Archive for January, 2011

11 Songs To Play LOUDLY!!!!!

January 31, 2011

1.Helter Skelter- The Beatles:Without question, a song to play loudly.  If you play it quietly, what use is Paul’s screaming to any listeners?

2.Comfort Eagle-Cake: A song that seems loud on any volume, if that makes any sense.  Especially good for blasting in a car.

3.One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces- Ben Folds Five:  It’s for blasting on one of those days when you just dont wanna have anything to do with other people’s shit.

4.Shout-Tears For Fears: I know you’ve heard enough about this song from me!

5.Drumming Song-Florence & The Machine: The passion, and the energy, and the head-filling,explosions of sound, “the drumming noise inside my head,” make this worthy of very very loud play!

6.Metric-Sick Muse: “Everybody, everybody just wanna fall in love, everybody everybody just want to play the lead.”

7.Stockholm Synrdome-Muse:  This song brings the metal withotu  sacrificing the beauteous soaring vocals and lovely musical arrangements Matt Bellamy and crew are known for.

8.Song 2-Blur: Pure and noisy fun!

9.20th century boy- T REX: It’s pretty straightforward, and rock through and through, so always grounds for loud playing!

10.Come Down- the Pillows:  This song is enough proof to explain why they are one of my favorite Japanese bands, but don’t believe watch yourself some Fooly Cooly or listen to more of their music, also featured in the anime Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad.

11.Everlong-Foo Fighters: Let’s just hope the new album, coming out later this year, is a return to form as Dave has promised us.  It should be even better than the classic album this song is off of, for it features Dave’s first time playing with Krist Novoselic since Nirvana’s end, not to mention a reunion with the producer of Nevermind.

Now dear readers, I propose a challenge to anyone willing to participate:  Sound off on my theme, are these songs worthy to be played louder than loud?  If not, or even if so, give me some of your picks for songs that necessitate being played at ungodly volumes.



January 31, 2011

Here’s some interesting facts from the peanut gallery known as walmart.  They make me do a bunch of crap other than what they pay me to do, yet still pay me as off I only carry out one function, that which I am titled as, a little cashier.  But I’m used to stuff like that as long as  I must be in this particular job situation.  I kept wondering why no matter what the weather outside, no matter who else was on a shift at the same time as me, the first person asked to push carts, or in many cases, demanded to push carts was usually me.  I discussed this with a few people and came upon a gross realization: It’s only good old-fashioned sexism at its finest.  One of my fellow cashiers thought we curious question was a no-brainer when she said, “You’re the only guy available right now.”  What does me having a guy have to do with anything here?  I’m scrawny and can probably push less than ten comfortably at a time, and did I mention I’m a cashier?  Pick one of those jerks that unloads the trucks or pulls pallets for their entire shift, they’re definitely better suited for it then someone who stands still for their entire shift.  Not that I’m not fit, but I barely get compensated for my actual job, and although I don’t care about money the way everyone else does, I still need more than I’m getting.  And if we’re making this a sex issue, most of the women I know at work are definitely stronger than me, especially those ladies that work in lawn and garden, or my ex who spent three months remodeling another store, putting up shelves and stuff.  And furthermore, most of the important people in my life are strong women.  Women have to be stronger because of the societal structure they are born into, and the fact that males hold much of the power in this world seems to imply that we are automatically more fit for something. I call bullshit on that.

Here’s another work story:  One fellow can’t seem to be able to read his damn Star Wars novel in peace during his break, because some arseholes seem to think that the lounge belongs to them and that being loud and obnoxious is the rule, not the exception, and that derogatory specific statements, about coworkers no less, simply because of the way they are gendered by themselves, or the way they dress, or that they apparently aren’t “normal,” because they aren’t judgemental pricks like those speaking.  The louder you speak words behind someone’s back, the less likely they are to work against anyone but yourself. Karmic backlash my friends.  And by the way, thank you for shutting up when I told you to stop being so rude, because it was nice to actually take a break in the break room for once. 

Good night and good luck,


January son

January 29, 2011

My third nephew was born this afternoon after we had been expecting an appearance since christmas, through snow storms and family birthdays, and some of the worst winter weather we have had around here in a while. Sure, unlike me, he was not born in a blizzard, and we were able to go see him immediately, but it was snowing, and I didn’t expect any less than that. The third son held on longer than the other two, appearing a week after his projected due date, and weighing nigh on ten pounds, heavier than his father and uncle were. I always thought the older of the two pre-existing boys resembled his daddy, while the second looked a lot like little me, but upon my appearance in the hospital room, I thought I was staring straight at the first picture ever taken of me. Regardless of that I know he’s going places in life. Whatever made him arrive late, seemingly by his own force of will is a reflection of a free spirit, and a true individual. Only time will tell

New(ish) Politics

January 27, 2011

As most of the USA is aware, President Barack Obama had his state of the union address on just about every tv channel the other night. Did you watch it? I didn’t, but of course I read everything I could about it. Although I have become disillusioned long ago by political hooha, the fact remains that I did vote for this man based on his bipartisan election platform if nothing else. Let’s just say I was at least a little disappointed by many of the goings on in DC since then, due in part to the fact that many of the new bills being reviewed and laws being passed, seem to be approved just to appease many of the uber-conservative, big-business types that sit on our congress. I made sure to specify a type as I am by no means a party player, and there are plenty of democrats who seem to have better heads on their shoulders than plenty of republicans. The inverse of that is also true, which just proves that party politics should go the way of the winner of The Biggest Loser’s waist line. At least party politics that state that there are only two parties and number three, four, or five, is a wasted vote. If we want a party system, we can no longer afford for it to be two. There were more back in the day and the Republican heading didn’t even exist until Abraham Lincoln’s day, wherein he was the first Republican president. Maybe I’m getting off my point a bit with that last, but it may be important to put the current climate better in perspective. The attempted assassination on Representative Giffords in Arizona a few weeks ago, really motivated the bigger themes of the president’s speech, and it reflected as well on all the other politicos in presence at it. Where there used to be seperate partisan seats on either end of the room, there were now just people sitting next to other people. I wish it wouldn’t have come to this to see such sights, but too many people were harmed in the shooting for our government and our general public to just carry on business as usual. For his election, he campaigned against standard partisanship of the past, and told us that our only success of moving ahead as a nation would involve overcoming the stigma of party playing. Sure halfway through the term might not be the time to finally boost this idea, but more of America is finally waking up from the disenchanting dream of the Bush years, and we want more than false compromise and appeasement of the so-called “other people,” we want to discard some of our xenophobia, and come to a respectful compromise that everyone can agree at least a bit better on, and start a discussion that is stimulating for all sides involved. Next step: Try to abolish a mere two party thinking. Over the year I have been on this blog, In all my talk of “working class heroes,” new world orders, of dreamers and livers, of soul friends and lovers, and music countdowns, what permeates it all is the sense of the multi-faceted nature of humanity and human needs. And in the words of Journey: “Don’t Stop Believin’!”

Countdown time: Beautiful World

January 26, 2011

Don’t let the winter blues get you down, or the drudgery of a dead end job.  Reevaluate your perceptions, and always do what is important to you, what makes you feel alive.  Our ass-kicking countdown demonstrated as much, with many of the songs telling us to make the world, the world which we need and want.  Today’s songs reflect on this world that exists if we learn to wake up.

1.Beautiful World- Utada Hikaru:  The first time I have ever included a JPop(Japanese pop) artist on the countdown.  Although I can’t honestly say I know what half of the words mean, I think it’s beautiful, as she says the world also is.  This is the theme song to the amazing reimagining of  the world changing anime,Neon Genesis Evangelion, called quite simply, Rebuild of Evangelion.  Ironically enough it is set to change the world once more, and is also themed around our human abilities to change the world as we see fit, for good or ill.  Don’t like anime or Japanese pop?  Don’t have to.  Just enjoy the music, or not as the case may be.

2.Shout-Tears For Fears: One of my favorite songs from the 80’s, which is also off one of my favorite 80’s albums, Songs From The Big Chair.  Whatever comes our way, don’t forget your emotions, your feelings, and live your life.  So don’t be afraid to “shout, shout, let it all out.”

3.Sleepyhead(stripped down version)-Passion Pit:  Remember what I’ve said about living our dreams? This song is very dreamy and the lyrics themselves follow a sort of dream logic.  And it’s beautiful.

4.Because- The Beatles:This song is haunting and beautiful, and being by The Beatles, of course it’s awesome.  We tried doing this in my failed acapella group, and I’m hoping to revisit it again for performance purposes, in 2011: year of the new world.

5.Space Oddity- David Bowie: I have heard that the world is always beautiful from space.  Major Tom sure thought so, as he didn’t come back.  “Can you hear me, Major Tom?”

6.Derezzed-Daft Punk:  I put this in my bonus section last week, since I had just returned from seeing Tron Legacy.  Yes, the world of the grid as shown in the movie was not usually beautiful, but it had the capacity to become the perfect world, if only they realized imperfection is what makes us perfect.

7.Is It Real?- The Seatbelts: This is the theme song from Cowboy Bebop the movie. Do what you have to do to live your life, instead of just standing on the sidelines.  Keep this world beautiful by truly experiencing it as fully as you can.

8.January Hymn-The Decemberists:  Colin Melloy and co.’s new album is a bit more basic than some of their more recent offerings, but never loses the beauty and passion that their music is known for.  If you haven’t already done so, check out their new disc, The King Is Dead.  One of the first releases of 2011 worth noticing.

9.Brian Eno-MGMT:  Brian Eno is famous for creating new and beautiful worlds of sound, so it should come as no surprise that a song named after him would not have equally beautiful sonic  landscapes.  A surprisingly ambitious offering from the unpredictable duo.

10.Lovely Day-Bill Withers:  If the world is so beautiful, it just seems logical that you might have a lovely day being out in it.

11.Cleanup Time-John Lennon:  Some nifty guitar work, and overall a very solid piece of music in typical Lennon fashion.  I like the raw sound he has to his vocals in this song, and I just thought this song a fitting end to the countdown for this week, cleaning it up as it were.

As always, enjoy it, or don’t as the case may be.  Keep reading and I’ll keep posting.

Today’s special note is this: Go see The Green Hornet! It’s hilariously fun.



Karaoke Night

January 21, 2011

I spent my Thursday night, after a long and boring day at work, singing karaoke in a bar along route 5.  Oh yes I did.  This great place, The Colonel’s Cabin, hosts a karaoke night every single Thursday.  If not for the karaoke I don’t think it would be my scene.  The beer selection is slim, and what can I say?  I am in fact a beer snob, no matter how much I try not to be.  The only thing they even have on tap is PBR.  

As I arrived in this so-called cabin, my ears grew accustomed to the sounds of old-time country and sleepy ballads, sang mostly by adorable older people, so I definitely didn’t feel like starting in with something too raucous.  My first choice was Creep by Radiohead. Maybe my choice was  little cliche for karaoke, overplayed, overdone.  But it is one of the only songs by them I could imagine to be fitting for karaoke, and I thought it would be a good mood changer, without going too far into other extremes.  I died on the high notes, which I usually nail while playing singstar.  I think it was a combination of nervousness and the fact that I haven’t been doing nearly enough singing lately. Regardless, I had fun, and the guy that preceded me was standing down on the floor encouraging me. 

The night got more exciting from there. An interesting assortment of songs, a reunion with some old friends, and two “drinks” of water later, it was time for my second attempt. Let’s say Paul McCartney would be proud to see my spirited take on Helter Skelter, even though I went off the rhythm a bit in a few places and had some pitch issues.  The crowd there is a bit to get used to, as you never know whether or not they’ll be in to a certain song or not, since there are a lot of country heads and not much else there.  But they know just when to clap and cheer most of the time, so that’s awesome!!

Then came the contest, this entire day had been building up to this moment.  In my mind the “cabin” was transformed into a roller disco, as I belted out the eternal hit, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” The man running the karaoke rig gave me a funny look when I told him what I wanted to sing, but he came up to me later on and suggested something for me to sing, unfortunately I was leaving at that time, but   I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I?  Third place was my old friend, and birthday buddy, Jess, while second place went to World exercise so-called “champion,” Real Bill and his brother, while the First place monetary prize went to a delightful chap and his rendition of “Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.”

A beautiful night, with beautiful friends, and I look forward to more nights like this, thanks to The Colonel’s Cabin. Keep up the good work folks.  And I hope next time that my duet partner Jennifer will be there to partake, and her awesome as heck boyfriend Mr. Andrew. Love you guys!!


Countdown time: ass kicking edition!

January 18, 2011

1.Maxwell’s Silver Hammer- The Beatles: This is the greatest feel good song about a serial killer ever made. Can you believe that it’s forty years old? I can’t.

2. Whip$ and Chain$- Flobots: If society makes us feel unimportant, we must change society itself!! The world is ours, and we are the revolution!

3.Free Radicals-Flaming Lips: This song is beautiful in its seeming simplicity, and makes me think of frolicking through a meadow in the sunshine with robots and bunny rabbits.

4.Working Class Hero-John Lennon: You all know the way I feel about my job, if you’ve been following my blog for more than a few entries. The bastards will never grind me down!

5.Across The Universe-The Beatles: One of the best songs off of Let It Be. Although it isn’t about kicking ass like most of the songs this week, it’s still about sticking with your guns and your convictions. This song always helps me get through the tough times, just reminding me of the beauty that is everywhere in all things, and the noise that connects it all, the ohm.

6. The Bends-Radiohead: The title track of their sophomore album. Fuzzed guitars, and the lyrics of alienation and desire to be someone, or something else that have come to be a Radiohead expectation. But even with the seeming defeatist nature, there is a passion found within the way he sings, that allows us to keep holding on to hope.

7. Money-Pink Floyd: Reminds me of how much I hate feeling a slave to this capitalist dogma, where we have no right to be happy. “Don’t give me that goody good Bull****!”

8.Dreamin’ Man- Neil Young: “I’ll always be a dreamin’ man,I know I may not understand, but I know it’s alright…”

9.Imagine-John Lennon: And who can we not talk about people with dreams without mentioning this song.

10.Killing In The Name:Rage Against The Machine: And mention the words ass-kicking, how could you not think about one of the most overtly political groups ever!!! Great song.

11.Street Fightin’ Man- Rolling Stones: My favorite song off of Beggar’s Banquet, and a song that was covered by the previous band. A perfect song to go out on, not overly political, but definitely not submissive by any means, but a more widely accepted subversion perhaps.

And as an added bonus, check out my new piece inspired by my workplace woes, and general music tastes of the week:!/note.php?note_id=493916784182

My shout out this week goes to all my friends who start school again this week: study hard, and stay awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

And Tron Legacy is pretty rad, so here’s an awesome little number from Daft Punk:

 Peace and love until next time,


The Countdown: A (Y)ear Opener

January 11, 2011

Howdy all! Now that all the 2010 stuff is wrapped up, it is time to restart the countdown! I had been doing a twelve song format in honor of the 12th month of the year, but I think for the sake of it now being 2011, 11 will be my number once more. Once in a while a 12th song may appear as an honorable mention, potentially spotlighting something that may appear next week, or just a song from a band I might consider one of the next big things. Regardless of what it is, expect lots of surprises this year on “The Countdown.”

1.Aladdin Sane- David Bowie: The title track of his 1973 album. Bowie’s music always impresses me with the share range of sonic possibilities found within all of his albums, and his constant reinvention of self. This song combines many styles of music in a surprisingly cohesive fashion that few other artists could boast. Check it out. Or if already a Bowie superfan like me, perhaps you know it.

