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Nine things that rocked my 2007

  1. Glenn Gould’s performances and interviews on youtube.com. Watch him sway around in circles and conduct an imaginary orchestra with his free hand; enjoy the incredible clarity he brings to Bach’s complex music. Gould’s concentration is unreal.
  2. Sound Opinions. A Siskel and Ebert type radio show for music. Lots of spirited discussion, record reviews, interviews, and music news. Listening to this show is how I keep up with the world of music. You can download the podcast on Itunes.
  3. Vipassana Meditation. I’ve been doing this every day for four-and-a-half years and it just keeps getting better. I’m making better decisions now. I’m far less likely to shoot myself in the foot or anyone else in the foot either.
  4. Having my own family. I forgot how cozy, warm, and secure it feels to be part of a nuclear family. I haven’t felt this way since I was a little kid. It’s cool to see that parents feel the same cozy feeling that we did as kids even though we are now in a position of responsibility and caretaking.
  5. Working with Weezer. This particular group of guys has been together long enough now that we’re able to be real with each other, to open up and express what we want without fear of upsetting anyone else and without fear of getting shot down. Of course, we still get shot down and upset all the time but I think we all have more confidence in the process of democratic creativity, that the best result is going to come when we all give everything we have and let the collective decide which way to move forward. I feel very fortunate that I am in the midst of such a healthy group.
  6. Music: a. Peter Bjorn and John: “Young Folks”.
    b. Akon: “Don’t Matter”. Reminds me of Bob Marley. c. T Pain: “Buy You a Drank”. Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds style background vocals. (Akon and T Pain have brought a deep spiritual sound to pop music these past couple of years. Interesting that they’re both Muslims.) d. Carrie Underwood: “Before He Cheats” e. Lil Mama: “Lip Gloss”. Just a drum beat and a vocal. No other instruments. When was the last time a production so sparse became a hit? Even “We Will Rock You” had a guitar come in at the end. I tried to turn the Weezer guys onto this but they were listening on these little computer speakers so they were like, “Wha…?” You have to listen on a pumpin’ system. I listen in my car. f. Hannah Montana: “Nobody’s Perfect”. This song has a little something for everyone: pop chords in the chorus, house riffs, classical strings, and hip-hop vocals in the intro “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days”, rock guitar in the verse, and a spunky vocal performance. g. Arcade Fire: “Rebellion (Lies)”. So many great things about this song. I’ll only point out how interesting it is that the first chord of the chorus pattern is the same as the first chord in the verse pattern, only minor rather than major. It seems counter-intuitive to switch from major to minor when you’re trying to give your song a lift but I know the Beatles did it at least once and I did it once in a song called “Wanda” but both of these transitions were to a bridge and here these guys are going to a chorus. And how about the melody at the end of the song? So majestic. h. Soulja Boy: “Crank That” i. Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
  7. Books: a. The Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll b. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers. Big waves of emotion, like King Leer.
    c. Night, Elie Wiesel d. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert e. The Glass Castle, f. Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis g. The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher h. The Road, Cormac McCarthy i. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals j. Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan k. Consider the Lobster,
  8. Bodyboarding. I’m not exactly surfing yet, but at least I’m getting in the water, catching a wave, and riding it to the shore. It’s incredibly fun.
  9. Making my own bread and ice cream. I hope it’s cheaper, healthier, more eco-friendly or in some way better to make these foods myself because it’s so psychologically satisfying. I’m not sure it tastes any better.
( Last edited by Rivers at 2020-09-05 23:33 PM utc )