Harry Potter 7 came out, and we were dementors- Greg, Josh, Missy, and I. We draped sheets over our heads, walked through the line outside Barnes & Noble asking for souls, or maybe just a kiss (surprise! Then we’d take their soul too!) or hey, would you be interested in a free vacation to Azkaban? We were the best.
Speaking of the best, life is spinning along like a Yomega Fireball, which is to say, pretty well! I’m constantly wired full of energy, and I’m sleeping 7-7.5 hrs/night. Work is pretty cool; I’m not sure if I’m doing anything that’s worth doing, or what, but the professor and grad students that I’m working with seem pretty happy, and it’s sometimes fun and the hours are easy, anyway. I’m surrounded by whatever friends haven’t graduated and left, which is surprisingly many. Plus, I finally feel like I did junior year of high school, which is to say “king of the school”… I know my way around this place now, so I can do anything, say anything to anyone, and if you don’t like it, bugger off! It’s a good place to be.
Plus, I have my iPod, so I’m assimilating music into my mental jukebox.
Architecture in Helsinki- Places Like This- eergh. Getting lamer and lamer each listen. It’s just not got the same pop that “In Case We Die” had. They’re trying to go more rock-y or something. Hey, you know what happened when Weezer did that? Right… they sucked a lot. If you’re a pop band, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Battles- Mirrored- Again, the opposite of “growing on me.” It’s sounding like proggy noodling, not awesome futuristic rock. It’s good, but not great, to me at least.
The Hold Steady- Separation Sunday- not quite a fan. I like Craig Finn’s vocal delivery- the whole angry talky thing is really pretty cool, and the lyrics are pretty good- but the music itself just bores me. Well, I never was much for classic rock.
Justice- + (“cross”)- Hah, I still like this one. Not sure why- none of the songs are really that great, and some (“The Party”, “Stress”) are hard to listen to, for one reason or another. But whatever- no matter what I’m doing, it makes me pump my fist.
The Knife- Silent Shout- SO GOOD. Did I mention this is good? Here are some adjectives: Danish spooky fist-pumpy icy dancy synthesized pop. If any of those appeal to you, listen to this.
Manitoba- Up In Flames- pretty relaxing, but I wouldn’t fawn all over it like the critics apparently did. It is nice. But it’s a little too passive for me.
The Rapture- Pieces of the People We Love- This is nice! Yeah, they’ve got a British accent, but I’d put them two steps ahead of, say, The Futureheads, because they’re about fun pop, not British-accent-punk-rock. “Get Myself Into It” has fun drums, “The Devil” has fun saxophone, … oh yeah, they have a saxophone. There are a couple dull tracks, but overall, a fun listen, even if it’s not that substantial.
The Smiths- Singles- Arggh too mopey and 80’s and bland. Yeah, that’s right, I don’t like the Smiths.
OutKast- Speakerboxxx/The Love Below- well, I’ve done my fair share of making fun of “Hey Ya”, and also my fair share of worshiping it as the one top-40 song that actually deserves top-40 status, and well, I suppose it was time I actually listen to this. Now, I’m not a hip-hop critic, but Outkast is pretty much rap for white kids, right? Also, I like pop, and this is as poppy as the next album. It’s true what they say, Speakerboxxx (Big Boi’s half) is better than The Love Below (Andre3000’s half), but they’re on different ends of the “black music” (to use a European phrase) spectrum. Speakerboxxx seems to me to be classic hip-hop, maybe a little funkier than most (like on “the rooster” or “bowtie”), but I like that. I really like “Knowing.” The Love Below is Andre’s R&B sort of disc, pretty much entirely about sex. (song titles include “spread”, “vibrate”, and “where are my panties?") Whatever, that’s fine; also, he’s enough of a character to pull this off. And if you listen to it, you’ll realize what an accomplishment that is. (sample lyrics: “your roses really smell like poo poo”) Well, it mostly works, that is. It wears thin towards the end. A double album with 39 tracks has to have some self-indulgence, and Andre claimed more than his half. Fine. Whatever. Hey Ya is still such a goddamn good song that if there’s one song that people remember from the decade, forget the Arcade Fire, forget Broken Social Scene, forget Ted Leo, but remember Hey Ya.
All right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right. Life is cooler than being cool.
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