Saturday, July 02, 2005
Friday, July 01, 2005
With the reunited Pink Floyd showing up at Live 8 tomorrow, it seems only right that my favorite Floyd album be the next inductee into the Scooter Hall of Fame. Granted Wish You Were Here was a concept album about the one member who most likely won’t be showing up this weekend Syd Barrett. To be honest, I’m not even sure if Barrett is even still alive.
I was originally turned on to Floyd during the early nineties when The Division Bell was released. Sonically, it was different from anything I have ever heard before. Then, like most of my generation who missed out on the Waters’ era, I went back and discovered their earlier work. Although most of the rest of my generation were drawn more to Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall, I always thought that Wish You Were Here was their best work.
The album somehow is able to have Floyd’s most adventurous song and it’s most simple song on the same album and makes them work within the concept of the album. Shine on You Crazy Diamond is a massive opus that bookends the album with parts I-V opening up the album and VI-IX closing it out. Each part takes the listener to a different place sonically even though only two of the parts feature singing. On the other end of the spectrum, the title track is a simple, but effective, song with dual acoustic guitars intertwining throughout the song. And even though the song was about their lost friend Barrett, Wish You Were Here is a great song to listen to if you are missing a friend, family, or significant other.
Filling out the rest of the album are Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar. Neither of the songs would be found on anyone’s top 50 Floyd song list, but both capture the “machine” of the music business and how it could drive someone crazy.
Artwork in another big aspect of the Floyd experience and Wish You Were Here has the most striking artwork in their history. It is a picture that appears to at a movie studio (or part of the machine) with two men (very seventies looking might I add) shaking hands. Only one of the men is on fire. Also the picture is bordered by a light yellow, but if you look at the upper-right hand corner, you’ll notice a little of the border has been burned off. It is very subtle and a great introduction to a brilliant album.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
What I would like for you to do is to take a look to the left of your screen at the banner I have had up for a couple weeks. I’m sure you have all seen the annoying ads on the TV by now with the likes of Brad Pitt and Bono. But at the heart of the campaign is a good cause. They are trying to get the United States as well as the worlds other wealthiest countries to eliminate extreme poverty and global AIDS. As a fiscal conservative (unlike our spend happy President) I am almost always against more spending that will raise are already massive national debt, but the thought of people, including many kids, who die daily from starvation (50,000 or every three seconds to be precise) trumps any fiscal concerns I might have. So if you would like to join the cause, go ahead and click any of the links and fill out the simple declaration. While you are there, you can even pick up one of the wristbands that have become the official charity accessory (myself, I just stick with the solitary LiveStrong wristband). Also check out the Live 8 concert on MTV and VH1 airing this weekend featuring Coldplay, Snoop Dogg, Audioslave, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder and a reunited Pink Floyd in London. I hear a DVD will follow too, and even if it didn’t go to a good cause would be worth the cost with the Pink Floyd reunion.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Another awards show that has been solid over the last couple years is the ESPY’s put on by ESPN. Granted I, and most like you, have no clue what ESPY stand for, but anyways. With MTV constantly putting on bad award shows (thanks Jimmy Fallon), the ESPY's are poised to overtake the MTV awards as the most entertaining award show of the year. Like the MTV Movie Awards, the awards are picked by us, the audience, so make sure you drop by ESPN.com and vote. Matthew Perry is your host and I feel he should at the very least do a solid job. The best part of the ESPY's, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, has yet to be anounced. So here is the list of nominees and who I voted for. Keep in mind this is an abridged list as I could care less about awards handed out to Best WNBA Player, Best Outdoor Athlete, or the Best Person Who Can Only Make Left Turns.
Best Female Athlete
Seimone Augustus, LSU Basketball
Natalie Coughlin, U.S. Swimming
Maria Sharapova, WTA
Annika Sorenstam, LPGA
Who I Voted For: Natalie Coughlin.
Who Will Win: Maria Sharapova
First of all you need to eliminate Annika because a golfer should never be named best athlete. Then gold metals trump any other award and Coughlin got two last summer. And her vote has nothing to do with her being on my top 5 list.
Best Male Athlete
Lance Armstrong, cyclist
Payton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Bode Miller, U.S. Ski Team
Michael Phelps, U.S. Swim Team
Vijay Singh, professional golfer
Who I Voted For: Michael Phelps
Who Will Win: Lance Armstrong
Again, for me, gold medals trump everything and Phelps’ eight tied an Olympic Record. But Armstrong has won the last two tears so I expect a repeat.
Baylor Women’s Basketball
Boston Red Sox
New England Patriots
San Antonio Spurs
Who I Voted For: San Antonio Spurs
Who Will Win: San Antonio Spurs
No college team has ever won this, and there is a good reason for that, so you can throw out those two teams. Boston/New England will split the vote, so I have a feeling that everyone will vote like me and go for the only team left. Unless Sox Nation makes some pact for New Englander only vote for one team. NC Basketball has to wondering how they got left off in favor of Baylor.
