Sunday, October 30, 2011

Top 20 Stone Roses Songs

The Stone Roses are one of the greatest bands of all time — this is fairly indisputable. Their recent resurrection is as improbable as it was amazing. More on this at another time.

For now, here is my Top 20 Stone Roses Songs of All Time, in honor of their return.

20. What The World Is Waiting For

19. Here It Comes

18. Standing Here

17. Fool’s Gold

16. How Do You Sleep?

15. Sugar Spun Sister

14. Standing Here

13. The Hardest Thing In The World

12. Mersey Paradise

11. Waterfall

10. She Bangs The Drums

09. Going Down

08. All Across The Sands

07. Made of Stone

06. Sally Cinnamon

05. Ten Storey Love Song

04. I Wanna Be Adored

03. Love Spreads

02. This Is The One

01. I Am The Resurrection

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top 25 Characters On The Wire

There are two types of people—those who have seen The Wire and know it's the best show of all-time, and those you haven't seen it yet.
—Tim Speaker

One of the many reasons why my favorite (and best) show of all time is The Wire are the characters. Fully three-dimensional, real characters either based on factual individuals, often played by non-actors, or amalgamations of real-life people, the characters on The Wire move far beyond any film or television series in terms of truth.

Most shows have a character, or a few characters, that keep you coming back. Yet when I thought to put this list together, I immediately thought of over 30 characters that I loved off the top of my head. I cannot imagine being able to do this with any other show. And that alone says alot for the quality of the acting on The Wire. Also, I had to leave out characters that I loved or felt were brilliant, in order to limit the list to 25 (sorry Herc, Prezbo, Clay Davis). This is astounding for a television show.

Here it is, my Top 25 Favorite Characters On The Wire:
25. Slim Charles
24. Carver
23. Chris Partlo
22. Snoop
21. Poot
20. Cutty
19. Brother Mouzone
18. Randy
17. Marlo Stanfield
16. Bunny Colvin
15. Dukie
14. Michael
13. Kima Greggs
12. Bodie Broadus
11. Wee Bey
10. Wallace
09. Proposition Joe
08. Lester Freamon
07. D’Angelo Barksdale
06. Bubbles
05. Avon Barksdale
04. Bunk Moreland
03. Jimmy McNulty
02. Stringer Bell
01. Omar Little
I know it's cliche to like Omar the best, but the brilliant Michael K. Williams portrayal of him is simply electric. He owns the screen every second he is on it, regardless of who he is sharing it with.

And fans can find a great home here, at

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Deus Ex Machina Releases First Book, Typically Brilliant

I love Deus Ex Machina. I love their bikes. I love their bicycles. I love their posters. I love their gear. I love their website. I love their branding. I love their spirit. I love their photography.

I do not love their prices, but that is more a personal problem (I'm broke as a joke) than anything they are doing per se.

And now? They release a new book via Blurb called The Temple of Enthusiasm and it's what you would expect - brilliance dripping from every page, and a drool-festival for a cover. Amazing. The problem? It's $146 dollars!

Oh well. I can dream right?

Buy one here. Check out Deus Ex Machina here.

Lines & Lives Of The Face Opens In Tryon

Last saturday I had the good fortune of being included in a brilliant show of portraiture at the Upstairs Gallery in Tryon, NC. What an amazing space! I was blown away by the great work by the artists involved, and the subtle curation by Nancy and Margaret. Truly a superb space operated by wonderful people. Tryon is this cool little mountain town (which there are tons of great ones in NC) where Nina Simone was born, and her monument park is directly across the street from the gallery - so cool.

David Slone - a fellow Art Bomber - was also included in the show, and created the above video to capture a glimpse of the show.

Check it out. The show runs through November 19th. More information at the Upstairs Gallery.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Postmodernism Film Is Clarifying

Postmodernism is one of those slippery terms to define. Want some clarification? Check this film out to coincide with the exhibition. Superb.

More information here.

What The Breakup Of REM Means, Part 4

For What The Breakup of REM Means, Part 4 we turn to guest blogger Pete Fahndrich. World traveller, shepherd of lost bands/albums/artists, President and Founder of the Madison Institute of Musicologists, and one of the best people you could ever have the good fortune to know, Pete "gets it" and is the only person I know who is as hungry for music as I am, and is willing to talk about it endlessly.

We are Soul Brothers of Musicology, so it is with great pleasure that I bring you his 31 Years, 31 Songs for our old friends REM. I cannot think of a more fitting way to close this series of REM posts than with the selections and memories of someone so specially tuned to REM's greatness. So enjoy...


31. How The West Was Won and Where It Got Us - New Adventures in Hi-Fi
30. Green Grow The Rushes - Fables of the Reconstruction
29. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite - Automatic For The People
28. I Believe - Life’s Rich Pageant
27. Radio Free Europe - Murmur
26. Electrolite - New Adventures In Hi-Fi
25. Bittersweet Me - New Adventues In Hi-FI
24. Finest Worksong - Document
23. Feeling Gravity’s Pull - Fables Of The Reconstruction
22. Sweetness Follows - Automatic For The People
21. Imitation Of Life - Reveal
20. Pretty Persuasion - Reckoning
19. What’s The Frequency Kenneth? - Monster
18. Perfect Circle - Murmur
17. At My Most Beautiful - Up
16. Half A World Away - Out of Time
15. Try Not To Breathe - Automatic For The People
14. Don’t Go Back To Rockville - Reckoning
13. Daysleeper - Up
12. The Great Beyond - Single
11. Begin The Begin - Life’s Rich Pageant
10. Driver 8 - Fables Of The Reconstruction
09. Talk About The Passion - Murmur
08. Leaving New York - Around The Sun
07. Fall On Me - Life’s Rich Pageant
06. Man On the Moon - Automatic For The People
05. Country Feedback - Out Of Time
04. So. Central Rain - Reckoning
03. Nightswimming - Automatic For The People
02. Cuyahoga - Life’s Rich Pageant
01. E-Bow The Letter - New Adventures In Hi-Fi
28. Is because of Mary
27. Is for dropping the needle on the first REM album and hearing this come out
22. Is for my cousin Peter Thomas and driving on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
19. Is for the big deal Monster was when it came out my first summer in Madison
17. Is because Mike Mills convinced Michael stipe the Beach Boys were worth checking out
08. Is because I wish I didn’t have to
03. Is for the college nights in Madison when we did and for Jereme
01. Is because I could never get past this song