Monday, October 26, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Albums

(Billy The Kid was voted "favorite outlaw" in the latest poll)

If you are interested I have already put together a top ten list of my favorite Christian music albums. You can find it in the archives.

For this list although I am only giving my top ten I decided against placing them in any kind of order because after about 4 they are impossible to rank. Each one is my favorite depending on the day and my mood. However, you probably already know that The Beatles and U2 are my all-time favorite bands so that should give you a clue. There are many great albums I love which barely missed the cut. For instance, Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison, The Beatles (White Album) , Yes- Fragile, The Jayhawks- Tomorrow The Green Grass, U2- Acthung Baby, The Clash- London Calling, The Black Crowes- Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, and three or four Radiohead albums! I know one person in particular will be letting me know what I left out!

The Dark Side of the Moon- Pink Floyd

I would definitely classify this as the "greatest rock album of all-time" regardless of what Rolling Stone magazine or any other publications say. I know Sgt. Pepper always gets that label but c'mon it isn't really close. This was Pink Floyd's artistic pinnacle and it still holds the record for being the album to stay on Billboard's top 100 list the longest amount of time totalling 1500 weeks!! Despite the fact that Classic Rock radio (which I HATE!) dices it up and serves it in bastardized portions a dozen times a day, I still pull it out and listen to it from time to time. It's the benchmark for anyone out there that wants to know what the "perfect record" sounds like. In case you are wondering the runner-up in Billboard chart longevity is Legend - Bob Marley and The Wailers, but it is years and years behind.

Revolver- The Beatles

As the years have passed and music historians looked back at the most important records in rock 'n roll they began to give this one more respect. It's successor, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band still gets plenty of praise, but now the turning point of The Beatles musical revolution is recognized on this earlier album. It was the first post-touring Beatles album when they could focus more on the studio and the myriad of possibilities for creating a masterpiece. The seeds of this record laid the groundwork for Sgt. Pepper's critical harvest. My favorite songs are Taxman, I'm Only Sleeping, and She Said She Said.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan- Bob Dylan

This is my favorite Dylan album and in my opinion his most artistic folk album. He of course became very experimental when he went electric in later years but I have always liked his early stuff the best. I discussed my favorite Dylan albums earlier on this blog which you can find in the archives. This album is the one that solidified Dylan as the world's best folk song writer.

Blind Melon- Blind Melon

This is my favorite album of the 90s. It has some sentimental value for me over many of the other albums here. The song Time has a lyric which says, "Sittin' on a swing watching Columbus clouds bring in the rain." That's isn't Columbus, Ohio Shannon Hoon is singing about, that's Columbus, Mississippi where I lived from 1988 to 1996 when I got married. Drummer Glen Graham was from Columbus and an alumnus of my alma mater S.D. Lee High School. The Bee girl on the cover is Georgia Graham, Glen's sister. I didn't know her personally, but I did see Georgia roaming the halls of Lee High when she was a senior and I was a freshman. I did know another girl, however, who was in the same kindergarten class, in the same bee costume, in her own picture she once showed me. As for the album, it still holds up to this day and may be the most underrated classic of the past 20 years. It's a shame Hoon died of an overdose and they could never recapture the magic of this one.

Abbey Road- The Beatles

No matter what is said about all the other Beatles albums, this one is my favorite. Actually, this is probably my favorite album of all time, even though it includes one of their worst songs- Octopus's Garden- which I never listen to. The second half of this album was the Beatles saying goodbye and in my opinion they saved their best for last!

OK Computer- Radiohead

The Bends is an excellent album, and many would say it is Radiohead's best but I think OK Computer is the point where they became much more sophisticated and mature in their creative song writing. But I like all of Radiohead's albums and recently I've been listening to In Rainbows a bunch.

Chutes Too Narrow- The Shins

Here's an album I put in my CD player and didn't take out for a while. I love it from beginning to end and sing along all the way through. I suppose that would qualify it for "top ten" status.

Rattle and Hum- U2

The soundtrack for the film that made me a U2 fan to begin with. I remember the winter of 88 when I bought this CD and listened to it for weeks nonstop. I subsequently bought all of their music. I know it was not a critical favorite and U2 seemed to be acting a bit too self-important covering classics by The Beatles and Bob Dylan, but this one is still very special to me.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars- David Bowie

This one has really grown on me. I always thought it was good but after listening repeatedly I think this is definitely one of the most brilliant artistic rock albums of all time. It is certainly one of the best of the 70s.

The Joshua Tree- U2

THE album of the 80s and U2 at their peak. I used to listen to this on a daily basis from 88 to 90. I was actually disappointed when Achtung Baby was released because I was expecting The Joshua Tree 2 or something. It took me a little while to warm up to U2's new style, but I eventually came around. I would put this album just behind Abbey Road among my favorites.

