This Will Be Our Year -- Part I

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

2008 has been one of the most up-and-down years I've ever been through. I worked through several personal struggles and attended way too many funerals. And all this happened amid a media barrage of war, recession, layoffs, scandals, etc.

But this was also the year my wife's first novel was released. My Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, giving my great hometown a long-overdue parade. And Barack Obama's historic election gave us all hope that with hard work things can, and will, get better.

So let's ring out aught eight with this hopeful song from the Zombies great pop-rock classic Odessey and Oracle.

Tuesday Treasure 12/30


A Better Class of Playlist

I missed the first night of Hannukah and Christmas, but this week's playlist makes it in time for Kwaanza ...

Serena. Ron Rash.
This gritty and violent novel is set in Depression-era North Carolina. It's a tale of greed, as the lumber baron Pembertons battle the government-led conservationists trying to create the Great Smokies National Park. Rash's attention to details and knowledge of the rural area is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy. And with the title character, Rash has created one of literature's great evil women, one whom the Washington Post has compared to Lady MacBeth. Serena -- the book and the character -- will not be easily forgotten
Better Class of Flying Man.
This Southern California band has a lot of potential. Better Class plays a brand of atmospheric post-rock. Songs like Unbelievable You Function Here, Cornelius and Family Tree thump along, yet there's a certain amount of space, allowing the songs to breathe, which adds to the dramatic feel. With his drawn out vocals, the lead singer sounds like the Strokes' Julian Casablancas (or Ryan Adams at his most effected). If you're in the San Diego area, look for them playing live -- and let us know what you think.


Wow. Gus Van Sant's latest lived up to my very high expectations. Milk chronicles a critical era in the gay rights movement and provides insight into the political process. The acting is superb, from Sean Penn's emotionally packed title character to Josh Brolin's tortured Dan Brown.

Survival. Forest Fire.
Apparently, this Brooklyn-based group released its debut album earlier this year with the same pay-what-you-want method that Radiohead used. That's not the only thing that makes them different. This is a very weird indie-folk album that owes some debt to the Velvet Underground. Its gothic sound creaks and moans and delivers lines like -- I only want to seem good in front of the right people/My aura is yellow like a coward.

The Execution of All Things. Rilo Kiley.
Recently, eMusic made available many Saddle Creek recordings, including this classic from Jenny Lewis' band. It's subtle and it's in-your-face. A little country, a little folk and a lot of indie attitude. Some may find it pretensious, but I think it's one of the best indie recordings of the past few years.

The Cheese Monkeys. Chip Kidd
The book jacket designer's first foray into writing is a gripping, funny and, surprisingly, well-written coming-of-age tale. The book takes place over two semesters at a state college (Kidd's alma mater Penn State?) in the 1950s as a young naive college student develops his love for graphic design -- and a respect for the mad genius William Sorbeck. Kidd's second book The Learners picks up where this left off. Unfortunately, I read Learners first (see my review). As with his second novel, Monkeys also serves as a great introduction into the world of graphic design. And, as usual, Kidd has come up with a unique book design.

weekly playlist 12/26


Come on Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

Tuesday Treasure 12/23


I Don't Get It -- Cursed Band Names

Holy F--k

F--k the Writer

F--k Buttons

No, my blog doesn't have Tourrete Syndrome. And it hasn't been taken over by Sarah Silverman. (I wish!)

These are actual names of bands. Bands who are currently trying to sustain a music career. And their names don't have little asterisks, dollar signs or dashes in them.

I dont' get. Why give your band such an alienating name? You think it's cool? Well, you and your group of a dozen friends will be the only ones in on the joke. Using one of these curse words for your band name is like getting a face tattoo before a job interview. You'll get some attention, but you're not going to get the job.

Ten years from now, we wont' be talking about that great album by F--k Emos. Or the great single that F--kbomb put out. And I certainly won't wonder whatever happened to F--kface. (All band names).

It's great to turn your cheek to convention and question the etymology of words as the great George Carlin did. But if you're playing music, focus on the music. Even in this day and age of satellite radio, MySpace, Facebook and music blogging, the bands who choose this four-letter word (or a variation of it) in their name?

Well, they're just f--ked.


Breathin' Easy

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

The Austin-based Reivers came on the jangle pop scene in the early 80s. Breathing Easy comes from their final album Pop Beloved, released in 1991.

Breathin Easy - The Reivers


Distractions' Best Albums of 2008

What a weird year in rock. Guns N Roses, or I should say Axel Rose, finally releases Chinese Democracy and nobody really cares. And those aging weirdos in AC/DC (come on Angus, it's time to lose that school boy uniform, it's getting pretty creepy) release an album that's only available in Wal-Mart.

But beneath the surface, there was a lot of good music being created. I spent the last few weeks trying to figure out my Top 10 list. It wasn't easy. But here we go ...

1. Conor Oberst. Conor Oberst.
Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis recently told Blender that The Mystic Valley Band is the "sh-t." She's right. But so is the main man. Oberst sheds his Bright Eyes moniker and delivers a third straight masterpiece.
Highlights: Danny Callahan, Souled Out!, Get Well Card
Original review

2. Fate. Dr. Dog.
For the second year in a row, the Dog lands in Distractions' number two spot. These guys do their thing incredibly well. They are The Band of indie rock.
Highlights: The Breeze, The Ark
Original review

3. Wagonwheel Blues. The War on Drugs.
Bob Dylan meets Arcade Fire with a wall of guitars. This Philly band creates a unique, dramatic sound. Keep an eye on them.
Highlights: Arms Like Boulders, Taking the Farm
Original review

4. Victory Shorts. Absentee.
This group dropped their alt-country leanings and released a rocking set of love songs filled with singer Dan Michaelson's deep voice and sense of humor.
Highlights: Bitchstealer, We Smash Plates
Original review

5. The Stand-ins. Okkervil River
This companion piece to last year's Stage Names stands on its own. Lead singer Will Sheff lampoons the pretensions of the music industry.
Highlights: Pop Lie, Singer Songwriter
Original review

6. Dual Hawks. Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel.
Another great set of intelligent, mid-tempo rootsy rockers from Will Johnson, who unleashes a double disc -- each side done by one of his two bands. Give it time. If you love Neil Young and Iron and Wine, this one will grow on you.
Highlights: Twenty-four, All Your Farewells
Original review

7. Fleet Foxes/Sun Giant EP. Fleet Foxes
With its choir-like vocals and 70s folk-rock sound, the EP and debut are the two most beautiful releases this year.
Highlights:White Winter Hymnal, Your Protector
Original review for Fleet Foxes
Original review for Sun Giant

8. We Brave
Bee Stings and All. Thao
Great sophomore effort by the young indie-folkie with a wispy Chan Marshall-like voice, great lyrics, and playful arrangements.
Highlights: Swimming Pools, Geography
Original review

9. Furr. Blitzen Trapper
Woodsy rock with guitars and jams breaking out all over the place. Wilco fans, take a chance on this band.
Highlights: Furr, War on Machines
Original review

Tie. 10. Real Emotional Trash. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks.
The former Pavement leader lets loose and shreds all over the place.
Highlights: Dragonfly Pie, Real Emotional Trash, Baltimore
Original review

Tie. 10. Parc Avenue. Plants and Animals
They're a trio from Canada. They're an indie band. But they sometimes sound like a jam band. And they're awesome.
Highlights: Mercy, Good Friend
Original review

Honorable Mentions

Getting to the Point is Beside It. I Love Math
Volume 1. She & Him
Evil Urges. My Morning Jacket
In the Future. Black Mountain
Auditorium. Radar Bros


I Don't Get It -- Joe the Reader

Yes, it's that time of the year where newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. do their end-of-year book lists. You can expect to see a book list from just about everyone.

But Joe the Plumber?

Yep. And the list by Joe, aka Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, wasn't in Pump and Plungers Monthly, it was in The Economist. Not surprising, Joe's reading list leans toward the loo. His top three are Temples of Convenience—and Chambers of Delight by Lucinda Lambton, Flushed with Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper by Wallace Reyburn, and that indispensable Howard C. Massey classic The Plumber's Handbook.

Actually, I was quite surprise that his list went past #1 and #2.

But here's the bigger shocker. His other favorite book is The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises. Plumber Joe told The Economist : "It brought monetary theory into the mainstream of economic analysis. It is important reading for these troubled times."

