Since I can't think of any bands to recommend at the moment (well, check out Mercy Mercedes if you haven't), I figured I'd recommend some of my favorite things around the internets and such.
Things I Like
Pidgin: My IM client of choice. It's clean, fast, tabbed, and does exactly what I want it to without any extra bullshit.
UltraMon: Two monitors isn't the same without this program. Get that taskbar onto both screens and use a different wallpaper for different desktops. Nice.
RazorLame: GUI for the Lame MP3 encoder. Nothing like it for sexy sounding MP3s.
Google Mail/Calendar/RSS Reader: Make my life so much easier. I dunno if AP.net would be able to exist without them. The moment there's a phone that uses all of these products natively -- I am onboard. I'd give up my SK for it - probably.
Vitamin Water: So addicting, I live off of this stuff. With all the copy-cats coming out recently, looks like others do too.
160gb iPod Classic: Enough space that I can't even fill it up. Too much music that I would go insane trying to add artwork to all my mp3s. Hmmm, good and bad.
Firefox: I whore this out, but with the AP.net add-on, it's just the best browser experience you could ever want. Hahah.
Things That I Don't Like
MSI: When albums come in that are watermarked AND copy protected. I don't own a CD player so this regulates me to listening to the albums in the car. My DVD players/home entertainment/computers can't play the copy protected stuff. It's sad. I don't mind watermarks at all - I am extremely anal about making sure things don't get out or leave my possession. But I do wish I could listen to the stuff a little more frequently.
I have more to add at some other time, but this works for now.
The new Thrice album is fantastic. I want to put together more thoughts later ... but it really is everything I was hoping for (I expect it to be even more polarizing than their last though - it's pretty different). The entire "Index" project when played in sequence is just a work of art. Not really a whole lot more I can say beside that.
Maybe I'll do a blogging through later ... it's weird to think about where I was when I first got their last album. And the strength that CD gave me through a very, very hard time in my life. Hell, even going back to Vhessiu and how much life has changed from then to now. This band's music has played an important role in my life and in my "timeline" ... I can't help but feel as though this may yet again be a turning point for me. I suppose only time will tell.
Anyone know any bands that sound like the final track of You, Me and Everyone We Know's free EP? I want something extremely catchy but based around an acoustic guitar like that ... I really love that sound and think a full band/album in that vein would kick ass. As long as they don't wuss out and go full band once they get popular.
If anyone knows something in this sort of arena, let me know please.
PS: This really annoys the shit out of me. Come on, help the band out and send people the official link -- the download numbers are something they're very curious in.
I've had a weird day - lots of thoughts getting mixed up like a bad drink in my brain. I have an essay I'll post tomorrow (or the next day (or the next)). Life never quite plays out like you expect, does it?
Hmmm, well ... this band, given the right chance, has a shot at being huge around AP.net this year. Who are they? What, you don't know? You will - give me some time.
Beside the aforementioned mystery band, I am still in love with The Matches (how awesome is that new album cover?), Lydia, and The New Frontiers. Anyone have any other stuff I should be checking out? Leave me some recs, this is your chance to get me to listen to stuff. I'm looking for something great. Not good - great. So let's hear um ... I've been gearing up to really get some new music out to the masses in 2008 ... and I figured I'd start here. So let's have them.
So what exactly does AP.net have planned in 2008? Well, I've decided I'm going to take this website to a new level. I used to make goals based on websites I'd consider "peers" - I'd say "I want to be at their level in traffic." Well - we broke all those goals (ok, smashed them). So now I am at a spot where I'm going to need to look into ways of financing our next jump. I am extremely dedicated and passionate about music and about giving the fans ... all the fans ... the tools and ability to discover the next band that just may change their life. How am I going to do this? Well, I have a few ideas. I just can't blab about them quite yet - don't want anyone finding out our little secrets now. However, I will tell you that I don't like failing and that I am extremely obsessive. I don't sleep (sometimes this becomes literal) until I achieve what I set out to accomplish. My eyes are set on something -- something big. I plan to hit it and I hope everyone is along for the ride. As long as I'm alive - this is what I'm aiming for. This website, this dream, this music - is why I'm on this planet. I know this and there's no reason to run from it.
The truth is that I see myself being the "forefront" of AP.net for around 6 more years. At that time I expect to take a step back into just the managing and programing of the website. I don't think a 30 year old would work to well conversing in the forums with everyone. Sometimes it feels weird now, I'm 24 and don't fit into the "scene" world. Of course, maybe our users will grow up with me and if we still have the best forums on the internet, how could I stop? If that's the case - then I won't go anywhere. I just think at that time I'll have a more "behind-the-scenes" roll in the operations and management of this website (and maybe others) and hopefully I will have staff that can become the "face" of what AP.net is. I love music more than anything and I can't wait to see how our community morphs next.
I've started re-reading the entire "James Bond" books. My grandfather gave me the collection a while ago and I am going through them in order. So much fun, fast reads that are great page turners. When I get a dog, I want to name him Bond. I dunno why, just thought it would be hilarious to introduce him to people (I have a weird sense of humor). Well, Bowzer is my other idea (yeah, I'm stealing it, so what). And I want a cat named Rowdy (yeah Rowdy, hit that).
I'll leave you with some "recommendations" of stuff I bookmarked over the past week:
I've been listening to The Matches' A Band in Hope constantly the past few days -- I am shocked that I have been playing it more than Lydia's new one ... but I keep re-playing it every time it finishes. There's something about this band that just turns me on. They're so damn good. I really hope people let this grow on them ... because you'll fall in love.
"Darkness Rising" is my favorite track at the moment, the vocals are amazing and it reminds me of something from a musical ('Sweeny Todd' or 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' come to mind). I feel as though it is my duty to make sure as many people as I can possibly convince buy this album.
I was just reading over the questions John (from Straylight Run) took the time to answer on their myspace blog. First - it's amazing that he did this. He went out of his way to respond to our users ... that's just so cool. I don't think I could have any more respect for the man right now. I loved his answer about the AP community. Mainly because it's something I've thought about for a while ... the "negativity" perception that some people (and bands) have toward this community. I've always tried to explain it as a small group of vocal individuals - but I think John really hits it on the head as a select group that likes (or feels the need) to tear others down. I think that as a whole or community is not like that -- however, just the fact that a man I admire is spending his time thinking about this website I created in my parents' basement ... well ... that's something I can't really even comprehend.
It bothers me that musicians like this aren't able to make enough money/have a career. I've been thinking about ways I can help rectify that. Maybe some sort of foundation that can utilize a portion of the advertising revenue generated by a community of sites (led by AP obviously) that can then split up the revenue in a way that is distributed to bands for touring/recording/living. Of course this would need to generate millions of dollars ... but I don't think that's unfeasible at all. I haven't been able to put a whole lot of thought into this yet, but it's something on the back of my mind that I'd like to see come to fruition someday. I feel that these communities that thrive on bands and thrive on their interactions should have a way of giving back. I mean if myspace gave bands just a % of the revenue they drove to their profile/website ... I would imagine some of the bands that are popular but aren't selling records would see their entire careers changed.
Hmmmm ... just something on my mind. I'm going to go post news and cross my fingers the new album from The Matches comes in the mail today (I hear I'm the first outside of Epitaph to get a copy - I'm really fucking excited). I think everyone should give Straylight Run a listen today ... they deserve it.
I put together a "best of 2007" list for Buzznet. It was done quickly and includes more "well known" releases -- so it may not be my final list when we launch our EOTY lists on AP. But it's pretty cool and hopefully will lead more people to check out our website ... so check that out here.