Tag: ode

Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

I have a new Starbucks obsession. It’s the new Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. That thing is out of this world. “Heaven” is the word my personal cheerleader used (since we kinda share the same brain even when we live a thousand miles apart, we both tried it last weekend) and I don’t disagree.

Just how serious is this obsession? I’ve had two in the past seven days. All things being equal, this could rival my Pumpkin Spice Latte obsession. At the very least, there’s a damn good chance that I will have used up all the money on my Starbucks gift card by the time the Pumpkin Spice Latte comes back and that was definitely not my plan. Now, I realize that having two in seven days doesn’t necessarily sound that impressive (or obsessive), but you’ve got to remember that I’m pretty much a shut-in. I only left my house on three of the past seven days and on two of those three days I decided to swing by the ol’ Starbucks drive-thru to get a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino.

I had my first one en route to¬†The Avengers. I had to leave my house pretty early and it’s about an hour drive to the theater I most often frequent, so I decided it was time to break out the aforementioned gift card and get a frappuccino for the ride. My plan was to go with my usual (caramel), but I saw the ad for the mocha cookie crumble and how could I resist that? There were so many delicious words in the name of it, y’know? As soon as I tasted the chocolate whipped cream (which is insane, by the by, and there needs to be more of it in my life) I knew I had made the right decision.

I had originally planned to write this post last night, but decided I was too tired to wax rhapsodic about the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. I had to do it justice, after all. But tonight’s Phillies game ended at a much more agreeable time. Which is weird, since this one went to extras. But they won, so yay! Even though Cliff Lee is still winless, which is just weird as hell. I’d had a sneaking suspicion that tonight’s game would go into extras since today is the anniversary of last year’s crazy 19-inning game. Thank God this one only went 10, though ūüôā

Until tomorrow.

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Shooting The Moon

Have you ever gotten a new record and instantly fallen in love with it? ¬†To the extent that it’s kinda all you want to listen to? ¬†And in those moments when you’re not listening to it, one (or more) of the songs is playing in your head?

That’s how I feel about the debut album by Mona. ¬†It’s not really that surprising, though. ¬†I loved “Listen to Your Love” from the first time I heard it on Alt Nation last year. ¬†I would occasionally look for the song and/or the band on iTunes (and later Spotify), but no dice. ¬†Eventually the Mona EP and the digital single for “Lean Into the Fall” showed up on Spotify and I listened to them a lot, but I still couldn’t find them on iTunes. ¬†Even after they showed up on iTunes I refrained from buying them because I’m broke and they were on Spotify. ¬†But I got iTunes gift cards for Christmas (yay!), so the EP and the single were among my early January purchases.

As great as it was to finally have something by Mona on my iPod, I still wondered when they’d put out a full-length record. ¬†If I had been thinking I suppose I would’ve googled them to find their Website, but I’ve become very myopic in my search for music online. ¬†If it’s not on iTunes or Spotify, I give up. ¬†Silly me.

Earlier this year I developed the habit of checking the homepage of the iTunes Store on Tuesdays to see what the Free Single of the Week is. ¬†I checked last Tuesday and, lo and behold, it was “Shooting the Moon” by Mona. ¬†Score! ¬†I downloaded it immediately and loved it (shocking, I know). ¬†The Single of the Week page also told me that their debut record, Mona, was finally out. ¬†And what’s more, I could get it for the bargain price of $2.74 thanks to iTunes’ Complete My Album feature. ¬†Double score! ¬†I didn’t actually buy the record until Wednesday, though. ¬†I refused to believe that MLB At Bat was free until I was able to see it with my own eyes. ¬†Not that I wouldn’t have broken down and bought the Mona record for less than three bucks without a gift card eventually.

Mona is a straight-up rock’n’roll band, and that’s awesome. ¬†There’s a retro-ness to them that I really like. ¬†There’s a bit of Kings of Leon (fitting since Mona is apparently already huge in the UK) in there, too. ¬†And iTunes makes a reference to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” on the Single of the Week page and since they pointed it out I can hear it in “Shooting the Moon,” but it doesn’t detract from the song (which is a huge thing for me to say because I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate Rush – you have no idea). ¬†I must like this band because I don’t even hold a song called “I Seen” against them. ¬†(One of my big grammar pet peeves is people who think that “seen” is the only past tense form of “to see.” ¬†In my defense, though, have you ever heard someone say, “I seen him this morning?” ¬†They pretty much sound like an idiot.)

For further proof that I like Mona, I voluntarily watched Jay Leno to see them play “Lean Into the Fall” on Wednesday (and my feelings for Jay Leno are pretty similar to my feelings for Rush). ¬†Turns out they played it on¬†Conan the next night but I didn’t hear about it until after it aired. ¬†But good old Team Coco put it up online.

Y’know the best part of the 600 words I’ve written so far? ¬†The point of this post was not supposed to be my love for Mona, but my abject terror at the thought of listening to them too much too soon. ¬†And I realize how bizarre that sounds, but I have a history of falling madly in love with a record, listening to it ad infinitum, and then getting sick of it and never listening to it again. ¬†(For example, I listened to Cartel’s¬†Chroma over a hundred times in the summer of ’06, but I haven’t listened to it since. ¬†And sure, now I think that¬†Mona¬†is a better record than¬†Chroma, but once upon a time I thought¬†Chroma¬†was the best thing ever.) ¬†I’ve listened to¬†Mona at least a dozen times since Wednesday. ¬†A dozen times! ¬†I keep trying to force myself to listen to something else each time the record ends, but Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Bayside have been unable to hold my attention. ¬†It’s right back to Mona. ¬†And then yesterday I brought my iPod in the car with me so I could listen to¬†Mona¬†on my way to and from¬†The Artist. ¬†And I really never listen to anything other than SiriusXM in the car (after all, I’m paying for satellite radio, I really ought to listen to it).

It’ll be interesting to see if I’m still listening to Mona’s record in a couple of months. ¬†I hope I am, because I really think it’s phenomenal. ¬†But at the same time, it’s probably a good thing that my personal austerity measures will make it impossible for me to run out and buy the record on vinyl right now.

Until tomorrow.

Go And Buy A Hammer, Never Sing Again

Once upon a time, I was easing my way back into listening to music that actually qualifies as “alt-rock” (as opposed to the crap I was listening to in my early- and mid-twenties). ¬†But I still had a ways to go. ¬†I was listening to Sirius Alt Nation most of the time, but I had a tendency to only listen to artists I knew. ¬†If a new artist came on the radio, I tended to change the channel (and this was the exact reason I slept on Jack’s Mannequin and Straylight Run, among others, and to this day it kinda bums me out).

By late 2006, I had pretty much gotten the better of that habit. ¬†(I had also purchased the debut albums by Jack’s Mannequin and Straylight Run.) ¬†I wasn’t exactly seeking out new music, but I wasn’t actively trying to shield myself from it either.

One new song that caught my attention on Alt Nation was “Sowing Season” by Brand New. Now, I’d heard of Brand New before. ¬†I’m pretty sure I’d seen the videos for “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad,” “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows,” and “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades” on Fuse once or twice. ¬†I even have a vague recollection of hearing “Jude Law” on Y1oo. ¬†But I’d never really felt compelled to check out their records or anything like that.

I don’t really know what about “Sowing Season” caught my attention (the song is amazing and one of my favorites, but that’s 5.5 years of living with it talking). ¬†I wouldn’t even say that the song in and of itself was the thing that prompted me to buy¬†The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. ¬†I remember reading a glowing review of it somewhere on the Internet. ¬†(All I really remember from that review was getting the sense that the author really hadn’t wanted to like¬†Devil and God as much as he or she did. ¬†It was almost bitter about just how glowing it was.) ¬†The next day I was at Best Buy for something (man, do I wish I could remember what I had actually gone to Best Buy for that day) and when I walked in I perused the new/popular CD wall (as was my wont). ¬†One album’s cover caught my eye, I picked it up, and, lo and behold, it was¬†Devil and God and it was on sale. ¬†(The wannabe archivist in me wishes I remembered the exact date this happened, but I don’t. ¬†There is, however, a very good chance that it was November 20, the very day¬†Devil and God was released. ¬†At the very least, it was no more than a few weeks after it was released.) ¬†Remembering the glowing review I’d read the night before and knowing how much I liked “Sowing Season,” I decided to buy it. ¬†Why not, right? ¬†It was on sale.

The first time I listened to¬†The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me was in my car on the way home from Best Buy that night. ¬†Now, I talk about Brand New all the time on this here blog and take any excuse to tag posts “Brand New,” so you’re probably thinking that I fell in love with¬†Devil and God on that very first listen and became an insta-fan. ¬†Well, you’d be wrong. ¬†I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. ¬†Frankly,¬†Devil and God isn’t what I’d call an “immediate” record, it’s the kind of record that one has to live with. ¬†If I met someone who claimed to love¬†Devil and God on first listen, I’d call them a liar.

Once home I added¬†The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me to my iPod. ¬†This turned out to be key. ¬†At work the next day, I decided to listen to¬†Devil and God again. ¬†And that kept happening. ¬†Even though I wasn’t really sure how I felt about the record (except for “Sowing Season,” which I loved), something kept causing me to listen to it at work. ¬†Pretty much daily. ¬†And as I started to develop an appreciation for the record (especially the first half), I kept listening to it. ¬†By the first of the year, I was hooked.

