Posted in Freedom Friday

Blink-182

One of my very favorite things I like to do is listen to music. Allow me to rephrase. What I always love to do is immerse myself in awesome music. There, the universe is whole again.

Tom, Travis & Mark
Tom, Travis & Mark

Since y’all know I use my Freedom Friday post to talk about—well—anything, I figure I’d talk about some of my favorite song lyrics. Don’t you worry, my musical tastes border on eclectic, so you shouldn’t have to fear of not being able to recognize the tunes.

Except today.

I’m feeling wound up and free. And if you don’t know who Blink-182 is, then head on over to youtube to find out. They are one incredible band.

All right, having dispensed with the introductions, here they are—Blink-182. I’ll provide a snippet of the song, then I’ll tell you what it means to me:

Disaster

White stones of hollow eyes
Death comes you better hide
Never rest in town
(Fall in my arms again)
Full moon on a rotten night
Eighteen and a wind came by
Not a soul around
(Fall in my arms again)

What it means to me: If I didn’t know better, Blink has a fascination with vampires. To me, though, I take it to mean zombies on the prowl. I don’t think vampires have white stones for eyes. Zombies, on the other hand, do. They are a dreadful kind, ready to tear apart anything resembling human. I wish this song would play somewhere on The Walking Dead. This would fit perfectly.

Fighting the Gravity

This air is too thick to breathe
So just drive
These eyes are too sick to see
Don’t leave me behind
Something’s swimming in my blood
Something’s rotting in my brain
When I’m smothered from the flood
I can’t recognize your face
I need to leave
So just drive

What it means to me: I can’t help but think of the desert laid waste by its sand and heat. I can’t also help think of a virus rotting the brain turning everyone into zombies. Okay, so that last part just came to me, but I’m listening to this song and it’s reminding me of that specific impending doom awaiting humans if, and when, a zombie apocalypse should take place.

You’re right. My mind is in one place. Let me change it up a bit.

Ghost on the Dance Floor

Yeah I
I saw your ghost tonight
The moment felt so real
If your eyes stay right on mine
My wounds would start to heal

The boys
The boys

What it means to me: Mourning the passing of a loved one is an intense process. I’ve gone through it, as I’m sure the majority of you also. For me, this song represents healing from a past loss in order to move on. Every so often when the ghost reappears, making the moment seem so real, I allow it to heal my wounds. I then go about my day knowing several months from now it’ll probably happen again, but to a lesser degree.

Maybe, this is not what I had in mind when I meant I wanted to change it up a bit. Let me leave you with this song instead:

Aliens Exist

Hey mom there’s something in the backroom
I hope it’s not the creature from above
You used to read me stories
As if my dreams were boring
We all know conspiracies are dumb

What if people knew that these were real
I’d leave my closet door open all night
I know the CIA would say
What you hear is all hearsay
I wish someone would tell me what was right

Up all night long
And there’s something very wrong
And I know it must be late
Been gone since yesterday
I’m not like you guys
I’m not like you

I am still the skeptic yes you know me
Been best friends and will be till we die
I got an injection
Of fear from the abduction
My best friend thinks I’m just telling lies

Up all night long
And there’s something very wrong
And I know it must be late
Been gone since yesterday
I’m not like you guys
I’m not like you

Dark and scary, ordinary, explanation
Information, nice to know ya, parnoia
Where’s my mother, biofather

Up all night long
And there’s something very wrong
And I know it must be late
Been gone since yesterday
I’m not like you guys
Twelve majestic lies

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

What are your favorite song lyrics? Do they remind you of an event that had happened in your life?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

My iPod classic

I’m not sure how much interest this post will garner, especially knowing that some folks are not too keen on Apple these days. But I’ll write it from my perspective in order for you to understand where I’m coming from. This is my Freedom Friday post about my iPod classic.

My iPod classic
My iPod classic

First off, this is not an ad campaign for Apple. Nor is it a way for me to gain a following from all the audiophiles out there. Even more so, nor is it a plea for Apple to listen to its customers. I leave that fight to the activists, of which I’m in no way a part of.

