‘Be Here Now’ Turns 15

22 Aug

Oasis’s Be Here Now turns 15, and it’s time to re-evaluate it. I’ve never thought it was terrible (I actually think it’s spectacular). Of course, I’m extremely biased because Oasis are one of my favorite bands, and I don’t hate any of their albums. But anyway.

Maybe it’s not the masterpiece everyone so unfairly desired after the seminal (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? but it was a game-changer nonetheless.  People lines up outside stores to buy a music album, which is a rare sight these days. It’s also considered to be the album that killed the Britpop movement. Oasis were never the same after it.

Be Here Now came after the success of Morning Glory, transforming Oasis from a cool new rock band to the biggest act in Great Britain.  Perhaps bigger than the music was the controversy that surrounded the Gallagher brothers and their constant presence in the British tabloids.  Gone were the smaller music venues, as the band moved on to massive gigs like that at Knebworth Park in August 1996 (possibly THE musical event of the 90’s).  Oasis simply couldn’t be ignored; they were everywhere.

And that’s where Be Here Now came in.  The album reflects the band’s changed lives, as well as the troubled process of making the album.  Producer Owen Morris suggested to Noel that they abandon the sessions and wait a little longer before releasing another album, but they decided that everything would turn out okay. And so they proceeded to make a loud, bloated, druggy album that cut the fanbase in half.

What I’ve never understood is why critics felt the need to rate it five stars if they didn’t feel it wast actually a five-star album. Sure, they didn’t appreciate Morning Glory at the time it came out, but it’s not like they had to pretend like Be Here Now was great if they didn’t think it was. I think that critics and fans alike were blinded by expectations.

In my opinion, Be Here Now isn’t better than its two predecessors, but it’s not the disaster that everyone thought it was. People argue that the songs are too long, too loud, too coked-up.  It’s an album of egos–those of Noel and Liam Gallagher.  And, to be honest, I love it. It’s long, over-produced, and caught in a storm of drugs and egos, but it’s so Oasis, you know?  Nobody else could have made that album.

The album gets a lot of flack for its long songs, but they’re really good songs. The leading single, “D’You Know What I Mean?” is huge; with the helicopters at the beginning, it showed a sense of power that hadn’t really been shown in Oasis before.  The track was very self aware of where the band was at that time, with all of its swagger and bravado.  “Stand By Me” is a classic Oasis anthem, while “Don’t Go Away” is simply beautiful.  “Fade In-Out” is also very good, and Johnny Depp even plays slide guitar on it! Then, there’s my favorite track on the album (and possibly my favorite Oasis song of all time), “I Hope, I Think, I Know.” Liam snarls Noel’s perfect lyrics, and I’m pretty sure that that song will be the death of the speakers in my car.

When I look at all these songs, I don’t see the catastrophe that everyone has decided Be Here Now is.  It still managed to be the UK’s fastest-selling album of all time and reached number 2 in the U.S.  Even though Noel has dismissed the album, Liam still believes it to be a “top record.”

So many events factor into the dilemma of Be Here Now: Princess Diana’s death ten days after its release; Blur abandoning the Britpop sound on 1997’s Blur; a changing nation… Britpop was ending, but Be Here Now was its last stand.

Britpop ended on the reprise of a nine-minute epic (“All Around the World”), taking the genre to an extreme that caused it to perish while the music became more diverse. As it should be.

#Winning

25 Jun

It was seriously incredible to see my Saints bbs get drafted and to decent teams.

Zemgus made some history by being the highest drafted Latvian player ever and also made an appearance in Puck Daddy’s glorious “10 Most Awkward 2012 NHL Draft Rookie Photographs”:

Puck Daddy: The other motif for the draft picks had them taping their blades in a virtual locker room. Most players went through the motions while the camera clicked. Oh, but not Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres, who went double-fingers and raised the tape up so the camera could catch his spiffy USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints championship ring. Pimp.

Mark Jankowski, a future Fighting Saint, made the “Kirill Kabanov double appearance.”  Mike Matheson (or Frenchie as my friends and I have weirdly taken to calling him) just exuded cool:

The Hockey News named the Fighting Saints as winners:

Quickly becoming the class of the United States League, the Saints saw two current (Girgensons, Michael Matheson) and one future (Mark Jankowski) player go in the first round. Most impressive is that Dubuque put three on the board before the U.S. NTDP, traditionally the biggest supplier of high draft picks from the USHL.
“Our philosophy has been to get great kids from great families,” said Dubuque coach Jim Montgomery. “All three come from fantastic families, are great teammates and great in the dressing room.”
Joining Jankowski next year will be Brandon Shea and John Stevens Jr. Shea’s father is a scout with Colorodo while Stevens’ dad just won the Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Kings this year.

It’s so fantastic.

Bringing it Back?

25 Jun

This blog kind of died a slow, painful death. But much like the Winchesters on Supernatural, Sean Avery’s Sunglasses is back from the dead.

