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Musical Renaissance 

Dec 07

CDs Bought Per Year
Year # of CDs bought
2008 6
2009 0
2010 13
2011 28
2012 86
2013 59

I've been buying a lot of CDs lately. Well that's an understatement I think -

I considered myself to be in what I call a 'Musical Renaissance'. Sort of a great awakening of discovering new music. I've had two other of these events occur in my lifetime. One was in 7th grade when I discovered East-Coast rap like Puff Daddy, Mase and Notorious B.I.G. The second event occurred in the beginning of 9th grade when I discovered Punk & Ska.

This latest wave is similar to the last two in that it included new genres I've discovered.

Dark Ages

I consider the years I was in a relationship/married to be sort of 'dark ages' for me when it comes to music. I bought very little and made little effort to find new stuff during this time. This would be during the years of 2004 to 2010. During this time, I mostly listened the large catalog of music I already owned.

Something else occurred during this time as well that pushed me away. The 'scene' changed. The late 90s & early 2000s were my heyday for genres that I liked. Pop-Punk was on top with bands like Blink 182 making it big. Ska was still big during the late 90s as was Skate-Punk.

By 2004 though, most of those genres had run their course. It's easy to see just by looking at the Warped Tour lineup during 2005. It was all angry music such as Screamo or Metalcore.

2005 Screamo/Metalcore Warped Tour Examples

90's Emo

Emo, Canada

Thursday - Understanding in a Car Crash

I was a big Thursday fan in high school. Now I was looking to discover who came before them.

In the fall of 2011, some big changes occurred for me that pushed me back towards music. The biggest was: I started dating again, which I hadn't done in 3 years. Because of this I started feeling all of that pain that comes from dating all over again. Like other times in life when I had trouble, I turned to once more.

This time around, I was interested in learning more about the inspiration for a lot of the early 2000s Emo bands that I liked in high school such as Thursday, Taking Back Sunday and Senses Fail.

What I ended up doing was reading the Wikipedia article and using it as a guideline of what bands to listen to. After reading up on that, I ended up buying several CDs all at the same time. This would prove to be an important point in my Musical Renaissance.

Below are the first 5 CDs I bought in this genre. Two years later, these are all ranked very high in my collection.

90's Emo Examples

Here's some of my favorite songs from the genre. Most of the songs are slower, use chiming/non-distorted guitars and can go from quiet to loud as the song progresses.

Easycore

Defend Pop Punk

The Wonder Years - Hostels & Brothels

The Wonder Years made me realize there was a thriving Pop-Punk scene going on while I was on musical hiatus.

The next big Musical Renaissance for me would come the next spring in 2012. At this point, I had written off the genre of Pop-Punk as being dead and I hadn't followed it in many years. Little did I know, it made a comeback while I was gone. Starting in 2007, many new bands started releasing music which would later be called Easycore. Easycore is called such as it blends Hardcore-Punk music with Pop-Punk thus instead of being Hard, it's Easy or softer sounding.

While no longer an Easycore band The Wonder Years were first band to make me realize that Pop-Punk wasn't dead and that there was an active community 'defending' it still.

The important CD during this period was The Wonder Years' CD The Upsides, which you may recall, I reviewed a while back on my site. I was fortunate enough to see them live in 2013 down in Milwaukee.

Easycore Examples

Here's some of my favorite songs from that genre. The first song listed below was probably the first Easycore song to appear which was around 2006. Later it blended more elements of Hardcore Punk.

Effect Of The Musical Renaissance

Here's a chart showing CDs I owned - comparing Summer of 2012 vs Winter of 2013. I could probably pull older data but I already had this charted out a while back so it was easier to do. As you can see there's a lot more CDs in the late 2000s which is due to my interest in Easycore.

Number of CDs owned by release date

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Message Board 

  • Re: jobsite rss

    Thu. Jul 8

    If you want, you can just steal my HTML and use it on your own. I just post to a Careerbuilder URL with my form fields. I was frustrated with the RSS features Careerbuilder offered so I just created m...

  • jobsite rss

    Wed. May 26

    Hello Neal, Thanks a million for the rss feed. I am curious how you did that? I am wondering if you could also tweek it to pull back the secondary title information with the company and city/state/zip...

  • Poll

    Mon. Mar 22

    @Kate, yeah blasted spammers must have posted that poll. I doubt there was anyway to filter them as it was clearly a human and not a computer that posted that poll.

Poll: Who Are You Voting For In 2012? 

  • Barack Obama

    23%
    3 Votes
  • Mitt Romney

    38%
    5 Votes
  • Third Party

    31%
    4 Votes
  • Not Voting

    8%
    1 Votes

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Tech: Fixing The Extra Bold Font Bug In IE9 - (AKA Font Bigger In IE9) 

May 22

Font Weight Bug: IE9 vs Firefox

IE9 vs Firefox

Above is a comparision of IE9 and Firefox. As you can see, IE9 was bolding the font much larger than Firefox and other browsers and causing it to misrender on the page. View a demo of this effect >>

Note: Remember to view demo in IE9.

