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Sunday
Dec102017

The Ten 

Hi all happy holidays! Have lots to tell you all about but that's going to have to wait for another day, 2017 was as bonkers as a year can possibly be, but good things did happen, and I wanted to make a list pf "ten things I hope you all check out" I may go over 10, but I like to think no one is really counting anyway, right? Let's get into it, in no particular order, just things I dug and hope you might dig too.
Frodham! Every view was gorgeous like this.
  
(Travel) Frodsham, United Kingdom: So I got into Frodsham a little bit, it's near Liverpool, it's near Manchester. It's this cool little trendy town, very diverse, very welcoming, if there's a spot in the States that's sort of similar, maybe Manayunk PA, maybe a quieter street in the Village in NYC? Now I covered a lot of ground in the UK, but was able to stop in a few pubs in Frodsham, and here's what made it great, there was a lot of karaoke going on a Saturday night there. And I was excited to see what "the go to" song was in Frodsham, so I stopped into one spot, and the first song sung was "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. Cool. Then I stopped into another place and someone was up there doing a full on karaoke I mean, eyes closed, singing their beautiful hearts out and THAT song? Well, it was also "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. So on the way back, we stopped back at the original spot for a beer and guess what? This was 3 hours later and before we even got in, we could hear it "Jealousssssy turning saints into the sea". So, beautiful Frodsham, come for the fish and chips (which are the best on the planet) stay for the "Mr. Brightside".
(TV)"The Good Place": I stumbled upon this TV show this year, about a bad person who accidentally makes it into a heaven type place, and it blew my mind. Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and "Hi, I'm Janet", it's funny, it's weird and in the most delightful ways possible. I couldn't believe network TV did this one, it felt like a Netflix type show (shout out to NBC for letting this one happen) and for a 30 minute comedy, this thing has twists and turns like you'd see in a drama. It's halfway through season 2 and there are already episodes I re-watch like I do for so many classic comedies I hold in high regard (Parks and Recreation, Scrubs etc) so, if you're looking for a new show, you may enjoy this one.
(Music) Dave Hause "Bury Me In Philly": Dave is a Philly guy and in 2017, gave us "Bury Me In Philly", which is a very sincere rock and roll record. It's sort of a loud Springsteen hybrid sounding feeling (similar to Gaslight Anthem, if you like that sound, you may like this sound), and what Dave does similar to Bruce, is when they sing it, I believe it. Springsteen can sing a song about pumping gas in New Jersey, and make that sound so good we all want to do that too... and when Dave Hause sings "I need a friend right now, who reminds me of my home", I really really believe him. I hope this record sells, but also hope Dave does a record about pumping gas in Philly and makes all of us want to do it.
(Script) Santo Marabella "My Dad's First Dog": This wonderful piece came into my life by some really random coincidences, a fantastic actor I'd worked with on "Down With The Boogey" named Alan Mclintock knew Santo, and I was on the last few months of "The Other Ripken" festival tours, Alan was in Ohio, Santo was in Reading, PA and I was off in New York, and somehow, this all came together. After "Ripken" played the Reading Film Festival (this was a great little festival) Santo sent me this piece this year, a wonderful little story about a guy having a bit of a nervous breakdown...all narrated from a dog's point of view. It was funny, sweet and gut wrenching. Gave me tears in my eyes. Santo was going to do this as a stage play or film and asked me to be part of it, I have a feeling he realized how great it was and quickly replaced me with Ryan Gosling (it's okay, I don't blame him)
(Film) "Jim & Andy": This is a documentary, Jim Carrey was filming "Man On The Moon" and had lots of behind the scenes filmed. The documentary covers how deep Jim Carrey got into the Andy Kauffman character during the film. I worked on this film for a couple of days and towards the end of the finished film I pop up for about 2 seconds, and over the years when asked about it I said "I didn't meet Jim, I met Andy" and this film, sort of covers exactly what I was trying to explain. What made this filmmaking perfect, is there is this sort of "blurry" reality stretching feeling you get from watching it...and that feeling, was exactly what it felt like to be on the set of that film in real life. Jim was Andy, he never broke character, he was almost trance-like the entire time, then we're singing  "Happy Birthday" to Danny DeVito at 2 in the morning, all of a sudden Michael Stipe from REM appears there. It really was a very fun experience and nothing felt "real", this documentary brought that feeling 100% back to me. It's a great documentary for anyone interested in the filming, method acting process, but for me, felt like this blissfully weird little trip down memory lane.
