2014-12-30

My 2014 CD
1 - The Chieftains & Lisa Hannigan - Voice Of Ages - 7 - My Lagan Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCae0-NO8uQ)
I love Lisa Hannigan's voice.  I have about a dozen b-sides and "featuring" songs like this one, so odds are I will be able to include Lisa in every future CD that I make.  Listen to the subtle vibrato in her voice throughout this track.  Lisa knows when less is more.

2 - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits - 3 - The Boxer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3LFML_pxlY)
This is my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song.  The outro for this song stands as evidence of how to properly end an epic tune.  For reference, "Hey Jude" is an example of an outro done wrong.  There, I said it.  The Boxer > Hey Jude.  If you disagree with me, this is an example of when a person (you) has a wrong opinion.  Hey Jude just drags on too long.  Listen to The Boxer a few times, and get a feel for the build-up.  Listen to the words and attempt to appreciate what is going on.  Then, with that in mind, pay attention to the outro.  Take note of how much emotion is built and how that would be cheapened if they drew the ending out too long.  Hey Jude is a great song ruined by its ending.  The Boxer is a great song strengthened by its ending.

3 - MC 900 Foot Jesus - Welcome To My Dream - 4 - The City Sleeps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KB54p8_wh8)
I have been a fan of this song for years.  I love it because it's so smooth.  The content is sinister, but conveys a message that is almost impossible to misunderstand.  For reference, I do not condone arson.  But instead appreciate how well the artist describes fascination, and even desire.

4 - Röyksopp & Robyn - Do It Again - 1 - Monument (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c-RbGZBnBI)
I'm not a big fan of electronica, but this song sets a mood and beat that is just candy to my ears.  The lyrics are a bit grandiose, but to me it doesn't come across as pretentious.

5 - System Of A Down - Toxicity - 14 - Aerials (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-iepu3EtyE)
I've loved this song for years.  While making this CD, I listened to the set while playing a tower defense game called "Defense Grid".  At one point, my towers were completely obliterating the alien horde while this song reached its climax, and the experience was truly epic.

6 - Seether - Disclaimer - 7 - Sympathetic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfZ6pHOCT08)
As you may know, I'm a sucker for a sad song.  While the tempo and beat of this track are not soft or slow, it is able to bring a similar feeling as many slower sad songs.

7 - Seether - Karma And Effect - 4 - The Gift (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJUuzAnaWp0)
Another sad song, and probably my favorite Seether track.  The video helps explain the lyrics.

8 - Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon - 3 - Wake Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hvcBovSRp8)
Amazon kept recommending this album based on others that I had bought.  I resisted for almost a year, before pirating the double-CD version.  It took only about two listens before I had it in my Amazon shopping cart.  Yes, I legally own it.  This track hits a peak with such energy that I find it difficult to not be cheered up and invigorated.

9 - Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon - 5 - Someday (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A8Yp5g4xn8)
Just a quality, fun, indie-rock song.  Sure, it may be difficult to call a band "indie" when Amazon.com recommends nags you into buying it, but they keep an "indie" feel for sure.

10 - Toad The Wet Sprocket - Fear - 12 - I Will Not Take These Things For Granted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNEt60MoK_I)
Classic Toad.  Every fan loves this song, so I'm not introducing you to something new.  Still, you know that you love this song.

11 - Helios - Ayres - 5 - The Obeisant Vine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJBdnx70IKk)
This is another group (individual?) that I found via recommendation, but I think it was iTunes that suggested Helios.  The whole album (EP) is good, and if you enjoy this track, you should enjoy the rest.

12 - Paul McCartney - McCartney - 12 - Maybe I'm Amazed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm2YyVZBL8U)
My favorite Paul McCartney track and proof that his talent did not require the other Beatles.  This was written as a token of his love for Linda.  He truly was amazed by how she held him together when the Beatles started falling apart.

13 - Bill Withers - The Essential Bill Withers - 2 - Ain't No Sunshine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBKcAc8VpIw)
This is currently the ringtone for my fiancé, so I feel a moment of urgency whenever this track comes on.  It takes me about 8 seconds before I accept that it's a music track, and not an incoming call.  A wonderful track that conveys how something is missing when our loved ones are far away.

2013-12-25

My 2013 CD

This year I altered the lineup more than any other year.  I'd still be moving songs around if it weren't already Christmas morning and I need sleep.  I shouldn't be losing sleep over this.  The segue should be gradual and without surprise.  I generally take these albums from a mellow beginning to a higher energy at the end.