Re-Education

Before jumping to the solution, we should first re-review the font-weight CSS property. Historically speaking, we've used font-weight: bold; and occasionally font-weight: normal; to reset an element's font-weight. Eventually numeric values were added that allow us to pick font-weights ranging from 100 to 900.

Numeric font-weights definition from Mozilla's development network is as follow:

Numeric font weights for fonts that provide more than just normal and bold. If the exact weight given is unavailable, then 600-900 use the closest available darker weight (or, if there is none, the closest available lighter weight), and 100-500 use the closest available lighter weight (or, if there is none, the closest available darker weight). This means that for fonts that provide only normal and bold, 100-500 are normal, and 600-900 are bold.

Font-Weight Keyword Values

Like other property values in CSS, there are also keywords that can be used for font-weight. Historically, we've all been using bold as the de-facto font-weight, but each keyword behind the scenes maps to a numeric value.

font-weight: lighter

One font weight lighter than the parent element (among the available weights of the font).

font-weight: normal

The normal keyword corresponds to the numeric value of 400

font-weight: bold

The bold keyword corresponds to the numeric value of 700

font-weight: bolder

One font weight darker than the parent element (among the available weights of the font).

The Solution: Reseting Element's Default Font Weight

Historically, there have been a handful of elements in HTML that are rendered as bold by default. In IE9, if you happen to nest any of these elements within another bold element, the double-bold font effect occurs.

Below we have a TH element with a H3 nested inside of it. This will trigger the double bold effect in IE9:

<table> <tr> <th><h3>Table Column Heading</h3></th> </tr> </table>

View Example of This In IE9 »

What appears to be happening in IE9 when nesting bold elements, is it's changing their font-weight from bold/700 to bolder/900.

To overcome this undesired effect, simply reset all of the standard bold elements back to font-weight: bold:

th, b, strong, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 { font-weight: bold; }

Voila! Problem solved!

Further Reading

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Photo Gallery 

I bought another record recently! This one is MxPx's - Teenage Politics. I've always loved the spiked character they have on their album covers and this is one of the few I can get in vinyl with him on it.

I bought another record recently! This one is MxPx's - Teenage Politics. I've always loved the spiked character they have on their album covers and this is one of the few I can get in vinyl with him on it. Neal Grosskopf (0)

Review: The Wonder Years - The Upsides 

May 16

The Wonder Years - The Upsides Pop Punk's not dead? For the last 10 years the genre of pop punk has been dying a slow death. In the early 2000's Emo, Screamo and Metalcore took over as the predominant genre in the scene and because of that, pretty much every pop punk either disbanded or converted to another genre. Probably the best example of this is Blink 182. Their self titled CD wasn't even close to pop punk, the genre they helped create and popularize. So for the last 7 years, I've been listening to pre-2005 bands.

Enter The Wonder Years. I did a random Google search one day on the term "pop punk's dead". What I found is during the last couple years there's been a revival and The Wonder Years are one of the bands leading the charge. Their second CD, The Upsides is a perfect example. After my first listen, It sounds eerily like The Starting Line's "Say It Like You Mean It" which has always been on my list of top 10 CDs.

No surprise, the band grew up a mere 30 miles away from The Starting Line in a Philadelphia suburb. While the lead singer sounds almost exactly like Kenny from The Starting Line, the band does have some differentiators.

The Wonder Years are a bit faster in tempo than The Starting Line. Their lyrics are also a bit more personal to the lead singer. He frequently makes references to friends, inside jokes and locations that the average person would know nothing about which is somewhat of a drawback but I've never been too lyrically focused with music.

The guitar riffs are the real standout on this CD. It's melodic punk to the extreme. There is seldom a second on the CD where there isn't at least two guitars playing two separate melodies to combine them into one great sound.

The overall arrangement and song selection is pretty good. There are 2-3 songs that I don't "love" but when compared to other bands releasing music now days they are well ahead of them. The songs that are my favorites are REALLY my favorites. They're of the charts on a 1-10 rating. Say, a 15/10. I've found that their faster songs seems to fit into this category more than their slower songs.

My favorite songs are well spread out through the track listing:
2. Logan Circle
4. Dynamite Shovel
7. Hostels & Brothels
9. This Party Sucks
11. Washington Square Park

Overall I give The Upsides a 10 out of 10! It's by far my favorite CD purchase of this year and I'm extremely happy to have run across this band. View Comments (1)

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Video: Battlefield 4: Playstation 4 vs. PC comparison 

Battlefield 4: Playstation 4 vs. PC comparison

An interesting look at a split screen comparison of Battlefield 4 on PC and on the Playstation 4. When you play the video in HD mode you can really see a difference between the two. Neal Grosskopf (0)