Saturday, January 31

Gotta say that 2009 has been one where I've had to accept my successes based on the level of personal growth I'm having to endure. It has not been fun, though I've been becoming more aware. I don't envy anyone the path I'm on though.

I'd also like the insomnia that's been shooting me in the mind between 2 and 4 a.m. every night for the past month to go away. For a long time.

Tuesday, January 27

There are days

When I swear to god I think I could fix the internet by having the 'reply all' email button give you a shock and nosebleed.

Thursday, January 22

2008 mix tape part 2

The first song I heard when I touched down in NYC last year was You're A Wolf by Sea Wolf. It's one of my favorite songs from the album, and hearing it at random made sure I wouldn't forget to include this at the end of the year.

Once again, I found myself listening to Jesu more than any other band this year. Supple Hope is another one of Jesu's textured songs with a title that misleads; the lyrics themselves are depressing as hell.

I don't know that I can explain my love of Armor for Sleep, but I've two albums and the songs that I like on them, I really like, while the others are less memorable alt-rock. But as I said; when they do a good song, I really like it, and it's hard for me to beat a song that opens with "I've got soul working for me half the time". So Run Right Back In goes on.

Bats Over The Pacific Ocean is one of those nonsense titles that bands like Jaguar Love give to their songs. Given that the band is made up of former Blood Brothers members, this kind of silliness makes a lot more sense. Jaguar Love has songs that are a lot more danceable though, so hopefully that will open up some people to their stuff.

A very late addition to my music collection in '08 was Fucked Up, and their song Black Albino Bones caught me right away. Punk rock growls with a light chorus, and I was hooked.

Dead and Divine was a band I swayed on for much of the year. Do I keep this album, or do I just burn a couple tracks and let it go. But whenever I would listen to the album for purposes of burning, I liked a lot more songs than I thought I would. When I played it as background music, it didn't stick, except for Get Down With Your Bad Self, which has the line: I have a way with failure.
I wish that didn't speak to me, but it does.

Next up is Baroness's Isak. This is another album that was probably on last year's tape, but eh. Whatcha gonna do? It's dirty stoner rock, and I like that.

Nineteenhundred by Burst was another late addition to my ears. Burst's record, Lazarus Bird is a strong one, and it's too bad it's been consigned to the 'metal' bin. Don't get me wrong, it is metal, but the band wants to stretch what metal can do-and in this song, they use saxophones to do it. Really neat stuff.

My Apocalypse by Metallica. Yeah, I'm surprised too, but there you go; it took them twenty years to do another album on par with Master of Puppets, but they did it. Is it as good as their landmark albums (namely Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets)? No. But it's pretty damn solid, and the guys are playing again like they have something to prove.

Finally, All Hope Is Gone by Slipknot. The title is beguiling again, reflecting a despair that the song doesn't exactly have, but since I've been feeling a little bit of both, I put that song on. Plus, it's just blistering.

I finished with Unearth's instrumental; Big Bear & the hour of Chaos. I wanted that song to be the bridge between My Apocalypse and All Hope Is Gone, but it didn't work out that way; there wasn't enough room on the tape. Still, I got it on; that's what matters.

Tuesday, January 20

2008 mix tape part 1

I kicked this year's tape off with Tales of Girls, Boys, and Marsupials by the Wombats. It was a song that made me smile in a year when smiling was hard for me to come by.

Against Me! was a band I was happy to discover this year. I'd heard of them for years, but never gotten around to listening to them until I found a copy of New Wave used. It was a great album, and the nice thing about getting into a band late is that you get to explore their back catalog, and usually get more good music out of the deal. One of my favorite songs from New Wave was Thrash Unreal, and so it comes up next.

It's probable that Kevin Drew's Spirit If came out in 07, but I still listened to it in 08, so Safety Bricks gets the nod.
This is true of a few bands; I didn't find a lot of new stuff I was enamored with, so I went back to the things I had playing them to death.

Of course as I say that, the next song is TV On The Radio's Golden Age, and their was on many people's top 10 list for '08. TVOTR doesn't seem to grab me quite the same way ever since I saw them live, but they still put out good albums.

In the same way that I got into Against Me! this year, I also finally heard Minus the Bear. Same situation; lots of people telling me how great they were, but I waited until I could find a CD used. Hooray! is hands down my favorite song from that album, not just for it's thrilling guitar line during the chorus, but the fond tale of snowball fights too.

Fumes is by Aesop Rock. I don't know much about rap, but Aesop and Dalek (who makes the list in a song) both made albums that didn't sound like any rap I'd heard before. Aesop seems more traditional, but his wordplay is very clever too.

Wiper is by Amusement Parks On Fire, and again they probably were on last year's list too. Every time I was in a used record store this year, I spent time looking for their 2nd album to no avail. This is why I'm considering downloading music off the internet; just so I can find things I want.

From this song Dalek's Ever Somber felt like the right thing. He seems to use industrial-stylings as his backbeats. A rapper descended from Ministry-like swirls of noise. This song was chosen in part because of the title, which seems to fit my current mood more than I'd like.

The Gutter Twins didn't make quite the splash I thought they would, but their album was admittedly a little uneven. Still, I am sad I didn't get my ducks in a row to see them live. The Body hooked me in with it's soft chorus, and I never got away from it.

I got Band of Horses' last record late in 07, so Is There A Ghost? makes it on. I would've listened to it more, but my girlfriend absconded with it for most of the year.

Finally, Mogwai's Auto-Rock. I first heard this at the end of the Miami Vice movie, and I loved it, but didn't have it together to find out who did the music. Then I forgot about it, as people sometimes do.

About the middle of '08, I heard it again while in Everyday Music. I had one of those tingly moments, hearing this song--Oh yes, this! I need this. So I went up to find out who was playing, and walked out with a scuffed CD of Mogwai's Mr Beast. The album isn't great, but that song is magical for me.

This side closes out with music from Girl Talk's Feed the Animals. I can't quite distinguish the songs on this album, but that's OK. The mashup fun is too good to ignore.

Monday, January 5

Work musings 1.6, 1.7, 1.9

Right now I have to work under conditions where people can walk into my workspace, and just 'hang out' doing things. This makes me not want to work. I want people to go away. Having someone you don't like much around disrupts the workflow. And he's in space I need to use anyway. It's like a megalose.

It's weird, realizing I have to quit. It's crazy, since this is the worst time to not already have a job since something like 1952. Still, I also feel kind of good. I mean, when I'm not batshit frightened.

They just cut my hours by 7.5/wk. That's almost enough to convince me to stick around.