notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Monday, December 24, 2007

2007 Music Pt. 3, Pt. 1

As you may have deduced from the previous comments, I've nearly had an aneurysm over uploading these. And that was after the difficult selection process. Most of my 2007 music was acquired at the tail end of the year, and digesting it all has been something of a challenge. While there were many strong albums, I found that individual songs did not jump out at me as readily as they have in the past. Nevertheless, I've managed to pick 25 of my favorite tracks and present them here for your listening pleasure. This is the non-rap list, as I've decided to separate the two. Not only would I have had too many songs to upload in one go, but I like to shuffle my songs and there's just something a little jolting about hearing the Underground Kingz right after a Jens Lekman tune.

To answer Matt's question, my top five albums of the year were (also in no particular order):

Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Kanye West, Graduation
Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
Lil' Wayne, Da Drought is Over 3
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Right click on the links below to download the file. They group together under an album called "Muck Sampler 2007 - Jeff's Favorites," but I can't for the life of me get the order to maintain it's integrity. This is how it's supposed to go, not in terms of preference but for the sake of flow:

1) M.I.A.; Paper Planes. One of the few songs this year that I loved immediately. Only M.I.A. can blend cheerful and hardcore so effectively
2) Spoon; The Underdog. The older I get, the more I love horns in my rock songs.
3) Vampire Weekend; Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. I couldn't decide between this and Oxford Comma, so they're both on here despite my attempt to only feature one song from each artist.
4) Arcade Fire; Keep the Car Running. Not a very eco-friendly message is it...
5) Of Montreal; Suffer for Fashion. I used to love going to see these guys at the 40 Watt, but I never owned an album until this one. Catchy and rich.
6) The National; Apartment Story. I can't help but think of Cine every time I hear about this band.
7) The Avett Brothers; Die Die Die. I don't know anything about this band.
8) Wilco; Sky Blue Sky. Didn't everyone hate this album? I like this song.
9) Modest Mouse; Fire it Up. It's not very cool to prefer this stuff over their early output, but I do. That will cost Ravenclaw ten indie-cred points.
10) Battles; Leyendecker. Didn't know how to pick a single song, since it's more of an album experience, but something from Battles had to go on here and this is shorter than Atlas.
11) Chromeo; My Girl is Caling Me (A Liar). Like much of my music, I read about these dudes on Pitchfork. Like much of what I acquire based on Pitchfork's recommendation, this album disappointed me. Nevertheless, this song makes you want to break out the ol' dancing shoes.
12) Vampire Weekend; Oxford Comma. This song is fun, lively, and clever. Clearly, I do give a fuck about an oxford comma.
13) Beirut; The Penalty. : )
14) St.Vincent; Now Now. For the ladies.
15) Ryan Adams; Everybody Knows. What I didn't know was that I liked Ryan Adams. Just a wee bit, I think.
16) Radiohead; All I Need. Like with Battles, it was hard to pick a single track since it's more of an experience to listen to the whole album. I find this song goes well with the iTunes visualizer. Dude.
17) Panda Bear; Comfy in Nautica. It took me awhile to get into these furry weirdos, but it's beautiful stuff. See also the Animal Collective's album that Matt mentioned.
18) Kings of Leon; Ragoo. Ben turned me onto this band.
19) Jens Lekman; Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo. I got this from iTunes so let me know if it doesn't work.
20) Feist; I feel it All. This album almost made it into my top five.
21) Amy Winehouse; You Know I'm No Good (feat. Ghostface Killah). This version wasn't on the album I downloaded, but I found it on some blog and it's just amazing. The way Ghost's flow gets faster, his voice higher and more intense, building and building to climax and followed immediately by Amy Winehouse's sultry chorus. An odd pairing, but a delicious one.
22) Black Kids; I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You. I hate dancing, but if your girl's into it you best step up before she starts grinding on the better looking guy with the expensive jeans.
23) Lucky Soul; Add Your Light To Mine, Baby. Horns again!
24) Bright Eyes; I Must Belong Somewhere. It was a toss up between this and "Four Winds."
25) LCD Soundsystem; New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down. Maybe not the best song on that album, but I like songs about cities.