Bill Belichicken, New England Patriots
Pete Carroll, USC Football
Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox
Roy Williams, UNC Men’s Basketball
Who I Voted For: Gregg Popovich
Who Will Win: Gregg Popovich
See Best Team for reasons. Although I think Williams has an outside chance with some pity votes, but he coached college where one coach has won. And surprisingly that was Gary “She’s Awful” Barnett.
Best Championship Performance
Deion Branch, New England Patriots
Matt Leinart, USC Football
Sean May, UNC Men’s Basketball
Curt Schilling, Boston Red Sox
Who I Voted For: Sean May
Who Will Win: Curt Schilling
It’s a same that Schilling will win this award. After a year of crusades against performance enhancing drugs in baseball, an award will go to a guy who uses performance enhancing drugs. And if you don’t think what Shilling shot into his ankle before his games were not performance enhancing, you are naïve.
Best Male Olympic Performance
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
Jeremy Wariner, Tack & Field
Who I Voted For: Michael Phelps
Who Will Win: Michael Phelps
Phelps was the golden boy (pun intended) of the Olympics so he will win, and he should because of his record performance.
Best Female Olympic Performance
Natalie Coughlin, Swimming
Carly Patterson, Gymnastics
Team USA Softball
Who I Voted For: Natalie Coughlin
Who Will Win: Team USA Softball
It seems a little unfair to have a whole team in competition, but anyways. And didn’t Patterson choke in the team competition to cost the US the gold?
Matt Brown, Wichita State Baseball
Tiger Woods at the Masters
Who I Voted For: Blake Hoffarber
Who Will Win: Tiger Woods
Blake, if you remember, is the kid from Minnesota who forced overtime his state championship game by hitting a three-pointer while lying on his back. Sadly, Woods will win by name recognition alone.
Bucknell Men’s Basketball (vs. Kansas)
Giacomo (vs. the field)
Puerto Rico Men’s Basketball (vs. Team USA)
Vermont Men’s Basketball (vs. Syracuse)
Who I Voted For: Bucknell Men’s Basketball
Who Will Win: Puerto Rico Men’s Basketball
Giacomo is eliminated because he’s not human. Many people had Vermont going deep into the bracket. Puerto Rico was an upset, but no one was that surprised, but on the other hand, Bucknell destroys many, including me, people’s brackets.
Kayla Burt, Washington Basketball (Suffered Cardiac Arrest)
Mark Fields, Carolina Panthers (Cancer)
Rulon Gardner, Wrestling (Amputated Toes)
Jordon Sigalet, Bowling Green Hockey (Multiple Sclerosis)
Who I Voted For: Mark Fields
Who Will Win: Rulon Gardner
This is the hardest category as all are worthy of an award, but I have to say cancer is a hard thing to comeback from after all the radiation treatments.
Danica Patrick, IRL
Ben Roethlisburger, Pittsburg Steelers
Maria Sharapova, Tennis
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Who I Voted For: Maria Sharapova
Who Will Win: Dwyane Wade
Wow, Danica can turn left 1000 time (sarcasm). And like Wade and Big Ben, didn’t win anything last year. I’ll take a winner.
Best Record Breaking Performance
New England Patriots (21 straight wins)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (49 TD’s)
Pat Summitt, Tennessee Woman’s Basketball (882 career wins)
Ichiro Suzuki (262 hits)
Who I Voted For: Ichiro Suzuki
Who Will Win: Peyton Manning
Summitt gets thrown out for caching Women’s Basketball, NE didn’t do it in a single season, and Manning’s will be broken soon with the new rules in place. So Ichiro should win by default.
Best Sports Movie
I abstained from this category as the best sports movie, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Under Armour Undeniable Performance Award
Misty May and Kerry Walsh
Who I Voted For: Misty May and Kerry Walsh
Who Will Win: Terrell Owens
I have no idea what this award is for, so I just went with the gold metal winners. Of course, this award make about as much sense as:
GMC Professional Grade Play Award
Lance Armstrong, Cycling
Curtis Martin, New York Jets
Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
Pat Summitt, Tennessee Basketball
Who I Voted For: Lance Armstrong
Who Will Win: Lance Armstrong
Umm, I’ve ran out of something deep to say so I’ll just stop there with the predictions.
