Tag Archive: Love


Music to buy; rock

Well I know what you’re probably thinking- you’re thinking ‘Dan Jones, I’m loaded with cash, I love music, and I want you to tell you to tell me what to buy!’

No? Ok, I still have some suggestions for you.

I love music. I struggle to think of any genre of music that I dont like. Even music I dont regularly listen to, I have an appreciation for everything. Today’s topic is a broad one; Rock music.

In short, Rock has been around since the 1940s. It stems from old time blues music made by artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, W.C. Handy, and Robert Johnson. Johnson was arguably the originator of Rock and Roll, writing classics that are still sung today by huge artists like Clapton and John Mayer. It has worn many faces, and changed many times, but it still keeps pieces of origins.

#1 Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton has been playing the rock and blues for longer than most of my readers were alive. Starting off in a band called The Yardbirds, he grew to fame almost immediately after joining the band. He has been in Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and in a very effective solo career.

I very rarely suggest buying “Best of” albums, in short I think that its not the way most music is intended, but in Clapton’s case there is little choice. Unless youre into collecting vinyls, you will find it very hard to come across his albums.

#2 Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck was in the Yardbirds as well. He has grown into a blues/rock/jazz musician, and loves to prove that there is nothing he cant do. With his guitar in his hands, he becomes a jack of all trades and merges with whatever artist he is around.

You can pick up Emotion and Commotion and learn what hes all about. He also plays some killer tracks with artists like Joss Stone, and really brings out an old time Rock and Roll that . He also does a killer song with Imogen Heap in his Live at Ronnie Scott’s. You can watch it here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuXcGHjBeac

#3 Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters started off as more of a grunge rock band, not reaching too far from Grohl’s roots in Nirvana, but they have grown over the years, and have perfected their own unique version of rock. They still hold to that old grunge feel, but they have refined their tastes at the same time. You can check out their latest album Wasting Light and see what they are all about. Two albums from them? The Color and the Shape is my favorite, and I know I have already plugged that album several times before.

#4 Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams is first and foremost an Alternative Country artist, but his album Rock and Roll is a brilliant display of how much he knows about rock music. With songs like “This is it”, and “1974” he blows the album up with a genuine classic rock feel. Its only disappointment is towards the end of the album when he sings “Everybodys cool playing rock and roll, but I dont feel cool, feel cool at all”, so I suppose that he quit the rock and roll scene and returned to the Alt Country scene, because he never put out a sequel.

#5 People in Planes
The next band is what I think would technically be considered Alternative Rock, but its roots are so steeped in classic rock that I think its unfair to put them in the same category as Alt Rock bands like Hinder and Disturbed. People in Planes is a great band that has really brought back a classic rock feel that I havent heard from a contemporary band in a long time. Its a tough call to say which of their two albums to buy, but I think that I slightly prefer “As Far as the Eye Can See” to “Beyond the Horizon”.

Just you wait, I have every genre keyed up for you. Polka is gonna be a tough one.

throwback time!

So has anyone noticed the old throwback drinks in their supermarkets? How about the old jerseys in the NFL right now, have you seen those? Well then step into my bubble bath time machine, and  jump on this bandwagon to check out the music from a distant era.

Now step out from my lavender scented tub, dry off and look around. Its not the courtyard in front of your old college, full of stoners with Led Zepplin shirts, we are in the 70s!

Now I never understood why this music from the 60s and 70 was still so big. I mean how many people do you see walking around listening to Elvis or Buddy Holly? Do you see people dressed like these guys walking around the street (if you live in Vegas, then you don’t count)? Then why are there still so many people walking around listening to Bob Dylan and wearing Greatful Dead shirts? So many people write these stereotypes as hippies or stoners, but I have found that there is really so much substance to this music, and in a lot of ways, it parallels us today.

Lets start with the social aspect of this era; music had long been segregated just as much as the black people themselves were. My History of the Recording Industry Professor one told me that by the 1950s, the only real difference between Country music and R&B was the color of the artist’s skin. It was a separation of music that was as obvious as the separate bathrooms. Black artists like Chuck Berry were only able to succeed in white communities because there were no pictures of Berry on the album covers, and because they thought he sounded “white enough”.

But then, by the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the music was growing together too. People started ignoring racial or social boundaries, taking conventional rock and roll with old R&B, and started experimenting with their own style. It began to grow together as a melting pot for the first time in our country’s history. This same professor told me that if old blues artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson could have sued guitarists like Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, they probably would have won! So this music formed the way that we hear music today.

On a political side, there was a highly contreversial war going on in Vietnam. Now Im not trying to make any parallels with Iraq or Afghanistan here, other than just trying to show some of their basic similarities. This war had been going on for years, and thousands upon thousands were dying each year, pushing many peaceful people to their limits. What made it worst was the fact that there was still a draft, so many of the soldiers were forced into serving this country despite his family or career.

