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477849 Posts in 16133 Topics by 2927 Members - Latest Member: J9 October 24, 2014, 05:00:03 AM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 11, 2014, 04:12:09 PM
That NJN team was one of the poster-children of what was wrong with the NBA from the latter day golden era (when Jordan had arrived and really begun winning, but Magic and Larry were still around, etc.), through that weak period of the mid 90s through the Lebron era. Derrick Coleman--whom I loved, basketball-wise, as I am a big Syracuse fan and he was fantastically talented and productive--famously gave coach Butch Beard a season's worth of fines for not following the team's dress code ahead of time. Hard not to take that as insubordination... Chris Morris and Benoit Benjamin were both famous malcontents. Morris's incidents included removing the tape from an injured hand during a game so he couldn't be put back in, practicing with his shoes untied, and writing "It's Time" and "To Say Goodbye" on his shoes during games his last year in NJ... Benjamin was among the most talented underachievers ever.

And yet Anderson was right on the edge of really high level play for a while there. Coleman was there, too. Drazen Petrovic's career really took off there before he unfortunately died, having become a legitimate all-star caliber player. You're definitely right, that team was a shame.
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 11, 2014, 10:21:49 AM
Most unjustly forgotten superstar in the semi-recent era.

Superstar? Yes. The tragic back injuries derailed what would have been a hall of fame career. "Grandmama" was a legendary college player whose game seamlessly translated to the pros. I remember the doubt about a 6-7 (ahem..,6-5 tops) PF making it, even in the prime of Charles Barkleys career. But pre-injury, he was explosive, intuitive. He scored, rebounded, passed.

That Charlotte team--him, Zo, Kendall Gill--could've been something.
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Egon Schiele Exhibition in London on: October 11, 2014, 09:49:30 AM
I'm sure he appreciates your input. I know I would.
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: October 11, 2014, 09:32:43 AM
Probably not likely to be a favorite among the rock-band oriented members, but regular Odd Future collaborator Vince Staples released a 7-song EP, "Hell Can Wait." A few of the tracks are pretty impressive. I liked "65 Hunnid" and "Hands Up" in particular.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Egon Schiele Exhibition in London on: October 11, 2014, 09:28:51 AM
"Here is a blog post regarding the topic: ... "

You're welcome.
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week One: Yes by Morphine on: October 11, 2014, 06:46:19 AM
Halfway through the album--I relistened to those first few songs a couple times last night but never finished it--I'm not digging it anymore. But because I don't dislike it, either, I'm trying to think of what mood or age or era of me would like it. I'm sure this is something I would have liked at some time or will like later. Or maybe it's just a part of that huge mass of music that isn't bad or great, but is mostly okay and sometimes better or worse than that. It isn't really holding my attention, and in fact is almost hypnotic in such a way as to push away my attention. There are occasional breaks, lyrics, or other moments that do grab me, and they're welcome.

I still don't much like baritone singers.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 11, 2014, 06:21:17 AM
Love will obviously have to change his game: agreed. But I think Love is the second-best player on the Cavs, not Irving. However, with Irving and James as the primary ball-handlers, he's going to be getting what he is given (or takes off the boards).

I had a great time watching the Wolves/Sixers last night. Anthony Bennett is transformed: slimmed down (but really strong...really strong--huge shoulders), active, energetic, and surprisingly smart on the court. I had no idea. He reminded me of pre-injury Larry Johnson. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's who he is or will become. But that was the kind of game he played last night.) And both rookie wings, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, are miraculously athletic. It was a lot of fun.

As for the 76ers, that might have been the least talented roster I've ever seen in an NBA game. Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Jerami Grant, and Hollis Thompson were all out with various injuries, and of course Dario Saric is in Turkey this year. When the likes of Henry Sims, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Brandon Davies aren't just on your roster--questionable enough!--but starting? Yikes. I know, it's preseason. But wow. I still think KJ McDaniels is a stud, though, and Casper Ware deserves that roster spot.
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Listening Project: Week One: Yes by Morphine on: October 10, 2014, 06:44:42 PM
My contributions this time around are most likely going to be intermittent, off-the-cuff comments. (Maybe sometimes I'll do more thorough, thoughtful reviews. Maybe not. Is the suspense killing you? Thought so.)

I've been avoiding Morphine in general for so long I can't quite recall why. I've never listened to them, not because of any particular dislike, but more like an ongoing game of tag played in reverse.

Unfortunately relevant to my comments, I rarely want to hear a baritone sing pop music and I even more rarely want to hear a saxophone in pop music.

