Two music finds of the day for you. One is Bryan EL, a chillout/newagey artist out of Belgium. It’s very cool music. The second is Barbed, a band from two members of legendary rock supergroup Complete. Barbed’s work includes a remake of the Complete classic “Hoogie Boogie Land.” You’ll have to hear it to believe it.
Fuel is really, really hurting without Brett Scallions. Their new singer’s voice just has no body to it at all. He’s definitely straining. It’s eerily reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen telling Gary Cherone to sing out of his range for Van Halen III all over again so that it would sound like Sammy Hagar. And we all know how that turned out.
Here’s the rundown of what made Monday…well, Monday.
- A-Rod pulled off the ultimate double play Sunday night — he thought himself above receiving an award from Hank Aaron, for God’s sake, and then his agent went on, during the middle of World Series Game 4, and announced he was leaving the Yankees. Ridiculous, classless, and just putrid. I would say it was clearly all about the money for him, but something tells me he won’t get the kind of money he wants but in a few select places outside of New York, and I’m willing to bet Boston is not going to be one of those places. A-Rod may be a great player, but I’ve lost a lot of respect for him.
- Frank Wren’s first trade as GM of the Braves was a smart one: Edgar Renteria to the Tigers for starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (try typing THAT three times fast!) and a minor leaguer. The Braves may miss Renteria’s bat in the short term, but Yunel Escobar is more than capable of getting things going for the Braves, and is a stellar defensive player to boot; the fact that they got a starting pitcher and were able to unload salary really sweetens the deal.
- One more baseball thing, and I’m leaving it alone: I like the choice of Joe Girardi for the Yankees. He’s a proven manager that got improbable results from a team that should have, on paper, lost 100 games. I just hope the Steinbrenners back off him and let him run the team — Joe Girardi’s style is not to be a yes man. He’s a baseball man, with great baseball sense. (And if Joba Chamberlain is starting next year instead of setting up for Mariano Rivera, we’ll know who has the true control in the Bronx.)
- Damn shame what happened in North Carolina. It bothers the heck out of me to see seven people lose their lives, period.
- According to last.fm, I listened to Journey 138 times last week. Slowly, but surely, I am becoming Steve Perry.
- My Facebook requests are just out of control. Exhibit A:
- No, I’m not sure when I’ll get to culling through those. Because I’m sure by the time I do, I’ll have some request to install another spammy app. I think Facebook needs to find a way to clamp down a bit.
- Less than a month to Thanksgiving break. I can hardly contain my excitement…I need it.
- If there was any doubt that it’s fall, I’m sure your doubt was put to rest this morning when you went outside to upper 40s temperatures and a stiff northeast wind dipping windchills into the 30s. On a side note, I’d love to have filmed a bunch of the people who, as usual, did not wear anything remotely close to appropriate for the weather, and superimpose an old Weather Channel logo over their suffering with the “You Need Us, The Weather Channel, For Everything You Do” theme from 1986 playing in the background. I would laugh for hours. I’m not sure about you, but I sure would.
To bed with me…
October has finally arrived, 11 days into the calendar month. It actually feels like October now. Apparently it’s going to feel even cooler than that, with temperatures expected to plunge into the lower to mid 50s. That’s quite a downshift from the mid-70s lows we had just a few days ago. The first part of October was definitely insane, temperature-wise. I don’t know how anybody took it.
With the cooler weather settling in, I’ve noticed my fall/winter playlist is starting to emerge. Heavy doses of 2000-2001 era Ryan Farish and a sizable helping of Trammell Starks are becoming the order of the day. BTW, The Weather Channel released a compilation of smooth jazz tunes used over the years during the Local Forecasts. I don’t know how I feel about the song selection. I sure can’t remember “Holding Hands” by Ryan Farish ever being used on the channel (then again, I barely watch it anymore). Kudos to them for including some 3rd Force from 1994, but I would have liked to see a few more oldschool classics. What about Carmel by Joe Sample? Valley in the Clouds by David Arkenstone? Those tunes helped define TWC in “the good ol’ days.”
