Thursday, June 26, 2008

Viva la Coldplay!

Coldplay have long had to withstand inevitable comparisons to Radiohead. And rightfully so. Chris Martin states that Radiohead and U2 are perhaps two of his biggest influences on his band. That and Ambien, of course. Martin claims to have sleeping problems so he takes sleeping pill Ambien. However, like any great artist, the best ideas come late in the middle of the night/way early in the morning. Inspired, he starts writing down his ideas. If you stay awake on Ambien, though, well, it fucks you up.

I think Chris Martin took a lot of Ambien for his band Coldplay's latest outing Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends as it is their most experimental record. Although musically different, Coldplay manages to stay true to its roots and create the most unColdplay/most Coldplay album to date. Here's a track-by-track reaction response.

"Life in Technicolor"--So begins the electronic evolution of Coldplay. I thought they started going down this path on X&Y but it becomes more clear how Radiohead's Kid A and U2's Achtung Baby inspired the band. The song becomes with an electronic buzz that soon kicks up speed with some Eastern sitar. The song is solely instrumental and a great thesis statement for the album. Great background music. It could also be a really kickass ringtone.

"Cemeteries of London"--The tone changes on this one. It starts off a bit somber with a walking piano melody. Then the desperado-like guitar comes in below Chris Martin's singing "la la la." For a song about cemeteries, it makes you feel pretty happy.

"Lost!"--Excellent use of church organs and bass drums make you want to stand up and sing, "I'm not lost!" The song speaks of optimism in dark times with some political undertones, especially in the lyrics: "And you'll be lost! / Every river that you tried to cross / Every gun you ever held went off / Oh and I'm just waiting 'til the firing's stopped / Oh and I'm just waiting 'til the shine wears off."

"42"--The song starts off with old Coldplay: Martin sings somberly above a haunting piano melody. As Martin sings about death and ghosts, the slow building background buzz creates an eerie presence, as if spirits do wander. Then the song gets deadly as it turns into a progressive rock jam with piercing lead guitar hooks. All the sudden, it turns into another type of song--a happy sing along about not getting to heaven but "you made it close."

"Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love"--Here, Coldplay starts really mixing it up as they combine two songs in one, much like a concept album. The rollicking piano of "Lovers in Japan" makes me picture a montage of people running towards each other. It makes sense as the opening lyrics are "Lovers, keep on the road you're on / Runners until the race is run." The drums and piano follow in sync to keep up a lovely ambling pace. Then, Coldplay returns to balladry on "Reign" as the liquid piano brings you into a dream state. But his lyrics invoke a sense of nightmare as he sings, "I'm a prisoner in the reign of love." Prison evokes negativity and lack of control, which makes sense when one is in love, but wouldn't this be a good thing? Maybe being married to Gwyneth isn't all its cracked up to be.

"Yes/Chinese Sleep Chant"--Definitely the most experimental song on this album. The song starts with much more evidential Indian and Asian influence found in the guitar whams. Martin then does something drastically different: no more falsetto, it's baritone time! And I fuckin' dig it. Who knew Martin could sing sexy? The Indian tempo gives the song a sense of urgency and danger as Martin sings of his impending doom by the almighty fate aka God. "Chinese Sleep Chant" is another great background song for a movie montage, though, or even a movie trailer. It's a pretty epic song with swirling guitars and lots of distortion. It definitely doesn't make me sleep.

"Viva La Vida"--We've all heard this song. You've all seen the Apple commercial. This song has dominated the Hot 100 list. It's the first Coldplay song that doesn't focus on instruments but solely sounds and atmosphere. The violins here are the melody, the bass drum is the rhythm, and then it feels like an explosion of not only sound but colors, too. Coldplay have done what N.E.R.D. struggle to die: create synthesia. Looking at the lyrics, I noticed that Martin has a great knack for using alliteration, assonance, and consonance. With its Victorian lyrics, Martin almost channels Edgar Allen Poe, without all the depressing bullshit. This song took a while to grow on me, but now I can't get enough of it. I hear it and just want to start pumping my hand in the air. Damn, I wish I was as cool as Chris Martin.

"Violet Hill"--The album's first single and most aggressive cut. Chris Martin, for once, sounds angry! Who knew he even had this emotion? This song is interesting in a different way--it was offered as a free single to the fans. It's also going to be the first Coldplay song to be available on Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In a way, Coldplay, like U2, are embracing the new business model: product and technology as art. It's a merging of the creative with the business. It's not selling out, it's giving in and improving.

"Strawberry Swing"--This song is just a really happy 60s psychedelic jingle. It's a simple song with no choruses really. It just puts me in a good mood. I don't know what else to say.

"Death and All of His Friends/The Escapist"--Once again, another lovely little ditty with Martin singing lovely little lyrics about love and loss (see? I can alliterate, too.) Then, the song gets fucking awesome with the rock-out-with-your-cock-out piano and guitar bash-a-thon. The drum kicks in to create an indelible beat. I wish this part of the song was longer and they busted out into a great guitar winded solo. "No, I don't want to battle from beginning to end / I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge / I don't wanna follow Death and all of his friends." Martin invokes images of circularity, which is appropriate as the song concludes with the instrumental that the album began with.

"Lost?"--The piano version of "Lost!" A great reinterpretation by the same band.

Overall, I fucking dig this album. It's really easy listening and shows new chops by a band that I've come to grow and love. More and more, I see a distinct difference between Coldplay and Radiohead. Everyone worships Radiohead but I don't think it's fair to have Coldplay compared to them because both bands have their strengths and weaknesses (yes, even Radiohead has some weaknesses.) More so, Coldplay is unique in the sense of selling cool, selling art, selling hip. From free singles to Apple commercials to free concerts to online streaming to having their whole album previewed on KROQ without commercial interruption, they know how to distribute art to the mainstream without selling out, although this is debatable. In the end, I may rail on people who choose to make music and movies for money, but you know what? Sometimes, it's just fucking good, it's fucking good. This album encompasses many themes of contradictory states: good and evil, life and death, right and wrong. It makes sense that it should then manifest business and creative, money and art.

Viva la Coldplay!

Rescue Me!

I think for now on before I write about my topic of the moment, I'm going to recommend something for you guys to check out, whether it's a movie, article, song, or whatever, just to show what I'm into at the moment.

