Boyhood, The Beatles and The Black Album

This holiday season we watched a movie called “Boyhood”.  One of the many great things about the movie is how it reflects many aspects of life, and in this case, passing down musical taste from generation to generation. In one scene in the movie, Ethan Hawke’s father character describes to his son (played by Ellar Coltrane) “The Black Album.” What is it? Basically, what we’re describing, a greatest hits mix-tape and “secret” Beatles record which is essentially a collection of all the best solo Beatle songs – Songs performed by all 4 Beatles BEFORE or AFTER The actual Beatles, either when they were solo or in other bands. Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater came up with the track list together. If you’ve never delved in very deep with Beatles solo albums and wished there was one more Beatles record after Let It Be, well this it the playlist for you. The whole thing acts as a mixtape that Ethan Hawke writes for his son in the movie. And there’s even liner notes that begin:

“Mason,
I wanted to give you something for your birthday that money couldn’t buy, something that only a father could give a son, like a family heirloom.  This is the best I could do. Apologies in advance. I present to you: THE BEATLES’ BLACK ALBUM.”

The Beatles - The Black AlbumAfter looking at the playlist, I drooled. I wanted this. So I spent a few days over my Christmas/New Years holiday vacation this year and actually put the REAL CDs together. I was shocked to find I was only missing 3 songs! I bought those on Amazon.com and added them to complete the albums. I spent a whopping $1.87! Then I even found a cover art image on the internet that looked perfect, and changed the cover art and metatags for the album name so it matched the album info on every track. Here’s the album cover:

I used MediaMonkey for this, which is awesome for just such mass-changes. It worked out beautifully and I now have this 3-CD set on my phone to play any time I want to. Here’s the track list if you’re interested:

Disc 1:
1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Band on the Run”
2. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”
3. John Lennon feat. The Flux Fiddlers & the Plastic Ono Band, “Jealous Guy”
4. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”
5. John Lennon, “How?”
6. Paul McCartney, “Every Night”
7. George Harrison, “Blow Away”
8. Paul McCartney, “Maybe I’m Amazed”
9. John Lennon, “Woman”
10.Paul McCartney & Wings, “Jet”
11. John Lennon, “Stand by Me”
12. Ringo Starr, “No No Song”
13. Paul McCartney, “Junk”
14. John Lennon, “Love”
15. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “The Back Seat of My Car”
16. John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”
17. John Lennon, “Mind Games”
18. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Bluebird”
19. John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” 20. George Harrison, “What Is Life”

Disc 2:
1. John Lennon, “God”
2. Wings, “Listen to What the Man Said”
3. John Lennon, “Crippled Inside”
4. Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)”
5. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Let Me Roll It”
6. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, “Power to the People”
7. Paul McCartney, “Another Day”
8. George Harrison, “If Not For You (2001 Digital Remaster)”
9. John Lennon, “(Just Like) Starting Over”
10. Wings, “Let ‘Em In”
11. John Lennon, “Mother”
12. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Helen Wheels”
13. John Lennon, “I Found Out”
14. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey”
15. John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band, “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)”
15. George Harrison, “Not Guilty (2004 Digital Remaster)”
16. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Heart of the Country”
17. John Lennon, “Oh Yoko!”
18. Wings, “Mull of Kintyre”
19. Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”

Disc 3:
1. John Lennon, “Grow Old With Me (2010 Remaster)”
2. Wings, “Silly Love Songs”
3. The Beatles, “Real Love”
4. Paul McCartney & Wings, “My Love”
5. John Lennon, “Oh My Love”
6. George Harrison, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
7. Paul McCartney, “Pipes of Peace”
8. John Lennon, “Imagine”
9. Paul McCartney, “Here Today”
10. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”
11. Paul McCartney, “And I Love Her (Live on MTV Unplugged)”

Skokie Caterpillar

Skokie CaterpillarHere are the photos from our recent visit to the Skokie Northshore Channel Park. Kevin and I went there as part of a group outing with some members of our Ingress faction. Each sculpture is a “portal” in the Google-created GPS game, so with such a large number of portals lined up in a row like the Channel Park, the group of portals resembles a caterpillar when you look at it on a map. Hence the title of this posting.

