Thursday, January 31, 2008
I will say I am a little upset with ABC, though. Last night, they replayed the Season 3 finale. It was billed as an enhanced version - and by enhanced, I mean they had facts about the show scrolling across the bottom of the screen while the show was on. My friend Kelly has been watching all the DVDs for the past month to get caught up so she can join in on all our LOST conversations (she's hooked by the way and I'm so glad she finally gave in). But she waited to watch the Season 3 finale with me, Chris and Cher. So the show starts and all this information that she DOES NOT NEED TO KNOW YET starts scrolling across the screen. It's not stuff like, "This is Jack. He's a surgeon." It's stuff that totally gives away the big "twist" at the end of the season! So me being the genius that I am cut the sides off a pizza box and taped them to the bottom of the TV screen so she couldn't see what was being given away (I know, I'm a total nerd). But my efforts were meaningless, because she had the whole "twist" figured out about 5 minutes into the show. She and Chris are the only two people in the known world that had it figured out.
Anyway, I had better get back to work before I get fired. After work I am going home to fix Chicken Paresan for the guests. I'm sure updates will follow periodically throughout the day. I may even do a live LOST blog tonight. Stay tuned...
Monday, January 28, 2008
-Decided at 4:45pm I was going to Belterra after work (which was fifteen minutes later).
-Went to Belterra, won $80 (after being up $120).
-Drove back to Lexington, hung out with Chris, Cher, Kelly, Faith and Trina.
-Watched Maria Sharapova (HOT!) win the Australian Open.
-Went to bed.
-Met up with my friends Browning, Jamie and Amanda and watched UK beat South Carolina.
-Went to the 5:30 service at St. Awesome's.
-Helped Chris change a flat tire on the Tahoe.
-Went to O'Neill's with about twenty of my closest friends to see Long Duk Dong. For the record, these guys get better and better every time I see them.
-Passed out on the couch.
-Woke up with a hangover.
-Had lunch with Browning before he went back to Louisville.
-Went to the mall to use my GAP gift card (didn't buy anything).
-Went to Wal-Mart (didn't buy anything).
-Watched The Number 23 (awesome) and Donnie Darko (uh...hmmm...).
-Went to bed.
So to recap, there was gambling, friends, church, beer, bourbon, 80's music and movies. Not a bad weekend at all...
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
For my money, Stephen King's Eyes of the Dragon and the Dark Tower series are his best works. But his last book, Lisey's Story, was excellent. I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about this one, so I am very excited to buy it today and get started. This will be a good night to read. As I type this, snow is flying outside and it's very cold - not really my favorite time of the year. This will be the break from reality I need right now!
Plus if I get started with this one tonight, I should have it finished before the new season of LOST starts! Have I mentioned I LOVE LOST?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Here's another great album I somehow forgot about. When I heard that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were teaming up for an album, I thought, "That's strange." But one listen was enough to make me a believer. This album has a haunting, moody sound. It's very raw. It's just strange enough that I dig it. I can't believe I left this off my list of top albums from last year...
Monday, January 14, 2008
Chris Cornell - Carry On
I first heard Chris Cornell on Soundgarden's Louder Than Love. I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Seattle music scene of the late eighties and early nineties. Soundgarden was one of the big Seattle bands of that period (along with Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Nirvana). After much commercial success, Soundgarden broke up just when they had reached the top. Chris Cornell released his first solo album Euphoria Morning soon after. I absolutely loved that album. I listened to it constantly in late 1999. He then teamed up with three of the four members of Rage Against the Machine and formed Audioslave. While I loved Audioslave's music, I kinda felt that Cornell's voice was failing and was convinced that he was just about finished in music. However, Carry On proved that Mr. Cornell clearly hasn't lost his touch. I had the opportunity to catch his solo tour in Louisville last summer and I can say with absolutely no hesitation that he is definitely not a product of the studio. His voice was as strong as it was almost twenty years ago. Plus, this was one of the best shows I saw last year (and certainly one of my favorite concerts of all time).
Pearl Jam - Live At The Gorge 05/06
Keeping with the Seattle vibe, my next choice has to be this seven-disc set from Pearl Jam. This collection chronicles three shows the band played at the Gorge (one from 2005 and two from 2006). I love Pearl Jam, but I especially love Pearl Jam live. No two shows are the same. They never play the same setlist twice. You can follow the band on tour and never see a show repeated (which I did back in 2003 - Nashville, Atlanta and Lexington - three shows in four days. Amazing experience). One reason this album made my list is because the setlist for the July 22, 2006 show was created by one of the band's roadies. A lot of songs that they hardly ever play live are included in this set including Wash, Footsteps, Crown of Thorns, Baba O'Riley and Dirty Frank just to name a few. If you're a Pearl Jam fan, this is a must have.
Is there a pattern here? In all seriousness, I have come to appreciate what an incredible genius Eddie Vedder is. Sure he's an amazing front man for Pearl Jam, but he is just as amazing on his own. In fact, I don't think you can even compare the two. I mean Eddie with Pearl Jam and Eddie on his own are just two very different entities, two very different vibes, both equally awe-inspiring. Vedder plays every instrument on this album and does an excellent job in my opinion. He also wrote all the music and lyrics with the exception of two cover tunes. In fact, the last song on the album, "Guaranteed," was awarded a Golden Globe on Sunday. While Eddie Vedder isn't in it for the awards, this one was well-deserved.
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Radiohead made waves in 2007 by allowing their latest album to be downloaded for the cost of - well, fans were allowed to name their own price! While I'm sure many fans downloaded the album for free, the album ended up selling for an average price of $7.99. In fact, the band said they actually made more money from this album than any other. Eventually, the album was released on January 1, 2008, but many fans (including me) had been listening for months. I'm still listening. It doesn't get old. Every time I listen to this album I discover something new, be it a note that I hadn't heard before or an emotion that I hadn't felt before. I'm of the opinion that this is Radiohead's best effort since OK Computer. It's one of those few albums that I can push play and listen from start to finish. It is truly amazing. Now if we can just get them stateside for a proper tour...
Silverchair - Young Modern
Do you remember back in 1997 when U2 released POP? It was such a departure for them, but it was simply an excellent album nonetheless. But really, was it such a surprise that U2 would push the envelope and go techno? They had already established that they were not going to release The Joshua Tree Part II when Achtung Baby was released in 1991. I love it when bands take chances. All that being said, Young Modern was probably more of a departure for Silverchair than POP was for U2. Imagine if you could take The Beatles, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Weezer, mix them up in a bowl, pour them in a cake dish and bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. What you pull out of the oven would be this album. I have to admit, at first I HATED it. I couldn't stand it. But after I few listens (usually traveling on I-75 South between Lexington and Corbin for work) I grew to LOVE this album. I probably listened to the first single "Straight Line" more than any other song last year. This is a tremendous album, but it will have to grow on you.
So that's it. My favorite albums of 2007. There are others that could have made the list (Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Radio City Music Hall, Foo Fighters - Echos, Silence, Patience and Grace and The White Stripes - Icky Thump just to name a few), but these were my stand-outs. These are the albums I would highly recommend to just about anyone. I have a feeling the list for next year will include the new Metallica album. Because, let's face it, it's the mighty Metallica and Rick Rubin is producing it! That has metal written all over it! Makes me want to headbang just thinking about it!
Speaking of Rick Rubin, he's also producing the new U2 album. Now this should be interesting! Of course, it doesn't matter who produces a U2 album, as long as you have Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. you have something special. U2 could probably do an album of Hannah Montana cover tunes and it would be amazing!!
Well, maybe not...
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Sadly, this is the current state of television.
As most everyone knows, the Writers Guild of America has been on strike since early November. Why? Because they have been working since 1988 under the same contract and, let's face it, times have changed. Particularly how entertainment it is presented and how we consume it.
Some basic facts: The writer of a TV show or movie receives a residual payment each time that show or movie is shown on television. The writer also gets a residual payment each time that show or movie is sold via home video. Now I am not a writer, so I don't know how much they make in residuals when the show or movie plays on TV. What I do know is this:
The last writers strike was back in 1988. At the time, the "big thing" was home video - as in VHS cassettes. Under that contract (which is the also the current contract), the writers received 3/10 of one percent for every dollar made from home video sales. That's 3/10 of a penny. Now let's fast-forward to 2008. VHS is virtually dead. Now we have DVD, which is easier and cheaper to produce. But we also have this thing called the Internet where you can download a show or movie and watch it on your computer.
Throughout 2007, there were rumblings that the writers were a little upset that they only get 3/10 of one percent from home video sales. So they decided that when their contract ran out, they would ask for a pay raise. How much? 6/10 of one percent. That's 6/10 of a penny for those of you with your calculators out. That would leave the studio with 99.4% to do with what they wish.
But what about the Internet? How much do the writers get paid when I go to iTunes and download a TV show or movie? Or how 'bout when I go to ABC.com and watch an episode of LOST or Dirty Sexy Money and have to sit through the same commercial five times?
Are you still with me?
NOT A DIME!
Well, how much are the writers asking for?
2.5% of the revenues made from Internet downloads and streaming.
That would leave the studios with 97.5% to do with what they wish.
So why are the writers on strike? Because the studios can't seem to make on 97.5%.
Oh, a little side note: The writers have since backed down from their demand 6/10 of a percent of home video revenue and are willing to stay at 3/10 of a percent, if the studios will pay them 2.5% of Internet revenues.
The writers are still on strike.
The studios are still not paying up.
So what does all this mean for TV viewers? Rather than quality shows like LOST, Heroes, The Office, etc., we will have to endure brain draining reality shows like American Gladiators, The Apprentice, Big Brother and The Bachelor.
In case you haven't noticed, I stand firmly with the writers. I say pound the pavement until a fair deal is reached that is beneficial for the writers and studios alike. Then we can all find out what happens with Pam and Jim, who shot Nathan Petrelli, and learn the fates of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.
Until then, get ready for the season premier of "Who Wants to Marry My Ugly Drunk Uncle?"
Oh well, I still have Guitar Hero...
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I don't really have any kind of agenda or reason for blogging. I suppose this will probably be something to do when I get bored (like I am right now). Although I'm sure I'll probably get more and more into it as I go along. I mean anyone who knows me knows that I am VERY opinionated and I am not at a loss for words when it comes to something I'm really passionate about. So I'm sure in the coming days, weeks, months, whatever, I will probably have a lot to say about a number of topics (the return of LOST, the writer's strike, the presidential election, music, movies, books, sports, life, love, etc.)
So in short, welcome to my world. Feel free to stay as long as you like and make yourself at home.
Oh, just one rule. I do not plan on posting things on here only to have them ignored by those of you who may be reading. So feel free to leave comments. Nothing is off limits and nothing is out of bounds. Just be real and be you, that's all I ask.