Mediathon Monday

Media-Thon Monday (6)

Hey, remember these? Media-Thon Monday has returned! What is Media-Thon Monday? Good question! Now, next time, raise your hand. MTM (as the cool kids call it) is a compilation of pop-culture finds that I think are interesting and worth sharing. So, without further ado, here… we… go!

That is a picture of a Drive-In theatre screen, FYI.

That is a picture of a Drive-In theatre screen, FYI.

Boy & Bear

My friend, Travis, sent me a link the other day (he lives in Australia). He likes to share good music when he comes across it. The band is Boy & Bear (from down-undah), and they are really, really great, especially their album Moonfire. For three days I thought the band was called Moonfire and the album Boy & Bear. Moonfire is the coolest name ever, so it was a little hard to get over.

I digress. Here is the first song off of Moonfire, “Lordy May.”

The Battle of Blockbusters

No, this isn’t about Blockbuster closing all their stores (though that is worth noting). It’s an interesting article I came across about similar themed movies coming out at the same time (think Armageddon and Deep Impact).

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Media-thon Monday (5)

I haven’t been doing these Media-thons as much as I’d like to. Sorry. The wife and I have been laboriously preparing for our move to Rochester, spending time in North Idaho’s lake water, and/or trying to sell my guitar amp on Craigslist.

So sue me. (Please don’t sue me).

Here it is! Your fifth installment of Media-thon Monday:

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Pacific Rim

I know this mention is a little late (and enough has probably been said about how great this movie is), but if you haven’t seen it yet then please go see it. Pacific Rim is wonderful.

If you’re like me, then the previews looked dumb to you too. Transformers meets Battleship. No thanks.

Admitting I’m wrong is not the easiest thing for me to do. So instead, I’m blaming the advertising.

Go see it! Pacific Rim is refreshingly original—as in, not based on an 80’s movie, comic book, or board game—has heart, tremendous acting and casting, as well as giant and effective action sequences that should fire Michael Bay from any current or future film project.

The film is not without its faults, but after Man of Steel (which I hated), Pacific Rim wins my award for best Summer blockbuster.

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Risky Business

I played my first game of Risk last night. I’m not sure how I got through nearly 27 years of life without playing it. I just don’t. Risk is a wonderful game of patience and strategy. During the game, my friend Tyler showed me a video that I thought was pretty great. If you’ve never played the game then it might not make much sense.

Or maybe it will. Risk it.

Why Millennials are Leaving the Church

If you follow Rachel Held Evans (here’s a blog I wrote after I saw her speak) then you have undoubtedly already seen this wonderful essay she wrote for the CNN Belief Blog. As usual, she hit the nail on the head. I relate to just about everything she said. I hope I can someday capture people in my writings the way she does.

Any way, check out the short essay here: Why Millennials are Leaving the Church

Stephen King & The First Line of a Book

I’ve been reading tons of the King lately. He’s a master story teller. What I’ve come to appreciate is how efficient he is at crafting unique characters. Just this morning, I came across a great interview he recently conducted with The Atlantic about the “voice” of his characters.

In it, he also talks about the time he spends crafting—working and re-working—the first sentence of his books. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, it’s worth checking out. I found it to be a super interesting read.

Why Stephen King spends ‘Months and Even Years’ Writing Opening Sentences

Did you see Pacific Rim? What did you think? Check out the last installment of Media-thon Monday here.

Media-Thon Monday (4)

Well, I know I promised I’d try this every week. I think every-other week will do.

So here it is, your moment of Media-thon Monday zen.

Chicago Airport_Fotor

Littering is SO 2012

This guy started a campaign on Instagram to rid the world of litter. It’s stuff like this that gets me excited about the potential positive impact of social media in the world. But be warned. This campaign carries a high-user side-effect of “humble brag.” It is hard, though, to argue against cleaning up the streets.

Like any super power, social media should be used wisely. I’m interested to see if this campaign really catches on.

I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business

The band I Can Make A Mess—side band of the lead singer of The Early November—just released a new album. I haven’t quite heard the whole thing, though I’ve been quite obsessed with the new song, “Lions.”

