Friday, January 27, 2006

A Soccer Side with No Right Wingers


The Times of London has a very nice story about FC St. Pauli, a third division team in the German Bundesliga. The team, from the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, has had a special place in my heart (as my second team I suppose) ever since I first encountered their jersey with the Jack Daniels' sponsorship in a department store in Hamburg. Learning some of the details that the article relates only made them more attractive. What's not to like about a club whose unofficial emblem is the Jolly Roger?

Although they are currently in the third division, but they a real shot at being promoted to the second division this year and, improbably, are in the semifinals of the German cup after defeated Hertha Berlin last month. They face Werder Bremen next Wednesday, and even though they'll be major underdogs, I'll be pulling for them.

NP: "Sour Times" - Portishead

Friday Music Report

According to Last.fm, I listened to the following artists the most last week:
  1. The House of Love
  2. Swervedrive
  3. Bettie Serveert
  4. Pavement
  5. Great Lake Swimmers
  6. Badly Drawn Boy
  7. Death Cab for Cutie
  8. Wilco
  9. The Replacements
  10. Joy Division
It's nice to see some new names in that list, even if most of them aren't exactly "new".

NP: "Cold Feet Warm Heart" - Echobelly

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

World's Best New Buildings

ArtInfo lists the twelve best new buildings, from a variety of spheres of life. It's nice to see that the High Museum expansion here in Atlanta has made the list. I like the look of it from Peachtree, but I've yet to experience it personally by actually visiting the museum. It is on my list of things to do though, right up there with hitting that little aqaurium that just opened. (via kottke)

NP: "Goon Squad" - Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Top Gun 2: Brokeback Squadron

See the trailer now. Now this is funny, especially since it echoes one of my favorite movie monologues, even if it is delivered by Quentin Tarantino. So, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone put it together.

Changing topics quickly, does anyone else think that Sleep With Me (the monologue's source) is seriously underrated?

NP: "St. Petersburg" - Supergrass

Bye Bye Crackberry?

I know a lot of people that get super annoyed when someone is using a Blackberry to check their e-mails in otherwise social situations. Well, they may have cause to rejoice (click to watch the ad... Salon is worth it after all).

A trademark dispute between the makers of the now almost ubiquitous device and a small company in Virginia that appears to hold the patent threatens to make the devices illegal. Personally, I've never had much of a problem with them, as long as they don't distract from what someone is suppose to be doing (like making work decisions) or causing them to draw out useless meetings.

On the other hand, wouldn't it make your life simpler, Senior?

NP: "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" - The Hold Steady

Get Your Real War On

This is brilliant. Get Your War On, possibly one of my favorite comic strips over the last few years, is now a live show, as presented by the Rude Mechanicals in Austin, Texas. I wish the site had a few live clips of the show, but the flash video is kind of well done (watch your speaker volume... it's loud).

NP: "Most People are DJs" - The Hold Steady

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The 50 Most Loathsome People in America

According to the Beast. There are some real gems here. Here's a taste:
48. Larry the Cable Guy

Charges: The absolute nadir of the American South’s baffling cultural hegemony. A middle-class Nebraskan, raised in Palm Beach, whose parents sent him to private school, masquerading as an Appalachian mutant and making millions off the nine-toed cyclopes in his audience by calling his material “blue collar,” when it’s really just a celebration of proud ignorance. The latest in a long line of “entertainers” propagating the lie that real talent is elitist. The South has risen again—just long enough to grab the rest of the nation by the legs and pull it back down to its Lovecraftian depths. Isn’t even “bad funny.” Makes Jeff Foxworthy look like Chris Rock.
Really, it's worth a read. And there's a surprise number 1, even though it really isn't that surprising once you've read the charges.

NP: "Ahead" - Wire

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Music Report

Things are finally getting back to normal, save for work, which has been a bear lately. But at least I have time to put together my weekly music report. Of course, Last.fm does most of the work on that score for me anyway. Without further ado, here are the artists I listened to the most last week:
  1. Bettie Serveert - Many thanks to Manny for supplying some Bettie Seveert that I'd long been seeking. Their VU covers had me hooked early, and their original work certainly doesn't dissappoint.
  2. British Sea Power - Fresh off their lofty appearance in my year end list, I can only hope that they'll be returning to Atlanta soon.
  3. The Charlatans U.K. - These guys don't get nearly enough credit for making such good music for such a long time.
  4. The Wedding Present - Coming soon to the Earl. I'd better get off by duff and buy tickets.
  5. Swervedriver - My iPod loves this band almost as much as I do. I don't seem to go a day without hearing something by them.
  6. Sigur Rós - Takk would be higher on my top 20 of 2005 if I were starting it right now. It's the perfect music to work, read, or chill to.
  7. The National - What's to say. The National rock.
  8. Echo & The Bunnymen - Is their self titled disc out of print. I can't seem to find it anywhere (legally or otherwise).
  9. Superchunk - Just what you need, when you really need to get going.
  10. Lou Reed - Lou is never unwelcome in my daily listening.
NP: "Sundazed to the Core" - Bettie Serveert

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Support Your Local Band - Mantissa Part II

I meant to post about this last week, but Mantissa, a band I've mentioned here before, got a little more widespread love than I could reach in this blog. Performer Magazine has published a nice profile of them. Check out their MySpace page as well. And no, Mac and Marc aren't brothers, despite appearances.

