Archive for June, 2012

My 50th Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs on June 30, 2012 by sethdellinger

First, let’s recap what has already gone before.  To see the individual entries of each song, click here.

100.  “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something
99.  “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp
98.  “Hotel California” by The Eagles
97.  “American Pie” by Don McLean
96.  “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
95.  “Nuthin’ but a G Thang” by Dr. Dre
94.  “Bushwick Blues” by Delta Spirit
93.  “For the Workforce, Drowning” by Thursday
92.  “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes
91.  “Shimmer” by Fuel
90.  “Rubber Biscuit” by the Blues Brothers
89.  “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
88.  “Asleep at the Wheel” by Working For a Nuclear-Free City
87.  “There’s an Arc” by Hey Rosetta!
86.  “Steam Engine” by My Morning Jacket
85.  “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest
84.  “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane
83.  “Fits” by Stone Gossard
82.  “Spring Flight to the Land of Fire” by The Cape May
81. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service
80.  “Sober” by Tool
79.  “Dream is Collapsing” by Hans Zimmer
78.  “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” by The Beatles
77.  “In This Light and on This Evening” by Editors
76.  “Lemonworld” by The National
75.  “Twin Peaks Theme” by Angelo Badalamente
74.  “A Comet Appears” by The Sins
73.  “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” by The Decemberists
72.  “Pepper” by Butthole Surfers
71.  “Life Wasted” by Pearl Jam
70.  “Jetstream” by Doves
69.  “Trieste” by Gifts From Enola
68.  “Oh My God” by Kaiser Chiefs
67.  “Last Exit” by Pearl Jam
66.  “Innocence” by The Airborne Toxic Event
65.  “There, There” by Radiohead
64.  “Ants Marching” by Dave Matthews Band
63.  “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
62.  “The Best of What’s Around” by Dave Matthews Band
61.  “Old Man” by Neil Young
60.  “Cumbersome” by Seven Mary Three
59.  “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel
58.  “Machine Head” by Bush
57.  “Peaches” by Presidents of the United States of America
56.  “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
55.  “Fell on Black Days” by Soundgarden
54.  “The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie
53.  “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon
52.  “Real Muthaphuckin’ Gs” by Eazy E
51.  “Evening Kitchen” by Band of Horses

And my 50th favorite song of all-time is:

“Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” by Primitive Radio Gods

I distinctly remember the first time I heard Primitive Radio Gods’ “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand”.  I was on vacation with my family in Ocean City, Maryland (as well as my friend Brock, who still doesn’t have a Facebook page!)  I was somehow alone in the hotel room, and MTV was playing.  MTV was still something of a luxury in those days; if luxury is not the right word, perhaps treat would do.  I remember hearing the opening chords and being interested, and then seeing the strange band name and stranger song name on the bottom of the screen.  At the time, all I was was intrigued.  It wasn’t my type of music.

A year or two later, my tastes had changed, and I came across the Primitive Radio Gods CD in a music store.  I bought it on a hunch, like we used to do in those days.  Turns out, the whole CD was really good, and really hit the wheelhouse of Young Seth’s developing musical tastes.  Over the years, the album (which is entitled Rocket) has consistently been one of the CDs I re-purchase when I am re-building my CD collection every few years; I’ve probably bought it 6 or 7 times.  And “Broken Phone Booth” is probably the song I have put on mix discs more times than any other song, not just because it is totally awesome, but because it’s a great tension-break amidst a string of higher-tempo or higher-octane songs.

The song has really helped form both what I look for in music, but also in literature.  I loved the lyrics’ mix of irreverent detail amidst serious, cosmic realities.  I’d have to say that in the intervening years, my tastes (and even my own writing abilities) have advanced beyond this song’s scope; parts of it are, in fact, rather sophomoric, but I’ll always be fond of the song for the memories and its sweet earnestness.

Protected: Philly Journal, 6/28 (same password as last time)

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , on June 29, 2012 by sethdellinger

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My 51st Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , on June 27, 2012 by sethdellinger

Click here to see all previous entries in this list.

And my 51st favorite song of all-time is:

“Evening Kitchen” by Band of Horses

Certainly the only song that I’ve ever heard that is tender and beautiful while discussing how a lover (or former lover, hard to tell) has disappointed and angered them over a period of time, mainly just through being a difficult, hugely flawed person.  Not a song about cheating or breaking their heart, but just about being late all the time and being a general pain in the ass.  Sometimes it’s OK to not be singing about heartbreak and turmoil, but some of the more mundane but very real challenges we all undergo throughout life and relationships.  Plus, it’s just a damn gorgeous song.  Underneath the studio version, I have included a live version from an already-famous impromptu show they did in New York’s Grand Central Station in 2010:


Philly Journal, 6/25

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , on June 26, 2012 by sethdellinger

Yesterday, Mom and I went into Philly to scope out my new place of employment (for those of you relatively new to my blog, we don’t use actual company names here).  I’d been quite anxious to see where it was situated.  I knew that is was very much in “Center City”, but I wasn’t sure to what extent.  The big question that was looming was the question of parking/ transportation.

It was not a great visit to the city for me.  The location is essentially as close to the center of the city as you could be—which is awesome and is going to be a lot of fun to work at, but my stomach sank as I came to realize that driving to work was going to be essentially impossible.  It would cost almost as much a day for me to park there as I would be making!  My mom and I drove home with me feeling more than a little dejected.

(a little more on the location:  it is smack dab on the middle of the Avenue of the Arts–for criminy’s sake, people, click the link—which is also within sight or very short walking distance of Philly landmarks such as LOVE Park, Rittenhouse Square, and the Wells Fargo Center.  I am not blowing smoke up anyone’s whatever when I say I am working as center as “Center City” gets in downtown Philadelphia.)

Shortly after arriving home, my sister chimed in with the clear and brilliant solution of PATCO, a light rail rapid transit system that runs from South Jersey right into Center City, Philly.  Basically, I’m taking the train to work.  Really, any solution other than this would have been silly.

So today I did a dry run.  I left the house at the approximate time I’ll be leaving for work this week.  It went like a dream.  It takes me about 20 minutes to get from home to the closest PATCO station, in nearby Woodcrest (this number, of course, is very reliant on traffic).  The train ride then takes another 20 minutes.  Then, my place of employment is literally within sight once you emerge from underground at the subway station.  So, within about 45 minutes after leaving home, I can be at work in the very center of Philadelphia.  Not too shabby, for $6 a round-trip.

Of course, I took some pictures, because that’s how I roll. (remember, if you want to see any pictures full-screen, click on it, then when it re-loads, click on it again).

The PATCO platform at Woodcrest, NJ.

You can see my place of employment here. This pic doesn’t do it justice; on the other side of the street are tons of recognizeable Philly landmarks.

Because I love pictures of myself.

My 52nd Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , on June 25, 2012 by sethdellinger


“Real Muthaphuckin’ Gs” by Eazy E

Eazy was far and away my favorite rapper back in my rap-liking days.  His unique voice and flow style coupled with his unashamed misogynistic love of sex (I was a teenager), plus the fact that he was short and still a badass, made him a shoo-in for a poster on my bedroom wall.  And while “Real Muthaphuckin’ Gs” is far from his best song, it stands as my favorite for two reasons: it was at the top of my playlist during the rocky turmoil during the beginning of my first serious relationship (the period this song was on the playlist was mostly a bad period, with a whole lot of angst on my part, but I find all a memory needs to be pleasant after such a long period of time is a certain level of accuity), and the fact that this is an unabashed retaliation song, a straight-up “diss” song, on Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog in the big “war” between those two rap factions.    In my estimation, it is the best diss song out there, as it doesn’t attempt to be subtle or cutesy, but comes right at it’s subjects.  It is bold and daring, and creative in it’s rhymes.  In addition, the feeling of animosity toward it’s subjects is truly felt and palpable, unlike on Dre’s initial volley, “Fuck Wit’ Dre Day” where Dr. Dre, while dissing Eazy E, sounds like he might be reading a parts list off a manifest.

Two other rappers are featured in “Real Muthaphuckin’ Gs”: BG Knocc Out and Gangsta Dresta.

My 53rd Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , on June 22, 2012 by sethdellinger

Click here to read about this list, or click here to see all previous entries on the list.

…and my 53rd favorite song of all-time is:

“Call Me Al” by Paul Simon

I have no specific memory of my father and I enjoying this song together, but in my mind, this song was one of the first instances of my being aware that my father and I shared the same sense of humor.  The video, featuring Chevy Chase famously lip syncing and doing all kinds of crazy stuff, I know tickled both my father and I, and the lyrics, seemingly nonsensical, certainly hit both of us in our funny bone sweet-spot.  I’ve continued to love it more and more as I get older, especially as I realize the verses seem to contain serious material, seemingly unconnected to the nonsense chorus…always leaving me to wonder how much is nonsense, and how much is the work of a genius, working far over our heads.

Philly Journal, 6/21

Posted in Philly Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2012 by sethdellinger

Erie seems like a dream.  What was that?  Where was I?  Was that me, doing those things, being those places, thinking those things?

I moved there on what was, essentially, a lark.  I made a decision what seemed spontaeously to live my life without a plan, to roam, to live for experiences rather than goals.  As such, the suddenness of it, the supposed meaningless of it, now makes the experience seem, just two days removed from it, like some sort of fever dream, a shadow glanced in a forest.  I lived there for almost excactly two years, but it somehow manages to feel simultaneously like 2 days and 2 decades.

I’m incredibly glad I did it.  I loved my time there and, despite how cliche it sounds, I learned a lot about myself.  In my 30s, I found myself continuing to evolve and change (not in all positive ways, mind you) and, ultimately, “find myself”.  I used to think that saying was meaningless, but now I think it means something.

So, all that happened in Erie, but somehow it still feels like I dreamt it, or even just imagined it.  Here I sit in my mother’s living room in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, where I have moved at this stage in my life to continue what I began with the move to Erie: living for experiences and not goals.  But I remember, like yesterday, when my friend Michael (that’s the female Michael, yo) and I moved all my stuff into my apartment in Erie.  There is, to my perception, zero difference between that day and literal yesterday.  Here’s a picture from that day:

And then a picture from yestrday morning:

It’s like the time in between was about the lessons learned and the self-discovery, but in the final analysis, like no time passed whatsoever.  The strangest thing is that I haven’t simply moved back into my apartment in Carlisle, PA.  The absence of my life before Erie is the most concrete evidence that time has moved.

Tonight will be my second night here in Mantua.  Most of my stuff is now put away, or at least the boxes are in the appropriate rooms.  I’ve spent some quality time with my mom and nephews (the sis and I are having a spa day next week.  Not really.  But I would, if somebody else paid for it.  Speaking of my sister, read her writing on this site, she’s amazing!).  This afternoon I ventured “out” for the first time by myself.  I pretty much just found my new Planet Fitness, but my excitement over the, frankly, ordinary stuff in the general area where I live confirms my suspicion that I am actually too easily entertained.  I drove around thinking to myself, look at all these supermarkets I can go into and That looks like a cute Radio Shack.  Even crappy, useless chain retail seem, to me, like terra incognita. 

And I haven’t even thought about actually going into Philly yet.  And have I mentioned New York City is only two hours away?  And I get to live with this fucking cat?

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