Monday, July 20, 2009

Randomly Musical

Well hey there, internet neighbor. I've been absent from the blogosphere recently but once you see the vast and magical things that have kept me away you will regret sending me those anthrax emails:
  • New beers have been drunk (at the Pour Farm)
  • Meeting Joey from Anthrax!
  • Taking time to be awesome
  • Digitizing my DVD collection
  • Traveling the countryside
  • "Researching" the myFaces
  • Playing in bands
  • Not blogging
That last one was probably the biggest reason for not writing, but it could have been all that time I was being awesome. Either way, times are changing as I'm easing into a full-time research position at my center and contemplating my next life steps. I take small steps, though, so right now its between finishing this blog post and drinking some water.

Lucky for you I've decided to stick this post out and give you a patented (by patented I mean "stolen") uber random post about songs in the 'ol iPod.

1) He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot - Grandaddy
I was (digitally) given this album a few years ago and I don't think I've ever listened to the whole thing. From what I've heard (and what I will hear over the next 9, that's long) they sound like a pour man's version of The Flaming Lips. I'm 4 minutes in and have detected some Death Cab For Cutie-ness and need for splitting this into at least 3 tracks.

2) Communication Breakdown - Trippin' Blues
Oh dear lord. Back in college I was in a little acoustic trio consisting of no singers (though that didn't stop us) and 3 very amateur musicians. Lucky for us we were quite charming and fun to hang around so we got more gigs than we rightfully deserved (apologies to anyone who went to see us at Uncle John's...every Thursday for the Spring 2002 semester). This song came from, what I like to call, the "Rick Fetters" sessions. He was a regular at the old Hardware Cafe (Marion, MA) open mic and we wrote him the "Rick Fetters Song" which was a rather disturbing but well received tune about Rick taking over as MC at said open mic. You may have noticed how much text I'm writing while listening to this song. The reason being that this song is in fact a 7 min. cover of Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown" ripe with harmonica (possibly the best aspect of the old band), cringe-worthy slide leads and awful rhythm...oh good, it's over.

3) Long Way Down - Goo Goo Dolls
Before that horrid "City of Angels" movie totally removed any rockish tendencies from the Goo Goo Dolls they were a pretty awesome rock band. This song is a perfect testament to those tendencies. The album where it resides, A Boy Named Goo, is be best known for the ballad-ish "Name" but should have been remembered as balls to the wall rock album.

4) Strawberry Wine (Live 05/17/2005) - Ryan Adams
Cold Roses had just been released and I was gonna see Ryan Adams play at the Avalon in Boston. As I staked out my spot in the crowd visions of "Magnolia Mountain", "Sweet Illusions" and "Let It Ride" danced in my head. Then the show started with a new tune. Good call, good call, get the crowd settled with a new, peppy song. Then another new song and another and another one still. All told he played 3 songs off of Cold Roses and 8 songs off his yet to be released albums, Jacksonville City Nights and 29. While I didn't complain (much) the one tune that made me less than pleased was this one, which opened up the encore, as it clocked in at over 9 minutes and consisted of just an acoustic guitar and tooooooons of words. Luckily, "Wonderwall" and an awesomely unaccompanied electric version of "I See Monsters" followed to close the show.

5) Stevie's Song - Michael Troy
The pride of Fall River! I don't know how I'd feel about having that moniker but Mr. Troy seems to enjoy it. He's as close to a music legend as you're gonna get in a city who's motto is "We'll Try" (f'realz, it's even on the police badges). I would often run into him at the Narrows Center open mic and his music was always pretty decent...little acoustic diddy's about local life, nothing fancy.

6) Casey Jones (Live @ The Filmore West) - The Grateful Dead
WTF?!?! Can't I get just 2 songs in a row which aren't like 50 minutes long? This tune comes off a 4-Disc set recorded from a set of shows the Dead performed at the Filmore back in the late 60's. Back in High School I used to tutor my friend's little sister in Algebra and her mom got me a Circuit City (R.I.P.) gift certificate for the help. Along with some blank CDs I bought this album and further fueled my High School obsession with jammy, hippie bands. I admit, though, 15 years later this album still has legs...those boys could play.

P.S. The song actually ends with over 3 minutes left. The rest is just some really stoned dude blabbering on about how awesome the Dead are.

7) By My Car - My Morning Jacket
I don't know where I got this from. Oh, sweet lord, it's soooooo freakin' slow. I just want something fast, pleeeeease.

Note to self: When in a specific music mood do not play "Randomly Musical"

P.S. I'm reeeeealllly (italics mean "streeeeesss") bored so I'm enjoying playing with FONTS!!!!

8) Emile's Vietnam in the Sky - Elvis Perkins
Great band, great album, great song. Elvis actually played a gig for my best friend's Computer Music thesis presentation at Brown. I saw him again at the Paradise in Boston last year, maybe longer.

Still a slow song but at least it's less than 3 minutes long.

9) Moby Dick (bootleg) - Led Zeppelin
I have been a Zep-head since I was about 17. This gem (according to the 17-year old newly minted Zep-head me) comes via a bootleg cassette tape I bought at the Raynham Flea Market in High School. Later it got put on an 8 disc collection of Zeppelin rarities and live tracks I made called Hammer of the Gods. This is actually just 4 minutes of Bonham playing around on the drum set.

The 17-year old newly minted Zep-head version of me wasn't the best judge of musical character.

10) Kashmir (Live) - Led Zeppelin
Dear Lord, why hath you forsaken me? This is a 10-minute version of the classic Physical Graffiti track from the early 80's. Here are the list of reasons why this version sounds like utter crap:
  1. It's the early 80's so Jimmy Page probably has a needle sticking in his arm the entire song (in fact, he barely does anything on this song)
  2. John Paul Jones is making his mark that he's not the least talented he's really loud.
  3. Robert Plant is beginning his vocal deterioration.
  4. For some reason there is an echo effect on everything Robert Plant sings
  5. It just sucks, absolute crap
Well, that wasn't as much fun as I thought it'd be. Better luck next time, for now its time to be physically active.

Who wants to poke a bear with a stick and see how fast it can run?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obama had the Knights Templar Killed...f'realz

Last night I went to a Brewery Dinner with some friends downtown. The brewery of choice was Ommegang (makers of Three Philosophers, Witt and Hennepin), the food was awesome (shrimp tabbouleh, little necks with chourico) but some of the pairings were off (herb chicken with strong flavored beer and strong alcoholic-y beer with chocolate and vanilla ice cream). All of this, however, pales in comparison to our conversations at the end of the night with a crazy ass, radioactive tomato government conspiracy guy who, for the sake of conversation, we'll call...The Greatest Man To Ever Live (TGMTEL from here on out because acronyms are the shit).

UPDATE: I've created a movie about it...with ROBOTS!!1!!one!!!!

Our conversations began as he was waiting for the bathroom and introduced himself as [scene missing]. After his first thought bomb about "generically [sic] engineered" tomatoes that have a "shelf-life of 6 months due to a tiny dose of radiation", however, he quickly attained the TGMTEL moniker. Before he left us to relieve himself he asked us to think about the origins of two phrases: 1) "Hit the head" and 2) "A little birdie told me..." His explanation of the former was brief but interupted by my desire to know the answer to #2. What followed was a long and magical journey through time and space with no heed to logic or commonsense at any point. The dialog that follows is paraphrased and commented on in ( ) to illuminate key points but is true to what happened and not fabricated because, honestly, I could never dream to be this batshit crazy.

Me: So, where did "A little bird told me..." come from?

TGMTEL: You see the Rothchild family, second generation (this would be the German Jewish banking dynasty beginning in the late 18th century), they had lots of places all over and they were trying to communicate to each other. The Templetons, though, came in and they were looking for the treasure of Israel (annnd you lost me). For a long time they looked in the hills and finally they figured out where it was. What did they find? Who knows, coulda been the covenant or (at this point I have on my thinking cap) it coulda been the 1st bible which was written by the Greeks (f'realz?) but lost over 2,000 years ago.

Me: Templetons? Do you mean the Knights Templar?

TGMTEL: Yes, exactly! (our journey moves to the 12th century!) So they found where it was and the Christian Crusades were a total sham (wasn't there a movie about this?) because the Knights of Templar were then killed on Friday the 13th. The NEXT year, though, the Pope and the King of France were killed on Friday the 13th the next year for retrobution. Which means, now they in charge of all the money! (wait, who?) Why did you think switzerland and portugal were neutral in WWII? (and we're off to the 20th century!) You see, and now that's why you got Obama (to the 21st century, and beyond!) now proliferating the New World Order.

Me: Right, makes sense.

TGMTEL: I wrote a book report on this in 1974 (book = "How the Jews Took Over: One Crazy Ass Story") and a Senate Review Committee looked it over and they said there was definately grounds for a conspiracy investigation.

At this point none of us could wrap our heads around what just happened. TGMTEL wondered away to the otherside of the table where someone asked him what he did for a living. He gave no specifics, or even non-specifics, as he basically just threw down two government contractor IDs and babbled about lord knows what.

All in all, best bar night ever.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

15 Albums that Changed My Life

Ah, such is the Facebook life. I was sucked into a note from Golenium this morning and was compelled to compile my own list.

Since music reminds me of times in my life more than anything else I'm gonna be more of a story-teller than a list-maker

1) Gold - Ryan Adams
RA is my favorite artist of all-time and this album started it all. After getting through just the 1st 9 tunes (right after "Nobody Girl") I was compelled to call my best friend and tell him he had to go buy it...right now. This album is the reason I play guitar the way I do.

2) Blind Melon - Blind Melon
Blind Melon will forever be my favorite band with my favorite album (this one) and favorite song ("Change", #6 on Blind Melon). This album has been the soundtrack to my life since I was 14.

Influential Obsessions:
3) Purple - Stone Temple Pilots
The first CD I ever owned (Christmas gift in 7th grade). I knew all the singles from Core, but this album put STP on the top of my favorite band list with Live. This is not their best nor my favorite STP album (that would be Tiny Music...) but this album was my first digital obsession. Oh, and "Silvergun Superman" is just badass.

4) Throwing Copper - Live
Ah, my first analog obsession. I must have listened to this tape (pirated on those old Maxell tapes) 50 million times in middle school. Their best album, by far, I still get amped listening to "I Alone" and "Shit Towne".

5) I - Led Zeppelin
The heaviest album they, or anyone, ever recorded (heavy != loud || heavy != distortion)

6) The Complete Recordings - Robert Johnson
I was obsessed with the stories behind the songs when I got into the blues in college and, I'll be honest, I almost went to a cemetery in North Dartmouth one night in college to play some Robert Johnson tunes on the 'ol guitar...worked for the Allmans, right? Everything me and you learned about the blues we got from Robert Johnson (and his derivatives).

7) Rubber Factory - The Black Keys
Speaking of the blues, how 'bout them Black Keys? Their first two albums were dirty, messy and awesome. Their 3rd album, however, was concentrated rhythmic heaven as you can't help but bop (yes, bop) the entire listen. "10 AM Automatic" and "Girl is on My Mind" taught me that awesome solos really can be that easy.

Moments in Time:
8) Sea Change - Beck
The ultimate album of sadness. Whenever I'm down, broken and feeling uber sad I spin this album...and get sadder! Something about this horribly sad album (recorded after he ended a 9 year relationship) makes me feel worse but, by the end, I'm feeling a much better.

9) Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd
In college I went through a huge Floyd kick and came to one conclusion: Syd Barrett was Pink Floyd. Post Barrett-ian Floyd was awesome (Wish You Were Here is one of my all-time favorite albums) but they were a different band. Listen back to Atom Heart Mother, Meddle and Piper..., and you'll hear an experimental band that was fantastically out there.

Change of Taste:
10) Trouble Is... - Kenny Wayne Shepherd
My first real blues album...from a kid only a tad older than me. Along with Blind Melon this album was always in the CD binder for most of high school.

11) Come Away with Me - Norah Jones
Before discovering this album (by discover I mean "be alive in 2002") I was never really into female vocalists. Of course, this was mainly due to my only exposure being Salt-N-Pepa, TLC and Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries). Me and Dr. Momentum were thoroughly obsessed with this album during my sophomore year of college. These songs ultimately led me to some of my favorite artists (male or female), Missy Higgins, Ollabelle, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlile, Janiva Magness and the like.

12) Pneumonia - Whiskeytown
Reason I started listening to Whiskeytown? Ryan Adams, of course. While this isn't super country-fied and, on his own, RA has twanged it up way more I consider this my first true foray into (albeit, alt.)country land. It broke me out of that "country music is crap" mantra I had since I was a kid. Now my mantra is "country music on 98.1 WCTK Country is crap."

Guitar Stuff:
13) Wildflowers - Tom Petty
Honestly, for the first couple years I played guitar this was my blueprint.

14) BBC Sessions - Led Zeppelin
It's ok to solo for 15 minutes? Awesome! While I apologize to all of you who listened to my bands around this time, this is how I learned to play rock music.

Just Because:
15) Lucy - Candlebox
This album was awesome but not super influential, excepting for what it represents to me. This was the last album I ever purchased on cassette tape, signifying the end of my analog music days. I don't ever long to go back to analog mix tapes, but sitting alone in my room for hours on the weekend making a good mix tape will always be one of my fondest memories.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Need for a Shiny, New Australia

The semester is off to a spectacular explosion of educational awesome-ness. Over the summer I was involved in an institute for problem-based learning (you're jealous, I understand) where I've changed my curriculum (fancy word for: "stuff students won't get") for the 3rd straight semester...yay! The result is that I'm running a study tracking student learning, blah, blah, blah, no one cares. On to things that rock about Australia.

Over the last few weeks I've become increasingly enchanted by Australia. It is no secret that the Uber Geek has visions of going to (and possibly never returning from) the land of kangaroos, sunshine and surly drunkards. In fact, I once petitioned the NSF for funding to work there for a summer. They denied it saying something about not accepting proposals written in crayon on whiskey soaked napkins...psssh, unprofessional my ass. Lately, however, it's dawned on me that Australia is the reason for more things than I thought. In no particular order (that I'll reveal) the awesome-ness is below:
  • The best line in a Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog song: "And she may cry but her tears will dry/When I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia"
  • I forget this all the time I do not know
  • Today I have had an unhealthy obsession with Silverchair
  • Missy Higgins is my new favorite female vocalists (fact: she's 1/8th kangaroo)
  • The movie Eastern Promises stars Naomi counts!
  • Wolfmother is the best new badass band since Velvet Revolver
  • Wolfmother broke up, split into two they are both the best new badass bands since Wolfmother
  • Champions in men's wheelchair basketball
  • Distribute only mysterious, caffeine-free Mountain Dew (fact: Mountain Dew without caffeine is the fountain of youth)
There's a lot to digest there so I'm heading to PVD and I'll meet you in Sydney by the end of the week. Me and my new kangaroo buddy Pongo will be stumbling around taunting killer sharks for not having legs.

Stupid fish.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Randomly Musical

I can smell it in the air...Fall, my favorite season. The summer was grand and all but nothing beats the Fall's mixture of change, colors, chill and (most importantly) football. So, in honor of fall, I was listening to Patty Griffin's moody classic (I've always found moody music to be the most Fall-like) Impossible Dream this morning when I came to the realization I missed out on Randomly Musical Monday yesterday...FAIL!

Will there be a Fall-ish overtone? Only the iPod Gods can say...

1) Turn on Your Love Light - Grateful Dead
Ah, hippie tunes. This song takes me back to a senior year of high school filled with Phish and The Dead and long hair and beards and, well, you know...combs. A few friends of mine from high school were in a jam band called Gazing Tide (two members are now in a new band called Rent A Friend) which performed this song during intermission of a Lip Sync contest. The highlight of the show was Ezra the "robe and nothing but boxers" bongo player. All I can do now is look back on those days and think...white people really can't dance.

2) Triflin' Woman Blues - T-Bone Walker
I just can't escape running into this album. What more can you say about T-Bone Walker? He wrote some great electric, blues tunes that sounded, well, the same. You hear one, you hear them all...where's my moody music, dammit?!?!

3) Devorzhum - Dead Can Dance
You have to really be in the mood for this stuff. Dead Can Dance is a rather ethereal band kinda like Enya mixed with Rusted Root...but not as bad as that sounds. I'm not particularly in the mood for this today but I'm digging the wolf-like guitar howl.

4) Hold On - Sarah McLachlan
Not the biggest Sarah McLilithFair fan but I do dig this song. Its off of a little known 90's compilation called No Alternative which was supposed to raise awareness for [insert cause]. My liking of this song I feel has to do with the teenager music phenomenon. Studies have shown that people most identify with the music they listened to during and right after puberty. This explains so many of my unatural 90's rock obsessions...who likes Solution AD?

5) Intimate Secretary - The Racontuers
Without explanation I have grown more fond of Jack White over the past few months. My hatred of the White Stripes has wained since my introduction to The Raconteurs last year and now they are #2 on my list of favorite duos (no one will ever catch the Black Keys). Muscially, The Raconteurs are a better outfit and meld rock and blues and pop in a really unique way. Well, there you go, I just conviced myself I need to buy their new album...right now.

6) Fade to Black - Metallica
Have you heard the new Metallica song...what happened? Most say the downfall of the band was when they (GASP!!!) cut their hair for the Load album but that album was great. I blame (like most of the free world) Napster for the demise of Metallica. Once Lars became infatuated with sticking it to 15 year old kids stealing "Enter Sandman" the band's creativity died, Jason Newsted left the band, a monkey started playing bass and they released a pitiful music effort in St. Anger.

