Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer 2012 Movie Wrap-up

A couple months ago I noted my top 5 movies I was looking forward to this summer.  They were:

1. Prometheus
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. The Amazing Spiderman
4. The Avengers
5. Expendables 2

I saw each of those movies, finishing the Expendables sequel about an hour ago.  I was thinking I would do an indepth review of all of them, but really there is nothing more to say.  They were all awesome.

Of the 5, I would have to say I rank them like this:

Dark Knight Rises
Expendables 2

Why?  Batman was sooooo good.  The villain was better than expected.  The pacing was great, and Nolan took some chances with the story and characters that surprised me.  2 hours and 45 minutes flew by for me.  The action was tight.  Anne Hatheway was a surprise hit, I couldn't believe what a great Catwoman she was.

Promtheus was the one I was most looking forward to, mostly because the ground it had tread had been left alone for decades since Aliens came out in the 1980's.  It was a beautiful movie.  Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender were the clear favorites of the film.  I thought the plot was great and it left me wanting the painfully obvious sequel.

Spiderman was surprisingly good, despite the "ok" Spiderman 3 coming out six years ago.  I thought Tobey Maguire was outshone by Andrew Garfield, and I thought Emma Stone was perfect as Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone's natural color is blond, I just learned, she is something else).  The villain, of course, couldn't top Willem Dafoe, but the fight scenes were awesome (the best scene featured a cameo of creator Stan Lee with the hero and protagonist fighting in the background).

Expendables 2 was exactly what I expected.  The first one was more of a "could they redo the classic 80's action movies with 80's action stars in 2010," and after Sylvester Stallone and co. proved that they could of course they made a sequel to it.  With so many toned down PG-13 movies coming out (Live Free or Die Hard, for example) when they should be "Hard" R movies, it is refreshing to see a no-holds-barred action movie pull everything off.

Finally, the Avengers.  I enjoyed it, it was fun and action-packed.  I thought it was amazing that Joss Whedon could pull it off, by having four larger-than-life heroes, all played by top Hollywood talent, share the spotlight.  Perhaps what took the enjoyment a tad down compared to the other films (especially Promtheus) was because there has been so many recent movies featuring the Avengers (Iron Man, Capn' America, Thor, and the Hulk).  I ununderstand that Marvel wanted to set up the fanfare film, but still.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Top 10 Songs of 2011

2010's music hits were still being played on the radio when 2011's smash singles were just getting started.  With Facebook and Youtube anchored firmly in the camps of mainstream music, it was possible to listen to hit singles in the making months before they would later explode due to high radio play and digital singles sales.  Such was the case with several of these hits, including my current #1 favorite song.  Without further ado . . .

1. Pitbull - Give me everything (Ft. Ne-Yo, Nayer, & Afrojack) - I have already given this song its own anniversary post, but I have to highlight it again, as well as the youtube post that tipped me off in March of last year.  The song is just so . . . listenable . . . in almost every situation I can think of.  I want to hear it in the car.  In the gym.  At the club.  At my wedding.  Even at my funeral.  From Pitbull's raspy opening to the wavy synth to the bright piano chords to Ne-Yo's delicious voice to Nayeer's magical chorus break to the fun rap verses to the unstoppable production from Afrojack, to rhyming "Kodak" with "Kodak" to the delightful pre-chorus.  When I first heard it, it reeked of a titanic hit, and it did not disappoint, selling millions of singles and becoming the #1 radio song on Billboard for 2011, and a respectable #5 on the more prestigious Hot 100 list.  Most of my other songs that I have gotten obsessed with slowly make it to lower and lower positions on my ever-growing list of favorite songs, but I can't see it happening with this one.

Now, the list gets VERY tricky.  I loved GME so much that it was hard for me to "rank" songs during most of 2011.

2. David Guetta - Without you (Ft. Usher) - At first I wasn't sold on this song.  I had been bummed that Guetta's first single, "Where them girls at," had kind of bombed in the U.S., peaking its first week on the chart then hovering in the 30's before falling away, but hearing it often on the radio in the fall had it grow on me.  It's got dance, it's got beat, it's got emotion, and it has my men Usher and Guetta tearing it up.

3. Jeniffer Lopez - On the floor (Ft. Pitbull)  - Almost anything with Pitbull is awesome and this track is no exception, with him stealing the show during his verses with hilarious lines such as "back it up like a tonka truck."  J.Lo has a great voice, perfectly suited for pop/club type stuff, and RedOne's production is top notch.  Perfectly suited for clubs or gyms. 

