September 28, 2013

Cher and Cher Alike...

In a bold move destined to shatter stereotypes everywhere, this gay man bought/downloaded the new Cher album the day it was released. Okay, Okay, I actually pre-ordered it months ago, so yes some stereotypes may be true.

I have loved Cher since I was a kid and she was on that goofy variety show with Sonny,  through her 70s disco phase with Take Me Home, through her serious actress phase of Silkwood and Moonstruck, through the rock phase of I Found Someone, to the dance comeback of Believe, hell we even went to see Burlesque, and not a lot of people can say that.

And for someone who is so reinvented in her image and so photo-shopped in pics like the album cover above, Cher is amazingly unfiltered in every interview and on twitter, which makes her fascinating to follow.

Oh and if you think Cher's image is made over in the pic above, you should hear the voice on Closer To The Truth.. the auto-tune effect of Believe is back and back big.

This is Cher's first album in over a decade, and the hit Woman's World is pure thumping dance music that has been on my iPod all summer -- it is great running music. And while Closer To The Truth has the occasional misstep, such as Red which is pretty beige, they are few... the album's dance-heavy first half and ballad-heavy second have lots of great new tunes like the upbeat Lovers Forever and the Pink-written ballad Lie To Me.

The album is pure Cher -- fun pop fluff with some touching lyrics all tied together with high production values and a lot of gloss. When she declares "Surrender To Me!" on one of the tracks, you bet it's gonna happen.

While I am not sure Closer To The Truth is in fact closer to any truth at all, it is pure upbeat fun music that I have blasted during my runs the last two days, and have loved every pounding thunderous over-produced second of it!

September 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr Beagle!

Today our beagle Anderson turns one year old! 

Sept 4 last year was the big day, and then ten weeks later he came into our home... and promptly attempted to destroy it one chewed wall (and toy and human and Havanese and seat belt in my car) at a time...

Anderson is a cuddly, handsome, hyperactive, super-affectionate, goofy beagle, still very much a puppy but in a 30-pound adult beagle body. And his affection for Alfred is huge.

Happy Birthday Anderson... Anderson Quinn... Mr Beagle... Pumpkin... Stretchy Beagle... Shark Teeth... Havanese Wannabe...

September 1, 2013

The End of Summer TV...

With the Emmy Awards around the corner, and the fall TV season starting shortly after that, it's the end of summer TV... and stuck between rerun crap (hello 2 Broke Girls) and new crap (hello Big Brother) I did actually find some good stuff to watch.

Traditionally summer TV was a deathbed of reruns and failed pilots, but prompted by cable success and reality show buzz the networks have started to program for the summer.

My favourite viewing this summer was the Netflix series House Of Cards which I binge-watched over one weekend, but it actually was available during the actual season last winter so am not counting that one.

Here was the other good stuff...

The Newsroom
Season 2 of Aaron Sorkin's smart liberal drama feels dated with the Romney election storyline, but it is still a smart and wildly entertaining fast-moving drama. Even as a liberal I think they need more credible conservatives on here, but that is a quibble with a series that is always worth watching.

Season one of the acclaimed BBC legal drama Silk finally came to North America, and I loved it. As with Sherlock, each season is three 2-hour movies, so it comes and goes quick. The series revolves around highly competitive barristers in high-stakes cases, each one trying to "take silk", i.e. to be the only one appointed a Queen's Counsel and therefore entitled to wear the iconic silk robes. Along with their quirky cases, the lawyers' messy personal lives are also on full display.

Oprah's Next Chapter
I skipped the Lohan episode, but other shows from Drew Barrymore to Bette Midler to a group of black actresses making in it Hollywood to Tina Turner were fun fascinating TV.

Surprisingly entertaining light summer soap starring Rachel Griffiths of Brothers and Sisters as the head of a camp with a very attractive, very horny group of employees.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The improv comedy show, off the air since 2006, gets a reboot and new host in Aisha Tyler, and with the same players including Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles. Goofy fun with some supremely talented performers.

In missed opportunites, did not watch Under the Dome, though will catch up, and have never seen Breaking Bad but it is on my list (my Netflix list) and I have many seasons to binge watch.

Last and certainly least... and dishonourable mention to train wreck TV, so good I could not turn away from it... the Candy Spelling "I'm rich and bored and shopping for homes" series Beyond Spelling Manor... she was thoroughly unlikeable and has lousy taste in expensive things, but I couldn't turn away.

What have you been watching?