As if I needed further proof that Drive-Thru Records was king of the scene back in the early half of the decade, The Art of Disappointment by the Benjamins has been my most played album this week. I don't listen to nearly as much pop punk as I used to, but I've been surprisingly delighted by these songs. If you like the sound of "Dr. Frank Was Right", I highly suggest picking up this blast from the past for only $4.99 from Drive-Thru's merch store.
The Benjamins - "Dr. Frank Was Right"
I just want someone to be there on my birthday,
I just want someone to get real drunk with,
I just want someone who needs someone to need them,
'Cause I've got nothing left that I believe in.
I usually don't mind picking up albums years late and finally discovering why they're almost unanimously loved by AP.net critics. But I really could've used Dog Problems back in 2006. Regardless, I spent the end of last month listening to Dog Problems when I should have been enamored by Aim & Ignite, and that's fine by me - gotta show respect to the classics. If you're somehow even later to the party than I was, you need to listen to the jaunty title track now.
Don't you dare speak for someone you don't know,
They'll feel it in the back of their throat.
We know I can't construct a poem,
'Cause words, like girls, get bored and run.
C'est la vie.
I say I've got so many better things.
I've got nothin'.
You should see me,
I smoke myself to sleep
And blame postmodern things I can't relate,
Like summer camp and coastal states.
Like alcohol and coffee beans,
Dance floors and magazines.
I think it's safe to say
I've only got myself to blame,
But boys in swooping haircuts are bringing me down,
Taking pictures of themselves, oh.
And so I walk the web in search of love,
But always seem to end up stuck.
I'm finding flaws in everyone.
I've reached the point where all I want
Is to sleep around in hopes that I will catch back up.
We are parallel lines,
We're runnin' in circles,
We're never meant to cross.
I'm at a loss, you were my tangerine,
My pussycat, my trampoline.
Now all's I gets are wincing cheeks,
And dog problems, I signed a lease
Thinking my heart belonged at 93rd and Park.
Instead I broke a girls heart
And flew back to Phoenix
To finish the year as it started.
Can you hear me?
Are you listening?
This is the sound of my heart breaking.
And I hope it's entertaining,
'Cause for me it's a bitch.
Was it worth it when you slept with him?
Did you get it all out of your system?
I am a man
Holding it all.
I could not breathe
I didn't know
I couldn't get up.
B is for believing you'd always be here for me. E is for everything, even when we'd see it though. C, C is for seeing through you, you are a fake.
Which brings me to A because because you always run away.
I never finish phrases I misspell,
Open arms are prison cells.
When I said, "I hate what I've become",
I lied, I hated who was.
So when you start to wonder 'bout the pain in my throat,
Then don't you ever, no never, ever, speak for someone you don't know.
After first watching the trailer for Kong of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, I knew the documentary was something I had to see. A rivalry to determine the true champion of the arcade classic Donkey Kong may sound trivial, but it makes for a much more engaging film than you might expect. A big reason for this is who's involved in the competition - an all around good guy named Steve Wiebe and the reigning classic gaming king Billy Mitchell, a cocky type-A personality who bears a personality resemblance to Dwight Schrute. It took me a while to finally rent Kong of Kong, but I'm very glad I did. Even if you're not a big fan of video games, this documentary will pull you in. Netflix it or buy it if you haven't already.
Only Brand New could convince me to pre-order a bundle riddled with question marks. I bet the t-shirt will ship with some huge punctuation slapped on its face. fun.'s limited edition fan pack, on the other hand, is a much safer bet. Something tells me colorful splatter vinyl was the perfect design choice.
The new AbsolutePunk.net is lovely. Right now I still have a window open showing the old AP.net (can I call it "old" already?), and though I will remember it fondly, I'm glad we've moved onto wider and better things. Tomorrow night I need to write a couple blurbs, and tonight I need to sleep.
Given I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, I'm immensely surprised it took me this long to read some of Richard Matheson's work. King has referred to Matheson as the author who influenced him most as a writer, which makes complete sense after reading I Am Legend. This is great for me, because I think I found a new favorite author. The first few sentences of Matheson's novel easily hooked me:
"On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back."
Intriguing, I know. I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, the last man on earth, who walks the streets by day while vampires assail his house by night. If you are a fan of the recent movie adaptation (an adaptation I do enjoy, even with its alterations to the source material), you really should read this story. At only about 170 pages, it's close to novella length, and the writing has plenty of suspenseful moments and plot twists to keep the reader interested in what happens next -- Stephen King definitely appreciates this writing style, and you will too.
