Music Mondays: Fall Out Boy

I’ve always had a love of poppy punk and rock songs that get me pumped up. In high school I dug bands like Blink-182, Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish. In college I found out about Sum 41 and dug them. And after graduating college in 2005, I came out to New York and got exposed to Fall Out Boy thanks to my buddies at Wizard, many of whom were really into the band. For whatever reason, I was kind of stand-offish to the band, but it was all around me and I wound up knowing a handful of songs just thanks to trips to the mall in cars and overhearing it played out loud in the office.

Soon enough I was hooked. The combination of head-bobbing, foot stomping rock and clever lyrics with even more clever song titles (perhaps too clever for their own good as I can never remember which song goes with which title unless it’s really obvious) had me dead to rites. I was a Fall Out Boy fan. I picked up their third record From Under The Cork Tree which had big hits coming out in the form of “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” Man, I dig those songs. “Sugar” is even one of my ring tones and it because a staple every time the Wizard crew went out to the bar with half of us singing at the top of our lungs and the townies looking they wanted to beat us to death.

I dug their high energy music videos, especially with all that jumping around and bass or guitar swinging around. I think one of them even does a flip at some point. However, I’ve heard that all these theatrics make for pretty poor live performances (I havne’t seen them and eye witness accounts vary, but their Live CD SUCKED, more on that in a bit). Anyway, I went back and picked up their previous record Take This To Your Grave, which is awesomely pop and rock filled, but also really bitter when you listen to the lyrics. However, there were a few tracks I was really relating to at the time thanks to missing some bros who left the company for other states and getting generally homesick like “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago,” “Grenade Jumper” and others. I liked listening to some upbeat music that still captured some of the things I was thinking about and going through as a dude who moved away from every person he ever knew to work in a new place and follow a dream. Don’t get me wrong, FOB’s not supplanting Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd on my all time favorites list, but they are definitely a go-to band when I want to get upbeat and sing along to some jams. A few years later in 2007, Infinity On High came out and I fell in love once again with a pop record. This one felt more polish, which sometimes is a bad thing, but it felt like they had a really good relationship with a producer who understood what they were trying to do. The first big single “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” came out and rocked my face off. It feels like a pop rock battle put on wax. I don’t specifically remember, but I would imagine that I picked the disc up on one of our weekly trips to the Palisades Mall for New CD & DVD Day and it was in heavy rotation on my long commute back and forth to work and on my headphones in the office. Once again I had a record filled with songs I could sing at the top of my lungs, plus, Jay-Z who I was just discovering how much I liked did a few little thing like introducing the band. When I saw that the first track was called “Thriller” and heard Jay’s voice, I was hoping they would team up and cover that Michael Jackson cover. It wouldn’t take long for them to team up with another huge name in the music industry to cover Jackson though.

As I mentioned, I don’t like Live In Phoenix which came out in 2008. I don’t generally like live CDs and this one turned out to be not so great with tempos seeming off, vocals not up to the par I expected from listening to the records and some timing issues. But, the huge plus was “Beat It” which they recorded with John Mayer as the record’s sole studio track. I bought the double disc (which came with a DVD I never watched), but sold it back to FYE recently when I realized keeping a whole CD and DVD for one song that I could get for a buck was kind of stupid. For whatever reason, I didn’t buy their most recent record Folie A Deux which came out at the end of 2008 right away. It wouldn’t be until that summer when I was schlepping back and forth to New York City in a daily four hour commute that I finally picked the record up and I really dug it too. Not sure what kept me away, but I liked how the seemed to be growing as musicians. Sure there were your usual word play songs about relationships, but also what sounded like some old school rock and roll (“She’s My Winona”) and “America’s Suitehearts” which had a lot of different elements going on. As with many of my other favorite bands, the new record didn’t replace any of the others in my heart, but it was a solid addition to the catalog. Far as I’m concerned, they haven’t put out a dud studio album which puts them ahead of some other bands in my mind. I get why people don’t like FOB on paper. One of them showed his junk online and also married a lipsynching pop star, but I don’t give a shit about any of that. Some people call them emo or hipsters and I don’t care about that either. I’m listening for the music and as long as the music is solid and makes me want to get up and dance around or helps me get through another round of cleaning the kitchen, then I’ll be a fan for a while. Just don’t start sucking. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Flea Market Shenanigans

Boy, did I have a red neck weekend. Em’s parents were in town and they’re always down for some yard sailing and flea market attending so we attended two separate ones AND a demolition derby. Stay tuned for tons of demo derby pics tomorrow, but right now, I want to share some experiences and pictures with you from the flea market we went to on Saturday morning at the Stormville Airport. Technically it was a giant garage sell, which means it’s just regular people selling their junk and boy was there a lot of junk. Since I’ve recently found myself sans full time job, Em and I decided to spend little to know money and I think we only spent about $5, but it was a ton of fun and I even got some rad stuff.

