And so it begins.

If you’re reading this, then I have sad/happy news for you. And perhaps not the most surprising of news…

This is post #900 on ye olde Counterforce. We haven’t been as prolific as we used to be, and we haven’t been as loud and verbal, and maybe we haven’t been as excited as we should. We’ve enjoyed a moment together and we’re going to enjoy many, many more as well, but I don’t think this next part will shock you: Counterforce is going to end with post #1000.

Why end it there? Why not just end it here, or tomorrow, or four months ago? Because it’s going to end with #1000, that’s fucking why. Because the time is now and because I think this particular iteration of what you know as Counterforce is ending – if I can be as heavy handed as possible – and it has to end before the next aeon can be born. But it needs to go in its own way, in its own style, and with a little celebration. And a little dark forecasting of what lays beyond.

We’re not planning to bury it. At least, that’s not my intention. It’s coming to the end and I hope to leave its exquisite corpse just laying around for people to enjoy. But this isn’t a funeral. This is going to be a fucking dance party with eulogies and crazy LOLcat GIFs. There’s plenty more YouTube embeds and shit talking and Jackface pictures and theorizing about the fate of Don Draper to come before we sign off at this particular URL. We’re still going to talk about the things we like and love and hate and detest while also being super mega self-referential and taking this thing so far down the rabbit hole and up our own asses that the sunrise/set will seem like a perpetual strobe effect.

In short, we’re going out with banging and whimpering, and hopefully both in rhythmic and wonderful succession.

I remember that when the 80s ended, as U2 had their final concert of the decade, they went out on this intensely ominous note, telling their audience that they had to go away for a while and dream it all up again. Most people walked out of that decade thinking their favorite band was over, gone forever, but that wasn’t the case.

Again, that’s a bit heavy handed, but I’m this close to embedding Semisonic videos and telling you that every new beginning starts from some other beginning’s end. Perhaps instead I’ll just tell you that you don’t have to go home, but you just can’t stay here.

Not forever, anyway.

Anyway. Count your fucking blessings. You were lucky enough to know us and enjoy this time and this place and moment. We were lucky enough to know you and fap fap fap fap fap about things we liked or thought were important. And we’re doing to keep doing that here for another 100 posts, and we’ll keep doing it elsewhere. There is, for example, the podcast to brighten and enrich your days now. That’ll be an ever evolving thing. Put it in your ears and your mind. And keep your eyes coming back here for the next 100 posts. The final 100 posts.

And then when you close your eyes, all will go dark. But when you open them again, perhaps there’ll be something new there, just waiting for you to see it.

I hope everyone will come back. Everyone who has ever done anything with this site, or wanted to, and everyone who has ever read it. I want to bathe in all the old jokes and callbacks and motifs and references and the things we loved. I want the old shit to make friends with the new shit and then take the new shit behind the middle school and get it pregnant. And, with any luck, Counterforce will end this year. It’s kind of exciting to think that our last dance would take us right up to the stroke of midnight at the end of the world, right?

Advertisements

List-o-mania, part 1: While you wait for the others.

It’s such a weird time of year, as it starts getting colder in most places, probably especially in our hearts and in our memories, and yet we cast our gaze ever backwards, trying to search our sonic amusements from the past year for value. What was important. What was worthy of being called “the best of” this odd little year that was.

I could wait forever for your answer and you could wait even longer for someone else’s answer, but here’s mine. I hope other members of Counterforce will pipe in at some point with albums/singles/music they valued in the past year, especially as we start cutting up everything of pop culture into lines to put in lists and snort up. But this is my picks, music-wise, albums either released or leaked into the blogosphere and my world this year, split unnumbered into three categories:  The Best Of and Somewhere In The Middle and Albums That Let Me Down This Year. That’s probably about as clear as I can be with categories. Now, let’s take a look back…

THE BEST OF:

Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest.

Broadcast, Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age.

As I’ve seen many people say online, you might like this album if the album title alone attracts your interest. Simply put, this feels like a lovely dream pop/electronica soundtrack to a 60s horror movie about wandering sonic textures hunting down pop songs that I desperately wish was waiting out there for me to discover it.

St. Vincent, Actor.

The best album produced via GarageBand with songs inspired by Woody Allen and Disney movies ever.

Mos Def, The Ecstatic.

Fuck Buttons, Tarot Sport.