If I had to pick my favorite scene in cinema history, this would probably be it. I love the unexpected song kicking in; I love Ferris Bueller's mirthful spirit and slacker lifestyle; I love the youthful exuberance shared by just about everyone in parade attendance (notwithstanding the young lad covering his ears); I love the singing, the dancing, the clapping, the Beatles, the cheering, the buildup of "ahhh's", everything. Well shake it shake it shake it baby now.
Optimus Prime is the only reason to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Seeing him tear apart Decepticons using his impossible robot agility and sword-arms is pure nerd bliss. I wouldn't say the rest of the movie is trash, but a lot of it is. Really, the story has plot holes so big a semi truck could breeze through them. It is fun reviewing the Revenge of the Fallen experience though.
If Food, Inc. is playing in a theater near you, go watch it. The film answers questions regarding America's food production industry many of us wouldn't think to ask. It's enlightening, disturbing, and it will make you think - sure signs that a documentary has done its job.
Here are some trades I read last month that I think you should check out as well. Also pop into the comic book thread if you're looking for further recommendations or civilized discussion.
Batman: Year One - Bruce Wayne and James Gordon are individually working to free Gotham City from corruption during the Dark Knight's first crusade. It's not an easy task. If you're a fan of Batman Begins, you'll love this book. It's as much about Gordan as it is about Batman, and the story will convince you that if Gordan were a bit younger (and unattached), he could very well have become a caped crusader himself.
Incredible Hulk: The End - The End collects two Hulk stories written by Peter David. In "Future Imperfect" the Hulk challenges the last superpower on earth, an unstoppable ruler that has outlived every hero and villain. "The Last Titan" recounts Bruce Banner's last days on Earth as an old man kept alive by his rage-powered alter ego. "Future Imperfect" feels somewhat dated, but "The Last Titan" adds much to the relationship between Banner and the Hulk.
JLA: Earth 2 - The Crime Syndicate of Amerika is suddenly threatened by an alternate earth in which good unfortunately prospers over evil. Imagine a world in which the Superman utters the word "bitch" and a Flash-like character shoots up to maintain his powers. Sound good? It is.
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2- Yorick Brown is an unemployed amateur escape artist . He is also the last man alive. Along with his friend, a male helper monkey named Ampersand, he must discover why every other creature with X and Y chromosomes died at the exact same moment. Oh, and he should probably get on with repopulating the planet. I know, it's a great premise. Pretty soon I'll pick up the remaining trades so I can hurry up and finish Yorick's story.
If you're curious as to why Brother's Blood by Kevin Devine is my favorite album of the year so far, here's one big reason: Devine's lyrics are damn good. I'm okay with bands writing what they know ("I'm on the rooooad / I miss hoooome"), but I'm much more intrigued by stories about carnivals and the Armageddon; literary depth will always tickle my inner bookworm. The lyrics below are from a song called "Another Bag of Bones." This is modern society, modern warfare, according to Kevin Devine. I love the POV transition from American soldier to his "other", another faith filled soldier on the opposing side of war. So good.
Itís a brushfire spreading, feeding as it moves.
Itís a disappeared glacier, itís an airborne flu.
Itís your disbelieving eyes locked in concrete miles.
Itís your yawning conscious and your lawyerís smile.
Itís an occupied country, foaming at the mouth.
No smoking gun, no mushroom cloud.
Itís a military mother with a boy in hell.
And itís a flag draped casket down an oil well.
Itís an Argentina school girl, gagged and bound.
Itís a torture camp, itís a long way down.
Itís the constant brace and shock of now.
And itís the whole damn world turned inside out.
Itís a march to extinction with your god in step.
Itís his name in your mouth, itís his cross on your neck.
Itís a farm boy sprinting over desert dirt.
And heís panting the "Our Father" in staccato spurts.
Now that's his automatic rifle and it tells no lies.
Thatís his truth in your stomach, itís no alibi.
But the trouble lies on the other side.
With an equal truth prepping for his holy night.
He sees his crescent and the star up in the virgin sky.
And he hears the call of milk and honey from the afterlife.
And as he eases to the checkpoint, he is calm and sure.
Itís collateral damage, itís the cost of war.
Itís another bag of bones for the gods to sort.
Just another bag of bones for the gods to sort.
Itís the species disappearing, all the birds fly south.
In a January heat wave and a pulsing crowd.
Itís an African militia, kids with sub machines.
Itís a conflict diamond on your bride to be.
Itís the dispossessed lining up every gate.
Itís the facts worth facing, faced way too late.
Itís the mission of modernity, go get whatís yoursí.
íTil thereís nothing leftover to get no more.
And itís not what were owed but itís what weíve earned.
And itís closer than we realized that it's time now, to burn.