Here's a really interesting article I read in today's L.A. times about the world's need for superheroes (in movies) because of our saddened world state. The article states that superheroes were huge in World War II and Vietnam because people needed heroes during the troubled times. Now in our times, when there's more than just war to worry about, we need Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Hulk, and Iron Man all at once. More so, he goes on to compare this notion to Barack Obama and John McCain. Pretty insightful shit.

Superheroes in our time of need

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's Times

I read about this in today's online version of The Los Angeles Times. This is exactly what a blog should be.

The Big Picture Blog

There was also this interesting article about a survey reporting that Californians are less religious than the rest of the nation. Relating to this blog, the article states, "California stands out for another reason. One of its signature industries and locales, Hollywood, appears to be a corrupting influence in the eyes of at least some Americans. Forty-two percent say they feel their values are threatened by "Hollywood and the entertainment industry"; 56% say they are not threatened."

Survey says Californians less religious than rest of the nation

Yes, it's true that there are movies out there that highlight many sinful activities or show no morals and whatnot. For many states not on the East or West Coast that are much more religious and moral than us, I do definitely see how we could be less religious in their eyes. I openly admit that I'm not much of a religious person even though I grew up Catholic, but I do consider myself a very spiritual person. You don't have to go to church to be a good person and lead a good life.

Los Angeles is becoming more and more postmodern every day with the latest in technology hitting us faster than the rest of the nation. Along with some other major cities in the U.S., Los Angeles is the epicenter of digital expansion and new forms of media and advertising. With our ever decreasing attention spans, people must go to outrageous and controversial lengths to keep us tuned in. However, it can all come down to the age old question of "Who's to blame: the media, the kids, or the parents?" Thankfully, there is a larger percentage of those who do not feel threatened, which shows more a conscious awareness that the negative influence kids see today is reflective of the parents. But life is not a one way street. It is also the responsibility of Hollywood to consciously show taboo subjects in a tasteful manner, with a purpose and meaning behind it.

This new era of torture porn and reality TV is sickening to me. Reality TV is the dumbing down of America. Sadly, I'll admit that I'm a huge fan of it too. It's a guilty pleasure. The Real World: Hollywood has indulged me in sin with Joey's drug problems, the random hookups, the L.A. nightlife. The Hills--well, that's a no-brainer, it's just a fucking entertaining show based on nothing! They do nothing on the show but gossip and bitch and backstab and complain and they get paid to do it! Did I also mention they are all incredibly hot? America's Best Dance Crew has the sickest dance moves! I'm constantly amazed by the execution and invention of some of the things they do. Jabbawockeez for life, bro. I could keep going with all this shit: Living Lohan, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Bachelor(ette), Joe Millionaire, Extreme Makeover. What the hell is our fascination with reality TV? It's not even reality because everyone becomes a characterization of their true selves on television, controlled by the editor who only chooses the parts most dramatic or entertaining. Hollywood loves it, though, because it is so cheap to make (no actor salaries, no huge production design, etc.).

Life, and especially Los Angeles, is a two-way street. You love to hate it.. You hate to love it.

Who's to take responsibility for that?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Put This In Your CD Player And Smoke It

Put This In Your CD Player And Smoke It Playlist:
1. A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
2. English House by Fleet Foxes
3. The Needle Has Landed by Neko Case
4. Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
5. Get Crazy by LMFAO
6. I'm So Glad by Cream
7. Creeper by Islands
8. King by Weezer
9. I'm Not Down by The Clash
10. Who's Gonna Save My Soul by Gnarls Barkley
11. Killing For Love by Jose Gonzalez
12. Free Man In Paris by Joni Mitchell
13. Time To Pretend by MGMT
14. Universal Mind Control by Common feat. Pharrell
15. Blackstar by Radiohead
16. 88 by The Cool Kids
17. When Doves Cry by Prince
18. I Want You by Bob Dylan
19. Fools by The Dodos
20. Faustz by AmpLive (Radiohead Remix)
21. Smokin' From Shootin' by My Morning Jacket

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"So we can go . . . off the island?

And so we can! I know I'm way far behind in publishing this inevitable post, but it seriously has taken me a long time to, well, find some time to watch the 2 hour epic that was the Lost season four finale. Most bloggers, according to Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly's weekly Lost preview and postreview column, did not write about the season four finale until a week afterward, just to let it all sink in.

I myself went through that same phase because the season four finale FUCKED ME UP. I was a mess. I couldn't think straight. I didn't know what to think. This partly could have been due to the great tradition my friends and I play during every season finale of Lost known as OMINOUS. Every time an ominous moment occurs, you take a shot of beer. It's pretty simple. And trust me, the season finale was enough to get you pretty drunk. Of course, since it is Lost, multiple viewings are essential to understanding what happened. When you've already seen it once and know what is going to happen at the end, the second viewing allows you to better understand exactly what is going on.


This finale finally showed the moment we watchers had been waiting for four seasons: the moment they leave the island. Up until the season three finale, it was not even fathomable that they could or would get off the island. Of course, that epic finale (in my opinion, the best one so far) showed us that in fact Jack and Kate do get off the island, but things have drastically changed. Jack becomes a guilt-ridden, suicidal OC addict while Kate wants nothing to do with him. How did we get from point A on the island to this point B? Through the use of flashforwards, we see what becomes of our Oceanic Six.

Kate has a dream where she sees Claire looming over Aaron. Claire furtively tells Kate not to bring him back to the island. Was this really a dream, though, or was it ghost Claire warning her? Sayid kills a man posted outside Hurley's mental institution and then convinces Hurley to leave with him because "it is no longer safe." Hurley notes that he speaks to dead people. Sun confronts Charles Widmore about his relations with her father (I knew Sun's dad was in on it!) And our cursed hero Jack gets bitched out by Kate for even speaking to Jeremy Bentham, the man in the coffin. In the finale's last scene, Jack breaks into the funeral parlor and opens the coffin. Ben this sneaks up from behind him and talks about getting ALL of the Oceanic Six back to the island because after they left "some very bad things happened." Jeremy Bentham is then revealed to be John Locke!

