Wednesday, February 27, 2008

arctic monkey's favourite worst nightmare

arctic monkey's album favourite worst nightmare has been out for nearly a year now, so i can't really call it new anymore. but i myself only recently purchased it about 3 months ago. after many listens of all the songs, here is my track-by-track review:

brainstorm - this is a really good beginning track. it's pretty fast-paced and loud, which is an appropriate prelude to what will follow throughout the album.

teddy picker
- this song has a bit more of a funky beat but the band still maintains their signature sound. while this subject matter seems an unusual choice, it's still a really good song.

d is for dangerous
- this is one of my top 2 or 3 songs on this album. i think it's funny that the word after the phrase "d is for..." is never actually the word "dangerous."

- thanks to wikipedia, i now know that a balaclava is a ski mask. so the lyric "who's the crooks in this crime?" now makes much more sense to me. this is a good song, another one with a semi-funk beat.

flourescent adolescent
- slower than the previous 4 tracks, i think this is one of the singles here in the US. as i typically do with albums i own, i like the single less than many other songs. however, this is still an above average song.

only ones who know
- slowest song on the album. i suppose this and the previous track are meant as the change of pace leading to the second half of the album. i'm not sure if 2 change of pace songs were needed back-to-back like this. i'd have preferred this be track 10 or something. still, it's better than average, and i usually don't skip it.

do me a favour
- the cd starts to pick back up with this song, which itself takes a little while to pick up. the bass line for this song is really catchy. this is probably my second favorite song on the album.

this house is a circus
- i think this could be the theme music to a live action scooby doo play, if such a play exists. the phrase "like a search for murder clues" always gets me thinking about this or about the board game clue. however, after hearing the lyrics a few times, i think this song is actually about a crack house.

if you were there, beware
- i think this song was the inspiration for the album art. it's better to listen to this track with the previous one as opposed to listening to them individually. they're like peanut butter and chocolate in that way.

do the bad thing
- i like the music for this one, but the lyrics are so stupid that it makes me generally dislike the song. i should mention here that i don't usually make a very big deal out of lyrics, so for me to dislike it just for that reason is saying something.

old yellow bricks
- good song. not very distinguishable from the other ones.

- probably the best song on the cd, though it's hard to pick just one. this is really the type of album where you could ask 10 people what their favorite song is and get 10 different answers. the songs are that good and it's that difficult to choose. it's a great ending to the album.

you'll notice that a lot of my "reviews" consist of me saying things that are not terribly descriptive, which probably aren't particularly helpful for people that haven't heard the songs. basically, a lot of their songs sound very similar, which is all generally a post-punk british garage rock sound. in my opinion, there isn't much middle ground with this sound-- you either like it or you don't.

if you heard arctic monkeys first album and liked it, go to where music is sold and buy this album now. if you haven't heard anything by these guys, give them a listen. if you start to like it, you'll soon be hooked.

overall: 9 out of 10

Friday, February 22, 2008

movie forecast: vantage point

vantage point centers on one major event, which is told from the perspective of 8 different characters. the audience is then left to determine which perspectives are the most believable and try to find the truth. in the case of this movie, the major event is an attempted assassination of the president. what we the audience are to figure out is who did the killing, if in fact the killing occurred.

i might be in the minority on this one, but this film just strikes me as one huge, crappy gimmick. not that i necessarily demand artistic excellence to like a film, nor would i necessarily even recognize it. but to subject the audience to an endless puzzle of questions which can't be solved definitively until the end of the movie seems kind of tiresome. absent just making a lucky guess, is there any way you can figure this movie out before it's over? even if you can, why would i want to go to the theater just to have to be encyclopedia brown for 2 hours? i'm not against mystery in a movie, i just think it should only be one element, of an actual plot, not the entire substance of a movie. furthermore, given the nature of this film, it will be extremely low on the rewatchability scale.

prediction: 4/10

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

separated at birth

many people may not realize that pittsburgh penguins center sidney crosby and actor tom welling are actually long lost brothers. welling, likely best known for his role as nick castle in the fog, has recently given crosby advice on how to quickly recover from his recent ankle injury: "imagine a healthy hockey player, what he would feel like, what he would move like, what he would act like. and then, you be that player. study the role densely and you can be it." sidney expressed confusion at this advice but continues his rehab. he also said that he wouldn't feel like a good brother if he didn't offer his own piece of advice for tom: "smallville sucks."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

breaking news: hawks get mike bibby

you can read more about this trade here. as a hawks fan, i approve of this deal. basically anyone on this team is tradeable except for joe johnson, al horford, and josh smith. so the fact that they gave up none of those guys and still got a fairly young guy (29 years old), who is someone that will easily be their best point guard since mookie blaylock, is automatically a good move. hopefully, perhaps, hawks management is turning a corner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

hot stove part deux

with spring training now officially underway, the rogue league examines a few more notable transactions from this offseason.

