Monday, October 31, 2011

An Album Review?

Okay, so I downloaded Switchfoot's latest album, Vice Verses, just for kicks. I have honestly tried to like Switchfoot several times in my life. I had three of their albums before downloading this one and when they came to LU last year, I thought they put on an amazing show. But they have never stuck with me. I thought that maybe this album would change that.


To me, Switchfoot is a band that makes good singles or has a few good tracks an album, but they have never composed an entire album that I could listen to and love through and through. Vice Verses is no exception to this. Let's go track by track.

  1. Afterlife - It's a decent opener. It has this revolutionary vibe to it, carpe diem or whatever, but it's way too similar to Switchfoot's earlier hit Meant to Live for me. I's essentially the same message. Still, it's a good song. It has an interesting rhythm to it and a nice sound.
  2. The Original - Sometimes I think Switchfoot forgets that they have made many, many albums. Sometimes I think that they really think their ideas are so fantastic that they need put out track after track about them. This song...I mean, who were they writing for? The fourteen year old girl in all of us? Be original. That's what this song says. OVER and OVER and OVER. I kept getting the distinct vision of a teen-dance-party montage during this song. Not cool.
  3. The War Inside - Musically, this song is pretty interesting. Again, however, the idea of personal/spiritual revolution is preached. This song really makes me wonder who Switchfoot's audience truly is. But more on that later. However, the line "We are the kids of the in-between" bothered me to no end. These are middle-aged men. And they are not profound enough to pull off transcendentalism like Emerson.
  4. Restless - The song is, again, a song of searching and or the re-invention of self. That's basically all that's on this album. Except this one is a ballad. Joy.
  5. Blinding Light - OH LOOK, it's a repeat of track four, but instead of a teenage girl, we've got a boy. Granted, this song is pretty fun musically. We've got a cool drumbeat and a nice bassline. I'm trying to figure out if Switchfoot would rather be a motivational speaking outfit. SO UPLIFTING.
  6. Selling the News - WHERE DO I BEGIN WITH THIS SONG? See, it's this kind of crap that really bothers me with Switchfoot. They ALWAYS have a track where they just decided to get on a soapbox and rant about the media. About how "truth" gets muddled in everyday life. It's so ridiculous. I can't deal with it. I actually get angry because where do they get off condemning the media? THEY ARE PART OF THE MEDIA. Look, I get it, I lived through American Idiot, I understand the whole rebellion thing. But all this song is saying is that the media is this ugly, lying entity, and that by being suspicious of everything (rather than just secular sources), we are becoming just as bad as the evil perpetuated in the media--that Switchfoot is somehow separated from. Probably the most disturbing verse of this song is the line "See, opinions are easier to swallow than facts/the greys instead of the whites and the blacks." Anyone who knows anything about Switchfoot knows that they are a semi-Christian band that construct their songs in such a way that they always have two meanings: a secular one and a Christian one. Knowing this, what that line says from a Christian standpoint is to only accept the "truth" and nothing else. However, it presumes that the "truth" has one true and consistent interpretation. This is completely untrue. This song is promoting a closed-minded perspective without compassion for those who come from a different viewpoint, which is holistically an very un-Christian stance. Christianity has always been perceived as a spirituality of compassion and understanding, and this song contradicts that in the very first verse.
  7. Thrive - Another lovely ballad about spiritual re-invention. Nothing new. I am beginning to wonder if Switchfoot as produced anything truly "new" since 2004.
  8. Dark Horses - At least this song is musically exciting. I wouldn't mind learning this on guitar. In fact, I actually like this song. Yeah, it's uplifting and about revolution and about spiritual re-invention, but it's presented in such a way that I don't want to punch anyone in the face. Good job.
  9. Souvenirs - This song is probably the best song on the album because it's not general. Switchfoot isn't trying to take this transcendentalist viewpoint on spiritual revolution. This is a personal song. It's real. It's about love and loss. A listener can relate to it on a very personal level, but it's still only the speaker's message. If Switchfoot could do this for a few more tracks, I might like them. But alas.
  10. Rise Above It - On the whole, aside from the energetic music, this song is entirely uninteresting. See tracks 1-5 and 7.
  11. Vice Verse - This is a song about being human. Such a new concept about for Switchfoot. Very Emersonian....lame.
  12. Where I Belong - This song is seven minutes long. I love the music, so I just ignore everything else. I mean, the message is fine...but it's basically a repeat of this entire album. Nothing remarkable.
I mean, it's not like I hate this album. I like a lot of the songs, but they shouldn't all be on the same album. They all say the same thing over and over. And it's boring. I am tired of hearing about spiritual awakening from Switchfoot. That's all they every talk about. And if I weren't a Christian, I have a hard time believing that I would find anything worthwhile in with this band. As it stands, I feel like I am being preached to. That's not cool. If I wanted that, I would listen to worship music. I mean, they aren't musically interesting or lyrically clever enough to get away with it like Relient K. Their lyrical concepts kind of sound like a broken record. I just wish they would branch out and stop trying to be uplifting, and just write music. Write songs they personally believe in, rather than promote general, transcendental Christian ideals. It's getting really old.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Ten minutes ago, I just realized that my dorm window overlooks the lake on campus. I looked out my window and literally froze. All I could see was green lake and the trees with their orange leaves.

