Archive for the Music Category

Falling Off The Grid

Posted in Blog Stuff, Late Night Posts, Music on December 13, 2008 by Jamie

1 month. 30 days. 720 hours. 43,200 minutes. 2,592,000 seconds. I’ve been gone from this blog for MORE than that. That’s a third of a trimester. If I gave you one penny on the day of my last post, two pennies the next day, and so on, you’d have over $10 million now. Now that’s seriously messed up.

In a month, the average man can burn 27,000 calories in a month by simply walking three hours a day. The Beatles wrote/recorded most of the songs from their first album, Please Please Me, in about a month. So surely during a month long absence I must’ve been up to something groundbreaking? Absolutely not. For the past month, I’ve been lazier than a $@&^ing high turtle. That simile did not even make sense. See what an absence from the internet does to you?

Actually that’s a lie. I have not been absent from the internet at all, just this blog, and my other attempts at blogs. (Sorry Yining.) I tried starting a politics blog with my asian friend, and that failed miserably. You’d think that a blog written by two young people, with similar views on the same topic, who are both interested in writing, would take off now? Well you thought wrong. I gave up on it almost right off the bat, and for that I apologize.

I find it kind of funny that my last post was talking about how my writing was going in a different direction, how things would change. How my procrastination days were over, and how the blog was going to be better than before. Funny how I never seem to fllow through on promises like that eh? Anyways, that’s why I’m intentionally not making any promises in this post.

When I have something on my mind, and I want to write about it I will. When I see something interesting on the internet, I’ll post it. When something big happens in the REAL WORLD (the place beyond your computer screen,) I will try to get my thoughts down on paper.

But hey, I can’t make any promises.

Over 300 words already, that’s quite an accomplishment for me. (Barely more than ten words a day if I had spent mt month of absence writing this.) Ok now my sentences are starting to not make sense, so I’ll leave you with a video I found on the web:

It’s a video montage featuring snippets of the original songs that Kanye West has sampled. If you’re a Kanye Fan, then this is pretty cool. If not well, this sucks I guess. Anyways it plays a video of the original song, and then shows how the Kanye sampled it for his specific songs. The more sentences I write, the less sense I make. Shit. It’s like my brain has run out of fuel, actually a common occurence around 2 AM. But here it is:

So that’s it for now, check back often because I MIGHT be writing more. (Notice how I didn’t make any promises?)

Just Because You’re Losing, Doesn’t Mean You’ve Lost

Posted in Book Posts, Music with tags on October 27, 2008 by Jamie

I might be a little late with this specific Coldplay reference, seeing as how Viva La Vida has been out for a few months already, so I guess you can call me a Coldplay n00b.

I’ve known of their existence for a few years actually. “Parachutes” was one of the first CDs my sister gave me, which helped guide me through my transition into the musical world, away form the annoying popular acts (Sum41, etc,) that I was listening to at the time. But over the next couple of years, I guess I just forgot about them. I had downloaded X & Y when it came out, but rarely listened to it.

And then came Viva La Vida. The multi-platinum selling album reached numero uno in virtually every country in the world. It’s success was propelled by the title track and the song “Lost,” two of the songs in high rotation on my iPod now. This newfound love affair with Coldplay has been ready to explode for a few months now, but Saturday Night Live’s episode this week was the fuse that set it off. I knew that Coldplay was that night’s musical guest, but I did not know what they were about to do.

Coldplay, led by singer/keyboardist/budding musical legend Chris Martin, absolutely destroyed the stage at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. I have never seen a music act destroy like they did. Most musical acts play about two songs throughout the night, and most of time I just fast-forward through that, but this time it was different.

For the band’s first two songs, they played “Viva La Vida” and “Lost,” leaving both me and my friend pretty satisfied. The band’s stage chemistry was undeniable, and Martin lit it up like he was playing for a group of friends and not millions of viewers. But then the unthinkable happened. We thought they were done, but we were wrong.

The show came back from commercial, and with the clock nearing 1:00am, we expected to see one last picture of the hsot and final skit. What did we see? A picture of the band, who proceeded to play an older hit this time, “Yellow.” Me and my friend started freaking out. This is the first Coldplay hit I heard, and it immediately brought me back to 2004.

Then it showed the entire cast, special guests, and the host doing their usual wave goodbye. But my friend noticed something I had not, and said; “Where’s Coldplay?”

Sure enough, the next words heard were uttered by Jon Hamm: “Ladies and gentlemen, once again, Coldplay.” It was then that my friend’s PVR cut off. Damn NBC. Still, having four performances  is pretty impressive, and shows how popular they are, and how much the crowd wanted more. Even though I didn’t see their final performance (probably another older hit, like “Fix You” or something,) I was hooked. Thanks Neil.

