3 Of The Best Albums Of 2016

#Three

First let me say, the title reads “3 Of The Best” not “The 3 Best”. So don’t give me any grief about there being better albums last year, maybe there were. I’ve yet to hear the new Sixx A.M. album (hoping to get it for Christmas) and I’m sure  that will be at the top of my list. Also not everyone has the same taste in music… Dorothy obviously hates my taste in music… too angry for her. Still these 3 albums will be hard to beat in my opinion.

So a little while back Sassy (for new readers: that’s my wife), came home and told me she got me a present. Before she had went out I had mentioned I needed to head to the record store because there several new albums out I needed to pick up, so I knew she got me an album.

I sat there all excited as she reached in to a bag and pulled out the new Blink 182 CD. Fuck yea!  I had really been waiting for that one. Then she said, “Wait, there’s more”.  And she reached in and pulled out the new Green Day CD. Sweet! Another one I wanted! But she wasn’t done… she reached in and pulled out a third CD (my baby knows me so well), Weezer! Oh hell yea! 3 new CDs from 3 of my favorite bands. I was set!

And can I tell you they did not disappoint. All three albums kick ass and show just why these 3 bands are 3 of the best still out there making albums.

Since I have been listening to them over and over for the past few months I thought I’d go over them all for all of you.

You’re welcome. LOL.

So as I have said before, “The Music Album” is one of the many things that has been screwed up by the internet. Music is now made in single tracks to be collected off YouTube  or other such places. Don’t get me wrong, radio always made sure the single was an important part of music. Many people bought albums for just one song they heard off the radio and I can tell you from experience of working at record stores in the 90’s that lots of people went looking for the “cassette single” never realizing how good the whole album was and therefore missing out on great songs. A good example of this is Offspring’s “Come Out And Play”. Everyone came in looking for that single not realizing how great an album “Smash” was/is.  I was always a whole album kind of guy. I liked (still like) to put the album on, listen to it from beginning to end and see where the artist can take me. But the internet killed the album all together. Now there aren’t many albums being made that are worth buying… the single has found its true home on the internet. songs are made for the download numbers… and albums on a whole seem to be less important… or not important at all.

And this is why I was so glad these 3 albums were ALBUMS. I can put them on and off I went. It definitely helped that California was a running theme on a few of them. You know I love my California. Which brings us to the first album, Blink 182: California:

blin-182

I heard the first single, “She’s Out Of Her Mind” on the radio. And I like it, but it sounded like a younger Blink 182, and I was afraid the album would try to hard to be like they are still a high school pop-punk band instead of the growing sound that they had matured into with each album. Plus I felt the song was missing Tom. I think that was my worst fear, that without Tom it just wouldn’t sound like Blink 182. I mean other than Boxcar Racer, I wasnt a big fan of their solo stuff. I like Mark and Tom harmonizing together with Travis pounding away on the drums. The 3 of them together made the sound of Blink 182 (I know Travis wasn’t there for the early albums, and I do love those albums too maybe even more… but for argument’s sake and the sake of this blog, the 3 of them make the sound).

I was worried for nothing, the album works on all aspects for me. It sounds great, lyrics are good, and the concept well, California… it don’t get any better.

Here;s a track list. The whole album is great, but I put 3 stars next to my favorite tracks:

1.*** “Cynical” 1:55
2. Bored to Death 3:55
3.** She’s Out of Her Mind 2:42
4.*** “Los Angeles” 3:03
5. “Sober”
2:59
6. “Built This Pool” 0:16
7.*** “No Future” 3:45
8.*** “Home Is Such a Lonely Place”
3:21
9.*** “Kings of the Weekend”
  • Hoppus
  • Barker
  • Skiba
  • Feldmann
  • Hodges
2:56
10. “Teenage Satellites”
  • Hoppus
  • Barker
  • Skiba
  • Feldmann
  • Hodges
3:11
11. “Left Alone” 3:09
12.*** “Rabbit Hole” 2:35
13.*** “San Diego”
  • Hoppus
  • Barker
  • Skiba
  • Feldmann
  • Stump
3:12
14. “The Only Thing That Matters” 1:57
15.*** “California”
3:10
16. “Brohemian Rhapsody” 0:30

With song titles like “Los Angles”,  “San Diego”. and “California” how can you not love it? I will admit, there are quite a few songs where I wish I could have heard with Tom, but even the single grew on me. In all honesty this album is the best to expect from Blink 182 after all these years, meaning it stands up with all the rest. With or without Tom.

