Monday, June 18, 2018

Hot! Live! Music!


tUnE-yArDs, "Water Fountain"
My enjoyment of this song and this performance is only slightly tempered by my annoyance at having to type out the silly stylized name.


U2, "Moment Of Surrender"
I'll be the first to admit that No Line On The Horizon isn't one of U2's best albums, but that record has seven minutes of pure joy in Moment Of Surrender.  I almost wrote "seven minutes of heaven," but that would've been kind of weird.


Postmodern Jukebox, "Don't Stop Me Now" (Queen cover)
I'm not saying I wasn't impressed by the trailer, but Melinda Doolittle seems like a much better Freddie Mercury than Mr. Robot.



R.E.M. "Let Me In"
This one is courtesy of the "R U Talkin' R.E.M. Re: Me?" podcast, which was formerly known as "U Talkin' U2 To Me."  As you might expect, this pod focuses on the R.E.M. discography rather than U2's albums, but it's still Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott talking nonsense for about 75% of the show.  Maybe a bit less than 75%, actually, since it seems like Adam Scott is a bigger R.E.M. fan and actually has more to say, though it's maybe balanced out by Aukerman knowing very little about the band's post-80's work.  Still, if you like R.E.M. and have patience for lots of non-band-related goofing around, it's worth the listen.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

World Cup Predictions

They started the World Cup before I could make my picks?! Poor form, FIFA!

GROUP A (predicted order of finish): Uruguay, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
GROUP B: Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Iran
GROUP C: France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
GROUP D: Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria, Iceland
GROUP E: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Costa Rica
GROUP F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
GROUP G: Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama
GROUP H: Colombia, Poland, Japan, Senegal

This sets up a bracket of....

Uruguay vs. Morocco
France vs. Croatia
Brazil vs. Mexico
Belgium vs. Poland
Spain vs. Russia
Argentina vs. Peru
Germany vs. Serbia
Colombia vs. England

...and from that, I'll predict Brazil over Germany in the final.  Revenge for the infamous 7-1 drubbing at the last World Cup!  Fun fact: during that game, I was at the dentist getting a cavity filled, so they had me all novocaine'd up.  When I left the appointment, they had the game on the TV in the reception area, and upon seeing the 4-0 scoreline at the time, I honestly thought I was still loopy from the medication.  As a bonus pick, I'll go with France over Argentina in the third place, as Messi's LeBron-esque attempt at being a one-man team again is not quite enough.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Canada's In The World Cup?!

I'll hold off my official World Cup predictions for a day to look ahead to the 2026 World Cup, in a nod to this morning's breaking news that the joint bid of Canada/Mexico/United States has been awarded the tournament.  Now, Canada and Mexico will only be hosting 10 games each while the U.S.A. hosts 60, so this is about as much of a joint bid as Destiny's Child was a joint effort between three pop stars of equal stature, but still, yay Canada!

This means that, for all intents and purposes, Canada's hilariously inept men's national team has finally made it back into a World Cup.  Technically, FIFA has yet to officially decide whether or not all three host countries will get automatic bids, but the odds are pretty good.  After all, the tournament is expanding to 48 teams in 2026, so they'll have plenty of extra space for more North American teams to qualify.  Heck, with a 48-team field, maybe Canada would've qualified anyway! 



....er....moving on...

It's certainly a major landmark for Canadian soccer, Canadian sport, and really the nation as a whole.  It should be noted that the proposed number of games and venues for our country has yet to be finalized, with no guarantees that the announced cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto will end up with games. 

In the midst of this uncertainty, I propose that my hometown of London, Ontario step into the driver's seat.  We have several soccer fields in town, some of which I myself played on as a child!  Oh, how I hated it!  The matches were less competitive games for me than they were a necessary evil to obtain orange slices.  My parents still to this day talk about how they've never seen me more miserable than when my eight-year-old was half-heartedly running up and down the pitch in the midst of a massive downpour.  I guess they bring it up since moments of pure misery were pretty rare in my childhood, and thus this one really stood out....so really, strong parenting on their part!

