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.

Things That Piss Me Off, Part 4

I would only change one thing about Part 3.  I’ll let you guess what that is.

Cars:

-People that put fart boxes (“upgraded” exhausts) on vehicles with 4 cylinder engines.  It sounds awful, it’s not an upgrade, and it doesn’t make your car any cooler.

-Giant-ass rims.  There is a Camaro in the parking garage at work that has what appears to be 24’s on it.  No.  Just no.  This makes your car look worse, and for most cars breaks an otherwise clean aesthetic.

Clothes:

-People that wear Vans or Converse (or any other sneakers with white rubber all around the sides) and never clean them.

-Visible crew neck undershirts.  If you are wearing an undershirt, make it a v-neck that is deep enough so that it cannot be seen.  Seriously, once you realize how awful this looks, you will never do it again.

-Wearing athletic shoes when you aren’t playing a sport.  Basketball shoes and running shoes are not meant to be worn as casual sneakers.

Driving:

-People that inch up behind you when you’re at a stop, especially on a hill.

Random:

-The Federal Reserve

-Spoilers.  I’m looking at you, Facebook friends.

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

Dream Cars

I’ve once before made a post here about cars I’d like to own, but I think it’s time to update that list and forget about whether it’s realistic or not.  These are my current dream cars.

Corvette ZR1

This, this, a thousand times, this.  638 HP, 3300 lbs, sexy as hell.

The Corvette is currently the only production American sports car by traditional sports car standards, though the Viper is returning in the next year or so.  It is really an incredible car for so many reasons.  It’s been around for over 50 years, and if you look at past models, you can see that the car really hasn’t changed that much on the outside.  It’s a modern American classic car.

As Jeremy Clarkson said on Top Gear UK, “Proper manual gearbox – none of those stupid floppy paddles, simple traction control on or off.  Are you listening, Ferrari?”

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

The CTS-V is one of those cars that you look at, and you’re like, “Oh, that’s a nice luxury car.”

And then you see the specs, and you realize it’s a full-blown sports car (though the back seat would typically disqualify it from this title).  556 HP, impressive time around the Nürburgring in Germany (the sedan version has a lap time of 7:59.32 – which was the fastest for a production sedan until it was beaten by the Porshe Panamera), manual transmission option of course, Magnetic Ride Control, and all of the luxuries of a Cadillac.  A very sexy, supercharged Cadillac.

Nissan GT-R

The GT-R is basically the wet dream of anyone that likes imports.  Now, I am a living, breathing example of not really caring where the car comes from as long as it’s an awesome car, but there’s no denying that this car – in most performance tests – destroys its competitors.  Last I heard, it’s one of only 3 production cars that does 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, and of those cars, it is by far the least expensive.

The most amazing part?  It’s a V6 (twin-turbos), it has a dual-clutch automatic transmission with no manual option, and it even has a freaking back seat.

Subaru BRZ

This car is not expensive.  It’s also not extremely powerful or fast.  It is, in fact, the most obtainable car on this list.  So why do I want it?  Because it’s basically a sexier version of my 240sx with an extra 45 HP tacked on.  It’s lightweight (~2700 lbs) and rear wheel drive, just like the 240sx.  So why is that so important?  Well, my 240sx is the best-handling car I’ve ever driven.  There is a reason drift-tards love it so much, and that is a big part of it.  If the BRZ had 250-300 HP, it would cost a bit more, but it would also be a bit higher on my list.

Runners Up

Camaro ZL1 – duh.

Shelby GT500 – most powerful production V8 in existence?  Uh, yes please.

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.