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I'd like to share some of my new music picks from 2011. I had fun doing it last year and hopefully we'll be able to help each other discover and share. I'd also like to demonstrate how money that would have gone to a health robbing addiction has instead gone to tangible and worthwhile endeavors. If I can wrap it all up in a bow that ties my personal progress and growth with something that will live with me and enrich me for the rest of my life while flexing my writing abilities and improving my formatting, coding, embedding and general computer skills I'll be thrilled.

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support series for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. We avoid discussion of political issues. If you are quitting or even thinking about quitting, please -- join us! You can add GUS to your stream by clicking on the ♥ next to the GUS tag. The GUS Library at dKosopedia is organically evolving, and stocked with free-range information: quit-smoking links, helpful GUS writing tips, and the GUS buddy list.
"A message to all quitters: you don't have to avoid GUS if your latest attempt to quit didn't work out. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the attempted quits as practice for the real quit." (h/t FG)
Linking my love of music, a life sustaining, insanity preventing, hobby, passion, endeavor, pursuit ..... Call It What You Want, and GUS is obvious, at least to me. I've now gone more than 3 years without smoking and according to the dollar figure on my quit meter I've saved a ton of money. At least some of that cash has been spent on a lifelong interest. It isn't just about the money, though. I've indulged in an activity that I know calms, uplifts, restores, and helps maintain my well being and mood. Giving up smoking hasn't just been about stopping the inhalation of toxic substances. It's been part of several important behavioral changes I've made to help lead me to a healthier, more satisfied self and I've used my music collection every step of the way.

I love listening to music and I love collecting it. I love to shop for it. I love watching videos designed specifically to accompany it. I love to read about it. I have a respectable music collection going all the way back to my first 45's & LP's in the early 1970's, cassettes from the 80's, and infused with some of my parents LP's and 78's from before I was born. And CD's. I have some CD's. 4000 or so.

cd's 2011 2

cd's 2011 3

I can honestly say I spent a whole lot more on releases that were not from 2011 in 2011. That's just the obvious & logical nature of things. I got tremendous satisfaction from finding some used but pristine LP's at an annual book fair last year. I bought some of my childhood back for $1USD each. No wear on the jackets, original liner sleeves & notes, no cutouts, no promos, no barcode imprinted, and platters without a scratch and looking like they were just made yesterday ::sigh:: ("I really miss you Karen")

Carrying over from 2010, I continued to buy Rudy Van Gelder remastered CD's on the Blue Note label. Regardless of what anyone has to say, pro or con (and there's a lot) he loved what he did then and has been just as enthusiastic about revisiting his earlier work. I can't think of anyone better qualified to do it. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music and reading & learning the history of it, the label, the artists (just the original artwork is a great popular culture lesson) and Van Gelder himself. He's been named as one of this year's Trustee Award honorees at the upcoming 54th Grammy Awards in February. He just turned 87. I think that's pretty cool. I also think it's pretty cool that I can hold the past, vibrant and alive, in the palm of my hand with minimal cost, and priceless rewards. As something that transcends time and place.

This paragraph has been . I've tried to hammer out something that flows well with the before and after .... to act as a bridge to the older material and the new stuff that is happening right now ... I don't know. meh. I'm 51 and there's a ton to keep up with. I think it's important for me to try to stay current. Current with the technology and current with the music. I make no claim of expertise in any field or in any regard and humbly submit that my knowledge wouldn't fill a thimble. I'm almost always willing to try something new and hopefully that's what really matters.