Japandroids, Post-Nothing.

Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

Quite frankly, car commercial music has never sounded this good.

mewithoutYou, It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright!

The Raveonettes, In And Out Of Control.

A Place To Bury Strangers, Exploding Head.

Where noise rock, shoegaze, space rock, post punk, and a truckload of dissonance all combine into a giant wall that falls down on you, crushing you. Or, exploding your head, if you will. Not a band for everyone, and definitely not an album for everyone, but if you love sonic death waves, this will be your bag.

Lisa Hannigan, Sea Sew.

I’ve been a huge fan of Hannigan’s work with Damien Rice but always disturbed that she’s been relegated to being in his backing band when her talent has always seemed up and front there with Rice’s own. And honestly, I can only watch/listen to a sad man moaning and keeping a girl down for so long. I hope this is the beginning of Hannigan conquering more and more accolades.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It’s Blitz.

Oh yeah, remember that this came out earlier this year? A solid album, definitely, but not totally compelling in a long term sense, but maybe nothing can be after a mountain like “Maps.” Regardless, I think this album works as a whole and still carries several excellent cuts on it. Silly though it may be, “Soft Shock” is a personal favorite of mine.

The-Dream, Love vs. Money.

Fever Ray, Fever Ray.

Beach House, Teen Dream.

SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE: Albums that are solid, but perhaps over hyped a tad. Or, albums that I like but sadly don’t love.

Andrew Bird, Noble Beast.

“Baroque pop” is how Wikipedia describes this album, and I can see it. It’s indie rock, and it’s well done, but it’s not my usual cup of tea. And I think the album reinforces that, actually, by always impressing me, surprising me with it’s mechanical beauty, but never making me feel like I am a part of it.

Mr. Hudson, Straight No Chaser.

The album is not so bad, but “Supernova,” the Kanye-produced (who also guests, of course)(and continuing his quest to either become European or just conquer European music) lead single by this British artist is my pick for what should be one of the songs of the year:

Bat For Lashes, Two Suns.

Dinosaur Jr., Farm.

Girls, Album.

Good, solid music, but not worth the hype. Praise comes too easy to some people who are not gifted with the depth of thought or true judgment.

The XX, xx.

See above, though this album has more going for it than the Girls album, I feel. Years from now, or possibly just months and days (with the way my life is going) I will quite possibly fall in love with this album. It’s simple in a way, understated, clumsy in a practiced way. There’s a nuance to it, but make no mistake: This is a album for the loneliest, horniest of hipster.

Handsome Furs, Face Control.

No longer a side project and now what feels like a good and proper musical collaboration between Dan Broeckner and his wife Alexei Perry. It fascinates me that their reference to New Order got this album delayed while it was cleared legally. There’s a beautiful rhythmic groove hatched in this album.

Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion.

This is, without a doubt, the album to take drugs to and then take your clothes off to of the year. Enjoy it with another person, but it’s still good by yourself too.

Sonic Youth, The Eternal.

La Roux, La Roux.

A shock and a revelation as far as European dance music goes. Bright, shiny, and beautifully off kilter.

Mirah, (A)spera.

…And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Century Of Self.

Micachu and the Shapes, Jewellery.

Third Eye Blind, Ursa Major.

Originally entitled “That Hideous Strength,” taking it’s title from C.S. Lewis, this is a nostalgia pick that doesn’t totally betray me but there’s nothing resembling fireworks on this album. I’m probably the biggest fan in the world of their previous album and this one feels exactly like it was: six years late and the product of a long drought of writer’s block, but definitely the work of the same artist. The band will release their own version of Amnesiac, entitled Ursa Minor, at some point.

Atlas Sound, Logos.

Vivian Girls, Everything Goes Wrong.

Mastodon, Crack The Skye.

Art Brut, Art Brut vs. Satan.

It’s a crazy, fun music party until someone has the balls to challenge Satan. And this English/German indie rock band, with beautiful production by Black Francis, who take their name from Jean Dubuffet’s name for outsider art, lose to Satan, of course. But it’s a tight, clean, and highly listenable loss.

Metric, Fantasies.

Amy Millan, Masters Of The Burial.

The Antlers, Hospice.

Florence And The Machine, Lungs.

The album is decent enough, but all you really need to know is the song, “Dog Days Are Over.” Give it a listen and then tell me if I’m wrong.

