Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gun Shy

So I think I haven't really been posting lately for two reasons:

1. We're hosting Thanksgiving for 75% of our parental groups. So we've been focusing on pulling the house together for that.

2. But more importantly, I feel like I haven't ben posting for the same reason that I always drive WAY to slow right after I get a speeding ticket. So, I hope you'll forgive me if it take some time to get back into it, but don't worry. I'm not gone forever!

In the meantime, go to Tim's Blog and vote for the 2008 Festive Fifty countdown. I think it's going to be a great one. Then listen to it at the end of December here. It's going to be THREE episodes. In fact, you should be listening to the Contrast Podcast every week.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Breakin' the Law?

Ok, so Round 1H was taken down by because one of the songs I posted in that post was flagged for copyright infringment. I'm not sure which one and I received no prior notification before they deleted it. Sigh. So, of Smashing Pumpkins, Rise Against, R.EM., Thrice, Lauryn Hill, and The Beatles, who would be most likely to shoot their shotgun at my flea of a blog? Any ideas?

I'm a little disconcerted right now. I'm woking on some posts about some up-and-coming bands that apprciate the exposure that blogs like this give them. So look out for them soon. I guess I had it coming, but it feels dirty because I really meant no harm. You know?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Really Quick, Secret Post From Work Re: Of Montreal and Brackets

Ok, so last things first. Voting has closed for Round 1G. Thank you so much to everyone who voted! I'll be posting the final sub-round of the first round of match-ups and then I think I will be doing the 2nd round in its entirety in one (or possibly two) posts. So look out for that.

Now on to the real reason I called you here today. So, Of Montreal is getting bigger and bigger, right? Why don't I have anything from them past 2000, when, by all accounts, they really started to hone the craft in around 2001. I got a couple of their albums from my friend Kasey in college and, while I enjoy listening to the cute, Beatle-y tunes when they come up on shuffle, I never really considered them a "real" band.

But I was reading the cover story in the new Paste magazine and I was realizing that I hadn't heard the main work that probably got Kasey into them in the first place. I would compare it to only listening to Nirvana's Bleach album and writing them off as not your cup of tea. It may be that I listen to the newer Of Montreal stuff and they're STILL not my cup of tea, but I didn't even realize that I might be missing something!

Has this happened to anyone else? With any band?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Roung 1g!

Ok Folks, quick entry today. We have one more first round match-up after this one and then it's on to the thrills and chills and spills of Round 2!!! So without any further ado:

Round 1G:

1. Radiohead vs. Counting Crows

Radiohead - Videotape from In Rainbows
Counting Crows - Anyone But You from Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

2. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes vs. Bright Eyes

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Goodbye Earl from Love Their Country
Bright Eyes - No One Would Riot For Less from Cassadaga

Happy Voting Everyone! Even though it's taking a long time to get this done, I'm having fun with it, aren't you? :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm still here!

I'm totally still here, I've just been busy recently. And my computer has been rather narcoleptic recently. Well, I guess not narcoleptic. Isn't there like a chronic fatigue syndrome? Checking...Ha! Everything's something these days! Basically it's going fine, going fine, going fine, then UNBEARABLY slow. It's a lot easier if I put it on standby when I'm done with it, though. So that's what I've been doing. But enough about me. What do YOU think about me? Hehe.

I've been listening to my iPod in alphabetical order. Skipping duplicate songs and live songs if I have the studio recording, but listening to covers. A took me a week. B appears to be an even bigger letter. Maybe that's why "bigger" starts with B! At this exact moment, I'm on this song:

Lagwagon - Billy Club from Blaze

Which isn't my favorite song on the album. That might very well be this:

Lagwagon - Never Stops from Blaze

Lagwagon is funny because sometimes you're listening and thinking, "This is run-of-the-mill Fat Wreck Chords pop-punk" and then other times you wake up 2 hours later after having been knocked off your feet by the brilliance of a verse or turn of phrase. Here's my favorite part of that latter song:

Hands across America, let's catch contact hysteria
Our flag erects from broken homes
July 4 for evermore
Colors of democracy
Fly from every SUV
The Misspelled bumper sticker's here
Where did all the honor students go?

So anyways, all that and Ben Folds has an album coming out on Tuesday. We're feeling good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My First Earthquake and Bob Dylan

So on this past week's Contrast Podcast, we had our ninth Musicians Introduce Their Own Songs episode (you can find them grouped together here) which had a band on it called My First Earthquake, based in San Francisco. First of all, the intro cracked me up. Rebecca, the singer comes on with this robot voice and, well I'm not going to make it sound cool enough. Go listen to it yourself! They just seemed like such a fun-loving group of people, based on a 30 second intro (some intro times claimed in this blog may not be completely accurate or double-checked at all) and so I was very pleased when their song "Teleprompt" was really catchy and had an interesting story. So I went on their website and looked around and they ARE a really, fun, fun-loving group of people. Maybe that's just the San Franciscan air (isn't Greer from SF? She's a fun-loving gal, am I right?)

Anywho, here's a couple of tunes that I've been digging by them! And all of these are available at places like iTunes except the remix, which I believe is only available through their website.

My First Earthquake - Teleprompt from Tremors EP (the song that started the craze)
My First Earthquake - Teleprompt (Poles & Zeros Remix) (for maximum contrast)
My First Earthquake - Cradle the Ladle from Tremors EP (It's about soup. Mmm mmm good!)

