Sunday, July 27, 2008

wedding day

So yesterday a good friend of mine finally got married...he's 49. My wife and I have known him since he was our teacher in high school, 14 years ago. Since then, he and I coached together and I even began my teaching career in his room.

I remember him talking about his first date with her last year at lunch with "the guys". As I look back I can see that he was optimistic, but not too much. With good reason I guess, you go that long without being married you tend to think it might never happen.

I am proud of him for finding someone. My wife and I kept commenting on how happy he looked. I wish them the best of luck.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More...More: 2008 albums

Ok here we go again. I just finished talking about Black Comedy and how they have a great industrial sound and awesome album, but a horrible name and then comes along Double Dragon. Yes Double Dragon. A popular video game series is now the name of a band...a pretty good band. They have an album coming out called Devastator which could be my metalcore pick over 36 Crazyfists... who knows though.

This year has been a crazy one for albums. If I was to guess for a top 10 now...
1. Metallica - Death Magnetic (it's Metallica)
2. Testament - The Foundation of Damnation
3. Eluveitie - Slania
4. Into Eternity - Incurable Tragedy
5. All That Remains - Overcome
6. The Human Abstract -
7. Protest the Hero - Fortress
8. 36 Crazy Fists - The Tide and Its Taker
9. Mercenary - Architectures of Lies
10.Biomechanical - Cannibalized

That is a solid list, but I left off
In Flames
Black Comedy
Double Dragon
My Minds Weapon
Iced Earth

Maybe All That Remains, Mercenary, and 36 Crazyfists come off...replaced by Trivium, My Minds Weapon, Double Dragon, and Raunchy? ARGHHH this is gonna be tough!

Friday, July 25, 2008

who knew?

this is a double post from my Myspace blog.

I had a myspace? I thought I closed it about 3 years ago. I created ne to see what my students were saying about me and thought I closed it. It wasn't til an old friend, Adam, requested to add me as his friend that I realized I didn't close it.

This time, I am using it to find music. I am tired of having to log in as my wife to download a song. If you are expecting for me to leave comments on your page...probably not gonna happen (I'm so popular I would be leaving comments all day )

That pretty much sums it up. My Myspace page is HERE

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are you kidding me?

This turning out to be a hell of a year for music. I just finish a review of All That Remain's last album, The Fall of Ideals, and this week they posted two new songs on their Myspace. Their last album was a masterpiece, which I said here, so it will be hard to top it. The new stuff sounds good. Relinquish sounds like it could have come off Ideals. Before the Damned is a little heavier than other ATR material. They have never released two albums that sounded the same so this isn't a shock to me.

On top of this news comes out today of Deadlock releasing an album in November. Wolves made my top 10 last year and I have some high expectations for this one too. Stay tuned for music.

I was all ready to put Raunchy's latest as my "industrial metal" album...then I heard Black Comedy. Holy crap..take Susperia with good Mnemic and you have Black Comedy. Horrible name, but the music is classic heavy industrial metal. Listen HERE.

Tough top 10 this year...ought to be an exciting finish.

Friday, July 18, 2008

And so it begins...*UPDATED*

the rest of 2008's great year of music that is. With albums from Metallica, All That Remains, Into Eternity, and Trivium sure to make waves in my top 10 list, other bands are releasing albums that are looking to be just as solid. Bands like Soulfly and The Human Abstract are two bands that I am also looking forward to hearing.

Soulfly's last album, Dark Ages, was a classic combination of thrash metal and tribal metal. Songs like Babylon and I and I are simply classics. Max Cavalera reunited with his brother earlier in the year to release Cavalera Conspiracy, which had it's moments, but probably won't make my top 10. They released their first single from the album, Unleash, and it seems to be in the same vein as Dark Ages so who knows...what the video for yourself and decide.


The Human Abstract are a band that is similar in style to that of Protest the Hero. That sort of chaotic metal with death growls and clean vocals...great stuff. They released a couple of songs on their Myspace which have me thinking that this album could be better than Protest the Hero's Fortress. You can listen to the new songs HERE.

Not but certainly not least is Into Eternity, which is a band that I love a lot. They have a song from their new album on their myspace as well. My one complaint about The Scattering of Ashes was the more straight forward music, not a lot of time/tempo changes. With the song they have released, that seems to have disappeared. Now this is also a concept album, so who knows what to expect. I do notice a lack of a solo in the song, but I doubt rhis will be a St. Anger type album. Anyway take a listen HERE.

