This is for you // You know who you are

Some tough stuff is going down.

People are feeling abandoned. Not me, personally, but me vicariously.

It's a bit surprising, isn't it - what people can do to you.

Leaving you so undone.

Man, you start to feel real lost. Invisible yet volatile, like natural gas being pumped into your house through an unlit oven. One match and the whole thing goes up, leaving only you. Sitting. Unfeeling. Just as volatile as before. The open flame doesn't satisfy. The blast only singes.

Some bad shit is going down.

Bob Dylan said it would.

Well you're not alone.

Oh no, love, you're not alone.

May You Stay. Forever Young.

May God bless and keep you always May your wishes all come true May you always do for others And let others do for you May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be true May you always know the truth And see the lights surrounding you May you always be courageous Stand upright and be strong May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

My Ultimate Supergroup

Nate "Taterballs" Perry got me thinking about this, so here's my supergroup:

On drums: The one and only Todd Nance

No one I've heard plays the drums like this guy, the drummer for Widespread Panic. He cracks the snare with such precision and in such perfect time that you literally lose all control of your limbs. I have spilled or completely dropped drinks because of him. I can't stand it. It's largely due to his playing that the hand becomes a fist and inadvertently reaches for the sky.

On keys: Mac Rebennack (AKA Dr. John)

This dude lays it down in serious style. The king of N'awlins himself, Dr. John can drop them keys on them hammers in the funkiest way I have ever heard. He seems to have no framework for the way he plays, he just hits em like he knows he should. I don't know much about the piano, but this dude can sure break one.

On bass: Mike "Cactus" Gordon

This probably goes without saying, but Mike Gordon is by far the best bass player of all time. Not because he plays insane stupid pointless bass solos like Victor Wooten or Les Claypool (although he certainly can and will), but because he perfectly and precisely adds the necessary bass element to every song in such a way that it is almost impossible to detect, until you hear the midbeat thump, slap, or bounce. Then you realize you are secretly being kidnapped by an instrument you never even noticed. Seriously, if you aren't careful at a Phish show, you'll find yourself quickly underwater and unavailable to all those around you because of his bass. It's happened to me. It's cold and dark down there, but somehow there is oxygen. Also, I should note that Cactus gave me my most amazing musical moment of all time (but that's another story).

On lead guitar: Mr. Derek Trucks

Now this baby-faced kid is the secret weapon of this (and every other) supergroup (he's a key member of pretty much every decent superjam). You see him on stage, not moving much, acting kinda shy, playing the rhythms and behaving properly, never intruding on his older bandmates, but when it's his time to take the spotlight he slips that glass slide on his middle finger and absolutely tears your face off in a fury of perfected notes and screams. If a ravaged and starving wolf could play the guitar, this is what it would sound like. People don't talk when Trucks is playing a lead. They either stare in awe or completely freak out and lose their shit. Trucks, baby.

On lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica: JJ Grey

This guy is definitely the least famous of all the other members of the supergroup, but he is the only dude I would have front my band. If you have never heard Mofro, go find em. I have showed them to tons of my friends and every single time I break them out, somebody always asks, head bobbin' "Who is this?". You just can't resist em. JJ sings like a 60 year old black guy who has lived a hard life, but is happy. I've never heard a white guy sound so soulful. He sings deep, low, dirty, and funky. He can also shred the guitar and harmonica whenever he needs to. He's the perfect frontman for a southern rock supergroup.

Between Nance's beats, Dr. John's Louisiana keys, Cactus's underwater depth, Trucks' face melting solos, and Grey's southern soul, no one could resist this epic band of geniuses, which would of course be called

The West Memphis Dog Track

I figured it out // How to record streaming audio on a Mac

First of all, I'd like to say that after insane amounts of searching on the wild wild web, I am happy to report that the internet did not entirely fail me, as I had expected it would. I finally found a site that sells Teddy Afro's records. It is an Ethiopian music site that would probably end up being a complete scam. As my brother Hunter said:

You will never receive anything you order from this place.

Well put, and hilarious in his utter confidence that nothing good could come out of it. To see it for yourself, go here.

He was probably right.

Now to the better news: I found a (somewhat) easy way to record digital quality streaming audio from the internet and save the files as separate MP3s, which can then be imported to iTunes (on a Mac, of course).

It's a little complicated, and you have to download a few different things, but if you are hell bent on getting some tunes that are otherwise unavailable, it works.

Check out the article here.

Probably the coolest thing about it is that this method allows you to record literally any audio that comes through your computers speakers, it perfect quality. YouTube videos, Pandora, Grooveshark, anything.

I win, internet.

Top Ten Albums You Need To Buy

So I was thinking today about my favorite albums of all time, regardless of release date, popularity, coolness, or anything else. I have done lists like this before, but always with a thought in the back of my mind that I want to make sure I impress people with a full and complete list including something from all important genres. This list is different. This list doesn't care what anyone else thinks. These are my top 10 most consistently loved albums of all time. I love them, and all of you should too. Here they are, in order, with some comments about each:

10. God Shuffled His Feet - Crash Test Dummies

Amazing record. Most people just know the song "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm", which is a great song, but by no means the best. Highlights are "Afternoons & Coffeespoons" (video below), "God Shuffled His Feet", and "How Does a Duck Know". No one sings like Brad Roberts, and the music is deep and thoughtful, yet cheery.

9. The Last Waltz - The Band

Quite possibly the most most rockstar studded live show of all time. The Band is completely amazing all by itself, with Rick Danko pleading and crying into the mic, and the one and only Levon singing from the drumset like he was riding a tractor and farming a crop, but with Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dr. John, and tons more sharing the stage, this show is just totally crazy.