Nothing against my plumber friends, but either Joe is pulling this out of his exposed butt crack or he's been fooling us the whole time. Is it possible that Joe wasn't really a plumber looking to start his own small business, but a front for a desperate Republican machine?

Could be. Or, as one commenter on the story wrote, he could have just confused von Mises' book with Everybody Poops.

Whatever you do, please don't buy Joe's book. Let's make sure his 15 minutes of fame are up.


Weight of the World

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

The Decemberists are back. Their Always a Bridesmaid EP collects a group of singles they released on vinyl earlier this year. And their next full-length due out next year, according to lead singer Colin Meloy, will be a rock opera about a shape-shifting animal.

Or a woman named Maria.

Or both.

A couple years back, Kill Rock Stars released a double disc of Meloy's pre-Decemberist band Tarkio. Omnibus was trademark Meloy -- several catchy, witty songs. Weight of the World, in particular, stands out. It's hard to forget lines like ... the Homeless Philharmonic singing all of Charlies Angels to their heavingly convergence in the sky.

Weight Of The World - Tarkio


Playlist FAIL!

I Can Has Cheezburger is a group that puts together several Web sites. My favorite is the FAIL Blog, a site that illustrates failure and human stupidity through pictures and videos. Check it out. It's laugh-out loud funny. And read more about the Burger empire in this cnet news feature.

Here's the rest of this week's creepy playlist:

Cold Fact. Rodriguez.
This lost psychedelic/folk-rock classic was reissued earlier this year. Cold Fact sank quickly after its release and Rodriguez left the music business. But the album became a big hit in places like South Africa and Australia. The 1970 album featured street-wise stream-of-consciousness lyrics set over interesting orchestration. If you're a fan of early Dylan and psych-rocker Arthur Lee, you should really check this out.

Giant Sand. Provisions
This boozy, meandering, Americana band is not for everyone. In fact, I gave several listens to their live 1996 release Backyard Barbecue before giving up. Something must have changed with me, because Howe Gelb and his band are still playing the same kind of raw, off-beat country rock. And I've bought into it. This is great music for those late Sunday mornings when you've got nowhere to go.

For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Chicago. Simon Baatz
One of the first crimes of the century truly did shock Chicago and the world. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed a little boy in an effort to commit the perfect crime. It's a fascinating story with a lot of major players, including Clarence Darrow, who represented the defendants less than a year before taking on the Scopes trial. The book is interesting, but way too long, especially when Baatz goes into laborious detail, particularly when setting up the legal battle.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Jeff Lindsay.

It's creepy and it's kooky. For those who haven't seen the show (that includes me) or read the book, Lindsay's Dexter is a serial killer with no emotions. But he only kills bad people. It's weird having a likable lead character who talks so passionately about things like cut body parts and drained blood. An easy, quick and fun read.


John Walker's Blues

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

Well, the horror called the Bush Administration is coming to a close. And with the end of any administration, the president has already started receiving requests for pardons. The current president has given out fewer pardons than the previous two-termers Clinton and Reagan. And most experts don't expect him to change his ways.

And I don't expect him to consider a pardon of John Walker Lindh. The young man known as the American Taliban is asking for a shorter sentence. And he deserves it. Lindh was a peaceful young man on a spiritual quest who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was also a victim of the Bushies' bloodthirsty jingoism in leading up to the Iraq War.

Steve Earl's song John Walker's Blues got some press before it came out. Once out, it sank like a stone. Few stations dared play it. It's worth another listen. Check it out on Hear This on the right-hand side of the page. Or consider buying Earle's 2002 album Jerusalem.


Playlist: Don't Wear Furr -- Listen to It

This week's Playlist ...

Furr. Blitzen Trapper.
If there is anyone who has both James Taylor and Ween on his IPod (besides me, that is), it's probably Eric Early, leader of this Oregon-based indie band. With Furr, Blitzen Trapper made an album that's more diverse, yet more consistent that last year's surprising Wild Mountain Nation. There are tons of late 60s/early 70s grooves over the whole album. Those grooves turn to groovy on the disco-like Saturday Nite. And then there's the sadly sweet ballad Not Your Lover. But there's enough harmonica, acoustic guitar and pounding piano for Trapper to hold onto its alt-country label. Early told LAist that the album is about civilization and "the impossibility of returning to nature." One of the best albums I've heard this year.

