Monday, October 16, 2017

Worst Advertisement Ever?

Okay, this is embarrassing.  By now you may have heard that Google released the Pixel 2 phones a couple weeks ago.  Well, just a few days before that I happened to see this "advertisement," if you can call it that.

"Funny you should ask..."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etmUU1bs41s

Wow.  Just wow.

"What's wrong with my phone's battery?"
Hmm, well, it's a Google phone.  Not just an Android phone produced by another manufacturer, but a phone made by Google (actually contracted out to a cell phone manufacturer, or designed by Google and given "Nexus" branding).  Either way, once your phone hits 7 or 8 months old, you might get 5 hours, maybe 6, out of it at this point.  Replace the battery, right?  Nope, non-replaceable (unless you want to do surgery on your phone--which I might do, I've done it on others).  Focus on the user, right?  Nope, don't let them replace batteries.

"Why is my phone always out of storage?"
I know this one, call on me!  It's because it's a Google phone!  Don't have an expandable micro-SD card slot to add memory.

"Why does my phone take so many blurry photos?"
Maybe it's because it's a Nexus phone, by Google.  In Google's defense, I think the Pixel phones have gotten a lot better at this.

"Why is my smartphone so slow?"
Hmm, maybe because once it gets a significant operating system update it grinds to a halt.  This happens over and over and over again, with almost all of the Google phones I've had.  Hey, it could be worse, it could be a Nexus 9 tablet that barely functions anymore after its updates.

"Why is my smartphone so hot?"
Is it because it's a Google phone?  Yep.


I could go on, but you get the point.  This ad is CRAZY.  How do you expect to sell phones when you remind people why they hate your past and present phones???  Just crazy.


Maybe Apple has these problems, too, but you don't see them running ads that remind people of those issues.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Song of the Day: Romeo Santos - Un Vuelo A La, ft. Jessie Reyez

If you thought the previous Jessie Reyez song was powerful, here's another one!

Romeo Santos - Un Vuelo A La (Audio) ft. Jessie Reyez
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNgbH2wZG5I



Lyrics, in English and Spanish, from Musixmatch.com:
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Romeo-Santos-feat-Jessie-Reyez/Un-Vuelo-A-La/translation/english

Lyrics not shown here, since they didn't paste correctly.  Click the link for side-by-side Spanish and English lyrics.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Song of the Day: Jessie Reyez - Figures

I love the raw emotion of this song.  Wow.

Jessie Reyez - Figures
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxLUj1Mrars



Lyrics, from AZLyrics.com:
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jessiereyez/figures.html

Jessie Reyez
"Figures"

Figures
I gave you ride or die and you gave me games
Love figures
I know I'm crying cause you just won't change
Love figures
I gave it all and you gave me shit
Love figures
I wish I could do exactly what you did

I wish I could hurt you back
Love, what would you do if you couldn't get me back
You're the one who's gonna lose
Something so special, something so real
Tell me boy, how in the fuck would you feel?
If you couldn't get me back
That's what I wish that I could do to you, you
To you, you

Figures
I'm the bad guy cause I can't learn to trust
Love figures
You say sorry once and you think it's enough
I got a lineup of girls and a lineup of guys
Begging for me just to give 'em a try
Figures
I'm willing to stay
Cause I'm sick for your love

I wish I could hurt you back
Love, what would you do if you couldn't get me back
You're the one who's gonna lose
Something so special, something so real
Tell me boy, how in the fuck would you feel?
If you couldn't get me back
That's what I wish that I could do to you, you
To you, you

Figures

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Where Should We Begin? (Esther Perel)

Esther Perel has been one of my favorite counselors/speakers for a while now.  She is so practical and direct.  I heard her speak recently, and she blew me (and the rest of the audience) away.  I was fortunate enough to meet her, and get an autograph.

She said she had a new podcast series that she had just produced.  I think she said it was going to be released soon (October '17?), but that it was already available on Audible.  Well, turns out it's also available on YouTube.

