2014 Simpsons And Blog Review

Hi there and welcome to the last entry for this blog for 2014. Since the beginning of the year the blog has turned 1 on November 24th and The Simpsons has had another great year, with a lot of things going on.

To begin with, Season 25 continued with the episode Steal This Episode to start the year off on January 5th. Later on we see Comicbook Guy get married and the show get into lego,, with the episodes Married To The Blob and Brick Like Me, respectively. There is also an episode where Homer is a Soccer referee and we also here the last words of Edna Krabappel. Yes, I agree with Nelson that I miss her too!

As for Season 26: Krusty’s Father dies, Marge opens a sandwich franchise, Mr. Burns finds himself a new girlfriend, the Simpsons and Futurama team up in the episode Simpsorama, Bart has a bully for a new teacher, Homer now can play the bass and The Simpsons meet The Griffins in the Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode Simpsons guy, aired the same night as the premier episode of The Simpsons Season 26 Clown In The Dumps. The current cast of The Simpsons, along with special guests also performed some shows at the Hollywood Bowl, during the weekend of September 12 to the 14th. I wish I was there and I hope they can do it again some day, maybe they can come to Canada? I’m sure that Toronto could be a potential city to do it in. I’m sure that there are people considering all possibilities as I write this.

Another development that took place this year was a new network called FXX being allowed to stream all 552 episodes of The Simpsons and the Simpsons Movie in a week long marathon. All the current and past staff from the show tweeted about it and also retweeted various tweets from those who had comments and questions. This included all the former show runners such as: David Mirkin, Mike Scully, Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. Oh, also Al Jean has been tweeting about all the episodes he had a significant involvement in, as both a writer and as a show runner, then and now.

Another thing that has also occurred is 2 members of the cast turning a milestone year old this year. Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith both turned 50 this year and Matt Groening also turned 60 in February. This year was also the 27th anniversary of the Simpson’s first airing on the Tracy Ullman show as shorts, or interstitial’s on April 19th 1987.

We also lost some people this year, who have played a part in the series. We lost: Mickey Rooney, Jan hooks, Joan Rivers, Don Pardo and others who have either guest starred or were referenced during the series. I think one of the most shocking deaths this year was Robin Williams because he has been doing so well and had probably 4 or 5 projects on the go at the time of his death. He wasn’t actually a guest star but he was referenced on The Simpsons several times, as was Lauren Bacall, in the episode Like Father, Like Clown.

One more recent death I should acknowledge is English singer Joe Cocker, who passed away on Monday at the age of 70. One of his most well known softer songs from the 70’s “You Are So Beautiful” has been referenced and sung by characters on the show a few times. For example: the Season 2 episode Simpson And Delilah has Marge singing it to Homer at the climax, after he has been demoted back to his regular job as Safety Inspector of Sector 7G. In the episode Homer Simpson In Kidney Trouble has krusty singing it to Grandpa after he learns that Homer has well, decided not to donate his kidney to Grandpa willingly, after he said he would after Grandpa’s kidney explodes. I’m sure there are more examples of his music in the series, if you know where to look for them.

One other thing that has also happened this year was my own plunge into the iTunes waters to purchase and download more than 100 Simpsons episodes over the year, along with a lot of music and a few movies. It is okay to read about them and the scripts on the internet but hearing the episode is another thing altogether. I am hoping that some day Seasons 4 through 19 will be available for Digital download, along with the entire Simpsons discography. In Canada, not all the albums are available, as Simpsons Sing The Blues is on the Austrailian iTunes. I don’t understand why this is but I can only hope that all the albums will some day be available on iTunes world wide, along with all of the episodes for purchase and download.

As for other topics I have been discussing this year in the blog, for my weather and Weather Radio readers: we lived through a brutally cold winter in most of North America, a rather cool spring, an almost nonexistent summer in Southern Ontario, a warmer than normal fall and possibly a milder winter. We also saw a quieter than normal hurricane season with the main storm being Hurricane Arthur, which put some of the kibosh on some Fourth of July plans this year. Check out this link for more. http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/calgary/top-2014-weather-story-goes-to-canada-s-long-cold-winter-1.2882370

As for my Queen and Slipknot fans, I haven’t forgotten you and will continue to talk about both bands in the coming year and beyond. They are so different from each other but if you really take a listen there is some sort of connection between the two bands musically. I have mentioned this in past posts and may mention it again in the future, if I feel I need to do so. Both bands have given us new studio and compilation albums that were worth the wait and I am looking forward to what they will do in the future.

As for other bands I have discussed alongside The Simpsons, one of them is Metallica and I may start something in the blog, just for them and their fans. I have been a fan of them since I was 10 in 1983 and this year, I have finally gone Digital, collecting all of Metallica’s music or, as much as I could collect from iTunes. I’m missing one or two songs: the cover of Ecstasy Of Gold and their cover of Remember Tomorrow by Iron Maiden, from the compilation put out by Karang magazine in 2008 entitled Maiden Heaven.

As for my fellow Queen fans, there is more of a Queen connection to The Simpsons now, besides the bands music being both paritied and in the show. If you have the soundtrack to the movie Flash Gordon listen to the voice of Emperor Ming The Merciless. Swedish born France based actor Max von Sydow portrayed him and he also guest starred in the episode The War Of Art as Klaus Ziegler in March. You can hear a bit of Ming in there, but with a French accent. Now, if we can just get a Slipknot connection to The Simpsons I will be a happier man than Frank Grimes. Okay, that wasn’t a good joke but that was all I could think of at the time I am writing this.

Another thing I have done from time to time is talk about my experiences using the iPhone and hear is one other thing before the year is out. If you have music on your iPhone or iPod you know there are many EQ options in the settings. One of them is called Late Night and I like to put it on so I can hear what my music sounds like on the radio. Okay, I should be clear about what I just said. If you listen to radio you may notice that on some stations the music is either compressed or leveled to the point of all the dynamics taken out. If you have songs in your iTunes collection with quiet and loud parts you will know what I mean.

For example: the song bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is perfect to test this out because there are so many loud and quiet passages in the operatic section and just after the rock part, when the song tails off. Just listen to it normally and with the Late Night EQ on and you will understand what I mean. Also, the next time you hear the song on the radio, listen for all the changes and listen for the piano to become louder before Freddie starts the operatic section.

I can think of many other examples but this is the one that is the most well known because the song has been played on many radio formats over the years. I’ll give you one more example from Queen, the song Somebody To Love has a breakdown after the guitar solo and the last verse, where the words “find, me, somebody to love: are repeated. It starts out soft and increases to normal volume. On Late Night it sounds the same. Oh, the best way to actually hear this is while listening to your music on earphones or headphones. The Apple earbuds that have come out this year are sounding good too. One last thing I should say is that I hope you all have had a great 2014 and I hope that 2015 is even better for all of us. I would also like to thank all of you who have either followed me via the blog or on Twitter because of the blog, or if you have just acknowledged that you like it. I invite anyone who is reading this to follow me and if you follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook too, that is a real bonus.

As usual to end each Simpsons Sunday post, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4. I would like to also thank him for letting me know that he likes the blog. It means a lot to me that someone from my favourite TV show appreciates what I am doing, regardless of my disability. In this case, it is my total blindness from birth and the iPhone has been a real positive in my life in all facets, including with GPS. I will get into that in another post.
If you wish to join my Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter, just email me at wxrnewsletter@gmail.com and I will send you all current and past issues. There have been 13 issues so far and I am working on Issue 14 as I write this.

Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.

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