This war greatly influenced people to write and sing too. Many of the lyrics were well thought out, so as to help make their argument more understandable to its listeners. It seems that  when our country has its biggest fires, it draws more passion and strength from its people,  which in great part created this genre. This war brought out sentiments so strong that anti war artists were actually getting play on pop radio too. I mean think about it; do you think that you can see Ke$ha singing “Blowing in the Wind”? Or watching Christina Aguilera sing “White Rabbit”?  Me neither, but good luck getting that awful image out of your head.

So if you take anything from this entry, just give this music a chance. Sure, there were some crazy drugs taking place, and it definitely had its part in shaping the music too, but what you are also hearing is History.

Some Epic Songs

So now its time to get back to music. I love music so much it hurts, and I just may go on about it till you hurt too.

I don’t know what brought this on, bit I wanted to tell you about some of the most epic songs in my life. I love all kinds of music, maybe even polka. Maybe. Anyways, I just wanted to hopefully inspire you the ways these songs have inspired me.

There are just some songs out there that do so much more than make you sing ” ga ga ooh la la”. They can take your own feelings and emote them in a way that you never could, or maybe it’s so strong that you feel like they stole it from you.

Anyways, heres my list, it’s here to get that Lady Ga Ga song out of your head, ready or not.

Athlete, Tourist. One of my favorite songs all time, just a great song by one of my favorite bands ever.

Barcelona, Its about time. This is a band that I am addicted to. I hit play and cant turn anything else on for weeks.

Kings of Convienience, Homesick. Like a modern Simon and Garfunkel, I just love to sit back and enjoy them.

Mutemath Noticed. So good! I saw them live a while ago, and they put on the best performance I have ever seen, even better than DC Talk. They are a great band with very moving lyrics.

David Crowder Beautiful Collision. I love this song, and especially this version. If you want to know how I feel, check out my blog on my most influential albums.

TLC Dont Go Chasing Waterfalls. Such a great song from the 90s. I love the message in this song, its like its speaking right to me. I used to chase “waterfalls” all the time, and now that I’m sticking to my rivers and lakes, I feel so much more balanced and happy.

Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism. What moving lyrics. I mean how many 7 to 8 minute songs can you listen to without changing the song? It just builds and builds with so much passion and emotion

Regina Spektor Samson. Regina seems to be the child of Elton John and Salvatore Dali. She is so proficient in piano playing, and writes very moving lyrics, yet there is a certain feel of lucid dreaming in her lyrics. Even though her words dont really make sense all of the time, you still get the feel of what she is trying to convey.

South Loosen Your Hold. This is a band that I used to keep secret, cause I wanted to be the only one who knew about them (how uncharacteristically hipster of me), but I hope you enjoy them.

Decemberists Engine Driver. These guys have been transported from the 1800s, brought here to write their era’s music through a modern means. I’m not being metaphorical, I honestly think that they have to be over a hundred years old, and you can’t tell me any different.

Joe Purdy, Wash Away. Listen to this song and try to feel sad. Just try it. You can’t, can you? Well thats cause Joe Purdy Rocks. I first heard him on Lost season 1, but it took me forEVER to find out who he is.

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/user/thisisdanjones/5429752/playlists  I tacked a few others on here for your enjoyment, I hope you like them!

Also, note that TLC is not on the playlist. Thats cause I was joking.

Its not political part 2

So Remember how last post I wrote that Glenn Beck and the 8/28 rally inspired my post, and then I didn’t mention it again? Well now I’m here to wrap it up for you in a little bow.

So on his show, Glenn repeated plenty of times that this rally wasn’t about politics or parties. I figured that he meant he didn’t want it to be a protest, but a celebration of history, followed by his advice on where to lead the country. He would talk about politicians that held similar beliefs, and he would talk about how he wanted to refound our country on its old principles.

Well, I was pretty wrong.

I really wish that Joanna and I could have gone to the rally, but we had to accept that we couldn’t make it happen. Thanks to DVR we were still able to watch it in our house that Saturday evening.

It was amazing to see who all he had speak and pray at this rally. There were Native American Chiefs, Rabbis, Imams, Priests, and Pastors all present to support Glenn and his message.

His message was simply this; solidarity. The whole rally was centered on uniting all Americans regardless of where they were born, how they look, who they worshiped, or what their political ideals were, and to honor our troops that give their lives every day.

The troops were certainly honored as the heroes they were. They honored the men who died, and others who gave their chance at a normal life. There were men there who were proud even though they were missing parts of their bodies. It was amazing to see so much money donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

It really gave me a new perspective. This whole time I have seen my ideals as what divides me from others, but this showed how we can still be a united country. I mean just because some people are against healthcare, others want to solve the national debt, doesn’t mean that we cant still unite under what we agree upon.

