Blogography Logo
spacer

   

Bullet Sunday 264

Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday and I'm so happy I could crap my pants!

   
• That Dog Won't Hunt! So Jon Huntsman, the only Republican candidate that I might have voted for, is dropping out of the race. And since the remaining candidates will be hard pressed to sway independent voters to their respective agendas, I guess that we're in for four more years of President Obama. Unless he punches Betty White in the face while wiping his ass with the American flag during a televised White House press conference or something.

Now, if you will excuse me, I shall now go and mourn the loss of what could have been our three First Daughters...

Jon Huntsman's Unbelievably Hot Daughters!

Sadly, Mitt Romney has no hot daughters (that he knows of, I'm sure). Though I'm starting to wonder if he'll even be a factor now that Stephen Colbert has entered the race in South Carolina and these wicked attack ads are airing...

Genius. And it's funny because it's true!

   
• It's a Fucking Frog! Just when I think that it's impossible for nature to shock me more than it already has... along comes The World's Tiniest Frog...

Tiny, tiny, impossibly tiny frog on a dime.
Photograph by Christopher Austin, Louisiana State University

How?

How in the hell is this even possible? That's a DIME! And that's an actual frog sitting on top... not even half the size of the coin. How does its lungs function when they must barely be the size of the air molecules they breathe in? Unbelievable. And cute. Lookat da iddybitty froggy!

   
• ZOMFG it's Music! After one of my favorite bands, The Shins, kind of imploded... I worried that we'd never hear from them again. Shins mastermind James Mercer appeared to move on to a new collaboration called Broken Bells with DJ Danger Mouse, so I figured that was the end of it. But lo and behold this last week I got an iTunes pre-sale notice for a new band line-up and a new album called Port of Morrow...

Port Of Morrow Album Art

My expectations are high. Fortunately, the preview track Simple Song didn't disappoint. Can't wait until I get to hear the rest of the album in March. You can pre-order your own copy at the iTunes Music Store here.

   
• Eggxactly Right! Because groceries are so stupid-expensive, I find myself buying foodstuffs not because I necessarily want them, but because they're on sale for cheap. Most of the time, this comes back to bite me in the ass, but every once in a while I stumble across something so delicious that I wonder how I ever survived without it. Such was the case with Crystal Farms' "Three Cheese Chef's Omlet" from the freezer case...

Dave Approved Chef's Omlet

Holy cow. It's the perfect omelet. Light, fluffy, and loaded with quality, flavorful cheese... from a frickin' microwave! When served on buttered toast with a little ground pepper... it's a quick and easy breakfast that's so good. Which means that it's probably being discontinued and the reason it was on sale was because they were clearing out their inventory. Crap.

   
• Well I'll Be! And so Washington State is dangerously close to passing Marriage Equality legislation. Color me pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that "The Coast" is decidedly liberal... the view from Redneckistan here on the other side of the mountains is often cloudy when it comes to gay marriage. Oh I'm sure there are many people here who have no problem with everybody getting their fair shot at happiness (as promised when our country was founded). And there's undoubtedly a growing number of people here who are tired of their gay friends and family being relegated to second class citizens. And it's certain that more and more heterosexual couples are realizing that same-sex marriage has -zero- effect on their marriage. And it seems many Conservatives are finally figuring out the smaller government includes getting politics out of bedrooms and keeping religion out of politics.

So maybe.

It just comes down to whether enough politicians will do the right thing and move forward in a way that an increasing majority of Americans want to have happen. Here's hoping.

   
And now I have to get back to work. And Dune, which is playing as background noise here in my living room. THE SPICE MUST FLOW!

   

Ghost!

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012

Dave!I started today the same way I start every Martin Luther King Jr. Day... by listening to his brilliant and beautiful "I have a Dream" speech in its entirety. In my humble opinion, it's probably one of the best-known speeches that most people never bother to listen to. That's a real shame, because it's famous for a very good reason.

Anyway...

I spent the entirety of my day at work, so I don't have anything to blog about.

What I do have is this awesome video for one of my favorite songs from my second-favorite album of 2011... it's Wait & See by Holy Ghost!

What's so awesome about it is that band members Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel only make cameo appearances... they let their fathers be the stars of the video! That's right, they got their dads to stand in for them as aging pop stars who still act like they're in their twenties. Freakin' hilarious...

Always nice to see a music video that can surprise me.

Tags: ,
Categories: Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Etta

Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012

Dave!I love the music of Etta James.

And even though the concert I attended with Ms. Sizzle ended up being one of the most bizarre events of my life, I feel incredibly blessed to have seen her perform live. Truly, there are few talents that can even approach that of Ms. James.

My favorite song of hers is the one she's most famous for. And while I could have easily tracked down something more obscure, I wouldn't have found anything more beautiful...

Rest in peace, Etta. Your amazing voice will live on forever.

Tags: ,
Categories: Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Whitney

Posted on Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Dave!There was a time that Whitney Houston's voice was widely regarded as being in a class untouchable by mere mortals. It was thus almost from the beginning.

Sure she had fun and poppy hits like How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance with Somebody... but they were nicely balanced by stunning R&B tracks like Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. The woman had pipes. The woman could sing.

And never was this more apparent than when she belted out The Star Spangled Banner at the 2001 Super Bowl with an unforgettable performance. The rumor that it was lip-synced did nothing to detract from the magic because Whitney nailed it. Our National Anthem is not an easy song to sing. On the contrary, it practically begs to be screwed up by anyone attempting it... live or otherwise. And even when singers get it right, it doesn't always sound that great. With Ms. Houston's talent, it was a different story entirely...

And today, at the age of 48, she's gone.

Whitney admitted to using drugs (but not crack, which she felt was "whack" because it was beneath her income level)... and odds are it was her drug use which contributed to her death. This is all kinds of tragic because a part of me always expected that she'd make some kind of come-back one of these days.

Alas it was not to be.

Perhaps not meant to be. All that's left now is a legacy. And a lesson.

Her voice may have been beyond the grasp of mere mortals but, in the end, it was wrapped in a body that was all too human. Hopefully her fellow humans will remember that at a time it would be all too easy to forget.

Tags:
Categories: Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 279

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Dave!Put down those eclipse specs, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Goodbye. I was sad to learn that Robin Gibb passed away. Make fun of me all you want, but I always thought The BeeGees were musical geniuses. So many of their unique songs couldn't have been made by anybody else, and it's a testament to this talent that they were so successful for so long. And as if the idea of not getting any more BeeGees music wasn't bad enough, I'm betting we won't be seeing any more Barry Gibb Talk Show skits on Saturday Night Live either...

Barry Gibb Talk Show!

Rest in peace, Mr. Gibb, and thanks for the music.

   
• SNL. Surprisingly, Mick Jagger made for a funny guest-host on the season finale of Saturday Night Live. The episode itself was a farewell to Kristen Wiig and her seven seasons with the show. I had read somewhere that Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis were also leaving, but you'd never know it, because it wasn't even hinted at. What's most disappointing is that we didn't get a final "Two A-Holes..." sketch with Wiig and Sudeikis, which I was absolutely expecting. As close as we got was them dancing together while everybody sang their goodbyes...

Oh well. I suppose it could happen upon Kristen Wiig's inevitable return hosting engagement. Until then, I guess there's always Hulu clips...

   
• TED. Despite being almost painfully obvious, I've never heard this argument presented in such a compelling way...

Apparently there was some controversy over this clip. TED originally thought it too partisan to unleash upon an unsuspecting world... or something like that... but I'm not seeing it. Furthermore, how can you hope to solve a problem without approaching it from every conceivable angle? Even if Hanauer's belief is entirely wrong, discussing it may lead to worthwhile conversation. When you're desperate, nothing should be off the table, and I hope to see more of this kind of talk from all sides in the future.

   
• Avengers. I had purchased The Art of Marvel's Thor after seeing the movie. Production design on the Asgard sets and costumes were really well done, and I wanted to see how they were developed. The book was pretty amazing, which made me regret that I hadn't purchased the two Iron Man books. They were out of print and cost a fortune on the secondary market, so I gave up on getting them. Fast forward to the The Avengers, which was production design on an entirely new level, and I simply had to own The Art of Marvel's The Avengers. It did not disappoint. The book is a stunning chronicle of bringing the comic book to the big screen. Then I discovered something very cool... Marvel had assembled books for the previous four Avengers movies (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America, and Thor) in a boxed set... The Art of Marvel Studios. SCORE! All the books are fantastic...

Art of Marvel Studios

If you wanna take a look inside, JamesTalkALot has a video on YouTube for the Art of Marvel Studios set. He also has a separate video for The Art of Marvel's The Avengers. If you have even a passing interest in these movies, all the books are highly recommended.

   
Annnnnd... I'm spent. Did I black out some time this weekend? Because it doesn't really feel like I got a weekend at all. Such a bummer. I should probably get my crap together so I can go to work in the morning. If there's any justice, I'll black out again through the entire work week so I can have a real weekend.

   

Interesting!

Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Dave!Because I like learning new and interesting things, one of my favorite blogs in my feed reader is Today I Found Out. Every day they've got something cool or weird to share, but today's entry is beyond bizarre because it's packed with fascinating facts about... ants. These are some freaky-ass critters, yo, so prepare to get your mind blown and click on over.

