Sunday, Apr 3: Pickleball Clinic
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Finally, a snippet of what Jenny Lewis has been up to for the past few years. You see, I mentioned a week or two ago that her new record (The Voyager) is set to hit the music-sphere on July 29. Little did I know that Lewis was getting ready to release a lyric video of an album track a short time later. Fate or not, I'm glad for it. The song is called “Just One of the Guys,” and it's produced by none other than Beck himself. If we're judging Lewis' sound off this one track, it definitely lacks the grit of Acid Tongue, but hey: evolution, right? Listen to that below.
Talk about cute: Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has formed a group with his 18-year-old son. They're simply called Tweedy, and their debut record (Sukierae) hits stores on Sept. 16 (aka my birthday). The duo have made a song from said record available on the interwebz. Have a listen to “I'll Sing It” below, and look out for more news about the record in the coming months. Cheers!
I was one of those people that listened to Interpol's first LP (Turn On the Bright Lights), obsessed over it and never paid much attention to what they came out with afterwards. It wasn't necessarily from lack of interest ... or maybe that's exactly what it was. Regardless, they've been steadily releasing records over the years, and they're preparing the release of their fifth studio album El Pintor. That record drops on Sept. 9. Head over to Pitchfork for album details and whatnot.
Though there's been leaked videos galore all over the internet (all of them having shitty quality, I might add), the official video of Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has now appeared online. The ceremony aired on HBO on May 31 and included other inductees like Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. However, since the late Kurt Cobain obviously wasn't in attendance, there was a lot of speculation over who would perform as lead singer. In short, Joan Jett (who provided an underwhelming version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”), Kim Gordon, Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) and Lorde performed vocals. The best performance was definitely Lorde singing “All Apologies.” You can view the performances, induction speeches and more below.
I first found out about Common after seeing him on HBO's “Def Poets.” By the way, they need to bring that back. Now, Common is set to release his upcoming record Nobody's Smiling on July 22. And like most artists trying to build some buzz over a forthcoming LP, he's made album track “Kingdom,” which features Vince Staples, available online for listeners and the like. So get to listening.
Unless you've been following her career, which I haven't, you probably know Sinead O'Connor mostly from “Nothing Compares 2U” or her tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II. Regardless, she's preparing to release her 10th full-length effort, which recently got retitled as I'm not Bossy, I'm the Boss, after Sheryl Sandberg's “Ban Bossy” campaign. The album is set to hit stores on Aug. 12. For more info on that, head over to Billboard.
It's no secret that people are seriously itching for the release of Lana Del Rey's third full-length effort (Ultraviolence), seeing as how every week a new song becomes available. It's almost as if the countdown to the Mother Ship docking into the Atlantic will coincide with the record's release. And judging from the title track, it's clear that Del Rey has honed her skills to make sultry, noir-pop that aims for some semblance of controversy (ie. “he hit me, and it felt like a kiss”). I can already see headlines asserting she's glorifying abuse. But whatevs, it's one of the better tracks she's put out in a hot minute. Take a listen below, and look for the album on July 17.
I can't remember how I first heard of indie-pop duo Tennis. I want to say it was one of those momentary lapse of Pandora-predicted listens that brought me to them. While I wasn't wowed, I thought their cutesy vibe was enough to sustain a few more songs from their repertoire. And now the band is coming out with a new record titled Ritual in Repeat. To give fans a taste of the LP's vibe, they've shared the song “Never Work for Free.” The album doesn't hit stores 'til Sept. 9, so that gives you some time to reacquaint yourselves to the sound of balls ... uh, I mean Tennis. Head to Stereogum to listen to that little number.
Hey there, album streamers. We've got what some good ones for ya. First is Jack White's Lazaretto. If you're too impatient to wait 'til Tuesday to pick up a physical copy, iTunes Radio has you covered. But since I lack the hardware, have Pitchfork guide you to the land of free music ... or rather, free music streaming. PS: You can watch the video to “Lazaretto” below. And while you're at it, why don't you stream First Aid Kit's latest LP (Stay Gold), which also comes out on Tuesday. That one's over at NPR.
Fresh off her last release (The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You), Neko Case has come out with a new track that also features Kelly Hogan. The song (“These Aren't the Droids”) comes off a compilation titled 2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery. The release is a “comedy-musical benefit compilation” that hits stores on July 4, and proceeds from purchases will go to OneKid OneWorld. Other folks appearing on that record are Patton Oswalt, Andrew W.K., Aimee Mann, Reggie Watts and much more. Head to Pitchfork to give that a listen.
US Men's National Team Wins Gold Cup
On Sunday afternoon, at Soldier Field in Chicago, on a cool day of merely 68 degrees but with plenty of wind, the United States Men's National Team won the Gold Cup championship, playing against an unexpected but totally justified team from Panama.
The match began under the cloud of controversy, as coach Jurgen Klinsmann—ejected in the 87th minute on Wednesday's semifinal match against xxx—and on Friday, the CONCACAF ruling board decided the head coach could not be on the sideline during the final match. Assistant coaches Martin Vasquez and Andreas Herzog were declared co-coaches for the match, with Herzog being listed as the official manager on the score card.
Panama got the first corner kick of the match in the 10th minute. The United States got their first in the 17th minute. When Panama attacked on the counter, Stuart Holden took a hit on the knee and went out of the game, leaving the US with only 10 for a brief time. The disadvantage was enough that the replacement coaches felt the need to make an unusually early substitution, bringing in Mikkel Diskerud in the 23rd minute. Holden's history of injury—he broke his leg in 2010, tore his ACL in 2011 and suffered from knee cartilage damage just 6 months after that ACL tear—made his quick disappearance from the game particularly disappointing. Grant Wahl reported that Holden had sprained his right knee and would be evaluated further at a later date. The biggest bit of action in the first half was the 9 fouls on the side of the US, to Panama's 5. The red, white and blue did control 75% possession in the first half, but neither team had any shots on goal.
