• Louis Prima - The Wildest![The 50’s] Louis Prima – The Wildest!
    I’ve never been a Jazz fan until hearing this record. Prima brings a joy, a sense of fun and humor to this disc that is simply infectious. It’s no wonder that every generation seems to discover it anew. Did you know David Lee Roth’s Just a Gigalo is a cover of a tune penned by Louis Prima? Every track on this album is a gem. My personal faves are the aforementioned Gigolo, Buona Sera and Banana Split for My Baby.
    Louis Prima - The Wildest! Amazon
  • The Monkees - Headquarters[The 60’s] The Monkees – Headquarters
    You know what? I like ’em better than the Beatles. Yeah, I said it. It’s not a stance a lot of people take, but I take it, and with some force. The Monkees are, to this day, underrated and overlooked by most – if you’re one of those people, listen to this album and see if you don’t change your mind just a little bit. The band started writing their own music after their first two records, and proved that they were more than the sum of their manufactured parts. Check out You Told Me, You Just May Be the One and the excellent Randy Scouse Git.
    The Monkees - Headquarters Amazon
  • Rush - 2112[The 70’s] Rush – 2112
    I’ve been to seven Rush concerts – three times on the Roll the Bones tour, and once on each tour for Test For Echo, Vapor Trails, R30 and Snakes and Arrows. I own every album on cassette and CD, and shelled out for the digital remasters. I’ve got tour posters framed on my walls. You could say I’m a fan. 2112 is an amazing piece of work, and okay, granted, I’m a little biased – but it really is. There’s a reason this album is widely considered to be a touchstone in the progressive rock genre, and if you have any affinity at all for prog rock, you simply must hear it. Standout tracks are 2112, Something For Nothing and A Passage to Bangkok.
    Rush - 2112 Amazon
  • The Cure - Pornography[The 80’s] The Cure – Pornography
    Fans of The Cure have no doubt spun this disc to death, but it wasn’t the band’s highest charting album – far from it. It’s dark, moody and perfectly Goth – everything you’ve ever heard about early work by The Cure. The opening lyric is “It doesn’t matter if we all die” – it doesn’t get much bleaker than that. Don’t miss The Hanging Garden and The Figurehead. They’re great; One Hundred Years is masterful.
    The Cure - Pornography Amazon
  • Sugar - Copper Blue[The 90’s] Sugar – Copper Blue
    Former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould formed Sugar in the early 90’s and put out this stellar album in 1992. I bought it on CD back then, and I give it a spin pretty regularly. There’s definitely a 90’s feel to it, but it holds up quite well to the test of time. More than 15 years later, it’s still a great listen. Stand outs are If I Can’t Change Your Mind and The Act We Act.
    Sugar - Copper Blue Amazon
  • The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free[The 00’s] The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
    British rap… not something I have a ton of experience with, but The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free was thoroughly enjoyable. The album is a concept piece, telling the story of a bloke who loses a thousand pounds and tries to get it back. The story is compelling and the delivery fantastic. The music ain’t bad, either. Check out Fit But You Know It and Such a Twat.
    The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free Amazon

My list is a subset of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list, with my own commentary about each album. The complete list is available online, and the book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and other booksellers. Expand your musical horizons!

Never is a strong word. It’s easy to say that I’ll never go to the movies again after my experience this afternoon, but I’ll feel differently the next time an event film comes out. I’ll probably get sucked in again. This is about the movie, not the graphic novel from whence it came.

Earlier today I went to see Watchmen. It started at 3pm, so I paid matinee price, not full. It was seven bucks. Once inside, I got a small popcorn and a small Coke. The total was $10.25. That’s right, it cost me $17.25 to see a movie, by myself, on a Thursday afternoon. That’s not the worst part of the afternoon, though. No, I summed up the worst part on Twitter shortly after I got home:

back from seeing Watchmen… if i had to describe it in one word… boring… if i had to describe it in two words….&$^%ING BORING.

Spoilers from this point on. You’ve been warned.

[click to continue…]

wikipedia.pngMany are the days and nights when I have looked at a clock after using Wikipedia and realized that multiple hours have passed. Wikipedia is the greatest time suck ever devised by man.

Earlier today I remembered a conversation about music that I had with my chiropractic provider. We had talked about music, and he said that he likes +44 better than Angels and Airwaves when considering the post-Blink-182 bands. I told him that I hadn’t heard +44, but I’d been meaning to.

Rhapsody offers a free 14-day trial. You should definitely check that out if you buy a lot of music at iTunes or Amazon, you could be saving a lot of money.

Today, I finally checked them out. I have a subscription to Rhapsody which allows me to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to pay per track like at iTunes or Amazon. I listened to +44’s debut album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, and I liked it quite a lot. As I often do when investigating new music, I pulled up the band’s Wikipedia page—or tried to.

As a Firefox user, I simply type wikipedia whatever-I’m-looking-for into my browser’s address bar, and I usually end up on the right page. I typed in wikipedia +44, and was taken to – a page all about the year 44. I clicked the For other uses link, and was taken to Getting closer. As I skimmed down looking for a reference to the band, I noticed the very first line after the Contents box. It reads thusly:

Forty-four is a tribonacci number, a happy number and an octahedral number.

A happy number? Numbers can be… happy? I opened that link in a new tab to come back to it later, found the link to the +44 page, and read up on the band. After that, I went back to the happy number page, and read this:

A happy number is defined by the following process. Starting with any positive integer, replace the number by the sum of the squares of its digits, and repeat the process until the number equals 1 (where it will stay), or it loops endlessly in a cycle which does not include 1. Those numbers for which this process ends in 1 are happy numbers, while those that do not end in 1 are unhappy numbers.

I remember learning about imaginary numbers in high school, so I wasn’t thrown too much when I first saw “a happy number”, though it did give me pause. What really got me, oddly enough, was the notion of a number being unhappy. For some reason, that made me laugh. I keep picturing little 2’s and 3’s running around with big frowns and sad eyes.

This is the time suck that Wikipedia is for me. I start out looking for something simple—a page that talks about the history of a band—and I end up reading about unhappy numbers. I do this for hours upon hours sometimes.

There can be only one conclusion. Wikipedia is evil.