20.2.09

All The Rage: 25 Albums

(Originally posted on my work blog.) I’ve come across a few of these today, so I decided to chime in. It is always interesting to read about albums that mean a lot to people. I will list 25 albums that really had a great impact on me and on my musical outlook. They will go some what in chronological order of when they really affected me. The first goes back to elementary, the last couple are from 2008.

1. Billy Joel - An Innocent Man For me, this is by far the best album to do household chores to. Period.

2. Boston (Self Titled, 1976) The epic, dueling guitars and soaring vocals ruled my 7th and 8th grade years.

3. Bad Religion - The Gray Race After being submersed in Boston’s squeaky clean production, punk rock offered something else entirely. Passion, energy, a real message.

4. Strung Out - Element of Sonic Defiance With my background in Boston and my new love of punk, I was bound to fall in love with these guys and their harmonizing guitars. An incredibly cohesive release from start to finish.

5. AFI - The Art of Drowning A.F.I. were untouchable in my group of friends in high school. Davey Havok’s voice in those days was so distinctive and powerful. Sure he was permanently damaging his vocal chords, but it certainly sounded good.

6. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits This actually belongs earlier in the list. Great rock album.

7. Tiger Army - III: Ghost Tigers Rise I first heard this album in college at a time when I had started to get really into early rock ‘n’ roll. The blend of punk with the styles of early rock was irresistible to me.

8. Johnny Cash - Live from Folsom Prison I wish I had grown up listening to this man, unfortunately I was in college before I gave him a good listen. Every time someone tries to tell me he can’t sing, I think to myself, “you’re missing the point.”

9. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow Great lyrics, great melodies, and bass that makes your booty shake. Nice.

10. The Cure - Greatest Hits I can appreciate their dark, weird stuff, but to me this band really shines when pursuing something special in the pop realm.

11. David Gray - Life in Slow Motion First heard of this guy when I was in England, about the same time everybody in America started to hear “Please Forgive Me.” One of the best albums to listen to while driving in the rain.

12. Weezer - Pinkerton Few if any albums have ever been as ahead of their time as this. (It was released in 1996) I remember when this came out, a couple of people saying “it sucks, it’s just really weird.” I din’t hear this album until years later. So much indie rock from the last few years sounds so much like this album. I’ll leave it at that.

13. The Format - Dog Problems It took a long time to complete, but the sophomore effort from this now defunct band not only avoided the “slump,” it went off a gigantic figurative ski jump. (They figuratively crash in the end, and that’s when the band breaks up.)

14. Against Me! - As the Eternal Cowboy This could also be “Searching for a Former Clarity.” Just when I feel like I’m moving on, this band restores my faith in punk rock. I attribute it to them being from the south, but their sound has a certain groove to it much like Creedence Clearwater Revival.

15. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible There is a vulnerability and softness that compliment the epic and sweeping sound scapes in this album. The juxtaposition is genius

16. Bang Bang You!re Dead - ::Document (extremely limited DIY release) A true labor of love, this album and accompanying film are truly inspiring. If you didn’t attend USU in 2006, you’ve probably never heard this album and that is a shame.

17. Bright Eyes - I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning The album that made folk/alt country cool again. Fantastic for road trips.

18. Elliot Smith - Either/Or There are few people that actually make you feel their pain and emotions when they sing, he is one of them.

19. The Killers - Hot Fuss I fell in love with this very well crafted pop album.

20. Pedro the Lion - It’s Hard to Find a Friend Beautifully simplistic.

21. The Strokes - Is This It? The answer to the question, “can America produce another good mainstream rock band?”

22. Generation x - Perfect Hits Wish I had discovered these guys sooner. Billy Idol’s band before he went solo. All of the elements you could ever want in a great rock band.

23. Face to Face - Don’t Turn Away This one goes back to early highschool days. There is a rawness and simplicity on this album that I still find engaging.

24. Dusty Rhodes and the River Band - First You Live A very complete, eclectic album. I get excited just thinking about listening to it.

25. The Gaslight Anthem - ‘59 Sound These guys set out to create a great, timeless, straightforward rock and roll record. Mission accomplished.

So there you have it, my most influential albums. What are yours?

14.2.09

More Abbyness





13.2.09

A Promised Photo

Lack of Posts, Caption Writing

Well, I've been a slacker in the posting department. I have been posting a bunch for my work blog lately, so maybe that has taken away from my creative writing juice. Speaking of it, there is a funny contest on my work blog to write a caption for an ugly illustration. I'm sure you can do better than what has been submitted. Okay, I'll be honest, I wrote some of the captions just to get the ball rolling a little.

I'm working from home today which has been a welcome change. I'll post a picture of Abby later today when she wakes up.

Still trying to figure out what the point of Valentine's Day is. I don't think mankind will ever truly know, and by mankind, I mean men.

My band has a name. We are called Mimic. We have our first show tonight. We are playing the American Fork 23rd Ward Valentines Dance, and I'm getting pretty excited about it. It is James and Dede's ward, and I understand there are quite a few senior citizens.

2.2.09

Charmed Life?

After the big game yesterday, Steelers linebacker James Harrison was asked about how hard the last few yards of his pivotal 100 yard interception for a touchdown were. I'm assuming he was a little caught up in the moment when he answered, "it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life."

Really Mr. Harrison? Are you not a professional athlete? Have you ever sprinted for 100 yards consecutively? Did you not have just a little adrenaline pushing you along given the 70,000 screaming fans and world wide television audience? Just a thought.