Tuesday, March 31, 2009

U2 Elevate Themselves... Again

With "No Line On The Horizon" being there latest released back in February, U2 is back in the limelight. The new album is nothing short of amazing. As a fellow blogger and friend of mine has written about recently, there is a stigma/concern among bands and record labels, thats is, can we top our last album? And in the case of U2, the answer is not yes, but rather of course!

With front man Bono and his unique and everlasting voice, and The Edge's defining sound that gives an almost three dimensional sound to their music, the band never sounded better. Originally founded in Dublin in 1976 by drummer Larry Mullen Jr. the band did not see much monetary success until the release of Joshua Tree in 1987, but were rather loved for their live performances until then. Now with 12 studio albums, U2's success is almost unparalleled, comparable only to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

A little history there, but now back to the album. The first single of the album is "Get On Your Boots." With a driving rock beat and intense guitar riff, the song creates an eargasm when the first verse comes in and Bono begins telling it how it is. In a recent VH1 interview, Bono said that the title "Get On Your Boots" is an Irish slang term for put on a condom, and in his efforts to fight the spread of AIDS/HIV Bono made this the first single. The entire album is amazing, but some other songs to listen to that will be stuck in your head all week are "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight", "Stand Up Comedy", and "Fez-Being Born" which has a very eerie tone to it in the beginning then goes into a really cool drum beat and Bono inspired lyrics. Do yourself a favor and buy or download this album, it really is amazing. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

F1 is Back!!

The moment we've all been waiting for is here!! The Formula One season has begun with an explosive and entertaining surprise of a race yesterday. The most radical rule change in 25 years of F1 history is upon us and it shows. With the cars being stripped down of all the fins and angles, slick tires, and the KERS system as an option, the obvious differences can be seen. With many rule changes in place as well, this season should promise much more exciting races and much more overtaking. 

These changes have already been working last night as the season opener in Melbourne, Australia resulted in a 1-2 finish by the new Brawn GP team, a remnant of the old Honda Factory team that was dissolved last year. The drivers remained the same, Jenson Button (England) and Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) and that is the order in which the claimed 1st and 2nd place in the Australian Gran Prix early this morning, with Lewis Hamilton (England) of McLarren Mercedes rounding out the podium in 3rd due to a safety penalty that was given to Toyota's Jarno Trulli (Italy). This was a tremendous feat for the Brawn GP team because a month ago they did not exist. When Virgin mogul Richard Branson decided to sponsor the team, they got there car builtin time, but had very little time to test it. Due to a lupole in the new rules, Brawn and co. designed a rear diffusor that met the regulations, and created a significant amount of more down force that gave them a great advantage over the other teams.

Lewis Hamilton struggled in qualifying and didn't make it out of GP2 due to a broken fourth gear. Because of this gear box problem, the team was penalized, and Lewis started at the back of the grid at 18th. to come back and finish 3rd says a lot for Lewis and his driving skill, as well as the team's strategy. The new rules in place also helped this as Lewis advanced an unheard of 15 positions with just two safety car outings, and 2 pit stops. Scoring 6 points to open the season, the defending champ must be extremely proud of himself and his team to achieve what they did. 

The season has just begun, and there are 16 races left. This should prove to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable seasons ever. I cant wait to see the races play out and hope for the best for my favorite Lewis Hamilton! thanks for reading, i know its been a while.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kickin It Old Skool!

After a recent adventure to BB better known as Best Buy, i was intrigued when walking through the comedy isle of the DVD section. I found two Pauly Shore movies (Encino Man and Son in Law) at a ridiculously low price of $5.99 each. This wasn't even a choice... they where mine. So i bought them and came home to watch them immediately, back to back. As a kid i would watch these and laugh my ass off because of Pauly's ridiculous antics, outfits, and the way he talked... Munch on some grindage budddddy!! aka lets eat some food friend. 

After watching these two movies i immediately went on 1/2.com and purchased another classic, In the Army now, also starring Andy Dick and David Alan Grier. The reason for this was after watching these two movies again at the ripe and obviously more educated age of 20, i found the humor to be less in his the way he acted but rather more in the words he said such as, "your mom totally gives me a semi!" and "Fresh off the farm, oh my God, I can't believe it. Right across the hallway. Hallelujah. So you're inbred? " I laughed so much, my stomach hurt after. 