Also, Bob Dylan is going to be releasing another CD in the Bootleg Series. It's going to cover the period of time between Oh Mercy! and Modern Times (aka the present). And I'm pretty excited! So his website was giving away this free song which is an released song that he recorded when he was recording Time Out of Mind. I think it's pretty clear why it wasn't included on the album. It's just too damn upbeat!

Bob Dylan - Dreamin' of You

Happy Labor Day everyone! And I'll try to update more often! That seems to be something of an epidemic 'round the blogs I've been reading. I think school's starting for a bunch of people and people are maybe trying to get in some hardcore relaxation in during these last days of summer.

I'm excited about autumn! I can't wait until all the music geeks that I love to read hunker down for the winter and pontificate on all my future favorite songs!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shout outs and 1988!

Ok, so I often assign myself epic projects. I've assigned myself the task of listening to, watching, and reading all of the Albums of the Year, Best Pictures, and Pultizer Prize for Fiction winners, respectively from the year I was born on, for instance.

Well the most recent epic project I've assigned myself is to collect all of the songs that have reached Number One on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks Chart. When I started, I had about half, and I'm well on my way, through the use of iTunes and friends and family.

But the Internet is a wonderful wonderful place where you can, with a little effort, find almost anything. I couldn't find a particular song (posted below) on iTunes and I didn't know anyone that would have it. So I went on The Hype Machine and searched the track and I saw a blog that I've seen many places before on various blogs I read: The Vinyl District. Not only is this a fantastic blog where the merits and wonders of Vinyl Music are shouted from the rooftops, but they also happen to be based out of Washington D.C., a short drive from where I live! Please check them out. You won't be disappointed! So, I'd like to whole-heartedly thank Jon from The Vinyl District for his generous and speedy aid in my randomly assigned, all-consuming, epic project! There may be other songs that I just can't find. And you can bet that I'll be scouring the Internet to find them. In fact, does anyone have "Dirty Blvd." by Lou Reed? iTunes only has live versions.

Julian Cope - Charlotte Anne from My Nation Underground (It's from 1988. That's why the title.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Passenger + Ruut in Annapolis with Andy! (8/3/08)

Ok, so while you are all losing sleep trying to decide which votes to cast on the current round of the BOTB (see previous post's first section), I'll tell you a little story.

Last night, Andy and I went to Annapolis, where I lived when I was in 5th and 6th grades. We were going there to see a band called Passenger. Passenger are from the UK. Andy tells me that they're from Brighton and after a little confusion involving a perceived mispronunciation of the word "Britain", I understand that he means a specific place in the UK. But everyone isn't from Brighton, because the lead singer said the lead guitarist is Irish. Which I suppose doesn't mean he isn't from Brighton. And I'm rambling.

So anyways, after almost making it to the club and finding that the very street we're looking for is blocked off for some reason, and then realizing that two pre-driving years of residence don't make for a very good mental layout of a town, we found parking and made our way to the Ram's Head Tavern. This place is far bigger than it looks and it has lots and lots of routes to get from point A to point B. Only our point B seems to not be there. What we didn't realize is that the Tavern had a seperate part of it that was a stage area. So then we waited around for the doors to open. Andy was on the list. It was so cool. Except for the ticket guy immediately said "Um, there is no guest list." After talking to the aforementioned Irish/Brightish lead guitar player and Passenger's manager, we were in and sitting. I had a Diet Coke and Andy had a Yuengling. Is this too detailed? (We were at table 304.)

The first act was Ruut, a local. She played piano and was backed by cello and electric guitar. She was absolutely gorgeous and then she started singing and it didn't even matter. She has, in my opinion, a very distinct voice and the band's sound had sort of a soulful country folky sound. You know that Ben Folds Five song "Lullaby"?

Ben Folds Five - Lullaby from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

You do? Ok, so I kept thinking of that during their set. It was absolutely breathtaking and I bought the ep, which you can also purchase at iTunes, and she signed it for me and I was all flustered and speechless like I always am in the presence of great talent.

Here are two songs that they played that I really loved

Ruut - Nothing is Right from Ruut EP
Ruut - Sweetest Thing from Ruut EP

And then Passenger came on. Andy gives a really great description of the show (with a lot less rambling) here. When they were playing, I felt like I was a part of the beginning of something. Whenever I'm reading people's blogs and they're like "Yeah, I was at the first Smiths show" (I think that was JC, but I could be mistaken. Maybe Dirk? Same difference, really ;-)), I'm always envious and want to know what that feels like. And I really felt like that last night. Passenger are so passionate about what they do and Mike (lead singer) has a great voice. They played songs I knew of their album Wicked Man's Rest which Andy gave me for Christmas. The US version is in stores tomorrow. You can get it at amazon. And they also played other songs that were just fantastic. I think my favorite was The Stupidest Song which Mike played as an encore. Despite the name, it's freakin' brilliant.
Here were two highlights:

Passenger - Walk You Home aka Night Vision Binoculars (UK title changed for US release) from Wicked Man's Rest
Passenger - Stray Dog from Wicked Man's Rest

It was a great night.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A More Creative Title Perhaps? (More Voting, Random Thoughts, Mixes)

Perhaps not.

I've reached another point in my blogging where I am a bit behind and so I have all these things that I want to talk about and they're just overloading me and then I don't blog so they build up more and more and more. So I'm going to attempt to get them all down. Or at least most of them.

Round 1F!!!

