A song for a heart so big,
God couldn't let it live.
I really don't even know what to say. I only met the B Man less than a year ago but every time we hung out it felt like so much longer than that. It's such a painful thing to lose someone, and I've experienced far too much of this. My heart goes out to those who knew him best that are truly going through hell right now. This is the second time I've lost a friend where it could have been prevented if they just wore their damn seatbelt.
RIP Chris aka B Man. Know that you are missed, but I'm sure you're smiling down from a better place.
For those of you who don't know, Club Trillion might be the greatest blog on the internet. It's written by Mark "The Shark" Titus, a walk on and basically the last man on the bench for the Ohio State men's basketball team. There's an election currently going on over who the whitest player on Ohio State is: The Shark or teammate Kyle Madsen. I urge you all to read the blog and vote in this important election.
A side conversation in the Absolute Classics - Users Thread reminded me how much I miss Jamison Parker. Consider this my own weekly nostalgia post. I only wish I'd gotten a chance to see this band live.
And how long would it take me to walk across the United States all alone?
Wow. After a very hectic fiasco of trying to make sure I could use the tickets I purchased for the first date of Jimmy Eat World's Clarity x 10 tour (http://absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=891952), I made it into NYC's Terminal 5 for a night of pure bliss. Special shout out and thanks to Chad for helping me greatly with that process. Reuben's Accomplice is definitely a band I've seen before and I always meant to check out their stuff, but last night showed that they are definitely a solid band that need some love.
And then the lights went out and on came Jimmy Eat World. I have to admit, I was a little late on the Clarity bandwagon. I didn't start getting into most of the music I listen to now until I got to high school, but in now way does that take away from my love for Clarity. They got right down to it, starting the night off with a perfect rendition of Table for Glasses, which was followed by perfect song after beautiful, perfect song. If you're going, and don't want to know set lists or anything, stop readings, though the first 13 aren't that surprising.
The set list for the evening went as follows:
1. Table For Glasses
2. Lucky Denver Mint
3. Your New Aesthetic
4. Believe In What You Want
5. A Sunday
9. Just Watch The Fireworks
10. For Me This Is Heaven
13. Goodbye Sky Harbor
14. What Would I Say To You Now?
15. No Sensitivity
18. The Middle
Definite highlight were every song off Clarity. The intro'd For Me... by saying something along the lines of, "This one, well, it's no surprise," and played GSH for about 9 minutes. Was it the full 16? No, but it was perfect the way it was. Not too long, not too short, and filled with a beautiful raw energy the whole way through.
While I would have liked a few more Non-Clarity songs, and maybe 1 or 2 from Chase This Light, I really couldn't have asked for a better set.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope Santa brings everyone what they want and your times are full of cheer and family and friends and all in all good times. As a gift I am posting the timeless classic, Happy Kwanzaa Charlie Brown. Enjoy.
Our days were numbered
On too many rooftops
They say we burned so bright
We burn this city and go
What an effing weekend. Lehigh vs. Lafayette 2008. Big rivalry, absurd tailgate, and terrible Patriot League football.
Drove up Friday with two of my buddies, another was meeting us there from Syracuse and yet another was already there as he's an alumni who went back earlier to see friends. Got there around 9:30, immediately commenced drinking, took a bus to a bar party. Apparently there were $2 Soco/Lime shots, so yea, things got interesting. It got real crowded so we went back to the campus bar around 1, stayed til 2:30-3, went back and passed out in an attic that was sure to be filled with asbestos.
Saturday morning woke up at 7. Immediatelly changed, went downstairs, saw rollerblades. Put on said rollerblades and first beer pong game commenced with a 7:30 am tip off. Played a bunch of games, went to Wawa, grabbed some coffee and breakfast. Took coffee to another house part, made coffee Irish. Went back to original house, put on a wig, went to friend's parents' tailgate, got more food and beer. My friend Nick bragged about hooking up with his dream girl the night before (when he was telling his dad he just wanted to fuck), only to be ragged on by his friends because apparently she's "loose". Went to March Field where we continued to consume massive amounts of Natty Light (gross). At this time we decided it would be funny to go up to random girls, tell them the time out of nowhere, return to our group, and tell everybody we told them what time it was. Also started tabletopping Nick every 10-15 minutes, the last of shich resulted in a Hollywood Hogan-esque leg drop. From there we tried avoiding the game because of how bad it usually is but were unsuccessful so we went in to grab some more food, which led to me mistakenly getting the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten: chicken tenders, fries, and bacon bits covered in massive amounts of cheese wiz on a bun. I thought it was just tenders and fries on a plate. Fuck my life. Left the game, napped.
