Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Childish Gambino - "3005" (2013)

"3005" is a song by Childish Gambino from his second studio album Because the Internet. The song was released on October 22, 2013 as the first official single from the album. It was produced by Gambino, Stefan Ponce and Ludwig Goransson. The song has since peaked at number 11 on the UK R&B Chart and 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The video received a MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Hip-Hop Video.

The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart and number 12 on the Canadian Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 96,000 copies in the United States. This would be an 84% increase in first week sales in his home country, compared to his debut album Camp. As of April 20, 2014, it has sold 257,000 copies in the United States. Due to Record Store Day, the week ending April 20, 2014, the album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Vinyl LPs chart, selling 3,600 vinyl copies.

Childish Gambino said that he wrote the song early in the morning, as he does with all the songs he considers his best songs. He spoke on the track's significance saying, "Everybody's like, 'It's a love song.' It's kind of an existential thing. I'm just really scared of being alone. When I was little, there was a big dog down the street. I was really scared of it. But when I was with my sister, when I knew I had to protect her, I wasn't afraid of the dog as much because somebody was there. I had a purpose...I kind of feel lost. I kind of lost that, I feel."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Best of Weird Al Yankovic

Mandatory Fun is the fourteenth studio album by American musician "Weird Al" Yankovic. Self-produced, the album was released by RCA Records in the United States on July 15, 2014.

Yankovic composed the originals first, and wrote parodies last in order for them to be as timely as possible upon the album's release. Many artists were positive in their assumptions of being parodied; Pharrell Williams remarked that he was "honored" to be spoofed by Yankovic, while Imagine Dragons advised Yankovic on how to achieve similar sounds as their original song "Inactive."

Although the music video aspect of Yankovic's songs had long been a part of his success, RCA Records opted not to fund any video production for Mandatory Fun. Yankovic instead turned to various social media portals including Funny or Die and CollegeHumor which he had worked with in the past; these sites helped to cover the production cost of the videos with Yankovic foregoing any ad video revenue.

The release of Mandatory Fun marked "Weird Al" Yankovic's first number one album on the United States Billboard 200 in his 38-year long career, debuting atop the chart the week of August 2, 2014. Mandatory Fun is also the first comedy album to reach the number one spot since Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut in August 1963. It achieved the largest sales week for a comedy album since The Beavis and Butt-head Experience in 1994 after selling 104,700 copies during the sales week ending July 20, 2014.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The ShowHawk Duo

Alice Park, Bath 2014: Tribute to Daft Punk

Tron Kirk, Edinburgh 2013: The Anthem

Street Performance, Bath 2013

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2012

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spoon - "Inside Out"

Spoon will release their eighth full-length album, They Want My Soul, on August 5, 2014. It will be their first record released by Loma Vista Recordings, after five records on Merge. It was mixed by by Dave Fridmann. Heard above, "Inside Out" is a patently dreamy affair, setting singer Britt Daniel's raw cry to a shimmery score and a locked electronic groove.

In 2009, the review aggregator Metacritic ranked Spoon as its "Top overall artist of the decade", based on the band's consistently high review scores between 2000 and 2009, amongst other factors.

Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup: Finals

Germany 1 : 0 Argentina
Mario Götze, who had been a late substitute for Miroslav Klose, took a ball over his shoulder from Andre Schürrle and volleyed it home in the 113th minute to beat Argentine keeper Sergio Romero.

''It's an unbelievable feeling. I don't know how to describe it. You just shoot that goal in, you don't really know what's happening,'' said 22-year-old Götze. ''And then at the end of the match, having a party with the team, the whole country ... it is for us, a dream come true.''

With the win, Germany became the first European team to win a South American World Cup, ending a hex that had stood for 84 years. It was also the third time that the Germans had ended Argentina's World Cup hopes -- and possibly the cruelest. But just as the best two teams at this World Cup ended up in the final, the best team won it.

The state of play in the first half -- Argentina absorbing some manageable German pressure and then pushing forward with limited numbers to pose a threat on the break without sacrificing solidity -- worked well enough. Gonzalo Higuain even spurned a glorious chance when Toni Kroos played a poor ball back to Manuel Neuer. All in all, the opening stages of the match suited Argentina well.

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella opted to make a change at halftime and threw Sergio Agüero into the fray to replace Lavezzi. Agüero is a superior player when fully fit, but he proved the wrong choice in this game. His arrival reduced the numbers in midfield and tempered any efforts to use the wide areas.

Kroos’ miss rather summed up the work in front of goal for much of the day. Höwedes somehow turned a header onto the near post from six yards on the stroke of half time, while Higuain, Messi and Rodrigo Palacio all wasted opportunities to give Argentina a tangible foothold. The first team to create and then take an opportunity always loomed as the likely winner.

Germany ultimately managed to procure a goal of considerable quality to decide the game. Schürrle carved out a modest amount of space on the left and served an inviting ball to the near post. Götze – the third and final German sub – collected the cross on his chest with his first touch and then swept it inside the far post from a tight angle after 113 minutes.

