That’s right folks, this unadvertised, unupdated blog has been viewed 1,000 times. And while that number is not particularly large considering the scope and userbase of the internet, I am somewhat impressed that even a single person has seen this page. Even more impressive, it seems that people may have even found some useful information while looking at this blog. Although, I get the impression that most people came here to learn about arranging their rooms around a grand piano and/or preparing vodka and pineapple juice cocktails.

So what’s next for this anonymous blogger? Well, I think I’ll continue not blogging for a while, and so how that goes.

And one last thought:

The wordpress spell checker considers blog to be a misspelled word.

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After looking through a few year end best music lists it has occurred to me that 2007 was not a great year for music. While I have certainly not heard even the smallest fraction of all of the music released this year, a number of bands that I’m fond of released albums that are showing up all over these lists. The problem is not so much that these are bad records, but rather that they are not the “best” records one could hope to get from these artists. Let’s take a look at some examples of what I’m talking about.

The Arcade Fire Neon Bible

As a big fan of Funeral (and who isn’t), I was more than just a little bit excited for their follow up. Their interesting viral marketing campaign, which featured a bizarre infomercial and a flash-happy website, convinced me that this was an album that I needed to not just have, but to buy the special deluxe edition CD with some flippy books and a crappy poster. After I got over the euphoria of those flip books and actually listened to the record, well, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down. This was supposed to be one of those life-changing, best music ever heard, omg moments. Instead, I realized that the Fire decided to play it safe with a bunch of “mature” songs. Apparently, in the ears of many reviewers, the term mature refers to how unadventurous and bland a song can sound. Now, I’m being a bit cruel, but tracks like “Ocean of Noise”, “Windowsill”, and the misguided closure “My Body Is a Cage” all lack that special something that made every song on Funeral stand out. I’m not suggesting that Neon Bible is a bad record, but honestly, this is no instant classic. So when I see this CD listed within the top 10 best of the year, it makes me wonder, where have all the cowboys gone? But instead of cowboys, I’m thinking about awesome records.

Continue reading ‘2007 – A Year of Mediocre Music?’


Ahhh, well I haven’t updated this blog in a while. It’s interesting to see how many people come to this site searching for something that isn’t really here. I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. So, here’s some stuff I’m into right now.

http://twittervision.com/

This is like…addicting. I don’t use twitter, but something about this Google Map App really captures my interest. I think I like the idea of the whole world being connected by this fairly useless technology. It would be nice if google translator could kick in and let me know what all those Japanese people are talking about. Also, I’d like to be able to see what time it is in these respective locations. Somehow, I feel like that would give some context to what these people have to say. I might have to start twittering now…but maybe not.

Half-Life 2

This is also addicting. I know this game came out in like 2004, but I haven’t gotten around to play it until a few days ago when I decided to lay down a few bucks and download it from Steam. This is a pretty unique service for game distribution, and I’m sure it is a very good indication of things to come. Looking at things like XBox Live Arcade, or the Wii Store, pretty soon all games will be downloadable. I’m just glad that this game runs well on my computer, which I guess must be around 4 years old now. Definitely time for an upgrade, but, those darn Macbook Pros don’t come cheap.

Shout Out Louds Our Ill Wills

This album didn’t really hit me the first few times I heard it, but I’m glad I kept it on my hard drive because it has really grown on me. Swedish pop is just so…well, addicting. Which seems to be the theme of this blog post. It’s pretty straightforward poppy stuff, but there is a definite heart behind these songs, which really gives them some weight. I don’t really have anything else to say. I’m not here to write music reviews. In fact, if this was twitter, I wouldn’t feel like I should keep typing.

So, that’s that.


To commemorate the announcement of the release date for Weezer’s sixth album (April 22, 2008), I have compiled this list of Weezer’s albums in order from worst to best.

Maladroit (2002)

Why is Maladroit the worst Weezer album? Well for one thing, nobody cares about it, not even the band. On their most recent tour in support of Make Believe, they only played one (or maybe none, I can’t remember) song off of that album. What’s interesting is that the record was made in such a progressive way. Weezer posted tons of demos on their website and fans discussed and voted on them on the message boards. It was a very democratic and transparent way for a band to make an album. Unfortunately, by lifting the curtains on the recording process, a lot of the magic was lost on the final product. After all, most fans had heard all of the songs before, and many of them sounded a little better without the aggressive Pro Tools compression they used on this disc. Also, the fact that Rivers’ songwriting feels genuinely uninspired gives all of these tunes a throw-away song vibe. Although it’s definitely the worst Weezer album, there are still some good tracks on here like “Slob”, “Slave”, and album closer “December”. Overall though, if this album had never been made, it would not be missed.

Make Believe (2005)

The second worst Weezer album, and the most recent, was 2005’s Make Believe, which does win the award for worst album name. The problem with the record, and for that matter the name too, is that it’s… lame. The lyrics, the subject matter of the songs, the fact that they released a version of “We Are All on Drugs” called “We Are All in Love”, well the list goes on. The difference between this album and Maladroit is that even though these songs are lame, at least there was some thought put into making them. There is a certain payoff here, but only if you’re willing to think less about the lyrics and just accept it as a very straightforward pop record. Even in strictly musical terms, these songs are about as simple as you can get, featuring none of the occasional key changes or interesting modal interchange chords (pardon my music theory) that can be found on the other records. But “Perfect Situation” is still a great song, and for my money, “Haunt You Everyday” is the best Weezer song they’ve released in years.

The Green Album (2001)

The middle ground of Weezer records, the second self-titled record they released seems to be a good summation of what is good about the “new” Weezer but also of what is lacking. For what it’s worth, as a pop record, you can’t do much better than this. Every song is catchy, the album is short and easy to listen to all the way through, the production is clean but not overly polished, ect. But like Maladroit there is a certain sense that Rivers wasn’t really putting a lot of thought into these songs. Like, what the hell is he talking about in “Crab” and did he just say “I’ve got my ass wipe”? Despite the questionable nature of the lyrics, the melodies tend to speak for themselves. The big problem with this album doesn’t have so much to do with the album itself but rather how it compares to Weezer’s two previous albums. The Blue Album and Pinkerton both have an aura of gravitas to them, a certain sense of importance that makes them sound and feel like classics. The Green Album is enjoyable and fun, but it is, without a doubt, not a classic.

The Blue Album (1994)

Well, I think the debate over whether Weezer’s debut is better than their much beloved followup Pinkertonis one that won’t be resolved any time soon. After all, this record was certainly the more commercially successful of the two albums, and the songs from this record are definitely more recognizable by the world at large. The fact that every guitar player you know can probably play at least one song off of this record is a testament to the enduring influence of these tracks. So why do I think Pinkerton is better?

Pinkerton (1996)

Because it’s raw, emotional, practically broke up the band, legendary, totally esoteric but completely relatable, has the most musically ambitious Weezer songs, vaguely conceptual, contains songs that were supposed to be on a space rock opera, has lots of references to Japanese things (and girls), has lots of weird vocal “noises”, probably impossible to really like on the first listen, everything that a good pop record should be and more. I could probably keep going. Pinkerton is my favorite album of all time and I’m probably not the only person out there who feels that way.

So where will Weezer’s sixth album fall on the list? I would be happy if they could at least top The Green Album, but I’m not expecting a masterpiece. Unfortunately, I think Rivers has lost his edge over the years. But hey, writing two of the best rock albums of all time is better than writing none, so I think we should just be glad he’s still making music at all.


Or the BQE, whatever that is.

If you missed Sufjan Steven’s recent appearance on WNYC, New York’s public radio station, I wouldn’t be surprised. After all, I missed it too, but being a loyal disciple of Sufjan, I was able to find the broadcast available in streaming format for all to hear:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/2007/10/28

If you don’t feel like listening, let me give you a brief synopsis. Sufjan has a new orchestral work cooked up and ready to be premiered this coming weekend for some lucky kids in Brooklyn. It’s called the BQE, and he, with the help of a small orchestra, performed a few movements from it on this here radio show on Sunday night. The two pieces are quite good, as I would expect nothing less from SS, but I sure wish I could hear the whole thing in like, I dunno, CD form? Anything but awful quality youtube videos please.

I wish the Sufster had a blog or something because he says lots of weird and sometimes profound things.

“And even the BQE, which isn’t a very personal piece of music at all, it sort of feels very personal at times because it’s about wanting to know what kind of car should I drive, or should I even have a car? You know, what business do automobiles have in the city? And then you think about commerce and how the automobile is really important for the economy and things like this. And then you think maybe I should be riding my bike, or maybe I should be walking to work. Or, I dunno, maybe I should just stay home and watch TV, maybe I shouldn’t expend so much energy worrying about these things, or maybe I should be reading more books, or maybe I shouldn’t be writing about the expressway, maybe I should be writing about the natural landscape which is slowly fading away, you know with all the extinct birds and everything. . .

So, yeah, that’s the things I worry about sometimes, the birds and the marshes.”