I live in an amazing time. A time when there are literally millions of songs available to me with just a point and a click. In the past several years I've managed to get almost all of my CD music imported into a database. I use I-Tunes. I've gotten some great first hand experience with computers. Hardware and software. I have nearly 50,000 songs in my own storage drive (walking around with 10,000 or so in my pocket is an awesome feeling) And being the meticulous collector that I am, I've worked hard trying to standardize data in many fields and create something that's easy for me to work with and that's unique & pleasing to the ear and eye.

itunes screen grab

In this modern world of digital copies, and sound clouds and podcasts and Youtube and Spotify a basic premise still remains. Artists make and consumers want. I've seen first hand an industry that tries its best to limit and control how and which artists reach consumers. It isn't new, just on different and more wide ranging playing fields. Passwords will be forgotten, lost or stolen. Access will be denied. Drives will fail. Like LP's spinning round and round and back again. I'm not ever going to be comfortable without tangible copies on hand and in hand. Call me old fashioned. I don't care.

I'm going to paste the same initial request I posted last time. It's really just simple courtesy and good manners and common sense. I appreciate everyone's respect, input, and opinions. This is my list. It isn't like any other list. It's neither comprehensive nor definitive. It's unique to me. I reserve the right to alter and change it based on time, tastes and interest. I've tried to incorporate why I think something belongs on my list, but when it's all said and done, these are my choices. And I've really tried to keep it to a reasonable length.

Please don't disparage the list.
This is my list.
You can make your own list.
Please don't disparage anyone else's list or picks.
You can make your own list.

I generally buy my music on CD.
Hence, my list is going to reflect that.
You might only download your music.
You can make your own list.
You might be into LP's. There's been a wonderful resurgence in recent years.
You can make your own list.
You might only watch new music videos.
You can make your own list.
Satellite radio, podcasts, online feeds and streams?
You can make your own list.
5.1, SACD, Audio DVD, Blue Ray?
You can make your own list.

Vintage Vinyl

This first set is music that I went out and
actually bought physical copies of on CD.
Yes, went out.
To a store.
Anyone who's a regular here knows that
some days that is a real accomplishment.
Sometimes it was Borders.
Frequently Vintage Vinyl on
Delmar in University City, MO.
On CD. Yes, I know,
they're relics and I'm a dinosaur. So what.

Artist Releases

)Adele - 21
Two time Grammy Award winning artist.
She really is awesome. Really.

)Friendly Fires - Pala
)Foster The People - Torches
)Grace Jones - Hurricane (2 Disc US Edition)
Best US release of a 3 year old import with a bonus dub disc of everything.
)Cut Copy - Zonoscope
)Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or So What
)Tenant / Lowe - The Most Incredible Thing
Pet Shop Boys work their magic on a ballet score
for the Hans Christian Anderson short story.

)Bell X1 - Bloodless Coup
)Com Truise - Galactic Melt
)Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys
)Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Teaming up again with Bob Ezrin, producer of the first "Nightmare" and featuring three of the original members of the band with special guests Ke$ha and Rob Zombie.
)Britney Spears - Femme Fatale - Deluxe Edition
)Beirut - The Rip Tide
)Chemical Brothers - Hanna (Original Soundtrack)
Every bit as worthy as Daft Punk's soundtrack entry last year, and their own "Black Swan" contribution(s), the duo score Joe Wright's film with big beat, large bass sounds.
)Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
)Black Keys - El Camino
)Radiohead - The King Of Limbs / TKOL RMX 1234567
(Original CD & 2 CD Remix)

Combined with the 18 track remix collection Radiohead prove once again they aren't going to, and don't have to, conform to anyone else's standards.
)Junior Boys - It's All True
)M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
)Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts
)Etta James - The Dreamer
I don't think there's a more fitting bookend to the unbelievable career of James herself, or when juxtaposed with Adele, who has expressed her admiration and highest regards.