I’m gonna play one song from each album (so we end up with 3 songs… duh). The one I chose from this album needs no explanation:

Now on to Green Day’s Revolution Radio:

green-day

1. “Somewhere Now” 4:08
2. Bang Bang 3:25
3. *** “Revolution Radio” 3:00
4.*** “Say Goodbye” 3:39
5.*** “Outlaws” 5:02
6. “Bouncing Off the Wall” 2:40
7.*** Still Breathing 3:44
8.*** “Youngblood” 2:32
9. “Too Dumb to Die” 3:23
10. “Troubled Times” 3:04
11.*** “Forever Now”

  • I. “I’m Freaking Out”
  • II. “A Better Way to Die”
  • III. “Somewhere (Reprise)”
6:52

  • 1:57
  • 1:47
  • 3:08
12. “Ordinary World” (lyrics and music by Billie Joe Armstrong) 3:00

If you like Green Day you should like this album. It’s a little like the rock opera’s American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. Though I found it more like their last 3 albums ¡Uno!¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! Point is, it’s all Green Day. The other 2 albums were easier to choose what songs to play. This one I had I debated on. I decided on the song that sounded the least like Green Day. I kept finding myself coming back to it. I get a lot from this song. I hope some of you will as well:

I saved the best for last. The new self titled Weezer album.

Weezer had made 3 other self titled albums. Each one would become known by the color of the album cover. Blue, Green, and Red. Each of these are fucking awesome. Blue and Red are masterpieces and 2 of my favorite albums. The color of this album (the band on the beach, so you know where this is going) is mostly white, therefore earning the name White Album.  Which just happens to be the name of one of the biggest masterpieces of all time.So this album had a lot to live up to:

weezer

My favorite place! Let’s look at the track list:

1.*** “California Kids” Rivers Cuomo, Dan Wilson 3:25
2.*** “Wind in Our Sail” Cuomo, Scott Chesak, Ryan Spraker 2:53
3.*** Thank God for Girls Cuomo, Alex Goose, Michael Balzer, Alex Balzer, Bill Petti 3:30
4.*** “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing” Cuomo 3:25
5.*** Do You Wanna Get High? Cuomo 3:27
6.*** King of the World Cuomo, Jarrad Kritzstein 3:24
7.*** “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori” Cuomo 3:25
8.*** “L.A. Girlz” Cuomo, Brian Bell, Luther Russell 3:29
9.*** “Jacked Up” Cuomo, Jonathan Coffer, Hugh Pescod 2:53
10.*** “Endless Bummer” Cuomo, Bell, Russell 4:14

I’m not saying this album should be compared to the other White Album. I’m not even saying it’s the best Weezer album (though it’s up there). All I’m saying is as soon as I heard that first song, I was hooked. And the rest of the album took me on a journey that only the best albums can do. This album made me want to write this post.

Before I leave you with that opening track, let me just say, I was once a “California Kid”and this song gets put on repeat a lot! I’ll always be a Californian, and I know Vegas isn’t that far from my true home… but sometimes the desert seems like the furthest place from those California beaches I grew up on. As for the kid thing… I know I’m a long way from there, but I’ll always be a kid at heart.

At the end of the day (have I ever mentioned how much I hate when people say that) if we all find ourselves on a sinking ship… head to California… I’ll meet you at the beach… I’ll show ya the sunshine.

AUTHORS NOTE: this Weezer video is actually the third of a somewhat trilogy. To see the other 2 videos, go to the ZW Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/zerosworld/

When Will It Be Enough?

It’s been 2 months since my last post. I’ve been in a sort of stupor of sadness. After my last post another one of my heroes passed away. Prince was a major influence on my life since I was in grade school. I started to write a post about how he influenced my life and half way through I just stopped. I began to think about the blog and the things I was writing about. Started to once again wonder if I should have ever strayed from the “Red & Black” and onto the paths that led me to “Zero’s World”. I mean 2 of the biggest influences in my life, Bowie and Prince were gone, and I had failed to mention either one till after their untimely death. David Bowie and Prince were not just musical influences, they were huge influences on self-love and respect, individuality, and understanding and accepting… no… celebrating our differences. They were major parts of my very complicated life, and after 3 years of blogging I had not mentioned either until their death. What was I blogging about when Prince was takin’ from us? Some dick named Jason Edwards and the ongoing feuds of McKee, Prinnie, & Radio.

Had I lost my way?

What would the Zero of only a few years ago (the one who started his journey here at WordPress with the “Red & Black”) think, if he could see what he was blogging about now?

I’m the only one who can answer that, and yet I can’t. I’m not sure if I would have ever started blogging if I knew how it would affect me and the endless circles it would send me in. You see I’ve had issues with circles in the past, and my whole thought process when I wrote that first post, what seems like a lifetime ago, was to help others to see the circles we get stuck in and of course what I have said throughout all of this, understanding. If we try to understand each other and all we each are going through, the whys and hows, we could get to at least a common ground where moving forward instead of declining backwards was possible.

I know a lot of you are saying, “really you blogged about this stuff? I thought you just blogged about Dorothy and LISK obsessors.”

