Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Favorite Album of All-Time

Well after more than 10 years of never really knowing for sure and having new music and albums come and go, during my drive to Lexington this morning I finally made up my mind about what my favorite album of all-time is.

I have a lot of albums I really like but I have never been able to pin down which one is my definitive NUMBER ONE favorite. But that is no longer a problem because this morning my mind was made up.

...But before I spill the beans, here are some honorable mentions. Keep in mind these albums are not just albums I "like." these are classics in my book.

3rd Runner Up

Metallica: "Black Album"

A true classic. The Black Album was responsible for me entering my teen years. Although it didn't really take place during the album's actual release date, it was the album that propelled me into my teenage years. 1998 and 1999. My favorite story is being stuck on a ride at the County Fair because the lap restraint would not unlock. I was stuck with my ear about 2 feet from a giant speaker piping out "Enter Sandman."
I bought the album the very next day.

2nd Runner Up:

Tool. "AEnima"

This band is weird but I love them and this album has been a favorite of mine since 2000. Maynard's voice is so unique and his lyrics are amazing. Their videos may be a little far out but I can't criticize somebody for being different!
I always thought it was funny how religious groups went after Marlyn Manson even thought he was doing nothing more than getting publicly. At the same time you had Tool with REAL far out beliefs on religion, many which were more threatening and nobody paid attention.

1st Runner Up

Daft Punk: "Discovery"

I was up early one morning and the weird Japanese anime video for "One More Time" was shown on MTV. I'm not a big fan of anime or anything but something about it just grabbed me. The next day I saw the album in the mall and bought it figuring I would a least like a few songs off of it.
Almost 10 years later, the CD is still sitting out in my truck being listened to at least once a week. It's the catchiest, best dance/electronic album ever. Some purest say it sounds too much like disco but who cares. It's great. Go buy it.

I can't embed it but watch the video that got me hooked here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH-0s0pRleg

...And now for my favorite album of all time.

Weezer: "Blue Album"

This album is perfect.

It was one of the first albums I got which steered me into the world of rock. My cousin Andy and I got it roughly around the same time. I remember singing "Undone, the Sweater Song." as a confused 13 year old.

I still listen to this album all the time. Not only are they the most catchy, well-written pop songs ever, but the mixing and production is so perfect. I've yet to hear an album that gives it's guitars the "Crunch" sound this one gives them.

Every song is a must listen, and what can we say about "Say it Ain't So."?

I remember ploying through that song on the video game "Rock Band" when it first came out. (I can sing it really well).

...And of course I haven't mentioned the behemoth that is "Buddy Holy" and the Happy Days music video they made.

It's a great album and today I make it official. As of right now, it's my favorite album of all-time. Nobody should be with out it. Here are some highlight below.


Buddy Holiday

In the Garage (live)

Only in Dreams

Undone: The Sweater Song

Friday, August 27, 2010

ear-X-tacy's new location. A shadow of it's former self.

During the past few months I've reverted back to buying albums in the form of CDs instead of iTunes.

While I love iTunes, it doesn't replace the experience of buying a CD, taking off the plastic wrapping, and browsing through the booklet while you give it it's first listen. You just can't replicate that online.

So when it came time to buy my latest purchase "Warp Riders" by The Sword (a fantastic hard rock band I might add). I decided to go old school and buy the CD. But rather than go out to the nearest Best Buy or Wal-Mart, I decided to do the right thing and support our awesome local store ear-X-tacy.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I've never shopped there before, but just not lately. Today for whatever reason, I thought it was important to support them instead of the big box stores. I knew they had moved locations and were struggling a bit. Owner John Timmons had said the increasing rent was just too much.

So today I traveled to their new location hoping for the best.

I was pretty let down.

Tucked away in a small shopping center next to a wedding photography service is the new ear-X-tacy. The store is MUCH smaller and the building lacks the character of the old location. It's as if all of the great albums and genre labels were ripped from their old location and placed in an empty warehouse. They looked so out of place.

There were several other customers in the store, and that was pretty good for 1:30pm on a Friday.

While the employees and the overhead music still give you a taste of what ear X-tacy once was, it's nothing but a memory. I know that anybody who spent much time in their old location will feel sad in this new location.

I applaud John Timmons for being so positive about the move, but I have to imagine deep down he is sad to leave behind their previous building that gave them so much of their character.

And the worst part of all this is I'm the reason why ear X-tacy suffered. I hardly ever bought my music from them. Even during my time living just off Bardstown Road, I still got a ton of my music from iTunes and Best Buy.

I felt a lot of guilt when I left that store today. It's a cliche now but we can't let one of Louisville's best stores fail like this. I'll try to make sure I buy my music from them and hopefully it's not too little too late.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stress doesn't end at "hired"

If there is one thing I've learned this past week, it's that starting a new job is a stressful process.

I always thought that the most stressful aspect of starting a new career was actually the job searching process. Once you got the job, everything from then on was icing on the cake.

Well it's more complicated than that.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of stress that goes away once you get the job you have been looking for but it's pretty intense during the first month or two of the new job as well.

My wife Kayla is a perfect example. Having recently graduated from school to be a medical assistant/LMR, it has been tough these last few months while she looks for a job. So you can imagine how happy we were when she finally got a great job with an office within one of Louisville's largest hospitals.

But with a new job, comes a new type of stress. The job search may be over but after the first full week in the new job, Kayla is more tired at the end of this week than she has been in a long time.

The new job is good and she is doing very well so far, but the mental endurance it takes to learn, watch, inquire, perform, meet, remember and practice can be very tiring. Especially in a very fast paced medical environment such as the one Kayla is in.

AND on top of all this, your body has to adjust to a brand new sleep and work schedule, which is more difficult than one might think.

So while the new job is great and I'm positive Kayla will get it down in no time, it's a good lesson that during the career searching process, the mental stress doesn't end when the HR person calls and says "You're hired."