Thursday, March 30, 2006

album o' the day

Modern Life Is War
(Deathwish Inc.)

Hardcore is somewhat of a joke these days. Many younger bands are coming out of every whichway relentlessly ripping off American Nightmare, Botch, Blood Brothers, The Misfits or some combination of them. The genre, and subculture, in itself has become somewhat of a living fashion ad for Hot Topic, Saucony, or whatever weird hipster/goth hybrid is all the rage these days.

Modern Life Is War's "Witness" is refreshing. It's not a mess of vampires, aimless noodling, idiotic song titles, make up or any other trend that's screwing up hardcore. With the cynicism of Rollins-era Black Flag and frustration of your true blood hardcore fan, "Witness" is everything that hardcore isn't these days: good.

[Available mp3s: "D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S."]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the signing of a lifetime? not really

Punknews posted the news of Lifetime signing to Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen, a joint label run by Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) and a guy from Less Than Jake who isn't the singer. Almost immediately, Lifetime was quickly chastised for leaving Jade Tree and going to a teen-centric label. Many other viewers wrote the news off as an early April Fools' joke, but a journal entry on Fueled By Ramen's website would say otherwise.

This is a mixed blessing of sorts because, as a Lifetime fan, I'm ecstatic that the band will continue on and have new material to release, but at the same time, it's a pretty frightening thing to grasp the fact that one of the most influential hardcore bands of the 90's will have a cookie cutter band like Panic! At the Disco as labelmates.

Like Against Me signing to Sire, however, we should only hope that Lifetime will keep their ethos in check and not head towards prosperity of having their shirts sold at Hot Topics around North America. God, I hope this is a joke.
[sources:; photo credit:]

i know this won't find you well

Further Seems Forever
"Hope This Finds You Well"
(Tooth & Nail)

First of all, Further Seems Forever didn't really have any "hits." At least not in the conventional sense. It's not like the Limp Bizkit mania of '99, where people were camping outside of Tower Records to purchase their copies of the new record. With that in mind, it's always sort of mind-boggling when Tooth & Nail releases these "Greatest Hits" packages when none of their artists have really been Top 40 bands with bonafide hits.

Instead, we're given a slapdashed attempt to cash in on the Further Seems Forever name one last time in lieu of their demise. The first three songs on the release -- "The Moon is Down," "Pride War," and "Hide Nothing" -- pretty much sums up the seven year span of the band: musically consistant, yet often without a steady voice. It's been no secret that Further Seems Forever often struggled with keeping their singers and it shows all over "Hope This Finds You Well."

This really should've been labeled "The Best of Chris Carabba and Jason Gleason," as much of the compilation is culled from the first two FSF albums. There's hints of Jon Bunch, but not enough to make it seem like he had as much impact on the band as their first two singers. A pre-Dashboard Carabba introduced the band, while Gleason damn well defined it.

Anybody who is a remote fan probably owns "The Moon is Down" and "How to Start a Fire," but I still wouldn't recommend this for anybody who is without the albums. This is a pretty weak collection of songs and one of the great aspects about listening to a Further Seems Forever album is that you can listen to it from start to finish without skipping tracks. Sure, there are songs that are better than others, but it's pretty rare in their genre that you get full-lengths that don't have much in the way of filler.

The only saving grace that the record has is the final Jason Gleason song, "There, I've Said It." It has a pretty unique balancing act of showcasing how aggressive Further Seems Forever could get, but the complitative nature of the band holds it back. But you could probably download it on iTunes. The other b-sides are bland cover songs and a track from their early split with Recess Theory.

It's unfortunate that Further Seems Forever was never really able to keep it together and I suspect that had they made another album with Jon Bunch, they'd probably would've been able to achieve all the success -- musical and otherwise -- that had eluded them for years. Equally unfortunate is that their swan song is inferior to the potential legacy that the band had, yet fitting to how they'll be remembered, musically consistant, but constantly struggling.

Friday, March 24, 2006

tidbits 3/24/06

* victory signs seattle-based band on the last day, who incidentally sound a lot like emery and aiden (who are also from seattle). aren't they a little too new to have tribute bands?

* episodes of "salute your shorts" are availble for stream on youtube. episodes of "the boondocks" have been removed. bastards.

* i got a new tattoo.

