01 May 2008

SPOTD #139

This is a long edition. I had some time to do some music reviews and other things that I wanted to share. As always I encourage you to visit the blog. I've been focusing on Latin American issues to a greater degree, which has been relatively easy considering the amount of attention being given to the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

I also posted a video from the set of Twilight, a movie that I know some of you are eagerly aniticipating.

Today's phrase:
From Plato:

La música es para el alma lo que es la gimnasia para el cuerpo.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lah moo-see-kah ess pah-rah ell ahl-mah low kay ess lah heem-nah-syah pah-rah ell cware-poe.

Music is for the soul what gymnastics is for the body.

I've purchased some new music lately that I wanted to share. Some of these were actually bought several months ago, so I'm playing catch-up.
-Wyclef Jean's new CD has some good numbers. Nothing will compare to The Carnival for me. That was one of my most frequently listened-to CD's during my freshman year in college, as the guys who knew me then can attest. To some extent, I think the inclusion of guest performers on almost every song has actually weakened the quality of the music, which I thought was best served by Wyclef's own abilities. Then again, I'm not a millionaire singer/songwriter/producer. I can't vouch for the disc as family-friendly, as I haven't listened to the whole thing. One nice track to download would be Any Other Day with Norah Jones.
-Gnarls Barkley released a new CD, and with little fanfare considering the success of their first album. The new one is also pretty great. Cee-lo has such a distinctive voice.
-Paolo Nutini showed up as a recommendation on iTunes. I downloaded one of his songs, New Shoes, and really liked it so I decided to buy the rest. New Shoes is the peppiest song on the album, but I like the whole thing. It's a good set to have on in the background and just listen to while you're hanging out, driving, whatever.
-Bossa N Roses is one of the best finds I've made lately. It is a cover album consisting of electro-bossa nova versions of Guns N Roses' most well-known songs. My favorite is definitely Patience, but Sweet Child of Mine is pretty good as well. It helps you appreciate the excellent melodies of GNR's songs, and is another album that can be in the background without overpowering your ears or freaking out the kids. Can't necessarily say the same of the originals. I'm not saying these are better, but they're enjoyable like the Easy All Stars.
-Radiohead released their latest, In Rainbows, quite a while ago. I was late to the show on this one, which is silly because I've enjoyed everything that they've done, even if it took a little work to "get." I think it's a strong effort, a nice mix of electronic and more traditional instruments.

Travel Notes
-I ate at a restaurant that I'd never tried before, J Alexander. I met my friend, the recently engaged Lisa Chau, and her fiance. The portions are enormous and quite good. Even better than that, J Alexander surprised me in another impressive way. I have long felt that the best restaurants are those that have the Sports section affixed to bulletin boards over the urinals. You guys will understand. J Alexander has small LCD televisions over each station! Fantastic!
-Atlanta Hartsfield International airport has never been a favorite of mine. 90% of the flights that I have taken since moving to Gainesville in 1989 have gone through Atlanta. I had one of the longest nights of my life there in 2001, spending 8 hours in a plane that never left the ground due to bad weather. Well, this last trip that I took was the first where Atlanta was actually my final destination. Knowing Atlanta's reputation as one of the busiest airports in the U.S. I was prepared for the worst. I was wrong. Painless bag retrieval. Painless transport from the airport. Painless check in and very fast security lines.

Nostalgia Corner
-I saw a huge Indiana Jones poster at the Atlanta airport. Less than one month. This movie will be outstanding, I can feel it. When is the last time that Spielberg made a "fun" movie? The last one I can think of is probably The Lost World, although that film was not his best effort. Harrison Ford has always been a favorite actor of mine, so I'll be there opening night, the 7:15 showing.
-Transformers was one of the most enjoyable movies of last summer for me. It wasn't the best movie, not by a longshot, but I enjoyed every moment. This trip I borrowed my brother's DVD to watch it again. The film's flaws became more apparent, but I enjoyed it just as much.
-GI Joe is currently in production. This WAS my favorite cartoon as a child, with Transformers being second and He-Man third. I'm sure I'll post more info in the future.

David Blaine held his breath for 17 minutes. Have you ever seen some of the stuff this guy can do? I think he has a deal with the devil.

Link of the Day
I admire elite-level athletes, but this story is one of the special ones.

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