Thursday, January 31, 2008

On Music


Those of you who know me well know that I am a music freak. When time allows, I listen to a lot of different stuff, and also read up on as much as I can. My eclectic taste (and it IS eclectic) derives from my parents. My mother spoonfed classical music to me as a child. One of the greatest pieces of all time that's permanently engrained in my mind is Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King". (That's his sexy mug to the right). I remember her playing it for me in the house, and my brother and I chasing each other around the dining room table when the tempo picks up near the end. Before my teen years, my father saved me from nerd band stardom and played some Black Sabbath, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden among others to introduce me to the world of rock n roll. For as long as I can remember, my parents have listened to a great classic rock station out of milwaukee, 96.5 WKLH (http://www.wklh.com/). The dial rarely moves. During middle school, I switched to R&B and hip-hop for awhile. When high school rolled around, I was diving into trance and techno. My first love has always been 90's alternative, but I'll listen to anything except for country music. This diverse background has molded me to the music afficionado that writes this to you today.

A common question I've been getting lately is, "How do you find your music"? Welcome to the internet, my friend.

I tend not to listen to the radio a lot. Popular music annoys the shit out of me, and a rotation of 15 songs for 2 weeks just doesn't cut it in my book. A good resource to check out if you're interested on what's getting airplay is Radio & Records (http://www.radioandrecords.com/). Hover over the 'CHARTS' tab and you'll see what's getting spinning in America.

Another great resource, although I hate to admit it, is Myspace (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=music). Some bands are even opting to use their myspace music profile as their main page on the net. In my opinion, Myspace really reinvented itself from the Goth-Emo-Child HQ to a Music Mecca. You can find some really great new bands just browsing around.

I used to read a lot of music magazines, but I've slowly filtered them out. Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/) kinda sucks, but I do enjoy their 'Download This!' section. Fader (http://www.thefader.com/magazine) and Mixmag (http://www.mixmag.net/) are both good reads every now and then if you can find them. But a magazine that has really grabbed my attention lately is Paste Magazine (http://www.pastemagazine.com/). It's an odd lil read with great insight on new music, sections on art, design, and culture - and comes with a free cd! It really tickles my fancy.

As far as blogs go, there's none better than the Hypemachine (http://hypem.com/). One view from that site and you'll be hooked forever. Browsing it for the first time is like taking your first bite of cotton candy as a lad. Mad props go to Gus (http://phishnchipswsuw.blogspot.com/) for pointing me in the right direction. The Hypemachine selects the greatest mp3 blog posts of the day and fits it into one convenient package for you to scan. It's truly one of my favorite, most visited sites on the web. Make sure to check out each blogs 'friends' or 'other music blogs' on the left, or right-hand sides of the page. You can literally spend hours browsing them.

I'm still not sure how I got into electronica music. I don't dance or do drugs, so it's still a mystery to me as to why I like it as much as I do. It's a puzzling genre, with plenty of ridiculous sub-genres to be tied with it. So, if you're not a fan, go ahead and skip to the next section. I first got my trance fix from TranceAddict (http://www.tranceaddict.com/), but I don't think it's updated anymore. Become a member of Euroadrenaline (http://www.euroadrenaline.com/) though, and you'll witness a world of great people and great music. The forums there are a great resource for the newest in house, trance, and electro. Recently I've discovered BeatPort (http://www.beatport.com/) and Track it Down (http://www.trackitdown.net/), but haven't purchased anything off of them yet. Trance.nu (htttp://www.trance.nu) is also a great resource for dance music news.




Lastly - go listen to some internet radio. You'd be surprised about the new music you can find on there. I prefer slacker's (http://www.slacker.com/) customizable radio stations. You can listen to mine - search 'the Hip Trip Slip' (I would link you, but for some reason, Slacker decides to cycle through songs at will...not sure why). A friend of mine enjoys Pandora Radio (http://www.pandora.com/), which selects tracks based on what you like. On the electronica side of things again, I listen to di.fm (http://www.di.fm/) regularly. If you have the cash, go for a portable Sirius or XM satellite radio.

