23 June 2010

Vital Signs

It's been a stressful 10 days in South Africa for the U.S. men's soccer team. After narrowly pulling out a 1-1 draw against England and coming from behind to draw Slovenia 2-2 (a match in which the U.S. wrongly had a legitimate goal called back), the boys in red, white, and blue maintained enough composure to pull away with a goal in the 91st minute to win the match against Algeria today, 1-0.

Shockingly, the U.S. nearly faced a similar fate as their match with Slovenia when, in the first half, a goal by U.S. midfielder, Clint Dempsey, was called back on an offside call by a linesman. After many reviews by commentators, it was a unanimous agreement that the goal should have counted and the U.S. was robbed of yet another goal in this World Cup.

However, the win today sends the U.S. into the quarter finals at the top of the group. It'll be exciting to see if coach, Bob Bradley, can get the team over a line they've never crossed in history. This really is the best thing to happen every four years.

19 June 2010

Something in Another Time

A recent visit to Nashville's Belcourt Theater to see Exit Through The Gift Shop proved to be time well spent. For those unfamiliar with Banksy - a very mysterious and often demonized British artist - this was his first film and it proved to tell as much of a story and create as almost as much controversy as his art.

The project started out as an idea conjured up by French ex-patriot, Thierry Guetta, after a trip home to find that his cousin - the famed French street artists known simply as "Space Invader" for his repetitive placement of characters from the famed 80's video game in public spaces - was well immersed in the underground world of public street art. And Guetta, being a man who filmed everything started collecting hundreds of hours of film from "Invader's" fly-by-night art.

What became an obsession, led Guetta to connect with the infamous L.A. artist, Shepard Fairey (some may recognize Fairey's work with his use of the "obey" art featuring wrestler, Andre the Giant). And when one thing led to another, Guetta and Fairey hooked up with Banksy in L.A. and over a series of months, Banksy began to trust Guetta to film him. This ultimately turned into the idea to make a documentary about international street art using Guetta's film exclusively.

However, after collecting years of footage, Guetta pieced together what Banksy considered to be a disaster of a film. And this sparked the idea for Banksy to turn the tables and make a documentary about Guetta (who would quickly become know as Mr. Brainwash for his attempt to make subtle and repetitive suggestions through his version of street art).

Sounds confusing and complicated, right? It is, to be sure. But with a final product pieced together and released by Banksy and his team, the end result is a wonderful documentary that's engaging, often hilarious and sparks the debate about what art really is. The story is fantastically told and the film is one of the more enjoyable documentaries that's been out in quite some time.

05 June 2010

Fur Lined

With so many horrible things happening around the globe right now - Oil in our beautiful gulf, the fall of the Euro, Israeli diplomacy at its worst, stocks dive bombing - it's high time to take a step away and enjoy some new (and wonderfully heavy) music.

recently released their latest album, Diamond Eyes. And for a band that's been together for 20 years, they still know how to bring the heaviness and keep it fresh. The track Rocket Skates gives listeners a wonderful riff that will stick with you for days. Check out their site with the link above to listen.

Also, check out Trent Reznor's new project, How to Destroy Angels. Reznor brought his wife, Mariqueen, into the mix as vocalist and what came out is pretty great.

The album carries with it the obvious Nine Inch Nails musical aspects, but adding Mariqueen's vocals to the mix gives Reznor's musical efforts a breath of fresh life. The entire EP is a free download on their site where you can also check out their ominous (and very dark) video for The Space in Between.

For the softer side, check out The National's newest effort High Violet. It's a beautiful record, extremely smart and a great summer release. Also, check out their video for the first sings, Bloodbuzz Ohio.