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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, September 30, 2008

from I Know to I Live With It Every Day

Day 828, Session 139:
Thursday September 25th (Happy birthday sister!) - Driving around.
First song: I Know by Fiona Apple
Last full song: I Live With It Every Day by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 2155-2158 of 6100
Total Songs Heard: 1770

Only heard 4 songs as I took the iPod on my afternoon chores run but neglected to bring headphones so I could only listen in the car. I know, I'm dumb.

I was pleased to find the version of I Like It, I Love It I have is not based on the craptacular country song that ruined football highlights for an football season a few years ago.

I Like It, I Love It - Lyrics Born

As a result of my cop story, I forgot to mention two other great songs that should have been mentioned in the last post. It's actually 2 versions of one great song.

I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You is what I imagine my life would be like were I not already married. Lots of nights spent out at bars, falling in love from across the room, and then not doing anything about it. The bonus goodness here is it was the 10,000 Maniacs version of the song, which was on a tribute cd, that first introduced me to the music of Tom Waits.

If you've never listened to Tom Waits, I can't recommend his early stuff strongly enough. I'd start with Closing Time, a bottle of your spirit of choice, and a dimly lit room. I know it might sound like a depressing set up but it's actually that comforting sort of melancholy; the kind that gives you chance to sit back and let old, tired, pent up badness seep out.

I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You - 10,000 Maniacs
I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You - Tom Waits

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

from I Guess He'd Rather... to I Know

Day 825, Session 138:
Monday September 22nd - Walking around Jewel singing along and drawing strange looks.
First song: I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado by John Denver
Last full song: I Know by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 2132-2148 of 6088
Total Songs Heard: 1766

Warning: The following post contains (more) adult language (than you'll usually find here).

Opening statement: Although the song and story featured today may indicate a dislike for the police, that is not the case. Except for the two mentioned below, I have no problem with the real police (I don't count dayton campus security as the real police.) The jerks that give you parking tickets in Chicago are not the police, but the Department of Revenue. If there were a song about how much I hated the Department of Revenue, I'd agree with it. Back to the cops... I generally like them. I've been on an improv team with a cop. I performed a cop's wedding. So 99% of the time me and cops get along great. But this one time...

A little research on the web tells me that it was November 2nd, 2001. It was a Friday night. It had been a long day at work, so while Kaylor (my roommate) and The Girlfriend and a few others had already headed out for the evenings festivities, I decided to stay home for a while and rest up. I probably wouldn't have gone out at all, but we were heading over to IO to catch a midnight show featuring one of the The Girlfriend's friends from high school.

I changed into the most expensive piece of clothing I owned: a shirt from Tank's Bar in Dayton. (The shirt was so expensive because it was your reward for drinking your way around the world of their imported beer selection. 45 beers at around $4.50 a pop... you're right around $200 (I didn't own a suit.)) The shirt featured flags of various countries from around the world running down the sleeves. Around 11 I headed out the door.

It was a cool-ish night so I stuck my hands in my pockets to keep warm and walked with a bit of pace. I was about half a block from my apartment when a car came roaring up behind me and screeched to a stop half up on the curb. I turned around to look as a guy jumped out of the car and yelled, "Hey you, get the fuck over here!"

I decided I most certainly was not going to go join that gentleman and turned around to continue walking. At this point a second guy jumped out of the passenger side and yelled, "Where the fuck do you think you're going?"

At this point I turned around again and noticed that both guys who had jumped out of the car were pointing guns at me.

These are the thoughts that go through your head when you have two guns pointed at you:

"Should I yell for help? Wait, I read somewhere that people don't pay attention if you yell help. I think maybe I'm supposed to yell 'fire!'"
"If I run, I at least have a chance to get away. If I go to the car they can grab me and throw me in."
"Should I run straight down the street because that would be the fastest way to get to a more populated street or attempt to cut between houses because that would provide more cover?"
"While I run, is there a way I can make one part of my body an easier target? I've heard getting shot in the shoulder or the butt isn't too bad. How can I run in a way that makes my shoulder look like an inviting target?"
"Thank goodness my health insurance went into effect immediately, getting shot will involve a lot of medical bills."

