The Thursday Three #8

  1. I finished reading Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide last week (an overview of the NSA information leaks in 2013 — very interesting), and I noticed something odd: the book had no end notes or index, just a couple of sentences saying that both of those items could be found online at the author’s website. I have never seen that done before, and to me, it was a bit of an inconvenience because I didn’t want to haul myself out of my comfy chair and go online at just that moment. I wonder if more nonfiction books will do this in the future.
  2. RescueTime is an online tool that can help you manage your productivity and stop you from being distracted on the Internet. It tells you how much time you spend on certain websites, so you can create a kind of “time budget.” You can also block distracting websites, but only if you purchase a monthly subscription. I haven’t tried it, mostly because I already know where I tend to be distracted, but I imagine that it would be good for the self-employed or those who are thinking of becoming such.
  3. Now for something completely useless — three love songs: “Stand Inside Your Love” by the Smashing Pumpkins (the only true love song Billy Corgan ever wrote), “Ghost Love Score” by Nightwish (10 minutes of the most beautiful sound imaginable [well, if you like opera vocals]), and “Angel” by Aerosmith (embarrassingly cheesy, but sometimes I randomly get obsessed with 80s power ballads).

Hope everyone is having a good week!

10 Songs for a Soundtrack

I’m finding a lot of good prompts on Tumblr lately. This one is pretty easy because 99% of the time, I have a song stuck in my head (right now, it’s that annoying new Taylor Swift song).

Which 10 songs would be on the soundtrack of your life?

1. All the Things She Said – t.A.T.u

2. Still Alive – the Portal theme song

3. Rabbit Heart – Florence + the Machine

4. My Hero – Foo Fighters

5. Here is No Why – Smashing Pumpkins

6. Crucifere – Eths

7. What Now – Rihanna

8. Breathless – Spyro Gyra

9. Brave – Nichole Nordeman

10. First World Anarchist – The Dollyrots

A lot of these are about confusion, which is probably about 75% of my life, and others are about turning points, which are not a large part of life but are still significant enough to be represented on a soundtrack. There are definitely way more songs that I haven’t included here, but these are the first 10 that jumped into my head.

1998 Albums

A lot of people do music-related posts on Fridays (maybe because Friday is a day of joy), so I’m going to follow the trend and do the same – well, at least for this week. Strangely enough, this reminds me of my post from yesterday where I said that nobody should be a snob about their musical tastes. So about the following albums… I’m not going to say that they’re the best in the world (because they’re not) and if you listen to anything else, then your taste is bad (because it’s not). I try not to be a snob when it comes to music.
 
I am going to list a few albums that came out in 1998. Why 1998? I was 10 years old then and I didn’t listen to music much, but when the radio played back then, this was what was on. When I became a teenager, my favorite genre of music was 90s rock, grunge, and post-grunge, and that is still my favorite genre to this day. My theory is that a lot of people enjoy the kind of music that came out when they were children, maybe because it reminds us of our carefree childhood days. Not sure how correct this theory is, but I suppose that’s why it’s a theory. I hear people who were born in the 70s say that anything recorded after 1990 is awful. People who were born in the 30s tend to say that anything recorded after 1950 is terrible, and on it goes.
 
Anyway, after all that babbling, here are those albums.
 
Adore – The Smashing Pumpkins
 
I would not say it’s their best album, not by a long shot, but it’s good music to listen to if you’re in a contemplative mood, or, as I once joked with a fellow Pumpkins fan, if you’re planning to jump off a bridge.
Listen to: “Daphne Descends,” “The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete,” and “Pug”
 
Dizzy Up the Girl – Goo Goo Dolls
 
They probably have the stupidest band name of all time, but they make good music. It rocks, it’s emotional, and for some reason, no matter how often I listen to the album, it never gets old.
Listen to: “Black Balloon,” “Bullet Proof,” and “Hate This Place”
 
System of a Down – System of a Down
 
Quirky and full of bizarre ideology, SoAD’s first album is definitely not for everyone. It’s difficult to tell whether the lyrics are hilarious or serious, and often, they can be a bit of both.
Listen to: “Mind,” “Suite-Pee, and “Darts”
 
No Substance – Bad Religion
 
Back in college, I wrote a paper for one of my classes about how music and its lyrics seem to be more aware of the degeneration of society than a lot of other forms of entertainment, and this was one of the albums I wrote about. (The other was Rammstein’s Reise, Reise.)
Listen to: “No Substance,” “The Biggest Killer in American History,” and “At the Mercy of Imbeciles”
 
Oceanborn – Nightwish
 
Nightwish didn’t really get that popular until Evanescence revealed that the Finnish symphonic metal band was one of their big influences… but many do think Nightwish is an Evanescence copycat. My favorite thing about Nightwish is how their albums seem like soundtracks to fantasy novels.
Listen to: “Sleeping Sun,” “Moondance,” and “Passion and the Opera”
 
And some more good albums that came out in 1998:
 
Hellbilly Deluxe – Rob Zombie
Follow the Leader – Korn
Celebrity Skin – Hole (although I’ve never cared for Courtney Love’s public persona)
Yield – Pearl Jam
Americana – The Offspring
 
Happy listening and happy Friday!