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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, February 24, 2009

from It's to It's Christmas Time

Day 969, Session 155:
Friday February 20th - Around the house on general cleaning duty.
First song: It's by King Missile
Last full song: It's Christmas Time (Oh Yeah) by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 2911-2924 of 7112
Total Songs Heard: 2014

My friend Rachel over at Tales From The Deep tagged me on one of those meme things. I've never been tagged before, so why the heck not?

Here's the bit:

The honorees are to list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!

1) I enjoy breaking up bar fights. The look on a drunk angry guy's face when he's trying to jump into a fracas and suddenly a guy my size is standing in his way is hilarious. It always takes the fight out of them, at least it has so far.
2) I ran track in middle school and played tennis in high school because those were two teams you couldn't get cut from.
3) I don't do caffeine.
4) When I'm watching TV (which I do a lot) and characters are acting in some sort of pitiful or stupid manner sometimes I'll get so uncomfortable that I have to stop watching. (Extras was really good at that.)
5) The first time I saw "The Green Mile" in the theater, I wept through the whole thing. Loudly.
6) Sometimes I wish the cops had actually shot me. Nothing life threatening mind you, but getting shot in the leg would have been a nice lawsuit.
7) I grew some kick ass mutton chops while on spring break sophomore year of college. I loved them, and was also convinced that they helped me with the ladies. (When in reality, it was probably the thought that the chops were helping that actually helped (if that makes any sense.)) The Wife says she will shave me in my sleep if I grow them again.
8) If I had unlimited resources, I would travel the world looking for the world's greatest mozzarella stick.
9) I wish I had learned to ice skate. I hope there are classes somewhere that teach parents and kids how to skate together so I can take Gummi.
10) I fear that I will never find any sort of employment that will make me happy. Or actually at this point, any sort of employment.

It's All True - The Lemonheads

(and if you're wondering whether I embarked upon this exercise specifically because that song came up, well, you wouldn't be not right.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

from 1001-2000: Mix Tape 2k.1

As promised, I managed to narrow down the 1000 songs between Everything Matters and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) to about 40. Here are the songs that made the cut for disc one:

Mix 2k.1 - Falling Slowly to Hummingbird

Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Famous Blue Raincoat - Jonathan Coulton
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
February - Dar Williams
Float On - Modest Mouse
Flowers In The Windows - Travis
Fontanelle - Clem Snide
Fred Jones, Part 2 - Ben Folds
Fuckin up my Christmas - mc chris
Ghost - Neutral Milk Hotel
Gimmeakiss - The Avett Brothers
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Gold - Interference
Green Eggs and Ham - Moxy Früvous
Grumpy Old Men Booing - Statler & Waldorf
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Heaven - The Swimmers
Hero of Canton - The Ballad of Jayne - Adam Baldwin
High Enough - Damn Yankees
Hummingbird - Wilco

You can get the mix here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

from Island In The Sun to Istanbul

Day 959, Session 154:
Tuesday February 10th - At home after a nice long walk.
First song: Island In The Sun by Weezer
Last full song: Istanbul by They Might Be Giants
Progress: 2777-2781 of 6850
Total Songs Heard: 2000

Song 1996:
Island In The Sun - Weezer
This was the final song on the cd that played during our wedding dinner. I suppose it would have been more appropriate if we had been honeymooning on an actual island in the sun, instead of going to San Francisco like we did. We did go to Alcatraz, which is an island, while in San Fran but it was cloudy that day. I really like the song because of the awesome Spike Jonze video that goes with it. There are baby animals and chimps for goodness sake.

Song 1997:
Isle Thing - "Weird Al" Yankovic
I love Weird Al. I enjoy Gilligan's Island. I did not enjoy Weird Al's parody of Tone Loc's Wild Thing that retells the story of Gilligan's Island. I feel like every Weird Al cd has two tracks that I just don't like, this is one of them from UHF.

Song 1998:
Isolation - Sponge
I've owned the John Lennon tribute cd "Working Class Hero" since it came out in 1995 and I can honestly say this is the first time I ever remember hearing this song.

Song 1999:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
The song that introduced me to They Might Be Giants and I fell for them immediately. My favorite part of the song is actually the violin. Flood was in constant rotation in the cars of all of my high school friends and this was one of the songs on that made us all sing along at full volume. Added goodness includes the history lesson contained within. I'm pretty sure I got test questions about the original names of New York and Istanbul correct by singing this song in my head. And then of course there was this:

Song 2000:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
The live version from "Severe Tire Damage." Somewhat disappointing due to the lack of violin. The yodeling "OH" section is more impressive live.

