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Showing posts from January, 2008

The Oceanic Nine

Knowing that I'll be missing the first part of tonight's LOST season premiere due to a prior engagement, I decided to take a sneak peek at a possible, very plausible plot rundown of tonight's episode. As much as I have faith in my VCR to record everything, I'm not 100 percent it will. Plus, it just wouldn't make sense to tune in at 8:15 and know what all's going on. (And yes, I know I just referred to two of the cursed "numbers.") Normally I stay away from spoiler sites, but since LOST has so much going on, it helps to look at each episode a few times. The planted easter eggs alone are worth checking out. Without turning this into a total geekfest discussion, I do want to point out something: the marketing of a certain, lingering Season 4 question. No, it's not "How do they get off the island?" Nor is it "Who's the 'he' Kate referred to in the flash-forward?" Rather, it's "Who are the Oceanic 6?" Ther


In my never-ending quest to get the word out on POST , I understand there will be people who will not understand my book, my influences or just me in general. Such is life, right? Well, sometimes I get some rather terse feedback from people and I attempt to clarify myself. A recent case involves an e-mail conversation I had with a person about American Hardcore , the book and documentary. What seemed to start off as an elitist tiff turned into a really engaging conversation about telling different sides of a big story. We reached some insightful common ground and I'm glad I didn't write off this person's views (and the same with mine). So why call attention to this? Well, I got to wondering if somebody approached me and said Nothing Feels Good was his or her's favorite book. How would I respond and what would I say? For starters, I'd say I still don't like Andy's book, but I would probably not get up in arms with people who do. If I ever went so far and say

The best news I've heard today . . .

From : Influential punk act face to face have announced that they will be reuniting for at least one performance at Bamboozle Left . The band will be performing on Saturday, April 5th at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine California. Along with the confirmation, the band's management notes that the bill will feature the four piece line-up for the band: Trever Keith, Scott Shiflett, Chad Yaro and Pete Parada. While there are no immediate plans for a full scale tour or further recordings, the band will be playing select festival dates in the U.S. and internationally. Frontman Trever Keith has also announced plans to release a new solo album. Titled Melancholics Anonymous , the record aims to pick up where the band's 1999's album Ignorance is Bliss left off. Keith will also be performing solo dates beginning on March 8th, 2008.

Q: "How will you live, John?" A: "Day by day."

Over the weekend, after reading about Zach's time at the movies with Rambo , I suddenly flashed back to second grade. Moreover, when Rambo: First Blood Part II was out in theaters. All sorts of merchandising was available, including action figures, a cartoon and even a coloring/activity book. How I remember those particular items is because I had an action figure (complete with helicopter), watched the cartoon on TV and received the coloring book as a prize in my second grade class. Why I bring this up is mainly disbelief. An activity book for kids based on an R-rated movie filled with violence? Do they still do stuff like this? Really? But at the same time, I'm not trying to be a prude about it. Moreover, this reminds me of how kids have their own minds. And merely having something like this does not mean the kid will grow up to be some deviant of society. I definitely wouldn't call my parents' parenting style strict, but as fair, tactful and well-intentioned with bo

Slint meets Kool and the Gang

Whenever I see a certain way of describing bands I've never heard, I get rather cagey. More specifically, when there's the "RIYL" (recommended-if-you-like) or the "You like? You'll like" tactic and three or four bands that sound very similar to one another are listed. For example, "if you like Strung Out, NOFX and the Vandals, you'll dig the Shipping Wrecks." As I've blogged before on this topic, I'm more likely to pull out my copies of Twisted By Design and Punk in Drublic than be fooled into thinking the Shipping Wrecks will rock my world as much. I'll put it like this, substituting music for ice cream. "If you like fudge, coffee and dark chocolate, you'll like dark fudge chocolate." Thanks, but I think I can get my chocolate fix with just chocolate. My point is, I don't think there's much variation in the ingredients to make me think, "Hey, I should check this out." When I think about the kin

