whatever happened to…

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whatever happened to Billy Ocean? i’m sure you all have been wondering this yourselves lately. even in the blogosphere, his name has been popping up on various music blogs. jefitblog’s recent edition of Cutouts Gone Wild featured Billy’s “Tear Down These Walls” from 1988. i also recently came across his Ultimate Collection over at Welcome to Greater Los Angeles blog. so with all this talk about this old 80’s has-been, I was just curious about what he’s been up to lately. no, i’m not a fan of his music. i still don’t really understand how he got mega-producer Robert Mutt Lange involved with his synth-heavy pop fluff. according to his wikipedia entry, Billy Ocean still tours Europe every now and again but nothing significant since the late eighties. oh, well. he legacy still lives on courtesy of youtube. heh.

low end favorites

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Macca on bassof all the songs on Paul McCartney’s latest album Memory Almost Full, the one i tend to play the most happens to be See Your Sunshine. yes, the lyrics aren’t that deep but just listen to the great harmonies and the wildly playful yet appropriate bass guitar work. I don’t think McCartney gets enough credit for his wonderful bass playing. He’s probably my all time favorite of all the guys working the “low end”. now, i don’t play bass mind you (although i have played it in the past for home recordings and stuff which… really doesn’t count… so never mind..) but i will claim that i have an ear for good playing since i’m a supremely talented drummer and all :P. before i list out my all time favorite bass players let me preface this by saying that these are the folks that are in my personal cd collection and that i’ve listened to most of my life. so my list of favorites is no where near a definitive list. the usual names that one would normally see on these “top bass players lists” are not included here: Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Stuart Hamm, John Patitucci, James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, Louis Johnson.

my personal top five favorite bass guitarists are:

Paul McCartney, of course. i grew up listening to this guy. definitely one of the pioneers in rock bass playing. even to this day, his playing on Abbey Road just floors me. listen to George Harrison’s “Something” and you’ll know what i’m talking about. McCartney’s melodic playing plays a major role in the song. he’s almost playing “lead” bass.

Abraham Laboriel - phenomenal bass playing on the Ron Kenoly albums. i believe Chester Thompson (from Phil Collins/Genesis’ touring band) was the drummer on those albums as well. he definitely set the standard (very high) for bass playing on P&W albums.

Geddy Lee - i truly dislike the guy’s voice. yuck. but his bass playing is a different story. in fact Hold Your Fire is the only album i can listen to from them. the album’s the most “pop” they’ve every been and Geddy’s voice doesn’t shriek as much as he normally does. plus the guy has to play with legendary drummer Neil Peart so Geddy *has* to be good.

Colin Moulding - very melodic. he always came up with neat counter-melodies in the songs. a good example is his playing on Mayor of Simpleton.

Chris Squire - dude, how did they get that amazing upfront bass sound recorded on those early 70’s Yes albums? the yes albums were totally mind-blowing to listen to production-wise along with the arrangements and the performances. i still can’t imagine how they came up with some of those off the wall instrumental passages in the songs. drugs, perhaps? anyway, check out his playing on songs like Roundabout and Heart of the Sunrise.

online backup services

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nowadays it seems more and more practical to use online storage providers for backing up your important data. just think about it. if you normally backup data by burning DVDs or onto external hard drives, you still have the flawed fact that your data is still physically onsite. in the unfortunate event of a building fire, flood or some other natural disaster, your computer along with your backed up data would both be as good as gone. that’s where ibackup.com comes into play. their Online Backup services include automated scheduling of both incremental and full backups as well as support for open file backups which is key in backing up files that happen to be “in use” at the time of backup. and with your files stored safely on servers elsewhere, any damage that may occur in your home or at your place of business won’t have any affect on your data. so when there’s important data to store away, ibackup online storage should be an option your should seriously consider. Even high profile industry magazines like PCWorld and PC Magazine have awarded iBackup as their editor’s choice. for detailed options and pricing, please visit iBackup for more information.

E is for..

ramblings No Comments »

hhmmm, what does *E* stand for again?
my gas guzzler
nooo!! i am NOT spending another $45 on gas just yet!!!! it hasn’t even been a full week yet! argh. let’s see if i can milk another day’s worth out of the tank. now, who’s with me?

obnoxious drivers on I-540

ramblings 3 Comments »

To the middle aged man speeding in the red Lexus on I-540 this morning-

why in the hell were you flashing your lights at me from behind and then rush past me giving me that shitty look??? dude, i was in the middle lane, it wasn’t like i was hogging the passing lane or anything. if you were so in a hurry this morning, why weren’t you in the left passing lane to begin with? and btw, i was driving at or above the speed limit and *on top of that* there was someone driving right in front of me preventing me from going any faster. you probably didn’t notice that until after you passed me, right??? i hope you felt like an idiot after you noticed the car in front of me. you were making a big deal out of nothing you balding shit. i hope you read my lips as you passed me by. i hope you ended up with a speeding ticket this morning. better yet, i hope you wrecked your pretty little lexus while talking on your cell and exceeding the speed limit you pretentious prick.

damn all you inconsiderate, obnoxious, self-centered Lexus driving assholes!

