Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”- Steve Jobs 

If you know me then you know I’m not all about celebrity deaths. I’m not one to care about things like this. I didn’t know Mr. Jobs but I sure wish I did. The guy named his entire company after the Beatles, I’m sure he had to have been a pretty wonderful person. This man sparked a revolution that changed an entire industry. From my first iMac back when I was 8 years old to my first iPod and iPhone, I’ve appreciated what this guy created. Itunes revolutionized the music industry. How else could I have been a 15 year old walking around with thousands of songs in my pocket? I would have been miserable truth be told. I need music like people need caffeine in the morning, I listen to entirely too much music and I’m okay with that. The iPod and iTunes were some of the greatest inventions of my lifetime and as hard as they tried, no other company seemed to grasp the idea like Apple. In elementary school we had to write a letter to a CEO of a company of our choosing. This was right about the time I got my new green iMac and boy was I in love with it, so of course I sent out two letters, one addressed to Apple and one addressed to Nintendo. (Boy I’m glad I did because Mr. Jobs was too busy to respond sadly) Of course I can understand why now, he was too busy changing the world! The world has lost a visionary today. My thoughts are with his family, a time like this is hard for anyone. You will be very, very missed by many.

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Create a soundtrack that captures the essence of your 2011 so far.

Holy Bananas! What a terrific idea WordPress!

I’ll start with the quintessential January song:

The New Year by Death Cab For Cutie

“So this is the new year. And I don’t feel any different”

Not only is this song on one of the best albums ever produced, it just makes you feel optimistic about the future. I woke up January 1st, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia visiting my best friend for a couple weeks. We spent the night at a club in a less than welcoming area of Atlanta. After 30+ futile attempts at nabbing a taxi, our only solution was to venture though the ghetto to public transportation. After we got off the train with some of Atlanta’s finest we were forced to take a minivan taxi from the Atlanta airport. It was a pretty eventful night and I am glad all of us made it home without a scratch on us or a new found gang affiliation. More from Gibbard & Company later on.

If Winter Ends by Bright Eyes

“So if there is a perfect spring that’s waiting somewhere, just take me there”

This is probably my most played song during the dreary winter months. Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes are just so good at crafting anthems for anytime of year but this song really just stands out in my mind when I think of winter. This song helped me cope when I was waiting for the tundra to thaw out.

Valentine by The Get Up Kids

“the constants aren’t so constant anymore”

I have to admit that I’m not one of those die-hard-super-duper-The-Get-Up-Kids-Fans but I really enjoy a couple of their albums. (Four Minute Mile and Something To Write Home About) There’s something about Matt Pryor’s voice that just screams, “hey, I was meant to do this”. I grew up hearing about the Get Up Kids and didn’t really give them a chance until I was around 17 or 18. Now that I’m older I appreciate their work a lot more. The last Valentine’s Day I remember actually spending with a significant other happened my senior year of high school. My boyfriend at the time was somewhat thoughtful and we went and made one at one of those Build-A-Bear stores. I probably liked pandas so much because I could relate to them seeing as how we had about the same amount of black around our eyes at any given time. I was a Myspace kid, of course. Putting trademark signs behind your name and having 15,000 “friends” can only get you so far in life.


Objects of My Affection by Peter Bjorn and John

“And the question is, was I more alive then than I am now? I happily have to disagree I laugh more often now, I cry more often now. I am more me”

I found myself listening to this song after I bought this album. I never gave Peter Bjorn and John a fair chance and fell head-first into a deep pool of regret after listening to Writer’s Block. The whole album is very positive and catchy from start to finish. PB&J (yep) crafted an album that made my morning routine a whole lot more tolerable. I am advising against listening to this if you do not enjoy catchy happy songs in your head for weeks at a time.

