Monday, December 31, 2007


Well, according to the two clocks that are directly within my field of vision, it's either 9:10 pm or 9:01 pm on New Year's Eve. I'm really getting this in under the wire, but I just feel like maybe it won't be as relevant tomorrow.

I'm going to preface this list by saying that I still don't have the cords I left at my mother-in-law's house and, in fact, have lost another cord (the power cord to the external hard drive) to our little Bichon puppy. She's cute AND destructive. So, I won't be able to post any songs until I get that situation figured out. I'm going to try to call the company that makes the hard drive on Wednesday and see if they'll sell me another power cord, but if they won't do you think I could find a 12V DC/ 2.0 A power thingy on ebay and have it do the trick? I feel so lost without being able to add new music and I feel so cluttered not being able to update the 'Pod.

But aside from all that, here is my Best of 2007 List and it'll get songs associated with them as soon as I can manage it. Maybe I'll do another post with just the songs! Won't that be fun!?

Some of My Favorite Albums of 2007 (Because I balk at the use of the word "Best")
(in no particular order other than the order I wrote them down in)

1. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga - This was an album I was very much looking forward to, having absolutely loved several songs on Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and the entirety of I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. And I wasn't disappointed. This album sees Conor at his finest. He's not bitching quite so much, and he retains the country-ish sound that made IWAIM so delectable.
Song I recommend checking out that I'd post if I could: Classic Cars

2. Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist - If you ask me, Smashing Pumpkins has always been mostly Billy Corgan's thing. It was nice when you could name the other members of the band and they stayed the same from album to album, but all you really need is Billy. In the same way that Tool and A Perfect Circle, to me, are really just Maynard James Keenan's bands that take different directions, Smashing Pumpkins is a genre of Billy Corgan Music. But enough generalities. How's the album? It's wonderful. Some of it may sound like Zwan or sound like an attempt to rekindle the past, but I just ate it up. The songs have textures and feelings to them in a way that niether of the Machina albums did. I hope we have a lot more Smashing Pumpkins albums to go before it's all said and done.
Song I recommend checking out that I'd post if I could: Death From Above

3. Radiohead - In Rainbows - Ok, I'm really not going to say anything that someone hasn't already said, so I'll keep it brief. It was a very cool marketing tactic. The album stands up to scrutiny and Radiohead maintain their place in the planet's Who's Who of music that kicks ass.
Song I recommend checking out if you seriously haven't heard anything from this album: Faust Arp

4. Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High - This is the much publicized band's first truly pop album. With any other band, that would not be a good thing, but FOB thrives on this kind of thing. They have put together a great album and I wish that they didn't have such a stigma of being teeny-bopper crap. Give it a listen if you can.
Here's a good starting point: You're Crashing, But You're No Wave.

5. Soundtrack - Across the Universe - OK, so an album full of Beatles covers. It could be hit or miss. Luckily this one is a hit. Unfortunately, I haven't seen this movie, though Andy tells me that the soundtrack gets even better after you've seen the movie. So Netflix will be hearing from very soon after that one's released. Oh, and if you decide to pick this one up, get the Deluxe Edition. It's two-discs full of (Andy tells me) all the songs that appear in the movie. When I went to buy it, it was only a dollar more. Worth it.
A Song From Disc One: Let It Be
A Song From Disc Two: Oh! Darling

6. Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long - This is another band that has a stigma of being MTV pre-prepared Top 40 crap and it's just not true. Songs About Jane was a geat album and this one is just as good. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it, I'd say. I just wish that they'd release a version of their cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" that they played in concert when we saw them with Less Than Jake and Rahzel at school.
Get Your Groove On to This: Kiwi

7. Soundtrack - Spider-man 3 - The first movie's soundtrack was a study in Mainstream Rock of the Nickelback/Saliva vein. The second movie's soundtrack was a collection of Emo/College Rock that worked very well with the themes of the movie. This soundtrack surpasses the movie by having music that was far better than the CGI-laden, constant-mask-removing silliness that made up the third installment.
Here's one example: Wolfmother - Pleased to Meet You

8. Pash - The Best Gun - Maybe I'm biased because I went to High School with the lead singer, but I think this is an incredibly strong sophomore album from an up-and-coming band that we're going to be hearing a lot more of in 2008! In fact, if you live in the DC/Metro area, they're playing a show at the 9:30 club on January 26th.(EDIT: It's at the Black Cat. You should still go!) You should go!
A Song That I'm Hoping to Hear: Cosmopolitan

