Of all the recent musical deaths Dolores O’Riordan hits the hardest for me. At the same time, I didn’t personally know her, so I’m not really mourning at all. She just created some of my favorite music in the 90s. I own all of The Cranberries albums, but really haven’t listened to them in at least a decade. While I loved Dolores and The Cranberries, they weren’t a part of my current life. She was just another chunk of my childhood that is slowing dying off until the day it’s my turn.
I’ve been a Denver Broncos fan since the fourth grade. It was 1984 and a then young John Elway was a super exciting quarterback to watch. It was the first year that that I really paid attention to football after watching my first Super Bowl the year before. I also lived in Denver from an infant through kindergarten, so there was other reasons to like the Broncos. I’ve been a Broncos fan ever since.
31 years ago today was one of the most memorable games ever. Football fans know it as just “The Drive”. It was the AFC Championship against the Browns. I remember feeling devastated when the Broncos lost the lead and bobbled ensuing kickoff and got tackled on the two yard line. They had 5 minutes and 32 seconds to go 98 yards just to tie the game. A near impossible feat. Well, they did it! Then they won the game in overtime! My favorite teams was going to the Super Bowl. Little eight year old me went from the lowest of lows, to the highest of highs. I remember like it was yesterday.
— NFL History (@NFLhistory) January 11, 2018
They then went on to lose three Super Bowls in four years. I was starting to not want them to get to the Super Bowl anymore because of the constant disappointment. Lucky for me they went on a Super Bowl drought and didn’t get back until they won it in 1997 and then won it again in 1998. Then recently they lost another one in 2013, but won another in 2015. I feel pretty lucky to have seen my favorite football team play in seven Super Bowls. I always think about those good time during the rare bad seasons like this past one was.
So here I am all caught up on my podcasts for the first time in years. I’m giving some of my favorite albums from 2017 some more listens. I’ve really been listening to a lot less music these last few years. Here are my favorite albums from 2017 in no particular order because I’m horrible at picking favorites:
- Bad Cop/Bad Cop – Warriors
- The Front Bottoms – Going Grey
- All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
- Weezer – Pacific Daydream
- Sincere Engineer – Rhombithian
- Mobina Galore – Feeling Disconnected
- New Found Glory – Makes Me Sick
- The Menzingers – After the Party
In 2018 I want to blog more and listen to more music. We will see how that works.
If you don’t get the reference in the title of this post, it’s from The Front Bottoms song “Peace Sign”. One of my favorites from 2017, and it kind of sums up what most people think about 2017.
So another Christmas is done. I’m not a fan of Christmas, and it’s not because I’m an Atheist either. I just feel uncomfortable with the whole gift giving and mass consumerism. We all have more crap than we need. I hate getting more crap or buying more crap for someones else. I worked this Christmas, and was glad I did. It helps me forget about it a bit, and the extra money is nice too.
Christmas was my Mom’s favorite time of year. The fact that she died on December 20th probable doesn’t help me like Christmas any better either. Cleaning out a parents house when it’s all decorated for Christmas is a horrible thing to do. Finding a new home for all of the decorations that I remember as a child was tough.
I do have some great memories of past Christmases as a child. When my Grandma died our Christmas traditions changed, and now that my Mom is gone—we have no traditions as all. It’s sad, but it’s all over for another year and I’m glad.
Like everybody else, I’ve been watching the price of Bitcoin skyrocket. If I would have bought $1000 in Bitcoin back when I first heard about it, it would be worth over 100 million dollars now. Talk about kicking myself. I started buying Bitcoin this spring, and have close to $1000 now. I’m sure it will be worth nothing soon, but who knows. I don’t want to miss out on millions if it keeps going up.
I don’t think Bitcoin is a great investment. The bubble will pop, it’s just a matter of when and how big it will get. I’m just playing around with it with money I can afford to lose. I’m putting way more into my Roth IRA, which is doing alright, but should be better long term. It just kills me knowing how much Bitcoin I would have if I put my Roth money into Bitcoin instead.
It’s so easy to look back at the what if’s. It’s hard to do the smart thing that will payout in the long run.
Also, I’m playing around with the new version of MarsEdit. Let’s see if it gets me blogging more like I always want to do.
This past weekend we went to Grand Rocktember V, with a couple of friends. It was fun hanging with our friends without their kids for a change. They recently got a new camper, so I could see a few camping trips with them next year.
