johnson I think was on a defense. I believe can layer was on the defense. I think Miguel Arroyo held and how Jimenez is on the defense case. Does not matter it's or does not a very not a matter agree there's not ultimately be reasonable don't want to be reasonable reserves human beings done and undone because I have a track record of being right. I came on the show week UN Callahan at the beginning of the season last year and I said. Look out for Cam Newton he's gonna have an MVP type the year he's going to be awesome it's the game that I didn't to go back ...



Minihane, Tanguay and Mut get right to the Patriots reaction at 6am the morning after the first preseason game of 2016 against the Saints.

Metallica's self-titled album is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (Getty Images)

Metallica’s self-titled album is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (Getty Images)

In a 1991 interview, Lars Ulrich bemoaned the fact that critics called his group a “thrash” band. Asked by the interviewer if he preferred his band be called “power metal,” a term he’d used years earlier, Ulrich admitted he didn’t like that either.

“That sounds like it was a while ago,” Ulrich said, adding, “It doesn’t really seem like any of these labels matter much. That’s why we have a band name.”

The band name was, of course, Metallica, and Ulrich had good reason to not like the “thrash” or “power metal” labels, because he knew something the interviewer didn’t: Metallica was about to release a rock album.

As Metallica’s self-titled fifth album (better known as “The Black Album”) turns 25 Friday, its legacy holds a strange place with Metallica fans. Diehards lament the directional change the band took five years after releasing one of the greatest metal albums ever in “Master of Puppets.” A common narrative is that teaming with producer Bob Rock eventually derailed the band irreparably. Both arguments probably boil down to the fact that “The Black Album” is what turned Metallica “mainstream.” After all, no album by any artist has sold more copies in the United States than “The Black Album” since its release.

Yet to write off “The Black Album” as Metallica’s “Piano Man” (the song, not the album; man, did that album have some bangers) would be to pay a truly great album a disservice. It would also ignore the fact that the direction the band took helped them off a potentially worse path.

Consider where Metallica was as a band when they cut their self-titled album. They were coming off their first album since the death of Cliff Burton, and though “…And Justice For All” was an ambitious record that earned them their first Grammy, it was sonically dreadful. This wasn’t the fault of new bassist Jason Newsted, but rather the fact that frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich were producing albums without a true producer for too long.

As they had with 1984’s “Ride the Lightning” and 1986’s “Master of Puppets,” Metallica produced “…And Justice for All” alongside engineer Flemming Rasmussen. Yet unlike “Ride the Lightning” and “Master of Puppets,” Metallica used “…And Justice For All” to go for a different sound that favored Ulrich’s drums and Hetfield’s rhythm guitar over everything else (you know the payoff when you get to the double-kick in “One?” Well you pay for it for the rest of the album).

Newsted’s bass was inaudible, thinning the band’s sound away from the powerful boom of the play-everything-in-E sound that had become synonymous with Metallica and so many other bands in the 80s. Factor in that the band’s attempts to move away from the 4/4 time signature sounded forced, and you had an album that quite frankly sounded like it was made by people who didn’t know what they were doing.

Musically, the band needed rescuing in the worst way. Teaming up with a budding super-producer in Rock (best-known at that time for producing the “Dr. Feelgood” album) did that.

Consider the band’s aforementioned propensity to write all of their songs in the key of E (the lowest note on a standard-tuned guitar). Rock helped the band get away from writing a bunch of songs that sounded the same, and the results showed in The Black Album.

In Metallica’s two albums prior to their work with Rock, 15 of their 17 songs were at least partially in E. On “The Black Album,” four songs were recorded in other keys, including a pair of classics in “Sad But True” (detuned to D at Rock’s insistence) and “The Unforgiven.”

Of course, it wasn’t just key signature that Rock contributed. Bass was mercifully returned to Metallica’s sound, which was additionally rounded out with synthesizers (tastefully!), additional percussion and strings.

Furthermore, Rock served as the coach that Metallica never had on their previous albums. In addition to technical responsibilities, it’s on the producer to get strong performances out of his musicians. Hetfield’s vocals morphed from his mid-80s shriek to gigantic, complemented often by harmonies that were absent on earlier records.

Then there was Rock’s insistence upon making Kirk Hammett an actual lead guitarist, and his success in doing so ranks highly among his biggest contributions to Metallica. Hammett was already a guitar god by then, but he achieved the status by flying all over the neck with hit-or-miss results. The hits were borderline iconic (“Seek & Destroy,” “Master of Puppets,” “Blackened,” “One”), but it’s remarkable how many completely forgettable solos Hammett had on Metallica’s first four albums.

Most Metallica fans have seen the video of Rock dogging Hammett during the recording of “The Unforgiven,” as Hammett seemingly lazily attempted a lick that more appropriately landed in “The Struggle Within.” The solo that Rock eventually got out of Hammett saw the lead guitarist serve a song better than he had in any of Metallica’s previous work. Though not a difficult solo to play at all, “The Unforgiven” should be considered Hammett’s best solo and “The Black Album” should be considered his best overall album.

(Hammett playing an honest classic rock solo, as he also did on “Enter Sandman,” didn’t mean the end of his speedier displays. The aforementioned “The Struggle Within” solo is also an all-timer, as is his performance on “Wherever I May Roam.”)

As with the band’s previous albums, many of the songs were written around riffs. Rock did not get in the way in that regard, and the band moved away from breakneck downstrokes to bigger, sexier, bluesier riffs that were only thickened by Rock. The Hammett-written “Enter Sandman” riff is the album’s most iconic riff, but the sludginess of “Sad But True” and “Don’t Tread On Me” provide a much-needed departure from predictable “… And Justice For All” works like “Eye of the Beholder.”

Upon the album’s release, Metallica was shot into another stratosphere of success, one that led to year and years of touring and subsequent, inferior works with Rock before the sides eventually parted ways after the holy-cow-how-did-a-label-release-this “St. Anger.” Did the marathon recording of “The Black Album” perhaps damage the band long-term? Maybe, as the album is also well-known for the contention between the band and the producer throughout its nine months of recording and the fact that three of the band’s four members got divorced in the process.

Yet that doesn’t make the band’s most successful album a black eye. Look at the turmoil that followed The Pixies after the recording of “Doolittle.” Despite it destroying the band’s dynamic, it was worth it because the world got a classic album out of it.

Twenty-five years later, Metallica has never come close to being as good as they were with “The Black Album,” but there’s nothing wrong with that. Metallica mastered the genre of metal with “Master of Puppets,” but “…And Justice For All” showed major warning signs that they were regressing. They came back from that with one of the best — and most successful — rock albums ever.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The premiere of “The Night Of” was arguably 2016’s best hour of television.  It so distinctly established itself as something different, I found myself amazed that:

A. HBO released it early on it’s on-demand platforms (a move reserved for shows that struggle to find an audience).

B. A bigger deal was not made of the fact it was available when it hit the internet. For all of the discussions this show is generating, it should be generating twice that amount. I’m both disappointed and ectatic that as a collective TV-mystery-sleuthing-cultural-task-force, we are yet to crack the mystery of “Who Killed Andrea Cornish?” Disappointed because the best theories out there right now either that the step-dad or a guy named after New York’s version of CVS did it, and ectatic because we have three more weeks of #PeakTV to roll around in.  

This is the type of show that Golden Age of Television truthers crave: a patient, aesthetically pleasing, crime drama with the DNA of a Mount Rushmore of Modern Age Media discussion pumping through it’s veins — “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Serial,” and “True Detective.”  

Since its debut episode, many viewers have argued that the slow-burn pace of the show has overshadowed the actual plot. If that is your take, you’re correct. This is not “The Night Of: Special Victim’s Unit.” If that is deterring you from sticking with the show, then you’re making the completely wrong move. Simply put: if you like TV, then this type of show is good for you. There is a reason why HBO paired this show with “Ballers” and “Vice Principals” — you have to eat all your vegetables before we roll out the ice cream.  

Shows like “The Night Of” are very rare, even more so in the U.S. “The Night Of” is a limited series; there are eight episodes and that is it. While anthology series are all the rage now on cable — “Fargo,” “American Horror Story,” “True Detective” — there is an inherent sense of “we’re gonna get a few cracks at this to get it right.” Even though each season is a standalone story, they are connected thematically, and designed to share lots of similarities. Within that, the audience knows that there will be multiple attempts for these anthologies to make up for any lackluster seasons. I don’t know if anyone really loved “American Horror Story”: Hotel and I doubt it will dissuade people from watching whatever AHS: 6 winds up being.  

