A view on life from a trailer in the middle of the tundra of Indiana.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A new start for a new year

Well, as some of you know, I have moved to south Florida... Yes, I know, and no I am not retiring, but I will be starting to post again on music, movies, and things of interest. Although, there are a lot of things going on right now, I believe that this year and the year to come will be full of art and, well, life!

So, stay tuned...


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Great female rock eh????

Magneta Lane, the best thing to come out of Canada…well…since Esthro really or maybe something from Ninja Tunes

I had my first "HOLY SHIT" moment with XM radio the other day and decided to not let this one slip by until this band became huge and I believe that they will become, at the minimum, well known. The luscious sound of the lead singer draws you in and the simple and moving guitar riffs cut straight through your soul, while the driving rhythms protrude the rift of your mind as the coup de grace. Needless to say, this band moves you into a world of hopeless poetry and art. After hearing just the last few minutes of "22" one day on the long and boring drive home, I was absolutely beside myself. The only thing that I could think about when I arrived at the hotel was buying that CD. It turned into an obsession almost instantly! I can not remember the last time that I was that elated at the thought of receiving a thing made of plastic. However, that elation was turned to awe when I received and listened to the masterpiece that I had received. The craftsmanship of this thing (not the CD itself by the way) was worth noting, waiting for, and proclaiming from the highest mountain. Well, after all things are said and done, Magneta Lane has become my favorite female band. My only complaint about the album is that it on has 10 tracks and they are not that long. If I had paid full price for it, which I didn't, it would have been a little disappointed. However, they have time to redeem themselves before their next album.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Movie Review: Pirates

Murder, romantic conflict, and general sea fairing-blowing up goodness are all that I have to say about arguably the best movie to ever come out of Disney Studios. However, it is far less argued that the second installment of Pirate of the Caribbean shattered almost all the box office records for the first three days of any release…ever. Among those records put to shame by this, soon to be, illustrious film, are the records for single day and opening weekend earnings. The closest payday for any studio this weekend was Superman Returns, which raked in $21.9 million. Pirates 2 beat out Star Wars Episode III, which had a single day earning of $50 million during it’s opening day, by $5.5 million and absolutely obliterated the opening weekend record, set by Spiderman in 2002 with $114.8 million, by $17.2 million. Now, with all of that in mind, I would venture to say that after seeing the film I think that there are some other records that this film has its ferocious eye on. Furthermore, I am not sure that I have seen a sequel to a film that was this good since the Indiana Jones trilogy or maybe the first set of Star Wars films. There was nothing missing from this film. The characters became far deeper and developed into relatable characters that we all could empathize with. This film also didn’t cheapen the first by selling the trilogy…oops, now the cat is out of the bag…short. I left with the feeling that Disney was behind this story and they were willing to put their money where their heart was with this epic. And I think that the audience is right there with them. Jack Sparrow, what can you say? That is Johnny Depp’s character and it could not have been done any better. There is a flare to the way that Depp plays any character, from 21 Jump Street to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Prior to the first Pirates movie, one could say that Mr. Depp would probably go down in film history as one of, if not the best, cult actor of all time (not with holding Tim Curry); however, now it is almost undeniable that he will go down as one of the most fun loving and endearing players of our day. Now the only complaint that I have is that Orlando Bloom is an awful actor. He is at best in the realm of Keanu Reeves, with his inability to really get into a character. Orlando Bloom is Orlando Bloom, he is never Will Turner; meaning, Orlando plays all of his characters the same fucking way and it is a tragedy that he gets work. On the converse, Keira Knightley is, oh my God gorgeous and still is able to play a character as a separate entity from her normal person (i.e. an actor!!). Over all, sparring you all the details that make seeing a movie fun, this movie was absolutely incredible and I would suggest that anyone, who likes to have fun, should see it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Life in a Theocracy

Okay, so in effort to not shy away from controversy (I’m not sure that I could normally be perceived that way anyhow, but what the hell, lets do it anyway), I wish to comment a little on an article I read today in the USA Today. It was front-page news after all. Anyways, getting on with it... The article was about the demands of Muslim women to get walls put up in gyms and private non-male swimming times at public pool…. THEY ARE FUCKING PUBLIC POOLS YOU IGNORANT BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, that was just a little taste of what I felt when reading this article. Now amongst the requests made by Muslim women were that a Bridgeview, Illinois school play all away female basketball games to an audience of only female onlookers… Do I really need to get worked up again to prove that point? Now the argument for the case of these radical Muslims is that it falls under the First Amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (Just in case you did remember it from US Government class in high school because I sure as hell didn’t remember it word from word.) A quote from Salam Al-Marayati, the executive director of Muslim Public Affairs Council, read as follows: “Whether a woman wants to cover her hair or not is her personal choice, as long as it’s not imposed on the rest of society then I don’t see any problem.” Well, I have to admit he has a point. Yes, I will fight to my last breath for a Muslim woman to cover head, her face, and even lock herself in a fucking metal chest, but I will damn my own soul before I watch this blatant attack on the establishment of community, which defines the US as the mixing pot of all cultures, turn into something more than absolutely preposterous demands made by religious fanatic! It seems to me that the very Amendment sited by this Salam Al-Marayati works against the Muslim cause. If one’s rights are inalienable as long as the exercising of said rights do not infringe on another’s rights, then why is there a debate over what public services and activities will be able to do? Why is there consideration of these kinds of things? It seems to me that if public schools, pool, and other public services are segregated by sex then I am unable to assemble in the way that my faith permits! Catholics, Jews, and Protestants alike have schools, which are there own…Cool! These religious groups ask nothing of public schools pools, etc. that they will not provide for themselves if so convicted. But, it seems that a few Muslim fundamentalists (and unfortunately barring those who seem to integrate with our laws and society just fine) know no bounds. Will the US (both the country and the people) stand up against this tyranny or will be just accommodate so that we may not offend others. Because, if this were to be tolerated it would no longer be about standing up for the Bill of Rights, but rather, we would be treading heavily on the foundation of our beautiful country.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Music Review: Night Life 3 - Andy C

So, I bought a couple of CDs the other day. One of which, was Andy C’s newest, Night Life 3. Well, where to begin with this one?! I personally love the tracks that he plays, for one. In a day and age where the “in” thing is to play very dark and technical drum and bass, Andy C sticks to the fun stuff. Despite the lack of the more intelligent substance that the technical movement has brought; one thing that it has over powered is the fun element of drum and bass. I, for one, like to have fun when I am listening to DnB sometimes. After a while of listening to the near break core sounds of the more celebrated DnB producers of today I need a freaking break. Andy C is that answer. His newest installment is good; however, what would everyone think if I only sang the praises of this CD?! So here goes, I have serious problems with his compilation abilities. He jumps around entirely too much! It is hard to find continuity in Night Life 3. Furthermore, some of the mixes are a little abrupt. He slams a few of them together, leaving the listener stuck in limbo between one vocal track and another fucking vocal track…. Which brings me to my next criticism. Andy C, this is not a fucking house CD!! I don’t want the tracks to be drowning in a relentless sea of vocals. I don’t like overpowering MCs and I don’t like to listen to a DnB set of 80% vocal/mash up tracks. So, if you are a House Head looking to dip your toes in the DnB cesspool, may I suggest this CD? And for all of you Heads out there…. Pirate it because you will probably only listen to it a few times before you too have to take a break…. from all of the vocal tacks and seizure like composition.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Film Review: Havoc

So, I saw a movie the other night that totally surprised me! "Havoc" is an intelligent gritty movie about some stupid (actually pretty intelligent, but not to smart…get it?) white kids from wealthy up bringing that find themselves in a huge mess with people are not screwing around with the concept of "thug life". It starts out with a nerdy white kid filming a documentary about some wigger kids. After the opening scene, which is pretty good, you are left with the feel of the whole film; kids trying to find a sense of individuality and truly binding community in a day and age where the only thing that is "real" is that of inner city hardships and the idea of "ghetto fabulous"… And well, that is all that I am going to tell you about the film because, in my opinion, it is well worth seeing. This film gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. I am not sure why this film didn't get more of a uproar since it is full of very, very graphic imagery, but I feel that it has a lot to say about white youths today. What do we identify with? Most generations have something to identify with. The "minority" cultures of America have a lot to bind them together (whether good or bad). From Vietnam and the Cold War to the Crusades, most generations of Caucasian youths have had some struggle to identify, bind, and occupy the minds and heart of the culture, but we as the "X" generation and beyond have nothing. It is obvious that no one is really making any positive political change or positive social change. There are no fights for change in the world really, nothing that binds us together for a common purpose at least. And with this lack of a positive drive, we, as the youth of America, find ourselves in a delusional state of personal unrest, identifying ourselves with anything that has the symbolism of a "real" life. Without some purpose human become lost in this world. Playing Xbox and reading about celebrities can only fulfill you for so long before you start to fell empty…and you are! Long story short, this film presents some great questions that we, as America's youth, should look at a really begin to question.

My thoughts on Pirates

Well, as my first blog (non myspace anyway) I would like to present my view on being a pirate…YEAH PIRATES!!! Yes, I mean pirates, not like the ones on the open seas who apparently now shoot dud missiles at cruise liners, but rather, the ones who "steal" music and movies. I say steal very lightly because as much as the record and movie companies want you to believe that you are changing the face of mass media, you aren't. Their pockets are still flowing over with cash and you are still a "little person" to these guys. In reality there are very few big record or movies companies that give a shit about the arts. I mean really, if these companies really cared about art, there would be no Brittany Spears, Back Street Boys, Phantom of the Opera Movie, Species….God! I could go on forever, but the point is this; amongst all the trash that these companies put out to make a quick buck by exploiting mediocre ideas (and there is nothing wrong with that in a capitalistic society), there are long term investments to be made in unbelievable music and movies that you have to search long and hard to find.

A few years ago Death Cab for Cutie (obviously before they were playing on The O.C.) was playing little, dungy bars crossing the country in a van. No one knew how amazing they were; the mass public didn't have the opportunity to. You would be hard pressed to find a really great band that just made it big. They all had to fight to become "good enough" to get signed to a "big" label that would spend the kind of money that it takes to give everyone in the world the chance to hear… That is the problem.

When you pay $15.99 for a CD and it sells a million copies (which, despite piracy CDs still sells that many copies) you are talking about the record company making 15.99 million dollars! You cannot tell me that they are making a ton of money. How much of that goes to the artist? How much of that is spent on manufacturing, distributing, and promoting? Nowhere close to $15.99 million, I'll tell you that. I know there is profit margins and stuff, but holy crap when will it stop? Wonder why box office sales are plummeting through the floor! Maybe it's because movie tickets are $10 or more at most places and ththere is no way to convince me that popcorn cost $5 to make!!!!!!!!! Really! What the hell is wrong with this picture?! I understand that one cannot expect to pay basement prices for a Picasso, but I am not seeing and hear too many noteworthy and/or groundbreaking bands out there. Amongst all the Jay-Z's, 50 cent's, and Brittany's we, as the American people, are losing sight of the bands that compile noise in a palatable way!! Really, when it comes down to it, Brittany isn't a musical genius, nor is her voice any better than any other singer that has graced our planet with their presence….

Sorry, I lost the point of this in that rant. What is comes down to for those of us who don't make six figures a year is this: be a Robin Hood Media Pirate!!! Seriously, you are stealing from the rich and putting back into the pockets of the poor; however, when you hear a band or see a movie that is "indie" and you like it, buy it. When you start buying the media that you want to buy, then the power is back in your hands to truly promote the industry to look for talent, innovation, and possibly even brilliance instead of a tight ass and/or some tits. A pretty face is nice, but we should not lower our standards in order to see porn and I, for one, am tired of being sold shit with a nice cover. If you were wondering what prompted me to write this, here is a rolling stone article that helped shape my opinion…