Mr. Nola Nerd Couple Music Podcast Episode 18: My Favorite Albums of 2016

I didn’t listen to as many new albums as I would have like to this year.  I did, however, listen to a lot of great ones.  This is by no means a best of list.  This is a list of my favorite albums of the year.  In other words, the ones that I listened to the most…the ones I kept coming back to over and over.

All the albums in the podcast are on Spotify.

 

 

 

Editorializing: Mourning for People You Have Never Met

2016 seemed to be a horrible year for celebrities dying. It also seemed like a year in which people took it harder than most years.  It didn’t help that one of our first losses of the year was a Rebel, Rebel icon and one of the last was our Rebel hero.

For Nola Nerd Couple there were celebrity lives that were lost that hit us hard in 2016: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Carrie Fisher.

Why does it affect us so much?

There were plenty of other tragedies in 2016.  People in Flint Michigan went without a public supply of drinkable water. We watched an ancient city basically get wiped off the map in a war between the worst terrorist organization in the world and a government that has used chemical weapons on its own people.   A major American city has had over 4300 people shot and around 770 homicides this calendar year alone. Regardless of how you voted, I’m not certain anyone voted with any real confidence that things will get better.

For the most part, we feel powerless to stop those things or unable to do anything that will bring about real change. Then when we see a pop culture icon die, it really hits us.

I think it’s because they all provide us with hope. David Bowie taught me you could make true beauty even when facing death.  Moreso, he taught us all you can do it on your terms.  Everyone that went back and listened to Prince remembered that you had an artist that could play guitar like Hendrix, write music like Lennon and McCartney, front a band like James Brown, and sing like, well, Prince. Alan Rickman often played villains or scoundrels or husbands, and no matter what his character’s motivations were, he made sure that he owned them.  Yes, I thought Carrie was hot in that metal bikini.  However, I thought she was a badass when she killed Jabba.  She was no one’s slave and made sure that came through in her performance.

We call celebrities stars for a reason.  They make our world brighter.  Art, which they all strove for in their work, is a reflection of our best selves. Art is the hope we bring into the world even when it is a mirror to our darker impulses.

It’s ok to mourn people we have never met, because in the end, if they did their job to the fullest, the let us find out more about ourselves.

Star Wars-ing: Our Year With Star Wars

Some couples enjoy sports together.  Other couples go hunting or fishing together.  If you haven’t noticed, the Nola Nerd Couple likes to do nerdy things together.  We love going to cons, watching movies together, and reading comics.  While we definitely have our own tastes different fandoms of nerdy things, one area we always agree on is Star Wars.

Here is our year in Star Wars:

  • New Orleans Wizard World 2016: Cristina has decided to collect all variants of Star Wars #1 of the new Marvel run.  This might be a fool’s errand in that there are over a 100 of them, but she does have around 80 or so.  At Wizard World New Orleans she got Greg Horn, a designer of one of the covers, to sign his book. Of course, at this con, we saw plenty of Star Wars cosplay.
  • In late January, we attended Chewbaccus. Chewbaccus is a nerd-themed Mardi Gras parade that occurs in the Bywater district in New Orleans. Named after our favorite Wookie, this parade is comprised of nerdy groups who put on one of the city’s best parade.  The Leiarettes, a dance troupe of women dressed as Princess Leia in A New Hope, is always a crowd favorite.

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  • Pensacon 2016: We met Sim Witwer who voices Darth Maul and other characters on the Clone Wars and on Rebels. We also met Mark Dodson who provides the voice for Salacious B. Crumb. We also got another variant signed by Bob McLeod.
  • In March, we won a special Comic-Con Box that included a three foot Darth Vader and other Star Wars items.  We weren’t expecting it and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple was super excited to win it.
  • Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple signed up to do a half-marathon in April 2016.  However, unforeseen events beyond our control caused a major reshifting of work her way.  She downgraded to the 10K.  So what does this have to do with Star Wars?  It was the Disney Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 10K. The race was Star Wars themed and there were plenty of Star Wars related things we got to do because of it. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister did compete in and complete the half marathon!
  • At Space City Con in May, we got to meet renown Star Wars artist Dave Dorman who did a Star Wars #1 variant.  Mr. Dorman will be at Pensacon 2017 and we highly recommend you check out his artwork.
  • In June, we did a podcast that discussed Wizard World Philadelphia and we also discussed Star Wars variants We also did another podcast where we talked about Star Wars here.
  • Also, in June, I wrote a long rant about canon and gatekeepers.  I did focus a little on Star Wars.
  • At the end of June, we got to meet the star of Star Wars Rebels, Taylor Gray. 
  • Ms. Nola Nerd Couple has been collecting the Star Wars comics since the new Marvel run has come out.  I’m reading them a little behind her schedule.  Here are my reviews of what I read so far.
  • Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has long been a fan of Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels.  I’m jumping to the ship a little later than she is. Here are my takes on theses shows:
  • In October, I ranted how hard it is to read about Star Wars without being spoiled.  Spoiler: Contents of movies and books not provided by LucasFilm, Marvel, and/or Disney is not news, it’s spoilers.
  • In November, I offered up some Star Wars stories I would like to read/see.  Some were tongue in cheeck but I do think we need a movie called Many Bonthas: A Star Wars Story.
  • In December, I gave a way too early look at Star Wars Celebration 2017. 
  • Yesterday, we said goodbye to our favorite Star Wars Princess and General, Carrie Fisher.

