Under the covers

January 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

One of my favorite things in music is cover songs. I love to hear how an artist/band interprets another artist or band’s songs, and puts their own twists on it.

Here is a list of some of my favorite cover songs of all time, with covering artist (along with the original artist.)

1. With A Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker (The Beatles) — Sure, I probably only like this because of The Wonder Years, but that’s a good enough reason for me.

2. All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan) – Hendrix’s version is probably the more well known, and is a classic rock staple, but Dylan’s lyrics tells the story like only he can.

3. All Along the Watchtower – Dave Matthews Band (Bob Dylan) – DMB makes the song completely their own, while still being true to Dylan.

4. Hey Hey What Can I Do – Hootie and the Blowfish (Led Zeppelin) – I thought this was the best song off of the Zeppelin tribute album Encomium that came out while I was in high school.

5. Bold As Love – John Mayer  (Jimi Hendrix) – There aren’t a lot of people who can pull off Hendrix’s riffs, but Mayer comes pretty damn close.

6. Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughan (Jimi Hendrix) – SRV could pull off Hendrix’s riffs. These two are in an elite class.

7. All Night Long – Jason Mraz (Lionel Ritchie) – Saw Mraz do this one live last summer, and I couldn’t believe he pulled it off. Great song from my childhood was definitely done justice.

8. The Devil Went Down to Georgia – Blues Traveler (Charlie Daniels Band) – Charlie Daniels can tear up a fiddle like no one else, but John Popper matches him note for note on a harmonica. Simply amazing.

9. In God’s Country – Caedmon’s Call (U2) – A Christian folk band trying to pull off a U2 song is pretty ballsy, but it works out really well.

10. Fight the Power – Barenaked Ladies (Public Enemy) – Too ridiculous not to be awesome.

I hope you enjoy, and I hope you share any of your favorites with me.

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Random Wednesday Thoughts

January 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

1. Like just about everybody else, the super cold weather (at least for NC) has been destroying my skin… I’m using lotion like an old woman. But I have one elbow that’s so bad, I swear it’s about to bleed. How does that happen? How does ONE elbow get so bad, but the other elbow is just fine? Makes no sense to me.

2. Crete’s vocabulary is expanding so fast, he gets easily confused. Today he called my Pop Tarts “poly Pops.”

3. It’s been three and a half weeks since my first law school exam, and I still don’t have any grades back. The suspense is killing me.

4. I bought the most amazing pair of house shoes/slippers today. I was really excited about them, until I realized that I was getting excited about the pair of slippers I just bought. Man, I’m freakin’ old.

5. Having more time to read and play xBox has been really cool, but getting to hang out with Crete all week has been so amazingly awesome. I’m going to miss it more than anything else when school starts back.

6. Speaking of cold, man, this weather has proven to me what a pansy I am. I won’t go outside unless I have to (except for the random dumb decision to play soccer last weekend.) What a wuss.

7. I know I’m way behind the times on this, but since I’ve never watched American Idol, I didn’t know. (And I probably was predisposed to be a little biased against him due to my past with the Clef Hangers.)  But I saw a video of Anoop Desai singing with one of my favorite singers, Amos Lee. Holy crap, Anoop Desai can sing.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for now.

I can’t make sense of the senseless

January 4, 2010 § 5 Comments

I have always thought of myself as a man of faith — not always strong faith, but faith nonetheless. I believe in God,  I believe he is ultimately good, I believe he has a timing that is his own and that is hard for us to understand at times.

But “believing” those things and coming to terms with them are two totally different things, and today, I just don’t get it.

My uncle was killed in a freak accident today. I still don’t know all of the details, but I know that it just appears to be a totally random accident killed him.

I’m not questioning my uncle’s death — I mean, I don’t understand the why of it all, but I know that death happens.

But what I don’t get, and what tears me up tonight is this: why did my uncle have to suffer through a day like today alone? Why did he die before any of his family, who were racing to be by his side for one last hopeful moment, could get to him? Why did my aunt, cousins, Dad and Grandmother have to go through the trauma of such a horrific day, and find out that they were too late to get to his side?

I want to pray for them all, to ask God for comfort in this extremely difficult time. But what comfort? The most comfort that they could have had — being with my uncle when he died, getting to see him one last time before saying goodbye forever — has already been taken from them.

I’m sure there’s a reason. But tonight, I don’t see it, and I just don’t get why things like this are allowed to happen.

Update on Verizon: Thanks Mr. Tech Guy

January 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Verizon was at my house by 8:20 this morning, gone by 8:50, and my internet speed is flying. Way to go Mr. Verizon Tech guy!

Paying for what I’m not getting from Verizon

January 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Apparently, my internet is way slower than it should be. For about a month or so, our DSL modem goes out — it simply stops working. Went to bed last night, internet was fine. Woke up this morning, not working at all. After I reset the  modem, it worked for about an hour, then just quit again. This time I couldn’t make it work.

After calling in to tech support, they got me back up and running, but made the comment that my speed was substantially slower than it should be. The “tier” of service that I’m on should get up to 7.1 mbps, but I’m topping out at 2.4 mbps. They’ve run lots of diagnostic tests from their end, and had me do all sorts of stuff on my end, but to no avail. I have slow internet.

So, I get to wait around for a Verizon tech tomorrow who is going to come out and check our line. No telling what he’ll find, but I hope he can fix it.

I have no hopes of being able to recoup any of the money I’ve been losing by paying for a higher tier of service and not getting it. That’s generally not my experience in dealing with ISP/Cell/any tech companies. I’ll keep you posted.

Buy or borrow?

January 2, 2010 § 5 Comments

As I discussed a couple of days ago, I read a lot more last year than ever before. Reading this much for pleasure is a new thing for me, and I’m not sure how to balance the economics of it.

On the one hand, I love going to bookstores (or their websites) and buying new books. I love checking out bestsellers lists or highly publicized new books at places like Barnes & Noble. A good friend of mine runs a great website on bestsellers (please visit Erin’s sit here: http://bestsellers.about.com : it’s great, and she works really hard at having a really solid site) and she has lots of great insight into current fiction.

And, to be perfectly honest, I really like having books on my bookshelves. I like people looking and saying “Oh… The Brothers Karamazov. I’ve always wanted to read that.” (To which I’d reply, “Me too… I’ve tried 3 times, never come close to finishing.)

On the other hand, holy crap, books are expensive! (And when read quickly, expensive for not a long time of use.) For example, one of the books I read last week (Matthew Paul Turner’s Churched) was a Christmas present to myself. I bought it right before Christmas, and it got delivered to me on Christmas Eve. It was $13 bucks from Amazon. I read it in less than 24 hours from starting it. I loved the book, and am glad I bought it (mainly to support an author who I really like.) But, $13 for 24 hours of use? (Notice I didn’t say enjoyment.) Imagine how hard it would be to charge $13 for a movie you kept for 24 hours? (Please don’t get any ideas Redbox.)

The obvious solution is the library. But for some reason, every time I get a new book from the library, I get images of George Costanza and his flagged book. (And I might occasionally be guilty myself.) Something about library books seem… dirty.

So, what do you think? Is it frivolous to buy books (especially now when I don’t have a job)? Can pursuing reading ever be a bad way to spend money? Or is it ridiculous to pay for something that you can easily get for free (I have a library in my neighborhood)?

Please share your thoughts, and let me know if I’m the only person with the Costanza complex about books.

New look for a new year

January 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

To start the New Year, I’m shaving my head!

Or not. I mean, honestly, for me, it wouldn’t be that big of a change, or something I hadn’t done before.

Actually, I have been really bored with the look of my blog, so I finally changed it, figuring today is as good a day as any other. It’s nothing drastic, but it was really feeling stale (at least to me) so I hope you like it.

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