Songs That Make You Shut Up and Listen

>> Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here are 20* (19 on the playlist, and one video) of my all time favorite songs that make you sit up and pay attention.

*Editors note. I have changed on song one here and added another since first published. Mostly, because I forgot about them until they came up on random on my iPod. So, enjoy. I changed Damien Rice "Lonelily" to "I Remember" it is just a more suitable song for this list. I also, added "Chemical Courage" by Jack Savoretti, an amazing little song from this overlooked artist. Again, enjoy.

I am not ranking these songs, because, in my opinion, one is not better than another. So, the songs featured on the playlist are just in alphabetical order. I am going to add a few insights into a random smattering of the songs.

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Counting Crows - Colorblind
This is just one of those songs that I think will always be on someones list. It is just one of those songs that affects people. The swelling piano, broken heart vocals, and elongated lyrics make this a heart tweaker from the start.

Justin Nozuka - Save Him
This is one of the only songs that has actually gotten me to choke up. It is a story song about an abusive relationship that ends in the most tragic ways.

Maria Mena - Sorry
One of my all time favorite lyrics come from this track. "He grabs my wrists as my fingers turn into angry fists."

Peter Gabriel - I Grieve
Just listen. My sisters suggestion, and it is deserving.

Ray LaMontagne - Narrow Escape
This is another story song with a tragic end. A fugitive on the run spends one last night with his wife before going on the lamb. Ray can tell it better than I can.

"Well their love it was long
It was gentle and strong
And for a while she forgot his sins
And she kissed him for love
She kissed him for luck
She kissed him one time for a kid
Well they came in without a warning in the hours before morning
They come-a blasting through the windows and walls
And when the smoke it did clear
somebody cried out he ain't here
Killed ourselves a woman that's all"

Savage Garden - Two Beds and a Coffee Machine
I know, I know, Savage Garden. Yeah, I get it. But, hear this song and you will know why. It is about a woman escaping an abusive husband with her children. It is truly one of the most beautiful songs ever.

Tori Amos - Silent All These Years
"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts
Boy you best praya that I bleed real soon
How's that thought for you"
Seriously.... that is a wow lyric.

Tracy Chapman - Behind the Wall
No music, just vocals, with a blind third person narrator. The singer is singing about what she is not involved with, what she is just hearing. it is amazing. And no, I am not claiming that Tracy Chapman is "Blind." Just a phrase to describe her perspective.

Manchester Orchestra - How I Waited

I could not include this on the playlist, since it is not available to purchase, so, in turn, not avail on any of the legal sharing sites, and I am not a criminal. So, I found the live version on If I were to try and rank these songs, this would be number one.

Please comment, we have changed the setting to allow anyone, even with out a blogger account to have their say.

Let’s get personal.

>> Monday, January 26, 2009

I have lost my voice. Not physically, just mentally. It is the one thing that has made me proud. I have a voice; I have a point of view in my writing that is distinctive and unique. Now, I am not saying this voice is great, or even a blessing, but it is mine. And I have lost it. If you have read some of these blogs, and have also read some of my previous writings, you can notice the dullness of the language, the triteness of the words, and I hate it. And it is not just happening here, it is happening in my other writings too, my infamous novel that I will eventually finish, just after I figure out how to start it, is being affected too. I think this has all started out of fear. I have distanced myself from my words. Tried to stay objective. Because, people actually read this shit, and that means they are reading me, you know? That is scary. But it is a fear I have to tackle. So, I have to make this a little more personal, maybe I will find my voice in the mumbled secrets below.

30 things you did not know about Addi...

(Even now, as I sit and gaze so long that my eyes narrow and relax so the screen becomes nothing but a blur, I cannot put down the honest word. But as I tossed awake last night, I could not stop writing this post on the inside of my fighting eyelids. Now, when it comes time, I draw blanks where the words should be.)

1. I fall asleep nearly every night with a movie playing. Last night was “The Wackness” (awesome movie by the way). I think I do this so my bed does not feel so empty. Not in a sad way, just an empty way.

2. I can throw and catch things with the best of them. I am often tossing whatever I have in my hands into the air in various ways that probably only seem challenging to me. If someone saw me throwing, lets say, a frying pan (yesterday) into the air, they would probably just think I am slightly retarded, or bored. But, I do it anyways, and I am damn good.

3. I am currently friendless. This is not by choice, but by decision. What's the difference? Well, there may not be much of a difference honestly, but it helps me feel better about things. I have not chosen to be friendless, but I have made decisions, both good and bad that have led me this way. I have made the decision to not allow bad people in my life, not to allow people who take advantage of me to keep pace. But I have also, made bad decisions that have pulled those I truly miss away from me. So, I did not choose to be alone, my decisions dictated my life.

4.I eat Cold Cereal like it is going to run out. Alcohol, chocolate, coffee, or Smarties , may be your vice. Mine is children’s cereal.

5. I wish she would not have lost the baby. I was not ready to be a father, nor were we good together as a couple, but everyday, I think about that baby and what could have been. Even more now.

6. I am afraid of letting my life become a fable, a story my sisters will tell their children about wasted potential.

7. I have to consciously remember to use contractions. I prefer “do not,” “cannot,” and “have not” over all the shorter manifestations. But I realize that this makes me seem pompous and arrogant in my writing, so I have to make the effort not to do it.

8. I cannot (see I did it there) solve the rubix cube, even if I cheat and find the algorithm online.

9. In the last 18 months, I have lost 60 pounds. In the last 6 of those 18 months, I have gained ten back. I have 50 more to lose.

10. Music is my escape. Above I listed that I sleep “nearly everynight” with a movie playing. Well, that is primarily true. Sometimes, however, when it is a movie I have either not seen, or if it is a movie I cannot help but watch, I have to click it off and toss on my iPod. I always have music playing. For example, I have my iPod on shuffle on a list I composed for research on an upcoming blog; (Songs that make you shut up and listen) “I Grieve” by Peter Gabriel (my sisters suggestion) is currently ruminating in the air.

11. I keep a beard to disguise my age. I do not think that facial hair is particularly attractive, nor do I think it is fashionable. But I have a true “You’ll be thankful when your 40” baby face. If I were to be clean shaven, not only would my chin disappear, but I would look ten years younger, literally.

12. I go to movies alone.

13. I lie about my height.

14. I love to wear the color pink and purple. Not so much because it blends well with my skin tones, but more so, because I can. You would be surprised how many men are afraid of color and how many women are put off by it.

15. My secret ambition, besides writing a novel, and not necessarily a successful one, just a published one would do just fine, is to learn how to play the harmonica and hammer dulcimer. Not at the same time.

16. I will sheepishly admit that I watch Nickelodeon/Disney/The N on a semi-regular basis. Brings me back to simpler times.

17. I leave my blankets untucked. This is a habit I used to hate. But sharing a bed changes your choices. Now I cannot sleep confined.

18. I have a horrid memory. I forgot my own mother’s birthday this year. Well not really. I thought I was calling on the correct day, but I need to pay better attention tot he calendar. Bastard of a son.

19. I think I know more then you. This is just who I am, and it can be irritating. This is something I realize about myself, but I am almost 30 and it is too late to change this. Call me out.

20. Music is my best friend. That is why so many of these lists are centered around the lyrical, it emotes the words I am afraid to articulate. But it also keeps me in a prison.

21. I want to move somewhere scary. And Eastern Washington and Alaska are not scary, just sucky.

22. I have an unnatural fear of pickles. Honestly.

23. I have three dream jobs I hope to achieve in this life time. One is Author. Obviously. Another is owner and operator of a Children’s Camp for creative minds. And the last thing I would love to do to be a music supervisor for a movie or TV show. I think I would be awesome at all three of these, and hope to achieve at least one.