Hope this update helps you in finding, sharing, listening, and most importantly - supporting - good music. Now you know where I come from. Get out there and make love to your ears!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This could get ugly . . .


It's official. I'm in love with Madison.

About a hundred feet away from my apartment's front door lies Mickey's Tavern. Nestled at the end of Williamson St. on Madison's East side, it's a kickass little place that was once a house. Now its a full fledged bar with awkwardly cool little rooms, filled with colorful couches, decor, and what-have-you. I was also told it's got a badass beer garden in the summer.

This could get ugly.

There's no doubt in my mind that my roomate Dan and I will fall victim to becoming the 'locals'. And I'm perfectly ok with that. Upon entry last night, we walked in to see about 10 musicians playing Irish folk music in a bar no bigger than your living room. Really, it's that small. We were mesmerized. I don't even think we talked for 10 straight minutes, just glowing in the sheer awesomeness that is Irish folk music. I forget what beer I had - but I had a lot of them. Dan decided to strap the helmet on and order about 5 Jack & Cokes, which he proclaimed to be 'STRONG!' It's amazing how much you can drink and not even realize it. Especially when you've got some good tunes goin. One of the females playing the fiddle even hit on Dan at one point.

This place is awesome.

Between the guitars, fiddles, violins, clarinet, and little flute-piccolo looking thing, this one guy busted out bagpipes. They weren't Scottish bagpipes like the ones you're used to, oh no. This was an IRISH Bagpipe. The fiddle-player sitting next to him tried to explain how it worked to us (mainly Dan), but (a) I was too busy looking at the guy playing it, (b) i was nearing the stage of drunkenness, and (c) his accent was thick, and slightly incoherent. Regardless, it was awesome. He went on to say that the group of them just get together every Wednesday night and jam. And that they've done it for 20 years now, but the owner feels like he needs to switch it up and get some new music or just do something else in there. Please owner of Mickey's Tavern - do not do this. It's a Wednesday night. Let the Irishmen have their fun in your bar that's no bigger than my fist. Please? We ended the night with a great idea I had - "Let's do Irish Car Bombs!" Our bartenders of the night, Kurt and Dan, obliged. After listening to us babble on about how we live less than a block away, we triumphantly slammed our shots. And they paid for them. All four of them. "Welcome to the neighborhood." Kurt said.

This could get very, very ugly.

*note - apparently this place isn't even Irish. Upon further investigation found online, Mickey's owner is actually German, and his real name is Milton. Milton's tavern doesn't sound nearly as cool as Mickey's though, does it? Screw it - it my mind, this place is, and will always be, Irish. They have Guinness on tap, and the Car Bombs were speeeectacular. What more do you need?*




Look, Irish Bagpipes! >>>

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A thank you to the Green Bay Packers

To the Green Bay Packers: Thank you. This season has been nothing short of miraculous. What a joy it has been to watch you outperform your enemy on Sundays. Win after win after win after win - it almost seems surreal. But it is really happening, one week at a time. If you would have told me before week 1 that the Packers would go 13-3 this season, I would have laughed in your face. Laughed long and laughed hard. Brett Favre is playing some of the best football in his career at age 38. A team that once had no running game at all has seen an unknown Ryan Grant score 3 touchdowns and run for 201 yards in the playoff game last week vs. the Seahawks. Eat it, Matt Hasselback. This season has been absolutely magical. Just look at our record the past 3 years: 2005: 4-12. 2006: 8-8. 2007: 13-3. What a turnaround. It almost seems impossible. Believe it. Again, Green Bay Packers, thank you. You have fans around America rooting for you in the playoffs. You win as a team and you lose as a team (Oscar nominee: T.O.), but at this point I'd like to thank a few of you personally.

