Dixie Picks: Best Albums of 2013

first_imgInstead of joining the barrage of critics’ best albums of 2013 lists, this year we went straight to the source. Check out five favorite 2013 albums as recommended by some of the region’s best musicians.Josh Daniels, The New FamiliarsTedeschi Trucks BandMade Up Mind Guitar hero Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers Band) and his wife, blues songstress Susan Tedeschi, continue their soul journey with this third studio album. Backed by a sprawling eight-piece band that includes a full horn section, the couple revives old school R&B through the scope of experimental rock.“I just love what they are doing by incorporating their own personalities,” says Daniels. “[They’re bringing back] a kind of Stax 1970s soul vibe. The band’s live show is incredible with horns and multiple singers. It’s wonderful.”James Wilson, Sons of BillJason Isbell SoutheasternThe former member of the Drive-By Truckers delivered a stunning redemption record after quitting the bottle and getting married to fellow songwriter Amanda Shires.“When I hear most self-proclaimed ‘Southern’ artists these days, I can’t help but feel like part of our inheritance is being prostituted,” says Wilson. “But Jason has always exemplified the region honestly. It’s pride and humility, virtues and failures—an emphasis on the story and simple language rather than ideas. But some of his songs also have that vicious other-worldliness of a true artist. Like Faulkner, there’s a part of him that wants to be the only one. He’s one of the best writers of my generation and I’m glad he’s finally getting recognized as such with Southeastern.”Patterson Hood, Drive-By TruckersT. Hardy Morris Audition TapesThe front man for Dead Confederate toned down his band’s usual psych rock on this country grunge solo effort. Morris sings with a haunting weariness, reminiscent of the late Vic Chesnutt, delivering dark themes with universal resonance, often accented by the perfect dash of pedal steel. “I can’t get his songs out of my head and I also love the playing and production,” says Hood. “Hardy is the real deal.”Travis Book, Infamous StringdustersLeagues You Belong HereThis Nashville power pop trio delivers a hard-driving rock sound with infectious melodies and big hooks. On this album, standout tracks like “Spotlight” become instant sing-alongs after first listen.“I’ve been a big fan of Thad Cockrell since my wife (singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind) and I landed a brilliant holiday record of his a few years ago,” says Book. “I hadn’t heard Thad in a few years before Sarah played me the Leagues debut album, but his voice immediately brought me the same sense of joy I had when I first discovered his music several years before. I’m a sucker for badass pop/rock music, and this record is as good as it gets.”Dan Lotti, DangermuffinThe Wood BrothersThe Muse Brothers Oliver and Chris Wood (Medeski, Martin, and Wood) continue to crank out gritty front-porch folk rock. Oliver Wood’s antique storyteller vocals and gritty guitar work meshes with Chris’ virtuosic bass runs to create a combination that includes high-energy acoustic funk and heartfelt blues balladry. The title track is a particularly poignant ode to family inspiration.“This album is fantastic,” says Lotti. “Oliver Wood is my hero. [He proves] that awesome songwriting is what it’s all about.”Compiled by Dave Stallard and Jedd Ferris.last_img read more

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a month agoRoma striker Dzeko wants Arsenal loanee Mkhitaryan to stay

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Roma striker Dzeko wants Arsenal loanee Mkhitaryan to stayby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRoma striker Eden Dzeko wants Arsenal loanee Henrikh Mkhitaryan to sign permanently.The striker was an admirer of the Armenian’s talents before he joined the Serie A side and has been impressed so far. He told Sky Sports: “I expect it from him. I know him as a great player, and he is a very good addition to our attacking team who wants to play football.”He’s a great pro. I remember him also from Borussia Dortmund times and he will be a big player for us. Hopefully, he can stay a long time here.”Hopefully he will [stay]. He will see that we are playing football here and immediately he scored a goal, so hopefully he can have more goals and a lot of assists for us.” last_img read more

