Tag Archives: music

Beck: “Morning Phase”

Alright, at first I thought this whole Kayne West vs. Beck at the Grammys thing was kind of funny and just further proof of what a total fucking idiot Mr. West really is. But after spending just about every waking minute since Sunday night listening and re-listening to Morning Phase — which I got for Christmas and is already right up there with Mutations and Sea Change as one of my favorite Beck albums of all time — I’m done thinking it’s funny. And actually, I’m kinda pissed.

Morning Phase is a gorgeous, shimmering piece of folksy pop/rock perfection. Seriously, I want to just close my eyes and dive into some of those songs, this is Beck on overdrive and this album is freaking glorious on every level. And for anyone, anywhere to even remotely suggest that this lush, sensual album for the ages is in any way not Grammy-worthy is just fucking crazy. Yeah, I know, I dropped two F-bombs in one blog post, sue me.

The other thing that really irks me is that Beyoncé (who, by the way, is totally blameless here. It’s not her fault Kayne is an asshat!) already has a staggering 20 Grammys to her name. In fact, she is the most nominated female artist in Grammy history and the second most honored female artist at the Grammys like, ever. Trust me, Sasha Fierce don’t need no more Grammys.

By comparison, Beck has won six career Grammys. Six! When Star Wars: Episode VII opens this May there will be more Star Wars movies than Grammys with the name Beck on them in the world. And as much as I love me some Star Wars, that is just plain crazy.

So, even though this will cost me another quarter in the swear jar at home, I gotta say it: go fuck yourself, Kanye! Whew, I feel so much better. Thanks. Now, if you haven’t already checked out 2014’s Album of the Year, get stepping. It’s amazing!

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The Final Countdown Part II

I’m sorry, but my deep, abiding love of awesomely cheesy 80’s pop music could not let me use the title “The Final Countdown” for my previous post without paying tribute to the band that made those words famous. Europe’s rocking ode to the end of things has been in my head all weekend, and now, it will be in yours as well. You’re welcome!

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“Country: Portraits of an American Sound” at the Annenberg Space for Photography

Last weekend, we headed to the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City to check out their spanking new exhibit, “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” and lemme tell ya, it kicked ass. Seriously, even people who don’t like country music will enjoy the very cool array of photographs on display. And if you love old school Grand Ole Opry stars like Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Patsy Cline as much as we do, well, prepare to be dazzled.

"County: Portrait of an American Sound" @ The Annenberg Space for Photography (2014)

"County: Portrait of an American Sound" @ The Annenberg Space for Photography (2014)

Featuring work from a number of photographers covering the country music scene in Nashville and beyond, the show spans the post WWII period straight on through to today. One of Greta’s favorite shots was a very recent portrait of that little firecracker Kasey Musgraves. Musgraves took home the Grammy for Best Country Album earlier this year for her boot-stompingly good major label debut “Same Trailer Different Park.” And of you haven’t heard her music yet, well…you will!

My favorite pic was the insanely cool Tammy Wynette shot featured on the poster below and an action pic of Loretta Lynn jumping for joy after hearing that she’d been asked to join the regular cast at the Opry. Classic! And if you love Johnny Cash like we do, there are some great photos of him through the years as well. Honestly, every photo in the show is amazing and the documentary the Annenberg produced in conjunction with The Country Music Hall of Fame is positively riveting. Seriously good stuff all around.

"County: Portrait of an American Sound" @ The Annenberg Space for Photography (2014)

"County: Portrait of an American Sound" @ The Annenberg Space for Photography (2014)

And those with wee ones will appreciate the show’s super cool hidden item game which encourages kids to find items from a brochure in the photos on display. Greta loved it and actually, it was fun for adults too. In fact, some of the items were so difficult to find that we had to ask for help.

So, if you live in the area (and even if you don’t!) get thee to the Annenberg Space for Photography and check out this little gem of a show for yourself. The cost of admission is free and parking, with museum validation, is only one dollar. So, how can you lose?

I should warn you though, this show will fuel your desire for country jams like never before, we’ve been playing nothing but Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Porter Wagoner all week…it’s been awesome!

"County: Portrait of an American Sound" @ The Annenberg Space for Photography (2014)

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Record Store Day 2014

I know Record Store Day actually took place a couple of weeks ago now, but, I had such a blast celebrating it this year, and I took so many cool pics, that I simply had to share them again here. So, bear with me…Facebook friends.

Record Store Day 2014

Unlike in previous years, Record Store Day 2014 fell on Easter weekend this year, and since we always spend Easter at my Mom’s place in San Diego, we got to check out a couple of different record stores this go around. So, yay for us!

First up was a cool little place in the grungy-hip North Park neighborhood called Off The Record. And though the selection was pretty decent — but nowhere near the awesomeness of our local Amoeba Records in Hollywood! — the prices were fantastic, so, I would totally hit them up again. I bought a brand new Nina Simone CD for $5.99 and my brother-in-law walked away with a handful of very cool used CD’s for around $10-$15 bucks for the lot of them. Not bad.

Record Store Day 2014

But our next stop was even cooler. San Diego’s M-Theory Records has been rated one of San Diego’s Best Record Stores for years and it’s not hard to see why. Although their selection seemed much smaller than Off The Record’s, the depth and quality of M-Theory’s inventory was amazing. I’m not kidding, man…they had some really eclectic shit in there.

Even more surprising than M-Theory’s artfully curated vinyl stash was the totally disarming coolness of their staff. Friendly, smart and totally knowledgable, the clerks at M-Theory seemed determined to dispel the myth of the surly hipster record store clerk once and for all. And all I can say to that is: “Amen, brother!” Record Store Day or not, I can’t wait to spend more money in that joint next time we’re in town!

