c o m p l e t e .

i spent the last couple of minutes reading the definition of "complement." i was curious to discover any additional meanings and here's what i found:


1. a person or thing that completes something
2. one of two parts that make up a whole or complete each other
3. a complete amount, number, etc. (often in the phrase full complement)
4. (transport / nautical terms) the officers and crew needed to man a ship
5. (mathematics) the angle that when added to a specified angle produces a right angle
6. (philosophy / logic) the class of all things, or of all members of a given universe of discourse, that are not members of a given set
7. (music) the inverted form of an interval that, when added to the interval, completes the octave
8. (life sciences) a group of proteins in the blood serum that, when activated by antibodies, causes destruction of alien cells, such as bacteria.

what a word.

let the definition fuel your thoughts and consider what you complement as well as what complements you.

what criteria is necessary to be a complement to something? 
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the mall and misery.broken bells
collaboration is a beautiful thing. 

dj danger mouse has shared music laced with jay-z' vocals and the beatles' accompaniment. he has worked beside cee-lo to produce two critically acclaimed albums as gnarls barkley and shares the name of broken bells with james mercer of the shins. he also, has kept busy by collaborating on an album with the late, sparklehorse and movie producer, david lynch.  

broken bells is a pairing of two incredible artists that have a track record of producing incredible albums. the success of the shins propelled indie rock to the forefront of the music industry throughout the 2000s.

it's a busy time for danger mouse, mainly because he's able to mesh with any artist and create beautiful music.

l o v e o r m a r r i a g e
fiction or reality?

i've come to the conclusion that i'll probably never get married.*

for whatever reason, the idea of marriage has recently engrossed my mind. i have a couple of friends that entered engagements and the idea of tying the knot sparked my curiosity.

i'm a single guy. 
i'm not dating, i'm not planning on getting into a serious relationship, nor, after my many recent adventures, do i have the funds to wine and dine a girl.

so, why the hell have i spent so much time thinking about marriage?

i think it stems from my living environment. connor (best described as: "my roommate" - since we literally sleep 3 feet from each other on adjacent couches), bryan (best described as: the lovable competitive younger brother), and i make up a pretty interesting think tank. we tend to discuss all sorts of topics ranging from movie ideas, travel plans, philosophy, to religion. we all share a common fear of waking up one day and being trapped in the typical 9-5, with two kids, a mediocre marriage, and maybe some cats. 
this concern fueled my journey to better understand marriage and relationships.

don't get me wrong, i get it.
man loves woman, man proposes to woman, man and woman get married... then what?
some people may say, "they'll live happily ever after," some statisticians say, "50% of them will be end up in divorce," and i say, "they'll change." 

(i'm right)

the trick is to love the person you know and expect this person to change, because they will. love can't be forced, so don't force it. it will thrive if it's supposed to and it will fail if it has to, either way i don't think marriage can make two people invincible to falling out of love. marriage, if anything, may be the biggest deterrent to honestly evaluating a relationship that has failed. it saddens me to think that there are couples out there that remain married regardless of their struggles.

relationships may result in pure happiness or complete heartache and with each marriage there is always a possibility of failure/divorce. marriage makes people think that they're supposed to be together forever, which in some cases is true. 
however, when a relationship fails there are two choices: 
1) maintain the marriage and suffer through a loveless relationship 
2) divorce and move on

i guess this is where i bring it all together and offer a moral of the story, so here it is: 
two people that are in love will be in love regardless of if they're married or not.
two people may be married, even if they're not in love.
marriage is flawed because forever is a long time and people will change.

