Thursday, August 26, 2010

Naaaaaa Naaa Naa, NA NA NA NA!!!

From: Dad
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:18 PM
To: Immediate family
Cc: My uncle
Subject: I Remember

Today (Aug. 26th) back in 1968, the Beatles released Hey Jude.

A week from Saturday (9 days), remind me to tell you a story about the Beatles.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010.5 List

It has arrived. Maybe I said something about return artists, maybe I didn't. Miike Snow removed...

1.) You Will Leave A Mark - A Silent Film
2.) Breakin' the Chains of Love - Fitz and The Tantrums
3.) Cigarettes Will Kill You - Ben Lee
4.) The Devil's Tears - Angus & Julia Stone
5.) Better Things - Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
6.) Hold On Magnolia - Songs: Ohia
7.) Tornado - Jonsi
8.) Cigarettes In The Theatre - Two Door Cinema Club
9.) Mango Tree - Angus & Julia Stone
10.) Sugarfoot - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
11.) Tighten Up - The Black Keys
12.) Electric Feel (acoustic) - Katy Perry
13.) XXXO - M.I.A.
14.) Black & Blue - Miike Snow
15.) Blaoodbuzz Ohio - The National
16.) Fixed - Stars
17.) One by One - Robert Francis
18.) Birthday Boy - Drive-By Truckers

I've been getting emails from Blogger taking down posts with mp3 links. Therefore, if you are interested in a copy, please let me know.

Here's some of the Deets:

1.) You Will Leave A Mark - I heard it in June and was sold on it being the intro. If nothing else, you should get your foot tapping.

4.) The Devil's Tears - I really, really, really like this song. It has some sentimental value, but only because of its lyrics. Angus & Julia Stone are my favorite band right now and The Devil's Tears is a great song about love.

5.) Better Things - Bought the Vinyl at National Record Store Day. Quite catchy and dance to it each time it spins on my turntable. By myself??? Probably...

6.) Hold On Magnolia - An intro song to a UYD episode. If you aren't listening to the podcast yet, then that is your own loss.

7.) Tornado - Actually, I like quite a few of Jonsi's songs, but his voice is an acquired taste so I only put Tornado on. Probably needless to say, but the build-up in this song is great.

10.) Sugarfoot - On a Thursday, my friend asked me if I'd like to see Black Joe Lewis & The Sugarbears at The Bottleneck in Lawrence FOR FREE! Having heard of the band but no recollection of their songs, I obviously said "Yes!" 1000% worth it. Horns. Skinny black ties. Retro R&B. Boom!

11.) Tighten Up - I'm smitten with a girl who is a fan of The Black Keys. Their songs help her cause.

12.) Electric Feel (acoustic ) - I had the original version on an album two years ago. Katy Perry's first appearance.

13.) XXXO - Some people will not appreciate a Club Hit being on the album. Floyd will. It's really catchy and I like it. Screw everybody else.

15.) Bloodbuzz Ohio - Not one song over the last 4 months has rang through my ears. Maybe it's the fact I'm a drummer at heart and the intro is awesome. Maybe it's the lead singer's baritone voice. Maybe it's The National being a fantastic band. You decide.

16.) Fixed - I'm headed to NYC in September to see Stars live for the first time, and am quite excited for it. Judgment pending.

17.) One by One - This song was a regular on the online radio station I listen to at work. I really like it. ----- I had my reasons of not liking this song written here. However, I'm going to reserve those comments until others share their opinions of it. Please share via comments or in person and I will explain my reasoning.

18.) Birthday Boy - Saw the Truckers in Memphis. Awesome. Saw them a second time in Tulsa. Awesomer. There's a lyric in this song I really like:
"The prettiest girls from the smallest towns
Get remembered like storms and droughts
That old men talk about for years to come
I guess that's why they give us names
So few old men can say they saw us reign when we were young."


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Overseas Adventure (Part 3)

Overnight Train from Moscow to St. Petersburg
* My berth-mate was Maxim. A St. Petersburg citizen who owned his own Telecom business.
- Wondered who I voted for.
- Wondered how long the shitty economy would last.
- Knew little about hybrids and alternative energy.
- Looked a little nervous, but was interested in meeting an American out of coincidence.
- Wondered why Jon was so interested in Russian history that he studied it in college.
- It was extremely interesting because we both knew we would never see each other again, and therefore willing to talk about U.S. and Russian leaders.
~ I think he was hesitant to give his honest opinion about Putin & Medvedev until I started ragging on the Bush administration.
~ It sounded as if he wishes some of the country's communist economic elements were still in place.
- I was uncomfortable sleeping in the berth with a stranger, and thus only got about an hour or two of slumber.
* Upon arrival, we walked by cabbie after cabbie until we stopped to talk to a man named Sergey, who loved his Mercedes. So much so, that I heard "Mercedes" about 6 times from the time he picked us up until dropoff at the hotel.
* It was cool though, because he proceeded to point out landmarks throughout the city along the drive, while telling us of his experience singing in a choir at Carnegie Hall.

St. Petersburg, Russia
* Day one in St. Petersburg was very similar to day one in Moscow. We got in town and went sight-seeing right-off-the-bat.
- Walked down Nevsky Prospect (the main thoroughfare, offering wonderful architecture and shopping.)
- Church of the Spilled Blood
~ mosaics all over the interior, which had to have taken many years to finish.
~ the difference between St. Basil's (Moscow) and the Church of the Spilled Blood was the age (St. Basil's - 1561, Spilled Blood - 1907) and the Western influence was evident.

* All of St. Petersburg had a greater Western European influence from Peter's time spent in Italy before his return to rule, and establish St. Petersburg as the capital of Russia to take advantage of its access to the Gulf of Finland.
*The Hermitage (formerly the Winter Palace for emperors and empresses in St. Petersburg)
- It's F-ing Huge
- The architecture was the most interesting aspect.
~ The Garden Room - has fountains along all four sides, with four more fountains all similar to each other throughout. Pillars supporting its large area, the entire room was once filled with fresh plants, having woven walls of marble to support ivy-like greenery. It was really spectacular.
- The Thrown Room - The largest and most extravagant room I've ever been in. When I walked in, I immediately thought of The Sound of Music. It felt like I was at an extravagant ball in the 18th century.

Pushkin, Russia (suburb of St. Petersburg, named for the poet - Alexander Pushkin)

* Remember Sergey? During our ride to the hotel from the train station, he had me flip through a three-ring binder of tours he offered while simultaneously giving a taste of his Tour Guide capabilities. Well, one of the tours was of Pushkin and the Summer Palace, which we decided to do in the a.m. before our departing flight. Finally learning that navigating Russia was about haggling, we were able to hire his services (including dropoff at the airport) for about 1/3 of the listed price in the binder.
* Amber Room
- Welp Thrown Room (from above), I take it back. The Amber Room was and likely will be the coolest, most intricately assembled room I will ever see in my entire life. The entire room was constructed using amber (dried sap, used to store mosquitoes for dinosaur recreation.) The walls, ceiling, molding, and even the intricately molded frames surrounding mirrors and windows in the room. ++ In fact, if you would like to learn more about the Amber Room, a podcast that I listen to did an episode on it (upon my recommendation, I might add.) Stuff You Missed In History
- Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed in the room. Wah-wah.

Misc. Notes
* KU beat Missouri - Suck it, Slavers.
* Renaissance Marriott - St. Petersburg is the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in.
* I didn't eat 3 meals in a day the entire trip, and actually ate 1 meal multiple times.
* I smoked 1 shitty, dried-up Cuban cigar… and 2 Awesome Ones, giving me a good buzz.
* Interesting Quotes:
- Life has started.
- Pay attention in each moment. You will never get that moment back.
- Do unto others… You can't retract your actions.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Overseas Adventure (Part 2)