Stacked to the rafters

If you're looking for a complete review of last night's Foo Fighters show at AAC, look here . As somebody who had to split halfway into their two-and-a-half hour set (the 4am wake-up call meant I had to cut out at 11, right after "Cold Day in the Sun"), I can't give a full review. However, I'll share some random musings of what I saw. -Against Me! put on a short set where they played almost all of New Wave , including the couple of songs I could really care never to hear again, along with a couple of songs from Searching for a Former Clarity . Zilch from Cowboy or Axl Rose , but this was not a proper, full-on AM! set. It was great to finally see them play live, but certain vocal people around me were just not into them. And they made it known. And it was annoying. -One of these new non-AM! fans -- wearing a Lamb of God shirt, no less -- felt the band "sucked" because they sounded like "GWAR without the theatrics." What the hell is that sup

Heath Ledger tributes

Just wanted to pass along some pretty well-written tributes to Heath Ledger. I know I usually write a lot of words, but this is a topic that's a little hard for me to write about. Jim Emerson from the Chicago Sun-Times Former MTV VJ Iann Robinson Harry Knowles On Ledger's post-production work on The Dark Knight

Nothing Good is Real

As I browsed Amazon yesterday for Archers of Loaf albums and that relatively-new Superdrag b-sides album, Changin' Tires on the Road to Ruin , I came across a full-blown rip-off: a used CD copy of Superdrag's Senorita EP for $79.88. Yup, that's $15.98 per song . Checking the site again today, it's still listed, as well as the option to buy the EP on MP3 for a whopping total of $4.95. That got me thinking about a recent SOMB thread discussing how far certain people would go to pay for something rare on CD. In short, a lot has changed -- thankfully -- due to MP3s and file-sharing. I recall in high school when Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisted EP and Elektra's reissue of Kill 'Em All with two bonus tracks were prized treasures among my friends. You couldn't hear this stuff anywhere else, and the songs were good. These usually ran for $20-$40 each and were hard to find. Of course, relief came a few years later with the band re-releasing the material (

Because it's Monday . . .

I posted the following to my MySpace friends last Friday. I figured I'd share this here as well. It's a real survey passed through the site asking about your Top Friend on your list. And yes, I'm well aware this is a survey for your main squeeze/BFF/etc. Here's to having some fun . . . Can you answer 39 questions about the 1st person on your top friends list? 1) What’s their name? POST: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 2) Does he or she have a boyfriend/girlfriend?? Nope. It will be single forever. 3)Do you get along with this person all the time? Most of the time, yes. 4) How old is the person? Four years old as of March 1st. 5) Has he/she ever cooked for you? Nope, but a lot of the material cooks. 6) Is this person older than you? Nope, I've got 24 years on it. 7) Have you ever kissed this person? Can't kiss a virtual Word file . . . yet. 9) Are you related to this person? Yes: it came from my head after a pile a shingles hit my head. 10) Are

The last advance screening

There was a time when I saw advance screenings of movies. The gig I had at the time received passes in the mail almost every week, and I was usually offered one. Depending on my availability and if I wanted to see the movie, I'd consider going. Most of the time, the passes were for movies I had zero interest in, so I'd pass. But when it was a movie I wanted to see, I jumped for joy. I got to see The Matrix Reloaded , Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Dreamcatcher a few days before they opened nationwide. Yet the last advance screening I saw was one that really tainted my view of going to advance screenings: Gothika . I didn't go in with high hopes for this Halle Berry vehicle, but I figured I'd at least enjoy myself. I didn't think the movie was bad, nor did I think it was great. The tainted feelings though, came from the people sitting around me. Since available seats were snatched up really quickly, I grabbed the closest seat to my preferred spot (mid

Lynch, Freebird and Philosophy

As I've mentioned before, I don't get a lot of my philosophy on life from Philosophy 101 books. If anything, it's from all kinds of places, but not from the books my mother assigns to her students. Chuck Klosterman is a still big influence on me even though I've only read his first book, Fargo Rock City , once. In the last few months, I've added David Lynch and Lynyrd Skynyrd to my list of influences. As far-fetched as that sounds, I have plenty of reasons why Lynch's Catching the Big Fish book and a story about the writing of "Freebird" have helped me not overthink and second-guess myself. While he gets a lot of looks these days for his views on product placement and the iPhone , I find a lot of what Lynch allows to be a breath of fresh air. I'm not about to make dream-like movies or start meditating, but his grounded look at life resonates with my look at life. Maybe it's due to the fact that we were both raised Presbyterian, but I'm no

The lowest part is free, but he can't leave home.

