Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Favorite Films

So it's summer time. I hada job interview today at Disc Makers. It went well. I get bored constantly and feel like a lazy bum. So you all know what that means. Yet another list will start. And this list is one that has been in the works for many years of my life. I did albums and directors and video games (although Resident Evil 4 is going to be a new addition to the top 20) so it is only natural that I reveal my top 25 favorite all time films. It is a daunting task, but I have reshaped the top 25 a lot over the past year and feel the need to update people on the movements of certain films and the addittion of a few newbies. At this point, my entire list goes to 111 but I will only divulge the Top 25 with nice reviews written about said films. So as a starter, here is 111 to 26 so you know where my heads at and what isn't making the cut on the top 25. Because I'm a film nerd, here listed are the movies, the year they were released and the director. This list is also for Justin Leo who wasnt around last summer when we did our lists. I dont remember if I sent you one, bro, so check out the updates


111. The Son's Room- Nanni Moretti- 2001
110. Witness- Peter Weir- 1985
109. 12 Angry Men- Sidney Lumet- 1957
108. Enter the Dragon- Robert Clouse- 1973
107. Welcome to the Dollhouse- Todd Solondz- 1995
106. What About Bob?- Frank Oz- 1991
105. Das Boot- Wolfgang Peterson- 1981
104. Trainspotting- Danny Boyle- 1996
103. Following- Christopher Nolan- 1998
102. The Player- Robert Altman- 1991
101. The Wizard of Oz- Victor Flemming- 1939
100. L.A. Confidential- Curtis Hanson- 1997
99. Mullholand Drive- David Lynch- 2001
98. Millions- Danny Boyle- 2005
97. 12 Monkeys- Terry Gilliam- 1995
96. Simple Men- Hal Hartley- 1992
95. Snatch- Guy Ritchie- 2000
94. Army of Darkness- Sam Raimi- 1993
93. American Psycho- Mary Harron- 2000
92. Harold and Maude- Hal Ashby- 1971
91. Three Kings- David O Russell- 1999
90. Ed Wood- Tim Burton- 1994
89. Delicatessan- Jean Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro- 1991
88. Mississippi Burning- Alan Parker- 1988
87. The French Conection- William Friedkin- 1971
86. Waiting For Gauffman- Christopher Guest- 1996
85. The Limey- Stephen Soderbergh- 1999
84. The Grapes of Wrath- John Ford- 1940
83. Back to the Future- Robert Zemeckis- 1985
82. North by Northwest- Alfred Hitchcock- 1959
81. Rules of Attraction- Roger Avery- 2002
80. Miller's Crossing- Joel Coen- 1996
79. The Pianist- Roman Polanski- 2002
78. Taxi Driver- Martin Scorcese- 1976
77. Fargo- Joel Coen- 1990
76. Talk to Her- Pedro Almodovar- 2002
75. Network- Sidney Lumet- 1976
74. Being John Malkovich- 1999
73. A Very Long Engagement- Jean-Pierre Jeunet- 2004
72. Dead Man- Jim Jaramusch- 1995
71. Metropolis- Fritz Lang- 1927 (Oldest movie on the list)
70. High Fidelity- Stephen Friers- 2000
69. The Truman Show- Peter Weir- 1998
68. Cinema Paradiso- Guiseppe Tornatore- 1989
67. Apocalypse Now- Francis Ford Coppola- 1979
66. The Hudsucker Proxy- Joel Coen- 1994
65. Evil Dead- Sam Raimi- 1981
64. On The Waterfront- Elia Kazan- 1954
63. The Manchurian Candidate- John Frankenheimer- 1962
62. Platoon- Oliver Stone- 1986
61. Ametuer- Hal Hartley- 1994
60. Rope- Alfred Hitchcock- 1949
59. Mad Max- George Miller- 1979
58. The Producers- Mel Brooks- 1968
57. The Insider- Michael Mann- 1999
56. Annie Hall- Woody Allen- 1977
55. Lolita- Stanley Kubrick
54. Living in Oblivion- Tom DiCillo- 1995
53. Pulp Fiction- Quentint Tarintino- 1994
52. Do The Right THing- SPike Lee- 1989
51. Punch Drunk Love- P.T. Anderson- 2002
50. Goodfellas- Martin Scorcese- 1990
49. Raising Arizona- Joel Coen- 1987
48. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- Michel Gondry- 2004
47. The Royal Tennenbaums- Wes Anderson- 2001
46. Fight Club- David Fincher- 1999
45. After Hours- Martin Scorcese- 1985
44. Malcom X- Spike Lee- 1992
43. Pi- Darren Aronofsky- 1998
42. Monty Python and the Holy Grail- Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
41. Dead Poets Soceity- Peter Weir- 1989
40. Better Off Dead- "Savage" Steve Holland- 1985
39. Adaptation.- Spike Jones- 2002
38. Raging Bull- Martin Scorcese- 1980
37. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou- Wes Anderson- 2004
36. Kill Bill- Quentun Tarintino- 2003-04
35. Io Non Ho Paura (I'm Not Scared)- Gabrielle Salvatores- 2003
34.Requiem for a Dream- Darren Aranofsky- 2000
33. The Seventh Seal- Ingmar Bergman- 1957
32. This is Spinal Tap- Rob Reiner- 1984
31. Casablanca- Michael Curtiz- 1942
30. Donnie Darko- Richard Kelly- 2001
29. Seven- David Fincher- 1995
28. The Silence of the Lambs- Johnathan Demme- 1991
27. The Blues Brothers- John Landis- 1980
26. American Beauty- 1999- Sam Mendes

So that is that. If you don't a lot of these, you now have a good checklist of some excellent flicks to check out. Some are harder to get than others, so Netflix or TLA it up for the rough gems.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Summertime Blues

So thanks to some of you that have sent me some song selections for the smattering of a summertime playlist, I have completed (not really, it will change all the time) a 70 song playlist for the summer of 2006. It's 5 hours of tunes that will accompany me along the way to the shore, Wilkes and B-Hem, Deleware, work and wherever the wind takes me this summer. Most songs are just great songs to jam out to, but here and there their are specific songs about summer and songs that I love to just roll down the windows at 3am and blare to relax. Here it is with highlighted suggestions and links to the bastards who gave me the idea for those songs.

