Archive for the ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!’ Category

I’ve more or less stopped counting milestones on this site.  But today I hit a quarter of a million views.  Sure, some site get that traffic in a day, but it’s not bad for a site that’s all about the books I’ve read.









And since I’m at 250,000, here’s a snapshot of my most popular posts: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: All Songs Considered Year End Music Roundup (2010).

Every year, I like to check various sources to see if there were any albums that I missed.  My definition of good resources: allmusic, amazon, pitchfork.  (There’s another fascinating list available here at Best Albums Ever, a site I’ve never seen before, and I have a large portion of the Top 50 albums.  I didn’t buy a lot of music this year, but evidently I chose wisely!).  I don’t necessarily agree with these lists, but if I see the same album on a few lists, I know it’s worth at least listening to.

This year, since I spent so much time on All Songs Considered, I thought I’d see their Best of Lists.  What’s awesome about the site is that you can hear not only selected songs in their entirety, you can also download the audio of the original show…where the DJs talk about their selections and play excerpts from them.   There are many different lists to investigate.

The most obvious one to star with is 50 Favorite Albums of 2010.  This shows the staff’s 50 favorite albums in all genres.  I admit that there’s going to be a lot on this list that I won’t bother exploring (I’m not really that interested in new classical or jazz and I’m not too excited by most pop music, although I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Kanye West songs here).

But some albums did stand out that I hadn’t heard, and I will investigate them further in 2011:

Buke And Gass, ‘Riposte’
Deerhunter, ‘Halcyon Digest’ (I know, this is on many best of lists)
The National, ‘High Violet’ (This is also on everyone’s list)

Bob Boilen, All Songs Considered’s most awesome host, picks his Top 9 of the year.  I’m on board with about 1/2 of his list (haven’t heard the other half).  Sufjan Stevens is his #1.

Robin Hilton, Boilen’s partner in crime, has a Top Ten which is remarkably similar to Boilen’s.  It has most of the same albums just appearing in a slightly different order.  Lower Dens is #1. (I’ve never heard of them).

Carrie Brownstein (of beloved Sleater-Kinney and now evidently a permanent member of the NPR team) has a Top Ten (Plus One)–funny that she liked more than ten when Boilen liked less than ten.  I’m really surprised by her selection of albums because her own music is so punk and abrasive, but her top ten features R&B and some folky bands.  Her top album is by Royal Baths, a band I’ve never heard of.

Stephen Thompson also picked his Top Ten.  He has an interesting mix of alt rock and jazz.  His number one is by Jonsi from Sigur Rós. (A great album).

Perhaps the best list comes from 5 Artists You Should Have Known in 2010.  I didn’t know any of the 5.  Sarah bought me two CDs for Christmas (and she was pleased to have gotten me good music that I hadn’t heard of!).  The Head and the Heart hasn’t arrived yet, but The Capstan Shafts is great.  I’m also really excited by Tame Impala.

Another great list is Viking’s Choice: Best Metal and Outer Sound (stay tuned for much more from this list).  It is dominated by black metal, but there are a few surprises in there as well.

Even the All Songs Considered Top 25 Listener’s List was great.  I had most of the list (except for The Black Keys who I simply cannot get into).

Although I enjoyed a lot of new music this year, it’s always nice to see that there is some new (to me) stuff to investigate.  Who knows maybe some day I’ll even have listened to enough new music in a year to make my own Top Ten.

[READ: December 31, 2010] McSweeney’s #36

With McSweeney’s #36, it’s like they made my conceptual ideal.  Its weird packaging is fantastic and the contents are simply wonderful.  But let’s start with the obvious: this issue comes in a box.  And the box is drawn to look like a head.  You open up the man’s head to get to the contents.  Brilliant.  The head is drawn by Matt Furie (with interior from Jules de Balincourt’s Power Flower.

Inside the box are eleven items.  The largest are smallish books (postcard sized) running between 32 and 144 pages.  The smaller items are a 12 page comic strip, a nineteenth century mediation (8 pages) and 4 postcards that create a whole picture.  The final item is a scroll of fortune cookie papers.   The scroll is forty inches long with cut lines for inserting them into your own fortunes (I wonder if they will sell this item separately?)

Aside from the bizarre head/box gimmick (and the fact that there is ample room in the box for more items), the contents are really top-notch.  For while many of the books included are individual titles, there is also an actual “issue” of McSweeney’s (with letter column and shorter stories) as well.  So let’s begin there

ISSUE #36: New Stories and Letters.  The resurrected letters page continues with more nonsense.  I’ve often wondered if these are really written like letters or if they are just short pieces that have no other place to reside.  (Oh, and the back of this booklet contains the bios for everyone in here as well as assorted other folks who don’t have room for a bio on their items).

