Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday is Tracks Night: Re-united!

I thought it would be appropriate to use this week's track to commemorate my booked flight to Seattle in March...for what you ask gentle readers?

My response: for a band. 

Let's do the timewarp!

The year was 1999, and I was at the Starlight Lounge in Ft. Collins. I spent many a nights here feeding my musical palette and learning to appreciate a variety of song stylings. This particular night, I saw Dismemberment Plan, I remember how the poppy and dissonant sound-scapes they created made me downright giddy. 

Pop open a bottle of bubbly…yeah. 
Here’s to another goddamn new year.
And outside, 2 million drunk Bostonians
Are getting ready to sing “Auld Lang Sine”…out of tune.
I sit there in my easy chair, 
looking at the clouds, 
orange with celebration
And I wonder if you’re out there.
Hey! The ice of Boston is muddy
And reflects no light, in day or night
And I slip on it every time 

I was hooked, and I promptly purchased their album and sought out their previous albums. They quickly became one of my all-time favorite bands. I loved their sound and their ability to turn the dissonant into the dramatic and downright psychedelic at times. Sadly, in 2003 they gave up the band life for the "real world," and it was a sad day indeed
NPR, the awesome music connoisseurs that they are, let me in on a little secret...they're totally re-united!!! They had a sold out tour on the East Coast and even made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon. O.k., so it wasn't so much a secret as I was just the last one to know. 


My BFF boo asks me, over a casual chat session aboutsexting last night, if I want to go to a Dismemberment Plan show in Seattle in March. Boo also shares a love of this band; we're kind of soul-mates, but not in a sexual way. Of course, I was dying to go, but I was juggling the idea and trying to find a way to justify canceling class to make the trip out there. Wait, March 12 is on a Saturday. I could make this work. Wait a campus' spring break is in March. Awwwwwwww shiiiiiiiiiz, spring break starts that following Monday. The music gods have spoken!

I get to see Dismemberment Plan after all these years in Seattle! Best news ever!!!!!! Even better, I get to hang with my BFF, and I get to see some other great friends that live in Seattle who I haven't seen since my Yellowstone days. I'm not only excited, but I am Spano-Stoked!

So, I thought it would be proper to use this week's track posting to take a trip down Nostalgia Way. The song that made me want to hear more, Enjoy!

Dismemberment Plan: Ice of Boston

1. I just want to re-iterate there was only discussion regarding sexting. Actual sexting did not take place. 

P.S. Welcome to my new followers :) I'm stoked you stopped by and stuck around. I look forward to the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and brilliance that is sure to be a by-product from our co-creation of meaning up in this blog-o-sphere!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where did all the hipsters come from?

I‘m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of "fuck-you," reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.
                                                                   ---Douglas Haddow

I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this whole hipster movement. I live in a location where fashion and trends tend to be a little out-dated and behind; non-mainstream. Also, a lot of the locals here are pretty damn annoying at times and it seems that hipsters are annoying a lot of people these days. So, does this mean I live in a community full of hipsters? Considering 90% of the town give in to the commodification of the "Old Wild West" donning western gear for only a week and a half out of the year. I'm gonna say NOT.

Now, I'm a big fan of Independent artists when it comes to my music taste. As far as fashion goes, I'd like to claim I have my own style, and I was giving it to the man by deviating from all that is trendy. Even at a young age, my mother was buying me Hilfiger, and I refused to wear it. Does this mean that I'm a hipster? GASP!

The truth is though, I buy and wear what I think I'll look "cute" in. Let's face it, Hilfiger did nothing for my hips. The fact that a piece of wardrobe looks unique does appeal to me, but I ask myself, "Can I really pull this off." Sometimes, I probably don't. In these instances, I would hope my friends gave me a good sit-down "FACE IT" session. So, I would say while I am a pretty groovy dude, a hipster I am not. I love argyle way too much and happily give in to this trend.

According to Douglas Haddow of Adbusters, "after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of 'counter-culture' have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the 'Hipster.' "

I am a huge fan of mutants, so that's a point for the hipster side.

Unfortunately, I like my mutants to be bad-ass and not pretentious little frackers, so point taken back.
Sidenote: The comic book geek in me feels the need to point out that Juggernaut clearly has his helmet on and the whole purpose of his helmet is to prevent his bro, Xavier, from projecting or reading his thoughts. While this video is both hilarious and brilliant, there is that little discrepancy that no one probably cares about...

