Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS


I hope everyone is enjoying the festivities. I for one am thankful for many things. I've had the wake-up call during the summer when health issues came pressing down. I've learned a few things and I think I can get a hold on things a little better in 2011. The tree for me symbolizes many things on a personal level.

I wish you all good health and happiness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sign in to iTunes - get charged for buying nothing.

12-08-2010 *DEBIT AUTHORIZATION Dec08 11:10p 


AT 23:10 APL*ITUNES 866-712-7753 CA $ 1.00
 
All I did was sign into iTunes yesterday and they charged me $1.00. WTF?

Monday, November 29, 2010

New DM Remix album


For release next year will be a new Depeche Mode remix album. Again, I'm not a big fan of remix albums but this one might be of interest  because of the remixers involved. Some of the names being thrown around are Duran Duran ( from what I understand they will be remixing Personal Jesus), Aland Wilder, Vince Clarke, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs!, Brandon Flowers and Arcade Fire. I'm a little interested because the remixers are some ex-members of Depeche Mode and some pretty well known bands and not a bunch of DJs with funky names. I don't know that there ever was a Depeche Mode remix by a DJ that I liked. What I would really love is a nice Depeche Mode remix album done by band members and the songs chosen are from their early career. Which is why I chose a very young Depeche Mode picture and one that includes Alan Wilder. Alan seems to be invovled lately as far as joining Depeche Mode on stage recently to play the keys for the song Somebody. If this remix album is of newer work, then I may pass it up. I would be curious to hear of updated versions of the old material from Speak & Spell, A Broken Frame, Construction Time Again and Some Great Reward.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blondie - "Mother In The Night"

Blondie performs "Mother In The Night" on A&E's "Private Sessions" which I didn't know about and missed it. Is it me or is Debbie sounding just fabulous and looking great? I love it. Blondie's new ablum "Panic of Girls" does not have a release date yet, but I wish they'd hurry it up. I think it's going to be major.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

 "I don't want to make synth music for the rest of my fucking life. It was a time when I was into that, but whatever, it's done with, it's gone. The whole genre is so over. It was my thing and I'm bored with it."


Really darling, I mean, how old are you? You think the 80s was just a passing phase rather than a whole decade of the most interesting music, not just in Synth but in a lot of different genres.  I bought your last album and quite enjoyed it and thought there was hope yet.

Best response I've read by James D. Stark:
"Guitar music is so over. Rock music has been going on since the '50s. Everyone's sick of that sound right? "

 "If I see anything more '80s-themed, I'm going to bust."
 
You gor right on and bust, honey. You and your music career can go bust altogether. Get off my iPod.

Friday, October 29, 2010

You're a fabulous monster

It's sad to think this is Marc's last studio album of original songs. I'll try to be articulate here, but as you know I am failing with such things among many other things. I do like this album, many songs speak to me. A lot of them touch on getting older, having to let go of a past and making some sort of exit. And some are about being different and celebrating being the fabulous monster (something like a bearded lady in an elegant Dior dress.) Certain songs remind of certain albums. I've loved pretty much all of Marc's solo efforts starting with Marc & The Mambas while he was still with Soft Cell.  In just about every album, Marc will hit something deep within me, a song to hit that kind of pain you're feeling where everyone else is silent about. There's so much of me in his b-side track "Beautiful Losers" that I could not stop listening to it. Listen, if you feel alive, happy and lucky there's plenty out there for you. Take your pick. But yours truly does not have much of a choice. I need music that can speak to me and connect with my emotions and Marc along with very few artists have made that happen for me. I love this album (well, most of it) because he ditched all the synth stuff and actually hired some musicians. It felt like the old Marc. Listening to "Bread and Circus" reminded me of "Mother Fist." "Nijinsky Heart" made me think of "The Stars We Are." the single "Variete" is like something out of "Fantastic Star." But that album has never been one of my favorites. For the most part it is a pretty good album. Marc sings about being different as usual in "The Exhibitionist" and how ordinary is bad and strange is good:

Let's hear it for the Dog-Faced boy
Three cheers for the Alligator Girl
We can marvel at your surface
While you hid what's underneath
Strange is good

And I can't help the feeling I get when I listen to "Swan Song." I too feel like I've done what I can and now it's time to make that exit:

My times passed on
I no longer belong
So I'm saying goodbye
And I'll be gone
With my swan song

Marc has touched on all the things he feels sad about including what once was and now isn't "Soho So Long" It's a feeling I get whenever I walk down in any of the old stomping grounds here in NYC.

I will shut up now about Marc.