Special Bonus:

(Note, despite the title, this is NOT the same song posted above)

Had I been there, I would have cried.

Happy Holidays everyone. Stay tuned for a hip-hop round up in the next week or so.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007 Music continued...

Music wise I was not up to speed this year, and spent a lot of time catching up on 2006. This may explain some overlap in my selection, sue me.

As you may see in comments I have struggled to get the hang of this, but with Matt's gentle guidance we'll get there in the end.

Anywho, here's my selection, I spent time putting it in order, so in case I muck it up, somehow, here's how I intended it to be.

1) Maximo Park; Our Velocity. From their second album, not as emphatic as the first, but this was one of the tracks of the year for me. I had the pleasure of seeing them live this year which certainly fuelled my admiration.

2) Pharoahe Monche; Welcome to the Terrordome. I could take or leave much of this album, but if this track didn't have me by "No more!!", then it certainly did by "Hear the drummer get wicked".

3) Kings of Leon; True Love Way. This is not a Buddy Holly cover.

4) Kanye West; Can't Tell Me Nothing. This is how I love Kanye, raw, emotional, tripping over his tongue to tell you what he means. Overall I was disapointed by the album which I thought was over produced and flabby in places, but I'll be damned if there was a song this year I loved more than this.

5) Arcade Fire; (Antichrist Television Blues). I had a hard time choosing which track I liked most of this album. This was the one that pulled me along on my many summer runs though, and I stand by my choice.

6) Bloc Party; SXRT. Don't ask me what it stands for.

7) Wu-Tang Clan; Gun Will Go. WU-TANG!

8) CSS; Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above. Ok. If you say so.

9) Big Sean; Getcha Some. Addictive as pringles.

10) Calvin Harris; Electro Man. A lovely little electronic declaration.

11) LCD Soundsystem; North American Scum. "And for those of you who think we're still from England, we're like, no".

12) Common ft. Lily Allen; Driving Me Wild.

13) CRS (Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell); Us Placers. This, along with "Getcha Some" is from the "Can't Tell Me Nothing" mix tape Kanye released in May. This kind of stuff got me really excited for the album.

14) The Gossip; Standing in the Way of Control. This is a live version, definitely from 2007, just in case there was any doubt.

15) Audi0 Wax; God. A lot of nights I go to bed with my mobile phone near me. I listen to a late night radio show and text myself the names of tracks I want to get hold of because I know I'll forget them if I don't. Without fail when I receive said message from myself I jolt upright intrigued as to who could be texting me at such a time and what their intentions may be. Just think about that when you're enjoying Dubya cover John Lennon; my nomination for Xmas single of 2007.

16) Bruce Springsteen; Blinded by The Light. This was the first song Bruce played when I saw him for the first time last year. This is from the live album of the American Land tour, my feet didn't stop a tappin'.

Download here, and enjoy. Stay tuned for post xmas left overs.

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Viral 2007

I really miss working in an office. At one time, there wasn't much on the internet that escaped my watchful eyes. Now I mostly rely on Ben and Matt to link to all the great viral videos. Indeed, in looking at this countdown, I see that the Muck has had its finger on America's time-wasting pulse on multiple occasions (see George Washington, Thriller dance, Battle at Kruger...). Oh, and of course our sister site knew what was up with Chocolate Rain.

If you have some time, it's a great countdown and many of the selections were new to me. My personal favorite is 2 Girls 1 Cup: A Grandmother's Reaction. I admit that I only just learned what this 2 Girls 1 Cup business is all about, and no, I haven't seen the original. For those as uninformed on such important matters as I am, 2 Girls 1 Cup is apparently a video of two girls engaging in sexual conduct of some sort before drinking excrement out of a shared cup. It's been called the most disgusting video on the internet, and this is what happens when some asshole makes his grandmother watch it:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

1N51DE U

We have ourselves a winner. Great job, Will, and thanks to all who participated. Srinivas also deserves special mention for nominating two of the top three offensive license plates.

A commemorative post is hopefully forthcoming, and I will amend the sidebar to reflect Will's accomplishment later tonight.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2007 Music

Jeff has encouraged us to post playlists of our favorite music of 2007 like we did last year. We know how tremendously influential these lists are, and we don't want to deprive any of you of our impeccable taste and encyclopedic knowledge of popular music. Personally, I kind of liked the year-end album rankings we did in 2005, even though they were a total pain in the ass. But I'd be interested in hearing what Ben and Jeff's favorite albums of they year were, ranked or not. My five favorites of 2007, in no particular order, were:

  • Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
  • Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
  • M.I.A., Kala
  • Sondre Lerche, Phantom Punch
  • Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam

    The Bright Eyes album was really good, too, and I listened to it like crazy when it first came out, but that was so long ago that it doesn't even seem like this year. Consider it an honorable mention.

    So, my mix tape: I hard a really hard time this year because I was determined to keep it to one disc, but there was about one-and-a-half discs worth of music I wanted to include. Lots of great albums came out this year. So a fair amount of stuff that I really liked wound up on the cutting room floor. In hindsight it was kind of a mellow year. I only picked up a few hip-hop albums (Jay-Z, Saul Williams, and Aesop Rock, plus the Classic single I included on my mix) and none of them blew me away. Mostly I listed to a lot of quiet acoustic stuff this year. Guess I'm getting old.

    At any rate, here it is. Follow the Rapidshare link. Click on the "free" button. Wait for the timer to count down. Enter the code to download the zip file. Find the zip file on your hard drive and double click on it, which will create a folder called Best2007 with 20 mp3s in it. Drag the mp3s into iTunes and look for the album called "Matthew's Best of 2007." Burn to CDR. Enjoy. Leave a nice comment.

    Rapidshare link

    Labels: , ,

  • Saturday, December 15, 2007

    License Plate Poll

    There were so many fantastic submissions to our offensive plate contest that I couldn't bring myself to declare a winner (though if I had to, it would be Will's 1N51DE U, which is one of the creepiest things I've every read), so we'll settle this thing with a poll. The rules: You can vote once per day, and you can vote for more than one candidate. Your conscience is ultimately your guide, but I think the following criteria should control:

    1. Offensiveness
    2. Humor
    3. Could You Actually Get Away With It In Georgia?

    I tweaked a couple of these to make them comply with the nine-characters-including-spaces rule.

    Polls close Monday at midnight, to give our weekday readers a chance to participate. In addition to the possibility of a commemorative post from Ben (he hasn't agreed to this yet), the winning license plate will be permanently posted in a place of honor on our sidebar.

    Most Offense License Plate Available In Georgia
    1 LK3 HNT
    K1D1 FDLR
    1N51DE U
    WNT 269
    8ll LKR
    DG 4NC8OR
    JZ 15 GZUS
    LTS DO69S
    Free polls from

    Labels: , ,

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    Holiday Imbibement

    What's your ideal Holiday beverage?

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Offensive License Plate Contest

    Inspired by this hilarious story:
    Ga license plate spells antisemitism... almost

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 11/30/07

    For about two months Frank Gumina has driven a 1974 Volkswagen Thing around with a Georgia tag that reads HA8 JWZ.

    Gumina saw nothing in the sequence of letters and the numeral 8 except a sequence of letters and the numeral eight. Others did.

    "I would be at a grocery store or the Wal-Mart and people would say 'Hate Jews?' or 'Jew Hater?' and I had no idea what they were talking about," Gumina said Friday.

    "You know how people just say things that don't make any sense."

    Finally, a couple of weeks ago, a mechanic working on Gumina's car sounded out the letters and the numeral on his tag.

