Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bush...once again

So, this Bush guy is really pissing me off again. He's down on his ranch planning for his Inaguration but it's taken him this long to actually come out and make a statement about the earthquake tragedy in Asia. And our first respone was to offer $15 million in aid. Fortunately, we were shamed into upping that to $35 million but that's still an embarrassment. That's actually the amount we spend in Iraq every 3 hours! 80,000+ people are dead and we offer up $35 million. People like him love to use the compassionate conservative label and brag about how they set 50 million people free but they don't give a shit about anyone. The only reason Bush came out and said anything was because Clinton finally stepped up to say a few things. I really don't think he gets it or the people that tell him what to do don't get it. We use all kinds of rhetoric about "winning hearts and minds" around the world and specifically in Muslim nations but never extend that to anything beyond dropping bombs and threats on them. Why not fly over to Indonesia, one of the largest Muslim nations in the world, to express your support?

It just makes me sick that he is our president and one who loves to espouse his "Christian values". If values is what the election was about let's try to use some of those to help millions of people desperately in need. Instead we offer $35 million in what will be a drop in the bucket of the billions needed. Oh yeah, the price tag of Bush's inaguration parties? $40 million.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

My best album discoveries of the year

First, a google cache of Wal Mart's website promoting an interesting product. Hey, you can save $3.40! Paul sent this to me.

Shawn Walding presented me with the idea of coming up with our top album discoveries of the year. I'm always up for some list-making so I agreed and here we are. I'm not putting these in order because I'm too lazy and indecisive to rank them. They're all fantastic albums.

Madvillain -Madvilainy
Two of the best in underground hip hop combine forces with sexy results. OK, maybe not sexy results but it's got some great beats and lyrics that play out a little like a comic book featuring the illest villians.

Modest Mouse -Good News for People Who Like Bad News
Modest Mouse breaks into the mainstream with one of the anthems of summer, "Float On". They were part of a bit of an indie resurgance into the corporate radio scene that normally features the nu-metal crap of Linkin Park and their endless knock-offs which was significant for me because I was forced to listen to way too much Clear Channel at work. This album may not be their best work but still worthy of a spot on this list.

Wilco - A Ghost is Born
Wilco followed up their best album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, with a little harder sound and some guitar solos. Somewhat unfortunately, this is another example of an album failing to match up with some of the previous efforts. Wilco's strength has always been Tweedy's subtle songwriting but it seems to be covered up at times under the wailing guitars. I know, I'm ripping on it quite a bit for being one of the best albums of the year but I have such high expectations for Wilco that I couldn't help but wonder what might have been.

Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Sam Beam once again creates an album that could double as some excellent lullabies. Each track is a beautiful, haunting picture of the south. He excels at telling a story in very few words but still managing to bring forth the desired imagry with the quiet pluck of a banjo or guitar string.

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
A rare hip hop concept album works as Mike Skinner focuses on the smaller things in life in the context of his larger problems with his girlfriend cheating on him, some lost cash, and anything else. His lyrical delivery seems to work over the usual garage beats that aren't heard many other places (at least here in the US).

The Foreign Exchange - Connected
What does it say about the state of American hip-hop that two of my top four albums in the genre come from Europe? In this case the beats come from Netherlands and the lyrics come from North Carolina in an album that came together before the two even met each other. The wonders of the internet, eh? The result is beats that create a groove that you can't help but bob your head to and a lyrical delivery that fits like a glove.

Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
Most of the focus on this album was the fact that Jack White, of the White Stripes, produced and collaborrated on some of the songs. Loretta Lynn does some of her best work to date, most of it in the Coal Miner's Daughter vein of personal stories about growing up in Butch Holler. A great classic country album that's a refreshing sound.

Kanye West - College Dropout
Another great hip hop album and one that is able to cross into the mainstream without all the bling. His rhymes about dropping out of college and rapping through his broken jaw give the album something different that can unite the different factions of hip hop fans.

The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boot
A solid indie rock album that shows up with some new ideas and sounds seemingly every time you listen to it. It uses different vocalists well touching on several different styles from song to song.

The Arcade Fire - Funeral
This album really spoke to me at this time in my life as it deals with wanting to leave your childhood life behind but realizing that the security of that life can be pretty comforting. It is aptly named as it was recorded around the time of three deaths in the family. The album contains so much more emotional honesty than anything "emo". Easily one of the best indie rock albums of the year.

So, that's ten of them. I'm probably forgetting something I really liked but that's the way it goes.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Announcer talking about the Miami fans wearing Ricky Williams jerseys: "They should have a warranty on those. If he quits to smoke dope, I get my money back."
Other announcer: "(nervous laughter) OK, 2nd and ten."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Creepiest pickup line ever

As a Karl Malone defender in the past I have to say that his latest effort at a pickup line has to be one of the creepiest ever. We all knew he's the world's only black redneck and was known to melt down in the face of Dennis Rodman. Now we know he's a little scary too. Supposedly Kobe Bryant's wife asked him "what are you hunting for, cowboy?" and he comes back with "I'm hunting for little Mexican girls." Nice. Maybe it's just me but if I were a Mexican in the LA area I'd be locking my kids up to keep Kahlmawone away from them.

I think it's a little ironic for Kobe to be so morally outraged at someone hitting on his wife after he admitted cheating on her and possibly raping some girl. But, I really wouldn't expect much else from a drama queen like he is.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Get Your War On: Election Edition

These are pretty good, I thought. At least if you're still a little dumbfounded about how we elected Bush again. I had a pretty scary thought the other day when I was thinking about Reagan and how he defined the 80's because he was president from 81-88 when I realized that Bush will be president from 2001-2008. Dammit, that seems like a long time.

Hey, in the rest of my life work keeps deciding to screw me on hours so my services are officially on the market now. Who wants to give me a job? Unfortunately I realized that I just missed the deadline to apply for a youth coach with Ames Rec. If anyone should be shaping the lives on America's youth it's me. Who else has my life experiences or views on the world, alcohol, and anything else?

In other good news I have a cold which will last from about now until oh, February. Damn you germs and viruses!!!!

Well, I should get back to my Rolling Rocks so I can be nice and liquored up to watch ISU and Iowa play tonight. Pierre Pierce is a rapist and Adam Haluska is a liar and a traitor! Go State!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

"Women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men's happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments."

This was taken from one of the abstinence programs that Bush is spending $170 million to keep in schools. I thought it was kind of funny in a ridiculous 1950's educational sort of way.