24 February 2009

Josh Martinez - Going back to Hali



The Josh always comes with the hotness, but this track, chock full of old-school beats, rhymes and love for his hometown of Halifax, is well... hot. As usual. With Classified and Scratch Bastid.

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21 February 2009

Island Reef Job



I applied for the Island Reef Job in Australia. they rejected my application. Deadline is tomorrow. I will try again..

UPDATE: Due to time constraints, time zones, and general apathy, I did not reapply. This was their only chance to hire me. And they blew it. Guess they'll have to choose one of the other 25,000 applicants.
UPDATE 2: A friend of mine from high school actually sent a proper video.

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20 February 2009

AS Roma vs Arse


I've been doing some looking into the origins of my AS Roma fandom, and I found these blogposts from 2005 and 2006 respectively. My first derby.And the realization: I'm a Romanista.

As for the preview of the game tomorrow... well, I've been doing some thinking and have reckoned the realization that while I am a fan of Roma, I am not a pundit.

So I'm hoping for Roma to come out and spank a bunch of goals into the Arsenal net, and not let any into their own. The bad news is they ar enot the mentally strongest team. when they're on, look the fuck out. When they're off. They're waay off. (Witness the 7-1 thrashing they received at the hands of Manchester United 2 CL campaigns ago. Ugh.)

I've also just learned that the Gunners are undefeated at home in 22 Champions League fixtures. Worrying reading, indeed.

The good news is Roma has been on fire lately, and they can only be about ready to break their streak of sucking wind in England. They've also got a healthy-ish Totti. They're also dying to play in the Champs League final, which this year will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

I'd love for them to get the huge away win, which would put them in good strategic position to advance. And also add a layer of confidence to their collectively fragile ego.

So let's predict victory! 2-1 Roma. Vucinic, who spends lots of time offside, is a big match player, and Julio Baptista (better known as la bestia - 'The Beast') Should each pot one. Meanwhile, Robin van Persie will score for Arsenal, because he's awesome.*

*Actually, it seems Vucinic is injured, I guess Baptista will score both goals then.

If you want a good preview I recommend here, because Chris doens't have his up at The Offside yet.


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19 February 2009

Football party - best blogs

Link

Even though you haven't missed my haphazardly-informed and fervently one-sided football ravings, I have. I've decided to keep you up-to-date on what's going on with AS Roma, at least as it relates to the Champions League. Their next game in Champs League is against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London. This match will not be easy. For anyone. That post is forthcoming. Hold your breath.

For now though I'm going to tell you the three best places to get your football fix on the internet.

AS Roma on the Offside:. The place to get your giallorossi news. Previews. Reviews. Humour. Videos. And tonnes of insightful, invective-filled comments. Hands down great.

101 Great Goals:. Maybe you can't watch every football game in the world. Maybe you only want to see that amazing goal you read about. Or highlights of an international friendly. Or whatever. They're here. As a bonus, they usually don't use youtube, so you can watch them at work. Thanks 101!

Run of Play: As they describe it: "The Run of Play is an independent soccer blog with readers in more than 150 countries. Our aim is to bring you the latest football news from around the world with style, skepticism, and wit. We're especially committed to presenting sportswriting that looks beyond the ingrained assumptions of the medium and explores the aesthetics, psychology, and cultural role of sport in inventive ways.

Founded by Brian Phillips in October 2007, The Run of Play has in its brief existence been endorsed by the BBC, linked to by Reuters, ESPN, and the New York Times, derided by the Guardian, and pointedly ignored by the Daily Telegraph." And regularly enjoyed by Ryan Millar for a couple of months.

I've never, ever been as remotely gripped by someone's description of playing a video game as I have by Brian's description of playing Football Manager. The latest is here. Or start at the beginning here.


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18 February 2009

Welcome to Heartbreak

Apparently Kanye West is bummed out about being rich and successful.
Wait- what? Money can't buy happiness?


KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

While I have some trouble really feeling bad for him, I also can't stop playing this song.

The sentiment "My friend showed me pictures of his kids/ and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs" is actually quite powerful. What if you catch the dream, and it doesn't make you happy?

The video compression animation (known as datamoshing) is on the frontline of the next level, and cutting edge - it's getting rave reviews, also from me.


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16 February 2009

Ugly Duckling @Witloof Bar, Brussels

Previewed this event, now here's a bit of a review.

I put in a lot of energy at this show. I consider myself in general to be a pretty generous audience member, and I was in full effect on this night. I felt I needed to be. Fortunately, they made it so easy, being so close didn't hurt, and getting props for my efforts didn't hurt either. I did my part, and they did theirs.

They have been touring for a long time, and it shows. They have a polished (yet spontaneous feeling) show. Getting a guest MC up for the track 'Shoot Your Shot', and a fly honey to dance with for 'Pick-up Line' keeps the audience engagement meaningful - not to mention plenty o'call-and-response (even if it was just a few of us responding).

Ugly Duckling bring so much energy to their live show, no matter how cramped the venue, how small the crowd, and how middling the median English level. This night was no exception. For the years and sweat they've put into it, I feel like these guys should be rocking bigger crowds at bigger venues, but they seem proud of their dedication to funky old school beats and rhymes, irrespective of fads and trends. For the most part their live show reflects this admirable belief, although the tone of their new songs (off the recently-released 'Audacity') is darker than in the past.

So Craig knows what's up:

Young Einstein's grown up, still chopping up beats, laying down horn samples, and scratching overtop with poise and flare beyond his years. Like Queen Elizabeth, I couldn't get my eyes off his gold chain.