Budding Prospects. TC Boyle.
This early Boyle novel (1984) is a great introduction to his work, marked by great character development and offbeat humor. Felix, who has quit everything from college to marriage, receives an offer from his friend Vogelsang to cultivate a pot farm out in the boonies. Vogelsang has bought the land. His colleague has the horticultural knowledge. All Felix, and two others, need to do is cultivate the plants. They'll even receive instructions. After a year, they'll walk away with enough money that they won't have to work again. The plan seems simple enough, but quickly goes awry. Nature, the town and a vindictive cop all seem to be against Felix. And this time when he really should quit, he doesn't.

Everything All the Time. Band of Horses.
I don't know how this band flew under my radar (thanks for the heads-up Tom), but I'm just awed by Everything, their 2006 debut. Like Blitzen Trapper, they hail from the Pacific Northwest, they're on the SubPop label and they have alt-country leanings. But the comparisons end there. Where Furr is all fits and stops, Everything shimmers throughout. And it has an epic feel. This band probably plays great in a small club, but you can see them rocking a big stadium. It's dreamy music with a kick, as illustrated by the album's first song, titled appropriately enough The First Song. Give it a couple listens and it will grow on you.

Eastern Sounds. Yusef Lateef.

I first heard of this classic 1961 recording on the Guest Playlist author Matthew Quick did for us. Lateef brought Middle Eastern music into traditional jazz and could be considered one of the pioneers of the World Music genre. But it's serious jazz. In fact, Lateef was an influence on John Coltrane who began experimenting with Indian modes around the same time as Eastern Sounds.


I Don't Get It -- Jive Tofurkey

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!

I hope your day is filled with fun, food and family. And now that I got that crap out of the way, I have to get something off my chest. And I'm going to say it politely. Please, please,PLEASE don't anyone else ask me ever again if I'm eating Tofurkey today.

I think I understand what it would be like to be the lone Jewish kid on the block at Christmas. I would love to go through one November without a Tofurky comment. Just because I don't eat turkey or any other kind of meat doesn't mean that I feel so excluded that I'd spend a ton of money on a blend of tofu and wheat carved into the shape of a bird with four drumsticks made of tempeh.

How many foods are served during a traditional Thanksgiving dinner? I can, and will, eat most of them, including all of the desserts. But I won't eat turkey. So what? Big deal. Look, it's not as if you really care what I'm eating. I can tell by the snicker that often accompanies the question. Is it because Tofurky is a funny word, kind of like Spam. I think so. So why don't you just get it out of your system now?





There, I feel better. Do you?

So go ahead, eat your turkey. But pass the mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, veggie stuffing and the pumpkin pie. And yes, I'll have another beer, or three.


Besides Thanksgiving, it is also the first birthday for Distractions, which started last Thanksgiving with this initial post.


A Gallon of Gas

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

Do you remember the good ol' days a few months back? The economy wasn't looking so hot, but we didn't have the massive bank and credit failures yet? And there weren't all those lost jobs and the threats of many more? Remember, back when the price of gas was what we all worried about?

This week's Treasure comes from the last great Kinks album -- the 1979 Low Budget.



Playlist: Oh My Nose Takes on New Meaning

I grew up on Brady Bunch reruns. And I secretly wished I could be a real part of that fun faux family, tossing the football with Greg, riding my bike with Peter and Jan.
Oh, and I'd want to just hang out with Marcia.
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
(I'd ignore Bobby and Cindy. They were annoying.)
And I wasn't alone. Millions of kids longed to be a Brady.
That includes the actress who played Marcia -- Maureen McCormick.
The television run of the Brady Bunch was the highlight of her young life, not just because it gave her money and fame. But it gave her the only stable family she knew.
McCormick's book tops this week's Playlist, followed by a couple of musical geniuses.

Here's The Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. Maureen McCormick.
This book has been tagged as one of those gossipy tell-alls. Yes, there's quite a few good nuggets in there -- McCormick's date with Steve Martin, Florence Henderson's habit of walking around her house topless, and the pages and pages of McCormick's coke use. She details the disasterous therapy she received from the controversial Eugene Landy. Landy, our Weekly Wikipedia link, was most know for his work with Brian Wilson. And there were more nuggets we already knew -- Robert Reed's running arguments with the producers and the Greg-Marcia lusting.

