William Fitzsimmons is one of the oddest people you will ever meet. Born the youngest child of two blind parents, William was raised in the outskirts of the steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to the family's inability to communicate through normal visual means, William's childhood home was filled with a myriad of sounds to replace what eyes could not see. The house was suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-a-longs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house with his own hands. When his father's orchestral records were not resonating through the walls, his mother would educate him on the folk stylings of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Simon & Garfunkel. By the completion of his youth and schooling, Fitzsimmons had become well-versed at a variety of instruments, at the minor expense of social standing, interactional skills, and a knowledge of proper shaving technique.
Fitzsimmons' path into music was likewise unusual, forsaking the hobby for many years to work with the mentally ill and pursue an education in the field of mental health. It was during his last semester of graduate school that William pooled monies from past birthday's, holidays, and snow shoveling outings, and bought cheap home recording equipment to begin creating songs again (the first collection of which eventually became his debut album). After finally achieving his goal of becoming a practicing therapist, William left, and returned again to his love of crafting and playing songs. He felt that is where he most belonged. Somewhere between a singing therapist, and a counselor who writes songs, is where Fitzsimmons endeavors to be. Using songs to address matters that he believes need to be addressed.
William draws from those early folks stylings of his mother's music, and the embellished instrumentation of his father's. He is often compared to contemporaries Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, and the late Elliott Smith, not only for his unique style and skill in writing and proclivity to deal with substantive and evocative subject matter, but also for his use of organic and colorful melodies and arrangements. His first two records were completely self-produced and his new album, "The Sparrow And The Crow," produced by Marshall Altman at Galt Line Studios in Los Angeles, is his first studio recorded work. While his lyricism deals often with darker undertones (his most recent album is said to have been written following his own divorce), a measure of hopefulness is always carefully blended in. Even with his short tenure as a songwriter, William has already received mention in noted publications such as Billboard, Paste Magazine, and Performing Songwriter Magazine, and his music has been featured on several television programs such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Army Wives."
Myspace, the social networking site that brings together millions of people. Myspace, the site that forever revolutionized what it means to be a social networking site. Myspace, the spawn of many things evil and atrocious.
Myspace has always been famous for bringing people together and revolutionizing the world of social networking,but it's also infamous for bringing out the garbage and vile things of society. Myspace, despite claims of being free of sexual pictures, has enough provocative photos to make a pornographic movie star blush. Pictures that have led to influx in sexual crimes, a rash of violent crimes, and a rise in crime among youths altogether. There was a recent case of a 13 year old girl who posted 30 naked pictures of herself on myspace, proof that myspace is furthering the sexual landscape to the youth of today.
Not only has myspace led to many a crime, but it's also sped up the pace of our cultures diminish and our diminish in values. It used to be that bands like the Millionaires, Jeffree Star, and BrokeNCYDE would be dismissed as a joke and be considered a plague on our society, not develop a cult like following of people who don't so much like them for their music, but for how different they are. These bands have not only vulgar lyrics, but offensive ones. BrokeNCYDE's song Bree Bree, begins with shouting the very offensive "N" word for no apparent reason but to say it. Don Imus was fired and prodded by the masses, but this band of four middle class suburban white males is allowed to say it with no backlash. Jeffree Star, the famous cross dresser, helps to further our females youths values by talking about how good it is to be hated, how to create drama or do anything for attention, and sexual material among other things. The Millionaires are also another by large offender in the devalued culture of the youths today. The Millionaires are a group of three 19 year old females who have songs about drinking, causing drama, and as one might easily guess, having sex. Is it acceptable to allow today's youths to be subjected to such vile? This individual thinks not.
It's not fair to say myspace was created for this purpose or that it is even solely responsible for this problem. It is, however, completely fair and true to say that Myspace is responsible for enabling and creating a habitat for these behaviors to thrive unaltered and unpunished. This is not the first time in our history that sex and drugs have thrived and been involved in culture, this is, however, the first time that people so young have been subjected to this type of behavior, this is the first time that it's not largely frowned upon to exhibit this type of behavior, and this is the first time that it's been so easy to access. It's scary to think that this generation will one day be running our nation, a generation that many of the members of could barely take care of themselves, what's the chance that they can take care of the youths and elderly of the country? If this generation doesn't shape up and fast, then it's not looking too promising.
EDIT:Didn't look over for spelling and grammar mistakes, just a quick rough draft.
Break out the eggnog, hang some mistle toe, and get your santa hats out. It's this time that you need to figure out that the world is in dire need of peace, love and understanding, and it needs to start with you. Whether your christian, atheist, or any other religion this is where you need to gather round, get some quality time with those you love and care for.
