Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Keith and Jen at Gravity Lounge!

Ok boys and girls, tonight's the last of the four planned shows Keith and Jen Morris With Jeff Romano are playing at the Gravity Lounge. I finally met Jen at the second to last and she's great. They're funny couple on stage worth seeing.

I'd be there if I could but with family going in for surgery it's not really going to pan out, and I wouldn't feel right about it if it did. So somebody go in my place, ok? Bring a few friends if you got'em too! I'd like to see some more Keith, and a really good crowd vibe would help make that possible.

Here's the words from the man who is not Bigfoot:

* * *

hey folks--
it's the last of the 4 shows this wednesday and i'm quite happy to have
our buddies jay pun & morwenna lasko onboard. who knows? maybe morwenna
will even join us for a few songs. anyway, it's a split bill, we'll start at
8 and we'd love to see you there. personally, i think this little
residency has gone quite swell, and i want to thank all of you who have come out and
supported us. thanks to paul & joe for doing sound. and jeff romano for
playing so wunnerfully with us. and of course, thanks to bill baldwin as well for
his continued enthusiasm!
cheers... keith & jen

Check out ""

gravity lounge, wed aug 30, 8 pm

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jackson on the Amendment and LLCs

Jackson Landers over at Rule .303 makes some points about the Marshall-Newman amendment. I've read similar things to this, but what I like most of all about his article and its discussion board is that he shows the irony of an amendment to "stop activist judges" that will in a way encourage more activist judging... or all the things "we crazy liberals" are afriad it will do.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

College starts tomorrow

Back to school for me.

Fun, fun, fun.

Biologey, Goverment, Math - OH MY!

And I hear PVCC has a coffee shop now too!

High Rotation:

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

Bob Dylan - Planet Waves

Neil Young - Live Rust

Thelonious Monk - Monk Around the World

Patti Smith - Easter

The Cramps - Bad Music For Bad People

JD's "Mawage" article

Since The Jaded JD is going away and his site will be gone for good. I've decided to copy this article about the Marshall-Newman amendment. I assume this is ok due to his "Going out of business sale" entry. If it's not, I'll take it down the moment I know. I just think these are some great points that ought to be around online until November.

From The Jaded JD:

August 25, 2006

Mawage: Mawage is what bwings us togefer today; mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam....

I know I said I had nothing more to say about the proposed constitutional amendment to ban civil recognition of same-sex relationships in Virginia, but I do have some questions I have not seen addressed yet.

1. Proponents of the amendment say that the amendment would do nothing more than constitutionalize existing statutory law. If that is true, why is the verbiage different? Compare:

A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable. A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.

Va. Code Ann. Secs. 20-45.2 and 20-45.3.

[O]nly a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

Ballot Question No. 1.

2. The amendment purports to be a pre-emptive action against "activist judges." Presumably, proponents are aware of the Supremacy Clause, granting federal law supremacy over state law, and Hunter v. Martin's Lessee and Cooper v. Aaron, holding that federal courts supersede states on question of federal law. Therefore, the Virginia constitution--and the proposed amendment to it--will only protect the proponents' position on civil recognition of same-sex relationships in state courts considering issues of state law, and the ultimate arbiter of issues of state law is the Supreme Court of Virginia. Which members of that court do proponents consider to be activist judges?

3. Virginia 4 Marriage and its constituent organizations say that the amendment will not adversely affect domestic violence protections, contracts, wills, and hospital visitation (and I agree with much of this interpretation). Do Virginia 4 Marriage and its constituent organizations commit to opposing as amici curiae any cause of action brought seeking to extend the amendment to adversely affect those perquisites?

4. In addressing the amendment, proponents often cite their view that activist judges will eventually extend social recognition to other types of relationships.

[E]ach person must meet five criteria in order to get married:

1. You cannot already be married.
2. You must be an adult and marry an adult.
3. You cannot marry a close family member.
4. You must marry a human.
5. Your spouse must be of the opposite sex.

