Thursday, May 31, 2012

Old Fun Blogs

Been reading wintermute's old blog this evening.  Fun stuff. I wonder whatever happened to this guy.

Funny, the link only shows his last ten posts.  I guess you'll have to google his ass in order to land on a middle-order post so that you can navigate his insanity.

As far as I can tell, he stopped posting in 2007 or so.  But he was predicting the internet ban as early as 2006--which is basically what happened to Party Poker, as I recall.

His funniest post involved him and a friend sitting at a $50 max buyin NL table.  By the way, do these waste-of-space tables exist?  You can play, but only if you shortstack?  All decisions made on the flop?  What's the point?

Anyhoo, he and his friend had an agreement: If either was dealt a four, he had to turn it face up and go all in.  So they did that for a while until the shift change brought a new dealer to the table, who promptly told them that they couldn't expose any of their cards in a multi-way pot.

Their solution?  To announce, "Kaaaaahh!" when they had a four.  And then to go all in.

The rest of the table seemed to be full of oldsters nursing $50 stacks, who reacted in utter confusion and fear to wintermute's and his friend's antics.

In the last hand, wintermute is either in late position or in the blinds.  His friend is in early position.  Both have $300-plus.

His friend looks at his cards, announces "Kaaaahhhh!" and goes all in.

Everyone instafolds, until it gets to wintermute.

He looks at his hand, says "Kaaaahhhh!" and goes all in.

Friend turns over 4-2.  Wintermute turns over 4-7.

The flop comes A 3 5, giving the friend a flopped wheel.  And he starts going bonkers and talking shit to wintermute about how he owns his soul.

Turn is a blank.  River is a six.  Giving wintermute the higher straight.

The best part is that his friend doesn't even seem to notice that he just lost.  Fucktard is too busy celebrating.

Posts like that make me sorry that I deleted Government Cheese, my first poker blog.  I want to go back and see how warped I was.  Poker blogging used to be so fun.  Hard to continue with that when I can't play poker.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rickey Loves Rickey Some Rickey

This is not a post about baseball, although baseball provides the backdrop.  Rickey Henderson is one of the greatest characters ever to wear a uniform.  While he played for many teams in his career, he started with my Nana's favorite, the Oakland A's.  And since I was born and grew up in a town only half an hour north of Oakland, the A's became my team too.

Rickey has more goofy stories and quotes surrounding him than any other player except for Yogi Berra.  He was a career lead-off hitter and destroyed the record for stolen bases.  A shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

But Rickey was also an illeist, a person who often refers to himself in the third person.  This led to some unusual situations.

For example, in the off-season, Rickey was already amped to be on the field.  So he called Kevin Towers, the general manager of his current club, the San Diego Padres, and left the following message:

"Kevin, this is Rickey.  Calling on behalf of Rickey.  Rickey wants to play baseball."

Now maybe you'd think that Rickey made this call as a joke.  Not likely!  Numerous reports over his career had Rickey standing naked in front of a full-length mirror in the locker room before a game repeating the same phrase over and over, "Rickey's the best.  Rickey's the best."

He did this with a straight face and other ballplayers around.  I doubt I could pull it off alone without laughing.

Another oft-repeated story involves Rickey talking to himself after a strikeout.  As he headed back to the dugout, Rickey was heard mumbling to himself, "Don't worry Rickey.  You're still the best."

He was once so proud of a $1 million signing bonus that he framed the check . . . without cashing it.  He eventually cashed it only after the finance department of his ballclub called him and asked him to take it to the bank.

In mid-August, once upon a time, Rickey fell asleep on an ice pack and developed frostbite.  He had to miss three games.

Here's another one.  During the last week of his only year playing for the Boston Red Sox, the Chairman of the club asked Rickey what he would like as a going-away present.

Rickey informed the Chairman that he wasn't going anywhere.

The Chairman repeated the question again, so Rickey said that he wanted the Mercedes of the Red Sox owner, John Henry.

After some thought, the Chairman remarked that it would be difficult for the Red Sox to find the exact same make and model of the owner's Mercedes.  After all, Rickey would be with the team for one more week.

Rickey responded, "No, I want his car."

The Red Sox decided to buy Henderson a red Thunderbird.  Someone from the team drove the car out onto the field before the last game of the season.

