Thursday, December 29, 2011

My favorite songs of 2011

Hey everyone. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Oliver James Harpe. I've been alive since August 9th. Wow, what a crazy world, huh? Don't you love toys? And things that jut outwards from surfaces? And cats? I'll tell you what else is great: songs. These are some of my favorite songs of this year (my only year ha ha am I right?).

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Stained Glass Body

This song is great for calming down and sleeping. I mostly liked this song when I was younger. My tastes have matured since then.

Lonely Old Man

This is the next song that I really loved. My parents and I think it's hilarious.


This song has great hand motions. My dad does them really well.

Alphabet Song/Shapes Song

These songs are the work of A. J. Jenkins, who's pretty much my favorite artist right now. His songs are so great, and are accompanied by shapes and letters which have faces, just like people do! I feel like he really gets me. No matter what mood I'm in, these tunes set me right.

Well, that's it. These are pretty much the top songs out there. Bye for now. I've got to go practice this new high-pitched squeal that I now use to express every human emotion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top Hot Shots of 2011

New real lists coming as soon as vaca starts. But for now, PING PONG!

List her? I hardly know her.

Wow, what an unexpected boon to my household! List season is here again. What a year, huh guys? My faith-based craft business took off in a big way. I was elected to Congress. I finally killed that sonofabitch Andy. And it was a great year for music too!

In the past these lists have gotten way out of hand, so I'm going to limit it to a quick and dirty top 15 this year. If you'd like to hear more of my top picks, you can go to hell.

15. Federico Durand - El Extasis de las Flores Pequenas

Piano and field recordings. Very beautiful and sleepy. Supposedly it's about his childhood. I'll buy that.

14. Balam Acab - Wander/Wonder

Previously I've always hated those annoying chipmunk sounding voices that are in hip hop sometimes. You guys know what I mean, right? Well, now I love them thanks to this.

13. M. Ostermeier - The Rules of Another Small World

This is another album of piano and field recordings. I guess I'm a sucker for stuff like this. This one is a bit more minimalistic. Very gentle.

12. Mountains - Air Museum

I feel like Mountains aren't very highly regarded by some, but they're a personal favorite of mine. This is their most consistent release to date, I think. Saw these bros at Neon Marshmallow Fest.

11. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica

A new direction for ole Danny. Way more samples and way less drones. When Andy and I saw him at NMF, his set fell about halfway between this and Returnal. I'd like to see him put that down on paper, so to speak.

10. Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place

So many layers of beautiful voice pouring into your ears. It doesn't get any better than that.

9. Dustin O'Halloran - Lumiere

Some great melancholy piano compositions from this modern classical dog. I've listened to the song "Fragile N. 4" about a million times this year.

8. The Field - Looping State of Mind

Awesome beats and sounds repeating over and over again. I'm not sure why this isn't boring like most house music, but it's not. I love it.

7. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

Andy suggested that Tim Hecker's music has always sounded wintry. I, however, have always felt his music to be notable for the incredible warmth of its noise. In any case, this album is clearly some chilly stuff. Definitely more aggressive than some of his previous releases.

6. Ford & Lopatin - Channel Pressure

There's not a dull moment on this album! It's overflowing with delicious sounds. So many good ideas.

5. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

M83 is about the best thing going, despite the fact that he continues to use that dumb talking girl all the time. It makes me feel like he could make the best album ever by simply not doing that.

4. Rene Hell - The Terminal Symphony

Here's another awesome friend we saw at the fest. Jeff Witscher's latest is definitely his most accessible, but it's not without a lot of abrasive moments. A real synth master.

3. Steve Hauschildt - Tragedy and Geometry

Speaking of synth masters...I always thought of Steve Hauschildt as the most abstract and conceptual artist in the Emeralds gang, so this is totally not what I was expecting. I bet some people (Paco?) were disappointed with it. Granted, there is a lot of stuff that kind of sounds like this, but I think this is totally the best.

2. Lee Noble - Horrorism

I wasn't a fan of some of his previous drone releases, but I'm in love with this album. Great songs awash in so much beautiful noise and sound. "Horrorism" is supposed to refer a fake art movement that he invented. Don't worry, it's not scary.

