Wednesday, May 26, 2010

42 - "Rockin' in the Free World," Neil Young



"Rockin' in the Free World," is just such a kick-ass song. The guitars, the distortion, everything about this song is cool. Plus, the imagery; what Young is singing about is so amazing. His lyrics are a critique of George H.W. Bush's America, but most of the words still ring true today. The song revived his career in the late '80s after several years out of the mainstream.

It really helped demonstrate that Neil Young is one of the greatest artists of all time. He can do slow, sappy acoustic songs. He can play piano-heavy ballads. And, he can rock out with his cock out (metaphorically speaking, of course).

For this entry, I'm also including a bonus video - his 1993 performance with Pearl Jam at the MTV Video Music Awards. It's probably one of the coolest live performances of any song that I have ever seen. I feel bad that I was only 7 years old when it came out, because I had to wait until I was older to appreciate it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

43 - "No Rain," Blind Melon



This is just a really cool song; mellow, smooth, fun to listen to. This song came out when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, and I remember really enjoying the music video. Over the years, I've grown to enjoy "No Rain" even more.

I watched the "Behind the Music" for Blind Melon. It was kind of a sad story. The lead singer had a bunch of drug issues and wound up overdosing in 1995.

They recorded an alternate version of "No Rain" that appeared on their posthumous 1996 album "Nico." Click here to listen to it. It has a much darker tone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

44 - "Casey Jones," Grateful Dead



This is another one of those songs where I like it, but I'm not sure why it's so high on the list. I put this song on my iPod about a year ago. I was at work when a guy there played that song on the jukebox. I hadn't heard it in a long time so I put it on there & started listening to it. It's one of the few Grateful Dead songs that I actually like. I couldn't find a good studio-quality version of the song, but this live version is pretty good.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

45 - "Heart-Shaped Box," Nirvana



Nirvana is a band that took me a while to start getting into. I was too young to appreciate them during their original run - I was about 5 when "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came out, and about 9 when Kurt Cobain died. As I got a little older, in my early teens or so, I had some friends who really liked Nirvana. I wasn't a huge fan. I didn't hear a lot that I liked. There was one notable exception, though - "Heart-Shaped Box."

It just doesn't sound like a lot of other Nirvana songs, and I think that's what drew me in. It stands out so much. The chorus of "Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint!" catches your attention. The drums in this song are also very intense.

I finally became a Nirvana fan during my junior year of high school. The previously-unreleased track "You Know You're Right" hit the radio and I liked that, which coincided with the Nirvana Greatest Hits album coming out. I picked up the album and realized what I was missing out on.

After that, I tracked down the albums and found out that I really enjoyed a lot of Nirvana's music. So, this is the first of a few songs from the original "grunge" band on this list.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

46 - "This is the Place," Red Hot Chili Peppers



The first of 9 Red Hot Chili Peppers songs on the list. "This is the Place" is one of those RHCP songs where it seems like the song lyrics mean nothing, but then you really listen to it and realize how deep it is. It's a song about drug addiction and the problems that it causes. The "best friend" that lead singer Anthony Keidis talks about in the song is Hillel Slovak, the original guitarist of the band who died from a Heroin overdose in the late '80s. Keidis wrote about the inspiration for this song and several others in his autobiography, which I read late last year.

Monday, May 17, 2010

47 - "I Got You," Stone Temple Pilots



The first of a few Stone Temple Pilots tracks on the list of my 50 most-played iTunes songs. Off of their "No. 4" album, this is just a really mellow, cool song to listen to. I prefer their louder, more "grunge" sound, but I can get into their slower stuff too.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A couple marriage and religious thoughts...

Pat Keys got married recently. Pat was my roommate in Concord's dorms for the 2007-2008 & 2008-2009 academic years. For the better part of two years, we lived in the same room. Luckily for us, we wound up liking each other. Otherwise, that would have been an awkward two years.

Living with somebody for so long, you get to know them a little bit. I got to know a lot about Pat and vice versa. You also get to know their friends... and girlfriends. Pat had a handful of girlfriends over the two years we lived together. I knew them, I enjoyed their company, they seemed pretty cool.

I moved off-campus for the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year, thus ending our stint as roommmates. As a result, we didn't see each other as much. We'd usually run into each other in the Student Center and hang out for a few minutes. As a result of this, I didn't get a chance to get to know his latest girlfriend, Brittany. He started dating her sometime around late August/early September.

One way I kept up with Pat was through Kelly. She & Pat wound up both working at Walmart and she'd usually fill me in on the latest in Pat's life. About a month ago, Kelly comes home and informs me that she has some big news - "Britt's pregnant!"

Kelly and I both talk to Pat. They're living together in an apartment. Her parents aren't happy. His parents aren't happy. They're talking about marriage.

About a week ago, I get a text from Pat telling me when their wedding is and if I can make it. I check my schedule and find out that Kelly and I can both make it. We get there and see how quickly it was put together. It's at Britt's parents house. Kelly and myself are the only people there who aren't Britt's family members.

Pat is just kind of there. I'm not saying that he didn't want to get married. I'm not saying that he doesn't love Britt. I'm just saying that talking to Pat, I can tell that getting married was not something he had planned on doing for a long time.

The whole thing was so quickly put together that Pat didn't have a best man. When Britt's mom asked Pat who was holding the ring for him, he realized he had nobody to do it and asked me if I wanted to. A picture of the ceremony is below. Pat's in the middle, in the white shirt. I'm off to the right.



It was a quick ceremony. I'd say the whole thing clocked in at about 15-20 minutes or so. No reception beforehand, some refreshments served afterwards. Kelly and I couldn't stay for the refreshments, so I'm not sure how long the entire affair lasted.