As always we got there pretty early, but I think that was a benefit because you never know who might buy the Michael Jackson bust. Anyway, more on that later. Right now, check out these really weird celebrity paintings. You can see Alias’ Jennifer Garner in this particular photo and there were about a dozen others, some I actually recognized, others, now way, even though they had the actor’s name on some of them. Scarlett Johansson’s was pretty terrible.

It was a good show for paintings actually as you can see in these next two pics. Right after passing the table with the above weird celebrity paintings we got near this van with several larger painting leaning up against it. You can see a painting on the far left which I think is called Little Boy Blue or some such. As a side note, this is what a lot of the various lots look like, with a van, car, table or blanket holding all of the junk people want to get rid of. But what really caught my attention was that painting to the right, can you see it?

How about a better look? Yeah, there you go. It just looks like an old ass lady crawling towards a creepy sunset in a desert with a rock or two and one flower. I really like the sparseness of it. You can tell the artist was really reaching into his inner depths. Oh, wait, actually I love the bat shit craziness of this thing. If I had my way, it would be hanging in my place right now, but, well I don’t and it’s not, so hopefully someone else picked it up or I can grab it when I finally get my man cave.

I took this picture because I thought this guy who was wearing orange crocs and riding around on a Razor scooter looked lame. But, I also captured a pretty awesome moment in the background where the old woman who had just finished demonstrating how to play the accordion her and her husband were selling. It was a pretty rad performance, which is what stopped me at their table in the first place. Oh and that bass amp in the bottom right hand corner that I was too chicken to ask about. I couldn’t find the damn booth again to ask later, so I suck. I currently don’t have a bass amp in NY because the one I have back in Ohio is way too big.

Well, here’s my favorite thing from the whole day (and that includes the demolition derby). As you can see it’s a Michael Jackson bust with a bunch of chips taken out of it and a Pee Wee Herman doll next to it. I think they were charging $30 or 40 for MJ. That’s another thing I would have purchased, you know, if it was just $5, but whatever. I’m sure someone made off with it and I envy them. It kind of looks like MJ is whispering sweet nothings or kill lists into Pee Wee’s ears, doesn’t it?

As you know, I’m a big horror fan. As a kid, I remember going into different stores and seeing these really intricate and disgusting rubber Halloween masks that would scare the crap out of me (like, WAY scarier than the ones in AWESOME Halloween 3). As a result I still get pretty jazzed anytime I see masks. The ones at this space weren’t that cool, but they look pretty creepy all laid out on a blanket like this, don’t they?

This is just a shot of one of the aisles. There’s basically two really long aisles with rows on each side, a few food booths (carny food, mostly), porta potties and tons of people bumping into each other with their carts. The place used to be an old airfield, so there’s a lot of space. If you’re in the not-upstate New York area, you should definitely check it out. Also, of note, I tried to take most of these pics on the sly, but this one was clearly seen by the lady who looks like she’s trying to dodge my picture like it’s a bullet being fired at Neo in the Matrix.

Here you have a Daewoo VCR. I took this picture solely for Rickey, who drives a car made by Daewoo, a company that makes just about everything else in the world. As you can see they do VCRs, my inlaws’ microwave and a back hoe I used to see tearing scrap metal apart on my train ride into the city. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another Daewoo automobile, but I’m sure when it starts breaking down, my inlaws will be happy to scrap their microwave to help him out.

Here’s one of those pictures that I didn’t really get all that well because I didn’t want it to be super obvious that I was taking a picture of this guy’s creepy stuffed polar bear. I’m REALLY hoping it’s just a toy or something, but decide for yourself, that’s it on the far right of the image. I’m still not completely unconvinced this little dude wasn’t in the background of Cliffhanger.

Like I said in the beginning I did spend some money at the flea market, $3 to be exact. I spent $1 on these three original Masters of the Universe figures (that’s He-Man to you less nerdy folks). I was pretty jazzed to see them. Here you’ve got Grizzlor, Hordak and Jitsu. I was especially excited because these figures are complete except for their weapons, which is no big deal. And yeah, Grizz is actually furry, like a troll doll, but radder. He also looks like he’s ready to bust a move at any point and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And here’s my final purchase, Critters 1, 2, and 4 on tape. I was always fascinated by the boxes to 1 and 2 when I was a kid wandering through the video store. I love the art and will probably be drawing my version of the cover to 1 in the next couple days. I’m also hoping that I might find my elusive mini monster movie. Oh, and also, the fourth one is in SPACE! It worked for leprechaun, why not Critters?

Lastly, I want to let you fine readers know that a woman with a booth is the reason you won’t be hearing the hot beats that have been pounding in my skull lately. I went to buy a Yamaha drum machine that would have probably driven me crazy because it sounded old and tin-y, but whatever, I pulled out my $5 to hand to her and the woman said no and put the drum machine back behind the table. Bullshit, right? I think so. So, what I’m really asking is if anyone has a drum machine or keyboard I can have. Holla!