CDP Pop Crunch Lost Review #2.

Before you sit down with tonight’s new episode of Lost, take a moment to reflect on the week that was, with another CDP-flavored edition of the Pop Crunch Show. Longtime CDP fans will certainly be happy with some of the jokes I managed to slip in there this week.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

(I know that Kevin Palmer was listed as Head Writer. It’s okay.)

1989 CDP Evaluation.

I found this First Grade teacher evaluation amongst a pile of papers my mother sent me late last year. You’re going to want to click on the images to make them larger. It’s worth it.

1989 Evaluation.

The handwriting on the bottom reads: “The boys think he’s really smart, but they’re getting tired of his cockiness.” She also takes the time to underline ‘impulsive’ and mention that I have an authority problem, along with the X’s painting a picture of me that’s nothing short of unstoppable evil.

There’s so much more. Keep reading.

1989 Evaluation.

Again, she takes the time to mention that I’m ‘passively’ uncooperative, and circles some of the most life-scarring and potentially damaging adjectives a person can say about a child. ‘Tics?’ ‘Bizarre?’ Goddamn. I’m quite certain that they no longer use this evaluation form at Winneconne Elementary School.

Notice that she never had anything bad to say about my academic achievements. This was all due in part to my being extremely bored with the coursework presented. She didn’t stimulate me whatsoever, and I had nothing better to do than to entertain myself.

The grand finale is the final comment, which reads: “Ryan is way above First Grade level work. I must always keep him busy, because if I don’t, he’s distracting others. He has no sympathy for anyone and laughs at other children’s mistakes. He also makes up stories and lies.

The ‘has no sympathy for anyone and laughs at other children’s mistakes’ line is, without question, one of the funniest things anyone has ever written about me. I laugh my ass off every time I read it.

Almost 20 years later, and I haven’t changed a bit, and that’s a damn shame. After all, who would want to be a overachieving, defiant, anti-authority storyteller with no time or tolerance for stupidity? What a terrible fate that would have been.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Lost Monday – "Eggtown."

Episode 4 - 'Eggtown.'
Season 4 – Episode 4: “Eggtown.”

After a week off, Lost Monday makes its triumphant return to glory. We have much to discuss.

Last weekend, I finally got around to watching The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It’s a brilliantly engaging documentary that follows one common man’s journey to set a world record score for the arcade game Donkey Kong, while trying to avoid some of the controversial roadblocks and petty nerds that attempt to protect their tyrannical leader and current record holder, Billy Mitchell. I thought it was fantastic (although slightly misleading), and it inspired me to look at some of the classic arcade games in my collection with more of a competitive spirit.

In a move that can be described as both ‘career damaging’ and ‘unbelievably retarded on all counts,’ I have permanently installed a Pac-Man arcade game in my office at CDP Headquarters. I did this to boost creativity, keep morale high and…

Okay, none of that is true. I just wanted yet another diversion from having to actually be funny for another week. Just a few hours into the Great Experiment, and Pac-Man seriously needs to go. I’ve already played over 15 games, and I keep looking back at it with the longing gaze of an airport goodbye*. This was a terrible idea.

*(If you’re looking for a good name for your Emo band, I suggest ‘Airport Goodbye.’ Go ahead, you can have it.)

(“I have freckles, Herpies. Wait, I mean I have herpies, Freckles.”)

Alas, I must trudge forward and deconstruct Thursday’s episode of Lost. Historically speaking, Kate-centric episodes are almost always boring and without merit (she’s had 8 of them). Her flashback, ‘killer on the run’ storyline was always sort of weak and lacking the mythology and complicated twists that we’ve come to expect with Lost, and it’s wonderful to see that we’ll probably never get another Kate flashback episode again.

With Season 4 rocking the flash-forwards like Steve Kerr rocking the 3-point line (Hooray for completely out-of-date references!), we got a fresh Kate story, the end of her Fugitive-esque subplot, and an off-island mystery that will gladly replace any mysteries that concerned Kate’s time as a wanted woman. The twist-ending was good enough, but it wasn’t nearly as pants-pissingly devastating as Sayid’s revelation last week. Also, had you been paying attention, you would have seen it coming from a mile away.

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and bite down on something. It’s time for the Thick & Meaty!

Thick & Meaty!


I have to admit that the beginning of this episode excited the hell out of me, and it was for a completely incorrect reason. Going into ‘Eggtown,’ I knew two things:

1. It was a Kate-centric flash-forward.

2. We would find out who the ‘he’ was that Kate was referring to at the end of Season 3. According to interviews, this ‘he’ allowed Kate to get herself together and keep her on the straight and narrow.

So when this episode started, and I saw Locke preparing breakfast for someone in a kitchen, I immediately thought it was a flash-forward sequence, and Locke was the ‘he’ that Kate was referring to. When he began to descend the basement steps, I got positively giddy, actually thinking that Locke was pulling a Buffalo Bill with Kate off of the island, tying her up in the basement and making her put the lotion on the skin and so forth.

Yes, I really thought this was happening for a few seconds. However, wouldn’t it have been awesome?

Sing a Cher song!
(Wow, the turtleneck really hides that Adam’s Apple, Kate!)

Well, whatever. As it turned out, he was just keeping tabs on Ben, who was patiently biding his time until Locke whizzed the plan down his pant leg and allowed him to escape again.

On the beach, Jin and Sun are discussing plans after their rescue. Jin decides to pursue a career in Mixed-Martial Arts, while Sun decides to move to Madison, Wisconsin, where she can start a brief-yet-passionate affair with popular author, blogger and humorist, Ryan J. Zeinert.

Damn, I’m going to have to turn my office into a nursery. How will I play Pac-Man now? She’s not even here yet, and she’s already a hassle. Sun, you’re smothering me. We have to talk.

He's just so funny and pale!
(“…and we’ll live forever in his studio apartment with the cats. It’ll be bliss!”)

Back at Other Village, Kate tricks Hurley into telling her where Miles is located. This is also known as ‘Ham Blackmail.’

Yeah, I’ve got thousands of them, and I’m not stopping.

Kate and Miles have a chat in the boathouse, with Kate demanding to know what he knows about her. Miles won’t talk until he gets a minute alone with Benjamin.

And an Al Green CD.
And some flower petals.
And a copy of Titanic.
And a succulent pot roast.

Seems like they have quite the night planned. We’ll check on them later on in the show and see how they’re coming along.

Dude, I Say Nothing But 'Dude' Now.
(“I’ll tell you where Miles is, but then you have to let me eat your head in drawn butter.”)

Kate then goes back to Claire and drops a plot point the size of Harold Perrineau’s ego when she states that she would make a bad mother, and that Claire is a wonderful protector for Aaron.

She then mysteriously adds, “…..for now.”
And then Claire goes, “What?”
And Kate goes, “Nothing.”
And then Claire goes, “I thought you said something.”
And Kate goes, “Well, I didn’t.”
And Claire goes, “I see.”
And Kate goes, “I’m Aaron’s future-Mom.”
And then Claire kisses her passionately on the ear.

Then I wake up in my bedroom, vowing to never again drink two quarts of Tang before bed.

Kate shows up at Sawyer’s home, asking him if she’ll help her break out Ben for a minute so he can chat with Miles. She takes a sip of Dharma Wine and instantly offers sex to Sawyer, leading everyone on the face of planet Earth to proclaim, “Why don’t they carry that wine in my neighborhood?”

‘Dharma Box Wine: Causing Pregnancy Scares Since World War II.’

Death Wish 6.
(“Boy, I’d sure like to blow an Asian guy’s face clean off today.”)

Miles and Ben get their alone-time, where we see Miles attempting to blackmail him for 3.2 million dollars. Miles is there to take him into custody, as he’s clearly done something reprehensibly evil (apart from all of that ‘Dharma genocide’ stuff), but will pretend he didn’t find him in exchange for the extremely specific amount of cash. Ben gets a week to make the cash appear, and Miles spills the beans on Kate, indeed knowing all about her redneck past.

Locke has a chat with Kate, where he banishes her from the barracks for making him look like an incompetent ass. Kate flees to Sawyer’s place, where they have almost-sex.

This leads us into today’s Question Of The Week!

Question Of The Week.

“Why Didn’t Kate Want To Have Sex With Sawyer?”

A. She’s still shaking off the multitude of diseases from the last time they had sex.
B. Hurley had his ear to the door, and that’s about as creepy as it should ever get.
C. The Price Is Right was on.
D. Sawyer hasn’t showered since two days after Ana Lucia died.
E. The Asteroids machine in the Rec Room was calling her name.

Of course, the correct answer is “Because crabs can jump.” Either way, these are all slightly more appealing than the real reason why.

Thanks for playing Question Of The Week, let’s move along, shall we?

Red Ones!

On the beach, Daniel and Charlotte are conducting memory experiments on each other, where it is concluded that Daniel has the attention span and cognitive capabilities of a drunk pony.

Jack shows up and stomps his feet until they contact the emergency line on the freighter, where we find out that the helicopter didn’t yet make it to the boat. That can’t possibly be good; they’re either dead in the water, in another dimension entirely, or Frank and Desmond are keeping the helicopter running by refueling it with their alcohol-rich urine. What seems the most likely?

Think about it before you say it’s a stupid joke. Think about it.

On The Side?
(“Hey bailiff, we’re wearing the same khakis. High five.”)

In the boathouse, Locke shows up with the intensity and anger of a man who has been screwed over for the brazillionth goddamn time. He throws a live grenade into Miles’ mouth and leaves him there, unable to open his mouth or move, for fear of instant (and awesome) decapitation.I loved this scene; it was awesome. Furthermore, in terms of storyline, they never went back to the boathouse for conflict resolution. The writers of the episode want us to assume that until they say otherwise, he’s still sitting in there with a live grenade in his mouth, and that is absolutely beautiful and completely bad-ass.

In fact, that was so awesome, I can only think of five things that are comparably awesome. Make with the list!

5 Awesome Things!

5 Awesome Things…..You Can Do With A Grenade.

1. Instant snow removal from any Madison rooftop or city block.
2. Conveniently dispatch an unwanted Labrador retriever. Don’t ‘awww‘ me, that was funny!
3. Toss it into a Panic At The Disco concert. That‘ll give them something to cry about.
4. End the Bush administration a few months early.
5. Toss it into a Saves The Day concert. That‘ll give me something to cry about.

Kate and Sawyer wake up together, where Sawyer makes the mistake of celebrating Kate’s non-pregnancy. This not only guarantees that Sawyer will never sleep with Kate again, but she tells him that she’s going back to the beach with Jack. Smooth move, con man.


Kate eventually has to stand trial for the murder of her father, along with the slew of charges she racked up whilst on the run. Oceanic 6 or otherwise, justice will be served!

Justice Has Been Served.
(Pictured: Justice. Not Pictured: Wolf.)

