Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year... wish I was there

Bogus... I just missed the ball dropping in NYC because I was auditioning the video I've attached to the bottom of this post (something tells me the attached video will rock harder than the glass ball dropping). Ah well; happy new year all you Eastern-Standard-Timezone blogfans!! I'm praying that the next decade is better to all of us than this last decade. Don't get me wrong; in my life, a whole lot of good stuff happened on the personal front. I got married; I became a father to two great kids. I finally figured out a somewhat respectable rhythm to life. My thirties are definitely better than my twenties. On the other side, we had 9/11, eight years of retrogressive politics, a minority political party that has no interest in playing fair or even engaging in a worthwhile dialogue or meeting of the minds, and continued malaise and increased interest in all forms of religious extremism, whether it be Muslim, Christian, or otherwise. I hope that we can get it right in this next decade; I plan on doing my part, I promise you.

Here in Chicago, the Jesus Lizard are playing their last ever show tonight at the Metro (thus, the "wish I was there" part of the title)... and I'm not going to it. Not that I wouldn't want to; it's just that I'm not a huge enough JL fan to have gone to the expense of snaring a ticket, child care on NYEve, etc. But as this video of the 2009 tour shows, tonight's show is bound to be amazing...

Happy New Year, everyone!! See you in Twenty-Ten!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

I'm thrilled to share with you all that my son's hip brace came off on Tuesday. It was a great early Christmas present for all of us who had to lift him (that brace adds a good 10 pounds to an already-growing boy!) and had to schlep that &$#@ing wheelchair around from place to place. Walking is tough for him, he's in a bit of pain. But even he is glad to have it off, and only have to wear it at night. Thank God; now we just have to get him into physical therapy.

Here's the good stuff as far as Christmas music goes...

Also, this is still my favorite explicitly Christmas song...

And finally, the perfect cold-weather song...

Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, and a Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Journalism's Little Secret

So do you want to know why there are so many year-end best-of lists in so many journalists columns? I'll give you a quick hint...

They're a good lazy column. I mean, sure, there's the agony of picking what belongs and what doesn't belong on said list, I'll give you that. But sometimes, just being able to inventory certain albums or events or movies or bands or whatever into one top-ten list is an easier task than stringing a bunch of nouns, verbs, and adjectives into something semi-coherent. That's just my theory; when I did my 30-posts-in-30-days experiment, a list was quick-and-dirty easy source of content.

With that, here's a list of my all-time favorite albums, for those who didn't already know most of this info:
  • Big Star, #1 Record / Radio City
  • The Loud Family, Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things
  • Game Theory, Lolita Nation
  • Verbow, White Out
  • Primal Scream, Vanishing Point
  • Steely Dan, Katy Lied
  • Peter Gabriel, So
  • Elvis Costello, This Years Model
  • The Differents, This Years Model (or Fate's Going On, whatever you want to call it)
  • Joe Jackson, Laughter and Lust
  • Joe Walsh, ...But Seriously, Folks
  • Webb Wilder, Doo Dad
  • Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick (1977)
  • Various Masters of Soul, The Complete Stax Volt Singles, 1959-1968
  • The Who, Tommy
  • Todd Rundgren, Hermit Of Mink Hollow
  • Yes, Fragile
  • Yes, 90125
  • Material Issue, Freak City Soundtrack
  • Jellyfish, Spilt Milk
  • The Safes, Boogie Woogie Rumble
  • Sugar, Copper Blue
  • Husker Du, New Day Rising
  • Husker Du, Flip Your Wig
  • Bob Mould, Body Of Song
  • Replacements, Let It Be
Some of these choices should be fairly obvious, based on the reviews for some of these that I've written. Here's hoping that you dig them; I certainly do.

ore of substance to come, I promise.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick Update on My Son

A lot of people (well, a few) have asked how my son is doing with his Perthes / hip brace / wheelchair, etc. these days. Here's the quick and lowdown: he's doing really fine. It's obvious he can't wait to get out of the hip brace, but he isn't being stinky about it, thank God. He is still VERY patient with dealing with it. If anything, he's at that stage where he's ready to start walking again and doing things with his hip that the doctors probably say he shouldn't (meaning usually things that involve bearing weight on it). He is proficient in going from his wheelchair to the floor, and then when he asks for us to pick him up and we aren't quick enough for him, he's learned how to scoot himself from point A to B on his butt.

