Tuesday, February 19, 2008

10 Years in the Future

Amsterdam is waiting.If we should all make it past 2012 AND survive the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, today the politicing passed a mile mark with the first country, actually a tag team of countries, petitioning to host the 2018 World Cup. Who!? you ask... well, Belgium & the Netherlands are the first bid to be accepted by FIFA. Of course others are interested, including the US, Mexico, Japan, China, Russia, Spain-Portugal, England and Australia (personally, I've always wanted to go to Australia), so this is only the beginning of the process. We shall see how this pans out.
Still haven't figured out why to stopped the "rotation system." It seemed like a fair way to make sure the World Cup didn't end up stuck in Europe or North America every other year. Evidently the new system is only the previous two hosts are ineligible. So for 2018 only S. Africa and S. America will be unable to put in a bid. Interesting.

The Greatest Music Collection(?) Needs A New Home!

Not sure what gives this guy the right to call his personal collection "The Greatest," as i'm sure it is smaller (and probably less grand, though I've seen neither) than the collection at the Library of Congress. Semantics aside, "the world's greatest music collection" is up for sale.

It was (and may still be) on eBay and only one bid of just over $28 million has come in (unfortunately, this bid fell through). The owner has estimated the collection at closer to $50 million, and with super rare albums (such as an "unreleased, untitled Rolling Stones album of early singles. Originally recorded in mono, the songs were remastered in stereo for FM radio stations in the early 1970s. Mawhinney estimates the album is worth between $5,000 and $10,000.") some say the estimate is pretty darn close.

If this thing were anywhere near N. Florida, I might make the trek just to say I got to see this massive collection. In stead i'll probably just be jealous of whoever buys it and figure out when I can visit the LoC collection at a much later date. (Some other D.C. visits are higher on the list, including Mt. Vernon and George Washington's whiskey distillery.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

MINISTRY's "Final" Show (in the U.S.)

So, i'm all set to attend the two shows Ministry has listed on their site as their final tour dates in the U.S. which is supposed to be their "final tour." Today...they announce...ANOTHER DATE! I'll be there for the May 8th and 9th but cannot afford third concert in a row at the House of Blues in Chicago. Unfortunate, had I known I would have made sure to attend "THE FINAL" show. Oh well. That's how things go I suppose. Then again, i'm betting Jourgensen will be out doing some other project within a year or two after this anyway.

Sevilla FC!!! And other futbol stuff...

So, it looks like things are getting better for Sevilla FC... at least on paper. I'm getting frustrated as they really have not televised many of their matches on Gol TV...at least not compared to last season. Anyway, according to this article they handled Espanyol rather handily and the three points pushes them further up La Liga's rankings.

"...Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute struck within (the first) 11 minutes for a Sevilla side looking close to their brilliant best..."

I know they are basically out of the race for the league championship, but finishing strong will keep them in contention for the UEFA Champions League (I believe they need to finish 4th or better) and the UEFA Cup (which they have won the past two years).

Their next match is Wednesday in the Champions League against Fenerbahçe SK. Let's Go Sevillistas!!

Learned something new today...according to Wikipedia (I'll research its reliability as soon as I can):

"The Primera División is currently first in the UEFA rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five-year period, ahead of the English Premier League in second and the Serie A in third. The 2005–06 average attendance of 29,029 for league matches is the sixth highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world. In professional football (soccer) leagues Primera División was third-highest, behind the Bundesliga in first and the Premier League in second."

I get so tired of people knocking La Liga (or putting the English Premier league up on a pedestal). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the other leagues as well, and what's not to respect about the EPL or Serie A (Italy for you non-fans) or even the Bundesliga (Germany), but don't put down what evidently is currently the highest ranked league in Europe. Even though i'm no fan of Real Madrid (still consider them the NY Yankees of La Liga), between them, Barcelona FC and Sevilla FC, you've got three of the finest clubs in all of Europe.

