Recommendations

Leslie Hall: Legend

I created this lovely wallpaper have used it everywhere.  Leslie Hall is really just that great.  She is a constant source of inspiration and I owe any fat face pictures any of you have received to her.  My favorite person.
I think a Sandlot inspired quote is necessary:  “Heroes get remembered but legends never die”.

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Writers Block/Writing Tips?

I’ve discovered the best way to find out if you’re a convincing writer is to put personal ads on Craigslist.
I have created 14 different people so far, and even the “character” I put the least effort in to ( a 37 year old being kicked out of his house by his mother) received nasty responses from people who thought it was a legitimate rant in the rants and raves.
Immature or not, it doesn’t really bother me, it’s an amazing way to practice your writing skills because each person needs a different voice.

What the Hell is Happening?

At what point in social evolution did men get the idea that women actually gave a fuck what they thought about them?  It’s no secret that we lather ourselves in cosmetics, and pull, tease and dye our hair in hopes to become, somehow, more attractive, but if you for one second think this is all for you, it’s not.   Women desire to be just as attractive to other women.  If we spend $30 on a dress and don’t receive a compliment from another woman we deem even semi-fashionable, that $30 suddenly feels like $300 and we’re devastated.  Women live their life on a stage whether they admit it to themselves or not.   And most of the time, we’re out to make other women jealous of our makeup, hair or fashion abilities because it makes us feel better or somehow accomplished in some simple aspect of our lives.

There is an ad on the talk radio station I listen to and the host, of whatever advertized program, plays an audio clip from some author who says “We see a woman and when we first meet her, we immediately think ‘I would do her’ or ‘I would not do her’ and if you fall in to the ‘I would do her’ category, the only way you can get out of that zone is if you are such a horrible person or gain a lot of weight to the point where you become, somehow, physically unattractive to him.”
I have no problem accepting this, it’s not news that men think this way and that’s fine, but why do we need actual books about this shit?  The only people who would read garbage like that are other men, and they wouldn’t waste the money because they already know how men think.   In American society, women already suffer severe self-esteem issues, so there’s no market there.
So basically, the only reason for a man to write a book of this nature would be to brag about how shallow men are capable of being or just to see his thoughts printed between book binds and marked for sale in the clearance section at Barnes and Noble.
I am so tired of hearing men’s thoughts on what they think is some sort of  ground-breaking streak of brutal honesty when they talk about the physical aspect of women as if we’re just dying to take our self-esteem down a notch.  We know you’re emotionally callow and we know you don’t like cellulite or fat chicks.  So what?  Who cares?  The same goes to women who talk about small dicks and thinning hairlines – shut the fuck up about it.  It’s sad that that’s how we “fight” back.
Any woman with a half a brain whether she’s beautiful, fat, skinny, ugly or whatever superficial label fits her – would ever, ever date or sleep with a man who brags about the negative aspects of his interior being.  Unless, of course, she was drunk , high or at rock bottom and needed the self-esteem boost.

Cutting through all of the bullshit though, out of stupid people come stupid children who create stupider children and as each generation is slowly deteriorating, the smart people are beginning to feel somewhat hopeless because they are smart enough to recognize the decline in morale and common sense and everyone else is so god damn stupid that unless there is an emotional sting to a statement, it can’t be fully processed.
At what point did manners become some obscure part of the past?  I am pro-honesty, I have always appreciated brutally honest friends and constructive criticism, but honesty should have positive benefits, never damaging ones.
This generation is shit and it terrifies me that the yolo generation will run this country one day.
I’d just like to end this with saying that there is a reason we are capable of having private thoughts and I urge the majority of the population to exploit that ability to no end.

If I Was Famous, This Would Be More Interesting

I didn’t feel like a total loser for doing this until I realized I spent the past half-hour putting this together and duplicating it on Grooveshark (for no one) on a Saturday night.  I see no reason in not following through with it at this point.
In light of my recent 80’s music binge, I’ve put together a short playlist of 80’s music and 80’s inspired music.

 
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You can listen to it here.
Enjoy your Saturday night with or without this.

Top 5 (Personal) Song Choices January 2013

For any music lover, music is a constant in life.  If you don’t have the right music, you can’t stay in the right frame of mind.   Like music itself, there are different “genres” of music lovers.
First, there’s the content listener who rotates a library of a few hundred artists and can sit in a car with anyone and not get an itch to change the station no matter what’s on.  Then, you have the music intermediate.  The music intermediate has a preference but is generally flexible with other’s choices.  While they don’t seek out particular music, they will always welcome recommendations.  Next there’s the music seeker.  This person is best friends with internet radio stations, shizzam and anything that can offer them more musical routes.   No matter how much music they discover, their hunger can never be satisfied.
Finally, we have the music snob.  The music snob always started out as the music seeker, but after time sharpened their senses, they realized that there was so much crap music, you had to dig for the good shit.  Band history, bio’s, record labels, all of these things become significant and necessary when a band or artist makes it through all the hoops.
To most people, I probably seem like a music snob, but to those who know what I’m on about, I’m still transitioning from seeker to snob.  I credit music for making my life what it is and I know what I’m listening for when I listen to music.   I’ve researched genres, hunted down songs, read biographies/autobiographies and checked facts until words and names and genres all ran together, but I still don’t meet my own expectations.  So, until then (and even after then), I have to make lists of my musical whereabouts.
The following tracks are what carried me from January to February and kept my head above water.