A show like “The Night Of” doesn’t have that luxury, not that it needs it. This eight episode dissection is all we’re getting, and that is a good thing.  To put this in context, the three episode stretch of Naz acclimating to prison, John Stone’s gross feet, and the back and forth between legal teams representing our protagonist, was essentially season two of “The Wire.” While maybe the crisis at the docks isn’t your favorite part of that series, it’s all connected and a necessary part of the experience. Could you imagine bailing on McNulty, Bunk, and Kima because you didn’t like Ziggy and the Sobotkas?  You would have missed so much Omar!  

Part Five of “The Night Of,” “The Season of the Witch,” was the clear end to the second act of the show as each of our main characters met with some serious conflict all circling around the central question we’ve largely refused to ask ourselves: Who Is Nasir Khan? Seriously… who is he?  Throughout the show, we’ve assumed he’s a good guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He’s the son of immigrant parents. He’s the smart kid who is doing the best with the opportunity he has earned.  He’s a math whiz. Every single fiber of our TV watching being has been trained to think that this guy didn’t do it. But what if he did?  

One theory I keep coming back to in every episode deconstruction is that in dealing with Naz we’re dealing with an unreliable narrator, which is defined as a first person character whose credibility has been seriously compromised.  While “The Night Of” isn’t told from a first person point of view in the same was as its contemporary prestige-y dramas like The Affair or Mr. Robot (two other shows that lean almost exclusively on this narrative device), the idea that Naz doesn’t quite have a handle on what happened on October 24th, 2014 is developing into the most pivotal plot point in the story.    

As highlighted in The Season of the Witch, Naz’s tox screen came back reading like a recipe for bad news: ecstasy, alcohol, ketamine, and amphetamine. When his legal team, John and Chandra, present him with this information, Naz is visibly shook. Even taking into account the incredibly stressful situation Naz finds himself in during that moment– he is trying to complete a drug hand off for Freddy– he is agitated by Stone poking holes in his “just a Kid from Queens” persona. It takes several direct accusations but Naz finally admits to using adderall– the likely source of the amphetamine in his blood.  

Question: Is this the behavior of a character you can trust?  

As the waiting room hand-off unfolds, John launches into a laundry list of reasons why a college kid taking adderall who is also on trial for murder is a bad thing:

“1. Without a prescription it’s illegal. 2. You weren’t up studying you were going to a party. 3. It counteracts the sedative effects of the K making your ‘I passed out story’ less believable. 4. You take enough of it, it makes you psychotic. 5. You lied to me.  So I’m going to ask you, because your life depends on it: What else have lied about?”

As all of these accusations are being hurled his way, Naz is trying to time the distraction of a prison guard to the exact moment when his accomplice, Petey, will be walking by him with a hand full of eight balls that he must then dry swallow in front of his lawyer. Lots to process for both main character and audience. I had to re-watch the scene five times to catch Stone’s entire list of ‘drugs are bad’ bullet points.  

The audience is being manipulated purposefully into confusion to show that Naz can’t things straight when situations get stressful, even when those stressful situations are controlled and he knows what is coming.  

This point is driven home in the next scene when Naz has to deliver the product in front of Freddy and his team. After passing the three bags he swallowed, Naz insists there are four, a statement with which Petey instantly agrees. Petey’s reasons aside (stress, the knowledge that if he says there are only three the obvious implication is that he and Naz are trying to hide the fourth from Freddy, etc.), we know Naz is wrong. The audience has watched Naz swallow three eight-balls, not four.  This is done to show us that no matter how stressful the situation, no matter how much danger or perceived danger he is in, Naz’s recollection of the situation is flawed. He is as unreliable a narrator as you can get.  

Question: How can this character, all things considered, be counted on to remember anything and what proof do we have that we should believe him?  

