Friday, September 2, 2016

Just listened to Ancient Melodies of the Future by Built to Spill for the first time. Insanely enjoyable album. The guitar work is unique and on point, and the lyrics grabbed my attention on a few specific occasions.

Stand-out tracks: "Strange", "In Your Mind"

Rating: 8/10 -- Great stuff!


Buy on Amazon:

TAR: Built to Spill - Ancient Melodies of the Future

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The following is an original Facebook post by me -- written as a first attempt to document in written form what exactly happened to me on the morning of Tuesday, August 30th when I experienced what I'm now sure beyond a shadow of a doubt was a so-called "peak experience" as originally described by Abraham Maslow in 1964:


                Early in the morning on Tuesday, August 30th, at approximately 5:30 AM, I experienced a gradual but intense, and eventually overwhelming and all-encompassing change in consciousness. This is the first time I'm writing about it, so please bear with me and don't be alarmed. There were no drugs or alcohol associated with the course of this event, and the experience as a whole was completely and overwhelmingly positive. I'll keep this post as brief as I can, as I plan to write more on this experience later on and once I've more thoroughly chewed out exactly what occurred and can offer a more clear analysis. But for now, here's the story:

                At around 5:00 AM I decided to take a walk up to Altisima Park in Rancho Santa Margarita, California -- very close to where I live. I was feeling a sense of positivity about life in general all throughout the previous day and throughout the night just prior to my walk; but as I trekked up the hill -- listening to the album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends by Coldplay (a long-time favorite for good moods -- as cliché as that may be) -- I began to feel a subtle yet euphoric rush course through my body. It wasn't the intense kind of rush that opioids can bring on, but it was most definitely real and unlike just about anything I've ever experienced before. It could probably best be described as similar to the sensation commonly known as a runner's high, except I wasn't running.

                As I passed the Mormon Church and approached the top of the hill where there sits a small bench overlooking the Upper Oso Reservoir, a strange suspicion dawned on me. Life just seemed so perfect at that moment -- almost too perfect. Anyone who knows me knows that I pride myself on my skepticism, but in those five-or-so minutes I seriously considered the possibility that this could all be some sort of pre-ordained event. I don't necessarily mean that I thought some divine entity was helping to push me along my way -- shaping my destiny or anything like that. In point of fact, the feeling manifested itself more as a sense of worry, or sudden need to be vigilant to any possible dangers. I wouldn't quite venture to call it paranoia, but it was something similar. It was the strange notion that perhaps my life was part of some preconceived grand story or simulation originating from some intelligence. And that if that was the case, now would be the opportune moment for the universe or God or aliens or whatever to lay upon me my sudden and supremely ironic demise. I was ready to be struck and killed by lightening, hit by a drunk driver, shot by a deranged lunatic on a murder spree, or any other such freak occurrence that would serve to properly wake me from my ecstasy, or else validate my odd suspicion that I was living in some sort of dream world.

                Fortunately, no such tragedy occurred, and I made it to the bench overlooking the reservoir in one piece.

                And that's where things got really strange...

                The Coldplay album I had been listening to was drawing to a close, and I was beginning to relax from my previous thoughts of doom and destruction; and what replaced those thoughts was something indescribable in its immediacy and overwhelming nature, but which I now believe I can relay with a fair degree of precision...

                As I sat on that bench in the wee hours of the morning, I looked up at the sky and watched as the clouds sailed slowly by, thinking of all the things I'd done for good and for ill over the past few years; and all the accomplishments I've made and have yet to make, I began to cry. At first it was just a few lonely tears, but soon enough I was completely overtaken. I fell to the ground -- rolling in the dirt like a madman, weeping and laughing and just letting everything that was inside me come out as it was want to do -- feeling no sense of urgency or pressure to go anywhere or do anything in particular. It was gratitude that I was feeling. Intense gratitude. For life. For my recognition of my own development as a human being. For my parents. For my family. For every person and every animal in my evolutionary family-tree that played a part in the ultimate and miraculous one-time event that was to be my birth – each of whom in no small way allowed for my existence on this planet we call Earth.

                I'm not exactly sure how long I was down there like that, but it must have been a good half-an-hour to an hour. Eventually joggers and bicyclists began appearing, though at this point I'd not yet opened my eyes or even removed my now silent earbuds from my ears. I listened as they ran and cycled their way past -- just a few yards from where I had completely broken down and was now lying in the dirt and grass, still crying and laughing like a loon. One jogger -- a woman by the sound of her voice -- came by and asked, "Are you alright, sir?" "Yes! Thank you!" I replied.

                Eventually I managed to slowly sit myself up, opening my eyes and seeing the full light of the day for the first time. The sky was blue and the clouds were white. It was an ordinary day in every respect. But not for me. After some more time sitting in the dirt I sprung to my feet. I've felt happiness before in my life, but never quite like this. Pure joy and ecstasy flooded my body. I shouted at the top of my lungs such indiscreet phrases as, "Fuck yes!" and, "I'm alive!" A few passersby gave me strange looks.

                Feeling a sudden desire to go barefoot I promptly flung my shoes into the nearby grass and ditched my socks in the gutter. I then spent the next thirty to forty-five minutes jumping for joy and waving and giving thumbs-up to every stranger who passed by whether they were in a car, riding a bicycle, or walking their dog. The majority of the people ignored me, but a few smiled back, giving me a wave or a thumbs-up in return. I shouted my love for them as they jogged, cycled, or drove away.

                I decided then it was past time I started making my way home. But first I gathered my shoes and my iPhone which had fallen out of my pocket at some point, and walked barefoot across the street to the grassy field at Altisima Park. It occurred to me then that it might be a wise decision to document this unique experience -- for posterity, mind you. So I managed to take my phone out and snap a handful of utterly ridiculous selfies and even a video -- the majority of which I won't be sharing on Facebook -- sorry!

                After that I simply wanted to share my experience with the people most close to me. I don't recall the exact order in which I called or thought about calling the following people, but among those I wanted to share this crazy experience with the most were my brother, James August; my cousin, Deb Barry; my dad, Ron Freedman; my mom, Sheri Paternoster; and a few close friends (Ethan Scapellati, Colin DuBois, Brett Cavanagh, and Jacob Clark). None of them immediately picked up, as it was still fairly early in the morning (around 7:00 AM by this time), but my dad was the first to call back. We talked on the phone for about 20 minutes (him being just down the hill at our house; me still up at Altisima park). I was still a little bit in a daze and definitely could not yet fully comprehend what just happened to me, but I was able to give my dad the general scoop, as well as absorb and comprehend his reaction to it -- which was of course positive in every regard.

                When we finished talking, I decided it was finally time to head home and take a shower, and to contemplate on the experience as best I could. On the walk back home -- still barefoot and covered in dirt -- I smiled and said, “good morning” to every person I passed by. Mothers were dropping their children off at Melinda Heights Elementary School at this time -- which I had to walk by to get home -- so I did my best to be mindful of the way I appeared and to not alarm anybody. One mother did give me a rather sour look, but I smiled back at her all the same. I walked by a group of Hispanic gentlemen getting ready to trim the plants and trees I walked under, and gave them a confident, "buenos dias!" They returned the gesture -- all smiles.

                I finally made it home and jumped in the shower. I didn't do too much contemplating just yet, as I was simply enjoying the warm water and the feeling of getting myself clean. I then got into bed; with no intention of going to sleep just yet, but just to relax and mull things over. It was about 9:30 AM when I got a message back from my cousin, Deb, whom I then called and explained for the first time in true and full detail what had happened to me just a few hours prior. She was astounded and happy and surprised and just super supportive in every way, which was much appreciated at that time, as my mood had begun to stabilize and my skeptical nature began to resurface. This isn't to say that I had any serious self-doubts about the experience -- just that my more rational and analytical mind was beginning to reassert itself.

                Ultimately I decided -- and now wish to emphasize -- that this was not some latent drug-induced reaction, but a real, lucid -- dare-I-say -- spiritual experience. One that as my dear cousin, Deb reminded me was the sort of experience that many people around the world and throughout history have sought after through the many world religions, psychedelic drugs, and other fringe potential-triggers that have indeed been shown to produce this well-recorded phenomenon in humans throughout the ages. (For more on the scientific perspective of this phenomenon, read about “peak experiences” on Wikipedia).

                I could easily continue to delve into my thoughts about what this all means and what the presence of such phenomena has meant to the human race throughout its history, but in the interest of brevity I'll leave you with the following thought:

                If I was a religious person, I would probably now be telling you that I have just touched the hand of God. As it happens, I'm a self-avowed atheist and a skeptic, and remain so even after this experience; and that fact hasn’t at all diminished the experience or anything about it for me. I still don't know what's absolutely true and what isn't regarding the universe and all its wonders, but the events of this past Tuesday morning have given me a lot to think about, and I'm wholly and unconditionally grateful for the fact that I’m still discovering that there are indeed more questions to be asked. And I continue to believe that it’s the questions, and not the answers that make it all worthwhile.

*              *              *

                If you've made it this far, I wish to sincerely thank you for reading. And if you happen to be one of my Facebook friends, know that no matter how little we actually know one another, you've undoubtedly played at least some minor role in my life. And all those minor roles, all balled up together, form a very clear picture to me. And that accumulation of experiences -- however minor or seemingly insignificant -- I'm absolutely positive are all a factor in what triggered this unique and unforgettable peak experience.