As all these thoughts go through my head, I continue standing there facing these two guys with my hands in my pockets. Meanwhile, the two guys continue to scream every obscenity in the book at me. In fact, they are screaming over each other so much that it takes me several more seconds to figure out that they're instructing me to, "Take your fucking hands out of your fucking pockets and put them on the fucking car asshole!"

Finally, it occurs to me that these guys must be cops. Plain clothes cops. In an unmarked car. Who didn't actually identify themselves as the police before they pulled their guns. Who, come to think of it, still haven't clearly identified themselves.

Now I'm mad. The adrenaline that was released when I saw the guns has turned that anger into something closer to rage. If I hadn't managed to keep my head long enough to pull my hands out of my pockets slowly, I might not be here today to type up this story. As soon as my hands were out of my pockets though, I decided it was time to yell back.

"Show me a motherfucking badge!" I yell as loudly as I can. I continue to yell this as loudly as I can, over and over, as I work my way slowly over to their car. They never do show me a badge, but at this point I'm sure if they were going to rob me they'd be quicker about it. They still have their guns on me.

I put my hands on the car. At this point the fat one (in my mind he immediately becomes Sipowicz) asks me, "Why did you have your hands in your motherfucking pockets? Where do you live?"

"Right over there," I answered. "I'd point at it, but that would require me taking my hands off the car."

"Do you have anything stupid in your pockets?" the other one asks as he prepares to frisk me.

"That depends on your feelings about Altoids." I reply.

As skinnier cop pulls out all the stupid stuff in my pockets (keys, wallet, and yes Altoids) Sipowicz asks, "Why didn't you come over when we told you? You could have got shot."

"Why didn't you identify yourselves as police?" I reply. He doesn't answer.

Non-Sipowicz gets on the radio, "We've got a Caucasian male in a long sleeve shirt with writings on the sleeve around the area of that home invasion."

Radio: "We're looking for a hispanic male in a plain green sweatshirt."

Cops: *silence*

Me: "Well that doesn't sound like me."

Sipowicz: "You can go. Next time don't walk with your hands in your pockets."

Me: "Next time identify yourselves before you pull your guns. I want your names and your badge numbers."

Sipowicz (heading back to the car:) "You're not going to get that."

Me: "Well how about a motherfucking apology you assholes!"

I didn't get that either.

I Hate Cops - Wally Pleasant

Thursday, September 18, 2008

from I Feel Like Myself to I Got You

Day 815, Session 137:
Friday September 12th - Wandering around Chicago
First song: I Feel Like Myself by Tom Waits
Last full song: I Got You (with Andrew Bird) by Wilco
Progress: 2132-2144 of 6088
Total Songs Heard: 1749

First of all: Happy birthday Mike.

And now to your irregularly scheduled post.

When it comes to music, The Wife and I agree on almost everything. When it comes to everything else we hardly agree on anything at all. It's a wonder we're still married.

I keed.

When our musical opinions differ, we can usually tolerate the taste of the other. I tolerate her Rush, she tolerates my... well, I don't know what she has to tolerate seeing as how my taste in music is awesome. There are two things in my music collection that she absolutely CAN NOT STAND.

I Gaer - Sigur Ros

I was introduced to Sigur Ros by my (now) brother-in-law. I will admit that they can be a difficult band to wrap your brain around. They sing many of their songs (including this one) in the non-existent language of Vonlenska. I find it all atmospheric, entrancing, and sometimes moving. The Wife finds it long, incomprehensible, and always pointless. This is not my favorite Sigur Ros song in my collection but once I heard the next song I knew writing about Wife hate would be the topic du jour.

I Get Wet - Andrew W.K.

Maybe the only thing in my collection she hates more than Sigur Ros is Andrew W.K. She can't stand the stupidity (I choose to think of it as simplicity) of the lyrics, the way every song features an insistent driving beat, and she especially can't stand the yelling. I disagree with her on every point. The driving lyrics and the yelling fire me up. To me, the simple lyrics show a guy who isn't trying to do too much. If I had to decipher anything out of all the noise it'd be too much trouble instead I can just bang my head along to the beat (and later hold my neck and curse because I was banging my head too hard.

