Thursday, August 31, 2006

Do you feel a 'Draft'?

The Blog Pound Draft is done… after 3 ½ hours, we all had our teams… we all had trash-talked… and (most) had drank…

The players on the draft, done online AND over the phone, were BIYF, Bump, Child’s Play x 2, CroutonBoy, Genuine, Me, Marginally Clever, MetroDad, More Diapers, Queen of Spain & The Kaiser

I liked having it both ways, but at times I was listening to the phone conversation and missed an online mention of QoS’s boobs, but I did hear everyone at one time make fun of Jeff George (BTW, I met him once while he was still a “student” at Illinois and I can tell you this – he is as big a dick as you’ve heard)

By all accounts… I have a pretty good team (Name: The BushWhackers)

The strange thing is… I didn’t draft one St. Louis Ram…

I didn’t get the exact team I wanted as I did lose out on some of my preferred players. For example, everyone’s favorite ‘Goon-squad leader’ Sarah, drafted one ahead of me and took Cadillac Williams before I could… and Carson Palmer before I could… and Aaron Brooks…and Reggie Bush… wait a minute… she has my team…

Anyhow… I’m still optimistic about my final team. In case you want to know, here’s my team and “expert” analysis, let me know if you agree… if you don’t… meh.

  • Matt Hasselbeck, QB - Underrated with minimal risk of interceptions
  • Jon Kitna, QB - Good back-up as he now has offensive guru Mike Martz as his O-coordinator
  • Frank Gore, RB - Should come into his own this season
  • LaMont Jordan,RB - Ditto, but with a better ‘O’ line… and the possibility of Jeff George
  • LenDale White, RB - Only a matter of time until he’s starting in Tennessee, with a small, ‘but’…
  • Travis Henry, RB - Ditto, but with a much-larger ‘but’…
  • Duce Staley, RB - Will replace ‘The Bus’ on certain downs and should be an okay back-up
  • Donte' Stallworth, WR- Could be a breakout year as he now has a QB and his QB now has a target
  • Roy Williams, WR - Should benefit from the high-flying attack of Martz
  • Michael Clayton, WR - One of Simms’ favorite targets
  • Peerless Price, WR - Always a good back-up
  • Ben Watson, TE - Could put up WR numbers this year… plus Brady loves him like Bridget Monyhan…well, maybe not quite the same way…
  • Jay Feely, K - Meh… he’s a kicker
  • Panthers D - Strong…
  • Cowboys D - On the upswing, and should fill-in nicely on Carolina’s bye week

The first game is still a week away (The Kaiser), so it should be an interesting season.

Go BushWhackers!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To separate or not to separate; that is the question

Go ahead, research it… talk to other parent’s of twins… read the book…

You’ll find the same opinions Honey Mustard and I did… opinions that are split down the middle of which of the two options is better.

I’m speaking of separating twins in school.

I bring this up because a
few people have asked if the decision to separate The Peanut Butter & The Jelly in school was HoMu’s and mine. They also wanted to know how we came to arrive at that decision.

It was a mutual decision, and it was ours solely.

After talking to other parents and researching, it was the behavior of our children that prompted us to divide and conquer and split them up.

The reason?

The J tends to speak for, and over, The PB, so we decided that having them in different classes would benefit both of them… and after three days – it has. The PB is speaking more and getting involved in class, as is The J.

The school district here (the one where I was almost chosen to be on the school board), does not have a strict policy regarding twins in the classroom and leave that decision to the parents.

I’m not going to say this it the best option for everyone and would suggest you do your own research and talk to other parents (and I can almost guarantee that the opinions you get will be the same as my wife and I encountered, split right down the middle)

My best advice on this decision, and please remember this is only my opinion - I’m not an expert, is that you gauge your children’s attitudes and behavior and use that as the barometer for making the decision.

Will their separation be the way it is for their entire school careers? Doubtful, but it’s hard to tell at this moment, but for now, it’s working out very well.

But stay tuned…

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

'I don't remember growing older, when did they?'

Today was the second day of school for The Peanut Butter and The Jelly… and their first day riding the school bus, and since Honey Mustard had an early-morning meeting, I was in charge of getting them onto said bus.

If you read yesterday’s post, I didn’t cry when they went for their first day of school, (HoMu did) though I did wax poetically.

I cannot say the same thing for this morning...