In early 2007 I decided to check out their back-catalog. ¬†I wanted to start slow, so I bought their earlier singles (“Jude Law,” “Quiet Things,” and “Sic Transit Gloria”) from iTunes. ¬†(Here iTunes helps my wannabe archivist. ¬†I bought “Sic Transit Gloria” and “Quiet Things” on 1/6/07 and “Jude Law” on 1/12/07.) ¬†I eventually decided to buy a physical copy of¬†Deja Entendu in late January (I think – I’m pretty sure I bought it just before my dad’s birthday). ¬†I fell in love with¬†Deja¬†pretty instantly. ¬†It’s a much more immediate record than¬†Devil and God. ¬†Even though I was a confirmed Brand New fan at this point, I didn’t buy their first record,¬†Your Favorite Weapon, until the end of March (again, I think – I’m pretty sure I bought it the day I saw Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveShow at the Wachovia Center). ¬†Favorite Weapon is my least favorite of the three, but I love it for its own reasons.

At around this time, I became desperate to see them live (funny, since I had no idea how difficult that would eventually become). ¬†For whatever reason, I didn’t see them when they played the Electric Factory in April ’07. ¬†It may have been sold out by the time I found out about it. ¬†But then they were announced as one of the main stage acts at the Bamboozle that year (and so were quite a few other bands I love). ¬†Hooray! ¬†I convinced my brother to go with me and headed up to the Meadowlands full of happy energy. ¬†But then actually getting in to the show was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. ¬†(Remember how much I complained about getting in to the Ritz Ybor for Taking Back Sunday last year? ¬†This was so much worse.) ¬†It wouldn’t have been so bad if Brand New hadn’t been the first band to play the main stage. ¬†But they were. ¬†And I only saw the very end of their set (but I saw them play “Seventy Times 7,” so that was something). ¬†I was cranky but eventually got over it and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Okay, I’m almost up to 1,100 words. ¬†I need to wrap this up.

Even after the disappointment of not really seeing them at Bamboozle, I continued to listen to Brand New religiously. ¬†My listening focus would shift, but eventually it always returned to Brand New. ¬†They’re my comfort food (or my happy place, as I decided last year).

In the summer of 2009, they announced a new record,¬†Daisy.¬† I was stoked, both for the record and the potential tour to support it. ¬†I pre-ordered¬†Daisy¬†from the band (and even got it in the mail the Saturday before it was released – yay!). ¬†Like¬†Devil and God, it’s not an immediate record. ¬†It’s also not my favorite Brand New record, but I do love it. ¬†I also finally realized my dream of seeing them live on November 5, 2009, when they headlined at the Ritz Ybor (which was actually a super-positive experience).

I hoped they would tour again in 2010, but it was not to be.  However, I was ridiculously fortunate last year.  They played all of 13 shows in 2011 (as far as I remember), and I was at two of them.

I’m hopeful they’ll put out LP5 this year. ¬†Apparently Jesse said something about working on new music at one of the 11 shows I didn’t attend last year. ¬†Plus, they just wrapped up a tour of the UK. ¬†In the mean time, I will continue listening to the four amazing records they’ve already given us. ¬†Brand New has been my favorite band for 5.5 years now and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Until tomorrow.

* Today’s title is a line from the song “Bought a Bride.” ¬†It’s a line that kind of filled me with abject horror from early 2010 until the first batch of dates was announced in early 2011. I normally know what I’m going to name a post before I write it, but today I had no idea (too many options). ¬†It just sort of came to me as I was finishing this post.

Ode To My New Chair

Well, not an ode, exactly, but I am pretty excited about my new desk chair. ¬†My parents got me my first desk chair when I was in college. ¬†It served me well for a decade or so, but I had to put it out to pasture a year and a half ago. ¬†(Here “put it out to pasture” means “leave it in my office as a horizontal space on which to put paper I want to recycle.”) ¬†When my old-old desk chair stopped working, I turned to the only available chairs I had: my dining room chairs. ¬†It was only supposed to be temporary, but I used a dining room chair as my desk chair for a year and a half.

My dining room/desk chair

Looks comfy, right? ¬†It’s really not so bad for short periods of time. ¬†But sitting for hours straight (like for online classes or when writing 15-page papers in two days) was murder. ¬†Now that my new chair is here, it can join its fellows in my dining room.

My new desk chair (that's an actual desk chair)

So much nicer.  It was custom-built to my specifications (!) and has all the latest bells and whistles.  (Who knew desk chairs had bells and whistles?)  I guess this officially marks the end of Christmas, as this was a Christmas present from my parents.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

Speaking of my dad, it’s his birthday today. ¬†Happy Birthday, Dad!

Until tomorrow.