echeblog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best of 2008 - Part 2

My "Best of 2008" continues with the best dance tracks of 2008. There's a lot of music out there and it's been great for me to be able to find some really great tracks and share them with you. That's the part of being a DJ that I really love -- being able to share great music, whether you're familiar with the tracks or not. So, here's the best of 2008, in no particular order.

Room for Two - Roots Before Branches (Studio Crashers Extended Mix)
What can I say, this is a track that really grabbed me from the start and I've really come to love the more that I hear it. I don't really listen to pop music unless it's in a dance remix format, so I didn't see the video until long after I heard the dance version:

That white girl can sing! The video is good but the Studio Crashers Mix brought out a bittersweet quality that that really expressed the way my life has been feeling lately -- the frustration of feeling like I can't quite get to the things in life I've always wanted, yet recognizing that I've been laying the foundation for those good things to come. I can't say how other people judge their dance music, but I can't ask for anything more in a track, to be able to express my life in a way I could not otherwise express.

Filo & Peri - Shine On (Activa Mix)
From the bittersweetness of wanting what I haven't yet figured out how to let myself have to soaring where I'd love to be, Shine On is the embodiment of what I love about trance and dance music in general. It's a reminder that we can look beyond where we are to where we'd like to be. And that's a wonderful thing.

My favorite is the Activa Remix... it leaves out some of the vocals from the original, but it hits all the right emotional notes. I've linked to the Aly & Fila Remix because that's what they have available at Masterbeat. I'd grab any mix of this track that I could find.


Debby Holiday - Joyful Sound (Wayne G & Porl Young Atlantis Anthem)
There are plenty of things out there telling you how awful the world is and what's going wrong. In my mind, a DJ's job is to remind you of what's beautiful in the world and to help you find some joy even if it's for just a few minutes. It's great to have tracks that are unapologetic about it, rather than simply regurgitating what's hot at the moment. It's also great to have Debby Holiday back on the scene. Hearkens back to a time on the scene where there was plenty of music that just felt good.

Mary J. Blige - Just Fine (Moto Blanco Club Mix)
Another track that's in the same spirit as the aforementioned Debby, Mary J. will tell you how it is and if you're smart, you'll listen. I won't change my life, my life's just fine! Yes ma'am, we love you, Mary J! My favorite mix is Scotty K's, but I'm not exactly sure where you can buy that one. Moto Blanco gives you a high energy, yet delightfully groovy track. Ok, for the record, Masterbeat shows this as being released in December 2007, but this is my blog and I can do what I want.

Chanel - Dance (Fish n Chips Remix)
"It feels like somebody should be dancin' up in here..." If I could recommend that Phoenix listen to one song, it might be this one. Somebody really SHOULD be dancing here. Anyway, take Spiller's classic Groovejet and put Chanel's perfect vocals on top and you get one top track.

There were other good tracks this year but these are definitely my top 5. Don't wait, buy them now.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Best of 2008 - Part 1

It's natural to look back at the end of the year and take stock of the best the year had to offer. I'm no different, so I'm going to look a few important things that have made 2008 enjoyable. Part one is dedicated to the beeves, those shining stars that just leave me with a touch of the vapors. It's not a top-5 because there are only 4... (in no particular order... except my #1)

Barry from Sean Cody.
He's handsome, beefy and openly gay. And to tell the truth, he does bear some resemblance to someone in my real life over whom I was quite a-twitter not too terribly long ago, not to mention reminds me a bit of HUNKY HELO. What can I say? I admit it, I love me some white bread. Not only can he take it like a champ (and come asking for more), he's the type I'd be proud to take home to meet my parents.

Ross Hurston
Okay, I know the rules -- never judge a book by it's cover or a porn star by his films. Maybe he's wonderful, wholesome and incredibly well-read when he's off the set. All of those things are good things in my book, but all I have to go on are videos and this Brit knows how to take slutty, which I normally don't care for, and make it appealing. It raises another question -- when did the British suddenly start getting hot? (He's not the only these days, by any means...) Anyway, from someone I'd take home to meet the parents to someone I'd probably keep away from my parents, lest he cause me to do inappropriate acts in my parents' house.

Tyler Saint
If you're paying attention, you're noticing a general physical type emerging. Handsome, a killer... uh, smile. Has the amazing ability to be aggressive even when he's going down on a guy. Where Ross Hurston has that hint of slutty, Tyler Saint gives off a different energy. Maybe it's because I've seen Tyler in videos where he's in leather, but something about him says, "Regardless of what I'm doing, or perhaps BECAUSE of it, you WILL respect me." Self-respect is hot.

