Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coldplay - Life in Technicolor II

They did it again!!! I absolutely loved Coldplay’s last album “Viva La Vida”. However, there was one track that I really wished they had added lyrics to… the opening track “Life in Technicolor”. Maybe it was the song’s sweet melody, the pulsating rhythm, its atmospheric vibe, or maybe it was the “OOHHHHH” “OOHHHHH” that Chris sings towards the end. Whatever the reason, that song was awesome untouched, but of course the perfectionist in me craved for just a bit more.

Fast forward to Coldplay’s new EP release named “Prospekts March” which contains previously unreleased material, and the first track is… “Life in Technicolor II”. Chris Martin delivers some solid vocals on the track which much to my delight was extended to just over four minutes from the original two and a half minutes. Ahhhh, bliss. Enjoy!!!

You can download the new version below:

Coldplay – Life in Technicolor II

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anne Sexton - The Other Woman

I just finished re-reading some poems by Anne Sexton. Most of her work is appealing to me in a "different" way. One poem in particular that stuck out for me was “You All Know The Story Of The Other Woman”.

The poem is basically about a woman whose significant other is cheating on her. The poem focuses on Sexton’s idea of what the man’s relationship with his mistress consists of. Sexton comforts herself by imagining the other woman as an inanimate object rather than viewing her as a real person. By not seeing the other woman as a person, she disqualifies any bond that her significant other and his mistress can possibly have. She says the other woman is the man’s selection part time, but when he is done with her he will put her back. This thought process makes it easier for her to accept the betrayal and still keep her self-worth. Sexton doesn’t deny the physical relationship that her significant other has with the other woman, but believes it is limited to just that. Sexton sums up the man’s relationship with the other woman as merely a carnal pursuit that takes place during nocturnal hours strictly for the fulfillment of his lustful desires. Sexton also assumes that the other woman can’t truly know her significant other very well due to the limited amount of time they spent together. She tells herself that the mistress is his “play-thing” and she is the woman he really cares about. She thinks she is the woman who has a real connection with him because he always comes back to her in the light of day. I believe it was Sexton’s intention to show this particular point of view in order for the reader to identify with her.

This poem made me think about the many excuses that people can come up with to fool themselves into thinking they are in a normal relationship. People suffer many different types of abuse, whether it is physical, verbal or emotional. It is easy to say that you would react a specific way if you ever found yourself in a certain hypothetical situation, until you actually found yourself in the real situation. It is also very easy to judge other people’s decisions without knowing all of the factors that lead to those decisions. The poem illustrates how we can become accustomed to and rationalize just about any situation we encounter no matter how absurd it may actually be. It also makes me wonder just what would be considered out of the question nowadays…

Monday, November 10, 2008

Iraq - A Just War? A Look Back

The issue of War and Terrorism is one that is always present, especially now since the United States is no longer perceived as a safe haven from the world’s violence. This country which was once “untouched” in terms of mass deaths due to terrorism, has now taken a more realistic view of itself and its vulnerabilities. Our current war or “act of aggression” and whether it is just or not can also be turned on its head depending on who you ask.

A just war is supposed to have three requirements according to
Thomas Aquinas:
  1. The war must be started and controlled by the authority of state or ruler.
  2. There must be a just cause.
  3. The war must be for good, or against evil. Law and order must always be restored.

The causes of this war, although initially clearly stated have become muddled with ulterior motives and double-talk. This war against Iraq or Jihad has been viewed as a holy war from the other side. Our acts of patriotism and "peacekeeping" are seen as terrorism by the Muslim world. War in this country has always been declared once an enemy first attacked our troops (Pearl Harbor for example), thus making it a just war. In this particular case President Bush instituted a preemptive war, which although we were never attacked, he justified by claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was attacked and invaded, the ruling party (Saddam Hussein) was ousted and then subsequently executed. Years have passed and we continue to occupy the country in order to “quell” insurgent uprisings. Our current president’s aggressive stance and actions in this case could cause a huge backlash against the United States, by other counties who now see us as an aggressor among peaceful nations.

To make things worse, the ethnocentric media that we as Americans are exposed to is rather limited and you would be surprised how much more you would learn by watching the newscasts aimed at a different audience besides predominantly American viewers. I'm glad that this "reign" is almost over...

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Zoé - Reptilectric

Zoé is an influential Mexican rock band which formed back in the 1990s. Although the majority of their songs are in spanish their sound seems to transcend the spanish rock genre and infect diverse audiences. Their style is one that has evolved and changed over the years with definite influences from the Britpop and Grunge movements.

This new upcoming release “Reptilectric” (Release date 11/11/2008) is the fourth studio album for them and a follow up to the highly acclaimed “Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea”.

I have also had the pleasure of seeing this band live 3 times and have never been disappointed. Their unique stage presence is undeniable and their atmospheric sound unmatched.

Below is the video for their first single and title track named “Reptilectric”

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cindy Sherman - Conceptual Photography

Cindy Sherman is an artist who is primarily known for her visionary self-portraits in which she focuses on concepts rather than aesthetics. There are typically messages or social commentary behind each of her images, which she uses her body to convey. Her use of various costumes and distinct style, which contribute to her ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia, bewilderment, wonder or repulsion within her audiences, is unrivaled. Other photographers of her era were pointing the camera outward to capture and record the world, while she turned the lens on herself to metamorphose and truly show the world what she wanted to express.

What one immediately grasps when you look at her work is the strength and vision in each of her images. Creating iconic impressions in a physical form that depicted the stereotypical attitude that society had towards women in movies, magazines and other forms of media called attention to the unjust practices. There is an almost dream-like and personal quality about her work that makes me feel like I am the person taking the picture. When one looks at her pictures one is not truly seeing her, but the character she wishes to show you. There is an anonymous quality about her personally, where she actually becomes the subject. There is an intensity found in her eyes whether she is playing the part of a glitzy celebrity, sex-pot or even woman in death. I find her work to be somewhat of a pioneer for other forms of visual artists that have since followed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day America Took America Back

I’ll keep this posting short and sweet. We have reached an epic time in our country’s history. A time when this monumental event marks the physical manifestation of the “American Dream” and inspire people everywhere to open up their minds and eyes and behold the endless possibilities they now have in front of them. Barack Hussein Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America!!! The difference in electoral votes, 364 to McCain’s 163, was substantial. Our country spoke loud and clear, and they voted for Change… Change in the way we will look at healthcare, Change in the way we run our businesses and the economy, Change in the way our country is perceived by the rest of the world, Change in the way we govern ourselves.

A couple of hours ago, I watched people from all different walks of life unite and cheer. I watched civil rights leader Jesse Jackson weep silently in the crowd at Grant Park when CNN announced that Obama had won. I saw Oprah jumping up and down with excitement, thousands of young Americans hugging and screaming, and live videos of Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza containing a multitude of hopeful and jubilant faces. These people cheered for a man that has captured the imagination of our great nation. Not because he said he had all of the answers, but because we knew he had a much different approach to what he have had to deal with for the last eight years. Those differences in ideology and outlook translated into an overall theme or message that echoed what the people of the U.S. wanted out of their next Commander in Chief.

This is the day America took America back. Congratulations Mr. Obama!!!