Tag Archives: Arts and Entertainment

Slacking off…on my terms

For past few months, my activity on the blog has declined. I literally have made like 10 posts in over 6 months. A lot of fact is due to work and I’ve become obsessed with Netflix lately. I have to say I have caught up a lot with TV dramas that I missed out on during my college years.

I’ve joined meetup groups to meet professional individual like myself. Been to few meetup events that has been quite fascinating. One thing that hasn’t changed a bit is my love for attending live concerts. I’m due to attend another 6 shows till the end of the year. The biggest regret I have had is that I never kept myself up for reviewing shows that I’ve been to recently.

If you follow up my blog, you’d know that I’ve a YouTube channel dedicated to capturing live videos from the concerts I’ve been to. It’s my open library for everyone to approach me. My hope is to get invited on tour with bands to follow them around, and create a documentary on their tour.

I’m slightly off the topic here but I assure you I’ll be writing album reviews soon, and won’t have sporadic postings.

Till then, Ciao!

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Introduce Yourself

No, The Real Thing was not Faith No More’s first album. This underrated album, the band’s second, was actually the one that started to get the band noticed, primarily because of the underground single “We Care A Lot” (actually a reprise from their underwhelming first album, also called We Care A Lot), an anthemic shout along that showcased their unique mix of hard metallic guitar, a fiercely funky rhythm section, and moody keyboards. Indeed, Faith No More is perhaps the only band that has successfully integrated these disparate elements, along with a singer/rapper, into a successful whole without it seeming at all forced. This album is a surprisingly strong early effort and is definitely worth seeking out for any fan that came aboard later, such as yours truly. Chuck Mosley is the vocalist here, and though he’s no Mike Patton his nasally shouts/raps fit well with the material, though it should be noted that many fans find him to be an acquired taste (to put it mildly). The fact that he was black also brought the band some needed pub; let’s face it, black people in heavy metal being a rarity.

Anyway, “Annie’s Song” and “Chinese Arithmetic” are also really catchy and impressive, while the menacingly grinding “Death March,” the brief but hard-hitting title track, and the surging “Blood” also hit the right pleasure points. In fact, the whole album rocks, and though the band is sometimes a tad too stingy with their hooks and the album is short on truly memorable songs (though most of them sound really good while they’re playing), Introduce Yourself is far more than merely an appetizer for future band breakthroughs.


There Is Nothing Left To Lose

With new drummer Taylor Hawkins in tow, Foo Fighters returned with the desperately titled There Is Nothing Left To Lose, which was recorded as a three-piece at Grohl’s home studio. Now, I don’t normally quote press releases, but the one I received describing this album sums it up both succinctly and well: “the Foo Fighters remind us that it is okay to play loudly and in tune, that songs can still be about girls, and that not every band needs a goddamned DJ in the mix.

Indeed, Foo Fighters have little in common with much of what you’re hearing on the radio these days (the less said about that the better), as big pop hooks anchor catchy, commercial-sounding songs such as “Breakout” and “Learn To Fly,” the album’s soaring first single. And though Dave Grohl has rocked both melodically (“This Is A Call”) and softly (“Big Me,” “Walking After You”) before, this is easily the least likely Foo Fighters album so far to have the words “alternative” or “grunge” associated with it. Grunge is dead, after all (or so everyone says), and while I for one miss the great early ‘90s likes of Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, Grohl has never been one to live in the past.

That said, this album has a classic rock influence that reaches back further than anything on their first two albums, and Grohl isn’t above borrowing from the past, introducing a Foghat-like riff on “Gimme Stitches” and a Frampton-styled talking fuzz box on “Generator.” Elsewhere, the band turns down the volume on the pleasingly mellow melodies of “Aurora,” “Next Year,” and “Ain’t It The Life,” while harder rocking tracks such as “Stacked Actors,” “Live-In Skin,” and “M.I.A.” likewise contain choruses that are highly melodic. Yet for all the album’s consistent quality it must be said that it could use a jolt of that old punk energy at times. Also, There Is Nothing Left To Lose, which was so named because the album was recorded before the band had a record label in place, offers consistently very good but no truly great songs aside from “Learn To Fly.” Still, this was another welcome installment by a maturing band that refuses to stay in one place, as Dave Grohl and company continue to build their own impressive legacy irrespective of Grohl’s glorious past.


Ideas

I am thinking of making a ‘you come to my door, your picture will be taken’ camera.

I can use a small CMOS Camera, hook it up to a motion sensor and a low power design so I can use regular batteries & then hang it next to my front door.

Another idea would be too hook it up to the door bell. When someone rings the door bell, s/he gets his picture taken.

Neat thing would be if I could just stream the picture to my home server, which then sends that picture to my email.

Next year I am definitely putting out a camera to capture the birds who love to nest on my apt & stream it on the web.

See … I just need some sleep & the ideas start flowing.


Incubus

July 21st, 2009. I ended up going to Chicago, thanks to one my best college buddies, Sophia. I wasn’t aware of Incubus tour at all. This was on short notice, and stage tickets price were a bit high for my own good. But in the end, we ended up getting nice viewing seats. As good as Incubus were, the weather was even better. The combination of an expert rock band and the unseasonably mild temperature provided an ideal summer evening for an audience of approximately 6K.

With seven studio albums under their belt, Incubus catalog is extensive, however, they wisely opted to stick to their most familiar material. The opening notes to almost every song were greeted with a rapturous reception by the cheerful audience. Among the most popular offerings were a furious reading of “Megalomaniac,” a muscular take on “Pardon Me,” the emotional ballad “Love Hurts” and a tender version of “Dig.”

Those songs were memorable and Boyd’s strong vocals were effective. What really makes Incubus distinctive, however, is their unique sense of groove. Bassist Ben Kenney, DJ Chris Kilmore and drummer Jose Pasillas form a rhythmic powerhouse. They were particularly spectacular on “Wish You Were Here.” A no-nonsense cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” served to further emphasize their status as a world-class rhythm section and gabbing to sing along to the hootenanny-style version of “Drive.”

First time, I saw Incubus in concert back when they were touring in support of “Morning View.” With the most incredible visual effects I’ve ever seen, they sounded great back then, which was pretty impressive. All in all, a great time!