Monday Morning Commute Tuesday Evening Commute! Bit of a hectic week. The house I thought Sam-OMEGA and I weren’t buying we are now buying. Which means stripping our bank accounts down to the bone to sacrifice at the altar of the Debt Gods. On top of that there is the summer class I’m teaching. On top of the students I’m tutoring. On top of the hours upon hours of placement essays my co-workers and I are reading to decide which English class incoming freshmen will be enrolled into (yes, someone has made the mistake of placing me on a committee with that sort of authority). So yes.
[WEEKEND OPEN BAR: The one-stop ramble-about-anything weekend post at OL. Comment on the topic at hand. Tell us how drunk you are. Describe a comic you bought. This is your chance to bring the party.]
It’s time to sing the praises of the unsung hero.
That’s not to say that there isn’t something wonderful about zest and panache and pageantry. `Cause there most certainly is. In fact, some of the best entertainment consists of the bombastic acts of conspicuous heroes. Take the guitar solos out of Megadeth’s Rust in Peace and see how much headbanging you do. Don’t let Tony Stark drink and bang babes and fly in his metal-dude suit, and feast your eyes on a rich nerd. Hell, would you even watch basketball if the NBA outlawed slam dunks?
I certainly wouldn’t.
Still, that’s not to say that all heroes are of the sweep-pickin’, philanderin’, slam-dunkin’ variety. There exists another sort, a breed concerned less about the spotlight and more about gettin’ the job done. Y’know the type — the guy quietly keepin’ to himself while the hero of the day slugs champagne and smacks ass and gets high-fived. These taciturn troopers may not be the first to spring to mind, but when we consider their contributions it’s impossible to deny their importance.
What I’m tryin’ to say is that there are unsung heroes who deserve our praise. If you really love the Beatles, send George Martin some flowers. If you think Michael Jordan’s the all-time greatest, get Scottie Pippen a Dunkin Donuts gift card. And if you think Tarantino is an unparalleled master of cinema, find a way to pay tribute to Sally Menke.
Even Moses would’ve been a useless sack of shit without Aaron.
[Which unsung heroes deserve to have their praises sung?]
It’s with a tearful eye and a hyper-extended thumbs-up that I bid farewell to 2012.
The last twelve months have been some of the finest of my entire life. And I’m not exaggerating. Unlike those saccharine slobs who always clamor about the present hour being their finest and the preceding moments nothing more than the bliss-steps to their existence plateaus, I have no illusions about the fact that I’ve chalked up some miserable years. I’ve anguished through entire calendars, burnin’ `em up with fuel of the most incendiary sort.
Self-doubt! Resentment! Apathy! Vitriol! Cynicism! Sally forth towards the mire!
But 2012 was a whole different beast. Sure, there definitely some moments when my nostrils were assailed by the wispy vapors of the aforementioned propellants. But repugnance was ultimately cast aside, overpowered by the surfeit of wonder! It’s almost as though entertainment and art and love formed a giant sword-wieldin’, monster-destroyin’ mech, and I got to pilot the son-of-a-bitch!
Anyways, it looks as though every crew member of Spaceship OL is delivering their year-end highlights, so I’m going to join the party. But since I’ve garnered a reputation as being the erratic, currently-undiagnosed-but-we’re-working-on-it, hack-writin’ resident of the crew, I’m going to switch things up a bit. Each of my highlights will be paired with an Ultra-Dimensional Portal! By clicking on any UDP, a hole will be punched in space-time, and your consciousness will be projected astrally.
Got it? Okay, here’s one last look at 2012!
Oh glory glory, glory unto this.
Transcender knew he was in for a world of shit.
He’d woken up from his Post-Lunar nap a bit early. Which wasn’t unusual. But rather than waiting for Larissa – the lab assistant with the big smile and bigger bust – to help him out of his pod, he crawled out on his own. Everyone on the Station knew that rule number one is that Transcender was never to be left to his own devices.
Especially after a nap.
Running a hand through his beard, Transcender gazed out the bay window and laughed to himself. “Sweet Man-Jesus, where’ve they sent me now? Is that Saturn? Oh, if Rodrigo could see this, he’d prolapse for sure!”
Had he studied the mission plans as thoroughly as he told Doc he would, Transcender would’ve known that they were far, far past Saturn.
Transcender Yonder’s attention was fully directed out the window, on the satellites and comets he’d soon be smashing to pieces, when a breeze of bitter wonder wafted into his nose. He immediately spun around, balancing best he could while his muscles readjusted to the artificial gravity, and began searching for the source of the smell. Other than his pod, all that was in the room was sterility – medical instruments, monitors, a vacuum.
And, much to Transcender’s delight, a coffee pot.
Fast as he could, the Meta-Man approached the coffee pot, threw back its lid, and poured the contents into unhinged gullet. Having never tasted coffee before, Transcender basked in the wonder of simply experiencing something new. Coffee! Aha! So this is what they drink when they wake up! A fine concoction! Chemically stimulating and socially facilitating!