Some personal stuff:

It's was a pretty bad summer for me since July when I began to feel really sick and the doctor told me I had type 2 diabetes. This is a big blow to me as now I have to make these drastic lifestyle changes. In a world where there's hardly a pleasure, some foods fill the void. Now I have to watch every bit and count, count, count. I am minus a stone because of it, but that's hardly enough. I need to do more, more, more. I'm very unhappy about it. Downright depressed. And I've asked my doctor - It isn't because I'm fat or anything like that. I have diabetes because it runs in the family and two of my brothers have it. So I really shouldn't be surprised but at the same time, it's no picnic to be told you have a disease. Yes, if I lose a ton of weight, I can have better control over it, but that's it. It's just better control. It does NOT go away. I just feel like I've had it. How many slaps in the face before I lose it completely?

Suicides and bullying - I actually wrote this whole thing about the topic but I scratched it. I just don't think you need to hear it from me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Anne Rice declares:

I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen. 7/28/10

Anne's website.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time Travel 1982


I could be alone in this but maybe nobody is talking about it but I find myself unimpressed and unsatisfied with anything new in the music world. Lots of things have changed and really I think the age bracket that I have entered into does not allow me to accept changes so easily. The changes are drastic.  But that's me. And as I walked alone on a cool summer's evening on fashion week here in New York City - trying hard to move away from the crazy crowd - It was a madhouse of loud offensive beats and young hipsters who are brought up on mp3s and texting, sexting and what-have-you (any gadget with a lower case "i" before it) - when I noticed a record shop. I quickly walked in not really expecting all that much. I wasn't going to find that Chameleons CD that I've been looking for, I knew that for sure. But you walk into these places now and the cashier is that type of pretender  where the music he plays will be some kind of punk band that is only familiar to himself and he's going to look at you like you had just came into existence in life and what you're wearing and decide to make those kinds of judgements - Like I don't belong in his domain because I'm probably only going to buy something mainstream. Well I didn't want to disappoint. Looking through the DVDs I saw the Blondie concert that immediately brought a bunch of memories. Off course I picked it up to buy right away - Mr. punk cashier giving himself a nod - I knew it! Well I could tell him a few things. I could tell him how I used to walk these streets long before he was born at a time when these streets were far more exciting and full of interesting people and shops.

I thought this concert was lost forever. I know that it was released video tape for a while but never bought it at the time. I was heavily listening to other things and figured I needn't go to the past. Little did I know that it would save my sanity in the years to come. Funny how when we're young we never think we're going to hit 40.

Well, here's the memory: Picture it, 1982, I was only 15 years old. At that time, the only cable TV we had was HBO. You had a little box on top of your TV and you used a little key to turn it on. Each month HBO would send their subscribers a guide and some notes on previews of what's to come in the coming month. When I saw that they would show a Blondie concert, I would feel what anyone would under the circumstances - the excitement to me was unbearable. I could not wait. At this time, Blondie had just released The Hunter album and nobody was talking about it. In fact, it was getting pretty bad reviews. But I was already in love with it as I think you'd have to have been a Blondie freak to love this album. Ms. Harry had just done her Koo-Koo album and after a Blondie Best-Of, they released this to the world. Most everyone said WTF! Which included the album cover most noticeably Ms. Harry's lion-mane hairdo. I loved it. 


I loved The Hunter and I loved the movie Class of 1982 which nobody on earth knows anything about and I had gone to the movie theater to see that movie twice. But that's just something personal. I can't think about this album without thinking about that movie.

When the time came for HBO to show the concert for the first time, I sat anxiously waiting for it to begin. The hardest part was having to watch this with members of my family who do not share my passion. This is not the best Blondie concert. Most of the songs are pulled out from The Hunter and you only get a sprinkling of their older songs. The band does not sound very tight. It just didn't look like Debbie is much into it. One Way Or Another is an example. Her "getcha getcha's" barely making it through. Around the living room, people notice and begin their attacks. I want to watch this in peace. I'm overlooking any of these mishaps both on screen and in the living room and am just happy that I get to see my favorite band perform in whatever form they may be. I believe at this time Chris Stein was ill. He had this mystery illness that nobody can figure out. 


The concert is only 11 tracks. One of which is a cover of The Stone's "Start Me Up." They could have removed that and placed another Blondie song. But something tells me that they may have pulled the best possible songs from that concert and the rest were not as better performed. But at the time, I was happy with it. I could not get enough of it. When I knew they would show it again, I played sick from school and stayed home to watch it. Now that's a fan. Right?


I went a step further and put a tape recorder to the TV speaker and recorded it. I listened to that tape a lot. So that's the memory attached to this DVD. What I am mournful about is the passion and dedication that I felt for something back then. Something missing in my life right now.



Playlist

Rapture
Island of Lost Souls
Danceway
The Tide Is High
Heart Of Glass
Hanging On The Telephone
Dreaming
One Way Or Another
War Child
Start Me Up
Call Me

It would be sometime in the early 90s that I got to see Debbie Harry perform on stage with Chris Stein. It was during Debbie's Def Dumb and Blonde tour and I have to say it was an amazing show. The concert took place in Arizona at a venue called After The Gold Rush. I remember a lot of Blondie songs were played and the band and Debbie out-performed that 1982 concert. 

