Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Between the Tracks: Review of The Story and The Song

          The Story and The Song is the debut album of the rising indie rock band, Between The Trees. The band formed in 2005 in Florida after the band’s graduation from high school. Their roots started in a local church worship band, which this influence can be seen throughout their album. Between The Trees is a well-known supporter of TWLOHA, or To Write Love on Her Arms. To Write Love on Her Arms is an organization that helps people with drug addictions, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide. The band’s lyrics, integrity throughout album, and melody brings together an up-beat yet imperative thought-provoking ambience to their listeners.

           Between The Trees’ album, The Story and The Song, brings about lyrics of important teenage-dealt problems. Cutting, depression, and love are some of the main bases for their songs. These problems/situations are thick in this generation’s everyday life. The lyrics bring about hope and strength to keep going through life despite all of its pressures. The messages portrayed in their lyrics are crucial to society and are found to be influential in people’s lives.

           Although those topics are extremely important, the underlying subject of the whole album is the idea that Jesus Christ can help people overcome anything this world has to throw at them. This subject matter deems more importance because it provides the solution to all the problems that Between The Trees’ exposes in their music. A good thing about how they place Christianity in their lyrics is how they don’t excessively do it. This allows for their music to be more mainstream and possibly reach more people with their message. The song found to be the center stone of the album would most definitely have to be “The Way She Feels.” This song provides amazingly deep lyrics that provide the base for the album and a sweet tasting mixture of melodies that shows the potential of Between The Trees.

           What bands strive for with an album that they hopefully have high aspirations for is integrity. An album with the popularity of one song has a tough time making it up the album charts of listeners. However when a band like Between The Trees comes out with an album like The Story and The Song, integrity is shown. Laziness in song writing and music producing shows that a band does not care about the quality of music but quantity of the music that they produce. BTT shows the hard work of producing an album that expresses “Hey music listeners, we actually care about producing worthwhile music. So here is The Story and The Song!”  

           The songs on the album are varied in melody to an extent. Words, The Forward, and White Lies and Red Lights are the most up beat melodies on the album. They bring in heavy synthesizer and guitar, which help provide a unique rock essence of the CD. With songs like Darlin’ and A Time For Yohe, BTT mellows out with low guitar riffs and slow vocals. This whole album brings the right amount of music essentials to the table. Due to its amazing sound and lyrics that I can relate to, The Story and The Song easily makes my favorite album to blast and sing to.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Evaluation Responses

Flatbread Frenzy.
I should have read this evaluation before I had lunch! The way that Forrest evaluated almost every menu item and provided details of what goes into every flatbread was excellent. She made me want to read more and possible drive over to Flatbread Company and scarf down a nice Jimmy's Free Range Chicken flatbread! I feel that this evaluation was very helpful in painting a picture of what a good evaluation should look like.

Harry Potter.
Outhier's evaluation of one of the Harry Potter movies seemed scholarly. This is due to his deep descriptions of the characters, settings, and director. Outhier details the movie in a manner that only higher level-minded individuals can truly grasp the evaluation of this teenage-audience film. If he would like to have reached out to a broader audience with his evaluation of a movie that is directed towards young members of society, then he needs to change his wording around some. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Triumph of Hope over Self-Interest Annotation

In his essay, The Triumph of Hope over Self-Interest, David Brooks discusses the reasons Americans vote the way they do. He explains that, as Americans, we have a predisposition to believe that one day we’ll reach success and be in the upper ranks of society. That’s precisely why most of us don’t begrudge the rich because we look at them as merely fellow Americans who have reached that success. Voters who don’t support taxing the wealthy often choose this side because they believe it will negatively affect them. Sometimes we even pity the rich, thinking, “Poor rich New Yorkers/Californians, you have no true neighbors and a whole lot of stress.” He also quotes Jennifer Lopez’s song “Jenny From the Block” to show that what really affects Americans’ view of the wealthy is whether or not they stick to their roots and remember where they came from. He claims that more middle class Americans would side with George W. Bush than Barbara Streisand because good ol’ W can still fit in with the small town life. All in all, Brooks shows us that Americans don’t see each other based on class, but more like a grade school “lunch room,” where the individual’s community is the table and they have the coolest people at it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reader Response Blog #2

        Cookie Monster was an interesting profile that gave me insight on a person that holds a job title that I have never really thought about. That job title is being a fortune cookie writer and the person who is that lucky man is Mr. Donald Lau. Mr. Lau was perfect for going into the fortune cookie business. He grew up reading many Chinese books that helped push his ideas into short little phrases of hope, direction, and prophesy. I always wondered if the lottery numbers really ever worked. It surprised me when I read that one hundred and ten people ended up winning the same lottery payout. Now every time I open a fortune cookie, I almost feel obligated to buy a lotto ticket and try the numbers. It is sad to think about Donald retiring from a job that brings a lot of fun at the end of people’s meals. I hope one day he does get around to writing a ‘how to’ book on fortune cookie writing. I would definitely pick that up.

