Pumped about Five for Fighting

F4F

Tomorrow night Bethany and I are headed down to the Soiled Dove Underground for an acoustic evening with Five For Fighting, one of my favorite artists.  As we thought about it, we realized that this will be the first concert we’ve been to since July of 2008.  This will be a great show to quench our concert thirst. Looking back at a post I wrote in 2005 (coincidentally this post was triggered by my first date with Bethany) that ranked my top concerts, the Five For Fighting acoustic evening ranked #2 in my top 5 concerts list.  I hate to quote myself, but it best summarizes why I’m excited about this show:

For those of you who haven’t heard Five For Fighting beyond "Superman" and "100 Years" – you’re really missing out.  John Ondrasik is definitely one of my favorite musicians of all time, and I had been in love with Five For Fighting for almost 2 years at that point.  So when I heard that he was having an acoustic show I jumped at the chance to get tickets (which weren’t selling very fast at all).  I roped a few of my friends from church to come down to the show.  My friend Fred and I ended up sitting in the 2nd row and we were like 8 feet away from John Ondrasik!   I had never been to the Blue Bird before, but it is TINY! – 150 people, max.  And he we were in an awesome intimate concert setting hearing all of these awesome songs and raw passion that John put into playing each of them.  He gave us a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar and a lot of amazement.  I wasn’t sure how my friends were going to react to the show, but when we walked out they were blown away as well.  Then one of my friends asked me "How did you manage to get tickets to that?!?  To see someone acoustic and small as that – you have to know the band personally".  I still find it funny [Back in 2005]

It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to bring a camera (which is a real bummer), but I’ll definitely offer my thoughts after the show on Monday.

26,000 Scrobbled and counting

Yesterday I eclipsed my 26,000 song that I Scrobbled on Last.fm.  A “Scrobble” is essentially a song play that was tracked by Last.fm. By keeping track what I listen to, Last.fm has put together some pretty interesting statistics of my music tastes, as well as recommended songs that I would like (a feature I really haven’t used too much).

I’ve always wanted to write a reflective post of my top 10 artists according to Last.fm but missed the boat on the 20,000th and 25,000th thousand Scrobbles, so I figured that 26,000 was a nice round number and would take the opportunity to do so.  Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite bands:

10. System of a Down (262 Plays) – Probably my favorite hard rock band – and I guess statistically-speaking, this is right. Top Album: Toxicity Top Songs: Chop Suey, Prison Song, B.Y.O.B., Hypnotize, Revenga

9. Fiction Plane (276 Plays) – I heard them open for the Police and have loved them ever since. Top Album: Left Side of the Brain Top Songs: Two Sisters, It’s A Lie, Death Machine, Running the Country, Presuppose

8. Gym Class Heroes 286 Plays) – The most surprising to me. I think it’s because I really like 2-3 tracks and have really overplayed them. Track #3 (29 plays) nearly doubles Track #4 (15 plays)  Top Album: As Cruel as School Children Top Songs: 4th Period: Clothes Off, Cupid’s Chokehold, Peace Sign/Index Down, 3rd Period: New Friend Request, Catch Me If You Can

7. O.A.R. (296 Plays) O.A.R. is great music to unwind to.  I get in these moods where I’ll queue up a bunch of tracks on the playlist and let it rip. Top Album: All Sides. Top Track: War Song, Shattered, The Stranger, Something Coming Over, This Town

6. Five for Fighting (330 Plays) – One of my favorite bands, and I’m so excited that I’ll get to see John Ondrasik acoustically on Sunday!  Top Album: Two Lights. Top Songs: World, The Riddle, 100 Years, Something About You, Superman (It’s Not Easy)

5. Outkast (344 Plays) – Definitely my favorite rap group, I especially love the stuff that Andre 3000 does. Top Album: Speakeroxxx/The Love Below. Top Songs: Rosa Parks, Humble Mumble, Hey Ya!, Ms. Jackson, Spottieottiedopaliscious

4. Jimmy Eat World (345 Plays) – Probably tops my “Bands I haven’t seen live but really want to” list. Top Album: Bleed American. Top Songs: Here It Goes, Open Bar Reception, Big Casino, Sweetness, The Middle