Collections and Compilations

The Book Of Mormon - Original Broadway Cast Recording
Red Hot & Rio 2
Tron: Legacy - Reconfigured

This next set needs no introduction other than for me to say
"through government intervention (USPS) all 12 of these arrived safely at my home"

Best Monthly Series, Hands Down, Across The Board, In All Ways

Fabric & Fabriclive
5 out of 5 for music, artists, DJ / compiler,
artwork, package design, price, digital support and club tie in
Label celebrates 10 years and club celebrates 12
Catalog now 120+ deep

As a disclaimer I have a monthly subscription. I don't want this to seem like a sales pitch because it isn't. It's about me sharing a great source for contemporary music from a globally recognized name, label and place. I really can't say enough good things about this series. It's a wonderful underground pipeline to one of the world's premiere clubs and I anxiously look forward to every release. It's one of the best musical "secrets" I've stumbled onto and I've never been disappointed. Given the nature of the music business, taking into account the past & what's passed, and knowing that some ideas, melodies, chords, notes, moves, beats, trends... really can last "forever," this series will reverberate for lifetimes. That's not an overstatement. Trust me.

And now these two sets of acclaimed (by me anyway)
choices & unpurchased desires presented in no particular order:

My Wish List

)Kraak & Smaak - Electric Hustle
)Depeche Mode - Remixes 2: 81-11 (3 Disc Edition)
)Meshell Ndegeocello - Weather
)Tony Bennett - Duets 2
)Doris Day - My Heart
)Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppi - Rome
)Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Original Soundtrack
)People Under the Stairs - Highlighter
)Yes - Fly From Here
)Jeff Beck - Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
)Seth McFarlane - Music Is Better Than Words
)Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts
(Produced by & musical contributions from Beck)

)Sea And Cake - The Moonlight Butterfly
)Wilco - The Whole Love - Deluxe Edition
)Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical
)Kaskade - Fire & Ice
)Roots - udun
)Washed Out - Within And Without
)Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here
)PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Great Remastered & Expanded Editions At An Affordable Price

)Beach Boys - The Smile Sessions (2 Disc LP or CD Edition)
)Rolling Stones - Some Girls (2 Disc Deluxe Edition)
)Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (3 Disc Deluxe Edition)
)Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return To The 36 Chambers (2 Disc Special Edition)
)Primal Scream - Screamadelica (2 Disc Deluxe Edition)
)Jethro Tull - Aqualung (2 Disc 40th Anniversary Edition)
)Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (2 Disc Experience Version)
)King Crimson - Discipline (2 Disc CD / DVD Audio 40th Anniversary Series)

And so my fellow babies, we near the end of my presentation. This series, for me, is all about personal growth and improvement. 2011 was a year of highs and lows. Like most actually. In addition to the three year milestone I passed on December 1st regarding a smoke free life, I've also achieved my first year of sobriety in nearly 20 and am doing well with that. 500+ days and counting. I used some of the "spare" funds I saved not smoking to purchase a stationary bike and a two speed and started riding at least ten miles a day in April 2011. Sometimes outside, sometimes inside and sometimes both. I've pedaled the equivalent number of miles to reach California from here and am well on my way to Mexico City.
bike route 2595 miles

Seeing that map and looking at how far I've gone really helps bring it into focus, don't you agree? I did it one day at a time. Some days were harder than others. And every day I had help from the people in my real life and the people here at GUS. Yes, I am literally trying to beat myself and anyone who's followed along with me and this group over the head with the effects of positive change. With win. With achievement. With accomplishment. With undeniable and irrefutable results. I know I'm not the most notable or memorable person, or the best writer, or the most prolific commenter, or the one with the quickest and wittiest retorts, but I'm here almost all the time, reading and recommending and gaining strength from everyone who comes here.

This is what shared success looks like.
This is how personal progress sounds.
This is what a community can do.
We did this.
You and I.
In spite of the depression and loneliness and worry
and fear and stress and heartache and heartburn and setbacks.
I have first hand knowledge that we've nurtured
and encouraged and improved the life of at least one human being. Me. Dan.
And I'm so proud and so grateful.

Thanks GUS.
Thanks Daily Kos.
(pɐp puɐ ɯoɯ sʞuɐɥʇ)

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aoeu - perhaps back soon with a weekly slot on The Get?
anodnhajo/dan - what the hell ever, get yourself together man, & let's see you back up on the weekly list again once in a while, or whatever works :-)

Originally posted to just anod on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA.

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