Soundtrack to Life – Guest Author: Mike Plass

This week our guest author is Mike Plass, otherwise known as Mike-0 in the forums. Due to Joe moving out, Mike has gladly stepped up to write this weeks Soundtrack to Life, Enjoy!


“Ballad of the Lost Romantics” by New Found Glory

I’ve grown sick
I’ve gotten older
I finally have an
audience to ignore
I can yell all I want
But you still can’t hear me
I’m punching myself out
Holding in my breath
I can take this lightly
Throwing up the words that I said to you
I always do what I’m not supposed to
Here’s to us fools
That have no meaning
I tip my glass to you
Let’s toast the night away to friends
And forget about tomorrow
I might say things you don’t want to hear
But someday you might care and I won’t be there
No I won’t be there
here’s to us fools
That have no meaning
I tip my glass to you
Let’s toast the night away to friends
And forget about tomorrow
I’m punching myself out
Holding in my breath
I can yell all I want
Throwing up the words that I said to you
I always do what I’m not supposed to
Here’s to us fools that have no meaning
I tip my glass to you
Let’s toast the night away to friends
And forget about tomorrow.

Ya know when someone loses a friend, it’s hard to get through at first, but then you look back at all the great times you had with the kid. When I think of the recent events in my life, I can only think of the good times I had with my late, great friend Pete Mirabile. This kid was a total class act, one of a kind. Well after a long battle of Aplastic Anemia, his operation failed and Pete died on September 20, 2003, a few of us knew him here, but he had many friends. Most people here left on a sore note, but that goes without saying that we all had good times with Pete, whether it be walking around aimlessly at the mall or relaxing at each other’s homes watching wrestling.

As I got on the bus to school, I passed a kid who I had never known, must be a freshman. As days passed, the kid was always on my bus, so I thought he was a local kid, who must’ve lived within the vicinity of me. The kid as I was told by him was scared of me, now I thought I wasn’t very threatening at all. A few weeks into the school year, Pete and I finally officially met. It was a late October day, and our friend Chris had introduced us to each other. Pete would always tell me how he was scared because of when I got on the bus, I had on a backwards Cleveland Indians hat and headphones, guess that is threatening to a little 15 year old freshman in high school. Well that was the beginning of our friendship. As we went through two years of high school together, we learned a lot from each other.

It was October 2000, the Mets versus the Yankees in the World Series final. This was the first time that we had an actual party together. It was in Pete’s basement, not many people, 5-10, couple of beers and a depressing night. The Mets lost, but who really cared that Timo Perez wasn’t running full speed from first? We took a drink to the loss and hoped for better results in the following nights. The Mets lost the series 4 games to 1, but they were still champs in our minds. So we kicked the night back, and relaxed.

Pete was a unique character, he was straight forward, in your face but scared at the same time. I’ll never forget the times where he’d try and start stuff with Chris or James or anyone, he was always looking to fight but couldn’t due to his illness. He was hot tempered, short fused but those were only qualities that gave him what he was. With random spouts of “Holler!”, “Gay!”, “Fag” or his at times uncontrollable, loud laughter, you could tell just where Pete was.

Another characteristic of Pete that I will truly miss is his random music collection, hence the reason for the song I have chosen to remember Pete by. Pete would go from the Beach Boys to some DMX and then throw on Good Charlotte. Everyone at one point could relate to some sort of taste of music he had. After a year of hanging out, we had finally gotten him to like some New Found Glory. Pete was always one for the rap, whether it was some cheesy Cee-lo or good ole Jay-Z, you could tell exactly where he would be driving cause, he’d have rap blasting the bass out of the car.

The hair, was quite possibly the most essential part of Pete. Besides the expensive clothes, $100 cologne, $100 boots, tinted glasses, it all came down to one necessity, the hair. Every time you saw him it was always spiked, perfectly and if you even breathed near him wrongly, he’d scream “Don’t Touch the Hair!” and try to perfect an already perfected hair style.

