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Bullet Sunday 456

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2016

Dave!A new year, 52 new opportunities for bullets, because Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...

   
• STRANGE! As a huge, huge, massively huge devotee of the Marvel Studios films, I'm ecstatic that The Powers The Be are finally getting around to exploring the mystical, magical side of the Marvel Universe. I've long been a fan of Doctor Strange, and everything we've been teased with shows that they're doing it right. Starting with the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch...

Doctor Strange Movie

Will be very interested to see how they integrate magic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That's going to be a delicate line to walk.

   
• ARETHA! Watching Carole King's reaction is almost as entertaining as watching Aretha Franklin flawlessly belt out her song at age 73. Almost.

Talent like that don't come along every day.

   
• WEESA GONNA DIIIIE! I loathe the Star Wars prequels with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. And then there's this...

Not that it would make me hate Jar Jar Binks any less, but it would certainly make me feel better about his presence in those shitty films.

   
• Grapes! "I sold Star Wars to white slavers?" Really? Sour grapes are sour. Geroge Lucas is just pissed that people loathe his shitty prequel movies with a passion reserved for explosive diarrhea while JJ Abrams unleashed the Star Wars film everybody wanted. The Force Awakens is on target to becoming the most successful movie in the history of the universe, and that's gotta hurt. Though I'm sure the billions of dollars Lucas got for selling off Lucasfilm to the "White Slavers" at Disney is some small consolation. Time to go count your money and shut the fuck up, George.

   
• ZONE! I'm the mayor of The Friend Zone...

It's funny because it's true.

   
Thanks, internet, I needed that.

   

Things I Bought Week: Part 5

Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Dave!Welcome to the fifth installment of Things I Bought Week, showcasing stuff that I recently purchased and what I think of what I got for my hard earned money!

What did I buy this time? The Denon AVR-S910W Dolby 7.2 Channel 4K Receiver.


Denone AVR-S910W

I loathe having to buy new stereo equipment.

But receivers are handling a heck of a lot more than just audio now-a-days... receivers are the hub for both audio and video. So whenever video standards change, your equipment has to change with it. When we went from RCA jack video to composite video and optical sound? New receiver. When we got S-Video? New receiver. When we went to HDMI? New receiver. And now that HDMI has been improved with a new version 2 at 4K and shitty fucking copy protection has been unimproved with HDCP 2.2? New receiver.

I mean, sure, you can always use old inputs on an old receiver... I've been doing that for years and living with the lower quality picture... but it's time to upgrade.

I've been a huge fan of Pioneer equipment over the years, but they don't seem to be pushing the envelope now-a-days. My next favorite brand is Sony, but it was a more expensive option for what I wanted. So I spent days researching which receivers were getting good marks now-a-days and settled on Denon. The have a number of different models, but the AVR-S910W was on sale for a great price and did more than I needed, so here we are.

Aesthetically, the unit could easily be confused with dozens of other receivers since they're all looking the same now-a-days... though this line seems to be a bit more minimalistic, which I like. It has a fraction of the buttons of the old Pioneer it's replacing. Since most HDMI electronics can talk to each other via CEC (Consumer Electronic Control), you rarely need to press anything anyway. Turn on your AppleTV and CEC switches the receiver for you. It's mostly automatic and entirely awesome. What's crazy, however, is that the buttons you most need for non-HDMI devices (because they can't be automatically controlled) ARE MISSING. Want to switch the audio source to Bluetooth so you can play music off your iPhone? Hope you have the remote handy, because there's no button for that on the receiver itself.

And speaking of the remote... it's yet another button nightmare where you have to go hunting for what you want. Which sucks to be sure (why is it only Apple can minimize crap on remotes?) but it is fairly well organized, so there's that.

In addition to the afore-mentioned HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 compliance on all 8 of its HDMI ports (nice!), the 910 can also handle the forthcoming HDR picture spec and upscale signal from your old video equipment to full 4K. It's this last feature that sold me on the 910 over the cheaper 710, as I have old 8mm decks that will benefit from the upscaling technology. Since the 910 has an $80 instant rebate in effect, the price difference was $0, which is money well-spent.

For gamers out there worried about video processing lag, I couldn't detect any. But, then again, I'm playing everything on a Wii U now-a-days, which isn't quite so demanding compared to next-gen consoles by Sony and Microsoft. I'm assuming it won't be a problem, as the 910 has plenty of processing power to get the job done.

But enough about the video... what's going on with the audio?

Since I prefer to listen to music in headphones, the primary function of my new Denon receiver will be for home theater surround sound. Support for 7.1 surround is a given, but the unit can also handle new 3D spatial sound technology like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X... which seems a cool idea, but there's nothing really available in the consumer space encoded with those technologies yet and it requires adding more speakers than I want in my small living room. Still... nice for future-proofing the unit, I suppose. Surprisingly, you can run two subwoofers off this receiver, which I didn't even know was a thing. Since low frequencies are non-directional, I thought this was a one-and-done, but apparently two subwoofers provide a richer bass experience.

The sound itself seems very good. I'm no audiophile, but everything I've listened to is well-defined and separated out perfectly on my speaker system. Since my setup is small and fairly undemanding, the 910 is massive overkill in the power department, but it's nice to know I've got the ability to run some serious speakers at 185w per channel if I ever need to.

Denon has its own proprietary system for wireless speakers called "HEOS" which is meant to be direct competition with SONOS. If I could afford a wireless speaker system, I'd bypass HEOS because it has to share your WiFi network instead of creating a separate mesh network like SONOS does. This is a serious deal breaker, because most WiFi networks are close to saturated given all the crap we keep connected to the internet in these modern times. So while HEOS support is nice, I supposed, I have a feeling most people won't bother with it.

If you sacrifice 2 channels from a 7.1 system and can live with a 5.1 surround setup, you can repurpose those two channels as a different speaker "zone" which can be placed in another room and play from a completely different audio source. I honestly think this is kind of silly, but I guess there are some scenarios where it might be useful.

Like most receivers today, the Denon has built-in Bluetooth and WiFi for live streaming. It has support for Pandora, Spotify and Sirius XM on-deck, and can also interface with Apple Airplay-enabled devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs. There's also support for internet radio, but the "stations" are kind of clubky to access, so I probably wouldn't. Thanks to Denon's apps for mobile devices, you can control the receiver with your iOS and Android devices. It seem capable, but also overly complex and cluttered. Still, it does easily allow you to control functions and tie into media servers as sources fairly easily, so worth the free-fitty-free pricetag.

When it comes to set-up, the AVR-S910W is dead-simple. You can use your iPhone to grab all the WiFi settings via Airplay which is super-sweet (no WiFi? Ethernet is also available). Then it's just a matter of following the on-screen instructions displayed on your TV to match your speaker setup. Thanks to the Audyssey Bronze calibration system being built-in, you can optimize your levels with ease. Just place the included microphone on a tripod in the middle of the room and the 910 will play tones to measure your speakers. The system them creates a custom profile based on room acoustics to give you optimal sound at every volume level. I know this reeks of silly gadgetry that usually ends up being useless... but can honestly say I noticed an immediate quality improvement after running through the Audyssey program. Pretty cool.

The on-screen user interface is serviceable enough, but kind of pathetic by today's standards. Mostly a bunch of text staring at you, it looks badly dated. Why Denon would invest money in all the latest bells and whistles only to choose to saddle it with a 1990's wrapper is more than a little inexplicable.

Something I've never seen before is Denon's "Eco Mode" which attempts to save electricity by restricting power to each channel based on the volume you've set. I notice no difference on my tiny speakers with Eco Mode on, so I've just left it there.

If there's a flaw to be found with the AVR-S910W, it's this... THERE IS NO SWITCHED POWER OUTLET ON THE BACK! Which means your subwoofer gets to be powered on all the time unless you want to get up, walk across the room, and manually cycle the power off when you aren't using it. Which begs the question... WHO FUCKING DOES THIS?!? Seriously, what idiotic excuse could they have for leaving off a switched outlet for your subwoofer from the feature list? Every fucking receiver I've ever owned has had a switched power outlet until now. It's senseless bullshit like this that takes great products and sabotages them utterly. This is such a moronic oversight that I am compelled to drop a grade from my score even though the unit is otherwise perfect. I just naturally assumed I'd have my outlet and was dumbfounded when I went to plug in my subwoofer and saw there wasn't one. Somebody at Denon needs to pull their head out of their ass on this one, because it makes the company look like complete idiots. Had I known about this inexcusable flaw, I don't know if I would have purchased it. But probably. There's just so many great things about it compared to the competition in this price range.

