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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday September 14th - evening

Day 84, Session 25:
Location: Away from work, towards rehearsal.
First song: Bedside Story by Badly Drawn Boy
Last full song: Believe In Love by Scorpions
Progress: 352-359 of 4293
Total Songs Heard: 313

Hmmmm, just realized I didn't actually hear Beercan until this session. So here's what I wrote yesterday (making this the new laziest post ever!):

As previously mentioned, Joey and I had a radio show back in college. One of our favorite songs to play was Beercan by Beck. I could go into a long winded discussion of why this song was so great, but instead, I'll simply post the lyrics. Sure it's lazy, but this was poetry, no need to muck it up with my words:

Alcohol on my hands
I got plans to ditch myself and get outside
Dancing women throwing plates
Decapitating their laughing dates
Swirling chickens caught in flight
Out of focus and much too bright
Coming down, shiny teeth
Game show suckers trying to breathe
But I got a drug and I got the bug
and I got something better than love

How you like me now?
Pretty good
Going on, feeling strong

I quit my job blowing leaves
Telephone bills up my sleeves
Choking like a one man dustball
Freedom rock slimeball talking in code
We went down, lit up the shack
Grabbed me a beer out of the sack
Everybody bent over twice
Painting the walls, throwing some dice
Leaping up into the air getting juiced up beyond belief

And they were singin' like this!

Winos throwing Frisbees at the sun
Burnt my soul between the bun
Now I'm wounded, now I'm drunk
Now I'm runnin' like a flaming pig

Oh yeah, scraping off the attitude
Old man eating all my food
Don't be kind, don't be rude
Just shake your boots and let it all get loose

Oh yeah, my goodness

Fluffy clouds
Lovely rainbows
I'm sad, a soft and snugly place
Fluffy clouds
I'm sad and unhappy… yppahnu dna das

Winos throwing Frisbees at the sun
Burnt my soul between the bun
Now I'm wounded, now I'm drunk
Now I'm runnin' like a flaming pig

Oh yeah, scraping off the attitude
Old man eating all my food
Don't be kind, don't be rude
Just shake your boots and let it all get loose

Oh yeah, I like it like that
Oh that is cold
Somebody put a flamethrower on thee
Uh-huh, oh my goodness!
Take me down to the depot
Somebody put me down on the bus
Oh yeah, I like it like that
Somebody burn me a plate of sassafras
Oh yeah…
Oh yeah indeed.

Eventually I'll figure out what it all means.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday September 14th - the laziest post yet! (um, that's the next post)

Day 84, Session 24:
Location: Towards work.
First song: Beautiful People by Rusted Root
Last full song: Bed and Breakfast by Moxy Fruvous
Progress: 346-351 of 4293
Total Songs Heard: 305

[This post has been editted again because I am dumb and I can't count.]


People by Rusted Root was song number 300. In an alarming development, it took 50 days to get from song 200 to song 300. That's only 2 songs a day. What the hell? At this rate, with about 3800 songs left, I'd be finishing the project in November of 2011.
(3800 songs/2 songs a day/365 days a year=5.2 years) Shit! Time seems to be working against me.


You may be visitor 100 to this blog. If you read this post, leave a comment, then I may be able to congratulate you in a future post. Then we'll be best friends forever!

[comment redacted] - Turns I posted the bit about Beercan on the wrong day. That makes the next post really easy and this one really short.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tuesday Septeber 12th - Afternoon

Day 82, Session 23:
Location: Wooo! Heading home!
First song: Barcelona by Rufus Wainwright
Last full song: Be My Yoko Ono by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 304-345 of 4293
Total Songs Heard: 299

First... happy belated birthday to Mike out in California, who happens to be my most loyal reader (and only real commenter) so far. Punch a dolphin for me. And happy on time birthday to my sister. Hope you're famous soon.

Who'd have thunk that there'd be two different tunes about Barcelona and neither of them would be about the Olympics or the Whit Stillman movie.

In case you're wondering how I got through 42 tracks, but only heard 14 songs, I skipped a bunch of Barenaked Ladies podcasts they did while recording their most recent cd.

