Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just picks, no pans

We didn't quite make it all the way through "Rose Red," (considering that it's 4 hours long, I don't feel too bad about that) so we'll finish the last hour or so tonight. Scary, ghostly things are really starting to happen now at the mansion! I'd forgotten that this was surprisingly good (it was written by Stephen King--I think I forgot to mention that), although it's an old story: a group of psychics gather in a long-abandoned haunted mansion to see if they can document any psychic phenomena. (Quick answer: yes, they can.) The professor who gathers them together is ruthless in her ambition, even to the point of not caring if people are harmed. A classic story, and lots of fun! And yeah, we DID turn off the lights! Had some popcorn, too. Movie night is fun!

I continued to stick with a daily workout, and today was 1.5 miles on the recumbent bike. I really like doing the bike, because a mile and a half goes really fast, AND I can read while I'm doing it! I'm looking forward to getting my real bike out and riding around the area a little bit. (I won't read when I do that, though. Ha!) I got another little workout in when I vacuumed. Does anyone else work up a sweat when they vacuum? I always do. I love my vacuum cleaner, too. I got this before Ken and I met, and I did a little research to find a good one. I had to have a canister style--I can't stand to push around an upright--and I got a Samsung Quiet Storm. It is neither quiet nor stormy, but it makes me laugh to call it the Quiet Storm. In my opinion, it does a great job.

Besides my movie and vacuum cleaner review, I have a couple of music reviews for you!


First up is The B-52's latest, "Funplex," their first brand new CD in 16 years! Shane had sent me a few videos of some of the new songs, but today I was able to listen to the entire disc at once.

Oh man, I love this band! After 16 years, they've lost none of their energy, and most importantly, their sense of goofiness! Fred's voice sounds stronger than in the past, and Kate and Cindy can still sing like angels. Keith's guitar rocks a little harder than I've heard it rock before, and the whole thing is just completely danceable.

My favorite songs so far are "Pump," "Hot Corner," "Juliet of the Spirits," and the title track. "Juliet" showcases Kate and Cindy's harmonizing talents as well as "Roam," (from "Cosmic Thing") and "Funplex" features some of their goofy lyrics, such as Fred yelling, "Faster pussycat, thrill thrill! I'm at the mall on a diet pill!" and Cindy playing your Taco Tiki Hut waitress saying, "Here's your stupid 7-Up." Sheer silliness, which has always been a part of the B's appeal for me.

In the style of Randy Jackson, let me just say, "America's party band is back, baby! You guys can still kick it, dawg!"


My other new CD is REM's latest, "Accelerate." I've read a couple of reviews that said it was their best in years, but I tend to reserve judgement until I've heard it for myself. So, in this case, the reviews were right on the money. I hadn't bought any new REM for a while, because while I've never stopped liking them, none of their recent stuff has grabbed me. I'm so glad I got this one, because they've proved that they are still very relevant and still quite a musical force.

Michael's voice is still moving and still strong, and Peter's guitar totally rocks, as do the majority of these songs! It reminds me of listening to "Monster" for the first time and thinking, "Wow, this ROCKS!" when REM hadn't been known up until then for traditional rock songs.

My favorites (again, so far) are "Living Well is the Best Revenge," (I've always loved that sentiment!), "Hollow Man" which starts out slow but kicks in pretty quickly, the title track with its excellent guitar, "Until the Day is Done," with some beautiful acoustic guitar, and "Mr. Richards," which has a very pleasing, pop-like melody.

In "I'm Gonna DJ," Michael sings, "Hey steady steady, I'm not gonna go till I'm good and ready!" After giving this excellent CD a listen, I'd say that REM isn't going anywhere!

If you get a chance, give Athens, GA's finest 2 bands' new efforts a listen. They're both well worth it.

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