I could appreciate the notion that hipsters refuse to follow trends and go outside the "stylish" garb that all the tweens and metrosexuals are currently drooling over. However, that appreciation quickly dwindled when one of my good friends came up with a fun and exciting new game to play while roaming the streets of any urban city of your choice. 
While this game is super fun, it appears to me that the hipsters seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes and the object for a lot of disdain. Perhaps it's the idea that they want to go against everything that is mainstream, yet have created a trend that has become both mainstream and homogeneous. Hmmmm, this seems to go against everything the hipsters claim they are...maybe I just don't understand.

Again, I think Haddow says it best: "We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kitty from Alaska is LOST

It's a sunday, and I've been gaming, writing, lesson planning, and getting some laundry done. I kind of love Sundays because I can relax and be productive all in the same day. I didn't see the sense in making three separate posts. So, gentle readers, here are three things I felt like sharing with you on this fine Sunday afternoon. May one of these brighten your day and make you smile. 

(#1) Die Kitty Die
The banes of my existence, my roommate's cats, pretty much live to torment me. I have developed some strong allergies due to their long hair that gets EVERYWHERE! It's gotten so bad my doctor prescribed me allergy meds and an inhaler until I can move out. Plus, these cats are EVIL! For example, one likes to run at my door at full speed and use herself as a battering ram...I often jolt up in the middle of the night awoken by a loud THUD! followed by a low grumbling mrrrearrw. She also has a tendency to run out in front of you and instantly stop in your path, roll over, and pull the I'm so cute and adorable pet me now look—tripping me in the process. Her favorite spot is the stairs and yes, I have toppled down them.

I call this cat the dumb one.

The other is the one you have to watch out for. Initially, I thought her to be mild mannered. She would always be laying in her one spot in the kitty bed at the top of the stairs. The only time I would see her out of that spot was when she had to do her business at the litter box or when she was eating or drinking. During the holidays, I assumed the dumb one was wreaking havoc on the tree. Then one foggy evening (I doubt it was actually foggy that night, it just seemed like it should be), I came home and caught the "innocent" one in the act through the sliding glass door wreaking havoc on the tree and getting all her fur all over my gaming chair. The moment she heard my key in the door, she jumped with panic and scurried to her spot. The little shit was actually pretending to sleep! 

This one is now referred to as the bad seed.

I'll be moving out into my own place in the next month or two as soon as this guy who knows a guy calls me about some vacancies. Despite their nuisance and my verbal abuse toward them (I often tell them nobody loves them or threaten to stir fry them hoping it would convince them to not cuddle with me or my things-allergies), I am probably gonna miss the little buggars. 

(#2) She Can See Her House From Alaska...
Thought this clip was pretty funny and considering all the intensity of Palin in the news recently, I thought this would be a nice change of pace toward the lighter side.

(#3) Their love is strong and true! STRONG AND TRUE!

I got the last season for Christmas, so I've been re-watching it. I am about to re-live the worst moment in the series for me. All that anticipation of Sun and Jin being re-uinited after being separated for two seasons only to...I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. 

I was watching Buffy the other day, and this scene was pretty much exactly how I felt when Sun and Jin...I can't even type it...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's like Hoth out there...

Dear Tom Scott,

Thank you for taking one of my favorite things and combining it with the weather. You've transformed the mundane task of checking the weather into an inter-galactic adventure in a galaxy far far away...

I I tip my hat off to you Tom Scott. Good show, sir, good show indeed.

Click the above link to check the weather

Foto Friday

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday is tracks night: Who's your doggie?

This week's track comes from David Dondero. If you're a fan of Bright Eyes, you'll dig this guy as he openly attributes his style and sound to Dondero.

If you're into this sort of thing, folksy and what-not, I highly recommend purchasing this album. It's a good solid investment. Here's a live recording of one of the songs off this album. It's playful, fun, and makes me miss my childhood dog.

Not Everyone Loves Your Doggie Like You Do

Mutant relations...

Let me begin by saying, I am not afraid to admit that I enjoy a good info-graphic, especially when the graphic is clever or snarky. What happens when you combine info-graphics with comic books? Pure bliss and awesomeness, that's what.


My good friend boo sent this to me a while back, and it pretty much made my day. However, it also brought up some bitter resentment toward a certain Hollywood trilogy adaptation of my beloved X-Men comic book series. 

