Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Regarding the Minnesota Twins Current Pitching Staff

So, after having calmed down a bit, I've thought over the Santana trade and come to the conclusion that...

Oh dear God... this means Scott Baker is our 'ace' pretty much by default...

Scott Baker... ace...

Just, wow...

Well, hope you prove me wrong, Scotty, but I have the feelign this could be a long season.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Goodbye, Johan

This is kind of getting old.

According to various sources, Johan Santana has been traded to the Mets in return for outfielder Chris Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. Only time will tell if this works out or not, but I can't help feeling a tiny bit cheated over losing the best pitcher in baseball for prospects (and a few prospects with questionable at best ceilings).

Ah well, as more informed opinions come out, I'll link to them.

For now, fare thee well, Santana... There's no one better, and I'm glad you're headed to a place where we won't have to face you very often.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Incoming: Children 18:3

"Songs of Desperation" was one of the hidden gems of 2006. The EP changed my perception of Children 18:3 completely. The fact that they are going to take the 3 best songs from that release, clean them up a bit, and put them on their major(ish) label debut excites me.

'Clean up' is, of course, a relative term in this case, as the tracks still have a rawness to them that's not often allowed to be seen in music these days. LCM still has Lee Marie's banshee screams. David still sounds nothing like a pop singer. From the little I've heard, their sound has just been allowed the chance to be refined a touch. Nothing wrong with that (though the strings in 'LCM' are a bit odd... what business do they have in that song?). I'm pumped for the debut; February 26th is coming.

Check out Children 18:3's MySpace, and listen to the 2 new songs (LCM & You Know We're All So Fond of Dying)

Side note: Oasis songs for download on Rock Band!! Good times!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wait... What?

While unpacking boxes in my office, I found a list I must have made in 3rd grade. It reads...

Paul Revere ("british are coming" guy)
George Washington (first president)
Babe Ruth (home-run hitter from back in the day)
Jimmy Stewart (great actor)
Abraham Lincoln (beard-faced president, fond of top hats)
Lou Gehrig (Hall of Fame baseball player, has crippling disease named after him)
Randy Stonehill (one of the so-called "fathers of contemporary Christian music.")

Whomever can explain what the common between those people is, I'm all ears. I mean... Randy Stonehill?

Note: I've put up the MP3 links on my 'Top 20 Albums of 2007' post. Go there, and see (and hear)what music I enjoyed this past year.

Go See Juno

Linds and I went to Juno last night, and I enjoyed it thoroughly (though I would have gladly slaughtered the jackasses in the seats behind us, who insisted on loudy making snarky comments through the whole thing). For those of you who are unaware, it's a story about a 16-year old girl who gets pregnant by her best friend and decides to give the baby up for adoption to a rich couple. The whole thing is played very well (expecially Ellen Page as the title character), and all of the characters are easy to love.

One of the little things that impressed me about the movie, though, is the fact that it's maybe the first movie I've seen that's set in Minnesota without making Minnesotans seem like weird people who speak with ridiculous accents. Not a single "ya, sure, you betcha" in sight.

So yeah... please ignore this off-the-cuff not-even-a-review and go see it.

Plus the music rocks for reasons I can't quite acertain. I wouldn't listen to it on its own (though aparently, many would) but in the movie, it's so so quirky and endearing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Top 20 Albums of 2007

This is my year-end list. I didn't really have enough time to put a full review to each, but where I have a few thoughts, I've jotted them down. I plan on uploading a few songs, to give tastes of why I found the following so interesting.

(1/12/2008 edit: I've put the MP3 download links in...)


Top 20 Albums of 2007

20. Burning Brides - Hang Love

Album highlights- Your Nation Will Die (mp3); Waring Street; Poor House

19. Justice - †

Album highlights- D.A.N.C.E. (mp3); Phantom; Rivers of Nazareth

18. Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, the Angry Mob

‘Ruby’ is awesome (and Guitar Hero 3 is awesome for including it as a bonus track). It was so awesome, in fact, that I blogged specifically about the song and how excited I was for the full length. Unfortunately, there was really no way for the rest of the album to live up to it. However, if you can get around the fact that only about half the tracks are all that catchy, you can find a lot of fun songs. ‘Retirement’ is my theme song (or would be, if I had one).

Standout tracks – Ruby (mp3); Retirement; Heat Dies Down

17. Feist - The Reminder

Album highlights- 1234; My Moon, My Man (mp3); I Feel it All

16. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Album highlights- Don’t Make Me a Target (mp3); The Underdog; The Ghost of You Lingers

15. Project 86 - Rival Factions

A great follow-up to ‘…and the rest will follow’ (which I only partially enjoyed). Their most diverse album by far.

Album highlights- Evil (A Chorus of Resistance) (mp3); Molotov (mp3); Sanctuary Hum

14. Blonde Redhead – 23

Too many dry spots to really merit a top-10, but good Lord, when they make a good song, they make it great.

Album highlights- Spring and By Summer Fall (mp3); 23; Dr. Strangelove

13. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace

It almost lives up to the promise of ‘In Your Honor’. Another strong showing by one of my favorite rock bands.

Album highlights- The Pretender (mp3); Long Road to Ruin; Stranger Things Have Happened

12. Dub Pistols - Speakers and Tweeters

As it turns out, the Dub Pistols control the shit - who knew? Well, anyone who heard ‘Speed of Light’, for starters. Nearly every song on this horrifically underrated album is a completely different experience – from the aforementioned, nearly ambient ‘Speed of Light’, to the beach party sounds of ‘Peaches’, to the great album closer ‘Gave You Time’. If you needed to be convinced that the Dub Pistols actually ‘control the shit’, ‘Speakers and Tweeters’ should be all the evidence you need.

Album highlights- Speed of Light (mp3); Something to Trust; Gave You Time

11. Kanye West – Graduation

Kanye somehow manages to do it again. Seriously, he’s gotta hit a dry spell sometime, right?

Album highlghts- Stronger; Can’t Tell Me Nothing; Good Morning (mp3)

10. The Fratellis - Costello Music

Not ‘The Hives’ by any stretch (more on that later), but still a really trashy fun CD.

Album highlights- Vince the Lovable Stoner (mp3); Flathead; Chelsea Dagger

9. The National – Boxer

I could listen to Matt Berninger’s vocals all day. Luckily, the great songwriting makes it easy to do just that.

Album highlights- Mistaken For Strangers (mp3); Brainy; Fake Empires

8. The White Stripes - Icky Thump

Better than ‘Satan’, not as good as ‘Elephant’.

Album highlights- Rag and Bone; Icky Thump; Little Crème Soda (mp3)

7. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

Whatever “New Rave” might be, if it sounds anything like ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, I’ll take another dozen albums, please.

Album highlights- Gravity’s Rainbow (mp3); It’s Not Over; Golden Skans

6. Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High

Nothing I can say will justify this spot in many people’s minds. That’s too bad, they’re missing out on a good, consistent pop record.

Album highlights- This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race (mp3); The (After) Life of the Party; Golden

5. Chevelle - Vena Sera

Chevelle is back, and they are pissed. “About what?” you might ask… and well, honestly, I’m not sure anyone but Pete Loeffler actually knows for sure (something about THE FAD. PERMEATING.), but regardless of any of that, Chevelle has put out possibly their most consistant album yet in Vena Sera. The songs are energetic and fresh, Pete sounds passionate about whatever the hell it is that he’s talking about, and the hooks are there in bulk. This CD grabbed my attention from the first listen, and kept it throughout the rest of the many, many listens thereafter.

Album highlights- The Fad (mp3); Brainiac; Straight Jacket Fashion

4. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead

Super-pessimistic look at human nature and the creepy times we live in (or could be living in soon). Great beats, thought-provoking lyrics; this CD should be heard by everyone who can’t choke down another year’s worth of ‘Soulja Boys’.

Album highlights-Tasmanian Pain Coaster; The League of Extraordinary Nobodies (mp3); The Overly Dramatic Truth

3. The Hives - The Black & White Album

The Hives rule the world. This is the most fun album of the year, and it’s really not even really all that close. Criticism got leveled against them for diluting the formula (step 1: ROCK OUT… no step 2), but listening back to some of their old stuff after hearing this, it’s not as different as people are making it out to be. They still bring super-highly polished garage rock in short, enjoyable bursts without really making any grandiose statements – and they continue to do it really well. Enjoyable as the Fratellis were at times, they don’t match up to the Hives.

Album highlights- Tick Tick Boom (mp3); Won’t Be Long; Hey Little World

2. Radiohead - In Rainbows

Until October, number one on this list was a slam dunk, with nothing particularly amazing lined up for the last few months of the year. That changed in a hurry, and I actually had to put some thought into the number one position. While ‘In Rainbows’ isn’t as revolutionary as some are making it out to be (Radiohead is simply one of the bigger names to do the whole “pay what you want” thing, though rumors have Nine Inch Nails maybe doing the same thing next time), it is filled with extremely good music. From the schizo-pop of ’15 step’ to the haunting ‘Videotape’, every song has a common thread, yet is completely different in execution. Bonus: it has the song of the year in ‘Reckoner’.

Album highlights- Reckoner (mp3); Nude; All I Need

1. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
With a single ominous organ sound (the beginning blast on ‘Intervention’), Arcade Fire had me hooked on their new CD. I torrented the album when I could, and still eagerly bought the CD the day it came out. This album falls into the rarified category of CDs that I don’t feel the urge to utilize the skip button on once throughout the duration. Neon Bible has been accused of being a bit over the top (and I suppose ‘Intervention’ would be a prime culprit of that, if it weren’t just such a good song). I listened to this one all year, and never got sick of it. I waffled for a while on whether this spot was Radiohead’s or not, but in the end, this is the CD I enjoyed most this year by a good margin.

Album highlights- Intervention (mp3); Keep the Car Running; Windowsill

Monday, January 7, 2008

Unlocker 1.8.5

A Spiffy Little Program You Probably Won't Have Any Use For

This little app 'unlocks' files, so that you can delete them (thus getting around the 'file is in use, cannot delete' message, etc). It adds a little item to the right-click function, so that when you right click a file, you can choose 'unlocker' from right there in the context menu. I've used it on a couple of files today, and so far it's worked fantastically.

Find it here...

Note: This is mostly a note for myself, because I found this program, and would greatly like to remember where I found it. I've gotten my top 20 albums list ready for posting, and I'll post it later this evening.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top 30 Listened To Songs of 2007

  1. Shiny Toy Guns - Don't Cry Out
  2. TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
  3. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Eight Days of Hell
  4. Arcade Fire - Intervention
  5. The Go! Team - Grip Like a Vice
  6. Blonde Redhead - 23
  7. Blonde Redhead - Spring and By Summer Fall
  8. Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
  9. Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow
  10. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner
  11. TV on the Radio - I Was a Lover
  12. Danielson - Did I Step on Your Trumpet?
  13. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Let it Dive
  14. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Worlds Apart
  15. Paramore - Misery Business
  16. P.O.S. - P.O.S. is Ruining My Life
  17. David Newman - Serenity
  18. Project 86 - Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)
  19. TV on the Radio - A Method
  20. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
  21. Interpol - Evil
  22. The Fratellis - Flathead
  23. Kanye West - Stronger
  24. The Decemberists - O Valencia!
  25. T.I. - What You Know
  26. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
  27. Sölvi Blöndal - Euthenasia
  28. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
  29. Chevelle - Brainiac
  30. El-P - Tasmanian Pain Coaster