Sunday, December 04, 2005

A little story + Music reviews

My great-grandfather and great-grandmother were married for over fifty years before they passed on. I met them once after they moved to Florida.

My great-grandfather made his own wine. He told us that some turned out really good, and some were undrinkable. He not only made his own wine but built two piers on the lake he lived on.

I noticed that he and my great-grandmother touched a lot. Smiled a lot too. Their default facial expressions were smiles, even though they were very old and probably had pains that I've yet to experience. Still, they smiled and held hands when walking.

That's so much more than I could say about my other relatives. As a young kid, I saw my great-grandparents married for over fifty years, smiling, and holding hands. Then I saw other relatives who spent time in prison, got married, divorced, married, divorced, married, and divorced. One used to get drunk and beat up his wife and oldest son. Another cheated on his wife and slapped around his kids.

Kids are a lot smarter than adults realize. I knew which relative I wanted to emulate. To this day, emulating my great-grandfather has been one of my dreams. I wanted to marry one woman and be with her until death do us part. Luckily for me, I found a woman who feels the same way.

So teach by example. Your life has a lot more meaning than you realize. There is a little kid in your life who is watching you, and with that in mind, you're a much larger influence than you realize. Make it a good one.

Now for the music

Thank you Jenn. I've been meaning to buy the new Mars Volta album, Frances the Mute, for awhile now. Jenn posted the video on her blog and that cemented it. I downloaded it from the iTunes store and am currently listening to it.

If you've never heard of Mars Volta, they're a unique band. They do what they want to do. If I had to classify them, they're rock, jazz, fusion, blues, psychadelic, and metal all rolled into one. Their music is kind of music for other musicians, so if you're a musician or a music nut, you'd definitely want to check them out. This album's shortest song is almost six minutes and one song is over a half hour.

The music is both in English and Spanish. I'm not sure if they're American or Mexican. I don't really know their background.

As musicians, they're top notched. Their singer's voice is okay, but it works. He sings with a tremendous amount of passion. Think of their guitarrist's solos as a metal version of Carlos Santana. Their drummer is all over the place and I love it.

If you can't stomach extreme music, this band isn't for you. I completely understand. Mrs. Z is still in bed, so she hasn't heard it yet but I'm sure she won't like it. I however give it 8 dead zombies. Some parts are brilliant, but some are too dissinent, even for me.

I first heard Beautiful Creatures at a strip club in L.A. where the lead guitarrist's girlfriend danced. I went up to the D.J. and asked "who was that?" He told me the name of the stripper and I said, "no, who was that band?"

"Beautiful Creatures," he answered.

Well, the lead guitarrist left the band and I wondered if it would fold, considering he co-wrote all the music. Instead, they regrouped and put out a second album, heavier and less melodic than the first.

It's called Deuce and has a new lead guitarrist and a new drummer. Neither musicians are as good as the ones they replaced.

However, the album grew on me after a few listens.

I give the album 8 dead zombies . L.A. still continues to put out good bands, it's just the music industry is lame. So if you want good music, you just have to dig a little.


Blogger Shawn said...

There aren't many better examples to follow than that. I'm pretty sure that finding someone to grow old and be happy with is pretty much the best thing that us humans can hope for while we're here. That and to touch a few people in a positive way.

It's awesome that their example is the one you picked out to follow. Mrs. Z is lucky to have you and, likewise, you're lucky to have her...

12/04/2005 1:03 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

You were quite an observant AND intelligent child ZS!
To me, devotion is the most important ingredient in marriage and parenthood.
As I said in my current post, I led a very sheltered life. The only thing that ALL of my relatives were more devoted to than their spouses, was their children. Until recently, we had no divorces on either side of my family.
My in-laws are a different story. I'll never forget the look on our daughter's face when she saw her uncle grab her beloved cousin by the throat and throw him against our living room wall. The look of horror on her face will always haunt me. I don't know if she remembers this, she was 2, but I'm sure that part of her gentle, trusting nature died that day.