Now, if the only X-men mythology you're aware of is from the movies...shame on you. Check out some comic books or at the very least, the cartoon series that used to be on Fox kids years ago. This animation series stayed pretty true to the 1990s comic book The X-Men, (the original) and the narrative set forth by Marvel. O.K. yeah, Jubilee was a total spaz who was bothersome (that's a nice way of putting it), but otherwise this show was the highlight of my Saturday mornings back in the day. The third season showcased one of the best comic book story-arcs in my opinion:    

The Phoenix Saga---->NERD-GASM!

Back to the big screen adaptation. When it comes to the third installment in the X-Men series of movies, I only have two words: HOT MESS! Oh noes...this is a touchy subject, and I feel a rant coming on.

I didn't mind the first two movies and in ways I could appreciate their "take" on the X-Men mythos. Yes, there were a few liberties. For example, in the original comic book series Iceman (Bobby Drake) was a part of the original X-Men crew while the movie decided to make him a promising student in Xavier's school for the gifted. The scene in the second movie where Bobby "comes out" to his parents as a mutant made this worth it and echoed the metaphor of the mutants representing the marginalized, so many gay youth could relate too, which is what made the original comic book series so amazing. That and the epic story-arcs. While there were a few inconsistencies, this is to be expected with Hollywood adaptations. For the most part, the characters were interesting and they stayed true to the core elements that existed in the comic books. The movies also did a nice job highlighting the tensions that existed between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. 

The third movie was a travesty! Why, gentle readers, you ask?

At the end of the first movie, Jean Grey is exposed to the radiation in Magneto's machine made to enhance the mutant gene in humans. 

The second movie, we notice a change in Jean Grey. Scott Summers (Cyclops) even goes as far as telling Jean, "You haven't been the same, since the incident at Liberty Island." The incident he speaks of is the exposure to Magneto's machine. Jean's powers have grown noticeably and she exhibits a red fiery flare in her eyes when she utilizes her "evolved" powers. 

At the end of the movie, Jean sacrifices herself by holding back the floods, so her fellow X-men may escape without being submerged in the rushing waters. A fiery aura surrounds Jean as the waters surround her and she is presumably drowned (very sad).

But wait, one of the final scenes shows the Alkaline lake after the flood. A slight fiery glimmer can be seen under the waters, in the shape of a bird...the phoenix! This also happens to echo a storyline where Jean Grey as the Phoenix was trapped under the ocean. The Phoenix entity encases Jean in a protective barrier and projects another Jean Grey, a clone of sorts, in order to escape. 

Alright, so the phoenix portrayed in the comics is an extremely powerful entity that bonds itself to those with high levels of psi and mental ability. This bond allows the phoenix force to possess the host. 

The Phoenix bonded with Jean Grey when she was a child after detecting her extraordinary mental capacity when Jean used her powers to try and save one of her playmates. The Phoenix entity laid dormant in Jean until she was in the X-Men. On a space mission, Jean is almost killed and the Phoenix entity surfaces in order to save her, but also taking control of her. 

Jean begins referring to herself as the Phoenix and has newfound and super-sized powers. Unfortunately, some baddies with the power of illusion come in and manipulate the hell out of poor Phoenix. This makes Phoenix angry and brings about Dark Phoenix. Dark Phoenix not only go smash, but she destroys entire worlds (truth-fact)

So, yes the movie deviated a bit from the comic book's mythos, and I can understand why. The Phoenix entity in the comic books took several issues to explain the awesomeness of the Phoenix's power and origin. It would take a whole movie just to explore the phoenix entity. The first two movies did a nice job setting up where the movie version of the phoenix came from. A powerful mutant evolving into an even more powerful being. This seemed logical...

The third movie...Jean Grey resurfaces and calls herself the Phoenix. Yes!

I anticipated the third movie and was stoked, because I knew the Phoenix, one of my all-time favorite comic book villains, was going to me a main part of the storyline.

BALLS! There were way too many new mutants and characters introduced that made it difficult to follow along or care about the characters that had already been established in the first two movies. Not that would matter considering all the set-up they took the time to do in the first movies were completely discarded in the third.

Kitty Pryde joins the mutants and splinters the romance the first two movies took the time to develop between Rogue and Iceman. Jean Phoenix, but the phoenix... is the result of...


None of the set-up to explain the growth of Jean's powers as the result of evolution bringing about a super mutant with awesome power, movie version of phoenix, exists in the third movie. SHENANIGANS! All the scenes leading up to the evolution scenario might as well not have existed in the first two movies.  Not to mention that we never even see the trademark fiery phoenix in its pure form!!!!

Needless to say, the third movie was absolute crap! 

Let's hope the next X-Men installment, a prequel or origin storyline, is more consistent...