Finally, my #1:

Ben McAvinew
Okay, I want the record to be clear -- the guy is straight (as far as I know) and has no connection to pr0n at all. Aside from a handful of shots taken, he's really not out in the modeling world, either. And yes, he's clearly within the physical type that's been set out with the previous guys. But here's what sets him apart from the rest for me... it's the smolder. Something about the eyes. Call it a character defect, but that's what hits me most because it's something I understand... that feeling of holding back, for whatever reason. Maybe that's just the way life is as a Scorpio, or as a human for that matter. But if there's a lesson I'm learning, it's how to stop holding back. Here's to 2009 being the year where I'm finally ready to let go.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Survived Light Rail

12272008476Yesterday was the grand opening for Valley Metro's new light rail service here in the Valley. It's a project that's been years in the making. My dad and I decided to head to downtown Phoenix to catch an exhibit at the Arizona Science Center and we figured that it would be a great opportunity to check out the new light rail system. We headed down to the Apache & Dorsey station because it was designated as a "Park & Ride" stop. We were greeted with a carnival-like atmosphere as there were a number of celebrations going on at several stations.

12272008478While I anticipated that people would come out on the first day, I hadn't realized that turnout would be as heavy as it was. While I heard reports of 2.5 hour waits, we managed to get the first train that stopped. That said, we were greeted with a train that was absolutely packed. It was a very un-Phoenix-like experience. Still, the riders seemed to be in good spirits -- the conductor would announce that he was closing the doors and would count down from 5 to 1 and the riders began counting down with him. The high point was crossing Tempe Town Lake and hearing the oohs and ahs as we glided over the water. Once we crossed into Phoenix, it became an actual clown car experience, as a clown made her way onto our already overcrowded car. I overheard a few passengers around me wishing physical violence on the wayward clown.

12272008480The trip back was a little more trying. I had hoped that perhaps things would settle down later in the day. I miscalculated. We headed for the 1st Avenue and Washington station after lunch. There were many more people than at the Apache & Dorsey station. The first train came and was full, I overheard some riders saying that they had seen several trains come and go and hadn't been able to get on. Officials at the station said that there was another train following in 5 or 10 minutes, but it ended up being around 20 minutes to the next train. Valley Metro was also running special buses along the light rail route for those who didn't want to wait, but as we saw those buses pass us by, they seemed as crowded as the light rail cars.

12272008481Fortunately, we were able to get on the second train, as I was determined to push my way on and make the trip back home. The trip back was less comfortable than the first -- the cars were more crowded on the way back, it seemed like everyone was tired and ready to get back home. I remember someone remarking that we were being herded like cattle, but I reminded him that because of a recent initiative passed, farm animals are required to have much more space for them to move.

HandsOverall, I was very pleased with the experience. I'm glad they had so many people come out in support and I hope that people use it. I'm interested in seeing what the ridership is like once regular service starts. I'm also hoping they come to their senses and extend service on Friday and Saturday nights for people who want to hit the bars. I'm also interested in seeing how the areas around the line develop -- I'd have to believe that the land use around it is going to change quite a bit. It was a great start and I'm looking forward to seeing how things come together.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For You, Santa Baby...

This planet was only able to hang on to Eartha Kitt for 81 years. Yet, it seems fitting that the indomitable Ms. Kitt made her exit on Christmas Day. I had the pleasure to see her perform earlier this year and was amazed... I hadn't realized it would be the only chance I would get. We lose another legend... and yet, we knew it couldn't last forever. Thank you for being you.

Labels: ,

I Opened My Gift Early!

video
Merry Christmas to me! Go Irish!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Everybody!


(Thanks to BeautifulMag!)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

RIP Lwaxanna Troi

Or, more commonly known as Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. The wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry died at age 76, of leukemia.

Labels: , ,

Extra Secret Sauce, Please!

Okay, there's a glut of bareback films out there with titles like, Dude, Swap my Cum, My Guy Creampie and Sperm Attack. If you hadn't guessed, these videos tend to be a little... base. What about those with a more... refined attitude toward semen?

Today you're in luck because now there's Natural Harvest - A collection of semen-based recipes. File this under, "I shit you not." With recipes like, Creamy Cum Crepes and Tuna Sashimi with Dipping Sauce, and the Almost White Russian, along with a bevy of colorful photos of the prepared dinners as well as nutritional information, Natural Harvest is perfect for those out there with a discriminating pallet. The author has also noted in the recipes when ingredients can be omitted in order to bring out the flavor of the semen.

So, when you can't decide between a bareback orgy and a Pampered Chef party, there's no need to compromise. Natural Harvest is here to help.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Marc's Midweek 'Bad Santa' Holiday Haiku

Who's that strange fat man,
and who let him near the kids?
Ho, ho, ho, indeed.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

w00t

I know I'm letting my inner geek show, but I just saw the trailer for X Men Origins: Wolverine and I found, to my delight, that they'll be including my favorite of the X-Men -- Gambit.

Along with the end of BSG, this makes 2009 a year I'm looking forward to!

Labels: ,

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Know That's Right!

Seen today. The Universe is trying to tell me something!

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Santa...

If you need any gift ideas for me, please consider...



I'll gladly leave milk and plenty of cookies of your choice. You know I've been a VERY good boy this year.

