Monday, October 29, 2007

Sea Inside, Post #2

To compare The Sea Inside to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I would have to say that they both are true stories. They both talk about how they know they're going to die, and they're both put into book format. To contrast these, The Sea Inside dealt with someone wanting to commit suicide, whereas The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is about someone who IS dying.
I would have to say that The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is more powerful, because we could actually understand it, whereas The Sea Inside was in spanish. Diving Bell was very compelling, and i enjoyed it much more than Sea Inside.

Sea Inside, Post #1

My general action and response to this film is odd. I acted this way because I thought that Ramon was an idiot for thinking that he should commit suicide. That just goes to show that you don't love yourself anymore.
What I think of his request for assisted suicide, is that it was just stated. I think he's an idiot for thinking that he should die. What I think of the court's response, is that it's a good answer because it would not be legal to do.
What I think of his friends that tried to help him is just plain idiocy. To me, this whole movie was idiotic. Ramon wants to commit suicide, and he want's others to help him? that's just dumb, because his frieds wouldn't want to kill him!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 6, Post #2

I did "Option 2" instead of doing the first choice.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Week 6, Post #1

In this last section of "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star," Semisonic releases another album, "All About Chemistry." They released it in the early 2000's, and it was big as executives said it would be. In a magazine that was published after the release, "Q Magazine" gave the album 5 stars. Once the album was released, Semisonic leaked out into international radio stations, and would speak on radios and everything like that. Semisonic would play concerts all summer, and at their last show, the "Fash Bash," they raised money for cancer research.
In the next chapter, they were sitting at a coffee shop in Minneapolis and were getting harassed by a fan about when their next concert would be, or when their next album release was. They were annoyed. Then, later on, Semisonic lost their record contract, so the only thing they could do was just sit back and watch the Internet take over the music business. Also, all of Semisonic's close friends, and MCA Executives, were fired, like Jay Boberg, Gary Ashley, Hans, and Craig Lambert. Jacob at the end of the book talks about how whenever he hears music, he dreams of getting back on stage. He reflects back to the time when he played in Mexico City: "...hundreds of lighters began to flick in time with the music, I was jealous of the crowd for the style with which it made the night so fun." He also reflects on the song, "El Matador": "When I listen to "El Matador," I get to enter Jake's world from the outside, even as I look out from the inside."
To close this memoir, Jake ended it with a quote that sounds as if he lived by it at one point in his life: "...the energy of the 2,000 people packed into the club will channel itself through the three people on stage and pour out again into the crowd, over and over, as we ride on waves of sound and light."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Week 5, Post #1

I commented on Greg Weber's, and David Gschneidner's.

Week 5, Post #2

This first chapter of the section was about how at the end of the tour with Matchbox 20, Jacob was directed into the dressing room, where Jim met him. Jacob was then presented with a Gold Record. A gold record is an achievement that musicians achieve by selling over 500,000 albums. Then later, after Jacob took pictures with it, The radio company took hold of another single by Semisonic, "Singing in my Sleep." They believed that this would be as strong as "Closing Time." Then after that, another single came in, called "Secret Smile." Once that was released, Jacob and the band received a Platinum Record. This chapter was basically about releasing two more singles, and Jacob getting the Gold and Platinum Records.
In the next chapter, Semisonic goes to Manchester, England, and land there on an October morning. They were meeting representatives left and right, right and left. It was havoc for them. Then one night, they played at the Hundred Club, which was popular for English punk. At the performance, Marilyn Manson happened to drop by and listen to a few songs. He liked what he heard, and had Dan be Marilyn's guest of honor at a local restaurant. Later on, they traveled to Canada, where their record had also gone gold. Then, after the Universal/Polygram merger in 1999, Jay decided to keep pushing that Semisonic should go international with certain companies. People started to critique them, and say that if they were any bigger, they'd be as big as "the Beatles, Spice Girls, Oasis, or Blur." But no one said they were bigger than either of them. Also, when they were listed in hotels, they were under aliases, which is the name of the chapter, "Mister Phelps," which is Jacob's alias. This entire chapter was based on Semisonic's international traveling.
This final chapter is about becoming successful in international music, and with the companies. They start off with the UK, where their success there pleased executives at MCA, but inconvienently timed, so they say. "Closing Time" was on their radio 18 months after it's debut in the U.S. Later on, another MCA executive heard the song "Chemistry," and said he could get it on to "K-ROCK" that afternoon. At that time, "K-ROCK'S" main focus was the sounds of "Linkin Park" and "Limp Bizkit." Once that song hit, MCA had one view: Semisonic had a winning single and therefore should wrap up the album quickly and get it released. But, Jim wasn't sold on "Chemistry" and he wanted the band to write more songs. As the recording stretched into the spring of 2000, Gary Ashley, the head of A&R, flew out to meet the band in Minneapolis to "discuss the progress of the recording." They didn't feel readyto finish up. But in the end, the album ended up being called "All About Chemistry," ironically enough. It turned out that the word on the street was that their next album was going to be huge.

REACTION: My reaction to this section is quite surprising because of everything that happened. I didn't know that it took so much effort to sign an international deal, yet go gold or platinum on an album also. I was also surprised to see the album go Platinum because personally, i didn't think it was that good. Another reaction was humorous because of the aliases for Jacob and the band when they go to hotels. One of my final reactions, is happy. I was happy because Semisonic needed a new album, and to finally make a new one, really helped them out because the word was that it was going to be big.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Week 4, Part 2

This section is about the band hitting it big. Semisonic recently released their first album, with their single, "Closing Time," and how the rehearsal was so difficult. This was basically the entire first chapter of this section.
The next chapter was about leading up to the first time that "Closing Time" was to be played on the radio, live. The tension between Jacob and the band was building and building, since they were so nervous about wondering what people would think of their song, and if they could perform it as well as the recording. Once the song was over, Jacob and the band started to have their mailboxes filled up to the top. All of a sudden, Semisonic was on Jay Leno, Late night with Conan O'Brien, and all those other late night shows.
This final chapter is about the band TOURING with someone, not OPENING for a band. Semisonic toured with "Matchbox 20," another band of Semisonic's genre. The tour bus had specific rules, like doing your certain business (not no. 2), and waking up at certain times. Basically, the entire chapter revolved around Semisonic and Matchbox 20's schedule on a daily basis, which was Wake up, Cleansing themself, eat, etc.

Week 4, Part 1

“…when my parents and I had gone to take the air in a windy and not very sparkling seaside town. In his strong, angular handwriting, Dad had simply noted: Berck-sur-mer, April 1963” (pg. 45). I believe this quote is so important because Bauby is recalling one of his most well-remembered memories. It is a depressing quote, since he cannot relive it, in which that the tone of the entire story is "depression." The next quote by Bauby is important because he is describing his family, which he cannot spend as much time with because of the diagnosis of "locked-in" syndrome. “…my eight year old daughter in riding gear; and a black-and-white photo of myself on the mini-golf course” (pg. 44).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week 3, Part 2

So far, my reactions to this book have been positive. What Jacob has described, is the life of a rock and roll star, and the life before all the fame and glory. My feelings towards the book are happy, excitement, and curiousity. Happiness because it just gives me that feeling that I'd feel just as happy doing the one thing you love most; and excitement because you get the crowds roaring, and it just tells you to achieve more; and curiousity because the book keeps making you wonder, "what's gonna be next for the band and Jacob?"

The strengths of this book are the voice. The voice is strong because Jacob expresses himself in the book, which shows the emotion in what is said. I wouldn't say there is any weaknesses because I believe that this book delivers thoroughly and strong. The story is excellent, and that's why I don't think there are any weaknesses.
How I can relate the book to real life, is that his past is my present. I am trying to be like him. I know it might not be realistic because not everyone becomes a famous musician, but it's a goal that he accomplished, so I think I can too.
My prediction for the rest of the book is that the band will go gold, maybe platinum with their records. Also, I believe they will have many songs atop the charts in the following years.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Week 3, Part 1

1.) This section was about Semisonic launching their career even further than before. What happens is, Semisonic is asked to make a video off of their hit, "Down in Flames." Originally, the budget offered was $40,000 to make the video, but Jim, being the negotiator that he is, increased the budget to $65,000, which is a fraction of the high-performance videos made. The band believed that once the video was made, it would be pretty hard for MTV to reject their video. But first they needed to hire a director: Doug Gayeton. Doug was a director when he was young, but retired in (no year given) from directing videos for MTV because he was fed up with bands and labels. In 1995, he came back to direct a home movie for Semisonic, and now they wanted to hire him again. So they hired him, and the shoot lasted 2 days. Semisonic re-ran the video over and over and over, until finally they had a completed video. Once that was over, Doug went back to MTV, and after that stint, he was finished making videos for good.

What happened next, is things got pretty hectic in L.A. and New York. Bands were piling into hotels, and made the music businesses look deserted. During the few weeks leading up to the release of their album "Great Divide," they was crammed in the upstairs lounge at Roxy in L.A., where Jay Boberg (MCA's new president) met Semisonic after one of their performances so the band could meet the new employees of MCA. After that, they had a concert at the "South by Southwest," where they had an unbelievable performance. Journalists and newspaper writers were at the scene, boosting their band's popularity. Then April of 1996 rolled around, and the release of the album was finally here. The band was on the road when it was released into stores, but Jacob finally saw one in a Detroit store, under "Miscellaneous Rock-S." He bought one for himself. Now, it's all about sales for the band. Eventually, they opened up for the band called "The Verve Pipe," which was their first BIG concert.

