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100 things to eat before you die

It’s not my list – I found it at Very Good Taste blog. But I thought I’d go over it and see how many of the things I have already eaten, how many I would consider trying, and those I wouldn’t eat if I was starving to death.

Foodproof went to the trouble of taking this list and explaining all the food, with links. VGT also has a FAQ about the list.

Instructions from VGT:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

So, here you go, with commentary.

1. Venison Freshly killed, too.
2. Nettle tea – For some reason, this sounds to me like something sharp and painful.
3. Huevos rancheros – Perfect for a breakfast when you know you aren’t going to eat again til later that night.
4. Steak tartare – Had it at a wedding once. Spit it into my napkin.
5. Crocodile – Who could eat such a cute, dumb animal?
6. Black pudding “sausage made by cooking blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled” – I don’t think so. Also, it looks like a large penis taken off a rotted corpse. You know, something Andrew Zimmerman would eat.
7. Cheese fondue Fondue was all the rage in the 70’s. I think my mother still has her olive green fondue set.
8. Carp – It’s…fish.
9. Borscht – It always seemed like something you would have to force someone to eat. Like mush or coconut pie.
10. Baba ghanoush – not averse to trying it, I like eggplant.
11. Calamari – one of my favorite foods. Stuffed, fried, served with pasta, I could eat it (and cook it) every day.
12. Pho – I have recently discovered the goodness of Vietnamese food. Too bad we have to go into the city to get it.
13. PB&J sandwich – one of the best comfort foods in the world, and one of the few things that make me crave a glass of milk to go with it.
14. Aloo gobi – I don’t do curry.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – one of the great pleasures of New York City. The only dog that comes close to its awesomeness is a dirty water dog from Yankee Stadium.
16. Epoisses – “a cheese so smelly it was banned from being taken on public transportation.” No thanks.
17. Black truffle I don’t care how good it may taste, I will never have enough expendable cash to justify spending that kind of money on fungi.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. Wait, does Boones Farm count?
19. Steamed pork buns – Dim Sum is the food of the gods.
20. Pistachio ice cream – It’s ok, as far as ice cream goes. I prefer my ice cream to have peanut butter in it.
21. Heirloom tomatoes – Worth driving out east for.
22. Fresh wild berries – strawberries picked upstate, blackberries picked in my childhood backyard.
23. Foie gras that whole force feeding thing turns me off. Yea, I’ll eat slaughtered cows and pigs, but somehow force feeding ducks is off limits. Don’t ask.
24. Rice and beans – a favorite quick meal. Throw in a bit of shredded cheese and hot sauce (Rooster Sauce preferred. Yum.
25. Brawn, or head cheese – I worked in a deli for many years. I marked down every person who ever ordered head cheese and crossed them off my “people to trust” list. Head cheese is evil.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – I like hot. I like spicy. But I don’t like hot for hot’s sake. I wouldn’t mind trying this in a flavorful dish, but on it’s own, eating it just an “I’m more hardcore than you” exercise. And I’m not.
27. Dulce de leche – aka milk candy. I need to try some of this.
28. Oysters – I love oysters. But I love all slimy shellfish.
29. Baklava – I go to Greek fairs just for the baklava.
30. Bagna cauda – vegetables dipped in garlic, butter and oil? Count me in.
31. Wasabi peas – I’ll eat anything wasabi. My favorite thing about it is the “wasabi rush” as I call it – that moment when it sears your sinus cavities.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – Made by my father. I won’t have it any other way. Oh, and New England only. Manhattan clam chowder sucks.
33. Salted lassi – this sounds pretty interesting.
34. Sauerkraut – with hot dogs, pork, kielbasa, or on its own. Just don’t sleep next to me after I’ve eaten it.
35. Root beer float – A&W for the win.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do ya do?
37. Clotted cream tea – I’m not eating anything with the word clot in its name.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O – oh, the stories I could tell.
39. Gumbo – It’s been years since I’ve had gumbo. Good stuff.
40. Oxtail – the butcher next door to my office sells oxtail and I always wanted to buy some just to see what it’s like. Herbert the butcher says I should use it make soup.
41. Curried goat – Again, I don’t do curry.
42. Whole insects – I’m sure I would try a chocolate covered ant given the opportunity, but don’t ask me to put anything live in my mouth.
43. Phaal – I hate curry so much I erased half of the early MTV days from my mind. (bad joke)
44. Goat’s milk – I’ve had goat cheese….
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more – I’m more of a malt liquor kind of gal.
46. Fugu – pufferfish. Maybe he should have put this at 100, seeing as its potentially lethal.
47. Chicken tikka masala – Ok, the guy who made this list has a curry obsession.
48. Eel – I’ve had eel a few times with my sushi, but I’m not a big fan.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut – when Krispy Kreme opened up here, there were lines out the door waiting for a chance to try the sweet, mouth melting donuts. The first couple of times you have one, they are like a delicacy. But then you get tired of eating what amounts to deep fried sugar. All the KKs here have closed down.
50. Sea urchin – We eat sushi twice a week. Each time, Todd tries to get me to try the urchin (uni). I have an acute aversion to this food I never tried. Maybe it has to do with this: “It is the gonads of this hermaphrodite sea creature that are scooped out of the urchin’s spiny shell in five custard-like, golden sections. Known in Japan as “uni” and traditionally considered an aphrodisiac, gonads are the only edible part of the urchin.” Yea.
51. Prickly pear – nothing with potentially painful spines is worth the trouble of eating.
52. Umeboshi – if I ever get to Japan, I’ll try one.
53. Abalone – after looking at the description, I’ll call this “snob food” and move on.