ETA: Actually I have to say that the first sentence in this post is not entirely true! I have listened to some new music as of late which is OK. I will write about that on a later post.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

OMD - History of Modern



OMD has returned with the single "If You Want It" which is pretty decent. The video for it looks a little like a Pet Shop Boys video (as someone on YouTube mentioned).

The ablum titled "History of Modern" will be released in the U.S. on September 28 in 5.. count 5 formats! When a CD release these days just won't do.

The sound is very familiar and is clearly recognizable as an OMD song. One might question when in the 80s this song was released.

I'm not a huge fan of OMD. I don't have all their albums but do love most of their singles as well as this new one.

For more info: OMD website

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Blondie - Panic of Girls

So this is the artwork for the new Blondie album. Looks pretty cool.

The album is supposed to have about 16 tracks. That's a lot of Blondie. One of them will be a cover of Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Till You Get Enough. Want to know what that would sound like? Here's a video of them recording it in the Studio.



The album will also feature the song What I heard. Here's a preview from IOW Festival this year.



I like the song a lot and am looking forward for the new album. They are still touring and seems like they've been doing it since their last album The Curse of Blondie.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Lady is People too



Lady Gaga talking about the possibility of covering Depeche Mode's 1984 hit "People are People"

"I could really give it the melody it never had"

and

"I didn't know the band existed until I saw a mash-up of 'Paparazzi' with 'Just Can't Get Enough'."

Granted she's young - but it kinda bugs me that she's never heard of them until now and that she doesn't think People are People had any melody to it. It was 1984. Sampling was new and the song was supposed to have an "industrial" feel to it.

People are People stands on its own and I don't know what you can do to it today. Whatever you do, it won't be the same song. Gaga will put her spin on it and I predict an epic fail.

She does also say "I advise everyone to check out Depeche Mode, they are so underrated."

We're so glad you feel that way.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Return to Eden - Ultravox Live at the Roundhouse (London)

Last year I had mentioned on this blog that it was going to be the year for Ultravox. I think it was. But not in the U.S. Still holding out some hope of a tour in the States though I don't know if the U.S. gives much of a hoot for this reunion. I for one was very happy to hear of it. Having listened to them non-stop since the mid 80s. I've never taken a break from them. They are one of the greats.

There's been a lot of 30 year celebrations going on lately and  I had wished I could have been a part of this one. Let's face it, some of us aren't getting any younger and this is our last chance to say "thank you and good night" to those groups that are still standing and still want to pleasure us with their sound.

So Midge, Billie, Warren & Chris are superb in what they do in this reunion. Their sound is very tight and they seem so together with the whole thing. There's a lot of keyboard action going on and they are all played live - by hand. Isn't that refreshing to see? It's a great set-list of  just about all the singles and a couple of album cuts.

Ultravox had only one other live album during the 80s. That of "Monument." It's pretty good, but this is much better. I was glad that they did the same closing at The Roundhouse as they did in Monument. The ending to The Voice where they all take to the drums. The DVD also contains a small documentary mostly taped by Midge about the buildup to the tour. Emotions are high as they meet up for the first time in over 20 some years.

It really takes me back when I hear All Stood Still or Sleepwalk and all I can think about is WLIR radio station playing them almost daily.

All I can say is if you're a fan of the band, do get this. I believe this is a limited release.

My top 15 Ultravox songs:

  1. Vienna
  2. Mr. X
  3. The Voice
  4. Rage in Eden
  5. I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)
  6. We Came to Dance
  7. Hymn
  8. White China
  9. One Small Day
  10. Visions in Blue
  11. Lament
  12. Serenade
  13. Reap The Wild Wind
  14. Love's Great Adventure
  15. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Betty on SNL

I know I'm late talking about this but...

I was chuckling to myself today on the way home from work. I couldn't get over Betty's appearance on SNL. This was my favorite skit. I actually thought she was going on the Saturday before. Then I missed the actual airing. So I went to prime time on demand and they had it up.

It was great to see Molly, Anna, Amy, Maya and Tina all together again. It was a real funny show and SNL hasn't been funny for me for a long, long time.

So onto my favorite skit. "The Wonderful Wizard of Ass!" (I don't know that what it's called, but it's the funniest line ever.)



Wizard..... of AAAASSS!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Don't stare that bitch in the face

I got to see Clash of the Titans in 1981 when it came out. My brother took me which is very rare, but I guess even he knew I had to see this movie being that I was so much into fantasy and the like. I still love the movie and it was being shown last week. I sat and watched it and never thought that it was out-dated or anything. Same as if I was watching one the old Japanese monster movies. It's just something that was so cool to watch back in the day and you just have to take the trip back mentally and forget about today's technology to really enjoy these movies when they are shown again.