01 - Peter Bradley Adams - Leavetaking - 09 - Song For Viola (2:23)
This track almost made it on last years CD.  I really like how soothing it is.

02 - The National - Game Of Thrones - Season 2 - 20 - The Rains Of Castamere (2:24)
This song is eerily great if you have read the books.  If you've only watched the TV show, it should still have some significance.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just enjoy Matt Berninger's voice.  I lulled Maddie's son to sleep with this song.

03 - Toad The Wet Sprocket - In Light Syrup - 07 - All In All (4:13)
This is one of those tracks that you cannot believe you ever forgot.  I keep Dulcinea and Fear in regular rotation, but sometimes fail to get around to the later stuff.

04 - Book On Tape Worm - All The World's A Stage - 12 - Shadow Puppets (3:26)
This is a Provo band that I found on a local music review.  I "liked" them on Facebook, only to see that Marianne already had them on her list.  So I'm not some new music bloodhound, oh well.  It's a nice song that seems a bit sad, but turns around at the end.

05 - The National - Trouble Will Find Me - 01 - I Should Live In Salt (4:08)
This song isn't about what I thought at first.  But it can be interpreted however the listener wishes.  That's the beauty of music.

06 - Boz Scaggs - Some Change - 07 - Lost It (5:52)
This is a sad, but pretty song.  I really enjoy sad songs.  They commonly are the most expressive, and are sung with the most emotion.

07 - Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick: The Greatest Hits - 10 - The Flame (5:36)
A classic from high school.  If you don't have this album, buy it.  It has so many great songs that I didn't realize were Cheap Trick.

08 - Duran Duran - Duran Duran - 02 - Ordinary World (5:40)
I love the weeping guitar from this song.  It goes well with the lyrical content, IMO.  The line "ours is just a little sorrow more" really gets me.

09 - The National - Trouble Will Find Me - 10 - I Need My Girl (4:05)
It's starting to look like Adam is loading the album with a favored artist.  It's not like I haven't set this precedence in previous years.

10 - Rush - Clockwork Angels - 12 - The Garden (6:59)
There are so many good songs on this album.  I decided to go with a mellow tune, since I used BU2B on last year's album.

11 - A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms - 06 - 3 Libras (3:39)
I thought that I had already put this on one of my previous CDs, but could not find it.  So here it is, probably APCs best song.  Well, this, or Pet, or Judith.

12 - The National - Trouble Will Find Me - 12 - Pink Rabbits (4:36)
Since I haven't put The National on the album four times, I decided to add Pink Rabbits.  The entire song is great, but the end is particularly haunting.

13 - Pantera - Far Beyond Driven - 12 - Planet Caravan (4:03)
Pantera's best slow song.  Also, their only slow song.  At least the only one that's coming to mind right now.  It's a remake of an old Black Sabbath song, but is significantly better than the original.  Pantera is a band so talented, that I can't believe anyone would dislike them.

14 - The Republic Tigers - Keep Color - 11 - Stranger To The Eyes Of A Child-Man (3:43)
I love The Republic Tigers.  Like so many of their songs, this will stick in my head for days on end, and I don't mind one bit.

15 - Love And Rockets - Sorted! The Best Of Love And Rockets - 09 - No New Tale To Tell (3:24)
This song is 100% Timpview senior year.

16 - The Republic Tigers - No Land's Man - 01 - Merrymake It With Me (4:31)
No Land's Man is an EP worth picking up.  I've bought everything I can find from The Republic Tigers and want more.

17 - Sigur Rós - Kveikur - 06 - Kveikur (5:55)
This song seems weird at times, but it's just so good.  Great energy, I'd love to see this live.  I saw Sigur Rós live a few years ago and expect they are even more impressive now.

18 - Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel - Disc 2 - 12 - The Downeaster 'Alexa' (3:44)
Easily the most powerful song of Billy Joel's.  You can feel the plight of a struggling fishing community.

2013-02-04

My 2012 CD

Overall, I'm fairly happy with the track progression for this year's album. None of them segue poorly to my ears. A few of these would have gone on my 2011 album, but I moved them to this year since they are still moderately fresh, and last year really needed more room. I'm considering putting tracks on a DVD in a compressed format. Do you have any preferences for that format? HAHAHAHAAAAA, like I'd let you people choose! You will get the correct format, even if your crappy PMP cannot play it. L2transcode, n00b!

