Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good Fortune?

Good Fortune?

See ... taking the break from this blog that I took for a couple months caused me some problems upon dusting off the cobwebs ...

I have a number of blog entries to finish, some of which might actually have been timely at some point. Most of them are okay to spread out over time like this, but a couple of things have been lost to the mists.

For instance, I received a fortune from a fortune cookie on July 25th that informed me that in 3 months time I was to save the date for something special to happen. I saved that fortune and was going to scan it in and post it on October 25th to see if there was anything noteworthy to report. Didn't happen.

Then the other day I grabbed said fortune and went to scan it and somehow lost it in transit and so I do not have it to scan in any more. Lame. Had I simply scanned it at the time, this would not have happened. I cannot recall previously scanning it.

So, the report of October 25th is that nothing noteworthy occurred and I have no visual aid that would be relevant to this posting.

My bad.

I am being a good Democrat by writing this ...

I am being a good Democrat by writing this ...

Make them all go away ...

It would be worth a single term of a Romney or a McCain if it meant a new slate of candidates for 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This might explain her shaking legs ...




From page 14 of Seattle Weekly December 19-25, 2007 ....

I am not defending dirty players ...


I am not defending dirty players ...

... but The Mitchell Report is crap ...

Bud Selig needs to resign. It happened on his watch. And, when they finally start making SOME measure of progress he lets a report go public that only has the testimony of former employees and no actual evidence. Nothing can be proved. Nothing can be disproved. The players are never going to cooperate with owners ever again after this ... and shouldn't ... at least as long as Bud Selig is in charge.

You cancelled the World Series. You stopped an All-Star Game as a tie. You let the steroids into baseball when the game suffered due to the strike and needed a boost. Then, when everything became obvious and politically difficult, you acted all indignant. You are a bafoon and need to go for the betterment of the game.

Bud Selig must resign.

Rejoice!


Rejoice!

Seattle is getting an MLS team in 2009!!!!

Me and my new best friend Drew Carey at the George & Dragon Pub in Seattle's Fremont on Veterans' Day 2007 ...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

US Bank Sucks ...

US Bank Sucks ...

A $100 check is written on a bank account. The person who receives the check goes to the bank it was written on and finds out that for the first time ever the bank is going to charge to have the check cashed. So, the $100 check is actually a $95 check. The person with the check used to be in banking and knows that directly cashing a check is simple, safe, and with ID a very simple transaction. The bank is now double dipping, charging on both ends, despite the fact that the industry standard has always been different. The teller has to apologize for their corporation because they are clearly embarrassed to have to charge to do the transaction. The company receives a comment and tries to convince the person with the check that the company actually considers its policies to be some sort of five star customer service. The person with the check has a hard time not laughing while reading the response from the company, but will never do business with them ever again.

-----

Comment or Question

My mother has been a long time customer of your bank and previous incarnations which merged to form US Bank. She is a senior and has limited mobility due to near blindness. She wanted to pay me $100 without having to run out of the house in the dark so she wrote me a check. She has done this numerous times over the years for me running her errands and the like. Today I go to cash the check as I have done for years and am now informed that there is a $5 fee, since I do not have an account. All the teller must do is clear the check, perhaps the single simplest transaction they will perform that day.

Were I to open an account the fee would go away. Nice. However, if there are fees of this kind associated with US Bank accounts, it is not possible that I would ever want to bank with your company. Were I to bank with you and write my nieces or nephews checks, they would be charged this utterly ridiculous and unjustifiable fee.

There is no chance of me ever banking with you now. I have encouraged my mother to take her banking elsewhere and she is considering doing so.

It is clear that customer service is simply not something US Bank is concerned with. What is clear is that US Bank is trying to end the era of paper checks and discourage teller based banking by making it as inconvenient and costly as possible.

Bad word of mouth generated by customers such as my mother will hopefully cost US Bank far more in the long run than the accumulated $5 fees will be able to offset. I am certain this will be a topic of conversation amongst her circle of friends as she was severely upset upon receiving my call about the fee.

