Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Wednesday (But It Feels Like Monday)

Tonight on CBS Led Zeppelin receives The Kennedy Center Honors, along with fellow honorees Actor Dustin Hoffman, Talk Show Host David Letterman, Chicago Blues Legend Buddy Guy and Ballerina Natalia Makarova. (I never really got the whole concept of ballet ... instead of recruiting a bunch of young girls and then making them painfully dance on their tippy-toes, why not just hire taller girls in the first place?!?!?)

Watching President Obama salute hard-rockin' / hard-livin' Led Zeppelin is priceless ... as is Ray Romano's line about losing his virginity "to the first two minutes of 'Stairway To Heaven'". (Romano is there to "induct" David Letterman). All in all, it should be a pretty entertaining show (and a rare chance to see Led Zep reunite for a performance, apparently part of an all-star jam that also features The Foo Fighters.) Zeppelin is all over the radio again thanks to the recent release of "Celebration Day". (Can you turn on the radio today and NOT hear "Kashmir"???) The program airs at 9 pm Eastern / 8 pm Central.  

re:  WRAPPING UP CHRISTMAS  (Pun Intended):

Every year we make it a point to buy one new Christmas Album to add to our already massive collection. This year I opted for Rod Stewart's latest release and couldn't have been more pleased. (Frannie was pushing for Michael Buble ... so we may still have to pick that one up, too!) Stewart's voice lends itself perfectly to these Christmas classics (one of which just happens to be a duet with Buble). Whether a lushly orchestrated ballad or an up-tempo tune, Rod is in perfect step on this LP ... highly recommended.   

And then our daughter brought along both the Cee Lo Green and the Blake Shelton Christmas CD's. These are two more excellent collections of holiday music. As two of the coaches on The Voice, these two already hugely-popular artists have skyrocketed out of the stratosphere with their fan base these past couple of years. (Ah, the power of television) Cee Lo manages duets with Voice Coach Christina Aguilera, the aforementioned Rod Stewart ... and The Muppets!!! ... while Blake teams up with Buble (on a reworked Christmas version of their shared hit "Home"), wife Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire (now calling herself simply "Reba") and inaugural American Idol Superstar Kelly Clarkson.  Both CDs make for enjoyable holiday listening.  

And finally, here's a great Oldies Music Fan / Christmas decorations idea for next year ... 
Get a bunch of your friends together and have each one kick in a crisp one hundred dollar bill ... then take those bills and neatly fold them and wrap them together, fashioning them into a round, circular Christmas ornament ... which you can now proudly display as "A Wreath of Franklins"!!!   

re:  MOVIES:
Still fighting my annual Christmas cold (I swear I cannot remember the last Christmas when I wasn't sick!!!), we took things rather easy over the four day weekend ... and rented a couple of movies we had been wanting to see for a while.  Man, what a MAJOR disappointment!!!  

(On a scale of 1 - 10, we give it a "2") 
Don't bother ... do yourself a favor and watch the 90 second trailer ... it represents the ONLY 90 seconds of this entire film that are worth watching, save their knock-out performance of the Bruno Mars tune "Just The Way You Are" ... and, rather than sit through the first 75 minutes just to see that, watch it on YouTube instead:
(We give it a "3" on a scale of 1 - 10) 
No surprises here ... one of the slowest moving, boring, most predictable movies we've seen in a long, long time (with no real pay-off at the end.) I wonder if they have to use special mic-ing techniques to record Clint Eastwood's voice these days ... it's barely a whisper throughout most of this snorefest.  Don't waste your time on this one.  

On the PLUS side ... 
XFINITY just added Season 4 of "Damages" to their On Demand line-up ... we ran through all ten episodes in three days ... and after each episode ended, we couldn't wait to watch the next one.   It was that compelling.

Ironically, it had a bit of a "Homeland" feel to it (another one of our "Can't Miss" television favorites), except Season Four of "Damages" actually ran BEFORE "Homeland" hit the airwaves. VERY well done ("Damages" has always excelled ... and we truly missed it when it switched over to DirecTV ... now we can't wait for Season Five to become available.) When did the quality of TV Dramas start blowing away the movies?!?!? It seems that lately television consistently provides better entertainment than anything we shell out big bucks to see in a theater ... and more and more big name actors are making their way to the small screen because that's where all the good stuff is at!  

I cannot help but wonder ... 
Why is "The Glee Project" ten times more interesting and entertaining than the actual program "Glee" itself???  Ryan Murphy, you've lost your way ... it isn't "fun" anymore.   

Never a day goes by that we don't hear "Take The Long Way Home", "Goodbye Stranger" and / or "The Logical Song" by Supertramp. In fact, odds are pretty good that you'll hear all three of these tracks during the course of the listening day (and quite likely that "Take The Long Way Home" will come up more than a few times). Throw in "Give A Little Bit" and an occasional spin of "Bloody Well Right" on the Classic Rock Stations, and Supertramp is pretty well represented by Radio, circa 2012.   

But you never seem to hear their 1982 Top Ten Hit "It's Raining Again". It's like life for the band stopped after the mega-successful "Breakfast In America" hit the charts in 1979 ... but nothing could be further from the truth.   

Supertramp scored four more Top 40 Hits in the '80's ... a "live" version of their earlier (1974) track "Dreamer" went to #15 in 1980, "My Kind Of Lady" hit #23 in 1983, "Cannonball" reached #28 in 1985 and Today's Forgotten Hit "It's Raining Again" peaked at #7 in 1982. (A "live" version of "Breakfast In America" also charted in 1980, stopping at #62.)   

We used to LOVE all of this Supertramp music ... but radio overkill has burned out our desire to listen to it  anymore. So why not mix things up a little bit and throw in one of these '80's tunes once in a while. They're all legitimate hits ... and it SURE would break the monotony of the same old / same old button-pushing-inducing diet you're feeding us now!  (kk)