I want a dog.  Let me rephrase.  I REALLY want a dog.  I think I am beginning to understand a fraction of what women go through when they go baby crazy.  I am beginning to notice little puppies everywhere I go.  I even noticed the cute doggy sitting on the couch in the cars.com commercial.  The dog was about .000001% of the commercial, which is about as important as a painting hanging on the wall or a magazine sitting on the coffee table, yet somehow it stuck out to me.  Sheesh. It really makes me hate living in an apartment.  A couple weeks ago I couldn't sleep so I inevitably went out to the living room and hopped on  the interwebs.  I soon found myself on a Jack Russell terrier adoption website.  OMG!!! "Why do I do this to myself?" I thought.  I must like to torture myself.  Is there anything is this world so cute as this little guy?

Luckily Ash is on board with the dog idea, but we can't seem to agree on breed or age.  I want a puppy because who the hell doesn't want a puppy? Ash apparently.  Too much work.  Too many messes.  Blah blah blah.  Yes they are a lot of work and you have to train them right, but I think there is more of a bond when you get a dog as a puppy rather than when they are 4 years old.  I would be open to getting an adult dog, however, if I got to choose the breed.

Of course Ash wants something lame like a cockapoo, labradoodle, or some other ridiculous cross breed with a stupid name.  On the flip side, I of course want something that she would hate like a bulldog, bull terrier, or any other manner of manly dogs.  My compromise? The little guy pictured above.  Yes, they are super energetic and need to be excercised regularly but they have an awesome personality.  Have you ever met a Jack Russell you haven't liked?  I haven't.  I got the go ahead a few months ago which made me very happy.  And by "go-ahead" i mean a conversation not unlike this:

Me: "Hey babe, what about a Jack Russell (picture me with a big dumb smile on my face as I show her a picture on my laptop)?

Her: Sure, ok (absolutely no feeling in her voice as she was checking her facebook or something else that she cared about more than what I was saying). 

Me: Sweet! (Even bigger dumb smile on my face)

You all can probably guess how long that agreement lasted.  So sad.  If we had a house and yard and some real estate the decision would be really easy for us.  I think both would want a labrador or retriever of some sort.  Probably a black lab like my beloved Chester, God rest his soul, if I had my way.  But alas we don't have anything close to a house.  Actually, we still live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow dogs.  Why the hell am I evening putting so much sweat into this?  Because I like to torture myself.  GAH!!!   


Major/Minor - Thrice

Thrice rarely, if ever, disappoint.  I can't honestly say where my expectations were with this album.  I loved their last one, Beggars, but I have also loved everything they have put out since Vheissu (for the record I have always been a fan but Vheissu turned me into a super fan).  When they announced that the title of the new album would be "Major/Minor" I was a bit confused.  "What a random album title?" I thought.  One must admit that it doesn't roll off the tongue very easily.  Once I gave the album a once over, I completely understood why they gave the album that name and thought that it was very fitting.  Apparently the name references the back and forth nature from major chords to minor chords, and back again.

The album starts off with "Yellow Bellow" which sports a riff that is dirtier than a hobo's underwear.  I can't say enough about how well this riff sounds against Riley's drum beats.  In fact that is the case with practically the entire album.  I have always been a fan of Riley's drumming but he has definitely taken it up a notch this time around.  It really drives the entire album especially on tracks like "Promises" and "Call it in the air" (the little bridge after the first chorus sports some of my favorite drumming on the album).  On "Call it in the air" the major/minor back and forth is really showcased.

There are a number of little gems on this album that make so much fun to listen to.  I never in my life thought Thrice would write anything that sounded like a Fugazi song and yet they do here with "Cataracts" and pull it off gracefully without it sounding like a rip off.  The opening riff on "Treading Paper" sounds like something off of a Pink Floyd record and yet doesn't sound out of place with the rest of the song.  Of course there is also "Blur" which is easily the fastest and most aggressive song on the album.  "Blur" is also propelled by Ed's bass lines.  The slides he does in the chorus really give the song a bit of heaviness that would have otherwise been missing.

The strongest song on the album would have to be "Words in the Water" which is the closest thing that Thrice has ever gotten to a power ballad.  If modern radio was what it should be, this song would be a #1 hit and Thrice would selling out the Honda Center instead of playing two shows at HoB Anaheim.  The thing about pretty much every Thrice release though, is that even the pedestrian songs ("Blinded" and "Listen Through Me") end up being better than most bands best songs and sometimes end up being my favorite listens on the album and/or live ala "Lost Continent" from The Alchemy Index.