I never doubted Pauly Shores acting ability but apparently Hollywood did because besides a few short roles on shitty tv shows, and a small role in entourage as the highlight, he hasn't done much since the epic Bio-Dome. Although he is due to release two movies this year, i don't think it will be the same Pauly Shore that we all once knew and loved. I just wanted to say that i love his movies and wish that he would have made a lot more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day & Age

The new Killers album is finally out and being that i am a music pirate, (and also aspire to one day become a full fledged pirate and rob oil tankers with grenade launchers), i got it about a week and a half before it was released in stores. 
Before this album i liked the Killers and enjoyed there music, but was not particularly impressed with the musicality of their music, but i can assure you, my mind is blown by Day & Age, their newest album. It opens with an awesome arrangement, Losing Touch, which blends all different types of music making it a spine tingling song. Followed by the first single of the album, Human, another epic song with electronic aspects, a driving drum beat, and goosebump lyrics and vocals. The rest of the album is also just perfect including tracks such as Joyride, The World We Live In, and Spaceman which i feel are the better tracks on the album although i honestly thoroughly enjoy listening to the entire album over and over again.

I think this will really open more doors for The Killers and it will attract more people to the genre and their sound. I cannot wait until they begin their tour because i will be at at least one show. Dont be like me and go out and buy this album if you havent already it is worth it!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quantum of Solace

The new Bond flick is finally out and i just had to see it last night, at the midnight show of course, now i am admittedly not the biggest Bond Buff, but i've seen a fair amount of them and so i guess you could say i know what to expect from a 007 movie but im always wondering what could they do next. 
Now i am sorry to say that i was not particularly pleased with the story line of Quantum of Solace, which with such an obscure title, was not thoroughly explained. Although i did not like the plot, nor did i understand it, i still really liked the movie. In just 1 hour and 46 minutes, my mind was blown with everything from intense Foot, Car, Boat, and Plane chases, sex, love, vengeance, extreme violence, and even subtle comedy. Aside from lacking
 a fluid plot line, Quantum of Solace had everything you could ever

As you may or may not have noticed, in Casino Royal, the predecessor to this newest movie, there was an absence in the typical Bond cast. Q, who is Bond's "supplier of gadgets," was not in both films of the new series, whic
h is quite upsetting. The amount of new and even fictional technology, fictional to the extent that the general public doesn't know it exists, incorporated in both Casino and Quantum is rather intriguing and my opinion, just flat out awesome, to see what the future is sort of gonna look like, and im pissed that there wasn't a quirky old man there to show us how everything works.

Now for the Bond girl. I was very happy with the selection of Bond girl for this movie. Although sometimes a very sexy lady is often associated with shallowness and stupidity, i think the Bond girl in this movie was smart, strong and beautiful. Olga Kurylenko, who plays Camille, is a fine addition to the long list of girls who played opposite Bond, and she joins the ranks among most recently, Halle Berry (Giacinta, Die Another Day) and Eva Green (Vesper, Casino Royal). 

Over all i enjoyed the movie, and it was worth the $10.75 and getting out at 2:00 AM. I think its safe to say that Daniel Craig is the best Bond yet, and i look forward to seeing him in a few more movies. One final point, the classic line, "Bond, James Bond" was not spoken in Quantum of a Solace.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Weirdest Night of My Life

This is the story of the weirdest night of my life. Well that may be an exaggeration because i have had some strange experiences in my life but this one was definitely in the top few of my list.

Friday, October 31, 2008 at approximately 1:30 AM upon leaving my dormitory and meeting my roommate outside who was returning from a bar in an ultimate fighter costume, and not in a good mood because it was about 40 degrees outside, and when he arrived at the bar he realized that costumes where optional, so in other words he was in shorts and boxing gloves and there where normal people dressed in normal clothes there... As i walk out the doors and greet him and also laugh at his chicken legs, i see out of the corner of my eye three shadows coming around the corner and immediately disregard them merely as other people coming back from similar events. I take out a cigarette and give it to my roommate and then take one out for my self and spark this heavenly invention that is nothing but liberating after a taxing night of drinking, and so we begin to smoke and and converse about the night as it had played out for the both of us who decided to go our separate ways in terms of partying that night since he had been invited by someone i didnt know and i was invited by someone he didnt know to our respective partying locals. 

