Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Mixtape About Nothing by Wale

Apparently I'm, like, the last person in the world to hear about Wale (pronounced Wa-Lay) and his Seinfeld inspired mixtape about nothing. And, since this is a complete regurgitation of a post earlier this week at Herohill I'll make this quick. Some stuff I find really cool/interesting about Wale and the mixtape about nothing:
  • Wale is the cousin of Chris Partlow - Chris from the Wire - and Chris appears in the video for 'Artistic Integrity'.

  • Wale is about to open for Jay-z on a few dates in the UK, which basically means that as soon as he gets around to releasing a full length he'll be pretty huge.
  • Oh, and the mixtape is free to download. Here.
[mp3] Wale - The Artistic Integrity

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Polaris Music Prize 2008 - My Top 5


The Long List consists of the top 40 full-length Canadian records released from June 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008, selected by the 185 members of the Polaris Music Prize jury:

The Acorn - Glory Hope Mountain
Attack In Black - Marriage
Black Mountain - In The Future
Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow and Blue
Buck 65 - Situation
Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling
Cadence Weapon - Afterparty Babies
Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer
Caribou - Andorra
City And Colour - Bring Me Your Love
Constantines - Kensington Heights
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Destroyer - Trouble In Dreams
Fred Eaglesmith - Tinderbox
Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers
Christine Fellows - Nevertheless
Gatineau - Gatineau
Hayden - In Field And Town
Veda Hille - This Riot Life
HILOTRONS - Happymatic
Holy Fuck - LP
Islands - Arm's Way
Karkwa - Le volume du vent
Corb Lund - Horse Solider! Horse Soldier!
The New Pornographers - Challengers
Pas Chic Chic - Au Contraire
Sandro Perri - Tiny Mirrors
Plants And Animals - Parc Avenue
Ghislain Poirier - No Ground Under
Protest The Hero - Fortress
Justin Rutledge - Man Descending
Sadies - New Seasons
Shad - The Old Prince
Socalled - Ghetto Blaster
Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
Tegan And Sara - The Con
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band – 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
Two Hours Traffic - Little Jabs
The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour
Wintersleep - Welcome To The Night Sky

Now, I haven't heard everything on the list, but my top 5 is:

Shad The Old Prince
I don't really like to

Plants and Animals Parc Avenue
Good Friend

Hayden In Field & Town
[mp3] In Field & Town

The Acorn Hope Glory Mountain
[mp3] The Flood pt.1

Sunparlour Players Hymns for the Happy *not sure how come this isn't on the list.
[mp3] Point Pelee is the Place to Be

There really isn't an album on that list that really stands out as a heads and shoulders favourite to me, but, as I've said before, with Secret City's track record its hard to believe that Plants and Animals won't be sitting in the winners circle...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recently Released ... hit or miss

Coldplay Viva La Vida - Hit

Liz ordered it on iTunes and I've got to say, its not bad. I mean, if you were expecting something innovative or different, you were probably disappointed, but its a Coldplay record thats got to be palatable to the bazillions of people who are going to hear it in stadiums around the world. Sadly, I will not be one of those bazillions, but its nice album that Liz and I (and possibly you and your girlfriend/parents/grandparents) can compromise on. Worth picking up if only so you can put it on at your next family get together so you don't have to hear Shania Twain, Celine Dion, or your dad's latest Celtic fiddle music album.... but maybe that's just me.

My Morning Jacket Evil Urges - Miss

To me, it kind of sounds like Jim James - who I really like - was replaced by Prince - who I don't particularly care for (unless he's involved in a Dave Chapelle skit). MMJ's Z [2005] might be one of the albums that I go to most frequently when I don't know what to listen to, so this was a relatively big disappointment...
[mp3] My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

The Ting Tings We Started Nothing - Miss

Yeah, the iPod commercial makes just about everything look trendy, but I can't say that I'm a huge fan without the dancing silhouettes...
[mp3] The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go

Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer - ?

I've written before about how much I really like Dan B.'s other band Handsome Furs, but I've always been luke warm about WP and its other half Spencer Krug (Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, etc.). I'm not sure At Mount Zoomer really changes my opinion about either ... ie. I like the Boeckner songs, I dislike the Krug songs, and so the album has got to come down somewhere in the middle...
[mp3] Wolf Parade - Call it A Ritual

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bill Simmons on Tennis

I like Bill Simmons most of the time, but his latest article on Tennis is absolutely .... fuckin' stupid. There. You got me to curse. FUCK. It also caused Kyle (who has a bunch of new stuff up now) to send me this email: "The. Worst. Thing. Ever.".

I was going to break down the stupidity of his article and explain how its pretty clear he knows literally nothing about the game except how to score, which, I suspect, was learned through video games. But, then I realized it was kind of pointless to work myself up into that kind of a lather and chalk it up to - and I hate to generalize - Americans not appreciating 'international' sports... like they can't appreciate soccer (not that I can, but I do appreciate the merits of FIFA '07, which is a pretty excellent time).

I felt better once it occurred to me that Americans don't like anything, as a country - again, a big generalization - that they aren't good at. Once the world caught up in tennis... they stopped watching, they're not watching basketball in as large numbers - I suspect Hockey numbers peaked some time around, say, 1980. If anyone can suggest anything that they're not good at that they like... (like, like - like more than a friend), I'd be interested to hear it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

... I saw this tonight during the finals (at 5:00 left in the 3rd, my pre-playoff prediction of Celts over Lakers in 6 is looking pretty good) and kind of felt as though Magic and Bird should've been listing side effects for some type of medication...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tales of Interest, Friday Afternoon... Kobe!