We also are able to take it off at night to give him a bath / change his overnight "leak protection". Miraculously, even though he's seen that it does come off, he doesn't try to take it off himself. Don't think I'm anything less than supremely grateful about that one. He did ask about his walker yesterday, oddly enough. It's currently in our basement, in need of a nut and bolt. I wonder if he thinks (probably rightly so) that he'll need it when this hip brace comes off... ON DECEMBER 22ND!!! All of us can't wait. My son has no concept of time if it isn't the here and now, but we tell him it will be coming off soon. After that point, it will only be needed for overnights until the ortho tells us we don't need it. I will be looking forward to not having to schlep the wheelchair in my trunk, letting him walk (in whatever time frame he needs), letting him get back to normal walking. He's in for a big shock when he realizes that Daddy isn't gonna carry him around like I've been doing. Not carrying him will give my left tricep a chance to heal too, LOL.

All of this coming off on Dec. 22 will be like an early Christmas gift to all of us. Speaking of which, I just have to buy one more thing. Shockingly, I'm mostly done with my shopping!!

(Image is borrowed from the CD Guitarded by Limp, a cool pop punk group from So Cal who recorded for Fat Wreck Chords.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

WIP*: The Christmas Compilation I Want To Make

I haven't finalized this list or even the order, but someday I want to put all my favorite Christmas or Christmas-related songs in one place. To boot, it would have to include the following songs:

  • The Loud Family, It Wouldn't Be Christmas
  • The Who, Christmas
  • Fuzzy, Christmas
  • The Kinks, Father Christmas
  • John & Yoko, Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
  • Big Star (or Kristin Hersh) (or Teenage Fanclub), Jesus Christ
  • Booker T. & The MG's, Jingle Bells
  • Booker T. & The MG's, Winter Snow
  • Carla Thomas, Gee Whiz It's Christmas
  • Carla Thomas, All I Want For Christmas Is You
  • Chuck Berry, Merry Christmas Baby
  • Alex Chilton, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
  • Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem, Little Saint Nick
  • U2, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  • Bob & Doug McKenzie, Twelve Days Of Christmas
  • Cheech & Chong, Santa and His Old Lady
  • Deborah Holland, It Only Comes Once A Year
  • Homemade Theater, Santa Jaws
  • Dan Fogelberg, Same Old Lang Syne
  • The Moonglows, Hey Santa Claus
  • The O'Jays, Christmas Just Ain't Christmas (Without The One You Love)
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Wassail Song
  • Rufus Thomas, I'll Be Your Santa Baby
Interspersed between would be movie cuts and such. These songs here are songs that I NEED to listen to at least once during the holiday season; how cool to have 'em all in one place?

How about you? What favorite Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa songs would have to be on your ideal holiday compilation CD?

(*work in progress, of course)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Got Them!!

I'm sorry I haven't blogged more as of recently, but my wife has bronchitis, and it's been chaotic here in the Murphy household due to it. But between the last time I blogged and now, I just received two '90s CDs I've been longing to get forever, but always put off. Shame on me; both are really good, and one of the two is AWESOME!! Champaign-Urbana, IL (the two towns are never spoken one without the other) is not only a college town (U of I), but also home to a long bubbling-under music scene (I'm certain one has a lot to do with the other). ChampUrbana is home to Parasol / Mud Records, and the hometown of the group Hum. Hum was briefly famous for their hit "Stars" from the album You'd Prefer An Astronaut. That was the first of the two albums I just got, and I'm glad I did. While I want to go into a longer, more detailed review at some other time, suffice it to say the album maintained (or nearly maintained) the high standard that the song "Stars" set for me going into it.

The other one, the CD which is blowing me away right now as I am trawling my way through it, is Chicago's very own Triple Fast Action's swan song, Cattlemen Don't. Shame on me for waiting so long to get this one; it's GREAT!!! I have their Capitol Recs' debut CD Broadcaster (in both radio promo-altered and official release--the song "Aerosmith" has a subtle change on the radio promo), two 7"s of theirs (one being the ultra-rare final Limited Potential single, "Revved Up" b/w "Sally Tree"), a Q101 comp with a stray cut of theirs, an awesome T-shirt which spoofs the Tide laundry detergent logo with Tripl3FastAction written instead, and the rampaging-grannies poster advertising the record release party (which I was at) at Thurston's for Broadcaster. The most significant missing piece of their catalog for me was this CD, and man, it's so damn good!! Why do great bands like TFA get the shaft from the major label, release an excellent follow-up, then bust up when it becomes geographically untenable for them to remain together?? Life just isn't fair sometimes, but I am really really REALLY liking this TFA CD. Again, a more detailed review to follow. Also, remind me to tell you my two TFA stories some time.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More appropriate than ever...

Now that we've re-committed to war, John's holiday chestnut continues to remain appropriate. War is over, if you want it.