These audio files are excerpts from actual counseling sessions.  They are powerful and impactful to me because I have been through similar counseling.  This is amazing stuff, pure gold.  One of the comments (to episode 6) described it well, in my opinion:
Esther Perel is a saint, she's amazing. As a social worker, I wish had at least half of the compassion, understanding, and patience that she exhibits in these sessions.  Such touching, moving, funny, and heartbreaking sessions. I would say the best way to describe "Where Should We Begin" as raw and real. Thank you, Esther I need to introduce my partner to your concepts and ideas

I believe listening to these recordings is time well-spent for anyone in a relationship, or anyone who wants to be in a relationship--that is, for just about everybody!


Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #1 I've Had Better
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1QGarbxe5E

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #2 Motherless Women
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glwm_oXFHM0

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #3 Speak to Me in French
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC9fVYWBwt8

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #4 The Addict
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQTQHeU9y8c

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #5 Impotent Is No Way to Define a Man
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6PZV3bluxg


Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #6 There's You There's Me and There's Us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHiV0Xc3TG0

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #7 Tell Me I'm Not Alone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do4ldatw5FI

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #8 Sexlessness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILhy04rZE4

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #9 Trauma Doesn't Like to Be Touched
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaaytLbtD-A

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Book #10 I Can't Give You a Child
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6G5zaJQ6MI


And there is a lot more material from Esther Perel out there as well.  All of it that I have heard is fabulous.  Here are two podcasts where she was a guest.

Art of Charm podcast: Esther Perel | Mating in Captivity (Episode 410)
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6J9KyiOhbk

Esther Perel Interview | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu-sCM0eXaw



Update, October 11, 2017, with more podcasts:

Another episode of the Tim Ferriss show:
Intimacy, Emotional Baggage, Relationship Longevity, and More – Esther Perel

Lewis Howes School of Greatness podcast:
Esther Perel - THE TRUTH ABOUT INFIDELITY, INTIMACY, AND LOVE



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Song of the Day: K'NAAN - Wavin' Flag

It's been way too long since I've posted.  So let's start with a little celebration.  Heard this song at a conference, the "Summit of Greatness" by Lewis Howes.  Look him up, listen to his podcast.

Anyway, Lewis chose this music to introduce the speakers at the conference.  Very upbeat welcomes, I must say!  Truly set the tone, so I hope to do that for you now, my seven* readers.

K'NAAN - Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTJSt4wP2ME

K'NAAN - Wavin' Flag ft. will.i.am, David Guetta
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amXeJrA-wDc



* estimated.     :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Song of the Day: Stars - We Called It Love

You, my seven* listeners, know how much I love this band.  Here's the latest reason.  Enough said.

Stars - We Called It Love
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEAkwnHiJBw



* estimated

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Song of the Day: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Fatal Gift

Great new song from Emily Haines of Metric (among other projects).  Like most of the songs I post here, I love the vibe.  Interesting message, too.

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Fatal Gift
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpzWahhF72o


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Song of the Day: Shakira - Amarillo

Yet another song by Shakira from her new album.  Here's a fun, uplifting song.  Yes, I love the vibe of this one, too!

"Shakira - Amarillo (Audio)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoNIR8bGSEg



Lyrics, from Lyrics Translate:
http://lyricstranslate.com/en/yellow-lyrics.html

Spanish

Amarillo

¿Qué será lo que fabricas tú?
¿Lo que te hace tan especial?
Cuando hablo o pienso en tí
Es imposible ser imparcial
 
No es un daño de la percepción
Tampoco falta de sentido común
Te haz vuelto todo y más alla
El mundo lo sabe, no es ningún tabú
 
Es tan irreal
Lo que me hace extrañarte así cuando no estás
Lo que me hace idolatrarte así, es todo tú
Estoy perdida, vivo anclada casi como un pájaro a su cielo azul
T'estimo
 
Amarillo, me tienes en los bolsillos
Morado, ya me olvidé del pasado
En rojo, por que me sangran los ojos de llorarte
Cuando no estás a mi lado
Celeste, cuésteme lo que me cueste
Dorado, por que no pienso perderte
Tu amor es un arcoiris de colores
Y me muero por tenerte
 
Amarillo, me tienes en los bolsillos
Morado, ya me olvidé del pasado
En rojo, por que me sangran los ojos de llorarte
Cuando no estás a mi lado
Celeste, cuésteme lo que me cueste
Dorado, por que no pienso perderte
Tu amor es un arcoiris de colores
Y me muero por tenerte
 
Es delicioso verte llegar
Ver los efectos que causas, tú
Con tu sonrisa angelical llenas la habitación de luz
Solo en ti encuentro satisfacción
Hay tanto por descubrir aún
Es todo una dulce confusión
Y tu piel es la plenitud
 
Eres irreal
Lo que me hace enamorarme cada día mas
Lo que me hace adorarte así, es todo tú
Estoy perdida, vivo anclada casi como un pájaro a su cielo azul
T'estimo
 
Amarillo, me tienes en los bolsillos
Morado, ya me olvidé del pasado
En rojo, por que me sangran los ojos de llorarte
Cuando no estás a mi lado
Celeste, cuésteme lo que me cueste
Dorado, por que no pienso perderte
Tu amor es un arcoiris de colores
Y me muero por tenerte
 
Amarillo, me tienes en los bolsillos
Morado, ya me olvidé del pasado
En rojo, por que me sangran los ojos de llorarte
Cuando no estás a mi lado
Celeste, cuésteme lo que me cueste
Dorado, por que no pienso perderte
Tu amor es un arcoiris de colores
Y me muero por tenerte
 
Es tan irreal
Lo que me hace enamorarme cada noche más
Lo que me hace adorarte así, es todo tú
Estoy perdida, vivo anclada casi como un pájaro a su cielo azul
T'estimo



English translation

Yellow

What will you make?
What makes you so special?
When I talk or think of you
It's impossible to be impartial
 
It's not a damage of perception
There is also no lack of common sense
You've become everything and beyond
The world knows, it's not taboo
 
It's so unreal
What makes me miss you like this when you're not
What makes me idolize you like this is all you
I'm lost, I live anchored almost like a bird to its blue sky
I love you
 
Yellow, you got me in my pockets
Purple, I forgot the past
In red, because my eyes bleed from crying
When you aren't by my side
Light blue, take what it costs me
Gold, why won't I lose you?
Your love is a rainbow of colors
And I'm dying to have you
 
Yellow, you got me in my pockets
Purple, I forgot the past
In red, because my eyes bleed from crying
When you aren't by my side
Light blue, take what it costs me
Gold, why won't I lose you?
Your love is a rainbow of colors
And I'm dying to have you
 
It's delicious to see you arrive
See the effects that causes, you
With your angelic smile you fill the room with light
Only in you I find satisfaction
There is so much to discover yet
It's all sweet confusion
And your skin is the fullness
 
You are unreal
What makes me fall in love more and more
What makes me worship you like this is all you
I'm lost, I live anchored almost like a bird to its blue sky
I love you
 
Yellow, you got me in my pockets.
Purple, I forgot the past
In red, because my eyes bleed from crying
When you aren't by my side
Light blue, take what it costs me
Gold, why won't I lose you?
Your love is a rainbow of colors
And I'm dying to have you
 
Yellow, you got me in my pockets
Purple, I forgot the past
In red, because my eyes bleed from crying
When you aren't by my side
Light blue, take what it costs me
Gold, why won't I lose you?
Your love is a rainbow of colors
And I'm dying to have you
 
It's so unreal
What makes me fall in love more every night
What makes me worship you like this is all you
I'm lost, I live anchored almost like a bird to its blue sky
I love you

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Song of the Day: Shakira - Nada

Another song by Shakira.  I love the vibe in this one, even though it's sad.   :(

"Shakira - Nada (Audio)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZKnEamh8mI


Lyrics, from Lyrics Translate:
http://lyricstranslate.com/en/nothing-lyrics.html-1

Spanish

Nada

Voy caminando sobre un mar de hojas secas
Vuelan los ángeles sobre Berlín
Van entonando junto a mí un aleluya
Mientras la lluvia cae dentro de mí

Extraño tu voz
Estoy en tierra de nadie
Me falta hasta el aire
De espaldas al sol
Pasa otro día sin tí

No sirve de nada llegar aún más lejos
Ni toda la fama, ni todo el dinero
No sirve de nada si no estás conmigo
Y la soledad se me clava en los huesos
No sirve de na ah-ah nada
Na ah, ah nada
Oh, oh na-a-a-da no, oh
Na-a-a-da
No, no, no, no

Nadie adivina que depara el destino
Nuestro camino aún esta a medio hacer
Tiro mi bolso Chanel del varrio chino
Al suelo mojado y me lanzo a correr

Extraño tu voz
Me hace falta tocarte
Olerte, mirarte...
De espaldas al sol
Acaba otro dia sin ti...

No sirve de nada llegar aún más lejos
Ni toda la fama, ni todo el dinero
No sirve de nada si no estás conmigo
Y la soledad se me clava en los huesos
No sirve de na ah, ah nada
Ah, ah nada
Oh, oh na-a-a-da no oh

No sirve de nada llegar aún más lejos
Ni toda la fama, ni todo el dinero
No sirve de nada si no estás conmigo
Y la soledad se me clava en los huesos
No sirve de na ah, ah nada
Ah, ah, ah nada
Oh, oh na-a-a-da no, oh
Na-a-a-da
No, no, no, no


English translation

Nothing

I'm walking on a sea of dry leaves
Angels fly over Berlin
They are singing along with me a hallelujah
While the rain falls inside of me

I miss your voice
I'm in no man's land
I'm missing the air
Back to the sun
Spend another day without you

It doesn't help to get even further
Not all fame, not all money
It's no use if you're not with me
And the loneliness is stuck in my bones
It's no use
Ah, ah nothing
Oh, oh no-o-o-thing no, oh
No-o-o-thing
No, no, no, no

No one guesses what destiny holds
Our way is still half done
I throw my Chanel bag that made in China
To the wet floor and I run

I miss your voice
I'm in no man's land
Hide, look at you...
Back to the sun
Finish another day without you...

It doesn't help to get even further
Not all fame, not all money
It's no use if you're not with me
And the loneliness is stuck in my bones
It's no use
Ah, ah nothing
Oh, oh no-o-o-thing no, oh

It doesn't help to get even further
Not all fame, not all money
It's no use if you're not with me
And the loneliness is stuck in my bones
It's no use
Ah, ah, ah nothing
Oh, oh no-o-o-thing no, oh
No-o-o-thing
No, no, no, no

Friday, May 26, 2017

Song of the Day: Shakira - When a Woman

Shakira is releasing a new album today.  So allow me to post a couple new songs!

First song, not sure how to describe it.  I think it describes something deep and important to understand about the best women.

"Shakira - When a Woman (Audio)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4BqP-uF_sw



Lyrics:
https://lyricsfa.com/2017/05/17/shakira-when-a-woman-lyrics/

Shakira – When a Woman Lyrics
Album : El Dorado

When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man

Manipulate and cause you pain
But lift you up when you’re hurting
Screamed goodbye, left when you cried
And buckle the tears when [?]
I felt it deep inside of me
Like an explosion of crazy
All of this, all you give
I feel it deep

‘Cause only a woman can get this dark
Only a woman can cause these scars
Only a woman can love this hard
Only a woman
Yeah, when this woman loves a man
She’ll take you to hell and back
Take you to hell and back

When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Only a woman is supposed to love a man
When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Oh-oh

Don’t need to hear my apologies
You’re being so damn complicated
The ups and downs, the outs and ins
It’s what it is

‘Cause only a woman can get this dark
Only a woman can cause these scars
Only a woman can love this hard
Only a woman
Yeah, when this woman loves a man
She’ll take you to hell and back
Take you to hell and back

When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Only a woman is supposed to love a man
When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Oh-oh

And even when you won’t admit
You know you’re gonna need
To be next to the only woman who can make you feel that kind of fire
No, you won’t get tired
And when you think it’s all I got
I’ll bring it up a notch
I’ll take you on a crazy ride, you’ll never get enough
Baby, I’m your girl
And this is how I show my love

‘Cause only a woman can get this dark
Only a woman can cause these scars
Only a woman can love this hard
Only a woman
Yeah, when this woman loves a man
She’ll take you to hell and back
Take you to hell and back

When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Every woman is supposed to love a man
When a woman, when a woman loves
When a woman, when a woman loves a man
Only a woman, only a woman knows
Oh-oh

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Is YouTube good or bad for the music industry?

