Review: Radiohead’s King of Limbs

I downloaded this album about two weeks ago and so I have had a bit of time to listen to it over and over, mulling over its intricate lyrics and how it will relate to my view of the world… Well, not so much the last part, but I have had a bit of time to listen. Call me crazy, call me an ignorant, passive listener for glossing over the lyrics, but I feel like for many of Radiohead’s lyrics, I can’t get into them or understand the message. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the album.

As every snowflake is a bit different, every Radiohead album has a bit of a different feel for me and this one was no diferent. It’s hard to describe, so I’ll use a diagram:

Radiohead Albums based on Experimental design and how you will be perceived by huge Radiohead fans (hipsters) if you say it's your favourite album

Also note: hardcore Radiohead fans usually enjoy the more experimental side of their albums, but you will come across many that are in the middle. Personally, I would say Hail to the Thief is probably my favourite. So with that context, I can say that I really enjoyed King of Limbs.

Although it isn’t their best effort, it is a solid record and will find a good home betwixt the circuits on my iPod. Lotus Flower is probably my favourite track on the album. The bass line with the solid drum beat in the background with the guitars flitting in and out really sets the mood and Thom’s toned-down voice just.. fits. It reminded me a bit of “All I need”, from In Rainbows, with the same sort of feel to it. “Codex” and  “Give up the Ghost” are all good, solid tracks as well, with a slower, mellower tone compared with “Morning Mr. Magpie” and “Little by Little”, which are the faster-paced and the ‘rockier’ tracks on the album. “Seperator” is a decent track, but didn’t really catch my ear too much. As well, I find every time I listen to parts of this album, I skip over “Bloom”. Starts out a bit like some of my favourite electronic music with the piano bit and the ensuing guitar/synth that comes in, but lacks a real hook for me. Oh well, at first I didn’t like “Spinning Plates” from the Amnesiac album, and it soon grew on me.

Overall, a good album compared to what else is popping up out there, with a chill feel save for a few songs. I’d give it…

3.5/5

ALSO, epic way of getting it out there. Announce it’s going to be released a week later, then release it the day before. I’m impressed. As with In Rainbows, they sometimes create more news with how they release the music than with the music itself.

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Herschel Walker: Is he truly mortal?

Lee, Tracy. "Herschel Walker wins second pro fight via TKO". Photo. http://sports.yahoo.com/ Jan 29, 2010. Jan 31,2010

Story caught my eye recently of a 48 year old man, Herschel Walker, winning his second MMA fight. Thinking it odd that a man was almost my dad’s age was beating up 20-somethings and also impressed by his athleticism (and his near lack of a neck in the picture), I investigated. Upon further inspection of him on ye olde wikipedia and through a few articles, I came across some very interesting facts:

-He was a high school/college football superstar, making it to the college football hall of fame, 3 time All-American, was in the top three for the Heisman trophy every season he played and won it in 82′.

-Played 11 years in the NFL from 1986-1997 during which he rushed for 8225 yards and 61 touchdowns.

-5th degree black belt in Tae kwon do

-Unorthodox workout/diet regime including one meal a day and up to 3,500 sit-ups, a thousand push-ups, several wind sprints, quarter-mile dashes and a two-mile run a day and apparently he has been doing this since high school.

-Nearly made the Olympic team in the sprint relay BUT made the two man bobsled team and placed 7th in the 1992 winter Olympics.

-Owns his own food service company, “Renaissance Man Food Services“, a fitting title, which employs 100 people.

-Suffers from dissociative identity disorder (commonly know as multiple personality disorder), but has been getting help with his condition and feels like he has recovered by gaining back control.

-Is from the future where he is only considered mediocre amongst a race of super-evolved humans.

Then, back in September 2009, he signed on with “Strikeforce”, to train and fight at an unspecified date. Well, two wins later, it looks like just one more successful endeavour for Walker. I particularly admire how he has done all of this while dealing with a serious mental illness.

It can’t help but beg the question, is he actually human? Is this guy for real? Will he one day peel off his skin to reveal a robot inside and then proceed to take over the world? I do think if he actually is revealed to be human, his DNA should be analyzed and used for my legion of clone soldiers. But before that happens, what else can we expect from Mr. Incredible? Well, he has been talking about a return to football, and could break the record for oldest person to play in an NFL game.  The record is held by George Blanda at 48 years, 109 days and although many question whether a team would pick him up, I am ready to see the impossible.

All the best, Shukhov


Chinese Media hijack Top Gun footage

So a clip was recently put out by CCTV, the government controlled TV station, which showed training sequences of the Chinese J-10 fighter jet.  Some savvy viewers and bloggers noticed that an explosion that happens at the end of the video looked veeeeeeery similar to a scene from “Top Gun”.

Make your own conclusion, here’s the video:

From my Chinese contacts, CCTV is highly influenced by the government and it doesn’t surprise them that this could happen. Afterwards, the actual clip was removed from its website but several copies have made it to other Chinese video sites. This is the same news

Creatures fighting in Beijing! Oh noes!

station that accidentally burned down its own building with illegal fireworks and tried to cover it up (which turned into an epic fail with several awesome photoshops of the incident.) It is also commonly know by the internet denizens of China as “CCAV” (Central Chinese Adult Video, because of its filthy content).

Although this “mistake” was no accident, there have been several other reports from other media outlets in China that caused complete unintentional lulz. Either by using Homer Simpson’s X-rayed head for a medical article or accidentally taking the Onion news to actually be America’s finest news source, laughs were had by all.

As always, feel free to comment and I’d love to hear another Chinese opinion on the matter.

-Shukhov

Original article in Chinese: http://mitbbs.com/news_wenzhang/Headline/31385197.html


NHL All-Star Game 2011: Reflections

I must say, the NHL and Shanahan had me with the new format. Instead of the traditional East vs. West style (West coast is the best coast by the way, don’t need a game to settle that), captains were voted in by the all-stars and they then picked their teams in a fantasy draft. All-stars were still voted in by the fans and there weren’t any big surprises their. Overall, it created a more exciting game and I could tell, especially in the third period when the teams were neck-and-neck, that each team put in a strong effort, almost as if it was a real NHL game! How crazy is that! Also, it was kinda funny to see some people from Toronto angry Kessel was picked last. Oh Toronto..

Eric Staal impressed me with his draft picks. Instead of going with pure talent, he showed his loyalty, drafting both Skinner and Cam Ward and also his brother, Mark.  With the impressive cast of players on the table, he didn’t really miss out in the end, but to draft Ward first instead of a good offensive player must improve unity on the Carolina team. Also, doesn’t hurt giving the home crowd an obvious team to cheer for. And not picking his little brother? You just know he’d get an earful from his mom and possibly the whole “I’m not angry, just disappointed” lecture.

CBC aired the game here in Canada and I must say, they did it with style. Aside from their interesting (read:awkward) interview with Dustin Byfuglien before the Supah Skillz event, one of my favourite parts of their broadcast was that they attached microphones to both Eric Staal and Tim Thomas at different points during the game, and were able to essentially interview both of them as they were playing. Staal gave a good show, hootin’ and hollerin’ at his teammates as they moved the puck up and down the ice and also ribbing one of the defenseman from the bench. The screams coming out of almost absolute nowhere made my day. I felt bad for Tim Thomas though, because it felt almost like when I’m pwning noobs in Starcraft and my parents/girlfriend/teacher is trying to get my attention; even if I want to give it I’m still going to be a bit distracted.

On a final note, I want to talk about one moment of the game that got me a bit teary-eyed and warmed my heart. At one point Scott Oake held the mic to Danny Briere’s 10 or 11 year old son who was standing behind the bench and was asking him about the All-Star weekend, how it was, etc. He asked a pretty general question, “what has been your favourite part of the all-star weekend?” to which the kid replied something like getting to spend alot of time and hang out with his dad. While he’s saying this, the camerman cuts to Briere looking back on the bench at his son and smiling. *Sniff*. Later Briere scores and when he’s on the bench he high fives his son. Just made me think about the future and how I hope I can make my children proud. Well, that’s at least 6 or 7 years away, so I’ll just tuck that thought away for now.

All the best,

Shukhov


Why, hello interwebs world!

So for some reason, I have created a blog. And for a much stranger reason, you’ve decided to read it.

This isn’t going to be a completely niche blog, just somewhere I can put stuff (that nobody will likely read) that I think is relevant to many of us.I’ll review music and films, rant about hockey and who you should pick for your hockey pool, and pass along cool news stories and perhaps my thoughts on them.

I have no idea what I can or should do with this, just enjoy it while it lasts. Feel free to comment/critique/tell-your-friends-if-you-think-it-is-not-complete-crap.

-Shukhov