And this is where I got fucked up. The last scene of Locke in the coffin spoke volumes. Last time we saw Locke, he had become the leader of the Others while Ben pushed a large frozen wheel in order to "move" the island. I think two things have become self-evident:

1. Ben moved the island in time as the Orchid was a time-travel station and was located near a large discharge of negatively charged ions, or something like that.

2. After Ben moves the island, he time travels to the future, where his flashforward from this past season begins.

I later found this YouTube video (see below) that really contradicts a lot of things. Apparently, the writers were scared of a possible spoiler leak about the season finale, so they shot two other alternate endings. Their main choice was to have Locke in the coffin, but in case word got out, they could have gone with either Desmond or Sawyer. The thing is, all three of these alternate endings could have taken the show in different directions. One could ask, "Wait, last time we saw Desmond, he was reunited with Penny, so how did he die and why was he telling everyone to go back?" One could ask, "How did Sawyer get off the island, and why was he telling everyone to go back?" But what really makes it epic is "Why Locke?" However, these three endings lead me to believe that while the ending is clear to the writers, they can go anyway about it to get to that point, whether it was through Desmond, Sawyer, or Locke.

Locke, I believe, is one of the most important pieces of the show in understanding the Island. He has the strongest connection with it, and his narrative revolves around uncovering its secrets. As we saw in his last flashback, Locke has been groomed since birth to become a leader on the Island. This episode raised so many questions that I can't even get into it right now.

That's the thing about Lost. You can't explain one thing without having to explain a million other things.

After my first viewing, I kept wondering why Jack made the decision to follow Locke's advice and lie to the rest of the world. The second viewing put it into perspective. His controlling "I have to fix it, I made a promise" attitude overwhelms him with unimaginable guilt. Ben had told him that he should be off the island in an hour. He collected the remainder of the castaways and flew to the freighter. But they weren't counting on all the C4 explosives to be on the ship and trigger right around the time they landed. Jack made the decision to get on that chopper. His quick thinking skipped one thing, though: the people not on the chopper. He couldn't save them all, only some, but it was better than everyone dying. Jin was running toward the chopper, and many castaways including Rose and Bernard were still on the freighter. Then BOOM, it explodes in a blaze of glory. Michael sees Christian Shephard, who says "You can go now," before he dies in the fiery explosion. Michael is for sure dead (Harold Perrineau has commented on the demise of Michael in interviews), but I'm gonna bank that Jin, Rose, and Bernard aren't dead. And if they are, well, just because you die on the island doesn't mean you're off the show. Ghosts became a huge theme this season. And Faraday was still on that little boat with some of the castaways, what happened to them? Sawyer, Juliette, Miles, and Charlotte are still on the island as well. Then, the island disappeared, and the chopper was stranded. From there, you know that it crashes, Penny rescues them, and so begins the off-island flashforwards.

Lost yet?

It's fucking confusing. I'm recapping just to get my thoughts straight.

I guess what I take the most from this episode is that not only does it conclude another chapter of this story but also sets up the eventual conclusion of the show: season five will be the Oceanic Six trying to get back to the island while season six will show them back on it, and its end. But many questions were answered. We now know why Jack was so fucked up. He had to make the split second decision to lose everyone or save a few. In a sense, he left the remaining castaways to die in order to save himself. His look of pain and guilt on the chopper as he surveyed the wreckage said it all. Maybe lying to the world about everything was his way to escape the plaguing scorn that would have come from this outset. Think back to Michael's slaying of Anna Lucia and Libby: Ben said Michael would never say a word because how it would look if people knew what he did to get off the island? What would people think of Jack the hero as Jack the killer? And now, he's so weak that he's listening to Benjamin Linus.

With this confusing ending (why the hell is Locke going by the name Jeremy Bentham?), Season Five can begin with a brand new clean slate. I have no idea where the fuck the show is going. I do have one prediction, as minor as it is: Charlotte is Annie. You remember Annie, Ben's childhood friend who gave him that doll? Where did she go? Was she involved in the purge? My guess is that Ben somehow manipulated the situation where she a) left the island at an early age because he knew what was going to happen in the future or b) he somehow wiped her memory, but she has strong feelings that the island is where she was born. As for some things I've heard about season five, we can definitely expect a Miles and Faraday flashbacks. They were supposed to happen this season but the writer's strike fucked up the schedule.

Once again, Lost has blown my mind. I've been watching this show since September 2001 and it has instantly become the best TV show I have ever seen. It encompasses nearly every universal theme out there (good vs evil, divinity vs humanity, the duality of man, religion vs science, etc.) The pop culture references make it evoke so many different time periods. The characters are universal in their own right. I feel like every kind of person is almost portrayed on this show. In a sense, Lost is about life. This season showed the return to form since the glory days of Season One. After the season four finale ended, I realized something. There are only two seasons left. After two seasons, it's over, that's it. I suddenly got depressed because I knew in two years I would be depressed. I have never invested so much time and emotion into a television show before. When that last episode airs, I don't know how I'm going to feel. So I try not to think about it. But I know it'll be something I remember for the rest of my young life.

Until that day comes, though, I can't wait to see what comes next.

It's Lost, bitches.

Season Four Awards:

Best Episode: "The Constant"
Best Quote: "Destiny is a fickle bitch."--Benjamin Linus
Best WTF Moment (two way tie): Locke in the coffin and Sayid working for Ben
Best Lesbian Fight Scene: Juliette vs. Charlotte
Best Flashback: Locke and Matthew Abbadon in the hospital
Worst Episode: Juliette's flashback
Best Supernatural Element: Ben calls upon the Smoke Monster
Best Badass Scene: Sayid vs. Keamy

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Art Of Selling Yourself

On the way home tonight, I pondered what to write about for my nightcap blog. While I thought about different topics I could write about (The Incredible Hulk--it's a hit or miss, the new Coldplay album--same thing but only time will tell), a question, for some reason, kept popping up in my mind: how much of myself do I put in my writing? You can take that on any level, you like, but I choose to look at it two ways:

1. The things that I write that are true. This includes certain biographical statistics such as place of birth, ethnicity, names of family and friends, opinions, personal experiences and adventures, and my own personal name.

2. The style that I write in, and the choice of words and sentence structures that I use. The way you write, whether dramatic, suspenseful, comedic, or whatever genre, is unique to each individual. Eventually, after hopefully several novels, a reader can sense the style of the writer, that is to say, his or her essence, and perhaps even his or her character. J.K. Rowling, for example, has her own style, which people can instantly recognize.