Rickey said, "Whose ugly car is on the field?"

* * *

A base-stealer endures a lot of pain.  The activity engenders "fear of the bag."  Sliding into it causes a wide variety of injuries, especially over a 162-game season.

Sports writer Peter Gammons covered Rickey's team in the late 80s-early 90s.  As Gammon's writes:

I sat in the Athletics' clubhouse during batting practice several times with Henderson during his prime in Oakland from 1989 to 1991. His knees always were taped. So were his fingers. He had elbow pads and ice on his shoulder. "Man," he'd say, "Rickey is in pain."

* * *

He also trashtalked endlessly, sometimes unaware that he was trashtalking.

As Jayson Starks writes:

It was the off day before the start of the '93 World Series. I thought a great angle would be a comparison of the two leadoff hitters. Lenny Dykstra had had a fabulous season and had scored 143 runs, the most by any leadoff man since, who else, Henderson.

So I approached Henderson on the field and started to explain the story. He said, "Who's Lenny Dykstra?"

I laughed. Then I said, "He's the other leadoff hitter."

Henderson said, "There ain't no other leadoff hitter but me."

I tried to keep going with my angle. He didn't see it.

"What's Lenny Dykstra ever done?" he asked.

I started to give the stats. Henderson cut me off.

"Man, why you trying to compare some other guy with Rickey? There's only one Rickey."

And that was that. There was, in fact, only one Rickey. And that will never change. Ever.
-- Jayson Stark

* * *

Rickey was such a successful basestealer that he led the league for almost a dozen years, with the exception of one year, when was sidelined for part of the season by a hamstring injury.  Harold Reynolds led the league that year with 60 steals.

After the season was over, Reynolds got a phone call.

As Reynolds described it,

"The phone rings. 'Henderson here.' I say, 'Hey, what's going on, Rickey?' I think he's calling to congratulate me, but he goes, 'Sixty stolen bases? You ought to be ashamed. Rickey would have 60 at the break.' And then click, he hung up."

[The break would be the All-Star break, about halfway through the regular season.]

* * *

So that's Rickey.  There are more stories, more quotes, of course.  There always are.

A reporter once asked Rickey why he talked so much to himself.

His answer was classic.

“Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Post When I Want to Post about Nothing

I can think of absolutely no topic to add to this blog at the moment.  In Game of Thrones, there is a gigantic mental misfit named Hodor, who protects a child lord.  All Hodor does is run around and respond to commands with the only word he seems to know, "Hodor!"  Today I will be Hodor.

Hodor.  Hodor.  Hodor.  Hodor.  Hodor!



Hodor Hodor, Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor.



Monday, May 28, 2012

Search Terms in Google Images 3

"feral monkeys eating spam"

"the smartest stupid man in the world"

"acrobatic ninjas eating quiche"

"roadside love doctor"

"encyclopedia strawberry ipad"

"gorilla sunshine supersonic spiderlegs"

"crazy grandpa locked in the basement"

"robotic pizza planet"

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Food Review--World Cuisine

In this blog I've reviewed music, TV, and movies, and so the natural progression seemed to be what I do when I watch my shows and listen to my songs.  In short, I will review food in this post.  And not just any food.  I'm starting with world cuisine.

Because this is my first food review, I wanted to start with a restaurant that we can find all over the world.  A place respected by the upper classes and the lower, Protestant and Muslim, African and Eskimo, midgets and giants alike.

So I did my research, and I'll be honest.  The results surprised me.  The top contender was a place that serves mostly hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and french fries.

Upon entering the establishment, I was instantly impressed.  I also regretted not bringing my sunglasses.  The electric shine of the offerings, backlit by searchlights, overwhelmed the senses.  And yet the sense of class was undeniable--from the smile and greeting of the waiter behind the register ("Help you, sir?"), to the bustle of activity in the open kitchen, to the sizzle and pop of frying food, to the heartbreaking architecture.  Somewhere in that restaurant--perhaps where the shine of pink floor tile meets the yellow-and-white checkerboard plastic wall--I became an advocate for this hauntingly wonderful place.

And I hadn't even ordered yet.  I opted for the magic of Number One, regular size, with sugar water and no ice.  Then I headed immediately home.  The plastic chairs, despite their inherent artistic value, would not appeal to my spine.

