Friday, July 18, 2014

review: Mother Mother, Blondfire, AWOLnation (music)

poster for concert
Yes, I'm still playing catch up with my reviews but I'm really excited to write this one.

My concert buddy and I try to hit at least four concerts a year and I was incredibly excited to score tickets to this one has I love the headliner and the opening act. I have, in fact, written about both bands before on this blog: Mother Mother and AWOLnation so check out those reviews if you want some background info.

Mother Mother was the opening band, minus some weird dude playing guitar and singing country/blues which was an odd opening choice in my opinion, so we're skipping him (namely because I can't remember his name). But Mother Mother was still awesome. This is second time I've seen therm perform live and man, do they light up the stage and energize their audience. Their most recent album "The Sticks" came out in 2012 but hasn't been as widely accepted as their past three albums. They do have another album coming out called "Very Good Bad Thing" which doesn't yet have a release date, but I'm still excited. The best part about going to this concert for me was since I was already a fan (and in the front 3 rows again) I could sing along with the lyrics and even got noticed! It's so cool when a band appreciates that you know their music. Being that their Canadian, Mother Mother doesn't often make it to the US - this is only the second time in 4 years that I've seen them touring outside Canada. So if you're a fan of high energy music and cheeky lyrics keep your eyes peeled! I give Mother Mother 5 out of 5 stars (again).

Now Blondfire was a new band for me and I was highly skeptical. I had never heard of them and was a little annoyed that Mother Mother didn't get more air time because they were being hustled off to make way for these nobodies. And then I heard them play. I had heard their hit "Where the kids are" on the radio and promptly re-evaluated my opinion of them.

Blindfire is an LA based band lead by sibling Bruce and Erica Discoll. "Young Fire" is their second album with their hit ("Where the kids are") being their first big nation-wide hit. My favorite song off their album is "Waves" which if you live near me, you have heard me sing, hum, whistle, and play this song on repeat since I had it stuck in my head for at least 3 weeks. I don't apologize - you should thank me. With both siblings excellent vocals (when Bruce sings) and their kinda dreamy sound, Blondfire makes an excellent addition to anyone's itunes library. I give Blondfire 4 out of 5 stars. Minus one for not finding more than 5 songs I loved on their album.

The last time I went to an AWOLnation concert it was disappointing and I didn't think it was the band's fault. Normally the Roseland Theater in Portland is awesome but the base was reverberating oddly and sounded just awful. So, when I noticed they were coming to town again, I made sure to grab tickets. Especially when they were playing in Eugene's McDonald Theater and I do love their sound.

Aaron Bruno is AWOL and he is a hoot to watch. Not only is here super energetic and fun but he loves to crowd surf which really gets the crowd pumped. And their sound, particularly the base, was excellent at MsDonald's Theater. I give AWOLnation 5 out of 5 stars!

The coolest thing about this entire concert were the people. Concert buddy and I met a bunch of nice people in the crowd including a girl who I've run into at concert in Portland. When my glasses got knocked off by Aaron Bruno and I was freaking out, everyone near me stopped dancing to help me look. People are rarely that cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

review: Ready Player One (book)

Although this book is a little outside my usual reading genre, it's well within my interests. I ended up reading this at the same time as a few friends although we were not in sync with our completion times.

Ready Player One is set in 2044 where the consumption of fossil fuels (and the fall out there of) has thrown the world into chaos and violence. People have retreated to online virtual realities for work, school and entertainment. The creator of this online virtual reality system, James Halliday, died and left the virtual keys to the kingdom scattered in easter eggs (hidden cache for all you non-nerds out there). Now the kicker is that all the clues are in 1980's inspired scenes requiring huge depths of obscure, nerd knowledge.

Our here is Wade Watts, a technologically savvy if naive boy and a total nerd and devotee of James Halliday. Needless to say, he already in the process of searching for the keys. Stumbling around, trying to understand the clues he bumbles into the first one and wins! Thus the race begins to find the keys and gain control of the net and stop Sorrento and his mercenary minions from getting all the keys.

Ready Player One is a great read for a lot of ages. It is a story about overcoming adversity, growing up and figuring out what is important. I give Erest Cline's Ready Player One 4 out of 5 stars!