So without further ado, I give you my Christmas playlist:
The Christmas Song- Owl City
I Wont Be Home For Christmas- Blink 182
Christmas Time (Is Here Again)- The Beatles
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-Coldplay
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)- Death Cab For Cutie
Winter Wonderland- Jason Mraz
And So This Is Christmas- John Lennon
What Child Is This?- The Reign Of Kindo
I Believe In Us (This Christmas)- A Rocket To The Moon
Last Christmas- Jimmy Eat World
Frosty The Snowman- Less Than Jake
Do You Hear What I Hear- Copeland
Christmas Wont Be The Same Without You- Plain White T's
O' Holy Night- The Reign Of Kindo
Ho Ho Hopefully- The Maine (featuring Eisely)
If you would like a link to any of these ask me and I'll do my best to find it for you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years friends.
Best Albums Released In 2008
1.Jack's Mannequin-The Glass Passenger
2.The Reign Of Kindo- Rhythm, Cord, & Melody
3.Street Dogs- State Of Grace
4.Dear In The Head Lights-Drunk Like Bible Times
5.Owl City - Maybe I'm Dreaming
6.Rookie Of The Year- Sweet Attention
7.Cinematic Sunrise-A Long Playing Record And A Coloring Storybook
8.Mates Of State- Re-Arrange Us
9.Butch Walker- Sycamore Meadows
10.The Briggs- Come All you Mad Men
Less Than Jake- GNV FLA
Beat Union- Disconnected
Anberlin- New Surrender
The Killers- This Day and Age
Best Discoveries I Made This Year
Swimming With Dolphins
Mates Of State
Dear And The Headlights
Artists You Need To Dust Off And Listen To Again
Steve Miller Band
Best Record Label
With bands like Rookie of the Year, Reign of Kindo making my top 10 list for 2008, I can think of no one better than 111. 111 just has great artists and it's surprising many of them haven't blown up big.
The list of stellar bands signed to this label are: Canon, Rookie of the Year, Reign Of Kindo, Dearest Azazel, Devin Lima And The Cadbury Diesel, Inkwell, Kiernan McMullen, Little Pieces, The Spill Canvas, Stepsonday, and The Windupdeads.
Former bands include: foreverinmotion, I Am The Dream, Jinxed, The Exit Radio/Mashlin, Thin Dark Line, Rory, and This Day & Age.
1. Adam Young (Owl City and Swimming With Dolphins)
Not many times has an artist been able to paint such clear, beautiful pictures in my minds with the slightest of ease and the simplest of means as Adam Young has. He takes on not one, but two projects, and in both he manages to convey imagery through his lyrics beautifully and masterfully.
2. Andrew McMahon (Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate)
Andrew McMahon's songs have a simple, but somehow sophisticated beauty to them. They make you think, they cleary tell stories, and they make your emotions run like a river. I was worried that his new album, The Glass Passanger, could not contain such beauty as Everything In Transit did, I was never let down. Songs such as Caves and Drop Out/ The So Unknown are simply beautiful. The lyrics paints a picture that lays the setting for the story that McMahon tells through all of his songs. Keep up the good work Mr. McMahon.
Best Punk Releases
Street Dog- State Of Grace
Flatfoot 56- Jungle Of The Midwest Sea
The Briggs- Come All You Madmen
Best Indie Releases
Dear And The Headlights-Drunk Like Bible Times
Mates Of State- Re-Arrange Us
Best Pop Punk Releases
Cinematic Sunrise- A Coloring Story Book And A Long Playing Record
It sure is, I get my ROTY CD* and all the other stuff and I'm planning on after listening to it a few times through to give it, and Street Dog's CD A State Of Grace a review for you fine folks about absolutepunk.net. I also have to read East Of Eden and answer a bunch of questions, and then go to football practice. So, I'll be busy all day tomorrow.
A question for all you fine people that are reading my blog, do you have an album that you absolutely love but you just can't listen to the whole thing in one sitting because it can't hold your attention? If you do please tell that you do and tell me what album it is! Thanks!
Also, I know I don't get a lot of viewers of my blog, but those that do take time out of their day I want to thank you. You that read my blog are some of the coolest people to me, and it's even cooler when you leave comments! So thanks again all my readers!
*For some reason so it's not getting delivered till tomorrow, two days after it was released. I pre ordered it about a month back, couldn't they just ship it sooner so I get it on the day its released?
The rain poured onto the street and over the rooftops as it barraged the ordinary citizens of this small southern town. People scurried here and there, finding cover wherever they could. But all was not normal, for in middle of the street was a peculiarity. A man, standing in the middle of the street looking up while rain pelted his face. His face wore a look of pride and his features were greatly distinguished, but the face, while prideful, wore a long, sorrowful frown. The man was all alone, nobody pulling him out of the rain, nobody to offer him shelter, nobody to care for him, nobody to notice that it was not rain running down his, but instead, it was tears.
That was something I started to think up earlier after all the rain kept sweeping through the past couple days, I'm hoping to write another one, but not right now.