Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


1 Year of Music

September 23, 2008

I turned 20 on Saturday the 20th.  It was a crazy fun time: I went canoeing, movie watching, dinner eating, cake eating.  Oh- the thrills I experienced!

But I did some thinking- I’ve listened to a lot of music since I turned 19 one year ago.  A lot.  So what are my favorite things that I’ve found since then: bands, songs, albums, etc.  So I’m going to write about my 19 favorite musical discoveries that happened over my nineteenth year of life at a rate of one a day.  I’ll start tomorrow with Ed Harcourt.


Album Review: Nashville (Josh Rouse)

September 8, 2008

I love good singer-songwriters.  I think they’re fantastic.  However my one common complaint is that the songs often end up dull.  Repetitious.  Boring.  You know, using the same 5 chords and changing the strum pattern.  Or doing the opposite: using the same strum pattern and changing the chords used.  These people rely too much on lyrics and not enough on the music and delivery.  It’s frustrating.  Like Connor Oberst.  He has some great lyrics.  But he can’t sing.  He sounds like a dying goat.  And his compositions rarely vary within an album.


So when I heard about Josh Rouse, I was doubtful.  He was a singer-song writer named Josh.  Do you know how many of them there are?  Josh Radin, Josh Kelly, Joss Stone- whoops.


Anyways, it was with reluctance that I investigated Josh Rouse.  It was with gusto and enthusiasm that I bought his album Nashville and then Country Mouse, City House.  He has beautiful lyrics that are accentuated by a simple, but enjoyable voice.  Most importantly, he doesn’t let the melody underwhelm the lyrics.  There’s more to it than just chords.  There’s a second guitar part often times, layers of his voice, some simple drums.  And it all flows so naturally.

Nashville was a great introduction to him.  It’s very focused on a particular sound (quiet & wintry but somehow upbeat) yet varies within that sound.  It’s The Night Time is probably the best song on the album, it builds very well, but doesn’t overdo it.

Another great song, is the muted Sad Eyes.  

I’d recommend ignoring the video and just listening to the song.  It’s a House fan tribute video, so unless you want a laugh, hit play and walk away.


In short, Nashville is a quiet, happy, and beautiful album worthy of fans of Ryan Adams and Mason Jennings.


How To Become A Sports Fan, Pt. 2

August 29, 2008

So you picked a sport, congratulations!  You are on the journey of becoming a man sports fan.  The next step is to pick a team.  This is a very complicated step and requires much thought, analysis, luck, and a spinner.

There are several methods to picking.  Some will garner you the respect of others.  Some will make you hated but also make you look like a winner.  You must pick what is right for you.

First type of picking: Geographical.  This is really quite simple.  Pick the team closest to you.  Or the one that has the easiest access to you.  The problem is, this does not guarantee a successful year for you.   Yes, you will have the respect of your neighbors and the hatred of the bangwagoners (covered later on).  You must also be consistently optimistic, that is until you’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and claim that you want your team to have the number 1 draft pick.

Second type of picking:  Family.  Another simple one, and for more casual fans.  Does your dad happen to own a Green Bay Packers hat?  Congratulations- you’re a Packers fan!  Did your great great great grandfather go to a White Sox game once upon a time?  Hoorah for the White Sox!  However, keep the relative that associated with the team in question a direct relative.  No cousins, second cousins, uncles, etc.

Third style of picking: the bandwagon.  This one’s easy.  Take whatever team was both popular and won a lot of games the previous season- because you want to be a winner.  But it can’t just be that.  It must also be the most visible team.  For instance in hockey, it would not be bandwagoney to pick Detroit since they’re an old team with history and consistency, even though they are the Stanley Cup champions and are quite popular.  No- it must be a flavor of the season team.  Like the Penguins perhaps.  In baseball, the bandwagon team would be the Red Sox, but they also fill another category.  However, when the team goes south, first complain, and when nothing gets corrected, JUMP SHIP!  You are a winner and as such cannot be associated with losing teams.  Also, mock people who support losing/not winning teams whenever possible, because they are not winners like you are a winner.

