Sunday, August 16, 2009

Penny pranks, hehe.
Kinda reminds me of when my bro and I paid up at a Taco Bell drive thru w/ nothing but coins. It took the poor people 5-10 min. to count it out. Rudest thing I ever did . . . but, hey, you gotta use your pennies.

Pink's Latest . . .

Pink inspires me b/c of her great voice and original, arty style. Above all, she knows how to sing the blues and brings a gritty, bluesy flavor (a la Janis Joplin) to her songs.

Cobra Starship, Hot Mess: Experience your brains popping out of your ears!!

The best punches come on the sly. So, the next time you want to have at it, don't sock it to 'em with your brass knuckles like any other average Joe. Instead, lure the offender into your vehicle, secure the child safety locks, crank up the stereo to Cobra Starship, slam the doors shut . . . and no one gets out until every last freakin' fortissimo note of the album has boom-blasted that car up and down. Your friend will emerge from the vehicle in an altered state of consciousness . . . guaranteed!!

Ah, the glory of emo-inflected euro-pop (made in the U.S.A), belted out over pummeling club beats, distorted guitars, and blistering synths! This is music made with love and you'll get an ear-full of it! It will enthusiastically bowl you over! Kinda like my review!

In all seriousness, this was a "fun" album and it was worth hearing in its entirety once and left me with a handful of tracks worth hearing multiple times. My only complaint is that this band my suffer from Junior-Senior-itis. Lukewarm Junior-Senior fans will know what I'm talking about. It's the experience of turning on an album and thinking, "This is the best, catchiest stuff I've ever heard!" only to reach the end of the album gasping, "I can't take it anymore!" It may, however, leave others gasping, "Gimme more, I need a fix!"

Hence the title of my review . . .

For me, on too many of the tracks, it was as if they couldn't decide who should do what and when, so they were like, "Ah, heck. Let everybody play. Spank-my-but drums, buzzing bass, UFO-hovering synths, fuzzy guitars, whining vocalist, the choir, the guy playing the quirky organ stabs and triggering the siren samples . . . ready . . . set . . . GO!" MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.

Actually, the arrangements weren't chaotic so much as they were over-enthusiastic. In terms of sound effects, this band had a lot they wanted to include on each track and aired on the side of trimming the tree as opposed to trimming it all down.

But I tend to feel that way about emo bands in general. The arrangements often sound noisy to me. If you really love the sound of Fall out Boy, for example, then you'll probably like this album. You'll likely give Cobra Starship two thumbs up for passion and energy.

You have been warned . . .

All I want is u!!

Love this song . . . love this song . . . can't stop listening to this song . . . cute video, too . . .

Dostoyevsky, thanks for helping me with my love life!

So the basic idea from Dostoyevsky was that we have the power to choose what we get out of life and how we see life. Sometimes life pitches us curve balls that are beyond our control, but that is the exception, not the rule. So the next time you have a "woe is me" moment, reconsider . . . is the world really that bad, or are you just incompetent?

Okay, ladies . . .

Most of us have had the experience of getting burned by someone we knew all along would be bad for us. You know the type, the party boy, the "popular" guy. No good, no good!

Funny how, back in the day, I used to go for those types and then gripe about how terrible men were. And, just like the narrator in the story, my bitter feelings and irresponsible actions were all a reflection of my ginormous ego. I was "too good" for the shy, quiet, less-than-perfect-looking guy in the back of the classroom. And, ultimately, I didn't want to a deep personal connection, I didn't want a real relationship. I wanted the thrill of the chase, I wanted to get bent up out of shape by the Greek God every one else lusted after. For shame! For all my griping . . . I got what I wanted . . . I chose what I got . . . I got what I deserved.

No excuses.

Dostoyevsky was passive-aggressive!

This will be - - I think - - the last in a long line of Notes from the Underground posts. So enjoy. This is the part where I tell you what it all means. Finally.

And here is the theme summed up: A human being may have such an enormous ego that they kill everything good that comes their way just so that they can stay aloof and in control. The classic example of this happening in N fr U, is when the unnamed narrator woos a prostitute, (just for the heck of it, just to see if he can have that kind of power over someone), and then rejects her when she shows up at his door. What an a-hole. Why is this significant? The lesson I learned is this: every time you are mean and unkind and you reject the world and the people around you, you need to look inside of you. The problem is inside of you. Not outside of you. Fix yourself. Human beings have the power to choose what kinds of lives they will live. That power of choice can be used for good or for evil. Use it for good!

N of U brilliantly illustrates how a person may deceive themselves into believing that the world is a terrible place and therefore it is their duty to manipulate, control, and ultimately reject the world. The anonymous narrator (admittedly of above average sensitivity and intelligence) finds that he is unable to connect with the world around him. People are mean to him, his talents are unappreciated. He writes a compelling essay for us explaining how hard it is for him, a dreamer, an adventuresome intellectual, to ever "connect." People and reality are just a ball and chain. So he commits himself to an "underground life."

Then he starts telling us stories about his life, and, at first, it seems like his theories hold up. The friends he meets with really are jerks and it seems like the world is truly the grim place the narrator makes it out to be. And then the narrator starts doing strange things. Like not wanting to pay his man servant on time, just for the heck of it. Just to have the power of withholding wages. Or making a woman fall in love with him and then casting her away. We begin to see that the narrator is actually heartless and very much to blame for his empty life. He sees the world through a twisted lense, and, above all, insists on seeing the world through that twisted lense so that he can have an excuse to be angry and abusive. At the end of the day, he is choosing to use a combination of isolation and abusive manipulation to feel apart and above it all. He never wants to be understood, he never wants to love, he never wants to let his guard down in any way . . . because, well, ultimately he is insecure and is nursing a fat ego. He tells himself that he is so awesome and that's why he's misunderstood. Turns out that he's misunderstood because he wants to be misunderstood. Life sucks for him, and he wouldn't have it any other way . . . because, pathetic as it may be, he feels strong and safe in his little cubby hole.

The cool thing about N fro U is the way the narrator is portrayed. At first, he comes off as extremely intelligent, likeable, and superior. His high flown theories are impressive and I found myself buying everything he said, even identifying with what he said (yikes!!!) . . . until he started telling stories about his life and then, unwittingly, exposes himself for the shallow fiend that he is. It was rather startling to experience that reversal. Dostoyevsky set it up beautifully.

Great read . . .

It made me think hard about the times when I've felt cynical and mean-spirited. Usually those feelings have gone hand-in-hand with narcissism. It's true, there are bad people out there and bad things in the world. But with some heart and intelligence, you can find the good in the world if you want to find it.

My new favorite song . . .

Love this song . . . the vid is cute but kinda *yawn* . . . good song, tho.