Friday, May 31, 2013

Playlist of the Week: Airport Commuter 8

Chicago was a blur.

I fly.

I connect.

To fly some more.

And occasionally, I'm greeted with special effects lighting or great works of art.

In the tunnels between the terminals.

At DTW (Detroit) and ORD (Chicago-O'Hare), it's a combination of the two.

A consolation token for my short time spent in great cities trapped in their less great airports.

And there is a soundtrack in my ears.

And thus, I never walk alone on the path across America.

Spotify version of the playlist is located below the track listing. Not a Spotify member?  No problem. An 8tracks playlist (requiring no membership) is also found below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quick Music Jerk: Format Commitment, The MJR Top 5 Albums of 2013 Weekly Standings, and more

In this convulted analogy, Foxygen is Iron Man.  For now.

Thanks to those of you who checked out my last blog post which was loosely related to some "woman" I'm "committed to forever".  And since the Google page view stats seem to indicate that you and the rest of internet respond favorably to talk of commitment, how about some more, eh??

The only consistency in my blog's format since its creation has been my "Playlist of the Week".  Yes, I am acutely aware of the irony of referencing its "consistency" when it's only somewhat "weekly".  But let's not worry about frequency or "facts" right now.

What would really make my pants tingle is another (semi) consistent blog post format that all eight of you might really enjoy.  And while I've certainly utilized the above "Quick Music Jerk" (giggle) title before, the contents, format, and frequency of it have been all over the place--an intentionally freeform concept that has, for the most part, lended itself to the author's tendency to lack consistent focus and/or output.

All that to say that instead of committing to anything too grand or ambitious, I think I've come up with something that strikes a balance between consistent contribution and my general inclination to procrastinate/become indifferent/be lazy in the awesomest of ways.

So here goes:

The MJR Top 5 Albums of 2013 Weekly Standings (which may or may not be in a particular order and are subject to wild changes upon the author's whim)*

*Spotify links provided when available

1.  We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic by Foxygen

2.  The Flower Lane by Ducktails

3.  ...Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age ( now streaming in full on iTunes)

4.  Specter At The Feast by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

5.   After Dark 2 by Various Artists

Other contenders: MCII by Mikal Cronin, OutRun by Kavinsky, Floating Coffin by Thee Oh Sees, Amok by Atoms For Peace, Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend, Curiosity by Wampire

3 Thoughts/Facts/Opinions/Lies/Kneejerk Reactions to Music This Week

1.  As you may have noted from the list above, I've included the new Queens of the Stone Age album "...Like Clockwork" in my top 5.  What you may or may not be aware of is that I broke one of my own cardinal rules by listening and/or obtaining the album before the vinyl copy was to arrive on its June 4th release date (If I pre-order something on vinyl, it's always my goal to hear an album for the first time on God's chosen format).  All I can say is that I was tempted by an agent of the devil of premature music release himself and after much consternation (a LONG ten minutes) gave in to the sweet sexy guitar-y majestic sounds of QOTSA .  And this ONE time--being bad was the good choice.  So good.  So right.

2.  As an ardent Daft Punk fan, I've given their new album several thorough listens.  And outside of a few excellent tracks, my sincere wish is that I could hear whatever the hell it is you people claim to be hearing.

3.  Same as #2, only take out Daft Punk and replace it with Deerhunter.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playlist of the Week: A Dozen Songs For Mandy at 1 Year

It's not just the looks--it's the whole package.  And if they can float, too?  Bonus.

Some of you will have wisely avoided this blog post because of the inherent mushy lovey-dovey mushiness contained/implied herein.  However, I'm primarily concerned about an audience of one--my beautiful inside and out love of my life, Mandy.

She certainly hears me ramble enough as it is, so I'll keep it somewhat brief.  I mean, I have to save the REALLY good stuff for our wedding vows, right?

For as long as I can remember, I've loved music.  I've spent years listening and collecting and accumulating it.  I've used it as a way to cope, to long, to laugh, to commiserate with.  And so very much of it was the soundtrack to waiting.  Waiting to grow up.  Waiting to move forward.  Waiting for "her".  Music is as much the backdrop of life as the city I live in, the job that I perform, or even the friends that surround me.

A year ago today, I met Mandy.  And nothing is the same as it once was.  The "her" I've been hearing in all those songs finally has a name.  And a face.  And a soul.  And a giant heart that loves my lame ass.

Everyone's story is a little different.  And I was not a huge mess that needed saving by a woman.  But a year later, I am more at peace, gentler with people, and humbled by the never-ending, day in-day out love I receive.  Mandy is my best friend and the woman I love more than the last number.   One year later, all those same songs which have served as faithful companions throughout my journey certainly don't feel the same.  But then again, neither do I.  And that's because Mandy is so much greater than the "she", the "her", the "baby" from all those songs--so much more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.

So for my future wife Mandy, a dozen love songs to accompany this love letter to her--some of which I know she'll love, some of which remind me of her,  and some of which remind me of the journey to us.

Spotify version of the playlist is located below the track listing. Not a Spotify member?  No problem. An 8tracks playlist (requiring no membership) is also found below.