Adapting to the New Age of Interaction

We are in the era of frauds and glossiness. You can create any type of social media personality that you like. People don’t know what’s real. If you only want to show one side of yourself you can do that. I think that it’s only going to get worse. When all you can see is how successful people are; or all of the cool things that they are doing. It makes you feel terrible about yourself. So when you feel awful about yourself you prefer not to have people see that side so you post fantastic things that you are doing. And the cycle goes on and on.

One thing that is certain is that nobody is as extraordinary or interesting as they appear to be on social media. If this was the case then I would constantly be traveling, going to concerts, watching movies, and drinking craft beer. Never a dull day in the life of Daryl Smith. It’s not very interesting writing that I just watched the news at the gym, went to work, and then came home to watch mindless TV for the next few hours. Who the hell wants to read about that?

Some people don’t require physical relationships with friends any longer. They can get their social need through online interaction only. I am not built this way, there is still a need in me to have social experiences being in the same room with other people. Not just through the screen of my computer. You can’t really look down upon this though. It’s just the evolution of mankind. We are currently in the awkward state of transition from in person to online. There is no stopping it. You can post as much as you like about putting your phones down in social atmospheres – it’s only going to continue to be more prevalent. Is it bad? I don’t know. It’s just evolution baby.

To think that your generation was so much better because you played outside is silly. Every generation believes that they had the best music, movies, upbringing, and people. Every generation complained about the previous generation. It’s so much more in your face this time because it’s online. I attempt to keep a balance. Going out when I am feeling a bit too suffocated. Trying to keep my emotions in check while flipping through my social media sites. Nobody in the world is having a better time than certain people on my Facebook feed. You need to remember what they were like when you actually knew them in person versus this entity that they created online.

There is also the other side of the social media spectrum. The people that air all of their grievances online. Festivus for the rest of us. All of their issues and all of their venom on social media fronts. For people that do this, this is the only side that we see. People roll their eyes at you while going through their feed. Think of social media as advertising for yourself. How do you want people to portray you? Most people have a small group of friends that they see on a consistent basis. Social media is the only way to interact with 90% of people that once knew you or know you through somebody else. Bad things happen to people, and there are injustices in this world on a daily basis. Choose what you decide to post wisely. Once it’s up there, it may stay up there for good.

What I do know is that regardless of how many memes you put up about people socializing the old-fashioned way, this freight train is not going to stop. Instead of complaining about it, find a balance. What works for you? Society will not move backwards on this front. You can only control how you interact with other people. Stop focusing on the way everybody else socializes, and please for the love of Ozzy Osbourne and all things that are awesome stop re-posting pictures of things that you remember from the past. Picture of an easy-bake oven. Re-post if you remember this. I don’t give a shit!

Till next time when I post something that probably contradicts with something else that I posted in the past. This is Hosehead. Have a great week. Now, time to get ready for my trip to the Canary Islands by having a craft beer, listening to vinyl, and purchasing tickets to see Kurt Vile in Buffalo.

John Scott feeling manly in Morocco

I went to see Black Sabbath 17 or 18 years ago when I was in college. I remember thinking then that this is going to be the last time that I see them, and Ozzy is surely going to die within the next 5-10 years. They are still going. They performed brilliantly in Hamilton recently. 8.3/10

Sara and I were in Morocco. If you ever want to see somebody stick out as a tourist, just watch me in my bright blue Jays cap attempt to weave through the streets of Marakeesh trying to go unnoticed. “What me a tourist. Oh I would love some tea in your carpet shop. What a nice guy.”

The Oscars are tomorrow. Leo will finally win his best actor award. And some bloggers will lose exactly 16% of their blogging material.

Why do people clap after the plane lands? The other option is crashing and dying. Denzel can fly one of these things wasted. Can’t be that difficult.

I went searching on the internet for what ISIS actually wants. Don’t bother, it’s just as crazy as you think it is.

Watched an episode of Fuller House. Uncomfortable grown up jokes, and one of the creepiest scenes of the whole gang recreating a scene of singing “Meet the Flinstones” to cheer up a cranky child. If you decide to delve into this madness you will never forget it and it will haunt your subconscious for days to come.

