How many songs do you need?

I think by now you all know I love my iPod. But let me tell you why. I own hundreds of CD's but at any one time I only carried around 40 or so for regular listening. Some things rotated around but I'd say I had about 100 that I listened to 95% of the time. That's fine and all but there were no surprises.

But life with my iPod is completely different. Now I can carry around every song I own all the time. I was visiting my parents and playing DJ in their car and often they would request a song that I didn't think I had it, but then I did. I mean it's sad when you don't even know what songs you own. It turns out that I do have the Chuck Berry version of "Rock and Roll Music" as well as "Pinball Wizard" by The Who. You want that George Harrison song where the clock rocks back and forth in the video? (It's called "I Got My Mind Set On You," mom.) I got that, too.

But it doesn't stop there I own no less than six different songs called "California." That doesn't even count the 5 others that begin with the name California or "Cali to New York" by the Black Eyed Peas. I truly believe the world is a better place because I now have this kind of information at my fingertips.


You wanna know my Snow Patrol verdict?

I dutifully checked out the Snow Patrol CD from the library, listened to it at least three times and formulated an opinion.

Sort of.

So now when somebody says, "What do you think of Snow Patrol?" I can say. "Ehhh, they're o.k." with authority.

You heard it here first, folks!

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Question" by the Old 97's - This song just popped up my iTunes and I remembered how much I love it. It's a heartwarming 2 minutes and 15 seconds all about proposing to someone. "Some day somebody's gonna ask you a question you should say yes to once in your life..." Some day, indeed.


Only 35 shopping days until my birthday

So I saw this photo for the iGuy last week and it took all my powers of self restraint not to order one immediately. I've decided not to rush out and buy one, but if you're looking for a birthday present...

I must have one! Posted by Hello



Sarah and I were complaining about the state of Cincinnati radio last night (it's a common topic in these parts) when we both learned that we have our alarms set to Q102. The reason? They're sure to play a crappy song that will make you get out of bed just so you can turn it off.

I also mentioned that I'd read this article about radio stations changing to a new "variety" format. It means less stringent playlists and better song variety. So I was thrilled this morning to wake up to Q102's "Whatever Weekend." They were playing a great mix of stuff and if I didn't like a song I knew a completly different tune would be coming along shortly. I even listened to it in my car and I can't tell you the last time that happened. I just wish this was a permanent format change. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


I think she has man issues

Shawn will be happy to note that I finally got around to downloading the new (and as yet unreleased) Fiona Apple album last night. I've given it a quick perusal so far and I've yet to see what all the fuss is about.

If I were Sony I would think that it is an average effort and will probably sell accordingly. I might not spend a ton of money promoting but I wouldn't call it unreleasable.

If I were a huge Fiona Apple fan I would call it a good album but not earth shattering. This is not her Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Sure she uses some different sounds and experiments with more creative phrasings than in the past, but she still has some work to do. I really think I've hit my limit on "you fucked up my life" songs about men. There are some great ones out there but every song on this album sounded like one long complaint to the guy who done her wrong. It really started to get old.

I'm sure this thing will get released eventually and maybe all the buzz will help it sell. When it's all said and done, though, it's just another Fiona Apple album.


I can't wait to get lost

The season finale of Lost is on right now but I can't watch it. I'm still at work so that means I'll have to wait until after midnight to catch all the action. I triple checked my Tivo so I know it's getting recorded but that doesn't mean I'm not worried about a freak power outage or something.

While I'm excited to see what happens on the show, I'm a little wary of the inevitable cliff hanger at the end. I'm sure I'll have to wait all summer to find out who lives and who dies or something equally as important. You had me at hello, Lost, you don't need to jerk me around like this.


You can even cut a tin can with it!

Meggan sent me this link today about 50 things to do with your iPod. I especially like the drink recipe guide. If I add that to my Cin Weekly bar guide, I will have a true "Party Pod."

This also reminds me of a great word Maggie came up with. Her friend has some other kind of mp3 player which Maggie dubbed a "fauxpod." What a great word! Go out and use it forthwith.

Picture time

So here's the promised photo of me wearing my new glasses. This shot kind of makes my nose look big but it was still my favorite.

Me and my glasses in all their nerdy glory! Posted by Hello


You broke my glasses!

I got my new glasses today and I'm learning that I don't have to squint all the time now. I never really knew I was doing it before but my eyes feel a lot more relaxed. Next up, I get to see how they perform in night driving. The excitement never ends folks! Never ends...