Those things said, I really, really liked "Honey White." That's rock and roll right there. The sax line is great, the beat is great, it drives. I could do with louder drums, but then again I'm useless mixing tracks, so ignore my ideas. There is something Jonathan Richman-like about this, but not directly. Maybe it's the pure glow of 1950s abandon. Maybe it's the breathy "I'd like to see a little more fat." But whatever it is, it works. "Honey White" is a really good song. I should buy "Honey White."

59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 10, 2014, 06:11:26 AM
76ers @ Wolves tonight for a preseason clash between two of the worst teams in the league! But hey, it's of interest to SJS and me.
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Anybody interested in taking turns to pick albums and discuss them together idea on: October 09, 2014, 01:54:30 PM
I guess a new thread would be cool. Maybe with a clearer title

I agree, that will make life easier, especially once there are a few albums in play. If recommend a consistent title format, too. Like, just for example "Listening Project: [album] by [artist]. Captain is godlike and handsome."
61  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: God Only Knows BBC Music ad on: October 08, 2014, 12:21:01 PM
...there are people here who would find something to bitch about at the Second Coming.

To be fair, that would mean I was wrong after all and am going to hell. I'd feel like I had the right to bitch before eternal torment (which I assume is Nickelback on repeat ad infinitum).
62  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Now Al is praising Mike in an interview? on: October 08, 2014, 06:04:32 AM
Feelings; nothing more than feelings

That's what went through my head in response to the response to my intoxicated post.

Really? What went through mine was, "what a handsome and clever intoxicated man responding to that intoxicated post."
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 07, 2014, 05:15:33 PM
6 assists in the first 7 baskets for B Jennings. Does he finally get it? If so, look out. He's always had talent.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: October 07, 2014, 04:53:57 PM
All right, the season is (kind of) underway and I'm going to catch Det v Chi. Im excited to see Mirotic and McDermott especially, but also to see what Van Gundy's system is going to look like with that roster.
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: God Only Knows BBC Music ad on: October 07, 2014, 01:51:20 PM
I must be an old grouch, because to me it's just cheese. But if people are liking it, great.
66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Now Al is praising Mike in an interview? on: October 07, 2014, 12:24:01 PM


That hurt my eyes.

But more importantly, of course he's "allowed" to feel more than one way about something. First of all, the idea of allowing or disallowing feelings is absurd: feelings happen as they happen. Second, feelings (and thoughts) can be complex and sometimes even contradictory. That's life. It's complex sometimes.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Anybody interested in taking turns to pick albums and discuss them together idea on: October 06, 2014, 09:40:59 PM
68  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Could The Beach Boys and nothing but The Beach Boys play live? on: October 05, 2014, 06:58:51 AM
I agree and disagree with the "what's the point?" sentiment, depending on what the thread is actually about.

If it's a for-fun exercise--i.e., the stuff of message boards--simply asking the question with no consequences or judgments, but just that question--could they do a passable version of a show with no extraneous players?--then my answer as previously said in the thread is basically no, not in a truly viable, high-quality way. The instrumental performances would be rudimentary and the voices would be strained, rough around the edges, and incapable of the beautiful high tenors that their catalog is largely built on (be it for leads or backgrounds).

But if the question is whether it matters whether the answer to the above is yes or no, whether the experience of a show with someone other than the core band participating is somehow diminished (even if the quality of the show were diminished as well), then I don't think it matters. Music is the thing one hears. All the rest--back story, nostalgia, personally relevant or meaningful experiences--might matter to anyone, but not to everyone. They color one's own experience. The music is just the music. If it takes different or more (or less) people to make, then that's fine. It's actually why I have for years held the unpopular position in favor of the Wilson band's non-Brian members taking more leads, not less. I'll take Darian on Darlin' any day over Brian, for example. The band themselves understood this from very early days, which is why they brought in musicians to supplement both studio and (a few years later) live performances: presenting the music is what matters most.

Just my twaddle.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2014 New Releases on: October 04, 2014, 07:02:57 AM
This week I bought one of Prince's two new releases, Art Official Age. (Sorry, Prince, I can't write the all caps thing. I struggle to do the whole 2 and U and 4 crap, too...ugh.) It's the solo album, as opposed to PlectrumElectrum, his band-album with 3rdEyeGirl (yep, there's the stuff I hate again), more funk and soul than the rock-jazz oriented PlectrumElectrum.