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Vine: Seton Hall’s Sterling Gibbs Got Ejected For Punching A ‘Nova Player In The Face

first_imgSterling Gibbs punched Villanova player in the face.Update: Gibbs was contrite after the game and posted an apology on his Twitter:Man that’s not who I am. I’m sorry to my family, friends, fans, and team for being an embarrassment. Even more sorry to @RyArch15 .. I let— Sterling Gibbs (@SterlingGibbs4) February 17, 2015My emotions get the best of me and that wasn’t acceptable at all. I hope you’re alright and I will face any consequences coming.— Sterling Gibbs (@SterlingGibbs4) February 17, 2015Sorry again @RyArch15 it really is weighing heavy on my heart.— Sterling Gibbs (@SterlingGibbs4) February 17, 2015Arcidiancono accepted his apology as well.Emotions sometimes get the best of us. heat of the moment thing. We’re all good. @SterlingGibbs4— Ryan Arcidiacono (@RyArch15) February 17, 2015Earlier: Seton Hall got off to a 12-2 start this year but the season has spiraled into a major mess. The Pirates have lost eight of their last 11 and are about to make it nine of 12 as they’re getting blown out tonight on the road at Villanova.Seton Hall guard Sterling Gibbs was so frustrated, he decided he wasn’t going to stick around for the entire game. Instead, Gibbs got himself ejected for punching Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono in the face. Ouch. That’s blatantly flagrant and sort of surprising considering Gibbs’ reputation as a solid citizen. All in all, not a good day for the Pirates.last_img read more

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Photo: Trevor Cooney Is Wearing A Rakeem Christmas Shirt While Warming Up For Tonight’s Game vs. Virginia

first_imgTrevor Cooney wears a Rakeem Christmas shirt.Twitter/@MattPark1Tonight’s game at the Carrier Dome between Syracuse and Virginia is going to be all about senior center Rakeem Christmas. With the Orange ineligible for the post-season, Christmas’ final home game is a major event in Central New York, and we bet there will be plenty of tributes to Syracuse’s lone senior. We’ve already shared this spectacular snowman on the Syracuse campus, now Christmas’ teammate and longtime friend Trevor Cooney is paying homage to the center in the Dome during [email protected] out early modeling shooting shirt tribute to @R_Xmas25 on Senior Night. And new shorts to go with… pic.twitter.com/ZiFlIKvL9D— Matt Park (@MattPark1) March 2, 2015Based on Matt Park’s tweet, the rest of the team may also be wearing these for warm-ups. This is a very cool tribute to a player who has meant everything to his team during what has been a very trying season for the Orange.last_img read more

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Azam Khans remark on BJPs Rama Devi sparks uproar in Lok Sabha

first_imgNew Delhi: The Lok Sabha Thursday witnessed a huge uproar after Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan made certain objectionable remarks against BJP’s Rama Devi while participating in the debate on the triple talaq bill. His remarks invited rebuke from BJP lawmakers who asked the Rampur MP to apologise.Rama Devi, who was officiating the House, said, “This is not the way to speak, please expunge these remarks.” To this, Khan said, “You are very respected, you are like my sister.” Click here to follow LIVE updates on Lok Sabha proceedings Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Expressing his displeasure over Khan’s remarks, Speaker Om Birla asked the SP leader to apologise. SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also pressed for an apology from Khan but said his party’s leader did not say it with a “wrong intent”. “If the Speaker finds it incorrect, he can remove it,” Yadav said. Speaker Birla reminded the lawmakers to say things keeping in mind the dignity of Parliament. “It is very easy for all of you to demand ‘expunge this expunge that’, but why should the need to expunge arise at all? Once a remark is given, it is already in the public domain. Therefore, we all should speak keeping the dignity of the Parliament in mind,” the Speaker said. “I will resign if I have said anything unparliamentary,” Khan said even as clamor continued in the lower house over his remark. Khan subsequently walked out of the Lok Sabha.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

