Not much to report this early in the month for new releases (although the new record by The Weeknd is wonderfully 80s groovy), so I’ve been catching up with a bit of binge streaming of a few things I’ve been wanting to watch. Noted: I absolutely LOVED Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop and think it was a brilliant and supremely funny show, and all those jaded opinionators whining about how it was/wasn’t/could have been/shouldn’t have been like the original can shut their yaps and un-cancel the damn show already.


Anyway, I finally got started watching Arcane, the new animated show semi-tied in with the video game League of Legends. Yes, I will freely admit I was curious because it’s in the same universe and was done by the same animators that did K/DA’s “Pop/Stars” video. But WHOO BOY yeah, the work done on this show is absolutely mindblowing. Really well made, well-casted, and it’s even got an amazing score. And yes, it’s standalone so you don’t have to know anything about the LoL universe to enjoy it.

And man, that Imagine Dragons theme song is one hell of an earworm.

I definitely recommend it! And I’m also quite happy to say that they’ve already okayed a second season!

Streaming: Amazon Music


Believe it or not, I’ve tried numerous streaming apps and sites, and I’ve pretty much found them all wanting.

I know, I know…I’m picky about what I listen to if it’s not my own music collection.  I’m not including streaming radio stations here, like those provided by Sirius XM or the numerous terrestrial stations out there that offer the ‘listen live!’ button at their website.  I’m talking about sites and apps that are built for streaming music: Spotify, Groove Music, Tidal, and so on.  I mean, they’re just fine for what they do best, and they have their own fans, but they’re not for me.

I know exactly why: my tastes and listening habits tend to vary widely, and most of these places just don’t offer enough music that would capture my interest.  I’ve tried many, and with each of them I find myself constantly hitting the ‘next track’ button.  [And even worse, if I have the low-end or free subscription, I have to wade through commercials every five or six songs.  Don’t get me wrong — I grew up with terrestrial radio on every waking moment of my youth, so I’m used to the ads.  It’s just that getting them after skipping too many songs pretty makes me like the app or site even less.]

Recently, however, I signed onto Amazon Music, and I think I finally found what I’ve been looking for.  It’s essentially a rebooted, much more refined version of Amazon Prime’s music streaming, and it’s well worth it.  It features streams of numerous complete albums available digitally at Amazon’s website (and where I buy most of my mp3s nowadays), across numerous labels and distributors.  I get to listen to the entire album before deciding if I want to download it.  It also offers curated playlists if I’m so inclined.  I’m not one for listening to a randomly generated playlist — for that I can just listen to a regular radio station — so this really works out well for me.

The price isn’t that bad, either.  It’s $9.99 a month ($7.99 for those already signed up for Amazon Prime), about the same as most streaming apps and sites.

Yes, yes, I know…giving more money to The Man by signing up with Amazon, but when the product provides exactly what I’ve been looking for and wanting, it does feel kind of silly to not use it on principle.  [Noted, I’m a frequent visitor of local brick and mortar stores for all kinds of things, enough that I rarely use Amazon for ordering things on the regular.  I also use other music downloading sites for my collecting.  So I don’t necessarily feel guilty for using Amazon for this sort of thing.]

Has anyone else used it yet?  What do you think?