There simply comes a point where corporate policy makes it impossible to view a company in a favorable light. It is clear that US Bank is on the wrong track and I will be passing along my story to everyone I know.

-----

The next day a convenient response is in the email folder ...

-----

Dear (Deleted),

Thank you for using U.S. Bank® email.

I apologize for any disagreement with U.S. Bank®'s Service Fees.

Please note that at the branch's discretion, a $5.00 fee may be charged to provide a check cashing service to a non-U.S.
Bank® customer. This fee may of course be avoided when the Payee cashes or deposits their check with their own
Financial Institution, or by establishing a U.S. Bank® account. Please understand that the cashing of a check for a non-
U.S. Bank® customer is a service being provided, and as such, has a fee.

I am truly sorry to hear that this fee has resulted in your decision not to do business with U.S. Bank®. We value our customers
and hope that you will reconsider this decision, however, we also respect your right to choose your bank.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.

Have a Great Weekend!

Sincerely,

(Name Deleted)
Email Operations
U.S. Bank 24-Hour Banking and Financial Sales

If you need further assistance, please feel free to call (DELETED) or go to (deleted) and select the 'Contact Us' link.


-----

Don't do business with US Bank.

Check cashing fees are a reasonable fee under many circumstances, this is not one of those circumstances.

Tens

Tens

Pele and Diego Maradona both wore #10
Both quarterbacks in the 2007 Apple Cup wore #10
Bo Derek was a 10.
Pearl Jam has a record titled "Ten"


And now Jefferson has completed Marathon #10 ...

Monday, October 01, 2007

USL-1 Championship





USL-1 Championship
Seattle Sounders 4 Atlanta Silverbacks 0
Tukwila, WA - Starfire
09-29-07

-------

Was going to do a minute by minute thing and take pics but the camera had no batteries and I just ended up enjoying the game instead ... so this will have to do ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who am I?

Who am I?

I get a bit of feedback from those who might not know me. Who am I? Who is Jefferson?

Well ...

Jefferson is a single dad of two great kids, a graduate of Washington State University (more than once) a fan of live anything over recorded anything, a former blonde, recovering caffeine addict, ex-rock magazine editor, former licensed flagger, marathon runner and triathlete, tae kwon do black belt, soccer fan/player/coach, published novelist, Seattle Sounders Supporter, Frosted Flakes fan, two step and swing dancer, Kurosawa movie buff, future cask aged micro brew owner, and failed guitarist ...

A tale of two prisons ...

A tale of two prisons ...
or ... why not Alcatraz instead of Gitmo?

After the attacks of September 11, 2001 the United States and others were faced with many choices of how to deal with the rise of international terrorism and Islamic Extremism. The opportunity in front of us was one that – if done properly – would clearly show that certain ideals about liberty, openness, and freedom were a direct counter to something ultimately as defeatist as we were facing. My understanding of history is one that shows that movements that are ultimately about consolidated power of a few over the rights of the vast majority lose out. The majority of the Islamic world is not interested in the goals and aims of groups like Al Quaeda, they want the basics of life like other cultures do, and they were also mostly horrified by the atrocities committed in the name of their religion.

Would the leaders with the task of facing up to modern terrorism live up to it by showing the world that the bar was high, a transparent and fair legal system was essential to democracy, and clearly show that the terrorists were leading their society down the wrong path by showing the strength of a society based upon strong civil liberties?

No.

The US government has turned on its own people; trampling civil liberties, blocking access to information at every turn, and focusing on secrecy above all else. Our government has taken the notion of civil liberties as a sign of weakness, when it is in fact our greatest strength in the long run.

Gitmo is a perfect example. We have essentially ignored and tried to create international law at the same time. The utter lack of transparency in government is a historical sign that something being done needs to be hidden because it is wrong. And why Cuba? It is clear to me that it was chosen because of the opportunity to function outside of scrutiny and that the Bush Administration was shocked at the reaction its plan met and continues to meet by Americans and the rest of the world.

