30 June 2005

We'll burn this city down

Today I would like to discuss some records that I own that I believe are flawless and that I think are essential to any true music lover's collection.

The Beach Boys - "Pet Sounds"
This is on my list for several reasons. First it's been nearly 20 years since I first heard this record and it was only about 5 years ago that I fully understood what really happened to make this record perfect. Most people will tell you that there is a fine line between genious and insanity. I feel in this instance, however, that there was no distinction between the two. Brian Wilson lost his head making this a perfect recording. He almost lost his band in the process as well. Every note, every tone and every word on this record is so precisely placed and many long nights, arguments and drugs were all part of making this happen.

John Coltrane - "A Love Supreme"
This record is one of Coltrane's most loved. It is not only a musical masterpiece, but also a religious experience. Coltrane used his deep love for God as his inspiration for this recording. Sometimes jazz can sound like a beautiful mess, but in the case of "A Love Supreme" there is no mess, just beauty and a deep love. Mr. Coltrane knew exaclty what he was doing when he wrote these four songs and he did so with a passion that perfectly combines the musical with the spiritual.

U2 - "Achtung Baby"
All I can really say about this record is that it is simply a masterpiece. They're U2 and they make it all seem so simple.

Radiohead - "Ok Computer"
Another fine line between genious and insanity album. But like the Beach Boys, Radiohead did a fine job of creating perfect insanity. Their sounds may have been different and a bit off the wall, but they combined these sounds and vocal patterns with music rooted so deep in traditional rock that the greatness of this album is undeniable.

Pedro the Lion - "Control"
This concept album follows a man through his struggles with greed, pride, lust, adultry, and death. It reaches deep into the dark soul of a fictional man whose stuggles define what most men deal with today. The songs are beautifully made, the guitars completely drive this album and the drums bring beats that are so original to the indie rock sound. Much like the other records listed, these 10 songs all had a purpose to be perfect and were brought to fruition by the creative genious of David Bazan.

Elliott - "False Cathedrals"
I mention this other "indie" record, simply because it would have been a worldwide success if had been on a major label. Revalation Records was a decent fit at best for a band like Elliott. Each song on the record has so many layers that were so strategic in forming the songs and making each track true art. I really can't say much more about this record. I just know that it is simply amazing.

29 June 2005

You're excused....and I'm not your bra!

Apparently Howard Dean is saying that the voting in Ohio in the 2004 election was the main reason Bush is still in office. The National Review has a good article on the matter. Dean has said that he believes that there was no exact case of voter fraud, just voter suppression by the Republican party. He makes claims that the Republicans were responsible for the lack of African-American voters in Ohio. However according to the National Review "There were 84,000 more black voters in Ohio in 2004 than in 2000 — a 25-percent increase."

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. How about that for voter impropriety?

And also, Dean has been all over (most notably on The Daily Show with John Stewart) stating time and time again the Democrats are going to balance the budget. I swear he said it at least eight or nine times in that 10 minute interview, but gave no examples of how they might do that. Are they going to raise taxes, cut government funded programs, or just pick 100 dollar bills from the money trees that sit on the backside of capitol hill?

That is as bad as a presidential candidate simply stating that they are going to be a good president. I need some concrete examples of how you plan on doing that. What things are going to be done and how long will it take to do it?? I need to know how the Dems plan on doing this and no one is telling me. Neither Howard Dean's website or Democracy for America is mentioning anything about it.

In an un-related sports note, the race is on for starting position for 1st base on the National League All-Star team. Who will it be...Albert Pujols of Derek Lee??

27 June 2005

Trusty Chords

Well Tom Cruise has officially lost it in my opinion. What is "it" you ask?? His freaking head. He's gone nuts. From his interview with Matt Lauer on the topic of scientology to his Oprah and Jay Leno appearances to his complete lack of humor when he got water squirted on him by a fake microphone as part of a British gag show.

I'm not sure if he's finally snapped because of all the pressures of being on the Hollywood IT list or if all this scientology brain washing is making him a wacko. But I do know that he's definately not the same Tom Cruise from a couple of years ago.

In science news, NASA will be aiding in blowing up a comet this 4th of July. That's right people...NASA is going Hollywood and blowing up a comet. What's so great about this is they've un-officially tagged it "Operation Deep Impact"

This comet is not even close to hitting earth or any other planet for that matter. This is just one big experiment and I think it's awesome. I'm sure the scientific benifits of this will be groundbreaking and could prove useful one day, but for now, get out your telescopes and get ready to watch a show unlike any fireworks show you've ever seen.

24 June 2005

Is six bad?

No, six is not bad. At least not for Robert Horry of the San Antonio Spurs who claimed their third NBA title in seven years last night in a decisive game seven agains the Detriot Pistons. Horry, now only the second player to have three championships with three differnt teams, can put his championship rings on the six fingers of his choosing. It is nice to see a University of Alabama alumn accomplishing such great things in the world of sport.

Tim Duncan is no laughing matter either. He now has tallied a double-double in 81 playoff games in his career. No small feat for this Wake Forest alumn.

George is getting upset

The Supreme Court have voted to allow companies to pay "reasonable compensation" for people's homes and property. Dave Ramsey had a few things to say about it. The best point I heard him make was possibly the most obvious: "It's someone's property. They own it. I don't care how much good a company will do for a community, that property doesn't belong to the company."

Personally, I feel that this decision is completely screwed. I do see the economic benifits of the decision and I do understand that (more than likely) companies around the nation aren't just going to go hog wild and start moving people out of their homes. But I agree with Dave Ramsey in that it's no one's property except the owner's.

I also feel that Sandra Day O'Connor was correct in her statement that this decision favors rich corporations.

We'll just have to stay tuned and see how many people this affects.

15 June 2005

The last time that I saw you

I am extremely tired of the EU right now. I won't go into details, but I will say that the pressure that the EU is putting on Tony Blair right now is rediculous. Blair has been wise and kept his hand out of the mix and is only getting flack for it. If I were Blair, I would be doing the same things...especially in regards to the French. It's funny that since the formation of the EU, the French have been led to believe that they are God's gift to the world. Get over yourself please!

13 June 2005

Tony Alva

"The Lords of Dogtown" was a great movie. However, it may only be great to those that grew up skateboarding or interested in skateboarding and/or surfing. The acting was horrible, but expected, because the lead actors were not actors, they were skateboarders trying to act. But in the same sense, they truly portrayed how skateboarders acted. A lot of our group didn't enjoy the movie as much as I did. I just thought is was amazing to see how people reacted when they first saw a person get any air on a vert ramp. It was also great to see the beginnings of pool skating. I wish I could somehow get back for a year of that time to experience some of the things they did.

I think I may try to find an old board and go for a ride.

11 June 2005

She says Idaho

So Natalee Holloway has been reported as dead. This came after the confession of one of the three suspect held in custody of Aruban officials. It's sad to see how a high school senior trip can result in such horrible circumstances.

Going to see "Lords of Dogtown" tonight. A report will soon follow. If it's about the early foundations of street and park skateboarding it can't be all that bad right??

10 June 2005

Disturbing Information

Natalee Holloway has become a No. 1 priority search for Aruba, according to fox news. This is good news.

The bad news lies in the potential that Holloway may have been sold into (prostitution) slavery in another country. Had I heard this one month ago, it would have sounded outlandish and improbable. However, after reading some reasearch on human trafficking I've started to feel a since of worry.

Statistics gathered by British journalist Jessica Williams claim that some 120,000 women and girls are trafficked intoWestern Europe every year. The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) reported that many of these women come from Eastern Europe [Moldova, Romania, and the Ukraine], but also from other parts of the world. Many are falsly led into employment to help support their families and are sent away into slave sex labor, but others are kidnapped and forced into the same situation. This is a trade that is estimated at some $7 billion a year.

Crazy stuff.


Ok, so a few posts ago, I wrote about Malcom Glazer's control of Manchester United. I see why many fans and organizations are upset, but now I'm starting to see the other side. In the 90's, when United's management and owners decided to become a publicly traded club, they set themselves up for this exact situation. They should have understood full and well that at some point, some greedy American would buy the majority of the shares.

I do hope that Glazer's ownership will not screw a tradition-rich team, but he paid billions for it and can now do what he likes.

Now another matter: Toasted bagels with Philly's strawberry cream cheese are worth their weight in gold.

08 June 2005

The Epic Begins

Here are a few personal record reviews of some tasty treats I've recently purchased:

Belle and Sebastian - "Push Barman to Open Old Wounds"
This album is nothing short of fantastic. I've always been a fan of Belle and Sebastian's music, but there's never been much variation. All previous albums were good, just a bit similar. "Push Barman..." however steps out a bit from the typical and into the extraordinary. The two-disc record, compiled of old ep's, is filled with influences from bluegrass, classical, blues, ragtime, and country/western, yet still hold onto that solid Belle and Sebastian foundation that makes them so great.

Rilo Kiley - "More Adventerous"
I've always been a skeptic of indie-rock bands with cute girls as the lead singer. I've also always tried my best to dislike Rilo Kiley. However, their music is better than my first impression of a band with a girl lead singer. "More Adventerous" is the band's first release on a major label (WB) and with that comes an extra touch on the recording. The guitars are sharper, the vocals clearer, and the layers undeniable. Influences spanning four decades help make each song a new adventure.

Coldplay - "X&Y"
Coldplay has done it. They've built an epic record on their past two recording experiences. "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" were outstanding records in that they were well thought, recorded flawlessly and very listenable. "X&Y" however takes what little pieces the first two records lacked, filled in the gaps and came out perfect. Of course there are the few songs that I would rather skip over to get to the real stand-out tracks like "Fix You", but every song on the record is amazing. Coldplay have really accomplished much with this album. Let the critics have their say, but I say "Perfect!"

In unrelated news: The New York Yankees (The Bronx Bombers) have lost nine of their last 10 games, including losing the last two to the Brewers. And on top of that the St Louis Cardinals have taken the last two games away from the Boston Red Sox, who I respect, but who also swept my Cards in the 2004 World Series.

02 June 2005

Raining Frogs

The French and The Dutch have "slapped the left cheek and the right cheek of the European Union" by voting no to a constitution for the EU. Full details here.

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg was upset about the outcome of the French and Dutch votes. I, for one, was glad to see it voted down. It all seemed a bit off to me. It would be one thing if all the EU countries were young countries in need of a greater guidance, but they are all well-established countries with their own constitutions and ways of government. Each country is completely able to stand on its own without the parental guidance of an EU constitution.

It's the first time in a long time I've been proud of the French.

Speaking of the French, The Louvre is getting a new website that will be launched next week.
www.louvre.fr is the site.

01 June 2005

Here he is

Deep Throat is out and in the open.