Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trailer: A Nightmare On Elm Street (Teaser)

Dear Michael Bay,
Let's talk about how you're destroying my childhood, shall we?

Now, maybe I'm not your average girl, but I grew up watching the A Nightmare On Elm Street movies. Wes Craven is my horror God. And no, Mr. Bay, I wasn't happy when I found out they'd even be making another movie, let alone an actual remake. I thought, well, maybe they'll get Robert Englund anyway. I knew that he was really too old to play Freddy - he was nearly too old when Freddy V. Jason came out back in 2003.

I was upset by the change in Freddy. But I came around, when I found out that this all had Wes Craven's blessing. I thought, well, maybe it'll be okay after all.

I got cranky when I found out that Freddy wouldn't be a child molester. That's, you know, kind of why they burned the Son of a Hundred Maniacs alive in the first place.

I've got to hand it to you, Mr. Bay, you almost had me. You see, I watched the teaser trailer, and it almost, almost sucked me in. The shoutouts to the old flicks (the girls jumping rope, the "1, 2..." rhyme, the glove in the bathtub) made me happy.

Then I saw your interpretation of Fred Kruger, my psycho serial killer homicidal maniac Dream Master idol.

I am not amused, Mr. Bay. I entered into this believing that Freddy Kruger would actually look like Freddy Kruger. Not like a burn victim who got treatment and survived. Sorry, Mr. Bay, but your Freddy Kruger is not juicy enough to make me happy.

And that voice, Mr. Bay! What were you thinking when you decided that would be a good way for Freddy Kruger to sound? He's not menacing! He wouldn't scare me! He sounds like a pathetic little old man!

Mr. Bay, if you were trying to do good by the legacy that was created for Fred Kruger long before anyone knew who you were, you have failed.


PS: I'm going to go watch Johnny Depp get eaten by a bed now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Leslie Simon & Trevor Kelley - "Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture"

Please don't think I'm taking anything in this book seriously.

I've read one of Trevor Kelley's books before, and I enjoyed it. It's all very tongue in cheek, jokey kind of stuff. Or maybe I'm just not as emo as I've been led to believe.

Anyway, so basically, this is a whole book dedicated to teaching you how to be emo, and simultaneously making fun of emo kids.

If you don't know what an emo kid is... why are you on the internet? Seriously, Google it. Something will come up. I promise. Also, before I get into this, I'm what's considered an emo kid. Um, or I thought I was until I read this book!

So it breaks down the beginnings of emo, starting with the founding way back in the day in DC. Fuck yeah, I moved to the birthplace of emo! Wait, I can't legitimately be excited about that. It profiles what kind of emo kid you are (for the record, I'm "frat emo" which is kind of like not even being emo at all except for I listen to a lot of Taking Back Sunday and get the snot beaten out of me at shows by the Bros Who Are Gay For Taking Back Sunday), what kind of relationships you're going to have if you like a certain kind of emo dude (if you're into the Chris Carrabba type, if you're into the Adam Lazzara type, etc - it's all going to end badly but who's counting).

There's actually a pretty interesting list of venues (Emo's in Austin, DC's own Black Cat), vegan restaurants, and albums that are essential to any emo kid (The Promise Ring, etc). Basically, it teaches you how to be an Emo Kid if that's what you want to be.

One of my favorite things about this book comes from it having been published in 2006 - it mentions Pete Wentz's supposed fling with Ashlee Simpson and makes a joke about how ridiculous that is. And look what happened!

Maybe it's a little outdated, but it's not that big of a deal. It's still an interesting read, and if you're emo or know someone who is... give it a shot.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jennifer's Body

Here's my whole review: Megan Fox closed her mouth. HONEST TO GOD. It may have been for .5 seconds, but she did it.

I mean, okay, that's not my whole review. But seriously. Megan Fox closed her mouth. I know you're shocked.

So okay. I don't know about all these Diablo Cody-isms that all the reviews I've read about online are talking about because I'm the only under-30 female in the entire world that hasn't seen Juno. So whatever. I'm also really into shitty horror movies and this fit my criteria. Man, was it cheesy. And great. And cheesy. And I made myself sick on popcorn.