8. Legend - Bob Marley & The Wailers

There has never been anyone like him and there will never be another. Any Bob Marley disc is fantastic, and this is definitely his best seller. Everyone loves Marley, and they should not be afraid to belt out "Three Little Birds" while walking down a crowded street, smiling.

7. Stop Making Sense - The Talking Heads

Holy crap. With an opener like Psycho Killer, featuring a solo David Byrne with an acoustic guitar and a 1984-era boombox sitting on the stage next to him playing breakbeats, only pure glory can be expected to follow. And it does. I would list the highlight tracks, but they are all perfect in every possible way. Literally.

6. Light Fuse, Get Away - Widespread Panic

The first CD I ever really jammed out on, this classic double disc from the Boys from Georgia will always make me stomp my foot and wrinkle my face into JB-esque southern grins. "Papa Legba" is always my favorite song when they bust it out live. It's just killer. "Porch Song",  "Love Tractor", and a cover of Clapton's "Traveling Light" will definitely bring you down to a perfect goodtime chill.

5. Live - James Taylor

Of course, James Taylor will make every top 10 music list I ever come up with. If you don't think JT can rock, listen to "Country Road" off this CD - and if that doesn't do it for you, hit up "Sun On The Moon". Amazing. Also, "Millwork" is strange and somehow grips me every time.

4. Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan

There is almost nothing to say about this record that hasn't already been said. Every song is so perfect it can really never be touched. Historically, this should be number one on my list just out of reverence, but since this list is actual, it takes a supremely respectable #4 and a major tip of my hat. If not for this CD I would never have broken up with my first girlfriend.

3. A Picture Of Nectar - Phish

When I pressed Nectar into my CD player back in high school and "Llama" came on I was instantly hooked. I needed no further review. Then "Cavern" found its way into my brain and took me deep into a newfound underwater depth that is only Phish. I can't describe how amazing the drums are right before the precussionistic line "I snatched Rick's fork to scrape it off with deadly, icy calm."

2. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - The Neutral Milk Hotel

Without a doubt, the only perfect fusion of punk, bagpipe, and something else the world has yet to name. Jeff Mangum's voice is unlike every single other voice in the world. It is the voice of a guy who sings, but doesn't know how. It is hypnotic and maddening in that nothing else can be imagined in its place. "Holland, 1945" is and always has been one of my favorite songs of all time. The bass drum on "Ghost" will send you heaving into the wilderness.

1. The Arista Years - The Grateful Dead

Definitely the best CD of all time. A double disc set that includes literally everything you need in life, musically. I used to think the big hit songs were the best, but now I rock the lesser known gems, like "Picasso Moon", "Just A Little Light", and "Alabama Getaway". The Dead have it all, and if I were pressed to choose a band to listen to exclusively for the rest of my life. They'd be it. No hesitation.

We Can Dance if We Want To

Short story: At the Chick-Fil-A grand opening, they had a DJ from about 5 - 9pm, and he was pretty lame. Actually, I'm sure he could have been decent, but he was probably told to play the standard stupid crap music the whole time. Anyway, after a few hours the crowd was growing uninterested and me and Fatt were trying to think of the best song to request and dance to to liven up the crowd and get the party back crackin.

We decided this song was it, but neither of us had it on our iPods. So I just bought it.

Never again will that moment be missed.

For Aaron B. Reddin (& Others, I Suppose)

Ok, you're right. I've been posting awesome videos and pics on here a lot lately with no actual writing; but I have something of an actual reason for this. Here it is:

1. I have been 1,000% inspired by music lately, as you can see from several of my posts below.

For those of you who know me well, you'll know that there is no other time of year more exciting, thrilling, and inspiring to me than fall/winter. Lately, I have been amazed with the music that's come my way again - namely, Cat Stevens, Phish, UB40, and the amazing African jams that Scram has been throwing at me. With the exception of the African stuff, I have loved the others tremendously at some other point in my life, and trying them on again is like putting on an old pair of Chacos, they know me like an old friend. And together we roll through the streets with great ambition and excitement, as the cool wind from Canada tumbles between the buildings and through the treetops of Arkansas September.

2. I am about to embark on a major adventure.

Some good friends and I are leaving on a (somewhat) epic road trip next Thursday after everyone gets off work. Our destination is the barren landscapes of northern New Mexico and possibly southern Colorado. We will camp and hopefully avoid all major metropolitan areas as much as possible. We will sleep directly under the stars and wonder what it must've been like to be an Indian sleeping in the exact same place before we came over and spoiled everything for them. This, naturally, makes me so overflowingly excited that I can only express myself through other peoples guitar solos. Trey Anastasio, for example. Like I said, just listen.

3. I have been rather busy lately.

This of course, is quite a good thing. During my days the past few weeks, I've been listening to the above mentioned jams, editing pictures, and dreaming about New Mexico. Since I'll be gone for four days, I need to knock a bunch of stuff out before we head. But as my boy Fatty just said to me about his workload: "I am almost buttoned up".

4. Also:

During the changing of the seasons, especially summer to fall, I find that there is not much to say at all - just a calm, resting peacefulness that settles in on me and causes me to just sit and smile, knowing what is to come next. Cooler. Brisker. Chillier. Frostier.

The car is cold in the morning, but the heat feels so good.

The coffee goes down warmer, and slower.

You have to snuggle up to your sweetie pie at night because the sheets are cold at first.

People hug better.

You get to break out the fleece again.

Your toes are cold but your neck is warm.

Ahhh, is there a better time of year?

No. No there is not.