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Canadian director Stella Meghie on her growing buzz and new teen romance

first_imgIn fact, race isn’t mentioned at all in the glossy big-screen drama, which hits theatres on Friday, May 19th. “I usually wake up thinking about coffee and what my little girl wants. Usually she wants blueberry pancakes for breakfast, so that’s what’s on my mind. And I think life is like that,” she continued. Advertisement Nick Robinson co-stars as her love interest, Anika Noni Rose plays her mom, and Ana de la Reguera plays her nurse. J. Mills Goodloe wrote the screenplay for the film, which was shot mostly in Vancouver and also in Mexico. “So I just jumped into the chance, went back to school and it paid off.” Yoon said she started writing the book when her daughter was four months old and she was a nervous mom. Amandla Stenberg (known for playing Rue in “The Hunger Games”) stars as Maddy, an 18-year-old bookworm with a rare immunodeficiency illness that prevents her from leaving her hermetically sealed house. Rising Canadian filmmaker Stella Meghie wanted to stick closely to the source material with her new teen romance “Everything, Everything.” “It’s not really talked about in the book much, not at all, and so I didn’t talk about it in the movie. It’s just about the themes and the characters.” “So it started from my own insecurities about being a mom and wanting to protect her and wondering what life would be like if I had to protect her for her whole life.” In Nicola Yoon’s bestselling young-adult novel, on which the film is based, the diversity of the characters and their interracial relationships aren’t a focal point. Twitter Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The film is Meghie’s followup to her debut indie feature “Jean of the Joneses” and could be a big breakthrough for the Toronto-raised filmmaker, who has several projects in development and has been touted as “one to watch.” Advertisement “I was one of those moms that was like, ‘Oh, we’ve got to make sure everything is clean, every surface, no eating dirt. Wash your hands before you touch the baby,’” she said, noting she’s no longer that way. “Maddy, the main character, looks the way she does because my (daughter) looks the way she does,” said Yoon, who was born in Jamaica and lives in Los Angeles.“My husband is Korean-American. I always say that I don’t wake up thinking that we’re an interracial couple or I don’t wake up thinking about the struggle or anything like that. Login/Register With: “It’s really nice that people are interested more now and I get more phone calls,” Meghie said with a laugh. “It’s nice to have had ‘Jean’ and then on the back of that, gotten this so quickly.” “Nicola’s book is beautiful and diverse and as a result, the movie is as well,” said Meghie, the film’s director. “I’ve really always been a writer at heart and probably still consider myself more of a writer than a director, and I just wasn’t being fulfilled,” Meghie said of her career change. It’s a major turn from her previous career in fashion public relations. “Everyone’s just alive and living their lives and certainly can’t go around thinking about all the adversity and all the obstacles that are in your way, because then you will not live a joyful life. And these are joyous kids and they’re just in love.”last_img read more

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The As Changed Baseball Once They May Be Changing It Again

Rangers149714801492+12-5 Nationals154615221524+2-22 Braves147415101519+9+45 The A’s meteoric riseMajor league teams by change in Elo from the preseason and the All-Star Game, as of Aug. 22 Mets149114641484+20-7 Rockies150315101519+9+16 Cubs155815681543-25-15 Athletics149015281551+23+61 Pirates148314831493+10+10 At midseason, the American League seemed decided. The number of tanking teams — some intentional efforts, some unintentional — combined with the AL’s super teams1The top four teams by run differential reside in the AL: the Red Sox, Astros, Yankees and Indians. were conspiring to strip the league of postseason races. The league’s playoff teams seemed all but set by the All-Star Game.But then the Oakland A’s came charging out of the baseball wilderness to give us some late-summer drama.After three consecutive last-place finishes, the Athletics began the year with a 16 percent probability of reaching the postseason and a 6 percent chance of winning the AL West. And just two months ago, they were as many as 11.5 games behind the reigning World Series champion Astros. But after winning 42 of their last 58 games entering Friday, the A’s have cut that deficit to 1.5 games, and they now have an 89 percent chance of advancing to the postseason and a 22 percent chance of winning the AL West.The surge is no fluke. Oakland has the game’s eighth-best run differential, at +94 runs, and has seen the greatest improvement in FiveThirtyEight’s team rating since the start of the season.2As of Aug. 22. Phillies149015071496-11+6 EloChange from … The Moneyball A’s didn’t prize defense, fly balls or ace relievers, but this club does. While the formula is different than in the early 2000s, what remains the same is that the A’s are finding value where other clubs are not.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Royals145914081407-1-52 Cardinals152215081540+32+18 Yankees156515891571-18+6 Astros157715991585-14+8 Diversifying their pitchesWhile the A’s have a dominant star in the bullpen, the story is different in the rotation. In the early 2000s, the A’s had a trio of front-line starters in Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. This year’s A’s team has a rotation populated predominantly by reclamation projects like Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Mike Fiers and Edwin Jackson. Without a legit ace — or even a household name — the A’s rank second to the Red Sox in pitching WPA.Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter, Cahill has become one of the biggest bargains in baseball in part by reducing the use of his fastball and generating more swing and miss with his slider, more than doubling its usage. Cahill has a 3.44 ERA, and his 2.1 WAR according to FanGraphs is the second-best mark of his career.Cahill had once been heavily dependent upon his sinker, but he told FiveThirtyEight that the A’s have given him “weighted pitch” data, which he’s used to diversity his overall pitch mix. For the first time since 2012, he has four above-average pitches, according to FanGraphs linear weights.“If you can throw four different pitches, and they are doing different things in the zone, it’s tough [for batters] to guess,” Cahill said.The A’s also have pitch-tracking Rapsodo technology for use in between appearances, which Cahill uses to monitor his release point and the underlying characteristics of his pitches — like spin rate — between starts.“I go look at my curveball and see if the spin rate is higher,” Cahill said. “I look at where I am releasing it.” Padres145514461444-2-11 Reds146514841474-10+9 Diamondbacks152315231536+13+13 Marlins144314491439-10-4 Treinen also has a slider and cutter that baffle opponents. Tigers144914481441-7-8 Dodgers156815601553-7-15 Brewers151015191515-4+5 White Sox145714371441+4-16 Indians157615551566+11-10 Giants149415021490-12-4 So how did the A’s get here? This isn’t another “Moneyball” story. The once-undervalued metric of on-base percentage is no longer baseball’s best-kept secret — and it’s not even an Oakland staple. The A’s have instead pursued different paths to become one of the better teams in the major leagues despite opening the season with the game’s lowest payroll.Keeping it in the airBecause fly balls and line drives are so much more valuable than ground balls, more and more individual players are trying to launch balls into the air. But the A’s have acquired, and ostensibly tried to develop, the skill at a teamwide level since 2013. As MLB.com’s Mike Petriello found, the A’s have posted five of the eight lowest ground-ball seasons since 2004, including this season’s mark so far. Their average launch angle of 14.9 degrees leads baseball.3The MLB average is 11.7 degrees.While they have acquired fly-ball hitters like Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce and Khris Davis, they have also developed anti-grounder sluggers in Matt Olson (2012 first-round pick) and Matt Chapman (2014 first-rounder). Lowrie told FiveThirtyEight that he never sat down with an A’s official to talk about his batted-ball profile, but the Stanford University product does use the technology available in the home batting cage for tracking his exit velocity and launch angle to fine-tune his swing.