1.The Beatles vs. Taking Back Sunday

The Beatles - I've Got a Feeling from Let It Be

Taking Back Sunday - Spin from Louder Now

2. Lagwagon vs. The Ataris

Lagwagon - Automatic from Resolve
The Ataris - Not Capable of Love from Welcome the Night

In other news, I've been making and receiving lots of mixes from all over the world. I guess this salvo began with Andy coming up for a visit bearing the latest installment in a series of mixes we've been doing for a year or so.
Here's a song from that:
The Decemberists - Oceanside
I also received a mix from Wayne as part of Anna's Mix CD exchange. The theme this time was "Sub 3-minute songs" and Wayne's mix was eclectic and yet it fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Here's a song from that:

The Housemartins - Happy Hour

and here's a song that quotes that song and I never knew it!

Barenaked Ladies - Hello City from Gordon

And then I received not one, but TWO mixes from Anna which are both based on Lost (one a little more than the other) which is just amazing and it made me want to skip out on work and just go home and watch Lost DVD's

A song for waking up in the hatch. :)
Mama Cass Elliot - Make Your Own Kind of Music

Oh, also, I got a USB record player and have, so far, ripped two LP's and I'm fairly pleased. The second album, Sly and the Family Stone's Fresh was rather frustrating because it has all these little hops in it that I didn't notice when it was recording (because I was in the other room...)

But here's a song that isn't bad.

Sly and the Family Stone - In Time from Fresh

And finally, you should go check out The Hold Steady and My Morning Jacket's new albums:

The Hold Steady - Ask Her For Adderall from Stay Positive
My Morning Jacket - Aluminum Park from Evil Urges

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Title of Entry (7/13/08) [Points For Creativity]


So, I see that maybe some of you (read: a LOT of you!!!) have been voting! Thank you to each and every one of you for your votes! Keep them coming. We're past the halfway mark of Round 1 and that's certainly the longest round. Speaking of voting, how about...

Round 1e!!!

1.Bob Dylan vs. New Found Glory

Bob Dylan - Rollin' and Tumblin' from Modern Times
New Found Glory - Crazy For You from From the Screen to Your Stereo Part II

2.Death Cab For Cutie vs. Ben Folds

Death Cab For Cutie - You Can Do Better Than Me from Narrow Stairs
Ben Folds - Landed from Songs For Silverman

Happy Voting!

also, how about a nice shot of...

CP B-sides!!

This week was Monkeys and Apes. And it was a good time. Was it me, or was this episode especially wild?!

I submitted:

Traveling Wilburys - Tweeter and the Monkey Man from Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1

and I selected that fairly quickly. I also considered "Monkey Man", but Dirk submitted a version of that song so I didn't miss out on hearing that. I also considered submitting:

Counting Crows - Monkey from Recovering the Satellites

which I've heard is about Courtney Cox (not that he's saying she looks like a monkey, but I think that that was his pet name for her....maybe because he thought she looked like a monkey?)

Quick Side Note: In the blogs that I read, spouses are referred to in adorable ways. Nat calls her hubby Mr. Nat, Dirk calls his wife Mrs. Loser. But I think I'm just going to refer to my wife by her first initial, K. I think Mrs. Appetite isn't very flattering and Mrs. Distraction sounds like a super-villain, which I'm pretty sure K is not. But then again...where did we get all those bags with dollar signs on them?

Anywho, K and I went to go see Get Smart today and I was impressed. I really felt like it pretty much captured the feeling of the original but still seemed fresh and had me laughing really hard. It had all the gags that I would hope to see including probably my favorite thing from the series: the Cone of Silence. Great stuff.

We went down to Harrisonburg yesterday for a day full of reliving our lives in college and K's year of grad school. It's getting so developed and it's really weird to come back to a place after only a couple of years and see that it hasn't been patiently waiting unchanged in a state of suspended animation. We ate at a couple of our old haunts and paid a visit to the Green Valley Book Fair, which, if you're anywhere near the Shenandoah Valley, you should see when it's open (it closed today for about a month or so.)

And that was the beginning of the birthday celebrations for yours truly. I'm turning 25 on Wednesday and I'm feeling chill about it. Not getting any anxiety about the passage of time or the inevitability of aging. Just keeping it real. :) What does that mean, come to think of it? Can you keep anything in this life in any state other than real?

Alright, I've descended into the pit of questioning figures of speech. That means it's time for bed.

Goodnight everyone. Have fantastic weeks/days/hours!

Friday, July 4, 2008

CP B-sides, Voting Reminder, An Ear-catching Song

...But not in that order necessarily.

First, I just wanted everyone to scroll down two entries and vote for in the Battle of the Bands. There's a tie right now and I'd really like to resolve it before moving on. So come on. Vote!

One of my favorite things about having my iPod on shuffle while i'm at work all day is having a song catch my ear and make me stop what i'm doing to listen. At first, I thought this song (which has "Colin" written all over it. So I assume I got it from him. Possibly in the 2007 wrap-up mix?) was a Christmas song, but it's not. It's just that first little bit that sounds like "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." And then it's just so catchy and the climax comes and it just sends tingles up and down my spine. And I love the Scottish accent (another reason I'm thinking Colin). The version I have says it's a "Home Tapes" version. Does anyone know how much the version that was released this year differs?

Glasvegas - It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry (Home Tapes Version)

Finally, another episode of CP B-Sides!!!

This week on the Contrast Podcast, the theme was Hot! Hot! Hot! and when I submitted my song two weeks ago, we were in the middle of a heat wave, so, without hesitation, I submitted:

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Hell from Hot

but I briefly considered submitting:

Sly & the Family Stone - Hot Fun in the Summertime from Greatest Hits

which I just love and which gives me nostalgia for an era (The 70's) which I never lived but love nonetheless.

So that's it! Happy 4th of July everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Would have sucked without you here...

Ok, first, I still am taking votes for the latest round of Battle of the Bands (see the previous post).

But more importantly, I want to put some songs out here to help you out. This is kind of going out to someone, but it's also going out to you, if you need it. When I was a freshman in college, I needed this song. I found it shortly after I stopped needing it, but it still made me feel good to know it was there. It's a song for a very specific feeling and I'm not sure who's having this feeling, but I want to put it out there. It's about getting over someone and realizing that they're missing out on you. It doesn't matter if this is a romantic relationship or just a friendship or a job or whatever. If you need to replace the word "she" in the song with "they" or "he", then by all means, please do.

Less Than Jake - Great American Sharpshooter from Hello Rockview

Another song (which contains the title of this post) was written by one of my best friends. He was the Best Man at my wedding. And he gave me the song above. Well, he pointed me to the album. This is an amazing song based on a simple fact. Everyone has a song called "Everything Sucks." This one should be a mood brightener too.

Murphys Kids - Everything Sucks from Don't Wait

and if you're not feeling like having a brighter mood, here are two "Everything Sucks"'s that aren't so smiley. :)

Descendents - Everything Sucks from Everything Sucks
Reel Big Fish - Everything Sucks from Turn the Radio Off

Well, maybe that RBF song is a little smiley and who can't smile at the sheer sarcasm that Milo spews in every Descendents song?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Watching the Lost finale and posting to my blog...what an age we live in!!

I simply love this show. So much.

Anywho, on to some music. First, some bracket action!

Round 1d:

1. Kanye West vs The Suicide Machines

Kanye West - Champion from Graduation
The Suicide Machines - Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread? from A Match and Some Gasoline

2. Bad Religion vs No Use For a Name

Bad Religion - Requiem for Dissent from New Maps of Hell
No Use For a Name - Part Two from Keep Them Confused

Happy Voting! Please vote!

In other news, Weezer has released their Red album. And it's certainly an improvement from their recent efforts. Maladroit was ok. But the Red album almost makes a Blue Album/Pinkerton-esque showing. I'm going to post one track, but I'm saving my favorite track for the end of the year. The funny thing is that I've read some negative reviews of that very track...more on that later.

But here's the track.

Weezer - Troublemaker

Finally, I'm going to start a new feature on this crazy thing. I'm thinking of calling it CP B-sides!

Basically, I will use this feature to allay the anxiety of wanting to post more songs to the Contrast Podcast than I'm allowed to. For instance, this week was Babies. And I submitted this:

Alan Wilkis - Bad Mamma Jamma from Babies Dream Big

but I wanted to submit this, too!:

Barenaked Ladies - Baby Seat from Maroon

and now everyone can enjoy both of them! Hooray Internet!

OK everyone! Have a great week or so!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Posted More When I Didn't Have a Hard Drive...

...But I'm going to make an effort to correct that. I think one of the problems is that I feel like I have to get a post out in the same sitting as I start it. And if I want to include music (which I always do!), that can seem a little daunting. But I'm going to try to realize that it's not like that. It's like writing a paper for school (only more fun!): you have to write drafts. Take it slow (I never used this concept in school, either.)

OK, so, first order of business. Remember the brackets? The battle of the bands? Well, I'm going to Sally Forth on that. We have some Round 1b business to take care of. Thanks to a certain Ms. Wells, I am lacking a vote in the NOFX vs Strung Out match-up. So, the first person to vote for one of them in the comment section of this post, regardless of if you've already voted in this round, will be the deciding vote!

Now: Round 1c!!!! (exclamation points make things more exciting.....!!!!)

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Sublime

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Readymade from Stadium Arcadium
Sublime - Seed from Sublime

2. Outkast vs. Ben Folds Five

Outkast - Morris Brown from Idlewild
Ben Folds Five - Army from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

Now: Trent Reznor wants to give you 1.25 free albums!!

That's right. If you have ever had even a passing interest in Nine Inch Nails, here's your opportunity to pick up the new NIN LP "The Slip" and "Ghosts I", the first part of "Ghosts I-IV" which is a series of instrumentals composed in 10 weeks in late 2007. It's free! And worth checking out! Go here for The Slip and here for Ghosts I

Here's a song from each!

Nine Inch Nails - 1,000,000 from The Slip
Nine Inch Nails - 3 Ghosts I from Ghosts I

Ok. Despite what I said up there above, I'm going to go ahead and post this. I just get so excited with the links and the words and the public reading my stuff!! Plus, I only crossed like 2 things off my list of things to talk about, so maybe I'll come back in a couple days and cross some more off!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Round 1b


Just a really quick post to put up the next round in what's looking to be a year-long Battle of the Bands, if I don't get my act together.

