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Pop Culture Valentines

I thought I'd take a few minutes to show some love to a few things I've been digging lately...

Chew Vol. 3: Just Desserts - I don't know how long this trade has been sitting in my stack but it's got to be at least six months. I have no good reason why I haven't gotten to it yet and after reading it that goes double. For those who don't know, Chew is the story of Tony Chu, a cibopath who works for the FDA in a future where chicken is illegal after a bird flu epidemic. What's a cibopath, you ask? Someone who can taste where food came from...and who can taste someone's blood to figure out what happened to them. That skill does come into play here. This series is funny and fun and gross and engaging. I will soon be ordering Vol. 4 and won't wait months upon months to read it.

Happy Endings - I jumped into watching this show over Christmas break and I've still probably seen only six or so episodes. That said, I'm becoming a big fan. The six friends on the show (a tried-and-true formula) have their personality quirks but not in an annoying way. The show makes it work, in part because the cast is rock solid and because it's funny. At the end of the day, isn't that what you want from a sitcom?

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On - I'm pretty sure I've written about this album on one version of my blog or another before but I reminded myself tonight how much I like it. It came out in 2007 from Merge and I played the hell out of it. Ever since we had to reload iTunes two years ago, however, I don't think I've played it once start to finish and that's a shame. This is power pop at its finest, melodic and muscular with good lyrics. Sadly, the band is no more but Ross Flournoy is still going strong with Apex Manor. I also recommend the first Broken West EP, The Dutchman's Gold, and their second (and final) album, Now Or Heaven.


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Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
4. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (5) - last played on 3/13/16
6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
8. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 8/3/16
10. Centre For Holy Wars/The New Pornographers (2) - last played on 1/27/15
12. Girls and Boys (Pet Shop Boys 12" Remix)/Blur (3) - last played on 2/28/16
14. Hard To Find/The National (25) - last played on 2/12/17
16. Metal School/Spoon (17) - last played on 1/20/17
18. I'm in Love (With Arthur Dove)/Portastatic (8) - last played on 7/29/16
20. Simple X/Andrew Bird (4) - last played on 5/1/16

5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…