The late bit of magic decided a final with fine margins between the sides. Argentina defended well and kept its shape impeccably, but it failed to produce a shot on target in 120 minutes. Germany enjoyed most of the possession without doing enough with it for long stretches, but it summoned that wonderful sequence to ultimately decide the affair. The extra bit of quality eventually separated the teams on the day and wrapped this tournament with the best team in Brazil holding the trophy.


Germany: Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Hoewedes; Christoph Kramer (Andre Schurrle, 32), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos; Thomas Müller, Mesut Ozil (Per Mertesacker, 120); Miroslav Klose (Mario Götze, 88).

Argentina: Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay, Martin Demichelis, Marcos Roja; Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez (Fernando Gago, 86), Lucas Biglia; Ezequiel Lavezzi (Sergio Aguero, 46), Lionel Messi; Gonzalo Higuain (Rodrigo Palacio, 78).

Lionel Messi didn't win the 2014 World Cup, but he still came away with gold: The Golden Ball. The Argentine captain was named the best player of the tournament by the FIFA Technical Study Group ahead of Germany's Thomas Müller and Netherlands star winger Arjen Robben.

The Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper was less controversial, going to German netminder Manuel Neuer, while the Golden Boot was stats based: The honor for top scorer was claimed by Colombia's James Rodriguez, who finished with six goals.

More information:
» The Guardian: Final Meeting of Two Golden Generations
» Bloomberg: Messi Fails to Win One Trophy He Really Wanted
» New York Times: Qatar's Bid for Soccer Respect

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup: Semifinals

Germany 7 : 1 Brazil
Germany routed Brazil 7-1 today to reach the World Cup final, handing them its worst loss ever and breaking the hearts of millions of Brazilians.

In the time that elapsed between Miroslav Klose scoring Germany’s second of the evening and Sami Khedira their fifth, Joachim Low’s side showcased the poise and skill that made them one of the favourites for the title right from the start of the competition. Yet they were unquestionably aided in their task by a desperate Brazil side that simply collapsed from within.

Brazil played without its injured striker Neymar, who had suffered a fractured vertebra in his lower back last Friday during its quarterfinal clash against Colombia. Brazilian captain Thiago Silva also missed the match against Germany because he received a foolish yellow card during the contest, which was his second before the semifinals.

Germany will play either Argentina or the Netherlands in the championship game at Rio's Maracana Stadium on Sunday.

A number of records tumbled in the Estadio Mineirao yesterday. 39 years had passed since A Seleção's last competitive home defeat, and that too came in Belo Horizonte. Peru were the victors on that occasion, beating the Brazilans 3-1 in the Copa America semi-finals. 76 years separated Brazil's first and previously only World Cup semi-final defeat - a 2-1 loss to Italy in 1938 - from this one.

The match itself provided a wealth of historical moments: it was Brazil’s all-time heaviest defeat (the last time A Seleção lost so heavily was in 1920, when they went down 6-0 to Uruguay), the biggest victory ever recorded in a World Cup semi-final and also the occasion when Germany scored their 2000th international goal.

The Germans have now reached an all-time record eight World Cup Finals. The Europeans are returning to the game's showpiece fixture for the first time since 2002 and will be aiming to win a Trophy they last lifted back in 1990.

Thomas Muller reached a milestone with his 10th career World Cup goal. With five goals and three assists thus far, Muller has a chance in the Final to become the first player to score and/or create nine or more at a World Cup since Diego Maradona (five goals, five assists) in 1986. Furthermore, he is just the third player to score five or more at two separate World Cup editions, following Teofilo Cubillas (1970 and 1978) and Klose (2002 and 2006).

The triumph was crowned by Miroslav Klose scoring his 16th World Cup goal - Germany’s second on the evening - meaning the 36-year-old pulled clear of Brazil’s Ronaldo, who was present in the stadium, as the tournament’s all-time top scorer. The Lazio striker set this benchmark eight years after Ronaldo, with his 15th, took the record from Gerd Muller on German soil. Klose achieved these milestones in his 23rd World Cup appearance, a haul that takes him level with Paolo Maldini on the all-time list and leaves him second only to compatriot Lothar Matthaus.

“It’s an outstanding achievement, I’m delighted for him,” Joachim Low said. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter also offered his congratulations on Twitter: “Hats off to Miroslav Klose!”

Argentina 0 : 0 Netherlands (4-2)
Argentina advanced to the FIFA World Cup final after defeating the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout in Wednesday's semi-final at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

Neither side scored in 120 minutes of regular and extra time, with the tense, cagey match providing a stark contrast to Tuesday's other semi-final, which saw Germany rout hosts Brazil 7-1.

In the penalty shootout, Lionel Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez converted their spot-kicks—Rodriguez scoring the clincher off the hands of Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. Meanwhile, Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved against Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder to secure his status as a hero.

The dramatic win sent Argentina into their fifth World Cup final, having won the title in 1978 and 1986. Alejandro Sabella's side will face Germany on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro in what will be a rematch of the 1986 and 1990 finals.

More information:
» Brazil 1:7 Germany FIFA Match Highlights
» Mashable: Brazil Woke Up to the Saddest Front Pages
» Brazil Fires Coach Felipe Scolari