Year in Review; Top 5 Movies of 2012

English: Actor Matthew McConaughey at the 83rd...

This year I did not see as many films as I normally do. Largely do to job change that took a lot of time away from me. So my list of my personal favorite films of this year is not a top ten. I really tried to make a top ten list, but I honestly did not see enough films to make a top ten without adding movies that I do not like. So here I present to you my top FIVE films of 2012

5) The Secret World of Arrietty,Studio Ghibli has done it again, making an adorable movie with a charming story. While not original an original story. As a kid of the 80’s i remember the show the The Littles, But The Secret world of Arrietty has enough Ghilbi charm to make it fell fresh and delightful.

4) The Avengers. Sure it’s a big action movie, but its a very well made one. Nuff said.

3) The Dark Knight Rises, The trilogy is over, and it was a fitting end of sorts to one of my favorite trilogy of current years. Sure I still feel the The Dark Knight is the better film int he trilogy, but as a book end The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting end leaving me with the ending that I wanted.

2) Magic Mike, When I went to see it I had no idea what Magic Mike was going to be about. possibly that was a good thing. I went in with no prejudge and came out really enjoying the film. To all guys that think Magic Mike is a movie just for girls. I have to say no it is not. It is very entertaining, good story and  Matthew McConaughey is amazing in this movie. Sure there is penis shot or two, but you also get a boob shots as well. So winners all around.

1) Looper, no other film left me more wanting me to rematch it more than Looper has in a long time.  Such an amazing original story. When so many movies seem to be reboots, or a sequels its great to see something original. The script is so  amazing I have even gone to read.  Great cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt, pulls off an amazing  job pretty much acting like hip version of Bruce Willis. Looper is very much the type of movie I would like to have made if I was in the film industry.

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Making a “mix tape”

throwback fridays: the mixtape

throwback fridays: the mixtape (Photo credit: brandon king)

I feel I was lucky to be born in the time that I was. Born the early 80’s I was born in the time of mix tape. I got my first radio with a tape player when I was in 4th grade. Back then I would record songs off the oldies station and have my favorite songs to listen to when ever I wanted to hear them. I never gave it much thought in the order of the songs, along as they fit in the tape that’s all the matter to me.
I didn’t give much thought of making the good mix tape until I saw the movie High Fidelity. In that movie the main character describes his rules to make a good mix tape. This left a big impression on me. I got to thinking of all the albums that I like, and they all had a sort of rhythm to them. Something that would keep you wanted to listen to the whole album. At this point of my life MP3 were the big thing. Everyone my age had a big mp3 collection made of mainly of singles. Mainly of my friends would put there mix cd’s and we would share them around. I got to hear many of my friends and there mixes. Some were good, some were not. I started putting a lot of effort on my mixes, to the point that i have some rules on making one.

  • For me there is a difference between mix/playlist and a collection. A collection is something you can put on shuffle. A mix/playlist has a beginning and an end.
  •  A good mix has a theme, could be something simple like your favorite songs of the moment, best songs of a certain band, or songs to listen to when your sad, but a good mix has a theme.
  •  A good mix is like a concert you don’t start the mix with the show stopper. A mix should have a flow to it. I had friends put a funny audio clip on there mixes. While it showed some personality it ruined the flow.
  • For the longest time I felt a good mix was the length of the average cd. I come around to the idea of long mixes and short ones. As long as the theme gets thru the length does not matter.
  • in my opinion a mix can always be improved.

So it may seem like a lot of rules for something as silly as making a mix of best disco songs, but as I feel even if it’s something silly, there is no reason to make it mix you can be proud of.

Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls

Every year a new band comes out and gets hailed as the next big thing. One of those bands this year are the Alabama Shakes. Originally called just The Shakes until they found out there is another band with that name. They added the name of the state they were from, and the rest is music history.
It will come to no surprise that the Alabama Shakes have a southern rock sound to them. Slow, down tempo blues sound with a singer that sounds like the late great Janis Joplin. The first single of the album Hold On is a strong rowing song. The Alabama Shakes have a sound that is so full of energy, fresh, but yet sounding so familiar, like something you have heard before, that it’s hard not to fall for it.
While the sound of the band is great this is an album review and as a whole the album does get dull. It’s only so much a fresh sound can carry an album. After a while the songs in the album start sounding like each other. Even more so near the end of the album where the songs start to get much slower. I can see the charm of the songs sounding a like., but for me it can wear out its welcome fast. Boys and Girls is an album to checkout especially if you like classic rock, or blues rock. I can see it come out in many end of the years best of list.
3 stars out of 5 

Gotye – Making Mirrors

Having come out last year in many places around the world. Gotye’s Making Mirrors had much hype around its U.S. release.
The first song I heard from the album was the first U.S. single “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Having known Gotye for only that one song I felt the rest of the album would be the same. It was a great surprise to hear that was not the cause. Making Mirrors is an album that could have been released years earlier and not feel out-of-place. Elements of 70’s soft rock,80’s new wave, mid 90’s alternative rock can be heard through the album. It’s experimental pop at its best. Each song has its own feel, style and sound which allows for the songs to stand out, sound fresh, and in a way be appealing for a wide audience. With so many styles I feel everyone can find a song they will like in this album. What holds the album together the clear division of an, A-Side and a B-Side. The A-side has a lighter, happier sound. The B-side is the slower darker end of the album. This divide works great to unite the, the otherwise random, songs in a type of order.

