Monday, August 6, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises REVIEW


Over the years, Christopher Nolan has given us films over the years that changed our lives and bent our minds. But he has outdone himself with the immense spectacle that is The Dark Knight Rises. The caped crusader truly rises in this film to immortal glory not seen before in The Dark Knight and Batman Begins.  From Michael Caine's heart wrenching performance as the trusty butler, Alfred to the sheer awesome power Tom Hardy invests in his character Bane, the film truly is breathtaking. Not to be forgotten is the amazing score from Hans Zimmer who recycles themes from the previous films and adds new ones, including my personal favorite track, "Gotham's Reckoning", with bone chilling chants of, "Deshi Deshi Basara Basara". This film goes down in my books as not only one of the greatest comic book and superhero films of all time, but arguably one of the greatest films of all time. The Dark Knight Rises truly rises above the competition and gives you a film that you wish would never end.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

channel ORANGE by Frank Ocean REVIEW



Finally, after a botched album release with Def Jam Records, Frank Ocean releases his "d├ębut" album, or in my opinion his sophomore, after the release of nostalgia, ULTRA. Channel Orange is a masterpiece in every way. From the track, "Lost" to the ballad "Forrest Gump". From the bored attitudes of Frank and Earl in, "Super Rich Kids", to the perfect collaboration on "Pink Matter". Having had a chance to hear the album before its release was a good opportunity to reflect on how far Frank has come in his four years since leaving New Orleans to pursue a career in the industry he is currently revolutionizing.

On this album, I would have to say my favourite song was "Lost". It starts off with a catchy tune that transcends into the song itself. The song is brilliantly balanced between the instrumental and Frank's vocals while telling the story of a girl who is lost with her life.

I only went in depth on one song, but the whole album is something that is worth listening to and taking a good hard thought about it. Frank and the rest of his crew have really made a piece of art that transcends all tastes in music. There is something for you on this album no matter who you are.

Rating: 8.5/10




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay REVIEW


Coldplay and their newest album, Mylo Xyloto may seem like a drastic change from their previous material, but I personally thought that it was a change for the better.

The album starts off with a warm instrumental, in the title track, "Mylo Xyloto". The song immediately transitions into the upbeat but depressing song, "Hurts Like Heaven". However, my favourites on this album were "Paradise", "Major Minus", and "Charlie Brown".

"Major Minus" tells the tale of a couple escaping the grasps of an Orwellian like society reminiscent of the novel, 1984. It starts off with a guitar riff and ends with Chris Martin exclaiming, "Got one eye on the road and one on you!".

"Charlie Brown" is the only song off the album that I took the time to learn how to play on the guitar, and that made me appreciate it even more. This song is fantastic, and has all the elements to make it a hit.

"Paradise" is quite possibly the most famous song off the album, and the one that Coldplay has received the most recognition for. The song tells the story of a young girl who followed her dreams, but lost them in the process. The opening of the song is my favourite part and the song doesn't let down till the end.

The album is a step away from Coldplay's previous work, and this was a big risk to take. However, in the end, I feel that the risk paid off and produced a well put together album in Mylo Xyloto.



Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Clothing Brand

Hey guys,

Yes I know this isn't a post about music or anything like that.

I just wanted you guys to know that I have started a clothing company and will be selling t shirts. Right now I only have 2, but I hope to increase that as time goes on. If you like what you see go ahead and order a shirt! I will be getting them printed and will ship at the end of each month, so order early!

Link to website: lYon clothing — Home

Facebook page: Lyon

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Goblin by Tyler the Creator REVIEW


3 words, Tyler the Creator... The frontman of OFWGKTA is back at it with his sophomore album... yes I know i'm a couple months late, but better late then never right? Well, anyways, Tyler gets right to it in this album with tracks like the internationally known song, "Yonkers" and songs like "Analog". Tyler seems to go for the shock value rather than typical rapping. Many of his songs include dark lyrical content and this album is not recommended for children. Well anyways, lets get to the review!

I'm only going to highlight a few songs, and one includes "Nightmare". This is a track that talks about Tyler's life. He really goes for a deep truth in this song, but also includes that shock value we all know Tyler for. The song starts with a sick beat that i'm guessing Left Brain made. This is a typical song that is featured on this album for it's dark content.

Another song that I liked on this album was, "Analog". This song features fellow Odd Future member, Hodgy Beats. The song however, is a sharp contrast from the rest of his songs on this album. This is one of those songs that remind you of summer. 

One other song that I liked, was "She". The song describes a psycho stalker going after a girl that he seems to love. With some smooth vocals from Frank Ocean, Tyler really delivers on this track.

