Monday, December 22, 2008


I don't know whether or not I think that is freaking awesome or totally disgusting, so I'll spare you people the blessing/curse of reading my internal debate as I decide. I would however love to hear your thoughts on whether this is feels like an excellent usage of time and talent or a twisted way of saying "Thanks, Baby Jesus," to you. If you find the videos boring at first, please keep watching. They get spicier as they go. Trust me on this (and thank you Bethany for finding and posting these).

Amazing Grace:

Trans-Siberia Orchestra:

Hooray For LOTR!

Two very LOTR related items:

1. Today I finished listening to the BBC Radio Production of the Lord of the Rings. Sir Ian Holm played Frodo (yes the same Ian Holm that played Bilbo in Peter Jackson's trilogy). I can see where Jackson either wittingly or unwittingly mirrored the adaptation of this radio version. It worked quite well, although I admit that there are some things lost in a radio version that are so easy to show in film. I will also add that while the music was actually pretty good for it, it was nowhere near as good as Howard Shore's masterful score.

2. A more full trailer has been released for "The Hunt for Gollum." This is a fan-made film that tels the story of Aragorn's hunt for Gollum. They are obviuosly taking liberties here with material that Tolkien himself never fleshed out, but I am excited nonetheless. Visually it actually looks rather impressive (especially considering the lack of budget that an independent and assuredly non-profit production would be able to muster). Well, I think I'm done nerding out on you for today. I leave you with the trailer:

THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM - FULL Trailer 1 from Chris Bouchard on Vimeo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Nutcracker

last night Sierra and I took my grandma to see the Nevada Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker. Before I get to the review, I will give a little back story. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a nice warm blanket, and get ready for the tale of your life.

Actually it's not that exciting. Every year, when I was little, my grandmother would take all of her posterity to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time. I'm going to be honest, I HATED this tradition. It was this incredibly long and boring dance recital where guys would stuff their little white tights and prance around. The beginning made sense to me: the little brother and sister get gifts and then the little boy annoys the crud out of the sister for a while. That I got. After that I got nothing. Mice come running in, the dolls become real and fight the mice and mouse king, and then the magician takes the kids to magic winter and candy land. I thought it was so lame. In fact, I think I may have been instrumental in the demise of the tradition. I was too young to know if I really had that much of an effect, but one year I adamantly requested we not go to The Nutcracker and instead go to a different show. That same year we went to the Knights of the Round Table or whatever at the Excalibur. It was freaking sweet. However, The Nutcracker tradition didn't really last after that. I don't know if it was because my sisters were starting to get married and what not, but for some reason we just sort of stopped. I think I always felt a little bad like my request had made my grandma feel like no one liked that tradition.

So here we are all these years later and somehow Sierra and I get on the conversation of The Nutcracker. I told her how we used to go every year and she told me that she had never seen it before. Soon we had a plan to give back to my grandma a little bit of the tradition that I had felt responsible for ruining for a few years (I realize now that I was not responsible, so there is not some strange guilt or something). We went to it last night and it was lovely. My grandma really enjoyed it, which made me happy. Sierra really enjoyed, which made me even happier. In fact, even I enjoyed it, which confused me. The same strange men were leaping about in their far-too-tight tights and I still don't get how the story makes any sense, but for some reason I was ok with the idea that the story didn't need to be a story in the sense that there is a plot and a climax. I think that was one of the things that had frustrated me when I was younger; the climax (as near as I can tell) comes in the first act. All the rest of it is just the sights the kids see as they travel around the winter and candy lands.

I think what really made the difference (besides me being older and more mature, etc.) is that I have a much deeper appreciation for music than I did back then. The music is amazing. It is so beautiful and rich. It incorporates Russian, Spanish, Oriental, and Arabian styles and has so many different movements and moods that it sets. When my focus was the music, the dancing made sense. At times I would find myself sort of letting my eyes glaze over, so I wasn't paying attention to the specific moves that the ballerinas/ballerinos were doing, but instead just letting the movement as a whole be a blur of colors and what not. It was really cool to take it in in that way. Today, when I told my supervisor about that technique, she said it is a good thing I wasn't alive during the 60s or I would have definitely been a dead head. Haha. Except, I don't even need drugs for the psychadelic art to take its hold on me I guess.

Tickets aren't cheap, so I don't know if I can really recommend it to others. There are probably lots of other things that most would find more enjoyable than sitting through a ballet for about 2 1/2 hours, especially for the price. The cheap seats run $45 and the expensive ones run $75. We got ours for half off, so it wasn't that bad actually, but most probably wouldn't have the sentimental attachment to the show that I now do. If however, you can afford it and want to try something different than just the standard flick at the cinema (or if you are obsessed with music and dancing), then I do recommend it. I'm glad we went.

I will also add this, I actually was impressed with the dancing this time. Some of it is quite beatiful and other stuff is obviously difficult. While still not wanting to ever be caught alone in a dark alley full of ballerinos, those guys (and ladies) are pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Sad

I just realized that a decent number of people I know have had some exciting controversy on their blogs. They've had angry people get on there and say contentious things, while I haven't been blessed with ANY of that. All I get are nice comments. So, something has to change.

I'm going to spend the next few minutes saying controversial things on here and then prepare for the violent blow back. Oh man am I excited! Ready?

- I'm not joining Obama's civilian "task" force, even if the perks are too good to pass up.
- William Shatner was the worst Captain Kirk EVER!
- Kurt Cobain didn't kill himself, nor did Courtney Love kill him--he killed Courtney Love, performed a brilliant surgery to make her look like him, and then pretended to be Courtney Love. If we dig up "his" grave all of this will be confirmed.
- Ozzy Osbourne SUCKS! (I'm stealing that one from Steven and taking it further than he was willing to go.)
- Kids SUCK at drawing. They are terrible.
- I like Asians. That is not very controversial, but what can I say? I like 'em. They are always so nice to me.
- Unions are leading our nation directly into socialism. While they started out with a good purpose, they are choking our businesses and industries to death. Current problems with the Big 3 auto companies and their need for a bailout? Unions are to blame. Down with 'em!
- Bush is the best shoe-dodging president our nation has ever seen and that in and of itself makes him a worthy leader.

Alright. Something in there has got to piss somebody off. Bring it on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Global Warming Is A Devious Trickster...

Fact: it is snowing in Vegas. Fact: it has been snowing for the past few hours in Vegas and I am sitting at my desk, with my blinds pulled up so I can clearly view the snow falling outside, one beautiful, large flake after the other. Indisputable Fact: Global Warming is real, because not only did Al Gore (a bastion of knowledge in our ever-heating world) make an excellent film that says so; not only are the lame and stupid scientists that dispute it snickered at (and called clever names like "flat-Earthers"--get it? Like they would have been the ones that believed the earth was flat when far smarter guys were totally right about it being round) by the other real, and far more awesome scientists who don't like their guesses and predictions for the future questioned; but also it has been summarily proven that the mere act of denying mankind's involvement as the source of global warming and climate change is akin to denying the Holocaust.

