Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

First off, did anyone go to Coachella? If so, this space is yours to write a review or a little recap of your experience. I'm always open to guest bloggers so if you're interested, write me at

I really want to go next year but inevitably i'll look at the ticket prices and the logistics of getting there and the fact that i'd be watching some of my favorite bands with 180,000 other people and decide it's not my scene. I am sad that i missed this though.

Last week i ended up with strep throat. I could barely swallow for a week, let alone eat, so that was a ton of fun. I got some antibiotics and started feeling better by Saturday, almost a week later. It was pretty awful. Anyway, i kinda have this routine on Sunday nights to order Chinese food and catch up on all of my DVRed shows. Well last night i ordered from a new place just to try something new. Well imagine my surprise when i wake up this morning, not to my alarm clock, but to an overwhelming (and inevitably unstoppable...) desire to throw up . Yup, so i may be on my way to food poisoning now...let's hope it passes quickly. I can't catch a break lately.

Let's try and get through the shuffle before this gets any worse.

1. Thick As A Brick - Jethro Tull
A pretty good start to the morning. A few weeks ago i talked about the Dispatch song "Walk With You" and the fact that it had this low-register flute part that i loved. Well every Jethro Tull song sounds like that. I'm not sure any other band in history was incorporated the flute into their songs as often and as successfully as Jethro Tull and it gave every song such a unique sound. Their sound is unmistakable and enjoyable.

2. Make It A Part - Further Seems Forever, off of Hide Nothing
This CD turned out really really well considering this was the third reincarnation of FSF. It's much less screamy than its predecessors and actually went for much more of a rock and roll sound (power chords, big drums, powerful vocalist) than an emo sound (punk-inspired drums and guitar hooks, high vocal harmonies, screaming).
That being said, this CD runs together. You can listen to the entire thing without paying a ton of attention and you would be hard pressed to notice any huge difference from song to song. Another knock on this CD would be that it is only 9 songs long. They added 3-4 acoustic tracks on the end but it's just acoustic versions of the song on the CD. Kinda lame.

3. Black Queen - Stephen Stills
This is a live song of Stills by himself. He is introduced and comes out on stage and begins to tell a story about an old black man that worked at a store by his house where he grew up and how this guy would sit out back after work and play the blues on his guitar. And not just because he knew how to play guitar or liked that genre of music, but for the real reason that blues music exists...because the guy actually had the blues.
So Stills is playing this opening blues riff and something must have happened in the audience because you can hear a bunch of people laughing in the audience...he keeps jamming on this guitar riff but stops singing for a few bars, until the laughing dies down. When the audience is completely quiet he says, "One thing...the blues ain' funny..." in rhythm with the music and just keeps on jamming through the song. The rest of the audience roars in applause as he puts these people in their place. Top notch.

4. Big Balls - AC/DC
This is one of the best Bon Scott-era AC/DC songs in existence and one of the best double-entendres to every be placed in heavy rotation on FM radio in history.
"Some balls are held for charity/And some for fancy dress/But when they're held for pleasure/They're the balls that I like best/My balls are always bouncing/To the left and to the right/It's my belief that my big balls/Should be held every night."
Can you imagine them playing this on the radio today? Not if Clear Channel has anything to say about it.

5. Capital H - Motion City Soundtrack, off of I Am The Movie
I've talked about Motion City before and it's weird that they came on the shuffle today because i spent most of yesterday listening to their two albums.
The Moog keyboard really became the defining sound on this album and is probably the best on this song. And it's just a 2 minute, 52 second sprint to the finish line. This is a top-10 driving song of all time and is just top-notch fun from the drums to the guitar to the fact that the lyrics make absolutely no friggin sense at all. Good times.

Alright, that's enough for today. I'm off to lay down or throw up, i can't tell which.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle: The Super Sick edition

Meaning i'm sick, not that the shuffle is sick as in good.

I tried to write it, i really did. But today's shuffle has been cancelled due to illness. Check back on Wednsday when the antibiotics kick in.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

On a long drive this weekend I attempted to listen to the following 3 CDs:

1. The Beta Band – 3 E.P.s
2. Radiohead – Kid A (again)
3. Thom Yorke – Eraser

I didn’t make it through a single one. I was tired on the drive and needed something that would keep my interest and engage me, as opposed to just being really clever background music. It didn’t happen.
I’m really making an effort to like this genre of music but it just doesn’t work for me. I’m about ready to quit apologizing for it.

Anyway, I did have an awesome experience with Andrew Bird and The Mysterious Production of Eggs while lying on Mission Beach Saturday afternoon. After a few beers and some hot sun, I pulled on the headphones for a little nap and I have to admit, that was one of the more spiritual moments I’ve had in a long time. It was just the perfect soundtrack to a nap in the sun. I actually stopped about 6 songs in and told the people I was with about the moment I was having. Pretty good stuff. (Again, someone send me the new CD if you have it.)

On with the shuffle:
1. Black And White Town – Doves, off of Some Cities
I feel like I’ve done this before…yup, sure have...

Starting over.

1. Walk With You - Dispatch
This song is just plain beautiful. The first few minutes have this really calming guitar part behind a flute solo in a very low register. Something about the low notes on a flute sound special somehow. I don't know how to describe it really. It just sounds, well, good.
Anyway, this is an amazing song and one of my favorites from Dispatch. The lyrics are poignant and the song just flows along beautifully. Alright, i'll stop gushing.
Dispatch gets caught up in that backward white hat, frat boy, college rock set, but they are a very talented band who, aside from being socially conscious, are just plain good to listen to. Music as it was meant to be, i think. Not too complicated, just some guitars, percussion and nice vocal harmonies. Sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity.

2. The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Please, like i'm going to talk about a Michael Jackson song and do it justice. All pedophilic tendencies aside, he's one of the greatest musicians/performers of our time. Madonna steals children from Africa, Michael sleeps in the same bed with them. Who is worse?

3. When You Wasn't Famous - The Streets, off the The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
The Streets is a one man, gay British hip-hop act. And that's every bit as weird as it sounds.
It's even weirder that this song is about how it's easy to pick up girls when you're famous, but the cat is gay...yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either.
And he doesn't so much rap as just talk over a beat. I don't know. It's bizarre but totally worth listening to, just because of the novelty of the sound.

4. Rolling With Heat - The Roots, off of Phrenology
This song features Talib Kweli so you know i love it. Having The Roots and Kweli on the same track is probably my second favorite collaboration in the history of hip-hop (Blackstar obviously being the first. )
And...that's pretty much all i have to say about that.

5. Moo-Goo Gai Pan - Grace Like Gravity
This is one of my favorite songs from the now defunct Boulder, CO-based punk band. I loved these guys when i went to school there. I saw them every time they played live and listened to them on my headphones just about every time i went snowboarding (so about 120 times). One night they covered One Song, Glory from the musical Rent and i almost went apeshit (yes, i like musical theater, you have a problem with that?)
Anyway, the first time i went to see them was just to hang out with some people from the snowboard team and they immediately impressed me. Seeing a band live before you hear anything by them is a really weird experience and one that i have a hard time being present for. I just get so distracted by everything else going on around me that i have a hard time getting into the music and really deciding if i like it or not. But these guys just had some really catchy hooks and immediately drew me in.
They used to play a lot of shows at this bar/restaurant called K's China, which was a Chinese restaurant on The Hill (notoriously responsible for food poisoning and the scoots...) and it turned into a bar at night. It was always packed and had a roof area that would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people if there was ever a fire or emergency up there. I mean, there was only one small stairway down and at least 300 people on the roof. I can't figure out why it was never shut down. My only time on the roof, i found myself looking at the neighboring buildings and figuring out my escape plan if something crazy happened. Not good. Well anyway, they named all the songs on this CD after dishes at K's China. Kinda weird to say that your favorite song is Lo Mein, but hey.

Alright, i'll do better next time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Shuffle Setting Chaos Theory

Last night i was working late and had my iPod blasting through the office. The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again comes on and i'm not really paying attention but when the song ends i seem to think that it repeated because the songs starts over at the beginning.

Then it hits me that the thing is on shuffle by songs and that i have 2 versions of Won't Get Fooled Again on my iPod. For that song to play twice in a row, the shuffle had to go through it's algorithm and happened to choose the exact same song by the exact same band. And sure enough, that's what happened.

Nothing can be completely random. Not even an iPod. Everything is interconnected. (i'm probably reading too much into this, aren't i?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sad News For Cash Fans

My condolences to Bee Gee Barry Gib and Nole. Johnny Cash's Lakeside House Burned in Fire.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Afternoon Shuffle

I totally had the whole fucking thing written this morning and my pain-in-the-ass computer went apeshit and closed all the Explorer windows (yea, yea, i know Mac fans. I should have a powerbook with firefox. I get it. Now one of you pony up the 3k i'll need for it or shut the hell up about it eh?) So anyway, i decided to start over. This morning's wasn't that good anyway. Also, in a related note, i should have learned my lesson and be writing this in a Word .doc so if something crashes it'll auto save and i won't lose the whole thing right? Well guess who is a slow learner? You guessed it. Me. So if this thing crashes again and i lose another shuffle just click over to Everything is A-OK and you'll see that Today's Sign Of The Apocalypse is a youtube clip of me rampaging down the streets killing everything in my path. Should be fun.

On with the shuffle, part II. (Side note...because i've been doing the shuffle for a couple of months now, it is getting increasingly difficult for the shuffle to pick music and bands i've never talked about before...You'd think with 5k songs, it wouldn't be possible but color me surprised, it is. So i'll be skipping forward a little more than normal and trying to find some shit i can actually talk about. It shouldn't really matter and you'd probably never even notice, i just wanted to let you know.)

1. Sullivan Street - Counting Crows, off of August And Everything After
This is one of the greatest albums ever and i challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to a fight to the death. Seriously, i'll ruin you.

This album is great because it is kind of a melancholy little mix of songs but the lyrics and songwriting is incredible. What gets me the most is that this is the single greatest example of the importance of song order that i've ever encountered. They just did a perfect job. The CD starts off with a mix of happy and sad and then gets pretty damn sad for 4 -5 songs before bringing this total feeling of catharsis in A Murder of One to end the disk. It's my favorite CD to listen to from beginning to end and even if i'm not paying attention to it, i can still feel it affect my moods as we go through it. Does anyone else feel that way about this album or is this just one of those that caught me?

2. Song For Holly - Esthero
This song came off of the "Chill Mix" that Erika discovered in high school. It's still, without a doubt, one of the best mixes ever and i'll just go ahead and damn the repercussion for saying this, but it's one of the best sex CDs ever. Seriously, if all you married and sexually active people reading this want some music to get busy to, just let me know and i'll copy it for you. My response to this CD is almost pavlovian at this point. (And if you're smart enough to understand that reference then you're probably smart enough for me to not have to explain the rest of it.)
This song is definitely before its time as well considering the mix of rock and techno beats. It wouldn't even bat an eye today. The girl's voice is cool too. Kind of a pre-Radiohead Imogen Heap, if you will.

3. Walk - Snuff, off of Survival of the Fattest
I've talked about this album before. My cousin left it in my CD player when i was seriously like 12 or something and it was my first taste of Punk music. I had no idea who NOFX or No Use For A Name were until this CD (and i would argue till much, much later, because we didn't have these fancy computers then that you could plug a CD in and it would tell you who it was yet. God, how awful.). Anyway this song definitely jolted me out of my Chill Mix nostalgia in a hurry. It is punk in every sense of the word, from the poor vocals to the stereotypical punk drum beat. Great stuff. Also, this is becoming kind of the Erika edition of the shuffle, because she loved the "Pants are Falling Down" song from this album. Let's move on.

4. Laugh Before You Grin - Lydia, off of This December; It's One More and I'm Free
I really like Lydia, or rather, i really wish i really liked Lydia. I mean, i do like them. The female vocals are incredible, haunting, inspiring, goose-bump inducing and all the rest, but i just can't get into Leighton's vocals. I kinda feel bad saying this because the kid almost died on their last tour, but the whispering just doesn't work for me (See: John Mayer, Iron & Wine). All the same, i really actually do love this song. And my previous comment was meant more towards the album as a whole than just this song.
Ok, never mind all that i've said. They're great and i can't wait until they're famous and i can tell people that they're from Arizona and i loved them way back when.

5. Skin is, My - Andrew Bird, off of Andrew Bird and The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Apparently his new CD is amazing and if someone has it, go ahead and give it to me now.
(Just to complete the Erika references in this shuffle, Andrew Bird is on Righteous Babe Records, Ani DiFranco's label.... Seriously, what's up with this?)
Anyway, i love this song and so far i'm a big fan of Andrew's. The guitar work is impeccable, the vocals good, the lyrics innovative enough to keep me interested. Count me as a fan and get me his new CD.

Alright, that's far more shuffle than i'm used to writing in a day. Hopefully this one will work (knocking on wood til my knuckles bleed...)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Another Bright Eyes Leak

I guess CP already has the entire CD so i hope somebody else cares...

Bright Eyes - Susan Miller Rag

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

First off, congratulations to long-time friend Donny Ducote and his band, My Sister in 1994, for their successful CD release party at the Modified last night. Great show and i'm proud of you guys. (One side note, why is it always so damn hot in the Modified??? Open a door or something for god's sake. I can't remember being there a single time and not sweating profusely. Not good.)

On with the Shuffle:
1. Bones - The Killers, off of Sam's Town
Last week i made a top 5 list of music so far in 2007. I tried to post it and Blogger decided to take a dump on it and delete it. So it doesn't exist anymore. I'm going to try and redo it sometime this week, we'll see. Anyway, my point in telling you that is that Sam's Town was #4 on my Top 5 list of pleasant surprises. The Killer's were ripe for a Kanye West Award (awarded to boring, ego driven and otherwise god-awful Sophomore albums...) but they did pretty well i think. There are some weird moments but overall i like the album. And i like what they did on this song as well. I like the choir sounding parts. On the right sound system these can actually sound pretty overwhelming and awesome.

2. Chick Magnet - MXPX
Wow, flashback to 11th grade. I saw MXPX in Salt Lake City my junior year on the Invasion Ski/Snowboard trip. It was in this very cool theater and we were moshing it up and dancing around. This song came on and we were all dancing around in the big circle and when the chorus kicked in we all started moshing. Then, I got kicked in the nuts. Hard.
I spent the rest of the evening curled up on the brick floor in the corner trying to recover. I actually seem to remember throwing up because of it. It was one of the all time hardest nut shots ever and that's what i remember every time i hear this song. Awesome. Let's move on.

3. Diamond from Sierra Leone - Kanye West, off of Late Registration
How great is the shuffle that i just talked shit about this album and i get a song from it just one song later. Oh well.
I've already discussed Kanye probably far more than i should in this space so i won't dig too deep into this song. I actually like it. Relative to the CD this one isn't bad. And i'm happy that Kanye actually discussed a subject matter that is difficult and brought some awareness to an otherwise bling-obsessed culture.
There is more than a hint of hypocrisy in this track but that shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone. And Kanye completely loses me on the "Foreva eva?" parts. I appreciate the reference to Outkast but it's just stupid, messes with the flow of the song and actually takes some of the seriousness out of the track. Oh well. The rumor is that a new Kanye CD will be out this year. Here's hoping he redeems himself.

4. Out From Under - Incubus, off of Make Yourself
The first line of this song is, "To resist is to piss in the wind, anyone who does will end up smelling." That's a pretty great friggin metaphor.
And speaking of hypocrisy, how great is it that Incubus writes this song about being individual and not giving in to the masses and not conforming and then they become TRL poster children and absolutely lay a goose egg on every CD since Morning View? Way to go guys.

5. Everything's Not Lost - Coldplay, off of Parachutes
Weird Shuffle today. I mean, i know it's supposed to be random but usually there is a bit more continuity than this.
Anyway, as far as Coldplay goes, this is one of my favorite songs. I really, really like the guitar in the chorus. It just catches me the right way. This entire CD was pretty good (for Coldplay) and i guess that's why this is the album that made them famous. Makes sense right?
That being said, I completely lost respect for them in every way after watching their Storytellers the other night. I mean, the dude talks about how when he wrote Yellow that the chorus was missing something and he couldn't think of what to put there and he looked around the room and saw a YellowPages and said, "They were all yellow." and it fit. So really, there's no meaning in that song at all...he just looks around the room and says words and they turn into multi-platinum albums... I cringe to think that more of my favorite artists write like this and even worse to think that the songs that mean the most to me were just bullshitted by a guy looking around the room and trying to fill holes in the song. I don't know how i'd handle that.
Also, Chris Martin is inspired by porn. Can't wait till Apple grows up and hears that...

Alright, more later this week. Probably.