My Favorite Albums of 2012

Everyone loves a list and so I’m going to make one. End of year lists are hard because some good albums came out in January but that was a long time ago and the albums I’ve heard most recently are fresher in my mind. Thanks to the lost art of scrobbling I was able to check my last.fm page to remind myself of what I was listening to earlier this year. I think I got everything in here. Take a look. Continue reading

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Filed under Album Reviews, Lists, Self Indulgent Trash

The Problem With The Wild Card

The Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing (whoa big unintended pun) and the new format has a lot of people talking. It’s been somewhat of a distraction from the actual on-field action. I can’t stop wondering about the need for the extra Wild Card in each league and the effect it has had on the rest of the playoffs. There are arguments for and against the extra “round” and I can certainly see both sides which leaves me twisting in the wind. I truly do not know what to think. I’m on the metaphorical fence (more baseball wordplay).

The one game wild card showdown feels like manufactured excitement. After the exciting finish to the 2011 season many people howled that there was no reason to change something that sprouted so organically from the former postseason structure. The hustle to get that final spot made magic. Yet the league added a second wild card team to seemingly ensure a win or die scenario in each league no matter what. I would also make the point that the late season collapses by the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves that caused so much madness on the final night of the regular season were not exactly commonplace. Expecting that to play out the same way year after year would be foolish and the rarity of the drama of that evening only added to its lore. So MLB decided to make sure that we’d see something like that every year and in the process, perhaps even more teams would be left playing for something meaningful come October. Continue reading

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Moscow or St. Petersburg, Perhaps In A Few Years Or Thereabouts

Rainy days like this one provide a perfect excuse to listen to music all day long. Thankfully my schedule has given me few conference calls today so I can do just that. I had actually written something I was happy with and then I decided to hit a button on my WordPress screen because apparently I have the attention span of a six-year-old on Pixie Stix. It was pretty good, too – but now you have to read this version of whatever this post was going to be. Which is to say thanks a whole bunch for stopping by.

I was drifting through Spotify today as I am wont to do while trying to settle on something to listen to when I landed on a band I used to love called The Russian Futurists. That’s not to say that I don’t love them anymore but they went dormant as far as What I’m Listening To These Days and all it took was a jaunt through Spotify’s frustrating interface to find them again and shake them awake. Continue reading

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Filed under Self Indulgent Trash, Slak's classics, Song Infatuation

Stop Feelings Those Feelings, Dorks

Today is a very frustrating day as a Cubs fan. Every day is, frankly. Most of the days of my life since I made the choice to become a fan of the Cubs have been frustrating when it comes to baseball.

I don’t need to get into the back story about Ryan Dempster because if you’re reading this, you know all about it. If you need catching up, here’s a great place to go ahead and do that. While we wait for some kind of resolution to the Ryan Dempster trade saga we are left to deal with our own feelings. And here’s where I have a problem.

We know that a trade has not been finalized, I suppose. The deal still may happen and this gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands could end up moot. My problem is with the people who impartially cover baseball for a living. They who don’t care if the Cubs win or lose, mounted firmly on their cloud of judgement shooting ice-cold daggers of scorn at anyone who dare act annoyed that the Cubs might be missing out on a 22-year-old pitcher who could help out the team for years.

So what’s the issue? Why can’t we be annoyed at Dempster? It’s not about rationality, is it?

There’s nothing about being a fan of a sports team that is rational. It’s a bunch of rich people, some of them much younger and better looking than you, that live quite comfortably running around in costumes chasing a ball. You chose, at some point in your life, that whatever these rich people do matters to you. The outcome of their contests can decide your entire mood for a day or a week or an offseason. Somehow you’re supposed to pause and ignore all of the absurdity behind the very idea of why you’re following this news story in the first place and respect Ryan Dempster’s 10 and 5 rights?

When I became a Cubs fan I wasn’t given 10 and 5 rights. The Cubs have been average or below it for a long, long time. With a few exceptions that had testicle-destroying conclusions, things have not gone well in my lifetime as a fan. I don’t get to choose what team I want to root for next. This is it for me. So when a player whose major contributions to the team I love have been getting paid a lot of dollars and walking the entire Los Angeles Dodgers lineup one night in 2008 decides to exercise his right to stick around, I exercise my right to act annoyed.

 

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Pink Floyd – Careful With That Axe Eugene (Zabriskie Point)

Thank you to the wonderful @theodoreharwood for bringing this to my attention. The climax to this version of an all-time classic song is well worth a few minutes of your day. And now I’ll be listening to Pink Floyd the rest of the morning.

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July 6, 2012 · 8:58 am

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Seven Kinds of Wonderful

Anton Newcombe is a person who I would not like to party with because I would be dead within hours. I have been informed that he doesn’t party like he used to, circa the filming of Dig!, which was released in 2004 to the great acclaim of my friend and I who would get drunk and watch it almost every single weekend. And that’s a good thing. Unless he has the genetic make up of Ozzy Osbourne or Keith Richards he would be in deep trouble right now or possibly not alive. Instead, he is still making music and that’s great news for me. Selfishly, I would like Anton to live to be 100 and make music until his very last day.

Under my radar, which isn’t even close to what it used to be thanks to family life and a job that keeps me busy, Brian Jonestown Massacre released a new album called Aufheben. It’s not quite like the BJM that gave us songs like Whoever You Are, Servo and If Love Is the Drug Then I Want to OD because that was a long time ago and bands usually try different styles after a while. Come on, you should know that. Anton is a different person than he was back then because like all of us we experience things and meet people and change our perspectives from time to time. He lives in Berlin these days and has been traveling Europe extensively. It’s inspired him to make music like what you’ll hear on Aufheben. Continue reading

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Funkadelic – You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks

Presented without further comment.

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