4. David Guetta - Where them girls at? (Ft. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj) - When I first heard this song, someone had stolen the vocals from Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj and substituted their own production for it . . . and it was still good.  Nevertheless, I predicted it would be a smash hit, and it never happened.  Even if other people didn't appreciate it, I did.  It may sound a little too much like Guetta's "Sexy 'Chick,'" but it is one hell of a good time.

5. David Guetta - Little bad girl (Ft. Taio Cruz & Ludacris) - Another Guetta single that failed to take off in the United States (it was big overseas where they appreciate dance-oriented music more), but it's awesome.  Guetta here has almost old-school nintendo type synths which go along with Taio's sexy British singing voice and Ludacris's fun rap verse.

6.  Katy Perry - E.T. (Ft. Kanye West) - It originally came out in 2010 as a Katy Perry solo track, but for the single they added two verses from Kanye West and made it something special, and became massive on radio.  Nothing really to add, it's awesome wherever you hear it, and it's slow "boom boom clap"

7. Ke$ha - Blow - Perhaps not as good as "Your love is my drug" or "Tik tok" or even "We R who we R," the song is a helluva lot of fun.

8. Gym Class Heroes - Ass back home (Ft. Neon Hitch) - I was predisposed against Gym Class Heroes because they partnered with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who I don't like, for "Stereo Hearts," but Neon Hitch won my heart in "Ass back home" with the absolutely amazing chorus that blows Travie McCoy's two rap verses out of the water.  This is one of the songs where the chorus makes the song.

9. Kanye West - All of the lights (Ft. Rihanna, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, etc.) - Released in January 2011, it is one of the "oldest" songs of the bunch.  It's an absolutely epic ensemble anthem, featuring so many vocals that I can't list them all.  The most important contributor of the bunch, Rihanna, delivers an awesome chorus, while West's rap verses are delivered in his unique style and somehow makes it more memorable with the matureish content.

10. Adele -Someone like you - After the dreadful "Rolling in the deep," which I was very predisposed against because it kept "Give me everything" from being #1 on the Hot 100 for several weeks and is generally boring, "Someone like you" is an emotional, sad, wrenching, and yes, beautiful.  Adele proves her vocal talent is second to none, even if not all of her songs are in my taste.  I can respect her even while I change the radio dial for the majority of her songs.


LMFAO - Party rock anthem - Okay, it's a fun song, but it's not that good or epic of a song in the way that the other songs on this list are.  Leave my radio alone, and give me more Pitbull.


Roscoe Dash - Good "Good" night - The title is explicit, and so are the lyrics, but this song is killer.  You may recognize Roscoe Dash's distinctive voice from hits like "No Hands," and I really dig it.  He's not for everyone, and I don't like some of his other songs, but the chorus in this song is great and the bass is awesome.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Summertime is great for moviegoers like me because it is the season of the mega-blockbuster.  Think CGI, explosions, beautiful people, action, and a plot that probably won't stimulate those who prefer more intellectually stimulating fare.

Don't get me wrong, I love movies that have tightly paced plots and twists and good acting, but I prefer to see a certain type of movie on the big screen; especially considering today's prices.

So without further ado, here are my top 5 must-watches for this summer.

1. Prometheus - It's a sci-fi/horror genre mixer brought to us from Ridley Scott, whose work and resume are nothing short of genius.  Mixing the words "Ridley Scott" and "sci-fi/horror" are enough to get my wallet out, but consider the speculation that it is going to connect to one of my favorite franchises: the Alien saga.  We do know that there is a loose connection, but Scott is being cagey with us.  If it turns into a full-blown prequel that could be awesome; but not knowing is half the fun.  Oh, and it's rated R, so no concessions were made to make a few extra bucks at the box office.

2. The Dark Knight Rises - This is a no-brainer, both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were perfect movies which finally got Batman right.  Christopher Nolan is one of the rare directors who can concoct a perfect brew of action, acting, plot, and production values that can appeal to almost every single person, and the Batman/Bruce Wayne character is a perfect vehicle on which to unleash such a spectacle.  We know that this is going to be the last movie in this arc, so there are going to be no-compromises.

3. The Amazing Spiderman - You might think The Avengers would go at this spot, but not so fast.  Since the last Spiderman movie we have had Iron Man, IM2, Thor, and Captain America.  In other words, plenty of "Avengers" and not a lot of Spidey.  This is a reboot, Tobey Maguire is nowhere to be seen, and the leads are the super-hot Andrew Garfield and blond Emma Stone.  Damn!  Spidey looks to be taken in an entirely new direction, which I won't get into here, but suffice to say it will not be a remake of Tobey's "Spiderman."

4. The Avengers - It was going to be here anyway, and I just saw it yesterday.  Joss Whedon pulled it off, managing to cram the "Big 4" (Iron Man, the Captain, Thor, and The Hulk) into the movie with plenty of screen-time left over for the impressive supporting cast.  The main reason I wanted to see it was because Paramount and Marvel were doing something very ambitious by setting up this particular movie with 5 other movies (counting Ed Norton's Incredible Hulk, who was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for this film), and the result was most satisfying.

5. Expendables 2 - As the trailer for this played for The Avengers I remarked to my friend, "this is a movie made by men, for men."  The cast is mostly made up of 80's action megastars (including Stallone, Van Damme, Willis, Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris), and the "hard R" rating from the first film (which was awesome) will translate into tons of glorious action that will make 80's fanboys cry out in delight.  This might be one to leave the girlfriend at home.

Other movies that may have made the cut if there had not been so much competition:

GI Joe sequel - glorious action, The Rock, and Chatum Tanning.  The first one had brilliant action and pacing so this is going to be good.

Total Recall - a remake of a glorious action vehicle starring Schwarzenegger, it takes place on Mars and is awesome, I won't give anything away.  Colin Ferrel and Jessica Biel are going to rock this one out of the park, no doubt, but with all the competition it might not get the attention it deserves.

Battleship - Hasbro is giving us a "Transformerish" CGI/action fest coming out this weekend, with Liam Neeson, some hot dude, and Rihanna.  It'll have to hold me over until the summer of 2014, when Michael Bay gives us Transformers 4.

Other interesting ones that I probably will rent but not go to the theater for: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Brave, Bourne 4, and Snow White and the Huntsman (Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron, dayum!).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top 10 songs of 2010

If 2009's "I gotta feeling" started my spiral into pop/club/dance music, 2010 sealed the deal.  I would call it an embarrassment of riches.  Just when I was getting into the groove at school on going out to the (surprisingly good) local bars/clubs, the new songs that were coming out were amazing.

2010 started with the reign of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok," started the summer with Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," and in my opinion, peaked with Flo Rida's "Club can't handle me."  Such a good year for music, and without further ado:

1. Flo Rida - Club Can't Handle me (Ft. David Guetta) - Wasn't exactly love at first sight, as I was finding my sea legs, but after hearing this on the radio a few times, I ended up performing it at a lip synch contest sponsored by the Student Government Association.  Perhaps because of my needing to learn the lyrics in order to lip synch to it properly, I listened to it more than I probably would have, and I fell in love with Flo Rida's verses, the chorus, and David Guetta's unbeatable production.  I would request it almost every time I would be out in the club.  Unfortunately, it only peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 for a couple of weeks, so it wasn't the absolute behemoth-sized smash that my second pick is, but that doesn't matter, because it is #1 in my heart.

2. Taio Cruz - Dynamite - Billboard magazine's "Hot 100 of the year" song was Dynamite, and for good reason: the song moved continents.  The song perfectly encapsulates everything I like about the pop/club/dance genre: it's simply pleasure, and glorious at that.  The lyrics weren't going to win any awards.  "I came to dance, dance, dance, dance," etc.  But the simplicity and clearness of the lyrics made it one that anyone who listened to it once or twice on the radio could sing along to it, and I wouldn't be surprised if a billion people have fist-pumped to Dynamite.

3. Diddy Dirty Money - I'm Coming Home (Ft. Skylar Grey) - This isn't exactly a dance/club song, but there is another genre of music that I take a liking too: "anthem-type" rap.  Add in 3 sexy verses by Diddy, a super sexy chorus sung by Skylar Grey and Diddy's two better halves, and amazing backing music.  That's "I'm Coming Home."  

4. Enrique Iglesias - I like it (Ft. Pitbull) - This song is just a delight.  Enrique and Pitbull are unstoppable. 

5. Usher - DJ Got us fallin' in love (Ft. Pitbull) - Usher in club style + Pitbull doing his thing is another unstoppable hit.

6. Lupe Fiasco - The show goes on - Another epic "anthem" rap, this time with the controversial Lupe Fiasco sampling Modest Mouse's biggest hit.  I came to like this song later on when it was hitting its stride on radio, and I also hear a clubbed up version in bars.

