Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, March 31

Brian Vander Ark is playing on campus tonight. i have a ticket. i don't know if i'm going to be able to go because of some school commitments i have...which kills me, absolutely kills me. hopefully i'll be out soon enough to go see him, because his solo stuff is really good--and i've never seen him play solo before. this is my favourite solo song of his, "I Didn't Want To Be A Bother." i love songs that are bitingly sarcastic toward people who try to shove their religion on others, and this is a great song in that tradition.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, March 30

missed yesterday...so you get two today. i'm overworked and stressing out, so i've got two songs about that.

"Work Song" by Caroline's Spine: [excuse the weird anime sounds at the beginning. it's the only complete recording of the song on youtube...so if you stick it out through the first five seconds, the song will start.]

"Take This Job and Shove It", as covered by the Dead Kennedys:

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, March 28

"Cat Me If You Can" by Agile Like This is weird. if you like lolcats, you'll love it, because it's basically a lolcat set to music. if you don't like lolcats, you probably won't like this song much.

laughing at cute cats during weird things has helped keep me from going crazy on many occasions. as such, this song holds a special place in my heart.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, March 27

Inept's old music, circa 2002-2005, is amazing. i've seen them more times than i've seen any other band--sixteen times, at all kinds of small to medium venues around chicago. this is one of my favourite Inept songs, "Beyond The Tears."

i'm looking forward to seeing them again when i live back in town. i can't say i'm a fan of their more recent songs, but i'd love to see if they play anything from their first three EPs anymore.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, March 26

i tried, i really tried, to get away from the whiny stuff. but, it's not that kind of week.

"Face Down" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has a driving beat to it, but the lyrics are sad. it's about a friend who is really, really pissed off at someone who is treating his friend badly in a relationship. it's so weird that such an upbeat song has lyrics that are such a downer...but i like that juxtaposition.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, March 25

no more emo today, i promise.

instead, i bring you nerdity, in the form of "Mandelbrot Set" by Jonathan Coulton. it's a catchy little ditty about the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, and his famous set:

for one thing, you'll never forget the formula for the Mandelbrot Set again, thanks to the chorus of this song. i don't know about you, but having that piece of knowledge indelibly marked in my brain makes me feel a little smarter, and helps me sleep a little better at night.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, March 24

during my senior year of high school, i listened to "Loser" by Three Doors Down every morning when i was getting ready for the day. it's a perfect encapsulation of how i felt about life that year...high school was a vast, friendless wasteland, and everyone was watching, holding the rope while i took the fall. i hadn't realised yet that college would be the closest thing to a magic panacea that i'd ever had. i hadn't realised yet that i'd eventually have a fulfilling social life. this song conveyed hopelessness, and every morning i luxuriated in it, knowing that at least Three Doors Down knew where i was coming from, even if no one else did.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, March 23

i'm on vacation, so my computer access has been a bit spotty. so, i missed yesterday...and you get two songs today! lucky you! well, lucky you if you feel like slitting your wrists. i'm in a Really Whiny Emo mood right now, so you're all going to be subjected to two of the whiniest, angstiest songs i know.

"You're So Last Summer" by Taking Back Sunday: featuring the most overblown teenage-emo lyric i've ever heard: "you could slit my throat/and with my one last gasping breath/i'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt." i hate myself for liking this song, but there you go.

"Red is the New Black" by Funeral for a Friend: this is yet another song i discovered on my friend wazee. this has another really, really depressing lyric that i love: "there isn't anything wrong with giving up/and for what it's worth/i still hate you." this song is nothing but blunt about being really frustrated with someone else. he yells, he whines, he's mad, and it's a great song.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, March 21

Ditchwater was awesome. i saw them around Chicago all the time back in 2003, 2004...around the days of their most excellent Sees Me Through EP. "It's Over" has always been one of my favourite songs of theirs. excuse the video editing that is cheesy at best and dizzying at worst...there's a reason why Ditchwater is a band and not a video production conglomerate. but, the song is a good, straightforward rocker.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, March 20

i heard "Deeper" by Keith Varon for the first time yesterday, as the outro song on episode 10 of the sadly-now-defunct Bucket podcast. i love his voice. this song is definitely along the vein of sappy, acoustic, senstive-guy music...something i generally can't stand. but, his voice is like a big hug, and i can't help but melt right into it.

[forgive the mediocre sound quality. you can stream a better version of the song here, on the podsafe music network.]

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, March 19

i love Emmet Swimming. they're a nineties alt-rock band out of the Washington, DC area, and it always confused me that they never made it bigger than they did. their album Big Night Without You was one of my favourites in high school, and i still listen to it frequently ten years hence. "Fist Like A Glove" by Emmet Swimming is one of my favourite tracks on the album. it's a gorgeous song...although really sad; the lyrics are a thoughtful treatment of domestic violence. that's something Emmet Swimming is really good at, taking modern issues and turning them into heart-wrenching musical pictures.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, March 18

it's guilty pleasure time! i can't really explain why i like "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D. so much...but i do. it's catchy. that's about all it has to redeem such a trite little piece of late-nineties nostalgia, but sometimes catchy is enough.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, March 17

"Sick of Man" by Cold has one of my favourite lines in a song, ever: "i'll never love you, but i've got words to say." i feel that way about far too many things...people, school, things that frustrate me, things that plague me despite my distaste and disdain.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, March 16

"A Gentleman Caller" by Cursive is whiny, screamy, and sloppy. it's music for a specific mood...a very frustrated mood. although, unlike most music that evokes such a specific mood to me, i'm almost always glad to listen to this song--even when i'm not frustrated or angry with anyone or anything.

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Bargain Bin Dig: Supervillain Zero

i occasionally like to spelunk in the bargain bins of used CD stores. sometimes i find random gems...great albums that are half-forgotten, or that flooded the market years ago only to be sold back by all the teenyboppers once they've progressed to their next musical phase. other times, i find albums in the bin that are just so weird that i have to buy them and see what weirdness lurks within.

it is for this second reason that i picked up Must Be Stopped... by Supervillain Zero. i had no idea who the band was or what kind of music they played. all i knew is that their name was awesome, and the album cover art was weird. the band name on the front was in a really cutesie font with lots of stars, and had a big old star in the centre with four or five levels of outlining around it. on the back was a cartoonish drawing of four guys, ostensibly the band: one in a button-down shirt, one in a Slayer shirt, and one in an AC/DC shirt, all doing weird things to a fourth guy in a SVZ shirt. below it was the copyright date of the album: 2002.

i popped in the album...i kind of like it. they're nothing earth-shattering, but they're enjoyable. they fall squarely into the category of snotty pop-punk. they sound like any other band out there that does that kind of music, although the songs are a little better-written, a little more coherent than most. the strongest song on the album is the first track, "Sinking Simon". despite the uber-cheesy title, the song is good, and even almost pretty in places. i'm not surprised they didn't make it big, but they would have been a fun band to go out and see live around town.

i say would have been, because they are quite clearly broken up. i learned this from a little bit of webbernets-fu. i googled them first, but that was almost worthless. there were very few hits, and nothing even resembling a band page. finally, one site at least provided a broken link to a band page--and i used the wayback machine to fill in the details. the biographical information on their website is sketchy, but they appear to have formed sometime in mid-2001. they released two EPs: a self-titled one in July of 2001, and then Must Be Stopped... in mid-2002. they played most of their shows around St. Louis, at places like Hi-Pointe, Creepy Crawl, Mississippi Nights, Cicero's...good, small places that bigger local bands play. they also occasionally toured the midwest in their trailer, but kept most of their shows close to home.

