Monday, January 31, 2011

The Day The Blog Almost Died

A tiny life was in my hands on Saturday evening.  It was a life full of words, emotions, funnies, woes and life experiences.

This dying ember of life belonged to five year old, Bloggie Boo.

The HOchieS Blog had suddenly found itself in a predicament, its life in the hands of its creator and knowing full well that I made it, and I could take its life back.

The problem with Bloggie Boo was that it exceeded its free 1 GB capacity for pictures.

I could do one of three things:

1. Continue the Blog without pictures thereby maiming it and making it half the Blog it used to be.

2. Buy space and extend the Blog's life for a year - it'd be borrowed time and a renewal fee would have to occur every year.

3. Kill the blog.  Make it D-E-D.

Long story short, I did not really see any other option so I paid the damned $5.00 and here we are.

Due to this sudden turn of events, I may as well lay this out here and now.

I have been toying with the idea of putting adsense on the blog for some time now, and this is just one more step for me to do so.  I'm not sure how much money Bloggie Boo will make but even though I may be merciful, The Great Znyx will only heed those who are trying to work things out on their own.

So Blog, you need to cover your own cost of the picture/video fee!

I'm a little bit worried as to what sort of ads will run but we'll just have to see.  There's no solicitation here but it's just a note to be aware that things will look different in the future and I'm not being spammed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday: Misadventures of the Snowy Kind, Part I

This story actually began on Wednesday with the start of a fresh new storm from the perpetual four day cycle of snow storms we seem to be stuck in.

This storm, however, was going to be one of the bigger ones with an estimated 8 to 12 inches.  At the end of it all on Thursday morning, it dumped 19 inches in NYC.  The buses were not running in the city, and our train was on a Saturday schedule with delays but being the brave little HOchieS that we are, we went to work.

Really what happened was, H1 kinda had to go in because it would more beneficial for her in the long run.  So away we went!

It was lovely out with all the pure white, fresh fallen snow.  It was also incredibly sunny too, as if nothing had happened as the sky was a radiant blue.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breaking Into Song is Good Sometimes

I'm not sure why H1 had a moment the other night, but she broke into song and sang the following classic:

it came out of nowhere.  It's been forever since I've heard this one!

I bet she didn't remember this one though!

Seriously, it was probably for the best.  That is some morbid crap right there.

Nightmares for me tonight!

Stepping In

Last Christmas, we gifted Kimpossible and MC a friend.

At the early stages of her life, she was one fabulous little child.

Adorable, don't you think?

Both style and attitude with those piercing, lovely green eyes - it was clear to The HOchieS that Miss Ultra-Fab was destined for greatness.

Some weeks went by with no word on how the child was doing but sure enough, doting daddy MC sent a picture update along.

H1 insisted that the child's hair needing cutting.  I was initially unimpressed by the high top fade, citing parental abuse - who in their right mind wants their child to be looking like a by-product of the 80's? I mean, least, you could do a braid or get her some jellies.  SOMETHING!

But you know, reflecting on this picture now, it's just all part of the super style this child obviously continues to have.

I mean, she made friends with an orange, as you can clearly see.

She's a popular one, that.

Obviously, when you got it, you got it.  And when you got it, you have to accessorize who your friends are.

Clearly that orange does not look like much now, but wait until you see it dolled up.

More weeks passed by and finally a new update came, with an alarming message.  Kimpossible was speaking the impossible - she wanted to throw the child away.

MC, caring father that he is, saved his child from certain doom i.e. the rubbish.

Though, I have to question, what sort of parent he truly is if he sits idly by and takes pictures of the child instead of properly maintaining her hair before snapping photos.

Of course the world needs to see such class but first, this child demands a stylist.

I mean, okay.  It's a pretty cute style.

But I think we're all missing the point here.  H1 and I are going to step in and re-claim the kid because this talk of garbage throwing is very disturbing.

Granted, I do not know how much longer the world can handle the hotness and it may very well be her time to bring that shine some place else but still...

She still looks as though she can do tons of damage here.