London not only has soccer facilities, but MULTI-FIELD facilities.  That's right, sports complexes with three, four, maybe five or six fields able for use at any given time.  In the name of efficiency, we could play four games at once and roll through the entire group stage in maybe a week.

I can't speak for every set of fields, but the one near my parents' house (the actual site of my Roy Batty-esque "tears in rain" game) serves particularly tasty french fries in the snack booth.  Just saying.  If the French national team has a game scheduled in London and tries the fries, they'll definitely back me up on this.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Lime Rick

(No, this isn't a Ricky & Morty post.  I've actually never seen the show, and now I feel it's been too many seasons for me to catch up.  One can't wait forever in the era of Peak TV)

While out tonight, I found myself sitting behind a couple who were amusing each other with intentionally-cheesy poems.  They may have been drunk, in this reporter's opinion, but whatever.  They began with several variations on "roses are red, violets are blue..." before they moved onto lime-ricks.

You may wonder why I included the dash.  It's because that's how they were pronouncing the word: as if it was a lime-flavoured person named Rick rather than "limmer-ick."  I suppose it's possible this could have been some type of inside joke between them, especially since this is a couple that clearly enjoys reciting drunken poetry to each other, though it seemed pretty genuine.

It's a popular train of thought that one should never make fun of someone mispronouncing a word because a mispronunciation means they learned the word via reading, and reading should always be encouraging.  Ninety-nine times out of 100, I thoroughly agree with that sentiment….except for people who pronounce it as "lime-rick."  Then they’re just dumb-dumbs.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Sting & Shaggy

This is not a drill --- Sting and Shaggy have teamed up to collaborate on a new album.

To be clear, this is indeed Shaggy of "It Wasn't Me" fame, and Gordon "Sting" Sumner from The Police.  It's not, like, Shaggy from Scooby Doo and Sting from pro wrestling teaming up to solve crimes and/or beat up the bad guys.  (Frankly, I think Sting would handle the heavy lifting on both the investigative and muscle sides of that team.)  This is indeed two musicians of seemingly disparate backgrounds joining forces to whip up a record that we can all enjoy.

And frankly, why not?  What's stopping them?  Sting's had some interest in reggae even dating back to his Police days, so if anything, he's probably overdue to make an album with an actual reggae artist.  And Shaggy can't very well be a reggae fusion artist if he isn't fusing reggae with something else.

I'm not going to buy this album but what the heck, tip of the hat to the two of them for making it.  This seems to be the general consensus about this whole project, as exemplified by this review from NME's Jordan Bassett.  He only gives it two stars, yet he can't bring himself to fully pan it.

"There’s something weirdly enjoyable about this cheery abomination of an album. The camaraderie is palpable. These are staggeringly, beautifully unselfconscious men, insulated by success, and they have honestly no idea how ludicrous they look and sound....Their hearts are in the right place, even if their better judgment was sunning itself somewhere in Kingston."

If Shaggy and Sting make another record, they absolutely have to title it "Cheery Abomination."  Anyway, here's the first single, judge for yourself!

Friday, June 01, 2018

The Hiatus

After years of sticking to a 10 posts-per-month schedule, I decided to take May entirely off.  Now, I guess you could say my streak still lives since I'm technically still averaging ten posts per month when I actually post, but this is splitting hairs to a comical extent, even for a bald guy.

Why the break?  Basically, just a combination of a busy workload, some life stuff getting in the way, and maybe even **quiet voice** just a bit of boredom about blogging?  In theory, this month away will recharge my batteries, and I indeed do feel a bit more pep in my step as I write these words.  Even though I'm sitting down and live an overtly sedentary lifestyle, I'd definitely have a jaunty stride if I ever stopped being lazy.

Stay tuned for most posts as we roar into June.  Same blog time, same blog channel!