Friday, April 11, 2014

Nirvana Takes Grunge To The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during their first year of eligibility, also 20 years after the death of Kurt Cobain, marking the first Grunge band to enter the Hall. Want to really feel old? Green Day will be eligible next year, as their first album came out in 1990. Michael Stipe did the honors, which was fitting as Cobain was a huge R.E.M fan. A big question has been if Cobain would have even cared about this, being that he was uncomfortable with the unexpectedly massive success of the band and the mainstream nature of something such as this ceremony. However, its better to just leave that alone and enjoy the moment.

Dave Grohl gave a typically awesome speech as he always does, thanking the previous drummers that were in Nirvana before he was, such as Chad Channing and giving him props for his inspiration. Courtney Love even gave Grohl a hug on stage. Did that signal them burying the hatchet?

Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear then took the stage with rumors of who would perform vocals for them. A bunch of kick ass women filled in. Joan Jett was first, taking the tough task of performing "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth then gave a passionate rendition of "Aneurysm". St.Vincent/Annie Clark then came out for "Lithium", with Lorde (who wasn't born yet when Kurt Cobain died) closing it out with "All Apologies".

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will air on HBO on May 31.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

US Soccer Abruptly Fires Women's Coach Tom Sermanni

The United States Women's National Soccer Team is coming off a 2-0 friendly win over China. Yet just hours later, they abruptly fired head coach Tom Sermanni. Maybe this was due to a 7th place finish at the Algarve Cup, which had the first back-to-back losses for the USWNT since 2001. Sermanni reportedly had no idea this was coming and is shocked.

However, why play a match against China and fire him afterwards with another match in a few days instead of right after the tournament, if it had to do with the poor Algarve Cup performance? Rumors have circulated that players have been unhappy with his approach and the constant tinkering with the lineup to try and find the perfect one in time for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. It has come out though that players were not behind it, and many spoke about how they liked him. However, nobody seems to know exactly why this happened yet. Of course, it will come out soon, especially with a game on Thursday and the start of the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) on Saturday. In an update, it seems his laid back style did not mesh well with what Sunil Gulati and US Soccer wanted.

Nadeshiko Japan has seemed to have the United States' number since the 2011 Women's World Cup in big matches. Of course, USA defeated Japan for the London 2012 Gold Medal, however an obvious handball that was missed by the ref which would've led to a Japan PK, and likely goal, helped with that. Japan has been a model of consistency, discipline and technicality. Will one year with a new coach and new scheme be enough for the United States to roll through the world's best teams, particularly Japan, next summer? Sweden is another contender who have played very well against the US beating them at the 2011 Women's World Cup and 2014 Algarve Cup. And now they've got former US Coach Pia Sundhage coaching them. Though if any team is built to do it, it would be the United States.

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Michael Jackson Album: 'Xscape'

Eight previously unreleased Michael Jackson songs will be released as a new album, titled 'Xscape', on May 13. This is the second album being released after his death in 2009. The first, called 'Michael', came out in 2010. Some songs were well received, but others were questioned as to their legitimacy of if Jackson was even singing, and the suspicions were quite valid as a few songs sounded a bit odd. Timbaland will be the main producer of the album.

The lead single will also be called "Xscape" and is from the sessions for his 2001 album 'Invincible'. The songs have been "contemporized"...I hope that doesn't mean they've been auto-tuned and turned into EDM songs. Just in case the "contemporized" versions suck, a deluxe edition will be released with the songs in their original forms. This is the current track listing:

"Xscape"
"Slave To The Rhythm"
"Blue Gansgta"
"A Place With No Name"
"Love Never Felt So Good"
"Do You Know Where Your Children Are"
"She Was Lovin' Me"
"Chicago"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

'The Walking Dead' Season 4 Ends on a High Note

The Walking Dead had seemed to get a bit of a lukewarm response from some in recent episodes. Any doubts should have all went out the window with the Season 4 finale. The episode was a thrilling nail biter throughout, and ended with the return of bad-ass Rick (Andrew Lincoln) after the group gets locked in a old train car by those at the Terminus. Good news though...no main character died! I'm glad they flipped the switch, as it seems before each season or mid-season finale people wonder who will die, since they've pretty much killed someone each time.

We still don't know much about the Terminus yet, except that they almost make the Governor (David Morrissey) look nice in comparison. The people look very robotic. The creepy room of candles seemed to suggest they no longer trust outsiders, so something obviously happened before. People will also be wondering why they wouldn't just kill Rick & Company, instead shooting at their feet. Maybe they're a cult of cannibals? Hence why they lure people towards the Terminus and then trap people instead of killing them. The new slogan should be "Those who arrive survive...until they become next week's dinner." The whole idea of Terminus furthers the message of the show that we've come to expect, which is you need to fear the living as much as the zombies.

Many questions have been answered recently, such as how Michonne's (Danai Gurira) son died and why Rick became a farmer at the prison. The finale left more questions to be answered in regards to the Terminus, setting us up nicely for Season 5. Also...where the fuckity fuck is Beth (Emily Kinney)?! When she was kidnapped in that car, maybe it was someone from Terminus? I assume we'll find that out come October, as well as what will happen to Carol (Melissa McBride) & Tyreese (Chad Coleman) as they make their way towards Terminus.

Monday, March 24, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer Hits

After being teased for a while, the new full trailer for the most anticipated movie of the summer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is now available. It lives up to the hype of course, and shows the future sentinels in action for the first time, with one appearing behind Storm (Halle Berry) and another shot being of one shooting something out of its face. May 23 can't get here soon enough!

A good look is given to most of the characters in the film, including the new Blink (Fan Bingbing), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) & Sunspot (Adam Canto). A striking image of the future world shows New York City in shambles, with a big hole in the Empire State Building, furthering New York's distinction as the most destroyed city on film. This is the seventh X-Men based film, and the third directed by Bryan Singer who started it off with X-Men (2000) and X2: X-Men United (2003).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Courtney Love Claimed To Find the Missing Plane

The story of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took another odd turn when Courtney Love claimed to have found it. Wait, what?

Love, rocker and widow of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, posted a picture with a Microsoft word type drawing to her Facebook and Twitter accounts claiming to have spotted oil slicks and a possible spot for the plane. Of course, its hard to actually see anything in the picture and it turned out to be nothing. Her post was accompanied by some pretty funny comments. My favorite: "swear to god if courtney love finds the fucking plane."

Love has been known for doing crazy thing, but this is not totally crazy. She was using the website TOMNOD, which is encouraging people to use their website to look through satellite images of the Ocean to see if they spot anything. So hey, at least Love brought some attention to that. Maybe someone out there will actually spot something in this bizarre case of the missing airplane.

But, how fucking great would it have been if Courtney Love had actually spotted a piece of debris?

Monday, March 10, 2014

USA Women's Soccer Hits a Losing Streak

For the first time since 2001, the United States Women's Soccer team has lost back-to-back games. They also finished last in their group at the Algarve Cup following a draw with Japan and then losses to both Sweden and Denmark. Their loss to Denmark saw them give up 5 goals, the first time ever the squad has given up more than 4 goals in a game. I believe this is also the first time the US both finished last in a group and failed to win a single group stage match in any tournament. The Algarve Cup is a yearly tournament held in Portugal bringing together 8 of the world's top teams along with 4 teams who are up and comers.

We're a year away from the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, so in a way this makes that even more exciting. USA went from being the unbeatable force to now being on their heels, with an aura of vulnerability surrounding them. However when it comes to sports, there's nothing like a little adversity to give you that kick in the ass you may need. No doubt USA will use this as further motivation to rally around in the lead up to the Women's World Cup. This isn't the first time they have faced some. They famously lost to Mexico in 2011 Women's World Cup qualification, and needed to beat Italy in a playoff to qualify for the 2011 tournament. They did, and went on to the World Cup final for the first time since winning it in 1999, but lost to Japan in penalty kicks.

One thing to note is they were without star forward Alex Morgan for the tournament, and did some experimenting with the lineup, as Abby Wambach didn't enter the game against Denmark until the final minutes. The lineup was tinkered with through the 3 matches, so two losses is nothing to get too worried about.

Japan won the group and will face Germany for the 2014 Algarve Cup Championship.