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Benjamin's Inane Mutterings
New Found Glory, Title Fight, Modern Hearts Break Faster - 10/18
10/19/09 at 07:30 PM by ikikwe
Last night I went to see the first date of New Found Glory's fall 2009 tour with Title Fight at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT. Toad's was a nice club venue and perfectly sized for a band like NFG. I got there about 5:40 and doors opened by 6:10. I then stood for about an hour and a half waiting for the first band to come on. During that time, the PA played Brand New's Your Favorite Weapon in its entirety, so that was awesome.

However, my jovial mood died down when Modern Hearts Break Faster came on. MHBF is a powerpop band from New Haven and truth be told, they were pretty awful. Every single song was the same, but a lot of the crowd seemed to enjoy it. If you placed them next to any powerpop band such as We The Kings, for instance, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The guitarist's strap broke during the first song, and he had a little trouble repairing it, so I felt kind of bad for that, but my sympathy didn't help their music sound any better. To further my discomfort during the set, a shitty little "mosh" pit broke out during one of their songs. We get it guys. You're tough and you can push people. No one cares. *sigh.*

After that excruciating half hour, Title Fight came on. I have heard only good things about this band, and they delivered. Right from the start, they provided the energy that MHBF was severely lacking. Ned Russin, bass, and Jamie Rhoden, guitar, absolutely killed it on vocals and put every ounce of emotion they had into the set. The crowd was really into the band too, and overall it was just a fantastic set.

Right after their last song, however, a fight broke out which was completely uncalled for. That had nothing to do with the bands; just some douchebags in the crowd.

New Found Glory came on at about 9:20, and were flawless. Their set was incredible; every member was on point with their respective instruments, and Jordan sounded great. They ran the gamut with their songs. Playing songs from 1999's Nothing Gold Can Stay to this year's Not Without a Fight, the set ran for about an hour and a half, give or take. The crowd was incredible too; people were stage diving (much to security's chagrin), singing along, and crowd surfing. Overall, it was a great show, and anyone who has a chance needs to see it; very much worth the $20 spent.

NFG Setlist:

truck stop blues
black and blue
on my mind
all downhill from here
listen to your friends
3rd and long
king of wishful thinking
forget my name
sincerely me
glory of love
tip of the iceberg
failures not flattering
dont let her pull you down
something i call personality
head on collision
boy crazy
my friends over you
familiar landscapes
truth of my youth
2s and 3s
hit or miss
Tags: New Found Glory, Title Fight, Fall Tour 2009
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Vinyl Smiles #1
08/13/09 at 03:23 PM by ikikwe
Just got Paint It Black's Amnesia 7" and Polar Bear Club's The Summer of George EP 7". I think this PBC EP is an improvement on their previous full-length, which I never got into. So needless to say, I'm looking very much forward to Chasing Hamburg.
Tags: Paint It Black, Amnesia, Polar Bear Club, The Summer of George, Chasing Hamburg, 7"
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One Hour and fifty one minutes
06/19/09 at 01:40 PM by ikikwe
One hour and fifty one minutes until graduation. I realized there will be tears tonight right as "Clean Up" by I Am The Avalanche came through the speakers. I don't do well with tears; I just get awkward and leave. That will not be an option tonight.

I'm not nearly as excited as I should be.
Tags: graduation, class of 2009
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We've Come A Long Way
06/18/09 at 02:54 PM by ikikwe
As the music filled the ballroom, the lights blinded my left as my right one lost focus. I was a tenuous connection in a circle of classmates dancing to "We've Come A Long Way" by Good Old War. Some of them sang along, most did not. I didn't, even though I knew the words. Seconds prior to the beginning of the song, seconds following The Smashing Pumpkin's "Tonight, Tonight", it hit me; high school is completely finished. It was a sad realization, but one that had to come eventually.

For me, high school was kind of a love/hate relationship. I barely remember 9th besides the fact that History Honors destroyed me. 10th grade was hellish, and I hated go to school every morning. 11th grade was better, and 12th grade has been great. I hated getting up in the morning, but I loved seeing my friends, so it wasn't all bad.

I have been attempting to trivialize high school so I can get excited for college, but the truth is it's a futile venture. Try as I might, I can't help but let these last few days of high school bum me. Save for the ten or so kids I hang out with on a regular basis, I probably won't see most of my classmates again for another ten years. Most people would be hip-hip-horrah about that, but I like my grade. Sure, we're not some cliched tight-knit blanket of a class, but everyone doesn't hate each other. We're a very apathetic class and so we never put much effort into cliques and what have you, but in the end it worked out better that way; everyone gets along and there is little to no "sauce" between people.

