The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Reviews, Hockey Picks and More!

So it's been a while since I've talked music. Well have no fear! I'm currently working on three reviews (Frog Eyes, The Dirty Pennies and Wendy Atkinson) that should be coming up here soon (The Dirty Pennies and Wendy Atkinson ones will also go up on Earshot!'s website).

But until then, here are my round 2 predicitons;

Buffalo Sabers vs NYR = Rangers in 7. This will be the real shocker of the playoffs. The Rangers just looked too good last round not to think they can pull this one off.

Ottawa Sens vs. NJ Devils = Ottawa in 5. I'm still not convinced the Devils have the scoring necessary to go deep into the playoffs. Emery's playing better than ever and that means a quick series for the Sens.

Detroit Red Wings vs. SJ Sharks = Sharks in 6. The Sharks seem to finally be playing up to their potential while the Red Wings walked all over the Flames. The difference in this one will be goal score of which the Sharks have the edge.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks = Ducks in 4. Not great for my pool, but unlike the Stars, the Ducks actually have offence. This is going to look awfully similar to the Red Wings/Flames series but even more lopsided in the Ducks favor. You have to score to win hockey games and other than the Sedin twins (who will likely crumble at the sight of the Ducks team by the end of the series), who else can for the Canucks?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Glen Healy is a Turd!

Few people get me up in arms more than TSN hockey 'expert' Glen Healy. The guy was a lousy goalie and he's an even more awful commentator. He's also a complete idiot. How someone that has such little knowledge of hockey outside Toronto, someone who clearly still holds resentment towards the Flames and Oilers for lighting him up constantly when he was a goalie, gets so much national air time is beyond me. Even his coworkers Dreger and Mackenzie seem to think he's got no credibility (it's so much fun to watch the NHL on TSN just to see those two clearly taking pot-shots at Healy, without him even catching on).

Anyways all of this is to say you should check this out. TSN, realising how trivial sports predictions are, have brought back Maggie the Monkey. Yes folks, instead of having another 'expert' come out and make there 'bold' predictions (usually going with the favorites, and then choosing one upset in a vain attempt to look unpredictable), TSN brings back their loveable monkey who chooses teams based on a simple spin of the wheel. Last year she beat all of her peers by predicting the Oilers to make it to the finals. I love it when organizations are able to make fun of themselves and this seems to be the case here.

What is most enjoyable about this is that if you look at their 'expert panel' it includes Maggie alongside the rest of the TSN hockey 'experts' with the exception of Healy! Yes, Healy has been replaced by a FRICKIN' MONKEY!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Playoff Pool 2007 Edition

Ah springtime! For most it's the season of finally being able to be outdoors, playing frisbee going for walks, biking, you know, all that boring stuff. Well for myself, springtime means spending hour after hour indoors watching playoff hockey. While the Oilers are not in it this year (nor are the Leafs who I get almost as much pleasure cheering against), I'm still catching the playoff fever.

Looking at the first round matchups I'd expect them to go something like this
Buffalo Sabers vs NY Islanders - Buffalo in 5. Ryan Miller gets a game misconduct after he goes all Hextal on Ryan Smyth
NJ Devils vs TB Lightning - Tampa Bay in 7. Firing your coach one week before the playoffs can't work twice can it?
Atlanta Thrashers vs NY Rangers - Atlanta in 6. The Thrashers have to be one of the most underated teams in the league, and the Rangers have a history of choking in the playoffs.
Ottawa Sens vs Pitts Penguins - Ottawa in 7. Why the two best teams in the second half of the season have to play each other in the first round is beyond me. That said, at this point in their careers Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson, Redden, Volchencov (Sp?) together trump Crosby, Malkin, Recchi, Gonchar, Whitney and Fleury
Detroit Redwings vs Calgary Flames - Detroit in 5. Sure the Red Wings have choked in the first round recently, but the additions of Hasek and Calder (and Bertuzzi?), coupled with a healthy Zetterberg, and a motivated Datsyuk will be too much for the Flames to handle.
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild - Anaheim in 6. This one comes down to who can win the battle between Pronger and Gaborik. Looking back to what Pronger did last year for the Oil I have to give the edge to him.
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars - Vancouver in 5. I'm sorry but Marty Turco has yet to prove himself as anything short of awful in the playoffs. The Stars will win one in overtime but simply because Matt Cooke takes a stupid diving penalty which results in the only goal in a 1-0 win.
Nashville Preds vs SJ Sharks - Whoever scores in overtime in game 7. This is probably the closest series this round. A hot Sharks team verses a rediculously deep Nashville team. San Jose one it last year, but the Preds adding Forsberg and Arnott, two proven playoff players, means that this series goes the distance.

