Monday, December 31, 2007

Beneath The New Dog

This is Bruce Springbean, our dog. Bean for short. Our friend rescued him and we just had to take him in. Someone abandoned Bean, but now he has a warm and loving home. Which is very exciting for us, not so much for our cats, though. Bean is a full blooded Shih Tzu, he's two years old and unfortunately very underweight. We brought Bean home the day after Christmas, so he's been a big distraction from what I resolved would be an active time for blogging. Sorry about that, I've made plenty of declarations of this week or that week being the big comeback, very similar to my pronouncements towards the end of poker games at work, you know, ringing in a hollow fashion.

I can't really trace the reasoning behind my, well, I wouldn't call it a writer's block, but that's kinda what it is, isn't it? You know, I want to write, it's not like I have ideas and can't figure out the words for it, I just haven't had any ideas. Though I've stumbled on a few over the holiday. Some stuff that I wanna write about for The Red Skull, namely a review of The Temptations' With A Lot Of Soul. An album I've had for a long while, and whose majesty I realized once I picked up a weird contemporaneous album Temptations In A Mellow Mood where they play without their strengths stranded on an album of showtunes and standards. With A Lot Of Soul is a showcase for the greatest singer the Temptations ever had, David Ruffin. The material is solid throughout, which is a surprise compared to some other Motown albums from the same time that were top loaded with singles and filled out with schmaltzy left-overs.

I'm also going to try and write about Nuggets II, which out of the three Nuggets boxed sets is the hands down best. That'll be an undertaking for sure, though. It's a huge boxed set that I've only gotten halfway through yet. I got it for Christmas from Amanda among other great things, most notably an Xbox 360, a USB Record Player, and an amazing Eccentric Soul record, "Belize City Boil-Up". "Belize City Boil-Up" is a survey of a music that was greatly affected by a mix of Calypso, Reggae, American Funk and Soul music, and Mexican music due to it's fortuitous geographic location.

Well, I'm gonna stop this awkward writing and hope that I can get back in the swing of things. I want to mention that I was inspired to get my ass back into gear by Marco's gigantic output as of late with his best of 2007 posts over at the Midpoint. Well, I'm heading off to ring in the New Year. Unfortunately there won't be any pictures anytime soon, I kinda broke my camera, it's fixable, but that's not gonna happen quickly, unfortunately. I'll probably borrow my brother's camera for the Yo La Tengo concert on the 10th, I would have loved to take my camera to that show though, being more compact and I think it takes better pictures. His camera is no slouch by any means, my camera's just very versatile. So, happy new year, you can look forward to suffering through my resolution to get back into writing more.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hairway To Steven

So, I'm having trouble getting my shit together to write an actual blogpost. I've been working my ass off at work, hopefully the rest of my customers have finally headed out of town for Christmas, and I can get home early and relax for the next two nights.

This video has been making the rounds, I first saw it on The Onion AV Club's Videocracy. But it's a perfect cover of Stairway To Heaven by an Australian Beatles cover band. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas is soooo close.

Actual blogging coming up tomorrow, for now, I just thought I'd share this video with you.

I'm writing a piece about Christmas music tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The 5 Most Disapointing Albums of The Year

5. Queens Of The Stone Age- Era Vulgaris.
After spending years making smart, sexy, and near perfect hard rock albums, QOSTA finally collapsed under their own weight. Lacking in charisma, hooks, and interesting ideas, Era Vulgaris is the half baked skeleton of a good album.

4. Wilco- Sky Blue Sky.
Getting tagged "The American Radiohead" has to be something you'd want to avoid. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to make albums like Sky Blue Sky. Which isn't a bad album. A little too slick for my tastes, but an enjoyable listen. It just happens to come from a group that I've viewed as one of the greatest bands of the past twenty years. It's just all so underwhelming.

3. The Shins- Wincing The Night Away.
I saw this coming, just not so soon. The Shins rode their AM pop tendencies all the way into being a boring band.

2. The Good, The Bad, And The Queen- The Good, The Bad, And The Queen
Again, not so much of a bad album, as it doesn't measure up to it's possibilities. Paul Simonon from THE CLASH, Tony Allen who drummed on all those amazing Fela Kuti albums, and Damon Albarn, I was expecting a modern day London Calling. All I got was this downbeat reflection on working class England.

1. The Hold Steady- Boys And Girls In America.
That's right, I said it. This album BLOWS. I know this album came out in 2006, it sat perched atop many "Best Of" lists. I didn't get buy it until after it was reccomended so highly, in 2007. So, there's a bit of fudging here, but this is my chance to air this out in public. After reading the breathless reviews of this album, one could imagine The Hold Steady were riding down on golden chariots from Valhalla to single-handedly saving rock 'n' roll. Instead, what you find is the most god awful cheese guitars crashing all over sub par pub rock. These guitars aren't reminiscent of any actual rock group I could think of. It's more akin to the fictionalized sitcom rock group, Jesse And The Rippers. Boys And Girls In America is the most dreadful album I've heard, ever. And my Grandma made me listen to a late period Gloria Estefan album once.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Voices In My Head Are Telling Me To... Use Febreze?

Well, this is it. Time to give up, the advertisers of the world have just flat out won. They've got their doomsday device, they've flipped the switch, and there's no coming back. Gawker has pointed out that A&E is using hypersonic sound beams (scroll down for product description) in their new advertising campaign. Basically, these speakers shoot sound beams that play inside of whatever surface it strikes, meaning your skull.
They're currently using this gimmick for a show about ghosts, beaming ghost voices into your head. This only being the begining of course. Soon enough, you won't be able to walk down the street without jingles rattling around insdie your dome. Then, let's say the government makes this practice illegal. You step into the district attorney's office to complain about the sounds in your head. How crazy are you going to look.

To me this sounds like horrible news.