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ohtani's jacket

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  1. Cobra's First Strike... Okay, this effing rules. I've officially decided there's Johnny Lawrence AOR and everything else, and this is some sweet ass Johnny Lawrence AOR. Seriously, though, this is a cut above the rest in the AOR genre. Virus' Agujero interior... Virus isn't the name I'd expect for a pop rock band, but this Argentinian group was pretty tight. K. Yoshimatu's Sepia Reminiscence... I love this guy's stuff. Progressive electronic is totally outside of my wheelhouse, but the melodies are so pretty. Wild Dogs' Wild Dogs... this was so great. Love the band name, the Adrian Adonis S&M gear they're wearing on the cover, and the proto speed metal sound. One of the best US metal albums of the year, IMO. Red's Red... this was an excellent prog rock album that tapped into the jazz fusion sound of the 70s. There weren't a lot of albums that sounded like this in 1983, which is a plus. Lisa's Lisa... here's a little gem for you -- a pulsating mix of Hi-NRG and space disco straight from the LGBT clubs to your stereo. "Rocket to Your Heart" is one of the best tracks of the year. Whodini's Whodini... this wasn't a bad record, but hip hop crews weren't ready to drop a classic album yet. Battleaxe's Burn This Town... I've always loved this record and still do. Just pure NWOBHM. I love the album cover so much. KaS Product's By Pass... didn't see this one coming. This was a French duo who mixed synth psycho-billy with a little bit of jazz. Unique, cool-sounding record. 100 Flowers' 100 Flowers... hello, one of my new favorite albums of 1983. This was supposed to be post-punk, but it was so up beat and energetic that it was hard to identify with the typical post punk sound. I guess it was more of an art punk record. In any case, it was great. So many deep cut 1983 albums are a downer, but this was one high after another.
  2. Fastway's Fastway... Fastway was formed by ex-UFO bassist, Pete Way, and ex-Motorhead guitarist, Fast Eddie Clarke. Their express purpose appears to be to keep alive the hard rock sound of the 70s. If you like that sound, then this the direction you should head in when the decade flips over to the 1980s. The Michael Schenker Group's Built to Destroy... speaking of hard rock bands clinging to life. Michael Schenker is an interesting cat and a brilliant guitar player. I have sympathy for these hard rock acts who struggled with their era passing them by. That is until I listen to some of the metal from this year. Ippu-Do's Night Mirage... this was really good! Similar in a lot of ways to YMO. Just a fantastic, otherworldly synthpop album. Saga's Heads or Tails... Saga were a Canadian prog band that morphed into an AOR act. Clearly there was an audience for this type of stuff in '83, but it's not me. Night Ranger's Midnight Madness... the most unashamedly AOR record yet. The opening track assures me that I can still rock in America. Sure I can, if I listen to some thrash, garage rock or hardcore punk. Jesus, what a pressing concern. God forbid people want to dance. I sometimes think fans forget that the original rock 'n' roll was dance music. Plan 9's Dealing With the Dead... this was AWESOME. It was retro-sounding psychedelic garage rock, and it was amazing! Of all the throwback albums from '83, this was the best! Duet Emmo's Or So It Seems... why did I sync this up? Was it the album cover? Minimal synth, dark ambient industrial sounds... apparently, I've learnt nothing from six months of listening to 1983 music. Necros' Conquest for Death... I must have written about this before, but it came up in my playlist and I needed something to cleanse the palate. Fast, furious, with whinny vocals. Love it.
