Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Secret Genocide Archive

It's more than heartbreaking to see another untrammelled genocide unfold, especially only a decade or so on from Rwanda, Kosovo and Bosnia. Nicholas Kristoff has posted some heartbreaking pictures on his op-ed page in the NY times. I don't know how many people read this, I rarely get comments, but I do know traffic through my site has increased dramatically since I began blogging. To whomever reads this. Please follow the NY Times link, get yourself a free login. Then do something. I have been a member of Amnesty for a long time and can vouch for their efficacy. These days you don't even have to write a letter to the relevant authority, you can go to the Amnesty website, and use their pre written e mails. Thousands of people clicking that send button can save someones life. Thats a powerful thing.

The Secret Genocide Archive

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Pierluigi Collina is retiring. The a name may or may not ring a bell, but to anyone who loves the game of football the bald pate of Collina is as familiar as one of Beckham's bendy free kicks. Apparently FIFA and the Italian Football federation require that ref's retire at 45. That seems a little arbitrary.
A Soccer Superstar Prepares to Hang Up His Whistle

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Armstrong rides again

Lance is going to ride again. This is a good thing. Despite how tainted cycling has become with all the drugs scandals, Lance has made this event one of the most exciting sporting events there is. I will be rooting for Jan Ullrich, I love his dogged cycling and kinda like that he needs to quit partying and lose a bunch of weight every year to compete. That said I would also be delighted to see Lance win his seventh Tour. Anyone who rides bikes, (as I do) knows drugs or not he still has to be one of the worlds greatest athletes ever. - More Sports - Armstrong will try for seventh straight Tour victory

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Everytime I see our governor on TV, or read about him in print, he always comes like a populist moderate. Part of his appeal is that at times he comes across as almost a Democrat. This is an interesting article from Salon which makes a sizeable dent in that image. I didn't vote for Arnold, but from his rhetoric I hoped for a real moderate, a little fiscal responsibility, real conservatism when it comes to the environment and inclusive social policies. It will be interesting to see if his carefully cultivated image is in one piece by the time of our next gubernatorial election. - "The Truth About Arnold

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Favorite Albums of 2004

I like top 10 lists, and I've been thinking about my favorite albums of 2004. This is neither comprehensive list nor in order of preference and most of the albums were released in 2004. And away we go:

The Secret Machines - Now Here Is No Where
Heavy space rock, lumbering precise drumming, Floyd like keyboard swooshes, choppy guitars and lots of vague military imagery. Definitely best debut album of the year. And catchy as all get out. Well, as catchy as nine minute songs get.

Morrissey - I Am the Quarry
The old queen is back. His best solo album. Last Of the Gang is worth the price of entry on its own. His gig at The Point Depot in Dublin was one of the better shows of the year.

Bonnie Prince Billy - I see a Darkness
Shit, I don't know where to start with this. I guess it fits in the folk music section at your local record store, but they would have to create a whole new category. Dark, mysterious, solemn, strange and familiar all at once. Gothic Folk.

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Arty guitar music made by floppy haired fops shouldn't be this good, but it is. I think the production is a little too low fi, but maybe that’s part of the charm. Snappy suits, snappy song writing, snappy guitars, all in all very tasty.

Velvet Revolver - Velvet Revolver
This is where my cred gets shredded. But fuck it, I like my hard rock. This is no Queens Of The Stone Age, but it is way better than an album created by super group made up of four has been ex-junkies has any right to be. Of course Slash does his widdly widdly solos and it could do without the ballads, but other wise it rocks in all the right places, and has some great melodies.

The Von Bondies - Pawn Shoppe Heart
This ain't rock, its rock n roll. A 1-2-3-4 GO! sugar rush of cranked guitars, slap back reverb, thuddy bass and dead pan girly harmonies.

Killing Joke - Killing Joke
This is the soundtrack to the Apocalypse. A beautifully produced Apocalypse. Thundering Drums courtesy of Dave Grohl, foundation destroying bass, and some pissed off rocking guitars. It's hard rock masterwork of polemics, politics, and slogans.

Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won
All the mystical Lord of The Rings/Alistair Crowley bollox is stripped away, and we are reminded how good Zep were as a live band, (not that I ever saw them). Thundering, majestic and like all great live bands always on the verge of falling apart. Robert Plant is the best rock vocalist ever, no arguments.

The New Pornographers - Electric Version
Get a bunch of music geeks with a penchant for smart ass lyrics wrapped in angular bouncy melodies into a studio. Give them all the instruments they need. Ask Neko Case to sing along. Press the record button.

Lucinda Williams - World Without Tears
If Dylan weren't in such spectacular form lately, Lucinda would waltz away with the title of Best American Songwriter. This is country but none of our Nashville saccharine bullshit. It’s real down and dirty, hangin' on by your finger tips country, with enough blues and rock to keep it interesting.