I've also been told that a CD is in the offing. Once it's complete, I hope to get a few tracks to post for download and evaluation.

NP: "Americanized" - Atomsplit

Meetings are Counterproductive

Now this is something I've long suspected (especially in some of those weekly marathon phone calls for one of my clients). Researchers have demonstrated that meetings actually have negative effects.

Action item here people. Don't schedule me for an hour meeting, when you only need me for 10 minutes.

Note: this is only a problem currently if I have to call into the meeting on the other coast. Good work ATL co-workers!

NP: "Re-Hash" - Gorillaz

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Music Report

Now that all the holidays are done, and my music listening has returned to normal (at work and home instead of in the car), it's time for the return of the Friday Music Report. According to my Last.fm profile, I listened to the following artists the most last week.
  1. Death Cab for Cutie
  2. Paavement
  3. Blur
  4. The Clash
  5. Lou Reed
  6. Stereolab
  7. Swervedriver
  8. The Cure
  9. The Connells
  10. The Posies
NP: "09-15-00" - Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Late Silence

At work, I'm treading water about a foot below the surface, trying to keep sight of the light right now. So, I haven't had time to right about anything other than client #1's brand and voice and how to accessorize client #2's boxy products. Normal posting should resume shortly.

NP: "Baudelaire" - ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

Friday, January 06, 2006

Music Midtown No More

This year's Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta is officially not going to happen. Now, I'll have to find something better to do with my time that weekend than:
  • Hang out with thousands of very drunk teenagers from the suburbs generally making asses of themselves
  • Fight crowds to see a band with crappy sound that more often than not turns in a lousy performance (I'm looking your way Bob Dylan)
  • Pay for a three day pass to see four bands on Saturday
  • Deal with the overflow of drunkards as they flow into The Usual®
Seriously though, this is probably a bad thing overall. There are many acts that I probably would not have had the chance to see without Music Midtown, Patti Smith for example. And I have had a lot of fun at past Music Midtowns on balance--losing friends in the crowd only to make new friends, taking Mojo Nixon's advice despite my intentions, etc.

Organizers cited the cost of the event, but I wonder if attendence has been down because they forced the public to buy tickets for the whole event (at a very large cost) rather than ala carte by day. Just something to think about.

NP: "Obstacle 1" - Interpol

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Is There Nothing Sacred?

Barry Gibb is buying Johnny Cash's home. I feel troubled even linking the Bee Gees with Cash in such a short space. What next, is K-Fed going to buy Graceland?

NP: "Lawyers, Guns and Money" - Warren Zevon

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fun with Time-Lapse Photography

The AJC shows exactly what it took for the Georgia Dome to host three big-time college and NFL football games in the space of four days. You can actually see how many times Carolina seems to march down the field during the Falcons game portion of the sequence.

NP: "Crown of Creation" - Ride

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Beginning of the End of an Era

Today, Arsenal face one of their fiercest rivals, Manchester United, for the last time at Highbury, their home since 1913. Next season, they'll be moving to a new home just up the street, Ashburton Grove (Emirates Stadium). Highbury will be turned into luxury lofts.

Over the last few years, matches between the two teams have been some of the most competitive in English football. So, it's with a little sadness that this marks the beginning of the end of Highbury in my mind--it's beginning to seem real, despite seeing pictures of the new stadium as it is being constructed.

Highbury will always have a special place in my heart since it was the first stadium where I saw a competitive match live; Arsenal won that day and my love affair with the team began. I only hope the team begins to send it off a little better than they have been lately, starting with a win today. Go Gunners!

UPDATE: Arsenal 0 - 0 Man United. Not exactly the result I had in mind, as Arsenal's lack of goal scoring of late is becoming more and more worrying. They absolutely have to be able to win outright at home. Earlier this season, after watching Arsenal lose to Boro in a very uninspiring effort, I said that if they continued to play like that, they would finish mid-table. Well, they've played just like that more often than not, and if they don't improve pretty quickly, there will be no Champion's League football played in the new stadium next year (and probably no Thierry Henry either).

NP: "Don't Let It Be" - Elf Power