29 August 2008

This Could Be Your Last Time



Act now and be one of the first (err....not the first, maybe the 200,000th) to stream the new Underoath album, Lost In The Sound Of Separation. It's actually pretty great and holds a lot of depth. The drums are full and fast and the guitars are so thick and heavy.

STREAM THE ALBUM AT THEIR MYSPACE

She's Got It. Yeah, Baby, She's Got It



He's done it! Sen. John McCain has chosen his running mate. And to everyone's (read also: no one's) shock and awe, it was a woman. Gov. Sarah Palin (AK - pictured above with McCain), to be exact. I find it hilarious that many political pundits are referring to Palin as "a maverick" and "McCain's ace in the hole." I guess the term "maverick" doesn't really resonate with me for a young Governor of Alaska and "ace in the hole" is just funny because it sounds childishly funny when you hear loud voices on CNN quoting it.

I think she's good for the McCain campaign, though. A young, vibrant, former athlete, woman certainly can't hurt McCain's old-as-moses image. And her stance on oil/energy and the environment is pretty great. Tax the crap out of big oil companies and open more unused US territory to oil drilling. And she can't hurt with the soccer mom vote either.

According to her Wikipedia Bio, she holds a degree in Journalism (don't all the greats?) and worked simultaneously as a news anchor and a fisherwoman with her husband.

We'll see if this really bumps the McCain campaign and if this, more youthful, feminine image, will be a step in the right direction. I'm sure we're still to hear more from the Obama campaign. I think their stance is: young and pretty, don't do no good for Old Glory.

That may be true unless by "Old Glory" you're referring to John McCain. For him I think she'll do a lot of good.

27 August 2008

I've Been Lost Inside My head




Instant Replay has arrived (again) in the MLB. And while, I'm far from a baseball purist, it's a little unsettling to have this come in in the last month of this season. It's been talked about for seasons, but to bring it in this late in the game seems a little unfair to the past games played this season.

Yes. This is an urgent issue, as it will greatly help the umpires and more fairly represent what actually happens. Any fan interference? Was that a home run? Now we'll know, but I wish it could have been implemented at the start of this season or waited till next.

That's all I have

25 August 2008

Recently the Two of Us Jumped Off That Train



I was mildly shocked to find out that Obama tapped Joe Biden as his running mate. Of course, it makes sense to bring someone with loads of foreign policy and international relations experience to a campaign that many feared lacked just that. I guess it doesn't make sense to me, though. See, I thought the entire purpose (some may call it a slogan) of the Obama campaign was "Change." Obama himself would be a huge change in Washington. A young, vibrant, black man in the oval office. That's a huge change from every other President in history being an old(ish) white dude. Now, with one hope to have a White House without an old white dude running the show, Obama now has an old white dude at his side.

Change? I call that a cop out and very much the opposite of change. I think it's another way to keep things the same. Obama, a man very much against lobbyists, is now bringing a man who's pulled in over $5 million in lobbyists dollars to his congressional tenure.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Obama's stances on major issues or his vision for this country. I just see that tight financial leash remaining securely around 1600 Penn.

I am such a skeptic.

We Are Not Two, We Are One



Speaking of "Best-of-their-career" albums, shall I introduce you to the newest Norma Jean record? I shall. It's titled, The Anti-Mother and in my opinion, it's the best they've done yet.

Some have argued that their previous record, Redeemer, was the best of their almost decade-long career. I have to disagree wholeheartedly. The Anti-Mother is not only a more intimate, personal and vivid record, it's a sign of five young men making extremely bold musical decisions that paid off big time. Throw in some song writing and vocal/musical help from Chino Morino (Deftones) and Page Hamilton (Helmet) you're bound to have something sweet come to the surface.

And it was most definitely something sweet. Raw guitars, temperamental chord progressions, passionate (and haunting) vocals and a dark vulnerability combine to create what many aim for but few achieve: a career-defining record that is great from start to finish

We Got Some Wine and Some Paper Cups



This is a little belated, I know. But, I'm completely hooked on the latest Death Cab For Cutie record Narrow Stairs. It may take some growing, but it's become a recent favorite and possibly their most cohesive album to date.

After Transatlanticism - possibly one of my favorite records from earlier this decade - I was certain that they may have reached their pinnacle. And I was nearly validated in that thought when Plans was released. Plans, although a great record in its own right, was not the complete package that Transatlanticism was. So it made sense that it was only downhill from there.

To my pleasure and surprise, Narrow Stairs stands out as their best and probably boldest album of their long career. I highly recommend this record. If not the record go buy the song "Grapevine Fires." I promise you'll be sold after hearing it.

19 August 2008

And The Only Prescription Is......



More Lip Synching? CGI Fireworks? Underage gymnasts? Flawed judging? No, silly. It's More Cowbell. At least that's according to the old and wonderful Walken addage.

For me, though, it's more Olympics - the true highlight for me every four summers. And aside from it being the pinnacle of sports performances and athletic achievement, the drama and scandal are all-the-more intriguing. But now that we're a good ways into the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, let me count the ways that I've enjoyed it thus far.