No, Alcatraz would have been a far better choice of locations. The thought of terrorist suspects, real and legitimate ones going through a very public and open legal process in the heart of San Francisco Bay while being forced to look at the bright lights across the water would have been a far more powerful signal to the world and the terrorists themselves. We could have said, “We have nothing to hide,” and proceeded to give Americans a good solid look at the process with confidence in our government and its leaders.

That did not happen.

A Tale of Two Plea Bargains ...

A Tale of Two Plea Bargains ...

Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig plead guilty, stood in front of cameras, and tried to make believe that his admission of guilt and signature did not matter. He has been unapologetic in his attempts to cast himself as a victim. Craig has claimed that he was “entrapped”. In order to be entrapped you have to do it in the first place. Larry, that is an admission. That tells everyone all they need to know. Larry Craig would have you believe that his signing his name to a guilty plea was the same thing as pleading “No Contest”. It’s not and his ongoing antics make it clear that he is desperate to cloud the issue to try and make it go away when all he has done is fan the flames.

Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick plead guilty, stood in front of cameras without a script, and apologized. In the process he chose to take a public account of his behavior. He made no excuses. He is going to go to jail and has little chance of being reinstated by the current NFL Commissioner Roger “suspend and fine everyone without mercy” Goodell. Vick’s choice to admit his guilt and face the public and take his punishment like a man is refreshing, even if his crime was grotesque.

I am a believer in redemption and forgiveness, especially when people take open account for their own actions. Michael Vick will see his redemption long before Larry Craig.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Swains - Live at Rancho Valenzuela ...






The Swains
Live at Rancho Valenzuela ...
August 25, 2007
Ballard's only Honky Tonk ...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Never Leave During The Seventh Inning Stretch ...

Never Leave During The Seventh Inning Stretch ...

Seattle Mariners 8
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7
9-13-07 Seattle, WA - Safeco Field

Thursday PM (almost 2 hours before first pitch)

- Ticket left for Tim at Will Call. I go in early as there is no point standing around being irritated by scalpers. No money for beer.

- Free card giveaway. “First twenty thousand fans”. They’ll have leftovers tonight.

- I try and get a batting practice ball with all of the success I ever have. No mitt. No ball. Sun in my eyes for 40 minutes whilst I try. Good times.

- Free photo “with the Mariner Moose” … okay …

- I think I see an ex-brother-in-law and kind of creep the guy out by staring.

- Ohio State fans? Oh, that’s right, they are here to kick Husky ass this weekend.

- No radio. Dangit!

- Scorecard a buck. I’ll keep score tonight.

- Man, this place is prissy.

- It’s a sunny, nice, and still somewhat warm evening as we get through the first of 3 ceremonial first pitches. I deliberately do not wear my coat, trying to soak in the end of Summer for as long as I can.

- Tim and I match, which is kind of creepy, and he comments that we look like LDS missionaries. Worse yet, he’s correct.





Friday AM (about 15 hours later)

While driving to the bus Friday morning I listened to the news update on the radio briefly mention the Mariners come from behind win on Thursday night. I had to smile, because had I heard that report and had left early, I would have been very, very, very unhappy. There was a point in the game where I seriously considered leaving, but decided not to just in case something really cool happened. Something really cool did happen; the M’s came back from 7-1 down at the 7th Inning Stretch and won 8-7 in very dramatic fashion. The Sporting Gods would have smited me for my indiscretion had I left the game early. Instead, the Sporting Gods showed favor upon Jefferson and put him in position to really enjoy watching the go ahead run round third and head for home. Yes, the Tampa Bay manager was the one smited, for he is the one that walked Ichiro to get to Beltre and had to watch as Beltre pulled a horrible low and outside pitch he had no business swinging at in the first place down the left field line in fair territory whilst Jeremy Reed, of all people, scored as a pinch runner.

Thursday PM (Approximately 16 hours earlier, give or take)

She smacked her head, hard, with her right palm, then kept muttering and swearing about and at the Queen of England and bodily functions. The two guys across from me seemed like undercover security at first, sent to keep an eye on her. We had sat there at the bus stop a little too long for something not to be up; lingering after the obvious security guy on his cell phone finally stepped off the bus so we could depart; having followed her onto the bus after following her around the transit center due to her erratic behavior. The guy seated across from her, he leaned away sharply when he finally noted her behavior and the slap, making an “Oh #*($” sort of eye contact with me, but ultimately closing his eyes and listening to his headphones, likely turned up louder.

The same guy across from her, he could have turned his headphones up due to the guy that would not just shut the #*($ up about his partying with an acquaintance that wasn’t quite as loud but was still willing to participate in the conversation. Dude, I don’t care about your accidental candlelight party because your power was shut off two days earlier or about your thoughts on anti-heroes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters or Pirates of the Caribbean.

I had seen the head slap lady walking around the transit center wearing a bath robe; a very, very old bathrobe over her rolled up pants with a hospital-ish type of stocking cap. She was muttering while walking and I noted the security guy eyeing her. I was kind of ticked that she originally sat across from me. She got up to get off the bus moments later, but turned and moved back when she noticed the security guy at the front of the bus. She stayed in that seat and somehow the woman next to her managed to remain asleep.

Oh. My. God. The loud guy is discussing Red Dawn. “No, they weren’t Russians, more like Cubans or something. It didn’t matter, it was just American propaganda … WOLVERINES!!!” I try to not keep listening.

She hasn’t done anything but stare at her transfer slip for a while now. I can’t tell if she is still muttering or not because that >!(#head won’t ever shut the #*($ up about television programming. I really should have brought the MP3 player today. No, I did not want to be burdened by carrying stuff around at the game tonight. The two guys who are apparently not security after all have a brief discussion about sitting in the accordion section of the bus before one of them plugs in his MP3 player and the other gets out a bestseller to read that I have considered reading myself. The transfer slip is now in her mouth, sticking out like an orange tongue. I need to stop looking.

This has already been a long commute from Bellevue to Seattle. He’s getting louder now. His friend is encouraging him. Clearing out my cell phone of old text messages is helping distract me. The tunnel noise helps. Heckler alert. Yes! The two not security guys and I start rooting him on quietly amongst ourselves. “Shut up!” the guy keeps squeaking from behind his newspaper a couple seats away. They argue a bit. One keeps talking. The other keeps heckling. I hope they have the same stop. They don’t. The two guys laugh at my comment about the same exit.

I get off the bus, nearly missing my stop due to the giggling. The guy just keeps being louder. He gets off at the same stop as me with his friends and keeps right on being loud outside. I cross the street quickly to finally get away from him. She stayed on the bus. I needed some hum bow; they’re cheap and filling. I just like saying the word.




Tuesday, September 11, 2007

911 ... time has flown

911 ... time has flown

I was driving to work early that morning and listening to the radio ... The End was on and the talk was about a plane that had hit the World Trade Center ... I had to find out my first info on this from Steve the Producer ...

At the work place that day ... there were no calls more or less, the world was watching television ... I did talk to a guy who said could see the smoke from where he was in New Jersey and to someone whose car was parked near that area ...

My brother let me know we got our 2002 Olympic tickets in the mail that day ... would there even be an Olympics? There was. And, as we flew in to Salt Lake City several months later our plane was under military escort ...

I went to New York City in 2004 and saw the site, walked all the way around it, and got a story first hand of what it was like to be there that day from an old friend who works in Manhattan ... it was sobering ...

Sporting events that week were cancelled ... the M's ... the Cougs ... I went to the make up game for the 911 cancellation of the Cougs and Colorado a few years later at Qwest Field ... the 911 cancellation game ended up deciding who played for the BCS that year since the game never being played really screwed up the computers regarding Nebraska and Colorado in re strength of schedule for the 2001 season ...