Ted Thompson - Apparently you're a genius. Thanks for doing whatever exactly it is that you've done.
Mike McCarthy - Thanks for letting Brett Favre do whatever he wants to. It's fun to watch
Brett Favre - Where to begin? You're so likeable it hurts. I've called you God before. You're the sole commander of the team. If you told me to jump off a bridge I would probably do it. You have broken so many records it's sickening. Your first completed pass as a Packer was to yourself. Yeah. Nowadays you're pushing 40. Please don't ever retire. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't care for you a few years ago with all the interceptions you threw. Please accept my apology. You are the man of men. Also - thanks for having a smokin' hot wife.
Mason Crosby - For being a 212lb kicker. And making tons of field goals.
Aaron Rodgers - For getting rid of the ugly ass porn star moustache. And for playing surprisingly well when our #4 got dinged up in the Dallas game.
Atari Bigby - A thank you to your parents, who named you Atari, and quite obviously- smoked a lot of dope and played a ton of video games.
Charles Woodson - For being the leader in the backfield that you are. HEISMAN WHAT!
Ryan Grant - For establishing our running game.
Will Blackmon - For that badass game you had on special teams where you scored 2 touchdowns.
Al Harris - For not cutting your dreadlocks, and consistently covering the opponents best receiver. Some say you've lost a step - I say you're still one of the elite CB's in the league. F the naysayers.
Vernand Morency - For getting hurt, allowing Ryan Grant to play.
Aaron Rouse & Tramon Williams - For being younger than I am, and still kickin ass. You guys should be awesome defenders in a year or two.
A.J. Hawk - For looking like the modern-day neanderthal and grunting/screaming in the faces of cowering running backs. Secondly, for marrying the stunningly gorgeous Laura Quinn. Do you feel like you have to spear Brady when you see him at family functions? I bet he cries in his sleep.
Brady Poppinga - For 'Poppingaaaa'. Poppingaaa. It's fun to say. But seriously - hurt someone soon please.
Nick Barnett - For being relentless. You're a cocky sonofabitch, and that fits your position perfectly. You scare me. (in a good way)
Mark Tauscher - For staying in Wisconsin for so long and not asking to be traded, masturbating to death from boredom, or becoming a serial killer. A Badger and a Packer; I can't imagine a better football combination.
Aaron Kampman - For smothering QB's like I smother BBQ on my chicken: Thick.


Yeah that makes no sense. Shut up.


Chad Clifton - For being dependable and staying with GB for a long time.
Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett, and Corey Williams - For swallowing up QB's like you swallowed up massive portions of your food growing up. I bet those people who called you fat so many years ago in grade school aren't making nearly as much money as you are right now. Suckas.
Donald Driver - For continuing to go on routes through the middle. And getting absolutely lit up in the process. And time after time, getting right back up just to go on the same route a few plays later to catch the same Favre bullet. It is incredible. Honestly. And for makin that money with the whole McD's arch card bullshit! If I ate there, I'd grab one of those cards with your bald mug on it. And I'd be pleased.
Koren Robinson - For kicking the habit. It's great to have you in green & gold.
Ruvell Martin - Thanks for being another asset to our offense. A great threat with great hands.
Greg Jennings - For being a stud. It's like Robert Brooks and Sterling Sharpe had a baby. And they named him Greg Jennings. I'm going to be buying your jersey soon. Thank you for the catch in OT vs Denver. Also thank you for the catch vs. the Raiders which you scored on. You made that dude look like he was pubescent teen on that 'tackle'.
Donald Lee - For catching touchdowns I guess.
Noah Herron & DeShawn Wynn - For getting hurt, allowing Ryan Grant to play.
James Jones - For a few of those crazy catches you've made this year. I haven't forgotten about some of those drops though. I'm not a professional athelete though. It's gonna be great to see what you can do next year.
KGB - For sharing your name with a badass Soviet rebel unit. Thanks to all the announcers who still pronounce his name wrong (there aren't many out there anymore, I believe)
Johnny Jolly - For straight up dominating at the beginning of the season. Get better. We need you.


GO PACKERS.




See also: Steve Czaban's article on the revived Packers: http://czabe.com/daily/archives/2008/01/packer_magic_wi.html








Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The biggest cat in the world

Over Christmas break, I met up with some old high school friends of mine that I hadn't seen in awhile. The lovely Kate Smikowski, I'll-kick-your-ass Cory Martin, Taco-Dip Chef extraodinaire Heather Dahlman and I went to Houlihan's in Lake Geneva for some appetizers and drinks that were much too expensive. The ever faithful pimp of the ages and best friend Ben Eungard met up with us. Good times were had. I learned how to eat with chopstix. I learned that Houlihans has served over a billion stuffed mushrooms. True story.


