Seems like everything that should happen DID happen starting from day one. The Padres, behind the unpredictable Edison Volquez and sparse hitting, lost badly to the mediocre Mets 11-2. While in Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw threw a complete game shut out against the Giants. Oh ya and he hit a solo home run.
Opening Day at Citi Field
Bud Black down the line
Not an impressive start
A fine play by Alexi Amarista
Solo homerun from Yonder Alonso
Jedd Gyorko’s first big league hit
It’s been so long since I did anything on this blog. But lots has been going on. Finally into my job search in Orange County, I’ve been getting calls from some really cool companies for front-end development, including Newegg, GoldenComm, and Binary Pulse. I really wasn’t expecting this and it’s very encouraging.
This all came after finally creating and finishing my own website, www.nathankowalski.net.
I put a new Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker in my old start, an upgrade it definitely needed. The sound is so much more full and less noisy and it’s inspired me to create a new, simpler sound.
Really excited for March Madness to start too. Got my brackets all filled out last night and we’ll be following it on our CBS bracket challenge thing: http://nkaz.mayhem.cbssports.com/home?pid=whocareswgd
Not too long before baseball starts as well. I think I’m gonna get MLB.TV this years so we’ll see how satisfactory it streams. They’re already raping me with an additional $20 for the andorid app, in addition to the $20 audio stream subscription.
Also, here’s a cat in a sink.
Here are the albums I’ve been listening to for March-May 2013. Linked albums go to posts with a small blurb and track.
Top five favorite albums for the season will be listed in sidebar music section.
- Like A Rose - Ashley Monroe
- Exai - Autechre
- The Stand-In - Caitlin Rose
- Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving
- The Next Day - David Bowie
- Incubation - Function
- The New Life - Girls Names
- Golden Grrrls - Golden Grrrls
- Welcome Oblivion - How To Destroy Angels
- New Moon - The Men
- Home - Off With Their Heads
- Woman - Rhye
- Images Du Futur - Suuns
- Sound City-Real To Reel - Various
- Cerulean Salt - Waxahatchee
- Wondrous Bughouse - Youth Lagoon
- All Hail Bright Futures - And So I Watch You From Afar
- Specter At The Feast - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- York - Blu
- Recover - Chvrches
- Delta Machine - Depeche Mode
- Division Street - Harper Simon
- Meir - Kvelertak
- The Invisible Way - Low
- Through The Window - Prurient
- Dead And Born And Grown - The Staves
- Comedown Machine - The Strokes
- Afraid Of Heights - Wavves
- Change Becomes Us - Wire
- My Shame Is True - Alkaline Trio
- Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO - The Besnard Lakes
- Indigo Meadow - The Black Angels
- Ride Your Heart - Bleached
- Nomad - Bombino
- The North Borders - Bonobo
- Sempiternal - Bring Me The Horizon
- Machineries Of Joy - British Sea Power
- Dear Miss Lonelyhearts - Cold War Kids
- Migrant - The Dear Hunter
- Amygdala - DJ Koze
- Out Of Touch In The Wild - Dutch Uncles
- Save Rock And Roll - Fall Out Boy
- She Paints Words In Red - The House Of Love
- Overgrown - James Blake
- Indicud - Kid Cudi
- Vanishing Point - Mudhoney
- Paramore - Paramore
- Bankrupt! - Phoenix
- Holiday - Port St. Willow
- Dormarion - Telekenesis
- Cyclops Reap - White Fence
- Twelve Reasons To Die - Ghostface Killah
- Free The Universe - Major Lazer
- Ghost On Ghost - Iron And Wine
- The Terror - The Flaming Lips
- Excavation - The Haxan Cloak
- Floating Coffin - Thee Oh Sees
- Mosquito - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Thr!!!er - !!!
- Bushcraft - Baptists
- The Waiting Room - Lusine
- Golden Grrrls - Golden Grrrls
- Welcome Oblivion - How To Destroy Angels
- Ready To Die - Iggy And The Stooges
- Meir - Kvelertak
- Way To Pleasure - No Joy
- Renacer - Senses Fail
- Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis
- This Is How The Wind Shifts - Silverstein
- Bloodsports - Suede
- X’ed Out - Tera Melos
- Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics - Adrian Younge And The Delfonics
- What You Don’t See - The Story So Far
- Fabriclive 67 - Ben UFO
- Awayland - Villagers
- Wyoming - Water Liars
- Ultramarine - Young Galaxy
- Shaking The Habitual - The Knife
- Monomania - Deerhunter
- Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
- Silence Yourself - Savages
- Mind Control - Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
- Modern Vampires Of The City - Vampire Weekend
ANALOG TALK PRESENTS: NATHAN OKAY WE TALK NOW
- Analog Talk: I live with three roommates and the only router in the house is in my room. Wrong or cool?
- Nathan Kowalski: It doesn’t make sense that the router is in a room away from everyone else. It’s in a weird corner, too.
- So you’re saying in this house, my room is the cornerstone?
- No; it’s far from it. I don’t understand why the router is here. If we were in the Titanic your room would be the boiler room, where all of the immigrants are dying.
- What’s your worst memory of me?
- My worst memory of you was last weekend at the bar. I liked your dancing but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t like the glasses they had at the bar.
- Describe Lucas as an animal that doesn’t exist.
- When I think of Lucas I think of an evolving Pokemon. Or Audrey Hepburn. I would also say he is like a house cat converted into an opossum converted into whichever animal believes the least in creationism.
- Is hairspray a product of the 1980s or a product of the just-dont-do-it?
- Hairspray is the devil for male and females. Girls look terrible with hairspray and guys that use hairspray listen to bad music. And it is disgusting and poofy.
- Would Lucas benefit from hairspray?
- No. And I don’t like this question. All of the Rascons look like Led Zeppelin members. It’s hereditary.
(bottle crashes in room)
- Do you think 2pac is an urban legend?
- No. He existed in real life. But he died just like the landing craft on mars or JFK. Of course he existed, but everything after that point is bullshit.
- So he’s not an urban legend?
- I don’t even understand how that is a question. Why are we talking about this? This question is terrible. Shush. He was alive and now he’s dead, but he cant be urban and a legend at once. So don’t put the words together; put a slash between those two words.
- Boobs. Mischief or mayhem?
- Boobs are the worst mischief. Boobs can only be mischief.
- What comes into your mind when you hear, “Always a bridesmaid; never a bride.”
- I think bridesmaids are hot-to-trot. I don’t like that phrase. All people are bullshit. I think all girls are good, actually; they aren’t out to screw you. I think only few girls are never a bride.
- Your worst enemy makes a movie about you, what’s their tagline to the film?
- “Stop this motherfucker in his tracks, because he knows too much and he needs to be shot in his penis.”
- Pale, tan or black? I could be talking about anything.
If we’re talking about girls, I have to say medium. If we’re talking about colors when we’re drawing with Crayons, I’m going with lighter stuff. With beers, darker because it gets you drunker faster. Construction paper is the worst ever. No color.
- Anything you want me to plug?
- My stupid blog. It’s whocareswgd.tumblr.com
I decided to do a list of my top 25 favorite albums of 2012. As I went through these, I realized that attached to each one was just a little memory; where I was driving, who I was with, or what I was doing. Maybe these transform into a little album review, maybe not. So I’m taking that route and see where it goes.
This actually wasn’t too difficult to put together, but there are definitely some good albums that were left off. I’ll probably do some kind of “honorable mentions” post as well to make up for that, but keep in mind this is not a list of the “best” or “top” albums of the year. These are just my favorites for whatever reason and I am ranking them. Let’s begin.
(note: album thumbnails link to a nice large version for your viewing pleasure)
25 - Go Fly A Kite - Ben Kweller
I have loved Ben Kweller as a singer-songwriter for a long time. There are definitely some songs that lack pop on this one, but for the most part it is a fine BK offering. I mostly enjoy the first three tracks, including “Jealous Girl”.
24 - Koi No Yokan- Deftones
I never really listened to Deftones at all growing up, but I gave this album a try and really liked what I heard. It’s heavy but modern and the vocals are a very pleasing contrast. It was the perfect soundtrack to being stuck in traffic around Del Mar and accepting that I would just never escape.
23 - Attack On Memory - Cloud Nothings
If you want to hear what long, drawn-out jam sessions at the Kowalski house sound like, this is pretty much it. Minimal sound, minimal composure, but makes for a fun and energetic listen. I actually realized this while in the car with all three of my brothers, which happens rarely these days.
22 - Battle Born - The Killers
The Killers, or Brandon Flowers especially, have come a long way since 2004. They are certainly not the same band, do not write the same style music, and I think overall are liked less. But they have matured into a strong group of song writers and I can always appreciate that. Again, I think the first three tracks on this album are strongest, especially “Flesh And Bone”.
21 - Green and Yellow - Baroness
This is really two albums but I could not bear to split them apart, especially since those awesome album covers merge so seamlessly. Both are strong and harmonic at the same time. Wait, am I talking about the album cover still or the music itself? Both! Some of their progressions and vocals make you wilt just a bit but another ballad will follow to bring you back to your feet. This actually happens all in one song now that I think about it. Listen to “The Line Between” on Green.
20 - Port Of Morrow - The Shins
The Shins, much like The Killers, are not quite the same band as when we first laid ears on them. More so for The Shins, who have almost an entirely new fleet of members. But I really couldn’t help but like the catchiness of this album. To accompany it, their are some really awesome animated music videos that are worth watching.
