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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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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

from Humble Daisy to Hurricane Eye

Day 693, Session 128:
Tuesday May 13th - Pounding the pavement on the post office route.
First song: Humble Daisy by XTC
Last full song: Hurricane Eye by Paul Simon
Progress: 2056-2064 of 5946
Total Songs Heard: 1628

I'm running into recurring problem now where whenever I want to load something new onto the iPod, I have to unload something else. (I've probably mentioned this before.) Today, something else has taken the form of Hungry by Draxon. As I hit more and more of these "metal ballads" I've really started to wonder what the hell people were thinking when this type of music became popular. Sure some of it ended up having staying power, but so much of it is crap. Total crap. I refuse to take blame for it as I'm pretty sure metal ballads came into play while I was too young to be the target audience. My target audience years come with the rise of grunge and "alternative" music so I think I'm ahead on that account. If you're doing the math at home, you've probably noticed that I'm cutting a pretty fine line here. I'm 32, but I'm perfectly prepared to throw you under the bus for the metal ballad years if you're between say 35 and 42. Same way I'm blaming you between 21 and 26 for the boy band era.

Of course, maybe you love this song and have been looking everywhere for it. Who am I to deny you?

His goal in life was to be an echo
Riding alone, town after
town, toll after toll
A fixed bayonet through the great
southwest to forget her
That's how Hummingbird by Wilco begins. This song has become one of those reasons I'm glad I'm doing this whole thing. Somehow when I first listened to "A Ghost Is Born" I missed the goodness of this particular song. I love the idea of being an echo. The faded memory that still occasionally reverberates off the gray matter of someone I once knew... or maybe even someone I didn't know. A path crossed and an impression made that I didn't even know I was making.

I have echoes. They come to me when I sleep. People I haven't thought of in the light of day come and we talk. They look like I remember them even though I know they wouldn't really look like that now. When I wake I usually take a few minutes to try to figure out why I heard that echo and most of the time there's no reason. I always feel good about remembering, even if only for a minute, before the echo fades and the day comes in.

Being an echo seems like a good enough goal to me.

This particular version comes from one of Wilco's live concerts in Chicago. It features a favorite moment of mine from any concert; the moment when the band steps back and lets the audience sing.

(It may be a while before the mp3s show up here. The service I was using has completely changed (man, the internet moves fast) and I'm trying to figure out how to log back in.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

from How Sweet It Is to Human

Day 689, Session 127:
Friday May 9th - At the house, trying to work down the playoff nerves.
First song: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by James Taylor
Last full song: Human by Josh Joplin Group
Progress: 2041-2048 of 5916 (one skipped podcast)
Total Songs Heard: 1626

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - James Taylor: Would anyone ever actually be wooed by this song? I mean besides Mena Suvari in American Pie? Listen, there's a lot of James Taylor I do like but this song is so saccharine that I can feel lab mice getting cancer while I'm listening to it.

(skipped Podcast)

How To Fight Lonliness - Wilco: The best advice Wilco has to give? Smile all the time. BTW, Lonliness is officially how the cd database that iTunes referenced spelled the word. I've been lonely a lot over the course of my 32 years, but luckily for all of us, live blogging doesn't give me too much time to go into all of it.

Howard Is A Drag - The Rake's Progress: At the store on Tuesday I saw the worst looking trannie I've ever seen. Long curly hair appeared real, but the low cut blouse revealed a crop of chest hair and the make-up was doing nothing to conceal the 5-o'clock shadow. It took a lot of effort not to laugh. I know that's rude, but c'mon! If you're going to go through the trouble of cross-dressing, you can at least put a little effort into it!

Huge On The Luge -
Moxy Früvous: Perhaps the last original song they released. If you go to their official website, it's still posted on the home page as being new despite the fact that it's been over 6 years. Man I miss those guys.

Hulkster's In The House - Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band: The less here the better. The only idea that could possibly be worst than Hulk Hogan having a band would be Hulk Hogan starring in a reality series where he tried to turn D-List celebrities into professional wrestlers. What's that you say? Oh shit. (And yes, there's a good chance I'll watch it.)

Hullabaloo - Various Artists: Apparently Hullabaloo was a TV show. I know absolutely nothing about it.

Human - Josh Joplin Group: And this is where the wife got home and the live blog ends for the day. Go Flyers.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

from How Do You Sleep to How Nothing Feels

Day 685, Session 126:
Monday May 5th - Running to the post office and back.
First song: How Do You Sleep? by The Magnificent Bastards
Last full song: How Nothing Feels by The Promise Ring
Progress: 2030-2035 of 5908
Total Songs Heard: 1619

Oh those Magnificent Bastards. How Do You Sleep? they ask. How do I sleep?

When I was a kid I slept on my stomach. My right arm was away from my body and bent at the elbow so that head would have been lying on my right hand except for the pillow in between.
My face always turned right. My left arm stayed in close to my body. Every night was the same. As a kid sleeping on my back was out of the question, I couldn't grasp how anyone could do it. One of the side benefits to sleeping this way was whenever I slept on the floor (at sleepovers for example) my right arm would end up completely numb. When I woke up with a numb arm and tried to move it, it always felt like the arm had pushed through the floor into the ceiling of the room below. It was cool feeling.

As I hit my teens I added sleeping on my side to my repertoire. This was made necessary by the awesome family legacy of sinus fun. Sleeping became a balancing act... too much time spent turned on one side meant that nostril was no longer good for breathing and it was time to turn to the other side so that all the head gunk could slide over. If I didn't fall asleep by the time the sliding was complete, it was time to roll back over and try again.

The other reason sleeping on the side became a necessary option around this time... sleeping with other people. Seeing as how most initial forays into this exciting new world took place on a twin sized bed, sleeping side by side was the only practical choice. Side sleeping still leads to an arm usually ending up under my pillow. Years from now I'm going to have circulation problems in my arms and I'm going to have to confess that I've spent about 1/3 of my life cutting off the blood to my arm. But hey, who needs arms right?

Eventually I did learn to sleep on my back, and with it, much to The Wife's amusement has come the snoring. I hate the fact that I snore. I see it as another in the ever growing list of symptoms that point to oldness. For a while I told The Wife that she must be imagining things, but then one night as I was drifting off to sleep I was awoken by the most awful sound. Yep, it was me snoring.

Currently, I don't sleep very well. Lots of nights with way too much time between when I get in bed and when I actually fall asleep. If I don't fall asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the pillow I know something isn't right. Two nights ago it took me 90 minutes. Stupid brain.

So how do you sleep?

ETA: The previous poll asking which was the hotter Sandy in Grease (good girl or bad girl) ended up being decided by Mike's vote for "ha ha you watch musicals" (he was going to vote for bad girl.) Good girl Sandy was victorious 3 to 2 (bad girl) to 1 (ha ha.) That reminds me of the time I voted for the third party candidate in the 8th grade elections and Rami Dakko ended up beating Kim Donahue by one vote.