Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bad, The Ugly and The Mediocre

I think 2008 was overall a very good year for music. When I sat down to think of the albums that were complete stinkers I could only think of two. There were also two other albums that I don't think were necessarily bad, but fell short of my expectations.

The Bad and Ugly

1. Thalia - Lunada: Why do I keep buying this woman's shit? I must be a fool for not having learned my lesson. While her last album was repackaged and re-released with some extra songs and remixes that ultimately made it somewhat listenable, "Lunada" has been such a huge flop I don't see that happening again. Thalia sings over tracks that sound like really really bad Kumbia Kings reject tracks or songs that are simply so amateur sounding they sound more appropriate for a night of drunken karaoke at a Mexican tranny bar.

2. Beyonce - I am Sasha Fierce: I don't care how many millions of copies this piece of shit sells. In my opinion the suction sounds of an abortion in progress would be more melodious. The songs on this album are simply a rehashing of her previous material. "Single Ladies" is "Get Me Bodied" all over again (which was "Krazy In Luv Part II" anyways). Her attempt to sing on the rock pop single "If I Were A Boy" is an embarrasing showcase of her lack of vocal range (let's not even mention how she stole this song from an up and coming singer/songwriter). And what pisses me off even more about this album is that in a few months she will re-release it with a bunch of new songs or remixes and I will be suckered into buying just like I did with the B'Day Deluxe Edition. Grrrrr.

The Mediocre

1. Donna Summer - Crayons: I love Donna Summer. However, I have to confess that her comeback album was a little underwhelming. It isn't a bad album, but unlike the B-52's she fails to update her sound accordingly for 2008. Songs like "Mr Music" and "Driving Down Brazil" are simply embarrassing with cringe worthy lyrics ("I got mah iPod!"). Oh dear. The dance songs, something Ms. Summer is known for, fall flat and come across more like upbeat elevator music. Thank god for the remixes. Despite those bad moments, the album is sprinkled with a few gems worth mentioning. "Stamp Your Feet" and "The Queen Is Back" have the same sort of spunk and feist Donna's older records have. Some of the slower tunes work very well, showcasing Donna's vocal talents that don't seem to have diminished one bit over the years. "Crayons" is just that. There are some icky colors mixed in with the really pretty ones but overall it's not that bad of an album.

2. Cyndi Lauper - Bring Ya To The Brink: Cyndi Flopper seems to fall into the same trap Donna does. This dance album fails to deliver dance music....well, at least dance music that one would dance to in 2008. Songs like "High And Mighty" and "Echo" have a promising start but fail to ever go anywhere. "Same Ol' Story", "Give It Up" and "Set Your Heart" seem to be stuck in a really bad 1990's time warp. I almost expected a guest rap appearance by Ya Kid K or Freedom Williams. All hope is not lost though. "Into The Night Life" is one moment of dancefloor brilliance. Ironically, where Cyndi tends to shine (pun intended) the most are on the less dancey songs. "Rain On Me" could give any of her 80's ballads a run for its money. It is simply lush. While "Rocking Chair" brings out Cyndi's zany side that has always made her the anti-pop star while "Grab A Hold" is easily the best song she has recorded since the 80's. This album doesn't bring anything to the brink but it has some great moments!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top 8 Albums of 2008

1. Playa Limbo - Canciones De Hotel: It took awhile for this Mexican pop band to release their debut album in the US but it was a refreshing change from the majority of the reggaeton polluting the airwaves. I've heard people compare this group to Belanova and I still am not sure why. There are no pulsating synth pop beats here. Instead, Playa Limbo keep the songs light and sweet with plenty of acoustic and melodic arrangements. The album as a whole flows well to create an absolutely sublime listening experience!

2. Janet Jackson - Discipline: It seems like Janet will never be able to recover from that Superbowl incident, but the people who bothered to pick up her latest album know that she hasn't completely lost her pop/dance sensibilities. The pulsating lead single, "Feedback", paved the way for the rest of the album's pop gems. The ballads were throwbacks to Janet's hey days in the 90's and the uptempo grooves were a nod to the future. Even Janet's obligatory sex song, "Discipline" sounded quite refreshinging and brought back memories of her S&M tinged "Velvet Rope" album.

3. Kylie Minogue - X: In my opinion Dannii will always do it better. However, regardless of the poor US promotional tactics (Kylie's performance on Dancing With The Stars was frightening) this album was one of my favorites in 2008. Some criticized the lack of "depth" reflected in the lyrics after battling and surviving breast cancer. Well, I say that I would rather listen to a good, solid pop album than some sappy drivel whining about how sick Kylie was. From the giddiness embodied in "Wow" to the complete ecclectic oddness of "Speakerphone", Kylie keeps the party going!

