Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

ShowCount 2014 Final Recap

November 16th marks one year anniversary of the last show I went to in 2013. Now it's official that my highly anticipated final concert trip on Thanksgiving weekend is now officially & painfully scrapped, I can declare my 2014 concert season is done, and I can tally up the shows I attended. 14 shows total in 2014, same amount as 2013. Both years are pretty low numbers for me...

The Life and Times
Spacesuit / Sweet Cobra
The Firebird
St. Louis
January 23, 2014
Incredible band to catch live if you can manage it, they don't tour much.

Kip Winger
The State Room
April 17, 2014
Rare show in Quincy by one of my all time favorites.

The Hold Steady
Deer Tick
The Blue Note
April 27, 2014
Awesome, energetic show! Warning: Craig Finn, THS's lead singer is a spitter.

Exodus / Suicidal Tendencies
The Pageant
St. Louis
May 17, 2014
Heavyweight heavy metal and I was right up front for it. So awesome.

The Maulers
+ many other opening acts
The Barn
Camp Point
May 28, 2014
Second final Maulers show I've seen. It's quick, but it's awesome.

Almost KISS
The Dock
May 28, 2014
Caught most of this show after The Maulers, and it was great.

Bobby Bare Jrs' Young Criminals’ Starvation League
Those Darlins
The Features
Tony and the Tan Lines
March Madness Marching Band
Lebowski Fest
Executive Lawn
July 11 & 12, 2014
I'm counting this two day affair as one event -- it evens out the fact I counted the Maulers and Almost KISS on the same night as two things... but I saw 4 out of 5 bands during Lebowski Fest + a marching band. Bobby Bare Jr. is my favorite new discovery of 2014. Big bonus: Ran into My Morning Jacket and got a pic with Jim James.

Tri Point Paradox
Seven Days Fuller 
The King Bees
End of the World Party II
July 19, 2014
Awesome outdoor party headlined by a great band that literally assembles from across the country on rare occasions.

Chuck Berry
The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
St. Louis
July 23, 2014
Sad sight to see, but a legend nonetheless. Most conflicted show I've ever seen.

Patrick Sweany
The Bridge
Columbia MO
July 26, 2014
This guy is a powerhouse. One of the coolest guys and baddest blues man in the country.

Local H
Divine Sorrow
The Hush List
The Mad Magician
St. Louis
July 29, 2014
Richard Patrick from Filter grabbed my GoPro and shot some incredible footage. Plus there was Helmet and Local H, so...

The Cult
The Lions of Hazelwood
The Pageant
St. Louis
August 6, 2014
The only show I sat down for this year, but The Cult still sounds incredible, and they have so many iconic guitar riffs.

Rick Springfield
Western Illinois University
September 13, 2014
Free show! Rick sounds and looks great after all these years, and usually when you get an act from the 70s/80s trying to churn out new music, it sucks... His new stuff actually sounds pretty damn good.

Pearl Jam
Scottrade Center
St. Louis
October  3, 2014
The big show was my last show, always at the top of my concert to-do list, one of my favorite bands of all time - we were right down by the stage & the show was fantastic. Every PJ show is the best show you could possibly ever see.

#221 - MovieCount2014 - Creepshow 2

While it's not a terrible movie, Creepshow 2 absolutely pales in comparison to the original.

#220 - MovieCount2014 - 2010

I always liked this movie as a kid. 2010, or "2010: The Year We Make Contact" as it was also called with the spoiler right there in the title. Now it's 30 years old, set in the future, which is now 4 years in the past, so it's fun to look back from here in the distant future we live in to see what they got right in 1984. We are all really, really far behind in the space travel department. A couple shuttle disasters, economic collapse, and years of war could be to blame. But our computer technology is doing much, much better. Especially in the size and design of computers, and how the displays look. TV technology is far superior than predicted. There's no Soviet Union, but US-Russian relations are still a bit frosty. The movie also featured an electric car, and while they are not common, they are not as noisy as predicted, and I spotted a Budweiser in what appeared to be pouch form, like a Capri-Sun. Everybody's upholstery is white, because in the past, they always predicted everything would be clean and white in the future. Hospitals and hospital staff are all very, very white, and they use celsius instead of farenheit. They mention the Astrodome, so unless they were talking about the old days (which they were not) they didn't predict Houston's new ballpark. Oh, Zooey Deschanel's mom Mary Jo Deschanel pops up in this movie. And, 30 years later, Hellen Mirren somehow actually looks BETTER than she did in 1984. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

#219 - MovieCount2014 - Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Decent rock doc, even though I don't claim to be a Big Star fan. Also a good Memphis rock doc. I would really like to see a feature length documentary about Local H.

#218 - MovieCount2014 - Divergent

How the hell did Like Michigan get filled in? Movie wasn't terrible I guess, but I'm not the target demo. Seems better suited as a CW series.

#217 - MovieCount2014 - Maleficent (Second Viewing)

Holds up on the second viewing, still good.

#216 - MovieCount 2014 - Mud

Seemed like a Mark Twain story set in present day.

#215 - MovieCount 2014 - The Prestige

They should just make a Nikola Tesla movie starring David Bowie. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

#74 SeriesCount 2014 - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Season 1

I wouldn't normally count a program like this as a series, shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and all the late night talk shows are all ongoing year 'round, stopping regularly for breaks. Last Week Tonight fits into the season column, simply because the promos actually said season finale, it won't be back until 2015, and it's definitely counted as a 24 episode season. 24 episodes that buzzed by and made it feel like I only watched 8. This show is brilliant and it brilliantly brings to light real world and very important issues. This show is so funny, but more than that, it is important.

#214 - MovieCount 2014 - Muppets Most Wanted

Entertaining. And there was a pigfrog & a frogpig.

#213 - MovieCount 2014 - Boyhood

Boy, this movie seemed like it took 12 years to watch.

#73 SeriesCount 2014 - Doctor Who - Series 8

I like the new Doctor. But he's no David Tennant.

Friday, November 07, 2014

#212 - MovieCount 2014 - Interstellar

You might love it or hate it, but the visuals and story are pretty damn good. Deep & trippy science.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

#209 - MovieCount 2014 - Jarhead

If I wrote a memoir about my time in the military, there would be way more sitting around watching MTV and playing Sega Genesis. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Alternate Best of Five Series

The League Championship Series started as a best-of-5 series when the AL and NL each expanded to 12 teams in 1969. In 1985 the NLCS and ALCS expanded from a best-of-5 to a best-of-7 series.

What if the LCS stayed with the best-of-5 format?
Not taking into account pitching and managing strategies that come with the urgency of a short series, simply from a pure, completely unscientific "who got to 3 wins first" perspective... 9 World Series match-ups since 1985 would be different. Here's how it would play out...

1985 Blue Jays (not Royals) vs. Cardinals
1986 California Angels (not Red Sox) vs. Mets
1987 Giants (not Cardinals) vs. Twins
1991 Pirates (not Braves) vs. Twins
1996 Cardinals (not Braves) vs. Yankees
2003 Cubs (not Marlins) vs. Yankees
2004 Yankees vs. Astros (not Red Sox vs. Cardinals)
2007 Indians (not Red Sox) vs. Rockies
2012 Cardinals (not Giants) vs. Detroit
Only three 7 game series (1988 Dodgers, 1992 Braves, 2006 Cardinals) would have had the same result in a best of 5 format. The rest of the division series were 4 to 6 games.

The first year of the 7 game format staying at 5 games would have seen no I-70 series in 1985, as the Kansas City Royals would only be going to their 2nd World Series this year. Boston would have have only broken the Curse of the Bambino last year in 2013. The Cubs would have finally made it to the World Series in 2003, not having blown the last 2 games of the NLCS that year. The 2004 World Series is the only one in which both teams would have been affected. Plus, the Red Sox would have 3 less league pennants.

What if the World Series was a best-of-5 format?
The World Series has always been a best-of-7 series. What if it was a quick best-of-5? Once again, not taking into account pitching and managing strategies, just a completely unscientific "who got to 3 wins first" ...and, also not taking into account the previous alternate best-of-5 LCS scenario teams listed above - since they never played each other in an actual World Series (are we confused yet?, that means Boston is back in) ...and not counting a whole lot of best-of-7 series prior to 1973, because frankly I've already spent enough time on this tonight... 

Which the exception of the 1975 Reds, and the 2014 Giants, EVERY single World Series since 1973 that went a full 7 games would have a different outcome as a best-of-5 series.

1973 Mets (not A's)
1975 Reds *same result
1979 Orioles (not Pirates)
1982 Brewers (not Cardinals)
1985 Cardinals (not Royals)
1986 Red Sox (not Mets)
1987 Cardinals (not Twins)
1991 Braves (not Twins)
1997 Indians (not Marlins)
2001 Yankees (not Diamondbacks)
2002 Giants (not Angels)
2011 Rangers (not Cardinals)
2014 Giants *same result

Still World Champions either way.

My math may not be the best, and hopefully I looked at those number right, but whoever gets to 3 wins first in the World Series, better hope it never goes to 7. They probably won't win. There were plenty of World Series that went 7 games up until 1972 that would have had the same result in 5 games, a few differences here and there, but the numbers didn't really start flipping until 1973. 

Also, the 2014 San Francisco Giants were the first team to win Game 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, illustrating how lame & awful it is when the opposing team wins the championship and it's not in their home ballpark.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

#207 - MovieCount 2014 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

First time I've ever watched this movie.

#206 - MovieCount 2014 - Nightcrawler

Based on the trailer, I was hoping for a Michael Mann-style movie. Not it. To quote Mr. Horse from Ren & Stimpy, No sir, I didn't like it. Jake Gyllenhaal looks like Mr. Horse in this movie, unlikeable character. A sociopath with Asperger's. Plot holes out the wazoo. The climactic scene was good, but actually just contributed to how I didn't like the movie. Didn't like the score.