Wednesday, February 26, 2014

mind venting for $200

Guys, GUYS. I got random shit on my mind, so here we go:

One: Let's talk about guy/girl friendships. These friendships growing up were my FAVORITE friendships. It just seemed easier. To this day, I am still way more relaxed around guys than girls, more at ease, etc. Unless I have a crush. Then I'm a bumbling idiot who apparently talks about sheet forts. Here's the thing though, as you get older, marking that initial friendship with the opposite sex is HARD AS FUCK.
See, I have moved a good deal. and in my newest venture especially, I have come across many times guys rebuffing me, or at least a few times interpreting my forthright nature as hitting on them. and it sucks. a lot. I want to outright say, DUDE listen. If I had any sort of crush on you, I probably would be too timid to talk to you , let alone outright ask to hang out. so just chillllll. I even have gone the path of thinking, sweet! That dude has a girlfriend. Safe zone.  I can totally ask him to hang out, and since he is already taken, and he KNOWS I know that, this wont be misconstrued. NOPE. Apparently every male (almost) things an invitation to go grab a drink, hike, or do something active of any kind while hanging out means I want in their pants. It may be the most frustrating thing I have encountered in my adult life. (It's definitely not).  I just don't get how a girls supposed to make friends dude. let me in on the secret. Do *I* have to have a bf to not be seen as threatening? BULLSHIT.

Two: it's already almost March, what the what?! I am starting to plan out my spring/summer months. I am *considering* Bonnaroo. If I can get a volunteer spot not with clean vibes, I think I will. I mean, I just cant imagine passing up Lauryn Hill. Oh god, and then she calls out special guest D'angelo and I have to take a moment and just breathe. Otherwise, my cousins wedding on the San Juan Islands in July, and a jaunt up to Alaska after that (I see myself buying tickets end of march, and I am STOKED.)  I also turn 29 this year which means I have to get my ass in GEAR on some of these 30 before 30 items. and getting to the South West as I want to complete all 50 states by 30. When that happens this year I'm not too sure yet... though I want it to happen RIGHT NOW.  AND another winter has gone by that I didn't make it back to Hawai'i, and that makes me sad. Will 2014/15 be that year? *shrugs*

Three: I AM SO READY FOR HIKING. and ADVENTURES. and CAMPING. and.... yeah. So ready for the warmer weather. I can't wait to see what Asheville has to offer. I am trying to step outta my comfort zone in a lot of ways too, try new activities, etc. we shall see.

Alright, little mind clearing. Sorry it's been almost 2 months since the last post. It happens y'all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

and finally, the top 10. You can all calm down now.

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Alright y'all, home stretch time. For the top ten I decided I am going to give you all four songs from each album that I find perfect. I'm sure I will break this rule while writing this as well, so stay braced for a rebel.

10. The Avett Brothers- Four Thieves Gone
When it comes to a favorite Avett Brothers album, damn it is hard to choose. In the end, Four Thieves just makes me scream along in the car the most. I know you are interested in how I rank the others, so here you are, After four thieves is goes: The Gleam, Emotionalism, tie between I and Love and You and Mignonette, The Second Gleam, and I def. like their newest 'The Magpie and the Dandelion' but wasn't a huge fan of 'The Carpenter'. The first time I was even AWARE of a band called 'The Avett Brothers' was at an Oyster Bake in South Carolina in 2008. A friend of mine mentioned going to a concert of theirs, but we had VERY dissimilar musical taste, so how much he loved them made me not even give them a chance, honestly. It wasn't until Alaska, and the Summer of 2010 that I started to give them a chance, and well fell in love. had their babies. stayed with them on their death beds. It was (is) a long and true love y'all. Distraction #74A Lover Like YouGimmieAKissDancing Daze

9. Arcade Fire-The Suburbs
I listened to this album straight through the first time I heard any song from it. I remember thinking that no other album in recent memory had spoken to me, and my current feelings about society at large, so accurately. I cried. I played it over on repeat. It deserves it's Grammy recognition, and though I love the albums that proceeded this one, The story they tell on this album is so on point. We Used to WaitSprawl IIModern ManThe Suburbs

