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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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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

from Epitaph to Every Grain

Day 399, Session 83:
Thursday July 26th - On the train from work to home.
First song:
Epitaph by Badly Drawn Boy
Last full song: Every Grain of Sand by Moxy Fruvous
Progress: 1155-1170 of 5156
Total Songs Heard: 972 (skipped 3 podcasts)


If I had to pick out one line of music that summed up my entire life over the last 10 years or so, I'd probably have to go with this line from Evaporated by Ben Folds Five:

Woke up way too late, feeling hung over and old...
Which isn't to say I've woke up hung over every day for the last 10 years (although there have certainly been a *few* of those days,) but more days than not I do wake up feeling old.

Of course the song stops applying the very next line:
And the sun was shining bright, And I walked barefoot down the road
See, the thing is I would never wake up and exercise first thing in the morning. And even if I was going to walk down the road, I wouldn't walk anywhere barefoot. I wear shoes everywhere. I have baby soft feet. Don't believe me? This is a picture of my foot after the last time I walked barefoot:

That blister was shockingly deep. I couldn't walk normally for a week.

So to summarize:
Hungover and old? Yes
Barefoot down the road? No

Thursday, July 26, 2007

from Englewood to Episode 22

Day 393, Session 82:
Friday July 20th - On the train from work to home.
First song:
Englewood by The Bogmen
Last full song: Episode 22: John Hodgman and the Furry Lobster by Popsci Podcasts (from the Moon)
Progress: 1132-1153 of 5184
Total Songs Heard: 959 (skipped 14 podcasts, listened to 1)

Have you ever heard a song written about Enrique Iglesias' mole?

Enrique Iglesias Mole - Clem Snide

Now you have.

It's songs like this the mystify me as to why Clem Snide isn't bigger. Of course than I think about how strange the song is and how that makes me perhaps the worst person ever to judge what music should be popular. Of course you've probably already come to realize that.

The song above comes from ClemSnide.org. It's from a live recording of a 2003 Chicago performance at the Empty Bottle. I was there. Apparently not only was I there, but I looked important. How important? Important enough for some guy to walk up to me before the show started, hand me a cd of his band and ask me to please listen to it. So I took it. And then I watched the guy, figured he'd go up to several other people and hand them cds.


I watched him for about 15 minutes and he didn't approach anyone else. He must have known that I was only 2 years removed from the radio industry.

When I got home I listened to the cd and I actually liked it quite a bit. I figured his ploy had worked, because I was planning on actually going to see the band if I ever saw they were playing in town. Unfortunately, I never heard anything about them and have now forgotten their name. Oh well.

Speaking of live music... if you ever see that Ben Kweller is coming to a town near you, I highly recommend you go. Caught him last night at Schuba's and it was outstanding.

Friday, July 20, 2007

from Emaline to Enemy Fire

Day 391, Session 81:
Wednesday July 18th - On the train and the bus from work to home.
First song:
Emaline by Ben Folds
Last full song: Enemy Fire by Ryan Adams
Progress: 1131-1144 of 5204
Total Songs Heard: 951

So here I am minding my own business on the way home, when suddenly I here the train around me erupt in applause. I suspect someone has just foiled a purse snatcher (something I've seen once in my 4 years riding the train every day) or fallen over in some sort particularly hilarious way. But when I look around, no one is clapping or even moving around much at all. Finally I thought to look down at the iPod (don't ask me why it took me so long to think of the iPod) and realize that I'm listening to the "song" Encore Applause. This is why downloading live concert recordings is fun.

At first I couldn't believe how dumb it was that someone had taken the applause between the end of the first set and the encore and made it an entire track. Then I realized how genius it was. I love hidden tracks, but I hate it when the bonus track comes after 3 minutes of silence after the "final" song. It makes it a grand pain in the ass to use the bonus track in mixes (or playlists as iTunes wants me to call them.) So thanks to Heather who posted the Badly Drawn Boy concert recording that Encore Applause comes from. Despite my initial confusion, it's a great way to keep the feel of the whole concert there, while still allowing the listener to skip all the the clapping (all 4:30 of it.)

