Archive for August, 2011


The Twittersphere is going ablaze with trends today but for Arsenal fans, Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta is the main highlight.

Today is transfer deadline day and BBC sport states Arsenal have submitted a 10-15 million pounds for the Spanish veteran. With the departure of Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Wenger is looking to field the gap with a player of similar style and vision. Arteta, 30  is no stranger to the EPL  who has been playing for Everton since 2005. Other reports have also linked Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun with the Gunner but Arsenal fans are skeptic because the Israeli international has been plagued with injuries and has struggled to get into the Chelsea first team. Who else would you like for Arsenal to bring in before the deadline comes to a close?

Mikel Arteta, Everton (2005-2011)

Appearances: 208

Goals: 35

Assists: 41

Manchester United- 8, Arsenal- 2. After such a humiliating and hopefully an eye-opening loss last Saturday, Arsene Wenger did what he does best- swinging in last-minute signings before market-transfer deadline.

It has been confirmed Arsenal have acquired striker Park Chu Young from AS Monaco this Tuesday. In addition, BBC Sport reports Brazilian left-back Andre Santos and Werder Bremen Per Mertesacker are close to completing moves to the Emirates.

A bit of relief after Arsenal’s colossal defeat at the hands of a very deadly Manchester United. For every loss there is a an excuse. In fact this scoreline did not come as a surprise because Arsenal’s excuses were very apparent. Before this game, Arsenal were cruelly exposed. Injuries sidelined consistent players Sagna, Vermaelen, Song, Wilshere and Gibbs. Red cards to Frimpong and Gervinho took away steel and quality from our game respectively. The loss of game-changing players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri didn’t help either.

What followed during the game was nothing but pure disaster. A helpless Arsene Wenger watched dumbfounded from the decks. Arsenal fans sat in the stands hopeless in a frustrating and ego-crushing game as they watched Rooney, Young and company belittle a struggling team of inexperience and low-morale.

What is more frustrating other than this game was the fact that Wenger could have avoided major squad depletion if  he had brought in much needed experienced and positional players earlier in the summer. After losing Gael Clichy, Fabregas and Nasri, we were going to need a left-back to cover for Gibbs and a center back to compete with the inconsistent Djourou (widely deemed so after his poor display at Old Trafford)

The media reports Arsenal are closing in on the players they need now but why did it take for a 8-goal throbbing to happen before Wenger and the board realized they had to be active in the market? Other than that, there’s nothing to do but move on. It’s only the third game of the season so all is not lost.

Objectively, new signings such as C.Y. Park will add depth and versatility experience alongside Robin Van Persie. He is a regular competitor with experience coming from Ligue 1 who has bagged 25 goals and 8 assists in 91 appearances. In addition, he has bursts of creative flair and pace thus fans will see what he brings to the squad.

To that, fans can finally be happy with Wenger bringing in players to the team. If reports are true we will also see Santos and Mertersacker in Arsenal shirts Wednesday.

You will know what the big deal is once you’ve had your first Pronto-pup, or over-sized bucket of home-made french fries. Out in the mid-west, Minnesota is a place that takes its State Fair foods to heart- and arteries.

The food at the Minnesota State Fair is as crazy as it sounds- chocolate-covered jalapenos, pizza kabobs and cheese curds, the lines between normal and absurdity are blurred. Even the vendors themselves know it as one sign in front of the Bacon kiosk reads, “Deep-fried and chocolate covered bacon. It’s bad for you but tastes fantastic, any questions?”

Just for the fun of it, you have to indulge yourself in such ridiculousness. Other than the rib-sticking foods, there are other noteworthy attractions, There’s Minnesota’s largest pig that’s almost bigger than a tractor and weighs 1160 pounds and The Grand Stand- an enormous dome with vendors and features performances from big artists such as Weezer, Train and Maroon 5. Fair warning, the State Fair can get overwhelming with an ocean of people crowding on Underwood St- so be prepared to do a lot of walking.

With 1.7 million visitors annually, The State Fair is one of the most anticipated events to hit home and is also a symbol of tradition that is The Great Minnesota Get-together.

In the midst of the London riots, the media has continued to surface over the issue for some time now. Social commentators and news anchors have interjected their opionions and assertions about the rise of crime.

Until now, none of these comments have been racially misguided and prejudiced as historian David Starkey’s claim that the “whites have become blacks” and have been subdued to the criminal culture of Jamaicans and so forth.

What’s worse is that I can’t believe such bigotry was allowed on a prominent news source such as BBC. Starkey an “educated” man may have advocated that Blacks are the main cause and reason for the riots but here’s what London comedian Nabil Abdul Rashid had to say.

If there was such a thing as emo R&B then Toronto-based singer Abel Tesfaye would be its pioneer. The artist appropriately goes by the stage name The Weeknd which captures all of the harrowing and crazy nights in his music. Continuing with his tragic trilogy, The Weeknd dropped Thursday this August following the successful embrace of House of Balloons in March 2011.

His first endeavor left a great impression on critics and was described as “a true album, a true labor of love” despite being a mixtape. Thursday follows the same suit of House of Balloons but with more of the atmosphere that’s full of drugs, lust and pain swooning softly with disembodied and echoing vocals.

Despite the raunchy and shallow content, Thursday is shockingly captivating. Songs including “The Zone” are cold and unapologetic for crimes such as infidelity. The lyrics “I’ll give you what you called for/Just let me get in my zone/I’ll be making love to her through you/So let me keep my eyes closed” moan effortlessly over the track. The melancholic “Rolling Stone” flows with constant acoustics that strum along to soft and easing vocals.  Most of the tracks are hard to distinguish from each other at first because of same-sounding elements but are not necessarily repetitive. Through the pleasure and regret, the whole experience of Thursday is like a hypnotic trance that traps you in a wonderful nightmare.

With 180,000+ downloads just the first day, The Weeknd will continue to bring more of those brilliant and fucked up moments. I’m looking forward to how it all ends with Echoes of Silence later in the fall. Visit The Weeknd official website to download The Trilogy here.

Microsoft’s Xbox Live network reached 35 million subscribers worldwide according to a report from Game Informer. Microsoft Xbox Live marketing manager Robin Burrowes stated, “Our audience growth is up to 35 million people globally across those 35 countries on Xbox Live itself.”

Subscriptions are up five million from numbers released last year and Burrowes also announced that revenues came from features which fans enjoys such as purchases of games, DLC, and other digital items rather than subscriptions.

But what I really wanted to know was how Microsoft’s numbers stacked against Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN). Unfortunately, The article left that piece of information out. But As of April 19, 2011, PSN has 77 million registered online accounts according to the Playstation Network and Qriocity, which is a lot more than Xbox Live’s new claim.

This obviously makes a lot of sense because PSN is free compared to Microsoft’s paid subscription of online entertainment,  but Xbox Live users claim they get what they are paying for and are yet to suffer from a network outage.

A friend of mine put up a status on Facebook asking about good party songs to play. Suddenly, I got the urge to make the ultimate party playlist. Here, I put together a collection of songs that can get any crowd to bop their heads, get goosebumps and more importantly get hype rock. Whether they are hot joints or old classic hits, these are songs you must play at a party if you want to get any action going.

I know there are better sources that pinpoint one’s musical taste such as Pandora but there’s nothing like creating your own playlist from your personal and social experiences.

I called this playlist “The Future is Now”- a bunch of hard-hitting jams influenced by electronica, synthesized sounds and hyper-paced bass. But after all the hype, you want things to get mellow at the end. The playlist features various genres such as rap & hip-hop, alternative, rock and electronica  & dance. Unfortunately, I’m really lacking in some solid dancehall/reggae but I haven’t been keeping up with that genre. Other than that, are there any songs on here that you would play? Or is this collection a complete swing and miss? Let me know if there are other songs that would make a great party playlist.

 

Xbox Live finally dropped the demo for Driver: San Franciso on Marketplace, so I decided to go for a test drive. In DSF, Detective Tanner returns once again to take down his longtime arch-nemesis Jericho, who has escaped  from a high-security prison. It’s as simple as that but I’m sure there’s a lot more to the story once we get the full game.

More importantly, it’s good to see the franchise make it on the next-gen platform after mediocre releases such as Parallel Lines and Driver 3. At first glance, DSF takes us back  to 70’s car-chase scenes that are full of adrenaline, excitement and carnage. Very much like the acclaimed titles on the original PlayStation.

I’m also really impressed with new additions from Developer Ubisoft such as over 120 fully licensed cars- including the Porsche 911 and Mustang Shelby for DSF. This is simply one of the best features to ever happen to the franchise. Quite frankly, tearing downhill on the streets of a beautifully rendered San Francisco in an Audi Le Mans is just  awesome.

Another cool yet odd feature to Driver is Shift and this where Driver for all its realism in car chases starts to get hairy. During the first mission, Tanner begins to explain to his partner after his near-death experience in a car-crash that he has the ghost-like ability to take control of anybody driving other vehicles. Like Jones, we find this crazy talk just as unfathomable. Suddenly we’re taking a reticule on screen that can hover over all of San Francisco then zoom and shift us into a different car.

Now Shift is a really cool dynamic that adds something fresh such as trying to finish a race in both 1st and 2nd place as you transport hundreds of meters between vehicles. However, I can’t get over the fact that Shift pushes out the all the realism that other original Driver titles once had. Developers trying to explain Tanner’s new-found powers will leave hardcore fans of the series a bit confused. Like why can’t we just jack other vehicles like normal people in GTA instead of becoming a ghost that can control cars?

Other than that, the gameplay is promising with realistic physics and smooth graphics and texture you expect to see on the next-gen platform, but it also has its shortcomings- The demo is riddled with environmental glitches as your car tends to smash through walls and get stuck in buildings. In addition,  the cars are somewhat built like tanks and handle roughly but after a few runs, you get used to the cars and better at driving.  Since this is the demo, we can cut Ubisoft some slack and hope to see a more presentable retail version when DSF hits stores Sept. 6.

Ghana’s most notorious hip-lifers are at it again- M3nsa and Wanlov the Kubolor are the FOKN BOIS  and they are the same geniuses who brought you Broken Language but now the mischievous duo are now taking jabs at our Nigerian and lesser counterparts with this just-for-laughs joint “Thank God We are not a Nigerians.” Oh and if you’ve never heard of Nigeria. They are like the Canada of Africa. Just obscure and whack. I’m joking sha! I love my Nigerian peoples.