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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving

So, tomorrow is the day that we give thanks to our God(s?) for letting us discover this bountiful land (which happened to already have people living here), and giving us the faith, determination, and courage to kill or give diseases to almost everyone who opposed us; such is the legacy of our forefather's manifest density.


In other news, an "alleged" gunman was witnessed shooting a gun at the Tacoma mall the other day. This was the "alleged" gunman who sent warnings to his girlfriend and was then witnessed by a great crowd of witnesses at the mall. Then he was arrested and pleaded not guilty. So my question is, after so many witnesses witness him doing all this insane shooting, why is he referred to as the "suspected" or "accused" or "alleged" gunman? Six people aren't allegedly in the hospital because of him; that's where they are. He is the gunman. He's no less suspected of shooting than I am of writing these words; the people who saw him and the people who ended up in the hospital are the evidence of that, just as these words being read by you, gentle reader, are proof that I wrote this. Why all the semantic pitter patter?

Moving on, um... my train of thought has completely jumped the track. I want pie!



Later!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Menomena - Under an Hour - Review


Menomena - Under an Hour

In crass attempt to appeal to mainstream commercial radio, "Under an Hour" consists of 3 songs that are about 18 minutes long a piece, each written by a different band member. It's pretty interesting how you can tell which track was written by which guy (Brent Knopf, Justin Harris, Danny Seim - in that order), although all the tracks have that Menomena sound - meaning piano, bass, drums, sax, guitar, and a plethora of other instruments that might be found in a church in southeast Portland, all jumbled together in a very non-Beatlesy way - meaning these are not your mother's pop songs. Or your dad's freedom rock. Under an Hour is definitely more produced than I am the fun blame monster, as evidenced by the backwards guitar on "Water", or the cut & pasted drums and guitars on "Light". The opening track's banjo leading into bells, bass, and guitars reminded me of "Cabinessence", the wonderful Beach Boys outtake from Smile, but it also reminded me of the beginning of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride at Disneyland, which is indicative of the grandness and magic of this album. "Water" is chamber poppy, "Flour" is saxophone-loop driven, and "Light" is the most progressive and ambient sounding, full of e-bowed guitar and chopped up guitar and distorted drum sounds. It's a fun ride, sometimes heart-pounding, sometimes jaw-dropping, always enjoyable. However, it's more thought provoking than an amusement park; where Disneyland seeks to make one forget the outside world, the wordless nature of this music forces introspection and reflection.

These instrumental compositions were made for a Portland dance troupe called Monster Squad. Monster Squad was a movie from the late 80s starring The Wonder Years as a boy who's friends with a bunch of weird animals like Frankenstein, the Werewoof, a Count Chocula-based character, and Angela Lansbury. They go around playing video games and one guy finally ended up in an Austin Powers movie and Winnie Cooper auditions to play baby Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode 3.


All in all, I give Under an Hour an "A" for "Ayyyyyyyyyyyy!"



Monday, November 14, 2005

My favorite movies


I was going to do a list of "the best films" but if I do "my favorite", I don't have to defend their artistic qualities, and you can just trust me that these are my personal faves. This is basically my dvd collection (not arranged in order of importance):

00s:
1. Donnie Darko
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Two Towers
4. Return of the King
5. Lost in Translation
6. The Royal Tenenbaums
7. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
8. High Fidelity

90s:
1. Pulp Fiction
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Edward Scissorhands
4. Goodfellas
5. Fight Club
6. Rushmore
7. Groundhog Day
8. Kicking & Screaming (not available on dvd)
9. The City of Lost Children
10. Swingers
11. What about Bob?