01 - Hans Zimmer - The Dark Knight Rises - 15 - Rise (7:14)
I started listening to Hans Zimmer this year when I pirated the Inception soundtrack in 5.1 channel AAC. I then bought Inception on Bluray just to legally own the soundtrack (don't get me wrong, it's a great movie as well). When the new Batman movie was released, I bought this soundtrack right away. I was not disappointed. Rise is an excellent example of the range Hans can reach in a single track without it feeling "strained". It opens with the pace of an action sequence, shifts to the sweeping beauty of a tragic loss, and gently returns to the accelerated pace that began the track.

02 - Hans Zimmer - Inception - 08 - Dream Within A Dream (5:06)
The brass section of an orchestra used to be my least favorite. It always seemed harsh and out of place compared to the strings or woodwinds. Hans Zimmer has eliminated my prejudice and replaced it with a new level of music-snobbery! I now know that brass just needs to be utilized properly. And this album is basically an indulgence in properly used brass.

03 - Sigur Rós - Valtari - 03 - Varúð (6:36)
Just another pretty track from Sigur Rós. To me this is a very peaceful way to lull oneself to sleep. However, Takk... is my favorite album for that purpose.

04 - Sting - iTunes Originals - Sting - 16 - I Burn For You (Live) (5:23)
I included this track based entirely on the final instrumental portion (from about 4:30 onward). It's another great song to put on as you wind down for bed.

05 - Scorpions - Best Of Rockers 'N' Ballads - 06 - Holiday (6:46)
Beautiful dual guitars and a slow, peaceful development leading to the tone and tempo change. But even that doesn't feel harsh, though definitely possessing a hard edge. Possibly my favorite Scorpions song of all time. Their remake of "I Can't Explain" is rather amazing as well. If you like the band at all, consider picking up "Best Of Rockers And Ballads".

06 - The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love - 5 - The Hazards Of Love 2 (Wager All) (4:54)
This is The Decemberists "Absolution" album. That is my description of a band's best album, one that they will never top. It comes from the band "Muse", whose album "Absolution" was so amazing that it will never be eclipsed. There is one track on this album (The Rake's Song) that keeps me from blindly recommending it. Just so you all know how much work I do for you, I had to take this and the subsequent track, merge them together (at about 4:27), create a lean-in crescendo, and lead-out attenuation. Colin paints such a beautiful picture in this song: "To lay you down in a clover bed, the stars a roof above our heads."

07 - The Shins - Port Of Morrow - 01 - The Rifle's Spiral (3:29)
On my first listening, this track had me thinking that "Chutes Too Narrow" wasn't The Shins "Absolution". This is an amazing listen, and worth the price of the entire album. However, the remaining tracks are not up to this level, keeping my original thoughts about "Chutes" safely at status quo. This track makes me want to move (Hello, bass-line!). It's a great track to add to your workout or driving mix.

08 - Silversun Pickups - Neck Of The Woods - 07 - Simmer (6:50)
This is pure, classic SSP! I was quite happy with this album, as it feels like "Carnavas" (their "Absolution"). It's got that characteristic guitar sound, vocals, timbre and meter that we know and love.

09 - Metric - Synthetica - 02 - Youth Without Youth (4:17)
This is a fun Metric song, and the album is a good purchase. But Synthetica is no "Fantasies" (their "Absolution"). It's got a good, driving beat that keeps the listener interested. Emily's voice is that characteristic tone delivered in her relaxed style.

10 - Deftones - Koi No Yokan - 07 - Tempest (6:05)
This may be the most drastic segue in this year's disc, but it occurs a full minute into the track, so you cannot blame me, take it up with Deftones. Overall, this album is on-par with "White Pony", granting them two "Absolutions".

11 - Deftones - Koi No Yokan - 09 - Rosemary (6:53)
Just a classic Deftones song. Probably the strongest track. I think this is Ryan's favorite track from the album.

12 - Rush - Clockwork Angels - 02 - BU2B (5:10)
BU2B stands for "Brought Up To Believe". The song covers youthful interpretation and invites contemplation of how that changes as we grow older.  It's a great example of how Rush can still sound modern and powerful.

