Saturday, September 20, 2008

Internet connoisseur?

I'm in danger of becoming someone who actually knows what they're doing on that interweb thing.  Just joined blip.fm and linked it to my twitter account.

Heh... what?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some random thoughts...

I just downloaded the new version of iTunes (can't be arsed to remember what the actual numbers are), and I've got to say, at first look, I'm less than happy with it.  I like the new album view option.  I don't like a few other features that seemed to have changed.  Most recognizably the even worse communication with the iTunes store for retrieving album artwork.  Just bought 3 cd's today (all of which are available for purchase from the iTunes store), and only one cover art came back okay. Feh.


Apparently it is just acceptable for health insurance companies to raise your premium by almost 14% without even letting you know about it.  With per-month payments, that's quite a substantial amount of money per year they're just "taking" from me.


Bringing my anger down a notch, I'm considering following a few blogs on a regular basis.  It's something I've been considering, just did not want to waste any more daily time on the internet.  Beginning to think, who gives a shit?  It's my time, I can do what I want with it.  These blogs are:
Aquarium Drunkard - for its kick-ass music knowledge and info
Product Shop NYC - for its political leanings and slightly rare musical offerings
WarrenEllis.com - because he's a mad scientist in a comic book writer's mind


Apparently there's some place in Ohio called Huber Heights.  Must make it a point to check out this little gem once I finally decide to take that cross-country road trip I keep talking about doing.


My team Arsenal drew 1-1 to Dynamo Kiev in yesterday's Champions League match (first round of group play).  A point is a point, but they should really be able to beat the Ukrainian side, as they are the weakest in their group.


And in closing, congratulations to friends of mine, Matt and Cristina.  They've just welcomed a child into this world today.  It's a girl (we told you, Matt)!!!  Last I heard they were naming her Kendall.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Love is Noise, my friend

So, I'm not sure what to think about this new Verve record that (I believe) came out today.  I'm really digging the new single and everything else I've heard so far.  Just... can I get into an entire album of it?  That's what I'm asking myself.  

Now I loved "Bittersweet Symphony" just as much as the next guy in the mid to late nineties, but do I need to get back into that mindset ten years later?  I understand the band has progressed since their lapse into limbo the past decade, but I'm wondering if a whole album of new Verve tracks will really grab me by the balls and have me take notice of them again.  But at the same time, I don't really want them being that next "pop sensation" turned "one-off indie darling" bands.  They are entirely too talented for that.  In fact, they were better than that back then for just the opposite.  

Decisions, decisions.

Other songs/bands I'm currently into:

The Virgins - Rich Girls  
The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division 
Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Bloc Party - Mercury
The Walkmen - In the New Year
Wolf Parade - Language City
MGMT - Kids; Electric Feel; Time to Pretend

Black Keys, Black Kids, Black Lips.  All kick-ass bands with kick-ass new singles.  Just wish I knew which was which.

The new Santogold song with Julian Casablancas and Pharrell.  Now that is a damn fine track.

The new Hold Steady album, Stay Positive.  Everything on it.  Just brilliant.

Digging the new Conor Oberst solo effort too.  Favorites so far include Sausalito and Moab.

That's everything I can think of at the moment.  I'm sure there's more.

Re: my last post

Holy shit, that IS cool!

Arsenal team widget

This seems pretty cool. If this works, feel free to check out all of my team's latest exploits with this little bugger.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just spit in my beer next time, bartender.

So, went to a bar tonight, put $2.00 in the jukebox.  Gets me six songs (not one of those shitty electronic wallet suckers that give you 2 songs for a dollar).  Play some Creedence, Zeppelin, ELO.  Highly recognizable classic rock songs.  

My fifth song is The Beatles - Norwegian Wood.  Not one of their more popular songs, but I still feel like people know it when they hear it.  

Fuckin' bartender turns the song off.  

I'm a customer who pays money to hear this song, and he picks up the fuckin' remote and turns the song off.

Heard him specifically say to another customer, "Play some rock and roll, and I'll keep it on.  But I can't hear that."

My cousin and I ask him about what happened to the last song, and he comes up with this bullshit story about some songs on the jukebox just shut off and go right to the next song.  

I watched the asshole pick up a remote and intentionally turn it off.  The Beatles.  A bartender intentionally turned off the Beatles because it was not "rock and roll."  The Beatles.