  3. John Cougar Mellencamp's Uh-huh... Mellencamp has a reputation for being a dumber version of The Boss, but he was sincere about it. Authority Song is a kicker, and there are some keen observations about blue-collar, working class life. Better than expected. Eyeless in Garza's Red Rust September... one of the reoccurring themes of 1983 music has been post punk bands shifting their music in different directions (mostly new wave), but this group in the direction of dream pop. The result was pleasant sounding though a little mild. S. Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe's Aqua City... groovy city pop record. Puts a spin on the beach/vacation theme by concentrating on after dark. Triumph's Never Surrender... Triumph were a hard rock band who remained a hard rock band until the end. I can respect that. This was a solid rock album in an era where there weren't a lot of solid rock albums. The Varukers' Bloodsuckers... this was a very good UK82 record. I wish the vocals had been a bit gnarlier, but loved the guitarwork. Fra Lippo Lippi's Small Mercies... on this record, Norway band Fra Lippo Lippi move from a cold, harsh sound to more wistful melodies. Worked for me. Chakra's Nanyo de Yoisho... it wasn't all city pop and idol records from Japan. They could do weird ass art pop too. I mean it's Japan, what do you expect? Picture's Eternal Dark... one of the first Dutch heavy metal acts. Broke in around the time of the NWOBHM and have a similar sound. Not a bad record, but could have been a bit heavier. Dome's Will You Speak This Word... I should have steered clear of this one. Ambient, minimalistic post-punk. Not my thing. Yuri Antonov's Your Home's Roof... decent Russian pop. Yes, they had pop music in the USSR. Rick Springfield's Living in Oz... on one hand, this record is kinda amusing to me as Rick Springfield is trying to create an AOR record about living in Australia. On the other hand, he actually makes a good fist of it, to the point where you kind of end up thinking why not make an AOR about Australia? Screw this cultural cringe. I don't think he ever made another LP like this, however.
  4. I will give it another listen for you, Curt!
  5. Derribos Arias' En la guía en el listín... kind of meandering Spanish post punk. Didn't do a lot for me. Sergio Caputo's Un sabato italiano... this was a nice change of pace. It mixed jazz, latin jazz-pop and 50s Italian swing into an excellent jazz pop record. I liked this a lot. Rip Rig + Panic's Attitude... Rip Rig + Panic were Neneh Cherry's band before she became a solo artist. It's basically post punk jazz-funk. Okay, but you can always listen to real jazz funk instead. Letta Mbulu's In the Music the Village Never Ends... hey, look! It's a South African boogie record. Not gonna lie, it was fun listening to this kind of soul and contemporary R&B coming out of the Republic. Good stuff. Todd Rundgren's The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect... I was curious about Rundgren's output in '83. Apparently, this LP was a contractual obligation and was Rundgren half-arsing it in the studio, but as far as half-arsing goes, it's an interesting listen. Not gonna champion it or anything, but it was just as curious sounding as it looked on paper. Trans-X's Living on Video... this was a fun synth pop, electro-disco album. Made me wanna pop-lock. P'o's Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie for Attention... boring spoken word crap mixed with weird noises. Awful. The Undertones' The Sin of Pride... The Undertones were trying to stay with the times with this record. That makes for an okay record from 1983 but an underwhelming Undertones LP. Dinosaurs With Horns' Dinosaurs With Horns... speaking of records with repetitive, weird noises. WTF was I thinking listening to this? Osamu Sato's Objectless... more ambient electronica. I have no idea what I'm doing at this point. The Comsat Angels' Land... this had some tunes! This was slicker than the bands' fans would have expected, but had some nice pop tunes. The transition from post punk to new wave was a tricky bridge for a lot of UK bands around this time, but this was one of the better efforts, IMO. The Call's Modern Romans... now this was an exciting New Wave/Post Punk effort. A number of cracking tunes despite the band not really having a proper vocalist. Very similar to Talking Heads. They had a decent MTV video too for The Walls Came Down. Gazebo's Gazebo... Oh yeah, Italo-disco! This was so good. Gazebo was one of the stars of the genre. This was his debut and it was so classy. T-Bone Burnett's Proof Through the Night... this was a nice slice of Americana. It was folkier than I was expecting, but then I read that he played with Dylan and was the producer of O Brother, Where Art Thou? so that made sense. 45 Grave's Sleep in Safety... I really wanted to like this as it was interesting looking horror punk, but it wasn't as cool as I'd hoped. Kiyohiko Senba and His Haniwa All Stars' Haniwa... wow this was an art pop record that messed with bon odori music. Kind of a head trip for anyone who lives in Japan. Maitre Gazonga's Les jaloux saboteurs... feel good music from the nation of Chad! God bless the internet for bringing us music from every square inch of the globe.