Heard Basket Case by Green Day. If there's another song that better brings to mind my first semester of college, I'm not quite sure what it would be. Fall of 1994 was a confusing time. I certainly never intended to end up at college in Ohio (state motto: "Starts with a hole, ends with a hole, pretty describes everything in between.") I grew up in suburban Philly, I took all honors classes and did a bunch of extracurriculars like all my friends, and yet they all ended up going to the elite east coast schools (Williams, Cornell, Georgetown to name a few) and I ended up at a C-level college in the middle of nowhere. (It should be noted that they all had much better grades than I did.) Somewhere along the way something went terribly wrong. Only my friend Zach ended up in the same boat, but a year later he was at Dartmouth and I was still in Ohio.

"Do you have the time, to listen to me whine? About nothing and everything all at once."
I never really caught up. My friends from high school have gone on to become doctors and nurses, engineers and lawyers, two of them are getting doctorates in things they love. What do I do? Like Max Belmont, I do nothing. I mean sure, I have a job, but it's nothing. I perform occasionally, but I'm not particularly good at it (not by comparison to the folks around here who perform, anyhow.) Of course, it doesn't really matter where you go to college. At least a few successful people have attended the same college I did. But ending up there was pretty much a defeat for me, which is why hearing this song brings back such conflicting feelings. Good memories because that first semester at college ended up being such a good time... bad memories cause how in the world did I end up there? (and by extension... here.)

Which isn't to say there's anything particularly wrong with my life now. Basket Case has simply inspired me to whine about everything... which of course means nothing... um, all at once.

Lest you be concerned about my perpetually negative mental state, let me share a few good things that my C-list college did net me... several good friends... a chance to play for a few years as a radio guy... an appreciation of all things beer and of course we can't forget... a pretty awesome wife. (I would have said that even if she hadn't brought home God of War for me this weekend.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tuesday September 12th - Morning

Day 82, Session 22:
Location: On the way to work... for once.
First song: Back To You by John Mayer
Last full song: Barcelona by Jewel (yes, more Jewel)
Progress: 294-303 of 4293
Total Songs Heard: 285

I'm not quite sure why I didn't vigorously jump on the John Mayer bandwagon. He would seem to make the type of music that hits pretty close to my musical wheelhouse. Laid back singer/songwriter type... I think the thing that drove me away from Mr. Mayer is that the girls all seemed to fawn over him. He seems too much like the guy who would bring the guitar to the party. Now there's not necessarily anything wrong with that guy, if he's bringing the guitar to the party cause he just wants to jam. John Mayer seems more like the guy who would bring the guitar to the party because he knew all the chicks would gather round to watch him play. The guys of course would follow the girls, cause that's what we do. Eventually though, all the other guys would leave the circle cause they were tired of the sensitive singer/songwriter bit, and when the other guys left John Mayer would hit on your girlfriend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wednesday August 23rd

Day 62, Session 21:
Location: The beginning of a ride home from work
First song: Back O' Town Blues by Louis Armstrong
Last full song: Back to the Earth by Rusted Root
Progress: 298-300 of 4231
Total Songs Heard: 275

If I had been updating this thing as I was listening all along, there's no way I would have posted this next bit...

If you're super observant, you may have noticed that the total number of tracks on my iPod jumped from 3960 to 4231 between the last post and this one. You see, recently the wife and I moved into a new home. One of my jobs in the whole moving process was packing up all the media and entertainment stuff. All the DVDs, all the video game systems, most of the books... and all of the cds. Well of course, while I was packing cds, I had to double check to make sure they were all on my computer and it turns out almost 300 songs weren't. The thing is, I can't pack a cd until I've ripped it onto my hard drive. So, it took me 2 days just to pack all the cds.

Meanwhile, the wife cleaned the new place, painted two rooms there, and packed all the clothes and most of the kitchen.

Now that the move has been successfully completed (and I did end up pulling my fair share of the load,) I feel ok mentioning the fact that I took the time to load about 20 cds worth of music onto my computer when I should have been packing. I have the feeling however, that if I had mentioned this while we were trying to get packed... well, it probably wouldn't have gone over well.

You also may have noticed that I only managed to get through 3 songs this day. You see, I have this tendency to occasionally fall asleep on the train. And yes, I have slept right through my stop, once or twice riding all the way to the end of the line before waking up. There's something about a steady rocking that makes me sleepy. It's the same thing that makes me fall asleep on car trips as soon as I'm not driving. According to my parents, I've been this way all my life. As an baby, when they couldn't get me to fall asleep, they'd put me in the car and take a short drive. Or, if they didn't feel like going for a drive, they'd take my baby seat and place it on top of the washer while they were running a load of laundry.

In conclusion, today = me on top of the washer while listening to tunes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thursday, August 17th

Day 56, Session 20:
Location: Thursday after work? That's practically Friday!
First song: Baby I Love You by Natalie Merchant
Last full song: Back in N.Y.C. by Jeff Buckley
Progress: 272-280 of 3960
Total Songs Heard: 272

All Baby and Back tunes today. In case you didn't know, Travis does an outstanding cover of Britney Spears Greatest Hit Baby One More Time. The way they did it makes it sound like a serious musical effort instead of piece of ultra-disposable pop. Well ok, the band may or may not be drunk when they're performing it, so maybe serious musical effort isn't the right phrase, but it still sounds better than Britney. I'm guessing, however, that the guys from Travis don't look nearly as good in a school girl outfit.

Back by Barenaked Ladies is now the song that I hope to hear from them in concert. I've probably seen BNL 10 times in concert, but I've never heard them play Back. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm ever going to get to see it. The wife and I have given up going to see them after our last experience at a BNL concert.

We were in the balcony and pretty far from the stage. In fact, we were so far from the stage, that the two drunk suburban women behind us forgot they were even at the show. They spent the entire time talking to each other and they were LOUD.

Think back to 3 entries ago... when I talked about how I used to sing along at concerts. At least I was singing along, never trying to talk over the band. Being dumb, I didn't go inform the usher of this situation. Instead, at some point, after shooting about a thousand dirty looks their way, I turned around and kindly requested that they please shut the fuck up. They responded a few minutes later by "accidentally" spilling a beer on my wife. (Beer their drunk asses never should have been sold in the first place.) Once the wife convinced me not to throw both of their gross leathery hides down the stairs, we seethed our way through the rest of the show. When the final lights came up, I turned around and absolutely lit into them. The drunker one's response was to grab me by the arm and tell me she was getting security. I invited her to please go ahead as the wife started polling people around us to confirm that they had seen the woman intentionally spill beer on her. Sadly, the slightly less disgusting troll pulled her friend away just before security could get there.

You might be wondering what all this has to do with the song Back. The song is about a guy who trips over a pair of shoes, falls down the stairs, and breaks his back. As they were bumbling their way
up the stairs through the crowd and making their escape, I thought that was the least those bitches deserved.

BTW, if anyone thought of Chili's when I started this post by saying it was all Baby and Back... shame on you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wednesday August 16th

Day 55, Session 19:
Location: Afterwork commute (notice a pattern?)
First song: Avalanche by Ryan Adams
Last full song: Baby Got Back by Jonathan Coulton
Progress: 261-270 of 3960
Total Songs Heard: 263

Hey look! It's the letter B! So, it only took 55 days to get through the letter A (and the numbers.) At that pace... I'd be looking at finishing this up... um... carry the one... June 2008. Right around the corner then.

The last song of the 'A's was Avery M. Powers Memorial Beltway by Ben Folds. Happily for all Ben Folds fans, turns out his Fear of Pop, Vol. 1, cd was just some crazy experiment. If Ben Folds had ended up giving up the Five for an entire solo career devoted to Shatner duets and crazy ass instrumentals that would have been extremely disappointing for everyone.

The first 'B' song was B.J. Don't Cry by Moxy Fruvous. This was the version from Bargainville. This will not be the last time this particular song appears, but the other versions are listed in my library as BJ Don't Cry. Apparently, the period makes a difference cause I didn't hear any of the other versions in this stretch.

Baby Got Back is an excellent folkified version of the Sir Mix-a-lot (R.I.P.) classic. It's part of Jonathan Coulton's "Thing a Week" series. He's releasing a new song every week. He's been doing so for the last 49 weeks. I highly recommend you subscribe to the "Thing a Week" podcast. More details, including free downloads of many Jonathan Coulton songs can be found here. This version of Baby Got Back is probably my favorite internet discovery of 2006.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday August 8th

Day 47, Session 18:
Location: Brown Line from Quincy to Paulina.
First song: At a Medium Pace by Adam Sandler
Last full song: Aurora by Foo Fighters
Progress: 245-254 of 3940
Total Songs Heard: 253

At a Medium Pace was played incessantly at lunches senior year of high school. My high school radio station, WHHS, received a promotional copy, which was great for lunch play but terrible for actual on air use. The parental advisory of explicit lyrics... they weren't kidding. Of course when you're 17 all those things were extra hilarious.

