Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Monday, May 30, 2022
My Music Monday
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Record of the Month
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
I said a month or so ago, I wasn't going to rush out and get the new album from Arcade Fire, WE. And I didn't. I waited two whole days.
No, I didn't really sample it ahead of time. But as you can see by my lack of 2022 "Record" posts, I haven't been buying new music. Period. I figured spending $10 wasn't that bad.
The band could have recorded a 40 minute note-for-note version of "Kokomo" and that still would have surpassed anything off their last disk, Everything Now. As luck would have to - they wouldn't / didn't have to.
I think the disk can be summed up into - or broken down by- four lines of their own lyrics on this disk:
"don't believe the hype"
#truth. Arcade Fire came out extremely strong with their first two disks. Original and innovative. They were a victim of their own critical success. It was almost impossible to keep up with that nouveau-legacy. And they didn't. Not exactly. They had moments, but not full albums of those moments. WE at least has stronger and better moments than possibly even Reflekor or the Suburbs.
".....let me say it again, no one's perfect"
No one is. And AF are not, not this disk anyways, but they have strong strong moments. The disk is basically broken into five songs, though four of them are two-parters. Totally dig "Age of Anxiety I and II". The are the strongest songs on the disk, though the piano intro to the album (and song) somewhat sets the tone for the entire album.
I love most of "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)". The song. The message. The delivery.........except for "do-do-do / do-do-do (repeat x5). It's just lazy writing. I have come to really enjoy "the Lightening I and II". The initial listen to the first release from this album didn't do much for me, but it has grown on me.
"please don't quit on me / I won't quit on you"
I think this is safe to say this could easily be a lyric from Win Butler to his wife, or perhaps to his entire fan base. Because I gotta tell you, I had a REALLY hard time with getting through Everything Now five times, desperately trying to like anything off it, before just shelving it, and re-evaluating my connection to the band and their work.
"some you win / some you lose"
You might have noticed I liked "Unconditional I", but said nothing of "II". Maybe I'm in the minority - maybe not - but I find Régine Chassagne as a lead vocalist, unlistenable. Her Yoko meets Britany vocal ability (not style......ability!) is squeaky chalk on a board cringe worthy.
That said - on WE, she has used her background skills so much better than in previous disks. I didn't say "good", I said "better".
While I would have been happy if she had only been relegated to the five "yeah"s in "Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)", she doesn't completely blow it on the musical break in that song - though I still am not a fan. And her work on "the Lightening" isn't turn-off-able. Her vocal is skippable enough for "Unconditional II". The presence of Peter Gabriel can't really save that song.
I'm still not sure what to think about "End of the Empire I-IV". "I-III" is just generic. "IV"? Not a fan. It might be ok without the backing vocals.......maybe? But when Butler sings "fuck season 5", it seems lame, but then Everything Now was their fifth album, so maybe he's talking about that. If so, I'm on board with the thought - but not the delivery.
Musically, WE is a lot more straightforward than their other disks. There aren't a lot of risks or a lot of experimentation, but it's a sort of redemption.
Some you win, some you lose...........and this time, they kind of won. Even if it is just a nose.
Saturday, May 28, 2022
Friday, May 27, 2022
Thursday, May 26, 2022
You Could Make a Killing
- If I don't need to be trained in firearms, should Mrs. Smith who has 2nd period math? I mean, they're watching over your 'darlings'. ''
- Who is paying for these weapons and ammo? I mean, schools and the state already don't even basic supplies for teachers - they have to shell out for them on their own.
- Will teachers get full immunity when they accidentally put a bullet through Evan's head when they tried to shoot the guy with the gun?
- Best yet: will you pay them the salary of a teacher, security guard and armed marksman? Oh - and clean-up crew?
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Hell is for Children
Well, not true. As of yesterday, you can add 14 more elementary school children to the death statistics.
Truth be told, I got home from work and saw the headline and that's it. I've read nothing. Nor do I plan to. It is far too sad in so many regards.
Say what you want, and while every life counts in this regard, it seems a lot lot worse when they are elementary school-aged kids. We are number to the high school shootings, which the shooters are usually high schoolers themselves.
But this is Texas. A gun state. Ironically, a severe pro-life state - unless your trans, then they're not. But gun deaths of children there don't mean prof-life. It means more pro-gun. Arm everyone and this won't happen.
Reality: arm everyone and it happens more often.
The NRA is having their convention in Houston next week. Their last in-person convention guns were not allowed in the venue. Irony.
In more reality news, around the same time as the newest shooting, Ohio gets this:
And with this fucking shit-eating grin too.
Irony #2: Firearms are prohibited at the Ohio Statehouse.
While not at retirement age, we are nearing it. We've been wondering what to do in our aging year - and where. But the where had been beach? city? Now the discussion has turned to: which country?
It's not longer a "joke". You cannot emigrate to Canada. It's not that easy. But I'd gladly live out my days in Paris. But with this gun shit, women's rights, the soon to be challenged same-sex marriage and the potential return of BLOTUS (which = the last dying gasp of the U.S), the joke is no longer funny.
Yes, we'd miss some family, and friends, but at least I'd have peace of mind.
Song by: Pat Benatar
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
That is my one word review for the Duke.
Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren - how bad could it be? I thought? The on-line Insta trailers made it look lighthearted and funny - it seemed.
It wasn't bad. And it wasn't really lighthearted and / or funny.
It looks like it was semi-released in late 2020, but for general release, the studio et al tried to wait out Covid. It probably would have fared better just going to a streaming service. While it waited its release, the director unexpectedly died. It's not foreshadowing.............I think.
This is a mostly-true tale of a portrait of the Duke of Wellington that gets stolen from the National Gallery - the only known theft from the British Museum. It is done by a barely workingman who espouses Robin Hood references. He is a man of the people and for the people - which comes around at his trial.
The trial of Broadbent's character (well, the character he plays, not his 'character' per se) is the most humourous thing going here. While the rest isn't depressing, it plays a little bleak, but I suppose if you're a man of the people for the people, it should.
Broadbent's performance is good, I would say Mirren's is less so. It's ok and all, but halfway through there is a line inferring she is an Irish "girl". I didn't remember her sounding Irish before that comment, and not really after that line as well. Even after a foreseen transition in circumstances, she still is a frickin' crank.
Matthew Goode - who was also playing across the hall in Downton Abby: We're Making You Watch Us Again - was good as always. I have yet to see him in be fair or bad in any movie or television show which he touches.
I'd have to say - if you have to see it, wait a month or two, it'll be on Netflix or the like.
Fun fact: the only gay bar I've been to in the UK was........the Duke of Wellington.
2022 Movie Count / Goal: 04 of 15
Song by: Stevie Wonder
Monday, May 23, 2022
My Music Monday
I like Duran Duran well enough, Are they Rock Hall worthy? Maybe.
MTV had been a thing, but their second album, Rio, really cemented not just them, but the second British invasion - and D2 lead that charge. They also kicked up video production standards for all bands making music filmettes.
Their music is fine. Some better than others, even if the lyrics really really don't make sense. 710 heard me sing "I smell like I sound......" from "Hungry Like the Wolf". He didn't believe me that these were the words, so he looked them up. Let's just say, I wasn't wrong.
Don't get me started on "Union of the Snake".
The band got in on their first nomination. Actually, I think at least 5 nominees did.
I could pick one of the flashier videos they did, but I'll stick with the first - or one of the first - "Planet Earth".
....to make you feel old, the song and their debut album is 41 years old.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Shopping with Blobby
Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think.
Yeah, most of my Shopping posts are "jokes", some are not. This one remains to be seen.
I got access to a supply of Teeth Whitening Strips. 14, to be precise. One is supposed to use them for two weeks in a row - well, for 30 minutes, each day for 14 days in a row........to be specific.
My teeth weren't (and aren't) shiny white. I don't want them to be Hollywood white, but I'd like them less dingy. I'm not 100% sure it worked. But I'm not sure it did not.
Using them is fairly easy.
Saturday, May 21, 2022
I Get Around
As I somewhat mentioned before, it was a tough week. So, there are not tons of pics.
Song by: the Beach Boys
Friday, May 20, 2022
Going to Sleep
Work this week has made me Crank-Y! I'm not well-liked this week, but as I told my boss, "you don't pay me enough to be likable". Or lickable.
So, I have nothing crafted. .....and I'm going to bed.
Song by: Dave Brubeck
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Ad of the Month
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
20 Dollar Nose Bleed
But we tested when I got home. It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible. I'm not a fan of things up my nose - boogers included.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
87 in a 70.
Sure, Han Solo can do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, but you go a measly 17 miles over the speed limit and you get fined $140 !!!
Still, 87 mph is fast. Even on a turnpike. Even a mostly empty one (at the time).
I'll set it up a bit: 5-6 miles of one lane traffic. Everyone BUT the truck in front of me was going the posted, but slower, 55 mph. Due to said truck, we were doing 40.
So when the construction ended, Blobby opened up that throttle and took off.
710 uses Waze and I'd say 95% of the time, the other Wazers have notified us of police who are near. Not so this time.
G-d love him, the patrol guy probably heard my expletive even with my windows up. He had to see the brake lights. And he started to even pull out before I passed him. THAT is how fast I was going.
I knew it was going to happen. 710 knew it was going to happen. State Trooper Brigham definitely knew it was going to happen.
He was very kind and courteous. While I wouldn't say he gave me an out, he gave me an opportunity to give an excuse why I was going so fast.
I suppose I could have said I had to poop, but I had just passed a rest area. I just copped to say: "I wasn't really paying attention". He ran what he needed to and came back with my ticket and fine.
That all said, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. My last ticket, 39 in a 35, cost me $10 more than what I was paying here. If you break it down by mph over the limit, I got quite the bargain.
All of this did not put a damper on our weekend in Chicago. But 710 drove the last hour of our trip.
Song by: the Go-Go's
Monday, May 16, 2022
My Music Monday
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Take Good Care of Me
Friday, May 13, 2022
12 of 12
So I'm doing my 145th 12 of 12.
Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.
Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Erik is back and I think he's picking up 12 of 12 again.