And speaking of the Yankees of La Liga, learned something else this weekend. For those of you that see Manchester United in a similar light, I just found out about this team, FC United Manchester. They are a semi-pro team that came about after supporters of Manchester United got fed up with Malcolm Glazer (the team's American Owner) and his "business before team" style of ownership. I've found stickers and posters that read "Love United, Hate Glazer." Anyway, sounds like an interesting newish team for me to follow. Since their inception two years ago (yeah, i'm late on the bandwagon) they've done rather well, working their way up the English system. They are currently listed as 7th in their league this season.

"FC United's (first) two seasons were successful. FC United entered at the tenth level of the English football league system (the second division of the North West Counties Football League) and they were confirmed as champions on 15 April 2006 and followed that up by being crowned as champions of Division 1 on 18 April 2007 and will play in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2007-08 season."

Friday, February 15, 2008

THE BATCAVE 25th Anniversary Tour

The Batcave comes to the U.S. for a 25th Anniversary Tour:

(ORIGINAL LINEUP - all members!!)

The Batcave is touring across the USA THIS SUMMER - with the bands that ran the bloody place! This has not happened since 1983!

With all the decadence, glam, and gore of the original, with some very special surprises in store...

The bad news: tickets will be available via Ticketmaster...

They will be offering a limited quantity of Early Presale VIP packages to the general public!

Batcave 2008 Tour Dates (subject to change, updates to follow - stay tuned):
June 11th Atlanta, GA - Venue TBA
June 13th Washington, DC - Venue TBA
June 15th New York, NY - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
June 17th Cleveland, OH - Venue TBA
June 18th, Detroit, MI - Venue TBA
June 20th, Chicago, IL - Venue TBA
June 22nd, New Orleans, - Venue TBA
June 23rd, Houston, TX - Venue TBA
June 25th TBA
June 27th San Francisco, CA - Venue TBA
June 28th Los Angeles CA - Henry Fonda Theatre

Sooo... want to attend the New Orleans show...just not sure how DJ will take this one...it is in June though... ;-) (make note of the tags...anyone reading this)
OH, gotta do some research, think I have a discount for ticketbastard from my last purchase with them...must find it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rhino is at it again... oh, and The Clash on PBS!

Not sure what to think about this. First Joy Division reissues, which I really want, and now The Replacements. Don't get me wrong, I love the new stuff that gets released...well, mostly. But, it's so difficult (on a budget) to go and re-purchase albums you already own. I still haven't caught up on The Cure re-issues with extra cds (and they also just put out a 2CD edition of "Blue Sunshine" by the Glove, with the second CD containing the album as it should have been released, with Mr. Smith doing the vocals). Anyway, here's the news about those Minneapolis Madmen, The 'Mats.
Side note: what's with the manager dealing with this, there are (important) band members still among the living...?!?

The Replacements, America's Finest Garage Rock Band
From CMJ.com: "The bulk of the Replacements' rudimentary material will receive a face-lift of sorts. On April 22, the Minneapolis-bred band's Twin/Tone catalog — including the 1981 debut Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, the 1982 EP Stick, the 1983 sophomore disc Hootenanny and the quintessential 1984 release Let It Be — will be reissued in extended, remastered form by Rhino. As some of the original members have (sic) deceased, these larval releases were readied for restoration by the Replacements' manager Peter Jesperson. The partial-catalog reissue is only the beginning, as Rhino will press on, reissuing the Sire releases, which constitutes the latter half of the Replacements' expansive career."

Plus, there's going to be a new documentary about The Clash on PBS! The Clash Live: Revolution Rock will mainly be comprised of live footage that spans the band's entire career, and will include in-studio TV performances too. The movie will premier on PBS in March, which is good, because the constant reruns of those doo-wop reunion concerts were starting to piss us off. Check TheClashOnline.com for air dates, since PBS affiliates are allowed to shuffle their schedule (sadly no Tally-ho airing just yet). Or if you can, wait until the DVD is released April 15. It will include extras like the band's appearance on ABC's early '80s, ill-fated Saturday Night Live rip-off, Friday's (guess this will be my option).