         I have always like Johnny Depp as the somewhat dark actor that he is. Edward Scissorhands is one of my favorite characters that he has portrayed. The profile of Jonny Depp by Sean Smith was very intriguing. I was stunned to hear that Edward Scissorhands was not a big movie in theaters. I always thought it was. However, I was young when it came out so I was not as culturally savvy as I am now. I have heard many times how becoming a father, or mother if that was the case, had changed a person from their old ways and made them a new person. Depp seems to be a very loving father, which I got this impression through his words. Depp’s reason for doing Pirates tickled me. That showed me a detail visual of who Jonny Depp really is.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Possible Memoir Topics with Sketches

Swimming With No Strength

One of the most influential times of my life was in the summer of 2006 when I went on a mission trip to the devastated city of New Orleans. The entire experience there was one that my mind will never let go of. One event in particular was when we drove to the Gulf of Mexico to clean up some of the shoreline houses and debris in the area. After we completed the clean up process, we were able to spend some time on the beach and enjoy the beautiful vast waters in front of us.

Some friends and I spotted a nice size rock formation that was, to our eyes, not that far from shore. We decided we would like to swim out there to the rocks for fun. One of the guys went to go ask Jason, our youth minister, if we could go. The guy came back and said that Jason gave us the okay.

Slippery Trail

The summer of 2006 was a very important time in my life. I had just finished Junior year of high school and so I was on my way to the biggest year of my general education career, Senior year. I had just received salvation from Jesus Christ right before summer had started. As a result of Senior year approaching and being filled with some much love because of my acceptance of Christ, I wanted to start growing into a God’s man, which is something completely different from an Earthy man. I decided to go on my first youth church camp. The experience of growing closer to God while being surround with other Christians that I adored was amazing. I had meet a couple of people on the mission trip that I went on before camp, that has ended up being some of my best friends. They decided to attend church camp too. We hung out a great deal of the time there and grew close together as friends and also brothers and sisters in Christ.

One of these moments of us together became a eye-opening experience that changed the way I looked at God. We decided because it was a beautiful day out after it had been raining in the morning that we would walk one of the many trails at camp.

Easter Sunday Revelation

During my Junior year of high school, I met this girl that would change my life in extreme ways. The most important way was also one of the happiest times of my life. She invited me to this concert that her church was having in March. I had such an awesome time that I was more than happy to accept her invitation to Easter Sunday at the same church in just a few weeks. My mother went on a cruise during that weekend of Easter Sunday so I went with just my friend and her family. I had not attended church in a very long time and the only times that I did was on special holiday, such as Christmas and Easter. When I walked into the church, I was shocked at how enormous the sanctuary was. I was a little intimidated by the size of the congregation because my family had only visited somewhat small churches since 1997 when we left our old church because of some leadership problems. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Memoir Response

            After reading “Us and Them”, the title seemed to suit the story extremely well. The Sedaris family was extremely weird in how they dealt with people. I was feeling somewhat awkward, when reading the part of story when the Tomkey family came over to the house for candy. I felt sorry for the Tomkey family because of how the Sedaris family acted and how that could have made them felt. They must have already felt bad by going house to house the day after Halloween and then the Sedaris family must have created even more uncomfortable feelings. David Sedaris was just like any other kid around his age: selfish, mean, and curious. Any kid that just received or ‘earned’ a bag of candy the night before would almost never give some of it up to someone else. Their parents would have to step in and push them to do the right thing if they never have taught them that beforehand. I can relate to David in a way, because I was very curious when I was younger and somewhat selfish but not anywhere near as bad as David.

            The memoir called “Mick Jagger Wants Me” by Susan Gilman is very relatable. It tells a pretty realistic story of teenagers with this idea of meeting a famous person that they have basically fallen in love with. When I was in late middle school and early high school, a television show called American Dreams was on. I had ‘fallen in love’ with the character Meg Pryor, who was around my age and going through all these awesome experience with her friend. Mostly what caught my heart and thoughts was how she acted with guys and just her overall personality. I wanted a girl like her in real life. I don’t think I would ever meet Brittany Snow, which is the actress who played Meg, but Im not sure if I actually ever truly wanted to. Most likely how Susan dealt with the situation of about to meet the apple of her eye, I would probably have done the same. It would make things awkward for both me and her and would probably ruin the fantasy that I have always wanted.