Woke up, started pong again, finished the night/weekend undefeated with my buddy Josh. Eventually went to a way too crowded party, then left to go to a few bars. While walking from bar to bar we drunkenly caroused an epic rendition of Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" which was played at bars and parties no less than 20 times while we were there. Got a fe shots bought for me, danced with a bunch of married women, and left when some creepy dude started talking to me like he was trying to hit on me.
Yesterday I spent most of the day on the couch, watched the Giants go to 10-1 and the Titans fall to 10-1, finally ending their overrated undefeated streak, which will now see the Giants unanimously praised as the best team in the NFL, which they have been all along. Went to my buddy's to watch HBO Sunday night lineup and help him move the body of a 1967 Shelby onto the rack they made for it as he and his dad are about to build one.
Favorite development of the weekend: As long as I don't get a job between now and then I will be heading down to the ATL for the weekend of December 19th for the Holiday Parade/Cartel show. It shall be an epic adventure.
Yes, I realize this is a fairly toolish post, but I haven't written in here, and I can't remember any ideas for blog entries I've had in my mind since I just woke up an hour ago and I'm still a little out of it.
Oh, recaps of last night's HBO wouldn't be bad, maybe I'll do that later.
Here is yet another blog entry I've been trying to write for weeks. However between work and apartment-sitting in an apartment with no internet, I'm only getting around to it now.
With Manny Ramirez entering free agency, it's no question he will go wherever the money is, especially with Scott Boras as an agent. Despite being one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time, he has played for three teams in his 16 seasons, and always manages to wear out his welcome before his team would like. And of course, being that he's interested in the money side of things, one of the main teams in the mix for this incredibly talented clubhouse disruption are my beloved New York Yankees.
I cannot begin to describe how much this possibility irritates me. Regardless of the fact that A-Rod/Manny would be one of if not the most lethal 3/4 combos of all time, this cannot and should not happen. Forget the fact that he's a terrible teammate, that he's bat shit crazy, that he's a clubhouse disruption, or that he's a terrible fielder. These are all near guarantees wherever he winds up. There's a bigger argument to be made, and it's because of this argument that I am appalled Hank Steinbrenner and the Yankees front office are even entertaining this signing.
Manny Ramirez is a First Ballot Hall of Famer
This is incontrovertible in my mind. He has 527 home runs and counting, 2392 hits, a career .314 batting average, and many more stats that lend HOF credence to his resume. So why wouldn't I want someone with that resume on the Yankees?
Manny Ramirez Will Be Wearing a Red Sox Hat on His Plaque
Manny played 967 games with Cleveland, who he came up with, compared to 1083 games with the Red Sox (and 53 with the Dodgers). As if games played weren't enough, Manny helped reverse "The Curse" and brought Boston their first two World Series rings since 1918. He was the centerpiece of a truly historic, albeit despicable, run in baseball history, and will forever be immortalized in that uniform.
Manny Ramirez Would Be Immensely Successful in Pinstripes
Like I said earlier, teaming him with A-Rod would give the Yankees a power duo the likes of which hasn't been seen since the M & M boys. He showed, especially with the Dodgers, that he's still capable of dominating at the plate. So why wouldn't I want this future Hall of Famer on the Yankees? It's simple actually.
Signing Manny Ramirez, especially on the eve of new Yankee Stadium's opening, would ruin any integrity and legitimacy the Yankees, as a franchise, still currently have. Some sins can't be unwashed, and Manny's damage to the Yankees during his Red Sox years was monumental. What happens when Manny opens the new stadium tattooing the ball. We CANNOT have the new stadium being dubbed 'The House That Manny Built'. That is entirely unacceptable. At some point, regardless of the potential success this might bring, you have to stop and look at your organization. Certain bonds can't be unbroken, and this is the typical example of that.
So please, Hank Steinbrenner, this lifelong Yankee fan is begging you, do not sign Manny Ramirez. Starting pitching is a greater need for our team anyway. And Pinstripes would look quite slimming on one Mr. Sabathia.