So, there's Jennifer, who is played by Megan Fox, who is That Girl Everyone Wants To Be Friends With/Loves To Hate/Inexplicably Wants To Fuck Whether You're Male or Female. Or maybe that's just me. I have a girlcrush on Megan Fox now. Fucking thighs. I mean, wait, what?
Anyway, basically the whole movie is lain out so that you get to find out why Amanda Seyfried's character, Anita AKA Needy (that's the WORST NICKNAME EVER and she should cut some bitches over that), is in a mental asylum/women's prison.

But you know what the best part is? The reason WHY Jennifer is a psycho killer demon. No, I'm not going to tell you what that is, because it's seriously the greatest idea in the history of, oh, I don't know, existence. And I'm jealous I didn't think of it. One of my coworkers, when I told her about it, said she just wanted to ask Cody how she even came up with this sort of thing.

Also recommended for: people who love to hate Brandon Flowers. Because that's who Adam Brody is playing. He's the ultra sleazy version of B-Flow fronting a kind-of-terrible band called Low Shoulder. Okay, I'm lying, they're not kind-of-terrible. I liked them. I'm that kind of girl.
So anyway, everything goes to hell when Jennifer decides that she wants to eat Needy's boyfriend Chip. I'm not sure why either of them are with Chip. He flexes in his underwear in a mirror to Panic! At The Disco. Neither girl has what he needs. (Which is a penis. In his anus. I'm just saying.)

Anyway, the following people should see this movie: people who like cheesy horror flicks. People who love/hate B-Flow. People who enjoy ridiculousness. Girls or boys who want to bang Megan Fox.

I'm gonna buy it on DVD when it comes out. - Julieann

Jennifer's Body has quite an awesome beginning. I'm a big fan of Amanda Seyfried and I was so excited to see her in a role different from anything I've ever seen her do before. I don't know how she finds all of these parts that are crazy-different from each other but she is amazing in all of them. If you're not a long time fan, get on it. She's been in Veronica Mars, Big Love, Mamma Mia and now this. There's a little something for everybody

I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie like this. Say what you want about Diablo Cody but her plots are original and her characters are funny. I wasn't bothered by the language either, so I'm also unsure what the criticism was about. I did see Juno and was a bit distracted by all the slang, which didn't seem to be a problem this time. Whether it was there or not, maybe we missed it, or maybe it just fit the tone of the movie. When people said ridiculous things, we laughed. Isn't that what you're supposed to do?

What was the tone anyway? Was it supposed to be comedy? Horror? Adventure? I have no clue but I had a good time. It's one of those movies that we tend to keep seeking out, the ones that are supposed to be scary or dramatic but end up hilarious. It's just a question of why you're at the movies. Do you like to have fun? Do you want to laugh? Do you think that a movie can be both disgusting and witty? Horrifying and hilarious? Jennifer's Body was. Maybe it helps to have someone beside you trading snarky comments of your own. You have to make your own good time!

The only thing I have to complain about is that this movie is horribly misrepresented and that most people who don't read blogs all day long haven't even heard of it. Look, you do not need to give one shit about Megan Fox. You do not need to find her attractive or smart or enjoyable in any way. It's probably better if you don't, because she is utterly disgusting in parts of this movie and it's kind of awesome. The trailer wants you to believe that this movie pits boy-eating monster girl Jennifer against bookish nerd Needy in a battle for Needy's boyfriend. That...is not nearly the beginning of it. To me, it was Needy's story, hands down. The movie begins and ends with her. She has an amazing arc and if you've liked Seyfried in anything else, ever, you're probably going to love her in this too. - Lanie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Listen: The Used - "Blood on My Hands"

I'm not really that into The Used. I like some of their songs, but I don't think I could ever see them live, since singer Bert McCracken grosses me out pretty seriously. I feel like it would be like the time I saw From First To Last and Sonny Moore actually made me gag. Yes, I am for real. Unfortunately for this song, it sounds like Metallica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls." Or not unfortunately, since that's from Back When Metallica Was Good. I'll headbang to it in the car sometime in the future. - Julieann

I'm surprised to say that I kind of enjoyed this. Despite owning two of their albums, I wouldn't call myself the hugest fan of The Used. There was crowd singing, there was screaming but there was still melody. All in all, it was kind of epic. I'm excited to hear the new album if the rest of it is like this. - Lanie

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Listen: We The Kings - "Heaven Can Wait"