  • Before I say anything else I should point out that my pre-playoff prediction of the Celtics over the Lakers in 6 is looking pretty good right now....
  • My buddy Kyle has been back writing (which is a career many of my friends think that he should pursue) and has a couple of posts - a running dairy of the ESPN spelling bee, and best video games of the 90s, which are well worth your time to read... I'll take this opportunity to remind him if you become a lawyer you'll have to get up before noon eventually...
  • I realize I may come off as being a little 'soft' after this... but, this move around the 0:55 second mark is terribly impressive...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nadal is a Ninja Turtle and proves Federer is not the GOAT

I wrote a post probably 3 weeks before the French Open predicting that this was the year that Roger Federer would win on the dirt at Roland Garros... well, he got to the finals didn't he? And then got absolutely obliterated by the King of Klay, Rafael Nadal.

One of the reasons I thought Federer would win is that after spending much of the beginning of the year battling mono that Fed would come back refreshed, hungry, and ready to compete with Nadal. Unfortunately, for me and for fans of good tennis, that was not the case as Federer basically rolled over for Nadal only winning a combined 4 games in 3 sets. The trashing of Federer was probably most disappointing in that a player who is consistently mentioned as the greatest of all time (GOAT) showed few signs of life, and quit after getting broken at 3-3 in the second set. Frankly, that is not something that the GOAT does, or, in my mind, should do. Is Federer the most talented player ever? Yes. Does he have the most beautiful game to watch? Yes. Is he the greatest champion? No. That title is still reserved for Pete Sampras. Until Federer wins a couple of matches like Sampras did - while vomiting at the US Open, or over coming emotion after the death of his coach at the Australian - Sampras is the greatest.

I mean, its not as though playing against Nadal is easy... Nadal has been playing at an extraordinary high level throughout the 2 weeks in Paris, only allowing an opponent to get more than 4 games in a set throughout the tournament. This was all despite a particularly grueling condensed clay court season where Nadal played 3 Masters Series tournaments in 4 weeks.

Of the two competitors on Centre Court on Sunday only Nadal looked like he had the desire to be the greatest of all time...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Best Albums of 2005 w/ Commentary

The other night a came across this list on my computer and thought it might be worthy of a post, since, who doesn't like a good list, right? A list of my favourite albums compiled at the end of 2005, with commentary from .... say, around five minutes ago.

10. Jens Lekman Oh, You’re So Silent Jens
I remember hearing this album approximately 3 or 4 days before making this list, but it probably should be, at the very least a top 3 of 2005 - unless it doesn't count since its a compilation of previous work...

9. Asamov And Now…

Probably much higher (or included) because I was desperate for some hip-hop, and coming out of a big hip-hop phase. The album is pretty forgettable - there was one good single (I'm looking it up right now) "Boom Box" - but its a fairly standard 'remember when things were simple and we used to sit on the porch' song.

8. The Go! Team Thunder, Lightening, Strike

Was much more innovative three years ago, for my money Thunderheist is doing it better now than tG!T ever did.

7. Antony and the Johnsons I Am a Bird

The token (really, really) weird album on the list. I think the cover art says it all. I saw that Antony's new band Hercules and the Love Affair got a 9.1 on Pitchfork. My feeling is that if you put the women in the cover in an outfit from American Apparel and you'd get the pictoral version of the Hercules album ... as you might guess, I'm not a fan.

6. Stars Set Yourself on Fire

My favourite Stars album, definitely deserves to be higher, and likely the reason (in addition to being very bland) that the newest Stars album got panned by so many people.

5. Imogean Heap Speak for Yourself

I can't believe this is on here... I watched one too many episodes of the OC.

4. Atmosphere You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having

... nothing like an angry white man.

3. Common Be

My favourite Common album - in large part because of the production - I think Kanye is a genius. What I like best is that its short, my opinion is that most rap albums are 4-5 songs and 4-5 skits (no one wants to here your inside jokes) too long. This one has at least 5 outstanding tracks - 'Introduction', 'Corners', 'Chi City' 'Love Is' 'The Food' - with no songs that I have to skip over (see: 'Barry Bonds' from my Best Album of 2007). Until Kanye put 'Good Morning' on Graduation, 'Introduction' from this album was the intro to basically every hip-hop mixCD that I made over the last 3 years.
2. Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene

Enough chaos to make Kevin Drew happy, but not enough to turn off, say, everyone.

1. Sufjan Stevens Illinois

Might be my favourite album of all time, but I probably don't have enough history with it to say that definitively. Right now, the Travelling Wilburys' Vol. 1, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Full Moon Fever, Hayden's Everything I Long For, and Nas' Illmatic probably rank ahead (today), but not my much. Its incredibly ambitious, and incredibly easy to listen to considering its about a single state. Suf's probably kicking himself for not dropping a Barack Obama reference on the CD though...

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm away from my desk right now....

So, I've been ridiculously busy, working ridiculous hours - so there's no need to mention that things have been slow.

As I start to manage my time a little better - and get back into school in September - I'd imagine things will pick up. The plan is to tidy some stuff up, and have a couple of posts together next week.