Her glory days are not over!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obsessions of the Week(s): 12/25/2010 - 01/02/2011

Doctor Who

David Tennant, to be exact.

H1 and I have off and on been trying to watch Series 2 of Doctor Who. This week with TD5 coming for a visit, I thought, 'what better time to watch Who than to torture a friend'. So marathoning we have been on the 10th Doctor's season. We just finished Series 2 and started up 3 and I must say, I love Tennant. I find him cute. As a Doctor, I find him sweet. Do I love him more than the 11th? Hmm, it's hard to say or maybe I'll just say, they're both awesome in their own ways.  But Tennant? He's got nerdy rocker Zarnyx glasses going for him... 

I will also say of the show that I can see why people liked him and why they liked the Russell T. Davies series so much rather than this Moffat series. It's got more technical sci-fi bits going on, but I still really loved the latest season with the 11th and am totally excited for next year's new season. The 10th Season though was some excellent stuff. That Dalek/Cybermen battle, in addition to Rose's send off were competely fab.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anarchist My Ass

X sent me a prezzie.  I was informed it was Rotten.

Upon Rotten's arrival to his new home, I found him to be hilarious.

Peeking out from his box, I could tell Rotten had personality.

"Confound it!" he screamed.  I assumed he was confounding his plastic prison.
 I released him and found that well, he had no confounding face.  Or any face for that matter.
So I set out to personalize the face. 
Rotten wears his sunglasses at night (so he can see, of course).  He's got a bad-assed koi for a devil eye-brow.  His nose is pierced with a rather unsafe safety pin.
He cages devil fish in his Hannibal mouth.
A skull with wings has been tattooed to his side.  He spent 9 seconds in the chair for that.  A lot of work that.  "And a lot of pain", he wanted you to know.
He continues, "and even more pain in the ass to have this one done."  Why...thank you for the insight, Rotten.  I guess?
He's even got a "I love Mom" tattoo under his foot! You can't see that here but all in all, he's one bad mother-chucker.
H1 put in the plug to get this mosh pit started.  Rotten reacts to music he hears.  You put on a song and his face goes wild for it.  Here he is mouth open small.

Here he is, mouth open wide.  He's really getting into this...
This...this...thi.. LADY GAGA song?!?!?!
Rotten loves Lady Gaga.  Right after that song ended, I discovered he loved the Justin Timberlake song that played.

He doesn't really care for Mindless Self Indulgence.

And Marilyn Manson? He thinks it's okay but he can take it or leave as per his unenthusiastic facial expressions.



Meet Rotten Ana.
Ana had his cool name rights revoked due to his less than anarchist ways.

And do you want to know what I think of Ana?

Me thinks that Anacanchistmyass.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Definitely Not Cool

Definitely not! Cold, perhaps.  Cool? No.

I have never hidden the fact that I hate Summer.  Summer to me is most people's Winter.  Have no fear though, my mind has not changed.

I still do not mind the Winter.

The cold, sometimes bothers me but only when I sit in cold train cars like a toothless* (new use of the term to describe someone or something that is a bit of an asshole), or I fail to dress warm enough.

The snow does not bother me.  Unlike H1, the snow can touch me and I won't get all crazed.

The ice, on the other hand...

Ice should always be in a drink or in the freezer but NEVER under my foot.

If it's under my foot then I panic.  It paralyzes me and I just don't want to walk.  I can't walk.  I ...complain.  A lot.  Oh, and I do the grip of death on to H1's arm when we're together in the city.

All this just to post some pictures of the crazy snowy winter weather we've been having thus far - with 2010 ending in a blizzard, and a snow storm every week, I thought I'd share some evil photos I took of the evil ice, and the not so evil snow.

I did not really take pictures of the Boxing Day 2010 blizzard, but just know at 10 p.m. that night at the heart of it all, Beetchie and I trundled through the snow to go from H1's house to my own.  It's not far by any means but I could not get there in 20 seconds by the leaps and bounds I intended to make.  No, sadly, the snow was up to my knee and all I could do was slowly drag my lower half like a sloth rather than the agile frog I was trying to be.