So last night I went to see the remake of this movie. I don't think this version of the  movie was made with 3D in mind because there really wasn't anything 3D specific in the movie. Sure, in the begining it seemed all great and everything but by the time you get into the middle of the movie, it just didn't seem 3D anymore. I get that today not a whole lot of people are going to the movies because like the music industry, the movie industry is losing a lot of money to downloads. So if you want people to come, convert to 3D, charge extra and make some dough.

This remake was like watching one of those made-for-TV movies that you see on the Sci-Fi channel. Oh excuse me, Sy-Fy. I did like it though I don't think they should have strayed from the earlier version. There was a funny remark to the old one in the movie and I won't give it away. But I always thought the one thing that made the old version a little cheesy was that freakin owl.

The best part, to me, was the Medusa scene. Same as the earlier version. The Kraken wasn't all that impressive. I couldn't even tell what the hell the thing looked like in this re-make.

Anyway, it's not a total loss but it just isn't enough for me to want to see it again. Even for free on cable. Though I will still watch the old version whenever I get the chance!

And really, you're not missing anything if you don't see this in 3D. Save your money.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life in the so-called space age

Hotels Combined is already getting ready to reserve hotel reservations to - where?

Link

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PSB Pandemonium Live



Some info on the live CD/DVD due out on 2/15.

The cocert was shot at the O2 Arena, London on December 21, 2009. Would  have loved to have been there for that one. I have said this before that this was by far the most fun and memorable concerts that I had ever attended for many years of concert going. If you didn't see it in person, get the DVD you will love it.

Here's a track-list:

o 1. More Than A Dream/Heart
o 2. Did You See Me Coming
o 3. Pandemonium/Can You Forgive Her
o 4. Love Etc
o 5. Go West
o 6. Two Divided By Zero
o 7. Why Don't We Live Together
o 8. New York City Boy
o 9. Always On My Mind
o 10. Closer To Heaven/Left To My Own Devices
o 11. Do I Have To
o 12. King's Cross
o 13. Suburbia
o 14. Se A Vida E/Discoteca/Domino Dancing/Viva La Vida
o 15. It's A Sin
o 16. Being Boring
o 17. West End Girls

The DVD contains the entire concert plus:

23. My Girl [DVD]
24. It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas [DVD]
25. Love Etc [video/DVD]
26. Did You See Me Coming [video/DVD]
27. All Over The World [video/DVD]
28. 2009 BRIT Awards Performance [DVD] - Pet Shop Boys & Lady Gaga/Brandon Flowers.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pretty Baby


Brian Aris talks about photographing the beautiful Debbie Harry during Blondie's early years.

London is lucky to get glimpse of these fantastic photos of Deb. at Proud Gallery.

The above photo is not one of them.


Roads.



Storm in the morning light I feel No more can I say Frozen to myself

Fantastic performance! and one of my favorite Portishead songs from the Dummy release. That entire album was on very heavy rotation during it's release (93? 94?). I can't tell you what it meant for me to have such an album to listen to during that time in my life.

***

I have been having quite a few sleepless nights in past few  months. It's taken it's toll and I don't know the cause of it. Surely my depression is the same as always or perhaps it has begun to worsen. Something to that effect. I had these problems before but that was a long time ago when I was living in Phoenix. Whatever. Who cares.

***




So during one of those nights instead of just laying there for sleep to come, I decided to just get up and do something. So I turned on my computer and I can't remember what led me to it, but I downloaded one of those Linux distribution discs and installed Linux Mint to my computer. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu but for whatever reason I decided not to go with Ubuntu and instead chose Mint cause it just sounded fresh.

Turned out to be a good deal. I installed the system in my seperate hard drive that had been sitting there since I got it with nothing in it. I didn't want to partition my system drive so it was a very easy instal. But you don't even have to do that (install on a HD). You can just work from the CD and play around with it to see if you like it or not. 

Some Linux facts if you don't know anything about it.

It is a freely distributable operating system which will work on any PC or Mac (though Mac does run on a Unix/Linux operating system called "Darwin"). There are many "flavours" meaning you have a choice of many, many different systems. Some are put together with something specific in mind. Ubuntu is the most popluar with Mint being No. 3 most popular.
All software for Linux operating systems are free. There is *just about* every software that your computer might need including the Firefox browser, e-mail application and a number of essential tools. The only thing is that they are not commercial software so they are mostly clones of popular programs but work just as well like GIMP  which is like Photoshop and Open Office which is like MS Office. I'm still having fun tinkering away with it and discovering new things. Give it a try if you're bored one day.

The thing about Mint is that when you install it, a lot of the software comes pre-installed so you don't have to go looking for them downloading  and installing them.






Hmm.. Portishead and Linux in the same post. Surely, I need some rest.