54. Paneer – a non melting cheese? But how will I spread it on my french fries?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – eating a Big Mac meal is no big deal. Eating a Big Mac meal while driving and stoned, and not dropping any in your lap, is feat to be (and was) commended. (*I was stupid and 17. Do not try this at home).
56. Spaetzle – It’s pasta. How could you go wrong?
57. Dirty gin martini – I used to drink these every night. Eventually I discarded the olives and vermouth and drank the gin straight out of the bottle. Which is why I don’t drink anymore.
58. Beer above 8% ABV – In the US, you can’t call it beer if it’s above 6%, so technically, no.
59. Poutine The best thing about Canada besides hockey.
60. Carob chips – There was a brief carob craze in the 80’s. No matter what they tell you, carob chip cookies do not taste in any way like chocolate chip cookies.
61. S’mores – I’d like to meet the person who has not tried a S’more. They’re probably communist.
62. Sweetbreads – pass.
63. Kaolin “This is some sort of edible clay, though I am unable to find out much more.” Well, I looked it up and if you like eating rocks, go for it.
64. Currywurst – *glare*
65. Durian – So in order to eat these 100 things before I die, I’d have to have enough money to travel the world. Screw the Durian. I hereby make #65 Cheese Whiz.
one froggy night66. Frogs’ legs – had my first taste of frog’s legs last month and yep, they taste like chicken. I actually ate frog legs, pho and a street vendor hot dog all on the same day.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – do not underestimate the wonders of deep fried dough. Or deep fried anything with dough. He also forgot to include zeppoles on the list.
68. Haggis – they look like the testicles of a diseased man.
69. Fried plantain – the Spanish restaurant across from work serves fried plantains with everything. They are delicious.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette – I’ll eat it as long as you don’t call it pig intestine.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini – I’ve had caviar, but not with blini, so this is only like, half bold.
73. Louche absinthe – Absinthe is a drink, not a food. So it doesn’t count. It’s also the name of one of the most awesome songs ever.
74. Gjetost, or brunost – from what I see, looks to be goat’s cheese.
75. Roadkill – While the idea of a squished squirrel kabob seems amusing, it’s highly unlikely I would eat anything that had tread marks on its back.
76. Baijiu Again, – not food.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – I lived on these things when I was young. I thought they counted toward my daily fruit requirement.
78. Snail – “Look at that S car go!” I can’t be the only one who remembers that joke.
79. Lapsang souchong – Putting tea on your list of things to have before you die is questionable, unless that tea has psychotropic capabilities.
80. Bellini – What’s with the drinks? Shouldn’t he have made a separate drink list? How hard was it to come up with 100 foods? I mean, where’s the fried peanut butter sandwiches and cheese in a can?
81. Tom yum – This actually sounds delicious.
82. Eggs Benedict – I have one every once in a while when we go out to breakfast. As unhealthy as it is, it’s certainly a better than this.
83. Pocky – I get so confused by the Pocky display at the Asian supermarket. So many flavors, all the pretty colors…
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. – I’m guessing that’s something English and expensive.
85. Kobe beef10 oz Kobe beef filet mignon – $199. I really think that no matter how much money I had, I would never be so smug as to spend 200 bucks on 10 oz of steak.
86. Hare – After eating frog legs and duck in the same weekend last month, I put a moratorium on eating cute animals.
87. Goulash – A friend’s grandmother made this for us in tenth grade. Every weekend. For an entire school year.
88. Flowers – My grandma would make baked eggplant with some kind of flowers in it. Also, when I was about ten, I went through a phase where I ate flowers, straight out of the garden.
89. Horse – Why, oh why do I have no problem eating cows and chickens but some animals just seem off limits?
90. Criollo chocolate – I hate to say it, but all chocolate tastes the same to me. Godiva, Hershey, Ghiardelli, some crap from the dollar store – I wouldn’t go to any great lengths to procure chocolate from some other country when it’s just going to taste like everything else (to me).
91. Spam – My aunt forced me to eat spam AND deviled ham one summer. I never forgave her.
92. Soft shell crab – This was probably the most disgusting, stomach churning thing I’ve ever had in a sushi restaurant. It left a taste in my mouth that could only be washed out by swallowing an entire mountain of wasabi.
93. Rose harissa – Harissa, schmarissa. Give me Rooster Sauce or give me death.
94. Catfish – They’re bottom feeders. And ugly. Ask Todd about his catfish story.
95. Mole poblano – One word: mmmmmmm. But it must be done right. Don’t ever try anything “mole” at a chain restaurant.
96. Bagel and lox – One of my favorite breakfast foods (or lunch, even). At our local diner, it’s called a Bagel All The Way: bagel, lox, cream cheese, red onion, tomato, olives.
97. Lobster Thermidor – I did not like it. It was too heavy, too creamy, too…much. Side note: I have discovered over the years that I don’t like lobster as much as I like the drawn butter you dip it in.
98. Polenta – One of my favorite comfort foods, but I haven’t had it since Grandma died. It just wouldn’t be the same.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – While I love my coffee – and one can go as far as to call me addicted – I’m not a coffee snob. I stick to Peet’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.
100. Snake – I’ve heard it tastes like chicken. Which is what people always say when they don’t know how to describe how something tastes. I bet the snake would be insulted if he knew you compared him to a chicken.

welcome to der wienerschnitzel (365-78)Things I would add to this list:

1. Tres Lech cake
2. Tamales, from an authentic Mexican restaurant.
3. Pecan Pie
4. Breakfast at a dive restaurant (in this case, Lil’ Joes in Sacramento)
5. Chili dog from Weinerschnitzel.
6. Burger Deluxe from a Long Island diner.