19 - Violent Waves - Circa Survive
These guys are finally back to their old tricks again. Although I did like 2010’s “Blue Sky Noise” a lot, it remains a mystery to me why they chose to write such a mainstream-sounding, un-Circa album. Maybe they were trying to become more easily accessible, but I figured they had lost their old writing style in the process. Nope. This new one is what you remembered and liked.
18 - Bloom - Beach House
This is really as shoegaze as I like to get without being ashamed. It’s too good an album pass up. Relaxing and poppy, the guy can bend his voice up a whole step, over and over throughout the song if he has to. Listen to “The Hours”. Imagine you are gliding gently in the wind in every direction, outside of what else, a beach house.
17 - Shields - Grizzly Bear
Some bands write a big, epic sounding album and think they must immediately follow it with something bigger. Not always the case. I love what these guys did instead. A little more stripped down, both instrumentally and progressively, and it serves them well. This is really a rock album.
16 - Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar
This album is such a story. I love the layers of different style and voicing throughout as it transitions from eerie to danceable in less than a minute. “Backstreet Freestyle” makes a winner out of nothing but a drum beat, a bell and a voice. Also really funny! I love that phone conversation at the end of “Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinter’s Daughter”. Where my dominos at?
15 - Blunderbuss - Jack White
Jack White is my favorite household-name guitarist and I got exactly what I wanted out of his solo album. With his back catalog of wing-spreaders (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, Rome) already quenching our thirst sans The White Stripes, I was looking forward to something just purely his. Well done, sir.
14 - TNGHT - TNGHT
What a mind-fuck of grooves. I don’t know exactly how I stumbled upon this EP but it mesmerized my ears to no end. There’s not much to say about it except, if you’ve had the necessary gateway drugs and are bored, give it a listen. “Easy Easy” has this insane little vocal whine/build thing that scratches at your inner ear and into your brain.
13 - Something - Chairlift
Does anyone remember “Bruises” from way back in 2008? I got into Chairlift but they were a bit timid to me at the time. Not now. This is a driving synth girl/guy duo with great jams. I’ve had some awesome trips coming to and from San Francisco listening to these guys. Dare I say, just a more mature “Matt and Kim” with substance? Yes.
12 - Lonerism - Tame Impala
I like to imagine that if John Lennon was born in the late 1980s and grew up with hipsters and sound artists in Australia, this is the band you would get. The voice resemblance is uncanny. But beyond the kitch, the music is great. I love their whimsical guitar dynamic, founded on a solid bass and drums pedestal.
11 - Shrines - Purity Ring
If you are a fan of M.IA. and Little Dragon, then this is an album for you. I really did not know what to expect when I listened to this, but it amazes me how they were able to mash up dance-club style beats with soothing female vocals and progressions. It becomes hard to decide whether songs belong on a dance floor or in a small venue.
10 - Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
This album is getting a ton of hype now, and it does deserve it. His first mixtape was not quite polished enough to be mainstream but this is the big time now. And there’s something for everyone to like. His dirty R&B combines the best of both rap and soul, and if you want to reach out more, check out John Mayer on “White”. Even better, watch them perform on Saturday Night Live where Ocean plays an arcade game on stage while Mayer serenades with strings.
09 - Synthetica - Metric
Finally, Metric releases some new music. I think everyone enjoyed 2009’s “Fantasies” for the catchy girl-rock, but this one gets a little more experimental and grandiose. I guess it all depends on whether you approve of this or not, but I found the songs to still maintain pop appeal while branching out a little more. “Youth Without Youth” is their anthem, while “Breathing Underwater” can stir up those youthful emotions of yesteryear just the same.
08 - Reign Of Terror - Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells has such a fun and interesting sound. It’s immature but smart at the same time. The guitar sound and riffs sound like slightly polished Guitar Center customer playing power chords in the store, but it’s clean and to-the-point. And with pretty vocals that be both angelic or routy, it’s a great combination.
07 - The Only Place - Best Coast
I live in California. I love California. I love driving up and down California many times. All that may be a prerequisite and cause some bias, but I love Best Coast. They perfectly define the idea that less is more, whether it is musically, lyrically, or just having fun without any responsibilities. This album will feel more polished than “Crazy For You”, and it certainly is due to their success. You can feel however you want about that aspect. But I don’t think a band in the last five years has stirred up so much careless emotion in me. Feels good man.
06 - ¡Uno! - Green Day
Damn it Green Day. You have always been my all-time favorite and I have always been ashamed to tell people that. Most of the time I lie. But I will call it as I see it and say that this is a very fun album. I loved listening and singing to it nearly every time I drove up to Orange. It’s obvious to see that although this is the first of a trilogy, Billie Joe put all his best effort on the album with his face on it. Songs are short, sweet, catchy and tight all at once. Everyone knows that Green Day has come and gone, then came again and may be on their way out again. But at the very least they have secured a spot in the history of rock and are still alive and playing together.
