Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heavy D, Joe Frazier, Coach K, Penn St.


Heavy D
5/24/67 - 11/8/11
Dwight Myers, aka "Heavy D," the notorious "Overweight Lover," passed away last week at the age of 44. Heavy D (and the Boyz) enjoyed moderated success in the late 80's, early 90's. Most of us know his work on "Now That We Found Love" and "Nuttin' But Love." Heavy was also responsible for both opening themes of "In Living Color" and MadTV. What many don't know is how successful Heavy was in other endeavors. He became the first rapper to head a major music label when he became president of Uptown Records. During this time, Heavy helped develop the talents of Mary J. Blige and had Sean "Puffy" Combs as an intern. Later on he became the senior vice president of Universal Music. Heavy D also tried his hand in acting, both in plays, television and film. This is one of those guys who has contributed much to his art form and whose contributions outweigh his commercial success. Let's take time to appreciate the man and what he contributed to modern music.

"It was all a dream I used to read Word Up magazine
Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine..." Notorious BIG 

New Releases

Nov. 15th

Take Care

This is one of the most anticipated releases of 2011. Following his debut album, Thank Me Later, Drake puts forth his sophomore effort. This album has already spawned two singles, Headlines and Make Me Proud. Drake belongs to perhaps the hottest record label in the industry with Young Money Entertainment. I won't recommend or criticize this album. Instead, I will call it as I see it. This album is probably like his first and most likely similar to other artists on this label, such as Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. If you like this kind of music.....great. If you are like me, I find that this music has good beats with moderate lyrics. I am going to sample this before I even think about buying this.

Here & Now

This will be the seventh studio album by Canadian rockers, Nickelback. This is a follow up to their Dark Horse album that went multi-platinum. Two singles have already been released from this album, "When We Stand Together" and "Bottoms Up." I wanted to give this a thumbs down soooo bad, but I just couldn't in all fairness. I am sure this album will sell well, they always do. I am sure they will have a few radio hits, they always do. I am just sick of Nickelback. Is anyone with me on this? I know Detroit is. They recently signed a petition to not have Nickelback play there. HAHAHAHA...are you serious? I feel like I need a break, seriously....oh yeah and blond perms are soooo out.  

Break the Spell

This is the third studio album from rockers, Daughtry. Their first two albums fared very well, both going multi-platinum. The only reason I didn't give this a thumbs-up is because it is reported that this album is supposed to be nothing like the first two. I am not saying this couldn't be a thumbs up, that precursor just makes me nervous. That being said, three of the songs are being used in ESPN programming, "Renegade," "Louder Than Ever," and "Outta My Head." I hope this album is better than the first two and that the new sound is successful. All this being said, I am still going to purchase this album.

Nov. 22nd

Snow Patrol
Fallen Empires

This will be the sixth studio album from Snow Patrol. Gary Lightbody reports that this is their longest and best album to date. Two singles have already been released with some success in Europe, "Called Out In the Dark" and "This Isn't Everything You Are." I don't know how I feel about this one. I was never a huge Snow Patrol fan to begin with so I am staying neutral on this one.


"Smokin'" Joe Frazier
1/12/44 - 11/7/11

The "City of Brotherly Love" lost one of it's icons last week when it lost Joe Frazier. Joe Frazier was a boxing legend. "Smokin' Joe" was an Olympic and Heavyweight world champion. Frazier first became Heavyweight champion in 1970 and also the next year when he beat Muhammad Ali in the "Fight of the Century." Two years later he was beaten by George Foreman and never regained the title. He faced Ali two more times over his career, but lost both. The third of which was the famous "Thrilla In Manila." Ali and Frazier has a rocky relationship in the years following their bouts. Initially, Ali called Joe a gorilla and later Foreman was quoted as saying that they should have thrown Ali in the Olympic flame. Both men retained respect for another and when Joe passed, Ali attended a small, personal funeral. Frazier had said that his ill feelings toward Ali were gone in a 2009 article. Ali was reported to have said that the world lost a great boxer after Frazier's death.

Highlights from the "Fight of the Century"

"I smoke on the mic like "Smokin'" Joe Frazier..." ...Inspector Deck

Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, now sits atop the all-time wins column of Division I basketball. He passed his friend and mentor, Bob Knight on Nov. 15th with a win over Michigan St. 903 wins is remarkable, especially by today's standards. Coach K should be celebrated for his accomplishments. He has always run a clean program and has been one of the best teachers and molders of young men. Even if you don't like Duke, or the ACC, you have to give credit where credit is due. During his tenure with Duke, Coach K has led Duke to 4 National Championships, 11 Final Fours, 12 ACC Championships, and 13 ACC Tournament titles. In addition, he is the current coach of the Men's USA basketball team and led them to gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics and again in 2010 at the FIBA World Championships. Oh yeah, and as if that isn't enough, he was an assistant coach for the 1992 "Dream Team." Congrats Coach earned it!

Penn State
This logo seems to be popping up all over the place. I don't think I can do a blog, that includes sports, and not at least mention what is happening at Penn St. At this time, I am going to keep it simple. It is sad and nobody wins. This is not about Penn St. and this is not about Joe Paterno. It is about the victims. I have included a link to read the Jerry Sandusky Grand Jury report so that you can formulate your own opinions. I do feel that this story will ignite other stories around the country and encourage other people to come forward. I hope that people take this seriously and not make false claims, just for their 15 minutes of fame.

Joe Paterno
I chose this image to remember "Joe Pa" in good light. He was an outstanding coach and the all-time wins holder in Division I football. The man coached at Penn St. for 61 years, 46 of which was as head coach. That is remarkable, especially by today's standards where longevity is unheard of. Unfortunately for Paterno, his legacy will be tarnished, it has to be, but how much, only time will tell. It is sad that things had to end this way. I will share more on this when he makes a statement or when more facts surface about his involvement or lack there of in these tragic events. I do believe that the school should decline any bowl invitation this year. As unfair as this may be to the current players, I just don't see what good could come from that.

Friday, November 4, 2011


New releases...

Nov. 1

Florence + the Machine

This is the sophomore album by British Indie-Pop band, Florence + The Machine. This album is highly anticipated in the wake of the first album's success. The new album draws comparisons to Kate Bush, Bjork, Adele, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and PJ Harvey. The album has already spawned three singles, "What the Water Gave Me," Shake It Out," and "No Light, No Light." If you have not listened to them before I suggest sampling the album first.

Miranda Lambert
Four the Record

FOUR the Record is the FOURth studio album released by country artist, Miranda Lambert....clever girl....The album's first single, "Baggage Claim," debuted at #33 on the country charts, which is the highest debut for any of her singles. Personally, I think she has one of the better sounds in country music today. I think she has an excellent blend of modern country, blue grass, girl power and song writing that works. I highly recommend picking up this album. Also, check out a side project of hers....Pistol Annies....

Nov. 8

Lost Children

This will be the sixth album by metal band, Disturbed. This album will be a collection of B-sides. I am often weary of B-side albums because there is usually a reason that the songs didn't make the A side. I usually only get B-side collections if the artist has strong song writing skills or is in a genre that doesn't get much airplay. Neither of these criteria fit this album. Although I love Disturbed, I am going to sample this one.

Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland

I haven't been able to find much information about this album but I will do my best. This album was taken from last year's Time Machine tour. This album was recorded in Cleveland and encompasses the entire Moving Pictures album. I have only recently become familiar with their work and am sorry it took me so long to see the light. If you are like me...check it out before any more time passes. Rush is a great band and don't seem to be losing any steps with age.

Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

This is the debut album from former Oasis front man, Noel Gallagher. Gallagher claims to have drawn inspiration from Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Jefferson Airplane for the title of his album. "The Death of You and Me" is slated to be the first single off of the album. The album is getting overly positive reviews from critics. I will check this out based on pure curiosity. I would recommend doing the same before buying it outright.

Angels & Airwaves
Love Part One & Part Two

This is a follow-up album from last year's "Love." This also coincides with an Angels & Airwaves movie of the same name. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, they feature Tom Delong, front man from Blink 182. All songs were written by Delong for this album as well. The first single is scheduled to be "Anxiety." If you like Blink 182, you most likely will like this, although the musical composition is deeper and on a much grander scale.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Soundtrack

Firstly, if I didn't mention this album, my wife would kill me. Secondly, these albums are actually really good. They always feature a strong mixture of well-known and lesser-known artists. The music is usually a mix of Rock, Indie-Rock and ballads. This album contains Christina Perri, The Joy Formidable, and Bruno Mars among others. For those in doubt, listen, it may surprise you. I own the first three soundtracks and enjoy them very much.