There's a lot more piano than you normally hear in a We The Kings song (with the exception of, I think, "This Is Our Town"), which I'm into. We The Kings are entirely my vapid pop-punk cotton candy of choice (which you know if you've read our review of All Time Low's Nothing Personal). Also, they seem like nice dudes and I am amused by their singer on Twitter. I like this song, and I'm actually kind of excited that they're currently recording a new album. - Julieann

I'm not a huge We The Kings fan. In fact, this may be the first time I've listened to them while being aware who was playing. I wasn't too impressed. It is pretty generic as far as pop-punk goes. Anyone could be singing this. The only thing that caught my attention was that the chorus kind of reminded me of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You." I'd rather be listening to that. - Lanie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak

I picked up this book for four bucks at Books A Million a few months ago, thinking that it was more like something in the vein of Patricia McCormick's Cut, which I read in Spring 2008 for a young adult lit class I was taking in school.

I was surprised to find out that it wasn't like that at all.

It's the story of a girl named Melinda who's a social pariah for calling the cops to a end-of-summer party. Her friends hate her - people she doesn't know hate her. She sinks into a depression that robs her of her ability to speak - hence the title of the book. Every time she's pressured to say something, she finds her throat closing up, and she stays silent. Her physical inability to talk to people mirrors her inability to talk about what happened to her at that end-of summer party, an incident that is danced around before she finally finds the ability to tell someone.

I was surprised how good the book was. It's got a very strange set-up. There aren't real chapters, a lot of the dialogue is presented as

Mom: saying something

with Melinda's silences as blank spaces on the page. The book is divided into sections by the school year, each quarter ending with a rundown of Melinda's grades as she skips school and doesn't turn in homework.

It's a very fast read, and kind of heart wrenching if you've ever been through depression. Melinda just wants everything to go away, just wants to run away and hide, and no one will allow her to do that.

In the end, though, maybe things aren't perfect, but Melinda regains the ability to talk about what happened to her and to deal with the past that is haunting her.

I knocked this book out in a couple of hours, so if you've got some time, give it a go. It's worth it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saosin - "In Search of Solid Ground"

I like that the second this CD starts, you know that it’s Saosin. I like that they have a recognizable sound – I don’t like it when you hear something and you’re like, wtf is this? Then you realize that it’s a band that you really like… except it doesn’t sound like them at all.

Anyway, one thing I have to say about Saosin is that I know a lot of people who think they’re great dudes. I don’t know, because the time I saw them I didn’t stick around to meet any of them. Whatevs. Armor For Sleep was their opener, my bad. But they do put on a pretty enjoyable show, I’m not gonna lie.

I also appreciate that they’re fronted by Cove Reber now instead of Anthony Green (of Circa Survive) because I definitely prefer Reber’s voice to Green’s.

One thing that I don’t like about this CD is that sometimes the lyrics don’t really make that much sense. That’s the only real nitpick that I have with this CD. Other than the really long ending at the end of the track “On My Own,” that is. I hate that, and it’s one thing that I really wish wasn’t on the CD.

Saosin does a really killer ballad-type song. What got me into them was hearing “You’re Not Alone” from their first CD when I’d listen to Sirius Radio (Alt Nation FTW!) at work on Saturdays. So naturally, I gravitate toward tracks like “The Alarming Sound of a Still Small Voice” and “Fireflies (Light Messengers)” on this album. Actually, “Fireflies (Light Messengers)” is my favorite track on the disc, hands down. I love this vibe from Saosin.

I wish I’d been able to do a track-by-track first listen of this, and to give a better feel, but I bought it pretty late at night (at Target, which was almost a tragedy because we couldn’t FIND the damn thing and I was getting frustrated), ripped it to my computer, then took it in my car to listen to on the way to/from work the next morning.

On the whole, I can see how a lot of people wouldn’t like it, because there’s not much of a progression from the first CD, other than there’s more solidity to the sound. They haven’t changed a lot, and I’m pretty sure that I’m fine with that. I’m getting what I go to Saosin for.

It’s a good thing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Curtis Sittenfeld: American Wife


American Wife is one hell of a book. First of all, it's a commitment. It's almost 600 pages. Considering that it's decent quality writing, that's quite a substantial chunk of text. The book is split up into four sections, which are then split up into main story lines and current events interspersed with smaller vignettes relating to the matter at hand. If you're familiar with Sittenfeld's other work; Prep and The Man of My Dreams, it seems to be her standard format.