LETTERS (more…)

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Happy Chrimbus everybody!

I wondered long and hard if I should have a special Christmas post this year.  Last year I posted about my most favorite and least favorite Christmas songs.  And this year I thought about posting about my favorite Christmas special episodes, but we didn’t watch that many this year, so that may have to wait until next year.  Then I wondered if I should write about a Christmas book, or if I should completely ignore the holiday.  Or maybe write a wholly inappropriate book review (no, that I saved for tomorrow).

Well, leave it to Tim and Eric and solve my dilemma for me with their Chrimbus special.

Chrimbus is Dec 5, so technically, this is not the right day to celebrate, but since this is the first year of Chrimbus, I wanted to get the word out on that other holiday that happens in December.

When Tim and Eric introduced Chrimbus on the Jimmy Kimmel show (watch part two of the interview below), they explained it is a “lunch holiday” celebrated during the lunch hour.  The highlight of Chrimbus is when Winterman comes.  Winterman inspects your Chrimbus bush.  If your bush is trim and wet, Winterman will give you a present.  Part One of the interview features their core-strengthening exercise routine.

But watch Part Two below to learn about Chrimbus.


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I’m continuing to move all of the old TV Posts from my TV Tab to individual posts. So here’s some thoughts from the 2008 TV season.  There were some updates midway through on this one, but I’ll add some updated thoughts as necessary.

With the Fall 2008 Lineup mostly underway, I’m listing the shows that we are giving a chance this year.  There are some new ones, but mostly its a continuation of last year: (more…)

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I’m moving all of the old TV Posts from my TV Tab to individual posts. Why?  I’m not sure.  But here’s the one from last season.  I’m going to put any thoughts from today at the end of each post, as necessary.


Okay, the TV season is half over, shows got canceled by the networks and also got canceled by us.  So, we have pruned ourselves down to just a few shows, mostly sitcoms. The really bad news is that our Canadian satellite is no longer active.  Bell Expressvue has kicked us out so we no longer have our access to TV up north.  Sigh.  Wither Corner Gas? (more…)

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more-infoSOUNDTRACK: Dungen-4 (2008).

4Vill du tala svensk?

Even if you don’t speak or understand Swedish, Dungen plays music that is pretty universally understood.  The album feels more or less like an all instrumental affair.  There are some songs with words, but they are all sung in Swedish. So, no, I have no idea what he’s singing about, and in that respect it feels all instrumental.

Like the previous discs, 4 feels like a blast from the psychedelic days.  It is trippy, at times loud and raucous, (with some amazing guitar workouts) and even has flutes on a few tracks.

The big difference between this disc and the previous releases is that there’s a lot more piano.  This has an overall calming effect on the music.  And in some ways, I think I don’t like this disc as much as previous ones.

The piano really comes to the fore on track 2 “Målerås Finest” which to me sounds like a a tribute to one Zappa’s instrumentals (it reminds me of “Peaches en Regalia,” although I don’t mean to suggest it’s a rip off at all). “Samtidigt 1 an 2” are the major instrumentals of the disc.  They also remind me of Zappa in that they feels like a snippet from some crazy guitar jam session.  (Zappa releases a lot of  “songs” like this on his …Guitar… albums. On this disc, we’re privy to about 3 minutes of wild guitar solo but since they fade in and then fade out at the end we have no idea how long the jam went on.  The final track “Bandhagen” also feels Zappaeque, but maybe it’s just the staccato notes that Zappa also uses to such good effect.

“Fredag” has a feeling like some of the more otherworldly Flaming Lips songs.  And “Mina Damer Och Fasaner” has a choppy heavy metal sound that really stands out from the disc.

Really there isn’t a bad song on the disc, but for some reason it doesn’t move me quite as much as the others.  I don’t want to bring a negative vibe to the review.  I’m sure if this was the first Dungen CD I had, I’d think it was amazing, I just got spoiled by them.

[READ: February 14, 2009] More Information Than You Require

John Hodgman is a man you will no doubt recognize from the Mac Vs PC ads (he’s the PC). He’s also a contributor and guest on The Daily Show. When this book was released he promoted it on The Daily Show, and on the Sound of Young America. It sounded really funny. And I was delighted that Sarah got it for me for Christmas. (more…)

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