While I’m on this bizarre Weather Channel tangent, expect a new look for the Local Forecast next Tuesday. TWC is beta-testing a new look for the IntelliStar local forecast insertion machines in about three locations this week, with nationwide release slated for next week. Beyond the look, which does a respectable job of finally putting to bed the six-year-old design for the titlebars, little has changed to the system itself, aside from one thing. Somehow, they’ve found a way to make the IntelliStar even more annoying — in the text forecast area, where the robot voice (Allan Jackson, NOT the country artist) narrates the forecast, they now have sound effects to indicate rainy weather if that’s what’s forecasted. While the graphic that comes with the text forecast is useful for illustration purposes, the sound effect is completely distracting and has to go. Everyone I’ve shown it to seems to hate it. Let’s hope they eliminate it and don’t add more sound where is necessary.
Wow, I haven’t blogged since Monday. Maddening, indeed. It’s just been a maddening week in general. Where do I begin?
- Monday was somewhat stressful. I got a haircut and throughout the day I was fairly nervous for…
- Tuesday. Tuesday, I slipped on a suit and interviewed for the second Webmaster vacancy at the College. I felt good about the interview afterwards, and I’m approaching the wait with cautious optimism.
- Wednesday brought along a lot of work to do and a lot of craziness. I got home promptly at 5:37, changed, and by 5:40 I was in the backyard working on tweaking my mechanics to get my velocity up a bit. (LOL.) About 75 pitches later, I go inside and text my friend Sarah, who is, naturally, going to a Riverdogs game and invites me along. Three innings later, I cram into an already overloaded two-door Civic and manage to make it to the ballgame sans breakdown or traffic citation. It was epic. We enter the game in the fourth with the Riverdogs holding a 2-0 lead and Sgt. Slaughter, the ’80s and early ’90s WWE and later G.I. Joe icon signing autographs. Naturally, I blew it bigtime and didn’t get an autograph from him. I do, however, manage to reach 60 on the radar gun. Not only that, the ‘Dogs pulled out a 5-2 win over the Rome Braves. Sweet. I then have some post-game beers at Sarah’s and call it a night around 1:30.
- Thursday was one giant ball of madness. The morning was somewhat reasonable, but the afternoon…yikes. My dad signed my car over to me, so I decided that yesterday would be the day I got the re-registration of the car in order. I go to the DMV on Lockwood with all the stuff I need…except a tax receipt, which meant a trip to The Four Corners of Law to pay the Charleston County Treasurer a visit. I got that straightened out (though they absolutely butchered my name on my tax bill — who the [EXPLETIVE] is Jerad?) and rolled back up to the DMV. I will say this much — I don’t know whether it’s because I went at 4:30 or what, but the DMV seems to have really improved over the years. Getting the registration was actually a pretty painless process and went well. They even had screwdrivers for me to pull my old tags off and put the new ones on. Very cool. However, it’s what happened between drives, with the assault of phone calls from work and from a very persistent telemarketer who was on the voice equivalent of getting on his knees in order to get a sale (he eventually hung up on me, lol) — that’s what made it really stressful. That, and the whole driving downtown in the rain with people who don’t know what they’re doing thing — that also bothers me a bit. But that’s all squared away now. I get home at 5:15 and promptly kick off my shoes and begin working in Photoshop…and that brings us to…
FRIDAY. Thank God. One more day of work and I’ll be free. Tonight I’m seeing an old friend from high school and the plan is to catch a movie and stuff, but I’m kind of hoping she might be persuaded by a ballgame, but we’ll see. Hehe. She’s moving soon, which completely blows, but oh well. Gotta make the best of the time she’s got here.
I’m listening to the symphonic version of Bleeding Me by Metallica now. I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff like that lately — Mark Mancina’s Twister score is fantastic, particularly the track entitled “Cow.” It’s intense, and I always love when a composer mixes in a symphonic arrangement with wailing guitars, and Mancina did that perfectly. I do wish, though, that the portion of the score that segued to “Humans Being” by Van Halen was on this album. That was probably my favorite part of the movie. Twister really is great — I mean, Van Halen and tornadoes, swirled together. Jared bliss, in a nutshell. I should pop in the Twister DVD and watch the end credits before I go to bed, with the clouds in motion and such.
There’s a lot going on. Summer thus far has been quite a wild ride. Don’t think I’d have it any other way.
