Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey Everyone! Add my new blog! This blog will be updated a lot more!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Ohio is amazing. After living in a major city for one and a half years, it really gives a different perspective to coming home. The smells, driving, swagger, streets, people, and topics of discussion are completely different when I go home. A lot of talk was on how I’m a writer, so I must have read the Twilight books. I admire vampires and all, but not when they are fifteen, and dry humping each other.

One thing that was amazing was the old coffee shop I used to go to now sells beer. They bought the last liquor licenses in my town, and I guess it got all the locals in a fit because they wanted a bar and not a place that mostly sold liquor. However, when I walked in the coffee shop, it was heaven. They had some of my favorite beers that I would have to drive to a specialty shop just to enjoy. I couldn’t believe my town was selling Rogue, Stone, Dogfishhead, and Hoppin’ Frog.

I really enjoyed the Stone Levitation ale, which ran dark, but tasted thick, like a smooth red ale. This beer was delicious, although it was pretty low on the alcohol percentage level being about 5%, which I love beers that range in the 8-9%. I’m a red ale fanatic so I really enjoyed it, and I think most other people could sip on this too.

I'm just so happy to go home and have a place to buy some amazing beer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I took a short hiatus from the blogging world or at least I like to tell myself this to not sound lazy. I'm here, and a lot of good music, journals, and movies have been consumed in that time. I'll continue with a movie I watched last week that everyone seemed to have heard of except me, until I watched it.

Moon is a Sci-Fi flick that follows Sam Rockwell in space with his "Hal"-esque computer friend, GERTY. For being a relatively low budget film, it worked really well. The moon scenes and space station were done very well and the "emoticon" faces of GERTY were really fun to watch. The story line is original and I thought Sam Rockwell played the part well. The plot reminded me of Solaris a bit, but definitely held its own.

The other reason this film worked so well is due to the amazing soundtrack. Clint Mansell does the score and he is famous for working the Kronos Quartet in films like The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream. The score is great, the acting is pretty good, and the plot line had my interest throughout, so I definitely recommend this to not only the Sci-Fi film lovers, but everyone. Oh yeah, did I mention Daivd Bowie's son directed this?

Moon (2009)
Director: Duncan Jones
Screenplay: Nathan Parker
Score: Clint Mansell

Monday, August 17, 2009

1. Writing really needs to be the main focus of these next few weeks. Class will begin at the end of the month and I have to get some short stories in the works. I haven’t been in a fiction workshop since fall 2006, so it has definitely been awhile. I am really excited for it, and there will be some converted poems into short stories. I’m very eager to try that.

2. If you are looking to get a book review published then take a look at Octopus Magazine. For their next issue, they will be selecting essays on books that are 20 years old and out of print. So, if you have a book that you love that no one really knows about, or is getting old enough to collect some serious dust, then Octopus Magazine is for you. Deadline is Aug. 31st, so get to it!

3. David Bazan may be one of the most talented singer/songwriters of our generation. Most haven’t heard of him although he has fronted popular bands such as Pedro the Lion, and his solo project Headphones. He’s a busy musician constantly moving back and forth with the new sounds. His last release was an EP in 2006, Fewer Moving Parts. His newest release is which will be out September 1st, is Curse Your Braches and will be his first solo full length just as David Bazan.

Bazan is famous for his powerful lyrics questioning every aspect of life and religion. He is noted as a Christian, but when listening to his lyrics, you’ll find his worrisome voice, that is confused on how to speak about religion. I know some people who think he only sings about God, and all of his lyrics praise Christianity. I say you have to look deeper. The lyrics can be haunting and although his new album Curse Your Branches sounds very upbeat compared to his other work. I believe it was Rolling Stone who listed him in the top 50 living songwriters. He plans to make a tour with a full band, which he hasn’t done since his Pedro the Lion days. I know one of the members of Aqueduct will be helping him out with his tour. Oh, to be a musician from Seattle.

David Bazan
Curse Your Branches
Hard To Be
Bless This Mess
Please, Baby, Please
Curse Your Branches
Harmless Sparks
When We Fell
Lost My Shape
Bearing Witness
Heavy Breath
In Stitches

Monday, August 3, 2009

I just got back home from a nice trip to Ohio. It was tough going home and only staying for barely 5 days. I got to see a lot of close family in new houses, which is always strange to see people move on from houses you're so comfortable with.

I've had a lot of time to think with the 5 hour drive back to Chicago. I've got to get myself ready for Fiction I in the Fall. It will be the first time I've worked on fiction in a long time and I haven't been in a fiction workshop since Fall 2006. Whoever joins me in this class, get yourself ready for plenty of grammatical mishaps. It should be fun.

