Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I hate breakfast

And I'm not that fond of dinner either.

Since when did eating become such a chore?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot August Night

The leaves hangin' down and the grass on the ground smellin' sweet

Proudly presenting:

You'd almost bet you can hear yourself sweat

The first line from Neil Diamond's classic 1969 hit single "Brother Love's Traveling Salvations Show" and the name of his venerated live album (which was recorded 10 years to the day before the day I was born), "Hot August Night" is a more than appropriate description of this show: temperature-wise because AZ in August is so dang hot, and rock 'n roll-wise because this evening will be brimming with sultry rock jams.

Pack up the babies, and grab the old ladies, everyone goes

It's quite likely that none of these bands will ever grace the stage again; I hope it will be as epic as I've made it out to be.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Whenever you see a movie that's based on a book -- especially if said movie is based on one of your most favorite books -- you almost have to detach yourself from that book in order to enjoy the movie.

I feel that I did just that successfully with the motion picture adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The result? I love love love love loovvvvvved it (It kinda annoys me when people do that – it's not something I do lightly; yeah, it was that good).

If you haven't seen it yet, then don't read the comments because that's where I'll be posting my thoughts.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the stars will align, the fates will consent

So a large part of my day has been an enormous waste of time. Wanna know why? Of course you do or else you would've stopped reading already. Before LiveJournal, before Myspace, before blogs, before Facebook -- yes, there was such a time -- there was this.

Most of you probably heard of the Manhattan Project in history class referring to the US's atomic bomb project during WWII. Or maybe you heard it in reference to the Ninja Turtles movie/video game. Well, that's partly why we -- Jeff, Trev, Dev and I -- chose it as our band name in high school; since people were already familiar with the name they would be curiously drawn to our shows in effort to remember where they first heard of the Manhattan Project.

To quote Lando Calrissian, I was the "administrator of this facility" (though I would hardly call a message board a facility; I just really wanted to quote Lando). In other words, I basically maintained the message board... and at times, if things got out of hand, I did so with an iron fist (I often referred to myself as the Supreme Dictator). Anyway, this message board was hardly band related, or at least, hardly related to our band. It was essentially a gathering place for friends (and enemies) of TMP, where we discussed everything from music to movies to, well, everything else. For example, the lengthiest topic, weighing at 133 replies, was a sarcastic debate of pop vs. soda (speaking of sarcasm, I'm surprised we were still friends after some of the things we said on here; jeez!).

Feel free to peruse at your own risk; I can't guarantee that everything on this is board is G rated, though for the most part we tried to keep it clean -- as clean as immature high schoolers can keep it. I just stumbled upon this topic Indie Rock Memories... that was fun to read -- and one of the few unoffensive posts; it would be a fun topic of discussion today.

Since moving to Colorado and being far away from friends and family, my moods have often been nostalgic and reminiscent. I'm a pretty sentimental guy as it is, so this is saying a lot. You'll notice that recent blog posts have been dedicated to old friends and/or the good times we've shared. Upon rediscovering this old message board today I feel my reminiscence coming to a climax; while I've enjoyed the postings and ramblings of yesteryear, I've realized that I'm glad that this period is over and behind me. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had since then and I'm happy to be where I am today.

But, I'm also happy to say that this bout of nostalgia is hardly over. What I'm about to write has been somewhat classified for a while, and I'll probably be labeled a hypocrite for blogging about it, but so be it, I don't feel like waiting anymore. A couple months ago while talking with my brother Matt he told me that he would be playing keyboards with our friends Steve and Tyson's band, The Headline Is Dead. Impressed with the idea of a reunion show, I jokingly suggested that I come home that weekend and play an acoustic set of TMP songs.

This is Tyson's list of top ten local bands and top 20 songs. Notice TMP is three and xyzebra is ten. Two TMP songs appear on the list as does one xy song. Rock!

