Rickys Random Articles

Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

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1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

The clock just hit midnight over in Asia, where they are in the future and billions of Chinese people celebrated a new year. 2014 is the year of the Horse. Here are some virtues of people born in this cycle – 1978 and 1990 mainly. I don’t think I know anyone born in 2002, that’s probably illegal.

Strengths
People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much

Weaknesses
They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. (ouch)

As I look back at the year that was, I reflect on my own Chinese-ness. I mean, I am from Hong Kong, so I’m not from the mainland. Still I identify as Chinese. How Chinese was I last year? Was I very Chinesey, or just partially?

- Trips to Asia: 0 (fail, although I spent a month in Asia in 2012)
- Days where I played Ping Pong: 2
- Chinese recipe books purchased: 3
- Wok’s purchased: 0 (but still looking)

So overall, pretty good.

Without further delay, here are some images in tribute to Chinese New Year:

Dumplings!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Yao!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Pandas!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Drummer from Bloc Party!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Pianist from Metallica!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Cheap shoes!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

The Chinese Dolphin!
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Finally, the best.

Peking Duck.
1x1.trans Happy Chinese New Year! A tribute in images

Happy New Year!

Music Web Site breaks news of music blog Chromewaves shutting down

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1x1.trans Music Web Site breaks news of music blog Chromewaves shutting down

The many readers of Canadian music site Exclaim were delivered a crushing blow on Thursday afternoon, as the site broke news on the immediate shut down of prominent Canadian music blog “Chromewaves

In the article, the Exclaim writer revealed that “Another one of Canada’s most prominent and long-running music blogs is calling it quits.” The writer wrote that “He(Yang) said that his decision to step away from music blogging was a result of “general tiredness, industry fatigue, declining metrics, a lack of interest from within and without.” “. Digging down for further information, he also noted “(Yang) later added, “I am certain that I will miss many, many things about being an active and constant voice in the conversation about new music, but shouting at and over the ever-deafening din of the music hype echo chamber to fewer and fewer ears won’t be one of them. The machine can’t stop, won’t stop, and I need to get off.”"

The article ended off rather hastily in what can only be a symbolic gesture to Frank’s site, with the shared posting of Ride’s Chrome Waves.

You can read the full article here

or just read the original non cliff notes version here: http://www.chromewaves.net/2013/12/the-heat-death-of-a-music-blog/

It should be noted that Frank is a good friend and I am happy for the opportunities that will now arise for him now that he doesn’t have to spend hours a day on his website. Chromewaves will be missed.

A quick guide to the NBA season for music fans

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1x1.trans A quick guide to the NBA season for music fans

The NBA season starts tonight. For the casual observer, it’s not big news. Here is a little secret though: the NBA is currently blessed with an insane amount of talent. The NBA finals between the Spurs and Heat was easily the best final in all of professional sports in recent memory. It’s a good time to get aboard. For Canadians, it’s even better, as we not only have 2013′s 1st overall pick (Anthony Bennett), we will also have 2014′s 1st overall pick (Andrew Wiggins).

Now as a music blog, the demographic for NBA fan and indie music probably doesn’t cross over too much. Perhaps it should. If you are an indie music fan and want to start to get your basketball, here is a good guide to some teams.

Miami Heat = Arcade Fire

The Miami Heat are the current champions of the world. In fact, they have won twice in a row. Odds are they are probably going to win a third in a row. They are exceptionally good, super famous and have celebrity friends. Still, there are detractors. One of the Heat’s best players, Dwyane Wade (that’s how he spells it) is getting older and his hard nose style of play has resulted in injuries and he might be slowing down, although his ego may not allow it. For all their stardom, they were within 5 seconds of losing to a team with the average age of 43. Are they still the best? Only time will tell.

Similarly, the Arcade Fire are the reigning champions of the world. The Suburbs won every award available and was genuinely beloved. They are also exceptionally good, super famous and as their recent post SNL film suggested, they have celebrity friends. Still, their new record – Reflektor has it’s share of detractors. Regardless of how people treat the album, it is bound to be at the top of every music conversation for the time being, just like the Heat.

Minnesota Timberwolves = CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES is this year’s new and upcoming act that are cute as a button, thanks to lead singer Lauren Mayberry. They are fun to listen to and not something you take very seriously. Minnesota Timberwolves are also young and up and coming thanks to their happy go lucky point guard, Ricky Rubio who loves to throw behind the back or thru the leg passes.

1x1.trans A quick guide to the NBA season for music fans

Also, they aren’t a team you take very seriously, despite housing two franchise level talents in Rubio and Kevin Love (whose uncle is Mike Love).

Golden State Warriors = HAIM

It’s only appropriate that the hottest band going today, HAIM is from the Golden State. The three sisters are on a virtually unstoppable path to super stardom and fame, gaining fans along the way like that ball in the classic PS2 game Katamari Damacy. Their recent debut album, Days are Gone evokes days of yesteryear and has been critically acclaimed. The Golden State Warriors are arguably the hottest thing today after their sizzling playoff performance led by the sharp shooting Stephen Curry. Through in other sexy young talents like Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes and you can see why everyone is jumping on their band wagon. Like Haim, they also have throw back elements, which are mostly shown on their jerseys. However, this year they adopted to go with these weird t-shirt jerseys.

