Friday, 22 April 2005

Release of The Game Of Their Lives

Starring: Gerard Butler,Wes Bentley,Jay Rodan,Gavin Rossdale,Costas Mandylor.Directed by:David Anspaugh.

In the spring of 1950, the United States was extended an invitation to compete in the World Cup in Brazil. Faced with budgetary restrictions and no official soccer team to call their own, the U.S. set out to recruit players in the soccer hotbed of St. Louis, Missouri, where they found a group of young friends with no professional or international playing experience, only an unabashed love of the game. Leaving behind their wives, girlfriends and families for New York, Frank Borghi, Harry Keough, Gino Pariani, Frank 'Pee Wee' Wallace and Charles "Gloves" Colombo joined Philadelphian Walter Bahr, Haitian-born New Yorker Joe Gatjeans and additional East Coasters for a short 10-day training period in which these young men from different races, religions and backgrounds were forced to see past one another's differences and become a full-fledged team. With the odds considerably against them both abroad and at home, the U.S. team arrived in Rio with little training and even less fanfare. After a crushing defeat by Spain in the World Cup opener, the Americans expected more of the same when they arrived to play England's highest-ranked team, which indicated such all-time soccer legends as Stan Mortensen and Billy Wright, on June 19, 1950. But then something remarkable happened: the Brazilian fans' lack of support for England, the pre-tournament favorite, buoyed the Americans on and this team of underdog athletes, who never knew real victory and true glory in all their humble lives, clung to their patriotism and their love of a sport, and scored a victory that did more than just provide an upset defeat--it opened the door for soccer in the United States. The American World Cup of 1950 would soon quietly return to their families and jobs, treasuring this historic victory, which would forever be known to them as The Game of Their Lives.

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Thursday, 21 April 2005

Gwen and Gavin walking with dogs on Primrose Hill.

Monday, 18 April 2005

Gwen and Gavin Rossdale walking the dog in London

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Gavin and Friend walk the dogs.London

Sunday, 10 April 2005

Gavin Rossdale opens up Institute

Institute - "Distort Yourself" - Interscope Records


In the '90s, Nirvana and the grunge revolution yielded a lot of cheap imitations. While some of them hit it big and some of them floundered, real talent was often overlooked. Bush, whose front man Gavin Rossdale was often more recognized for his looks then his songwriting, was rewarded with deserved commercial success but was denied the critical acclaim that they worked hard for. Over 10 years since their first album, and four years since their last, Bush's discography stands up stronger then most '90s bands and it's clear that Rossdale and his band deserved more then they got.

Following 2001's "Golden State," a strong album whose release coincided with 9/11 and guitarist Nigel Pulsford's first child being born, Bush went on hiatus. Now Rossdale has emerged with Institute, featuring Cache Tolman from the post-punk supergroup Rival Schools and Chris Traynor who not only served time in Helmet and Orange 9mm, arguably the two best groups to emerge from the New York early '90s hardcore scene, but filled in for Pulsford on Bush's "Golden State" tour. On the band's debut, "Distort Yourself," Rossdale takes Bush's post-grunge songwriting and mixes it with Helmet's chunky start-stop riffs (Helmet frontman Page Hamilton produced the album).

In a phone interview with the "Daily Collegian," Rossdale came off as friendly and intelligent. Often artists with even half of Bush's success have inflated egos; Rossdale, on the other hand, is modest and down-to-earth. Rossdale explained that Institute isn't a new direction for him; it's just a continuation of where he was going before.

"When I began I was just making music. When it became apparent that Nigel didn't want to work [it became something new]," he explains. "Artistically, you can't help but be following on a track. You can think if you get a suntan and a yellow t-shirt you can be someone else but essentially you're always going to be you as an artist if you are true to your vision."

Rossdale's vision has already led him down the right path and the songs on "Distort Yourself" have big riffs. Songs like "The Heat Of Your Love" and "Seventh Wave" have even bigger hooks. While the album does have moments of restraint, including the impressive and haunting "Ambulances," the overall hard-rock feeling is surprising, given that in the later Bush albums Rossdale was often more keen to experiment with new technology then write bare-bones rock songs.

"I begin trying to [write experimental songs] with this but ... when it came to recording songs for the record, all the songs [that] were more guitar orientated were the ones chosen. The power of the band comes from the guitar at this point."

Fans of Bush will find themselves encountering familiar themes in Rossdale's cryptic lyrics. Songs like "Information Age" and "Save The Robots" deal with the same issues that many Bush tracks, such as "The Chemicals Between Us" and "Letting The Cables Sleep", look at.

"Musicians just have one song to write and your life is just a variation on one thing. When you give your life to something, it's intimate. [The songs are] always about man vs. machine, humanity vs. homogenous reproduction, this balance between the future and the past and what we gain from the speed we live at and the desire for results and how we measure success."

Rossdale certainly succeeded at his goal of following his vision and making another strong record but he realizes that he has to explain a four-year absence from the public eye.

"I worked on a couple of movies and spent time with my wife and with my dog. [Being in a band], you're in a cycle that never seems to end. It's cool and you love it but you need time to reconnect with friends and family. It does end but then you get the pressure attacks where you feel like the world is passing you by." Despite the fact that he had a legion of fans clamoring for new music, Rossdale remains modest about his hiatus: "I don't have some outrageous ego view that people give a shit."

Rossdale also knows he is, again, going to have face critics that will always shoot him down no matter how good of an album he has.

"[The criticism has] always been a bit of mystery because if you're just making music you aren't doing anything shitty. I inspire a lot of love and a lot of hate, but it was shocking to me when it would get really out of control," he laughs. "I'm happy to inspire extremes but I was starting to have enough of the f***ing criticism. There [are] a lot of other things to criticize than what we were doing ... if you can just make it so that you're f***ing good then at some point people will just be like, 'OK, damn, that is pretty good.' You can't be held responsible for people liking you and the more people who liked us, the more trouble that got us ... we got some good reviews [on 'Golden State'] but people didn't hear about that." Rossdale concludes with a concise summary: "A bit of both is not a bad thing."

While Rossdale has successfully staged a comeback, something that is surprisingly hard to do in the fast-paced world of 21st century pop-culture, he does realize some sentimentalists will have a problem with him starting a new band.

"I didn't know really know [what was happening with Bush] and at some point you gotta be responsible for yourself ... what was a side project became the main thing. Bush is not done; there's every chance there would be another record, it's never been stopped."

Rossdale has proven he cannot be stopped either, releasing a record as strong as anything he has previously put out. Institute may lack Bush's name but it takes all their brains and pumps up their muscles. "Distort Yourself" is more then just post-grunge nostalgia; it's everything that made Rossdale such an underrated talent and might be enough to get him some serious recognition.

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Saturday, 2 April 2005

Gavin Rossdale-Picozzi in the Afternoon

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