Alternatives to Coffee

I'll be the first to admit that there are no alternatives to coffee. Coffee is life blood. However, today, I woke up and right away went working on my game. I put on some tunes. Here are a few songs that I end up being more awake than just a pot of coffee.

The Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl. It's the only song I have by them, even though they are local and my friend in gradeschool loved them. I always end up shaking my head violently (not headbanging, but just kinda dancing in my seat) and singing along.

The Doors - When the Music's Over. It's on as I'm typing this. It's f#%#@!ing outstanding. We want the world and we want it now. Now??? NOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!! I always scream along. Good thing no one's around.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Duppy Conquerer. When I first heard this song, I was like, that's the greatest song ever. While it's not a great head bouncing type of song, it is a great slow reggae song which you can bob your head and dance to. Bob Marley is a genius and you see it in this song.

Cracker - Sweet Magdelina of My Misfortune. I have to mention at least one Cracker song. They are my favorite, so I'll try to limit it to one. It's tough to choose though, but that's my favorite song lately.

Busta Rhymes - Get High Tonight. Busta is my favorite in the rap spectrum of music. He's brilliant. Eminem is second, but he talks about weird sh@#%@# too much. Get High Tonight is incredible. The beat, the background stuff, the lyrics, the rhyming. Gotta love Busta.

Buju Banton - Murderer. Another reggae artist. This is the only song I have from him. The bass is deep, and his voice changing from deep to really deep, and the chorus, the obvious Jamaican-ness. The voice changes especially. When he says "It is like an epidemic and you can't find the cure" then starts the next line, it picks up in the beat, and his voice goes to a deep, rough style. It's an obvious dance tune. I blasted it one night out of my car behind my house, drunk, and Jeff was there, and we danced in the alleyway and probably got the cops called on us. We weren't driving, we just didn't have a key to the front.

Cypress Hill - MaryJane. I know, there seems to be an underlying theme here. I don't do drugs, other than alcohol, nicotine, and lots and lots of caffeine. Look who's back on the program. Love the beat.

Sublime - What I've Got. Sublime is another one of my favorite bands. Out of four, they're one of them. So, I can list twenty songs from them, but I'll limit it to one. Light me up a cigarette and I'll strap shoes on my feet.

Stray Cats - Built for Speed. You're my hotrodding mama in your fish net stockings. This song always gets me hopping. Stray Cats are another of my favorites. The guitar is incredible. Sexy and 17 is another one... as well as many, many others.

Guns 'n Roses - Civil War. Slash rocks, but this song is great. Jim will tell you he would listen to this song in the mornings at his old apartment where he lived while attending West Chester University.

Gorillaz - Rock the House. I want to get down lower than Atlantis, going toe to toe with an enchantress. They're another great band. Creative with elements of rap, or rap with elements of creativity... who knows, they're the Gorillaz. Gravitational pull I have you making a fool out of yourself out on the dance floor. When the MC rhyme and the DJ spin, I want y'all to just get down.

The Monkees - Last Train to Clarksville. Great song. The Monkees are great, if you listen to other songs as well as what's incredibly famous.

Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box. I listened to this whole album, In Utero, on my way to school during Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. I had a long walk, and a walkman (the tape version), and the In Utero tape. I was never bored. This is a pure headbanging song, and it makes me wish I had long hair again.

Notorious B.I.G. - Dead Wrong. My favorite Biggie song. If you were to watch "Office Space", you would say I'm Michael Bolton. I'm the rapper / software developer, who also happens to like other types of music. But mostly, I blast rap and rap along to it on the way into work, when I'm working and working somewhere that I have to drive to.

Onyx - Slam. Oh man, this song rocks hard. In college, Corey and I would rock out to this song. I was the second guy, Corey was the last one. We were big fans. He was as anal about his CDs as I am. The only CDs that I have that are scratched are those that I lent out to someone. My first CD that I got, Weezer's blue album, is only scratched because I lent it to a friend. The Cracker albums that I have, had them for 8 years, are spotless. I've never lent them out.

House of Pain - Jump Around. The ultimate.