As we talk amongst ourselves, he hears a noise as do i, but keep in mind we can both drink and both have drank on this night, so our minds may or my not be playing with us, but the chances that we both hear the same sound that doesnt exist at the same time is just rather unlikely so we, being ambitious and explorative, decide to face this possible predator. As quickly as we made that decision, we where surrounded. Not by beast or machine (keep in mind we are in Boston and wildlife is sparse at best and robots dont exist yet...) We where surrounded by women, three of them. Not your average women or average human being for that matter.

These where mimes. Although the date say October 31, i am talking about Thursday night before Halloween so although still acceptable, costumes where, in my mind a little bit much for this night, which would explain why i was not in costume where as my roommate was. Now that i have u thinking about berets and face paint and striped shirts, im going to confuse you a bit. These women, or silly little girls, as i would like to describe due to their lack of sensibility, where simply dressed in all black, with hoodies and sunglasses on in the middle of the freezing night. These girls surrounded me and my roommate whilst performing acrobatic maneuvers of course without saying a word. As you can imagine, in our inebriated states, we where slightly confused, but more shocked then anything. 

After we sort of surrendered to them and asked of their motive, they simply would not respond and where in fact somewhat well trained in the art of miming. One in particular did nothing but stand idly with her arms crossed and lips sealed. While the other two allowed us to interrogate them with very little in the way of answers. At this point you may be thinking to your self, why dont you just walk away? they most likely aren't going to assault you and if you just go into your building, that will be the end of that. My answer to that is you had to be there, because if you where, you would be as puzzled and intrigued by such mannerisms as i was, and would therefore be committed to solving this mystery, that is why do this?, and why us?, and why tonight? After about a half an hour we had made some headway, in that we got them to nod in agreement and disagreement but often answers would conflict with previous answers so we basically go nowhere. 

It is now 2:00 AM and my roommate in shorts, is developing hypothermia and wants to be done with this. I am persistent though and need answers. So i vow to stay outside until one of them speak. So i grab one of them and sit them down, of course with out the use of force but sort of a friendly come with me gesture. I sit at a table and she sits in the chair next to me and i begin to ask her simple questions like who are you? and why are you doing this to us? and to no avail i get frustrated and stand up at which point she stands up and graps my chest and unzips my jacket and just wags her finger no. I look her up and down, and she happens to have a very attractive figure so i sit. She then proceeds to put her nose on my face and slowly inhale and blow air in my face. As confused as i was by this, it did give me an answer which was that at least she had not been drinking because as we all know when you drink your breathe stinks of booze. So sober as a bird, she is blowing air in my face and i am just wondering how i got in that position.

After about an hour of this nonsense, i start to notice a system of hierarchy among them. The one who was blowing air in my face was clearly the Alpha of the group. I knew this because the communicated by head gestures and the other two would always look at her for their next move. The one who stood completely still was the guard. She made sure we didnt try to run and showed no emotion. Lastly the third member of this trio was the class clown. She was constantly moving and doing cartwheels and laying in odd positions on the ground, so she was there simply for entertainment. After dealing with the Alpha, i started to look very closely at her face among other parts of her body, so that in the event that i get out of this predicament alive, i will be able to somewhat recognize her, and possibly confront her in the normal dimension that we live our daily lives in. 

At this point it is coming up on 3:00 AM and my roommate now has some frostbite and gangrene on his legs. He is fed up and decides it is time to go inside because he doesnt care enough about who they are. So no i am left alone with this three girls and not only am i out numbered but i am scared because now that he has gone, the hone in on me and begin rubbing my arms and all but the guard blow air in my face. I stand up and say stop! who are you?!?! At that moment, they look at the Alpha and she nods and they all run in different directions away from me and regroup at the bottom of the steps and run around the corner on to their residence obviously other then mine. 

