Thursday, May 22, 2008

Going on a Cruise.

Alaska, here I come!

From Interpol's "Take You on a Cruise":

We sail today...
Tears will drown in the wake of delight.
There's nothing like this built today.
You'll never see a finer ship in your life.
Along the way...
The sea will crowd us with lovers at night.
There's nothing like this built today.
You'll never see a finer ship, Or receive a better tip in your life.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Attention People of Earth:

I bought Monika a Nintendo Wii for her birthday (which is tomorrow, but I gave it to her early so we could enjoy it this weekend), and a friend bought her Mario Cart Wii. We are hooked up to the internet and ready to rock (we have Guitar Hero III as well), so the gist here is that I am ready to destroy you all in these games. Especially this guy. :D (we have a long-standing Mario Kart fued going, so until the powers that be get it together and put Super Mario Kart available as a download, this'll have to do)

Administrative Note: GHIII is a great game, but is still a little glitchy for some reason. Any time we try to play the song "Story of My Life" by Social Distortion, the game completely bombs out and we get a message that says "Disc read error: consult the Will instruction manual for more information" (or something along those lines). We also had a lot of trouble getting a second guitar in the loop because it's NOT obvious. You have to hit "home," I believe, which asks if you want to exit the game, and at the bottom there are controller settings, which you click on and go through.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air.

I want to give quick kudos to John McCain - see the CNN story here, and notably this:

"McCain's speech was unusual -- and somewhat risky -- in that it lays out benchmarks on which he could be judged."

In a political age where most of what all candidates say is either neutral or circuitous, kudos to someone for actually having the balls to lay out the potential for some accountability! Well done!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"The Slip."

Yesterday I mentioned you could grab the new Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip, for free. Chad created a much better write-up about the release, which I encourage you to read here.

Even better, The Slip is the shit. It has a old-school NIN feel about it, kicked off the by lead single "Discipline," which has an almost Pretty Hate Machine vibe to it. But what stood out to me the most about this album was the grand finale.

After kicking things off with six more traditional NIN rockers, we reach "Lights in the Sky," a somber, piano-driven song that shifts the tone of the album. Instead of then shifting back to the harder stuff, though, we then reach "Corona Radiata," a lengthy, trippy soundscape, which is followed by another instrumental track, "The Four of Us are Dying," which feels like one of the tracks from Ghosts. Then, finally, we are confronted with the breakbeat-style march of "Demon Seed," which closes the album.

Now, the four songs that close The Slip aren't the best NIN songs I've ever heard by any means, but they are incredibly enjoyable for the subtext. To me what these songs communicate is that Trent Reznor is no longer making music for record companies (who would probably object, conceptually, to the final sequencing and the general "indulgence," shall I say), but for himself. When I listen to these last four songs, I feel like I'm listening to someone that's really feeling the music they are making and putting it out there with no boundaries. It feels natural, and it's a beautiful thing to hear music like this.

Monday, May 05, 2008

And Then There Were Two.

Looks like Trent Reznor is following in Radiohead's footsteps. Bravo! New Nine Inch Nails album, "The Slip," for free, here:

Once I've heard it I'll review it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stone Temple Pilots.

STP is back and touring this summer. I'm delighted and have had fun reading various posts in the blogosphere about how underrated STP have always been, which I agree with (The nutshell version, lest you forget, is in the past STP were regarded similarly as Nickelback is today. Of course, now that we have today's music and today's Nickelback [the worstest bad of all time], we realize that STP are actually incredibly good and simply caught flack because their contemporaries were Pearl Jam, Nirvana, etc.).

Okay, I'm escaping the parentheses now. The point is that STP's music is fresh and excellent, and as I've been going through their catalog lately, I can't believe how well it's stood up over time. There's Core, the introductory, grunge-heavy, "Plush"-featuring classic; Purple, an album somewhat more diverse, with higher highs and lower lows; Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, which sounds like Scott Weiland at the peak of his drug use but accordingly also has a trippy swagger and rough edge to it that differentiates it from their other work, No. 4, cough-cough excuse me, moving on; and Shangri-La Dee Da, which I didn't play excessively back when I purchased it but am now realizing might actually be their best work. I haven't listened to it nearly enough to know it back and forth like the other albums, but it certainly seems to carry all the best qualities of their earlier albums, but also has a cohesiveness as a work front-to-back that's really enjoyable.

STP are coming to DFW in a couple months, and despite my usual expectations, friends with whom I'm going obtained tickets for us in Row N through Ticketwhore, and as long as they don't get lost in the mail (I'm knocking on wood) we should have an excellent view for when the boys come back to town.

In the meantime, I recommend you all go purchase Shangri-La Dee Da. You might have the first three albums and thought that was all you needed from this band, but trust me, you're missing out.