Thursday, April 29, 2010

RAIN, My Inner Fangirl, And A Palindrome...

Well, the final night of three for Beatles tribute band RAIN concluded a few hours ago.
Why do I tell you this?
Well, I thought you might like to hear about it.
Oh, come now, are you sure you don't want to?
Are you going to change your mind?
I hope so, 'cause I'm doing it anyway.

The evening was entertaining, of course, however, the bang for my buck was to watch for, as I would call it "what the lads would do".
Before we recount the show, I'll give you a run-down of my thoughts on each individual.
I don't remember their real names, so I'll just refer to them as Fake-John/Paul/George/Ringo.

Fake-John : When impersonating John Lennon, you walk a fine line between authenticity and caricature; his toes crossed that line occasionally, but, to an untrained eye, he was more than passable. I thought he held onto early Beatle John a little too long (John did not bounce about like a nervous kid in 1968), but, as I said, more than passable.
He also, on occasion, had the "Lennon tune" as I've heard it called before. John's range is incredible, and it's hard for an impersonator to replicate... he hit it a few times, but let his Scouser accent rule a little too heavily in places.

Fake-Ringo : How effing hard is it to impersonate Ringo? Not very. Though, F-R's drum solo on "The End" was brilliant... you may as well have taken a studio outtake and played it, definitely a highlight of the performance.

Fake-Paul : The Precious has such a distinct voice, it's incredibly difficult to replicate. Hell, even Paul sometimes doesn't sound like Paul... then, of course, you just glaze over with a contented grin on your face, saying "he's The Precious, he can do what he wants". I have heard worse F-Ps, but I've also heard better. At least, F-Ps that didn't sound like Fake-Georges. I think this F-P used to play George, but they replaced him with... uh, we'll get to that in a moment.
As far as "what the lads would do", I didn't think F-P really came alive until the end of the first act, where they came out in the Pepper suits. Everything until then was just a warm up for that guy, I guess.
Another thing that confused me about F-P was that, when he had the bass out (or, as I like to call the Real Hofner, "The Hof"), it was, indeed, a left-handed bass; but whenever he would play guitar - be it acoustic or electric - they were right-handed. (Paul, for those who may not be aware, is left-handed.) Wrap your brainbox around that one.

And, last but not least (though I'll be the judge of that on THIS blog, thank you)...
Fake-George : I have to admit, I'm probably the most judgemental about F-Gs than the others. I have to put it down to the fact that I once had a fabulous experience with a Fake-George (he thought I was special, and I thought he WAS George Harrison... even Paul himself said that that particular George impersonator was like playing with the real man... and I'd ruddy well believe it), so I was spoiled, never to return to a fair world of judging F-Gs again.
This F-G, however, makes me cringe a little bit.
I watched with anticipation for "The George Dance"...

He'd done at least five numbers before he whipped it out (missing several opportunities to dazzle us), and even then, it looked as though F-G had had a double knee replacement operation.
Then, of course, during the second act, he gets to sing.
As the acoustic demo version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps begins to play, I wait anxiously to hear if he sounds as much like George as Fake-Paul does.
Oh. My. GOD.
Fake-George sounded more like this...

Yes, Fake-Paul sounded more like George than Fake-George could hope to.

Oh well... such is life!
Now, on to the show!
These guys performed some very ambitious numbers, and some I'd like to see The Fab Four, my favorite Beatles tribute band (the one with Could-Be-The-Real-George) attempt, such as This Boy, The End, Norwegian Wood, and In My Life, not to mention starting out While My Guitar Gently Weeps in acoustic.
As far as the music goes, though, I had one major complaint: they omitted verses from songs! I can think of quite a few that they took out, for reasons unknown, but were very blatant. Questionable, indeed.