To celebrate the playoffs 10 of us got together and made teams for a playoff pool. I was unfortunate to be in the worst position, drafting right in the middle of the pack. Buffalo was basically out of the picture, by the time I was picking which is too bad (go Isles!) and Steve beat me to Lecavalier and St. Louis. Anyways, if Nashville, Atlanta, Anaheim or Ottawa do well, I could do well. So here's my team;

1.Chris Pronger - Ana - Defence
2. Jason Spezza - Ott - Center
3. Scott Niedermeyer - Ana - Defence
4. Ilya Kovalchuck - Atl - LW
5. Chris Kunitz - Ana -LW
6. Mike Fisher - Ott - Center
7. Martin Erat - Nsh - LW
8. Kimmo Timmonen - Nsh - Defence
9. Alexie Zhitnik - Atl - Defence
10. Shea Webber - Nsh - Defence

So lots of defence. That kind of just happened by accident, but I'm not too worried about that. Pronger is who won it all for me last year. Plus I have his linemate in Niedermeyer, and linemates Webber and Timmonen, which will hopefully result in multiple points on goals. Kunitz will get some points off of Selanne, Spezza's one of the best centers in the game, Kovalchuk and Fisher get to beat up on the Rangers and the Pens questionable defence and Erat is coming off a career season, playing alongside Arnott. Again, I wish I had some Sabers but I'm still happy with my team.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Buy Buy Buy! ... and Don't Buy!

Ok, so I feel like I should come up with a new title for this (when does something stop becoming ironic?). But anyways, here's the second edition of Buy Buy Buy! ... and Don't Buy!

New(ish) Buys!
Bill Callahan - Woke up on a Whaleheart (Drag City, out April 17th)

Surprise! Ex-(Smog)er Callahan comes up with another awesome album. Whaleheart comes loaded with soul thant most songwriters only dream of developing. Callahan has always had a skill at making the most mundane seem the most fascinating. Who else could write a song as captivating as 'Sycamore'? Although this album does hold up that well to previous albums like Knock Knock or 2005's A River Ain't Too Much to Love, it's still really solid start to finish.

Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band (Drag City)
How can I not follow up Callahan with his partner in crime Newsom? Anyways, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Ys was a BIT of a dissapointment for me. I emphasis 'bit' because I still love the album, but miss the intimacy that made The Milk Eyed Member one of my favorite albums of the last ten years. Once I got over the 'holy crap it's Van Dyck Parks!' phase, I found the orchestration on the album (as beautiful as it was) to actually separate Newsom from the listener a bit. Listening to 'Emily' made me long for 'Sprout and the Bean.' This is what makes this Ep of stripped down versions of old songs (including a great version of 'Cosmia') so refreshing. Here is a more exposed, more vulnerable Newsom than we're ever allowed to get on Ys.

Kode 9 and the Spaceape - Memories of the Future (Hyperdub)
This album actually came out last year, but I didn't get a chance to really listen to it until recently. I can't get enough of this dubstep stuff, and Kode 9, along with Burial, seem to be the cream of the crop. This is the type of album that continues to haunt you as you go about your day. It paints such a clear and disturbing picture of south London as a ghost town that you can't help but go out and see Winnipeg in a similar light.

Old Buys
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbrick (Carthage, 1969)
This is the epitome of what a transitional album should look like. You get glimpses of the British-folk music the band was going to develop more fully on their next album Leige & Lief in midst of the American folk-rock the band was known for up to this point. Highlights include the awesome opener 'Genesis Hall', 'A Sailor's Life' and the French version of Dylan's 'If You've Gotta Go, Go Now' (here entitled 'Si Tu Dois Partir). Plus the album sports one the best from covers out there (see above). Unfortunately this new sound was short-lived as part of the band was killed in a car crash soon after the album was released.

