I haven’t recommended music here on the blog in a long time, but recently I started
listening to a singer-songwriter by the name of Tyrone Wells.
I heard him on a Pandora mix based on Jason Mraz a couple months ago, and thought I needed to look him up. Well I checked him out on Napster and became an instant fan. His most recent album, Metal & Wood, has been in constant rotation on the Sonos and in car for months.
Admittedly I’ve been on an adult-alternative singer-songwriter kick lately, so he just fell into that perfectly. That said, he’s able to encapsulate emotions in his songs so well, and many of his lyrics tend to fit my hippie sensibilities quite well. For example:
Take all the Metal and Wood
Used in the waging of war
And teach the men that make those weapons
To build shelter for the poor
Take all the money we spend
On the way that we appear
Find the ones that die of hunger
And help them see another year
He also has songs of happiness and hope, like is expressed on And The Birds Sing:
Poor man and a millionaire
Both under the oak tree’s shade
Not stressing over money made
Preacher and the Atheist
Both jumping in the ocean waves
Today they both feel saved
If you see some of his earlier work, you can tell he’s a religious guy, but I like the fact that he’s not judgemental and actually includes an Atheist in his song. 🙂
Lastly, he can really touch a nerve on love lost too. Songs like Let Go and Give Me One Reason are so packed with emotion that you can sometimes find yourself tearing up when he sings them.
Today, so many artists lack that emotion when they sing, but Tyrone Wells really draws you in, and that rare quality is to be rewarded. Pick this album up, you won’t be disappointed!
For the last six years, I’ve watched the show LOST on ABC. It was always one of my favorite shows, mainly because it was so out there content-wise, and partially because the actors in the roles were really top notch. It entertained me, which is what TV shows are supposed to do. So I’m thankful for that, but for me, the ending didn’t do enough, and the season as a whole seemed really rushed to me.
I liken it to getting a lap dance from a stripper. It’s entertaining while it lasts, but ultimately it’s unfullfilling. I’ll explain why I didn’t like the ending in a bit, and it contains spoilers, so if you don’t want to know yet, then stop reading now.
Okay, so here’s the deal. From what I understand the gist of the finale is this. The losties sideways universe was a holding place for them to reside until they all were dead. A limbo for them to live in until they all died and were able to move on together. They collectively created this place by finding each other to be the most important things in each others lives, so thus, they wanted an afterlife where they could be together. There was no time in this sideways universe, they all resided there until they were awakened to the fact that they were living in a limbo world. Some people died before Jack, and some many years later, but they all had to be dead to collectively move on like they wanted to.
So they make it seem like the island was real, and they really lived and died on the island, and many of them got off the island while others did not. But now, here they are, they all finally ‘let go’ and realized that they were in the sideways universe and it was time to move on.
For the most part, I’m really okay with this aspect. Now as an atheist, I don’t believe in the afterlife, but for the show I think it makes sense and wraps some things up nicely. Still, I think the wound in Jack’s side was a little too Jesus-esque, but whatever, I get it. If they want to wrap up a happy-go-lucky ending for such a good cast, that’s okay by me. That’s only one part however, the island and all of it’s mysteries were never really explained at all, or in-depth enough to satisfy me.
I’m not saying that every polar bear has to be accounted for and each oddity needs to be wrapped up in a little bow, but I’m thoroughly convinced that the writers had no fucking clue how they wanted to do things, and then when they HAD to wrap up, they did so too quickly and concentrated solely on the characters to deflect the obvious continuity flaws in the island. So in no particular order, here are some issues I have with the show, if you have answers, I’d like to see them.
- How is it that Jacob could get on and off the island at will, but the man in black couldn’t?
- How is it that Ben could get on and off the island and had money stashed everywhere, but people like Whidmore couldn’t find the island
- How is it that Dharma found the island and could get back and forth with no issues, yet when Whidmore was banished, he couldn’t find his way back?
- When the six found their way back with Ben and Locke’s corpse, they went through Eloise Hawking, who had a device to locate the island. How come Whidmore, with all of his resources, couldn’t find that?
- Walt was so important as being “special” in season one, yet nothing ever came of him.
- The island had the cork that kept the bad stuff out. So I guess that cork was like a stopper preventing Hell from invading the world. When the cork was removed, why didn’t worse things happen?
- In sideways world, the island was underwater, so the cork was gone. Wouldn’t sideways world have gone to hell?
- If the electromagnetism was so bad that only Desmond could survive it, How did Jack survive it? You could say that once the cork was removed, the electromagnetism went away, but then he put the cork back. At that point wouldn’t it have killed him? Or at least made him a smoke monster like it did the man in black? Instead he was just back in the river later?
- Why would Sayid choose Shannon, a girl he knew briefly, over Nadia, the love of his life?
- Faraday helped Desmond discover the sideways world and the awakening, so why didn’t he end up with the group at the end?
- Why was Sayid allowed to die and then come back in the pool, and how were he and Claire considered “infected?”
- If they were both infected, how did they overcome such a thing? Why weren’t more people infected by Locke?