The protagonist in American Wife, Alice Blackwell, is loosely based on Laura Bush, but is also not unlike the main characters in her previous novels. I've read both of her previous books this year, so it's impossible for me to take this one completely at face value. All that considered, I thought this was a great book, much better than her last two. Prep was a bit of a struggle to get through, but her style was a bit unlike anything else I'd ever read. Once I knew what I was getting into, I liked each book after that even more. American Wife could be taken alone, I'm sure, but for full enjoyment, I'd recommend reading the other two first.

What was great about American Wife was that I didn't expect to buy into the story the way I did. How does one find oneself married to a man like George W. Bush and still remain a sympathetic character?

The book begins with that question in a way. Alice is in bed with her husband in the White House, wondering how her life has become what it is. The book travels into the past where a traumatic incident changes Alice's life and completely shapes what it will become. Even knowing the inevitable, I found it impossible not to wonder how it would all play out. It was all more interesting that I expected.

I'm not doing this book justice. It's hard to cover that much story without revealing anything that would ruin Alice revealing it for you. It's worth it to leave that up to her.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Laurell K Hamilton: Skin Trade (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series)

So let's talk about Laurell K. Hamilton!

Skin Trade is the latest novel in her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, aka the Power of the Month Club, aka the Biggest Mary Sue Known To Man. And... it's good? Like... seriously.

It's a thick damn book. I bought it in hardcover, because all of my ABVH books since I bought my first way back when I was a senior in high school (which was, you know, only like seven years ago) have been hardcover. I have to have them right when they come out. It's a thing. It's like I hate myself.

Now, what you need to know is that when the series started, they were supernatural murder mysteries, and the heroine, Anita Blake, was only an animator (as in, she raises the dead for a living). She wasn't a necromancer, vampire's human servant, werewolf pack's queen, wereleopard pack's queen, succubus, or anything else. And this shit was good. Then she started having sex, became a succubus, and the books were mostly really terribly written erotica. (No, seriously. Anne Rice's erotica is better. And I hate Anne Rice.)

This happened around book ten, Narcissus in Chains. And then it went on terribly for about five books (including a book about My Most Disliked Character, Micah, that I didn't even bother reading), before finally going back to being more like a murder mystery in The Harlequin. (And then backsliding a little with a pity sex opener in Blood Noir that sent me howling into class the next morning to bitch to my one and only ABVH reading friend.)

This all has a point, I promise.

And that point is that there was absolutely zero sex in Skin Trade until chapter 60. Yeah dude. And it was GREAT because Anita was in Las Vegas, solving crime away from the five billion dudes she's banging with Edward (everyone's favorite sociopath!), Olaf (everyone's favorite sociopathic serial killer), and Bernardo (meh).

It is with great pride that I can say this is the best cotton candy I have read from Hamilton in several years. I love her stuff, I honestly do, but J. Christ, it has been crap for a good long while. And Skin Trade was actually, you know, pretty awesome. I should've known, because the last couple of Merry Gentry (Hamilton's other series) books I've read have been really good, as well.

If you're a fan of Hamilton, you've probably already read Skin Trade. If you're not a fan of Hamilton, you probably need to start at the beginning of the series and slog through like all the rest of us have. If you're a former fan of Hamilton, then you might want to pick the series up again, because it's... actually kind of good again. (Although I really, really recommend picking up The Harlequin first, or you're going to be confused as hell. I mean, I've read The Harlequin, and I was, because it was long enough ago that I couldn't remember what happened.)

So, Ms. Hamilton:
I can't take back all those not-so-nice things I wrote about Anita-as-a-Mary-Sue in my essay last fall (on the bright side - I still hate Stephenie Meyer more and could never consume her as my personal printed cotton candy like I can you), but I'm glad you've finally taken a turn for the better.

