Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines: Album Review

It's amazing what you can get away with when you've got
a pretty face. Robin Thicke is fueled almost completely by sex
appeal with a sprinkling of shock value.

Name: Blurred Lines
Artist: Robin Thicke
Released: July 30, 2013
Label: Star Trak -- Interscope
Genre: R&B, pop, soul
Produceers: The Cateracs, Cirkut, Dr. Luke, Jerome Harmon, Pharell, ProJay, Robin Thicke, Timbaland,

Robin Thicke's music serves a definitive purpose: Getting girls in bed.  This in mind, it's no surprise that there is not much more than dirty lyrics, buttery-smooth voice, and club-meets-Motown undertones of his most recent album, Blurred Lines. 
Thicke is smooth. This cannot be denied. His talents lie in hooking people in with his lazy drawl and his sultry falsetto.  Not unlike other popular artists like Justin Timberlake, there's a lot of sex appeal mixed with good-boy charm.  However, unlike Justin Timberlake, sex appeal is pretty much all this guy's got.  But if you get down to brass tacks, sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you look good doing it.  And Thick is dang fine
Blurred Lines is campy and playful, but generic and stylistically sprawled. Thicke clumsily attempts to branch out from his token R&B crooner style into the world of pop and dance.
We are constantly getting pulled back and forth from the warm ballroom hall to the dark nightclubs from track to track.  Almost right away, Thicke stumbles from the washed-up Motown-style of "Ain't No Hat 4 That" and "Get in My Way" to the herky-jerky hodge-podge of electronic hooks in "Give it 2 U," which is a song who's highest point is actually not Thicke but featured artist Kendrick Lamar. Thicke tries to rap himself in "Top of the World," and that just didn't work.
It is important for listeners to understand that this album cannot be defined by the style (or the success) of its leading number-one single, "Blurred Lines."  Little else on the album can even hold a candle to the quality of that one opening track. I fear that many will buy this album with false expectations.  That's the curse of the single, right there.  You get ONE song to Number 1, and people assume they're all gonna be that caliber.  Unfortunately, you don't really get too much of the minimal and catchy "Blurred Lines" for the rest of the album.  Most of it is Thicke trying to be Enrique, Justin, and Bruno all at the same time.
One thing an artist must do -- especially when he's on the fringe of his field to begin with -- is to stick to his strengths.  If sex appeal was what sold his previous album Love After War, perhaps he should stick to the creamy voice and take-me-I'm-yours lyricism.  You hear this once in a while on Blurred Lines. "Ooo La La" is a decently romantic track, as well as "Go Stupid 4 U."  And I dig the minor-key ukulele in the dance ballad "Feel Good." And while "Give it 2 U" is helter-skelter in its hooks, the Deluxe Edition track "Pressure" is a little more successful in its delivery of dance-worthy beats.  Why that song couldn't have made it onto the basic album set, I do not know.
One of the highest points on this album is the final track -- and ironically the one song that isn't about sex,"The Good Life."  If this rocking waltz were on the radio, I probably would take a minute before switching the station.  Odds are this track will get lost amid the rubbish.
And then, of course, there's "Blurred Lines," the first track, and the song of the summer.  Without a doubt, this song on its own is ingenious.  It's very catchy and dang sexy, but it's also minimal, stealthy, and complex.  You don't get the initial... well... "rapyness" of the song upon first listen, and that's the genius of it! No bells and whistles on this track -- just a groovy bass and Thicke's playful tone, mixed with Pharell's jovial interjections and T.I.'s no-nonsense attitude, reels you in, cushions the blow and creates a very subtle scandal; proof that sometimes, the best way to sell sex is to patiently whisper and wait for the audience to come to you, rather than scream and shout.  The music epitomized its own lyric message: "You know you want it."
It was an obvious move to release this single - as well as it's shocking video -- as the album's sole promotion, and it's a shame that the whole album isn't this clever. Immediately following this masterpiece of a hit, you get "Take it Easy on Me," which is not only super obvious in its intentions, but generic in its electronica and Enrique-esque lyricism.  Sadly, this song is a better representation of what you'll hear for the rest of the album.  Too much of this record is just THERE, without depth and substance.
But, of course, you must consider the audience and purpose. If you want a mottled smorgasbord of musical foreplay for any occasion, you've got it here.  You've got flirt, you've got passion, and you've got downright maniacal craft. But as far as success and reception go, Thicke may end up being no more than a guilty pleasure for most. If you're looking for the next dreamboat with some significant talent in R&B, pass on this album and take a chance on JT's new disc instead.

I give this album a 5.5 out of 10.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Album Review: "The Rolling Stones No. 2" by the Rolling Stones

This album art also appears on the Stones' US release, 12 X 5.
Name: The Rolling Stones No. 2
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Release Date: 15 November, 1965
Label: Decca
Production: Andrew Oldham
-- Mick Jagger, vocals
-- Keith Richards, guitar
-- Brian Jones, guitar, percussion, backing vocals
-- Charlie Watts, drums
-- Bill Wyman, bass
Awards/Success: 10 weeks at #1 in the UK in 1965.
Other Information: John Lennon said of the album: "The album's great, but I don't like 5-minute numbers."

The Rolling Stones No. 2 is very similar to its preceding UK release, The Rolling Stones.  It consists of mainly R&B covers, with a sampling of works by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.  But there are some subtle differences between the two albums -- differences that make No. 2 a more true-to-style album than its predecessor.  

For one thing, Keith Richards' guitar is more prominent in this album.  He is becoming his own voice, rather than just having a 30-second solo halfway through the song.  A good example of this can be see in the Stones' version of "You Can't Catch Me," where Keith almost duets with Jagger in a nice call-and-response pattern.  Richards will become known as a rock player, but in this album, he's a bona-fide blues musician.  Part of me really misses this guitar-playing style.

Guitar plays a very important role in the original numbers by Richards and Jagger that appear halfway through the album.  "What a Shame" begins with a catchy guitar hook, and while its blues pattern is very predictable, it sounds fresh coming from Richards.  Immediately following "What a Shame," "Grown Up Wrong" is short and placid.  On the B-side, we hear the catchy and impressive "Off the Hook," which begins with more great guitar and features Richards once again cooperating with Jagger.

This is groovy music. The B-Side is my favorite.  You've got "Down the Road Apiece," which is up-tempo and angsty, followed immediately by the cool bounce of "Under the Boardwalk."  The album ends on a high note with "Susy Q," which explores new drum patterns and more rocking guitar solos. While it can be contested that these tracks aren't really "Stony," they sound awesome nonetheless, and they can bring any listener who grew up during this age back to their youth.  

The song "I Can't Be Satisfied," while it sort of comes off a little lame, is important because of the Rolling Stones' deep connection with the song's composer, Muddy Waters.  While Jagger can't quite pull off the vocal line, there is some conviction in it.  As with their previous album, the Stones are coming into their own and realizing their own potential as carriers of the blues-rock genre into the next decade.  They have found their genre.  While these early albums by the Rolling Stones aren't that essential, they may be quintessential -- lasting pieces of history that help define blues-oriented rock and roll for the next generations.  

Hannah's rating: 7.3 out of 10.  Catchy 60's blues-rock. Not much more. 

Here's the Stones performing "Time is On My Side" on the Ed Sullivan show.  Already these boys were winning audiences' hearts.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Album Review: "The Rolling Stones" by The Rolling Stones

In their early days, producers made the attempt to have the
 Stones resemble other British Invasion bands like the Beatles with
a uniform, clean-cut dress code, but the Stones would later
shed this upper-crust look for a more loose, individualized image.
Name: The Rolling Stones
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Release Date: 16 April 1964
Label: Decca
Production: Andrew Oldham, Eric Easton
-- Mick Jagger, vocals
-- Keith Richards, guitar
-- Brian Jones, guitar, percussion, backing vocals
-- Charlie Watts, drums
-- Bill Wyman, bass
Awards/Success: #1 on UK Top 40 in 1964.  #11 on Billboard 200 in 1964. The single "Not Fade Away" reached #3 on the UK Top 40 Singles.
Other Information: Original songs on the album were listed under the pseudonym "Nanker Phelge."

The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest bands of all time, but few people know much about their earliest works.  There is a reason for that.  This debut album primarily consists of washed-up covers of other blues-oriented rock groups like Chuck Berry.  Members of the band are only cited under three of the tracks. But, as it is with most greats, you have to start somewhere, and this album very well epitomizes what the Stones would later be famous for in coming years.

While today's ears may not find anything impressive in The Rolling Stones, we must consider its importance in the development of this iconic band, as well as the growth of rock and roll in general.  While other British Invasion bands were creating the new pop sound, it was the Rolling Stones that brought blues into the realm of rock, and they did it through covering and copying the greats during their beginning.

My theory about covers is this: If you have something new to contribute, go ahead and sing someone else's music.  In this case, the Stones perform very popular works with a novel, white-boy, rebellious attitude. These guys were taking bold steps by singing "middle-age black music" in the '60s.  Classic jazz and blues references aplenty can be seen in this album, but amid very rock-like instrumentation and the skinny-boy drawl of Mick Jagger. This is classic blues-end rock performed by boys who seem like they already know that they're gonna be rock stars.

This album screams '60's youth mentality: playful, simple, and brash. The song "I Just Want to Make Love to You" is probably my favorite non-original track.  It's almost whiny, and sort of sums up what the Stones are all about: No work, all play. Jagger's got sass. He jeers, whines, and further murders his native dialect with great vocal splats throughout the whole album, and the guitar sort of hangs lazily at the ends of the beat without much care.

This album's sides were split between tracks 6 and 7.  The B-side begins with a smooth, sultry "I'm a King Bee" and ends with the monotonous unmemorable numbers, "You Can Make it if You Try" and "Walking the Dog."  It's in this B side where the original songwriting skills of Jagger and Richards save the day.

The Rolling Stones began experimenting with writing their own songs under the encouragement of their producer Andrew Oldham.  Even this early on, you can hear some originality and potential, though the tracks are hit-and-miss. "Little by Little" was co-written with Phil Spector and was the first song to achieve a spot in Britain's top 5 in 1964, but there is nothing too fabulous about this song; it mirrors the other tracks seen on the record. The other band-written number, "Now I've got a Witness," is unique in the fact that it is purely instrumental and features an already-impressive solo by Keith Richards, who was only 21 at the time.  One of the higher points is "Tell Me (You're Coming Back to Me)," which is the only song that was attributed to Mick and Keith on the whole album.  While "Tell Me' is a great song on its own, its originality and emotion   sort of stick out amid the other boogie-woogie sounds.  It stands as a foreshadowing of the genius that is to emerge from these two men in later years.

Honestly, The Rolling Stones is pretty typical of other blues-style elements coming out at this same time, but it's nice, once again, to get a taste of what these talented men -- particularly Richards -- had to offer at such an early point in their careers.

Hannah's Rating: 7/10  Mainly for its importance in history and for songs like "Tell Me."

Watch one of their first-ever TV spots on Dean Martin's The Hollywood Palace. Man, these guys were dreamy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Death of the Album: How Music Consumers React in the Digital Age

I regret to announce that I have become a product of the digital age -- an age where the notion of an "album" is beginning to disappear.
A decade ago, at age 12, you would find me perusing the music shelves at Target or Sam Goody, trying to decide which disc would eventually prove itself to be worthy of my meager twelve dollars and ninety-nine cents that I had saved since Christmas.  Usually the winner would be something I already knew and loved: Good Charlotte, Josh Groban, Faith Hill.  Later I would invest in the latest discs from Evanescence or Breaking Benjamin.  When CD-burning became a thing, I'd nab My Chemical Romance or Three Days Grace from my friends who had more money than I did to buy the actual albums themselves.  I remember sitting in my room, organizing all of these lovely crystal cases by title, by artist, or by rank.

Listening to a CD for the first time was one of the most exciting experiences I had as a child.  I very distinctly remember sticking in A-Teens' Pop 'Til You Drop (2012) into my ghetto CD player at age 11.  I sat down with the album cover, and listened intently to each and every track, in order, following the list of track names as if doing so were the most important thing I've ever done in my life.  If there were lyrics included in the album cover, I would read along with pious devotion.  If the album was awesome, my focus would not quaver in the slightest from the opening track to the final note played.  If the album was lame, I'd usually get bored after track 5 or 6 and begin to listen more passively.  The CD-listening experience was always an adventure.
But then iTunes came along, and suddenly I can buy albums in bits and pieces.  The first song I ever bought on iTunes was "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas, off of their album The E.N.D. in 2009.  I was a freshman in high school.  I have never bought the rest of the album.  Since then, I've become a sucker for the 69-cent singles sales on iTunes, filling my little iPod with dozens of one-hit wonders and one-track album lists.
But, as I began writing music myself, I had an epiphany.  This kind of purchasing behavior is causing the album to die.
 During the "golden age" of the album (think late 70's all the way up to the mid 2000's), buying an full record was a risk.  Usually you only knew one or two songs off of the whole thing; the ones you heard on the radio over and over again. You like what you've heard so far, but there is no guarantee that the rest of the album will measure up to what its singles have to offer.  As I had experienced, only the best albums could keep my attention from beginning to end.  Some of these albums from my childhood included The Beatles' 1, Evanescence's Fallen, and Middle of Nowhere by Hanson.
For a musician, creating an album -- a solid, complete album -- was an art form. Because of this risk factor, it was important to write music that satisfies the needs of the consumer as well as the musician, or else they may not ever buy your album again. In order to make a good album, you not only have to worry about individual songs, you have to consider the big picture.  Consider the story you are telling with your music.  Even if there is no overarching concept to your album, there is still a change of mood from track to track that you must consider. Do you want to begin with a bang? Do you want your audience to know exactly what they're going to hear for the rest of the album in the first couple of tracks?  Or is there a dramatic change of tone that you want your audience to embrace? What are the album's high and low points? Do you want your audience to leave your album with awe? With introspect? With melancholy? Heck, you can even go further and start comparing this album to other albums you have made in the past, and albums you may make in the future.  Do you want to be known for something different than you have been doing before?  The best way to state change is through the release of a fresh new album! If you take a look at how well-crafted albums like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours or Nirvana's Nevermind are, you get what I mean. All of the best albums in history tell some sort of story, even if it's not completely scripted within the music itself.  

Furthermore, album-focused artists usually trust their audience to maintain attention and take their work seriously from beginning to end. I feel like a stronger relationship is formed between musician and listener when there is a level of trust embedded within the musical experience.
Not to say that great music isn't currently being created, but honestly, there's something missing.  Back in the golden age of album-making, it was quality over quantity, and it was concept over commerce.  That age is almost gone.
Why? Digital media now allows consumers to buy music on a song-by-song basis.
Now, when you buy music, there is little to no risk.  You can pick and choose what songs you want.  If all of them are pretty good, you can buy the album, but if you really are only interested in what you heard the other day on the radio, you have the option to spend a few cents on one song rather than spend several dollars on a whole album that you're really not interested in owning.
This digital trend can be really cool.  I mean, I'm not the biggest fan of electronic music, but when there's one song by Zedd that I like, it's nice to know that I can put my money where it will be most useful for me as well as useful to Zedd and anyone else who was involved in making that track. While I otherwise would have just skipped the purchase completely, I can at least support artists in a small way by buying what is valuable to me.
This also means that a lot of time, money, and effort is put into creating very well-crafted and interesting singles.  I feel like there is more variety on the radio than there used to be; in order to stand out in the musical crowd, musicians and producers are adding new things (mainly technology) to individual songs that make them memorable and interesting.   This digital age has also been a blessing for indie record companies, who never would have seen the light of day if it weren't for mass consumption of digital music via the internet.  Songs are super catchy these days, and they are recorded with quality sound and are given lots of publicity.
There are good things that come with technology and digital media.  This I know.
BUT... While singles are getting better in some regards, almost everything else on a typical modern-day album is worthless. From the sound of it, not much investment is given to tracks that aren't on the docket to become singles these days.  I'm thinking of the most recent albums by Daughtry, 'Lil Wayne, and (sadly) the newest work by Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest.  There are a few gems, but as album, it sucks. Even some of the more talented album creators are falling into the single trap. Take a look at the before/after shots of bands and artists like Bon Jovi, Korn, Bonnie Raitt, and Nelly.  Heck, even if you look at Britney Spears's Baby One More Time..., you can see craftsmanship and (dare I say it?) class that you just don't see in her more recent albums. Albums are losing their place in today's musical marketplace.  It's becoming less and less about the big picture, and more about the get-rich-quick approach of releasing single after stinking single.
What changed? Digital media.  The minute you could start selling music on a track-by-track basis, the notion of the album completely changed.  Suddenly it becomes only an afterthought.  Or sometimes it became a vessel in which a brand could deliver a whole bunch of singles at one time, even though they may all be completely unrelated and disjunctive if you put them together as a whole.  I'm thinking specifically of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, which, while almost all of its singles were very successful, doesn't really stand up for itself as an album.
Think of it this way: You don't usually display pieces visual art on an individual basis.  Usually they appear in a gallery exhibit, surrounded by other pieces that are similar or different from it.  This gives a work context, which is one of the biggest factors in creating valuable artistic statements.  There needs to be a story.  The content must have a context.
This is why I think indie albums are better quality than mainstream-label records.  For those who don't have the resources or publicity to keep shelling out single after single, it's all about the the impact you can give to a listener in one go with one great album.  I feel like under-cover artists are usually more artistically fueled than big superstars, because money hasn't yet become a factor.  When you are a band that's bone-broke and barely getting gigs, it's not like your main goal is how many millions of dollars you can make. The profit craze of big-name labels has not yet infected the fresh, creative minds of young, up-and-coming artists. When such bands or artists DO get big, they can "sell out" -- and you hear the difference.
My proposition? Reward consumers for taking the risk and buying an entire album.  This responsibility lies in the musician, the listener, as well as the producers, advertisers, and marketers of popular music.
For musicians, this means continue to TRUST your audience by making quality music from beginning to end! Don't ignore the "connective tissue" of your album. Not every song has to be a single, but that doesn't mean every song that's not a single has to suck. And maybe it would be a good idea to fight the urge to make every radio-friendly tune you have a single.  Save some stuff for the people who do take the time to buy your album. You don't need to be shoving singles down people's throats for them to listen to you... That is, if your music is good.  If you make art, people will recognize it.  This internet that we have makes it so easy to publicize and gain rapport.
And listeners? Don't waste your time with poor music!  Do your homework. We have preview options now.  You can know a whole album before you ever buy it using tools like Spotify and album reviews online.Don't become complacent! Find out if an album is great.  If the album is not great, don't buy it! Sure, buy the singles if you want, but don't waste your money on something not worth listening to. If an album IS worth your money, BUY IT. Don't download it for free.  Don't just get the singles.  BUY THE ALBUM.    Support the sale of the complete work!  Give artists an incentive to keep creating good music.  You can talk about the brainwashing influence of the music industry all you want, but honestly it comes down to what YOU as a consumer think is good art.  This is a great power!

And marketers? You can make it easier on consumers as well.  Think about successful franchises like Sam's Club, where both consumer and producer get rewarded by operating on a bulk system.  Let's take a random CD available on iTunes: N*Sync's Celebrity, which was released in 2001.
Currently, the CD is $9.99.  If you were to buy every track individually, you would have to pay $13.77.  So yeah, you do save money buy buying the whole album at once.  But of course no one would buy every track separately when they can buy the whole album at once for a lesser price.  Let's be honest here.  Few people would even buy HALF of the tracks (up to around 7 bucks) individually.  But they will buy the singles!
BUT... Take a look at the singles.  There are 3 of them.  You can tell because these songs are priced at $1.29, rather than just 99 cents.  If I were to just buy the singles (and that is assuming that I want to buy ALL THREE of them... I mean, the only song I really remember from that album is "Pop"...), iTunes would make $3.87.  But then I only have 3 songs.  And iTunes COULD HAVE HAD ten bucks if I bought the album.  
Here's my thought: Why not encourage the purchase of full albums by selling them for less?  Rather than just marking up the single price (remember when they were 99 cents just like everything else?), why not mark DOWN the album by a greater margin?  Of course it's a little unrealistic to do this for new releases, but this album is over ten years old.  Why not make it five bucks? Rather than just make $3.87 for the singles, iTunes could make an additional dollar or more on an album that hardly anyone buys anymore. People would be more willing to buy an entire album for five bucks than just buy three songs for three.   It would be like a digital bargain bin.  
What about the "Complete My Album" option on iTunes? Yeah, it's a nice thought, but I honestly think this could be a great opportunity for music companies to encourage album purchases.  I, for one, would love to hear someone say, "Hey! You bought one song! Why not enjoy the whole album at a reduced rate??"  Of course there are shortcuts that consumers can take, but what if they bought one song three years ago, and they still haven't "upgraded" to the rest of the album?  Maybe you can provide album discounts for artists related to what the customer has bought? What if we mark down albums like Celebrity that are over a decade old and aren't making half as much money as they used to?  Why not include bonus tracks that are exclusively offered to those who buy the complete album? There are lots of options for not only making money, but also encouraging consumers to expand their horizons and learn more music than just what they hear on the radio.  
At this rate, the album will be dead in a decade. Let's not let this happen!  Support the movement of the album by being smart consumers!  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Soundtrack of the Summer (So Far)

"Effect and Cause" -- White Stripes
"Clarity" -- Zedd ft. Foxes
"Ya Hey" -- Vampire Weekend
"At Least I'm Not as Sad" -- Fun.
"How Come You Don't Want Me Now" -- Tegan and Sara
"I Think I Love You" -- The Partridge Family
"As Time Goes By" -- Louis Armstrong
"It's Only a Paper Moon" -- Miles Davis
"I'm Shakin'" -- Jack White
"Caroline, Dress in Blue" -- Officer Jenny
"Wagon Wheel" -- Old Crow Medicine Show
"I've Got a Ways to Go" -- Grouplove
"Scars from an Old Love" -- Hazel Dickens
"Boys with Girlfriends" -- Meiko
"Not Your Fault" -- AWOLNATION

Make a Wish

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Journal Gem: June 25, 2006 -- To wipe away EVERYONE'S tears.

I was 15 years old when I wrote the following entry in Aubrey:

[In choir today,] we sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives."  That's my new favorite hymn.  There is one verse that hit me so hard it brought me to tears during practice once. 
He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives, all blessings to impart. 
 There are couple of reasons why I love this verse so much.  The first one my mom explained during practice to the choir.  He's there to comfort me. To wipe away my tears, to calm my troubled heart.  Not just as a congregation, but me personally.  He lives for me. It makes me feel like a true daughter of God and that he loves me.
But you can take it another way, too.  You see, I'm not the only one singing the song.  The people in our ward choir sang it this morning, and all over the world, people are probably singing the song.  That means everyone's soul is important to God as well.
Everyone's! Shannon's, Mom's, Mr. Bob's, Ian's, David's... Just the thought of David made me cry.  When I sang that song last week, I imagined Christ looking straight into David's tear-stricken eyes, and he lifted David's head up with his gentle hand.  Then I saw me, sitting with my head in my hands, apparently upset, stressed, and discouraged about something, and then Christ is there, putting his hand on my shoulder, and smiles at me. 
And then -- and this is the part that really to to me -- I saw Brett.  Yep, Brett.  He was crying, but they were happy tears. They were tears of joy.  Christ was there, again, facing Brett and smiling. Then he put both his hands on Brett's shoulders, grasping firmly, but gently.  Then they embrace.  That's when I realized what a fool I've been, holding a grudge over Brett like that.  Sure, he had hurt me, made me feel bad about myself, but he's God's son. Just like I'm his daughter.
He's my brother.
How should I treat my brother?
Not with anger and loathing, like I was.
And that goes for everyone I know.  They are all my siblings, and I should treat them just as kindly and respectfully as I do my blood family.  I've changed my whole outlook on how I should act towards others.  When school starts, there will be no more gossip, backbiting, cruel remarks, or arguing.  Regardless of what they have done to me.  He lives for them. God created them. They are each individual sons and daughters of God. God doesn't make mistakes. Jesus loves them to the end. I want everyone to know that. I want everyone to know that our Redeemer lives to wipe away each and everyone's tears. I don't ant anyone to not know that.  How could I live without knowing that? It makes me really want to spread the gospel.

Listening to: "Sail" by AWOLNATION
Things Going On Today: Happy Fourth of July!  I'm probably going to see little Daniel Hale today.
Blessings: VCRs.
Learned: You can resolve to I from ii!