*i battled the idea of including "probably" in the introductory sentence. at first, it was omitted, then i added it, then it was deleted. i can't be certain about my future, so "probably" was a final edit that may cover my ass if/when i ever get married.
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you already know.bombay bicycle club
this song makes me think of the dichotomy of love. 
good friends often have potential of being something more, but they tend to restrain from acting on such feelings. in the same regard, longtime loves may hit a rough patch that is the beginning of the end. 

bombay bicycle club wrote a beautiful song with simplistic, but thoughtful lyrics. my perspective on relationships is ever changing and when i listen to you already know i can't help but consider my previous infatuations and relationship hardships.  

the band gained critical acclaim and support when they were entered into virgin mobile's "road to v" competition on channel 4, in london. they ended up winning the nationally televised competition and made some waves in the european music industry with two very successful eps. in 2008, the band graduated from college and were finally able to focus their attention on their music. i have yet to listen to their 2009 album, i had the blues but i shook them loose, but if it's anything like their eps and singles... i'm sure i'll be impressed.  

t a k e t h e c h a n c e .
your talents.
how will you break through?

every so often, a friend gives me a call, buys me a beer, or just starts talking to me about life. i'm uncertain if they want me to listen or if they want me to provide advice, so i usually approach the situation with caution and wait for their cue.

i hang out with a bunch of cross country and track athletes at uw-la crosse. my roommates and close friends are made up of members of the distance team. i recently befriended one of the distance guys and realized that we share a similar ear for music. the major difference is that i listen to music and he plays it. he's been a phenomenal person to get to know and the general consensus amongst our friends is that he is the most musically talented guy we know. i was compelled, as a newer/unbiased friend to better understand his aspirations and goals as a musician.

i tend to be the least musically talented person in most crowds, so why did i feel compelled to bring up my buddy's musical career?  

i originally graduated high school in 2003, then attended uw-la crosse for a year and a half. i took time off from school only to return to uw-l three years later. a year of school was logged when i got the sudden urge to travel, so i stepped away from school and took a semester to explore. i returned to school at the beginning of 2010 and continue to pursue the elusive recreation management degree. so, i guess my voice is a little different than the typical 21-year-old college junior. my credibility and foundation for providing advice lies in the fact that i've walked away from school (on multiple occassions) and did what i wanted to do... without a spec of regret. 

we sat down and shared a beer along with some choice words about life, talent, and the pursuit of success. i initiated the conversation and shared my simple perspective. he's likely heard it all before, but i think he appreciated my candidness as a person that has never heard him play live. for me, it felt great to challenge someone to go all in and take a chance on their talents.  

you only live once and your opportunities to break through are few and far between...
so, why not take a chance?

take the chance of never finishing school.
take the chance of losing the girl you love.
take the chance of going broke.
take the chance of being disowned by your parents.
take the chance...
and the result may be a life you never imagined.

will he give it a chance? 
i'm not sure.

my goal wasn't to get him to drop out and start touring. my intentions were to share my unbiased perspective and let him process it, as he sees fit. word of mouth goes a long way with me and to hear each of my friends praise his abilities was enough reason for me share my two cents. 
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if you let me be your anchor.dawes
this band is great, listen to the 11 track north hills album and i'm sure you'll agree. if you let me be your anchor is a track that accentuates harmony and emotion with each subsequent verse. coincidentally, dawes was a music recommendation from the musician friend that i described above. i listened to the album and decided to see the band's plans for the summer. to my happiness, i found out that dawes had just signed on to tour with edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros. so, it is likely that they'll be widening their fan base and spreading their twangy sound with the rest of the states. 

local natives and fools gold both gained a strong following after months of opening for the 10 person anomaly that we call edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros
in conclusion, all aforementioned bands are worth the listen.

f a n v i d .
the sample.
where were you when you first heard "kids" by mgmt?

mgmt broke into the mainstream in late 2007, with the success of kids on their debut release of oracular spectacular. a friend sent me a youtube link of a fan produced kids video that was tallying up views and clearing the way for the rest of the album's success. the video was produced by usc student jon salmon, as he was faced with a last minute production deadline for a class. the quick production resulted in a uniquely mesmerizing music video that has grossed over 20 million youtube views and built momentum for the band throughout 2008. the album gained critical acclaim and has been a jukebox favorite ever since. 