As for the concert, it was so-so. Mostly because I’m not a huge fan of classic rock. Saturdays lineup was:
- Iron Maidens
- Bang Tango
- Faster Pussycat
- Scrap Metal
- Great White
- Skid Row
The only bands I really knew were Warrant and Skid Row. They were both pretty good, but it was odd seeing them with different lead singers. We skipped the first three bands and the last two. None of us were fans of Queensryche and Styx, so we went for super instead.
It was a little different crowd than I am use to. Most concerts I feel like I’m the oldest one in the pit, and everybody is there for the music. There may be a bunch of pushing and shoving, but believe it or not, people are usually pretty courteous. This was obviously an older crowd. It’s seems like people were there more to get drunk than to watch the music. The people around us got so drunk and were ignoring the security guard by just standing in the isles. It didn’t really bother me, but everybody else was getting pissed. The worst was when someone yelled at a black women telling her to go back to her country. That caused a big fight. People were kicked out including her boyfriend who did nothing wrong. It’s just a shame how adults act. Also, too many Trump, and Kid Rock for Senate shirts for my liking.
It’s almost here! Tomorrow morning we are heading off to Wyoming for the eclipse. I’ve been planning this trip for at least five years. I was originally just going to drive down to Kansas for a day, but hotels booked up so fast. I should probably start getting mine booked for the next one in seven years. Luckily my Wife’s cousin lives in Wyoming right in the path. We are going to go hang with them for the weekend and watch the eclipse together on Monday. Then we are going to spend the rest of the week at the Tetons and Yellowstone.
It should be a fun week experiencing the beauty of a solar eclipse and the beauty of our national parks. It will be nice to mostly get away from the internet and the ugliness of our current political climate. I think my brain and heart need a vacation from all the hate.
Maybe I’ll tweet, maybe I’ll instagram. I don’t know. I tend to live in the moment when I’m on vacation and ignore social media. I am hoping to find some Pokémon Go players in Yellowstone to help take down some raids, but we’ll see.
This past weekend was my first working with my newest co-worker. I blogged about her when she was first hired. I was a little shocked they hired a woman, but also super proud. She was totally qualified, and has been great. I’m so glad my bosses didn’t judge her because she is a woman, and an obviously gay woman at that.
It was fun working with her this past weekend. Is it weird that I have more in common with her than I do any of my other co-workers? She is a gay woman, half my age, but super cool. We like similar music. We have been to some of the same concerts. She is also an introvert, and I guess when two introverts get together they talk like crazy. Who knew?
The final of my favorite albums from my teen years is Weezer’s Blue Album. I remember seeing the video for “Undone – The Sweater Song” on 120 Minutes one night and instantly fell in love with Weezer. The next day I picked up the album and was a fan for life. Pinkerton is probably my favorite Weezer album, but I was 21 when it came out, so it didn’t qualify for this list. I’ve seen Weezer in concert more than any other band that isn’t Motion City Soundtrack. Weezer are definitely one of my top five favorite bands.
It’s been fun going back and listening to some of my favorite albums every week these posts.
Punk in Drublic was the first album that I learned about online. If I remember right, I learned about NOFX and a bunch of other punk bands reading music usenet newsgroups on AOL. Back in 1994 there were very few ISPs in our little town. AOL was about it, and they didn’t have the web yet. It was mostly just email, usenet, and AOL chat rooms. fun times.
I discovered so many bands on the usenet those days. I would make lists in hopes to find them at Best Buy. It was always a hit or miss if they had them or not. NOFX is by far my favorite from those days, and still love them to this day.
Pavement’s first album, Slanted and Enchanted, is often thought of as their best album. I love all of their albums, but Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was the first I heard. It holds a special place in my heart. I remember seeing the “Cut Your Hair” video in college and instantly fell in love with Pavement. Their third album, Wowee Zowee is probably my favorite, but I was 20 when it was released so it’s disqualified from this list.
It was a toss-up for what Letters to Cleo album to put on this list. I love Aurora Gory Alice and Wholesale Meats and Fish pretty equally, but Aurora Gory Alice is the album that made Letters to Cleo a household name. Letters to Cleo are one of my all time favorites from the 90s. I’m bummed I’ve never had a chance to see them live. It’s great that the band is back together making music again, maybe someday I’ll get to see them.
Most people probably don’t know who Frente! is. They are an Australian band that have been together on and off since the early 90s. They basically only have two studio albums, and I really fell in love with Marvin the Album in college in 1993. I’m listening to it now for the first time in probably 15 years, and it’s still great. I wish I knew how to describe it better, but you know what, you have the internet. You can go listen yourself.