Here's another acclaimed band that I've never heard much of, but suddenly want to hear much more of: Archers of Loaf . I have plenty of reasons why, almost ten years since their final album, I've never really investigated them until now. I distinctly remember a particular trip down to Austin years ago to visit my friends and I spent an afternoon/evening raiding Matt's CD collection to make some mix CDs. These were the days of 16x being the fastest CD burning speed and sites like YouSendIt and MegaUpload were not around. We weren't aware of burning a data CD filled with albums, so I had to be rather choosy with what I wanted to rip. Plus, I had a lot to choose from. It was then I was introduced to the wonderful first two albums by Gomez , as well as b-sides from Idlewild, Built to Spill and Superdrag. Perusing the Mallrats soundtrack, I came across Archers of Loaf's "Web in Front" and frankly didn't like it. Since I had all sorts of other stuff to

(Not) Under Pressure

There's a lot of freedom in doing anything -- a record, label, painting, book, movie -- yourself. The pressure's apparently off and it's easy to think anything you make will be worthwhile to others. Well, as liberating as it is, my advice is to not half-ass it. This idea clicked in my head about a month ago as I painted a holiday-themed painting for Donna and her family. I was inspired to make my own kind of design after seeing a friend's black and white painting of a flower. All I knew was, I wanted to paint the background gray and go from there. What I ended up with was a camouflage-like background behind a tree blowing in the wind. Between painting the background and the finished product, I thought about how much was too much and what was too little. At one point, I thought I should stop with a gray background and black arrow pointing up. I'm very satisfied that I kept going. The point in all of this is: nobody was telling me what to do, but that didn't mean

This week in comments

Usually when I leave comments on other blogs, I keep the content short. This week was different. On the topic of visiting the dentist : There was a time in high school when I really disliked "the pick." Pure pain. Somehow closing my eyes and thinking of Pantera's "I'm Broken" got me through the experience. Yup, Pantera. For the last few years, I've enjoyed my trips to the dentist. I like the people that work there and they are very kind to me. On the topic of TiVO HD : I still feel satisfied with my TV's rabbit ears and VCR. The only channel I clearly get is ABC, so it helps when I tape LOST and watch the Charlie Brown holiday specials. If I had cable, I'd watch a lot of TV, leaving little time for me to write, read books, exercise, play drums, watch DVDs, surf the Internet -- all things I love to do. In other words, I'm a long way from TiVo HD. On the topic of having difficulty with transcribing interviews : I still use a Walkmen-style tape

Into the Night

Well, it took two months, but I finished watching all of the episodes in the Twin Peaks box set a few weeks ago. To wrap things up, I watched Fire Walk With Me last weekend. I don't mean to sound like this was the equivalent of watching the ten-hour version of Greed or the eight-hour version of Birth of a Nation , but watching the whole thing seemed like quite an undertaking. Thankfully, it wasn't, even in the episodes after you find out who killed Laura Palmer. Make no mistake, the show's momentum loses steam once that is revealed, but I didn't find the remaining episodes as bad as people made them out to be. To top that off, I found Fire Walk With Me to be a pretty enjoyable coda. Just merely saying all that seems like I have to raise my defenses up high, but hear me out. For a lot of directors, I tend to get into their filmographies in a real sideways fashion. In the case of Lynch, I saw Mulholland Drive first and not too long after it appeared on DVD. I didn&#

It beats pickin' cotton and waitin' to be forgotten

I think the first time I ever heard about the Replacements was well after they had broken up. As a matter of fact, thanks to the Singles soundtrack, I heard about Paul Westerberg a few years before I heard about or even heard any music from the Replacements. Yes, I'm one of those Nineties kids that heard "Dyslexic Heart" before "Bastards of Young," but I've been playing catch-up for the last ten years. Part of catching up was reading (and re-reading) the band's chapter in Our Band Could Be Your Life . Helping fill in more of the story was Jim Walsh's recently-released oral history , All Over But the Shouting . Overall, I think Walsh did a fine job in creating a compelling look back at the band. The entire tenure of the band is covered, from the shambolic beginning to the slow, running-out-of-gas end. (As a sign of the book's effectiveness, I've been digging out my copies of the first five albums, as well as the All for Nothing compilation,

Money talks, but it don't sing and dance and it don't walk

An update on my recent perusal of the iTunes store: I added a few more songs to the library over the weekend. I'm down to a few dollars left on the gift card and I'm unsure as to what else I should purchase. For now, here's a review of the latest. "America," "September Morn" and "Forever in Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond One of Neil Diamond's greatest hits collections was a staple of many family car trips growing up. So were collections of Simon & Garfunkel and John Denver hits. I never disliked any of these songs, but once I got my own Walkman, I kinda went off into my own world. Now these songs are on my iPod. Is this progress? "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin It still amazes how maudlin songs were regulars on the pop charts in the Seventies. (See also Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)" and Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" for starters.) Of course, Ugly Kid Joe's version in the

Is the man half-machine or is the machine half-man?

