Thursday, December 15, 2005

Defense of a Music Snob

A friend of my posted this on my facebook wall in response to my iPod top ten.

YOU ARE SUCH A MUSIC SNOB!!! HOW DO YOU EVEN SLEEP AT NIGHT?! You know that once your little mythical ferngully indy artists hit mainstrem you'll just betry them YOU JUDAS!!! You can't stand to like anything other people like! And if you do you don't openly admit it! You just love these little "I'm so tragically young and beautiful and I think I've experienced enough to write bittersweet songs" artists. You music snob, how do you even sleep at night? TELL ME!!!!!

First off, in my top ten, only Gram Parsons and Nick Drake could possibly lay clame to the "tragically young and beautiful" claim, as they were both tragic and young when they died. (I'm not so sure if Gram was beautiful... you know, he had a beautiful soul. It counts.) Josh Rouse could kinda squeeze in there. He's young (thought not that beautiful or tragic - but his music can be) That's three artists.

As far as turning my back on the popular, Death Cab for Cutie (two songs), Joni Mitchell, and Johnny Cash are all popular (Johnny and Joni legendary) and I haven't turned my back on them.

Also, Patty Griffin and My Morning Jacket are both of limited appeal. The masses just don't like a little Americana piece of heaven served up between Jessica and Ashley Simpson's latest insults to the word "music." In fact, both the folk singer and band have probably reached their greatest levels of fame, meaning, in a certain light, they are "popular."

That leaves Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, an up and coming band. I will admit, name dropping them sounds kinda pretentious (ok, very), but if you listen to the song, you might like it.

So there ya go, because of one band (CYHSY) and two singers (GP and Nick Drake), I'm a music snob. I disagree. I think my list is perfectly accessible to anyone with ears (that work). If I were a true music snob, I'd have Waugner on my top ten.

I Am So Great!

Time for me to congratulate me.

I sometimes forget about that... ok, so not really. I'm pretty self absorbed.

This year. I read 21 books (at least - there's still a couple more weeks!)

I feel like, that's a pretty good number. I don't know what the national average is, but I have to be above it. Right? RIGHT?

Anyway, Here are the highlights:

1) Assination Vacation by Sarah Vowell - really funny and I certainly learned a lot about presidential assinations and sex cults...

2) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - i met him! he thought my hair was cool!

3) Fast Food Nation - read with caution...

4) White Teeth by Zadie Smith - great novel, but skip her follow up The Autograph Man. To be honest, I never finished it.

5) The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning - all about God's grace. Incredible read.

Honorable mentions:

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

Shopgirl by Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin)

Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

Sex Drugs and Coco Puffs by Chuck Klosterman (little uneven, but mostly fun)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Hate Television

Not the band. I'm pretty impartial to Televsion.

I hate television!

Television is a cruel mistress.

She seduces you with "Dead Like Me" toying with you for 14 episodes a season. She flashes a little George, a few crazy deaths, secrets behind Rube's past. Then, just when you're getting to the good stuff, she snatches it all away. No explanation. I will spend the rest of my life wondering what happened to George and her post mortem life and how, exactly, Rube died! (Curse you, Shotime!)

Then - New Hope.

She comes back at you again. This time even hotter. "Arrested Development" (Also with a character named "George" - interesting...)

This time she teases you for 3 seasons. She makes you think this time it will really last. But all along the way, there's mixed signals. She switches nights on you. Never tells you what's going on.

Now, it looks like she's stealing away my new love away.

Oh, Arrested, how will I ever get along with you?

At least there's the Daily Show...

Monday, December 05, 2005

iPod fun

So, even though I've had this for a while, I'm still not over my iPod. (it's only been 7 months!)

Here are the top ten most played songs on my iPod (since September, when I accidently cleared it and had to start over):

1. "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons

2. "Conversation" by Joni Mitchell

3. "Crooked Teeth" by Death Cab for Cutie

4. "Useless Desires" by (the amazing) Patty Griffin

5. "In This Home On Ice" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

6. "From the Morning" by Nick Drake

7. "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash

8. "Rise" by Josh Rouse

9. "Gideon" by My Mourning Jacket"

10. "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab for Cutie

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Humbug! (#1)

This is the first a series of posts on why I no longer like Christmas:

I don't like Christmas music. I told my friend Manhattan Allison I don't like it. She said "Even Mariah Carey's?" (By the way, my sad admission is that I still have an affinity for the MC. That's what I call her 'cuz we're tight. But I feel I love enough good, snobby music like Patty, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Billie Holiday, Willie Nelson, and Nick Drake to balance it out)

Then I got to thinking, ok, even though the MC's doesn't particularly make me want to rip off my own face, most songs do. Then I realized, there are, in fact, eleven Christmas songs. ELEVEN!

1) Silent Night

2) Holy Night (these two should really be one!)

3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

4) Drummer Boy

5) Silver Bells

6) I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

7) Rudolph

8) Jingle Bells/Jingle Bell Rock

9) Mary, Did You Know? (that I'm sick of these songs?)

10) Santa Baby

11) Santa Claus is Coming to Town

(There might be a few more, but they're not even worth mentioning. These are the ones I hear.)

Basically, eight million artists (from Frank Sinatra to Eartha Kitt to Kiss) have all recorded these same eleven songs over and over again. Then the radio stations/stores/soccer moms start playing them in No-freakin'-vember.

(By the way, this is literally torture. It's one way to get war prisoners to talk! I'd tell them want they want to know if they'd just ask me! Stupid Clear Channel!)

How, exactly, am I not supposed to be sick of these songs by actual Christmas day? HOW?

There you have it, folks, reason #1 why I don't like Christmas anymore.

What Does My Car Say About Me?

Driving home from hanging out with Jared and Andrew (free food from Outback, Arrested Development marathon - does life get any better?), I was thinking about this: What if I were driving down some dark, deserted highway when suddenly something (deer, elk, penguin, big food, Ben Whofleck) jumped in my way causing me to have a wreck and die.

What would my car's contents say about me?

1) Assination Vacation by Sarah Vowell - (book about presidents getting the ax from egomaniacal murders) It says: literate but snobby. Smart. Sarcastic. Likes to read about presidents getting killed.

2) Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (with well worn book mark in the middle) It says: likes to pretend to read great literature. Still snobby.

3) Paste Magazine #19 - It says: loves music and weird books. (for instance, he might enjoy a book about, oh i don't know, presidents getting killed.)

4) iPod - It says: he owns an iPod.

5) Bible - He is a Christian, possibly... In Alabama everyone has a Bible.

6) Uneaten muffins - It says: Not a muffin fan. (although that's totally untrue!)

7) Big fat mess - It says: unorganized! (true again, oh sage Honda Accord!)

8) Outback bloomin' onion - It says: he planned on eating in the near future.

After pondering this for approximately 90 seconds, I decided I was ok with all of this. (However, my undying love of all things coconut clearly did not show up... I should fix that.)

Recent Purchases (with rankings!)

1) Gram Parsons "GP" and "Greivous Angel" cd's - * * * * *

These albums are simply amazing. "Return of the Grievous Angel" has quickly become the most played song on my iPod (beating out such heavy hitters in the jMoney-rotation as Death Cab, Patty Griffin, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Todd Snider) This is seriously my best music related purchase in a very long time, possibly years!

2) Lost: Season 1 * * * *

Best show on TV not called "Arrested Development" - I know I'm jumping on the bandwagon pretty late, but i'm pretty skinny so there's room for me. I love this show, and I will marry the actress who plays Claire (sorry Nickel Creek's Sarah... I've moved on, so you can drop that restraining order!)

3) McAllister's brocolli and cheese soup * * * 1/2

I've never tried until just a few weeks ago, and now it is my cocaine.

4) Paste magazine (Issue #19) * * *

This issue isn't quite living up to the last two, however, I am now obsessed with soul singer Bettye LaVette. (also, Dreamland Bar-b-que of T-town gets a nod in an article about the country's best bar-b-que. Roll Tide!)

5) Ticket to Walk the Line * * * * *

Best movie of the year! Of course, this year, that's like the "Smartest Cheerleader" award.. or "Sexiest Writer" or "Most Honest Politician"...

Tonight's Chores: Apologies & Excuses

Apology: to my dear friend Carla Jean, when I can link to other's people's blogs I will link to yours (still new at this). If you read her comment on my last blog, you will know she saved our butts at the Nickel Creek concert, and I failed to give her a shout out in the blog. I am sorry.

Excuse: the story was running long and I wanted to get it over with.

Apology: to any one who might read this. I know I said I was going to be posting at least every other day, and I haven't. At all. I hope tonight's post-o-rama (or postfest or postapoolaza 2005 or, well, you get the idea) can make up for it.

Excuse: i'm really tired and there's not that much going on in my life. I work. I eat. I watch the Daily Show. I sleep. REPEAT.

Apology: my friend Nathan, who will probably never see this. I'm supposed to be reading some of his work, but have been so burned out, I haven't even started.

Excuse: see last excuse.

Apology: to my friend JMitch, at whom I yelled on her voice mail.

Excuse: bad bad bad bad bad bad bad day at work (by the way, I work now. Just a temp job. It, well, sucks.)