When it comes to entertaining for a living, the art of the creator is ultimately, in a way, selling yourself: you sell your vision, your ideas, your thoughts, your perception, your depiction, interpretation, whatever. You hope to draw in a consumer who not only takes in all your work but also swallows, well, you. No matter how separate a piece of work is from an author, ultimately, it is still a part of them, because it came from them. There are some that boldly avoid this direction as they create pieces that are far from their true nature, and there are those that lovingly embrace it. Musicians, writers, and filmmakers all go through this struggle of balance or extremity. However, when an artist gets very personal, it opens the door for vulnerability. Look at Chris Carraba of Dashboard Confessional, who wears his heart on his sleeve and relives every painful memory he can think of in all his songs (I do guilty-pleasurely (sp?) love his music, but he's still kind of a bitch). He's now made millions. Look at Antwone Fisher, written by Antwone Fisher, himself, who literally exposed his deeply intimate problems on screen for the world to see. The film was critically acclaimed. But I wonder how he now feels, knowing that everyone knows who he is. Not just by face, but by character and past. I guess, maybe that's the key to it all--not giving a fuck about what people think. The best inspiration comes from your life. As they say, write what you know.

Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Killing Yourself To Live) and Tucker Max (I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell) are two writers who write about two completely different things yet essentially focus on the same theme: themselves. Some may call this narcissism, but to write about real life instead of a fictional world somehow breaks down that barrier of connection. In fictional works, readers could think that the main character was like their friend because they got to know him or her so well. But, because the mere fact that you live in the same world, same reality as the character/person, breathe the same air they do and experience the things you do, that connection is only stronger. Their existence reaffirms your own. Chuck Klosterman writes about the thing he loves: pop culture. Yet he also realizes certain philosophical tendencies that exist within in this realm. The only way to write about it, though, is to write about himself. The philosophical experience is unique to every single person, and the only way to truly interpret it. He wants people to share in his passion and think about things the way he does. He sells himself to get his points across.

Tucker Max also writes about the things he loves: drinking and fucking. And he's not afraid to admit. He revels in his dirtbagness, his assholeness, his low standards and morals. He fuckin' brags about it. I recently read Tucker Tries Buttsex, Hilarity Does Not Ensue--it was the the most degrading story I have ever read. And he even prefaces it by saying he knows how awful of a human being he is. Yet (admittedly and guiltily), I laughed my fucking ass off. Because he did these things, not only did it reaffirm my own good character (because I hope to God I never do something like that) but also let me experience something unfathomable yet somehow realistic. This goes to the point of even modern day horror cinema referred to as torture porn (Saw, Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes). We pay to see people get fucked up. Although we judge Tucker Max as vile and offensive and inhuman, the joke's on us because we are the ones that pay to be entertained by this. Because we like to experiences things outside our comfort zone, or our nature. Because of us, he's a millionaire for being an asshole.

I'm struggling to find the delicate balance between revealing certain things about myself and talking about the things I love in an analytical fashion in my writing. I do not like to rule out subjectivity in writing because the most valid reason one could have for an opinion is that it is simply what they think. Their past and perception of the world has shaped the thoughts and ideas that they have. There are even consequences to opening up on page or screen even if it does not directly affect you It could affect those in your life. The people you write about, or base your characters off of, can feel misrepresented or even hurt that you would reveal things about their lives and personalities. The best artists to me then are the ones that are the bravest--they bare their soul, which creates an intimate, personal experience that connects to audiences on whole new levels. They are not afraid of the vulnerability. Or maybe they are, but this is one way to battle it instead of bottling it up inside. The artist becomes an inspiration, or simply another mentor. While I certainly try to perform my number two way of putting myself in writing through style, the number one way is still a struggle. I hope I'm getting better at it, but fuck, selling yourself is an art form in and of itself.

A Day in the Life (Of Me) Playlist
1. Good Morning (Intro) by Kanye West
2. Be by Common
3. Daydreamin' by Lupe Fiasco feat. Jill Scott
4. Trying To Find A Balance by Atmosphere
5. Rainy Day Women #12 and #35 by Bob Dylan
6. Because I Got High by Afroman
7. I'm Chillin' by The Game
8. Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols
9. We Are All On Drugs by Weezer
10. Alpha Beta Gaga by Air
11. Maria by Green Day
12. Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra
13. In My Life by The Beatles
14. Everything's Not Lost by Coldplay
15. Los Angeles, I'm Yours by The Decemberists
16. People Are Strange by The Doors
17. Lightning Rod by Guster
18. Shimmy Shimmy Ya by Ol' Dirty Bastard
19. Dazed and Confused by Led Zepellin
20. Long Nights by Eddie Vedder
21. Don't You Forget About Me by The Simple Minds
22. Donate by My Morning Jacket
23. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
24. Tomorrow Comes Today by Gorillaz

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Morning and Evening with My Morning Jacket

I could only find bologna in the fridge.

After being gone from my house all day, it has come to my attention that my fridge is severely lacking the essential late night munchies that I have been accustomed to coming home to after a long day of work and then fun for the past year at school. And that's too bad because on the drive home I was really looking forward to having a great midnight snack as I wrote of my experience with My Morning Jacket's phenomenal new album Evil Urges.

I'm a man that has a very particular way of listening to music. I do not only judge an album by its pure musical qualities but also with the experiences that go along with it, and how these lyrics and notes influence our perception of the environment around us, along with taking into account what mood we are in, and the current topics on our mind. I know, it's meticulous, but what can I say, I'm a little bit OCD. Or as my dear friend, let's call her Cobra for now, says, "God, you're such a virgo."

My morning began with the excited nervousness of finally listening to this album after weeks of waiting for it. I bought the album last night, hoping it would be as good as critics had been claiming it to be while not trying to expect too much. I find that high expectations for music, or anything for that matter, do not let a person realistically judge something's or someone's talent or level. Music, for example, should be listened to at a neutral level. This is hard for people, and especially me, as everything influences the prepurchase process and perception of something.