Although it's been a while you, my seven readers*, know that I'm fascinated by certain aspects of the music industry.  I'm old enough to remember 8-track tapes, cassettes, CDs, iPods, etc.  Even records, both LPs (and EPs) and singles.  I remember changing settings from 33 1/3 to 45 rpm on a record player, so I know what a "45" is.  I know what a "B-side" is on a record.  I remember having to buy aftermarket CD players for my cars because the auto industry was 10 years behind everyone else, still installing cassette players long after people had switched to CDs.  (Acura quoted me $800 to add a CD player to my old Integra, and I told them they were high--in more ways than one!)  I downloaded lots of music via Napster (on a 56k modem!!!) back in the day.  Lots of obscure references.  Anyway, I digress.

The ways that we can get music nowadays fascinates and delights me.  I can dial up a song by an artist I just heard about and listen in seconds, via YouTube among other ways.  I think there is a perception that YouTube is bad for the music industry, because people may tend to go there and listen to music, and not buy the music.

I don't agree with that view.  I look back to how I used Napster.  I'd set it up to download songs overnight and maybe in the morning I'd have 3-5 new songs (seriously) to listen to.  If I liked the artist(s) I'd go out and actually buy CDs.  Basically, my use of Napster resulted in increased music industry revenue, because I wouldn't have bought those albums without hearing the artist first.  I also went to a lot more concerts by bands I'd have never heard of otherwise.  I continue to both buy more obscure/less popular music and go to many more concerts to this day, using various music podcasts and YouTube to listen to new music.  Point is, new technologies can help or hurt musicians, just depends how you use them.

So, what prompted this rant?  This article, on the Google Blog, also known as The Keyword:
"What is YouTube’s role in the music industry?" by Simon Morrison
https://blog.google/topics/google-europe/youtube-role-music-industry/

In the article Google references a study they commissioned to look at the impact of YouTube on the music industry.  It looks like the study looks at European listeners (UK, France, Germany, Italy).  You may dismiss this study as biased towards Google, who paid for it, but I happen to agree with it, based on my personal observations.

It is worth noting that there are five sections of the study, only the first of which has been released thus far.  Future sections also look interesting:
● In this first note, we consider the evidence of cannibalisation by YouTube of other legitimate music  services.
● In our second note, we consider evidence on the patterns of growth of different platforms over time, namely audio streaming and video streaming platforms.
● We then consider the evidence of a potential promotional effect of YouTube on other legitimate music services.
● In our fourth note we consider the value for consumers arising from YouTube’s music video offering.
● Our fifth note draws these empirical findings together and consider the direct value for the music industry.

I won't quote too much of the study, because what is posted online is already a very easy to read summary.  But I'll highlight this much:
Without YouTube, 85% of time spent listening to YouTube would be lost or shifted to lower or similar value channels
That is, if people couldn't listen to music on YouTube most people would not go out and buy the music.  Rather they would shift to other services that provided less revenue (including piracy) or simply not listen at all.  See Figure 2 in the study.

Furthermore, the study looked at the effect of blocking songs from being shown on YouTube:
We conclude that tracks that are blocked on YouTube typically do not perform better on  streaming  platforms  than  tracks  that  remain  available  on  YouTube.
Basically, blocking a song on YouTube does not result in more revenue to the industry through other, more profitable channels.  People don't switch, they just don't listen to that song, so there is no cannibalization by YouTube of other music services.



I think this is an illustration of the different ways people tend to look at the world.  The Keyword (Google Blog) summary says it best:
The cumulative effect of these findings is that YouTube has a market expansion effect, not a cannibalising one. 
That is to say: It's not a zero-sum game!  YouTube doesn't grab a piece of a fixed-size pie, rather it grows the pie.  YouTube grows the market.

I admit, I see the world through my own eyes, and I'm biased to think my view is the correct view.  Having said that, this study matches my personal beliefs and experiences.  I, for one, am very happy to be able to dial up most any song I care to at a moment's notice.