If I ever write a novel, I think I want the dialogue to sound like that. Sufjan, I worry about those things too, sometimes.

UPDATED:

Here is another nugget of Sufjan philosophy from some interview somewhere sometime ago (Just trying to get these all in one place):

SS: I think there’s a reduction in quality and a lowering of standards overall in art and music. I’m not sure what the cause of this is — maybe it’s television, advertising, pop culture — but there’s definitely a decrease in literacy rates and languages and endangered species lists are going up. There’s just, throughout the ages, a process of reduction and simplification. Maybe it’s a decline of civilization, and as there’s a proliferation of computers and technology, that the human mind is in decline.

TB: Are you being serious?

SS: Dude, I have no idea what I’m talking about.


It’s quite unfortunate that the vast majority of people who have stumbled upon this blog have done so for all of the wrong reasons. Since my unrelated blog entry titles seem to be the culprit behind this phenomenon, I will attempt to make the subject of the blog post painfully clear in the title (see above). At least sometimes. And yes, vodka and pineapple juice is a delicious combination. I’m not sure what additional information you people are looking for.

So the subject of today’s blog post is “Five Scary Movies to Watch,” a list which I have constructed based on my own opinion on the matter, as someone who has watched at least six horror movies, I can safetly say this is the most accurate list of movies to watch ever compiled.

1. The Shining

I just purchased a two disc DVD of this movie with a documentary on the making of. Should be interesting. Did you know Stanley Kubrick didn’t make another film until seven years after this one came out? Did you see that pointless made for TV remake that came out a few years back? I think the original is a little better.

2. Alien

You know what movie I don’t like? Aliens. Why? Because that movie didn’t get what was so great about the original. The alien was only scary because you almost didn’t see it at all, and when you did see it, it looked real as fudge. Aliens was a dumb action movie, not a horror movie.

Alien 3 was better. The prison setting was more conducive to a horrific atmosphere, and the soundtrack to that one was dope.

Alien Resurrection was not better. But that movie kind of freaked me out when I was a youngin’. In fact, I seem to recall that movie being one of the first R rated movies I saw in theatres.

3. The Thing

One thing I despise about many modern-day horror movies is their reliance on CG to create the monsters. Only problem with that is, CG is not scary. Mainly, I believe this to be true because CG organisms never tend to look like they occupy the same space as the film they have been composited on. While the monsters don’t appear to be necessarily “real” in this movie, they are certainly more tangible in that they appear to be constructions of the physical world, and thus capable of interacting with the actors and sets in a very tactile way. And that is why most modern horror movies don’t even compare to The Thing.

4. The Grudge

Speaking of modern-day horror movies, this one really scared the doodle pop outta me when I saw it in theatres a few years back. In fact, this is the last movie I have seen that truly scaredme. But, I will admit, not everyone seems to have had the same reaction, as I had quite an argument with a friend of mine who found this movie to be decidedly un-scary, so much so that he walked out. So is this a good movie? I’d like to watch it again to confirm that my initial enjoyment of this movie was valid, but the last time I tried I had to turn the movie off because I was alone and it was dark and I thought I was going to die. If you didn’t find this movie scary, try watching it without a group of friends to laugh at it with, and see if it doesn’t give you some chills.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas

So good, it’s scary.


So, when I’m not listening to The Fiery Furnaces, and if I am in need of a good spiritual cleansing, I tend to put on some Sufjan Stevens. That album about Illinois he released a few years ago still gives me warm gooey feelings inside. In fact, the first song on that record, “Concerning a UFO blah blah blah…” has the highest playcount of any song in my Winamp. Yes, that’s right I use Winamp.

Mr. Stevens hasn’t been releasing music as regularly as he used to, which is a shame because judging by the few songs that have popped up in the last year or so, his musical mind seems to have evolved to an even higher echelon of genius than that displayed on Illinois. Take this epic little tune about butterflies or something:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgt7G1BYZmg

But this next one is really blowing my mind. It’s off the soundtrack for that Bob Dylan movie I’m Not There featuring a bunch of dudes (and a chick) portraying Bob Dylan. Who is Bob Dylan? I have no idea, but this cover of the song “Ring My Bell,” which I believe is actually a White Stripes song, is really fudgin’ crazy good.

http://www.sonymusic.com/artists/BobDylan/imnotheremediaplayer/

I’d like to think of Sufjan Stevens as the Bob Dylan of our generation. Or maybe more like the Brian Wilson. I dunno. At least as one of those dudes from the 60’s.

Am I right, dudes?