June 30, 2015

150th Anniversary: Best Of 2004-2015

I am proud to celebrate I have created 150 playlists/CD mixes/mixtapes in 23 years. That's an average of six and a half per year since 1992! That total does not even count the (literally) unnumbered mixes I've made for birthday presents, party favors, Christmas presents, Yankee Swap items and other special occasion mixes. How should I commemorate this milestone? I last celebrated a milestone in 2004 when I reached my 100th playlist, so I've selected 80 minutes' worth of my favorite songs that appeared over the last decade on playlists #101 through #149. These 18 songs are a pretty good distillation of what I've listened to over the last 10 years.
  1. How'd You Like That: The Kooks [136]
  2. One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend): Wilco [143]
  3. Carried Away: Passion Pit [144]
  4. Calamity Song: The Decemberists [135]
  5. Coming of Age: Foster the People [148]
  6. Gold on the Ceiling: The Black Keys [140]
  7. Hey Julie: Fountains Of Wayne [142]
  8. Jesusland: Ben Folds [112]
  9. Thirty-One Today: Aimee Mann [142]
  10. Paper Planes: M.I.A. [121]
  11. People Got A Lotta Nerve: Neko Case [122]
  12. Rumor Has It: Adele [133]
  13. Smile: Lily Allen [114]
  14. Such Great Heights: The Postal Service [103]
  15. Teenage Dream: Glee TV Soundtrack [128]
  16. Tik Tok: Ke$ha [126]
  17. Turn It Around: Lucius [147]
  18. Use It: The New Pornographers [107]

June 7, 2015

Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig's SPY

In the modern spy movie, the secret agent always has a desk jockey walking them through their mission talking in their earpiece. A complaint about the new Bond movies is that Bond never has to act alone anymore because someone at HQ is always backing him up from a console. What would happen if Bond's favorite desk jockey were promoted to field agent?
What a funny fucking movie! I was laughing out loud throughout.
  • It's hard-R-rated, so the jokes are very rough, and worth it.
  • There's real action sequences, including car chases and hand-to-hand combat. Not Bourne Supremacy good, but much better than most comedies.
  • The A-list supporting cast is perfect: Jude Law finally gets to play James Bond, Miranda Hart is wonderful as the best friend, and Jason Statham might overplay the jokes a little bit.
  • Wonderful location shooting- another plus you normally don't see in a comedy.
  • Great interior locations too- a decrepit Paris apartment building and a disused power plant control room are the standouts.

Stub Hubby Grade- I'm giving SPY an A-minus instead of an A because:
  • I figured out the third act twist immediately;
  • The fat-and-ugly jokes are all very funny, but maybe it's time to set them aside? No one actually calls Melissa McCarthy "fat" but it's in the subtext of many jokes.