Monthly Archives: January 2009

>The opposite of happiness

>“What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness? No. Just as love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so are happiness and sadness… The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is – here’s the clincher – boredom… The question you should be asking isn’t ‘What do I want?’ or ‘What are my goals?’ but ‘What would excite me?’… Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things.”

~Timothy Ferris

>*

>“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

~Dr. Seuss

>I’m either not cool at all… or too cool for words

>
I still have a Hotmail account, although I haven’t sent mail from it in ages and I’m trying to encourage people to use my Gmail account instead. However, because not everyone is aware of my Gmail account, I still check Hotmail daily to see if there are any interesting goodies in there. Usually, there is nothing.

My Hotmail welcome page is usually full of “news” that I couldn’t care less about – stuff about Paris Hilton’s new BFF (who she’s already ditching, apparently) or which celebs have had surgery on their faces (even the Hoff has had work done… what sort of world are we raising our children in?!?). But today the main article actually caught my attention: “Most Anticipated Albums of 2009”.

I like music! I like anticipation! This article should have been the greatest thing ever. It wasn’t.

First of all, it reminded me about how dumbed-down everything has to be for the general populous. There were no general band reviews here, no speculation of what sort of new directions the bands might be headed on, nothing. Nothing but a photo, a name, a date and an album name. At best… because some of them don’t even have dates or names. Ace. It is a list of music for dumb people who can’t actually read.

Secondly, are they serious?? These are the most anticipated albums of 2009? If this is true, then we are in for a shit year of music, friends and neighbours. Now, I realise that I can be a bit of a… well, snob seems like the right word… snob about music. Elitist. I think… no… no, I know my tastes are far superior to the average person (that doesn’t sound snobby, does it?). But STILL. I mean, look at this list:

10. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You

Clever. I’m sure I’ve already seen that on a t-shirt somewhere so Lily doesn’t even have to have her own concert tees printed. She can just order them from OneHorseShy.

09. K-Os – Yes!

That “Yes!” is not me commenting on K-Os’ new album. Apparently that’s the name of it.

08. Keith Urban

Who?

07. Chris Cornell – Scream

Some people should stop making music. I would nominate Chris Cornell for the list, but then what would all the little douchebags out there listen to when they are feeling all “moody”? Poor things.

06. K’Naan – Troubadour

Again: who?

05. U2 – No Line on The Horizon

Now, I won’t diss U2 even though I do feel like Bono would be painfully uncool to hang out with. But these guys are legend in their own right. I just haven’t listened to any of their music since Achtung Baby because…well, because it hasn’t been any good since then. Having said that though, I would go see them live. I’ve heard tell those lads put on a great show.

04. Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe

I’m sure it’s ironic-cool to like Depeche Mode but I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say no. No to Depeche Mode and their playability on soft rock stations around the world. (Confession: I thought that I liked a few of their songs when I was like, 12, so I looked up their singles on Wikipedia. I didn’t know any of them. Turns out I was thinking about Duran Duran. I’m actually a loser. Now I’m not sure at all what they sound like… is that snarky remark about soft rock stations applicable to Depeche Mode? Whatevs… I’m leaving it.)

03. Kelly Clarkson – All I Ever Wanted

No.

02. The Fray – The Fray

Don’t make me say “who?” again. Do any of you guys listen to The Fray? Are they any good? I’m afraid to go to last.fm and give them a listen just in case they suck so badly I lose my will to live. Can someone else risk losing a few minutes of their life and let me know how they sound?

01. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

I know. I know that a lot of people like Franz Ferdinand. But I don’t. I never have. The only time any of their music has been listened to on purpose in my home was in Korea when Brendan found it necessary to pollute my iTunes with his music. I just don’t get why they are so popular. I don’t get it.

Now, I do understand that some of you may like these particular bands (although I’m hoping not enough to be “anticipating” with bated breath their next release)… some of them you will sincerely enjoy (perhaps U2 or Franz Ferdinand) others with a bit of guilt because you know how painfully uncool it is to listen to their music (Kelly Clarkson) and I’m sorry if I’ve insulted you. Lord knows my taste in music ranges the gambit from completely-awesome to are-you-serious? so I really shouldn’t get all superior about it.

But as I sit here listening to my first three albums of 2009 (Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP, Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light) I can’t help but feel rather detached from the average Hotmail user. And I think that even if some of you like a few of the bands listed above, there has to be other bands that are releasing albums this year that are more deserving of being on a “most anticipated album” list. So… what do you guys think? What albums are supposed to be out this year that you can’t wait to get your grubby little hands on?

>Maybe I need to get me a sign

>I saw this sign taped to the top of a television set that was on the sidewalk outside of a petshop.


