Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In my previous Book Blog I said I was trying to re-read New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. Well, I tried and just couldn't get into it. I think after seeing the Twilight film adaptation and being disappointed with it, my passion and interest for the series died along with Robert Pattinson's ability to have any sort of privacy.
Now, I'm starting to read A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Moore is one of my favorite authors of all time and is also very underrated. I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, about a year and a half ago and have been a fan of his ever since.
Moore usually writes satirically whether it be about bloodsucking vampires or King Lear in Medieval Times. His comedic timing and dry humor along with his fantastic story telling ability is what makes Moore one of the best current authors.
His newest novel is Fool and has been getting really great reviews however, I'd start with Lamb and then A Dirty Job.
Check out his Web site: http://www.chrismoore.com/
(Picture courtesy of Amazon.com)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Muse's "Take A Bow" is the perfect song choice for this trailer, by the way!
Anyway, the Watchmen series takes place in New York City during the cold war. After the death of Edward Blake (superhero aka "The Comedian,") other superheroes who have been either outlawed, in retirement or working for the government, are starting to get suspicious thinking that perhaps the government was behind The Comedian's death. The main instigator of this theory, Rorschach, is also the one who tries to get all the superheroes together to investigate.
Watchmen closely mirrors the contemporary world of the late 1970's-early 1980's. In the graphic novel, the superheroes' existence have dramatically affected and altered the outcomes of real-world events such as the Vietnam War and the presidency of Richard Nixon. Although the Watchmen are commonly called "superheroes," the only character who possesses obvious superhuman powers is Doctor Manhattan. The existence of Doctor Manhattan and the ownership the U.S. have over him has given the U.S. a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the two nations.
Superheroes have become unpopular among the public, which in the novel had led to the passage of legislation in 1977 to outlaw them. While many of the heroes retired, Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian operate as government-sanctioned agents. Rorschach continues to operate outside the law.
Another book I'm starting to read again is New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. New Moon is the second book of the Twilight saga. I read Twilight in about a month which is really fast for me and then after that, saw the film and was really into the series for a while. Because of that, I felt like I needed a break and that's why it's taken me so long to finally start reading the second one. Something about the series is compelling, I don't know why because both Bella and Edward aren't very interesting. Something about these characters make you care about the story. When I find out what that is, I'll let readers know.
In between Twilight and New Moon, I read How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Rosoff is a new writer and a very talented one at that. The story is about a teenage girl who goes to England to visit her aunt and cousins in England. During that time, a nuclear war abrupts in Europe and eventually spreads to the United States.
Out of all three of these books, I'd say Watchmen is the one I'd start with first. I'm almost in the middle of the series and it's highly recommended.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Album You should really get on this list: Lily Allen's It's Not Me, It's You (OF COURSE!!! I have it already and it's great. Review of that coming soon.)
Also try Ben Lee's new one The Rebirth Of Venus. I haven't listened yet but it's Ben Lee so it will be worth a try. Another good one on this list is Ryan Adams' Ryan Adams Valentine's Day EP.
It's a good week for music! There really aren't any albums on that list I would skip!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Winners of the televised awards included:
Pop male vocal performance - John Mayer, Say
Record of the year - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Please Read the Letter
New artist - Adele
Rock album - Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Pop collaboration with vocals - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Rich Woman
Song of the year - Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Country performance by duo/group - Sugarland, Stay
R&B Album - Jennifer Hudson, Self Titled
Short-form music video - Weezer, Pork and BeansLong-form music video - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Runnin' Down a Dream
Contemporary folk/Americana - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising SandFemale R&B vocal performance - Alicia Keys, Superwoman
Male R&B vocal performance - Ne-Yo, Miss Independent
Spoken-word album - Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth
Female pop vocal performance - Adele, Chasing Pavements
Pop duo/group - Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Pop vocal album - Duffy, Rockferry
Alternative album - Radiohead, In Rainbows
Solo Rock Vocal - John Mayer, Gravity
Rock duo/group - Kings of Leon, Sex on Fire
Hard rock performance - The Mars Volta, Wax Simulacra
Metal performance - Metallica, My Apocalypse
Producer of the year, non-classical - Rick RubinRock song - Bruce Springsteen, Girls in their Summer Clothes
This year's Grammy Awards were probably the most entertaining it's been in a couple of years and everyone who won was very much deserving of it. Probably the highlight of my night would have to be Blink 182 announcing they're reuniting when presenting the award for Best Rock Album. According to Blink182.com, an album should be out by Summer 2009. (More to come later in a video blog about that!)
