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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Have You Heard the News?

Admittedly most of my current event knowledge is from the interweb and Howard Stern so please don't come here for anything but fluff.  But boy what fluff there is!!!

The US government has made some news recently.  First, there is the looming threat of a Nationwide Post Office and/or mail closures/stoppages.  Story here:

This morning I stepped into my local branch for my annual gift shipment/Christmas card blitz.  I rarely need to go there during the year.  You?


So it comes as no surprise this antiquated part of American culture is once again on the brink of extinction. UPS stores and FedEX Kinko's are on far more corners in Anytown, USA.  Often times those companies are cheaper, more customer friendly and efficient than the halls of the USPS.  Most of us do out correspondence through email.  There are some states that are finally looking into getting rid of cursive handwriting in their schools.

Paper ain't long for this less intimate and socially challenged computer world it now finds itself in.  How many of us have texted someone as they sit in the same room?  How long before we are all programmed to know what each other is thinking thus eliminating the need for human interaction at all?

We are not gonna be sending letters to mom if that's the case.  And that's gonna be a little sad.

There is a warm nostalgia waiting in line with flu infected old folks for Holiday stamps that sold out weeks ago.  Seriously, this is the firms biggest time of the year and they did NOT have Holiday Stamps!!???  Is it any wonder they are going away?

The tradition of sending Holiday cards is quite special though.  Years go by without having real conversations or correspondence with friends and family that have defined us.  So when we see return addresses from the past it should mean a little something.  We hope all the kids look well and healthy.  We trust the marriages are intact and mortgage payment secured.  We have a little hope.

Will it mean the same over an email attachment?

Don't think so.  Hard to imagine sitting in my hospice bed and getting a text from my daughter wishing me Happy Christmas.  The dream is:  sitting on an easy chair, near the fire, opening an envelope mailed 3 weeks prior.  "Love you Mom and Dad.  See you soon!!"

The US Mint yesterday too called for the elimination of the gold dollar coin.  Good.  And the penny is long overdue to go away too.  Why do these decisions take so long to make???

When it costs more to make the currency STOP making the currency.  Story here:  Wampum is more effective.  In fact, you could really make the case of the barter system these days.  I will trade copy editing for a good electrician/mason/carpenter any day of the week.

Speaking of money...  apparently the other day a cat became the 3rd richest animal when she inherited $13 million from her owner.

Yes, the 3rd richest!!!

This kind of selfishness and lunacy must be stopped.  If only there was away you could punish the dead!!  There are real human beings in dire need of meals and clothing.  Don't these people, most who have done all the right things and worked hard for little socioeconomic gain,  deserve more than a housecat??

And I hate people.  And I love animals!!!    For more:

That is all...

Best of 2011 Live:

There may come a time when this old man gets to 3, 4 shows a week.  That time ain't now.  But over the past 12 months I was witness to electrifying live shows.  From Tori Amos to Foo Fighters and many more in between, there were some brilliant performances on stage in 2011.

Joy Formidable and A Civil Twilight were power trios that have potential for greatness.

The National, who are in the midst of a 6 day run at NYC's "Beacon Theatre", are true pros.

Lykke Li, Foster the People, Cut/Copy, White Rabbits, The Decemberists, Psychedelic Furs, Eels, Washed Out, The Sounds, and Givers are also acts that stood out and/or gained my attention.  Some tried and true, some very much new to me.

But as I look back on the year that was 2 shows/acts head to the top of the class.

NYC band Caveman, an in particular their Mercury Lounge record release party, were so bombastic and joyful on stage it is near impossible to look away.  My review here:

There are still tickets available for their first headline tour 1.20.11 at the wonderful Bowery Ballroom.  I urge you to take a chance.   You will spend $13 on far, far worse in the next 2 hours.  For tickets:  Let's sell this thing out!!!

Required Listening:  "Old Friend"  Always the highlight of their live set and the song that captured my attention/inspired awe.  Rhythmic walls of sound and elegant harmonies.  "Thankful"  "My Time"  Live from SXSW

Info from the band:

The other album on replay overload is AWOLNation's debut Megalithic Symphony.  Their November Webster Hall show was an eye opening mix of club music and rock and roll.  My review can be read here:

Now that I know the catalog it will be a real treat to see them again.  Consider yourself fortunate if a band can move you after initial contact.

Better still if several bands can do it.  Plenty more shows ahead folks.  Go find your next band.

For more AWOLNation look here:  "Sail"  "Not Your Fault"  Nice little Rudolph parody just in time for the season.  "Filthy, Guilty Soul" Just one groovy song.  "Soul Wars"  Here performed from Austin City Limits a few months ago.  Crowd of young men clearly digging it.  "Jump on My Shoulders"

Info from the band:

Talk Friday...  with what hopefully will be a glowing review of The National.

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