Here's what they gave me:

The sandwich, french fries, and the cup of sugar water (called Coca Cola) complemented each other like a dark comedy containing midgets filmed by the Coen brothers.

I took my first bite:

I kept a notebook next to my table in order to record my thoughts as I ate.  This is what I found in that notebook:  Incredible!  Fantastic!  Holy fucking shit.

I took a second bite:


If you've never tried this place, I recommend that you run to the nearest street, hijack the nearest bicyclist, and start pedaling toward the nearest yellow M on the horizon.  You're welcome in advance.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Month of Blogging

I started blogging again with the single goal--which I doubt I was aware of at the time--of starting to write again. Blogging is writing, of course, but I hope that my blogging will springboard me to write other things.  Fiction, perhaps.  I'm hoping that it will end up being fiction.  So far, I haven't written a nonblog word.  But I'm just beginning.

In any case, and as a sort of review, I like occasionally to look back to see what I've done so far.  And here's what I see:

45 blog posts.  Not bad for a month (give or take a day).  I think I haven't blogged on a total of three days.  In all of the other days, I've managed to come up with something to include on this page.

The topics of the posts have varied somewhat, but the overall content revolves around music and music reviews, which led to Band Wars, a collection of posts reviewing new albums deathmatch style.  Of 16 bands that have released an album in the last 12 months, M83's Hurry Up, You're Dreaming emerged as the winner.  Fitting choice, I think.  I believe I'll be listening to that album on and off for years.

Aside from music, the other posts involved Plants versus Zombies, which I still play almost daily; TV reviews, in which I argued that the surprise death of Omar at the hands of a child was a fitting end for one of the best characters in television history; a few posts begging for online poker to return to the U.S.; a collection of random thoughts that I applied the misnomer "Philosophy"; a memory of a President shaking my 5-year-old hand; a reference to some other blogs that I like; a whiny post mocking facebook; and a picture of a fat man emerging from a porn shop.

I've added two followers, which is always good.

My audience, if I exclude the United Arab Emirates (which is probably just me reading my own blog), includes these top five countries:

United Kingdom
United States

My total pageviews, once again excluding the UAE, comes out to be 399.  About 12-13 per day.  While I'm pretty happy with those numbers, I only decided to start blogging again when I was able to answer yes to this question: Will I keep blogging if no one reads?

But readers > no readers.  They certainly motivate.

Thanks for all comments.

As for what sort of writing that I might move on to, I think I'd enjoy writing some kind of genre novel(s).  Fantasy, horror, scifi.  Who knows, really.  I can get pretty enthusiastic about some of my ideas, but the enthusiasm tends to have the half-life of a banana.  Pretty soon my "great idea" ends up forgotten.  Something to work on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just a photograph, not my own

Pavement Tribute

Mudwig posted cool lyrics to a song he likes, so why can't I?

This is from "Here," from Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, one of my favorite albums:

I was dressed for success 
But success it never comes 
And I'm the only one who laughs 
At your jokes when they are so bad 
And your jokes are always bad 
But they're not as bad as this 
Come join us in a prayer 
We'll be waiting, waiting where 
Everything's ending here 
And all the sterile striking it 
Defends an empty dock you cast away 
And rain upon your forehead 
Where the mist's for hire if it's 
Just too clear 
Let's spend our last 
Quarter stance randomly 
Go down to the outlet once again 
Painted portrait of minions and slaves 
Crotch mavens and one night plays 
Are they the only ones who laugh 
At the jokes when they are so bad 
And the jokes are always bad 
But they're not as bad as this 
Come join us in a prayer 
We'll be waiting, waiting where 
Everything's ending here 
And all the spanish candles 
Unsold have gone away to this 
And a "run-on piece of mount on" 
Trembles, shivers runs down the freeway 
I guess she spent her last quarter randomly 
I guess a guess is the best I'll do 
I'll do, last guess 
Last time, last time is the best time

Now Pavement's not known for their lyrics, but this song struck me especially good.  Here's the song:

Anyhoo, it's an uneven album.  But after a while, it's unevenness is what makes it great.

Drinking = Ideas

For the first time in a freaking millenium, I went out with the sole purpose of getting drunk.  And unless you count 3 pints of Kilkenny and a shot of Jameson as drunk, I utterly failed.  Holy Christ did I fail.