We hope to bring you more news about Star Wars in 2017.  Like 2016, we will post all Star Wars related events to our blog/podcast, but we will also do more reblogging and sharing of links for Star Wars.  Wednesdays have been designated as Star Wars days at Nola Nerd Couple so keep checking back here for your Star Wars fix.

Star Wars-ing: Thank You and Goodbye, Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was probably my second crush.  (Olivia Newton-John in Grease was my first).  In Star Wars, she was braver and smarter than the boys. Those traits, which she gave Princess Leia, basically set up the template for the type of woman I like.  If you have met Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple, you know she is smarter and braver than I am.

We got to meet Ms. Fisher a few times at different conventions and Star Wars Celebration.  Some actors approach these in a robotic manner.  Others have learned how to do the perfect thirty-second small talk.  Not Carrie, she did conventions in her own style.  If she wanted to paint your nails, it didn’t matter if you were a guy or a girl, she did it. If she felt like throwing glitter all over you and your friends, she did.  She wouldn’t care about being G-rated in line (and sometimes she didn’t even care if she was PG-13!).  In fact, one time in Dallas we watched as she attempted to undress Ming-Na Wen, which is one of my favorite con moments of all time (and I’m pretty sure it was that way for Ms. Wen as well!).

If you paid for a photo-op with her, you also were paying to take a picture with Gary, her dog.  At the last Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, we did just that.

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She was always a gifted actress (see Hannah and Her Sisters, The Man with One Red Shoe, Shampoo).  Yes, Star Wars dominated her acting life but she made peace with it and learned how to turn it into a cottage industry.

She was also a gifted writer.  Postcards from the Edge is still one of my favorite Meryl Streep performances and that is largely due to Ms. Fisher’s writing. If you haven’t seen any of her “lectures” you are really missing out on a unique voice.

Carrie Fisher learned to play by her rules, as it should be. She is and always will be royalty to us. May the Force be with you, Carrie. Always.

Mr. Nola Nerd Couple Music Podcast Episode 17: My Favorite Songs of 2016

According to Spotify, I listened to 4,436 unique songs this year.  I consider that a down year.  While a good chunk of that is older music, quite a bit of it was released in 2016.  Now, I didn’t hear everything. In this podcast, I discuss my Top 25 songs for 2016.  These are the ones I kept coming back to throughout the year.

Show notes:

First song is #25, last song is #1:

ComicCon-ing: New Orleans Wizard World is Two Weeks Away!!!

Wizard World New Orleans:

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  • Carrie Fisher, who was scheduled to appear in New Orleans, had a massive heart attack on December 23.  We wish her a full recovery and hope she takes the time needed to do so.
  • For $10, you can view The Rocky Horror Picture Show with special host Barry Bostwick! This is sure to be a great even especially with Mr. Brad Majors himself being in attendance.
  • The show has added Montel Williams, Kato Kaelin and the Masters of Illusion to his its lineup. Mr. Williams will not be signing or doing photo-ops but will be doing panels.
  • The Republic New Orleans will be hosting a some after hour events and will be allowing free entry with Wizard World tickets on Saturday night.  I personally think the Republic is one of the finer music venues in town so we I highly recommend it.
  • The Wizard World panel schedule is out.   Next week,  we focus exclusively on Wizard World New Orleans.  I will go into detail in multiple posts about the panels and other events.
  • We do want to announce that we will be appearing on a panel on Saturday entitled, DON’T READ THAT! A HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP IN COMIC BOOKS.  This will take place in Room 240 from 3:30-4:15 pm.  We will be discussing comics with a co-worker and our friends from The Longbox that have been and are presently under threat from censorship and bans in libraries and schools.  We hope to see you there. (Now to go do my homework!).

Pensacon:

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  • Wade Acuff, who has worked on Lord of the Rings, and other TV and  Film products will be presenting his artwork.
  • Barry Gregory, a comic book writer and artist, will be at Pensacon.  He is best known for his independent comic John Aman Amazing Man.
  • Bob Camp, the co-creator of Ren And Stimpy, will be joining the artists in artist alley.  Other credits for Mr. Camp include Ice Age II and Osmosis Jones.
  • New Orleans native and comic book artist Roland Paris will be making an appearance at Pensacon. He has worked on Spider-Man and Marvel’s The Odyssey.
  • Mike Grell is another comic book writer and artist that will have his work in display at Pensacon. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Grell and his fantastic body of work, we recommend you listen to this interview our good friends at The Longbox did with the artist. 
  • Author Quincy J. Allen will have his books on display, and probably for sale.
  • One of our favorite comic book writers, Tony Isabella will be at Pensacon. He created Black Lightning and Misty Knight! We joined our friends at The Longbox for their panel on Horrible Horrible Stereotypes at the last Pensacon and we just became in awe of him and how he looks at comics. We also highly recommend his Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing to keep up with his latest projects and readings.

NOLA-ing: The Christmas House

I’ve been friends with the Para family since high school. In fact, Michael is the one that developed my love for Star Wars. They throw a magnificent Christmas party and we were lucky enough to attend this year. It did not disappoint.

The Para house is one of my favorite Christmas places to visit. When I say that they decorate, I do not just mean a tree and lights. I mean trees and statues and nativities and paintings and Santas and…

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