Quick list of updates.

1. Listen to the band 65DaysofStatic. The album One Time for All Time has got to be one of the best I've heard in a while.

2. Ohio has a lot more hills in the south than you would ever guess.

3. The Megabus is far beyond better than the Greyhound. Can you say double decker with wi-fi?

4. The Cincinnati Red's just ran into a wall a full speed. Their number one pitcher for this year (16 game winner from last year) just received Tommy John Surgery after missing nearly 2-3 months of baseball already. He won't likely pitch 12 months from now...and that's pushing it. This is the biggest blow to the Reds nation I've ever encountered. We've lost 9 of the last 10, and it doesn't stop there. I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in my life with a sports team.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've been waiting to put this up for a while now. This is my project that I worked on from February till April. My old roommate and good friend let me use his recording equipment, pedals, drumset, and various instruments to form Three Months. His band, Juffage is going on tour this summer. Check him out.

Three Months was recorded very fast. It takes a long time to write and record everything. Jeff and I lived together till he moved in April. The project sadly had to stop and lived a very short life. I'm still writing, but here is a good sampling of what I was doing. Three of the songs were recorded without drums and several errors. Please do not put a metronome to any of my songs, it's sad! However, the song "March" has drums thanks to Jeff and his skills. If only I had enough time to record drums for them all.

Everyone please enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Band: Three Month[s]
Album: Here We Are
Tracks: April
Year: 2009
Genre: Instrumental/Solo

Download for free here! THREE MONTH[S]

Friday, July 17, 2009

The new Madison Review's were sent to me today! They have me as their closer poet. I'm honored.

Some of my Publication Goals

- Publish a full length book
- Publish a split of my own music with poetry
- Publish a split with another poet (Think of EP splits with bands.)
- Publish a piece of fiction

- Publish a fake word - Check!
- Publish the word "fuck" - Check!
- Publish the name Mickey Rourke - Check!

Alright, I have to confess. The Sims 3 is my new addiction. There are several things to do on this new version of the popular life simulation video game. I started off playing the first Sims way back in high school, and I remember being in love with it. Now the new version is out, and I had a lot of hope for this game to be good since The Sims 2 wasn't my favorite.

I'll get straight to the point.

- This game is way easier. It’s easier to get a career that you want, easier to "skill up" and easier to do common things. For example, in the original version, you spill a bunch of water to you had to click the puddles a million times to get the sim to clean up the whole mess. Now, you simply have "clean up puddles" and the sim will clean up the entire mess. (Things like this annoyed you so much in the first game.)

- Way easier to communicate with other Sims. There’s a ton of sims in your community, and you know who your sim loves or hates right away.

- There's so much more to do! I haven't even been online yet, and I'm finding so much to do!

- The speed! Anyone who has played The Sims 3 knows what I'm talking about. Fast forwarding is a must in Sim world. There's something about watching an animated version of your self sleeping for a long amount of time that is kind of unsettling. However, you can blast past these boring moments, but in the new version, the fast forward speed is pathetic! As I've heard via Internets, it was overlooked by EA Games. They need to fix this soon! The fast forward speed is brutally slow and all it's good for is to get up, do a few stretches or head to the bathroom. Maybe that's why they did it, to get my lazy butt off the computer for once.

- There's really neat stuff your sim can do, for example, my sim wanted to go to a stadium and see a professional sports match. Well my town has a soccer team I guess, and I took him there. I was really excited to see how they were going to play the soccer game and I was eager to see if you could cheer or drink beer or do something fun. Well, not so "real life" for Sims 3. You have to sit outside the stadium without the ability to look at what's going on inside while you hear the cheers, boo's and rock music rumble the arena. It's the worst! It's like you are being forced to sit outside of the stadium while your sim gets to go inside and have "so much fun it's almost criminal."

- There's so much that goes on in this game and it has a constant tutorial that follows the game. It's extremely annoying and usually not that helpful. If you've played The Sims before then you probably can figure most the stuff out. You can turn off the tutorials, which is nice, but there are still a lot of things that I have no clue how to work/do/use. Give me a few weeks, I'm sure I'll get bored with the game, and not have much else to say.

I know...pretty lame.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

(Nothing really significant to Lynch, but I do love this picture.)

It's the end of the month and some exciting things happened in that time. The biggest news was the new computer. I can officially download more music and TV than I can handle. Gotta love it. I was thinking about all the movies I saw this month and the number is pretty huge. I blame it on not having cable or a computer. It gave me a lot of time to watch some movies. Thank you Netflix.