sometime in mid-October of 2003, the band changed their name from Supervillain Zero to Rushmore Academy. they are still together...ostensibly. they haven't played a show in a while, and don't have any more scheduled...but they still have a bunch of music on their myspace, and no melodramatic myspace post about how it's been such a long, strange ride, but the band has gone their separate ways. i hope they're still together, and i hope they play a show soon, because their music is actually really good. it's clear they've grown and become better musicians and songwriters since the Supervillain Zero days. they sound like almost a dancier version of All-American Rejects. it sounds weird, but it really works...go to their myspace, and check out the song "Take This How You Want To". i highly recommend that one.

so...this Bargain Bin Dig was a rousing success. i discovered a decent old band in Supervillain Zero, and its positively rocking descendant in Rushmore Academy.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, March 15

"Life is Beautiful" by Vega 4 is far mellower than most of what i like to listen to, but for some reason this song grabbed me. they played it all the time back in 2004, 2005 on radio wazee, that wonderful radio station i keep mentioning because it has exposed me to so many great bands and great songs. this song is spacious...atmospheric...and sweet without being sappy.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, March 14

"In The Dark" by Tiësto is absolutely adorable. my friend and i would blast this song all the time when we were driving around last semester. it's like a horror movie love song...the lyrics are really sweet, and the music is kind of dark.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, March 13

"Guestbook" by Ratbag Hero is a good little metasong. Ratbag Hero was a fantastic, silly Chicago punk band who sang a lot about beer drinking, partying, and girls. this song is about someone posting in their internet guestbook telling them that they can't write another love song, or another song about beer. of course, actually following such advice would be bad, because that's really all Ratbag Hero wrote about...so they wrote a song about how confused they were that those two topics were verboten. it's clever, it's hilarious, and it's Ratbag Hero.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, March 12

"Thousand Mile Wish" by Finger Eleven is the mellow song of theirs that i wish got famous. everyone knows "One Thing", although i'm not crazy about that song. still, sometimes they do mellow really, really well...and this song is gorgeous.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, March 11

i love "Letter From An Occupant" by The New Pornographers. Neko Case's voice sounds really cool in the song, and it reminds me of late-night drunken walks home from Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap, back in college. good times...this song always makes me feel like my days are far more carefree than they actually are.

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you've got questions? Supergig's got answers.

i found a list of questions about music on another blog...it was a long time ago, so i don't remember which one it was. however, i liked a lot of the questions. they prompted me to start musing about various songs and artists. so, i answered them.

1. Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by?
i own 17 Wesley Willis albums. that is my biggest music-collecting goal...to own all of Wesley's albums. i've been working on this for about seven years now, ever since the spring of my first year of college. it's not a likely goal to achieve, since many of his albums were self-released and there doesn't even exist a comprehensive list of all of the albums he recorded. but, i want to try. Wesley is one of my favourite musicians ever, and every album of his that i find contains more amusing, entertaining gems.

2. What was the last song you listened to?
"Dissent" by Linoleum. i just heard it for the first time, and it's a really good song. it's somewhere between alt-rock and indie-rock on that ever-so-nebulous continuum, but we know how worthless those kinds of descriptions are. the lead singer's voice is shiny.

3. What's in your CD player right now?
i don't own a CD player anymore. my last one broke back in 2005, and i have depended on my computer and my iPod for my music-listening needs ever since.

4. What was the last show you attended?
Theory of God, Once Afflicted, and Slugtrail at the Creepy Crawl on February 2nd. it was a show i went to because i wasn't doing anything else that night, and needed to get out of the apartment. i didn't know any of the bands who were playing, but decided a local metal show was just what i needed. i try to write about all the shows i go to here, but there really wasn't enough to say about that show to fill up a blog post. Theory of God was good...solid, instrumental heavy metal. i wish they had a website that was in any way useful, so i could figure out when they were playing in town next...or even how to contact a band member so they could tell me when they were playing in town next. however, Once Afflicted and Slugtrail were both awful. Once Afflicted sounded like a bad Godsmack knockoff come ten years late. Slugtrail? i don't know quite what i was listening to, but i wasn't sure it was music. i've done a lot to put it out of my head in the last two weeks, and i'm not about to google them in order to put it back in my head to give you a better description. i love you, my dear readers, but not enough to listen to them again. you can google them if you want, but be warned. your ears may rebel against you.