I've got my things, I'm good to go
You met me at the terminal Just one more plane ride and it's done
I feel it’s oddly fitting to finally write my review of Jack’s Mannequin’s sophomore album, The Glass Passenger, suspended in air somewhere between Albuquerque, NM and Dallas, TX. By now just about everybody has heard this album, and for years Andrew McMahon has been a staple of the scene and iPods everywhere. However, for an artist and person who has earned my respect and admiration time and time again, I felt a need to chime in my own two cents.
The album leads off with ‘Crashin’, an upbeat song that has an edge I haven’t heard in an Andrew McMahon song since Something Corporate days. The powerpop and lightheartedness of Everything In Transit is gone. Andrew leads the album off with one of several songs that give insight to his mindset during one of the most turmoil filled time periods of anybody’s life: a battle with cancer. For such a budding star, such a derailment could not have been easy, and we see what could easily have been his first fear: what happens if nobody cares when I come back? While ‘Crashin’ presents a serious concern, ‘Spinning’ follows to put things in perspective. This battle disrupted everything. Forget everything you once knew, it’s not about returning to performing music, it’s about getting a grip on life before things can get even worse. That grip is fought for in the third track, ‘Swim’. In Finding Nemo fashion, Andrew conveys his message to just keep fighting, and swim, through the darkest of times. Just don’t let yourself drown in the struggle, no matter how little hope there may be.
The Glass Passenger takes a turn to the less serious with its next few tracks. ‘American Love’, while one of the weaker tracks on the album, brings in a fun 80’s influence with one particular drum breakdown eerily reminiscent of Wilson Phillip’s ‘Hold On’ while ‘What Gets You Off’ is a slower song that is good but nothing worth writing too deeply about. ‘Suicide Blonde’ caps off this three track foray with a fun and big chorus, albeit somewhat cheesy.
Andrew begins to turn the mood back to the serious with ‘Annie Use Your Telescope’. This track, which uses several effects to give it a very surreal feel, is a song that truly conveys a sense of powerful beauty, and is a perfect halfway marker, where Andrew once again reminds us of his battle and will to fight. This track leads into ‘Bloodshot’, a reggae/pop inspired track that leaves this listener longing for just a little more, which comes in the following song, ‘Drop Out – The So Unknown’. A driving song of exploring new territories and ideas and gaining a new perspective on life, one can only imagine the mindset that must have led to this final product. This is a song that really leaves an impression, and makes you think about the things that are important and how we see and treat them in everyday life. And this leads perfectly into this listener’s personal favorite song on the album, ‘Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)’. A beautiful piano melody leads incredibly personal and honest lyrics into a swelling chorus that despite its serious and downtrodden mood truly evicts a great sense of hope and promise.
Next comes the album’s first single, ‘The Resolution’, a solid pop song with a big chorus that is already climbing the charts and producing an increasing presence over the airwaves. Touching on the need for closure with his illness, it is in this song that The Glass Passenger’s purpose begins to come out. ‘The Resolution’ is followed up by ‘Orphans’, a song that seems to be on many people’s bad side. While the lyrics are pretty weak, the instrumentals here are very strong, and leave a feeling of disappointment this song did not turn out stronger.
‘Orphans’ conclusion leads into the final and most personal song on the album, ‘Caves’, an eight minute piano ballad that details Andrew’s difficult fight with the illness that tortured him so. The song starts off in an incredibly intimate fashion with just Andrew and his piano, before the halfway point when the cascading piano leads into a full band pick up and a true sense of hope and power.
I cannot remember the last time I was this personally affected by an album. The Glass Passenger’s message is clear: this is Andrew’s ‘fuck you’ to his cancer. By exercising his demons through the songs on this album, he’s putting his terrible disease behind him and moving on to continue his already incredible career in music. Jason Tate said it best when he called this album the Pet Sounds to Everything In Transit’s Surfin’ Safari. It is darker than anything Andrew has done at least since the Something Corporate days, if not ever, and truly leads this reviewer to believe things are about to pick up for Andrew McMahon. I have always believed his is one of the true talents of ‘the scene’ and will be one of the musicians that has a lasting impact in music. Andrew serves as a shining star of credibility and talent to a scene filled with flavor of the week pop punk acts and ridiculous fashion styles. His songwriting continually improves with each release, and The Glass Passenger leaves me with only one question on my mind: what can Andrew McMahon not do?
