Thursday, August 17, 2006

Weeding out yer weekends: Golden Smog, Premier League Soccer, and more

Golden Smog -- the rootsy, midwestern, indie take on the Wilburys -- just put out their first album in 7 years, Another Fine Day, which has been met with near-universal mild appreciation. Now that the buzz has dissipated from soft to "huh?", I've finally gotten around to posting something.

Golden Smog - "Corvette". Inane lyrics be damned, this is the best true power-pop song to come out in quite some time. Using the Beatlesque trick of going chorus first, you get a couple minutes in and it hardly seems the song even took time to have verses. They're there, sort of. The guitars are a little more Blink than Blur -- doctored up, but not quite overmedicated. Where great power-pop thrives on subtle touches, they're few and far between here, as the band can barely be bothered to break it's driving rhythm and heavy-handed (but sweet, if that's possible) vocal harmonies for something a little more nuanced. This may be straight out of the Raspberries' School of Power Pop, but the Smoggers aren't exactly newbies on the subject. Which is still to say, there ain't much to it, but according to my iTunes, I'm up to 22 listens so far.

In the "real" news...
With the ceasefire taking shape in Lebanon, news has broken of the US blocking missile shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. The broad details of how they pulled it off is really fascinating, and Turkey's cooperation is a testament to the importance of having some buddies in the neighborhood.

In the world of sports...
The English Premier League soccer season kicks off Saturday, with a full slate of games this weekend. The season's opening match pits Liverpool -- fresh off a 2-1 Charity Shield victory over defending champs Chelsea -- against newly promoted Sheffield United. Sunday's Tottenham v. Bolton matchup looks like the best on paper, but it really doesn't matter: the season's early start should be a quick fix for anyone feeling a little undernourished by MLS games for the past month.

Speaking of MLS, DC United return home (finally) to take on the Colorado Rapids at 4 pm, this Saturday at RFK. Their play has slipped up lately, stumbling to a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake and disappointing in ties against the Chicago Fire (1-1) and Red Bull New York (0-0). Hopefully the friendly confines of Southeast DC will be enough to steer Jaime Moreno and co. to victory.

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