Since then, we have been abused by our political leaders who still say that if you are not waving the flag, giving in to whatever they want, or question them at all, then you "Hate America" ... I love my country even when I do not agree with those elected ... in fact, people protest because they love their country ...

It has been six years since that horrible day ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cougar Football Saturday ...

In 1996 I attended Cougar Football games with a pager, in case of labor. In the years since, it did not make sense to drag the kids to these games, since the crowds are so large. I take them to sporting events, but ones with much smaller attendance. Now that Ringo is playing junior football and is understanding the game, it makes much more sense to take him. So, father and son had their first Cougar Football Saturday together ... very, very cool ...






Cougar Football Saturday ...
WSU 45 SDSU 17
Seattle, WA - Qwest Field
09-08-07

Friday, September 07, 2007

Two, Two, Two Games in One (Post) ...

Two, Two, Two Games in One (Post) ...

Game 1
Seattle Sounders 1 FC Dallas 2 (AET)
Seattle, WA - Qwest Field - 8-4-07
US Open Cup Semifinals

Game 2
Seattle Sounders 4 California Victory 0
Seattle, WA - Qwest Field - 8-6-07
USL1 Regular Season

**********

A couple of notes:

Game 1
- 10K? nice ... good timing given that the Billionaire Disney Exec Future Grand Sounders Poobah was supposedly at his first game ...
- 0-0 after regulation, 2-1 after extra time? I still think an early goal would have turned this into a shootout ...
- as the 2nd extra time wound down I commented to Tim that it just wasn't going to happen, then there was 4 minutes of stoppage added to punish Dallas for their unprofessional conduct of time wasting and the Sounders managed to score and have everyone in the box for one last go at it as time expired and Eylander sent one into the box ... too bad Appalachian State used up all the upset karma in the universe for the foreseeable future ...
- stuff being thrown from the crowd; streamers, bottles, whatever ... will hopefully lead to a tape review of the section and stadium bans against the offending parties involved ... it doesn't matter why ... it just doesn't happen ...
- a great game ... one of the best played matches I can remember seeing ... the crowd was into it and drowned out the piped in music over and over ... people cared about this result ...

Game 2
- a lot less than 10k
- the Cougar logos on the field must have been a good luck charm for the Sounders and should remain there forever ...
- 6th minute goal 1 ... by the 27th it was 2-0, the California D was clearing balls off their goal line as often as not, and it was very clear that a flat back four had no chance against the Sounder midfield and forwards, and the first crack at the hat trick had already been struck ...
- the middle of the first half ball and tee shirt toss into the crowd had virtually everyone standing and trying to get a ball - my daughter and I each got one earlier in the year ourselves - and those that did not stand seemed not to be bothered by it ... well, there may have been a few people channeling Grumpy somewhere in the stadium ...
- a hat trick ... always nice to see ...

Game 1 - Where have you all been? We've missed you ...
Game 1 - I actually kind of like sitting here ....
Game 1- An example of how to really make your presence felt as an opposing fan ...
Game 2 - Opening kick and California is already going the wrong way ...
Game 2 - It didn't seem like The Victory got it past midfield very much ...
Game 2 - The first (of many) goals ...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Day at The Fair ...

A Day at The Fair ...
The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe
September 2, 2007

I seriously considered purchasing this item.
Mooooooooo ...
A guy was shaving the rear udders of goats with a disposable razor. I chose to take this picture instead.
Nothing runs like a Deere.



This bull was considering mayhem against Uncle Ron.

Dangerous chickens.

Where is your cousin Jar Jar?
The Klan is desperate for members.
El Gran Luchadore Sheep.
Why is this necessary?
Ron had not gone to The Fair in decades. His plan was to try and keep down a Deep Fried Snickers (on a stick). It stayed down.
Cliff Hanger (w/both).
1001 Nachts (w/Mantha).
Extreme Fusion.
Ringo: Dad, look at the ground!
Dad: I can only see the ground!

