Memorial Day: The Most Important American Holiday?

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Amazingly enough, I’m actually going to take some time off today and spend it with family. I was going to hole myself up this entire weekend to study, but the weather is so perfect, the food smells so good, and I’m in a daggum good mood… so why not spread the love and throw myself into an environment where everyone can benefit from how I’m feeling?

Yeah, I’m pretty considerate! (said with the maximum amount of sarcasm allowed in the state of California… which turns out to be 52)

My Memorial Day memories have always been about the BBQ. My parents came to the states in the late 60’s with about $20.63 in their pockets and a promise to themselves that they wouldn’t deny their kids any part of the American culture. So they dressed us up on Halloween, hid Easter eggs, cooked a ginormous turkey, took us to watch fireworks, and BBQ’d on Memorial Day weekend.

As a kid, I never quite grasped the idea behind Memorial Day. Although I understood the point to it, Memorial Day didn’t mean as much to me as… say… The 4th of July. I thought they were the same and was just glad there was no school on the last weekend of May. The older I get, the more I learn… and the more I learn, the more I want to go back in time and beat some sense into the kid-version of me, or even the last 24-hour version of me for that matter.

The 4th of July is great, but it can’t be maintained without the military. That’s the difference, and that’s the reason why I hold Memorial Day higher up on the “holiday scale” than the 4th of July. In fact, without the military, NO American holiday could be maintained… without military protection, we would be overrun by Ewoks and consequently there would be no Easter egg hunts, no Tricks or Treats, no turkey day, and no presents under the tree… without our military, there would be no us, and that’s a fact.

So in a sense, Memorial Day should be the most important holiday.

My favorite line from A Few Good Men is when Lt. Weinberg (Kevin Pollak ‘s character) asks, “Why do you like them (the two marines on trial) so much?” Galloway (Demi Moore‘s character) replies, “Because they stand upon a wall and say, ‘Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.'”

That’s why I like them so much as well.

I keep telling myself to stop every military person I see and thank them, but I don’t. I’m lame in this regard… and I resort to thanking them in this site… something they probably won’t ever see. That’s my fault and I should change that.

I encourage you all to do the same. When I was entertaining the troops in Afghanistan, I met a bunch of people who were on their 4th or 5th tours. Their top 2 reasons for staying:

1. Because the job wasn’t done yet.
2. Because they couldn’t leave their buddies behind.

Excuse my profanity, but that’s some powerful shit.

I’m going to sleep tonight, knowing that someone is standing on a wall, making sure that I CAN sleep well tonight. I’ll probably never meet them, but if they happen to come across this site and read these words, know that I appreciate their sacrifice and hope they (and all their buddies) come home safely… and soon.

Happy Memorial Day!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: If You’re Reading This (Tim McGraw)

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Dennis Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010)

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It’s been a sad weekend for me. First Gary Coleman, and then Dennis Hopper… I found my meaning of Rock and Roll in Hopper’s film, Easy Rider … one of the more famous quotes nails it on the head for me: “It’s not who you boys are or what you look like, it’s what you represent that scares these people.”

To me, THAT is what Rock and Roll is all about.

People always talk about being free, about doing their “own thing,” about being an “individual” or “independent,” but how many people actually do it? How many people start off with those intentions but end up as just another brick in the wall? I’m guilty of this… and I know it happens not because we give up on our dreams, but because of necessity. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all just went after our dreams and forgot about our responsibilities? I don’t know if it would be a better world or not, and maybe that was the whole point to Easy Rider… that film could be (and probably will be) analyzed until the end of time.

We worship Rock Stars, not only because of the music they create, but also because of the lifestyle they represent.

The ending of Easy Rider always gave me the chills because it seemed so sudden… take a look:

Their deaths were so pointless, but I guess that’s how most deaths are.

Dennis Hopper gave me the link in the chain I was missing to connect myself from the music I was listening to, to the meaning behind the music. For that, I will always appreciate and honor his work. He was also one hell of an actor. Here’s my favorite scene from True Romance :

The respect between the characters is heightened and by the mutual admiration and respect between Hopper and Walken, two real-life friends. I’m no actor, but if were an actor, I’d want to be THAT good.

Dennis Hopper passed away on the morning of May 29, 2010 due to complications from prostate cancer. He was 74. Ride on, Easy Rider… ride on.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Ballad of Easy Rider

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Remembering Gary Coleman

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Like many other 80’s kids, I grew up watching Gary Coleman on Diff’rent Strokes. I laughed everytime he said, “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” and I wanted him to beat The Gooch. My family made it a ritual to gather together around the television for the show, and I don’t recall we missed an episode until the McKinneys became regular characters. We never got into Sam and felt that it ruined the show’s dynamics.

I remember when he dressed up as Mr. T, I remember when he and Dudley were molested by Arthur Carlson (the general manager of WKRP in Cincinnati), I remember when he pretended to play the saxophone with the help from Clarence Clemons, I remember when he and Willis decided to start calling Mr. Drummond “Dad,” I watched his various made-for-tv movies, and even got excited when he made a guest star appearance on Silver Spoons.

Yes, as a kid I was a fan of Gary Coleman and didn’t even know what being a “fan” meant.

So his passing yesterday morning made me realize that Coleman gave me much more than perhaps he was ever given. He gave me laughter, excitement, and most importantly, a sense of family.

It’s no secret that his post-Diff’rent Strokes life wasn’t quite as celebrated. I actually avoided (and still do) any negative press about him, and I never watched a single Surreal Life episode… when I saw him on those commercials, I cringed. I wanted him to stay as little Arnold Jackson forever, but that’s not possible nor remotely realistic.

We can’t stay young forever, but we can remember what it feels like, down to every last detail.

Gary Coleman died at 12:05pm on May 28, 2010, suffering from an epidural hematoma after falling and hitting his head. I’m sure he’s found his Park Avenue in the sky, and I’m sure he’s already said, “Whatchoo talkin’ about, God?” at least once to thunderous applause.

Rest in Peace.

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This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

I’m pretty bummed out that 24 has ended. Jack Bauer had become a regular part of my life, just like going to bathroom. I don’t know, maybe Jack Bauer’s more a part of my life than that… I just don’t know. What I do know is that I’m going to miss his relentless quest for not only the terrorists but truth, justice, and the American way of kicking ass.

Everybody knows the Chuck Norris jokes, right? Well, I found some Jack Bauer vs. Chuck Norris jokes that are pretty funny in their own right:

1. When in Jack Bauer’s presence, Chuck Norris urinates sitting down.
2. Jack Bauer once played Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris in a “who has the most testicles contest.” He beat them both by a combined total of 46.
3. If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.

That last one is a riot!

And now, here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From My iTunes!

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Babelonia – School of Seven Bells

I’d like to thank the Free Music Fairy that graces my inbox with… well, free music. I’ve never seen the Free Music Fairy before, but apparently she’s pretty frikkin’ hot and only gives free music to only the best looking men in the universe. So while I’m at it, I’d like to thank Brad Pitt for letting me use his email account to get free music.

“Babelonia” by School of Seven Bells (named after a mythical South American pickpocket training academy) falls into the “just what I needed” category for me. Once I played it, I knew I was hooked and that it’d be at the top of this weekly list.

Comprised of two identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza along with Benjamin Curtis, the group has already has an album, Alpinisms, under their belt. Their upcoming record, Disconnect from Desire, will drop on July 13… just in time for July 14, which has absolutely no significance whatsoever.

I played “Babelonia” 13 times this week. Totally dig it.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Babeloina

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Leave Everywhere – Toro Y Moi

I gotta admit, I don’t know how this song made it to the list. “Leave Everywhere” by Toro Y Moi is a cute song, but I didn’t think I played it THIS much because it didn’t quite grab me. I guess numbers don’t lie, so maybe it did grab me, but I must’ve been asleep or really into my homework at the time.

Now, I know that it sounds like I’m not too into Chazwick Bundick’s (his real name) music, I’m just saying that I don’t recall playing this song 10 times this week. It’s not a bad song… I just don’t remember anything about it…

Toro Y Moi is associated with the chillwave movement… something I’m pretty clueless about.

His first album, Causers of This, was released this year and “Leave Everywhere” isn’t on it. Just like “Stairway to Heaven” isn’t on it, either.

Well, I played this 10 times this week… maybe I’ll play it more and see what it is I’m missing…

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Leave Everywhere

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West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys

I remember my neighbor, Jenny, introduced me to The Pet Shop Boys way back when. I said hello to them, they said hello back, I asked them how their day was, they said it was fine and how was mine. I then went into detailing out my tortured life of dealing with Mr. Melter’s class and how I thought he played favorites with his grades and how just because I said “dammit” in his class one day he’s decided he’s going to flunk me.

After that, I bought them a Big Mac and fries. We took our time eating and even ordered some apple pies which I LOVE.

It was a great day until I realized that I had been talking to their album cover the whole time. Everyone in McDonald’s was looking at me and whispering behind my back. I could hear their conversations, though… words like “Insane Asian”” and “Frikkin’ Insane Asian” were thrown around like my mom on a mechanical bull.

Jenny just sat there and laughed the entire time. She could have clued me in on the whole talking-to-the-album-cover thing. I attribute our never getting together to that incident. Rats.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: West End Girls

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Great Waves – Dirty Three with Cat Power

This weeks’ limerick is dedicated to Dirty Three and Cat Power, who have collaborated for this wonderful tune, “Great Waves.” I’ve been a big fan of Cat Power for years. I don’t know much about Dirty Three, but I know I love you, and that may be all I need to know.

As with all the other limericks, I’m going to see how long it takes me to write this… I should clock in under one minute, but we’ll see this time…

Cat Power is singing this song
Dirty Three make sure it ain’t no wrong
Their song is “Great Waves,”
After listening to it I’s craves
Some food straight from the island, Taiwan.

It took me 54.37 seconds to write this piece of shit art.

I guess the words “wrong” and “Taiwan” don’t exactly rhyme, but it could if you just adjust how you say them. Just like “drum” and “one” CAN rhyme… just like “Rutabaga” and “Studebaker.” Or “Experiment” and “Glasgow.”

Man alive I’ve got to improve my limericks. The fact that I’m writing them as quickly as I can with NO thought put into them has no bearing on the quality… nope nope.

I played “Great Waves” 8 times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Great Waves

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Sister Marie Says (demo) – OMD

A few days ago I wrote about OMD‘s announcement of a new album in 2010 with the original lineup. “Sister Marie Says” is set to be on that album (titled History of Modern), and it definitely takes me back to their early days. This recording may be a demo, but if it were released in the 80’s, it’d be just fine.

I’m not sure what I’m hoping for in this upcoming album. Sure, it’d be great to hear OMD of old, but it’s been 14 years since they’ve made an album together… I’d expect the music to be different, just as I’d expect them to be different as people. I’m not going to be disappointed if the album does sound like OMD of old, though. At this point I’m just excited to hear anything they put out!

If you’re not too familiar with OMD’s catalog, I would highly recommend one of their greatest hits packages. You’ll hear some excellent pop music, but what’s interesting to me is to hear their evolution in sound. They went from using what appears to be a cheap Casio keyboard for drums to huge, orchestrated sounds near the end of the original lineup’s tenure. It seemed that everything in their writing had evolved. The only thing that stayed the same were the hooks and the pop-ness of it all.

Those of you who know the old OMD will enjoy “Sister Marie Says,” and those that don’t… it’s still a fine place to start. Hopefully the song will spark an interest in the band and you’ll see what the fuss is all about.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Sister Marie Says

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How to Lose Weight Without Even Trying

For the past two months, I’ve been on a new diet. When I say “diet,” I don’t mean that I’m trying to lose weight or anything… no, I’m saying “diet” as in “eating different foods to become a healthy boy.” The fact that I’ve lost about 15 pounds is beside the point. I don’t WANT to lose 15 pounds. Now I want to GAIN 15 pounds to get back to where I was, but it seems to be impossible while I’m on this diet.

The guidelines to this diet are as follows: I have cut out red meat, starch (no potato, but sweet potato is fine), gluten, refined carbs (no white rice, white flour, white sugar), no dairy, or bad-for-you oils (olive oil is ok), processed foods, preservatives, alcohol. I pile on vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, nuts, and anything else that is NOT on that list..

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So in a sense, every meal of mine is a fish/chicken salad. I eat gluten-free bread (which is pretty good), and I’ve tried brown rice but it sucks so I stay away from it like the plague.

Turns out that although I feel healthier, I don’t look it. 15 pounds off a 155 frame makes a HUGE difference.

My mom tells me to stop this diet, but I’m so into it now that I don’t want to go back. What I do need to do is figure out how to gain weight. I miss hamburgers, hash browns, burritos… all that stuff… I miss it a LOT but just can’t bring myself to go back to that way of eating. Also, eating healthy sucks… and it’s expensive. Like SUPER expensive. Like “now I understand why the world needs a McDonald’s” expensive.

Call me crazy, but I figure once I understand more about what to eat, my body will naturally get back to where it wants to be, which is about 155 pounds. I used to weigh about 120 all through college, and my peak was about 170 when I was working out about 5 times a week. I’m most comfortable at 150-155, so I hope I get back there soon.

