Tag Archives: iTunes

One Bad Apple

Stupid iPhone and iTunes united to create havok.  In an effort to upgrade to the 2.0.1 firmware I managed to get my iphone in a state where it thought it needed constant restoring.  Needless to say this frustrated me to no end.  The restores took 1-2 hours and accomplished nothing.  I found what seems to be a fix, becasue things are working now.  I basically ripped out the iPhones life line during a restore.  Here is a link to the forum with the fix, may it help someone else.


Music Mayhem

In the past few months I’ve really started back up my music collection process. The receipt of $40US in iTunes cash for X-mas was a big boon to this effort. These days I do purchase all my music. I feel that the albums I select deserve a monetary contribution in exchange for their hard work. (I don’t think all music deserves to be paid for, but that is a topic for another day.)

I find my taste in music interesting. I tend to like albums with high production values and catchy riffs. I tend to not like modern “rap”. I’m not interested in songs that are a single “hook” and some lyrics about bitches or pimpin’. It’s safe to say that when the most popular downloads consist of these types of songs that the state of music is in a dismal situation. On the flip side I’m not a big fan of unique indie music. Some of it can be catchy and I can listen to, but I find that a lot of the progressive music is just not good enough to hold my attention. My best example would be the new Radiohead album. I just can’t really listen to Radiohead, their music gives me a headache.

Here are the albums I’ve recently added to the collection. I’ll provide what kind of music they are similar to and what songs you should download if you only want a song or two. The free songs and individual songs will be at the end.

In a particular order (that which I received them.):

Band: Dragon Force
Album: Inhuman Rampage
Description: This is a pretty rocking album. In my mind it is Euro-Metal through and through. iTunes however, has it listed as rock. This album was purchased for the song Through the Fire and the Flames which gained massive amounts of fame by being included in Guitar Hero III. If you want a face melting song, this would be it. I would recommend getting the song. The rest of the album is good and of the same quality, but unless you enjoy Euro-Metal you probably won’t be impressed.

Band: Foo Fighters
Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Description: This is a great album. It has high energy tracks that have come to be the norm for the Foo Fighters in “The Pretender” and “Cheer Up, Boys”. But the most interesting part of this album is the dominance of acoustic style tracks and slower songs. It’s a true pleasure to listen too and the album is served well by playing it straight through. If you have liked any of the Foo Fighters in the past or if you like powerful acoustics accompanied by catchy lyrics then I would recommend this album.

Band: Fountains of Wayne
Album: Traffic and Weather
Description: I wasn’t as impressed by this album as their previous albums initially. Certain stand out songs like “Someone to Love” and “Traffic and Weather” are pretty easy to like right away and will likely be the singles off this album. The rest of the songs take a little while to warm up to, but eventually do become very catchy in their unique way. I would recommend that anyone who enjoyed listening to their previous releases from first song to last song to purchase this. If you just liked “Stacy’s Mom” then I would say get “Someone to Love” and leave the rest of the album alone. Also if you like “Stacy’s Mom” and haven’t heard any of the songs off their previous albums I would suggest doing so. Their previous albums are full of great tracks.

Band: Motion City Soundtrack
Album: Even If It Kills Me
Description: Wow. I heart MCS so very much. This album is a wonderful new step for them. It’s got enough of the old mixed with the new to be a very refreshing entry by MCS. It’s not as fast paced or intense as their older music as a whole but this album has been on my iPod since the day I purchased it and has not left since. (I purchased the physical copy at Borders.) Buy this album now. If you want a track to demo I suggest “Fell In Love With You” . Honestly you could select any track and listen to it. Everything MCS puts out is polished and clean and just a joy to listen to.

Band: Juanes
Album: La Vida Es un Ratico
Description: I liked the album by Juanes that I purchased for my sister for X-mas so much that I decided to get Juanes’ most recent release. The first album “Un Dia Normal” is a much more fast paced album. “La Vida Es un Ratico” is not as fast paced but it still has songs that move. What is more prevalent is Latin Pop Ballads. It’s a wonderful album that can get the blood flowing. It’s loaded with catchy beats and lyrics. You don’t have to know Spanish to appreciate this album. The voice becomes an instrument in the truest sense. Definitely recommend this album or “Un Dia Normal” if you are looking to add variation to collection or your personality.