And well... that was kind of anticlimactic... what with only needing to listen to 5 songs and 2 of them being the same and me not even liking 2 others. Well, them's the breaks sometimes. The important thing is, I said I was going to do this today and I did. Now I'm going to reward myself with a night of trivia and beer.

Monday, February 09, 2009

10 years ago

I turned 33 last week. 33 really didn't feel any older than 32 until I remembered that it has now been 10 years since I had the best concert experience of my entire life. For some reason, hitting the 10 year anniversary of anything seems a lot longer than 9 years. It must be the extra digit.

February 3rd, 1999 Moxy Fruvous played at Canal Street in Dayton. Canal Street is a venue fits at most 200 people. We got there early and managed to get a seat off to the side of the stage, probably 30 feet away from the band. They started playing sometime around 10:30 and "finished" right at the stroke of midnight. When they came back onstage for their encore the girls I was at the show with (Sarah and Betsy) started yelling that it was my birthday. Then this happened:

My Birthday Medley - Moxy Fruvous

It was awesome. For years it lived on in memory only. Then, thanks to the magic of the internets, a very nice person on the fruhead.com message board sent me a copy of the show. Now I'd like to share that show with you.

Fruvous Live at the Canal Street Tavern - 2/3/1999

If you go strictly by number of concerts attended, Moxy Fruvous is my 2nd all-time favorite band (behind Barenaked Ladies) but sadly they've been on "hiatus" for 9 years. Luckily, archive.org has 45 Fruvous shows ready for downloading and since every Fruvous concert was a new experience (the banter was almost as much fun as the music) it helps fill the void of no new music for years (and probably never again.)


Keep an eye on this space rest of the week... tomorrow, look for a "live" blog as the project hits song 2000. Then the plan is to make the 1001-2000 mix available by the end of the week.

Oh, and I may need to move soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

from Invisible to Island

Day 947, Session 153:
Thursday January 29th - At home.
First song: Invisible by Modest Mouse
Last full song: Island by Ben Taylor
Progress: 2713-2728 of 6761
Total Songs Heard: 1995

Freshman year of college I made the 9 hour drive from Dayton to Philly to spend the first major break with my high school friends (oh, and I suppose to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Dad's side.) The night before Thanksgiving I went out to dinner with my friend Liv and his family (who had really been my second family when I lived away from my own senior year) and a bunch of their family friends. We went into the city and had dinner in Chinatown. It was a big group, probably 15 people or so, and when I looked around I noticed one small difference between me and everyone else at
the table: I was the only person not speaking Chinese.

That wasn't the only thing I noticed when I looked around. Two tables over there was a girl. Well ok, there was a girl and her family, but I didn't really see the family. She looked to be college aged and she was very very attractive. Since I was having trouble following the conversation at the table, I found my eyes wandering over to the girl about every 6.5 seconds. (That may be an exaggeration. It was more like every 2.1 seconds.)

Sometime right after I finished my soup, something strange happened. I looked over, and the girl was looking at me. Knowing I had been caught, I immediately became very interested in the silverware pattern the restaurant was using. (Would it surprise you to learn that I was the only one at the table who needed silverware? I didn't think it would.)

Of course, my sense of shame doesn't run all that deep, so a minute or two later I ventured another glimpse at this (now elevated in my mind to "heavenly") girl and lo and behold she was looking at me AGAIN! This time she looked away. I immediately elbowed my friend Liv and asked him if he had seen what just happened. Of course I managed to ask him right as everyone else at the table had gone quiet. Seems someone at the table was in the middle of a prayer. Guh.

After I was sure praying was over, I again asked Liv to take a look over at the girl to
a) confirm that she was hot and 2) see if she was looking over. His answers, "YES!" and "yes?!?" Well, now I was just confused. I looked over again and we had our first extended eye contact. We shared hellos from across the room. She indicated that she noticed the "one of these kids is not like the other" eating situation. I gave it a smile and a shrug.

Dinner arrived so I turned my attention to eating. We stole occasional glances for the next 15 minutes
while I planned my next move. Seriously? I had no next move. What was I going to do, get up in the middle of dinner and walk over to her and tell her that even though I was only going to be in town for three days and even though the next day was Thanksgiving I wanted to spend as much of the next 72 hours as humanly possible with her because even though we hadn't spoken a word I had fallen utterly in love from the other side of the restaurant?

But then, why not? I was 18. Anything seemed possible.

I had just about worked up the nerve to excuse myself to "look for the restroom." I looked over to try to get her attention to "arrange the meet" and she was gone!

Well, she wasn't quite gone yet. Her family was walking toward the door. She was looking at me and our eyes locked. She stopped at the door for 3 seconds that stretched on for days, smiled sadly, waved, and slipped through the door and out of my life forever.

An Irishman In Chinatown - Luka Bloom