Dave Coulier is awful. Kanye and Dave should have a wrestling match. Winner gets to relocate with the Kardashian’s to the Arctic. Loser has to relocate with Alanis Morrisette to Antarctica. Either way Dave Coulier is screwed.

Have you ever been to a hotel before that is too hip for you? This happened to me in Paris. Everything was controlled by a tablet, and the check in was a self-check in. If the IKEA store turned into a person and created a hotel this is what it would create.

When you are in an airport for an extremely long time you begin to have arch-nemesis’ while there. Two ladies felt the wrath of my imagination after sneaking their way to the front of the line with their extremely excessive back packs.

How do we genetically make rabbits that enjoy cuddling? Is there a pill that we can give them? Maybe it’s a mix of MDMA and Heroin? Who is on this experiment? Sounds like money well spent.

John Scott is a man. He has all of the appearances of a full grown man. If you were to put him side by side beside me there is no way that people would think that I was older. I am 10 years older than this man. If we each got one punch. I am pretty sure that I would break my hand. I would also be concerned that I would be in the hospital for multiple days after receiving his punch.

Sometimes I hate alga-rhythms. After searching for Buffalo hotels to stay in after seeing Kurt Vile, I am then reminded multiple times that I am going to Buffalo.

Camels are not comfortable. Straddling a giant creature that is constantly itchy is slightly terrifying.

Top 3 ways to make people uncomfortable while they are throwing a house party.

3 – Start rummaging through their cupboards. Finding odd things and putting them on the counter. Premium Plus crackers check, Tylenol check, chocolate chip cookie mix check. Then just leave them on the counter and leave the room.

2 – Suggest doing shots at two in the afternoon.

1 – Start doing chores around their house for no reason. People get really upset if they think you think that their house is dirty.

Need Help Making Kitchener Hip

With so much information at our finger tips you would think it would be easier to motivate yourself to have variety in your lifestyle. We sometimes attempt to find something different to do within the city and have to filter through the mountains of junk online to find it. We then have to navigate through all of the restaurants in the city to find the family owned non-chain establishments that gets decent reviews. We get bombarded by advertising from the big chains, and after spending 30 min trying to find somewhere different to go, you end up settling on Swiss Chalet, it’s the easiest. Off of the top of your head name places to eat for tonight that aren’t chains. I can only think of one or two right away. We have to try hard to think outside the box when it comes to almost all of the entertainment in the city. Why aren’t there easy ways to find out cool places to eat and hang out?

I try to find things to do in the city, and end up getting frustrated by the difficulty. Slicing and dicing through the internet trying to find some type of website that will give you a small nugget of knowledge rather than going to the theater to watch whatever “masterpiece” that Michael Bay has released.

You hear about cool things that other people do, but have no idea where they found out about this event or where it was even located. I have realized that unless it is spoon-fed to people they will not make any effort whatsoever. There is a theater in Kitchener that sells craft beer…. It also doesn’t charge $17.00 for popcorn and a pop. It charges $10.00 for a craft beer and a popcorn. Did you know that there is a restaurant downtown Kitchener that sells banh-mi Vietnamese subs (delicious) for $3.00? They actually had a sign outside apologizing that they had to raise the price from $2.75 to $3.00. Word of mouth shouldn’t have to be the only way that these businesses get recognition. Not with the internet at your fingertips. There are sites like Trip Advisor that make it a bit easier. But if I was to wager I would guess that maybe 2 in 10 people use this to make choices on places to eat.

We are zombies that have settled for over-priced mediocrity. Afraid of the unknown. Don’t want to get out of our comfort zones whatsoever. Not wanting to do any type of work to find the hidden gems. Putting your feet up on your lazy boy, throwing on the Big Bang Theory, engulfing your Domino’s Pizza with a Bud Lite in hand ready to face your Friday night head on with your subconscious mind making the easy decisions for you. Maybe we think we deserve a weekend of not having to think. Maybe this is how we unwind. How do we feel on Sunday evening? Well, I hate Monday’s quite a bit more when I feel like I wasted my whole weekend doing exactly what I did for the previous 3 weekends.

