Sunday, April 17, 2011

Get Off My Grass!

I dunno. It just seems like in the last 2 years or so, more things just seem to get on my nerves. I'm feeling like I'm becoming the grouchy "GET OFF MY LAWN!" guy. But then I have to wonder if it is me or are there more and more contributing factors to said getoffmylawnedness? I think it is the latter.

People drive like idiots because they are on their cell, combing their hair, reading, fighting with the kids or a cornucopia of other distractions from what they are supposed to be doing....um....driving a 1 ton (plus) vehicle down the road capable of killing things.

Pedestrians are more and more thinking it is some God given right to walk when, where, how and why they want. Sorry, I do not have the brakes on a Bugatti Veyron installed on my Tracker to keep from running you over. Even though it isn't apparent, I think some of these people wander around with bags over their heads.

And speaking of my yard, why do people think they have to scale (yes, scale - it isn't an easy task) the steep incline in my backyard and destroy my landscaping? One could go 45 feet to the west and GO UP A SMALL SET OF STEPS in my neighbors yard (which one wouldn't notice if a heard of buffalo trespassed across it).

People in grocery stores with full-ish carts camping out in the middle of the aisle while reading labels, talking on their cell or to the long lost friend they just happened to run into? (Which brings up another incident: I'm leaving a local Kroger's store. Two girls start asking me if I would donate to (some cause I don't remember). I asked them what the cause was about. The one sort of starts to explain it while the other one's cellphone rings, she answers it and walks away!! REAL interested in helping the cause, huh?) I didn't notice your name next to "Canned Vegetables" and "Dried Beans" on the "in this aisle" sign that I would think to find your ass permanently planted there.

This list could go on if I sat here long enough and thought about it. But I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about and probably experienced it. Is it me, or is it society becoming more me, me, me, now, now, now? And I don't feel like joining them since I can't seem to beat them (and I can't shoot them). Yet, I'm tired of feeling that on a daily basis something aggravates the heck out of me. I guess I need to watch more TV as I'm sure I'd eventually see a drug ad that would let me know what pill I needed to take.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Better The Sound Quality...

I grew up in the area of the turntable. From mom's single speaker portable unit (and Elvis Presley 45's), to the all-in-one TV/Stereo/turntable unit to the component stereo version (I actually have my still functioning Dual 1226). Later, a reel to reel, then 8-track tapes, then cassettes, then CDs and now digital downloads onto mini personal digital players. But have you noticed, as sound quality gets better and "cleaner", the equipment that plays the music seems to get smaller and less capable of re-producing the musical range that these high tech digital recorded medium are capable of producing? Ear buds, mini shelf systems and teeny-tiny speakers used to play ultra high quality recordings, Hi-Def, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, etc.? Ech! What crap!

Today, I decided that I was tired of the car speakers and the bookshelf speakers. So, to listen to some new music, I fired up the old stereo.

OH, HELL YEAH!! Nothing like twin Yamaha amps driving a pair of late 1970s Cerwin Vega H-15s. Dual voice coil 15" woofers with twin 2 1/2" tweeter capable of 350 watts @ 8 ohms.

This is music...not that tinny ear bud or 5" coffee table speaker crap.

I hope the neighbors didn't mind picking stuff up off their floors after feeling what could have been the New Madrid Fault acting up.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Chef Kevin Goes Hip-Hop?

Oh, heavens no! I'm too much of a blues/70/80/early 90's rock fan to ever go hip hop. Heck I don't know when I've listened to "popular" radio on my own accord. I tend to search out and find little known artists whose music I enjoy such as Marc Broussard, Toby Lightman, Jennie DeVoe, Ana Popovic and a few others and pretty much skip radio altogether.

However, an acquaintance of mine posted something about a Saturday Night Live video on Facebook and I've been fascinated by the voice every since. Yeah, she's young and cute and the songs catchy, but it is the voice. She sings so many different genres of music (wish she'd do more blues..definitely has the voice for it) from 1920's burlesque, to ballads, to mostly hip-hoppish stuff to what verges on rock n' roll. And the lyrics aren't full of trash talk, sex, hos, etc. (well, except for the two songs where she is actually making fun of those things).

And who is this? Jessie J. A 23 year old English (what is with the invasion English women into the music scene of late?) woman who has written songs for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus's No. 1 hit "Party in the U.S.A". (I have no clue...never have heard it) is now venturing out on her own. Her first CD drops in the US on Tuesday even though it has already gone platinum in England.

Here is the video that hooked me.




And another full of vocal gymnastics (she says shes singing with a backing track instead of a band and watch for an F bomb around the 1:14 mark)



You can find more on YouTube