My May 2018 Spotify Playlist

Every month or two, I create a new Spotify playlist. Quite frankly, Spotify is probably my favorite internet based music application. For ten bones a month, I get access to pretty much any song I want, at any time. So naturally, I like to create playlists. There is no real rhyme or reason to the songs that I add to my playlists, except they all have one thing in common. I like them. I suppose my mood has a lot to do with my monthly list of songs, perhaps the time of year as well. I would like to share with you this months tunes. Maybe you can find some inspiration, something you’ve never heard, or rediscover some greatness. You will notice I added an entire Alice Cooper album; Killers. This was no mistake. Great record by one of my favorites.

ARTIST SONG ALBUM
Mastodon High Road Once More ‘Round The Sun
Anthrax Indians Among The Living
Alice Cooper Under My Wheels Killer
Alice Cooper Be My Lover Killer
Alice Cooper Halo Of Flies Killer
Alice Cooper Desperado Killer
Alice Cooper You Drive Me Nervous Killer
Alice Cooper Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Killer
Alice Cooper Dead Babies Killer
Alice Cooper Killer Killer
Alice In Chains We Die Young Facelift
Clutch The Mob Goes Wild Blast Tyrant (Deluxe Edition)
The Damned Love Song Machine Gun Etiquette
Deftones My Own Summer (Shove It) Around The Fur
Doom Side of the Moon Wish You Were Here Encore
DOWN Witchtripper Down IV Part I – The Purple EP
Eagles Of Death Metal Don’t Speak Death By Sexy
Explosions In The Sky Your Hand In Mine The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
Faith No More Easy Angel Dust (Deluxe Edition)
Faith No More I Started a Joke – Live Faith No More: Live in Germany 2009
Fu Manchu King Of The Road King Of The Road
High On Fire Snakes For The Divine Snakes For The Divine
Iggy Pop I’m Bored New Values
Iron Maiden The Number Of The Beast Somewhere Back In Time
Quiet Riot Metal Health (Bang Your Head) Metal Health
Slayer Seasons In The Abyss Seasons In The Abyss
David Bowie Modern Love – 1999 Remastered Version Let’s Dance
Sleep Marijuanaut’s Theme The Sciences
Slaughter Eye To Eye Mass Slaughter
Anthrax Got The Time Persistence Of Time
Pallbearer Love You to Death Fear & Fury EP
Van Halen Unchained The Collection
Ozzy Osbourne Over The Mountain Prince Of Darkness
T. Rex Telegram Sam The Slider
Rage Against The Machine Bulls On Parade Evil Empire
Megadeth Public Enemy No. 1 Th1rt3en
Slayer Gemini Undisputed Attitude
The Raconteurs Carolina Drama Consolers Of The Lonely
The Rolling Stones Can’t You Hear Me Knocking Sticky Fingers (Remastered)
Skid Row Monkey Business Slave To The Grind
Soundgarden Live to Rise Avengers Assemble
Cream White Room Wheels Of Fire (Remastered)
Black Wizard Harsh Time New Waste
Neil Young Heart Of Gold Harvest (Remastered Version)
Yes Owner Of A Lonely Heart 90125
The Sword Tres Brujas Warp Riders
Misfits Saturday Night Famous Monsters
Faith No More Motherfucker Sol Invictus
ZZ Top Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers The Very Baddest
Queens of the Stone Age 3’s & 7’s Era Vulgari
The Smashing Pumpkins Disarm Siamese Dream (2011 – Remaster)
Nirvana Very Ape In Utero – 20th Anniversary Remaster
Nirvana Lake Of Fire MTV Unplugged In New York
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army Down in the Park Replicas Redux
The Payolas Eyes Of A Stranger 20th Century Masters
Roky Erickson Night of the Vampire The Evil One
Sleep Dragonaut Sleep’s Holy Mountain
Truckfighters Desert Cruiser Gravity X
Red Fang Wires Murder the Mountains (Deluxe Version)
Black Sabbath Children of the Grave Master of Reality (Remastered Edition)
Clutch Electric Worry From Beale Street to Oblivion
Megadeth Holy Wars…The Punishment Due Rust In Peace
Kylesa Scapegoat Static Tensions

 

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Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 02/07/2018

February 07, 2018

Today’s Daily Tonality is brought to you by fond memories.

buckowenspromophoto4Buck Owens – Act Naturally (from the single Act Naturally, 1963) Buck Owens has the best country music name, ever. If your name is Buck, what do you call your backing band? The Buckaroos, of course. My grandparents used to have a modest collection of country records when I was a kid. I didn’t care for the majority of them, but two artists stuck out. Johnny Cash and Mr. Owens. There is just something about his brand of country western music that differs from most. Don’t ask me what it is, because I can’t explain. Just listen to his stuff and you will see. His music has a very lovely effect on me. It always makes me nostalgic for my childhood, as well as remembering my grand folks fondly. Sometimes you just have to shut up and let the music do the thinking for you.