- With Sayid being a ruthless killer, torturer and everything, how did he find redemption? Was it simply taking the bomb on the sub that took care of it all? Does that really erase all the evil crap he had done?
- Why was Aaron still a baby before moving on from sideways land? If he had lived, and died and was wanting to move on, wouldn’t he have been in a more adult form? In fact, he wouldn’t remember most of them FROM the island, so why would he choose to move on WITH them? What about Sun and Jin’s kid?
- The original others were destroyed by the Mom of Jacob and the MIB’s, so where did the new others come from?
- Where in the hell did Mom even come from? And why if you were the protector of the universe and good and light, would you be such a merciless killer? Killing the real birth mother, destroying the original others, trying to kill MIB.
- If Richard was on the island for hundreds of years, what was waiting for him once he got off the island on the plane? He was no longer immortal supposedly, so he would just be thrust into modern life and then NOT move on with everyone in the sideways world?
- The time travel. Why did some travel and some not? Even when returning to the island?
- Why didn’t the nuclear bomb kill them all? Were they immortal as candidates? Certain folks were not candidates that still were on the island, they would have at least had radiation poisoning.
- Why did they time jump to present time after the nuclear bomb blast?
- What was with the ashes and towers set up to protect from Smokey? Why did that work?
- In that same vein, when Ben went with Locke to talk to Jacob at the cabin in the woods, the cabin was surrounded by ashes, but they briefly showed Christian IN the cabin. Well the MIB was masquerading as Christian at some point, so was the guy in the cabin really MIB and not Jacob? And wouldn’t he be trapped by the ashes?
- Why couldn’t women have babies on the island? And why was there the Egyptian statue of the goddess of fertility and Motherhood?
- What WAS the tie in to Egypt mythology? Hieroglyphics were everywhere, and there were temples, the statue, etc. No real relevance?
- Flashing back a bit (so to speak,) if you had the technology to prevent a massive amount of energy from being released, and you built a hatch to take care of that, wouldn’t you come up with a better mechanism than simply typing in numbers every 108 minutes? I’m SURE they could automate that somehow. Declan could whip up some LotusScript in 5 minutes.
- What was with the numerology? We know the numbers were of the candidates, so WHY then were they integrated so much in Dharma?
Now all of the above were things that I contemplated off the top of my head without working up a sweat. I’m sure I could come up with more. In addition Television Without Pity had these burning questions. Can any of them be answered?
I guess that’s my major problem here. None of that stuff was ever resolved, so it seems like the writers just threw whatever crap they felt like into the series whenever they felt like it. I enjoyed the series thinking that somehow, some of this stuff would tie together in the end, but it didn’t. There was no resolution on many of the things that made LOST so talked about.
Now it just seems that the writers threw down whatever they thought of after hits from the bong, without ever really contemplating how any of it could ever be explained. It annoys me and disappoints me a little. I think the ending had potential to be so much more, and by leaving SO many questions, it just diluted it and made a majority of it seem completely pointless.
So I enjoyed the lap dance, but I’m still looking for the happy ending that’s never going to come.
DRM, or digital rights management is the fancy term that movie and record companies use to mean copy protection. Basically they use some sort of technical lock-in technique so you can only play your media on a particular device, or it prevents you from making back up copies.
I don’t know about you, but for music, I want to play it a lot of places. iPhones and iPods, Sonos, streaming to Xbox or PS3, on my Mac, on Windows, etc. etc. My solution? Anything I buy is in MP3 format from Amazon or ripped to MP3 from a music CD. That way, I can play it everywhere.
Now when it comes to movies and DVD’s, I’ve never been a really big ‘ripper.’ I am an audiophile when it comes to movies. I want my 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound for my movie. Ripping a movie and streaming it across the network usually loses the surround sound and reduces it to stereo. That really limits my enjoyment. Add to that the fact that ripping a movie is questionably legal.
Nowadays, both of my daughters have iPod touches. As such, when we go on long trips, they can bring a movie or two along with them. The movie company’s compromise has been what is called ‘digital copy.’ So you can buy a Blu-Ray or DVD with a Digital Copy included. The DVD/Blu-Ray set with digital copy generally costs more, but you get a portable version of the movie that you can take with you. Every movie I’ve gotten with a digital copy up to this point works as follows:
- You get an extra disc
- You pop that disc in your Mac or Windows machine
- iTunes pops up
- You have to enter a DRM code that came with the movie
- The movie downloads off the disc and into iTunes
So first of all, you have this movie that can only be played in the iTunes ecosystem. iPods, iPhones, iPads and AppleTV. It’s annoying, but that’s largely what we have in our house, so for the girls to take their movies with them, it’s a compromise.
Well yesterday we bought the movie ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.’ It was really funny movie and it comes highly recommended. BUT. It was a DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Copy combo. We paid extra for the digital copy. Well yesterday I realize that the digital copy is only for Playstation 3 and the Playstation Portable. The big text on the front simply said Digital Copy, so I assumed it was the same digital copy as I always could get (a la iTunes.) Looking at the back of the box, I later found the tiny print saying it was for the PS3 and PSP, but the giant bold lettering on the front didn’t tell me that.
