1. Florence + the Machine "Lungs"
This is my most recent CAN'T STOP PLAYING. I knew about her, and I knew that she performed at the VMA's this year. So I was creating a mix for Rachel, when I decided to download a few of her songs, which I didn't use, but a few weeks later, I actually LISTENED. Wow. This is a really solid disc. It's Retro, but new sounding (unlike Midlake.) And man does she sing. She wails in the most ridiculous theatrical way ever. A Lot of times when you listen you aren't actually compelled to envision how she's actually moving and physically singing, but that's almost impossible here based on her performance. It's strong. And the songs are strong. The Sequencing is Great. It's a full listen.
Check out: The Dog Days Are Over, Cosmic Love, Rabbit Heart (Rise Up)
2. Beach House "Teen Dream"
When I first came upon Beach House, I thought a few things. How could this be new? And Secondly is this a Guy or A Girl Singing. I had to go to youtube to confirm that it was absolutely a Woman. So, this was a Coachella Band that I really wanted to see because I had liked 10 Mile Stereo, it was very anthemic in a very non anthemic way, I really think it was the drums in the piece. (Edit) And wow I finally got around to listening to the whole disc and was wowed, by how powerful the songs are. I still don't know what she says most of the time, but there is something about the way the guitars, keyboards and her vocal blend and wash over you that is absolutely captivating. As a friend of mine said, this is the kind of music that teenagers might put on and listen to at night while they go to sleep. I think of it as Dreamy California Pop for all ages.
Check Out: Zebra, Used to Be, 10 Mile Stereo
3. Vampire Weekend "Contra"
I'm not gonna lie, I came to the show late. Way late. Not just figuratively, but literally. They were a Coachella band that I didn't really want to check out, but I got caught in a People Wave and ended up catching the end of their set and I wasn't necessarily sold, but I was intrigued by them enough to check this disc out. The reason for my hesitancy are so "Classic Will"; on their first CD I found the lead's singer voice obnoxious and the songs lyrically pretentious, and their combination of New York Indie Rock and World Music sounded fake to me. Even though, everyone I knew loved them. And then this CD came out and their first single was freaking "Horchata." Cheeky, hipster music. Humph! Either way after seeing how happy people were singing and dancing, and spinning in half naked daisy chains to them, I gave them a go. And I finally listened to "Horchata." And Now I love that stupid, cheeky, hipster, world music song. (Edit, Will goes on a bla bla bla rampage.) So on this disc, they take their world music to a ridiculous level of weirdness. And the lead Singer channeled his inner Paul Simon and really comes off like a great singer. Blast it! It's awesome stuff.
Check Out: White Sky, Horchata, Run
4. Chiddy Bang "The Preview"
Finally a New Rap Artist worth mentioning! And most amazingly they haven't hurt anyone's feelings yet and have on their first EP sampled Passion Pit & MGMT and have a song co-produced by Pharrell and one featuring a Q-Tip sample. So their weird and not afraid to try new things, some of it obvious cliche shit, like "The Good Life" (the Pharrell one) but then they also rock out to a FREAKING SUFJAN STEVENS sample from CHICAGO on "All things Go". Seriously SUFJAN STEVENS. And while this may not be that surprising if you've checked out Sufjan's latest "The Age of Adz" with it's weird techno beats, but I digress, back to Chiddy Bang. Lyrically, they have enough character to not make it just about the beats, and their chorus hooks totally rock. "Opposite of Adults" remixes MGMT's "Kids" with a new chorus that is Kanyelicious with it's ridiculousness, but also uplift. Check out the Preview if you like Rap/Hip Hop and weird experiments with the medium, or if you want a few tracks to shake it to.