13 - The Republic Tigers - Keep Color - 03 - Feelin' The Future (4:50)
I cannot imagine a better pop song than this. It's fun, catchy, and prompted me to look up the definition of "preternatural".

14 - Hans Zimmer - Inception - 10 - Time (4:37)
If the ending of this track doesn't give you goosebumps, there may be something wrong with you (or you may not remember the ending of the movie). When the last note hits, you should have a clear image in your mind of a top starting to wobble.

2011-12-25

My 2011 CD

This last semester, I took a music appreciation class. The class covered "western art music", which is colloquially called "classical". The music snob in me feels the need to point out that "classical" is only acceptable as a genre if you refer to western art music created from about 1750 to about 1820. Our class covered Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, and contemporary music. So I've decided to include a few tracks from these genre's on my 2011 CD. I was half tempted to include Cage's 4'33", but redbook doesn't compress files, so it would have taken just as much space as any other song four and a half minutes long. Some pieces that I really wanted to include will not be on here, because there is not room to do them justice (like Beethoven's 9th). So the first 1/4 of the CD is like that, and the latter 3/4 is more like my previous CDs.


01 - Damin Djawadi - Game Of Thrones Main Title
I love this song, and Damin is a great composer. If you're a fan of the TV show, this should raise your heartrate a few bpm (don't watch the HBO series until you have read the book covered by each season you watch).

02 - Miroslav Skoryk - Melody (performed by Kiev Soloists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3jSVouBRZM)
Miroslav is a contemporary composer that I first learned about from a concert I went to early in the semester. I've listened to about a dozen different performances of this piece, and this is by far my favorite. Kiev Soloists is the recording name of the Kiev National Chamber Ensemble. The violin soloist is Myroslava Kotorovych, and I've heard her play this in one other recording that is slightly less favorable to this one. This recording is taken directly from the YouTube clip linked to above (I could not find a way to purchase this song legally).

03 - Schubert - Erlking (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OHJ0QwmzFs)
If there's a chance that you ever hear this lied in the future, I may as well spoil all other version for you. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau will forever own this song. Ranked as the second greatest voice in recorded history, nobody will ever do a better job singing this. The piano in this version is played by the amazing Gerald Moore. I've heard two version of Erlking by Dietrich and Gerald, and this is the slightly better of the two. There are other recordings of Dietrich singing with different pianists, but even the best of those pales in comparison to this recording.

04 - John Adams - Short Ride In A Fast Machine
In class I called this a "woodblock concerto" (I am hilarious). This is another contemporary composer, which should be evident by the instrumentation and "American" feel. It sounds very Copeland-esque to me. Rumor has it that Adams went for a ride in a friend's car across San Francisco. The event frightened and inspired him, and that is what prompted him to write this song.

05 - The Beatles - Something
One of their best, and probably my favorite George Harrison song. George wrote the song for his wife of the time, Pattie Boyd (who later married Eric Clapton and had "Wonderful Tonight" written for her). It is The Beatles second most covered song (after "Yesterday"). George's favorite cover was done by James Brown, which he kept on his personal jukebox. Sadly, this is from the more recent remaster and not a monaural mastering.

06 - The Radio Dept - Sleeping In
Finally, a song that celebrates my favorite thing! Just a cool song, with great timbre. I fell in love with this entire album, but have not gotten into their other two albums. The album has a song titled "The Worst Taste In Music", how could I NOT love them?!
07 - The Radio Dept - I Wanted You To Feel The Same
Lovely song, if you ignore the lyrics. This is on my "sad" playlist because its meaning fits that description perfectly.

08 - Blonde Redhead - Oslo
I'm a sucker for a female vocalist with a whispery voice (Lisa Hannigan, Hope Sandoval, Maria Taylor, Orenda Fink, Natasha Khan, etc), so Kazu catches my attention pretty easily. This song, when played on a good system will shake your house.
09 - Blonde Redhead - Black Guitar
This was included partly so you get to hear Amedeo sing something from the group. They have a number of songs that he sings solo or alongside Kazu.
10 - Blonde Redhead - Love Or Prison (Kastellet Mix)
I like this mix better than the original (both from the same album). The original was a bit more "electronic", which I have long associated with insincerity (possible due to synthesizers in the 80's replacing traditional instruments)

11 - Bat For Lashes - What's A Girl To Do (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYnm9XHqnog)
Another song on my sad list. We listened to this in my music class, to show several aspects of composition. A very cool video too.