Why doesn't the proposed amendment ban incestuous marriage? Or marriage between an adult and a minor? (By the way, the second criterion is not an accurate statement of current Virginia law. See Va. Code Ann. Secs. 20-48 and 20-49.)

5. Proponents believe that gay men and women are entitled to marry--as long as they marry a member of the opposite sex. "In reality, homosexuals have the exact same right to marry as we all do." Does that mean two married heterosexuals love each other as little (in that marital way) as a gay man would love a heterosexual woman?

6. "A loving and compassionate society will always come to the aid of motherless and fatherless families, but a loving and compassionate society will never deliberately create them. Same-sex couples intentionally deny children either a mother or a father, and children need both to develop into healthy adults. Males and females parent differently, and these differences are essential in helping a child grow into a healthy adult." Children with one or more gay parents are not deprived of a biological mother or a biological father. In fact, children seem to be a bit of a red herring in a marriage argument, rather than an adoption argument, because children don't arise from sex-same relationships; they arise from heterosexual relationships. And the last time I checked, a man and a woman could produce a child without being married. But, since the amendment proponents raised the red herring of an issue first, aren't those social and political forces that want to separate children from their biological, homosexual parent the same forces creating a motherless or fatherless family? Therefore, by the proponents' own definition, aren't such social and political forces neither loving nor compassionate?

Friday, August 25, 2006

JD isn't jaded enough to not put the Marshall-Newman amendment in its place!

Former Virginian and republican blogger of The Jaded JD has a few questions and observations about the Marshall/Newman amendment. Talk about shredding it and laying the strips over hot coals! A great read.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I guess this means I'm worldly...

It's a strange feeling...

Waiting in line at the landfill. Talking to the guy directing traffic. Knowing the punch line to every dirty joke he tells.

Ok. I didn't know the one about the horse, the chicken, and the Harley.

I guess you learn something new every day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You would be surprised how heavy a wet raccoon can be.

I've been pretty busy these last few weeks. Seems like there are a lot of things coming around the corner to prepare for. College means... well... COLLEGE. Though after this summer, I think political science is going to be a pretty fun class. I haven't had many complications registering, unlike prior semesters. Though with college also comes the goodbyes as me girlfriend, best friends and I all go our ways.

On a lighter note, this Saturday is my grandmother's 94th birthday. Amber and I have been cleaning up her patio area and garden and it has given us something to get a lot of projects around the house done by. So when I've not been in town on errands, it's been a mix of cleaning this or that, and writing various things for my own projects, that I'd like to get as much of out of the way before the semester heats up as I can.

So yesterday evening, around seven, my eyes were getting sore from burying my head in monitors and books/printouts. A good walk outside was needed to clear my head. After a stroll to the deer ravaged tomato garden and back, I went down to look at the condition of the swimming pool.

The swimming pool is worthy of an entire blog entry of its own. This summer, more than any I can recall in several years, it has brought us far more stress than I care to expound upon. Do to various complications last summer, the pool had been drained, and at some point in it's gradual refilling a squirrel feel in and downed, resulting in several rips the lining that led to rather expensive refills all ending in vain. Subsequently, the massive leaking has eroded much of the sand underneath the pool.

Visiting the pool I found two things of note. One was that the rainwater had generally accumulated to more than a foot in depth, and the other was a large raccoon sitting on a high point from the erosion. He had found a place where he could rest on his butt and keep his head out of the water.

I love raccoons. They are one of my favorite animals. Ever since I was little and played with a bunch of them (which yes, I now know was not a very smart thing to do) on the back dock of a riverside restaurant in Florida I've loved how expressive they can be. Notably their paws which one used to hold my hand while it stood up on its hind legs to take a piece of bread that I offered it.

