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Friday, January 6, 2012

The Guide for 2012

Let me first state that this humble blog now has (2) distinct contributors.  The blogs creator and more pop culture/music minded writer (yours truly) has always gone by the pen name Hank B.  Perhaps there are readers out there who first followed me when I wrote film reviews for the Northeastern Pennsylvania homo-centric fanzine Spank?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Anyway, I intend to put a few blogs out weekly covering the mundane, bothersome and often times rewarding moments associated with fatherhood, husbandry, work, coaching, and my overall perspective from the Burbs.  Moreover, my focus will be to generate a discussion on contemporary music, television, art, and film.  Year after year our families creed has been to utilize our proximity to New York City and not fall victim to suburban complacency.  There is a reason it is so damn expensive living where we live.  Why not catch a few concerts, museums and/or art films?  After a several year slumber unaware NYC was more than a workplace my intent is to become current again.  Join me?

There was a great line last week about hipsters.  A friend posted his favorite acts from last year on his Facebook page.  Let me tell you...  the amount of shows he saw was incredible.  Someone commented shortly thereafter, "BTW, you're a hipster."

He refuted it saying he was not a hipster because he was not "skinny fat."

Then I looked in the mirror.

Call me what you will but know this:  This skinny fat kid hates labels and simply wants to live a little.  But make no mistake weight loss and a haircut are vital in the coming weeks.  I may be a cliche, but why look like one too???

My other contributor started a few weeks back.  Our fathers are lifelong friends (talking, like 50 year friends!!!)  We grew up seeing each other on holidays, or summer cook outs.  He was a few years ahead of me and went to another high school so we were peripheral friends at best.  But without question he is one of the smartest, well read, and insightful people I have ever met.  He's pretty darn funny too.  Proximity and the lives we lead prevented us from being lifelong best friends or anything like that.  But with Facebook we connected.  Last week we had lunch with our grade school daughters.  It was the first time we saw one another in 20 years or so.

Doc S. is now firmly in the mix.  Welcome his observations on the press (he has recently left it behind.)  Embrace his views from suburbia.  Take his words and join the debate. Think he keeps his attorney credentials handy too.  Ya know, case he wants to practice law or something.


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Repost, share, join in the discussion and thank you all very much for reading.  

Back to the action...

Every Friday I plan to continue  bringing some music/links for you to criticize, ignore, goof on, or dare I say, enjoy.  The point?  The music scene in 2012 is worthy!!!  Wake from your Nickelback and Daughtry for a moment.  Ladies and gentlemen, lend me your ear...

Alabama Shakes:  This group has gotten huge play the past month or so following their CMJ shows in NYC late last year.  Good, soulful stuff with deep southern American roots.  Brittany Howard has leading lady confidence.  Enjoy and check them out in a City near you.

"Hold On"  live from the Shoals.  Love the song.  Love the way she sounds live.  Love the show they are performing it on.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQXbf1i24C8  Those 40 or older should NOT ignore this clip.
"I Found You"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnVSUH6_oBY&feature=related

Black Keys:  I might be the only person not drinking the Keys Kool-Aid.  Critics love them.  Fans flock to them.  Their new record, El Camino, is a huge hit.  Perhaps a live show might convert me to manic follower like many I know.  One thing is certain...  their videos are always clever.  Also, the single "Lonely Boy" is good, clean fun.  Been bouncing around me head for days now.  Your turn:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_426RiwST8
"Tighten Up"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpaPBCBjSVc&feature=relmfu  Their breakout hit and one of my daughter's favorite videos.
"Howlin for You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLSpj7q6_mM   Anything with Todd Bridges (here as a sex crazed priest) has to be worth a look, no?  Tricia Helfer smoking hot too!!!

Dawes:   A group that huge 2011 success with their album Nothing is Wrong.  Go back to their first album for maybe there grooviest song...  then spin their hits.
"When My Time Comes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQEj_9IhJSo
"If I Wanted Someone" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZJWeFU9gA4
"A Little Bit of Everything" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36bItoBXpxk&feature=related
 
For some altish selections...

Take a look/listen to Bombay Bicycle Club's track "Shuffle."  Of the Foster the People, Limousines, Matt and Kim, Naked and The Famous, emo synth variety.  In other words, got a nice beat and you can dance to it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDuif301F-8&ob=av2e  Brit band...  3 albums...  for more:  http://www.bombaybicycleclubmusic.com/

Avicii: "Levels" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ovdm2yX4MA  Another in a long list of Swedish artists making alt waves.  Here, displayed in DJ form.  The song created a family teaching moment.  Mainly because Avicii samples the same "Good Feeling" hook Flo-Rida uses for his mega-hit of the same name:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OnnDqH6Wj8 

For the record, Avicii used the hook first... which itself is sampled from an old Etta James song.  For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Feeling_(song)

Took a particular liking to explaining sampling, royalties, and the overall state of the music industry to my inquisitive daughter.

 The Drums: "What You Were" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnaOVvMTCmY&feature=related
Brooklyn kids with their influence firmly rooted in 80s new wave.  Thank you very much.  For more:  http://thedrums.com/

Cloud Control:  "There's Nothing in the Water We Can't Fight"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnaOVvMTCmY&feature=related  Australian kids with influences like The Drums.  Sensing a trend?  For more: http://www.cloudcontrolband.com/

Finally, to the rap corner.  What???  Rap corner???  Sure, this white boy knows his Eric B just like he knows Badly Drawn Boy.  Well, maybe not as much.  But when I saw Brooklyn Bowl (http://www.brooklynbowl.com/)had Slick Rick playing tonight it brought back fond memories.  Who didn't love this song???  And don't lie and say you didn't wear and eye patch when you were a kid for effect???  "Children's Story" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjNTu8jdukA  Sad to be nostalgic for  old school rap.  This entertains me far more than anything Kanye or Jay Z brings to the turntable.

Same goes for this...  Eric B and Rakim:  "Follow the Leader" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95gP3m-uBHA

And this:  Public Enemy:  "Fight the Power" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WHe5fxS3dA

Run DMC:  "Rock Box" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GND7sPNwWko 

And even some new(er) stuff...

Tech9ine:  "Who Do I Catch" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCz1WaYs0Ho

See??  This suburbanite can go urban!  Or is it weak/lame for a white boy in khaki's to name drop rappers?

Enjoy the weekend folks.    Here is a belated tribute to Andy Rooney for no particular reason.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1EFyyoxa4k 















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