..oh, no wait, *I* drive a Lexus too.

Scott Baio

movies and TV 1 Comment »

chachi
just in case you missed Scott Baio last night… here are the highlights (or lowlights… depending on your perspective..) from last night’s episode.

he lost his virginity to Erin Moran at the age of 14?!?!??

Erin mentioned that he had a “small” one. heh.

Scott is friends with Kevin Arnold’s older brother (from the Wonder Years)!!

he’s got a slime-bag buddy named Johnny V. who’s a total loser. well you might say Scott’s circle of friends are all losers but Johnny V. is the KING of all of those losers. Scott’s got to ditch this guy fast.

favorite line comes from Julie McCullough: “I had my first AIDS test because of you!” (officially this was in the season preview clip but hey, it was either this or Scott saying “..and I mistook the couch for her… I was making love to a couch” referring to his first time with Erin Moran, OK? so i opted for the McCullough quote…)

and whatever you do, please for the love of God don’t ever call the man “Chachi”!

the whole time watching the show, i was oddly wondering to myself if Scott was close friends with Ralph Macchio. is it just me or does everyone put them two in the same category?

upload away!!

internet buzz No Comments »

if you’re a regular visit of this blog, you’re probably familiar with some of the various online file sharing sites that i’ve posted songs and videos on in the past. over time we’ve seen file size limits increase as well as the amount of bandwidth usage allotted. and that’s a good thing b/c video clips and such all take up a good amount of space. i recently encountered yet another site that allows the sharing of large files - driveway.com. but this one goes beyond what most of the others allow. you can upload files up to 500MB in size onto driveway’s servers. plus users are not limited to any sort of total storage limit. you can basically upload your entire music and video collection without fear of filling up your allotted amount of space. cool stuff. OK so all you file sharing bloggers, stop annoying us by placing your stuff on rapidshare where download limits abound!! share your stuff hassle-free by posting on driveway.com, where size really does matter!

Harry Potter

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harry and the gang
well, the ten year old and I joined the masses and checked out Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over the weekend. hearing that the film continues the series trend toward the darker, more mature material, we opted not to bring along the six year old. good thing too since the film didn’t feel like a kid’s movie at all. i probably enjoyed this installment the most out of all the Harry Potter flicks b/c of all the angst, isolation and dark themes in the story. unlike the earlier films there’s no Quidditch match in this one and no computer generated chase scenes either. even so, the ten year old seemed to enjoy seeing the movie with his dad. he gave it a big thumbs up at the end while heading out of the theater. although he did mention he would have preferred a few more “funny” scenes. from a youngsters point of view i can see this to be true but as an adult, i enjoyed the way the film really keyed in on Harry’s inner turmoil and his isolation from the other classmates. big kudos to Director David Yates and also to Imelda Staunton for her marvelous work as Dolores Umbridge.

the link to the soundtrack (OST) is located here.

yard work

miscellaneous No Comments »

garden gnomesthe temps weren’t that bad over the weekend here so i ended up working in the yard some. the poor lawn isn’t doing to well especially in the open areas where there isn’t much protection from the hot sun. and as it so happens we’re currently under water restrictions so watering the ever so thirsty grass every day isn’t allowed. so in order to draw attention away from my dying grass, i was thinking of strategically placing some various lawn and garden decorations throughout the yard. an obvious choice would be some garden gnomes of course. they are traditionally regarded as good luck charms and goodness knows we need all the luck we can get around here!! and speaking of good luck, Online Discount Mart is currently offering a 10% discount on all orders from now until the end of summer. talk about some great timing!! heh.

friday free for all: cheeze

music 1 Comment »

welcome to another edition of the friday free for all
..I love cheeze.

cheezy music that is…. and cheezy duets? even better!

