Monthly Archives: December 2011

You are probably among the nearly 4 million (and rising) viewers…

…but in case you aren’t, you need to experience this song in all its adorableness.

Random Awesomeness (part 25)

20 CDs for $10

Every year, I make a stop at the Book & Music Exchange while visiting family in Owensboro, Kentucky. It’s like any other used music store…lots of current artists and iconic albums for $5-$10, and a “bargain bin” that is full of indie bands that you’ve probably never heard of, along with a few mainstream acts that were so overplayed back in the day that they will never command a higher price. BME’s bargain bin is $2, or 20 CDs for $10. And for the past several years, I have stocked up on albums that I would have never ever ever bought for more than fifty cents, as well as a few gems that are inexplicably cheap. Here’s my haul from this year:

  • *Nsync (self-titled) – I needed a 20th CD, ok? This was honestly the last one I picked up, and I’m not even sure I remember any of the songs…maybe “I Want You Back”?

    Nope, that’s not it. Oh well, when I finally get around to listening to it, I’m sure something will make me say, “Oh yeah, I remember that song.”
  • LeAnn Rimes Blue – I picked this one up for my wife. I’m not a big fan of modern country. There are a few artists I can tolerate, and even a few that I like. LeAnn Rimes falls into neither category.
  • Pete Townshend Psychoderelict – The legendary guitarist released this rock opera in 1993, but I’ve never heard it before. It has been considered for Broadway, and was turned into a webcomic a couple of years ago (though I can’t find any images of it).
  • Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Zoot Suit Riot – I have vague memories of loving this song in college. Very vague.
  • Wild Cherry Play The Funk – The cover features the exclamation, “Includes Play that Funky Music!” How could I say no? Nevermind that I already have PTFM on two or three other albums. Now I have it on a Wild Cherry album.
  • Enuff Z’nuff Strength – I almost didn’t buy this one because I thought I already had it, but I don’t, and now I do, and I’m happy about that. Enuff Z’nuff is such an underrated group. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself to them. They’re friendly guys with nice music.
  • Madonna Music – I have no memory of this 2000 record whatsoever, and do not recognize any of the song titles, so I’m really looking forward to hearing it.
  • Madonna Ray of Light – The title track is the only song I remember from this album, so it should be a nice experience hearing it for the first time also.
  • Faith Hill Faith – Another one for the wife. I like Tim McGraw, and can tolerate a little Faith Hill, but it’s just not my cup of tea.
  • Justin Timberlake Futuresex/Lovesounds – Don’t judge me.
  • Ricky Martin (self-titled) – Are you kidding me? How could I pass up “Livin’ La Vida Loca” for only fifty cents?
  • Hanson Middle of Nowhere – No, it was not an accident. “MMMBop” is a catchy song.
  • Richard Betts Highway Call – The debut solo album for former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts. I have listened to this one, and while it’s not earth-shattering, it was well worth a couple of quarters.
  • Various Artists The Bridge School Concerts, Vol. 1 – Neil Young, Tom Petty, Beck, David Bowie…a solid compilation. Add to that Elvis Costello and you have one of the greatest compilations ever.
  • Various Artists Over The Edge – One of the many compilation discs that was produced during the 1990s, this has a few really cool songs on it, including The Refreshments’ “Banditos,” which brings back so many memories from college.
  • Gilby Clarke Rubber – Gilby Clarke is actually quite a good songwriter. I’m disappointed that he never got to write with Axl and Slash.
  • Kik Tracee No Rules – I have heard of the band, but I’ve never heard their music before…that will change very soon.
  • Arrested Development 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of… – This was my, “What is this doing in here?” moment. I couldn’t believe such a classic record would be in the bargain bin…but it was, and not by accident. I didn’t have to think twice about grabbing it.

If you’re counting, that’s 18 CDs. The other two were classical albums, one Beethoven and one “best of” featuring Ludwig, Mozart, Haydn and others. They have already been hijacked by my kids.

IT’S FRIDAY!!! (part 11)

I’m not sure exactly what “electro dubstep” is, but I kinda dig this version.

Best of 2012?

I know, it’s not 2012 yet. But how could a brand new Van Halen studio record with David Lee Roth not be the best??? Sure they’ll have to compete with new Black Sabbath, Black Robot, and KISS…but it’s Van Halen with David Lee Roth!!!

This was posted on melodicrock.com today:

Van Halen confirmed information so far:
New studio album to be released February 7 in North America. February 8 in Japan; February 6 possible for EU/UK or February 13 at latest. Tour Dates for first leg of 2012 tour announced January 3.
Single released (along with video clip) January 10. Tickets for first leg of tour on sale January 10.
Album and single titles yet to be revealed and rumored bonus DVD could be part of a deluxe edition of the album.

