Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Need My Fix Of Mayhem

Check out the lineup for Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival:

Main Stage:
Marilyn Manson
Bullet For My Valentine
Special Guest (TBA, but rumoured to be Killswitch Engage)

Hot Topic Stage:
Cannibal Corpse
The Black Dahlia Murder
Job For A Cowboy

Jägermeister Stage:
All That Remains
God Forbid

Oh sweet, baby Jesus. I am SO there.

Pictures from last year's Mayhem festival:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

YouTube > Hollywood

I peed a little. You have to watch this. Barack Obama redoes "Single Ladies" by Beyonce.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freaks and Geeks

Want to see some freaks? Ride the train into New York. I've seen everything from Elvis impersonators to a guy leaving a trail of real blood behind him. Now, sitting across from me is some guy wearing two sets of reading glasses. Or maybe one pair of regular glasses and then one pair if reading glasses. Dude, they're called bifocals. They've been around since Benjamin Franklin invented them. Get some.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

U.S. Airways Can Suck It

Mobile Blogging from here.

I have been stuck at the Ronald Regan airport for 9 hours now. I arrived at 8:30 a.m. to check in for an 11:00 a.m. flight. The line for indoor check in for U.S. Airways filled the entire terminal. I waited outside for an hour and a half in a line to check in because the line was shorter there, only to be moved to another line halfway through around 10 a.m.. This line was inside, thankfully, and was especially for the U.S. Airways shuttle flights to Boston and Laguardia. Somehow, I still missed my flight. I had to wait another hour and a half to be re-booked, just like the other 20 peope who missed the flight. Lucky for me Laguardia is my last stop. The others I met in line weren't so fortunate, they all missed their connections. Anyway, I got re-booked for the 6 p.m. flight and therefore have one more hour to go before I board.

Katie, my roommate at UPIC also had an 11 a.m. flight, but with Delta, and she was home in Georgia before I even got a flight. It only took her 20 minutes if standing outside before she got her boarding pass. Outrageous.

So here I am, blogging from my phone because my laptop died and I packed my charger in my checked bag. It's discouraging to think of all the stuff I have left to do today. Once I get to Laguardia I have. To catch a cab to New York Penn, then I have to catch a train back to South Orange, followed by a mile walk to my apartment. After that I need to catch the SHUfly to campus so I can write/turn in an article and pictures about the inauguration for the Setonian.

Please, I just want to sleep. The person next to me better not try and talk to me or I'll punch them in the mouth. Don't think I won't.

Update: Apparently Kanye West, Fall Out Boy, and Kid Rock were at my hotel last night.

Presidential Inauguration: Day 5

Too tired to talk about it. Updates later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Presidential Inauguration: Day 4

We woke up at 1 am to get to the parade route at 2 am. Camped out at CVS till we got kicked out by Secret Service douches. Waited in the cold for 3 hours and watches the sun rise while nestled in a crowd of strangers. Finally the checkpoint opened and we were one of the first 20 people in. Currently: sitting in the front row of the parade route across the street from the Ronald Reagan Building And International Trade Center. The ceremony will begin in about an hour and a half and then the parade starts at 2:30. I'll be outside in 22 degree weather the whole time.

Update: the parade started and hour late due to Senator Kennedy's health crisis. The two hours waiting between the end of the swearing in ceremony ans the parade seemed longer than the 11 hours we waited all morning. The cold was biting, and the wind chill was unforgiving. Luckily, I had good friends and good company to keep me warm and my spirits high. However, I'm pretty sure I know have a nasty cold and minor frostbite. I am now departing for the Inaguration Ball and feel/look like a corpse.

Presidential Inauguration: Day 4

We woke up at 1 am to get to the parade route at 2 am. Camped out at CVS till we got kicked out by Secret Service douches. Waited in the cold for 3 hours and watches the sun rise while nestled in a crowd of strangers. Finally the checkpoint opened and we were one of the first 20 people in. Currently: sitting in the front row of the parade route across the street from the Ronald Reagan Building And International Trade Center. The ceremony will begin in about an hour and a half and then the parade starts at 2:30. I'll be outside in 22 degree weather the whole time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Inauguration: Day 3

First of all, let me start by saying announcing that John McCain is in my hotel, and Secret Service agents are made it impossible for me to get to my room. I had to take some disgusting service stairway. Real classy. I might go paparazzi on their ass try and get some pictures later though.

And now for an update from last night: my hotel, the Hilton Washington was evacuated at approximately 8 pm. This is Washington DC during the week of an inauguration, and the hotel is brimming with Secret Service agents. My conclusion? BOMB THREAT. The hotel's report? A guest was using Sterno in their room. BULLSHIT. I'm going with my theory.

Anyway, today I attended a few seminars of menial interest. One was with an artist manager at Jive, and she told us about her job and how to produce a platinum artist *yawn*. How about you just dish some juicy gossip on your clients instead of telling us how much a woman of your age still blasts pop music whenever she has the chance? I guess it was of slight interest though to finally hear someone tell the truth and admit that yes, record labels do control the images of their artists and mold them and their music into who the label wants them to be.