RATING: B • RELUCTANTLY DAVE APPROVEDCurrently selling for $479 at Amazon.

   

Bowie

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016

Dave!A very sad goodbye to one of my favorite musical artists...


Lil' Dave Bowie and Bowie Monkey

   

David Bowie's album Let's Dance was an amazing pop reinvention that I've played to death...


   

But my favorite Bowie is from his work on the film Labyrinth in which he managed to turn in incredible performances for both acting and music... including the song As The World Falls Down, which is about as good as it gets...

So many amazing works. You will be very much missed.

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Carpool

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Dave!I'm not a big fan of Adele's music... but I am a seriously huge fan of Adele herself.

Every time she appears on a talk show or gets interviewed, she's so genuinely charming, funny, smart, beautiful, and down-to-earth that you can't help but love her.

And now she's joined James Cordon for an episode of Carpool Karaoke, and it's everything you could ever want...

I really liked her James Bond theme, Skyfall... and there's some tracks on her new album that I do enjoy... so maybe I'm finally coming around to becoming an Adele fan?

Maybe.

   

Simple

Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2016

Dave!Turns out MadTV had a handle on the current state of the Republican Party all along.

Not bad for a show airing twenty years ago...


   
Preach it, sister!

And, seriously, this wasn't written as parody yesterday... it's from nearly twenty years ago...




Darlene McBride really needs to come out of retirement.

Of course, we've already got Mike Huckabee, so she's almost redundant... but still...

   

Hello

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Dave!I'm not a huge fan of Adele's music, but changed my mind when I ended up really liking her James Bond theme for Skyfall. Then she released her latest album with the amazing single Hello and I began thinking I was on my way towards becoming an Adele fan.

And now comes this reggae version of the track by Rosie Delmah and Conkarah...

Pretty great.

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Super!

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Dave!Ooh!

New Pet Shop Boys in April!


Pet Shop Boys SUPER

It's pretty amazing how quick the albumas have been coming...

  • Yes - 2009
  • Elysium - 2012
  • Electric - 2013
  • Super - 2016

That's four albums in eight years. Super!

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Bullet Sunday 459

Posted on Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Dave!You haven't struck gold... but you're getting the next best thing, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Boss! One of the funniest things to come out of Saturday Night Live in a while was Undercover Boss: Kylo Ren with Adam Driver reprising his role from Star Wars: The Force Awakens...

And now they've released some behind the scenes clips...

   
• Vax? So this is what it takes.

   
• J-Law! I'm obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence... and her appearance on Graham Norton takes it up a notch...

   
• GHOST! BUSTERS! LEGO Dimensions is the gift that keeps on giving... thanks to new Level Pack releases that take the game in entirely new directions. The latest? Ghostbusters!...

Looks epic. Can't wait until I have time to play it.

   
• Blake! Nothing quite like "discovering" a new song you like... eight years after it was released...

Apparently Blake Lewis was an American Idol winner. Since I don't watch that show, I never knew he existed until my Amazon Echo played one of his songs a couple days ago.

   
And... that's a wrap.

   

Reverie

Posted on Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Dave!Ever since Howard introduced me to the magic that is Postiljonen and their stunning debut album, I've been waiting for a followup.

And yesterday was the day.

If you enjoyed Skyer (and why in the hell wouldn't you?) then Reverie will be a welcome addition to your music collection as it's pretty much more of the same...

Reverie!

Filled with lush, gorgeous soundscapes that carry you away to a better place, Reverie is going to be serious competition for my favorite album of 2016...

If you're looking for and escape, here's your album.

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Oskarz

Posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Dave!Not a big fan of the Oscars.

The movies and people behind the movies that I feel most deserve to win so rarely do... if they even get nominated at all.

This year that was made vividly clear to me as the Worst. Fucking. Bond. Theme. Ever. won best song. This kind of whiny shit masquerading as "music" drives me insane. But use it as a James Bond theme? Sacrilege. It doesn't help that Sam Smith is sounds like crap live. If they wanted a song called "Writing's on the Wall," they should have called OK Go!

Yeah. I know. I already said this.

But, damn.

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1975 Again

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Dave!It's probably too early to declare The 1975's i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it as my favorite album of 2016, but I can't fathom anything coming along to move this breathtaking work out of my top spot. The album is a bit eclectic, with some musical numbers injected between the songs, but it's a full volume of awesome, even when they're skipped over...