[today's tidbit sources]

album o' the day

"Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns"
(Second Nature)

This is a pop-punk album for adults. It's not nearly as complex as Rocky Votolato's solo work or as Cody Votolato's Blood Brothers, but it's not as teeny-bopper friendly as Rudy Gajahadar's Gatsby's American Dream. The album's varied topics are all along the lines of what goes through your head and heart when you're in your 20's and you really don't know what the hell you're doing. It's like Jawbreaker's "24 Hour Revenge Therapy" for the intellectual, college types. Ya dig?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

where ya at?

While combing through the tundra that is Youtube, I've come across a ton of hip-hop videos from defunct artists whose whereabouts are unknown. This poses a bit of a dire problem since their services are needed now more than ever in this climate of poorly executed rap music (i.e. "Laffy Taffy," "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp"). Here's a list of hip-hop groups and emcees who need to get over their first time failures and kick a little skill in the game:

Name: Da Bush Babees
Bio: Aligned themselves with Jermaine Dupri for debut album "Ambushed," which scored two respectable singles. They had enough clout to drop the midget and hook up with the Native Tongues for their sophomore record. Some guy named Mos Def was on that record, too.

Name: B.U.M.S.
Bio: Despite the fact they were rocking an acronym name three years after it was cool, the B.U.M.S. (or Brothas Unda Mad Stress) released a hot album in the form of "Lyfe N Tyme." They were the buzz of the west coast and that's pretty much all.

Name: Bahamadia
Bio: The lone female link between DJ Premier and the Roots, Philly thoroughbred Bahamadia has one of the best hip-hop albums with 1996's "Kollage." Period.

Name: Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs
Bio: An early underground sensation, Ed O.G. spit conscious raps that was seemingly inspired by marathons of "A Different World." I'd imagine his journalist counterpart is Kevin Powell. Anyway, a few years ago he had a hot single produced by Pete Rock showing that nearly 15 years later, he could still take cats out.

Name: Masta Ace Inc.
Bio: Masta Ace is still around and probably putting out the best music of his career, yet his most relevant music were the two albums he released with Leshea, Lord Digga and Paula Perry, collectively known as Masta Ace Incorporated. "Sittin' On Chrome" and "Slaughtahouse" bridge the brashness of east coast emcees with the occasionally smoothed out, mostly bass heavy sounds of the west coast.

Name: Anotha Level
Bio: A bunch of Ice Cube's cousins got together to form a supergroup of mediocre rappers who rap over good beats. They were like the Pharcyde-lite, and as is such, I see a better chance of getting these guys together than reuniting the original four members of the 'Cyde.

Name: Boss
Bio: A tough female gangsta rapper from the early 90's. I'm too scared to make fun of her, but she had an awesome single called "Recipie of a Hoe" that's just classic.

Name: Rappin' 4-Tay
Bio: Unlike most of his Yay Area counterparts, Rappin' 4-Tay (nee: Anthony Forte) was a little bit more smoothed out and thus, easier to listen to. You might remember his slick, slick single "Playaz Club."

Name: Smoothe Da Hustla & Trigga Da Gambla
Bio: Known mostly for their duet "Broken Language," brother duo Smoothe and Trigga were pretty strong emcees in their own right. They rapped about drugs, guns and all that other stuff that Mobb Deep did, but they were a little bit more inept with their word play and style.

Name: Camp Lo
Bio: If these guys were still putting out records now, they'd be the hipsters of hip-hop. They embraced the 70's style like it's nobody's business. On top of that, they got guest spots from De La, Kid Capri, and Rev. Run on their first album, but this was back in 1997, so you know they were hangin' tough (word to New Kids).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

men, women & sucks!

Men, Women & Children
"Men, Women & Children"

When I first put this CD in my computer, I didn't know what to really think. Halfway through the opening song "Dance In My Blood," I started to think that it was okay. Then I heard the rest of the album and asked my coworkers "Is there a toilet around here because there's a piece of shit on my desk?!"

Unlike Panic! At the Shithole, MWC is very specific at which era of 80's music they've taken a bite of, 1980-81. This actually wouldn't be that bad if it really was 1980 and this was released on Epic or Motown (they were putting out all the good disco shit back in the day), but it's 2006 and it sounds like I'm listening to some deformed bastard child of the Bee Gees, DeBarge and the Cure. This is just another convoluted hipster joke gone bad (see: The Darkness).

This fucking shit is terrible on so many levels. As a disco record, it's bunk because disco, in general, sucks. As a rock record it's horrid because any good guitar parts are quickly buried beneath horns, strings or keys.

Every year major labels complain about how they're losing money and they always blame filesharing and indie labels. Hey Warner Bros. THIS IS WHY YOU'RE LOSING MONEY! Dumping money into a band that sounds like a coked up, electro disco ball fart is not good business. Fuck this shit, I'm gonna go listen to the birds screech outside. At least that sounds like real music.

Monday, March 20, 2006

tidbits 3/20/06

* "ready to die" is banned due to a sample clearance issue. this is pretty lame since i'd assume most hip-hop producers would've learned from the biz's clearance problems.

* it's spring break for many college students. what did i do during my spring break? work because i didn't mooch, motherfuckers.

* someone posted a full set of botch at the fireside bowl on youtube.

* and youtube has removed episodes 1-10 of "miami ink." wack.

* professor x formerly of the x-clan passed away, which means that there will definetly be no x-clan reunion and that new hip-hop (for the most part) still sucks.

Friday, March 17, 2006

best. review. ever.

"Split EP"

According to the back of my promo: "This CD is protected against unauthorized copying. It is designed to play in standard audio CD players. It is not designed to play in computers."

I might've given this an honest review and I probably would have kept it, but since I couldn't play the sonbitch on my computer, it's going into the garbage. I do, however, appreciate Vagrant's vigilance to hinder music piracy. At least they're saving the misguided souls who are looking for Get Up Kids songs on Soulseek and end up downloading Moneen instead.

i support sXe, not sxsw

This week marks the beginning of South by Southwest (SXSW), a bloated, Austin-based orgy of bands, music "journalists," labels, cheap booze, barbeque, overpriced hotels, overpriced everything. Many sites are covering SXSW so they can get the "inside" scoop on some of the bands that will probably be embroiled in some sort of bidding war in which the band will most likely end up on Island Def Jam (or some part of the Universal Music Group) and release a lackluster album that people will either eat up or shit on.

Like Sundance, SXSW used to be a cool little indie thing where smaller labels would showcase their bands. Recently major labels have been dipping their expensive dicks in the whole mess and it's become less about the music and more about getting signed, which I guess is the whole reason for being in a band.

Chasing Coolness is not covering SXSW -- save this lone post -- because I am not a burgeois writer. Admittedly, I don't have the money to shell out to go out to Texas where I'd pay $500 for an event pass, only to get kicked out of the shows I'd want to go to because they're at maximum capacity. Not to mention that I'd have a devil of a time trying to find somewhere to eat since I don't eat meat and Austin is the BBQ capital of the United States. If I had $500 to blow, I'd just get more tattoos. Or a new bass.

Therefore, I propose a Seattle-based music festival called sXefest, where we sit around my apartment and watch "Edge of Quarrel" and listen to Champion and Sinking Ships for 24 hours straight. Who's with me?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

attn: fall out boy. make less shitty videos, in fact, STOP making videos and records

Fall Out Boy
"A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me'"

Six minutes and 46 seconds. That's how much of my life I will never get back because I momentarily became a chode and sat through Fall Out Boy's latest visual ejaculation for "ALLSCALMTM (it's a long ass song title, so I'm just going to abbriviate it)."

I can't stress how played-out this vampire shit is. How many vampire bands does the world need? And furthermore, Fall Out Boy is a very non-threatening, generic pop-punk band, so doing this "homage" to "Fright Night," "Lost Boys," "Ghostbusters" and "Blade" is like Louie Anderson trying to fit a pair of extra small Speedos. Or a thong. Try to erase that image out of your head.

Like their last disaster "Dance, Dance" FOB's "ALLSCALMTM" had a gaggle of 13 year old girls, and the 20 year old boys who love them, anticipating this piece of shit. I can't believe that a single of frame of this collection of bad acting, shitty plot and moronic guest stars was committed to film.

Anyway, the whole thing is pretty much a mess, with Fall Out Pete as the revenge-seeking vampire leading a rag-tag band of vampire hunters. Also, it wouldn't be a Fall Out Boy video without someone wearing clothing from Clandestine Industries, as well as the prominent usage of Verizon's new Motorola video phone. God, what a bunch of blatant fucking sell outs.

The whole movie/music video climaxes in the ghetto (I'm assuming this because all of a sudden there's a bunch of black extras and the token black rapper dude in Wentz's Decaydance crew), where Fall Out Pete tries to beat up the idiot singer from Panic! At the Disco and gets nailed and possibly anally raped by police officers. Then the shit ends with all the vampire hunters getting arrested and stupid vampire leader guy realizing that the cops and everybody else except for his equally stupid friends were part of the larger Vampire! At the Disco syndicate. End clip.

Fuck this video, fuck this band, fuck their label, fuck all of it because it all smells of corporate sponsorship and cheapening everything that Ian McKaye worked his ass off for.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the sun rises in the east? maybe only to true heads....

This last week, I found it somewhat necessary to relive the 90's, so I dusted off my copies of Jeru the Damaja's "The Sun Rises in the East" and De La Soul's "Buhloone Mindstate," at which I started to reminisce. Daydreaming about your youth is an ill advised thing since a) you feel as old as humanly possible and b) you realize that you've become your parents. I remember listening to "Enter the 36 Chambers" at a family reunion and my uncle made some snide remark to the effect of "Is that what they call music these days?" I can't really see any topical difference between "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Method Man" since they're both pretty much about getting fucked up.

The week was sparked by a conversation I had with Jathan from Respect Records. I was buying a Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz 12" and said "I can't believe I'm buying this. I remember hating this song [Deja Vu] when it came out."

"Yeah, I remember hating Redman back in the day, and now he's not so bad," he replied.

"I guess what was crap back when we were coming up is better than what's considered crap now."

And bam, I hit the mark.

Somewhere between the end of Rawkus Records and the rise of Atmosphere/Def Jux/Anticon, the quality of good hip-hop took a dive. I'm not suggesting that those labels or groups are crap, but the demand for weird rap music gave way to successes for overhyped artists such as M.I.A. and 50 Cent. While those two can be considered mainstream, I think that their rise happened faster because there's hardly any good hip-hop that has the kind of exposure or visibility that M.I.A. and Fiddy have had.

It wasn't too long ago for a group like Gravediggaz, Brand Nubian, Lords of the Underground, JT The Bigga Figga or Big L to have gone gold. Many of rap's yesteryear superstars relied heavily on regional fame. Hell, southern and Bay Area rappers still bank on that kind of credibility. But with the availibility and low costs of internet service, you'd think that a talent like South Carolina's Danny would go noticed. But I guess that's just not the case and, as a result, hip-hop fans are spoon fed watered-down, popularized crap like Fiddy, Kanye West and Gym Class Heroes. Thanks, but no thanks.

tidbits 3/14/06

* "game recognize game" has been scrapped because of that new big boi movie "ATL," so instead i'm writing "clandestine fight," which is my homage to "lionheart."

* speaking of van damme, have you watched "knock off" before? if you haven't, that movie is pretty damn good for a bunch of reasons.

* see that new fall out boy video yet?, i'm going to make some immature comments about that piece of shit later.

* worthwhile releases today: bobby brown "definitive collection," e-40 "my ghetto report card," and force md's "love letters/touch and go."

Monday, March 13, 2006

purdy grrrls indeed

Pretty Girls Make Graves
"Elan Vital"

On their first self-titled EP, Pretty Girls Make Graves sounds exactly like you might've expected: fast, brash and very punk rock -- elements that stemmed from their members coming in from bands that played fast, brash punk. Now on their fourth release and third full-length, "Elan Vital," they're continuing with the trend of softening up their sound. The album is a milemarker in the band's existence, even the album's fastest song "Wildcat," is subdued when compared to any random tune that appeared on "Good Health."

It's no secret that Andrea Zollo, Derek Fudesco, J. Clark and Nick DeWitt have been attempting to embrace their pop sensibilities for quite sometime, and with the addition of ex-Hint Hint member Leona Marrs, it's pretty much become a reality for Pretty Girls.

The album has some magic moments: "The Magic Hour" boasts some Rocket From the Crypt-esque riffs, but rather than toppling over, it stays the course as a straight forward rock song; "Domino" is a groovy jam that will probably be used in a Target commercial in the coming months; and "Pictures of a Night Scene" has a male-female vocal play that's held back so much that it could be classifed as an instrumental.

While it's not nearly as bombastic as their first two releases, it's a pretty natural progression for the band. The only downside is that "Elan Vital" may get shuffled around into the nu-wave world that bands such as Rock Kills Kid have changed their sound for, and that's not a fair dismissal for Pretty Girls Make Graves.

So go out and buy "Elan Vital," and claim it as your own before Target does.

Friday, March 10, 2006

album o' the day

"American Nervoso"
(Hydra Head)

There's absolutely no reason why Botch shouldn't be more well known. Their 1999 album "American Nervoso" is proof that not only were they fantastic musicians, but that they were ahead of their time. Norma Jean, Fear Before the March of Flames, The Bled, Since by Man and countless other newbie hardcore bands would probably sound dramatically different it weren't for the almighty Botch.

"American Nervoso" has the bravado of a typical hardcore band, but it also has psychedelic moments that recalls Pink Floyd. When you listen to this album and listen to These Arms Are Snakes' "Oxeneers..." you can see a clear line between those two different records, though they only share one common denominator: Brian Cook.

All of Botch's albums are testimonies to this band's greatness, and though they've all found homes in other bands (Minus the Bear, These Arms Are Snakes), "American Nervoso" is the album strong enough to spark a subgenre of its own.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

racism! conflict! boobies! america's next top model!

[nice headwrap. are you supposed to be erykah badu for halloween? this ain't 96!]
"America's Next Top Model" started off their sixth season (is it me, or are seasons getting shorter?) with an explosion of awesomeness by featuring a Texan named Dani who started pissing off the other girls right off the bat by lamenting out loud at the turn out of African-American girls during the audition process. Then they cut to her audition tape where she says something to the effect of: "I'm a hardcore Republican, I'm a hardcore baptist, I hate gays, I basically hate all things liberal." With that in mind, she was shocked when she made some horrendous comment about how Black people don't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch and was immediately branded a racist. She also got the stink eye when she had her interview with Tyra, J. Alexander and Jay Manuel and they replayed her audition tape and particularly highlighted the "I hate gays" comment. She tries to renege on her statement by saying that she was trying to get noticed. Way to make an impression, you stupid broad. Anyway racist chick gets cut and we all laugh at her expense.

My contenders for the top three are still intact, though I imagine that Jade or Mollie Sue won't be on for much longer. Jade is the bi-racial version of Camille from Season 2, very pretty lady, but she has the arrogance of a 15 year old football player. Requiste indie rawk girl Mollie Sue is a classy dame with the personality of my computer.

Surprisingly, they didn't cut Gina, the lone Asian-American who made the entire Asian community look bad during the entire duration of the show by taking on the following chameleon-like skins: drunk, liar, crybaby, self-pitying loser. I think that about covers it. I love seeing other Asian-Americans on high profile shows and proving that there's more than chop-sockey flicks and Jingre Arr the Way, but Gina is weak sauce. They did, however, cut Kathy, the country bumpkin with a heart of gold. That acutally was a bummer. Oh well...onto next week!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

they have nothin' on kelly kapowski

[show your support by shitting on this CD when you see it in stores]

Despite the threat of having my opinions swayed by ill feelings and makeshift beefs, I listened to Bayside's recent acoustic release with only the notion that I was fan of their previous albums. That said, this is one of the most unnecessary records in the history of pop-punk.

It's not that the songs on it are bad, they just don't add any new dynamic to the songs. Ever wonder what "Blame It On Bad Luck" would sound like on an acoustic guitar? Not that much different from the full band version. If you want to jazz it up, add some pianos or a cello. There are plenty of stripped down versions of exisiting tracks (see: "Newfound Mass 2000" by the Get Up Kids) that add more to the song than its predecessor.

Another huge sin on this record is their cover of the Smoking Popes' "Megan." It's already a minor crime that singer/songwriter Anthony Raneri lifts from Josh Caterer lyrically and vocally, but to have the dude sing the entire second verse? You might as well go out and buy "Destination: Failure" (if you can find it, anyway.)
Since Bayside has decided to remain an active band, let's hope that this first post-tragedy release won't be the end all of one of Victory's only good bands.

tidbits 3/8/06

* my former employer/late bandwagon jumper, the seattle times published an FSU-related story. where were all these news outlets when FSU routinely started fights at the plague house?

* the heights get bitch slapped by ne-yo (kudos on the ghostface single) and ryan p strongly urges that IDJ file a lawsuit.

* so sayeth kid rock in regards to the scott stapp sex tape: "I'm like, what are you talking about?" Rock told the AP. "This tape gets out — it's your tape — and you're [saying] someone's trying to sabotage your career?"

...if only that dude in that band that got their name (even if it's indirectly) from the simpsons read that before taking these pictures (NSFW) (no seriously, don't click on this shit unless you wanna barf and/or get off, which isn't suitable in a public area, anyway. wait until you get home.)

* ultragrrrl likens my chemical romance to guess that's not entirely out of the question since it's a matter of opinion, though i would liken them to poison.

