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Bullet Sunday 843

Posted on February 18th, 2024

Dave!The snow has all melted, and ... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mean It! It’s a beautiful song to begin with. But when LANY's lead singer comes in with that hook at 2:47... how do collaborations like this happen? It’s perfect...

Can't believe this track is off Lauv's debut album.

   
• Winner! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jamieandblake Keep them guessing 😅 #funny #viral #fyp ♬ original sound - Jamie and Blake

I hope he at least didn't have to pay.

   
• Patagonia! I don't have very many regrets in life. But the few I do usually revolve around missed opportunities when it comes to travel. Not having been to India yet is something that I very much regret, for example. But bigger regrets are having gone places but not having enough time to see and experience more of the area. My photo expedition to Antarctica was incredible. A true bucket-list-worthy item that I will remember forever. And yet... I sure wish I would have had more time so I could visit Patagonia. But I had new kittens back home that I worried about. A mom in a memory care facility that I worried about even more. And two weeks away was already more than I could take (or afford).

   
• Streaming Services Are Shit! Cutting cable/satellite was one of the happiest things I ever did. I fucking HATED having to buy bundles that included channels I would never watch and commercials I was forced to suffer through on top of the huge monthly bill. Streaming allowed me to pay for exactly what I wanted to watch and was ad-free. Then, fast-forward to today, and we're back to bundles and fucking ads (unless you pay an absurd amount of money to get rid of them. Not only that, but the amount of content you get is shit too. Which brings us to this...

God. It's so bad that I'm to the point where I subscribe to one service ad-free each month, cancel it, then move on to the next ad-free service. And I know I'm not alone. It used to be that I cared about supporting services that produced content I wanted to watch by subscribing every month. Now I don't give a shit. Fuck 'em. I will pay when there's something they have that I want to watch. For the rest, I pay for YouTube Premium, which is ad-free and has endless content. That's enough.

   
• Marvel! Today I watched Assembled: The Making of The Marvels and am sad all over again that the movie underperformed. I love Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Her first movie was SO good. Her part in Avengers: Endgame was flawless. And while there were some serious problems with The Marvels, it was still very entertaining. I loved the power-switching concept that drove it. — I want to see Captain Marvel again. I need more Carol Danvers. I hope that Marvel Studios brings her back somehow. And Photon. Teyonah Parris is a frickin' gift. How awesome would it be to get a limited series which explores her light powers in a cool and interesting way. And of course Ms. Marvel. I didn't particularly care for her limited series, but she was absolute gold in The Marvels. That Iman Vellani could capture the wonder of what her character was experiencing so perfectly is the heart of the entire film...

But my favorite part of the documentary was Laura "LOOK AT ME, I'M WACKY" Karpman on sound design. Makes me want to re-watch the movie just to have a better appreciation for her work on it. And of course I thought the special effects were glorious. =sigh= I am so bummed that super-hero movies are imploding. I love love loved having so much content and watched it all. I would love to have a new Marvel movie every month. Like the comics. But now it's all being scaled back, and there's really nothing out there to replace it for me. I waited so long for something like the MCU to happen. I don't want it to end.

   
• Housed! It is so weird having spent a month watching every episode of House and now it’s over. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that there are no more episodes to watch. But anyway… the final season was a bit of a mess, but I loved the show. Ten thoughts… 1) I think it’s probably a good thing that the show didn’t have a ninth season. They did everything, and it was time. There’s only so many times you can say “sarcoidosis.” 2) That being said, I want a spin-off with Chi Park. I love her character and want more. Even though they didn’t know what to do with her, and came up with the idiotic Chase love scenario. 3) I missed Cameron after she left. But Cuddy was the one that I cannot believe wasn’t there for the last season… and the way they got rid of her was insulting and stupid. 4) Robert Sean Leonard better have gotten an award for playing Wilson, because damn. 5) I think that Omar Epps probably didn’t get enough credit for his role. He was memorable despite his character being buried most of the time. 6) While I loved Taub when he was in doctor mode, they spent WAY too much time on his stupid personal life. 7) Thirteen was my favorite character. Partly because they made her so interesting, but mostly because Olivia Wilde played her so beautifully. 8] The saddest moment to me was Kutner, not Wilson, because Kutner was all reactions by the characters, and we will never know what he was feeling. 9) I would have liked to get more of the detective guy, Lucas. He was just so… together… and I love that they didn’t feel the need to make him a mess like everybody else. 10) I really do think that the writers backed themselves into a corner with Greg House. It’s like they felt him being a mess was his only quality, and he never really gave him the opportunity to be anything else (even when he was with Cuddy). Fortunately, Hugh Laurie was just so GOOD in the role that it didn’t matter. He made the character fascinating to watch no matter how much the writers were intent on sabotaging him. — BUT ANYWAY... A really good show that I’m kinda sad I didn’t watch as it was airing, because that way it probably wouldn’t have seemed as repetitive with the medical diagnosis jargon. GRADE: A- (though the final season was probably more of a C+).

