The Radio Dept. @ Lunario del Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City, 2/19/11

Radio Dept.

Photo by Daniel Patlán

Clear eyes, full hearts, let’s go!

I attended my second concert of the year last weekend and it was pretty good. Before they announced their date here, I had never heard anything by this band. As soon as I heard they were coming, I found the perfect excuse to go visit this city and I started listening. I was impressed, it wasn’t an immediate thing, but I liked it. A couple weeks later I decided and bought my ticket.  Continue reading

Farewell, LCD Soundsystem

About one or two years ago I really got into this electronic/rock band, which is also incorrectly labeled dance-punk (there isn’t much punk in their music, in my opinion).  I’d heard of them before, and I was even familiar with some of their songs like “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”, but I never had a reason to listen to them. It was one of those bands that you keep hearing about but don’t really care enough to listen to. Until I finally “got” it. They are called LCD Soundsystem. Continue reading

The People’s Key – Bright Eyes

The People's Key

About a week ago, a copy of the new, and allegedly last Bright Eyes album got leaked. Don’t judge me, I’ll buy it when it comes out. A few days later, on what I guess was a defensive move by their label “Saddle Creek”, the album went streaming for free on NPR. Continue reading

What 2011 Will Bring

It’s a little late to make this post now, but I’ve been meaning to get through it. This is what I’m looking forward to this year, in events, albums, games, etc. Continue reading

The Strangulation’s Favorite TV Shows of 2010

I don’t watch TV. I only have a TV to play videogames, and I rarely turn it on to watch Discovery Channel or a movie or when I’m really, really bored I’ll flip through the channels and get even more bored. TV in my country is shit. I do, however watch shows “illegally” from my computer or my PS3. No commercials and no time slots. No good quality, either. And so, here are some of the shows that I’ve enjoyed the most this year. In no order whatsoever.

Community
Community is a recent discovery of mine. I started hearing a lot of great things about it and I decided to give it a try. It’s a great show, it has clever humor combined with a great heart. Season 2 picked it up a lot, and started being a lot more funny and touching. I devoured all of the available episodes in about a week. I love it, can’t wait for it to come back. I might call this the best comedy right now.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Back in September when I went to see Spoon I happened to catch an episode of this show with a friend and we both thought it was hilarious. When I came back, I started watching it and it truly is something else. It’s not a very smart kind of humor, but it gets the job done and they really pay a lot of attention to the details, which is great. The recent seasons haven’t been so good, but the new one is on par with the old ones.

Modern Family
I found it hard to get into this show, but once I did it became really enjoyable. It’s not great, but it’s something fun to watch and relax.

The Sopranos
My brother borrowed me the first seasons of this show and I finally got a chance to see it after all the hype I had heard. It’s good. In fact, it might be some of the best TV I’ve watched. HBO sure knows how to put on great shows. Throughout the whole series, I never felt like any season dropped off the quality or like it got boring. It was always a constant stream of great acting, brilliant writing and clever plots.

Mad Men
Another show that I heard a lot about before. I just started watching it and I have not fallen in love with it, but I can understand why people like it. Gonna have to spend more time with it, I guess.

Top Gear
This is a show that I watch occasionally. I’m not really into cars, but it’s always fun to catch an episode or two once in a while. The guys are always funny and the things they do are incredibly stupid.

The Office
I’ve watched this show since it began and I’ve always found it fun, but the recent seasons have felt like a drag. Just end it, please! It’s still fun to watch, but it’s not the same thing it used to.

Kenny vs. Spenny
A friend introduced me to this show about 2 years ago. I’ve been watching it when I get a chance, it’s a lot of fun. Kenny is an evil genius. Those canadians really are something else. I hear it ended a few days ago, but I haven’t watched the final episode yet.

Diggnation
Not really a TV Show, but I watch this religiously. Fun Fun Fun.

The Totally Rad Show
Another show from the Rev3 family, I have found myself watching these pretty much everyday since they switched to the daily format. I get a lot of recommendations through these guys.

Californication took a break this year, so that’s why it’s not included. Otherwise it’d just be number one, always. It is coming back in about a week, so, excitement!

The Strangulation’s Favorite Things of 2010

There are some things that just don’t fit in any categories for lists. Here are some of those things.

Kindle
I got my Kindle around September and it has become one of my favorite devices. My reading has increased greatly since I got it, because it makes it easier for me to get new books. I just regret not getting the 3G one.