24. I have not had sex in a year. But this is more choice rather than lack of options. Again, honestly.

25. I love singer songwriters. If my talent would have taken me that direction, I would have been a very happy man. Alas, it is not to be. Side note on this…. I believe that everyone is born with innate talent, engrained passions and abilities. Some of us harbor and foster these gifts, and some let the embers of creativity fade with age.

26. Translucent Cobalt Blue is my favorite color. And yes, translucent is not technically a color, it is an attribute. But you take cobalt, shine sunlight through, and see my face stretch to a smile.

27. I took a break from this list to see a Monday matinee of “Slumdog Millionaire” with my father. Yes, I go to movies with my father. And I am sure you are questioning that with a tone of jealousy rather then disdain. Oh, and the movie was quite amazing.

28. I have never smoked. Anything.

29. Alcohol scares me. I have no real reason for this. No family history, or horrific happenstance to instill this fear, but it is strong. I have learned that drinking does not mean drunk, but that has taken years to realize.

30. I love. Easy. Hard. Often. Too Often.

Bakers Dozen: Best Sequels Of All Time

>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

Have you ever looked at the word "Sequel?" That's a fucked up looking word. Anyways, in homage to that ugly word, I am going to tackle an ugly topic, Sequels!

You may notice, that I am going to be taking some liberties with the word in this list. It was more fun this way. So, not all selections will relate to film.

So, here is the rules. If it is part of a series, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Die Hard, ect.... I will not include it. This is just to make the list less predictable and harder to do. This will also include most* trilogies. Deal.

1. Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

I have pity for those of you that are currently scoffing at this selection. You have obviously never lost yourself in the campy-ness of the 80's. Best 80's dance movie period, and that says something. Starting out in the horrible movie (how did they even get the sequel approved and funded?) Breakin', a jazz dancer teams up with two hip-hop dancers to form and new group to dance on street corners. In the sequel, they team up again, to help save a community center by putting on a show and dancing in the street.... wait... what?

2. The Simpsons

The average fan will forget that the Simpsons started out as a cartoon short on the Tracey Ullman Show. It was raw, it was crass, it was the beginning. Now, it is the longest running sitcom in the history of television.


Spinoff... Sequel... Same Diff on this list. Trust me, this is not the furthest stretch you will get out of me on this list. Starting out as a crappy lawyer show called JAG, this show spunoff into a great show that is currently on high priority on my DVR. One of the best shows on TV.

4. Sister Act 2

This is my gay statement of the week. I love "Sister Act 2." There I said it. I do not know what it is, you get me a movie about highschool kids, singing, dancing, spelling, quizzing, or anythinging really and you got me hooked. Toss in a competition of some sort and I will pay to see it.

5. Mila Kunis Taking over the Voice of Meg Griffin from Lacey Chabert

Is there any doubt? Plus, Mila is top five.

6. Ryan Adams (and the Cardinals)

Ryan Adams (and the Cardinals) is one of my favorite singersongwriters out there right now. But a lot of people do not realize that he came from a small band called Whiskeytown before he struck Gold* on his own. He is amazing, but an asshole. But I think that makes him a little cooler.

*Gold was the name of his second solo release, and one of my top 50 albums of all time.

7. D2: The Mighty Ducks

The first one was alright, but poorly made, overall, I guess it was a pretty good movie. The second one, added a few new characters, added a larger budget, and a better, more original storyline. Yes, this is part of a trilogy, but I am including it, and pretending that the third one was never made (even though I own it).

8.Toy Story 2

This may be one of the rare times where I actually loved both films equally, and possibly, if pressed to decide, the sequel more. Word on the street, and by street, I mean, this chair I am sitting in, a third movie, with the full cast is in the works.

9. Pinky and The Brain

This is another spinoff that people often forget about how it started. One of my favorite cartoons when I was a child, and still one of the most memorable shows for any twentysomething.

"Pinky: 'Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?'
The Brain: 'The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world.'"

Say that in a bar and I promise at least one person will finish that quote for you.

10. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Playing Death for you own life. Evil Robot Bill and Ted's. The Wyld Stallyns. Awesome. 'Nuff said.

11. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

I honestly, did not like the original movie. I Just have never watched it and been enthralled. However, that is not the case with T2. Great movie, great lines, great action. Probably should be higher on this list, but I am too lazy to change it now.

12. Weekend at Bernie's 2

Just the fact that they would actually prolong this storyline gets my attention and merits ranking. And it is not unwatchable.

13. The Hills

OK, so I would have totally put this higher, but I already made my gay statement of the week, so I am trying to slide this in under the radar.... I guess, telling you that defeats the purpose... hmmm... too lazy to change. Anyways, yes I am sucked in by the drama of the hills, and LC may be the most beautiful woman on TV.

* I make the rules, and some trilogies will stay because I am too lazy to do more research.

Hometown Love. Top 10 Films Filmed in Tacoma

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

Time for some Hometown love. I was recently playing around, researching for an upcoming list (best biopics) and realized how many of my favorite movies are filmed in my favorite city (and closely surrounding areas).

So, if you watch these movies, they will often try to play things off like they are actually in Seattle. But they are not. Tacoma is much more awesomer! I mean, we are prettier, and have the Glass Museum, and we have a Truck named after us!

You may notice, a tie for first place. I love both movies so much that I could not choose.

List away....

1a. I Love You To Death.

Tacoma's triangular Bostwick Building on Broadway is Joey Boca's (Kevin Kline) Pizzeria while the second floor serves as the Villa Rosalie apartments. Other locations include: Bob's Java Jive, Stadium High School Bowl and Holy Rosary Church.

1b. Say Anything.

Bob's Java Jive in Tacoma was used for the famous "Friends with Potential" scene.

3. Ten Things I Hate About You.

The Majority of this was filmed at Stadium High School and a beautiful old North Tacoma home that was owned by our senior class president. My locker on prominent display, as it was the storage unit of choice for that strange girl who was in love with Shakespeare. I have trouble actually watching the storyline of this, I know so many people in the background its hard to focus.

4. Prefontaine

The majority of this was filmed at the University of Puget Sound that was converted in to Hayward Field in Eugene. If you look closely, you can see me as a blur in the audience on the opposite side of the track. I am the white guy on the left.

5. War Games

The Goose Island scenes were filmed at Anderson Island which you can see from my beach house.

6. Black Sheep

Not so much Tacoma, but Buckley, which counts if you ask me, same County anyways.

7. Three Fugitives

The Bank that Martin Short Holds up is actually Old City Hall in downtown Tacoma.

8. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Filmed all over Tacoma. Most Famous for the house in the Stadium District of North Tacoma. Its creepy in person too, I sold wrapping paper there once. Yeah, wrapping paper. Something my Catholic Elementary school thought was a good idea, go door to door with tubes of paper in hand. I am surprised I did not get mugged by some Martha Stewart wannabe.

9. Rose Red

Made for TV but still slightly awesome. Filmed in various locations from Tacoma and Lakewood.

10. Enough

Alright, this movie kinda sucks, but the locations are beautiful. A lot of the outdoor town stuff is filmed in Gig Harbor.

Honorable Mention:

Get Carter, Born To Be Wild, Countdown, Black Circle Boys.

The Fab Fred Four

When one mentions the name Fred Savage many things come to mind- theatrical genius? hot stud? Winnie Cooper? Sure you may remember him from the hit show The Wonder Years where Fred played Kevin, the youngest son of the Arnold clan but really Fred's true talent has shown through in the few fine films he put forth in the late 80's (and in one case, the 90's).
As a former member of the Fred Savage fan club and an owner and avid reader of Fred Savage:Totally Awesome, the fab fan book, I can tell you that these films truly define this masterful actors' career.
If you've missed any of these gems please put them on your netflix cue and feel free to message me if you need any exclusive information on Fred (favorite color: blue, favorite food: macaroni and cheese...) The following is the list of my favorite 4 Fred films (and one honorable mention) with these things kept in mind: the movie plot itself, freds performance and fred's actual screentime. Enjoy!

