Posts Tagged ‘Chris Wallace’

Best Albums of 2016

I shared my 20 favorite movies I saw in 2016 with you yesterday.

If you missed it because of work, real life, or the hustle and bustle of the holidays, here it is again.  (It’ll open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/best-movies-of-2016/

2016-albums

As we kick off my favorite 16 albums of 2016, let’s start with a quick look back at my past favorites.

In 2010, it was “Night Work” by Scissor Sisters.  It was “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears in 2011, “MDNA” by Madonna in 2012, and “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace in 2013.

There was a tie for my favorite album in 2014 between Erasure’s “The Violet Flame” and Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex And Love”.

Last year, my favorite album was “Deja Vu” by Giorgio Moroder.

giorgio-moroder-deja-vu

Now, let’s kick off my favorites of 2016!

#16

“MATTER” — ST. LUCIA

st-lucia-matter-new-album

15

“THANKS” — MEGHAN TRAINOR

meghan-trainor-thank-you

#14 Movie

“PAPER GODS” — DURAN DURAN

PAPER GODS DURAN DURAN.jpg

13

“A VERY KACEY CHRISTMAS” — KACEY MUSGRAVES

kacey

#12 Movie

“GLOW” — BRETT ELDREDGE

glow

11

“START HERE” — MADDIE & TAE

Start Here

10

“50” — RICK ASTLEY

 

50

9

“SUPER” — PET SHOP BOYS

pet_shop_boys_-_super

 

#8 MOVIE

“CLOUD NINE” — KYGO

KYGO.jpg

7

“PICK ME UP” — BRETT KISSEL

Brett Kissel

#6 CD

“DNCE” — DNCE

DNCE.jpg

#5 MOVIE

“MIDWEST FARMER’S DAUGHTER” — MARGO PRICE

Margo was born in Aledo, Illinois (Mercer County), just 35 miles from the Quad Cities!

Margo Price.jpeg

4

“7/27” — FIFTH HARMONY

 

Fifth Harmony 727.jpg

3

“SIT STILL, LOOK PRETTY” — DAYA

daya

2

“NOBODY BUT ME” — MICHAEL BUBLE

mb

 

 

#1 MOVIE

This year’s best album is by a repeat performer.  “Femme Fatale” from Britney Spears topped my year-end list in 2011.

Her follow-up, “Britney Jean” only ended up at #6 in 2013.

But, Britney’s back in all her “Glory” as my favorite album of 2016.

“GLORY” — BRITNEY SPEARS

Glory BS

What were your favorite albums of 2016?

Any surprises or disappointments?

Thank you for checking out my favorites.  Tomorrow, I’ll share my 20 favorite songs of 2016.

Anthony

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My Favorite Albums of 2015

I’m one of those people who tracks music, movies, charts, polls, and the sort all year-long.  And, when December comes, I love seeing the best and worst of the year lists.

I posted my favorite movies of the year last week.  “Lilting” was #1.

Here’s the link if you want to see the complete list:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/my-favorite-movies-of-2015/

And, I posted my 30 favorite songs of 2015.  Jason Derulo came out on top!

Here’s the complete list to see if your favorite made my countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/my-20-favorite-songs-of-2015/

Now, I ready to share my favorite albums of the year with you.  But, before I do that, I want to channel my radio idol, Casey Kasem, and look back at my favorite albums of the past.

In 2010, it was Scissor Sisters’ “Night Work”.  “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears was my favorite in 2011 and Madonna’s “MDNA” was tops in 2012.  In 2013, it was “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace.  And, last year, it was a tie between Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex and Love” and Erasure’s “The Violet Flame”.

Now, my favorites of 2015.