The Beautiful Ride

Posted in Book Posts, Movies, Music with tags on October 21, 2008 by Jamie

[Disclaimer: I actually hate the whole metro/bus ride home, which is when I wrote this post originally. However, because it was the last song on the playlist (a song that ended just as I walked into my house, for the second day in a row,) I decided to give it that title. Read on…]

I love the dollar store. And not not just because I’m Jewish. I went in there a couple of minutes ago, and walked out with a pencil, pen, lock, and four packs of gum all for five dollars. I’m usually not the cheap type, but this purchase made me feel more Jewish then ever.

On to other things. I’m on the metro again, and am thankful that my class ended early, even though it usually does and I yet again didn’t get a lift. Although it’s actually not too bad taking the metro today. I have a seat for once, it’s much less crowded compared to yesterday, and my notebook (well, hillroy) isn’t cramped against my oxymoronic upright lap. Oh and I’ve got a great playlist going again.

Except it’s not even by real musicians. It’s the complete collection of “Dewey Cox” songs from the movie Walk Hard, which I actually watched the other night. Both the songs and the movie are extremely underrated. Produced by Comedy god Judd Apatow (Anchorman, 40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, etc, ) it chronicles the life of a man named Dewey Cox.

As a boy, Dewey accidentally cuts his brother in half in an unfortunate machete-fight accident, thrusting him into a life that parodies the biographical films of Walk The Line (Johnny Cash,) The Doors (Jim Morrison,) and Ray (Ray Charles,) among others. For example, after the trauma stemming form the machete accident, Dewey loses his sense of smell. (An obvious refrence to Charles’ blindness.)

The movies features a lot of great cameos, many with actors portraying famous musicians from that era (The Beatles, Elvis, Buddy Holly, and a few others,) but the real non-Dewey stars are the actresses that play his two wives. Kristen Wiig plays his loving but doubtful (“I do believe in you Dewey, I just know you’re going to fail”) first wife, while Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office,) plays extremely attractive backup singer and eventual wife Darlene Madison.

(Wow, I almost missed my stop, and now I’m stuck waiting outside in the cold wetness that is October Montreal. But at least it’s not snowing.)

Anyways, even though the Dewey Cox playlist is now playing for the second time, I’m gonna start writing about something else. (Wow I should have worn a sweater, it’s actually freezing out here, and it’s rianing too… at least the bus is here.) One second…

Current time: 6:12 pm. That’s about as far as I got with the notebook post. Once I got on the bus, not only did I get a seat, but a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile sat right by me. So I spent the bus ride talking to him, and continuing to listening to the Dewey Cox songs. As the bus pulled closer to my house, the song “Beautiful Ride” came on. It’s the last song he writes in the movie, chronicling his entire life, and talking about life in itself as he is getting closer to death. And for the second day in a row, it fades out exactly as I walk into my house. Extremely weird. So that’s it, here’s the playlist below as promised.

The Dewey part of the songs are actually song by the actor who plays them, John C. Reilly, and as such they’re credited to him officially. Angela Correa sings for Darlene Madison.

Songs I listened to (twice) while writing (all by Dewey Cox unless otherwise noted):

1) (Mama) You Got To Love Your Negro Man

2) Walk Hard

3) Let’s Duet – Dewey Cox ft. Angela Correa

4) Let Me Hold You (Little Man)

5) Guilty As Charged

6) Beautiful Ride

Download of the day: Let’s Duet

I Think I Like C(rap)

Posted in Music with tags , on October 21, 2008 by Jamie

I’m usually a classic rock kind of guy. Maybe sometimes a bit of reggae, modern rock, alternative, and the occasional pop song. But lately, the amount of time I spend listening to rap music is increasing. Should I be embarassed? No. It may not be “music,” but it is often catchy, the beats are good, and sometimes the lyrics are poetry (other times they’re actually pretty clever, but tehy’re also often useless.)

Anyways, as I write this post, instead of listening to my typical “Favourite Songs” playlist, I’ve decided to switch over to the new “October 2008” one. It’s all rap. Well, except for the song “Island In The Sun,” by Weezer.

So back to the rap. Though I don’t consider it “good music,” for some reason it still beckons my interest. Also, its the perfect kind of music to put you in that vibe. Not the vibe that makes you want to beat someone up, but the one that makes you feel more motivated, that you can do anyhting. (For example, my Lacrosse Pump-Up playlist is almost all rap.)

Another thing I want to mention about Rap is how clever some of it seems to be. Ludacris’ raps are actually hysterical sometimes, and then they actually make sense. Here’s a verse of one of his songs, Number One Spot, that plays over a sample of the Austin Powers theme song. It features a lot of Austin Powers-related imagery, actually making it flow together really well.

“Causin lyrical disasters, it’s the master
Make music for Mini-Me’s, models and Fat Bastards
These women tryin to get me out my Pelle Pelle
They strip off my clothes and tell me, “Get in my belly!”
Stay on the track, hit the ground runnin like Flo-Jo
Sent back in time and I’ve never lost my mojo
Ladies and gentlemen ahh, boys and girls
Ludacris sent down to take over the whole world!”