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers (425 Plays) – Not much to say, just a great, solid band whose old and new stuff I enjoy. Top Album: Stadium Arcadium. Top Songs: Dani California, Under the Bridge, Show Me Your Soul, Readymade, Californication

2. Michael Franti & Spearhead (431 Plays) – A band that I have loved for years, and am glad that more people are finding out about them. Also the only band in this list where I’ve personally met the singer. Top Album: Stay Human Top Songs: One Step Closer to You, People in the Middle, A Little Bit of Riddim, Listener Supported, East to the West

and as if #1 was going to be any surprise.

#1 – Dave Matthews Band (1,255 Plays) -  Almost triples #2 on the list.  Considering how much effort I’ve put in to seeing them live, I should love to play them a lot. Top Album: Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King. Top Songs: Grey Street, #41, What Would You Say, Ants Marching, Funny the Way It Is

Note: I removed podcasts from my top 10 list.  There was one that fell under this list (ESPN at #2 – which is a family of podcasts).

I would highly recommend that if you’re a fan of music and would like to see what you’re listening to, that you give Last.fm a try.  We’ll see what happens when I approach 50,000 Scrobbles, and if my music taste changes much.  If you’re on Last.fm, I’d love for you to add my as a friend: RomeyInFC

Cyclists & Rolling Stops

This came across my radar today and proved to be something I found interesting.  It appears that there is a movement in Idaho to make rolling stops legal for cyclists.  This well-put-together video making a compelling case for this to be allowed.

I am probably what I would consider is an aspiring cyclist.  I could definitely ride my bike a lot more, but during the summer I made an effort to commute to work at least 1-2 times per week on my bike.

I think they make a really compelling argument and I can’t disagree with it.  However, it does make a very dangerous assumption: that all cyclists are alert, law-abiding commuters.  My experience has been significantly opposite.  While many cyclists do obey the laws, on every drive/ride I encounter at least 2 cyclists that are riding the wrong way on the road, using sidewalks when there are perfectly good bike lanes, and riding across major intersections during red lights.  I think the spirit of the law is sound, and it sounds like they’ve tried to address is by proposing a larger fine for cyclists who don’t yield.  At the same time, I think this is a pretty grey area.  Stop signs draw a concrete line in the sand as to how you maintain safety, and once you remove that it can become really subjective.

Secondly, can’t this same argument be made for cars?  Bikes are definitely efficient in terms of expunging energy, but when a car comes to a complete stop and starts moving again, more energy is expunged than if it was able to roll through.  I realize that a car is much more dangerous than a bike, but I wonder if the same principles would apply for the times I come up against a 2-way stop on a deserted intersection at 11pm.

A drooling Droid video

The news came out today that the Droid is set for a release on November 6.  I have to admit that I am twitterpated about this phone.  While I won’t be lining up to get it right away, I’m happy that my device renewal discount date is on November 19, which should be enough time to see if the phone is as good as advertised.

Verizon released their first hands-on demo of the phone, which has resulted in drool being cleaned off my keyboard.

From what I can tell, the fact that they’re touting the Google Maps features tells me that Verizon isn’t crippling the phone’s GPS, which is a major annoyance I Have with my XV6800.

Anyone else excited about the Droid?

Snow day!

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For those of you outside Colorado, you may have heard that we are getting quite the snow storm.  Late yesterday afternoon it started raining, which quickly turned to snow as the night progressed.  Both Bethany and I drove separately from Denver to Fort Collins and dealt with the horrible road conditions.  We woke up this morning with a robo-call for Bethany that told her the Fort Collins schools were closed. We were doing a chili cook-off at work, so I still drove into work.  My chili was a hit at the sparsely-attended event, but was still a lot of fun.

I had no doubt that it would snow this week, as Greenfoot has a show tomorrow night.  It seems like we’ve had crappy weather for the last 3-4 shows that we’ve played.  I’m holding out hope that the snow will taper off early enough tomorrow to encourage people to come out to the show.

For those of you in Northern Colorado, I hope that you’re safe and warm tonight (and have nowhere to go).