Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Am Allergic To Stupidity

So I am taking this quiz thing that is supposedly going to tell me what modern day president I am (why? Because I hate myself) and what is the first answer I get? George W. Fucking Bush. Now anyone who knows me knows my opinion of that war-loving hate monger, and in no way in hell am I going to settle for being compared to him. So I take the test again, and who do I get? Richard fucking Nixon, another god damn Republican. So I says “fuck that” and try a third time, hoping for a Democrat. No, as luck would have it, God hates me. I get Ronald fucking Reagan this time. By this point I gave up, having assumed that the quiz was created by Sean Hannity and that alcoholic chain smoking bitch Ann Coulter. Now I am going to go and take Hannity’s remarkably fair and unbiased (read: bullshit) poll on WMD’s in Iraq, as if to imply that we actually fucking found some!  Why? Once, again, because I hate myself and feel the urge to pollute my mind with stupidity and nonsense.

Livin’ on the edge!


Shit Yeah Bitches!
You're 85% Irish

Congratulations, you're a shining example of an Irish lass (or lad).
There's hardly anyone more Irish than you!

Koopa Troopa

I often imagine myself as a video game character. Sometimes I am Promiscuous, the enchanted and noble sex knight of the horny round table, and sometimes I am B Dawg G, the hip and cool gansta’ who busts caps and throws up gang signs while jackin’ rides from the peeps on the street, youknowwhatI’msayin’G? But no matter who I am or what my purpose is or how many points I need to save the princess from the perverted sex addict Lizard King of Candyland, there is always one constant and unavoidable truth in my delusions of digital grandeur. The truth is that I am only playable on the Sega Genesis, and as we all know, the Sega Genesis is the red headed step child of video game systems. And that hurts me inside, to know that no matter how many princesses I rescue or how many NeW8i3$ I 0wnz0r w1TH MY le3+ KilLIng SK1lL5, I will never be relevant to the upper crust of the gamer community. The princess will always run off to Master Chief and his 360 degrees of love, and that Mario and Luigi will always be cooler than me. I am not even cool enough to kick it with Mario. That hurts me, hurts me deep.

This is the point where we stand up

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Intellectual Speeding Ticket

I am constantly fascinated with how this world chooses to fight its intellectual battles. This is not to say that all battles are either intellectual or involve any intellect at all, but for the sake of the argument, we’ll just say that most arguments pertaining to the state of the world at this present moment involve some intellect, seeing as how there are two sides to every argument. That being said, print media has generally been a large portion of any debater’s arsenal of arguments. Ranging from governmental elections to wars, weather catastrophes, obituaries, sports news, local commentary, the funnies and the JC Penny Sunday Sale, newspapers and magazines have played a large role in the communication of ideas.

Until now.

Now don’t misunderstand my previous comments as to mean that newspapers, along with other forms of print media, are no longer used in the information world. They are. They are just not as important of a weapon as they were in the past 200 years. This strikes me as odd because print material has always, in some form, been around. From cave drawings to the New York Times, information has been available, and still is, in print form. And it has only taken the last 5 to 6 years to change all of that. Blogs are now what the newspaper used to be, which is the way that most of the world obtains its information on current events.

Now that the format is changing, how will we spread the message to those who are unplugged from the virtual world of the Web? Imagine for a second that it is 1969 (and for example, lets just say it’s a Monday) and you are at a protest. You have your tie-dye shirt on, your hair is long and you haven’t taken a shower in, well, a while. Now lets say a fellow protester offers you a slip of paper containing either positive or negative propaganda about the cause you are currently like totally raging against man, or did I just blow your mind?

Anyway, my question is if you were to fast-forward 40 years into the future, and you are now at a similar protest (and likely for a similar cause as this world, or at least this nation tends to learn things very slowly) how would you get that information? Well, you wouldn’t. That fellow protester would push his paper and ink opinion on you and you would undoubtedly crumple it up and throw it away, or drop it on the ground, or use it to roll a joint. This is because it is on paper, and as we all know, paper is boring. You don’t have time to read a piece of paper, but if the exact same information were to be forwarded to your Blackberry, you would then immediately turn your brain into a sponge of which its only purpose is to obtain said information from your 3-inch* electronic deity.