Another artist who’s lyrics are great is Kanye West. The highest selling and maybe most well-known active rapper uses his life’s experiecne and knowledge to put together great lyrics. Here’s a verse (it’s actually pretty long,) from his song “Through The Wire,” which he recorded only weeks after surving a near-fatal car crash, with his mouth still wired shut.

What if somebody from the Chi was ill got a deal on the hottest rap label around
But he wasn’t talking bout coke and birds it was more like spoken word
Except he really putting it down
And he explained the story about how blacks came from glory
And what we need to do in the game
Good dude, Bad night, Right place, Wrong time
In the blink of an eye his whole life changed
If you could feel how my face felt you would know how Mase felt
Thank God I ain’t to cool for the safe belt
I swear to God drive two on the sue
I got lawyer for the case to keep whats in my safe; safe
My dawgs couldn’t tell if I
I look Tom Cruise on Vanilla Sky, it was televised
All they heard was that I was in an accident like GEICO
They thought I was burnt up like Pepsi did Michael
I must gotta angel
Cause look how death missed his ass
Unbreakable, would you thought they called me Mr. Glass
Look back on my life like the ghost of Christmas past
Toys R Us where I used to spend that Christmas cash
And I still wont grow up, I’m a grown ass kid
Swear I should be locked up for stupid shit that I did
But I’m a champion, so I turned tragedy to triumph
Make music that’s fire, spit my soul through the wire”

It basically chronicles a bit of his life (the first part) in “hypothetical” prose, then describing what happened with the accident. It flows together extremely well, and the fact he was able to write and record this song (which became a hit, along with the rest of his first album,) after almost dying in a car crash. That is what I find amazing about it, and that’s why its one of my favourite songs.

So even though I don’t think I should feel ashamed by my recently re-discovered liking of rap/hip-hop, I still thought it was a bit random, so I did what I do most of the time when I think random things, write a blog post.

Songs listened to while writing:

“The Crackhouse” – Fat Joe ft. Lil Wayne

“Swagga Like Us” – Jay-Z & T.I. ft. Kanye West & Lil Wayne

“Paper Planes Remix” – Lil Wayne

“Family Business” – Kanye West

“Island In The Sun” – Weezer

Music Is My Aeroplane

Posted in Music on October 6, 2008 by Jamie

Even though I haven’t heard the Chili Peppers tune “Aeroplane” in quite some time, one of its lyrics seemed a fitting title for this post.

I often struggle to get settled down to do work, but what solves it? Music. If I’m in a bad mood what often cheers me up? Music. The right playlist can do wonders for my self-esteem, mood, and creativity. Lately it’s been hip-hop and rap to get motivated to do something, Chili Peppers when I’m cruising through some studying, and Jack Johnson when I’m not in the best of moods.

Without music, my life would be useless, and I’d be perpetually stuck in my purgatoric feeling of nothingness, so I guess I owe music in general (and the internet and iTunes, which has made listening/obtaining music so much easier,) a big thank you.

College Dropout

Posted in Music on September 10, 2008 by Jamie

Thankfully this post is not about me. I’ve been at Dawson long enough, dropping out at this point would just be useless. Anyways I was just doing some work, and figured I’d pop in my iPod for some background music. The album I chose, however, turned out to be a lot better than just “background music.”

College Dropout, Kanye West’s 2004 debut,is filled with great tracks. All Falls Down, featuring Syleena, is amazing. So are Through The Wire, (which Kanye wrote and recorded with his jaw wired shut after a near-fatal car accident,) Slow Jamz, featuring Twista, and the always-classic The New Workout Plan and Jesus Walks, the monster single, and a few other decent tracks.

So even if this album is pretty old, it’s still amazing, and for some odd, odd, reason, I felt I had to tell someone?

Kanye, Be Quiet…I Want to Sleep

Posted in Music on March 8, 2008 by Jamie

It’s only a quarter to one and my eyes are already closing. Granted, it was a long day and a long week, and I did spend about three hours at a very long, very boring dinner. Regardless, this blog is a commitment and since I stick to my commitments, (I hate all of you, stop laughing…) this post will be written.

I just coughed up a lung. I’m exhausted, but the dulcid tones of Kanye West’s Late Registration (today’s Album of the Day) are keeping me awake. The 2005 album is actually pretty good, and the fact that I used to play it constantly back in ’05 whenever I played Roller Coaster Tycoon gives me a certain feeling of nostalgia.

The day in general was pretty boring…not just for me, but for the rest of the world. The next relevant Presidential Primary (Pennsylvania,) isn’t for another three weeks, so we that are following the Democratic race have to claw our fingernails and wait. In sports, the only relevant thing going on for three weeks is hockey, and even that doesn’t provide the constant daily interest that Football and Baseball do.

So hopefully tomorrow will be more interesting, the Habs play an afternoon game in L.A, but I’ll be missing most of it for the “5th annual Rogers Sportsnet Sports Journalism Workshop” at Concordia. So good-bye for now, and remember, keep checking up on me.