You can't even imagine how much this fucking blows my mind.

Needless to say my tip was suspect.

Fuckin' asshole deserved it.  

"Your music's no good here... paying customer."  Go fuck yourself.

Last time I put money in that jukebox.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kimbo Slice fight = laughingstock

So I caught that EliteXC mixed martial arts fight CBS aired on Saturday night in prime-time.  What an utter embarrassment.  

I'm not sure what CBS was thinking really as they clearly don't have any clue how to run an MMA fight.  They know how to hype it, but that only works when the payoff is better than all the talk.  

The first few fights only lasted a minute each, but the show had logged about an hour and a half of airtime.  There was just too much time between fights, and that dead air just bores people... myself included.  The editing as a whole was awful.  At one point in an interview with Kimbo Slice, he wishes good luck to Gina Carano, a female MMA fighter.  Only she had been in the ring and out already.

The main event was the previously mentioned YouTube street-brawling sensation Kimbo Slice versus some ogre from England named James Thompson.  It was a joke.  Neither of them could last past the first round, and had just started hanging on each other like amateur heavyweight boxers, wildly flailing a punch here and there.  It was embarrassing.  Eventually the fight was called because Thompson's cauliflower ear had been popped open by one of Slice's punches.  I think it was for the best as nothing eventful was really happening anyway.

Also, for whatever reason CBS decided to give the commentary to March Madness play-by-play man, Gus Johnson.  While I like his basketball work, he just was out of his element in MMA.  Excessive use of hyperbole.  Getting unnecessarily excited.  He just was not comfortable doing an MMA bout and it showed.

CBS dropped the ball here.  I'd much rather pay for the Ultimate Fighting pay-per-views because at least in those I know I'm getting some quality man-on-man-punching-in-the-face-jiu-jitsu-mixed-martial-arts.  And that's what we like.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Kickass weekly webcomic

I've been instructed.

Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield.  Weekly.

A future flooded London protected by a gang of telepaths.

Go read.  Now!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

John Cusack interviewed on SuicideGirls.com

Ryan Stewart does this great interview with John Cusack about his new film War, Inc.  on the SuicideGirls website.  It makes for some interesting reading and has me thinking about a film I had previously vaguely even heard of.

Click here to read it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I'm gonna kiss you on the mouth and blow chunks while I'm doing it."

That was a line uttered by one of the characters (Jessie) in Mike Carey and Jock's latest graphic novel, FAKER.

What a mindfuck that was.  Truly spectacular work from both contributors.  Honestly, I've loved Jock since I first saw his work on The Losers a few years ago.  But Mike Carey has always been one of those hit and miss guys with me.  I'd check out his work from time to time (all his Hellblazer work, some Lucifer, My Faith in Frankie, etc), and not really get into some of it (particularly his superhero stuff).  But he's shown me some real writing prowess with Faker (and his slightly less recent RE-GIFTERS).  He's shown he can write some angsty scifi psychological horror thrillers involving teen drama and activism.  Which, when I really look into the core of what comics interest me, is exactly what I'm looking for.  Please pardon the abundance of grammatical issues in that last sentence.

The story involves four characters who live together in a house at some insignificant college in the American midwest.  It's just after Christmas break and the students are slowly shuffling back into their college lifestyles and coming back from home (and their parents).  Obviously the first night back is going to be some kick-ass party.  Four go in to the party, five come out.  One of them's not real/alive, but who?  And just what the fuck happened?

Mike Carey does an excellent job of dealing with perpetual issues of identity and teenage rebellion, while concocting an emotionally resonant story involving four very different young adults.  I can't lie to you, there are certainly aspects of this story, especially the characters of Jessie Kidby and Yvonne Latimer, that appeal to the faux artistic, teenage rebel still inside me.

I really really liked this new offering from Carey and Jock (and quite frankly, surprised the hell out of me), and should be on the bookshelves of anyone interested in liquid digital technology, geek culture, suicide prevention, the bisexual community, sexual revolution, social activism, questioning authority, lying as a way of life, backstabbing, hacking, extortionism, hustling, friendship and well... just a goddamn kick-ass four-color world of adventures and shenanigans.

I could not turn the page fast enough.  Highly recommended.