1. Sufjan Stevens vs. MxPx

Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr. from Come On Feel the Illinoise!
MxPx - Kings of Hollywood from Before Everything and After

2. NOFX vs. Strung Out

NOFX - The Marxist Brothers from Wolves in Wolves' Clothing
Strung Out - Party in the Hills from Blackhawks Over Los Angeles

So where have I been? Well, work's been really busy and BOUGHT A HOUSE! It's about 5 minutes closer to my work, so it shouldn't be that bad of a move and it's basically our dream house. We really lucked out here, folks. I'll post pictures as soon as we can figure out how to get them out of K's camera.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm so excited!

Ok so I was super stoked when I received an email from the artist I'm about to talk about. One of the things I was hoping for when I started this blog was that bands and musicians would start to send me their stuff to listen to and talk about. Well, it's begun. I hope it doesn't end here.

The artist's name is Alan Wilkis and he's made an album called "Babies Dream Big". It's one of the few times in my life that I've pressed play at the beginning of an album and had almost no idea of what to expect. He described his album like this:

"The album does a fair amount of genre-hopping, but it's pretty firmly rooted in 70s - 80s soul, electronic, and soft rock music, and it features a few special guests: Jason Treuting of So Percussion and Eric Biondo of Antibalas."

So, I'm all about the genre hopping and he's very true to his word. You know the Beck album Midnite Vultures? Certain parts of this album feel like the lost sequel to that album. Other parts feel like Ben Folds when he's feeling particularly funky. Genre-hopping indeed. Oh, and this is pretty much specific to Nat from Mini-Obs. The song "Astronaut (Would You Be One?)" is something maybe you should check out. I'm no expert, but I think it's pretty psychedelic. "Far out", you might say. I don't recall your opinions on Pink Floyd, but this sounds like really early Pink Floyd stuff.

So you see? It's something for everyone on "Babies Dream Big"

Here's what I mean

Alan Wilkis - Bad Mamma Jamma
Alan Wlkis - In My Dreams
Alan Wilkis - Astronaut (Would You Be One?)

Here's the link to more info about the album
Here's his myspace

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Round 1a!!! and something of an actual update, too!

Ok everyone. We're starting. This is the real deal. The first two match-ups of the first round are:

1. Barenaked Ladies vs. Alkaline Trio

Barenaked Ladies - What a Letdown from Are Men
Alkaline Trio - Back to Hell from Crimson

2. Green Day vs. Pearl Jam

Green Day - American Idiot from American Idiot
Pearl Jam - Nothing as It Seems from Binaural

In other news, we are putting the hammer down when it comes to buying a house. It's a big scary process to buy your first house, but we have a kickass support system and things are looking good on that front. I'll post here if anything big happens (after the family knows), so check this page for all my incredibly interesting adventures in real estate.

Also, has anyone heard the new R.E.M. album? I'm hearing really really good things about it and I'm seriously considering picking it up. They can be hit or miss, but when they're hitting, they hit HARD. Automatic For the People is one of my all-time favorite albums and if you haven't heard it, you should check it out. Here's a great song from it to whet your whistle.

R.E.M. - Ignoreland from Automatic For the People

Monday, April 7, 2008


So, I think I may have been confusing about this bracket thing. You need to vote in the comments section. I'm going to extend this to 11 pm EST on Wednesday (4/9) for you to vote on the matchups in the last post. Let's get voting, people!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Ok. So NCAA Basketball March Madness is pretty much over now, but I decided I wanted to try something related to tournament brackets. The classic rock station that we occasionally listen to at work is having a battle of the bands with this tournament bracket and everything. So that's what I'd like to do too.

I'm a part of this website called that keeps track of music that I listen to on my iPod or computer. And so, using the chart that it has for the Artists I've listened to most, I have made up a bracket of my own. It's really neat, but I don't think you get to see it yet. First, I'm going to gauge the interest in this endeavour with something of a pre-tournament set of match-ups. There are some positions on the bracket that are ties (basically, I've listened to two or more artists the same number of times) and so we're going to pick who gets those positions right now.

RULES FOR SAMPLE SONGS (Pre-tournament and Round 1):

For the first two contests, I will be posting songs from the contestants' most recent LP (not including greatest hits, live, or B-sides collections) that I own. Round 2 will have a different set of rules.

Oh, and the winner of the whole thing will have an entire post devoted to them including a playlist created by yours truly that you can download and burn to a CD in memory of the time we've spent together! Awww.

OK. So here are the pre-tournament match-ups and their sample songs:

1. Fall Out Boy vs. Sufjan Stevens
Fall Out Boy - You're Crashing, But You're No Wave from Infinity on High
Sufjan Stevens - Decatur, or, Round of Applause For Your Stepmother! from Come On Feel the Illinoise

2. Outkast vs. Blink-182
Outkast - Idlewild Blue (Don't Chu Worry 'Bout Me) from Idlewild
Blink-182 - Easy Target from Blink-182

3. Coheed and Cambria vs. Catch-22 vs. Taking Back Sunday
Coheed and Cambria - Feathers from Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV: Volume 2: No World For Tomorrow
Catch-22 - So Cold from Dinosaur Sounds
Taking Back Sunday - My Blue Heaven from Louder Now

4. Jack Johnson vs. Sublime
Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static from Sleep Through the Static
Sublime - Jailhouse from Sublime

5. Alanis Morissette vs. MxPx
Alanis Morissette - Everything from So-Called Chaos
MxPx - Well Adjusted from Before Everything and After

6. Ben Folds vs. The Get Up Kids vs. Foo Fighters (Now, that's Ben Folds (solo) not Ben Folds Five)
Ben Folds - You to Thank from Songs For Silverman
The Get Up Kids - Martyr Me from Guilt Show
Foo Fighters - Let It Die from Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace

7. Descendents vs. Linkin Park vs. No Use For a Name
Descendents - I Won't Let Me from Everything Sucks
Linkin Park - Given Up from Minutes to Midnight
No Use For a Name - Bullets from Keep Them Confused

So, take a listen if you don't know the artist, leave a comment with your votes and I guess the voting will close at like 11 pm EST on Monday. Thanks in advance for participating!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Well, actually it wasn't a long time ago. And it was still in the state of Virginia....Commonwealth? Anyways, a while ago I uploaded the first link to a song on my other blog to see if I could and it was the song below. Because the song title is incredibly appropriate! The test I'm running now is as follows. We're looking for a little blue play button to appear in front of the song title. If all goes to plan, you should be able to click it and stream the song. Other blogs have this (see section on the side called "Blogs That Are Better Than Mine" or something like that...) so it might not be new, but I think it's pretty cool.

Beastie Boys - Just a Test from Hello Nasty

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

For the Ladies...

Well, Hello There!

All of a sudden it's almost the middle of March. I think someone stole the lion and rushed us on to the lamb!! That's ok. Weather is so crazy these days. Why do I always default to talking about the weather? It's like I'm a character in a play by a novice playwright.

But that's not important right now.

HERE'S what's important!

It's Women's History Month this month. I guess the ladies had better start making the most of it before the month is over! I'll do my part with a special surprise....


Mostly, I'm writing this because in the interim that I didn't have a hard drive (furthermore known as the Silent Quarter) I got a bunch of CD's by female artists or bands with female singers. So, I'm going to post one song from each of those and then match that with old favorites of mine.

Here we go!

Recently acquired

Rilo Kiley - Breakin' Up from Under the Blacklight

Grace Potter - Big White Gate from This is Somewhere

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Humble Me from 100 Days, 100 Nights (this would have been a good submission for the Envy Contrast Podcast this week...)

Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry on Their Own from Back to Black

Kimya Dawson - So Nice So Smart from Juno (Soundtrack)

Paramore - Born For This from Riot! (Warning: This might be a bit too pop-punky for some of you. It's a good song and they reference a really good Refused song, but I just wanted to warn you...)

Old Favorites

Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move from Tapestry

Dar Williams - Alleluia from The Honesty Room

No Doubt - Hateful from Burning London: The Clash Tribute

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit from Pretty much any Billie Holiday CD you can get your hands on

The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go? from Motown 1*s...and also probably any Supremes CD you could get your hands on...

Dance Hall Crashers - He Wants Me Back from The Old Record

So, I'll be able to post music again and that means that I'll hopefully be posting MORE! Woohoo! Bye guys!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Beginning and the End

So here's the first four and last five tracks of the CD I sent to Australia for the Contrast Podcast CD swap. If this means absolutely nothing to you, then keep paying attention to the Contrast Podcast in the next couple of weeks...

1. Foo Fighters – Stranger Things Have Happened
2. Carbon Leaf – One Prairie Outpost
3. Pash – Cosmopolitan
4. Strike Anywhere – Chalk Line

17. The Living End – Second Solution
18. Frenzal Rhomb – My Pants Keep Falling Down
19. AC/DC – Let Me Put My Love Into You
20. Reggie and the Full Effect – Laura’s Australian Dance Party
21. Reggie and the Full Effect – Take Me Home, Please

(mp3's will go up as soon as I get time to do it...promise)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Doug Roberts

So a good friend of mine from high school turns out to have been writing songs for a bunch of years and now his debut album is coming out. His name is Doug Roberts and I just wanted to leave a quick note saying, "Hey, go to his myspace page and take a listen. It's really good stuff."

His CD Slightly Out of Tune is available by contacting him at He says it should be available on places like Amazon and iTunes soon, though.

He's an incredibly nice guy, so don't hesitate to leave him a message if you like what you hear!

That's it. Have a good day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why is it...

So, it seemed like everyone at work today was just having a REALLY rough day. Except me. I had a fairly laidback/stress-free day. That always seems to happen. Maybe it's just that my day didn't suck as much as the days of the people around me, so it seems like I had a good one. I dunno. Has anyone else experienced this?

Speaking of experience, I'd like to refer back to my post about eBay. Nat left me a comment and said that she had stopped using eBay because she kept having issues with not getting what she paid for. Something similar has happened to me. Only it's worse! I paid for something that was clearly advertised as not the thing I was looking for. Basically, it was this Smashing Pumpkins single, for Ava Adore. But instead of having the 2 B-sides (which, let's face it, is what I'm really looking for), it had two "Call Out Research Hooks". Now I haven't listened to these, but they're definitely not what I wanted to end up with. And the bad thing is that it's exactly what the seller posted. I just didn't pay enough attention. Sigh. Oh well. We pay for our mistakes. And, really, it's not that big a deal, in the long run.

I think I'm going to go to bed now. I had KIND OF planned on posting about the Oscars, but I think I might save that for the weekend. Or maybe you'll NEVER hear my personal opinions on that topic. Ok, ok. Stop crying. I can't promise to try. But I'll try to try. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ebay: Making Dreams Come True

So, I think The Smashing Pumpkins (or just Smashing Pumpkins, if you prefer, which I do) are probably my favorite band. There are lots of bands that have made 2nd place, but I've liked SP longer than any non-Beatles band and I feel like they've made diverse enough music that I can listen to them in lots of moods. Also, I feel like saying "The Beatles" as your favorite band is kind of a cop-out. Maybe this is me being...something, but yeah. The Beatles are sort of not even in the running for the category. What do you think?
Anyways, I've been getting a bunch of Smashing Pumpkins stuff on eBay and that includes the The Aeroplane Flies High box set pictured above. This set has all the singles from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness with all the songs that any of the singles were released with. So, lots of songs from a really great era of the band. I'm very pleased to have it sitting right next to me here.
In other news, I'm not going to be contributing to the Contrast Podcast this week (Theme: Ice Cream) but I have been working on my mix to send for the Contrast Podcast CD Exchange. Very exciting. I don't think she reads this blog, but I hope the person who's getting my mix will enjoy it! I'll be sure to post about the CD I get when I get it.
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Mom: A Future in Picking AOY's? Plus: Blood-sucking parasites

So, first off, because Gmail's news ticker ruined it for me this afternoon:

SPOILER ALERT (albeit 48-hour old Award Show Spoiler): DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT WHO WON THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR GRAMMY AND YOU CARE ABOUT WATCHING THE SHOW BECAUSE YOU DVR'D IT AND YOU DON'T WANT MY PAGE TO BE LIKE GMAIL AND GIVE AWAY THE ENDING!! (this spoiler alert brought to you by "Things only James would bother worrying about/typing 4 lines in all Caps". A family company.)

So, I guess my mom's tastes in music jive more smoothly with what the Academy the picks the Grammy winners listens to. Herbie Hancock's Joni Mitchell Tribute (River: The Joni Letters) beat out Kanye, Amy Winehouse, AND Foo Fighters for Album of the Year (Vince Gill was also nominated, but, as far as I know, niether my mom nor I listen to Vince Gill. (Though he did strike quite the charming figure when he said that thing to Kanye: "I just got an award from a Beatle. Have you done that yet, Kanye?" It was cool because obviously there's no beef there and it can be a funny thing to have celebs talking trash.)) I read an article that figured that Winehouse and KWest split the "young, Pop-centric members of the Academy" in half and opened the door for Herbie.

I mean, good for him! And I did tell my wife back when the nominees were announced that I hoped Herbie would win, because then Kanye would have to find a new card to play, if you know what I mean. (PS, I love this guy, despite, or maybe BECAUSE OF his drama queen antics. He feels real.)

In other news, if there's anyone out there who listens to Brad Paisley AND reads this blog, can you comment and defend this guy for that song he played? Here are the lyrics. They were pretty good until the part that you're about to read and go "WHAT?!":

everytime you take a sip
in this smoky atmosphere
you press that bottle to your lips
and i wish i was your beer
and in the small there of your back
your jeans are playing peek a boo
id like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo

hey that gives me an idea
lets get out of this bar
and drive out into the country

and find a place to park

cause id like to see you out in the moonlight
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
and id like to check you for ticks

i know the perfect little path
out in these woods i used to hunt
dont worry babe ive got your back
and ive also got your front
id hate to waste a night like this
ill keep you safe you wait and see
the only thing allowed to crawl all over you
when we get there is me

you know every guy in here tonight
would like to take you home
but ive got way more class than them
and that aint what i want


oooh you never know where one might be
and oooh theres lots of places that are hard to reach


oh id sure like to check you for ticks

Yeah. THOSE lyrics. I almost couldn't believe my ears. Is that sexy? Does it make all the women nostalgic and wistful for those times when they were romping through the high grass and then they had to have that special boy make sure there were no parasites on them, lest they possibly contract lyme disease?

Grammy's are fun :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Post. Another Post Without A Hard Drive


I'm watching the Grammys right now. And George Martin is standing up on stage. It's all very good. I know that these award shows shouldn't be so enjoyable to me, but they are. I just love the competition.

Also, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on this blog, but I have a, well, I guess you'd call it a life goal. I have vowed to make sure that I've heard every Album of the Year, read every Pulitzer for Fiction, and seen every Best Picture from the year of my birth forward. So the Grammys and Oscars are especially exciting for those awards! I'm most behind on the Best Pictures, but I feel like that's because it's the medium that requires the most prolonged deviotion of attention. An album you can listen to in the car and a book is a personal thing that you can stop/start at your liesure, but a movie is 2+ hours (I've found that the "+" is generally true for the Best Picture winners) of watching a screen, and I personally like to watch movies with my wife so, yeah. That's my excuse! Not that I need one. But there it is.

I realized this weekend that being comp'ed for my power cord means that it's a distinct possibility that I could go off Seagate's radar and never see this cord at all. I've sent them another email, but man. I'm starting to go through serious withdrawal here, people. Is it going to become necessary to RE-rip all my CD's? What about the songs I've gotten off iTunes? Arrrgh!

Other than that I had very good Wii-kend. :) Yes, we got a Wii on Thursday and we spent most of the weekend playing. The Simpsons game is very fun. But WarioWare is just amazing in it's odd-ness. Love it.

Man, Tina Turner is looking pretty rough. But she's still a great performer and definitely almost keeping up with Beyonce. I mean, did I just type the name Beyonce in my blog? (Twice?!) Phew. Ok y'all. Have a great week. I'm going to power through this lack of music and never let 16 (or whatever it was) go by before posting again.

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is so I don't get beaten up by Andy

Ok, so Andy from Circles of Concrete has pretty much threatened my life if I don't update this so, here I am! Updating!

K and I just got back from seeing 27 Dresses which was decent. It was pretty much your standard romcom (romantic comedy, for the uninitiated) plot. There were some good jokes and Kathrine Heigl always provides a good time. She's just so down to earth. Like she could be a friend of yours. Basically, she's believeable as a human being. One reason is that her teeth AREN'T perfect. That's one of my favorite things! Let's take a look (if there's a picture right below, then I have mastered some actual photo editing. Man, I hope there is.)

...OK. So I can't find any pictures of where her teeth don't look like they were designed by an architect. Damn. Well, go watch a movie with her in it. And stare at her teeth. It's not creepy. Some guy on the Internet told you to do it, so it's ok.

Well, this post is pretty boring and it's not going to get any better. I mean, I suppose it's POSSIBLE, but I have my doubts. I'm working tomorrow. That's right. On Saturday. A sample came in at 5 pm this evening and it has to warm up to room temperature, but it "expires" so to speak, on Sunday. It's ridiculous, actually. But I suppose this is going to happen every now and then when you're a chemist. No one gave the physical and chemical properties of the planet a work schedule, so they just decided to work all the freakin' time. :)

I hope this has appeased you, Andy. And you, any reader who has been itching for more rambling and lack of tech-savvy.

OH! So I have news about the thing you obviously care most about! The power cord to my portable hard drive. It's not on its way. But that's because it wasn't in the warehouse. So the company is giving it to me for free. But it does mean that it's going to be even longer before I have access to my music. When I finally am re-connected, I promise these posts will have a lot more content. Well, interesting content.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

And since we're on a Radiohead kick (this is the In Rainbows performance from New Year's)

I got this video from my friend Jesse

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Radiohead Daehoidar

You are the sun and moon and stars are you,
You can force it but it will not come
In the next world war
After years of waiting
Are you such a dreamer?
How come I end up where I started
Because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen.
If i squeal to the cops
But someone's listening in.
I will see you in the next life
Idiot, slow down, slow down.
Immerse your soul in love.
All wrapped up and sugar coated

I wanted to see how this turned out while I was getting my hair cut today. I bought the hard copy of In Rainbows. I think it's a good decision.

Lyrics from Greenplastic

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Suck on THAT, music industry!

So...I don't know if you've looked at Billboard this week (You probably haven't, because I'm a huge nerd. Mega.) But if you were to go to the Top 200 Albums chart, you might notice a little band called Radiohead dominating the chart. In Rainbows debuted on the chart last week at #156 and this week it's at #1. I really don't think they are regretting their marketing/release strategy at all. What do you think?

Ok, seriously, though. We all know this was one of the best, if not THE best album of 2007, so it's no surprise, but it does send a message to the record companies that this kind of thing works.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Powering through.

Now is right about the time that I start giving up on resolutions.

I'm feeling very tired from a very busy and hectic workweek and I'm in that place where it's like "I know I should update this, but I don't have access to any of my music and what am I going to talk about and I'm tired and blah blah blah."

But I'm going to power through. I really like blogging and I really like to read other people's blogs. Oh! By the way, thanks to everyone who's said that they like my wallpaper. I feel so domestic and homey and I really didn't do anything but check a box! If only interior designing were this easy!

I just finished reading this amazing book! It's called "Love is a Mixtape" but it may as well have been called "Love is a Mixtape, James." It's totally what I would want my book to turn out to be if I set out to try to express a part of my life and how music was there through every step. Seriously, guys. You need to go check it out.

I was even thinking about doing a sort of chain letter in booklending. Like I could get a list of people interested in reading it here on the site and I could send it to the first person on the list and they could send it to the next, etc., etc. What would you think about that? Might be kind of cool!

Wow, see? It just takes a little bit of writing to open the floodgates and have cool ideas shooting all around! Fun!

Here's a couple of sites you should go check out:

- Contrast Podcast - This week's theme is "Letters and Postcards" and it's a very cool theme. I think I'm going to post the track I picked and maybe one or two songs I dug from the 'cast, but we'll wait until the power cord arrives.

-WOXY Radio - This is a cool internet radio station that my friend Mer told me to listen to and boy am I glad she did! They play a good mix of indy rocky kind of stuff. (AKA mostly bands that people who are a lot cooler than me like and listen to)

And that's it for me for a while! Have a good day!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fatherly Advice and Calming Down Before Bed.

Ok, so maybe profanity wasn't necessarily called for in my last post. I'm just one of those people who get really t'd off when technology doesn't do EXACTLY what I expect of it. What I need to remember is that I live in an amazing age where I can have friends and family strewn every which way around the globe and I can still be in contact with them! Technology is a wonderful thing.

Things to keep telling myself if I find myself getting frustrated:
  • The power cord is on its way. I'm not sure when it'll arrive, but it's on its way.
  • A new mic IS just a Best Buy or Target trip away.
  • Books are a technology that break down at a much more sporadic rate. Use that to your advantage.
So I'm going to go read some of this:

And then tomorrow, I'll read my daily page of this:

And hopefully start this, if my wife finishes it (I love time travel!) :

Friday, January 4, 2008

Son of a bitch.

Sometimes technology just goes horribly, horribly wrong. I wish I had a laser on my shoulder.

So, now I can't even record intros to the contrast podcast. My microphone appears to be broken and I didn't even realize it. Technology really pisses me off sometimes.