I was a little late at discovering the Pixies. I actually became of fan of Frank Black first, and then went back and listened to the Pixies. Teenager of the Year is the first Frank Black album I discovered. I just love this album. So many quirky, catchy songs. It’s probably one of the most underrated 90s albums.
I discovered the Smashing Pumpkins with the Gish sometime in high school after seeing the video for “Rhinoceros”. While I liked the album, I didn’t love it. Siamese Dream came out the summer after my senior year. From the beginning riff of “Cherub Rock”, I new the Smashing Pumpkins were going to be huge. I love the beginning lyrics of “Cherub Rock”, “Freak out,And give in, Doesn’t matter what you believe in, Stay cool, And be somebody’s fool this year”. The album only gets better from there. Billy Corgan driving around the ice cream truck in the “Today” video is one of the memories from my freshman years of college. “Disarm” got so much air play, I kind of got sick of it. This album probably makes it into my top 10 favorite albums of all time list.
Middle schooler me wanted to be a rapper. I was really into the Beastie Boys, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, and Run DMC. I wrote a couple of rap song, and my rap name was M&M. I spelt it a little different than Eminem, but it was essentially the same. Like Marshall Mathers, my initials are also MM, plus it’s my favorite candy. My brother and I recorded the couple songs I wrote onto a cassette tape using his little Casio keyboard as the only musical instrument to make some noise that we called music. I made artwork and everything for our album titled Too Much Hype. It would be cool to hear how awful it was, but I sure it’s in a landfill somewhere. But anyhow, I am the original slim shady.*
*after writing that I looked up Eminem and he is actually older than me. We were probably both rapping as M&M at the same time, so I guess I’m not the original M&M, I’m just the M&M that sucked.
I love Frosting on the Beater, but I always seem to forget about The Posies. I have a few other Posies albums, but haven’t really given them much of a listen. I’m not really sure how this album made this list, but then when I think about it, there was a period in 1993 when I listened the hell out of this album in my dorm room. I think it’s a highly underrated album. You’ve probably never even heard of it in fact, but it’s great.
I picked up Exile In Guyville on a whim. I saw Kurt Loder talk about her in a piece for MTV News. Nobody that I knew was really listening to women fronted groups, but I loved them. From Juliana Hatfield Three, Veruca Salt, That Dog, The Breeders, Poe, Jennifer Trynin, Letters to Cleo… I could go on for ever. Loved them all. I had a feeling I would like Liz Phair, and boy did I.
Soon after I got the album they started to play the “Never Said” video on MTV. I don’t know if they ever played it on the radio in our area. Our radio stations always sucked. I honestly don’t really know how big this album went nationally. In my little bubble it was one of the best albums of the year.
Liz is apparently working on new material to be released this year. I can’t wait, and I hope she tours. I saw her once at First Ave, and she is great. It would be great to see her again.
I mentioned Juliana Hatfield back when I was talking about The Lemonheads. I’m a huge fan of her. Become What You Are wasn’t her first solo album, but it her first as Juliana Hatfield Three. My college roommate first bought this album. I wanted it too, but I just listened to his copy that first fall. We both loved the album and Juliana in general. Once Christmas break came around I had to go buy my own copy. I couldn’t go a couple weeks without hearing my Juliana. It’s crazy to think to back to the times before you can hear music online. You had to own the album, or you couldn’t hear it. Now I can watch the “My Sister” video, and listen to the album whenever I want. They are just a couple clicks away.
I should be on the road right now to see Green Day. I was late to the ball and didn’t get tickets right away. Only nosebleeds were left, so I didn’t buy them. I’m kicking myself now. Although, I could get tickets from Stubhub right now. It’s so tempting. Green Day is probably the best band I have ever seen live. It’s amazing how many great songs they have. Most 90s bands now are either broken up, or they are making crap music. Green Day’s newest album is one of their best. Having such a vast catalog is also a bad thing. They just don’t have time to play much of their older stuff, plus people probably don’t know it as well. I don’t know when they last played “Christie Road” live. So even though they are great, I’m always leaving sad that they didn’t play a handful of my favorites.
So instead of seeing Green Day again, I’m just going to hang out at home and get a few projects done and enjoy the nice spring day outside. It’s always great when it finally gets nice enough to enjoy some time outside. I may be a great indoorsman, but I do like the outdoors in the spring.