Finding Something to Do by Hellogoodbye

“I was getting tired of letting all my hours pass, hoping someday, somehow, someway, everything would last”

Hellogoodbye has always put out the most delightful records. I would imagine they would be possibly more delightful if I could listen to them with a significant other who would be willing to listen to music that incorporates ukuleles. Perhaps he even plays the ukulele, the sky is really the limit. Would It Kill You is a different animal. It’s cheery but as we have aged so have the members of Hellogoodbye. So much in fact maybe they have become senile since I never received a vinyl I paid for last year. Of course Hellogoodbye has nothing to do with this but I’m still waiting. Now that members of Hellogoodbye have gotten married their material is a little less..well..spastic. If you heard the mastered version of Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! then you probably know what I mean. I refuse to listen that album on the full length just because of how butchered it got with all that auto-tune. There’s a difference between auto-tune and auto-tune gone horribly, horribly wrong. If you listen to the demos you’re enjoying the actual song and not the added junk. I honestly forgot where I was going with that whole rant.

Everything I Own Fits in this Backpack by The Wonder Years
We’ve moved on again so I packed my shit and left home. It’s alright to think I still belong to something.”

You have to understand that growing up I was all about pop-punk. I would hear kids I knew were into hardcore music talking about the Wonder Years. I would assume it was some posi-straightedge-hardcore-whatever-music. I was wrong. The Wonder Years lean more towards New Found Glory then say…Terror. Not saying I’m totally against that genre of music but my days of listening to  Bane, One Dead Three Wounded, and Comeback Kid are more than over. I mean I was a kid, I was straight edge and I didn’t know any better. We all have those skeletons wearing black band hoodies in our closets right? Anyway, back to this song. The first week of August I moved to South Philly with a longtime friend of mine and her roommate. I don’t feel comfortable on my street but with the help of some pepper spray and awkward small talk with my neighbors I’m getting there. The Wonder Years are actually a really great band and it’s something me and my younger brother even both enjoy so that’s pretty great.

Helena Beat by Foster the People

“I never knew if I could face myself to change. You were pacing, I was insecure. Slip and fall, I’m dodging calls, hug the prison I’ve been living in”

I was watching an episode of CSI on demand in March and heard a song that I liked. Of course I had an iPhone back then and decided to Shazam it. It was Foster the People. Ever since that fateful night I’ve pretty much listened to Foster the People on a regular basis. Why? Why do I Waste (oh I need to stop) so much time listening to this band? They’re great. Of course their EP and their More Songs EPs available on iTunes in the early spring were a lot less spastic and more my cup of tea. Torches mastered the majority of the tracks off the EP and More Songs but let some of the really good ones slip through the cracks. People who have only listened to Torches are kind of missing out on their earlier material. FtP has become my daily soundtrack walking back to city hall after work just because it’s happy, dancey, and I left my mini-SD card reader back in Reading. I’m also to cheap to resubscribe to mobile Spotify. All the tracks off this album are good. So there. There are much better songs than Pumped Up Kicks out there, I promise.

Pensacola by Manchester Orchestra

“I’m tired of talking to a wall when I could talk to someone else. It’s been seven days without a word and you’re with someone somewhere else”

Manchester Orchestra, where do I been? Where have I been? (no one got that) Manchester Orchestra is in my top 3 favorite bands of all time. Everything they’ve ever released has just been pure gold in my mind. Andy Hull & company can do no wrong. I finally got the chance to see them play earlier in the year with my best friend and it was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever attended. This was my favorite track of their newest release Simple Math. It’s probably the peppiest one besides April Fool. During the show some less than classy individuals who were behind me decided that they could sing the song better than Mr. Hull and proceeded to do so. I was not happy. Manchester Orchestra is in one word, wonderful.

Palomino by Mates of State

I have to admit I haven’t listened to Mates of State since I was 19 or so. This is when I discovered good indie-esque music like Her Space Holiday and Say Hi To Your Mom off the same indie-playlist torrent I was obsessed with for months. I kept hearing good things about this album so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did, Mates of State just have the ability to put you in a great mood. I have no tagline because I don’t really need one. You can listen to it for yourself. I’m just going to warn you right now how truly infectious this song is, you’ve been warned.

