Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One of the great things about the new world of complete seasons and series on DVD/Blu Ray/Netflix on demand is that it allows you to discover shows you may have missed. "Dexter" is the perfect example of this. The first two seasons are on Netflix instant and so one evening I decided to check out season 1 episode 1. You see I am weird, I can never start watching any show in the middle. I must start with Season 1 episode 1 and work my way up from there.

"Dexter" got me hooked right from the start, it is the quintessential guilty pleasure show about a serial killer vigilante with a heart of gold. But here's what is really interesting: Tasha and I don't usually enjoy the same shows, she doesn't care about Mad Men, True Blood, and a few others that I love. But recently she checked out Dexter and now she is hooked!! She is halfway through season 2, and has stayed up late on a few occasions to watch "just one more episode" very unusual for her!

Season 5 just ended last night, and being as how it is the most popular show on Showtime, it has been renewed for at least one more season. And Tasha and I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My favorite of all time

As I'm sure you've all seen in previous posts I have quite a few musical artists/groups that I like. Now the greatest of all time will always be the Beatles, but there is one artist that I listen to and like more then even them....the man from Newcastle, Gordon Sumner, or as he is known to millions, "Sting" I've been listening to Sting and the Police since I was a few years older then Kevin. Here is a breakdown of every police Studio and and Sting solo album..

Outlandos D' Amour

Virtuoso Drummer Stuart Copeland discovered Sting and invited him to be the bass player along with Henry Padovani (later replaced by Andy Summers) Success came very quickly to the police as legendary classics like "Roxanne" and "So Lonely" came flowing out of Sting effortlessly. A musical genius Sting was just beginning to write a string of classics both for the Police and later his solo career.

This album is Ska Reggae Rock all the way. It is certainly the most reggae influenced of all five of their albums. I don't listen to it quite as much as I do some of the others...all in all I will rank this album #4 out of 5

Reggatta De Blanc

The groups sophomore effort features radio mainstays like Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon, Sting was in a zone of pure dynamism as the melody to message in a bottle came to him out of the blue. I was/am so obsessed with that song that I know that the group sings the refrain "Sending out on SOS" exactly 25 times. In fact I remember one swimming practice in high school I screamed out the song for to girls on my swim team (Coed swimming was fun) The track "Bring on the Night" is a true gem...Ranks as #3 out of 5

Zenyatta Mondatta

"First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect, your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect"

This very singable album is one one of my all time favorites...A tour de force of pop gems, interspersed with jazz rock anthems features some great instrumentals it ranks as my #2 out of 5 in the Police Canon

Ghost in the Machine

Coolest album name ever, whenever there is any unexplained problem with any technology I always joke that it is a Ghost in the Machine..The reason why I have to rank this as #5 of 5 is because there are a few songs in the middle of the album that barely miss the mark and in this tight race I have to lend weight to that fact...on the flip side "Spirits in the Material" and the classic "Every little thing is magic" make this an amazing album...And then there is the hidden gem "Secret Journey" which I think is masterful.


The fifth and final album by the group is the undisputed masterpiece. Except for the crazy "Mother" track...every one of these songs is gold...Every one is amazing...Synchronicity II was a rocking way to start their 2007 concert tour, and their live treatment of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" was my favorite rendition in the 4 times I was privileged to see the group in concert......The Hidden gem in this is the Hypnotic "Tea in the Sahara"

Solo Career

Sting is a perfectionist that needs to be in control of all steps of the process...after the Synchronicity Tour he broke up the band and set out on what I think was the most successful second act in pop music history. His first album would be heavily jazz influenced. (I'm gonna pick my top three favorite out of his 7 to date)

The Dream of the Blue Turtles

Begins with "if you love someone set them free" (the antidote to every breath you take) Jazzy, Loungey, and brilliant, this first of his solo records has such hidden gems as "We work the Black Seam" (if you don't know by now Grabbaggar considers hidden gems to be those songs that are not obvious in the amount of radio airplay they garner) Sting hired top Jazz musicians like Branford Marsalas to help him make this record.

Nothing Like the Sun

I wore this CD out in my room on Palomino, and have burned a hole in my HD listening to it as well...You really hear the beauty in Stings voice and the sonic perfection of the songs...every single one of them is brilliant....this is my second favorite Sting album. Hidden gem is his cover of "little wing" by Jimi Hendrix.

Soul Cages

Stings most personal album is also his best. Sonically perfect..beautiful..haunting...peaceful....brilliant...I could go on and on, the quintessential album to listen to when you relax or fall asleep, or do just about anything. It is an absolute marvel, a true masterpiece! (Ya I know what you're thinking, Garrett, why don't you tell everyone how you really feel? (:)

Ten Summoner's Tales

Many rank this as their favorite....playful....funny.. I remember thinking when I picked this CD up in Chico, "Can he do it again" that is write amazing songs? And when I played "If I ever lose my faith in you" I remember screaming in my dorm room "yes!!...freakin amazing, how does he do it?!!" I was a spazz.

Sting doesn't like to just use one style of music...often times he will fuse together different styles and experiment with different time signatures like the country song "Love is stronger then justice" in 7/8 time and he again changes the time signatures in "St Augustine in Hell" This is my 3rd favorite and like I said is probably his most accessible solo album.

Mercury Falling

Darker and more poignant then Ten Summoners tales it continues to meld musical styles and spawned "I hung my head" which Johnny Cash covered to Stings delight. Hidden gem here is "I'm so happy that I can't stop crying" A cathartic painful and ultimately somewhat redemptive song that talks about divorce..yes I have to fight back tears many times when I hear it.

Brand New Day

This album grew on me and is certainly one of his best..I think this one went 3x platinum, so many others liked it as well..We all know and love "Brand New Day" and "Desert Rose" (who doesn't dream of rain, a lay a lay?) There is a song here that starts out as pure country, then seamlessly transitions into gospel..and then at the end right into jazz...your homework dear readers is to tell me the name of this track...

And last but not least

Sacred Love

Stings last "true" solo album was released in 2004 (he has 2 since then, but they aren't really what I would call true studio albums) Anyways, for the first time we have some dance techno....soul..jazz..etc...and the hidden gem "Dead mans rope" and one of the funnest songs to sing along with "Stolen Car (take me dancing)"

Its been six years since Sting has put out his last album with true dynamic songs...does he have enough left in the tank? He will be 60 years old next October (Mark, Scott, and I saw him on his 40th b-day at the Hollywood Bowl) We will all find out...in the meantime..lets crank up the music!!!

Sting is my favorite of all time!!!!