March 2, 2007

Grrrr....

Sorry to all of those who read this blog. The usual Friday band article wont be posted today. Maybe tomorrow. I have a lot of homework to do before spring break. Plus my computer is on the fritz (more on that later). So I've been sitting here in the library, reading an Ethos and waiting...

I've been waiting for my computer. It has hit an all time low. My little Fujitsu Lifebook never liked running iTunes, but now it seems to hate it altogether. I've had problems with my CD drive not working, which seem to have gotten worse since I dropped my laptop last summer (I was not happy). So it makes sense when it takes me 3 hours to rip an album to my computer. But now I already have all the songs on my computer, they are just in .wav format. I bought a few songs on iTunes and thought I would add them to my iPod, but then I realized I had almost 7 CDs worth of songs waiting to be added too. It's been 45 minutes now and it's half-way through the fifth song. Fifty-five more to go!

I need a new computer.

March 1, 2007

The RIAA Strikes Again

The RIAA is at it again. Personally I think they are a little crazy. Yes, they are doing their job, but suing teenagers is not a respectable business plan. Their newest deal is allowing the college students they sue to settle out of court, by paying with a credit card on a website! They claim it will be cheaper than going to court (probably true), but apparently some teens are fighting back. And winning! My good friend Ryan wrote about what he found on his site Cybernet News. Check out his article for even more on this story: RIAA Creates Website for College Students to Settle. (I got the picture from him, with his permission of course).

My Unorganized Thoughts: Sometimes I cannot stand the RIAA. They bring me good music (sometimes), but at a price. In the past (say 2000-ish) they attributed a drop in album sales to Peer-to-Peer downloading with programs like Napster. Personally, I think it was because CD prices were higher than ever (over twenty dollars an album?!), and generally bad music. Honestly, can you think of any good bands from that time? All I can remember is boy bands and pop princesses topping the charts. Luckily the record industry dropped prices and started pumping the airwaves with other kinds of music (enter Indy etc.).

Here's a comic from Toothpaste for Dinner. I think it resonates well with my thoughts, but in a much funnier way.

February 27, 2007

Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol was formed in 1994 by three guys from Northern Ireland and Scotland. The band's original name was Polar Bear. After legal threats from an American band of the same name, they changed it to Snow Patrol in 1997. Their past two CDs, Final Straw and Eyes Open, have helped the band climb the charts in both the UK and the USA. For more information about the band click the Wikipedia link below.

Let me just state right off the bat that Snow Patrol is one of my favorite bands right now. Final Straw was the first album I heard of theirs, and I loved it. It was heartfelt, simple but elegant, and the entire album flowed together as one cohesive thought. If you cannot tell, the concept of a single does not sit well with me. Albums are way more powerful in my mind. And Final Straw is just that. Although the album produced five singles, it is still very much entity to me.

Their latest album Eyes Open is also a great CD, but it has a little different feel to it. A few songs are acoustic, a few straight Indy-rock and there's even one song featuring Martha Wainwright's vocals (which I love). You can even hear instruments like marimbas, bells, vibes, piano, tympani, and assorted strings. The lyrics are probably my favorite part of the whole album. Practically every song could be a love song, and many of them are. Here is what lead singer Gary Lightbody has to say about their first single from Eyes Open:

Chasing Cars is the only love song that I've ever written that doesn't have a kind of a dark side to it. It's completely joyous, hopeful, sweet, romantic, kind of song. The reason why I don't write songs like that all the time is that I don't feel like that all the time. Hardly ever, to be honest.
My closing thoughts? I wish I could write more eloquently about such a powerful band. Check out Snow Patrol. You know you want to...


Fun Fact: The band was the final ever act to perform on long-running BBC music show Top of the Pops, performing "Chasing Cars" on the show's penultimate edition (wiki).

Internship Update!

I sent Cerner an email yesterday with that dates for my visit. I'm excited to get to see their world headquarters. I've heard the place is amazing. I'm also excited to see Kansas City. Hopefully the city will have as much culture as Minneapolis. I've heard KC is very much like the mini-apple, except without St. Paul next door. That's fine with me, since I tend to stick to uptown and the 'burbs anyway.

I also learned recently that the interns at Cerner are spending the summer in the "apartment suites" of a college in downtown KC. I think they might be at UMKC. That means that my friend may be living in the same building as me. That would be great, since I've never been to KC. I would have someone to explore with. Also, since we would be on campus hopefully there will be coffee shops and independent record stores close by. I plan on researching those things further, assuming I get an offer.

The next step is to head to Kansas City in a little under a month for a tour. I can't wait!

February 26, 2007

Bloc Party - I Still Remember

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."

-Ludwig van Beethoven