Today, it's cold. Fall cold. And it's cloudy, but still bright.

Looking out the window, I thought, "My life is awesome. Life is beautiful. Everything is beautiful."

On the way back to my dorm this morning (pre-lake revelation), I realized that I could have a pretty nice normal life, but I don't want one. I refuse to live an average life. I refuse it.

So when I saw the lake, when I saw the beauty there, I realized I was making the right choice.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Had a dream
Woke up
Remembered the dream
Thought about it
Wanted it

I realized it was just a dream.

Never going to happen
Never ever
Never again.

Thought about it some more
Remembered more
Past the dream
Into memories
I smiled

I realized that's all was.

You're a casualty
You're over
You're done.

I realized that I these are my hardships.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Point A to Point B

I wish Meredith Grey would narrate my life too.


Point A to Point B

That's essentially what life is. We all want to get from Point A to Point B. It can be specific or overly broad. The points can change, but they are always there. And how you get from each point is where your story is written. That's why you can only see things clearly in retrospect, because it's after you have reached a Point B. Then you are allowed to see what was written about you along the way. It's quite an interesting system.


Some of you may have noticed a horribly written short story on my Facebook page. Basically, I needed to write a short story and Glee's version of Don't Stop Believing came on and I just went with it.

Funny thing about that story though. The female lead, Lisa, doesn't really have any business thinking that she would be a successful actress in any way. All she has is a feeling. Now, in the context of the story, it's hilarious. She's just like any female lead of any iconic 80's film and it ties in with the song Don't Stop Believing.


As it applies to my life....and I hate to admit this, but all I have is a feeling. This inherent feeling that I am meant, made, to succeed. I know that sounds stupid. I know it is stupid. But it's what I have and it's what drives me. And I can't stop thinking about it. About how I am going to back this feeling up. About where this feeling will take me. And I am so terrified. But I can't find it in me to back down.

From Point A to Point B, I guess.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fighting Cold Feet

It's so hard to connect your future with what you want; to make sure they line up. It's so hard and that's why whenever you tell someone what you want in your future, they usually try to tell you how unlikely it is, rather than try to encourage you or even listen for that matter.

It's also why most people give up on what they want and just let the future happen. Then, if they end up happy, they say it was luck or a blessing or the will of God.

At some point in life, you have to choose. You have to commit and decided that what you want is what you really want for your future. It's true: You make your own destiny, forge your own path, no one can do that but you--but you have to commit to that destiny.

This is where I am.

I have done all of the ground work. I have done all of the soul-searching. I know what I want. I can see the future that includes what I want. It's clear as day. Now I have to commit to it; I have to marry it. This destiny that I want has to now become as much a part of me as a spouse would. For better or worse and in sickness and in health.

It's only going to get harder from here: More expensive, more demanding, more cutthroat, but also more enlightening, more fulfilling, and more rewarding. If I commit, and get down the proverbial aisle, it will be worth it--I know that--but I have to get there first.

I was mistaken before. Now comes the hard part. Keeping faith.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


You better not play me. Not after all I've done for you. Not after all we both promised.


I've never been so disappointed in my life.


I want to play guitar all of the time.


You'll hear about Bragron in four years. Mark my words. Be sure to track the tag.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Here's The Thing About College

NOTE: This blogpost is for my Writing for Electronic Media class, so it may be a little different from the rest of this blog.

Here's the thing about college: It's stupid expensive.

I don't really understand why it's so expensive, but I do know that the expense is not relative. The cost of an American college education is far more expensive than, say, a Canadian college education. What's worse is the value of a colleged education is decreasing exponentially. Today's bachlor's degree is the high school diploma of fifty years ago--it's practically expected if you want to make any sort of decent living.

So if somebody wants to do more than just make a decent living, additional college is required. I mean, it's been practically a given since I started college, that in order to be really successful, I am going to have to go to grad school. Just chalk up another fifty grand or so to my student debt.

Naturally, the idea that colleges are going to start basing admission on a student's ability to pay is kind of frustrating. I mean, if a kid works their ass off to meet all of the admission requirements and get the good grades, they should get in. It shouldn't matter if the student is poor. Brains over Brawn/Financial Stability, right?

However, economic hardship is relative. I mean, I guess it's understandable that colleges would want to get away from admitting students who are less likely to keep up their end of the bargain. A college is a business too--they need to pay the bills.

I guess it's our own fault though. This is America--the shining example of capitalism. Money gets you everywhere and charity is rare. If you want something, you have to work for it. And I guess in the case of college, "work for it" will now also have to include three part time jobs as well as exemplary grades and involvment in extracuriculars. Good luck Class of 2013.