Happy New Year, everybody! I hope your 2013 is even better than 2012!
Be safe out there, everyone!
Happy New Year, everybody! I hope your 2013 is even better than 2012!
Be safe out there, everyone!
“You weren’t anything to him but something that would grow big enough to bury him when the time came, and now that he’s dead, he’s shut of you but you got two hundred pounds of him to carry below the face of the earth.”
– Flannery O’Connor
“You Can’t Be Any Poorer Than Dead”
Oh my gosh, y’all! Better late than never, no? This week’s games start in less than 12 hours! I hope y’all will forgive me – I have just lost ALL sense of time with these holidays! I went 11-5 yet again last week, and am 159-80 for the season. Let’s see how I do in the final week of the regular season!
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Will the Durty Birds play to win now that they have the #1 seed? I think so – take the Falcons!
New York Jets at Buffalo: Who cares? Take the Bills, if you must.
Baltimore at Cincinnati: Take the Tigers in my Upset of the Week™! The Bengals will win this one by 4 or more.
Chicago at Detroit: As banged up as the Bears are, I’ll take them over the Lions.
Jacksonville at Tennessee: Once again… who cares? Take the Titans.
Houston at Indianapolis: This will be a much better game than it looked in August, but I’ll still take the Texans.
Carolina at New Orleans: Oh Cam… this one is going to hurt. Take the Saints!
Philadelphia at New York Giants: The Iggles collapse is complete. Take the Giants!
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Sigh. What a waste. Take the Steelers. Maybe.
Kansas City at Denver: Talk about cannon fodder… take the Broncos!
Green Bay at Minnesota: Yawn. Sorry it’s late: take the Packers!
Miami at New England: Sorry, Grandpa Jack. The Patriots will destroy the Fins.
Oakland at San Diego: Only fun if you want to see Norv’s last game with the Chargers, who will probably win.
Arizona at San Francisco: Take the 49ers, duh!
St. Louis at Seattle: The way the Seahawks are playing, I’m not sure who could beat them!
Dallas at Washington: I’ll never say this again: GO REDSKINS!
Enjoy the picks, y’all! See you for the playoffs!
Jingle jingle, y’all! Simon here! Christmas is almost upon us, and I hope my gift to you is a list of puuuurfect picks! I went 11-5 again last week, for a total of 148-75 for the season. Let’s ho-ho-hope I can knock it out of the park this week! Y’all have a great Christmas! See y’all next week!
Atlanta at Detroit: Will Simon get his Christmas wish of seeing Calvin Johnson’s johnson? Probably not. But them Durty Birds will come to town and do a number on the Lions, honey! Take the Falcons!
New Orleans at Dallas: Although the Cowgirls beat the Steelers last week in OT, they didn’t look all that great against Pittsburgh’s fifth-string defenders (seriously, did you know any of those handsome mens the Steelers had on the field in the second half?). Sexy Drew Brees and that handsome Marques Colston will shred the Cowboys! Take the Aints!
Tennessee at Green Bay: Go green! Again! Take the Packers!
Indianapolis at Kansas City: Andrew Luuuuucccckk? Simon’s looking for yooooouuu! Don’t worry about this game, Colts fans: the last time a quarterback drafted by Kansas City won a game was 1987. Astsonishing, ain’t it? Take the Colts!
Buffalo at Miami: I like my South Beach mens in this game. Know why? Those Buffalo Boys are going to be too busy sippin’ Mai Tais on the beach to concentrate on the game! All those glistening bodies on the beach… I should check Expedia! Take the Dolphins!
San Diego at New York Jets: Wow… I’m sure this looked like an awesome game back in August. But just look at it now! Both the Jets and the Chargers are racing to see which team can implode first. And Dirty Sanchez will enjoy his last few weeks as a Jet. San Diego usually doesn’t play that well on the east coast, so take the Jets to eke out a win!
Washington at Philadelphia: I’m not sure what sport the Iggles are playing. With or without RG3 (“HEY HANDSOME!”), the Skins will win! Take the Redskins!