Offer made for Samir Nasri

In a weird sort of "I must be telling the future" moment, ESPNsoccernet is reporting that Arsenal has made an offer for Marseille's young playmaker midfielder Samir Nasri. The French International was one of two midfielders I was hoping Arsene Wenger would sign in the transfer market, considering his penchant for signing young French superstars. I really hope this works out.

And my other signing was slightly hinted at in an earlier post, Barcelona's Portuguese (via Brazil) international Deco. He is 30 years old and bucks Wenger's trend of signing stellar young talent, but they really need a force in midfield to complement Fabregas' creativity.

Although I still think they need a strong force in the back as well. Toure and Gallas are excellent center backs, but Wenger has to stop pushing Toure out to right fullback and insisting to play Emmanuel Eboue in midfield. He's playing out of position there and it shows. Sagna and Clichy are both strong defenders and are still growing. Maybe even a proven center forward could help the club, especially with Robin van Persie and Eduardo's injuries this past year.

Whatever happens, it should be an exciting offseason for Arsenal fans. As long as Wenger makes some moves.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Now Hear This! 2

The Hold Steady's new single is out now.

Sequestered in Memphis.

Click here to listen to the track.

You can't even imagine how excited I am right now. New album's out July 15th.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Now Hear This!

M83 - Graveyard Girl

I just can not stop listening to this song. This atmospheric pop band from Antibes, France has written one of the catchiest singles of the year so far. When I hear this song it just makes me want to get in a car with the top down and drive fast... thinking about ex-girlfriends or something equally futile.

Check them out on their MySpace page. Right now the song is first on their list.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Okay, so I've been gone a while.

Arsenal did not win the Premier League.  The season is over and Arsenal finished once again without any trophies.  But third in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League is still a pretty damn fine season.  The month of June brings the transfer window, and the Gunners are in serious need of some top talent, especially since Mathieu Flamini said he's leaving.   Did someone say Deco is going to be available?

I was right about No Country For Old Men being the best movie of the year (at least according to the Academy).   You can look that up in my mini review of the film back in a previous post.  A damn fine film, but not my favorite of the year.  Juno would have to take those honors.

I'm planning to start a regular weekly(?) segment here about what I'm currently listening to, what I've read recently, or what interests me in the world of television and film.  Watch this space.

I have every intention of checking in more often, but I say that now with no knowledge of what interest this blog will hold for my future self.

And maybe someday soon, someone will actually read this shit I sputter out.

Cheers!



Please ignore:  add target="_blank" after URL to open new window with link

Monday, February 4, 2008

Arsenal's back on top!

With the 3-1 victory at Manchester City this weekend, Arsenal have moved back atop the leaderboard in the English Premier League. Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in the deciding win, and he is really in top goal scoring form at the moment for the Gunners.

Manchester Untied drew 1-1 to Tottenham this past weekend at White Hart Lane, allowing Arsenal to surpass them in the overall table. And Chelsea drew 1-1 to Portsmouth, leaving them 6 points off the pace and ending a 9-game winning streak.

This Sunday, United play City in a Manchester derby at Old Trafford, and Chelsea play host to Liverpool. And Arsenal host Blackburn on Monday at the Emirates. All are crucial games for each club as the season progresses and the title race heats up.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Songs of the Year!

Okay, disclaimer: this is completely random and thought up on the spot right now. I wanted to compile a list like this of my favorite songs of 2007, and since it's almost February, I'm a little behind the times. But here's what I liked in the past year anyway.

Feist - 1 2 3 4: The first song on the list is that semi-annoying but goddamn catchy single from the iPod nano commercials. This is also the best video of the year, by far. If you haven't seen it's full-sequined kaleidoscopic awesomeness, do yourself a favor and click here now. Yes, that was ONE take!

Amy Winehouse - Rehab: Well, this one was just so damn fun and catchy. The perfect song for the English addict.

Sea Wolf - You're a Wolf: Something about not fitting in or being a follower. Like sheep. Wolf's clothing. Okay, I don't know what it's about, but it has gypsies and it's a lot of fun. There.

Bloc Party - I Still Remember: I don't know if this song is technically from 2006 or not, but it's off the A Weekend in the City album that was released in 2007 (I think). It's on my list, so fuck off. Either way, I do not get tired of this song. And I've listened to it A LOT.

LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends It's like six or seven minutes long. It's incredibly repetitive. And it may just be the best song of 2007. Pitchfork seems to think so.

Radiohead - In Rainbows: Any song off this album is a single. So, I put the whole album on my list. Do something.

