Lanny's Blog

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Music Video of the Week: The Darkness

If you have never heard of The Darkness, then you are missing out on some fine British glam rock. These guys made it big back in 2003 with their album, Permission to Land. The first single off that marvelous album was called, I Believe in a Thing Called Love. With high-pitched vocals, riveting guitar solos and memorable riffs, these guys were one of the best bands to come out in the 2000s.

The band, The Darkness

Unfortunately, the band split in the year 2005 after lead singer, Justin Hawkins, quit the band to go to rehab. Hawkins went on to front his own band called Hot Leg and the other members formed a band called Stone Gods.

However, in March of 2011, the rock gods smiled upon the earth and The Darkness started playing reunion shows. They are now officially back together and about to release a new album.

This week’s video is from their second album and the song is called Girlfriend. I picked it mainly because I didn’t even know the video existed and it’s got a sweet keytar solo. Enjoy!

Do you know of any bands similar to the Darkness? If so, tell me about them in the comments section.

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If The 2012 GOP Nomination Was a Movie

I think it would be a great idea if Disney or some other company picked up the rights to the 2012 GOP Nomination and made a movie. Just think, it could cover the whole story of how Mitt Romney rose to greatness and eventually became the nominee. However, there would need to be a supporting cast. Luckily for Disney or whoever, I’ve already made the cast list for them. You’re welcome. Just put the check in the mail.

Mitt Romney would be played by…

Bruce Campbell

Rick Perry would be played by…

Josh Brolin

Newt Gingrich would be played by…

Emperor Palpatine

Rick Santorum would be played by…

Jerry Seinfeld

Ron Paul would be played by…

Magneto

Michelle Bachman would be played by…

Sarah Palin

Herman Cain would be played by…

this random, box of pizza that costs $9.99

Who do you think should play the candidates in a movie? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Music Video of the Week- Dashboard Confessional

When I was in middle school, I started listening to the band, Dashboard Confessional. I went out and bought their newest work that was titled, “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.” This was the first album that I had ever owned where most of the songs were acoustic. Just one guy, a guitar, and lyrics that I thought were amazing.

a picture of the band, Dashboard Confesional

Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional.

After I had heard this album, I made it my goal to find all of the other works that they had released. There was just something unique and inspiring to me that one guy could create great songs without using a full band. I was also intrigued that his songs didn’t always follow the standard format. Some of the best tunes were written like a story and didn’t even have a chorus.

Unfortunately, that was also the time where the term “emo” started, and sure enough, Dashboard fell into that category. I never really understood that term. Emo is short for emotional, right? What song is completely void of emotion? But, I digress.

Anyways, a few years later, the band released a new full-length album called, “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar.” It still remains one of my favorite albums today because every song was meaningful to me.

This week’s video is from that album and the song is called, “Rapid Hope Loss.” (Yeah I know, it’s so emo.) It’s a lesser known track, but the music video is pretty cool. They do some nifty camera tricks with zooming in and out. Check it out for yourself.

Do you know of any other bands that are similar to this one? If so, tell me about them in the comments section.

Three of the Most Dangerous Jobs in America

I work in a cubicle, so it’s safe for you to assume that I don’t experience a lot of danger during the the work day. Sure I might get a wrist cramp from all of my typing or my eyes may get dry from staring at a computer screen. However, there is no real significant danger that could affect me in my day to day tasks.

This got me thinking about the most dangerous jobs in America that no one really knows about or talks about. Sure, police officers, firemen and the military have the most dangerous jobs and I respect them immensely. But, just imagine going to work everyday knowing that you might be staring death right in the face and no one really notices or appreciates the work you do.

After doing some research, I found three of the most dangerous jobs in America:

3) Farmers and ranchers- When I first heard about this one, I was actually quite surprised. What could be so dangerous about milking a few cows or picking some eggs up from the hen house?

Due to my ignorance of what the farming job actually entails, I was shocked that about 300 people died in 2010 due to their career in the farming industry.

a group of hens

I guess the hens are more dangerous than I thought.

Not exactly; it turns outs that most farmers and/or ranchers are killed due to transportation incidents. These people are around heavy machinery such as tractors, plows, cotton pickers and hay balers all day long. One misstep, distraction or simple mistake could lead to an accidental death such as getting run over or drowning in a silo of grain during harvest season. Yeah, that really happens. Speaking of deadly careers where there is dangerous machinery…

2) Loggers- Once again, the most common reason for death in this field of work is interaction with machinery or objects. Let’s use our imagination for a second:

Imagine you’re out in the forrest with a few buddies having a good old time using your chainsaws to cut through some trees. Now, let’s say one of your fellow workers is new to the job and isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. We’ll call him Steve. Steve starts chainsawing through a tree and doesn’t realize that gravity is going to make that beast of a tree fall to the ground at a staggering speed in your general direction. You look up and see a flash of brown and green as it comes to crush your body.

a huge tree that has been cut down

Most likely, 5 of his co-workers are under that log. Steve is left unharmed.

Another danger is that even experienced loggers can’t always see broken tree tops or branches. In fact, they have a term for broken tops that get hung in the canopy and fall without warning; they are called “widow-makers.” I’m sure that’s pretty self explanatory.

To add insult to injury, loggers make about 14 to 16 dollars an hour. That’s totally worth risking your life for. These guys should be millionaires or at least get health insurance. Not Steve, though.

1) Fishermen-This profession is the ultimate test of man versus nature. When I put the word fishermen, I’m not talking about Orlando Wilson or people who go out on bass boats to catch a few brim for a weekend meal. I’m referring to the people who go out on a fishing boat for days or weeks in order to make their living.

Unlike the other professions where the main concern is machinery, the biggest cause of injury and death for fishermen is the weather.

a boat getting hit by waves

Makes driving in the rain seem a whole lot better.

In 2010, 29 fishermen were reported to have died while working at sea. One statistic even said that for every 100,000 workers, 116 will die, making it the most dangerous job in America.

So the next time you sit down for a meal of fish, crab legs or shrimp, just remember that somewhere, two guys are on a boat risking their lives so you can enjoy a nice, family meal.

Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan

I’m assuming that these are the two fishermen you pictured in your head.

Can you think of any other dangerous jobs that go unnoticed? If so, share them with me in the comments section and tell me why you think they should have made the list.

Music Video of the Week- The Tallest Man on Earth

This week’s video comes from The Tallest Man on Earth, which is a solo project from the singer/songwriter, Kristian Mattson who hails from Sweden.

The artist, Tallest Man on Earth performing.

The Tallest Man on Earth

From what I’ve read and researched, Mattson takes the craft of music very seriously and approaches it with simplicity. He records and produces all of his records from his home. Over his career, he has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan through his unique vocal style and songwriting abilities.

This is a beautiful live video of him playing his song, “Love is All,” which comes off of his second studio album entitled, “The Wild Hunt.”

Some other great tunes from The Tallest Man on Earth include, “The Gardener,” “King of Spain,” “Where Do My Bluebird Fly,” and “The Dreamer.” If you’re a fan of acoustic guitar driven songs, I think you’ll really enjoy his work.

Do you know of any other artists that are similar to this one?

4 Best Moments in The Avengers

Last weekend, I showed my true nerd colors and went to see The Avengers twice. The first experience was in 2D and the second was in 3D, only because the 2D version was packed. Both times, I truly and whole-heartedly loved this movie.

After absorbing all of the beauty that was The Avengers, I finally narrowed it down and have what I think are the 4 best moments:

(Warning: There are some spoilers ahead)

4. Every Scene with Scarlett Johansson– Call me crazy, but I think Scarlett is one of the most beautiful women in movies today. Ryan Reynolds is an idiot for letting her get away. She probably dumped him because she stars in amazing comic book movies and he doesn’t.

Green Lantern

And this wasn’t even the worst one he was in.

I also really enjoyed her character because there’s finally a woman superhero who is cool and admirable. Movies like Elektra and X-Men, in my opinion, never really gave us a strong female character.

3. When Bruce Banner Finally Became the Hulk- It’s no secret; I am not a fan of the previous Hulk movies. Even though the one with Edward Norton was way better than the original, I still didn’t care for either one of them. The Avengers, however, made a Hulk that I actually liked.

My biggest problem with the character is that he always looks so fake when he’s in scenes with other actors or when he interacts with objects.

Gumby

Another green character that always looks fake.

Even though it still bothered me in Avengers, I got over it because this Hulk had personality. However, I still think if they got a bodybuilder and painted him green, it would look a lot better than a CGI version.

Another thing is that I wasn’t too thrilled when I heard Mark Ruffalo got the part as Bruce Banner. But as I mentioned in a previous blog about my favorite movie villains, I was disappointed when Heath Ledger got the role for Joker and look how that turned out.

Mark Ruffalo played the part well and is actually my favorite out of the three actors that have portrayed the character on the big screen. So, I apologize Mr. Ruffalo for doubting your acting abilities. It’s just that you were in 13 Going on 30 and I judged you. I’m sorry.

My favorite scene with the Hulk, due to the audience reaction, was when he slammed the villain, Loki, into the floor like a rag doll. Everyone in the theatre busted out into laughter and cheered. I expected Loki to put up a fight, but that scene showed just how badass and strong the Hulk actually is.

Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk

Lou will always be my favorite Hulk.

2. Tony Stark’s New Iron Man Armor- Robert Downey, Jr. was the best pick for Tony Stark. I can’t even think of another actor that would even come close to what Downey has done.

In the Avengers, I loved all of his humor and one-liners. His timing and delivery were spot on.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the scene where he overrode the sound system in the aircraft to play AC/DC while he zoomed in to put a stop to Loki, it wasn’t my favorite.

My favorite scene with Iron Man was when he was thrown out of Stark Tower and his new suit deployed, attached to his body and saved him at the last second. Even though everyone knew he would survive the fall, the tension of that scene was pretty amazing to me.

1. Thor Vs. Captain America Vs. Iron Man– I really enjoyed that the movie had a scene where the good guys had a physical brawl amongst themselves. To watch Thor and Iron Man duke it out in the middle of nowhere was a surreal experience. I felt this scene really showed the characters’ strengths and weaknesses.

The best part to me was when Thor slammed his hammer into Captain America’s shield and it leveled the entire forrest. This scene stuck out to me because it showed the dominance, power and leadership that Captain America possessed.

I also really liked the scenes where the group began arguing with one another and going at each other’s throats. It showed that their struggle was deep and that they had to overcome their dislike for one another in order to do something bigger and greater than themselves. Watching the evolution of their relationships was engaging. Just when you thought they hated each other the most, they had to work together for the greater good.

Bonus: The Dark Knight Rises Trailer-  Even though this technically wasn’t a part of the movie, I was still blown away by the new trailer. I cannot wait to see how the legend ends.

What were some of your favorite scenes from The Avengers? Tell me about them in the comments section!

The Avengers

Now we just have to wait 3 years for a sequel.

Music Video of the Week- The Hives

I don’t know why, but I’ve been listening to bands like The White Stripes and The Hives a lot lately. Maybe it’s because Jack White’s new album is all over the place, or maybe I just have a fascination with bands with the word “The” in front of them. It could be either one.

The band, The Hives

photo via flickr

This week, I chose an older music video simply because the song is infectious. If you’ve never listened to The Hives, they are a punk rock band from Sweden. They aren’t Avril Lavigne  “punk rock,” these guys are the real deal. They have a raw sound with catchy riffs and howling vocals. These guys have even been voted one of the best bands to see live. Going to one of their shows is on my bucket list.

I’m pretty sure they are working on a new album right now. My favorite albums are Veni Vidi Vicious  and Tyrannosaurus Hives, which you should definitely check out.  Here is one of their older songs, entitled “Die, All Right!”

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