Friday, June 19

... About Ear Porn

Reader, let's be honest. I have the best taste in music of anyone I know. And that means I have the best taste in music of anyone YOU know.

You know it's true.

I like lots of different kinds of music. Why, just this morning my ears have feasted on AC/DC, Frank Sinatra, REM, and Les Miserables. But as wide as my musical collection is, it never fails that people who flip through my iPod remark that they don't recognize at least half the artists. And since my favorite music is the kind of stuff you won't usually hear on the radio, so it's a good bet that you aren't that familiar with it.

I don't pretend to be one of those people who knows all the obscure little indie musicians, or even someone with a talent to discover great music in unexpected places. With very few exceptions, most of my music was passed on to me by somebody else. Or, I came across free sample songs from the internet and sought out the rest of the album from there. I rarely find it myself.

It would be a disservice if I didn't help expand your musical world, Reader. I don't think I could live with myself if I knew that one of my devoted followers lived their whole life without ever knowing about Glen Hansard just because I didn't take the time to introduce them... that would be the worst kind of tragedy.

So here you go, Reader - a small sampling of some artists you probably don't know, but should. Click the artist's name for a link to a webpage where you can hear some of their music:

Glen Hansard
Who he is: The lead singer for Irish rock band The Frames, the voice of Swell Season, and the male lead in the Oscar-winning movie 'Once'.

Why you should listen: No one writes a break-up song like Glen Hansard. NO ONE. Watch him sing "Say It To Me Now" at the beginning of 'Once', and you'll have to remind yourself to breathe.

Josh Woodward
Who he is: An acoustic rocker from Ohio, who offers his entire musical catalogue for FREE (legally, too!) on his website. For FREE, Reader.

Why you should listen: Josh's music is refreshingly simple, and since he isn't trying to sell his music he tends to try lots of different things. Listen to "I Want to Destroy Something Beautiful" and then "Don't Close Your Eyes" to see what I mean.

Who they are: A NYC-based indie rock band.

Why you should listen: Their sound is very retro, and their bass player is an absolute nut onstage. Unlike a lot of independent rock bands I've heard, Hymns seems to realize that you can have a great rock song without blasting out the bass levels.

Sondre Lerche
Who he is: You probably know him from the 'Dan In Real Life' soundtrack.

Why you should listen: It's like jazz that isn't pretentious. His cover of "Let My Love Open the Door" is possibly my favorite version of the song.

Justin Nozuka
Who he is: You probably know his song "After Tonight". Also, he's Kevin Bacon's nephew.

Why you should listen: Justin has this great, unique, bluesy-rock voice. If you like "After Tonight", you will love the rest of his album ('Holly'). My favorites are "Be Back Soon" and "Criminal."

Band of Skulls
Who they are: Two guys and a girl from Southampton, UK.

Why you should listen: They're a bit quirky, and a bit different, but after listening for a few minutes you really get sucked in. The first time I heard their music, I thought to myself, "They sound kind of like The White Stripes, but with talent."

And lastly, Reader, a few albums EVERYONE should have in their collection. Go buy them if you don't:

"Thriller" - Michael Jackson
"Heathen Chemistry" - Oasis
"Young Hearts: the Complete Greatest Hits" - Steve Miller Band
"Tapestry" - Carole King
"Flight of the Conchords" - Flight of the Conchords

Wednesday, May 27

... About "What I Think..."

As you may have realized, I'm on haitus.

Reader, when I started this blog, I had certain objectives. Goals. Ambitions, if you will. I never wanted this blog to act as a kind of public journal, chronicling my day-to-day activities. I never intended it to be a way for people to keep track of what I was up to. I didn't want it to be my own personal soapbox. In fact, I tried to keep it as impersonal as possible. I created a caricature of myself to hide behind whenever I penned a new post. I wanted to use this blog primarily to amuse, to enlighten. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.

Oh, wait. That wasn't me. That was Batman.

Hopefully, I'll soon return to doing just that. But in the meantime, go read a book or something.

Tuesday, May 26

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights, because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.
- Larry Flynt