Thank you science and agenda-free journalism for clearing that one up. In other news it has been snowing here in Vegas for the past few hours and it is lovely. Somehow while Earth has been steadily growing warmer over the past 100 years (we'll brush that period of time under the rug, when, a few decades back, science told us that we had to fear global cooling and maybe even another another ice age! Yikes! I'm glad science was wrong then...), Vegas has received snow three of the past 5 years. This is obviously one of Global Warming's tricks, designed to lull us into a false sense of security, thinking that it doesn't exist so that it can administer its poison to us slowly and stealthily. Don't be surprised to see Earth go through some cooling periods (like the one we have been in since 2001 or so) as Global Warming pretends to not exist. It is real, or the Holocaust didn't happen. Infallible logic.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walmart Bingo

This was Glenn Beck's Picture of the Day today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 31: Jiminy Glick We Had A Live One Here!

There is something magical about finishing a semester of school: all the creative juices get flowing again. Or maybe the juices are always flowing, but I get too tired during the semester to uncork their protective sheep-bladder canteen and pour them out on the parched, desert sand that is my blog. Either way, I'm glad to have them back.

The Effervescent John

I am the Effervescent John
I bubble and I fizzle and I keep your body strong.
When colds, the giggles, and ninja emus
attack, then you'll hear my song.

I'll bubble and fizzle and spin kick your flu
'til all of your enemies are dead and long gone;
Effervescence, please be true.

General Conference

I don't usually bring up religious or spiritual things on this blog, because it was originally designed as a place for me to put my poetry. I originally envisioned this to be a fun place where I could be silly and others could easily access it. That original purpose has obviously somewhat changed over the years, as I have expanded the blog to basically to be a place for me to put anything I find interesting, whether it is funny or not. I even eventually caved in and posted a few politically themed posts as I felt the desire. One reason I have avoided spiritually themed posts is that I haven't wanted to turn anyone who is not of my faith away, because they feel "bombarded" by beliefs they don't share (I realize that my "reader base" is not large, but I think I always figured that it someday would be). I must admit though, that I am not the same person I was when I first started this blog. A few years will do that to you. It is still not my express purpose to wax political or spiritual on here, but I will no longer avoid those topics either; they are a part of who I am and if I feel the desire/need to say something regarding them, then I shall. Consider this my "coming out" declarative post.

This morning I listened to the talk on Christian Courage that Elder Robert D. Hales gave in the October session of Conference. I found it so helpful and reassuring, given that not even two full months after it was given the LDS church has come under heavy attack by many who feel hurt and angry at the church for its support and involvement in Prop 8. A great deal of hatred has been spewed out against the church by "news" commentators, there have been protest marches in front of and even vandalism done to our temples, misleading commercials and representations of the church's purpose for supporting it (i.e. that hatred was our motivation), some verbal threats made, and even one instance of violent retaliation. I have asked myself--sitting there in classes, listening to fellow students talk about any who supported Prop 8 as hateful and homophobes--should I speak up and defend the church (knowing that it will only lead to bitter debates and hurtful accusations)? How am I to respond? It turns out that in this case the Lord already answered that question before I asked it or knew I WOULD ask it. Thus, for any who are feeling similarly conflicted, who don't know whether or not they should "fight back," I link to Elder Hales' talk and highly recommend reading it. It can also be found in November's General Conference issue of the Ensign.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm Done...

...with school (at least for this semester).

In other news, I got a special fun new toy (and by toy I mean awesome responsibility that requires great skill, respect, and dedication to master). It is a Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special" .38 Special snubnose revolver. It is used, so it only cost $250.00. I haven't shot it yet, so we'll see how it holds up, but so far not too shabby a deal. Mainly, I wanted something simple and effective for Sierra to use if the need to protect herself (and my PEZ collection) arose and I was not there. The pic to the right is not my specific gun (taking one to upload seemed like a lot of extra work tonight, so I just found one online). It seemed like it captured the essence of my gun pretty dang well though (although I would never tie some silly little string on my baby).

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Like Pain Vids

I guess you could call it a sick obsession or addiction, but videos where people get hurt just make me happy.

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 30: It's Been A While

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now I am heading into the last week before finals (when most of my essays are due). I don't have much to report, but I am sick of Angry Burke chomping at my bits. So... here is a random poem that I shall make up right now while I sit here in class.

I Am Sorry

I am sorry if my socks are just too dang green.
I am sorry for your missing spleen.
I am sorry for the space between
thy two front teeth, and all I mean
to really say is just that beans
make excellent pastes with which to clean
the cellar and a pastry queen's
Veruca Salty, hammy thing.
Come with me and we shall sing
of lovely, bubbly, hemorrhoid creams
that carry us on silken wings
to the glorious heights where Charlie Sheen
will make us delicious onion rings.
We'll hope that he remembers to bring
his pants so that no one must see
a sight most horribly obscene;
Charlie are you listening?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some Thoughts

First of all, I apologize to all of my faithful readers who have wondered where I had gone. To you, my words are as the honey suckle to that travel-weary bee, ever-seeking that sweet succulent nectar that is my psyche. If you have felt abandoned, then I am sorry. If you have felt lost, then thy pains are my own. If thou art gassy, then know that I am that gas.

I'd like to say a word regarding the elections. To do so, I should first link to Glenn Beck's response to a caller (who felt like Barack Obama wasn't his president and shouldn't be supported) and ask you to go read that. It is a transcript from Glenn's radio show, so it isn't supposed to read like a book.

Moving forward, my own thoughts on the election are pretty well summed up by Glenn. Barack Obama, for all the views that he and I do not share (and furthermore that I oppose), has been elected as the President of the United States of America. It is premature to say anything about his presidency; it hasn't happened yet. I will support him as the elected leader of this nation, because that is what he is. He is our President. This does not mean I have changed my views on anything or that I have to. It just means that I support the Democratic process by which our nation's leaders are elected. Is it possible that President-elect Obama will do things I disagree with? Yes. The potential is great. However, it is also possible that he will go down as a President who was able to accomplish much good for the nation. It all depends on him and how he wears that Presidential mantle. So, until there is reason to distrust him, I will trust in what he has said he will do--move toward the center and not push for a liberal/leftist agenda. I will be vigilant, but I will also support.

During the election, my main issue with Barack Obama as a presidential candidate was that there was too much unknown about him. Questions regarding his birth, beliefs, views, associations, etc.: these all raised flags for me. It doesn't mean that I assumed that he was affiliated with terrorists or that he was buddy buddy with Bill Ayers. What it means was that I wasn't satisfied that he wasn't. The proof was not overwhelming for either argument. Thus, I had questions and concerns. In the end I felt like there were too many questions and concerns for me to feel capable of supporting his candidacy. In the end, the American people decided that they did not share those same concerns. I don't need to be bitter about that. Anger doesn't need to be in this equation for me. Barack Obama is my president, because I believe in our nation and our nation voted him in. I truly hope that he can be the great president that so many are hoping he can be. I truly hope that the concerns surrounding him as having some sort of either Marxist or terrorist agenda are completely false and that we will see him emerge as a good and sincere man who has America's best interests at heart. Only time will tell. Until that picture clears up, I will not bemoan his victory. I encourage others to do the same. That is all I have to say at this time. One change that will be coming is that I shall no longer feel shy or timid about sharing political thoughts on this blog. It won't be excessive, because other plans are in the works, but I too want my voice to be heard, and I too want to do what I can to help make this nation a better place to live. Also, a special shout-out to Burke for being so dang inspiring all the time. You better make your comment good.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Many probably saw the JibJab video from four years ago. I just saw this election's video today and share it with you now (you'll have to click the link my friends).