In any event, on to the pictures of everything you all have been missing! or experiencing! or...not caring! Meh.

Winter in our hearts, and in our stomach.  Tres Leches cake.  Yum.  What? It's like snow! with cherries.  Yeah.  Cherries on top.
Ah the house.  Uninhabitable, at this point I reckon.
It's all fun and games...
...until someone loses their shovel.
Then January came, and brought...the evil ice.
Just look at it waiting to kill things! Ugh.  Not funny at all.  It's truly a menace.

Just look at what it did to the snow.  Destroyed his brethren.  Shudder with me! ::shudder::
Looks like a baby may have  no.  It would be some degree of yellow.  Let us perish the thought.
Hanging outside my window like the assclowns that they are.
Oh but I'm on to you, assclowns.

On.  to.  you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Should You Make Your Own Ramen?

I am of course, not speaking about the pack ramen which you can pull off a shelf in your local supermarket.  Of course you should do that.

What I mean to ask is, should you painstakingly go to a Japanese supermarket and buy noodles - soba, udon or otherwise, buy some soup base and proceed to experiment?

Hey, why not?! We can all boil water, here, right? RIGHT? How bad could it be?

I also ask of you, how hard could it be to throw some veggies and meat in a pot to your own liking for your own specialty ramen? Huh? Sounds like fun to me!

So, The HOchieS last Saturday, did exactly that.

Not being skilled to hand pull our own noodles, we bought some dry pre-packaged soba noodles.

Not really sure what sort of soup base to make, we bought a somen soup base.

Okay...I promise this story gets better and will redeem our venture of not just buying a 75 cent package of Ichiban.

Next, we bought things to add to the pot.  Here's what we got:

Marrow bones, with which to flavour our soup base.

Bok choy for veggies and a lovely green colour along with...
...Mushrooms! Yummy, yummy mushrooms.
Watercress for a good time.
Corn, for a not-so-good time garnish.  Not on my ramen, H1.  Not on mine.
Scallions for a garnish that also does not belong on my ramen.  And thanks.

Some brilliant seaweed. 
Shrimp for yum.
And beef for x2 times the awesome yum.

With our marrow bones boiling away in a water and somen soup base mix, we assembled each bowl of ramen with love.  We boiled the noodles, added veggies to the pot, cooked the meat and shrimp and presto!

Ramen for me.
Ramen for you.
I'll have some ramen if...'ll have some too.
Oooo, and let us not forget our Japanese pepper that cost an arm and a leg that you got in ripped off in Osaka for.

Should you make your own ramen?


But please, follow the noodle preparation instructions on the packet.  If it says boil in water for ten minutes, those people probably know what they're talking about.

We boiled ours in our stock and even though the stock was lightly salted, the soba noodles were clearly hella salty causing our food to be almost inedible unless eaten with everything.

It was near perfection, that ramen...


A HOchieS semi-fail? Check.

Defeated? Never!

We'll do this again.

Oh yes we will.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The End of Year Review III: The Best of the Blog 2010

There are no best concert reviews to do this year, as I went to only two concerts and one showing at the Paramount.

H1 went to one concert, and one Broadway show.  She tells me she enjoyed Mama Mia!

If I had to pick what show was better, I'd go with Gorillaz over Muse.  I do not believe I even spoke about it but I also saw a Steven Wright comedy performance with Angelo.  It was okay.

Now, on to the very best of the blog - the best memories and stories (Or 2's opinion only)!

The end of an alcohol-free End of Decade "party" brought lots of misfortune in the HOchie household in January.  The one most infected by this 'drought' planned a freaking assassination of an innocent.  Things have never been the same between us since.

There were snow days galore in February! With extra days spent working from home in pajamas was great, and also made for some snowy blog posts.  However, what was most intriguing about this month? We found out that this blog might be a little bit racist.  Isn't everyone?

March was all about Moodou and Misadventures.  

