Lists · Music · Omnibus

The I, Omnibus 2017 Year in Music Review

Alice Merton

If I had to summarize the year in music in just one word, it would be “malaise.” Continue reading “The I, Omnibus 2017 Year in Music Review”

Lists · Music

The I, Omnibus Top Ten Underrated Aerosmith Songs

“I’m a real fat city
I’m an aero delight”

–  Aerosmith, “Let The Music Do The Talking”

It’s difficult to call a legendary band that has been around for over four decades underrated. Considering how ubiquitous they were throughout the entire 1990s, it’s very easy to snobbishly dismiss them as overrated. You wouldn’t be completely wrong – most of their stuff during that decade was not… to put it kindly, not their best stuff. To be more blunt, they sold out to become the world’s oldest teeny-bop bubblegum pop band. To their credit, they went back to their hard rock roots in the 21st Century, but the damage has been done to their reputation.

But I’m not here to bury Aerosmith. I’m here to praise them. Forty seven years in the business, and they have had their original lineup for most of them. And they are still going strong in their concerts.

Anyone unfamiliar with the band’s history can easily go their Wikipedia entry. In the fewest words possible – years of hard drugs and hard living took its toll on lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry, that by the mid 1980’s, they were on the verge of breaking up and were considered irrelevant just when hard rock / glam rock / heavy metal had crossed over the mainstream and dominate the radio and MTV airwaves. Then, Run DMC collaborated with Tyler & Perry to do a rap version of “Walk This Way,” and Aerosmith received a second wind.

To get back to the “overrated” reputation; if you listen to a classic rock station, you will hear the same five Aerosmith songs over and over, with little to no variance. They are; “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “Rag Doll,” and “Dude (Looks Like A Lady).” In essence, it’s more akin to say that because their biggest hits are so overplayed, the casual fan can not appreciate the band’s versatility. But it gets worse if you listen to an Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening, “Best of the past few decades” station. These stations bombard you with the band’s power ballads: “Cryin’,” “Crazy,” and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.”

The fact that these power ballads, which are clearly the band’s “Kangaroo Men” moment, didn’t completely derail the band’s career, is a testament to their greatness.

Continue reading “The I, Omnibus Top Ten Underrated Aerosmith Songs”

Lists · Movies · Podcast Unlimited

The Top Ten Movie Directors

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

“Like Kurosawa I make mad films
Okay, I don’t make films
But if I did they’d have a Samurai.”
Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”

If you are following my blog and/or podcast, then I don’t need to explain the significance and value a good director brings to the making of a movie. But if you need empirical proof, take a look at your multiplex, or steaming provider. We are living in a gilded age of remakes and reboots. Whereas the originals have given us iconic images and memorable scenes that made them timeless classics, the newer versions are created by those that lack the creative vision, and fail to learn the lessons why the originals work so well. Continue reading “The Top Ten Movie Directors”

Lists · Podcast Unlimited · Video games

The Top Ten Star Wars Video Games


“Oh Star Wars,
Nothing but Star Wars,
Give me those Star Wars,
Don’t let them end.
Oh Star Wars,
If they should bar wars,
Please let these Star Wars

– Nick Winters (a.k.a. Bill Murray), from “Saturday Night Live”, Jan 21, 1978

I wish I could have been at LucasArts at the ground floor. They created a bunch of wonderful and underrated game in the 1980s that myself, and many others still adore to this day. But the main reason is the slew of Star Wars games they have created the past four decades. And as long as we have home video game consoles, and video game systems, we will have Star Wars video games. In fact, I think one of my best friends and I had the only 2 video game systems that did not have a Star Wars game in its catalog: Channel F, and Vektrex. So if you thought I was going to make a new Internet Rule, forget  it!

When you consider that the video game franchise maker was part of the deal that Disney acquired back in 2012, the price tag looks even more like a bargain!

Continue reading “The Top Ten Star Wars Video Games”

Lists · Literature · Media · Omnibus · Podcast Unlimited

The Top Ten Comic Book Mini Series

Marvel Civil War

“I don’t need your civil war,”
– Guns N’ Roses, “Civil War”

During the 1980’s, the comic book industry, after seeing the success it brought the television networks the previous decade, decided to create their own mini-series. Before then, if a comic book wanted to tell an extended story, they would just tell the story over multiple issues with little to no fanfare. The story arc would be given a name after the fact (e.g.: the X-Men’s “Dark Phoenix Saga” is the name given to issues #129 – 138 of the comic title, “Uncanny X-Men.”) But when comic books industry hit its first bubble in the eighties, the companies decided that they can generate even more sales if they hyped their story arcs ahead of time, and dubbed them as events. And it worked! Continue reading “The Top Ten Comic Book Mini Series”

Lists · Music · Omnibus

Nine (more) songs that were ahead of their time


Pop music has been going through a long, continuous drought of protest songs. This dearth of message music goes back the 1980’s. This, not coincidentally, coincides with the advent of hip-hop to the top of the charts. While this is no surprise to millennials, this is counter-intuitive to Gen Xers who grew up on old-school hip-hop and rap, whose roots and early history was almost exclusively built on critical commentary of modern urban life.  Continue reading “Nine (more) songs that were ahead of their time”

Lists · Omnibus · Power Rankings

The I, Omnibus Chicken Wings Power Rankings – November, 2016 edition


“You used to say, ‘Live and let live.’”
Paul McCartney and Wings – “Live and Let Die”

Up until recently, I was a big aficionado of chicken wings. It was my favorite finger food. But technically, I preferred drumsticks over the wings. I found it easier to chew the meat from one bone rather than the two wing bones. And anyone that has ever seen me eat chicken wings are simultaneously impressed and repulsed by the fact that I leave no meat behind on the bones.

My appetite for this appetizer has been curbed by the advent of the boneless variety of chicken. Not only do you receive larger portions, but it is usually cheaper than their bone-in brethren. Not to mention that I now do care that the handi-wipes do not entirely remove the smell of buffalo/barbecue/teriyaki sauce from my fingers.

I suppose I am not alone in my exodus: there are many restaurants that do not serve chicken wings on their menus, but do provide boneless chicken, some under the guide of nuggets, or popcorn chicken. (Chicken tenders are a completely different item ; they are closer in size to a patty than a wing. The most surprising is that the majority of these examples are the fast-food franchises that specialize in chicken (e.g.: Chick-Fil-A, Popeye’s).  Continue reading “The I, Omnibus Chicken Wings Power Rankings – November, 2016 edition”

Lists · Podcast Unlimited · Video games

The Top Twenty Arcade Games of the 1990’s


“Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a Street Fighting man.”

The Rolling Stones – “Street Fighting Man”

One of our more popular Top Ten lists is The Ten Twenty Favorite Arcade Games of the 1980’s. And just like in Hollywood, when something is popular, a sequel is inevitable. And since it’s so popular, and such a rich category, we’re not limiting ourselves to just ten. Once again, we’re turning it up to twenty.

I talked about how the arcade games reached a peak in the 1990s. At the turn of the decade/century/millennium, many genres of video games began to disappear. The only remaining games were fighting games, racing games, dance/rhythm games, and first person shooters. Filling the void in the arcades were crane games, skee ball, and basketball and/or football games which reward players with tickets. The arcades morphed into boardwalk carnivals. Just when I had enough money to play pinball, sports games and RPG video games, they disappeared. Continue reading “The Top Twenty Arcade Games of the 1990’s”