All of This by The Naked and Famous

“I could have made this work but all I had was the hope that pieces would take shape. And we could watch them all fall into place”

More and more this is becoming a “top tracks of 2011” list, and that’s okay. The songs I listen to most do somehow form a soundtrack for my year. You know when you’re sure something could all work great. All you have to do is stop being so shy and say what you want to. It’s so easy…right? No, it’s not. Letting yourself become a passive party ensures one thing, you won’t get what you want. You’ll also regret being so passive down the line. Basically go for it! (in all aspects of life) All of This is probably my favorite track off TN&F’s album Passive Me, Aggressive You. All of This, (not to be confused with the depressing Blink-182 song of the same name) is just lyrically the best song on the album and the easiest to relate to. The Naked and Famous are just so dancey. This entire album is great and I don’t understand how more people I know don’t listen to them. So this is a recommendation, listen to them.


Dig Up the Dead by Mansions

“Nothing in my bones can say just where you’ve been. Nothing in my bones can let me start again. I’ll start again.”

Dig Up the Dead is the newest album from Mansions. Mansions is primarily Christopher Browder playing some pretty great music. I went to see Mansions a few months ago and ended up being (not so) fashionably late. I got there during the second half of this song (the last song) and was CRUSHED. I then spent the night being continuously being chatted up by strangers until I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business came on. Dig Up the Dead came out about a week before I saw them and it’s really something special. The singer of Mansions and a member of one of my favorite bands, Weatherbox collaborate on a project aptly titled “Manbox”. Yeah…Manbox. I would suggest giving Dig Up the Dead a good listen though.

Monday Morning by Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie is actually my favorite band of all time. From You Can Play These Songs With Chords to their newest release Codes and Keys, they’ve done no wrong. Transatlanticism is my favorite album of all time and I can’t see that changing anytime in the near future. I had higher expectations for Codes and Keys than what I was met with. With every playthrough of this album I gained more appreciation for tracks like “Doors Unlocked and Open” which has since became on of my favorites off the album. The first one to stand out to be besides the single was Monday Morning. A little before Codes and Keys was written Gibbard claimed he defeated alcoholism and married Zooey Deschanel. (Even as a straight female I’m kind of jealous of him, the woman is a goddess) Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel are just the most powerful of the indiest-indie power couples. Deschanel has a project with M. Ward called She & Him which is also very very worth checking out. She sings, she acts, and is adorable. She has a great song written about her as well? Zooey Deschanel, I am jealous of you and I’m not jealous of anyone.

Choir Vandals by The American Analog Set

I cannot find anything particular about this song that relates to my year thus far.That being besides the whole “I just want to be someone you know” in regards to the Jewish looking boy with thick-rimmed glasses I see periodically at city hall on my way home from work. I heard a Ben Gibbard cover of it once and just fell in love with it only to realize it was in fact a cover..I liked the song so much that I actually downloaded their music and pretty much fell in love with them.

Don’t Say Oh Well by Grouplove

“So do you got that sweet devotion? oh will you follow your heart’s plan? Oh why not jump in to that ocean and run your fingers through your hair”

I honestly can’t remember how I first found out about Grouplove but I’m very glad I did. Every song off their self-titled puts me into a great mood. The subject matter of this album seems to be all about how they’re making it in their genre. They’re probably my newest musical discovery that I’m actually still really into a week later. I will definitely be buying tickets the next time these guys are in the area. Great energy makes great music.

I really wish I could do this justice. I really wish I could give you strangers/friends who care enough to read this/people who secretly hate me but read this anyway a better view but you probably wouldn’t care anyway.

How frustrated I’ve been lately

very, very frustrated.

Rob Gordon Syndrome

I may be in the best and worst state of mind to discuss this subject.

I may be a little out of line to create a fake illness and name it after a Nick Hornby novel. I may be a little out of line to write this post in the first place.