And, finally the last track that is to be looked at, is "Yonkers". "Yonkers" like the song "Nightmare" starts off with a beat that in both songs are similar. Tyler goes into his very, very dark lyrics immediately and never lets up.

If you like OFWGKTA or just rap in general, this is a good album to go for. There is funny stuff and then there is extremely serious stuff. I liked this album from Tyler, and can't wait for Wolf which should be released this summer. However, Tyler has said that he will go away from rapping on some of the songs, so expect a major difference between this album and his next.

Overall, this was a good album that I enjoyed listening to. It's dark content gives a good contrast to the music of today.

Rating: 8.5/10

Monday, May 7, 2012

This Is How I Live by Devin Miles REVIEW


Devin Miles, with his follow-up EP to the original EP, Finding My Own. A solid sophomore effort, but not as good as the debut. However, its not to say that the whole thing was a flop. There were a few tracks on this EP, that I actually liked. Mr. Miles must continue to find his unique sound and when he does, he will rise to the top.


One of the tracks that I liked on this EP, was "The Lesson" which starts off with some female vocals. The song progresses into one of my favorite beats on the whole EP. Devin then begins to rap about finding success. The song is well-balanced between the beats and the vocals. Devin does not overpower the beats and the beats don't overpower him either.

Another track that I liked on this EP was. "Iceman". This song makes me think of ridin through my city watching what people do in life. I'm guessing that was the point of the song. The beat in this song is pretty good and the verses are well-structured. However, what I'm guessing is the chorus of this song kinda doesn't match the song well.

Anyways, this was a good effort from Devin, but cannot match the wow factor of the original. Try again Devin, you have got a bright future, but you have to try harder. This seemed a bit rushed to me, but if he takes the time and experiment with different types of songs, then he can really blast out onto the hip hop scene. Overall, this was not Devin's best work and I want to see better in the future!!!


Rating: 7/10


Download link: Devin Miles - This Is How I Live Hosted by The R.L.E.S. Society // Free Mixtape @ DatPiff.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The OF Tape, Vol. 2 by Odd Future REVIEW


Odd Future, the hip-hop collective from Los Angeles, was formed in 2007. The 2 most famous members of the collective are most likely, Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator. The OF Tape Vol. 2 is a sequel to the mix tape released in 2008, called "The Odd Future Tape". I have to say, these guys have creative titles (sarcasm). Well anyways, lets get into the music.

The album begins with a track called, "Hi", one of the members just goes along playfully dissing every member of the group. Once that's over, the track immediately fades into the next one. Well, I'm guessing that kids read this so how bout I make the titles safe. The next track is "B@#$*&!" and its not really anything special. The tracks that really stick out on this album, are "Rella", "Analog 2" and "Oldie". Rella is just a good Hodgy song, with some good rapping by Domo. However, Analog 2 is different as it showcases Frank Ocean's smooth vocals. Oldie, is a pure distillation of what Odd Future is about, as I'm pretty sure every member of the group gets in on the rapping.

Besides those three songs, there really wasn't anything too special about this album. Most of it is just youthful boasting.

Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blue Slide Park by Mac Miller REVIEW


Damn, I didn't even know who Mac Miller was before this album. But, he comes out with a bang! 

The album begins with a slow, short, and soft track in "English Lane". The album immediately switches into, a typical Mac song, in "Blue Slide Park" Mac strings words together with such grace that it seems like the lyrics are just rolling off his tongue. His lyrics are meaningful and deal with problems that rappers run into. Songs like "Under The Weather", show off Mac's fun side, with lyrics like "I'm cool with it, chillin' with some buddah smoke, I always do it big like Jewish nose" Another song that shows off that playful side is "Party on 5th Ave." Mac says whatever he wants to, and that's what makes him real. Main-stream these days are all about typical plastic, and songs without feeling. Mac makes you feel like he is in the game to play, not to make money. 

I truly think that Mac is a breath of fresh air to the strained rap industry, where rapping only has to do with drugs, alcohol, etc... Blue Slide Park is a collection of the many different talents of Mac Miller and I think that it is one of the good rap albums that was released in a while. 

Rating: 9/10


Monday, March 12, 2012

Torches by Foster The People REVIEW


Ah, Foster The People's debut album. The 10 tracks on this album make up a fantastic debut for this relatively new band. Foster The People, if you didn't know, was founded by Marc Foster, the lead vocalist in Los Angeles, CA in 2009. Tracks such as "Pumped Up Kicks" and "Call It What You Want" put the band out on the indie rock scene.

