How I spent my Christmas Vacation…

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I feel stupid writing this post to introduce people to a tv show that has been on the air for more than fifteen years (according to Wikipedia), but no one I’ve mentioned it to has known what I was talking about. Earlier this week I woke up to discover a marathon of a show called “Later… with Jools Holland” on a cable station I never even knew I had called Ovation TV. It’s channel 155 on my Comcast Digital Cable. Not that that information helps you necessarily. Halfway through the first episode of this program I became unbelievably jealous of British people who have been able to watch this show for almost two decades on BBC 2.

If you’ve never seen it, the stage of the show is a giant circle with about five bands set up around it and a camera in the middle. The studio audience is seated in between and behind the bands. The show opens with all of the bands playing a short jam together while the camera spins around showing off the set up and who will be performing that evening. From there, Jools Holland introduces the first band who typically performs their latest song.

Here’s a clip to show you what I’m trying to describe:

After the first band finishes, the next band immediately starts. For the next hour it’s just one song after another by all of the bands. Once in awhile Jools will interview one of the headliners, but that’s the only break from the music.

And the bands that I caught in the last few days are amazing and varied from headliners like Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Metallica, Snow Patrol and Tom Jones to bands I love like The Who and The Hold Steady. There were world music acts from Africa and folk artists and everyone is talented… oh plus former Catwoman Eartha Kitt and Jamie Foxx. Yeah it’s crazy and I loved it.

Here’s an awesome clip:

In case you didn’t know it, Jools Holland spent the eighties in the band Squeeze, which you know for the song “Tempted.”

Considering all of the stupid shows the U.S. has imported from Britain and remade (Coupling, any Simon Cowell production, the Office), it kills me that there doesn’t seem to be a market here for an American version of this show. It just shows how dead rock is in the United States right now.

Support Ovation TV and this show.

There are YouTube clips for basically every good successful band ever playing this show. Check them out if you get bored.


Happy New Year, Spider-Man

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The final piece to Marvel’s 2010 Spider-Man teaser image can be seen on their main site, but for some reason it’s not part of the article yet.  Looks like the magically undone wedding will be the focus of this year’s Spider-Man stories.

Additional images for this puzzle teaser were released each day this week at Marvel.com.  A rough assembly looks something like this:

What does 2010 have in store for Spider-Man?  The Gauntlet, a Spider team-up, the Juggernaut, romance with Carly Cooper, and an explanation of what happened on the day of Peter and Mary Jane’s wedding.  Good luck, Spidey.


What I want in an Apple tablet

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It is almost January. My Apple stock is climbing. It is that time of year. The time of year I watch it climb, climb, climb, only to come down, down, down right after the January announcements. This year the rumor is a tablet device (check out one Mashable article on it here). This post however is not about what the rumors are. Honestly, I have never been crazy giddy about the possibilities to come early each year. But….I will tell you what I would want if there was a tablet:

I want it to be my Harmony remote. I want it to have a kickstand of sorts, that it can function on my coffee table as a digital picture frame. And when I need it, simple tap – and there are all my media functions….Watch DVR, Watch DVD, Listen to iTunes, Listen to iPod, Play Wii, Play XBox, blah, blah, blah, blah. I want it to have my Comcast screen ON the tablet when I am looking through my TV choices. Because….come on…if this thing functions as my Harmony all-in-one remote, why should I click a button to scroll through selections when I could simply flick my way through channels the way I do photos on my iPhone. And think of how much easier it would be to search for a show! Oh – and that kick stand feature….how handy would that be in the kitchen? I could simply have it on the counter with a recipe pulled up. I want it to work with my little Apple Remote….because it is SO annoying that my Mac Pro and Apple Display do not. Seriously. And voice command…..because what if my cooking has gotten so messy that I wouldn’t even want to touch my Apple Remote that is still wrapped in plastic?

I think that is about it. Really I don’t think I would use it for much more. Sounds like a reasonable purchase right?


Fake Comic Book Day

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Today was supposed to be something the comic buying world had not seen for a long time (if ever), a Wednesday (or Thursday) without new comic books.  Upon first hearing that comics’ central distributor, Diamond Distribution, would not be shipping new books this week, I was admittedly sad and disappointed. That seemed to quickly change to a sense of relief in having a week to catch up and save a few dollars (what can I say it’s a weird hobby).  I’ve come to find out that there will be new books today as some publishers have decided to work around Diamond.

Read more of this article »


The Sound of Time Travel

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Several months ago, I embarked on a journey into sound.  In an attempt to clear the clutter from my life I came across a treasure trove of old Philadelphia punk rock cassettes. So I armed myself with the technology I needed to bring these things back to life, namely an old cassette deck, an RCA to 1/8″ adapter and Apple’s GarageBand software.  I have to say, while time consuming, this process has been incredibly fulfilling.  I can once again enjoy the sounds of Space Christ, Chinny Chin Chin, Old Feziwig, and even a few rare gems from Ubisunt.  Yes, the quality is terrible when compared to other items in my iTunes library, but the tape hiss and imperfections are part of the music at this point and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m also converting some old VHS tapes to digital video just to complete the cycle.  Look out Saturday Night’s Main Event 11/28/87, you’re next!