slept right through the year i've grown




The Big Ticket turns one year old today. Celebrate good times, c'mon.

Apologies for taking so long to get this post together. So anyway, I did a search for "birthday" in my iTunes & here are a few tunes that popped up:

MP3 Altered Images - "Happy Birthday (12" mix)"
First off, let me say that I have had a pretty good time messing around on this blog over the past year. I've gradually improved my html ninja skills along the way, though I'm still too much of a novice to leave Blogger behind (it helps that it's free). I've written (and linked to) a lot of stuff that I like, or find interesting/noteworthy/amusing, including lots of posts about Tom Waits, Arrested Development, Ted Leo, november's election & Air America, Garden State & Eternal Sunshine, and even more posts about my favorite sons of Jersey, RANA. I've written about a lot of great music (IMO, anyway), and putting together my Mix '04 last December was a nice way to recap the previous year. I've appreciated all the feedback I've gotten from the nutjobs who (for whatever reason) tend to frequent this site, and I encourage more of you to jump in with a comment if you feel so inclined. I likey.

I don't know where I found his track, from the Glasgow-based 80's band Altered Images, but it's my jump-around-and-kick-yo-feets-happy-happy-birthday song, and a seven minute extended 12" dance version at that. It's a bonus track off the 2004 reissue of the band's 1981 debut LP, also titled Happy Birthday. Doesn't it just make you all giddy & smiley?

MP3 Andrew Bird - "The Birthday Song"
Of course, for every ying there is a yang. Or something like that. Anyhoo, the fact that this blog has been in operation for 365 days now also has a downside. Now that I've been blogging for a full year, I have to face the fact that I have been blogging for a full year. And not doing much else. Ugh. Still in the same old rut, flittering my life away here in Mpls, only it's an entire year later & I still have very little show for it. But I do have 200+ blog posts showing what I've been wasting my time on instead of, you know, doing something with myself. Is this blog just one big masterbatory exercise? Does my blogging do anything besides distract from things of substance?

Blah blah blah. As you may or may not know, I've used this blog to vent my frustrations & wallow in depressive bullsh** from time to time, as I've just done yet again. Whatever, it's my blog & I can do whatever I want with it.

Anyway, so this is a more melacholy birthday song to go along with those sentiments. "The Birthday Song" is the final track on The Mysterious Production of Eggs, the latest album from Andrew Bird, who performed here in Mpls at the Loring Pasta Bar (though it was scheduled for the Varsity Theater, thanks to More Cowbell for the heads up) on Thursday nite. I didn't attend, but JRDN did (more on that later). Here are the lyrics:
when i wake up in the morning
I pour the coffee, read the paper
then I slowly & so softly
do the dishes, feed the fishes
sing me Happy Birthday
sing it like it's going to be your last day
like its hallelujah
don't just let it pass on through ya
it's a giant among clichés
and that's why I want you to sing it anyway
sing me Happy Birthday
'cause hell what's it all about, anyway
sing me Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
like it's gonna be your last day, here on earth

It seems to be a somber rumination on the somewhat trivial everyday activities we all do over & over, and how something that breaks up the monotony like a birthday can be a trivial & clichéd event, but yet still be meaningful. After all, if we can't step back & take joy out of something special, then "hell, what's it all about, anyway?" It's not my last day yet.

MP3 Junior Boys - "Birthday (Manitoba mix)"
So, I used to pride myself on being really good about keeping track of people's birthdays. I figured it was the least I could do, and even if I've been out of touch with somebody for a while, it's always nice to hear from people on your birthday. Well, I've been doing a real piss poor job of doing this over the past several months, and I can't help but feel guilty about it. I've been a lousy (so-called) friend. So I'd like to extend sincere apologies to Dan, Eric, Zidel, Abby, Emily, Juhi, Carrie, Andy K, Andy H, Seth, Jess B, Roni, Bami, Inbal, Marshall, Nolfi, Mimi, Jim B & Javitch, as well as a deep apology to anybody I forgot to mention. I hope your birthdays were happy.

Silence is a Rhythm Too originally posted this track last Halloween, but I thought I'd re-post it for this occasion. It's off the bonus disc from Junior Boys' stateside release of 2004's Last Exit LP. This remix comes courtesy of Dan Snaith, aka Caribou (formerly known as Manitoba), who will be heading out on tour with fellow Canadian bedroom lap-poppers The Russian Futurists & Junior Boys beginning in April. Michael from SIART wrote:

"The original is a lush synth pop song that reminds me a bit of The Postal Service - it's the melancholy melody. Caribou keeps the song's beauty of a hook and grimes up everything around it. The beats pound harder, there's static-y scratchy noises, and some cool windchime bells.

Given the song's regretful lyrics about missing birthdays, I thought it fit.

MP3 Jens Lekman - "Are Birthdays Happy?"
Lastly, here's a fairly pessimistic birthday tune from Sweden folk-popper Jens Lekman, from Secretly Canadian's collection of rare Lekman work, the department of forgotten songs. Jens says, "This is probably a very old song. I really try to be an optimist these days, though it's got a beat and a nice sampled horn section so you can dance to it." He's spot on about the beat & the sampled horn, as well as the semi-morbid sentiment. Heck, even I'm not that negative. Well, I try not to be. How do y'all think that's going?

This post got kinda depressing by the end, huh? Whoops. Perhaps next year (assuming I'm still keeping up with it) will bring a happier blog birthday.

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