As one would suspect, it's not a return to the consistent brilliance and freshness of 1999, Purple Rain, Parade, or Sign of the Times, but the more I consider Prince's work, seriously, the more I think it's the lack of freshness more than the lack of quality that hurts. In the 1980s, his sound seemed perfectly in the moment. In fact, it created the moment. His sound wasn't out of nowhere: the influences of Sly Stone, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and others were always obviously apparent. But their recombined, oversexed repackaging (all in a tiny little androgynous Minnesotan black man not lacking swagger) was just shocking and enthralling. These were my formative years--I was four to 14 in the '80s--and I remember it well. Whether it was parental nervousness as evidenced by Tipper Gore's PMRC or effusive praise from Paul McCartney, Prince just mattered. He was absolutely essential.

That started wearing off already by the beginning of the '90s, though he kept putting out interesting and sometimes hugely successful music. (People forget that Diamonds and Pearls, for example, had several hits, as did the symbol album and even the Gold Experience, by which time we're in the mid-90s. So it's not like he disappeared after Sign of the Times.) But he fell into the same trap that every long-term act falls into: new directions are considered a misguided abandonment of what got him there, while the same direction is considered rehashing, a retro act. There is literally no winning this game, and I can't think of someone who was consistently an exception. And naturally, there are only so many directions one can take even if the mindset to try them out is there.

Throughout, as MugginsXO and I have been discussing in the Prince thread, the man put out HUGE quantities of music: Emancipation, his first post-Warners record, was a 3-disc set in 1996; Crystal Ball was a 4-disc set in 1998. By my quick count, he put out something like 18 albums of new material in these past 18 years, several of them multidisc sets. And guess what: someone as brilliant as Prince indisputably was in the late '70s, '80s and early '90s doesn't just forget how to make good music. An obviously gifted singer and guitarist (and passable drummer, bassist, and pianist) can keep making do--he's not a flash-in-the-pan based on a cute haircut or seductive video. So this vast catalog is bound to contain something of merit, right?

Right. So, Art Official Age.

It fits into the pattern of what we've had on and off since at least Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic: recognizable "Princeish" moments intermingled with of-the-times production techniques. The guy can still build a groove and sing as well as, or better than, anyone else in the business. "Breakdown" shows what vocal chops on an aging voice can be, forget whether Brian Wilson can croak out an occasionally on-pitch Ab in "God Only Knows." "The Gold Standard" brings a familiar electric funk (and an annoying final few seconds of narrative crap, a weakness of Prince for decades now). "Breakfast Can Wait" is the inevitable seduction song, though the guy isn't as freaky as he was way back when. (He is in his late 50s, after all...) I suspect "Clouds" and "U Know" will get repeated plays.

Conversely, some of the album is just awkward. The almost-title track is just embarrassing, with the stadium-applause and spoken intro, even as the funky guitar-and-claps music that begins the song is catchy. It devolves into a four-on-the-floor dance beat and later a bit of rap-turned-choiresque section. It feels just...wrong. This is my taste, I guess. The "affirmation" spoken bits are more of the spoken bits I referenced earlier. I prefer an album to be music, not connected by dialogue or narration or scene-setting. Again, it's just me.

Anyway, my recommendation is that if you are or ever have been a Prince fan, you find it on Spotify or preview some tracks on iTunes or your service of choice. There truly are some good songs here, well worth a buck or so apiece. Just because he isn't blazing new trails or shocking people's moms anymore, that doesn't mean he isn't absolutely brilliant as a musician and putting out solid stuff.

70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Prince on: October 03, 2014, 06:29:07 PM
After much ado [waits for applause to die down], my latter-day Prince "album" playlist, starting with material released after The Gold Experience (so beginning with 1996). It's an era short on hits and, somewhat surprisingly, even on critical acclaim. A few of us--ok, the two participating in this thread this year--believe there is plenty of quality material to be found among the massive quantity of work from these almost 20 years. This is a single-length album that I think demonstrates the broad spectrum of the man's work while maintaining a playable cohesiveness. I definitely didn't just pick the songs I think are the best songs or performances--if I had, we'd see more ballads, semi-organically instrumentated funk, and jazz--but rather a combination of best individual songs and performances with flow.

Here it is. I do recommend you try listening as a playlist, if possible. (Start Tangerine two seconds in and you'll probably have to boost the volume on Courtin Time a little.) For those who may not have it all, I'd do a Spotify playlist but I don't think most of this is on Spotify... PM me if necessary and I'm sure we can figure it out.