This particular raccoon did not look happy. Not rabid unhappy or terrified, it was just exhausted and miserable form being stuck in the green water for what I imagine had been the whole day. It was a little nervous about me but remained passive. Trying to find something to get it out with that wouldn't add to the already pretty ruined pool liner's damage, I decided to give the pool strainer a try. The raccoon at first was not found of this idea but never panicked nor bared its teeth at me. It pretty quickly, to my amazement, figured out I was trying to help it. So it grabbed the end of the strainer with its front paws, and then I learned something... a fully gown healthy sized (probably 30lbs.) raccoon, that is soaking wet, hanging from the end of a ten-foot aluminum pole... is surprisingly heavy. Not to mention he was at the bottom of a four-foot pool, adding an awkward angle to the ordeal. To simply lift him out of the water was a choir in itself, and once I got him a foot above it, the poor creature made the mistake of sneezing and trying to shake a little of the water off its coat. This resulted in a quick return to the water, though I was able to prevent it from being a full on fall by bringing the strainer down with him. I immediately assumed the raccoon would have had enough of me after that, but he seemed only the more eager. He kept eye contact with me the whole time with a completely understanding expression. I'm not sure what I was saying out loud and what I was thinking, but it seemed to follow pretty well. This time put its arms over the near end of the strainer and round the pole while its hind feet held the front rim, where its from paws had prior. This was much more stable arrangement. It held tight with this look of don't drop me again. So slowly over a period of several minutes of straining I gradually lifted him up, contently wondering if the plastic strainer head would hold with that much raccoon on it.

In the end it did hold and the little guy was hoisted to the deck. He let go of the pole and looked at me for a moment. I hadn't really planned what would happen next, and though the animal showed no distinct signs of rabies, I was standing between it and the only exit. Instead after nervously looking at me for a few minutes with a very similar expression on its face, the raccoon turn around and scurried to the opposite side of the deck where it squeezed between the fence posts. Unfortunately, as I said, this was a rather large raccoon and as a result its posterior caught between said posts. The side of the deck where it was attempting to escape was about four or five feet from the ground. Thus, the poor critter was hanging by its ass. This was not its lucky day.

By the time I got around to the other end it successfully loosened itself and grabbed hold of a small sapling. We exchanged looks one last time, then it disappeared under the deck.

On my way back I noticed Fletcher approaching the pool with somewhat of a fightin' look to him. I quickly snatched him up and went up the driveway. This pissed him off and he gave me a couple threatening nips, but after years of holding this cat down while Amber cleaned out its many wounds, we have a kind of understanding. I called his bluff, knowing he wouldn't break my skin, and he protested all the way up the driveway.

In one last stoke of the surreally comical, a small brown bird stood still in the driveway. I figured it would fly away as we approached, but much like a rabbit it stiffened up. Only it did move its head and seemed to watch us with a kind of subtle amazement as Fletcher growled in my arms at me. I guess the little fella had never seen a cat scooted off from a fight before.

High Rotation:

Muddy Waters - Electiric Mud

Skip James - Delta Blues

Frank Black - Fastman Raiderman

Paul Curreri - From Long Gone To Hawkmoth

Thelonious Monk - Solo Monk

A dumbasssays "what?"

George Allen: "What?"


Thanks Vivian for the link.

I'm voting no (surprise!)

Anyone that has read my blog knows my stance on the Marshall/Newman amendment. However, I thought I'd post my statement as to why I'm voting NO here as well as on Vivian's blog.

The Marshall/Newman amendment is bigotry at its most seductive. It is adorned in the rhetoric of good intentions, by those that would arrogantly make religion an imposing force and subsequently a petty institution for cynicism's dismissal of reverence. It diverts our attention from immediate issues of state for those that wish to disperse their political opposition through moral controversy.

In an attempt to shield this seductive bigotry from being exposed for what it is, it has been manifested in a form so vague that to try and fully grasp it is to reach out at vapor. In this fog of constitutionality there await consequences that will not discriminate as was intended, but challenge, without regard to the intentions and restraints (whatever they may truly be) of this amendment's authors, the liberties of relationships for all who are not bound as a husband's wife or a wife's husband.

Whatever could and would indeed emerge from this fog, there is at least one certainty. It would in fact introduce repression into what has been Virginia's fundamental document of liberties. I cannot in good conscience vote in favor of this, especially under circumstances so shameful to the state as these.

-Cory A. Capron

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Vote NO with Vivian!

Totally forgot to link to this. Vivian J. Paige has a vote NO to the Marshall/Newman Amendment list on her blog. What I really like about this is not only does it show a list of people but it also offers some of their reasons.

So head on over if you haven't, check it out, and hopefully vote NO.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Don't forget folks... Keith and Jen Morris at Gravity Lounge... TONIGHT!!!

It's gonna be a great show tonight! So make it if you can!

Word from the man: (Keith be the man)


who: megan huddleston, keith/jen morris (w/jeff romano), and jamie dyer
when: thursday at 8 pm sharp
where: gravity lounge

Check out ""
Check out ""
Check out

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sonic Youth on Conan!

Sonic Youth is playing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien TONIGHT!!!

That is all.

Monday, August 07, 2006

David has a real good point.

David over at Equality Loudon has a few things to say about Marshall-Newman amendment supporters ignoring the Loudon Incident.

What happened in Loudoun was exactly what many of us have said we fear will come of an amendment that legislates discrimination. As Brady Earnhart said, "If the amendment is ratified, just because some of its supporters had high religious intentions doesn't mean it won't give comfort to a violent bigot who believes he's getting a wink and a nod from the government of the Commonwealth."

When the criminals are captured, I look forward to hearing what they have to say for themselves. In the mean time, I'm waiting to hear what Marshall and Newman have to say. I never figured them for fans of John Cage until now.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Photos from Loudoun County hate crime has a six-photo slideshow of the destruction to two gay mens' property in Loudoun, thought to be a hate crime.

On the amendment poll(s)

So I finally found yesterday's paper. Apparently someone brought it in and laid it on a full laundry basket which made its way to the laundry room. I had a pretty hectic day yesterday, so I probably would have missed Bob Gibson's Daily Progress article about the anti-gay amendment poll had Waldo not mentioned it.

As VoteNOva and The Roanoke Times point out, this was a very misinforming poll. The question asked contained only the first line of the amendment, leaving out the very unsettling second part, which is the cause (besides personal ethical outrage) for so many heterosexuals to be concerned about this amendment.

"Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."

The fact that Bob Gibson reports otherwise, saying that, "The ballot question asks: Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state..." followed by the entirety of the amendment leaves me to believe some letters to the editor are due. (I wonder where today's paper has scuttled off to this time? The dishwasher no doubt!) The poll is misleading to the nature of the amendment and the report double so to the nature of its majority approval. The actual poll continues to propagate the idea that this is a marriage amendment where the issue is purely the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It will open a new section to the Virginia Bill of Rights titled Marriage, but people are going to find a lot more to it, if it's passed. Probably a lot they wouldn't have voted for had they known. Gibson's report implies that they did.

VoteNOva offers an alternative poll where 800 people were asked with the entirety of the amendment presented. Their findings show 54 percent disapproving or undecided, making for a "virtual statistical dead heat."

Though I am happy that Gibson's report shows the full amendment, which I feel far too many people have not actually read, I'm still not very happy about all this. The report as I said before implies that people approve the full amendment. Regardless of their actual knowledge of the amendment's content, that's what is posted. That's what the undecided are reading. Granted as Waldo says, it's not the 76 percent he imagined, but I still think that polls have some weight on undecideds' decisions. If someone can't make up their mind, they often support their party, and if both main parties seem to be going for it in big numbers, then it must be good, right? Sure that's pessimistic, sure I'd like to think we all think for ourselves about every issue... but am I really that wrong? And let's not forget the ego boost this gives for political supporters of the amendment. Whenever the argument comes up they can say, "Look, it's what the majority wants."

My point is, things like this are a setback in more ways than the obvious. It's going to make it a lot harder to get people to listen and to answer questions. There will have to be some strong responses to this in order to win.

Though Waldo makes a good point with his optimism. I can't say I fully share it. If all else fails, it's nice to know, but that's still a luxury that he and I have as young heterosexuals. Five or six years aren't going to affect us... unless we find ourselves in any of the many possible situations that the second part of the amendment might entail.

20 good albums

So at my friend Sal's going away party she requested I post "a list."