And speaking of interesting facts... here's just another example of why scum-sucking record labels need to die a violent death. Thanks to Wikipedia I found out that the Beatles missed their chance to be immortalized on the two Voyager spacecraft...

Astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan had wanted Here Comes the Sun to be included on the Voyager Golden Record, copies of which were attached to both spacecraft of the Voyager program to provide any entity that recovered them a representative sample of human civilization. Although The Beatles favoured the idea, EMI refused to release the rights and when the probes were launched in 1977 the song was not included.

I can't help but think that V'ger wouldn't have been such a bastard in that Star Trek movie if he had Here Comes the Sun in his programming...

The USS Enterprise Enters V'Ger!

But, alas, V'Ger could not merge with The Creator of Here Comes the Sun because EMI didn't want to give up their song rights... IN FUCKING OUTER SPACE!

The stupid. It burns.

Tags: ,
Categories: Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wealth

Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Dave!During the "Dot Com Explosion" of the late 90's I knew more than a few people who amassed considerable wealth in a very short amount of time. This did not include me, however, because I was becoming increasingly involved with the Buddhist studies I had stumbled upon a decade earlier. Material wealth was something that took a distant back seat to my spiritual wealth back then, so chasing the buckets of money was not a priority. Even so, it was an interesting period in my life precisely because of all the money that was to be had.

And the randomness of where the money went.

Some people I knew stumbled into shit-loads of money almost by accident, but were smart enough to turn it into a personal fortune while the gettin' was good.

One guy... a kid, really... was pulling down thousands of dollars a week just making simple banner ads in his spare time. He not only earned enough money to completely pay for his college tuition, but had enough left over to pay for a bug chunk of his sister's education as well.

Another guy got a full-time job with a massive salary working from home on a corporate website. This occupied so little of his time that he ended up getting two additional "full-time" work-at-home-jobs... all of which he held at the same time. After six months he had enough money saved up that he started his own business, which he ran successfully for nearly a year before selling it for a staggering amount of money. This would be a cool story in itself, but it's made all the more incredible when you know that he kept all three of his "full-time" jobs that whole time!

Still another guy made huge, huge money because he owned a "worthless" low-rent office building that his family had purchased decades earlier. He inherited it after his dad died and had tried to sell it several times without success... until the neighborhood became a hotspot for dot-com start-ups. Luckily for him, he quickly learned the value of what he had, and was able to milk it for incredible profits... before finally selling it to a big company that bought it only so they could tear it down and build their new headquarters on the land.

Money was raining down from the heavens at an incalculable rate, and a lot of people became incredibly wealthy chasing it.

But not everybody.

Some people, try as they might, could never manage to get their piece of the pie no matter how hard they tried. They would start up one failed business after another trying to figure out where the money was... but never managed to find it.

These were some of the most bitter, angry, resentful people I've ever met. And the most educational, as they clearly confirmed that my embracing anti-materialism was the right path to be on. This was never made more clear to me as when I joined a group of them at a housewarming party thrown by a guy who was making bajillions of dollars in dot-com cash. He proudly showed off his incredible new home, only to be cut-up from one end to the other the minute he left the room. At one point some guests were discussing the "horror story" that was the kitchen decor. I found this funny... and said so, which lead to this conversation...

"You actually like that ugly mess?"

"Well, it's not my taste, but he's clearly happy with it. Since he's the one that has to live with it, what should it matter to anybody else?"

"Because he has the money to hire a decent interior decorator and still chooses to have an ugly kitchen!"

This was good for a group-laugh, which was fascinating to me...

"Well, fortunately the only thing wrong with him is something that can be fixed by a coat of paint... we should all be so lucky."

The implication of that statement went right over their heads (thankfully), but stuck with me for a very long time. Even when I strayed off the path of anti-materialism because I realized that some "stuff" made my life much more fun. Like a PowerMac G4 computer and a PlayStation 2 video game.

Eventually the dot-com bubble burst. Some people who made a lot of money ended up losing a lot more.

This, I'm sure, was a time of glee and much rejoicing by all the bitter, angry, resentful people who were so tortured by the monetary success that eluded them during those heady days. Finally, at long last, those who succeeded where they had failed were "getting what they deserved!"

The irony being that all the bitter, angry, resentful people were getting exactly what they deserved, even if they didn't realize it.

...

Which is why I am trying hard — so very hard — not to be bitter, angry, and resentful that Justin Bieber's new album, Believe, has just become the year's top-selling debut... despite being filled with songs that I loathe so badly that I can barely listen to 10 seconds of the 90-second preview snippets on the iTunes Store without gagging.

Fortunately, Matt & Kim, a band I love more than buckets of money, just released a new single to keep me on my path...