* the season premiere of america's next top model begins tonight at 8. here's my go for the top three:

molly sue



...if it weren't for miss j. alexander, there'd be absolutely no reason to watch this show, because jay manuel and tyra have the combined personality of an igloo. word.

[today's tidbits sources:]

seattle times

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

website o' the day

i added a new link, but i thought it was so cool i also wanted to devote a post to it:


Monday, March 06, 2006

When Moz Attacks

“Ringleader of the Tormentors”

The problem with being a pop star that people have grown up with is that in order to continue to have a career you have two choices: you either grow up with your audience, and allow your music to evolve (i.e. Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper) or you find yourself making the same music or convoluted versions of it in order to stay in the minds of the youth (i.e. The Cure, Madonna, Duran Duran).

The Pope of Mope, Morrissey, has opted for the former, and his large catalog of solo work has been a natural progression, though his punk rock ethos remains the same. Morrissey still criticizes the government, his peers and is still trying to mend his heart, but his vehicle for doing those things are no longer brash or even comparable to his contemporaries. You can’t put Robert Smith and Moz on the same page anymore. One is a cultish rock star and the other is a crooner.

A continuation of his last record, “You Are the Quarry,” “Ringleader of the Tormentors” sees Morrissey putting a bit more polish to his rock boot. He’s still rolling his R’s, he’s still attacking global policies, but he’s eloquent and welcoming.

“In the Future When All’s Well,” “Dear, God Please Help Me,” and the single “You Have Killed Me” are moody, morose rock songs that you can play at a funeral, Bar Mitzvah, or a senior citizens dance party.

Other standout songs include “I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero” and “I Just Want to See the Boy Happy,” and though they revisit some of “Quarry’s” familiar themes, they are still refreshing.

As a few more grey hairs appear on Moz’s head, his music continues grow and though “Ringleader of the Tormentors” is basically a sequel to “You Are the Quarry,” (and possibly trite in that sense), it’s a far better record than the people who are trying to be like Morrissey in his heyday and the people who eclipsed The Smiths 20 years ago.

aaron mcgruder's a genius

Friday, March 03, 2006

album o' the day

Sunny Day Real Estate
(Sub Pop)

For some reason, in mainstream press, people seem to forget that Seattle had a music scene between the demise of Nirvana in 1994 and the commercial explosion of Modest Mouse in 2004. From the same scene that sired Isaac Brock's band came Built To Spill, The Makers, Murder City Devils, and Sunny Day Real Estate. The latter is often credited to bringing contemporary "emo" to the masses; I would just say that they're a really important Seattle rock band. While they didn't quite have the MTV success of Pearl Jam, Nirvana or even Screaming Trees, their debut "Diary" set the tone for the kind of music that would explode onto the independent music scene in the mid-90's. I might be wrong, but as my memory recalls, I heard Sunny Day before The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Mineral and the Promise Ring. But location may have something to do with that as well.

Since the release of "Diary" several members have achieved success in solo projects, joining other bands (Foo Fighters and Dashboard Confessional), and a short lived psuedo-reunion (The Fire Theft); yet nothing has been as groundbreaking as their time together in SDRE.

Still, we shouldn't forget that Jeremy Enigk and gang helped keep Seattle music afloat when the rest of the country was trying to burn their flannel.

crisis in faith

I began writing the story of how I wandered into the beliefs and ideas I have about God, Catholicism, and all things sacred. Somewhere along the way, I felt that it's a story better suited for a book rather than a short post on the internet. So here's the condensed version:

Raised Catholic --> At 15, started studying other faiths --> Went to a private Christian college --> At 23, finally comfortable with beliefs and such.

I guess I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I have relatives asking me when I'm going to baptize my daughter, but I also have my mom, who is a Jehovah's Witness, telling me that I should bring the kid to her church. In addition, my fiance is athiest and I whole-heartedly believe in God. So our compromise is that we'll let the kid decide when she's old enough to understand the complexities of religion and the people involved in it.

To be honest, I think being raised a Catholic, you automatically have a certain amount of guilt and burden on your shoulders. It's hard to have a fun childhood when you go to church every Sunday and told that no matter what good we do, we are still sinners. That's probably why a number of people who were raised Catholics reject the faith as adults.

Personally, I'm in a place where I can believe in God, but I still have a hard time understanding the people who dive into the dogma head first. A lot of my concerns have to do with some of the kids I went to school with at SPU, and I think Joel would attest to that as well. Then again, maybe it has little to do with God and my inability to understand human nature. But I'm still in my 20's, so I have some time to sort it out.