mets acquire johan santana from twins for carlos gomez and 3 prospects, then sign him to an enormous extension

the twins tried to get both the red sox and yankees to offer more for santana, and after they didn't bite, the mets reaped the benefits. this is obviously a good deal for the mets, and i'm o.k. with it from the twins side too. they couldn't afford to keep santana but at least now they get some good young arms which will hopefully pan out. santana's subsequent contract extension for 7 years $151M makes him the highest paid pitcher in history, and the fourth ever to get a $100M contract. the other three were mike hampton, kevin brown, and barry zito... not exactly in the same class, as santana is clearly better than any of those guys ever were or will be. however, he is still human, and i believe that at some point his newfound wealth will affect him to some degree. not that he's going to become awful or anything, but i could see santana getting a little lazier, maybe partying too much in new york with jose reyes, and then not being quite as good. fortunately for mets fans, though, he'll still be an ace, and i don't think this contract will reach albatrossian status for 5 years.

astros get miguel tejada from orioles for luke scott and four prospects; sign kaz matsui to 3-year $16.5M contract; acquire jose valverde from diamondbacks for chris burke, chad qualls, and juan gutierrez

those are a lot of players the astros have dealt this winter. i don't know how deep their farm system is, but i'll give them credit-- they're clearly trying to win now. it does seem a little strange to commit 3 years to matsui given that he's shown no ability to stay healthy, and who will likely put up numbers similar to chris burke anyway. the tejada deal i really like for their offense. their 2-3-4-5 could be something like pence, tejada, berkman, lee. that's very formidable. tejada can actually opt out after 2008, though, so if houston doesn't resign him, that was a steep price for one year (unless they win the world series, of course). valverde should help bolster the bullpen, meaning fans will no longer have to see roy oswalt silently weeping in the dugout after yet another blown save.

mariners get erik bedard for adam jones, george sherrill, and three prospects

once the mariners didn't get johan they had to look for the next best thing. they feel they have a chance to win now, and they also apparently don't have room for adam jones in their outfield. i like bedard but i would've like to have seen a deal like this for someone slightly more proven. i also wonder how bedard will fare now that leo mazzone will not be his pitching coach. overall this is a deal the mariners probably felt they had to make, but that's a lot of players to give up. for the orioles, between this and the tejada deal, they've acquired seven prospects, and they and cal-state fullerton have to be considered the favorites in omaha this june.

giants sign aaron rowand to 5 year $60M contract

i'll start with the positive: i like aaron rowand as a player. i think he hussles a lot, his defense is pretty good, his offense will be slightly above average, and i've heard he's a really good clubhouse presence. however, this is too many years for him. he's coming off career-high offensive numbers that, probably if you ask anyone in the world they'll agree with this, he will never again match. his at-times reckless play makes him an injury concern as well. i know the giants had to sign someone, and they certainly had some extra cash with barroid now off the payroll. i'm just not sure rowand is that marquee name that will resonate with fans.

blue jays acquire scott rolen from cardinals for troy glaus

this is your proverbial one man's trash is another man's treasure deal. except they're both trash. i like glaus' numbers for the last 3 seasons over rolen's, so i think st. louis got the better end of this deal. actually, i'm not really sure what would prompt the blue jays to take this deal. i think scott rolen has pictures of toronto general manager j.p. riccardi wearing women's underwear.

padres get jim edmonds from cardinals for prospect david freese

i can understand san diego trading away a third-base prospect when they already have an everyday third-baseman and another prospect in waiting. what i cannot understand is trading for edmonds. what's his batting line at petco going to be? .265 avg 8 hr 50 rbi? that's gross, and that's probably being generous. why wouldn't you just take another year or two of mike cameron (for about the same price, too)? it just seems weird. from the cardinals perspective though, i like this. new general manager john mozeliak sweeps away another overpaid under-performing has-been to open up room for younger talent.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

separated at birth?

saint joseph's head basketball coach phil martelli has actually been mistaken for a bald eagle several times in his life. the most recent occurrence was at a national zoo exhibit in washington, d.c., where he was visiting with his family. while standing outside a giant cage admiring a majestic eagle perched atop a pole, martelli was startled by some other visitors that were trying to get a picture with him. "look at this, one of them's out of his cage. honey quick get a picture with me and him," said one visitor. martelli stood by confused but obliged the happy visitors with various photos. "he even understands english. this is amazing," the visitor added. when martelli was later informed that he had, once again, been mistaken for our national bird, he only shook his head, then devoured a raw fish.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

super bowl xlii preview

to be honest, i am not very pumped up for this matchup. hopefully i am wrong, but i have a sinking feeling that the patriots are just going to rout the giants in this game. had the game been played last weekend, i might have picked the giants. but since they have to have a long layoff, much like the rockies before the world series, i think they will be more rusty than resty. plus, now that we learned the patriots taped the rams walkthrough before super bowl 36, maybe they did the same thing yesterday, making it that much tougher for the giants to win. seriously, these patriots spies are as easy to spot as sylvester stallone in the specialist. i mean what was that one scene about where he's staring at eric roberts in the limo? he's looking right at him. he didn't try to hide. throughout the whole movie he keeps getting seen. wasn't he supposed to be more covert? what is he a specialist at anyway? being conspicuous? ok anyway yeah this game is going to suck. i also have my doubts for the halftime show being any good. i actually like tom petty more than the average person in my demographic, but i'm not sure that free ballin' is really going to cut it. hopefully the commercials will be good though. prediction: patriots 48-21.