2.Gimme Sympathy-Metric: A carry over from my last countdown. My favorite song by Metric, and one of the first songs I am learning to play on bass this year. Enjoy!

3.Midnight Radio-Hedwig and The Angry Inch: A great song from a terrific rock and roll movie as well as one of the most fun and unconventional stage musicals I had the great privilege of seeing live. The scene from the movie that goes with this song sums up so much of Hedwig’s pain and trouble. Regardless of that it is completely glamtastic.

4.Muscle Museum-Muse: Another song I’m learning on bass, from one of the greatest bands I’ve ever heard(as I have said many times on here). So much raw emotion can be felt when you listen, and the instruments do nothing but heighten this darkness Matt Bellamy seems to feel inside.

On a side note, my new bass just arrived in the post today. Check it out:

5.I Want You/ She’s So Heavy- The Beatles: Most of my music listening over the past couple weeks has been mainly from my ipod being put on shuffle during my breaks at work, and have just gotten back into the habit of listening to full albums at once. The album I have been looping the most in my itunes is Abbey Road, the panultimate release of my most beloved band, and definitely most listened to. If for no other reason, I love this song for the main riff. And clocking in at 8 minutes, it never ever seems to drag on. How many bands can even get away with that anymore?

And here’s the amazing sequence using this song from the film “Across The Universe”:

6.Sick Of You- Cake: This song deserves a place on the countdown.  The first single from the first big release of the year.  Showroom of Compassion, the aforementioned album, hits tomorrow. 1/11/11!!!

7.(Not technically a song, but whatever…)  Evil Dead The Musical- The entire cast recording:  I watched Army of Darrkness on good old VHS the other day, and figured a song from the hilarious musical based on the first two movies in Sam Raimi’s fun filled film trilogy starring the one and only Bruce Campbell deserved a spot here.  But I couldn’t just pick one song, no way. Listen to it, or see it(if that’s an option anywhere you may be reading this from).

8.Machine-Regina Spektor: As promised, I include a song by Regina Spektor. The instrumental work here is superb, and combined with her unusual vocal style, and such deep ideas found inside the lyrics, I just want to hear more.

9.Holiday-Fran Healy: People in the real world need a holiday as much as those people still in school.  I know that isn’t what he seems to be saying here, but its what it makes me think of.  His voice is beautiful and his lyrics are crafty yet still simple.

10.Where’s My Sex?- Weezer:  This song is just one example of how their 2010 release Hurley is bringing them back to the top of the heap.  Sure, there’ve been great songs on all of their albums, but Hurley is a much more solid and straight forward album, than The Red Album, and  definitely took a bit more thought than 2009’s Raditude.

11.Infinity Guitars-Sleigh Bells: Percussion that calls to mind handclaps, fuzzed out guitars, shouting vocals, odd lyrics. Add all of it together and you get indie gold.

I hope you like what I have for you this week, please sound off your likes, dislikes and suggestions you may have for other good music!

And this week we have a shout out to my pal Paula Marie. she’s  a paraprofessional by day, and a brilliant songstress by night.  Tell all your friends about her music.  I know she can make it big, and she loves to play shows, so if you can book her, hit her up. 🙂

Until next week, or some other non musical thoughts of relevance strike me.


The Final Word on 2010

January 7, 2011

Sophomore non-slumps:   A lot of bands/artists returned to us last year with their sophomore releases, and there was very little to disappoint.  The genre defying group, Flobots returned early in the year with their album “Survival Story,” which I was pleasantly surprised by, having been completely off guard that they even had another album coming out.  Still socially conscious, and seems to lie a lot more on the rock side of the musical equation than their previous effort.  Very few groups seem to have lyrics that speak with such sincerity as the two mc’s, Johnny 5 and Brer Rabbit. Just listen to form your own ideas.

Vampire Weekend really kicked off the year on the right foot with “Contra,”  showcasing the same sound that really allowed us all to fall in love with them in the first place, but definitely growing more adventurous, and sonically more intense.  What really strengthened this album in my mind was the live performance, that I got to witness in August.