As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my copy of Blade Runner on DVD (yup, I shelled out the $55 for the five-disc edition ), I read a few online reviews: Keith 's , IGN 's and DVDFile 's . With it arriving at my doorstep on Thursday, I've just begun to go through the five different versions of the film, along with a few hours of documentaries on the film. Even at this point, I find the collection to be the final, definitive word on a great film. One lingering question addressed in the supplements -- a question that so many fans have asked since 1982 -- never crossed my mind back when I saw the "Director's Cut" and the theatrical cut back in college and still doesn't cross my mind: you know, is Deckard a replicant? There are plenty of clues that prove Deckard is one, but as Frank Darabont eloquently points out in one of the documentaries, there are reasons why Deckard isn't one. To me, that's not really what the movie's about. It's a

For your reading pleasure

A post filled with content is forthcoming today, but for the time being, check this out. It's the first week of Noel forgoing listening to new music so he can go through his large music library. The task of doing this for all 52 weeks is arduous, but reading about it is not.

Somebody thought of that and someone believed it

Scott over at Popdose wrote an incredibly heartfelt screed about one of his all-time favorite songs, "Rainbow Connection." I identify with many of his thoughts, especially about the movie it's found in: Anyone who doesn’t like The Muppet Movie does not have a soul — it’s just a wonderful movie on so many levels. Despite its hip cast and the slew of one-liners and cameos, it’s a movie about hope, pure and simple. Why this song and movie still resonate with me is for a number of explainable and unexplainable reasons. One explainable reason is that I still have a soft spot for certain melancholy music. Some people call this pure schmaltz, but I've never thought of it that way. I've just thought of it as an effective way of conveying vulnerable feelings. But probably the biggest explainable reason is the central message I get out of The Muppet Movie : don't give up on your passions. Moreover, hope survives despite detractors in the form of self-centered flakes a

Reactive Mind

Recall me saying a few weeks ago, "at least I'm happy I've never read a book with advertising in the manuscript itself"? Well, that's not true anymore. About a week after I wrote that line, I came across a book that had a couple of advertisements between the pages. And that book was none other than L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics . Featuring removable cards for Scientology-related matters, they were placed in various spots in the book. Seeing all this reminds me of a superstition I have: don't announce certain things because they may come true. Seems like whenever I think (and say aloud), "Man, I haven't caught a cold in a long time," I come down with a cold. Sometimes when I think about somebody I haven't heard from in a while, I hear from that person or hear something about him or her. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I wonder. I wouldn't say this is like in cheesy horror movies when a character says, "Hey, the

Quick PSA

Jeff Giles (aka, the Jeff of Jefitoblog, aka, blogger friend who posted four of my Complete Idiot's Guides) is back blogging on a new site called Popdose . Fellow blogger Py Korry also contributes, as well as ten other people. Donna answers another question I had about life: Is it really possible to be a responsible parent and not become some brainless zombie ala Dawn of the Dead ?

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Whenever I receive an iTunes gift card as a present, I have this sense of relief. Meaning, I can get songs I love that I normally wouldn't purchase. Usually I have to really talk myself into buying something, even at $.99 cents a pop. Yup, I'm that stingy. With my sister and brother-in-law giving me a $15 card for Christmas, I proceeded to purchase the following songs. And as much as I refuse to call these "guilty pleasures," they're definitely not songs in genres that I often listen to. Queensryche, "Silent Lucidity" ( video ) While Nirvana, Metallica and Pearl Jam dominated MTV's playlist in late 1991, this was a different kind of rock song that got equally heavy rotation. I can't say I pine for much Queensryche beyond this, but there's a reason why I play its intro on guitar whenever there's one in my hands. Slipknot, "Before I Forget" ( video ) Credit goes to Guitar Hero III for reminding me of this song. A little less inte