(Music) Beck "Colors": I know, I know, Beck popped up on this list last year for "WOW" but that record, for some reason, didn't come out in 2016, it came out now in 2017, which is fine by me, we really needed this record in 2017. Beck returns to an early form, we all loved "Sea Change" and it won every award, but as a longtime Beck fan, I was happy to have a new bouncy, fun, dance-y Beck back, "I'm So Free" is the one I keep going back to on this one, but "Up All Night" is a good sample of what this record is:
(Sports) Alejandro Bedoya: Ale Bedoya plays soccer to the United States Men's National Team as well as with the Philadelphia Union, neither of those teams had a particularly remarkable 2017, however Ale has always been straight forward in interviews as well as on the field. He and I started shooting the breeze when he came to Philadelphia because of how charity-minded he was. The first thing he wanted to do when he got to Philly was donate to local charities. That's a good man who does that, new contract, new city to move his family and among the first things he did was look for what he could do and what he could give. You always sort of hope athletes when they come to town are like that, and Alejandro most definitely is. Weird side step, when the United States didn't qualify for the World Cup this year I sent him a quick "keep your head up" note, WHY did I do that, like Alejandro was like "man, what a tough setback OH thank goodness, a note from that idiot I saw in that Wendy's commercial one time, thanks, 'fresh salad guy'"...speaking of charity minded Philly athletes....
(Sports) Joel Embiid: New York City with the Steve Nash Foundation (we almost got Alejandro to this event too which would have been incredible) now, we were on a second year with Steve and his unbelievably wonderful crew of folks working for the cause, and low and behold who do we see coming in? Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76'ers and social media superstar. You can't miss Joel, even in New York City, and it was good of him to come out and bless the cause. Came out for charity, soccer and basketball, and those are 3 things I'm very fond of. Joel really is that big, I shook his hand and his hand completely covered mine. He's everywhere, as he has proven himself to be a superstar caliber athlete, but is also crossing over into other mediums, but among all of this, here's a guy who came out to a very hot day in NYC to help the cause. Proud to have Alejandro and Joel in the 215.
(Music) Kendrick Lamar "DAMN": The way I play music a lot, is when I have some time, I'll put the headphones in and play something from beginning to end, and when I spun "DAMN" I stopped. I sat. I let Kendrick just fill my head with these incredible stories and his writing seems so natural, lines like "Nobody pray for me, even a day for me" , I start to think "I've written, but I haven't KENDRICK written, I need to be much better at writing things". The production is thick and just rumbles, rumbles to the point if you're out on a run, this will keep you going, it's lively, and if I may get all "film geek" for a minute, the "DNA" video with Don Cheadle, it was just napalm. This a very poignant record for the world in 2017 not unlike when Dylan sang "Times They are a Changin". Also, I used some Kendrick lyrics off this record and spun it to fit my fantasy hoops team "Sit Down. Biyombo."
(Music) The Tom Petty Tributes. We lost Tom this year (we almost didn't, leave it to Tom Petty to have a storyline "Tom passed away, wait no, he didn't, he's fighting it") but what I felt, is everyone all across the boards came out to talk about what he'd meant to them. For me, I got in on his MTV videos, the "Don't Come Around Here No More" with the Alice in Wonderland thing (and the cake whatttt) and "Into The Great Wide Open" which had Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway it, but everyone seem to be connected to those songs, many social media posts like "I heard LAST DANCE WITH MARY JANE and then decided to go hear more", everyone was in on his music in some sort of way, I'm included, his line "most things I worry about never happen anyway" is kind of my mantra, It's something special when music means enough to us, that we can all commiserate together to mourn the passing. Those songs are great and they'll last us forever, I love a solid Petty "deep cut" try "Apartment Song" or "Straight Into Darkness", you won't be disappointed. Promise.
Lastly, you all were really especially beautiful this year, we lost our long time furry friend Miss Lucy and, wow, it was way worse than I'd expected. The notes and calls and texts were so overwhelmingly kind and beautiful. Thank you all so much for that. When I think of how sad that was, I also think about all of your beautiful messages. I wish you all a safe happy and hopefully restful holiday. Let's talk again soon. Love to you and yours, Tim

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