Check it out, what do you think? Catchy as a virus?

One Step Closer to Harry Potter

Yes, I haven’t even started my first semester and I’m already bragging on the University of Rochester. Check out this great video, and link to an article about it here, on invisible cloaking devices.

Pretty dang cool, if I’d say so myself (which I just did).

Prancersise, yes it’s real

Don’t forget your ankle weights!

What do you think, are you ready to Prancersise?

Well, that’s it for now! Check out the previous edition of Media-thon Monday HERE.

Media-Thon Monday (3)

Welcome to the third edition of Media-thon Monday. This is where I share my favorite pop culture finds from the week with you lucky folk. Checky checky it out.

The Call of the Wild

I came across this great little surf video of Big Sur/CA 1 called, “The Call of the Wild.” It’s majestic. It’s inspiring. It’s thirty minutes away.

Why am I leaving here?

For poetry lovers, you’ll hear Robert William Service’s poem of the same name recited throughout the film. Great stuff. Originally spotted this video on the great blog, Arcsurf.

Arrested Development

It’s back! Netflix held true to its word and premiered 15 new episodes of the formerly cancelled groundbreaking Fox sitcom. (Despite posters, trailers, and guarantees, I still never thought it would happen). Only a few episodes in, I must say it’s not exactly what I expected. The first couple episodes are quite slow and hard to follow.

I am, however, still pleased with what they’ve made. The writers (& team) manage to surprise viewers at every turn; this is, generally, my most sought after attribute for film and TV. The AD team has recaptured some of the energy of the original, all the while harnessing new.

A great post from AD’s twitter:

Check out the new season now on Netflix. If you never got into this show, now is a good time.

Green Lincoln, Amazon Mp3

Amazon MP3 is increasingly becoming the only way I purchase music. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my vinyl records and hope to have a Jimmy Page sized collection some day. Until then, I’ll have to settle for Amazon. In case you didn’t know, Amazon features 100 albums for $5 every month.

Yes, we’re almost into a new month. Go buy Radiohead’s Kid A for $5, then check back in another week for a whole new set of albums that will only cost you a green Lincoln. The current list is HERE.

Temple Run 2

TempleRun2-1

I’m not a huge “gamer.” I own a PS3 but use it mostly for Netflix and updating things. Once, maybe twice a year I’ll buy a game and get really into it for a week or so. A real moderate.

That said, I’m completely obsessed with Temple Run 2. There’s just something about adventure, the Indiana Jones/Uncharted theme, that I really, really like. It’s a game built for the iPhone (I think Andriod as well); so yes, I’m finally making good use of my phone. Here’s what you do. You run, duck, slide, turn and collect coins. Sometimes a giant monkey thing chases you. It’s awesome.

Yes, he’s a red head. All the better.

Your Guess is as Good as Mine

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Have you watched the new Arrested Development season yet? Your thoughts? Any good albums on the $5 list you’d recommend?

Media-Thon Monday (Guest Post)

The following is a guest post. Tony, from A Way With Words, graciously accepted my offer for Media-thon Monday contributions. Check out his wonderful blog HERE.

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Dan McCormick: An Emerging Folk Musician from the Midwest

I appreciate Kevin’s “Media Monday” invitation to feature a favorite emerging artist.  One artist I have my eyes (and ears) on is folk singer Dan McCormick.  McCormick is graduating from Hanover College (in Indiana), and is enrolled in an M.A. program at University of Louisville (planning to pursue a Ph.D. in English).  While at Hanover, he produced three albums (which can be accessed and downloaded free here).

Dan tells stories in his songs with word pictures that are vivid and non-sentimental.  His songs are succinct (many under 3 minutes).  They avoid clichés yet find poetic resolution.  They are vignettes, or, as in the title of his second album, “devotions” of a young man looking for the best in life but not afraid of the worst.

One song that really grabbed me as I listened to Dan’s work is called, “Sandy and Creole” which celebrates two distinct young women – one, a starry-eyed debutante – the other, a pill-popping femme fatale.  Through the wonder of the narrator, we fall in love with both of them.  The song works on a literal level – describing two alluring young women, but also philosophically, as we are drawn to both the idealism of Sandy and the nihilism of Creole.

I encourage you to hear Dan’s version of “Sandy and Creole” (by clicking on the title).  If you want to follow the lyrics, they are listed below. 2022784363-1

Sandy says that best friends will never grow apart,

and she makes faces at the clouds.

She cuts pretty pictures out of magazines,

and if it rains we watch T.V. without a sound.

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Creole fills her pockets with cigarettes and pills,

curing boredom with anything she can.

She says, “You can find your answer in the melody.

Forget the rest—it all means nothin’, man!”

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And Sandy says she’s gonna be a star.

She says, “I’ve got this debutante thing down.”

Creole says, “I don’t care if I don’t have any money.”

And she sobers up and drives back into town.

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Sandy gives me chewing gum and giggles all the time,

and we lay in circles in the grass.

She says we’re perfect just the way we are,

and she wonders how we can make the summer last.

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Creole pulls my jacket off and takes me by the arm,

and we dance like feathers in the air.

I can see her busted up and smiling,

tumbled over with blood in her hair.

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And Sandy says, “Tell me all your dreams.

Can’t you hear that sweet angelic call?”

Creole says, “God is dead, so let’s get drunk instead,

and we’ll celebrate our luminescent fall.”

Check out the previous edition of Media-thon Monday HERE. For future contributions, contact me at:

kevindanielblog (@) gmail (dot) com

Media-thon Monday (1st Edition)

Hold on to your hats, or bifocals, I’m trying something new. This new thing, it’s called Media-thon Monday.

The goal is simple: to devote a spread to awesome art/media finds and/or pop culture. While I don’t ever see myself breaking into the pop-culture blogosphere (nor do I wish to), it’s my blog and I can post if I want to.

Depending on discipline, demand, and response, the frequency is yet to be determined. On with the show…

picstitchDenison Witmer

All of my close friends know how obsessed I am with this Denison Witmer guy. He was the first to inspire me to sing and write songs of my own on the acoustic guitar. He has a new self-titled album out, which you can stream for free on bandcamp. So far, my favorites are “Born Without the Words” and “Constant Muse.”

The album features many prominant folk artists, including William Fitzimmons, Dawn Landes, and Sufian Stevens. Here is the first single, “Keep Moving Brother, Keep Moving Sister.”

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 was fantastic. Megan and I saw it at the Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo this weekend. I was floored. (Drive-In joke?)  I’ve heard fans claim 3 as their favorite Iron Man of the franchise. I’m not sure I agree—as the first installment holds a special place in my heart—but the argument is valid.

For me, the pacing of the film made the storyline a little hard to follow. I wasn’t as big a fan of Guy Pierce as everyone else seems to be; he was good, not great. Robert Downey JR. was the man, as usual. There was a great twist (which I wont spoil) and it genuinely surprised me. No small feat these days in Summer/super hero movies. Go see it, you’ll love it!

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Weird Japanese Condiment Picker Upper

I would never use it; I would probably break it; still, I must have it. The first time I watched this video straight through, I felt like I awoke from a coma. Then I watched it again. It’s strangely soothing and addicting, no? Just me? … I was just.. joking.

Uh…hem. When will the Japanese invent what we really need: a scooper for mash potatoes off of t-shirts!

My Uncle’s Band is Actually Pretty Darn Good

My Uncle Steve plays drums for The Scarlet Furies. This live performance video, filmed at a show in Pennsylvania, is just fantastic. It’s a cover of “I Put a Spell on You.” Check it out!

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Well what did you think? Should I continue with Media Mondays, or has this dead horse been turned to glue? Did you see Iron Man 3; what were your thoughts? For any interested, I also posted a new song on my Music Career page. Check it out, it’s called “Beyond Measure” and it’s weird.

Guest Writers Wanted for Media-Thon Monday: 

  • Write a short feature on a favorite album of yours and/or new artist
  • Movie review/write up/Netflix Instant recommends
  • Book review/genre write up
  • Youtube/art finds

(Contact via email on About Me page)