My favorite thing about this book was Olaf. Can we see him and Edward more? Thanks. :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

First Listen: Brand New - "Daisy"

Track One: Vices
This album did not get off to a good start for me. Any time the album opener makes you go "what the fuck?" and say something along the lines of "this band has never made me want to kill myself before but I think I'll make an exception today" is not a good sign. In fact, I kind of feel like it set the tone for how I felt about most of the rest of the album. This song went from the terrible choir solo to unrepentant screaming, and the guitar riff sounded like he lifted it straight from Taking Back Sunday's "Bike Scene," which he very well may have done, because that's how we roll in the Long Island scene. I'm not digging the full-on hardcore feel of this song. Too much screaming, can't understand the lyrics. - Julieann

I want to ditto the above. I'm not sure how you review what you completely don't understand. I don't think this would get better with time. - Lanie

Track Two: Bed
I spent most of this track actually watching my cat be very confused by the steam coming from a pot on the stove. Like, seriously. But at least this was the Brand New we all know and love. Except for they're apparently taking their lyrical cues from The Spill Canvas, because these lyrics are some weird shit. This song sounds pretty much like the latter half of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, which is where the stuff I skip lives. - Julieann

This track is vastly better than the one before it, not that it would take much. - Lanie

lanie: I don't hate this. I mean, as far as repetition goes, this is how you do it. We've listened to a lot of bands do it worse lately, I feel like.
julieann: brand new are really good at the repetition thing. see example: limousine
lanie: mmm yes
lanie: I wish the drums were a little heavier
lanie: It's the kind of thing I could lose my shit to, live.
julieann: i feel like they're putting enough words into it to make the repetition worthwhile. it's not like at the end of the young veins' "change" where they're just yelling a word over and over.
julieann: yeah, i could dig this live. in fact, that track that's more hardcore would probably be good live, but only by virtue of getting to watch jesse lacey be crazy

Track Three: At The Bottom
This is the lead single for this album, so I've already heard it a couple of times and it's had a little bit of time to grow on me. And admittedly, it has done so, but it wasn't an off-the-bat "holy shit I love this song," like I felt about (still feel about!) "Sowing Season (Yeah)" from The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me. Alternative Press's review of Daisy mentions that this song is like "Jesus Christ"'s (from TDAG) evil twin. They're not wrong. - Julieann

There is something about Jesse Lacey's voice or tone in this song that's vaguely reminiscent of Michael Stipe. It was seriously weird but that didn't make for a bad song, altogether. Other than that, it's typical Brand New. - Lanie

Track Four: Gasoline
I hated everything about this track right from the start. Like, seriously, there was nothing good about the strangely off-beat percussion, because the bass was not landing at the same time as the kick, and so it was just murdering my soul. Once there was some guitar to cover that up, it got a little better. Then there were 45 seconds of what kind of sounded like EVP. It sucked. - Julieann

There is so much religious imagery in all of these lyrics, I don't even know what to do with it. - Lanie

Track Five: You Stole
I kind of like this song in the way where I appreciate Brand New for being as boring as they are sometimes. But I listened to this song on my headphones after the initial listen for this review, and I actually like it less now. This was actually my favorite part of doing the review, because at some point it devolved into Lanie serenading me with Glassjaw, and then the both of us making crass jokes about Brand New and Taking Back Sunday. Whatever, we make our own fun, because clearly Brand New are not going to make it for us. - Julieann

The title is kind of apropos, considering that the chord progression was really close to that of Ape Dos Mil by Glassjaw. I would rather be listening to that than Brand New but I'll come back to that later. - Lanie

Track Six: Be Gone

The first thing I said about this track was literally "OH MY GOD THEY'RE BON JOVI." Lawlz. I think that's all I really have to say about that. This track was absolute shit. I honestly reached a point where I probably would bottle Jesse Lacey if I was ever subjected to this bullshit in person. Sing or get out of the studio, asshole, this shit isn't cute. - Julieann

You know how when you're little and you realize that speaking into a fan will produce a mechanical wah-wah sound to everything that you say? Would you like to hear this sound musically rendered by Brand New? Well do I have the track for you! - Lanie

Track Seven: Sink
This track starts out with screaming! YAY! Except not, and the startle I received from this nearly made me wet myself. I hate you right now, Jesse Lacey. I can't understand a single lyric in this song, and that is the reason I do not like hardcore. I also realized at this point that I'd unchecked (in iTunes) all but two songs on this album so far. Not a good sign. - Julieann

This is honestly where I gave up on my First Listen experience for this album. It was so chaotic, I wondered if I was going deaf or had suddenly turned 90 years old or something. It was all just a bunch of noise, children. I am over here, still shaking my cane, just in case you were curious. - Lanie

Track Eight: Bought A Bride
Before we even started reviewing this song, we had to take a moment to make some jokes at the Dupree sisters' expense. That usually happens anytime women are mentioned in conjunction with Brand New/Taking Back Sunday/Say Anything/New Found Glory. You see where this is going, I'm sure. Crass jokes aside, I could actually see rocking out to this song in a live way. I actualfax like this track. Genuinely! (Shocking, I know, considering my feelings toward the rest of the album.) However, I won't be rocking out to it live, at least on this next tour, because they're playing Sonar, AKA the Worst Venue In Baltimore*. - Julieann
* I don't know that it's actually the worst venue in Baltimore. It is, however, the worst venue I've been to anywhere ever, and that encompasses a lot of venues and some pretty bad experiences.

lanie: I can see enjoying several of these songs later, probably more live than any other way but on first listen, it's so...cacophonous.
julieann: i feel like brand new has always been a little cacophonous, but this is just... taking it to a level where it becomes less enjoyable.
julieann: but i definitely like this track best of what we've heard so far.
julieann: and i will admit that at the bottom did grow on me, so maybe i do just need to give the rest of this time. but i don't want to, is the problem
lanie: which makes me feel really old to say but at first, it's all just noise until you work for the melody. why should I have to work for it? why's there so much craziness, guys? we've heard feedback before, we've heard loud guitars before. it's not new and it's not exciting.
julieann: it's like going to a show at sonar, and we all know that's no fun.
julieann: i'm pretty seriously into pop punk, man. i'm not working to make your music good. you're supposed to do that for me.

Track Nine: Daisy
Woo, hymnal references! I know I needed to be taken back to my childhood days in the country Baptist church in which I was raised/most of my dead family has had their funerals. Awesomesauce. I am unimpressed, Jesse Lacey. I got really into this, and all of a sudden there were bird noises. I hate bird noises. And then there were little kids singing! It was like a sudden mashup of HORRIBLE THINGS. They do, however, do the one thing that I really enjoy from Brand New: plopping the melody over some really killer percussion. I like this song. Well, most of it. But I feel like I like it in the way where I like 3OH!3's "Don't Trust Me," where it'd be a great song if only it didn't have that stupid Hellen Keller part. - Julieann

Track Ten: In A Jar
I hate it. I hate the lyrics. Lanie mentions she feels like we're in the 90s, and I realize that listening to this song is a little bit like listening to Live's "Lightning Crashes," where it'd be a good song if only it made sense. Only less pleasant and with more screaming - Julieann

Track Eleven: Noro
The beginning of this track reminds me of Final Fantasy. Which is cool, I guess, because I really dig Final Fantasy. One thing I hate about Jesse Lacey is that sometimes he does this thing where he sounds like he's about to burst into tears. And man, I'm pretty emo, but you need to find your balls, Mr. Lacey. I enjoyed the percussion in this track, though. But just when I thought it was over and there'd just be an outro of static... the woman from the first track started to sing again. I howled with pain as she went sharp. - Julieann

Four keepers out of 11 (and only 3 after I gave "You Stole" another listen). Poor showing, Brand New. Considering how much I loved The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, this is disappointing indeed. - Julieann

Brand New is not an easy band to love, but they grow on you, not unlike mildew in your shower. And you hate cleaning. You want to keep them in your arsenal, you know? Bands you loved that refuse to pump out pop-punk song one after another. You admire them for that. What you have to grapple with is that evolution. Just like Lacey ENDLESSLY grapples with the concepts of marriage and religion, maybe you're dealing with different things. Maybe you don't want to hear children mid-song (Daisy) or endless distortion (see...most of the above). The thing is, they've been growing all along, and you were stuck with whatever they put out last. Live, it's so much less disturbing. I'd even venture to say that they're a great live band. Something gets lost under so many musical layers and the production. Lyrically, I'm not sure. It was hard to make out a lot of the lyrics because there was so much else going on. This album might be a grower but on first listen, it's just overwhelming...and not in a good way. - Lanie

julieann: and now we listen to sic transit gloria because it's the next song in the listing and... have a moment of silence for how great brand new used to be?