Unfortunately I do not have all of the answers. I can only review the things that I have tried and the things that I give the thumbs up to. Some of you have tried the places that I recommended, and enjoyed it. Most of you still haven’t tried, but like the idea of it, can’t push yourself to actually do it. Then there are others. The Zombie Herd. You don’t even want to try it. I have never been disappointed by this place or that place. I don’t need to try this out, this is good enough. I was once one of you. You can break free from this. There are people out there that do and make great things, and we have no idea. Just because they don’t have the money to advertise and you have never heard of it doesn’t mean that it’s terrible. It means you have never heard of it. I do not want to live in a world where Elison’s Bistro or Gilt has to close down so that a Boston Pizza or a Crabby Joe’s can go in its place.

I just got back from New York and I was intrigued by all of the different things there was to do. Now of course KW is not New York, but there are some similarities with all of the different places to go and eat. The majority I had never of. It was a very difficult choice picking between some of the best reviewed restaurants. In most Canadian cities it’s chain after chain. We have a country full of diversity and we somehow have this stigma in certain cities of supporting anything new. It’s becoming better though the younger generation makes me proud. Tech start-ups have brought out interesting young folks that seem less satisfied with the everyday. We are picking up steam in this city. Now if we just had a website that could pull it all together. Restaurant, entertainment, pub, music, and everything Kitchener reviews. KW Awesome where are you on this? Communitech has done a great job of getting talented people with money here. We are looking for places to go and things to eat. Reviewing the best of everything. Inexpensive, moderate, and fine dining. Tell us about the things going on Starlight or Maxwell’s. Sgt Peppers Album by the Beatles was just done by the symphony orchestra and Steven Page formerly of the Barenaked Ladies was a part of it. Pretty cool! Did anybody else know about this? Sort through the mess. Many great things are happening here, we just need a website to tell us about it. Help!

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Sasquatches: Alive and well in Buffalo

I really like Spotify. Unfortunately I don’t like anybody else’s taste in music. So I create my own Spotify list because my musical taste is unique. Be like Daryl’s stick figure.

Over the next 5 years or so we are going to see many retailers close their doors. Here are some words of advice to people that are working at those suffering retail shops. Begin networking. It’s an extremely tough job market out there. It’s rare to find a decent job unless you know somebody on the inside.

Attempted to watch Sisters yesterday. Do Tina Fey and Amy Poehler get passes on movies based on who they are? I feel like a secret society is going to come after you if you criticize their work. I could only take about 30 min of that movie. It was awful.

Do you ever think that if people just didn’t believe in an after-life that it would solve many of the world’s issues? I bet you people don’t blow themselves up if there is no paradise in their future.

Kurt Vile is playing in Buffalo in March, but not Toronto. Here is the pros and cons. Pro – Get to see Kurt Vile. Con – Everything else.

I prefer when the Leaf fans expect their team to be decent, but end up disappointing them terribly. Listening to Joe Bowen’s heart break through a television broadcast is oddly satisfying.

Stanford Prison Experiment – 8.0/10

If I had won Lotto Max this past week I would put it all on Leonardo DiCaprio to win best actor at the Oscars.

There are many of my friends that post pictures of delicious food posts on Instagram. I may press like on the picture, but it’s more of a jealous like than anything else. You are the Tom Brady of the social media world. I respect what you have made, but that’s not going to get me any of your delicious breakfast.

One of the things that I like to tell people that have cable still is that you will no longer watch as much TV when you have to constantly think about what to watch. You feel great about not wasting time watching some Harry Potter movie that you have watched parts of on 7 different occasions. Instead, I can scroll through my Facebook feed and see why I should be like Bob. Damn it!

Sara and I ventured to Toronto yesterday to go to the Travel show. Sara tried to convince me throughout the day that we were there for other reasons other than trying to win a trip. We were there just to win a trip.

This year is the 10th anniversary of being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. You get no anniversary present Mr. Colitis because you are a pain in the a** (pun intended)!

I really enjoy Spotify. Except when I am in the zone with an album, and a commercial comes on with some pop-punk music with people falling off skateboards. It’s only a matter of time before “Ow my balls” becomes a real show.

