Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Top 100 Favorite Songs

So in no particular order, here they are. I've thought about doing some separate posts about some of these songs individually and why I like them and the memories associated with them and maybe I will at some point. I'm not sure this list is set in stone and I think it will change over time, but overall I feel pretty happy with this and I love all of these songs.

The Barbarians - Moulty
The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
Army Navy - Saints
Saturday Looks Good to Me - Amublance
Saturday Looks Good to Me - Meet Me By the Water
Saturday Looks Good to Me - Alcohol
The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations
The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!
Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
Camper Van Beethoven - All Her Favorite Fruit
The Magnetic Fields - The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
The Magnetic Fields - I Think I Need A New Heart
The Magnetic Fields - Strange Powers
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Me & Mia
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Timorous Me
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Biomusicology
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bottle of Buckie
The New Pornographers - Ballad of a Comeback Kid
The New Pornographers - Letter from an Occupant
The New Pornographers - The Bleeding Heart Show
The Cars - Just What I Needed
Sleater-Kinney - I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
The Get Up Kids - Mass Pike
Tom Petty - American Girl
Sun Kil Moon - Carry Me Ohio
Sun Kil Moon - Glenn Tipton
Sun Kil Moon - Sunshine in Chicago
Appleseed Cast - Forever Longing The Golden Sunsets
Appleseed Cast - Steps and Numbers
Appleseed Cast - Santa Maria
Youth Group - Start Tomorrow Today
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
Sufjan Stevens - The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Quiet Little Voices
Band of Horses - The Funeral
The Goodnight Loving - Dead Fish on the Banks
Beat Happening - In Between
Beat Happening - Our Secret
Beachfield - Coles to Newcastle
The Helio Sequence - Can't Say No
Sebadoh - Ocean
Frightened Rabbit - Modern Leper
Outkast - Hey Ya
TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
Peter Bjorn and John - Object of My Affection
Pure Prarie League - Amie
Pure Prarie League - Call Me, Tell Me
The Nashville Ramblers - Trains
The Replacements - Unsatisfied
The Wedding Present - I'm Further North from You
Old Canes - Little Bird Courage
Japandroids - Younger Us
Our Anatomy - Zombie Love Song
The National - Mr. November
The Dodos - Fools
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot
The Flaming Lips - Waiting for Superman
Tommy James - I Think We're Alone Now
Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen
The War on Drugs - Taking the Farm
The Mountain Goats - Next Year
Kittens Ablaze - Gloom Doom Buttercup
Great Lake Myth Society - Heydays
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
Mouth's Cradle - Summertime
Question Mark and the Mysterians - 96 Tears
The Apples in Stereo - Winter Must Be Cold
Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
Spoon - I Summon You
Blink-182 - Feeling This
Baby Dayliner - Hoodlums in the Hit Parade
Brandston - Summer in St. Claire
Alias - Well Water Black
The Kingsbury Manx - 10008
Cloud Nothings - I'm Not Part of Me
The Pixies - U-Mass
My Morning Jacket - One Big Holiday
The Octopus Project - Porno Diaster
Raymond & Maria - No One Notices Your Brand New T-Shirt
America - Sister Golden Hair
Rod Stewart - You Wear It Well
The Hoodoo Gurus - I Want You Back
Soul Asylum - Endless Farewell
Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
Weezer - Only in Dreams
Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union
Throw Me The Statue - About To Walk
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
The Shout Out Louds - Very Loud
The New Amsterdams - From California
Minus the Bear - Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!
Minus the Bear - Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse
Modest Mouse - Third Planet
Pavement - Cut Your Hair
Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
The Weakerthans - Tournament of Hearts
The Len Price 3 - Keep Your Eyes On Me
The Most Serene Republic - (Oh) God