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Oh boy! Better tread carefully here! This is just about win or go home time for the Steelers, and they’re facing two teams at home that they’ve historically dominated. I want to pick the Steelers, especially with their backs to the wall like this. Having said that, the Kitties will keep it uncomfortably close. Like 16-13 close.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay: There’s a joke here somewhere about pirates and sheep… but it’ll be NO JOKE when the teams take the field: The Buccaneers will run all over the Rams (like, literally, honey! Doug Martin, I’ve got my eye on youuuu!).
Oakland at Carolina: Yawn. I love ya Cam, Jonathan and Steve.. but don’t make me watch your boring brand of football! When is Rivera gonna be fired? Is that in two weeks? Or three weeks? Having said all that, I’m picking the hometown kitties to win this one big! Take the Panthers, baby!
New England at Jacksonville: “And, like lambs to the slaughter, the Jacksonville Jaguars take the field!”. Take the Patriots to win… by at least 21 points!
Minnesota at Houston: If the handsome Cowmens can stop that slinky Adrian “What injury?” Peterson, then the game’s over. And I think they’re up to the task. Take the Texans!
Cleveland at Denver: The Simon has been defending the Browns all season long, calling them the “most dangerous 5-9 team in the league”. Well, I haven’t called them a “5-9” team all season long, ‘cos that would be silly. It would change week to week, like “most dangerous 5-8” team last week, or “most dangerous 4-7” team. You know what I’m sayin’, right? Oh dear… I’ve gotten off on a tangent again, haven’t I? We can edit that out later, right, Daddy? [Editor’s Note: No.] Hmmmph! Fine! Anyhoo, as dangerous as the Browns are, there’s NO WAY they beat the Broncos at home. No way at all.
Chicago at Arizona: Hey y’all! Let’s talk hot dogs! Ever have one of those ridiculous Chicago dawgs with the neon green relish and the tomatoes and the pickle spear? How about Sonora hot dogs, which are wrapped in bacon (yummy to Simon’s tummy!) and then covered in beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayo, cream sauce (I won’t even ASK about that!), mustard and Jalapeno salsa. What’s wrong with these people? Why can’t they eat hot dogs the New York Way, which is what God intended? Anyway, in the Duel of the Dogs, I say take the Bears to win, and win big. Like a “statement” kind of win.
New York Jets at Baltimore: My daddy says if the Steelers can’t win the AFC North, he sure as hell doesn’t want the Ratbirds to win! I don’t know if the Giants have the mojo to pull off in win in Bawlmer, but it would be delicious if they did. So I’m gonna take the Giants, although I think the Ravens will, in the end, squeak out a win.
San Francisco at Seattle: Whoever would have thought an NFC West game would be the Beatdown of the Week? Yet, here we are: this Sunday Night Football match-up should be the best game on TV this weekend, and The Simon doesn’t know who to pick! It’s SO HARD (heh) to win in Seattle thanks to all those hyped up latté sippers… but the 49ers are pretty much bad ass at this point. So I will represent my buddies in the gay community at pick the 49ers.Stay fabulous, y’all!
Again, Simon hopes y’all have a merry lil’ Christmas! See y’all next week!
According to Last.fm, here are my top bands of 2012. The number in parenthesis is the number of times I’ve played the band in the past 12 months:
#1: Marsheaux (1,041)
#2: Saint Etienne (353)
#3: The Raveonettes (280)
#4: Ambra Red (278)
#5: Washed Out (165)
#6: Katy Perry (149)
#7: Roxy Music (142)
#8: Beach House (138)
#9: Freezepop (97)
#10: Blouse (96)
And here are my top albums by playcount in 2012. Note that unlike my Albums of the Year list (which was limited to albums released in 2012), the following albums may come from any year. The first number in parenthesis is the year the album was released; the second is the playcount:
#1: Marsheaux – Lumineux Noir (2009) (494)
#2: Ambra Red – Electronic Creations For Special People (2010) (277)
#3: Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne (2012) (227)
#4: Marsheaux – E-Bay Queen Is Dead (2012) (175)
#5: Beach House – Bloom (2012) (133)
#6: The Raveonettes – Observator (2012) (113)
#7: Marsheaux – Peek a Boo (2006) (91)
#8: Marsheaux – E-Bay Queen (2004) (84)
#9: Washed Out – Within and Without (2011) (80)
#10: Freezepop – Future Future Future Perfect (2007) (79)
Hey, y’all! Simon here! Well, I went 11-5 AGAIN last week, and am 137-70 for the season. And I’m actually busy planning some festive holiday brunches this week and have no time to do my regular full picks. Sorry ’bout that! Here’s a list of my picks, though, just so you can use them if you need ’em!