As the Brady Bunch run ends, not only is McCormick looking to escape Marcia Brady, she's trying to cope with her own family's dysfunction and her mother's long-kept secret. By the time Maureen feels good about herself, strangely enough after an appearance on a celebrity weight loss show, she finds her family truly falling apart. Her mother dies and her drug-addled brother is controlling or, possibly, abusing her father. It makes for gripping reading -- something beyond the usual Hollywood bio.

Arena. Todd Rundgren.
Upper Darby's own Todd Rundgren hit 60 a few months back. But you'd never know by listening to his latest album -- the aptly titled Arena. This is loud, turned-up-to-11, fist-pumping rock, full of massive riffs that we haven't heard from Todd in almost 20 years. No doubt about it -- Todd is a musical genius. But if you haven't been following his career lately, I don't blame you. The keyboard-heavy Liars, his "interactive" persona, the bossa nova With a Twist and the embarrassing New Cars would be enough to drive any fan away. But he's back. No, this isn't another classic, but it is something you don't see much these days -- a great hard rock record.

Atmospheric Disturbances. Rivka Galchen.

When Reva comes home one day with a dog, pyschiatrist Leo Liebenstein's realizes that his younger wife has been replaced by someone who looks exactly like her. He wants to find the real Reva. A man losing his mind? Or is he involved in some strange conspiracy with groups that aim to control the weather? Although it's most likely the former, Leo winds up in Pategonia, seeking out work with the Royal Academy of Meterology and its departed leader Gal-Chen along with his patient Harvey. The use of photos of Gal-Chen (I'm guessing their photos of the author Galchen's family) lends an eery feeling to the book. I expected a little more from this clever premise. Galchen's debut novel is smart. And quite odd, though sometimes weighed down by thick prose. Still, it's worth checking out if you're an adventurous reader.

Imaginary Diseases. Frank Zappa.
There's the novelty/dirty Frank Zappa. Then there's the pure musical genius Zappa. File this under the latter. Great guitar work. An excellent10-piece band playing everything from jazz to blues with ease and originality. If you liked Frank's Grand Wazoo-era work, you'll live this live recording from that period.


Ooh Las Vegas

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

As I look out here on the bright lights of Sin City, I think about Gram Parson's ode Ooh Las Vegas, one of several great songs on his second, and last, solo album -- Grievous Angel. Sadly, Parsons' life of excess, which is what Vegas is really all about, led to his death before Grievous Angel was released.

As with all Tuesday Treasures, you can listen to the song on the right-hand side of the page on the Hear This! Playlist.


I Don't Get It -- Racist Restaurant Owner

If you ever come down to Palm Beach County, I have several great restaurants I can recommend.
And one I suggest you not go to.
That would be 264 The Grill.
While the rest of the nation was celebrating Barack Obama's historic election and basking in the glow of new politics, Patricia Gatti, the owner of this casual dining spot was practicing some old racism.
She told her mostly minority employees that if they voted for Obama, they'd be fired. And the day after the election, she wrote KKK on all their timecards, according to the Palm Beach Post. She also, reportedly, wrote White Power on memos and hung it up in several places around the kitchen.
That's the terrifying part.
Now, here's the funny part. You didn't think Gatti would own up to her actions, did you? Guess who she blamed?
Fox News.
Gatti told the Post that she "got crazy watching too much Fox News."
Remember the concern everyone had about the tone of the campaign that John McCain and Sarah Palin were conducting? Well, Fox just fed into that baloney. And this is what you get.
But then Gatti switched gears, telling the Posts' Frank Cerabino that this was all just good-natured ribbing and was never meant to be taken seriously by the help.
Oh I get it. And Ms. Gatti, when I suggested at the start of this article that people never visit your restaurant, which, again is called 264 Grill, I was just doing a little good-natured joshing. That's all.
(Insert your Sarah Palin wink here).


Speeding Motorcycle

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

Back in 1990, Yo La Tengo recorded Speeding Motorcycle, a song by the innocent, child-like Daniel Johnston for their cover-filled album Fakebook. Early that year, the band was making an appearance on New Jersey radio station WFMU. Daniel Johnston called into the station from his parent's home in West Virginia and the result is this true treasure. I particularly love Johnston's exuberance at playing the song.