9. Kanye West - Graduation - This is another album that has ventured out of the genre it came from and into the pop arena. Again, this is not a bad thing. Mr. West has delivered an album that is absolutely beautiful. It has one or two iffy moments, but overall, I could listen to this album all the livelong day.
Especially This One: Champion

And, as it was written the covenant, I'll stop right there. And it couldn't have come sooner. That was tougher than I ever imagined. I hope that you guys enjoyed reading this. It was fun, but I'm glad I have a whole year until I do it again. Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Coming Soon!

Hi Everyone!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week and a joyful holiday season!

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas at my mother-in-law's house in Alexandria and, when we left, I left two cords that connect my computer to my portable hard drive (aka my music) and my iPod. we're going back for New Year's, but until then, I won't be able to add any new music or post any songs on here!

But we can still have fun without my posting songs, right? Right? Hello?

I've been thinking about what I want this blog to have. I want it to have features. Like over at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, Heather does her Monday music round-up. And Nat at Mini obs has all sorts of features of the day (including Psychedelic Sunday and the Friday Top 5). And one feature I really like and admire is over at Speed of Dark, where they do a summary of what's going on on the blogs that they enjoy reading. So I'd like to get into some of that kind of stuff. But, of course, I just directed everyone to these blogs that already do that kind of thing, so what else could I do? I'm actually asking you for input!

The other thing I've been thinking about/being pressured to do by Andy from Circles of Concrete is a "Best of 2007" list. I've already vowed to only do a top 9 (mostly because I was feeling weird when I made the vow and I'm weird about keeping weird vows. Hmm, weird.) and it might turn out that I'll end up doing the list before I have access to my music. But if I do that, I'll post songs and then activate the links when I get that cord back. So it really comes down to whether I want to post songs without active links or wait until after New Year's to do that list. And you'll have to wait in desperate suspense to find out what I decide.

The last bit of Coming Soon stuff that I want to talk about is a Christmas related idea. I tend to get lots of CD's for the gift-giving/recieving holidays and what I was thinking was that I could do a post where I talk about the CD's I received this year and how I like them and maybe post some songs from them! So it would be like I'm sharing my Christmas presents with everyone out there in the blogosphere!
Ok. So this has been a pretty boring post in terms of pretty pictures/good tunes, etc. But hopefully I'll get some good feedback and we can have some fun. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

With 15 minutes (by my computer clock that's about 10 minutes slow)to spare, this is still a valid track!

I didn't mean to leave you hanging on
I didn't mean to leave you all alone
I didn't know what to say
I didn't know what to say
Merry Christmas, baby.
Merry Christmas.

Sorry for such a short post. It will be the exception to the rule. I promise. Merry Christmas.

Jimmy Eat World - 12.23.95

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The title of this blog won't fit in this box. So it's found below...

Episode 2 – In Which Our Hero Decides to Delay His Quarter-Life Crisis and also Decides to Abandon this Titling Convention As It’s Quite Difficult To Come Up With Titles Like This and It Must Be Quite Tiresome to Read All of This Before You Even Get to the Actual Post.

Hi Everybody! Well, I guess I’m doing ok for once a week. I guess I got a taste of blogging and just couldn’t get enough! I wanted to update on a couple of things.

First, I’m a little freaked out. My birthday’s in the middle of July. And yet, somehow I’ve already started rounding up to 25 (see my previous post) in everyday conversation/blogging. Am I that desperate to be 25? And it’s not even like most of my friends are! A couple are, but not enough that I can use the old “Well, most of my friends are so I guess I just said what they say” excuse, which, once written out, is also pretty lame. So I apologize and big thanks to my Dad for pointing out my mistake!