Life. Is. Good.

Tags:
Categories: DaveLife 2012, Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Local Strangers

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012

Dave!Much to my shock, The Local Strangers... a band I actually like, took the time to stop by my little corner of Redneckistan to play a show. Things like this doesn't happen here very often. Which is not to say that we don't have any good local bands or that no musicians ever come to Wenatchee, far from it, it's just that the stuff I like rarely stops by. I mean, I don't see Matt & Kim or Depeche Mode adding us to their tour plans or anything.

I first heard of The Local Strangers last year when I was working in Seattle. I was hanging out with some friends who decided they wanted to go out. I didn't, but they said there was a really good local band playing, so I had to ask "who are they?" One of my friends Googled the band and said it was Aubrey Zoli... and Matt Hart, who was from Chicago. This rang a bell, but I couldn't put my finger on it. And then something clicked... "Wait... Matt Hart from Chicago... as in Matt Hart from Cobalt and the Hired Guns, Matt Hart? Well this I gotta see."

Cobalt and the Hired Guns is a local Chicago band that a colleague introduced me to when I was working there a while back. He was a big fan, and I ended up catching their show twice. Cobalt is a great band that makes some really fun music (they have a new album out that's worth a listen!), and I became a fan as well.

Turns out it was indeed that Matt Hart, who was now in Seattle making incredible music with the beautiful voice of Aubrey Zoli as The Local Strangers. Who I got to see again tonight...

The Local Strangers

The Local Strangers

A really great show from an incredible live band.

Not so long ago, Ms. Sizzle made me aware of a Kickstarter campaign to fund The Local Strangers' first full-length album. I immediately signed on for a Lifetime Membership, and was thrilled when the campaign was successful. Then last night Aubrey and Matt announced a release date of November 9th for the album and I can't wait.

If you want to listen to what the band is all about for FREE, just go to their website and sign up for their email list so they can let you know when they're playing in your area... you'll then get a link to download their two EPs which is a terrific sampling of their music.

Needless to say, if they're performing near you, it's a show well worth checking out.

   

Bullet Sunday 290

Posted on Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Dave!Stop your melting and embrace the heatwave... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Heat. I wasn't kidding. It was so hot today that the air conditioner couldn't keep up. Which means that even with the unit on MAX COOL and turned to COLDEST it was still like a sauna in my home all day. Even now the temperature is 100° outside... and it's 5:30 at night! Unless you live in the San Francisco Bay area, looks it's going to be another scorcher tomorrow...

Scorcher Weater Map

Not a good day to be living in the pink.

   
• Landing. As I have written before, I have a terrible tendency to attribute human qualities to inanimate objects. Especially robots. It's always been a problem but, after watching WALL-E, I'm pretty much a hopeless case for looking a little robots as something more than "just machines." I was a wreck when I heard that the Mars Rover, Spirit was stuck and couldn't move around the Martian landscape any more. All I could picture was a little robot trapped and all alone far from home...

WALL-E Spirit Rover

So, as you can well imagine, the impending "drop" of a new Mars Rover named Curiosity is making me pretty nervous. The landing procedure is scary as hell, and I'll be glued to my MacBook tonight to hear if he makes it so I'm not worrying all night...

Damn. Good luck to you, Curiosity!

UDATE: So happy to know he has landed safely and his cameras are operating! Here's hoping everything else is working properly and he can start rolling around Mars soon! WAY TO GO, NASA!

   
• Fairies. I hate television commercials. Hate them. 99% of the time they are stupid, loud, annoying, and disruptive pieces of crap that make me want to kick in my television screen. Which is why I don't usually watch live television... I record it on my DVR so I can fast-forward through them. But there are rare exceptions. Like Direct TV's series of "Football Fairies" commercials starring Deion Sanders and Eli Manning. Really smart, well-done, and funny as hell...

   

Genius. If all commercials were this entertaining, I wouldn't want to fast-forward through them. On top of that, this commercial makes me wish I could have Direct TV. I hope the agency that came up with this is getting some serious bank for their efforts.

   
• Album. The initial reviews for Linkin Park's fifth album, Living Things, weren't very positive, so I held off buying it until I had a chance to give it a listen. I was not a big fan of their previous effort, A Thousand Suns, which made me hesitant to rush out and buy something new...

Living Things by Linkin Park

And then I caught the video for BURN IT DOWN and liked what I heard...

Then I was finally compelled to buy it after previewing the tracks on iTunes Music Store. Turns out I really like it. It's kind of a return to classic Linkin Park via a new kind of 80's-influenced sound direction. If you're an LP fan scared off by the bad reviews, I recommend giving it a listen. Even though every track title is SHOUTING AT YOU IN ALL-CAPS, it's a really good album.