1. The Wizard

2. Little Monsters

3. The Princess Bride

4. Austin Powers in Goldmember

*Honorable mention: The Boy Who Could Fly

Bakers Dozen: Best "Self-Titled" Albums.

>> Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lets start with the rules for this list.

1. If the majority of a bands albums are self-titled, they are going to be excluded from this list. (So, this will rule out all the awesome albums from Weezer. I mostly just did this, to make it more of a challenge, I mean, Weezer would be on the list like 4 times otherwise).
2. If the albums is commonly known by another name, i.e. "The White Album" they cannot be used. This rule sucks, because I really love "The White Album." But rules is rules.
3. This is not the best of all time in the VH1 sense. These are the best self-titled albums in the world of Adam. Its pretty simple.

1. Sublime - Sublime

Easily the best self-titled albums of all time. There are so many great tracks on this disc, that you cannot wait for one song to end so you can hear the next.

Favorite Track - "Same in the End"

2. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind

If I were to re-do my best albums of all time list, I would really, really move this way up. Probably into the top 15. I forgot how good it actually was, but I have truly rediscovered it this year.

Favorite Track - (tie) "Motorcycle Drive By" & "God of Wine"

3. Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman

Unassuming. Charming. Breathtaking. This album, and its contents will keep popping up on lists as long as I have a say. Look for it on my "Songs That Make You Shut Up & Listen" blog in the upcoming weeks.

Favorite Track - "Baby Can I Hold You"

4. Nickel Creek - Nickel Creek

As a lot of you may know, I have never been a huge fan of country. If you know me really well, you have probably heard me mock it often. But, I am a huge fan of deft song writing, and skillful musicianship, which this album has in spades.

Favorite Track - "The Lighthouse's Tale"

5. Train - Train

This was my favorite band when I was in highschool. I do not know why, nor do I know why I feel embarrassed to admit that. But, looking back, this is a damn good album.

Favorite Track - "I Am"

6. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Yes, this is an album from 2008. And yes, it does merit this ranking. If you take indie rock, stir in a little Neil Youngish country, and splash in some hymnal harmonies, you would stumble across this Seattle band. Really, really good.

Favorite Track - "White Winter Hymnal"

7. 311 - 311

Seriously, could there be another album that helped change music and gotten no credit at all? I mean, would we have Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, or any of the other Rap Rock bands with out the success of this album.

Favorite Track - "All Mixed Up"

8. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash

Three whirlwind talents coming together to create on of the first supergroups. This album would also make my best debut albums blog.

Favorite Track - "Suite - Judy Blue Eyes"

9. Amos Lee - Amos Lee

You do not know this guy by name, but I PROMISE you know his music. One of the best songwriters in this new crop. YouTube him, you will be surprised how many songs you know.

Favorite Track - (tie) "Arms of a Woman" & "Colors"

10. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Yes, another album from 2008. Yes, when I made my top albums of 2008 blog, this album was ranked above The Fleet Foxes. But that was a month ago, and lots can change. It is not that I have tired of this record, not at all. It just speaks volumes about how much The Fleet Foxes have grown on me.

Favorite Track - "M79"

11. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst

Better known as Bright Eyes this singer/songwriter cuts to the heart of things on this disc. I have to admit, I have never found myself drawn to a Bright Eyes album, but this one caught me. He should keep this new moniker.

Favorite Track - "Cape Canaveral"

12. Gorillaz - Gorillaz

I do not have a whole lot to say about this album. It is wild, it is well produced, it is well written, and it is preformed.

Favorite Track - "Tomorrow Comes Today"

13. Alice in Chains - Alice in Chains

I struggled to find a thirteenth album. I remember loving this album, but when I listen to it now, I skip the majority of the disc to find the tracks I like. Why is that? How can we LOVE an album, but 13 years later, not feel it? So, for lack of a better disc, here is the extra roll in your Bakers Dozen.

Favorite Track - "Grind"