Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home Run

There are several promising young Japanese internationals playing in European leagues this year, one of them being 21-year old Shinji Kagawa. He has been impressing in his first term with Borussia Dortmund and this morning, he had another fine run out. Not only did he score two goals in the Bundesliga's biggest derby, Dortmund v. Schalke 04, but he pulled a "Babe Ruth" by predicting the brace. Sure, he said his two would be the only goals in the match but how many professional athletes say they're going to put up certain stats and actually do just that? (And at one point is was actually 2-0 on the count of his goals.) The score ended up being 3-1 as Schalke got played off the pitch. There lone goal came late in the game due to some lazy Dortmund defending, but other than that, Schalke got dominated.

Schalke 04 have their own young Japanese player as well, 22-year old Atusto Uchida. It would have been nice to see Kagawa go head-to-head against his Japan teammate but Uchida was out with a broken toe. He's had a decent start to the season as well but maybe not as strong as Kagawa's. While it would have been fun to watch them play against each other, I doubt Uchida would have helped Schalke much as he is more of an attacking defender than a ball-stopper.

One final thing about Kagawa: I can't help but think he could have made a difference in South Africa. Not only do I think he should have been there but I think he should have started in a second-striker's role. How could manager Takeshi Okada leave a player like him at home? Don't get me wrong, Okada did a great job at the World Cup (much better than I expected) and Japan did extremely well. But they were missing the offensive creativity to complement their hard work and defensive discipline. And when Japan went out on penalties after drawing 0-0 with Paraguay, it's hard not feeling like Shinji could have done something...

Anyway, It's good to see Kagawa, Uchida and other Japanese players like CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda and Cesena's Yuto Nagatomo succeed in Europe, so let's hope their good seasons continue... And along the same lines, I hope to see other Japanese footballers in Europe, like Wolfsburg's Makoto Hasebe, Catania's Takayuki Morimoto, and Leicester City's Yuki Abe get more playing time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now I'm Just Big, Ya Dig?

More Big Boi, this time with Vonnegutt on Letterman. A couple notes...

- First off, the hat. Pitchfork liked it and I have to admit, it's pretty awesome. Because of André 3000's eccentricities, people seem to forget that Big Boi is pretty wild in his own right... Also, that DF chain is dope, probably about as classy as bling gets.

- The rapper in Vonnegutt looks like Lance Bass or some other blonde dude. The other guy looks like every other frontman in the past few years. In doing some research, I discovered that Vonnegutt worked on some Purple Ribbon and Dungeon Family stuff, so they've been with Big for a while now. That's pretty cool but it's a little odd because they seem kind of run-of-the-mill. I downloaded a free EP of theirs so I'll see if they show more of their stuff on their own material than they did on the comps and features I've heard.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Up And Down, Round And Round, Super Mario!!!

This reminds me of when I used to play Katamari and I'd get urges to run over things so they would stick to my car... Hopefully, cyclists don't start throwing turtle shells at each other.

Side note: Talk about a non-news story! I mean it's really cool and all, but is there nothing else going on in Portland? I guess the local news is weird everywhere...

Friday, August 6, 2010


So there's been a lot of hype leading up to the unveiling of Kanye West's video painting for "Power". It started with his mountain-top performance at the BET Awards show (which was pretty awesome actually), and continued with his SingFest 2010 performance and yesterday's "Power" BTS clip. It seems like everything Kanye does is an event these days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Put On

Japanese youngster Rio Miyaichi, currently on trial at Arsenal, just turned out an impressive performance as The Gunners beat Boreham Wood, 3-0. Apparently, he has an upcoming trial at Ajax and is now attracting attention from other big clubs, as well. I don't know much about this kid but I would love to see a Japanese international suit up and succeed at Arsenal. Who's to say that he'll be able to break through and excel in Europe (or in Japan, for that matter) but I say if the potential is there, sign him, Wenger!

This video is the only thing I've seen of Miyaichi. Even though he's probably playing against weak competition, he looks good on the ball and appears more than willing to take on defenders down the wings and through the middle. His running style, speed and dribbling skills remind me a bit of C. Ronaldo. I'd be more than happy if his finishing matches Ronaldo's as well, but let's hope that the comparisons end there. We could do without him taking on Ronaldo's divier, whinier characteristics and his tendency to not show up for big games.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forget Teasin'

Mayer Hawthorne's "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'"

There's nothing thaaat special about this but single shot videos are still cool. And so are cute ladies in retro-ish bathing suits. The lead dancer is a hottie.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yeah Ya Know

T.I.'s "Yeah Ya Know" is going to be released on the Takers Soundtrack, as well as his forthcoming album, King Uncaged. Judging by the video and the cast, I'm not expecting a whole lot out of the movie, but I am really looking forward to the album. I don't see anyone topping Big Boi's latest for best of the year in hip hop, but I'm hoping T.I. (and possibly Kanye and KiD CuDi) give it a run for its money.