5. What was the greatest show you've ever been to?
Cold, Finger Eleven, and Reach 454 at the Metro, on May 25, 2003. okay, so Reach 454 was terrible, but Cold and Finger Eleven were then, and still are, my favourite bands on earth. they both put on such passionate shows...as good as they are recorded, the energy is just so much more when they play live. they also both sounded great...it makes me so happy when bands i love sound good live, because it means they don't need all that slick record production to sound like the band i feel like i know and love. the Metro is also my favourite venue in Chicago. it's big enough to get some good crowd action going, but still not so large that i feel detached from the band on stage.

6. What's the worst show you've ever been to?
see #4. i've never been to a show where every band was awful. but, at that show, it was only Theory of God, who was on stage for a whole twenty minutes, who was good. the two bands that got more stage time, Once Afflicted and Slugtrail, were unlistenably bad. it was the only show i've ever left early because the music was so bad. and, to add insult to injury, my friend and i got mugged on the way back to the car after the show. sigh.

7. What show are you looking forward to?
i've got a few coming up...but the one i'm most looking forward to is Brian Vander Ark. [does that really surprise you, on a blog named after a Verve Pipe song?! didn't think so...] he's coming to Wash U and playing a show on campus on March 31. his solo music is mellower than the stuff he did with The Verve Pipe, but is still very good. the venue is small and intimate, which will be nice. i just really hope he plays my two favourite songs of his: "Didn't Want To Be A Bother" [a sarcastic song about people who try to push religion on others] and "1229 Sheffield" [a Verve Pipe song he reworked as a solo piece...a really melancholy song about a young marriage gone terribly wrong].

8. What is your favorite band shirt?
my Slitheryn shirt. Slitheryn was a local band in Chicago for a few years in the early aughts. they were weird...a heavy metal band in which all the instrumentalists were thirteen years old, and the lead singer was eleven. they were together for a while...until the instrumentalists were maybe fifteen or sixteen, and the singer thirteen or fourteen. they weren't a great band, but they were extremely good for their ages, and have promising things ahead of them if they want to stick with the music thing. anyway, the shirt i bought when i saw them in 2001 is fantastic. it is a black shirt. it says "Slitheryn" on the front. on the back, it has a picture of the band, and the text "DITCHES SCHOOL." i love the fact that the most bad-ass thing they could think of to brag about was that they ditch school.

9. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
James Black from Finger Eleven. not only does his band make really good music, but he makes really weird art and poetry as well. he'd be an extremely interesting person to hang out with for a day. i think we'd have some very strange conversations, and i'd enjoy that.

10. Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback?
i always hate to answer this question. whenever bands get together and make "comebacks," it never seems to be quite as good as the original music. i always allow myself to get optimistic, and then i'm always disappointed with the results. however, if i were to allow myself to hope a band would get back together and be as good as they were, it would definitely be Cold. they waffled between together and broken-up for a while, and finally broke up for good in November of 2006. they released four albums during the time they were together, all of which were fantastic. they're still one of my favourite bands of all time, and it makes me sad that i will never get to hear them live again, or listen to a new album of theirs.

11. Who is one band/artist you've never seen live but always wanted to?
Wesley Willis. i know i never will, because he died in 2003...but i always wanted to, and never did. his live shows were probably completely weird: him, playing his keyboard, improvising even weirder lyrics to his already-weird songs. he also usually played the Fireside Bowl, which was a fantastic venue. the Fireside used to be a bowling alley, but when it got too old and decrepit to be functional for bowling, they started hosting underground music shows there. i've been to a couple shows there, although never Wesley. it would have been perfect to see the goofiest musician in Chicago play at the goofiest venue in Chicago.