Big winners of the night included Robert Plant and Allison Krauss for their brilliant collaboration Raising Sand and Coldplay for their album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. I was also very pleased to see Adele win for Best New Artist and Female Pop Vocal Perfomance and Duffy for Best Pop Album. Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire" was also a pleasant surprise when they won Best Rock Duo or Group. John Mayer is another artist who I feel made some brilliant music on Continuum and deserved his two wins.
Also, great performances by Coldplay, Katy Perry, Radiohead and M.I.A.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Has anyone else seen this guy in the city? I thought he was brilliant. Too bad my camera battery was about to die...I would have videotaped his entire performance. Video is also uploaded to The Preston Beat's very own YouTube Channel! Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/theprestonbeat
Another thing completely unrelated...I'm watching the Grammy's right now and congratulations to Allison Krauss and Robert Plant on their win! It's very much deserved. I'll have a Grammy post later.
Friday, February 6, 2009
How PostSecret works is a very simple and efficient way for people to stay anonymous if they choose to. People mail their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret's books or museum exhibits. (The books are fascinating, by the way and I definitely recommended them!)
Be sure to look at the Post Secret blog...featured on my blog list!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
You can now follow Lily Allen on twitter! She posted this on her blog earlier today.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
It's been exactly one year since Peoria, Arizona's favorite powerhouse music duo, The Format broke up because of creative differences. I really can't believe it's been a year already...I miss Sam Means and Nate Ruess terribly. Their work together wasn't finished...it seemed like they were really becoming in sync creatively on their sophomore album, Dog Problems, which was an instant classic for me. Apparently, it was the exact opposite!
I look forward to Nate's solo project. As of now, it's pretty much at a stand still. If I hear any news, it will definitely be posted here.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to listen to them! They sound like a more experimental Beach Boys mixed with Jack's Mannequin and The Early November with the lead singer of The Manchester Orchestra.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The album you should really get on this list: Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
The album you should really skip on this list: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Lonely Road
A lot of people are hating on The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus HARD...but the question I ask is, were they even really THAT good to begin with?
A couple days ago, I watched "Funny Games" starring Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt and Tim Roth. I wasn't really sure what to expect going into it, I've just heard about it on imdb and sites like that. I've also heard that it's one of those movies you either love or hate, which I can say now that I've seen it, is definitely the case.
I can't seem to get the images out of my mind. It's not that I was scared by the film, it's like I was completely blown away.
Here's a synopsis, if you will. The movie is about a fairly wealthy family who are staying at their vacation home for "a week or two," as Naomi says in the film. When they arrive, they're visited by two young men dressed in golf attire asking for the family's neighbor if she could borrow some eggs for whatever she's cooking. After asking for the eggs, they never leave and after asking them to couple of times, Ann and George, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth's characters, realize these men are up to no good. The men then begin terrorizing the family and playing games with them. If the family do not agree to these games, the men threaten to kill them.
Here's also the Wikipedia page for the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funny_Games_(2008_film)
Anyway, I know it just sounds like some random horror movie you've watched before but it's the way it's shot and the characters in the film. Michael Pitt, who plays one of the young men, it chilling and gives you the feeling that there are definitely some screws loose in his head. He breaks the fourth wall many times, talking to the audience, which I think is the most terrifying part about the movie. The way he smirks at the audience and his obvious power trip he has over this family is something I've never seen in a character.
You should really just watch it! I know you'll either love it or hate it but there's that 50% chance that you'll love it like I did!