About johnnyC

"Just a fly-in-the-ointment, Hans: the monkey-in-the-wrench; a pain-in-the-ass."

NEW Music I Adore – (the Thrillas from Wasilla, AK!) – Portugal. The Man – “Evil Friends”

Portugal. The Man - Fall, 2008If you thought that Wasilla, Alaska, only proliferated fast-food joints and fucking morons, think again my friend, for I present to you, hailing from the home of the Palins, the latest from the fabulously brilliant band known as Portugal. the Man. These guys are amazing, and quite prolific, having produced a number of albums. They are just recently catching mainstream spark, which should turn into a flame once their second major-label record drops on June 4th.

This song is bonkers; it goes in at least four different directions, all of them cool. And the video is the bomb.com. Enjoy. (and yes, this band is originally from Wasilla, AK, though they are now based out of Seattle, I think.)

Pretty sweet, no?

NEW Music I Am LOVING – The Neighbourhood

I don’t give a good Goddamn what musical genre you listen to most – country, hip-hop, the-neighbourhood-band-picturerock, pop, funk, jazz, bluegrass, R&B, metal, folk – whatever it is, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that you’re gonna dig this new band out of L.A. called The Neighbourhood. I’m also gonna predict that these cats are gonna be huge; they’re already blowing up the indie/alternative charts with the songs featured below. The best way I can describe them is think of a better, edgier, darker, funkier, more haunting version of Maroon 5.

The Neighbourhood have only released a five-song EP titled I’m Sorry…, which is where these two tracks are from. Their first full LP, I Love You, is supposed to be released on April 23rd, and promises to be awesome. Judge for yourself by checking out these two amazing singles, “Sweater Weather” and “Female Robbery,” that are propelling The Neighbourhood towards the musical stratosphere. Also, I think their videos are pretty outstanding as well.

And here is another great song accompanied by quite the dark & raw video.

I hope you are feeling this band and their music as much as I am, and I hope you support them and other great artists by paying the reasonable price for the right to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and ethereal talents

Game of Thrones Returns This Sunday!

game-of-thrones-shadow-adWho else is as jazzed as we are for the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones? Who else is imagining the eggs they paint tonight contain tiny baby dragons within? Of course a whole lot of you are.

I tried not to read ahead in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George RR Marten, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones television series is based. I watched seasons 1 & 2 of the show without reading any of the books, and again, was planning to only read more after season 3; that, however proved to be an exercise in futility; the books are just too damn engrossing. My wife (aka the Khaleesi) and I ended up reading all the way through the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons (of a planned seven), and are anxiously awaiting the forthcoming release of book 6, The Winds of Winter.

Anyway, knowing what is coming, vis a vis the major plot-lines of season 3 of Game of Thrones, is just as exciting as not knowing. I am curious how the screen writers work the very challenging source material into a cohesive television series for another season. There is one major decision that the GoT writers made in this regard that I wholeheartedly applaud  they are making two seasons of TV (GoT season 3 & season 4) out of the 3rd book in the Song of Ice and Fire series: A Storm of Swords. By splitting the third book into two seasons of television, the show can really do justice to the most exciting, dramatic, and pivotal book of the series thus far.

All I will say for you Game of Thrones fans who have not read the books: buckle up, because you are in for a wild and violent ride; and certain episodes, in this season and the next, will have the whole internet and TV worlds buzzing.

Oh, and while you are waiting for Sunday night, why not have some fun with this sigil creator from the Game of Thrones website. Who among us has not imagined what our house sigil and words would be? Ours is below, and I’m pretty happy with it.

House Culhane Cat

Meow, Winter is Coming.

The Fabulous Flying Paul of “The Caves” in Negril

The Khaleesi and I just returned from an amazing trip to Negril, Jamaica, at this sweet place located right on the limestone cliffs. The incredibly strong, sweet, and knowledgeable Paul guides snorkeling & kayak adventures, as well as guarding all our lives at The Caves. He is also a phenomenal diver. The video below does not do justice to just how intense this “suicide dive” really was. He had to clear, like, 2 or 3 levels of cliff edge jutting out, where people chill and catch sun; it was a lot of ground to fly over. And he did it like a freakin’ bird. He’s awesome. He took Khaleesi & I snorkeling, and showed us these secret caves that we had to swim under water to get to. Kinda scary, very exhilarating. So please enjoy the Fabulous Flying Paul.

Oh, and if you ever decide to visit The Caves (and you should if you have the means and wanna treat yourselves), please make sure to tell them that Jaycee sent you, and says, “One Love.”

flying paul

PHARCYDE live at SXSW – “Ya Mama”

Oh, hell yeah. You kids out there might not know from this, but all the 30ish party people for sure are down with one the 90s hip-hop classic, the Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde LP. I’m not sure if Pharcyde is back, or if this is just one time deal; either way, they kill it with the riotous “Ya Mama” in Austin, Texas.

“Ya Mama’s got a glass eye, with a fish in it…”

Music I Like! – “Thrift Shop ft Wanz” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am quite fond of the current #1 song in the country, this “Thrift Shop” by some white rapper who calls himself Macklemore; it’s intoxicating. I was never down with that wack-ass “Gangnam Style,” and am proud to have not once actively sought out the song nor video; only through cultural osmosis was I exposed to that awful shit. Other than having a beat that white people can sorta dance to, “Thrift Shop,” to me, is the polar opposite to “Gangnam Style:” I know what’s going on with the lyrics; this Macklemore cat is witty and can actually rap. I don’t know what that creeper Psy is going on about. And where “Gangname” style has a weak house beat/hook to it, “Thrift Shop” works with its classic hip-hop beat and inspired brass hook.

This video is particularly awesome (or should I say “fuckin awesome”, as per the song): featured in the video is a DeLorean, as well as a slurpee-sipping, lady-propelled scooter, plus a whole bunch of funky clothes, characters, and dance moves. Enjoy.

Here’s a good piece about the man and the song in the Hollywood Reporter

On Superbowl XLVII: The REAL Experts Weigh In

And by real experts, I am referring to the Madden NFL 13 football video game, and Nate Silver from The New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog.

Most everyone has heard of the EA Sports Madden franchise of football video game simulations. What many might no be as familiar with, however, is the remarkable accuracy with which the game has predicted Superbowl winners since 2003. When the folks over at EA Sports simulate the big game using the most updated rosters and full 15 minute quarters, the simulation has predicted the correct winner in 7 of 9 Superbowls. And of the two wrong outcomes, one included the heavily favored 2008 New England Patriots, so… Here’s Madden’s full record:

[UPDATE:] Madden does it again. It is only a matter of time before the game becomes self-aware and destroys the Vegas sportsbooks.

 

- Super Bowl XLVII

Madden: Ravens 27, 49ers 24

Actual score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31

 

- Super Bowl XLVI
Madden: Giants, 27, Patriots, 24
Actual score: Giants, 21, Patriots, 17

- Super Bowl XLV
Madden: Steelers, 24, Packers, 20
Actual score: Packer, 31, Steelers, 25

- Super Bowl XLIV
Madden: Saints 35, Colts 31
Actual score: Saints 31, Colts 17

- Super Bowl XLIII
Madden: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
Actual score: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

- Super Bowl XLII
Madden: Patriots 38, Giants 30
Actual score: Giants 17, Patriots 14

- Super Bowl XLI
Madden: Colts 38, Bears 27
Actual score: Colts 29, Bears 17

- Super Bowl XL
Madden: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19
Actual score: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

- Super Bowl XXXIX
Madden: Patriots 47, Eagles 31
Actual score: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

- Super Bowl XXXVIII
Madden: Patriots 23, Panthers 20
Actual Score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

So who does Madden crown this year? The Ravens. Madden says Baltimore will win the game on a last second Field Goal, 27-24. I’ve been playing Madden since before the Internet (and I will probably kick your ass at it – xbox tag: johnnyCul), so I can attest to how detailed and accurate the ratings and simulation results are. I’m not saying the method is fool-proof, and I’m not saying I’m necessarily taking the Ravens, but the results speak for themselves and have definitely earned some consideration.

The other expert I would like to site is the Wizard of Polls, Nate Silver, the man who accurately predicted the results of 50 out of 50 states in the 2012 Presidential election, and 49 of 50 in 2008. Before creating his FiveThirtyEight blog which focused on aggregating all the various political polls using the sabermetric method of statistical analysis, he used that same method to analyze baseball statistics. According to Silver, and the history of the better defense winning most Superbowls, he likes the 49ers.

I’m going with San Francisco as well, and for basically the same reason. With the way Kaepernick has been playing QB, I have no doubt that the 49ers can move the ball on the Ravens. And I think San Francisco has a much better defense. It still looks to be a close, hard fought contest, with two outstanding offensive lines, and two phenomenal coaching staffs. I say 49ers 28, Ravens 24.

On a side note: my brother Chris is a huge 49ers fan, and a Superbowl win would cap off a magical season for him, as he also won our fantasy football league championship. Good luck to Brother Chris and his San Francisco 49ers!

Yeah Science! DNA Gets Its First School Portrait

The straw stirring the drink that is Life – DNA – has finally gotten the Lifetouch© treatment. While it is black-and-white and slightly awkward, like so many of the very first photos of all of us, the image clearly shows the now familiar spiraling structure of a few strands of DNA molecules.

Image Credit: Enzo Di Fabrizio

Image Credit: Enzo Di Fabrizio

The physicist who came up with the first direct picture of DNA is fabulously named Enzo Di Fabrizio, and his method is explained here.

Music I Love: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

Video

Fabulous song here, that I’m just listening the hell out of lately, off a really good album called Fear Fun. This official video is equally amazing, as it features the dark and lovely Aubrey Plaza going bonkers.