On a side note, I want to give a congratulations to my boy Craig Biggio who broke the record for most hit by a pitch in a career. To show just how big those hits are, Biggio scored on a third of his record breaking HBP’s. So I already know who I’ll be voting for next year’s Best Record Breaking Performance for the ESPY’s.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
And that is what you will get with the debut major label album by Esthero. She definitely isn’t like Britney or Ashanti, two artist who she takes potshots in the opening track off of Wikked Lil’ Grrrls. MTV and the radio, and their repetitiveness, are also a major target in the first track We R in Need of a MusicalReVoLuTion. But after the brass opening track, Esthero mellows out for most of the rest of the album.
Esthero’s strong suit is that she can switch and mix up genres better than any one out there today. Most of her music has an old-time feel with the infusion of jazz and soul yet some songs do have modern hip-hop and dance grooves. This is most evident in the title track of the album that has a ragtime feel to it. And the music is provided mostly by musicians, not a drum loop played over and over again. And many different instruments are utilized throughout the album. The bouncy Everyday is a Holiday (With You) sound like a Chicago song with the horns section. Well that’s if Chicago had a female lead singer.
There a few high profile guest spots on the album with Sean Lennon Everyday is a Holiday (With You) and Andre' 3000 on Junglebook and Cee-Lo Green helps out on Gone. Cee-Lo does stick out like a sore thumb on an otherwise great track, and it would had been better if he had been left off the song.
Song to Download - Wikked Lil’ Grrrls
Wikked Lil’ Grrrls gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, June 27, 2005
In yet another mind numbing decision for the Cavs this offseason, the team brought back one of their biggest bust of all time, Danny Fairy. So now the Cavs now have a novice general manager and a novice head coach. I can’t imagine they will do any better than the Paxson/Silas duo. I have this theory that the owner, Dan Gilbert, has a master plan where he runs the team in the ground for so long that they bring back the Major League movie franchise but instead focus on Cleveland basketball team. Then Gilbert will make crazy money off the box office revenue. . Seriously, with Usher as a minority owner, that script writes itself.
Although I guess Fairy does know a lot about how having one stiff taking too much of the salary cap as he hurt they Cavs with his cap hit during the early nineties. I’m say Fairy was the reason I jumped ship from the Cavs at the time to start rooting for the Supersonic (you know, back when they were Super), but I was a big Ron Harper fan in my youth. And still am as I still have a Cavs poster circa 1988 with him, “Hot Rod” Williams, Larry Nance, and Mark Price. Ironically, well not really that ironic, this was around the last time the Cavs were competitive. Fairy was even asked if he would have made that trade with him and Harper. Fairy just laughed and said, “No comment.”
But at least the Cleveland teams are consistent in they fleece the championship teams. So whoever is the bench coach for the World Series champs this year, be prepared to get a season pass to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because you just may be the new skipper for the Indians next season.
Bye the way, the title is a Welcome Back Kotter reference. Granted I was being a little more cynical than John Sebastian.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
So what would happen if you replaced the hero of a zombie movie with a bubbling slacker? Well if you are British, you get Shaun of the Dead. The movie starts out following Shaun around his mundane life. He’s still working at a computer store. He still sits in front of the TV flipping channels with his buddy Ed, who is a bigger loser than Shaun is. But his world comes crashing down when his girlfriend dumps him. Oh and the whole city is being turned into zombies, not that Shaun or Ed even notice. That’s until Ed notices a weird girl hanging out in their garden. This gives Shaun the idea on how to get his girlfriend back, sweep her off her feet and take her to safety. But Shaun and Ed are no Will Smith and Bruce Willis so hilarity ensues.
The major problem with the movie is that their too many spots in the movie where the scenes are not funny or scary. With a movie that mixes humor with gore, there should be a least one going on at all time. Another problem with the movie is that there is some things that are lost in the translation as it is a British film. While I was watching it, I wondered out load, “Why would Shaun have a paddle in his shed and why would he grab that?” Someone then pointed out that it was a cricket bat. And there were a few places where the British slang just went over of my head.
The DVD extras include the usual trailer, documentaries (extremely boring), deleted and extended scenes (good choice taking these out), and blooper reel. One very inventive feature was the inclusion of comics that plugs so holes in the story. No if only every movie did this. Also, during the film, Shaun and Ed flip through the TV pretty quickly, so in the extra they show extended versions of what they flipped past including a interview with Coldplay who lost some of their members to the zombies and what looks to be the British version of Jerry Springer.
With everything that had be popular oversees, I predicted we will get an Americanized version of Shaun of the Dead (spelled Shawn instead) within five years with Stifler as Shawn, Jack Black as Ed, Kate Bosworth as Liz, the nerdy dude from The O.C. as David, some token hot chick as Dianne, and Burt Reynolds as Phillip. And in hopes to rejuvenate his career, Michael Jackson will don the Thriller makeup one more time to be the head zombie that leads the other zombie in a zombie dance. Just make sure Shawn grabs a baseball bat out of the shed.
Shaun of the Dead gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.