5 Things that Made 2016 a Little Less Shitty

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Bettman/CORBIS

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked.  A bunch of really cool people died.  A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth.  Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe.  And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.

People are scared.  I’m scared.  And we should be.

Top Ten of 2015 (These Are a Few of My Favorite Things)

topten2015Eyes blurred and head foggy, this year went by in a flurry. There was just so much to take in…everywhere…everyday, scores of great albums, great movies, great TV shows, great books, great comics, great beer, and more, more, more! So this year, rather than do a run through of my favorite records, songs, etc., I picked ten different things from pop culture that made my 2015 awesome. Though, if you are interested, you can and should check out my year-end album list, song list, and movie list. There’s some good stuff in there, I swear.

Joup Fiday Album – Dada Puzzle

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Nostalgia. This word means so much to so many people for so many different reasons. A simple photography, movie line or guitar lick can open up a world of memories of place and time once experienced for better or worse. Generally I like to remember the better but sometimes revel in the worse…maybe as we all do. In the last few weeks I’ve really tweaked my sound as a guitarist by adding a stellar early 70s twin reverb as my primary amp. My Strat and Tele have never sounded better. And then I came across a little number from 1992 entitled “Dim” on Pandora this week and everything became a little bit clearer. This week’s Friday Album is Dada Puzzle.


Again back to the early 90s? Come on Grez…surely you’ve evolved from there. I guess in some ways I have or just found a deeper appreciation for the music to which I listen for the past, um, 30 years. I did some homework on the band Dada and this is what I found:

Football Lovers Anonymous

courtesy of framedlegacy.com

courtesy of framedlegacy.com

Hi. My name is Tommy…and I’m a football fan.

Chorus: Hi Tommy.

The End of Era: Saying Goodbye to Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko at his best. (Photo: Louis DeLuca)

Paul Konerko at his best. (Photo: Louis DeLuca)


Chicago, IL – So he is retiring after this weekend. He is retiring as an all-star, as a playoff MVP and most important as a champion. He’s been around for sixteen seasons in the American League of Major League Baseball. No he is NOT a Yankee and he is not Derek Jeter. But he none other than our southside first baseman Paul Konerko.


I’m no Chicago White Sox aficionado. Yeah I know my baseball history, still play fantasy baseball (which I took 3rd this out of 10 teams to be in the money) and go to White Sox games but the sport has such a dense history that it truly is impossible to know all there is to know. I grew up more of a Cubs fan. I never disliked the Sox at all. In fact I went to quite a few games games at the original Comiskey Park. That of the old exploding scoreboard, roofed upper decks, left field patio areas and golden box seats. South siders know. I know they know.

The Sunday Song Poem #2: David Fox/Caglar Juan Singletary ‘Non-Violent Taekwondo Troopers’

 

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Throughout the course of reacquainting myself with the genre for this column, I discovered that Song Poems (or ‘Song Sharking’ as it was referred to by jaded contributors to the industry) are 100 years old this year. In celebration of the Song Poem’s centenary, it seemed fitting to showcase a modern example of the form. A few years I ago, I was surprised to find that Song Poems were still being sourced and recorded at all while watching the definitive documentary on the subject ‘Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story‘ – the stand out track from which is our chosen Song for today.

Bob Van Persie, ‘One Man – Full House’ Exhibition Private View, Richard Goodall Gallery, Manchester England, September 12th 2013

The thinking behind bringing Bob Van Persie to Manchester for his first show in the UK was presumably motivated by little more than the fact that his son Robin is presently this City’s most celebrated adopted son, after Manchester United’s number 20 unarguably singlehandedly thrust them their 20th League title. This connection is exploited further still tonight as revealed by the restrictions on this private view, tightened to the extent that every VIP invitee is admitted under a couple of strict conditions:

“1. No photography,
2. Don’t ask Robin Van Persie for his autograph.”

lowry-goingtothematch

L.S. Lowry ‘Going To The Match’

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