  6. Billy Joel's An Innocent Man... my mother owned this record, and I used to listen to a lot as a kid. It's Billy Joel cutting loose and writing a bunch of fun songs. Even though the up-tempo numbers are mostly doo-wop, it takes me back to my own childhood. Alaska y Dinarama's Canciones profanas... Spanish new wave! Very cool. I've had my fill of new wave this year, but everything sounds better in Spanish. The Pointer Sisters' Break Out... this was awesome. The remix of I'm So Excited bangs. The Pointer girls can sing and the production is actually good. This was a popular LP at the time of its release that should have more cred than it does. This would rank high on my list of contemporary R&B from 1983. Amenophis' Amenophis... a holdover from classic 70s German prog. I went through a massive prog phase where I listened to record after record and this gave me flashbacks. Definitely worth checking out if you want to venture past the 70s into the dark era of prog. Scream's Still Screaming... this is a strong hardcore album from this Virginian group. It's more melodic than a lot of hardcore records, which I guess some people feel a need to defend, but I've got no issues with it. I actually kind of like hardcore punk you can sing along with. Kissing the Pink's Naked... like the band name. Basically, an "artsy", experimental New Wave/Synthpop record that draws on some unusual inspirations. The vocals don't always work for me, but I can respect the experimentation. Akira Inoue, Masataka Matsutoya, & Hiroshi Sato's Seaside Lovers: Memories in Beach House... this is so chill, and more than a little cheesy. Everything you want from a city pop record. The obsession with summer and tropical vacations in the city pop genre was so strong you could record an entire album about it, making it almost a sub-genre in itself. This was a nice record, though I did it an injustice listening to it in winter. Culprit's Guilty as Charged... Not bad! US Power Metal isn't my go to metal fix, but this Seattle group had some serious chops. They could play as well, as evidenced by the prog elements. JFA's Valley of the Yakes... this sounds exactly how I'd imagine a 1983 skate punk record to sound like. Very good! Flue's Vista... this is a particularly cold post-punk record. The band were from the Netherlands, so I guess that makes sense, right? Some decent hooks and somewhat enchanting. Marine Girls' Lazy Ways... this is Tracey Thorn from Everything but the Girl. Stripped back Twee Pop. This could have been an indy hit in any decade that followed. Super underrated. Fungus Brains' Ron Pistos Real World... if you're gonna call yourself Fungus Brains, you better deliver, and for the most part these Aussies do albeit in a quirky Australian fashion. Le Roux' So Fired Up... This album had me so fired up. I felt like Johnny in Cobra Kai. AOR at its finest. Demon's The Plague... Didn't go hard enough. Sorry, you can't call yourself Demon and record an album called The Plague and deliver soft AOR hard rock. Boo. Magnum's The Eleventh Hour!... another group whose music was too soft for the imagery it used. Amos & Sara's Invite to 'Endless Latino'... this was cool. It was basically minimal wave with a Calypso vibe. Groovy. Government Issue's Boycott Slab... an earful of DC punk. Pretty cool. I can imagine people leaving it all on the dance floor slamming to this group.
