Month: February 2011

Farewell, Corporal Buckles

Farewell, Corporal Buckles

History, People
America's last living link with World War I is gone. Frank Buckles, the oldest remaining U.S. veteran of the Great War, died yesterday at age 110. Buckles was one of only three remaining veterans of WWI throughout the world. Buckles, born in 1901, enlisted with the U.S. Army in August 1917 after being turned down by the Marine Corps and the Navy. He was only 16 years old but, like many of his era, lied about his age in order to serve his country. In fact, after being rejected by recruiters in his native Kansas, Buckles traveled to Oklahoma City and kept at it until the Army agreed to take him. He was one of more than 4.7 million Americans to sail to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. Buckles joined the First Fort Riley Casual Detachment and shipped out for England i...
Album cover of the week: Canned Wheat

Album cover of the week: Canned Wheat

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I thought I'd continue the Guess Who theme I started the other day. Here's a rather clever bit of graphic design as seen on the cover to their 1969 album Canned Wheat. It features the group's most successful lineup of Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson. The center ring for Canned Wheat, as indicated here, is "packed by The Guess Who." I tried to track down some credits for the photography/art direction but as I don't own the album that proved to be a dead end. If any Guess Who fan spots this and can provide info, please leave a comment. Related articles The Guess Who - Daily Post 2011 #15 (musicofourheart.wordpress.com)
Listening booth — “When Friends Fall Out”

Listening booth — “When Friends Fall Out”

Listening Booth, Music
Oooh, a special Saturday edition of the booth! Here's my latest song obsession, "When Friends Fall Out" by the Guess Who. This is the version that appears on the group's classic 1970 effort, American Woman. The verse portions are pretty good, if not a little standard. What really elevates this Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings tune, however, are the jazzy pre-chorus and the gorgeous chord structure and vocals in the chorus. Enjoy "When Friends Fall Out" (Bachman/Cummings) Related articles Burton Cummings in B.C. land dispute (cbc.ca) 3 reviews of The Guess Who (rateitall.com) Burton Cummings attack film at Sundance (cbc.ca)
Listening booth — “Charlie Sheen”

Listening booth — “Charlie Sheen”

Listening Booth, Music
Charlie Sheen hasn't just killed the golden goose with his most recent public rant against Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre among others, he's pissed on its corpse and lit it on fire. CBS has canceled production for the rest of the season, although they have not killed the show outright (damn!). Anyway, I can think of no better song to play right now than "Charlie Sheen" from the King's X album Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous, so here it is. Here are the lyrics, for those scoring at home: It all works out It all works out It all works out It all works out I'm waiting for a word beyond our history And paper tigers dance about within the mystery Clover of substance I can't put my finger on And stepping over sidewalk cracks I'm catching the last one The silent wa...
Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Internet, Links
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days: Cool bootleg of the week: Chicago at Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale, NY), May 20, 1977. There are two interesting things concerning this show. It was less than a year before Terry Kath's accidental suicide and the band is introduced by an up-and-coming reporter named... Geraldo Rivera! (T.U.B.E.) Yoga for Black People (YouTube) Awesomely bad stock photos/graphics of people literally surfing the web. (The Hairpin) Another blistering attack upon so-called NFL writer and hypocrite Peter King. (Deadspin) Whatcha thinkin' bout? (Know Your Meme) Five Hollywood Secrets that explain why so many movies suck, none of which mention Kate Hudson oddly enough. (Cracked) Five seconds of every #1 son
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 3

New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 3

Music
It seems like a totally foreign concept now, but there was a time when bands managed to tour and release albums on a regular basis. An album per year was standard for most acts, and some overachievers managed two per year. Now fans are lucky to get a new record every three years or so. I don't know how this started or why, but it sucks. I'd rather get a new release every year, with eight or nine songs, than these 14 or 15-song monstrosities that come out whenever a band gets around to it. Anyway, we're knee-deep in my journey through R.E.M.'s discography in case you hadn't noticed. They kept up an old-school release schedule throughout the 1980s, with a new studio recording every year from 1982 through 1988. Pretty damn impressive if you ask me. We're up to LP number three right now, Fa...
Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Music
It's just an extravaganza of music reviews on the Suit this week, no? Here's three more we didn't want to go without mentioning. The Go! Team — Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) Wow, has it really been seven years since Thunder, Lightning, Strike came out? That hardly seems possible. The Go! Team did release an album between then and now, Proof of Youth, but it never even appeared on my radar. Luckily this album did, because I like it a lot. The opening track, "T.O.R.N.A.D.O.", is a 20-megaton blast of what makes the Go! Team so fun — big beats, clever orchestration, and of course those cheerleader vocals. The fun doesn't really let up over the course of a baker's dozen tracks. While a lesser outfit might be tempted to let the layered, dense arrangements do all the heavy lift
Album review: Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean

Album review: Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean

Music
I’m not sure that it’s possible for a stylistic change to be signaled faster than Iron & Wine does on Kiss Each Other Clean. Granted, four years have passed since the last proper album from singer/songwriter Sam Beam hit record store shelves — and even that one had begun to stray from his formula of acoustic guitar and hushed vocals — but the slight departure taken with the accompaniment on The Shepherd’s Dog is nothing compared to the leap taken here. With the first few notes of opener “Walking Far From Home,” all preconceptions of what defines an Iron & Wine album are shattered. Beam is not merely going to add a few instruments to create a more fleshed out sound — he’s headed to the studio with saxophones, synthesizers, flutes, and even some vocal tweaking. While 2007’s The
What’s so funny about insurance?

What’s so funny about insurance?

Advertising
It used to be that insurance commercials were created to convey one thing above all else — a feeling of total security and warm fuzziness that Company X was going to be there for you after your house blew up or your car got flattened by a rampaging elephant. Ad campaigns from agencies like Nationwide, State Farm, and Allstate were full of sensible people making sensible decisions. The slogans drove this theme home even more succinctly: Nationwide was on your side, you were in good hands with Allstate, and so on. But somewhere along the way things changed and insurance companies decided to start getting a bit cutesy with their ads. The Aflac Duck (voiced by the unlikely pitchman Gilbert Gottfried) debuted nationally in 1999, while local companies such as Chicago-based Eagle Insuranc