The first track on this album, "Helena Beat" starts off with a great beat, then develops into insanely high vocals from Marc Foster. Other tracks such as "Pumped Up Kicks" with its graphical lyrics catch a listeners attention. However, my personal favorite track on this album, has to be "Call It What You Want". This track was actually featured on FIFA 12, and that's where I heard it first. The song has good piano riffs, and lyrics that make you think about modern day society. Another song that I like was, "I Would Do Anything For You", the song's emotional singing and lyrics really struck a chord with me. 

Overall, this was a good debut for a band that I am expecting many more hits from. Foster The People has a bright future, and I am looking forward to listening to new songs that they will come up with. If you don't know who they are, well you must be living under a rock. Just kidding, about that last part, anyways Foster The People produced a great album with Billboard hits.

Rating: 8/10

Monday, March 5, 2012

Persuasive Essay: Public Smoking Ban



When will the government realize that public smoking is toxic to public health? Exposure to fumes can be just as unhealthy for a non-smoker as it is for the smoker. Smoking should be banned in public because people are exposed to hazardous smoke in many places, a ban can lead to prevention and quitting of smoking and second hand smoke can cause many illnesses and diseases.
People are exposed to second hand smoke in many places and it is very dangerous. Homes, cars, and work are some places where exposure occurs (Secondhand Smoke). By allowing smokers to smoke in those places, we are putting others at risk of smoking-related problems. Furthermore, the most dangerous gases feature in the highest levels within side stream smoke (Few Facts). Due to this, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke (Secondhand Smoke). People are at great chance of disease and illness by just walking past a smoker.
Smoke free environments can lead to more smokers quitting and less non-smokers starting to smoke. In a survey, it was reported that about 7 out of 10 smokers want to quit, and they believe that a smoke-free environment will help them (A few facts). When a smoker tries to quit, they may see others smoking in public and this can cause an urge to smoke. Each day more than 3800 people under 18 try their first cigarette (Fast Facts). Of those 3800, 1000 begin smoking cigarettes on a daily basis (Fast Facts). When kids see people smoking, they may think that it’s “cool” and they will try smoking for the same reason.
Although, smoking is not healthy, the government gets much needed money from cigarettes and banning public smoking would decrease the income. In 2011, state governments received $25.3 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements (Fast Facts). However, is it really worth it getting money from something that causes cancer and other illnesses? People die from second hand smoke and now the government is getting money from the source. Even with the income the government receives, the price of smoking outweighs that profit by about nine to one.
Second hand smoke can cause many serious illnesses and diseases. For example, the chance of lung cancer is increased by 16-19% when in contact with second hand smoke (Few Facts). Second hand smoke increases the risk of heart disease by 25-35% (Few Facts).People are exposed to smoke in many places so the risks of diseases related to smoking are increasing even in non-smokers. In addition, children exposed to second hand smoke have an increased risk of colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma (Secondhand Smoke). This can lead to many lost days of school, hospitalizations, and in some cases, even death in children.
In conclusion, public smoking is a danger to smokers, as well as non-smokers and should be banned entirely. Starting a petition, contacting a senator or representative, just trying to raise awareness about this issue will help to get it resolved. Second hand smoke is a risk to everyone and public smoking allows it to reach all types of people. Knowing about the dangers of public smoking can result in healthier people and a brighter future for everyone.




Sources Cited
"A few facts about Smoking." Wigan Council. Wigan Council, 2012. Web. 28 Jan 2012. <http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/BusinessRegeneration/HealthAndSafetyAtWork/FactsAboutSmoking.htm>.

CDC, . "Smoking and Tobacco Use Fast Facts." Centers for disease control and prevention. National Center for Disease Prevention and Health, 2011. Web. 28 Jan 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/>.

"General Smoking Facts." American lung association. American Lung Association,  2011. Web. 28 Jan 2012. http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-      smoking/facts-figures/general-smoking-facts.html

Molyneaux, George. "International debate education association." Smoking ban in public places. IDEA Inc., 2010. Web. 29 Feb 2012. <http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=526>.

National Cancer Institute, . "Secondhand Smoke and Cancer." National cancer institute fact sheet. National Cancer Institute, 2011. Web. 28 Jan 2012. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/ETS>.



There is no right or wrong side on an issue, only a view. This may or may not be my personal view, and you may have another view on this topic. Leave a comment! Thanks!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 United States Presidential Race


us election Who Will Win the 2012 U.S. Election?




This is more than your average election. This forthcoming election for the President of the United States of America, may just decide how America will fare for the next 10, 20, years. Our country is in a turmoil, loads of debt, budget deficits, you name it, we got it. Barack Obama, as much as I like him, needs to step up his game or get benched. If he wins the next election, we better start seeing some change for the good. Anyways,  here is a brief overview of the race:

The Candidates:


Democrats:


President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) - President Obama has been running for reelection and running the country at the same time for the last couple of months. Obama is currently projected as the Democratic Party's Nomination for the upcoming election. All of the previous Democratic primaries have gone to Obama. If he is to win, he better make some changes right now or be given a bitter defeat. Obama is a supporter of rights for same-gender marriages.

Republicans:


Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) - Ah, Mr. Romney, the wealthiest of all the candidates running. With an estimated $200 million worth in assets, Romney is one of the richest candidates to run for the White House this election cycle. Considered by most Republicans as the most "liberal" of the candidates, he was the former governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007. Romney has his best shot at winning if he can prove that he has the values of Republicans and if he can really rally the conservative voting base. Romney is against same-gender marriage and civil unions.

Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) - When I think of Newt, I think of a moon base, but hey, that's just me. Gingrich is a former Speaker of The House. He served during Clinton's administration. Gingrich also served as a Congressman from Georgia in the 6th District. Newt is a big thinker and a grassroots organizer. Gingrich is against same-gender marriage, although his sister Candance is a advocate.

Ron Paul (R-Texas) - Ron Paul is considered the "radical" candidate in this election. Paul is a Representative from Texas in it's 14th District. Before serving as a Congressman, Paul was a doctor in Texas from the 60's to the 80's. Ron is one of the candidates that most voters shrug off, but he has some good ideas. Paul has a committed group of supporters and can raise money well. Paul is against same-gender marriage, but for stem-cell research.

Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) - Santorum was a former Senator from the state of Pennsylvania. Of the 4 current candidates he has done well in the most recent primaries winning 2 of the 3, Colorado and Minnesota. Santorum is against same-gender marriage and birth control. He is socially conservative and voted for tax cuts.

The Problems:


Budget Deficit: the Government is spends more money than they earn in revenue.


Debt: The United States is $15 trillion dollars in debt, and it is increasing by the second. (U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time)


Scenarios :


Santorum vs. Obama: Obama wins this matchup easily. Santorum's views on social issues and other things lead to the general American public not agreeing with them. Obama is a safer choice for president than Santorum.

Romney vs. Obama: This is a tough one, and it could go either way. Romney has been considered the most liberal of the Republican candidates. If they ran this scenario 10 times, Obama would win 5 times and Romney 5 times. Romney getting the nomination is the greatest chance for the Republicans to win the Presidency.

Gingrich and Paul are essientially out of the race.
The Outcome:


You think that I know what's gonna happen? It all depends on what you chose to do. If you vote, it can make a difference, albeit a small one. If you really support a candidate, then go out and do whatever you can to make sure that they get elected. If you really do not care, well sit back and enjoy the show! :)

(All from the head of a 14 year old and Google)



Thursday, February 2, 2012

JFK



John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States of America. He was born on May 29,1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. His parents were Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was one of nine children in the Kennedy family. His siblings were Joseph Jr, Rosemary, Patricia, Robert, Eunice, Jean, Edward, and Kathleen. On September 12, 1953 he married Jacqueline Bouvier and later had two children, Jack Jr and Caroline. John's education consisted of many prestigous private schools throughout Massachusetts. Kennedy later graduated from Harvard in 1940 s.b. cum laude in international affairs. John died on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas after being shot by former United States marine, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Question 1: What was JFK's greatest contribution to society?

I would say that Kennedy's greatest contribution to society was standing up to the Soviet Union and communism during his presidency. In 1962, he forced the Soviets into removing their missiles on the island of Cuba. This situation would later be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. With his actions in Cuba, Kennedy prevented a possible nuclear war from breaking out. In 1963, Kennedy along with the Soviet Union and other governments signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban treaty, banning all testing of nuclear weapons except for underground. On May 25, 1961, Kennedy presented the lunar landing program to congress. Space was really just another way to compete with communism and the Soviet Union. By 1963, the United States was already ahead of them in that category as well. However, John did not live to see his goal of a man landing on the moon being achieved as he died about 6 years before it happened on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, thus achieving his goal.

Question 2: What were three events that influenced JFK's life?

One event that influenced JFK's life was when his brother Joseph Jr. died in World War II. Joseph died in a plane crash over the English Channel. Before his death, he was supposed to be the member of the Kennedy family that went into politics, not John, and it is most likely that he would have become president instead of John had he not died. After his death, John's father pushed him into politics and John later became the President of the United States in 1960. A second event that influenced John's life was when he was fighting in World War 2. He was the captain of the boat PT 109 when it was sunk during a nightly patrol. John had to swim to shore while rescuing his crew mates and then look for a nearby US naval base or any scouts on the islands. John, would later use this event to benefit him in his campaigns for government offices in the late 40's and early 50's. However, John would suffer back problems for the rest of his life, and this indirectly led to his death in 1963 as he was wearing a back brace at the time of the shooting. After the first non-fatal shot was fired, he could not duck down due to the brace and was shot two more times, killing him. A third event that influenced John's life was when he became elected President in 1960. He had to deal with problems such as the Soviet Union, the rise of communism, possible reunification of Germany, and Cuba. He also had to make important decisions such as establishing Peace Corps and helping the Civil Rights Movement. Peace Corps was an organization that sent volunteers around the world to promote US society and culture while also promoting world peace. John's life was very busy after his election and his family life was strained up until his death.

Question 3: What is a quote from or about JFK that was important?

A quote from JFK that was important was, "Ask not what your country can do for you-- Ask what you can do for your country." He said this quote during his Inaugural Address in 1961. This quote means that people need to make a change and not rely on others or the government to do it for them. Another example would be that a nation is made up of individuals and if those individuals do not do great things, than that country can not become a great nation that is respected and prosperous. A more personal example would be that my brother, Joseph Jr. gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and was not expecting any rewards or recognition for his actions. 

This was for a speech in my Language Arts and Social Studies class. I was answering these questions as JFK during the speech and changed it to third person for this transcript.

Source: John F. Kennedy: A Biography by Michael O'Brien


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take Care by Drake REVIEW


Take Care. The words itself makes me feel like I should listen to this album differently. Drake's sophomore album is much more serious and kinda depressing. Songs like "Marvins Room" and "Headlines" are good though. 

Drake deviates from his style in "Thank Me Later" a lot in this album. Besides just rapping he actually sings in songs like "Shots For Me". Drake's tone is much more darker in this album as it sounds like he is trying to adjust to his newfound fame in songs like, "Marvin's Room" and "Over My Dead Body". His lyrics as always have to do with life and dealing with his problems. Drake's style of rapping is a lot different than his Young Money counterparts, Lil Wayne and Tyga. Drake raps slower and his words make you think about what his message is in these songs. This was a high point in Drake's musical career and I feel like this is the better album of the two he has released.

Rating: 9/10

Monday, January 30, 2012

nostalgia, ULTRA by Frank Ocean REVIEW


Frank Ocean. Nowadays, say these two words and pretty much everyone knows who you are talking about. He has been featured on songs such as "No Church In The Wild" and "Made In America" off of the collaboration album, "Watch the Throne" by Jay-Z and Kanye West. This was a fantastic mix tape from Frank, the odd man out in Odd Future.

Songs, including a chilling rendition of Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing" make me really believe that Frank is the next big thing in the music industry. Frank, it seems uses his music to get his views across, such as in the song "We All Try". Frank sings with such emotion that is not really seen in today's music industry except in a few cases, such as Adele for example. My personal favorite on this mix tape is the track, "Songs For Women". It starts off kind of layed back, but then gradually gets a little more serious, and the lyrics are brilliant. Frank's lyrics in all of these songs make sense and I really like them. 

This is a mix tape that I would definitely recommend downloading and is a great addition to the young musicians career.

Rating: 8.5/10

Links:




All Songs Can Be Found On YouTube





Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finding My Own EP by Devin Miles REVIEW



    A fantastic debut for the Pittsburgh native. Devin Miles will become a mainstream artist pretty soon, if he produces tracks like the ones on this EP. At times he sounds like Drake, and at others he sounds like fellow Pittsburgh native, Wiz Khalifa. My highlight of this EP would have to be the track called "Spaced Out". It's a fun, upbeat song that has one too many references to marijuana. There are many other tracks on this extended play that are noteworthy, but a track that I personally liked was "Open Season". In this track Mr. Miles raps about becoming huge and becoming one of the best rappers. The way he states all this is very creative and is very nicely structured. "Love Letter" talks about Devin's girl problems and how he tries to keep his girl. There isn't really that much he could improve in these "emotional" tracks. 


  Some improvements Devin could make is making better beats, but I'm not complaining. This was a great debut for Devin Miles, and I hope to see, sorry "hear" more in the future from this man. 


Rating: 7.5/10


Download Link: http://www.mediafire.com/?s0coliserp1nsi5

Music Videos

Spaced Out: Devin Miles - Spaced Out [Official Music Video] - YouTube