8. Foo Fighters- The Colour and The Shape
I remember my mom coming home one day from work, and telling me I should download on that 'Napster' the track she had just heard on Howard Stern that morning. It was of A guy named Dave Grohl, and he sang the 'most beautiful song, called, Everlong I think...' Now I knew who Dave Grohl was already. And Foo Fighters, but I had not heard this song. I was obsessed. I had lyrics on my wall. I had a boy call me and play it acoustic over the phone for me. It caused me to go out and buy this album. And to see them in concert, and eventually hear Dave as the keynote speaker at SXSW 2013. Thanks Howard Stern and mom. Thanks. Monkey WrenchEverlongFebruary StarsSee You

7. Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
I honestly don't know the first time I heard this album. I want to say a friend of mine in college, sometime around my junior or senior year used to play this album a good bit. That is what my memory is giving me. And I liked it. But I didn't appreciate the album as a whole unit for sometime. I remember seeing the band Brand New in concert, and watching the lead singer Jesse, along with his opening act Kevin Devine, sing Holland 1945. But my BIGGEST memory that I have come to associate this album with is Trapper's Creek music festival in Alaska. August 2010 addition. Sitting at the campsite one day, and having what started as Daniel and Ryan Singing 'I love you Jesuuusss Chriiistttss' Slowly be joined by each individual present at the time. I like happy thoughts, don't you? Holland 1945Two-Headed BoyIn the Aeroplane over the seaThe King of Carrot Flowers
 photo 45563_125549964159121_4905644_n_zpsf2ef4872.jpg The Boys singing some Neutral Milk...

6. Ray Lamontagne- Trouble
Sophomore year of college, just Mahoney and I at his place, playing cards. He puts on this CD while saying 'Oh Katieface, you are going to love this'. He knew I would. and I did. and I have been in love with Rays voice ever since. Many nights singing 'Trouble' with Mahoney have happened since, I have introduced Ray to my West Coast cousins, I have gone to Raleigh to see him in concert and literally not been able to remove the smile from my face the entire concert. TroubleHold You In My ArmsShelterJolene

5. Weezer- Pinkerton
sophomore year of high school I vividly remember two upperclassmen I had Yearbook with singing different tracks from Pinkerton during class. At one point they even yelled through the halls in a question and answer type format 'Everyone's a little queer, why can't she be a little straight?'.  Don't even get me started on when in college it finally clicked with all the references of 'Madam Butterfly' and this album. Mind. Was. Blown. I have been a Weezer fan since before I realized who Weezer really were, but this album tops them all for me. Yes, even moreso than the Blue Album.  ButterflyPink TriangleEl ScorchoFalling for you

4. Neil Young-Harvest
Though I grew up with this album being played in the house on occasions (thanks dad!) it didn't fully sink in until college, once again the scene is set for Mahoney's, singing and drinking and singing to this full album. You're ridiculous if you don't find this album enjoyable from start to finish. Old ManDamage DoneAlabamaOut on the Weekend

3. Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
For how much I love 90s Hip Hop and R&B, it is severely under represented on this list. But I will let Lauryn do her part to rectify that. When this album came out, I was already well aware of Ms. Hill from the Fugees and the movie 'Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit'. Every track, Every interlude, everything about this entire album is perfection to me. You really should just listen to the entire album, but here try these four first. To Zion Every Ghetto Every CityNothing Even Matters ( feat. D' about perfection), Superstar

2. Jeff Buckley- Grace
I don't even know where to begin with this album. To this day I still can put this album on in the car and sing and yell and cry all at once. I have too many strong memories associated with this album to get into, but to this day, 'Lover, You Should have come over' still stands as my favorite track of all time, and honestly I cant imagine it being replaced.  I can't pick four tracks, it doesn't do the album justice.

Also, I thought this was a great cover of 'Lover'. Not many people could do this song justice. Not perfect, but not too shabby.

1. Brand New - Deja Entendu
Oh this album. Some may say it is sophomoric. I will say I don't care. This album is so quotable. So great to sing along with. One of the best concerts I've ever been to. I got into this album my Freshman year of college, and it helped me meet my first serious boyfriend. Make connections with some of my best friends.  Be angsty on a Xanga account, and get judgmental looks from my peers later in life. Ill take it all. Once again, the full album.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Asheville Series: A Snippet of West Asheville

A week or week and a half ago, I took to a small photo tour of just a half a mile stretch in West Asheville. The fact that all these small details, fun shops, cafes and little bits of beauty are in such a condensed area is such a wonderful thing! I plan on doing another mile or 1/2 mile span in West Asheville in another few days.

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So here is a general Map of the 'city' of Asheville. I actually live just north of the boundaries of this picture, and there definitely will be posts that I do on areas south of this map, but for now, here is a snippet. To help you get a frame of reference, I have added numbers to the top, bottom, left and right. Now, the distance from '1' across to '2' is less than 7 miles. From '3' to '4' it is roughly 3.5 miles. So we aren't talking about a huge area here.

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Now here is the same map, with a star in the general vicinity of the area I will be talking about today (West Asheville)...
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...and then a more detailed map (with a green line showing the exact portion of west Asheville) of which I am talking about today. Less than a miles stretch. keep that in mind.

Now, you all might not need all this information, but as you learn, so am I. And Maybe Ill get better at this, and these can be a reference to someone else as well. *shrugs* or maybe I just like the little details. And now Ill shut it, and let you see pictures!

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Sunday, December 15, 2013


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Guys, we are in the top 20 now. Get ready for long-winded nostalgia with each album. And ramblings about people you've never heard of. Albums that I probably should have forgotten about after the age of 16. Giving power to songs and melodies that others overlooked. But, hopefully, also albums you as well love and cherish, and we are now bounded on another level because that is what music and sharing does.


20. Ben Folds Five- Whatever and Ever Amen
When I was young, my dad used to be a part of those CD clubs, where you would get 11 CDs for $10! and then have to buy a CD a month for a year after that. Do you remember those? They were big time in my life. Really. Dad would sometimes let me pick out half the CDs and, so one time, going through my catalog of choices, I saw this CD. I had never really heard of Ben Folds (Brick was JUST about to be famous) But, I did vainly see that they had a song called 'Kate' on their album. That was all it took, ORDERED. As i shared the CD with friends, I would many a time walk into a classroom where someone had scrawled the lyrics 'She plays wipe-out on the drums, the squirrels and the birds come, gather round to sing the guitar, oh I, have you go nothing to say? I WANNA BE KATE.' Just their way of saying 'HI!' to me from the class period before. Kate, Evaporated, Song for the Dumped

19. Michael Jackson- Thriller
Who doesn't like this album? You are ridiculous. (and I know for a fact this applies to a few of my friends, and I just try to forget that when thinking about you, b/c it makes me so upset.) P.Y.T will always and forever make me think of my friend Brady. It will also always be my favorite Micheal song, with 'Scream' the duet between him and Janet as my second favorite. You just cannot have a dance party with out PYT. Fact. And man, I love a good dance party.

18. Sufjan Stevens- Seven Swans
Now, it was super hard for me to pick between this album and 'Illinois' but, in the end Seven Swans won for a few reasons: I like the ambiance of it overall better, I believe it is a lot more cohesive. It contains what I feel is one of the prettiest songs out there (The dress looks nice on you), and Fuck it i just a GOOD album.
The Dress Looks Nice On You, The Transfiguration, Size too Small.

17. The Postal Service-Give Up
I was in my sophomore year of college when I first heard the Postal Service. Actually it was around the time Garden State came out. I didn't realize that the Iron and Wine version of 'Such Great Heights' on the soundtrack was a cover. When I learned the truth, my mind was blown. The whole album is one I have long ago associated with car trips, and is such an easy full album listen, that I know there wont ever be a time when I tire of it. Nothing Better, We Will Become Silhouettes, Sleeping In.

16. The Beatles- Let It Be
I grew up in a Beatles house hold. I woke up to the Birthday Song almost every birthday. I passed notes with friends in class that  were simply the lyrics to 'Why Don't we Do It in the Road?'. I thought for a long time that the White Album was my favorite album b/c it was the one I had the most exposure to, and it was my mom's favorite. As I got older though, though I LOVE the White Album, I came to hold a fondness in my heart for Let It Be. Overall it has the most tracks I dig (or maybe the least amount I DON'T dig) and that makes a straight through listen all the better. Dig a Pony, Two of Us (though a close call with 'I Me Mine'), I Got A Feeling

15. Eddie Veddar-Into the Wild Soundtrack
Yes, Earlier I said no soundtracks. BUT I DO WHAT I WANT. and really, the whole soundtrack is Eddie Veddar written and performed, so I mean, it is like a real Eddie Veddar album. Now, mind you, I am not a pearl Jam fan, and never really have been. I usually compare the vocals of Veddar to a goat. But this album, this album just encapsulates the movie 'Into the Wild' SO WELL. And well, as corny as it sounds, it was the album playing when I drove my car into Alaska for the first time. It's a little piece of home. No Ceiling, Rise, Guaranteed

14. The Presidents of the United States of America-self titled
5th grade. Having just moved to South Carolina. Living in an apartment beach house next door to a (kind of) family that included 3 children. They had a trampoline, and we would blast this album while jumping on the trampoline for hours. I still know every word. And I still love love love this album, and ALL its ridiculousness. Everyone needs a silly album to counteract the angst-y albums (see Fiona Apple below). Kitty, Dune Buggy, Naked and Famous.

13. Death Cab For Cutie-Transatlanticism
Oh look, another Ben Gibbard band (ahem, The Postal Service above...). It is funny the associations you make with music. Though it wasn't my introduction to DCFC, I very much remember an ad for the movie 'Shop Girl' (Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman) that used the Sounds of Settling in the trailer. It was one of the reasons I saw the movie, honestly (well, I went out and read the book first...). I have had many associations since this, but for some reason that is still what sticks out in my mind. A song in a trailer, for a movie that was merely 'meh'. Oh life. Lightness, Tiny Vessels, Transatlanticism

12. Fiona Apple- When the Pawn...
Really this place should just be 'Fiona Apple, ANY ALBUM.' I like them all equally, as they are ALL soo different. each one has its own time and place. But, I went with her sophomore collection 'When the Pawn...' as I think overall it has the collective most listens. I remember I originally received this CD as a Christmas present in the post from one of my childhood friends in Maine my Freshman year of high school. It has since been listened to (mostly at night, but also through headphones while copy song lyrics over and over again into binders) more times than I can recall... I Know (elvis Costello version, b/c that's badass), Limp, Love Ridden.

11. The Features- The Beginning EP
I saw the Features the first time opening up for Jump, Little Children (see earlier in the list) when I was a freshman (I think?) in college. I had never heard of them, but immediately feel for their sound. I was also a little in love with their drummer, a guy named Rollum. He would play the drums so lackadaisically and then all of a sudden go spastic. It was quite entertaining to watch. I immediately bought their EP at the show, had them sign it and all. The six song EP is all about the lead meeting his wife, and them having babies. It is adorable. And not what you would expect. I have since seen The Features two times since, and every time they blow me away. Such great energy and sound. And the song 'The idea of growing old' may be the most adorable love anthem I've ever heard.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A 'Currently' of Sorts...

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I had four or five ideas half drawn out, scheduled, drafted, and the such before I got this overwhelming urge to do THIS post. Now, this post isn't about anything new or groundbreaking, but moreso, I  wanted to talk about a couple AWESOME things that have come across my (internet screen? phone screen? occasionally a REAL newspaper article, but let's be honest...) recently. I also just wanted to give you a heads up on what the hell I've been doing lately (spoilers, not a lot. Learning to love a new town. No Complaints.)

First, John Green, Hank Green, and all of Nerfighteria:
I know I talk about this guy all the time. I have loved him for quite a few years, and each year my love grows more and more.  I just think it is amazing how they use their internet fame. Such an AMAZING example. He is funny and smart, and the issues/topics as well as the age ranges that are addressed is just spectacular. Below is the newest video about the philanthropic arm of Nerdfighteria. (BTW, the nerdfighter community in Mr. Green's own words: "The nerdfighter community isn’t even really about our videoblogs (or my books). It’s mostly about celebrating intellectualism and making cool stuff on the Internet and decreasing worldsuck."
Also, I am super stoked for the newest venture where John's Wife Sarah (the Yeti) has partnered with PBS to produce an program on Art. Sarah is the former curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. 

Second, Music:
Man, I always think about how My friend Brady is SO UP TO DATE all the time, on music. I am forever behind. Which, doesn't bother me so much, except when i find this amazing band and realize I could have been enjoying them for years already. I have been listening to a really random grouping lately. My usual R&B/Hip-hop (mostly 90s centered, but with splashes of John Legend, The Roots, Raphael Saadiq (NPR tiny desk linked), Jannelle Monae, etc) But what I really wanted to share with you this second was two thoughts. First, Let's talk about pop music. I have no qualms with how much I tend to enjoy pop music. This is especially true in the fact that I try not to listen to the radio much, so it doesn't get overplayed in my mind, and it can retain what makes it fun, longer. Pop get's a lot of shit though, and I just wanted to take a moment and stand up for. I also was reminded, and wanted to remind everyone else, of how great some of the late 90s/early 2000s pop was. I just re-listened to all of 'Celebrity' by Nsync. and loved it. Go ahead, try to shit on how awesome 'Gone' was, or 'Girlfriend'. They are sugary and delicious! The second tidbit to share was about friend's recommending music. THANK GOD for that. A hat tip to Tyler currently for getting me back into (as I have some reference, and always enjoyed, but never delved into at great lengths) Mazzy Star. Currently the 'She Hangs Brightly' album is on a pretty constant rotation. 

Third, Asheville:
Hey guys, I took photos throughout my last few days off. Here is a snippet of my life currently, in Asheville! (spoilers: I have two Jobs. one restaurant, one bakery. I am now working out every day like a healthy person (I also make a point to try a new Asheville beer everyday too, you know, also for health reasons...). I try to walk when I can (one job, groceries, downtown to just poke around, etc). 

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A Butcher Shop on the way to my bakery job. I just think it's kinda cool that there is a butcher shop. My not eating meat doesn't effect this. Also, the Highland Brewery and tasting room. It is basically what every tasting room should look like. Open, spacious, twinkle lights, industrial inside and large tables to share with friends. Still working on the 'friends' portion.
Library times photo IMG_1346_zpseceebddc.jpgDowntown xmas photo IMG_1342_zps47539452.jpgI got a library card, and checked out one of the smaller branches that is by my house. Got a few books to start me off. And this is just a little snippet of downtown holiday cheer to come!
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I went on my first NC resident hike a little over a week ago! It was at Rainbow falls (didn't actually go all the way to the falls, found this nice little happy place and just enjoyed nature 2/3rds of the way in). This hike was about an hour from my house.Cannot wait to discover so so so many more. 

Four, News:
I am terrible at following news (if it isn't pop culture related. I admit). But I got the 'next Draft' App and man i love it. It allows me to look at the top 10 stories of a day, and click links onto read further. Everything is explained very simply, and you are given resources to look into the headlines further. and it combines all forms of news, so I find it wonderful. I feel KINDA on top of stuff, moreso than I have been in a long, long time.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Favorite Albums: 21-30. Let's Do This.

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30. Say Anything- ...Is a Real Boy
Sometime between sophomore and junior year of college I came across Say Anything. The whole record is great, if you are into that type of thing (Pop Punk: Something Corporate, Fall Out Boy, etc). Later the band added a second disc to this album titled '...Was a Real Boy'. Just as a chance to list more songs I love, I'm going to cheat and say you should listen to 'Wow, I can get Sexual too', 'Little Girls' and 'Metal Now'. Memory lane time!: Driving down 26 towards Columbia from a random rest stop my friend Jack tricked myself and his roommate Mark drive 45 minutes out of town to visit (sigh) blasting 'Wow I can get sexual too' and loving every cheesy minute.
Alive With the Glory of Love, Every Man has a Molly, Admit it!!!  (watch the lyric video for the last one, so good)

29. Incubus- Make Yourself
For this one we are going back, back to a time when I had never kissed a boy, and thought that Brandon Boyd was what boys were supposed to look and sound like. I was in 9th grade, and the video for 'Stellar', and Boyd throwing his shirtless torso around that made me feel all warm and tingly inside. I knew I liked Incubus already, as I had discovered 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E.', but it was this album that made me feel all teenager-y. Make Yourself, Privilege, I Miss You

28. Belle and Sebastian- Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Belle and Sebastian get typecast as unequivocal hipster music. I just think of it as music for a sunny day while outside lovin' life. YES, I am most likely wearing cut off jean shorts while playing something like foursquare (BEST. GAME. EVER) but, I could listen to Wu Tang while doing those things too. Just depends of the day. If She Wants Me, I'm a Cuckoo, If You Find Yourself Caught in Love
From a separate album, but when I hear Belle and Sebastian, THIS is the first thing that comes to mind, this scene from the DARK comedy 'Pumpkin'.

27. The Darkness- Permission to Land
SHUT UP. It is one of the most entertaining albums out there. Believe me when I say I have way more ridiculous albums further up on this list. I remember watching the video for 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love' and giving the lead singer a mental high-five. This album never fails to get me pumped up and dancing up a storm. I love the 80s hairband feel, out of a album from the 2000s. Get Your Hands Off of My Woman, I Believe in a Thing Called LoveFriday Night

26. Tune-Yards- W H O K I L L
Minneapolis. This album will always be Minneapolis. I discovered it simultaneously through the GREAT Public Radio station The Current and while browsing with Nick through Paste's 25 best music videos of 2011 and seeing the badass video for 'Buziness'. (I am addicted to Paste's List of the day. ADDICTED.) The album as a whole is wonderful. I cannot believe the sounds that come out of this wonderful musician. Her voice is insane, in all the best ways. I cannot pick three songs. Here is the entire album.

25. Jump, Little Children- Magazine
Jump, Little Children is this wonderful band based out of South Carolina. Or used to be. They don't exist anymore. But they were wonderful. And they had a great following in the south, but never managed to break it big. The had another big fan in Zach Braff, and he played some of there music on 'Scrubs'. Also Elton John. He loved their song 'Cathedrals' because, once you hear cathedrals, you'll realize no one can NOT cry from its beautiful beautiful joy. I saw JUMP twice during college, and would see them a zillion times more, if possible. Cathedrals, B-13, Body Parts

24. Decemberists- Picaresque
2006. I heard 'Of Angels and Angles'. I dug deeper. I loved the epic sound to all Decemberists albums. My favorite songs of their's ('O Valencia!' 'July, July', 'Summersong') aren't on this album, but this one just holds a place in my heart. Fun Side note: they do some wicked live covers of the band 'Heart'.
The Sporting lifeOf Angels and AnglesFrom My One True Love (Lost at Sea)

23. Tallest Man on Earth- Shallow Grave
Tallest Man on Earth is one of those artists that I was told time and again I would enjoy, and just would brush it aside, or listen to one track think 'eh yeah okay' and then move on, etc. I don't know what got me finally really listening, most likely the fact that most people I loved and had similar taste as wouldn't stop harping about him. Either way, thank god they are all relentless. I'd say the main memory associated with TMoE would be my drive from Minneapolis back to Alaska with my ridiculous friends Glenna and Nick. How we survived 10 days together in a car with a cat still astounds me. I Won't be Found, Where do Bluebirds Fly, The Gardener

22.Vampire Weekend-self titled
Fun story: When I was a senior ( I think?) in college I went on a road trip with a friend. It was last minute and sporadic. When I got back from said trip, another friend of mine was like 'HEY! Where were you this weekend? I tried calling! We went with so and so up to (virginia?) and saw this awesome band play in so and so's garage! Then we partied with them in the woods all night!' That band? Vampire Weekend. I had never heard of them, the extended friend simply knew them from youtube and on a whim asked if they wanted to play a house show. Life's cray, right? I would later get to see them in 2008 at Bonnaroo and they were just AWESOME live. Such great sound and energy. And really this album, just a fun great collection of music. Walcott, One (Blake's Got a New Face), A-Punk. Though the fact that 'The Kids Don't Stand a Chance' always brings images of The Police puts it at a strong fourth place.