In trying to answer these questions, I did a little digging on Wikipedia, and I thought this example summed it perfectly:

Sometimes the narrator’s unreliability is made immediately evident. For instance, a story may open with the narrator making a plainly false or delusional claim or admitting to being severely mentally ill, or the story itself may have a frame in which the narrator appears as a character, with clues to the character’s unreliability. A more dramatic use of the device delays the revelation until near the story’s end. This twist ending forces readers to reconsider their point of view and experience of the story. In some cases the narrator’s unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving readers to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted.

So what else is Naz misremembering?  

Naz’s guilt or innocence hangs in the balance of what he both remembers and is willing to admit, and after The Season of The Witch, that is not an easy thing to pin down. Consciously, Naz believes he is innocent, but unconsciously he might know something different, with his physical transformation being the biggest hint. In addition to trying mirror Freddy physically — boxing, the tight space workouts, and big dogging Treach from Naughty By Nature after deciding the TV room will be watching Ellen — Naz decides to shave his head. In any visual storytelling medium, that is a sign of transformation and it rarely carries a positive connotation.  

Elsewhere in prestige cable land, a close up scene of a main character shaving his head is the manifestation of guilt. Walter White shaves his head and commits to becoming Heisenberg. He evolves from mild-mannered science teacher to Caucasian Scarface. It doesn’t happen immediately, but the ball is now rolling.  On the Walking Dead, Shane — a most reluctant villain — shaves his head after literally throwing someone in front of a horde of animated flesh monsters in order to save himself.  Instead of admitting to the other survivors what he did, he shaves his head and things get more evil from there.  He evolution into villainy is a bit faster — from people’s champion in post-apocalyptic Atlanta to zombie.  

In both cases, the change comes from the character struggling to come to grips with their specific actions. It’s the easiest way to show the audience that there is something the character is struggling with. Very literally, they have a hard time looking themselves in the mirror and opt to make a drastic change.  

While Naz probably won’t become the Walter White of Rikers Island and I doubt the final twist of The Night Of is that the dead rise from their graves, there are real monsters at play here. More so than the evil step-dad, the random guy from the funeral, or the elusive Duane Reed, the evidence we have points to Naz having the most potential to evolve into the monster we’ve been hunting. He remembers more than he is letting on even if he isn’t ready to admit it.  

 

Blog Author: 
Padraic O'Connor
Producers Ken and Paul get Tom E. Curran to act like a random caller to make light of a suggestion from the night before that Mut & Tanguay have Curran on to preview the Patriots' preseason game. Mut is not happy at the attempted radio humor.
Producers Ken and Paul get Tom E. Curran to act like a random caller to make light of a suggestion from the night before that Mut & Tanguay have Curran on to preview the Patriots' preseason game. Mut is not happy at the attempted radio humor.

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Kirk Minihane has to leave early, so Mike Mutnansky and Gary Tanguay discuss the Patriots preseason opener and how JImmy G will play without some key weapons in the lineup.

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Kirk Minihane has to leave early, so Mike Mutnansky and Gary Tanguay discuss the Patriots preseason opener and how JImmy G will play without some key weapons in the lineup.

[0:00:57] ... no Rob Gronkowski right owed Julianna on the be playing with ot Chris Hope gain and Martellus Bennett and Clay Harbor. And so you may not get the basketball off with the players around drop low ...
[0:03:10] ... the reds so there are things where he can nitpick on on Bill Belichick. I default the same will adopt a Scarnecchia. In scar you trust because seat since he's been here Gary when he's been ...
[0:06:59] ... go 3140. In the first month do you remember what happened when Matt Cassel. It was terrible and training camp when Brady got hurt. Yes Brady got hurt the Kansas City in the season opener castle ...
[0:07:33] ... Chris sins is sitting in the front office waiting to talk to Bill Belichick to be the new backup quarterback to be the new quarterback Brady goes down. All these veterans older names have been tossed around. And the majority of us are thinking there is no way the Bill Belichick is gonna make Mac cast of the quarterback are can happen. Comes out Matt Cassel at quarterback eagle eleven and five were good enough to make the playoffs but they didn't. The jets got in. And Cassel ...






Gary Tanguay eventually gets to a few of the day's top news and pop culture headlines, but only after Mut takes a call from a runner who wants to jog with Kirk in the 100+ degree heat.

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