Exam season is once again upon us. I’m fortunate that my exam schedule this time around isn’t too bad, aside from having all my exams at 8am. I have exams Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday, and then my summer begins in earnest. Fun times. I’m not sure what summer’s going to bring. It’s a certainty that I’ll be working a whole heckuva lot, but that’s to be expected. I’m hoping to actually read some more. I’m just excited that my first year back, a resounding success, is just about over. Three more semesters to go…
Gary Cherone is back with his new band hurtsmile. Gary, brother Markus, Joe Pessia, and Dana Spellman have collaborated on a few tracks and released them for free in high-quality MP3 format. The songs are great straight-ahead rock — my favorite is “Just War Theory.” In other music news, I see Travis Meeks is bringing Days of the New to Hilton Head on the 2nd. That’s a tempting show. He’s had some issues in the past, and it’s nice to see him overcoming them and getting back out there. Rumor has it there’s going to be a Days of the New “Purple” album in a year or two, really depending on when DOTN is signed to a label again. Let’s hope that’s sooner rather than later, because Meeks really is a musical genius.
I went to Relay for Life in Summerville on Friday night into Saturday morning. It’s a 12-hour relay designed to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It was a lot of fun, though I found one of the Proud Sponsors incredibly amusing:
You just can’t make some of this stuff up. Interestingly enough, a few laps later when I decided I needed a better picture of the sign, it had been taken down. I’m not sure who nabbed it or what, but it was gone. Too hilarious.
Saturday brought an immense recovery period (I didn’t get home until about 7:30, and I slept until 3:30 PM) and then some Guitar Hero and ribs at Ale’s. Predictably, I was destroyed at Guitar Hero (no time to play games in the last, oh, six months) despite my best efforts to focus and not get too crazy with the music. I do think there is something different in the Xbox 360 version’s gameplay…I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I’m reaching for excuses for my latest round of GH suckitude. Oh well.
Sunday was the blogger meetup — we had a lot of new faces this time, including Patrick, Kit, and Kevin, to name a few. It was a great time. I didn’t realize 10-17 — located in The Quadrangle in West Ashley where Piggly Wiggly and CiCis is, within a few hundred feet of the 526 on-ramp — was even there. It’s a neat venue, though, and the owner was gracious enough to come in and introduce himself (and even cook for us!). They’ll be seeing more of me, I think. I ended the evening with a pretty hilarious sendoff for Tim, CofC’s uber-server genius, who is probably still on a plane headed for Scotland as I write this. Good, good times.
Anyone want to see Barack Obama this week? He’ll be holding a town hall forum at Burke High School at 2:30 on Friday. I’ll be there. Click here to reserve your spot — it’s free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. This should be quite, quite interesting.
Off to bed now…I’m still messed up from the Relay a few days ago. This does not bode well for my 8am exams. Haha.
I’m doing a little karaoke at the Map Room in West Ashley tonight, after Mel’s band played (they were EXCELLENT!) It’s a great time. I’ve performed Fuel by Metallica, Warning by Incubus, and Won’t Back Down by Fuel. My last song will be Fascination Street by the Cure. A great night, indeed!
Postmortem: I’m back, finally. Time dictated that I did not get to sing Fascination Street, but that’s alright. It was a great time, nonetheless. Those Korean guys were dancing around, getting up on stage and singing traditional Korean songs…those guys were priceless. A very fun and eventful night at the Map Room to be sure.
By the way, you should pop over and check out my good buddy Mel’s music. He performed a small set in support of his new album, .red, downloadable from DiscRevolt. The stuff is very awesome. Mel’s got some killer pipes, and his band is extremely tight. A good show. He travels a lot about the Southeast — check him out if you get a chance.
Also, this was the first post I’ve made to The Blog directly from my phone. I’m using Flickr’s post-to-blog service for the time being for my moblogging needs, as it doesn’t require any changes to my MMS configuration nor add any additional plugins to WordPress. It seems to work pretty well.
Class tomorrow at 9am…for the loss. Daylight Savings Time can be a real bummer sometimes. Later folks!
Overall, this year’s Valentine’s Day wasn’t bad. Clad in my new favorite shirt — a brown long-sleeve T with the CNN logo in camo and “Baghdad Bureau” in darker green Helvetica Neue Medium Condensed underneath (it came straight from CNN Center) — I went out the door, starting the day off just right musically with a barrage of AC/DC (Back in Black and Shoot to Thrill, to be exact) and went on from there.
There was a bit of a tense moment where a police car was rounding Coming Street onto Calhoun at a pretty good clip, running hot (lights and sirens). At the same time, students began to cross the street. I was like “WHOA! HOLD IT!” and the officer was able to get around, despite the fact that some people didn’t pay attention and were thus halfway in the middle of the street until the officer reactivated his sirens. People just have to keep looking as they cross the streets, ESPECIALLY on Calhoun Street, the land of emergency vehicles.
All in all, today had its moments of hyper-mushiness, sure, but it wasn’t as bad as it probably could have been. After having had the opportunity to display hyper-mushiness several years ago, I no longer look at that with the scorn that I once did. Perhaps the free candy handed out in my classes today helped this situation…I’m really not sure. I also think that the post-work venting session about women with Tom in Applebee’s over beer and relatively unhealthy food was not only a great way to blow a gift card but also soften the blow of the day as well.
Tonight has been a mixture of homework and studying, complete with a Ryan Farish and Gavin Friday soundtrack. I think the song of the day is “The Big No-No” by Gavin Friday off his 1992 release “Adam & Eve” — it’s got a pretty sweet piano part in it and it’s really sung well. It’s one of the edgier Friday tracks in existence. I listened to it several times today in transit from place to place.
Funny anecdote regarding music and my habits listening to it: Two days ago, while using a public terminal waiting for class to begin in the Stern Center lobby, I was bopping along to “Together We Will Conquer” by Ryan Farish on the ol’ iPod nano, doing a little bit of air bass guitar along with it (if you haven’t heard this song, I recommend it with a giant subwoofer, the bass is that good). A girl walks up next to me and remarks, “You know, I’m trying to find mine so I can jam out like you, it looks like you’re having a good time!” Hey, what can I say — I can’t help it. I do have a good time with my music. I’ll bop along to it, tap it out, air guitar it, even sing it down the street when no one is around. I’m what they call an active listener. :)
Finally, I think it’s oddly appropriate that The Weather Channel had a small malfunction today and Trammell Starks played. After all, he is the unofficial romance music provider of JaredWSmith.com. So yeah, that was cool.
I hope everyone has a great Thursday. I’ll be back whenever I can come up for air. :)
So as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ll be on my way to Atlanta in a few short hours. Should be fun, though I should go to bed soon. LOL. Unfortunately this is a working roadtrip, as I’ve got a laptop with me to do stuff for work/class. Nutty. I’ll talk more about some of this later on this week.
I’ve really shaken up my playlist in the last couple weeks. The iPod now contains far less Weather Channel jazz, in favor of a varying lot of rock music. My Incubus obsession continues, and I’ve gotten obsessed with some of the early ’80s British bands that inspired Metallica to go out and do their thing (Diamond Head, Sweet Savage, etc.). Oh, and I have been completely about The Cure lately. Tantric’s also gotten some increased airplay. But don’t take my word for it, keep an eye on my last.fm charts. Clearly, this is a sign that, for the first time in a year or so, females are troubling me. I consider this a positive sign. Haha.
WordPress 2.1 is out. I am itching to upgrade but the WordPress team has made some nifty template changes — as a result, I’ll need to audit my template. This will take a while to review, so it may be a few weeks before 2.1 goes live here. I’ll be really happy to have an auto-save feature finally, but I’m hoping to avoid the serious issues Chris is having with his blog right now.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. I may do a little writing from the road — we shall see.
Look out folks — Mike uttered the topic of Weather Channel music on his blog…and well, this brought me out of the woodwork. LOL. I do think the Christmas music is hilarious because of the lack of wintry temperatures here (it only got slightly chillier today, and the Seattle-like rain will be with us for a while yet).
Some of you may or may not know that I have in the last year and a half become a serious Weather Channel music addict. Thanks to the diligent work of Matt & Chazz at TWC Classics, I’ve been able to identify and thus purchase my favorite TWC music from when I was growing up and from now. When I get the full site up, I fully intend on having a full list of the music that I’ve acquired, including the three-disc signed CD set by Trammell Starks (used heavily in the late ’90s and on the Weatherscan channel). I like a lot of the music from the early ’90s, when I was seriously obsessed with TWC as a kid. Nowadays my favorite TWC artists include Ryan Farish and Brian Hughes.
By the way, the jazzy version of Joy To The World Mike refers to is a version that’s been played for the last several years by Bob Rafkin — here’s the Holiday 2002 playlist for proof. ;)