Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review: Candlebox Into the Sun

Candlebox was kind of bunch of grunge imposters in the early '90s. They didn't move to Seattle until well after grunge was becoming "the thing" and they were really more of a hair metal band at heart. That said, their first album sure was good.

I didn't even know they were still together, but I recently ran into their new album. I wrote up this little review for this week's issue of IN.

nto the Sun

You know what's been missing from 2008? Nineties rock. Luckily Candlebox, ever the opportunists, have reunited to fill the void. Eight years after their disbandment, the second-wave grungers are back with their forth studio album.

"Into the Sun" begins with the same reverb-y riffs that made the band popular in 1993. Unfortunately, the hooky choruses that helped the band stand out are noticeably absent. Singer Kevin Martin's arena-sized voice works best on the album's closing three tracks. The bluesy ballad "Breathe Me In" builds slowly before kicking into high gear and allowing Martin's vocals to soar, "Lover – Come Back to Me" is enjoyable despite its cheesy lyrics, and "Consider Us" is a heartfelt ending to the record.

Though this is no return to form, it should be enough to tide you over until you dig out your old Soundgarden CDs.

For fans of: Bush, Fuel
Rating: 2.5 of 4

Post-Disney Letdown

After returning from our little trip to Disneyland, we headed over to Traci's parents' houses to pick up Curtis. Traci's family was still at church so we hung out and waited for them. When we opened the garage door we saw that Traci's mom Cathie had a new Nissan Murano, a pretty sweet ride.

When Cathie showed up, Traci congratulated her on the new car, but she didn't say much about it. A minute or two later, Cathie walked over to her and said, "Dad got you something while you were gone," and dangled a pair of keys over Traci's head.

My heart stopped for a minute. Did Traci's parents really buy her that car? She is the golden child, but really?

Nope. Not really . We had left our car at their house while we were out of town. Our car key is broken and no longer hooks onto a key ring. Traci's dad got new copies made for us. No new Murano, but still a nice gesture.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heard It on the Internet: The Killers - Human (Ocelot Remix)

That wife of mine sure hates the Killers. She hates Brandon Flowers. She hates "Human." And she really hates the line "Are we human/Or are we dancer?" I'm pretty found of the band. I like the new song. And I really like robots. All of those things combined make this remix great for me.

The Killers - Human (Ocelot Remix) [MP3]

Review: David Archuleta

David Archuleta

It's not easy to take an American Idol winner and make them into a believable recording artist, especially when you're working with a little Muppet like Utah's own David Archuleta. Surprisingly enough, Archuleta's first album isn't half bad.

Fortunately, the producers don't try to push Davey too far out of his comfort zone. The tracks alternate between mid-tempo bubble gum pop numbers and ballads and the lyrics never stray from PG-rated boy-meets-girl fare. While the pop numbers work well, including the album's first single "Crush" and "Touch My Hand," the ballads are real snoozers. The worst is the sleepy "You Can," where the 17-year-old ends up sounding like John Denver.

The album closes with a straightforward cover of Robbie Williams' "Angels." Though it was the safe bet, it sure would have been more fun to hear Archuleta take a shot at "Rock DJ."

For fans of: Clay Aiken, Elliot Yamin
Rating: 2 of 4

On a related note, I now wake up to classical music. No matter what station I put the alarm to, I always ended up waking up to "Crush." What a horrible way to start a day.

David Archuleta - Crush [YouTube]

Heard It on the Internet: Jesus Walks D'NB REMIX

I decided this morning that I needed to listen to Jesus Walks this morning, but didn't have it on my iPod. I found a very cool drum 'n bass version by DJ Zinc.

Kanye West - Jesus Walks (DJ Zinc D'N B Mix) [Mp3]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth Sure Made Me Tired

Minnie is so photogenic. Paige is pretty cute, too. Surprisingly, I don't have too much to say about our Disneyland adventure. It was a 50/50 tossup of whether it would be the best trip ever or the worst four days of my life.

Luckily, it skewed much more toward the former. It took Paige a little bit to get used to the idea of going on rides but once she caught on, she couldn't have been happier. Meeting Minnie was a definite highlight for her.

When we got ready to leave for the airport I said, "Come on, Paige, let's go get on the airplane."

"No, how 'bout go to Disneyland?"

"No, we need to go home and see Curtis."

"How 'bout see Mickey?"


"How 'bout yes?"

So I guess she had a good time.

By the time we made it to the airport, her fun meter had run out. Trying to persuade her to keep walking to the security check, I said, "Come on, Paige, we need to go to the line?"

"See a lion? Okay."

"No. We need to go to that liiine."

"Where's the lion?"


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Streets Everything is Borrowed

The Streets
Everything is Borrowed

There couldn't be a more unlikely rap star. Mike Skinner, aka The Streets is skinny, white, and extremely British. With the release of his 2002 debut album, however, the London suburbanite gave hip hop an entirely new—and decidedly squeakier—voice. (You know a guy's good when he can rhyme about having tea with his mum and still make it interesting.)

After the disappointing 2006 "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living," Skinner is back on track with his fourth album. The childish humor of past records has largely given way to reflection, but Skinner shows his wit is a sharp as ever when he sings "I want to go to heaven for the weather/But hell for the company." Though the usual off-key singing remains, the songs are more restrained and have a definite world-weary vibe. The simplest tracks are the best, including the guitar vamp "The Way of the Dodo" and the soft-hearted title track. Even the super sappy "The Strongest Person I Know" comes off as lovable.

Rating: 3.5 of 4
For fans of: MIA, The Futureheads

Okkervil River The Stand Ins

Okkervil River
The Stand Ins

For whatever reason, I have avoided Okkervil River for the past few years. When I heard "Lost Coastlines," with its banjo accents, mariachi trumpets, and Jonathan Meiburg's baritone croon, I had to the give the band a second chance.

Though the majority of the album is not as light-hearted as "Lost Coastlines," the downtrodden tracks are equally as enjoyable. "Blue Tulip" is a lovely slowburner and "Bruce Wayne Campbell" perfectly fills every second of the six minute track. "Calling and Not Calling My Ex" and "Pop Lie" are standouts as well.

So I'm now a converted Okkervil fan and am currently going through their back catalog.

Rating: 3.5 of 4
For fans of: The National

Toilet Troubles

Potty training is not going well at all. But it's not without it's humor. We bought a Dora the Explorer seat that fits over the regular toilet seat, hoping it would help the process. It didn't, despite the fact that Paige loves it. The other day she picked up the Dora seat, put her face in the hole, looked at me and said, smiling, "I seeee you."

On a similar note, when Paige was in the tub today she discovered that there's a very funny way to make bubbles in the water.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

To Disneyland and Beyond!

I would say that this sums up the vast majority of Paige's inaugural visit to Disneyland--only being able to see one inch over the side of the car. But that's what you get when you're only 30 inches tall. (Notice my sweet my sweet high score. 26,700! Paige's meager 3,300 was still better than Traci.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

America is "Super"

I totally chickened out. I had planned on voting for Super Dell Schanze, aka Captain Crazy, but then at the last second I decided that there was really no point in voting for someone just for comedy's sake.

I do love that his official blurb from the Utah information pamphlet (click on the image for full view) says we'll be accountable for our choice. His website also contains the following taglines:

--All of the Other Candidates Suck!


--Promote Morality to Increase Prosperity. Fire Huntsman Immediately!!!

SUPERDELL, Utah's ONLY Christian Candidate

SuperDell, you're still so crazy.