“My guess is they probably identify guys like that to try and acquire [the skill],” Lowrie said of the A’s front office. “It’s part of their calculus.”What on-base percentage was to the Moneyball A’s, fly-ball percentage is to this group of upstarts. That’s made them the league’s fourth-most efficient offense despite a near league-average on-base mark of .322.The A’s are also adapting to their environment. Lowrie notes that Oakland Coliseum is one of the most difficult places in the game to drive the ball, and while the A’s have the lowest ground-ball rate on the road in the majors at 37.8 percent, that rate spikes to 40.9 percent at home, good for eighth-lowest. While Lowrie says teammates Davis, Olson and Chapman can hit the ball “out of Yellowstone,” other A’s alter their approach depending on the ballpark environment. The A’s lead baseball in offensive efficiency on the road with 119 weighted runs created plus (wRC+), a stat that adjusts for park and run environment, with 100 representing league-average performance. But Oakland is only about average at home, with 96 wRC+.Lowrie noted that the A’s set a record for most consecutive road games with a home run this season4They hit at least one homer in 27 straight road games. and that they’ve done much more damage on the road. The Athletics rank 18th in the majors in home runs at home with 67, but they lead the majors in road homers with 106. They are one of the best road teams in baseball at 37-26.“We are playing on a [home] field that is below sea level, with swirling winds that are generally blowing in from right field,” Lowrie said. “We’ve pitched much better at home,” with a 3.32 home ERA vs. 4.30 on the road. “We’ve found different ways to win at home and on the road.”Always be closingThe early 2000s A’s rarely overpaid or valued relievers, believing them to be highly fungible. This Oakland team has the most dominant reliever in the game in Blake Treinen and has further bolstered its strong bullpen with trade acquisitions of Jeurys Familia (2.02 fielding-independent pitching, 19 strikeouts in 15 innings with the A’s) from the Mets and former Twins closer Fernando Rodney.Acquired as a buy-low target with a 5.73 ERA last July in a trade that sent Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to Washington, Treinen is second in the majors in relief WAR and owns a 1.00 ERA.While WAR may not be the optimum way to measure a reliever’s value, win probability added (WPA) accounts for the change in win expectancy between every plate appearance. According to WPA, Treinen has been the most valuable pitcher in baseball this season — ranking ahead of aces Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola. His sinker leads the majors in whiffs per swing, and when put in play, it produces 4.6 ground balls for every fly ball. Per FanGraphs pitch values, it’s the fifth-best sinker in the majors. The pitch, with its combination of elite velocity and movement, can make opponents look foolish. Rays1495151915190+24 Blue Jays150714881480-8-27 Red Sox154915901602+12+53 Orioles147514221416-6-59 Angels151015141511-3+1 The well-traveled, and perhaps forgotten about, Jackson has given the A’s 60 quality innings this season — not bad for a guy playing on his 13th(!) MLB team. Jackson has done this by getting crafty: reducing the use of his fastball from 35.3 percent last season (47.9 percent for his career) to 16.2 percent this season.Among the changes Fiers has made since joining the A’s is creating more separation in height between his fastball and curveball, as Jeff Sullivan found for FanGraphs. He has a 1.47 ERA in three starts with Oakland.Saving more runsThe makeshift pitching staff is also aided by one of the best infield defenses in the game. That’s an effort led by Chapman.While Chapman is an excellent hitter, he’s the best third base defender in the game according to Defensive Runs Saved — and it’s not close. In fact, his 26 Defensive Runs Saved are the best in the game at any position. The next closest third baseman is Travis Shaw of Milwaukee with nine.Chapman leads an elite Oakland infield defense. According to DRS, the A’s also rank second in DRS at first base and eighth at shortstop in the majors. Moreover, Oakland trails only the Arizona in the difference between expected opponent batting average — based on opponent exit velocity — and actual opponent batting average. The A’s are getting to more ground balls and line drives relative to their infielder rivals. TeamPreseasonAll-Star GameCurrentAll-Star GamePreseason Mariners150815221507-15-1 Twins151014941493-1-17 read more