Anyways, the true excitement of the night was when we went back to Heather's house and I saw the biggest cat in the world. It looked as if Sasquatch and a Wolverine procreated to make this thing. I would look up this term on wikipedia, but I'm too lazy. According to Heather, it has "ANGORA" fur, which makes it a shedding catastrophic mess. It was a very nice kitty to be honest.


And sorry about me talking during the video. One day I'll learn just NOT to speak when filming. But I had alcohol in me, so I couldn't help it. Enjoy.




video


and a picture for good measure (note the flashlight for scale - yeah, its a behemoth!)


Friday, January 04, 2008

Breaking Down one of the Worst Songs I've Ever Heard

Unless you've been living in a closet for the past few months, you've probably seen the PS3 commercials with the gaming unit 'coming to life' and 'morphing into awesomeness'. It's a pretty cool concept, to be honest. Plus the motion graphics (especially the Spider-Man blu-ray one, where the PS3 has octopus tentacles & stuff) is top-notch. But that tv spot has ONE fault in my book. The music. Music makes or breaks commercials. And Saliva's - "Ladies and Gentlemen" is perhaps one of the worst songs I've ever heard. EVER. I think they only used it for the 'Like nothing you've seen before' lyric. I just shake my head. Have you actually listened to these lyrics? Seriously. Does Saliva think their fans are G.E.D. gettin', car maintenancin', white bread blue collared bums? Oh wait, they are. My fault. I'm going to post the original lyrics, so you can see how stupid they are. I'm getting dumber just thinking about it. Following the original lyrics, I'll break down the train wreck, line-by-line.

Saliva - "Ladies and Gentlemen"

Ladies and gentlemen please
Would you bring your attention to me?
For a feast for your eyes to see
An explosion of catastrophe

Like nothing you’ve ever seen before
Watch closely as I open this door
Your jaws will be on the floor
After this you’ll be begging for more

Welcome to the show
Please come inside
Ladies and gentlemen

----------------------
woa
Do you want it?
woa
Do you need it?
woa
Let me hear it
Ladies and gentlemen

Boom
Do you want it?
Boom
Do you need it?
Boom
Let me hear it
Ladies and gentlemen
----------------------
Ladies and gentlemen good evening
You’ve seen that seeing is believing
Your ears and your eyes will be bleeding
Please check to see if you’re still breathing

Hold tight cause the show is not over
If you will please move in closer
You're about to be bowled over
By the wonders you’re about to behold here

Welcome to the show (welcome to the show)
Please come inside
Ladies and gentlemen

(Chorus)

Welcome to the show (Welcome to the show)
We're glad you came along (We're glad you came along)
Please come inside
Ladies and gentlemen

(Chorus x4)

Wow. Wow. Say bye to your IQ. Please notice that there is NO WORTHWHILE CONTENT IN THIS SONG. Honestly, if you like this song, go die. Sorry. As promised, here is my remixed rendition of this caucophonic mess.

Saliva - "Ladies and Gentlemen" (Jakespeak Remix)

Ladies and gentlemen please People, really
Would you bring your attention to me? Look at me
For a feast for your eyes to see I SAID WATCH, DUDE!
An explosion of catastrophe Mass chaos and stuff

Like nothing you’ve ever seen before Watch this
Watch closely as I open this door Behind door #1...
Your jaws will be on the floor Aaaand now you have lockjaw
After this you’ll be begging for more Want more? I bet you do!

Welcome to the show Hi again
Please come inside Please watch us
Ladies and gentlemen All sexes

----------------------
woa *WHOA!
Do you want it? Want some?
woa Wowee!
Do you need it? Need some?
woa Woosh!
Let me hear it Did anyone hear that noise?
Ladies and gentlemen People

Boom Loud noises!
Do you want it? Want some?
Boom Loud noises!
Do you need it? Need some?
Boom Loud noises!
Let me hear it I need a hearing aid now
Ladies and gentlemen Hoes, manwhores.
----------------------
Ladies and gentlemen good evening Hi again, people
You’ve seen that seeing is believing What you see is what you get
Your ears and your eyes will be bleeding Our show sucks so bad you'll be bleeding out
out of your orrifices
Please check to see if you’re still breathing Someone check that guy's vitals over there

Hold tight cause the show is not over Sorry folks, we're contracted to play for an hour and a half at least
If you will please move in closer You don't HAVE to hide in the very back
You're about to be bowled over Please don't block the exits - anyone got any
marijuana?
By the wonders you’re about to behold here You are about to witness some more crazy
stuff.

Welcome to the show (welcome to the show) Nice to see you, nice to see you!
Please come inside Get back in here, mang!
Ladies and gentlemen Females, males.

(Chorus) *

Welcome to the show (x2) Have we met you before? Have
we?
We're glad you came along (x2) Thanks for taking the time to see our shitty
band infect you with stupidity.
Please come inside Come inside this circus shitstorm of a live
show
Ladies and gentlemen Women, men.

(Chorus x4)
I'm actually upset that this song was green-lit. And to think how much money they're probably making on it. Record companies - you wonder why sales are at an all time low? Thank Saliva. Speaking of, I'm gonna go yak cuz I have food poisoning.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bye Bye 2007

2007: You came. You conquered. You gave me syphillis. You threw snow, rain, sleet, hail, mud, sticks, branches, and prostitutes at my car. You gave me a birthday. You gave me a paid internship. You let me venture to Miami. You placed gallons of beer in front of my face. You gave me le internet, and it was good. I loved you 2007; but now you're gone. 2008: Be warned. I'm still heartbroken that 2007 left me. So no surprises or curveballs until March please. 2007 . . . you'll be in my heart forever.

Love,
Jake

..............................


December Aural Overload!
25) Maor Levi - Shapes (Oliver Smith Remix)
24) Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver
23) Within Temptation - What have you done (ft Keith Caputo)
22) Hurt - Ten Ton Brick
21) Paramore - Misery Business
20) Bloc Party - Hunting For Witches
19) DJ Collette - If
18) Blackstreet - No Diggity
17) Rage Against the Machine - Maria
16) Modest Mouse - Dashboard
15) Murs - Silly Girl
14) Dada - Dizz Knee Land
13) The Klaxons - Golden Skans
12) Anberlin - The Haunting
11) Fabolous & Ne-yo - Make Me Better
10) 50 Cent & Justin Timberlake - Ayo Technology
9) The Kicks - Mir
8) Nine Black Alps - Cosmopolitan
7) Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe
6) Red - Let Go
5) The-Dream ft. Fabolous - Shawty is a Ten
4) Saosin - Finding Home
3) Maximo Park - Our Velocity
2) Peaches - Boys Want to be Her
1) The Almost - Southern Weather

..............................


January Musica:
19) P.O.D. & Matisyahu - Roots in Stereo
18) Mudvayne - King of Pain
17) Kurupt - Who Ride Wit Us
16) Change of Pace - Song of the World can Sing Out Loud
15) Fenix Tx - Fortunate Son
14) Redman - Put it Down
13) JJoy & Kirsty Hawkshaw - Love is No Possession (Nick Murray Remix)
12) Screaming Trees - Nearly Lost You
11) D:Fuse - Everything with You ft. Jes
10) T.I. - You know what it is
9) Paul Wall - I'm Throwed
8) BT - Dreaming
7) Nonpoint - Witness
6) Thousand Foot Krutch - Falls Apart
5) Jose Gonzalez - Down the Line
4) Hurt - Better
3) Hurt - Loded
2) Hurt - Alone With the Sea
1) Skillet - The Last Night

..............................


I'm still feeling hungover from NYE on Monday and The Great Dane Christmas party last night. My immune system hates me right now. HATES ME. Hates me so much that I'm struggling to type. End.