Wednesday, June 30

Say "Astronaut" #11

From 'The Face Painter' (S6E22)


DL
Kings of Leon 'Fans'

Sunday, June 27

Backwards

Football, for all its heartbreak and splendour, is one of the most backward-thinking pastimes going. It's not just about goal-line technology, or there lack of. I hear chants of homophobia every other week at Old Trafford, even the odd bit of racism here and there. If boss Fabio Capello can come out and say, "We played well", after that performance, he's representing denialism in its upmost form. What the fuck is up with that? England didn't "play well", they were fucking shocking. He just can't admit to himself his own faults, much like most who play the game, watch it and run it.

DL
The Futureheads 'Walking Backwards'

Saturday, June 26

Gutted

Gutted. I am absolutely gutted that the United States couldn't push their way past Ghana in this evening's World Cup Round 2 clash. I don't even remember feeling this pissed after England got knocked out of something - and I've enough of those to easily compete. I mean, this feeling of sorrow is bordering on that of which I felt after United lost to Leeds in the FA Cup earlier this year.

Last week on the day both England and the US progressed to the last 16, I found myself cheering more after Landon Donovan's 92 minute winner than Jermaine Defoe's odd knee finish. Thing is, I've never ever felt particularly English and I really want soccer to one day be huge in America.

I will one day live in the United States, for, like, the rest of my life. So there's still time for soccer to grow and grow and grow by the time I arrive there to stay. But right now I'm just so gutted and not really all that worried over England's game v Germany tomorrow.

DL
Bright Eyes 'Gold Mine Gutted'

Friday, June 25

I Play Upfront, I'm Popular

Conan O'Brien tweeted this ten hours ago: "Don’t underestimate the influence of the World Cup. I’m already adding a vuvuzela section to our TBS band." That's right, one the US's biggest chatshow hosts mentioned the World Cup to his 1,108,882 followers.

The story "Are Landon Donovan and Estranged Wife Bianca Kajlich Reconciling?" was placed in a pretty prominent position on celebrity magazine People's website for a good few hours, too.

And President Bill Clinton was present at the US's last-gasp win over Algeria that has taken them to Saturday's Round 4 game v Ghana. Folks, the United States of America is starting to figure football out, I think. Let's pray it continues...

DL
Nada Surf 'Popular'

Sunday, June 20

10 Reasons Why Cristiano Ronaldo Is Better Than Lionel Messi

I watched his first ever game for my team. I watched his last ever game for my team. And a good lot in between, too. So there's no bias behind my belief that Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest footballer of all time, obviously. And here's 10 reasons why he's better than that Mesy bloke, or whatever his name is...
1. Mental toughness. Ronaldo went through an entire season of suffering booing following the Wayne Rooney winking incident of 2006. Nobody knows how Messi would cope under such pressure.

2. National dependency. While Messi has many a class talent to play alongside for Argentina, Ronaldo is the go-to guy for Portugal. Plus he's captained the country from the age of 22.

3. Experience. Ronaldo's played at the very highest level in both the Premier League and La Liga. Messi has so far only played in the latter.

4. Shear speed. Ronaldo's tempo on the pitch matches that of an Olympic athlete, whereas Messi isn't even the fastest for Barcelona.

5. Champions League record. Ronaldo took Man United to two consecutive CL finals. Messi may have won the competition twice, but was actually injured for the 05/06 final v Arsenal.

6. Free-kicks. The take-in breaths, the long run-ups, the audacious distances. Ronaldo's the finest free-kick taker on the planet, Messi just doesn't match up.

7. Special moments. The Portsmouth free-kick, the Roma header, the FC Porto long-ranger, the Fulham sprint, the first to score in his first four La Liga games. Sure Messi's got a few in the bag, but Ronaldo's are endless.

8. Headers. Both, of course, are fantastic at heading the ball. But Ronaldo's got the advantage of being over six foot tall, and has used/uses such to his advantage on the most vital of occasions.

9. Versatility. Not only is Ronaldo tougher mentally, more experienced, faster, better at free-kicks and headers, but he can use both feet and freely plays all across the attack. Left-footed Messi just isn't as versatile.