Spoon - The Underdog: Touted as "the greatest song Billy Joel never wrote" because the guitar riffs sound like Only the Good Die Young or something. I don't really care that people are saying that. It's the catchiest song off one of my favorite albums of the year.

Rihanna - Umbrella: She took an inanimate object and turned it into a sexual innuendo. The world fell in love with it. It's an amazing pop song, what can I say?

Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe: Catchy and dancy and on the FIFA 08 soundtrack. It's fun. And it has a positive message.

Kanye West - Stronger: Let's be honest. This song was huge. Just like all his other singles. I had to put it on the list just 'cause Kanye sure knows how to make hip-hop mainstream. And somehow he used Daft Punk to do that. Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?

Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues): The whole album is amazing, and this is my favorite song from Neon Bible. I read somewhere that the narrator in this song was supposed to be Joe Simpson (yeah, that breeder of Ashlee and Jessica fame) but I'm not sure if that's actually true. It sure is fun to listen to when thinking about that though.

Band of Horses - Is There a Ghost: Atmospheric pop at it's finest. Their first song on Cease to Begin sets the album off to a cracking start. I think you can hear this on some car commercial or something.

Okkervil River - Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe: I don't really know why I like this song so much. I heard it a couple of times on Sirius 26 and it just sorta stuck. The album's not too shabby either.

Dinosaur Jr. - Almost Ready: A 2007 single straight out of 1989. This reunion did not miss a beat. So. Fucking. Cool.

Modest Mouse - Missed the Boat: Two of my favorite bands come together for this damn catchy single. The Shins front-man James Mercer croons the chorus parts in the background. I love this song.

Wilco - Impossible Germany: I could really pick almost any song off Sky Blue Sky, but this was the big single. It has something to say about the impossibilities of countries in and of themselves, but I don't know what that means. I just like listening to it.

Kate Nash - Foundations: Maybe more a song for 2008, but I first fell in love with it from a Paste magazine sampler CD a few months back. Turns out it's starting to get some decent radio play. An English potty-mouth pop singer following in Lily Allen's footsteps. If it wasn't so good, I'd have just called her a copycat. But do your thing, girlfriend (yeah, I just said that).

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting like something from The National's Boxer or anything Bright Eyes or "the Boss" did in the last year. But I feel like I'm done here. I wish I could include youtube links to each of the videos of the songs presented here, but I just don't care enough. Or if I knew how to stream audio in this blog, I might just not care enough to do that either. Feel free to hunt these songs down to hear more or simply ignore me entirely.

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oscar noms announced!

This is always an exciting time of year for me, as the 2008 Academy Award nominations are out today. And my frantic journey begins to track down and see every movie on the list of who I think are the deserving candidates. Or is that "whom I think?" Ahh, screw it.

The full list is located at OSCAR.com, so feel free to peruse for yourself and make your own assessments.

I've only seen two of the Best Picture nominees (Juno and No Country for Old Men), so I have my work cut out for me to see the rest by the end of February. Especially Michael Clayton which is no longer in theaters. But that's all part of the fun, isn't it?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The reason I read superhero comics

So, I just finished reading Mark Millar's and Bryan Hitch's Ultimates 2 hardcover last night. I couldn't put it down and read it until 2:30 in the morning.

I go through these phases where I start to tire of the same-old, back-to-status-quo superhero comics that flood the shelves these days. I mean, let's be honest with ourselves, most of them are just unnecessary reads. We only read them 'cause we like the creators or the characters. Do we really need 12 Batman titles and 5 solo Wolverine books? Of course not.

But every once in a while something comes along that gets me back into superhero comics hardcore, and this is it. I fell in love with the first volume of Ultimates back when I was reading it monthly, but I managed to avoid any spoilers for the last 4 or 5 issues of this series, since those are the only ones I haven't read. What a goddamn pleasant surprise. I can't even explain to you how geeked out I was with all the cool shit they did with Thor. It's 2:00 in the morning and I'm sitting on my bed with a big-ass grin on my face reading the Avengers re-imagined. I don't need you to tell me how much of a dork I am, but I defy you to not do the same when one of these hefty hardcovers are put in your hands.

God damn! I'm still thinking about this book and if it weren't for the fucking tower of trades and graphic novels I have piled on my floor to be read, I'd read this thing again right now. It's just. So. Cool.