I don't have the inside scoop here, but I'm going to offer my theory on why this marriage occured so quickly after the pregnancy was announced. I am guessing that Pat's or Britt's parents are religious and this marriage was done in large part to appease their beliefs.

What's changed? Before, Pat and Britt were living together, with her being pregnant. Now, they're living together with her being pregnant... execpt they both wear rings on their left hands now.

To shift away from Pat & Britt and just talk about marriage in general ... One of the biggest problems with marriage is the focus on religion and not love. Of course, marriage is a religious ceremony, so that should play a large part in it. I've just always had a hard time wrapping my head around people who feel as though they have to get married, due to circumstances in their life.

If you get a girl pregnant, does marrying her change anything? Well, now you won't go to Hell for living in Sin. Although, you'll probably go to Hell for something else. Well, except for that whole deal about Hell not existing...

Like most religious subjects, I just have a hard time understanding how people put so much stock into something that has a huge chance of turning out to not be real. They have to get married because God said you can't live together. You have to get married because a religious relative crams the idea down your throat. It's just not something I'm a fan of.

I blogged about issues with same-sex marriage back in December. Instead of re-hashing that issue here in my blog, I'll just post the link and let you check it out. Here it is - http://chrisslater.blogspot.com/2009/12/dc-council-votes-to-allow-same-sex.html. I initially wrote it after the Washington DC council voted to allow same-sex marriages. 

As with most posts about religion, I'll leave this post on a confused note. I just don't get it. I don't understand religion and religious people. Leave your thoughts if you'd like...

48 - "What It Takes," Aerosmith



Unlike the last entry, I actually know exactly why "What It Takes" is so high on my list. As I mentioned before, this isn't a list of my favorite songs. It's simply a list of songs that I listen to more than others. I don't listen to this song on my iPod a lot, but I do on the actual iTunes on my computer. My iTunes has songs listed alphabetically, by artist. When I first open it, Aerosmith is at the top of my list (along with AC/DC). If I want something to listen to real quick, without scrolling through for a song, "What It Takes" is usually what I click on. Besides being convenient to click on, it's a pretty cool song. Deep lyrics.

Friday, May 14, 2010

49 - "What's This Life For," Creed



I don't know. I really have no explanation. Out of the thousands of songs on my iTunes, I have no idea how this is the 49th most-played track. Well, I mean, Creed isn't horrible. Wait... let me rephrase that... there are worse bands to listen to than Creed. This is a cool song, I guess. Actually, I don't know what's more sad - the fact that I listen to this song a lot or that somebody actually took the time to make a YouTube video for it.

I promise, the songs will get a little better from here on out...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

50 - "Soul," Matchbox Twenty



I don't care how many "Cool Points" I lose. I'll admit it. I like Matchbox Twenty. "Soul" is one of my favorite Matchbox Twenty songs. It puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it. Most of their music does.

Top 50

Just to give me something to do over the summer, I have decided to do something that I think is pretty interesting. You may or may not think so. I got bored and started looking through the most-played songs on my iTunes. That gave me an idea to profile my 50 most-played songs over the summer.

It'll give me something to do over the next 60-70 days or so. The plan is to embed a YouTube video of the song, along with a brief write up of why I enjoy said song.

A couple things popped out at me while looking over this list of songs. First off, it's not a list of my favorite songs. There are a lot of songs that I like more than these 50. These are songs that I listen to when I'm happy, sad, bored, etc... Another thing I noticed is that there's a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers songs in my Top 50. So, be prepared for that.

Also, make note that songs 50 & 49 are admittedly pretty lame. Bear with me for the next couple days until we get into some better ones.

The list is the 50 most-played songs on my iTunes as of May 12, 2010.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Big Lebowski - the short version

Check this out - http://tinyurl.com/3xxub5v. Then, watch the video below. As a warning, there's a little bit of salty language...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day.



If you're not sure what's going on in the beginning of the video, click here for part 1. It was a pretty big deal a few years ago...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sort of Summer...

As the title suggests, it is sort of summer. It's warm, school's pretty much out, it's just early May instead of late June when summer actually starts.

I kind of disappeared from Concord's campus the last couple weeks of classes. It happens, especially considering that I wasn't a student this semester. But, we all know by now about how I was staying involved and whatnot. You know, SGA blogs & stuff...

I missed out on a couple cool "SGA blog opportunities" if you will. I'll look into seeing if I can work those out and maybe get them in the blog over the summer or something. They were a couple interviews I had some preliminary discussions about getting. If I can't get them, it won't be the end of the world. It'll just be a missed opportunity to post something interesting here.

I have a couple ideas about stuff I'm going to blog about over the summer. Since there's no SGA to talk about during the summer, I'm going to need something to fill the space. I have some cool ideas. We'll see how those go.

I had some opportunities pop up in my professional life that I'm going to blog about soon. I'm going to give these things time to develop and see where they take me. It should be an intersting few months.

Also, my friend Pat got married recently. The ceremony and the circumstances surrounding it have given an idea for a blog. I'm going to give that some more thought and have that written up sometime soon. Until then, here are a couple tweets I sent out from the wedding:

At @thecomet89's ceremony. He realized he didn't have a Best Man, so I'm filling in. Oh boy :)

Had a good time at @
thecomet89's wedding. It was an enjoyable event, to say the least. @Goodrichk18 got some pics. Will post later.


So, there's that. More thoughts on that later. In fact, more thoughts on a lot of things. I have a lot of thoughts that I'd like to expand on. I'll get to that soon. I just wanted to give everybody a brief update on what was going on.