ALBUMS THAT LET ME DOWN THIS YEAR: Maybe they’re not terrible, maybe they have some strong points, but like I said, they let me down.

Doves, Kingdom Of Rust.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Ashes Grammar.

U2, No Line On The Horizon.

Still the biggest band in the world, no matter how much it upsets your stupid sensibilities. The sad thing about being on the top though is that you can only fall down.

Julian Casablancas, Phrazes For The Young.

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t expect much from Casablancas. This album isn’t horrible by any means, but never lives up to the possibility you felt in it’s lead off single, “11th Dimension.” The rest of the album, which references Oscar Wilde in it’s title, feels like a few normal rock songs with extra silly production layered onto them by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis. If I was in junior high, or at least floating around somewhere in the first few years of high school, I would probably think this was the greatest thing ever and might request it at a dance or something. And possibly adding insult to injury, I give you the song (which I actually like quite a bit) by Courtney Love that’s about Casablancas:

The Boy Least Likely To, The Law Of The Playground.

Brand New, Daisy.

Better Than Ezra, Paper Empire.

Another nostalgia pick. BTE, actually, used to be my favorite band. It’s a long story, one that started with a girl, but thankfully, at the end of the story I was left with the better of the two: the music. Now I feel like I don’t even have that. For a band that that mines a brand of “cool” and “joy” that is wonderful and easy to inhabit, I would easily recommend this band. Their previous album was slyly wonderful, as were all of their albums before that.

The Mars Volta, Octahedron.

I think I’m just over this. I appreciate music that sounds like you’re on drugs but I have grown to dislike the Mars Volta’s evolving sound into my needing to be drugs to find an appreciation groove in what they do.

Well, this has been my 2009 in music, for the most part. The best of, the solid and entertaining, and the stuff that let me down. There’s some highs and lows in here, as far as music released/leaked this year goes, but these are my peaks and valleys. What do you think? And what was your year in music like?

“In the garden I was playing the tart/I kissed your lips and broke your heart.”

Today I’m going to spend Easter not so much with a celebration of the day, but of one of my favorite songs:

Until The End Of The World” by U2, off their brilliant album, Achtung Baby. I could write for quite a long time about this album, in fact, one of the handful of really seminal musical works to come out of the 90s, along with things like Exile In Guyville and probably even Pearl Jam’s Ten, but today I just want to talk about this song, just a little.

Haven’t seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold just passing time
Last time we met was a low-lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world

I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You…you were acting like it was
The end of the world
(Love…love…)

In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You…you said you’d wait
’til the end of the world

As with every song, it was three meanings: what you think it means, what it actually means, and what it means to you. What it means to me is not something I care to go into, other than to say that it’s a beautifully written song that always seems to find me when I’m in a bit of a dark place, and whether it makes me feel better or just sustains me, I don’t know. But what the song means to me personally isn’t nearly as important as what it means to you, and that could be anything.

from here.

What a lot of people think it means is something do with with romance, or rather, the end of one. Around the time of it’s writing, The Edge was going through a pretty bitter divorce (this is before he married the band’s touring belly dancer).

But what the song actually is is a dialogue between Jesus and Judas Iscariot, taking place in the afterlife, talking about betrayal and sorrow. The song was written before the album for Wim Wenders’ Until The End Of The World, though it fits in perfectly with the darker themes and feel of the album. The band is good friends with Wenders, collaborating with him quite a few times in throughout their career. Wenders specifically asked the band to write a song for the album, something along the lines of the same theme within the song, for the very interesting soundtrack to the film, which is set in late 1999. Wenders even asked the band (and every artist on the soundtrack) to write their song to sound like the kind of music they thought they’d be making at the end of the decade as the end of the world approached.

The actual bible and tenets of Christianity mean so very little to me, I can’t even begin to describe it to you, though I guess that’s not wholly accurate. While I respect that my beliefs aren’t necessarily right nor should be everyone’s, though I do consider myself a spiritual person, I find the bible to be about as useful to humanity as Aesop’s Fables. I’m fascinated by the stories from a literature sense, and from the way humanity has handed the keys to your minds over to the God meme rather than relying on themselves to create their own destinies… Ah, but that’s the kind of thing of which people can only disagree on, right?