ESPN Announces New Network
Due to the continuing increase in athlete-related crime, ESPN has decided to release a network targeted at covering these events. The network will be called Back Court TV. Initially, the network will be supplemental and will only be included in premium packages. Rumour has it that a free trial will be given to all cable/satellite subscribers for the week following it's release on January 1st. The station will carry up-to-the-minute information about all court proceedings, hearings, sentencing, and probation. Experts will also be weighing in with legal advice and giving odds of the outcome. The use of back-court when titling the show is thought to be a jab at the increasing number of off-the-court antics by NBA players. Currently, there has been no backlash from players or owners. I provided you with a sample of the channel's logo.

***Did you buy this? This was totally made up. My point in fabricating this was to demonstrate the sad state of off-the-field behaviors by professional athletes. If you found this to be believable then you too understand how bad it has gotten. Sorry to be misleading but it gives you something to think about.

Hot Stove Preview...
This MLB off season posts one of the weaker big-name classes in recent years. However, if a team approaches this in the right way, they can rebuild their team for decent prices. Since I am a Yankees fan, I will focus on the Yankees off season. The Yankees have recently resigned Brian Cashman to a three year extension. CC Sabathia also resigned for an extension. Most people assume that the Yankees are going to pursue Albert Pujols because he is the biggest name on the market. However, in a recent interview, Brian Cashman admitted that Pujols is not on the list. I don't completely buy it but in some ways I hope this is true. Cashman acknowledged that the Yankees did lose in the postseason because of their offense but feels that pitching is the key to a strong team. He also admitted that Rangers starting pitcher CJ Wilson was high on his list. I like this idea. Currently, Wilson is projected as the 8th best free agent. Other big names this off season are Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Buehrle, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Beltran, David Ortiz, Carlos Pena, Jonathan Papelbon, Jim Thome and JD Drew. As a Yankees fan, I can't wait until they drop the dead-weight that is A-Rod and sign some other players who actually contribute. For his salary, they could practically buy the entire American League. I would much rather drop his salary and pick up another third base free agent like Aramis Ramirez, Eric Chavez, or Wilson Betimet, any of which I would prefer to have at this time. Everyone always says that you have to spend money to compete with the Yankees. In recent years, the Yankees have HAD to spend money to keep up with some of these other teams. I would love to hear how other sports fan's feel this year's free agency will go.....send me your thoughts. 


Rook Arikes?
Apparently, the new trend in Asia is couples dressing alike. How would you feel about dressing like your spouse or significant other? Most of you probably think it is lame or ridiculous. Let me tell you why I like this. First, since PDA's are still taboo in the Asian culture, this is a way for couples to express their affection toward each other. They have even started selling outfits in pairs and advertising clothes in magazines as couples. If the relationship does not work out, the clothes are discarded. Secondly, wouldn't you rather see a couple dressing alike instead of making out in front of you? Well I would. I don't think this trend would ever catch on in America, but I respect what Asian couples are trying to do. I do, however, think it is more a testament for women's commitment to affection because all of the clothing was on the masculine/unisex side of fashion. None of the clothing was feminine in any manner other than color. I guess that is to be expected from such a male dominated society.

Beavis and Butthead are Back
Mike Judge's delinquent teens are back! The series originally aired on MTV's Liquid Television in 1992. It ran successfully through 1997. These two teens, ignorant and oblivious to the way the world works, made mischief through most of the 90's. In past episodes, they spend their time critiquing music videos. In the new series, they have been critiquing more shows than videos. This is fitting since MTV no longer plays music videos. Very little has changed for this dynamic due. If you were a fan back in the day as I was, tune in, it is well worth it. If you never watched should give it a try. I have included the pilot from 1992 for you below. These "minisodes" have been far less seen as fewer people followed Liquid Television.....enjoy!!

This week I would like to retire a phrase....a sports phrase....It seems like every year there is a catch phrase that commentators use when describing a play....last year it was pick 6 and the year before it was "pin their ears back." I wish to retire the latter. So this weeks entry is "pin their ears back"