Monday, December 22, 2008

This Blog Is No More

I successfully installed WordPress onto my server, and have gotten to a good comfort zone with my setup, so its time to kill this blog. I thought that I could hold out and make to that 100th post, but I guess I'm satisfied falling 10 short.

I've been very satisfied with the experience of writing this blog, and its something that I intend to keep up as long as I can.

For the time being, my new blog is located at:

This address will eventually forward to that address as well, but this iteration of my blog will always live at

-Sam Breed
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Retrospecticus: 2008

Entry 3:

The Year I Started Blogging

I started blogging because I finally had time to do it, really. I had been out of school for a little while, and felt like I needed an outlet for my creativity, and that I needed to start spending my time on the computer more effectively. Not to say precisely that blogging makes me a more efficient user, rather a more precise one.

Here's what I mean: blogging not only makes me occasionally focus my generation-Y hyperactivity and ADD into something concise and coherent. I feel that its making me a better writer most of all.

I'm currently in the process of abandoning this blog and switching to a more versatile WordPress powered blog format. Through all of this, I've re-learned my passion for web design that was pushed to the backburner when I started to get serious about film school. I feel like I've been able to transfer my sense of visual composition into an asset that will help me in career path.

In the past 80 or so posts I've become pretty happy with what I've managed to create, and am looking forward to the new year and new things to blog about. Trying to find what space I fit into is something that I'm learning more about everyday, and its been really enlightening to really start to get my feet wet with blogging.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Retrospecticus: 2008

Entry 2:

The Year I Started Working

On the personal front, 2008 marks for me the year that I started to get my first professional jobs in the film industry. After leaving school, I initially found it difficult to market myself in the field that I had chosen, and a bad combination of location and scarcity of work led to ennui and a day job. I still have the day job, btw.

In January of this year I started getting work as a production assistant on commercials that were being shot in the Denver area. These were fulfilling, exciting gigs that really helped to re-vitalize me out of my early-20s boredom. I started hunting out work, and specifically people to work with, and have managed to make, in my opinion, some pretty tactful career moves.

The downside to all of this though is the failed / failing economy. I don't have any intention of leaving the Denver area for a few more years, and because of that I'm prevented from really making a push to work full time in the film industry. While there are a good deal of things shot in the state every year, the uncertainty factor really kills it. Therefore, I've chosen to stick with my guns and non-career day job.

I've recently begun to get jobs as a freelance editor, which I intend to explore more in the upcoming year. I'm a bit apprehensive about 2009 because I know that investors are scared, for good reason, and aren't going to be pumping money into the small scale operations that I relied on in 2008.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Retrospecticus: 2008

As the calender year draws to a close, the tendency is to try and evaluate the past 12 months, quantifying them against unconscious expectations for the next dataset of dates to check off. Ok, that was a bit wordy. Pretty much, I'm trying to do some posts that will act as representations of the year for me, and since I've only been writing the blog since August, it's necessary to add some retroactive content over the upcoming days.

So here it goes:

Entry 1:

The Death of a Hero

The photo above was taken the morning of June 23, shortly after I heard that George Carlin was dead. I was really upset.

George Carlin represents a lot of things for me: standing up to authority, the usefulness of wit and sillyness in combination, and the importance of freedom of speech. Carlin managed to inject politics into his comedy without being strictly a political comedian, and managed to get his points across through the use of hyperbole and exaggeration better than any spoken word performer, ever.

He's been called the "comedian's comedian." Its hard to find a successful comedy writer or standup who is unable to recite the seven deadly words or can't produce minutes-long renditions of classic Carlin bits. His style and attention to detail and brilliantly preserved in all of his comedy albums and HBO specials, each of which have at least a few moments that would overcome anyone with raucous, uncontrollable laughter.

I was introduced to Geroge Carlin at the tender age of 8 and I think my mother has regretted it ever since. I was a bit a repeater when I was a kid: my parents learned quickly that most of the crazy-sounding things coming out of my mouth were either from the Simpsons or George Carlin, and that I wasn't actually possessed. They tended to take for granted the amount of tv I watched. I had taped all of the Carlin specials on HBO when they had a marathon of them once and had nearly worn out the tapes by the time I was out of high school. I have fond memories of doing Trigonometry & Algebra 2 homework every night to a rotating selection of different HBO specials. I prefered the ones from the late 70s and early 80s because he was a bit more laid back then and the humor was at it most goofy point. For some reason it was only way I ever managed to get math homework done. I've managed to collect a fair bit of Carlin ephemera which I intend to preserve and increase.

It's really sad to see a great artist die, but I have solace in the fact that he had such a long and celebrated career, sticking to his guns and doing his own thing for its entirety. Here are some links to get you started, if you're not already in the know.
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Ahhh, the irony of it all

The other day, from gchat:
mk: your SF pics are terrific
me: oh thanks
mk: what's word with you today?
me: shorter day at work, leaving in about 2 hours
whats up with you
mk: oh the usual
pretending to work, hating my job, wishing that I didn't have absurd amounts of loans imprisoning me in my chosen hell of a profession
me: yep
welcome to your 20s!
and early 30s
you should start twittering
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Greece is terribly post apocalyptic

So if you pay any attention to the news, you'll know that youth riots have crippled Greece over the past week. Essentially it boils down to a bad economy and a frustrated populous, topped off by the murder of a teenager at the hands of the police and you have some really awful riots.