  7. Antonio Sanches' Buli Povo -- what a cool album! I liked this a lot. Sanches was a musician from Santiago and was apparently emblematic of the Cape Verde sound at the time. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that he recorded much else, which is a bummer as I was ready for more. Ric Ocasek's Beatitude -- this was Ric Ocasek's debut album. I dug this. Ocasek was one of the vocalists from The Cars and much of the positive feedback surrounding this LP is that it would have made for a decent Cars album. Not a bad compliment for a solo album. Adrian Belew's Twang Bar King -- there's a bit of everything on this album from Belew. It was made shortly after he became the front man for King Crimson and his versatility is on full display. Belew was a new waver who loved art rock and liked to have fun with his music. You've probably heard most of the tracks done better by other artists, but this wasn't a bad listen. Wildfire's Brute Force and Ignorance -- this is a slice of NWOBHM that sounds like it came straight out of 1983, but that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you want to hear a record that was a product of its times. Ignore the album title, though, there's no brute force whatsoever. It's melodic not raw. Joan Armatrading's The Key -- this is the type of 80s album that gets instantly rubbished for the production -- adding synths to an artist who previously had a soulful folk sound -- but that snobbery has no place around here. Instead, I salute Armatrading for continuing to write and put her music out in the world. Good stuff. Steps Ahead' Steps Ahead -- easy listening jazz fusion music. Not bad as background music late at night. The Blasters' Non Fiction -- hmm, a lot of rockabilly is basically punk music, but this sounds like guys who take it seriously. Rock 'n' Roll will never die, I suppose. Tappi Tíkarrass' Miranda -- Did you know that Bjork was in a post-punk band called Tappi Tikarrass? You probably did if you're a big Bjork fan, but I had no idea. I remember her from the Sugarcubes, but not this group. Imagine my surprise when she starts singing. It's cool that her voice is instantly recognizable, though. Dalek I Love You's Dalek I Love You -- I liked this a lot. Dalek I Love You were a synthpop band with ties to Godot, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Teardrop Explodes. It's the kind of record I'd recommend to people who want more New Wave from '83 and are not too hung up on great albums. Just a chill record with decent grooves. Manfred Mann's Earth Band's Somewhere in Afrika -- this is in part an anti-apartheid album (Manfred Mann was born in South Africa) and a hybrid progressive pop record that includes traditional African music similar to what artists like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon were compelled to record in the 80s. The rest is a mixed bag. I prefer to hear actually African records whenever possible, but I believe the artists involved were sincere about championing world music. Akina Nakamori's New Akina... who is Akina Nakamori, I hear you ask. She was a pop sensation in Japan during the 1980s, somewhat akin to Madonna. She was known for changing her image with each new release, and like Madonna, dabbled in acting. This record was straight pop, but not bad. Not as groovy as city pop, but interesting to listen to. The Tubes' Outside Inside -- every time I hear AOR from this era, I think I'm in a movie montage. A happy movie montage, but a movie montage nonetheless. I wonder if any AOR artists wrote songs with that specific goal in mind. Play Dead's The First Flower -- Play Dead is an amusing name for a goth band. Someone called this bog standard 80s goth music, and they're not wrong, but I'm not mad at it.
  8. Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 Band's Perambulator -- you can't go wrong with some Fela Kuti and this is no exception. Funky, funky afrobeat. Good times. Lo Ta-yu's Master of the Future -- I know next-to-nothing about Mandopop, so this was exciting to hear. I have no basis for comparison, but I'm always interested to hear singer-songwriters from other cultures and I dug the overall feeling and atmosphere of this record. K. Yoshimatu's Commercial Romanticists -- this was a total surprise. It was a cassette tape packed with lovely, melodic minimal wave songs. This guy was releasing tapes throughout '83 and now I feel obliged to track them all down. This was a big hit with me. Anthony Braxton's Four Compositions (Quartet) 1983 -- I haven't listened to a lot of jazz from '83, or the 80s in general for that matter, and avant-garde stuff isn't my go-to jazz, but this wasn't a particularly difficult record to listen to. It didn't immediately make me want to listen to every other album the artist recorded like great jazz does but it was fine. Hamlet Gonashvili's Georgian Folk Songs -- that title is my own translation so don't quote me on it. Hamlet Gonashvili was a big deal in Georgia. He sang traditional Georgian folk songs and was dubbed the voice of Georgia. He died at the height of his fame falling out of an apple tree. This was cultural if nothing else. Riistetyt's Skitsofrenia -- this kicked ass! Finnish crust punk! Loved it! Ronald Shannon Jackson's Barbeque Dog -- weird title for a weird jazz fusion album. Not much else to say really. Pistones' Persecución -- I may have written about this before. I'm losing track of all these records. This is so peppy and upbeat. Fantastic Spanish power-pop. Mick Milk's Songs for Citizens -- I'll say this for Mick Milk, he was a happy chap. This manic electro stuff with a Devo feel to it. Okay if you like that sort of thing. Nihilistics' Nihilistics -- these boys were angry. This is some guttural hardcore punk right here. Good stuff if you wanna get revved up.
