Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Your Ear

It’s been a while, so I’ll just start and see where this goes.

Some of the member of Arcade Fire were in studio for theSound Opinions podcast.  Nothing earth shattering, just cool to hear their story and some of their tunes.  I am super behind on this pod and hope to catch up over the holidays.

Florence and the Machine opened up for U2 earlier this summer.  My brother-in-law didn’t know anything about U2 but was super stoked to see this group.  I checked out their debut album, Lungs.  I love the opening track, Dog Days Are Over, and can’t help but clap and smile during the chorus.  Drumming Song is a driving track that is pretty good.  The final track You’ve Got the Love is fantastic.  Love all the instrumentation and the tune is super catchy.

I don’t even know how I came across this song, So Cool by Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Heads, but I love it.  Work is another track that is pretty good.

At a Halloween Party, the hosts had a party mix on Pandora and Beyonce’s Crazy In Love and I started jamming, which surprised everyone there.  Have to admit this is a guilty pleasure of mine.  Love that song

Moving on . . .

I admit I am late to the Kings of Leon phenomenon.  I was aware of their music somewhere out in the ether but never really sought them out, so I’ve decided to start at the beginning and give them a whirl.  Their first album, Youth and Young Manhood, is ok, nothing special in my opinion.  The first cut, Red Morning Light, is not too bad, and it is followed by Happy Alone, which was a popular song that I was familiar with.  California Waiting is decent, and Molly’s Chamber is another song that I had heard but didn’t really do it for me.  Holy Roller Novocaine might be a favorite track.  I have the next record on hold, so we’ll see how that one is.

Finally, I saw sloan for the umpteenth time at St. Andrew’s Friday night.  The band was touring in support of their 10th album, The Double Cross, which I had listened to it a couple of times on their website but hadn’t thought much of it.  After hearing most the tracks live, I am really coming around.  I already thought Unkind was up there as one of their best tracks ever, and the live version kicked ASS!!  There are several more great cuts, including The Answer Was You, It’s Plain To See, Beverly Terrace and Traces.

The band keeps cranking out the tunes, and their live versions of Ill Placed Trust, Who Taught You to Live Like That? and Money City Maniacs were epic.  They also played Deeper Than Beauty during the encore, which was sweet because I hadn’t heard that live in years.  Chris mentioned that they want to do a tour just playing songs from Twice Removed.  Sign me up as it is my favorite album

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feature Presentation: Lots of Laugh, Fire and Blood

Hot Tub Time Machine

When I saw the previews for this movie, I thought it looked interesting.  What could be better than a hot tub, some girls and some brews?  A couple of the guys on my soccer team raved about it, so when I saw it at the library, I picked it up.

Meh.  Talk about the funny parts being the in the trailer.  It was a Back to the Future rip off and not nearly as good.  Yes we know life is about choices, but you don’t get a redo.  Shut up and suspend disbelief.  Ok, but make it worth my while.  Have better jokes and 80’s hair band flashbacks and poke a little fun at yourself.  Don’t have Chevy Chase wandering in and out, mumbling incoherent Zen comments. 


Season 3 sees Walter White struggle to keep his marriage and family together while being hunted down by vengeful cousins from a drug cartel.  Tensions are at an all time high in the White house as Skylar files for divorce, knowing the truth of Walter’s activities, but won’t tell anyone else in the family why.  Her stress leads to an affair with her boss, while Walter tries to keep things together.  All the time, Gus is protecting his key cooker from getting axed while trying to get him to make one last batch. 

I only made it halfway through the season before I had to return it to the library and I can’t wait to finish the season.  I see a lot of parallels between this show and the Sopranos in regard to leadership.  Walter White has a skill and some street savvy, yet he undermines himself with some of his decisions, reuniting Pinkman being his chief mistake. 

Anyway, the show—writing, storylines and performances—continue to be top notch and I hope I can completely catch up on the series soon.

Again reading for comprehension.  For some reason I thought this was a new Coen Brothers movie, not their first.  As soon as the first frame flickered across the screen I knew that this movie was not made in the last 20 years.  The film was a preview of the genius to come.  Very deliberate pacing, solid acting performances, a touch of the unusual, all leading to a dark conclusion.  Not their best by far, but interesting to see the beginning of these film-makers.

See it for film history reasons if nothing else.

As I tweeted after I watched the first episode, I have found a new personal hero.  Nearly twenty years on from Seinfeld, Louis CK takes the sitcom built around the comedian to a new level.  Part stand up, part struggling divorcee, part loving father, part depressing wanker, Louie looks at modern life with a very different perspective.  I admit he goes way over the line with some his comments, but when he looks at his childhood and examines his day to day routine, there are some real nuggets there.  He is not always the hero, but the light he shines on some issues really makes you stop and think.

See it.

I finally finished Rescue Me.  After seven seasons, the story of the guys from 62 Truck finally came to an end.  Tommy’s battle with his demons and addictions took several dark, funny and strange turns as the show built towards the finale.  In the end, he was able, for the time being, to remain in control and become the father, husband and firefighter that everyone could be proud of.

I really enjoyed the show.  I always say I hated season 4 because that’s the season he got sober and there was no edge.  This season, his road to sobriety had several speed bumps, dare I say roadblocks, and the tension created really kept the viewer interested.  As for the series finale, it was ok.  The last scenes were a little melodramatic but I don’t have a suggestion (right now) of what I would have done, so I’ll shut up.

Watch this show.  The relationships and developments of the characters are phenomenal.  The respect you will have for fire and law enforcement will grow exponentially.  And you might even learn a little about yourself, your demons and how you treat people.