JibJab's "Time For Some Campaigning" (Set to Bob Dylan's famous song, "The Times They Are A Changin'" in case anyone is interested). Enjoy.

Also, 20/20 ran an excellent piece that covers so much of what is gong on and wrong with our nation at the moment. I will only post the first part of it on here, but if you desire to see the rest, just follow the YouTube links after it finishes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Office - Crime Aid

Here is the first deleted scene:

Here is the second (and I hope you like fox meat):

Update: And now the third clip of deleted scenes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whose Line Is It Anyway???

It has been a long, long time since I have watched this show, but I stumbled upon this clip and it is awesome.

The Second Amendment

I had a thought that some of you have already heard me share. It has recently dawned on me why it is so important to maintain the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms (which for me includes being able to own your own weapon and even being able to carry it). I used to understand it only as a safeguard against crime and violence in our communities. This election has really opened my eyes though, to how far some people would want to take the role of big government, and frankly that concerns me. The right to bear arms is not just about keeping burglars or assailants from attacking our homes, it is also a check and a balance against our government itself. In fact, it is one of the only checks and balances that directly protects the people of this nation from our government ever growing too powerful (i.e. a dictatorship, communism, etc.).
There are many who feel that our nation would be safer if we were to ban guns, and perhaps we would see less gun-related violence. However, it should be remembered that not only has violent crime existed in human history--long before the gun was invented and brought on the scene--but the fact is, if someone wants to hurt you, they will find a way. Taking away guns from the masses will eventually only take guns away from those who wouldn't use them illegally. Those who would use them illegally will.
I'll end by reiterating what was already said: taking away guns won't stop violent crimes; those that want to hurt others will still exist in this world. Taking away guns really means that the people no longer have a safeguard against government (because you KNOW that no government is going to give up its guns). I support the 2nd Amendment, because I support our Constitution's system of checks and balances against our government ever becoming too powerful for us people to control. Sadly, I fear that we are already to that point anyway, and it makes it that much more important for us to not surrender those rights that would protect us from that sad end to our liberties. That is all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Troubled Times

Given the current state of our economy and the troubled times that seem to be looming ahead, I thought we could all use some inspiration. Let us not bow our heads and go softly into the night; let us save money on clothing by using our hair as a substitute.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Office: "Baby Shower" Deleted Scenes

I may just make this a weekly thing friends of forest fires. Each week's episode tends to have three clips of deleted scenes and I will post them as they are released. So if you only see one or two on here, check back later 'cause I will just update this same post with the clips. Questions?

I skipped the 2nd clip of deleted scenes due to its somewhat graphic nature, but here is the third one. I am sad they took it out, because as funny as it was to see Dwight try to destroy the baby carriage, this would have made that whole scene 10x funnier.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Such Humble Beginnings

This is an older clip from Andy Samberg and Bill Hader's first year on SNL. Wanna know how out of touch I had gotten with said show? I had no clue that Horatio Sans was ever in the Weekend Update crew. Ah well.

The Onion

First, watch this video that explains the process that Disney Child Star Creation Labs goes through to create their stars (and thank you Stooph for posting this on your blog for me to find and steal and exploit on my own):

Disney Lab Unveils Its Latest Line Of Genetically Engineered Child Stars
Now, I gotta say that The Onion is one brilliant little site. I hardly ever check it, but when I do it is always so clever and generally quite funny. It is kind of sad that I far prefer fake news to the real stuff. Ah well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Papa's World 2.0

Now that we have breached that milestone of 200 posts (201 baby), I thought we'd start off this new era of blogging with an excellent quote from Benjamin Franklin.

"An informed voter is a voter whose vote doesn't count any more than the vote of a complete idiot." - Benjamin Franklin.

I challenge each of us to find our political nemesis--the idiot whose vote cancels out our own--and somehow breed with them. What would happen? it is worth finding out. (Just kidding Sierra, I shan't breed with anyone and don't think that this means you can either).

The Big 200!

That is right folks, this is my 200th post on this blog. Considering I've had it up for over 4 years now, that doesn't seem very impressive, but hey... I'm working on it. To celebrate, what do you say we toke a trip to the roller coaster park, get some free balloons, and listen to They Might Be Giants' "Older?" Yeah! That sounds like a birthday celebration to me! (This video was made by a man named Shamus Young, whose blog I regularly read--he made the Lord of the Rings web-comic I so love. So thank you, Shamus).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bless The Office

I have heard some critiques of this season of The Office (two episodes in, it seems a little early to think you can accurately describe any sort of "trend" into anything doesn't it?), how it feels more like a sitcom and Michael's acting is different and what not. People are lame. Watch these deleted scenes and tell me that they are not as hilarious as anything else the show has ever done. While I will admit that last night's episode wasn't the funniest I've ever seen, at not point did I feel dissatisfied with it; it was a story mover to help build for future conflicts between Michael and Holly from what I could tell, and therefore it was important. Anyway, these deleted scenes are fantastic. Oh, and in case you haven't heard of it yet, Matt tuned me in to a blog that should satisfy all of your extra-curricular The Office needs. The Office Tally. Go check it out. Seriously.

Update: Here is the second clip of deleted scenes, or Deleted Scenes 2.0. They can't be held responsible for what the first Deleted Scenes did.

Additional Update: The third clip of deleted scenes.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I would imagine that LARPing is not new to you, but just in case...
Here are some great videos I found!
This first video is about 4 1/2 minutes long and is a montage of some great footage of people LARPing. It is appropriately titled: "LARP Sadness." Amen.

Next up is a 5 1/2 minute film of a battle against a... DRAGON! My favorite parts are the random car that drives by in the background (I can't even imagine what would go through my mind if I were driving along, only to look over and see people dressed as wizards and dwarfs, running around a big dragon), the dude that gets taken out by the dragon's arm (and it looks like he really gets taken out by it), and the water or "acid?" that gets shot out of the dragon's mouth. Such realism. Plus, it is great how little is happening in it (everyone is just running around, but no one is fighting). It is called the "Wayfinder Dragon Battle" and is some sort of Finale? I don't get that.

Last up, an old favorite of mine. The classic "Magic Missile" video. If you do nothing else, make sure to watch this 30 second video with sound. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I had no clue that they had done a radio version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the books). For an excellent write-up of similarities/differences of the books, radio version, and Peter Jackson's films: go here. I think I would really enjoy listening to those. Maybe the library will have it in stock.

