Falling Rain, Pumped Up Kicks, And That Song Stuck In Your Head

I’m sure you’ve had those moments when a song will pop in your head. A recent rain storm reminded me of an old song by The Cascades. “Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…” sounds so nice except that the rest of the lyric didn’t fit in with my mood at the time, which was the rain. The song was more about love lost, and well, I wasn’t feeling that right now. Oh well.

That brings to mind another song. There’s a popular song by Foster The People called “Pumped Up Kicks” which I got hooked on when I heard the chorus playing on my son’s cell phone. It’s a catchy song which easily got stuck in my head. Thinking it would be nice to know the words to the song, I did a search. Well, I didn’t know what to make of what I found. Poking around further, I found this answer to the question, “What is ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ about?”:

‘Pumped Up Kicks’ is about a kid that basically is losing his mind and is plotting revenge. He’s an outcast. I feel like the youth in our culture are becoming more and more isolated. It’s kind of an epidemic. Instead of writing about victims and some tragedy, I wanted to get into the killer’s mind, like Truman Capote did in ‘In Cold Blood.’ I love to write about characters. That’s my style. I really like to get inside the heads of other people and try to walk in their shoes.

Well, after reading the lyrics and this explanation, this song is ruined for me. Still, I’m having trouble getting that chorus out of my head…

One Major Improvement Needed In Digital Music

It is a safe assumption that digital music is going to continue to grow into 2010. There’s no denying that iTunes, Rhapsody, AmazonMP3, and the like have made getting your favorite music quick and easy. There’s still one major problem with downloaded music. The files being sold via any of these services is not the identical quality of that same sound file on a CD.

Any of those services I mentioned above sell “ripped” music, lossy compression, when a lossless compression is far superior and closer to CD quality. It’s a very big reason why most of my music purchases remain on CDs (or what I like referring to as “hard copy”).

I am not against digital purchases. Many mp3s on my computer came from AmazonMP3. They have albums on special every day, of which I’ve scored two I like for $1.99 each. In addition, most recently Flyleaf’s Memento Mori was on sale for $5, and with a $3 coupon I secured a copy of the album for $2. I love bargains, so picking them up that cheap wasn’t a hard decision. There are some music that is only available via download, such as new releases or exclusive versions, so buying a hard copy is not an option.

The regular price on most albums is $7.99 and up, not too far away from the price of a CD. Buying a hard copy of the album is worth the couple extra dollars (if it is higher) and a delay in getting the music if I’m getting a better quality product. If the $7.99 album was in a form that was lossless then I would consider the download over the CD.

In the past selling the lossless files was difficult due to the file sizes. Lossless files are much larger than your typical mp3. Now most people buying digital music are doing so on high speed Internet connections, on which the file size isn’t that big of a deal.

In my opinion there aren’t many reasons for selling the inferior sound file over a higher quality file. So what is the holdup?

Elvis and Michael Jackson

From my head to yours:

Elvis Presley was the King of Rock & Roll. Michael Jackson was the King of Pop.

People were surprised when they heard Elvis died. It looks like most people were surprised to hear that Michael Jackson died.

As I remember, the news media was saturated with news about the death of Elvis. Ditto for Michael Jackson times 10. If the Internet was publicly used like it is today, the reporting on Elvis’ death might have been just as bad.

Elvis died early at 42. Michael Jackson died early at 50.

Elvis died from a heart attack more than likely brought on by prescription drugs. Michael Jackson is thought to have died from a heart attack possibly brought on by prescription drugs. We will know for sure probably 4-6 weeks from now.

Elvis has impersonators. Michael Jackson has people that think they can do the moonwalk.

Some people believe that Elvis is still alive. Just wait a few weeks or months for some people to believe the same about Michael Jackson.

The Four Day Drought Ends With Ramblings

It’s really not a big deal on this blog to have several days without a post. I am just a man with a job, family, and all other kinds of stuff going on. WordPress gives you the ability to write a post then publish it days later. That’s a nice feature if you get inspired one day and decide to write a lot. Spread your inspiration over the week and you look like the busiest blogger in Delaware.

I have been using Twitter frequently. It provides the ability to crank out a quick idea then post. WordPress now has a Twitter box you can shove in your blog. It’s on the sidebar if you wish to view the official That’s Elbert Twitter account.

You have got to take the time to read a post over at The Mourning Constitution about the Bethel aggression. Let me wet your appetite:

All was quiet on an oddly calm March morning in the hidden town of Blades, Delaware. Nestled between the Nanticoke River and Route 13, often mistaken as being part of Seaford, Blades has been an independently incorporated town for generations.

Until yesterday.

Arriving quietly by a hijacked Woodland Ferry from the south on the Nanticoke came a small militia from another forgotten and mistaken Sussex town named Bethel. Apparently upset over a somewhat small disagreement resurrected from their shipbuilding days, recently unearthed by a Laurel High School student researching a report for his history class, they landed on the shore just below the drawbridge with plans to take over the town and declare it part of Bethel.

His account reminds me of a creative writing piece I did for high school (a Christian high school, I might add). At the time (1984 0r 1985) there was a unusually high number of chickens becoming roadkill. They were coming off the chicken trucks transporting them to the prosessing plants. My “opinion piece” went something along the idea that there were an unfair amount of chickens being hit by automobiles while leaving other animals alone. Opposums, ducks, and others had been sighted in the area unharmed while chickens were lying dead all over the road. The writing continued, pointing our that it was becoming a shameful practice, and drivers should take better care to hit other animals other than chickens, spreading the misery around. This is what I remember about this assignment. I don’t remember what grade I received on that essay but I don’t recall that it was an “F”.

Every so often I see my English teacher around Laurel, and she still talks to me. Amazing.

This morning’s worship music went well. For those of you that haven’t been to our church, for music we usually do a four song set with contemporary music and lyrics that honor and give admiration to God. I wasn’t feeling all “worshipful” this morning. It wasn’t the songs, it was me.  The pastor and a bunch of us got together and prayed part of the way through our practice/warm-up this morning. It worked, as this “feeling” I had lifted. My wife commented how good the song set went, and I was happy. Believe me, my wife is a fair critic, unafraid to say if it was bad.

We had a practice time after church, reviewing one particular song. During the time I had another one of those “seizure episodes”. I haven’t had one in a while. I was fighting it while playing. I know I was hitting the wrong notes and missing the lyrics but I didn’t want to stop. When my wife walked into the room I couldn’t fight anymore. For me, there’s a certain amount of embarrassment associated with these episodes. It’s this constant feeling that those around me think I’m making this up, and as a result are angry with me. My friends and family got me to the car so I could go home. I slept away most of the afternoon.

My wife woke me to see if I would eat. I was hungry but didn’t want to get up. I decided to eat at the table with my family. It took a few minutes to get to get there but I made it.

My wife made a great dinner this afternoon. She put an delicious ending on it: yellow cake with chocolate icing. The cake mix was on sale at Food Lion so that made it a natural. It was a great combination of my two favorite things: cheap and good.

OK, that’s enough for now.