4. Madonna - Hard Candy: Similar to Kylie, Madonna's latest album had people either loving it or loathing it. The imagery and concept was a bit confusing at first I will admit, but much like God, Madonna works in mysterious ways. Underneath the delicious urban dance cuts like "Heartbeat", "Beat Goes On", "Dance 2 Night" and "Give It 2 Me" there is clearly something something else Ms. Ciccone wants us to know. Hindsight is 20/20 and we all know now this was Madonna's divorce album. Songs like "Miles Away", "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" and "She's Not Me" aren't just catchy pop tunes, but the confessions of a woman in the midst of a failing marriage. Hard Candy is the most unlikely divorce album but it works well in the end!

5. Deduplex - Sin Ley De Gravedad: This duo keeps their album short but sweet with only 9 tracks of synthpop bliss. They avoid bubble gum pop cliches (ie Belnova) without going the melancholy depressed route either (ie Moenia). They remind me a bit like the British group, Client with their well orchestrated album of electronic tunes.

6. Pussycat Dolls - Doll Domination: None of these girls are especially talented and their music is essentially a well packaged product delivered directly from the the record company. But you know what, who cares? If I spend $15 on a cd I want good music! This album delivers just that with the catchy hit singles "When I Grow Up" and "I Hate This Part". The party continues with other infections songs like "Bottle Pop" and "Watchamacallit". Kudos for the bonus disc of the deluxe edition. Kimberly Wyatt throw sdown with her solo song by covering Jane Child's "Don't Wanna Fall In Love"!

7. B-52's - Funplex: There were several veteran singers and groups that released albums of new material this year after extremely lengthy hiatuses. I'll get to some of those on my "Worst of" list but right now I have to rave about the B-52's. Out of all the unlikely comebacks, this group pulled it off the best. Depsite the fact the members are all pushing 60, they came back from 16 year break to deliver an album that not only remains true to their zany new-wave dance rock sound but successfully update it for 2008. The debut single and title track, "Funplex" is absolutely brilliant. Cindy and Kate sound amazing and Fred Schneider is still doing.....well, whatever it is that he does! LOL. My only complaint is that album is too short. With such great material, 11 tracks isn't enough!

8. Monica Naranjo - Tarantula: This album is nothing short of stunning (I can even overlook the Army Of Lovers rip off!). It plays more like a theatrical masterpiece than a music cd. Monica returns after an 8 year absence and delves deep in her soul and presents 11 stories that she meticulously narrates with her thunderous voice. Monica doesn't entertain with this album. She enchants.

Bonus Pick!

Mylene Farmer - Point De Suture: Despite my inability to understand her lyrics, I fell in love with French recording artist Mylene Farmer several years ago. One doesn't need to understand what she is saying to appreciate the layers of emotion expressed over the hypnotic and captivating melodies present on this album. Mylene effortlessly flows from the dark electronic landscape of "Degeneration" to the sweet and ethereal world of "Appelle Mon Numero".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Muthaphuckin Christmas

This is my favorite Christmas song EVER!

LOL, actually I don't celebrate Christmas. I don't believe in Santa and I don't consider myself Christian. I might as well celebrate Hannakah if anything else. Nevertheless today has been quite shitty. I discovered that some asshole in my building ripped off the mirror on my driver's side of my car. I park in a secured structure so I know it was one of my "neighbors". I can understand if it was an accident but at least leave a fucking note to apologize. Motherfucker.

Other than that I am looking forward to seeing Mario this weekend. He is going to be leaving for Argentina on Monday and will be gone for a month. Boo :(

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 8 Songs of 2008 *EDITED*

1.Janet Jackson - Rock With U: Depsite its floptastic chart performance, I couldn't get enough of this song or its well choreographed and filmed video. I don't understand why Top 40 radio ignored this rnb/dance gem. This song was the perfect follwoup to Janet's "Feedback" which in my opinion was her best output in years!

2. Madonna - Give It 2 Me: Madonna's Hard Candy will be best remebered for the iconic duet with Justin Timberlake and the record breaking sell out tour that followed. However, my favorite part will be this single. Simple lyrics layed over a frenetic dance beat kept this song on the top of all of my playlists.

3. Metro Station - Shake It: This was the ultimate guilty pleasure for this year. I was initially ashamed to admit I liked something even remotely associated with Miley Cyrus but I don't care! How did these little kids manage to pull off such a cool 80's retro dance sound? They probably hadn't even been born! LOL. Shake it indeed!

4. Ne-Yo - Closer: This single was brilliant as it was a throwback to the days of 70's disco soul but with a modern twist. Kudos to Ne-Yo for creating such an unconventional mainstream song!