Anyway, gentle readers, I digress. The particular info-graphic this post started out with just happens to bring about some sensitive issues; thus, the X-Men movie rant. But, I will say again that I heart info-graphics. If you too enjoy them, check this out ---->

Dear Hugo Strange...

I highly suggest and think it would be wise of you to invest heavily in ass beating insurance.

That is all...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't call them sidekicks...

I stumbled upon this new series set in the DC comic universe. If you're a fan of Justice League or Teen Titans, you might want to check this out. There are definitely moments that may spur on a geek-out, ya know if comics is your kind of thang. I'm still on the fence on this animated series, but there is potential there. Speedy was kind of obnoxious, so here's hoping his appearance was just a cameo.

Click the above image to see the first episode

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two Black Swans...

While I have yet to see Black Swan, this was a nice little teaser. I can't tell if this is incredibly offensive or incredibly funny. Probably a little of both...Oh 30 Rock, you excite me with the way you are able to tip toe between these two worlds oh so effortlessly.

Foto Friday

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday is Tracks Night...

I've decided Thursday nights are an excellent night for posting music (whatever I happen to be especially digging that week). Thursdays are awesome! It's the day of the week that signals things are about to wind down for a couple of days. I spend my weekends either traveling with the speech team or catching up on what I missed during the week. Either way, music is a must.

Thus, Thursdays are perfect for perusing out what's new in the music realm and figuring out what I want to feature heavily on my playlist for the weekend.

Today, I discovered Bright Eyes is scheduled to release a new album February 15. Shell Games was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, and it is DELIGHTFUL! The hosts of the show agreed the album was "arguably the best the band has made" and one went on to recount with awe that he had not been able to stop listening to the album he has put on perpetual loop taking it with wherever he roam. Needless to say, I'm! Wait, no that's not it---SO EXCITED!

I may even do a "so excited dance" on the album release date. If you have yet to hear Shell Game, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nights to Remember in 2011 #1

So, technically these events took over in a span of 2 nights, but none-the-less they are worth noting and it just seems silly (there's that word again) to create two separate posts.

I'm kind of a fan of music, so the first rock band night of 2011 definitely deserves a spot in the nights to remember series, especially when it involves some of my favorite people over in Manhattan, Kansas. The night started out with the initiation of Sully (you had to be there). What else could be better than live music? On a night like this, nothing gentle readers, I say not a damn thing. The sound quality on this really doesn't do this justice.

The snow came down and continued all throughout the following day. SNOW DAY! Some of the most memorable moments below:

  • "Hey, all the letters in Akron are also in Kangaroo!" -KM
  • "That is an abuse of prayer! You're tying up God's bandwidth." -SN
  • "I am drooling and squealing everywhere!" -ZS
  • During Jimmy Johns Order: "Alright, this is going to be a tricky number, it's a 307 area code"
    After: "She was clearly not amused, I could sense her rolling her eyes at me during that whole conversation." -ZS
  • "Yup, I just ate that cinnamon twist out of the trash can." -JM
I REALLY love Jimmy Johns. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What makes pop music POP?

"No! I wanna hear THE song! This isn't THE song!"
Tonight we're going har-har-h-h-h hard 
Just like the world is our-our-ah-ah-ah ours! 
We're tearing it apar-par-par-pa-pa-pa part 
You know we're superstars 
We R who we R!

So, you know the one. It's a catchy tune that makes you wanna stop what you're doing and dance a jaunty jig.

This artist also has an excellent track that is perfect for van cage dancing.

Talkin pedicures on our toes (toes), tryin on all our clothes (clothes),
Boys blowin up our phones (phones), drop toppin...

That's right, gentle readers, none other than Ke$ha. 

Let's face it, her lyrics are well, ya know...silly (feel free to substitute your own term here, as I realize my attempt at providing an accurate descriptor while maintaining a certain witty-ness (fail) may not be a satisfying adjective). Yet, I can't help but sing along and bob my head along. Don't even get me started on Tik Tok. When this catchy little tune comes on through the car stereo, t...t...turn it up (up) (up), it's all over. I get the uncontrollable urge to dramatically slap a hand on the window, followed by an immediate equally dramatic slap up on the roof, proceeded by a sexy romp. It's not her lyrics that make her music dazzle or pop, if you will. I mean the girl can't even spell and WTF is drop toppin!?!?. So, what is it? Luckily, Lynne@ was able to provide me with all the answers!

Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alex...

Someday, I am going to partake in jam sessions with my kid, and I can only hope it will be just as adorable as the following: