Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When am I leaving?

The plane leaves in the early afternoon this Friday July 29.
I intend to unplug shortly after I [hopefully] purchase tickets to an upcoming Fleet Foxes concert.
My phone will be left behind.  If you've known me well in the last two plus years since getting an iPhone, you know I've been quite tethered to it.
Admittedly, I do want to "check in" at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.  Someone else on the team will probably have a device that could allow me to sign in and digitally gloat - so don't be too surprised if you see that.
Mostly, I'll be tempted to find a way to log in just to post a note to all that I've arrived safely.  In the past my parents have operated on the "no news is good news" strategy - but with them having both kids halfway around the world, I think they would welcome an encouraging report... we'll see...

That's pretty much where my social networking whines end.  Thankfully, I'll have my iPod with me for as what my friend so eloquently described as, "a very long boring uncomfortable journey."  There are so many things I'll happily be leaving behind and won't miss (the latest douche voted out of the Big Brother house & the newest sexy business wear of Perabo on Covert Affairs to only name two).

I'll miss a lot of things important (parents and friends) and less important (Walter White and Jesse Pinkman).  I'll gladly trade new stress (wondering if anybody within earshot understands English) for old stress (did anybody notice the format error on a recently e-mailed spreadsheet).

But I'm not there yet.  Although it seems like pieces of me have already left.  My heart left a long time ago when I made the decision.  Most recently it seems my sanity has left - I hope to find it waiting for me in Sri Lanka.  In the past 48 hours I've had 2 horrid nights of little sleep leading to an irrational action such as a Target shopping binge consisting entirely of a massive underwear buy.  So although I may not have all my technology I'm accustomed to - I'll have fresh underwear if I need it.  I can't even get into the other stumbling blocks I'm tripping over such as how many socks to bring or if an ironic shirt that says, I'm a Keeper is even worth packing.  Oh, and then I need to pack food (really!?)

Tomorrow is Wednesday, the day after that is Thursday, and then the day that I depart arrives.  See you on the other side of the world, or with pictures of it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What goes into an 11 hour playlist?

For the fourth year in a row, I have refreshed my iTunes playlist named "Lou'a'vul."  It's about a six hour drive from door to door, and I stuck with the past strategy of whole albums with a few Lebowski inspired songs along the way.

  • It starts with "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" by The Sons of the Pioneers. This is the song that opens The Big Lebowski. A no-brainer for Achievers followed by "Lookin' Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR is a must for a Lebowski-minded mixtape.

  • Next up are both the In Rainbows and King of Limbs (including the "Supercollider" & "The Butcher" add ons) albums in their entirety.  These are the two most recent studio efforts by Radiohead.

  • After two full albums I'll remind myself why I'm in the car with "The Man in Me" by Bob Dylan. This is arguably, the most iconic song tied to The Big Lebowski followed immediately by "Hotel California (Spanish Mix)" by Gipsy Kings. Ya kinda need to have seen The Big Lebowski at least twice to know why this song is on there. It don't matter to Jesus!

  • After those two tracks, I'll be in full Achiever spirit, and ready to get caught up on the two most recent episodes of the Lebowski Podcast.

  • My Morning Jacket will then finally make their much deserved appearance.  There are too many reasons to include this band. MMJ was the first band to perform at a Lebowski Fest. They are from Louisville.  Shortly after their latest release I created an all-MMJ mixtape featuring my favorite tracks from their four most recent albums:

  • MMJ mixtape

  • Before getting back into an album focus, one more reference to the film: "Just Dropped In - To See What Condition My Condition Was In" by Kenny Rodgers and the First Edition. I'd say you'd need at least 4 viewing of The Big Lebowski to know why this song belongs here.

  • The entire Civilian album by Wye Oak. 

  • The entire Pickin' Up The Pieces album by Fitz & The Tantrums

  • The entire Veckatimest album by Grizzly Bear

  • The entire Kaputt album by Destroyer

  • The entire This Is Happening album by LCD Soundsystem

  • The entire Cloak and Cipher album by Land of Talk

  • The entire XX album by The xx

  • (the back half the playlist is intentionally devoid of Lebowski as it's intended for the return home, and playing Creedence will probably make me start feeling sad that the next Fest is a year away)
    Okay, time to get to sleep - I'm hitting the road as soon as I can tomorrow morning.  I'll be on the road less than ten minutes after I get out of bed - "You didn't think I was rollin' out of here naked, did ya?"

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    What made my Best of 2011 [so far] Mixtape?

    Best of 2011 [so far]
    Every year I love creating a Best of [year] Mixtape playlist in iTunes.  Around this time of year I check in to see how many tracks made it through the nomination process of getting dropped into consideration and make a mixtape for the year's midpoint.  The tracks are not listed in order of preference - there is no ranking with one* exception:

    *"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People is the current Song of the Year for me.  Quite honestly, I don't know how any song can find my ears before this year's end with a story better than what vaulted this one to the top of the list.

    If you care to hear any of the other selections, below are links.  If you would like a copy of this mixtape for yourself, please let me know.

    1. My favorite song from the latest album of my favorite band
    2. My favorite song from the latest album of a top 5 band
    3. The best song from an album that, at the time, was cheaper than a gallon of gas
    4. (see above)
    5. A welcome return to form from a Scandinavian favorite
    6. Not only a good track, these guys deserve more credit for finally getting me to Smart Bar
    7. A standout track from an otherwise disappointing album
    8. Why thank you iTunes for a free SXSW sampler
    9. Probably the best new band I stumbled across this year [so far]
    10. Immediately after hearing this song for the first time I thought - Phoenix 2.0?
    11. Justin reclaims his throne as King of Beardy Folk
    12. The ubiquitous "Thank God for NPR's All Songs Considered Podcast" discovery