There wasn't any sauce on Prom Night either, but something about it bummed me out. Maybe it was the girl that flirted with me all year in envriomental science dancing with her stoic shell of a boyfriend. Or my close friend pretending to be happy with her ex-boyfriend-who-wanted-to-take-a-"break"-but-in-reality-wanted-to-hook-up-with-alleged-bitches. I had a good time, I really did, but there was just something in the air that night. Something that I feel like is going to come back in full swing come tomorrow when I graduate. In 24 hours and 16 minutes I will be seated in a white chain in my auditorium because, in all likelyhood, it will probably still be pouring rain. I will walk up, get my diploma case, smile, and sit down. And so goes my high school career. So it goes.
Tags: high school, good old war, prom, bummer
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Movie Rec : Let The Right One In
01/12/09 at 07:07 PM by ikikwe

Let The Right One In
An incredible film focusing on a young child who befriends a child vampire. Beautiful direction, and a fantastic ending. It is one of the best horror films I have seen in years. Naturally, it's Swedish, as America produces shit horror films. Definitely recommended.
Tags: Let The Right One In, Horror, Film, 2008
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Know The Score Review
01/08/09 at 01:52 PM by ikikwe
Know the ScoreAll Guts, Still No Glory
Record Label: Eulogy Records
Release Date: August 19, 2008

Look, I’ll be straight about it – I’m not a hardcore aficionado. I do enjoy it, but I am by no means the most knowledgeable person about said genre, nor is it my favorite genre to choose from. Perhaps that is why I had so much trouble understanding Know the Score’s reissue of their 2004 album All Guts, No Glory (the title has been altered to All Guts, Still No Glory). I’ve never heard the original, but I am unsure of why Know The Score bothered re-issuing it, as the production is terrible. If they aimed to please with the re-mastering, they failed on that front.

Another issue I have with the album is I had a lot of trouble deciphering the lyrics. Like I previously mentioned, the production is pretty awful, and the vocals are buried in the mess. When I finally became accustomed to the sound, I attempted to understand what the songs were trying to get out. So, I did what any normal listener would do, and I went to the insert to look for lyrics. While it’s not unusual for lyrics to not be included with the album, the message I got in place of them hinted at the pretension that most of their songs contained: “If you’re looking for the lyrics, just listen to the fucking record. It’s not that hard to figure out.” If they were saying that the lyrics weren’t hard to figure out, then they were sorely mistaken. It was similar to learning how to drive a manual transmission: frustrating and difficult. However, unlike the satisfaction I achieved after mastering a stick-shift, the lyrics proved to be trite and faux-socially conscious. I mean sure, they tried -- and they get points for that -- but the “message” found in “Ex-Members of I Don’t Give a Fuck” puzzled me. I sure as hell know I “give a fuck” about what bands the members used to be in, but again, that's just me.

I’ll give them a break on the lyrics for a minute and focus on the instrumentation. The musical side of the album is a little dry, to say the least. At some point, during every spin I gave the album, the tracks kind of blurred together into one long, convoluted mess. Most of the songs sound exactly the same, save for a guitar solo here, and a breakdown there.

If Know the Score gave their all for this record, then I’d give them an A for effort, but at this point in time, their album title stays true. No glory was attained through this record, and unless they become stronger songwriters, then Know the Score will continue to fall short on their next record.

Final Score
: 41%
Tags: Know The Score, review, eulogy records
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Another Year
01/07/09 at 07:39 PM by ikikwe
I think I'll wait another year
It'll be the best year ever
I think I'll wait another year
Can't we just wait together?
You bring the smokes, I'll bring the beer
I think I'll wait another year
-Amanda Palmer

These words have been haunting me since the beginning of my senior year in high school. And with a new calender year starting, I've been doing a lot of thinking in relation to that song. A little reflection, perhaps.

2008. What a year. Friendships were splintered, new friendships were crafted. Some of my best friends I made over this past year, and most of my oldest best friends kept me around too. My actions became a little more reckless, prompting talks from people I never even realized gave a shit about me. I got into a college, my school work finally became steady and constant. I was content this entire year. My French mildly improved. My mumbling in English continued, however. Probably, most importantly, I was introduced to a shitload of new music. Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Atmosphere, Moving Mountains, Fireworks, Blitzen Trapper, Good Old War, etc. I feel like I also grew up in terms of music. I still enjoy pop-punk, but not as shamelessly and blindly as I used to. No longer is All Time Low one of my favorite bands. I finally understood why FTSK is truly an abomination. Cute Is What We Aim For was promptly deleted from my library when I opened my eyes. It was a good year.

Now 2009. Graduation is approaching fast. I'm excited for college, but there are some really small things I'm going to miss. For instance, I've had incredible conversations sitting in a friend's kitchen. We can all talk for hours on end. I feel like I'm going to miss that the most. On the other hand, my "senior-itis" is in full swing. I've relegated myself to just playing guitar all afternoon and watching TV on the computer all night. I do jack shit, but it feels good to take a break after the hell that was junior year. I'm not very confident for the two AP tests I have to take, but it's not weighing my mind down too much. I still have 6 months till the big walk, though, so I have a bunch of time to still have a full blown anxienty attack. A note I am excited about, I turn 18 in a month from Friday. Other than that, I'm just going to sit and wait to see what happens this year.

Tags: Graduation, Amanda Palmer, Senior Year, 2008, 2009
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Last Updated: 10/19/09 (8,187 Views)
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