Saturday, May 28, 2022

My Morning Jacket, Z (2005)

I know you're big on these guys, so when I saw My Morning Jacket's Z on Rolling Stones top 500 albums list I thought it might be worth checking out. Before this morning, I had never sat down and listened to an album by the band, but as soon as "Worldless Chorus" began, I thought, Oh yeah, these guys get it.

It' s good bass and drums, and a lot of their accompanying music (what are those, beat machines?) sounds to me like Radiohead. Jim James, fortunately, doesn't sound like Radiohead (Thom Yorke's voice and lyrics have been my biggest hang-up in ever liking that band). James sounds like an early rocker (60s or 70s) with his voice filtered through an echo mike. The band's overall sound is fun, literally and figuratively upbeat. (Who am I kidding? I don't know if it's literally upbeat. Not knowing about drums, I don't know what it means to, for example, "begin on an upbeat.")

As I said, I saw this album on the Rolling Stones top 500. I don't remember the position. Not that it matters. It wouldn't mean too much to me if this was 143 or 334. It is a good album. I don't know if it would be a top 100 album for my personal collection, but it might be. For instance, when I think about Kendrick Lamar's Damn and this album, this album would have a better shot of being on there.

In the end, when I build my so-called master list of most revered albums, I will honestly, seriously look forward to going through all the candidates. Already in generously choosing albums for candidate, I've selected about 60 of them. I probably give a tentative OK for top album to about 60% of what I listen to. Or so I think. I guess that means I've listened to about a 100 albums. I plan on going through anywhere from 500 to 1,000, and as we talked about, later I'll also go through and add albums that have been neglected. One album I'm surprised I haven't run across yet is Counting Crows' August and Everything After, which is top 10, maybe top 5, for me. It might be on the list, I'm not sure, I haven't gone through all 500, but even if it isn't, it'll be on my list.

By the way, earlier I saw on Wiki that My Morning Jacket is out of Louisville. That makes me like them more. Heck they're probably family. Maybe I'll see them at the next family reunion back home. If I see them, I'll ice-break with them about this album. I'll ask them if they, like me, like KFC. I'll ask how many Louisville Sluggers they've got at home. I'll tell them my mother and brother went to the Louisville Slugger factory and came back with a mini-helmet and one of those mini-bats that look like the billy clubs old-fashioned police hit protesters with (now they just use pepper spray, tasers, and bullets).

While I've got your time and attention, before we go in for that prospective smooth landing, I want to pass along some practical advice from that book I talked about last time, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. I hope the advice is helpful to you.

This first piece of advice originally cam from Warren Buffett. Make a list of the 25 things that are important for you to do to live a meaningful life, ordered in priority, from high priority to low priority. We're talking broad categories here in terms of activities. For instance, one of mine is "cleaning house."

After you make that list of 25, draw a line after the 5th thing on your list. And now, from now on, try as much as possible to avoid doing those 20 other things pass the number 5. Buffett's rationale is this. Often what takes us away from doing what we really want are those little, needling things that we do because we kind of want to do them or kind of enjoy doing them. For me, a little lower on my list is "listening to podcasts." I enjoy listening to podcasts, but it is true that I find that I'll do that in rough patches rather than, say, reading or even listening to an audiobook, which would be better if reading really is one of those things that's important to me (it is).

Second piece of advice: when you begin your day, your morning, "pay yourself first." Whatever one of those priority items is that makes you happy to do, set aside, if you can, an hour's worth of time to do that. Apparently a lot of psych research has shown that this helps a lot in starting the day right. For you, this might mean stretching and yoga. For me, it'd be writing.

Third piece: when it comes to doing things you regard as projects, limit yourself to three. According to Burkeman and others, anything beyond three, humans have a tendency to waffle too much and never get anything done. Three projects is just about the right amount to keep things interesting if we get stuck on one thing, supposedly.

All right, passengers of Valujet, we landed so smoothly, you didn't even feel me put the wheels down, now, did you? Thank you for flying.

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