Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rabach, Daniels Among Redskins' Cuts
The Redskins released 12 players on Thursday, most notably center Casey Rabach and defensive linemen Phillip Daniels and Ma’ake Kemoeatu.

The team also released safeties Macho Harris and Sha'Reff Rashad, running backs Chad Simpson, Andre Brown and Shawnbrey McNeal, wide receivers Roydell Williams, Maurice Price and Taurus Johnson, defensive lineman Rashaad Duncan and punter Josh Bidwell.

Since joining the Redskins in 2005, Rabach has started every game but one at center for the Redskins.

He turns 34 years old in September and it’s evident that the Redskins want to get younger at the position, with Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery and Erik Cook potential replacements.

Daniels was one of the longest-tenured Redskins, having played for the franchise since 2004. He turned 38 years old last March but stayed in great physical shape through an off-season weightlifting program.

Daniels made his mark in Washington. In a December 2005 contest against Dallas, he logged four sacks, which is tied with four others for the franchise mark.

Kemoeatu played just one season in Washington.

He played through a painful shoulder injury in 2010, earning the Ed Block Courage Award for overcoming injury and inspiring teammates. He played in 14 games, with 12 starts, and logged 40 tackles. His season ended in late December when he was placed on injured reserve.

The Redskins are likely to go with younger defensive linemen in 2011, with draft picks Jarvis Jenkins and Chris Neild expected to get a closer look. The team is expected to address the position in free agency as well.

Harris, a Virginia Tech product, signed with the Redskins midway through last season. He played in three games, with one start, and logged four tackles.

Simpson, Brown and McNeal became expendable when the Redskins drafted Roy Helu, Jr. and Evan Royster last April. Young backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams also remain on the roster.

The releases of Williams, Johnson and Price signal that the team intends to give its wide receiver corps a makeover.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vasco Rossi - "Señorita" (2004)

Vasco Rossi (born February 7, 1952), also known as Vasco or with the nickname Il Blasco, is an Italian singer-songwriter. During his career, he has published 25 albums (not including unofficial releases) and has written over 150 songs, as well as lyrics for other artists. He calls himself a "provoca(u)tore" (an Italian portmanteau for "provoking author") as throughout his career he has been regularly criticized over his choice of lifestyle and the lyrics in his songs.

Although fairly well known in continental Europe, Vasco Rossi remains a peculiarly Italian rock phenomenon. In 2010 he blamed his lack of success outside Italy on American and British governments who, he claimed, banned foreign artists from becoming successful in their countries.

NFL Lockout Is Over, Redskins Begin Camp

After the 135-day lockout canceled the Redskins' offseason program, John Beck and his teammates finally can get back to work Tuesday at 10 a.m. when players are allowed to report for physicals and voluntary strength and conditioning workouts.

It will be their first access to Redskins Park since an appeals court temporarily put the lockout on hold for a few hours in late April.

"I'm just excited that this is done," Beck said.

Although he was stopped at the front gate to Redskins Park by a security guard who didn't know who he was, Beck could see the practice fields have been transformed for training camp.

"They had the ropes up," he said. "They had the Redskins souvenir truck ready to go. All of a sudden I got that feeling. It's football season, and it's exciting."

It's certainly more appealing than talk of lawyers, revenue and bargaining. That was evident in how quickly the league's focus turned to the on-field product shortly after the vote was announced.

The Redskins will begin training camp Thursday, but the team had not released a schedule of practices by Monday night. The proposed deal that NFL owners ratified Thursday limits the first day of camp to physicals, meetings and conditioning, with pads prohibited until the fourth day.

Players enthusiastically welcomed the news. Veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, the Redskins' NFLPA representative, said he felt a "sigh of relief, certainly a celebration for a job well-done."

Players chafed when owners opted out of the collective bargaining agreement three years ago and locked players out March 12, but Holliday believes they are better off for it.