  9. Feeling a bit empty after that. I had a bad feeling when I turned the game on and saw it was raining. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We showed some fight with a man down and had some chances but couldn't take them. South Africa defended well, especially Pieter-Steph du Toit, and New Zealand made some costly mistakes inside the opposition 22 much like England had done the week before. I don't feel like getting into all of the controversy. I'll just say that the TMO being constantly involved is frustrating to watch. I never thought the All Blacks would get this far, but it still hurts that they couldn't get over the finish line. I really like the South African captain, though, so I'm happy for him.
  10. I guess I should say something about this morning's game. England played perfect wet weather rugby for more than an hour and would have won the game if they had made the most of two attacking opportunities they had in the corner. I thought the game was out of reach for South Africa after Farrell's drop goal, but once they got a sniff at scrum time they were like a shark with blood in the water. It's a shame that England had to lose because of a single facet in the game when they outplayed South Africa for most of the match, but sport is cruel. England needed to be more clinical with those two scoring opportunities in the corner. It was a proper semi-final, but it was slow and there was so much kicking. Plenty of emotion and passion, though.
  11. Definitely the best episode in a while.
  12. Electric first half between France and South Africa followed by a slog in the second forty. France showed how inexperienced they are in the big games, and the overall feeling I have from the weekend, despite the shock that both Ireland and France have been eliminated, is a sense that neither team understands what it takes to win a World Cup whereas New Zealand and South Africa do. The lopsided draw ended up being brutal for the tournament. We knew that heading into the quarters, but it's particularly bad now that the French and Irish supporters have seen their sides tumble out.
  13. Well, that lived up to the hype. One of the great World Cup matches. I thought New Zealand surprised Ireland with their work at the breakdown and were much better defensively than Ireland expected. New Zealand outplayed Ireland in the set piece battle and their kicking game was excellent. They made it hard on themselves with mistakes after the restarts, and I could have lived without Aaron Smith kicking the ball back to Ireland so they could have 37 cracks at our line, but at the end of the day it was defense that won New Zealand the test so it was a fitting end to the match. Ireland were gutted at the end. As a New Zealander I know how it feels. I want to make special mention of the sledged and much maligned Sam Cane who had the game of his life. Well done, Sammy. Didn't watch the earlier quarterfinal, but that seemed exciting as well.
  14. Giffen & DeMatteis' Justice League was one of the first comics I fell in love with and remains one of the cornerstones of my fandom. Recently, I've been reading some of the other work they did together like their Defenders mini-series and their Hero Squared series, which are told in a similar vein. They never fail to make me laugh. I have mixed feelings about Five Years Later, but I think the next time I read it that I may feel differently about it. I actually loved it the first time I read it and disliked it the second time through. I might read some of his work I haven't touched on before as a tribute to him. EDIT: I just read the first issue of the Ambush Bug mini-series and it's bad shit crazy. It's as though DC published a self-published indie comic. Love the parody of the old DC Silver Age ads.
