Thursday, December 27, 2007

Best of 2007 in Music

Now I must preface this by saying that I did not listen to the Radiohead albums this year. I had planned on it, but by the time I went to get it off the website, it had been taken down. I didn't feel good about paying nothing for it, but I never had enough money on my card to buy it until after they took it down. So I never listened to it. I hear it was really good. So here's my list minus not listening to that album. Also as a side note, there weren't many awesome albums that came out this year that I would like. Note I'm not really into the indie scene.

Only a top 4 this year. Honorable mentions go to Bloc Party, Modest Mouse and Busdriver.

4. Ozomatli -- Don't Mess With The Dragon -- Ozomatli has been one of my favorite bands throughout the years and this cd is a very hip and up tempo album. I even heard some radio play which is good for these guys, they deserve it. Not the best album to start with, but it's a good rockin' album.

3. Queens of The Stoneage -- Eva Vulgaris -- QOTSA really has grown up in their past couple of albums and this one they try new things and really score on a lot of it. They have the hard, the soft, the crazy and the mellow.

2. Ween -- La Cucaracha -- Ween is my second favorite band of all time, and this album just makes them another notch up there. They go for such different things which they hadn't done before, such as a Steppenwolf like Jam and an old timey 40s rockabilly tune. This album is among the greats like White Pepper, Quebec and The Mollusk. Lots of different things and all working well together.

1. Nine Inch Nails -- Year Zero -- This album blew my socks off when I first heard it and even now I can't find a bad song on the cd. It's industrial rock at it's best. Reznor does some amazing things with computers to pull of this amazingly rockin' album. Even the cd itself is really cool as it changes when it's heated up. This is the best piece of music when it comes to industrial that I can think of.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Am Legend


I went and saw "I Am Legend" today, mostly because I was there during the music composition part of most of the film. Internet reports had it that the Producers changed a lot of the movie, wrestling control from the Director, and sure enough, I saw about nine full scenes being done, and only two of them were left in the final product. The ending and a major plot point were also thrown out. Why does the Alpha Male seemingly stalk Smith? Oh because, oh wait, they took out the reason... Looks like the world will never know. Unless of course there is a directors cut, and then the movie will be insanely different, which I bet there will be. I'll buy that one if it comes out.

Also, they didn't just cut the scenes, even most of the scenes I saw that were in the movie, the music was gutted. Only two or so scenes had the same music I saw, and the end credits is where they put the rest of them. So if you do see the movie, only the orchestral stuff which is few and far between and the stuff after the Marley song in the end credits is what I was there for.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Cheer

The following was written by one of my best friends, one J. Huntsman. I find it to be quite enjoyable and so shall you if you read it me thinks.

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So, in a recent church related meeting, it was lamented that we'd stepped away from the 'old ways' of celebrating the holidays. I was told to take time and remember the true meaning of Christmas. And as I continue each time it is brought up I tried to set up an old fashioned festival of fools, the marti gra type party that was traditionally used to celebrate this time of year filled with low humor, wine, women, and song.

You know, for the kids.

Silence. Then the inevitable: "I mean we should take time to remember the birth of Christ, not follow in the ways of the world."

Now don't get me wrong; I am all for using this time to remember Christ's birth into this world but come on, the whole idea was tagged on by the apostate church to convince them that turning christian wouldn't change their lives that much and would be good for their health (as not joining could result in an unusually messy death). Anyway since over 90% of what we use to celebrate Christmas is pagan in origin why not enjoy it to the fullest? I even suggested a fair compromise: replace liquor with juice and jello, keep all jokes at a max PG-13 level, free love becomes party games, and of course no men dressing up as women.

Besides, the traditional christian way to celebrate was mass at an hour that I have on good authority the Spirit is asleep at.

Despite all my reasonable fairness, the group was growing hostile. Finally, one smug individual said that he felt a duty to point out that Christmas was about taking care of those less fortunate and that was the truest tradition. He also said we needed to beware the negative effects of capitalism by forgetting the products and focusing on people.

Poor man didn't know my determination.

I pointed out that the idea of taking care of the poor at Christmas was not generally held by people till the 1800's when a Charles Dickens, arguably the most famous man on earth at the time and an outspoken activist for the lower classes, wrote the highly popular and widely read A Christmas Carol. Before that, only churches really helped the poor at Christmas, though in fairness usually no more than they normally did. Even the patron saint of Christmas, Nicholas, didn't do his charitable "Christmas" deed at that time of year, which I might add didn't involve good kids getting gifts but rather helping a family of girls avoid prostitution by giving them money for a dowry. Santa Claus as we now know him has roots in European pagan tradition, but was formed mostly from the poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas commissioned by none other than Coke-a-Cola. Therefore, I argued, what could be more traditional than the capitalism that made giving to others ourselves and as the eccentric and elusive Santa so popular? Besides, I jested, the helping of young girls to wed? (it was the only thing I said that was seriously considered. sigh.)

Needless to say, I was shot down. Almost literally. Also shot down was my suggestion to give out marti gra bead necklaces at church, just to liven things up. Oh well.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holidays

For those that do not know, I have an autistic brother of whom is 15 years old. He is high functioning in some areas and very low functioning in others. Basically he has an excellent memory, great artistic ability and he's now learning how to read and write at about a kindergarten level. He's a very habitual person as well, he likes consistency and on the flip side he very much dislikes breaks in that consistency. So his basic week is he goes to school monday through friday and stays home all day saturday and sunday. By Sunday night he gets to the point where he starts getting very antsy, usually on sunday afternoon we have to take him out for a couple of hours.

Because of this, in the past fifteen years, holidays and vacations have become dreaded occasions. These longer breaks in his consistency make him troublesome, he tends to get more aggressive and break more things. So long ago holidays stopped being celebrated, at least to the extent that most people celebrate them. Some may say how awful to this, but I actually find it to be quite liberating. Christmas in particular is only really celebrated on Christmas day, and we've started a tradition of going to a national park or monument on Christmas. And as I said, it's become very nice, we do without the tree, the music, the lights, all the trivial parts of the holiday. So Christmas also being the time which has the longest break is always the toughest for my brother as there's nothing to do since not only is there no school but snow is everywhere and he can't play outside for extended periods of time. So it's tough for the family but it's also very nice because the commercialism of the holiday is gone, and so is all the fluff of the holiday. It's now just the day, and that day is a nice family day.

So if you see me not in the "Christmas spirit" it's because I've been liberated from it. Still I do accept presents!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Don't you look Menacing my dear.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Blog-o-sphere, I come before you with an announcement which may shake your very core. I come to you an innocent man, whom shall not be innocent for long. For officially at 8:35 a.m. mountain standard time, on December the 7th and 2007 being the year, I Jonathan Fairbanks will become as the LDS theologians call a "Menace To Society". I am unmarried and turning twenty five years of age. I'm sure as the theologians say I will be "spotted with boils" and "live in the streets with a dumpy spark plug physique." So if any of you have need of me, look in dark corners or the tupperware isle at Smiths. (Food Lion for you east coasters). I will be there, wasting away in my own quasi-margaritaville, awaiting my sentencing as an unmarried miscreant. Farewell cruel youth, and I welcome you oh single adulthood. If any of you want to come visit me to place a solitary flower on my abashed youth, please feel free. Oh and for you unmarried people whom happen to be older than I and reading this, please welcome me to the fray, we will be merry and drink rum and eat fermented Watermelon. Oh it will be grand.