Their new 10-year agreement with the owners reduces the number of offseason practices, as well as in-season practices during which players are required to wear pads.

It also provides for a salary floor and retiree benefits of between $900 million and $1 billion over the life of the agreement. Neither side can opt out of the CBA early, according to the NFL Network.

"If they didn't lock us out ... I don't know if we would have been able to achieve the significant gains that we made as players," Holliday said.

Rookies and undrafted free agents may start signing contracts at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the same time at which clubs may start negotiating with - but can't sign - their free agents. Teams can begin to sign any veteran free agent - from their team or another - Friday at 6 p.m.

Redskins first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan planned to pack his things in Indiana on Tuesday night and travel to Northern Virginia in the morning. He had to check whether he could report to headquarters while he is unsigned - an uncertainty indicative of these unprecedented times in the NFL. As it turns out, he is permitted to take part in meetings and strength training but not any on-field practices.

At the very least, he plans to be under contract by the time training camp starts Thursday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (2011)

"Somebody That I Used to Know" is a song written and recorded by Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye, featuring New Zealand singer/guitarist Kimbra. The song was released in Australia and New Zealand by Eleven Music on 5 July 2011 as the second single from Gotye's third studio album, Making Mirrors (2011). It was later released by Universal Music in December 2011 in the United Kingdom, and in January 2012 in the United States and Ireland.

"Somebody That I Used to Know" was written and recorded by Wally de Backer at his parent's house on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and is lyrically related to the experiences he has had with relationships. It samples Luiz Bonfá's song "Seville" from his 1967 album Luiz Bonfa Plays Great Songs. It topped the US, UK, Australian as well as 23 other national charts, and reached the top 10 in more than 30 countries around the world. The song has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. The video was nominated for Video of the Year and Best Editing in a Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.

The song has also reached #1 in the ARIA Singles Chart, and the ARIA Digital Singles Chart and #1 in the ARIA Australian Artists Chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2011, "Somebody That I Used to Know" won Single of the Year, Best Pop Release, Best Video (for Natasha Pincus), Engineer of the Year (for François Tétaz) and Producer of the Year (for Gotye). Gotye also won Best Male Artist for the song while Kimbra won Best Female Artist for her previous single, "Cameo Lover". At the APRA Music Awards of 2012, "Somebody That I Used to Know" won Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year and Gotye won Songwriter of the Year.

The music video for "Somebody That I Used to Know", which was directed and produced by Natasha Pincus, shows both Gotye and Kimbra naked throughout the clip, and as they sing, his skin is gradually painted into the backdrop via stop motion animation. The painting used in the video's background is based on a 1980s artwork created by Gotye's father, Frank de Backer, who also designed the cover art for the related album, Making Mirrors. Emma Hack, an Australian artist and skin illustrator based in Adelaide, was hired by Pincus to work on the body paintings for Gotye and Kimbra, and also worked with Gotye to design the backdrop. According to Hack, it took more than 23 hours to paint both Gotye and Kimbra to fit with the background.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Djokovic Wins First Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England — It was the final game of an era, and Rafael Nadal punched the strings of his racket as if it were the culprit instead of the faithful companion that had helped him win 2 Wimbledon titles and 20 straight matches here.

What has long defined Nadal is his optimism: his ability to play the point at hand without being weighed down by the baggage from the last. But Novak Djokovic has been simply too much for even Nadal to bear this season.

Djokovic has been better than Nadal on three surfaces and in four countries now, and there were rub-the-eyes moments in this Wimbledon final Sunday when it seemed Djokovic was toying with him, too. Although Nadal, a Spaniard who is a born competitor, managed to wrestle the third set his way, he could not find the form or the solutions — to borrow one of his favorite English words — to keep Djokovic from fulfilling his boyhood quest and winning the men’s Wimbledon final, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

“The most special day of my life,” Djokovic said. “This is my favorite tournament, the tournament I always dreamed of winning, the first tournament I ever watched in my life. I think I’m still sleeping.”