It’s summer again, and I’m finding that I have lots of time on my hands.  I enjoy writing about my favorite things, and unfortunately I can’t say everything I want to say on my Stars blog. So, this blog will henceforth be a mixture of everything not related to the Stars that needs a place to be said (I don’t like using Tumblr for big, long posts; that’s what blogs are for).

You can expect a mixture of random pop culture musings, maybe some cool lists (I’m a list junkie jsyk), thoughts on my Dubuque Fighting Saints, and coverage of everything that goes on in the NHL that’s not related to the greatest team you’ll ever meet.

And hopefully I won’t let this thing die again.

Haters to the left.

25 Oct

Here’s a story about Alex Ovchkin, the human being:

My name is Shanna Westbrook and I’m a Buffalo Sabres fan. I live in the DC area though and am actually a Buffalo transplant. My husband is from DC and is a HUGE Caps fan. And through his affection for the Caps, he managed to turn my 7-year old daughter into a Caps fan as well. She loves Alex Ovechkin. My son, Parker, however is a Sabres fan like me. Anyway, we were in attendance at last nights Sabres-Capitals game and were lucky enough to meet Alex after the game. Well, under the circumstances, lucky isnt the correct word. Let me explain.

My daughter Lindsay was diagnosed not too long ago with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It was ridiculously hard news to take since we never saw that particular diagnosis coming. Both of my children play youth hockey and have for years. At first it didnt slow her down much at all but now, thanks mostly to chemotherapy and other meds, she’s so tired and sick all the time that she just cant play anymore. So to make up for the loss of hockey in her life (and it’s a shame because she was so good at it) my husband has been taking her to Capitals games, and when she’s too sick to go, we all watch the games on TV and it lifts her spirits tremendously. And ours too.
Now to make a boringly long story a little shorter, I’ll get right to my point. 

My husband’s business partner has a friend in upper Caps management and he arranged for Lindsay (and us too) to meet with Alex after the game last night as a surprise to Lindsay. My husband made up this ridiculous story for her when she questioned why we were still at the arena when the game had ended, lol. She’s a smart girl but she never saw this coming. 

But when Alex and some other guy(I’m not sure who he was, public relations maybe, but he was informing Alex about Lindsays cancer) walked in the room her little jaw dropped and she just stared at him. He came over to talk to her (he called her sweetheart) and she was just speechless. Then all of a sudden she just started bawling, a little overwhelmed maybe. And what Alex did next was totally unexpected. I moved over to go comfort her and hopefully get her to talk to him but Alex beat me to it. He sat down on a bench and set her on his lap and just held her in his arms. I couldnt believe it. At that point, I started crying as well, lol. 

After she calmed down, they just started having a conversation like they’ve been best friends for years. She told him about how she plays,or played rather, hockey and he gave her a few tips, lol. She told him about how she had a chemo treatment that morning and she wasnt feeling too well and he gave her another hug. Then he taught her how to say “I love you” in Russian. That was…interesting lol. They just talked back and forth for a while. A lot longer than I thought actually. And before he left and we went home he gave her an address and told her she could write to him anytime she wanted and he’d make sure he’d get it. I think it may have been a fan club address or something. I cant imagine it’d be his personal address. He even gave her a “special” nickname: Lulu, lol. I asked him why Lulu, and he said because he likes that name, lol. He’s a funny guy. And even with his semi-broken english(it’s getting much better though) it was just an unbelievable night. I just wanted everyone to know what an AMAZING guy we have here in Washington. I’ve never had an experience quite like that one.

That’s just one of the many reasons why Alex is my favorite.  He’s got everyone in an uproar over the GQ thing, but who cares?  He’s a rebel. Everyone loves a rebel, no?

Source.

The Intimidating Attack of Ian White

23 Oct

I forgot who made this.

This site fails at life.

30 Sep

I’m sorry I never update.

I just have nothing to say.

Just look at this silly picture.

Source.

Chaos was what killed the dinosaurs, darling.

26 Aug

Donald Fehr is the new head of the NHLPA.  A lot of what I write is fluff, but I’m just trying to grasp the entirety of this situation.  I don’t pay too much attention to what goes on in the Player’s Association, but I know that it’s full of chaos.

Really, the NHLPA is like a high school.  People lie and cheat and stab each other in the back.  Information is cycled round and round so many times that we can’t tell fact from fiction.  Rumors galore.  It’s a really effed up part of the league.

The NHLPA hasn’t had a leader for about a year, ever since Paul Kelley was ousted.  When he ran things, there was a lot of lying and misinterpretation and snobby jerks who didn’t respect his authority.  Not really an ideal situation, if you ask me.

I don’t know a lot about what’s going on there, but I do know that another lockout is entirely possible.  I really, really, really, really, really don’t want to see another lockout, but unless the PA pulls their shit together, we might just see one.  It won’t even completely be Kovalchuk’s fault, contrary to popular belief.

Stick that into your pipe and smoke it.

"Chaos was what killed the dinosaurs, darling."