   

The 1975: i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it Album Cover

   

Probably my favorite track on the album is Change of Heart. Remarkably, it's lyrically a direct sequel to the song The City on their previous album. In a very cool, yet heartbreaking way. The band played this at the concert I went to with Aaron back in December, and I'm glad I finally get a studio version to listen to...

   
And then there's Somebody Else, which is a hauntingly beautiful track that hasn't left my head since I first heard it. I could probably listen to this on repeat for days before getting tired of it...

   
For a pure 80's flashback episode, look no further than the bouncy This Must Be My Dream...

   
The song Paris is one of those melodic masterpieces that drifts into your consciousness when you least expect it...

   
A song that's bound to cause a bit of controversy for dissing a big chunk of The 1975's fans comes in the form of She's American. It's a bit over the top, but is speaking to a point, I suppose...

   
I could just go on gushing over all the tracks on the album, but I'll probably stop here and wrap up with the last video the band released for The Sound, which addresses the band's critics in a way that's more thought-provoking than antagonistic...

   
And so... as if it weren't obvious... I give the album my highest recommendation. It doesn't stray too far from what made them an instant favorite with their first album, but isn't a clone that would just be boring.

   

Prince

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Dave!Very sad to learn that Prince has left us. He was a remarkable artist whose influence will not soon pass from this earth.

Just thought I'd post a smattering of things I like about His Purpleness today rather than try and do any kind of retrospective on what his music has meant to me all these years.

Probably my most favorite thing Prince-related is Kevin Smith's story about his attempt to work with the guy. Yes, Prince was strange, but he could be. Because he's Prince...

I am certain that I'm not the only one who is dying to know about the mountain of Prince material stacked up in his vault. We could be getting new stuff for decades, assuming his heirs choose to share it with us.

   
And, of course, Questlove has a story to share...

   
If you haven't seen Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Story on playing basketball with Prince (played by Dave Chappelle), then you owe it to yourself to click over to iTunes and buy the fifth episode of the second season right now. It is one of the most hilarious things you will ever see (and, unfortunately, gets lost because everybody focuses on Charlie Murphy's Rick James story, bitch). If you can't get iTunes episodes, here's a handheld recording...

Prince, of course, reacted as only Prince can...

   
And Queen Latifah on Fallon (who are both huge Prince fans) show how even the stars are starstruck when it comes to Prince...

David Spade shared an awesome Prince story on Fallon too...

   
Prince did an episode of The New Girl that was so Prince it hurts. Liz Meriwether, the creator of the show, has an awesome recap of the experience that's a must read. And, in case you didn't see the episode, here's a mashup of his appearance...

   
I love too many Prince songs to count, but my favorite has to be Raspberry Beret. It's such an amazingly clever song in so many ways... musically, lyrically, creatively... it's everything you expect from Prince in one amazing video...

The story around the video is equally interesting. Up until this point, Prince had been in a self-imposed exile from music videos for a while. I don't know what made him change his mind to appear in Raspberry Beret, but it made the video a pretty major event at the time. Also... I read somewhere that Prince coughing at the beginning was real and he, as director of the video, decided to leave it in. The Purple One is human after all!

"Overcast days never turned me on. But something about the clouds and her mixed..." For the longest time, I had those lyrics wrong. I always thought it was "But there's something about the clouds in her midst." Then one day I was actually listening (as opposed to singing along... badly) when I realized there was no "there's" in that lyric. Then I had to reevaluate what he was singing over and over until I figured it out. Now every time I look out my window and see an overcast day, those are the words that enter my head. Hopefully I haven't got them wrong. Again.

   
And, lastly, Prince being Prince... the ultimate performer...

   
So much more could be said.

Goodbye Prince. You are gone but definitely will not be forgotten.

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Bullet Sunday 473

Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Dave!Don't despair over your impending march to Monday, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• HASTURD! What happens when a complete piece of shit holds political power?

Apparently they get away with being child-raping garbage. God bless America.