So keep the blood in your head
And keep your feet on the ground
If today's the day it gets tired
Today's the day we drop out
Gave up my body and bed All for an empty hotel
Wasting words on lower cases and capitals
So I'm laying in bed in my hotel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I realize that as much as I want to start this thing, I'm lazy as shit in the little free time I have, so it may take me a while. Jack's Mannequin review is coming, even if by the time I post it nobody will need to read it. I don't care, there are things I need to say about this album and I want them somewhere where people might see them.
I honestly think tonight was one of the more surreal nights in my life. I've never been this far out west before, and the view of the mountains from the hotel and highway is unbelievable. I've never seen a skyline like this. I love the city, but seeing this just makes me take a step back and really take everything in. A friend/coworker and I left the other two of our group on this business trip to check out downtown Albuquerque and grab some food and watch the debate. We found an awesome little bar where the beer was cold, the food pretty good, and the waitresses barely clothed. My friend didn't appreciate it so much, but she's engaged and I'm a 22 year old guy, so sue me. I think my favorite part was the conversation though. I can't remember the last time I felt comfortable talking about shit that was on my mind, getting advice, and just really opening up to somebody. I've been blessed in my life with great family and friends, but it's sometimes hard to really open up for me, especially since none of my friends know the particular situation (a girl) and none could really help me the way she did tonight. I can't remember the last time I felt this good about my life, even with a looming lay off on the horizon, and to receive genuine advice and support instead of a usual brush off of 'you'll be fine' was one of the most refreshing things to happen to me in a quite a while.
As for the debate, I'm scared as shit of this election. Common sense tells me Obama/Biden should win, especially after Biden rocked tonight. However when 84% of Americans believe Palin exceeded expectations (mainly because she didn't fuck up or look like a total idiot as usual) it really makes me take now how low the bar has been set for that ticket. Then, while watching the end of the Dodgers Cubs game (hell yea Joe Torre) I saw this ad (below), and all I can say is as beautiful as this part of the country may be, get me the fuck back home.
I can't begin to describe how offended I was by this spot. I consider myself of fairly high intelligence, and one thing I pride myself on is being able to see all sides of an argument. If you believe life begins at conception, I can appreciate your Pro-Life and anti-Stem Cell research beliefs. Who am I to tell you you're wrong. That's a personal belief and it's not my business to change that. However, I don't believe in pushing your beliefs on others, and that's why I feel these issues should be left to the individual and not the government. After all, isn't that what freedome is supposed to mean?
Then I saw this ad. How the fuck is gun control related to not supporting freedom. And how does this relate to Obama and his supporters not supporting the troops. Unfuckingbeleiveable. This spot should be banned from air. I understand it's shown regionally (no way I would've ever seen this at home, only out here would I see that), but people who think like this should be ashamed of themselves. I have heard good arguments on the right to bear arms. I realize people should be able to defend themselves, and I realize oftentimes muggers and criminals are strapped. But to paint Obama with that pen is shameful. Not that I would ever accuse the NRA of having tact, but this downright crosses the line.
I really do want to keep this blog going. I also feel I need a direction for it, or maybe the lack of direction will be its direction. I would love to start doing album, movie, and TV show reviews, but it's tough to find the time. For now I will just say goodbye, and I promise to write a Jack's Mannequin review soon. Maybe on the connecting flight from Dallas back to La Guardia. Until next time, stay classy AP.
Oh yea, Heartcore told a very funny joke tonight. The Start Wife. Oh Alyx, you slay me.
PS: I made a wrong turn tonight. If only it had been a left. Then I could have said, I shouldn't have made that left in Albuquerque.
I've decided I want to start using this thing. Since I graduated in May I have been a much more frequent poster. Now that I work full time, I feel like I need to start writing so I don't lose my touch and just to keep the creative juices flowing. I've often times tried to start blogs and/or journals for various purposes (daily recaps, purging thoughts/emotions, and even writing stories) and they always ended abruptly with little success. I think I'm going to use this a potpourri/catch-all of my life. Mainly I plan on using it for album, tv, and movie reviews/thoughts as well as things that are on my mind, in case you didn't know what a catch-all was. Anyway, I just felt the need to kick this off, and the official first entry will be Sept. 30. What better way to start off a blog than with a review of Jack's Mannequin's The Glass Passenger on its official release day without using the leak as my source.