Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There's New Music Amoung Us

Okay, so school's back in session, but there really ain't much to say, you know? I won't start being in the classroom at H-Ville HS (Go Hornets!) until the 26th, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. day. I haven't had my Texas Crossroads course with Young yet, that's Thursday night. Art's going to be the first fourth of my Honors Seminar, and my books were frickin' cheap compared to last semester, and that's really about all there is for that topic.

So, here's the real point.

Actually, wait, before I dive into the meat of this post... Everclear has a new single! It's on my sidebar,
Jesus Was a Democrat. And, it's typical hard pop/angry pop, with all the EC trappings I've come to endear over the years. (How many years? A LOT OF YEARS... As in 14 years, which, consequently, brings about the point that they were, in fact, my Number One first, before a certain trio from B_Lo...) You can download it for free over at their website. Hopefully this means that 2009 will bring new music from BOTH them and the Dolls.

Moving on... Not like it's any real news or anything, but each third of 2/3 of the Dolls has a side-project. Malinin has 40 Marshas, this really interesting, eclectic experimental take on spoken word and musical expression. On the other hand, Takac has amungus, this electronica/techno pop-ish take on clubby music. Neither musical act could be further from the Dolls. (Which makes me wonder, but that's another rant for another day...)

So, being the Goober that I am... I purchased amungus' ep, the truth is..., with some Christmas money. (Yeah, I'm late to the dance party, I know...) And, see, here's the thing... I highly doubt I'd enjoy 40 Marshas' work. Nothing against Malinin, of course, but... I just have a feeling it's a SERIOUS acquired taste, you know? But, the thing is, even though I enjoy techno/dance/trance music, and I'd already heard three of amungus' pieces, I was still concerned about them, too. I mean, what if it sucked? I'd just have to sigh and be, like, "Awww, Robby, hunny... You and Brian tried! Now, go back and play bass s'more," I guess, right? But, if it was awesome... Would I end up being all, "Robby! This is kickass. You and Brian need to make more now!!!! Screw that Dolls album that's in the works; just let John finish it!" (All right, you got me... I'd never be like *that*.)

In the end, I decided to just clear my head of my preconceptions, and go into the album with a clear head and as little expectations as possible, thinking, for a second there, that I probably would have liked the last Dolls album a LOT more if I'd done the same... And, you know what? It totally paid off.

amungus is an interesting and alluring marriage of thought and creative expression between Takac and web design company SlenderFungus' founder, Brian Schulmeister. SF seems to have been handling the visual aspect of the Dolls' web-presence since, I'd say, the GF days, so perhaps that's how Takac and Schulmeister met. I don't know, and it doesn't matter. All that matters is the SOLID, KICKASS MUSIC they've made. Seriously. The music they've written is overall hooky, pop beats; infectuous and energizing. The lyrics, which they have writing credits for (at LEAST they do on all songs, with one or more others helping) are straightforward, but still pack emotion in their simplicity.

Of course, the emotion in question is Love. It's either long-distance love, empty sexualized love, love that's evolving, or, just the plain 'ol catch-all of Love fluorishing or in trouble. Simply? It's an album about love that doesn't suck. (Yeah. I went there.)

Bad Kitty - Prrrrr! Rawwwr! Hissss!!! [and more kitty-cat noises here]. And, man, what a way this is to start out an album. It's sexy. It's hip. It's awesome.

Green Tea - My favorite, right here. The beat of it is just... Man, I wanna strip down and shake my ass. For serious (but I won't, b/c no one wants to see that).

Search Your Soul - I HAVE MY THEORIES ABOUT THIS. But, I won't bore anyone with 'em. This is another favorite, right here. It's pop. It's catchy. The message is great. IT'S A DUET! And we all know how much I love those... It just rocks. I could really hear this one on the radio.

Man Up - Nikki Hicks has a hell of a voice. This proves it; this, being a song about a man who needs to get off the fence and MARRY his (assumed) long-term girlfriend.

Serious Chemistry - You ever been trollin' through MySpace of Facebook, see that one pic of that one hot dude? Started talking to him, and found out that, hey, y'all actually click? Well, apparently so has the heroine of this song, more or less. It's still a song about love.

Broken Love - I also have my theories about this one, too, but that's for another day... My third favorite, right here. It's just refreshing to hear the word 'concubines' in a song. Plus, the idea of love being, well, fixable is endearing. If two people are really meant to be together, then they will be, blahblahblah.

Untouchable - Just a cool groove. And, no, this is not Cuz You're Gone II.

And the DC Mix of Man Up is cool, but... Well, it's not the highlight of this ep.

love lasts forever, like, infinite

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Year End Wrap-Up: Movies and TV

So, I'm gonna take a moment to reflect on 2008.


Yeah, okay. It's been reflected upon, and it's still one of the worst years of my life so far. But, who cares? So what? I still have my health, my loved ones, my friends, a roof over my head, and so on. It was just a lot of little things over the year that just... Picked and picked at me, tearing me down, you know? Yeah, you know. Of course you know. It got to you, too, didn't it, this year? Yeah, it's okay... I think it got to everyone, for different reasons, but we all felt the same in the end: breathing in gun-powder-laced smoke, and exhaling one Hell of a sigh of relief that 2008, the fucker, is over.

Long live 2009. 2008 is a year's worth of grains of time I'd definitely sift through before saving.

In other news, Helen's made a resolution, and I applaud her. I'll help her as much as I can. I'll be her little encourager! I'm a good sidekick, like that.

A number of Gooey acquaintances of mine were in Atlantic City tonight, at the Dolls' NYE gig, and I can't wait to hear how it went. An early report from Steph is saying it was pretty good.

Also, since I covered music in my last wrap-up, I figured I'd do Movies and TV. So... Here we go.
(in the run-on sentence style, no less.)

Movies: The Dark Knight was amazing, surpassing Batman Begins as the best Batman movie, which was a surprise in and of itself; X-Files: I Want to Believe was good for what it was, and it gave me the Mulder/Scully closure I needed; The Strangers was the scariest horror film I've seen since The Descent, and I'm actually proud of Liv Tyler for taking a chance and doing a totally different genre; The Day the Earth Stood Still was meh, as I knew it would be; Wall-E was prop(agandishly)erly adorable; Prince Caspian wasn't as good as The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; Bolt didn't re-invent the wheel, but it was fun and precious; The Other Boleyn Girl had some delicious Eric Bana in it, but that didn't save this eye-brow-raising take on Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn; Pride and Glory was another cop drama, but was raised above mediocre thanks to Edward Norton; and The Happening was just bad.

TV: Fringe delivered. I was expecting a new X-Files, and that's what I got, with King Denethor (John Noble) to boot! House, so far, hasn't been delivering in its fifth season, but... Hopefully the rest of the season will pick up the slack. The Shield ended, and I dedicated a whole entry to it. And, I don't have much else to say... South Park was as good as always, and I'm still enjoying Family Guy and American Dad. Oh, I am sorry that this next year will be the end for King of the Hill; that one's grown on me. I can't wait for Lie to Me, Tim Roth's new show. Oh, and I think I might, this coming Summer, rent some DVDs and give Heroes another shot. I might. I may also start watching Supernatural. And, an edit, because I forgot... Testees is fucking hilarious, and I hope it gets renewed for a second season.

And, that's it. *raises glass* Here's to moving past where we've been, onward to where we should be, with whomever may be with us, along for the ride, or already there, waiting.

we were all in love, and we all got hurt.