Satisfaction is a function of perception minus expectations. But here's the great kicker: MMJ knows this fact and decides to fuck with it, blowing your mind. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone writes, "But coming from a young band whose first three albums earned them a reputation as hairy torchbearers of guitar-driven classick rock, the title is also about messing with expectations. More so than 2005's mildly experimental Z, Evil Urges explodes the band's sound with the same kind of creative leap that Wilco took on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Radiohead took on Kid A." That's quite an impressive comparison, I gotta say.

I've had three different experiences with this album today. I listened to it three different times in which I was in a different mood and different state of mind.

The first time--7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., taking the 5 to the 134 to the 2 to the 5 to the 110 to the 10 to get to my Santa Monica internship, stuck in fucking L.A. morning traffic.

The second time--5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., driving to the frat from the internship, stuck again in horrific rush hour traffic and anticipating the Lakers-Celtic Game 4.

The third time--1:30 a.m. to 2:15 a.m., driving from the frat to home after a disappointing Lakers game, an excellent Kung Fu Panda viewing (This movie fuckin' rocks! Highly recommended!), and being a little bit admittedly under the influence.

I can wholeheartedly and confidently say that this album is fucking amazing because it was great all three times.

The song "Evil Urges" first blasted from my Hyrbrid's speakers at 7:40 a.m. As this was the first time I was going to hear this song, and this album wholly, I had no idea what to really expect except the hope that it would be a great album starter. I won't lie when I say it threw me off. Jim James' voice was doing some weird higher pitched thing than he normally does. The guitar intro started amazingly, full of lust and mystery, the hint of something sinister lying deeper within the song. And then all the sudden, the song takes on a happy note, still sung in the Prince-like falsetto. I felt like it was commenting on the fact of evil urges themselves--there can lying something dark, but at the same time, a relishment of giving into sin. It's almost like Jim James is prefacing the album with the disclaimer: give into this album and everything with it. Come over to the dark side, it's a good time. And damn right it is. When I listened to it the second time, it put me in a great mood as I was just getting off work. The third time, driving through Downtown's beautiful Skyline on the 110 at such a late hour and feeling like I was floating, I was hooked.

The second song "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Pt. 1" is probably my least favorite song on the album, although that's not saying much as it's relative to the rest of the album. I love this song, but I just love other songs more. Just like "Evil Urges," the different musical tone of James' voice threw me off because I'm so used to the way he sounds on the other albums.

The third song woke me up in the morning. I was exhausted. It was early in the morning, so I started dozing off. But this song, the weirdest, most experimental song of their career, made me alert again. Here, James channels Prince literally, complete with high falsetto, sexy tempo, and dangerous bass. The band then joins in with a kinda Satanic chorus of the song's name "Highly Suspicious." I dig it just for its sheer guilty pleasure factor.

I have had a lot of conflict with "I'm Amazed." This was the first song of the album I heard--it was the only single distributed on iTunes, and playing on radio for that matter (besides the last song of the album, but I'll get to that). At first, it reminded me of their Tennesee Fire and At Dawn days, in which they made great music still, but it's not the band that has grown, the band that I've come to love. It's just too country for me. But on the second hearing of this song after work, it finally took on a whole new meaning for me. The soft uptempo guitar hooks draws you in as James sings of the wonders and amazement of simple life around him. I definitely respect that. As a single, I didn't appreciate this song because, well, it just didn't feel like a single to me. I don't think MMJ is a singles-band anyway. In context with the rest of the album, though, this song is the first "normal" MMJ song, and it succeeds tremendously in that way.

After the six cups of coffee I drank at work today, I was definitely wired when I listened to the soothing and relaxing fifth song "Thank You Too!", James love ode and deep gratitude to the girl who gave him the time of day. The band's heavenly harmony manifests his sincere and genuine love for a girl that seems to deserve it. Paul Rudd could come up to me right now and say, "You know how I know you're gay? Because this song makes you feel like you could fall in love with this girl." I would absolutely agree with him.

"Sec Walkin" initially makes me feel like I'm watching a haunting horror film or some obscure indie film like Donnie Darko. Then, the opening versus transforms the song into a lovely song of longing, that, in my perception and interpretation, speaks of travel and connection.

"Two Halves" is another harmonic song that reminds me of The Beatles and Beach Boys with its easy sing-along chorus and affectionate lyrics about dealing with the past, looking forward to the future, and wanting the innocence of being young and having the experience and knowledge of getting older. It's contemplative but puts me in a good mood.

The ambling and rambling "Librarian" feels like going on a walk with no final destination. It moves forward at a steady pace and beat. Without a musical change-up in chorus, the song feels like a primitive version of new songs, which makes sense as James sings about the simplistic natural beauty and yearn for a librarian. He describes her as "simple little beauty--heaven in your breath. The simplest of pleasures--the world at it's best." This simple song is definitely one of the best on the album.

"Look At You" is reminiscent of MMJ's live album Okonokos. It's just the right mix of sweet solo guitar, hermosa lyrics, and tribute to that special someone. "Such a glowing example of peace and glory." Hell yeah, it is.

After these really chill songs, "Aluminum Park" opens with a rocking guitar medley that brings you out of your complacent funk and makes you wanna party. It's the rally song of the album.

"Remnants" bring back serious epic rock. MMJ can be sweet and lovely at times, but people, remember this: they're from the South, and they're gonna bring their Southern badass motherfucker attitude straight to your ears. Even after all their change, they still have remnants of their former days.

And so begins the monumental two part album closer.

"Smokin From Shootin" makes the listener aware of the album so far, and whether it's good or not. He first sings, "Have you had enough excitement now? More than you ever did?" When I first heard this, I immediately thought, "Hell no! More!" The song then turns into an inspiring meditation on faith (religious and spiritual) and its role in life.

But "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Pt. 2" is the song this album was made for, the song we've all been waiting for secretly since the opening chord. I finally just figured out what other song this one reminds me of! Don't laugh, but Madonna's "Hung Up" but only that kickass recurring high pitched, wind instrument sounding beat. Anyway, obviously this song is way fucking better, though. I first heard this song through a link the Cobra sent to me via Facebook. The first time I heard it, I knew MMJ was going in different places while staying true to their essence. Now, having listened to this song four times (I'm listening to it right now as I literally write this sentence), I can surely claim that MMJ have accomplished the difficult task of creating an awesome album closer. The album closer is clutch--it's the band's final statement to the fans. I am sorry, though, that I heard this song first a while ago--the experience of listening to it for the first time after hearing the rest of the album for the first time is much more different than hearing this song first and then the rest of the album. It's like knowing the ending to a movie and nothing else about it.