Metallica - No Leaf Clover. Steve and I listened to this song on the way to the golf course one day. I don't know how we got there safe, because we were violent. Steve probably ended up doing 60 in a 30 and we were just headbanging the whole time. We beat the f#%@# out of the ball that day :)

That's all I should name. This post might crash my Linux Server as it is! Feel free to add your own in the comments.

New Movies!!

I just bought a boatload of movies. They've been shipping from continuously for the past 5 days. Here's the list. It's a good mix.

Johnny Mnemonic
Jurassic Park Trilogy
Star Wars Trilogy (That's episodes 4,5 and 6, not the latest atrocities)
Back to the Future Trilogy (I love Doc in these movies)
Slap Shot
Truman Show
Bruce Almighty
Ace Ventura 1 & 2
Dumb and Dumber
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Aviator
Catch Me If You Can
The Goonies
Indiana Jones Trilogy

I have other good movies so this adds to my great collection. A few notes: You might notice an overly unnecessary number of movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This is because he's a good actor. Despite starring in the Romeo and Juliette in the early 90s that every girlfriend I had back then raved about, and of course Titanic, which isn't really that bad if you take out the whole story that isn't about the sinking of the ship. Have you ever seen him in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" ??

I actually have a new order on just waiting for me to click the "Checkout" button. It's another big order of equal to better quality.

I also got a book with the previous order: "Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix". Haven't read it, but I did look in the middle where there are pictures. He is now my favorite blues guitarist. Stevie Ray Vaughan is still up there, but he was also inspired and heavily influenced by Jimi. I can't even explain Jimi's genius.

Today is Wednesday, half way there.

15 Years Ago Today

Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash on August 26th, 1990. He was the most passionate guitar player ever. Just watch him play, you'll see what I mean. Watch the "Live at the El Mocambo" DVD, specifically watch him play "Lenny", a song he wrote his wife, sitting down, smoking a cigarette, whailing away. He could dress too! :) Read this story about his life, too.

New Song

This one is not the one that was left out of the previous upload. I'm going to save that one and make it a "previously unreleased" song in a few years when I sell my first album. The new one is called "Put Your Feet Up". That's exactly how I recorded it. It rivals those showoff moments like Stevie Ray Vaughan's playing behind his back or Jimi's playing with his teeth. It's all about showing off. I was leaning back in my chair too, which has arms, so it makes it difficult to solo down the neck... so excuse any mistakes :) And listen to it how it's supposed to be listened to, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and just relaxing. It is a relaxing song, but the chords I used were neat. They can be solo'd over in blues scales or in Jazz scales, so that's what I did. It reminds me of SRV's song, "Lenny", which he wrote for his wife. That song rules.

I just added another song. "Winding Down". Download that one too because it rules. You can put your feet up to it too.

Two more songs

Actually three, but I haven't uploaded the other one yet, I'm still listening to it. The new ones are "August" and "Out of my Butt". Click on August 4th on the calendar. Out of my Butt is great.

CDs Incompatible with iPods


Stupid ass music companies and MICROSOFT. Yes, Microsoft had something to do with this, believe it or not. These are copy protected CDs that allow you to copy the songs to your hard drive, but guess what... only in Windows Media format. And as you may know, Microsoft is to music as Microsoft is to secure operating systems. They can't be good at one thing, they have to take over the whole world and suck at everything. Ok, but enough about Microsoft.

One guy says : "Apple's the leader in digital music. It doesn't make sense to release too many copy-protected CDs if they're incompatible with iPods. But Apple could also be at risk if these CDs keep selling well."

Apple will never be at risk. There are 30 million iPods out there. They have 67% of the market share, and they support all non-proprietary music formats (mp3, essentially) and their own. They would never support Windows Media because MS would never let them. And not a lot of people are going to give up their iPods for a stupid portable CD player. I had one, they are so not convenient at all compared to an iPod.

But then a record exec at Sony BMG tells how to work around it!

"Sony BMG, a joint venture between Japan's Sony Corp. and Germany's Bertelsmann, said users can get the music onto iPods by transferring files to a PC, burning them to a CD, ripping those and transferring them into iTunes."

That's the same way to get iTunes bought music stripped of the DRM. Or to download a certain program that I know of thanks to Zatko. It'll only take a few months or shorter before someone hacks this format and there's a program out there to rip these cds directly into Apple Lossless format :)

Conspiracy Theorists Unite

I've recently become enlightened to the fact that there are actually interesting websites out there on the internet. Out of all this time I've spent browsing the internet since its inception, I was sure that I've visited everything. However, I recently came across 2 fascinating sites (well, not exactly sites).

In high school, I had heard of Nirvana. It wasn't until after Kurt Cobain's death that I really got into them. My music phases post talks about this a bit. I listened to "In Utero" for a long time, on the walk to and from school, in a tape walkman I had probably stolen off of one of my brothers. I wouldn't say I became obsessed with the band, just the music, but I would buy a few magazines that had Kurt in it. I probably don't have them any more. I remember that day back in 1994, in April, at Jim's house, our friend called and said Kurt Cobain had died, rather, had killed himself. I was like "Who's Kurt Cobain?". No lie. Apparently, if you read more and more into this story, it soon ends up not looking like a suicide, but more of a homicide. I found a site, In Defence Of Kurt Cobain (that's how they spell "Defense", they must be a Brit). There are tons of facts there, leaning towards the author's implication that Courtney Love murdered Kurt. Form your own conclusion.

On to the next one. We all know of the events on September 11, 2001. What everyone doesn't know is exactly every piece of information that was available. Until you watch this movie called Loose Change. Search the internet for a downloadable version of it. The movie is pretty good, but can seem a little bit far fetched. It opens with the perfect disclaimer, "For Your Consideration". It simply points out that most of the world was given enough evidence to make the conclusion that al Qaeda attacked us on September 11th. But there is more. Take it as entertainment, or let it convince you. I find that the picture it paints is too shocking for me to believe it, but the evidence, or lack thereof, is there.

I might try to find other interesting stuff and post it here every week, but we'll see how long that holds up.

News Notes and the Mad Dash

There was almost a ruling that cable lines used for high speed internet are open lines, and any company can provide internet access on them. I'm happy with my service provider, they keep raising the bar. I get 10Mbps, which is enough for browsing the web, streaming a video, playing a game, and streaming radio stations on 4 computers and still have room left over for more ;) Read the article.

Last night's performance by my little brother, Beaner, was a smashing success. I created 13 videos of them performing. (There is a problem with the download page. It'll be fixed tomorrow, but in the meantime, download a file, click back on "downloads" when you're done, click another category and go back to the one you want to download from, then it should be fine.) The songs that Beaner performs are all copyrighted 2005 Brendan Connell. You can't make out what he's singing anyway, but just don't be a @#%@^@$@ and steal his very creative, very good music. He put his heart and soul into the creation of every one of them, and puts his heart and soul into each one's performance. I also have 20 pictures for your viewing pleasure, including a few of me.

I knew this would catch up with me. Every $@#%@^ time when the train is about to leave, you hear the computer voice say "Doors are closing", at which point, anyone trying to get on the train goes into a mad rush for the door. Some people make it. Others don't. This one guy kicked the door of the car that I was in. Other people seem a bit less defeated. They look up at the ceiling, sigh, and sit there and wait for the next train. These are the most entertaining 5 seconds of my day. So, today, guess who's at the top of the stairs at 69th Street terminal when the conductor says "Watch the doors, watch the doors." Yes. Me. At that point, I stepped down the first step or two without looking, only to find the janitor @#%@#^^#! sweeping the stairs, taking up the whole width of that stairwell. So I go back up the two stairs, and go down the left side. At about the 3rd step down, the computer voice comes on "Doors are closing." @$%&@$!!!! I continue running down the stairs, in the dire hopes that someone's head gets caught in the automatic doors, rendering them incapable of closing. It's not a huge stairwell, maybe 15 stairs, but that seems like eternity when you have about 2 seconds to get to the doors. At the bottom of the stairs, I was so panicked. It took all of my strength and self control to not scream like a girl. I turn and look at the closest door to me. This couple was trying to get in, so they stopped the doors from closing, but I knew there would only be a small window for escape. The doors opened all the way and started closing right away. I would have dove, but by this point I was through without even letting the door hit me on the butt. I was so slick. Thank God I didn't scream like a girl. If I had and still made it, I would be getting some weird looks.

More site updates coming soon.

Lyrics of the Day

Cracker - Shine

You could never be
What you wanted to be
'Cause sweetheart it takes time
Someday you're gonna shine
You'll see

You'll be a Russian acrobat
You'll be like Burt Bacharach
You come to the party, you say "What's new pussycat?"
Someday you're gonna shine
You'll see

Don't wanna talk about it
You come around to tell it
You're beautiful can't you see?
Someday you're gonna shine
You'll see

If you haven't done so yet, buy all of their albums and listen to all of them for the rest of your life. That's what I plan on doing. As Cracker says themselves, and I wholeheartedly agree, "Hey Hey You don't know, what you're missing, what you're missing" :P

The Beaner Post

Beaner, my little brother of 18 years, will be performing live at Casey's Saloon in Drexel Hill on Sunday, June 26th. Please excuse their website, someone retarded wrote it :p

Also, he recently got his license so my best advice would be to stay off the roads for a few months. When he gets his car, I'll post a picture of it so when you see it, it will be synonymous with seeing your life flashing before your eyes. Nowadays, you can watch him run over curbs in one of my parents' cars, either an Altima or some kind of Acura. It's just safer to stay off the road. If you see other cars turning, just turn. The same kid who thought he could take pictures of himself on MY CAMERA and expect me to NOT post them on the internet is on the road ahead of you. You are forewarned.

Other than that, you know, he's a good kid who sleeps over here on the weekends, drinks all of our Pepsi and eats all of our food... he's no dummy. I'm kidding Bean :)

A slew of junk

I don't feel like typing a lot, so this is a quick list of short, to the point, pieces of crap:

Tone Loc is playing tonight at Reeds in Blue Bell. I'm going and so are a bunch of my freak-show-seeking friends. I'm going to ask the bartender for a funky cold medina, then receive a fake laugh, as if that's the first time that particular bartender heard that particular joke on that particular night.

I thought about something that I used to think about when I was a kid. Could people join hands and connect around the world? Then, my new age, internet techy brain mangled it into this other thought. It would be cool if there were chained links from one webpage in one region to another webpage in the next region over, and the link on the next webpage linked to a region next to it, and so on and so forth.

Then, another idea popped in from this. You could probably send a search engine into an infinite loop if you could trick it into going around and around. This would involve changing the links and content on each linked page, but it wouldn't get anywhere except around the world an infinite amount of times. I guess that's getting somewhere, but it's not helping its cause in searching the web. Basically, one thread would be useless out of many threads of execution that make up a web spider's software. But, it would be neat.

I've been going to Barnaby's of America pretty much every Thursday for the past 2 weeks. It's not a false statement, but rather unnecessary to use "pretty much every Thursday" and "for the past 2 weeks". Oh well. More words == more chance someone will read something.

I've been listening to Candlebox on shuffle during my commute to and from work. They are good. Great. They rock and write good melodies, and they have good guitar. A while ago I got so into them that I even researched and found out that the lead singer has another band. I bought an autographed copy of their album. The new band is Kevin Martin and the HiWatts.

Wednesday I spent my commute to work listening to "Sexy and 17" by the Stray Cats. I listened to it 6 times straight, and then 3 or more on the way back. There are no words to describe that song, you basically just have to listen to it 100 times.

That ex-KKK member got 60 years for the murder of 3 people. He's like a million years old. Justice was not done in this case, even by the furthest stretch of the imagination. 40 years had passed. Way to go, Justice.

Some people think that guns should be banned, that the 2nd Amendment is old and for "militias", which are pretty much near extinction. That'll work like the Prohibition of Alcohol in the earlier part of last century, by all accounts of the quick run-through in my head. I think less things should be banned, but I can post a book on this topic.

Ahh, the critics. Read the comments:

"Contradictions in your post.. do you want to type or not? "I don't feel like typing a lot" ... and ... "but rather unnecessary to use "pretty much every Thursday" and "for the past 2 weeks". Oh well. More words""

Obviously not a soldier in the Battle of Logic. If not wanting to go to work meant not going to work, well, consider half of America on vacation. Or, want to be a millionaire? It takes a little more than wanting. This further justifies and explains my comments. Tune in next week.

[check back for more]

The Music Phases of Jason Connell

When I get into a band, I really get into them. I can listen to a single band for years, literally. It won't be the only music I listen to, but it will be 95% of it. These phases started promptly in high school. Here I'll try to document the phases, as I can remember.

High School, Freshman and Sophomore Years
Mainly Nirvana. I had the hair and started learning guitar, and the first song I learned when I started getting guitar lessons was "Polly". They were an incredible band, Kurt Cobain was my hero back then. Moreso, they were the ideal band to learn guitar to, as Kurt wasn't a soloist like, say, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell. He played chords that were not usually played together, and put a hard distortion on them. All I had was a lousy classical guitar back then, but Nirvana sounded divine on it.

High School, Junior Year and most of Senior Year
Cracker. But they weren't dominant. Usually a phase for me is listening to one band 95% of the time, but this one was listening to only Cracker 50% of the time, but then I was listening to other bands like Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Phish, Led Zeppelin, [more as I remember].

End of High School, First year of College
Sublime. Although at this point I only had 2 of their albums and no computer. By now I could play Santeria even really drunk, and the solo. I also got more into Jimi Hendrix, and had learned "Red House", my first real blues song on guitar.

College, Year 2
This may come as a surprise to a lot of people, that someone like me can like a group like this, but I was totally into the Insane Clown Posse. I thought they were hilarious and made a lot of friends that year because I would blast them out of my dorm room.

College, Years 3, 4, and after
I got back into Sublime. By now I had all of their albums and just loved how Bradley played guitar and sang, and the bass lines and drums, and everything hiphop about it. Reggae is a big influence on me still.

2002 - 2004
I have no frame of reference for these years like "College" or "High School"... That's when time starts to fly. But those were the "working years" I guess. During this time I found the greatest guitarist and biggest influence on my music, Stevie Ray Vaughan. I bought all of his albums at one time off of 10 of them. I also bought 2 DVDs and the SRV Signature Fender Stratocaster. He can just play. (What movie!?)

Present Phase
Back into Cracker bigtime and I can't put them down. They are all of my favorite albums.

Honorable Mentions
Other bands that I didn't quite get into a phase with, but really close to it, are bands like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Candlebox, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Verve Pipe, Eminem, and I know I've forgotten some so I'll edit it later.

Note To Self

Remember to check out these musicians.

Stanley Jordan
Louis Johnson who doesn't have a web page.

I saw these guys on a Jazz TV Channel yesterday. Louis Johnson plays an unbelievable slap bass funky style, and Stanley Jordan uses both hands to play notes on a guitar, and sometimes two guitars at a time (one hand on each ;-) ). It really just blew me away.

Update: Still on Cracker Kick

Yup, I still am listening to Cracker with every waking moment. 11:24 PM, Eurotrash Girl blares from my speakers. I put on my Cracker playlist about 3 hours ago. It was about 3 hours ago that I realized I have to go to the bathroom, however, I haven't moved. I'm writing the content management system part of this site because I got held up over the past few days with the calendar and photo album fixes, and other boring things like vacation and recording movies and playing guitar and buying stuff. No more, I promise. Back to writing software.

This is Cracker Soul

I love Cracker. They make software development possible. Right now it's 2:10 AM and "Shameless" is blaring out of my speakers. Check out their website I have posted in the links section.

I have been on a Cracker kick where I can't get enough of them. I listen to them right when I get up, on the train on the way to and back from work, whenever I go out, and the most time I listen to them is when I'm developing this website! I'll listen to all of the albums I have (all those listed on their "Discography" page except Countrysides) and when it gets to the end, I'll restart it. I'm pretty much addicted big time. You might even say that this whole site was developed while listening to Cracker. If so, I owe them big time. I can't list my favorite songs. Go to the discography page and find a song, chances are it's one of my favorites :)

Nice, as I'm typing this sentence "What You're Missing" came on. It's a rap song :)