1. Sean McCann - The Capital

Sean's been putting out top quality releases at an insane pace over the last few years. I feel like this is kind of the culmination of that whole period. There's a lot of really different sounding stuff here, but it all seems to draw from the best of what he's been doing lately. I can't recommend this enough!

Okay okay, here's some stuff that would've made a longer list. It's all great.

Golden Retriever - Light Cones (side one is amazing!)
Lunar Miasma - The Gateway
Niggas With Guitars - Ethnic Frenzy
Deaf Center - Owl Splinters
Aerial Jungle - Tales of Acoustic Levitation
Grouper - A | A
The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
Belong - Common Era
EUS - Trans El Horizonte
Higuma - Pacific Fog Dreams
Julia Kent - Green and Grey
Juv - Juv
Mandelbrot & Skyy - OD-Axis
Mist - House
Polymer Slug - Cloud Types
Panabrite - Nordsee
Noveller - Glacial Glow
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Luminaries and Synastry
M. Geddas Grengas - This Could Be the Last Time
Father - Return of Father
Deep Magic - Sky Haze
Sundrips - Just a Glimpse
Sky Stadium - Palmae
Pure X - Pleasure
Quiet Evenings - Transcending Spheres
Cliffsides - Liquid Mirrors

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sup dopes; i mean teds and carlas. do you know what time it is? it is time. my god what a year right. as most of you know i really got a promotion this year big. now i have nothing to worry about in this world except for lists. and one can make many lists, but i can make only one. so that's what i'm about to do. make list.

but first:
this year was a good year. but even in good years bad disasters befall good computers. this year was no exception for disasters or computers. Once, there was this bad drought, and our computer got so thirsty and then it died. the doctors tried to make it alive again, and they did, but not before it forgot all that it once knew, including known pictures and songs, and that stuff;
like the english patient, i think, i haven't seen that movie.

it forgot it all.
and in the process i learned a very valuable lesson which is this: my mind isn't good at knowing what it likes and knowing what's important. it's so hard. but i have tried my damndest and i have gave it my all. starting from scratch we have been rebuilding our music library and collection selection. and from that and my recollection(seuss) i present you with:

have split my one big list into four sub-lists. they aren't the most coherent but they are the best that i could manage, what with the economy and all.

section 1: for the people (pop/indie rock kinda stuff)
i figure i will start things off nice and easy. just dip our toes in kinda stuff. anybody other than my dad could pick up these boys and say "wow, those boys are great for my ears and good for my spirit and attitude."

M83 "hurry up we're dreaming"

you guys know these guys. here we have a double album that rocks you to the socks. man i can't get enough of most of these songs. i just wanna hear them. especially steve mcqueen and that song
with the cute little girl about magic frogs. ONG Also, only minimal occurrences of that whiny girl talking in the middle of songs, which is always a plus for M83. (She should keep those feelings in her diary and out of my music).

James Blake "james blake"

this guy. ha. im not really sure. part of me feels like this is a guilty pleasure; part of me feels like i could listen to him openly in public and feel bad-ass; im torn. either way some real good maple syrup. any song that talks about kestrels is winning in my book.

Bon Iver "bon iver"

Duh. Bon Iver. I mean any dude whose voice sounds like 10,000 angels has to make the list. don't matter one bit about the autotune. sorry.

Ford & Lopatin "channel pressure"

Who's feeling risky? You? Pink shirt, third row? Yeah, way to go! Ok so this one is so good, but also made from ancient keyboards and weird old synthesizers, not your modern guitars and justin biebers. but shoot the shit and give it a try.

Right? Told yah.

section 2: Oh my God, no way!/sounds for chillin

things now begin to unravel a little bit. these songs are a little less normal, but in many cases 15 or 52% more beautiful than those above. this is one of the sections that doesn't really coalesce as much, but who cares. maybe it does.

Alexander Turnquist "hallway of mirrors"

for starters, i heard of this instrument called a guitar. man what cool sounds! but if you take this guy, and you give him one of those, man oh man oh man. i just found this gem not so long ago, but it is sooo good and sooo pretty. you should all listen to it when you are in need of sweet sounds. i recommend for use in the car, at home, the office, quiet dinner parties, the study, or to give to the barber to put on while he is trimming the ole neck-line (i prefer mine rounded). you'll be surprised.

Julianna Barwick "the magic place"
so there is this girl. she sings these words that you can't make out. but she sings them and records them at one pitch, then does the same thing for like a hundred different pitches that all harmonize and blend perfectly like a host of heavenly angels and my god if it doesn't warrant a little reverence and maybe even some repentance. check it out (especially on sunday)

Geotic "mend"

i don't really know what to say about this one. i mean, i think you will like it, it's good.
you liked that Baths album last year, right? well this is by him, but under a different name. and totally different (no beats). but so good. maybe like the soundtrack to a dream where good things are happening, like lots of flying above cool cities or chocolate baseball diamonds. not sure.
you tell me.

section 3: dope beeps/ ughhh what? cool!
here we digress but in such a good way. this is where songs disintegrate into sounds, but wow guys, these sounds are so good and pretty. sheesh just give it a go.

Mountains "air museum"

i have loved these guys for so long; but then they put out this new album and then my friend and i saw them in chicago and BOOM. that was it. i mean talk about do it best. this is that. so much sounds, beeps, static, and delicious slowly changing tones. it's everything you ever.

p.s. it's okay, i admit, the album cover is totally lame.

Mist "house"

Whats that? aaaahhhhh!!! it's these sweet beeps and dops and sounds that make you want to succeed so hard. lets all run out and take the GRE and get these incredible scores, like in the top percentiles. lets go take IQ test and all become members of Mensa. WHAT? we are all universal donors? Blood Type O? Yes! this is what the world could accomplish if 7 billion people all listened to tack 1 of this album simultaneously. Success! world peace. good will and what not. we did it. global raise the roof. raise it to space and then some. gosh.

The Field "looping state of mind"

i know that most of you like to dance and shake your body all around the world. well then you should get this album. especially if you only have like two or three really good moves. then you can just do them over and over because that's what the album is like. it's like a sweet dancey/housey album that plays the same awesome beats over and over and over. but in the best possible non-boring way ever.

Rene Hell "the terminal symphony"

This is the least accessible album in this section. however, im pretty sure that everyone in the world could get on board with the fourth track E.S. Des Grauens In Fifths, so just give that one a try, love it, then slowly your love will bleed to all the surrounding tracks. probably not. for me it's a hit and a winner.

section 4: sounds for long winters

we have come to the last section, and thusly the last four albums i have loved over this past year. okay, let's see what we got! hold my hand.

Balam Acab "wander/wonder"

so i didn't really know where to put this one. Maybe it should have gone up in section 2 for chillin, but im sticking to my guns and keeping it here. This is an album that i could put on in winter and maybe i would forget about the cold and pretend that i was bobbing up and down in a comfortably ocean or something. i don't know. it has all these haunting beats and weird vocals. but it is super good and that's no joke. i mean you can still chill during the winter, right?

The Caretaker "an empty bliss beyond this world"

This is the soundtrack to the creepiest old haunted house ever, but in a very warm and inviting way, you know? probably not. so what we have here is these really vintage sounding snippets of music that repeat at length and then abruptly shift into a different old timey song segment. and im sure my description is crap, but thats all i got. just give it a hear. good stuff.

Bo Becker "Brecilian"

just some classic droney stuff, you know. again, to me this album feels cold, but in a warm way. i don't know how or why, maybe like it's 8 degrees outside, but i have on so many layers and 2 scarves and huge gloves and only 3% of my skin is visible. if you like droney stuff listen to it now, if not then you probably won't care and that is perfectly all right.

Tim Hecker "Ravedeath, 1972"

This album is the epitome of cold. it's like if ice got inside the bones in your ears (you know the three little ones) and froze em up so they barely moved. Tim Hecker takes these beautiful old organs and makes them so icy that sometimes you can't even tell they are organs at all. it's like your sitting in the middle of the frozen tundra and the snow is blowing so hard that you can't even see the polar bear running towards you so fast to eat you or hug you who knows. Ravedeath is so good and so cold that you don't really care whether you get eaten or hugged by a huge polar bear, it just don't make a difference one way or the other.

In Closing:
there you go. happy new year. it was a big year for music. i heard on the internet that 143 total albums came out during the year 2011. here are the fifteen that i loved a whole lot, probably the most. can't say which is the best, because i loved them all in different ways. i can love owls and also love skateboards!
i can love bats, but also want them to keep warm and snugly ! also i probably forgot some that i totally loved so hard, but then lost in the war. oh well. that's why you should all make lists as well and help me remember what my computer forgot.

Let's see who my friends really are: If you agree with this list, or the bats thing, or like owls, then copy this list and send it to fifteen people you love.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Pre-Lizst List

Good Ides about the Pre-Lizst Lists, Erica!

Here are some things that happened before Franz Lizst, for the curious.

The events in the Star Wars Saga:


Mayans made calendars

Man wrought stone tools

Spawn of Quasars

I don't won't to take them all, though, in case anyone else would like to pre-Lizst it up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

somewhere in middle america

listen up, buddies. it is very close to list time. we should do some pre-list lists. for real. let's do it! i already have some ideas for my pre-list list. don't leave me hanging. let's do it to it. let's not flake out. let's make this year's lists the best lists ever. amen

Saturday, January 01, 2011

bring it down to a slow dance

Okay, 2011, listen up. 2010 was a year for the books - these past few days I have been trying to decipher the code and deem 2010 either a bad year or a good year. Guess what? I can't. The jury's out and will remain out on this issue for me personally. So, I've decided to compile a list of the top Life Altering Events of 2010, (the order of events lack significance). They are both grand and terrible. I will note on which side the event is on by a unicorn icon for good, sad puppy face for bad. If you, the reader, only want to read the good ones, find the unicorn. If just the sad ones, as some of you sadists are, search for the puppy.


I LOST MY JOB. What a dumb ass year for employment nationwide. Non Profit institutions in Indiana had high death tolls this year. Dumb ol' Mitch Daniels slashed budgets by about a gazillion dollars. Somehow in my pompous youth, i thought for sure that I was safe from the lay offs. I was definitely wrong. In April I was told that i could continue working until August, and I tried. But every day was torture. Let's remember, I was very good at being a social worker. and by very good, I mean it. Passing out my clients to some social workers who were far less compassionate and thorough was torture. (Some of my colleagues were super great) So, though I got laid off, I felt bullied out of where I called home for nearly 5 years. Bull shit alert.

BEAR TOWN. This may not seem awesome to anyone but andy and me, but we took an awesome vacation to the Smokey Mountains this year. It was glorious. Andy, Blue Ridge Mountains and BEARS! Once, when I was in middle school, I saw, for a few seconds a Grizzly Bear and that was sweet. But this trip was FULL OF BEARS, beautifully cute black bears. It was totally tubular. For real. We felt threatened a few times, we felt warm hearts a few times and mostly we just felt like "these bears rule the school". Honestly, may sound lame to everyone but me, but for sure worthy to be called mind blowing.

MORTALITY SITS NEAR. This year was a tough year for my family on my dad's side. My papa, who happens to be one of my favorite men of all time, had a fire in his barber shop, he had mutiny in his shop, sold all his father's belongings... AND nearly died in a terrible car accident. He said it started because he was sneaking ice cream and he didn't buckle his safety belt due to needing two hands for the delicious treat. Anyways, some little 16 year old idiot ran a stop sign, hit his truck and flipped it. My papa went flying out of the truck and into the field. He didn't sustain too many injuries, but when something like that happens, it hits you, ya know? Like, tiny details of every day can cause a life to spiral down hill in a matter of minutes. I asked for the name of the kid. All I wanted to do was bully him into apologizing to one of the men who make my world a brighter place, but being graceful and full of mercy, he wouldn't give me the little jerk's name. Sometimes a girl just thinks about life and death and even the thought sitting near is sad and scary.

INDECISIVE BROTHER FINDS HIS WAY. I remember the days my brothers were born. Never, ever, ever was I jealous. Having siblings is one of the best parts of my life. It's definitely one of the saddest things in my life that I don't get to see my brothers on a more regular basis. It's heart breaking really because I think there is nothing cooler than having people who are part of you yet so different. The family of origin is a tricky beast sometimes, but mostly, in my case, it's an okay thing. My brother, roger, who rules, btw, he had a rough time deciding where to put all his talent. Because he is talented beyond belief. He's so smart, athletic, super social, so adaptable and sensitive to people around him. He's the full package. Anyways, this year, he enlisted in the Navy - which some on this blog might not love, but I love it. I love it. and i'll yell it down every street in fort wayne that I love it. He's been hand picked for the Honor Guard in DC - which is awesome. He did amazingly well in boot camp and I just know, as corny as this sounds, he's where he belongs at this moment in his life. it's a beautiful thing, really, seeing someone bloom over the span of his life.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE GROW UP. It's been sort of heart breaking watching my little community disband. I fought with myself whether or not to put this event on 'ze blog, but it seemed obvious. Some people will disagree and argue that I shouldn't feel this way. But i got big news for you people, i feel deeply and I am sad that Bryce is moving to Korea. And I am sad that Jim and Anna moved out of the house. I have lived with Anna since 2003. For a short time in 2007, we lived 30 seconds apart, but basically, that still counts. Sometimes, you build a need for people to be close physically. My definition of survival looks differently than most. And even though it's a good thing for them, Bryce and Anna and Jim, when I come home to a home without them, I feel incomplete.

I BECAME A LIBRARIAN AGAIN. So, after months of waiting tables (and loving it). And months after applying and interviewing for a sundry of jobs around fort wayne, BOOM, the Allen County Public Library hires me as a Children's Librarian at the Main Library. This is earth shattering in a terrific way: watch out, let the Outside Hire through. I still can't believe it, seriously. I suppose I just decided in the interview, welp, yeah right, like I'll get hired, let's go all out. So I did. And so I got the job. It's weird. And it's hard. But it's good. I get to walk to work every day and a residual effect is better cardiovascular health. I get to wear these fabulous green pants at least once a week and I get to help kids who like to read. I get to know the low down on all the best kids' books and I get a magnetic name tag that unlocks doors! All of these things are pretty radical. I also get to write incident reports, see poop in the Great Hall and hear people being really mean to kids - which, that's not so awesome, but e'ry thing good outweighs the crazy.

A DECADE LATER. Time has this way of completely obliterating my mind. I turned 27 in the summer. And on June 11, 2010 - my dad's death-iversarry was TEN YEARS. Ten years is a long time. Ten years is a long time to be without someone. Mostly, I still feel 17 about this whole ordeal. I still can't believe it. But when I realized that a it's been a decade, well, it blew my mind. The thing about time is, it just is so fake. I can't believe we measure years the way we do, I guess it's good otherwise we'd all be confused. For instance, if we didn't, i wouldn't know if my dad died yesterday or eons ago, because basically, that's how it feels: so far and so close simultaneously. But, here we are, a decade has passed. Does that make sense to any one else?

APRIL & POEMS. This past spring, you'll never guess what i did. Maybe you will, especially if you know me at all. But i'll got ahead and say it, since it changed my life. I wrote a poem a day every day for the month of April. I've never done that. Along with the writing, I was always super afraid of writing about certain items... but in April I was all like "watch out, bitches, imma go there and go there with grace. " and I did. I basically like lots of my April poems, but I like what happens after you know you can do something that seems hard. Pride. Achievement. yada. yada. yada. Brett Jenkins was instrumental in this whole ordeal and basically, she's totally awesome. Also, I'm going to do it again some time. Just, it's hard to do. :)

Let's face it, this list isn't complete. Tons more shit went down then i have documented, but, at it's core, this list represents the major life changing events in 2010. I left out little stuff, like kids throwing trash in my face, some other events that went down in the summer, dropping my phone in the lake, getting my ear lobes pierced at the mall and promptly removing them... you know, big stuff that has happened, but didn't change me drastically.That's what i left out.

so, there you go, list friends.
a real, vulnerable list that blows the internet apart.
welcome home, 2011.
2010, see ya never.