I’m not even sure why I cried… but when they both stepped onto the bus steps, turned to me and said “Bye Daddy, we love you,” well... that was the ball game... it was as if the universe imploded and…… I snapped.

I broke down and cried like Adam Morrison (well, okay, maybe not that badly… but I did cry, and I'm not ashamed to admit it... though I will be checking out pictures of naked women immediately after posting this...)

If I'm like this now... what the hell am I going to be like when they start dating?? Will I have to be locked-up like Hannibal Lecter when the boys come-a-callin'?


It continues...

(Note: This is the fourth attempt at posting this entry... to which I say: "Blogger sucks it!!")

Monday, August 28, 2006

'Was this the little girl(s) I carried?'

It’s done…

The Peanut Butter & The Jelly have officially started their first day of school… book-bags and all.

Were there tears?


... and no.

No tears from them...

Me? Well, sort of (trying to maintain my ‘masculine’ image here... give me some slack...)

Honey Mustard? Yes... though that could have had more to do with the fact that they didn’t cry when we dropped them off at their respective rooms, essentially telling us (in my wife’s eyes anyway) that they don’t need us anymore. “Mom? Dad? Who’s that? I don’t have time for them now, I’ve got paste to eat…” (Note: My kids have never eaten paste… at least not yet… but give ‘em time, I’m sure they will now that they are surrounded by kids that do/may)


Am I making too much of this?

I know, in reality, that it’s a good thing that they are starting school... but... damn, it sure did go by fast. It seems like only yesterday that they were born... and only yesterday that they started to walk... and only yesterday that they started to talk...

Now they’re in a pre-school program for five mornings a week... next year is Kindergarten... then first grade...

Son of a bit**...

It only goes downhill from here, right? Next thing I’ll know they’ll be freshmen in high school (like my oldest nephew who was 2 years old when HoMu and I started dating; now he’s a freshman), then college, then marriage, then kids, and then... and then... breathe... breathe... in with the good air, out with the bad... aaaaahhhhhhh...

It's only just begun...

(Note: Granted, their first day of school did allow me to take my mind off more pressing things in the world (hurricanes, IranIraqNorthKorea, politics… and my fantasy football draft on Wednesday night – you guys are going down!!! –

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Well, well, well... it’s been a year...

That’s right, you heard me (sorry Sarah), my blog is one-year old today.

Yes, today, August 24, 2006 - Kemp’s Blog turns one...

When I started this little venture, I had in mind that I would post stories about my twins (The Peanut Butter and The Jelly) or my wife (Honey Mustard) or myself (Da man!)... but it’s become so much more than that.

I’ve garnered a few steady readers... I've gotten into some verbal skirmishes... I've postulated... I’ve ruminated... and I’ve made more than a few f r i e n d s (Sorry, there aren’t enough letters in the word to link all of my blog-migos... and yes, in my opinion it is possible to be friends with someone even if you’ve never met)

I came into bloging ass-backwards.

A friend of my wife’s, also in the Twins Club here, sent me an email with a link to a Multi-Dad Forum on

I checked it out, signed up and started reading and posting... then I noticed a section entitled ‘Father’s Blogs’

Having taught computers and marketing (separately), I knew about blogs and their ability to create new communities and relay business information, but I never gave them much thought…

I read some of them, and I was hooked.

It was at that moment that time contracted... space exploded...

I knew that I had to create my own blog...

A place where I could wax poetic about being a father of twins and being a stay-at-home-dad for 18 months of un-employment (which, sadly, could be happening again… but that’s a post for another day)

I’ve always been a creative person... I’ve acted... I’ve been on speech and debate teams (in fact, at my community college and then at my university I was on a Speech scholarship... I was that good if I do say so myself)... I’ve ghost-written speeches for people... I’ve written poetry (and even had one published)

I’m a creative type... and, according to my wife, my creativity needed an outlet that wasn’t being quenched by my avid reading, my crossword puzzles, my videogames, my job or my teaching. So she strongly supported and suggested I start a blog.

So I did.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Having just gone through the Hell of posting my Top 100 Albums, I am NOT going to post my Top posts… but rather, I’ll throw a few links out there to some from the list on the right; a few posts that I am especially proud of.



And HERE...