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (Rough Trade, 1979)
Released during a time where it seemed everyone wanted to add as much to their music as possible, Young Marble Giants go the opposite route putting together an amazing collection of songs focusing on the vocals of Alison Statton and the minimal instrumentation of the Moxham Brothers. While the original album is perfect on its own, the re-release with the edition of the the Final Day ep ('Final Day' is one of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear), only enhances the albums greatness.

Sonic Youth - Experiemental Jet Set Trash and No Star (Geffin, 1994)
Often considered to be one of their biggest dissapointments, this album with always sit well with me as it was the first Sonic Youth album I ever bought. I picked up when I was in grade 8, played it for my mom thinking she would be excited that I found something I thought was so interesting. Instead she started crying thinking 'what's gone wrong with my son?' Considering how long this album has sat with me, whenever I pull it out for a listen (which really is only once every couple of years), I can't help but get all nostalgic.

Don't Buy
The Fall - Reformation - Post TLC (Narnack, 2007)
This happens every few albums by the Fall. When an artist insists on having a new band for every album, sometimes it just doesn't gel properly. The album is lazy, unfocused and meandering. Sometimes those qualities actually work out (and it has in the past for the Fall), but here it is a dissapointment.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Few Notes

Last night I finally went to a show at the new venue above Ragpickers. The place was great! It's very 'house-concertesque' in that the whole place could fit in your living room, and comes equipped with foam pads to sit on so the hardwood floor doesn't kill your ass, that double as leggo pieces. It probably helped that Ottawa's The Acorn were performing who were stunning. You could tell by the way they were playing that the venue was working for them. Besides getting kicked in the face by some french dude from All Your Friends (he later apologized saying 'I'm sorry man, I was in the moment you know?' to which I replied 'I'll give you a moment!' ... well, I didn't really say that but wouldn't it have been awesome?), I'd say the evening was quite splendid.

Tonight I'm heading over to the pyramid (yuck!) to check out the Ladyhawk/Jon-Rae/Constantines (awesome!) show. All three bands kick ass live so it should be a good time as well. If you're not already planning on going you should. Get over your disdain for the Pyramid and enjoy the show. I should have a write up on that tomorrow.

Thursday night after taking communion, I'll be heading over to umfm to join Kevin Scott on his show The Electric Tongue. I've always enjoyed both of Kevin's shows (The Electric Muse is one of the better English Folk music shows you'll ever hear), and am looking forward to doing a show with him. He said make it eclectic so I'm thinking have a metal/noise/dubstep set (Sun O))), Wolf Eyes, Kode 9 and Burial) followed by a female singer songwriter set (Juana Molina, Christine Fellows, Espers, Kate Bush) but don't know where to take it from there. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ah the Boys of Summer

So since my hockey predictions were so acurate, and because I'm making a serious effort to get into Baseball (especially the cubs), I thought I would make some MLB predictions for you all.

* indicates wild card winner
1.) Yankees (I hate the Yankees, but I have to admit their team looks unbeatble again this year)
2.) Blue Jays (are edged out by the Tigers for the wild card spot)
3.) Red Sox
4.) Devil Rays

AL CENTRAL (Will be the toughest division)
1.) Indians
2.) Tigers*
3.) Twins
4.) White Sox
5.) Royals

4.) Rangers

AL MVP - Vladi Guerrero

1.) Mets
2.) Phillies
3.) Braves
4.) Marlins
5.) Nationals

1.) Cubs
2.) Cardinals* (loses top spot in the divsion in the final week of play butstill gets wild card)
3.) Brewers
4.) Astros
5.) Reds
6.) Pirates

1.) Diamondbacks (Stuns everyone and beats out the Dodgers)
2.) Dodgers
3.) Padres
4.) Rockies
5.) Giants

MVP - Ryan Howard
CY Young - Carlos Zambrano (I can dream can't I?)