The album closes with "Disarmed" which was an excellent choice.  The song closes out Major/Minor in a similar way that "Red Sky" closed out Vheissu, with a very epic and cinematic finish.  The lyrics that Dustin has written for this song really mix well with the movement of the song itself.  The song is about how death is not the end and that we will see our loved ones again.  Teppei's riff on the bridge after the second chorus, which turns into the outro, is one of the most beautiful moments on the entire album.  When listening to this song, one can't help but think of the loved ones that have been lost.  The song is a tad dark, but ends very hopeful.  That being said, I think the difference between a Thrice album, and most other music out there, is that it makes you feel something.  Yes, Dustin's lyrics speak to me personally and one can't deny his unmatched delivery, but the voices of the other three band members can be heard through music both as a whole and individually.  They are a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.  It is not a show of each person's chops, but you can also hear the expertise of each  member in parts that compliment the song.  The result is not only an album full of great songs, but it is a bunch of great songs that make up a cohesive album that is an enjoyable from start to finish.  As stated earlier, if the world was fair this album would start out at #1 on the charts and the band would be rock stars.  They will most likely have to settle for critical acclaim and year end top album honors.  As for this guy, the question isn't where does this album fit in with other albums this year (its clearing the best album of the year), it is where does it fit in with the rest of their catalog.  Vheissu has long been been favorite album by Thrice, but Major/Minor is making its case for being #1.


For the Record

A few days ago I received the new Thrice record Major/Minor in the mail. When a lot of people say record, they actually album or CD. In this instance when I say record I mean an actual record, vinyl, if you will. I pre-ordered this bad boy about 2 or 3 months ago and have been not so patiently awaiting its arrival. I have bought records in the past and have a very very small "collection" of both LP's and 7 inches (what my parents refer to as a 45, only it has the small LP hole rather than the bigger 45 hole). Of the 50 or so records I have, about 10 of them are Thrice records that I cherish very much and have actually become pretty rare/expensive, according to eBay. Now this new record is important, not only continue on the collection(I think I have all their vinyl except a 7 inch single for All That's Left and the LP of their second album that I am waiting to find on yellow vinyl of which their are only 500 made), but also because the vinyl was released 2 weeks before the actual digital and CD versions are released. Furthermore, they shipped the vinyl early so I actually had it in my hands about 3 weeks before the release date on 9.20.11.

This is both awesome and terrible at the same time. On the awesome side of things, I get to listen to my favorite band's new album 3 weeks before pretty much everyone else. Of course I think that is the cat's pajamas. There is, of course, the other way of looking at things which is, this sucks that I CAN ONLY LISTEN TO THIS BEHEMOTH ON A DAMN RECORD PLAYER!! I know what you all are asking yourselves and the answer is yes, I do have one of these ancient devices called a record player. I honestly don't know how people in my parents generation did it back in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to appreciate about vinyl. It has superb sound that is unsurpassed by CD's and most, if not all, digital media forms(as far as I know). Not to mention that a record is much "cooler" than a cd and it actually physically exists unlike an mp3(read: it has stuff I can nerd out on like pictures, artwork, lyric sheets, even thank you lists, yes i am huge nerd and read all that crap). One other cool thing about records is that a lot of times nowadays they will include extra songs or features that the CD and digital versions don't. This record, for example, has liner notes on every song from all 4 members of the band talking about how the song was written, in depth discussion on the lyrics, and other fun stuff about the writing and recording of the album. That all being said, you can only listen while you are at home. WTF? Then, to make matters worse, you have to keep flipping the damn thing over. Major/Minor finds a way to worsen the deal by being a double album, meaning that the album is split between two physical records. So now I have to not only flip the record, I have to change it out for a whole new record halfway through? Damnit. How is one to right an enlightened blog posting when he is constantly having to flip and change out a record? I have always kind of known that these drawbacks have existed because like I said I have a few other records that I DO play from time to time. The reason it is becoming more apparent to me now is because this is the first time I have ever been anticipating an album coming out and my first listen has been on vinyl with no other option of format. I so badly want to put this album on my ipod so I can listen to it in my car and all day at work. How does one fully drink in an album when it is chained to a record player? I have had the record for 3 days and I have only listened to it twice all the way through. If I had it on mp3, I would have listened to it 10 times at least in the first day. 9.20.11 can not come soon enough. Maybe it will leak on the internet and I can download it beforehand so as to have it on my ipod as soon as possible. If not, I will continue to devote whatever free time I have to enjoying this materpiece, and it is a masterpiece, on my record player while nerding out with the liner notes.

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