Overall the show was great, though the poor mixing or acoustics meant the sound didn't sound right.

They closed the encore down with Journey to Anywhere. Absolutely one of my favorite tracks too. When I worked as a camp counsellor getting the kids to calm the fuck down (after an overstimulating day of hyperactive creativity and seeing girls in bathing suits) was an important job. We called this part of the day 'Relaxations'.

My favorite thing to do was to get them all lying down on the floor in the dark, leading them through some relaxation exercises and then popping this track on - because if I've exposed those kids to oh-so-fresh hip hop that references Judy Blume, Scooby-doo, Sesame Street, Goonies and so on... well, I think I've done my camp counsellor bit to make the children of today into the good people of tomorrow.

And despite the frustrations showing through on their new tracks: they're still doing their bit to bring the good times to the good people, and have a good time while doing it. 10 years on, Yudee's still on Fresh Mode.

Note: Filip took some photos of the show, if he emails them to me, then I'll post them.

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10 February 2009

High Fives!!

Link

We all know it: there just plain old straight-up needs to be MORE high-5's going on around here.

Only you and I, we sit around, quietly high-fiving ourselves on the train to work, or mock-ironically with that one guy, who we sorta get along with at work, even though we don't actually have that much in common. Maybe we have to wait until that one night a week when we play football to get a couple fivers in our diet.

But some truly radical dudes are doing their part to manifest MORE high 5-ness! Witness:

First, my man and co-conspirator in every recent creative endeavour I have undertaken/am undertaking, Andrew McAlpine, managed to insitute, with full corporate approval, High-Five Fridays at his workplace. Click the link to read his entertaining account.

Then today I read about the always-awesome folks at Improv Everywhere putting together a delightfully simple intervention they call the 'High Five Escalator'


As anyone who has experienced the smile-bestowing power of the High-Five knows, it made everyone who rode that escalators day FIVE TIMES better. In Rob's own words: "just about everyone was down. Some people were stone faced, but still gave me a high five. It was 8:30 in the morning so people were tired and not in a good mood, but once people connected with my hand, they almost all laughed and smiled. Everyone should start their day with high fives."

It's up to us now people, throw some High-Fives, let's build this thing!

P.S. It seems National High-Five Day this year falls on April 23rd. get your celebrations ready!

More inspiration over at Funny or Die.

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08 February 2009

Michael Ian Black reads from Chicken Cheeks

Comedian Michael Ian Black has had a not-unsuccessful-yet-neither-particularly successful career in showbiz. From the heady days of The State to Stella, and including the enduring success of Wet Hot American Summer he's definitely put more than his share of laughs and catch-phrases into the lives of you and people you care about. Yet he (like all of The Statespeople) haven't really blown-the-fuck-up. Yet, they've managed to make a living (I assume) doing awesome, hilarious, offbeat work.

It seems workaholicky, but he keeps a regular blog, recently had the time to write a movie starring Simon Pegg (Run Fatboy Run), guest starred on Reaper, and notably attempted to start a literary feud with David Sedaris.

Right down to having an ordinary family life, everything this man does is admirable, even if I get the sense that it would be uncomfortable (at least discomfiting) to spend time with him.

Anyway, the point is - he recently wrote a children's book called Chicken Cheeks. It may be the awesomest children's book you buy this year; at the very least it will be the awesomest youtube video of a children's book author reading their work you will see this year. That I guarantee.





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06 February 2009

Ugly Duckling: Live! This Sunday

I've been a fan of Ugly Duckling since I picked up their first ep back in '99 (f-f-feel my cred!). Fresh Mode.

The line that sticks in my head from back when I was spinning that particular platter is this, from the track 'We're Here':

I wanna entertain the millions/
from the Russians to the Brazilians/
In a club, amphiteatre, stadium or pavilion/
Gimme the mic, I'm as inflatable as helium/
Rhythm is tight, like Big Pun in a medium.

Rock Solid.

First time, I saw them they were opening for Dilated Peoples (I think), at Richard's on Richards in Vancouver. Every act that took the stage that night threw down, but Ugly Duckling's beats, rhymes and good-natured vibe got that night off right. Second time I saw them, they owned the Purple Onion in Gastown. I will soon be checking them for the third time, here in BXL.

To illustrate their particular brand of awesomeness, I insert this picture (from their website), in which they're launching their second LP, 'Taste the Secret'.

It's a concept album about a battle between the Meat Shake franchise (they make milkshakes out of meat, natch) and Veggie Hut: a bunch of stinky vegetarians who make tofu everything.


You don't have to tell me it's awesome... I already know.

Dizzy, Andy and Young Einstein come Old School-correct with good-natured (funny! clever!)rhymes, catchy hooks, dope styles, and a great stage show. So you can bet I'll be there at Botanique this Sunday when they throw down for all the heads that'll be nodding that night. The best part? Tickets are less than 10 euros.

Show some love.

A good, though not-very-spellchecked review of their new album, Audacity.

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03 February 2009

Jackhammerers


Dear Jackhammerers,

Really?

7:00am?

Is that a good time to start jackhammering in a residential area? Across the street from our house?

Sorry, what's that? I can't hear you.

No. You're right, it isn't.

Um, no. I'm afraid drilling isn't going to cut it. Neither is sawing metal bars a good activity for that time.

What about drawing up some plans, or taking a coffee break? That way you can wait until THE FUCKING SUN COMES UP before you start making all that noise.

There. That's better.

Thank you.


Kind regards,

Ryan Millar


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