Brandon's Articles, Page 3 of 32
Albums I purchased in May 2010:
- Alkaline Trio – This Addiction – A little more hit and miss than their previous stuff … and it seems one writer has most of the hits. (The hits still make it worth the purchase, though, in my opinion.)
- As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise – Oh. Snap. Face. Melted. Not quite in a league of their own, but they have few peers.
- Band of Horses – Infinite Arms – They seem to have slowed down the pace some, but their songwriting is outstanding.
- Ben Kweller – Changing Horses – More country-ish, but still solid singer/songwriter stuff.
- Broken Social Scene, The – Forgiveness Rock Record – With their first album, it was like they were playing around. This time they’re serious. And it sounds better.
It’s true: I’m a health nut – and I’m against a tax on soda.
Yes, soda may epitomize unhealthy food. Yes, its consumption is so pervasive that banning it would seem to be a big step in the improving-health direction. And yes, I’ve witnessed a one-year-old down a bottle full of soda in a mall parking lot. But, I’m still against the tax.
Why? Let me explain.
First, the goals of the tax (i.e., to improve health and raise funds to offset the drain of poor health on the public) are opposed. If you dissuade the behavior (drinking soda), you don’t make money. If you make money, you aren’t dissuading the behavior. In other words, you can only kill one bird, not two.
Albums I purchased in April 2010:
- Audition, The – Great Danger – They crank out a great album every year, it seams.
- Built to Spill – There Is No Enemy – Yet another really good indie rock album from them, and a little more energy this time, it seems.
- Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant – Need more time.
- Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise – Excellent post-hardcore-ish emo.
- Coheed & Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow – Still waiting for these guys to turn the corner and blow me out of the water.
- Dashboard Confessional – Alter the Ending – I just got the bonus disc that comes with the deluxe edition – where it’s mostly acoustic. Very good stuff.
- Death Before Disco – Party Bullet – Need more time.
My brother is in the midst of figuring out how he’ll run a chiropractic practice with his new MacBook Pro and iTouch, and he occasionally hits me up for advice, seeing as I’m his Mac elder. I’m usually able to help, but earlier this week he hit me with this: “How do I automatically create an event or to-do item in iCal that will remind me to call someone – and then link directly to (or reference) their information in Address Book? I don’t want to have to look up the info manually, whether it’s to copy it over to the iCal item when I create it, or to find the number to call when I’m reminded.”
In discussing the dangers of being vaccinated vs not being vaccinated, it seems three subjects almost always arise: thimerosal, herd immunity, and Jenny McCarthy. As exciting as all three are, I want to discuss just the middle one for now.
Protests against being vaccinated generally come from those who don’t fear getting the disease – either because they think they’d be able to handle the effects, or because they think their chances of getting it are very small. They don’t want to inject stuff they think is dangerous to protect against something they don’t think is dangerous.
I read an article on TakePart.com today that discusses a study done on rats, summarized as showing “high-calorie food may be just as addictive as cocaine.” I was happy about it at first; it was playing it’s own, small part in educating people on how to make better eating choices. That changed, however, when I looked closer.
The first sign of something awry hit me in the last paragraph, part of which went as follows:
While rats’ habits may not translate directly to humans, the new study indicates that compulsive eating is less about self-control and Betty Crocker than complex brain behavior.
Albums I bought in March 2010:
- Cancer Bats – Birthing the Giant – Good hardcore punk.
- Christiansen – Stylish Nihilists – Maybe not a total bust, but very close to it. (And to think they were supposed to be like Sparta.)
- Crime In Stereo – I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone – Another good album from them.
- Damien Rice – O – A little too much like Jack Johnson at a couple of places, but good singer/songwriter-ness for the most part.
- Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks – These guys are really growing on me.
“Healthcare” is big these day. Government, insurance companies, individual choices, personal lifestyles, money – all of them are players in what has been a complicated and controversial issue for a long, long time. (And somehow I doubt the upcoming vote will change that, no matter how it turns out.) People have strong feelings/opinions on the matter, and there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.
Some want to change everything, to be sure everyone is “covered.” They feel for those who get lesser treatment because they don’t have money, and they can see the gross inefficiency of using emergency rooms as the nation’s Primary Care Physician. “We’re the worst,” they say. “We’re so rich and we can’t/don’t even take care of our own!”
While making a rare drive to deposit a check, I realized something: It’s possible the Internet will do more to reduce global warming and conserve energy than 2007’s Nobel Peace Prize winners: Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — combined. (Well, unless you count Al Gore as the inventor of the Internet, but I’m not going to go there.) It’s difficult, of course, to put a number on how much the latter two have done or will do to help reduce the amount of Carbon in the air – but in the end, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.
Music I purchased in February 2010:
- Spoon – Transference – I can’t help but be a little extra happy to see Spoon continue to chug out new and interesting indie rock. Gotta root for the home team!
- Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life – These guys finally put together a really good album. Unlike their previous work, the songs don’t all sound the same. Hooray!
- Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Another solid indie rock album, although not quite as catchy initially.
- Set Your Goals – This Will Be the Death of Us – Clear step up on their sophomore album. Really good punk/pop.
- Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures – Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and John Paul Jones? What the what?! As disenchanted as I’ve become about Homme’s projects and “supergroups,” this one actually seems to work.
I did a good bit of international travel in 2008 and 2009. One thing I picked up to get me through the airport waits, long flights,1 and evenings alone in the hotel was watching the top-rated movies from each year on RottenTomatoes.com.2 Looking back, I think some of my favorites were the documentaries. Here are my thoughts on some of them (in alphabetical order).
Bigger, Stronger, Faster*
|2008||96%||IMDB, Wikipedia, Official|
I eat pretty healthy. In fact, I don’t think there has been a time I didn’t consider myself a healthy eater. The strange thing is that despite consistently applying that label, my diet has changed a lot over the years. What I once considered healthy, I now wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Thinking about this has helped me be a little more understanding of those with less healthy eating habits … and it also made me curious about the “eating journeys” others take. So, here’s my food story. What’s yours — and do you consider it healthy?
I’ve been listening to Bad Religion since I was in high school (late 90s), and every time I hear the song Ten in 2010 (on The Gray Race album, released in 1996) I make a mental note to be sure and check if they were right when 2010 comes along. Well, people, you can stop holding your breath. It’s finally here.
For those non-Bad Religion fans out there, here are some abridged lyrics:
Albums I purchased in January 2010:
- Almost, The – Monster Monster – Surprisingly poppy album from Underoath’s drummer/singer.
- Antlers, The – Hospice – Low-key, indie rock. Similar to Shearwater.
- Baroness – Blue Record – Great cover art, but I’m still undecided on the rock.
- Blackhole – Dead Hearts
- Bullet for My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire – Face-melter similar to In Flames, but with a little more punk influence.
- Chariot, The – Wars and Rumors of Wars – A lot like their previous stuff: A high entrance hurdle (i.e., it takes a while to “get”), but solid hardcore.
- Japandroids – Post-Nothing