Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's been a minute, Blogger...

And of course I have nothing of importance to say. Just some more poetry that most people will probably think is lame but that I am quite proud of.

And suddenly the whole vibe has changed
She tells me I’m lucky that I’m alone

I blinked one eye and it happened
Grasped for a tie that could bind
You appeared

Churches are silent tonight
Steeples’ quiet fall
The snow a cushion of secrets
Can you see?

And if you turned a blind eye
Could the sun shine through it again?

Now I sit beneath cloudy skies
And why
Was my mind so awry?

I searched regions unknown
Before sinking alone
The current led me home

You have co-opted my time
Stolen the words right out of my mind


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Various musings on the opposite sex

No girl wants the perfect guy. If you give her her idea of the perfect guy, if you embody it in the way you act towards her and treat her, it will instantly cease to become the perfect guy to her. She will crave something else as soon as she has what she thought she wanted all along. If you treat her like a queen all the time, she will feel unimportant, complacent. She will lash out for a drama, for a good fight. If you resist this fight, it will only fuel her feelings of contempt or dissatisfaction for you. Nice guys so often finish last.

Unwilling to treat her like dirt, wishing only to give her your best, she will grow bored. She will move on to the next jackass in line who’s more than willing to fuck with her head, and then probably fuck her in your stead, while you’re stuck prowling the sidelines alone, wondering what could have been had you just been lucky enough to more instinctively be an asshole.

Girls don’t want flowers. They don’t want romantic dinners and they sure as hell don’t want you to write a song about them. That’s too straightforward and simple – too honest. The fun is in the hunt, they say. When you are just barely out of reach, the prospect of having you consumes her, burns in her heart and courses through her veins. She envisions being able to obtain you all for herself, and she won’t stop chasing you until she gets you.

Some have it lucky enough that they are able to lure men in with this sort of behavior without much resistance, lucky enough that their feelings of longing and desire are reciprocated in full. But this is far too convenient, far too easy and coincidental. The boat must be rocked. Once she has you ensnared in her trap, she no longer wants you. Even if you fulfill all of her desires, she will create new ones you can’t satisfy.

Part of it is a fear of trusting, being genuinely understood and accepted. But a larger part of it is a fear of being satisfied with what you have – a more subconscious and more powerful fear, a fear of actually being content with someone, a fear of not needing anything else or not searching for some abstract idealization of a “perfect” man.

If a man had his way, the game would be over much earlier. The game is fun when getting to know her, but then he’d like to drop the whole charade and enjoy the beautiful company of the other. Girls are bloodthirsty. The chase is so glamorous and exhilarating that suddenly the overall goal of the chase starts to pale in comparison. Suddenly she wants to fill the void with more and more chases with equally gullible men. They’re not in it for the goal like you are – just the journey to it.

Then they regard you as the odd one for not growing bored so quickly, for actually wanting to see a potential relationship through. They make you feel like you’re in the wrong for being satisfied with what you have. For genuinely wondering how her day was, for wanting to know her plans for the weekend, for trying to get to know her just like you had assumed she’d wanted. Then the rug is yanked out from under you and you find her laying it out again for the newest flavor.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The best viral video ever

I may try to embed this directly within my blog, but for now check out myself and James in a video we made for class... on display on YouTube in all its *cough* glory. Click below:


Thursday, April 9, 2009

On disconnect and modern insanity

Flecks of gravel fly
Whisked by wind
to mingle with the dust
boil to shrapnel
assault in the name
of a name since forgotten.
Here a lone cricket can alight
to drink in the unholy draft,
Blanched and barren as ruptured fossil,
Timeless as a stagnant tomb.

Here there is how without why,
A lens but no eye,
a reservoir drained dry,
mired in a quarry of
angular echoes,
content to unhinge
to shovel and bury
the thinning threads
of recognition.


Monday, April 6, 2009

A perfect mirror

"And she turned, swayed slow to one side
And with a glint in her eye
She poured the night out of my soul"


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Greetings from Tampa, Florida

Hello blogosphere. I haven't been around the computer too much this week because I've been busy living it up in Tampa for spring break. It's been a really fun, relaxing, stress-free weekend and accordingly, I've posted some pictures from the week beneath the link below.. More to be added soon.

A couple views from the gorgeous Lopez house

A shot on the way to Busch Gardens. This rollercoaster was called Montu, I think

Alligators at Busch Gardens

And some elephants...