2015 Albums

17

“NEW EYES” — CLEAN BANDIT

Clean_Bandit_New_Eyes

#16

“TODAY IS CHRISTMAS” — LEANN RIMES

LeAnn

#15 Movie

“UNBREAKABLE” — JANET JACKSON

JanetJackson_Standard-2

Here’s what I wrote about her Omaha concert on the “Unbreakable World Tour”:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/janet-jacksons-unbreakable-world-tour-dazzles/

14

“PURPOSE” — JUSTIN BIEBER

justin cd

13

“DELIRIUM” — ELLIE GOULDING

Ellie CD

12

“TRUE COLORS” — ZEDD

True Colors Zedd

#11 Movie

“KYLIE CHRISTMAS” — KYLIE MINOGUE

Kylie Christmas

10

“I CRY WHEN I LAUGH” — JESS GLYNNE

jess-glynne-i-cry-when-i-laugh

9 CD

“MICHAEL RAY” — MICHAEL RAY

michael-ray

Here’s what I wrote about the album in August:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

#8 CD

“TALKING IS HARD” — WALK THE MOON

talkingIsHardBgImage

7

“REBEL HEART” — MADONNA

Madonna Rebel Heart

Here’s what I wrote about the album in March:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/still-a-rebel-heart-and-an-unapologetic-bitch-32-years-later/

#6 CD

“25” — ADELE

adele

Here’s what I wrote about the album in November:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/adele-25-is-almost-perfect/

#5 MOVIE

“EVERYTHING IS 4” — JASON DERULO

derulo

4

“LOVE SOMEBODY” — REBA

Reba Love Somebody

Here’s what I wrote about the album in April:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/rebas-return-to-country-music/

green 3

“EMOTION” — CARLY RAE JEPSEN

carly-rae-jepsen-emotion

#2 CD

“COMMUNION” — YEARS & YEARS

Communion

I wrote about the band in July when the album came out:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/years-years-communion-is-definitely-king/

1

“DEJA VU” — GIORGIO MORODER

giorgio-moroder-deja-vu

Here’s what I wrote about the album in June:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/giorgio-moroder-the-70s-magic-its-deja-vu/

So, there you have my favorite albums I bought in 2015.

I can’t wait for new music in 2016 from Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and I hope there’s new music from Patty Loveless, Lionel Richie, and Erasure.

Anthony

Best of 2010-2014 — Flashback

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting my favorite albums, songs, and movies of 2015!

I love lists and creating them, so I hope you check them out and in doing so, you might find some new songs or movies that you didn’t know about before my countdowns.

So, to prepare, here are my favorites from the past few years — just for fun.

2014

Last year, my favorite song of the year was Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”.

If you’re curious and want see the other 19 favorites, click here and listen away!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/my-top-20-songs-of-2014/

For album of the year, there was a tie for my top album.

Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex and Love”

Enrique SEX AND LOVE

and Erasure’s “The Violet Flame”.

The Violet Flame

Here’s the complete Top 14 list of my favorite albums from 2014.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/my-14-favorite-albums-of-2014/

And, in 2014, my favorite movie was “Bridegroom”.

Here’s are the others in the Top Ten last year.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2014/

In 2013, my favorite album was “Push Remind” by Chris Wallace.

Push Rewind

Here’s the rest of 2013’s album countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

My favorite song of 2013 was Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay” featuring the hilarious and gorgeous Blake Peyrot.

Here are my other favorite songs of 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/i-love-that-song-but-skip-that-one/

And, my favorite movie in 2013 was “Out In The Dark”.

Here’s the rest of my movie favorites in 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2013/

In 2012, my favorite movie was “Weekend”.

Here’s the rest of my favorite movies three years ago.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/anthonys-2012-favorite-movies/

And, my 2012 favorite album was “MDNA” by Madonna.

MDNA

Here’s the rest of the 2012 favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/my-2012-favorites-cds/

Now, this is so much fun.  If you’re still looking, you’re curious, too. 🙂

My favorite album in 2011 was “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears.

Britney-Spears-Femme-Fatale

Here are the others that made the list in 2011.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-albums-of-2011/

In 2011, my favorite movie was “Children of God”.

The rest that made the list in 2011…

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-movies-of-2011/

And, while we’re at it, let’s finish out this decade.  In 2010, my favorite album was “Night Work” by Scissor Sisters.

SCISSOR SISTERS NIGHT WORK

Here’s the rest of 2010 list of favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/favorite-movies-albums-of-2010/

And, my favorite movie was “The Kids Are All Right”.

The rest of my favorites in 2010!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/favorite-movies-of-2010/

So, now I’m excited to start sharing my favorites of 2015 with you starting tomorrow.  Thanks again for checking out my blogs.