Band: Jimmy Eat World
Album: Chase This Light
Description: Wow. Another great album by Jimmy Eat World. If you’re looking to demo a song “Always Be” is a fantastic single. The entire album deserves to be played from start to finish and grows on you with each play through. If you have liked any of their previous releases or powerful pop-alternative style music, this is an album for you.

Band: The Starting Line
Album: Direction
Description: The Starting Line has been one of my favorite bands for quite some time. They’ve recently faded from my sight because it took so long between releases. Apparently they had issues with their record label and the band almost disappeared. I’m glad they didn’t because this release would have never been if they had not been picked up by another label. Like their previous release this album is best listened to from start to finish. At the moment I can’t pick out a particular single because in my mind the album is designed to be listened to as a whole. This release and their previous release are both a sort of musical story. Unlike there most popular song “Best of Me” which was a clear attempt at a single. I would recommend this album to anyone who has liked their previous material. If you don’t know their music, then I would say find someone with the album, like myself, and give it a listen. The Starting Line is Rock Alternative.

Band: The Rocket Summer
Album: Do You Feel
Description: With my remaining iTune’s cash dwindling I decided I wanted to find some new bands. iTunes actually had this band listed under my “Just For You” music selection. It was described as a mix between Ben Folds, Relient K, Justin Timberlake, Micheal Jackson and similar. I was intrigued. I quick 30sec preview of some of the songs confirmed that I would be purchasing this album. I’m glad I did. If you want two songs off this album I would suggest “Break It Out” and “So Much Love”. To get only these two songs would be a travesty. The whole album deserves your attention and I would recommend this album to pretty much everyone I know. Unless you only care for metal or crap-rap I know you will find something to like on this album.

Band: We The Kings
Album: We The Kings
Description: Downloaded last night from iTunes. OMG LOLerskates WTFmate This entire album is amazing. I saw this band listed under what others also bought. Great fricken click on my part. This is the kind of music that I really enjoy. If you enjoyed my recommendation ages ago to get Cartel then trust me on this one and get this album. It’s pop-alternative-rock polished so incredibly well. I just can’t describe how good it is, just go get it.

iTunes offers the ability to download the free song of the week. If you aren’t taking advantage of this then I pity you. Some great music can be found this way. In addition I’ve purchased some singles. Here’s all the singles that have wormed their way into my collection.

The Good(4-5 stars):
Colbie Callat – Bubbly (Free)
Matthew Good – Born Losers (Free)
Halfway to Hazard – Daisy (Free)
Matt Nathanson – Car Crash (Free)
The Last Goodnight – Pictures of You (Free)
Graham Colton – Best Days (Free)
New End Original – Lukewarm (Purchased)
Ben’s Brother – Stuttering (Purchased)
Black Tide – Shockwave (Free)

The Bad(3 stars):
A Fine frenzy – You Picked Me (Free)
Sarah Johns – He Hates Me (Free)
Holy Ghost! – Hold On (Free)
MGMT – Time to Pretend (Free)

The Ugly(2 stars):
The Mary Onettes – Pleasure Songs (Free)

The Deleted (0-1 star):

To be fair, any song that even gets a star isn’t super terrible. I generally don’t rank terrible songs or give them one star just so I can sort them out of play lists. I like to use the whole range of the star system to get a better gradual ranking system

Whew! You still here? I’m impressed. I hope that you found some insight into possible places to look for new music. Did you get the “We The Kings” album yet? No? Go do that and if you have some spare cash get “The Rocket Summer” too. Stop thinking about it and just do it, I’ve got laundry to do.

The Great Christmas Wrap Up

…or Boxing Day if you have government funded health care.

