Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MUSIC: Putting the cassette to bed: Sony to discontinue handheld tape recorders in 2013

The Walkman's retirement wasn't quite the death of the cassette tape, but the format's final days aren't far off: Sony's calling it quits on the tape recorder. Final shipments for the company's TCM-400, TCM-410 and TCM-450 cassette recorders are due early next year, marking the end of the product line. Despite the shunning of magnetic tape from Sony's portable line up, the company still has a slot in its heart for the old cassette, and will continue to sell boomboxes with CD / tape deck combos. Even so, rewindable media seems to be on its way out the door -- maybe its time to build a better


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

MOVIES: Donald Duck and his days in The Army

it's Veterans Day today in the United States. It’s a day where we honor any veteran who have served in the military in our country. My dad, Charles Smith, and his father Charles Smith senior are both vets. My dad served in the Coast Guard for 25 years and my grandfather served and fought in the Korean War. Second to them, obviously, my favorite vet is Donald Duck; and in his honor and everyone else who has served here are some Disney animations featuring Donald Duck and his time served in the Army.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

COMICS: Neil deGrasse Tyson ‘finds’ Superman’s homeworld

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s . . . Superman’s home planet!

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has pinpointed a real location for the fictional planet of Krypton.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

War Of The Worlds!! Why people believed it 75 years ago. And STILL keep believing it!

This hour of Radiolab: an examination of the power of mass media to create panic.

In our very first live hour, we take a deep dive into one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history: Orson Welles' 1938 radio play about Martians invading New Jersey. "The War of the Worlds" is believed to have fooled over a million people when it originally aired, and it's continued to fool people since--from Santiago, Chile to Buffalo, New York to a particularly disastrous evening in Quito, Ecuador.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MOVIES/VIDEOS: Star Wars music flash mob

The WDR Symphony Orchestra brought The Force to the Wallraf Square in Cologne, Germany during their impromptu performance of the classic Star Wars theme song.


Friday, September 14, 2012

TELEVISION/VIDEOS: Daughter embarrassing herself

Daughter: "Looks like we're totally lost!"

Me: "That's okay long as we don't see a smoke monster!"

Daughter: "Ha!"

After a pause...

Daughter: "It's kind of sad I got that reference."

Me: "Yeah... Yeah, it is."

Daughter shaking her head: "God, I am so your daughter!"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

COMICS: Artist who drew some covers for “The Phantom” comic books is now transgender

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — First it was musician Laura Jane Grace in the Spring, followed by film director Lana Wachowski’s debut this Summer. Now Australia’s Lindsay Walker, an artist who has previously drawn a number of covers for The Phantom comic book series, has recently made her transition to female official.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

MUSIC: Hundreds of John Peel shows for streaming!

For fans disappointed that the online debut of the late John Peel’s record collection didn’t feature actual music off those platters or broadcasts by the legendary British DJ, here’s the real deal: a streaming collection of 458 episodes of Peel’s show, presumably digitized off cassettes, that totals 846 hours and spans the years 1967 to 2004.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MOVIES/VIDEOS: Star Wars speed dating

Commander #1:
We’ve analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?

Governor Tarkin:
Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

TELEVISION/VIDEOS: The Doctor vs Jesus

MUSIC: 10 rock bands you either hate or love

There are a number of artists who frequently make the “best of” lists but most rational people don’t argue their merit. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin are typically at the top in classic rock, and even their critics don’t place usually place them farther than top 20. Move a little farther down and you’ll find Jimi Hendrix and The Who where most will agree if they’re not the all-time greatest, at least they’re not horrible. Bruce Springsteen may not be everybody’s favorite, but most rock fans appreciate what he does. This list is specifically made up of groups who have a large contingent of rabid supporters, yet they also have a large number of devoted detractors. People are passionate for them, or passionate against them.


Monday, July 09, 2012

MUSIC: My take on Day 2 of The 80/35 Music Festival

These are just some things I wrote for Facebook but couldn't manage to get my phone to put them up.

- Ready to rock out on Day 2 of 80/35. And to folk out, bluegrass out, and even jam out. But I'll say one thing, with all this heat and sweat, it's obviously that I'm out!

8035, I love you dearly. But damn, you take a toll on this middle age body!

- One thing I forgot to mention on Facebook on Day 1 was how I was amused when I saw where 80/35 had their headquarters. It was our old GLBT center.

We had got kicked out a couple of months back, and now it was sitting vacant. Last I heard, some of The Center's stuff was still there. I kinda wanted to go in and see, but I didn't!

But I'm on a couple of the committees for The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, who put on 80/35, so I probably could have gone in. Buti'll ask if anything was still there when we're chatting before the committee meetings start.

- Ready to rock out on Day 2 of 80/35. And to folk out, bluegrass out, and even jam out. But I'll say one thing, with all this heat and sweat, it's obviously that I'm out!

- Arrived at 80/35 just in time! As I got there, the lead singer said, "Hi, welcome to 80/35. I'm Derek Lambert."

Why did I not know about Derek Lambert & The Prairie Fires? A really good local folk rock band that can rock out while keeping the folk roots.

- Checked out Now, Now. Two female guitarists and a drum machine. Pretty bland indie rock.

- Little Ruckus last night at The Vaudeville Mews and today at 80/35 have been the best shows yet! Their shows are experiences, not concerts! Full of fun audience participation! (Long live The Sandwich Eating Crew!)

I have never had such fun messing up my arthritic knee! Little Ruckus totally wore out this middle age man with their fun interactive show.

- Now enjoying the sweet air conditioning of Subway!

- Once again, I'm watching a band from the outside using the big screen. Listening to Grensky Bluegrass. They're pretty good, but kind of mellow for my taste.

- Well, went back to Grensky Bluegrass after catching the end of the Mumford's and checking out Night Moves. (Night Moves didn't move me!) 

But Grensky Bluegrass seem to found their groove and put out some awesome music. Their banjo player and mandolinist were incredible, and the way they played off each other was amazing.

I have to add that the heat isn't keeping the jam band/bluegrass folk from dancing at 80/35!

- Favorite t-shirt I've seen at 80/35: "I've seen bands that don't even exist yet!"

- John Isbell & The 400 Unit was some nice well done roots rock. And he uses an accordion in one song!

- The K-Holes were some interesting hard rock with a nice stage presence in their sexy black clothes!

- Okay, Dan Deacon does some really fun, energetic, pounding electronic dance music. But by performing on street level instead on the stage, he has made sure only people within five feet in front of him could see the performance. Which is too bad, cus it was some of  the best music this weekend. I would have liked to have SEEN the show!

Oh, well, at least it have me a chance to sit and rest. Could hear and see everything just as well that way! 

- Tried to watch Deathcab For Cutie since it's the favorite band of one of my nieces. There were two songs that had a pretty good groove going on. Other than those, they rather bored me.

- Went to After 80/35 party at Vaudeville Mews. Pure Gut with Patrick Fleming of Poison Control Center opened. It featured Ladd Askland, who's usually involved behind the scenes with Des Mounes music. The band, though, was fun and energetic. And Askland has a very interesting stage presence!

But Poison Control Center closed out the night. It seems these guys have been involved in every 80/35! If not in the actual festival, then doing an after party at The Mews! It's just NOT 80/35 without a PCC performance!

And the crowd was hopping! The show was free and the bar was packed. And the front of the audience was bouncing all over the place with plenty of local musicians filling the ranks.

I have to admit that I was rather annoyed cus they didn't do "Magic Circle Symphony"! But after the crowd chanted "One more song!", they closed with it. So we all repeated what Pat Fleming just said! And the stage was stormed with much if the audience singing how love was the answer!

It put a nice big exclamation to the end of 80/35!

Friday, July 06, 2012

ENTERTAINMENT: Unsure about 80/35? Then You Need To Go.

Unsure about 80/35? Then You Need To Go.

MUSIC: My daughter's and my musical taste differences!

Daughter: "I'm fine if you take it upstairs and I don't have to hear your military band music!"

Me: "I'm not listening to military bands! The Fourth of July is over. I'm listening to 8035 music!" 80/35 is the local music festival.

Daughter: "Oh, that's so much better!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MUSIC: The importance of Paul Simon's "Graceland" to my Peace Corps group

A short little article on the importance of Paul Simon's "Graceland" to my Peace Corps group. It's from the newsletter for Friends Of Lesotho, a group for returned Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Lesotho.

Monday, June 18, 2012

MUSIC: Some playlists for Father's Day

This is one I made about fathers from the music I had on hand. It's on Spotify.


This playlist features songs that remind me of my daughter. It's also on Spotify.


This is one I found on Songza that I liked...


This one is good, but didn't wow me. Still I listened to it quite a bit. It's on Last.fm.


This one wasn't too shabby either. It's on Spotify.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012



Saturday, May 19, 2012

MUSIC: Your dad played in a band nobody had heard of before you did

Your dad played in a band nobody had heard of before you did and they were so indie that even you don’t know who they are. Have you ever heard of the genre house-clash slam-punk fist-rock?


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Search This Blog

My Twitter Page On Entertainment

Music That I've Enjoyed Recently

My Internet Radio Stations

This is a fairly good sampling of some of the music I listen to. It's missing a few genres I like - such as cajun. I'll work on that later. But it does contain most of my favorite artists. I tried to steer away from the better known songs to give you a better idea of what kind of music the artists play, but I was limited by the songs the website - Project Playlist - had available. But if you want to get an idea of what I listen to, just hit the play or arrow button. - OlderMusicGeek

The internet station that does the best of playing my music is Last.fm. Here's my station if you're interested.

This website, OlderMusicGeek Radio on Pandora.com, does a fairly decent job of playing what I like, although they do occasionally play stuff I don't care for, but overall they're pretty good.