21. Ben Harper- Live From Mars
Okay YES. This album is definitely cheating by being on the list, but DAMMIT. It's my list. I DO WHAT I WANT.  Ben Harper is sex. Pure sex. I have seen him twice ( maybe three times?) and each time a change of pants is in order. He is ridiculous. This live album is raw and wonderful and everything I love about Ben Harper. I am gonna cheat AGAIN and since this is a two disc album, pick 3 songs from each disc, HA! Take that Rules I created to govern myself in the first place! Disc One: Woman in You, Mama's Got a Girlfriend Now, Glory & Consequence Disc Two: The Drugs Don't Work (verve cover), Number Three, Like a King/I'll Rise (melody)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oh yes, 10 more albums!

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Here we are y'all, the second installment of my top 50 favorite albums. While putting these posts together, I have to say that each ten albums I tackled took longer and longer, as I wanted to just sit and listen to the entire album, and I had more than a handful of memories to associate with each record. I tried not to get too verbose, but sometimes I just can't help myself...


40. No Doubt-Return of Saturn
I have found that I am a fan of the sophomore albums. I have at least 5 definitive sophomore albums on this list, and I'm sure there is some murky areas where more of these might count as a second go round. (and before some of you grumble, I know that TECHNICALLY No Doubt had records before Tragic Kingdom, so this wouldnt be a sophomore album, but by music industry standards, this is totally their sophomore album). Now, a lot of you might think I am crazy for liking 'Return of Saturn' more than 'Tragic Kingdom' but, alas I stand by my assessment. 'Return of Saturn' was and still is, a fun record. It's a little darker than 'Tragic Kingdom', and I truly enjoy the creepy undertones wrapped in a pop candy shell. What that says about me...well, it's all true. New, Bathwater, Staring Problem

39. Talking Heads- Speaking in Tongues
I had a friend in college who would watch the Talking Heads Live concert DVD 'Stop Making Sense' what seemed like every weekend. It was more realistically once a month, but still. I can't remember the first time I saw 'Stop Making Sense' but I do remember walking in, sitting down, and reliving and sharing the experience over and over with him. Since the concert DVD would break my 'no compilation' rule (sorta) I decided to go with Speaking in Tongues. Really, I could have went with 'Little Creatures' just as easily, but that just means you should listen to the entire catalog and prepare to dance around your kitchen. Burning Down the House, Girlfriend is Better, This Must be the Place
ALSO: Get into the David Byrne & St. Vincent collaboration. It's fucking awesome.

38. Elton John-Honky Chateau
I grew up in a household where Elton John was played a good deal. My dad would sing along to every song, and on car trips he would hit the dashboard to the beat and once in a while stop and tell me to 'listen to the lyrics. Just listen to the entire song'. As I grew older, this particular album became the one I clung to, learning every track myself, and eventually purchasing the CD for my own collection. Mellow, Susie (dramas), Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters 

37. Glen Hansard- Rhythm and Repose
If I was doing a list of the best concerts I have ever had the privilege of attending, Glen Hasard would be #1. The First time I ever saw him live was in 2008 at Bonnaroo, when he was still playing and touring with Markéta Irglová as 'The Swell Season', based off the success of the movie 'Once'. (Side note, the Once Soundtrack is kind of a grey area in that it IS a soundtrack, but it could also technically be considered The Swell Seasons First album...I left it off because of that greyness). Any way, The second time I saw Glen was this past June (2013) once again at Bonnaroo. Both shows, separated by 6 years time, were awe-inspiring. Mr. Hansard is an amazing musician, and though I watched both shows by myself, I have never felt more surrounded by love in a crowd. You Will Become, Maybe Not Tonight, Bird of Sorrow.