I loved working at that radio station. The whole place was held together by sheer will... and duct tape. My only real regret* there was that, in spite of being station's sports director senior year, I never got to call an entire football game. Our remote receiver (I believe it was a hangar attached to an antenna) broke at the beginning of senior year. It took all the way until our traditional Thanksgiving day homecoming game to get it fixed. Unfortunately, I had been sick for a few weeks leading up to the game. We didn't know what was actually wrong until two days before Thanksgiving, when I was diagnosed with mono. Thanksgiving day came, and I was planning on getting to the game, but I was too tired to get out of bed. Finally, an hour after the game had kicked off I dragged myself into the stadium and up to the "press box." I remember making it through about 5 minutes of game time before I was too tired to stand. I handed my headset off to one of the other guys and staggered straight back to my car and drove home.

Later that same year, after I had recovered, I called several basketball games. Included in that run was a game where a sophomore from Lower Merion by the name of Kobe Bryant absolutely crushed my team. If I had any idea that he would end up playing for the Lakers 3 years later, I probably would have saved the tape.

*ok, technically there was one other radio station related regret. Freshman year I always sat in with a girl from my class who had a show Friday afternoon right after school. She was new at school and I had a huge crush on her, but never got up the nerve to say anything. It didn't take long for her to start dating some random guy, but even though she had a boyfriend, I still hung out with her at the station every Friday. The fact that I never had the nerve to say anything was bothersome for a while (at least until I finally actually started dating someone 18 months later.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Friday August 4th

Day 43, Session 17:
Location: Heading home for the weekend.
First song: Aquarius by Neutral Milk Hotel
Last full song: Ashes of American Flags by Wilco
Progress: 233-244 of 3940
Total Songs Heard: 243

Featuring multiple listens to Army by Ben Folds. Because the original tune contains a large part with a horn section, he does a great bit in concert where he divides the audience in two and has each side cover one of the horn parts. It's one of those rare occasions where I'm actually encouraged to sing loud at a show.

I freely admit that for years and years I had the terrible habit of singing along a little too loud when I would go see a show. After two or three concerts with me the wife (who at the time was just the girlfriend) pointed out that as much as she liked my singing, she didn't come to the show to hear me perform. At the time I remember feeling defensive about it. I couldn't possibly have been singing that loud... and besides, everyone sings like that at a concert.

Of course when I thought about it later, it turned out that (as would become a recurring theme for us) she was right. Now when I go to shows I'm the guy who looks like he's mumbling along with the lyrics, but you won't actually hear me unless the band asks for it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tuesday, August 1st

Day 40, Session 16:
Location: On the way to work.
First song: Anthem by Blink 182
Last full song: Apu In "The Jolly Bengali" Theme by The Simpsons
Progress: 218-228 of 3937
Total Songs Heard: 231

Lots of doubling up today. Two versions of Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band, two entirely different songs called Anytime (by My Morning Jacket and McAuley Schenker Group (which was AWFUL and should probably be deleted, in fact, I'm going to do that now),) and two versions of April Come She Will by Simon & Garfunkel.

The song I didn't end up hearing was April is in My Mistress' Face, but after 4 straight songs starting with April, that was the song that drilled its way into my brain for the rest of the day. Of course I didn't hear AiiMMF because I don't make a habit of collecting madrigals as sung by my high school chorus. If I remember that song correctly, April was in my mistress' face, July in her eyes, and within her bosom was September. I honestly don't remember what came after that cause I was always too busy trying to stifle the giggles that September brought on. (It's also entirely possible I'm remembering this completely wrong. I'm sure google could clear this up, feel free to let me know if you use it.)

Happy Bosom Month everyone!

I'm now officially a month behind in entries. This is not surprising. The good news is the move is now completed and WoW is currently on hold, so I should have plenty of chances to play catch up.