An odd take on things...

So, Speilberg has decided to boycott helping China with their Olympic preparations until they help put pressure on Sudan to "help stop the crisis in Darfur." Am I the only one that finds this odd considering the human rights violations that China itself has been perpetrating? The violations in Tibet alone are among what some call "the worst in the world," which has created an apartheid system which has denied Tibetans equal social and economic status in their own land. But sure, let's have the Olympics over there and pressure them to help out with some other country's system of genocide. Yes, I understand the genocide in the Sudan is probably a notch or two worse than what's going on in Tibet, but it just seems odd to even try and "team" up with them to work on another human rights violation. Why not try and get their situation fixed first...for that matter why have the Olympics there when it sounds like things are not getting any better.

A good site for more information about China's human rights violations is here at The Human Rights Watch site. I see they also posted a story about Speilberg, so it's getting out there. They bring up this same point in their piece as well. It seems as though the Chinese government is NOT sticking to the human rights pledges it made to bring the Games to Beijing. Here is another interesting "protest" site called Tibet Truth. Without getting too deep into the site, i'm curious why they are only asking for the English athletes to show their support with a blue ribbon. Check it out, it's worth it just for the imagery on the first page of the site.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's all about the music...isn't it?

Finally getting around to checking out ALL the winners from this past weekend's Grammy Awards. Here's a few that i'm glad were winners...

Record Of The Year
Amy Winehouse

Mark Ronson, producer; Tom Elmhirst, Vaughan Merrick, Dom Morley, Mark Ronson & Gabriel Roth, engineers/mixers
Track from: Back To Black
[Universal Republic Records]

Album Of The Year
River: The Joni Letters
Herbie Hancock

Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza & Tina Turner, featured artists; Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, producers; Helik Hadar, engineer/mixer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

Song Of The Year
Amy Winehouse, songwriter (Amy Winehouse)
Track from: Back To Black

Best New Artist

Amy Winehouse

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Amy Winehouse
Track from: Back To Black

Best Pop Instrumental Album
* The Mix-Up
Beastie Boys
[Capitol Records]

Best Pop Vocal Album
Back To Black
Amy Winehouse

Best Electronic/Dance Album
We Are The Night
The Chemical Brothers

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
Radio Nowhere
Bruce Springsteen
Track from: Magic

Best Hard Rock Performance

The Pretender
Foo Fighters

Best Metal Performance

Final Six
Track from: Christ Illusion

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Once Upon A Time In The West
Bruce Springsteen
Track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone

Best Rock Song
Radio Nowhere
Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)
Track from: Magic

Best Rock Album
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Foo Fighters

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
No One
Alicia Keys

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Future Baby Mama
Track from: Planet Earth

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Lupe Fiasco Featuring Jill Scott
Track from: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
Lost Highway
Willie Nelson & Ray Price
Track from: Last Of The Breed

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
River: The Joni Letters
Herbie Hancock

Best Comedy Album
The Distant Future
Flight Of The Conchords
[Sub Pop]

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
What It Is!: Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)
Masaki Koike, art director (Various Artists)

One question...
How did Trapped In The Closet Chapters 13-22 by R. Kelly get beat by Madonna's Confessions Tour for Best Long Form Video?

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Season of Joy

I can't believe I didn't write up something about "Control," the movie about Ian Curtis. Took DJ to see it the night it opened here in Tallahassee. At this point I'll just say it was a great movie, definitely shows a bit of a slant as it was Deborah's story, but well made, emotional, somewhat informative and very entertaining.

I was just in a discussion in a Side-Line forum about how even a documentary would not be able to get Ian's full story since it died with him...and now this gets tossed around. A promotional video for the "new" documentary called "Joy Division" which was released (or at least it was shown at a Manchester film festival) back in 2007. So far, what i've read about it, granted a lot of it is blogger stuff, has been very positive. Regardless, i'm lookin' forward to this one just as much (maybe even more so). I'm guessing it will be better than the "Wired:Joy Division" two part mini-documentary a Factory Records promotional (UK 1988 (Factory FAC 211) [promo]).

