That Girl With A Blog











So, Steven Smith, formerly of “Steven’s Untitled Rock Show” on Fuse is doing a whole “Music Unexpected” thing, and it’s pretty cool. It’s relatively new, but he’s already gone behind the scenes with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Less Than Jake, plus, he’s spent a day with Goom Radio in New Jersey.

From what I hear, there’s more fun stuff to come, but in the meantime, check out his quality hangout time with Less Than Jake at their Philly show at the Trocadero! (I know, a Pittsburgh show would have been better…this might also be my crazy hockey fan-dom talking.) It’s pretty rad! (And yes, I still love LTJ, despite that whole TV/EP situation.)

I think they made it farrrr too easy on him! What kind of roadie actually gets to “watch” the show when they’re done!? They’re too busy making sure things run smoothly. That’s kinda what roadies do.

Other than that, though…pretty good stuff! Stay tuned for more fun things from “Music Unexpected”!



{October 14, 2010}   Less Than Jake – TV/EP

http://theoriginalgirlwithablog.blogspot.com/2010/10/less-than-jake-tvep.html



***WARNING: THIS POST IS FUELED BY EARLY MORNING CAFFEINE.***

Okay, so this situation is not solely limited to my 25th year, but that magic number seems to have made it a little bit worse.

Spring is upon us my friends, and with spring comes my insatiable urge to travel (and listen to ska), or simply to get the fuck out of Pittsburgh. I mean, I like Pittsburgh, I really do, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Also, it’s not helping that all of my friends are moving to Key West and I looooooove Key West. I love booze, sunsets, and chickens. I just wish it wasn’t so stinking hot and/or didn’t have such giant bugs. I also wish that I could live there without a job, because that would be sweet. I don’t want to go outside in the daytime, dammit. I think I would melt…Wicked Witch style. What’s funny about this is the one thing I’m not worried about: hurricanes. Really. I am all about the hurricane party. Hell, we tried to have a hurricane party in Pittsburgh when Ivan came through. The first floor started to flood, so we went to the second floor, drank beer, and watched Finding Nemo. Really, not that worried. Key West is prepared for this kinda shit.

Wow, okay, so this is going to be the most random blog post, but I love the guy who works at the Cool Beans in my building. I seriously walked in there, told him that I didn’t know what I wanted, but that I wanted it to be “hot, sweet, and far too caffeinated…and big. Really, really big”. I am halfway through this concoction and I feel like I’m going to explode. GOOD MORNING!!!

Okay, so back to this spring/quarter life crisis thing. See, I grew up in a town where people never leave. It’s kind of ridiculous. Also, there’s this whole job thing. What is it about 25? Why do you all of a sudden feel like you need to know what you’re doing with your life RIGHT NOW? My job right now is pretty sweet, but it’s really not what I envision doing with my life. Also, I work for a giant boys club. Now, it’s not that I am saddened about my lack of man-junk, it’s just that I know that there is no room for growth here. It’s one of those things…what the hell’s that AA saying? Something about changing the things that you can and accepting the things you cannot? This is a “cannot” and I’m okay with that. I am super awesome at being an office wench, though. And what city ever doesn’t have offices? Any kind of offices really. I’ll make your coffee and order your supplies and generally make your office kick ass. That’s what I do.

Even when my computer dies, as it did on Friday, I will do everything in my power to make it better. I spent two days trying to get my information from my old hard drive to no avail. It was incredibly frustrating and currently I’m using a computer that I’m pretty sure was built in 1986. Know how many USB ports there are on this bad boy? Two. That’s right, two. I had to unplug my keyboard to upload the meager amount of music that I had on my MP3 player. I just went from around 40GB of music to…4GB. FOUR! Thank god it was all of my “essential albums”, so I have a good mix of great songs. Still, I kind of want to dropkick a baby.

Well anyway, to try to sate this crazy desire for something different, I’ve pierced my septum, cut off all of my hair, and gotten glasses. WHAT ELSE CAN I DOOOOO!?

What to do, what to do.

Holy shit, coffee.

Thank god for credit cards because I have a feeling I’m going to be purchasing last minute tickets to Key West. At least for a few days. 🙂

In the meantime, have some Less Than Jake, the soundtrack to summer traveling and impatient people:

“History of a Boring Town”

AAAAAAAAAAND: Just finished my giant cup of overly caffeinated goodness. My head might explode.



So, I was listening to a particular album on this list yesterday and realized that it’s one of those albums that never gets old. So, in homage, here are my top favorite albums of all time. Now that it’s done, it’s weird how difficult this post became. I have a lot of favorite albums in a lot of favorite genres, so I tried to keep it simple. Most of these albums are ones that I heard that drastically changed my views on music and introduced me to that certain genre. I’ll always be thankful for that, so here are those albums.

Brand New - Your Favorite WeaponBrand New – Your Favorite Weapon
I know…I am a ridiculous, hopeless emo kid. This album is seriously awesome though. I believe I’ve said before, “It remains the sound track to summer teenage love and broken hearts.” Jesse Lacey’s vocals and awkward yet relevant, angsty lyrics get me every time. I really do hope that the next boy that you kiss has something terribly contagious on his lips. At least I did when I was eighteen. A lot of the lyrics and themes of this album are juvenile and downright silly, but it comes off far more endearing than annoying. And hell, haven’t we all been there before? The heart-on-the-sleeve trick really works for these guys, and this album. It makes me all warm on the insides when I hear it.

EvercleEverclear - So Much For the Afterglowar – So Much for the Afterglow
Oh 90’s alternative rock, how I love thee. And this album truly epitomizes it. This power-pop, radio ready album still gets played from time to time, despite being over a decade old. Once again, the lyrics are so poignant and catchy on this album. For any kid, holed up in their bedroom, listening to this album and dreaming of far away places, Art Alexakis is just so right. Everything is perfect in that fucked up way.

Green Day - DookieGreen Day – Dookie
This was the very first CD that I ever bought with my own money. I went down to Sun Electronics (remember them!?) with my brother, and he helped me make my first music purchase. I still throw on this album from time to time just for shits and giggles. It’s so funny to see what Green Day has become and the situations that lead them there. This was before the eyeliner and glitter, before the arena shows and thousands of screaming fans. Before they made that song that’s played at every graduation or talked about boulevards and broken dreams. This was pure, unadulterated Green Day.

Less Than Jake - Hello RockviewLess Than Jake – Hello Rockview
This album makes me get all nostalgic just thinking about it. So many times I wanted to take the west bound signs and just leave town. This is the soundtrack to running away, to escapism and beginning a new life, even it it’s right where you are. This is an album of growing up, decision making, and yet a drunken, punk rock mentality all at the same time. It’s also another one of those albums that I simply adore Every. Single. Track. It was also one of the first albums that got me into the punk/ska scene and it really peaked my interest, which lead to me diving headfirst into that scene for a few years. Sometimes it’s amazing how you can look at times of your life and the music that you were listening to and just be like, “Ah, that makes sense”. This is one of those albums.

Morcheeba - Big CalmMorcheeba – Big Calm
This album is what made me love trip-hop, and Skye Edwards. It is the epitome of all that is trip-hop, even if they’re old, dirty men. It seamlessly blends electronic music with the lush female vocals of Edwards. It spurned a great love for trip-hop for me, which has only grown since then. It an endless sea of ambient beats and I love it. It’s funny, this is probably one of the very few albums that compromise this list that I don’t have some silly memory to, yet it still make it on here. Props to Morcheeba.

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the SeaNeutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Thank you Jim Platania, wherever you are, for introducing me to these guys in high school art class. They opened my eyes to what is now known to my friends as “Amanda’s Weird Hippie Music“. They spurned a love for odd, experimental indie…rock? Is that what you would call it? They veered me the way of Modest Mouse and The Decemberists. They gave me a whole new genre to explore, and that’s always a good thing. This album reminds me of the ocean and hallucinogens. Also, always a good thing. And this video is just fucking hysterical. Thanks YouTube.

Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate MachineNine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
Any time you see Nine Inch Nails on a list like this, it’s always Downward Spiral. Yes, that was a magnificent album, as well, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Pretty Hate Machine. Recorded almost entirely by Trent Reznor, it’s a rip-off of so many other things yet almost something entirely new. I have to admit that Nine Inch Nails has lost their luster for me. I got out of that stage somewhere briefly after the “Perfect Drug” days, but oh, how I yearn for ’89 Trent Reznor with the dreads and the leather and all that baby powder. And Cheerios and enemas. This album was another one to introduce me to a whole new genre of music. After this I dived headfirst into this goth subculture…which honestly kind of sucks when you’re 12. There’s really not a lot of goth kids to share your eyeliner or black clothes with. Meh, perhaps I was just a revolutionary.

Soul CoughingSoul Coughing – Ruby Vroom
Who needs heroin when you have this album? It just kinda does it for you. I wonder if Mike Doughty ever knew that would be said? This was the first Soul Coughing album I heard and its lead to my incredible fascination with Mike Doughty and all that he does. They were just plain weird, experimental, trippy guys. They were doing something totally unheard of the in the 90’s. They weren’t grunge, thank god. They were such and eclectic mix of fantastic musicians doing something out of the ordinary. And you know, they’re the only ones that I can classify in a category of their own. They didn’t turn me on to anything, they didn’t alter my perception of music. They just were. And I loved them for it.

Sublime - 40 Oz. to FreedomSublime – 40 Oz. to Freedom
Yes, I started smoking a lot of pot around that time. This album still does it for me every time, though. Especially, after a long hard Pittsburgh winter, when the thermostat hits 40, I put on this album in celebration of summer. In celebration of being able to hang out outside and be in the sunshine. In celebration of no more pollution ridden snow lining the sidewalks and making the bottom of my pants gross. This was another one that didn’t turn me on to anything. It just was, and is, a fantastic album.

Tori Amos - Boys for PeleTori Amos – Boys for Pele
This album was the first to alert me to the driving, vocal force that is Tori Amos. This also started a life-long love affair with female vocalists. Oh that piano. I never knew that a piano could do that! Or that a voice so large could come from someone so tiny! Many years, albums, and shows later, I still love me some Tori. She’s just such a genuine artist. She goes some weird fucking places in her music sometimes, but then you just come to realize that that’s Tori. You can’t expect any different.

As you can see, a lot of these albums are older, and that’s a great thing. Perhaps in a few years, I can do another one of these with more albums that have withstood time and still haunt my music collection from now. Who knows!?



et cetera
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