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Year Of Shotgun Prose ...

A Year Of Shotgun Prose ...

Holy Moley Andy!

I have managed to post steadily for an entire year ... over 200 posts ... a lot of photos and scans and recently even videos ... some good stuff ... some stuff that makes me cringe later ... numerous comments ...

Who knows how long this will last?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In commemoration of the 1977 Soccer Bowl ...


Ten greatest Sounders wins I have witnessed in person ... (Oxymoron Project ongoing)

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Seattle Sounders loss to the Pele & Company version of the (New York) Cosmos in the 1977 Soccer Bowl (8.28.77 in Portland, OR)- a loss by the way - I am listing the ten greatest Sounders wins I have witnessed in person ...

Maybe I will list the toughest losses I have attended - which will have to include the 1977 Soccer Bowl itself - someday ...

"Ten Best Wins" I have witnessed in person as a Seattle Sounders Supporter as of the 30th Anniversary of the 1977 Soccer Bowl (Let's all hope more great wins can work their way onto this list.):

1) 10-01-05 vs. Richmond 1-1 (4-3 PK’s) USL1 Championship Game – Qwest Field
2) 08-05-03 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 US Open Cup Round of 16 – Husky Field
*) 08-07-07 vs. Colorado Rapids 5-0 US Open Cup Quarterfinals - Qwest Field
3) 07-18-07 vs. CD Chivas USA 3-1 US Open Cup Round of 16 – Qwest Field
4) 08-25-77 vs. Los Angeles Aztecs 1-0 NASL Playoffs – Kingdome
5) 08-10-77 @ Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 NASL Playoffs – Empire Stadium
6) 09-10-00 vs. Bay Area Seals 2-1 A League Playoffs – Memorial Stadium
*) 08-01-07 vs. Portland Timbers 2-0 Cascadia Cup/USL1 Regular Season - Qwest Field
7) 07-28-02 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 A League Regular Season – Seahawks Stadium
8) 07-10-77 vs. New York Cosmos 1-0 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
9) 05-20-82 vs. Manchester United 3-0 International Friendly – Kingdome
10) 07-24-76 vs. Philadelphia Atoms 3-2 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
11) 08-01-79 vs. Edmonton Drillers 9-0 NASL Regular Season – Kingdome
12) 07-23-94 vs. Colorado Foxes 2-0 APSL Regular Season – Tacoma Dome
13) 09-06-06 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1 USL1 Regular Season – Qwest Field
14) 05-05-07 vs. Portland Timbers 1-0 USL1 Regular Season – Qwest Field


Notations ...
1) Championship, then out dancing, (officially a tie according to FIFA guidelines)
2) Major win over good MLS side with Landon Donovan after the OT game in 02
*) Only the drama of the first MLS win and a league final can beat a 5-0 result
3) Solid win over MLS side in a meaningful game
4) Sent team to Soccer Bowl, mom then camped out for tix
5) Road trip to Vancouver was very, very cool
6) Playoff wins are always cool
*) a retroactive Cup Final
7) Opening sporting event of "Seahawks Stadium" with a big crowd and my dad
8) Pele, but beating them in August would have been cooler ...
9) beating Manchester United, even in a friendly, is always cool
10) My 9th birthday
11) The could have scored more
12) Reborn Sounders first home league match right after the World Cup
13) Fantastic finish, but other results kept them from the playoffs after all
14) Lorrie’s first soccer game, a good crowd, and a win over Portland

I could have added a few others (and the list ran over ten as it is) but playoffs and cup matches had to take spots above league or friendly matches. Also, I was not able to attend the 96 final and some other key matches over the years and that is reflected by omissions of what could be obvious big wins to other long-time supporters.

