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