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Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolute

My 2009 Resolutions are:

- The obligatory "lose 30 lbs" by next Christmas vacation
- Explore new places in KC (Jess and i are making a list)
- Start a New Blog and/or update this one more often.
- Be in a house by April (or at least get the Tax credit)
- Make more decisions, quicker
- Get my car registration figured out (preferably before Friday)

Hold me accountable!
-Josh

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Year...

Top Film of 2009

(500) Days of Summer
The story of a hopeless romantic, who loves crybaby music, that works for a greeting card company gets his heart broken but eventually figures out this true path. Sounds like the story of my life right? Nope, just Tom Hansen, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in easily my favorite movie of the year. Everything about this movie spoke to me, and had an unfair advantage over the rest. Even after watching it, I said "that's definitely my favorite movie this year" (or something similar). Besides the fact that it's the story of my life, it also stars the beautiful Zooey Deschanel, has an amazing soundtrack, and a great sense of humor about it. Marc Webb, for your first movie effort, this was a home run for me. Keep up the good work.

Top Album of 2009

The Dangerous Summer - Reach for the Sun
The first time I heard the single off of this ablum, it was acoustic, and it filled me with boyish glee. And ever since that point, I've been in love. I can't say this band is don't anything exceptionally "original" or "groundbreaking", but that's exactly what i liked about them. The CD came around about the same time i was just looking to hear some good ol' fashion pop-punk. And there they were. No keyboards, no forced falsetto, no accents. I had to stick with my gut on this pick, because in other peoples eyes this band might not be so special. But to me, they have a place at the top of my list.

Thanks.

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I Miss You More Than Most

Top Albums of 2009
(2nd thru 10th)

Since last year, not much has changed, unfortunately for me. The 80's comeback has really put a damper on music for me. As we pass into 2010, somehow people thing we need all of our music to be made with computers. I'm really fucking sick of the "BEEP-BOOP" music. Reviewers are eating it up though. Bands are trading in their guitars for keyboards and iMacs and everyone seems to be OK with it. I can buy into some of it, but as you will find in my "best of" i have chosen bands that most people haven't put on their own lists. On that note, let me tell you what album i thought sucked:

Most Overrated Album: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

I'm sick of everyone telling me how great this CD is. It's number one on all the popular lists this year. Is there a hidden message in the tracks? Because all I hear is bad lyrics and looping.

With that said, I know the world is going to hate this list (2nd thru 10th):

2nd
Japandroids - Post-Nothing

These guys remind me of high school – driving around in the back of my buddy Cole's big white van (without any seats), blaring Fugazi through blown out speakers. And as unattractive as that may seem to some, it was likely most fun i will ever have. Japandroids has done all the work for you though. The album sounds like it was recorded by placing a mic in front of a bad Fender amp in someones basement. And then recorded the vocals like it was a bad 80's mix tape (you know the kind where you put the recorder up the radio?). None of this probably sounds appealing to you either, but it's so me... It's the most pure music I have heard in a while.

3rd
Tegan & Sara - Sainthood

I picked up this album really recently and rocked my world. I don't know, I kinda had low expectations going into it, but Tegan & Sara don't seem to disappoint. They have come a long way since their early days, but it's not through conformity, It's through refining their sound. They were one of the first indie bands that started to put keyboards as a focal instrument in their songs, but since then I think it really works. After going back and listening to a couple tracks from "The Con", it felt boring. This album was much more satisfying, driving, and more complete sounding.

4. Dethklok - Dethalbum II
(In some way better than their last effort, in some ways not)
5. Thrice - Beggers (Their best since "The Artist and the Ambulance", i think.)
6. Anamanaguchi - Dawn Metropolis (Nintendo-core, pure "beep-boop" music, but that's what makes it work.)
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz! (Back on the scene, combining their old music with disco. Brilliant.)
8. Blakroc - Blakroc (Most entertaining rap i have heard in a long time)
9. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (I found their past efforts to be more rewarding, personally, but this is what pure fun sound like)
10. Brand New - Daisy (After going back and giving it one last listen, it squeaked it's way into the top 10. Really grew on me.)