Kate Nash’s “My Best Friend is You” surfaced fairly early in the year as well, but only made it into my hands and from there to my ears, in the final month.  But all the same, she keeps the same wit that made her a stand out in the first place, without feeling stale.  This is helped quite a bit from her incursion into new musical territories,  whether it be the scathingly scandalous spoken word opening from “mansion song,” the riot grrl sexuality of,  “I just love you more,” or the tongue-in-cheek of “Do-Wa-Do,” or “Kiss That Grrl!”  She is surely on top of her musical game and I can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeves.

There was so much good music this year, like Gorillaz’ “Plastic Beach,” Fran Healy’s “Wreckorder,” Spoon’s “Transference,” Weezer’s “Hurley,” my discovery of Mumford and Sons  Passion Pit, The Limousines and some I still have yet to pick up, like Yeasayer, or the new Black Keys disc.  But my favorite album of the year, while technically a 2009 release was new to me last year, and that’s what matters isn’t it? 

Florence and The Machine= “Lungs”:   One of my biggest Indie obsessions, I can’t get enough of the atmospheric layers of sound accompanied by amazingly clever lyrics, and gorgeous vocals.  I love love love the album art.  And how many albums boast songs about drinking yourself to death, proclaiming that, “a kiss with a fist is better than none,” the ethereal longing in “Cosmic Love,” and the unadulterated emotion of “Howl,” all at once?  Not many.  “Plastic Beach,”  Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More, and “Wreckorder” all rank in close second, along with the honorable mention of “Hurley.”

I know I seemed to draw this out a lot, but since I promised this last in the first best of entry it must be said.

I did a lot of reading in 2010, whether it was poetry, absurdist theatre, SciFi, or just good ole fiction, there are three books that took up a  great deal of reading time, that are essentially all one big story.  And those are: Steig Larsson’s “Millenium Trilogy,”  detailing the exploits of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and “The Girl with the  Dragon Tattoo” herself, Lisbeth Salander.  The movies also became a big deal in 2010, but to be honest, I couldn’t even make it through the first. I found the exposition of the film to be severely lacking, and I was most displeased with the boring and emotionless actor they chose to play Blomkvist, but enough on that.  We are shown a society that seems meticulously well run, but underneath is entire decades of deceit within the very infrastructure itself, all seeming to revolve around Salander, whether she likes it or not, and believe me, she doesn’t like it one bit. My only real complaints are the pacing of the first book, and the unsatisfactory final chapters of the third,but all in all, the most shocking crime novels I have yet to lay my hands or my eyes on.

Here’s to more awesome things in this year.  🙂

The Concerts of 2010

January 5, 2011

It started with a couple of concerts at The Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA. Train singer Pat Monahan pleading to his crowd,”Save Me San Francisco.” Even though we were not in San Francisco. There was an opening band that I was pleasantly surprised by, who are on a label thanks to Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, Mimicking Birds, and Jakob Dylan being backed on his songs new and old by the one and only Neko Case. Follow this with numerous shows at The Starving Artist, such as The Daredevil Christopher Wright and local hero Wooden Dinosaur. And don’t forget the awe inspiring folk of The Low Anthem with the hard to describe yet equally beautiful Timber Timbre. Add in some amazing dancy fun at the Green River Festival, to the likes of Cake, Calexico, Rubblebucket and The David Wax Museum, and the Gypsy antics of Immigrant Punks, Gogol Bordello and the crowd enraging funk metal of Primus, and on to dreaming of “Norway” with Beach House, and making myself “Run” with Vampire Weekend, drinking “Horchata” all the while. And then there was the show on Halloween, my friends In-Form-Nation, followed by The Alchemystics, and the surprisingly eclectic Roots Of Creation. Throw in some great friends dressed like pirates and lost pilots, some sweaty hippies, and new friends to dance the night away with and you have one of my favorite nights of the year just past. I hope for great concert memories in the coming year as well. More friends, more dancing, and more magic are 🙂 I promise there is only one more part after this, and then back to business as usual.