100 visitors

So I was checking that counter on the bottom of my page and I'm up to 93 visitors. That's mighty close to 100. Maybe by the end of the day I'll be at 100. Now I know that like 15 of those visits were from myself checking in and seeing if there was anything I wanted to change, but at least I know someone else is reading/ accidentally getting directed to my page for a brief moment. I'm looking forward to my first comment. I don't really have much else to say today. Except Eastlink is refusing to answer/ return my calls. Damn them. Cheers.

Yellow Taxis

Whatever happened to Taxis being easily distinguishable because they were a nice bright yellow? I have yet to see a yellow taxi in Halifax (except for the ones that are Yellow Cab, but that's the company, not the color). Seriously, what the hell? The cabs don't even have decals on them, or anything that lets you know they are a taxi except for the thingy on the roof. It makes me miss St. John's and the Jiffy Cab man. For any  of you (if there is anyone actually reading this blog) who have been to St. John's and called for a Jiffy Cab, you know what I'm talking about.

So I had the interview with Nubody's on Friday and now I have a "technical" interview with them in a couple of days. I have to design and take the manager through a workout. I guess they want to really see if I have to goods to be a personal trainer. I'm not really sure if I want to be, but I needs the moneys right now, so I don't really have a choice. Anyway, off to watch the OC, cheers.

Locked Out

Ever lock yourself out of your house and have absolutely no way to get back in? Well I have. Today I took the trash out to the dumpster and didn't take my keys because it was just around the corner. What I didn't know is that the wooden door we have locks automatically when you close it, so I got locked out. So what did I do? I walked to King's College to get Sarah's keys. However, she was out with a group of her classmates working on an assignment where they had to do "streeters," interviewing people on the street like Rick Mercer does I guess. Well then I thought I was screwed. She wouldn't be back till noon and it was only 10:30. I walked back to the apartment and figured I would have to chill for a while until she came back.

It wasn't a total loss though, I ended up chatting with one of my upstairs neighbours for like an hour. We talked about all sorts of stuff. He moved here from B.C. his girlfriends is some kind of physicist or something with Dalhousie fixing a weather machine thingy, he recycles everything, and he told me about this bikeshare program where I can get myself a bike (to replace my stolen bike from St. John's). While we were chatting the landlord came so I was able to get her to let me in the apartment. So, all-in-all, it turned out much better than I though it was going to. The dude offer me a rocking chair, a hat, a camping stove, and a canoe while we were chatting. I would have taken him up on at least one of those if I had any place to put it or use it. I'll let you guess which one. Cheers.

Slippery Couch

We finally got our couch yesterday. It took a long time, but it's here. So then came the trial-and-error of where it (along with the rest of the furniture) should be located in the room. We have a pretty small space, so this was a challenge - but after a bit of arguing and moving around we finally have our living/dining room the way we want it. We still aren't officially settled in- still some boxes to unpack, curtains to buy, etc...

One thing about the couch, it slips around on the floor like mad. For such a large object it sure moves easily. I found a product online that looks promising though. It's called STAYfurniture grippers. I had to order them, so it'll be a while before they're shipped.

I have myself a mini-dilemma right now. I have an interview on Friday with Nubody's, and they seem very interested in me. That is not the dilemma. This is: I had an interview with the Physioclinic a couple weeks back and it seems promising, except I won't know if I got the job until sometime next week. As the situation stands I could get both jobs and have to choose between them, so I'll have to weigh my options here. At the Physioclinic I will be working as a kinesiologist, but the job is in Dartmouth. At Nubody's I will be working as a personal trainer and the job is in Halifax. So do I pick the job that is closer to home or that is in a clinic. What if I don't get either job? That will definitely suck, that's a whole different kind of dilemma. Anyway, I'm off to find a public library so I can scan a document for email. Cheers.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus CD Review - March 2009

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Lonely Road
By Brandon Goulding
One part INXS + two parts Blink-182 + a quarter of Fall Out Boy = Red Jumpsuit Aparatus. Lonley Road, RJAs second studio album, blends solid guitars, distinguishable vocals, and catchy melodies into a enjoyable pop-punk mochachino, with just a hint of high-school targeted lyrics.
Let’s start right from the beginning with the first track, “You Better Pray.” With an intro that is reminiscent of “thunderstruck,” this song is definitely a good representation of the tone of the album – moderately heavy guitar licks, very solid drumming, and surprisingly good vocals.
One place where RJA has excelled where other pop-punk bands have failed is their diversity. At first listen most of the songs may sound the same, but the use of driving palm-mutes in songs like “Pen and Paper,” the ridiculously catchy melody in the chorus of “Step Right Up,” and the pinch harmonics in the intro of “Pull Me Back” help separate RJA from fall-by-the wayside bands like Boxcar Racer. The band also shows a more vulnerable quality in the title track, “Lonely Road,” which is soft but still has a great drive to it.
Don’t let the guitar licks and drums fool you too much though, these guys are still poppy, and seem to play to a highschool demographic; which is clearly evident in the lyric of “Senioritis,” a song about senior year of highschool. “Skip class, take chances, have fun. ‘Cause when it’s over it is done” – not the hardest hitting lyrics I’ve heard.
While RJA may have lyrics that are definitely to be taken at face value, Lonely Road as a whole is quite enjoyable. However, it does suffice to say that, in a world where bands like Good Charlotte or Simple Plan become immensely successful, RJA might just get thrown 2 for $10 bin alongside Blink.

Propagandhi CD Review - March 2009

Supporting Caste
G7 Welcoming Committee/Smallman Records
By: Brandon Goulding
Before you go any further reading this review know this, I am not an expert it this partical genre of anarcho-punk. I reviewed this album with an open mind and focused on musicianship and the feel of the album. Now, into the meat and potatoes.
Supporting Caste, Propagandhi’s fifth studio album, is a heavy sounding, upbeat, no-holds-bar album. Charged by politics, religion, and various touchy subjects, Propagandhi stays true to former works by being out-spoken. However, I found reading the lyrics more enjoyable than listening to them. The songs had a very disjunctive feel to them, which made following them difficult.
The album as a whole has a very heavy driving tone to it that, frankly, I did not enjoy. Right off the bat you are hit with a guitar hero reject song, “Night Letters,” which pretty much defines the sound of the rest of the album – loud guitars, aggressive drumming, a screaming vocals. Staying true to being heavy, loud, and aggressive, “This is Your Life” scared the piss out of me when it started playing. However, an album like this is not entirely a bad thing. You know what you’re getting from the get-go, and if you can get past the lack of diversity you might actually enjoy it. It’s like that episode of “How I meet your mother” where Barney makes a mixed CD that is all up, no downs.
Now I don’t want to come off sounding like I despised this album. In fact, there were a couple of gems that my old soul could handle. “The Banger’s Embrace” had good vocals, decent guitar licks and solid lyrics. “Last Will & Testament” provided something different than every other song on the album, good dynamics. A lengthy 3 minute into was perhaps the shining point of Supporting Caste for me. After those three minutes the song reverts to the driving beat and heavy guitars that defined the rest of the album.
While it may not have been my cup of tea, I can see Supporting Caste catering to the taste of many. It does have meaningful lyrics, intense drumming, and a consistent sound. Long time fans will not be disappointed, but those of you that are not heavy guitars and getting scream at might want to stay away.

Sonny Tripp CD Review - February 2009

Sonny Tripp
Sonny Tripp
Alt Rock
By Brandon Goulding
What do you get when you mix three guys, a log cabin, and two days in late December? No, not some lame Jackass rip-off. You get a debut album of local band Sonny Tripp, comprised of Ryan Taylor, Dicky Stricklando, and Chris Donnelly. Personally, I had not heard of Sonny Tripp until I was browsing around CD Plus when an employee/friend recommended I'd give this album a listen. Since it was only six bucks I thought, "why not?"
I ended up being pleasantly surprised. With songs largely driven by drummer Dicky Stricklando, along with searing guitar riffs, and a groovy bass, this album is a great find. songs like "I can't imagine and "so long" are reminiscent of old school Collective Soul (back in the days "Shine").
"Police Car" showcases some of the band's best qualities - great drumming, a catch vocal hook, and fine guitar and bass performances that all compliment each other very well. "Low Key Flow" changes things up a little with a slow Deathcab-like song that is immensely mellow.
One downside of the album is the lack of diversity. All the tracks, with the exception of "Low Key Flow" sound very similar. After about five songs, Sonny Tripps sound gets a little monotonous and leaves you looking for a little something different. However, this does not take away from the bands musicianship. Some guitar licks are nothing less than brilliance, the vocals are solid, and the drumming is stellar.
Keep an eye out for these guys. Since forming in 2007, Sonny Tripp has developed a great sound and has great potential for local success. The next time you guys are in CDPlus or Fred's Records why not pick up "Sonny Tripp" and give it a listen for yourself. At only six dollars this is definitely a gem.

Ian Foster CD Review, March 2009

Ian Foster
Room in the City

By: Brandon Goulding

Ian Fosters second album Room in the City is a breathe of fresh air with creative lyrics, interested use of a variety of instruments, and a guest appearance by the legendary Ron Hynes. Teeming with folk, rock, and blues flavors, this album is brilliantly produced; no wonder it was nominated for a 2008 ECMA.

The songs, and the album as a whole, have great dynamics with Foster’s soft-raspy capturing the listeners attention and his lyrics bringing you through stories of long drives, dark nights, love, and love lost. Beginning with “A Lesson in Geography,” Foster introduces us to his folky side with a playful Jack Johnson like air and a bitchin’ xylophone solo.

Melanie O’Brien adds some sultry vocals to “Sodium” and “Berlin.” -- The former with a great rock feel and the latter having more emotion and great layering of the vocals with the slow guitar and string section.

“Without a Mark” is wonderfully dark with a carnival type sound give me the same feeling I get when listening to Euphoria by Sarah Slean. You’ll have to listen to both to get exactly what I mean, but it’ll be well worth it.

The last three songs of Room in the City return to the folky type sounds that started the album, leaving the electric guitar on it’s stand and adding a strings section to mellow things out a little. Ending the album with “Decisions,” Foster has reverted all the way back to the bare necessities – an acoustic guitar and a phenomenal voice. Co-writer by Ron Hynes, who also lends his voice to the track, “Decisions” is brilliant and thoughtful.

Room in the City is by far one of the best albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. Creative, dark, rocky, and altogether brilliant this record has a little of everything.

The Killers CD Review, January 21, 2009

Baytown Connection CD Review - November 26, 2008

John Legend CD Review - November 19, 2008

The Verve CD Review - September 10, 2008

The Verve
By Brandon Goulding
Yeah, they were super cool in the ‘90s, but so were jean jackets and mullets.
Luckily, unlike some other relics of the decade, the Verve is as good today as they were 11 years ago.

Back together after a long hiatus due to “creative struggles” between band members, the Verve has blended solid drumming, funky bass, ghostly guitar licks, and warm vocals into a bittersweet collection of songs in their fourth album, cleverly named Forth.

The album's first single, “Sit And Wonder,” draws you in like a moth to a flame with funky drum beats, great guitar interplay, and the Bono-esque vocals of lead singer Richard Ashcroft.

However, at almost seven minutes long, you may be left sitting and wondering when exactly the song will be over.
“I See Houses,” with its eerie piano and creepy-ass lyrics, is hauntingly captivating and makes you want to put the song on repeat so you can just lie down and listen for hours.

For you blues junkies out there, listen to “Numbness” to hear some stellar guitar playing overlaid with simple vocals and driven by drummer Pete Salisbury’s uphill rhythm.

Dysfunctional as they were and are, the band has strung together a solid senior album. Forth is an eclectic balance of noise and musicianship revolving around a medium tempo that will keep your head bobbing.

Now, let’s just wait for them to break up and get back together again in about three years so we can enjoy yet another decent ‘90s throwback.

Halifax is noisy

So, Sarah and I have been living in Halifax for a little over a week now and do you know what we figured out? This place is noisy in the mornings. Every morning since we've been in our apartment we've been awaken by something going on outside the door. Last friday it was the birds chirping (yeah, sounds cool, but it's damn annoying), Sunday it was the church bells which rang for like 3 minutes straight, and today there was someone using a chainsaw or another such tool right outside our window at 8:00. Seriously, does anyone in this town sleep in? Perhaps I'll have to get ear plugs.

Oh, and Hurricane Bill? More overrated than Greg Oden. No power outage, no fallen trees. I was half excited to light candles and have a night of it. I mean yeah, it's great that it didn't do any damage, but come on, not even any lightning? Oh well. Tomorrow we should be getting our couch, then we'll both be able to sit down at the same time. Cheers.