05 - Harmonicraft - Torche
This band. If there is such a thing as heavy metal carved from marble, then this is it. It’s powerful and masculine but I can put it on and it makes me feel like I’m soaring with angels. Ever drink whiskey, put it in your mouth, have it hit your tongue, remember the potential for it ending badly, and then have is go down smooth and satisfying in a rush of relief and awaited intoxication? That’s this band. Sorry. All that’s coming to me are these terrible analogies. But it’s all you really need. The track to listen to is “Reverse Inverted”. Go.
04 - Gossamer - Passion Pit
Almost nothing in life pleases me more than when a band follows a great first album with another great album. I’m not going to discuss whether this one is better than their last, “Manners”, it just made me so much happier. The main reason? Maturity without aging. I feel like Passion Pit abandoned those high pitched, incessant vocals without losing a step in their youthful appeal. Thus, the new song performances translate MUCH better on stage, which is so important. Also, what’s that he’s singing about? Coming home to a wife and kids for dinner? Paying taxes? Whoever this is about, it’s very settling now that I am getting up there in age as well.
03 - Celebration Rock - Japandroids
This band is a daily dose of youth and energy. Two guys going crazy on a guitar and drums, belting out anthems and not caring about the end result. I almost always think of At The Drive-In when I hear this band, but instead of a series of sporadic progressions and rhythms, it’s more a steady blast off from a launch pad that accelerates to reach full speed once you really get into it.
02 - Neck Of The Woods - Silversun Pickups
I think “Carnavas” will always stand as their most liked album, but for some reason that one never quite sparked my interest as much as “Swoon” did after that. The key word is interest. I am just drawn to the texture of their sound and progressions. I didn’t even go into this album with high expectations of topping their last, but I think they at least matched it.
01 - I Love You, It’s Cool - Bear In Heaven
I love rock. I love dancing. I love new-wave synth, and I love the 80s. So here’s all that, shaken not stirred. Unfortunately, the best description of his album does not come from me, but from a friend of mine who I played this for during a car ride: “This is, like, what you listen to while you’re doing coke in your bedroom and wearing neon-colored nikes.” Yup, that’s it right there. The tracks to hear are “The Reflection Of You” and “Sinful Nature”, but really listen to the whole thing. This will remain one of my all-time favorites.
This is a twig.
While gardening, a woman found it in her yard and was amazed by the likeness it held to Jesus.
So amazed, in fact, that she had this awesome glass-enclosed velvet display case built just to house it (not pictured: foreboding sign below that says ”Do Not Touch!”).
Our minister allowed her to put it in the sanctuary foyer for all to be inspired by.
Yesterday I saw it and decided to share it with all of you.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Here are the albums I’ve been listening to for December 2012-February 2013. Linked albums go to posts with a small blurb and track.
Top five favorite albums for the season will be listed in sidebar music section.
- Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors - Big Boi
- Cobra Juicy - Black Moth Super Rainbow
- Crazy World - Boys Like Girls
- Dead In The Boot - Elbow
- The Odds - The Evens
- ¡Tré! - Green Day
- Celebration Day - Led Zeppelin
- Grace/Confusion - Memory Tapes
- The Greatest Story Never Told - Chapter 2: Bread And Circuses - Saigon
- Long.Live.A$AP - A$AP Rocky
- True North - Bad Religion
- Get Up! - Ben Harper
- Dogs Eating Dogs - Blink 182
- IV - The Bronx
- The Afterman: Descension - Coheed And Cambria
- Crystal Castles (III) - Crystal Castles
- Codes And Keys Remix - Death Cab For Cutie
- Wonderful, Glorious - Eels
- Arc - Everything Everything
- True Hallucinations - Ex Cops
- Love Sign - Free Energy
- Pedestrian Verse - Frightened Rabbit
- The Man Who Died In His Boat - Grouper
- Out Of View - The History Of Apple Pie
- Let It All In - I Am Kloot
- Regions Of Light And Sound Of God - Jim James
- Wolf’s Law - The Joy Formidable
- Hummingbird - Local Natives
- A Wretched Vile Lore - Mogwai
- Centralia - Mountains
- M B V - My Bloody Valentine
- Country Sleep - Night Beds
- Light Up Gold - Parquet Courts
- Beta Love - Ra Ra Riot
- In Focus? - Shugo Tokumaru
- Developer - Social Studies
- Out Of It And Into It - Tall Firs
- Heartthrob - Tegan And Sara
- We The Common - Thao And The Get Down Stay Down
- Oddfellows - Tomahawk
- Anything In Return - Toro Y Moi
- II - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
- WZRD - WZRD
- Fade - Yo La Tengo