Side One
1. Black Sweat - 3121 (2006)
2. Tangerine - Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999)
3. So Far, So Pleased (feat. Gwen Stefani) - Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999)
4. The One U Wanna C - Planet Earth (2007)
5. Breakdown - Art Official Age (2014)
6. The Gold Standard - Art Official Age (2014)
7. Courtin' Time - Emancipation (1996)

Side Two
1. The Rest of My Life - The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale (1999)
2. Sticky Like Glue - 20Ten (2010)
3. The Work Pt. 1 - The Rainbow Children (2001)
4. La-La (Means I Love U) - Emancipation (1996)
5. Musicology - Musicology (2004)
6. I Love U, But Don't Trust U Anymore (feat. Ani DiFranco) - Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999)
7. FallinInLove2Nite (feat. Zooey Deschanel) - FallinInLove2Nite (single) (2014)
8. Had U - Chaos and Disorder (1996)
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Do kids today have a wider appreciation of music? on: October 03, 2014, 03:35:53 PM
I'm impressed that a 7 year old knows about Camera Obscura and Daniel Johnston. When I was 7 I was still jamming out to Old McDonald Had a Farm.

A 7-year-old usually knows what a 7-year-old is exposed to. I definitely was exposed to my parents' and siblings' pop music by age 7. I had no idea what was new versus old, cool versus lame, but I knew bits and pieces of it.
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Pile Up In California on: October 03, 2014, 06:18:30 AM

Can't speak for the others (and thanks for including me in such august company), but in my case, that's the most misguided and frankly patronizing load of twaddle I've read on this forum in years, and dammit there's been some stiff competition

I win!
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Now Al is praising Mike in an interview? on: October 02, 2014, 07:15:11 PM
I think Al has pretty consistently praised Mike in interviews ... even when he also insults him in the same interviews. In the recently posted radio interview, he talks about how he thinks Mike is one of the best baritone voices ever, for example. Nothing really shocking about this one, from my perspective.
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Pile Up In California on: October 02, 2014, 06:52:36 PM
I think you conflate good manners and personal integrity with online openness, and deviance with online anonymity. I'd just hope you reconsider your oft-stated feelings on the matter, especially in that you're in the minority. You're welcome to your opinion, though.

With respect to it not being about selling anything, you must admit it's a remarkable coincidence how those whose brands stand to gain by being public disproportionately use their names, while those whose don't, don't. And as Billy noted, there are real consequences for Google searches would-be employers deem unseemly. (I can confirm that my company does just that.) I'll take ongoing employment over righteous name-pride on a message board every time.

Anyway, we've exchanged opinions and disagree. No need to belabor the points.
75  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Pile Up In California on: October 02, 2014, 05:52:00 PM

My ideas are welcomed (and they know they're mine because I actually use my name, dr.)

Howie, I hope you don't mind me saying this and that it's clear I have no dog in whatever debates are going on in this thread between you and drbeachboy or nicko or whoever. I do want to comment on what seems to me to be a pattern of your attitude about posting under one's real name. (At least I have noticed you mentioning it several times.)

I think you're wrong to judge those who don't so harshly. If you, Jon Stebbins, Peter Carlin, Stephen Desper, Andrew Doe, and various others want to post under your own full names, that's fine. I'd note, however, that most people online--at least on this board--who post under their real names were, are, or probably plan to sell or promote their work. That's fine, no problem, but it's an obvious professional/financial/promotional interest.

For those people not selling anything, a message board is often an escape. An avatar is hardly nefarious, and less uncommon. It's just not a big deal. If one were a journalist, it would matter. If one were presenting oneself as some Beach Boys insider or expert but refusing to be named, it would matter. But for a place to kill some time talking about what it means that some backup singer left one group for another, it just doesn't matter. There is no moral or behavioral shortcoming in using a fake name in that situation. People have reasons, and the reasons don't even matter, frankly. Maybe someone doesn't want a public profile online. It's just nobody else's business, and doesn't affect the quality of discussion on a message board about pop music.

There are people who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to behave horribly, and that's unfortunate. But realistically, one could use a real (or real-sounding) name and behave the same way, because the anonymity in that respect isn't about literal anonymity, but rather the disconnect between people who have often never met using the medium to unload the way they wouldn't in person. So that's not really the point either.

Whatever your issue with it is, you're obviously in the minority (as evidenced by a quick perusal of user names). I hope you can see people aren't doing it for any malicious or sneaky reasons. It's just the way some of us choose to use the Internet.

This is meant in good faith. Keep up your work.

 - Luther, who enjoys the name "the captain" in tribute to Don Vliet--a coward for not using his real name!?--and because he likes using a title to sound important.

(you're welcome to my last name if you want it. Or my SSN, for all I care. Just PM me for it.)

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