Saturday, September 27, 2008
I've had a bit of a lapse in blogging due to a major acquisition that affects my work.
Viacom Buys Social Project
Since I work at Social Project, now I am a Viacom employee. So I have been quite busy over the past two weeks.
I will return you to your normally scheduled programming here shortly.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I'm not going to go on for long about this. It's September 11th, 2008. I am saddened every year to remember what the country went through 7 years ago and those who have experienced great loss. A few years ago, though, I started feeling a bit annoyed with all the "Never Forget" bulletins and comments I read on the internet every time this date comes around. Why annoyed? I feel like, it's turned into a bit of a brand name/vehicle/piece of propaganda. I felt I was in the minority in feeling this way, until I saw the video below. The same thing goes for me when I hear people question patriotism when a politician doesn't wear a flag pin. I feel it when I see an American Flag sticker on a car or when those American flags were attached to car windows forever. I know what country I live in. I am proud of where I come from. But I believe there is a fine line between that sense of pride and using it as a jumping off point into a bigger argument or worse yet, an agenda.
For what it's worth, my thoughts go out to those who lost someone in the attacks. I feel we all lost something that day, whether we lived in NY or elsewhere. I don't think it's possible anyone can ever forget.
This is a pretty good review of the show from Saturday at The Forum. I took it from www.artistdirect.com
It's hard to forget a Nine Inch Nails show. Each NIN tour has become legendary in its own right. In 1994, the Self Destruct Tour saw the band become an arena rock juggernaut in the wake of their essential classic, The Downward Spiral. The trek culminated with NIN's famous 1994 Woodstock set, which left a mud-covered crowd salivating for more. In 2000, the Fragility 2.0 trek saw the band emerge from years of silence and leave a trail of stunned, sold-out audiences behind them. Their 2005 headlining gig at Coachella caused jaws to collectively drop across the Indio valley, as did the With Teeth tour that followed. Those instances all have a healthy amount of time between them, and NIN's career seems marked by that prolonged quiet before the flashes of recorded brilliance.
However, since 2005, it's seems as if NIN hasn't left the road. So with that, Mr. Reznor has to keep crowds guessing. As prolific as ever—both Ghosts I-V and The Slip were released online this year—Trent decided to step his game up even more. It's because of that mentality that Lights In the Sky happened this summer. It's quite possibly one of the most thrilling aural experiences of the year. The show shouldn't even be called a simple "concert." It's much more than that.
Along with Kanye West's Glow In the Dark Tour, one of NIN's best attractions on this run is the light show. It's hard to compete with Reznor's epic vision on record, but live, it's even harder. At The Forum in Los Angeles, NIN kicked off a two-hour plus set with the pummeling combination of "1,000,000" and "Letting You." Immediately, a bombast of strobe lights ignited a sensory overload. The lights' intensity matched the music's staccato, industrial punishment. Reznor, clad in a blood-red shirt and black pants, commanded the death march. His razor sharp wail sounded more pained than ever, and he synched up with the gnashing guitars through each and every howl. Then came "March of the Pigs." As the band tore through the classic, the crowd went unequivocally crazy for the first time that night. From 666-emblazoned goth girls to blackberry-wielding L.A. industry types, everyone lost his or her mind to the din of Reznor's apocalyptic industrial thrash. When the keyboards took over, and he screamed, "Now doesn't it make you feel better," all eyes couldn't leave the stage. At the end of the song, he brought the audience back to 1994 again as he violently whipped the mic stand, throwing it across the stage. Meanwhile, the lights opened and closed like some kind of bionic curtain fluttering in the winds of pure aggression.
"The Frail," from the band's arguably most underrated album The Fragile, gave a slow, moody reprieve. Reznor took over the keyboards alone. One lone spotlight shone on him, as he strangled the crowd's attention with a maudlin, neo-classical piano melody that could serve as the most beautiful funeral dirge ever. The song's buildup was big and ominous, chronicling NIN's darkest hour within it's brightest show. During a heavier jam on the depressive stripper anthem "Closer," red lights bent back and forth, and everyone in the crowd chanted the song's church-prodding chorus.
"Gave Up" exploded with a viral intensity that flooded the crowd like a shockwave. It was a fiery explosion of energy, and then the curtain dropped. Sticks of light began dancing and gyrating, as Reznor and Co. stood behind a transparent screen. Their shadows resembled a gothic painting as the lights flashed around, faintly illuminating them during "The Warning."
After "Vessel," the band played an instrumental acoustic set culled from Ghosts. The set was quiet and trippy. It proved to be a bit long, but the outdoor backdrops gave the stage an entrancing depth that made up for the quaint ere. However, Trent quickly turned things around with a creepy, almost-acoustic rendition of "Piggy" at the end of the Ghosts section. Even though the instrumental section wasn't as powerful as the rest of the set, it still saw NIN pushing their own limits.
Suddenly, the snowy red foreground on the screen was erased like a skyscraper window cleaner, and the opening strains of "Pinion" began. Trent launched into "Wish," and its avalanche of lights and distorted energy simply bludgeoned. The raw feedback and massive groove were enough to spark equal amounts of moshing and dancing. "Head Like A Hole" resounded like a goth national anthem, while on "Only," Trent appeared within a snow of lights in front of the screen, washing away the fuzz. "Survivalism," "The Hand That Feeds" and "The Big Comedown" all proved equally incendiary.
Near the end of the set, Reznor spoke for the first time, asking, "Do you want to hear something happy and light or something depressing and horrible?" With a smirk, the band began the rarely played "Reptile," and its sensually strangling chorus ripped with a vile sexuality. The green lights and smoke functioned as the perfect foreground.
"Hurt" proved ever the poignant closer. As the last feedback strains rotted through the silence, it felt like NIN had become stronger than ever. A more positive ending, "In This Twilight" came as an encore, pushing NIN into the stratosphere. Lights In the Sky was nothing short of epic, and, in true Nine Inch Nails fashion, it'll be talked about for years to come.
Friday, September 05, 2008
See what I did there? Politicked? I'm funny.
But seriously, this may come off a bit jumbled and ranty but I am tired of thinking a lot about this recently without getting it out there. I'm a pretty open minded, dogmatic person. I do my best to see the good in people and the bright side of every view point, even the ones I don't agree with.
That being said, I watched a lot of the Republican National Convention this past week. I figured it was only fair of me to do. If I am to be open minded and dogmatic, I felt I needed to infiltrate the enemy's lair and see what bedtime stories they give their evil baby dragon children before evil dragon naptime.
It scared the crap out of me.
Seriously. I needed a diaper after watching, because the crap was literally scared from out of me.
It started with them bringing out a former football player turned preacher to talk about God, his judgement upon our actions, and reference some Bible passages. They prayed a bit too. I'm not too keen on religion. What baffled me was that it seemed, in that instant, there was no separation between church and state. It seemed it was now just a concept, no longer a rule we adhere to in this nation. Jesusland. I'm a Jew. So was Jesus. Whoop dee frickin' frogger....don't care when it comes to the direction our nation has been taken in this Mr. Toad's Wild Ride of a decade.
I watched Sarah Palin's speech. It was almost like watching a Stepford Wife up there. With all this woman believes, her stances on abortion, making sure the baby gets enough camera time, the pregnant daughter issue, teaching creationism in schools, banning books for bad language or references to two male parents in a children's book....well....it baffled me. At the same time, I saw why everyone was eating it up. She's kinda hot. She reads well. She's smart. She's sassy.
She's contradictory. She's annoying. She fits the McCain ticket pretty well. To say John McCain didn't pick her to pander to the Clinton fans, to me, is like saying a bacon fat diet based solely on bacon fat ingestion is the healthiest thing out there. Seriously. Bullshit. Her speech after he announced her as his choice, with her reference to Hilary and then the comment about the glass ceiling further clinched it for me. Sure, it'd be awesome to have a woman in office. But to suggest women should vote for her because she is a woman and not touch on all the anti-woman (I use that term cuz I am tired and can't think of something better) beliefs that drive her.
The thing that scared me more than her, was the overall message from the three and a half days of the convention. Country First is a great idea. John McCain seems like a good guy. I've always thought that. But, the convention came off to me like a bunch of posturing and not a lot of substance. Sure, McCain went through some horrible experience in Hanoi. Everyone knows this. Everyone recognizes his bravery and no one questions his patriotism. But to throw that in everyone's faces along with Jesus, war propaganda, more Jesus, the American Flag, more propaganda, finger pointing, and let's just say a bit of a Jesus and war propaganda stew....all in the name of "Peace" and the theme of 'Country First' without ever really going into the real issues that the country is facing regarding economy and health care really seems like a cop out. To state that Obama is inexperienced is fine. I understand the argument and point there. To state that you have a bunch of experience is great too. But to constantly throw that in one's face every day, in every speech, and only discuss military action in Iraq and nothing else is just ludicrous. Yet, they've gotten a considerable bump from the convention.
It saddens me to think that, yet again, our country may vote for a president that they relate to more than someone who will truly make this place better. I hope history won't repeat itself....but somehow....it always does. Let's just hope it repeats itself in a different manner this time, than how the last 8 years have gone. If not, I'm seriously considering moving out of the country. But, I've said that for the last two elections and I'm still fucking here.
Oh, and on a side note, I'd like to slap Rudy Giuliani with a giant bag of freshly picked arugula.
Is this finally happening? I was recently under the impression that the only thing that will closely constitute a sequel is the much anticipated Ghostbusters video game that will be coming out in the not so distant future. This video game, in itself, would be the reason I finally get an XBOX 360 (and plan on use it).
But now, I read on the Icons Of Fright blog there is possibly a third movie in the works.
You can read about it here: Who Ya Gonna Call?