Review: Fall Out Boy and How They Intend to “Save Rock and Roll”

Review: Fall Out Boy and How They Intend to “Save Rock and Roll”

Generally speaking, when a band mixes up their sound as drastically as Fall Out Boy does in their upcoming “Save Rock ‘n Roll,” it’s met with complaints and accusations of selling out. Bands do it all the time when they … Continue reading

Happy Easter!

Easter has a warmer glow,
Spring, a brighter touch,
Because I’m sharing them with you…
The one I love so much.
 
These Happy Easter wishes
Are especially for you;
A great big hug & a few light kisses
Thrown in for good measure too.
Have a super holiday
And know that I’m thinking of you;
Because you’re especially nice to know,
And because I just wanted to !

Happy Easter !!

 
I treat people like chocolate bunnies at Easter!
I bite their heads off.
Happy Easter.

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007

          I am not James Bond. Not in this universe, anyway. In this universe, I am walking down a hill with Ben at half past ten in the evening, and I am not James Bond. Perhaps in another reality, I have a licence to kill, but in this one, I don’t even have a licence to drive.

The hill is steep enough that I can feel my jerky movements, am acutely aware that I could topple and fall at any moment. Any fall could be my last, hypothetically speaking. Bones are brittle here. We’re all terminal in every universe, except for the ones in which we’re not. We turn left in a million and we turn right in a million and there are a million others in which we stop moving altogether.

It’s true. It’s physics. Every action that occurs is just one action in an ocean of a thousand. Just because something’s red, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be blue. For every red balloon, there’s a universe where it’s green. For every green balloon, there’s a universe where it’s purple. For every purple balloon, there’s a universe where JFK was never assassinated. The possibilities are infinite. The combinations are more than infinite.

In a parallel universe, I am James Bond.

Ben looks at me, a wrinkle of worry between his brows. I hate it when he worries. I think he hates it, too. I wonder if there’s a version of him that’s as carefree as I’d like him to be, if there’s a Ben Joseph Watkins of 37 Kingfisher Drive who doesn’t spent two hours every morning arranging his cutlery drawer. I think I’d like to meet him.

– Are you all right? he asks. I nod. I briefly wonder if there’s a universe in which nodding means ‘no’.

– Just thinking, I reply tersely, adding the clarification just in case the universe bleeds.

Ben nods slowly, and I find it jarring that his nod might just as well mean ‘no’ as ‘yes’. My blood runs cold. My breath is spectral in the night. A nod is both ‘no’ and ‘yes’. Ben counts his cutlery and he doesn’t care. Ben cares and his cutlery is a mess. The universe is bruised. Parallelisms run like spilled ink. Not spilled milk. There’s no use in crying over spilled milk, except for when there is. There’s a universe where spilled milk is like spilled blood. There’s a universe where spilled blood is like spilled milk, too, although sometimes I think that might be this one.

In a parallel universe, I am James Bond.

– Seems like it was important, he says. I shrug. I know that there’s a version of Ben who doesn’t care. It’s not this version, not this universe, but if the universe is running, then I’d rather not take the chance.

– Not really.

We kick our feet as we walk down the hill, halfway to the bottom now. The incline is gradually steepening. This town is built on the graves of tall men, my father says, and we walk on their bones and ashes. They’re probably still alive somewhere, or perhaps they just didn’t lose. Either way, there’s a version of my town that’s flat. There’s a million universes in which my town doesn’t rise and fall like a breath. There’s a thousand universes in which my town is stagnant and Ben doesn’t care, and there’s a thousand more in which the streets are flat and Ben worries, counts crockery at dusk like he’ll die if he doesn’t. It’s like veins, stretching out into the sinew and leaking all the possibilities that can only happen elsewhere. Here, Ben counts and cares and I don’t have a licence to kill. I don’t have a licence to drive. Perhaps another me is a race car driver. Perhaps another me is James Bond.

– Are you sure you’re OK? Ben asks, eyes narrowed. I don’t know. I always wondered what ‘OK’ actually meant. It must stand for something. Perhaps it doesn’t. I’m not sure. Another me knows, but I don’t. I envy the alternate. I look at Ben. He is small and thin, like a bird, and I wonder if all that counting helps him sleep at night. It doesn’t look like it. He wants to know if I’m OK. He didn’t ask me that elsewhere. Perhaps he asked me about the weather, or about my mother, or about the state of things in South Korea. Perhaps he was silent. It’s cold here and it hurts to speak. Of course, it might be warm elsewhere. Another us is hot. Us is not freezing, chilblains and chapped lips. We are.

I haven’t answered Ben. Somewhere else I might have, but that’s not important here. He looks at me like I’ve vanished, and I clear my throat.

– I’m sure.

I’m sure. In a parallel universe, I am James Bond. In a parallel universe, I have pink hair and six fingers. In another world, I like fish fingers. In a different life, I was born a boy, or perhaps I was born a girl, or something else entirely. A cat, perhaps. This me likes cats.

– You don’t look sure.

Ben still worries and his cutlery is aligned, but a version of Ben didn’t say it. A version of me can ignore it. I can be that version. The universe is bleeding and a nod of the head means ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The hill is getting steeper still. I could fall at the next step. Another me has already fallen at every step.

If me has fallen, then so have I.

The sky is red. A nod of the head means ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In this universe, I am James Bond.

Grown Ups Wear Their Faces on Their Wrists.

When I was in Kindergarten, we had a giant yellow clock that you could spin the hands on, and we would play a game (if it could be called that) where one student would set a time, and the first person to correctly name that time would win.  I was the child who sat in the corner of the benches, picking my fingernails and checking my watch.  I was the child who could already tell time.  All you had to do was read the numbers off of the digital Scooby Doo wristwatch that I latched on every morning, and unlatched every night…  I was more interested in the yellow stained carpet than the yellow painted clock, and who wouldn’t be?  I was in Kindergarten, and time was inconsequential.  I had all the time in the world.

In first grade, they made me stay inside during Recess, and watch the kids, a year below, spin the blue hands on the big clock face, and they asked me what time it said, and I told them that it didn’t matter what that clock said, because it was wrong.  The right time was the time I had drawn with a magic marker on my wrist.  It was twelve noon and it would always be twelve noon because that was the time when the sun was the highest and I was my brightest, loudest, and most energetic self.  Time froze at noon, and I had more than the rest of the day, more than the rest of my life, to start it up again.

In third grade I slipped my father’s golden faced watch on my wrist and it slipped back off again, and I learned that time was better left lying on the carpet while I was outside feeling the grass underneath my head and gazing at clouds.  The digital numbers on my McDonald’s-given Ninja Turtle time-keeper had stopped changing.  The battery had run out and I was too busy running out under the rain and under the sun and under the snow to change it.

For my thirteenth birthday my mother gifted me a leather wristwatch with a face just like my long lost friend, the yellow painted blue handed clock that I had spent so many days with.  I lost the gift while swimming in the ocean and I cared not to bleed my eyes dry or to cry the ocean larger by mourning.  I was in a world of oreo’s and orange juice and time was inconsequential, I had all the time in the world.

When I was sixteen my best friend and I bought matching watches, from the dollar store, with skinny digital readings and timers that didn’t work.  I fought her for the purple umbrella when we stepped out into the rain, and she called me childish and walked through the downpour on her own.  She blamed me for the water that delved its way into the battery box and for the broken dollar that she threw into the trash an hour after spending it.  I found her in school the next day to return her purple umbrella and she reached for it with a hand followed by a wrist with a leather wrist watch, silver hands and roman numerals ticking and tocking and taunting.

That was the day I found out that the watches with faces are for the faceless grown ups.  They are for the children that have left childhood behind and thrown their dollar store purchases in the trash and no longer grace the oceans and the grasses and yellow stained carpets.  The wearers of watches with faces are the ones who have lost the idea that time is inconsequential, and those that realize they no longer have all the time in the world.  Noon comes and noon goes and their hands keep on ticking and tocking away, a faceless man with a yellow faced watch that stops for no one.

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.a.a.d city review.

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Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.a.a.d city review

 The sophomore effort to the critically acclaimed LP Section80, GKMC is Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut. As you can expect with the involvement of Dr. Dre, there’s a considerable amount of attention on this record. Kendrick even landed on Lady GaGa’s radar.

good kid, m.a.a.d city is collection of motifs held together by intricate yet visceral storytelling and skits that at first seem like trivial minutia that’s only purpose is of charm or rather to lighten the mood after the sober narratives but in actuality its the most scrupulous element of good kid, m.a.a.d city. Kendrick previous album Section80 was very conceptual in a similar way stories interweaving with each other but the stark difference between the two are the songs on Section80 can stand on their own just fine without skits to account for their purpose on the album. “Backseat Freestyle” on the surface an ear numbingly derivative braggadocio rap tune laced with a vapid Hit-Boy beat or just a Hit-Boy beat — as a solo song it obnoxious and juvenile but the brief skit ending “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” clearly explains him and his boys driving around listening to beat tapes freestyling. That’s what kids are going to rap about with their friends, I won’t go as far as calling it genius or for me enjoyable but it is certainly necessary in sustaining the story by reminiscing about the past. “Swimming Pools” a strange choice for a single but in the pocket of the album it makes sense, as its sedation for the fury that it follows the frenetic track “M.A.A.D City”. Skits trail at the end of each of the remaining songs on the album bridging the narrative efficiently.

good kid, m.a.a.d city is not a conventional rap album, You can’t throw this into the iPod shuffle … listen to it and fully appreciate, It’s not meant to be consumed in that way. For the first several play throughs it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing, I’d say mid way through the fourth play Is perhaps when the lyrics and its unique vibe totally sunk in — I believe its best not to trouble yourself with consuming it all on the first couple servings. GKMC isn’t pizza that you can quickly enjoy & understand, its rich clear soup that you have to sip with painstaking patience to fully grasp its intricacies. The subject matter, the themes on this record fascinate me … gang violence, alcoholism, emotional damage from childhood, peer pressure, teenage love. All done with masterful craftsmanship and honestly.

On Twitter, the epicenter of embellishment has compared GKMC to a movie. Two of which include Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood. Inner city LA, peer pressure, gang violence are subjects of conversation on Kendrick’s album so the comparison isn’t totally off base. I’ll say this about that. How about we just stop comparing shit.

As great as some artists can be with poetic imagery, it can never surpassed or even equal magic of motion pictures. I’d rather watch a movie than listen to it. Maybe that’s just me.

I’m getting sidetracked.

Back to GKMC

Some may complain that the beat switch ups are jarring or the production itself is inconsistent. Which I can’t say isn’t true, only that the album is following an arc so it’s necessary in my mind. Could the transitions between songs been a bit better, sure. I just don’t see that as a major hiccup that will kill the enjoyment you can get from this album. Those not fans of skits/interludes may prefer verses as bridges than the skits. For me I thought the skits were funny and sufficed in keeping the momentum of the stories.

good kid, m.a.a.d city is definitely one of the best albums of the year along with Nas “Life Is Good”. This is a great album, I have no idea If its a “classic”. Time will tell.

Lyrics: A+

Originally: A

Production: B

 Rating 90%

Life as a child.

I look back at my life and feel so unsatisfied.

I wish i had more fun as a child growing up.

Because if i knew what i know now and all the responsibilities that come with growin’ up. I would of done more and enjoyed more moments of my life. Like fishing with my dad or playing with sticks at the play ground with my friends.

I would never want that to end.

I still have fun now. But it is not the same.

I don’t think anything can replace the feeling of being truly carefree and happy like i was as a child. 

no worries and full of life.

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