2015's Most Listened
Posted by j d ess 3 years ago

1 Dick Diver - 269
2 State Champion - 89
3 The Fall - 67
4 adult mom - 66
5 The Cat's Miaow - 46
6 In Tall Buildings - 43
7 Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - 43
8 dbh - 43
9 Aim & QNC - 39
10 His Name Is Alive - 38

1 Dick Diver — "Waste the Alphabet" 21
2 Dick Diver — "Boomer Class" 17
3 Dick Diver — "Year In Pictures" 15
4 Dick Diver — "Percentage Points" 15
5 Dick Diver — "Private Number" 14
6 Dick Diver — "Tearing The Posters Down" 14
7 Dick Diver — "Leftovers" 13
8 Dick Diver — "Competition" 13
9 Dick Diver — "Resist" 12
10 State Champion — "Don't Leave Home Without My Love" 12

Since the filter went down, I got a radio show. As a result, I listen to more music than ever -- more than 2,200 artists (!) but didn't spend a lot of time with very many (like I used to). Fantasy Error, State Champion's third album, was my favorite but I spent way more time listening to Dick Diver earlier in the year. Highly recommend them both as well as adult mom and Aim/QNC.

Posted by j d ess 3 years ago
Cannot begin to express how happy I am that the filter is back. For a good couple of years after it went into exile, it'd still find its way into the address bar. My fingers were on autopilot. I love this site.
Posted by j d ess 8 years ago
2010's most listened
Posted by j d ess 8 years ago
1 Fleetwood Mac - 284 plays  
2 Dionne Warwick - 249  
3 Nina Simone - 223  
4 Liquor Giants - 177  
5 Neil Young - 163  
6 Steely Dan - 151  
7 Talking Heads - 146  
8 Boards of Canada - 139  
9 Glenn Gould - 122  
10 Sun Kil Moon - 104  
1 The Amps – Breaking the Split Screen Barrier - 17 times  
2 Lulu – Here Comes The Night - 15  
3 The Fall – Blindness - 13  
4 Nina Simone – You'll Never Walk Alone - 12  
4 Donald Fagen – I.G.Y. - 12  
4 Fleetwood Mac – The Ledge- 12  
4 Fleetwood Mac – Think About Me - 12  
4 Bettie Serveert – White Tales - 12  
9 Steely Dan – Peg - 11  
9 Wham! – I'm Your Man - 11  
9 Fleetwood Mac – Not That Funny - 11  
9 Fleetwood Mac – Sisters of the Moon - 11  
9 Fleetwood Mac – Save Me a Place - 11  
Last.fm doesn't track as much of my listening as it used to, but basically this is representative. I suppose 2010 is the year I gave up listening to anything new. Oh wells. Getting old.
2009's Most listened
Posted by j d ess 9 years ago
1) Harry Nilsson (389)  
2) Dionne Warwick (247)  
3) The Cars (245)  
4) Fleetwood Mac (238)  
5) Sparks (176)  
6) Glenn Gould (159)  
7) Todd Rundgren (150)  
8) Nina Simone (147)  
9) R.E.M. (139)  
10) Scott Walker (129)  
1) The Cars – Good Times Roll (26)  
2) The Amps – Breaking the Split Screen Barrier (22)  
2) The Cars – My Best Friend's Girl (22)  
4) The Cars – Bye Bye Love (21)  
4) Harry Nilsson – Coconut (21)  
6) The Cars – Just What I Needed (20)  
7) Weezer – Undone (The Sweater Song) (19)  
8) Chumbawamba – Tubthumping (18)  
9) Todd Rundgren – Hello It's Me (17)  
9) The Cars – Let's Go (17)  
9) The Cars – Don't Cha Stop (17)  
9) Harry Nilsson – Let the Good Times Roll (17)  
9) Harry Nilsson – Without You (17)  
This misses a bunch of stuff (a lot of Steely Dan and Donald Fagen) toward the end of the year, since my mp3 player doesn't sync w/ last.fm  
That Amps song is probably my favorite song of the year, but discovering Harry Nilsson was my big musical find of '09.
Good way to end the year...
Posted by j d ess 9 years ago
LSD and The Strangest Player in Major League History
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
Apparently a an overview of just one part of a the Doc Ellis story trumps a heavily detailed, sourced, photgraph-accompanied biography.  