Now that that’s over, I just wanted to talk a little bit about how cool it is to actually be actually blogging. I tend to cringe at the words blog and blogging, simply because they have such a hipster-y connotation. If anyone reading this has ever seen the show “How I Met Your Mother”, they’d know that Neil Patrick Harris’s character, Barney, often refers to his blog in everyday conversation and I guess I’m just saying that I’m not sure I can pull off “Have you read my blog?”. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

Let’s start a new paragraph to get to what I wanted to talk about. Ok, so every Thursday morning, I come downstairs and bring up these two Wikipedia pages that are about this week’s Number One’s on the Album and Song charts. That’s not what the pages or the charts are called, but that’s what they are. Sometimes, I’m up before some more diligent person has updated the Wiki, and so I go to Billboard’s site to find out what’s at #1 this week. Today was just such a day and before I clicked the link to see what was what, I saw the words “Smashing Pumpkins” on the Home page of the site. Well, it turns out that SP are releasing an acoustic four song EP called “American Gothic” on January 2 on iTunes. I’m super stoked about this because I know that acoustic Pumpkins is a beautiful thing and January 2 is right around the corner!

On that very same new page, I saw that the Barenaked Ladies (a band I love almost as much as SP. Well maybe AS much.) will be releasing a children’s album early next year. So that should be fun. It turns out that those 5 guys have 11 children among them! Wow! I know that that’s only a kid more than 2 a Ladie, but it’s still an impressive figure! The article also said that they’ll be releasing a new studio album in 2008, too! That’s cool that they just got Are Me/Are Men out at the end of ‘06/beginning of ’07 and they’re already working on the next one. I love it!

Ok, so to review: I’m 24, Not comfortable with hipster vocabulary, New SP, BNL are hard-working individuals. Have a nice Friday and weekend and holiday(s), depending on how long it is until I post or you look again!

I’ll leave you with a song from the 2007 BNL release Are Men and, because I wore a Smiths t-shirt today and talked with a coworker about how Morrissey would protect me from the chemicals I was working with because he also abstains from death, here’s a Smiths song I like.

Barenaked Ladies - Running Out of Ink
The Smiths - Girlfriend in a Coma

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Episode 1 – In Which We Meet Our Hero and Learn About His Glorious Resolution!

Hiya. Well, with a title like that, I’m feeling a bit under pressure. But I’m going to power through and try to do what I’ve set out to do.

And what I’ve set out to do is to start actually blogging. I’ve had a livejournal account for years and years now and it was good for updating my college friends about how I was feeling at the moment, but now I’m out of college and I still want people to know how I’m feeling, but I also want them to know what I’m listening to, watching, reading, thinking about, and all that stuff.

I admire many, many blogs that are out there on the Internet right now and, once I get my page up and running, they’ll be listed over there or over there. And you should check them out, too, because they’re all a lot cooler than mine. But, you know, still come back and see what’s goin’ on over here, sometimes.

I feel like I should tell you about myself. I’m 25. (Edit: I'm 24. See my next post for more about this stupid mistake.) I’m a chemist at an environmental testing lab in Maryland, though that might change here soon, I’m not sure. I’m married to a lovely girl and we have two very adorable puppies that I might end up posting pictures of, but not in this first post. I’m not the kind of guy who pops out his wallet to show off the cute people/animals in his life. So we’ll save that for future updates.

Now, my Glorious Resolution, as I’ve apparently decided to call it (furthermore known as the GR). I want to update at least once a week. Ideally, I’d update more than that. My favorite blogs update all the freakin’ time and I love it! But I know myself and I’m going to start small. Baby steps.

Music is my passion. I can’t play any instruments and I’m pretty sure I don’t sing well, but I do love music. All kinds of music. So, if you can play instruments and/or sing, or you know of some sort of musical act that you think I should check out, let me know. I hope that I can help show people some good music here, though I must admit, I’m very nervous about that prospect. Like I said, I like all kinds of music, but I tend to lean a little mainstream. So hopefully, I won’t make anyone upset with my leanings, and we can all have a good time together.

Oh! My title. I want to explain that. I have this dream of starting a band. And that band’s name will be 80-d. If you’re me (which you’re probably not. Come on James, head in the game!), or if you pronounce things similarly to me, that sounds like A.D.D. when you say it out loud. And our debut album would be called Appetite for Distraction. I know that A.D.D. is a bad deal and that a lot of people have it and they have it more than the kids (myself included) who can’t sit still because they’ve been raised in a society of instant, or near-instant, gratification. But I think both band name and album title are kind of clever. So, that’s why my page is called what it is.

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite songs of all time. Have a good day, everyone! Oh, and if you have any suggestions for improving my site, please let me know.

Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise