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Friday, August 19, 2011

Week in review and Download "G"

Slowly recovering from an end of year softball party we threw last night.  Anyone interested in left over burgers or dogs?  Cupcakes and/or cookies?  After several years of hosting we never seem to get things right.  We either have too much food or not enough.  Clearly, as I look at a fridge full of meat that could feed my neighborhood, I would rather error on the not enough part.  Oh well, least everyone got their drink on and had fun.  Weird to still be in bed by 11 though.  I was just getting going.

A few things on my mind before I head into the letter G.  First, I am anxiously awaiting the Port Authority's vote on proposed toll increases today.  More and more each year something, someone or everything and everyone, is making it near impossible to work in NYC.   At what point do I just take a barista job down the street and try this writing thing full time?  How can I be expected to pay $15 to come into the City via car?  Where is the money going?  You better believe New Jersey Transit, which freezed their rates this year, will follow suit and raise their fares accordingly should this pass.  $11 one way will probably be more like $14 too.  And for what?  Perpetual tardiness, surly conductors and the worst passengers on Earth.  Either we move into NYC and cram ourselves in a studio apartment or we shove off to Topeka and live like royalty.  My belief is the middle class is no longer welcome in Morris County, NJ.  A shame really, cause I kinda like it here.

And enough please with the bashing of Obama for taking a vacation this week.  He has clearly been unable to get much done while working.  Perhaps some time away from the vitriol and poison that is DC might do him some good.  We all need him well rested and awake for his final few years.  It can't be any worse.

By the looks of his opponents you all better get used to him anyway.  What exactly is the Republican party's objective here?  Bachmann?  Perry?  Romney?  This is not a political murderer's row.  And why are they so insistent on bringing faith and morality into the fray?  I grew up in and was educated under the harsh Roman Catholic school system and as far as I can remember I was taught to embrace the separation of church and state.  What will it take for that fairly basic (and essential) paradigm to once again be the standard?  I don't want CNN anchors asking folks their position on masturbation and/or gay marriage.  I don't want my candidate holding prayer rallies where NBA teams play.  I want sound minded, fiscally aware and responsible men and women to lead.  A Friend told me Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's radical idea this week and I am smitten.  He penned a letter to CEO's around the country to stop donating to politicians until the debt crisis is solved:  Radical right?  So freaking simple and effective that it would work.  But will the CEO's do it?  Probably not.  At this point everyone is in someone's back pocket and/or trying to get there.  How do we move forward with this as our standard?  We don't.  We need a total overhaul and destruction of our system.  It cannot however include a party with faith as its backbone.  We all perish for sure should we continue to rely on faith to get us out of this mess.  Too bad Warren Buffet is a bit old...  I would support him for our highest office in a New York minute.


As I wonder how many of you really listen/look at the songs/artists I present I am going to keep this short.  Also, the letter G is a bit of a challenge for me.  Sure I could go into a long Grateful Dead thing or  the Go Go's.  True, they are both hugely important.  More important that Gram Parsons, Grand Funk Railroad, Gato Barbieri, Gnarls Barkley, Glee, Gary Wright???  Maybe.  But I am gonna focus on one of the bands that moved me away from the rock canon and into new alt, Gomez.

I am still stinging from them canceling their show a few weeks back.  Really?  Singer can't sing so you can't perform?  Fail.  But back in the mid-90's their sound and smarts fell a bit under the radar when Oasis and Dave Matthews were dominating the charts.  I urge you to take a closer look.  I will grant you their past few albums are softer and bit more bubble gum than their early work.  Even Paul McCartney has his misses...  "Silly Little Love Songs" and "Say, Say, Say" anyone???  Trust me on this one folks, these Brits are fun, infectious, and full of hits.  To wit:

"78 Stone Wobble"   The first track/video I heard of them.  No turning back after this.

"We Haven't Turned Around"   I could do the research and confirm this was in the brilliant "American Beauty" but I should really get to work today.  Love this song.  Pretty, haunting and sung with great emotion.  Everything I am not.

"Revolutionary Kind" 

"How We Operate"

"Get Miles"  This song has been played on countless films and tv shows...  namely House MD during House's drug induced trip.  They open with this sometimes and it sends chills up my spine.  Enjoy this live version.

"Nothing is Wrong"  Another great live version of another great Gomez song.

"Devil Will Ride"

"Options"  New single from their latest LP.  Not as great as their earliest stuff but better than Pitbull or LMFAO, right?

Finally, since it pertains to my condition right now:  "Hangover"

This is a small sampling of an impressive catalog.  I am very much hoping they get back on the East Coast when healthy as they are one of the better live bands I have seen.  Here is hoping you get on board.

Quick Hits:

Gerry Rafferty:  Drunken, down and out Scot layed down some of the defining songs of the 70s.  He is missed but his songs live on forever.

"Baker St"  Also, maybe the best Baba Booey song parody on Howard Stern.  This is a weird, weird "live clip" from a 70s show.  Creepy.

"Right Down the Line"  It was you, wooo-man.

Guster:  Boston alt rockers who have had a nice career meshing catchy licks with smart lyrics.  Groovy, charming and fun.

"One Man Wrecking Machine"  Video is funny too.

"Satellite"  Will always have a special place for me since my daughter loved this song a few years back.  Nothing like a 5 year old singing along to Guster to put a smile on your face.

Finally, sometime this weekend this blog will get its 10,000 reader/view.  That is assuming the stats and figures Blogger keeps are accurate.  Granted, 9000 might very well be my family, I am still very thankful for the continued support.  I understand there are many, many things you could be doing with this 5, 10 minutes of your life.  That you intentionally read through this and maybe even tell a friend means a great deal to me.  Thanks again and please provide any and all feedback you desire.  As Sandra Bernhard says, "Without you I am nothing."

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Enjoy the weekend.

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