Well, maybe that’s my fault… I may have let the circles get the best of me. And yet, no matter how far I have strayed, circles never let you get far from where you begin.

So these last few months I have sat down to write a post quite a few times but unsure where to go with it for the moment. How to ride the circles. Because circles are not always bad things… like I have said before, they can be like rain drops on a pond… each circle growing bigger and bigger. Or think of the circles linked together in uncountable chains, each connecting to another as you trace them, leading you into all possibilities.

But they are dangerous, easy to get stuck in small circles that are very damaging. Or worse, they can break off into downward spirals.

Whoa… very “Red & Black” today. Sorry, I will try to get to the point, if there really is one any more, and I do still have hope that there is one. Maybe that’s the point. That I still have hope for one. I definitely think that’s what I thought was the point yesterday.

There were a few times I started to write a post over the past couple months. When I read the news about a man who had been with homeland security shot his estranged wife and many other innocent people in a 2 day shooting spree:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/06/us/maryland-shootings/index.html

I sat down to type, but nothing came. This guy was with Homeland Security!?! Once again there seems to be no lines between bad guys and good guys. Maybe that’s why I didn’t write a post.

There were other times I came to this screen wanting to put to words how I felt about all the things going on around me… when an Egypt Air  plane disappeared from the skies I once again sat at a blank screen wanting to say something but not really knowing the purpose of anything I could say. No matter what I said about it then, we’d still be at the same place now:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/06/01/latest-french-firm-gets-signal-from-crashed-egypt-plane.html

Each time the argument about where people are allowed to use the restroom came up in the news and online I wanted to pound hard on my keyboard in all caps… but it wouldn’t have stopped the lunacy from growing as it did.

The thing about this blog is, the more I skip on planned posts and the more time I let pass between them… the easier it is not to blog at all.

For every thing I want to post about there are countless more things that I could be blogging about. Positive things, negative things, crazy things. The posts alone about this election would fill this already crowded blog. So again, what’s the point?
While posing the question to myself and getting stuck in a circle of sadness, I got some devastating news about someone very close to me.

Suddenly all the fucked upness of the world was hitting way too close.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t posting… because there would have been some dark stuff last week.

I really started to wonder if there was any hope for humanity. Are we stuck in circles or trapped in downward spirals so dangerous, there was no hope?

By the end of last week I still wasn’t sure where my head was on everything going on in the real world but I knew I wasn’t done in the Internet one. I had to write a post… about something… about anything, or it would just become to easy to let it go.

I thought long and hard this weekend, a good weekend spent with family and friends (my son had graduated from High School, that’s 6 down 1 to go) and thought hard about the world around me both close and distant. Yes, there was craziness and despair, but it was still beautiful to me. All of it had meaning… all of it had purpose, there was a point.

I decided to finally come back to the blog and post about a lot of what I just wrote, though more detailed in some areas (like more on Trump, Clinton, Bernie and the election) while not in others.

I planned the post in my head Saturday night as I went to sleep. I wasn’t sure whether I would call it “Summer Of Love” or “Summer Of Fear” but guessed it would be some sort of combination of both like “Summer Of Love Or Fear?” or “Summer Of?”. I had planned on using a couple of songs by Offspring:

I wanted to show the contrast of fellings, but I wanted to express the hope. I never know for sure how a post will go because things change as I write them, but I know I wanted to end positively and though it was a post about how fucked up things seem to be getting I wanted to express it was our Summer and if we wanted it to be a fun one regardless of all the shit we were going through, it could be. It was up to us to make this a Summer of Love and not a Summer of Fear.

Yesterday morning, I shook off all the doom and gloom and sat down to set it all back into a postive spin that could spin us into circles of hope. I also turned on the T.V.

The screen in front of me would remain blank once again.

The deadliest mass shooting in America’s history:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/12/reaction-to-florida-nightclub-mass-shooting.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-shooter-omar-mateen/index.html

Now what?

This is it. Maybe our final wake up call before it’s too late.

But that sounds a lot like fear.

It also sounds very real.

The choice of a summer of love vs. a summer of fear seems more important now than a silly post on a silly blog.

And I really don’t know which way it will go. I can’t even say what side I may find myself on.

This tragedy hits on so much, from gun control issues, mental illness and Islamic terrorism to the bigotry of all religions when it comes to the rights of the LGBTQ. But the fact remains that all these senseless things we do to each other is because we don’t care to understand each other.

I know there is still hope… most of the world wants to understand, accept, and live peacefully with each other. There is still love out there.

But is it time for us to seriously be afraid of  what may happen if we all don’t join together and fight against what is trying to destroy us…

or will that only insure our destruction?

The zero who first started blogging here on WordPress I’m sure would want us to fight the fear and embrace the love and hope for change.

That zero is gone though and I’m left more confused than ever and as I said, not sure where I will find myself.