And the Shiekra? I think it was? The new one with the ridiculously steep drop

A couple pictures of the beach at sunset

And the causeway at night. That's all for now!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Review: John Frusciante - "The Empyrean"

Published on March 5, 2009 in The Red & Black


"'The Empyrean' is a story that has no action in the physical world," the renowned Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist John Frusciante wrote on his personal Web site.

"The outside world is only known to us as it appears within us by the testament of our senses. The imagination is the most real world that we know because we each know it first hand."

This bold statement of intent naturally signals an album of similarly ambitious caliber: "The Empyrean," his first solo record since 2004, is his most conceptual yet.

Whereas the majority of Frusciante's solo material was composed quickly (the guy recorded a full six albums in 2004 alone), "The Empyrean" has been in gestation ever since the RHCP did "Stadium Arcadium" in 2006.

The extra time Frusciante spent on the album clearly shows, luring the listener into a mellow, psychedelic journey that oscillates between concise rock songs and elaborately designed epics, which positively boil with emotion.

Of the longer material, "Dark/Light" and "Central" emerge as the album's nuclei. The former features a Gothic choir propelled by a hyperactive bass line and MIDI drums, while the latter layers experimental guitars and keyboards over an otherwise straightforward progression.

Frusciante may not have the gritty, balls-y style or natural instinct for rhythm possessed by RHCP's vocalist Anthony Kiedis, but his own voice is tenfold more powerful and emotionally charged.

In fact, many of the songs on "The Empyrean" center on his impassioned vocal performances - notably "God" and a brilliant rendition of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren."

Not to mention his singing has grown more experimental, evident in the otherworldly vocal manipulation on "Unreachable" and the abnormally low register heard on "One More of Me."

The emphasis here is obviously Frusciante's vocals, but he doesn't let anybody forget the reason he became famous in the first place: his exceptional guitar prowess ("Enough of Me," "God" and "Unreachable").

The guitar melody in opener "Before the Beginning" unfolds and climaxes, like a feather caught in an updraft. But there's also a chance that unless you're stoned it may not be quite as enthralling.

With "The Empyrean," Frusciante creates a compelling landscape that brims with passion, cementing for himself a unique identity removed from the realm of the RHCP.

Oh and for what it's worth...

Happy 311 Day! (Get it, March 11th? Yes, of course you do.) They just uploaded some new information on their ninth studio album Uplifter today on their website. The album's release date has gotten pushed back to June 2, but considering they haven't put out an album since 2005, it's really right around the corner... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it to be good. If it sounds like Don't Tread on Me I very well may have to officially quit listening to them. And the video clip of their new single "Hey You" didn't exactly help to quell any doubts I already have.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Review: Umphrey's McGee - "Mantis"

Published on February 12, 2009 in The Red & Black


Let me state it as loudly and clearly as I can: Umphrey's McGee is NOT a jam band.

Even though the Chicago quartet's live performances are filled with double-digit songs and extensive improvisation, its music is too advanced and chameleonic to truly be pigeonholed as "jam," bearing a closer resemblance to progressive rock.

Its new album "Mantis" departs from previous studio efforts. This time around, the songs actually originated in the studio, in contrast to the band's usual practice of testing new material on tour.

The result is Umphrey's least "jammy" record yet, focusing on colossal, elaborately orchestrated epics that find the group shifting gears more times in a single song than most bands can manage in the span of an entire record.

The two-part "Cemetery Walk" boasts a slick, gliding groove and the catchiest chorus of the record, while "Spires" channels the clear-eyed Southern rock of My Morning Jacket and resolves it into a mellifluous string-laden coda.

The 11+ minute title track is the album's nucleus. A wildly diverse, multi-movement odyssey, "Mantis" touches on everything from irregularly metered prog-metal riffs to blistering guitar solos equal parts Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour, hazy psychedelia and arms-outstretched instrumental climaxes.

But Umphrey's McGee tempers its grandiose ambitions with a handful of concise, polished numbers.

Of these, "1348" and "Prophecy Now" are the most successful. The former melds Les Claypool funk-bass with manic, pseudo-Rush vigor, while the latter plays like a reticent TV on the Radio song.

"Made to Measure" struts along to menacing soft-shoe, which makes for a perplexing album leadoff. But the ensuing choir of dreamy, ethereal guitars leaves a disarming impression.

The only shortcoming on "Mantis" is the lyrical content. Frontman Brendan Bayliss is a proficient guitarist, but most of his lyrics are hackneyed and predictable, running the serious risk of alienating potential new listeners.