There was a lot of, what I would venture to call "flash and dash" in the show.
They spent quite a lot of time/effort/money to recreate things like the first landing in America (no, not the Pilgrims, keep up with the program!), a few press conferences to use between set changes, and a recreation of the Apple Rooftop concert, not to mention the other videos they used that didn't even have the Fake-Beatles in them.
Speaking of set changes, there were a lot of them. That curtain must've gone down three or four times before intermission so the set could be changed, and the performers could, too, filling the emptiness with vintage commercials for Winston cigarettes and Prell shampoo.
They closed the second act with "A Day In The Life", and quickly ran off for another set/costume change.
To keep the psychedelic feeling going, they FINALLY played some Donovan (yes, I'm pathetic, I kept an eye out for him, bouncing excitedly in my seat, then complaining loudly when you could barely hear him). Surprisingly enough, when they came back onstage, they played from the Magical Mystery Tour LP, which, in my opinion, they should have included in the Pepper/Summer of Love package... after all, it was released in '67, too, AND it was the Pepper reject pile! Use your heads, kids!

Something I just loved that they did during the second act would have to be the acoustic set. They went back to Rubber Soul ('65, and they're dressed like they're going to have a stroll across the zebra crossing at Abbey Road?) for Norwegian Wood, and And I Love Her, before going into the travesty that was While My Guitar Gently Weeps, breaking the acoustic feel with the best thing about the whole performance, the electric guitar solo at the end of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Then, of course, off for another costume change.

Favorite numbers of the night, you ask?
Well, funny you should say, for I have something prepared!
From the first half, the ambitious This Boy...

I was surprised they did that one... it shows off the famous three-part harmonies in heavenly golden layers, with a fabulously Eddie Cochran solo from John. Pure gold from the guys, and a stand-out from Rain. Boy, I'd love to see The Fab Four do this number!

From the second half, Norwegian Wood...

Fake-John hit his peak with this number. He sounded fabulous, and I was incredibly surprised. This was a very brave song to perform, because it was the first time the fellas used sitar in a song. I waited for them to pull out the giant string instrument, only to hear a country-fied, twang-tastic guitar replacing the original sitar piece. Appalling, but the best song of the second act, nonetheless.

Another thing I have fun with at these kinds of shows would be watching the fans.
Being incredibly proud of the fact that I have seen The Precious myself ten times (yes, ten, count them, you use up both of your hands, and almost have to take off your shoes!), I wore my latest concert shirt (except mine has three-quarter length sleeves), as did my mother.
As we walked in the door, a little boy, probably no older than nine, shrieked with glee, pointed at my mother's shirt and excitedly shouted "PAUL MCCARTNEY! I LOVE HIM, ESPECIALLY SAY, SAY, SAY WITH MICHAEL JACKSON!" I was proud for The Precious in that moment.
The best fan moment of the evening, though, was when the band played Revolution!
The entire back row (all four of us) shouted and raised peace signs in the air at exactly the same moment... it was as though it was choreographed. A beautiful moment, as the whole back row took in the scene. To which I must say "GO, BACK ROW!"

Overall, it was a highly enjoyable evening, filled with laughter, gigglefits, and the occasional breakthrough of raw potential.
There were no Yoko jokes (though, in one of the videos, I think I spotted Heather Mills), so these guys are A-OK so far as I'm concerned.


Speaking of Yoko, she posted a very interesting link over at Imagine Peace yesterday, and I suggest everyone take a look at it... I know I did, and I am now (quick, cue the music!)...
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We'll now close this incredibly boring post with a dedication to a fellow Macca fan...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WARNING! BLATANT CONSERVATISM AHEAD!

I try not to get into politics here; this is neither the place nor format to deal with any kind of political issue. Sure, I'll talk about changing text books, and rubbish like that, but I try to avoid the heavier issues.
Today is not one of those days.
I went to look at MSNBC.com just a few minutes ago, curious at what the DJIA closed at today, what with the whole approval of off-shore wind farming and cap on mortgage interest rates in the news today (that, and the Dow dipped below the 11,000 mark yesterday, so I had to see if it would make it back to 11,000).
Imagine my shock when I see a picture similar to this one in the video section...
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Do you notice anything missing about the President's person?
Yep. Now you see it, don't you?

He is the President, therefore, he represents the entire nation to the rest of this big, bad world.
He is standing behind the Presidential lectern, before the American and Presidential flags.
This was a planned, out-of-state event.
Out of respect for the Office of the President of the United States AND those who held the post before him, why isn't he wearing a tie?

Sure, I'm incredibly conservative... hell, I'm proud to have "Republican" stamped in bold red ink above my signature on my Voter Registration Card; I still adhere to the Constitution because, when followed, it WORKS.
HOWEVER, like so many folks before me, and the slew of people after I'm gone, I do everything I can to respect the Presidential Office... it's synonymous with respect toward the nation as a world power, so far as I'm concerned.
It's just too damned unfortunate that our own President doesn't show the same kind of respect.


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You tell 'em, Ronnie!

Carry on, good citizens.

Planting Season Is Dangerous

Spring is a dangerous time of year for me.
All those pretty flowers are filling local garden departments, their cheerful blooms smiling serenely at me, their proud foliage unfurling toward the sun, the fragrance of the delicate blossoms beckoning you to lean in for a hearty sniff... and they're all shouting "Take me home! Love ME!"
Then, of course, you buy them, with high hopes of continuing these vigorous blooming patterns... and then, YOU get to take care of it.
"The tag for that geranium says it likes full sun, but it's dying. You mean, they only like partial sun in this area? You mean that they're delicate in high winds? What the hell are those green buggy worms boring holes through my pretty pink blooms? Heavens, the leaves are drooping... what do you mean, they like to be watered every day during the hot months? The tag said to let it dry out first! You mean they have to be kept off solid surfaces so that the roots don't fry?" (These, by the way, are all things I have said about my beloved geraniums through trial and error. Geraniums are my pet project, really, besides my violets. Though, if I do say so myself, I have the prettiest geraniums I have ever seen. There, I said it.)
I love to experiment with the care and blooming patters of these beautiful creatures, usually without much help from the Internet, if I can help it. I just go by instinct, and I usually have lovely flowers. What can I say, I have a knack for this kind of drivel.
Something extra I have been interested in during the past year is tracking the growing progress of these plants (by more than just sight, anyway). If you go back to the post I made about my blooming violets, you can see how much they have grown in the last two years.
If I had taken pictures even just once a year of the plants in my greenhouse pre-freeze (all my plants froze this winter in my greenhouse... damn air leaks!), it would have been incredibly interesting to see how much they had grown in five years.
Well, I'm starting over this season (on a much smaller basis, of course... I'm not doing 50+ plants again, if I can help it), and I'm going to document them this time!
It shall be splendid, indeed!



Oh, and while I was outside with the camera, I had to take some more boring macro shots of boring nature
stuff...



SONG TIME! (It's my favorite time of the day, you know... I try to make SONG TIME last for hours
upon hours at a stretch... feel sorry for my mother.)
I hadn't heard this song in at least ten years until today.
It hadn't even crossed my mind until I heard it on the radio this afternoon...
I surprised myself by still knowing the tune, actually.
So, have a blast from my past, and maybe yours, too...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm Happy I Live In A Split-Level Head

It is dangerous to blog when you're in a silly mood.

Well, I feel lucky today, punk.

I wish you luck, 'cause this will probably not make sense. Then again, when did I promise that every post was going to be strictly structured... or, more to the point, when have you ever read this blog (well, firstly, ever?) for it's intellectual stimulation? (Didn't think so.) You can get that sensible crap on a different blog.
The order of the day is pure stupidity.

First, I must ask myself how a silly mood is created.
I suppose, like any mood, it started out innocently enough; my mother looked across the desk (we have a partners desk in our office, 'cause we're cool like that) and asks if I'd like to watch a video with her. Something about the changing faces on our currency.
Being nerdy about these kinds of things, I accept, sit upon her lap, and we proceed to watch as Dr. I-Stole-Tom-Selleck's-'Stache (and I don't think Mr. Selleck wants it back, though the 70's left a message... they said they're over it, too) starts to talk of changes in the Presidential faces... and some other stuff...