And even though I wasn’t able to find that David Lynch record or the Original The Muppet Movie Soundtrack vinyl reissue I was looking for, I still had a blast. So, rock on, San Diego record stores…see ya next year!

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Kelly Clarkson: “Wrapped In Red”

Kelly Clarkson has been all over the radio and talk show circuit this season — she was even the guest DJ on one of the all-Christmas music stations on Sirius/XMRadio last week! — but, if you’ve heard her new Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red”, you know that the girl has every reason to be proud of it. Loud, fun, sweet and beautifully-produced, Clarkson has called “Red” her favorite album she’s ever done, and I’m tempted to agree with her.

Every song on “Red” — which features a very cool mix of holiday classics and new material mostly written or co-written by Clarkson herself — is infused with Clarkson’s genuine love of Christmas music and the album has songs for every kind of holiday music fan. Clarkson’s rendition of “Silent Night” (sung with Reba and Trisha Yearwood) is just plain beautiful and her recording of “My Favorite Things”, whether intentionally or not, proves that there is only one true American Idol this holiday season. Sorry, Carrie.

Kelly Clarkson WRAPPED IN RED album cover (2013)

Kelly Clarkson @ Christmas (2013)

But, of course the real gems are the raft of new songs Clarkson wrote for the album. “Underneath the Tree” is already an instant classic (not to mention Greta’s favorite new song to sing!) but the title track and the songs “4 Carats” and “Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)” are sure to be around for a while as well. We have over 75 Christmas albums in our collection and, trust me, it’s rare that you find one from a major pop star that feels so artfully-crafted and produced. Seriously, Clarkson knows her Christmas music, yo.

So, if you tired of the glut of mass-produced lump of coal Christmas albums that usually bubble to the surface this time of year, check out “Wrapped in Red” instead. And if you get a chance to catch her NBC Christmas Special in reruns or video on demand, watch that too, it’s freaking hilarious!

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Date Night Movie: “Cloud Atlas”

The other day I realized that Hollywood award season is almost the only time of year that my wife and I see movies outside of the house. And when we see movies, we see a lot of them. Like, a whole year’s worth in two or three months. Then we’re burnt out and don’t see anything on a big screen again until summer. Thank God for Redbox!

So, I decided to highlight some of the movies we’ve been seeing lately in a new, hopefully regular, series I call “Date Night Movies”. Here I will blog about movies that I think are not only worth seeing on the big screen but, also worth dressing up and hiring a babysitter for. Now, before I get to the main event, let me touch on something we saw last month…

A few weeks back, Mrs. Yeti and I went to a screening of Argo and it was incredible. The acting, writing and directing was all first-rate and not only was the whole movie edge-of-your-seat thrilling, but it was also funny as hell, even if you don’t get all the insider Hollywood jokes. So, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you like to see all the possible Oscar nominees — judging by the reaction so far, Argo is sure to snare a Best Picture nod — before they get nominated.

That said, the movie I want to talk about today is Cloud Atlas. My brother and I went to a screening of Atlas the other night and, despite a few flaws, we loved it. Actually, I think the flaws made me like it even more because they highlighted the colossal effort it took to make something this bold. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, but, as you’ve no doubt seen from the trailer, the movie is as big and epic as Hollywood movies get these days.

The acting is great, the writing and cinematography is gorgeous but the real star of the movie is the theme. Much of the pre-release chatter about Atlas has focused on the fact that Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and the rest of the cast play multiple parts in multiple time periods, which is cool, but, the message at the heart of the movie is much more interesting. The movie theorizes that everything is connected, love, hate, good, evil, life, death, every single thing we do in our lifetimes touches someone else’s life in ways we could never imagine.

I know what you’re thinking: great, an essay about life from the creators of The Matrix Trilogy and the guy who directed Run Lola Run. Well, in a way that’s kinda true. The movie is an essay, or, a love letter if you will, about the eternal, transcendent power of love. I know that sounds corny and mildly student-film-ish and maybe it is a little of both. I mean, honestly, there is a lot going on in this movie, and it does require a bit of patience on the part of the viewer. Hell, up until the half-hour mark, my brother and I were so confused and annoyed that we were ready to bolt. But then something happened — it was a different scene for both of us — that changed everything and from then on, we were caught up in the whole crazy-beautiful, time-tripping swirl of it all.

I don’t want to ruin the experience for you guys, so, I’ll stop gushing about it for now, but, if you’re on the market for a deep, heartfelt, truly original movie about ideas and emotions and the power of human connection, then this is the date night movie for you. As I said before, it might not be for everyone, as it is a little weird and challenging in spots, but, man, if you’re up for a little three-hour, mind-bending adventure, Cloud Atlas will rock your world!

Oh, and make sure you budget in some post-movie chat time afterwards because this is definitely a movie you’ll want to discuss. My brother and I have been dissecting it for two weeks now and our heads are still swimming!

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Life of Dad’s “Part of your World”

Just heard about an awesome site called Life of Dad, which is a social networking site for, you guessed it, Dads! Very cool. But, where were you guys when I was pulling out my hair that first very long, very lonely year “on the job”? Hmmm. Either way, I’m glad you’re here now and I can’t wait to explore your rocking site some more.

That said, you guys gotta check out the latest clip from their site. Greta and I have been watching the hell out of it this week and it hasn’t gotten old yet. But, this is the same kid who watched the library’s copy of Hercules so many times that it actually broke…so, you never know.

Either way, the clip is hilarious. Especially if you’ve sung this song aloud (among others!) as many times as I have over the past three-and-a-half years. Enjoy!

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