Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Passing of a Legend

What an interesting life. Interesting due to the fact that an enormously famous person was so unknown in today's society. Salinger lived an immensely private life. His novel "Catcher in the Rye," is one of my top 2 or 3 personal favs. Greatly influential. I also enjoy Franny and Zooey.

This man was never going to publish another thing, yet I'll miss him in some strange way. There was something comforting about knowing every time I picked up the story of Holden Caulfield, that Mr. Salinger was being reclusive somewhere. Maybe he was plotting a great comeback. Maybe he just wanted people to leave him the hell alone.

Rest in peace Mr. Salinger. Thank you for your art. Quality definitely trumps Quantity.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Song Ideas

I don't officially know how many people actually read this thing, I just know that only 2 or 3 people comment consistently. I need your help...

Carrie has put me in charge of the music portion of our wedding this summer, much to my delight. I've got the wedding music, dinner background music, and other things pretty much covered.

What I need help with is dance music. If you guys could comment with suggestions that aren't obvious; ie...The Village People, Kool and the Gang, Baby got Back etc...that would be appreciated. I am open to hip hop from all eras, indie rock, disco, alternative, anything that you guys would like to dance to that may be off the radar. Thanks for the help.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Albums of '09

1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

One time when an album is actually worth all of the hype. The first time I heard it, i knew I was listening to something special. Not a weak moment on the entire album, which is filled with so much energy I'm exhausted at the end. If "My Girls" does not put a smile on your face you need to see a licensed physician.

2. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown

By far the best thing this band has ever done. They've finally reached their potential and created the rock opera of the decade. Yes the lyrics are melodramatic. Yes, there is no subtlety. But that's all part of the charm.

3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Yellow house was a good album; moody, atmospheric, but distant. With Veckatimest, they create a much more accessible album. It's catchy, joyful, sometimes heartbreaking. Loved it.

4. Brother Ali - Us

One of the best hip hop albums Ive ever heard. This albino writes lyrics of such poignancy and music with such energy. If you like hip hop, this is your guy

5. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

Don't listen to the critics. This is by far their best work. Colin Meloy was made to write a concept album like this. I hope for better, but this may be the pinnacle of their career.

6. Pearl Jam - Backspacer

Their exciting again! Filled with such energy. Political change in the USA does this for some bands. Not a wasted moment on this album. "Amongst the Waves" is amongst the bands best songs.

7. David Bazan - Curse Your Branches

The album that personally affected me the most this year. No album's lyrics came close to capturing me like this one. The music kicks ass as well. Bazan may just be hitting his stride

8. The xx - XX

Best debut album of the year. This British quartet should be around for a while. Moody, dark, sexy, and soothing. Check 'em out.

9. Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free

New discovery of the year. I'm growing tired of indie band trends such as Vampire Weekend or the Dirty Projectors. It just sounds like noise to me. A band like this, however, captures everything a good indie band should, and more. Give this album a try.

10. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

Not their best effort, but still good enough. What a band this is. You know you're good when one of your lesser albums is still amongst the ten best of the year. Keep doing it guys.

11. Rodrigo y Gabriela - 11:11

What an energetic album this is. Simply two acoustic guitars banging away. Fantastic

12. Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 - White Lies for Dark Times

New band, same awesomeness. Saw them in concert, made the album better for me.

13. Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

Just when I thought this band was done recording anything new and interesting, they bust out their best since Crash. I've even gone as far to argue that this album surpasses Crash on a lyrical level. Maybe they're not done

14. Doves - Kingdom of Rust

Never got quite as popular here in the states as Coldplay, The Verve, or Travis, but these guys are solid. This may be my favorite of theirs thus far.

15. Muse - The Resistance

Yes they sound like Thom Yorke of Radiohead replaced Freddie Mercury as the frontman of Queen, but hell, they sound awesome. Sometimes shamelessly referencing your influences is not a bad thing. Just ask Quentin Tarantino. Anyway, there are some weaknesses on this album, but the three track symphony to close the album is well worth it.

16. John Frusciante - The Empyrean

Guitarist of the Chili Peppers. As a solo artist, far more impressive than with the band. Very good album. Check him out.

17. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Kind of disappointing given the brilliance of Black on Both Sides and The New Danger, but solid nonetheless.

18. Them Crooked Vultures - Self Titled

Nothing Uber special about this record. Just three great musicians teaming up for a solid hard rock album. I hope they continue to collaborate

19. Other Lives - Self Titled

These guys are just starting to get some press. Saw them at a bar in Denver and they are solid. The lack a driving lead instrument, but they write very good layered music with nuanced lyrics. Look forward to their next...

20. Monsters of Folk - Self Titled

Decent collaboration. Not a huge fan of M. Ward, but Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Conor Oberst do well together. Not groundbreaking, but an enjoyable listen.

Honorable Mentions

The Mars Volta - Octahedron
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South

Biggest Disappointments

U2 - No Line on the Horizon
John Mayer - Battle Studies

Thanks for reading. Your thoughts.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Memories of '09

A couple of years ago I started blogging in the first week of the new year about the highlights of my previous year. Each time proved equally cathartic so I continue to look forward to this blog.

I was having one of my tougher life phases at the beginning of this year. I still remember a conversation I had with my Mom in January. It was short. All it consisted of was her hugging me closely and whispering in my ear "this is going to be a good year for you. I feel it." I didn't even thank her. I specifically remember saying "yeah, whatever," and walking to my car.

My mom proved yet again, she is always right...


-Spent the new year in the pacific northwest for the third year in a row. this time I was there to celebrate Brad and Rachel's wedding. fun week.


-Began my 3 month marathon training. Simply beginning was an awesome feeling.


-An amazing European excursion with John. We hit all over England and ended in Paris. John and I annoyed the hell out of each other for 10 days, but I can only look back on it with fond memories. Thanks buddy.

-After years of deliberating, I finally decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. I sent my application in the morning we left for Europe.


-not a great month, just a lot of long distant running and watching the Rockies lose

May: One of the most epic months of my life

-ran and completed my first marathon. finished in 3:36. it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life

-2 days later, accepted an invitation to run with this cute girl from work

-2 days later, shared an epic first kiss with said girl

-2 days later, left for California where I set sail with the Riley family on a week long cruise up to British Columbia. Love you guys

-had several more dates with the cute girl, brought her to meet the family, and asked her to "go steady"

-took the cute girl to the Decemberists' concert in denver. awesome show, better company


-spent an insane amount of time with Carrie

-Mile High Music Festival with Carrie and our friend Kuks. Highlight - Ben Harper and the Relentless 7


-Kyle and Kelly came to visit, awesome weekend.

-Carrie told me she loved me

-I said it back

-didn't know it at the time, but I met my future in laws over the 4th. great weekend

-Wilco at Red Rocks- face meltingly unbelievable


-After 2 long years, finally left my job at Alpine. Amazing feeling

-Spent a fun week in Hilton Head, SC, in a beach house with Carrie's family

-First Day of class at UCCS. Truly felt like a new phase of life


-Readjusting to life as a student-got A's on all my first exams

-Another exciting September of Rockies baseball


-took Carrie to her first Rockies playoff game. maybe next year


-set a wedding date! one of those scary (in a good way) feelings. Strangely enough, while being a little scary, it was also one of the more comforting feelings I've ever had.

-Bobbie (carrie's mom) came for thanksgiving.

-Ray Lamontagne show with carrie in denver. awesome evening.


-kicked ass and took some names during finals week

-my surprise birthday party which I accidentally found out about. thank you to everyone who came. Carrie is great

-a couple of days in breck with the family. great to be back up on the skiis and even better to just hang with the fam

-a month and a half after setting a date, officially proposed to carrie! it was a subtle yet beautiful evening. i'll never forget it. not a moment of it.

-christmas in texas with the future in laws. i am spoiled :)

-meeting Greg, Jen, and the twins for the first time. I am officially an uncle. I love it

-Seeing Les(my future father in law) in action coaching Texas Tech Basketball. Exciting game in Lubbock

2009 already goes down as a definitive year in my life. I look ahead with an optimism that was not present a year ago.