   
• Jack! And so it looks like John Krasinski has been cast as Jack Ryan in a new Amazon series based on John Clancy's books. In all honesty, I think he may end up being the best Jack Ryan yet. Baldwin wasn't physical enough. Ford was too old. Affleck not cerebral enough. Pine was just (surprisingly) plain bad. They all lacked something essential to the character. Krasinski, on the other hand, is the whole package. If they get the story right, I think he'll knock it out of the park. And if he can get his wife to make a guest appearance, so much the better! The only thing that gives me pause is that Carlton Cuse and Graham Richard are developing the series. Given the way they took an amazing concept and flushed it down the toilet with Lost, my confidence in them delivering with Jack Ryan is very low. Fingers crossed though.

   
• English! If you're into linguistics, here's a video for you...

Of course, there are dialects within dialects on both sides of the pond, but this is a pretty great encapsulation of the differences.

   
• Shame. This is the America we're building...

PEOPLE. JUST. WANT. TO. FUCKING. PEE! As they've been doing in bathrooms for centuries! And yet, here we are... people being terrified by asshole politicians taking a non-problem and blowing it up so as to distract from what's really going on...

Again, the people most responsible for doing heinous shit in public bathrooms... ARE ASSHOLE POLITICIANS, ASSHOLE RELIGIOUS NUTS, AND ASSHOLE CRIMINALS... not transgender persons! And if you buy into the lies, guess what, you're the problem!

   
• Pop! Amazing how I'm still discovering excellent 80's pop music that I somehow missed in the actual 80's. This time? A Good Heart by Feargal Sharkey...

And, just to show that I'm not above missing out on current pop music, I recently heard Cake by the Ocean by DNCE, which is awesome...

And, yes, that's a Jonas Brother on the mic there.

   
Alrighty then... the time has come to say goodbye to another edition of Bullet Sunday. Until next week...

   

Bullet Sunday 480

Posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Dave!SUNDAY BEGAT SUNDAY AND SUNDAY IS SUNDAY, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Butter. A friend of a friend closed his restaurant last December. A while back he was asked if he would share some of his favorite recipes and he did. Then somebody asked him how in the heck he made his burgers taste so good. His answer? "Butter and salt." Saturate the buns in butter before grilling them. Just before flipping, salt and pepper the patty (his restaurant had a touch of garlic powder in the mix) then flip and add more salt. Sodium nightmare? Yes. But restaurants don't have to post Nutrition Facts, so that's how he made his burgers taste great. Tonight I gave it a try with my Boca Burger patties. *AMAZING* The abundance of butter and salt totally takes them to the next level. High blood pressure, here I come!

   
• Voter. Just sayin'...

Why American's aren't rioting in the streets for an end to our fucked-up two-party system I will never know.

   
• Wierd World. Oh Lord, Really? Pat Robertson's crazy shit is hilarious, yes, but there are people who actually believe the words he's saying! I mean, the gays are going to force me to like bestiality? BUT I DON'T WANT TO FUCK A GOAT!!! THANKS, THE GAYS!!!

This guy is bat-shit crazy. Genuinely certifiable. Scary insane.

   
• OH IT IS ON! Heinz starts making yellow mustard... SO NOW FRENCH'S IS MAKING KETCHUP! =BOOM!=

French's Ketchup and Heinz Mustard

Which one is making mayonnaise next? And will Hellman's start making ketchup and yellow mustard of their own in retalliation?

   
• Dipshit Pie! Trae Crowder has become one of my favorite vloggers. His unique take on politics is comedy gold, and this was one of my favorites these past months...

Oh noooo.... where are we going to get our meth and pontoon boats?

   
• DNCE. While I was on sabbatical, I got hooked on DNCE's album Swaay for my "Album of the Summer." Their first video, Cake By The Ocean was catchy as hell and I was instantly addicted...

When they released their next video for Toothbrush, I was baffled by people calling lead singer Joe Jonas "brave" and "progressive" for featuring a plus-size model. IT'S ASHLEY FUCKING GRAHAM!!! She's one of the hottest women on the planet! I mean, seriously, there are guys who would take a look at ASHLEY FUCKING GRAHAM and say "No thank you?" It's not like he put a regular human woman in his video... IT'S ASHLEY FUCKING GRAHAM! Oh how brave of him! He was progressive enough to make out with ASHLEY FUCKING GRAHAM in his video! Give me a break.

The last video was for Body Moves, which was another catchy, high-energy track...

I have no idea if this was just a side-project for Joe Jonas or what. It will be interesting to see if the band stays together for another album. I sure hope so.

   
And... as good as it feels to be shootin' bullets again, this here Bullet Sunday is at an end.