In fact, Djokovic, a 24-year-old Serb, has perhaps never looked more wide awake than he did as he clenched his fists — no, his entire body — and roared with wide eyes and release in the direction of his supersize entourage in the players box.

Despite a significant push by Nadal, including some tremendous play in the third set, and a tight fourth set, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion could not keep up. Nadal had been plagued by minor injuries earlier in the tournament.

Djokovic's win breaks Nadal's 20-win streak at the grass tournament.

On Friday, by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals in a match that was more consistently entertaining than the final, Djokovic assured himself of the No. 1 ranking for the first time. If Nadal had successfully defended his title, he would have dropped to No. 2 despite holding three of the four Grand Slam singles titles.

Djokovic is an astonishing 48-1 in 2011, his only loss coming against Roger Federer in the semifinals of the French Open that Nadal eventually won. But Djokovic’s loss in Paris was the big exception to the new rules. Djokovic has beaten Federer and Nadal — the two players who have defined this era — eight times in nine matches this year, and he has been stingiest of all with Nadal: beating him five consecutive times, including twice on American hardcourts, twice on his beloved red clay and now on grass.

“When one player beats you five times is because today my game don’t bother him a lot,” Nadal said in English. “Today, probably against me, he’s playing better than my level. Find solutions, that’s what I have to try and that’s what I’m going to try.”

Sunday’s victory was also Djokovic’s first over Nadal in a best-of-five-set or Grand Slam match after six previous defeats.

The relentless, in-the-moment Nadal of old would have presumably pushed Djokovic to the limit from there, but Nadal could not summon the accuracy or the ability in the fourth set. He made unforced errors with his forehand with time and space available, and struggled to control his backhand drive, relying too often on the one-handed slice.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Cud Life Tour

"You’ve been waiting for me?" Cudi asked the crowd. "That’s good, because I’ve been waiting for you, too."

For almost two hours, the Cleveland native tantalized the crowd with moderate and monstrous hits from his three projects: A Kid Named Cudi, and both Man on the Moon albums. He stalked the stage with bright-eyed abandon, slinking from one side to the other in, well, an undersized t-shirt and skinny jeans.

“Welcome, welcome you, cause I am your big brother,” Cudi groaned over “Revofev,” a sparse loop of piano keys and guitar chords.

By the time the riot-inducing “Mojo So Dope” blared through the speakers — just four songs later — the already raucous crowd had transformed into a live painting of unrest, a sea of white hands waving in unison as wafts of weed smoke pierced the calm night air. Ironically, the next song in the set was the Bone Thugs-induced “Marijuana,” yet another crowd favorite from Man on the Moon II.

“Up Up and Away” came around roughly 30 minutes into the show. After the mixtape sing-along “Maui Wowie”, Cudi shared the stage with fellow Cleveland native Chip Tha Ripper and New Yorker CAGE.

But Cudi shone best when left to roam alone, when his unassuming affability were allowed to illuminate the secluded pavilion without distractions. Once CAGE left, Cudi reemerged with two well-executed covers — Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” — and a quick three-song mash-up, which included a techno remix of “Day 'n' Nite.”

Then there was time for just one more song: "Pursuit of Happiness," performed under neon green lights. Still, what would be a concert without some fan appreciation?

"Kid Cudi fans are the realest motherfuckers on the planet. Period," Cudi said to the adoring crowd.

Scott Mescudi vs. The World
Soundtrack 2 My Life
Mojo So Dope
We Aite (Wake Up Your Mind)
Solo Dolo (Nightmare)
Up Up & Away
Man on the Moon (The Anthem)
Cudi Spazzin' (Acapella)
Maui Wowie
Erase Me
All Talk (with Chip tha Ripper)
Hyyerr (with Chip tha Ripper)
MANIAC (with Cage)
Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix cover)
All of the Lights (Kanye West)
Mr. Rager
Cudi Zone
Memories (David Guetta)
Day 'n' Night
Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)