As you can see, I am totally a fine diner.

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100 things to eat before you die

It’s not my list – I found it at Very Good Taste blog. But I thought I’d go over it and see how many of the things I have already eaten, how many I would consider trying, and those I wouldn’t eat if I was starving to death.

Foodproof went to the trouble of taking this list and explaining all the food, with links. VGT also has a FAQ about the list.

Instructions from VGT:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

So, here you go, with commentary.

1. Venison Freshly killed, too.
2. Nettle tea – For some reason, this sounds to me like something sharp and painful.
3. Huevos rancheros – Perfect for a breakfast when you know you aren’t going to eat again til later that night.
4. Steak tartare – Had it at a wedding once. Spit it into my napkin.
5. Crocodile – Who could eat such a cute, dumb animal?
6. Black pudding “sausage made by cooking blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled” – I don’t think so. Also, it looks like a large penis taken off a rotted corpse. You know, something Andrew Zimmerman would eat.
7. Cheese fondue Fondue was all the rage in the 70’s. I think my mother still has her olive green fondue set.
8. Carp – It’s…fish.
9. Borscht – It always seemed like something you would have to force someone to eat. Like mush or coconut pie.
10. Baba ghanoush – not averse to trying it, I like eggplant.
11. Calamari – one of my favorite foods. Stuffed, fried, served with pasta, I could eat it (and cook it) every day.
12. Pho – I have recently discovered the goodness of Vietnamese food. Too bad we have to go into the city to get it.
13. PB&J sandwich – one of the best comfort foods in the world, and one of the few things that make me crave a glass of milk to go with it.
14. Aloo gobi – I don’t do curry.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – one of the great pleasures of New York City. The only dog that comes close to its awesomeness is a dirty water dog from Yankee Stadium.
16. Epoisses – “a cheese so smelly it was banned from being taken on public transportation.” No thanks.
17. Black truffle I don’t care how good it may taste, I will never have enough expendable cash to justify spending that kind of money on fungi.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. Wait, does Boones Farm count?
19. Steamed pork buns – Dim Sum is the food of the gods.
20. Pistachio ice cream – It’s ok, as far as ice cream goes. I prefer my ice cream to have peanut butter in it.
21. Heirloom tomatoes – Worth driving out east for.
22. Fresh wild berries – strawberries picked upstate, blackberries picked in my childhood backyard.
23. Foie gras that whole force feeding thing turns me off. Yea, I’ll eat slaughtered cows and pigs, but somehow force feeding ducks is off limits. Don’t ask.
24. Rice and beans – a favorite quick meal. Throw in a bit of shredded cheese and hot sauce (Rooster Sauce preferred. Yum.
25. Brawn, or head cheese – I worked in a deli for many years. I marked down every person who ever ordered head cheese and crossed them off my “people to trust” list. Head cheese is evil.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – I like hot. I like spicy. But I don’t like hot for hot’s sake. I wouldn’t mind trying this in a flavorful dish, but on it’s own, eating it just an “I’m more hardcore than you” exercise. And I’m not.
27. Dulce de leche – aka milk candy. I need to try some of this.
28. Oysters – I love oysters. But I love all slimy shellfish.
29. Baklava – I go to Greek fairs just for the baklava.
30. Bagna cauda – vegetables dipped in garlic, butter and oil? Count me in.
31. Wasabi peas – I’ll eat anything wasabi. My favorite thing about it is the “wasabi rush” as I call it – that moment when it sears your sinus cavities.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – Made by my father. I won’t have it any other way. Oh, and New England only. Manhattan clam chowder sucks.
33. Salted lassi – this sounds pretty interesting.
34. Sauerkraut – with hot dogs, pork, kielbasa, or on its own. Just don’t sleep next to me after I’ve eaten it.
35. Root beer float – A&W for the win.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do ya do?
37. Clotted cream tea – I’m not eating anything with the word clot in its name.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O – oh, the stories I could tell.
39. Gumbo – It’s been years since I’ve had gumbo. Good stuff.
40. Oxtail – the butcher next door to my office sells oxtail and I always wanted to buy some just to see what it’s like. Herbert the butcher says I should use it make soup.
41. Curried goat – Again, I don’t do curry.
42. Whole insects – I’m sure I would try a chocolate covered ant given the opportunity, but don’t ask me to put anything live in my mouth.
43. Phaal – I hate curry so much I erased half of the early MTV days from my mind. (bad joke)
44. Goat’s milk – I’ve had goat cheese….
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more – I’m more of a malt liquor kind of gal.
46. Fugu – pufferfish. Maybe he should have put this at 100, seeing as its potentially lethal.
47. Chicken tikka masala – Ok, the guy who made this list has a curry obsession.
48. Eel – I’ve had eel a few times with my sushi, but I’m not a big fan.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut – when Krispy Kreme opened up here, there were lines out the door waiting for a chance to try the sweet, mouth melting donuts. The first couple of times you have one, they are like a delicacy. But then you get tired of eating what amounts to deep fried sugar. All the KKs here have closed down.
50. Sea urchin – We eat sushi twice a week. Each time, Todd tries to get me to try the urchin (uni). I have an acute aversion to this food I never tried. Maybe it has to do with this: “It is the gonads of this hermaphrodite sea creature that are scooped out of the urchin’s spiny shell in five custard-like, golden sections. Known in Japan as “uni” and traditionally considered an aphrodisiac, gonads are the only edible part of the urchin.” Yea.
51. Prickly pear – nothing with potentially painful spines is worth the trouble of eating.
52. Umeboshi – if I ever get to Japan, I’ll try one.
53. Abalone – after looking at the description, I’ll call this “snob food” and move on.
54. Paneer – a non melting cheese? But how will I spread it on my french fries?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – eating a Big Mac meal is no big deal. Eating a Big Mac meal while driving and stoned, and not dropping any in your lap, is feat to be (and was) commended. (*I was stupid and 17. Do not try this at home).
56. Spaetzle – It’s pasta. How could you go wrong?
57. Dirty gin martini – I used to drink these every night. Eventually I discarded the olives and vermouth and drank the gin straight out of the bottle. Which is why I don’t drink anymore.
58. Beer above 8% ABV – In the US, you can’t call it beer if it’s above 6%, so technically, no.
59. Poutine The best thing about Canada besides hockey.
60. Carob chips – There was a brief carob craze in the 80’s. No matter what they tell you, carob chip cookies do not taste in any way like chocolate chip cookies.
61. S’mores – I’d like to meet the person who has not tried a S’more. They’re probably communist.
62. Sweetbreads – pass.
63. Kaolin “This is some sort of edible clay, though I am unable to find out much more.” Well, I looked it up and if you like eating rocks, go for it.
64. Currywurst – *glare*
65. Durian – So in order to eat these 100 things before I die, I’d have to have enough money to travel the world. Screw the Durian. I hereby make #65 Cheese Whiz.
one froggy night66. Frogs’ legs – had my first taste of frog’s legs last month and yep, they taste like chicken. I actually ate frog legs, pho and a street vendor hot dog all on the same day.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – do not underestimate the wonders of deep fried dough. Or deep fried anything with dough. He also forgot to include zeppoles on the list.
68. Haggis – they look like the testicles of a diseased man.
69. Fried plantain – the Spanish restaurant across from work serves fried plantains with everything. They are delicious.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette – I’ll eat it as long as you don’t call it pig intestine.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini – I’ve had caviar, but not with blini, so this is only like, half bold.
73. Louche absinthe – Absinthe is a drink, not a food. So it doesn’t count. It’s also the name of one of the most awesome songs ever.
74. Gjetost, or brunost – from what I see, looks to be goat’s cheese.
75. Roadkill – While the idea of a squished squirrel kabob seems amusing, it’s highly unlikely I would eat anything that had tread marks on its back.
76. Baijiu Again, – not food.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – I lived on these things when I was young. I thought they counted toward my daily fruit requirement.
78. Snail – “Look at that S car go!” I can’t be the only one who remembers that joke.
79. Lapsang souchong – Putting tea on your list of things to have before you die is questionable, unless that tea has psychotropic capabilities.
80. Bellini – What’s with the drinks? Shouldn’t he have made a separate drink list? How hard was it to come up with 100 foods? I mean, where’s the fried peanut butter sandwiches and cheese in a can?
81. Tom yum – This actually sounds delicious.
82. Eggs Benedict – I have one every once in a while when we go out to breakfast. As unhealthy as it is, it’s certainly a better than this.
83. Pocky – I get so confused by the Pocky display at the Asian supermarket. So many flavors, all the pretty colors…
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. – I’m guessing that’s something English and expensive.
85. Kobe beef10 oz Kobe beef filet mignon – $199. I really think that no matter how much money I had, I would never be so smug as to spend 200 bucks on 10 oz of steak.
86. Hare – After eating frog legs and duck in the same weekend last month, I put a moratorium on eating cute animals.
87. Goulash – A friend’s grandmother made this for us in tenth grade. Every weekend. For an entire school year.
88. Flowers – My grandma would make baked eggplant with some kind of flowers in it. Also, when I was about ten, I went through a phase where I ate flowers, straight out of the garden.
89. Horse – Why, oh why do I have no problem eating cows and chickens but some animals just seem off limits?
90. Criollo chocolate – I hate to say it, but all chocolate tastes the same to me. Godiva, Hershey, Ghiardelli, some crap from the dollar store – I wouldn’t go to any great lengths to procure chocolate from some other country when it’s just going to taste like everything else (to me).
91. Spam – My aunt forced me to eat spam AND deviled ham one summer. I never forgave her.
92. Soft shell crab – This was probably the most disgusting, stomach churning thing I’ve ever had in a sushi restaurant. It left a taste in my mouth that could only be washed out by swallowing an entire mountain of wasabi.
93. Rose harissa – Harissa, schmarissa. Give me Rooster Sauce or give me death.
94. Catfish – They’re bottom feeders. And ugly. Ask Todd about his catfish story.
95. Mole poblano – One word: mmmmmmm. But it must be done right. Don’t ever try anything “mole” at a chain restaurant.
96. Bagel and lox – One of my favorite breakfast foods (or lunch, even). At our local diner, it’s called a Bagel All The Way: bagel, lox, cream cheese, red onion, tomato, olives.
97. Lobster Thermidor – I did not like it. It was too heavy, too creamy, too…much. Side note: I have discovered over the years that I don’t like lobster as much as I like the drawn butter you dip it in.
98. Polenta – One of my favorite comfort foods, but I haven’t had it since Grandma died. It just wouldn’t be the same.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – While I love my coffee – and one can go as far as to call me addicted – I’m not a coffee snob. I stick to Peet’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.
100. Snake – I’ve heard it tastes like chicken. Which is what people always say when they don’t know how to describe how something tastes. I bet the snake would be insulted if he knew you compared him to a chicken.

