Today’s Musical Standouts!

Blood – Strange and beautiful.

New Moon Daughter – How I missed this 22 year old album, from the prolific Cassandra Wilson I don’t know, but the sound is exquisite. Have to get the cd.

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=herotime-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01HOG5I6S&asins=B01HOG5I6S&linkId=61e266984438159151ad3ee6abd6a4ae&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff -Wonderful!

I Tell A Fly– It is unusual to stumble across something truly original and strange and brilliant. This is all the above. A must buy!

My One And Only Thrill– Just heard her CD today, yeah I have to buy it!

Converting Vegetarians– There is only one CD left on Amazon. Good Luck!

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Music of the Day: The Essential GREGORY PORTER!

So if new to the Grammy winning Gregory Porter, begin with his Grammy winning Album LIQUID SPIRIT(2013).

A mix of blues, soul, jazz and a touch of bop, and lifted by one of the most amazing voices and crooners since Nat King Cole, LIQUID SPIRIT is one of the best albuns of the young 21st century.

Now once you’ve listened to LIQUID SPIRIT, an album you can listen to from beginning to end, repeatedly… what’s next?

I would say listen to his singles 1960 WHAT? and FEELING GOOD off of his first album WATER(2010).

From his 2nd Album BE GOOD (2012) standouts are ON MY WAY TO HARLEM and REAL GOOD HANDS and BLING BLING and GOD BLESS THE CHILD.

We have already discussed his third album LIQUID SPIRIT, his next album is the collaborative GREAT VOICES OF HARLEM (2014)with notable song being MOANIN.

2015 Saw his rerelease of LIQUID SPIRIT with additional songs.

2016 saw the release of  TAKE ME TO THE ALLEY, highlights being HOLDING ON and FRENCH AFRICAN QUEEN (A song, in its phrassing, very reminiscent of  the late, great Terry Callier).

 And bringing it up to date, his 2017 album is NAT KING GOLE & ME and it is easily Porter’s best album since LIQUID SPIRIT. Every song is a winner. Even in the age of Itunes and Digital those two CDs are must haves. Andin addition they both make great gifts this holiday season.

Liquid Spirit

Nat King Cole & Me

 


 

Gift Idea/Product of the Day! LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

I just watched an excellent Michael Pritchard TED Talk on making filthy water drinkable. At only ten minutes you can view it here:

As someone who has always been concerned with the quality of drinking water, and has over several years tried various remedies to ensure clean water, the talk was of definite interest to me.

Especially as I see more and more companies pressure nations and communities to privatize their water infrastructure; I think water, clean drinkable non-contaminated or tinkered with for taste water (Dasani I’m looking at you)… is going to increasingly not be guaranteed. Water, in this ‘tail wags Dog’ America and World, Is going to start being a luxury item you have to pay for, rather than a basic necessity that should be freely available and provided.  And those who can’t pay for clean, non contaminated water, will not get clean contaminated water.

A Trumpian Dystopian Orwellian future, made ever less far-fetched as the more passionate among us do nothing, while the venal and greedy and ignorant among us, shout loudly.

Michael Pritchard is one who did not stay quietly on the sidelines, turning his outrage on tragedies of nature, and failures of governments and men, such as Katrina… into action.

In this case a portable water filtration system called LIFESAVER that checks a lot of the boxes, that others miss.

  • One it requires no external power source.
  • Two it is designed to catch just about everything, rather than just a few, and
  • Third and most importantly, and the one that most water filters fail on… it shuts the water filter off when it has reached the point of failure.

A water filter is only as good as that point of failure, and a system that lets you know when you have reached that point of replacement is indispensable.

In my house I use the zero pitcher, for this very reason. It’s a quick and easy test you can run on every glass of water, and when the meter hits that number of 006 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) you know it is time to replace that filter.

LIFESAVER offers a similar level of confidence, where it matters even more… when you are on the go; away from your house. And I don’t just mean camping, I mean anyplace outside your home where you need to get a drink of water, whether that be the water cooler at your job, a public fountain, or a friends house.