   
Until next Sunday then.

   

Bullet Sunday 842

Posted on February 11th, 2024

Dave!I'm scrubbing up after seven months of having my shower doors collecting dust in my hallway, but now that they're moved, I can move on... and blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Make Mine Marvel! I fully expected to get a Deadpool 3 trailer at the Superb Owl. And though I'm not watching the game, I wasn't disappointed. Now titled Deadpool & Wolverine, it's absolutely everything I dreamed of...

This may very well be worth a trip to the theater.

   
• Yawn! I was wandering through the internet and saw a photo of some cats that immediately reminded me of the famous Pet Shop Boys album cover for actually...

Classic. The Instagram account didn't credit the creator of the photos, but a reverse image search pointed me to this Tumblr here. Hopefully that's the right place. Kinda frustrating when creators don't get credited for their work.

   
• DOON TOO! Um. Wow. Can't wait for the second half of Dune. The whole idea of riding a big worm through the desert is just so comical, but here Denis Villeneuve actually makes it look terrifying...

I've always been a fan of what David Lynch managed to do with his original film back in 1984, but this is phenomenal. If only Frank Herbert could see how his master work has been so beautifully adapted.

   
• Call Me... Charlie Baltimore! I love maps. This short video is on a subject I've read about many times... but this is a very clear way of illustrating The Baltimore Phenomenon...

Alice Springs was an interesting place to visit. I went so I could see Uluru (AKA "Ayer's Rock), and it feels very much like a place that's there just to service people doing exactly that.

   
• I'm Blue! Oh how I love science. The story of the development of the blue LED is fascinating...

The implications of sterilization LEDs is mind-boggling.

   
• Shorted! It's been a while since I've read Optic Nerve. But I was excited when I heard that Randall Park was adapting Shortcomings from the original comic. THEN I saw that it was to star Justin Min (he's Ben in The Umbrella Academy) and Ally Maki (who I fell in love with from Wrecked) and was all in...

It ended up being darn good. Kinda slice-of-life with some humor to it. And though I don't recall seeing Sherry Cola in anything, she is hilarious. All the actors are really good, but holy crap should Justin Min be tearing up Hollywood. Good looking with the bone structure of a god... and incredible talented to boot.

   
• Poppin'! TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES ONLY APPLY TO WOMEN! MEN CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT! IT'S IN THE BIBLE, YOU CAN LOOK IT UP! Meanwhile... misogyny never looked so fabulous. That lip gloss and those frosted tips are poppin' on him! Way to find a look that's so glam on you, my brother in Christ! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@speechprof

This has the same energy for me as Andre Tatertot saying that the tears running down his face when he feels sad isn’t crying.

♬ original sound - The Speech Prof

The lack of awareness is just next level here.

   
And now? Back to playing clean up.

   

A Fast Car and A Grammy

Posted on February 7th, 2024

Dave!I just want to put this out there... if Tracy Chapman, a Black queer woman, had re-sang Fast Car with a twangy guitar, what are the chances that she would have burned up the Country charts with her incredible song?

That being said, I am thrilled that she is having a resurgence in popularity thanks to Luke Combs. She has pretty much kept to herself the last decade, making only scattered appearances when she is moved to do so, and her last album (Our Bright Future, which was middle-of-the-road for Tracy Chapman, which is to say it was great) was in 2008. I hope that the stellar response to her Grammy performance encourages her to write new music...

Tracy Chapman at the Grammys

I was hopeful when her greatest hits was released she'd give us a new track or two, but it wasn't to be... so maybe now is the time?

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Bullet Sunday 841

Posted on February 4th, 2024

Dave!I am banging this entry out early because I have a house to clean, but better early than ever... because an all new Very Special YouTube Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Strangers! The meat of this excellent video story is about 10 minutes long. It is absolutely worth your valuable time to watch. Especially if you want to know what this experiment we call "life" is all about...

I've seen feature-length movies that didn't work this hard. Brilliant.

   
• Crash! Remember when police officers stood on the driver's side to talk to you when you get pulled over? Thank heavens they changed procedure and switched to the passenger side, or this officer would have certainly been killed...

Wild. It's just wild to watch it happen. Even more wild that nobody as hurt. And you have to wonder what happened. Was somebody looking at their phone or what?

   
• We Are the World! It's interesting how USA for Africa came together. I mean, not shocking because it's pretty much what you'd expect, but it's exciting to watch as the dominoes started to fall and people were getting involved. If you have Netflix, this documentary is gold. Especially if you like music...

I actually think there was likely enough material to make a second part, because the stories behind having so many legends in a single room are undoubtedly endless.