April was a pretty busy month - many food adventures occurred but it was my admission of loving Hall & Oates and our subsequent discussion about which H&O songs best represented each of our frenemies, that had everyone on board.  H&O = bringing people together since the 1980s.

Not much happened in May, other than the realization that nerds need to eat too.

Ah, June in the city.  Midtown proves to be a strange place with Bieber fan girls, fruit carts, and people harbouring dark secrets in their backpacks.

Summer continues in full effect during July.  Things happen! Moodou makes an appearance and The HOchieS venture outside into the sun for ice-cream and burgers.  I wonder if we'll get lucky again this year? Although, venturing outside assaults my eyes.  Also this month, our favourite burger place opens up in the Theatre District, and it's later we vow to never go there again.

For a month I traditionally despise, August came up a winner.  Two days off were spent with Beetchie discovering awesome dumplings in Brooklyn, the best doughnuts and the best noodles ever consumed (this side of Japan), and Scott Pilgrim vs the Big Gay Ice-Cream Truck.  The HOchieS also warned of the impending Zombie Apocalypse, which you all ignored.  Here's a final warning for you guys - the choices are clear (for me, anyway): It's either you're food or a zombie.  I would hope to be the latter.

September was a good time, you know.  H1's birthday month was on complete with scary beastly surprise of extermination.  A trip to Brooklyn with everyone in tow for (finally!) some dim sum was made.  This month I also got into some artful crafting.

Oh, October.  You're so full of Halloween scares, apple picking, Gorillaz and birthdays! Okay, well maybe just Or 2's to really consider, uh...and Frass', but in 2010, the Blog turned Five Years Old.  Awww.  And the Blog even held a competition! How nice of you blog.  But how not nice of you to not give out your blog prizes to everyone yet.  Sorry.  What can I say? Bloggie Boo is a jerk.  You know who else is a jerk-face? The person who I thought was my friend, turned out to be someone completely different.

Usually by the time November hits, I'm super excited.  The end of the year looms and I get into the Spirit of Christmas.  Things were going okay at the start of the month! We ate oysters (not so great), made kurma (still undecided if great or not) and even saw Baby Jeebus.  It was then Thanksgiving rolled around and the rest of the year into January 2011 that became not so good times for me.  Curse this sickness! Ah well... these things happen.

In December, I at least, had a week of better days, just in time for Christmas.  There was not much blogging going on due to the aforementioned illness but I am thankful nonetheless.  It wasn't all bad! I got to see TD5, and play Rock Band 3 with Beetchie.  Oh, and before I forget, of course New Year's Eve is always hilarious.

So, thank you to all our frenemies for another great year.

Here's hoping our 2011 (which yes, has already started) is bad-assed on fun times for us all.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The End of Year Review II: Music 2010

Thank you, Amazon.

Once again, I am a victim to  Deals of $3.99 MP3 albums, and $5.00 album selections monthly, made me grateful that I could buy music that I never got to buy, sample things I wanted to try, and get some fantastic albums on the "cheap".  Unfortunately, "on the cheap" translates to "too much money spent in the long run".

I could not possibly review every single album I bought this year.  Some I did not listen to in full or properly (or remember?) and some are very old and I will not put them on this list but as with previous years, I will stipulate that this 2010 Review List will comprise albums that were not released in 2010 but ones I did purchase this year having just missed the 2009 window.

9. Ok Go - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

H1 made a very interesting observation the other day when she heard "White Knuckles" for the first time.  "Why does this sound like Prince?", she asked.  I had not heard that when I listened before she said it.  What the hell was going on here?

Nothing, really.  Ok Go has always had this sort of 1980s sound to them.  Fun, with a bit of a throw back to that decade.  I like it.

I re-listened to "Oh No" to figure out if maybe I was too involved in liking a crappy band back in 2005.  I'd say no.  I still really enjoy the tracks from "Oh No" but what about "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky"?

