Archive for December, 2010

Another year another dollar.

December 31, 2010


the countdown:something new.

December 28, 2010

Since it is Monday, I need to give my countdown, but the circumstances I have found myself in tonight have caused me to totally rethink the songs I want to post.  In the first real storm this season, before it even got too bad, Craigers found himself, in his ride home from work slipping on some ice and completely obliterating a stop sign, and one of his front tires in the process. Luckily I am okay, but will be carless for a few days, at least.  If not for the flat I could have driven it home, but now that it has been towed to a garage, it makes sense to leave it there till i can get a new bumper as well as a fixed tire.  I promise to make this countdown interesting.

1.Stop In The Name of Love- The Supremes:  I defiintely only stopped in the name of a flat tire on my journey tonight, but it uses the word Stop as forcefully as that hexagonal red sign does.  And for this, it achieves countdown status, as well as the fact that it elicits a funny memory of an awesome night with cohorts Felix and Michelle, as well as some guy that looks like John Mayer.

2.Dancing At Her Funeral- The Limousines:Not much in common with my car crash, seeing how its about a dead girl, but a great song and involves a car crash.  This is one of my new favorite bands and they have been in all my countdowns, so it stands to reason they appear here as well.

3.Chemistry Of A Car Crash- Shiny Toy Guns:  One of my favorite songs from their album We Are Pilots. Check it out!

4.Swimming In The Flood- Passion Pit:  Definitely my favorite song from their album Manners, at least for this week.  I find it fits. A uplifting song about impossible odds and rolling with the punches life throws our way.  That’s at least the way I see it.  A tough day at work, followed by a nerve-wracking experience like a car crash, at least at the time of the crash, made me feel like I was “swimming in the flood…”

5. Shadow Boxing-Fran Healy: I pick this since my accident occured on Boxing Day.  One of my favorite songs on one of my favorite 2010 releases, Fran Healy’s Wreckorder.  There are lush musical layers, something new to discover with every listen, wonderfully crafted lyrics, and beautiful vocals.  Just listen to it. What have you to lose?

6. Howl-Florence and the Machine:  This is still my most played song, regardless of accidents or whatever, so I can’t make a countdown without including it.

7.Boxing- Ben Folds Five:  Of course Mr. Folds has popped up a lot in my conversations lately as well as on my blog. (See top 24 bands) But he has yet to appear on my countdown?  That is something that can’t continue. Song popped into my head when I thought of Boxing Day as well.

8.Like A G6- Far East Movement: I just need to let loose and have fun after such high stress events.  So our guilty pleasure song from last week returns for that purpose.

9.Watching the Wheels- John Lennon:  I was listening to my remastered copy of John and Yoko’s Double Fantasy, which I recieved for Christmas as I smashed into the town of Brattleboro’s lovely stop sign.  And a good song, even if its a bit more apathetic than i care to be.

10.Barricade-Interpol:  One of the only other Cds I had been playing in my car for most of a week. And a pretty decent song.  I’m just glad I drove into a stop sign as opposed to a barricade.

11.Islands- The XX: I have said all that I can say about this song in previous posts.  LOVE IT!!

12.Rebel Yell- Billy Idol: For some reason I can’t resist blasting this at full volume while driving around in my car, even though I cant open up my windows and make people crump all over town.  Whatever, it’s their loss.

So concludes my first specially themed countdown.  Look for more awesome things next week.  A new year means lots of good music.  Expect me putting in some songs by Weezer, Kate Nash, Regina Spektor, maybe something more from Fran Healy, Florence and the Machine, or Passion Pit as well.  And more guilty pleasure songs, but let’s keep those under wraps. It’s more fun that way.

Also look forward to my articles in which I will detail my top picks in books, movies, concerts, albums, and whatever else tickles my 2010 fancy, as well as my new years resolutions, writers group updates, and at least one more list of 24 somethings up my sleeve. Good Night and Good Luck.


Something Badass

December 24, 2010

Merry eve of the eve of Christmas, Xmas or whatever it is you partake in on December the 25th!