Kate’s lawyer wants to create sympathy for her, so he asks to let ‘her son’ take the stand. Kate refuses, as she doesn’t want to involve him and he’s not really her son. The lawyer reminds Kate that we’re not supposed to know that until the end of the episode, and Kate apologizes for her forthright nature.

We then go to a commercial break.

As the trial continues, we see a pre-insane Jack Shepard take the stand in defense of Kate. He goes on to tell the story of Flight 815 as was presented falsely to the world, explaining that 8 people survived the crash and Kate saved everyone’s lives. He then claims, when grilled, that he no longer loves Kate.

No kidding, Jack. I don’t love her anymore, either. She lost her luster approximately five minutes after she stitched up your abdomen in the Pilot episode.

Cameras See Everything.
(“We should try for a plea bargain; you somehow killed eight people on your way in today.”)

Kate’s mother decides not to take the stand against her, instead simply wanting to see her grandchild. Kate says no, and her mother instantly dies of cancer. Because of this, they plea-bargain to keep Kate out of jail, which works, as she has a son. Did they mention that she has a son? Well, if you didn’t know, Kate has a son now.

Lost normally springs surprises on you quite intelligently, but this plot twist was telegraphed from the moon. How was anyone surprised by this? Alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Jack meets up with Kate before she exits the court, and they talk about the story he told on the witness stand. She invites him to see her faux-son, to which he refuses. I’m assuming this is because he’s a tad weirded-out, as Aaron is his nephew.

Maybe it tastes like a penny.
(“Hmmm, I wonder what a grenade tastes like. Wow, what a weird thought. Oh well, doot-doo-doo, la-la-laa.”)

When Kate arrives home, we finally get a look at Kate’s son. She calls him Aaron, people who weren’t paying any attention gasp and flail, smash-cut, episode over.

This was, without exception, one of the best Kate-centric episodes ever. Even though the ending was a bit laid-out, it does offer many theories as to why it came to be, which is far more important in the grand scheme of things.

The journey is the reward, bitches! Let’s Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 – Kate has Aaron. This happened because of one of three possible outcomes. They are:

A) Claire dies somehow, and Kate assumes role of Aaron’s mother.
B) Claire had to give up Aaron so he could be rescued, and she’s forced to stay on the island.
C) Aaron was kidnapped from Claire by Kate, and taken off the island with a new mommy.

As of right now, they’re all possible theories. Logically, I would think that Claire was killed in a rescue attempt, but time will tell. Perhaps it’s due to me really, really wanting to see Claire die.

8 – This episode took place on Christmas Day and December 26 of 2004. No mention of that? Wow. The only gifts exchanged during the episode was a grenade in Miles’ mouth and Kate’s gift of not giving Sawyer another STD.

(“Hey, come back! I thought you liked it when I pretended you were 12! Hey!”)

15 – If Kate is on probation for 10 years, it would seem fitting that she could not accompany Jack on his dumb-ass expedition back to Lost Island. Never mind that he’s a dumb-ass or anything; she’s just playing by the rules for her dumb-ass son. What a bunch of dumb-asses.

16 – Aaron is not one of the Oceanic 6. Why? Well, he didn’t have a seat on the plane, for one. Really, he’s not one of the 6. Neither is Desmond, Juliet, Ben, or anyone else that wasn’t on the manifest. Michael and Walt? Well, only time will tell with those two.


23 – When Locke throws the plate of food at the concrete wall after his conversation with Benjamin, the ‘concrete’ wall actually shakes. You can’t win ’em all, continuity department.

42 – I find it amazing that Kate looks more attractive on the island than in her glammed-up flash-forwards. She’s a weird-looking woman.

Hide the kids! Spoilers ahoy! There’s a Donkey Kong Kill Screen coming up if anyone’s interested! It’s The Preview!

Episode 5 - 'The Constant.'

1. Episode 5 is titled ‘The Constant.’ It will be Desmond-centric, and will probably be told in flashbacks.

2. The official press release from ABC reads: “Sayid and Desmond hit a bit of turbulence on the way to the freighter, which causes Desmond to experience some unexpected side effects.”

I don’t know about you, but I fully expect to see 48 straight minutes of Desmond ‘yodeling groceries’ all across the Pacific Ocean.

3. Expect to see one of Desmond’s patented ‘completely baffling flashes,’ where he actually runs into Daniel Faraday off of the island. Again, I don’t exactly know if this takes place in the future or not. Do you even watch the show anymore? Christ.

4. We’ll learn a little something special about Frank in this episode. As a Jeff Fahey fan, I can’t wait. However, as a Lost fan, I have a hunch that he won’t survive Season 4.

5. 31,350 is a terrible Pac-Man score, but slow and steady wins the race. You’ll see.

Well, there you have it, a super-sized Lost Monday to erase the painful memories of last week’s no-show. I hope this cures what ails ‘ya. Sound off in the comments section, send any erotic photography and stalker mail to, and for God’s sake, buy my book if you haven’t done so already. I’m no longer ordering copies for distribution, so personalized copies will go extinct very soon.

As always, here are links to every Lost Monday this season. Thanks, and enjoy your day.

Lost Monday – Episode 1 Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 2 Recap.

Everything Is Going To Be Okay.

Hey, 2008 Ryan! Can you hear me?

It’s me; 1987 Ryan! How’s it going, man?

Look, I heard that you’ve been taking things kind of hard lately, so I thought I’d pay you a visit and see if I can’t set you straight.

I know this Winter has sucked. I know that your job isn’t the most desired way to spend your day. I know that you have those moments where you just wish you could be so much more than you really are. Work a little harder. Be a little more creative. Be a better husband. Take better care of yourself.

Some days are going to be harder than others. You may find that you’re not living up to the projections you’ve assigned yourself. You may find yourself negatively affecting the lives of those you love the most due to sheer frustration. You may find yourself confused as to why you can’t just get it together, and in tune, those around you may start to feel the same way.

I get all of that stuff, I really, really do.

I just wanted to let you know that everything is going to be okay.

Really. It’s going to be fine. You’re going to make it. I know you will. It’ll get better, and you’ll be okay.

Listen, I wouldn’t have traveled 21 years into the future for no good reason. You just need to calm down, focus on the positives and do what you need to do. I expect nothing less from you; in fact, I think you owe it to me. You promised me that you would never lose sight of the things that made you happy; the things that you felt you needed to do to make a lasting and positive mark on the world. You’re so much better than the things that attempt to destroy you, and you know it.

So buck up, and don’t let me down.

Everything is going to be okay.


Thanks, 1987 Ryan.

I understand.

CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2 Wrap Party. (Part 3)

Mix-Tape Exchange Wrap Party.

For this entire week on the CDP, I’m extending my thanks to everyone who participated in the CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2; especially all those who took the time to send a personal mix out to yours truly. I’m currently in the process of listening to over 16 different mixes from CDP fans across the nation, and it’s been quite fantastic. The theme of Exchange #2 was ‘Love,’ and you guys didn’t fail to deliver.

For those already wondering, Mix-Tape Exchange #3 will arrive in late May. Also, if you’re still interested in sending a Love-Themed Mix my way, throw it in an envelope and send it to:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI

Thank you in advance. Feel free to include any extra money or no-limit credit cards you might have lying around the house, too.

The last time we did this trade, I had enough time (and not enough submissions) to review each and every track of each and every mix. While I simply don’t have the time to do that again, I still promised that I would spotlight (albeit briefly) everyone who sent a mix my way. Today, I shall continue said spotlighting, by pulling some mixes at random and giving them a run-down. I’ll do this every day throughout the week until every ego has been properly stroked to the best of my abilities. Enjoy.

Blu's Mixes!
LOVE MIX #9 & 10: ‘Good Mix/Bad Mix.’

1. Piece Of My Heart – Janis Joplin
2. Tush – ZZ Top
3. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley
4. I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick
5. Take On Me – A-Ha
6. Cradle Of Love – Billy Idol
7. No One Like You – Lagwagon
8. Well Thought Out Twinkles – Silversun Pickups
9. Bones – The Killers
10. If I Had Eyes – Jack Johnson
11. Rainy Monday – Shiny Toy Guns
12. Life Less Ordinary – Carbon Leaf
13. Let Go – Gomez
14. Joey – Concrete Blonde
15. Breathe You In – David Mead
16. Mississippi – Paula Cole
17. Crushcrushcrush – Paramore
18. Thrash Unreal – Against Me!
19. I Don’t Wanna Be In Love – Good Charlotte
20. I Don’t Love You – My Chemical Romance

(The Missus was right. I was unable to get this mix to play in my iMac; theoretically due to the labeling being slightly too thick on the CD. That being said, I can still tell that this is a great mix, as I’m aware of at least a dozen of the tracks on here. Anything with Cheap Trick has to be awesome. I’ve also been enjoying Shiny Toy Guns, as I’ve been exposed to 4 of their tracks due to mix-tapes alone.)

1. Something by Harry Connick Jr., I believe.
2. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
3. When You Say Nothing At All – Alison Kraus
4. Something terrible by Bon Jovi.
5. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
6. I believe this was a track by Corinne Bailey Ray.
7. More Than Words – Extreme
8. 100 Years – Five For Fighting
9. Superman – Five For Fighting
10. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra
11. I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Live) – Bon Jovi
12. Something indecipherably awful.
13. Something even more indecipherably awful by Celine Dion.
14. Unknown
15. Unknown
16. Unknown
17. Unknown
18. Unknown
19. Unknown
20. Unknown
21. Unknown
22. Unknown

(This ‘Bad’ mix was supposedly given to Blustacon at a wedding, and he sent it along with his other mix as a personal challenge for me to get through. I was game, however, bad news struck again when this CD crapped out after the 13th song (there was no track list included). Personally, I think the iMac was trying to tell me something after the second Celine Dion song blasted out of the speaker. Sorry Blu, there’s just something weird about your CD’s.)

Daniella's Mix!
LOVE MIX #11: ‘Hot Sh*t For CDP.’
BY: ELLE MACHETE (Not Daniella, sorry.)

1. Love Canal – Flipper
2. Gimme The Car – The Violent Femmes
3. Dark Of The Male, Light Of The Female – Old Time Relijun
4. Sweat – Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
5. Kaltes, Klares Wasser – Chicks On Speed
6. Soft Pink Missy – Soft Pink Truth
7. I Can Hardly Stand It – The Cramps
8. Body Below – Mirah
9. Lovefingers – Silver Apples
10. Public Sex (For Boyd McDonald) – Matmos
11. Girl – Suicide
12. Hard T*ts – Jackson & His Computer
13. My Red Hot Car – Squarepusher
14. In Particular – Blonde Redhead
15. Prisoner Of Love – James Brown

(I quite enjoyed this album for a few reasons. First off, I enjoyed the flow and the way the album was broken up into more of a path as opposed to a one-song-at-a-time showcase. Secondly, I had only heard two of these tracks previously, so it was a good introduction into some sub-genres and classics I had been ignoring. Finally and most importantly, this mix doesn’t screw around. This mix doesn’t subtly flirt with you and make you guess. This mix drives you back to her apartment, chains you to the radiator and touches you where your bathing suit covers. Good, sexy job, Vic. I expected nothing less.)