The next seminar was by the Editor At Large of Entertainment Weekly, Dalton Ross. He's a funny guy, and he spoke about pop culture and politics. Nothing educational by any means, except for maybe about campaign strategy. He mostly cracked jokes about train wreck celebrities. However, he did mention how he started off as a music journalist, so after his speech I spoke with him about how I am interning as a music journalists well, but one day hope to switch to daily news when I'm older. He encouraged me to do so, and said that there was nothing wrong with starting off in music. He also gave me a contact for getting a possible internship. Nice!

After seminars we were rushed outside to grab a boxed lunch, only to have to stand in the cold for about an hour waiting for buses to transport us to the University of Maryland to attend the keynote address of Al Gore. My roommate Katie and I decided to skip the line and eat our lunches in the hotel lobby. By the time we were done, we only had to wait five minutes outside to catch one of the last buses out. Upon arrival, chaos ensued as one group was leaving the field house, and two groups were trying to get in. I was sent in five different directions before I was somehow herded to the front of the line to enter the field house. This was a stroke of good luck, as I was able to grab a seat front and center on the floor in the 8th row.

The former vice president delivered a spirited address, receiving many rounds of applause and shouts of praise. He told us that despite our young age, we are still very capable of making a difference. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. The average age of the men in the control room in Houston, Texas was 26. That means 8 years ago, when John F. Kennedy issued the challenge to put a man on the moon, those men were only 18. Amazing, inspiring, and true! Mr. Gore also shared with us the three issues he believes are facing President-elect Obama. They are:


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Presidential Inauguration: Day 2

The positive energy in this city is amazing. My hair is constantly staticky, and I believe it's because this city is so overcome with hope, pride, and patriotism that's it's electrifying (corny, I know, but does anyone have a dryer sheet? This is getting out of hand...).

I started off the day at 4:15 am to take a shower, get ready, and leave for a keynote speech by retired the 65th Secretary of State, Four Star General Colin Powell. It was amazing. This man started off as the son of immigrant parents in South Bronx, barely graduated from the City College of New York with a 2.0 GPA, and through the army became the incredibly accomplished, and humorous, man he is today. "No excuses" was one of the precious pearls of knowledge he imparted to us. He emphasized in his speech that what happened in your past should not matter, it's what you do and how you perform in the future that counts. "Always look through the front windshield, not the side mirrors," he said. He encouraged us to be a person of purpose, because that is what makes a good leader. To have a vision, and INSPIRE rather than MOTIVATE people around you to help you make that vision a reality. "Leadership is not about you," he said, but rather it's about those you lead. According to Powell, motivating your followers does not make a good leader, but inspiring them does. Motivation is an external force, but inspiration comes from within, and therefore produces better results. Gen. Powell also informed us about President-Elect Barack Obama's and his "Restore America Together" campaign, that focuses on giving back to the community, and it's importance.

Upon returning from the keynote address fro Gen. Powell, I attended seminars with speakers like Mary Matalin, a former Presidential Adviser of George Bush, and a frequent Conservative political commentator on CNN. She has also written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and wrote a books like All's Fair, a national best-seller, and Letters To My Daughters. Matalin integrated her sense of humor into her presentation, including an anecdote about her memories of September 11th. She was in a meeting with Dick Cheney when he was whisked away right in front of her by soldiers to an underground bunker while she was told to "run for her life." She continued to describe how in red patent leather heels and a tight, purple pencil skirt she proceeded to "walk briskly for her life." Matalin spoke to us young leaders in the conference about how we are here to shape the future, and we should begin now. She informed us that Obama's speech writer is only 27 years old. 27 YEARS OLD! It shows that age is just a number, and we should not let it prevent us from doing great things.

Matalin's husband, James Carville, also spoke. Known as the "Ragin' Cajun" he is a political commentator to be reckoned with. You may also recognize him from his appearance in the movie Old School. It took Carville 11 years to graduate from college, an institution he encourages all young people to attend. "That was the best four years of my life," he paused, "...when I was a sophomore!" He continued to speak on a message to Gen. Powell; it's not your test scores that matter, it's the difference you choose to make. I think it's great that people like Gen. Powell and Carville were not star scholars, but through their work and exceptional efforts that they made something of themselves. Of course it was a different time then, but it is inspirational nonetheless (however, I will continue to work my butt off to maintain my good grades). Carville left us with a very memorable quote, "The most important thing you need to have to run [for office], is a reason." Once again, similar to Gen. Powell, Carville emphasized pursuing making our own visions a reality.

Mary Matalin (above) James Carville aka The Ragin' Cajun (below).

After the two seminars came the best part: The Inaugural Opening Celebration. Due to heavy traffic, I missed Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and a few other speakers/performers, but I believe I was there for the best parts. Performances like Sheryl Crow and covering Bob Marley's "One Love," Garth Brooks covering Don McLean's "American Pie" and The Isley Brothers's "Shout" got the whole crowd singing and dancing (all 400,000 of them!). Usher, Shakira, and Stevie Wonder performed "Higher Ground" (made popular by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but written by Stevie Wonder), and U2 also graced us with their awesome talent and played two songs. Beyonce concluded the concert by with "America the Beautiful." Speakers included Jack Black, Kal Penn (from Harold and Kumar), Tiger Woods, Forest Whitaker, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama himself. The whole concert was free, and there was nothing but smiles on everyones face. Strangers were talking and laughing with each other, and despite the crowds, everyone was just happy to be there, witnessing (and being in the middle of) history. I was really impressed by everybody's openness. It is such a blessing to be able to witness firsthand how President-elect Barack Obama has already brought the nation together. People of all ages, races, and walks of life were mingling together without any problems, just the joy of being together that day.