Now I'm at home still trying to achieve my goal.  Hold up your end, Heineken.  The important part was that the place I went to--Trader Vic's--was so fucking cheeseball that I instantly got 2-3 ideas for good blog posts.  Those are soon to follow.

Hope you are doing well.  Or at the very least, I hope you aren't dead yet.  Here's to not being dead.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I came across a fun blog post on about 1995.  In a nutshell, it says that 1995 was a damn fine year for music.  Then it provides a list of the best albums of that year.  Here it is:

Pulp – Different Class
Pavement – Wowee Zowee
Elastica – Elastica
Supergrass – I Should Coco
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Blur – The Great Escape
Tricky – Maxinquaye
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
Urge Overkill – Exit the Dragon
Menswear – Nuisance
Whale – We Care
Radiohead – The Bends
Gene – Olympian
The Boo Radleys – Wake Up!
Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves
Stereolab – Music for the Amorphous Body Study Center
Helium – The Dirt of Luck
Mercury Rev – See You on the Other Side
Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters
Royal Trux – Thank You
The Amps – Pacer
Bj√∂rk – Post
Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords
Matthew Sweet – 100% Fun
Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
Eric Matthews – It’s Heavy in Here
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers
The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust
Black Grape – It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah

I'm not sure if this list convinces me that 1995 was a damn fine year for music.  But to tell the truth, I only recognize 8 of these 30 albums.  (I recognize many more of the musicians; I'm just talking about the albums.)  Matthew Sweet's 100% Fun, Rancid's . . . And Out Come the Wolves, Radiohead's The Bends, Tricky's Maxinquaye, and the albums by Pavement, Oasis, and Pulp.  Oops, that's seven.  Of those seven, my favorite is Pavement's Wowee Zowee.

Makes me want to download the Rancid album.  I don't have anything remotely like it in my music collection.

I am shocked at how much the albums by Oasis have aged.  I never play them anymore.  Did I kill them through overplaying?  That's how I killed the Police.  But in all fairness, the Police deserved to be killed.

I think it would be fun to collect as much music as I can from a specific year.  But hopefully not a lame year like 1988.  I'm not sure if 1995 would be the place to start.  And nothing recent either.  2001?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Scattered Thoughts

Downloaded some music recently.  Funny, the most-viewed post on this blog is the one where I made a list of the music that I had been downloading.  Surprising.

In any case, here's what I've added over the last couple weeks:

Actress, R.I.P.
Beach House, Bloom (highly reviewed by pitchfork, but nothing amazing, just pretty good)

Whoa, that's it.  I've mentioned Boards of Canada and Fever Ray already.  I guess I'm slowing down quite a bit on the DL front.

Summer's coming.  Time to buy my plane ticket back home.  One cool thing that I've noticed recently: If you're flying from, say, Paris to Chicago, and if you have a few days to spare, then flying multi-way will only cost you a bit more (and might cost you less).

Example.  You are flying out of Chicago on the 1st to Paris and returning to Chicago on the 15th.  If you are able to leave Paris on the 12th, you can stop off somewhere else--like London--and add a two- or three-day vacation into the mix.

Maybe this is obvious to the world and I'm the last one to learn it.  The whole setup sounds like free food and I love it.

Here's another thing.  When I was a child, I would get chills up my spine.  I had never heard of anyone else getting chills up their spine.  I had, in fact, never heard the expression "chill up one's spine."  So when it happened to me, I imagined myself different from the rest of humanity.  I began to suspect, in fact, that I was an alien.  When the alien blood moves through me, I figured, I get a chill, because alien blood is cold.  It was profoundly logical to my child's brain.

It took me a long time before I removed all doubt on that score.  Sometimes I'm still not sure.

I think this is a common feeling with introverts.  In my sophomore year of college, I met an introvert/outcast in one of the dorms.  His vibe screamed that no one understood him.  When we were alone, I said, "You ever get the feeling that you're from another planet?"

His eyes lit up and he nodded fiercely.  It was such a shocking reaction that I felt like I had to get out of there ASAP.  So I did.  Which probably made him feel more like an alien that ever before.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More Tune-Yards!