Did you know that originally John Lennon wanted "I Want You (She's So Heavy) to be the album closer and their final statement to the fans before disbanding on Abbey Road, but the record company thought it was too dark, so they changed it to that medley consisting of "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," "The End," and "Her Majesty"? Yeah, think of this last song like that. The song is slinky, it's sexy, it's hypnotic, dark, intense, haunting, lustful, dangerous, sinister, scary, and purely epic.

At 2:15 a.m., I was really close to my exit on the 5 and had only made it to track five. I had this deep desire to listen to "Touch Me, Pt. 2" and have it finish exactly when I parked the car in my driveway--I figured it would be an appropriate and symbolic end to my long Thursday. The song began. The "ahhhs" of the song, the long-distance range of James' piercing voice swallowed me whole as I turned the volume on my speakers to 50. The window was down, the wind stung my face. I donno, man, I just felt alive. Although that feeling could have come from my bladder, which was telling me "Dude, I gotta take a fuckin' piss! Hurry up!" I got off the freeway and slowed the car down to a humorous 5 miles per hour, against my bladder's wishes. I took my time driving up my street. I crept into my driveway, not making a sound except for the final chords of the song. I parked the car, and the song ended. Track fourteen, the six second epilogue "Good Intentions," bursted with fake audience applause and concluded with a simple "Ok, Cool." (sidenote: I love the dichotomy of the album opener "Evil Urges" against its opposite and possible equal "Good Intentions"). And just like that, the album was over, and so was my day. Jim James last words to us are "Oh this feeling! It is wonderful! Don't you ever turn it off!" With a band like My Morning Jacket, I think this beauty won't be turned off for a long time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stupidity Equals Money, Just Ask Adam Sandler

I recently saw Adam Sandler''s latest flick You Don't Mess With The Zohan, and I can honestly say that it is one of the worst films of 2008 and rivals such classics as Catwoman and I Know Who Killed Me (which is a masterpiece of crap in its own right). Back when I was a young buck, full of naivete and bathroom humor, Sandler was a god among men. Billy Madison, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy--the Sandman delivered the goods by acting like a moron onscreen. He's the forever manchild. And you know what? I still love those movies for the sheer stupidity. But that was when Sandler was unaware of it--it was just his sense of humor. Years later, he has become more conscious and self-aware of his style of comedy--he's becoming a character of himself. So he's ventured into some new territories.

Sandler went dramatic for a while, busting out somewhat notable films such as Spanlish and Reign Over Me. I give him a B for effort for those films, but Punch-Drunk Love blew me away. Who knew the Sandman could actually act?! Yet, instead of pursuing this kind of career, he's strayed far from it. I won't lie--he actually does make a great leading man for romantic comedies as seen opposite Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. But it was the descent into pure absurdity as seen through the film Little Nicky that Sandler has never recuperated from. It was just too childish and immature. From that point on, Sandler tried to mature into an adult comedian, busting out conventional flare like The Longest Yard, Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, and Anger Management. The bigger Sandler got, the more notable actors he started working with, slowly making his way to the A-list. But here's the kicker: these movies have made 100s of millions of dollars! Sandler now has nine, yes, that's right, nine films that have crossed the $100 million mark.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan could possibly his stupidest movie ever. Filled with sex, sex, sex jabs and inside jokes about the Jewish culture (apparently Israelis brush their teeth with hummus?), the movie was just simply boring. Of course it got me to laugh at some moments (Zohan's dolphin swim, his threat to Paul Mitchell), and it had the gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui (is it me or is Sandler now getting really really fucking hot women to act opposite him--see: Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Marisa Tomei). But the movie just goes all over the place from sex comedy to political satire on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to this whole thing about him being a metrosexual hairdresser. I donno, it was just boring and not creative even though the concept was quite original (apparently, though, there is an actual Zohan in real life. I saw some LA Times article on it). What really hurt the most, though? The fact that Robert Smigel of Saturday Night Live cartoon and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog fame and my one of my personal (and Hollywood's) favorites Judd Apatow cowrote this piece of crap. How the fuck did they get involved?

Now don't get me wrong. I love Adam Sandler to death. In my childhood, he along with Jim Carrey were my favorite actors. He can be funny, and he seems like one of the coolest, most down-to-earth guys ever. I feel like we could be drinking buddies. But his movies just plain suck. After his next film Bedtime Stories, he'll be coming out with a comedy directed by Judd Apatow called Funny People, set in the world of stand-up comedy. I won't lie when I say I'm nervous about it. I don't want Apatow to descend into this bullshit humor. The cast is fantastic, though, as it involves recurring Apatow actors Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Leslie Mann, and welcomes newcomers to the group Eric Bana (who knew he could do funny?) and Jason Schwartzmann. The cast gives me hope, and who know, maybe Apatow and Sandler will actually do right by this one. But in Hollywood, though, who cares if the movie's good as long as it makes money.

The Money Playlist (coming soon)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Red Falls Between Silver and Gold

Today, three very important things happened:

1. Three black boys wearing women's clothing, Uggs, and odd piercings were arrested at The Bookstore for shoplifting. They were seriously like 16 year old boys with very tight shirts, girl's tight jeans, girl Uggs, and earrings that spelled out "Danielle." They all had the same pair of earrings oddly enough. The thing I wondered the most, though: were they trying to steal men's clothing or women's?

2. I bought Weezer's Red Album, which I will review in a second.

3. I finally embraced the digital music distribution.

Weezer debuted with The Blue Album in 1994. Seven years later, they came out with The Green Album. Seven more years later, they've returned with their wackiest and most experimental album yet--The Red Album. This album is all over the place, and I fuckin' love it save 2 or 3 songs, which are okay at best. Before I proceed with a track by track commentary, I must give the disclaimer that I truly believe this album is only great for the true fans and the band itself. Here we go.

"Troublemaker"-the irresistibly catchy album opener. Rivers here pretty much announces the theme of the album: we are gonna do whatever the fuck we want and have a good time doing it. It's very different from their first album opener ever "My Name Is Jonas," where Rivers more or less gave the attitude of "this is who we are, we hope you like it." The lyrics are pretty simple and somewhat stupid, though.

