Newark’s Omnisoul may not take over the world, but with Madden NFL 07, it may take over the world of music. Plus, beating the ban on yard waste, 10 Delacentric blogs you have to see and more.

Under Their Thumbs


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Local rockers Omnisoul make one of the country’s most popular video games a real hit. 



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Rock stars and video games go together like television sets and hotel windows. It’s nature’s way. So it was only natural that the country’s most popular video game has joined forces with Delaware’s most popular rock band.

Omnisoul, the chart-topping, UD-hopping, “Fantastic Four”-copping band from Newark was tabbed late last year to help soundtrack Madden NFL 07, the monstrously popular title from EA Sports. Madden, which made its debut more than 10 years ago, has sold more than 51 million copies, making it the most popular football video game franchise ever.

Omnisoul, on the other hand, is still working on its first official release since signing to New York based Wind-Up Records (the home of Creed and Evanescence) in 2005. “We’re currently writing new songs for the LP,” says frontman Derek Fuhrmann. “We decided it had been a long time since we first hit the studio. We’ve grown as a band and have a bunch of new material we feel the album can benefit from.”

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With the album in chrysalis, the band asked the label to try to place one of its songs on Madden’s soundtrack. “With radio being so difficult, often times the best way to get through is with television, film and now video games,” Fuhrmann says. “Madden is something we knew we wanted. It’s the biggest, best video game and it uses music in the best way.”

The track, a soaring, stadium-ready rocker, made the cut, and joins the ranks of Audioslave, Wolfmother, Saves the Day, the Rapture and Lupe Fiasco on the Madden 07 soundtrack. According to the band, the song has already made its way to stadiums in the NFL, NHL, MLS and MLB and is a favorite of Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. “It’s a dream come true,” Fuhrmann says, “especially as a big sports fan.”

Listen for “Not Giving Up” during the Madden 07 title screen, during franchise mode and during breaks in gameplay. 

As for Omnisoul’s best Madden player? “Hands down, it’s myself,” says Fuhrmann, a loyal Miami Dolphins fan. “[Guitarist] Shawn [Manigly is] a close second place, but when it comes down to it, I dominate him.”         —Matt Amis



Bank for Sale Own a piece of MBNA with one of these…


FOR SALE: 200,000-square-foot public building with location, location, location, sited on Wilmington’s stately Rodney Square. Freshly restored granite façade. Interior needs TLC. Price: $20 million or BO.

The Daniel L. Herrmann Courthouse is just one of the glamorous properties Bank of America is selling in the wake of its acquisition of MBNA, the credit card giant that, in its heyday, gobbled up real estate like potato chips.

The Herrmann, a 1916 behemoth designed by Henry Hornbostel, whose work includes 22 buildings on the National Historic Register, was sold by the state to MBNA in 2002 for $13.5 million. Under the direction of then-CEO Charlie Cawley, MBNA poured cash into restoring the exterior, but, after gutting the interior, snipped its plan to transform the building into a grand corporate headquarters.

The cost to complete the job is estimated at $10 million and up. So far, the only serious suitor has been the state—in on-and-off negotiations.

Looking for something a bit cozier? MBNA’s corporate guesthouse, situated on 1.5 verdant acres off Pennsylvania Avenue, could fit the bill.

Originally constructed in the 1930s as the Haskell family estate, the property boasts a 10-bedroom, 9.5-bath main house and a nine-bedroom carriage house.

“It’s a beautiful place, very elegant,” says Steve Crifasi of Patterson-Schwartz, who has listed the property for $3.2 million.

Zoned for both guesthouse and residential use, the mini estate features such upgrades as individual heat and air conditioning for each room. Furnishings are included—“except for the art and antiques, of course,” Crifasi says.

High flyers might be interested in two top-flight airplane hangars at the New Castle County Airport. The largest began as a single 19,000-square-foot hangar and was expanded by 18,000 square feet for a total of 37,000 square feet—large enough to house five or six planes and two helicopters, should you have them lying around. There’s an additional 11,000 square feet for office and conference rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, showers, a locker room and private parking.

“It’s the Taj Mahal of hangars, finished in true, over-the-top MBNA style,” says Pete Davisson, founding principal of Jackson Cross Partners. He adds that the property was appraised at $9 million.

The hangar and a smaller, slightly less lavish 10,000-square-foot hangar are generating a lot of buzz.

“We are expecting multiple offers,” Davisson says. “It isn’t every day that properties like these come on the market.”

—Eileen Smith Dallabrida




An Immodest Disposal


A ban on yard waste? Yo, DNREC, make like a tree and leave.


By now, everyone knows it’s the Year of the Yard Waste Ban. In an attempt to prolong the life of the Cherry Island Landfill, the powers that be instituted a ban on all grass clippings, leaves and other yard scraps that northern Delawareans previously bagged up and set on the curb without a second thought. Our options, we’re told, are to compost and mulch our yard waste, haul it to the dump ourselves or pay someone to get rid of it for us.

Hey DNREC, compost this.

These “options” are sending us over the hedge. They cost time, money or both. We’re not going to stand for this sort of foolishness in our own back yards, so here’s the dirt on beating the ban:


Twigs and branches

• Add to soup, pass off as herbs

• Open a paper mill

• Donate as tinder for local Boy Scout troop-pyromaniac society

• Find big stick, carry it, quote Teddy Roosevelt exhaustively

• Turn into economy-grade fencing for baseball-hockey-billiards-jai-alai

• Use for props and set design for amateur production of “Into the Woods”

• Combine sticks with stones. It can’t hurt, can it?


Grass clippings

• Smuggle into garbage in Pinot Grigio empties. (For the less affluent, Piels 40s will do.)

• Use as organic coffee filters

• Host luau, grass skirts abound

• Use as economy-grade confetti

• Murder weapon for the ultra-allergic

• Hair replacement for the Chia look

• Grass—the other white meat



• Build scarecrow clone army

• Rake into pile, hide inside from enemies, creditors or caterpillars

• Visual aid for joke that begins, “Why don’t you make like a tree…”

• Reflect on the austere beauty of bare trees and falling leaves, appear “deep”

• Use as economy-grade mattress stuffing

• Make leaf pressings, impress absolutely no one


Who are we trying to fool? Maybe we should just pay.

 —Matt Amis and Drew Ostroski


The Blog Spot  Too much time on your hands? Here are 10 Delacentric blogs you’ve got to see.


Down With

Bloggers: A rogue’s gallery of cranky Delawareans, though Wilmington’s Mike Matthews handles the bulk Subject matter: Politics, miscellaneous

Description: DWA deconstructs politics and delivers it with all the tact of a sledgehammer. The language may border on PG-13, but these guys rarely miss the mark.

Recent excerpt: “Maybe you all in the 1st Senate District should have voted for Les Hendrix. Cause that mofo’s done more for the beauty of the East and Northsides than any [blank] representing that district has EVER done before!”


Delaware Watch

Blogger: Wilmington resident Dana Garrett: husband, father, working joe

Subject matter: Delaware politics, environment, culture

Description: A champion of alternative–progressive leftism, Garrett is also host of “Progressive Voices,” a radio program on UD’s WVUD. Few blogs have a firmer grasp on Delaware politics than DW.

Recent excerpt: “Why wasn’t [Michael] Berg on the stage with other candidates? …Objective Delawareans already know the answer: Real democracy only occurs accidentally in Delaware. It’s rarely deliberate.”


Kilroy’s Delaware

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