And hang on, next month, my poli-blog: The “Bush”-Whacked Administration, turns one... now if only I can get Scott back to the land of blogs...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon

  • Do alligator attacks signal some sort of a reptile dysfunction?
  • Who knew that the Dutch had F-16’s???
  • Hell… who knew that they had an Air Force…
  • Sadly… I don’t think I am going to be able to be in the much-anticipated Fantasy Football league with many of my blogmigos… with my unfortunate, up-in-the-air job situation (crap shoot from one day to the next if I still have a job at the end of that day), I can’t really afford to do it now… I am very bummed and more than a little depressed (about everything really) that I can’t… sorry guys
  • THIS is more than a little unsettling… and odd… a graphic adaptation (read: comic book) of the 9/11 attacks??
  • This blog turns one year old tomorrow… who-da thunk it?
  • Who knew that cows have regional accents? Furthermore… who the hell really cares if cows have regional accents?
  • A new study shows that Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the “hardest-drinking city in America”. Insert your own, 'Well what else is there to do in Wisconsin?' joke here...
  • Available: One relief pitcher. Has blown 9 saves this season and consistently gives fans of his baseball team heart attacks whenever he pitches. If interested, see St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Walt Jocketty.
  • This is definitely one of the strangest headlines I’ve seen in awhile; Osama bin Laden might be sweet on Whitney Houston…. Eeeeeewwwww…
  • Am I the only one laughing their ass off at Tom Cruise being dumped by Paramount?
  • After reading THIS STORY from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, methinks the FBI is a tad on edge…
  • This week’s gratuitous blog-plug of the week comes from another of my Daily Kos acquaintances: Current Dirt
  • Here’s a list of searches (and snarky comments) that have brought people to my little corner of the blogosphere… sadly, none arrived via my last gratuitous phrase of ‘salma hayek naked’. “wilco mermaid avenue download”, “how did you feed your twins at the same time”, “Fema/Putz” (I assume they were looking for info on Michael Brown), “arturo sandoval download”, “Diamonds and Buttermilk”, “blog father of twins”, “ronald reagan challenger speech critical analysis”, “scout aims rifle in to kill a mockingbird”, “aston kutcher twin” (Jesus, isn’t that a scary freakin’ thought?), “you never know who you might meet, a movie star or maybe even an indian chief” (at the car wash, whoa whoa)
  • This week’s gratuitous phrase used in a pathetic attempt to draw people to my site is: “carnivorous wasps”
  • Today’s Mental iPod Song of the Day is… what the hell? Oh my… son of a bitc— I want these motherfuc**** snakes out of my motherfuc**** iPod... Sorry, today’s song is “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” by REM

This here is the place where I will be staying.
There isn't a number. You can call the pay phone.
Let it ring a long, long, long, long time.
If I don't pick up, hang up, call back, let it ring some more.
If I don't pick up, pick up...
The sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.

There are scratches all around the coin slot
Like a heartbeat, baby trying to wake up,
But this machine can only swallow money.
You can't lay a patch by computer design.
It's just a lot of stupid, stupid signs.

Tell her,
Tell her she can kiss my ass,
And laugh and say that you were only kidding.
That way she'll know that it's really, really, really, really me.

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.
Baby, instant soup doesn't really grab me.
Today I need something more sub-sub-sub-substantial.
A can of beans or black-eyed peas Some Nescafe and ice,
A candy bar, a falling star,
Or a reading from Doctor Seuss;

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.

The cat in the hat came back,
Wrecked a lot of havoc on the way,
Always had a smile and a reason to pretend.
But their world has flat backgrounds
And little need to sleep but to dream.
The sidewinder sleeps on his back.

Call me when you try to wake her up.
Call me when you try to wake her.
I can always sleep standing up

We've got to moogie, moogie, move on this one

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It starts...

The Peanut Butter and The Jelly start school next week...

Every morning they will get up, eat breakfast, get dressed and go off to a half-day of school, five days a week....

It’s not possible, is it?

It’s not possible that these two, my little princesses, are going to be going to school already...

It's just not possible... is it?


Sigh… it is.

I think I'm still in denial that my precious little girls are already at that age...


... where does the time go?

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Man and His Lawn

I have a confession to make...

I love doing yard work...

I love mowing my lawn... love it, love it, love it...

I always have. I developed my love and talent of maintaining a perfect lawn under the tutelage of my Dad.

That’s one of the reasons I have (one of) the nicest lawn on the block…

Does that make me a freak?

Before you answer, let me tell you this little story and then you can make up your mind.

Saturday, with The Peanut Butter having a broken arm, we were limited in what we could do (no water park, no splash pad, no park)

So since we had a battle-plan for late afternoon (after they took their nap) I decided to mow the lawn.