   
• New New 52. Last year DC Comics cancelled all of their comic books and rebooted their "Universe" to start over from scratch with the "New 52"... so named for the 52 comic titles they released at launch. Overall, I consider it to be a success. I'm still reading 18 of the titles, which is more comics than I've been reading in a long time. Eventually, some of the books were canceled due to low sales (including OMAC, which I loved) and replaced with new books. The two most interesting involve Earth-2, an old "alternate earth" concept that DC abandoned back in 1985...

Worlds Finest and Earth 2

Surprisingly, World's Finest and Earth-2 were immediately put on my "Top 10 Must-Reads" list... and World's Finest (Starring The Huntress and Power Girl) is vying for the #1 spot. It's just great comic book fun! I love the writing (by Paul Levitz), and it features two of my favorite artists, (George Per├ęz on the "current" story thread, and Kevin Maguire on the "flashback" story thread). If you're a fan of all those great comic team books from the 80's, before everything took a turn towards being all dark and all gritty and all confusing all the time...I highly recommend giving these two titles a look!

   
Annnnnd... it's 9:30pm and just one hour until Curiosity starts his seven-minute descent. Now I'm wondering if I can bear to listen to the broadcast...

   

Performance

Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Dave!It was a night of performance art tonight. Here are some of my favorites...

   
• Gabrielle Giffords "The Pledge of Allegiance" at the DNC. Tell me this isn't one of the most amazing things you've ever seen. The woman survives a frickin' assassination attempt... a gunshot to the head... says "fuck you" to the bullet, and is on-stage leading the DNC in the Pledge of Allegiance a year-and-a-half later. I don't care what your politics are, this kind of raw courage demands respect. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, making Gabrielle Giffords the performance to beat tonight.

   
• Pink "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" at the MTV VMAs. I have yet to see Pink in concert so every time I see one of her beautifully orchestrated live performances, I'm a little pissed-off. Tonight's VMA blow-out has her singing yet another amazing track from a string of amazing tracks... "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and it was fantastic. Once I got past her dopey hair-do, Pink had me completely captivated as she did her whole "Cirque du Soleil" act better than Cirque du Soleil.

   
• President Obama "Acceptance Speech" at the DNC. My candidate for the upcoming election was Jon Huntsman. I thought he was smart in all the right ways, and the person most likely to bridge the icy divide between Republicans and Democrats to fix our fucked-up country. But Republicans seemed to truly hate the guy because he wasn't bat-shit-crazy-Right, and you can't get anywhere when your own party doesn't support you. So Huntsman was shoved off the stage and we got... Mitt Romney. Who has the personality of a wooden board wrapped in a wet blanket. He does not inspire me in the least, and I abhor most of his politics when it comes to personal liberties... an area TRUE Conservatives should be getting the fuck out of in the name of less-invasive government. Oh well. So Barack Obama it is then. His acceptance speech was good. Very good. And as the consummate politician, our president delivered it in a way Romney can only dream about. He makes me forget that he wasn't my first choice. He makes me forget that he did some things I am really upset about. He makes me remember that he is a good man, a true patriot, and a decent president who is doing his best to get us out of a horrible situation. And while Obama is not my dream candidate, his speech makes me feel better about voting for him in November, which is what it's really all about.

   
• Jennifer Granholm at the DNC. Talk about your rousing performances... Granholm descended on the DNC like a tsunami and belted out a speech that was so unabashedly pro-Obama that it made other speakers look like they lacked support for the president. And I'm including Barack Obama. She waxed so poetically about the president's auto-bailout that it almost made me forget that it was President Bush who got the ball rolling by approving monies that would keep our auto-makers in business until Obama got in office. Granted, this was probably at least partially inspired by the Obama transition team laying groundwork for the new president... but it's still a glaring omission in giving credit where credit is due. Whatever. Granholm was there to rally for the president, and she got the job done by delivering a wake-up to the convention that was a much-needed slap in the face.

   
• Taylor Swift "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at the MTV VMAs. In stark contrast to some of her previous televised live performances which were, for lack of a better word, "bad"... Taylor had a terrific (and impossibly cute) performance of her latest hit that brought down the house.

   
• Zach Wahls at the DNC. Zach is a great kid with a great story and a speaking presence that is really going to take him places. When I first saw his speech in defense of marriage equality at the Iowa House of Representatives, I was blown away. The guy is 19, but connects with an audience like a seasoned pro. The only problem is that all his speeches and talk show appearances are starting to sound the exact same. He's got two moms. His family is as normal as any other. Yadda yadda yadda. I know that's why he was at the convention, but Zach needs to mix it up a bit. Still, he did a great job, and you really have to admire his tireless efforts to get people onboard the equality bandwagon.