1. Lou Reed- Crazy Feeling
2. Fountains of Wayne- It Must Be Summer
3. Simon and Garfunkel- Baby Driver
4. Brian Wilson- Good Vibrations
5. The Shins- So Says I
6. Yo La Tengo- Season of the Shark
7. Red Hot Chilli Peppers- Tell Me Baby
8. Pixies- Bone Machine
9. White Stripes- Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine
10. Jesus and Mary Chain- Surfin' USA
11. Gorillaz- Feel Good Inc.
12. Reggie and the Full Effect- Get Well Soon
13. Flaming Lips- It Overtakes Me/ The Stars Are So Big, I am So Small... Do I Stand a Chance?
14. Television- Days
15. Secret Machines- Lightning Blue Eyes
16. Magic Numbers- Love Me Like You
17. The Fever- Gypsy Cab/ Down on Dog Street
18. Stephen Malkmus- The Hook
19. Foo Fighters- Baker Street
20. My Morning Jacket- Run Thru
21. Dump- The Beautiful Ones
22. The Raveonettes- Red Tan
23. Eels- Novacaine for the Soul
24. The Lemonheads- I'll Do It Anyway
25. Wilco- Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (Again)
26. Refreshments- Banditos
27. Queen's of the Stone Age- The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
28. The Zombies- Beechwood Park
29. The Four Seasons- Walk Like a Man
30. The Four Tops- Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worth While)
31. Mott the Hoople- Honaloochie Boogie
32. The Beatles- I Feel Fine
33. Donovan- Epistle to Dippy
34. The Moody Blues- Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)
35. The Velvet Underground- I Can't Stand It
36. T-Rex- Born to Boogie
37. Rush- Fly By Night
38. Elton John- Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to be a Long Long Time)
39. Elvis Costello & The Attractions- Oliver's Army
40. Warren Zevon- Nighttime in the Switching Yard
41. Bruce Springsteen- Growin' Up
42. The Who- Join Together
43. Capt. Beefheart- Tropical Hot Dog Night
44. Brian Eno- Backwater
45. Foo Fighters- A320
46. Grandaddy- El Camino's in the West
47. David Bowie- Sound and Vision
48. Electric Six- Future Boys
49. Paul Simon- You Can Call Me All
50. Deep Purple- Maybe I'm a Leo
51. Primus- Shake Hands with Beef
52. My Bloody Valentine- Come In Alone
53. King Crimson- Heartbeat
54. Toto- Africa
55. Roxy Music- More Than This
56. Cory Hart- Sunglasses at Night
57. The Police- De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
58. Def Leppard- Bringing' on the Heartbreak
59. Nick Drake- Hazy Jane II
60. Brian Eno- St. Elmo's Fire
61. Jeff Buckley- Lilac Wine
62. Bob Dylan- Just Like a Woman
63. Beck- Feather in Your Cap
64. David Byrne and Brian Eno- Regiment
65. John Cale- Barracuda
66. Led Zeppelin- Down by the Seaside
67. Pearl Jam- Parachutes
68. Neil Young- On The Beach
69. Prince- Purple Rain
70. Stevie Wonder- Don't You Worry Bout a Thing

So thats the playlist. The summer is about fun, relaxing, rocking out and nostalgia so you can see how this list flows with spurts of 80's & 90's goodness, followed with some obvious choices then random pretentious rock. It's the way I roll. So next time you are in my car, prepare to hear some of these songs. 5 hours of summertime rockin.

(Editor's Note): I have renamed all you excellent bloggers after some of my favorite Who songs. I noticed that I was scrapping for really excellent icons and figured the song titles would be better. So if you don't like what you are, live with it. If you don't know the song, then it's your loss. Also, if anyone knows how to change my background to a picture through HTML means, let me know so I can totally jazz this shite up and make it look damn sexy.

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is the best live act since the Who. ANd fitting that they love the Who. Seriously though, the sheer energy and musicianship on that stage is pretty much the rock that at the Who's highest point would have been like. Live shows are great and these two back-to-back were the perfect compliment to each other. One stacked mostly with hits, the other with sweet gems. So here is my list. In bold are the standouts, bold italics and underlining means yestival in my face of amazingness.

Camden May 27th, 2006

Set 1:

Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted, World Wide Suicide, Do The Evolution, Animal, Severed Hand, Corduroy, Marker In The Sand, Given To Fly, Unemployable, Lukin, Not For You, Daughter(W.M.A.), I Am Mine, Jeremy, Present Tense, Why Go, Porch

Encore 1:

Better Man, Come Back, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Last Kiss, Alive

Encore 2:

State Of Love And Trust, Blood, Even Flow, Comatose, Leash, Rockin' In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter

Camden May 28th, 2006

Set 1:

Wash, Go, World Wide Suicide, Severed Hand, Corduroy, Save You, Given To Fly, Army Reserve, Grievance, Gone, Even Flow, You Are, Wishlist, Satan's Bed, Garden, Whipping, Life Wasted, Rearviewmirror

Encore 1

Wasted Reprise, Man Of The Hour, Parachutes, Black, Crazy Mary, Alive

Encore 2

Last Exit, Do The Evolution, Glorified G, Comatose, Leash, Baba O'Riley, Yellow Ledbetter

Since I mentioned that I felt Pearl Jam are liek The Who of this generation, I decided to go ahead and make one of my epic battle mixes. Here is the track listing of that jazz. The mix starts with Pearl Jam into the Who and so forth.

Soon Forget
The Seeker
Dreaming From the Waist
The Punk and the Godfather
Won't Get Fooled Again
Given to Fly
Naked Eye
You Are
Slip Kid
Tremor Christ
Put the Money Down
Red Mosquito
Who Are You
I Got Id
The Real Me
I've Had Enough
Off He Goes
Behind Blue Eyes
Inside Job
Love, Reign O'er Me
Present Tense
Love Boat Captain
Join Together
Light Years
I Don't Even Know Myself
However Much I Booze
I Can See For Miles
Sleight of Hand
The Song is Over
Baba O'Riley
Glorified G
Doctor Jimmy
Severed Hand
Not For You
My Generation
Let's See Action (Nothing Is Everything)
Yellow Ledbetter
Blue, Red and Grey

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer's Cauldron

This is just me being really bored. Summer begins this weekend (well, unofficially) and I have been compiling a playlist of excellent summery songs. I need your help. Post up a comment of some of your fav summer songs that are optimum for blasting in your car or playing while staring at the stars lying on your roof. I have a bunch already, but I'm sure there are more that can be added. I want this playlist to have about 100 songs and it has jsut over 50 now. This way, when I cruise down to the shore, I won't ahve to skip around for excellent driving music.

So get crackin'!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Word

So this weekend past was a yestival of Danno. Basically from Thursday night till Sunday morning at 5am, I was imbibing with my fatherly power, Mr. Cobra himself. From what I heard, he was once a man. Regardless, he is God.

Our weekend was so intense I can only post some pictures on here as to try and steal as much bandwith as I am entitled to. If you want to know more about what these pictures mean, inquire and maybe I will tell you. Otherwise, you had to be there.