12/04/2005 5:19 AM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Hmm, I didn't have any such examples. I saw a lot of divorce and I saw a lot of long, sour marriages where no one smiled. I don't think I saw the extremes that you did (cheating, beating). Instead of being an adult who believes in one person until you die, I believe that life is too short to be with someone you're not meant to be with. I wish I could pull off the "one person until I die", but it's just not in me. However, now that I'm over thirty and have a man in my life who I truly enjoy and am happy with (and who loves me and whose true ambition is to be close to me and make me happy), maybe the "one person" idea isn't so bad. :-)

12/04/2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger neal said...

You guys seem to know alot more about different styles of music than my ancient self. I grew up in the 70's and was introduced to music post Beatles. I lost my musical virginity to groups like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple. I do have a freind who works at the hardware dept at the Yuba City Wal Mart that has been turning me on to some different music.

Just recently he has given me some Dream Theater, Jazz is Dead, and Porcupine Tree.

I have a pretty large collection of cd's and don't have much room to put more. So I can't take the chance on buying more on a whim that I may or may not like. So it seems like unless I can actually hear some of the stuff you guys are talking about I guess I will have to 'dream on'.

12/04/2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

BTW, your music review reminds me of The Daily Show from last week - White Stripes was on there and I was wrinkling my nose and H was saying "hey, he's got talent". Go figure :-P

12/04/2005 8:25 AM  
Blogger neal said...

On a side note, about finding someone to grow old with I have found just that someone. My wife worked in a bar in the Philippnes. She was a dancer that catered to the American military. I saw her and something inside me said that is the woman I am going to marry. My freinds thought I was nuts marrying a 'bar girl' without even knowing her. That was 15 years ago and I thank her every day for making me the happiest man alive.

12/04/2005 8:27 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Shawn - Thanks. Yeah, lucky to have her too. Believe me, I never take a good woman for granted anymore. Learned that lesson the hard way.

Tshsmom - That's horrible for a child to see. I've never seen relative violence on that level in person, but heard about it and that was enough for me. Poor kid. Yes, I know how it affects kids. :(

Notta - I hope he works out for you. You're still young, so you might still be with him that magical fifty years, even if part of it is not in a legal marriage.

It's really sad that nobody smiled. Kids are really good at mimicking, and it's not easy for adults not to mimic what they've seen as kids. However, we still have free will and we can still control our destinies.

Neal - That's why I try to post an mp3 every once in awhile. This isn't my server though, so I only keep them on for about three days, then delete them.

Love 70s music like Purple and Sabbath too. I listened to that as a kid.

Notta - I didn't like White Stripes. They sounded just wrong without a bass player. Funny, we saw that too.

Neal - That's really cool. Does she make adobo and lumpia? 15 years is good. Hope the two of you have many more. :)

12/04/2005 9:27 AM  
Blogger scumbag said...

if it ain't def leppard i don't give a rat's ass!

12/04/2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Captain - I'm proud to say I've seen them on their 2003 tour (Def Leppard X). Good show. High 'N Dry is one of my fav albums.

12/04/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Sweet story. Should we all be so lucky to have good examples like that.

12/04/2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

When I was in 8th grade I so wanted to see Def Leppard. But my mom got me Tiffany tickets instead :( Still, it was nice of her...

12/04/2005 1:05 PM  
Blogger Mokuyobi said...

hey man. I never got an email from you for some reason, and I dont remember you email address so my email is so try me again!!

12/04/2005 2:01 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Mokuyobi - Okay, sent another email. I want to buy your album.

Bearette -
Could have been so beautiful
could have been so right
I'll never know what could have been
on a cold and lonely niiiiight!

Heh. Too bad. They would have been in their best days too. I saw them when they were already over the hill. Still a good band to see live, but not what they were in the 80s.

Jessica - I was blessed to know them and have them in my family. I hope others learned or got inspired by them as well.

12/04/2005 4:17 PM  
Blogger neal said...

Yeah she makes all that good stuff. I have even learned to make lumpia and some decent fried rice myself. Haven't gotten the hang of adobo yet. I keep getting the mixture of vinegar and soy sauce wrong and end up tossing it out.