10. Because he just is.

Thursday, June 17

Say "Astronaut" #10

From 'The Race' (S6E10)


DL
Santogold 'My Superman'

Sunday, June 13

Future Sport For America

I love the United States of America. I love football. So why can't the two learn to love each other? Well, readers, that might all be about to change. National networks ESPN and ABC are broadcasting the entirety of the World Cup. The US managed a tie with supposedly quite-good England in yesterday's said-World Cup match. And Thierry Henry is likely to join David Beckham in MLS over the next twelve months.

Does this, however, mean that Susie Blake of Cheesecake Drive, Amarillo, Texas gets excited about the Houston Dynamo-FC Dallas Texas derby in the year 2022? No, probably not. But it's definitely going in the right direction. When I live in America a good deal later on in my life, I don't wanna have to miss my Manchester team as much as I would do today.

I saw this in Griffith Park, Los Angeles in the year 2008.

And I just saw this on the country's national newspaper's homepage.

Sure I want England to do well in the World Cup, but I gotta look out for my future, too...

Sunday, June 6

Say "Astronaut" #9

From 'The Opposite' (S5E22)


DL
Oasis 'Born On A Different Cloud'

Friday, June 4

Our Love To Turn On The Antics

Did you know that the first time I ever heard Interpol was in a 2003 episode of Friends titled 'The One in Barbados'? And did you know that the first time I chose to listen to Interpol's debut album 'Turn On The Bright Lights' was whilst I was off sick from school with the flu? And did you know that the first time I saw Interpol live was at an outdoor event on a pouring July afternoon, meaning I had to watch from the bleachers?!

All of which means absolutely nada to you. But Interpol? Well, they mean something to everybody.

DL
'Obstacle 2' (from Turn On The Bright Lights)
'Next Exit' (from Antics)
'Pace Is The Trick' (from Our Love To Admire)
'Lights' (from Untitled Forthcoming Fourth Record OMG I Can't Fucking Wait!)

Tuesday, June 1

Album Of Last Month

The National 'High Violet' (4AD)

What is the biggest injustice you can think of? The death of Diana? The sexual exploitation of children? Mel Gibson? How about when one of your dearest bands don't get the utter appreciation their unsurpassed talent is worthy of? This is plainly a familiar vexation amongst kosher music fans, and one that has seen, say, Dizzee Rascal undertake major league production in order to wangle such riches. The National, the Brooklyn five-piece who are now five albums in but no Calvin Harris team-up in sight, are one of those groups. 2005's splendid 'Alligator' may have upsized their cult, 2007's grand 'Boxer' that much more, yet their affable, stunning indie rock is still yet to make farther than Josh Schwartz's iPod and R.E.M. support slots. Notin' wrong with that, but if the faultless splendor stemming from 'High Violet' fails to stimulate the great unwashed a la 'Automatic For The People' by the year's end, there's even more evidence for ya: Most people are total imbeciles.
'Terrible Love' sets things in motion by way of steering semi-'87 U2 reverb around a crunchy, dogged riff, with timid leader Matt Berninger offering his customary misty wordplay ("It's a terrible love and I'm walking with spiders; It's a terrible love that I'm walking with").
The maybe-a-tad prosaic 'Anyone's Ghost' does pull momentum back a bit, but all is forgiven when 'Afraid of Everyone's indelible mellifluousness treks under a haunting, bashful wall of Tindersticks-type goodness. "I defend my family with my orange umbrella; I'm afraid of everyone; With my shiny new star-spangled tennis shoes on; I'm afraid of everyone," shivers Berninger, via what is perhaps a dig at our all-front young. Already this is The National's most capable record yet. Every gradation of their plush-but-not-too-plush commotion is coming together, only to forge these meaty opuses of world-weary imagination.
"Lay me on the table, put flowers in my mouth; And we can say that we invented a summer-loving torture party," he evocatively tells in the light-dark 'Lemonworld', a Wilco keys-ferried swash of categorical panorama... Hampstead Heath in song or something. And 'England' is probably the best National song, like, ever. Drop-dead piano, a strings-hefty backdrop, glorious strains of grandeur. "Famous angels never come through England, England gets the ones you never need; I'm in a Los Angeles cathedral; Minor singing airheads, sing for me," Berninger strikes like a delicate pioneer. 'Heart Of Gold' for the 21st century indeed.
So, surely this is it. The National's Elbow moment. The one that'll take 'em en route to Wembley, both Arena and Stadium... Hmm, you know what? They're just too good for that.

Best Track
England, though go iTunes to get it!
DL
Bloodbuzz Ohio