Last month, Apple quietly discontinued the iPod classic, the company’s former highest capacity portable media device.

Yes, I did shed a figurative tear, in spite of the fact I saw it coming for a while now.

Let me make one thing clear. I don’t consider myself a die-hard Apple fan. I say this with the knowledge I’ve never stood in line for one of their products or sat in front of the computer waiting for the next iOS release. I’m one of those guys who buys stuff, regardless of company, for what that stuff represents in technological progress. If that stuff works and does what I want it to do, I will raise the praises no matter what anyone says to me.

Okay, now with that out of the way, my big confession is I love my iPod classic. I do. You’re reading those words from a guy who’s been around. I used to listen to music on vinyl, which, by the way, sounds amazing. I progressed to purchasing my very first Sony Walkman with its ability to carry a whole album on cassette tape. I then moved on to my first MP3 player called the RioVolt, a CD-based MP3 player featuring hundreds of songs at my auditory disposal. From there I graduated to an Apple shuffle—the original “white stick” version. I couldn’t believe I could finally carry a few more hundred songs with me.

Then the Apple iPod classic came. In 2007, I’d spent $350. I still can’t believe I’d spend that much for a device. Then again, for my RioVolt I’d spent $200 in the early 2000’s, so it goes without saying that if a device is worth it, I’ll buy it. That player lasted me a couple of years before it became obsolete.

My classic? It’s still going strong.

What do I love about it? Everything. I’m serious about this. Its ability to fit my entire song library, which is extensive, has me carrying my entire music collection with room to boot. That feature alone has me at the word go.

I’m also an avid playlist creator. I have over a hundred playlists for almost every mood I can think of. I even have playlists to remember specific events in my life. I’m a playlist maniac! The sweetest thing about the iPod classic is that it allows Smart Playlists to work as intended with Live Updating.

For all of you who are not familiar of the feature, Live Updating simply allows a playlist to populate dynamically without much interference from me. That means if I have a playlist with the criteria of picking rock songs I haven’t heard in the past two weeks, the playlist will rotate my library to do just that. Once a song finishes, the iPod classic kicks the song off the list and a new one then appears in its place. Live Updating is that amazing. The thing is it doesn’t work on the iPhone or any of the newest iPods. It does work on the iPod classic, and that’s all that matters to me.

The other great feature about my iPod classic is its ability to create Genius playlists on the fly. Let’s say I’m listening to a song I really love, I click on the center button, choose the Genius feature, and the iPod classic quickly creates a playlist with all the songs that work well with the song I’m listening to. The perfect mix. The feature works so well that I sometimes save the generated playlist for later use.

The iPod classic click wheel
The iPod classic click wheel

Last but the most important feature the iPod classic has that no other Apple device currently possesses is the click wheel. I suppose Apple thought this archaic functionality belonged in the past and decided music listeners didn’t need it. In reality, it’s the most useful feature for us folks who listen to music non-stop.

How does it work? If I slide my finger on the click wheel left, I’m turning the volume down. Go right, I’m turning it up. If I press the bottom of the wheel, I’m pausing the song. If I press right, it skips to the next song and vice versa when pressing left. The kicker? I can do it all without looking at the device. Try that with an iPhone where you have to look at the screen to perform the simple function of pausing the song.

Like I said, I love my iPod classic. I love it so much I bought two—the original 2007 and the 2009 versions. Both of them are still going strong. The 2007 version I have hooked up to a docking station in our bedroom where I turn on the music before going to bed. Although some may wonder how I can prepare for sleep if I have Blink 182 blasting on the speakers. Trust me—I sleep right through the night without any trouble. The 2009 version is with me all the time, cranking out the tunes.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.

The biggest drawback of the iPod classic is that it has a hard drive to hold its music. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple turns around one day to release another version of the device featuring a big fat solid-state drive.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What devices do you own? Are you someone who sports an attachment with a device?