Anthony

My 14 Favorite Albums of 2014

2015 is almost upon us and I’m so excited for the new Madonna album, “Rebel Heart”, which is expected March 10th, and Reba McEntire’s new album, her first since “All The Women I Am”, which came out in November 2010.

As this year winds down and I start counting my down my favorite albums I bought this year, here’s a track from my favorite album last year, “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace.

Push Rewind

If you want to see the rest of last year’s Top Ten, here’s the link:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

2014

Now, my favorite fourteen albums of 2014.

#14 Movie

CALVIN HARRIS — “MOTION”

MOTION CALVIN HARRIS

13

LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT — “CHEEK TO CHEEK”

Tony_Bennett_and_Lady_Gaga_-_Cheek_to_Cheek

12

DISCLOSURE — “SETTLE”

DISCLOSURE SETTLE

11

ARETHA FRANKLIN — “ARETHA FRANKLIN SINGS THE GREAT DIVA CLASSICS”

aretha franklin

#10 MOVIE

KYLIE MINOGUE — “KISS ME ONCE”

Kiss Me Once

#9

LEANN RIMES — “DANCE LIKE YOU DON’T GIVE A … GREATEST HITS REMIXES”

LEANN RIMES DANCE LIKE YOU DON'T

#8 MOVIE

SETH MacFARLANE — “HOLIDAY FOR SWING”

seth-macfarlane-holiday-for-swing

#7 CD

AMY GRANT — “IN MOTION:  THE REMIXES”

Amy Grant

#6 CD

IDINA MENZEL — “HOLIDAY WISHES”

Idina Holiday Wishes

#5 MOVIE

RENEE FLEMING — “CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK”

renee-fleming

#4 MOVIE

TAYLOR SWIFT — “1989”

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

green 3

KIESZA — “SOUND OF A WOMAN”

Sound_of_a_Woman_cover

1-1-2

Folks, there is a statistical tie for my favorite album of the year.  These next two albums were flawless and pure pop perfection.

One of the acts has been charting across the world since the 1980s and the other since the 1990s.  And, what’s very interesting is that I saw them both in concert for the first time this past October in Chicago on the same weekend!

1

ERASURE — “THE VIOLET FLAME”

The Violet Flame

1

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS — “SEX AND LOVE”

Enrique SEX AND LOVE

X

I honestly could listen to both albums on repeat at any time.

So, those are my 14 favorites of this year.  What are your favorites?

Anthony

 

 

My Top Ten Favorite Albums of 2013

I want to do my best imitation of Casey Kasem, a man whose voice I cherished as a teenager.  Casey, you’re in my thoughts this Christmas season.

On Tuesday, I started counting down my favorite albums of 2013 from #20 to #11.  And, before we get to my ten favorite albums of the years, here is where you can recap the first ten.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/my-favorite-albums-of-2013/

Now, let’s begin the countdown.  “Number 10”!

10

KACEY MUSGRAVES

“SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK”

Music Review Kacey Musgraves

9

CHRISTMAS, WITH LOVE

LEONA LEWIS

Leona Lewis  Christmas With Love

8

KELLY CLARKSON

“WRAPPED IN RED”

kelly-clarkson-wrapped-in-red-album-cover

7

LADY GAGA

“ARTPOP”

ARTPOP

6

BRITNEY SPEARS

“BRITNEY JEAN”

Britney Jean

5

ERASURE

“SNOW GLOBE”

Erasure Snow Globe

4

KE$HA

“WARRIOR”

kesha-warrior

***NSFW****

3

“ELECTRIC”

PET SHOP BOYS

Pet-Shop-Boys-Electric-CD

2

CHER

“CLOSER TO THE TRUTH”

Cher Closer To The Truth

1

CHRIS WALLACE

“PUSH REWIND”

Push Rewind

While technically released in September 2012, it was a slow burn and it was the album I played the most in 2013!  Chris, I hope 2014 is the year everyone learns who you are!

Thank you for checking out my favorite albums that I bought in 2013.  Here’s to great music in 2014.

And, in honor of Casey Kasem, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — December 20, 2013

It’s hard to believe that this is my last “Random Friday Thoughts” blog before Christmas and the next to last one of 2013.  Where has this year gone?

Before I share my thoughts this week, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Happy Kwanzaa.  And, if you’re Jewish, I hope you had a nice Hanukkah!  Regardless of what you celebrate, Happy New Year early!

“FRUITY” IS DEROGATORY!  

“Homeland” actor Damien Lewis is making nice after his derogatory comments about why he dropped out of theater early in his career.

Lewis didn’t want to become “one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn’t start getting any kind of film work until I was 50 and then start playing wizards.”

Damien Lewis

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who he might have been talking about.

Sir Ian

Out actor Sir Ian McKellen, who’s had a long career in theatre and has found movie success in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies shot back at Lewis.

McKellen says, “I wouldn’t like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn’t particularly like just to keep the income up.”

He went on to say, “As for a fruity voice? Well, it may be a voice that is trained like an opera singer’s voice: to fill a large space. It is unnatural. Actors have to be heard and their voice may therefore develop a sonorous quality that they can’t quite get rid of, so you think actors are as pompous as their voice is large. I suppose Damian was thinking of that a little bit, too.”

Sir Ian McKellen

Lewis apologized to Sir Ian saying, “I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian’s.  He’s one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor.  My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I’ve been giving since 1999 – it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else’s career. I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies.”

And, this is how gracefully Sir Ian responded to the apology.

McKellen 1 McKellen 2

My final thoughts to Damien and to anyone reading this.  I remember being a young gay man back in 1980s Kentucky and my cousin took my aunt to see The Judds in concert.  She commented to my cousin that one of the band members was “a little fruity”.

That word was offensive then and it is now.  I can excuse a woman who had not been around many gay people more than I can excuse an actor that is around fellow actors who are gay and use the word “fruity”.

Lewis claims that he’s used that soundbite since 1999!  He should have been called out on it then.  Now that it is public, just know that “fruity” is vulgar and offensive!

RUPAUL TACKLES RACISM & PAULA DEEN

RuPaul

In the December 2013/January 2014 issue of “Instinct”, glamour maven RuPaul says, “Everybody uses their mind to discern who is who, what is what.  In that respect, we look at a person’s race, sex, how short they are, whatever, and we decide in our minds who they are and whether we should get to now them and like them.  In that respect, everybody on the face of the earth is by definition a racist.  Everybody.”

Paula Deen Happy

“We all do it.  Nobody talks about it.  The thing is, you just can’t get caught.  And for everybody to point their finger and pooh-pooh her [Paula Deen], it’s f*cked up.  And that’s the kind of stuff I’ve hated my whole life — that we’re such hypocrites.  She’s a lovely person, and I think it was unfortunate that she got caught.”

Sashay! Shantay!

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT SANTA?

With Christmas just days away and Santa on his way back to the North Pole to check his list twice, here are some interesting tidbits from “Boston” magazine:

93% of Santas have their beards yanked — almost half the time by skeptical moms; 44% of Santas are sneezed on up to 15 times a day; and that 28% of Santas are peed on at least once a season.

Santa

The maximum time a Santa wants to spend with a child is 60 seconds and the best answer to tough requests for presents is “Santa will see what he can do”.

CHRISTMAS DECORATING

This might fall under “fail”!  But, then again, depending on your sense of humor, maybe not. 🙂

Palm Tree Lights

FORGET VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS….

Santa Clauses   Christmas Women

CHRISTMAS PICK HIT

Back in 1998, Australian singer Sherrie Austin scored her first country hit with “Lucky in Love”.  It reached #37 on the Billboard Country chart.  Since then, she’s scored three more hits with the biggest, “Streets of Heaven reaching #18 in 2003.

Shane Stevens, one of her best friends, is a singer songwriter from South Carolina, that penned Lady Antebellum’s #1 hit, “American Honey”.

Sherrie and Shane

Sherrie and Shane are BFFs on the Sundance Channel’s “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys”.

Stevens, who is a self-proclaimed “full-on Jesus freak”, doesn’t have a problem being a gay Christian, but being “out” in Nashville and on the show can be a little difficult, “What’s interesting about it being in Nashville…it’s such a rub to be gay in the Bible Belt. In New York City, there’s not really a rub. I can walk down the street and hold hands with my partner. There I’ve had a bottle thrown at me. It’s hard. But it’s a beautiful place and it’s one of the fastest growing cities in America and I love it.”

Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys

He goes on to add, “The most problem you find is just in church and the religious people and I’ve learned over the past few months doing this show that God doesn’t like to be put in a box. Even I’ve been guilty of trying to put him in a box. I was saying the other day that I wish I was raised an atheist so I didn’t have to un-learn everything that I’ve learned. But God loves his so much he’ll just get in your box with you and love you and hang out with you. ”

I’ll choose naughty!

SAD TO SAY GOODBYE TO DEXTER

If you watch your television shows as they air, you said goodbye to Showtime’s “Dexter” on September 22, 2013.  The 9 p.m. broadcast brought in the largest overall audience in Showtime’s history.

Dexter S8

I’m one of those that try to avoid the spoilers and watch “Dexter”, “American Horror Story” and “Bates Motel” on DVD.

So, now that I’ve watched the final season and I don’t give away spoilers, it was a satisfying season, but it wasn’t my favorite.

I loved the character of Evelyn Vogel, the doctor that came up with the “code” for Harry and Dexter to follow with Dexter’s need to kill.  The “Brain Surgeon” was an interesting villain for the season and the return of one of Dexter’s old girlfriends was fun.

My problem with the season was Dexter spending so little time doing what he does best — getting rid of bad people who slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system!  With my sexy man Dexter, I want more blood!

Dexter

If you’ve never seen “Dexter”, you have to start watching it.  It’s one of the best shows ever on television.  Yes, sadistic and gory at times, but intelligent, sexy, and fun.  My last comment before I grade this last season, the last scene should have been left out and left to our imagination!

I ranked my favorite “Dexter” seasons back in my June 7, 2013 blog, and here is what I said then and I’ll add season 8 to the list.

Season 1: (A+)   — Three words:  Ice Truck Killer!  Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!

Season 2: (B)  –   I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!

Season 3: (B-) –  This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.

Season 4:  (A) –  The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!

Season 5:  (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”.  However, the story line was weak.

Season 6:  (A-)  –  The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing.   The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.

Season 7:  (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible.  Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold.   And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate).  If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!

Season 8:  GRADE:  B

PICK HIT

It’s been just over a year since Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago-based band, The White Tie Affair, released his debut solo album, “Push Rewind”.  It’s an incredible album that should not have been overlooked.

The first single, “Remember When (Push Rewind)” made it up to #24 on the Top 40 radio airplay charts and the follow-up, “Keep Me Crazy” just recently cracked the Top 40 radio airplay charts.  The video came out this past weekend.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Idiots

Snowflakes

Reindeer Rain Dear

WINTER STORM THIS WEEKEND

UPDATE:  Friday, December 20, 2013, 4:05 p.m.

It is looking more and more likely that we’ll be seeing a major winter storm Saturday afternoon into Sunday afternoon.

With the storm less than 24 hours away now, our “Winter Storm Watch” has been upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” (fuchsia-colored shading) from 6 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

 

Those snow totals look pretty good at this point based on this updated map of available moisture.

 

ORIGINAL WEATHER POST:  Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:24 a.m.

For days now, meteorologists have been working feverishly to pin down the winter storm for this weekend.  While there’s still room for error since temperatures will be right on the borderline for snow, freezing rain, sleet, and snow, here goes…

There will be some slippery driving conditions Friday and early Saturday from the light freezing rain that fell across parts of the area Thursday night and Friday.  Be careful!

 

A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Saturday evening through Sunday evening.

A mix of rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain will develop south to north across the area Saturday with the heaviest snow expected Saturday night and Sunday morning.  There will be about nine hours of moderate snow.  The snow will start winding down by midday Sunday.

 

I gave you early snow projections Thursday night and as of Friday morning, I’m sticking to them.  The map above from NOAA shows that there’s about a 70% chance in the blue-shaded area seeing more than 4″ of snow.