I work for a billion dollar company, in a fantastic high rise in the middle of a major city, and way too often the water out of the tap, for the whole building… comes out brown. That is just not acceptable. And yes the company has mounted water filters, but are the filters getting changed as they should be? When the municipality of a so-called 1st World Nation can’t provide its citizens clean drinking water from the tap (or don’t prioritize such water), you begin to question the capability of every part of that chain.

We have this delusion in America, like so many delusions that allowed otherwise sane people to actually cast a ballot for Trump, we have a delusion that water quality is a third world problem. When the truth is, through the greed of billionaires, America is quickly becoming a third world nation. The problems of Mexico, and Sudan, and Kosovo, and Nigeria and India… these are quickly going to become American problems. Because we are allowing slavers and Robber Barons to make policy, that inevitably is designed to make the few masters and the many slaves.

Some of that you can combat through legislation, though voting, through boycotting, and some of it you combat by taking an active role, in making sure the basic necessities of life… clean water… in a pinch you can provide for yourself.

That is where the LIFESAVER System comes in. Its company grade is an A, and its Amazon Reviews have been vetted and are accurate (A lot of times they are not, don’t just assume a company with 4 or 5 stars on Amazon is a slam dunk of a product. Unfortunately unscrupulous companies use robots to pad their page with tons of fake 5 star reviews.)

You want to vet the company and vet the reviews, to see if the company is legit and the reviews are legit. There are various sites that will do this for you. I’ve checked the most reputable ones, and LIFESAVER as a company is an A, and its Amazon reviews get an A for being accurate, and non robot generated.

All this to say, this is the gift giving season, Dickens’ sweet story of a carol at Christmas, has been turned by savvy businessmen into a retailers dream, the need to purchase and buy, affecting all during this time of year, more like a fever, than anything to do with faith.

A compulsion.

Whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Vodun or Festivus you celebrate; we are all swept up in the compulsion to spend. All to some point swayed by the marketing push and Black Friday sales, or Amazon Monday sales.

But perhaps we can do better than the usual suspects of gifts. While the kids want (and deserve) their toys, for the adults give them the LIFESAVER. It lives up to its name. It is something that should be in each car you own, for emergencies, and one in the house as a backup filtration system. Essential for any bug-out bag.

And the lifesaver while impressive, no product should be considered an end all and be all. I would recommend having a UV pen water sterilizer as well. It is just a good one-two punch to get in the habit of doing. Especially as your filter gets close to its end of life.

Is it overkill? Probably. But considering it only takes seconds more to UV your drink after filtering, it is probably just a good routine to get into. But even without the UV step, I consider the LIFESAVER absolutely an indispensable purchase in 2017 and beyond, and a fantastic gift.

Get yours here:

LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

You are going to also need to have replacement filters on hand (In the words of Nick Nolte, from EXTREME PREJUDICE [one of my favorite movies, and easily his most iconic role] ‘One without the other, ain’t no damn good.’)

Lifesaver Bottle Ultra Filtration Water Bottle Replacement Carbon Inserts (4-pk)
And here’s the recommended UV pen:

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier

And here’s the pitcher for your kitchen (and you could also use an additional one for your bathroom or just go with an on tap unit for your bathroom faucet):

ZeroWater 23 Cup Dispenser with Free TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids) – ZD-018

Or more convenient for your bathroom would be a on-faucet filter, that also offers a end of life replacement light, which would be the below:

PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Water Filtration Faucet Mount Chrome FM-9400B

So that’s it guys. When I started this blog, far more than a decade ago, one of my early concerns was water quality. I had tried distillers, table top water filters, and tons of options in between.

And all of that research has brought me to the recommendations above. You want to give a gift this holiday season, give the gift of clean water.

It is… a start.

Use the links above and help this blog earn a few pennies with your purchases.

Enjoy!

 

Movie of the Day: DAG II/THE MOUNTAIN II (2016) by Alper Caglar

War Movies.

War Movies when done well, really well, when great,… are never really about war. Never about glorifying war. When done great, a war movie is ever about… people who in calamitous situations… find a way to rise.

People who exemplify, in the direst of hour, some fortitude, some courage, some sacrifice.

13 HOURS is such a movie, PLATOON, DARSALEM, TUM GUK GI, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and the 2016 Turkish film… THE MOUNTAIN II is such a movie.

Brilliant.

I hate, hate the fact that smaller movies are starting to go straight to streaming with no DVD or Bluray hardcopy available. Leaving access to a movie you really love at the mercy,the whims, of the ever in flux and changing streaming landscape.

Masterpieces should alway be available in hardcopy ie DVD, film, or Bluray versions.

DAG II/MOUNTAIN II from 2016, is a masterpiece.

Marvel – Disney – Alan Moore & 2018 as the 35th Anniversary of MIRACLEMAN


If you are reading this blog, you most likely know who Alan Moore is, and even more than that you know he is an iconic and celebrated comic book writer.

Though perhaps more infamous than celebrated these days. Which is a shame, watching the career of Alan Moore, it is not hard to cast him quite clearly as this age’s Shakespeare. A genius writer, writing in a castigated medium, for the pleasure of the masses, not receiving in his own time the accolades of ‘serious’ writer.

Here’s the thing about Alan Moore, he’s not just a great Comic book Writer, any more than Dickens was just a great magazine writer, or Archibald MacLeish or Arch Oboler were just great radio writers, or Ray Bradbury was just a great Short Story writer, or Chester Himes was just a great Pulp Fiction writer. Sometime we add unnecessary modifiers to our descriptions of people and things, and by these appellation we marginalize them, and damn them with faint praise.

Alan Moore is a great writer… full stop. He has created a body of work, that over three decades later, multi-billion dollar companies are still seeking to monetize and use for their idea space.

One of his many properties, currently owned by Marvel/Disney, turns 35 next year, I’m speaking of MIRACLEMAN. Long kept from being reprinted due to rights issues. in 2014 Marvel acquired the rights to it, and over the next two years, till 2016,reprinted Alan Moore’s acclaimed and seminal disection of the myth of mensh unt ubermensh, culminating in a series of relatively disappointing Hardcovers.

The original issues of MARVELMAN renamed MIRAC:LEMAN saw birth in the British magazine WARRIOR in 1983. Far larger than Marvel’s reprinting, MArvel’s 1st attempt MIRACLEMAN VOL 1 A FEAR OF FLYING suffers from two unforgivable sins, it’s printed in a shrunk down format that does not even fill the smaller Marvel HC format, but more significantly it omits Alan Moore’s name, replacing it with the childish and insulting appellate… THE ORIGINAL WRITER.

Can Alan Moore be difficult, yes, can he be contrary to his own best interests, can he burn bridges, he would have been better off leaving passable, yes… the answer to all this is yes.

But Alan moore is a genius, and genius though talented, can also be volatile and not particularly good business people. I get it.

But you make allowances for the failings and temperment of geniuses. What you do not do is take, even at their behest, their name off the works of their genius.

We are all diminished by that.

Work it out people. In 2018 I want to see an oversized Omnibus edition of MIRACLEMAN, that remasters the art at a proper full size, and most of all… sports Alan Moore’s name.And more pay him for his input and remembrances on the work. Pay him to do the forward.

We have lost a lot of great and creative people in 2018. Alan Moore is still among us, reach out to him, bury the hatchet, get his name back where it belong… on the cover of these books. To do less is a stain against, all involved, Marvel/Disney/the Editors, you will be the sad people on the wrong side of history.

Be on the right side. In 2018 put Alan Moore’s name on the 35th Anniversary Omnibus of MIRACLEMAN. And give him part of the profits.

Work it out.

Currently Listening to Jacob Banks THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM

I absolutely hate the fact that some musicians are only releasing their music in streaming MP3 compressed format. It is such a disservice to a musician and music lovers not to have that music on Gatekeeper free, high-quality, well mastered full range CD. It’s a crime, especially with a singer of the strength of Jacob Banks. Go ahead and discover him like I did, courtesy of MP3 or streaming, but hold out for a full range CD to buy.

Some standouts from this musician…

MONSTER 2.0 his single from 2015 PARADOX release.

And the five songs on his latest from 2017 THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM. Includes the sterling CHAINSMOKING and the smokey PART TIME LOVE. A top notch singer deserving of a top notch mastered CD.

Until then, sample him here:

The Paradox [Explicit]

Another great discovery of 2017.