Let’s face it, we are rarely at home. With how fast the world moves, we spend most of our lives outside the house. As a consequence, we tend to assume that any form of information we may have an interest in will eventually be available on our PC when we get home later that night. What worries me is that we may get the information too late. Unless we are all issued a Blackberry paid for by the government (and this is unlikely) or some other electronic device used to gather information off of the internet, we will just have to wait. We can’t always be at our computers, but we don’t have enough time to read the paper. My question is, now that the way we send information has changed (email, blogs, websites) when will we advance the way that we receive the information?

If we are currently engaging in a heated debate about the environment, taxes, fashion, or that new hottie working in the mailroom, we can not afford to wait until we get home to find out that there was more information available. Blogs allow for by-the-minute updates of any subject matter you could fathom, but it is useless if we can’t get the information as fast as we can send it. If there is some new technology out there that assists in this effort then by all means please tell me, as I am more than willing to learn. But until then, I’m just gonna’ keep hoping the government passes a Blackberry my way (what colors do they come in?).

Once upon a time, I could control myself

*It should be noted that the author of this post has NO IDEA what the size of a Blackberry is.

Fun-Lovin' Criminal

There is a disease in America. It is sucking out the life from the very fabric of our society, and it has no mercy, no compassion, and no forgiveness. If exposed, you too will become what we still in the rational state of mind have come to refer to as “the infected”. Once “infected” there is no turning back. Your family will not forgive you, your friends will ignore, and the very image that stares back at you in the mirror will now only stare blankly with cold, black, dead eyes. This disease can attack anyone, at anytime, anywhere. What is this horrible ameba of foul stench and decay you ask? It has but one name, consisting of two words;

Emo Fashion.

Have you found yourself questioning your gender? Felt the urge to sport a black and blond comb-over at the age of 23? Are your pants a little too tight? Do you have a man-purse? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may already be among “the infected”. Is there hope for you? Can you be saved? The good news is yes, but the process of cleansing the body and mind of this wretched and cruel plague is so unbearable that I dare not speak its means of application. The bad news is that even if you are purged of this disease, you will forever suffer the ridicule and humiliation of your friends and family. As I warned of earlier, there is no turning back.

You can be saved, temporarily, if you act fast. You must immediately change your ways of fashion. It sounds tough, and I am not going to lie to you, the purging of this demon can be a nasty bitch, but there are some who can help you. Do not look to the emo community for help, for that is only a breeding ground for Emo Fashion. You must first go to a heavy metal show and get your ass kicked. Trust me on this; it is a very important step in the cleansing process. After that, you must pledge an oath to NEVER enter a Hot Topic again. If you can successfully complete these first two steps, the fight against this unholy-ness will be won by nature itself.

And remember, the help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week ($3.99 first minute, $2.99 each additional minute, extra charges apply for crying, bitching, or whining to the operator) for your support. Emo Fashion is not something to be taken lightly. It is destroying this nation’s youth, and it must be stopped. And it can be stopped, but we all must do our part. Have you done yours?

For support, call 1-800-FUCK-EMO

Walk the bridges before you burn them down

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Take Me To Your Leader

I often imagine what it would be like to interview a famous, and undoubtedly fucked up celebrity. Like Michael Jackson, for instance. I imagine this is how the interview would go:

Me: So Mr. Jackson, where will you be relocating to now that Neverland Ranch is closed?

MJ: I like gumdrops. Children are the joy of earth, like lollipops and unicorns.

Me: …Ok, so, now that this got weird, what is your reasoning for closing your ranch? Is it because of lack of money, or simply because now that the ranch is 15 years old, you’re just not attracted to it anymore?

MJ: Clouds are pasty and wonderful, like grape flavored bacon in the rain.

Me: …So, any plans for a new album? Maybe a new tour?

MJ: I want to save all the monkeys of the world, for Bubbles. He talks to me, and sometimes I listen, and other times I talk back to him. We talk about wishes and ponies and ice cream.

Me: Do you know that you are insane?

MJ: I like Bubbles.

Me: Fuck this, I quit. Why couldn’t I have been assigned to Portland or Chicago? Fuck this and fuck my editor, I hate this job.

MJ: How old are you? I’m just askin’.

This is when I would walk out the door and go back to my home and discover that I really don’t want to interview someone famous, because deep down their just fucked up and emotionally tormented wacko’s with too much god damn money.

You were my best friend, and I never ever thought those days would end, but now it seems like they are gone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Wanna Be Sedated

So last night I went to see this band play, and I have to admit they sounded pretty good. The venue kind of sucked, but still their songs were good and the crowd seemed to be supportive of them. Also, check out these guys when you get a chance, their on the Warped Tour right now, so if it cruises by your area, show em’ some love. I have broke about 4 fevers today so I am going to stop typing and start dying.

If I could take your pain away, I would scream for you

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Crickets Are Taking Over

I am not sure how much more of this I can take. They come after me at night, in my dreams. In daylight, when all other forms of the insect species have dispersed into caverns of darkness and dank, they forge their attack on my simple way of life. They can not be stopped. They taunt me, hunt me, assault my very way of life. When the world has ended, and all the politicians have pushed their fateful buttons of worldly destruction, it is not the cockroaches and Toyota’s that will be left standing; it is the crickets.

Truly…stressing…realization. I wish I was an astronaut.

Concert Review - Pearl Jam

Artist – Pearl Jam
Venue – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco CA, 7-16-06

The auditorium went black, the floor suddenly swelled, and the crowd went nuts. Expecting to see Sonic Youth take the stage, we were given a small surprise. Eddie Vedder casually walked on stage, sat down with an acoustic guitar, and played the one song I hoped to hear but never actually expected to; “Drifting”. As the song ended, he politely introduced Sonic Youth, and walked off stage. Now, granted he did forget the words to a line in that song, but as Vedder would explain later in the show, there was a good reason for it, and he handled it with humor so it’s not like it ruined the show.

Sonic Youth played a good, but short set. This allowed Pearl Jam to play a much longer set as well as do two encores, which is exactly what they did. Musically and sonically, Pearl Jam are at the top of their game. They have perfected their show to the point where I listen to their live bootlegs more often than I do their studio albums, and I love their studio albums. PJ managed to split the set list up pretty evenly, playing 5-6 new tracks, a handful of classics and a few lesser known but equally great tracks. They also managed to do a cover of Neil Young’s “Fuckin’ Up”, which Vedder eloquently dedicated to Bush and Cheney (Is he still shooting people in the face?).

PJ also managed to play a cover of The Avengers tune “American Me” complete with Penelope Houston on vocals, which was pretty cool. Of the lesser known tracks, a few of them I don’t believe have been played very much live, such as “Blood” and “Leash” which hasn’t been played until this year since 1994. It’s nice that the band is bringing these old tunes out of the closet, and I think all of this adds to the Pearl Jam experience that sets them apart from other live acts. Hell, even the opening song “Big Wave” has only been played live 6 times.

PJ ended the show as they normally do, with the lights on and the crowd singing only the words they are sure they know to “Yellow Ledbetter”. Every time this song is played, the lyrics are never exactly the same, so the crowd just has to go with it by ear, but it’s still one of their best tunes and is a great way to end the show. There are always songs you wish the band had played, so I am not going to let that affect my opinion of the show. It was a great show, the best I have seen in a long time, and if you get the chance to see them I suggest that you take it. Bands are rarely this good live.

9 out of 10

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Madcap's Last Laugh

Let me take you on a journey. Much as Syd Barrett took us on a journey down the rabbit hole, through the screaming fields of psychedelic experimentation, and ultimately to the Gates of Dawn, this journey is about self alienation. We, as humble passengers among the Madcap’s laughing roller coaster of thoughts and sounds, must alienate ourselves from the perspectives and opinions of the outside world if we are to plunge into the depths of Barrett’s own alienation in order to understand, if only for a moment, what it is like to live inside the mind of a genius. Syd Barrett was more than the founding member of an amazing and abstract rock group; he was the Master of Ceremonies for the sounds and images too strong and emotionally intense to be of this world. He took us to the edge, but much like the rabbit hole, he never came back. He was the Piper, the Painter, and ultimately the Prisoner.

Syd Barrett (born Roger Keith Barrett) was born on January 6th, 1946 in Cambridge, England. He spent his early years growing up in a well-to-do family. Both his parents encouraged his desire for music, and he began playing guitar at an early age. When Syd was 15 he acquired the name “Syd”, taken after the local Cambridge drummer Sid Barrett. He changed the spelling to differentiate himself. It was also around this time period that Syd began experimenting with what would ultimately contribute, if not directly cause his descent into madness. He began experimenting with drugs, particularly hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD.

Although drug use has always been mentioned in comparison with Barrett, many (including his friend and Pink Floyd replacement David Gilmour) believe it was something deep-rooted that caused his breakdown, and that the drugs were only a catalyst. It is speculated that the sudden death of his father (he died when Syd was 11) may have planted the seed for which the drugs helped to sprout. In many ways the same as Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters was deeply affected by the death of his father in World War 2, the death of Syd’s father was something that he ultimately could never recover from.

While his father’s death languished over Syd, he generally wrote songs of happiness and joy during his early days with Pink Floyd. Such tracks as “See Emily Play” and “Arnold Layne” are examples of the upbeat, almost pop sound of his early work. It was not until after the band recorded Piper at the Gates of Dawn that his songs began to drift away from that format and towards the psychedelic sound. With the success of Piper… the band began to draw a large fan base, which in turn lead Syd to more frequent experimentation with drugs. If there was ever a beginning of the end, this was it. The more crowds that gathered, the more Syd experimented.

Syd’s behavior began to become erratic. On stage Syd would sometimes just stand there, detuning his guitar, and stare out into the crowd. It was after their disastrous US tour in 1967 that the band had asked Syd’s friend David Gilmour to tour as a backup guitarist to cover for Syd’s inability to play. The next year, while on the way to a show at Southampton University, the band simply decided not to pick up Syd. They had grown tired of his antics and erratic behavior. Originally the band intended to keep him on as an album contributor, much like the Beach Boys had with Brian Wilson, but even that proved impossible. Syd had simply strayed too far, and now there was no turning back.

After Syd’s departure from Pink Floyd, he recorded two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, the second being produced by his Pink Floyd replacement David Gilmour. Gilmour also played on the album, as well as on Syd’s performance on the John Peel BBC program on February 24, 1970. Coincidentally, Gilmour also played with Syd at his one and only live concert during the time of these two albums, which was on June 6, 1970. After the forth song, Barrett unexpectedly but politely placed his guitar on the ground and walked off stage.

Syd continued to make attempts at other music projects, but none really went anywhere. Although numerous attempts were made to get him to record or produce again, nothing came of it. There is more myth and legend than there is of music left from Syd Barrett. It is said that he played his guitar with a cigarette lighter through an echo chamber; this is true. It is widely speculated that Syd made an appearance at the recording of the album Wish You Were Here, an album written mostly about Syd; this is also true. It is also said that the melting face in the film The Wall was inspired from a concert where Syd crushed Mandrax and a tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which melted down onto his face; Roger waters states this not true, but that doesn’t kill the rumor.

In his wake, Barrett has left his inspirational print on many musicians. Groups ranging from At the Drive-In to R.E.M. have all covered his work. There has been talk of a Syd Barrett biopic, of which Johnny Depp is said to have been seriously interested in for some time, and I believe he could pull it off. But from all the tributes and inspiration we are left with one sad but simple fact; there will never be another Syd Barrett. Syd was the Piper, the original story teller of cosmic debris that seems so strange to anyone who has never experienced it, but perfectly normal to those like Syd. I do not believe that Syd drifted into his own obscurity and recluse. I believe that the world pushed him there.

And now he is gone. I can only assume that Syd is up there somewhere, painting the sky with his own brush. The clouds may indeed seem a bit more odd and abstract, but fear not. That is just Syd painting his Interstellar Overdrive for us. He truly was a Diamond, and he will be missed by those who loved his music, his art, and for those who understood what he was trying to say when he told us to See Emily Play. Syd, you were a diamond. Shine On my friend. Shine On.

Syd Barrett
Jan. 6, 1946 – July 7, 2006

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Toxic Nipples

So I was going to post an essay I am in the middle of that pertains to the death of Syd Barrett, however it is not completed yet. It shall be posted tomorrow. For now I will share a thought I had today, and this brain spark most perplexed the inner workings of my cranium. If one were to engage into sexual activity with an obscure and inanimate object, a Ticketmaster booth for instance, how would one explain himself to the employee if he were to be caught? While the store was open for business. And the cameras caught him. I’m just talkin’ here, but it would seem to me that this would be a most un-presentable state to find oneself in. Would one get sued? Because I really can’t afford that.

Take me down, six underground

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bruised & Broken Hearted

Ok bitch, I am done with this. I give, I try, I care, and you betray me. You, who has been the recipient of my generosity, my love, and my soul; and yet, you hurt me. You hurt me so much and all I want is your love and devotion. I try so hard to change for you, but you don’t care. You don’t notice me, you don’t notice my hair, you don’t even notice when I cry. You just sit there, staring with that blank and unkind expression painted on your face like some cruel monument towards my heartache. But not anymore. I will no longer bow down to your cruel and evil ways. No longer will I give without taking, love without love given back to me. It ends tonight. From this day on, I will no longer taste the fruit of your loins. Today, I make a change.

Today, I switch to Wintergreen. Fuck you and fuck your fruity flavor you Bubblicious bitch.

Jack is in his corset, and Jane is in her vest, and me I’m in a rock n’ roll band

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Domino Effect

So I’m sitting there, watching Domino and thinking to myself “you know, this movie is a piece of shit” when all of the sudden, something interesting happens (not Keira Knightley’s tits) that makes the movie suddenly a bit more sustainable. In the middle of the desert, driving alone and walking into the scene out of fucking nowhere, fucking Tom Waits walks in! And all of the sudden I am thinking to myself that this is what Tom Waits fucking does; he’s just that fucking cool. The dude has been in more movies than I imagined, and has songs in even more films than that. I was so surprised. Were you surprised? I was surprised. Just when I was ready to give up all hope on this piece of shit movie, Tom saves the mother fucking day. And to think, this was more exciting than Knightley’s boobies (which are not that impressive to say the least).

They stay at the carnival, but they’ll never win you back.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Truffle Shuffle

As many of you are aware, I am a man of few pleasures. The following is a list of the few things in life that make it worth living:

Looking at redheads
Movies/Books with redheads
Beer and/or Vodka
Sleeping with redheads
Talking about all of the above

Unless I am actively engaging in one of these activities, I am generally an unpleasant person. I don’t know why, but I am. Anyway, the point is that I ran out of books to read at work, so I brought an old classic that I have been re-reading all over again, Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories, which consists of everything Kafka has written with the exception of his three excellent novels. Now most casual fans of literature are aware of his famous short story, The Metamorphosis. I happen to enjoy this story very much, although it is not my favorite of what he has written.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I just finished reading it again, and I am always fascinated by the juxtaposition of the sacrifice and betrayal that the story deals with, and seeing as how I only have one smart friend that I know of who has even heard of this story, you get to be my students who will be subjugated against your will to the force feeding of my raving and mad opinions. So grab a smoke, a couple beers, and cancel all your appointments for the day, I’m about to get all philosophical on your ass.

The story involves a man named Gregor, who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed as a bug. Although it is never stated what kind of bug he has become, it is hinted (as well as in other Kafka stories) that he is a beetle of some sort. Now Gregor has been working for years to provide for his elderly parents and young sister. Long story short, he turns into a bug, loses his job, his family starts to resent him after taking months of getting used to his new appearance, and then he dies. The family ends up providing for themselves and it is hinted that they will live a decent life. If you can see where this is going, shut up. Don’t ruin it for the others.