Here is the list, and it's in no order of viewing, just by year. Also, it was the second time watching a few of these. Let me know what you think. Do I need to see any movies immediately? Anything on the list you love/hate?

Doubt (2008)
Revolutionary Road (2008)
Severance (2006)
Special (2006)
Lady Vengeance (2005)
Primer (2004)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
High Fidelity (2000)
Falling Down (1993)
One False Move (1991)
Miller’s Crossing (1990)
Wild at Heart (1990)
Field of Dreams (1989)
The Thing (1982)
Breaking Away (1979)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
The Warriors (1979)
Sybil (1977)
The Killing of a Chinese Booker (1976)
The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)
Casablanca (1942)

Monday, June 22, 2009

As you might have heard or already know, I was a Metal DJ for WBGU’s Metal Storm for 4 long years! In that time, I went through nearly 20-40 new CD’s a week. I was up on my game about Hardcore, Prog Metal, Black Betal, Grind, Tech Metal, and Metalcore bands. However, since moving to Chicago, I have listened to a far less amount of metal due to no longer being a DJ, and shitty bands like Attack! Attack! that have ruined the image of metal.

Nevertheless, I still keep up with my favorite metal bands which include: Cephalic Carnage, Between the Buried and Me, Genghis Tron, The Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth, Old Man’s Child, and Into the Moat. My favorite of all these different metal bands would be the thrash-metal band, Darkest Hour.

Darkest Hour has been a huge influence on my metal friends and I as we’ve been completely raised on the riffs from “Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation” and the early works of Unearth. These bands were great influences to our guitar work and still reign supreme.

Darkest Hour will be releasing “The Eternal Return” tomorrow, and this is the first time we’ve heard anything since the 2007 release “Deliver Us.” Their previous album was a new sound for Darkest Hour as they moved away from their thrashy riffs and punk like songs into a more melody driven epic band. Their 2007 release stated on the inside cover “No keyboards were used in the making of this album” which was impressive with the synth-like guitar sounds. However, “The Eternal Return” has made a sort of “return” to the thrash metal. Darkest Hour fans will be thoroughly entertained by this album and will hear some of the thrashy songs that made “Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation” popular.

Although they have stuck to more thrash, Darkest Hour has not lost their epic metal band touch. Guitar solos in songs like “Tides” really shows the impressive guitar work that “Undoing Ruin” (2005) harvested. The songs all have a theme on life and how to move past the bad to the good. There are several songs denying God and Christianity, which haven’t been a dominant theme in other albums. Darkest Hour usually keeps things political, but with the new album, faith is the target and what we believe in. (Don’t ever let metal lyrics get in your way of the music. Half of the time, the lyrics are silly or absurd to play as a joke or to test the boundaries of what can be said.)These lyrics fight for the voice of truth and try to make it past the smoke and mirrors that some faiths can lead us to believe.

This record is one of my favorites already and I believe most fans will not be disappointed by this new album.

Thanks to the internet this album is already available. I plan on purchasing it, and paying for their shows. I think you should do the same, but for previewing purposes you may go here to lsiten!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I got it! Finally, I have a new computer. It came a little earlier than I honestly expected. So, cross one off the "things I want but probably won't get list."

That guitar pedal is next, but it might be awhile.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yup. That bored.

Monday, June 15, 2009

things I really want, but seem unlikely to get.

Someday we will win.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yesterday I lived the life of a booking manager for a band. Moving Mountains are building their first tour of the Midwest, and as soon as I found this out, I had to get in touch with them. As I have moved from a larger house with five roommates, now to a smaller three roommate Wicker Park loft, it has become a lot harder to put on shows.

A good story comes from my first time visiting the great state of Wisconsin. As I was at a local VFW show with kids half my age (no joke) one person approached me about my house and how much fun he had at our last house show. I was flattered someone recognized me in a state I’d never been before. He said, “You’re from the piss-out-your-ass fest!” It was a lovely display in front of Jenna’s friends I had just met for the first time. However, at a show in November, everyone started saying “Piss out of my ass” and it stuck. I’m glad I’m known in other states as that guy.

Back to Moving Mountains, I had tried to set up a show in our loft and it basically seemed like we would have more people than we wanted. We were also worried about all of the complaining our neighbors would do. Instead, I called up the Subterranean and asked them an honest question, “Can you give me July 9th?” He laughed in my face for a few seconds about me putting on house shows before I raised my voice and told him I don’t need your help if you want to be a prick. I also told him there’s a reason why you don’t hear about house shows, and it probably has to do with the fact you book bands for a living to play in your bar and charge an egregious amount of money, while we like to do it free or $5 donation tops and keep it DIY. He stopped laughing and said he wanted my info for future house shows and that he would actually like to work with me on setting up house shows because he has several bands who want to play in crusty basements, but he’s out of the loop with who puts them on.