36. Radiohead --OK Computer
I don't think I mentioned in my introduction, but I only let myself pick ONE album from a group or artist. As it is with most any artist you enjoy, you usually enjoy more than one singular album. There were multiple times when I had it narrowed down to two album by an artist/group and had to sit and listen to them both as a whole, and decide which one. Radiohead is no exception. It was down to OK computer (the winner!) and Hail to the Thief. The overall dilemma can boil down to the fact that my favorite Radiohead song, 'There, There', (and a a few other top 5's) are all on Hail to the Thief, but in a straight listen, OK Computer is just a more cohesive, better listen. The hard decisions I encounter on a daily basis guys. (Side note, when it comes to memories associated with a Radiohead album, a third album 'In Rainbows' definitely wins. It quickly brings me back to the year I lived on Columbia, SC and closing up a small coffee shop with this super hipster youngin' and how it was the one album that we could agree on and blast to get through all our closing activities. OH NOSTALGIA). Paranoid AndroidNo SurprisesThe Tourist

35. George Harrison-All Things Must Pass
George Harrison is my favorite Beatle. I'd say he was my favorite Beatle before I knew who The Beatles were, or that I could have a favorite. When I was young I used to get REALLY excited every time the video for 'I've got my mind set on you' came on MTV, and would dance and spin on the coffee table. As I got older, 'discovered' The Beatles, and then eventually discovered this solo Album of George's, I just fell more and more in love. 'My Sweet Lord' never fails to make me happy (and I have blasted it from many an office to the dismay of coworkers). 'What is Life' is the song I want played at my funeral (yes, I've thought of this). I have read biographies, and biographies of lovers. I have watched the concert for Bangladesh and the Concert for George numerous times. I remember being in my parents bedroom in South Carolina and watching the television as reports of his passing were on every channel. I could go on...This was definitely the hardest one yet to simply pick three songs as my favorite! I included the video below, because I love Ben Sollee, and who doesn't love when some of your favorite artists cover some of your other favorite artists? I Dig Love, My Sweet Lord, What is Life.

34. Joni Mitchell-Blue
I grew up hearing Joni Mitchell around the house from time to time. Admittedly, I didn't understand the appeal for a bit. As I mentioned before, I am not really big on female voices, and at first listen, Joni was some whispy voiced hippie chick. What changed my mind? Mostly age, honestly. I still have to be in the right mood for Joni, but when I am, nothing else works. As far as memory association goes, the year before I moved to Alaska, I met some of the most important people in my life while living in Columbia, SC. One afternoon I helped paint the house two of my friends were renting out, and we listened to the entirety of 'Blue'. To be laughing, painting, and singing along with these two guys just made for a great afternoon. Case of You, California, River

33. Elliot Smith- Figure 8
I was one of those that had their first interaction with Elliot Smith via Good Will Hunting and its soundtrack. (Spoiler: Good Will Hunting is my favorite movie of all time, so I guess I can scratch that top 50 favorite movie list now...). 'Say Yes' and 'Miss Misery' still hit a spot within me when I hear them, but as far as a whole album goes, Figure 8 is the winner. Really though, do yourself a favor, and go pick up any of Smith's Albums. Somebody that I Used to Know, In the Lost and Found (honky bach), Pretty Mary K

32.Kind of Like Spitting- Learn: The Songs of Phil Ochs
KOLS was introduced to me while I was in college, and quickly became a pretty consistent soundtrack to my life at the time. The album that means the most to me though, is one in which Songs of famous singer/songwriter Phil Ochs are covered. I very vividly remember being on a road trip (per usual) and my friend putting on one of the tracks from this album because he knew I'd love it ( "It's like that Bob Dylan Shit you like, but you know, tolerable"). The album should be listened to in its entirety, and since youtube cannot provide that for me, I will embed a Spotify playlist for you instead. You're welcome.

31. Damien Rice- O
I think if you looked back over the past 10 years, I can easily say that I have fallen asleep to songs from this album, in some form, 65% of the time. I have cried while in a car listening to this album. I have associated it with the emotion in the movie 'Closer' (as Rice's music feature prominently in the excellent 2004 movie). I have sung it in happiness, and switched what I have claimed as my favorite song on the album more times than I can count. Older Chests, Amie, Cheers Darlin'