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Oak and Gorski must raise $10,000 by this week (Oct. 1st).

They’re at around $9000. It’s pretty much an all or nothing deal. Please help them not fail. Thanks.

Oak and Gorski Album/Music Video/Press/Tour KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN.

After you make your “contribution,” watch Ed shave his luscious locks and donate it to a charity of your choice. And/or have Ken come to your place during their tour and give you a private cello lesson. (No innuendo. It’s an actual cello lesson.) Hell…BUY Ken’s cello off him if you can. These guys have. no. limits. Nor shame for that matter.

Help them out if you can. Please. It’s for a good cause. =)

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Originally published in the Daily Trojan. (No longer archived on the DT website.) This is also the unedited version I originally submitted. I didn’t have any problems with the changes my editors made…except for them altering the entire perspective of the article by changing it from present tense to past tense. (Also, they asked for 1000 words. I gave them 1900…so yeah…cuts/edits obviously had to be made somewhere.)┬áBut yeah…this is how it originally felt.

Ken Oak, in a white long-sleeve shirt, jeans, and slightly messy hair that covers his face a bit, sits in a dimly lit, small, cozy Los Angeles cafe near Koreatown, nervously fidgeting just a bit. Ed Gorski, his bandmate, dressed in a moderately wrinkled grey button-down, cargo shorts, and a scruffy beard, leans back casually in his seat, one arm hanging loosely behind his chair. Both have faint but noticeable bags under their eyes — effects of the successful release of their new album at the Hotel Cafe in downtown Los Angeles earlier this month.

They are waiting for this interview, and this article, to get started as the cafe barista very slowly prepares the three mochas. The drinks arrive, Oak sits up, Gorski remains in his casual pose, and the interview gets underway.

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Wow…has it really been 3 years? Where’d all the time go?

Well…each year, this post has gotten less and less ambitious, but even with my blog being dead for a few months, I can’t resist doing this.

So here it is. The top 15 albums of 2009, along with single download links and links to where you can buy each record.

One thing that I’m adding this year is the “specialty” selections: Best Remix, Best Mash-Up, Best Sample, Best E.P., and Best Collaboration.

This should be an exciting one!
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After the monstrosity that was last year’s year-end top 28 albums list, I’ve found I don’t have the energy to ever do something like that again.

So I plan on taking the ranking out of it (everybody wins and everyone gets a participation ribbon) and just list 10 albums a day from 2008 that I enjoyed until I either run out of albums or get tired.

I’ll keep the same post and just pile each group of 10 on top and click “update.”

Third (and possibly final) batch of 10 great albums from 2008:
Okay, so I got tired. So I’m done. Sue me. (more…)

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mixtape

So it’s that time of the year again. The family’s all back together, the chestnuts are roasting, the air is cooler, the heart is warmer…

Yes, that’s right, it is time for another volume of Bomb Diggity Jams!

(Note: I’d like to apologize for missing out on the Fall edition…things were just TOO crazy this semester and I didn’t have time to put it all together. But that just means next year’s Fall edition will kick that much more ass!)

Well, no time to talk much. I will say that Side A is for the more contemplative/reflective days of winter and Side B is for the more fun, reminiscing/memory-making days.

Here’s the tracklist, with a few selected songs available for download (just right-click and save-as). The whole thing is available for download at the link below (go to the page and download the .zip file).

Side A: (more…)

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It’s finally here! Bomb Diggity Jams – Volume 2, Summer ’08 edition. This thing took a lot of time. I started working on it a few months ago, and I actually went through my entire library to compile 300-400 songs that had a “summer” feel to it. That’s an unprecedented number of candidate-songs for any mixtape so far. I don’t know what got into me; I guess I was really excited for summer.

From there, it was a process of elimination. As usual, when it got down to around 40 or so songs, I started to arrange them so they had some semblence of continuity, eliminating tracks that didn’t fit with the rest as I went along. And…voila! I finally had a nice mixtape to provide a soundtrack for summer.

Put it on a CD, mp3 player, laptop, whatever. Play it at work, school, home, on the road with the windows down and speakers blasting. Let this be the soundtrack to usher in the warm rays of sunshine, the cool melt of popsicles, sandy beaches, care-free lazy days, innocent summer flings, rekindling old romances, memory-filling road trips, breathtaking sunsets, warm nights, stomach-filling barbeques…and all the rest of the delightful things summer brings.

Did I tell you that I love summers?

Tracklist:

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Sorry about the title, I couldn’t help it. I think it’s rather humorous.

To the delight/lament of music fans everywhere, Coldplay released their 4th album this week, with the Ricky Martin-inspired title, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.

Maybe it was just me keeping myself less exposed to it, but it seemed like there was not nearly as much hype and build-up as there was for their previous album, X&Y. I count that as a good thing. X&Y was doomed from the beginning by all the ridiculous hype and expectations. (I do think they definitely took a few steps forward on that album though.)

When they released their first single from Viva La Vida, “Violet Hill,” it was pretty obvious they were going in a different direction, much of which can be attributed to first-time Coldplay producer, Brian Eno. There was a darker tone to the music along with some added depth. And a guitar solo. I was going to be pretty excited about the album regardless, but “Violet Hill” really drove up expectations.

I listened to the entire album online a few weeks ago when the band released it for streaming, so I’ve been able to enjoy it for some time already.

And man…it is a great listen.

All right, on with the review. This will go like the post for Radiohead’s “In Rainbows.” I’ll list the title of each track and my favorite part of each song, with a blurb of thoughts for each. Then I’ll give some wrap-up thoughts on the album as a whole afterwords.

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