   
• Power! On Friday I mentioned the Marques Brownlee Waveform Podcast where they were talking about the Apple Vision Pro, and they mentioned a relaxing "game" called Powerwash Simulator. I played this at a friend's house, but don't actually own it, so I had no idea what all it contains. Basically, you select a dirt object in the game, then power wash it until it's clean. That's it. When you wash all the dirt and grime off the object you selected, you finish the job and "win." It turns out that one of the things you can wash is the Perseverance Mars Rover! I've fast-forwarded to that part of this review (5:45 minutes)...

And look! The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is there too! How cool is that? If I had a Vision Pro and Powerwash Simulator was available, I'd buy it just for this.

   
• Attendant! I learned very early on when I was flying constantly about how being a flight attendant works. There are all kinds of excuses as to why their pay doesn’t start until the cabin door closes, usually having to do with making sure that their maximum legal hours worked doesn’t expire in mid-flight after a delay. But it’s all bullshit. I 1000% support flight attendants earning a living wage for the work they do, and excuses are just excuses. Airlines can find a way to pay these hard-working people fairly for the work they do...

   
• HOT! Hot Ones is a surprisingly deep interview that runs at a brisk pace while buying into an absurd concept of eating hot sauce. And regardless of how you feel about John Oliver and his politics, he has some really funny moments... and some surprisingly astute observations... that aren't straying into political territory...

It just goes to show that John Oliver has some very smart takes the go beyond politics.

   
• Tay Tay Today! The bat-shit insane conspiracy theories that Fox "News" is drumming up over Taylor Swift don't concern me. It's the fact that some of their viewers actually buy into the conspiracy theories. They don't even make any fucking sense. Like if Taylor Swift says anything AT ALL that's political, she's an evil Biden puppet. But all the "musicians" who show up on Fox "News" to talk Conservative politics are real patriots? Jesus Christ. Taylor Swift hasn't said shit. But apparently Conservatives are shitting their pants over the idea that she could, and so they want to jump in front of it. Anyway... Seth Meyers has a look down the rabbit hole of Taylor's existence, and it's worth a closer look...

Anymore doesn't our reality seem like a fucking bad movie?

At the beginning of each year I don't make resolutions. Instead I make a list of dreams for the next 365 (366 in 2024) days. I'm not talking about pie-in-the-sky dreams of unrealistic fantasy that are unachievable, but dreams which can actually happen. High on that list is that Taylor Swift continue to trigger people in all the best ways. Because apparently this is something that is badly needed. And you know what? January just ended and I'm just going to check that one off my list. Whether she's just existing... or watching her boyfriend play football... or she's being accused of being a demon in league with satan... she triggers more ridiculous people on a daily basis than I could ever hope for. And I love you for that, Taylor!

   
Now I need to get back to cleaning my wreck of a house. See you next Sunday with more bullets.

   

Audio23

Posted on December 29th, 2023

Dave!Much like last year, I didn't stray far from the pop music I love (although I was listening to the new Metallica album more than a few times on those bad days). I just needed "comfort food" to get me through, and there was plenty of that in 2023. But anyway, here you go...

#1 Smash: The Singles 1985-2020 — Pet Shop Boys
I don't generally put compilation albums in my year-end wrap-up, but this one simply could not be denied. Pet Shop Boys is one of my all-time favorite bands, and this is a super-set of their best music. I already own every album they have released, so the first thing I did was create a playlist of the Smash setlist. Though some of the singles were "new versions," that had me exploiting my Apple Music subscription to hear. Interestingly enough, many of my most favorite PSB songs, like The Way it Used to Be and Dreaming of the Queen and The Survivors and The End of the World and Up Against It and others were never released as singles, thus aren't on this compilation. Regardless, it was my favorite album of 2023 by a long shot, and reliving these songs was an amazing experience for Pet Heads.

#2 i/o — Peter Gabriel
As a longtime Peter Gabriel fan, I was intrigued when rumors of a new album started leaking very soon after Up was released in 2002. Apparently Gabriel had so many songs left over from that project that he was planning on a follow-up album in 2004. Then, NEARLY TWENTY YEARS LATER, we finally get a new album. And it was weirdly-handled. Instead of releasing it in January 2023, Gabriel dropped a new single on every full moon... with an alternate mix of the same song the following full moon. It got to the point where I forgot about the releases and any momentum for the album fizzled. UNTIL Jester took me to see the i/o tour on October 9th. Weirdly, the entirety of the album was played in this epic-length live show, making it the first time I had heard the actual album. And then on December 1st, the two albums of two different mixes was released, and it leapt to one of my favorite albums of the year. A lot of that has to do with me thinking back to the concert, but the songs are just darn good on top of that.

#3 In the End it Always Does — The Japanese House
I was completely unaware of Amber Bain until she collaborated with MUNA, and then I was immediately obsessed. Mostly because she could easily be a fourth member of MUNA, a band I love. This album is filled with lovely, haunting, easy-listening tracks that have interesting, simple melodies and a lyrical property that causes them to wash over you like warm gentle waves on a beach. Or wrapping around you like a warm blanket. Gorgeous from start to finish, this was an easy pick for my third favorite album of 2023.