Ok Go maintain some of their fun nature but sometimes...sometimes, they have me wondering why so cacophonous and the album as a whole very uneven.  These particular songs are interesting in parts musically but Daniel Kulash sings a lot of the songs the same way.  Sadly, that makes for the album being mostly forgettable save a few stand out tracks.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Skyscrapers", "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe", "White Knuckles"

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 = 6.  It's a tie: "Skyscrapers" vs. "White Knuckles".

Album Cover Review: "D".  That was retro but not very appealing.

8. Spoon - Transference

It may have taken me years but I think I finally got H1 to like Spoon, or at least recognize their coolness.  And they are pretty damned cool.  They continue to make music for themselves and if you're fortunate enough to be on the Spoon train, you're probably pretty cool yourself.  That's not a shout out to myself but an honest feeling.   

That said, Transference may not be the best damned album this year and truthfully, I can say that I have not fully loved any Spoon album I've managed to get my hands on (and thanks to Amazon, I got many for my collection this year).  As far as Spoon albums go (and ones that I have), this is not the greatest.  But what the eff do Britt Daniel and Spoon care? And for that matter, why do I? I'm very happy that I now own some of the best songs ever, that graced this album.  I am happy to hear Britt with his raspy, quirky vocals.

"Cool".  It's the only word I can use to describe this man.

Songs Worth Listening to: "I Saw the Light", "Written in Reverse", "Before Destruction"

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6.  It's a pretty close race, actually but I'm going to go with "I Saw the Light".

Album Cover Review: "A-".  There's so much off about it but it's also so raw in a way.  I really like this one.

7. Vampire Weekend - Contra

I've said my bit on Vampire Weekend.  I cannot stand behind hipsters which is exactly what they are.  I tried very hard to listen with an open mind.  I found that getting past the grating voice of the lead singer, there were some songs on here that were not so painful to my ears and dare I say, good (okay, that cut me deep to say). 

Being a sucker for pain, and impartiality in my reviews, I gave their first effort a spin.  I'd be lying if I said I could not see some appeal but it's still not enough for me to give either album any sort of heavy rotation.

Contra is certainly not the worst thing I have heard.  I am still unconvinced that this is the best band since Wonder Bread.  I find them pretentious and having seen them live, I find they're more appealing on stage than recorded and cleaned up.

Still, there's an inkling of fun there on some of the tracks.  Just do not expect me to be singing their praises to the highest decree any time soon and attending their shows paid with by my own money or of my free will.

Songs Worth Listening to (Contra): "White Sky", "Taxi Cab", "Diplomat's Son" and "Giving Up the Gun".

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Taxi Cab" vs. my "Run".

Album Cover Review: "F" I hate it.

6. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Sometimes, I miss things.  Often times, I miss things, I'd say.  This is partially due to my stubbornness, my lack of interest or in this case, my lack of television viewing.

Last year, when everyone was bopping their head to some Phoenix song they had heard on some car commercial, my head was probably buried in some video game or watching some Anime.

If not for TD5, I'd not have a lot of things.  Sometimes he fails me, as I am sure I fail him.  We differ on musical taste sometimes, and other times, we're right there with each other.

It may take me some time to get on the same page with him if it's going to happen (because sometimes, I really wonder what he's thinking...haha.  The same can be said of me!) but once there, I appreciate what he does for me. 

His introducing me to Phoenix has been a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, I want to defend myself from liking this band by claiming that "Hipsters ruin everything by taking good music and claiming it as their own!" as such is the case with Phoenix.  Are they really hipsters? Remember that I cannot stand behind hipsters but one thing is for sure, there are probably a ton of hipsters out there who have probably already hailed Phoenix as their favourite 'discovery' and scoffed at all for not knowing them and already discarded the band for something else (whatever that is, I don't care to know).

On the other hand, who can deny that the songs on this album are just so easy to enjoy? There's something very catchy in the drawls of the lead singer's vocals coupled with the very catchy accompanying music.  The album would be higher if I could listen to it in its entirety, and if I could get past the fact that I recognize the formula: a lot of repetition of certain words in the lyrics of every song.  It gets boring after a while but for those songs that get into your head and won't leave - that's the Power of Phoenix.  Good luck getting away from those danceable, sing-along tracks.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Lisztomania" (I shudder to think how many times I listened to this blasted song), "Armistice" , "Lasso", "1901"

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6.  A Winner is Me with "Lasso" over "Love Like a Sunset Part II"

Album Cover Review: "C" Meh.