I’m thinking 6-9″ of snow may fall from Freeport, Illinois, to the Quad Cities, to Burlington, Iowa, to the northwest to Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Southeast of the Quad Cities, 3-6″ of snow could accumulate.

Again, there will be some changes to the forecast as we get closer to Saturday, but this is a good place to start.  As with any snow, there could be isolated higher totals and some totals in that range may be on the lower end and some on the higher end.

SIMPLY INCREDIBLE

Some people actually sing!

After Katy Perry recent lip-synching debacle in France (she was “singing” along to a backing track of “Roar” and her lip sync was off so bad that the show was stopped and she started over sounding shaken and scared), it was incredible to see Lady Gaga perform her current Top Ten hit, “Do What U Want” with Christina Aguilera on “The Voice”.

What amazing vocals and incredibly sexy!

*Video deleted on YouTube.

‘THE HUNGER GAMES:  CATCHING FIRE”

I have not read “The Hunger Games” books and I plan on holding off until “Mockingjay” Part 1 and 2 arrive in theaters in November 2014 and November 2015, respectively.

While I really enjoyed “The Hunger Games”, I liked the sequel, “Catching Fire” more.  Without having read the book, I feel the story lines were fleshed out more, especially the love between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

The Hunger Games Catching Fire

Also, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) was much more human and less robotic in the sequel and her feelings toward Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were very touching.  And, her over-the-top costumes were amazing.  (With that being said, Katniss and Peeta’s clothing rocked in this movie, too!)

hunger-games-catching-fire-burning-outfitKatniss Effie Peeta

I liked the more violent approach to the competition once “The Hunger Games” started.  The tributes are fighting for their lives and it felt like kid’s play in the first movie.  Granted, the kids that saw the first movie are about one-and-a-half year older and that may be part of the ramped up realism.

Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are great additions to “Catching Fire”.

GRADE:  B

JOSH IS SO ADORABLE

21-year-old Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, in the “The Hunger Games” franchise is such an adorable Kentucky boy.  When I say “adorable”, I’m not talking about being cute (which he is, but I’m old enough to be his father), I’m talking about his open-minded, intelligent logic.

Josh

In a very honest article in the November 2013 “Out” magazine, Josh melted my heart when he said, “I have this dream that one day, my kid’s gonna come home from school and be like, ‘Dad, there’s this girl I like, and there’s this guy that I live, and I don’t know which one I like more, and I don’t know what to do.’  And it’d just be a non-issue.”

Josh-Hutcherson-Out-Cover

When the magazine came out, much of the worldwide press that picked up on the interview focused on his thoughts of his sexuality (“mostly straight”) and when he jokingly said that the three lead characters in “The Hunger Games” series should have a threesome, a “triad” relationship.  I’m just mentioning it because it was in the article.  While awesome, dwelling on it would be reductive!

We need more people in this world that think (and look) like Josh.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Daryl Hall & John Oates, Kiss, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  The 29th annual induction ceremony will take place April 10, 2014 in Brooklyn.

hall-and-oates

Hall & Oates met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in 1967 and released their first album in 1972, but it didn’t make the Billboard charts.

Their first single, “She’s Gone” peaked at #60 in 1974.  However, from their first Top 40 hit, “Sara Smile” (#4, 1976) to their last, “So Close (#11, 1990), they scored 29 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Of those, 16 reached the Top Ten, 11 made the Top Five, and 6 topped the chart:  “Rich Girl” (1977), “Kiss On My List” (1981), “Private Eyes” (1981), “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (1982), “Maneater” (1982), and “Out Of Touch” (1984).

FINAL NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CLASSIC

Director John Waters (“Hairspray”) set out to make “the trashiest motion pictures in cinema history” and I would say that he succeeded with such camp classics as “Pink Flamingos” and “Female Trouble”, both starring Divine.

Female Trouble

I absolutely love “Female Trouble”, a very twisted, dark, and hilarious movie.  Here’s a Christmas scene from the movie and it does contain “adult language”, enough to get an R-rating in this two-minute clip alone! 🙂

Merry Christmas, my friends, and don’t forget those cha cha heels.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31, 2013

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

May 2013 005

I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

february-3-2012-daddy-a-abba

On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony