Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birdy - The new female vocal sensation

There's a new sensation coming from across the pond, and she's only 15 years old. In 2008 she took the title at Open Mic UK at only 12 years old. And now in 2012 she's here to stay and seems ready to compete with the likes of Adele. The world better be ready, because Birdy sure is.

Here's the song "So Be Free" that she performed on the European show to win the competition, beating out 10,000 other contestants in the process.

Birdy aka Jasmine van den Bogaerde, burst on the scene last year in January when she released an absolutely beautiful cover of Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love', which cracked the UK Singles Chart Top 20. Her self titled album Birdy dropped in November, and it has been a pretty quick rise to the top ever since!

Here's her incredible take on the Bon Iver hit.

In July 2011, Jasmine performed on BBC's Radio 1 Live Lounge. She played two incredible covers, doing The xx's "Shelter" and Ed Sheeran's "The A Team". The debut album was released on November 7th, and the album peaked 13 in the UK. Not bad for the daughter of a concert pianist that will have the world in her hands by years end.

Here's Birdy's Radio 1 Live Lounge performance of "The A Team".

The more I hear, the more I like. Keep it up girl, you already remind me of Tori Amos with your piano skills.

Here's her latest effort "Just A Game" from the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack. Can't wait to hear what's next!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Santigold is coming!

Be sure to catch Santigold's set at The Warner Sound SXSW live streaming tonight at 11:10pm EST. Santi White (the artist formerly known as Santogold) is putting out a new album and touring with a major act this year, and this might be a great way to get a good preview of what will be coming soon to a venue near you.
Philly's finest new music artist has been on a meteoric rise to fame ever since she sang for a local punk rock group called Stiffed. The bands two albums were produced by Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer, and she made enough of an impression to land a solo contract from Lizard King Records.

It was only a matter of time before a new person had emerged in 2007 on the internet. It all came to fruition in April of 2008. With dope tracks like 'Creator'  and 'Lights Out'  - Santogold and her self titled debut album had made their mark on the music scene and a tour followed. After opening up for M.I.A. and Bjork, White's own Goldrush US tour was next. Upon completion, she opened up for Jay-Z and Kanye West. Santi even finished the tour by opening up for the Beastie Boys for a few concerts. That connection led to a great collaboration for the Beasties new Hot Sauce Committee Part Two album. Check out 'Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win'. 
It was then in February of 2009 that tragedy struck. She had to turn Santogold into Santigold after a possible lawsuit with movie director Santo Victor Rigatuso, who had produced a movie titled Santo Gold's Blood Circus. Pretty lame if you ask me.
The second leg of the Goldrush tour wrapped up in August 2009 with an impressive Lollapalooza set in Chicago where she announced before leaving the stage that she was going to start work on a new album.
All stayed quiet until April 2011, when Santigold put out the jam 'Go!' (featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O). She produced the track along with Q-Tip, and the song got critical acclaim from NME magazine. That leads us to now.
Santi told us that Master of My Make-Believe will be dropped on April 23rd, and was recorded in part in Jamaica. The new album is being co-produced in part by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.
There has been a solo warm up show already on South Beach, and upcoming US leg dates opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You tour.
Look for Miss White to likely play a short set tonight, taunting the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry with current hit 'Big Mouth' from her highly anticipated album. 
She probably wants to keep most of the rest of the album under wraps until it drops, all except the latest cut 'Disparate Youth'. Here's the video in case you haven't seen it yet.
P.S. Let's pray she plays her jaw dropping cover of Adele's 'Hometown Glory'. Here's her version from Radio One's Live Lounge so you can judge for yourself. 
White doesn't mess around. She is kicking ass and taking names. Homegirl is sick of all the fake, phony, wanna be female artists (and artists in general) that can't keep it real. I agree with her - Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, J Lo, Katy Perry and others have got to (pardon the pun) go.  I for one am looking forward to catching her with the Chili Peppers soon enough at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peace and love (even if tough) kiddies.