    "I got it then," said Gumina. "Hate Jews. I realized I had a problem."
    I'd like to propose a contest. The following rules now apply to license plates in Georgia:
    The state on Friday said it will now prohibit auto tags that begin with HA8 or H8 to prevent any accidental or intentional messages of hate.

    Tags on the blocked list included, for instance, "MAFIA," "AZZ KICKER," and "KKK." The system also blocks any tag that reads as any combination of words that can be read as curse words or racial slurs, or anything that starts with the word 'EAT'," said Willey.
    I am confident that Ben will write a commemorative post for whoever comes up with the most offensive license plate in the comments that complies with Georgia's rules. Remember, the message:

  • Cannot contain more than nine characters
  • Cannot include the following words: "MAFIA," "AZZ KICKER," or "KKK"
  • Cannot begin with "H8," "HA8," or "EAT"
  • Cannot be read to include curse words or racial slurs

    Good luck!

    Labels: , ,

  • Sunday, December 09, 2007

    Call Girl


    Jeff enters the small hotel room, kicks off his shoes, and flops down on the bed. He closes his eyes, enjoying the rest after such a long drive.


    Jeff looks at the phone.


    He picks it up.

    JEFF (into phone)

    GIRL (voice in phone)
    Hey...I'm in bed. Should I come over?

    Who is this?

    It's Natalie....OH MY GOD, is this not John?!

    No, I think you have the wrong number.

    Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed. I thought I
    called room 105 of the Quality Inn.

    You did...maybe he checked out.

    Oh, OK. I'm so didn't hear
    what I said did you?

    No, no, not at all. Never.

    I'm so sorry.

    It's OK..Good luck.

    He hangs up the phone.

    Staring at the ceiling, he ponders a multitude of possibilities.

    JEFF (voice over)
    Was that a joke? Or was it real? If it wasn't real,
    was it a con? Perhaps a seasoned prostitute's a random shady hotel room and confuse
    the lonely guy who answers into inviting you over.
    What did she want me to say "well John's not here,
    but if you're lookin' for some action..." Or maybe it's
    not about sex at all. Maybe her boyfriend/partner in
    crime are going to come rob me now that they know
    someone is occupying the room. That doesn't make
    much sense. Still makes me nervous though. Jesus
    I've been set up. OK, calm down. Probably was legit,
    just some mistress missing the boat by a day or so.
    But if that's true, God, then that's confirmation that
    someone has been having sex on this bed very recently.
    How much do I trust the cleaning staff here?

    Jeff quickly hops off the bed.

    He looks at the clock.

    JEFF (voice over)
    Almost time to go look at the apartment. But what if
    Natalie and John break in while I'm gone?! Right, I
    better take my laptop. They can have my toothbrush and
    iron supplements if they want them.

    He takes his computer and walks out the door.


    Jeff pulls out of the Quality Inn parking lot. He looks around nervously as drives.

    A white hatchback pulls in just as he's leaving the lot. There's a girl, maybe late twenties, behind the wheel.

    JEFF (voice over)
    Oh man, that's her. That's fucking Natalie,
    I know it.

    The white hatchback stops in the middle of the parking lot and sits there, lights on, engine running.

    JEFF (voice over)
    What's she doing, waiting for me?

    Suddenly, a second car pulls into the lot, this one a brown sedan driven by an older male talking on a cell phone.

    Jeff and the man make eye contact as he passes.

    JEFF (voice over)
    Who's he talking to? Oh man, I bet he's
    calling the room! It's about to go down!

    Jeff, stopped at a light, watches as the brown car drives around to the back of the hotel.

    Shortly thereafter, the white car leaves the lot and drives away. No one has even come near room 105.

    The light turns green. Jeff heads down the road.

    JEFF (voice over)
    I should have brought my own sheets.

    Something New

    So, clearly, somebody needs to post something.

    Reagan on Rushmore. It's all I've got.

    Labels: ,

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    Happy Birthday

    To the finest pop album ever released....discuss in comments if you disagree.

    I'm talking about the whole album by the way, not just the single/video.

    Labels: ,