After all that freezing, i have had enough as well and let them go. As angry and confused as i was i had formed a mental picture of the Alpha and am now ready to approach her when i see here. I dont know if she will play dumb and make me sound crazy, or if she will actually talk to me and explain her and her friend's actions. I wont show any aggression but rather congratulate her on a good show unless of course she was bitter that i called her out on it.

This evening, November 3, 2008, i was outside smoking again, and i looked up at a girl who was walking at me and sort of squinted at her in disbelief because she was walking into my building. I was the Alpha. Upon looking up at me from her downward stare while she was on the phone, we made eye contact and she can just tell that i know. She cracks the tiniest of smiles and shifts her eyes back to the ground with again the tiniest of winks, and keeps on her B-line to the door, in hopes i assume, that i dont follow her in. As i take a drag and stand there in disbelief, i now know a little bit more about my attackers, and i will approach her the next time i see her and at least try to get a name... maybe a number too...

That is the story of one of the weirdest nights of my life, i hope you enjoyed and if u have any similar or different experiences, post a comment or just tell me what you thought of the story.

jon c

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Formula 1: A Passion

As you may or may not know this weekend is the last race weekend of the 2008 Formula 1 racing season in Sao Paulo, Brazil,  and as the World Series and the Super Bowl are the biggest events in sports to most Americans, this race is the last chance for my favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, to clinch the Formula 1 World Championship Title, which is without dispute bigger then any professional sports title in the world.

For those of you who don't even know what Formula 1 is, it is a motor sport and it is not those sad excuses of drivers who make 500 mile long ovals in NASCAR. Formula is the New York Yankees of the racing world, the most prestigious and highest grossing sport world wide with hundreds of thousands of spectators at each race in 15 different countries around the world. Formula 1 is run by the governing body known as the F.I.A. (Federation Internacional de Automobile) and has ten teams this season all with two drivers and cars, for example McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW Sauber, and Red Bull Racing. 

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's number 1 and his teammate Heiki Kovalainen have had an outstanding season with 145 Constructors Championship points good enough for second so far but still attainable with a 1,2 finish in Brazil. And as for Lewis, he has 5 first place finishes this season and he is leading the Drivers Championship with 94 points which puts him just 7 points ahead of Brazilian National Felipe Massa who will try to close that gap on his home track in front of his home crowd. Lewis doesn't need to win the final race although it would be nice, he just needs to make sure he finishes ahead of Massa. 

Right now you may be asking yourself how i could say that it is the most prestigious championship in the world ahead of the Super Bowl and the World Series, so i will tell you why. Believe it or not, Formula 1 drivers are the most conditioned athletes in the world simply because if they aren't, they would die. Drivers experience up to 5 G's constantly for about two hours that the races normally take. As you can imagine, this puts an enormous stress on the body of the driver and if he is not at peak condition he would not last the race. Each team has a team doctor that monitors the driver as they drive and their progress throughout the weeks leading up to the race to make sure they are absolutely in perfect condition. 

As for my passion for the sport, i always had an interest in it because i like cars, and i like going fast and these just happen to be the fastest cars... But it really all began last summer when i had the opportunity to go to Canada for the Gran Prix du Canada at the Circuit Gilles Villenueve track and got to experience the raw power of these finely tuned machines. Just the roar that they made as the flew by at speeds approaching 200 mph or around 321 kph was enough for me i was like a kid loosing his virginity it was just baffling, almost scary and on the first past i was taken a back. You can just imagine, as they downshift 6 gears to hit a corner at 45 mph from 200 feeling almost 5 G's it is just insane. This race was also special to me because it was Lewis Hamilton's first career win in his rookie season which is quite a feet because there have been drivers who go their entire career without winning a single race. It is in fact history which i was a part of especially since this may be the year that he wins the title in just his second season. 

That is F1 racing for me, i love it and always will unless something drastically stupid is done by the F.I.A. in which i will try my best to still watch it and enjoy it. I hope after whoever is reading this does so, they watch a race or at least become somewhat interested in what is in my opinion the greatest sport on earth.

jon c