This stretch also took me through the End portion of song titles... quick notes on these titles and my life:

End Credits - It's always been a dream of mine to show up in the end credits of a real, released in the theater movie. I suppose it could still happen, but this particular dream seems a little bit further out of reach each day.

End It On This - As I was listening to this song I started thinking about how weird it must have been for No Doubt to hit big just as two members of the band were going through a romantic breakup. The romantic breakup part led nicely into...

End Of Love
- I've only had two great romances in my life. One in high school and the current one (yep, married for two years and I still love The Wife. Hooray marriage!) I remember the exact moment that I knew that first relationship had moved from Love onto something else (which happily has turned out to be a continuing friendship.) Freshman year of college, I had come home to Philadelphia (I didn't live there any more) for Thanksgiving to visit. She had started dating someone at school (as per our unbelievably pragmatic agreement that it was unrealistic to continue our high school relationship into college. (some cutest couple we ended up being) (I will note for the record that I had also briefly dated someone soon after starting school)) but the first time we saw each other there was still something there... or at least I had hoped there would be. Those hopes were quickly dashed when we shared our first moments alone on the front steps of a friend's house. We shared a kiss. The kiss was utterly empty. I still remember the stomach punch feeling of the immediate aftermath as my heart said, "What the hell was that?" and my brain answered, "That was the end."

End Of The Day
- I'm trying a new routine where I not ending my day until my body says I'm tired enough to go to sleep. So far it's resulted in alternating days of falling asleep at 11pm and 3:30am. I'm not sure this is the best plan I've ever thought of.

End Of The Movie
- I have never walked out on a movie I have paid to see in the theater before it was over. Have you? If so, what movie was it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

from Elbow Room to ELT

Day 390, Session 80:
When/Where: Tuesday July 17th - On the train and walking along Belmont and on the bus from work to home.
First song: Elbow Room by Sue Manchester
Last full song: ELT by Wilco
Progress: 1128-1142 of 5200
Total Songs Heard: 937

Hey now. Let's hear it for progress. After a 169 day lay-off it's time to get moving again. Since we were last together I'm going to estimate that I've added about 500 songs... a few new releases by old favorites (both B.L.A.M. releases from BNL,) several old releases that were found during the great flood cleanup (I haven't heard Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos since freshman year) and some fantastic new discoveries (say hello to The Avett Brothers.)

Also since my last listen, iTunes has again changed the way they treat the alphabet as far as song titles go. "A" now apparently comes before numbers which would change the whole title of the blog. Bah, I wish they'd just make up their mind. Or here's a crazy idea... let the user choose how they want alphabetical order settings to work (for example, I want "M" before "G"... fuck you G!) and then let them keep it that way. Wankers.

One I got past the iTunes garbage plugging back into the music was great. I've spent so much time with various podcasts in my ear that getting the complete musical experience (instead of just public radio types talking) was refreshing. That sense of refreshment lasted all of one song. Then, about 15 seconds into The Beatles doing Eleanor Rigby, refreshment turned to befuddlement.

I thought either my iPod, my headphones, or my head was broken. Everything sounded normal until they got to the start of the first verse. Then, all of the sudden, for reasons I can't explain, as Paul starts the verse the vocals cut out of my left ear and come up exclusively in my right. This lasted until the chorus, when voices returned to both ears, but different vocal parts came from each side. It was like The Beatles were standing around me singing the song, which was cool but also disorienting. Paul was always on my right no matter which way I turned.

Here, take a listen for yourself (headphones recommended for full effect):

Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles

So I guess my question is was it recorded this way on purpose, or do I just have a bum copy of "1?" (the greatest hits compilation) I don't suppose anyone out there has a copy of "Revolver" that can determine whether it sounds that way on the original album? Or if someone could at least listen to their copy of "1" to see if it does the same thing. Thanks.

Regardless, it was a good day. Music made the commute (which clocked in at almost an hour today, yuck) fly. I should try this more often.