December 20, 2013

My favorite songs of 2013

For some reason I went through Pitchfork's top 100 songs of 2013 and predictably found myself either disliking or never even hearing all but around a dozen songs, so I decided to put together my own top 30 37. It turns out that most of the songs I thought came out in 2013 actually came out in 2012 or maybe 2005, so this is hardly a definitive ranking. But whatever. Here are a bunch of songs I liked this year:


1. "Backseat Freestyle" by Kendrick Lamar


2. "Bad" by Wale and Rihanna


3. "Dear Marie" by John Mayer


4. "Power Trip" by J. Cole and Miguel


5. "Wake Me Up" by Avicii and Aloe Blacc


6. "Elephant" by Jason Isbell


7. "Bed Peace" by Jhene Aiko and Childish Gambino


8. "Hit Me" by Mystikal


9. "The Monster" by Eminem and Rihanna


10. "Wild Child" by Brett Dennen


11. "Hold On, We're Going Home" by Drake and Majid Jordan


12. "Crooked Smile" by J. Cole and TLC


13. "Gun" by Chvrches


14. "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" by Kendrick Lamar


15. "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell


16. "Who You Love" by John Mayer and Katy Perry


17. "Poetic Justice" by Kendrick Lamar and Drake


18. "Love Is The Answer" by Aloe Blacc and Pharrell Williams


19. "Don't Wait" by Mapei


20. "She Knows" by J. Cole


21. "When We Were Young" by Brett Dennen


22. "Wildfire" by John Mayer


23. "Rich As Fuck" by Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz


24. "Royals" by Lorde


25. "Different Days" by Jason Isbell


26. "Do I Wanna Know" by Arctic Monkeys


27. "Tired Of Dreaming" by Wale, Ne-Yo, and Rick Ross


28. "Sweet Persuasion" by Brett Dennen


29. "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams


30. "Beautiful Day" by Joshua Radin


31. "Love Me" by Lil Wayne, Drake, and Future


32. "The Man" by Aloe Blacc


33. "My My Love" by Joshua Radin


34. "Body Party" by Ciara


35. "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" by Arctic Monkeys


36. "Fuckin' Problem" by A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and Drake


37. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Possum Plows


This week's blog content is sponsored by 6300 Steakhouse at the Embassy Suites, an American steakhouse with a Cajun flair that features hand-cut steaks, seafood, sandwiches, burgers, and homemade Jambalaya. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 31, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• For most of my life I dreamed of being a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I gave up on that ever happening a while back, but this might be the next-best thing: Star Tribune metro reporter Ben Johnson wrote a lengthy article about me and my weird career path and AG.com reaching 10 million visitors. I haven't seen a copy of the physical newspaper yet, but the article got top billing in the "West Metro" section of the website:

Star Tribune story

Thanks to Johnson for being such a pleasure to deal with and to various people for saying nice things about me. My mom and grandma are very happy. Give it a read.

• I'm mostly just happy that the photographer didn't ask me to pose like this.

Matt Harvey never even gave me a chance.

Glen Perkins' highly effective "make every Twins fan fall in love with him" tour continues with an amusing collection of quotes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

• I've been using Twitter wrong this whole time. Also, who won Miss Minnesota this year?

• Rays prospect Joshua Sale provides more evidence of the strong correlation linking being an asshole and not knowing the difference between "your" and "you're."

• I have a few openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• As someone who really got hooked on poker from watching ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker in 2003, Grantland's oral history of Chris Moneymaker and company was a great read.

• If you're curious about who the Twins will select with the No. 4 overall pick in next week's draft, I profiled all the potential targets from Mark Appel to Reese McGuire.

• And on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we went even more in depth talking with special guest Jeremy Nygaard about the upcoming draft and also tried to figure out the Twins' reasoning behind all the recent roster moves.

• Who wore it better? Zubaz edition, starring me and another St. Paul boy born in 1983:

mauer and gleeman zubaz

My limo was bigger than Joe Mauer's trophy, if nothing else.

Nick Swarsdon on "Norm MacDonald Live" has to be one of the five funniest interviews ever by someone wearing a Timberwolves hat.

• It took a while, but Carlos Gomez has become one of the best players in baseball at age 27.

• My weekly appearance on Paul Allen's show was derailed by talk of what exactly goes on in my bedroom and then things went downhill from there.

• Speaking of PA, he randomly sat behind Parker Hageman at Wednesday night's Twins-Brewers game and they both got on television reacting to Chris Parmelee's great catch. Of course, if you look at the video from another angle Hageman tried to pull a Steve Bartman and failed.

• Once upon a time reading "some college, no degree is not going to cut it" would've scared me.

Curtis Granderson is donating $5 million to his alma mater, which is about 10 percent of his lifetime earnings. In related news, every six months someone from the University of Minnesota calls me looking for money, I offer to donate in exchange for a diploma, and they hang up.

• I like that my HardballTalk blogmate Craig Calcaterra is now a leading source for pictures of dudes in their underwear.

• This week's Carson Cistulli-Dayn Perry chat/business meeting included Cistulli revealing that he's "both a talented and enthusiastic dancer" with "legitimate moves" and Perry explaining that he "would out-dead lift the shit out of Rob Neyer."

Yu Darvish has nearly as many strikeouts as the Twins' entire starting rotation.

• I'm sure there's an official video for "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk, but I'll choose to believe this is it:

That's co-produced by Minnesota native, stand-up comedian, and Twitter rascal Joe Mande.

• MinnPost is a non-profit organization and as part of their fundraising efforts you can hang out with me (and John Bonnes) in a Target Field suite and watch the Twins-Tigers game on June 15.

