August 26, 2007

Music Rotation — 20 Aug

Posted in music at 10:41 pm by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

Air “Pocket Symphony” (2007)genre: Electronic Pop.
Alec R. Costandinos “Romeo and Juliet” (1977)genre: Disco.
Serena-Maneesh “Serena-Maneesh” (2006)genre: Shoegazer.
The Stills “Logic Will Break Your Heart” (2003)genre: Modern Goth.
Electronic “Electronic” (1991)genre: Modern Rock. Johnny Marr’s best work since The Smiths. But I haven’t heard his efforts with Modest Mouse, so I could be wrong.
Smashing Pumpkins “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness” (1995)genre: Epic Grunge. I had dinner with Christina this week. Since it’s one of her all-time favorites, I’m always inspired to listen to this album when I see her.
Ryan Adams “Heartbreaker” (2000)genre: Country Rock.
“Dead Presidents” Soundtrack (1995)genre: 70’s R&B.
Nickel Creek “Why Should the Fire Die?” (2005)genre: Newgrass.
Muse “Black Holes & Revelations” (2006)genre: Space Metal.
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August 20, 2007

Music Rotation — 13 Aug

Posted in music at 9:58 am by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

Rooney “Rooney” (2003)genre: California Pop Rock.
Feeder “Comfort In Sound” (2003)genre: Power Pop Rock, ala Foo Fighters.
The Feeling “Twelve Stops Then Home” (2007)genre: Emoschlock.
Steely Dan “Aja” (1977)genre: Steely Dan. They are their own genre. This is the only Steely Dan album I own. I should definitely get more.
Paul Weller “Stanley Road” (1995)genre: Northern Soul.
Kanye West “The College Dropout” (2004)genre: Hip Hop.
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions “Easy Pieces” (1985)genre: Modern Rock.
Snow Patrol “Final Straw” (2004)genre: BritPop/Emoschlock.
Magnet “On Your Side (2001)genre: Space Folk.
The Killers “Sam’s Town” (2007)genre: Neo-Wave.

August 12, 2007

Music Rotation — 6 Aug

Posted in music at 7:31 pm by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

The Arcade Fire “Neon Bible” (2007)genre: Indie Chamber Rock.
Joan As Police Woman “Real Life” (2006)genre: Modern Torch Song.
Gomez “How We Operate” (2006)genre: BritPop/Emoschlock.
Björk “Vespertine” (2001)genre: Techno Pop. I needed to re-level the bar with my favorite Björk album before listening to…
Björk “Volta” (2007)genre: Techno Pop. Hmmm…I dunno…I think the ‘ole lady’s losing it. Her last album, “Medúlla,” was not good, IMO. I’m not sure this one’s much better. But I will listen to it more, to see what shakes out.
Rooney “Calling The World” (2007)genre: California Pop Rock.
The Black Angels “Passover” (2006)genre: neo-60’s Psychedelia.
The Lovetones “Meditations” (2005)genre: neo-60’s Pop.
Muse “Origin Of Symmetry” (2001)genre: Space Metal. I work up quite a sweat with this album, b/c I always end up playing air drums, air guitar, air bass, air piano, and air vocals while listening to it. It is easily their masterpiece.
Razorlight “Razorlight” (2006)genre: BritPop.

August 8, 2007

Eight Useless Things To Know

Posted in memes at 10:31 pm by berzerkeleyan

Fridge has forced my hand(s to type).

[ANNOYING RULES]
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog.
5. 8 is a magic number. Not three.
[/ANNOYING RULES]