  15. It's entirely possible that all four NH sides will win. South Africa have the best chance of upsetting the apple cart. They're built for tournament rugby and they're playing well. That said, they're facing an incredibly strong France side. The last three tests between the sides have been close -- 18-17, 29-26, 30-26. Don't be surprised if it's a one score game. Might be the match of the round. England ought to beat Fiji. Fiji have struggled since shedding the underdog tag. Some of that is because they don't have the depth to rotate their team against the lower tier nations. They may step it up in the quarters but I'm not optimistic. Wales have been impressive so far considering the shambles they were in prior to the tournament beginning, but their players are dropping like flies. Argentina started the tournament poorly but are on an upswing. If they play like they did against Japan, they will beat Wales. New Zealand will have to play at their absolute best to beat Ireland. They're capable, but it will take the best performance of the Ian Foster era to get it done. My concern is that it appears Ireland are handling the pressure and the weight of expectation on them like a true champion side. I figure Ireland will probably win.
  16. Stains' Stains... this one left a big impression on me. I've already listened to it three times. The Stains were a hardcore band from East LA. They recorded this LP in '81, but it wasn't released until '83. I suspect the fact that it was recorded a few years before is why the music sounds like it's bursting out of the gates. Unfortunately, they didn't record anything else, but I believe there's some live stuff available. Highway Chile's Storybook Heroes... Highway Chile are a Dutch Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band. This was a pretty standard record for the era. It's perfectly listenable, but nothing that's going to make your hair stand on end. Siniestro Total's Siniestro Total II (El regreso)... neat Spanish punk record. "Siniestro Total" means your car is a write-off. That's cool! The tracks are 2 minutes or less, which I love. I'll definitely check out their other records on the strength of this. Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band's Bloodlines... this has to be the best country record from '83. I can't think of anything else that comes close. Outlaw country was pretty much dead by '83, but Terry Allen was still kicking and screaming. Nikki Sudden's Bible Belt... Nice. I liked this a lot. I've listened to The Swell Maps before but never delved into Nikki Sudden's solo career. Solid songwriting. Gets the thumbs up from me. Dougie MacLean's Craigie Dhu... Scottish folk music isn't really my thing. At least not on LP. If I listened to it live, I'm sure I'd have a better appreciation for it. I'm sure this is a lovely LP if you're a fan. Hitomi Tohyama's Next Door... feel that city pop. I wasn't awed by the production on this, but she had a pretty voice. I felt like I was in a karaoke music video from 1983, so there's that. The Square's Rainbow... this was so much fun! This was a Japanese jazz fusion record that's basically city pop. Man did this bop. Fun times. The Enid's Aerie Faerie Nonsense... So, The Enid were a British Prog Rock group that hit the scene around the same time as punk rock and did their own punk take on classical music by playing it with keyboards and guitars. They failed to find an audience and EMI scrapped this 1977 LP from their catalogue. The band were frustrated with the record being unavailable so they re-recorded it and reissued it in '83. It's okay. Like everything, I'm sure it has its fans. Models' The Pleasure of Your Company... not bad! It always amuses me when you see Kiwi and Aussie bands doing the whole New Wave thing with the hair and the suits, but hey, there's nothing that says you have to be British to be the real thing, is there? These guys supported Bowie, so he must have thought they were all right, and he was a man of impeccable taste. Kauko Royhka's Onnenpaiva... Finnish pop rock. Pretty cool. Apparently, this guy has a strong rep in Finland, especially as a lyricist. That part is lost on me, but everything else jelled. James White' Flaming Demonics... apparently, this is a lesser album from James White. If that's the case then I want to hear his better stuff as I thought it was a ton of fun. Great album cover as well. Sexual Harassment's I Need a Freak... I had to check this out. I was hoping it would be an underrated synth funk album, but nope. The title track is okay, but not good enough to play on heavy rotation.
