Radio Hannibal

if a blog were your favorite radio station

Radio Hannibal on SpotifyThe Friday Freakout Xmas Mix 2 12.08.17

The Radio Hannibal Top 20 Albums of 2017

1. Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie - Buckingham/McVie

2. Alvvays - Antisocialites

3. St. Vincent - Masseducation

4. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound

5. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

6. Neil Young - Hitchhiker

7. Kendrick Lamar - Damn

8. Brand New - Science Fiction

9. Arcade Fire - Everything Now

10. Big Thief - Capacity

11. The War On Drugs - Deeper Understanding

12. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

13. The Mavericks - Brand New Day

14. Spoon - Hot Thoughts

15. New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions

16. Sampha - Process

17. Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life

18. Dan Auerbach - Waiting On A Song

19. Kevin Morby - City Music

20. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

So tempted to crank up the Christmas music

I have a confession to make. I am terribly tempted to crank up the Christmas music already. Like most, I usually wait until Thanksgiving or the day after before I indulge in what some would consider a guilty pleasure. The truth is I’ve been yearning to here it for a few weeks now.

I suspect my desire for the sounds of the holiday season has something to do with this first year of Trump. He brings such discomfort to my soul that I need to counteract it. I’m hopeful that Christmas music will be the antidote to that offensive person I have to call the president.

This year’s batch of new Christmas titles, while shorter than other years, has some promising artists including Cheap Trick, Hanson, Sia, and Lindsey Sterling.

I have a friend who says she listens to Christmas music throughout the year. I can’t bring myself to do that. I think it may dilute the holiday spirit when you really want it, or need it, as is the case this year. I was never one for that Christmas in July nonsense.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold out for another nine days. What’s that? Do I hear sleigh bells?!

Some thoughts on Halloween

Every year I register the same complaint on Facebook, why are there no good costume parties at bars if the 31st falls on a weeknight. For whatever reason, this year there seemed to be a plethora of them, though, and I picked a great one. More on that in a moment.

I went to two private parties during the Halloween season. Saturday night was a chili cook-off but I figured I’d celebrate the spooky season somehow expecting others would do the same. Nope. I was the only one who acknowledged Halloween in costume even though classic horror films in high def played on the TV. Seems people my age are too grown up to indulge. Pity. Always be young at heart.

All I did was put a touch of red lipstick under my nose, as if it were bleeding ala the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things.

Well, no one got it and it appeared they’d never even heard of the show. They just thought I had some sort of open sore and politely avoided me. Probably thinking to themselves, “don’t try his chilli”, which, by the way, was a hit with it’s touch of vanilla extract and dark beer. Finally realizing people were looking at me oddly I just wiped it off.

Last night, on Halloween proper, I went to an open house with a mix of adults and teenagers. Just a portion of people were in costume. Even most of the kids declined in donning an outfit. Lighten up people! To enjoy life take big bites. I believe Ben Franklin said that. In fact, I talked about my favorite American forefather with one of the guests, a guy I do business with, as a matter of fact.

I went a Heath Ledger’s Joker from Batman.

It’s an easy costume since the makeup should be sloppy. And I have the hair for it.

Around 9pm I hit Mahall’s in Lakewood, a hipster bowling alley/bar/live rock club. The millennials were doing it up right on Halloween night. Great themed music cranked in the bar and in the concert hall was packed dance floor with a different soundtrack.

Most of the revelers were in costume and many of them were fantastic. Here’s a sampling.

I love the music of David Gates

Did you know that David Gates wrote “Popsicles and Icicles” done by The Murmaids and “Saturday’s Child” which The Monkees recorded, amongst others, before he formed the hugely successful Bread? For some reason his talent as both as songwriter and singer has been given short shrift. It was uncool to like Bread if you were a rocker back in the day.

That’s too bad because he deserves better recognition for the heart-tugging ballads that populated the top 40 back in the early 70s. Songs like “If”, “Make It With You”, “Baby, I’m A Want You”, “Everything I Own”, “Guitar Man”, and others are so close to my heart. I can remember the day I bought the LP “The Best of Bread” in 1973 at Disc Records in Westgate Mall. I brought it to my dad’s office at the Westgate Medical Art Center where I was doing some filing for him to earn an allowance…so I could buy my records. His receptionist complimented me on my good taste.

These days I listen to a pristine copy of that album I picked up, again, on my audiophile stereo system and it sounds heavenly. And just last week a six disc box set of all their Elektra work was released. It’s available on streaming services as well. The best of both worlds.

A year ago I bought the Peloton Ccycle, sight unseen. Every review I read was glowing, and I justified it as an investment on my health. You need to think of it that way because it’s quite expensive. Though, if you compare it to a fitness club membership and then add in the convenience and time savings involved in traveling to such a club it makes it even easier to pull the trigger.

I was not disappointed. In fact, it has exceeded my expections. This bike that goes nowhere is an amazing experience in every way from the build quality to the tight-knit social media community. Riding live with the best instructors in the field, who have become rock stars in this world, on a cold winter day is pure joy. Oh, it can be grueling but the motivation this technological wonder brings pushes you to better yourself physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

The array of measurable metrics is stunning, giving you a viewable history of each ride. Using a heart rate monitor enables you to learn so much about how to better your body and keep it in check.

I’m not trying to convince you to buy a Peloton Cycle. Or am I?

How Peloton is Marketing a $2,000 Bike Beyond the Rich

Peloton's new marketing efforts include the launch of a financing program and a holiday ad campaign that's more relatable to a diverse consumer base.

Go where you wanna go and roam if you want to...

I went to a small liberal arts school in the northern panhandle of West Virginia called Bethany College. One of my classmates, Fran McDormand, had this to say about her college days in this idyllic setting. “There, she became the only theater major in her class, drove vans across the border into Pennsylvania so her classmates could buy birth control and steadily worked her way through her post-hometown to-do list: sex, drugs, profanity.”

The quote was pulled from a cover story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine earlier this month. Fran rarely does press and this is really a great piece.

Frances McDormand's Difficult Women

"Do you want me to look this up?" I asked, reaching for my smartphone, and she responded as if I'd reached for the grenade pin. "NO! DON'T!" She shook her head firmly. "Then we'll never learn." She caught a glimpse of the Seine and was gone again.


It’s too bad the liberal arts education is losing its place in this world. Too many of today’s students enter the workplace with just "specialized knowledge”. What shall become of the renaissance man?

Here’s a photograph of some Bethany College students from the mid 19th century, pre-civil war days. It reminds me of my college friends one hundred plus years later.

Jordan Kisner / Nytimes

Saturday Sessions: The Mavericks perform "Ride With Me"

People have had three decades to describe The Mavericks, but their sound is still tough to categorize. Along their musical journey they've been described as rock, country, Latin and more.

The best American band performing today? Try not to smile and dance to The Mavericks.

Years ago I came up with a personal mission statement: To enrich people’s lives through the sharing of music. I have lived my life with that focus in mind, both in career and leisure. I’ve been designing home audio/video and smart home systems for over 25 years. I have been a DJ for longer than that. I’ve had a passion for music and radio since I was a toddler, and now I’ve created a startup that’s near and dear to my heart, called DinkerBop, that involves both of those things.

Let this be a place to find joy and solace in things I come across in this world.