Moscow, Russia
* Five years ago, my brother-in-law Jon went to Moscow with a tourist group. Apparently, it was a different time then because he was pulled aside and taken to a windowless, cinder-block room separated from civility by a stainless-steel door. Fittingly, he describes the room as also having a stainless steel table and hanging heat lamp serving as a light. With no way to communicate with the three corrupt security guards, he solitarily explained the possessions he was bringing into their country until the tour guide had the wherewithal to assist by pounding on the two-inch piece of steel protecting the government employees bribery causes. A simple payment of 100 Rubles (~$4.00) let him off the hook with no injuries, however a bruised ego and extraordinary tale would suffice. He told us this story on the flight from Paris to Moscow. Therefore, the immediate relevance of this story lies at the forefront of my/our minds as we enter customs upon landing.
* By sheer luck, we were greeted at the baggage claim by a man originally from Boston (and extremely proud of that fact), who just-so-happened to work at the U.S. Embassy! He was waiting for a friend landing soon.
- "Should we take the Green or the Red?" - Red: an attendant cracks your bags and goes to town. Green: tourists exit the terminal without claim of any of their possessions.
- "Go Green. In fact, I just walked through the side door over there without so much as saying 'Hey' to somebody, let alone a metal-detector^^," Boston said.
* The Green exit was barren. It was a 30-foot long horseshoe with abandoned stainless steel podiums, tables (with accompanying chairs), and a dusty baggage x-ray that has stood idle for quite some time. (This description is miles from giving the room justice, but an American taking a photograph of the ghost-room likely would have gotten me arrested, or worse.)
* On our drive to the hotel, Nichole pointed out that our newly acquired contact at the U.S. Embassy actually tailed us to our exit to confirm we were not hassled. "Why didn't we get his name?" she asked in the same breath. "Yeah, that probably would have been a good idea," all three of us simultaneously thought.
^^ (Pertaining to the metal detector) When meeting our driver after exiting the airport, we were unaware of how we were supposed to tip/pay him. Therefore, upon re-entry to the terminal I was one of two people to walk through the metal-detector while four gentlemen walked right by the security station. It was appalling, ludicrous, and hilarious all at the same time. Honestly, if I had the option to never have to mess with security when boarding a plane, I would take it.

* Billboards I saw on the drive from the airport:
- One encouraging people to read.
- A McDonalds one promoting the GreekMac
- A brand-new Infinity for under $10,000 - Which Nichole, Jon, and I decided we would do it, but wondered what our family would think if we all returned, rolling in Infinities. Also, can you imagine the popularity of a 'Duty-Free' car purchasing program? I can and it would be glorious.
* 97% of Russian women can pull off the outfit they are wearing. Right now, it's the tight jeans with knee-high boots, and It's Awesome.

This was the entrance to Red Square, and my favorite photo of the trip.

* Lenin's right hand in a fist?
* Met a dude that lives in Prairie Village in line to check out Lenin's Mosuleum.
* Walked through St. Basil's
- very old (1400s?), staircase was awesome.
- windows now cover the openings, but likely didn't in the old days and the arms for the torches were still there.
* Later we thought about how poorly everything was cared for. It seems as though there is little preservation of the artwork and history.

* I bought an $18.00 cup of Bailey's & Coffee that was about 6 oz.
* Also at the hotel bar, Jon & I met a couple from New York. They were very curious about the Detroit Lions score (which we did not know), come to find out she (Bree) was from Michigan (went to Michigan St.) and he was originally from Boston.

* The Armory @ the Kremlin
- The coolest part (for me) were all the carriages used to transport dignitaries from Moscow to Europe.
~ One was a huge sleigh (which makes sense) constructed entirely of wood with iron runners. Large enough to hold eight people, covered (obviously), and drawn by 8+ horses, the thing must have weighed 3 tons.
~ On the other side of the aisle, there was a very small sleigh intended as a toy for 1 or 2 children, likely pulled by a pony.
- Other cool shit:
~ Tsar's chairs and pedestals
~ Guns (where the pins pulled forward)
* During our walk to the Church of the Ascension we ventured along the Kremlin wall next to the Moscow River. As we neared the end of the Kremlin's wall, 1…2…3…4 dark gray, militaristic trucks passed with the bed covered by a heavy fabric with rib-like metal supports from side to side. The rear was bare, however, giving us view of multiple Russian soldiers complete with long, gray coats and ushankas. Then 5…6…7…8 passed before we made a comment about it and pressed forward to the Church of the Ascension. 9…10…11…12…13. "I'm definitely more aware of my surroundings than earlier," I said.^^ The actual number of trucks (and larger number of soldiers) is unclear, but it seemed like something out of a movie. Like the Russian military was in search of someone or something, but not in an actual war-like scenario. Good thing I was wearing a mustard-yellow jacket to stick out like a stupid American amongst all the black and gray donned by those used to the dirty, sand/salt-filled streets.