Have you heard about Fiona Apple's "lost" album? Apparently Sony has refused to release her new album because they didn't hear a marketable single. I think they're looking for a new "Criminal" but I never really liked that song anyway. I've always preferred her slower, quieter stuff.

This is all very similar to Wilco's ordeal with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Anyway, the album's been floating around on the internet and people say it's great stuff (but don't people always say that about records that have been suppressed by The Man?). I've been trying to find a copy so I can hear it for myself but so far I have been unsuccessful in that endeavor. If you or someone you know has a copy, you should email me.


Don't call it a comeback

I went to the Kenton County library on Friday and took advantage of the wide variety of CD's in their collection. I have to say I was impressed by array of new music and indie artists available. I picked up the latest stuff from Interpol, The Bravery and Sondre Lerche as well as George Harrison's last album and a collection of The Faces greatest hits. It's the first two artists that have gotten me thinking, though.

When did the 80's become cool again?

Between Franz Ferdinand, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Bravery and Interpol it's like a new New Wave revolution out there. While all these bands aren't unpleasant, I'm not sure that they're adding much to the world of music. I mean people bitch endlessly about how derivative Oasis is but I haven't heard much criticism about these New York rockers with fake British accents who try to sound like Morrissey or Robert Smith.

And now leg warmers and ponchos are back in style.

And shirts off one shoulder.

And polos with the collars turned up.

If people start pegging their pants again, I'm going to move to a cave and not come out until it's all over.


In other 80's flashback news, I saw the new Star Wars movie on Friday and really loved it. It might be because I had pretty low expectations for it but it was really great to see a little of the sparkle and camp that the original films had. The acting was MUCH better than Attack of the Clones. Plus, Yoda rocked.


The Force is strong in you

Jeff went to see Star Wars at midnight last night and came back with rave reviews. He's going to see it with me on Friday and he said he's looking forward to seeing it again. I think he also might bring his light saber again. It's really the only time he's allowed to walk around in public with it so I can't blame him.

What I've realized this week is that I have no idea what the actual plot of the last three movies has been. Sure I know Anakin is going to turn into Darth Vader but no one (besides Jeff) has been able to tell me exactly what a Sith is and why they might want revenge. I don't think I'm alone in preparing a mental grocery list in my head during the Star Wars movies only to be snapped when to attention when the light sabers come out. I guess it doesn't really matter who the Sith are as long as there are some sweet battle scenes.


General Disarray

Maggie and I have been having iPod wars lately. It's like some back alley hipness throwdown and it often results in the embarrassment of one or both parties. Plus, it's an awesome way to waste time. If you want to know the finer points of an iPod war, you can find the rules here (although, I don't really believe Counting Crows never wins).


I can't believe I'm still unsure about Snow Patrol. They easily fit my two main criteria for liking a band (sad and British, duh) but when I first heard them I just didn't think they sounded very interesting. But lately every time I hear something by them I'm like, "Hey who's that?" and then I find out it's Snow Patrol and I think, "That can't be Snow Patrol, I decided I didn't like them over a year ago."

So now I have decided to step back and reconsider my earlier position regarding Snow Patrol. I may have to actually purchase their album. I'll let know what my final verdict is.

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Greetings to the New Brunette" by Billy Bragg - I really haven't mentioned Billy Bragg on this blog as much as I should. I mean I love the guy. I could see myself marrying him except (1) he's already married and (2) I'd have to listen to him ramble on and on about Communism all day. When he wasn't talking about Communism, though, he'd be writing really funny and cute little love songs about us and that would be the best.


Four Eyes

So I made it back from Milwaukee in one piece! I got to see my parents and hang out with that crazy cowboy I call my friend, Shawn. We went to this bar downtown called The Newsroom. It was fun but they had this strange preserved cat in a big wooden box above the bar. Then we saw a coffee mug with the same image. I had to have it.

Turns out, though, that they used to sell the mugs but they don't anymore. The one on the bar was the last mug. Shawn did his best to try and talk them out of it but they weren't giving it up. Too bad because it would have been a great addition to my collection.


So while I was in Milwaukee I mentioned to my mom that I've never had an eye exam. Her motherly instincts told her that such a situation had to be impossible, that surely she has taken me to the eye doctor at some point.

She has not.

So she called and got me an appointment in Milwaukee. It turns out that I am slightly farsighted (I can't see things close up) and have astigmatism in my left eye. In a few days my very own pair of glasses will be heading my way for me to wear while driving at night and any time my eyes feel tired. It's a family trait that I've been able to put off for 15 years longer than anyone else so I guess it was inevitable. I'll put a picture up of me in my new glasses so you guys can all point and laugh.


I'm not as cool as iTunes

I've been putting together my much anticipated summer mix CD and I was very excited to include the new Gorillaz single, "Feel Good, Inc." I was sure that not nearly enough people had heard it. Oh, but Apple took care of that one for me.

As I was skipping through commercials last week (I have Tivo, you can do that) I saw a new iTunes commercial. I stopped to hear what song was playing and it was none other than the aforementioned Gorillaz single. So now by the time I finish my mix the world will be sick and tired of "Feel Good Inc." I'll look like someone who can't find good music unless it's constantly barraged at me in 30 second snippets.

It's a chance I'm willing to take. I was always surprised that I never tired of hearing 30 seconds of Vertigo over and over again when they were hocking the U2 iPod. And that add for the Shuffle makes me stop and dance every time. So I'm hoping the Gorillaz song will be able to hold up, too. I guess I'll find out shortly.

STRANGE COINCIDENCE ALERT! - As I was typing this, I was listening to my iPod on random and "Feel Good Inc." just started playing. So out of the 8,303 songs on my iPod it knew to play this one. I swear this thing has mind of it's own.


On a side note, my blogging might be a little sporadic over the next few days. I'm heading to Milwaukee to see my folks and hang out with my friend Shawn so I won't have much time to post stuff. I am hoping to make my first audio blog posts during this trip so keep an eye out for that.


3 CD's, see?

So do you like the title? It's an obscure Cincinnati pun. Bonus points for anyone who figures it out!

It's also apropos. Today I ended a long drought (aside from the odd iTunes song) and finally bought some music. I picked up the new Weezer album Make Believe, along with Picaresque by The Decemberists and Tourist by Athlete. I haven't given any of them serious listens yet but so far I like them all. This surprises because I kind of had mediocre expectations for all of them.

The Weezer album is just fun old style Weezerness. Whenever I listen to Weezer or Blink 182 I want to break stuff. Not in a bad way. Just in a high school prankster way. It's a good feeling.

Tourist is different than Athlete's last outing but still good. I do sort of miss the mindless catchy pop that dominated Vehicles and Animals. I need to get this straight. Athlete wants to be Coldplay and Coldplay wants to be U2, right? Well, Athlete is doing its part. We'll find out about Coldplay in June.

The biggest surprise of the three has to be The Decemberists. I bought Castaways and Cutouts a couple months ago and wasn't very impressed. I'd bought a couple of their songs on iTunes but a whole album was just too much. This time it isn't. It's a more upbeat, more melodic disk and it makes me excited to go see them at the Southgate House on Sunday. I never thought I'd say I liked a song called "Eli, the Barrow Boy" but I do. I really do.


Et Tu, U2?

Jeff went up to Chicago to see U2 play at the United Center on Saturday. He came back with a mixed review. He's worried that the band has given up on its 90's songs in order to keep playing well worn old favorites.

He thought the Chicago Tribune review really captured how he felt.

I'm still looking forward to seeing them in December, but I hope they won't feel as compelled to give everyone a tour of their greatest hits by then.

Gratuitous cat picture

Tippy's just hangin' Posted by Hello


Anna Begins

I was reading this blog posting last week and I realized that almost every woman I know of a certain age has a story about the Counting Crows song, "Anna Begins." It inevitably involves some sort of one-sided love affair in which at least one party heard the song and decided that it perfectly encapsulated the exact problems they were facing at that point in time. That Adam Durtiz was speaking just to them.

It think I sound a little jaded about all this, but for some impossible reason this song has never held a great deal of meaning for me. I guess it's because all my other friends beat me to it. Once, my friend Aimee made a collage featuring the lyrics for her friend Christian (whom she could never love) and left it at his front door. He got home late that night, found the collage and burst into tears. Such is the power of "Anna Begins."

So now when I hear the song, all I remember are my friends' failed love affairs.

Not that I'm without my favorite heart wrenching Counting Crows songs. During the end of "Anna Begins" I always start looking forward to the next song. Those great opening lines of "Time and Time Again" always gets me:

I wanted so badly
Somebody other than me
Staring back at me
But you were gone.

I wanted to see you walking backwards
And get the sensation of you coming home
I wanted to see you walking away from me
Without the sensation of you leaving me alone.

And then there's the angry road trip part:

I wish I was traveling on a freeway
Beneath this graveyard western sky.
I'm gonna set fire to this city
And out into the desert we're gonna ride.

It pretty much has everything I need in a song. And it always bring a flood of memories. A potpourri of people and places and mistakes and decisions. All from one little song. It's just that for me, that song isn't "Anna Begins."

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Does He Love You?" by Rilo Kiley - I think I'm a little late to the Rilo Kiley thing (but hey, I live in Cincinnati) and I'm still not sure I'll ever be a huge fan. But it's always nice to find nice music.


It's Derby Day!

I'm heading out to a Derby party in a couple hours, but I thought I'd make a quick post first. Derby Day is quite the big deal if you live in Kentucky and I always try to pick a favorite. Last year it was easy. Who didn't love Smarty Jones? It was also the first time in 15 years that the horse I picked actually won.

So now there's some pressure. I like Wilko mostly just for his name but he seems like a lazy butt. I think I might have to go for Bellamy Road. I know he'sI Steinbrenner's horse and people don't like that but he's just so huge and strong. I just don't think anyone will be able to keep up with him.

Go Bellamy Road!

I liked it better when I just picked horses based on what the jockeys' silks looked like.

Bellamy Road Posted by Hello


Do You Yahoo?

Hey, are you desperate to keep up with all my postings but don't have time to actually navigate to a whole new web page? Do you have a "My Yahoo" page that you love and adore (like I do)? Well now you can add my blog to your Yahoo page! Just scroll down a little and look to the right. You'll see a little Yahoo symbol. Click on that and you're good to go. All my latest posting will be displayed on your Yahoo page.

I love the interweb!


BYOM redux

Saturday is the next Bring the Music night at Crush. A lot of my friends will be out of town this weekend so we won't be able to singlehandedly take over the place like last time. The rest of Cincinnati is going to have to get with me on this.

I was going to bring some dance music on Saturday but I think, given the current circumstances, I'm going to provide a 15 minute homage to Elvis Costello instead. I can close my eyes and pretend I'm at a concert. I'll try not to cry into my fruity mixed drink.


Almost Blue

This afternoon I was telling Vondo how Thursday was going to be "the best Cinco de Mayo ever." I had the Elvis Costello concert to go to followed by drinks at the Crazy Fox. By the end of the night I'd finally have my iPod autographed and all would be right with the world.

Then Elvis' throat let me down.

Jeff came by with a copy of the paper announcing that the Elvis Costello is canceled due to a "throat ailment."

No Concert.
No iPod autograph.
And I have to go to work Thursday.

This sucks.

Jeff also pointed out that this mix of anger and disappointment is probably how Josh felt after dealing with U2 presale tickets. I had to agree.

After stewing about things for an hour or so, I started to look on the bright side. Elvis is playing in Dayton on July 29 (although it's in an amphitheater and I really don't like amphitheaters all that much) and word on the street is he's coming back to The 'Nati in August. That gives me two more chances for autographs.

I also ran across this lovely article from the Onion A.V. Club. It was wonderful timing and it helped me not hate the guy so much.

I'm still pissed off, though.


Sad and British?

People are always confused about the name of my blog. When I tell them it describes my taste in music, they are often still confused. To clear things up, here's a handy guide to bands I enjoy and how they fit into my self-concocted musical matrix:

Sad & British*
David Gray
Belle & Sebastian
Damien Rice
The Smiths

Sad but not British
Bright Eyes
Counting Crows
The Postal Service
Michael Penn
Arcade Fire
Dashboard Confessional (does it get any sadder?)

British but not necessarily sad
Elvis Costello
Billy Bragg
Franz Ferdinand

Sad & Canadian
The Weakerthans

See, it's pretty simple. Of course I like bands that don't fall into any of these categories but you'd be surprised by how much of my iPod is taken up by groups like these.

*By "British" I am referring to residents of and persons originally from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I know this can be controversial during this era of devolution but it's my matrix so I make the rules!


Go Jeff go!

Carrie, Kelly and I had a great time cheering for Jeff at the Flying Pig Marathon today. I'm really tired tonight because I got up so early but it was totally worth it. It was great to see everyone having fun even as they were working so hard. It was even better knowing that it wasn't me out there running!

Jeff just missed making the Boston Marathon qualifying time but it was still his best time ever. I think he's going to run in Columbus next. It's a flatter race so he should kick ass there.

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Lua" by Bright Eyes - It's been running through my head all day, especially the line about having a heavy heart. So beautiful, yet funny.