This version of the song can be found on Genuis + Love = Yo La Tengo. And, as with all Tuesday Treasures, it can be found leading off the Hear Now! music playlist on the right of the page.


Playist 48 Exposes Some Knit Wits

What an incredible seven-day stretch. It was bookended by the Phillies World Series championship and Barak Obama's historic election. I also had a vacation from work for most of the days. The wife and I took a long walk on the beach (sorry to sound like a bad personal ad) from Carlin Park to Jupiter Inlet/Dubois Park, helped driver voters (OK, voter) to the polls. And we ended the great week with a kayak trip through the Intercoastal at MacArthur Beach State Park.

Here now, this week's Playlist ...

The White Tiger. Aravind Adiga.
I don't know how accurately White Tiger portrays India's caste system, but Adiga gives us a heartfelt, funny and bitter tale of class and greed. The book unfolds as a letter from Balram to the Premier of China. Balram, one of the funniest and oddest literary characters, recounts his life from the days in the hopelessly poor Darkness to his job as a driver/servant. And he explains how he became a murderer, or as he calls himself -- a social entreprenuer. Adiga's debut novel won the Man Booker Prize.

Throughout the book, Balram talks about the four great poets. One of them, Iqbal, is the focus of this week's Wikipedia link.

The World's Most Inoffensive Graffiti
All right, let's hear it for graffiti! No not the spray paint kind. The knitting kind. Yes, there is a group of urban knitters, with names such as knitta please who are doing some incredible "tags." Check it out at Deputy Dog.

Auditorium. The Radar Bros.
I just recently discovered the Radar Bros., but their sound is so familiar, I swear I've heard it before. It's no wonder they've been compared to everyone from Neil Young (hasn't everyone been compared to Shakey?) to Pink Floyd. Jim Putnam reminds me of Smog's Bill Callahan. The Radar Bros. have been tagged "slowcore", but I hear well-written California-drenched, hazy yet roots-enfused pop songs. Auditorium was released earlier this year. Check out When Cold Air Rises and Warm Rising Son on Hear This!


I Don't Get It -- CNN's George Lucas-like election coverage

I'm a big fan of MSNBC's evening lineup, especially Rachel Maddow. But I decided to do a bit of switching around Wednesday night, moving from network to network to track the election results.

I think most of the high-tech gadgetry CNN is using was pretty cool and useful, particularly the screens that were able to break down the voting by various subsections and John the Map King's pieces were actually useful, particularly as they showed how President-elect Obama outperformed John Kerry in some very red areas.

But did you see the holograms? Yes, holograms. When I saw reporter Jessica Yellin's 3D replication show up, I thought she was going to take out a light saber on Wolf Blitzer.

Seriously. Did anyone else see it? Was there any reason for it? They talk about how much money was wasted on the campaigns. How much did the hologram thing cost?

I could almost see the pain on Anderson Cooper's face as he said something he probably never thought he'd never say. "Thank you Will.I.am for taking the time to be a hologram."


Whole Lotta Love

(Tuesday Treasure is a weekly song that is unheralded, long-lost, or buried somewhere deep on an album, yet deserves another listen.)

Our inaugural Tuesday Treasure is in honor of Tina Turner's recent visit to the West Palm Beach area. Here's a little dose of Tina and Ike doing their funky version of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. Check it out -- the first song on the Hear This! over to the right.


This morning, I woke up and drove my son the student to the bus stop. My wife the writer took my other son the student to school and waved to Lori the Principal, then picked up Sandra the piano teacher. And we all went to vote.

I hope everyone today can add "the voter" after their name. If you need a reason to vote, check out Good Magazine's 1001 reasons.


Phinally ... The Best Week Ever

No Playlist this week as I've been totally immersed in the World Series. In the meantime, thanks to Jacqui and those who e-mailed me wake-up responses for my son. It's not too late to give me your suggestion. See here. I'll wrap up the contest and share all the responses next weekend.

Yes, it's been a great week, but my wife had a great day on Wednesday. See here.

As for the Phillies, this post on the 700Level did a great job of capturing my feelings.