Anyway, the story essentially shows two sides of humanity. One side is the sacrificial, loving, and ultimately resentful feelings and actions towards one’s family. Gregor worked everyday, whether sick or healthy, tired or rested, to provide for his family. He paid the rent in their big loft, was going to pay for his little sister to attend a music college, and was also working off his parents debts to his boss. The family, meanwhile, sat back and got used to it. His parents had grown old and tired just by sitting around and living off of Gregor’s hard work. Then, out of nowhere, he wakes up as a bug. Pretty shitty life he was living, but it only got worse.

After realizing what had happened to Gregor, the family tried to deal with him. They couldn’t understand what he was saying, but they did a little to try and accommodate him (mostly his sister, and never his father) and treat him as if he was still part of the family. Then they started growing resentful of him. The parents and his sister had all gotten jobs over the passing months, and he became a hassle, sitting up in his room doing nothing but crawling along the walls. He rarely ate, and could not find a way to communicate with his family. He was suddenly isolated and resented by the family he sacrificed so much for.

You see where this is going; the family tries to find a way to get rid of him, but before they can, Gregor dies of hunger. Now, here is where it becomes, as they say, “Kafka”. It ends with the family moving out, having a little money and being optimistic about their future. They not only don’t mention Gregor or seem thankful for what he has done, but they also do not feel guilty for what they have done. They don’t even give him a fucking funeral! They seem only too happy to be rid of him. Now, here is where the juxtaposition I spoke of comes into play.

Is the family optimistic about their lives now that they are rid of Gregor, or that they have learned how to provide for themselves? And if that is the case, did they not learn that lesson because of Gregor? If Gregor had not provided for them the way that he did, they would have surely starved on the street. However, once they could no longer live off of his hard work, they resented him for what he had become, and in doing so became able (or always were able but never bothered to try) to support themselves. Once Gregor could not provide for them, they hated him for what he had become. He was no longer of any use to them, so they let him starve to appease their own demons with his transformation.

Now, the real question is; what is the lesson to be learned? Is it that if you sacrifice all your life for others, and never for yourself, they will still turn on you once you are no longer of use? Or is what he changed into the reason for all of the negative feelings toward him, and not because of his inability to work? Certainly this would apply in modern times. A large number of family and friends can (and probably will) change their feelings toward a loved one who was gay, in love with a member of another race, or maybe had a disability. This happens all too often, but I don’t think that is Kafka’s point.

What I believe Kafka was trying to show was the darker side of one’s heart. He was trying to say that no matter who you are or what you do for someone, they can resent you for it. Gregor started out helping his family, and he became a burden. He began as a loved son and brother, and became a hated monster. It is not a happy lesson, but it an important one to learn. Anyway, if you read this far, thanks for stickin’ around. I will have more album reviews up Monday and Tuesday.

Will you terrorize this with your perfect lips

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Last Of The Jedi

I was recently reminded, as one often is, of the impending doom of which I face due to the outrageous number of moons my ethereal body has survived. One could only imagine how a lost and deranged soul such as I could have survived nine thousand, five hundred and fifteen days (228360 hours, not counting leap years) without falling victim to any number of fatal occurrences of which I should have perished by years ago. But alas, I am here, and as luck would have it, I have no luck. As life often demands, young men between the ages of 14 and 30 are expected, almost required, to drop upon one knee, say a line they probably heard in “When Harry Met Sally” or “French Kiss” or “The Terminator” that would inevitably charm some fancy lass into accepting an agreement to put up with his shit for the rest of her life, and swear to never have sex with another female ever again even though they will constantly be thinking about it. This is what we call “getting hitched”.

Oh, women may call it “marriage”, and then feed you some bullshit about a holy union of two souls and marital bliss or something to that effect, but rest assured, you are getting hitched. You are agreeing to accept this woman’s nagging, old age, body imperfections, personality imperfections, and her mother and her mothers bullshit opinions for the rest of your miserable life. And you are expected to do this with a smile. Now, I know some men are currently thinking to themselves “but I love my wife and I am happy”. No, you are not. You are “trained” to think you are happy, and have been convinced that had you not married said hooch, you would surely die alone. This may be true, but that’s not the point. The point is, you are forever turning in your guy card and exchanging it for a Honey Do List. Yes, there will be one of these and any girl that tells you otherwise is lying. Yes, women can lie too, men were not the only mammals born with this ability. Only catch is, as when you lied to her to first have sex with her, she will now lie to you so as to not have sex with you. Often, the excuse will be a headache. But you never notice any Tylenol around the house do you?

Now I know this may seem a bit trite, and I won’t argue with that. I can certainly agree that this may all appear to be the ranting’s of an aging, bitter, depressed old man, and I assure you that it is. But the real reason I am bringing this subject up is because I have noticed a lot of talk of marriage around my group of friends. Two couples I know have gotten engaged in the past three weeks, and a few nights ago I was caught in the middle of another couple I am friends with having a conversation about marriage, and I somehow got her to approve of the wedding song being “Thriller” (sorry Katie!). I must admit, that was quite a feat and she seemed to take it pretty well, but “Highway To The Danger Zone” got shot down pretty quick, and that was a little disconcerting. Anyway, all of this goes back to my original point that age is approaching my generation rather quickly, and it seems like everyone is getting married but me. Hell, I can’t even get a girl to enjoy being around me much less date, sleep with, and marry. Does this depress me? No, but it should, and what depresses me is that it doesn’t depress me.

Anyway, now that I am done whining, I would like to congratulate Andrea and Joe, and Jason and Shannon. Jay and I have been friends for over half our lives, and he’s finally settling down, which to be honest is something I never thought I would live to see. I am very happy for all four of you. now that my best friend is getting married, should this give me hope that I too will someday bend down on one knee and feed a girl some bullshit line in order to make it illegal for other men to have sex with her? Well, it should, but it doesn’t. I am quite ok being on my own for the years to come, and if I die alone then so be it, I no longer care. Besides, they have cake at weddings and I hate cake. I also hate dancing, and people, and in-laws, and having my picture taken, and being nice to people. And I would assume those are qualities one must be proficient in to have a wedding, although I doubt it is required by law. Congrats guys, and Tim; I am SO sorry for bringing it up, but hey, at least she agreed on “Thriller”!

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Album Review - Rise Against

Artist – Rise Against
Album – The Suffer & The Witness

The drum rolls as if in preparation for a cadence, and suddenly the PA clicks on and a public service announcement states those three words: this is noise. That’s how the first track, “Chamber The Cartridge” opens on the new record by Rise Against, The Suffer & The Witness. Well, I am not going to lie; it is noise. But it is damn good noise, and it rarely lets up for the entire forty six minutes of the record. Rise Against did what AFI Should have done. They took the production from Siren Song… and meshed it with the ferocity of Revolutions Per Minute. Where AFI slowed down, Rise Against sped up and got more pissed off, if that is even possible.

The second track on the record, “Injection” is so god damn good it makes me want to smoke crack and kill a hooker. I am actually afraid to listen to this track in my car, as I will undoubtedly receive a blemish on my perfect driving record. Rise Against sounds more like Strung Out than they do AFI, but I am constantly reading otherwise, and this record should help clarify that misunderstanding. Where Siren Song… was pretty well polished and built with standardized hooks, The Suffer… takes a more hard hitting turn, actually taking a step back, which is always nice. The new single “Ready To Fall” is probably about as pop as it gets, and that’s with Tim screaming like Davey Havok wishes he still did.

Those looking for the follow up to “Swing Life Away” don’t waste your time. The only tune they slow down on is “Roadside” and it does not resemble “Swing Life Away” at all. However, the track “The Approaching Curve” is probably the best song I have heard all year. It features segments of spoken word before each section of lyrics, as if to guide us through the story of the song, and it works as well, if not better, than At The Drive-In’s “Invalid Litter Dept.”. So if you’re hoping for less politics and more radio friendliness, you will be disappointed. However, if you were hoping Rise Against kicked it up a notch (coughDavidcough) you will be pleasantly surprised. Especially if your name is coughDavidcough.

8 out o 10

If you like this record, try:

Rise Against – Revolutions Per Minute
Strung Out – Exile In Oblivion
AFI – The Art Of Drowning