In the second half, Landon Donovan continued his impressive performance during the Gold Cup, completing his comeback tour for the men's national team with something of an aberration. When Brek Shea came in for Joe Corona in the 68th minute, he scored almost immediately—in the 69th—off a Landon Donovan whiff that was fortunately a miss. Had Donovan touched the ball, it certainly appeared as though Shea would have had to be called off side. It was an unusual way for Donovan to put his imprint on the game, but it was undeniable fun.
57,000 out of the 61,000 seats were filled and after this game, the national team will return to World Cup qualifying matches, playing in Costa Rica on September 6 and Mexico in Columbus on September 10.
With the win, Klinsmann's role as a coach during the record-breaking run of wins in a row for the men's national team is now up to 11. The US now has five Gold Cup titles—second only to Mexico's six. Panama ended the game without a shot on goal.
Federer over Djokovic
Fed earns eighth Trip to Wimbledon Final
Winning used to be a pretty common experience for Roger Federer. He and Rafael Nadal would go back and forth, tossing the victories in world tennis competitions between themselves. It seemed like it would last forever. Then, Novak Djokovic came from out of nowhere, changed his diet and started to look unbeatable. It was a poor time to be Nadal, but it was probably harder on Federer, since he thought that he had seen the threat coming, in the form of Nadal, and had neutralized him.
On Friday, however, Federer took the first step toward getting back to his top spot. He will play in the Wimbledon Final against Andy Murray. This Grand Slam final will mark the 30th in a row that includes one of the trio of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, a remarkable record that stretches all the way back to 2005. To say these three are in complete control of the sport of tennis is an understatment. This is what pure domination looks like.
The semifinal match-up was, amazingly, the first time that Djokovic and Federer have faced each other on grass, and Federer endeavored to capitalize on this advantage. The match, however, was an incredible back and forth display of power on both players' parts. In triumphing 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Federer showcased the old grit that has consistently made him one of the most difficult opponents to close out. Djokovic committed uncharacteristic mistakes that cost him the match, moving Federer to a record of 15-12 all time against the Serb.
The men's Wimbledon Final will be played on Sunday, and Federer will face tremendous pressure to clinch the deal, now that he's conquered Djokovic. However, Andy Murray is no token opponent and promises to be ready for the match. His defeat of Jo-Wilifried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 later on Friday sent him to his first Wimbledon final, where he will be itching to play the role of the spoiler.
The Daily Word in friends in high places, freedom of (adult) speech and Homer's fave
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison for “heinous and brutal” war crimes.
The seemingly endless GOP presidential nomination season ends with Mitt as the last one standing. He celebrates with Donald Trump.
Governor Susana Martinez is scheduled to return from California today after attending private PAC fundraisers. Susana PAC has almost a million dollars in its coffers, which the guv aims to use in key state legislative races.
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange still has a little time left to fight Swedish extradition charges, although he lost his latest appeal.
In a split decision, the state Supreme Court upheld the Guild Cinema's conviction for violating a city ordinance prohibiting adult film screenings, which the theater argues infringed on free speech rights.
War veterans make stops in New Mexico as they bike across the country to raise awareness about many serious issues that face returning service members.
Roger Federer broke grand slam records with his most recent win at the French Open, while Novak Djokovic successfully battled into the third round.
Notorious cult leader and mass murderer Charles Manson could have ties to unsolved cases in the L.A. area.
Rafael Nadal is the best second-best talent in tennis.
The greatest rivalry in modern tennis just got a new twist. No, not Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Rather, Nadal and Roger Federer. For years, Nadal and Federer have battled back and forth. Their styles have been contrasted, and their stories have been written. It was Federer on top, with his precision and beautiful game. Nadal was the brash young kid with the passion and the angst, especially at the fact that he could never get over the top against the king. He was ranked second to Federer's first for a record 160 consecutive weeks.
Then, all of a sudden, in 2008, Nadal went on a spree against Federer. Rafa beat Fed three times in a year and took the number one spot. It was as though his time had come. At only 27 years old, it's not like Federer was knocking on the door of retirement by any means. But those who followed the game got a sense that Nadal had paid his dues. He'd been rooted against long enough. He'd been the wild child. It was his time to ascend the throne.
To categorize the last three years as poor for Nadal would be a mistake of the grossest severity. After winning what some called the greatest tennis match ever, Rafa went on a rampage. He won his first Olympic gold medal in Beijing, ran through several of the majors (but never completing a true Grand Slam) and compiled a magnificent record. He was a monster by anyone's account.
As the U.S. Open progressed this year, however, Rafa and Fed were, once again, on opposite sides of the bracket. The match-up was there to be had. But Djokovic insisted upon playing spoiler as a set piece conclusion to his season for the ages. When historians look back to the 2011 tennis season, the big font at the top will be about Djokovic's season record: 64-2 at this point with not a sign in sight that his rate will decrease.
Djokovic has received plenty of press for his change in diet and the possibility of this being the move that puts him truly (and, seemingly at this point, inevitably) over the top. Members of the press have never been shy to describe Roger Federer as, perhaps, the greatest tennis player of all time. Lost in the fray between these two singular talents, somehow, is Rafael Nadal. If ever there has been an overlooked number two talent in the game, this is that moment. If all of these circumstances can somehow be believed, there is a distinct possibility that those same people who have dismissed Rafa as a boyish rager may now start to root for him. Ironically, they might be too late.