7. Chris Brown - Yeah 3x - This song was Chris Brown's redemption in my eyes.  As one of my college friend's remarked: it's a happy song about alcohol.  Yes it is, David James, yes it is, and it is one of my "back-up" songs to request when my top ones have already been played. 

8. Ke$ha - Your love is my drug - How I loved this song for a few months in 2010.  If I had written this near the beginning of 2011 it may have rated higher, but the songs that followed were so much better.

9. Jerimeh - Down on me (Ft. 50 Cent) - The song is dirty, the music video is dirtier, but the beat + the chorus + 50 cent was too much for me to resist. 

10. Enrique Iglesias - Tonight I'm 'Loving' You (Ft. Ludacris) - Enrique followed "I like it" with this song, and the uncensored version is a beast.  Even got to use the song in a tango in my dance group in college.  Sexy.

Honorable mention:

Wacka Flacka Flame, "No Hands" (Ft. Wale & Roscoe Dash) - I didn't really start listening to this song until about a year after it came out on youtube, but what makes it a winner in my eyes was the epic backing anthem tracks with the brass/drums/strings and Roscoe Dash's addicting voice and chorus.  "Girl the way you moving, got me in a trance."  Another dirty song, probably the worst of the 2010 list, but I can't not like it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Top 5 Songs of 2009

During the 2009-2010 school year, I, as a junior in college, discovered my current taste in music.  The Black Eyed Peas's "I gotta feeling" was a revelation to me.  Lame?  Shallow?  Maybe, but I don't care.  I only have 5 top songs here because I really wasn't keeping track back then.

Without further ado, here I try to rank my favorite 2009 songs, which is hard as it was 2.5-3 years ago . . .

1. Black Eyed Peas - "I gotta feeling" - No contest here.  Pure club/pop/dance magic.  BeP + David Guetta.  14 weeks on top of the Hot 100.  !!!!!   13+ million singles downloads.  The string/synth line holds it down while the song builds up several times to the verses and the epic chorus.  The song is so good that listing the days of the week actually works, and the call-and-response sections are great.

2. Miley Cyrus - "Party in the USA" - I couldn't resist it.  So catchy, and back then Miley was cute and not a wannabe Lindsay Lohan.

3. Keri Hilson - "Knock you down" (Ft. Ne-Yo & Kanye West) - This song makes it because I became obsessed with a remix on Newgrounds that I randomly stumbled into.  I think the remix is better than the original since it is sped up and more dancey, and though the remix is billed as a "trance" song I don't consider it that.

4. Pitbull - "I know you want me" - Pit rocked that track.  The music video was too "sexy" for me to show my mom, for instance, but the actual song is so delightfully fun.  "One, two, three, four, uno, dos, tres, quatro," (with Pitbull's signature 'whoop' in the building).  So nice.

5. Boys Like Girls - "Love Drunk" - Kind of a throwback to my rock/pop/punk fare that tided me over in high school, I love the song but it's not really what I like anymore.

Honorable mentions:

Jay Sean - "Down" (Ft. Lil Wayne) - A good track, but too hard to rank since I didn't listen to the track until later.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mass Effect 3

Four years ago I played Mass Effect.  Two years ago I played Mass Effect 2.  Twenty minutes ago, I beat Mass Effect 3.

The journey has had mostly ups and a few downs.  Each game has a fantastic cast of characters and a rich universe that, dare I say, nears that of the Star Wars galaxy.  The combat of the game has had significant improvements from the first to second, and second to third.  The third introduced a multiplayer co-op survival mode that is a ton of fun to play.

The best part though, was the story.  I will not give one plot point away other than to say you play a hyper-competent soldier named Shepard, who can either be a male or female, depending on your preference, and can be a "good guy" or a "ruthless goodish guy," and you are tasked with nothing less than saving the galaxy a couple hundred years from now.  With a wide variety of guns, biotic powers, and tech abilities, as well as two squadmates at any one time, you cut a swath through any opposition.

Which brings me to Mass Effect 3.  I was late to the party since I'm in law school and I wanted it at as a birthday present (born mid-March), and since ME3 came out in early March I had to wait almost two weeks while everyone else played it, and so I heard how supposedly "horrible" then ending was in almost every online post about the game.

I managed to avoid spoilers on the ending, other than how bad it was.  I ignored it as much as I could, since I thought the endings for the previous Mass Effect games were solid story-wise, even if not spectacular in the way the gameplay wrapped things up.