Chris Colabello wore the wrong uniform Tuesday night and no one noticed until after the game.

• SABR posted details of all the research presentations scheduled for this year's convention, which is July 31 to August 4 in Philadelphia. I've gone to every convention since 2004.

• Why did the Twins send down Oswaldo Arcia and when are they going to call up Kyle Gibson?

• Comedian/writer Morgan Murphy was a really enjoyable guest on Jay Mohr's podcast because she talked about my three favorite things: Sports, comedy, and depression.

• "Sound City" is one of the best music documentaries I've ever seen and it's available on Amazon for just 99 cents this week. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

• If you're interested in becoming an AG.com sponsor, next week's spot hasn't been reserved yet and you can read all the details here.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Is Kevin Slowey for real?"
- "Elisabeth Moss feet obsession"
- "Robby Incmikoski is how old?"
- "Caleb Thielbar's mom"
- "Jon Bones KFAN"
- "Ryan Doumit shirtless"
- "Was Gary Gaetti any good for the Twins?"
- "Craig Calcaterra fan fiction"
- "Who are the FSN Girls dating?"
- "Meatsauce work KFAN pizza"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Dreams" by The Game:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 3, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Another week, another example of Glen Perkins being the best.

• Crazy story of the week: A mother of two went missing for 11 years and was presumed dead only to return and reveal that she left voluntarily to live among homeless people.

Jim Thome is still looking for work even as the Indians build him a statue outside their ballpark.

Jon Bois does a lot of good writing about sports for SB Nation, so not surprisingly his tales of being homeschooled for Vice are a must-read.

• When it comes to making terrible decisions for breakfast I go with Burger King over McDonald's, but people like me have been waiting decades for this news.

• "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is one of my favorite albums of all time, so if it takes the threat of prison time to coax the first new music in a decade out of Lauryn Hill then so be it.

Snoop Dogg and Philip Seymour Hoffman are besties, obviously.

• You can't listen to "Gleeman and The Geek" live on Sunday because the Wild-Blackhawks playoff game bumped us off KFAN, but you can hear what we sounded like on the radio last Sunday.

• Podcast listeners know my policy of asking John Bonnes about the parking situation before we record an episode at a new location and my fear of winding up in a video like this one is why:

I'd have just gone home about 30 seconds in.

Tommy Lasorda reacted to seeing Psy at Dodger Stadium exactly like you'd expect.

• What has gotten into Kevin Correia? I'm glad you asked.

Jack Morris has a new radio gig in Toronto and he's accusing opposing pitchers of cheating.

Julio Borbon has a hit by pitch he'd like to sell you.

Mila Kunis was just named FHM's "sexiest woman in the world" after previously being named GQ's "sexiest woman alive." I've been driving that bandwagon since naming her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com back in 2010, but now that it's the consensus opinion it may be time to move on. Kate Mara is the current front-runner, but I'm also considering Lizzy Caplan, Aubrey Plaza, Chelsea Peretti, and Alison Brie. Obviously this isn't a decision that should be made quickly.

• Baseball-Reference.com now has game logs and splits for minor leaguers dating back to 2008, because Sean Forman is a saint.

• What happens when A.J. Pierzynski leaves a team after eight seasons and then faces them for the first time?

• The most shocking revelation from Jason Collins' hour-long chat with Bill Simmons is that he's a Blackberry user just like me.

• As a lifelong Howard Stern fan it always make me happy when he has someone else I like on as a first-time guest and they get along well, so Marc Maron's appearance was great.

• Sunday afternoon the Minneapolis JCC is hosting "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren for a chat about Hank Greenberg and Jewish baseball players.

• "Modern Comedian" is a well-done series of short films by Scott Moran and I especially enjoyed the most recent one about "crowd work" featuring Phil Hanley:

Hanley has also been a guest on my favorite podcast, "Stop Podcasting Yourself."

• I'm very happy with my employers for renewing the most underrated show on television.

• In her latest recap Molly Lambert of Grantland asked arguably the most important question in "Mad Men" history: What did Pete Campbell order from the Chinese restaurant?

• I got into a bar debate about which "Mad Men" character you'd most like to be friends with and my choice was Stan Rizzo, so I'm happy that the actor who plays him, Jay R. Ferguson, seems pretty great too. Especially for a former teen heartthrob.

• On a related note, here's my favorite GIF from the most recent "Mad Men" episode.

• No one cares because reviewing movies six months later is silly, but I finally saw "Silver Linings Playbook" and didn't love it. Lots of good parts, but also lots of rough draft-like parts. I've decided that 2012 had tons of very good movies, but zero great movies.

• Follow-up from last week's Link-O-Rama: Stand-up comedian Rob Delaney actually did a very nice job singing the National Anthem at the Dodgers-Brewers game.

Dayn Perry, whose podcasts with Carson Cistulli are basically my favorite thing ever, has a new book out called "Drinking With Boileryard Clarke."

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast and a good, filthy time was had by all.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "She men's restroom recap"
- "Ribas Twins what team is he in now?"
- "Dick Bremer retiring"
- "Jason Kubel shirtless"
- "Girl in baseball jersey"
- "Zubaz limousines"
- "Joe Mauer personal life"
- "Why doesn't my brain want me to lose weight?"
- "Cybermetrics on A.J. Pierzynski"
- "Binging on macaroni and cheese"
- "Started watching 'Dawson's Creek' on Netflix"
- "Aaron Gleeman is Jew"

• Finally, in honor of me knowingly listening to a Daft Punk song for the first time and actually liking it, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Get Lucky" featuring Pharrell Williams:


This week's blog content is sponsored by "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren's upcoming appearance at the Minneapolis Sabes JCC on May 5. Please support him for supporting AG.com.