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



We're all about thirteen years old at our house, so we naturally watched this several times, laughing even heartier with each go, even going so far as to show it to Daddy (who is also thirteen, apparently).
This got me to thinking of how many other news bloopers I've seen, and how many are out there yet to be seen.
This prospect excited me, so I let my fingers stroll their way to YouTube, and somehow injured myself from laughing at this...


You would think that this would be the point in the program where I would put a little ditty by Paul or Gary Lewis, or somebody else "normal kids" don't care about (to which I proudly hold two fingers aloft, shaking them in their general direction, as they listen to Fifty Pence and the Hippity-Hoppity Brigade).

Of course, that is not going to happen.

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Instead of just ending this lovely little visit with a song, we're going to keep the party going! Oh, yeah, we're rockin' tonight!
Here to linger and torture you further, have some funny adverts I've noticed about the netty-web (after The Badass Geek so kindly brought stupid advertising to my attention, and I have now made it my mission to collect whatever fitting ads I find... how stupid do these people think we are?)...

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(What was the theme of that "prom"? I suppose "Spring Fling" is just so overrated, they decided to make this one "Fake 'Fros".)



And now, because we can't have a kitty on this blog without bringing My Favorite Kitty back into the picture...
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Oh! A small announcement about My Favorite Kitty: after much careful consideration, I have decided that, whatever this feller's real name is, he shall be known as Reginald Kitty from this point on (because during a separate silly mood, we, being members of a democratic society, voted to make it so)! The story would be too long and gruesome to go into (i.e. I'm saving that material for later), just know that Reginald comes from another of my annoying references that I make whenever possible (oh, and Reginald was kinda sorta a real person, so we must give him his privacy and what not... yes, there was a time when I knew real people in person, not just via the Internet).

NOW it's song time!

Yes, you bet your sweet ass that's Frankie Avalon doing The Freddie.
I think we can all die happy now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remasters Of A Similar Nature?

I would like to start out by saying that this post will not contain any Beatles remasters, nor will we be talking about them. There. I said it.
Stop cheering!
Instead, it's to get incredibly excited about the new Paul McCartney/Wings remasters, announced today!
Stop groaning!
You are allowed to leave now, if you wish.






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You still here?
Good! We'll fangirl together!
Firstly, I would like to say that I'm thrilled that Paul is finally out from under EMI. He's been trying to do it for ages, and it's just wonderful that he's officially finished with them, particularly before they go tits up.

Now, to be honest, what I'm most excited about is the remastering!
A smart decision on Concord Music's part, Band On The (Awesome) Run is going to be the first to be released, with super-duper extras, et al.
I have the 25th anniversary edition of Band On The Run, and it's chock full of goodies, from interviews with the folks on the album cover (not to mention The Precious), to live performances, to outtakes/studio banter.
My question would have to be what else they're going to include... hopefully something like this...

(You know, a majority of this footage is playing on the screen behind Paul when he does Band On The Run material, but I had never actually seen it until just now.)
I look forward to reading the specs on this soon (make it soon, Concord!), and seeing what else they've got up their sleeve. It's all very new at the moment, so information is skint, but it's definitely enough to get me excited!

Another hope I have is that they'll officially release the B-sides! (Though this is most likely only a pipe-dream... it doesn't hurt to hope for it anyway!)
There are so many B-sides that are still only available on vinyl, for goodness sake, and even then, it's incredibly hard to get your mitts on the rest of them.
I've got a fabulous little collection called "The Other Side Of Off The Ground" with every B-side for that album, and it's bloody mind-blowing. An alternate mix of the title track (which, in my opinion, is much better than the album version... not as many echo-y effects in the main and backing vocals, and an edgier feel to the guitar), amazing B-side tracks (Big Boys Bickering, Long Leather Coat, Kicked Around No More, I Can't Imagine... so many good ones!) that you could only get from the singles, and even some live tracks from the Concert For New York City at Madison Square Garden.

And yet another exciting development from this press release is that Twin Freaks will finally be released on ANY format other than vinyl!
Incredibly exclusive, annoyingly elusive, the good ol' fashioned record was the only format available. I'm slightly excited about the Twin Freaks release, since Paul likes to use the Twin Freaks mixes for his pre-show music, so my favorite version of Ou Est Le Soleil, and, lest we forget, Temporary Secretary, will finally be available to enjoy.

So many possibilities! Don't cock it up, Concord!

In honor of the fortieth anniversary of McCartney (April 20, 1970), here's a song...

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Long Lost Gibb Brother...

Do you know what happens when you're one of the Beatles not named John, Paul, or George?
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"No! Tell us what happens if you aren't one of us!"

People think you're either a member of The Rolling Stones...
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CREEPTASTIC!

...or The Bee Gees.
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That's what.
Don't believe me? Feast yer peepers on this article from The Daily Mail, here for your pleasure and mine (click the link for the full article)!

Robin Gibb? I'm Ringo Starr

The Beatles legend mistaken for Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb

The Beatles legend Ringo Starr has never really managed to shake off unfair criticism of his drumming skills.
Now, I can reveal, the 69-year-old faced fresh humiliation at the Grace Kelly Style Icon exhibition launch at the V&A last night when a pretty brunette mistook him for Bee Gees star Robin Gibb.
'My friend bet me £50 that you were in the Rolling Stones and I got it right because I said the Bee Gees.' She said to a bemused Ringo.
'The Bee Gees. I suppose I look a bit like Robin Gibb so just call me Robin from now on.' he joked.



'Cause this guy...
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And this guy...
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Are so ruddy easy to confuse!

Personally, I think those lasses were three shades of confused... Ringo looks more like Maurice than Robin!
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Better looking like Robin Gibb than these guys...
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But then, not everybody can be The Precious...
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Isn't he just adorable? Nobody rocks the sweater vest like our Paul.

Oh, come now, Ringo... it's not so bad!
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Or maybe it is, I wouldn't know.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Virginia Kind Of Day...

I fell in love with Virginia when we visited last year.
The green hills and pastures, the forests in the middle of the city, the beautiful parks, the way the rain fell to earth as if the bottom of a bucket had been knocked out... even the air felt different in Virginia. The feeling of being submerged in history weighed heavily on my mind; knowing that, even if it looks different today, it's still eerily the same as it was when our Founding Fathers walked the same paths.
I can only think of one other place I have enjoyed visiting more, as I think back on all the places I've seen in the past few years... I'm not going to bother with talking about Niagara Falls, though... I'll save that material for later.

When the days are cool and overcast here at home (a rare occasion, indeed!), I cannot help but think of strolling the French-style gardens of Montpelier; of sailing the Potomac, watching the Washington Monument growing in the distance; of strolling in the foggy wilderness surrounding Monticello, the dirt and gravel path crunching dully beneath my eager feet.
Well, today is a Virginia kind of day. I couldn't help but go outside and enjoy it!



And it looks like these beautiful days are going to stay for a while...
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Is it sad that I took a screen cap of the seven-day forecast for posterity?
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However, this splended Virginia day isn't the real reason for this blog post.
Shock of shocks, I strayed from my original thought to include even MORE mindless drivel.
Are you surprised?
I didn't think so.
Anyway... I have recently gotten my grubby little mitts on a McCartney Rose!
I'm really rather excited about it; it's a beautiful shade of pink, and the most fragrant rose I've ever smelt.
According to the grower's tag, it's described as
"sweet, candy-like..." and "strong, spicy", which, after having it's delectable aroma permeate our house,
makes no sense to me.
All I can say is that it's fantastically twee, and I'm ever so pleased to add it to my pink garden.
A picture's worth a thousand words, so I'll let my camera do the talking...



I think it's time for a song, don't you?
Well, at least try to act excited! Chin up, you gloomy guses!
I seem to have songs that stick in my head for each vacation... it almost defines the mindset for the trip.
So, here's one for you, Virginia...

Monday, April 12, 2010

NEWS FLASH! Punky's Dilemma : Bacon Edition...