welcome to der wienerschnitzel (365-78)Things I would add to this list:

1. Tres Lech cake
2. Tamales, from an authentic Mexican restaurant.
3. Pecan Pie
4. Breakfast at a dive restaurant (in this case, Lil’ Joes in Sacramento)
5. Chili dog from Weinerschnitzel.
6. Burger Deluxe from a Long Island diner.

As you can see, I am totally a fine diner.

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best concept albums


Over at Dustbury, Charles has listed his favorite concept albums, after seeing Jeffro’s list. Of course, I decided to make my own list.

However.

There is always a “however” with my lists.

If you Google “best concept albums” you generally come away with a whole lot of the same thing. King Crimson, ELP, Alan Parsons, Styx, Bowie…I enjoyed them all during the drug-addled years of my youth, but I just wouldn’t listen to most of that now (save the Bowie, to an extent). There’s no way I could get through even one side of King Crimson disc without the benefit of chemicals.

While my list does have some of the usual suspects, I tried to include lesser known albums, or albums that aren’t the obvious choices.

No particular order, and I didn’t really get into the actual concepts of the albums. It’s 5am. That involves too much thinking.

1. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Let’s get the PF out of the way. Nearly every one of their albums is a concept of sorts, but The Wall and DSotM stand out the most in this category. Over the years, I’ve come to find The Wall to be mostly an exercise in self-indulgence. DSotM has held up through the years, and the simple concept of the experience of living as a human makes for some very complex songs.

Favorite track: Breathe

2. Radiohead, OK Computer
There is some controversy as to whether this a true concept album or not, but as my list is suspect anyhow, I’m going with it. The general theme here seems to be social disconnection and dissatisfaction in a computer run world (I might have just pulled that out of my ass). It’s a stark, bleak sort of album, but incredibly intellectual and musically genius.

Favorite track: No Surprises

3. Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral
It is what it is; a walk through one man’s downward spiral, culminating in his suicide. Normally, an album like this would lose its appeal once you got over that “woe is me, I hate my life” phase you are going through, but the music is so powerful and the lyrics so above what artists in the throes of depression usually write, that you keep coming back to it.

Favorite track: Piggy

4. Life of Agony, River Runs Red
Another walk through someone’s depression, culminating in their suicide. The tracks “Monday”, “Thursday” and “Friday” are snippets of answering machine messages that let you hear the parts of his life that are going to hell; school, job, girlfriend. It’s kind of emo, in a very heavy metal way. The music is hard and relentless, the lyrics are disturbing and powerful, and the ending of the album is one that will stay with you a long time.

Favorite track: Words and Music

5. Frank Zappa, Joe’s Garage
The best diatribe on the music business you will ever listen to. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s good music, it’s Frank Zappa. There’s nothing more you can say than that.

Favorite track, for purely nostalgic reasons: Catholic Girls

Interesting note from wiki:

Open Fist Theater has been given the full approval and support by the Zappa Family Trust to adapt Joe’s Garage for the stage. The production, adapted by Pat Towne and Michael Franco from Zappa’s original text will be directed by Pat Towne. Musical direction by Ross Wright and choreography by Jennifer Letteleir.

The show will feature a live band playing for a cast of seventeen. Joe’s Garage premieres at the Los Angeles based Open Fist Theater on Friday September 26, 2008 at 8 PM

6. Fear Factory, Obsolete
This band loves the man v. machine theme. They visited it in their first concept album, Demanufacture, and really hammer home the point on Obsolete. Here, the machines have taken over the world and one hero, named Edgecrusher, has set out to destroy the machines and give the world back to man.

The story/lyrics are dark and bleak; the music is mostly pounding and heavy, though there are sweeping melodies on some songs that raise the heavy metal to a more orchestrated sound. The album ends with the hushed Timelessness, a sad and unhappy ending to Edgecrusher’s try at salvation.

Favorite track: Descent

7. My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade
I know what you’re thinking. I’ll wait while you mock me.

Done? Good. If you put aside your pre-conceived disdain for this band and listen to the album, really listen to it, and not just think of MCR as the band who did “I’m Not OK”, then you might see why I think Black Parade is a work of art.

This walk to death is part Queen, part Styx, part Broadway musical. It has to be listened to as a whole in order to appreciate the themes within. As we listen to “the patient’s” story and march with him toward his demise, he shares his memories and walks us through his life. Some of the songs, notably Mama, Teenagers, and the hidden track Blood, definitely sound as if they were written for the stage and you can imagine an army of choreographed dancers acting out the songs.

Despite the mockery I receive from people, I thoroughly enjoy this album. It’s lyrically brilliant and musically divers.

Favorite track: This Is How I Disappear

The rest of the list is going to be quick, no explanations, as I should really be getting ready for work.

8. Coheed and Cambria: Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
Favorite track: Welcome Home
9. Machine Head, The Burning Red
Favorite track: Silver
10. Fantomas – The Director’s Cut (a collection of reworked movie themes)
Favorite track: Rosemary’s Baby
11. Stabbing Westward – Darkest Days (I seem to favor the depressing concepts, don’t I?)
Favorite track: When I’m Dead
12. Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals (which I hated when it first came out, but have come to appreciate as Manson’s best work)
Favorite track – Coma White

Last, but definitely not least:

13. The Who, Tommy
My love for this album is describe here.
Excerpt:

For the next few hours, he sat down with me and went over the whole story, one song at a time. I remember him saying “I can’t believe you get this” about ten times. We talked about wicked Uncle Ernie and Cousin Kevin and how I thought in the end Tommy reminded me a lot of Jesus.

It wasn’t until five years later when we went to see Tommy the movie together that we talked about it again, and on a deeper level. Hey, to a 13 year old, a rock opera is about as deep as it gets.

I know I left off a few choice albums and I might revisit this topic again later, but there you have it. The list of concept albums that are not on most people’s list of concept albums (except for the first and last).

(I will add in youtube links and videos after work)

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things i have learned

things i have learnedI’ve been going through my old blog writing for two days and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Man, I wrote a lot of crap. But I have been able to pull aside a few things so far that I like enough to repost here – maybe, updated, edited and erased of all the drunken grammatical errors.

originally posted: 2002 (has been updated/refreshed)

Things I Have Learned

  • There are two kinds of people: those who will tell you to make lemonade out of life’s lemons, and those who know you hate lemonade.
  • life will never ever imitate your favorite tv show
  • having one good friend is always better than having 20 so-so acquaintances
  • no matter how many drugs you are given, childbirth will still hurt like a bastard
  • special edition of anything is usually not very special
  • xyzzy
  • a band’s third cd is usually the worst
  • don’t fall asleep with the history channel on
  • there is no such thing as a permanent record
  • things like “heartache” and “lump in the throat” are not just sayings, they are real physical inflictions.
  • your parents were right. so was yoda.
  • never trust a guy who says “there is nothing in this joint besides pot”
  • never apologize for being who you are. unless you are a serial killer.
  • if you want to be the kind of person that spreads gossip, be prepared to be the kind of person who is the subject of gossip
  • don’t go in the basement when there is a homicidal maniac on the loose
  • lower your expectations, and you are never disappointed
  • you get what you tolerate
  • unconditional love is a gift. never take it for granted
  • the rock stars you idolized when growing up will eventually become old and bitter and you will be embarrassed to tell anyone that you once wrote them a fan letter and sealed it with a kiss
  • stuffed animals do not come alive after you are asleep
  • sometimes it’s ok to be selfish
  • if you have doubt about something, trust your feelings
  • there is no shame in buying guide books for video games
  • people only change if they want to, not because you want them to
  • don’t sweat the small stuff
  • it’s all small stuff

What you have learned?

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Blender Magazine has made a list of the worst lyricists of all time. (I’d like to Blender’s list, but I can’t find it on their site. I’m guessing it’s in the latest issue that they want you to buy instead of read for free). The list is topped by Sting; I’m inclined to agree that his lyrics are somewhat schmaltzy and forced, but I would have put one of the runner ups – Noel Gallagher of Oasis – up top. Maybe. There’s just so much to choose from. Neil Peart, Robert Plant and Scott Stapp all deservingly made the list.

It’s much easier to come up with single examples of bad lyrics than to point to someone’s entire catalog and say “my god, those words all suck.” I guess everyone is guilty of coming up with horrid rhymes once in a while, even if the rest of their work is good. It’s also easy to sit here and point to a million novelty type songs (Muskrat Love) and give them the title as worst lyrics ever. But when I do things like this, I don’t like to make it easy.

Yes, this is sort of a question of the day. Well, more like a compiling of songs. Rock songs. Rock songs with terrible lyrics by otherwise ok bands.

I’ve already spent time in the past discussing why I cringe when I listen to Stairway to Heaven now. I’ve discussed the inanity of the Yes lyrics I used to think were deep. I’ve dissed The Devil Went Down to Georgia and a hundred Pearl Jam lyrics and the aqua sea foam shame of Nirvana. I’ve written extensively on how Beck’s lyrics come off like Nigerian spam set to music (but good music!). But I still, in all my years of going deaf from rock and roll, have never seen nor sung stupider lyrics than Pour Some Sugar on Me:

Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on
Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone
Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp
Demolition woman, can I be your man?
Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss ah innocent sugar me, yeah

Television lover? Razzle n Dazzle? Sugar me sweet? What the hell is going on here? Are you coming on to someone or making dessert?