^^ (pertaining to the above statement about 'being aware of my surroundings') - This is my favorite part of traveling. When experiencing life in my corporate job, there is little that varies from day to day. It becomes monotonous. Boring. Being aware is the essence of being human, and is the driving force for learning and remembering. Personally, whenever I am in an instant or episode where I am enjoying myself, I make an attempt to listen more acutely and look around to gather as much from the scene I can. Later in life, I'll have more detail for telling others about this experience. If you know me, I'm a bit of a storyteller… a bullshitter, of sorts. Getting the best stories requires being aware. Feeling alive.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Overseas Adventure (Part 1)

Friday night, I was discussing some upcoming trips with a friend. One next month to NYC and a second next summer to France. Coincidently, the next day, in a bedroom drawer I stumbled on a Legal Pad with notes from a 2008 excursion to Russia with my sister and brother-in-law. I've transcribed those notes here. If nothing else, it should waste some time as you browse the net.

Islip, New York
* "Who are the assholes that get a stretch limo from Islip?" - We had a car service pick us up from the airport and drive us to the City. They were out of TownCars, so we rode in a limo with complementary drinks.

New York, New York
* "Take the '2' Train to 96th, then the '1' to 116th, and double-back to 2911 Broadway." Directions to meet friends for dinner.
* I took the '1' to 96th, then followed signs to catch a shuttle-bus taking the place of the '2' (under construction) and got off at 116th.
* I was lost. In Harlem.
* After reconvening with Lindsey, part of my trek to Havana Central took me through Morningside Park, where (according to Adrienne) "People get pistol-whipped there."
* Lindsey has never failed me with restaurants. Havana Central was delicious. I had the pork.
* Went to 'Le Monde' for dessert.
- Adrienne's Port and Dave's 'Mona Lisa' would have been the ultimate combination.
- 'Innis & Hull' was not available, so I requested the waitress "Give me a beer you consider fit for a king."


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prepare Yourselves

Was in Salina last week. Saw some friends and made some new ones. This weekend, I'm headed to Tulsa for a meeting with my sister and brother-in-law to determine our next international venture. I'll also be taking in a Drillers game and seeing Drive-By Truckers in concert (their last show before opening for Petty.)

Currently, I'm preparing my 2010.5 compilation album. After the 2010 Set List, Dn recommended I do a July release and he will take care of the winter album. There's quite a few songs I'm excited about. Having only 6 months to gather the materials many don't have sentimental value, however there are some pretty catchy tunes and nearly every artist varies from the previous winter album.

Talk to you soon!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Nations T.J.

As many of you know (all of you, probably), I went to a wedding in D.C. over the weekend. If you need a recap, visit Dn.

This is T.J.

(Please note that I emailed a fellow traveler to obtain one of the photos to create the animation before Dn posted his .gifs. Not that it matters, just that I'm not a total copycat phony.)

pimp myspace


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Scratch one of my goals.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Ohio & Tennessee

New album due out in a few weeks. Here's the first single I've heard from it.

The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio


I'm headed to Memphis this weekend to the Beale St. Music Festival. Traveling from Owasso, OK in a Buick with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. Goals include: getting mom to see Band of Horses on Sunday, dad to see Drive-by Truckers on Saturday, and getting Both to see Flaming Lips on Saturday! Will report back.

Feel free to check out the most eclectic lineup in festival history. (check your volume)


Friday, April 2, 2010

There's Hope for our Future

I've also added a song by Freelance Whales, which the jury is still out on it.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Chomp, Chomp

V.V. Brown - Shark in the Water

For the ladies.