Ok. So Blogger caught on to my game and is not letting me upload too much. But those pictures sum up Thursday alone. The Buk and the Manatee. Great times at Steel Gaarden.
More or less, my adventures were summed up with ridiculousness. Drunken benders more or less that ended at 6am on Sunday when Danno and I insisted on finishing our freshly poured glasses of Jim Beam (poured at 5am) and play Smash Bros. The sun came up and we realized that things needed to slow down. Sleep didn't happen till later since we were up like 5th graders making funny sounds, makign fun of Dr. Carey's jibberish and then realizing he was dreaming of Dan Brown cuz he started speaking in "The Da Vinci Code." Anyone reading this assumes that we would at oldest be in high school, but not the case. Both grads, but young at heart.

That's what life is all about.

Boring for the most part, but with spurts of pure insanity spewed in between. Next weekend poses to be excellent thanks to Pearl Jam. Oh Hell Yes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Sexional

So you may have noticed that the last list contained not a single event from the sexional. Well, I decided that when I was posting that to omit all the sexional moments because, well, they weren't strictly La Salle, which is what the last post was more or less centered around. So here is my reflection on the sexional.

The Sexional was pretty much the best year of my life. Starting at the tale end of the summer of '04 (for me because I had to go on a little trip to Greece, so I moved in right after my birthday) I moved in with two of the greatest gents I have ever known. The Szczepanski Bros. These two champions of life really were the perfect roomates. PERFECT! Over that whole year, we didn't get into a single arguement, tiff or fisticuffs with each other! It was insane. I had my reservations when the idea was put forth and after signing a lease. I was scared that moving in with friends could be disaster. I knew George and I could do it maybe easily, but I had no idea what it would be like living with Jack. I mean, I knew him and all, but living with someone and being friends is a different thing altogether. Needless to say it was destiny. Greatness abounding. And everyone who has been to a Sexional party knows that (more to come later on that note.)

Most people are probably thinking that I love the Sexional because of the events we had (more to come I said!) and they would be semi-right. But I really loved it because it was my first time moving out and with great roomates to boot. The place wasn't the most glorious, but we made it glorious. It had lots of mice (the year I lived there we caught over 50[50!] mice) and had some roach issues. But Lord knows we made that place our home too! We had lizards for God's sake! And a tarantula! JEEZ! That plus the best media collection one could offer. Between the three of us, we had 4 copies of Detroit Rock City, 3 Donnie Darko's, tons of my pretentious art films, Jack's ridiculously insanely campy action flicks, vinyl up the wazoo including the likes of Lionel Richie, Toto, Pink Floyd and Interpol plus countless VHS tapes we inhertied and lord knows what else. Not to mention we are three fun dudes who like brewski's, chucking cookies at the walls, deep fryers and as many guests over at all times as possible.

Now to what everyone knows was the most fun part of the sexional. The parties. Well, at first, we had just a good ol' house warming. That was, of course, fun, but the real parties didn't start until we decided to make a theme for our first big party. And so, I give to you, the Top 5 best sexional theme parties and events. This will span past my actual tenure as we all know two of the all time best were after I was officially out of there.

5. The Sexional Loves The 80's!- So this wasn't a unique to the sexional party like the rest of them, but for anyone who came out to this one, you were transported back. Between the "vinyl only" restriction, the tunes from the likes of Talking Heads, Lionel, Duran Duran and the infamous knife fight during "Beat It"" when we popped on the essential Thriller, the 80's party was clutch fantastic. This was one of the best dressed of all of them as mostly everyone (minus the occasional square or "to cool for theme parties" people.)

4. Hurricane Sexional: Bring Your Oven Mitt!- Minus drinking too much Cane after 8 hours of solid cleaning, this party was an amazing idea. Everyone was required to bring a Oven Mitt if they wanted one of our 60 (yes 60) Canes. You drink it out of the now coined Jittney Rags and it keeps your Cane cool! Leave it to Jack and George to think of that! Best Jittney Rag one a fish inside of a Cane bottle (went to Heather Hershock) and it was tons of fun. Whatever you do, don't play Cane Tac-Toe as you will die. Also, the fact that I sent Ryan and Danno out for the hunt of Cane and they came back with 5 cases makes for great partying.

3. Earn Your Blue Ribbon- This was the second highest populated party we have had and it was one of the most fun of any party thrown at the sexional. This was post Tsikitas, but it was a glorious idea garnered by George. We decided to get a keg of the greatest beer, PBR, and if people wanted special privleages (judging who gets ribbons/gin tank), they had to either win games or do ridiculous stuff. When you have a challenge like this along with booze, it gets fun. Everyone was required to wear blue and everyone basically got a ribbon by the end of the night. It was raucous. We had the "You Got Served" award which went to Dr. Carey after George said he was going to throw him off the balcony. There was the beer pong award for a team who stayed on three games in a row and then there were the "Build a Ribbon's" which meant you do something nuts and a judge would give you a ribbon. Danno made fake boobs, some girl had nice boobies, kevner made a mustache, it was insane to say the least.

2. Back From the Dead- This was the most recent. It was, wow. What can I say. Everyone got into it and it was fun. Here are my fav pictures from the night to show you how awesome it was.

1. Tank Tops and Temporary Tattoo's (The Original)- Not only do I mean the first one of these parties (two was fun but over crowded), but this was the first one we had that was ridiculous theme and fun times. It was the true test to see if we could mix the many different pools of friends that we all had, and we pulled it off. At first, people sat with who they came with, but after some drinks and a Sharpie here or there, everyone, I mean EVERYONE started walking around and drawing on people making tattoo's, often times tagging people with their signature tatt. It was so much fun and such great times.

The sexional has a place in my heart forever. Rock on bros.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Let's Get Together Before We Get Much Older

Here it is. The end of an era. It feels good to have officially graduate a major university after 22 years of life and 16+ years of school. Here is my reflection. First, the senior-send off I wrote for the Collegian.

I live vicariously through the words of others. This doesn’t mean I don’t have any original thoughts in my daily life—it’s just that I find solace in the words of others. Whenever I go through a period of transition, I look for songs to comfort me. Be it heartbreak, finding love, getting angry at someone or moving on to a new destination in life. In this time—the autumn of my school days—I turn to many different artists to find that cradle to enrich my soul and find peace of mind.

We’ve been in school all our lives, and we’ve only known these institutions. Many people graduating may find their home continuing their education. Some will find the job of their dreams. Some may just get something to pay the bills. Some may do nothing they ever expected. Regardless of what we may find in the next few months of our lives, we are all faced with the fact that this machine has come to a halt.

So in the tradition that I know best, I turn to lyrics to find words of wisdom that I may share with my fellow seniors. It’s a sort of farewell where I will take the words of my favorite artists and mold them into a send-off that I only can give. These lyrics are a gift from me to you.

“Every street is an adventure and every road becomes a thrill. Every turn we take and every decision that we don't make, even the decisions we don't make will bring us into the secrets of the town. Every corner we turn will lead us down the labyrinth and every desire that we earn will guide us, alive, living, loving and searching. And now you know you cannot live alone, but you will find your future is unknown. One day the questions rise. On wings of chance you fly.”

“Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get up and be it. And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast. It's hard to make the good things last. You realize the sun doesn't go down. It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round. Money can't buy back your youth when you're old or a friend when you're lonely, or a love that's grown cold. The wealthiest person is a pauper at times compared to the person with a satisfied mind.”

“And songs are never quite the answer just a soundtrack to a life that is over all too soon. Helps to turn the days to night while I was wrong and you were right. All these places have their moments, with lovers and friends, I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living. In my life I’ve loved them all. You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us have been. A place that has to be believed, to be seen. You could have flown away, a singing bird in an open cage who will only fly for freedom.”

It’s been a great run here at La Salle. I am the sum total of all the experiences I have had with every person I have come in contact here. It would be too hard to say my goodbyes or send my regards to those who meant the most to me, so instead I say thank you to everyone who makes La Salle what it is—the last leg in the giant machine of organized education and the last link in my life as a student. It’s the beginning of a new age—let’s get together before we get much older.

(Thanks to the Refused, Tim Buckley, Ted Leo, The Flaming Lips, Rhodes & Hayes, Badly Drawn Boy, The Beatles, U2, The Velvet Underground and The Who for the words of wisdom.)

Basically, when trying to figure out how to write this peice, I had no idea how to write it. I didn't want it to be too personal, btu I wanted to be from me. And everyone who knows me, knows I love music, so I figured it was fitting to print this. It took me a while to pick the right words to tell everyone so I did what I love best--sat around and listened to lots of music and wrote down the words that struck me as meaningful.

On a more personal note, since this is my blog and everyone who reads it is pretty much in my elite circle of loving friends, I really want to thank all my buddies who have helped me through some tough times and to you who have made some of my best memories. So, here is my top 10 memories over the past four years that have sparked the imagination and have kept a smile on my face to this very day.

10. ~Rock shows with Sworn Allegience in West Chester~
This show was one of my personal fav's to play. Rocking along side Ray Porreca and clan was surely a treat. Sadly enough, when Noringo finally took the stage, they told us we had 20 minutes to play. We were PISSED cuz we came all the way from Jersey to play. So we got on stage, rocked about 5 songs (maybe more... we definitely kept playing and didn't give a shit what the Fennario people said) and during our final song, "The Light", I turn to John, we extend the ending with ridic shredding, massive cymbal crashes and finally, in the fashion of my all time fav band, wrecked the shit out of John's drum set. Needless to say, it was great. Also, in attendance that night was Tara Fleck and Sarah Deal who traveresed a good ways to rock with us. That was awesome times.

9. ~B14 Snowball Fight at 6a.m.~
There really was a surreal feeling the one night at one of the best Borgottas ever. After a long night of gamblign and turning our sweatpants inside out, we got snow! Sadly, classes didn't get cancelled, but at around 6am when gambling finally finished and we were all groggy, we launched an all out snowball fight and caused some mayhem along the townhouses. Hyslop was scared of getting in trouble, but we dragged him out for some great times.

8. ~Peel Slowly and See~
Any time alone can hit home for people, and producing and hosting my own radio show for four years was one of the best experiences ever. I had some great guest spots (Ray Porreca for a monthly visit the first few years, Warren Minnix, Richie, Mike Muller, Carl Cunningham, Brian Meitz, Sarah Deal for a segment of songs here and there, Noringo boys and many more.) I played excellent songs and talked about music to about 45 people total over the years, but it was nice to escape for a bit and be in that booth by myself with my music.

7. ~Pretzel Factory Run to Sailing the Seas of Cheese~
There are those nights the one never forgets, and as random as it seems, driving with Ryan Carey, Norlen and Kevner (I think he was there?) to the Pretzel Factory on the final night of the Collegian in 2005 was one of them. We popped in good ol Primus' Sailing the Seas of Cheese and drove down in Norlen's then new Focus and blasted the tunes. We got there, ordered 50 pretzels, drove back and just as we rolled up, the cd was finished. Thats when you know the world is aligned with the sun and moon for sweet chi. Plus, Pretzel Factory pretzels are the best ever. Esp. fresh at midnight. I reprised the run twice of the next year, but it was never as amazing as the first time.

6. ~Various Bethlehem Trips~
There are quite a few, but traversing up to B-town with Dr. Carey, Chwastyk, Stev and others to see Steelers games or to see Stereo Agency always ends up in mayhem of sorts. The key times were for Stagency at the Funhouse for one of their finest shows, recently when Ryan and I traversed up and I wore Danno's paintball mask and acted like Cobra Commander as I sat on Ryan's lap due to the huge amount of refuse in the back seat and the oen time I went solo and hung with Danno and met the lovely Chelsea who poses to be a good friend of the future (and my internet lover.) There will be more (including this Thursday) and times will only be better when I start going to every Steelers game at Starter's Pub this year.

5. ~BROG!~
Ok, I have to admit. Although this semester was the worst ever because of mono, somethign saved it. And that was Brother Gerry Molyneaux's class "American Media: From Sleaze to Sublime" aka Road Trip 5000. The main reason why this class has such cred on this list is because overall, senior year was the most uneventful. However, everythign I will take home with me at the end of the day from the last year of college has stemmed from this class. From the VC to the international symbol of Maximum Carnage to leaving Parks in NYC to Running through the aisles of class singing Ohio by CSNY; this class was insane. I hung out with lots of awesome new people I never really associated with before including Dignam, Jacqui, Trevor, Greg Allen, Sullivan and reinforced relationships with Ed Frizzle Fry and Doc. It was great. Although sometimes annoying, the class really was fun. And having a month and a half off due to mono didn't help, but it kept me going upon returning. Plus, Brog is amazingly ridic in class. Funny and sometimes incoherent, it posed for fun times all around. He's a great man.

4. ~The Sextuplets!~
Anytime I got together with Ms. Deal has been great. But when she introduced me to Tara Fleck and I introduced them to Stev, George and Nini at the Feztival when the Strokes and The Darkness rocked the stage, sweet magic occured and amazing friendships were started. Tara and Sarah are two of the greatest people in my life. This meeting of the minds has led to raucous dancing, slaying raptors, trips to Wilkes Barre, flattened pennies, formals, concerts, getting lost while finding each others residences or just trying to go home and nothign but fun. No drama, no fuss, all smiles! It's true. These people rule my world. I'd hafta say that these five pretty much sum up the best people in my life. These are the people that when we all get together, crazy things like what you see here can happen. The Napkin Game, the Franz Ferd concerts and the other wacky antics, it's pretty much one of the best groups of people I know.

3. ~Denise Maher~
Oh, stop it. You guys all know that these were some of the best moments of my La Salle career. Summer of 2004 was great. I made an excellent friend that summer who will always hold a special place in my heart. We shared great times and we were on the same page for many things. The past year has been impossible due to circumstance, but now that we are back on good terms, I feel great about life again. Denise, you mean more to me then you know. I really don't need to say why you are the only person who gets there OWN number, but I think you know. Great times, some of the best.

2. ~Leo Retreat Weekends!~
Every single one of these events has been amazing. Justin Leo is a true champion of living. He competes with Ryan Carey for Biggest Heart out of our group while Norlen and Kevner fight for biggest loveable cynic. Stev and Muller fight for best sickness during a weekend and Muller and Myself fight for best fantasy fetish. Simon and Dom fight for best newcomer to the weekend. Danno wins the master of random and great advice. Between the food, the games, the insane thrifting, the awesome video finds (Y2K!!!), the Members Only knock offs, the typewriters, the random mixes at the thrift store, the mixes made special for the road and the Issac's toast; these boys have made my home away from home in Lancaster. I tried to recreate it. It was a good time, but without Justin Leo, nothing was the same.

1. ~WEXP Marathon 2003~
Without this, most of what happened above would never have come to be. I met most of the people I was best buds at La Salle here. I don't feel like going into specifics, but spending 24 straight hours of broadcasting with these guys was what I needed to find my place at La Salle. I had a shitty freshman year, but this kept me wanting to go to La Salle.

Overall, college was great, but I am so ready for moving on. Let's keep the rest of the good times coming folks.

Friday, May 12, 2006


The lists are done. The school year is over. And Paul Tsikitas, is on Walkabout. You may have heard me talking about Walkabout for the past 10 days (since that is how long it has been since I started this sojurn) and here, on this humble blog, will finally be my explanation to all of those who read this pap.

Here is the actual definition:
Walkabout is an Australian pidgin (or perhaps quasi-pidgin) term referring to the belief that Australian Aborigines "go walkabout" at the age of thirteen in the wilderness for six months as a rite of passage.

Here is my loose interpretation and tweaked version:
Walkabout is the time in between the end of my career as a student and the start of my career as an adult with a job. The constituent elements of my walkabout is friends, food, drink and all around nostalgia trips the size of the Australian outback. It's a rite of passage as a college student to enjoy the fruits of their youth before the "real world" kicks in.

Basically, I started this journey a few weekends ago when Ray and Faz joined me on the fabled Delassandro's trip and continued with a lot of partying and enjoying friends and decided to make an official Walkabout once I handed in all of my stuff and completed everything that was needed to be done for graduaysh. Now I'm on a soul-searching journey that involves all the elements of the past 4 years of my life. So as I formulated those mind-numbingly boring reviews of my fav albums, I was actually living and doing things. Most of the things involved some raucously strange and random stories, which in Justin Leo fashion, I will ramble on about for quite some time. So unless you are devoted to the cause, get out while you can!

Day One~ Hip-Hop Show
Wednesday May 3rd was a strange day in general. I did a lot of work for Grauke, finishing up my final short story and a lot of lounging around. I was invited the day before to see Faz's hip-hop act, Kontra, mix it up (I would say play, but I don't know the proper nomenclature for describing a hip-hop show) at the Khyber. I wasn't going to go, but I realized, Hell, I'm done everything. Why the eff not! I was glad I did because this show was the catalyst for Walkabout. The show was awesome. For someone who doesn't listen to hip-hop, I definitely got into most of the acts. Kontra was excellent and the key-notes of the night was when Adam 12 (?) and Scandal did some freestylin during Scandal's set. It was sick. Also, Random was awesome throwing back to the glory days of hip-hop (that and he sampled Journey!!) Flanny, Doc, Ray and Kelly were in attendance and it was just a night of sheer greatness. It was also nice to be there for Faz who rocked the mic like no other. Good stuff from my fav non-Tsikitas Greek.

Day Two~ The Final Countdown
Thursday was sleeping in and preparing for a night of belidge that was only topped by the next night. I drove up to La Salle and met up with my BroG class to go downtown for drinks at McGillin's. What a sweet place! Tucked away on Druary Street, the oldest bar in Philly was good food, good times and good drinks. Jacqui, Colleen, Doc, Giles (not in the class.... dick) Ed, Dignam and BroG were the only ones allowed to drink (well, and me, but that goes without sayin) so we made our little adults table and got away from the Torino fools who were all babies. We order good food and good juke music care of me filled with Sinatra, Def Leppard and Talking Heads. Afterwards was Gent's Club (and the final official gent's club.) It was glorious. There was a ton of people down at Belfield for the Cane fest. It sucked when vag's showed up, but at least it wasn't cops. Post Gent's was all about the destruction of A6's couch where in regular form I snatched the "Do Not Remove This Tag" off of it and gave it to Ms. Foreman as a keepsake. After the riot, security came and ball busted the whole night, but I returned late night to have some enjoyable converation time with Drust, Ed and Jacqui. A good night all around.

Day Three~ Blackout
So I got like, 2 hours of sleep on Thursday. Giles' party was Friday night and it was good times. Until I got blackout. But before that, I was grilling, drinking with friends like Ramen and Chew and Flanny and just enjoying life. Chew and I grilled some excellent sausage care of Butcher Bloc and everyone was enjoying the times. Then, I guess due to lots of beer and liqour and no sleep the night before, I hit a HUGE wall and was brought upstairs to sleep. I wasn't sick, I was just tired. The rumor mill said I puked all over myself, but I actually just slept from (i'm guessing) 12pm to 4 am. I got up for a bit to see the end of the party then it was back to a drunken spiral of sleep. This is what Walkabout is all about. Get it out of my system before I have a job and I'm all tired and cranky.

Day Four~ Relaxing with Denise
This was a good day. One of the best. Walkabout has brought so many different circles of my life back into my life that it has been extremely fruitful. I was hungover all day, but that didn't stop me. I enjoyed a little freaked with the Giles' Ranchers and headed home for a much needed nap. Then I headed out to the good old stomping grounds of North East Philly for an enjoyable night with the lovely Denise. It was good catching up with her. She has been an integral part of my college life and a lot of the growth that I have gone through in the two and a half years that I've known the lovely lady. It was nice to have a night with sober conversations about life and where it's headed and with a very special and great person. After that I headed over for Richard's 21st and Tom Fischers in good ol Collingswood (well, Westmont.) Got some brews and got an enjoyable nightcap and end of my hangover thanks to $3.25 Guiness!

