Archive for April, 2006

New Order/Tracks for inside

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

After showing a pre-release copy of inside to some friends, I’ve decided to re-order some tracks, add some new ones, and drop(!) one track.

The main problem was that it was ‘too slow.’ This is a rock record, and I come from a punk background, for God’s sake! So I took a few songs I’d been working on as possible B-Sides or future songs or projects in general, and added them. I also re-structured the album, so it starts off faster and has a (hopefully) better flow than the presented before. Here is the revised tracklist, with explanations of some songs:

  1. I Miss You – The oldest song here, from early 2004. A long-distance love song.
  2. Just Another Day – A celebration of the mundane things in life… it’s got piano, a melodic bass line, and one of those fifties-era ‘build a V(7) chord with four vocal parts’ buildups.
  3. Temperamental – A fast-paced song about the frustrations of modern life, with a folksy electric lead.
  4. Fret – A piano dirge about nasty thoughts,with some nifty percussion, including an Udu.
  5. Polarize – About the 2004 elections… uh-oh, I get political. A reggae-meets-punk flip-flopper with a catchy horn and synth lead in the chorus.
  6. Get Away – A folksy song about getting away from it all, despite the repercussions.
  7. Written Off – Another song about the 2004 elections, and the hateful things said and laws passed.
  8. Jenny Lewis Will Never Go Out With You – I saw, within a month of each other, three articles in three magazines about how Jenny Lewis is the Next Big Crush for whiny indie fanbois. The truth hurts.
  9. Here There Be Monsters – A slow-building song about the fear of the unknown… especially when it’s close at hand. Timpani… timpani!!!
  10. Mary’s Plea – Two sides of an oft-debated, never-resolved issue. Folk with a touch of electronica.
  11. Lifted Up – A gospel song about finding Jesus… really!
  12. Torn – Sadly, not a cover of the Ednaswap-covered-by-Natalie Imbruglia song. A vaguely hip-hop beat.
  13. Soap – A song about washing away the nagging worries of life.
  14. A Glut of Food – Bongoes and shakers give way to electronic drum hisses, with a reggae guitar skank thrown in for good measure.
  15. The Highway – Impressions of I-90 between Couer d’Alene and Missoula. Folksy with a twist of alternative guitar.

The record clocks in at a beefy 54 minutes, so one track might be cut… but I don’t know which! They’re all so precious to me. Vocals need to be recorded for “Just Another Day”, “Polarize”, “Jenny Lewis”, “Lifted Up”, “Glut of Food”, and “The Highway.” This probably won’t happen until summer, when the dorms clear out and I can sing without feeling like a lunatic.

Also, expect an EP to be released soon after… it will include a cover of “Hey Sandy” by Polaris, best known as the theme song to Nickelodian’s The Adventures of Pete and Pete..

ALL / Descendents

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I’m really tired of people saying how much they like the Descendents over ALL… it’s the same band, for Christ’s sake!

So, unless Milo Aukerman is pretty much the band, shut up! Apparently, ALL and Descendents songs are routinely switched and demoed between the two bands. Milo doesn’t even write all the songs!

So back off, and give the ‘band’ (Karl, Stephen, and Bill) some credit, as opposed to just the singer. They both rock!

Google and China

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I’ve been thinking about Google and China, and I don’t understand why Google would concede to the Chinese Government’s demands that Google China censor its search results. The billion potential customers might be a potential draw, except for one fact — capitulating to censors would be against Google’s informal corporate motto: “Don’t be evil.”

Although evil is indeed a subjective quality, here it is not. The fact that a government (which laughingly calls itself the “People’s Republic of China”) would keep any information from its citizens automatically disqualifies it as being a republic of the people. Such a government is a republic of… the republic. Google is only skirting evil by acquiescing too China’s demands; Yahoo! is being downright evil by providing China with information it needs to prosecute dissenters.

A corporation should not be evil and in the United States, at least, Google isn’t. But what a difference a government makes. Google as a corporation (and all American companies for that matter) should stand for truth, equality, and making a profit — but the last goal should never come at the expense of the first two. If anything, Google should be doing everything it can to fight China’s censorship. It should answer the “People’s” government’s demand with a fuck you gleam in its eye, and a list of search results that inexplicably returns links to information about the Tiananmen Protests. And if the the PMRC doesn’t like it, then it can look elsewhere for a search engine for its sandboxed Internet.

Microsoft’s ‘Evolve’ campaign

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Does anyone else think that Microsoft’s ‘Evolve’ advertising campaign is way past due? The scenarios aren’t funny, the ads themselves (specifically, the ‘special effects’) look hideous, and the campaign boils down to Microsoft insulting its loyal customers who can’t afford to / don’t want to upgrade.

Still using Office 2000? You fuckin’ dinosuar! MS Office has evolved, and you’re still drinking your own piss. Get a life, upgrade, you loser. All the big IT departments are upgrading!

Irritating Metaphor of the Moment

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

“Worth the price of admission.” It was neat the first 4 of out 4,000 times I’d seen it in album reviews, but now it has officially died as a cliché/metaphor. Stop using it!

“Georgia Lee”

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

If anybody who is familiar with Tom Waits but doesn’t like him because he “can’t sing”, listen to “Georgia Lee” off of Mule Variations. I can’t imagine it being better with anybody else singing it.