   

Mustache Harbor

Posted on Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Dave!Live music is a treat I don't get to experience often enough. Mostly because I almost always have to travel to get to it. This trip to San Francisco was all about getting to finally see a Mustache Harbor show... of which my long-term friend, Jester, is a part.

Last night was the first of two sold-out shows at Bimbo's 365 Club, and it was glorious...

Ace Fontana Rocks the Crowd with Mustache Harbor.
Jester as "Ace Fontana" singing to a legion of Mustache Harbor fans on SPACE NIGHT!

   
Fantastic show. And a pretty great way to spend an evening. Needless to say, if Mustache Harbor is ever playing in your neck of the woods, they are well worth checking out.

Because who wouldn't want to experience a band brought together by their astrological signs and a love for vintage soft rock and sweet staches?

   

Fortune Cookies and Falafel

Posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Dave!Guess Bullet Sunday is just going to have to wait, because I've got one last day in San Francisco...

Which started rather late, because I was wiped out from a late night of enjoying the smooth, soulful, vocal stylings of Jester and Mustache Harbor for their second sold-out show at Bimbo's 365 Club last night.

It was every bit as awesome as Friday's show, where we were once again transported to OUTERRRRRRR SPAAAAAACE...

Ace Fontana Rocks the Crowd with Mustache Harbor.

WE LOVE YOU, ACE FONTANA!!!

Ace Fontana Rocks the Crowd with Mustache Harbor.
Jester as Ace Fontana as Ace Frehley — ©2016 by Tananarive Aubert Photography

   
I had two things left on my San Francisco agenda, which Jester was willing to accommodate... 1) A FALAFEL WRAP SANDWICH... and... 2) FORTUNE COOKIES FROM GOLDEN GATE FORTUNE COOKIE COMPANY...

Ace Fontana Rocks the Crowd with Mustache Harbor.

After that it was off to the airport so I can rest up before tomorrow's early morning flight.

Thanks a million times to Jester for making everything in my San Francisco holiday possible!

   

Bullet Sunday 482

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2016

Dave!Your eyes are not deceiving you... because an all new Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...

   
• #TrumpsAmerica. Hey everybody! Are you tired of not being able to get through a single day without seeing yet another example of the horrendous level of racist bullshit that is inundating our Black youth? Do videos like this make your blood boil?

Might I suggest a donation to my long-time blogging friend Kelly Wickham's amazing organization: Being Black at School so she can help make a difference? She's doing the work to effect change and could use your help.

   
• Certified Pre-Owned. I love creativity in advertising. Especially when it's for such a great cause...

I'd adopt ten more if I could.

   
• Snowline. Welp, winter is coming. Confirmed as I was driving back home today...

Mountain Snow Line.

Mountain Snow Line.

Hopefully it can hold off going full-on winter until next week. I've got another trip over the mountains coming up.

   
• Soul. I was very saddened to learn that the amazing Sharon Jones died. Her performances with the Dap-Kings was a show I have long wanted to attend, and I'm more than a little upset I never got the chance...

Rest in peace, Miss Jones.

   
• Hamiltoon. The cast of Hamilton respectfully asked that Vice President Elect Mike Pence "...uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us..." at the close of their show and President Elect Trump loses his fucking mind, as usual. But that was only the beginning, because crazy-ass Jeanine Pirro of FOX "News" went full-on bat-shit insane... (I'm paraphrasing here)... "HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE THE STATE AND OUR FUTURE SUPREME LEADER! YOU'VE RUINED MY ENJOYMENT OF HAVING WATCHED YOUR PLAY WITH ALL THE BLACKS AND ALL THE LATINOS AND ALL THE HIP-HOP! BOW BEFORE PRESIDENT TRUMP, YOU INSOLENT SWINE! AND MAY HIS GLORIOUS REIGN LAST A MILLION YEARS!" — I swear... it is only a matter of days before we start hearing "uppity negroes" come out of the mouths of these racist pieces of shit. It is so blatantly obvious EXACTLY what they are thinking... and the team of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted trash that will soon be running this country has emboldened them to become utterly transparent. They're not even hiding it anymore. I am disgusted to my very core. Oh... and PS... REVERSE RACISM IS NOT A THING YOU FUCKING MORON!

   
Me bullets be gone. See ye next week.

   

Bullet Sunday 483

Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Dave!Fight through that leftover turkey tryptophan food coma... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• More. As a fan of the show Gilmore Girls, I was naturally curious about the Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life. The show kind of lost its way in Season 6, then really lost its way in Season 7 after creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and writing/directing partner Daniel Palladino left the show. But now they (and the entire surviving cast) is back for another go in four 90-minute "films" entitled Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall...

Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life Posters.

For the most part, I was happy to see all the characters again and felt the stories for all four episodes were solid... even though many of the mistakes I thought were made in Season 6 & 7 were, oddly enough, repeated all over again. As if that weren't enough, we finally got to hear those Four Final Words that Amy Sherman-Palladino had wanted to end the series with all along. And though the words make perfect sense and took the series to a logical place, I had two problems with how things ended. 1) It pretty much begs for more episodes. And 2) I don't know that the words mean as much now when Rory is in her 30's as they would have had they been spoken when she was in her 20's back when the series ended.

All that being said, boy was Edward Herrmann missed as Richard Gilmore. He was always such a big presence in the show, and his death left a huge void. That the Palladinos used this as an exceptional opportunity to move Emily Gilmore's story forward is to their credit.

Here's hoping Netflix will bless us with another series in the future.

   
• Watching. Speaking of television shows... my favorite show going right now is No Tomorrow...

No Tomottow Poster.

Girl meets boy. Boy thinks the world is going to get hit by a meteor and be destroyed. Adventures in life ensue. And it's funny to boot. Give it a shot if you have some free time in your television schedule!

   
• Strange? Doctor Strange has the best "Art of the Movie" book from Marvel yet. So much thought went into the bizarre visuals, and you get a terrific look at how the filmmakers agonized over them. A very cool companion to a very cool movie...

Art of Doctor Strange Book Cover.

If you're a fan of the film... or even the comic book... this is a book worth checking out.

   
• LEGO. As if the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie isn't super-awesome enough...

LEGO has just announced that the next series of MiniFigs will come from the film!

LEGO Batman Movie Minifigs.

Am dying to own them all, but here's the one that I can't live without...

LEGO Batman Fairy Minifig.

Fairy Princess Batman! Classic!

   
• Scream. Pretty much the theme song for my life these past weeks...

#TrumpsAmerica

   
And... there's your bullets for the week.

   

11 blocks from my door to your doorstep

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Dave!I wish I had a nickel for every time Jester redefined my love of music.

I'd blog about something, but the only thing in my head right now is the lyrics to this hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking song by Wrabel.


   
Probably the best lyrics video I've ever seen. Magical.

His Twitter feed is filled with magic too.

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Audio16

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2016

Dave!My favorite song of 2016 is Somebody Else by The 1975. My second favorite song is Eleven Blocks by Wrabel. And had this song been on an album, it would have made my "Best Of..." list for 2016 even if the rest of the album was shit.

That's how awesome a song it is...

Anyway... here's my list of favorite albums from this past year...

   
THE TWELVE BEST...

#1 I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it by The 1975
This should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, as I've been raving about it this whole year. Just as I raved about The 1975's previous album non-stop since I first heard it. This is easily my favorite band going now, and seeing their live show last December made them a serious contender for one of my favorite bands ever. I just can't stop listening to their music, and their latest album dropped a slew of new songs that made that a truth throughout 2016. Hands-down my favorite is Somebody Else, which is a beautiful, haunting tune that has permanent residence in my head. I'm also loving Change of Heart, which is a direct song-sequel to The City. Rounding out my favorites are Paris and This Must Be My Dream.

   

   

#2 Reverie by Postiljonen
More haunting magic from the Swedish overlords of dream-pop. I love every song on this album but, if forced to pick, Blood Flow is a song that feels like a romantic warm blanket enveloping you, and it's tough to top that. If that song grabs you, Wait has a slightly more ethereal edge and is worth a listen. And if you want something a little more pop-forward, give Are You Thinking of Me a spin.

   
   

   

#3 E•MO•TION: Side B (EP) by Carly Rae Jepson
The original E•MO•TION (released 2015) should have ended up in my top five last year, but inexplicably didn't make my list at all. In an effort to rectify this, I'm putting Carly Rae Jepson's EP of songs that didn't make the cut as my No. 3 pick (thanks, Howard!). Given how these tracks are every bit as good as what did end up making the cut, you have to wonder if she's capable of making a bad song.