The news can be quite a funny thing of a Monday morn.
There are headlines that make you think...
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(How good of spies are they if folks knew where they can be found?)

The smell of an oxymoron lingering in the air...
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And, of course, bacon.
Yes, bacon.
I was particularly fascinated with the mention of bacon maple lattes in the article, so I let my fingers do the walking (it seems like my fingers do more walking than my legs these days... ahh, the Internet generation!) and found this...


Another funsie in the bacon article... the Bacon Today blog (with links to their Facebook and Twitter); they boast the Bacon Shop, and highlight fan filks to bacon, among original songs and videos (and other bacony bits... yeah, you walked into that one) all dedicated to our favorite non-kosher delight (even an easily-could-go-veggie twit like myself takes delight in a plate of crispy bacon from time to time).

Isn't it amazing what people spend their time doing? I should know, I've wasted an entire morning just looking this useless drivel up.


It does get me to thinking, though...
I have never wished I was a Kellogg's Corn Flake...
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...I am a Citizens For Boysenberry Jam Fan...
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...however, though it's never mentioned, I always figured that Punky's dilemma was of a bacony nature...


One last bacon thing, and I'm done... for now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mama, Don't Take My Kodachrome!

I don't know that anyone (except my mother, probably) fully understands my fascination with the past. There's something about "the good ol' days" that gets me excited, and I just don't know why (I have noticed that the text in my US History II class is lacking in information that I find vital [D-Day, Harry Truman, Korean War, much?], which is a total nuisance). In that respect, I subscribe to both Reminisce, and Reminisce EXTRA, and must admit that I have to forcibly keep myself from devouring the entire magazine in one sitting. We've even gone so far as to join the Reminisce book club (our first installment, Life In The Fabulous Fifties, should be arriving in the post soon).
One of my more highly publicized passions has to be my enchantment with the United Kingdom; the fashion (drainpipes and Beatle boots, peradventure), the music (The Beatles, Donovan, The Kinks), the humor (Russell Brand, The Mighty Boosh, the brilliant Graham Linehan), the colloquialisms, the everyday lives of our friends "across the pond" (anything from Flake bars to Fairy soap).
You may remember that these two interests collided in a previous blog post (or maybe you don't, the rest of you have lives).
Well, pull out the Kodachrome, we're back for round two!
Whilst reading my favorite section of The Union Jack, Today's Britain, I noticed links under the header "The Francis Firth Collection". I, of course, had to click those links. In the first paragraph of the first page, there was a link to the Firth Collection's website.
Intrigued, I clicked the link, only to discover a web-universe of memories from all across the UK.
This is an incredible website, and I suggest you take a look at it when you have a moment (or possibly an hour or two, if you're into this sort of drivel).

SONG TIME!

Don't blame me too much if you're still singing this three or four days from now.

Speaking of memories, the Turret Full Of Ravens original layout has, after sixteen months of faithful service, been retired. He was given a lovely gold pocketwatch, inscribed, "To Plaid, With Love - From The Staff".

Blue Plaid
2008 - 2010
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We're Partyin' Like It's 1999!

I'm slightly obsessive about gardening. The smell of the dirt, the feel of your hands in the cool earth... oh, yeah, and you can plant pretty stuff in it, too!
Anyway, I check my violets every day for signs of life/distress/disease, and to make sure they have the right amount of water/humidity.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the buds of flowers poking through the fuzzy leaves, and began to get anxious for their arrival... when properly taken care of, those flowers can last two months standing on their heads (petals?).
Today, the first buds started to open! I got so exited, I had to pull out the camera and take a few shots...



Now, you may be asking yourself how we're partying like it's 1999, yes?
Well, pull up an ice block and lend an ear.
While doing some spring cleaning,
we found some "interesting" technology...
prepare to feel old.



Here's a look at the whole gang...
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What are we looking at?
Why, I'll tell you.
A PlayStation 2 (do they even still make those?) Eye Toy (pre-Wii!),
floppy discs, 512 MB iPod Shuffles,
my 7th grade English and Grammar curriculum (that was a while ago),
a lone cassette tape, tax software from '99 and '00,
and an optical mouse (the kind with the ball on the bottom)
user manual.
FUN TIMES!