Carrying Umphrey's McGee further into the progressive realm, "Mantis" teems with musical ideas and diverse styles that should easily please any fan of dynamic rock music.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: Andrew Bird - "Noble Beast"

Published on January 29, 2009 in The Red & Black


On "Noble Beast," Bird dials down the volume, exploring a quiet, leisurely channel of songwriting he hinted at on previous albums but never fully embraced.

As the pastoral album art suggests, the songs that comprise "Noble Beast" sport a style steeped in the folk tradition, unfolding at a serene pace.

Unfortunately, this method will not likely capture new listeners' attention, or please those expecting the more elaborate side of Bird seen on "Armchair Apocrypha" and "The Mysterious Production of Eggs."

This aside, the quality of the album's material cannot be ignored. Bird weaves a variety of instruments into his songs, adding subtle nuance. The solemn, elegant "Effigy" begins with tense, uneasy violin that drifts around an accordion dirge, and "Masterswarm" is propelled by a faint Latin rhythm, echoed in the prominent use of the guiro.

Perhaps not the best leadoff candidate, "Oh No" is pleasant but not quite remarkable - its whistled melody not enough to truly distinguish it from the pack.

After a deceptive beginning, "Nomenclature" provides the first truly blistering moment, with strands of distorted guitar and violin tearing through a frantic drum earthquake. After the brief lull of "ouo," "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" stands as the utterly intense centerpiece of an otherwise placid musical tapestry.

The remainder of "Noble Beast" continues peacefully, with the sorrowful, downbeat epic "Souverian" being the most memorable of the cut, and Bird's signature lyrical wordplay finally shines forth on "Anonanimal."

Each of "Noble Beast"'s 14 songs is masterfully composed and arranged, yet so professionally executed that it blends into an immaculate but not quite captivating whole.

But for all of Bird's preoccupations with arrangement and structure - a not-so-unusual trait for classically trained musicians - "Noble Beast" benefits from a natural, almost rustic aura stemming from its refreshingly relaxed pace.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Check out my NEW blog project!

Follow the link below:

My Rhetorical Analysis of

I put a LOT of effort into this, especially with tweaking the HTML/template design, etc. etc.  Now as soon as I have some more energy, I'll start changing things around on this blog layout too...


Monday, January 26, 2009

Blog post -- Writing for the World Wide Web

I'm assuming most of my blog entries for this class will be pretty cut-and-dry, but I felt compelled to post this one -- I thought it was a fairly easy read... fairly.

I’ve owned a blog for around four years now, but in just that short amount of time the whole nature of the medium has changed. My introduction to the “blogosphere” came when my first girlfriend convinced me to make a Xanga so I could update pointlessly about my boring high school life just like she and all her friends did. As it turned out, I got pretty into it, and most of my friends wound up jumping on the Xanga bandwagon. But it was a passing phase, as Xanga was very public (kind of like a blog mixed with a Myspace-style social network) and spammers were covering the site with clutter. So I switched to the more private LiveJournal where the entries got more personal and serious due to its comparatively exclusive design. I fell out of the whole “online diary” thing around senior year of high school and never really got back into it. Now, as I’m gradually becoming reacquainted with the blogosphere thanks to this class, I’ve found that it’s pretty much exploded into the mainstream. Suddenly people everywhere are actually trying to elevate it into a credible source of information, updating about issues and topics of importance and attempting to make a difference in the Internet community. And it’s working in many respects — several popular blogs (i.e. Perez Hilton, Hipster Runoff) have gone so far as to become fixtures in modern culture.

One of my close friends and I were hanging out the other day and I told him I had to write a blog post for this class, and he laughed at me and called me “gay” for having a blog. I was surprised that this mindset was still in place today. In high school, it certainly was the case; blogs were for the “weird people” — in-crowd meathead code for people who had their own thoughts, feelings and ideas and wanting to express them via a (potentially) public means. So I used to think at the time. I’d just assumed that society at large had finally embraced the idea of blogging, since it had begun to utilize it for new purposes other than online diaries. But my friend’s reaction made me realize that maybe the world hasn’t completely warmed up to blogging culture yet — there still exists a stigma against it.

Blogs began as individualistic and personal outlets of communication and expression and then, as its popularity snowballed, transitioned to facilitators of information about news and other various areas of the media as well as for business, search engine and Q&A uses. As such, some people who previously regarded blogs as trivial or untrustworthy due to their highly personal qualities still hold this opinion now — and that’s understandable. Obviously without a universal code of ethics, blogs cannot be trusted as 100% factual by any means. But perhaps the most defining quality of the blog is that it offers the user the freedom to do anything they choose with its template. No filter, just pure freedom of speech and expression — which, in my opinion, should never change. So unless blogs that strive to be taken seriously take it upon themselves to perpetrate high standards and prove they are providing accurate information, I don’t see much of a solution anytime soon.