Grass: Pt 1

My father occasionally asks me what I remember of his mother, my grandmother, who died when I was only three.
"Nothing," I always lie.
The truth is I don't remember her but strawberry shortcake and the smell of cigarettes.  A picnic table under a tree and vast expanses of wet grass, made all the more vast by my small size.  Its funny what the mind holds onto.
 I can't remember my first crab feast or most of what I learned in school but I seem to recall a fallen tree.  It must have shaken the Earth when it went down in an ice storm some year.  I remember a piano repairman, a college girl, a landscaper, and a poor old house with no locks on the doors.
Its funny how what you do at once feels unimportant in the grand scheme, but somehow does matter when all is said and done.  Without these memories and experiences who would I be?
I know I left High Point for Rockingham County after a year.
"The grass is always greener" warned my French professor.  You see I was the best French student High Point had seen and I would be missed.
"Yeah right" were my final words to him.
2004.  I enrolled at Guilford College that summer and studied Spanish and World Politics.  On the way back from the mountains with Martin and Alex and my brother Phil, we stopped at Guilford and threw the frisbee around a dusky athletic field encircled by asphalt.  I was there then to find housing for the summer. I found a bulletin board with help wanted signs and apartment advertisements.
"100 year old farmhouse" the weathered ad read.  This appealed to my sensibilities.
When I first arrived to meet them, Mitch, the landscaper, asked "why would you want to live here?"  After all there would be no AC and nothing but heat all summer.
"I like this place.  I like nature and that sort of shit..."
Mitch only laughed.  He had me pegged as a rich tourist immediately.
Its funny what you treasure.  I seem to recall a southern glow from Greensboro and the most giant bugs flying around exterior lights as though they were still craving sunlight.
At day I was alone.  Everyone else was at work, at school.  I appreciated the solitude.  I would play with the cats, smoke cigarettes, watch the grass grow.  Sometimes I would make the half-hour drive down the 220 to attend class but when Jay, Kate, and Mitch came back the afternoon went up in smoke.
"I don't do drugs.  Just pot."  I would always say, but that seems like a rationalization.  Its hard to reason with that which you cannot understand, with that which you cannot grasp.
I am by no means an old man.  For 29 years I have prided myself with musical pursuits.  Played mostly by memorization of patterns, not by feeling.
My first night there I was timid, as is my way.  Jay, a piano repairman, brought out his shotgun to gauge my reaction.
I went to Walmart to buy an extension cord.

How to Find a Monkey's Secret Watering Hole

I was cleaning out my desk the other day when I found a Spring 2004 copy of Apogee, the literary journal of High Point University.  On page 92, buried beneath a bunch of college poetry and short stories is my how-to on finding water in the desert.  As I recall this and the Bobber Story are the two things I turned in for creative writing assignments throughout high school and college English.  I think its based on one of those wildlife programs you see on Discovery or Nat Geo, so this is actually kind of legit.  Anyway I thought I'd type it up and share it because its weirdly awesome!

How to Find a Monkey's Secret Watering Hole

Ever been lost in the wilderness without any water?  Then pay close attention.  This may save your life.
First you must find a monkey, which pretty much goes without saying.
If no monkey is in sight, look in places where monkeys like to hang out, such as up in trees.  To gain it's trust, offer it something like a banana, but any food item will do, maybe a burrito or some Chef Boyardee.
If no food is available, try to be one with the monkey.  Swallow your pride, get on all fours, and speak to him; show that you understand him as much as he understands you.  These steps should easily make the monkey warm up to you.  That's when you grab him.  Don't abuse the monkey's new found trust, though.  Be gentle.  Be smooth, suave and sophisticated.
As you as you have the monkey in your arms, tie him to the nearest tree where he can relax.  Again, be firm, but not rough.  If he gets sassy, tell him you need his help.  Give your primate pal a bit to eat.  Offer a monkey's favorite treat, a salt rock.  He will find it irresistible, and will munch it all, regardless of how hungry he is.  Make sure to give him the largest salt rock you have-you want to make him very thirsty.  He must eat all the rock before you untie him.  He must be parched and ready for a big drink!
By the time the monkey has consumed the rock, you will both no doubt be eager to pay a visit to his secret watering hole.  Don't make the little guy suffer any more than necessary.  Untie him, but be ready to run because, take it from me, once he is free, he will go straight for his watering hole traveling at full speed.
Being a monkey, he will surely have a secret cave or secluded spring which he frequents, the kind of cave or spring that only Boy Scouts or Navy Seals would have the survival skills to find on their own.
When you arrive at the water source, don't be too hasty to drink.  While its understandable that you may have run miles to get there, you mustn't get in the  monkey's way when he's drinking.  After all, it is the monkey's secret watering hole.  Be courteous and wait your turn.  When the monkey is finished, its your turn.
Drink deep from the refreshing spring.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dr. Phil Found Poem

This is a poem I wrote using entirely the words that came out of the man's mouth in one episode of Dr. Phil.

Let’s just be honest here.
I’ve got some friends that are real mouth-breathers.
Do you consider yourself a smart guy?
The University of Budapest doesn’t exist.
You deserve some help.

She found numerous pictures of your private parts on your phone as well. Are those for distribution?
There are some things you need to acknowledge.
You’ve got to think about somebody besides yourself and wonder what kind of chaos is going on in her head and here you come in and it’s just urr urr urr urr urr.
Do you know what misogynistic means? Do you know what chauvinistic means? Do you know what jerk means?

We’re talking about this and you look like you’re sitting here ready to order lunch.
Why is this okay?
It’s just wrong. It’s just absolutely wrong.
You need to fix it here now.

Women, do y’all wanna see that?
I don’t care what they tell you. They don’t want to see that. They don’t want to see that.

She’s no princess here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Freur: Doot Doot

Skeezy has spoken!  I wrote all the songs on little pieces of paper and threw them all up in the air in front of El Gato Loco and he went for Doot Doot.  I threw them again just to make sure and he chose the same piece of paper.  From now on this is how I make all of my important decisions.