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Showing posts from May, 2009

The straight and narrow

As I've enjoyed reading Brian's book and look forward to a documentary on straight edge, I can't help but think about how much the concept of straight edge still affects me to this day. In short, be it the Minor Threat song, the extreme interpretations that are out there, or the non-extreme interpretations, I try to take care of my body and not get into trouble doing stupid things. Common sense, right? Well, straight edge is a little more than that. There was a brief time that I thought I identified with the straight edge label. I had zero interest in drinking alcohol, but that was when I thought all beer tasted like the Dos Equis amber beer my mother would have once a week with Mexican food, and all red wine tasted like the wine my parents would drink from time to time. I had no idea what moderation was. My slippery slope was very steep, and I judged matters in a black and white way. Oh, and I was about to move out into the bigger, broader world that was college. So, th

Jump

Well, no surprise with this decision: I went ahead and ordered the complete series BD set for Battlestar Galactica . I knew in the back of my mind that I would buy it, but like a lot of things in my life, I have to think and think and think some more before I can make any sort of decisive opinion. Why are things this way? I think it's a matter of justifying things and mapping out what all I would say if people ask. In the case of the BSG set, I'm firmly aware that the amount of change changing hands is not as small as a trip to the grocery store, nor is it as large as buying a small house. So, I just try to remember why I wanted what I wanted, and try to keep them in mind in case somebody were to ever harshly criticize my judgment. Of course, as I've seen time and time again, planning and mapping out those sorts of things is like preparing for a race that may or may not happen. Better be prepared than not prepared at all? Sure, but I've found that I wasted a lot of

What's on your mind?

As much as I like the multiple uses of Facebook, I'm a little in the dark about why people I know are so willing to openly talk about how much they hate their job. Granted, Facebook is mostly a private thing, since non-users can't see anything. But still, I'm a little taken aback by the frequency and degree of anger directed at the job itself. I'm very, very well aware that I have something special with my main gig: the downsides are greatly overshadowed by the upsides. If I were to have problems with the gig, I sure as hell wouldn't post them on a site where my bosses are friends of mine. Yes, I have no problem with being online friends with them and I have no problem with them seeing the person I present online. Maybe I'm in a minority here. I don't know. I do know this, knowing full well I once wrote a lot about overall frustration with life (job situation included) on this blog, it's pretty unprofessional to bad-mouth your job online. I can underst

Jay Bennett

Very sad to hear about the passing of former Wilco multi-instrumentalist, Jay Bennett. Say what you will about him ("the best thing to ever happen to the band," "the band hasn't been the same since he left," "somebody who overstayed his welcome in the band"), but this truly is a major loss. Greg has a very nice tribute as well as Jim .

To jump FTL or not

There's a line in The Matrix Reloaded between the Oracle and Neo: "[Y]ou've already made the choice. Now you have to understand it." In my case, I'm attempting to understand why I keep thinking (and then debunking) why I should buy the entire re-imagined Battlestar Galactica box set on Blu-Ray when it comes out at the end of July. Yes, these sorts of things do rattle in my mind, along with plenty of other things that have nothing to do with DVDs, books, and bands. Reasons not to buy: --It's pricey: $244 for the whole thing. Even though I'm not planning any major purchases or even a vacation this year, I can handle this. But, to no surprise to those that know me, I overthink a lot when it comes to money. (Combine that statement with pretty much everything else in my life.) --Overall, I dig the show, but there are a number of episodes (and moments in a number of more episodes) where I just groan. Whether it's an issue of spotting which major event fr

Ripped

There can be many red flags that spring up when you review a book you were interviewed for. There can be even more when you're thanked in the acknowledgments at the end. The deal is, I would have read Greg Kot's new book , Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music , whether I was interviewed for it or not. When I heard about the idea for the book, I wanted to read it as soon as it was available. I was a big fan of Kot's first book, Wilco: Learning How to Die , so it made sense I wanted to read his follow-up. As somebody who has listened to Sound Opinions (the radio show/podcast Kot co-hosts) for four years, I wanted to read what he had to say on the Internet and its effect on music. Well, I must say this book is incredibly thorough and understandable. I never thought I was talked down to or talked over my head. Rather than preaching an apocalyptic view that things will never be the same in the era of the iPod, Ripped gives many reasons why there are more opt

The Dears show review

My review of the Dears' show at Hailey's is now online over at DC9 at Night. The Dears, Great Northern, Eulogies Hailey's Club, Denton May 16, 2009 Better than: a bill featuring The Dear Hunter along with The Dear and the Departed. For The Dears' first show in Denton, it was rather surprising to see Hailey's far from capacity. Blame this on the fact that UNT was out of session, maybe. But for whatever reason, a lot of people missed one hell of a show. Read the rest here