 

1. Smog – Cold Blooded Old Times from Knock Knock
While the rest of the song may be irrelevant to any experiences in my life, “The type of memories that turn your bones to glass” are chameleon lyrics that need no specific scenario to be relevant.   Smog has never really made it to any memorable band list of mine, but there is something about Cold Blooded Old Times that you just can’t deny is worthy of mentioning.  Plus, the song is seriously catchy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Stevie Wonder – I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You It Will Be Forever) from Talking Book
The first time I heard this song (in all it’s cheesy glory) was on the High Fidelity OST and every since, I have adored it.  Even though the rest of the album isn’t my favorite of Stevie’s, this song has always given me a wonderful place to imagine love and romance and all of those things we secretly desire.  It’s one of those you can crawl to when things aren’t what you want them to be and realize that there is still a sort of sentimental hope.  For me personally, it’s an up-beat alternative to withering in self-pity listening to Billie Holiday and Bobby Bland.

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3. Bob Dylan – You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go from Blood on the Tracks
I have a love/hate sort of thing with Bob Dylan.  His early work awes me with his evident passion for music and his ability to tell stories.  However, post 1976 Dylan, for me, is a tad overrated and he’s always struck me as the sort to purposely press against the grain rather than to naturally flow in a direction.  That being said, Blood on the Tracks is one of the last of Dylan’s somewhat earlier albums that I can emotionally connect with, and You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go seems to make it’s way in to the rough patches of all of my relationships.  There is something about Bob Dylan and a difficult relationship that seems to have a sort of peanut butter and jelly affect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Ty Segall – Imaginary Person from Melted
In the world of fuzzy garage rock, Ty Segall has made a bit of a name for himself.  He doesn’t quite hold a torch to Nobunny or Smith Westerns but he gets the job done and he does it well.  Lyrically, Imaginary Person is more like random cargo you might find useful in an emergency but musically, it’s spot on when you need to channel your aggression in to something a little healthier than anger but equally as satisfying.

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5. The Pixies – Brick is Red  from Surfer Rosa
MacGyver wouldn’t be able to find a lyrical connection to this song, but then again, The Pixies aren’t really known for their lyrical content which is exactly why their driving force is their staunch love for noisy harmony – thus is the way of life.   Quite honestly, I think Frank Black is a fuckin’ weirdo, but I have never been able to turn away from a Pixies song, even if it’s not one I particularly like.  Since the first time I heard this song as an awkward teenager, it has always re-entered my life with the same burst it came in to it with.

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Buy REAL Books!

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I’m a pretty big conspiracy theorist.  We’re talking Illuminati and HAARP status, okay?  For your benefit, I will spare you on all the details of what I think the internet is all about and all of this gun-control hosh-posh and we’ll just move right along.  The whole idea of a Kindle or whatever other devices used to read, scares the shit out of me.  Not because of people’s fascination with touch-screens and technology, but because of what reading tablets actually mean to achieve.  You’ve all read or at least heard of “Fahrenheit 451” by the wonderful Mr. Bradbury?  You know, the temperature at which books burn???  Well why burn when you can just erase?

Call it what you like or deny it all you want but billions of dollars a year are pumped in to technology — to steer us in to a complete technologically-dependent society which is lazier than the current (it’s totally possible) one. Everything is attempting to become digital for “our convenience”.  Sure, it’s fun and interesting and it’s still new and it’s become a part of everyday life.  Smartphones, FaceBook and even blogging.  Technology is a major part of most people’s lives and we’re already heavily dependent on it.   Music, films and books have all gone digital.  Three majorly influential forms of art, completely capable of being erased without a hint as to their existence.

My mother is an avid reader.  Always had a book in her hand for as far back as I can remember.  She got the new Kindle about 6 months ago and honestly, she hates reading on it (go Mom!) because she likes holding books and turning pages and the smell and all the same nerdy shit I love books for.   However, in order to appease my stepfather (who is a penny pincher), she feels she needs to read books on it.  When she bought a 99 cent book at Half-Price Books he asked her why she bought it when she had the Kindle.  He’s not an asshole or anything, just an Engineer (oooooh).
So now my mother will feel it’s necessary to buy books on her Kindle even though she doesn’t really enjoy reading on it (she mostly plays Words With Friends).   The whole situation just seems unusual when you look at it from that perspective, doesn’t it?

