Most Liberal and Most Conservative Cities

Most Liberal and Most Conservative Cities

As someone that travels a lot I was interested to read the above list.  The two cities that surprised me the most on this list, as I have been to both, are Tulsa, for being as conservative as it is, and Washington D.C, for being listed as more liberal than a place like Seattle.  Although Oklahoma is no doubt conservative, Tulsa is the one place I have been to in that state that feels like it bucks that trend.  Also having witnessed the cultures of both D.C. and Seattle, I was surprised, as the above article suggested, that D.C. was listed higher as Seattle.  The above link provides a link, the list, and pictures over at Forbes.  The Economist is actually who devised the list and their research is here.

9 Old Movies That Put Modern Horror To Shame

9 Old Movies That Put Modern Horror To Shame

The link above is to a Cracked article that has clips from old horror movies from early in movie history.  The title is theirs.  However, I think the clips are interesting.  They are visually striking and some of them are quite artistic.  Plus, in looking at them you realize that there is this whole world of lost history out there, things that many people saw that you aren’t even aware of.  It’s like looking through a portal into another time and place.

Iron Maiden Albums From Worst to Best

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http://www.stereogum.com/1667509/iron-maiden-albums-from-worst-to-best/franchises/counting-down/

I am just getting off a five day run, having spent the last five days in four different cities.  For whatever reason, when I am on the road, I find heavy metal music to be relaxing.  I listen to a lot of it on my headphones in the van.  One of the greatest metal bands, if not the greatest, is Iron Maiden.  I found the above article the other day, which is list of Iron Maiden’s albums from worst to best.  I don’t really agree with the list, but if you like the band it is a fun read.  Although I of course love Maiden’s classic run of albums in the 80’s, lately I have really been enjoying their last album, The Final Frontier.

The Cure Albums From Best to Worst

The Cure Albums From Best to Worst

In the van headed for a festival in Florida.  Just read this list over at Stereogum,  while listening to The Cure’s Faith on my headphones.  If you happen to be a fan of the band this is a fun read, even if you don’t agree with it. 

10 Things America Does Worse Than Europe

10 Things America Does Worse Than Europe

I have been lucky enough to have traveled to Europe many times.  I felt in reading this article, based on what I have seen, that there is a lot of truth to it.  I have also been a lot of places where suggesting that America doesn’t do everything the best will drive people crazy.  That seems batshit insane to me.  It is like if you were on a really good football team and you saw another winning team in a different division.  Wouldn’t you try to watch them to see how they were winning, so that you could be even better?

The fact is that other parts of the world do some things better than we do.  Instead of being afraid of it we should try to learn from it and make our country better.  Being a self-declared champion is meaningless and delusional.

Hat tip to my friend Liza.  

The Smiths – 10 of the Best

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The Smiths – 10 of the Best

Here is an interesting article on the Smiths if you are aware of them, but not really familiar with their stuff.  I am a super fan and I even found it an interesting read.  I by no means agree with everything the author says (I think the author’s constant use of the word teenager around Morrissey’s lyrics, however complimentary at times, is ill-informed), but he at least seem as if he has decent knowledge of the material and an idea of what made them so special.  The writer is also able to grab the musical side of the Smith’s better than most music journalists do.

Songs From My Favorite Albums Of 2014

Yesterday I posted my favorite albums of 20014.  Today I thought that I would post a video from each one so that you can get a taste for these records.  I am officially including my idiotic omission of Leonard Cohen into the list, so we’ll just make it 11 like Spinal Tap!  I want to mention that I believe these are the best albums, not necessarily the most groundbreaking.  There is nothing avant-garde on the list.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to that kind of stuff, but that kind of stuff is often appreciated on a more intellectual level, than it is truly loved.  I’ve been checking out Sunn 0))) lately, an experimental, doom/drone metal band, and they seem to be doing really great and interesting stuff, but it isn’t the kind of stuff you can just plop on your stereo at any time.  I really believe that the albums I picked for this list are records that are front to back great records in that they can be listened to in their full capacity at almost anytime, and you will always get something out of them.  This is music for the heart, mind, and spirit.  This is shit that you can soldier on through the darkest of days with, whether that comes from a revolutionary lyrical sensibility or from a spirit lifting melody.  Anyway, let’s get started.  I just picked one song, obviously, that I liked from each record.  I thought about putting up the best video for each, but then I just decided that I would always stick to the recorded studio version.  If you want to see the explanation behind each record go here:

My Favorite Records of 2014

Leonard Cohen – Almost Like the Blues from Popular Problems

Bruce Springsteen – The Wall from High Hopes

Chuck D – Give We the Pride ft. Mavis Staples from The Black in Man

Bryan Ferry – Johnny and Mary from Avonmore

U2 – Iris from Songs of Innocence

Sinead O’Connor – Take Me to Church from I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss

Marah – A Melody of Rain from Marah Presents: Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania 

Weezer – Ain’t Got Nobody from Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Marianne Faithfull – Sparrows Will Sing from Give My Love to London

Jackson Browne – Walls and Doors from Standing in the Breach

Morrissey – I’m Not a Man from World Peace is None of Your Business