The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition


by guest contributor Blade Mancano with Ryan Meehan

The Icarus Syndrome is defined as “a terrible virus that infects music, tainting it to the point of being unlistenable”. Icarus is a fitting metaphor in that the music comes close to passable, similar to the winged demigod’s fruitless voyage to the sun.  I can’t stand a bad album as much as the next guy.  I hate actually buying something – Yes, I do buy most of my music – be it a pre-order or a “long awaited return-to-form” comeback album that sucks the living shit right through your ears while you find yourself praying to locate the stop button.  However, this sad and brief moment in time has an easy fix:  Throw it away or sell it, get it out of here – problem solved.  Unfortunately there is a far worse fate for music fans: listening to a release that is almost good, hence torturing the listener who is simultaneously “kinda” enjoying it. Similar to putting on a fresh pair of wet socks to go with your dry-cleaned suit for a day at the office, it drives the listener to a crazy level of auditory irritation. A shady, shaky grey limbo of notes accompanied by either word salads or sub-par productions, the results are the same.  Purgatory…On…Earth.  The world of heavy metal is littered with such releases but here is my personal list of disdain, complete with Meehan’s snarky commentary to boot.  This is The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition.   Continue reading

7 Questions with Rob DaRocha


by Ryan Meehan

Rob was born in New Orleans, and was raised by a single mom in Los Angeles. Contrary to popular belief and unfounded assumptions, he is NOT white. He is actually half El Salvadorian and half Brazilian.  Rob is bi-lingual which means that Spanish is his first language and English isn’t. He didn’t know a word of English until he got to the second grade and from watching countless hours of Saturday Morning Cartoons with Wile E. Coyote being one of his favorites.  Soon after, Rob graduated from Saturday-Morning-Cartoon-Watching to a full-fledged high school student at Notre Dame Private School. Shortly after, he went to San Francisco State University to study film.  While taking acting classes in the evening and auditioning during the day, he become a substitute teacher for 2 years and then taught Special Ed for 3 yrs.  He grew up watching Saturday Night Live and the stand-up comedy show Comic Strip Live. Although, his favorite comedic actor is Steve Martin, the following comedians have influenced Rob immensely: Brian Regan, Richard Jeni, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez.  He began his stand-up comedy career in his hometown of Los Angeles and has emerged as a favorite at the Ice House in Pasadena, Laugh Factory both in Los Angeles and in Long Beach, and at the Improv in Los Angeles.  He was selected to be part of the 2007 Latino Laugh Festival’s Diamonds in the Rough Show featuring top headliner comics such as Carlos Mencia and Johnny Sanchez.  Rob has a very strong stage presence and great comedic timing.  He performs all over the Los Angeles and the Orange County area and currently has two national commercials running, so you may have seen him on TV. He recently performed on Stand-up and Deliver on NUVO TV, and if that weren’t enough he’s also our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

10 Questions with Steve Byrne


by Ryan Meehan

Steve Byrne has risen through the ranks of the comedy world to become one of the industry’s most innovative and sought-after performers. He has evolved throughout the years into an extremely versatile entertainer that delivers on a day-to-day basis. Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Steve Byrne was born to a Korean mother and an Irish father. His unique background has given him the base comedic material for his first television show Sullivan & Son on TBS. He recently released his third one-hour standup comedy special, Champion, on Netflix in May 2014. In 2006, after winning TBS’ cutthroat competition, the “Standup or Sitdown Comedy Challenge”, Byrne was hurtled into a brilliant television and film career.  As his popularity began to expand, Byrne was featured in his very own half-hour Comedy Central Presents which was soon voted as one of the best specials of all time in the Comedy Central Standup Showdown. His hilarious standup has been seen on TBS’s Conan, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, CBS’s The Late Late Show, BET’s Comic View and he has appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show a total of 10 times.  In 2008, Byrne’s first one-hour special, Steve Byrne’s Happy Hour, premiered on Comedy Central and further cemented his star status. Packing an impressively wide range of appeal, Byrne’s comedy soon landed him on the The History of the Joke on the History Channel and Discovery Channel’s, The Science of Laughter.  He has since appeared on some of TV’s hottest shows including ABC’s The Middle, Chappelle’s Show, The Howard Stern Show, The Very Funny Show and was a series regular on NBC’s The Real Wedding Crashers. His last special,The Byrne Identity, premiered on Comedy Central to rave reviews.  A true international comedian, Byrne has performed to sold-out crowds around the world.  He has been a featured comic at the Just for Laughs Festival (in Montreal, Toronto and Chicago), HBO’s US Comedy Arts Festival in Las Vegas and the CanWest Comedy Fest in Vancouver.  He has been part of several national comedy tours including The Jameson Comedy Tour, Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Tour, The Kims of Comedy, The Camel Cigarettes Sin City Tour, and his own national Myspace Comedy tour.  Byrne even had the honor of opening for esteemed musical acts such as Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Modest Mouse, Puddle of Mudd, Spoon, Rev. Horton Heat and many more.  As a big supporter of the US troops, Steve also headlined several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan and Guam.  Byrne has appeared in the hit comedies The Dilemma, Couples Retreat, Four Christmases and The Goods: The Don Ready Story.  His 2006 documentary, 13 or Bust, chronicles the attempt to perform 13 comedy shows in Manhattan in one night.  Byrne’s lack of ego and outstanding work ethic has helped him become one of today’s most respected comedians, and I am delighted to have him as my guest today in 10 questions.   Continue reading

The 50 Worst NFL Free Agent Signings of the Last 25 Years

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Originally posted on Dubsism:

Brett Favre Douchebag

A common thread amongst NFL Fans is they always have a shopping list of players they think will finally push their teams to the promised land. But as with all things in life, there’s no guarantees. Here at Dubsism, we’ve already warned you about pinning your hopes on the NFL Draft when we pointed out the 10 worst picks since 2000.  Yesterday, we gave you an explanation of how the NFL Salary Cap works so that your “shopping lists” could be more realistic.

Today’s cautionary tale is all about signing players in free agency. Sometimes, this can be hugely successful in terms of rounding out a championship team.  Just ask the New England Partriots about how much the mid-season gamble on LeGarrette Blount paid-off in terms of that team’s run to another Super Bowl title.

That brings us to three main points you will discover throughout this piece. First…

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7 Questions with Meghan Hanley


by Ryan Meehan

Meghan Hanley is a Brooklyn based, comedian, writer and actress.  This past year she appeared on AXSTV’s “Gotham Comedy Live,” as well as Fox’s “Laughs.” She’s performed at The Boston, Out of Bounds, Laughing Skull and Women in Comedy Festivals. Last year she was a the second runner-up in The “She-Devil Festival,”  in New York City. Meghan is a regular on the NYC circuit and has been opening for Nick DiPaolo over the past year. She’s known for her quick wit and upbeat persona. She also smiles a lot which some people find suspicious, but she’s mostly endearing.  Meghan is also my guest today in 7 questions.  Continue reading