Now to wax political again. I invite you to watch this video (which is obviously one side's take on the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae issue). It is showing many Democrats in Congress defending both FM's back in 2004, when many Republicans in Congress were seeking for regulations to be placed on both FM's. Biased? Sure. I'm sure that it is not showing the whole story and I am sure that if the Democrats tried, they could put together a video showing the Republicans in a bad light too. It is still interesting, though to see Frank Raines (I believe that he is Obama's Economic adviser) defend the FM's. Anyway, you can judge for yourself if there is any value here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Return Of SNL To Greatness?

A comedy skit show that has been around as long as SNL is bound to have some down years. After Will Ferrell left SNL, I figured that the show was lost for a while (and maybe it was... I didn't watch it for a bit and so I guess I don't know if it was really any good or not). Then they brough in some unusual choices (from my point of view): Kenan Thompson (of that old Nickelodeon comedy skit show that I never watched and thought sounded lame) and Andy Samberg (who got his start making really strange films and skits with his buddies from It was that same Andy (and his buddies that do a little bit of writing for the show now and are behind the SNL Digital Shorts) who got my attention to want to come back and give the show another try. When "Lazy Sunday" blew up, I think it caught everyone's attention. I have since begun watching little bits here and there and thank tremendously for making it possible to see skits without having to stay up until 1:30 or 2:00 am to get my fix. The show has brought in some great cast members. Despite its heavy liberal leanings, I love Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers as the Weekend Update team. Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Will Forte, and Fred Armisen are all very strong comedians and have impressed me tremendously. Most of all, and the biggest surprise to me, is that Kristen Wiig is outstanding. She has become that effortless comedian of the show, that will enhance any skit just by being in it. She doesn't have to try hard like so many other comedians do; she is just naturally hilarious.
Anyway, The season premiere was very disappointing (despite Tina Fey's very funny and now infamous portrayal of Sarah Palin), but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th episodes completely made up for that. My faith in the show is easily being restored to where I now feel it is worth it to stay up to watch it again. It has been a long time since I felt that way.
First up, an O.J. Simpson trial jury selection skit:

Second, one of the best skits I've ever seen. Watch Kristen Wiig in action in the Lawrence Welk Show skit:

Friday, October 03, 2008

Two Random Thoughts

The first is Warren Buffet's plan (or at least a brief version of it) for how to save the economy.

The second is I just wanted to say thanks for the great blessing that is the Redneck. In our troubled times, there isn't hardly anyone to make fun of without being offensive. It's comforting to know that Rednecks are still safe.

Dracula Sequel? is reporting that Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew (and blood descendant... ooooh... they used the word blood in the description of their relation which is what Dracula likes to eat cause he is a vampire and I'm sorry if I just ruined the story for anyone who hasn't read it yet), has compiled himself a sequel to Bram's Dracula. Apparently, there were lots of things that were cut from the first book or something like that, as well as some notes that his father had made. Thus, Dacre (which is a really creepy name in and of itself) compiled these notes and (I assume) filled in what was missing to make it a coherent story (with the help of a Dracula historian and documentarist named Ian Holt). This sounds very similar to what Christopher Tolkien has done with his father's notes from LOTR. It will be released in October of 2009.

One last tidbit, I guess originally it was to be called The Un-Dead, but they have since changed it to Dracula: The Un-Dead or something like that. I'm sure we'll learn more about this as we get closer to its release.

In other interesting and coincidentally related news, this week I (and a few others) watched the old 1931, black and white version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. I'm generally not a huge fan of old movies like that, but it was really cool to see how differently movies were made and what was considered scary back then. I think if a time machine allowed us to show one of the Saw movies to a 1931's audience, they would murder and eat each other before the movie ended because it would warp their freaking minds.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Fringe Gets A Season is reporting that J.J. Abrams' awesome new show, Fringe, was picked up by Fox for an additional 9 episodes (taking it to full season length). This is good news for fans of television, Abrams, Joshua Jackson, science, puppies, tentacles, forceps, bits of the flaky outer crust from Marie Calendars' delicious chicken pot pies, and teflon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dancing Just May Save The World

Perhaps this is not new to anyone, but it was to me. Matt Harding (a random human being/video game designer that has decided to travel the globe extensively, videotaping himself dancing foolishly in varied locations) seems like a cool guy to me. Big ups to Stride Gum for being willing to toss the necessary cash for travel expenses at him. Also, if you are interested, Jim Walsh from helps explain how this thing got started and came to fruition. Things like this just make me happy.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Way To Die

Jack White and Alicia Keys are two artists that have both impressed me and left me unsure as to whether or not I really like them. Both have released some awesome songs, but at the same time, I don't generally like listening to either artists for any extended amount of time. I guess it is fitting that the Jack White written, performed (with Alicia Keys), and produced theme song "Another Way to Die" for the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace would leave me unsure as to whether or not I like it. I was trying to imagine it as the beginning of a film, with all the random, weird, naked ladies floating and pointing guns through strange environments and I just wasn't getting it. Ah well. I'll hold off judgment until I see the film. Here is the music video for your viewing pleasure:
"Another Way to Die"

Monday, September 29, 2008

MLS To Vegas Through Columbus?

Ives Galarcep is reporting that the Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment Group are looking into purchasing an unknown amount of the Columbus Crew (much like Oscar de la Hoya has done with the Houston Dynamo). LVSEG wouldn't run the team, they would just own a percentage of the team. Why might this be important? Well, despite large attendance figures during their early years, Columbus has struggled in recent years with getting people to come out to the games. This wouldn't be that bad for Columbus (certainly there are quite a few teams with poor attendance figures), but Forbes recently found Columbus to be 2nd to last in terms of overall team value, and tied for last in terms of revenue (they lost $4.5 million last year). This, despite the fact that they were the first team to get their own soccer specific stadium and have been around since the league's inception.
What does all of this mean? Maybe nothing. LVSEG's spokesman, Paul Caligiuri, has stated that there are no plans to move the Crew out of Columbus, but it does raise questions as to what exactly the investment group that is planning to bring MLS to Vegas is trying to accomplish with this move. The fact is, there are some risks and concerns that many have regarding how well a professional soccer team (that plays outside during the summer) could do in a town with no real professional sports history. LVSEG has addressed one of these concerns with a plan that includes a $500M hotel/casino with a stadium alongside (complete with retractable roof and AC). The other concern (will the people come out to support this team?) is much harder to address and overcome; we won't know until it happens. Given the stability and success of Montreal, Vancouver, and Portland's USL teams, it would seem to make more sense to expand into any one of those markets. Add in the NY Mets' bid on a 2nd (and real--RBNY plays in Jersey) NY team, talks of Barcelona making a bid for a team in Miami again, and the soccer history of a town like St. Louis, Vegas is up against some tough competition.
LVSEG says that this move does not mean they won't be pursuing MLS in Vegas. So what are they doing? The signs are pointing toward what is called, "a safety net." Let's assume that things go well for LVSEG and they are awarded the Vegas team. Sweet! Now they own a Vegas team and have own a large share in another team. They have options to sell it or whatever. No real harm done (other than it being a gamble with a large sum of money, but that is not something this ownership groups seems to be lacking in). If they are not granted the team, then at least they still have a team. Sure it's not in Vegas, but it is an MLS team and so they still win. If things don't start looking up for Columbus (attendance/revenue wise) then they are in a good position to consider moving the team out to Sin City. Thus far it seems like a wise safety net that they are setting up for themselves. It may not be real cause for alarm for Columbus fans, yet... but if it were my team that was in this situation, I'd do everything I could to make sure that attendance and revenues increase over the next year or two. Perhaps the success of Columbus this season will help bring some of those fair-weather fans back.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Second Doppelganger

Well folks, most of you will remember this foul loathsome little creature. He is my doppelganger. I haven't found him yet, but when I do he will be destroyed, for neither of us can live while the other survives.
I am re-posting him, because Misty (currently on an adventure in London, England, Europe, Earth) told me today that she found another doppelganger of me. Hers is apparently one tall drink of water, coming in at 6'2" and completely British. The only real difference she could find was that our glasses were slightly different (as are the glasses of the first other-dimensional me to the right here). Other than that, the eyes, nose, and even teeth reportedly looked exactly the same, although it's been a while since Misty has seen my teeth so who knows how accurate her assessment was.
What does this mean? Is this a whole new menace to my me-ness or is the same one (pictured to the right) and now we know what country he lives in? I don't know what to think anymore. This whole phenomenon has me rather creeped out. It's like I am losing me.
And just to clarify, the man pictured tot he right is not me. Ryan sent me that picture when it came in a forwarded e-mail that Sara had received. I myself was almost taken in by this conjurer's tricks and wondered if someone had taken a picture of me and Photo-shopped it. If you look carefully though, you will see that it is definitely not me. The straight and less-yellow-than-mine teeth are what really give his lies away. Plus, I'm not bald, yet.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Think of two things you really love. Go ahead. Take a minute. Ok got them? Now... put them together! Bam! Doesn't that feel nice? When I did it I got Nelly Furtado singing during the halftime show at one of DC United's games. What's more? She was sporting one of their jerseys. This happened a year or two ago and thus is old news, but I don't claim to be a source of news and especially not new news, so you'll have to take your complaints elsewhere.

I shan't explain my love affair with DC United or soccer, because I have done so extensively on here already. I will take a second to explain why I love Nelly Furtado so much. This begins with a problem: I don't usually like female musical artists. I could count on one hand the number of female artists that I really really like on one hand (at least, ones who are still living, contemporary female artists that I regularly listen to and not because it is fun to like them or funny). I can only guess at why this is and will do so now: I think it is due to what I perceive as a different approach to songwriting that many female artists take. I once read or heard somewhere that men pay more attention (at least initially) to the music of a song and women pay more attention (at least initially) to the lyrics. Who knows if this is true? I certainly don't. However I do find it interesting and as I have asked different men and women over the past few years it seems to somewhat make sense. I think this is the same reason why a lot of country turns me off; it feels like the same music rehashed endlessly with the focus being on the lyrics and story-telling. Anyway, Nelly Furtado was the first female artist whose music actually intrigued me and brought something new to the table. I have since found a few others, namely Frou Frou (and Imogoen Heap's solo stuff as well).

While I had a hard time with Nelly Furtado's newest Timbaland-produced album at first--I felt like it was a step back from the brilliant musical work of her two previous albums, because Timbaland brought it much closer to a generic dance floor/hip-hop/R&B vibe than I would have hoped for--it has since grown on me a lot. Even if I still don't like it as much as Whoa, Nelly! or Folklore, it has some great songs and I can see the appeal to Nelly to make something a little more listener friendly after her last album's sales weren't spectacular.

Thus, three cheers for Nelly Furtado for helping me to learn to get over my initial distrust of female artists. Here is the soccer-themed video for song "Forca" which she sang at the Euro 2004 final in Portugal (she is of Portuguese descent, but grew up in British Columbia--Canada). it has become somewhat of an anthem for the soccer loving world.


I fully admit that I stole this picture from Stooph. However, I needed a good one to test the waters on this photo uploading feature (which I have never before used in conjunction with the blogosphere). Thank you for your patience.
Also, I added a new feature on the right that will allow people to "follow" my blogsite. I don't actually know what that means yet, but feel free to give it a whirl and we'll figure it out. it's under the "Papa's Peeps" section.
Update: It has now been made clear what happens when one becomes a "follower" of my blog: you get your cute little picture put on the right side of said blog under the clever title of "Papa's Peeps." Feel free to join the swelling and bulging ranks of my army of (current count = ) 1.

Paving The Way...

I don't wax political very frequently on here, but I read something really interesting just now. This article is basically saying that now is a terrible time to be running for president. Read here.

What I find most interesting is how it contrasts the presidents who were elected right as the turmoil was beginning and the president elected immediately afterward. Take three of the most terrible times in our nation's history: The Civil War, The Great Depression, and The Cold War. As these difficult times began to rear their ugly heads, we had three presidents win the election to the white house: James Buchanan (1857), Herbert Hoover (1929), and Jimmy Carter (1977). How do we remember these men today? The truth is we hardly remember them at all unless it is either as a one-termer, or as a joke. Next, look at the presidents that came in office immediately after these three's first and only term: Abraham Lincoln (1861), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933), and Ronald Reagan (1981). Some conservatives would disagree with notions that FDR's solutions for The Great Depression were good, but the man obviously is a historic figure that got our nation through a tough time (for a LONG time). Conversely, there are plenty of Democrats that would diss on Reagan, but the fact is that these guys were solution presidents that came into office and held our nation together during incredibly difficult circumstances. of course, no one except maybe some KKK guys would have anything bad to say about Abe Lincoln; that guy was a stud.
What does all of this mean? Possibly nothing. it does give me hope though, because in all honesty I am not excited for either candidate this election and feel like our nation will still be hurting when the next election comes along. Perhaps we will see someone of high quality that can step up and help our nation become a nation that we all can be proud of again.

I Think We're Back In Business (Disembodied Black Arm Grabs Ellie's Shoulder)

Well folks, The Office is back and I couldn't be happier. Last night's episode was fantastic and things are looking good for the season. One of my favorite moments: "Wait. Back up. Do you think that I'm retarded?"
Oh, I was sad to see that joke end so quickly though. It was one of my all time favorites. Here are some deleted scenes from last night's pleasure-fest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holy JEW

Jimmy Eat World (the JEW mentioned in the title--you do the work with the acronym) is airing a video for a song called Beautiful Day tomorrow on some Nick, Jr. show. I have two thoughts:
First, I actually think it's cool that they would do something so cheesy, stupid, and campy (I can't use the word "gay" anymore without it being offensive so I'm toying with "campy"... so far so good), but fun for kids. The song really isn't that bad for one that I'm sure they just tossed together very quickly and didn't put much effort into. I like it when bands are comfortable enough with themselves to do something "non-rockstar-ish" without having to resort to making fun of the thing in the process to maintain dignity.
Second, what is up with that show? That looked just as freaky as Teletubbies. Who comes up with this stuff and why do we think it is worth subjecting our children to? Oh man. That's it. My kids are growing up on a strict diet of old Transformers, X-Men, and Batman: The Animated Series cartoons. I will treat any watching of lame shows like that with extreme prejudice and dole out punishments accordingly. I think I'd be more ashamed of my son for getting caught with drugs then for getting caught watching something like that. I guess if he were on drugs at the time he was caught watching a show like... hmm... maybe that would justify it... I don't know. I'll have to put some more thought into this.
Jimmy Eat World-Beautiful Day-Yo Gabba Gabba

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Monday Musings

So, last night I saw something great on TV: The Family Guy did a parody of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I thought it was hilarious. I only saw the last half or so, but I thought I'd give you guys a little snippet of it to enjoy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh My...

Wow. This video is a must see, although I warn you that it is TERRIBLY painful to watch. (Insert Sideshow Bob moan/groan noise here). This is an Epic Nut Shot.

Random Video Friday!!!!

You guys know what time it is? That's right! Random Video Friday!!!!!!! Wheeeee!!! and how.
Today we have some delightful ones. Up first is one of four quadruplets (hence the four) laughing. Does that sound strange? Wait until you see the video, good sir.

Ok. Next up is of a special little girl who is going to make her daddy very nervous someday. Introducing: Baby Beyonce.

Last of all (and on a slightly more serious and somber note), we have the singer from Phantom Planet singing "Anthem" with just his acoustic and some fans. Very nice.

That's it folks. Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ben Folds Five

Matt just reminded me that Ben Folds Five is playing their magnificent album The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner in its entirety for MySpace's new music feature/series: Front to Back. This is very exciting folks. This will be the first time in 10 years that these guys have played together. I got to hand it to MySpace for doing something so awesome. I had grown rather sick of that site and hadn't visited it for a while. They've made some changes and it seems to be a little better now, so good for them.

Dreamin' Of Heath Ledger...

I just remembered my dream from last night. I was the warden of a high security prison, and we had The Joker (Heath Ledger's version) locked up in a big wooden box (like a chest or something). The FBI bigwig agent-type people came to me and said that we have to let The Joker escape so that he would lead us to his bosses or the mob bosses or something. So, I had to help him escape and ended up hanging out with The Joker for the remainder of the dream. None of the guards knew the plan, so it was scary cause they would have shot us on sight. It was kind of creepy, but a really cool dream. Heath did an excellent job in my dream as well.

Now, to get our day really started:
"Blue Shadows (on the Trail)"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Weezer

I am flooding the webwaves with Weezer lately, but what can I say? I have rediscovered my love for them. Here is an acoustic performance of one of the Red Album's bonus tracks, "Miss Sweeney." It was recorded at the AOL Sessions, also.
One aspect of Weezer that has always endeared them to me is their serious form of being strange. They do random things that are really weird, but they don't sit there and giggle and what not. It is like they are making a joke or doing something funny, but they won't admit that the purpuse of it is to be funny; they play it off like it is serious. I'm not a huge Andy Kaufman fan (I have nothing against him, I just haven't seen much of his work; I am only familiar with his exploits from watching Man on the Moon), but it reminds of how he went out and read a book for one of his standup routines. Brilliant. Weezer is the type of band that would do something weird for the sake of mixing things up, and maybe just because they see the value in artistic strangeness. To me, that kind of strange sense of humor borders on art itself.


This one is for you Steven, but I hope others will give the video below a try also (if they aren't familiar with Pinback already).
Brief history Lesson: I first heard of this band while I was on my mission. I heard the song Penelope and immediately fell in love with it. I forgot to look the band up when I got home from my mission though (as happens), and it wasn't until Cody--bless his mutilated soul--got home from his mission that I was reminded of this band that I had planned on looking into. Cody let me borrow his copy of Blue Screen Life--Pinback's second album--and I fell further in love with the band. Strangely though, I had never gone on to purchase/listen to any of their other records until last week when I checked out their newest album Autumn of the Seraphs from the library. Well, I am now hooked on that one too.
Brief Awesome Lesson: this band is awesome. It is two guys (although they perform with a full band) and they have created a very unique sound for themselves. Rob Crow handles the guitar work for the most part, Zach Smith is the bass master, and they both share the vocals. By share the vocals I don't really mean that they take turns singing songs, I mean that they are both constantly in and out of each individual song doing lots of intricate and layered vocals. Their guitar work (both guitar and bass I mean) is incredible and easily transfers from frantic to grooving to haunting to smooth. They are the type of band that you get excited to listen to and sort of dissect into its parts. They are also the type of band that you are excited to just put on in the background and chill to. I have no clue what their songs are about lyrically and I admit that half the time I don't even know the words. So, I guess that they are also the type of band that are so musically intriguing that after a few years of listening to them I still haven't even bothered to "understand" the lyrics. I highly recommend them to all and especially their album, Blue Screen Life.
I had a hard time finding actual videos from their earlier albums (most were fan-made vids you see), but I think this one ought to do nicely. It is "From Nothing to Nowhere" from their 2007 album Autumn of the Seraphs.

Weezer Week Continued!

Ok kids, here is the second installment of MTV's Artist of the Week Tribute of Sorts to Weezer. Yay yay! Ok first up is the Johnny Knoxville introduced black and white video featuring random kids that are like a high school band or something video for:
"Pork and Beans"

Wasn't that delightful? Alright. Next up is a less than exciting but still enjoyable if you love Weezer the guys just standing around on a basketball court video of:
"The Greatest Man that Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"

And, to top it all off, here is a video of a Brian Bell sung AOL Sessions version of:
"Why Bother"

Well, that ends our day's Weezer fun... or does it? No. More Weezer is to be had for those so inclined by heading over to their Official Weezer Youtube page where many random videos are to be had and enjoyed. I highly recommend it for those needing to spice up their life.

Ben Folds At It Again

Well, I just watched Ben Folds' new video and I gotta say, "Wow that was weird." I liked the song though. I believe that it is the first single from his new album - Way To Normal.
Here, have a watch of your own!
"You Don't Know Me" - Ben Folds

You Dont Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe Science

Last night, J.J. Abrams' (of Lost and Alias fame) new show Fringe aired with its big two-hour pilot, and I gotta say that I really liked it. Fans of X-Files will feel a certain familiarity about the premise; government-ish agents investigate almost paranormal activites and cases while some bigger secrets are revealed along the way. To be honest, it is too early for me to really be able to comment on what is really going to set this show apart from The X-Files other than the fact that it is an Abrams production and therefore bound to have its own flavor in that regard. In particular I want to comment on the performance of one John Noble (who LOTR fans will recognize as the actor who superbly played the deranged Denethor); he was excellent! I am sure that I will comment more on this show in the future, so I will refrain from getting too specific yet about why I liked him (so as not to spoil it for you Sir Steven), but I truly hope that everyone will give the show a try. It sounded like they are re-showing the pilot on Sunday, but I couldn't find anywhere online that would confirm this. So, here is the link to watch the pilot online just in case.

