Tuesday, June 19, 2007

oh, the misery

Babies Makin' Babies 2: Misery Strikes Back ... No More Babies

Once a regular starfish and waffles feature, the untimely album review seemed to vanish into oblivion during that forgettable fall of 2005. Why? I can't remember. But this can only mean one thing ... it's been far too long since we've pushed our odd, eclectic tastes in music on the likes of you!

Enter stage left: Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson's Misery Strikes Back, a veritable mixtape of the type of old school, smooth soul that will only do after the love between you and your sweetie has died and gone to heaven. Wow, did I really just write that? You bet I did.

Probably best-known as the recognizable, afro'd percussionist of the superb Philadelphia hip-hop band, The Roots, ?uestlove is considered by many to be the finest drummer of our generation.

He also has an ear for putting together an excellent compilation album. Spanning the spectrum of the familiar (Al Green, Natalie Cole) and the obscure (D.J. Rogers, Syreeta), Misery Strikes Back is a triumph of breakup anthems everywhere. The evidence? If you're already feelin' heartsick blue, playing this album will make you feel worse.

Oh, the misery. Breaking up never sounded so good.

dingobear track selections:

1. Our Love Has Died. Ohio Players. What a way to set the tone: somber horns, bitter lyrics. "Burying our love six feet down / No mourners came around / And all the tears fell on the inside / Because our love has died."

3. Anti Love Song. Betty Davis. Unadulterated anger from Miles Davis' ex-wife and reigning queen of funk. "'Cause you know I could possess you body / You know I could make you crawl / And just as hard as I'd fall for you, boy / You know you'd fall for me harder / That's why I don't want to love you."

4. If You Didn't Love Me (Don't Go Away). D.J. Rogers. Dear God, now this is soul ... it may come from an lesser-known voice, but what a voice. Great find by ?uestlove and a reason in itself to buy this album because good luck finding the original 1976 track elsewhere. "Like a flower without rain / Like a song that doesn't have an end / Like a snowman, kept left standing in the sun / I would melt away /Well, that's how it'd be / If you didn't love me / Girl, don't go away."

5. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. Al Green. Just because it's been a popular selection for many compilation albums doesn't mean it isn't still a classic. "I could never see tomorrow / I was never told about the sorrow / How can you mend a broken heart?"

8. I'm Sorry. Delfonics. Philly, doo wop soul, circa 1968. "My love I ran around on you / Yes, I broke your heart in two / And I want the world to know I'm sorry."

12. One Look Over My Shoulder (Is This Really Goodbye?) Average White Band. Self-effacing band name be damned, this Scottish group was one of the few white funk groups that had real funk credibility. Great song. "We've been through so much stormy weather / While we've been together / I can't totally walk away / I gotta have one look over my shoulder / One last look in your eyes."

In starfish and waffles' opinion, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson is the best drummer in the world. He also has a cool 'fro and can put together a mean mixtape.

Monday, June 11, 2007

my simulated reality tv life: episode twenty-two

Finally! The wait is over: it's time for a new episode of My Simulated Reality TV Life! Miss the last episode? Click here for a rerun. New to the continent's favourite simulated reality series? Click here to start at the very beginning, or refer to the left side of this webpage for links to all of the old episodes! Now round up your friends and gather around the screen because tonight's episode begins now!

Nice boots, simulated Felix. But where did you leave your machine gun?

Episode Twenty-Two
Consequences. Con-se-quen-ces. Now that's four syllables of real phonetic (fuh-net-ik) trouble ... because whether it's in your real or simulated life, consequences are something that never seem to fail in coming back to haunt or reward, whatever the case may be.

So what consequences are in store for simulated Felix and gang in this episode?

Well, for one, Bridgette's frequent tummy ailments ... could they somehow be related to the lucky rabbit pizza and subsequent activities of last episode? Oh no, say it ain't so! Because if it really is what we think it is ... well, we're not sure how simulated Felix will take the news. (But it definitely promises more fun is in store!)

Make sure you tune in to the next episode of My Simulated Reality TV Life to find out what happens!

Uh oh ... Bridgette's experiencing early morning stomach troubles again ...

Wow! Blue vomit! Cool!

Poor, poor, Bridgette.

Simulated -c is great with kids, as seen here with Felicia. "Yes, I'd definitely say the chances of you getting abducted by scary aliens are excellent!"

Simulated -c cheers Felicia on as she does headstands. "Let all of the blood rush to your head - it's ok if you feel dizzy - it just means your brain is thanking you!"

Felicia's teddy bear asks simulated Felix: "Is a poop deck really what I think it is?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

booked ...

is a one-way ticket to Lund, Sweden, via Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, and Copenhagen. The puddle-jumping student fare is just one more step along the way as I continue my transition from working professional to poor adventurer. Exciting stuff, don't you think?

Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport will be one of my stops en route to Lund. I took this photo last May, just before I hopped onto the Icelandair plane pictured above to come home to North America. This year, I'll be headed in the opposite direction.