If any of you have any ideas on how to gain weight while sticking to my diet, please tell me! And PLEASE don’t say “don’t do the diet” or “stop, you insane Asian!” or “where’s my $20?” I eat more often than I’ve ever eaten before, so “eat more, man!“ doesn’t work, either. No, I think it’s WHAT I’m eating… but like I said, I’m too far into this diet to want to go back to my past diet.

Sad thing is that when I’m on the internet, I often Google “hamburgers” and then click on “images” just to stare at them… my mouth waters and I reach for an apple. Yeah, an apple’s just not the same.

And now, to celebrate this travesty of a diet, here’s a song fits nicely.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: I Know It’s Wrong (the diet song (Julia Lee)

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Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks

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I guess when you’re Jack White‘s wife, getting a record deal is pretty easy… especially when the producer is Jack White and it’s being released on his record label, Third Man Records. If you’ve got those things going for you, a record deal is a lock.

Some people may think that Karen Elson has it easy because she, in fact, does have those things going for her.

In my opinion, though, Elson holds her own and has put together quite a sound with her song, “The Ghost Who Walks.” It’s the first single off the album of the same name, and already creates a distinct vibe for Elson. “Spooky” is a good word to describe her, and her explanation of the song only helps push this image for me.

On a BBC Radio 2 show with DJ Steve Lamacq, Elson explains the roots of the song:

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“Actually, the title was a nickname that I had at school. It was one of the nicer nicknames I had for being tall, pale and a little bit haunted, I guess. When I was writing the song I had the music written and ‘the ghost who walks’ just popped into my head. I thought ‘let’s turn this into some kind of murder ballad, let’s turn it into a very dark tale about a girl who’s madly, madly in love with her man and he’s taking her out on a romantic drive up to the lake to watch the beautiful spring full moon and as he takes her to the lake he kills her.’ When I was writing the song, what I was trying to portray was the idea of love and betrayal and how the girl in ‘The Ghost Who Walks,’ what she is really haunted by is her heartbreak, it’s really nothing else and when people are heartbroken you walk around like a ghost you walk around haunted.”

If my wife or even girlfriend came to me with a song about someone killing their lover, I’d hop on the first Greyhound to anywhere as long as it took me as far away from her as possible. I’ve done some research on where this location would be, and amazingly enough it’s located at 41° 43′ 35″ N, 49° 56′ 54″ W.

Elson hasn’t always been a singer/songwriter… if she looks or sounds familiar to you, that’s because in 1998 she was voted Model of the Year at the VH-1 Fashion Awards. I don’t know much about the VH-1 Fashion Awards except to say that it most likely has something to do with fashion.

All she has to do is take over the role of Jack Bauer on 24 and she’ll be my favorite person in the world because I’m going to miss Jack Bauer.

Here’s an acoustic performance of “The Ghost Who Walks.” I don’t know about you, but seeing everyone else in the band just stand there creeps me out.

Either that or I’m creeped out because Jack Bauer is standing behind me right now, about to ask me where the bomb is.

Take a listen to the song below in the Dig-It section. The single was released back in April, but since the album, The Ghost Who Walks, was released just this last Tuesday… what better time than now to write about it?

Here are some upcoming dates for Elson:

June 8 – San Francisco – Cafe Du Nord
June 9 – Los Angeles – Spaceland
June 13 – Denver – Walnut Room
June 15 – Chicago – Lincoln Hall
June 16 – Toronto – El Mocambo
June 17 – Montreal – Club Lambi
June 20 – Brooklyn – Williamsburg Waterfront (w Grizzly Bear and Band of Horses)

That June 20th show looks to be a great time.

You can stream the entire album with this player:

On a completely different subject, I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m going to miss 24. I just saw the series finale last night and now knows what it sounds like when doves cry.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: The Ghost Who Walks
Download: The Ghost Who Walks (acoustic)

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Phantogram: When I’m Small

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I’m betting that I listen to music for the very same reason many other people do, and that is to ease the mind, body, and soul. The “easing” can be a shot of adrenaline, or it can be a tranqulizer to wind down with. Sure, there are other reasons that fall in between, but I think ultimately our goal as humans is to find that sweet spot within us when it comes to music.

After taking many months off from seeking out new artists, I’ve kind of done a cannonball right into the pool again… I check out what I can, and if it hits that “sweet spot” in me, I write about it. Well, you can probably guess that something hit me in all the right places today.

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Phantogram‘s “When I’m Small” has been spinning here on repeat for the past hour or so. That rounds out to about 15 plays, and it was worth it every single time.

