Record Machine: Synthetica by Metric

Synthetica reminds me that I should really listen to Metric more often. Though I own this LP and a burned CD of 2003’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, I somehow forget how much I enjoy them.

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Record Machine: Sleigh Bells’ Reign of Terror

When I won a giveaway from Mom+Pop Records, I’d never heard of Sleigh Bells. Mainly, I’d entered because I wanted to win the “Varsity” 7-inch by Smith Westerns, whom I’d recently stumbled upon. Other goodies from Metric and Neon Indian were also included in the package, and I will get to talking about those records in due time. So how did I like Sleigh Bells’ 2012 album, Reign of Terror?

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5 Book Recommendations For Your Reading Pleasure

Every few months or so, someone on my Facebook newsfeed or elsewhere will put out a general call for book recommendations. Other friends will chime in, and the discussion that ensues makes us all end up adding more books to our to-read mental lists. In the spirit of those sorts of posts, from the semi-varied pool of books I’ve read lately, I offer five solid suggestions.

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30 Years of Music: 2012

2012 is very recent history, yes, but let’s pretend that this installment of 30 Years of Music is better than all the “Best Of” posts you saw last December and January. We’ve got indie hip-hop, dance party gems, and worry not, a fair amount of guitar too.

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What’s Really on the Line This Time

I do understand how someone could not want to vote for President Obama, but I truly cannot understand why anyone would help the chances of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan getting in. No matter what President Obama may or may not do, it’s nothing on the scale of what these men the Koch Brothers will do. Let’s face it, at best Tweedledum and Tweedledee will be sock monkeys – Grover Norquist called it.

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I Propose a Revolution of Religion!

I’m a person who checks, “Spiritual but not religious,” on the forms where there’s a red asterisk next to, “Religion.” I try to avoid getting too deep into my belief structure with other people. Mostly because there is no structure and it’s kind of something I made up as I went along. I believe in treating people fairly, respecting other human beings, and that to some degree, love and kindness are the solutions to most problems human beings encounter. That’s why I’ve got a slight issue with the concept organized religion.

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Positivity Challenge Week 1: Reconnecting With Your Empathy

Well, 2012 is finally here. The year of the end of the world, or just when the Mayans got tired of making calendars. Rick Santorum wants to take away your birth control. It’s prime Seasonal Affective Disorder time. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore have split. Almost every country in the world is going through a financial crisis. There’s a chance that the November elections will have a very, very scary result. And…Matt Lauer might be leaving the Today show at the end of the year.

There are a lot of things bringing us down right now. Realistically, though, the world won’t be ending by Christmas, so the only way to combat all of the negativity swirling around you at the moment is to make a conscientious effort to bring in more positivity. While I’m by no means an expert in positivity, I have spent the last year trying to make myself more positive in ways big and small. The people around me can vouch for the success of my tactics (most of the time, at least). Every other week, I’ll talk about a specific aspect of positivity and give you a challenge for the weeks ahead. Feel free to share your ideas, encouragement, progress, and suggestions in the comments! Read More Positivity Challenge Week 1: Reconnecting With Your Empathy