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Why I Love Billy Joel

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"Come out Virginia Don't make me wait. You Catholic girls start much too late. Aw but sooner or later it comes down to fate. Oh I might as well be the one. 
Well they showed you a statue And told you to pray They built you a temple And locked you away.  But they never told you The price that you'd pay  For things that you might have done. Oh only the good die young."
Billy Joel is someone whom I was introduced to through my mother Mary and my father Noel. I can't really remember a time when I wasn't aware of his music. Now, at 32 years of age, I am proud to say that my love of his work is not just inherited but something I have considered and doubled down on. Billy Joel hasn't released an album of new material since 2001's Fantasies & Delusions, which was a commercial disappointment, probably owing to its nature as a Classical album. It is a terrible shame that an artist the caliber of Joel is not releasing new material, given the ridiculous quality of his cat…

Why I Love Red Dead Redemption 2

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"I was born here and I'll die here, against my will. I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still. Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb. I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from. Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."

I was waiting for Red Dead Redemption 2 for nearly eight years. It did not disappoint. Rockstar are The Beatles, Hulk Hogan and Steven Spielberg of video games: they may not be the last word in their medium but underestimate their talent and capacity for beauty at your peril. I did not play that many new games in 2018, so I cannot rightly compare it to all of the new games released this year. I can however compare it to other Westerns, and it is, no fooling, one of the greatest Westerns ever made in any medium. The standard that Rockstar had to reach to compare with the original Red Dead Redemption was a formidable challenge. Yet they reached t…

Why I Love 2018 in Created Things

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2018 was an exceptional year for art and created things. From amazing music to powerful films and epic and thrilling video games, this was one of the best years I have ever experienced. Please find below my favourite artworks of the year. 



MUSIC



 1) My Dear Melancholy, by The Weeknd. The return of the Trilogy/Kiss Land Abel and I couldn't be happier to hear him. All six tracks are incredible but I particularly love "Try Me" - that last chorus when the synth line comes in... kills me - and "Wasted Times" - What they got that I ain't got? Cause I got a lot. A beautiful, bleak, brilliant thing.

2) Scorpion by Drake. Half Rap and half R&B and I couldn't be happier to hear Drake finally pulling the trigger on his promise to finally do something purely in the latter's genre. Maybe too long, but who cares? If less is sometimes more, more is even MORE than that. "Nice For What" is a killer track. "Summer Games," "God…

Why I Love The Anticipation of Something Great Pt 1

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"We're more ghosts than people."

Some people think that I like too many things, too passionately and with too much optimism. I happen to know however that it is not that I lack critical faculties, it is just that I much prefer talking about what I love than what I hate. This is why The City is Blinking is dedicated to cataloguing and discussing things that I love. There is way too much cynicism on the internet already, and I don't need to add to it. My birthdays and Christmas time were always incredible growing up, thanks to my father but especially my mother who always made sure that we had a special time and got things that would help in our happiness and artistic senses. I hold those times dearly in my heart and I try to bring the wonderful sense of anticipation for great artistic things into my life whenever I can. I am currently in the grip of a deep and inspiring sense of anticipation for a few works of art that are very likely to be defining experiences in my…

Why I Love Prince 1995-2016

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"Heard about the party now
Just east of Harlem
Doug E's going to be there
But you got to call him
Even the soldiers
Need a break sometimes
Listen to the groove you'll
Let it unwind our mind
No intoxication
Unless you see what I see
Dancing hot and sweaty
Right in front of me
Call it what you like
I'm going to call it how it be
This is just another one
Of God's gifts
Musicology."

A lot of people think that Prince lost it some time in the mid 90s. His increasingly strange behaviour towards his record company, namely his changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and penchant for writing SLAVE across his face, alienated a lot of fans who had followed Prince since the late 70s. What these people singularly fail to understand however is that, a couple of lackluster albums aside, Prince never lost it. He kept recording and releasing brilliant, dazzling and altogether innovative and beautiful work. The story of Prince's underappreciated and unacknowledged work starts wit…

Why I Love Lisa The Iconoclast

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"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
"Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield."
"I don't know why. It's a perfectly cromulent word."

When it comes to The Simpsons, I am in a state of near constant conflict over which season and showrunners I love the most. Sometimes it's Seasons three and four with Mike Reiss and Al Jean producing. Sometimes it's seasons seven and eight with Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein running things. The reason why it's hard to pick is because these four seasons are arguably the greatest in the entire run of the show and seeing as we have just recently concluded season 29, that is saying something. Josh and Bill, both of whom I have had the pleasure to talk with on Twitter, took the task of running perhaps the greatest comedy show of all time fiercely seriously. They believed, quite rightly, that there was a heavy responsibility to not diminish the quality and reputation of the sho…

Why I Love Hannibal

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"This is my design."

Bryan Fuller has been responsible for three of my favourite shows of the last few years. He oversaw the production of the best Star Trek since Deep Space Nine, with the Netflix show Discovery. He also ran American Gods' first season, though he is sadly not going to continue on that taboo breaking, dizzying and mystifying show. And of course there's Hannibal. I was late to the party with Hannibal, but thanks to three of my best online friends, Luke, Shaun and Martin, I was hipped to this incredible show. Hannibal is an elegant, extremely violent, scary and altogether overpowering Horror Crime show, that follows the characters from Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Red Dragon is not a novel I have read, but I have seen both of the cinematic adaptations, Brett Ratner's Red Dragon and the far superior Michael Mann picture Manhunter. I can confidently say though that it is Bryan Fuller's Hannibal series that is the best of the lot.

Hanniba…