Let the age of "Aging Heavy Metal Bands Who Think They Can Still Be Relevant When, In Fact, Their Influence Is Now Only on Aging, Overweight, Unemployed, Heavy Metal Fans Who Live With Their Mom And Wear The Same Ride The Lightning T-Shirt They Wore To A Show In 1988"

7) Rain Dance - The Guess Who
The Guess Who are a novelty...there I said it. I'm not sure if I was prepared to make such a statement but I think it's time I realized I like this band because they sing about rain dances and sharing and eyes and shit. "Clap for the Wolfman" did NOT deserve a Grammy no matter what the 17 year-old version of me thought.

8) Blueberry Hill (Live) - Led Zeppelin
The multiple encore is a rare, presitgious entity. For bands in their prime this is a dream situation for pumping out deep cuts off their albums and getting more time to choose the groupies they'll be "serenading" backstage. There was a time when Led Zeppelin was so mighty they were expected to play 4 or 5 encores. Zep's problem, however, was that the demands were during a tour to promote their first album which contained 9 songs. Therefore, most of their show relied (heavily) on improv, hard rock versions of Fats Domino songs and Robert Plant shakin' his baby maker while Jimmy Page did some blow on the side.

God bless rock 'n roll.

9) Heartbreaker - Grand Funk Railroad
There was a time when Grand Funk Railroad was relevant. There was a time when they experimented with bluesy rock. There was a time when I was told not to say anything if I had nothing good to say.

"American Band" is a great song.

10) A Little More For Little You - The Hives
Strong. Brash. Slightly Whiney. Punkish. Go listen to "Hate to Say I Told You So" off of Veni Vidi Vicious.

I've summed up the entire existence of The Hives, you welcome.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Apple-y Things that Really Grind My Geeeeeahs

I'm beginning to think the Alan Turing rumors pertaining to Apple's logo are true. Rumor has it, the bite taken from the apple in the techno-bully's logo represents the fatal bite Alan Turing took from a poisoned apple (which he poisoned himself...drama queen!). Over the past week or so I've
been immersed in the Apple development world (iPhone, XServe, Cocoa, etc.) and it's really pissed me now you're gonna hear about it.

All Grind Rates are rated out of 11...and fairly irrelevent.

iPhone Developer Program
Apple Developer Select Membership: $500/year
iPhone Developer Membership (pre-July): FREE!!!
iPhone Developer Membership minutes after installing "free" iPhone SDK update: $99!!!
Getting bamboozled out of $100: Stabby

Up until the latest release of the iPhone SDK any 'ol developer or evil doctor could build an application for their iPhone/iTouch (it's just a cooler name, why not embrace it?) and have it, you know, run on their device. Then one day Steve Jobs had a hankering for some bratwurst and sauerkraut...a LOT of bratwurst and sauerkraut. So, Apple released a "free" SDK update and...

POW! Catalina Wine Mixer!

Grinding Rating: 9 e's and a brat 'n kraut with the works

Apple's World of Mystery
Why the mystery? For the love of God, can you just for once have a set release date for things or a public plan? Only terrorists randomly announce things, is that what you are Apple? A terrorist?

I'm telling.

Grind Rating: 6 e's

My name is the Uber Geek and I have been defeated by an XServe running Leopard Server

Hi, Uber Geek

I just wanted to change the hostname, that's all. I tried everything: changeip, scutil, screwing with the kerberos tables. Still, the Xserve mocked me by displaying it's old hostname. What do I have to do to make it work sweet, mysterious, condescending magic again?

Reinstall the server...duh!

Grind Rating: All the e's in the Leopard Server install DVD

Time Machine
What do you say, ya do here? Because all I've seen for the past week is a bunch of failed back up attempts. Anytime you try and backup the system you're just "preparing...", "preparing...", "preparing..."...and I don't see a damn sandwich yet! Let's contact Apple care and see how to fix this problem, shall we?

Delete the hardrive with the back ups and redo the backup history.

On a side note...I broke a string on my guitar, so I smashed the crap out of it and rebuilt it from scratch.

Grind Rating: 4 times the number of e's in the world "useless"

I Still Love You
I do. I still love you Apple. After all the hell you've put me through as a developer I still listen to my iPod everyday and wait patiently on the interwebs for any hint that you'll release a MacBook with multi-touch (September???).

Maybe I have battered woman's syndrome?

