Just removed over a gig's worth of music from my Zune. It's 30GB, so I need to conserve space wisely. Anyone have any recommendations of stuff I might like listening to? I've been loving Four Year Strong's Enemy of the World and instrumental work from Jeremy Soule. I'd love to find some great celtic instrumental music, if anyone has any recommendations or just something that you think I'll like that I don't already have. I have about $40 in iTunes dollars, so if you're reading this and are in a band and want my money, sell yourself to me!
Stewart L. Udall
"America today stands poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space, and of an over-all environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight."
Anyone else noticing how popular this is becoming?
I was on Facebook a couple of days ago and on a 15 year old girl's status showed new pictures she took of her friends (dabbling in photography, of course) and they all had this eye make up. I guess it's the girl version of the Kanye venetian blinds glasses?
Remember Gatsbys American Dream? They took their name from The Great Gatsby. Keeping in with the literary references, they pepper many of their songs with references to literature and video games and other cool things. "Meet Me at the Tower in Bowerstone" is a reference to Peter Molyneux's Fable for the Xbox. "Station 5: The Pearl" and "You All Everybody" is a reference to the TV show LOST. "A Mind of Metal and Wheels" and other lyrics are a nod to Lord of the Rings. "My name is Ozymandias" is either a reference to Shelley's poem "Ozymandias" or Watchmen--I've read both.
I find myself loving all of the references in their music that the ones that are missed on me I want to find out about. So, I started a personal Gatsbys American Dream Book Club, where I wanted to read all of the things referenced. It seems that the band and I have a lot in common with interests, so why not, right?
The first book I read was something that many people have read in school, Lord of the Flies. I never read this, but the song "Fable" is all about it, so I decided to give it a whirl. I saw the Simpsons parody and enjoyed it and knew I'd be into the concept. I got the book from the library, read it in a day, and moved on, happier for the experience.
The next book I chose to read was not a direct reference to this book, but the album is based around it, so Pompeii was next. I started reading this and it didn't really capture my attention. I've done reading on the subject from old books I used to take out from the library about the event when I used to be fascinated by natural disasters and meteorological occurrences, but this book was a fiction narrative using the events of Vesuvius as a catalyst of action. I didn't fall in love with it, so I put it back on the book shelf and moved on. I intend to go back to it, though.
Next up on the list was a book I asked for for Christmas, A Wizard of Earthsea. This is by Ursula Leguin and is referenced by GAD in their song "The Loosing of the Shadow," which tells the story of Ged the protagonist. It's a short novel for the most part, but very interesting and I was engrossed throughout. I recommend this for fantasy buffs.
Currently, I'm reading Ender's Game and, though I'm only about 120 pages into it, I know that this one is my favorite so far. Gatsbys' "The Giant's Drink" comes from a chapter title in this and I think "Your Only Escape" is also a reference but I haven't found that confirmed anywhere (Wikipedia says it's from Interview with a Vampire, the movie of which Michelle and I recently bought). I love everything about this book so far and kind of want to take my time with it so it doesn't end. I know that there are sequels and other things so I'll be able to follow up on it, but it's fantastic so far. In a blog from a couple of days ago, I asked for book recommendations and someone was ecstatic of my choice of reading Ender's Game...I now know why.
After this, I'll have to go to Animal Farm, since Ribbons and Sugar is a concept album loosely based on that. Also, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and "Me and Ed Loyce" are both from Philip K. Dick, so I'll have to check those out. Finally, "The White Mountains" is a reference to Samuel Youd's The Tripods trilogy. Then, I think I'll have completed my Gatsbys American Dream Book Club.
I find that knowing all the references makes me have more of a connection with the music than I would just listening to it at base value. Thanks to the guys in Gatsbys for not only giving me great music, but for indirectly giving me some awesome recommendations!
Honestly just listened to the full thing for the first time yesterday. While I liked Everything In Transit, I didn't find it to be a life-changing end-all be-all album like some did. It was just good pop music. Maybe I like Something Corporate too much and couldn't deal with the change (even though there really wasn't that significant of a change), but it just never hit me. I say this because I find The Glass Passenger to be a much worse album in about every way. I don't think I've ever not liked Andrew McMahon's vocals, but this album has parts where I'm listening and not sure why he's whining. I love his earlier work and his lyrics are usually what do it for me, but I haven't really caught on to anything particularly noteworthy. Do you like this album?
I'm hoping this album is a grower, because I know that the man is capable of great things...it just didn't seem to come out on this release for me.
After this season of television concludes (LOST and 24 are ending), I don't know if I want to get involved in any serial television shows in the near future. Yeah, LOST is awesome and I wouldn't trade my experience with the show but I feel like I'm becoming a slave to it. It'd be different if I weren't working late as it is, but these shows pretty much make it so I have to be in front of the TV from the time my show starts to the time it ends. While I'm at work, I wonder what I'm going to do later that night and I always have to consider what show's on. Monday? Gotta watch 24 for an hour. Tuesday? Gotta watch LOST for an hour. It sucks because that ruins any other plans I may have. Grocery shopping takes a backseat to Wednesday because we have shows to watch those two days.