I get this a lot actually. Teachers and friends after having a few conversations with me about music, film and other art mediums... after a while they just ask me to write it all down so they can check 'em off and not have to worry about remembering them. So, it being her going away party she asked for a 100 to 200 favorite songs list and a 20 favorite albums list.

The problem is... I've got pretty close to if not yet over 300 CDs...

So it's pretty hopeless. But what the heck! Here are twenty albums I love in no order. Not a top twenty greatest... maybe not even all my favorites... but twenty albums I love and that have stood the test of time for me for at least a couple years.

1. Tom Waits - Raindogs

The problem with trying to list a favorite Waits album is I love them almost equally for different reasons. I could probably be completely satisfied if stuck on an island where all I had was everything he ever recorded. This is one of his best as an experimentalist and more so as a songwriter.

2. Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs

Three CD's of bliss. Funny, disturbing, bubble gum with razorblades pop. From the people who brought us the soundtrack to the Adventures of Pete and Pete television series. LOVE IT!

3. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Everybody has or will hear Kind of Blue that takes even a passing interest in Miles and Jazz as a medium, so I don't feel I need to list it. Bitches Brew however... was my gateway drug to Mingus and Monk... 30 min songs... perhaps my favorite jazz album.

4. The Damned - Damned Damned Damned

One of my favorite punk albums from the sex pistols era. The Damned was one of those rare punk bands that could write songs... AND ACTUALLY PLAY THEIR GUITARS. "Neat, neat, neat!"

5. Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

I love the maturity of this album. It's one of the greatest breakup albums ever recorded. Epic and yet incredibly personal. Dylan at his best and lyrically most beautiful. Great for a rainy day in your room with a teenage world on your shoulders, or a long ride home... for people that know what a long ride home is.

6. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska

"The Boss" ain't for everyone, but you'll probably never know if he's not for you unless you hear this album. A lot of people think Bruce... they think "BORN IN THE USA! I WAS, BORN IN THE USA!!!" but really, (besides reading the actual lyrics to that song) naysayers should start with Nebraska. It's just Bruce, a guitar and harmonica. These are songs about death row, being dirt poor, family, and trying to find something to believe in when the whole world shits on you. The album is haunting, rough around the edges, and completely absorbing. Atlantic City is a classic.

7. The Beatles - White Album.

Favorite Beatles album. Great songwriting and a wide range of tunes. Good stuff all around.

8. Aphex Twin - Richard D. James

Aphex plays by his own rules. He gets pushed into the Trip-hop box but doesn't really fit there. Still as cracked-out an album as it ever was.

9. Simon and Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Simon and Garfunkel seemed to really establish a softy-pop reputation in their later years. This early outing is one to respect them for. Many songs that would later have a more radio friendly gloss are stripped down and accessible here with a more scruffy sincerity. Some of Simon's finest writing. Contains the only Simon and Garfunkel version of the song Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme worth listening to.

10. The Stooges - Fun House

It disturbs me to no end how many younger musicians, particularly of the punk persuasion, have not heard The Stooges. Forget liking or hating... I'm talking simply have listened to their songs. The Stooges were the godfathers of punk. Johnny Rotten could never hold a candle to the stage presence of Iggy Pop in his prime. The Stooges and MC5 started it all, and from the very start validated The Clash's genre experimentation with their own. Of the three albums the Stooges produced, Fun House is the finest. Raw Power has a few stronger songs but as a whole and as an album, Fun House is the better. It's a savage blend of punk and acid jazz aesthetics. Essential punk listening.

11. Patti Smith - Horses

Patti was the queen of the particular art punk wave of the 70s that aimed to pick up the gauntlet that the Velvet Underground passed on. It was a small circle of bands including Blue Oyster Cult and Television that often made guest appearances on one-another's albums. Patti sought to mix the worlds of poetry and rock and roll and did so in ways that would put Jim Morrison to shame. Horses was her first and finest record. It's epic, explicit, mesmerizing and otherworldly. Essential for fem rockers everywhere. This is the woman that made William S. Burroughs respect women.