But then Transcender’s hyper-sensitive neurons kicked into gear.
Larissa walked into the room just in time to see the six-foot-six ubermensch fall to his knees. He clutched at his left eye and screamed, “I have the pressure of a dying star within my skull! Sweet-mammaried Larissa, save me! I beg of you!”
Without hesitation, Larissa picked up the phone on the wall and dialed zero. “Doc? Yeah, it’s me. Looks like he got into the coffee. Yeah, Transcender’s having his first headache.”
Already knowing the answer, Transcender Yonder looked up and asked sheepishly, “Am I in trouble?”
This is the Monday Morning Commute. I’m going to run through the things I’ll be doing to entertain myself during the week. Then, you hit up the comments section and do the same. Hell, ain’t this the whole damn point of the Internet?
Dark days have descended upon the workweek. Just as the work continues to pile up, I come home feeling fatigued. Although a nap provides momentary refuge, when I return to fight the beast I find it just as formidable but ten times as pissed off. I forge ahead, knowing that that at the end of this five-day torture rack, I will fumble, exhausted and smiling, into a week-long vacation.
Don’t think I’m complainin’ – I know that most jobs don’t include occasional weeks off. But rest assured, my weeks off and relatively low wages are now considered by many the real problem with the nation’s budget. Yeah, it’s totally not the million-dollar missiles we’re hurling at countries whose conflicts we have no reason to get involved in.
Shit. I’m grandstanding. Back to the point. Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute, the spot where I show you what I’m doing this week. If all goes to plan, you then get so excited that you hit up the comments and share YOUR plans. Give’n’take, get it?
Rockin’/The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
BTBAM’s new EP drops tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. Okay, to be fair, I downloaded the leak last week, but there’s something about actually purchasing a CD that gets me fuggin’ amped. Artwork?! JEWEL CASE?! Wait, A DIGI-PACK!?!? OH SHIT!
Anyways, this three-song, thirty-minute release is goddamn dense. I’ve listened to it the full way through more than a few times, and I hear new bits every damn time. I think bassist Dan Briggs deserves mad respect – his parts fit cohesively into the audio canvas, but are kooky and insane when you listen for them.
This shit is like Bitches Brew for a new generation.
Oh how the time flies! Look, there it goes again! Lord Linear has jumped into his One-Way Rider and just keeps cruisin’ along, never deviating or allowing for honest reflection! BLAST! If only some time-hoppin’ bandit, a charming rogue with a proclivity for anachronism, could save us! If only…
Welcome, my babies, to the Monday Morning Commute! This is the spot where we share our plans for the week – not the shackles of Work/Eat/Sleep/Repeat, but the open fields of pop culture and entertainment to which we’ll flee. First I’ll let you traverse my caffeine-addled mindscape, and then you hit up the comments and grant me access to those neurons of yours that still fire.
Let’s do this.
Rockin’ / BTBAM – Specular Reflection (Teaser)
Check out this footage from (what one has to assume is) the studio session for Between the Buried and Me’s new EP.
No more than a few seconds of music is heard and yet I’m still excited beyond belief.
Anyone with me?
That lumbering drone you hear emanating from the hills is the bone-crunching soul smasher that is the new installment of the Modern Warfare franchise ready to fucking rock. Activision, between owning Blizzard and Infinity Ward, is probably close to building their moon laser or some crazy shit.
Monday Morning Commute. Every Monday I’m going to detail the various things I’m either currently or will be watching, reading, playing, and listening to in the next seven days. It’s Monday. You’ve got a long week of school, work, or compulsive masturbation to get through. Tell me the arts that you’re indulging in, to stave off suicide.
With so many releases on the horizon, it’s easy to lose track of some real gems. Next Tuesday’ll see me blasting new Every Time I Die, Kid Cudi, Thrice, the Protest the Hero DVD and maybe, just maybe, new Megadeth (probably not). Yes, there’s a lot on my plate.
But not so much that I should have lost sight of The Great Misdirect, Between the Buried and Me’s fifth studio album. Come October 27th we’ll finally have the follow-up to Colors, the 2007 effort that I believe to be one of the most important rock albums of the last ten years. I’m not going to ramble about why Colors is amazing — just sit down and listen (from start to finish) for yourself. If you’re not blown away on some level, I’m not sure you know what music is all about.
Other than a few studio updates and a teaser track on Myspace, BTBAM seem to be keeping The Great Misdirect under lock and key. But it was brought to my attention that a couple of new tracks were premiered live; of course, it only follows suit that some fan captured them (on what seems to be an iPhone) and uploaded them to YouTube.
The quality isn’t great, but it’s good enough. The new material presented is equal parts aggression, melody, musical showcase, straight-ahead groove and mind-bending brutality. Check out the video after the jump.