I remember Jason saying something awhile back about doing a Top 5 or 10, or whatever section. Well, either I've missed it, or he's been too busy setting up the new iPhone app-- I'll wait until all the bugs are worked out-- and doing his twelve other columns. But, then again, I've been wanting to do this one for a month now, we're all busy.
Since my blog has been quite successful lately (thanks for the reads!) I've decided to start a weekly column titled Five and Alive.
This week's topic is pretty close to me personally. With graduation this past Friday, I've been listening to a lot of albums I listened to in high school to see if they have the same effect and meaning as they did then.
With doing promotion for the Taking Back Sunday show in my hometown, and looking at Mean Everything to Nothing as the album perfect in my life after college, but before the real world, I decided to take a trip down lame lane.
1) Brand New - Deja Entendu ~ Yes, even after five years of growing up, it sometimes seems like no one did with you, or maybe your problems haven't changed. It's hard to believe relationships can still be this difficult. There's still a heightening feel to the bridge of "Okay, I Believe You..." and an unsettling feeling listening to "Me Vs. Madonna Vs. Elvis." Though the band moved on hugely with their follow-up, this album may just be our generation's Dear You.
2) New Found Glory - New Found Glory ~ I bought this Cd with Sum 41's Half Hour of Power. Funny which one still plays in my car. The hooks are energetic. The lyrics are incredibly engaging. There's an innocence to the album that lies throughout Jordan Pudnik's lyrics: "I always do what I'm not supposed to.
Here's to us fools that have no meaning. I tip my glass to you. Let's toast the night away to friends and forget about tomorrow." The band still thrives on, and grew up immensely on Coming Home, but most of us won't forget the age of suburbia and growing up.
3) Saves the Day - Through Being Cool ~ While Stay What You Are will go down as my favorite, this album speaks to the late-teen "Id" in all of us. From rooftops, missing home, driving full speed with the radio up, and tearing up and missing a love in the span of three songs, we've all been "Banned From the Back Porch" once in our college party days. There's been so many weeks where we were just "through being cool."
4) Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview ~ I was a ska nerd as far as being in a ska cover band in high school. Though I've long grown out of the sound, it still holds a soft spot in my heart for whatever reason. This album was the anthem for leaving the small town before, in the words of Patton Oswalt, "you kill everyone there and yourself!" I still wonder why no one chose to pick "History of a Boring Town" over our class song, "Living on a Prayer." Needless to say, only moving away an hour isn't far enough, it's time to be the last one out, to burn this state to the ground.
5) The Format - Interventions and Lullabies ~ I was told to check out this band by Matt Embree of Rx Bandits, and on a whim, while picking up another album one day at Best Buy, I purchased this record. My first reaction was to call my friend, tell him about the record, and discuss how awesome that there was a tuba stuck in there somewhere. Lyrically, the album sticks with "Give It Up," sounding more like a post-graduate syndrome song and some of the final lyrics to "Career Day." Now, we shall wait for the fun.
I'd love to hear your picks, and wish to make this column very open! Congradulations to all you Grads and future Grads alike!
I forgo the industry this week to talk about an eventful weekend.
This weekend, my best friend, roommate, and honorary brother was assumed to be attacked on his way back from the bar on Friday night. He was on his way back to our apartment, by himself, when a friend of ours found him. He is doing well, but his recovery will be for some months. Hope is good since his progress has been better than what was expected.
The event has put a lot of things in perspective for me. With graduation near, the job market close, and a move out into a new city on my own, I have been thinking hard lately about life's predictability, and as of this weekend, it's unpredictability.
It's all scary, but it's all fun. We want reasons, but there may not be reasons. We want answers to questions that have solutions longer than the calculation of pi.
I am lucky, and you should be to, to have music as a fall back. It speaks to us in ways both lyrically and instrumentally. Sure, there are forums among forums among arguments of what music is good and what music is bad. As much as I'll critique bands and albums all day, some music just hits people in their special way.
I'm stoked on this book. I'm stoked about my prospect in Austin. I'm stoked that my friend is progressing better.
I've also posted my "thesis" on my independent study. Check it out, let me know what you think.
After five years of college, I feel that I've learned a lot, retained about half of it (at least) and am finding out that only experience reeducates and solidifies those learned theories. I think it's called applied knowledge.
There's always a difference between book smarts and street smarts, but both deal with integrity and passion. Something that I've come to understand in the past months writing and interviewing, and talking to old friends about their careers-- moving in opposite directions.
Today I received two fortune cookies with my lunch. The first one said: "With integrity and consistency, your credits are piling up." A very uplifting fortune, but probably as real as the "death cat" on House M.D. last night-- positive nonetheless.
Still, I forgo my usual weekly blog this week to say that I have written something to post, hopefully, later this week. It's something I took great thought and time for both who I have written it for and who will be reading it. It is definitely something that I think will spark discussion if posted.
I await approval from one end, and await reaction on the other. If things persist negatively, then maybe the second cookie's fortune will come true: "You will soon be changing your present line of work."
Finishing up my first chapter...should be done in a few hours.
My interviews are solid so far, about 60% done, if not more. I am about 2/4 on my book readings, and I have to get pumping out chapters after tonight.
I'm really having problems landing interviews with Thrice/Brand New (but they are in the studio and I have had at least contact with them), I just heard back from Justin Beck today, and it seems impossible to get a hold of Thursday (but I will chalk that up to the release of their new record, for which I will have to make a visit to ye old record store tomorrow after work).
For any of you interested in reading this when it comes out, the details of publishing are still a transparent blur, but I have some ideas kicking around in my head. I can say this: If my blog hits 10,000 views at the end of the month, I can promise a free read of one of the chapters posted on here. It will be my pick, but I promise it will be good. That'll be 10,000 views in one year of having this thing, and a thank you for all who read these musings.
Take care, I have to get back to writing, it keeps me out of trouble. Will have the weekly industry blog sometime late tomorrow-- busy day.