We had a good time, except it was a bit cold, and we thought it would warm up a bit throughout the day, so Kevin didn’t dress well enough to stay warm, and had a bit of a rough time of it. He still managed to take all the photos he could and did his part in the game though. I took the 147 photos in this album. He preferred to take his own photos, separately. We had a good time though, it’s a very nice park with a great walking path and lots to see. If you enjoy art, it’s a must-see.

Latest obsession complete

My Ultimate Forrest Gump Soundtrack collection is finished.  51 tracks, including all of the songs missing from the “Special Collector’s Edition” as listed on Wikipedia.  I would have just bought the darned thing, if it was even available in MP3 format!  Sheesh.  It costed me less than $5.00 though–I was only missing 5 of the tracks.  I even created custom album art and re-tagged all the tracks properly.  It was pretty fun, actually.

New Kenosha Art

I added 8 new photos to the Kenosha Art set today.  These were all taken during my Pennoyer Park walk yesterday.  They’re the first 8 photos in this set – 2 new park signs, 4 black-on-blue themed music murals that were ocated around the restrooms at the bandshell, and 2 new tile art images, located on either side of the bandshell itself.  Enjoy!

Kenosha Art – click on any thumbnail to view the set

Southport Park

Kevin, Socks and I walked around Southport Park tonight and I took a few photos. You’ll find those in this set.   That set also includes some photos from our recent walk through Petrifying Springs park.   I also found some tile art on the side of the water treatment plant tonight that I hadn’t seen before, so I took some photos of those too and added them to my Kenosha Art set.  We followed a new path that went behind the treatment plant and into an area of woods along the lake. It was pretty neat. Even ran across what looked like a beaver! It ran away and hid quickly, so we only got a glimpse of it, but it was bigger than Socks! This is my favorite shot from tonight. Love the view.

Snow Sculpting Championships 2011

Snow Sculpting 2011We went to the Snow Sculpting Championships today, as we do every year.  This time Sandy went with us for the first time–and it was Kevin’s birthday.  This year’s contest seemed to be a little lacking in content though.  Probably because we heard that a few of the teams didn’t make it to the competition because of the blizzard.  Their planes didn’t make it in time.  There were still some really good ones though.  Unfortunately, most of them weren’t named and described very well, as they were most other years we’ve attended.  So I have named them by their team states and block numbers.  Once the official winners are published and the names of the actual sculptures are given on the official site, I’ll update this posting to let you know exactly who won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  For now, see if you can pick the winners.  Click here or on the thumbnail to view all of the photos.

Update: Winners Announced:  I have renamed and re-sorted the photo set, so the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are first in the set.  Here are the winners:

1st Place: Wisconsin – “Mercury Racing Pegasus”

2nd Place: Wisconsin – “Davy Jones’ Locker”

3rd Place: Alaska – “Dance of Axcagon”

Museum Visit

Kevin and I took a trip to the Kenosha Museum yesterday. He wanted to go somewhere and it was nice out, but as usual money is tight. So we did the museum and had a good time. He always enjoys seeing the dinosaurs and bones, and adventuring through the flashbacks in time. The indian village was finally complete, and he liked looking at the gorey guts of a buffalo that the indians were ripping apart in one exhibit. I liked the art the most, and I took a picture of a nice painting too, it’s right here in the photo of the day section.

After the museum we rode the trolley for two laps. Kevin loves it every time, and I think he could ride it all day and never get bored if we’d let him. After that we had lunch at one of Kev’s favorite spots…McDonalds! He always knows which toys are given away at each of his restaurants, thanks to his own web page he uses on his computer, so he knew he’d get a Lego toy this time, and he did.

After that we went home and he practiced riding his scooter a little. We weren’t able to do it for long though, the wind was really fierce yesterday afternoon as the cold front moved in, and it kept blowing him off of his scooter!