So needless to say, I paid extra for a digital copy that I’ll never use. I’m savvy to this stuff, and I still bought the wrong thing. How many other people is this happening to? It’s not good for the consumer in any case. If they are going to include a digital copy, it should be something open standards that can be played pretty much anywhere.
Yesterday, the movie companies turned me into a ‘ripper’ of movies. I’ll have no qualms ripping my own copy for portable enjoyment from now on. I’m not going to pirate anything, I’m simply never paying EXTRA to get LESS. I’ll take the DVD and make my own copy, and watch it anywhere.
Somewhere Volker nods approvingly
“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”
An amazing quote, from an amazing man. Check out his story on Esquire online.
Heard this on the radio on the way into work and it seemed very apropos…
I know the pieces fit cause I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering, fundamental differing,
Pure intention juxtaposed will set two lovers souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then has burned a hole between us so
We cannot see to reach an end crippling our communication.
I know the pieces fit cause I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame it doesn’t mean I don’t desire to
Point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication
The poetry that comes from the squaring off between,
And the circling is worth it
Finding beauty in the dissonance
There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting
I’ve done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing
Doomed to crumble unless we grow, and strengthen our communication
Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion
-Tool from the song “Schism”
I make no excuses, I love American Idol. I have since it first came on the scene 8 years ago. It’s something I really enjoy and can watch with my children and talk about with anyone. I think it comes from the old performer in me. I tend to put myself in the contestants positions and enjoy living vicariously through them. I also tend to be thinking exactly what Simon is thinking, so his analysis is generally my sarcastic bad side with a British accent.
Anyway, this season, as I watched, I caught glimpses of this goth guy during Hollywood week who was unbelievable. We didn’t really see much about him early on. They focused on other contestants, but after hearing him a couple of times I predicted he would win. He was that good.
Once we started moving through the weeks, it was evident that this guy, Adam Lambert, was head and shoulders better than his competition. His vocals were always amazing, he had a killer stage presence, a glam look, and could hit notes that no one else on the show could even dream of. Oh, and pictures surfaced of him kissing guys. So he was either gay or bi-sexual. *GASP*
One of the other favorites early on was Danny Gokey. Danny is a widower (something we were reminded of approximately five billion times) and could wail pretty well. He was also very religious, and was a music director for a church and had recorded some gospel music. He got a huge following, and for quite some time, everyone expected a Danny Gokey / Adam Lambert finale.
During this battle, a nice unassuming guy by the name of Kris Allen quietly put in great performance after great performance. He turned songs like ‘She Works Hard for the Money,’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and even Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ into awesome acoustic/adult-alternative tracks. He could play guitar and piano, and on some tracks he did so without any help from the Idol band. Creatively he matched Adam Lambert and blew Danny Gokey out of the water. To me, he very much reminded me of Jason Mraz, one of my current faves. And in kind of an upset, he beat out Danny Gokey for the finals.
So now we had two genuinely nice guys, Adam and Kris, both very creative with arrangements and such with Adam having the better vocal ability, and Kris having the ability to play musical instruments. But Adam, vocally was still phenomenal and Kris could sometimes falter and not be able to push through soaring choruses. Adam also worked a stage like he owned the place, and Kris seemed kind of shell shocked at times to be there.
So to me, the American Idol victory should still go to Adam. He’s the better singer and showman, and has been far more consistent all year long than Kris. But I think Kris will win. And the reason is simple. The Danny Gokey voting juggernaut, many of whom are deeply religious, will never vote for a gay man. So many of this huge voting contingent will go Kris Allen’s way, and I think that will sway the victory for him.
If Adam actually wins, I will have a lot of faith in our country to have voted for the openly gay guy. But right now, I don’t have that faith. Kris, although he’s very good and deserves to be in the finale, wouldn’t have quite the votes to win this, but I fear bigotry will push him over the edge.
I hope America proves me wrong.
Now make no mistake, both will get good recording contracts so it really doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. And quite frankly I love both Kris and Adam and look forward to buying both of their albums. I just think that based on talent, most everyone agrees that Adam is the best. It would be a shame for him to lose simply because of his sexual orientation.
I’ve been a lifelong Miami Dolphin football fan, and I’ve stuck with them through thick and thin. Last year’s 1-15 season was brutal, yet I still listened to every game on Sirius satellite radio. So to see the Phins turn things around, go 11-5 and win the AFC East this year has been wonderful. We just lost in the first round of the playoffs yesterday to the Baltimore Ravens who pretty much had their way with us. In the old days (pre-Jimmy Johnson and the subsequent years of suckitude) it would have ruined my whole week.
But not this time.
I’m very proud of the team and the turnaround they accomplished. It was their first trip to the playoffs in seven years, they won ten more games than last year, and they knocked the Jets and the Patriots out of the playoff picture. So in all, it was a pretty sweet year to be a Dolphin fan. I look forward to the continued Parcells/Sparano era!