Last night I accompanied Erik to the They Might Be Giants concert at the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. Apart from some post-dinner severe intestinal discomfort and having to leave 5 minutes early to make sure we retrieved my car from a parking structure that technically closed at 11pm, the show was a whole lotta fun. It was wonderful seeing Erik with a huge smile stuck on his face for two hours.
The opening band (we didn't know there would be one) was Harvey Danger. You've heard that band name before, right? Anyone who listened to KROQ heard that band's one-hit wonder a whole lot in the late 90's. The problem was the band didn't PLAY that hit last night, so I was left wondering what song I knew them from. It's kinda sad for them, in a way, but the singer's voice was really strong and he was charismatic and I will probably listen to and might even purchase some of their music because they played.
So anyways. Tonight I set myself to the task of finding that Harvey Danger hit song ("Flagpole Sitta" is what it's called). Bizarrely, it's not available on the iTunes music store. There are covers available, but the original is absent. After the "a ha!" moment of realizing what song I knew the band from, I did a quick search for the actual song. And the first result was better than I could have hoped for.
I didn't think it was going to be that great at first, but keep watching. It lit up my life. It gave me hope. To carry on.
You may or may not have noticed, but I thought it was apropos to make Death Cab For Cutie's song "The New Year" available for download as my Mp3 of the Day today. It's been a pretty low-key New Years. I rang it in half-asleep, myself. No watching the ball drop, no toasting to the year 2007 - I believe at midnight I was tossing and turning in bed or coughing, one of the two.
"The New Year" wasn't the first Death Cab song that struck me to put onsite. I've been kinda obsessing over their track "Title and Registration" for the last hour or so (stay tuned, it'll get posted in the next few days). It reminds me of back in August, when Erik and I went to see Death Cab at the Greek Theatre in L.A., and how much I enjoyed watching them perform this song. I remember looking over at Erik and seeing him just beaming at how great that show was, and it made me feel so good to see him so happy.
Last year brought a lot of bad stuff on - the death of two family members, frustration with my lack of a career path at work, and the slow onset of a depression I'm currently fighting off. But it was full of almost-magical moments. You know them - the kind where you're standing on top of a mountain, and it's just you, a loved one, and the grandiosity of nature before you. You're breathing in the crisp, thin air, and feel more alive than you have in awhile. Or when you've stumbled upon a burst of creative energy you thought had disappeared from your life, and the sense of pride you feel from successfully putting it to use. Or when you're looking over at the man you love, within a crowd of thousands, the amazing (and loud, because you're old) music is washing over you, overwhelming you, and you're just so happy that the perma-smile on your face is starting to make your muscles hurt, but it doesn't matter, because the moment couldn't be more perfect.
I'm not going to make any New Years resolutions. I've done so in the past - to workout more, to eat better, to drink more water, to make better use of my YMCA or Netflix memberships, to take less sick days at work if I can possibly help it. But it's sort of ridiculous to do that, and only enforces an unnecessary sense of failure. Nope. Instead, I'll hope to encounter more of those moments in life that make life great, and I'll let the bad stuff stay back in 2006.
This morning I've been processing billing at work while listening to Christmas music, utilizing my very uncomfortable and very old iPod earbuds (hmmm, maybe I need to invest in a new pair of proper headphones... *wink to erik*). One of my tracks had a painful audio hit on it, which caused me to jump out of my skin and lose a few kHz of my hearing spectrum, so I searched the web for an alternate copy of the mp3.
In doing so I stumbled upon a website that feels as cool as Napster did back in 1999. Hype Machine is a website that tracks the latest songs posted to a number of the most popular mp3 blogs, and links to the blog posts while offering links to purchase those tracks. "But what IS an mp3 blog?", you ask. It's typically a personal site dedicated to offering its visitors a few tracks per day, introducing an exciting new artist, or playing on a theme (Christmas music is popular this time of year).