Being Easter, I thought of this song last night, and how much I am fascinated by the story of Jesus’ end, but not in the torture porn way of something like The Passion Of The Christ, or the sacrificing for the sins of humanity, or any of that nonsense, though Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ is a beautiful and amazing film and if you’ve never had the privilege to see it, you should. And if you consider yourself a devout believer, then you should definitely see it.

Ah, but Easter, and Jesus, and his friend Judas… The story goes something like this: After supper with his friends, Jesus and his followers are greeted by some Roman soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, the messiah and agitator, is identified to the troops by Judas, who gives the man from Nazareth a kiss on the lips. For his trouble, Judas is paid 30 pieces of silver, and Jesus is hauled off to… well, we all know where his story ends. But the following day, Judas, driven mad by the guilt and remorse of what he’s done, hangs himself from a tree not far from Golgotha, where Christ as crucified. By sundown, both men are dead.

All though out our history since that moment, or rather, that story, the character of Judas has been violently vilified. In fact, the only person probably more disgusting to us than him is Hitler, but that’s probably because we have proof that Hitler was real, never mind that the philosophical questions of Judas doesn’t quite add up to satisfactory answers (if Jesus could foresee the betrayal and allowed it to happen, then is not Judas the instrument of our so called salvation?)(Borges’ take on this, “Three Versions Of Judas,” is a very interesting read), nor do some of the historical details (like that the crucifixion couldn’t have been on a Friday, good or not), but what matters is the story, the way the fiction makes us feel.

And that’s one of the reasons I love the interpretation of the story in the U2 song. The betrayal isn’t just about money or a difference of philosophy or wanting to tackle somone’s cult of personality. It’s much more personal than that, almost a romantic betrayal. It’s a betrayal of love, be it homosexual or homosocial. It’s something everyone can relate to, either as the betrayed, or in that dark place where you betray someone you love, kissing them on the lips and then breaking their heart. In so many ways, that is the end of the world.

The Raven in the Promised Land.

Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for. And been waiting such a long time for.

Not just the ousting of the political Beast of the last 8 years, but of a dream and promise of equality for all Americans. One that’s been too long coming in it’s fulfillment.

What an amazing confluence of events. On the eve of such a momentous moment in our history, we’re celebrating the birthday of the man who helped make it possible. You just have to love the way the universe works sometimes. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr. (Even if your birthday was actually on January 15).

And welcome to your new home, President Obama. You’re inheriting a lot of bullshit and a lot of burnt bridges. A lot. I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you because I think you can take it, but, the last guy? He fucked up bad. Continuously. Constantly. All over the place. But we’ve got faith in you. Make us proud.

And then there’s everyone’s favorite writer from when they were in junior high…

…but he’s still one of mine. Happy 200th birthday, Edgar Allan Poe. Let’s all be Poe Toasters for the day.

The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, one of my most favorite of his stories.

The Cask Of Amontillado” by Poe, another serious favorite.

The Murders In Rue Morgue” by Poe, in which he creates the detective story. Other works that you could call detective stories predated this one, but this is the one people think of us as the first for a reason.

And, of course, “The Raven.”

U2Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (live) (mp3)

U2 “MLK” (mp3)

My Year In Lists, part one: Are we human or are we dancer?

Well, the year is even closer to an end than it was before, and since we’ve been threatening it for a while now, prepare thyself for…

THE Counterforce ULTRA SUPER MEGA BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR OF OUR BLOG 2008 OR THEREABOUTS LIST!

part one

Why would there be more than one part? Because while it’s been a kind of not quite fantastic year for music, there have some good albums this year, so we’ve decided to split this up a little. On Monday, we’ll give you the official Best Of The Best, but today, we break down for you, by category, some runners up…

(A much simpler way to sum it up would be… today we’re human. And next week? Dancer. I think.)(LG: Or Danza? )(MS: Hold me closer, Tony Dannzzaaaa!” Okay, sorry.)

Alright, enough bullshit. Let’s do this!

Best album to pretend you’re in a brooding French film about a sad love affair:

M83, Saturdays=Youth.

Lollipop Gomez: And not just any love affair. The saddest one. The film will have a bunch of long, one take shots of you walking down a corridor with a blank expression on your face, while you flash back to all the amazing sex you had, that you’ll never have again. And we’ll follow you into your apartment, where only your cat will greet you and you’ll sink into bed and listen to this album in the dark while staring at the ceiling, snorting a line of Xanax and falling asleep. Yes, I just described every single day of my life.

Marco Sparks: But in the 1980s. Hello, Molly Ringwald-ish girl on the cover!

Best album by an artist that I used to consider wack and probably should still:

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III.

Marco: Others have have put the surprising effectiveness of Lil Wayne into verbal context much better, so I’m not even going to try. That’s just an invite to fall flat on one’s face. Instead, I’ll sum up this artist and this album on a very personal level: Lil Wayne is the Riki-Oh of the rap game!

LG: All I could ever hope to say about Lil Wayne is summed up beautifully in my favorite essay of the year, I Will Forever Remain Faithful by David Ramsey.  His amazing single “Lollipop” is definitely my favorite song of the year (why? because well… shorty wanna thug? bottles in the club). It’s also where I got my Counterforce nom de plume.

Best album to autotune your broken heart to:

Kanye West, 808s & Hearbreak.

LG: My brother has listened to this non stop for several days now, so I disagree on principal. But Kanye provided some of the best LOLs of the year with his blog. To wit, a quote from my favorite entry:

“I am  sick of negative  people who just sit around trying 2 plot my downfall… Why????  I understand if people don’t like me because I like me or if people think tight clothes look gay or people say I run my mouth to much,  But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I’ve ever had in my life. This is the most offended I’ve ever been… this is the maddest I ever will be.  I’m typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!

Best sugar sweet Swedish import you can sing and dance along to with little to no shame:

Lykke Li, Youth Novels.

Marco: I think I’ll speak for Lollipop and myself here and put this simply and succinctly: Just listen to this album. And then you’ll feel it. And then you’ll know what all the people are talking about. And here’s Brittany Julious talking about just that.

Best album to do blow to in the bathroom of a hipster club while wearing dirty skinny jeans:

Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles.

LG: I love this shit. It is sweaty dancing in a bar with a plastic cup of gin and tonic in my hand, wailing my hair around. It’s waiting forever to use the bathroom at a stinky club and finally forcing the dudes fucking in there to get the hell out. It’s making out in the photobooth, fingerless Marc by Marc Jacobs striped gloves, drinking coffee on a walk of shame home at 5 am. It’s youth and energy and dark and all that entails.

Marco: When I first glanced at the above paragraph, the only words I saw were “finger” and “fucking” at first. But I could not agree more with Lollipop. This is (controversial) danceable video game music gone crazy and then it was used perfectly in an episode of Skins, which I loved. I know, I know. Shut up about Skins, already.

Best album that’s been called James Joycean in someone’s end of the year list:

Girl Talk, Feed The Animals.

LG: I guess we’re required to like this, huh? I like the mashup of the 90s hits. I personally have never forgotten Here Comes The Hotstepper. I’m glad to see someone else still remembers.

Best indie dance pop album with a touch of the shoegazery:

Friendly Fires, Friendly Fires.

Best album by a great rapper going electrotechnotastic:

Common, Universal Mind Control.

Marco: It missed it’s originally intended summer release date (and thus vacated it’s original title of Invincible Summer) because Common’s becoming a movie star, but this album still has some hot shit on it.

Best Canadian post-punk caterwaul dissonant soundscape album:

Women, Women.

Marco: For some reason, when people say to me, “Hey, this album sounds like the end of the world,” I really pay attention. Well, does this sound like the end? Maybe only just a little, but in a lovely, poppy sort of way. (I should probably make special honorable mentions for Chad VanGaalen’s album and the Azeda Booth album here, too.) This is their myspace page.

Best Stereolab album of the year:

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, Stereolab, Chemical Chords.

Best album that I should mention here because I don’t see it mentioned anywhere else and that’s a shame, a real shame:

The Roots, Rising Down.

Marco: As with the last few albums by Jimmy Fallon’s upcoming Max Weinberg Seven, this is not a chill album, but it is a good album, and a tense one, dealing with the racism in the music industry, how fucked up the world is, and a fin de siècle vibe that’s been floating around for a while. The title comes from William T. Vollmann’s massive Rising Up And Rising Down: Some Thoughts On Violence, Freedom, And Urgent Means, and it’s fitting since The Roots have always been about the “urgent means” in our culture.

Best double header by the international tweexcore underground:

Los Campesinos, Hold On Now, Youngster… and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed.

Marco: Oh, you crazy fun Welsh bastards. Congrats to you for not only putting on a super fun debut album, that’s intensely and immensely likable despite of or maybe because of it’s nuclear level pretentiousness, but then to follow it up with a high quality debut mere months later. Brilliant good fun.

Best Icelandic post-rock super folk party:

Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (which translates as With Buzzing In Our Ears We Play Endlessly).

Marco: I honestly don’t know what to say about this band that hasn’t been said before, but better. There’s no super epic “Glosoli” or “Staralfur” here, but maybe that’s because this album feels slightly more grounded, somewhat more intimate, and a tad skittish in a really fun way. Plus, any album that necessitates this perfect NSFW video is always aces in my book.

David Byrne & Brian Eno “Home” (mp3)

Friendly Fires “I’m Good, I’m Gone” (Lykke Li cover)(mp3)

Friendly Fires (ft. Au Revoir Simone) “Paris” (Aeroplane remix)(mp3)

Stereolab “Three Women” (mp3)

Women “Group Transport Hall” (mp3)

Azeda Booth “Ran” (mp3)

Music news: U2 announce the title of their new album (fucking finally), and Brian Eno is going to score Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. Brian Eno is going to jump Peter Jackson’s not so lovely bones. There. I Said it. There’ll probably not be a second Postal Service album (any time soon), Andy Samberg talks about the upcoming album from The Lonely Island, and Sparks (the liquid cocaine) is dead, long live Marco Sparks?

The Onion AV Club‘s celebrity guest list of best albums of the year. Also, the AV Club talking about the most awesome-ist band names this year. Here’s a nice collection of end of the year lists for just about everything and Stephen King lists some 70s music and some sleaze rock in his top albums of the year, while calling Girl Talk just as dense as Ulysses, but you can dance to it (see above), and citing AC/DC, Buckcherry, and The Pretends as his top albums of the year. Wikipedia is nice enough to give you a rundown of music in 2008, and here’s This Recording‘s top 20 albums of the year, Rolling Stone‘s top 50, and, of course, Pitchfork’s top picks for individual best songs of the year and top 50 albums. All of these lists are decent attempts at being the definitive subject, but we’ll see you back here on Monday for the real deal, yes? Oh yes 🙂

My heart keeps beating like a hammer.

So here I am on a Sunday afternoon, just being lazy and feeling increasingly miserable about myself when I discover this amongst all the various crap youtubery of the world:

Wow. Emily Haines talking about the new Metric album. Awesome. Granted, it’s not til next year, but I’m excited about a new Metric album. It’s time. They were honestly my first entry point into that whole incestuous Canadian music collective with the various Broken Social Scenes and Feists and the Stars and all their crazy ass side projects out there. I think I’ve probably come to love Stars more, mind you, but still… you never forget your first love, yeah?

Though I was over them for a long time because… well, same old story: I discovered them years and years ago in, of all things, a commercial. We shared an intense love affair. It was private and quiet. It was hot and it was heavy. I was protective of it and no one knew. Slowly, I let others into my secret sonic joy there, sharing with those I felt were special and had good taste. And then, unfortunately, all the rest of your assholes found out about them and ruined the shit out of it for me.

But, the time is past, and Emily Haines has gotten her solo bug out of her system for a bit, and the band is back. And I could not be more excited. Like I said, their album won’t drop til sometime next year, but honestly… between now and the end of this year, what is the new music we’re supposed to be looking forward to? Chinese Democracy is already here, as is Kanye, but what’s the next big thing that everyone’s equally awaiting? I somehow feel like the new U2 album is not coming out this year since I’m pretty sure I would’ve heard more about it by now.

I mentioned this curiosity to someone the other day and they reminded me that the new Fall Out Boy album is coming out mid-December. They actually mentioned this to me like it was something I should be excited about. WTF? Instead they got a simple, polite “Fuck off!”

Anyways, Metric is touring starting in January, most likely road testing their new material and here’s the new song, “Help, I’m Alive,” that’ll have to hold us over for a bit:

Fall Out Boy. Ugh. Can you believe that shit?

In which we are one, but not the same.

From “Raising McCain” to “Barracuda,” last night’s speech was an interesting one. Kind of like when you stop to watch a car accident. Or maybe like the blood trail of the dragged body in the return of The Shield on Tuesday night. Something borderline horrific and sad and fascinating.

