Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Our semi-annual year-end family photo, the first to include our little girl Freddie. I don't know if it's obvious, but she highly disapproved of this whole activity.
Wishing all the best to you in 2016!! 


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 16 LPs of 2015

So why 16 LPs, rather than 10 or 20?  Sixteen is the number of songs that typically fit into a 60 minute podcast. :)

My podcast for this week is a countdown of my fave LPs of the past year. My criteria for selection:
  • Must be available on vinyl
  • Must have been released in 2015 (must also have "2015" printed somewhere on the sleeve).
  • Reissues were considered if they included new material and/or packaging (i.e. remixed, bonus tracks, etc).
So here's the list!
  1. No Pier Pressure - Brian Wilson
  2. Begin the Begone - The Orange Peels
  3. Still Got That Hunger - The Zombies
  4. The Magic Whip - Blur
  5. Paper Gods - Duran Duran
  6. 1 (2015 remix) - The Beatles
  7. Music from Love and Mercy
  8. The Butterscotch Cathedral - s/t
  9. Let's Have a Party: Live at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, NJ 8/31/1981 - Go-Go's
  10. Tug Of War (2015 remix, expanded) - Paul McCartney
  11. LIVE! 8.24.1979 - the B-52's
  12. Recreational Love - The Bird and The Bee
  13. Real People - Lyrics Born
  14. Postcards From Paradise - Ringo Starr
  15. The BBC Radio Sessions - The Zombies
  16. No Cities To Love - Sleater Kinney
You can listen to the podcast here (link will remain live for about 8 weeks): 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reviewing 2015

It's that time of year when music geeks around the globe engage in their annual reflection of the year's new releases in a sincere effort to assemble their personal "Best Of" list(s).  Non-music heads are prone to scoff at this tradition, but us music people take this task very seriously.

As of this writing I am almost half way through my vinyl purchases of 2015.  Of course I have my specific criteria for which releases qualify for potential inclusion (which will be included when I post my final list).

To my fellow music geeks, I look forward to seeing your lists! If you're so inclined, feel free to post them in the comments.

Happy listening!  JEFF

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

RIP Austin Pawers

Last Wednesday (12/9/2015) we said a tearful farewell to our boy Austin. He had started resisting food and water, which is never a good sign for rabbits. We made an emergency visit to the vet, who told us that Austin was having trouble breathing and that his heartbeat was extremely irregular. Our fella was tired.

Austin came into our family, along with his friend Simon, in 2004. Where Simon was very open with his affection, Austin played his cards closer to his chest. It took a couple of years and a lot of patience for me to develop a relationship with him. It wasn't until after Simon's passing two years ago that Austin respected me enough to give me kisses.  To be honest, I didn't expect to ever see such a level of affection from our guarded bunny. Over the last two years when I was dealing with health issues and living with the loss of my brother and Simon, Austin proved to be the ideal companion. We developed a friendship on his terms (as it typically works with rabbits), and he stuck by my side.  I could tell that he loved me, and he showed it the best way he knew how.

At the vet, a sweet and unexpected kiss goodbye.
As I type this I am tearing up again, thinking about my final moments with my little friend.  We were in a room waiting for the vet, and when Leo briefly stepped outside of the room Austin unexpectedly reached his head up to give me a thorough cheek wash. It was an incredibly sweet moment; I truly sensed that Austin knew he was ready to go, and that he was saying goodbye.  After we received his prognosis I spent a final five minutes on the floor with Austin, at which point he gave me a few more bonus kisses (which Leo captured on my phone).  At a time when I was trying to comfort him and assure him that he would be OK, he seemed intent on doing the same for me.  It was such an affirmation of the unlikely bond that we managed to form with each other, and a special gift that I will never forget.

Thank you, Austin, for all of the life that you shared in your eleven years with us. You have a permanent place in my heart. Rest in peace, my sweet boy.