And now, a song as old as this junk... I so enjoyed it when Ginger
would play this song
(since she was in control of the radio most of the time),
and it's still pretty darn fun...

Remasters Fun : Hoorah For The Mystery Tour!

It's been a while since I could sit down with my remasters and compare (damn you, algebra... your useless square roots are getting in the way of my quality Paul time!), but while we were off to Phoenix, I had quite a few driving hours to play with the different versions of Magical Mystery Tour, or, as I like to call it, All The Songs You THOUGHT Were On Sgt. Pepper, But Are Really Way Cooler.
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YOU think we're cool, don't you, innocent reader?

Incidentally, I was wearing one of my favorite Beatles shirts that day...
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...perhaps it influenced my decision to play Magical Mystery Tour?

ANYWAY. Enough of my foolishness, let us get down to business.
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OK, I'm done now, I promise. It's out of my system. We can continue now. (Like we ever really started this show to begin with...)

I was astonished at how much dust has been brushed from these remasters (speaking strictly in stereo, since, with the Bose, anyway, mono sounds like it's being played in a Victorian armoire, two rooms away, at low volume)!
As I go over my notes (yes, I'm a total nerd and take notes... how do you think I remember all this stuff so I can tell you?) I notice a lot of talk about orchestration being brought forward... why, that's simply because it has been.
During the final track, "All You Need Is Love", there's quite a lot of unexpected orchestration brought into the foreground. It's a real scream to hear it, too... you think you know a song, and then they tell you differently!
Also brought forward in stereo are the backing tracks, be they vocals, or just general kerfuffle.
It seems most obvious in my favorite track from the newly remastered LP (Magical Mystery Tour was not actually an album, technically, but an LP), "Blue Jay Way".
In mono, you get the general feeling for the number, but something is just... missing.
Exhibit A :


Then, you listen to the stereo track, and know EXACTLY what you knew needed to be there to begin with.
Exhibit B :


See what I mean?
In the mono, you can hardly hear the cello during the chorus, but in the stereo, you can tell George is using the same technique as on Pepper's "Within You Without You", as illustrated in the following video (4:30 time stamp)...


One of my favorite things about the remasters has to be how studio chatter has been uncovered after all these years to finally be heard!
For example, All You Need Is Love... at the 0:25 time stamp, you can clearly hear someone (sounds a bit like George to me, but I'm not certain) talking. It sounds to me like "...change it", but I'm not too sure.
Exhibit C (and listen for the orchestration!) :


My absolute favorite Magical Mystery Tour moment had to be during Strawberry Fields Forever, at the 2:03 time stamp... John counts in the next verse after the chorus...


Overall, I have to say the stereo wins hands-down for Magical Mystery Tour. For all the psychedelia contained in it's ten tracks, you almost need the stereo just to hear everything... they were still using the Pepper-style layering effects (since Magical Mystery Tour was pretty much just the Pepper reject pile), and the stereo just brings seemingly every effect right up front, sticking you in the half-nelson you expect to hear.

As a bonus for putting up with my silliness, here's a picture of my Magical Mystery Tour notes... fifty billion bonus points to the time-wasting sap that can decipher my chicken scratches.
Photobucket

Next up on the remasters chopping block, one of my absolute wonderful-marvelous favorites, and I hope one of yours... Revolver!
I'm warning you now, there will be fangirling. Don't say I didn't tell you.
And now, for something completely different...

Sorry, it must be something in the tea tonight...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Pull out yer sandals, kids, it's Easter!
Here's to chocolate bunnies (does the fun last after you've bitten off his ears?), funny colored eggs (if eggs were always that color, we'd never eat them), and this clip...

(The yellow bunny was REALLY into this routine.)

Still in the spirit for creepy Easter?
Well, step right up!


Here's hoping the Easter Bunny brings you lots of goodies!

Ricky The K's Solid Gold Time Machine

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)