#4 The Show — Niall Horan
Color me shocked. One of the members of One Direction who is not Harry Styles actually released a darn good album (well, with the exception of the song You Could Start a Cult, which... WTF?!?). While it's true that nothing on this album is overly-challenging or groundbreaking, it's still solid songwriting with some great tracks that I ended up playing a lot over the Summer. And just writing about it makes me want to give it another spin. I can't give much better endorsement than that.

#5 Endless Summer Vacation — Miley Cyrus
I must admit that every time Miley releases a new album that gets critical praise I have the smug satisfaction of knowing that I was a fan since Day One. And here she comes with another fantastic collection of songs that takes full advantage of her breathy vocals while actually trying to say something. Not feeling the need to scream to the cheap seats or rip into a track like it owes her money or unleash shock value, Endless Summer Vacation is a mature effort that's really satisfying for longtime fans.

#6 Cracker Island — Gorillaz
Gorillaz is one of those stunt bands that can actually back up their antics with incredible music. And this latest is more of the same... but with a few tricks tossed in for good measure (collaborations with Tame Impala, Bad Bunny, Beck, and STEVIE NICKS??). I listened to the album on repeat too many times, but you can hardly blame me when beautiful tracks like Silent Running (with Adeleye Omotayo) kept getting stuck in my head. Interestingly, the main release was a scant ten tracks, but they released a "Deluxe" version with another five more experimental tracks that are far more disposable (with the exception of the bared down version of Silent Running, which is great).

#7 Something to Give Each Other — Troye Sivan
I've enjoyed random tracks by Sivan, and some of those songs I've absolutely loved (You is on half my playlists)... but listening to a full album from the guy has always been rough for me because he strayed in directions that lost me. Turns out that third time is a charm, because this time the album is flawless from start to finish.

#8 Bauhaus Staircase — Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark
If you were to jettison a lot of the more experimental stuff from their early years, OMD actually has a darn good catalog of songs. Add to that the fact that the band has been going for a long time and... well... they've got a heck of a lot of music I love. But it was the release of History of Modern in 2010 that made me took another look at the band. OMD had been releasing a lot of good music, but this was such a fantastic album that I underwent a kind of OMD renaissance. Bauhaus Staircase a step down from the past three albums, but still a good listen with some excellent hallmark OMD tracks.

#9 Hold — Wild Nothing
If breezy fun synth-pop is your jam, have I got an album for you! Jack Turner has been cranking out some wonderful tracks for the past 13 years as "Wild Nothing" and manages to not deviate from formula while always sounding fresh. He had me from the first time I heard Chinatown off his first album Gemini... and has held me right up to this latest album in 2023. Everything is just solid, well-crafted, and listenable, as usual, and I wish he would get recognized with some song placement on any number of television shows, which would be perfect. These songs can go anywhere in anything.

#10 Council Skies — Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
During their time in Oasis, Noel and Liam Gallagher had a controversial run that resulted in some amazing music. But it all came to a very public end, and you had to wonder if their success and talent was fueled by their numerous clashes and fights. Turns out that wasn't the case, because they've both gone on to further success. Noel's latest is built around a rich sound that makes everything feel as though it harkens back to a time when music was made in a different way. Like Beatles-era, if that makes any sense. The Deluxe version has instrumental versions of tracks, remixes by the like of Pet Shop Boys and Robert Smith(!), and some nice extras that are worth a listen.

#11 Memento Mori — Depeche Mode
There's nothing more frustrating than being a Depeche Mode fan from the very beginning. If that's you, then it's likely you feel the band's best days are long gone, and everything after Alan Wilder departed following Songs of Faith and Devotion is not even the same band. I don't go quite that far... there were some post-Wilder albums I loved... but the never-ending theme of "redemption" on every fucking song became so very, very tired, and I positively hated the past two albums (Delta Machine and Spirit). Then fandom was sent into shock when Fletch died, and it felt extremely likely the band was done. Except they weren't, and Mememto Mori is the result. Half of the album is a holdover from the past two that I don't even want to listen to... but then there's some glimmers of the old band in a few tracks to make me happy that they released the album. Before We Drown is one of my favorite DM songs in a decade. And the tracks People Are Good and Ghosts Again just... work.

#12 DANSE MACABRE — Duran Duran
This is a strange throwback not to early Duran Duran (which I would have loved), but instead to a post-punk sensibility that puts being weird above being popular. Half the songs I like for real... half I kinda-like because they are just such a different turn for the band. But ultimately this is a bit of a low in the up-and-down cycle of Duran Duran, and I wish to God they would just give us a throwback album that recaptures those heady days of Girls on Film. But, then again, I could say that about so many bands from the 80's that have hung around.

   
MOST UNLIKELY FAVORITE NON-ALBUM FROM 2023...

