My Birthday Music

I completed another year above ground on Saturday. While the good wishes were flowing in on Facebook, I decided to give back by posting some YouTube videos of tunes that resonated with me on that particular day. Herewith, those same videos, in a concise playlist, for your Monday listening enjoyement.

  1. Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy” Obvious, sure. But birthdays are obvious.
  2. David Bowie “Speed of Life” Good instrumental from his post-glam artiste period. The title is suggestive as one ages.
  3. Iggy Pop “The Passenger” I have a hard time getting tired of this one. Both existential and powerful.
  4. Reverend Horton Heat “The Devil’s Chasin’ Me” It’s never a wrong time for pyschobilly, and even tongue-in-cheek religion is better than none at all, in my opinion.
  5. The Sword “Tres Brujas” Life is a journey, and sometime you need the wise old crone to show you the way.
  6. The Ramones “Beat on the Brat” As a parent, you shouldn’t actually do this, but as a parent, you often want to.
  7. Dee-Lite “Groove is in the Heart” Because nostalgia for a video drenched in nostalgia (there was nothing nostalgic about the actual music, which was a club favorite back in the day) is a good reminder about how you can’t hold on to the past.
  8. DJ Kool “Let Me Clear My Throat” Nothing deep here. This is just fun.
  9. Plastic Bertrand “Ca Plane Pour Moi” No matter how many Scorcese movies and Johnny Walker ads use this, I don’t tire of it. My demi-francais has the title meaning “This Life For Me.” I could be wrong, but it’s a good sentiment.
  10. The Rolling Stones “Time is On My Side” I ain’t dead yet, you bushwacker.



Comparing Apple Music and Spotify, angrily.

The definition of first world problems, sure, but if you want to pay money to curate your own music streaming experience, it’s good info.

I like the snark at the top.

For me, the only legitimate choices seem to be Spotify and Apple Music. I’ve chosen not to test other streaming services like Google Play Music (Sound Ears Noise Yes), Amazon Prime Music, and Pandora (I want to escape the radio not have a worse version of it) for various reasons. I’m sure there are many great reasons to like any of those other services (there aren’t), but I don’t want to hear about them (write your own post about them if you love them).

Pandora can be utterly tedious, but it has the advantage of being free. I’m not paying $14.99 a month to break my data overages. Call me old-fashioned, but I have mouths to feed.

Read the whole thing, if you want to know why Spotify is moderately better than Apple Music.

New Content: Demon-Killing and Caliphates

I have long been fascinated by the Crusades, the Crusader states, and the military orders. Piers Paul Read’s The Templars is a magisterial book that fits in well with the newer generation of Crusade historians (good-bye, “ambitious younger sons”, hello “pious armed pilgrims”). The Templars, of course, met their brutal end before the Middle Ages were over, but the Knights Hospitaller survived, first on Rhodes, then on Malta, where they became the great anti-Turk sea-lords of the Mediterranean. They survive today as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a charitable organization with knightly flavor.

That history and a few viewings of Hellboy has inspired a piece of fiction, perhaps the stepping stone of a larger work:

View story at

On a related note, the claim of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to the Caliphate of all Islam let me down the rabbit hole to learn one or two things about what went down in the Mid-East in the 20th Century. Most interestingly, I learned that the House of Saud has been ruling in the Arabian Penninsula for a long time. Check out the rest at my new blog, Histeria. A relevant quote:

The Caliphate is imperial by nature: it’s godly goal is to expand the ummah. Every Caliphate has stagnated and collapsed when it hit its military limits. That was true of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abassid Caliphate, and the Ottoman Empire; it will be true of ISIL.

Where exactly those limits are is the question of the hour.

from “Monarchy, Legitimacy, and the ISIL Caliphate

And of course, there’s my music tumblr, Every. Damn. CD. I just finished up with Led Zeppelin. Rockabilly to follow.


Best Albums Lists are Always Wrong. Always.

I’ve never even heard of 90% of this Best of the 80’s list.

Therefore, they’re wrong.

But they know more about music than I do, because they know and have listened to these albums.

Therefore, they’re right.

But they’re a UK mag, meaning their judgement only makes sense according to the British 80’s scene. And the 80’s were a time when American and British music diverged somewhat (except in hair metal).

Therefore, they’re irrelevant.


I Just Figured Out How To Tumblr. Possibly How to Blog.

So I mentioned that I was re-vamping my Tumblr from having a no real purpose to having a purpose. In the past 2 days I’ve gained nearly 500 followers.

Granted, it’s Tumblr, so following is easy and doesn’t necessarily lead to connection or interaction with contact. It’s like Twitter that way. Of all those followers, there are only a handful of likes, and I think one reblog. But I only have 654 Twitter followers, and I’ve been tweeting for years.

To what do I owe this success, such as it is? I think the following:

  1. People get what my Tumblr’s about, and are interested. People like talking about music, and my posts are short and to the point.
  2. Bro, Do You Even Tag? In doing music reviews, it always helps to tag the band name, the song name, the album name. Then people who check the tags see the content, and decide to follow if they like what they see.
  3. YouTube is the New MTV. After (which is to say, above) every review, I do a separate video post which has either a favored deep track or a live version or something else that I think noteworthy. YouTube is great at giving you options, and people like to hear music when they’re done reading about music.

So, Focus, Reach Out, and Consistent Content. Hopefully this continues.

Check out the noise at Every. Damn. CD.

Giving My Tumblr a Purpose


Lou Reed in 1977, for no good reason.

I have a Tumblr for reasons that I never understood. It was just a thing to get, and a direct violation of my actual purpose in having a single blog with my name on it. But there’s a problem that’s never quite been satisfied.

I had, at one of my old dead blogs, a music writing project that I tried to import here and never fully did. I never fully did because my life got twist-turned upside down when I became a dad, and summoning the eloquence to write about R.E.M. and the Rolling Stones felt like work. And when you’re a blogger, work doesn’t feel right.

So I’m going to re-charge the project. I’m going to rate and review all of my CD’s. In the following order:

  1. By Genre
  2. Within Genre, alphabetically by Artist Name
  3. Within Artist, chronologically by release date.

It’s called Every.Damn. CD. and what’s going to make it change is I’m not going to try for eloquence or knock myself out for insight. Every disc gets a paragraph, a grade, and a youtube link if I happen to feel like it. I’ll go for knocking them out once or twice a week or so.

I’ve got a diverse music collection and I used to care about it. Let’s see if anything interesting falls therefrom.