Oh yeah Metallica have named their album, Death Magnetic, interesting name...I saw an "in the studio video" and the solo I heard seriously could have been off of And Justice For All...I know that may come across as a little "fanboy-ish", but I am really excited about this one.

*UPDATE 7-18-08* so the day after I post this Metallica release the artwork for the new album. Here it is
I have heard that alot of the white around the magnetic irons will be removed. It's not the best cover I have seen, especially when you compare it to classic like Master of Puppets, AJFA, and Ride the Lightning. But as most have noted, the old logo is back. Here are some samples from the new album too.

Tirades of Truth: All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals

Ok one of the main purposes of this blog was to give my reviews of albums. I did a few early on, but obviously got away from it. So now I am starting up again with the tag "Tirades of Truth" for all of my album reviews.

I have talked about what a stellar year it has been for metal albums and how difficult it is going to be to make a top 10 list. On top of that there are still at least 5 albums that could easily be in the top 10; Metallica, Into Eternity, All That Remains, Trivium, Soulfly, and The Human Abstract. So I will take a look back at those bands last album to see what we might get this time.

So finally onto the review. All That Remains was a band I discovered after getting into Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage. When I found out the lead singer, Phil Labonte, was the former lead singer of Shadows Fall I thought can't be bad. So I tracked down their debut Behind Silence and Solitude. I was immediately impressed. This is what metalcore should sound like. You had the hardcore vocals and sing-a-longs with some killer guitar work. This isn't a total shred-fest, but some heart and soul went into the songs. So I was really looking forward to the follow-up, This Darkened Heart. I was so disappointed by this album. It was like KsE with simple guitar solos. Everything that made their debut special was gone. Generic scream verses with clean mediocre.

So that brings us to The Fall of Ideals. The albums kicks off with the best song on the album, This Calling. Not only is it the best song on the album, but the intro just grabs you by the throat and shakes the hell out of you. The riff is reminiscent of the classic "galloping" riff of old Iced Earth. The drumming is relentless and never lets up. I notice that the verses are sung with the scream/growls and the choruses are clean, but it works so much better than TDH. With the next few songs you start to notice that the verses are also sung with clean vocals adding a big sense of variety to the album.

Phil's clean singing has improved a ton, which is what really makes this album go. Right when you think you have the album figured out, along comes The Weak Willed. No clean singing here, in fact the vocals would fit better in a brutal death metal band...but it works. It's a great change of pace. Especially the end of the song with the acoustic guitar work.

Guitar work is stellar. On their debut the solos had that something. On TDH, they seemed forced. With TFoI, they return to those solos that seem to just flow perfectly with the music. It Dwells on Me, Six, and Whispers are perfect examples of the guitar work. It's not rushed, it's not done to show how well they can play the scales.

There isn't one bad song on this album. From start to finish it works. The Weak Willed might be the hardest song for most, but as I said it breaks the album up just enough to keep it flowing.

Hopefully they will try to keep the magic going on their new one, Overcome, but who knows. Besides this album isn't going anywhere.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cinemassacre: Top 10 Riddler riddles

OK I have been waiting to post some of his videos, but trying to find some that don't contain too much cussing takes awhile. Anyways, the AVGN (James Rolfe) is a classic character. He is a bit younger than me, but we have pretty similar tastes in alot of things. I found him by watching his Nintendo reviews on Gametrailers. com, but he is much more than that. His "regular" movie reviews and top 10 lists are great.

I am a huge fan of Batman and like James I grew up watching re-runs of the 60's version. Here is his top 10 list of the Riddler's top riddles.


He is also doing a 3 part series of Batman on film. It's pretty good. I will post that later. enjoy

Summer School

I can't believe I only have 2 weeks left of summer school & I haven't posted anything on it. In a nutshell;
- good class (couple loud kids)
- Alg. B is easier in the summer than Alg. 2
- hardest test of summer is today
- forgot what it was like teaching next to another teacher

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Right Now: Updates to site

So I am trying to catch up with posts and here are the latest changes
- updated my banner (larger with more bands)
- added a "Top Artists of the Week" from
- put up some iMixes of my top metal albums going back to 2004
- hoping to add some more widgets later this month...stay tuned.

What can brown do for you? Start doin' your freakin' jobs!