I’ve been hiding all my hopes and dreams away
Just in case I ever need em again someday
I’ve been setting aside time
To clear a little space in the corners of my mind
All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can’t make it through without a way back into love..
Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant - Way Back into Love

I’ve been so lost lately, I don’t really understand baby
Where did I go wrong? I wanna talk to you, please call
Where do I begin with you after all that we’ve been through?
I don’t think that it would be right if we got together so suddenly
I wish that I could take back all the things that I said
and replace them with simply I love you instead…
Jordan Knight and Deborah Gibson - Say Goodbye

You’ll be sexy in your socks, we could polish the floors
In case that anybody knocks let’s lock all the doors
Yeah, all the things I’m going to do
I’m going to do with you
I’m want to try something new
I want to try that too
I’ll tell you that it doesn’t matter what I wear
Cause it’s only going to be You and me there…
Shania Twain and Mark McGrath - Party for Two

Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change, winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time…
Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman - Come What May

Touch my lips, I’m on fire
You’re the only one I’ll ever desire
Turn the lights down low, make the world go slow
When I’m holding you tonight it’s so easy
Nothing moves me like you do when you tease me
And to rush would be a crime
I just wanna spend some time with you baby
Peter Cetera and Crystal Bernard - Forever Tonight

yup. those are all certified grade-A cheese-o-la!! anyway, enjoy the tunes.

and have a great weekend.

Rescue Me from mediocrity

movies and TV No Comments »

could this be the end of rescue me
what was once enjoyable viewing during the ho-hum summer months has unfortunately made a turn for the worse. Rescue Me which i’ve been a fan of since its debut four years ago has apparently run its course. i thought i would never say such things about one of my favorite shows but i think it’s time to pull the plug on the show. after watching the fourth episode of the new season last night i can feel certain in saying that Denis Leary and Peter Tolan have run out of fresh and interesting ideas. the writing is just lame, the cast seems lost and the various scenes don’t really mesh well together and oddly feel disjointed. nothing is working this season. no interesting dialogue, no laugh out loud scenes and no dramatic or riveting storylines. and after reading Alan Sepinwall’s post this morning, it seems that more and more viewers are feeling the same as i do.

i guess i have to settle on re-viewing seasons one and two on DVD instead of enduring any more of season four.

new orleans

miscellaneous No Comments »

you know one place i’d like to visit on an upcoming vacation is New Orleans. even though the area was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, the city has miraculously bounced back since then. Many of the attractions, restaurants, museums and the major New Orleans Hotels have all since reopened and are fully functional. yes there are still ruined buildings, homes and the like that still remind folks of the horrors of Katrina but it also shows the strength, the will and the resilient nature of the town and its people. New Orleans is so unique with its heritage, culture, architecture and its many festivals, it continues to attract a significant amount of tourists each year even in this state of rebuilding. i’d definitely want to hit the French Quarter to check out the unique shops there as well as partake in some local cuisine. it makes my mouth water now just thinking about crawfish, gumbo and some big ol’ po-boys sandwich. yum. as for travel plans and accomodations, sidestep.com is the site to check out. it’s a great search engine that helps travelers find the best deals in hotels, airfare and vacation packages. the travel guides and lists of things to do are also nice features on the website. be sure to head on over there when planning for your next family vacation.

a lab full of diseases

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uummm, i’d highly recommend for the state government to think twice about wanting to bring in a $450 million national lab that researches anthrax, avian flu and other incurable, highly lethal diseases.

from WRAL: North Carolina Among 5 States Named As Finalists for National Germ Lab
excerpt: WASHINGTON — A site near Butner, N.C. is one of five finalists for a $450 million national lab where killer germs like anthrax, avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease will be studied.
Sites in Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi and North Carolina were chosen as possible hosts for the 520,000-square-foot National Bio- and Agro-Defense Lab, said several members of Congress.
..The lab will have the highest-level security rating, since it would be equipped to handle the most lethal, incurable disease agents.
..The Plum Island lab to be replaced conducts research on foot-and-mouth disease and other germs to protect agriculture and livestock from foreign diseases. The new lab will do that and research on other diseases and contagions, possibly including anthrax, smallpox and Marburg and Lhassa, rare hemorrhagic fevers that attack the vascular system.

yes, they stress that this would be a high-level security lab but come on, this is the government we’re talking about here. plus, have they all NOT read The Stand by Stephen King??? it’s just an outbreak waiting to happen.

the nutcracker

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each year during the christmas holiday season, the Moscow Ballet company tours the country with its own production of the nutcracker ballet. The Nutcracker has become a holiday season tradition for young and old alike. probably the best thing about it is that you can take the whole family to see it. from the instantly recognizable melodies of the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy to the graceful and delicate moves of the ballerinas, it’s a production that has been enjoyed throughout the generations. originating from the nineteenth century, the great composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky adapted the story by E.T.A Hoffmann to his wonderful music. and now this ballet is probably the most well known and most popular ballet that’s performed today. the Moscow Ballet company dates back to 1993 with original choreographer Stanislav Vlasov and a group of 27 dancers. the company evolved over the years and now has grown to multiple touring groups travelling the United States during the holiday season. the nutcracker ballet is simply a family classic and the magical production should not be missed. be sure to browse through the website and check to see when the show is scheduled for your town. tickets are on sale now so it’s a great time to go ahead and reserve your seats for the whole family before the choice seats are gone.

This post was sponsored by Nutcracker.com


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