“Hey, Look What I Found In My CD Stash…” Part I

Charissa’s Pick


One of my biggest regrets is not attending Juliana Theory’s performances post-break-up a few years back where they played entire albums.  I listened to advice instead of going with my independent gut love for Juliana Theory.  Regret beyond belief. I haven’t listened to them for awhile since I was still scarred from my detrimental decision.  Recently, I decided to ‘get over it’ and let me tell you…words can’t express how much I fell in love with them (again).

Though my experience brought me through Understand This Is a Dream and Emotion Is Dead, the idea of this blog-post is focusing on one phenomenal album of the past.  Understand This Is a Dream is such an emotional combination of beautifully written songs that go right for the heart (“August In Bethany”), along with connecting so specifically to a time period in my life (“Duane Joseph”).

Yet, Emotion Is Dead is absolutely mind-blowing.  Everything involved is catastrophic when combined.  Lyrics – bam, instrumentation – bam, composition – double bam,   transitions and bridges – quadruple bam.   All these songs are getting your emotions going, getting you heated or sad or ecstatic.  This album is like a drug, except it’s an experience you can remember… and its legal.

This is what “emo” music is all about and this is where it was perfected before other less emo bands tried to copy it and failed.   The music should be going right along with vocals and all of that is carrying the story being presented to you.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be depressing, “Were at the Top of the World” is fun, imaginative and everything brings you to that moment.

Some ‘holy hell’ songs include, “Is Patience Still Waiting,” “If I Told You This Was Killing Me Would You Stop?” “This Is Your Life.”

I’m sad Juliana Theory is no more, but in a way it makes these albums perfect because you don’t have to worry about them failing in the future. They produced something revolutionary and moved on.  Front-man Brett Detar has since dipped his toes into the grizzly country world of music and is by-far the most humble and appreciative artist on Twitter.


Matt’s Pick

GrandaddyThe Sophtware Slump

I too, will reach back 12 years, but to a different genre; Space Rock.  Flash back to March of 2000 where tech stocks were peaking and the U.S. was in a very good place financially.  Singer and songwriter Jason Lytle was writing a masterpiece.  Maybe he foresaw danger in the dot-com unprepared world. The world was brimming to become digital, while over-valued companies and websites were bursting.  The album is an anthem of sorts to a society filled with technology and problems.  Who knew?  Jason Lytle apparently.

SS, ironically, was the second album for the Modesto group.  No sophomore slump would be felt. They open with a 9 minute story called “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot” which is loaded with lush. “Hewlett’s Daughter” would’ve fit perfectly on the American Beauty soundtrack and “Jed The Humanoid” might’ve run over the credits.  Maybe in the 25 year reboot?

The 2nd Jed song (“Jed’s Other Poem – Beautiful Ground”) sums up Jason’s story.  Another artist, Stewart Smith, tried to capture this critical moment on an Apple II here.

This album is filled with questions, concerns and happiness.  Its a memory of someone I won’t get to see for a long time.


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TAGS: Ralphs Problem, StepSister, fights at bars, 1979/2000 computers, EMO, We have little say