Fun fact – There is rumor (probably true considering the crazy life he led) that my granddad, Jim, was a roadie for Buck Owens during one of his western Canadian tours back in the day. I would have loved to ask him about it, but he passed before I was given this information. If it is a true story, I hope Jim and Buck shared a laugh or two.

T.

List-o-rama: My Five Favorite Comedy Movies

Everybody loves a good comedy. People love to laugh, and if they don’t, well, that is just weird. The question is, what makes a good comedy? It starts with what type of comedy that one prefers. There are so many sub genres of comedy that there is something for everyone. There is dark comedy, slapstick, parody/spoof, dramedy, romcom, even horrorcomedy. No matter what the genre, funny is funny. I would like to share with you my five favorite comedies of all time, so far. These are the five films that I remember laughing at the hardest and longest. The one thing I think connects these movies is great writing. A lot of the funniest bits are subtle little scenes and jokes that you don’t even notice the first time you watch. If you have not seen any of the following films, please do so immediately. You will get some genuine laughs and entertainment out of them.

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5. Bad Santa (Directed by: Terry Zwigoff | Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox | 2003) Willie (Thornton) is a down on his luck, scumbag safecracker. Along with his pint-sized partner Marcus (Cox), they pose as mall Santa and elf just so they can case the place and rob them blind. Everything would go perfect if Willie wasn’t such a drunken screw-up. Along the way, a sweet kid named Thurman Murman (Brett Kelly), and an even sweeter love interest (Graham) complicate things even further. Billy Bob Thornton is perfect as the “Bad Santa”. His character is so low and disgusting that you can’t help but love him. Two late, great comedic legends also star. Bernie Mac and John Ritter play the mall employees who know that something is off with Willie and Marcus. This movie is gross, vulgar, offensive, and absolutely wonderful. Plus it’s also a Christmas movie, sort of.

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4. Revenge of the Nerds (Directed by: Jeff Kanew | Starring: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Curtis Armstrong | 1984) A group of freshman nerds join a college fraternity and use their smarts to outwit the Alpha Beta fraternity of jocks and bullies. Lambda Lambda Lambda is led by Lewis (Carradine), and Gilbert (Edwards), and has a collection of bizarre geeks and loners. I probably watched Revenge of the Nerds fifty times as a kid. I recently watched it again, and it is still as funny now. Curtis Armstrong is classic as “Booger”. He is part of so many funny scenes that he steals the show. Released in 1984, Revenge of the Nerds still stands up to the majority of comedies that come out now. I have gotten rid of ninety nine percent of my VHS tapes, but I refuse to part with my copy of ROTN. It holds a lot of fond memories.

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3. What We Do In The Shadows (Directed by: Taika Waititi | Starring: Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Johnny Brugh | 2014) Shadows” is a mock documentary about four Vampires who share a flat in New Zealand. We follow their day-to-day lives, and discover that being a vampire is not as glamorous as it seems. The fellows deal with problems like in fighting, chores, love, death, and werewolves. And they do it all in hilarious fashion. The writing and acting is so clever and spot on that it is hard to not love these characters. Most people that I talk to have not heard of this film, which is a shame because it is damn funny. Director/actor Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) have a strong background in quirky comedy and this movie is the blueprint for quirky hilarity. If you are not familiar with it, look up What We Do In The Shadows. I promise you will laugh.

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2. Borat: Cultural Learnings Of American Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Directed by: Larry Charles | Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian | 2006) I have never laughed so hard at the cinema as I did when I went to see Borat. There are so many over the top, ridiculous scenes in this movie that it’s hard to pick the funniest. Sacha Cohen plays the title character, which is a “reporter” from Kazakhstan who comes to America to learn about its culture. The majority of the people in the film are not actors, and had no idea that they were being filmed for a motion picture. This results in genuine reactions to Borat’s actions. Because of Borat’s “ignorance”, he can get away with a lot of questionable things, and it is hilarious. Cohen also appeared on the talk show circuit, in character, to promote the film. I think to an extent, Borat had the same effect on the public that the Blair Witch Project had; a lot of people thought it was real. In addition to the movie being funny, it is also a commentary on the ignorance and intolerance of some people. But mostly it is just criminally hilarious.

gallery_movies-ghostbusters-1984-cast1. Ghostbusters (Directed by: Ivan Reitman | Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver | 1984) Not only a brilliant comedy, but maybe the perfect movie. For me, Ghostbusters is at the top of the heap. The movie is full of comedy brilliance; Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis all bring it. Throw in a pretty lady (Weaver), a city that never sleeps (New York City), and some pretty sweet special effects, and you get an instant classic. Bill Murray is wonderful as usual; delivering his trademark perfectly timed dry humor as Dr. Peter Venkman. The premise is ridiculous. A group of down on their luck scientists decides to use their knowledge of the supernatural to devise a way to capture ghosts and house them in nuclear containment storage boiler. Sounds legit right? Well when New York City starts to get overrun by all sorts of ghouls and specters, who you gonna call? You know the answer. Call me a Ghostbusters snob, but I think the 80’s cartoon sucks and the recent remake with the all female members also sucks. Call me old fashioned but maybe I’m just a Ghostbusters traditionalist.

T.

Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 01/28/2018

January 28, 2018

Today’s song is brought to you by putting my Spotify library on random and making the first song to play your Daily Tonality.

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Charles Bradley – Strictly Reserved for You (from the album Victim of Love, 2013) A former James Brown impersonator named “Black Velvet”, Charles Bradley did not achieve a good level of success and notoriety until later in life. For my money, he is second only to James Brown as far as male soul performers go. I discovered his music a few years back in a record store. His LP Victim of Love was being played on the turntable and I instantly knew it was special. Bradley’s voice is soulful, but has a shade of pain and experience within. His longtime backing band, The Menahan Street Band, perfectly compliment the singer’s vocalizations.

As I write this, I have found out that Charles Bradley succumbed to cancer and passed away in September 2017 at the age of sixty-eight. The world was just discovering the man’s talents. Rest in peace, Black Velvet.

T.

Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 01/25/2018

January 25, 2018     

Today’s Daily Tonality is brought to you by Ice T…because he’s certified dope.

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Ice T – O.G. Original Gangster (from the album Original Gangster, 1991) In the world of hip hop, a lot of M.C.‘s claim this, and claim that, and brag and boast about how they are the hardest. In 1991, Ice T made a claim that he is the Original Gangster. Guess what! Damn right he is. When I was eleven, my boy Keithy came over with a cassette he acquired. It was called Power, and it was a rap album by Ice T. This cassette changed us. We heard some things on this tape that we never heard before. One song in particular, L.G.B.N.A.F. (Let’s Get Butt Naked And F**K), captivated us. It was as if learned a life lesson or something. That was my introduction to what it was to be Gangster. From hip hop, to his metal band Body Count, to acting on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit for nineteen years, Ice T has made a living out of being a B.M.F. I recently listened to a podcast featuring Ice as a guest, and he said something pretty cool. He said “you don’t guide life, you ride life”. Words to live by.

T.

 

Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 01/17/2018

January 17, 2018

Today’s song is brought to you by putting my Spotify library on random and making the first song to play your Daily Tonality.

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Tom Waits – What’s He Building? (from the album Mule Variations, 1999 – For my money, Tom Waits is the most unique singer/songwriter ever. His voice, gravelly and gruff, is unmistakable. His style cannot be categorized. Mr. Waits does not make an album because the “label” tells him to. He does not release a single because he needs money. You will not find any fluff or filler in his catalogue (which spans from the early 1970’s to present). Mule Variations is easily my favorite Waits album. It is a great mix of folk and weird. I could have picked any track for song of the day, but Spotify chose What’s He Building for us. This isn’t really and song in the traditional sense, but it is Tom Waits, so it is good.

Little Fact – Not really a fact, but a bonus video of one of Tom Waits memorable appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman.

T.

 

Some pretty cool posters.

As I browse the internet, I come across so pretty cool images. I am a fan of music gig posters, and minimalist movie posters. A lot of creativity inhabits the world, and cyberspace is the easiest way to get your art out to the masses. As I come across something I find pleasing to the eye, I save it. Here are some of the images I feel are very sharable. I have no idea who the artists are, and I can take no credit for any of these pieces. Whoever did these, please keep up the amazing work.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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True Romance (1993)

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Lost Boys (1987)

The-Blair-Witch-Project-Minimalist-Poster

Blair Witch Project (1999)

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The Exorcist (1973)

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The Shining (1980)

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Goonies (1985)

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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Ghostbusters (1984)

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The Shining (1980)

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The VVitch (2016)

 

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Danzig/White Zombie/Kyuss Gig Poster

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Melvins Gig Poster

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Pallbearer Gig Poster

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Blondie Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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The Sword Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

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Beastie Boys Gig Poster

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Pink Floyd Tour Poster

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David Bowie Gig Poster

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Pink Floyd Gig Poster

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The Sword/Pallbearer Gig Poster

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Queens Of The Stone Age Gig Poster

T.

Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 01/15/2018

January 15, 2018

Today’s Daily Tonality is brought to you by the radio at work. I heard this song and thought it was perfect for song of the day.