Just What the Doctor Ordered: LSD and The Strangest Player in Major League History  
How many hits did Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis have to contend with on June 12th, 1970? Depending on your interpretation of the question it was several or none. In an amazing story that is rarely in any baseball highlight reel, Ellis pitched the only LSD induced no-hitter in the history of major league baseball. Let's see Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez enhance their game on psychedelics (no really, let's see it!). Dock Ellis was baseball's first true king of performance enhancing drugs. Ah, but wait... there's more. Dock Ellis is probably the only player in history that intentionally tried to injure his opponents during the event usually so full of jocular goodwill, the annual All-Star game. He's one of the few (the only?) to be pepper sprayed by stadium security upon arrival. How many other major leaguers spent their off-season cruising through the ghettos of Haiti in a borrowed jeep in order to find zombies? These are all amazing, yet typical anecdotes from the life of one of baseball's great eccentrics.  
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
Top Tens of 2008
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
According to last.fm:  
Artists (plays):  
1. The Chills (284)  
2. Dionne Warwick (277)  
3. Fleetwood Mac (138)  
4. Red Red Meat (123)  
5. The Orb (112)  
5. George Michael (112)  
7. Peggy Lee (109)  
8. Neil Young (101)  
9. The Phi Mu Washboard Band (94)  
10. Bettie Serveert (90)  
10. Lilys (90)  
1. Journey – Don't Stop Believin' (26)  
1. Lilys – Ginger (26)  
3. The Dream w/ R. Kelly – Shawty Is Da Sh** (Remix) (24)  
4. Mannfred Mann's Earth Band – Blinded by the Light (21)  
5. Eve 6 – Inside Out (20)  
6. Dionne Warwick – The Beginning Of Loneliness (19)  
6. The Chills – Wet Blanket (19)  
6. Journey – Stone in Love (19)  
9. Chumbawamba – Tubthumping (17)  
10. Golden Earring – Twilight Zone (16)  
10. Journey – Any Way You Want It (16)
Great Title
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
The Air Is His Parent  
Marcus Jordan wants a scholarship and to feel like a normal recruit. Too bad college coaches have to call the parents first.  
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
I wish I could put into words what it was like being in Grant Park tonight. Leaving the rally, looking down Congress Parkway packed with people four lanes across and blocks to the west, flags waving, raucous cheers spontaneously erupting, people smiling and staring off into the distance with their arms around loved ones, crying...it really was incredible.
Posted by j d ess 10 years ago
America's Home Ownership Challenge  
# Establish a national goal of at least 5.5 million new minority homeowners  
before the end of the decade.  
# Challenge the private sector real estate and mortgage finance industries to  
dramatically increase their efforts to reduce the barriers to homeownership faced  
by minority families and to work with the nonprofit sector in a concerted effort  
to achieve this goal through national and local partnerships.  
The Administration is intent on fostering a climate conducive to homeownership growth, and dismantling and eliminating the barriers faced by minority families is an integral part of this effort. As long as these barriers exist, homeownership levels for minority families will not be where they should be.
This has never happened before...
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
The Boom that Wasn't:  
In 2000, at the end of the previous economic expansion, the median American family made about $61,000, according to the Census Bureau’s inflation-adjusted numbers. In 2007, in what looks to have been the final year of the most recent expansion, the median family, amazingly, seems to have made less — about $60,500.  
This has never happened before, at least not for as long as the government has been keeping records. In every other expansion since World War II, the buying power of most American families grew while the economy did. You can think of this as the most basic test of an economy’s health: does it produce ever-rising living standards for its citizens?  
“We have had expansions before where the bottom end didn’t do well,” said Lawrence F. Katz, a Harvard economist who studies the job market. “But we’ve never had an expansion in which the middle of income distribution had no wage growth.”  
Real median family income more than doubled from the late 1940s to the late ’70s. It has risen less than 25 percent in the three decades since. Statistics like these are now so familiar as to be almost numbing. But the larger point is still crucial: the modern American economy distributes the fruits of its growth to a relatively narrow slice of the population. We don’t need another decade of evidence to feel confident about that conclusion.
Dear R.E.M.,
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Please stop making music. It's too painful.  
