Lock up your geezers – The Police reunion

The Police were my favorite band of the 80′s and they introduced me to rock. The reality that I might get to see them live is something I just never expected. Sting was a big enough star on his own – he didn’t need Andy or Stewart to play the music he wanted to play, and for a while this worked. I saw Sting probably a half dozen times, and each time was great. His post Police music was good, but with each album he moved closer and closer to music my parents would like. So to see them get back to their 80′s roots is cool.

All this said – I probably won’t see them. I would have loved to see them play when they last played in the U.S. at the Amnesty International concert at the Meadowlands in 1986, but the 2007 version should not be confused for the real thing. This version will be about making money with the tickets surely to be in excess of $100 on average. Seeing geezers rock is never good – especially geezers that you liked when they weren’t geezers. The music will be toned down, played to appeal to an aging fan base. I may be aging, but I don’t like my music toned down. So when they come around, I will not be there. I prefer to remember my geezers as not geezers.

Other stuff:

Shawn Colvin released her version of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy on iTunes. Shawn’s version makes the lyrics come out. Check it out – it makes you realize how good the original song is


Shawn Colvin - Crazy - Single

Does terrorist equal Muslim

Seems like every year 24 starts up, every year there is a group that is upset about the identification of Muslims as terrorists.   It is a fine line that the producers of 24, and anyone else who covers this topic, dares to tread.   It is no question that there are Black, Caucasian, and Asian terrorists.   The issue is that in the year 2007 (or 6 years A. 9/11)   terrorism is defined by Al-Qaeda – and Al-Qaeda is an extremist Muslim organization.   Any discussion about terrorism in this age, fiction or non-fiction, is based on the fear and concern that the current situation generates.   Because of this – it’s hard to write a story that deals with terrorism, and not have it include Muslim extremism.   To do so would appear to ignore the reality of the situation.

Five hours into the 6th day of 24, I feel that they do a good job walking the balance.   Not only do they include terrorists in the organization who are not of middle eastern decent, but they have made strides to show Americans complicit with the terrorist acts either overtly or covertly.   But in the end, this will probably not appease the critics.

Al-Qaeda is a Muslim organization, Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization, ergo all Muslims are terrorists?   This is obviously not true – but it is the path that the ignorant often follow.   Most Muslims are not terrorists.   One of the often overlooked things that Bin Laden has done is redefine the way we look at Muslims.   Like it or not, it is he that has had the biggest voice in defining what we think of Muslims, and like it or not, he has a following.   To not understand this view, would be to ignore the current reality.

I can empathize with the way Muslims feel.     I don’t like seeing Blacks portrayed as criminals – but there are Black criminals.   What annoys me most is when the assumption is made that all criminals are black (or even most of them).   To discuss crime in America, you have to discuss race, and Blacks.   To do it fairly you should also cover inequality and racism and the impact that it has.   The issue is similar with terrorism.   To discuss terrorism completely, the Muslim religion has to be mentioned; but to be fair, the root cause of Muslim extremism needs to be covered also.   When we stop doing both, that’s when the critics have a complaint.

Yet another new look

This is temporary theme. Working on the new one.

This is it baby! Get to use my own picture above. Let me know your thoughts.

I tried the other design – and I liked the way it looked, but it was too hard for me to modify, and me not being a programmer – that’s important. So welcome to the new look – everything is pretty much where it was before – just with new underpinnings.

P.S. – Best of 2006 Music – and a look forward

It seems that every January is marked by me going through all the “Best of” lists and buying or downloading things I missed during the year. This year is no different. My January list is full of new Christmas gifts (thanks to everyone all the iTunes gift cards I got). Here are a few things I happened to miss.

  • Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards - The singer reminds me of Adam Levine of Maroon 5 – but the band has much more spice to it
  • The Decemberists – The Crane Wife – All I can say about missing this one is that their major label release wasn’t on eMusic, so I skipped it. Thanks to Kristen, that mistake was rectified. More accessible than the last cd without them selling out
  • Manchester Orchestra – I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child - They’ve been on my radar, but I never got around to listening. Very good indie band
  • Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s – The Dust of Retreat – A beautiful CD that easily would have been in my top CD list if I had found it sooner
  • The Bittersweet – The Life You Always Wanted – The Grey’s Anatomy Crowd will like this one

January also marks the time to look forward to what’s coming. Of course there’s Michael Penn’s new retrospective Palms and Runes, Tarot and Tea: A Michael Penn Collection will be released on April 17th. But there’s more that’s out or coming soon to look forward too:

  • The Shins – Wincing the Night Away – already out and one of the best of the year – mark it down
  • Ron Sexsmith – Time Being – This singer/songwriter should get more notice than he gets
  • Kristin Hersh – Learn to Sing Like a Star – Prolific former lead singer of the Throwing Muses releases her 5th post Muses release (she also has released two CDs with her side band 50 Foot Wave)

Add to this an upcoming release by the newly reformed Crowded House -and 2007 is looking really big for music.

Michael Penn Greatest Hits – Palms and Runes, Tarot and Tea

Breaking news

There will be a new collection of Michael Penn music tentatively scheduled for release 3/27/2007 4/17/2007 on Sony/BMG labels. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear the CD and will say that it is worth buying these songs again even if you have all of Michael’s work. The reworked tracks are worth the price – and since all of the tracks have been remastered, the old songs sound new and vibrant.

And for the most of you that don’t know who Michael Penn is, this is an excellent chance to find out about one of the best singer songwriters around today.

Here is track listing:

Lucky One (Version One) (Previously Unreleased)
Bunker Hill (New Version) (Previously Unreleased)
Out Of My Hands
Cupid’s Got A Brand New Gun (New Vers.) (Previously Unreleased)
Coal
Try (Alt. Vers.) (Previously Unreleased)
No Myth
Barely A Sound (Instrumental) (Previously Unreleased)
Don’t Let Me Go
All That That Implies
Whole Truth
Brave New World
Me Around (Demo) (Previously Unreleased)
Long Way Down (Look What The Cat Drug In) (New Version) (Previously
Unreleased)
Macy Day Parade
Figment
Bucket Brigade
I Can Tell
Walter Reed
Opening (From The Film, “Melvin Goes To Dinner) (Previously Unreleased)

Join me in combating Malaria

I recently read a Time magazine article that moved me to try and do something about malaria in Africa. Malaria kills 2 million children a year in Africa. As a matter of fact, since you’ve begun reading this post, 1 child has died of malaria in Africa. The thing is that there are a number of inexpensive, preventative solutions to the dying. One of these solutions are bed nets treated with insecticides that protect children while they sleep. Problem is that these nets cost $10 per net. I know $10 doesn’t seem like a lot more than the average family in Africa can afford. The problem is so bad that families decide to have more children because they are not sure how many will survive. It’s an existence that we can hardly fathom.

The cost for a comprehensive net program in Africa is about $3 billion. According Time this is about 12.5% of the $24 billion that Wall Street handed out in bonuses last year. To put it in terms you and I can understand – all it would take is $3 per person in the high-income world per year – or one cup of coffee at Starbucks.

So how can we help? I’ve started a team at the Nothing But Nets Campaign. I’m asking you to do one of two things:

  1. Donate money by sponsoring the team Blogging to Save Lives. $10 per month will protect 12 families – not that much to ask.
  2. Join the team and and make the plea to your friends through email, your blog, etc.

I’m asking all of my readers that have blogs to join the team.   It’s a simple way to have a huge impact.
Please join me in saving lives.

nothingbutnet.jpg

President Palmer – you’re no President Palmer

If you haven’t watched the first two nights – then you ought not read this article (of course if you haven’t watched the first two nights, maybe you should back away from the computer and go watch them).

What a fantastic four hours of 24.   I was shocked in season 2 when the bomb went off mid-season, so I definitely didn’t expect that to happen in the fourth hour of the show.   And if you know 24, you know that this isn’t the main story.   The bomb (or five bombs) aren’t the issue – there’s another game afoot.

Couple of thoughts:

  • Curtis – we hardly even knew thee.   All it took is for me to pronounce Curtis’ invincibility for him to bite it.   Not only is he killed, but he’s killed by Jack who is protecting a terrorist – oh the irony.
  • CTU is as stealthy as George Bush at a gay pride parade.   First they inadvertently warn the terrorist that Jack was trailing, giving him time to kill himself.   Then they allow the bomb to be set off by doing the same thing at the warehouse.
  • This President Palmer is making me miss President Logan – not to mention the first President Palmer.   The show is 4 hours old – he’s made a deal with China to get Jack, and then two deals with Fayed, and finally pardoned Al-Assad.
  • Big role by Kal Penn.   I guess they didn’t want to take time from a Harold and Kumar of Van Wilder sequel
  • Yes – Chloe is still bitchtasic

Thoughts?