Tuesday, July 27, 2010

something for everyone

This album has been in and out of my CD player (yeah, I still listen to CDs) during the past couple weeks:

These Four Walls by We Were Promised Jetpacks

There are quite a few things I like about this band:

-- Their name. I'd like to know who has the ability to make (and keep) such a promise. And how one gets promised a jetpack.

-- I don't know what it is, there's just something raw, something a bit more manly, a bit more tough about this guy's voice. Maybe it's the slight rasp, maybe it's his Scottish accent, but it's probably both.

-- Electric guitars. Nothing searing, soaring or face-melting, just dirty and sometimes dynamic. More often than not that's all I ever need.

-- They're touring with Jimmy Eat World (more on them later) this fall. Not sure if they'll be playing at JEW's TBD Arizona show but a guy can hope, right?


I kinda like it when Brandon Flowers makes religious allusions in his songs. He's LDS too so I feel like I can relate -- or at least I can understand where he's coming from. That said, I really enjoy the single "Crossfire" from his forthcoming solo album, Flamingo.

There's just something about the way Charlize puts her arm around him at the end there. It's cute. Flamingo is out September 14.


Speaking of September, it's shaping up to be a good month as far as music releases go. My hometown homeboys Jimmy Eat World release Invented on September 28. This could be their best album in a long while for at least two reasons:

1. Producer Mark Trombino is back -- his resume includes prior JEW releases Static Prevails, Clarity, and Bleed American, not to mention a slew of albums by other 90s emo/indie/post-punk greats like No Knife and Knapsack.

2. Tom Linton -- JEW guitarist and former full-time JEW vocalist -- takes over lead vocal duties for one song on this album -- something he hasn't done since Clarity in 1999.

JEW has yet to announce a date in Arizona for their upcoming tour this fall but they have assured fans via Twitter/Facebook that they are indeed planning a show in their home state. To that I say, thank you Jimmy Eat World for not sweeping your AZ fans under the rug like so many other bands have because of SB1070 (for the record, JEW opposes SB1070).


For me, blogging about movies would be sort of like someone who listens to the radio and occasionally downloads a song from iTunes blogging about music (OK, not exactly -- I like movies more than that, but I definitely wouldn't call myself a movie guy). Nevertheless, I encourage those who have yet to see this movie to go see it:

Here's why:

1. It's a good movie.

2. Cohesive cast.

3. Why is it that anything successful in Hollywood is either based on a book or a remake of another movie? Inception is great because it's an original story -- not based on a book, not based on another movie, but based on a screenplay -- and it's been successful at the box office. Hopefully, filmmakers will realize they don't have to regurgitate someone else's premise in order to make a few bucks (or a good movie). (Ironically, none of Christopher Nolan's other box office successes, Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight, are not his original works -- but they're nevertheless very well done.)

4. Finally, financially, I hope it does better than the latest Twilight installment. (Which, by the way, was awful. This is coming from the guy who kinda liked the second movie, so I'm not just being biased or close-minded.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

duty of friendship

"I'd like to ask you something," Hazel said.


"Well, this ain't none of it true. It's a kind of a--a whatchamacallit--"

"Hypothetical question?"

"I guess so."

"S'pose there's a guy and he's in trouble."


"Well, he can't get out of it. But he got a friend maybe he don't know about."

"That's you," said the seer.

"No it ain't! It's some other guy. I forget his name." He hurried on. "Well, s'pose the guy's in trouble and there's one way he can get out but he can't do it. You think his friend ought to do it?"


"Even if it hurt like hell?"


"Even if it might maybe not work?"

"Certainly. I don't know what the situation is with your Doc, but I know how it should be with you. If you love him you must do anything to help him--anything. Even kill him to save him incurable pain. This is the highest and most terrible duty of friendship. I gather what you must do is violent. You must first make sure it can be successful, and you must, second, make sure within yourself that you know you will be punished. It is quite possible that even if you are successful your friend will never speak to you again. That takes a lot of love--maybe the greatest love. Make sure you love him that much."

Hazel caught his breath, "Hell, there ain't no such guy. It's hypa--it's malarky, a kind of riddle."

"I guess you do love him that much," the seer said.

John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday