Let's Rave On; Rejection City

Before you do anything else, you take a look at this. You take a look at this right now.

So awesome.

There Is No News

The three big pieces of news this week. Johnny Cash has a #1 record – Review right here – and that’s pretty swell. It’s a damn good record and the #1 status will keep it memorable for a long time.

As well, Weezer seems to have broken up. Shmeh.

Lastly, Zach Braff has posted the soundtrack to his new movie – trailer right here – and it’s pretty expected the whole way through.

1. Chocolate – Snow Patrol
2. Star Mile – Joshua Radin
3. Pain Killer – Turin Brakes
4. Warning Sign – Coldplay
5. Ride – Cary Brothers
6. El Salvador – Athlete
7. Hide And Seek – Imogen Heap
8. Reason Why – Rachael Yamagata
9. Hold You In My Arms – Ray LaMontagne
10. Prophecy – Remy Zero
11. Paper Bag – Fiona Apple
12. Today’s The Day – Aimee Mann
13. Arms of a Woman – Amos Lee
14. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Reprise) – Rufus Wainwright
15. Paperweight – Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk

Some people have criticized this list as being ‘safe’ and ‘boring’. These people are tools. This list reflects a movie soundtrack. Can you remember the last movie soundtrack you enjoyed through and through? It was called Garden State. My article this week has to do with rejecting people based on musical tastes. I think through two movies and 5 years of Scrubs movies, we’ve figured out Zach Braff’s musical tastes. It’s consistently good, and sometimes more than that. And I bet you that every one of these songs is used perfectly in this film, and that you will all see it and love it.

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Cassette Tapes For Crushed Lovers

This is my mix tape section, just with a fancy new name. Click on the link, then click on each individual song to listen, and then ‘right click’ to download them. Enjoy!

Click here to see the track listing

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What I’m Reading When I Should Be Teaching

I agree with Gloomchen on this one. Classic rock radio is quite pathetic across the board. Playlists at these stations should guarantee that you won’t hear the same song twice in a month, and yet the stations in Canada managed to fit in “New Orleans is Sinking” at least twice a day. Ridiculous.

Mathan blasts fans of Tupac AND LL in one slick swoop.

Greg, you don’t understand. Insidepulse is not only an ivory tower, nay, it is a pillar of ivory wrapped in platinum and glass. It’s to keep Sony/BMG from trying to remerge anywhere near us. Also, good call on anthems.

Eric does more work than any of us. And he’s right. It’s pretty much a crime not to read him if you’re in this neighborhood.

I’ve never seen a book review that dissected the book so physically. Nice work, Carla Lee.

Let’s Rave On

It’s tough to be in the middle.

I have some friends who listen to nothing but clean commercial radio all day long and love it. I also have friends who have blog sites out there. These friends of mine scour the underbelly of what’s new and what’s interesting for more hours in a day than they perform their jobs. These two groups of people would not make nice at a barbeque. The only way it would work is if I invited my metal friends. Everybody gets along with my metal friends.

Sometimes you can only see the scale if you’re right smack dab in the middle of it all. On one side are my mainstream friends, and on the other is the far edge of the musical universe. I can fairly peacefully coexist with both of them because I have vested interest in both sides of music. I want my music to be fresh and wild and independent, but I also want it to be heard by lots and lots of people. It’s a tough rope to walk, but it’s how I am and I can’t rightfully change that. What sucks is that whenever I put my foot down and announce the kind of stuff I actually like, I usually end up getting crapped on by both sides.

Broken Social Scene is a really kick ass band, but my mainstream friends think they’re too weird, and my indie friends more often than not find them to be an annoying anomaly. Basically, the same thing goes for Tom Waits, Radiohead, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Tragically Hip, The New Pornographers, and every other band I call my base. This is the music in which I have found my home, and just about everybody I know has thrown down on my stuff at some point.

Part of me always wanted to be that indie kid who hung out in the church basements, wearing the ironic t-shirts and generally being a dick. Sometimes, I came scarily close to it. I never much liked myself when I was there. I always felt like I was spewing words I never really felt or meant or even fully understood. I’m not cut out for that world. I could never be a reviewer for Pitchfork. I’ve got the swift verbalism, but likely not the patience. Sometimes I just want to say that I like something or I don’t without spinning it into a quarry of poetry and superfluous inanity.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m made for this sort of thing. I mean, I was an excellent line cook. I was a pretty killer waiter. I’d like to think I’m a pretty good teacher. And I can write fiction to a point where people sometimes fall in love with me. But the thought of writing music journalism forever hurts sometimes. It’s the only job more full of bullshit than the art it’s covering. I don’t have a thick enough skin for it. Hell, when I join a community on frickin livejournal of all places and they boot me for not being indie enough, and that somehow bothers me, it says a lot about the thickness of my skin.

Sometimes music is about acceptance as much as it can be about rebellion. Too much hype goes into the idea that music will ‘set you free’ and ‘release you from the wicked real world’, but that perfect song can sometimes be the perfect place to call home, too.

That perfect song can be found on the radio, listened to and enjoyed by millions. It could also be played by your local garageband, heard only by a demo tape you found in a bar. Eventually, you’re going to play that song to someone you care about, and they’re not going to like it. Sometimes this calls into question your entire judgment system. Sometimes it calls on your rage. It all depends on your character on this one, and in the end you’ll either question your critic or you’ll question yourself.

In the end, it’s about being able to stand on your own pedestal on your own time and declare that yeah, every Radiohead album was frickin brilliant in its own way, and be comfortable with your choice even though some snob on the Internet doesn’t think so. This rings true especially if you have a column on a website on said Internet. You’ve got to be able to handle that kind of thing from time to time.

I don’t agree with everything Chuck Klosterman says, and I can’t quote him right now because I left his book ten thousand miles away from where I am right now, but he said at some point that judging people on their musical tastes doesn’t work even half the time. This one is spot on. My best friends listen to music that sometimes makes me spew, and they’ll say the same thing about me. I don’t particularly want to talk to anyone who attends an Eels concert with me. I definitely don’t want to know anyone at a Stars show, lovely as some of them seem.

Keep in mind that music isn’t everything. You can’t judge a person simply because they’re on a different part of the scale as yourself. Besides, if you’re throwing them away simply based on this, you probably haven’t even gone deep enough into their membranes to find out their favorite books or movies, either. That’s where the real important stuff is anyhow.

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