Thank you,  
j d ess
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Top Tens of 2007
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
According to last.fm:  
1 Dionne Warwick (422 songs)  
2 Bettie Serveert (126)  
3 The Hold Steady (116)  
4 Jason Collett (115)  
5 Pavement (102)  
6 Fleetwood Mac (98)  
7 Bruce Springsteen (87)  
8 R. Kelly (85)  
9 George Michael (82)  
9 Liquor Giants (82)  
1 Dionne Warwick – "We've Only Just Begun" (15 plays)  
2 Björn Olsson – "Avslutning" (14)  
3 Dionne Warwick – "Here I Am" (13)  
3 R. Kelly – "I'm A Flirt (Remix)" (Feat. T.I. & T-Pain) (13)  
5 Dionne Warwick – "The Green Grass Starts to Grow" (12)  
5 Jason Collett – "Almost Summer" (12)  
5 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – "Here Comes My Girl" (12)  
8 Jason Collett – "Pink Night" (11)  
8 Lupe Fiasco – "Real" F. Sarah Green (11)  
8 Jason Collett – "Parry Sound" (11)  
8 Jason Collett – "We All Lose One Another" (11)
Economist Obits
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
The obits in the Economist are my favorite part of the magazine. If the story is familiar, I come away from them with an enhanced appreciation. If the person was unknown to me, the coverage leaves me wanting to learn more.  
From this week's story about Evel Knievel:
[T]here was always something a bit fey about Mr Knievel, even in the 1970s, when long hair and tight crotches made every young man look like a member of a corps de ballet. In the black-clad Hells Angels world of motorbike racing, he sported white leathers inspired by Liberace and sprinkled with glittering stars; a short shoulder-cape, looking vaguely like a pair of wings; and a gold-topped cane. Mr Knievel didn't jump for America or for Jesus. He rode bikes, he said, because life was boring otherwise.
WHPK - The Pride of the South Side
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
WHPK is, to these ears, the best radio station in a city full of great college radio. I go pretty far back with it, albeit sporadically. After first moving to burbs of Chicago, I spent my first new year's eve in Illinois alone in my bedroom listening to the best of 1985 countdown. Bunch of kids gettin' drunk and playing music is what it was. But it was magic for me. I taped a bunch of it and would kill to have that tape now -- mostly I remember it for being the first time I'd heard Billy Bragg and Big Black. About ten years later the weak signal somehow penetrated the frame of the Sears Tower 50 blocks to the north and helped me survive the tedium paper shuffling for lawyers. Early in the morning, I must've been one of the only listeners, since I won tickets to literally dozens of great shows at Lounge Ax.  
All the moves around the city meant losing the signal. Not a huge deal in a city with WNUR and WLUW, but I always tried to jerry rig an antenna to get it even if I knew it was basically impossible.  
With so many stations streaming, I'd hit the HPK website every now and then to see if they'd hopped on board. After years of delay, I see they finally have and I can't encourage you enough to add it to your bookmarks.  
The Stream: http://www.whpk.org/stream/mp3.m3u  
Schedule: http://www.whpk.org/schedule/
Air: Help Yourself
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
While heading downtown on my bike yesterday, my back tire was so low I thought it was gonna fishtail out from under me. I started looking for a gas station to fill it up. I'm pretty skeptical of those air machines since I once overinflated the back tire so much it burst (while I was riding it) with a POP that left my ears ringing for an hour after. The first station where I stopped was charging 50 cents. I was indignant. These machines used to be free. Then they were a quarter. I pedaled on. The second station wanted 75 cents! I stopped at five stations and quarter air was nowhere to be found. What a ripoff.
Til the Aliens Decide to Leave
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
R. Kelly Answers Our Questions!  
Would you take a part in a Hollywood film?  
Yes … it would be a drama, action, comedy or suspense or whatever.
If you want my body, and you think I'm sexy, c'mon see my model railroad
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Visiting Rod Stewart's Three Rivers City model railroad  
"Having been a model railroader for 20 years, and an avid reader of your magazine for longer, I thought you may be interested in publishing some photos of my layout."  
So began a letter to Model Railroader Publisher Terry Thompson. Even though MR receives many letters from readers hopeful of seeing their model work in the magazine, this one was unusual in being signed by entertainer and song writer Rod Stewart.
unfortunately, no pictures.
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Is LF trying to tell me sum'n?  
Food Inflation
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Dec 14, 2006  
Johanns: Costly Corn Squeezing Farmers  
AP Interview: Johanns Says Ethanol Demand Will Squeeze Farmers, Not Necessarily Consumers  
Soaring corn prices are squeezing meat and milk producers, but consumers will not necessarily see higher prices at the grocery checkout, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in an interview.  
Because so many factors go into making food, consumers probably will not see a direct impact, he said.
I'm reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, the first section of which focuses on corn. From the book:  
Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, even the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt [...] come from Holsteins that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machines eating corn.  
Head over to the processed foods and you find ever more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the thing together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, and the corn oil which gets fried. [...]  
To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink [...] is to have corn with your corn [via high-fructose corn syrup]. Grab a beer instead [...] and you'd still be drinking corn, in the form of alcohol fermented from glucose refined from corn.
Pollan says more than 1/4 of items in the average American supermarket contain corn. Everything from Twinkies to Cheez Whix to the sheen on the cover of magazines.  
Given that, this should have been no surprise then:  
Corn: The inflation crop  
With corn farmers now getting $4 a bushel for their crops - double the price just two years ago - corn's become the crop of choice for farmers.  
As corn output jumps, farmland devoted to other crops will drop. Acreage devoted to cotton, for instance, is expected to show a 14 percent decline from 2006, according to the National Cotton Council. Soybeans, wheat, barley, oats and alfalfa also will be displaced.
The government sponsored rush to corn-based ethanol, then, not only drives up its price, it drives up the price of everything where it is used an input and drives up the price of other crops by lowering their supply.  
Surely, the former agricultural secretary (now running for Senator of Nebraska) could have seen this coming.  
See also: U.S. ethanol drive powering food prices higher: CIBC's Rubin
drive by with greatness
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
this morning around 7:15, after dropping off my sweet at work, driving north on inner lake shore i saw what looked to be an oversized-load truck driving slowly southbound by the mies van der rohe towers. as i got got closer i saw a guy was standing on the back of what looked like a moving van with tall walls surrounding him and really really bright lights and a camera pointing at him. i spent the next block and a half or so staring up at that rather than the road.  
anti-climax of the story is that it was kanye west. i assume it was a video they were shooting, but dunno since he was just standing there, 20 feet above the street, and my windows were closed.  
i like kanye, so this put a smile on my face.
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Says Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook:  
“Someone from the film’s US distributor’s office phoned up saying that the New York premiere was on 25 September and would Joy Division play?
List: Songs I Have Karaoke'd
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns and Roses  
I Need a Lover that Won't Drive Me Crazy - John Cougar  
Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy - Big & Rich  
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - The Walker Brothers  
You Get What You Give - The New Radicals  
96 Tears - ? and the Mysterians  
Big Shot - Billy Joel  
Bust a Move - Young MC  
You're So Vain - Carly Simon  
My Own Worst Enemy - Lit  
Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie (duet w/ Dan, duet w/ Steve)  
We've Only Just Begun - The Carpenters  
Daughter - Pearl Jam  
Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots  
The Bends - Radiohead  
R. Kelly - Ignition  
(to be updated...)  
R. Kelly - Ignition (remix)  
Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks - Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (duet w/ my sweet)  
George Michael - Faith  
Guns n Roses - Paradise City  
Tom Petty - The Waiting
As the week winds down...
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
I realize it's tough to try to keep up with Mac.
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
Just watched Maxed Out, a documentary about credit in America. Credit and debt have been something of an obsession of mine. My mom taught me over and over and over (...) to pay off any/all debt as soon as humanly possible long before I even had a credit card. Going to college, I remember a dorm neighbor who came in freshman year, signed up for a card, bought a new wardrobe, took people out to the bars (pizza parlor w/ loose taps, really)...then was gone. One semester and his parents pulled him. $10k+ in credit card according to his roommate, as I recall. Totally blew my mind.  
Anyway, the movie reinforced everything I already knew/thought, so I'm not sure I can say anything unbiased about it. It did use "Under Pressure" as the in/outro music, which makes for a five-star credit reel.  
Thumb extended upward.
My 100th Link...
Posted by j d ess 11 years ago
seems to be a good time to start posting to a journal, no?