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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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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Friday October 20th - Morning

Day 120, Session 43:
Location: On the train heading to work, plus the first 30 minutes of the day at the desk.
First song: Can't Keep It In by Cat Stevens
Last full song: Cape Feare (Medley) by The Simpsons
Progress: 562-578 of 4500
Total Songs Heard: 496

Can You Picture That from The Muppet Movie... awesome. The fact that the soundtrack from The Muppet Movie apparently is not available on cd... not awesome. Can someone explain this to me? I went to Amazon to try to add the cd to my wish list, thinking it would be an quick and easy gift for someone to get me for Christmas. The only problem is, the lowest price I saw was $50. Why is a soundtrack from a popular musical not available on cd?

Now I need to make a confession. I like Canada. Always have. I love hockey. I like universal health care. I like the city of Toronto. I like the idea of having a section of the country that contains an entirely different culture. I like $2 coins (except at Canadian strip clubs.) And I really like Canadian music. BNL, Fruvous, Crash Test Dummies, Sarah McLachlan, Gordon Lightfoot and lesser known Canadian bands like the Arrogant Worms. The Arrogant Worms like Canada because it is really big. *Edited to fix link!

The first time I went to Canada was my freshman year of high school. We bussed from suburban Philly through Niagra Falls to Toronto. The girl I had a crush on at the time (who would later become my high school girlfriend (my only hs girlfriend)) spent most of the ride making out with her boyfriend at the time. Somewhere around the border I suggested quite loudly that perhaps they should stop trading tonsils. It was kind of a funny line. At least the rest of the bus thought so. The girl was terribly terribly embarrassed, and I suppose I should have felt bad. But I didn't. I was happy that she quit making out with that other guy for 20 minutes or so.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thursday October 19th - Evening

Day 119, Session 42:
Location: Heading home well after 6 pm. Boooooooooo.
First song: Call in Sick by The Argument
Last full song: Can't Cry Anymore by Sheryl Crow
Progress: 550-561 of 4500
Total Songs Heard: 479

Call in Sick is the first song I've ever heard extolling the virtues of taking a mental health day from work. Have I mentioned I'm disappointed The Argument didn't hit it bigger and stay together to release more good music? I have? Ok then, never mind.

And yes, Sheryl Crow. I picked it out of a box of $2.99 cds. I actually bought two cds that day, one was Sheryl Crow, the other was Green Day. So cut me some slack, I went one for two.

Can't Buy Me Love was not just the name of a Beatles song I heard today, but also the title of an "
underrated and charming 80's teen flick" (IMDB's words, not mine.) I've never actually seen the movie version of "Can't Buy Me Love" but I was supposed to. For my friend Brendan's 12th birthday we went to the movies and were supposed to see this Patrick Dempsey masterpiece. Unfortunately the movie closed the night before we went to see it. This was way back in the day when there weren't 24 screens at every movieplex. The theater we went to had only two screens. (Imagine that! Only two screens. I'm surprised the movies weren't all in black and white and accompanied by a guy playing piano.) Because there were only 2 movies playing, only one movie was starting when we got there. So instead of "Can't Buy Me Love" we ended up seeing "A Fish Called Wanda," which happened to be rated R. It was the first R-rated movie I saw in the theater.

I was quite disappointed in the lack of boobs.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thursday October 19th - Morning

Day 119, Session 41:
Location: At the desk, writing important documents.
First song: C'mon Daddy by The Lemonheads
Last full song: Call and Answer by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 541-549 of 4500
Total Songs Heard: 467

California was covered today. California by Mason Jennings, California Rolls by Janes Addiction, and California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco. Honestly I thought I'd have more songs about California. Truth be told, California Rolls could be about sushi for all I know. I've tried listening to it, and I still don't quite get it.

I've visited California quite a few times. When I was 6, my family spent a pretty large percentage of our RV trip cross country in California. We covered San Diego, LA, San Francisco, and Yosemite. I have a lot of memories from that trip that have kind of ended up smashing together in my head, but all the parts of the California portion stand out individually. I remember visiting Disney Land outside LA and being less than impressed because we had been to Disney World the year before. I remember cable cars and a guy trying to extricate himself from a straight jacket in San Fran. I remember giant redwoods and nature everywhere around Yosemite.

My most specific memory though is from San Diego. We went to the zoo. We were looking down on the hippo habitat. One of the hippos pointed his ass out of the water and let loose an amazing explosion of green hippo shit everywhere. My family laughed and laughed. It's probably one of my top 5 most vivid memories from that fantastic 6-week trip. I'm not sure if I remember it because of the absurdity of the scene or because of how hard we laughed.