Check Out: Opposite of Adults, All Things Go
5. Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More"
Gotta Mention Mumford & Sons, cause I find myself so torn on liking them. I love like 4 of their songs, maybe even 5, but everytime I turn this CD on, I have to skip around, because I know that if I get like 5 songs in, I'll turn it off before I get to some of the later tracks I really like. The reason for this is that almost all the songs are structured the same way, vocal with acoustic instruments, build to strong chorus, bring in the drums, louder chorus, bring it down, build it back up, and loudest chorus. Now they deviate a smidgen throughout, by mixing these elements, but after a while I get kind of burnt out on the anthem redundancy of their music. But these songs are really really good, so I have to talk about it. "The Cave" soars and grows into an all out church choir rocker with lyrics about not giving up and committing suicide? I think, but damn if you don't want to sing at the top of your lungs with it. "Little Lion Man" is everywhere, because it's nu-folk for the masses. I mean like I bet your parents and their friends could get down to this. The songs are super well produced, the musicianship is excellent, the vocals are personable and relateable across the board. Who doesn't like hearing a raspy brit sing tell you that "You are not alone in this" (in Timshel). Geez, on a cloudy day like today that's a nice message to hear.
Check Out:Little Lion Man, The Cave, Winter Winds
Band Of Horses "Infinite Arms.
Arcade Fire "The Suburbs".
Big Boi "Sir Luscious Left Foot; Son of Chico Dusty"
Brandi Carlile "Give Up the Ghost"
Laura Marling "I Speak Because I Can"
Insert Closing Text Here:
For instance, I haven't worked Full time in two months, because I've been writing like a mad man, because I want to be a writer. But in following this dream, I had to plan to start sacrificing the free wheeling luxury lifestyle I've lived so thoroughly over the last 3 years. That meant, means no more crazy meals, no more eating out lunch, no more helping out family, no more vacations. I've been in lockdown mode for months leading up this and will be in it for months following this, when I have to go back to doing something stable for a little while, but knowing that I have to prep another intense writing period.
Seriously, from now on out, It's a Bag Lunch Life.
People talk to me of the stress and the pressure of not having full time employment, but what people don't understand is the stress and the pressure of not following your dreams. It's like having a volcano in your gut, a fire that will never go out, it just burns and burns until you do what it's telling you to do. And right now, it's to write now, and to worry less about the money thing and the security thing and just ride it out.
And maybe one day, soon or not, a fire with a different flame will emerge and make me change my ways or push me into a new direction, and when that day comes, I'll change my ways.
Well, I'm back after some time off. I've got a lot of blogging to do, if I'm going to hit my yearly quota. So just hold on, because if you have a RSS reader or something, I'm going to try to fill up your inboxes. Key Word: Try.
Hello Friends & Family
I’m blogging to you from my couch this lovely Sunday afternoon, not feeling great, think I’m fighing off a sinus infection. Friends are out Cherry Picking, or going to the beach or having yard sales, and well, I’m watching TV on the couch. But I’m making the best of this weekend and have caught up on some of Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and also some Mad Men Season 2 and I also watched 2 episodes of Alias as well. And I decided I wanted to blog a little about my Favorite TV shows of all time.
A Little Preface before the list. What is it about TV shows that make it feel so different from reading novels or going to see the movies? Is it its weekly format? Is it the sitcom format, the weekly format, the highs and lows, the feeling that there are like 500 channels but really only like 5 things on that you want to watch. IS IT a good way to gather the entire family together. I don’t know… I do know you can tell a lot about somebody and where they are in their life by what shows they are watching?
A little background on my TV watching experience:
I have a lot of memories of watching TV with my family as I grew up. I remember getting home from school and watching cartoons and ridiculous live shows like the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB and MTV and then getting dinner and then TV with the family until it was time to sleep. Was this how it was for other people? Then I remember realizing one day I wanted to go watch my own shows at night, because I wasn’t interested in what my family was watching. I’m pretty sure I was kind of into doing my own thing even at the young age of like 8. I remember eventually getting like a little portable SONY TV and then breaking the antenna and sticking the CABLE jack into the Antenna and getting Cable in it. Amazing, and I would watch a Lot of sports and a lot of VH1 and MTV and anything else I could find, like bad tv shows on USA like Silk Stalkings and stuff, I was like a SPONGE for TV, little BJ staring at the TV. I remember having this meta moment while watching HBO'S Dream On, about a guy who watched so much TV as a kid, he can only relate to life through TV, and realizing oh god I could turn into that, maybe that would be terrible, but maybe not.
Eventually, I remember how TV became a community event. My buddies would come over to watch weekly shows like X-FILES and we would scare the bejeezus out of each other and stuff. And some other show became events, and even now can be a good time to watch some shows with others, when it's not too emotional or important to the arc of the show. But the TV watching cycle went on and on, until around 2000, where I stopped watching TV shows, and then watched a ton of movies… I mean I still watched some shows like Friends (really, wow, Friends?) but I had nothing to be invested in, nothing to set my week up around. Anyway….
So I guess what I’m saying, in a haphazard way is that a lot of my life has been spent around a TV, watching television shows, and maybe that’s why I only reserve TV time for sports, movies and specially chosen programs which I will run down here in a bit. And maybe that's why I'm not kind of not sure if TV is such a good thing, but whether or not it is, I think it's something we all kind of need, the serialized story telling, I mean. Like isn't Homer's the Odyssey like a long ass tv show, just told over a few nights...
In answering my question, from earlier, here’s what I have loved about TV which made it different from some of my other forms of entertainment. (God I need an Editor. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I kind of have a headache.) I let these characters into my lives. I see them more then most people in my life, which is why I’m really picky about what I watch, if I don’t want to hang out with these characters I will not watch the show, and which is why MY List may have shows your list won’t, with a lot of overlap.
I don’t know, I, you, maybe you, develop a sort of relationship with them (see also Serialized Novels, Comic Books.) I mean, I feel kind of lame saying this, but like I would be really pissed if someone ragged on Buffy, you know… Really. Really. Pissed. And this is why I feel like you can learn a lot about someone by their shows. Do they crave romance, adventure, the humilation of others, a family they never had, the life they never had, is it all escape? Think about your shows? Hmm…
Here is the list of Shows that I’ve loved, cared about, and you know, think are worth giving your time, because they were definitely worth my time. I some order, but not really, other than Buffy, you know… And then there are all the other shows that didn’t make the top 10. I love them, well some of them, but you know… this is a retrospective look, how can I put some that are new or fresh in, when I’m not sure if they’ll hold up, or if I will forget about them.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Like a stupid shining star. My brother likes to tell about this one time, he was just chilling in his room and then I came roaring in like a Mad Man, raging on and on, without making any sense, until he realized that I was talking about how HE turned record off on my Buffy Episode in the last 10 minutes. Then he started laughing.
- I thought the X-Files was good until I ran into a bunch of kids my age taking on Vampires & Demons while growing up. The relatability factor was way high. And it was so moving and not in a cloying way. It was never “On a very special episode of Buffy The vampire Slayer, Buffy deals with Sex.” No, every episode was a very special episode, but you didn’t know it. It was written for teenagers, it was written for everybody, and at the time I had no idea How Incredible this show truly was. Maybe it wasn’t until I realized that like all the other WB shows weren’t really this good or half as good, maybe that’s when it kicked in. Amazing.
- I stopped watching after Season 4. My life and their lives became so drastically different, it stopped meaning much to me. But now that I’ve gone back and watched it all, I can safely say, “My Bad.”
- I remember having Buffy & Felicity evenings with my friends. Amazing.
- How I Met Your Mother
- This is my “Friends.” These are the people that remind me of who I hang out with and of my life as a late 20 early 30 year old. I bet I’ll be able to look back on this show when I’m like 40 and say, oh my god, my life was sooo much like that…
- Veronica Mars
- This show made me want to go back to highschool in a bad bad way. It was like if I had been a mid-twenty year old watching Buffy at the time it came out. It was so well written. The characters were so so awesome and relatable. I think everyone could use a Veronica in their life.