   
• Eva Longoria at the DNC. Seriously... who knew?

   
Annnnnd... after traveling all day, it's time to unwind and prep for a busy day tomorrow.

   

Matt and Kim!

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012

Dave!Matt & Kim remain the best live show I've ever seen.

And though it would be hard to top seeing the band in London on my birthday last year... I had an absolute blast here in Atlanta tonight!

Matt & Kim at the Variety Playhouse

Matt and Kim LIVE!

Matt and Kim LIVE!

Matt and Kim LIVE!

Matt and Kim LIVE!

Kim backstage aftet the show!

Totally worth flying across the country! If you ever have the opportunity to see Matt & Kim play live, it is something you absolutely cannot miss. It's like an amazing concert and a big party all rolled into one!

If not, you can still listen to their brand new album Lightning, which dropped just last week!

And... it's 1:40am. Guess I'd better at least attempt to get some sleep before flying out tomorrow morning.

   

Bullet Sunday 301

Posted on Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Dave!Brace yourself for an October Surprise... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Elysium! Back in 2009, The Pet Shop Boys released Yes one of their best albums in decades (and contains one of my favorite tracks ever, The Way It Used To Be). Now they've released their 11th studio album, Elysium, and my expectations were very high. Probably too high. It's a good album that has more hits than misses, but the misses really grate on me. Ego Music and Your Early Stuff are about as tedious as music gets, and I can't fathom why they were included on the album when they'd barely be interesting enough for B-sides. What remains doesn't include any of the throbbing dance-pop that made PSB famous, but it does have some remarkable tracks. Far and away my favorite is Memory of the Future, which is an achingly beautiful song that hasn't left my head since I first heard it...

Overall Elysium is another really good album that presents the Pet Shop Boys in a softer, more thoughtful light. Well worth checking out.

   
• Elementary! As a bit of a Sherlock Holmes purist (the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories remain among my favorite fiction) I've been pleasantly surprised with how much I've been enjoying both the Robert Downey Jr. movies and the Benedict Cumberbatch BBC series. I anticipated not liking the Johnny Lee Miller American series which takes place in New York and has Watson played by Lucy Liu. But then I saw the premiere and was again pleasantly surprised...

Elementary Poster
No hat. No pipe. No magnifying glass. No problem.

But now after having seen three episodes I am definitely digging it. I was already a big fan of Miller and Liu, and they've got some good chemistry together. But, more important than anything else, the mystery stories have been really good. Elementary has quickly become my favorite new show of 2012, and is well worth checking out.

   
• Arrow. And speaking of television that's left me pleasantly surprised...

Arrow Poster
I guess the ladies will be tuning in...

Now, let's get something clear... this is not the Green Arrow we know from the comic book series. They have radically changed many of the fundamentals in an effort to make "good television." And have somehow succeeded. Millionaire playboy Oliver Queen is the lone survivor of a shipwreck who arrives at a mysterious island. While there, he crafts weapons to survive, and spends five years becoming the deadliest man alive with a bow and arrow. Eventually he returns home to "Starling City" to right some wrongs and free the city from the criminals who have taken over... dressed as Robin Hood. Anyway... the show is basically a Batman clone now, which is probably why I like it so much. Well worth checking out.

   
• Do Not Call. On Friday night I got a political action call from the National Rifle Association... an organization I used to respect, but have seen steadily degenerate into an organization resorting to fear-uncertainty-doubt to terrify people into doing their bidding. They send out scare tactic press releases against President Obama, even though he has repeatedly said he supports the 2nd Amendment and introduced no significant gun control legislation during his first term. But he said he supports keeping assault weapons off the street, so he's been branded anti-gun. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, who actually DID introduce an extensive assault weapon ban when he was Governor of Massachusetts, gets endorsed by the NRA for president! They even go so far as to say he's the "only hope" for firearms freedom! If the NRA were truly an impartial organization fighting for the interest of gun owners, they should have informed their membership about both candidates. But it would seem they're so far in the pocket of the Republicans that Romney's gun-control past gets forgiven while Obama's gets him crucified because he's a Democrat. I guess that's politics for you. Or maybe I'm just pissed that somebody would dare call me during dinner.

   
• That Derek Zoolander is so Hot Right Now. Tonight's autism benefit show by Comedy Central... Night of Too Many Stars... opened with an appearance of one of my most guilty of guilty pleasures, Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander. Rumors of a movie sequel have been leaking for a while, and this appearance would seem to verify that it's happening. But the biggest question? When will we know if Will Ferrell will be reprising his role as one of the best movie villains of all time, Mugatu?

Mugatu!

Zoolander without Mugatu wouldn't be much of a film. Hopefully Will Ferrell and everybody involved in the project agree.