Burning Fight

My copy of Brian's book , Burning Fight , showed up in the mail yesterday. The amount of happiness in holding a copy was next to the experience of receiving my first physical copies of Post in the mail. Why? Because I'm all too well aware of all the hurdles that go into putting together a book and hoping that it comes out alright. If you're curious about the book's topic, basically it encompasses hardcore as more than just a style of music compared to other books. While the focus is on many hardcore bands in the 90s (from Unbroken to Racetraitor to Coalesce to Texas is the Reason), the general message is large: hardcore did not die in 1985 or 1986. The first wave might have crashed and washed to the shore, but it didn't stop dead cold when seminal American hardcore bands either broke up or went metal. Say what you will about Steven Blush's American Hardcore (I think it's great reference material for gaining insight on many of hardcore's seminal bands

The resting room

I forget which Beatle said it (maybe it was George or Paul, I can't exactly remember), but one of them said that during Beatlemania, the only time they got some peace and quiet was in the bathroom. Remembering that quote is something that makes me wonder whenever I'm in a public bathroom and someone is on the can and talking on a cell phone. There's a reason why "rest" is the word, restroom. Are you in a situation where you need a break from things, or you just need to relieve yourself? Go there. But I'm definitely not one to carry my business into the bathroom with me. Boundaries are good, no matter how good cell phone coverage is. Still, it's weird to hear people conduct private phonecalls in a not-so private place. Do people really want to know what's going on at your job? Do you even care that people are listening to you talk about your job or what you want for dinner that night? I frankly don't want to hear that stuff, but what do I know? I&

Further Instructions

What's been interesting about watching the reimagined Battlestar Galactica from start to finish on DVD? Four seasons zoom by much faster than watching them on their original broadcast schedule. Of course that's a big "duh," but comparing my experience with watching LOST -- it's different without the element of waiting weeks or months for a new episode. I recall when my friend Ryan borrowed my copies of seasons one, two, and three of LOST -- and he finished watching them within two or three weeks. Then he caught up on season four by viewing episodes online since that had yet to appear on DVD. I asked him what he thought about the seemingly-universally-despised-characters named Nikki and Paulo. He didn't mind them, and if I remember correctly, their flashback episode helped tie up some loose threads. Where I'm going with this is, he didn't have to deal with weeks of analysis and speculation or months of analyzing. If a certain episode felt off, he w

Gimme Fiction

A question that's already been asked by a couple of friends of mine: why do a fictional oral history rather than a nonfiction oral history for When We Were the Kids ? That's a very good question, and my response comes with a mix of humor and seriousness: because I don't have the time or drive to interview 200+ people from my high school days. I took three years to interview 40-50 people just for Post . I can only imagine how much time it would take for an amount triple that size. But in all seriousness, I think there's a much, much more compelling story to tell based on my experiences around local rock scenes in high school, college, and post-college. Setting the story in high school and in a middle class/upper-middle class suburb are crucial to the whole story. Why? Because I find something fascinating about living in an area so vastly cut off from whatever is considered hip or cool and somehow finding compelling/life-changing music that is off the mainstream's ra

Agony & Irony

A few months ago, I seemed to have a streak of hearing from people I had not heard from, merely days after I thought about them for the first time in a long time. As of late, certain random questions I've had have been answered -- and it's just rather weird about the timing. Since these questions involve very little of what I could remember, the most I could ask would be along the lines of a line in Clerks : ". . . that one with that guy who was in that movie that was out last year?" In other words, Google searches wouldn't completely help. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about: --Ever since I saw a spoof trailer on YouTube that fused clips from various Martin Scorsese films (or the trailer was cut in a similar fashion to Scorsese's films), I've wondered what the main music cue was used. Since I only knew it was an instrumental, I had no idea how to describe the song other than it had this strong building piano line. Yeah, that's real

Hell Freezes Over

I don't know why it's taken me so long understand this aspect of reporting, but without fail, a lot of drama makes for good copy. More specifically, when it comes to covering bands in the press, whenever you have warring words between current and former members, it always seems like something worth writing about and having people read. It's like you have a big new cow with plenty of milk ready to come out. Of course, when the band members reunite, it's like all's well, even though there's all this bad blood in the press. Earlier today, I read this article on Creed's recently-announced reunion. I was reminded of the years of very pointed words between singer Scott Stapp and the other former members, especially Mark Tremonti. Then I read this article on UB40's now former singer and the possibility of reuniting with the group: "I will never again play with the remaining members of UB40 while I live and breathe." I bring all this up not to be a