Cincinnati at Philadelphia: Kitties always beat birds! Take the Bengals!
New York Giants at Atlanta: Apparently giants can beats birds, too. Take the Giants!
Green Bay at Chicago: Go green! Take the Packers!
Washington at Cleveland: The Skins will win! Take the Redskins!
Minnesota at St. Louis: I like Vikes on spikes! Take the Vikings!
Jacksonville at Miami: Kitties are smart… but not smarter Dolphins!
Tampa Bay at New Orleans: I guess you can put the ‘S’ back in front of their name: take the Saints!
Denver at Baltimore: Peyton goes bird hunting, highlights at 11! Take the Broncos!
Indianapolis at Houston: It’s hard to beat the Texans at home. Take the Texans!
Seattle at Buffalo: I don’t know how a bird would take down a bison, but it’s happening. Take the Seahawks!
Detroit at Arizona: The last nail in the Whiz’s coffin! Take the Lions!
Carolina at San Diego: Norv’s on the way out, but they’ll take out the Panthers! Take the Chargers!
Pittsburgh at Dallas: This depends on which two teams show up. I’ll take the Steelers, because they have Liverpool Syndrome*, but wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys won, either.
Kansas City at Oakland: Yaaaaaar! Take the Raiders to win this one!
San Francisco at New England: Wow! Good game! Take the Patriots at home, though.
New York Jets at Tennessee: The Monday Night Football game no one will watch. Take the Titans.
* – For the past several years, the Liverpool Football Club has played well against quality opponents like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. But they’ve really struggled against mediocre opponents like Queen’s Park Rangers. Does that sound familiar, Steelers fans?
Hope y’all enjoy the picks!
2011 was a great year for TV. 2012? Not so much. The first half was pretty decent, but the second half of the year was pretty much a strike-out. So while 2011’s list was a lot of work (because I had to whittle down a huge list to acceptable levels), 2012’s list was also a lot of work (because it was that hard coming up with a list of decent new shows).
And so… the list, keeping in mind that this is all about new shows, not returning ones. There’s also lists of shows that didn’t make it, shows that ended this year, the biggest disappointment of the year, the best news of the year and the best and worst moments of the year. Enjoy!
THE BEST NEW SHOWS OF 2012
Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 (ABC) – The premise of this show is simple: June, a naive and trusting Indianan, moves to New York City after graduating college to pursue her dream career. But on her first day the CEO of her mortgage company is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme. Desperate, June becomes the roommate of Chloe McGruff (Krysten Ritter), an amoral scam artist, a swindler and party girl. Chloe is the worst person ever, and is only genuinely nice to her best friend, former Dawson’s Creek actor James Van Der Beek. Unfortunately, the ratings aren’t very good, the writing has taken a turn for the worse in season 2, and ABC is monkeying around with the episode order. I don’t expect it to last much longer.
Line of Duty (BBC) – Every year the BBC puts out a really dark police drama in which the police aren’t necessarily any better than the people they’re chasing. Be it my personal fave Luther or last year’s favorite The Shadow Line, there’s always some show about the dark side of police work. This year’s entry is Line of Duty, in which the young, idealistic Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) accidentally causes the death of an innocent man during an anti-terrorist raid. Arnott refuses to participate in a cover-up of the incident, and is ruthlessly ostracized by his colleagues for it. To get away from them he joins an internal affairs division led by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar). Hastings’ main target is Detective Chief Inspector Tony Gates (the great Lennie James). Gates’ unit consistently has huge arrest numbers, and Hastings knows that this is partly because Gates only takes on cases he knows he can solve, then piles tons of charges on criminals once caught. But Hastings suspects the corruption is far worse. Although family man Gates might not want to admit it, he has a mistress, and she just might get him in a world of trouble.
Copper (BBC America) – And speaking of dark police dramas, BBC America debuted its first original series, Copper, about Kevin “Corky” Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), a rough and tumble Irish cop in 1860s New York City, specifically the notorious, crime and poverty ridden Five Points neighborhood. Like a lot of men at the time, Corky went away to fight the Confederates in the Civil War, and while he was away his wife and daughter were murdered. Much of the series is about his investigation into what happened to them. He’s helped by Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) a wealthy industrialist who was his major in the Union Army, Eva Heissen (Franka Potente), a Prussian madam who knows a lot of secrets, and Dr. Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh), a black physician who seems to know more about forensic science than any other doctor in America at the time (one of my small beefs about the show). Many disliked the show, saying it was too slow, and the fact that it was set in a time-frame similar to the slightly more popular Hell On Wheels didn’t help. But if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded. It’s a well-done series with rich characters and well thought-out stories.
From the home office in London, here’s my list of Top 10 Tunes for the week ending December 8, 2012:
1) The Raveonettes – “She Owns The Streets”
2) Roxy Music – “The Space Between”
3) The Raveonettes – “You Hit Me (I’m Down)”
4) Jessica Bailiff – “If You Say It (My Friend, My Love)”
5) Jessica Bailiff – “Violets & Roses (For a Black Romantic Heart)”
6) Jessica Bailiff – “This is Real (Soft & Feral)”
7) Foretaste – “Goodbye Horses”
8) Ladyhawke – “Magic”
9) Class Actress – “Careful What You Say”
10) Wild Nothing – “Disappear Always”
Hi ho, folks! The end of the year is approaching, and it’s time to roll out my “Best of” lists for the year! I decided to start with music this year, because my TV list is a giant mess. Seriously. If the TV list was a middle school book report, I’d give poor Ms. Kilgore a heart attack. She’d have to buy a hundred red pens to edit it for me! So enjoy the music list first!
As always, remember that this list is about complete albums and not individual songs. Yes, there may be songs from 2012 that I liked better than anything on this list… but, as a whole, the following ten albums are my favorite of the year!
* * *
#10: Brian Eno – Lux
As I said in my Best Albums of 2010 piece, I’ve never been a fan of Eno’s pop music (aside from his work with Roxy Music, of course). His other works, like Ambient 1 and Discreet Music are two of my all-time favorite albums, period. I put Small Craft on a Milk Sea on my “Best of 2010” list, and am doing the same for this year’s Lux. I actually hesitated with this one, though. Where Ambient 1 and Discreet Music were groundbreaking albums, this one isn’t his best. It’s pretty good, technically speaking, but it just doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression. Having said that, mediocre Eno is better than 90% of the other crap out there, so he makes the list with this album, too!
#9: Madness – Qui Qui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da
I’ve been a Madness fan since “Our House” hit the US charts back in 1982. I rushed out to buy the single, then bought every album and EP of theirs I could find. And while a lot of 80s bands are still releasing new albums of mediocre material, Madness never really went away, culturally speaking. I really dug 2005’s The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1, but just didn’t warm up to 2009’s The Liberty of Norton Folgate. In fact, I deleted the album from my digital collection just a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully, Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da is a return to form. Whereas Liberty seemed like a love song that only invited Londoners to the party, this new disc is for everyone. It’s pretty solid – especially the opening tracks – and is surely worth a listen on your part.
#8: The Vaccines – Come of Age
I don’t know why, but I just love The Vaccines. Certainly they crank out catchy guitar-pop tunes with awesome hooks… but I think it’s their cheekiness that really sells me on them. The first time I heard “Post Break-Up Sex” I was almost in stitches; they did a pretty good job of capturing the… awkwardness one feels immediately after a break-up. So when heard that they had a new disc out, I rushed to find it… and it didn’t disappoint. Songs like “Aftershave Ocean” and “Teenage Icon” encapsulate everything I love about the band. They almost make me feel like a teenager all over again, but at the same time their often sarcastic lyrics make me appreciate being older.
Just a quick post to wish my girl the BESTEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
I love you SO MUCH, baby!