For those who aren’t familiar with High Fidelity (the novel or movie starring the great John Cusack) you have a lot to learn before you even understand half of what I’m about to say.  If you haven’t seen the movie then I highly advise you to. It kind of became one of those security blanket movies around age 15 when I started to relate to the main character, Rob Gordon. See Rob Gordon is a record shop owner who recounts his top 5 past relationships throughout the movie. It’s a lot more complex than that (at least I’d like to think) but it’s definitely worth a good watch.

I was raised on music like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other classic rock growing up. Only around age 14 was introduced to Taking Back Sunday. My cousin gave me Tell All Your Friends and it pretty much changed my entire perspective on music. Taking Back Sunday led to Blink-182, Blink-182 lead to Brand New. Brand New led to a plethora of other notable emo artists and so on and so on. Anyway, my music taste started to deviate from the mainstream (at least I thought at the time). The funny thing was…I thought what I was listening to was just so rare and fantastic that anyone who liked the same things I did MUST be cool. I didn’t know any better and still don’t apparently. I developed superficial crushes on people based on their taste in music. At age 21 I still do, I mean not just that but it’s definitely something that’s a plus. Oh you can make me laugh and were cool enough to listen to some obscure band from my youth? Well that’s pretty cool. I just I never really grew out of my fascination with people who enjoy the same weird things that I do.

I guess it all started with my first boyfriend. I was 15 and I had a thing for skateboarders for whatever reason. I thought his spikey hair was adorable. Once we started dating we realized we were both quite fond of bands on the label Drive-Thru records. We would sit listening to The Early November and Hellogoobye. There were so many great bands on that label back in the mid-2000s that it was pretty insane. I was in that first-relationship-haze that we all get caught up in. Learning Something Corporate songs on our acoustic guitars was just so adorable and it was a great relationship for the good year or so that it lasted. I then moved onto dating guys who played in bands. I really was into those band dudes despite the fact I knew how to play guitar and piano myself. I feel like I just found any common musical interest to be a key in forming a relationship without even knowing it. At age 21 I’m finally coming to the realization that this isn’t very pertinent. Before I end up single owning a record shop creating top 5 lists, I’ve realized what I’ve been doing wrong.

I’m probably just delirious and tired. I’m probably just over-analyzing everything like I usually do.

I’m probably just sick of waiting.

 

“It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that’s happened to me since. All my romantic stories are a scrambled version of that first one.”

[to be continued.]

One of the many reason I cannot stand Justin Bieber

My tumblr addiction is becoming less severe by the day. However I felt the need to briefly check my dashboard today and came across this gem.

Not only does Justin Bieber have control over the hormones of girls aged 9-17 (or older in some cases) but he’s not going away. HE IS NOT GOING AWAY. Until this kid’s voice drops or he is caught smoking saliva he is going to continue to be in my face a lot more than I’m comfortable with. I understand the whole boy band phenomena. I was a 90s kid and had an odd crush on Taylor Hanson (what was I thinking?). Anyway, Taylor Hanson never had the fan base Mr. Bieber seems to have gathered. A 3D movie? Really America? Of course his songs are catchy, he doesn’t write them. The scariest part of Bieberdom is probably the “Bieliebers”. Yes, they went there. The Bieliebers worship Justin Bieber like a cult leader.

Back to the shirt, I can’t imagine any sane parent buying this for their child. If your child is relying on marrying Justin Bieber to live comfortably then you should probably reevaluate your parenting abilities. When your brother is a brain surgeon and you’re living at home still pining over Justin Bieber at age 23 maybe you’ll realize you should have done your homework. In short, maybe you should say never. Okay Justin, we get it. You throw parties at Usher’s. (I can’t imagine Usher and Justin Bieber meeting organically in the first place) We get that you want there to be one less lonely girl. But please, get out of my twitter feed and stay off my TV, I’m sick of you.

