Third And Thirty

Sports. Music. Comedy. And Other Things That Make Life Interesting.

Song of the Week: July 12th, 2012

First of all, sorry for the lack of content this week. I’ll be back in the groove next week. And I’m allowed to be lazy this week because I’m turning 25 tomorrow. So yeah, happy birthday to me.

Second of all, forget what you think you know about Frank Ocean. Forget about last week’s statement on his sexuality, forget about the reaction from the hip hop community. Forget about his ties to Odd Future, and forget about the way Nostalgia, Ultra made him one of the most buzzed about artists of the last year and a half. Forget about the Album of the Year hype for Channel Orange, however well deserved. Just enjoy the song of the week, because above all else, Frank Ocean is one of the most talented singers we’ve got.

Also Recommended: “Thinkin Bout You,” “Sierra Leone,” “We All Try”

Song of the Week: July 5th, 2012

I’ve watched Kirby Brown grow up in bits and spurts. I’ve seen him as a high school freshman, his voice cracking when he was called on in biology class. As a sophomore, he showed me a song he was learning to play. A couple of years later, we smoked cigarettes and talked about music outside an apartment complex when the bachelorette party I was attending upstairs turned ugly (don’t ask). During his time working with Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, we went to a South by Southwest pool party, where he first told me he was going to try and go it alone. I listened to his first songs, recorded at home and posted on Myspace. He parlayed those tunes into a well-received album and has since been building a following from the ground up. He’s opened for Leon Russell, played festivals like SXSW and Free Press, and rocked historic venues like the Granada in Dallas and Antone’s in Austin.

All of this is to say that Kirby has traveled a long and windy road, from that curly blonde-haired kid plucking away on a guitar to the troubadour that rocked Antone’s when I saw him in December. He has come in to his own and it shows on his debut, Child of Calamity, an eleven-song collection that shows off Kirby’s strength as a songwriter. The music and lyrics evince an endearing blend of childlike innocence and world-weary wisdom, much like Kirby himself.

That sense of innocence drives the Song of the Week, “Young! Young! Young!” a rocker about new love, new life (“the past is behind me, the worst has been said”) and, you guessed it, youth. Enjoy the video (directed by Will Bolton), which features clips of Kirby doing Kirbyish things like driving a van, climbing things, and rocking out.

Also Recommended: “No, MY Generation,” “My First Love, Maria,” “Highway Calls”

Kontributor Kayla also recorded an audio interview with Kirby that will be up soon, so keep an eye out. 

Bit of the Week: July 3rd, 2012

Before we get to the bit of the week (by a man you hopefully all know and love), some backstory: my girlfriend and I are moving in to a house together in Flint, MI. This is stressful for a number of reasons.

1) We haven’t lived together in two years. That’s two years I’ve been leaving dirty clothes and dirty dishes wherever I damn well please, drinking beer and watching Dr. Who, and going entire days without speaking to anyone except for my cat.

2) This is her first year working in the hospital (she’s in medical school—I know, I win), meaning there is a lot of pressure on her to do well so that she can be my sugar momma in five years or so.

3) We are moving to Flint, MI. Violent crime capital of the nation.

That said, it’s been going exceedingly well, with the exception of one thing: Comcast, our cable and internet service provider. If I wrote out the comedy of errors that has been the last week of my interactions with Comcast, this post would be both exceptionally long and exceptionally boring, and we’d probably never make it to the great bit I have in store. So let’s skip the timeline and just say that I’ve talked to Comcast A LOT in the last five days. I’ve spent more time talking to various customer service representatives than I have my live-in girlfriend, my co-workers, and even my parents who drove 1100 miles to see me. But last night, I couldn’t take it anymore. At some point, mid-bitch about my lack of On Demand service and my troubles with the internet, the absurdity of it all dawned on me and I realized I had two choices. Option 1 was to scream at the poor rep on the other side of the line, smash my cable box, burn down the nearest service center, go in to hiding in the Michigan woods and make my own internet from strings of pine needles. Option 2 was to realize that everything is amazing and that I was being stupid and petty for not being happy. Louis’ voice rang in my head (Inside Baseball sidenote: I just had to look up the possessive of Louis). Oh you mean you’ll have to use your phone computer instead of your regular lap computer to access all the information in the world at high speed when you’re sitting on your fucking toilet? Your sports package isn’t working, so you won’t be able to watch every touchdown from every game two months from now? You want to order HBO so your girlfriend can watch Girls while you try to figure out what the hell all the commotion was about two months ago? You can’t press a button and just watch things that you want to watch when you want to watch them for a nominal fee? How terribly sad for you! So yea, I started laughing, looked up this clip, and went with Option 2. Happy fireworking people. 

By the way, Louis is selling tickets for his upcoming tour himself, only through his website. They’re mostly sold out, but you should go try to buy some. 

Quick Hits: July 2nd, 2012

Sports:

Comedy:

  • Zach Galifianakis is now engaged, according to reports. Zach, if you’re out there, be reminded that for me, it isn’t over. I’ll find someone like you. Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.
  • Comedy Central has announced a Roast of Roseanne Barr. In a press release, an executive mentioned “celebrating Roseanne’s unprecedented achievements.” Ummm… does she have her face on the wall of some wing bar I’m not aware of? Because I have been to a lot of wing bars. And I would have remembered seeing Roseanne’s face.

Music:

  • Justin Bieber has graduated high school. He is the first lesbian graduate of St. Michael Catholic Secondary School of Ontario, and will probably get a shitty plaque on the wall or something.
  • Chris Brown released a really shitty Drake diss track that you can listen to here. And speaking of that nasty bar fight, some crazy billionaire has offered each of them $1 million dollars to face off in a boxing ring. So first of all, crazy billionaire… a million? For rappers? You have to do better than that. And besides, even though his latest album could have been the soundtrack to a menstrual cycle, every knows that Drake would win this fight. You know, because he’s not a girl.
  • Speaking of Adele, the Grammy winning soul songstress has announced that she is pregnant. I can’t decide if this is incredibly savvy, because no one will be talking about her weight for about 12-15 months, or incredibly stupid, because no one will be talking about her weight for about 12-15 months. 

Song of the Week: June 29th, 2012

Yeasayer have been making delightfully weird music for a while now, and the forthcoming Fragrant World (August 21st) is one of my most anticipated albums of the year. 2010’s Odd Blood, ten solid tracks that drifted into strange territory before ultimately ending up exactly where they belonged, was one of my favorite albums of that year. Judging by the first two singles (both released in the last two weeks or so), its successor will not leave me disappointed. “Henrietta” is a ballad to Henrietta Lacks, the woman famous for her cells (HeLa—yay science!) which have traveled to space and been used extensively in biomedical research. And the song of the week, well… I’m not sure what it’s about. Probably mortality (sample lyric: “live in the moment, never count on longevity”). But I do know that this is the music I always pictured playing when I’m making virtual reality love to a hot alien chick in something resembling the Mos Eisley Cantina in about 40 years. Enjoy.

Next week is going to be very special, as we’ll be featuring my high school (and still) buddy Kirby Brown. Get to know him before then @kirby_brown on Twitter or here on Tumblr at kirbybrownmusic.tumblr.com.

Streak For The Cash Recap: June 27th, 2012

*For the uninitiated, Streak For The Cash is a game on ESPN.com that allows players to pick the outcomes of various games and props in an effort to build the longest streak of the month. The prize: $50,000. As an added twist, there is an extra “stash” of $50,000 if the month’s winner hits 27 or more wins in a row. If the winner gets less than 27 wins, the stash rolls over to the next month. I am confident that I will one day win this game, buy an island, and drink coconut rum. Unfortunately, I have terrible luck. Or I’m just not very good. Let’s review.*

The dream may be dead. This month, some lucky man (or robot, the jury’s still out—dude’s only been a member since June 3rd, and something about it all smells funny) has reached the 27 win pinnacle. That means the cool $300,000 that should have, could have, would have been mine may be lost forever. It’s not from lack of trying. I’ve showed some real promise this month, putting together nice streaks that were ultimately foiled. I blame the Giants (quickly becoming my streak kryptonite), the Red Sox, Aroldis Chapman, and John Isner. In that order. Let’s get to the picks.

Current Streak: Loss 1

Current Overall Record: 55-53-1 (.509)

Great Success!

The Pick: Portugal: Win over Czech Republic: Win or Draw

Why It Worked: The Czechs have been feisty in this tournament, but Cristiano Ronaldo is finally becoming for his national team what everyone expected him to be in the 2010 World Cup, and what he has been for Real Madrid for the last few years: one of the five best players in the world. Since his team’s first match of the tournament against Germany, their only loss so far, Ronaldo has been a machine. In a must win against Netherlands, he scored two goals on ten shots. In this semifinal, he scored the only goal on eight shots. Maybe he’s finally starting to resent that Messi guy.

The Pick: Euro 2012 Semifinals: Germany vs. Greece: When will the 1st goal of the 1st half be scored? 29th Minute or Later OR No Goal in the 1st Half OVER 28th Minute or Earlier

Why It Worked: Look, this is a dumb prop. There are no stats that can help anyone to accurately predict when a goal will happen. That said, it seemed clear that Greece would be hanging on for their Euro lives in this match. The aim was not to score goals, only to prevent Germany from scoring bookoos themselves. Eventually, of course, that strategy failed, but it seemed a safe bet that the Greeks would have eleven men back playing prevent for at least the first half. 

Miserable Failure.

The Pick: WNBA: Sky @ Lynx: How Many Points Will Be Scored In the First Half? 73 or Fewer OVER 74 or More

Why It Failed: Oh, the lows one can sink to when trying desperately to crawl back in to streak relevancy. Cheryl Miller doesn’t watch the WNBA. No one watches the WNBA. Can you name a single WNBA player? No, you can’t. But you can assume that not many of them are prolific scorers can’t you? Yes, you can. This seemed like a safe bet. It really did. The two teams combined for more points than either scored in the whole game. That’s what happens when you’re desperate.

The Pick: San Francisco Giants over Oakland Athletics (June 24th)

Why It Failed: I’m never picking the Giants again. In the month of June alone, the Giants have been responsible for ending streaks of 6, 1, and 4 wins. And there was that whole Tim Lincecum disaster last month. Never again, boys. Never again. Let’s hope July (my birthday month) is sweeter to me. Until then…

Bit of the Week: June 26th, 2012

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” -Albert Einstein

Lewis Black is rude, crude, and hilarious. He speaks with a stutter (used, however unintentionally, to great comedic effect) and rants angrily about everything from politics to religion to candy corn. But you already know this, because Black has become one of the most successful and recognizable comedians of the last decade. He has appeared consistently on The Daily Show, hosted a documentary on the History Channel, written two books, and even made a special appearance on the enormously popular pile of shit that is The Big Bang Theory. He also appears to be just hitting his stride. Despite getting a late start in standup (he worked in theater and began warming the crowd up for plays), he has released three new hours of material since 2010.

Lewis Black has also seen the end of the universe. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will tell you I’ve been there. It is every bit as awe-inspiring and baffling as it sounds. In this clip, Mr. Black discusses his discovery.

Quick Hits: June 25th, 2012

Sports:

  • The King has finally been crowned. Lebron James and the Heat are the NBA Champions, leaving me all out of jokes. Seriously, now that Lebron has won it all I can’t make fun of him anymore. Delonte West totally banged his mom, though. Sorry, that one slipped out. 
  • The BCS system of the past is no more, as consensus has been reached on the need for a college football playoff. Now, instead of arguing about two teams with your family at Thanksgiving, you can argue about four teams!
  • Wayne Rooney’s Hair Transplant failed to stop Italy’s penalty kicks in Sunday’s Euro 2012 semifinal. As a result, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Germany are your Euro quarterfinalists. Or, as I like to call them, the Axis Powers Guest Starring Cristiano Ronaldo.

No comedy or music tidbits this week. Sorry. I just got back from vacation and it took everything in me to write the eight sentences above. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Song of the Week: June 21st, 2012

Because I’m in Austin and feeling nostalgic. And because the following is the top comment, courtesy of Youtube user peanutstheelephant: “When I’m depressed I always listen to Conor. It’s weird because his music makes me feel worse but also better at the same time. Maybe the sound of loneliness just makes me happier.” Deep thoughts, peanuts.

Quick Hits: June 18th, 2012

Sports:

  • The Heat are off to a good start in the NBA Finals, taking a 2-1 series lead in to Game 4 in Miami, where they will have a commanding home court advant… oh wait, nevermind. In other Finals news, Scott Brooks continues to stake his claim for the Worst Postseason Coach Award, Lebron James still has a chance to piss away a title and be mocked for the next year (please, Lebron, please… Skip Bayless could really use the job security), and Russell Westbrook continues to mock me with his amazing shirts, which I cannot find ANYWHERE. Help me out here Russell. Do I need to special order these things? Get at me.
  • NFL star LT has announced his retirement. LT will leave an incomparable legacy of cocaine and alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct with underage girls, financial woes, and fleeing from crime scenes. Wait… wrong LT? Wrong LT. Apologies to Mr. Tomlinson.
  • The European Soccer Championship is underway, and Greece, Portugal, Germany, and the Czech Republic are the first teams to claw out of the group stages and in to the semifinals. Portugal advanced after a 2-1 defeat of the Netherlands in which star player Cristiano Ronaldo mostly just flopped around but looked really pretty doing it.

Comedy:

  • In the least shocking news of the year, Tommy Chong has taken his treatment for prostate cancer in to his own hands, and will reportedly treat the disease with hemp oil. I’d really rather not think about how that hemp oil is being applied to treat prostate cancer, but I already have, and now I’m passing it on to you.

Music:

  • Drake and Chris Brown got in to quite the bar fight. Brown’s reputation as a peaceful, upstanding role model for young men will no doubt take a hit, but if this has any chance of making Drake a better rapper, I’m all for it.
  • R. Kelly reportedly owes millions in back taxes. If I were Robert’s financial advisor, I would encourage him to take extraordinary measures to make a lot of money very quickly, and you know what that means: time for another sex tape!