I would just like to impart some awesometastic news.  Some friends and I have hobbled together a new writers group, for now only in existence on the interwebs that will help us to grow by leaps and bounds, and allowing us to make new friends and lasting life connections in the process.  Within the confines of that “lovely” social network we know of as facebook we have a new group up called: Something Badass- A Collection of Writers. thIf you have the book of face, the group is public and I urge you if you are any sort of writer to join our lovely group.  I also have an email list going to cater to those of us who are trying to be less dependent on said website.  The facebook groups are great for mass communications, but being restricted to one page, makes navigation a royal mess, especially if we are sharing poems stories and prompts in a continuous cycle. Also there is the one problem I have recently come across before the formation of this group: If you are interested in giving submissions to writing contests, anything you have posted on a website open to the public, such as this or facebook, are ineligible to be used for said contests.  I have put a lot of my more recent works, pieces that I am very proud of in such public spaces and had a hard time finding pieces to submit because of that. 

So like I said, if you have facebook and like to write, by all means, join our group.  If not email me:, and we can go from there.

Peace and Love, and be sure to drink plenty of wassail!


24 things: Life

December 22, 2010

My 24 list returns with 24 things that I love about my life right now.

1.Dancing The Night Away

2.Writing: A no-brainer as I am feeling the need to write this.

3.MUSIC!- Be sure to check out my countdown entries.

4.Cocoa Monday

5.Purple hoodies


7. Effing Bowling!!!!!!!!!!!

8.Alcohol(in moderation of course)

9. Christmas

10.Time Machines- A few people will know what I’m talking about here.

11.Getting the band back together or starting an entirely new one.

12. Keene- As much as I need to get out of the area someday soon, my Keene visits are still some of my favorite things. Maybe its redundant to even mention it as so many of the things I mentioned already are in Keene. Oh well.

13.Harry Potter


15. Making our Dreams something more.

16.Theoretical Summer Road Trips

17.Wal Mart Labor Unions!(just kidding, I don’t plan on staying long enough to worry about that.)

18.Spontaneous Wandering Adventures or Meandering Urban Spirals

19.Reconnecting with some good friends. 🙂

20.Changes are not bad, they are just different.

21.Pretending I am an artist, and by so doing, becoming an artist.

22.Fringe(the only show I really watch)

23.Hugs and cuddles.-obviously

24.You!!  =)

Until next time,


The Countdown: Guilty Pleasures and loves forever.

December 21, 2010

1. Far East Movement-Like A G6:  This song has followed me everywhere since a fun night at the bowling alley, and I think it’s a sign that I need to be more gangsta?  But I’m already “fly like a G6,” so I don’t think that will be a problem.

2.The XX-Islands: As I said last week this song is beautiful, great beat, lovely vocals, and what’s more, the music video is terrific.  Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Just watch and listen.

3.Phantogram- when I’m small: densely layere electronics dealing with very real feelings of isolation and loneliness. Who hasn’t been there?

4.Metric- Gimme Sympathy: My favorite song by Metric, or perhaps second favorite. “Come on baby play me something, like here comes the sun…”  And if you like this, check out their acoustic version, it’s just as amazing.

5.Florence and The Machine-Howl: Just listen, I can’t put this song into words right now!!

6.Semi Precious Weapons- Semi Precious Weapons:  A hedonistic ode to self. We need to be a little selfish once a while, just let loose and have a glamtastic time.  “I can’t pay the rent but i’m f%&@ing Gorgeous!”

7. Passion Pit- Swimming In The Flood: As present in all of my music talk, a beautiful and dazzling blend of organic sounds with electronic instruments.  It really does sound like life in a fishtank!

8.Shiny Toy Guns- Major Tom:  A cover of every0ne’s favorite 80’s song that one can never remember the original performer of.  As well as an ever constant reminder of Bowie’s Space Oddity simply through its title.

9.Goldfrapp- Rocket:  It’s so sunny and bright even though it seems to be a song about wishing someone good riddance.  It makes me think of Blondie.

10.Mumford and Sons- Thistle & Weed: Such raw emotion simply found within the singer’s voice, but combined with the instrumentation, and the somber lyrics, the entire piece is pure soul fire (of the folky variety).

11.Miike Snow-Animal:  So much fun in general, nothing heavy or moody about this, just the dance.

12. Yeasayer- Ambling Alp: I said all that needs to be said last week, except:”This video is mad crazy!”

Until next week folks, that’s the music!  Merry Christmas and all that jazz. Love you all! But just because you won’t get new music for a week, don’t despair, planning to post a few new articles before Christmas, about whatever pops into my head. Look for it.


Kurt Vonnegut and Samuel Clemens

December 19, 2010

I find in all the complaining I do about my work, that there are some merits to working the register in retail heck, like spontaneous conversations on literature with some of the more interesting customers.  This man today, one awake to the way of things there like myself, said the “U word” more times than I can count, outraged at the way we are treated, the lack of thanks we get for our work, and the idea that we don’t even get paid what we deserve for this mindless work. No overtime, no employees with even forty hours, no benefits no matter how much they boast of them and how good they are.  And I looked at the guy and said, “Yup, that’s my college degree being put to good use.” “Ya?” he said to me looking at me with his epic facial hair, “what is your degree?”  “ENGLISH!”   “Awesome, I know exactly what this is like.”  I found a kindred spirit in this man, he wanted to know what sorts of books I read.   I of course told him “lots of scifi” without throwing out any particulars, for my mind was mush by that point in my shift. He mentioned a few names I wasn’t familiar with, which would help me a little if I could remember what they are. He told me they were the essentials.  I’m so starved for stimulating conversation at work, that it sucks when it actually comes, that I have a hard time figuring out what to talk about.  So i just mentioned books in general and talked about how im currently reading some Vonnegut, one of my favorites.  He talks to me about how the critics have a lot of valid points comparing his skill at the Great American satire to that of Samuel Clemens(Mark Twain), and I can’t help but agree, it’s always been quite apparent in my opinion.  But here’s where he says they differ the most: They talk about the aspects of this American life that many find difficult to mention, but what you can read in their works, is that Samuel Clemens genuinely seems to like people, whereas Vonnegut doesn’t seem to like other people much at all. Take it as you will, but I guess I never thought much about it until he brought it up, and I’d like to explore this topic further, too bad I don’t have a reason to write critical papers anymore. Sucks. Lebeaux would have loved it in my sequence class. Oh well… And this man also wished me the best of luck in writing my own fictions, and thinking it is great that someone can be so into writing at a time where less and less people seem to be reading books.  I will keep my eyes open for more people like him as long as i still have to answer to that crappy effing store.

Peace and Love,


Countdown: Dancing Emotions

December 14, 2010

1. Wildfires- The Limousines: My favorite song by this great band this week. Just listen!

2. Swrdwllngwhr- The Limousines:  Here we are on the third week of the countdown, and the only song that has managed to be here all three weeks! (So far anyway, we’ll see if anyone else still has a chance later),  and the second song by The Limousines this week.

3.Internet Killed The Video Star- The Limousines: Week two for this.  Still high atop my most played list on Itunes so for now it is safe.  This also marks the second week featuring three songs by the same band.  Good job guys for being amazing!

4.Dreams- Passion Pit:  A really nice electro cover of The Cranberries tune. Expect this band to shake up the countdown soon with their amazing dancy beats and electronic mastery.

5. Islands-The XX: Two vocalists that work off of each other well, an 80’s style, a great sound in general, and straightforward lyrics that are simple yet sweet.

6.Ambling Alp-Yeasayer:  I like the way the organic beats mesh with the electronic noises, a bit reminiscent of Vampire Weekend in that regard.  But a band with their own sound all the same.

7.Good Morning(The Future)- Rogue Wave:  “The future isn’t what it used to be….”  Our future is always changing, it’s never set in stone.  Beautiful message of love and life.

8.By Tonight-Say Anything:  I’m listening to a lot more of their stuff now thanks to a lovely birthday present from Michelle! 🙂  But this still has the most listens according to Itunes so it stays.  Still beautiful!!  And the second song to show up all three weeks.

9.When I’m Small-Phantogram:  This song is really deep, and not just in levels of sound, the tone is a bit somber,although dancy, and deals with the all too human emotions and experiences of loneliness and alienation. Gorgeous vocals too!

10.The Mixed Tape-Jacks Mannequin:  One of my favorites. It’s been a while since I listened and thought it deserved some attention.

11.Florence and The Machine-Dog Days Are Over: Not sure if I necessarily agree with the sentiment she imparts on love, but would agree that love is best when it does not confine us to some false conventions.  Beautifully layered, lush instruments, dreamy vocals.

12.Alive With The Glory Of Love- Say Anything: I’m not sure what words I would use to describe this. One of the first songs I remember hearing by these guys, quite a few years ago now.  Thank you for bringing me back to some of these songs with your nice gift!!  I don’t notice any “screechy and unbearable lyrics,” yet again.

Until next week, this is the countdown! As always, I suggest you sound off on what songs you like, what songs you don’t like, or suggest something I might like.  I hope everyone is keeping safe and happy during this time of holidays. Whatever you do, don’t stop dancing!!

Top 24: Bands

December 14, 2010

So, as I may have mentioned earlier, I just celebrated the 24th anniversary of my existence as a human being, and I thought it may be fun to come out with lists that honor my favorite things, each will hold 24 items, no more no less.  Look for them, throughout the next month or two periodically.

1. The Limousines- Dancy awesomeness, indie sensibilities, fab electro beats, and clever tongue-in-cheek lyrics.  How can anyone resist?

2. Say Anything- A beautiful vocalist, who contrary to some opinions does not in fact have a “screechy and grating” vocal style.  But either way, if you don’t like it and I’m playing it in “My” car, at least respect my tastes, as I respect yours.  They aren’t afraid to make fun of anyone, and have lyrics that are equal parts cynical, sweet, and irreverent.  And stylistically, they don’t seem to fit within a set genre boundary.

3. Muse- I have plugged tons and tons about them from the beginning of this blog,  giving “The Resistance” my album of the year pick for 2009, and featuring them twice on my countdown among other instances.

4.Florence and The Machine-  One of the most recent additions to my music collection, the instrumentations are lush and dreamy, the vocalist has an angelic set of “lungs,” maybe thats why “lungs” is the album title.  Just give it a listen, for the good of all (hu)mankind.

5. Passion Pit- Dance floor love!!! Even if you are just bobbing your head to these well polished electro soundscapes, the music reaches into your heart and brings such happiness.  I think it is perfect to share with my most beloved dance partners of recent times, and we will set the place on fire with it.

6. The Beatles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7. Flight of The Conchords-Never has a band that seems to specialize in novelty songs been taken so seriously.  Can’t take my word for it? Why would you? Our tastes are so subjective.  Give the music a listen and the great show a watch.  I’m just glad that although the show is cancelled, Bret and Jemaine are still spreading their eargasmic hilarity to the masses.

8.Catherine Wheel- One of the greatest 90’s alternative bands in my current opinion.  Why Rob Dickinson and his cohorts have not been given as much recognition as other 90’s brit rockers such as Blur and Oasis is nothing short of a damn shame.  Some of the electronics and guitar work call to mind Pink Floyd, while Rob Dickinson’s vocals bring you to a new place no matter what he seems to be singing about.

9.Gorillaz- Former Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s musical collective which predominantly exists in cartoon form, they aren’t any less interesting, fun, or creative because of that, and with the release earlier this year of their third offering Plastic Beach, they have brought their unique blend of hip/hop, alternative, electronica and whatever else to an entirely new and exciting level.  And they officially became more than a studio band, with their first real tour, which took place this fall.  Can’t wait to see what’s next.

10.CAKE- One of the best bands I had the honor of seeing this year. Unconventional vocal style and wide range of song subject matter never cease to keep this band interesting.  Stylistically, they go from country, to metal(ish), to dancy irreverence, and everywhere in between.  New album hits in January, and I look forward to it.

11.Rubblebucket- A really great live band, perfect for whatever sort of dancing tickles your fancy, equal parts funk, dub and good ole rock, sure to bring the house down on any occasion.

12.Yacht-Although I know very little of their music, limited to the song “Psychic City,” and know much less about the band themselves, this song alone is enough to set me on the path of fandom.

13.Mika- Likened to Freddie Mercury, at least in vocal style, Mika sings beautiful songs about all manner of things, and most of them are highly silly, and all the better for it.  I haven’t regularly been listening to more than  a few songs, but as I always find myself coming back for more, he ends up on my favorite band list.

14.Radiohead-In my opinion it speaks for itself, and I don’t feel like going to far into the explanation without sounding like some pretentious hipster, so I’ll just say this:  A band that never stops reinventing itself, and no matter how weird they go, there is still a compulsion to sing alog and that is the mark of a great group.  They also have a new album coming out next year.

15.The Postal Service-Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and friends’ short-lived electronic side project.  High emotions, a great mix of organic vocal sounds and digitized instruments, and being able to talk about difficult subjects without fear, how is that not good?

16.Ben Folds-Yet someone else unafraid to speak their mind, always a bit tongue-in-cheek and irreverent about just about everything.  But, when he wants to be serious, it is to just as great effect and not as a novelty.  His most recent offering, this year’s: “Lonely Avenue,” is just as much quirky piano pop goodness as I am used to, but for the first time I can remember, words written by someone else.  Nick Hornby’s prose aligns perfectly with Folds’ music. Truly a work of genius!!!!!!!

17.LCD Soundsystem- Yet another band where I will just reccomend you listen to.  Be ready to dance!

18. The XX- Another band I am just getting to know. Beautiful electronics, pure and honest lyrics, and the two band members are beautiful vocalists.  Check out the song Islands below!

19.Kate Nash- Beautiful music, beautifully irreverent lyrics, smashing good vocals, and if you look at the songstress herself, you are taken aback by how foul mouthed she can be.

20. Neil Young- A career in music nearing almost five decades, a guitar and vocal sound that is all his own. And the man can still kick ass in a live setting.  Sometimes his recent lyrics suffer a bit, focusing too much on his hybrid car, but his spirit remains.  The songs I post below include one of my favorites back from his 70’s heyday as well as a song from later on that speaks pretty well on the good people and things in our lives.

21.Sigur Ros- One of the only bands listed taht don’t hold any lyrical importance with me.  They don’t really with anyone.  The Icelandic postrock outfit features plenty of singing from frontman Jonsi, but in a completely madeup language. His vocals soar to heights few people could even imagine.  It’s great music for stress relief, napping, or any rainy day. The ambience is a flood of musical wow!

22. Modest Mouse- Freak Folk? Indie Punk? Just plain old alternative?  I don’t even know what to call it.  I may be biased as I have seen them three times(not trying to sound boastful btw),but Isaac Brock and co, with all their depressing songs, and seemingly deranged world view, never cease to bring a smile to my face, when I’m in the mood for them that is.

23.Shiny Toy Guns- And we come back to the dancy. I haven’t listened to them much lately, but they are still one of the bands I have listened to the most over the course of the year, and for that they deserve a spot here.  Songs seem to explore most if not all aspects of the human condition, and with the example of a few songs, the robot condition.

So much music, some may so too much. But it was a very hard decision to talk about only 24 bands. I wonder who will finish off the list………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

24.Jacks Mannequin- I haven’t listened to them in probably a month or more, but after putting my itunes on shuffle and skimming through about 30 songs I stopped on them.  Andrew Mcmahon is a beautiful pianist, sings songs mostly about real-life. So much soul and passion within each performance, there is nothing for me not to love, and probably the best concert I ever got to witness at Keene State College.

And that concludes the only blog entry that ever took me more than a few hours to put together. Up next: countdown time!!

Enjoy, I love you.


A Year ago

December 10, 2010

This week marks the year anniversary of this happy blog, give or take a few days, I have been out of school for a year, and it is today, officially a year since my Pop passed away, and in honor of that, a few thoughts:

It has been a year,

A year since you went off

To another plane of existence.

I remember feeling your spirit,

Leave the room at the end of your funeral.

I remember thinking dear grandfather,

Thinking just how sad this day was,

This somber church service,

Almost dishonoring your memory.

It should have been a party in your honor,

A true celebration of your full life.

You were one of the strongest people,
I ever had the pleasure of knowing,

And a great friend.
You taught me so much,

And partly because of you,

I know to believe in dreams,

And how never to deny myself.

As different as we ended up being,

Politically, religously, or otherwise,

I learned of the power of the story,

And I will never give that up for anything.

The week in song: Second Edition

December 6, 2010

I will normally keep this at a set number once this becomes a more regular feature, but in honor of the beginning of the new month, we will change the number of songs to twelve.  Now in no particular order are this week’s songs. 🙂

1.Fran Healy- Sing Me To Sleep: I first heard this on the radio about a week ago now, and usually listen to it at least a couple times a day, I just think the song is beautiful, and the high production value is apparent in the many layers of sound, and the Travis singer’s voice blends perfectly alongside Neko Case. And who doesn’t enjoy getting sung to before they sleep?

2.Take Me Over- Cut Copy

I havent been giving this one as much play this week, but I’ve been doing lots of dancing recently, and these bouncy sounds call to mind all the fun of the dance.

3.The Future- The Limousines

A very cynical worldview with highly cheerful music makes for good listening as well as good dancing. But near the end of the song they figure that it’s better to just do all the things that they love and not worry so much about what is going to happen.  Just listen to it and all will become clear.

4. Swrdswllngwhr-The Limousines

My second limousines song this week, and the top playing song on my itunes as well as a returning countdown contender from last week for that reason.  Enjoy!

5.Showtime- Electric Six

In a week, it is still my current rocking out favorite, so we will leave it be.

6.Internet Killed The Video Star- The Limousines

Yet another song from the band that takes over all my prospective dance parties.  It’s very hypocritical of itself, and that is where it wins. Clever lyrics like most of their other tracks that accentuate the music nicely, especially when they make fun of the very song itself, “don’t bother telling them the drum machine ain’t got no soul.” Without a drum machine, where would this song be? It’s a rebuff to all of the so-called purists who are only open to one idea of what constitutes good music.  If there were no soul, this song wouldn’t move my dancing spirit to the very core the way it does. It furthers the breaking down of artificial genre barriers and approves of music for its own sake, and instead of worrying so much about life it is telling us to live it.  A late night drunken sing of this song the other night also cemented this in my countdown.

7. Feeling Good-Muse

One of the best cover songs I have ever heard, by one of the best bands in existence.  It is fairly straight-forward, and needs little explanation so just listen. This is the second and final song on my countdown to be cemented in place due to a late night drunken rendition.  AMAZING!!

8. Electric Feel- MGMT

Definitely my favorite song off of their debut album Oracular Spectacular, very 80’s/disco and also very fresh and current.  It belongs on every dancefloor and every ipod everywhere.  The lyrics are catchy, the beat is just the right amount of dancy, and i wish I could dance in the world displayed within the music video.  Would you agree on the last bit?

9. Float On- Modest Mouse

A song delightful for being equal parts cynical and smile inducing.  Modest Mouse has been neglected on my listening list lately, but today shows a greater resurgence in my listening to one of the best bands I have seen live, and the only band I have seen live three times!!!!

10. Heads Will Roll- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This song is just so much fun to dance around to!

11.Mumford and Sons- The Cave

Picked for being near the top of my most played list on Itunes, and just for being beautiful, and just making you feel all variety of emotions the way the best music should!!

12. By Tonight-Say Anything

Everything I said in my last countdown still applies and it’s getting quite frequent airplay from myself so it stays.

This week’s thanks go out to 93.9 The River for allowing me to stumble upon Fran Healy’s “Sing Me to Sleep,”  all the recent opportunities I have had to dance like a fool, for the constant rotation of songs like “Electric Feel,” “Take Me Over,” “Showtime,” and songs by The Limousines, and some of the best drunken singing I have witnessed or been a part of in a long time for the inclusion of two very wonderful songs!! 🙂