   
And... time to retire early. I think my cold is finally breaking, and a couple extra hours rest might do the trick.

   

Audio12

Posted on Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Dave!Time for my annual wrap-up of my favorite albums that were released this year.

As usual, a lot of my time spent listening to music was rediscovering old bands I hadn't heard in ages. I just can't seem to escape the 80's I guess. 2012 was a depressing year for live music... with the exception of Matt & Kim, I don't think I went to any concerts. Though The Local Strangers did come to Redneckistan, so there's that. Here's hoping I make more time for seeing the bands I like in 2013.

   

THE TWELVE BEST...

#1 Elysium by Pet Shop Boys
When I first heard this album, I figured it would be lucky to break my top five. Sure it has some nice slow-pop magic by one of my favorite bands, but the lack of amazing dance-based tracks that they usually unleash left me cold. Even worse, I immediately dumped three songs that I didn't like even a little bit (Your Early Stuff, Ego Music, and Hold On). But then, inexplicably, I found myself listening to the remaining Elysium songs more and more. Often times without even realizing I was going there. And then I fell in love with the sublimely beautiful track Memory of the Future... and the rest followed...

Note: The above YouTube song is the original hauntingly beautiful album track... not the butchered pop trash remix they released as a single. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. Yes, I still wish that three or four tracks were killed in favor of some dance tracks... but there's enough great stuff here to nab my #1 spot.

   
#2 E.P. 1 by Father Tiger
I used to restrain from putting EPs on my list because they're not a "real" album. But, for whatever reason this year, a good chunk of my favorite music was on EPs, so I just went with it. And, in the case of Father Tiger's EP, it came dangerously close to being my No. 1 album of 2012... despite having only four tracks. Which I can kind of explain like this... Vince Clarke, a founding member of my favorite band, Depeche Mode, quit to go on and form two new bands... Yazoo with Alison Moyet, then Erasure with Andy Bell. Both of which are total synth-pop genius that I love. And if somebody were to ask me to describe Father Tiger, I'd tell them that it's a cross between Yazoo and Erasure. I first became aware of them in August when they got some attention for a video they made that was composed from Instagram photos...

Then I kind of lost track of them until they released a video for On Christmas Day that got forwarded to me. It was kind of clever and funny, and sounded great, which got me interested in them all over again...

I ended up buying their EP and loved all four tracks... my favorite being Right Now, which will undoubtedly end up being played at weddings around the globe...

What I don't understand is why Father Tiger didn't pile more tracks on their EP. Their YouTube channel is packed with other great songs I'd gladly buy (especially this one, called High Road... oh, and this one, called First Love). But, oh well... four tracks or one track, Father Tiger has some of my favorite music this year.

   
#3 Lightning by Matt & Kim
Well, no surprise here. Matt & Kim are easily one of my favorite bands, and Lightning is yet another winner. The sound is less of an evolution from Sidewalks that we previously heard from Grand, but that's not a bad thing at all...

Not uncoincidentally, the above video for Let's Go is my favorite this year. I laugh every time I see it. And now I count the days until I can experience Matt & Kim in concert again.

   
#4 St. Lucia EP by St. Lucia
The thing about hearing a cool snippet of music in a television commercial is that you don't know if it is representative of the entire song. Plenty of bad songs have a nifty music riff that sounds awesome in a 20 second burst, but fails miserably when listened to in context of the full song. Or, even worse, not representative of the entire album. So when I heard a beautiful, soaring piece of pop splendor in the Victoria's Secret "Sexiest Gifts" ad, I was naturally skeptical...

Or blinded by angels. Nevertheless, I went ahead and Googled the lyrics to discover the song was All Eyes on You by a one-man band called "St. Lucia." A quick trip to iTunes so I could preview the self-titled EP, and I was hooked. It may have only six tracks, but they are really good tracks.

   
#5 Nocturne by Wild Nothing
In what I can only describe as a dreamy love-letter to the mellower side of the 80's, Wild Nothing has crafted an exquisite album that was pretty much my soundtrack for the last days of summer...

So long as you're giving a listen to Nocturne, I'd recommend taking a listen to their previous effort, Gemini, which is equally amazing.

   
#6 Port of Morrow by The Shins
James Mercer is the musical genius behind The Shins and their mind-blowing smash album Wincing The Night Away. That he chose to follow that success by abandoning the band and moving on to a new project called Broken Bells was cause for concern. Would we ever get new music from The Shins? Turns out the answer is yes... but with Mercer repopulating the band with all new musicians. Turns out that wasn't a cause for concern, because the new album was as brilliant as fans could have hoped for...