Comprised of guitarist Josh Carter and keyboardist Sarah Barthel, the duo first met in junior high school but didn’t start writing together until 2007. They wanted to create a sound that was a mixture of Serge Gainsbourg, sampling and Detroit hip-hop,” Whether they have achieved that or not is entirely up to you… all I know is that I dig it and want more.

“When I’m Small” is off their debut album, Eyelid Movies. I’m looking forward to picking this up soon because their sound intrigues me… it’s sultry, it’s smooth, and since I’ve been getting more and more into loops and beats lately, it’s right where I want to be.

Take a listen below in the Dig-It section and see for yourself. There’s some good music there… and it feels like more is just waiting to come out.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: When I’m Small

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Proof That God Wants Me to Get Laid

I love getting mail, and I’m talking about US mail, not email. There’s something so satisfying about opening your mailbox and receiving something physical. Sure, the majority of the time I get bills, junk mail or supermarket specials, but there are those special days when I get something I’m REALLY excited about.

Not long ago, I opened the mailbox door to see a package made out to “resident.” Normally, when I get letters with this, I toss it because I know it’s junk… but this time, because it was an actual package, I took it inside and wondered if I should open it.

After staring at it for a good 5 minutes, I decided to take the plunge and tore into the envelope. What fell out was this:

I couldn’t believe it! I have no idea why it was sent to me, but I think this is definitive proof that God wants me to get laid. I don’t know how else to interpret this.

For those of you that are wondering what Androstenone is, here’s a basic rundown, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“Androstenone (5α-androst-16-en-3-one) is a steroid found in both male and female sweat and urine. It is also found in boar’s saliva, and in celery cytoplasm. Androstenone was the first mammalian pheromone to be identified. It is found in high concentrations in the saliva of male pigs, and, when sniffed by a female pig that is in heat, results in the female’s assuming the mating stance.”

The “mating stance?” What could that POSSIBLY be? Sounds intruiging!

But according to The Journal of Physiology, “While a role for androstenone as a human pheromone is open to debate, a widely accepted finding is the ability of humans who are initially insensitive to androstenone to acquire sensitivity to it upon continued exposure.” That settles it… androstenone is my new cologne.

The article does state that androstenone “is variously described as having an unpleasant (urine, sweat) or pleasant odour (sweet, floral).”

So I guess if I’m drenched in androstenone, a woman will either say, “Dude, did you just pee on yourself?” or, “You know, if I were a female pig, I would SO go for you right now.”

It’s a chance I to have to take… are you all interested in some experimentation with adrostenone? And who sent this to me? Should I thank them or…?

Time will tell!

And now, a few songs about getting laid.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Let’s Put the X in Sex (KISS)
Download: Hot Raw Sex (Jimmy Edgar)
Download: I Wanna Sex You Up (Color Me Badd)
Download: Phone Sex (Sharkey feat. Cherrywine)

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Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More

Man ALIVE I love discovering new music. That’s gotta be at the top of my list of “Favorite Things to Do.” Let’s face it… discovering new music is SO much better than NOT discovering new music. The only thing better than discovering new music is discovering new music while having sex at Disneyland… with a mermaid.

Waitaminute… I don’t know if I want to have sex with a mermaid. Do you want to have sex with a mer-person? That’s kind of weird, and my “weird limit” stops with an upside-down swing, HP toner, and a tripod.

Getting back to discovering new music… I have stack of CDs this high just waiting for me. These CDs are all part of my must-listen-to-soon list, and I swear I’ll get to them all. Unfortunately, I can only get to maybe one a week (two if I’m lucky). I’ve been eye-balling one in particular, Mumford & Sons‘ latest, Sigh No More. After getting a few emails telling me that I HAVE to listen to it RIGHT NOW, I spun it and said, “Wow.”

Maybe “wow” wasn’t the most expressive word to choose at the moment… I could have gone with “wowzers” or “wowabunga,” but since none of those came to me at the time, I’ll just run with “wow.” Mumford & Sons impressed the bejeezus out of me, and I have a crapload of bejeezus.

Here’s a bit of what their official website bio says about them:

“Since they formed in December 2007, the members of Mumford & Sons have shared a common purpose: to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously. Four young men from West London in their early twenties, they have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices. They are staunch friends – Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane – who bring their music to us with the passion and pride of an old-fashioned, much-cherished, family business. They create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men.”

The bio then goes on to explain all the great things the band has done since it’s birth… not surprising, considering the quality of music they put out.