In tracking the mp3 blog activity, Hype Machine is able to track what the more popular tracks are at any given time. So right now, Sufjan Stevens' holiday tracks are swarming around the mp3 blogosphere with quite a fervor. Oh, will that new alt/folk guy never quit with his catchy Christmas fare!?! Anyhow, only Santa knows if I've been naughty or nice about my mp3 download activity. Those of you who have an interest in such things may want to give the Hype Machine site a perusal. It's lots of fun.
But for those of you who refuse to leave the newfound comfort and warmth of my humble website, rest assured I will be updating my "Mp3 of the Day" section at a quickened pace this holiday season, providing you with some of my current favorites. You're welcome!
I remember, as a teenager firmly embroiled in the punk-rocker pose, picking a Ray Charles greatest hits CD from my mom's collection and listening to the tracks with such quiet excitement. I had heard one of his tracks somewhere, perhaps in a movie, maybe on the radio in my parent's car or something, but it spurred me to try to find the track. Sure, I played drums in the high school jazz band, but his music, his voice really sent chills down my spine.
I saw Ray Charles in person when I was 18, on my first day of interning at NBC Studios Burbank, as he walked down the hall to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". I thought "Now I'm in the big leagues". Of course, I wasn't, but he was an amazing musician, with such an aura of greatness and respect around him, and I'm sad to see him go.
"Mitsi has consented to a simple experiment: We will play a career-spanning selection of Radiohead songs; the kids, equipped with Sharpies and blank sheets of paper, will simply draw whatever the music suggests to them. We don't even give them the name of the band. They don't know anything about Radiohead, the mountain of criticism, the mythology. Their thoughts and interpretations are pure, unsullied, literally unique.
sorry. i've been sort of out of it. as a token of my appreciation to the 3 or 4 of you who continue to check in on my site everyday, here are some video clips of the very wonderful björk on her most recent tour; a tour, I might add, that was truly the highlight of my summer.
(note: although the video is a welcome reminder, it doesn't come close to the live experience.)
it's in our hands - awesome remix version
hyper-ballad - always a crowd favorite
***a very special thanks to iseesound
UGH! I am such a dim-wit! This morning, tickets went on internet pre-sale for Björk at the Hollywood Bowl - and I was all set to get me some. I got up early, got to work early... and then found I had left my wallet at home. Usually this is not a problem. I have my credit card number memorized, but there's that 3 digit security code number they now ask for that I cannot, for the life of me, remember. Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit!!!!!
I was very excited this morning to learn of a new album coming out on June 10 which contains solo piano versions of 15 Radiohead songs - the tracks spanning all of their album releases up until Hail To The Thief, as interpreted and performed by pianist Christopher O'Riley. The album is titled True Love Waits, and the album's site can be found here, complete with previews of the haunting and mesmerizing tracks.
special thanks to green plastic radiohead for this lovely bit of news!!
What a boring-ass Monday today has been! The boss is out on vacation today, and things have been sort of hum-drum around the offices. A couple of calls, some paperwork, a little coordination - and that's about it. Hopefully I'll be able to bail out of here by about 6 or 6:30pm. I should go home and do my laundry, but I think I'd much rather go out and see a movie... doesn't that sound like a much better idea?
In other non-news, I've been listening to this Radiohead Hail To The Thief download almost all weekend and all day today. I've gotta tell you, from my initial listen a few weeks ago, the tracks have really grown on me. "There There" is a perfect choice for the first single. I haven't had a chance to really contrast the "unauthorized" download against the radio edit, they sound similar from the one time I've heard it on the radio. I cannot see how the leakage could be a bad thing for the album sales. Fans try to get their hands on as many versions of songs as possible, mostly, and I know I'll be grabbing the disc very near to its release to scrutinize for differences. And even if it's entirely the same (which would not surprise me), I wouldn't be disappointed. Them's some good tracks as-is in the download.
Okay, that's it for today.