Thursday, December 12, 2013

Retro Thursday: 4/05

By request: April 2005

(A week late due to gremlins!)

George W. Bush was president of the United States

Paul Martin was prime minister of Canada

John Howard was prime minister of Australia

Elizabeth was queen of England (in case you were wondering.)


Singles from a few of the album releases:

Rob Thomas: "This Is How A Heart Breaks" from ...Something to Be


Better than Ezra: "Juicy" from Before the Robots

Hahaha...this video's so goofy. :)


Mariah Carey: "We Belong Together" from The Emancipation of Mimi

I'm not a huge Mariah fan - though I acknowledge her incredible voice - and I'm not at all a fan of these kinds of videos but oh my goodness...Wentworth Miller!


The New York Times Best Seller List--Fiction

April 17, 2005

1. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown.

2. REVENGE OF THE SITH, by Matthew Stover.

3. YA-YAS IN BLOOM, by Rebecca Wells.

4. HONEYMOON, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.

5. SATURDAY, by Ian McEwan.

6. THE RISING, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

7. THE BROKER, by John Grisham.

8. WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS, by Elizabeth George.

9. IMPOSSIBLE, by Danielle Steel.

10. THE SERPENT ON THE CROWN, by Elizabeth Peters.


Video Games

Lego Star Wars


Jade Empire

I never did finish this game. I should do that....



Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Love this movie.


Kung Fu Hustle

Also a favorite. :)


The average price of gas:


New York--$2.23




UK--£1.32-1.42 litre


On the Charts

Apparently Elvis Presley broke the record for the most UK number one singles in 2005. Elvis had 4 songs in the top ten in the UK in April alone. How did he do that exactly? More to the point, who got all the money?


#3 in the UK the week of April 17th, Ciara featuring Missy Elliot. This one's for Jo.


#7 in the UK the week of April 24th, Nine Inch Nails (a family favorite). This one's for Mae.


Backstreet Boys released the single Incomplete which debuted at #1 in Australia (their first #1 hit there.)


Would you like to suggest a date for Retro Thursday? Just leave me a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here:

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cataclysmic Music Review: Bastille, Capital Cities, Matt Nathanson

I am long overdue for a music feature, so I'd like to share a few albums with you: Haunt (EP) by Bastille, In A Tidal Wave of Mystery by Capital Cities, and Last of the Great Pretenders by Matt Nathanson. It's a long time since I first heard these bands and many months since I bought the albums, but I originally heard them around the same time and the three radio-play songs have a similar theme. It must be a sign. Let's start with one you probably all know by now from Bastille.

So . . . you know how some songs you have to listen to a few times (sometimes many times) before you realize how good they are and then you really like it? That didn't happen with this song. I LOVED it the first time I heard it and had to find out who it was. Once I found out, I checked out my local record store but nobody there had heard of them (or Capitol Cities for that matter.) I finally found the EP (four songs) at Amoeba in San Francisco as well as the other two albums. Yay Amoeba! Boo Rasputin.

Now, if you are in England or Europe, you're probably thinking, "Silly person in America. Bastille has been around for quite a while." Yes it has, but whenever I mention them to people I know they say, "Who?" Even my daughter recognized the name of the group but couldn't name any songs. So forgive me if I state the obvious here. Bastille are fantastic. Pompeii is one of those songs I catch myself singing all the time. While Dan Smith (lead singer, songwriter) has a distinctive sound and style of his own, the band most closely reminds me of Coldplay (in a good way) especially on the track Overjoyed.

The full double album, All This Bad Blood (25 tracks), is out now which I ordered but haven't received yet, so I may do another feature on it.

The second band, Capital Cities from Los Angeles, released their debut album in June of this year. So it surprised me greatly to find out that the song Safe and Sound actually debuted in 2011. Considering I listen to alternative radio stations in the Bay Area, I'm amazed I hadn't heard it before. What's up with that? Anyway, I've already used this video once way back in April, but I'll use it again gladly!

Their second single, Kangaroo Court, is much less impressive to me. The Casio VL Tone (yes, we had one) is slightly nostalgic but ultimately annoying and the song has little more substance than that. In fact, a lot of the patches are evocative of the seventies and early eighties and most of the tracks on the album sound neo-disco (plus heavy use of vocaloid, of which I'm not really a fan). The tracks are great for working out or dancing to, but I get tired of the relentless poppiness. That's not to say I don't like them, but . . . small doses. I prefer Tell Me How To Live, it sounds like a mixture of The Bee Gees and Barry White (which is funny because they did a cover of Stayin' Alive). And I really love Chasing You (except for the unnecessary addition of the F word.) Unfortunately there are no official videos for those songs. Here's a static video of Tell Me How To Live.

Last of the Great Pretenders is Matt Nathanson's tenth album and is full of great songs, though with most including profanity or very provocative lyrics, they are definitely on the adult side. The track I heard first and, like Pompeii, loved it the first time I heard it, is Mission Bells. It's a mix of melancholy lyrics, a smooth shuffly rhythm, and a killer hooky chorus. The video is brilliant too, playing on the lyric, "At the end of a Hitchcock movie, a little dark and a lot confusing." It's done like a black and white Alfred Hitchcock style movie, with great San Francisco locations and representations of some of Hitchcock's best known movies. I counted four I'm sure about, but I'm also sure there are more. I'll list the ones I found at the end of this post. If you found more I'd love to know. And no, I didn't cheat!

So there you have it: a volcanic eruption, a vague, unnamed apocalyptic event, and a mysterious death. It's a little creepy how happy these songs make me.

The Hitchcock movies I recognize in the Mission Bells video: Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, Rear Window. There are a couple of others I'm not sure of. Do you see any others?

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here:

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Update and Soundtrack Clue

Congratulations to Sarah, the winner of my November "Thank You" giveaway. I have e-mailed you and contacted you via Twitter. I have other book giveaways planned soon and another cash giveaway later on for the second Glister Journals title and cover reveal. That is planned for the first part of 2014. It will probably mark the official opening of the soundtrack puzzle entries too, so stay in touch!

On to the new soundtrack clue for those who are reading or have already read the book. Remember, those of you working on the puzzle now have a head start. You're more likely to get correct answers and have a better chance of winning!

    CLUE #6 Two bands/artists are repeated once.
    In other words, out of 31 songs, 27 are by different bands/artists, and 2 bands/artists have 2 each.

Hopefully that helps with any question of whether an artist is repeated and how many times!

If you'd like to see a certain type of clue or have any questions about the soundtrack at all, please feel free to ask. I'm sure there are plenty I haven't thought of yet. I will answer anything reasonable that does not completely give away the answers!

Would you like some music? I thought you might! This is Hadouken!, a British band I first found on MySpace YEARS ago (you remember MySpace don't you?) Anyway, this is great. I bought Hadouken's first album (imported!) and now realize I have some catching up to do. Their sound has only improved (mellowed a little perhaps, but in a good way. Parental advisory on some songs). I love the video too. Enjoy!

AWESOME remix can be found here: