Monday, October 21, 2013

I recently moved to Chicago.  I'm going to try to keep everyone updated on my life and what I'm doing, what music I'm listening to and what movies I'm watching.  Please keep me updated on yourselves, too.  I enjoy knowing about everyone. 

I've been busy with the move and work and settling in, so not much to say yet except about my excitement to be somewhere new and around new people and opportunities.  Everything in my life is kind of up in the air, as it has been, which is both exciting and annoying at times.  Sometimes you just want to know what's coming next.

I've been getting to know my neighborhood a little bit, there's good food and some music venues.  Some really cool stuff to check out.  I look forward to checking more out as I settle in.

I'm planning on making this blog primarily about music I'm listening to, so here's where that starts.

A live version of Paul McCartney playing "Let It Be" at The Concert for New York City after 9/11 came on the radio on my drive home this morning.  It seemed to fit well.  I hadn't connected to a Beatles' song like that in a long time.  I listened to a lot of a Beatles back in the day, and kind of got burnt out, I guess.  Then they were everywhere for awhile after their catalog sold and families were connecting over some music they all liked.  Maybe now enough time has passed since The Beatles: Rock Band came out for me to enjoy them again.  Also, Paul McCartney is set to get the rights back soon.

Haim has been in my music rotation for a long time, especially since their album came out.  Frightened Rabbit and Childish Gambino are constants.  Other than that, She & Him, The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, J. Cole and 2 Chainz have been popping up a lot.  If you haven't heard "Crooked Smile" by J. Cole featuring TLC yet (it's been out a while now), get with it.  Best song on the Born Sinner album, I was glad when I found out it was a single.

There are 2 albums I'm anticipating right now.  I'm really excited about the new Childish Gambino album.  He made some news last week by writing down some of his thoughts and insecurities and posting them on Instagram.  He announced on twitter that he finished the album and has posted a song in July that's supposed to be on it.  Also, If you didn't know, Fall Out Boy recorded a new album that Ryan Adams produced.  They recorded it at Adams' studio in 2 days. I'm super excited about this.  I enjoy the single they put out.  It's super punk.  All of the songs on the album are listed as under 2 minutes except 1. 

I'm always looking for new music and enjoy knowing what other people are listening to, feel free to let me know what bands/artists I should check out.

Stay fresh,

Monday, May 20, 2013


Kanye West's new album is set for a June 18 release.  He performed two songs from it on Saturday Night Live this week after premiering one of them in cities across the globe by projecting videos on sides of buildings.  I was really liking the primal screams and high energy and intensity of them.  I like Kanye West, a lot. I know he gets a lot of hate, which I think is mostly based on his public persona.  The dude makes quality music, though.

This new album has been titled Yeezus.  I get it.  It's controversial and draws attention.  I didn't like when Kid Rock proclaimed himself "the Rock and Roll Jesus", though, so I'm showing consistency here.  I'm already convinced Yeezus is going to be an amazing album from the 2 songs he performed, but I do wish it was titled differently.  If you haven't heard them yet, check them out.  They're already queued up for my next workout playlist.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Summer Is On It's Way

Summertime is just around the corner.  It's time to prepare your body's for less coverage and prepare your sensory organs for quality entertainment.

With Coachella going on this weekend, the Summer Festival Season is already starting.  Hipsters and music lovers are all preparing for their festival(s) of choice.  I'm looking forward to attending Lollapalooza in August, but there's a lot of time between now and then. 

I watched sets by Jake Bugg and Stars at Coachella on Youtube yesterday.  I was very impressed by Jake Bugg.  I'd been hearing about him for awhile, but wrote him off for whatever reason and didn't actually check him out.  I'm disappointed I did this.  He looks like a normal, young dude (he's 19).  I guess I assumed he was like one of those kids that get played on Disney Radio or something, but he's not.  He's a British kid who grew up with musical parents and has a throwback rock sound similar to the Rolling Stones and lists influences like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and the Everly Brothers. Check out "Lightning Bolt".

Other music I've been into a lot lately (and looking forward to see at Lollapalooza) are Haim, Shovels and Rope, Charles Bradley and Frightened Rabbit.  Shovels and Rope I discovered after the Lolla list and then found out they were in the line-up.  They're a very good folk/country duo formed made up of a married couple who switch instruments and just seem to enjoy themselves a lot. Check out "Birmingham".

Haim is a band I've been pumped about since I discovered them a couple of months ago.  It's like Paul Simon had 3 daughters and raised them on Fleetwood Mac.  I urge you to check them out, so enjoyable. Check out "Forever".

Charles Bradley is the "Screaming Eagle of Soul".  He was born in 1948, so he's seen his share of life.  And from his music you can tell he's felt his share of struggle.  He's been taking off recently, and it's no surprise with how the American economy has been the past few years.  There is so much emotion and soul in his voice, anyone can feel the pain and relate to the struggle he sings about.  Check out "No Time For Dreaming" and "It's So Hard".

I've been a huge fan of Frightened Rabbit for years and am super excited about finally getting a chance to see them.  They're a Scottish indie-rock band that may not appeal to the masses, but they appeal very strongly to me.  Check out "The Twist" and "Swim Until You Can't See Land".

Feel free to let me know about any music you're currently jamming or looking forward to seeing.  I'm always looking for new music of all kinds to listen to.

Stay Fresh,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kentucky Knife Fight - Donnie's Homespun - Springfield, IL

I went to a show last night in Springfield, IL.  It was a band I've seen a few times before, Kentucky Knife Fight.  The show had 2 openers I'd never seen before (The Maintenance Men, Brandon Carnes) at a venue I'd never been to before.

The venue was Donnie's Homespun.  The Springfield location opened in the Fall of 2012.  It was a cool venue; restaurant by day, music club by night (I had dinner before the show, a chicken philly, very tasty).  The restaurant and bar was upstairs in a balcony setting overlooking the lower level which featured the stage and another bar.  I recommend checking it out for anyone in the Springfield area.

The first act, The Maintenance Men were enjoyable.  A two piece band consisting of a drummer and a singer/guitarist.  They had a good sound with rock and blues influences.  I couldn't find any information online, you may be able to.

The second act was Brandon Carnes.  An acoustic singer/songwriter from Springfield.  To me, he sounded a few years out of date.  I personally didn't enjoy his set, but that's not to say you won't.  I did find some dated sites online for him, such as profiles on Myspace and Reverbnation that looked like they hadn't been updated.  Perhaps most of his songs were from a few years ago, which could explain their sounding dated.

The headliner was Kentucky Knife Fight.  I've seen them multiple times in the past.  They were my "college band".  I attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  Kentucky Knife Fight played the end of every semester at The Stagger Inn along with various other shows in the St. Louis/Edwardsville area.  They always put on a good show with their rockabilly sound.  They won the Riverfront Times Award for Best Rock Band in St. Louis in 2011 and 2012, and have been touring a bit the last couple of years.  I recommend their show for anyone who likes rockabilly, southern rock, or just rock and roll.  They played some new material I hadn't heard before, including "Love the Lonely" (which they currently have a video for, and said would be on an album in March) along with standards like "Wild Irish Rose" and "Herschel Walker".  "Love the Lonely" fits right in with those and I'm sure will become a standard at their shows.  The new songs were very strong and showed that they've grown as a band and musicians.

I had a good time at the show and plan to attend more shows at Donnie's Homespun in the future, and I'm sure I'll be seeing Kentucky Knife Fight again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

On September 11, 2001, I was at school when the first plane hit.

I was waiting in the sophomore hallway at my high school before classes began.  One friend walked in and said "Someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center." and another friend asked "Like, they opened the windows or something?" and we all laughed, not knowing exactly what was going on yet.

As classes started, it was realized things were serious.  The other tower was hit, and the Pentagon, and there was another plane somewhere, and who knew what else.  I was in an art class first period, and ended up watching news coverage in the library right across the hall.

When second period came around, I went to Chemistry, where we still had class.  My teacher said "everyone's going to forget about this in 2 weeks, anyway".  He was/is a very wise man, but I think he was wrong about that.  Either that, or he just wanted to get through the lesson and not fall behind.

As a 15 year old kid, I probably didn't take it as seriously as I should have.  Singing "It's The End of The World As We Know It" in the halls, but it really was.  Things changed that day, for better or worse.  People were being more patriotic and more alert.  Everyone was scared of similar things happening, even in small communities like mine. 

As the day went on, you could tell things were weird.  When I finally got home, after waiting in line for gas with my older brother (word on the street was prices were going to rocket), the third WTC building fell, which I still think is really weird since it got hit by nothing.  They say underground tunnels are the reason, or something like that. 

I'm still affected by 9/11 today.  It introduced me to one of my favorite musical artists.  Ryan Adams shot a video for his single "New York, New York" just 4 days before the attack.  When the video was completed, I remember it being played on CNN, at least a clip, which led to me checking it out and enjoying it and he has become one of my favorite artists over the years.

I also can't help but think of the attack whenever I see images of the Twin Towers or the Pentagon.  The scene in Home Alone 2, when Kevin is on top of the WTC is still a bit chilling.

Looking back, that day really was the end of the world as we knew it.  The people of the United States have gotten either more or less patriotic, it's hard to tell sometimes.  We grew together for awhile, and seem to be getting more divided nowadays, being election season and all.  I hope you all remember in your own way and try to do good in the world, because September 11 reminds us that there is plenty of evil.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspiration: A review of Safety Not Guaranteed

Yesterday, I saw Safety Not Guaranteed.  It was a great movie.  It's about a girl (Aubrey Plaza), who is an intern at a magazine.  She gets picked to help an overconfident writer (Jake M. Johnson) work on a story about an article he sees in the classified section of a neighboring town.  The article is a man looking for a partner to travel back in time with him. 

The film ends up being about relationships with people.  How first impressions aren't always correct, how things don't work out sometimes, and sometimes they do work out when they were never expected to. 

The movie was great in the way that it was inspiring.  It was made by the Duplass Brothers, who also made Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives At HomeSafety Not Guaranteed made me feel like doing things, not traveling time or anything, but it gives that anything is possible feeling.  That kind of feeling that tells you to go for whatever you had in mind.  It made me want to write, play music, chase dreams and to be happy, and live without regrets.

I have not been in a lull or anything, but I feel this movie would be great for somebody who is.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I've come a long way.  I've been working my ass off and making great progress.  I am proud of myself.

I had some setbacks this week.  My wrist was sore from lifting so I took some time off from it, I also tweaked my knee, so no running.  I did a little time on the bike the other day, that's about it.  I don't think this break is going to hurt, it may actually help.  Not being able to work out has been kind of hard; I've been wanting to, but know its better not to.

These setbacks won't be stopping me or slowing me down.  I plan on easing back into it starting in the morning, and pushing until I can go full steam again.  Nothing can hold me back.