If this isn't enough...then watch this as well...it's probably better than all the other videos on here put together.

A nice little weekend...

Dropped by Finnegan's Wake for a few drinks after work on Friday. Nothing too exciting, spent some time with the wife and workmates until they headed for the winery. I stayed back and watched a replay of the Tottenham v Man Utd match. Painful to watch knowing what was going to happen in the last 15 seconds of the match (by my count). But the Spurs didn't capitalize on a few chances that would have made that last minute goal mean nothing. I'm looking in your direction Robbie Keane. Though I suppose a draw against the second place team is much better than a loss (and they did win against Derby this weekend, Keane finally decided to put one in the net in this match).

Saturday I watched some soccer and recovered from the night out. Mostly kept myself occupied waiting to see the Sevilla v Barcelona match. BIG MATCH. Ended in more frustration. First, I have to say, I think this was a match that the ref stepped into which is rarely ever a good thing. Next, Sevilla had more chances to give their side an extra goal or two but in the end only scored the one goal in the first half. Barcelona was VERY lucky to only be down by the one at the break.

During the match one of the ways the ref "stepped into the game" was by stopping play too often, an example of this was when he gave Keita a yellow card for what was barely an offense at all. Personally, I don't think it should have been a call at all, much less a carded offense. Unfortunately only a few minutes later, after Barcelona had tied things up, Keita dove in with a hard tackle, which was definitely a yellow card offense...which meant he now had two...giving him reason to find a nice quiet place in the locker room to reflect. A tired Sevilla now had no chance against Barcelona. Luckily it remained tied at one at the final whistle. As much as I would have preferred a Sevilla win, this was especially painful because I'd prefer to see anyone but Real Madrid end up on top at the end of this season...and Barcelona have the best chance, so the tie hurt their chances as well. All the way around it was a hard ending.

After this, I had a match of my own and it was worth attending for the pre-game discovery alone. Someone "found" my lost (EPL) match ball. Granted it had my name and phone number all over the thing, but two or three weeks later it shows up at a match. As I approached the fields from the parking area, I discover someone bouncing a familiar red and white ball up the sidewalk on the way to their match (which happened to be against my team). After going to another field to return someones shin pads I had to borrow last week, I walked over towards the field we were about to use where there was a small group of players from both teams.

"Oh my gawd, someone found my ball, who found it?" I said, glancing "blindly" at the guy that had been bouncing it, his friend and then all the others. I got very little response other than a return glance and a slight grunt of sorts.

The match was pretty close for the first two-thirds, but in the final third we took over and won it. Made the win that much nicer. Funny thing is neither the ball nor the shin pads cost me very much. (I can only guess I accidentally left them on the pitch after a match where we were rushed off by the lights being turned off.) But the ball is a nice and expensive one, that was a gift from the traveling god(s), so losing it meant a lot more to me, it's a damn good match ball...and now it's back. (Probably to be lost again at an Over 30s match.)

Sunday, I watched a bit more on the tube, did some house work and computer work (organized and got rid of a lot of stuff I didn't need). My computer desktop was starting to look more like my desk's desktop. Then the wife and I went over to a neighbor/friend's place for a drink and to chat for a bit. Eventually we left to get some dinner and to watch "Blades of Glory". Another typical yet hilarious Will Farrell movie that had me laughing so hard at some points I hurt. Had to rewind it a couple times.

After the movie we watched the majority of the Grammy's. Mostly uneventful but thought Amy Winehouse did a good job considering and the Beyonce and Tina Turner bit was pretty cool. OH, and most of the Daft Punk performance was cool...really wish I'd seen them when they toured the U.S...oh and Herbie Hancock's rendition of Rhapsody in Blue (along with someone else I don't know) was pretty cool as well.