Perhaps I would have more luck finding a job if I had a sign like this taped to my back.

>Without music, life would be a mistake

>I’ve complained about Nietzsche before. I didn’t like the book I read of his and really I think he is too smart for his own good. Besides, there is something really… snooty about quoting Nietzsche, is there not? But still, when the man has something great to say (like the title of this post) I can’t help but steal it and repeat it.

But this is not another post about my issues with Mr. Nietzsche (do you think he ever invited anyone to call him just “Fred” or “Rick”? I bet not.) and how inferior intellectually (side note and a true story… I just spelled both “inferior” AND “intellectually” incorrectly and Blogger had to fix it for me – I rule!) he makes me feel.

No, no. This is a post about music.

Now, those who know me well know I have… well, a thing for music. If music was a boy, I would marry it. And before I left home for uncharted waters (they aren’t really uncharted, it is just that Korea and Japan can’t agree what to call it) I used to go to live shows. A lot.

I only saw one concert in Korea and my soul died a little (even thought that show was Muse and they are an amazing live act). Now that I’m in London you would think I’d be rocking all the live shows, but the truth is that I haven’t been focusing enough on my extracurricular activities (read: other than drinking). But that’s going to change in the near future, I tells ya.

Last week I applied for a job with a company called Songkick. And here’s the cool thing… even if I don’t get hired (I’m hoping like mad to get hired… if you know any voodoo or have any other cool powers, see what you can do about influencing the fates for me on this one…) I’m still hyper-glad I found their website. Because it kicks ass.

Normally I wouldn’t encourage people to navigate away from my blog… this is the one spot on all the interwebs that I have any power. Or something. But in this case, I’ll make an exception. If you like live music at all, check out www.songkick.com. These guys are trying to make going to shows as easy as going to the movies. How could you not support that?

So, go check it out, bookmark it and maybe even set up a profile. That way these guys will even email your ass about your favourite bands’ tour dates as well as recommend other shows you might appreciate. And that’s a whole bowl of awesome.

>Old-timey datin’ goodness

>

Oh my! What is it about ancient instructional films that fill my heart with happiness? Sorry it is in two parts… the glorious restrictions of YouTube!

This particular one, “Dating: Do’s and Don’ts“, is from 1949 and made me giggly. I especially enjoy the fact that the protagonist’s name is Woody.

Seriously… the only funnier than these old instructional films are really cheesy disaster movies. So good!

>Captain Turbotastic gives thanks (sort of) to Professor Green

>Brendan finds it necessary to send me news clippings every once in a while. I’m not sure why… perhaps he is worried that I don’t learn as much when I read articles in the form of electronic light instead of in the form of good old-fashion ink and paper. Whatever his motives, every once in a while I received an unmarked envelope that is filled with a potpourri of articles. Some of them I’m sure he has sent because he thinks I’ll be interested in them. Others I believe he sends because I should be interested in them.

When I told Brendan that I was thinking about blogging about some of my reactions to his articles, he insisted on getting kudos (or at least mention) for being the one to bring the articles to my attention in the first place.

So now we know Brendan’s real motive in sending those articles: Fame. He has always secretly hoped that I would write about his articles in my blog and that would herald his arrival on the interwebs scene, perhaps initiating some sort of new “Brendan Meme”.

Chump. No one reads my blog. If you want to see your name on the interwebs, start updating your own blog again. I’m tired of it sitting there, defunct and forgotten. Poor Brendan Blog.

Anyway, so there will be a few entries in the near future that are referencing articles. Yes, they will all be referring to the articles that dear, sweet Brendan has sent to me in order to brighten my day and make me just that little bit smarter. So here’s your mention, B. Don’t expect me to do it again.

>The London Underground

>

In 1890 William Morris described the London Underground as
“that vapour bath of hurried and discontented humanity”.

What would he think about it now?

>Marry Me

>I promise that I’m not going to simply fill this space with videos, but I came across this one today and wanted to share it. Youtube is usually so full of… well, “crap” seems like a nice way of putting it that when I find something that isn’t “crap” it makes me happy.

If you like it, see it in again in high quality

I love the little girl in this and the little boy’s shirts. There is something about tone of the light in this movie that makes me hyper-nostalgic for summers as a kid.

>Yup, that’s pretty much how I remember it too

>I’ve seen Star Wars. All of them. I’m sure of it. But for some reason, I have trouble keeping the story straight in my head and remembering all the details (might have something to do with how delayed I am). So if I was forced at gunpoint to reconstruct the original trilogy, I hate to confess it would sound pretty much like this.

I probably shouldn’t confess to such a thing. Makes me less of a nerd than I like to pretend to be. The video above, however, is very very funny and kudos to the people who made it.