Not just mow the grass mind you – this was going to be lawn maintenance to the extreme… mow, edge, trim, prune, rake, water, – the whole nine yards.

This is where the freaky part of the story comes in... I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun doing it.

I plugged in my iPod, started my ‘Lawn’ playlist (yes, I have a lawn playlist) and went to work.

I trimmed.

I edged.

I pruned.

I mowed.

I raked.

I blew (the excess grass and such, get your minds out of the gutter people)

I watered.

And then, four and a half hours later, I was done... and the lawn was perfect. (I had a picture, but Blogger bites it and isn’t letting me put it up... the bastards…)

The girls were playing and Honey Mustard was doing laundry and some reading for her next two Master’s classes.

So I made myself a Shandy, opened our patio umbrella... and sat back and had a rush of pride and accomplishment sweep over me as I marveled at my work...

And then something hit me… I was taking pleasure in seeing the finished lawn... some serious pleasure...


Because there’s something about a finished lawn... no long grass… no grass creeping over the sidewalk… no excess weeds in the garden...

Just a perfect backyard on a (relatively) cool Saturday afternoon.

And then something else hit me... I enjoyed doing the yard work…

I really, really enjoyed doing the yard work...

I am a freak... aren’t I?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ulna: a long bone, prismatic in form, placed at the medial side of the forearm, parallel with the radius

They’re four years old and, despite being somewhat rambunctious, thrill-seeking, stunt-girls, we’ve never had a broken bone...

Until now...

The Peanut Butter broke her arm yesterday while at Grandma’s house.

How you ask? Well, she was standing on a toy, a toy mind you that she has been told many, many times before not to stand on, when she fell off and used her arm to break the fall. (btw, the toy was in the trash when I dropped them off at Grandma’s house this morning)

The culprit? A Little Tykes Classic Alligator Teeter Totter...

She broke it in two places; the radius and the ulna.

Now, some of you may be asking yourself if she cried and screamed...

Only when she first broke it.

After that, she was mommy and daddy’s little trooper (or maybe mommy and daddy’s little Navy Seal would be a more apt description). She did not scream, she did not cry.

At all.

Not when she had the X-Ray done...

Not when she had the full-arm cast put on...

She was an absolute rock.

She’ll be in the full-arm cast for 4 weeks and then a short-arm cast for 2. So, this means she’ll miss her last swimming class and she will not be able to start dance in 2 weeks...

But at least she, with her seizure disorder, didn’t hit her head, as that could have been disastrous.

So we say thanks for littler things...

And in case you’re wondering what color her cast is, she made Daddy proud when, upon being asked by the Doctor what color she wanted, she responded with an enthusiastic (and unprovoked) ‘Cardinals red!’

That’s my girl...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 100: 20 - 1

Ok… we’re getting there… only 20 more to go. And in the last 20, 7 are The Beatles and 3 are solo-Beatles, so 10 of the last 20 are, essentially, Beatles albums.

The others continue with my eclectic choice of music that everyone who reads this blog knows I am “famous” for.

I’ll apologize now (and by apologizing I mean saying ‘F off’) because I know some doofus is gonna talk smack about there being so many Beatles music (group and solo) on my Top Ten. But here’s a secret… I. Don’t. Care. This is what I like, and if you don’t like it… tough tata’s…

So, without further ado, rather than split the 20 up, I give you #’s 20… to 1. Yes, we’ve reached the end… and here are my Top 20 Albums.

What a long, strange trip it’s been…

20 – Let it Be by the Beatles. Good album, but I’ve always wondered what it would sounded like without Phil Spector's wall of crap… sorry, wall of sound… on it. Hmmmmmm…… stay tuned… Favorite Song: “Across the Universe”

19 – Celine Dion by Celine Dion. What can I say about this album other than… psyche!!! I’m kidding… it’s a joke. NO Celine Dion… absolutely not on this list… N.O. No! The real #19 is Free Fall by Michael Penn. Unfortunately, the album is out of print and only a few of the songs have been fused into a re-release of Penn’s first album, which you’ll see higher-up (lower-up?) this list. Favorite Song: “Free Time”. BTW, who thought I was serious with Celine Dion?

18 – Revolver by The Beatles. I find it hard to sum-up why I love Beatles albums. I just do… this one is another triumph. Favorite Song: “Taxman”

17 – Please Please Me by The Beatles. One of their (very) early albums. I’m sure you’ve all noticed a lack of their earlier stuff on this list and have wondered; ‘What up with that?’ Well, I love their earlier stuff, but it’s their later albums that I grew up on because they were more, for lack of a better word, ‘recent’. Or as recent as any album released in the late-60’s could be with someone born in the early 70’s. Favorite Song: “I Saw Her Standing There”

16 – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. It’s the classic… the album that helped define a generation. What else can be said? Favorite Song: “She’s Leaving Home”

15 – Summerteeth by Wilco. The first album I ever head by Wilco (my brother gave it to me as a birthday present years and years ago along with the ‘Swag’ album) and I was instantly hooked on them. Favorite Song: “A Shot in the Arm”

14 – Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. There’s nothing I can add about this album that’s hasn’t already been said by people who have more music-knowledge than I. Favorite Song: “The Chain”

13 – Cloud Nine by George Harrison. A low-key album with some absolutely great music on it… all written by Harrison (except for the remake: “Got My Mind Set on You”) and produced by former ELO-lead Jeff Lynne. An underappreciated gem. Favorite Song: “Devil’s Radio”

12 – American II: Unchained by Johnny Cash. The beginning of his resurgence and popularity with today's crowd really started with this album and his take on some, how do we say, un-Cash-like music. Favorite Song: “Rusty Cage”

11 – All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. Critics have called this the BEST solo album of all The Beatles. I don’t totally agree, but it is a phenomenal album. Favorite Song: “All Those Years Ago”

10 – We Are in Love by Harry Connick, Jr. His best album. Better than When Harry Met Sally even. His voice is in tip-top shape, his piano is in perfect pitch, and he's having fun. Favorite Song: “I’ve Got a Great Idea”

9 – Songs for Silverman by Ben Folds. Again… why is Ben not bigger and more popular? I just don’t get it… Favorite Song: “Late” (written after Elliot Smith’s tragic suicide)

8 – London Calling by The Clash. How can you not like this album? Just ask CroutonBoy… Favorite Song: “Rudie Can’t Fail”

7 – Let it Be: Naked by The Beatles. Yes, it is that much better than the original as it has none of Phil Spector's overbearing, crap-handling. If you haven’t heard this version and you like the Beatles, I highly suggest you give it a try. Favorite Song: “XX”

6 – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Yes, another Wilco album, and this one is my favorite. Each song has the style and nuance that makes Wilco such a fan-favorite. Hard to believe that this album almost didn’t see the light of day because the original studio didn’t think it was good enough and marketable. Favorite Song: “Heavy Metal Drummer”

5 – Flowers by The Rolling Stones. My favorite Stones album. I don't know why I like this one so much better than the other Stones albums on my list, but I do. Could it be the memories of my friends and I listening to this disc everyday for 2 months after we graduated high school… in 1991? Favorite Song: “Mother’s Little Help”

4 – Abbey Road by The Beatles. Favorite Song: “Golden Slumber/Carry that Weight/The End”

3 – March by Michael Penn. One of my favorite albums since its release. Not a lot of people know about Michael (yes, he is the brother of Sean and Chris) but know about his wife; Aimee Mann. Favorite Song: “No Myth”

2 – Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings. Recording in Nigeria. A studio with dying equipment. The demotapes being stolen by bandits. Members of Wings quitting. Paul forced to play every. Damn. Instrument. All of these things formed a confluence of Aristotelian proportions and gave this masterpiece. And a prize of 'Good Job!' for anyone who can tell me the actor who is standing among the Wings on the cover. Favorite Song: “Mamunia”

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... waiting with baited breath for... waiting so your life would be complete and you could die a content death...

Kemp's. Number. One. Album.




1 – The Beatles (The White Album) by The Beatles. At times, you can hear the angst and anger in their voices, yet it still has some excellent songs and lyrics. Ignore the ‘wailings’ of Yoko Ono and concentrate on the music. Pick a song, any song; from the irreverence of Revolution #9 to the soulful guitar of Mr. Harrison on While My Guitar Gently Weeps to the mystified lyrics of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, this album has got it all. Favorite Song: “Rocky Raccoon”

And now... it's done so I bid you... adieu...

And this vow: Never. Again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Top 100: 30 - 21

Damn it... we're so close... yet still so far away...

