What Do You Play for the Kid Who’s Heard Everything?

IMAG1283-1I have a two-year old son. Basically since he could move, I’ve been thrusting any and all manner of musical instrument and/or music in general in his direction, hoping that something will stick, that he’ll have the same kind of excitement and love for it all that I have. He has a xylophone. He has a little drum kit. He has this little dog-guitar thing that plays notes as barks. I’ve seen his face light up whenever I play the guitar or piano, a big smile spreading across his face. Sometimes we’ll hear him singing little gibberish songs to himself through the baby monitor at night before he falls asleep or at the crack of dawn when he wakes up. We sing to him all the time. I play music for him all the time…kid’s songs, oldies, bubblegum pop, and all the stuff I listen to from folk to hip-hop to jazz to heavy metal. This kid is surrounded by music. If something doesn’t take right away, I’ll bookmark it to try again later. Eventually, he’ll be ready for Weird Al. Eventually, he’ll find They Might Be Giants to be as delightful as his parents do.

The Joup Friday Album: The Jesus Lizard – Blue

TJL_BlueIn 1998, I was working in Ohio at the Dayton Daily News as a page designer and copy editor. I was also just starting to dabble in music writing and criticism, thanks to the encouragement of the features editor there. His office was always full of promotional releases and cool freebies — this was in the music industry’s last Golden Age, so it was almost as though every day was an episode of “Storage Wars” based on the bounty you could find in one small office. He would invite me in and allow me to pick through the hundreds of CDs that would arrive each week, and I would select a few to review for what now seems like an obscenely large weekly entertainment guide, considering a lot of mid-range markets produce only an A- and B- news section these days. Ah, the ’90s.

Endless Loop: All Mine

portisheadHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“All Mine” by Portishead

It never ceases to amaze me the way that particular songs can instantly take me back in time, reviving old memories, and inducing nostalgic pangs like some sort of weird aural sixth sense. They can paint pictures of times past or reignite old feelings, a whole series of moods, tones, and colors. I’ve written about it before, as have other contributors here at Joup, and it just serves as evidence of how powerful music can be and the effect it can have on one’s subconscious and ability to recall.

The Joup Friday Album: Run the Jewels’ Run the Jewels 2

Run-The-JewelsThe end of summer is always a really weird thing for me. Working in education, I get the mixed bag of having summers off. You get to sleep in, go on vacations, and stay up way too late. This part is wonderful.

There’s another factor that you don’t think about.  Everyone else has to work. You get lonely.  As the clock keeps ticking by, the boredom kicks in. You forget what day of the week it is. You start watching too much TV and arguing politics with people on the internet. The latter has quadrupled thanks to primary elections creeping up on us. Boredom eventually turns into anger, and that influences my listening habits. Run the Jewels’ album, Run the Jewels 2 has quickly become one of my go-to anger albums.

Endless Loop: Untitled Three

oddnosdamHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Untitled Three” by Odd Nosdam

Thee Comic Column #137: Judgement from a Friend!

JDRecently I was at a pretty low point. Things that were once constants in my life suddenly slipped away and I found myself in a rather shaky psychological place. My day-to-day life stopped, and that included all the things that make me happy. My interests, at one point, became solely based on survival.

It was pretty terrifying.

The Joup Friday Album: Mr. Bungle – California

mrbungleI got to see Faith No More a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been in full on Mike Patton mode ever since. Few artists have inspired the kind of rabid fanaticism in me that Patton has, and in that stretch of years in between when Faith No More disbanded and then reunited, I sought out everything the man created, even the most perfunctory of musical endeavors or guest spots. And while he most certainly has had a misstep here or there, the vast bulk of projects, collaborations, and appearances he has contributed to are resoundingly good, or at the very least interesting. It’s his willingness to experiment and to draw influence from practically every style or genre conceivable that gives his work its oomph. And it all started before he was even in Faith No More with a different group of West Coast weirdos called Mr. Bungle.