Monthly Archives: January 2009

Ryan Adams Quitting Cardinals

Say it ain’t so Ryan! According to Ryan Adams he is splitting from his backing group the Cardinals & taking a hiatus from recording. Though, according to Rolling Stone he does already have a new album (Dear Impossible) in the pipeline. He cryptically talks about losing someone he loved, vague references to people yelling at him & just stating that it isn’t his dream anymore. That’s commendable, if you ask me.

I understand completely the feeling that even though you’re good at something, if it’s not what you love then stop. I had the same problem with Parcheesi, I was once ranked #1 in the world at the game, but gave it up to follow my true passion, scrapbooking. Nothing like a good scrapbook to remember when I was a great Parcheesi player. You’ll miss it, Ryan. You’ll miss it.

Always Starting Over But Somehow I Always Know Where to Begin

Frequently, I am asked what music I like, what music inspires me. It fluctuates…I mean there are the stand-bys that I can turn to, to get pumped up. Survivor’s, “Eye of the Tiger” is great for those cheesy 80s moments. When getting ready for a special night with the little woman maybe I’ll toss on some Otis Redding or Sam Cooke to get into a soulful mood. Why do we feel the need to use black artists as getting ready to make sweet lovin’ music? I’m sure they don’t mind, but it just seems weird. I assume it’s cause white people have no soul. I can attest to that, I am in fact soulless as are Rick Astley, Michael Bolton and Oates from Hall and Oates.

I digress, music can inspire you in different ways. Sometimes a song inspires you to get wicked stoned, lay back and feel the music flow through you. Other times, it makes you want to better yourself in some way or achieve something greater than you have previously. Usually, for me, at least, music inspires me to write. This article for instance was inspired by My Morning Jacket’s, “Where to Begin”. My life is in a constant state of flux that I am attempting to change, not just be listening to good music but by adjusting the way I live. It’s not always easy, but essential to my survival as an adult-American (that is a designation I have just invented, trademarked bitches).

Where to begin is a haunting ballad off the Elizabethtown soundtrack, a decent movie even though it stars Snaggletooth Dunst and Orlando Bloom. All you really need to know is that Cameron Crowe wrote and directed it. The song details the feelings one feels as they try to excel in life and realize they aren’t really going anywhere. You keep trying to get over that mountain and once you do you realize that there are really a series of mountains left to climb. You go through many points in life where your friends carry you on their backs out of love, respect, loyalty, but at the end of the day you realize that it is you who must fend for yourself. It is you who must decide what path is best to insure your own happiness.

There inevitably come points where you say, “I’m over it.” & think about quitting, becoming complacent. You may even do so for a while, but that something triggers in your head that you must try, you must achieve some semblance of a stabilization that get’s you to the goals you had as that wide eyed innocent child who had not a care in the world, but knew they could do anything they wanted. It is that innocence in all of us that we desperately try to cling to as the world caves in around us. It is that feeling of the “World is Mine” that we hearken back to when we realize that we’re not where we want to be.

When I’m at my lowest point I can find a song and realize that the beauty of a tune, a lyric can bring me out of my malaise & back to the light, as it were (insert Poltergeist quote here). It is how I communicate my feelings, my general state of mind, if you will. It is how I show my gratitude to those that have helped me, stood by me & really been true friends. Things like that go along way in my book and are not soon forgotten.

My Morning JacketWhere to Begin

Lord, It’s Lonely At the Top

This is the last full week of George W. Bush’s presidency and many Americans are grateful, myself included. Was he a good president? Absolutely not. In fact it is widely assumed that he may have been the worst of all time. While this might be a stretch, it does illustrate the point that he is widely disliked. He is extremely stubborn & seemingly unabashed in his “War on Terror” that has cost us 4,224. 4,085 since the now infamous Mission Accomplished speech. He, in all fairness, has also given over 15 billion dollars to African nations to fight the A.I.D.S. virus which has helped immensely in a country ravaged by the disease.

George Bush’s failed policies have ravaged the economy to the point where we are the nearest we’ve been to a Depression since the “Great Depression”. His war in Iraq is partly to blame for that as the cost approaches 600 billion dollars. On September 11, 2001, as we watched the twin towers fall, we were steadfastly behind our president as we put the fate of our nation in his hands to decide what course of action we should take. He decided to perpetrate a lie to get us into a war we had no business getting into while ignoring everyone else in his so called “Axis of Evil”.

He has his convictions, though, and for that he does not apologize, nor should he. He believes what he believes and he’ll be damned if you’re gonna sway him. He is loyal to a fault. He stuck with Rumsfeld & Cheney longer than anyone would or should have & he helped those that helped him cheat his way into office. In some way, you have to admire that. However, the everlasting legacy of the Bush administration will be that of torture. Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is

“any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.”

The Bush administration has admittedly waterboarded suspected terrorists in hopes of gaining some information out of them, which, if you know anything about torture, is rarely accurate. A person being tortured will tell you anything you want to hear so long as you stop torturing them, even if what you want to hear is something they have no knowledge of. They have imprisoned hundreds of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay for years without so much as being charged for a crime, let alone a fair trial. Bush has allowed Dick Cheney, a man that I truly consider evil, to commandeer this war and use the puppet Bush to advance his own ideals.

For some reason, I have never considered George Bush a truly evil man. Ineffective, stubborn, ignorant…yes. Evil…no. It has always been my belief that it was Dick Cheney who allowed, condoned and sanctioned the torturing of hundreds if not thousands of people in this war. At the end of the day, though, it is George Bush’s name on the office of The Presidency & he is the one who must answer to the lingering questions that history will present to him. It is he that must look in the mirror everyday and ask if he truly made the most of his time in office. It is he that will one day meet his maker, whatever form that may be, & when asked if he did all he could to promote happiness and well being throughout society, he must answer I did not, because I allowed countless people to be tortured on my watch. That is his legacy & that is how George Bush will be remembered.

Randy NewmanLonely at the Top

The Blogroll

Happy 74th Birthday to the King

elvispresleypicture

It’s long been rumored that I am the illegitimate son of Elvis. Rumored by me mostly, but still it’s out there. I have always been a huge fan of Elvis’, his music more than his movies, but King Creole and Jailhouse Rock are excellent. While Bill Haley and The Comets and others may have started Rock n’ Roll, Elvis took to places no one ever expected it to go. While he may have not been the best singer in the world he came along at the right time being a white man with a black man’s voice.

Whether he was singing Gospel music, country/western, Rock-a-billy or anything else for that matter, Elvis had so much on stage charisma that to this day no one has ever come close to perfecting that swivel hip that made the girl’s swoon. I found this concert recently that really personifies everything Elvis was about. It’s called, It’s Midnight & while it’s one of his later concerts it’s still great.

At times, during the concert, he plays with the crowd, giving them the show they paid to see. He was the ultimate showman. He is not merely a singer, but a performer in the true sense of the word. Case in point listen to, “Fever”. Happy 74th birthday, King, I’m sure you’re reading this somewhere in hiding. Here’s a hunka hunka great gift to you, Elvis fans.

itsmidnightfront

Mp3 – Elvis PresleySee See Rider

I Got A Woman/Amen

Love Me

If You Love Me (Let Me Know)

It’s Midnight

Big Boss Man

Fever
Love Me Tender

All Shook Up

The Wonder of You

I’m Leavin’

Softly As I Leave You

Spanish Eyes

Hound Dog

You Gave Me a Mountain

Polk Salad Annie

Introductions By Elvis

If You Talk In Your Sleep

Why Me Lord

Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel

How Great Thou Art

Let Me Be There

Elvis Introduces His Father

Early Morning Rain

Hawaiian Wedding Song

Can’t Help Falling in Love

Jaydiohead

Jay-Z is the best rapper I have ever heard. His rhymes are ridiculous and his beats are sicker than any other rapper. To that end his Black album is the best hip-hop album ever, yes even better than the Chronic.

On the other side of the spectrum Radiohead is the best band in the world right now, reinventing themselves ever album with new and innovative mixes and a lyrical genius that other bands can only hope to match. Now, what if you were to mix them up, mash them up, if you will? What do you think the result would be? Ponder these questions no longer, because like the geniuses who brought you the Grey Album this mash-up is the best thing to happen to hip-hop since Tupac got shot. Thanks to the White Menace @ Live 105 for the heads up.

Mp3 – JaydioheadWrong Prayer

99 Anthems

No Karma

Lucifer’s Jigsaw

Optimistic Moment

Dirt Off Your Android

Dreaming Up

Change Order

Fall in Step

Ignorant Swan

I Still Dream of Running Careless Through the Snow

Blitzen Trapper, out of Oregon had such a great album in 2008 that I feel particularly bad that I left it off my list, but as my Cousin Kevin said there could have been a lot of top 10 albums last year so take that!  Anyway, this is a band that is destined to be great. They have this sound kinda like an acoustic version of the Shins. They are my band to watch in 2009. Hopefully, they’ll be in the greater Hollywood area.

Mp3 – Blitzen TrapperFurr