Okay. This night, so far, was the most fun out of all of the nights. Slept in and waited for this more or less the entire day. THen when Doc rolled up, I knew the good times were going to begin. We took PATCO into town to hit up the Khyber for the best deal in town, DESTROY YOUR LIVER! Basically you pay a ten dollar cover and get all domestics, draughts and well liquor for all you can drink all night. We got there at about 9:30 and the place was dead. We then imbibed some drinks and Ed Frizzle Fry met up with us. Then we continued feasting upon beers until it got packed. There were some cute girls and Ed walked up to two and they shot him down. We deduced they were lesbians (and Ed said it the rest of the night they would come by us... really loudly.) Then, after we got sauced and Doc's buddy (John?) came up, we hit the dancefloor. The music selection was glorious. A mixture of your typical hip-hop with a dash of 80's and other nostalgic songs. Basically everything from 50 Cent to The Cars to Def Leppard to The Proclaimers to Daft Punk. The DJ's were mixin' the songs with a really great feel and the vibe was good. Most of the ladies on the dancefloor weren't feelin' the sexy vibe I was giving off, but I wasn't looking for it either. Until I spotted this excrutiatingly hot black girl int he corner with her whitey girl friend. So I groove over and I'm jstu dancin next to them. Making the eyes and just having fun with myself. Then Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" came on and I started rockin' my robotronics. Well, this set a trigger off in her mind and she got up on me and we had a robot off. That was probably the sexiest moment of my life. The rest of the night was off and on dancing with this gorgeous woman who had all the right moves. So as I leave to Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" (yes they played that... it was sweet), I spot her sitting taking a breather with her friend. I walk up, take her hand and say "It was a pleasure dancing with you" and kissed her hand and left. I wanted to throw my arms in the air because I didn't et her name or number and that wasn't the point. It was just pure dancefloor chemistry that needed to stay in that moment. The rest of the night was Doc throwing himself on me and Ed as he screames "Crutches", Ed playing the horn parts to "You Can Call Me Al" as we walk back to Patco and Doc laying in the middle of the streets of Jersey. Our livers were destroyed to say the least.

Day Six~ Breather
After an excellent trip to the CLD with Doc and Ed and a viewing of Living in Oblivion (Thanks for the apology, but you will never work in this town again) I decided rather than go out to the bar that night again, I would enjoy some quality Kevner Stevner time. Needless to say this night was needed but uneventful minus the trip to Wawa where we discussed Dr. Carey's belidge nature and then watched lots of Ali G. It was a nice break from the insanity of drinking that would continue the rest of the week.

Day Seven~ "Did she just go in the kitchen with that dude?"
I headed into town for Erin McCabe's 21t birthday. I never met the girl, but it was $1 PBR's at the Angle Sea Pub (right near my family's fav bar McMenamens) and we rocked some Quizzo. Our team was aptly named "Dan Touey's Missing Tooth" and we scored a free pitcher of brewdogs for winning one of the rounds. This night was eventful because my stalkers finally got to talk to me about all of their "creepy" love for me. It's funny that they "obsess" about me, a lowly guy. But hey, it's pretty funny and they aren't as "creepy" as they make themselves out to be. It was fun times all around. Oh yeah, and Coll Kennedy decided to go into the kitchen with a random local and make-out with him. What a strange-o. I also made my Walkabout Mix Vol. 1 that night which is pretty delish.

Day Eight~ Pong Out With Your Wong Out
Teamed up with a girl I onyl met the night before, I ventured for an early day of imbibing that is typical of college. Yes, it was a massive beer pong tourney that went all day long. I'll admit, I never have been a fan of thigns like that in the past, but hey... I'm on walkabout. Anything goes and I'm gald I went. I saw the true colors of my stalkers (they are actually nerds! hope you are reading this!) and JQ and myself went to the final four of the tourney which was fun. A lot of people were there that I never talked to ever in my four years and I didn't start talking to any of them either. The rest of the night was about enjoying some other friends as we went to Crilly's place to rock out. I sobered up and lefet early (which was a good and bad idea because I love that crowd, but I felt really shitty from a day of 8 hour drinking.)

Day Nine~ Red Feet, Monsoons, Mohitos, Stabbings, Singalongs and Drowning
This was by far the most epic day of the sojourn. Last night was a highly enjoyable evening with Valentine, Ms. Chambers, Georgie Woods and Scottish. Carly, Jess, George and I jumped on PATCO for a visit to Scot's establishment on 3rd and South called The Reef. Needless to say, the food and drinks were great, but walking through on and off turential downpours was harsh. It ended up being worth it. Carly's feet turned red cuz her shows got soaked and bled through to her feet. no pun intended since her shoes were red. We enjoyed the most intensely deliscous mixed drink I have ever had. Mohitos. Dino, the most excellent bartender I've encoutned concocted these drinks which have rum, sour mix, mint leaves, lime and other great flavorings (ranging from Mango to Coconut to Watermelon) for a drink experience liek no other. Definitely not too fruity, but just the right amount of flavor. The food was awesome too with extremely tender chicken and curry sauce and fried plantains. After Scot closed up shop, we wandered looking for our next place to imbibe. Most places were lame, closing up or loud. As we walked towards Kildare's on 2nd street, we pass Mako's and there is a mob of people beating on this one guy with brass knuckles and someone had some sort of knife and was diggin into the guy. That was disturbing esp. because there was a cop on the corner doing NOTHING ABOUT IT! So we called in for back-up and briskly walked to Kildare's for my beverages. We sang along to great classic 90s and rock songs and enjoyed some silly pictures and a cover band as well. Then Scot drives us back in his new PT Cruiser to Jersey. As we are over the bridge and I laugh as I think of Stev's slammtober fest when he hit cars, I blurt out "This is a smooth ride." Right after I say that, we turn a corner and in usual Admiral Wilson fashion, there is a huge flood. They must have known when naming it "Admiral Wilson Boulevard" that you would need a boat sometimes to manuver it. Regardless, WHAM! Huge puddle, no crash, but his car's engine (with less than 500 miles on it) floods. We are stuck at the Hess Express for a good hour and a half before AAA comes out. I decide I'm clairvoent to some extenet because Scot and I go to use the pisser and of course they are broken. Although that put an awkward situation on the end of the night, it made it even more memorable for those there.

That's it so far. There will be more Walkabout details as Graduation is this weekend. I will have a reflection peice ready for that and I will post my Senior Send-Off here. It's been a great run. I hope you can enjoy Walkabout with me at some point in the near future. It's been a great time. Let's not let it end.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

#1 The Who's Quadrophenia

When your blog is named after a line in one of the songs from this album, you should have been able to figure it out.