5.  Interpol - Interpol

Recently, I have been so engrossed in listening to "Success" that I can't tell you what the rest of the album sounds like.  My initial impression was that the first half was good, and I couldn't get past that.  I definitely remember disliking the last two songs.  A lot.  It's in no way a bad album but it's not "wow" amazing either.  Interpol tried something new and sampled a little bit with different style while remaining Interpol at the heart of it.  The album is really heavy on the bass, which saddens me as this is Carlos D.'s last venture with the band - the bass really shines on these tracks and it's just a sad reminder of the greatness that is gone.

I was upset when he left but as someone said to me, "he's just a bassist...easily replaceable."  I must disagree.  It'll be interesting (?) to hear the next album by Interpol without him - a potential disaster? We'll have to wait and see...

Songs Worth Listening to: "Success", "Summer Well", "Try it On"

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Barricade" over "Always Malaise (The Man I am)"

Album Cover Review: "B".  A broken up word "Interpol" and a "broken up" band?  So sadly fitting and depressing.

4.  Menomena - Mines

Who knew Menomena had a new album this year?! No one told me! I found it by accident and was happy.  I loved their previous "Friend and Foe" and expected much.  At first though, I was wondering where my weird little band got to.  The music was tighter and definitely heavy on the rocking guitars, more coherent and catchier.  I was waiting for that one unconventional track to kick in when it happened - they do strange fantastically.  Then I listened to the rest of the album in full and realized they never really strayed too far.

The vocalist I like is absent as lead on some of the songs and its his songs sung that I gravitate to the most from this album, leaving about 2 or 3 songs of the 11 that I have a hard time liking.  .  All in all, I'm pleased with this album and will be listening to it a lot in the future.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Five Little Rooms", "Oh Pretty Boy, You're Such a Big Boy", "Taos", "Queen Black Acid" and "Tithe".

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 > 6.  H1 wins this round with "Tithe" over "Bote"

Album Cover Review: "B" Is that a real thing hanging out in the forests of Oregon? I will have to research.  It certainly is freaky.  Weeping Angel like! Doctor Who nightmares I will be having.

4.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Original Soundtrack and Original Score

It's not often I make it to the movies and these days, it's not often I feel inclined to go to a store and buy a c.d. much less a movie's soundtrack.  After seeing Scott Pilgrim though, I knew I had to get thee to a record store! Such things do not exist anymore though, do they? Okay okay, so they do but why go through the hassle when I could buy everything off Amazon? Ugh.  See the trend by now? See it?!?!

Anyway, there's so much to love about Scott Pilgrim if you're a nerd like me.  And hey, even if you're not a nerd like me, you could still appreciate the movie! And if you couldn't appreciate the movie, could you at least appreciate the motion picture soundtrack? Yes.  Yes you could.  There are classic rock tunes, punk songs, songs about garbage trucks, songs by Crash and the Boys featuring that "one girl who's a boy too", and the best fake band around named Sex Bob-Omb.  Could you ask for more?

If you're a nerd such as I, you could easily appreciate the Scott Pilgrim Original Score.  They're a great collection of songs that are artfully crafted to suit every scene and every character - a walk in the snow, a multitude of video game fight scenes, a bass battle, Ninja Ninja Revolution (oh how I long to play this frickin' ridiculous farce of a game), and a Bollywood influenced track of greatness.  Come now, need I carry on? Fine.  If you needed just that one more incentive to run out and see the movie if just for the music, then know that Nigel Godrich created the music for the score.

Songs Worth Listening to (from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack): "Black Sheep" by Metric, "It's Getting Boring by the Sea" by Blood Red Shoes, "Threshold (8 Bit)" by Brian LeBarton, "We Hate You Please Die" by Crash and the Boys, "We Are Sex Bob-omb" and "Threshold" by Sex Bob-Omb

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6.  A winner is Or 2 with "I am Sad, So Very, Very Sad" over "O Katrina!"