* estimated

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Song of the Day: Billy Joel - All For Leyna

I was fortunate enough to attend a Billy Joel concert again about a week ago, on Friday, April 28.  It's been a while.  Last time I saw Billy Joel play was ... almost 27 years ago.  Yes, I feel old.   :)

I looked it up, based on an old t-shirt I had.  Shirt was from Billy Joel's "Storm Front" tour, back in 1990, so that helped me narrow down the date.  Set list was not available, but this is what I found:
http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/billy-joel/1990/alpine-valley-music-theatre-east-troy-wi-23c47013.html
August 11, 1990.  At Alpine Valley.  Sitting on the grass in the cheap seats, ah the memories!

In case you're wondering, yes, I wore the old t-shirt to the concert.  Yes, it still fit!  Okay, it was a little tight.  I'll spare you a visual.    :(


How was the concert?  It was GREAT.  Sound wasn't perfect in such a large venue (more on the venue later) and Joel is getting a bit older (67 now).  But he is still a fabulous performer, and check out this set list, from setlist.fm:
http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/billy-joel/2017/suntrust-park-atlanta-ga-6be60ace.html

Setlist

  1. Play Video
  2. (followed by 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game')
    Play Video
  3. (Edward Meeker cover)
    Play Video
  4. Play Video
  5. Play Video
  6. (Audience choice over "Just the Way You Are")
    Play Video
  7. (Elton John cover)
    Play Video
  8. Play Video
  9. Play Video
  10. (With The Lion Sleeps Tonight ( Solomon Linda) intro and audience choice over "An Innocent Man")
    Play Video
  11. (James Brown cover)
    Play Video
  12. (With 'Layla' piano outro)
    Play Video
  13. (Audience choice over "Leningrad")
    Play Video
  14. Play Video
  15. Play Video
  16. Play Video
  17. (Otis Redding cover)
    Play Video
  18. Play Video
  19. Play Video
  20. (With "The Mexican Connection" intro)
    Play Video
  21. Play Video
  22. Play Video
  23. (AC/DC cover) (roadie Chainsaw on vocal; Billy Joel on guitar)
    Play Video
  24. Play Video
  25. (With 'Heat Wave' (Martha and the Vandellas) interlude)
    Play Video
  26. (Giacomo Puccini cover) (Mike DelGuidice on vocal; Billy Joel on piano)
    Play Video
  27. Play Video
  28. Play Video
  29. Encore:
  30. Play Video
  31. Play Video
  32. Play Video
  33. Play Video
  34. (With 'Rock And Roll' (Led Zeppelin) Snippet)

33 songs, not all full length (like the Georgia songs).  I did keep track of the time: Joel played over two and a half hours, 2:35 or so by my watch.  Definitely gave the fans a solid show.


Joel seemed to have fun in this concert.  He joked that he wasn't going to play any "new shit" that we hadn't heard before.  He played many songs from Georgia artists.  He let a band member sing Nessun Dorma.  He let one of his roadies sing Highway to Hell.  And he gave several song choices, chosen based on applause, during the evening.

Song choice #1 was "Vienna" instead of "Just The Way You Are."  I voted for Vienna on this one, easy call.  On the way out after the concert I heard one woman complain, sad and confused, asking why the audience didn't want to hear "Just The Way You Are." Duh: It's because we wanted to listen to listen to the better song.

Song choice #2 was "The Longest Time" over "Innocent Man."  I voted for "The Longest Time" without hesitation.

Song choice #3 was "And So It Goes" over "Leningrad."  I didn't have a strong applause vote here, mildly preferring "And So It Goes."  I think this is the where Joel joked with the audience this was a slow one and not many in the audience would know it, so now would be a good time to go to the bathroom!

So my choice won all three times.  Yay!   :)

Here is a review of the concert, from the local paper, AJC.com:
"Concert review and photos: Billy Joel gives master class in pop music at first SunTrust Park show"
http://music.blog.ajc.com/2017/04/29/concert-review-and-photos-billy-joel-gives-master-class-in-pop-music-at-first-suntrust-park-show/

Final line in the review sums it up perfectly: "This was a master class in the essentials of pop music longevity."