Honorable Mentions:
Baroness - Blue Album
Say Anything - Say Anything
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Passion Pit - Manners


Other Mentionable Albums (in no particular order):
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Band of Skulls - Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
the Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight
Two Tongues - Two Tongues
The Swell Season - Strict Joy
Dashboard Confessional - Alter the Ending (Deluxe Edition)

Biggest Disappointment: Taking Back Sunday - New Again (what happened to you TBS?)

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Don't Speak His Name


Top Video Games of 2009:


1st - Batman Arkham Asylum | XBox 360
For the first time ever, I was able to know what it felt like to be Batman. It was beautifully crafted, a great story line, great graphics and gameplay. Maybe the best part was Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill (the original voices for Batman the Animated Series) were signed to reprise there rolls.









2nd - Brutal Legend | XBox 360
Jack Black does what he does best: Rocks hard, and kicks ass. Despite the fact that Tim Schafer had to cram every damn kind of game into one, he had a great story that involved one of my favorite things (other than zombies) METAL! Guest stars from Ozzy to Lemmy. Schafer has yet to disappoint me. Keep it that way.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Drowning The Inspired Generation


Top 10 Films of 2009 (2nd-10th)


As far as Oscar candidates go, I don't really feel I have seen a lot of those films this year. But I have seen a ton of entertaining movies. I pretty much went buckwild on the "advanced screening passes" since last December, and most were big budget action flicks. So, a new category this year: all of the movies I missed that had potential of upsetting the order of my top 10 are my "Game Changers":

Game Changers (had I seen them):
Up in the Air
The Hurt Locker
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Moon
The Road
Sherlock Holmes

Despite this, out of the movies I DID see this year, here is my list of favorites (from 2nd to 10th). The order changed dozens of times since I picked out my top 10 favorites, but i think this is pretty close to a correct order. Enjoy.


2nd
Zombieland

Ingredients for my favorite movies: Zombies, action, comedy, art. Done. This movies got it. When I first heard about the movie, the fact it was called Zombieland, intrigued me. And i got my expectation really high when i started seeing the viral videos online. They were actually really funny. So, when i got to the movie, i was afraid all of my high hopes would be dashed. But then, what really hooked me when I first started watching the movie, was the AfterEffects lettering in the scenes. It reminds you that "this is a movie", just have fun. The movie doesn't take itself to seriously and it kinda makes a big joke out of the zombie movie genre (yes, it's a whole genre to me). If this is the direction that zombie movies take in the future, i will be a happy man.
It's biggest flaw was the some of the one liners, flopped. "Nut up or shut up" is fucking stupid. No one likes it. Jesse Eisenberg, the new Michael Cera, was perfect, so was Woody, Emma Stone (hottie) and the girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Not to mention it was a directorial debut for Ruben Fleischer, so nice job. I can't wait for the sequel.


3rd
Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino has a certain type of movie... and the way I see it is, if you don't like that formula, you are going to hate everything he does. He gets a seriously bad wrap because his films are poorly advertised as action movies. Yes, you will get to see Nazi's murdered in droves, but this movie is much more than that. The characters are dynamic and lovable, even if they are the most despicable type of person. To achieve this, you have to have a TON of dialog. In this 2 and a half hour epic, you maybe have 45 minutes of pure action. There are some seriously intense scenes in this movie, opening up with one of the most intense. The humor is pitch black and the action is bloody. In the end, you get exactly what you want. Definitely not a movie for everyone... but it was a movie for me.


4th
Star Trek

When I think back to Middle School, I really didn't have many friends. One reason was because I was fat... The other, was because I was a nerd. And being a nerd meant picking between Star Wars and Star Trek. I picked Star Wars. This isn't to say i had no interest in it. I watched DS-9 and Voyager. But i never watched the original series, or Next Generation (or Enterprise) as did most Trekkies. But when I heard JJ Abrams (my hero) was going to do a Star Trek reboot, I was pretty faithful that he was going to make something I liked. And I wasn't disappointed. Most people were calling it the "Iron Man" of this summer: a nerdy, action flick, that actually had some wide appeal. It was a great movie all around to tell the truth. This may have something to do with the fact that JJ Ambrams admits to getting most of his inspiration for the movie from Star Wars. Who am I to say.


5th
The Brothers Bloom

I saw this movie really late in the year, and it came out really early. I hope it doesn't get lost in the Oscar race because it's spectacular. Mark Ruffalo and Adrian Brody are honestly some of the most talented actors in Hollywood right now. And it shows through on this movie. I am a sucker for a good con, so the story was tops. It kept me guessing the entire movie, even though I was sure I knew what was going on. This film made it to the top of my list solely based on the fact that it was well rounded. It has action, a very cute love story, and quirky comedy.



6th
The Hangover
This was a really hard cut from my top 5. I really don't have to tell you why i picked this movie though, because everyone I talk to loves this movie. Great original plot, funny as sin, and great performances all around.
7th: Up If it wasn't for the shear ridiculousness of the story it would have been higher.
8th: Where the Wild Things Are I think there is an indie kid clause staying that i must like this movie, but I didn't love it.
9th: District 9 FOOCKIN PRAWNS! Simply wasn't as good as 8 others (hard to knock down).
10th: Drag Me to Hell What can i say, I love Sam Rammi and campy horror.

Honorable Mentions:
Ninja Assassin
Avatar
Adventureland
Ponyo
I Love You, Man
Coraline

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Salty Catch

Top Movie of 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

This movie truly is a fairy tale. Most of the classic stories we grew up hearing actually had very tragic origins and didn't always end up as happy as you may think. Slumdog Millionaire is that in it's truest form. By one of my favorite directors, Danny Boyle, this move takes a love story and in my mind, makes it as classic as Romeo and Juliet, or Cinderella. Other than just being overwhelmingly cute, Slumdog was original. Convincing acting, a great soundtrack, and one of my favorite topics of discussion, destiny.





Top Album of 2008

Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Sigur Ros isn't for everyone. But i have realized that the people that love them are die hard fans. I can't really consider myself any different. This CD isn't a far departure from most of Sigur Ros' past, but with the addition of a big booming percussion section on some songs, guitars (especially acoustic) that stand out over the other instruments, and i swear i heard a song sung in English, you get the impression they are trying to keep it interesting. Sigur Ros is my most played artist on Last.fm solely because they make excellent background music.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

We're All Waiting On You

Top Albums of 2008

There has been a lot of chill music introduced to me this year. However, the newest craze is dance-core. Every musician is doing the same sort of sound whether it be a rapper, or a rocker. Maybe the sound of the future? Some of those bands still stand out, but mostly it just leaves me craving something i haven't heard yet (or in a while).
This is what I thought of this years music (just like last year, i couldn't just do a top 5. too hard):



2. Frightened Rabbits - The Midnight Organ Fight
It was hard for me not to put this as Number One because I have been having so much fun listening to this album lately. It's the folk music the way i like to hear it. Most gets too mellow and boring in my opinion. It's the kind of music i like to hear when i am interested in a nap; like Fleet Foxes (who i really like now, but they are kinda snooze music).




3. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Death Cab has been one of my favorite bands for a long time. I don't know if it was the the long wait that made me crave new music, or the fact that this CD is legitimately amazing. It was a small departure from their passed CDs were it sounded as if they incorporated a little 90s grunge into their typical melodic tones. It seemed to be a perfect fit and it made for one damn good cd. Now, lets see a new Postal Service album.


4. Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
5. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
6. Does It Offend You, Yeah? - You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into
7. Murder By Death - Red of Tooth and Claw
8. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
9. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
10. The New Frontiers - Mending


Honorable Mentions
Less Than Jake - GNV FLA (An awesome comeback for LTJ. It was hard to cut them from the top 10)
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (Fabulous, just too chill)
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Dreamy hymn like music. It just wasn't doing it for me)

Other Mentionable Albums (in no particular order):
Norma Jean - Anti-Mother
Lil Wayne - III
Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt
The Academy Is... - Fast Times at Barrington High
Unearth - The March
The Cure - 4:13 Dream
Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
Copeland - You Are My Sunshine
The Killers - Day & Age

Biggest Disappointment:
Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux

Albums I Missed Out On In '07:
Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir
Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer - Schematics
Chromeo - Fancy Footwork

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Would Travel the World For You (But You Are Always Close)

Top Albums of 2008 (2nd – 5th)

I saw a lot of movies this year. From my initial standpoint i wasn't really sure if there was enough movies to make a list this year, but after looking it over it was hard to only do a top 5. I realize that i am missing out on seeing other critically acclaimed movies such as "Synecdoche, New York", "Rachel Getting Married", and "Milk" but out of the list of movies i HAVE seen, these are my picks:




Tie for 2nd
A Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Everything was phenomenal about this movie. With shades of Forest Gump, this movie was easily a modern day fairy-tale cutting it's way through decades of our history. Benjamin Button seriously put Edward Cullen to shame with his charm and chivalry in this movie. While this was an extremely well rounded movie... (see below)








Tie for 2nd
The Dark Knight

...this is just the most kick-ass movie i have ever seen probably. I saw it 4 times in the theaters after all. Look for it rereleased this January. In all seriousness though, it's always a surprise when an action movie is not only really entertaining but has a good story arch and realistic acting.









3rd
Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Side spitting funny, with a good story about getting over lost loves. Some stories hit closer to home than others ;) I wasn't so sure how it was going to turn out, by i knew that no matter what Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis would be gorgeous.










4th
Iron Man

How do you take the super hero formula and make it awesome? I still don't know. But, somehow, Iron Man was REALLY, REALLY good. Jon Favreau makes great movies, and this is no exception. He just has the comedic timing a comic book movie needs. It has to be able to make fun of itself.








5th
Wall-E

Today, animated features tend to rely to heavily on their voice talent, and not enough on a good story. But this story was great, modern and original. AND it didn't need the voice talent to make a lovable character. I don't typically like movies that are preachy and spend their whole time on the soap box, however, Wall-E was subtle in trying to get it's point across.






Honorable Mentions
Burn After Reading (the Coens never disappoint, but it couldn't compare to "No Country")
Pineapple Express (hard to cut)
Be Kind Rewind (it was missing a little something, but otherwise right up there)
Sex Drive (funny, it was probably best suited for a younger audience)
Quantum of Solace (not as good as Casino Royal)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (hard to cut)
Choke (i think i needed to see this a second time)
Role Models (hilarious talent, but too formulaic)
Step Brothers (seriously awesome, but not quite top 5)

Biggest Surprise:
Twilight

Biggest Disappointment:
X-Files: I Want to Believe

Stay tuned for my top movie of '08, my list of music, and games.

list master, Josh

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

What We Want (From Life)

Ever feel like you are one of those contestants on American Idol, that all your life people were telling you how great you were at something (beause no body had the heart to tell otherwise) until you are on national television and some snob finally tells you how much you actually suck? I feel like that all the time. Especially today.

As of late, i have been in a really shitty mood. I just can't seem to shake this foul attitude. So, i am going to steal from Bess, what she stole from her friend Kim, and do a list of things that make me happy, in hopes that i will drive out some of the negativity... i will be honest, before i start on the list... i have been trying to think of some ever since last night and i've been having some trouble. So that sorta gives you an idea the mood i am in. But i have been putting some serious thought into what kind of things bring a smile to my face despite my mood. If you stick around and read you might learn something about me that you didn't know (that is if you care).

Here it goes...
-driving with the windows down.
-going downhill on a bike.
-the ticking of an analog clock.
-singing like no body's listening.
-pretending to be in a band.
-waking up to the sun
-over the top action scenes (mostly hand-to-hand).
-excellent customer service.
-having someone watch me play video games.
-pizza.
-a good hook to a song.
-free stuff.
-vitamin water.
-letting the windows open to here the rain
-looking for "Orions Belt" (the constellation)
-making out.
-Jones Soda
-making dinner for two
-Frisky Dingo
-Less Than Jake
-praying
-making someone laugh until they cry.
-buying things for someone for no reason.
-onion rings
-having a steady paycheck
-blogging
-showers
-cold room/warm sheets

i have to say this did make me feel a little better. thanks.
maybe i'll add more later.

"Happy man, he's mad at the world."
-Josh

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Only the Best for Baby


Top Movie of 2007:
No Country For Old Men
Just as most Coen Brothers movies, this movie was a masterpiece. From start to finish you are on the edge of your seat with no music to add tension to the scenes. This is exactly what i mean when i talk about making an old story fresh again. Basically it was a retelling of the age-old, "finding someone else's treasure" story. Movies have become a cookie cutter of the same old story, just substituting characters out and changing the title, but The Coen Bros owned this one.




Top Album of 2007:
Thrice - The Alchemy Index: Fire & Water
Thrice has been around for a while and they have gone through quiet the change since i had first heard them. They are certainly not the hardcore/metal band i got into long ago, but unlike some bands, i was able to embrace their change. This CD (actually a dual EP set) was part of a concept album collection theme-ing music to each of the four elements; fire, water, earth, and air. Right there, is already calling out, "kick ass, baby". Fire was a little less fast paced and a little softer than i would have liked, but still a solid CD filled with good songs. Water was exactly how i envisioned it to be, with the killer track "the Whaler". This being there 4th effort says volumes about the band, and that their music is maturing with my musical taste.

Thanks Aaron for the idea of doing a "best of". i hope everyone wasn't too bored reading it.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Can Hear You Now.

Top Albums of 2007


#2
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

I almost forgot how amazing this cd was until i went back to play it after i decided to do this list. Pretty much everything about this release is amazing, from the album art, to the music videos and of course the songs.






#3
Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire

An addictive album that I couldn't keep out of my car stereo. I can't say it's for everyone, but i certainly enjoyed it as much as the last A&A cd i picked up.



4. the Weakerthans - Reunion Tour
5. The Almost - Southern Weather
6. Coheed and Cambria – No World for Tomorrow
7. Circa Survive - On Letting Go
8. Darkest Hour - Deliver Us
9. Minus The Bear - Planet Of Ice
10. Dear And The Headlights - Small Steps Heavy Hooves

Honorable Mentions:
Dethklok - Dethalbum
The Panic Division – Songs from the Glasshouse
Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
Timbaland - Shock Value

Biggest Surprise Album of the Year:
Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

Other Mentionable Albums(in no particular order):
Sherwood - A Different Light
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
the Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Yellowcard - Paper Walls
Tegan & Sara - The Con
Comeback Kid - Broadcasting
Iron & Wine - The Shepard’s Dog
Mae - Singularity
Saves the Day - Under the Boards

For being as into music as i claim i am, i don't talk about it in my blog as much as you might think, so this is kinda catching up. It was hard for me to pick favorites year, and i'm not sure if thats a good or a bad thing, but because of this all of the rankings where pretty close. Enjoy. Check back to see the number ones.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Touch of Nothing.

the amount of games that i have played this year, that were new to 2007, was too little, so i only put up what i felt was the best game of '07 and the runner up versus a top 5.

Game of the Year
Halo 3
Based upon the fact that Halo has been around for as long as it has, and still manages to deliver a solid playing experience is reason enough for me. But the fact that i am still playing the game months after it's release is amazing. Halo lets me keep in touch with my friends through online matches. There is a ranking system, plenty of achievements to master, and new maps that just came out. Bungie went all out on this one and for me, though other games excelled in other departments, this game still came out on top.

Runner-up
Super Mario Galaxy
Innovative, fairly long, and a lot of fun to play. There isn't a whole lot of re-playability besides the fact that when you beat the game you unlock a hidden character. The fact that Mario has been around with the same characters, music, sound effects, EVERYTHING, since before i was born... is pretty nuts.

Music next time, this one could be tough.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

You Caught My Eye.

Top Movies of 2007

#2
Superbad

After seeing it a second time it might be the funniest and most quotable movie i have seen in a long, long while, with the addition of a well executed 70's retro theme.











#3
300

What it lacked in depth, it made up for in everything else 10 fold.












#4
The Darjeeling Limited

This is a close 4th. What can i say, Wes Anderson doesn't disappoint.












#5
Live Free or Die Hard

The entertainment value was through the roof.














Honorable Mentions:
- Knocked Up (really funny, but maybe not well rounded enough to make it)
- Transformers (making my childhood favorite cool again was it's only real appeal)
- Juno (the writing was it's blessing and it's curse)
- American Gangster (too long, but superb acting and decent story)
- Grindhouse (fun, visionary movies from two good directors, just not good enough)

Best Surprise of the Year:
Sweeney Todd

Biggest Disappointment:
Spider-man 3
Pirates 3

Stay tuned for #1. Games next time.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pages

Sketches and tests I did for Hallmark Cards.

A list of things that are totally awesome:
1. Ninjas
2. Zombies
3. Robots
4. Pirates
5. Cowboys (the kind that aren't gay)


"You blow my mind like a colt '45 every time"

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