it was only a matter of time before someone sampled mgmt's catchy kids tune. at the end of 2009, a pair indie sampling hip hop musicians debuted a track called opposite of adults on youtube. it spread across the internet and was formally released as a single in february. the band, chiddy bang is composed of a pair of musically talented artists that met at drexel university, in philly. their debut mixtape, the swelly express is packed full of stellar samples by sufjan stevens, radiohead, kid cudi, and mgmt. chiddy bang embraces the simplicity of hip hop (a mic, a mc, and a dj) with great potential of advancing the genre. i think this duo is capable of creating waves in the hip hop genre, the same way girl talk advanced mash ups, digital sampling, and the art of ripping.
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opposite of adults.chiddy bang
i don't remember exactly how i came across this track, but i immediately was attracted to the indie hip hop sound. theswelly express mixtape incorporates all sorts of sample's paired with chiddy's lyrical flow. chiddy bang is definitely a band i want to see live. i've watched one or two of their live videos and it seems like they're a hip hop show not to be missed.

chiddy bang is playing shows across the states and will touring abroad as a result of the huge success of opposite of adults on the uk charts.

i enjoy their energy and consider chiddy bang one hip hop's rising stars.  
we'll see what they come up with next. 

e f f e c t .
coincidence / fate.
why do things happen?

i recently made an account on lala.com, a website used to download and preview music. by it's description, lala is "where music plays" and that's exactly what i wanted to accomplish by setting up my account. i wanted to quickly check out an album, track for track on this website before downloading the torrent online. it offers ratings as well as listener comments which are interesting for me to consider while listening and finding a new band.  

lala.com also has a function that allows you to see what your friends most recently listened to on the website. i recognized this as an awesome opportunity to gain a new artist or two, just by creepin' on my lala friends. i came across a band i never heard of that was recently played by a friend in san fran... i clicked the link, was directed to the band's lala site, checked out a song or two, and then, by coincidence / fate i saw a "albums you might like" section. i browsed through this and found another random gem
...and reverie sound revue is it.  

but why? 
i never heard of this band nor of the song.  
was it fate or coincidence that i came across this random band that has had minimal success since their album release in june 2009?

but wait, the ripple continues...

i share a dropbox* with a number of friends all over the world. i have shared folders with friends in spain, germany, san fran, nyc, chicago, milwaukee, michigan, minnesota, and all over la crosse. 

so, this is where it gets a little crazy. 
i listened to walking around waiting downtown on lala followed by bits and pieces of the rest of the album thereafter. i then opened my vuze account and looked for a torrent of the band's music. after an extensive search, i found a very weak download and decided to give it a shot. i set the download overnight and to my surprise, it was completed and seeding in the morning. i headed to class and returned to listen to the reverie sound revue's only full length album and it is excellent.

and then...
i shared it with each of my dropbox friends... one by one, across the globe. a few friends may never open the album folder, but i'm certain one or two of them will enjoy these tracks as much as i did and will continue to share it with their own network of dropbox friends.
...and maybe, just maybe, their friends will share the band with one or two of their own friends extending the cycle.  

so, what now? 
i'm curious to hear if the word of mouth method sparks a distinct following of the band rooted through me. i share music with the hope that if it's enjoyed it'll continue to be passed along to other friends. i wonder how my coincidental / fateful music discovery has rippled through the world... and will this song recommendation ever find it's way back to me, the source?

the ripple is a powerful thing, an incredibly powerful thing.
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walking around waiting downtown.reverie sound revue
i can't help but feel bloc party within the drum beat and electronic soul of reverie sound machine. although, the lead singers of these two bands are nothing alike. lisa lobsinger, the voice of rsr has a unique and attractive sound that i immediately recognized. a brief rsr wiki search later, i realized that she was a touring member of broken social scene. the dots were being laid out when i selected one of my favorite bss songs and pressed play... and with this single song everything was connected. lisa's breathy voice was revealed as the beautiful accompaniment of the bss song bandwitch. 

now, get ready to have your mind blown...
bandwitch, the broken social scene song, coincidentally is my iphone's generic ringtone... which ultimately means that i hear an excerpt of lisa's voice every single day.

when i say "coincidentally," i mean fatefully.

*www.dropbox.com - check it out, watch the tutorial, download it, and begin creating shared folders with your dropbox friends... you're welcome to invite me to share a folder and i'll hook you up with a sick tune a day :)
w h a t ' s n e x t
you control your future... 
do with it what you may.

i attended a 28-day intensive wrestling camp during the summer after my freshman year of high school. the camp was run by the coaching staff and wrestlers of the university of minnesota, one of the premier ncaa wrestling programs in the country. i remember registering and realizing the amount of money that my parents were committing to my experience. so, i researched the camp's workout schedule and began to mentally and physically prepare for the month long journey. i had some reservations due to the fact that a handful of the wrestlers were known to quit mid-camp due to homesickness, lack of money, and lack of commitment, but i was ready to make it through.

i wrapped up freshman year of high school and only 25 days separated me from the most challenging month of my life. i trained as hard as i knew, so that i could be better equipped to handle anything that the camp had to offer. in the final days, my training really picked up. my main goal with this prep work wasn't to survive, but to return to madison as one of the camp's top wrestlers. coincidentally, i was awarded one of six black hats, in recognition for outstanding performance on the second to last day of camp... so, that goal was definitely accomplished.

during my month stay in minnesota, i was introduced to guided meditation, healthy meal preparation, as well as long term planning. i remember my counselor assigning us each the task of completing 1-year, 2-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals which were supposed to be completed before the start of the following practice. my mind initially drew a blank during my first brainstorming effort and then i considered randomly filling in the lines with a set of quirky goals. instead, i gave the list some thought, grabbed a pen and headed outside for a walk around the minnesota campus. i thought about a lot things during that free period. most importantly, i realized that this assignment meant more than i thought and it was the first time that i ever really considered my future goals and aspirations.

and today, ten years later... i continue to make lists. 

i think my future includes many new experiences and relationships, all while i continue an effort to better understand my place in the world.

it's funny to think that a 15 year old me made goals for the 25 year old me that is typing this entry today. what an interesting travel in time.

in conclusion... i agree that the future are the children.
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the future.one be lo
i appreciate a solid hip hop artist. with hip hop, the audience knows what to expect... a good flow, excellent beats, and a worthwhile story. this track captures them all.  

one be lo once made up half of the notable hip hop duo named binary star. the group broke up in 2000, but one be lo has taken the time away from the group and honed his skills as a lyricist. the future's composition takes a simple tune and pairs it with beautiful brass work and paints a set of deep lyrics on top. it flows incredibly well and captures the listener's ear. 

i'll seek out one be lo's other work, but for now this song will do just fine. 

o k k e r v i l r i v e r
la la la la.
have you ever played to a song on repeat? 
how many times did you listen to it until you changed the track?

i felt an urge to clean my dreadfully dirty apartment as a pre-cursor to the spring. i guess it was wisconsin wishful thinking since it was only the first week of february and the groundhog just spotted his shadow. six more weeks of winter was inevitable, but i was doing my part to try to jump start the process. 

i gathered the broom, the febreeze, some glass cleaner, a few rags, and a box for connor. connor, one of my three roommates is always looking to something... his wallet, his cell phone, his keys, etc. searching for connor's lost items is one of my favorites games to play around the house and cleaning usually reveals all the things he's lost over the past year. the box was created in effort to reunite the man with his stuff... lost apparel, mail, important documents, expensive electronics, and all his other random shit. i'm sure you'll hear more about connor in future posts. 

tackling a dirty apartment requires some sick tunes. so, i queued up my favorite playlist, plugged in the speakers, and pressed play. 

the first step was to remove all random items from the living room, which resulted in a huge mess somewhere else. somewhere else tends to be the hallway, but i've been known to pile all sorts of stuff onto the couch until the completion of the general clean. the kitchen also takes a beating with all of the random and unwashed dishes that were left out since the last time i had the urge to clean. the kitchen is a whole other project entirely, but usually by this time the living room is starting to look presentable. i believe that in order to effectively clean any area, you must first create messes everywhere else.  

my playlist was fueling the cleaning effort when okkervil river's lost coastlines began to play. i stopped, set the broom down and listened to it like it was the first time. i listened to the album before and i enjoyed this song in the past, but today it sounded better than before. so, i walked towards my computer and hit the repeat button. an hour later, i was singing in harmony (the odds of me hitting any sort of harmony are unlikely, at best) and la la la-ing as the song wrapped. 

i had made a connection with this song and after 12 consecutive plays and i was still learning more about the track. i don't think i've ever played a song 12 times in a row. it seems quirky and weird to listen to only one song for an extended period of time, but for that cold winter day, i was content. i made a connection with this song over a couple of hours of cleaning. in that time, i learned the lyrics and started to decipher the song's meaning. i made my own assumption on the song's themes although, i can't help but wonder how accurate my assumptions are? 

to me, it's like viewing a piece of modern art for the first time. 

i visited the reina sofia museum in madrid and saw picasso's el guernicait's an enormous piece and i feel like i could've stood there for an hour trying to figure out picasso's intentions. i viewed it for the first time without any prior knowledge or understanding of the back story of the piece. i made my own assumptions on the painting and considered ways of adapting picasso's work to align with my thoughts. go figure, his painting depicted the bombing of guernica, basque country, by german and italian warplanes during the spanish civil war... not exactly what i was thinking of, but good to know.

there was a purpose to this analogy... 
in short, give things time and strive to make a connection with everything you experience.
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lost coastlines.okkervil river
the twangy guitar guides the song through the unique and dichotomous singers of this track. i enjoy the way the song rallies at the end. it concludes with a refreshing breath of la la la's that tend to result in a listener sing-a-long. the success of okkervil river has been minimal on the mainstream, however they are one of many incredible bands on the jagjaguwar label.

9 minutes.54 seconds
music, the daily surprise.

i returned from class and began a serious task of untangling 500 feet of rope for a teambuilding activity. on thursday, i will be setting up a labyrinth and guiding blindfolding participants through the maze... regardless, i need the rope to be knot-free for labyrinth construction. so, i began work on the mangled mess and was immediately taken back by the enormity of the challenge. i felt like sisyphus pushing that boulder for eternity. in an effort to lighten the mood, i cracked open my computer, found itunes and pressed play on a fresh new album... falling off the lavender bridge by lightspeed champion was the selection.  

it's perfectly normal for me to have a full album unplayed in my music library. i download enough music that, at times i can't keep up. i usually listen to new albums in one sitting, as they were produced... track one to the end. i feel like it just makes sense. i consider a track list like i consider chapters in a book. the author creates a story with a purpose and i believe musicians do the same when developing an album.

midnight surprise is an epically long song that sat idle since the beginning of march and when the track started, i knew i was going to enjoy it. i set down the entanglement, maneuvered my trackpad and dragged the song into my playlist. since september, i've been compiling my favorite music into this playlist and i've compiled hundreds of songs worth listening... hip hop, folk, indie rock, soul, etc. it streamlines all of the effort of finding a good song and makes the listening experience more fun. it also makes sharing my favorite music with friends much more efficient.

i tend to share a lot of music with friends all over the world. it started by sending youtube links of songs or artists, then it developed into making mix cds, and now it's become easier than ever to share a set of songs using a program called 
dropbox (google and download it... super easy to share files with friends). whichever the method, i enjoy the process of creating a mix and sending it off for a friend to experience. it's a small effort, but i'm happy with with results.  

i recently shared a conversation with a friend of mine who is a folk artist. we talked a lot about mix tapes and he recognizes the skill involved in producing a playlist of various artists and songs. as an artist, he writes and performs his music with the intention of creating a final product. the final product requires so much more than just songs... it involves album art, track names, as well as the track order. he strives for perfection and often plays with the track order before completing an album. for him, the studio album is the most intimate mix tape of them all. it's a mix tape of everything that he's responsible for creating.

as the conversation of mix tapes concludes, i can't help but leave you with some advice from 
high fidelity
the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. many do's and don'ts. first of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. this is a delicate thing.

the making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. it takes ages, longer than it might seem. you gotta kick it off with a killer to grab attention. then you gotta take it up a notch, but you don't want to blow your wad. so then you gotta cool it off a notch. there are a lot of rules. anyways, i've started to a make a tape... in my head... for laura. full of stuff she'd like. full of stuff that'd make her happy. for the first time i can sorta see how that's done.
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midnight surprise.lightspeed champion

i've heard a number of songs that surpass the five minute mark, but 9 minutes and 54 seconds is on the cusp of free bird. you don't see musicians making many songs of this length because i think it's hard to produce a track that keeps the audience satisfied. to lightspeed champion's credit, this track is phenomenal. it holds an excellent melody and it surprises the listener with creative transitions and a keen sense of pace. midnight surprise makes me want to become a musician and try my hand at producing a song of this length.  

the rest of the album is peppered with similar success, so be sure to check it out.

h o m e .
same song, different day
...the song that influenced the title. 

to say a song has changed your life is to make a declaration of a heartfelt union of music and soul. some songs are catchy, some songs are memorable, and others have the spark to start a revolution. this song has been a my personal catalyst for new connections and relationships. it has turned strangers into friends, friends into family, and brought those i consider family even closer through the song's sound and lyrics. home has influenced my pursuit, goals, and has been a bookend to each of my adventures. it chimes with the rhythm of my heart and there are few things more satisfying than sharing it with others. the song was introduced to me by a friend, on the day i turned 25.     

i was traveling the west coast and experiencing san francisco for the first time. i saw the bridge, watched the giants, enjoyed an irish coffee, and stayed in the haight. it was my birthday and the friend i was staying with wanted to make it special, so she invited a couple of people over for the celebration. the faces that filled the room were unique for my birthday... no family, no friends from home, just an assortment of people linked to me through my hostess. a few beers and hamburgers later, i realized that even though i recognized only a few faces at the party, i was completely satisfied with how my day developed. it was apparent that home, as i know it, is ever changing and entirely up to me. 
for that night, s.f. was home.

at the party, someone asked what i wanted to see before i left san francisco. i explained that it was less what i wanted to see and more what i wanted to experience. i hoped to continue to explore the city, befriend strangers, and enjoy some time in various coffee shops. my time was dwindling in s.f. as i began making plans to be in portland by the end of the week. a friend realized i was going to be around for another couple of days and towed me to a laptop in the kitchen.  he shared a youtube video of a band of 10 ruffians performing a song entitled home on the late show with david letterman. i watched the video and was in awe of their energy. the band was large and their performance was unlike anything i've ever seen. coincidentally, the band was scheduled to play a san fran show on the night before i planned to head north.   

the day came and i was still interested in attending the concert, but my hostess was battling swine-flu-like symptoms, so i hesitated leaving her for the night. in an effort to remain healthy, i chose to meet up with friends and check out the show. i had no ticket, no expectations, and my iphone held the only directions to the venue. 

i arrived and met up with my friends at a bar filled with people. the venue was across the street and everyone was drinking cheap taps of fat tire before the openers hit the stage. the venue doors had just opened and the crowd was filing in. my concern began to peak, since i heard that the show was sold out. the mid-week performance didn't seem ripe for scalpers, but i started my quest to find a ticket anyways.

we walked up and down the entrance of the venue when my friend noticed a member of a local san fran band standing outside of the show. he said hello and praised the artist for the success of the band. the conversation was brief, but both parties involved seemed happy to have shared the moment. the search for a ticket was looking dismal and it was time for me to bid farewell to my ticket holding companions.  

they entered the concert as i took out a 20 and began to fold it into my palm with the intention of presenting it to the bouncer and gaining access to the sold out show. as i muscled up the courage, i was interrupted by the local musician that we met moments ealier. he asked if i was still looking to get into the show? i responded with an unenthusiastic, "yeah." he reached into his pocket and presented me with a ticket. it was the ticket that would resurrect my love for music. 

the ticket read edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros. i walked into the show, reunited with my friends, and experienced an incredible live performance. the energy was real, the band's presence was impactful, and the music was filled with exploration, struggle, and love.  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
home.edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros
the power of whistling paired with a lovely, but raspy duet provides the audience with something much greater than a catchy tune. home has a special sound that you can't get out of your head and after six months of listening and sharing it with others, I still enjoy every bit of it. my life's soundtrack holds home and the up from below album in high regard as my infinite playlist continues to grow. 
home is the same song, different day.