80s:
1. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. Blade Runner
6. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
7. A Christmas Story
8. This is Spinal Tap
9. Crimes & Misdemeanors
10. Radio Days

70s:
1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather, Part II
3. Annie Hall
4. Star Wars
5. Apocalypse Now
6. A Clockwork Orange
7. Manhattan

60s:
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. A Hard Day's Night
3. The Graduate

50s
1. Rear Window
2. The 400 Blows
3. Singin' in the Rain
4. A Streetcar Named Desire
5. White Christmas

40s
1. Citizen Kane
2. The Big Sleep
3. Casablanca
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. The Thin Man Goes Home

30s
1. A Night at the Opera
2. Animal Crackers
3. Bringing Up Baby

So there you go. Not my most personal blog entry ever, but I wanted to do this. I'm taking a "Hollywood of the 70s" class right now and I wondered how my tastes look, when arranged by decade. There's probably more that I can't think of right now, any suggestions? And be prepared for me to criticize your suggestions.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Halo, Dolly!


The weekend was good and as eventful as I could have hoped for. A certain Mr. J. Thom ran me through the ringer on Saturday. After rehearsing for a good 2ish hours with [former band name], Benjy & I had to speed race out to Beaverton to play with the Fellowship of the Thom for a church named Bethany. We rehearsed for almost an hour, and then played for about 2 hours!! And this is after the whole daylight savings thing, so it was almost like we played for 3 hours!

I used the church's drum set, which sounded ok at first, but the snare drum sounded progressively (digressively?) worse as the night went on. And there was a big note next to the drum set which read something like:

Drummers: You are not to tune these drums. If they need tuning, call the church music director's assistant. Every time you adjust these drums, it makes the little baby Jesus cry. Jesus died for your sins; don't take it for granted. You bastards are lucky we even allow these demonic "rhythm makers" into the house of our Lord. Remember, each turn of the drum key is like hammering the nails into Jesus' coffin. So don't do it!

Other than that, it was a very welcoming place; they invited the band to go out for pizza after we played, but our guitarist Jon Junior "Professional Heartbreaker" had other plans. And then Hurricane was like "Dudes, I'm Audi 5000" and Kristina was like "thank God I've got a babysitter tonight, my kids make me wanna tear off my ear", and Jeremy was all "all of me is more than enough for all of me", and me and Ben were like "we gotta jet! Rhythm section out!"

Friday, November 04, 2005

TGIF: The gravy isn't finished

Well, it seems all I needed was a good band practice and a rousing match of Battlefront II to get back to normal. Thank god.

It's somewhat comforting to know that our nation is being led by raving sadistic idiots, such as the mayor of Reno, Oscar Goodman. As Jane's Addiction so eloquently put it way back when: Idiots Rule. Why should we stop this great American tradition of having the people who are least qualified or most ridiculous get elected? Apparently Oscar Goodman is fed up with some people created graffiti a highway landscaping project, so he suggested that we televise "these punks" getting their thumbs cut off. He also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble. I'm guessing he'll be the next president. Here's a picture of him dancing. Make up your own caption. (He's the one on the left)


Read the whole story here.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Three cheers for daylight savings!

So I really can't put my finger on it, exactly but here goes. Do you ever feel unappreciated? Not just unappreciated, but taken for granted? Misunderstood? Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or say or work for to try to change, everything is basically meaningless? And no amount of coffee or candy or beer or days off or movies or music is helping? Have you ever had one of those days where everything works out how you wanted and you still feel dissatisfied? Or one of times where nothing you had planned works out the way you wanted, but then something happens to change everything and the world is ok and you feel good again? I've been feeling like that, but I'm still waiting for something to happen to make everything feel good. I wouldn't say that I'm depressed; maybe just a little afflicted by SAD.

(ten minutes of internet research)

Hey, hot damn. I was just guessing, but after looking at those symptoms, it seems pretty spot on:
1. Usually desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake but, in some cases, disturbed sleep and early morning wakening
2. Feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out normal routine
3. Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, usually resulting in weight gain
4. Feelings of misery, guilt and loss of self-esteem, sometimes hopelessness and despair, sometimes apathy and loss of feelings
5. Tension and inability to tolerate stress
6. Irritability and desire to avoid social contact

Well, I guess I'm SAD. Looks like I'm due for some "light" therapy, or else Lustral, Seroxat and Prozac, or maybe just some intensive psychotherapy. Hurray! Winter is here.

Update! Also, my knee kind of hurts.