Jake Hill's Country Music alter-ego, Dixon Dallas, could be a big joke... or it could be a serious attempt to carve out a musical niche in a very crowded field. Likely it's a bit of both. Whatever the case, the sexually-charged gay lyrics are layered on top of some seriously good tracks, and I listened to the pile of singles that got released in 2023 far more than I would have if they had merely been some kind of attempt at bad shock value at the expense of gay lives.


   
NOTABLE OMISSION FROM 2022...

I love love love this Lauv song, All 4 Nothing (I'm So in Love), which came out in August of 2022 and I didn't even know about it until early this year...

   
OTHER MUSIC I WAS INTO FROM 2023...

  • The Loveliest Time — Carly Rae Jepsen
    Last year Carly Rae released a perfectly lovely album called The Loneliest Time. Turns out the songwriting for that project resulted in an entirely additional album of material that she decided to release as a "companion album." This would be a bad thing if it was just a cash-grab, but the album actually has merit. Far from just a bunch of leftovers, there's a cohesive thread running through the tracks that could have easily made this a full release in its own right.
  • Last Man Dancing — Jake Shears
    I, infamously, became a fan of Scissor Sisters when Jester sent me some tracks to listen to... AFTER THE BAND HAD ALREADY BROKEN UP! Then in 2018 front-man Jake Shears came out with his self-titled debut solo album, and I was not impressed. It's like he tried to get away from Scissor Sisters while trying not to loose any fans, and it just didn't work. This time he learned from his mistake and went back to his dance music roots in a good way. ALas, there's a weird dichotemy going on here, whereas the first half of the album is a delicious nod to disco that's quite good... but the second half is just... not. It's not that it's bad, it's just a weird U-turn that was hard for me to process after getting completely hooked at the start. Still, this is a good album with some great songs, it's just that I listen to the first half more often than the last half.
  • Rockstar — Dolly Parton
    Despite not being a huge Country Music fan, I'm a huge fan of Dolly Parton. The woman can write really good songs as easily as most people breathe. It's just what she does. Then last year she was inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. Being the humble angel she is, she said she felt bad about it because she didn't feel she had done much for rock music, and thought she was taking away from more worthy inductees. But then she said that since she had been given the honor, she'd come out with a rock album. And here it is. An oh boy did she go for gold. She's got duets with Sting, Steve Perry, Ann Wilson, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Peter Frampton, Joan Jett, Miley Cyrus, P!nk, Elton John, Simon Le Bon, and so much more! Which just goes to show that everybody loves Dolly Parton and nobody could say no to teaming up with her. Alas, the album is a bit of a mixed bag. I'd rather she have given us another album of the music she does best... but it's a fun listen for sure.
  • TRUSTFALL — P!nk
    I am a massively huge fan of P!nk. Let me qualify that... I am a massively huge fan of P!nk's pop music tracks. I'm not a fan of her slow ballads at all. Fortunately this album is a good balance and there's plenty for me to love, it just wasn't enough for me to love it enough to listen to it as much as previous albums.
  • Fantasy — M83
    Dreamy synth-pop with a slight edge that seeps into your subconscious in a good way. Some tracks hit better than others, but the album is definitely worth listening to.
  • That! Feels Good! — Jessie Ware
    After the disco explosion that was What's Your Pleasure? in 2020, Jessie took a half-step back into something more soulful that sounds as if it may be the best album she's ever released. And yet... a number of tracks on the album make sure that her newer fans aren't left behind. This is the kind of music I'll put on while making dinner, then not be able to switch off because it's stroking too many pleasure centers in my brain.
  • Tension — Kylie Minogue
    No dance-pop fan can deny the power of Kylie Minogue. Well, except me, who was very, very late to the party. With the exception of a few singles, I barely knew she existed until I was mistakenly sent a copy of Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour... FROM MY NETFLIX DVD SUBSCRIPTION IN 2006! and ended up watching it. And really enjoying it. Kylie knows how to put on a show! But anyway... I've been an off-and-on fan ever since. This album is more of the same, and I honestly probably couldn't pick the songs out of a Kylie lineup (except for Padam Padam, the lead single which I do not like)... but considering "the same" is actually pretty good stuff, I liked the album.
  • Time's Arrow — Ladytron
    If you're into their hallmark sound, this album will likely appeal to you. But there's also a few tracks that elevate it out of their usual fare.
  • chemistry — Kelly Clarkson
    I'm not a huge fan of the power ballads that Clarkson does so incredibly well, but this album had some offerings that I enjoyed quite a lot (high road is mesmerizing and magic is gorgeous).
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse — Metro Boomin
    The last movie gave us the absolute joy of the track Sunflower by Post Malone and Swae Lee, this time we get an album filled with a Who's Who of hiphop genius that feels incredibly cohesive and fit the movie perfectly.
  • GUTS — Olivia Rodrigo
    This album is a tough one for me because it has some truly great tracks that are wonderfully constructed and imbued with feeling... then there's a few which have such klutzy lyrical turns as "You sunk your teeth into me" on a track called vampire that grind the album to a halt for me. Overlooking these missteps is easy, however, because the album as a whole is pretty great.
  • This Life — Take That
    If you like Take That, then you'll probably like this album. It works as a continuation of what they've been doing for decades but doesn't really stand out from the other eight albums they've released. I did really like the title track though.
  • AUSTIN — Post Malone
    When Posty unleashes a song I love, I'm all in. Tracks like Sunflower and Circles and Better Now and Wrapped Around Your Finger made me a huge fan. But most of his catalog are not songs that hit me like those do, so I have a hard time listening to his albums straight through. AUSTIN was a little different, and I liked it quite a lot.
  • 72 Seasons — Metallica
    Look, it's Metallica. If you like the band, you'll like this album. They have lost absolutely nothing over the years, and this album sounds exactly like you'd want a modern Metallica album to be. But here's the problem... if this were Metallica's debut album, it would be absolutely lost in the metal scene. A lot of what goes into appreciating their later efforts is nostalgia. I'm not saying that it's time for them to hang up their guitars or anything... I liked this one a lot... I'm just saying that I'd rather listen to their old albums and recapture the feelings I had when they were fresh than listen to their later stuff.
  • It's the End of the World, But It's a Beautiful Day — Thirty Seconds to Mars
    This album followed Jared Leto's hilarious interview that got plastered all over the internet where he claimed that they had written 200 songs for it. As somebody who hasn't really taken much notice of the band, the idea of it was funny to me. Then on a chilly day in late September, I noticed the album had already been released. And it... was... good?!? No, not every song is great, but a few (in particularly Seasons, a song I love) made the album notable to me.
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Bullet Sunday 835