Like butter. But... different than I was expecting... somehow. It's as if this latest iteration of the band has not so much built upon what has come before, but instead tossed it out and started from scratch. I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I like the album quite a lot so it probably doesn't matter.

   
#7 Battle Born by The Killers
Brandon Flowers has piercing vocals that could cut through steel, and any time he chooses to really cut loose on a song, you can be assured of it touching your very soul. Battle Born is remarkable because he cuts loose on most every track...

And, yes, that fucking incredible video was made by Tim Burton and stars Winona Rider(!!). Here's another track where the video is too good to be true...

If any band was more primed to throw caution to the wind and create a concept album in the vein of Pink Floyd... well, it would be Pink Floyd... but The Killers would be a close second.

   
#8 Night Visions by Imagine Dragons
After giving a listen to the polished sound of Night Visions, you'd be hard-pressed to peg this as a debut album. And yet, it is...

So pretty. And, just because I can't help myself, here's their latest video. It's pretty awesome...

If this is where the band begins, it will be very interesting to see where they evolve to.

   
#9 Shields by Grizzly Bear
This entire album could be the soundtrack for a Quentin Tarantino film, and I don't know how I could pay it a better compliment than that. Tarantino uses music to secure a sense of place for his stories... and it doesn't matter from which time period they come. Grizzly Bear has gone retro in a very unique way, creating their own sense of place, wherever that may be...

This album convinced me to check out the band's back-catalog, which is pretty impressive.

   
#10 The Truth About Love by Pink
If I were to die tomorrow, one of my regrets would be that I haven't yet seen Pink in concert. She's amazingly talented in a way that harkens back to sirens of old, and to experience that live would truly be an experience to be savored. The Truth About Love sounds a lot like what Pink has given us in past releases, but I think her lyrics are getting more clever...

Tell me that listing to Pink belt that one out to the cheap seats from on-stage wouldn't be awesome. You can't! Probably one of the most consistent vocalists working right now, I'd buy any new Pink album audio unheard. This release hasn't changed that.

   
#11 Living Things by Linkin Park
For reasons that just mystify me, hardcore Linkin Park fans have been railing against Living Things when I honestly feel it's some of the band's best work. It would be easy to dismiss the criticism if I thought there was some kind of new directional shift happening here, but it seems more like a shift back, which should be something that makes fans happy...

Oh well, I have -zero- complaints. The album is a fantastic listen and gets a lot of play on my car's iPod (good driving music!).

   
#12 Body Faucet by Reptar
I caught this band opening for Foster the People last year and was suitably impressed enough to check out their album debut when it dropped this Spring. My first reaction was "Meh. Nothing really special." But then I found myself playing it a lot more often than I ever thought I would. Body Faucet started growing on me. Like a virus...

Just good ol' fashioned FUN, that is! The album is pretty much more of the same. I think this might be a band to watch.

   

SINGLE SINGLE VISION...

Home by Phillip Phillips
I don't watch any of the singing competition shows, so I had no idea who Phillip Phillips was. I found this track by using Shazam on my iPhone.

Unfortunately, there were only a couple other songs off his album I liked, so I gave it a pass. Still, it's pretty song.

   

CHEESIEST VIDEO 2012 AWARD...

Hall of Fame by The Script
Since I've already shown my favorite video (Matt & Kim's Let's Go) I thought I'd come up with a different video award this year. I can see how it would be easy to dismiss The Script as pop fluff... their first single release off of their third album (titled #3, get it?) features a track with will.i.am for heaven's sake. But the album isn't that bad and there's a sensibility behind their music that reaches for something more. Except where their videos are concerned...

When I saw this video, I actually laughed out loud. I mean, seriously. A deaf girl and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks each aspiring for greatness? Holy crap... did they get Nicholas Sparks to write this crap? I kept waiting for Lionel Richie to show up with that blind girl from the Hello video. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have to use schmaltz to sell your song, regardless of how schmaltzy that song is, you're never going to be taken seriously.

   

And... that's a wrap! Rumor has it, 2013 brings us a new album by Depeche Mode. It's looking to be a good year in music already.

Tags:
Categories: Music 2012Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

  Home  

spacer
Welcome:
Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Flickr Gallery:
Dave Contact:
dave@blogography.com
Blogography Webfeeds:
Entries Feed
Comments Feed
Dave Social:
Blogography Tumblr
Blogography Instagram
Blogography on Pinterest
translate me
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
free iphone app
Ask Dave iPhone App
Put Dave in your pocket with this FREE app for iPhone and iPod Touch. All life's answers await you with the Ask Dave app!
dave tweets
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
mobile photos
Visit my Flickr Page
Subscribe to my Mobile Feed
badgemania
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
license
All content copyright ©2003-2014
by David Simmer II
   
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.