I promise, after I get this list done I have a post in the pipeline about the latest escapades of The Peanut Butter & The Jelly and am making a vow here; I will NEVER.EVER.EVER.AGAIN. Do a list of this sort on this blog... it just takes too much time...

But enough bitching and moaning and groaning... let's get on with it...

30 – Kamakariad by Donald Fagen. This album can almost be considered a Steely Dan album as Walter Becker produced this album, plays guitar on this album, and co-wrote one of the songs on this album. I still consider this better than Nightfly, though I know a LOT of people will disagree with me on that one. Favorite Song: “Countermoon”

29 – Colossal Head by Los Lobos. They are so much more than ‘La Bamba’… and this album proves it perfectly. Favorite Song: “Mas y Mas”

28 –Presents Author Unknown by Jason Falkner. Quick show of hands; who here has ever heard of Jason Falkner? I bet a few of you have, but not many. FYI. He also recorded a beautiful lullaby album of Beatles songs. My brother got it for The PB & The J when they were born and it worked like a charm. Favorite Song: “I Live”

27 – The Complete Recordings by Robert Johnson. Yes C-boy, while it’s “technically” a box set, his original albums didn’t exist back in 1990 when I first heard his music and subsequently bought the album. And you want to hear him as this is blues music the way it was supposed to be played. He was a genius who led a hard life. Favorite Song: “Sweet Home Chicago”

26 – Headquarters by The Monkees. Yes… I’m a Monkees fan. Yes, I LOVE this album. From Mike Nesmith’s bluesy/country tunes, to the pop-bubblegum tunes sung by Davy Jones, to the rockin’ and rollin’ anthems of ‘No Time’ and ‘Randy Scouse Git’ it’s a great album... trust me. Favorite Song: “No Time”

25 – Appetite for Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses. I used to hate GNR… I mean hate with the intensity of a white-hot flame. But then one night, at a party, I heard this album all the way through and all I could say is; wow. Favorite Song: “Paradise City”

24 – Rockin’ the Suburbs by Ben Folds. Why is Ben Folds not bigger? Whether it’s by himself or with “The Five”, he knows what he’s doing and he’s doing it well. Favorite Song: “Still Fightin’ It”

23 – Dookie by Green Day. Not my favorite Green Day album, but pretty damn close as this one has some hard-rockin' tunes with some insightful lyrics. Favorite Song: “Basket Case”

22 – Figure 8 by Elliot Smith. His earlier fans dissed this album from the gate, and that’s unfortunate as it’s a fantastic album full of explosive lyrics and amazing storytelling. It’s also unfortunate that this talent was cut short too early in what could have been a stellar career. Favorite Song: “Son of Sam”

21 – McCartney by Paul McCartney. The solo album that started, and ended, it all. Favorite Song: “Maybe I’m Amazed”

Top 100: 40 - 31

We’re getting there, we’re getting there… I really want to be done with this list… not so much as I haven’t enjoyed it doing it as much as it’s been going on for too damn long… like a bad SNL skit (is there any other kind?)

There’s another soundtrack on this portion, but I offer no apologies. With an eclectic musical taste like I have, is it any wonder I like the eclecticism of soundtracks. Odd though that this soundtrack is by one “group.” Oh well… on with the countdown…

40 – Saturation by Urge Overkill. Another entry in the ‘why didn’t/aren’t they bigger than they are?’ tag. UO had a lot going for it, some wickedly-good lyrics, some nice harmonies and a group of musicians who knew their way around their instruments… yet they never really took off. They flirted with success with a song on the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack (# XX on your countdown), but never really lived up to the hype. This album shows what might have been had they continued recording. This is a phenomenal piece of music that will definitely get in your head. Favorite Song: “Erica Kane”

39 – The Commitments Soundtrack by The Commitments. What can I say, this is a terrific album with some truly excellent takes on some R& B classics. Favorite Song: “Try a Little Tenderness”

38 – Double Fantasy by John Lennon “and” Yoko Ono. Sigh… it was to be Lennon’s album that marked his musical return… instead it was his goodbye as it was released less than a month in 1980 before that infamous Monday December 8th. I still live under the theory that Mark David Chapman was aiming for Yoko and not John. Some of the songs are, ‘meh’, but others are pure gold. Favorite Song: “Watching the Wheels”

37 – Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday. I have two different GH compilations, but it’s this album that really stresses the legend. And it’s Ms. Holiday’s personal favorite as well. Favorite Song: “I’m a Fool to Want You”