12. Name four or more flawless albums:
flawless albums? that's hard. almost all of the albums i've ever listened to, owned, or even loved have had a flaw on it. even the best albums have that one song that isn't quite up to par. however, there are a few albums i know that don't have even That One Inevitable Clunker on it...and can thus be described as flawless:

  • Secret Samadhi by Live.
    • this album stands up to repeated listenings more than any other album i've ever experienced. it always confuses me why people always seem to prefer Throwing Copper to this one. Throwing Copper is good, yes, but the songs aren't as interesting, fun to listen to, or generally hard-rocking as the songs on Secret Samadhi. this album is Live at its best...and, possibly, nineties alternative rock at its best.
  • Rush Hour by Wesley Willis.
    • this album has some of Wesley's most deliciously weird music. Greatest Hits Volume 3 may be weirder, but it also has "Love God" on it--which is by far Wesley's worst song. Rush Hour is hilarious from beginning to end, with no songs worthy of being skipped. it has such gems as "The Termites Ate My House Up", which suggests the worst way ever of exterminating bugs [specifically, shooting up a house with a BB gun] and "King of Fire", which i am convinced is Wesley's weirdest song ever.
  • Eve 6 by Eve 6.
    • this album is just plain solid from beginning to end. the songs are all fun to listen to, and they're rife with the clever puns and wordplay that make Eve 6's lyrics so interesting. it's one part pop, two parts rock, thoroughly nineties...and made the summer after my sophomore year of high school extra-happy.
  • Darkest Days by Stabbing Westward.
    • this album is a concept album, designed to trace the arc of a relationship from being single to meeting someone to becoming infatuated with them, through the deterioration of the relationship and then finally getting over it. it's sixteen good songs put in the perfect order to tell a story. what makes it even better is that they maintain their dark character as Stabbing Westward...there's nothing sunny and sappy in the album. if there had been, it would feel out of place, even during the phase when the relationship described in the album is going well. the love song, "You Complete Me", straddles somewhere between "what did i do to get so lucky?" and "we're both screwed up, let's be screwed up together."
13. How many music related videos/DVDs do you own?
only one. i'm not a big DVD watcher, so even if it's a band i like i never buy the concert DVDs. i'd prefer to just buy a ticket when the band comes through town and see them live. the only music-related DVD i have is The Daddy of Rock and Roll, a documentary made about Wesley Willis a few years ago. it has a little bit of concert footage, although most of it is a portrait of his life. there's actually another documentary out about Wesley, one that came out just this year: Wesley Willis Joyrides. it's still making the festival circuit. i hope it plays here, although it's not likely because the Saint Louis Film Festival is held in November. it's not out on DVD yet, but i'm sure i'll buy it when it does come out. Wesley is fascinating, and i've heard very good things about Joyrides.

14. How many concerts/shows have you been to, total?
i have lost count. i used to know how many i had been to, back when i was in high school. i wasn't able to go to very many back then. but, once i moved out of the house and up to Chicago, i started going to a lot more shows and lost count. in Raleigh, concertgoing was a rare occurrence. in Chicago, it became my life. it became the norm. instead of buying tickets for every show weeks [and sometimes months] in advance, i had the luxury of being able to go see a random local band on almost any given night if i didn't have anything else to do.

15. Who have you seen the most live?
i have seen Inept sixteen times. they're a local band from the Chicago area, and played in the city and the near suburbs a lot. i'm not as crazy about their recent stuff, but their first few releases back in 2003 and 2004 were fantastic. the shows were a lot of fun; they had a lot of devoted fans who jump, mosh, and sing every word. then again, i'm sure they still do...i don't know all the words to their newer songs, but i still know the old stuff like the back of my hand, and miss the days when those songs were the bread and butter of their shows.

16. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
that's an easy one: Daredevil. i don't know who was in charge of putting together the soundtrack for that movie, but they had to have been reading my mind. otherwise, how would they have known to put so many bands i love on there? Fuel, Seether, Finger Eleven, Drowning Pool. it was paradise! furthermore, i discovered several bands who i grew to love after hearing them on this soundtrack: Revis, Evanescence, and Boysetsfire. i would never have picked it up if it didn't have so many bands i already knew and loved, although the strongest tracks on the album are the ones by these new bands who i had not heard of before then. i've never seen the movie; i'm not a big movie watcher and i kept hearing that it was terrible. but, the album is solid evidence that Wind-Up Records should be doing a lot more movie soundtracks.

17. What was your last musical "phase" before you wisened up?
my musical tastes have been building upon each other since i was 14, and first got into modern rock. before that, though...wow, it's embarrassing. the cool station to listen to when i was in middle school was Mix 101.5: the adult contemporary station. so, that's the kind of stuff i listened to in a futile attempt to have something in common with my classmates. it didn't help me; i still had no friends then. but, i had a voracious taste for anything Celine Dion would put out. that should count for something, no?

28. What's your "guilty pleasure" that you hate to admit to liking?
where do i begin with this one? i'm usually really open with my ridiculous guilty pleasure songs. out of all the songs i feel bad for liking, the one i feel the worst for liking--and even worse for admitting i like--is "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit. i know, i expounded here earlier upon the fact that there's no excuse for Limp Bizkit. i still don't think there is; this one fun guilty pleasure song of theirs is not worth all the musical havoc they wrought in the late nineties. but, still...if this comes on the radio or a jukebox, i start singing and dancing. i hate myself for it, but i can't help it.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, March 10

have you ever listened to a recording of someone causing mischief with a pay phone and thought to yourself, "this is great, but i really wish i could dance to it?" wonder that no more. today's song, "Payphone Under a Streetlamp" by DJ Boo, is exactly that, awesomely danceable pay phone mischief.

i know it may sound weird to most of you, and nerdy to all of you, but that's why the song is so much fun.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, March 9

someone decided to make a really, really funny video of "Birdman Kicked My Ass" by Wesley Willis. a dude dressed up in a half-assed bird costume and everything. it's fantastic.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, March 8

i know. i missed yesterday. i fail at life. hopefully i didn't fail the ethics portion of the bar, which i took this morning.

so, in return, i give you a double feature today. i give you two songs about really bad people, in honour of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam:

"Liar" by Henry Rollins

"User Friendly" by Marilyn Manson

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Quite Suppresed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, March 7

i know most of what i put here is rock music, and everything i've talked about here so far has been popular music of some vein. but...i love choral music, too. i sing in a choir now, and have been in various ones over the years. i picked this one, "Lux Aurumque" by Eric Whitacre, because i was singing it in practice today, and it's a lot of fun to do. there are a lot of recordings of it on YouTube...some of them are gorgeous, and some of them aren't too good. this is my favourite that i found. the voices blend together beautifully.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, March 5

rock over london. rock on chicago. Wesley Willis is awesome...and "Cut The Mullet" is one of his funniest songs. it's also practical advice for your everyday life. mullets are no good, and should be cut at the earliest convenience.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, March 4

weird covers makes me happy. an acoustic nerd balladeer covering Sir Mix-A-Lot? it's genius...and the first time i heard this song, my friend who was driving almost drove the car off the road.

presenting..."Baby Got Back", covered by Jonathan Coulton.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, March 3

here, have another sweet, delicious taste of the nineties: "Not An Addict" by K's Choice. it's a bummer they didn't make it any bigger in the states; i never got to see them in concert before they broke up. this was the only song that got much play here. however, if they were going to have one song get popular, this was the song...they have a lot of solid tunes, but this has always been my favourite.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, March 2

Cold is one of my favourite bands of all time, and "Go Away" is one of my favourite songs of theirs. it's raw, it's angry, and it's Cold at its best.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, March 1

Weird Al Yankovic is brilliant...and "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" is a spot-on parody of "Trapped In The Closet". it's a long song (over ten minutes), but well worth it for the hilarious treatment of the absolutely mundane.

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