My iTunes categorizes Mumford & Sons as “folk,” but I’m going to say that they’re “epic folk.” Their sound is simply that huge. My “Is this band epic?” test is to see whether I turn my head to the stereo while listening. I mean, there’s really nothing to see while listening to music on the stereo, but usually if something REALLY grabs your attention, you tend to look at it… ever notice that? As if the artist will suddenly appear as tiny little people on your speakers or something, playing their little itty-bitty hearts out. So anyhow, that’s how I test to see if the band has epic-ness in them.

And I stared HARD at my stereo throughout Sigh No More. I stared so hard that my stereo actually said, “What you lookin‘ at, punk?” which freaked the frikkin’ frik out of me.

The opening track, “Sigh No More,” is a fine example of their style. It may start of un-epic-ly, but just wait until 2:23 when they kick it into high gear. I LOVE the percussion here… it’s tribal, it’s primal, and it makes my foot stomp until it’s either broken or I break through the floor. This quality is found throughout the record, and I can’t get enough of it. I’m not going to say that all of their songs sound the same or follow a particular formula, I’m saying that IF they do, it works and they should stick to it for at least a little while.

“White Blank Page,” my current favorite track, is another song that I feel encompasses what they’re all about. There’s a certain kind of pain that one can only feel through acoustic instruments… it feels more intimate, if that makes any sense. It’s as if you resort to doing whatever you can to express it. Nothing fancy, nothing contrived, just the two of you and the need for one to conquer the other. “White Blank Page” captures this for me, and call me a masochist, but it’s the kind of feeling that, although tortuous, makes me feel alive… the build up to 3:01 does it for me completely.

Here’s a performance of “White Blank Page:”

Mumford’s voice needs to be recognized. I won’t even try to describe it because how many more times can one say that the lead singer’s voice is passionate, expressive, and powerful yet vulnerable? So I won’t even try except to say that it needs to be recognized. There. It’s been recognized.

I’ve posted a few tracks in the Dig-It section below from Sigh No More… it’s a must-hear and shouldn’t be just the Spin of the Week, but the Spin of the Month. It’s been a while since I’ve been floored like this and it feels good.

Now I can’t wait to get to the rest of these CDs.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: The Cave
Download: White Blank Page
Download: White Blank Page (live acoustic)

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The War

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One of the most frustrating parts of life is dealing with people that know exactly how to knock the wind out of your sails. These people seem to come out of nowhere, yet you know they’re there, and often times you put yourself in their line of fire. Still, they seem to come out of nowhere and just give you an uppercut right into the moneymaker. It’s depressing, it’s defeating, and it’s downright crippling.

I’m guilty of it, too. I won’t deny that I’ve done it to people in the past… sometimes I don’t even KNOW I’m doing it, and I do it.

Well, tonight I was on the receiving end of it, and it still stings three hours later. I know that I should just forget about it, but I can’t because I had a pretty good day and was hoping it’d end that way. I should study, but I can’t get it out of my mind… so I thought that maybe if I write about it, I’ll put and end to this and get some work done.

Yet what sort of closure can come from this? I should have told that person off right then and there, but it was the wrong environment. I should have just shrugged it off, but it came from someone that I had once loved with all my heart. I should have done a lot of things, but I just stood there and took it.

I got blamed for something that was in no way my fault, yet I feel guilty. How messed up is that?

But we all take our punches… that’s a part of life. We pick our battles and hopefully in the end we win the war. Problem with this is, though, that I’m viewing life as a war, and I don’t want to do that. The problem with THAT is that when it comes to the end of relationships, it IS a war… a war to see who comes out better, to see who can show the other person that “I don’t NEED you anymore.”

“Anymore” is the key word there. “Anymore” means that I once DID need you, that I once DID rely on you for something vital in my life. “Anymore” means that all of that is gone… *poof* like the wind that used to be in my sails.

I had a good day, but in the end I was reminded of how I’m still knee-deep in a war. There are no lands to be won, though… no cities to conquer, no governments to overthrow. No, this is a war for my piece of mind, my ability to stand as a man and say, “I don’t need you,” and NOT add on the word “anymore.”

Essentially, this is a war for my soul, and I’m the only one fighting for it.

So I guess today I lost the battle, but I chose to lose it. Realistically, the only thing I would have gained by fighting back was the right to say, “HA! IN YOUR FACE!” which would have felt nice, but would have really gotten me nowhere.

In fact, it would have been a step back for me because it would have revealed that my pride is more important than my sanity.

Ah, there’s my closure.

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