Archive for September, 2007

Kill To Get Crimson Review

September 30, 2007

Knopfler cover

Mark Knopfler has released his fifth solo album Kill To Get Crimson last month, and I am pleased as punch. I find this album to be possibly, the most “normal” solo album Mark has made since Dire Straits. I should clarify, Mark usually goes through “spurts” of different genres. Be it country, traditional Irish, or even old time Americana. This album really doesn’t have a Donegan’s Gone, or a Fare Thee Well Northumberland. Alas, don’t jump up yet, ye old Straits fans! There are really no rockers here either! Not even a slow building crescendo like Speedway! Now you would think I was giving it a bad review, I am not. In fact I can’t think of a Knopfler album I have enjoyed so instantly, but nothing grows on you like those tracks I mentioned. Much of the fun, is similar to a Peter Gabriel album, where you return again, and again and find new gems, or songs click with you that didn’t before. It gives the album depth and a soul. This album didn’t do that for me.

Punish The Monkey was the choice for North America’s first single. I understand why. It has, what I read described as, a “slinky” riff, that is quite catchy. And an all too brief harmony that was very first Dire Straits albumesque! There is also fun to be had with the infectious, We Can Get Wild, which is wonderful song about coming of age, discovering the joys of adulthood, and sexual freedom. Behind With the Rent is a jazzy song, with much like most of Mark’s songs, a title that is not quite accurate about the songs true meaning.

There is plenty of delicate, meticulous, guitar work on this album, and it further solidifies my opinion of MK as the best guitarist on the planet. Like all of his albums, the fidelity is recorded with reference quality, and perfect clarity. This is a smooth album, that fans of both of Straits, and solo stuff will appreciate. You will enjoy it, your parents will enjoy it, not sure if your kids will, but what do kids know? Just don’t go it hoping for Sailing II or anything remotely like Brothers in Arms or Love Over Gold, and let the album sweep you away, and remind you that excellent songwriters still exist.

Bioshock Xbox 360

September 17, 2007

bioshock_06.jpg

I am not going to remotely waste everyone’s time with a review of this game. You all know it’s damn good. I must admit I never heard of it before I bought the 360. The demo totally sold it for me and I got it the day it was released. Nintendo, please do demos or something with your online. I have never criticized Nintendo before, but Xbox Live has made a believer out of me about online gaming. While Bioshock is single player, I am finding it fun watching the progress of people on my friends list. I know they are much better gamers than I am and will blow through it quickly, but it’s still fun to track them.

On an unrelated note, Mark Knopfler’s new album will be released tomorrow, and I will post my thoughts on it. Don’t expect it too quickly though, as I like to hear it 2-3 times on my home system before writing anything formal.

-C

Entry for September 08, 2007

September 9, 2007

Bush

‘No Saddam link to Iraq al-Qaeda’

There is no evidence of formal links between Iraqi ex-leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq prior to the 2003 war, a US Senate report says. The finding is contained in a 2005 CIA report released by the Senate’s Intelligence Committee on Friday.

US President George W Bush has said that the presence of late al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq before the war was evidence of a link.

Opposition Democrats say the report has harmed Mr Bush’s case for going to war.

The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says that the US president has again and again tried to connect the war in Iraq, which most Americans think was a mistake, with the so-called war on terror, which has the support of the nation.

The report comes as Mr Bush makes a series of speeches on the “war on terror” to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the 11 September attacks.

Requests rejected

The report is the second part of the committee’s analysis of pre-war intelligence. The first dealt with CIA failings in its assessment of Iraq’s weapons programme.

Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support,
Senate report Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

The committee concluded that the CIA had evidence of several instances of contacts between the Iraqi authorities and al-Qaeda throughout the 1990s but that these did not add up to a formal relationship.

It added that the government “did not have a relationship, harbour or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates”.

It said that Iraq and al-Qaeda were ideologically poles apart.

“Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support,” it said.

The Senate report added that the Iraqi regime had repeatedly rejected al-Qaeda requests for meetings.

It also deals with the role played by inaccurate information supplied by Iraqi opposition groups in the run-up to the war.

‘Devastating indictment’

White House spokesman Tony Snow told the Associated Press news agency the report contained “nothing new”.

“In 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had and they came to the very same conclusions about what was going on,” he said.

But Democrat Senator Carl Levin described the report as a “devastating indictment” of the administration’s attempts to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda.

Zarqawi, who is believed to be responsible for numerous killings and kidnappings in Iraq since the war, was killed in a US raid in June.

Saddam Hussein and several close associates are standing trial for the killings of Shias in the village of Dujail in the early 1980s and of more than 100,000 Kurds in 1988.

Love how the RepubliKons try to throw the Dems in wth this as usual.
File this under DUHHHHH!!!!!!! -C

Source

High Def Phenomenon

September 3, 2007

I have always marveled at things some people watch on television. I had also heard that hi-def will make you watch some strange things, mainly for the simple fact, it’s in hi-def! Now, I have experienced this first hand. I will watch ANYTHING in high definition! It is true! Boring shows about sunrises across the planet, losers fixing motorcycles and arguing like three year olds, shows that simply show still images, and photos set to crummy elevator music. I have sat through all of this, simply mesmerized by detail and clarity. That said, I have reached a new low yesterday. I sat through, in my opinion, one of the most expensive crapathons ever produced…..

Dune

God, I am so ashamed. What makes matters worst is, it wasn’t even the best looking movie I have seen in Hi-def, but I sat there, eyes scanning over the 16:9 image, marveling at the clarity, enjoying FINALLY having picture quality that matches my sound. I wonder how long before the novelty of it all wears off and I get my TASTE back?