I contacted MM again and we instantly got the show set up at The Beat Kitchen off Belmont. They are playing with some band with too much black hair dye, but I think it can still be fun. The price is kind of steep at $10, but this band will blow your mind. As I found out this well produced ensemble started out with only two people recording for fun, it made Moving Mountains’ album Pneuma all the better. Pneuma is easily one of my favorite albums I’ve heard in the past two years. The lyrics are chilling with a compiling theme of death and overcoming a fear of mortality. The lyrics sound religious at times and with a name like Moving Mountains, one could get confused. However, they’re supposedly not and the record has no positive attitude towards Christianity, nor do I think it has a negative one.

Their sound is hard to explain. They often take the Post-Rock route with some songs reaching nine minutes. However, the horn sections with the harmonizing singing will give an Anathallo type of feel. The singing has some screaming, and can often sound like a bunch of young Screamo enthusiasts. I still think they’re the closest thing to Screamo and Post-Rock. They have songs you’ll want to play as loud as possible and Pneuma is a tough album to listen to only once. Their newest EP was just released titled Forward. This EP has four songs that are as good as Pneuma, but having only four tracks is a huge let down. You definitely need more.

For fans of: Caspian, The Appleseed Cast, Anathallo, Anthony Green.

Moving Mountains
(Band to be named later)
Thursday July 9th, 2009
@ The Beat Kitchen ($10)
Doors open at 6:00pm
Show starts at 6:30pm

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It was a very breezy morning. After yesterday’s heat wave, I expected the same. Biking downtown to work was pretty chilly. It would’ve been delightful to have a computer that told me the temperature outside. Yes, a television or radio tells you, but I still like to complain about being computer-less.

While using my roommate’s girlfriends’ washer and dryer for a nice free load of laundry, I realized how much I miss being able to do laundry and watch a movie during the wash. After we ate frozen pizza, sprouts, freeze pops, and blueberry salads, we decided to watch Doubt (2008). We were curious to see that John Patrick Shanley directed, wrote the screenplay, and adapted this from his own play. He definitely put in some work. Besides that, all I could find from him that I had ever seen was his screenplay for Congo (1995). It got me thinking about other Irish playwrights such as Anne Devlin. She wrote the play Ourselves Alone (1985).

Doubt, however, had a different approach than Ourselves Alone. This film was controlled by the wretched Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep). Her character dominated the film and unwontedly so. I got tired of her pickiness and monotonous dialogue as I think the director wanted the audience to take in. It was interesting how Shanley basically makes us feel bad for a priest that might have committed such sinful acts from the church. However, the film ran a little weak at points and carried too much on its dialogue. There was too much “take that!” kind of comments and it all seemed a little brash. This is probably a marvelous play, but the film adaptation wasn’t completely working. I thoroughly enjoy play to film adaptations, but there is a lot that can slow down or over exaggerate once being adapted into a screenplay.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman played his usual role as did Streep. The acting was solid, but it didn’t win me through the film. As I watched the film with my roommate whose favorite actor is Hoffman, and favorite actress is Streep, he found this to be completely disappointing. I wasn’t expecting too much, but for him, this was his fantasy cast. However, I don’t think it went too well for what he expected. I think that’s a good way to sum up this film.

Doubt (2008)
D: John Patrick Shanley
S: John Patrick Shanley
Original Play: John Patrick Shanley
* ½ Stars

Monday, June 8, 2009

Days are getting a little slow without having a computer. I could ideally get a new PC laptop for five to seven hundred dollars or I could get another Mac. I really do feel like I have the nerdy PC guy and the young hip Jason Long on both of my shoulders. If Jason wasn’t dating my long time love Kirsten Dunst, I’d choose Mac immediately, but as far as I’m concerned we have some bad blood. I think I’m going to get a new Mac, but to spend and arm or an arm and a leg is the question. Anyways, that explains the slow posting. I would like to get a little more in here.

Weekend = Riding my bike from south loop to Rodgers Park. It was a good 11-12 mile ride. It kind of killed me. Got to see Empire, Empire! I was a Lonely Estate, which is the closest thing I’ve had to Mineral in a long time. Cheesecake Factory on Saturday and chose the Shrimp and Bacon sandwich. It made happy. I got some new threads and kicks too. It was a pretty good weekend, which included me watching Lady Vengeance (2006), and Wild at Heart (1990).