In this last part of the section, the band is at home. Jim calls Jacob and tells him that The Verve Pipe is their new single is "going to e a smash." Then Jacob came up with a new sound for their new album: "Intimate." Jim suggested others, but Jacob wanted "intimate." The band was arguing too much about it being too soft, or not loud enough, or that it takes too long to build. Then, Jim had written one of the most well songs that he had written in anticipation of fatherhood. It's called "Closing Time."


Jacob Slichter was born in Champaign, Illinois, on April 5, 1961. Jacob was a Harvard graduate, accepting a degree in "African American Studies." Obviously, he is the drummer for the band Semisonic (I've been writing about it for 2 weeks!). Jacob would play and sing in his basement as a kid, and he always wondered if he could actually take it to the next level. He and the band wrote one of the most well known songs, "Closing Time," in 1996-1997(?). Jacob is the author of the book, "So you wanna be a Rock and Roll Star."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 2

1.) Summary

What this section was about was Jacob and his band's start to their musical careers. They go to California and meet their President from their record company, Elektra. The president and Jim (band member) discussed on the phone their future with the company. Then, Jim made arrangements for the A&R guy to see them play in Kansas City. All of a sudden, the guy got sick, and couldn't see much of the show. Then, the band came up with a name: "Semisonic." Eventually, the band flew to NY, to propose themselves to the label, MCA. The proposition was awkward, yet the band succeeded. After that, they flew back to Minneapolis.
The band flew back to New York, where a limousine was awaiting them. The band got in the limo, and drove off to MCA again, where they would take their photo shoot for their first album, "Great Divide." The band had to decide their outfits for the photo shoot, where they eventually all decided, and took 5 photos, narrowing it down eventually to one. The photo shoot took hours; Click after click after click. It just got too long. But, in the end, they finally got one picture.
This final chapter is about getting Semisonic onto the radio. When Jacob was young, he recorded songs off the radio to listen to over and over. But now, he wants kids to do that for Semisonic's music. MCA's goal was to get "Down in Flames" (song by Semisonic) on the radio 6 weeks before the release date of the album. The band would usually have "locals" bring them to the station to do acoustic recordings, at about 5:30 a.m. Then, the band would record, and eventually, the band got the song "Down in Flames" on the radio by their due date.
2.) Loaded Words
56. It's a loaded word because danger can mean a variety of different things in many situations. For example, "Danger, do not cross." It's a warning for what's ahead. The author chose the word because it fit the context well.
-Awkward: 60. It's a loaded word because of the situation, "an awkward proposition." He chose the word because I'm sure everyone would say the same thing; 10 business people in a claustrophobic area, including the band? I'd say the same thing.
-Blood: 61. It's a loaded word because it gives off that gross feeling to all people around it. He chose the word because it's all that would fit with the context, plus, it was a part of the issue at the moment.
-Love: 63. It's a loaded word because it has so much meaning to it. He chose the word because the word gives off a happy feeling towards the subject that is being loved.
-Click: 68. It's a loaded word because of the repitition involved. every other word is "Click." He chose this word because it's the sound a camera makes, so he wrote it because it can't be a sound effect in the book (sounds out of the book).
-Killer: 71. It's a loaded word because of 2 different meanings; Killer as in a "murderer," or killer as in "tight." He chose the word because of the "tight" meaning. He decided to add some slang to the sotry.
-Aggressive: 77. It's a loaded word because of the context, "...a less aggressive variety." He chose the word because a less aggressive variety of music, means more calm and interesting for listeners.
-Notorious: 81. It's a loaded word because of Dan's (band member) notorious decisions and moves. He chose the word because Dan was known for how notorious he was.
-Absentmindedly: 85. It's a loaded word because of what it says; not paying attention to the current action. He chose the word because it had to do with the current event: veering into another lane without thinking.
-Violation: 92. It's a loaded word because it states the point: against the rules, or a rule is broken. He chose it because Jacob was discussing the violations of law against a label.
My reaction to this is not surprised because I could see this coming. A record deal, photo shoots, arguements over little things, and locals helping them out. I can see this happening to many famous musicians around the world now, so I'm not surprised.

About Me

my name is zack. I am 15, born January 20, 1992. My favorite subject is Math, in general. My favorite food is Chipotle, which would be a steak burrito. My #1 passion is music and guitar, which I've been playing for 7 years. My favorite sport is hockey. I have 2 cats, Ozzie and Bella, who are both 2 years old.