-Marc

Labels: , , ,

Masterbeat New Releases 12/14/08

Hey everybody! I took a couple weeks off from the music reviews to make sure I had quality tracks to let you know about. Here's some of Masterbeat's newest and best for your Holiday listening pleasure!

  1. JR Disco - Found A Cure (Original Mix)
    I don't know about you, but nothing says Christmas to me like straight up disco goodness. Plenty of disco strings and horns, along with a classic disco groove and feel, and some great feel good vocals on top of it all. A great find in my book.
  2. Tristan Garner feat. Akil - Give Love (Arias Remix) & (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix)
    I've mentioned it before but one of the things I love about house music is the spirit of wanting to make the world a better place. This is a great track that really embodies that spirit, which makes it perfect for this holiday season. The centerpiece of this track is the vocals -- "We gotta give love...'cause we've just got one world to share..." There are three main remixes; my favorite is the Arias Remix. Good energy, the instrumentation supports the vocals well. The Jerome Isma-Ae Remix is a little more high energy with a piano base. I found the Original Mix to be a little too busy for my taste.
  3. Pepper Mashay - Does Your Mama Know (12" Extended Mix)
    I know a lot of you out there still love diva house and Pepper Mashay is here to deliver. You'll probably remember Pepper from the Circuit smash, Dive in the Pool. Yeah, that one was hard to miss back in the day. Truthfully, this track isn't quite as memorable as Dive In the Pool, but this is a solid track. There are quite a few mixes. 12" Extended Mix goes with a funky guitar line that makes the track a lot of fun. Corey D's mix is a piano driven track and if you're going for more of a Circuit sound, Tony Marino's mix sounds like it could have come from a more well known Tony M (ie Tony Moran). Not a chart topper, but another solid track from Pepper.
  4. South Central - Golden Dawn
    Sometimes I like to go off the house/trance track and see what other good music is out there. I'm not sure how I'd classify this track, it's got a heavily filtered, indy-rock vibe with a bit of an electro attitude as well. I'm not sure how I'd use it in a set, but something about it really grabbed me. Worth checking out.
  5. Masters & Nickson feat. Justine Suissa - Out There (5th Dimension) (Daniel Kandi Bangin' Mix)
    I don't think I'd use the term, "bangin'" for this track, or just about any trance track, for that matter. That said, this is a quality trance track to finish out 2008. I remember the vocalist, Justine Suissa, from Oceanlab's Clear Blue Water, Sky Falls Down and Beautiful Together, from 2001-2003, as well as Chicane's classic, Autumn Tactics. I consider those to be classic trance anthems, so it would be unfair to compare this track to any of those. This is a good fluffy trance track on the Soundpiercing: The Best of 2008 collection. Another good track on it is Sunlounger feat. Zara - Crawling (Club Mix). Good efforts for those trance lovers out there.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Holiday Reminder...

I know that the holiday season is here and people are trying to celebrate, even in these uncertain times. Thankfully, the powers that be in New Zealand have given us an important reminder: Please don't swing the baby.


And maybe it's just me, but doesn't the guy in the video look like Adam from This Boy Elroy?

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 01, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I have a confession to make. This past weekend I spent with my family for Thanksgiving and as a part of that, we made a group run to the video store. On the sale rack was something unexpected... unexpected because I forgot it was being made -- Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. I mentioned in a previous entry that I really dig Paul Verhoven as a director and I really enjoyed the original Starship Troopers -- it's brilliant satire, I had read the book in college and Verhoven really gave a great spin to the story. I'd be lying if I said the other big reason I enjoyed the movie was the hotness of Casper Van Dien.

I described this as a guilty pleasure because Starship Troopers 2 was only slightly better than Sarah Palin's Katie Couric interview, and coincidentally, did not feature my beloved Casper, nor did Verhoven direct. Verhoven didn't direct this one either, but this one included Casper, so, for $3.99, I decided to take a chance and hope that there would be gratuitous shots of near-naked Van Dien. I was rewarded for my faith.

Not only were there beef shots of Casper, there was some other tasty flesh in there as well, if you're willing to put up with some unimpressive breasts. In my estimation, the quality of beef far outweighed the price.

Aside from the beef factor, overall, this one was definitely better than the second -- Edward Neumeier, who wrote all three screenplays and directed this one, went back to the political and social satire that worked so well in the original, and was missing from the second. Neumeier isn't as adept at it as Verhoven is, but the decision to make the ham handed use of religion as a political and social tool the underlying theme of the film is quite timely and amusing. Including a music video of a uber-patriotic song created for the film called "It's A Good Day to Die" is brilliant. The scary thing is that it's not too far off the mark from what you'd find in your standard pro-military music videos that have come on the scene since 9/11.

So on balance, for $3.99, it wasn't a bad buy. There's definitely beef, though not as much as I'd like. The film is watchable, though not something I'd watch too terribly often. Still, I can't get enough of nearly naked Casper, so this is one guilty pleasure I just can't hide.

Labels: , , , , ,