Kindles are meant for reading, yes, but they have tons of other features and if you find you don’t enjoy reading on them, it’s a bit drastic to say it was money wasted.  But, like most consumers, we need to get that bang for our buck, so, instead of actually buying books in the form that she prefers them, my mother has been pressured in to downloading them.   Not that she reads anything entirely worthwhile — she reads crap and she admits it, but that’s not the point.  The point is, a book-loving woman who reads at least 3-4 books a month, who picks up old books and smells them, who likes the way the print slants on some pages — she has been pressured in to giving up something she actually LOVES to please someone who has no interest in reading for pleasure, only for squeezing $200 worth of a piece of technology.

And this, I fear is happening under different circumstances throughout households across America.  Books, music and films are all cheaper when you download them.  Not having a cellphone has become a “dangerous” thing.  Our psyche is being tampered with and most people are too dumb to realize it.  It doesn’t take a genius to fit the pieces together, it just takes someone willing to accept that they’re part of it.  Because once you accept that you’ve been victimized by the whole thing, only then can you actually find footing around it and work forward.  It’s taken me about seven years to accept certain things and they were difficult things to accept.  There are still plenty of things to come to terms with but my life is not devoted to exposing the real masterminds.  Not because I wouldn’t enjoy it but because people aren’t ready for it.  Everyone, even my George Bush loving mother knows the government is fucked up and secretive,  but it’s just become widely-accepted with no thoughts of action against it, because “that’s just how it is”.

So, like my dear role-model Maude (Harold and Maude), I make small differences in my own, little way.   I buy books.  Real, bind-cracking  books with slanted words and musky smells and bent covers.  New, used — doesn’t matter.   I don’t watch television, I write, I play my own music and I quit reading the news that purposely clouded my vision of society.  I may be bound to my financial responsibilities, but that’s the only place they’ve got me.  Everything else is mine.

Forgiving Paul McCartney

I have always held a grudge against Paul McCartney for being such an asshole. Suing Lennon over whose name was first on lyrics credits and being one of the main causes of the Beatles breakup – he was just such an asshole during the White Album recordings and throughout the entire breakup.
Yet, I’ve always been sure to praise his songwriting and musical capabilities because it would be stupid to deny that he’s gifted when, clearly, he is. However, I still never gave his solo career any attention.
The thing is, as I’m getting older and maturing, I’m realizing all people do stupid things when they’re younger and all people do stupid things when they’re stressed and I’ve lightened up on many of my grudges. Paul being one of them. Despite the fact that I still don’t really care for him as a person, his music is wonderful. George has and always will be my favorite Beatle, regardless that I don’t really care for the majority of his solo career, it’s not the music that I love him for. Lennon has always been my favorite when it comes to music and his ability to weave music and politics was incredible. But, I have to say that so many of the things I’ve always loved musically about the Beatles are embedded in the solo career and other projects of McCartney, and listening to his music feels like a velvet cocoon.
His music is kind and incredibly pleasing to the ears. I should feel guilty for never listening to much of his solo work, but it had to be at the right time and the way I’m feeling right now… how perfect.
It’s so wonderful to grow up with music as my teacher. Because I can see past Paul’s flaws and embrace the talent that I’ve always ignored for “personal” reasons, I can use that knowledge to battle my own flaws.
“Forgiving” Paul McCartney means opening my eyes to a new way of thinking and understanding that we all fuck up and we’re all going to continue to fuck up. If only everyone’s balance for their mistakes were as beautiful as Paul’s.

Top 5 For December 2012

I have completed my top 5 list for the end of 2012.  In no specific order (because a top 5 is hard enough):

1. David Bazan/Perdo The Lion
2. Cotton Jones
3. Otis Redding
4. The Velvet Underground
5. Cat Stevens

An honorable mention goes to Nick Drake because he has certainly hugged the top 5 for the past couple of months.
I will be working on a list for those who have played major roles in my life this past year, but for December, this are the ones who have prevented scars.

What I’m Listening To Today

Music is my glue to this world, without it, I would have given up ages ago.  I have decorated my life with the pain of songwriters, musicians and composers and have kept my sanity because of them.   Today, these 5 albums have made my mental suffering a much more tolerable happening:

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All of these albums have been given plenty of love, and each one was greeted with a different form of excitement the first time the needle dropped on them.    I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that understands music to the depth that I do and I’m often surprised with hand-me-downs around spring cleaning time.
When my grandmother passed last year, she willed me her record collection, which will be coming home with me to Arizona when I fly back from Christmas.  I have a very strong feeling that they will sit “neglected” due to the amount of pain listening to them will bring, but nonetheless, her collection is full of memories from my childhood and the excitement upon seeing them again is something I can’t describe.
That being said, this is my music station where the colors of my life happen.

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