Grind Rating: 2 e's...for love and hate

Monday, July 28, 2008

Randomly Musical

Since I loved writing the last playlist shuffle post I decided to make a habit of it. Let's say the last Monday of each month I will turn the 'ol iPod on shuffle and take 10 songs to reminisce.

Let's go!

1) I Alone - Live
Always had a somewhat love-hate relationship with this song. It was one of the biggest hits for Live (my favorite band during the Throwing Copper-era of the 90's) so I had problems admitting it was one of my favorite can't like the single!!! Deep down, waaay down, though, I've always loved this song. It's loud, it's explosive, it's what every teenager wants to hear.

2) Motor Running - Jeff Maher
A local hit! Jeff is the Uber Girlfriend's dad and local bard down in the SouthCoast. Last summer he got the music recording bug and started to hone his production chops. This is the demo version of the song which ended up having mandolin and bass and some keys I believe. Nothing compares to the song where he makes monkey noises though...with the utmost professionalism mind you.

3) Willie and Laura Mae Jones - Dusty Springfield
Dusty in Memphis is one of my new favorite female-vocalist albums. It's got a country, blues feel to it with a pop punch. Until I bought the album, Dusty Springfield had always been that southern belle who sang "The Preacher's Son". Now she's my favorite female British vocalist...amazing to think I can change a person's nationality.

4) Play the Game - Queen
Everyone goes through a Queen phase...everyone. Mine happened junior year of high school and ended probably a few days after buying their greatest hits album for a nominal fee of nothing. Don't get me wrong, I love Queen. They wrote some great songs, but I just can't get behind a band that (no matter how inadvertently) is the soundtrack to every junior league baseball game ever.

5) Since You're In Love (Live) - Jesse Malin
He's friends with Ryan Adams and, I'll be perfectly honest, that is the reason I bought one of his albums (The Heat). The song is a mediocre tune along the lines of "Play the Game" but the monologue prior to the song gives boosts it to "awesome". Why do you still call yourself "Music Television" when you have no actual music videos and you schedule is filled with no-talent ass clown reality shows, MTV? Answer Jesse Malin that!!!

6) The Spirit of Radio - Rush
Oh, sweet Jesus I hate Rush. This is yet another side-affect of being horribly OCD with respect to my music collection. I always keep everything on my iPod...horrible, brain-melting Rush included. In grad school one of my professors had a playlist of the 1000 greatest classic rock songs and it found it's way into my hands. On the surface it sounds awesome. Not having to buy a complete Kansas album and only listening to "Dust in the Wind" while dreaming about "Blue" Palasky? Priceless. Unfortunately, some asshat decided Rush should be on this list too and here we are listening to some piped in crowd noises and Neal Peart "sing"...he sounds like a lady for godsakes!!!

7) Onset - Buckcherry
This is off Buckcherry's sophomore effort, 15, that I probably have listened to three times. The album, of course, is infamous for it's song (and subsequent softcore porn music video) "Crazy Bitch" with it's award-winning prose:

You're a crazy bitch
But you fuck so good so I'm on top of it
When I dream I'm doing you all night
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on.


8) Diamond - Spin Doctors
The iPod just keeps pumping out the mediocre hits today. This is from the Spin Doctors sub-par 3rd album Here Comes the Bride. I don't remember if this was before or after Chris Barron had a rare vocal chord paralysis. Either way, this album is very underwhelming. A couple of the tunes have a unique quirk to them...not this one.

Random FYI: The Spin Doctors are responsible for the soundtrack to Michael J. Fox's last sitcom, Spin City. If you've never seen/heard the show fix's awesome

9) For Celebrations Past - Screaming Trees
Speaking of vocal did Mark Lanegan not die? I've always pictured him as the "eight ball" to Layne Staley's "heroine shooters". In my mind the Screaming Trees are a hidden gem of the 90's. Their hit song, "Nearly Lost You", was really all people heard from the band (even though they released 7 albums) and that's a shame. Sweet Oblivion was a great album filled with all the same Seattle grunge as those other plaid-covered tree-huggers. So much so that, as an homage, I performed one night at an open mic as The Whispering Shrubs.

10) Blue Monk - Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane
Always finish strong they say. You don't get much stronger than the jazz powerhouse of Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane assaulting you with jazzy-ness. In college I took a jazz appreciation course because I just didn't appreciate that I appreciate the crap out of jazz. Monk is by far my favorite jazz musician and I can't really tell you why. It could be that he's got a blues jump to him. It could be all those dissonant chords melding to resolution. It could be that his name is Thelonius Sphere Monk (seriously, that's his real name).

But you know what didn't kill him? Smokin'