Ok so it has been awhile since I posted on my "adventures" at UPS. When I left off, I was headed back to the sort aisle to work with a new group of sups who would eventually become some of my closest friends at UPS and outside of work. I now had almost a year of experience under my belt, including some load side experience which separated me from everyone in the unload/sort. Being that I had the second most experience, after Rob S., I realized that I had to step up and be the lead supervisor for the back. Adrian was my sort partner and P.J. was my unload partner. It was some of the most enjoyable times at UPS. Not to mention future sups/friends were working for us as sorters (Trevor & Andrew).

So anyway, my new full time supervisor, Tom, was a pretty good sup. He was always trying to keep the building running smooth even if it cost us in the back. He also wanted to end missorts. So he came up with this idea of wearing hand stamps. Basically, the sorters wore these letters on their hands, then when they picked up the package it would stamp the box. If it was a missort, we could track who sorted it. theory.

We also had a new building manager, Dave, from Palm Springs. Dave had a red-ish tint to him, from all the sun I think. Anyways, the funny thing about Dave was that he would always talk about Palm Springs and compare it to Ontario. Now Palm Springs processed about 3-5 trailers a night versus our 15-20...yeah we bought into what he was telling us .

So part of the problem with the stamps was that when it got cold in the building, they froze. Seriously, you could put the ink on the stamps and instead of soaking into the stamp the ink would float on top and look like something from Terminator 2. The other problem was that it slowed down our sorters. Because they started to ask us to have the sorters verify that the stamp was on the box, instead of just grabbing.

So one morning, we were letting the stamps soak up the ink and we were just flowing. About 40 minutes til break we were getting calls asking about missorts and stamps. Now Tom was out of the building that day, and we were left on our own. So there wasn't much time before break and I told Adrian, former sorter turned sup, we would put them on after break.

We get a call from Dave to meet us at the time clock where the stamps were. We showed up and he looked pissed and broken. He asked us why they weren't wearing the stamps. I just said we were letting them soak and didn't go back to put them on. No excuses, we just didn't do it. I don't think he expected that response because he just got redder than usual and looked like he was going to burst. He looked at us and just went off.

"That's the problem with this building. We put things in place to fix them and you just decide not to do them. You all think you know what's right and how to fix things, but if you did then we wouldn't be so bad. Now after break you are going to put these stamps on and start doin' your freakin' jobs!"

It was a thing of beauty. He left Adrian and I looked at each other and laughed a little. That was Dave's moment for us. That quote was used over and over by Adrian and I for the next 4 years. Dave was only in the building for about 3 maybe 4 months. He couldn't adjust from such a small operation to one the size of ours.

Enter: Lou. This is where we become classic UPS.
Now playing: All That Remains - This Calling
via FoxyTunes

Friday, July 11, 2008

Venting the Anger: New Fear My Thoughts

Remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about changing vocalists? I mentioned that fear My Thoughts had changed vocalists and the samples were pretty weak. Vulcanus was a killer album, They posted the album on their Myspace. Gone are anything At the Gates, melodic death metal references and in it's place is generic radio metal. Listen at your own risk.

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: BSG last season

trying to get caught up on let me start off with my favorite show on t.v. right now, Battlestar Galactica. So they are pulling the "let's show half the season then wait 9 months before we finish it" crap again. After season 3 we were left with the revelation of 4 of the final five cylons. We had to wait over a year before the new season...thanks in part to the writer's strike. So now we leave the mid season with the fleet finally finding Earth...except it is totally destroyed.

There are so many solid storylines going on right now. Who is the final cylon, did Starbuck die, is Tory going to screw over the fleet, when is the President going to die, and what's up with the "Last Supper" Picture?

This photo is supposed to tell secrets of the final season. Ok that's cool. But the picture is "changing" The President (far left) used to have a candle in front of's now gone. And Six (red dress) was positioned more left and now is moving to the center...WTF?!?! And the missing seat is supposed to be the final cylon. So everyone talks about how the last cylon can't be in the picture. It is driving me crazy and I can't wait until next January to find out the ending.

Now playing: Metallica - Disposable Heroes
via FoxyTunes

not again

I am getting tired of posting about students dying, but it happened again. We had a senior who I knew and my wife actually knew when she worked at the district day care when he was in elementary school. You can read about it HERE.

My heart aches for the family. About a month ago everyone was happy because of this.