Songs Worth Listening to (from the Original Score): "Slick (Patel's Song)" by Dan The Automator and Bryan Lee O'Malley, "Katayanagi Twins vs. Sex Bob-omb" by Beck and Cornelius, "Bass Battle", "Fight!", "Ninja Ninja Revolution" by Dan The Automator, "The Vegan" and "Boss Battle".

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "Talk to the Fist" over "Love Me Some Walking"

Album Cover Review: "A".  They're the same on both save the change in colour.  I love them.  They've got Michael Cera.  And just a coolness about them.  I quickly glossed over my love for Michael Cera because it was probably the right thing to do.

3. Broken Bells - Broken Bells

I wanted to like this album more.  I felt as though I should have liked it more than I did.  With the talents of Danger Mouse and James Mercer (of The Shins, a band I enjoy), I felt like there was something wrong with me for being so blah about it.  As you see, it still made number 3 on my spot, and that's due to the fact that in truth, it is a good album.  However, it's one that does not stick in my brain.  I could stare the track titles all day and not remember what each song sounds like until I actually listen.  The album is great while it plays - catchy and sometimes haunting, with a touch of weirdness in sounds that just don't quite fit together but sound good all the same - but when I'm away from it, I do not crave hearing the songs.

H1 vs Or 2: 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Sailing to Nowhere" over "Trap Doors"

Songs Worth Listening to: "October", "The High Road", "Mongrel Heart", "Sailing to Nowhere"

Album Cover Review: Exactly what is it? Don't know but it's kinda ugly.

2.  Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures

Again I must mention my love/hate relationship with Josh Homme... every single time he puts something out there and I am afforded a listen, I MUST complain.

This time around for this album which I got for $3.99 (Amazon...ugh), I can say the relationship is leaning heavy on the love side.  Quite heavily in fact and as much as I would like to be a scornful bitch, I cannot, due to the fact that it was on heavy rotation for me.  Songs I thought I hated were no longer on that list as I listened through again, and overall I just found myself loving near the whole blasted thing.  The album is alternative rock - non-whiny, hard rock vocals; good heavy guitars; fantastic bass and shining drumming.  Did I expect less though, really?

I may be inclined to give credit to Dave Grohl's and John Paul Jones' contributions on the album as the reason for greatness but that's just my being an arse.  I suppose Homme made it great too...

Songs Worth Listening to: "Bandoliers", "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I", "Reptiles", "Dead End Friends", "Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up"

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6. A winner is me with "Scumbag Blues" over "Elephant"

Album Cover Review: "D".  Them Crooked Vultures are just ugly, sorry.

1.  Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Wary of the number of collaborations Damon Albarn boasted on the album before its release, I listened with excitement but mostly with bated breath.  I started 2010 on a huge Gorillaz kick having just finished my End of Decade Review and having re-discovered the awesomeness of Demon Days.  I was very much looking forward to Plastic Beach and found that it was a welcome effort.  It was no Demon Days for me, but quite good nonetheless.  The artists were indeed plentiful and initially I really missed my fake little band, i.e. I missed more vocals by Damon Albarn.  I missed hearing 2D!  "They" (cartoon band Gorillaz) felt absent on the majority of the songs.  I realize what I love most about Gorillaz' tracks are the heavy use of technology sounding sounds with little blips and beeps amongst the synthesizers, beats and funk.

Still, with a concert under my belt, and really just a fantastic eclectic mix of songs, Plastic Beach gains number 1 for me in 2010.

I was introduced to new artists, marveled at legendary artists and found Albarn's gift of mixing and blending styles of music together to be nothing short of brilliant.  Not just the guest vocalists were the talents but Albarn infused brass bands, an orchestra and middle eastern sounds into the fray and created something wonderful, varied, catchy and of serious musical depth in one very together, very ambitious album.

Albarn himself on his vocals were melancholy, meaningful and dreamy.

There was not much for me to hate here except perhaps Snoop's track which I felt to be the weakest of the lot.

Songs Worth Listening to: Did I not just say the entire thing? But if I MUST choose some, then go with these "Some Kind of Nature" featuring Lou Reed, "Sweepstakes" featuring Mos Def, "Rhinestone Eyes", "To Binge" featuring Little Dragon, "Intro" featuring Sinfonia VIVA and "White Flag" featuring Bashy and Kano

H1 vs Or 2 = 5 < 6. A winner is me with "Superfast Jellyfish" featuring De La Soul and Gruff Rhys over "Stylo" featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def. 

Albums I Chose to Not Place in a numbered spot:

"High Violet" by The National.  I had a hard time getting into this album.  I will have to really sit and listen some more before I pass any, if any, harsh judgments.

"Champ" by Tokyo Police Club - much of the same from their last entry.  I like some of them a lot but they did not stick in my brain for the most part.  Whether that makes them forgettable I am not sure.  I do not want to pass judgment like that.

"Fantasies" by Metric - I like this one.  TD5 thought it dark and I agree with that assessment.  There's nothing wrong with dark for me but I'm not sure how this album manages to be dark and tragically sound like it came from the 90s alternative pop scene even though it was released only 2 years ago.  There are some pretty decent songs on this one though.  "Twilight Galaxy", "Gold Gun Girls" and "Satellite Mind" come to mind.

"Night Train" EP by Keane.  It's basically not...really "reviewable".  What a mess that was.

"The Fall" by Gorillaz.  I only got this on Christmas day and haven't had time to listen.  It might make this year's review or maybe I'll just speak on it briefly right now from my initial impressions.  It's what I expected.  It was created on the road and mainly through a bunch of apps from the Ipad.  It's raw, mostly instrumental and not bad.  I really enjoy "Revolving Doors".

"Thirteenth Step" by A Perfect Circle.  I didn't listen yet.  Liked what I heard from track 1 though but of course I did.

"Gimme Fiction" by Spoon.  This is a stellar album.  I owned a few tracks before but when Amazon had it on sale for $5.00 one day, I jumped on this and their others.  It really is just quite likeable and a solid collection of intelligent songs.  Great band, and a great album that I am proud to own.  Songs of Note: "The Infinite Pet", "The Beast and Dragon, Adored", and "I Summon You".

"Up From Below" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  Unfortunately, other than it's very awesome name, this band is one I really cannot get into.  Let me just say it now loud and clear: I cannot get behind hippies! These are some serious hippies.  Seriously serious hippies.  Why do I have it? I heard one song by them I really liked and someone gave me a chance to listen to the whole thing.  No.  Other than "Home", I cannot back this album.  Really though, listen to "Home".  It sounds like it could come off a weird Tarantino soundtrack.

"Grace" by Jeff Buckley.  I haven't listened yet.  Don't judge me!

The Beatles Collection.  The only damned reason I am not numbering this on my list is that The Beatles do not deserve to numbered in some stupid little list of mine.  Growing up, I had various of their greatest hits but never had the full anthology.  I got the re-mastered collection for Christmas in 2009, and have taken the time to really go through these albums.  It has been a freaking joy doing so.  Everyone knows them or at least, everyone SHOULD.  Too many times I have seen people talk about how The Beatles are overrated but those people are just saying things to say things to get a negative reaction and attention.

The Beatles and these albums are so revolutionary it's just amazing.  No words of mine can describe aptly just how important this band is and will forever be.

That's not to say they are all golden because there are some really horrid songs present but as an overall experience, there's just nothing bad here.

Honourable Video Game Music Soundtrack Mention:

No More Heroes series.  The first by Masafumi Takada and the second game composer by Akira Yamaoka.

And that's that! The End of Reviews for Music for 2010.  Phew.  Thank goodness for me.  I cannot believe I started compiling this crap since October of last year, only just now finished and this is what I have to show for it.

Maybe I won't listen to music this year!
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