My favorite parts of the concert were most of the songs from Glass Houses and The Stranger.  Least favorite parts?  The songs from 52nd Street.  Not sure why, I've always found that to be my least liked Billy Joel album.

Favorite songs during the night?
  • All For Leyna
  • Vienna
  • Miami 2017 (seems fitting, now that we're in 2017 .... and by the way, wasn't 2017 way in the future???)
  • Only The Good Die Young (always fabulous)
  • You May Be Right
Really a strong finish, I think.


Speaking of SunTrust Park, how was it?  How was the brand-spanking new home of the Boston Milwaukee Atlanta Cobb Braves.  To be honest, I was underwhelmed.  I was not impressed.  This is what my tax money was stolen for?  The stadium has a generally cruddy, unfinished look about it.  Ugly concrete and narrower-than-expected walkways.  Concessions with very inefficient layouts and lines that completely block movement.  Honestly, Turner Field seems nicer to me (I was never bothered by its location, would take MARTA).  SunTrust Park is not an improvement from what I saw.

Here is how it was described on AJC.com:
Billy Joel show prompts mixed reviews of SunTrust Park as concert venue
http://music.blog.ajc.com/2017/04/29/billy-joel-show-prompts-mixed-reviews-of-suntrust-park-as-concert-venue/

The article itself is weak, doesn't give any real feel for the park.  But do yourself a favor and read the comments to get the full story, good and bad.

I agree with this one:

I look forward to going to a Braves game ... as soon as they move back to Turner Field OR they build a MARTA line out to SunTrust Park. Before that, no way. No way. A completely unnecessary venue. Guess it made a pile of a money for half-a-dozen millionaires. (and the villains in the government of course) Everyday fan ... screwed again.
On a positive note, the park may be just fine, with its narrow concourses and poor access, for the 20,000 or so fans that might attend Cobb Braves games.


Okay, now that all that is out of the way, here is one unexpected song from the concert.  It's one of my all-time favorite Billy Joel songs.  Never a hit, just a great song on a great album (Glass Houses, one of Joel's best, along with The Stranger, in my opinion).

Billy Joel - All for Leyna
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzE1-NlOthY

I've seen other set lists where Joel did not play this song in recent concerts, choosing "Sleeping With The Television On" instead, another one of my favorites.  Another similar (in my mind) song is "I Don't Want To Be Alone Anymore."  Both are also on Glass Houses--can you see why it's at the top of the list of Billy Joel albums?  All capture certain vibes about relationships.  More obsessive/negative with All For Leyna, more realistic/regretful with Sleeping With The Television On, and more optimistic/hopeful with I Don't Want To Be Alone Anymore.


Regardless of the stadium issues (some degree of which were to be expected for such high attendance), it was a great concert, a trip down memory lane.  Thanks, Billy.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Earth Overshoot Day?

Fascinating article about how many people the earth can support.  Are we depleting resources faster than we can replenish them?  Are we ultimately looking at some sort of mass extinction as a result?

Perhaps the discussion of climate change is missing the main point.  Maybe we should be thinking more generally about the carrying capacity of the earth.

And what's the deal with Australians living more extravagantly than we are here in the U.S.?   :)

Earth Overshoot Day, by Rick Mills
http://aheadoftheherd.com/Newsletter/2017/Earth-Overshoot-Day.htm






Monday, April 3, 2017

Song of the Day: Buddy Mercury on the Piano

This makes me smile EVERY TIME.  How many videos can you say that about?

"Buddy Mercury Sings! Funny and cute beagle who plays piano!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6nhSDAKRj8

And another one:
"Buddy Mercury Up Close & Personal Singing Beagle Basset Hound Mix!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVr6c3g8lxY

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Who the hell needs a newspaper anymore?