The music I'm giving you is so fresh, doesn't even have it as a link.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hipster Island

You're stuck on Hipster Island. Choose one.

Hacky Sack / Frisbee

Moustache / Beard

Chuck Taylors / Tom's Shoes

Amy Sedaris / David Sedaris

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Look Up at the Stars

'Look Up' is another older song (from their 2003 album - Heart) that I just heard a few weeks ago. I like it alot. Stars is a band that I discovered with their 2005 release - Set Yourself On Fire. It was one of my favorite albums for a couple years. I missed an opportunity to see Stars in roughly 2007 and still kick myself for not catching the show.

Look to the right to see 'Look Up'

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I send my Love Long Distance ----->

(Added a terrible music video of entire song)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jeremy's Spoken

New (Old) song over there ------->

Enigk makes his second appearance on the Blog in the last couple weeks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Feature!

To the right --->

Now you'll be able to listen to what I am listening to! Get ready, because I'm hoping this will keep my blog updated.


What else is new, you ask?


My moustache is coming in pretty good, I guess.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

2009 Setlist

Every year, my friend Dn creates his Soundtrack for the year, and three of my recommendations made the album. Shortly after I gave him a few songs to download for 2010, he recommended I do my own compilation. So after a month of contemplating, compiling, procrastinating, and selection, I've come up with a pretty good 2009 Setlist.

Some Rules: There can be no songs that have already appeared on his soundtrack, and I must shy away from the same artists (sans An Horse... and Jenny Owen Youngs.) Nevermind... Rules suck. It's pretty simple - the tunes are some of my favorites from the year, remind me of an experience from the previous year, or have some sort of significance from my life during 2009.

If you would like a copy of the Setlist (CD or mp3) please contact me via email, Facebook, or leave contact info in the comments section and I'll get in touch.

Initially, I envisioned the album as four parts (spring, summer, fall, winter), however that would make half the album upbeat only to bring the listener down throughout. Therefore, no rhyme-or-reason behind the order, other than maximied listening pleasure. I've also included a "Meatloaf Meter" (MM) to indicate if the song has a "Meatloaf Moment" - our friend Dave used this term describing The Polyphonic Spree as a song that builds and builds to a musical climax.

Thanks to, I believe 2009 was one of the best musical years of my life. I hope you all enjoy my 2009 Setlist.

An Horse - Company (MM)

This was the first An Horse song I ever heard. I don't know if it was the build up of the song, Damon's drum playing (we're on first-name basis now), the fact that they're just a two-piece group, or the overall catchiness of the tune, but I was hooked. It was also the opener for their gig at Record Bar last summer. It was the first concert I've been to by myself, with a smile ear-to-ear throughout the entire set. An Horse was my favorite band of 2009.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home

When I initially heard Home I thought The Magnetic Zeros were trying too hard to be The White Stripes. However, occasionally airplay led the song to grow on me. It was also featured on NBC's Community.

Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man (MM)

Little Lion Man barely made it into 2009. In fact, I may not have heard it until 2010, but it's my Setlist and the song is F-ing Fantastic!

Jenny Owen Youngs - Voice On Tape

I assume the voicemail in this song is real. The bit of reality given is something I love about indie music. When pop music is written by one person and performed by a separate singer, the song loses its authenticity (to me.) Voice On Tape has an intimacy to it.

Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for Others (MM)

I don't care what some critics say. Veckatimest is a great album. And apparently Grizzly Bear is an acquired taste, so I went ahead and put While You Wait for Others on the Setlist because it may be the most awkwardly-rocking song of 2009. Given enough spins, you'll emulate me and reach for the volume knob each time the chorus repeats.

(Song is not licensed to post... Trust)

Jay-Z - Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)

Being so popular and (possibly) overplayed, I went back-and-forth about 100 times before putting Empire State of Mind on the Setlist. However, my NYC trip in October was a highlight of the year full of them, and Floyd's apartment was the first place/time I heard the song. It was fitting. Once again, I can't thank Floyd, Lindsey, Alison, Adrienne, and Autumn enough for such a wonderful time. Also, the Setlist needed some rap.

Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band - The World (Is Going Up in Flames)

OK. First of all, R&B was big for me this year. It all started when I purchased Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. The World was my favorite R&B song in 2009, but you'll get a solid dose with the rest of the Setlist. The song also reminds me of a night in the summer around 4:00 a.m. in Ry and Jam's apartment, when I had them Youtube it.

Tom Waits - Blue Skies

I hate television. Therefore, paying for cable just doesn't make 'cents' for me. However, Network TV makes me dumber, so I put myself between a rock-and-a-hard-place. Uhh Yeah Dude is the weekly episode that I cannot wait for each week (is that grammatically correct?) It's a Dance-cast. You should hop on iTunes, download it, and get on point. Blue Skies was the intro for episode 184.

Jack Peñate - Pull My Heart Away

This was my second favorite song of 2009 (behind 1901, which was on Dn's Soundtrack).

Passion Pit - Little Secrets

Heard Little Secrets regularly and found the chorus catchy. Never appreciated it until I saw Passion Pit on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Recommendation: put it on while you're on the treadmill.

The Swell Season - In These Arms

Let's slow it down a bit. Doesn't remind me of much, but is similar to Voice On Tape in that it seems genuine.

Jeremy Enigk - Mind Idea

In June I went to my friend Jake's house-warming pool party. Whenever I see Jake I come bearing music. Our friendship is one where I expose him to music other than Jimmy Buffett. At the time, this was my favorite song and was on the CD at the party. Mojitos got the best of me that evening, which culminated in a discussion with Kris's mom about tripping on mushrooms in Las Vegas (which I've never done, but think would be quite exciting.)

Raphael Saadiq - 100 Yard Dash

"You mean Toni Tony Raphael?" Bryan quipped.

Saadiq was a member of Toni Tony Tone. Don't hold it against him.

Miike Snow - Animal

Another aquired taste. I think it's catchy. If you disagree, too bad.

Also, I'm thinking of changing my name to Gaavin.

Lee Fields - Honey Dove

When I was at my favorite record store, Love Garden, looking for the Charles Bradley 45 (which is extremely difficult to get a hold of. Apparently, all the Menahan Street Band stuff is as well.) the associate recommended Lee Fields. She had her nose pierced and we talked about the recent Raphael Saadiq show at the Voodoo Lounge. She was nice. We listened to this song.

The Avett Brothers - The Perfect Space

Over Thanksgiving Kris and I took a road trip to Las Vegas. On the return trip, somewhere in Utah, I listened intently to The Perfect Space for the first time. The first verse was so meaningful I restarted the song as my compatriot slept in the passenger seat unaware of how moving the song was. On the BS Report yesterday (the Jan. 21 episode with Jason Reitman), Bill Simmons proposed that most individuals remake their self-being about every 8-10 years. I believe 2009 is smack-dab in the middle of this transition for me.

(Disclosure: this song was chosen prior to my friend Joe's post.)

Bright Eyes - Easy/Lucky/Free

Also in November I attended a funeral for a good friend's father. It was the most inspirational service celebrating a man's life I have ever been to. The man was a rock for his family and community, and it showed as multiple people from all aspects of his life shared an experience that they will cherish and remember him by for the rest of their life. It was a stirring tribute to my friend's exceptional father.

In the beginning of 2009 I occasionally thought about my mortality. Not so much in a discouraging or scared way, but as two questions: "What am I going to do to make a difference in this world?" and "How do I want to live my life?" I won't delve into what conclusions I came to, but to be half the man that my friend's father was will be more than enough to make my life complete. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honorable Mention

I'm tying up the loose ends on a 2009 CD that will be posted in the next few days. This is a list of a few songs not quite worthy of production. In reality, I just wanted to test the stream links to Any feedback (good or bad) is appreciated.

The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition

The Real Ones - Every Dog Has Its Day

Lee Fields - Love Comes and Goes

Eels - Little Bird

Lupe Fiasco feat. Matthew Santos - Superstar