Matt passed the idea on to Steve and Tyson -- avid TMP fans -- I'm flattered that there is such a thing -- and they loved it. So I told them I'd figure out how to do a couple TMP jams acoustic style and come down and play them, maybe with Trev and/or Devyn (bass and drums, respectively). The date of the show was set for Saturday August 8th. A few weeks later I was on the phone with Jeff (vocals and guitar and principle songwriter). He casually mentioned that he and his wife and childrens (they have two now, crazy!) would be flying home in August. Thinking it would be a funny coincidence that they would be coming the weekend of this show, it was my natural response to ask their date of departure. Turns out he would be flying home on the 7th of August. Thinking this was too good to be true, and almost expecting to be shot down, I suggested to Jeff the possibility of a full band TMP reunion. To my joy he responded positively, as did the other fellas when I told them of Jeff's visit to AZ.

Anyway, we've wanted to keep this on the DL till we have the details ironed out, but, as Cat Stevens puts it, "I can't keep it in!" To add to my excitement, my post-high school band xyzebra will be playing, as will Whit's classic band Felix. That and the date, August 8th, are all I can mention right now since the venue and other bands (except for The Headline Is Dead who is confirmed, of course) are still in flux, though we are very close to nailing them down. Expect a flyer soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A good night? Good night.

Just got back from the Death Cab show. Not amazing, but still pretty tight. More inspiring than anything; stoked the flame of rock in my soul; can't wait to rock again.

Went by myself; tried to find someone to go with; people bailed or had other things come up; wasn't my first solo concert ever, won't be my last if I keep living in Colorado -- so be it.

Thought about stopping at a theater in Denver to check HP6 at midnight; glad I didn't; checking it tomorrow or this weekend.

Andrew Bird was pretty rad; legit violin looping and whistling skills. Wish I would've known his stuff better. Got there late so I missed Ra Ra Riot; terrible parking.

First time seeing Death Cab since January 2001; my old band, The Manhattan Project, opened for them at that show; basement of the Nile -- crusty!

Show highlights: "Transatlanticism," finale; "Long Division," I love a good math metaphor:

And they carried on like
Long division
And it was clear with every page
That they were further away
From a solution that would play
Without a remainder

Ben Gibbard is a jittery dude.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bleed American Dream

My life as I know it is in a flux; confusion reigns; a veritable coup d'├ętat has begun. To explain myself I turn to, well, myself. In a blog post earlier this year I wrote:

I put my brother's CD sampler in my Discman and punched the track button till I heard the soon-to-be-familiar feedback swell of "Call It in the Air". Through pummeled power chords I heard a raspy Jim Adkins sing, "Leave home today / Escape your region" (I think that's what he sings, he's so hard to understand on that song). I instantly felt an aching yet compelling nostalgia that I hadn't felt since I heard "My Name is Jonas" for the first time; frankly, it frightened me. You see, at the time -- and throughout most of my junior and senior high school experience -- I was obsessed with Weezer. And any other band capable of evoking a feeling that I had only previously felt with Weezer was clearly a threat. I mean, think about it, if Jimmy Eat World became my new favorite band, then Weezer wouldn't be my favorite band anymore.

I declare that today, this seventh day of July, two-thousand-nine in the year of our Lord, Jimmy Eat World has become my All-Time Favorite Band. Perhaps, I make this declaration prematurely as the release of Weezer's purported seventh album is due later this year. However, I'm confident that Jimmy Eat World can hold their own against Weezer as the least of JEW's albums match and often exceed the greatness of Weezer's last four.

Furthermore, I want Jimmy Eat World to be my All-Time Favorite Band because I know they won't let me down.

A few things worth noting in video: Jim's voice cracking at 3:29, and the torrent of sweat Jim flips from his hair at the end of the song (of which I have been a victim many times). This song, "23", has been phasing me like no other:

You'll sit alone forever
If you wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I'm here I'm now I'm ready
Holding on tight
Don't give away the end
The one thing that stays mine

This video (and some others that I wanted to post but I couldn't because embedding was disabled) really epitomizes what I love about Jimmy Eat World: honest songwriting, sick guitar riffs, fantastic melodies, no frills, no gimmicks, no scandal, no sex appeal, just honest-to-goodness American rock. I can't think of another band that's worked as hard as Jimmy Eat World to get where they are based solely on their music.