Friday Five 9.5.14

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here are five things I’ve stumbled on this week that I feel are worth sharing:

1. Don’t Do What You Love

Rachel Nabors, a former professional comic book artist, flips the notion of the common advice, “Do What You Love” and explains how leaving the comic book industry and beginning a different career in web development has changed her thinking on having a career:

We rarely hear the advice of the person who did what they loved and stayed poor or was horribly injured for it. Professional gamblers, stuntmen, washed up cartoonists like myself: we don’t give speeches at corporate events. We aren’t paid to go to the World Domination Summit and make people feel bad. We don’t land book deals or speak on Good Morning America.

Important reading for my artist, musician and writer friends out there in the world.

2. BABYMETAL

NPR posted an article on Japanese phenoms Babymetal who blend J-pop music, female dancing and metal into this: 

I have watched it five times already. 

Another gem:

3. Non-Zero Days

99U, a favorite site of mine, posted a brief article regarding the concept of non-zero days as a productivity tool based on a comment in a Reddit thread. 

Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.

I like this idea of just doing at least one thing every day to further your goal or project. There are days when I feel I haven’t accomplished anything and I think that derives from the fact that a specific result didn’t happen. But often, when focusing on a large project, the end result can be days, weeks, months, even years away. Instead of overwhelming myself by thinking of everything to accomplish to achieve that goal, I find it easier to think of something specific I can do to bring myself closer, even if it’s just one thing as the non-zero day concept argues.

4. Louis Armstrong “Country & Western”

Louis+Armstrong+-+Country+&+Western+-+LP+RECORD-457671

I love this album cover and have been hunting ebay for a copy. Turns out you can stream on Spotify!

5. Jerry Garcia – Compliments

I have been on a weird Jerry Garcia kick lately which is strange given my overall disdain for all things Grateful Dead during high school. 

The first track, Let It Rock, references Mobile, Alabama, my home state, so naturally it grabbed me right from the beginning.

Stream the entire album below:

NBA Conference Finals

May 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Sunday is the beginning of the NBA Conference Finals with the Thunder battling the Spurs and the Heat playing the ever unpredictable Indiana Pacers.

My family and I have been watching this entire season preparing for the playoffs and we finally made it through all of the drama and 4 point plays.

I have pulled for the Pacers all year, not because I’m a huge fan (that accolade goes to Chicago) but because I think they are the only team in the East who can beat the Heat. I want the Spurs to beat the Thunder because Popovich is my favorite coach (example) and I find Westbrook’s 90 mile an hour play for the Thunder as annoying. Durant deserves a championship after this season (and this speech) but I’m not sure they will be able to beat the Heat.

In preparation of tomorrow’s tip off, here is a run down of my NBA live experiences.

To date I have attended three NBA games:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls (aka the time I saw Michael Jordan): My mom took me to see the Bulls against the Milwaukee Bucks while visiting family in Illinois over Christmas vacation. The Bulls were so good and the Bucks so bad that she got nervous that Jordan wouldn’t play. She actually called the stadium to make sure he would play. They said yes. Keep in mind I was a Jordan super fan. I owned all of his posters including his wings and easily won a bet in junior high school when a classmate challenged me to wear a different Jordan shirt every day that week. This shirt was my favorite. I can bring up the fact that I saw Jordan play in almost any NBA conversation and people simply sigh and mumble under their breath things I can’t, and probably don’t, want to hear.
  2. Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks in May 2003 – My wife was 5 months pregnant with our twins and we were in Dallas for my cousin’s college graduation. While in town we attended a Texas Rangers game (too hot) and this playoff game. At this point in my basketball life I had fallen behind on the league after graduating high school and working through college. In 2003 I was three years out of college, in my first job, releasing punk rock records and about to have twin boys so the NBA wasn’t exactly a priority. Thanks to family circumstances we were able to go on the floor prior to the game and watch from a luxury suite. The only thing I remember about this game was that the Mavs scored 83 points in the first half. Now that I’m back into the NBA I’m kicking myself for not enjoying that game more.
  3. Clippers vs Pacers – January 2014 – I hoped to attend three NBA games this season: Bulls vs Grizzlies, Clippers vs Pacers and Heat vs Hawks. The Bulls game was decided against because Derrick Rose and Marc Gasol were both hurt. I researched the Heat/Hawks tickets in April of this year and realized they were all out of my price range. But we did manage to make the Clippers/Pacers game in Indianapolis (tickets were $35 a seat!) where the Pacers won even if Griffin managed to get David West tossed in the second quarter. But we did get to see this Paul George 360 degree dunk.