1x1.trans A quick guide to the NBA season for music fans

San Antonio Spurs = Travis

Not new,nor exciting to a rabid young demography, both Travis and the San Antonio Spurs are good and have been around for awhile. Manu Ginobli might have been singing “Why Does it Always Rain on Me?” after his game six and seven performance in last years NBA finals. Still, much like Travis’s most recent album Where You Stand, you have to applaud their consistently good output.

New York Knicks = MGMT

Much like how music fans are not quite sure what is going on with MGMT since the initial excitement about them, New York Knick fans are completely mystified at what will be going this season. Is Carmelo leaving? How long before the fans turn on Andrea Bargnani? How many more tattoo’s will JR Smith get? Will A’mare play 5 or 15 minutes? A complete mystery to everyone involved.

Houston Rockets = Miley Cyris

This one is more so about the Rocket’s newest and biggest acquisition- Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard was once a darling, smiling all the time while swatting away shots and bricking free throws all in the comforts of Orlando. It was all fun and games, much like Miley when she was just Hannah Montana. It all seemed so… innocent. As both these talents grew up, things changed. Dwight didn’t seem so happy anymore and wanted the bright lights and more control over his career. It resulted in a disastrous move to LA and now a chance to redeem himself in Houston. Along the way, many fans were lost. Miley grew up, dropped the Hannah Montana moniker and wanted more control over her career as well. While her move has been the opposite of disastrous (from a monetary point of view), she has probably lost a lot of fans along the way. Despite their rough journeys, each of them appear to have a bright future ahead of them.

Toronto Raptors = Drake?

They are both from Toronto.. Drake is the global ambassador of the Raptors. One is mega successful while the other is a perpetual failure so I don’t know how many more items I can find in common. Drake “started from the bottom”. The Raptors did too, only they have stayed there. It is probably more accurate to compare the Raptors to Little Jimmy, because they seem to be at a disadvantage wherever they are.

Milwaukee Bucks = Foster the People

Good for a very short period of time. The Bucks had their “Fear the Deer” slogan, Foster the People had “Pumped Up Kicks”.

I could go on and on (I can’t) but basically, the NBA season is here, I am excited and I think you should be too.

Airplane Movie Reviews: Iron Man 3 and Oblivion

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1x1.trans Airplane Movie Reviews: Iron Man 3 and Oblivion

I don’t watch movies a lot anymore, but when I am on an airplane, I most certainly do. Having flown to Edmonton the past weekend, I was allowed to watch two movies. With it, I chose two of the bigger movies to come out this year.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 comes on the heels of the disappointing Iron Man 2. How bad was Iron Man 2? I didn’t even watch it. This new film reunites him with Shane Black, who casted him and Val Kilmer in the underrated movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I actually saw that movie at TIFF. You gotta remember, when Robert Downey JR was cast by Shane Black in that movie, he wasn’t a superstar like he is today. Instead, he was probably best known as a talented drug addict actor who couldn’t get his shit together and had to do Ally McBeal. I guess this was probably a returned favor. Shane Black loves action movies so this seemed like a perfect marriage. However, he also wrote Lethal Weapon 4, and I still can’t believe an angry Jet Li would lose to Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in a fight. Seriously.

Iron Man 3 was actually pretty good, Guy Pearce makes for a great villain and there are some nice twists in the movie. I really don’t understand why he just didn’t pick up the phone and call Captain America or something. The bad guys are threatening the USA! WTF is Captain America doing if he’s not helping out someone who is openly threatening the President? Gwyneth Paltrow has a meatier role this time around, but I am still waiting for a director with some guts to end an Iron Man movie where her head is in a box. The sub plot with the kid seems like typical movie plot device, but I guess makes little children happy so that’s okay. I thought the action scenes at the end were a bit too frenetic, but given that most of today’s movie fans suffer from ADD, I guess that’s reasonable.

Verdict: Pretty good, well worth a watch. I wouldn’t really pay more then 10 bucks for it.

Oblivion

I wonder if Tom Cruise regrets that whole Katie Holmes thing. No one has lost more because of Joey. Before the whole couch jumping thing, his movies open at 50 mill, now, I don’t even know if they make that much.

Oblivion was a sleek looking sci-fi film that was pretty good despite it’s own stupidity. Visually, it looks quite beautiful and all the scenes inside that little space apartment they had looked like it could of been a noxema commercial. Morgan Freeman basically plays Morpheus and probably spent like two days on set mailing it in before going to mail in his actual cheque for the play. The ladies in the movie all want a piece of Tom Cruise despite the fact that he is about two inches shorter and twenty years older then them. The one thing I liked about this movie is that it keeps you guessing and it aims for something much larger then itself. It doesn’t really achieve it, but the ride along the way is fairly interesting. The music is done by the M83 dude and it is quite good. Did I mention the movie was pretty? Well, it is. Probably a bit too long, but I was on a plane so I didn’t really care.

Verdict: Watch it if it’s free, or you have a large tv at home.