I’m so excited for 2012!!!

New on @Netflix

I have heard a lot of good things about Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, so when I saw the option to watch instantly added this morning, I was happy. I plan to check it out later tonight (after the kids hit the sack, of course), and if I make it all the way through, I’ll let you know what I thought.

Here are a few reviews from around the web:

My obligatory “best of 2011″ post

Movies

  • Comic book movie: A tough choice! I did not like Green Lantern at all, and it pains me to say that because I had such high hopes and am a big fan of Ryan Reynolds. I thought Thor was pretty fantastic, and just watched (and enjoyed) X-Men: First Class on Christmas night with my sons. The best comic book movie of 2011, though, was easily Captain America. With the bar set so high by all the Marvel movies, I’m expecting nothing less than awesome from The Avengers in 2012.
  • Horror movie: I haven’t seen a great number of new horror films. Thinking back, I watched Insidious, Red State, Trollhunter, and The Bleeding House, among others. The best that I can remember, however, is John Carpenter’s The Ward.
  • Franchise movie: Only two contenders here that don’t fall into another category: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. I’m not a Twilight hater, but Potter is easily the winner here.

Sports

  • Baseball card set: I wasn’t overwhelmed by any set this year. Topps flagship wins by default.
  • Reds player: Brandon Phillips is the face of the franchise both on and off the field. He’s a great player that I hope they keep around for the duration of his career.
  • Blogs: So many great baseball card blogs out there, but there is one that I have enjoyed more than any other this year: Lifetime Topps Project. The year-by-year breakdowns and the focus on Reds players from the BRM and the 1990 champs is a treat to read every time.

Music

  • Concert: I didn’t attend very many concerts in 2011. Big Time Rush and Days Difference put on a good show at the Indiana State Fair. Judas Priest, Black Label Society, and Thin Lizzy did a great job in Cincinnati. The only other concert I attended was Guns N’ Roses in December, and Axl totally sold me on the new lineup during that performance. They were spectacular and I’m looking forward to hearing what the new GNR has to offer in the future.
  • Hard rock album: King Kobra was an early favorite, and if I made a top ten list they would definitely make an appearance there. Anthrax brought back Joey Belladona and put out a solid heavy metal effort. After eliminating everything else, two records remain standing at the end: Sixx:A.M. This Is Gonna Hurt and Alice Cooper Welcome 2 My Nightmare, and to be honest I can’t decide between the two. Both albums will be in my personal playlist for a long time.
  • Non-hard rock album: The only two that I can think of that I personally experienced are LMFAO Sorry for the Party Rockin’ and The Black Keys El Camino. Two such vastly different styles, it’s hard to choose. The Roots Undun might have been a game-changer, but I haven’t had the opportunity to hear it yet.

That’s my personal best of 2011. What are your picks?

Retired Numbers: The Broadcasters

This is the greatest difference between Wikipedia and B-R. I chose to only make cards for those mentioned by B-R.


Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds


Joe Nuxhall, Cincinnati Reds

These are the guys who brought baseball to life through the radio broadcasts and over the television airwaves. Of course, I have a special place in my heart for Marty & Joe, the Reds radio broadcast team of my youth. We loved Marty & Joe so much that we would turn the volume down on the television during the game and listen to their call over the radio. Marty, a Ford C. Frick Award recipient, isn’t the same without Joe.


Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers


Ernie Harwell, Detroit Tigers


Harry Kalas, Philadelphia Phillies


Jack Buck, St. Louis Cardinals


Jerry Coleman, San Diego Padres


Lon Simmons, San Francisco Giants


Russ Hodges, San Francisco Giants


Waite Hoyt, Cincinnati Reds

Retired Numbers: Executives

Again, relying solely on B-R yields a slightly shorter list of executives honored by teams than Wikipedia. I did not make cards for Williams Shea, Walter Haas, or Buck O’Neil.


Charles Bronfman, Montreal Expos


John McGraw, New York Giants


Ray Kroc, San Diego Padres

So long, Travis Wood and Dave Sappelt

The Reds made another off-season move late last week, but I didn’t find out about it until early this morning. Travis Wood, one of the pitchers that I really like, was traded along with Dave Sappelt, who I thought was going to get a lot of playing time in left field in 2012, to the Cubs.

In return, the Reds got some bullpen help in the form of Sean Marshall.

Marshall appeared in 78 games for the Cubbies last year, finishing 18 of them and collecting 5 saves to go with a 2.26 ERA. Will he be Francisco Cordero‘s replacement in the closer role for Cincinnati? Or is he just another arm in the ‘pen?

Retired Numbers: Unnumbered

According to Wikipedia, the Tigers have honored Mickey Cochrane, Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann, Hughie Jennings, George Kell, and Heinie Manush by displaying their names in right field, but B-R‘s page for Detroit shows only Cobb as a pre-numbered honoree.


Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies

Not all of these players are entirely from the “pre-number” era. Klein wore seven different uniform numbers for the Phillies between 1933 and 1944, and none of those numbers for more than three seasons. He did, however, play four seasons prior to the use of uniform numbers.


Christy Mathewson, New York Giants


Pete Alexander, Philadelphia Phillies


Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals


Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers

Retired Numbers: > #50

This will be the last of the Retired Numbers posts that actually feature numbers, but there are a couple more posts to follow, so stayed tuned!


Don Drysdale, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers

Did you know that Drysdale only received 21% of the vote in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot? That it wasn’t until his tenth year on the ballot he eclipsed the required 75% for enshrinement? He won a Cy Young Award and was an All-Star several times, but the coolest thing Drysdale ever did was appear in an episode of “The Brady Bunch” in 1970. Barry Williams (who played Greg Brady) has said several times that Drysdale was his favorite guest star.


Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres


Carlton Fisk, Chicago White Sox


August Busch, Jr., St. Louis Cardinals


The Fans, Cleveland Indians

Van Halen is hitting the road!

No dates or venues have been announced for the 2012 World Tour yet, but the first tickets will go on sale January 10. I can’t wait until they come to Cincinnati (or somewhere relatively close)!

Enjoy your Christmas weekend!

No more posts ’til Monday…be good and have a great Christmas!

Retired Numbers: #45-#50

Only Gibson has been elected to the Hall of Fame so far, though Glavine will no doubt be inducted also.


Ron Guidry, New York Yankees

But what about Guidry? Should he be in the Hall? In his first full season in the majors, he posted a 16-7 record with a 2.82 ERA. In 1978, he had one of the best seasons ever, going 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA, 248 strikeouts, and 9 shutouts, winning the Cy Young Award unanimously. In 1985, he again posted a fantastic record, 22-6, though his ERA was up a bit and K’s were down. He finished second in Cy Young voting that year to Bret Saberhagen. Guidry dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2002 with less than 5% of the vote. In eight years on the ballot, he never reached even 9% support from the BBWAA. I do not believe Cooperstown would suffer from his inclusion; what do you think?


Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals


Tom Glavine, Atlanta Braves


Larry Dierker, Houston Colt .45s/Astros


Jimmie Reese, California Angels

Random Awesomeness (part 24)

Retired Numbers: #43 & #44

Another group of solid Hall of Famers, all first ballot selections for immortality.


Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants

McCovey was “the other Willie,” overshadowed by the legendary Willie Mays. However, McCovey accomplished plenty on his own. Rookie of the Year in 1959, MVP in 1969, three other top 10 finishes, 500+ homers and 1500+ RBI. This same photo was used on the Cards That Never Were blog for a custom ’81 Donruss card.


Dennis Eckersley, Oakland A’s


Hank Aaron, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves


Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Brewers


Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees

IT’S FRIDAY!!! (part 10)

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ would sound so good as a blues song”? Yeah, me neither. But someone did…

Retired Numbers: #41 & #42

Everyone knows that #42 is retired league-wide for Robinson, and will probably be retired by the Yankees when Mariano Rivera hangs it up, but there is another who wore #42.


Bruce Sutter, St. Louis Cardinals

I’ve never been shy about my disdain toward the relief pitcher position, but my angst is directed more at the middle reliever than the closer. A legitimate position that deserves to be recognized by the Hall of Fame voters, and perhaps no one epitomized the role of the dominant closer more than Sutter in the 1970s and 80s. Though his career was relatively short (12 seasons), he was able to compile 300 saves while being named to six All-Star squads. He won the Cy Young Award in 1979 with the Cubs, and received votes in four other seasons. If it weren’t for relievers like Sutter, we might not have guys like Rivera today.


Eddie Mathews, Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves


Tom Seaver, New York Mets


Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

Retired Numbers: #39 & #40

We skip over #38, which has not been retired by any major league team yet.


Don Wilson, Houston Astros

Tragedy is the theme with several of these retired numbers, and Wilson is no different. During his career, he was an All-Star and pitched two no-hitters. His second no-hitter came against the Reds at Crosley Field, one day after Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney no-hit the Astros. Has that ever happened before?

The tragedy comes with Wilson’s death in 1975. He was found in the passenger seat of his car, with the motor running, in his garage. His son, who was inside the house, also perished from the fumes, and his wife and daughter both slipped into comas. The death was ruled accidental.


Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers


Danny Murtaugh, Pittsburgh Pirates

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