Oh it gets better. And you know what the worst part is? I love this song. I blast it in the car. I remember one night pulling into 7-11 with this song cranked up, windows down and I was singing pretty loud:

You got the peaches, I got the cream
Sweet to taste, saccharine
‘Cos I’m hot, say what, sticky sweet
From my head, my head, to my feet

There were people in the parking lot. They just looked at me. The look usually reserved for some guy in an Firebird who is rocking out to Journey. And I thought to myself, what in the hell am I singing? Saccharine? I’m sorry, but no self respecting rock song should have the word “saccharine” in it.

Do you take sugar? One lump or two?

Worst lyrics EVER. Seriously. (anyone get the picture reference?)

Well, you know what I’m about to do. Ask you for your favorite worst lyrics. BUT……..like I said, NO novelty songs. And let’s stick to ROCK songs. That means no Afternoon Delight, no Muskrat Love, no Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. I’m talking about songs that normal people rock out to and maybe every once in a while stop and say “What did he just say?”

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Rolling along here. And no, this blog won’t be all 300 list all the time. Maybe. Don’t try to stop me when I’m on a roll, ok?

I’m going to throw some of my own band choices in here tonight as well as more suggestions.

9. The Damned – Love Song
“Love Song” is every romantic cliche you can think of chopped up, stuffed in a blender with a dose of ridicule and handful of cynicism, and blended at 90 mph. You can practically hear Vanian’s tongue rolling around in his cheek as he sings “just for you, here’s a love song.” Like a lot of relationships, “Love Song” is fast and sloppy and hectic and over before you know it. (from my own list)

10. The Jam – Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
The first time I heard this song – about a guy trying to get home from work to his wife but gets jacked by some thugs in the a subway station, was the first time I fell in love with The Jam. It was Weller’s ability to tell a complete, chilling story here, combined with the perfect pace of the song; rise and fall, slow and frenzied, giving the whole thing an air of drama, that made see this band for everything they were. The build up as the guy is laying there, beaten and describing his what he sees as he’s on the floor dying, (The last thing that I saw As I lay there on the floor Was jesus saves painted by an atheist nutter) and then the lines “I glanced back on my life and thought about my wife cause they took the keys – and she’ll think its me.” That stayed with me. Haunted me. I still to this day – over 20 years later – get that same gut-punch feeling when I listen to this. That, kids, is what turns a good song into a great song. (from my own list)

11. Soul Coughing – Super Bon Bon
Good songs stay with you. A good song will lodge itself in your head and reappear over and over again, and not in the bad way, like McArthur’s Park. In a good way, so when the song starts playing in your mind, you kind of hum along and don’t mind at all. So it’s fine that every single time I step into an elevator (and this happens several times a day on weekdays), my inner voice automatically starts singing you got to take the elevator to the mezzanine. And how much fun is it to spend the rest of the day saying super bon bon whenever someone addresses you? Super bon bon, super bon bon. (suggested by Kali)

12. Life of Agony – River Runs Red
Oh, how I loved this band. Their first two albums were so wound up in my every day life at one point that I can’t hear these songs without reliving those days and the bleeding-out kind of emotion that lay tangled up in them. This particular song is all anger and suicide and, while I suppose I was so heavy into this music at the time because of things going, it’s not so much the lyrics that made me (and still make me) turn this one up. It’s just a kick ass, pound your fists on the table, scream the words kind of song. (suggested by chuckfoxtrot)

13. Taking Back Sunday – You’re So Last Summer

Ok, I’m gonna admit it. Right here. Let’s get it out in the open. I love this band. Love them. Not just because they are from Long Island. I just love them. I get emo sometimes, it happens.
I could sit here and defend it. Tell you about their lyrics or something. Truth is, I like it. I have emo in my soul, what can I tell you. It’s from all those years of listening to Depeche Mode and wearing black. That shit never leaves you. There’s always a “woe is me” tear waiting to be shed. Always a poem in your past that never leaves, like words scrawled in the margin of a math notebook “my heart has been turned black as a night without the moon. you have torn my soul from body and i shall never feel anything again. i cry tears that are black as tar. woe. woe is me. woe, i say. i hate you and i want you to die.” Wait, is that I want you to die or me? I get so confused. Maybe I was goth, not emo.

Plus this song is an ode to passive aggressiveness: the truth is, you could slit my throat, and with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt

I’m so emo my lawn cuts itself.

And I make no excuses for it. (from my own list)

what this is about
Songs 1-7
Song 8

Keep making suggestions. I got a shitload to choose from, but a shitTON would be better.

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300 bands, 300 songs – (1-7)

See this post for what’s going on here and how to get in on it.

Before I get started on my first songs, a little change up in the rules: You can leave more than one band suggestion at a time and, when I say band, I mean artist too. Single artists count here.

I was going to go in order of suggestion, but decided against that as well. I was also going to start with my own choice of Queens of the Stone Age, but I’m having a hard time picking a favorite song, so I’ll just start randomly with seven suggestions today.