These are not the two best songs that Andrew W.K. and Sigur Ros have to offer, but they are a representative sample. Take a listen and then vote in the poll over on the side there as to who in this case is right: Is it me (who thinks these artists are cool) or The Wife (who thinks these artists suck)?

Finally today, thanks to whoever set the new standard by which all future weird search results for this blog will be measured. If you Google: Romantic relationships with "step siblings" -japanese, -anime. You too can end up here. I cringe at the idea of what they were looking for, and assume they didn't find it here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

from I Can't Wait... to I Feel Like Home

Day 807, Session 136:
Thursday September 4th - Afternoon chorefest
First song: I Can't Wait To Get Off Work by Tom Waits
Last full song: I Feel Like Home by O.A.R.
Progress: 2076-2099 of 6031
Total Songs Heard: 1736

Some days the brain just doesn't agree with the whole writing thing. This is one of those days. So instead of dragging this out here are two quick hit thoughts on the 24 songs heard:

I Crush Everything - Jonathan Coulton: I think we've all been the giant squid. Wanting something so badly that all your attempts to achieve it end up smashing everything all to hell. Just off the top of my head I can think of 3 terribly overwrought attempts to explain myself to ladies whose company I desired that ended up with me alone and realizing that my own (over-)efforts had helped contribute to sinking my chances.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up - Tom Waits: I've mentioned before that making the cd that played during dinner at the reception was one of my few contributions to the overall excellence that was my wedding. What I don't think I've mentioned is that the cd did include what was originally my last (and at that point in the evening totally belated) protest against getting married. Getting married was one more step in the ongoing process of Growing Up. I've never been much of a fan of that process. I thought about removing the song from the cd lest I seem like an immature jerk, but I had earlier realized that one of the reasons I loved The Wife was that she wasn't asking me to grow up. She already knew exactly how grown up I was (or wasn't) and she liked me just the same.

One completely non-related to me note. If you're a Ben Folds fan you should head on over to Fuel Friends. Heather is featuring the first single off of Ben's upcoming cd "Way To Normal."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And now for something not quite completely different

I've been a Matthew Sweet fan since his 1991 cd "Girlfriend." The title track still has one of my favorite song openings ever. So when the opportunity came along to take a listen to the new Matthew Sweet release "Sunshine Lies" I thought I'd take it.

"Sunshine Lies" features all the goodness you'd expect from a Matthew Sweet effort. The layered vocals, slide guitar and cool pop are all present. His voice is just as distinctive now as it was in 1991.

Now pardon me for a moment while I realize that 1991 was literally half a lifetime ago....

To self: Actually it was more than half a life ago, not only are you old, but your math is apparently failing you. Sweet jeebus.

This is the thought that was going through my head as I listened to the opening track Time Machine. Yes the title contributed to the realization of how much time had passed, but the other thought that popped was, "This sounds like something that I would have enjoyed back then." Which isn't to say "Sunshine Lies" sounds dated... for me "Girlfriend" still stands up. "Sunshine Lies" stands up with it, but they're also not the same. "Sunshine Lies" has a harder edge to it. Of course I also have a harder edge now at 32 than I did at 15, so I suppose it makes sense.

My favorite songs are the first (Time Machine) and last (Back Of My Mind, the closest to a classic Matthew Sweet style ballad on this cd.) The moral of the story is if you like Matthew Sweet, you'll like "Sunshine Lies."

Edited the next day to add: The more I've thought about this, the more I think this is more applicable: If you love "Girlfriend" and "100% Fun" you'll probably like "Sunshine Lies" but you'll miss the slower stuff. If you liked "Altered Beast" you'll enjoy "Sunshine Lies."

"Sunshine Lies" was released 8/26 is is currently available in stores, or online at all the usual places (like Amazon.) A special edition 2-LP release (complete with bonus tracks) is also available.

With an new album also comes a tour:
10/20 Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
10/22 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10/23 Chicago, IL – Park West
10/24 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
10/25 Cleveland, OH - Beachland
10/27 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
10/28 NY, NY – Webster Hall
10/29 Falls Church, VA – State Theatre
10/30 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse

Time Machine - Matthew Sweet
Daisychain - Matthew Sweet (audio stream)
Byrdgirl - Matthew Sweet (video stream)