With how often I'm on the computer at work and at home, to have to sit in front of another screen for another hour every day is just frustrating. Maybe as I'm getting older I just feel like I need to be doing more. I want to go to the park more. I'd like to get a canvas and spend a day with Michelle and paint something together. I want to build some furniture (cool resource I've been reading). I'd like to have the time to finally write again instead of being stuck doing random blog updates.
Anyone have any good book recommendations? I just finished The Story of O and now I'm moving on to Ender's Game and am willing to read just about anything. Let me know if you have anything that I should definitely check out.
Unrelated to the intent of this blog, but Danielle, my lovely sister, said this on her Facebook (regarding New Moon):
"the trailers aren’t even good. nor are the movies really. the books on the other hand…"
…are drivel? I hope you weren’t meaning to say that the books were fantastic yarns spun of rich metaphor and the deeper meaning that it’s a parable for post-9/11 America with lush description and lifelike dialogue. Did you read New Moon? I’ll sum it up New Moon for you:
Bella: *crying* “My heart has a void in it!”
Jacob: “Just forget about Edward, we can be together.”
Bella: *crying* “I do want to lead you on in case Edward doesn’t come back to me. My heart has a void in it! A big hole!”
Edward: “We can’t be together because I love you too much. I’m like a hundred years old. You’re 17 but I am mysterious and brooding, so it works. Let’s talk about classic pianists from the 1940s.”
Bella: “I want to talk about Mike Newton and how he keeps wanting to hook up with me.” *starts crying* “My heart is empty!”
Jacob: “Come here. I will try not to rip your face off like my older, more-in-control brother did.”
Victoria: “Boo! Well, gotta go.”
Bella: “I just want the pain of a bunch of guys actually appreciating me and my separated parents that actually care about me to go away. I’m jumping off this cliff! …because my heart has a huge hole in it!”
Jacob: “I’ll save you and keep trying to hook up with you. Have you seen my abs? I mean, really.”
Edward: “I don’t want to live anymore. Being a vampire sucks (blood, lol…I’ve been around a hundred years, I know some sweet puns).”
Jacob: “Bella, you’re leaving me for Edward?! Noooooooooooo! …but I’m going to wait around for you.”
Dakota Fanning: “Rawr, I’m gonna eat you, Edward. Look how badass my contact lenses are.”
Edward: “Brb, gotta sparkle.”
Bella: “Edward, make me a vampire.”
Edward: “If I bite you, I don’t know if I can stop.”
Jacob: “Bella, the worst I’ll do is rip your face off. *lifts shirt* WORTH IT!”
There must be some point in your band when you need to realize just how far you're willing to go for success. Yeah, good songwriting is king when it comes to establishing yourself as a premiere musician/artist, but what if you really don't make music that's all that great? Not being a good songwriter is only a minor roadblock on the path to becoming famous. You can shill your music out for Nerf commercials (see: Forever the Sickest Kids), you can make an "innovative" new genre blending a bunch of sucky genres together (see: Brokencyde), or you can choose the lowest denominator of all and make yourself a gimmick band. See: Vampires Everywhere!
Gee, wonder why this band just cropped up out of no where. I don't know if you were able to get it by their band name or the promo photo where their skin is paled out and darkened around the eyes, but if you're still confused about how vampiric these guys are, check out their "names":
Maybe you weren't beaten over the head that they're vampires. Perhaps the bio, written by Michael Vampire himself, could give you further insight.
Not only is this the kind of angst-ridden, thesaurus-referencing drivel that 14 year old Twilight fans love, it's a proclamation: Michael Vampire stands for vampires. It's also a way for him to say that he's had this idea for this band since before Twilight and vampires became a trend. The BS meter on this guy is flying off the charts.
So, great, this is just another one of those myspace bands that crops up as an attempt to get some sort of exposure and then gimmick their way through a three-year tops career of playing VFW halls and church basements, right? Well, I would think so (and I did a couple of weeks ago when I first heard of them), but they just signed a deal with Century Media Records and they're actually a reputable label. The unfortunate thing that is going to happen is that you will end up hearing about this band and you will probably see little 14 year old Twilight girls loving them and embracing their "lifestyle."
But maybe we can look past the gimmick if the music is good? As I said earlier, gimmicks are cover ups for bad songwriting. The video below is their single and I stand by my assertion.
Yes, that is that girl from The Real World. Yes, the video is shot to look exactly like a scene from Twilight. Look at the way the "vampires" walk together in a brood looking menacing! Listen to the autotuned vocals when the singer isn't screaming! Feel captivated by the off-beat drum/guitar combo!