I honestly think that the path we were headed down was more than just two parties standing on different sides of a fence. We were becoming a divided country. Maybe it wasn’t north and south, but there was a divide that was growing that may have eventually torn our country apart. Our mindsets were on how we disagree, and we avoided those who disagreed with us.

I think that after this rally we can really look forward to uniting our country, having civil debates on our disagreements, and finding that which we can hold up to unite us.

http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/15295.html is a great article about the true message of this rally.

I think that Dr. King was honored by this, even though it was not purposefully placed to land on the day of his “I have a dream” speech. Some might say that I have no place in making that statement, since I am not black, but could not disagree more. His speech is a part of my history as well. Dr. King’s speech was just as much for the white as the black, and I am someone who surrounds himself with people of character, not of any specific color.

All this put out in the internet, I want everyone out there to try and stop patronizing those who don’t agree with you. We overreact and name call because we feel so passionate about our views, but we have to step back and decide why we disagree. Here are some facts that I think we can all agree on;

-The world is getting warmer, and this is alarming.

-There is a large number of people who have to work so much harder to get out of poverty because of their living situation

-Our healthcare system is so expensive and insurance is hard to find if it is not offered by your work.

-One day we will run out of oil.

-We buy some of our oil from questionable countries.

– Injustice is committed all around the world, and there are people who are threatening us.

-There are a lot of people who illegally break into our country and work unfair wages because they are not citizens.

-Terrorism (both in a McVeigh and a Taliban sense of the word) is a threat to us, and it is the Government’s job to do something about it.

If we can agree on these types of terms, we should be able to respectfully work out where our country can go from here.

Long time no post

So I know that I havent posted in a while, which is only my fault. I had a great birthday this year, Joanna and I had a wonderful day together. I got books, clothes, CDs, an Xbox game, and even a flashlight! It was really great to hear from everyone as they wished me happy B day, and I wanted to go ahead and say thanks in the laziest way possible; right now. Don’t like it? Too bad, its my Birthday and I do what I want.

I have found some new exciting things to read, and its been really tough choosing which of them to read, and play my game as well. I’ve also been working on my book that I have set to the side lately. I know that I want to write, I know that I have a story to tell in my head, but at the same time I just seem to make too many excuses. My sister Sarah recommended me to start following a guy on Twitter, and just a few days later, he was tweeting about excuses he tells himself to keep him from writing. It really got me thinking about the excuses I make up

1. I’m tired. I’ve been at work all day, I mowed the lawn, and now I just want to sit back and do nothing for a while. I don’t believe in “days off”. If I don’t have to clock in, then theres at least ten things that need to happen around the house. I feel guilty for waking up in the morning and sitting around the house all day. So I clean up around the house, put in a load of laundry, mow the lawn, and take some time to relax, never thinking of the notepad next to my desk. What I have started to remind myself of, however is that I am not making it a priority. If I want to be a writer, I have to write. Plenty of people work two or three jobs, all I have to do is make it a priority as my part time job.

2. I don’t have the energy for it today. I have 40 hours of work, plenty of things to do around the house, and a wife to spend time with. If I think of writing after all of that, I just begin to feel too mentally worn out to do anything. Its like after your U.S. History final exam. You spend so much time memorizing dates and pulling your brain across land, sea, and time as you answer your exam as quickly as possible, that you can’t possibly comprehend going to your English test on Shakespeare in the next hour. But the truth is that you decide your own endurance level. Whether physical or mental, you have the ability to set your own endurance.

My Dad told me a story of a marathon runner whose goal was not to hit the 26 miles in his older age, but to go one mailbox further every time he ran. If I asked you to run a 26.2 mile run in a few months, you would probably laugh in my face. Yet if we get ourselves one more mailbox further every day, we get to define our own endurance. So now, I try to write every day. Even if its just a few sentences, its taking my mind a little more juice to write, making it easier the next time.

3. I have nothing interesting or original to say. I mean, come on; Nicholas Sparks took all the good romance (using GOOD as a loose term implying only he has sold a lot of books), Stephen King took all the creepy stuff, Dean Koontz and Tom Clancy have the suspense, and Anne Rice has a whole lot of wierd. How am I expected to have anything original when I haven’t even needed to talk about classic authors?

Here I don’t have any solid words of encouragement for any writers like the others. You can’t tell yourself “you are unique and special. Everyone will love what it is you have to say.” I really can’t though, because some people just aren’t that creative. What I tell myself is that I have to try. I have things I want to write; in blogs, stories, and songs. I want to write and see for myself if its possible to become a writer. Essentially, if you are supposed to do what you do, work hard at it, and it will work out one day.

Anyways, this post is done and I’m working on a few more.

What makes a movie so amazing? If your answer is “Whether or not is was originally a Nicholas Sparks book”, then you are dead to me.

No, you first think of Actors, of course. They are what you see. Then you probably think of directors. Then, who knows what? Well, what I would love to try and get everyone to do is go out and buy a soundtrack by the time you finish reading this blog. You hear the music going on whether you realize it or not.

Think of Jurassic Park, in the scene where they are looking at the island as they are approaching by helicopter. You see all of the lush green land as it lands on the pad. Imagine Dr. Grant as he looks out of the Jeep and runs out excitedly towards the Brontosaurus. Now  I can gurantee you that John Williams’ score is stuck in your head by just the memory. It shapes your feeling of awe inspiring as they tour the island watching dinosaurs walk about without any of the actors saying a word. Think of the opening credits of Star Wars, can’t you hear the music just by imagining the blue font?

Star Wars brings me to a story I was not able to reinforce with a citation. Someone told me that Williams’ score wasn’t ready when they first screened the movie to critics. All of the voices and effects were fine, but there was simply no music. After the movie was over, the critics scolded George Lucas to his face, telling him the movie was unacceptable, and that it will go nowhere.

Then, as you know Star Wars ended up being a huge hit! Was it all thanks to John Williams? Or was it just a cruel batch of critics? Who knows, but I think that the answer is obvious.

So if you want to start listening to a soundtrack, let me paint a guide for you.

1. Find your favorite movie, and buy the score to it. Dont get the soundtrack with all of the bands on it, make sure its the score that goes with it. Relive the movie with the sounds as it takes you up and down.

2. If you’re looking for something to get your heart racing; Grab the 300 soundtrack. Tyler Bates sets out tracks that capture the gritty, adrenaline flowing music that gets you going. Another good one is The Man on fire Soundtrack. Its pretty dynamic, going back and forth from strings to rave music.

3. If you’re looking for a great all around soundtrack, go for Pirates of the Caribbean (any or all of the three). Listen to Gladiator or Avatar and experience a wide range of music that you can enjoy whether you have seen the, or not.

4. If you want to really get in the Christmas spirit, try listening to the Holiday Soundtrack. Without a word, it gives you a feeling of wonder and joy. Zimmer gives you that chill up your spine that forces a smile on your face and really puts you in the holiday spirit.

5. After you have discovered a few Composers that you love, try searching for more! Heres a few I really like; Hans Zimmer. Harry Gregson Williams, John Williams, James Newton Howard, Steve Jablonsky, James Horner, Clint Mansell, and Tyler Bates.

Go out and expand our horizons today.

So I don’t ever want to sound like I hate my job. The pay is ok, most customers are great, and I’ve definitely had worse bosses. I love coffee, I like serving people, and tips have always been cool. My job is active, so I don’t have to worry about sitting down and being fidgety all day, and it also has its share of challenges.

That being said, I may complain about my job more than I talk about how much I love it. Just look at it as a way to vent.

The first thing that makes me happy is so simple; all I need is eye contact and a smile. I don’t care if the first thing that comes out of your mouth is “caramel macarena” or “mochaccino”, if you can first acknowledge that I exist, then we will get along. You would be surprised in the amount of people stare at our menu the entire time they order, and then look at the counter as they pay.

Ok, so this is a pleasure I get at the customer’s expense. Just imagine completing your order in the Drive Thru as your favorite song comes on…. How can you not sing along? Our speakers don’t only pick your voice whenever you want us to hear it, we get to know how much you love Taylor Swift for as long as you stay next to that box!

So we have a regular at our store who I will leave unnamed. No, I’m going to give her a fake name… Her name is Daphne. She spends probably about $150 at our store a month on just her drink, and then she sometimes buys her boyfriend’s drink too. She comes to our store some days and doesn’t talk much, and on others she is more chatty. But at least once a week Daphne lets us know how much she loves us, and how great she thinks we are. I have no idea if she makes a million dollars a year, or if she stays at home, but all I know is that she makes us feel very appreciated.

Then theres Velma, she works at a nearby hospital, and she is one of the happiest people I know. I realize that she has awful days, I mean everyone does, but Velma is always sure to smile and give us a one liner like “If I was doing any better, I’d have to give some of it away!” She always makes sure to be sweet, and yet not hang us up in conversation when we get busy.

I think that one of the  best things that a customer can do is simply be understanding. Sometimes we run out of syrup, we don’t include a spoon in your oatmeal, we have longer wait times, or we just plain make your drink wrong. This is not the end of the world. Internet, I don’t think you have any idea how many Divas we have that throw a fit when we make a mistake. So, naturally, when someone is easygoing, they  can simply bring it back, tell us what is wrong, and let us make your drink right. (I mean it cost you $5.00, we care about the drink you’re getting)

So these are some things that I love about my job. Don’t say I never said something nice.