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Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Sunday

Steve Largent's Seahawks will beat the Pats 27-17.  

Winter's cold has gripped the Northeast and seems poised to hang on for a while.  February is upon us.  A short, but cruel month.  Valentine's Day is here to remind us that you are doing it wrong, if you are doing it at all.

A bloated Super Bowl awaits us this weekend.  The past few weeks have reminded us how our proud game is nothing more than the WWE with helmets.  We now have "deflate-gate" in our collective heads.

In Paris they march a million strong to support each other against the threat of terrorism.  We worry about how much air we have in our balls.

Never mind the combatants beat each other for 60 minutes with lasting health consequences.  And lest we forget the violence that takes place off the field.

Its been a rough year for the NFL.  However you can bet (which they love by the way) that they will record record profits for the year 2014.

As harsh and ugly the sport, and more specifically the folks that oversee it (yes, you Mr Goodell), you can bet we will have a blast at my Super Bowl Party this Sunday.

Maybe it is the diversion we all need.  Just wish it was a little more civilized.

How long until we are all cheering for someone like Jason from Rollerball.  And I am talking about the James Caan film too- I refuse to accept a re-boot.

The Academy Awards are a nice diversion too.  My colleague Doc S wrote a nice piece about Best Pic Nom American Sniper you can read here.  What of all the controversy over the protagonist Chris Kile.  Seems like more folks thought Henry Hill was a more likable chap than this accomplished soldier.  Its war people- there are a lot of gray areas- and you don't have to like it all.  Speaks again to how we are incapable of hearing, or more specifically understanding contrary opinions.

There were days, not long ago, I would have seen all the nominees.  Ever since they went to 20 nominations, or whatever the hell it is, it has been tough.

Hollywood has an editing problem, so the bloated nominations fit in nicely.

I know Doc S thinks Boyhood is this years best.  That film, Wild, and The Grand Budapest Hotel were the only ones I have seen, so far.  Of the three Boyhood is a stand out.  The 12 year filming is an interesting side note, but the film is far more than that.  Richard Linklater has always been great at capturing "small" moments.  And Boyhood is a collection of them.  That is, life after all.  As much as we like to think of a finish line.  In reality, who among us is going to retire at 65 and buy a nice home in the south?

The blueprint is more like:  work til you die.  Enjoy each moment when you can.

So, when you are stuck in the thick of it- take some time for you.  What do you like to read?  What gives you happiness?  If it is your work, I commend you.  If not, waste no time and remember it is ok to be selfish sometimes.  No, not in the Ayn Rand way.  In a, let me sneak an hour in to get to the gym.  Let me see that new movie.  Or, as is the case with this reporter, what new music can I delve deep into.

Below are this months selection.   Enjoy Responsibly!

Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield)
Panda Bear "Boys Latin" from Jimmy Fallon

The first of several bands, solo projects, acts that I want to dislike.  Noah Lennox is Baltimore, MD raised and now calls Lisbon, Portugal home.  His music can be described as John Waters meets Cristiano Ronaldo.  See what I did there?  It's a stretch.  But, like Waters he is experimental.  His synths and layered vocals are NOT for everyone.  This song, from his much hyped record Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, has a slow build- that at first I could not take much of.  Give it some time.  Maybe it grows on you too?  For deeper research take a listen to his other project, Animal Collective.

Sleater Kinney "No Cities to Love"

Admittedly Carrie Brownstein in Portlandia entertains me more than her band Sleater Kinney.  Their reunion album and upcoming tour are fine, for nostalgia alone.  The first single, "Bury Our Friends" never resonated with me.  Their second release plays far better.

Courtney Barnett "Pedestrian at Best"

Lo-Fi Aussie Barnett is back quickly from her solo effort.  There is little, if any flash on Ms Barnett's vocals.  But what she lacks in enthusiasm she more than makes up for with wit, confidence and grit.  It isn't quite spoken word.  But it isn't quite singing either.  This is a girl who is clearly having fun.

Matt and Kim

Matt and Kim "Get It"

These New Yorkers can be polarizing, I get that.  Matt's voice is super high.  His synths, samples coupled with Kim's frenetic drums take some getting used to.  And if you don't like the first thoughts, odds are you won't stay with it.  Having seen them perform live a few years back I am firmly engaged.  What say you?

Avid Dancer "I Want To See You Dance"

Jacob Dillan Summers is Avid Dancer.  It isn't what you might think.  This is a rock outfit, very much new to the scene.  Occasionally I find a band with limited followers (they have less than 3000 Facebook likes and NO Wikipedia page.)  Let's make these guys more popular.
Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile "Wherever Is Your Heart?"

A little unsure how this hard singing pixie isn't as popular as, say,  Melissa Etheridge was in the 90s.  Big, booming voices and a penchant for jeans and a flannel shirt.  She will be releasing her independent label debut shortly and this is the first cut.  Huge voice from such a slight thing.  Alt country in the spirit of Wilco, Ryan Adams, and Emmylou Harris(think Wrecking Ball.)

Waxahatchee "Air"

Philly girl Katie Crutchfield is also bad with another record.  Sisters are doing it for themselves.  Moody pop delivered quite nicely.

Modest Mouse "Lampshades on Fire"

Northwest rockers will release Strangers to Ourselves on March 3rd.   It has been a little while since we have heard from them, and if "Lampshades" is any indication, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Toro Y Moi "Empty Nesters"

SC indie soul compliments of Chazwick Bradley Bundick.  His record, What For?, will be out in April.  Until then he has shared this song, which is a complete departure from his last album.  Not a complaint, simply observing he evolves with each record and the sounds are always quite rewarding.

Django Django "First Light"

London based band premiered the above song a few weeks back.  Their debut record a few years back was a critical hit.  "First Light" is a strong follow up and indication the sophomore slip may have been avoided.
Django Django

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