We’re already almost a month into 2016. How is that even possible? Despite the fact that the new year is already a few weeks old, I’m not done thinking about ways to make it, and my life, better. I’m still looking for ways to improve things because modern life is stressful enough as it is. There have got to be ways to make life simpler. And happier. Much less stressful. And I think I’ve stumbled onto something that’s really gonna work. It involves how I spend my time online, whether it’s at home on the computer or anywhere on the smartphone.
It’s been a long week. Popular culture took a real hit this week with the death of David Bowie, and then actor Alan Rickman, both aged 69, both from cancer. Each in his own way created beauty with their art, and will be sorely missed. I take solace in the fact that all of the media attention will pique some curious kid’s interest, and he or she will visit a record store, or seek out a film, and be inspired to create art of their very own. Not for money, not for attention, but just because.
With the resurgence of listening to music on vinyl records, there has been a correlating explosion of information out there on how to properly care for all these new records (please don’t call them ‘vinyls’, I beg you.) So I’m starting a new series of articles I’m calling ‘Vinyl Rules’ to make it as easy as possible to care for your treasured records the right way, and without spending a ton of money. The first topic I’d like to tackle is record cleaning. If you’ve spent any time looking for old records in stores or in your grandma’s attic, you’ll see very quickly that people back in the day did not take very good care of their albums. Not at all. But with today’s expensive records, old and new, there’s no excuse not to keep them in tip-top shape, now and into the future.
As I get older, and I am definitely getting older, I find myself watching more and more documentary films. Documentary films show us the neglected corners of the world that don’t get much attention, shining a much-deserved light on the people, places, and events from the past, present and future, and give us more insight on the human condition. Documentaries have many marvelous qualities; they can educate, enrage, and inspire us. They can move us to take action to right wrongs. They can also be incredibly entertaining. What I’m saying is, I love documentaries. Given a choice between the latest box office blockbuster or an unknown little indie documentary, I’m almost always going to choose the doc. And I’ve seen two in the last week that are well worth checking out. Continue reading “BrainstemBob Approved: Two New Documentaries” »
Christmas Week! As you may or may not know, or even care, I make a Christmas Mix CD every year for cherished friends and family…This year is Year 13 for my little endeavor, and now that most of the CDs have been mailed out or dropped off, it’s time to share it with the world!
I almost forgot! I almost forgot to post the Friday Song. It’s been a hectic day; I took a long (very long) lunch break and snuck off to catch Star Wars The Force Awakens. Suffice it to say it was time very well spent. It’s good. It’s really good. I hope you get a chance to see it before the spoilers catch up with you; they are out there. It’s best seen without knowing anymore than you know right now.
I’ve reached that point in the Christmas season where all the music everywhere is starting to get to me a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics…but still. Do they really need to be playing everywhere? I don’t need to be serenaded at the gas station. The grocery store is bad enough. And I’ve also noticed, in addition to it being everywhere, the music choosers everywhere seem to be choosing versions of songs butchered by new artists rather than the much more soothing (to me) classic original versions. If I have to hear ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ it’d better be Brenda Lee singing. And if it’s not John Lennon singing ‘Happy Xmas,’ I don’t really need to hear it. No one does.