  1. I take bizarre pleasure in not getting caught up in mass movements. As examples, I love that I’ve never had a Snapple, and that I’ve never seen “Titanic.” Not seeing “Titanic” was so disturbing to a friend that she ran off and bought me the DVD. That was 6.5 years ago. It’s still sits shrink-wrapped on one of my shelves.
  2. I can’t smell skunk. The odor doesn’t register in my brain. Call it a gift.
  3. Despite my now dainty frame, I once could squat 315 lbs.
  4. I like hiking alone. But the whole time I’m afraid of being dragged away by a mountain lion.
  5. I was addicted to video games for most of my life. It was so acute that I once played a game for 30 hours straight (Diablo II, I believe). No food, three bathroom breaks. It’s true. I’m not proud of it. But what is cool is that all those marathon sessions have given me the ability to stay awake for days at a time (only aided by caffeine) whilst remaining highly functional throughout.
  6. My biggest “I remember where I was when such-and-such happened” moment was when Elvis Presley died. Summer of 1977, and I was home alone watching Luke & Laura on “General Hospital.” They cut from the show, and into one of those ABC Special Report splash screens. Then the announcer said “We bring you the following ABC News Special Report. Elvis Presley…is dead. A chill went down my spine when I heard that. I’ve never had that feeling since.
    My second most memorable “IRWIWWSASH” moment was when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. Fridge and I were in our respective cars driving to his family’s house when the news broke on our crappy AM radios. I nearly ran Fridge off the road racing to get to his TV.
  7. I read “Helter Skelter” when I was eleven years old. I remember the first words of the book:

    “The story you are about to read will scare the hell out of you.”

    It did. I barely slept for a week.

  8. Every day I look more and more like my father. And every day I’m more and more proud of that fact.
    Hmmm…that’s like something you’d read on PostSecret. I feel so…liberated.

Eight people? Puhlease. I barely speak to eight people, let alone know eight who have blogs. I’m passing this along to Stu and Amy. Hopefully between the two of them, they’ll oblige.

August 5, 2007

Music Rotation — 30 Jul

Posted in music at 4:17 pm by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

The Smiths “Hatful Of Hollow” (1984)genre: Modern Rock.
Serena-Maneesh “Serena-Maneesh” (2006)genre: Shoegazer.
Interpol “Our Love To Admire” (2007)genre: Modern Goth.
Delays “You See Colours” (2006)genre: BritPop. I’m having a hard time categorizing this band. Whatever they are, they’re good.
Rooney “Calling The World” (2007)genre: California Pop Rock. Their first is a huge favorite of mine. Like the first, the music on this one is sunny, but the lyrics are a bit darker. Also, I can hear The Cars as the greater influence here, instead of what was clearly The Beach Boys on the first. This one will no doubt be played heavily.
Kanye West “The College Dropout” (2004)genre: Hip Hop.
The Feeling “Twelve Stops and Home” (2007)genre: Emoschlock.
Stereophonics “Language.Sex.Violence.Other?” (2005)genre: BritPop.
Cast “All Change” (1995)genre: BritPop. This, a remnant of the one-and-done band The La’s didn’t turn out bad. But this band was short-lived, too.
Paul Weller “Stanley Road” (1995)genre: Northern Soul.

August 4, 2007

A Past Hit Rediscovered

Posted in music at 10:02 am by berzerkeleyan

I’ve spent a large part of this year collecting music from my childhood — music I grew up listening to on the radio. It’s mostly been through “Billboard Best of…” compilations. Strewn throughout are an overwhelming majority of one-hit wonders, for sure (Gilbert O’Sullivan, anybody?). But there are also plenty of artists who churned out hits like they were a Ford assembly plant. The Jacksons, The Osmonds, Earth, Wind & Fire, Barry White, The Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, etc. Each had that rare gift of crafting a perfect hook each time the masses demanded more.

The Commodores were one such band. And before Lionel Richie became tabloid fodder and an 80’s Pop Music charlatan, he wrote a large bulk of their biggest songs. I rediscovered one a few weeks ago, and it struck a nerve.

“Still”

Lady
Morning’s just a moment away
And I’m without you once again

You laughed at me
You said you never needed me
I wonder if you need me now

So many dreams that flew away
So many words we didn’t say
Two people lost in the storm
Where did we go?
Where’d we go?
We lost what we both had found
You know we let each other down

But then most of all
I do love you…still

We played the games that people play
We made our mistakes along the way
Somehow I know deep in my heart
You needed me
‘Cause I needed you so desperately
We were too blind to see

But then most of all
I do love you…

Still.

I haven’t read lyrics that devastating in a long time. Morrissey and Trent Reznor would each give his left testicle to write something this bleak.

Lionel, you are the winner.