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an unsuspecting reason why i'm not excited about american idol tonight.

my secret is let loose: i have been watching american idol this season. why? oh i could go on and on about how my job exhausts me and all i want to do at the end of the day is sit down and watch bad tv, or i could explain how i no longer have papers to constantly be worrying about on weeknights, but really...the truth is...i like it. it's dumb and pretty lifeless most of the time, with the same crap happening every week, sure, but i somehow can't get sick of watching mediocre singers' faces smile with relief when paula gives them the 800th standing ovation or watching them crumble in their booties when simon tells them "it was HARRR-ible."

but the best part of this season is gone: sundance head. everytime someone would sing a song, get kicked off, or barely move a muscle, this big teddy bear would start BAWLIN' like it's his job. i can't explain to you how hilarious it was every time the camera decided to concentrate on a "reaction shot" from sundance, so you just have to trust me. luckily, there's also a guy who BEATBOXES during the bridge of most songs he sings, so i will keep watching.

now that my head feels emptier, let's talk about actual music:

"evolve into nothing" by the new trust

featuring an ex-member of the velvet teen, the new trust pour just as much energy and passion into a concise pop-rock song as their more popular counterpart. jerksica and i had the pleasure of seeing them play at the entry to about 20 people, most of which were their midwestern friends it seemed like, and i had the unmistakable feeling of brisk freshness that i remember getting at shows when i was in high school and felt so much stimuli coming from the simple guitar-bass-drums setup. the band wears their love for braid and minus the bear on their sleeves, but they're so busy astonishing with catchy riffage and soaring melodies that it becomes a moot point.

left and leaving by the weakerthans

i just recently realized how brilliantly the weakerthans' left and leaving works as a road trip catalyst. whether you're kicking one off or you're in a lull, the weakerthans have the inexplicable ability to get your trip sunny and bright, with a tinge of anger to make you pissed off enough to drive faster than normal (but not too fast). and yet, the ballads always bring you down a notch without getting you too sleepy. but when you switch to passenger and let someone else take over, it's okay to fall asleep for a little bit, because the stomping wuss-rock will be back to get those pupils wide in no time. i remember having an argument with people (paal? arun?) about whether or not the weakerthans have a punk aesthetic, and i think that while their name clearly gives an argument for why they do not belong in this category, i still find myself a little irritated and revved up to do SOMETHING after i listen to this album. it may not be nihilism or anarchy, but it makes me feel like a rebel with a smile on my face. is that possible? i guess so. key tracks: aside, left and leaving, history to the defeated

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