- I speak only of the first 2 seasons. After that you’re on your own.
- The First 3 or so Seasons of Bones is fabulous. Wrenching, suspenseful, funny, great stuff. A little bit of something for everyone. Not like other procedurals, this show was rooted in character. The Team on this show feels like such a fantastically well rounded family, its like being at the best/worst job you could ever have. I will rewatch these seasons again at some point. Such good stuff.
- Of course now it’s just weird, weird with good ratings.
- Oh Bones. To see you lose your shine, is well, heartbreaking. Hopefully, you will return next season.
- Battlestar Gallactica
- Damn You Battlestar. For being so good and sneaky. You started off as this bleak, adventure show that had a little fun and a lot of twists, and you ended up being ONE OF THE MOST DEPRESSING SHOWS ever, but I was hooked in, because if I had known, if I had known. The topics this show hit up, actually made you think. It was really really solid. A Show built on black and white that bled into grays, lots and lots of grays.
- For all of you who had problems with Season Four. Please rewatch Final Episodes of Lost and then rejudge the end of Battlestar. Just saying.
- Arrested Development
- If you ever think your family is weird and fucked up, please see this show for something more. If this show wasn’t funny, it could have made the most heartbreaking, ridiculous soap opera ever. But this is hands down the Funniest 3 Seasons of Television, I’ve ever seen. I have never laugh/cried at a show as often as this one.
- A Show about a rag tag of Space Cowboys going through time. I passed on it, when it came out. I’m A MORON. I truly believe that this may have been the synthesis show for Joss Whedon. The show he took everything he learned from Buffy & Angel and put together into a Haven of Awesomeness. But science fiction cowboys & girls was not something Fox or the mainstream public was into and so it died.
- Now OF Blessings and Curses, and the inability to change the past, I am in the camp that it’s a Blessing that the show ended after 13 episodes. Because there are an AMAZING/MIGHTASWELLBEPERFECT 13 episodes. They are so rewatchable its sick. I’ve watched them all like 3 or 4 times. And Serenity. Do I care that it’s flawed, no. Do I care that it tonally is different from Firefly, no. I just feel incredibly grateful that Universal is stupid enough to have made it. J
- The Show that brought me back to watching Television Shows.
- I have never devoured seasons of tv like Alias. I watched 22 episodes in 30 hours once. It was devouring done only on a level of New Harry Potter books.
- It’s a blessing and a curse that Season 4 started off with it’s own jump the shark moment. Because if you had loved the show through the first 3 seasons, you could instantly see and say to yourself, “Nope that’s it. I’m out.”
- The X-Files
- The first show I really really liked. On my Own. In my Own way.
- How bad would this show have been without Mulder & Scully. Just think if it had been those other agents who took over late. What if they had been the agents at the beginning?
- For those who think that then end of Lost was terrible, please see the end of the X-Files and reconsider what Bad Is…
- 30 Rock
- How I love the ridiculousness of this show. It’s so weird. And yet oddly relatable. From the genius of Season 1 Tracy Morgan, to the sustained awesomeness of Alec Baldwin, and the adorable, weird, and uncomfortably similar thought processes of Liz Lemon. I hope they keep coming and never slide into the abyss of well that dark place Tv shows can go. You know like… well… there is no need in being bitter, but suffice it to say, if the show goes to hell, I’ll still watch it.
So that’s it. If you have any questions about the shows, cause I’m super vague about what they are about, feel free to hit me up, or if you would like to add some of your favorites, post them up.I’m gonna take a nap now…Hasta!
"Father's Day is a day honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 55 countries and on other days elsewhere. It is a widely known celebration."
Can you feel the music flow through you?
Can you feel the heat run over your skin?
Can you catch her eye as she passes by?
Can you ride that fire all night long?
For those of who can, there is only one choice: Courvoisier.
Now in three flavors, the Crib, the Club, and the Hotel Parking Lot.
Because a gentleman is never satisfied with just one.