Basically, Quadrophenia is the kind of album that changes your life after listening to it. The Who has the power to do so on a lot of their albums, changing there sound from a Mod Pop sound in the mid 60's, psychedelia in the late 60's, to defining classic rock in the 70's. Where Quad triumphs is in its subject matter. The album was written and recorded ten years deep into the Who's career. It's a thank you and a reminicing of the days the Who spent as the God's of the Mod Culture in London. So why does this album speak to me over 30 years later when its about a culture thats dead? Well, the culture isn't dead, per se. It's more that the songs can speak to people of any young culture. Songs like "I Am One" or "I've Had Enough" hits emotional chords with any young person. "The Real Me" is a question we all ask ourselves: "Can you see the real me? Can ya? CAN YA!" We have all had those moments where we questioned our own reality or our personality. We all get angry sometimes and songs like "Helpless Dancer" can sometimes mirror the pissed off emotions we all get about people around us. "Is It In My Head?" and "Sea and Sand" again question the relationships we have with parents, lovers, friends and who is really there for us. The lyrics are personal, but the lyrics don't alienate any listener. Everyone goes through times of questioning ones self and this is where Quadrophenia triumphs.

From a Who fans perspective, this album is the apex of the bands musicianship. Listening to this album shows the sheer firepower the Who has. Between Townshend's guitar tones that range from shrill to soothing, Moon's epic drumming (his career best on all the tracks of this album... listen to the album and focus on his craft... your mind will be blown by how he brings structure to chaos) and Entwistle's bass takes charge. Daltry also gives some of the most bone-crushing, heart-breaking vocal performances of his entire career. Townshend stands and delivers some excellent vocalics especially on "Cut My Hair." It's an overall team effort of all four members that comes together in a single entity to create Quadrophenia.

From an album perspective, you don't get any better than this. It's sheer excellence from start to finish. It's next to impossible to not listen to the album straight through (or at least in halves since you need to make time to listen to the entire double album.) However, unlike Dark Side and Tommy, you can take songs out of context from this concept album. Songs like "The Punk and the Godfather" can stand alone, as well can the single greatest song ever written "Love Reign O'er Me" can be taken away. The thing is, these songs are great alone, but even better in context. That is why an album like Quadrophenia is so excellent.

A message to those who haven't heard Quadrophenia all the way through:
I highly suggest you change your ways and pick it up in any possible format. It really is an excellent acheivment in rock and roll. An album reflecting the early days of the Who's career, but not a throw back. The music is still rock, but about the mods. The songs are beautiful, the lyrics are meaningful and heartfelt and the music is purely rock.

So I leave you all with a few lyrics.

You were under the impression
That when you were walking forward
You'd end up further onward
But things ain't quite that simple.
You got altered information
You were told to not take chances
You missed out on new dances
Now you're losing all your dimples.

My jacket's gonna be cut and slim and checked,
Maybe a touch of seersucker, with an open neck.
I ride a G S scooter with my hair cut neat,
Wear my wartime coat in the wind and sleet.

Love Reign O'er Me.
Love Reign O'er Me.

I've had enough of living
I've had enough of dying
I've had enough of smiling
I've had enough of crying
I've taken all the high roads
I've squandered and I've saved
I've had enough of childhood
I've had enough of graves...

Get a job and fight to keep it,
Strike out to reach a mountain.
Be so nice on the outside
But inside keep ambition
Don't cry because you hunt them
Hurt them first they'll love you
There's a millionaire above you
And you're under his suspicion.

I 've had enough of dancehalls
I've had enough of pills
I've had enough of streetfights
I've seen my share of kills
I'm finished with the fashions
And acting like I'm tough
I'm bored with hate and passion
I've had enough of trying to love.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

#2 Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

My #1 album oriented petpeave is when people say that saying Dark Side of the Moon is the best floyd album is a cop-out.

The sheer beauty of Dark Side from it's opening moments of choas in sounds that will all be revisted throughout the songs on the album to the final hearbeat as we realize "there is no dark side of the moon, in fact, it's all dark" can capture any listeners soul and send it straight into the stratosphere of euphoria and self-realization. Not a dull moment and not a single song goes without its own unique touch. DS was released in '73 and instantly became one of the single most important albums ever recorded from it's release. Up until this point, prog rock was in the hands of bands like King Crimson who had a sound that paved the future, but Floyd took over after the release of this album. If you are a real Floyd-head, you know the irony behind this album when you watch the film Live at Pompeii. As they are in the studio, Roger Waters and Co. constantly say how they are becoming a thing of the past and how their music will become captive to the late 60s. Wow were they wrong.

The songs on this album are so great, that they are next to impossible to take them away from the whole album as an entity. The only song that does this without flaw is "Time" but even when you hear that on the radio, you instantly need "The Great Gig in the Sky" to follow. This is why Dark Side is a triumph of an album and the best of the Floyd catalogue. Albums like Animals and Wish You Were Here are easy to break the songs apart, but on DS, you here "Us and Them" on the radio and get pissed when they do that awkward quick fade out to cut of "Any Colour You Like." Same when they cut off "Breathe" into "On the Run." The transition there is so important to the song that came before it that it sucks to hear it alone.

Another thing that makes this one of my all time favorite albums is the fact it has the ability to take you out of your body and transport you through your life via meditation. One of my all time favorite moments in the history of my all-too-short existence was in High School when George, Erin, Courtney and I sat on the balcony down the shore and watched the tide come in as wqe silently listened to Dark Side straight through. It was such a zen moment in my life that I constantly listen to this album in the dark (no pun intended) and meditate about how life flashes by. Roger Waters' pointed and cynical observations are perfect for seeing the reality around us.

It's the perfect album for an LP as well. Just let it run straight through and lie there. It sounds great on vinyl (as do most Floyd albums.)

I can't think of where my life would be if I hadn't bought this album in 7th grade. I think things would be totally different. This and Tommy were catalysts for my journey into the classic rock phase of my life. Before hearing Dark Side, my favorite albums were Weezer, Odelay and STP's Purple. Not that these are bad albums (all three are on my all time list with Odelay in the top 10.)

"Time" is my all time fav Floyd song and is #3 on my all time songs list. But my favorite lyrics hit when "Us and Them" come along and I will leave you on that note.

Us and Them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map moved from side to side
Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words the poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside
Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
With, without
And who'll deny that's what the fightings all about
Get out of the way, it's a busy day
And I've got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died

Sunday, May 07, 2006

#3 The Beatles' Abbey Road

Another surprising turn of events!

This album for a while was number one. Then it got bumped to number two for many years. Recently, The Beatles in general have just not been a listening priority in my life and so, here we are, Abbey Road moves down once again. This has nothing to do with the album. Just my personel listening habits have moved the Beatles down in some cases on these types of lists. Regardless of that, how does one rank perfection? The past few albums are, in fact, perfect. So making one higher than the other doesn't mean that this one is less perfect than the other. Times change and I feel like shaking things up a bit.

So Abbey Road. The final album of argueably the most important rock and roll band of Great Britain. A flawless gem in a discography of 13 albums (in seven years!) that stands the test of time. Everyone knows the songs on this album and most of the best Beatle moments lie on this album. From start to finish, you get an amalgamation of the sounds that the Beatles have dabbled in over there shot in the pan career that produced of 25 number one hit singles and varying sounds in pop music. For my dollar, this is the pinnacle (which is cool since they ended it on top of the world) and this album showcases the fun sounds, the dark personal sounds and the overall beauty of what the Beatles did for music.

Kicked off by Lennon's "Come Together", you get that sense a career coming together on one disc. Then the album really starts turning on. I mean, don't get me wrong, "Come Together" is great and all, but when it's followed by easily the greatest love song written in the 60's, its hard to not try and look past it! "Something" is one of those songs that can easily bring a tear to my eyes. Harrison's simplisticly honest lyrics and the beautiful music behind it adds for a romantic song that shows us that George was clearly the best Beatle (see his album All Things Must Pass for some of the best George songs that he was sitting on because he was only allowed by contract to have one song on a side of any beatles album...which sucks.) The next three songs, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Oh! Darling" and "Octopus's Garden" shows the days of old with the innocent sound of the early Beatles circa 64-66. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" shows the bad side of The Beatles with a more harder rocking feel over a sprawling 7 minutes with an ultimate noise creschendo that stops abruptly.

Flip side.

The light at the end of the dark tunnel of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" comes when "Here Comes the Sun", yet another brilliantly beautiful George song, kicks in with its pretty chord progression and optimistic feel of the dark days being over. "Because" and "You Never Give Me Your Money" set up the feeling for the last leg of the last Beatles album with interesting arrangements and structurally changing songs. The last few songs are then coupled in amazing medleys. The "Sun King" medley holds some psuedo-Sgt. Peppers/Magical Mystery Tour-esque Beatles with songs like "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam." The key to the greatness of this medley is "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" which is one of McCartney's finest moments in Beatles fame. The final and most profoundly poingant and amazing medly comes in the form of "Golden Slumbers." Starting with yet another amazing McCartney moment in "Golden Slumbers", going straight into "Carry That Weight" which reprises the sounds of "You Never Give Me Your Money" and ending with... well... "The End" where we get a Ringo drum solo and all three guitar playing beatles Dueling back and forth and ending with the famous "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make line." You can't help but not be blown away how a final album of a band could go any more perfect.

Oh yea... and there is "Her Majesty." It's like they didn't want to give up and just end it, so they tacked on this little ditty.

You can say you aren't a Beatles fan. That is fine with me. But saying the Beatles "suck" is kind of like saying that cake sucks. They are good. You don't have to love em, but you can't deny the fact they changed music forever. Abbey Road is the Beatles. It encompasses so many of the great facets of what the Beatles were that its eerie. Ending on top was the best way to go. People debate this and The White Album alot as being the best, but this is the best Beatles album where the White Album feels more like Beatle Solo songs lumped together (which is funny since the actual name of that album is just The Beatles.) It's a beautiful album altogether. I can't deny my love.

And then there were two....... almost there. I'll be done in time for a HUGE graduaysh post.

Friday, May 05, 2006

#4 Jeff Buckley's Grace

No offense, Stev, but you're wrong.

So I already wrote a HUGE blopg post on Grace. This is basically the easy way out. Go here and read my in depth study of why it's a concept album and why its amazing. Seriously. That's all. There really is no need for me to write this stuff out again. But needless to say, its the most recent album in the top 5 and it shot up the ranks fairly recently.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

#5 Led Zeppelin III

Surprisingly enough, this is the only Zeppelin album that cracked the top 30, but fair enough that it's #5. Led Zeppelin III is pure blues and rock fusion. The earlier Zep albums (mainly I-III) all have this electric blues overtone. On this one, however, a lot more acoustic numbers crop up and show a side of Zep that was lacking on the first two albums and were almost non existent on the rest of them (except IV which has "Going to California" and "Battle of Evermore" which are amazingly beautiful songs in this vein.)

Moving on to the album itself, this contains the best of the best Zeppelin songs for my buck. The best of the singles "Immigrant Song" is of course the best kicker for any Zep album. Anything dealing with Vikings is of course going to be something I love, and let's be honest, this song trumps any song about pirates or ninjas anyday. The duo of "Friends" and "Celebration Day" with the mistake amazing crossover (the way the songs blend was a mistake in the ending of "Friends"... so they slowed up the tape and cross faded them... sounds amazing... its a better one-two punch then "Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid.") Then you move on to the greatest Zeppelin blue song (and my fav Zep song overall) "Since I've Been Loving You." With its beautiful guitar work a la Page, the organ workings of JPJ, it's simple yet frantic drumming of Bonzo and the heartfelt voice of Plant (his finest delivery in all Zep history), you get a beautifully bluesy, heartbreaking tune. Then, just when you think it can't get any better, "Out on the Tiles" rages on in all its beautiful fury and catchy rock feel. This ends the first half of the album where most of the rocking is done.

Zep III takes a brilliant turn on the second half of the album. Starting with "Gallows Pole" the mood is set perfectly for the side that takes a beautifully melancholy turn. Less rock and more beauty in the songs to come. Both "Tangerine" and "That's the Way" show any non-Zeppelin fan the soft side of the band. Both of these songs have the power to draw a man to tears with their sheer beauty in the lyrics, the chord progressions and the overall tone of the songs. I believe both of these songs were used in Almost Famous which goes to show that these are the best acoustic Zeppelin songs this side of "Going to California" (which doesn't mean that song isnt amazing... these ones are just better in certain ways.) "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is a fun romp that is one of my personal favorite tracks to pop on when in a sour mood. Finally, the last track shows just how much these boys love the blues. This track filled with drowned out vocals and excrutiatingly brilliant steel guitar work shows the chi that Zeppelin is channeling on this album.

Overall, the album get's overlooked because of the popularity of Zep IV, but in reality, the songs are clearly better. There are more rockers on IV, but III's songs seem to be more heartfelt and better in tonal and structural quality. The album never loses its candor or lust. Did I mention the LP sleeve is definitely one of the coolest ever with its raucous amounts of Zeppelins and a wheel behind it that changes the look of it to your pleasure? Yeah. This is what a great album is meant to be like. Overall perfection with not a single weak moment. Zeppelin at it's best.