Men's basketball: The US Men's team is not overrated and extremely enjoyable to watch. LeBron and Kobe and Wade and....well I won't list them all since they're all amazing, but sure have been puttin' a whoppin' on those foreign boys.

Swimming: Dara Torres, the 41-year-old wonder woman of the sport was stunning to watch and inspiring to learn her story (isn't it great to have all the back stories of the athletes?). And, well, duh, Michael Phelps. King of the pool (or the water cube, as they're calling it. I still think that's silly). He's unreal. Simply put, he's the best and can quantify that with not only gold medals (all eight of them), but nearly as many new world records.

Tennis: All I know is there were some shocking upsets. No, really...that's all I know.

Gymnastics: I won't pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to gymnastics, but I do know that there is scandal here and I know that the US Women are amazing (and older than 14....Ohhhhhhhh burn). But seriously, while, personally, I feel like the US women deserved more gold than silver, I know that they are great youngsters and deserve the support they've received.

Women's Beach Volleyball: You want my opinion? The women, although amazingly talented, are kind of butchy and not very inspiring other than their true skill on the sand. Let's just let the May-Walsh record speak for itself.

Track and Field: The Jamaicans are fast. Really fast. Wow.

Table Tennis: My only questions is, Why doesn't ESPN cover this year-round? It's amazing.

Well, that's all I have. Actually, that's not true, but I'll will let this go to bed now. I have a lot more music stuff coming up, so I'll go dream about what to blab about on that.

It's Been A While



Yes. The title of this blog is extremely true, in that I haven't posted in quite some time, but more importantly it's lyrics to an awesomely underrated Stained song. Except that Stained is awful and I clearly didn't mean that.

Ok, now that I have you all warmed back up we can jump into one of the many interesting things going on right now. The Olympics? We'll get to that in another post, as I'm assuming I'll need to write a lot. But for now I'd like to chime in on the Presidential forum held at Rick Warren's (The Purpose Driven Life) Saddleback Church in California.

This is clearly a forum taking a Christian-based approach, but it is nice to see the candidates follow a one-on-one format with Warren as opposed to the long-winded and often times boring debates. And it was particularly refreshing to hear both men finally be outspoken about Christ's salvation in their personal lives (no more dancing around that topic).

You can check out the entire forum by following the above link, but some of the high points were Obama not backing down on questions of gay marriage, stem cell research and war in front of the church's congregation. He made a the point that a lot of what Christians want a President to do/change actually lies on the state (not federal) level and that while he hates and opposes abortion, he is still firmly pro-choice (the crowd's applause seemed oddly absent at this point, ha).

Reference back a lot of months on this blog and you'll find my stance on being Pro life. Or just email me.

Another high point was McCain's firm answers on almost everything. They were brief and un-wavering. A not-so-high-point, however, was after every firm, confident answer, McCain had to tell a story about being a POW or how he was tortured during his time in a Vietnamese prison. John, we know. It was bad. We know. I guess he's going for that Nelson Mandela factor.

Anyhow, I encourage you all to check it out and form your own opinions. You want to know my opinion? I though it hilarious when McCain said in reference to Osama Bin Laden, "I will follow him to the gates of Hell and bring him to justice." (return, the congregations massive applause).

05 August 2008

Where the Ghosts Sleep



I'll admit it. I'm a skeptic. Wait, maybe everyone knew that. And I'll be honest to say that I was skeptical of Be Kind Rewind simply because, well, it looked a little silly. To my pleasant surprise, I loved the movie.

Directed by the always great (and really artsy) Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine, The Science of Sleep), this film stars Jack Black, the genius Mos Def and Danny Glover.

Simply put, Jack Black is hilarious, Mos Def is a brilliant actor and Danny Glover is, well, awesome. And the concept of the film - while outlandish - is very interesting and often times inspiring.

Rent it, netflix it, whatever. But it's worth a watch.

04 August 2008

Everything's gonna get better



I understand that Mates of State is one of those hit-or-miss bands for most people. However, I've always been a fan. They're quirky, poppy and have great chemistry as a band (not sure about their chemistry in a marriage, though).

Anyhow, I was a tad bit late to purchase their newest release Re-Arrange Us but I'm glad that I finally got around to it, because I really love this record. And, while they always have a similar sound and style from record to record, this is a great departure from their sometimes hard to hear circus organ sound. It's mostly focused on pure piano sounds with some low synths to carry the low end and some tasty horns (that's right...tasty horns).

It's a great, cohesive record and it's worth a listen at least.

So What Do You Say?



Last week I had a chance to see Step Brothers, starring the dynamic and hilarious Will Ferrell and John C Reilly. I knew going into the movie that there was an expected level of dumb/insane to take place and the movie did not lack any of that. However, I found myself laughing every few minutes during the movie. The less than stellar script and dialogue was still perfectly funny because of Ferrell and Reilly's delivery and on-screen chemistry.

I'm not saying you need to rush out and see this thing first chance you get, but I can promise that if you're looking for a little crude and immature humor (a la Superbad), you will find it there.

02 August 2008

A New Project

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