  17. Nardcore, nerdcore... I blame my failing eyesight!
  18. NRBQ's Grooves in Orbit... Pretty chill pop-rock from this Miami outfit. This type of music was so far removed from what was popular in 1983 to the point that it may be deliberately retro, or perhaps it's genuinely authentic. In any event, if you like traditional 50s rock 'n roll, it's worth checking out. Nagamatzu's Shatter Days... this is a mix of Minimal Synth and Darkwave. I'm more of an up-tempo, "Just Can't Get Enough" sort of guy, but I'm slowly starting to appreciate this type of music even if it does drone on a bit. You can hear the influence of Joy Division in this type of record. Crystalized Movements' Mind Disaster... this was a lo-fi garage punk record. Cool sketch on the cover. Not gonna hail this as some lost masterpiece, but it was an interesting record and you can't beat that. Knutsen & Ludvigsen's Juba Juba... Knutsen and Ludvigsen were a Norway duo who made children's music. Not being able to understand the language, this sounds like quirky pop rock to my ears. I'd probably feel silly listening to it if I knew what they were singing about... or maybe not. James Ingram's It's Your Night... this was exactly what you'd expect a 1983 James Ingram album to sound like, complete with the exact production you'd expect from a 1983 contemporary R&B album, which I guess is exactly what his fans wanted. There is a dose of synth funk on the record, which is more appealing to me than 1983 R&B, though I have a hard time believing Ingram is the party animal he says he is. Fans of 60s and 70s R&B should look elsewhere. Dogs' Legendary Lovers... French power pop! This definitely gets cool points. The Dogs is a great name for a band. I liked this a lot. Will definitely check out their back catalogue when I get through the thousand other records from 1983. Satan Jokers' Les fils du metal... I'm not going to pretend I know anything about the history of French heavy metal, but I will say this was a decent take on NWOBHM with screaming, high-pitched vocals and hard rock style guitar playing. Fun record. Twice a Man's The Sound of a Goat in a Room... starts off very dark and atmospheric. There are times I'm not sure whether I like the sound of a goat in my room. Switches gears constantly, however, as though trying to prove a point that synthpop and darkwave can co-exist on the same record, even within the same song. Interesting. Gabinete Caligari's Que Dios reparta suerte... this rocked. It's a steady dose of Spanish post-punk psychobilly. Maybe not as crazy as you'd expect from that description, but I was down with this. Aggression's Don't Be Mistaken... not bad! I was expecting a hardcore record, but it sounded more like skater music. Then I discovered it's called Nerdcore, which is perfect. Seemed ahead of its time. I have plenty of buddies who would have happily listened to this in the 90s. The System's Logic... Interesting record. Kind of a low key synth pop cut. There were clearly better synth pop LPs in 1983, but I liked it.
  19. I will be super stoked if Japan prove the doubters wrong and qualify for the quarters.
  20. I finished reading Naoki Urasawa's Monster, which is hands down one of the best written manga series you'll ever read. Superbly well-crafted, and one of the best comics of the 90s for my money. I'm contemplating watching the anime, but I might jump into another Urasawa series instead.
  21. South Africa vs. Ireland was a good old-fashioned arm wrestle. Ireland defended extremely well. I thought they were going to choke after the first quarter where they turned over so much lineout ball, but they were ferocious in defense. It was an extremely physical match, and I couldn't help but worry about whether NZ can match either of these teams physically. South Africa were let down by their pool goalkicking, which several pundits predicted. The Irish fans are amazing. The Wallabies failed to fire a shot in what was a must-win pool match for them. They suffered their heaviest defeat in World Cup history and will surely miss the quarters for first time ever. It was also the first time that they've lost consecutive matches at a World Cup. Despite the grief that Australia has given New Zealand over the years, I didn't feel good about this. These are the guys we play three times a year, and pretty much the only international club competition we face. If our primary opposition is this bad is it any wonder why we're struggling against the top sides? Wales played well, and Gatland appears to have done a good job galvanizing the squad, but it was like watching men against boys, which to be fair was exactly what it was.
  22. The plot thickens at the Rugby World Cup. Fabien Galthie responded to criticism of France's performance against Uruguay by fielding a full strength team against Namibia. They destroyed Namibia, but Antonine Dupont left the field injured and news has come out that he may have broken his jaw. France's World Cup is starting to resemble 2011 for New Zealand when Dan Carter was injured. Two big games coming up on the weekend, Ireland vs. South Africa and Wales vs. Australia.
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