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"--Weezer's first of two over six minute songs. It has a complete schizophrenic feeling as the band switches different genres from power ballad to hard rock to Eminem-like rap. Many critics have railed this song because of its lack of focus. It just jumps around too many genres too quickly, they say. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I respectfully disagree: anyone ever hear a song called "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen?

"Pork and Beans"--I still love this fucking song. See other Weezer post below for commentary. The video is pretty sweet, but it didn't quite work for me since I already saw South Park do nearly the same thing--but with a lot more violence and shots to the head.

"Heart Songs"--The album's best song. Rivers leads us through his musical journey as he reflects back on listening to bands from ABBA to Devo to Iron Maiden. Great lyrics with a sweet soothing guitar. Instead of the typical lovely girl Rivers writes about, he writes about his other big love in life: music. The line about Nirvana is especially amazing. "Back in 1991 I wasn't having any fun / Until my roommate said 'Cmon' and put a brand new record on / It had a baby on it, he was naked on it / And then I heard the chord that broke the chains upon me." Truly a testament to the power of music and its personal impact on people.

"Everybody Get Dangerous"--Another fun song about being stupid and doing stupid shit. It seems like Weezer wanted to make a rock song that people could dance to. I do admit, though, some of the shit Rivers thinks is dangerous and fatal, well, they're kinda lame. Then again, he's from the Midwest.

"Dreamin'"--Definitely one of the three songs I can live without on this album. I mean, I dig the music, but the lyrics are incredibly cheesy. "I'm dreamin' in the morning / I'm dreaming all through the night / And when I'm dreamin' I know that it's all right." The music does get dream-like as the progression and form changes when Brian Bell's vocals kick in, but Rivers, what happened,? You used to know how to rhyme. The song also could have done without the very last four lines of lyrics, in which "I don't wanna get with your program" is repeated three times.

"Thought I Knew"--Here is where Weezer starts taking risks. Brian Bell wrote the song and sings on this one. When a song does not have Rivers singing, it immediately disorients me. I first think, "This ain't the Weeze." However, as a song, I love it. The lyrics aren't too simplistic or cheesy, and that soloing guitar throughout is just fuckin' sweet. It's a catchy midtempo song. Rivers even plays drums on it, and Patrick switches to guitar! I dig it.

"Cold Dark World"--Another mix-up as bassist Scott Shriner sings Rivers' lyrics. You can definitely tell they are his lyrics, but the change in voice and somewhat rap-style verses with emotionally sung choruses make for a creepy and at the same time charming song. The Bon Jovi-like "wah wah" is a nice treat, too. I also dig this song.

"Automatic"--I love the music in this one, but Pat's voice and lyrics just don't do it for me. Another song I could live without. Pat says this song is about his family and his deep love for the. Yeah, it's nice and all, but it's still corny.

"The Angel and The One"--the album's second or third best song, I haven't decided yet. Rivers states that this song came about because he wanted to break away from the traditional three minute power ballad. For that alone, I give him mad props. The song is lovely yet haunting, uncharacteristic yet totally Weezer. It has this air of spirituality, for which Rivers aims. Not as great an album closer as "Only In Dreams" (I don't think anything ever will), but it's damn near close. Well, so is "Haunt You Every Day" from Make Believe.

Bonus Tracks from the Deluxe Edition:
---all these songs are very unWeezer yet totally them, too. To me, they seem appropriate to be bonus tracks because they all could have easily been album closers.

"Miss Sweeney"--Rivers sings this one as if he has to go to the bathroom really badly but has to hold it for the time being. Once he hits the chorus, though, he doesn't give a fuck. Apparently, love makes you forget you gotta take a piss. And if that's not love, I don't know what is.

"Pig"--This perpetually could have been a better album closer. Here, Rivers gets reflective on his life and looks back on it with no regrets. Well, metaphorically, anyway. He eerily looks into his future, too, and comments on his inevitable death. Ultimately, this serious song talks about having fun. I'm starting to think that Rivers has adopted the "Don't Worry About It" philosophy.

"The Spider"--another great lyrical song with images of life, death, and everything in between. However, I do have two critiques. The song never picks up steam. It reminds me of Ben Kweller's "On My Way" but with less funny lyrics. I wanted the song to go somewhere, but it stays in the same progression for like 5 minutes. And plus, didn't Rivers already use a bug as a metaphor for loss and death in Pinkerton's "Butterfly"?

"King"--Another Pat Wilson song, but it fuckin' rocks! His voice is demanding and troubling. When he sings, "I'm king," for some reason, I get an image of Tony Montana from Scarface seeing the blimp that reads, "The World Is Yours." This song also sounds like a completely different band. I wonder what it would have been like with Rivers singing it. I wish this song had been on the album instead of "Dreamin'," "Everybody Get Dangerous," or "Automatic." Maybe "Troublemaker" too, but that song definitely has its moments. "King" also could have closed the album.

"It's Easy"--the last song. Weezer rocks on acoustics! They should really look into doing an acoustic CD or something. I have a lot of their songs in acoustic like "No One Else" and "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "The Good Life" and they are all just amazing and powerful. This song is fun. It makes you want to bust out a guitar and just jam with your friends. It's easy.

Ultimately, I give this album 3 1/2 stars out of four. I applaud Weezer's experimentation and thinking outside the box. I remember reading the Rolling Stone article when Make Believe came out. It portrayed the band as troubled and doomed. Rivers came off as a control freak, and the band members seemed to hate him. Because of their lack of cohesion, well, the album sucks. It's definitely their worst one. In this one, Rivers and the band have grown up and spiritually evolved. The album's tone shows off a more relaxed and funloving band. This time around, they decided to be open to each other's influences and make a collaborative effort. Some songs miss. However, when a band reinvents itself as a band, and not defined by its lead singer for the first time, well, they're not going to get it right the first time. It's almost like learning how to play the guitar all over again. But I've got faith that they'll perfect this refound unity on their seventh album. So who the fuck cares what critics think? I know this record is going to be in my car stereo all summer, blasting it with the window down.