Top 3 things that happened during my winter camping experience that made me realize that winter camping wasn’t for me.

3 – With 2 miles left before the shelter I laid down on some snowmobile tracks and said that I could go no further.
2 – Mistaking many trees for the heads of bears, and yelling get out of here bear to a piece of wood.
1 – Hearing sasquatch communicating calls during the night. As we all know, sasquatches are deceptively sneaky.

It would be terrible being a doctor in 1800’s. I feel like you were just taking a guess nearly every time you saw something that you hadn’t seen before. I guess if you hadn’t seen it before you could also just blame the devil.

Stepping on kid’s toys in the night is in the top 20 reasons why I do not wish to have children. Number one reason is that I always thought it would be good to adopt an 18 year old kid so I would have somebody to drink and play golf with when I got older. This seemed like a bad reason to have a child.

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Playing Trivial Pursuit with Leo DiCaprio at the Oscars.

DiCaprio is finally going to win his Oscar. Most people have to just act really well to win their Oscar. DiCaprio has to go through pain and torture to win his. The dude ate a real bison liver in the Revenant. If this doesn’t get the award for him, he will be considered the Pete Rose of the entertainment world. Except he did nothing wrong and makes fantastic films. Just like Pete Rose?

It’s going to be very strange when Keith Richards actually passes away. How will the internet react?

The Big Short – 9.3/10
The Revenant – 8.6/10
Star Wars – The Force Awakens – 9.1/10
Brooklyn – 8.5/10

I went into the new Star Wars with zero expectations. Expecting to have the same feeling after eating a slightly burnt piece of toast with an Our Compliments strawberry jam spread over it. But, and to my chagrin, it is excellent. Only complaint – they didn’t stray far enough away from the original storyline.

Another thing, what is the courteous amount of time that you can post spoilers online without being crucified? I think you can give it two weeks. That’s similar to getting angry at somebody for finishing the chips and dip after two weeks. “I didn’t even get any of that dip man. I had Making a Murderer all queued up. And you ate all of the dip. Sure, there are two scrapings left, but my chip broke off and now I can’t access it unless I use my finger. You ruined the night Rick. You inconsiderate bastard.”

Canadian Dollar problems? Well, maybe we shouldn’t have put the whole country’s future in the stock of oil. We should have started growing more cauliflower.

It’s not the fact that so many celebrities are passing away. It’s the amount of cool ones that are dying which is concerning.

Justin Bieber’s new album isn’t that (while sighing very loudly) bad.

This is one of the few years that I have actually watched every single best picture nominee. Each one of the films deserves to be on the shortlist. Here are my predictions.

Best Picture – Spotlight
Best Actor – Leo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Best Actress – Brie Larson – Room
Best Supporting Actor – Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Jason Leigh – Hateful Eight
Best Director – Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revanant

I felt so guilty about watching Doctor Who without Sara that I had to tell her right away. I also felt the need to buy her dinner. I then told her that she could watch Law and Order SVU anytime without me. She told me that wasn’t the same. And she was right.

My head is still spinning from watching the Green Bay/Arizona game last night. Throwing a football 65 yards off of your back foot and across your body with that type of accuracy is something that you can only appreciate if you have every played… Well anything! Do you know how fu**ing hard that is to do?

The power went out at the Aud while at the Rangers game this past Friday. People screamed right off the bat, and then the cell phones all lit up. You could have probably played the rest of the game with the light off each person’s phone. So much easier to hold up then a lit lighter as well. “How much longer is this song? My thumb has been burnt 3 times.”

Just to reiterate the point again. Listen to the new David Bowie album. Creating an album of this magnitude while battling a life threatening disease isn’t something that happens every day.

We all wish that Caesar Salad was healthier than it actually is. We mutter to ourselves that we are making the better choice. But we all know the truth. It’s the diet coke of salads.

The way that you get out of being asked to play pick-up basketball is to tell them that you don’t know how to dribble, don’t play any defence, and only shoot 3’s. If you still get asked, then you just continue to say “Game… Blouses!” after every basket regardless of who scored.

Top 3 things that are said while playing Trivial Pursuit with anybody

3 – You only know that answer because you are old.
2 – You always get the easy questions. This is bullsh**.
1 – Let’s play Monopoly and see what happens.

Odell Beckham learning how to read at the Public Library

My holiday break has begun. It started off with a bang. I had a nap at 10:45am, awoke and began to write a blog.

It’s hard not enjoy this weather. You know it’s a combination of El Nino and global warming, but when is the last time that you could go for a hike on December 21st without gloves and a toque?

When I call Americans in the southern states they can peg that I am Canadian within the first few minutes of conversation. I can tell that they are from the south because their name is John, but they go by Jim-Bob.

My nearest and dearest website for finding out about my favourite bands is delving too much into hip-hop for my liking. It’s like going to see your mentor for inspiration and advice, and he’s watching a Friends episode, wearing a Johnny Reid T-shirt, and eating a take-out meal from Boston Pizza.

There is only one place in all of Kitchener that gives you the same feeling of traffic that the whole city of Toronto does. It’s the Fairview mall area. It’s the Bermuda Triangle of feelings. You enter with happiness, but it disappears, and is replaced only by confusion and sadness. Hours are wasted trying to turn your car around, but you end up at Farmboy eating Mushroom Kale Soup.

Creed – 8.5/10
Sicario – 9.4/10

Fantasy Football playoffs are nearing its end. I have made it to the finals in 3 of 4 leagues. Unfortunately, Sara doesn’t realize how much research this takes. When I tell her about all of my brilliant pick-ups throughout the year – she just asks who the hell is Bilal Powell?

The Christmas Ham – when you are too lazy or don’t know how to make a turkey.

One Christmas Eve when I was working at the shop. A Father came into the store carrying a Rock Band game looking to return it. When asked why he was returning it, he stated that his son did something terrible and was returning his present. This was the year they first came out, and were extremely difficult to come by. I jumped on the opportunity to purchase this. It felt strange to have a great Christmas by another being wrecked. Cheers to that shitty kid.

Are there days that cats and dogs get up and just believe their fur looks immaculate on that day?

Somewhere out there on the street you live on there is a person that is complaining that there is no snow for Christmas. They have also complained when it was cold or snowy at Christmas. The perfect scenario for them would be 12 degrees Celsius with giant snow-flakes that stayed on the ground without making the roads slippery.

Odell Beckham Jr? What are you doing? His Mother should have went out on to the field and grabbed him by the ear.

Top 3 things that you feel when you use your public library.

1. Poor – I always feel like I have to explain to the person that I could afford a printer if I really wanted one.

2. Giving back – I think I only feel this way because I return every book late.

3. That I am stealing – I always hold the books up while walking out the door to show that I have the ones that I said I was going to take. And there is always one that I know I will probably never read, but feel extremely smart by taking out.

Happy Holiday’s to all of the loyal followers of Hosehead’s Thoughts and Wisdom. All 93 of you. We should get together someday for some eggnog and gingerbread cookies.

Happiness

Sometimes you can’t put your finger on why certain things make you happy. Whether it be listening to an album front to back while enjoying a glass of wine. Or maybe it’s a full day of watching NFL football without leaving the couch. I don’t know. There is no exact science to happiness. It will always depend on the way you are feeling on a certain day. One thing is definitive, every single person on the planet perceives happiness in a different way. So attempting to define to them what makes you happy is nearly impossible. Even if you could, it wouldn’t be the same for them. What made them happy two years ago may not be identical to what makes them happy now. People evolve, even if they don’t change.

Five years ago I didn’t really enjoy the outdoors. Had zero time for documentaries or cooking. Just as your musical taste changes, what you find interesting will also change. I think it’s healthy. It is being able to accept that change is good is the tough part. People that can’t accept their growing mind or don’t want to deal with it will complement their old habits with alcohol and drugs to try to spice it up again. Not understanding that they are evolving.

I constantly get told that people think I have things pulled together. That I make life look easy. This couldn’t be more incorrect. I don’t have any idea what is going on half of the time. I don’t know what next year has in store for me. The company I worked for shut their doors about 9 months ago, and people were very concerned for me (which I appreciated by the way). Thinking that all I knew how to do was be a retail salesman. I didn’t know what was going to come next. But worrying about it is useless, you can’t do anything about it. They made their decision. I ended up finding a job in business to business selling. Something that I had zero experience in, but knew my skill set could handle. You go with the flow. Don’t overthink things. People worry, it’s what we do. You should generally be prepared of course, but nothing good comes from worrying constantly. Things are going to happen, could be good or it could be bad. You adjust regardless.

Sara had a scare recently with blood clots in her lungs. It was terrifying. The percentage of death sits at about 30% for pulmonary embolism. She is currently on blood thinners that will hopefully prevent this type of thing from happening again, but nothing is certain. It was a scary situation for us as a family to be in. We never wanted it to be a pity party though. It’s a terrible thing to happen to somebody, but we will not stop living our lives because of it. You deal with it, and move on.

People love focusing on the negatives in the world. It’s an easy mindset to get into. You want everybody to think and feel the same way that you do. Everybody has that friend that is constantly complaining about all of the terrible things that are happening. Whether it affects them or not. They like to have people sink to their level. I have absolutely zero time for this. Bad things have happened to Sara and I, and there is no way that I will let that affect my outlook on life. You cannot predict what’s going to happen next. I just want to enjoy the limited time that I have on this planet, if they need a hipster for a space mission, I could be enticed.

My simple philosophy for life is to enjoy the little things and don’t dwell on the negatives. Ask yourself the question constantly. Would you want to hang around with you right now? People will always want to have the appearance of having it all pulled together. But nobody really does. All I want is a hard drive full of places I have been and people that I have met. That is it! Simple words from a simple man.

Adele’s fear of Black Friday, and how French Onion dip helped.

There is a weird sense of satisfaction that goes over somebody’s face when you call them a filthy animal.

Black Friday has come and gone. When you don’t work in the retail world it’s just another day. If you do work in the retail world, it’s a massacre on the senses. You get home from work and pour yourself a stiff drink. Your wife approaches you slowly. Touches you on your shoulder, you flinch slightly. She asks you how your day was, you sit in silence. You shower with your head down. Listening to Adele until the pain begins to subside. As you look up, you see the shadow of Boxing Day coming down the street. It’s about to all begin again. Then a hefty pay cheque comes. Life is good again.

I haven’t been involved in all that many pillow fights. But I remember one distinctly. Somebody put a stuffed animal in their pillow to give it more weight. Somebody got hit with the eye of the stuffed animal through the pillow case. It was my first memory of somebody using an illegal object in a match. This person wasn’t allowed any grape pop and had to be the New York Islanders in NHL 95.

Going to the afternoon movies by yourself is underrated. Especially when most of the crowd is of the older generation. Eating popcorn one by one, and sipping on their small diet coke. It was my kind of crowd.

Room – 9.5/10

One of the best movies that I have seen this year. About a girl that was abducted 7 years ago and ends up having a child. One room is all the child has ever seen. It’s also from the prospective of the child. Brie Larson should be up for a best actress nomination in my opinion.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the Green Bay Packers. It’s like trying to explain why some people like the smell of gasoline.

Top 3 things that when I am driving that make me upset that I feel bad about

1. Getting upset at an elderly person crossing the road when I am trying to turn left. You just want to pick them up and carry them to the other side.
2. Driving directly behind a city bus, and coming up to a railway track. “I have never seen a damn train ever on this track. Why are we still stopping? Just in case a two man push/pully comes through?”
3. Cyclists – I know, I know. You have no room at all in the Tri-Cities, but when you beat me to where I am going because I am in a traffic jam it upsets me.

There are many people that I have talked to that believe they could be a stand-up comedian. You just think to yourself “there is no fu**ing way.” This is the point where you want to call them out. But then you have to give them a few minutes to bumble through a fart joke. So, the lesson here is that you just agree that they could do it.

Sometimes I am selfish. There are times when I wish a band wouldn’t succeed quite as much so they will come to Kitchener for a concert.

As a species we can be dull. Constantly complaining about things that we don’t have any control over or don’t know the facts about. Never creating something for yourself. Something that you haven’t seen, heard, or read before. Just regurgitating things that you see online that are the same right wing or left wing idea that’s in your head. It’s so bloody boring.

The Maze Runner – Scorch Trials (I fell asleep with 30 min to go. This will give you an idea of the rating that it’s about to receive.) 2.9/10

If you enjoy watching movies with teenagers running for their lives – then this is a must see.

You know you are talking to a musician if they say Jimi Hendrix is overrated. You know you are talking to a musical snob if their top 5 albums are bands that you have never heard of.

I have explained why I was eating something bad to my cat once. They were giving me this look of shame when I opened a French onion dip and stuck my finger and just ate that. “There was only a bit left.”

Top 5 Albums of 2015

As you know I do this every year.  No greatest hits, and no soundtracks.

Enjoy!

5.    Lower Dens – Escape from Evil

Originally I had Father John Misty slotted in this spot.  The more and more I thought about it though, I came to realize that the Lower Dens is a permanent staple in my playlist and deserves to be mentioned in the top 5 this year.  One thing that really stands out in this album is the distinct voice of Jana Hunter.  It’s a delivery that plays so well with the mood of the album.  There are tiny bits of multiple genres of music played here.  Sprinkle of Caribou, dash of New Order, and a tiny bit of XX.  The album really shines with it’s ability to balance the guitar work with the tone that the album is really trying to show off.   By far the top point of the record is To Die in LA.  The keyboard gives it a feel of a ’80s John Hughes movie, but the rest of the song feels like it’s the transition from 80’s to 90’s.   Escape from Evil is a solid play from top to bottom.  It’s mixed well, and the instruments flow together seamlessly.  It’s an unexpected pick for my top 5, but my iPod doesn’t lie.

 

4. Tame Impala – Currents

What can you say about this band that hasn’t already been said.  They are able to change styles throughout each album without missing a beat.  They still have a bit of their psychedelia in this album, but have really raised the bar when it comes to synths and keyboards.  Tame Impala have grown up.  The filler on each song isn’t just a band-aid for the song.  It’s a well thought out sound that mixes beautifully with each tune.  Kevin Parker has also raised the bar for his vocals.  Not only using his soft voice for feel, he now uses it as an instrument to in each song.  He is able to change tones to match the identity of the song.  There is only one tiny draw back to the complete change of style.  The drums have been practically removed.  Mind Mischief off of Lonerism has one of the best starts of a single in recent memory.  There are points of this album that I miss that sound.  Currents is not only a beautifully sounding album; it gives you a certain feeling.  You can’t put your finger on it, but the songs are calculated perfectly and the talent of this band really shows up on this record.

 

3 – Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges and Claws

I try not to be bias when I write my top 5.  It’s very difficult to do this when your favourite artist constantly puts out masterpieces regardless if he is solo or with Junip.  Classic guitar style with maybe the best voice in the business.   There is having high-hopes for an album then there is what I had for this record.  Jose is a magician on the acoustic, and the weird thing about it – he makes it look so easy.  Like he just sat down on his couch and came up with a song in 10 minutes.  If you enjoy acoustic of any sort and haven’t really had a listen to his catalog of music.  Give yourself a full day to be submersed into his world.  Every single thing about the album gives me chills.  Whether it be the smoothness of each note, to his outstanding ability to lull you into a dream without actually putting you to sleep.  The only reason why this isn’t number one is because it’s an extension off of his previous solo stuff.  It’s gorgeous and will make you feel fantastic.

 

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell

Welcome back Sufjan.  You ventured off in a different direction.  I applaud you for broadening your horizons, but we really need you back.  The Age of Adz was a good album, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I understood why people enjoyed it.  Stevens has a magical way of making his music sound like everything that you would want an orchestra to be.  Using instruments that would be odd for others, but for him is just another way to process what’s going on in his head.  It’s difficult to describe to other people what Sufjan sounds like.  You either get it or you don’t.  Throw on Illinoise for details.  Carrie and Lowell is a striped down back to earth album.  It’s using everything that works without going to far off of the tracks.  Stevens voice is absolutely gorgeous throughout this album.  Pausing and expressing tones at perfect times within the record.  After listening to Carrie and Lowell I expect to feel sad, but it’s actually the complete opposite.  Beautiful album that cannot be rushed through.

 

  1.  Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down

You ever sit down and start to just think of lyrics without actually jotting them down?  They sound absolutely perfect in your head.  You have a sound that you want the guitar to make that would sound wonderful with what you just wrote, but then you actually begin to play, and you can’t make it work.  Kurt Vile made it work.  This album is a masterpiece.  It’s a story that was written without a pause or a second thought.  Like a slice of your life that was cut out and somebody made a soundtrack to it.  His guitar work is perfect.  Vile has always been great at creating a mood for his music, but there are times when he can be a bit to dark.  This album is a weight on your subconscious.  It’s not something that you can just throw on in the background at a party.  It needs your full attention from top to bottom. Have a listen to “That’s Life Tho,”  It’s the best song of the year, and this the best album of the year hands down.

 

Snowfall, starts and ends with Rick Moranis

Fruit Roll-Ups were nearly the best thing to ever get in your lunch while growing up. Everybody knew that it was terrible to have something that was made of sugar stuck to your teeth for 3 hours after eating it, but they were so delicious.

Fell down the stairs today at 6am getting ready to go to the gym. It’s always humorous to me after falling down the stairs. You give yourself about 10 seconds to make sure that you are not seriously injured by making the Peter Griffin noises when he gets hit with something in the knee.

First snowfall is always pretty to look at. Until you hear that familiar sound of the scraper against the window. They should make a Canadian horror movie with that as part of the soundtrack. The man that couldn’t get his windshield clean, starring Rick Moranis.

I am buying a PS4 at some point in the near future. I really do miss video games. I miss creating my own character in baseball, and having the most beautiful mustache in the major leagues.

There is always that kid in gym class that had the ugliest of running styles, but was super quick. He was also the same kid that was just a bit too intense at floor hockey time. “Dude, just relax, don’t take slap-shots from 4 feet away.”

Danny Collins – 7.7/10
Hunger Games: Mockingjay – 7.9/10

Does anybody actually enjoy card tricks? It doesn’t happen very often to me, but when somebody approaches looking to do a card trick there is no way out. It’s not just the trick that usually sucks. It’s the small-talk that you have to make after. Where do you go with the conversation after? You can’t ask them how they did it. And you know nothing about them. “So… Do you like stuff?”

Last night was our holiday party. Great time, wonderful food, amazing people. They provided the over the limit service as well. My car was driven home for me. Not sure there is a better service than this. There is nothing worse than leaving your car at Modean’s Roadhouse for the night, and having to take that walk of shame the next morning to get it. Walking down the sidewalk of sorrow as you approach the house that Pick built.

Are there people that drink champagne on a regular basis? Seems like the cap exploding off of the bottle would be a weird sound to hear while watching Pawn Stars.

If there is ever a time that you need to look important. Walk very quickly with the cell phone up to your ear looking for signal. Ha, Ha, Ha, Business!

Crocs are still the worst. It’s a mix of a shoe, a rubber boot, and your dignity.

As a younger lad there was never a challenge that I took to heart more than being asked to make a mixed disc for somebody. It was very similar to filling out a lineup for a baseball team. Numbers 3 and 4 were always the heavy hitters, and the leadoff was always to get the blood going. If you have never felt these things while making a mixed disc – you probably like shitty music.

Books sometimes have it tough. There is just too much competition in the average household. Internet, TV, and video games make it a goliath type triumph if a book gets to be finished. But there is something about being submersed into a fantastic book. I am going to the library right now…. And I have $32.00 in late fees…. This is the vicious cycle of picking your entertainment.

I am starting to see friends on Facebook that you can tell are beginning to develop into crusty old people. There is always something to complain about. It’s almost like they like bad things happening; because they need something to complain about. What a tiring life that must be.

Damn landlord didn’t ice down the stairs this morning at 5am. I could have broken my damn neck. It’s their responsibility to get things like that taken care of. I should dock $50.00 from my rent for the hassle that I had to go through. This is very exhausting.

Happy Sunday! Packers play the Vikings today in an epic Smith versus Dhooma rivalry. There is usually no victor when these matchups happen. The Packers win, and Sara tells me to do the laundry.