I really felt like I was a part of something big today. One of the speakers mentioned how Marian Anderson was the first African American to perform at a Presidential Inauguration on those very steps in 1939. Anderson performed in front of 75,000 people. Someone had probably been standing in the exact spot where I was, feeling just how I felt: in awe of being able to witness history. Same goes for when Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the crowd of over 300,000 on August 28th, 1963. I still cannot believe that history so magnificent had occurred on that very spot I was standing on. I can only hope that in a couple years someone else will be in my footsteps, feeling the same way.

What to expect tomorrow: keynote address by former Vice President Al Gore, more panels, and sightseeing!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Presidential Inauguration: Day 1

I landed in our nation's capital two hours ago, and just got settled into my hotel room at the Hilton Washington. Observations:
  1. Cops are EVERYWHERE. The river is FROZEN and there was still somehow a police boat out in the middle of it, near the bridge. There is never a police vehicle or officer NOT within your range of sight.
  2. This city is bursting with patriotism and goodwill. This is the first time I've ever seen a bicycle veer into the street, just for them to wave politely at an oncoming car, and the driver of that car reciprocate with the same, rather than a finger or other rude gesture. The sidewalks are so full that they are barely able to hold the huge influx of people arriving for the ceremonies. Red, white, and blue is everywhere, in addition to Obama's face being plastered all over the city.
  3. I've never seen so many joggers in my life. EVER. There are almost as many joggers as there are cops. Spandex clad, fluffy terry headband sporting runners are more prevalent here than bacteria on a toilet seat.

That's enough for now. I'm in our nations's capitol, I'm going to go out and explore! This isn't like any second grade field trip to DC you've ever been on... this is DC come ALIVE!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Album Review: Combichrist

When you mix metal vocals with a dance beat, you get Norway native Andy LaPlegua’s industrial project CombiChrist. Get fans of the two conflicting genres together: the metal heads and the ravers, and there will either be a fight or a violent, all-night dance fest. Fortunately, CombiChrist’s new album Today We Are All Demons will serve as the perfect soundtrack for both the bloody brawl and a club full of sweaty, dancing rockers. With lyrics like “We’re here to drink, fight, fuck, and we’re ready to go,” off the track “Kickstart the Fight” CombiChrist makes it clear that they’re here to party. Besides LaPlegua’s blistering vocals, the album is littered with feisty female vocals, sound clips for intros that are so pathetic they’re funny, enough electro synth to make your head spin (without the drugs!), and injected with plenty of thumping bass lines to annoy your neighbors with. LaPlegua’s lyrics are sickeningly dark as he unleashes his demons upon his CombiChrist army, making it clear that today, we are all demons (and that's a good reason to dance).

Key Tracks: “Kickstart The Fight,” “All Pain Is Gone,” “Sent To Destroy”


"I used to go-go dance and set G-strings on fire – stuff like that. I’ve changed my act a little now but it’s definitely still provocative. It began as more of a burlesque show. Those days will be back soon, don’t worry! I really miss it sometimes. My father came to see shows when I was in leather thongs and didn’t understand. He couldn’t look at me for a few months. But when he saw me getting better, he saw that my ideas were getting stronger. Now my father cries."
-Lady Gaga in The Sun

Yeah, I would cry too if my daughter was acting like a stripper when her singing talent could get her attention without having to resort to being a floozy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nikki: Sixx Times the Man You Will Ever Be

Nikki Sixx, the bassist and artistic think tank of Mötley Crüe signed a deal with Downtown Music Publishing to serve as the worldwide publishing administrator for Mötley Crüe's song catalog, which makes Downtown Music Publishing the owner of exclusive rights to the Crüe master recordings. The deal also includes a licensing agreement for all the bands on the record label owned by Sixx, Eleven Seven Music. This gives Downtown the licensing rights to artists like Trapt, Drowning Pool, and Sixx's side band Sixx: A.M.
Above: Hottest old guy... EVER. Nikki Sixx.
I'm so jealous of Kat Von D., she really got a hold of one of the greatest rock stars of all time. Notice how I said "rock star" instead of "rocker". Nikki Sixx doesn't rock too hard. He writes lyrics and guitar riffs that do, but when it comes to his own bass line, *yawn* it's nothing special. It's a shame he's eclipsed by Tommy Lee, Sixx deserves much more credit for his role in Crüe. Not a lot of people know that Nikki wrote the lyrics and music for Crüe. Sure Mick Mars might have added his own personal touches to the guitar riffs, but Nikki created the the bones of the songs and everyone kinda piggy-backed and added on. Oh Nikki, I love you, and you can count on me to help tell the tale of your awesomeness.