In other news, CNN has a video up that confirms some of what Dan Brown's first Robert Langdon book Angels and Demons purports: that CERN is doing some crazy experimenting with matter/antimatter down deep below the earth. Apparently, CERN is in essense trying to recreate the Big Bang on a tiny tiny tiny little level. One of the possible effects of this experiment is that a miniature black hole would be created down there. CERN scientists say that it would be too small and unstable to maintain itself and would pose no threat, but wow... that is kind of a scary thought. Oh, unless it we could somehow harness it and put it into little canisters that could be shot from a special gun like a bullet, and when it hit the target, it would open up a very temporary 7x7 foot black hole that would swallow up whoever it had hit and then be too unstable to maintain itself and putter out and then voila! Enemy gone for good. Anyway, that is all I have on that for now. Check out that video.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Great Weezer Shift

Warning: this is a long post about a discovery/realization I had this morning and may drag on. Reader beware!

I began this post with the idea of writing a massive analysis of Weezer's music/albums and especially why I felt they had "dropped off" so to speak after Pinkerton. In doing so I realized a few things:

1. First, the Blue Album and Pinkerton are as perfect as any albums could ever be. They are without flaw and lacking no thing that would improve them. I'm still just blown away by these albums (I listened to the Blue album about 5 times over the past 24 hours, and Pinkerton a few times as well).

2. Second, for the life of me I can not define what it is that has changed. The easy answers are: they sold out by going to a new record label (as was suggested by someone I spoke to), Matt Sharp left and he brought a great deal to the fun feel of Weezer that was irreplaceable, Rivers clammed up after Pinkerton and now writes songs methodically like it is a science project, etc. However, the truth is, I don't know that any of those answers (while all being valid and plausible) really explain it. As I listened to Blue and Pink, I noticed tons of little nuances and subtleties that made the albums so enjoyable. I paid attention to everything from rhythms in chord strumming; silliness in the lyrics and their confusion/make sense factor; types of chords used; speeds of the songs; vocal melodies, harmonies, and fun-ities (thank you Matt Sharp); lyrical content/themes, cohesion from song to song in the album as a whole; etc. There are so many things I thought about while listening that I began to feel like I was getting a clearer picture of what is missing from later albums. The problem is: the later albums all incorporate these elements in their own way. As I dissected the songs and albums into little categories and what not, I began to remember and notice moments from the later albums where Rivers and the band WOULD channel these elements into the songs. In fact, every single item on my list of what made Blue and Pink so great can be found in the later works.

Which brings us to today. As I drove to work, I was listening to the and of the Red Album, and I had an epiphone of sorts: I have been asking the wrong questions. I have grown more and more frustrated over the years, because I have been trying to solve Weezer's "problem." I remember when they first got back together (and we Weezer fans knew all about Rivers depression and why he had given up songwriting and all of that stuff), and they released the Green Album, I was so bloody excited to have my Weezer back. It was obvious that the Green Album wasn't as great as Blue or Pink, but it was Weezer and they were back. I didn't care. Plus, I figured that Rivers just needed time to find his place in music again. Give him some time to trust us again and he'll get back to writing songs like he did for Pinkerton. Maladroit felt like he was headed back in that direction a little bit to me. After Green's generic song vibe (and for the record I really like the Green Album, but the songs have a very tame and safe quality to them), Maladroit was like a breath of fresh air. I started to get my hope back that Rivers was getting to that place of honesty in his musical creativity again. Instead, they released Make Believe which started off with Beverly Hills. Man, what a disappointment. I pretended to like the album for a time (and it does have some great songs), but deep down I felt like Weezer had just lost a step in their recovery process. Now, the Red Album similarly combines some excellent moments with other less spectacular ones.

So, what is the point? I keep thinking of Weezer as a band that is recovering froma traumatic experience and that eventually--if I hold out hope long enough and can figure out what they are missing--they will get back to what I had originally loved so much about them. The truth is, that is neither the case nor a fair expectation. Seven years passed between the releases of the Blue and Green Albums. Seven more years have passed between Green and Red. These are musicians that have grown and changed and they are not the same people they were when they released Blue and Pink. Not only have thier experiences changed, but so have their tastes (and to be fair, the same has happened to me as a fan). So, instead of expecting some return to form from Weezer, what I need to do is learn to approach each album as its own creature and let it get out of its forefathers' shadows.

This realization has somewhat shifted my perception of Weezer and thier music. It is allowing me to bring them back down off of the pedestal on which I had placed them and learn to see them as they really are. I may not always like it, but that is ok; I don't have to love everything they do for me to be a fan and appreciate what they bring to the music world.

Monday, September 08, 2008

What Would Make You Go To Cuba?

I was reading an article today (found here) about five Americans who traveled (illegally mind you) down to Cuba for the US vs Cuba World Cup Qualifier that took place down there on Sat. The US government has put a sanction on spending American money in Cuba (this shouldn't be news cause it's been the situation for more than like 50 years or so), and the penalties for doing so are fierce: $250,000.00 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Sheesh.

It got me thinking about what would be worth (to me at least) going down to Cuba for, and I had a hard time coming up with something. As much as I love music, movies, soccer, etc., none of those things seem worth risking 10 years in prison and $250,000.00 in fines. Good heavens. Well, ok, maybe $1,000,000.00. What would you go down there for?

In other news, even if you don't like soccer, you may find the idiocy of this man's statements funny.

Weezer Week!

In my search for the "Lover in the Snow" video, I stumbled across something really cool that MTV did when the Red Album came out (at least I assume it was back then). They filmed little music videos for a few of the songs from the albums. They also did a lot of backstage/interview kind of stuff with the band too. I'll be posting the videos in no particular order (mostly because I can't find videos for all of the songs) but enjoy them nonetheless.
To start off, one of my favorite aspects of the Red Album is the fact that it finally gives a stage for the rest of the band to take a bigger role in the song-writing and performing. We'll begin with two of my favorite songs from the album.
The first is "Thought I Knew" and surely you'll notice that it is Brian singing.

Today's other video is Pat's song called "Automatic"

Lover In The Snow

I really thought that I had already posted this, but when looking back through my old posts I couldn't find it anywhere. So, this may be old news to many and it is possible that I already posted it, but I am not for caring.
I am about halfway through a Weezer shuffle right now, listening to all of their albums, b-sides, special edition bonus tracks, etc., and I am really enjoying it. Sometimes I get a little sad to think of Weezer, because the obsessive fan-boy relationship I had with the release of their first three (and eventually fourth once I got back from my mission) albums has dimmed somewhat with the release of their last two. It is a situation I find myself in--and hating--with a few of my favorite bands. These are the few bands that I placed on a pedestal, because I had a trust that they would never put out something I didn't love. Sadly, the days have come where some have put out albums that have some great songs, but also some crap songs that I just don't like. Anyway, it has been fun to put Weezer's last two albums in a greater context with their work as a whole. It hasn't made me fall in love with some of these songs that I'm just not fond of, but it has helped me to appreciate those songs more. It has also been fun because I have noticed some patterns in their song-writing that I hadn't noticed before; I can see different movements and musical styles/themes that Rivers has gone through in his development as a song-writer. So, I guess what I am saying is, if you find yourself not enjoying certain aspects of some of your favorite artists' works, try a massive shuffle to help you find a new perspective on those works. It may help.
I now invite you to enjoy a video from Rivers' solo album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. The song is "Lover in the Snow" and the video explains Rivers obsession with soccer and his experience playing in a celebrity charity soccer match.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Prize Fighter Inferno

I have noticed a change in the way I approach new music that has begun to take place over the past two or three years. In the past, when a band I loved came out with a new cd, I didn't need any time to be able to profess my love for the new album and be excited to listen to it non-stop for days at a time. This has been changing for me. Now, I can't even begin to count all of the albums that will come out and I won't get into (at least not immediately). Saves The Day's last TWO albums have been that way for me, Coheed's newest, Ben Kweller's new cd, Ben Folds' last two cds, and so on. It even works retroactively at times too. I love Iron and Wine, but when I went out and bought two of their cds (a new and old one) I didn't even get around to listening to them for months.
What happens is that I'll get the new album, get about halfway through it and then just sort of lose interest. half of the time there is another album that I am way into at the moment, so I'll sort of just push the new music aside and get back into whatever I was into. Months later, I'll get in a conversation about that new album that came out and then get excited about it again. It isn't until months later when I am finally ready to take it on and enjoy it. This is very strange to me. I don't really have any sort of explanation, but my guess is that I just feel like there is too much music out there for me to feel like I can take it all in, so I just go with whatever I'm in the mood for most.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that yesterday I finally listened to The Prize Fighter Inferno agian. I had heard it a few times when it first came out, but to be honest, I just wasn't in the mood for it. So I put it on the shelf and moved on. I gotta say that I think it is an excellent album. When I first heard it, it felt like the ugly red-headed step-child of Coheed and Cambria, and I just wasn't that into it (although I probably tried to convince myself I was by saying it was great--so if I told anyone how great it was back then, I'm sorry; I wasn't trying to lie to you, I think I was trying to lie to me). Yesterday I listened and was really pleased. Some of the acoustic guitar work in it is really cool, and I do like the techo-fun that Claudio throws in. I think I was better able to jsut take it as its own thing, and not compare it to Coheed so much. it is still really weird, but I have always kind of been into weird music I guess.

So, after saying that one shouldn't compare it to Coheed, I will go ahead and do so for the fun of it. Here are some observations:
1. Each song on the album feels like it could be the bonus track at the end of Second Stage or In Keeping Secrets. They each have that kind of "off-Coheed-ish" quality to them, where it is similar to what Coheed is doing, but comes from a very different place.
2. This album feels like acoustic Coheed (of course with some electronic attributes). What does that mean though? Think of it in this light: George Lucas makes Star Wars and it is a space opera/sci-fi adventure. Then, George Lucas makes Indiana Jones which is nothing like Star Wars, but let's be honest... there are some similarities in the feel of the two series. I liken Coheed and Prize Fighter to this. Coheed is the sci-fi space opera that Claudio has written, and Prize Fighter is his Indiana Jones (it is more earthy and has a rustic/acoutsic feel to it).
3. I still have not clue what it is about. Coheed's story made no sense to me until a comic book series was released. That helped, but I still don't fully grasp it. I can see that I would definitely need some visual imagery to accompany Prize Fighter for me to clue in to what story Claudio is trying to get across.

Anyway, there is my review of sorts of the album. I really enjoyed it yesterday and will give it another go today. And... I leave you with a music video from the album's single "Who Watches the Watchmen?"

The Bell Jar

I just finished reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and I gotta say, it was a great book. The first half of it reminded me somewhat of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, but by the end of it I didn't really know what else to classify it with. It is the tale of a young girl named Esther, and it is filled with stirring imagery and beautiful language. I would choose it as a Giggle Squad Book Club book if I hadn't just read it for class, but I do want to highly recommend it to any and all fans of reading. Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Goodbye Another Statistic

Another Statistic is a band I came across while living in Provo, saw a couple of times and was greatly impressed by. Yesterday I was listening to them all day and decided to check out their MySpace to see if they'd be coming to Vegas anytime soon. I am sad to report that they broke up a little while ago. I am saddened by this, cause I really liked them. They had a unique flavor to them when I first saw them. Perhaps nowadays it wouldn't be considered as unique, but back then I wasn't aware of too many bands that were getting Indie/Experimental the way they did. Anyway, this is my homage to them and my farewell.

If you get a second, head over to their MySpace and give them a listen, and I hope that you enjoy the video below of one of their older songs (sorry about the sound quality, but this was a local band from Provo/SLC and the selection on Youtube was pretty sparse, you dig?)

UNLV And Cruz Off To A Great Start

Daniel Cruz scored 3 goals in 2 games this past weekend to help give UNLV 2 wins to start off their season. What gets a little confusing is that they also play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), so there is a difference between their "season" and their "conference games." As far as I understand it, only competitions against other MPSF opponenets count toward winning their conference. Any questions? Good.

Here are links:

Cruz, Rebels Shut Out Dolphins 2-0
Rebels Off To Best Start In Six Years
Cruz Named MPSF Player Of The Week

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Frankie And The Knockouts!!!

Oh joy. Thank you Cody for recording this when you did. Thank you TiVo for making it possible for Cody to record this. Thank you me for being able to remember the name of this band and having the common decency to look it up, find it, and put it in an easy to access place where it may be enjoyed by all (assuming that at some point "all" begins to check here on my little blog).
Without further ado, please enjoy Frankie and the Knockouts groundbreaking music video for their hit song "Sweetheart."

A Musician's Growth: The Coheed Backstory

This last week I finally did a Coheed shuffle with their four albums (and some live stuff mixed in there too). It was the first shuffle I've done since their last album came out and it may be the first one that included their third album too. I've done Coheed days where I just listen to all four albums in a row or whatever, but the reason why I bother bringing this up is that it changed the way I feel about their progression as musicians.
Brief backstory: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (Coheed's 2nd album) was the first Coheed album I ever heard (and as a fun side note, it is the only times that I purchased an album without ever having heard a single song from the artist. It was recommended to me by someone I didn't even really know, but who I knew had pretty good taste in music. It turned out beautifully, but I probably won't ever do that again), and I immediately grew obsessed. It not only introduced me to the idea of concept albums (or bands as they have turned out), but it is an amazing amazing album. Next, I went backwards and listened to Second Stage Turbine Blade (theier 1st album). Again, I was absolutely blown away by this band. Some time went by between this point and the release of their third album Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. I: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. I loved this album when it came out, but I would be lying if I said I thought it was as extraordinary as their first two. If the first two both receive perfect 10s, then this one gets 9-9.5. Then, last year their 4th album--Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. II: No World for Tomorrow--came out and I'll be honest, I didn't really like it at first. I'll go into why in the next post, but I found myself with mixed feelings about a band that I had not only been in love with but was also heavily influenced by. It was very discouraging to say the least.
For the sake of space (and hopefully breaking up the monotony) I will just end here by saying that this recent shuffly lasted a few days and was excellent. It allowed me to put all of the albums into perspective in a way that I hadn't been able to just by listening to them all in a row.
More on this to come.