I'm just finishing Day 3 of quitting smoking, and I'm tired.  I've been sleeping an average of 10 1/2 hours per night the last 3 nights.

The first day was rough.  The second day was rough.  Today I don't think about smoking as much, but I am tired.

I've been smoking for five years or so.  I've smoked in the past for a year or two and then quit.  Two years on, three years off.  That is how it has been.  Five years of smoking is probably the longest period I've ever smoked.

I'm just tired of it.  Sure the addiction makes me want to buy a pack, but nothing else in me wants it.  Done with it.

Anyway, I haven't talked about Tune-Yards lately.  Their album WHOKILL remains incredible and defies categorization.  Here's my current favorite track, "Powa."  Hope you like it!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Band Wars--Conclusion

[If you haven't seen the earlier matchup (that I posted about an hour ago), go here first.]

There are three matchups today: two semifinals and the finals.  In the first,

Youth Lagoon, Year of Hibernation

will upset Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Why Youth Lagoon?  The short answer is that it is growing on me.  And the music seems to change with every listen.  This time through, Year of Hibernation had an overwhelming fairy-tale sound, as if it were the soundtrack to a sad children's story.  This description sure doesn't sound like much of an endorsement, but it is . . . for me.  Many of the sounds from his synthesizer--whistles, repeated three-note charms, high-pitched catchy earworms--sound childish in the best possible description of childish: simple and sad but uplifting at the same time.  One listen of "Afternoon," and I hope you'll see what I mean:

* * * 

In the other semifinal, we pit Chromatics, Kill for Love

against M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

I choose the winning album in this case because the losing album, despite its quality and variety, doesn't strike an emotional chord with me.  I listen to it.  I think, Really good music!  But I don't feel much aside from that.  The winning album, just as good an album as the loser, has the added quality of being to tap into my mood.  So, M83 advances.

And the final matchup between M83 and Youth Lagoon isn't even close.  M83 wins.  Youth Lagoon is a surprisingly great album (and not the sort of music that I normally listen to).  M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is their best album--and considering their tremendous output, that's saying something.

I suspected M83 would win.  But I also suspected that Atlas Sound or Girls would win as well.  Neither of those made it out of the first round.

Well, here's the final update.  I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.  Of these bands, I'm going to add M83, John Talabot, Youth Lagoon, Chromatics, Lotus Plaza and Atlas Sound to my regular rotation.  A pretty good variety of excellent new music.

Next up for me, I guess, will be going to pitchfork, allmusic, and metacritic to find 16 new albums for Band Wars 2.

Band Wars--Quarters--John Talabot vs. Spiritualized

John Talabot, fin

vs. Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Mellow house music versus space rock.  Both very good albums.  But one of these ends up being more creative, more diverse, and generally more interesting.  I'll end up playing both often, at least until I get tired of them.

When do you get tired of albums, by the way?  How many CDs do you have on your hard drive that never get played anymore?

John Talabot's "So Will Be Now"

Spiritualized's "Little Girl"

In the end, I think I'll play John Talabot more than I'll play Spiritualized, despite Spiritualized being the better album.  So in a roundabout way, I'm choosing Spiritualized.

And here we have it: the Final Four.  If I were an oddsmaker, I'd guess the long shot to be Youth Lagoon, which I never imagined would make it this far.  The other three CDs seem equally likely to win, with perhaps a slight edge to M83.

In my next post, I'll finish the semifinals and the finals all at once.  Time to finish this game!  The post should be up by tomorrow at the latest.

Ranking the losers from #5 to #16:

5.  John Talabot
6.  Lotus Plaza
7.  The Men
8.  Girls
9.  Atlas Sound
10.  Real Estate
11. St. Vincent
12. Cloud Nothings
13. Grimes
14. Perfume Genius
15. Julia Holter
16. Frankie Rose

So Julia Holter ending up advancing to the quarterfinals by being pitted against the only band in the competition that she was better than.

Search Terms in Google Images #2

Now begins Day 2 of quitting smoking.  I wonder if it will work this time.

"Day 2 Quitting Smoking"

"Nyquil Hangover"

"Drunk Nun"

Now, what happens if we combine terms?  For example,

"Drunk Nun Nyquil Hangover"

I have a universal theory of the Internet: "The more disparate, complex, and strange your google search terms, the less clothing the women will be wearing."

Let's try it.

"Rhinoceros Bladder"

"Pink Fever"

Okay, so if we follow the theory, then we should have a more revealing result with

"Rhinoceros Bladder Pink Fever."  Do we?

Failure.  Let's try it again.

"Monkey Spaghetti"


"Alabaster Funnel Cakes"


"Monkey Spaghetti Alabaster Funnel Cakes"

Ding ding ding!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Comparing Phil Galfond's Rise with Mine; Band Wars

Phil Galfond wrote a post recently describing how he got into poker.  It's a long read, but it's worth it.  He starts with freshman year of college and goes through the steps that led him to dropping out and focusing full-time on online poker.  He deposited $50 and ran it up to millions.  I deposited $50, played 25NL limit until I lost it, then redeposited $50 and dropped down to one-cent/two-cent unlimited hold them, which I 24-tabled for years at a win rate of a beer an hour.  In short, I drank myself even.

In a way, though, I think Galfond's post is the kind that will encourage a few dozen 19-year-old schmucks to slack off at school and blow their wad at the nearest poker table.  You can't control stupid.

Which leads to another piece of news.  Twoplustwo is back up and running.  Just another site to waste 15 minutes on daily.

* * *

After a week-long hiatus, I've resumed downloading music again.  Last night, I downloaded these albums:

Fever Ray, Fever Ray

as well as everything that I believe that Boards of Canada has ever put out:

Peel Sessions
Trans Canada Highway
Hi Scores
Music Has the Right to Children
In a Beautiful Place out in the Country
The Campfire Headphase

If you've never heard of Boards of Canada, I recommend them highly.  I would start with Music Has the Right to Children, a truly incredible album--an energizing, uplifting album of electronic and ambient music.

In any case, I look forward to going through Boards of Canada's catalog over the next two weeks.

* * *

Three weeks ago, I found a file to download that contained a full 17 (!!!) of John Coltrane's albums.  Now I knew a little about Coltrane--mostly from the A Love Supreme and Blue Train albums--but holy christ, his last albums are mindblowing freakouts.  If you ever want to hear him at his wildest, try Interstellar Space.

* * * 

In the next Band Wars matchup, we pit polar opposites against each other.

The introspective, electronic, vulnerable, melodic Youth Lagoon, Year of Hibernation

against aggressive, rocking, ecstatic sounds of the Men, Open Your Heart

Youth Lagoon has a sweet, yearning sound, with vocals masked by distortion that makes him sound like an echo.  Despite its melody, it feels sparse.  You imagine a lone musician recording one instrument at a time and mixing them all together.  So in every way, production, lyrics, and overall feel, it is a lonely album.  I don't mean that it is a sad album in every way.  There are uplifting moments, where the light gets through the curtains, such as in "Daydream."


The Men's Open Your Heart is full of guitar jams.  It also started to annoy me.  Despite an impressive first listen, this album is not going to be one that I play very often.  Therefore:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Band Wars--Quarters--M83 vs. Lotus Plaza

M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action from a Distance

M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming starts off with three hooky tracks and soaring vocals.  An ambient song four leads right into "Wait," a moment that seems to announce the variety of the album.  From there, we bounce back and forth from ambient track to another hooky track with soaring vocals and catchy synths.  The sound is anthemic.  You feel like you're listening to something important--but then you are undermined by the story-telling of a child (track 6).  It's hard for me to find a weak spot, so I gave up and enjoyed myself.  This is a good album for almost any moment--except for parties.  Most of it is too mellow and atmospheric for a party.

Here's "Intro"

Spooky Action at a Distance is also a fantastic album.  You feel yourself carried by the echo-y vocals and tremendous guitar loops.  You wonder whether he's worried about his voice the way he buries it in the music, but it doesn't matter.  It works.  Here's "Out of Touch"

"Monolith" is a good song too.

M83 is just better.  I write this despite feeling that I'll end up playing Spooky Action at a Distance more than Hurry Up, You're Dreaming.  It's close.  The Lotus Plaza album is closer to my "default" music, the type of stuff I play all of the time.  Despite that, I can't shoot down M83.  But you should really check out both albums.  The last of the albums by Deerhunter alumni is finished.  Bummer.

Edit: Five minutes after this decision, I regret my choice.  Too late now.