5. Lady Gaga - Just Dance: Have you ever wondered what Christina Aguilera would be like if she didn't over sing to the point of self-parody, had a head that wasn't too big for her body and actually recorded good pop music? Well, you would have Lady Gaga and her song "Just Dance"! This was a brilliant pop song that works just as well on the dancefloors as it does at home or on the radio. Sheer pop brilliance without any pretentious distractions!

6. Estelle - American Boy: I remeber stumbling across Estelle's 2004 UK debut a few years back and thinking to myself, "She has potential but needs better material". Well, this infectious song featuring Kanye West slowly crept up the charts and became one of my favorite tunes of the year. Much liek Ne-Yo, I love the modernized retro feel it has.

7. Mariah Carey - Touch My Body: Leave it to Mariah Carey to compose a song that would dare include "You Tube" in the lyrics. It's simply so bad that it's good! The video too is hilarious. While it may be impossible to find footage of her infamous ice cream TRL incident online anymore, Mimi isn't afraid to poke fun at her psychotic tendencies and big diva antics.

8. New Kids On The Block - Single: A NKOTB reunion album and tour sounded like a really bad joke at first, but had surprisingly amazing results. Their album, and in particular this song "Single", gave them an updated sound that wasn't awkward or embarrassing, much like their 1994 attempt to reinvent themselves.


Oh, and I almost forgot about this one...shame on me! My bonus pick has to be......

Jennifer Hudson - Spotlight: Jennifer must be a marketing nightmare for her record company. She has a huge voice well suited for musicals and theater (ie "Dreamgirls") but how do you take that voice and tame it for the mainstream without trying to compete head on with all the Beyonces and Rhiannas dominating the charts? Well, "Spotlight" is not only a catchy and lively song but it suits Jennifer perfectly. The thumping beat and smooth melody easily appeals to pop and RnB audiences alike without forcing Jennifer to "under" sing the song. She sounds brilliant and the dance remixes were fierce too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let The Right One In

So the other night I was out with my boo , Mario and after having a lovely Thai dinner at Sura we decided to see a movie. Century Mall always has cool foreign and independent films playing so we decided to head over there. Besides, it was so cold I don't think we would have survived walking any further. Anyhoo, the films at Century mall can be hit or miss so we read the synopsis for each one before buying our tickets. I was a little hesitant when Mario suggested that we see "Let The Right One In" (the trailer is posted above). The movie basically sounded like a Swedish version of "Twilight". A young boy befriends a little girl vampire. How corny, right? Wow, I was not only wrong to make such an assumption but the movie surpassed my expectations. The movie was a genuine thriller with some really creepy and at times extremely gory moments. Kudos to the makeup crew for providing some of the greatest bloody moments I have ever seen. Honestly, the entire love story played second fiddle to the much darker plot of the little girl vampire's intense appetite.

Mario and I went out again last night and saw "The Day The Earth Stood Still". We were out in the suburbs so we had no choice but to see a big screen mainstream Hollywood production. It was a cool movie but I think I liked the vampire one better :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bloody Sunday, Ash Wednesday

Ugh, I fucking hate winter. If the constant snow, sleet, slush and cold temperatures wasn't bad enough, I have to deal with constant bloody noses and dry ashy skin! I tried creating some humidity by taking a long steamy hot shower the other night but my nose just ended up bleeding in the shower. It was so gross watching big chunky blood clots go down the drain. Ewww. If this didn't happen to me every year I would probably think I had some sort of bleeding disorder. This is another sign that I need to move to a warmer, more humid climate. Fuck this shit!

The dry skin is horrible too. I have to constantly apply moisturizer. Fortunately L'oreal has some great products. For my face this is my favorite one....

but I have more bitching. The last time I stocked up on this I accidentally bought the "scent free" variety.....which ironically smells like a burning plastics factory. So much for the "scent free" claim. How the hell does the scented version have less of a smell than the scent free?

Grrrrr.....fucking winter.

No Can Do? You can do me!

I love the Sugababes, but their music videos tend to be a bit boring. This new one is nothing crazy or innovative but I do love the eye candy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So I really like the new Britney Spears album. It's not as good as 2007's "Blackout" due to a couple crummy ballads (seriously, Britney, a sappy ballad about your kids when you don't even have custody of them? LOL) but she still seems to be celebrating her place in the entertainment world as good girl gone trailer trash bad. I am almost ashamed to admit that I just now have figured out the double meaning of "If You Seek Amy". My mind is in the gutter 90% of the time so I don't know how I missed that one. Perhaps being with Mario is wiping all impure thoughts from my mind?