* Plus, I made this list in April in anticipation of the 30th Anniversary and ended up with some "*" results thrown in ... 2K7 has already had some memorable results ... and the FC Dallas US Open Cup semifinal looms in a week ... and maybe even another league championship home game ...

(Also, with the decade gap where we had the Stars and Storm and later even Seadogs ... those are their own lists as there were some noteworthy ones in their own right and will appear on the future ridiculous soccer lists postings ...)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Seattle Storm 2007 Playoffs Game 1



Seattle Storm WNBA Playoffs 2007 Game 1
Seattle Storm 84 Phoenix Mercury 101
8-24-07 Key Arena - Seattle, WA

On June 1, 2000 Tim and I went to the "Inaugural Game" of the Seattle Storm. The Houston Comets were still in their initial championship rampage and haded the Storm a lesson in what it means to be an expansion team.



With the Sonics and Storm possibly relocating to a place near Muskogee any home playoff game this season could in fact be their final game at Key Arena. Tim and I decided, or at least I decided and he made arrangements to go, that we should go to this game on general principle. Now, I have continued to go to Storm games and events over the years, including the first playoff game in 2002, but I still feel like I need to point this out. I enjoy going to these games. I like the atmosphere. The style of hoops is more to my tastes than hoops in the MNBA the last several years.



video



Unfortunately, the Mercury were clearly the better team on this night. The frustration on the part of the Storm was evident with the amount of talking Sue Bird was doing to the refs in the third quarter and the body language differences of the two teams as the game progressed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Within Temptation CD Review




Within Temptation CD Review

Within Temptation
The Heart of Everything
Roadrunner Records

Back in late May I went to see Lacuna Coil in concert. It was a multi-band line up including the band Within Temptation. I had heard a song or two of theirs in passing, but never really had paid them much attention. Then, Within Temptation completely blew me away in concert. They played a set that had new songs that I remembered specifically after the fact and looked forward to getting on record. The last time that had occurred to me seeing a band I had never heard before was Alice in Chains in 1989 …

So, I marked my calendar and went and purchased “The Heart of Everything”. It sort of felt like back in the day, waiting for “Powerslave” to come out or something like that. Given that I learned the hard way last year that there are no record stores in Bellevue, I did wait until the evening to go and get it instead of wasting a lunch hour frustrated and storming around downtown Bellevue cursing the demise of Tower Records.


The songs I specifically remember from the show like “What Have You Done”, “Our Solemn Hour”, and “Stand My Ground” are in fact the backbone of the release. But, this is a solid release.

Sharon den Adel is a fantastic vocalist with great stage presence and I look forward to seeing Within Temptation again.


********


In This Moment
Beautiful Tragedy
Century Media Records

Oddly enough, In This Moment was replaced by Within Temptation during the Lacuna Coil tour’s stretch through my part of the country. However, I did get the opportunity to see them perform on the 2nd Stage at Ozzfest just a few weeks later. I distinctly remember their set as I waited in line to meet 3 Inches of Blood. Later, the Ozzfest Sampler had the song “Beautiful Tragedy” on it and I checked out “Prayers” on You Tube.


It would be easy to dismiss In This Moment as Atreyu with a hot blond female lead singer, but that would not be fair. “Beautiful Tragedy” is a fairly mature and consistent work for a first record. Their second will tell the longevity tale, but I will enjoy this one for now.


********


3 Inches of Blood
Fire Up the Blades
Roadrunner Records

Back in 1986 Metal Church released ‘The Dark”. “The Dark” is still one of my favorite metal records of all time and stands up nicely against many of the more well known records of that era. “Watch The Children Pray” is a classic. Unfortunately, Metal Church went through singer changes and frankly never lived up to “The Dark”. Vocalist David Wayne passed a few years ago.

At Ozzfest this summer 3 Inches of Blood was very good and I mentioned to band members in the autograph line that they reminded me of Metal Church and they seemed to like that particular comparison.

I have been waiting for the true follow up to “The Dark” for 20 years now and “Fire Up The Blades” might just be that record.