1. TSOL – Code Blue (video)
Is it really a song about fucking the dead or is it more like a statement on how much girls suck? Really, take a look at the lyrics. I know analyzing TSOL songs seems like a waste of time, but it just hit me one day. He’s not really talking about necrophilia. He’s talking about how much he hates chicks who don’t put out. Either way it’s got fun lyrics (And I don’t even care how she died…But I like it better if she smells of formaldehyde!) and a pretty good groove. (suggested by Kate)

2. Husker Du – “Divide and Conquer”
This particular song always got me going when I needed some motivation to get off my ass. I’m not saying it inspired me or anything, but the groove got me up and going when I might have just stayed in bed all day going over my bad life choices. The lyrics are kind of like reading the notes of a drunken conspiracy theorist and the music, well, it moves on and on and on and you keep holding your breath waiting for a hook or an extended fuck you chorus or something but it’s just that cool, winding melody over and over and the occasional “divide and conquer” and finally Mould gives you a bunch of patented la la las which isn’t much of a payoff, but damn that guitar lick kicks some ass. (New Day Rising came in a close second here). (suggested by Courtney)

3. Cold – She Said (video)
I wanted to get this one in early because Dave thought I would pass them over. I don’t know what Cold has been doing lately, but I love their first two albums. This one is from 13 Ways To Bleed on Stage. The whole album is good, but this is the one song that I like to hit repeat on. It’s got a deep misery about it that loves company.

4. Motley Crue – Come On And Dance
Yes, I have a favorite Crue song. A few years after this came out, I was working at a record store. Some glam metal king I worked with used to put this album on all the time, even when it wasn’t his turn to pick the tunes. But he hated this song. So I’d always go up to the turntable and put the needle back on this song when he played the album. We got a good laugh out of it. Plus, the song kicks ass. And it has cowbell. (suggested by Mikey)

5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
I had a near religious experience watching Nick play this live. It’s the kind of song that should be sung in a dingy bar with 200 drunken sailors all waving around bottles of rum and dancing on the tables. (suggested by ratan)

6. Turbonegro – Age of Pamparius
Had to get one of Todd’s in here.
I will never forget the first time I heard this. For the first two minutes or so I’m thinking – what the hell is this? Some prog rock shit? I thought this was supposed to be punk rock? Waiting for the song to build up, he’s whispering something about denim and apocalypse dudes..and then….finally. It kicks in. Ok, this is what I was expecting. This kicks ass. This is awesome. This is……..what the hell did he just say? Did he say something about pizza? This song is about pizza? Thinking I’m getting old and my hearing is gone, I grab the lyrics. Yep. Pizza. This song is about pizza. Ok, it’s about a pizza place. Pamparius Pizza. In Norway. They wrote a song about their favorite pizza place. That’s prett cool. It’s a kick ass song, really.

I’m pretty damn happy when I can belt out a line like “Gonna bake a motherfucking pizza tonight.”

7. The Smiths – How Soon is Now
How predictable, right? It was a toss up here. I was going to choose This Charming Man or maybe There is a Light, but in the end I just had to go with the most overplayed Smiths song of all time.

Listen, we’ve all been lonely. We’ve all been heartsick. We’ve all felt at one time as if we would live the rest of our lives in a deep, dark place that never sees the light of love. But no matter how many goth poems you’ve written, no matter how many times you sighed and declared your life to be meaningless, no matter how many times unrequited love slapped you in the face, you could never, ever pull off patheticness quite like Morrissey. In the beginning notes of HSIN, we’re there with him. Son, heir, vulgar shyness. If you’ve ever been a wallflower (and if you hero-worshipped Morrissey, I assume you have), you nodded along to those words. You shut your mouth, how can you say, I go about things the wrong way. I am human and I need to be loved, just like everyone else does. Oh, my sweet Morrissey. You have struck a chord with me. Your words have resonated in my heart as if you have looked into it and saw my despair. Face it; those of us who had some social defect – whether you were ugly or clumsy or gay or nerdy or goth or any of those things that made others treat you as less than human – well, Morrissey had us at shut your mouth.

And so the song goes on, with that same dirge-like chord in the background, and you’re not really listening to the music, because you are wallowing in yours and Morrissey’s misery and waiting for his voice to kick in again. Come on, Morrissey, tell us more! Spill your guts! So he gets to this part: There’s a club, if you’d like to go You could meet somebody who really loves you So you go, and you stand on your own And you leave on your own And you go home, and you cry And you want to die That’s where the song stopped being about me and became solely about Morrissey’s pathetic soul. Oh, it’s not the lyrics – anyone who tried and failed to seek out a relationship can relate – it’s just the way he sings it. You can hear it in his voice, his inflection and his tone. I bet they had to do ten takes at least, because he was crying as they recorded. I’m not dissing him, mind you. I feel for the guy. My heart really aches for him and I have, more than once, turned off that song thinking that my life really isn’t so bad and I am just not as pathetic as Morrissey. And he finished up with this: When you say it’s gonna happen “now” Well, when exactly do you mean ? See I’ve already waited too long And all my hope is gone Yeah. I think I wrote exactly those words in high school, when that French-Canadian guy kept telling everyone he was gonna ask me out, but he never did.

HSIN is a song that will make you want to track Morrissey down and give him a great big hug and tell him, don’t worry, baby. Here, have some Xanax and a nice shot of tequila and comfort yourself with the fact people still like you. Perhaps not Johnny Marr, but people, nonetheless. (suggested by LKSN)

So there’s the first seven. We are on our way to 300! I’ll put these all on a separate page soon so there will be one complete list. Keep suggesting bands/artists (you can leave them here or on the original post) and I’ll keep going.

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