Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Tannenbaum

Mrs. Angus and I wait til just before Christmas and buy a live tree which we plant afterwards. Today was the day and we got an awesome Blue Atlas Cedar. Here's the before and after:





It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas at Chez Angus.


Trilogies

Yestderday was day one of "Lie on your side and watch movies" week (10 days, according to Dr., no more than 15 mins of computer per day).

I watched the "Matrix" trilogy. Much better than I expected. Understood things that I had missed watching them piecemeal.

Today: The Sergo Leone "Spaghetti Western" trilogy--Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Tomorrow: Lord of the Rings, all three extended versions.

Sunday: I will watch all six "Star Wars" movies back-to-back-to...etc., starting with 1 and ending with six. I may not survive.

Suggestions for next week? And do NOT suggest Croc Dundee, Grease, Shrek, or and so on. You know who you are.

Bizarro World: Pat Robertson Makes Good Sense

If Pat Robertson gets this right (PAT F*&^$ng ROBERTSON!), why doesn't the government get it right? Amazing.
(Nod to Angry Alex)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Angus's 2010 Music Guide

I decided to go with a different kind of top ten list this year:

1. Great music not found on many year-end lists.

Big Troubles: “Worry” If I had to pick one work as “album of the year” this would be it. Simply fantastic. “Bite yr Tongue”, “Georgia” & “Freudian Slips” are my current favorite songs from this album, but it is an absolute monster! You can stream the whole thing here, and buy it here.


Harlem: “Hippies”. Harlem blew me away with their debut album “Free Drugs” and “Hippies” is even better. Here's a video from the album:





No Joy: “Ghost Blonde” If it wasn't for Big Troubles, this would be my record of the year. Kevin Shields should be very proud. You can buy it here, and here's a video:

2. Great music that is on many year-end lists

The National: “High Violet” I still can’t decide if I like this better than “Boxer”. I think “Boxer” is more consistently great, but the high points of “High Violet” are incandescent.

LCD Soundsystem: “This is Happening”. James Murphy outdoes himself. I loved “Sound of Silver” but have now grown to believe that “This is Happening” is even better. Not sure where Murphy can go from here.

Joanna Newsom: “Have one on me”. It’s a bit un-nerving how she keeps changing her voice, but this triple CD is a nice step forward for her.


3. Good music from old favorites

Clinic, Spoon, No Age, Teenage Fanclub, Wolf Parade, Phosphorescent & The Fall all put out very good, listenable albums. Just not their best work ever.






4. Biggest disappointments

I can’t put Arcade Fire as a disappointment; I expected them to stink it up and they did. So my two biggest disappointments are M.I.A.’s “Mia” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Age of Adz”. These are artists who’ve made some of my alltime favorite music and this year’s works are crap. Sufjan is a particularly troubling case; I guess he’s now “too good” for the kind of music he’s made in the past and wants to be a freakin’ composer or something.


5. Best 2010 discoveries of existing artists

Kurt Vile (discovered from “Eastbound & Down”). This guy is awesome! Highly recommended to buy his whole catalog and soak.

Radar Brothers (discovered by arriving unfashionably early to the Vaselines / Teenage Fanclub show in DC). The above advice also applies here.


6. Best live shows I saw in 2010

Dan Mangan / Wooden Birds

Radar Brothers / Vaselines / Teenage Fanclub.


7. Winter 2011 release I’m most looking forward to

Deerhoof: “Deerhoof vs. Evil”


8. Best re-issues

Orange Juice: “Coals to Newcastle”, and the double CD versions of Galaxie 500’s three albums.


9. Best rap/hip-hop (NB I am not an extremely qualified person here)

Earl Sweatshirt: “Earl Sweatshirt” All I can say about this is “wow”. Pretty amazing stuff.


10. Favorite artist on Twitter

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips from right up the road in OKC. You should definitely follow him.

Christmas at Chez Angus

As the big day approaches, I thought I'd share a video showing how we celebrate Christmas around here:


yeah, it's pretty much like that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grandma got run over... by my final exam?

I have often joked that grandparents should strive to keep low achieving grandkids out of college because it can be very very bad for the grandparents' health, especially around exam times. I guess the poor seniors just can't take the stress of worrying about their progeny's academic progress.

Well, it turns out that the full extent of this insidious problem has been scientifically investigated, in a classic research paper entitled "The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome and the Potential Downfall Of American Society" (ungated version available here).

Here is one of the many "shout it from the rooftops" results:

"The FDR (family death rate) is climbing at an accelerating rate. Extrapolation of this curve suggests that 100 years from now the FDR will stand at 644/100 students/exam. At that rate only the largest families would survive even the first semester of a student's college career."

New Christmas tunes from Sufjan!!

People, the best Christmas music collection ever is Sufjan Stevens' 5 cd set, "Songs for Christmas".

There is supposedly another disc recorded but not released done with members of The National.

Here is a link to two new songs from that unreleased disc.

Self-recommending.

Here is a link to more Sufjany stuff.

NB. I will be ripping Mr. Stevens pretty good in the next day or so, but the Christmas stuff is terrific.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Larry King, guest blogger


"Here's my problem with nominal GDP targeting; 5% inflation with 0% growth and 1% inflation with 4% growth are not evaluated any differently."

"Now that a judge has ruled against Obamacare, what will happen to the quantitative easing?"

"The Ben Benank should either shave or resign."


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thank you sir, may I have another?

People, it just never ends. Now a group in California is suing Mickey D's over their happy meals. It turns out that kids like them and get mad if mom says no. So mom is suing!!

I am not making this up.

Of course mom is not "just" a mom; she's an employee of a state funded vegetable advocacy group.

I am not making that up either.

Remind me again why we need lawyers?

And a Very Merry Xmas from Haus Der Mungowitz

(We like the reindeer outfit for the BMW. And before you ask, Tanzi was off camera rolling in something disgusting, so nobody wanted to grab her and get her to sit down)

Here's another tip for you all....

...the walrus ain't Paul.

And I can prove it!





Click the pic for a more glorious image. Source is here.