Posted on December 17th, 2023

Dave!Odds of a White Christmas are diminishing, but that's okay... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Scale! Unsure about your place in the universe? No worries! Turns out that you're actually the center of everything!

It's amazing how good Kurzgesagt videos are. When I see that they have something new out, I drop everything and watch it. They never disappoint. Case in point? If you have tattoos... or even if you don't... this is 1000% worth a watch...

I don't know why, but seeing this video just wants me to go get a new tattoo.

   
• Mapped! XKCD is usually good for a laugh, but this one made my brain do a flip-flop first...

A whack-a-doodle map of the USA with a lot of extra states tossed into it!

The genius is that, at first glance, you don't see anything wrong. And, because I like you, I named the extra states...

I don't know about you, but we totally should have a state named "Steve."

   
• NEWSFLASH: Stanley Tucci Going Back to Italy After Nat Geo Signs Up Former CNN Host! Stanley Tucci is a national treasure. Mostly for his movie roles (including my all-time favorites in Undercover Blues and The Devil Wears Prada). But also for his dedication to food, thanks to his amazing series called Searching for Italy. I love the show... right up until CNN stupidly canceled it a year ago. Fortunately NatGeo knows a good thing when they see it, and will pick it up again. Now titling it The Heart of Italy. And I cannot wait.

   
• FAKE! In Tokyo there's a famous area called Kappabashi Dougu Street (AKA "Kitcen Town"). It's filled with restaurant supply vendors. Kitchen equipment, dishware, decoration... it's all there. But the best thing you can buy there is fake food. Unlike in this country, most restaurants have windows filled with fake food representations of the dishes you can buy inside, and a lot of time there are prices next to each one so you also know what it's going to cost you. It's a fascinating part of Japanese culture, and now there's a video showing how this amazing fake food it crafted...

Mesmerizing. I've been to Kappabashi-dori a few times to look at all the replicas, but I don't recall ever seeing the stuff actually made.

   
• JOKE-SWAP 2024! How do they get away with this...

Easily the best thing to come out of Weekend Update, it almost makes you wish this was a weekly feature.

   
• Queen Flight! I've mentioned several times how much I love film. I've also mentioned how I'm a massive fan of film analysis. My favorite person doing analysis being Thomas Flight. One of his most famous videos is a critique of "Best Editing Oscar Winner" Bohemian Rhapsody by John Ottman. If you are not one of the 2.9 million people who saw the video, it's worth a look...

As a massive Queen fan, I ran to the theater so I could see Bohemian Rhapsody on the big screen. And, yes, this crap scene took me right out of the movie because I got whiplash trying to follow it. How could it not? To me it was just as bad as hearing a fucking "Wilhelm Scream" and being jerked out of the story. But anyway... what I didn't know is that John Ottman responded to the criticism, and Thomas made a video about that...

Ultimately I loved the movie. It's hard not to if you're a Freddie Mercury and Queen fan. But that doesn't make it above criticism. That shouldn't make it above criticism. Especially when we're talking about the editing, which wasn't that great, regardless of circumstance and the chaos of the film's production.

   
• True Lauv! Facebook Memories are a mixed bag. Sometimes it's painful memories of times I'd just as soon not revisit, but often times there's something nice awaiting me. Like a happy event, funny video, or cool song. Like this music video from last year. Lauv really knows how to craft a hook...

Most of the time, however? My Facebook memories are crowded with posts about all the travel that used to occupy my time.

   
Only one more Bullet Sunday until Christmas! Hope your shopping is finished.

   

Bullet Sunday 834

Posted on December 10th, 2023

Dave!Well, here we go again... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Swifty! “They had to work really hard to get the tickets,” she says. “I wanted to play a show that was longer than they ever thought it would be, because that makes me feel good leaving the stadium.” — People can feel however they want to feel about Taylor Swift and her music... but there is absolutely no denying that she works incredibly hard for everything she has and gives her all to everything she does, and that is deserving of respect. I think her getting "Person of The Year" is completely valid...

Taylor Swift on the cover of Time Magazine.

Reading the article, it doesn't seem a bad choice at all. My favorite part is that when she was denied her first big gig supporting Kenny Chesney because it was sponsored by a beer company and she was underage, Chesney cut her a check anyway. Her first thought to do with this major windfall was to pay her band and tour crew. I may believe that billionaires shouldn't exist... but if they must, I sure wish more of them acted like Taylor Swift.

   
• Sundays! Me. Trying to hold a discussion about sportsball...

Right?

   
• Delicious! Why is it that little red pandas always look like they're saying Come at me bro! when they stand up like this?

When they're not standing upright, they're one of the cutest things alive...

Now I want a red panda.

   
• Martians! A lot has (rightfully) been thrown at Jared Leto for his acting and, more importantly, his acting behavior. But I really do like his singing with Thirty Seconds to Mars...

I mean, come on. That's a great track.

   
• Slough! Today Apple TV+ advertised Slow Horses: Season 3 starring GARY OLDMAN AND KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS?!? I didn't even know that Season's 1 & 2 existed! So I tuned in. And it's a fantastic series...

It's brutal and packed with drama one minute... then is played for comedy the next. And yet it somehow... works? I have no idea how this show escaped my notice... but I'm all in now.

   
• Name That Tune! One of my favorite recent discoveries on Youtube is this street trivia game that has random people guessing music...

And sometimes not so random people too...

The channel is Public Opinion NYC, and if you're looking for a diversion and like music... it may be worth checking out!

   
• Spin, Eat, Repeat! Round and Round, the Hanukkah Hallmark Channel movie this year is the absolute best. It’s clever, smart, funny... and features 80’s music, geek culture, comic books, and a hefty nod to some time travel movies which came before (except the one that really matters, but we'll get to that). It’s like somebody wrote this one just for me! But anyway... a woman has a disastrous 7th night of Hanukkah... that keeps repeating. Just like in Groundhog Day, which they are quick to acknowledge in the story. And just like in that film, she has to figure out why she's stuck in a time loop and how she can get out of it...

Movie poster for Round and Round.

That alone would be worth watching, but they toss in a twist at the end which has you completely recontextualizing everything you've seen. I had to go back and see if I missed some clues. Turns out I really didn't, which was disappointing. The only way this could have been better would be to have made the twist apparent when you rewatched it. Then there's the fact that the twist is kinda-sorta from one of my all-time favorite time travel movies, which I can't mention because it will give it away. But blah blah blah. This is a fantastic film with stellar performances that are built around a great story. One of my favorite Hallmark movies ever.

   
There we went again. See you next Sunday for more bullets.

   

Music Replay 2023

Posted on November 28th, 2023

Dave!The big thing over the past week has been people sharing their Spotify Wrapped list.

I don't have Spotify, but Apple Music has a similar feature called "Reply" which allows you to revist the music you listened to most over the past year.

My Apple Replay Top Artists for 2023...

  1. Fly By Midnight
  2. The 1975
  3. Pet Shop Boys
  4. MUNA
  5. Post Malone
  6. Taylor Swift
  7. Run The Jewels
  8. Slayer
  9. P!nk
  10. Kacey Musgraves
  11. The Weeknd
  12. Wrabel
  13. Miley Cyrus
  14. Cannons
  15. Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey

Kinda an ecclectic list there. Though it really doesn't tell the full story, because a lot of the music I listen to is in my car and not counted.

While driving, my favorite thing to listen to is old-school rap and hip-hop. I have a half-dozen CD's burned which has all those amazing Yo! MTV Raps classics on them. Biggie, LL, Dre, Big Daddy Kane, Eminem, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang... the list goes on and on. They're just such amazing tracks to have slamming into your brain while trying to navigate the horrors of the road. I burned them decades ago, and kept them in my car because I only have a CD player. There's other CDs, of course, but these are my favorites.

Eternally stuck in the 80's. That's me.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2023, Music 2023Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Flashback from Faith

Posted on November 21st, 2023

Dave!It's funny the things you remember.

I rewatched the Wham! documentary on Netflix and it got me thinking about the George Michael video for Faith with his iconic jukbox, cross earring, and BSA jacket, which made me run to YouTube to watch it (and then, of course, the follow-up video for Freedom where he sets all of it on fire)...

All of a sudden I had a flashback to a pair of pajamas my grandma made me when I was little. But I wasn't wearing them in the flashback... I was looking at me wearing them. Probably in a photo. So I went running to look through all my scans of old family photos and, yep, there it was...

What's amazing is that I recognized the pajamas as being BSA pajamas even though I couldn't really read it until I zoomed in and digitally enhanced it, which means I likely remembered it in my subconscious from when I was a kid somehow...

I have no idea why BSA fabric was being sold here in the very rural valley we live considering the brand is British (BSA = Birmingham Small Arms). Nor do I know why my grandma selected it to make pajamas for me. Although it might have been because I've been a motorcycle fan from a very young age...

All due respect to George Michael, but I think I wore it better...

Weird how I can remember a pair of pajamas from 50 years ago, but can't remember why I walked into the kitchen ten minutes ago.

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Bullet Sunday 831

Posted on November 19th, 2023

Dave!Snow is inching closer, but I'm not pulling the shovel out just yet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Holiday Trooper! I've been sending care packages to the troops through AnySoldier.com for years. This is another program that's very cool because it doesn't cost you a dime! Just choose the four treats you want to send overseas, write a message of support, and Crown Royal will send it!

Crown Royal for the Troops!

I wish more organizations would do something like this.

   
• Catventure! Mr. Kitters has many adventures (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@mr.kitters.the.cat Places to go and people to meet. 🐈 #fyp #cat #meow ♬ original sound - Mr. Kitters the Cat

Surprisinly, I haven't seen Mr. Kitters ripping apart some poor bird. Thank heavens.

   
• Murder! There I was, just starting A Murder at the End of the World on Hulu. The main character is driving in a car with her boyfriend and they are singing along to No More I Love You's by Annie Lennox... and I know this will be a show that's something truly special. Honestly, they could have just released this scene as a commercial for the series and I would be all in. But there's so much more to it, and I can't wait for the remaining five episodes to drop...

The cast is amazing on top of it all. I just hope they stick the landing.

   
• Killer! Every time I see yet another brilliant film by David Fincher, I am mad all over again that he never got to make the sequels to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which remains one of my favorite films of all time. Though, while we're on the subject, a sequel to The Killer on Netflix would be fantastic, because this was a darn enjoyable flick...

A poster for The Killer starring Michael Fassbender!

ALTHOUGH... a better use of the money would be for Netflix (who has an existing relationship with Fincher AND Daniel Craig) to get the rights to The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Just sayin'.

   
• What Was I Made For? People saying that Billy Eilish is untalented makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. She's not entirely my thing... but I love this song... and listening to her brother explain how they created it should put the nail in the coffin of the idea that anybody could crap out the music they make. A song so multifaceted and lovely doesn't happen by accident. This is art...

Brilliant.

   
• Unmortricken! Rick and Morty has always been borderline genius with momentary lapses into episodes I'm completely indifferent about. But this latest episode? Unmortricken? I honestly don't know where the show goes from here. It's like every episode up until this point has been building to this point... and now it's over. Or mostly over. Which means that they either A) Have a plan to move in an entirely different direction along the same bizarre themes. B) Have ruined the show and it's going to devolve into a suck spiral before dying out. C) Will eventually realize that this was a big mistake and find a way to reverse it. I really hope it's Option A, because wow this episode was this a fantastic example of how *good* the show is when it's not getting in its own way.

Rick and Morty jumping out of a portal.

No, I didn't like Unmortricken better than ten other episodes (including The Rickshank Rickdemption which is one of the best episodes of television ever made), but it just goes to show that Rick and Morty is far from over if they can keep defying expectations like this.

   
• Blarf! I was excited that a Jaime Reyes "Blue Beetle" movie was in development. He's a fun character in the comics, and the fact that we'd finally get a Latino-centric super-hero movie meant it might be *different* from the same old thing. — Until I saw the trailers. They made it very clear that this was a "power of family" movie instead of a Blue Beetle movie. And who gives a shit about that? — Turns out the movie (now on HBO Max) is even worse than that. It is boring as fuck. It takes a half-hour... A HALF-HOUR... before you even see the Blue Beetle, for crying out loud...

Blue Beetle movie poster.

This is the most boring, uneventful, slog of an origin story that's ultimately just a frickin' Iron Man/Spider-Man hybrid clone, and not in a good way. I hope to God that James Gunn gets the DCU turned around so we avoid more of this idiotic crap. HA HA HA! GRANDMA WITH A GATLING GUN! HILARIOUS! and, even worse, HA HA HA! HOW FUNNY! HE CAN'T CONTROL THE SUIT AND HE'S RUNNING INTO EVERYTHING FOR TEN MINUTES! Jesus. I know Greatest American Hero was a while ago, but this has been done to death. From there on it's just talk talk talk talk talk with action beats that are equally boring. What a frickin' waste.

   
Hope your Turkey Day is a good one.

   

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