Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Life in Albums

Again, these are the fruits of a Facebook meme.  I'm seriously fucking stalling for time, and I enjoyed the group headings more than anything else, so here's this.  Hit me with your thoughts on where it all went wrong...

Formative Years

1. Poison - Open and Say Ahhhh!
2. Bel Biv Devoe - Poison
3. New Edition - New Edition
4. Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Game Changes

5. Nirvana - Nevermind
6. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
7. The Lemonheads - It’s a Shame About Ray

The Dischord Years

8. Fugazi - Red Medicine
9. Rites of Spring - Rites of Spring
10. Jawbox - Jawbox/For Your Own Special Sweetheart
11. Shudder to Think - Pony Express Record
12. Nation of Ulysees - Plays Pretty For Baby

Pop Fag Reborn

13. The Beatles - Revolver
14. Guided by Voices - Under the Bushes, Under the Stars
15. Superdrag - Regretfully Yours
16. Big Star - #1 Record
17. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
18. Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With the Arab Strap
19. The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
20. Lilys - The 3 Way
21. Elvis Costello - Trust

Sad Bastard Years

22. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker
23. Whiskeytown - Strangers Almanac
24. The Byrds - Sweetheart of the Rodeo
25. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue


27. Neil Young - Harvest
28. Bob Dylan - The Basement Tapes/Another Side of Bob Dylan
30. Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On
32. The Replacements - Tim
33. Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque
34. The Pernice Brothers - The World Won’t End
35. Broadcast - The Noises Made By People

City Dweller

36. Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
37. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
38. XTC - Black Sea
39. Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
40. The Shins - Chutes too Narrow
41. The Pixies - Trompe Le Monde

I Get Old

42. The Louvin Brothers - My Baby’s Gone/Satan is Real
43. Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman
44. Sam and Dave - Double Dynamite
45. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Burnin’

Friday, April 10, 2009

22 Things

It's been awhile.  I've been busy...oh man, I've been up to sooooo much stuff, it's literally, like, pretty insane how much stu...ahhh fuck it.  I've been lazy as hell lately, and this blog was one of the first casualties of that.  So while I iron my shit out, here are the results of a Facebook meme I spent entirely too long working on a couple of months ago.  I was pretty jazzed about it initially but it's a bit corny in hindsight.  Oh well.


1. I really want to move down South in the next few years. I feel like it's where I belong. They have sweet tea and Cracker Barrell and I hear one of the requirements of being a police officer is the ability to sing in three-part harmony. Plus southern girls.

2. I went to college and became an atheist and a vegetarian, just like Hannity warned me.

3. My favorite album of all-time is "Tim" by the Replacements, and the 'Mats are my favorite band. Though they're popularly considered punk, they're everything holy about rock n' roll to me. They're perfectly sloppy and Westerberg is one of the most underrated songwriters ever.

4. I'm an inveterate night owl. Even on nights where I have to get up for school at 6 a.m., I can't go to bed before midnight. I just feel indignant towards sleep - how dare it tell me that I have to give up a portion of my day? Fuck sleep - I'd just as soon stay up forever.

5. I've noticed that the amount of sleep I do get is inversely proportional to the amount of sense I make the following day. On days after I get little sleep, my brain seems to be too tired to be as scattered as it normally is, so all it can do is reason and respond logically. This especially works to my benefit on tour, when it allows me the ability to reorganize my life while I'm running on 3.5 hours of sleep and wearing the same underwear for the third straight day.

6. The first band I ever got truly obsessed with is New Edition. Just me and 5 million teenage black girls.

7. The first cassette I ever owned was a collection of mid-80s pop stars doing cover versions of oldies for a California Raisins compilation. I was particularly obsessed with the version of "Stand By Me" by some unknown dude, and Phil Collins's version of "You Can't Hurry Love." I've looked for, but have been unable to find this cassette anywhere. If anyone can find a copy, I will pay top dollar for it.

8. Though none of my immediate family is interested in music - at all - I have distant relatives in Michigan who make up a gospel singing group called The Colmus Family, as well as a long-lost also-ran 60s country singer named Johnny Colmus, who worked a stint on the Grand Ole Opry before cutting out on his own as a singer-songwriter. The apex of his career had to have been when Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubbs recorded a version of his song "I'll Just Call You Darling" on their album of duets, "Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be." But I might be underestimating what it was like to write "Freida the Sand Witch."

9. Though I made it official in college, I first came to the realization that religion wasn't for me when I was in Catholic middle school. I remember looking around me during Stations of the Cross and thinking to myself, "This makes absolutely no sense." But even years after I gave up on religion, I still prayed to God almost nightly. Then one day I realized I was doing it because I hoped He was out there, not because I knew it or felt it. I realized that wasn't faith - that was covering my ass, and it was time I started being honest with myself. Initially it was scary, but I've been alot happier ever since.

10. The three philosophers I've taken the most inspiration from are George Carlin, Charles Schultz and Bill Hicks.

11. I've taken the Gettysburg tour guide test twice in my life, and for a two-year stint in high school, I was a Confederate Civil War re-enactor. I'm only slightly embarrassed by this because I never subscribed to the politics that most of those guys did, and firing a muzzle-loading gun is pretty fun. And I am a gigantic fucking nerd.

12. I've never flown in an airplane. Ever. My mom has a severe fear of flying, so growing up we spent our vacations at either Ocean City or Busch Gardens. I'm fairly determined to take my first flight this year because I can't be the only 30-year-old in America that hasn't flown in a goddamn airplane.

13. I started listening to Fugazi when I was fifteen because a girl I was digging lectured me on how awesome they were and I pretended to know what she was talking about. I went out the next day and bought "In On The Killtaker," and instantly hated the living shit out of it; however, by this point, I had convinced myself that any chance I had with this girl rested on my ability to be able to talk about Ian MacKaye, so I sat there for weeks dissecting that album, trying to find what was so great about it. Gradually it all made sense and I became completely obsessed with the entire Dischord catalogue and went straight-edge for most of high school. Yes, I completely regret that last part.

14. The nine albums that shaped my musical education thus far have been: "Open and Say Ahhhh!" by Poison, when I was 8; "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe, when I was 10; "Nevermind" by Nirvana when I was 11; "Red Medicine" by Fugazi, when I was 15; "For Your Own Special Sweetheart" by Jawbox, when I was 16; "The Boy With the Arab Strap" by Belle & Sebastian, when I was 19; "Pet Sounds" when I was 20; "The Soft Bulletin" by the Flaming Lips, when I was 20; and "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" when I was 21. I've had my mind blown since then, but those were the ones really made me rethink my shit.

15. McDonald's would get daily business from me if they served breakfast all day. If I can eat an egg-and-cheese bagel and a platter of hotcakes with a hashbrown, and chase it down with some orange drink, my day has already kicked ass and everything else is just bonus.

16. It sounds corny, but I think the awesomest thing in the world is making somebody laugh.

17. I miss having a cat.

18. I very rarely get blasted, but apparently I'm a very friendly drunk. The band has dubbed my drunken alter-ego "Scott," and Scott just wants to be everyone's best friend. Scott is not above kissing you either.

19. I don't know how I feel about the after-life. On the one hand, heaven doesn't seem likely to me - at the very least you've got no reason to believe it's true. But we know so little about the true nature of our universe that I haven't written off the idea that we'll all see each other again someday, in some other place far from here, and maybe if we're lucky we'll recognize each other and it'll be like we never left.

20. Despite all of the above statements, whenever shit goes horribly wrong, I still talk to my late grandparents. I don't know how that fits into my worldview or where I really think they're at, but it almost always makes me feel better.

21. I've been playing drums in bands since I was 15, and I still don't particularly think of myself as a drummer. It's just what I happen to do in the band.

22. 21 items is a perfectly good stopping place for this.