Well, Memorial Day Weekend is inexplicably here, and so is the unofficial start of Summer here in the states. The weather has been nice and I’ve been spending nights on my poach reading (when the Yankees aren’t on, of-course). I also feel more excited than usual for our annual vacation to the beach. So I’ve decided to publish my 2018 Summer Reading list earlier than usual.
I’ve been trying to read more – and to that end, more fiction. I read 15 books last year (better than my one-per-month goal) and all were non-fiction except one. So this year, I’m committing reading more books (18) and more fiction (6). Here’s what I’ve got on the docket as we go into the summer.
This past weekend was the Fourth of July and I inadvertently took the weekend off by not spending much time at the computer. Instead I spent it with family and friends, traveling and enjoying the mostly beautiful weather. It was nice.
I was recently asked what’s the longest I’ve ever gone without a computer. During the Summer of 2004, I went to Ocean City with my cousins and my laptop died the night before. There was no time to replace it, so I went without a computer for the entire trip. Even as a college student, it was a refreshing break.
This is the first weekend where I’m not traveling in a while. It’s also the only one where I’m not busy for a while – somehow even though I promise myself I’m going to take some time to relax, I manage to galavant.
Part of it is I like traveling and doing things in general. I spent last weekend at WordCamp Philly and had a blast. I’m going to NYC this week for a live recording of Stuff You Should Know.
This weekend was mine though. I did side work, cleaned up, and relaxed a bit. Recharged and ready for the summer.
I know I’ve been slacking with posting lately; in my defense, I’ve been busy. I promise a new post is coming this week that will sum up my summer. Its been a summer for business and while I didn’t define it this way on the outset, the goal turned into increasing my revenue streams. But more to come with that later this week.
It should be no secret that I’m a big music fan. I’m no pro and choose not to review music because generally I like a certain genre and don’t really know what to look for when reviewing an album. That being said, here are three albums I’ve been listening to a lot lately.
The Raconteurs- Consolers of the Lonely
buy from amazon
This is the sophomore album from The Raconteurs, a group made up of some very talented musicians including Jack White of the White Stripes. Every single song on this album is catchy with great lyrics, great story telling and complicated and cohesive musical interludes. Oh, and sweet ass guitar solos. My personal favorites are Rich Kid Blues and Carolina Drama, in which Jack White tells an excellent story about a boy living in South Carolina. While I am usually into heavier music, I highly recommend this album.
Alkaline Trio- Angony & Irony
buy from amazon
Alkaline Trio has been around for quite a while now, but admittedly I’ve only gotten into them in the past few years. This latest album is my favorite and is said to be their most mature. I’d say every song on the album has a recurring theme throughout it, which you can hear in the instrumental parts as well as they lyrics. My favorites include Calling All Skeletons, Over and Out, and Help Me.
Versa Emerge- Perceptions EP
Let me start off by saying I love a girl who can sing, so by default I have a crush on the lead singer of this band. This is their first commercially release EP (I believe), which you can download on District Lines for $4.99. The CD release is set for July 15th from Smart Punk. People say they sound a lot like Paramore, but I feel they have a bit more of a mature sound than Paramore does. You can listen to the entire EP, as well as my favorite song- The Blank Static Screen- on Pure Volume.
On a closing note if you read this and though, ‘Hey- I have similar music interests to this guy,’ you can check me out on Last.fm. I mean if you want to follow me just to cut down my musical tastes, that’s cool too. To each his own, right?
Seeing as I didn’t write too much on music this summer, I am going to offer my thoughts in this one, full package post. I did go to a number of concerts, and while they don’t account for all my summer music, the best comes from them.
First, probably my favorite band of the summer, DragonForce. I saw them at Ozzfest and they rocked the house. They are a very 80’s band that tells epic stories of war in their intense ballads. The instrumental parts of the songs and the solos are a testament to their talent as a band. If you are looking for something to rock out too, I strongly suggest them. In the past few months I have been listening to a lot of punk/’emo’ bands and they have brought me back to the metal side.
Gym Class Heroes, categorized as “Indie/Hip-Hop,” is a band I heard about at Warped Tour but did really hear until I heard their song The Queen and I on the radio. I really liked the unique sound of rock and hip-hop, and I wasn’t disappointed when I got the CD. There is more hip-hop then rock admittedly, but their songs seem to focus a lot on the lyrics and while maybe not the best message at times, it is a fun CD to listen to, and one that will get you pumped when you need it. Along with The Queen and I, I really like Papercut, 7 Weeks and Scandalous Scholastics, which is about him having an affair with his teacher. Isn’t that fantastic!?
Some other music I really got into, which I recently picked up, is The Academy Is and She Wants Revenge. The Academy Is is a punk/’emo’ band that I happen to really like- while the sound might be similar to other bands of the genre, it has that familiarity of bands I already know and listen to a lot, so it is easy for me to get into. She Wants Revenge on the other hand, has a very different sound. They seem like a Killers meets Techno rock group that is very catchy. They hooked me with their song Tear You Apart. I also picked up the new Stone Sour CD, but while there are a few great songs on the album, over all I was disappointed. Later!
PS: The title song to the Snakes on a Plane Soundtrack (Snakes on a Plane (Bring it) by Cobra Starship, feat. Travis from Gym Class Heroes and the lead singer from The Academy is) is Fantastic, and I don’t care what anyone says!