36 – At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash. There are a plethora of reasons why I love this album, but I can sum it all up in 11 simple words; “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Favorite Song: Do I really need to tell you??? Naturally, it’s “Folsom Prison Blues”

35 – American Idiot by Green Day. Yes, yes, yes… I’ve heard the complaints about this album, I’ve heard the reasons as to why it’s not good… but here’s a newsflash for you if you couldn’t tell from my list already… I tend to ignore what critics say… especially music critics who tend to like something so they can look cooler than they really are. Case in point; the “music critic” that I’m forced to hear from every week in the Chicago Tribune; Greg Kot. A mindless tool if I’ve ever seen one. Anyway, I love this album. Favorite Song: “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

34 – Out of the Cradle by Lindsay Buckingham. Love this album. Buckingham has never had the solo career of Stevie Nicks, but this album shows that he should. Favorite Song: “Wrong”

33 – Nevermind by Nirvana. What can be said about this album that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over? It’s a great album. Favorite Song: “Lithium”

32 – Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five. As another fellow-blogger said (I've forgotten who… my bad), why isn't Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five bigger than they are? This album is great- filled with anger, angst, raw emotions and perfect pitch. Favorite Song: "Song for the Dumped"

31 – My Aim is True by Elvis Costello. Another debut album on my list. I love this one. From the moment Mr. Costello speaks to the end of the final chord, each song is incredible. Favorite Song: “Watching the Detectives”

Coming later this afternoon; 30 - 21...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Top 100: 50 - 41

50 – Presents: the Rise and Fall by Madness. Madness was the soundtrack for one summer of my youth in St. Louis, and their brand of rock, ska, swing, punk was often imitated at the time, but never fully duplicated. Favorite Song: Yes, it’s trite to like this one, and I know it’s being used to hock coffee, but nonetheless: “Our House”

49 – Buena Vista Social Club by Buena Vista Social Club & Ry Cooder. Listening to this album you’re magically transported to a little cafĂ© in Havana, Cuba, with fans moving slowly, and this sound filling the air and your senses. Incredible, absolutely incredible. Favorite Song: “Pueblo Nuevo”

48 – Blue Train by John Coltrane. His only album under the Blue Note label. This is the one that prompted me to start playing the saxophone after having to give up the trumpet. Classic sound that really stresses Coltrane’s perfect sax playing. Favorite Song: “Giant Steps”

47 – At Newport by Muddy Waters. An Acoustic album rather than Water’s familiar electric guitar styles, and this one is great as you can really hear the emotions in Water’s voice. Favorite Song: “I've Got My Mojo Working”

46 – Tidal by Fiona Apple. I originally bought this album solely for the first single; ‘Criminal’, but after listening to it all the way through, I fell in love with the entire album and listen to it quite a bit. Her style on this album may not be as polished as on her later stuff, but I still favor this one over her others. Favorite Song: “Criminal”

45 – Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits. Ignore the over-played and underdone ‘Money for Nothing’ and focus on the rest of the album. With the guitar virtuoso of Mark Knopfler and the lyrical stylings the band created (much of it from Knopfler), this album is a great listening experience. Favorite Song: “ Brothers in Arms”

44 – Welcome Interstate Managers by Fountains of Wayne. Their third, and in my humble opinion, best, album. This one covers a wide array of musical genres; alt-country, alt-rock and pop, and brings it all together nicely. Favorite Song: “No Better Place”

43 – Wildflowers by Tom Petty. I know, I know, you’re all hoping that it’s Judy Collins’ Wildflower album… but alas, it’s not... it’s Petty’s. Is it a coincidence that his best solo album (my opinion only people; relax!) is also the onc that was influenced heavily by his Traveling Wilbury-mate George Harrison? I think there’s a connection there, but what do I know? Favorite Song: “You Wreck Me”

42 – Volume 1 by Traveling Wilburys. A supergroup for the ages whose first album made it sound as though the only thing the five of them set out to do was have a good time, and the result is a success. Sometimes simple, sometimes rockin, sometimes odd, it’s a great album from a “low-key” supergroup. The death of Orbison ended the bands career too soon, though they tried it without him in Vol. 3. Favorite Song (like CroutonBoy) “Tweeter and the Monkey Man”

41 – Being There by Wilco. I own three Wilco albums and truly love the band, and, while I really, really like this album, it’s my least favorite of the three. I can’t really place why, but it is. Favorite Song: “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”