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Men Without Hats – Pop Goes The World (from the album Pop Goes The World, 1987) Men Without Hats are a Canadian synth-pop based band which formed late in 1979, in Montreal. This is one of those bands that instantly take me back to a time when I was a young kid, just starting to develop my taste in music and appreciate radio. This is a happy sounding song that immediately gets stuck in your head. So for nostalgia sake, have a listen, get it stuck on repeat in your brain, and have a good time. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Little Fact – The name of the band came from the band members’ refusal to wear warm hats during winter, choosing style over comfort. Thus we have Men Without Hats.

T.

My Favorite Films of 1991

Ninety One was a good year at the cinema. Here is a run down of the five I enjoyed the most.

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5) Point Break (Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey) I love a good heist movie, and this is one of my favorites. A young Keanu plays Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes under cover to infiltrate a band of rogue surfers who may also be bank robbers. Patrick Swayze plays the antagonist, but plays it really cool. Point Break has a really good cast: Gary Busey, Lori Petty, and John C. McGinley also star. It has a total 90’s feel, and even has a guest spot by members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This film is a good waste of a couple hours.

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4) Boyz n The Hood (Directed by John Singleton, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Lawrence Fishburne, Ice Cube) This inner-city drama is a sobering reminder that every action has a consequence. Boyz is a coming of age story about the struggles of growing up in a dangerous community, raised by single parents, and just trying to stay alive. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube are amazing as friends growing up in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. The movie captures the racial and economical tension the city endured in the early 1990’s. A very serious tone and some gritty performances make this must watch.

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3) Cape Fear (Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert DeNiro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis) This beauty is Scorsese’s vision of the 1962 Cape Fear that starred Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. Both versions are based on the John D. MacDonald novel of the same name. I have watched the majority of Robert DeNiro’s films, and I have to say that his portrayal of ex-con Max Cady is in my opinion, his best. He plays a smart, cunning, intimidating, and savage man obsessed with getting “revenge” on his defense attorney, played by Nick Nolte. This is how a thriller should be made. DeNiro is far and away the best part of the film, and the Max Cady character should be considered one of the greatest movie villains of all time.

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2) Silence of the Lambs (Directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Ted Levine) Silence of the Lambs was released on Valentine’s Day in 1991. That would have been a hell of a date. Based on the Thomas Harris novel, this almost flawless film is an example of all aspects of a movie coming together brilliantly. Besides the 1986 film Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs was the first mainstream introduction to Dr. Hannibal Lector. I don’t think I need to tell you what he is about. Sir Anthony Hopkins nails the character, and gives us the chills with his portrayal. Jodie Foster is amazing as the naïve rookie FBI agent assigned to interview Lector. The character of Jame Gumb (aka Buffalo Bill) is a turbo creep, and created many moments that are still relevant in pop culture. This film spawned a bunch of prequel/sequels, and a television, show which deserved a much better fate than it received. From top to bottom, Silence of the Lambs is about as much bang for your buck you can get out of a film.

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1) The Doors (Directed by Oliver Stone, starring Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachalin) The Doors movie is not the best movie on this list, but it is my favorite. Around this time in my life, I was obsessed with Jim Morrison. The music, the lifestyle, the debauchery, it all spoke to me. This film basically put all the things that I imagined into something that I could visualize. My friend Brian (also a huge Doors fan) and I probably watched the VHS every weekend for months. It was a ritual. It was a time and a place in my life that I enjoyed. Val Kilmer was the perfect choice to play Morrison. He looked and sounded so much like the “Lizard King”, that he did the majority of the singing in the film. Director Oliver Stone is a master at capturing a certain time period, and the 60’s come to life in this movie. The Doors is also a tribute to Jim and Pamela Courson’s devotion to each other, even as dysfunctional as their relationship was. That is my kind of love story. This is my favorite movie of 1991, as well as my favorite music biography turned film. It showcased the defiance of a tortured artist, which is the way I thought I felt as a 16 year old dumb kid.

T.

Daily Tonality: Song of the Day 01/09/18

January 9, 2018

Today’s song is brought to you by putting my Spotify library on random and making the first song to play your Daily Tonality.

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Roky Erickson And The Aliens– Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer) (from the album The Evil One, 1980) Roky Erickson is an interesting fellow. He started his musical journey with the 13th Floor Elevators in the late 1960’s. After some pretty intense recreational drug use (LSD, Mescaline, DMT, and Marijuana), Erickson found himself in and out of mental institutions, receiving voluntary shock therapy. His lyrics and subject matter heavily lean towards horror and science fiction. Two Headed Dog is about Soviet scientist Vladimir Demikhov, who performed head transplants on dogs in the 1950’s. Erickson is highly respected by his peers, and quite often I have heard other artists covering his music. I am a fan of his straightforward, effective guitar playing, and intense vocal style. At seventy years old, he still plays shows and continues to write music.

Little Fact – In the 1980’s. Roky Erickson became obsessed with the mail, even getting arrested for mail theft. He wrote letters to both dead and alive celebrities during his obsession.

T.