Friday, September 13, 2019

Album Reviews: Solange and Billie Eilish

There are artists and there are albums that require time. The first time I ever heard the Pixies Doolittle album for instance I just felt overwhelmed. After a few listens I got it and it all clicked. That is a bit how I felt about Solange's last album A Seat At the Table, and I felt like I was ready for this album. But after many listens nothing for me ever clicked with this album. Maybe if I had heard it in February it would have had a different fit than it does now at the end of summer, but I just never could find a groove with this album. I have heard a few people talk about how much they like it, but for me it just doesn't work.

I think this album is meant to be a deep soul study and so probably requires a complete dive into it, and so if you like Solange I would say give it a good try and see if you can connect. For me I give it 1 star out of 5.

Ok so there is a lot to unpack here about Billie Eilish. I had never heard of Billie Eilish until I put this album on my list of albums to listen to. Then I read a piece about her the other day on USA Today about how she was really upset about how a magazine portrayed her. Then I read this about her on and I realized I'm really old because this idea makes no sense to me. "On the heels of a sold-out headlining tour, she issued her debut album, 2019's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?"

OK so here is the deal, she is headlining a tour and she has never put out an album. To me this makes no sense at all, then you look at her on youtube and find that she has over 20 million subscribers. That is a lot. That puts her ahead of Beyoncé for instance. She has literally become a headlining act simply based off of what she has done on youtube. I know this idea has been around for a while, think Justin Bieber, but the difference there was the rush to get him into a studio to make an album. Now the album is secondary.

OK all of that said what do I think of this album. It definitely takes a few listens before you find a groove with it. There is no real cohesion to the album and it feels like a collection of 14 songs and they are all over the place in terms of influence and musical styles, but in the end I think of artists like Bjork and Kate Bush. I know that is high company but I think she views herself as much of a performance artist as a singer and I think that was always true for Bjork and Kate Bush.  That means there is a lot of experimentation her with sound and lyrics.  Sometimes I think it works and other times it feels a bit overdone.

Where this album works for me is that at least once Billie Eilish really hits with a great song. I'll put the video for it at the end here.  This is a debut and she is very young.  I'm curious to see what she'll do next.  But with so much success on a platform like youtube I'm left to wonder how important the idea of an album even is to her.

This is an OK album with moments here and there, but you have to give it a few listens before you'll come into her world. Definitely not a real fun summer album, more of a dark brooder.  I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

It's not true
Tell me I've been lied to
Crying isn't like you
What the hell did I do?
Never been the type to
Let someone see right through
Maybe won't you take it back
Say you were tryna make me laugh
And nothing has to change today
You didn't mean to say "I love you"
I love you and I don't want to
Up all night on another red eye
I wish we never learned to fly
Maybe we should just try
To tell ourselves a good lie
I didn't mean to make you cry
Maybe won't you take it back
Say you were tryna make me laugh
And nothing has to change today
You didn't mean to say "I love you"
I love you and I don't want to
The smile that you gave me
Even when you felt like dying
We fall apart as it gets dark
I'm in your arms in Central Park
There's nothing you could do or say
I can't escape the way, I love you
I don't want to, but I love you

Thursday, September 12, 2019

AP Polls for KHSAA Football

Here are your ranked teams in Western Kentucky.  Eric, is Madisonville really this good?

9.  Henderson Co:  3-0

4.  S. Warren:  3-0
5.  Bowling Green:  3-0
7.  Owensboro:  2-1
10.  Greenwood:  3-0

3.  Madisonville-North Hopkins:  3-0
6.  Hopkinsville:  2-1

9.  Trigg Co:  3-0
10.  Paducah Tilghman:  2-1

1.  Mayfield
5.  Caldwell Co:  2-1
6.  Owensboro Catholic:  2-1
7.  Murray:  2-1
9.  Todd Co. Central:  2-0

5.  Crittenden Co:  3-0

NFL Poll: Week 2

Not too much of a change this week; the biggest deal was Chicago crashing from number 6 to number 13 after a dreadful performance against the Packers.  Here's the current top 10 from the AP's Pro 32 poll:

1.  New England:  1-0
2.  Kansas City:  1-0
3.  New Orleans:  1-0
4.  Los Angeles:  1-0
5.  Philadelphia:  1-0
6.  Dallas:  1-0
7.  Minnesota:  1-0
8.  Baltimore:  1-0
9.  San Diego:  1-0
10.  Seattle:  1-0

The NFC looks wide open to me, while the only story in the AFC is whether Andy Reid and the Chiefs can finally get over the hump against New England.

The game of the week is the Sunday Afternoon game on Fox, where the Saints are going to L.A. for a rematch of last year's NFC title game.  Considering the bad feelings in New Orleans over that game, this week's match-up should be a cracker.  There are no other games featuring two top-10 teams this week, as the NFL allows its fans to ease back into the season without too much drama.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Ashes

For the last few weeks, Australia and England have been going back in their usual tussle over The Ashes, the most legendary trophy in all of cricket.  As usual, they are playing five test matches against each other.  Here's what has happened:

Match One at Edgbaston (Birmingham, England):
August 1-5, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, putting up 284 runs in their first innings.  England responded with 374 runs to take a 90-run lead after one innings.  But in its second innings, Australia scored 487 runs, and would have kept going indefinitely except for the fact that the Aussies wanted to leave themselves enough time to retire England.  So they stopped batting.  England could only get 146 runs in its second innings.  So Australia won by a final score of 771-520.  In cricket terms, they say that Australia won by 251 runs.

Match Two at Lord's (London, England):
August 14-18, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bowl.  England scored 258 runs, and then Australia scored 250 runs in its first innings.  In the second innings, England scored 258 more runs, declaring for a total of 516.  The English needed to retire Australia to win the game, but the Aussies had scored 154 runs and were still batting when the five-days allotted for the match were over.  Accordingly, this match was a draw.

Match Three at Headingly Cricket Ground (Leeds, England):
August 22-25, 2019:

England won the toss and elected to bowl.  In the first innings, Australia put up 179 runs to only 67 for England.  In the second innings, Australia scored another 246 runs -- meaning that the Aussies led 425-67 when England started to bat again.  Australia was heavily favored to win, and sure enough the Aussies mowed down almost all of the English batters.  But they could not retire Ben Stokes, who just kept batting and batting.  When it was all over, Australia had gotten 9 of the 10 wickets that they needed -- but England had scored 362 runs, which put them ahead 429-425, and gave them a legendary victory.  Stokes had 135 runs by himself, and was still batting when the game ended.  In cricket terms, they say that England won by 1 wicket.

Match Four at Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Machester, England)
September 4-8, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bat.  This time the Aussies put up 497 runs in their first innings, declaring a halt when they still had two wickets left.  England could only put up 301, and were immediately back in a hole.  In the second innings, Australia scored 186 runs before declaring another halt.  England tried for another comeback, but could not get there -- scoring only 197 runs in their second innings.  The final score was Australia 683, England 498 -- meaning that Australia won by 185 runs.

So in four matches, we have seen 2 wins for Australia, 1 win for England, and 1 draw.  There is only one match left, so England can do no better than 2-2-1.  Since Australia already has the Ashes, this means that England cannot take them away.  Thus, Australia has retained the Ashes, and our cricket coverage can stop at this point.

Highway 45 Trophy Update

On Friday night, Mayfield went up Highway 45 to Paducah and beat the Blue Tornado 38-20.  It was the 14th year in a row that Mayfield has beaten PTHS in football.  That is really amazing.  I'm shocked to see that Mayfield is actually more dominant now than they were when I was a kid.  I can remember when folks thought the merger of the Graves County schools might hurt them.  But those folks were wrong.  So now the Cardinals just have to beat McCracken County, and they will win the Highway 45 Trophy for another year.