Ok, that's it, so give it to me! Sorry I didn't include any Led Zeppelin or Coldplay. And surprisingly, no Styx!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Muppets

(So, Poison best represents the 80s apparently, for hair metal anyway)

With apologies to that annoying kids favorite, Elmo. And to Fozzie who I like, but told one too many bad jokes.

1. Grover

Before Elmo came along, Grover was the star. His Super Grover is still the baddest super hero of all time. He made crash landings popular BEFORE the Greatest American Hero. Don't forget it! (and apparently I'm not alone since he won the poll question handily)

2. Lew Zealand

He throws boomerang fish! This guy cracks me up everytime he shows up that one millisecond in a Muppets skit or movie. I love the name so much I'm changing my blog name from Dignan to Lew Zealand.

3. The Swedish Chef

He has real hands and everything he says is hilarious because I have no idea what he is saying!

4. Beeker

Seriously, who doesn't love Beeker?

5. Animal

Plays drums, chases women...what's not to love?

6. Miss Piggy

Funniest female in the history of comedy...even though a man does her voice. If I weren't married I would seriously consider counseling because I want to think about possibly going on a date with her to see if we could make something happen...possibly.

7. Statler and Waldorf

I know they are two muppets but inseperable so they count as one. Negativity and criticism were never funnier. If I was on the show, I'd be one of those guys. "If you were on the show we wouldn't have to look at this stupid blog...bwahahahaha". See I'm doing it already.

8. Crazy Harry

He blows stuff up! Need I say more?

9. Gonzo

What do Gonzo and Colonel Sanders have in common? Exactly.

10. Sam Eagle

At least Statler and Waldorf laugh after they rip something. Sam don't give a rat's A@#!

What, you say? Where's beloved Kermit? Well, I thought that was a bit obvious. That would be like picking Luke Skywalker for favorite Star Wars character. I meant BESIDES the ring leader of course. Until next time...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Football Observations

(In recent polls Liger was voted favorite cat..."it's pretty much my favorite animal." And Batman was picked over Hannah Montana surpisingly, for favorite big-screen superhero.)

A month into the football season, "the most wonderful time of the year" there are many interesting stories in pro and college.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to the Detroit Lions for finally winning a game and HAIL to the Redskins for being the "designated loser". Like the guy at the frat party who has to take the ugly girl home, you sacrificed yourself for the good of the league. I just wonder if Jim Zorn will still be the coach at the end of the year.

Congratulations to the University of Washington for not only FINALLY winning a game but upsetting the mighty USC Trojans. Although with a couple of rookie QBs vying for starts they aren't as mighty as advertised.

Virginia Tech got beat my beloved Crimson Tide, but watch out! The Hokies hung on to beat a good Nebraska team and dominated the favored Canes of Miami. Tyrod is looking pretty cool as the leader and I don't see any contenders to keep them from another ACC title. Just think, if Oklahoma beats Texas and Florida stumbles to Bama in the SEC title game, wouldn't it be something to see a Hokie vs. Tide rematch. I know I'm assuming a lot here but I bet the Hokie nation would love another shot at us.

Did anyone see that Oregon vs. Boise State game to start the season. I was completely shocked and dismayed by that spectacle. Who in the world would put duck feathers over the shoulder pads. What a dumb uniform! ...And that sucker punch by Lagarette Blount was pretty bad, too.

Who would've bet at the beginning of the season that the Denver Broncos would be 3-0 and the Titans would be 0-3?

Who would have thought the ownership styles of Jerry Jones and Al Davis would draw so much attention? You gotta admit that scoreboard is pretty awesome and you gotta admit Al does resemble the Emperor Palpatine.

And with all of the great quarterback play from the youngsters, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and Mark Sanchez it almost makes you wish Brett Favre would un-retire and show them how to do it old-school....huh, someone just handed me a note. Apparently, Favre is the starting quarterback of the Vikings. Whatever! Like that would ever happen. They're in the Packers' division. That would make as much sense as that 49er who stood on the star playing for the Cowboys....what's that? oh.

But seriously, can you believe it's been a month and Terrell Owens hasn't called out his head coach AND quarterback?

And do you think that Al Michaels and Bob Cosatas aren't even a little bit embarrassed to be on the same program with Keith "Moonbat" O-LIBERAL-man?

So far I have been pleasantly surprised that Chris Collinsworth hasn't made me throw anything at the TV during the Sunday night games. And I think "Chucky", AKA Jon Gruden , is doing a very good job so far on Monday Night Football. The banter between him and Jaws is at least more entertaining to me than the spats between Ron and Tony Kornheiser last season.

And speaking of sports commentary, I'm just wondering something- when a team has a bye week and then lose it's because they are "rusty", but if they have a bye week and then dominate "they've had time to rest and prepare". Which is it, sportscasters? I guess it depends on which side of the bed you woke up on. We'll probably never know.