Some web discoveries to bookmark:

After keeping up with the FC St. Pauli match (another painful draw) with a gamecast and the UK forum posts I did some more exploring and found this (Unofficial) U.S. St Pauli Fan Site. The person that set it up seems to be translating local newspaper articles about the team and their matches. Useful for me since I've only received my news from the forum site which is not exactly complete either. Between the two sites I think it's a pretty good representation of what's going on with the team. I sent in my email to "become a member." Shall see what that means. They have "meetings" that maybe someday I could be a part of...if the timing is right. AND, I just read they have a "spring pilgrimage" that I'd like to be a part of, but that's less likely. Let's go Boys in Brown!!

Not really a new site, but one that I was recently reminded of is Where's George. If you aren't familiar with it, check it out as soon as possible and enter some bills in this thing. I have only had a few over the past few years that were entered by others but it's fun to watch where your money goes (or where it came from). Try it out...they have a Where's Willy version for you Canadians as well.

An interesting news story I found this morning is all about the world wide protests of "Anonymous" against the Church of Scientology. The story includes a link to the video of Tom Cruise which I heard people talking about a couple weeks ago, but I was never able to find online, evidently because the Church of Scientology had hastled the original posters of this video and made them remove it from their sites...or stop showing it on their television programs. I'm off to watch it now.

More later...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back in the Saddle...

No, i'm not going to make this into my new, hey check out these websites i've seen journal...though it's all i've used it for lately. And today will be no different.

First, I'm really sorry I missed out on the Puppy Bowl. As i'm more of a futbol (soccer) fan, the Giants and the Patriots mean very little to me, so this looks much more entertaining to me as an "animal person." Love some puppies, though i'm sure my cat would prefer the half-time show.

Next up, it's about time someone stepped up to the plate. Excuse the mixing of metaphors but it sounds like hip-hop is finally getting a much needed shot in the arm. Bill Cosby, that's right Mr. Hip-Hop-Hatin'-Cosby, is putting out a rap album. I'm sure it will debut at #1 in all charts...maybe even country. You know I used to be a huge fan of his, I own several of his earliest albums, now he just doesn't seem so funny.

My friend, who my wife and I helped transport some kitties overseas, has started blogging (still not comfortable using that as a verb) with Serious Eats.com. I'll have to put this in my links/places to go column over on the right side of this blog for everyday use. If you are a food person, especially if you are an Italian foods person or a sweets person, you should check out this blog! And check out her book when you get a chance as well!

Whoa, think this might be my first post without a single picture...maybe next time.

I'm off to finish work and get back into a routine with running.

Friday, February 1, 2008


As it was first created, a weblog, or "blog," was supposed to be a log of websites a web user had visited which they wanted to either share with friends or just keep a record of the sites for themselves. Today, I have a few of those for my own blog...for myself and for others to check out as well.

First, a new installment has been made in the Yacht Rock series. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it's a fine little history of "yacht rock" that's sort of like Spinal Tap vs 70s Soft Rock. Be sure to watch it in order (#1 is at the bottom) if you are new to this.

Next, everything can be studied academically, take for instance the web-phenom "2 Girls 1 Cup." While there has been a "study" of the actual video, it is not the most academic. Now, we have a law professor studying people viewing the 2 Girls 1 Cup video. Not sure what else to say but good luck. And, if ou are among the few that have not yet seen the original video...DO NOT worry about it, you probably don't need to.

Also, there will be a Falco movie, due out rather soon. I don't know much German, but a) Grace Jones will be in it, b) It's A FALCO MOVIE!!! and c) It seems to suggest his death may have actually been a suicide. I believe it is only being released (in Feb '08?) initially in his homeland, Austria, but with any luck, there will be subtitled versions on DVD hitting other countries in the very near future. Crossing our fingers, Der Kommissar.

And last, I just found out the "Irish" have something to "fear" this year. St. Patty's Day must be moved due to the catholic calendar. What an odd concept. Beware the Ides of March!