Epiphany

I finished editing my novel back in late April and published it under a pseudonym.  Finally told my mom that I published it recently, and she read it and told me on Monday night that she really liked it.  I can’t help but think that it has something to do with the fact that I’m her son, but I don’t think she would’ve embellished her opinion of it so much if she didn’t like it, so that made me feel pretty good.  I needed to hear that, especially on Monday night.

I have been listening to a lot of old music lately.  Mostly Linkin Park’s “Reanimation” album, a little bit of Matchbox Twenty (they have a new album coming out this year and are going on tour!) but also a lot of old Staind music from their “Break the Cycle” album.  Adam and I both agree that it is very depressing music, which makes it quite strange for me to be listening to it, because I’ve been incredibly happy lately.

Breathe Carolina, The Ready Set…and stuff

I saw Breathe Carolina at the Varsity on Friday.  It was sort of a surprise, as I didn’t find out about the show until Monday, and I bought a ticket as soon as I realized I wasn’t misreading the date and location.

First and foremost, Breathe Carolina kicked ass.  Those guys put on a hell of a show, and one of them ran into the audience and started dancing with a really drunk dude right in front of me.  I was about 5 feet from the stage, so it was pretty neat.  They played Skrillex and Knife Party songs in between their own songs (just for kicks, I guess), which was pretty freaking awesome.  Panic! At the Disco is still the best show I’ve seen in a long time, but this one came pretty close.

That said, The Varsity is also a great venue.  I could hear the bands well, there were no stupid body searches, no dumb camera rules, and it was an 18+ show so no stupid screaming 14 year old girls.

I purposely went to the show late so I wouldn’t have to stand for hours and hours, because there were 4 opening acts.  I actually missed one of the ones I heard of and kind of wanted to see (Romance on a Rocketship), but I’m not really too bummed about it.  I caught the end of Matt Toka, and then came Ashland High, and that’s where my story takes pause.

Ashland High is the name of Trace Cyrus’ current music project.  You may recognize the name “Trace Cyrus” since both his dad (Billy Ray Cyrus) and his sister (Miley Cyrus) are famous, or perhaps you know him as the singer of Metro Station before they broke up (remember the song “Shake It?”).

I saw Metro Station during Fall Out Boy’s “Believers Never Die” tour in 2009.  Metro Station was okay, but it was my first experience with Trace Cyrus, and he was just really weird.  It was kind of obvious that he thought he was hot shit.

Anyway, so Trace Cyrus made this new music project thing.  He wrote the songs, and he sings the songs, but that’s it.  Now, I’m not one to hate on bands very often.  Even with the most hated band in the universe (Nickelback), I can still find something nice to say about them (I like their song “Saving Me,” and “Rock Star” is just freaking catchy and at least a little hilarious).

So know when I say this how much weight it holds – Ashland High is terrible.  Trace Cyrus cannot sing, his lyrics are shallow and meaningless, and he’s just fake and annoying.  The best thing he played on Friday was the electronic part of some song that he said he got his producers to make because he wanted some “dubstep” in one of his songs.

He put his album up for free on his website.  I went and downloaded it just to see if he sounds as awful on the album as he does in real life.

Yep, he does.  Immediately deleted it.

Trace Cyrus, please stop making music.

Quite a bit of a tangent there, but anyway…The Ready Set played next.  They were pretty good.  I only knew one song, but anything was better than listening to Trace Cyrus sing at that point.  I actually only got one decent video that night, and it was of The Ready Set.

A good night all in all.  Mad respect for Breathe Carolina for putting on a great show to such a small crowd.  Not sure why they didn’t go to the House of Blues for an all ages show and an almost assuredly larger crowd, but I’m glad they didn’t.

Lights (Again)

On Tuesday, I went to The Parish at the House of Blues in New Orleans to see Lights (for the second time).  I have a few things to say about this that are related to music, and a few things that are related to the venue.

First of all, I hate the House of Blues.  The Parish is slightly better, but only a little.  I hate the House of Blues because of their camera rules and pat downs.  The Parish doesn’t do pat downs, but they do have camera rules.

 

You can bring cameras in, but you’re not supposed to use them.

Now, I hadn’t been to the House of Blues since…wow, I don’t even know, probably 2008 and the Parish since either 2007 or 2008.  Back then, camera phones sucked and/or weren’t as popular, so it was interesting this time to see everyone using smartphones to take pictures and videos and the staff wasn’t even telling people to stop.

So eat that, House of Blues.  Your stupid-ass rules (which, yes, are venue rules and not artist endorsed) are done.

Second thing about the venue is that I’ve been to two shows at the Parish, and both of them had horrible sound.  I could barely hear Gabe’s voice when I saw Cobra Starship there, and I could barely hear Lights’ voice this time.  They really need to stop drowning out the singers’ voices with bass.  I could hear Lights just fine at The Varsity.

Regardless, it was still really good.

After the show, I left and started walking back to my car, and Lights ran right out in front of me to her tour bus.  I was starstruck for a few minutes.  :P

-Philip

New Favorite

I’ve always said that I write this blog for me, which is why sometimes I write about things that I think most other people probably don’t care about.  When I started this blog in 2004, I used to write about my favorite music a lot.  This carried on through 2005 and probably 2006, to the point where everyone knew exactly what my favorite band and songs were.