12. Television - Marquee Moon

I've never really heard another band that sounded like Television. The Strokes and other art bands are clearly borrowing some chords... but still Television's first album is on a planet of its own. Like Patti they carried the gauntlet that VU laid down through the 70s and delivered it to the 80s alternative scene. The title song is one of the best pop songs over eight minutes long that has ever been recorded.

13. Elvis Costello - This Years Model

This, his second album out and first with The Attractions, might be my favorite Costello album. It single handedly Pete Thomas one of my all time favorite drummers. It's always saddened me that Elvis decided to avoid the clever word-play style on this album. Though it was still somewhat present on the follow up, Armed Forces, He was afraid shortly after that it would get cheesy. Though I admit he might have been right in the long run, frankly, I would have been perfectly happy if he had made a dozen albums like this one. The lyrics whip you like snapped cables from a suspension bridge, and the band probably never sounded this intense again for the rest of their career. Hell of an album.

14. R.E.M. - Monster

R.E.M. is sort of like David Bowie, in that they've both been around for a long time and reinvented themselves so many times that it's more common to find fans fall into certain periods and phases of their careers. For me, it was Automatic for the People, Monster, and New Adventures in Hi-Fi. Automatic is largely considered their masterpiece, Monster was probably their most commercially successful, and in my opinion New Adventures is their most underrated and wrongfully scorned by fans and critics a like. My love of R.E.M. began largely with Monster. I saw them on its tour. Great album that showed they could be a mainstream hit while staying true to fans and selves alike.

15. The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main St.

I used to hate The Rolling Stones. I mean they had a few songs I liked, but over all I never got the craze. They seemed overrated and bland. Then I heard this album, and it gave me a swift kick in the ass. Shortly after I started running out to give their other stuff another listen... and I get it now. In the realm of rock and roll... they are amazing. Great songwriting that was at times as edgy as any punk band to shortly follow. Like Nebraska for Springsteen... this is the album to judge The Stones by.

16. Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

I don't trust any "indie band" that hasn't heard the first three solo albums by Brian Eno. This is the second and song for song the best (though Another Green World is bloody fantastic as a complete work) Nuff said.

17. Pixies - Come On Pilgrim

Pixies are my second favorite band, following The Velvet Underground. I love all five Pixies albums pretty close to equally. Doolittle is the best album, but in many ways I like starting here and working my way through them (going back and visiting "The Purple Album" somewhere along the way). Acoustic Spanish punk ballads about incest that sound like they came out of a still birthed nightmare after reading a ton of short stories by Julio Cortázar... what's not to love? It's one of the best EPs I've ever heard in my life.

18. Leonard Cohen - Songs by Leonard Cohen

Leonard's first album is his best in a lot of respects but above all it's poetic strength. People know it for Suzanne, but there is so much more it has to offer. Though later albums have more of my favorite songs by him, this is his most consistent. Best place to start as well.

19. David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

There are a lot of good Bowie Albums, but from his Ziggy Stardust, period this is his best. Strong songwriting matched by superior musicianship than anything from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. I admit that its predecessor is fully deserving of the praise that it has received over the years and it used to be one of my top ten favorites of all time, but it is this album that makes me want to know more about those Spiders... especially the arachnid behind the piano solo in the title song.

20. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, Live in 67 Vol. 1

Brian Eno once said that everyone who ever heard the Velvet Underground ran out and started a band. It was true for me. For many years this was my favorite album... period. It probably still is. In fact I'm pretty sure it still is. Far better than any studio album they produced, this shows how great the band were as musicians. It takes all those great songs and in many ways makes them better. It took me a long time to re-appreciate their first album after hearing many of its songs on here.

I could write essays about each album the band recorded because I love them so much, but this is simply one of the most beautiful expressions of melancholy that rock and roll has ever expressed. Everybody has at least one album that they love on a very deep and personal level. This is mine.

OK Sal... I gave you a list. It ain't perfect and I'm bummed that I forgot about The Cure, The Clash and Wilco... but there it is! I'm working on a 100 or 200 good songs list for ya, but expect that to take time.

Hope you're reading this and your trip to Pakistan was ok.

Take care.