Much love,

Scott Freedman

-- 4:10 AM, September 1st, 2016


OT: My Peak Experience

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Reggae music has always been a bit of an outlier for me. There's no doubt that I absolutely dig the music and respect the musicians; but it was always a genre that was good "for the moment" or "for the occasion." I never really let it be a part of my ever-evolving, nebulous collection of music that I was really *into* -- know what I mean? But this album may just buck that trend for me. I can see how the songs could fit in among a shuffle-playlist of my other favorite albums. And that's new to me. And new is good. Music is and always will be a personal experience for the listener. The Expanders reminds us of that fact elegantly, all the while setting the mood for what is just some seriously dope roots-reggae music. And hey! The name of the band fits the message of this website: Expand your musical horizons!

Stand-out tracks: "Uptown Set", "People Business", "Reggae Pops (Featuring Dan Hastie From Orgone)", "Thanks For Life"

Rating: 8/10 -- Great stuff!


Buy on Amazon:

TAR: The Expanders - Hustling Culture

I'm well aware that one should never judge a book by its cover, and that the same holds true for albums, but this one had been in my backlog for years precisely because of its horrid cover art. That said, the music here is phenomenal -- far more creative than I was expecting from an early-2000s Bowie release. I almost want to compare this album to Radiohead's works of that era; not so much in how they sound alike -- they do in some ways and don't in most -- but just in the amount of raw creativity that I can tell was poured into their respective efforts at a time in history when the internet was on the rise and war was an unpalatable but constant distraction. I'm excited to give this album the repeated listens that it's due.

Stand-out tracks: "Pablo Picasso", "The Loneliest Guy", "Reality"

Rating: 8/10 -- Great stuff!


Buy on Amazon:

TAR: David Bowie - Reality

Friday, August 19, 2016

In the mood for an all-natural mood-stabilizer? Spoon's EP, Love Ways (2000) will mellow you out and change your life...

Standout tracks: "Change My Life", "Chips And Dip".

Rating: 9/10 -- Love it! A classic!



Buy on Amazon:

‪#‎Spoon‬ ‪#‎LoveWays‬ ‪#‎TinyAlbumReview‬

TAR: Spoon - Love Ways

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Took a walk and re-listened to an old favorite -- Weezer's "Blue Album". Crunchy guitars and lyrics that remind us why life's worth living. Can't go wrong with that.

Stand-out tracks: "My Name Is Jonas", "The World Has Turned And Left Me Here", "Buddy Holly", "In The Garage", "Only In Dreams".

Rating: 10/10 -- An All-time favorite! A timeless classic!


Buy on Amazon:

‪#‎Weezer‬ ‪#‎BlueAlbum‬ ‪#‎TinyAlbumReview‬

TAR: Weezer - s/t (The Blue Album)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Good crunchy guitars and relevant lyrics. Love it!

Standout tracks: "Ain't Got Nobody", "Go Away"

Rating: 8/10 -- Loved it!


Buy On Amazon:

‪#‎Weezer‬ ‪#‎EverythingWillBeAllRightInTheEnd‬ ‪#‎TinyAlbumReview‬"

TAR: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Transcribed from a recent Facebook post:

"Got another LP in the mail today: Beat The Champ by The Mountain Goats. It's an album about professional wrestling and it slays. 10/10 album for me."


Buy on Amazon

Vinyl Update: The Mountain Goats - Beat The Champ

First post of this type (also posted on Facebook for my friends and family):

Just listened to the Broadchurch OST by Olafur Arnalds. I've never heard of this show but I've been a fan of Olafur for a while now, so decided to give the soundtrack a listen. Really good stuff! If you're a fan of Olafur Arnald's past works, this is on par with those.

Standout track: "So Close" (Featuring Arnor Dan)

Rating: 8/10 -- Loved it!


Buy on Amazon:

TAR: Olafur Arnalds - Broadchurch

I never thought I'd be updating this site again, but I have good reason to now...

In the coming days this site is going to undergo a bit of a face-lift. Although I stopped updating this site, I never stopped loving and listening to new music. Recently I've been posting tiny album reviews of music I've recently listened to on Facebook. I'm no professional reviewer such as the likes of Anthony Fantano, who many of you may know from his music review channel on YouTube, The Needle Drop (Be sure to subscribe if you haven't!). I do listen to a LOT of new music though, and like to share what I think of it with others. So basically this site will remain the same, but I'll be updating it with my "Tiny Album Reviews" from time to time.

Also, full disclosure: I'll be dropping Amazon links to each album I review. I'd love to be able to generate a little bit of income for myself from this, so if you like any of the albums I recommend and plan on buying them, consider doing so through this site!

Thanks to everyone who's been visiting this little site for years! And keep on listening to new music from every genre!


P.S. If you're not a 4chan /b/tard, you can follow me on Facebook at:


Friday, August 2, 2013

Essential Experimental Shoegaze/Dream Pop

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Essential 70s/80s Post-Punk

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Flowchart: Steven Wilson

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Essential Thrash Metal 2

Essential IDM

Essential Yellowcore

Essential Breakbeat

Essential Hard/Blues Rock

Essential Emotive Hardcore

Monday, March 18, 2013

Essential Psybient/Psychill