Here's a photo gallery that made the top page of Digg today.

2008 Greek Riots
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Oh, let the Top 10 Lists Begin:

So its that time of the year when bloggers and writers find that they have to somehow quantify the last 12 months by making thoughtful and carefully crafted lists of things. Being that I'm a little bit lazy, I've shortened my Top Albums list to only ten, but with a few honorable mentions thrown in there at the end.

Just as another preface, I have to say that all of these albums are phenomenal, and ten albums is only about one every 5.2 weeks, so go ahead and listen to these if you haven't already.

1 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever

Just recently got into this album, and boy did I. It's a great album that stands up to repeat listenings. Its haunting and distant, but it still feels like you're being shown something private and secretive. Gonna find this on vinyl.

2 Beck - Modern Guilt

If you had told me in 2007 that an album by Beck would be on my list for 2008, I wouldn't have believed you. I've had a love / hate relationship with Beck's music, and didn't have plan on returning to his catalog, ever. Then I heard the first 4 tracks of Modern Guilt at a bar, while eating a burrito, and knew that I had to get it and listen to it.

3 MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

Fun is the optimum word to describe MGMT's sophomore effort, because its practically bursting from every synth-y hook and catchy chorus. You should be running to the nearest where-ever-it-is-you-get-music to listen to this.

4 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter 3

Lil Wayne is the best rapper alive. After downloading mixtape after mixtape that were being billed as the lead up to this album, and the itunes only ep The Leak last December, I'd have to say the hype leading up to Tha Carter 3 has just as big of an impression in my mind that the release did. The album turned out to be a grower, to-boot. Wayne is in true form on nearly every track, and the skits are kept to a minimum, making for somewhat of an anomalous mainstream rap album: one that's listenable start to finish. Up there with The Chronic in terms of genre changing releases. I own it on vinyl.

5 David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything that will happen will happen today.

Surprisingly good album. Not really though, considering how good their first collaboration was (-thanks, mom, for the vinyl), but it really showcases these two unique musicians. And it proves that its possible to still be cool and super relevant when your old, even if it is easier to slip into moments of poignance. Only available online, which sweetens the deal.

6 She & Him - Volume I

Who knew Zoey Deschanel had such a great voice and kept such good company? I guess it makes sense when you sit down and think about it, but the indie actress's collaboration with M. Ward produced a classic country-ish record defined by great songwriting and an even better voice behind it all.

7 Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Modern Life

Couldn't get more different that She & Him, but Fucked Up has fueled most of my skateboarding sessions for the past few months. Aggressive, yet contemplative and thorough post-post-hardcore. That's the only way I can describe this without shouting.

8 Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

A really solid first outing for this band. It's great how diverse folk and alt-country-ish influences hav become so prevalent. Reminds me of a more laid back Band of Horses.

9 Man Man - Rabbit Habbits

Another album on this list that I had a lot of expectations about before it even came out, which is usually a good formula for a letdown (read: Of Montreal), but Man Man gave the world a great, albeit a little bit distracted, album.

10 Girl Talk - Feed the Animals

I'd feel bad if I left this one off the list, even if 2008 marks the year I stopped listening to Girl Talk. The problem is, that's it's way to good to stay obscure and ignored, like it really should be. Maybe its because I'm selfish with things that I've been into since they first showed up like little unknown presents of wonderfulness that I could bump incessantly and tell all my friends about. That's how I felt about Girl Talk, even though I had started to feel that itch of burgeoning popularity as soon as 2007. Now it just seems like he's everywhere, and everyone's really into it--which is cool, minus the fact that I feel robbed from in a little despicable way. So listen to / don't listen to Girl Talk.

Honorable Mention:

Colin Meloy - Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke & Colin Meloy Sings Live!

The debut solo album for The Decemberists frontman, and the tour only EP where two great listens this year. Great gifts for fans of The Decemberists.

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping

A little bit too hit-or-miss to make my top 10, but Of Montreal keeps surprising just about everyone with each successive release. Had I been blogging, 2007's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer would have topped my list, easily.

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

I hate this album. Deep, real, seething hatred. I hate how its played at Urban Outfitter on an endless loop, I hate how it was automatically enshrined as the "cool, hip new album of 2008" when it came out. I also hate how god damn good it is.

The Replacements Rhino Re-Releases
(esp. on vinyl)

Thank you, record company gods for realizing that there's a huge niche market for stuff like this! I've only been able to find Pleased To Meet Me at my record store, but there are rumors that Let It Be, aka my favorite record of all time is going to get a nice 180g pressing too. And that's The Replacements, not the Beatles.
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