And not to ramble, but just as a small aside…

Maybe the opaque nature of the essay we had to read is to blame, but I felt like its authors weren’t really talking about much of anything. In particular, the differences they outlined between opinion posts, voting posts and reaction posts are really abstract and unclear. I read this section several times over to make sure I wasn’t just misunderstanding and began to understand where the authors may have been coming from, but the differences between voting posts, opinion posts, reaction posts and summation posts seemed marginal at best. I admit I’ve been away from the blogging world for a while and can’t really speak as an authority, but most of the blog entries I’ve ever read seem as though they could fit into several of said categories… Maybe I just don’t think like a scholar… to me blogs represent a simpler, more universal way to communicate then they’re making it out to be.


Friday, January 23, 2009

JOUR 3510 blog

For one of my classes this semester we are required to blog about various topics, and I felt like sharing my most recent post because I really like how it came together.  If anyone reads this thing, please let me know what you think.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Glasvegas S/T review

Published January 15, 2009 in The Red & Black


Although it has been on the shelves in England since September, Glasvegas' self-titled debut finally saw its U.S. release last week.

The album casts the Scottish rock quartet as a post-punk outfit. All the hallmarks of the style are in place: anthemic melodies, wall-of-sound production and ethereal guitar work copped from U2, all anchored by a pulsating bass undercurrent.

The problem is, of course, that while all of Glasvegas' musical traits mesh well together and display a promising sense of internal chemistry, little from its debut feels markedly original - as if the band is content to retread the sonic terrain achieved by its predecessors rather than construct its own identity from it.

Even so, "Glasvegas" is a relatively solid debut, a handful of its songs boasting gorgeously crafted melodies and acute sense of dynamic ("Geraldine," "Polmont on My Mind," "Flowers and Football Tops").

Allan has a frustratingly familiar vocal style, resembling a rough-edged, Scottish version of The Shins' James Mercer at his best and AFI's Davey Havok at his worst. His melodies are stylized in the same fashion in nearly every song, but when his lyrically verbose tendencies push the band into spoken-word territory - particularly on "Stabbed" and "It's My Own Cheating Heart that Makes Me Cry" - it suggests a unique nuance for Glasvegas to explore in the future. Only "Go Square Go" leaves an unfavorable impression: its awkwardly jaunty momentum feels affected and borders on being outright silly.

It suggests enormous potential - but if Glasvegas has any hope to separate itself from the slew of post-punk imitators in the future, it'll have to bring something new to the table.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

As the lame duck enters its eleventh hour...

We are quickly approaching inauguration day and Obama will soon rightfully assume his position as the 44th president of the United States and hopefully help undo the monstrosities that the Bush administration created over the past 8 years. So I figure now is as good a time as any to publish some of the only outright political lyrics I've written... This has been a slow-burning, gradual process, and you can probably expect me to revise these lyrics any number of times in the near future.

Without further ado...

"Rose Colored Lens"

Stand facing the crowd
Tell them all you love their beautiful frowns
Poised above them all
You’ve convinced them that they chose their own fall

It’s hard to be more than in-between
When nobody can see which way you lean
Step back, get off my lawn
Find someone content to join the hell ride you’re on

Eyes don’t conceal fear
They fester impulses you wish would disappear
Surely you thought this out
The falling towers cleared quite a convenient route

It’s hard to tell where the madness ends
When we’re fed the world through a rose colored lens
Step back, hands off my dreams
This fa├žade won’t erase what I saw behind the scenes

What did you expect you find when you looked inside?
Did it make you scream?
I guess turning a blind eye can’t provide
Your mind with sound reprieve

What did you expect to find inside?
But a frayed and tattered dream?
Idle power won’t allow you
To spread your brittle wings

I’ll pull up your roots, I wanna know just where you stand
Did your pride change your tune
Or were you caught scanning the dial?
I’ll dig your fucking head up from the sand
Did you hear me? Are your ears clean
Or are they coated in denial?

I may be blind but it’s better than seeing through your eyes
I may live in fear but it’s better than living your lie


Friday, January 2, 2009

Mutability in 2009

Took a walk alone in shifting sands
Mistook them for a muddied path
The one thing I decried you now commend
Attach a steel echo to your laugh

Can't get comfortable with here and now
When tomorrow succumbs to yesterday
Lend me something I can hold somehow
Anything that won't melt away
And disperse among the shifting sands