Moe's Mix!
LOVE MIX #12: ‘Untitled.’

1. Broken Heart – Motion City Soundtrack
2. Under The Gun – The Killers
3. Girlfriend In A Coma – The Smiths
4. Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield
5. Not Now – Blink 182
6. Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin
7. Be My Escape – Reliant K
8. Bring On The Comets – VHS Or Beta
9. Lovefool – The Cardigans
10. Hands Down – Dashboard Confessional w/Michael Stipe
11. Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band w/Tim Reynolds
12. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
13. With A Little Help From My Friends – Joe Cocker
14. The Promise – When In Rome
15. The Last Song – All-American Rejects
Hidden Track – Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot

(This is another good, modern mix my Moe Greene. It’s at this time that I need to make the following confession: not only to I already have ‘Lovefool’ on my iPod, but I listen to it at least once a week on the way home from work. There. I said it, and I’d say it again if I had to. Thanks to Moe, I can also add ‘Jesse’s Girl’ to the very same guilty pleasure track listing for the commute back home.)

Rad. Sound off in the comments, boast your musical prowess and enjoy your day.

Lost Wednesday – Pop Crunch Edition.

Well, here you go. My first foray into ‘Soup’-esque television writing. I’ll get a lot better at this in the future, I promise. Time will tell if the fine folks at Pop Crunch want more from me or not.

Last Sunday, I was approached by Pointless Banter’s Kevin Palmer to write a Pop Crunch Show script focusing on Lost. Kevin has been Head Writer on the show for awhile, and was a fan of Lost Monday, so was kind enough to lobby and get me in for a trial run. I had less than no time to get it written, so I was forced to scrap my typical Lost Monday this week to focus on it (that won’t happen again, regardless of what happens).

It turned out nice enough, but yeah, I’m capable of limitless awesome possibilities in this medium now that I know what to expect. So if you like to see the CDP make money and take on new, popular projects, be sure to say nice things, give Pop Crunch a peek and rate this puppy 5 stars.

Thanks much. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

(PS – I’m aware that the writing credit went to Kevin Palmer. I know. It’s okay.)

CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2 Wrap Party. (Part 2)

Mix Tape Exchange #2 Wrap Party.

For this entire week on the CDP, I’m extending my thanks to everyone who participated in the CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2; especially all those who took the time to send a personal mix out to yours truly. I’m currently in the process of listening to over 15 different mixes from CDP fans across the nation, and it’s been quite fantastic. The theme of Exchange #2 was ‘Love,’ and you guys didn’t fail to deliver.

For those already wondering, Mix-Tape Exchange #3 will arrive in late May. Also, if you’re still interested in sending a Love-Themed Mix my way, throw it in an envelope and send it to:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI

Thank you in advance.

The last time we did this trade, I had enough time (and not enough submissions) to review each and every track of each and every mix. While I simply don’t have the time to do that again, I still promised that I would spotlight (albeit briefly) everyone who sent a mix my way. Today, I shall continue said spotlighting, by pulling some mixes at random and giving them a run-down. I’ll do this every day throughout the week until every ego has been properly stroked to the best of my abilities. Enjoy.

Heather's Mix.
LOVE MIX #5: ‘Straight Ahead Love Songs.’

1. A Groovy Kind Of Love – The Dan Band
2. I’ll Be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground
3. You Really Got A Hold On Me – She & Him
4. Digital Love – Daft Punk
5. I Love You – The Pipettes
6. Two Hearts – Phil Collins
7. If You’re Into It – Flight Of The Conchords
8. Drop & Anchor – Mates Of State
9. Reflecting Light – Sam Phillips
10. Underwater (You & Me) – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
11. Minor Detail – Sondre Lerche
12. Lover’s Spit – Broken Social Scene
13. Love Invincible – Michael Franti & Spearhead
14. Your Song – Elton John
15. I Just Can’t Get Enough – Nouvelle Vague
16. Another Sunny Day – Belle & Sebastian
17. Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows
18. Someday You Will Be Loved – Death Cab For Cutie

Never mind the wonderful taste and quality depth this mix has (Velvet Underground, Pipettes, Mates Of State, Broken Social Scene, Daft Punk; I love you and I don’t even know you!), the main thing I need to mention is the absolutely beautiful packaging that Heather included with her mix. She scrapbooked the entire booklet by hand, included a handwritten letter and cut/pasted the whole thing together. It’s honestly one of the more gorgeous packages I’ve ever received in regards to the CDP, and I hope that whomever drew her as a Mix-Tape recipient appreciates the hard work that she put into the appearance. Wonderful stuff, really.

Smedley's Mix.
LOVE MIX #6: ‘CDP Love Mix.

1. Meant For You – The Beach Boys
2. Happiness – The Anita Kerr Singers
3. We Love Us – The Association
4. I Want You Still – The Dave Clark Five
5. Dino’s Song – Quicksilver Messenger Service
6. Flowers & Beads – Iron Butterfly
7. Love, Love, Love, Love, Love – Pacific Gas & Electric
8. Love – The Cult
9. It’s Love – King’s X
10. When You Smile – Dream Syndicate
11. Books About UFOs – Husker Du
12. Love Is – I Love You
13. I’ve Been Waiting – Matthew Sweet
14. What You Do To Me – Teenage Fanclub
15. Better Than Nothing – Jennifer Trynin
16. I’d Run Away – The Jayhawks
17. You Won’t Be Happy – Paul Collins Beat
18. Tara-I Like You-Carmalina – The Pursuit Of Happiness
19. Wedding Of The Bugs – Robbie Fulks
20. Blue Eyes – International Submarine Band
21. Sweet City Woman – Stampeders
22. Sweet Mary – Wadsworth Mansion
23. I’m In Love With A Girl – Big Star
24. Because – The Dave Clark Five
25. My Best Friend – Jefferson Airplane
26. Our Sweet Love – The Beach Boys

Wow. This is, without question, the happiest Mix-Tape I have ever heard. Absolutely shimmering in every way, and jam-packed with everything from bouncy Sunshine Pop, to Surf, to Psychedelic Rock, to Punk, to Classic Alternative and to Grunge. I need to ask Smedley where exactly he got some of these tracks outside of vinyl. I consider this a great addition to my collection, as it contains many tracks I’d never be able to find at a retailer. Awesome job.

(You can read Smedley’s very own track comments HERE!)

Bruce's Mix.
LOVE MIX #7: ‘Break Up…Just To Make Up.’

1. Crying Time – Buck Owens
2. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – The Violent Femmes
3. The Breakup Song – The Greg Kihn Band
4. Baby It’s You – Smith
5. If It Be Your Will – Leonard Cohen
6. Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville
7. Livin’ For You – Al Green
8. Goodbye Girl – David Gates
9. It’s Sad To Belong – England Dan & John Ford Coley
10. Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
11. Do You Know Who I Am? – Elvis Presley
12. These Arms Of Mine – Otis Redding
13. You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles
14. Save Me A Saturday Night – Neil Diamond
15. Love Gonna Walk Out On Me – Toots & The Maytals
16. I Just Want To Be Your Everything – Andy Gibb
17. If I Ever Saw A Good Thing – Tony Joe White
18. Behind Closed Doors – Charlie Rich
19. Daisy Jane – America
20. Beautiful Girl – Pete Droge
21. If Not For You – George Harrison
22. Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys
Bonus Track – Afternoon Delight – Ron Burgundy

This isn’t just a Mix-Tape, it’s the soundtrack to the Cycle of Romance. From the initial pain of a break up, to the futile attempt to dust yourself off and move on, to the unbearable pain of unrequited love, to the eventual finding of the special person that will eventually hurt you and start you over again. I don’t know why I didn’t expect such musical depth from Bruce, but I really enjoyed his many steps outside of the traditional Love Mix box. Also, his track descriptions were heartfelt, hilarious and close-to-home. Rad on all fronts.

Another Photo Of Heather's Beautiful Mix.
(The Missus didn’t include artwork for my copy of her mix, so here’s another photo of Heather’s beautiful Mix-Tape packaging.)

LOVE MIX #8: ‘Missus Love Mix.’

1. Couch – The Benjamins
2. Fine Day For Sailing – Go Sailor
3. Cantankerous – Chopper One
4. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
5. If We Were Lovers – All Star United
6. Summer Is Coming – Matt Pond PA
7. A Life Less Ordinary – Ash
8. Once Around The Block – Badly Drawn Boy
9. Radio – Teenage Fanclub
10. Spin The Wink – The Velvet Teen
11. Just Hold Me – Maria Mena
12. Down – Stroke 9
13. Some Jingle Jangle Morning – Mary Lou Lord
14. Last Song For Barbie – Zoinks!
15. Flowers In The Windows – Travis
16. A Good Man Is Easy To Kill – Beulah
17. B.C. – The Gadjits
18. Leave It All Behind – The Features
19. So Long, Marianne – Leonard Cohen
20. Only Of You – Green Day
21. New Year’s Project – Further Seems Forever

I’m biased towards this mix for a number of reasons. Never mind that she’s my wife, and never mind that all of these tracks come from my personal CD collection. Nope, the main reason why I love this mix so much is because it’s our mix. When you create a CD like this, you reflect on past experiences and important, personal moments to get your point across, and every important moment I’ve experienced in the last decade centers solely around the Missus. I know why she chose these songs because I was there when they became an integral part of her life, and I think that’s pretty awesome.

I absolutely freaking hate that Gadjits song, though.

Sound off in the comments section, boast your musical prowess and enjoy your day.

CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2 Wrap Party. (Part 1)

Mix-Tape Exchange #2 Wrap Party.

I want to start today’s post out by immediately mentioning the obvious: Where the hell is Lost Monday?

Well, the truth is that I did write a Lost essay this week, just not in the typical capacity we’ve all grown used to. All I can really tell you right now is that I’m still writing Lost stuff, I just took a slight risk this week to see if there were ways I could expand the audience and get my Lost recaps to as large of an audience as possible. I promise that you’ll get the full details as soon as I know exactly what’s going on. Know that I only do things for the benefit of my writing, my blog and my fans, and I didn’t simply go deadbeat on everyone for no reason. Good? Good.

What’s more important today is that for the entire week on the CDP, I’m extending my thanks to everyone who participated in the CDP Mix-Tape Exchange #2; especially all those who took the time to send a personal mix out to yours truly. I’m currently in the process of listening to over 15 different mixes from CDP fans across the nation, and it’s been quite fantastic. The theme of Exchange #2 was ‘Love,’ and you guys didn’t fail to deliver.

For those already wondering, Mix-Tape Exchange #3 will arrive in late May. Also, if you’re still interested in sending a Love-Themed Mix my way, throw it in an envelope and send it to:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI

Thank you in advance.

The last time we did this trade, I had enough time (and not enough submissions) to review each and every track of each and every mix. While I simply don’t have the time to do that again, I still promised that I would spotlight (albeit briefly) everyone who sent a mix my way. Today, I shall start said spotlighting, by pulling some mixes at random and giving them a run-down. I’ll do this every day throughout the week until every ego has been properly stroked to the best of my abilities. Enjoy.

Kate's Mix!
LOVE MIX #1: ‘Kate’s V-Day Mix Extravaganza.’

1. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know – Marc Broussard
2. Better Days – Gerry O’ Reilly
3. Volcano – Damien Rice
4. The More You Ruv Someone – Avenue Q Original Broadway Cast
5. Let’s Make Out – Does It Offend You, Yeah?
6. Bella Luna – Jason Mraz
7. Big City – Matty Charles & The Valentines
8. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
9. Bei Mer Bist Du Schon – Swing Kids Soundtrack
10. Making My Livin’ – Josh Dion Band
11. Tired Of Being Alone – Al Green
12. Back For A Taste Of Your Love – Jonny Lang
13. Wash Machine – Lady Clown
14. I Love You – Edvard Grieg
15. Need Your Love So Bad – Fleetwood Mac
16. Dozo – Puscifer
17. Oh You Delicate Heart – Hawksley Workman
18. False-Hearted Lover Blues – Levon Helm
19. Mistaken For Strangers – The National
20. Whirling – The Icicles

This was an absolutely beautiful and eclectic mix that I didn’t see coming in the least. Kate has a timeless taste in music, and she hit many different angles on this disk (I had previously heard only 5 of the 20 tracks). Not only was it legitimately sexy, beautiful, lighthearted and sultry at the same time, her heartfelt and passionate descriptions of each track showed the depth of work she put into it. In a nutshell, I was turned on by the whole thing, and am slightly more attracted to Kate than I was a week ago.

Best Track – Tired Of Being Alone.

Hoss' Mix!
LOVE MIX #2: ‘Two Movements On Love.

1. You Don’t Know My Name – Alicia Keys
2. Crush – Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
3. Then I Kissed Her – The Beach Boys
4. Moondance – Van Morrison
5. Cold Song – Jewel
6. The One I Love – David Gray
7. Leaving On A Jet Plane – Chantal Kreviazuk
8. Somebody’s Crying – Chris Isaak
9. He – Jars Of Clay
10. This Is A Call – Thousand Foot Krutch
11. Lost The Plot – Newsboys
12. A New Law – Derek Webb
13. Of Minor Prophets & Their Prostitute Wives – Pedro The Lion
14. Christmas Song – Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
15. Untitled Hymn – Chris Rice
16. Jesus Loves Me – Go Fish
17. I’ll Fly Away – Alison Kraus & Gillian Welch
18. 40 – U2

Mike Hoss is great, because even though I never know what to expect with his mixes, I always know that I’m going to get a specific and solid theme. I also think that everyone in Nebraska has a similarly laid-back and respectable taste in music. ‘Crush’ by Dave Matthews barely missed the cut on my own personal Love Mix, but I stand firm in saying that regardless of your opinions of Mr. Matthews, ‘Crush’ is quite simply one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

Best Track – ‘Crush,’ although ‘Moondance’ was a close second. Two classics, right there.

Emily's Mix!
LOVE MIX #3: ‘I Felios Your Eros Of Love.’

1. Herbs, Good Hygiene & Socks – Lovage
2. To Catch A Thief – Lovage
3. Teardrop – Massive Attack
4. Roads – Portishead
5. Breathe Me – Sia
6. You Said Something – PJ Harvey
7. Love, You Should Come Over – Jeff Buckley
8. Plenty – Sarah McLachlan
9. I Can’t Make Me – Butterfly Boucher
10. You’re All I Have – Snow Patrol
11. F*** And Run – Liz Phair
12. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone – Sleater-Kinney
13. Anyone Else But You – The Moldy Peaches
14. Tomorrow Night – Patty Griffin

I’ll just come right out and say it; I like Emily Mills. I like her tastes, I like her talents and I double-like her hair. The day we finally meet in person, I’ll stumble, stammer and lose what little amount of respect she has for me in mere microseconds. On her mix, she brought the surreal, dreamy and unquestionably sexy for 56 straight minutes. Heavy with lush melodies and brilliant female vocalists, she made a true beginning-to-end bedroom mix, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Best Track – ‘Teardrop,‘ although choosing one song from this mix defeats the purpose a bit.

Morgan's Mix!
LOVE MIX #4: ‘Totally Rad Mix Tape.

1. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead – Stars
2. Chemistry Of The Car Crash – Shiny Toy Guns
3. Pictures Of You – The Cure
4. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side – The Smiths
5. One More Notch – Murder By Death
6. The Recluse – Cursive
7. Sometimes – My Bloody Valentine
8. Enjoy The Silence – Depeche Mode
9. Tonight, Tonight – Smashing Pumpkins
10. Without You – Silverchair
11. Nothing Compares 2 U – Shiny Toy Guns
12. Teardrop – Massive Attack
13. Njosnavelin – Sigur Ros
14. It’s A Motherf***er – Eels
15. Run – Air
16. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
17. Unintended – Muse
18. Everlong – Foo Fighters

Morgan is an interesting guy to me, because from reading some of his essays, he appears to be on a self-guided journey to personal perfection, sink or swim. That reminds me a lot of myself, so it goes without saying that Morgan’s mix contains 14 tracks that currently rest in my CD collection. He also gets points for throwing on an acoustic version of ‘Everlong,’ as opposed to going with the standard mix-tape staple. This will be one of the mixes I listen to the most.

Best Track – ‘In The Aeroplane Over The Sea,’ because while ‘Everlong’ is one of my favorites, it won’t be played at my funeral like ‘Aeroplane’ will.

That does it for today. Tomorrow will bring us another four mixes; until then, sound off in the comments section, bitch over a lack of Lost Monday and attempt to impress everyone with your musical prowess. I know I’ll be doing all of these things. Cheers.

Eat Me, Cake.

Grape Death Flavor.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up Cake’s ‘B-Sides & Rarities’ disk. Cake has been one of my favorite bands for over a decade now, and I wasn’t about to let a collection of cover songs and throwaways slip my grasp, regardless of their previous mediocre album. One trip to Best Buy and $10 later, it was mine.

When I got home, I began tearing the CD out of the plastic as the Missus began to prepare dinner directly behind me in the kitchen. As I opened the jewel case, I was instantly hit with an almost indescribably putrid stench. It was as if a tractor tire decided to have sex with a jar of grape jam while a rouge turd worked them both over with a blowtorch and fine oils. It was hellish.

Not thinking for a second that this scent had wafted out of a compact disk case, I quickly turned around to see what the Missus was up to, and find a kind way to opt out of tonight’s dinner plans.

“What…in the hell…are you cooking?”

“Nothing yet, why?”

As soon as the last syllable of the last word escaped her mouth, the molten rubber/jam jar/turd gangbang parade reached the inside of her nostrils. She recoiled, as we both stood there for a fraction of a second, completely dumbfounded and unsure of what was going on. It was only a matter of time before the accusations started to fling over which one of us had crapped in their respective pants.

Having never experienced such an unholy reaction to opening an album (with the exception of anything recorded by Something Corporate), we both cocked our heads and slowly wandered over to the open jewel case, as if it were a bomb ready to spew further noxious gas forth. I pressed my nose to the liner notes and inhaled deeply.

Have you ever been blasted with pepper spray? Well, I have, and this was as close as I wanted to get again. I immediately stopped breathing, my eyes began to water and my mouth dropped open. I was one-hundred percent immobilized; women seriously need to start carrying copies of this album around with them for protection. What in the hell was going on?

It was as if we were watching an alien being hatch from a giant egg on our breakfast bar. “This can’t be happening!” I yelled. “What IS it!?!” screamed the Missus, hands pressed against her face. I didn’t know at the time what had turned ‘B-Sides & Rarities’ into a virtual Pandora’s Box of ass matter and anguish, but I also knew that it wasn’t allowed to stay in the house any longer.

I grabbed a pair of tongs and threw the entire contents of the jewel case into the freezing cold garage. Whatever the problem was, it could work itself out there while me and the Missus began the slow and painful healing process back inside the house. She hit the computer and I reached for the Clorox ‘kitchen cleansers.’

A few minutes later, we had determined through Wikipedia that the ‘B-Sides & Rarities’ album boasted a grape-flavored ‘scratch-and-sniff’ booklet (one of five different flavors). It is my assumption that the fine folks in Cake didn’t exactly ‘sample the wears’ before these bad boys hit the assembly line, nor could accurately judge what the booklet would smell like after several weeks encased in shrink-wrapped plastic. No band that enjoys making money and pleasing fans could have been a part of something so heinous and wrong. Had I been driving a car when I opened that album, you’d probably be reading my obituary right now.

Still, two weeks after the incident, the case, booklet and disk continue to sit in the garage, atop a case of bottled water. Every day, I come home and give them a passing sniff to see if they had learned their lesson, and each day they continue to fail miserably. I refuse to have this…thing…touch anything inside my house or vehicle until every last microfiber of stink has been frozen out of it. I don’t even care if the disk itself eventually shatters like a stick of baseball card chewing gum; it’s not welcome in Headquarters until it resembles the normal and respected CD I thought I had purchased.

Each night, I wake up in a cold sweat imagining that it somehow made its way into the house, tainting my music collection, computer and office with its own original brand of Sacramento-based, grape-flavored nightmare fuel. If my iMac smelled like this album, you can bet your ass I’d be dragging it to the curb come garbage day.

Why, Cake? Why?

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

Heart Is On The Floor; Why Don’t You Step On It?

I'll Give You My Heart.

I have four quick things for you this Valentine’s Day. Please enjoy, and remember to think of me, if only for a second, when you’re making sweet love tonight. I appreciate it.

1. JT over at Spork Nation has compiled a handy list of Valentine’s Day tips for the man on-the-go. It’s not too late to make things special! Head over there and take notes!

2. Have you seen Juno yet? Well, even if you haven’t, you’ll still get a kick out of the following clip, which features Arrested Development geniuses Jason Bateman & Michael Cera discussing the birds and the bees.

3. Valentine’s Day is also the perfect time for me to share with you one of my favorite ‘newer’ music videos. The band is The Killers, the song is ‘Bones,’ and it’s notable for not only being an awesome tune about getting it on, but also because it’s the only music video ever directed by Tim Burton. Woah.

4. Finally today, we have our third and final YouTube clip, this time the masterful She Wants Revenge video for ‘Tear You Apart.’ When I think of icky, superficial and irresponsible love, I think of this song. From now on, you will, too.

Sound off in the comments section and tell me how you’re spending Valentine’s Day.