Sucks when someone pisses you off but you know its not really them, but rather the heat of the moment or situation. Sometimes its beyond their control, so stay cool and try and deal with it knowing that fact. 

My Norwegian brain is currently telling me the only words I know - "Uff da"!

Until you've experienced it, you just don't know what Crazy really means - Nelly and Cee lo seem all too acquainted.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lionel Messi is the best player in the UNIVERSE...

Every once in a lifetime, an athlete captures our hearts and imagination by simply playing above and beyond all competition. A man (or woman) that reaches a level where no one else can even come close to competing with them. A player that makes it look so easy that you think he has an extra gear or boost if you will. Lionel 'Pulgita' Messi of Barcelona and Argentina is just that athlete.

Lionel's ever growing legend continued today as the superstar did something that he had never done before, but then again no one in Champion's League history had done before either. Messi scored five goals in a game! It was those five goals that helped defending champion Barcelona easily destroy Germany's Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 to finish off a 10-2 aggregate win and advance to the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament.

The three-time defending FIFA Player of the Year went on a rampage, scoring in the 25th, 42nd, 49th, 58th and 84th minute to achieve his 17th career hat trick for Barca, and the first 5 goal performance in any game in his futbol career.

"We'll never see a player like him again," proclaimed his coach Pep Guardiola. "He is one of a kind."

Ajax's Soren Lerby was the last to score five goals against Omonia in the Champion Clubs' Cup in 1979-80, but it was a different tournament and a much different game.

"Messi is a joke. For me the best ever," Manchester United and English striker Wayne Rooney declared on Twitter.

The Barcelona striker began his scoring binge after collecting a long ball from Xavi and taking it into the box, making one of his patented lefty chip shots over goalkeeper Bernd Leno from about 12 yards out.

He scored his second goal after receiving a pass from Andres Iniesta on the right side, shifting into that extra gear and knocking in a left-footed shot from 14 yards out through a group of defenders.

Messi's third tally came from a right-footed chip after Cesc Fabregas hit him with a sharp pass after crossing the midfield, taking three quick touches while holding off defender Daniel Schwaab to finish off the play.

Lio then broke another record by becoming the first player to score four goals in a Champion's League game twice. Messi has previously scored four goals against Arsenal two years ago, but this time around he wasn't quite done just yet. The fourth goal came after some 'tiki taka' passing led to the striker racing towards the net and knocking in a rebound off of Leno, tapping it in from an angle with his left foot.

Finally, 'Pulgita' beautifully curled in a shot from the left side, just inside of the post to end the scoring for Barcelona with a seventh goal. Bayer Leverkusen scored a mercy goal in the 90th minute, but it truly didn't matter.

Messi now has 48 goals for Barca this season. 12 of those have been scored in Champion's League, matching Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002-2003 for the all time mark in a season. He now has 49 career Champion's League tallies, tying him for fourth with fellow Argentine (and Real Madrid star) Alfredo Di Stefano in European Cup/Champions League scoring. One more goal, and he matches former Barcelona standout Thierry Henry for third place.

"He's the best. There is no other like him," Guardiola explained. "The numbers speak for themselves. One day he'll score six. We're very fortunate to have Messi, so we have to take advantage of him."

At only 24 years old, 'Pulgita' has 228 goals for Barcelona in his career and is seven away from matching Cesar Rodriguez for the club's career scoring record. Messi already has seven hat tricks this season, a number that will likely continue to grow at the current pace he's going.

Speaking of hat tricks, Messi is averaging 3.3 goals per game in his past four matches for club and country. He has three hat tricks in his past four outings overall, something which in today's era is unheard of.

"I can't remember the last time I scored five goals, so I'm very happy," Messi said. "It's nice to score five goals."

When it comes to Barcelona or the club game, he is well on his way of breaking each and every scoring record. His detractors point out that until he has lifted a World Cup trophy with Argentina, he simply can't beat the likes of Diego Maradona or Pele for the title of best player ever.