You said 15 years is pretty good. It is weird, I felt like I had known her for years the first time we met. She said the same about me. Leads me to wonder if there is anything to reincarnation because the feeling was really strong. I knew when I met her that I was gonna marry her and be happy for the rest of my life. Corny huh?

By the way, are you up in Chico? If so I am just down the road in Marysville.

12/04/2005 6:34 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

So teach by example. Your life has a lot more meaning than you realize. There is a little kid in your life who is watching you, and with that in mind, you're a much larger influence than you realize. Make it a good one.

Truer words never spoken/written!!

12/04/2005 6:56 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

Mars Volta!!! havne't heard of em but now you've mentioned it... i'll keep my ears open!!
Hey have you seen 'Valiant'??? *its an animation movie* love em:)

12/05/2005 1:27 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/05/2005 2:09 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/05/2005 2:14 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Wow. It's like you're talking to me or something. There's someone out there right now that I wish would read this post. I envy and admire your great-granparents as do I you. You and your wife are blessed to have eachother.... Okay, I've been sitting here trying to think of what else to say, but you've thrown me into a whirlpool of thought...

No thanking needed! There's nothing like sharing good music. This is why I never gave you a review of Frances The Mute because there's no way in hell I would have done those guys justice or reviewed the album as perfectly as you. They really are on point as musicians. I heard that at their site or somewhere, they explain many of the sounds in their songs. The sounds have a reason behind it. Although, I haven't checked it out yet.

I have to say you were right on about the album. That's why I said it was a hard album to appreciate. I just don't have the words you do!

I just listened to Ton Of Lead. I liked it!!

P.S. Neal, Dream Theater's some good stuff. Nice to hear someone mention them. Don't hear too much about them.

P.P.S. Sorry about all the deleted comments.

12/05/2005 2:22 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh, yeah, one more thing, I promise. Thank you so much for youf last comment. You made my day!

12/05/2005 2:24 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Marvellous. Thanks for the heads-up on the band!!!

12/05/2005 8:08 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

...oh, and you were dead right about setting an example. My post is somewhat related to yours today. In fact, it's very related to yours...

12/05/2005 8:09 AM  
Blogger PVPeeved said...

Music: Nice, thanks for the recommendations, I will have to check them on Itunce.

Grandparents: Nice story.


12/05/2005 8:19 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Pvpeeved - Sure. Heh. I love iTunes store.

Saurkraut - Very cool. I'll look forward to checking it out tonight then.

Jenn - Well, thanks again for posting the Mars Volta video. Glad you liked Ton of Lead.

TC - No, haven't heard of Valiant. I'll have to look for it. I think you might have mentioned it before.

Bridget - I try to live by those rules, and teach by example. Not always successful though. :p

Neal - Yeah, I'm in Chico for the weekends. Come Spring, we'll start up the bar-be-ques again. I'll invite you. It's too cold now to do them.

I love lumpia. With adobo, I don't follow a recipe, just wing it. True that you have to get the soy sauce and vinegar right because that could make or break the adobo.

12/05/2005 8:36 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Is there anyone who doesn't have someone in their family they'd prefer to disown? I agree with you also that there is nothing more pathetic that domestic violence. Anyone who needs to beat on a kid or their spouse to feel good about themselves is a complete waste of oxygen.

Be thankful you have someone to emulate. He sounds like a great man.

12/05/2005 10:28 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - Yes he was. I'm glad I knew him before he passed on.

Yeah, domestic abuse is one of those disturbing topics. My buddy and I were just talking about it today that to make a good relationship, never take out your frustrations on your S.O. I'm not just implying physically, but any ways, be it emotionally or whatever.

12/05/2005 10:18 PM  
Blogger SME said...

Well, I don't remember my uncle being violent, only stupid. Thank God. But I think you can learn a great deal from bad examples, if you have good examples to inspire you! And I had those, too.

12/07/2005 1:38 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Thank God you DIDN'T remember this, SME! You avoided him for the rest of the weekend and would cringe in the corner whenever he walked by. I think your behavior affected him more than my diatribe!
And they wondered why Mikey had violent tendencies in high school?!

12/07/2005 12:50 PM  

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