This was it, my last major David Lynch film. Yes, he has a bunch of short films like Cowboy and the Frenchman, Dumbland, and his Disney movie, The Straight Story, however, Wild at Heart was the last major film by Lynch.

First off, I was expecting this to be nothing like his other movies. I was expecting a strange Coen Brother’s type of film and maybe that’s because Nick Cage plays a similar role to Raising Arizona (1987). This film displays all the similar features of a David Lynch film. It’s extremely interesting to see this film was made in the same year as the Television series Twin Peaks (1990). This film captures a post renaissance love affair with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern’s characters. The two are so deeply in love with one another, their actions often hurt them. Being so attached to one another burdens both of their characters. Lynch finds the deeply disturbing family in several of his stories, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The estranged mother is drunk and out of reality. Things are starting to sound familiar to Lynch fans.
Wild at Heart keeps the characters innocent until Sailor (Cage) tries to earn extra money for their odyssey-esque trip. The characters travel through the strangest scenarios meeting repulsive characters like Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe), and through their travels, they see an evil, hellish world.
This is probably the most cohesive Lynch film I’ve seen, although the characters like to surprisingly hardcore dance every time music plays. Dune (1984) would be up there, but the whole yelling into the guns to make them fire thing was a little strange for me. The audience amiably accepts these character’s roles, although we see Sailor as a dangerous man right from the beginning. Dern and Cage work amazing together and it surprises me that not until this weekend did I see Wild at Heart.

Wild at Heart (1990)
D: David Lynch
S: David Lynch
Original Novel: Barry Gifford
** ½ Stars

Friday, June 5, 2009

Something quick. Go have a laugh here.

This Chicago Summer has begun. Although we haven’t quite been feeling it lately, it is here. My first summer DVD release movie was shipped to me via Netflix the other night and I have to say, I don’t think it’s going to be topped for best (DVD) release in the summer. I’m always a little behind, so I hardly get to see these movies in the theatre, which is a poor excuse for a fellow Chicagoan.

The other night I watched Revolutionary Road (2008). This film grabs the audience right from the beginning. We are immersed in this 1950’s couple’s lives that do not belong in the 50’s. Or do they? This film captures the rebellious desires to break free from everyone else, and how some of us long to be different. However, Sam Mendes, or more so Richard Yates, shows best the human desires to fight the mold. Revolutionary Road has much more than a break free aspiration. These characters truly clash against each other using dialogue I haven’t heard since Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). The set up of the story is similar and it would be hard to like one of these movies and despise the other. This film makes me terrified to grow older, because as much as I can say I don’t want kids, and I don’t want the perfect little house on the corner; it’s nearly impossible to miss, or maybe Yates is just trying to scare the working class pants off me. I know it’s early in the blog, and I promise you won’t see much more of these ratings.

Revolutionary Road (2008)
D: Sam Mendes
S: Justin Haythe
Original Story: Richard Yates
**** Stars

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oddly enough, after watching The Marriage of Maria Braun(1979), my roommate rents The Merchant of Four Seasons(1972). I noticed similar actors immediately and the same German minimalist qualities. Low and behold, Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed both films.

As I've only watched a few German films and Specifically West German, I found these films to run off Fassbinder's vigorous camera movements. The jerky movements keep the audience captivated and led to believe there is more intensity to each scene. Fassbinder’s films were very similar and the use of women was interesting. It was relevant in The Merchant of Four Seasons had a distasting approach towards women and typical overly worked drunken male lead. The characters fight then love, and fight again. It was an interesting movie to watch at most and had some comical aspects that a late generation might only find funny in the film.

As for The Marriage of Maria Braun, this film kept its edgy sexual fundamentals of a lead female character (Hanna Schygulla) who also stars in The Merchant of Four Seasons. However, as thrilling as Schygulla’s character can be, the film moves slow, and I mean slow. There’s appropriate time and place for moving the story and Fassbinder’s slow minimal storyline nearly kills. His fast zooming shots are the only speed in his film and since they are used so much, it seems like parody of what he’s trying to explain. It often made everyone being zoomed in on look far too intrigued by the situation. If you can find me a better Fassbinder film, let me know. I had a tough time with these two, and could only dedicate myself to one more film by him.

The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)
D: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
S: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
* 1/2 Stars

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
D: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
S: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
* 1/2 Stars

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is new. This is good. It's a start to something. Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non Fiction, Book Reviews, Film, and Music will be discussed and thoroughly enjoyed here. Hopefully this will be the start of a new journal or chapbook within the next few months.

Please give any insight to this new creation. It's only a blog, but the goal is for a full functioning website soon enough. As for now, you have to deal with my poetry, music, and film reviews.