I’m in no position to make any predictions on who will make it to the Finals, but if I had my choice it would be the Spurs and the Pacers.

Anyone but the Heat.

 

Imaginary Tour Idea – Replacements + Descendents

February 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

replacedents2

While revisiting a lot of my past punk rock playlists, it occurred to me that the Descendents and The Replacements would make a personal dream tour partnership.

Here’s a playlist called Replacedents for proof:

I Thank You

January 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Wednesday. Hump Day.

This song came on the radio this morning and got me a little more pumped up than usual for today:

Quality isn’t great but what a jam.

Instrumental

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have been listening to a lot of instrumental beat albums lately. Obviously the go to starting point is J Dilla’s Donuts. I have been streaming the album non-stop on Spotify and dragging my feet to buy a vinyl copy.

While on holiday break a friend of mine posted the video below of Madlib in the record library of Radio France:

I read that Madlib was releasing his new album via vinyl only and decided to pick it up from Stones Throw who also released Donuts – so naturally I ordered both:

They arrived today, a half-day at the office due to snow. I wish we opened every day at noon. I slept until 8:45 and still had plenty of time to read/write in my journal. I even walked 45 minutes on the treadmill. My goal was 30 minutes but I started listening to this podcast on goal setting and wanted to finish it so I walked longer than planned.

The podcast got me thinking I need to make sure and write my goals down for 2014. I have a loose plan in mind but nothing really specific and that can be worthless when setting goals.

I have one or two really big goals that I won’t list here and need to write them down so I can measure my progress toward each throughout 2014.

The Lowest Part is Free

January 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

I attended a concert last night on the other side of town which meant I had a late night drive home after 1am. Normal.

Whenever I’m making these long late night drives home I try to find something familiar to listen to which helps make the drive go by faster.

Last night I was in the mood for some Archers of Loaf and played this song twice:

This song is from their EP,  Vs the Greatest of all Time, which was released in 1994.

Image

Lyrically I wonder how much the signing sprees of the 90’s major labels influenced this song. I can’t help but imagine that after they released Icky Mettle in 1993 featuring Web In Front that the labels began sniffing around in their quest to find the next Nirvana.

There they go, fucking up the ratio.
Biting on the skin that hangs off a hangnail.
Biting on the skin that hangs off a blister.
On the helping hand.

Strike up the band, nail down the random.
Calling out the A&R, A&R.
Strike up the band, turn off the random.
Calling up we’re A&R, A&R.

Got nothing to say, and you say it anyway.
In addition to your own weight.
Drive it into the ground, and you sing in a drone.
At the wrong time and at the wrong time.

Strike up the band, turn off the random.
Calling out the A&R, A&R.
So full of shit, let’s write some hits.
Here come the A&R, A&R.

The lowest part is free, but he can’t leave home.
Cause he can’t leave the signal alone.
The lowest part is free, but he can’t leave home.
He can’t leave the signal alone.

Lyrics that resonated while driving home in Nashville last night…

This EP was re-released by Merge as part of the Icky Mettle reissue last year.

Less of Me

January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Phil Everly passed away yesterday at the age of 74.

I am mostly familiar with their biggest hits: Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie and Cathy’s Clown but I noticed many tweets last night referencing their Roots album from 1968.

One of my favorite tracks is the Glen Campbell tune, Less of Me:

Lyrically, it’s a song worth noting as we enter the new year:

Let me be a little kinder
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those around me
Let me praise a little more

Let me be, when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me

Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be

Let me be a little meeker
With a brother that is weaker
Let me think more of my neighbour
And a little less of me

Let me be, when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for

Let me be a little meeker
With a brother that is weaker
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me

RIP Phil.