Fourth style of picking: Boston.  This is really a subsection of bandwagon, but has developed into a section of its own due to douchebaggery.  You cannot actually be from Boston or living in Boston for this to apply.  If you have direct relatives there, this also does not apply.  Both of those conditions would qualify you for either geographical or family, which are respectable.  No, you must pick a Boston area team (except the Bruins) and support them rabidly.  You must justify your support with claims that your 4th cousin 19 times removed lives in the “Boston area” and once met Kevin Youkilis/Tom Brady/Bill Belichick/Kevin Garnett on the street or at the barber.  You must also brag about Tom Brady’s sexual and football conquests as if they’re your own.

Fifth (and last) style of picking: Don’t learn anything about any teams.  Just pick one.  Not based on the name, or seeing it around.  Just pick one.  You can put names on a spinner, in hat, on a dart board.  Any of these will work.  And explain this when people want to know why you’re a Phoenix Coyotes or Toronto Blue Jays fan.  Do this entirely for the looks of confusion it will generate when they know you’re not from that area.


An Introduction, Perhaps

August 27, 2008

Welcome to Arik’s Other Thoughts, created because Arik Thoughts was shut down by the demon known to the internet as Blogger.  I’ll eventually (when they reopen my previous blog) move everything over here.  Until then, I’ll be filling it up with more reviews (The Saturday Knights are up next, followed by Kid Koala and a column about becoming a sports fan).

I like to imagine this as the birth of my second child when the first was whisked away from my family after only 4 months of life by an evil social services worker.  The social worker then refused to answer my calls, and in fact has probably blocked my number and will never give my baby back.  Also, it is burning all the baby’s fingerprints off and will probably change its dental records so there will never be any record of the child being mine.  At this point I snap and threaten to run down main street naked smearing peanut butter on every car windshield if I don’t get my child back, but the social worker pretends that they don’t know who I am and I get sent to the crazy bin where I impregnate some other woman (Oh you foxy Madame WordPress, you are so much more beautiful than Ms. Blogger).

And now I’m here- it’s a boy!


Long story short

August 1, 2008

My computer is dead for at least a week, if not longer. So no posts for a little bit.

Here’s a video by my newest love, the Rumble Strips.


Album Review: The Red Album (Weezer)

June 7, 2008

I like Weezer. Almost all of their back catalog I think is pretty good, if not great.

However, the very thought of listening to anything Rivers Cuomo has touched ever again makes me angry. Yes, angry. This album isn’t just bad. It’s bad enough that it ruins every other Weezer album. I wanted to like it. I really did. I just can’t though.

Maybe I’m not being fair, since I promised myself that I’d listen to it all the way through no matter what, and I yet I can’t bring myself to do that. But when I hit a song comprised of the lyrics “Everybody get dangerous everybody get dangerous booyah” I draw the line. This is music made for Nickelodeon action movies targeted towards 5th graders. I’m not sure what went wrong. Maybe Linkin Park produced it, I have no idea. Basically, it sounds like Weezer took their geeky hook filled fun sound, sat on it and wrote music over it while gripping the pen tightly with their butt cheeks. The album isn’t fun. It doesn’t make you smile. Weezer should make you smile. Even when it’s bad.

Hell, Beverly Hills is a bad song. But it’s fun at least. You can hum along on a sumer day. This album refuses to give you even that small pleasure. Weezer really went for a darker more experimental sound. Weezer failed.


Update: a more objective less angry track by track review of the same album tomorrow. Also a review of the Cat Empire album So Many Nights.


I want a hover car.

April 20, 2008

We need hover cars.

Think about it.

They are more versatile in where they can travel.

They could use grass parking lots.

They look really cool

They don’t need new roads to be built.

Much less traffic.

They look really really cool.

We’ve been promised them for years.

They just are cool.

Look at this. How is that not awesome? How is just hovering over a nice calm lake not the best date idea in the world?

I want a hover car.