"Was it a Champions League match or was it PlayStation game?," Radamel Falcao asked on Twitter.

Players, coaches, and fans alike are starting to wonder if Lionel is from this planet or straight out of a video game. Can anyone else say that about a current athlete from any other sport?! Didn't think so.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Star Wars Episode 3 - Revenge of the Saban

A lot of sports fanatics are also Star Wars geeks. I am one of those geeks. It seems so obvious how tonight's BCS National Championship game reminds me of one of those historic George Lucas flicks. You have the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, or in this case Nick Satan errrr Saban. You had Episode 1 - The LSU Menace, and you later had Episode 2 - Attack of the Miami Dolphins. Then there's tonight. Don't believe me yet? Okay...

Episode 1 - The LSU menace
We'll begin the scene with Nick Saban having already left Michigan State (i.e. Episode 4 - Spartan Wars) and then coaching Louisiana State. In 2002, after winning the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl to be exact. That season the Tigers finished 8-5 after very high expectations ended in disaster. Then came 2003 where the team beat everybody except the Florida Gators and wound up in the National Championship against the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl. They beat the Sooners 21-14 and won only the second championship in school history. You could already tell the signs that after achieving such greatness in the early stages that 'Tricky Nick' would show his true colors eventually. He would do so rather quickly, especially considering that his defending champs finished 9-3 with an Iowa Hawkeyes last second pass win in the Capital One Bowl. Saban abruptly left LSU to head to the NFL Miami Dolphins...

Episode 2 - Attack of the Miami Dolphins
After abandoning an LSU team he won a National Championship with, Satan decided that he was going to give the professional game a shot. He joined the Miami Dolphins on December 25, 2004, and gave fans a lot of promises and high expectations for the upcoming season. In 2005, the Dolphins won their first game and then struggled before coming back strong and  beating the New England Patriots in Foxboro to finish the year at 9-7 and just missing the playoffs. Then came 2006, where Miami finished 6-10 after being predicted to win a playoff spot. It was Saban's first losing season as a head coach. After repeatedly saying that he was going to stay and help make the Dolphins a playoff team late in the season, Nick decided to jump ship after losing the last game of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. Satan met with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and that was that. The move will never be forgotten by Dolphins fans...

Episode 3 - Revenge of the Saban
Knowing that Alabama had him high on their wishlist after the Crimson Tide had fired head coach Mike Shula (son of Miami Dolphins coaching legend Don Shula), 'Tricky Nick' decided to head back to school to coach a team in the same conference as his last school aka LSU. In 2007, 'Bama won its first three games only to finish 7-6 after beating Colorado in the Independence Bowl. Then in 2008 the Crimson Tide won all of their regular season games and then fell apart, losing the SEC Championship to the eventual BCS Champion Florida Gators and then closing out with a Sugar Bowl loss to Utah. Then came the rise to power in 2009. The Tigers went 14-0, beating the Gators in an SEC Championship rematch and a 37-21 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the National Championship. Going into the 2010 season, everybody expected Alabama to repeat and win two in a row. 'Bama lost to South Carolina and later to his former employers aka LSU. They also lost their beloved Iron Bowl instate war to Auburn after leading 24-0 in the second quarter. They did beat Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl though. All of which leads us to now...

The 2011 BCS Championship Game
The preseason #2 ranked Crimson Tide had been rolling through opponents in 2011. That is until they lost at home to LSU 9-6 in overtime. The game marked the first time in history where two squads ranked #1 and #2 from the same conference played each other in the regular season. The loss puts Saban at 2-3 against his former school. Which leads us to now where we have a rematch of #1 and #2, this time it's first in history between teams from the same conference. It's obvious how this plays out folks. If LSU beats Alabama, Darth Vader will likely bolt. If Alabama wins, it's another national championship for the Crimson Tide. This would indicate Satan would stay on board for at least another year to see if they can repeat. If they couldn't, it would mean time to walk away...
'Tricky Nick' is always ready to jump ship, or truck in this case...