I think it's remarkable that I am a Britney fan at all. Years ago I couldn't stand the bitch. Both her and Christina Uglyera made me want to gag. Mrs. Uglyera still induces projectile vomiting whenever she tries to shove 15 notes in a span of 2 seconds but I have most definitely warmed up to Britney. I will admit, she can't sing live and her recorded vocals sound so over produced it like listening to a robotic Paula Abdul. Britney can't even claim that she writes the majority of her catchy material. Her record company enlists expensive and fancy writers and producers to make her sound so good. Britney is just a glorified country bumpkin that got lucky.

Or is she?

If it was the people (and computers lol) that surround Britney that make her so popular, how come the same circumstances can't produce similar results in other artists? Paris Hilton, for example, is probably an even bigger media whore than Britney. She had top notch producers and the backing of a huge record label and VH1 to promote her 2006 album...........that no one bought. I guess Britney does have some sort of "x factor" that is required for longevity and continued success. perhaps I should give her more credit.

And wow, I am so gay for blogging about the secret to Britney's success.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Milwaukee Sister Reunion

During my recent trip to Miami, my friends down there expressed how sad they were that they don't get to hang out with me more often. I laughed and told them that I actually see them more than some of my friends in Chicago. Case in point:My Milwaukee Sister. He's the fiercest bitch I know but due to our hectic schedules (ok, well mostly my hectic schedule) we hadn't had a proper throw down since August! But to be quite honest, except for my friends at school or the few Secret Friends I have in the neighborhood or at the gym, I have rarely had a chance to see anyone else in the past few months.

Last weekend we made up for lost time. There wasn't a bottle of booze (or a Selena doll for that matter) within a 3 mile radius that was safe from our alcoholic livers as we started at my place, wandered over to Cesar's for Killer Margaritas and then finally Circuit to mingle with the lesbians (don't ask but we got in for free and got discounted drinks....well, until I started to forget to order drinks for everyone else, LOL). I actually probably drank too much though. Next time I need to make sure to eat a full meal (with carbs!) before another Sista M outing. I am not exactly sure what happened during the last two hours of the night. All I know is I woke up the next day at my Secret Friend's house with an illegible message written on my chest in black ink. Bizzare.

Anyhoo, I am not sure what we were doing in this pic but I can imagine it was my attempt to practice what my face will look like post-Botox one day.....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


So this is my second post written from my Palm Centro. My time spent in Miami was lovely as always but I have been in Orlando since Sunday for the ASHP midyear convention. The convention has been a great networking experience and I am also coming home with tons of goodies from drug reps (books, pens, notepads, and even a laser pointer! As for Orlando.........it's boring as fuck unless you like Disneyworld. So here I am with a classmate looking uber fierce in my Target suit. LOL. I normally wouldn't admit to wearing a welfare suit but it was an emergency!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tampon, FL

Contrary to the vulgar drunk voicemail my Sista M (and company) left me last night I am not in Tampa. However I am blogging from my phone for the very first time ever and I am posting a picture I just took with my phone. Modern technology is fierce, just like Miami!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sex 4 $ale

I know it may seem as though I have been neglecting my blog and well, technically I have. This isn't because I am tired of blogging and I am on the verge of abandoning Blogger. The problem is the past month I have been overwhelmed with life. I suppose that is nothing new but now that graduation is just 9 months away I feel like I am passing the point of no return and things are just going to get more and more hectic. I find myself having to make "to do" lists on a daily basis to keep up with my various class assignments, duties as treasurer for one organization, president for another and then the various professional meetings across the country I must attend. A few weeks ago I was a in Peoria, IL for a weekend for the ICHP leadership retreat. This weekend I am heading to Orlando (with a quick stop in Miami of course!) for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists midyear national conference. I will be representing my school's student chapter while I am there so I am very excited. This will also be a good opportunity to explore pharmacy career options and residency programs across the country as I continue to lean towards the idea of leaving Chicago after graduation.

Anyhoo, the title of my post is not about my busy schedule. I would never make someone pay for sex with me. I have enough self respect to give it away for free. However, the title does refer to my latest batch of Ebay sales. One of my Secret Friends recently took a job in Germany and moved away (ironically he is back in town for a few days while I will be in Orlando/Miami). Anyone who has been to my house knows I have a vast collection of porn, thus he donated his entire VHS porn collection to me since he could not take much with him to Germany. I didn't have the heart to tell him that his taste in porn is very different from mine and I probably wouldn't watch much of it. So, I decided to sell it all on Ebay. So far I have made $100! Lucky me! That pays for the two text books I had to purchase this quarter at school. I love porn and I love it even more now knowing that even the crappy 90's stuff can be so helpful.