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Football Defense wins championships Ohio States was championshipcaliber against Penn State

Ohio State sophomore cornerback Kendall Sheffield (8) takes down Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in the third quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Urban Meyer couldn’t believe what he was looking at on the podium during his postgame press conference.It was the stat sheet from No. 6 Ohio State’s dramatic, come-from-behind 39-38 victory against No. 2 Penn State in front of 109,302 people at Ohio Stadium Saturday. The paper said the nation’s top running back and Heisman Trophy front-runner Saquon Barkley was limited to 44 rushing yards on 21 carries.“Is this right?” Meyer asked. Yes, it was. And it was the performance Ohio State’s defense had to have against the country’s premier playmaker. In a night where so many calls didn’t go the Buckeyes’ way, the defense bent, but never broke and ended up being the force that broke the hearts of the Penn State sideline.“We were shooting ourselves in the foot a lot of the times, so we definitely knew that it wasn’t those guys beating us,” junior linebacker Jerome Baker said. “It was really just beating ourselves.”Two second-quarter pass interference penalties turned into touchdowns on the next play for Penn State. Junior cornerback Denzel Ward’s third-quarter interception in the end zone was overturned for a Penn State touchdown on the most pivotal play at that point in the game. Through all that, the Ohio State defense lit its own light out of darkness.Ohio State trailed 35-20 entering the fourth quarter and couldn’t afford any mistakes. On the first drive, quarterback J.T. Barrett fumbled the ball in Ohio State territory, dimming the outlook of any possibility of a comeback.The next play, redshirt junior linebacker Dante Booker tackled Barkley for a 7-yard loss on first down and the Buckeyes eventually forced the Nittany Lions into a three-and-out. That’s when the defense created its own break. Ward rushed the punter unblocked, stuffing the kick and Booker recovered the kick in Penn State territory, dramatically shifting the momentum.Penn State nearly put the game away on its next drive, marching down to the Ohio State 7-yard line. At a make-or-break point in the game, Ohio State’s defense came through with a goal-line stand, forcing a field goal when a touchdown likely would have dashed the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff aspirations.Still down 38-27 with 5:37 on the clock, Ohio State’s offense was only going to have a shot at winning the game if the defense forced two straight three-and-outs.That’s exactly what happened.Ohio State junior linebacker Jerome Baker (17) combines for a tackle with redshirt sophomore cornerback Damon Arnette (3) on Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in the second quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard met Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley at the mesh point for a 7-yard loss on first down, recording one of nine tackles for loss on Barkley to pin the Nittany Lions back to their own 8-yard line and force a punt. Once Ohio State regained the lead with 1:45 remaining, the defense had to make another stop with Penn State starting its drive on its own 41.Defensive end Jalyn Holmes sacked McSorley on second down and the once-undefeated Nittany Lions didn’t gain a single yard.“That last four plays really sums up what we got, four of the best D-linemen in the country,” Hubbard said. “We knew if we got them in that situation, we were going to close the game.”The Buckeyes held Penn State to 4-of-9 passing for 50 yards and 14 rushing yards on 10 carries in the fourth quarter. Ohio State recorded 13 tackles for loss in the game, including five in the fourth quarter.To win, the Buckeyes could not allow Barkley to beat them. He had his impact on special teams, but his impact on the ground was annihilated outside of his 36-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Barkley’s 2.1 yard per carry average was his lowest of the season. He entered the game averaging 6.2 yards per carry.Meyer said he was worried about Barkley’s catching ability. The Buckeyes held him to 23 yards on four receptions.“We basically wanted to hit Saquon basically every play,” redshirt senior linebacker Chris Worley said. “We knew that give him any type of daylight, if you don’t build that wall, as you seen on the long run he had, don’t build that wall and he’s going to get in the open field and nine times out of 10, score. He capitalized off that and after that, we didn’t give him much. The big thing was stop that.”The defensive line stalwarts of Hubbard, Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones exposed a Nittany Lion offensive line that couldn’t protect its versatile quarterback or invaluable running back. Ohio State made the late-game defensive stops with immense pressure on McSorley, showing that the defensive line’s dominance can subdue any deficiencies the Buckeyes have in pass coverage.The game was far from perfect, but the defensive performance when it counted most was nearly flawless. read more

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