Best tracks; Easy Way Out, Somebody I Used To Know, Smoke And Mirrors, I feel Better, Bronte.

5 Stars our of 5 

My thoughts on the Grammys, 2012

Elvis Presley's Grammy Awards

Elvis Presley's Grammy Awards (Photo credit: Jonathan D. Blundell)

I was not able to see the whole broadcast of the Grammy’s yesterday. I had to get a flight back home while part of the broadcast was still on. I was able to see about an hours worth. From what I saw, and from what I  read later on  the interwebs and twitter I felt it was an entertaining show. No surprises at all on the winners, but it was a fun show to watch none the less. Here are my impressions of the Grammys.

  • Big night for Adele winning every category she was nominated. No big surprise there. In a weak year for music her album 21 was the safe bet to get the Win. I will not take anything away from Adele her album and singles. They were some of the best songs of the year. I just do feel the Grammy community took the safe route on just giving everything to Adele.
  • If I was running the show I would have given it to The Foo Fighters Album of the Year for Wasting Light.
  •  Record of the Year to I would have given it to Adele, Rolling In The Deep is just a powerful song.
  • I would have given Song of the year, how I understand this award is more of a songwriters award, to Bon Iver for Holocence.
  • I would have given Best Dance Recording To for Raise Your Weapon.
  • For best pop performance I would have liked either Coldplay with Paradise or to Foster the People for Pumped up Kicks, instead of Body and soul by Tony Bennet and Amy Winehouse which kinda seems like a Grammy just because of Whitehouse’s passing.
  • I don’t understand how Bruno Mars got so many nominations. I can understand giving him the pop nomination, but giving him best song of the year for grenades? Really? Have your read his lyrics? I feel the Grammys were desperately trying to be cool with nominating Bruno Mars.
  • Since I’m talking about nominations, Kanye West should have been nominated more. Power is a great song and his album, My Dark Twisted Fantasy is great.

Other than that I really enjoyed the Grammys. I like how the show fucus more on the performances than giving out awards. My favorite performances of the night were of Bruce Springsteen, foo fighters, Coldplay, Rihanna and Deadmau5. I would love to post videos of my favorite performances but I could not find any good videos of them.

taking the week off

I know I said I would post every Monday Wednesday and Friday, and since then I have not posted any Friday and have miss one Wednesday. well I know I’m going to have a busy week at work. So I’m going to take this week off from my blog. I’ll be back next week in full force.

Most Anticipated Albums 2012

Springsteen performing on the Tunnel of Love E...

Image via Wikipedia

Some of these albums have been announced and some have not, and some are just wishful thinking. .

  • Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror. I heard the first single and its completely nuts. Hope the rest of the albums is just as good.
  • Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday:Roman Reloaded. I hope for more cursing.
  • Bruce Springsteen – Untitled. I think he has announced an album for the end of the year. I loved his last album, which was the first Springsteen album I heard.
  •  Garbage – Untitled. I cannot confirm this will happen but I would like to hear just for the curiosity if it will be new sound for Garbage or same thing they took out in the late 90’s.
  •  Phoenix– Untitled. I been hearing that Phoenix is working on a new album. I still hear their last album. More Phoenix is always welcomed.
  •  The killers – Untitled. If they do take out a new album I hope it sounds more the Hot Fuss, and not like Day & Age.
  • The XX – Untitled. I heard that they are either recording or already finished recording. can’t wait to hear it.
  •  U2– Songs of Ascent. While the title of the album is out, I really cant say this may come out this year or ever. Rumor is U2 worked with Danger Mouse on this album. U2 is well-known as a band that does not work well with producers that they are not used to. Danger mouse is one of my favorite producers, I would love to hear what he does with U2.
  • The Shins – Port of Morrow. I was surprised with the first single just a few weeks ago. That single is amazing, find it hear it.
  • Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself. Love Andrew Bird, More of him is always welcomed.
  • Modest Mouse – Untitled. Last April rumor was that they are working on an album. I hope this turn out to be true.
  • New Order – Untitled. They got back together recently I hope this results in a new album,
  •  Depeche Mode – Untitled. Rumor is they will start working on a new albums this year. I hope it come out this year.
  •  The Smiths – Untitled. I know it’s not going to happen, ever. But one can wish.