Appstorm
Another thing that happened in September is that I started working as a freelance writer in a little website called Mac.Appstorm (it’s actually not little). My favorite thing about being a writer is that I can call myself a writer and be a douche about it. See, I can be as much of a Hank Moody or a Tucker Max as I want now. It’s like a free pass, you are expected to do those things and behave a certain way while being a payed writer, not just a shitty writer on an unsuccessful personal blog  (like this one).

Seriously though, I love my job. I want to do it forever. I’m thinking of expanding to other blogs next year. It’s been great. And I think I got the job because of my early writings on this blog, which is awesome. Throughout my young life, I have had numerous jobs, and I haven’t enjoyed any of them, until now. This is a “job” that I am excited about and that I truly like and look forward to do. Please don’t fire me, ever.

By the way, I got the domain for this site with my first paycheck, just like it should be done. Now I’ve invested money into my mediocrity.

Bukowski
I started reading Bukowski this year and I almost got through all of his novels. There was a time this year when I was very, very much into him.  But then he got repetitive and a little boring. He has become one of my favorite writers and I truly enjoy his character, but it’s easy to get tired of him and his old man ramblings. Women is now a monumental book in my life. It’s hard to explain, but I felt like it was very honest and like it spoke to me. So did Ham On Rye, but I got a bit bored through it.

Evernote
I had used this service before, but I never found a real functional use for it. This year I found myself in need of it and I started using it again. Now it is the centerpiece of my life (exaggerate much?). It is now the home of my resolutions, lists of various stuff, reminders, quotes, websites, notes, recipes, and just about everything else.  Part of why I love it so much is because I get to use it from the web, my computer and my iPod. Best app ever.

GTD Apps
Because of my job, I get to review and test a lot of new and interesting apps. One of them was an app called Wunderlist, and it is a Getting-Things-Done app. I had heard about these type of apps but I had never used one of them, until I reviewed this one. And since then I have been using it – a lot. It’s amazing how many things I forget to do. This app is a great help for remembering stuff to do.

Arcade Fire Live
Because of where I live (I use this excuse a lot), I don’t get to see many concerts. So, my experience with concerts is not exactly wide, and whenever I see one it is a pretty big experience for me. Well, this one was extra special. I got to see the closing tour date of one of my, if not my favorite band, and it was truly an unforgettable experience. The setlist was great, they gave us “Laïka” as a gift, Regine cried during “In The Backseat”, they played “In The Backseat” and I screamed like a 12 year old girl throughout the whole concert. Great times. I got very, very sick after the concert (medication + beer + 3 AM october cold is never good for the body while you are already sick), but it was worth that and another dozen near-death diseases.

Mexico City
Throughout the summer, I spent some time living in Mexico City, partly working and partly not working. I had a lot of free time to get to know the city and use its public transportation services. I went for a run in some of its popular parks. I got robbed and I returned pretty much empty handed to my hometown. I got lost on a rich neighborhood while listening to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs on repeat (that was back when it came out). I was driven by a cab driver who literally cried his problems to me while I pretty much ignored him (I didn’t know what to do). It was a different experience. I didn’t spend much time there, but I learned to love the city. When I went back there later in September to see Spoon, I met interesting people and I got lost again. I love that city now. The weather is great, there is plenty to do and there’s a certain ambience to it that I’ve gotten used to. I couldn’t live there, but I love visiting it.

Pavement
Pavement is one of those bands that you hear about over and over again but you never get around to checking out. I’m glad I got to check them out, because I never expected to like them so much. Great stuff.

The Four-Hour Body
This is a book by Tim Ferriss that came out a couple weeks ago. I’ve been a fan of him for a while now, and even though his advice isn’t directed at people like me, I have learned a lot about him. I religiously read his blog and watch his Random podcast with another personality that I admire, Kevin Rose. I’ve been waiting for the release of this book since he first announced it and when it came out I devoured it. It’s interesting. It debunks a lot of long-time beliefs about health and a healthy lifestyle (I am into that sort of things, I am the kind of person that enjoyed Fast Food Nation). It will definitely change a lot about me, like the things I eat and the way I work out, if anything just to see if his theories are right. This guy is a great personality and everyone should learn from him.

The Concerts
This year I got to see more concerts than I’ve ever seen any other year. They weren’t a lot, but they were plenty for me. I got to see Arctic Monkeys, Spoon, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. To Arctic Monkeys, I went with a bunch of friends and it was a great, fun experience. Awesome night of debauchery. To Spoon, I went to Mexico City with a friend and it was fun, but the kind of classy fun, not the kind of drunk-insult-puke fun. That concert was great, though, and I got to meet Britt Daniel and Rob Pope before the concert and exchange a few awkward words with them. Then, Arcade happened and I got sick because it was so awesome. Ans to end the year I went alone (sidenote: sad face) to LCD Soundsystem after a couple of friends let me down. It turned out to be a great night, I danced myself clean and I met some cool people. Next year: Bonnaroo?

Switching to Mac
Yep, I made the move and became a douche. It was long overdue, really. I’ve been an Apple fanboy for a while now and I was just waiting to get a Macbook. Then it got stolen and I got another one. My next objective is getting an iPad and one of those new Macbook Airs (those things are sexy!).

Food Mob
Food Mob was a short-lived Rev3 show that got me into cooking. They decided to finish it because they didn’t get the response they expected from it, but hey, neither did I with this blog and I kept it going. I’ll miss you, Food Mob.

The Strangulation
This blog started as a personal project of stuff that I like; at first I thought of it as sort of an archive. I was inspired to start it by Gary Vaynerchuk and his Crush It! book, except that I never expected to make a dime off of it (that’s why I have my freelance projects). Not only did it help me to improve my writing skills and indirectly get a job, it also is an outlet for my lackluster hipster music knowledge, and a way for me to share my opinions with the world. It helps me realize things, but especially, it makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel productive. Like, I’m contributing something to the world, even if the world doesn’t appreciate it. I hate not feeling productive.

Well, that’s it for a great year. In the next few days: The Strangulation’s Favorite Games and TV Shows!

The Strangulation’s Favorite 10 Movies of 2010

Because of where I live, I don’t get to see a lot of movies that I would like to see but never make it over here. 127 Hours is an example. True Grit is an example. The Social Network, another. However, I usually find a way to see these movies despite them not being available on my area. That is why my list won’t be extensive, and why there may be movies that came out in late ’09 but I didn’t get to see until this year. So, this list is just for funsies and should not be taken seriously by anyone.

10. Kick-Ass
I guess it was because of the hype, but I didn’t really enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would. I still liked it for its premise, but the humor in it was pretty much non-existent for me, and it ended up being just entertaining.

9. Hot Tub Time Machine
A really good comedy, but it doesn’t really do anything new and I found its humor to be lackluster through most of the movie. I think the idea of it was very good and I was entertained by it, but it had potential for much more.

8. Easy A
Emma Stone, in slutty clothes for an hour and a half. No matter how bad this movie was, it was bound to end on this list for that reason. And it actually was quite fun, I enjoyed it.

7. Get Him To The Greek
It didn’t really work that well as a spin off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I constantly laughed through it. That Aldous Snow dude is hilarious, especially for his accent and his eccentricity.  And Jonah Hill is always ok.

6. Paranormal Activity 2
Liked the first one. This one is pretty much the same, but with a few additions. I liked that they didn’t really swerve from their original premise, not even because they had more money than the world. Again, entertaining but not perfect.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
I never read the comic, because I don’t read comics (except for web comics), but I heard all the hype it got and I had high expectations for this movie. For the most part, it kept up to them. This was a really, really fun movie, and I was laughing constantly at its own ridiculousness.

4. Toy Story 3
Pixar, bla, nostalgia, bla.  I didn’t cry in it like most of the people I know did, but I did find it touching.

3. The Social Network
Oh, I liked this. When I first heard about it I thought it was the stupidest idea for a movie ever, but it ended up being really, really good. The script was genius. The soundtrack went along with it perfectly. Jesse Eisenberg surpassed expectations that were pretty much non-existent for him. I guess the genius of this movie is more in the fact that everybody expected it to be boring but it ended up being pretty dramatic.

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2009, I know, but I didn’t get to see it until this year. Also, it’s sort of an “indie” release, so those never really have a definitive release date. I loved this movie and I’ve watched it about 3 or 4 times. It’s lovely!

1. Inception
Well, no surprises there. In my humble opinion, this movie was perfect. I just re-watched it a couple days ago and it’s even better, as there are many things you don’t notice there the first time around.

Movies I wish I could have seen:

True Grit

127 Hours

I’m Still Here

The Fighter

A Prophet