I still post the occasional song here, but that’s mostly on the off chance that one of my few straggling readers will find something they like, and to remind myself what I was listening to whenever I go back and read my old posts.

Back in 2004, my favorite band, Creed, broke up.  They got back together in 2009, and in September of that year, I was able to make one of my dreams come true – seeing them live in concert.  Sure, Stapp lost a lot of his voice (his range is just shit now), but the energy was still there, and it was – by far – the best show I’ve ever been to.

I don’t listen to that kind of rock music (post grunge or whatever you want to call it) anymore.  In fact, I barely listen to rock music at all.  The closest thing is my pop-punk music, which I got started on in very early 2006.  I’ve listened to a lot of interesting things over the years, but one thing has always remained constant:  Creed was my favorite band.

See, I’m loyal to the things I like.  My favorite song has been “Torn” for like 5 years.  Before that, it was “My Own Prison” for probably 3 or 4 years.  I also have favorite “songs of the moment,” like right now that would be “Internet Friends” by Knife Party, but in a week, that could completely change.  Most people would probably just say this is their “new favorite song,” but I don’t think that a real “favorite” thing should be so wishy-washy.  That’s why I make such a big deal out of it when I have new “favorite” things.

This past week, I was listening to “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to do Today” by Fall Out Boy, and caught myself singing it a while later while I was busy doing something at work, and it just hit me.  Right then, I knew that I liked Fall Out Boy better than I liked Creed.

So when I say this, know that it is a big deal to me:  Fall Out Boy is my new favorite band.  I have been listening to them for 6 years, and only now has this changed.

Many music elitists would probably laugh at this, perhaps saying “you’ve gone from one shitty band to another,” but music is not about what other people like – it’s about what you like.  Creed’s lyrics always struck me as being meaningful (until a few songs on their most recent album, like Rain).  Fall Out Boy’s lyrics are profound, clever riddles, tons of cool pop culture references, and neat little jokes and puns that I just can’t get enough of.  They way the lyrics are written and sung just…well, it gets me every time.  Pete Wentz is a lyrical genius and Patrick Stump’s voice – enunciation and range in particular – are just incredible.

Now, Brendon Urie is still my favorite singer, and “Torn” – for now at least – is still my favorite song, but Fall Out Boy is now my favorite band.

Re-Kindled

When I was younger, I loved to read, but I stopped reading after high school for some reason.  So, last month, I decided to buy a Kindle Touch in hopes that it would rekindle my love for reading (pun definitely intended).

The verdict is…I love it.  The eInk screen makes it super easy on the eyes.  It is exactly like reading a real, paper book.  I got the one with ads, and they’re completely non-obtrusive.  I was originally planning to pay the extra $40 and unsubscribe from the ads after I got it, but I don’t even care.  So far, I’ve read Steve Jobs, Ender’s Game, and I’m currently 40% through Snow Crash.

Ender’s Game is a classic, but for some reason, I’d never read it.  It was great – a well told story and a classic for a good reason.

Ever since 2005, I’ve followed Apple pretty closely.  In my Geography 1001 class at LSU, I spent most of the semester in class reading Wikipedia articles on Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Apple, Microsoft, Bill Gates, etc.  I’ve also seen Pirates of Silicon Valley a couple of times, and listened to countless interviews with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, so there wasn’t really a whole lot in Steve Jobs that was news to me, but it was still a good read.  One thing I don’t understand, though, is that so many people realized he was a jackass after he died.  I knew he was a jackass as soon as I started reading about him in like 2006.  I didn’t respect his personal life; I respected his professional life and the amazing things he’s brought to the world, like the computer I’m typing this on.  It is fascinating that so many genius-types like him are like that, though.

I own Snow Crash in paperback, and I tried reading it twice before.  Both times I got like 60 something pages in and then just…stopped for no good reason.  I’m already far past that in the eBook form, and it’s fantastic.  Neil Stephenson’s writing is spectacular.

 

Also about a month ago, there was a film crew right outside of the parking garage at work filming something.  I looked up what they were filming currently in Baton Rouge, and I forgot what it was, but they turned an empty building into “The Marcum Institute,” so if you see that in a movie or TV show sometime within the next year, I know where the building is. :P

 

Now, three random things and I’m done.

1) Check out these awesome Christmas cookie sandwiches I made.

 

2) Skrillex’s Bangarang EP is kickass.

3) COMMNT ON DIS POST IF U CRY EVRY TIM

Terribly boring generic blog post

The Skrillex show on Friday night was…um…crazy? I don’t even know how else to describe it. Definitely the coolest stage I’ve ever seen. Next up is Panic! At the Disco later this month. They have been at the top of my list of artists to see live, so I’m pretty excited to finally get to see them. Now I just need Sierra Skyline to come out here and Fall Out Boy to get off of their hiatus so I can see them again. :D

For the past month and a half or so, I’ve been rewatching Sailor Moon. It’s kind of awesome and kind of bad, but it’s a classic. I finally made it to Sailor Stars (after the atrocity that was SuperS), so I’m coming to the end. Good times.

Went to see Drive today. I…um…wow. It wasn’t really about driving or cars or anything like that. It should’ve been called “Awkward Dialogue Scenes.” It had a terrible soundtrack, and as a whole, it just didn’t jive with me. Yet, the critics love it. It really doesn’t take a whole lot to make me like a movie, but that one just wasn’t that great.

-Philip