So Christmas is over (or almost, Justin says he has something in the mail for me. He shouldn’t have, but it’s very nice of him to get me something and I’m excited to see what it is.) I’d like to thank everyone who went out of their way to gift me something and at the same time I hope everyone who received gifts from me enjoyed their gifts. I wish I had the funds to buy gifts for everyone and the time to spend the Holidays with all the people in my life, but sadly the world doesn’t work that way. In an effort to appear non-materialistic (ha!) I will now see how the list faired (the one’s in red are still missing):


  • Men’s Ware House Gift Certificates (Received some for Graduation)
    • Received a wonderful dress shirt and tie from Elizabeth’s parents, Thank you!
    • Dress Socks from Mom and Dad
  • Electric Blanket (Thanks for that already Mom.)
  • New Cellphone
  • New Slippers
  • Those fancy ear muffs that don’t mess up your hair


  • Nintendo DS Lite (Uber shocked to cross this out. Elizabeth is the greatest girlfriend ever.)
    • +Games!!!! (The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hour Glass, came with the Limited Edition Zelda DS)
  • Music CDs (Secret Santa: Uncle Craig got me $40 at iTunes.)
  • New Computer
  • Hockey Goalie Equipment
  • Spare Xbox 360 Controller (I purchased these items shortly after I put up the list.)
    • Rechargeable battery pack for Xbox 360 Controller
  • 2 More Wii Remotes
  • Digital SLR Camera
  • New earbud headphones

I received some gifts from Mom and Dad that I had mentioned earlier in the year and completely forgot about come list time. Most notable is a Makita Hammer Drill and Grinder set. After working at O’keef’s I’ve grown to love Makita products. In addition they gifted me more construction related tools and utensils. I’m pretty pumped because I find myself in need of tools and it feels like a sign that I am growing up. Purchasing a house doesn’t seem so far away. My sister bought me a pretty sweet zip up hoodie from Buckle. Look for me to be wearing it often. She also bought me some Jägermeister that, because it was a gift, came in a pretty cool metal slip tin. Now before you get all up in arms because she is underage, she had someone else purchase it for her and I am of age. Now all we need is some red bull.

To follow suit, I ‘ll do what Justin did and write what I got for others.

Elizabeth: 3 Different Types of Scarfs. She asked for a scarf for Christmas and not knowing what else to get her and not having the funds to buy what I really want to get her, I went over board and got her multiple scarves. I bought her a University of Minnesota scarf first because I knew the moment I saw it that I had to get it for her. I realized that it probably wouldn’t be appropriate for work so I figured I would get her scarves to match whatever she wore. I went with a fancy black scarf and a big fluffy white scarf. She seemed to be happy and I hope she likes them. I’ve already seen her wearing the Minnesota one. (After her gifts, though, I felt that my gifts just didn’t match the awesomeness of hers. She totally won this year and at the same time I win because of that.)

Melissa(sister): I got her $20 at Buckle because she loves that store. She is also going to Mexico for school this January so I tried to get her a CD that contained popular Latin Musica. Wow. Shopping for music in a different language is hard. I’m not terrible when it comes to Spanish, but I still struggled. I was able to find a CD that said it was the winner of 4 Latin Grammys. It was either that or one of the bajillion mariachi bands present in Wal-Mart’s Latin Music selection. So you can guess which one I went with. When we popped the CD in on Christmas day we were all pleasantly shocked. It was a pretty sweet CD. Juanes – Un Dia Normal, if you are interested.

Mom: Our family is big on “TV on DVD”. Mom is always hard to shop for. It seems that women are much harder to shop for than men. I think it is because women don’t like to express what they like and would prefer you guess. So I picked up that my Mom and Dad like Boston Legal. My Mom even told me that they really liked that show, so I purchased the first season on DVD for my Mom.

Dad: Continuing the theme, I purchased Battlestar Galactica Season 2.5 on DVD for him. This one was pretty easy. We already own all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 on DVD, my sister was picking up Stargate Atlantis Season 2 for him and we own Battlestar Galactica Season 1 on DVD. However, this is where I erred. I thought the extra “.5” meant it was season 2 with bonus features. Silly me. When I eventually bothered to check, I found that they split the season up. Those capitalist bastards. So today I actually went out and got Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0 on DVD so that we can watch them in order.

Secret Santa – Cousin Mike: He didn’t put anything down on the list. So I got him the multipass of gifts; a Wal-Mart gift card. I also made him a card with the following poem I wrote the morning of Christmas Eve:

Santa’s confused this Christmas Eve,
For on his list your name he does not see.
He’s checked it twice,
and he’s sure you’ve been nice.
It must be that you’ve asked for naught.
Now you’re stuck with what he bought.
Lucky for you, he’s a nice guy,
And left it up to you with what to buy.
A golden ticket to the land of lights,
Where they never close for holidays or nights,
A land of toys, games, food and mead.
A land with everything you may need.
Santa hopes you’ve learned this year,
Forget again and you’ll get a kick in the rear.

That is all the giving and receiving I was involved in. Christmas Eve was spent with the family at Andy and Theresa’s. We managed to set the house on fire only two times. We had to open all the windows, get the air flow going and clear out the smoke. It wasn’t so bad when we did it before most people arrived because the sun was still up and it wasn’t too bad outside. However, when it happened right before dinner it was dark out and much colder. To be fair, I think only one involved actual fire and that was with the ham in the oven. The earliest incident was just turkey juices spilling over in the oven and being turned to steam. The rest of the evening was a run of the mill family event with everyone playing their normal parts. The most unlike normal role goes to Tigger (Andy and Theresa’s cat) for actually being playful with so many people around. He was pretty good until people took his playfulness for granted and got him all ornery again. Dakota was in heat so we had to keep her penned up (don’t worry she has a nice heated garage.) It’s too bad too. She is such a wonderful dog and it has to be hard for her to be excluded. It doesn’t help that her new friend in life, Chase, is away at training.

Everyone stayed for a pretty long time. Eventually we all made our way home and the night drew to a close. I couldn’t read the book I had read on the way up, Negotiating for Dummies, so I decided to sleep .

Christmas morning, I woke up at the bright hour of 10:00am. It wasn’t long after that we opened presents. Santa brought the family Scene It Deluxe Movie Edition 2 so we played that a bit and watched Christmas movies on TV. The day was spent relaxing with the family and it was very enjoyable. Elizabeth stopped by late at night after her family event had concluded. She stayed pretty late which was surprising considering we would be going skating the next morning. It’s a family tradition of hers to go skating the day after Christmas. Braving the winter weather she headed home around 2:00am and I was relieved to get a message saying she had made it home safe. My Christmas 2007 came to a close then as I went to bed to get some well needed rest.  I would need it, for the next day we would play hockey and skate.

And there you have it! The great Christmas wrap up of 2007. The culmination of a month or so of shopping and hours of preparation and cooking. I hope everyone had a wonderful time, I certainly did.

Christmas List

Well after talking to Elizabeth, I’ve realized that I forgot to write down what I wanted this Christmas. I was going to write it in a word doc (actually Open Office doc), but sicne I’ve got the blog now I figured, “Why not here?” Without further ado…


  • Men’s Ware House Gift Certificates (Received some for Graduation)
  • Electric Blanket (Thanks for that already Mom.)
  • New Cellphone (Because a broken ear piece blows!  I specifically want the Tilt)
  • New Slippers
  • Those fancy ear muffs that don’t mess up your hair


  • Nintendo DS Lite
    • +Games!!!!
  • Music CDs (Because iTunes quality is mediocre and I support music I like.)
    • The Hives – Black and White
    • The Killers – Sawdust
    • Jimmy Eat World – [Newest Release]
    • The White Stripes – Icky Thump
    • Boys Like Girls – [Newest Release]
    • The Starting Line – [Newest Release]
    • Trans Siberian Orchestra – [The Christ Album released in 1996]
  • New Computer
  • Hockey Goalie Equipment [This is a major secondary since I already have a full regular set.]
  • Spare Xbox 360 Controller
    • Rechargeable battery pack for Xbox 360 Controller
  • 2 More Wii Remotes
  • Digital SLR Camera
  • New earbud headphones

That is all I can think of off the top of my head.  As you can see, some are more far fetched than others.  These are all things that would make my life easier or more enjoyable.  But, honestly, I have my family, friends and health; for that I am grateful and happy.  I really need nothing more to have a wonderful Christmas.  Anything beyond that would be icing on an already tasty cake.