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But the wind went and pulled me into the hurricane

hurrrrrrrrrricaneeeeeeeeee

Weather on the East coast has been pretty bizarre as of late. From an unexpected earthquake felt across the Eastern seaboard to our new best friend Irene. Oh Irene. I have never been quite a fan of any Irene I have ever met in my 21 years of life. In school there was a pretty hostile girl named Irene that was not very fond of me. She was what one would consider a “wankster”. A wankster is one that is caught up in the insane delusion that they ARE in fact gangster. She should have known better than to mess with me. Although quiet and shy in high school, I was pretty strong. I was a band-hoodies-and-always-has-headphones-on kind of kid. When I was not listening to the newest Silverstein album I was busy being angsty, going to shows, and spending entirely too much time on xanga. Of course I had friends, everyone had friends. Thankfully I’m blessed enough to still maintain close friendships with my best friends from high school. Anyway, before I get even more off track. (no pun intended)

The hurricane raged up and down the coast hitting and causing havoc. The category of the storm changed faster than my hair color in high school. Mayor Nutter was quoted saying that it would be “the worst storm in at least 50 years”. Philadelphia residents were told to gather supplies like food, water, batteries, candles, and other typical survival supplies. People took this very seriously of course. So seriously in fact that the Target near my house sold out of bottled water. I started a new job that day and was being told that other stores had the same problem. I wasn’t too concerned, I had a flashlight with low batteries and a Brita filter bottle. (very prepared as I would later find out) I had carried an umbrella around the entire day since I’m normally not so lucky when it comes to avoiding the rain here. (The month I moved in broke the record for rainfall in August) After many incidences of inside out umbrellas I had gotten frustrated and made a mental note to research if military grade umbrellas exist and are available to the public. Septa was said to be shut down for the first time in history. At work every hour there was a new time, it was kind of like a game of whisper-down-the-lane and no one was winning. I went back to my good friend’s apartment after work and visited a bit before braving the walk back to the subway to go home. This is of course after taking the precautionary measure of getting money out from the ATM. The subway was set to be shut down at 12:30AM that night. I later found it was actually shut down early at 11PM instead.

Meanwhile, I tell my roommate I’m coming home and and she kindly offered to pick me up from the station down my street. (a god send, truly). When I get in the car she informs me that the power is out at our house. After mocking the hurricane all day on social networking sites…this what I deserve. Luckily it only went out for around 20 minutes. I end up being saved by another friend soon after and we spent the night watching the storm. Waiting and waiting for the big guns to come out, we were disappointed. I was expecting downed power lines, bent traffic signs, and total destruction when I walked out the door the next morning. After taking the Broad line home I was met with this:

Yes, in South Philadelphia this was the extent of the damage. Surprisingly enough, my street did not flood.  Other areas like Manayunk got hit a LOT worse than we did. Checking Facebook the next day I see my friends talking about losing power, fallen trees, and school closings.

Other states were not so lucky and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to experience a disaster such as this on a larger scale. My thoughts go out to those affected by this tragedy. Mother nature is a force to reckoned with.

You can visit the link below to get more information on the after effects of Irene and to donate.

http://www.redcross.org/

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woke up older.

I finally made the move out of my house and to Philadelphia. I live on a seemingly friendly block and this is the first night I’ve spent alone in the house (which is why I’m up at 3:20 AM). I’m a pretty darn brave girl despite my ever present pepper spray and urge to lock any and all doors around me. My walk to the subway is around 5 blocks and I can tell you I’ve never seen so many discarded take-out menus in my entire life just littering the street. The only thing I do not like about my neighborhood is my inability to listen to ear buds while I walk to the subway for fear of getting mugged. I mean ironically listening to the Wonder Years as I stroll past Bancroft street seems like my idea of a good time for a few minutes. I’m a sucker for corny things like that truth be told. I miss my cat, family, washers and dryers readily available and air conditioning. It’s a small sacrifice however because I really genuinely am so happy to finally have taken that step. I love being able to just hang out at Rittenhouse whenever I wish. I love being able to just meet up with my friends who live here instead of making the trek from Reading. I also love all the wonderful shows I have on my list to see in the next few months. I’m really just looking forward to a lot and I have very high hopes for the future.