McCain’s call for unity in the Repubican party, promise of bipartisanship compromise (give me a fucking break), and attempts to pick up on the “change” theme that’s wafting in and out of this election cycle kind of forces me at gunpoint to agree with Arianna Huffington on this, but John McCain is clearly running on the amnesia platform. It’s very “honor”-ful of you to thank Shrubya and his wife in the start of your speech, McCrazyballs, but it then seems odd to see you subtly attack the man you want to consider your predecessor, to call him out as a leader’s who output is something that needs to be change (which is so, so, so true) is a little shifty when you agreed with him 90% of the time.

I guess I should at least commend the man on attempting to take the high road. Or, at least making us think that’s the road he’s got his timeworn eyes on.

Also, I think that the chants of “USA! USA!” pretty much clinches that the GOP convention felt even more contrived and scripted than the Democrats’ and that’ was hard to do.

Also, the pitbull in lipstick? I’m going to take a day off from talking about her. All I will say is that before her speech on Wednesday night, I thought she was a bizarre and poorly thought about choice to balance out this ticket, and after her speech, I now actively dislike her. So, bear in mind, that bias is all over the place with me now. Her speech wasn’t so much selling herself to the nation as someone with qualifications and ideals and a passion for “change,” but rather a spunky and cute figurehead for how little the GOP thinks of women and the country at large. Also, the whole mission from God thing makes me wonder if she’s as batshit crazy as McCrazyballs himself. For now, I’m going to venture a… yes.

And oh, yes, the words “bullshit” and “gimmicky” do come to mind in a big way.

Not to mention that she makes Lynne Spears and Billy Ray Cyrus look like good parents now. But okay, seriously now, I’m done talking about her. For at least today.

Oh, and McCain’s mother is “96 years young?” How is it that her son, who looks like if you forced Frankenstein to live unhappily into senility, appears as if he could just fall over dead at any moment but she’s almost seen a whole century on this planet? WTF? I’m going to ponder what kind of souls she’s devouring to cling to life a little longer while also getting pissed off that Cindy McCain’s dress last night apparently cost $300k. Jesus. If that doesn’t scream out that we need a new first lady model, one that is not as ceremonious and about giving tours and sitting around looking pretty and more expensive than the commoners and more akin to Hillary or what you have to assume Michelle Obama would bring to the table, then… I just don’t know. The only thing that makes me smile about that is that apparently “cindy mccain plastic surgery” is a top search on yahoo.

Ha ha! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over here eating some cake…

Okay, that’s enough about politics for now. Let’s fast forward a bit and pretend the election is over. We have a winner, and the vote counting controversy (because it’s not a modern day national American election without just a little bit of fraud and some up all night counting and threats of serious legal action and bullshittery), and it’s time for a little old, fashioned healing. Sexual healing? No. Not if McCain wins. God, no. Even if he could find his viagra, I doubt he could find his way into his wife’s ancient pit of despair. (That’s right, I said it.) No, I’m talking about music. And who better to heal us, since they were basically the star of my previous post anyways, than U2?

Is it getting better? Or do you feel the same?

Will it make it easier on you now, you got someone to blame…

Did I disappoint you, or leave a bad taste in your mouth?

Too late, tonight, to drag the past out into the light…

Have you come here for foregiveness?  Have you come to raise the dead? Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Did I ask too much? More than a lot? You gave me nothing, now that’s all I got…

You ask me to enter… And then you make me crawl.

We’ve got to carry each other here, people. Or something.

Music and memory: How the songs we heard growing up shape our lives.

Sex without a condom is the new engagement ring.

An endorsement to die for, or: Obama wins in Iran.

The joke that should’ve sunk McCain.

the visions of Orson and Waugh.

How Bank Of America rewards it’s employees.

Todd Diamond: FINANSENSE.

Sci-Friday.

Oh, and the new 90210 sucks. The original was just a rip off of Degrassi, and… I’d rather have Degrassi on TV than this (with it’s stars stolen from Degrassi). For now, I’ll stick with Gossip Girl, thanks.

Would an antimatter apple float up?

John McCain: That’s not change we can believe in.

Men in the Congo struggle with sorcerors stealing their pensises. I get that a lot.