So maybe you heard about a little bridge collapse here in Atlanta recently.  Ouch, that will NOT help our traffic situation. Anyway, I was browsing around the internet, looking at stories about the incident and I came across this, from the Atlanta Urinal Constitution, online at www.ajc.com:

"I-85 bridge collapse: First-time riders hit MARTA"
http://www.ajc.com/news/bridge-collapse-first-time-riders-hit-marta/VdtM99dIJmR2aXWtDIByfL/
She'd always wanted to ride Marta to her job, about a mile away from the station on the Glenridge Connector. Now, thanks to Thursday night's I-85 bridge collapse, she was going to have to. Unwilling to battle traffic out of the city in the midst of the disaster, she'd dinner a pair of tennis shoes, consulted a Marta map and, after one false start when she got on the wrong train, was ready to walk the rest of the way to he job a little before 8 a.m.  [italics are mine]
You have got to be kidding me.  That's what a professional journalist wrote???  No thank you.  That is pathetic.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Song of the Day: Nana Fofie - Mad Over You Mashup

What a great vibe in this song, just perfect.

"Nana Fofie - Mad Over You Mashup"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaZ2GOPpMU8


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quote of the Day: e. e. cummings on Courage

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
e. e. cummings

Friday, March 24, 2017

Song of the Day: Phoebe Bridgers - Smoke Signals

Another new singer, another great vibe.

Smoke Signals, by Phoebe Bridgers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAKg267JgBE

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Song of the Day: Farina - Copas de Vino

New singer.  The "next Shakira"?  Love the vibe in her music.

Copas de Vino - Farina [Video Oficial]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIV3WusvaRw


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Government Sucks

Okay, I need to vent today.  Government sucks.  What a bunch of scammers.  Braves stadium deal rammed through, screw the taxpayers.  And now another "Ed-SPLOST" here in Cobb County, Georgia.  Bunch of fake, pretend conservatives.  They make me sick.

I had no idea there was an election coming up, and then I saw one or two signs last week talking about the Education SPLOST, vote yes for our kids or some such crap.
Ed-SPLOST V
Why do we still need SPLOST?
Because  Cobb's  learning  environments  and  infrastructure require ongoing maintenance and to continue providing the most effective instructional resources for Cobb students.
Ed-SPLOST I (1999-2003) and Ed-SPLOST II (2004-2008) were responsive  to  years  of  rapid  population  growth,  providing for construction of 21 new schools, 1,982 new classrooms and funding a myriad of capital improvements.
When  enrollment  trends  flattened  after  2008,  the  District's needs  shifted  toward  revitalization  of  outdated  facilities.  Many  Cobb  schools  are  more  than  40  years  old  and  have inadequate space and resources to best serve students.
Ed-SPLOST  III  (2009-2013)  and  Ed-SPLOST  IV  (2014-2018) focused  on  giving  new  life  to  existing  facilities,  replacing some  of  the  oldest  and  least  efficient  school  buildings  and refreshing     the     District's     technology     resources     and    
infrastructure.
Ed-SPLOST V (2019-2023) will concentrate on construction of new classrooms with the goal of housing approximately 2000 new  students  projected  to  enter  the  District  within  the  next five  years.  Ed-SPLOST  V  will  also  continue  to  focus  on modernizing the District’s older schools and facilities
There is absolutely nothing "special purpose" about this spending.  This is all spending that should be part of a normal operating budget.

Furthermore, how is it "special purpose" funding if it has been going on continuously since 1998?

Worst of all is the timing.  This shows beyond a doubt how dishonest they are.  This SPLOST is supposed to start in 2019.  2 0 1 9!!!  So why pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a special election now, in early 2017???  Why not hold it during an election when there are other races and questions on the ballot, in the Fall?  Why?  Because they don't want anyone to know about it, and they have succeeded.  When I went to vote this morning (advance voting) there was only me and one other person voting.  The place was empty.  Way different from waiting in a line outside the building during the presidential election, and the least people I have ever seen in a voting facility.  This is a disgrace.

More about how they lie to us about SPLOST:
Cobb school board calls for Education-SPLOST vote after tense meeting, by Mary Kate McGowan

Note that they are choosing to spend the extra $40 million above and beyond what they said they "needed" for their "special purpose" tax.  This shows once again that there is nothing special purpose about it.  They are mismanaging their facilities and they expect the taxpayers to pay for it.


I also found out that my blue MARTA cards are expiring.  I was told when I got my first blue card that I'd never need another one, value would never be lost.  What a bunch of fucking liars.