   

#4 Super by Pet Shop Boys
One of my favorite bands of all time, Pet Shop Boys has been releasing new music at a frantic clip, and I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Good, because it's more PSB music. Bad, because the best tracks from the past three albums would have made one of the best PSB albums of all time. Still, if your favorite PSB songs are their infectious dance tracks, Super has a lot to offer. Oddly enough, my favorite song is not one of those tracks, but the flawlessly-constructed The Dictator Decides, which sports some terrific lyrics over electro-pop accented tones of despair. Equally haunting is Sad Robot World, which is a track that drags you through a slow-moving tale of desolation... exactly the kind of thing Pet Shop Boys excel at.

   

   

#5 DNCE by DNCE
No, I have no clue how I ended up liking an album from a group headed up by one of the Jonas Brothers, but here we are. A great deal of my liking this album has to do with their breakout hit, Cake By The Ocean, which is pop genius (and originated when a friend of the band couldn't remember the phrase "sex on the beach"). They followed that with a video for Toothbrush (starring ASHLEY FUCKING GRAHAM!) and I was hooked. Then DNCE dropped a video for the infectious Body Moves and suddenly I was a fan of Joe Jonas & Company.

   
   

   

#6 Oh My My by OneRepublic
OneRepublic often feels like a band that's been spinning its wheels. Their songs (and albums) just kind of blend together in a homogenous blob. Except... what a great blob it is to listen to. Yes, Oh My My is more of the same, but that's not always a bad thing because it keeps me loving the band. A standout track is Kids, which has a kind of M83-infused hook to it. Note that the video for Wherever I Go is one of my favorites of 2016.

   

   

#7 Blackstar by David Bowie
For me, Bowie will forever be enshrined in an alter devoted to his 1983 album Let's Dance. Anything outside of that can be appreciated, but my love was reserved for that one album (come on, it's perfect!). Which means I've largely been ignoring his work for 33 years. Then Blackstar drops and my love of all things Bowie is renewed in a huge way. Two days later, Bowie dies and the world starts falling apart. I am convinced this is not a coincidence. Recorded as he was battling liver cancer, Blackstar is yet another example of Bowie being ahead of the pack, the album sounding like some kind of experimental leap of brilliance we're not going to hear again any time soon.

   

#8 Moth by Chairlift
In my humble opinion, Chairlift's best song is Bruises. It's lyrical, smart, and fun, and nothing else that's come out of the band has reached that height. It hasn't kept them from trying. Moth is another nicely subdued pop release that, unfortunately, will assumably be the band's last since they recently announced a breakup.

And now, just because I love it so much, here's Bruises...

   

#9 Junk by M83
Much like OneReublic, M83 just keeps slogging through more of the same. And, just like OneRepublic, I find myself being secretly grateful so I don't end up discouraged when a band I like heads in the wrong direction (see: Depeche Mode). Junk doesn't stray to far from formula, but it's a listen I enjoy just the same.

   

#10 Run the Jewels 3 by Run The Jewels
My being a fan of Run the Jewels confuses a lot of people. Probably because my love of music fits nicely into the pop genre (with emphasis on synth-pop and the 80's) and that's what I'm listening to 95% of the time. But then... then... there are times I need something else. There are times I need metal. There are times I need electronica. And, yes, there are times I need rap. And when that time comes, there's something about Run the Jewels that hits the spot. Their past two albums were fantastic... this third one was released early just last week, so I haven't quite settled into it yet... but I love what I'm hearing.

   

#11 Version Of Me by Melanie C
My favorite Spice Girl was Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham). My favorite singer of the Spice Girls was Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell). But lurking in my consciousness was always Mel C, who has been just plain solid both in and out of Spice World. Version of Me isn't breaking any new ground, but it's eminently listenable and one of those "in the background albums" I play often while working. That may not seem like a glowing endorsement, and maybe it's not, but the album gets played enough to earn a spot on my list for 2016.

   

#12 Perfume by Cosmic Explorer
My interest in J-Pop is firmly planted in the past, but every once in a while something new comes along to sink me into that world once again. Perfume was just such a ticket. Something about having Cosmic Explorer's sweet melodies and heavy synth playing at full volume while driving provides a calming effect... even though my grasp of the Japanese language has long-since faded.

   

And, that's a wrap for 2016! As always, I'm sure I missed something. If I think of it in these coming weeks, I'll be sure to add it here.

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