Oh, and on a sidenote, today, I embraced the digital music distribution revolution! Unknowingly (don't ask me how), I had already bought the first three songs from this album as singles. So I was not willing to shell out 10 bucks for 7 more songs. Hence, I decided to get the Deluxe Edition because I thought it would be worth more. And then when I went to Best Buy to get it, it was nearly 20 bucks! Fuck that! So I hit up iTunes, which I normally only do for new bands or singles. I realized a couple of things:

1. You can still get the digital booklet online. I mean, sure, having the actual CD booklet is sweet, but how many times do you look back to it seriously? However, Apple should figure out a way to put this digital booklet on iPods.
2. I got the track "It's Easy" because it was through iTunes.
3. If I had bought the CD, I was just going to put it on my iTunes anyway.
4. Because I had bought the first three songs, I was able to "Complete This Album," and actually saved some money!

iTunes has become the number one music distributor, beating Wal-Mart! I mean, think about that, seriously. It may be a SLOW takeover, but it's still coming.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Remember Remembering?

Now, I agree with the general consensus among fans and critics that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (damn, what a mouthful) was no worse nor no better than any of the first three. In fact, I've heard several people say that this one is actually the third best movie in the series, with Temple of Doom in that oh-so-coveted fourth place spot. With this in mind, why the fuck did Hollywood even attempt to make a fourth movie, knowing full well the risk of this movie possibly tarnishing the legacy of an amazing trilogy?

As Rogers Waters once sung, "Money: it's a hit. Don't give me that goody good bullshit." And this, dear readers, is the driving force behind the Hollywood studio system today. Hollywood has had to adapt to evolving audience taste for the last twenty years. The average viewer's attention span is slowly decreasing, making him or her in constant need of action, thrill, suspense, and, overall, entertainment. The consistent desire for thrill rivals the ultimate goal for studios: profit. A moneymaking hit is no longer guaranteed in today's entertainment world. Studios are worried to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars on something new, something radical, groundbreaking because audiences may be fearful or loathe to this aspect.

So where does Hollywood turn to for a better guarantee? The past. Nostalgia. Familiarity. Security. Think back to last summer's blockbusters: Spiderman 3 (based on the old comic books), Shrek The Third (channeling and demythologizing children's fairy tales), Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (based off the old Disney ride), Transformers (inspired by the 80s toys and cartoon), and so much more. Studios bank on people to flock to these films because of nostalgia. If it's based on something that already had popularity, it's hopefully bound to make some money because the film already has an audience. Not only this, postmodern cinema also invokes the fusion of other genres to spice things up. They turned Starsky & Hutch into a comedy; apparently, Jonah Hill is remaking 21 Jump Street. GI Joe and The A-Team will soon be exploding into theaters. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?! WHERE IS THE ORIGINALITY OF BRAND NEW IDEAS?!

Indy 4 had a lot to deal with, but mostly it had to combat two main challenges: how to handle Harrison Ford's old age and how to show something new while staying true to its roots. SPOILER ALERT: the only way a new Indiana Jones film would work is if they made it somewhat realistic. Now this is not to say that the movie is realistic by any means; hell no! I mean, there are fuckin' aliens in the film. But it made Indy realistic by staying true to Ford's age. His first words in the film reference his old age and how "it" used to be easier. In order for Ford to mention this, the time period of Indy also had to evolve: the film is now set in the greaser-soc challenged 50s that Reagan adored. But these two answers to the film's biggest challenges present several problems. While Indiana Jones is still that same great archeologist adventurer that we have come to know and love, everything else around him has changed. You've got a new sidekick, who off the bat, is working for the Russians, then for the CIA, then for the Russians again. You've got Indy's illegitimate son, played by Shia LaBeouf, who channels Brando's The Wild One, and that's pretty much it. The dude fuckin' swings with monkeys--seriously? Karen Allen comes back as Indy's first love, and they pick up where we last left them, arguing like animals and then still making those puppy dog eyes. I'm not even gonna mention Blanchett's supposed Russian accent. No one in this film had anything to do except Indy! Lastly, the last three Indy films all had one thing in common: although there was an element of the supernatural in each film, these moments were still grounded in reality because they were based off mystical and spiritual entities: the Lost Ark, the rocks from ToD, the Holy Grail. This movie attempts to create its own mythology (Lucas claims there are actual crystal skulls) but Spielberg's fascination with sci-fi that prompts him to throw in random aliens and have a spaceship fly off into space. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, anyone? It was just too unbelievable and cheesy to accept. So we've got the same great character, but an okay atmosphere, environment, plot, and supporting characters. No worse but no better, either.

I miss the days when we could simply look at one film as its own entity. Now, everything seems to be a remake: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, GI Joe, The A-Team. What hurts me most is this brand new movie American Teen, which I'll admit, looks intriguing and entertaining, but that fuckin' poster ruins it for me because of its direct ripoff to The Breakfast Club, my favorite movie of all time. I don't want a new Club; I like mine just the way it is. I like looking back on it and remembering how good it was for me, how good it still is to me. This Hollywood air raid of nostalgia is tarnishing my idealistic views of movies I've come to know and love. And here's another thing: while I adore this film, I realize that not everyone loves or even likes this film. Hell, kids today may not have even ever heard of it. Is this really the best way to get people to see an apparently stunning real-life documentary, by comparing it to an exaggerated 80s pop movie?

Postmodernism is creating schizophrenia everywhere--there is no singular identity anymore. Everything is just consuming everything. With everything being "updated" with today's technology, I'm starting to forget what it's like to remember what it was like to remember something with fondness. Now don't get me wrong, there are still phenomenal postmodern films out there (see: any Apatow film, The Dark Knight which is going to be fuckin' sweet, and of course IRON MAN), but seriously, will someone show me something new already?

Nostalgia Mix:
1. I Remember The Days by The Blue Van
2. The Past and Pending by The Shins
3. Yesterday by The Beatles
4. The Times They Are A-Changin by Bob Dylan
5. Use of Time by 311
6. Past in Present by Feist
7. Redundant by Green Day
8. Time by Timbaland feat. She Wants Revenge
9. Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zepellin
10. Time Is Running Out by Muse
11. Nostalgia by Yanni (yeah, I put Yanni on a playlist)
12. Nostalgia by The Lost Art

Playlist available on my project playlist, see link above.