12 - Lisa Hannigan - Black Eyed Dog (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvaqqk3pHLw&noredirect=1)
This is a cover of a Nick Drake song, from a concert of various artists paying tribute to one of the UK's most underappreciated songwriters. Watch the video (watch the entire concert if possible), and at the start of this song you will see an audience politely clapping and barely willing to sit through this Irish lass. By the end the audience responds with thunderous applauds. Lisa nods politely and walks briskly off-stage, more of a testament to her introverted and shy nature than anything else. She isn't the type to stand on stage and soak up adoration. Her coda in this recording gives me goosebumps every time.
13 - Lisa Hannigan - Home
If you aren't already in love with her, this song should resolve that. Her voice during the bridge (1:16, 1:30, 2:45, 3:00, 3:58) is my new standard for perfection in vibrato. For background detail, vibrato is, in my opinion, the most abused vocal technique, and possibly the fastest way for me to dislike or even hate a singer. For me, this was her standout track from this album, easily my favorite.
14 - Lisa Hannigan - Knots (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYdPtcx-4mo&feature=relmfu)
She is the perfect woman. Oh yeah, the music. A fun tune with memorable lyrics carried at a great tempo. Watch the video, I can't get through a viewing without laughing (I hope it only took one take).
15 - Lisa Hannigan - Little Bird (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRdj8MRj9Js)
This song causes me to subconsciously minimize my breathing, in order to minimize the background noise as I listen. That's how beautiful it is, and that is one of my criteria for moving a song to my highest tier of favoritism. Listen to her voice at 2:20.

16 - Azure Ray - Larraine
A pretty song. The lyrics are very sad. So much, that I almost did not include it on this disc.

17 - Adele - Cold Shoulder
From her first album, "Cold Shoulder" has a lot more funk than anything else she has done. Her drummer is clearly having a good time, which is almost guaranteed to draw me in.
18 - Adele - Set Fire To The Rain
My favorite Adele song to date. One more song that I have on my "sad" playlist.

19 - Rush - Entre Nous
One of my favorite Rush songs. The lyrics explain it all, so I'll let you explore it on your own.

20 - Lo-Pro - Texas
Easily my favorite song on this album. I should have had this on last years CD, but forgot. I've been a fan of Lo-Pro since Ryan recommended their first album many years ago. I was greatly pleased that this album kept the same energy and quality as their first.

2011-12-24

How to format your audio filenames

It has come to my attention that some of you may not properly format your audio filenames correctly. I don't want to say who does this, because that would be embarrassing to Marianne. Here is the correct format:
Artist - Album - Track # - Track Title
Where "Artist is the name of the artist, "Album" is the album name, "Track #" is the track number, and "Track Title" is the title of the track. I probably did not need to explain that, but it's typed now, so deal with it.

And here is the reason that format is important. If a file is ever copied or moved to a folder that contains other files, this format keeps everything organized (assuming you sort folders by filename, which you should also do). I see a lot of filenames formatted as
track_# track_title
(screw you, iTunes), and it's starting to bug me. Recently, someone who may or may not be my younger sister, moved a lot of tracks into one folder on our family's Dropbox music folder. There are 8 files that start with "01", each from a different artist. So if you want to play all the songs by Joan Baez, you have to hunt and control-click all over that folder.

If you have a large music collection, there are software tools that can rename files based on the tags already present in the music. Just do a Google search for "tagger" or "tagging" software, and pick one for your OS. I use "EasyTag" in Linux, and WinAmp in Windows. I don't have a Mac, so I have no recommendations for that OS.

2010-12-26

My 2010 CD

Throughout the year I think of artists that I want on my next CD. I keep a list of those artists on my phone. The method that I use to narrow down tracks is to listen through an album quickly, usually the first 30 seconds of each song, and then I will skip around that song to make sure I'm remembering all of the significant parts. From that, I can usually get an album down to 2-4 tracks that I scrutinize very closely. This year was more difficult. My first pass through some of these albums only eliminated two to four songs. Stupid redbook (CD audio) allows only 80 minutes of audio (I wish DVD-Audio had caught on a decade ago). So I had a lot of work to do this year. Once I have a tracklist that fits on a standard CD, I then sort the songs so they "flow". We can't have Godsmack right after Russian Red for instance. That step only takes a few minutes, after which I listen to the entire mix one last time.

It's really a fun process. I try to include songs that I love and songs that I think you will love. Sometimes I will drop a song that I really like because I don't think the intended audience will like it. Other times I will keep those songs in the hope that you people will grow. You're welcome. Sometimes I omit an artist or album because it was released to close to the end of the year, and my mix doesn't have room for them. The new Azure Ray and Blonde Redhead albums fell into this category this year.

Here is a breakdown of the tracks, with my track #, the artist, original album name, original album track #, and song title:

01 - Blonde Redhead - 23 - 01 - 23
I Found Kazu Makino this year from a list of the hottest female musicians. And isn't that the reason we listen to music? OK, even the manliest parts of my personality has to make sure you know that I don't listen to music because I find the singer attractive. It's all about the voice and overall composition, which this album does perfectly.
02 - Blonde Redhead - 23 - 03 - The Dress
The lyrics for this song drew me to it. It's not often that a song with this tone reveals that the singer is not in love.
03 - Blonde Redhead - 23 - 06 - Silently
Either "The Dress" or this track count as my favorite songs on this album.
04 - Blonde Redhead - 23 - 07 - Publisher
Every track that I cut from this CD was painful, but I wanted to include both Kazu and the brothers singing.
05 - Blonde Redhead - 23 - 08 - Heroine
Blonde Redhead has a new album out that I will include on next years CD. I cannot recommend Blonde Redhead highly enough. If you don't purchase this album, I hate you. HATE!

06 - Russian Red - I Love Your Glasses - 01 - Cigarettes
Thanks KaRyn! I love Lourdes Hernández' voice.
07 - Russian Red - I Love Your Glasses - 07 - Kiss My Elbow
The emotion she conveys here is why it beat out other tracks on the album. That is one thing that a good musician can do, no matter what the genre, to win me over. This is why I enjoy "Azure Ray" as much as "Bury Your Dead".
08 - Russian Red - I Love Your Glasses - 09 - Walls Are Tired
This album is very similar to Mazzy Star (sorry KaRyn), in that it's easy to listen to and perfect to put on as I wind down for bed.

09 - The Raveonettes - In And Out Of Control - 03 - Last Dance
The album us about 80% perfect, with only 1 real "miss". I won't hate you if you don't buy it, but I will think less of you. Loser.
10 - The Raveonettes - In And Out Of Control - 05 - Heart Of Stone
I discovered this band when I stumbled on the awesome video for "Heart Of Stone". It's an animated steampunk story that's fun to watch. Look it up.

11 - Stars - The Five Ghosts - 03 - I Died So I Could Haunt You
Thanks Marianne! I wanted to add about 3 more songs from this album, but added them late, and no longer had room. Plus, I suspected that she or Clayton may have those tracks on their CD.

12 - Stone Sour - Audio Secrecy - 10 - Miracles
Thanks Ryan! Ryan highly requested that I buy this, and I'm glad that I complied. This album was another that took a lot of time to decide what to cut. It too was added late, so no room was left for a proper representation.

13 - Blue October - Foiled - 08 - Overweight
Thanks Lisa! Yeah I'm about 4 years late with this album. At about 3:30 he goes into a verse of gratitude that I love.
14 - Blue October - Foiled - 09 - X-Amount Of Words
This track had a great beat, like a good club track.
15 - Blue October - Foiled - 10 - Drilled A Wire Through My Cheek
You may like or hate this song, I love it. The beat during each verse is methodical and interesting, while the chorus is powerful and loud. The lyrics may be confusing at first, but it's not as nefarious as it may first seem to be.

16 - Godsmack - The Oracle - 05 - What If
I've only had this for a few days, so I'm not yet familiar enough with it to write much. Godsmack made many appearances on my workout mix (something I should post later on), so they kinda had to be on here.

17 - Rush - Caravan - 02 - BU2B
You all know I love Rush. This is one of the singles from the EP for their next album that I am eagerly awaiting.

18 - The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album) - 02 - Dear Prudence
"The sun is out, the sky is blue, it's beautiful, and so are you." Lines like that are one of the reasons The Beatles are the first masters of Rock and Roll.
19 - The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album) - 07 - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Hands down my favorite Beatles song. Although there are many close behind.

If you've been watching the music scene for the last year or so, you may have seen some of the hype about re-releasing classic records in monaural. The Beatles are a perfect example of the mono mastering being superior to the stereo. The band would put a lot of time into the mono mastering, but would rarely assist with the stereo mastering because they didn't like the sound. And a lot of albums that came out in the 60's are done very poorly. Some examples have 100% stereo separation of individual instruments! But the kids liked hearing different sounds coming from each speaker, so it sold well due to the novelty. It's the equivalent of modern day DRC (dynamic range compression) found on many 90's and later CD's. Because of this, I've included two of my favorite mono tracks. These are ripped from the monaural CD's taken from the original mono master (not down-mixed stereo), ripped with EAC to FLAC, and then from FLAC to redbook (CD audio). Put on a good set of headphones and see if you can notice the difference.

2010-11-11

I like this lady

Another blog for the three of you that sometimes read this:
TheHotLibrarian
She is probably as funny as HyperboleAndAHalf. You are welcome.

2010-10-16

Update for Sept 2010

Dad and I painted the car, and it looks very good now. There's some spots that I'd like to re-shoot, but it is worlds better than it was just a month ago.

Dad is renting shop space and starting his own business, TRH Racing. I'm spending some time there helping him. We build high performance engines for hot rods and race cars.

I am still looking for a job in IT, but it's not going well. I've re-written my resume more times than I can count. I make a slightly modified version for nearly every job application.

Other than that, everything is about the same. I have another character in WoW at max level, bringing the total to 12. Patch 4.0 launched last Tuesday, and it's a lot of work. They changed a lot, which means I have to re-learn how to play all those characters now. There is also a lot of gear changes to do. I haven't even done half of my characters yet. It's been a busy few weeks.

2010-08-28

The Colbert Report

I was looking up media for Lisa Hannigan, and came across this interview and song on the Colbert Report. Her voice was a little bit off, but still did a great job on "I Don't Know".

And in the related links I saw that Rush interviewed and played as well in 2008. This is what I get for not watching TV. It was an excellent interview, but he missed the one question that I would have asked: "Niel, how is your last name pronounced?" Just so you know, I am fully aware of how to pronounce Niel's name (rhymes with "ear"). I just want a more recent example than the obscure interview or concert sound bite.

2010-07-02

Something for the 3 of you that read my blog...

This lady is hilarious. And her sense of humor really aligns with the type of humor that we all like:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

2010-06-25

I'm funny when I copy Brian Regan

In WoW, you can queue up for dungeons with random people. Almost every time, these will be people that you have never met before. So for kicks, when we are done and right before I leave, I type "take luck".

I have no idea if anyone else gets it, because I leave almost immediately after that.

2010-06-08

Blizzard is on the ball

They just launched the "Remote Auction House". For an extra $3 a month, you can manage your WoW auctions from anywhere in the world.

On an unrelated note, companies on the Asian Pacific rim just experienced a 90% productivity drop.

2010-04-27

The Office

I finally watched "The Office Special", which completed the British series that spawned the American version that most of us know so well.

I'm still undecided which version I like better, the UK or the US version. I think that I like Dwight better than Garreth, but just by a small margin.

If you like the US version, you should really check out the British original.

Netflix is awesome.

2010-04-03

An Linux article for Windows users

Seven things that are easier to do in Ubuntu (Linux) than in Windows.

If you haven't tried Linux in the last year, you really should try Ubuntu. It's free, the entire installation and setup is graphical and guided (backup your music and pictures first), and you can do anything in it that you can do in Windows.

I have only come across one thing that I can do in Windows that I cannot do in Linux. And that is binding a push-to-talk button in Ventrilo for use when Ventrilo is not the foreground application. If you don't have that same need, then you can probably use Linux as easily as Windows.

A few things to keep in mind if you do try Linux. Your computer will not slow down after a few months of use. Every Linux application you install will be free. You can run Windows applications in Linux just fine. Windows applications may still charge you, but most Windows applications have a free Linux equivalent.

2010-03-30

Permanent Waves

Work had me seriously depressed today. About 20 times more than normal. I can usually shake it off about 5 steps out of the door, but today was different.

So I resorted to my best and oldest trick, I put Rush on the iPod and everything was better again. Today was the 1980 classic "Permanent Waves". I don't know which song changed my mood, probably because I was too distracted. But it was track 4, Entre Nous, where I took note of how completely my mood had changed.

This is why Rush is, and will probably always be, my favorite band.