Not so with Mass Effect 3.  I feel hollow inside; I feel let down by Bioware.  Everything leading up to the last 15-20 minutes was superb.  The combat was amazing.  My Shepard, a Vanguard since Mass Effect, was a force of nature on the battlefield, teleporting and smashing and throwing and shooting his way through thousands of enemy troops of all varieties.  There were so many good characters, little improvements to how you interact with the world outside of the battlefield, and the dialogue at some parts was good enough to get me laughing, giving me goosebumps, or even a lump in my throat (but never tears, no-no, never happened).

But the ending. 

Bioware attempted something so ambitious: create an epic story, taking place over three games, where you create a character and make choices and interact with the world in a way that changes the future games.  And besides the ending, or should I say endings, they succeeded.

I loved running around my ship, catching seemingly random conversations between my crew, getting to know them and marveling at how skillful Bioware integrated  your input with your character, the other characters, and the other characters relationships with other characters.

And the ending takes it all away.  Three games, 4-5 years, countless hours dedicated to our respective Shepards.  What's so surprising about it is that even though their games' combat can sometimes be clunky, or sequels not living up to the original (like Dragon Age 2), no one can really fault Bioware for their characters or stories.  Even Dragon Age 2 featured a rich cast of characters and an intriguing, focused, political story (though the unbalanced combat took away from that).

The entire Mass Effect series was fan-freaking tastic, up to the last fifteen minutes.

Have I lost faith with Bioware?  Some.  I plan on replaying Mass Effect 3 with my female Shepard, a badass soldier who will do anything to achieve victory for her team, and I have enjoyed the co-op multiplayer a lot.  I will probably invest more time, money, but most importantly, my emotions, with a future Mass Effect game.

After hearing about how bad the ending was from other people, I hoped against hope that all the haters were wrong.  After all, gamers are notoriously picky, and freak out on favorite companies for seemingly little things.  But this is one thing they got right.  Going into the final mission, wondering what could be awaiting my character, speaking to my crewmates for perhaps the last time, I remained hopeful.

To be sure, Bioware had an epic task, to continually top themselves with improvements to combat, and wrap up an epic story in a way that satisfied us but also leaving open the possibility of having games in the Mass Effect universe in the future.  And up to the last 15 minutes of Mass Effect 3, they succeeded.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One year anniversary of Pitbull's "Give me everything" being released on Youtube

As a man of faith and a man of pop radio, I often see evidence of the Lord in the context of radio stations.  For instance, there was a weekend in October in which I not only did very well on a mid-term, but I was able to travel back to my undergraduate university for homecoming to have an epic time with my friends I hadn't seen in a while.  As I hopped into the car, I thought, wouldn't it be nice . . and it was nice, as I heard the beginning of Pitbull's infectious "Give me everything" (yeah right picture that with a Kodak).

That song . . . where to begin?  My infatuation with Pitbull began sometime after I first was introduced to his earlier hits like "Calle Ocho (I know you want me)" and "Hotel Room Service."  My initial thoughts were that he had incredibly fun hooks and raps, but that his music videos were a little hyper-sexual for my taste.  I don't mind having beautiful women in music videos, don't get me wrong, but I thought he took it a little too far.

As cool as those songs were, I didn't fall in love with them and listen to them obsessively like I would with "I gotta feeling" or my favorite Ke$ha song "Your love is my drug."  I was kind of "re-introduced" to Pitbull when he was guest-featured simultaneously on mega-hits "I like it" with Enrique Iglesias and "DJ's got us falling in love" with Usher.  He obviously stole the show in both of those songs, and those two songs were some of my favs for that year.  Those songs led to my "liking" him on Facebook.

Soon after Pitbull dropped his first single of his album, "Hey baby" with T-Pain.  Good song, added to my MP3 playlist, but not yet to the level of a hit like, say, "Dynamite" or "Club can't handle me."  Pitbull then stole the show again as a guest on J.Lo's "On the floor." 

The stage was set.  On March 25th, 2011, Pitbull's facebook page dropped a link to the audio-only version of "Give me everything."  It began with bright, E-flat piano chords, and Pitbull using wrong English (me not working hard?) and rhyming the same word with each other (Kodak twice).  Ne-Yo's voice was added to the irresistible chorus.  Nayer, an upcoming star on Pitbull's label (she was previously in music videos with Pit) featured in a too-brief chorus bridge in an almost ethereal-sounding voice.  Pitbull went on to kill it in two separate verses which I faithfully sing along to every chance I get, and his addition in the pre-chorus (Excuse me, and I might drink a little more than I should, tonight, etc.) is just plain addicting.

Those three artists, combined with the production values of Dutch DJ/producer Afrojack, created a perfect brew of pop/dance/club smash hit that I would not, nay, could not, get tired of.  Compare it to your favorite mixed drink, or your favorite combination of pizza toppings.  I just love it.  I can listen to it on the computer while hammering out 50+ footnotes in a law review case comment.  I can listen to it while driving to-from school for five minutes.  I can listen to it for longer drives.  I can listen to it in the gym.  I can listen to it as background noise.  And, of course, I absolutely love hearing it in the club.  Almost every chance I get to a place where the possibility of DnD exists (drinking and dancing, I will elaborate in a later post), I will request it.  If the DJ said they had already played it, I will put on my sad face and offer to by him or her a shot of patron.

"Give me everything" is one of those songs, that, 99.9% of the time, is an instant mood improver when I leave school/work over the summer, turn on my car, and hear it on the radio.  "Rolling in the deep" on?  I would rather listen to commercials.  "Party rock anthem?"  I think it is bland and better suited to a nightclub atmosphere/party.  "We found love?"  I'll listen to it, but it won't put a damn big smile on my face like Pitbull does rhyming "kodak" with "kodak."

I get it, everyone has different tastes in music.  But I don't know how many people can say that a particular song is like a drug for them.  And maybe that's a bad thing, but I think not.  It's not like smoking a cigarette, doing drugs, or needing alcohol to have a good time.

If I am at a boring get-together with a bunch of other guys and a few girls who have boyfriends and I have to listen to a band like "Mumford and sons," I'll sit silently, twirling the 1/4 of drink left in the bottle I hold in my left hand.  However, you flip on "Give me everything" and I'll turn into the life of the party.

Long Friday at law school, where I hate my life, and am bummed about my prospects for a killer weekend?

No fear!

Turn the keys,
my song is on,
the night is young.

Thanks Pit!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Post: Origins of my taste in music through college

Hey everyone.  Probably an emphasis on one.  Anyhow, I like a variety of entertainment.  Music, movies, books, PC games and hardware, the internet, and a smattering of other things that will come up later on that I can't predict.

Since I have been young I have been in love with music.  When I first started developing a taste in music, it was based on what I played on the piano and what tapes/CD's my dad had, so I liked classical music, rock, and 80's music.  Some of dad's stuff I liked for a while came from Harry Chapin, the Blues Brother's movie, the Hot and Heavy CD (Final Countdown, Godzilla, etc.), and of course, "Bohemian Rhapsody" (one time I spent hours playing Final Fantasy 8 on the PS One while listening to BR on loop, but that's another story).

In middle school/high school I kept with 80's music, mainly new wave, like Wang Chung, A-ha, and Alphaville, and contemporary punk rock and a few radio hits here and there.   Some of my taste was helped along by the MP3 catalog that I inherited from my cousin, who liked some of the same things as well as rock, so for a while I would have a U2 song in there perhaps. In later high school I fell in love with an indie band named Quietdrive which I still kind of follow to this day, and picked up on more popular stuff, which was a foreshadowing of thing to come, as well as electronic or techno music, most of which came from me typing "techno + ______ (something else I liked)" in search engines.

By college I was still in flux, and as youtube gave quick access to any music on the planet at a moment's notice it was easier and easier to experiment.  I stumbled onto a band named Drowning Fish, an indie punk-rock band from California which did most of their music in the early 2000's, and a rock band or two which has been disbanded since then.  My roommate loved techno/dance music and kind of got me into some of that.

Junior year, which was 2009-2010, became the defining year for me up to this point and the forseeable future.  That was when my friends and I started going out to the local bars, which were a good mix of being decent and not having overly expensive drinks.

Anyhow, when we started to go I began to notice songs like Ke$ha's "Tick Tok" and Lady Gaga, but the song which set off the chain reaction for which you will see here was Black Eyed Pea's "I Gotta Feeling," which I learned later was produced by David Guetta, who would be influential later, who actually sampled one of his own tracks on.  I couldn't stop listening to it.  That was the first song that I can remember being obsessed with because of its perfect mix of just being a good fun/party/club song.  It really didn't have anything to do with how popular the song was, spending fourteen straight weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and selling a record amount of digital copies.

After that, I had a Ke$ha phase, with songs like "Tik Tok," "Your love is my drug," "Take it off," and later with songs like "We R who we r" and "Blow," and loved Beyonce's "Single Ladies," and some of Lady Gaga's songs.

The rest is history, and will pick up in my top 10 of 2009, 2011, and 2012 music posts.