I hope when I have kids I'll be able to share experiences with them that will stay with them for years and years. Even if they involve hippo shit.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wednesday October 18th

Day 118, Session 40:
Location: Heading to work. Tired.
First song: Bullet from a Gun by Universal Honey
Last full song: By Starlight by Smashing Pumpkins
Progress: 529-538 of 4483
Total Songs Heard: 459

Hooray, the Bs are dead! 63 days after they started. 63 days for 211 songs. I hope all the rest of the letters don't have 211 songs. Ugh. 63 days... when the Bs started it was still August, still warm, still light out after 4:30. That seems like a million years ago now. I'm not usually effected by seasonal change, but it sure seems dark out a lot right now. Probably has something to do with all the rain. It's overcast when I leave the house in the morning and completely dark when I come home.

Appropriately enough, By Starlight by Smashing Pumpkins was the last of the Bs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday October 13th - Afternoon

Day 113, Session 39:
Location: On the train to work, except for the first song, which I apparently played as soon as I got out of bed.
First song: Brothers Unaware by Live
Last full song: Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan
Progress: 511-520 of 4422
Total Songs Heard: 449

I was the program director of my college radio station senior year. I was absolutely terrible at the job. I had no desire to be a boss. I'm a performer, not a director. In my time as PD I only had to fire one DJ (although I probably should have disciplined a few more, like I said, I wasn't very good.) I had to fire the guy because he played a song that it specifically said on the cd case not to play because it contained bad language. He played it even after I called him and told him exactly why he couldn't. And then he repeated the reason that I told him he couldn't play it. The song? Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan. The reason? She says "fuck" in the middle of the song. What he said on the air? "I've been told I can't play this song because it says fuck in the middle of it, but I've never heard that, so I'm going to play it anyway." And then he played the song.

Believe it or not, I still felt kind of bad about canning the guy. At least I did, until he came in and had the audacity to think it was unfair that I was doing it. Then I laughed after he left the office.

The following summer The Wife and I went to her grandmother's birthday party. Her family had gotten her grandmother a cd player and The Wife had bought a few cds to get her grandmother's collection started. The cd at the top of the pile? "Surfacing" by Sarah McLachlan, the first track of which is Building a
Fucking Mystery. The wife was moderately horrified when I told her what she was handing over to her grandmother. To my knowledge my wife has not been fired as a granddaughter.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday October 13th - Morning

Day 113, Session 38:
Location: On the train to work, except for the first song, which I apparently played as soon as I got out of bed.
First song: Broken by Jack Johnson
Last full song: Brother Love's Traveling Salvavation Show by Neil Diamond
Progress: 504-510 of 4422
Total Songs Heard: 439

Quick thoughts on some of the 7 songs from this morning:

Broken by Jack Johnson is from the "Curious George" movie that came out last winter. The wife and I went to see it in the theatre. We were the only people in the place who weren't accompanied by at least one person under the age of ten. We were, however, accompanied by approximately 10 stuffed animal monkeys that we decided would want to see the movie. Bringing them along started as something as a joke suggestion from the wife, then devolved into a challenge about how many animals we could sneak into the theater. Luckily, it was winter, and my winter coat has a lot of pockets, so the answer ended up being all of them. At one point during the movie, the little boy sitting directly in front of us turned around to take in his surroundings. He seemed quite surprised.

Brother by Toad the Wet Sprocket features one of my favorite song intros ever. It's a fun guitar and organ (which is probably not a real organ, but hey it sounds enough like an organ for me.) If I actually had a brother, this would be a good place to mention him and talk about our relationship. Maybe I could tell a funny story about that thing we did that time. But, uh... I don't have a brother, so I guess we're done here.

Broken Heart by Axel Rudi Pell (which must be a made up name) sucked out loud. I really shouldn't have acquired "Metal Ballads (Vol. 3)". Deleted!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thursday October 12th - Afternoon

Day 112, Session 37:
Location: Training home after another horrible degrading day as a mutant, er, cube farm employee.
First song: Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies
Last full song: Bring Some Love by Rockapella
Progress: 499-508 of 4447
Total Songs Heard: 432

3 more versions of Brian Wilson to start the day. Putting it in the lead at this point with 4 completely different versions of the same song. One from Gordon, two live recordings, one radically radio edited version of the song that is really only allowed to hang around for completeness of my BNL collection purposes. The radio edit version totally rewrites the opening of the song. The problem is I like the beginning of the song. It builds very nice and slow to the refrain where the energy really takes off. The remix version goes right into the refrain.

Following the Brian Wilson triple play were 2 versions of Brick by Ben Folds Five. It still kills me that Brick is the only real big hit that Ben Folds Five had. So much of their music is about tight harmonies, and pounding piano and bass, and fun... and their big hit is slow and practically harmony free and just about the least fun song ever. It's probably why they eventually had to break up. If they had stayed together, they would've ended up being "those guys who did that song about abortion" for the rest of their career.

There actually exists a techno version of the song. I had it in my music library at one point. Then I realized a techno version of this particular song had to be the worst idea ever. Nothing says, "let's grind on the dance floor" like lyrics about the emotional aftermath of an abortion set to a thumping techno beat.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thursday October 12th - Morning

Day 112, Session 36:
Location: The last two-thirds of the train ride to work.
First song: Bread by Clem Snide
Last full song: Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 493-498 of 4447
Total Songs Heard: 422

Heard two signature BNL songs. Brian Wilson, is the live from Philadelphia version (the first of four different versions of Brian Wilson I've got.) Break Your Heart is originally from the BNL cd "Born On A Pirate Ship" but the version I heard was from their concert cd "Rock Spectacle." It wasn't until I heard the "Rock Spectacle" version that I realized I didn't have "Born On A Pirate Ship" in my iPod. Then I remembered why...

Summer before second senior year a certain roommate a habit of borrowing cds and then never returning them. Between the wife and I, we can count 4 or 5 cds that we know we had during that summer, but that we haven't seen since. So this leads me to this PURELY HYPOTHETICAL dilemma...

Suppose there was some music that you had absolutely positively spent real money to purchase (suppose you even still had the cd cases) but that through no real fault of your own you were no longer in possession of said music. And suppose
the interwebs had a way for acquiring that music without having to pay for it again. Is it ok to use the interwebs to reacquire that music?

My theory was that it would HYPOTHETICALLY be ok. The wife's theory was that if you bought a coat and then someone stole it from you, that wouldn't mean you were entitled to a free coat. I agreed that you shouldn't be able to steal a coat from a store, but if you could somehow download the coat over the interweb, it would be ok.

Her stupid coat analogy really made me think. Sometimes I hate thinking.

In the end, since this was a PURELY HYPOTHETICAL dilemma, obviously no action was taken. But still I wonder... would it be ok? And where can I download a coat?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tuesday October 10th

Day 110, Session 35:
Location: Walking out of work, relaxing on the train.
First song: Bowling Song (Almighty Malachi, Professional Bowling God) by Stephen Lynch
Last full song: Braver Newer World by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Progress: 483-492 of 4447
Total Songs Heard: 416

Boxing Nostalgic by Josh Joplin is from the cd of the same name. I very much enjoy Josh Joplin, but the "Boxing Nostalgic" cd was a small release before he got picked up by a major label. Apparently copies of this cd exist out there somewhere, but they're listed on Amazon for around $40. My enjoyment of Josh Joplin does not reach the $40 per cd level. So after one of his shows in Chicago I asked him what would be the best way to get a hold of the older stuff. He encouraged me to find it on the internets and download it for free. Now that's cool. The artist telling you to go ahead and download his stuff. If only I had ever been able to find "Boxing Nostalgic" out there. I even tried using The Google. No such luck.

So hey, if you're reading this and you happen to have a copy of "Boxing Nostalgic" go ahead and send me the mp3s. Josh said it was ok. I'll even trade you for the mp3s from "Projector Head" (the other independent Josh Joplin release that I happened to find on Amazon tonight for $5 while writing this entry. Score!)

I think Josh Joplin has given up touring*** (and perhaps music altogether,) which is too bad. I guess if you're a musician, it's probably not a good thing to be able to spend a few minutes talking to anyone who hung around after the show. Probably means you're not "big" enough. But Josh was always happy to spend time talking with his fans.

At one show, he talked with my friend Jon (the one who's getting married tomorrow, good luck) and me long enough that when he moved on to the next couple of folks, a girl who was standing around asked me if I was on his security team. I assured her that I most certainly was, so she gave me her phone number and asked me to pass it along. I offered the number to Josh, but he declined.

I had something more depressing to say about Boxing by Ben Folds Five, but I like that story better. I'll save depressing for another day.

***Updated March 2008: This, thank goodness, turned out to be totally wrong! He took some time off to be a dad and to recharge his batteries, but he's now back on tour.. Hooray for all those things. This is one case where I'm happy to have been wrong.