Throughout our short-lived friendship, we shared many memories. I can’t remember much, but of the few I have kept, I will cherish forever. Of the few I do remember, they were great times, whether it was the first time smoking a Joint or a quick ride home from the park after work, Pete was their to tell you the absolute straight forward truth, and if he didn’t like you he’d let you know within of seconds of meeting him.

In little more then a year and half ago, things took a turn. Everyone that had become friends with Pete had lost contact and a very childish fight ensued because of a few incidents that we all regret. Even though the incident took a toll on many of our friendships, everything came to closure on a good note for most, on a bad note for some. On Saturday, September 27, 2003, Peter Frederick Mirabile was laid to rest, but not without one last jabin the side of Long Island. When the funeral ended, through all the tears and solemn music came the 150 vehicle procession to his final resting place. Because Pete was a New York State Emergency Medical Technician; Nassau County Police, Garden City Fire Department, Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, shut down most of the local towns so the procession could follow, Pete was definitely smiling down at all the people stuck in traffic, he had the grandest of processions, it just went to show how many people cared and loved Pete as either a relative, friend or neighbor. As the procession ended, we all went back to the Garden City Fire Department station house for refreshments, this was probably the most most emotional moment, because this is where “the shot” took place. As one of Pete’s final wishes, he wanted everyone of his friends from every town to take one last shot of Jack Daniels for his own closure. Well take about 75 kids, most underage, a couple bottles of Jack Daniels, about 90 plastic shot glasses and a heartwrenching dedication by Pete’s long time friend Andy Rodriguez, the scene was a memorable moment, one only to be meant for such a classy kid. So Pete, wherever you are now, it is with great sadness but such even greater joy that I and everyone else that knew you to tip my(our) glasses to you.

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Review: Thursday – "War All The Time"

Release Date: September 16, 2003
Producer: Sal Villanueva
Record Label: Island

The quartet from New Brunswick, New Jersey have done it again. Thursday have just released their Island Records debut, War All The Time. So far their have been nothing but positive feedback from Rolling Stone reviewers to a simple fan of Thursday.

With the original make up of Geoff Rickley on vocals, Tom Keely and Steve Pedula on guitars, Tim Payne on bass and Tucker Rule supplying the drums. With newcomer Andrew Everding adding a new sound with keyboards. With the addition of keyboards, you can expect another side of Thursday.

With the post-hardcore, screamo trend still hanging around, expect another new wave of it. The onslaught of intelligent lyrics, combined with the intense sound of the guitars, bass and drums, War All The Time makes for nothing short of genius.

As the single “Signals Over the Air” has become an increasingly popular song on the radio, you can expect more and more people to get informed of Thursday. The video for “Signals Over the Air” is also getting some recognition by Mtv 2. The video concept is the band rocking out, (which I feel they should pride themselves on, because seeing Thursday perform is intense) but as the song progresses the band(mainly Geoff) is thrown underwater as they keep sinking down. The video is shot very well I feel, with dramatic lighting and up close in your face shots. The beginning of the cd, starts off fast and hard, “For the Workforce, Drowning” is bone crunching and full of angst. In this song, I feel that the economy and how its killing everyone is the focus of this song. With the chorus of “please take these hands, throw them in the river, wash away the things they never held, please take thes hands, throw me in the river, don’t let me drown before the workday ends.” My instant feeling is of hatred towards the American economy and how we will all be replaced by clones one day to leave us with nothing.

The second track, “Between Rupture and Rapture” is another intense song, starting off with simple strums of a guitar, the drums and bass come in a few seconds after and about half a minute into the song, everything comes together in a very anti-climatic way. This song I can only imagine is a true crowd pleaser and is definitely balls to walls. The third song I will give my opinion on is the title track “War All the Time”. This song reveals the softer side of Thursday. Another track with just a single instrument playing, this being the bass, but it is quickly caught up with easy playing of drums and guitars and Geoff’s vocals. This track is so perfect, so soft, so intelligent. Even if your not a fan of Thursday, I highly suggest giving this song a try.

Even though Full Collapse is an overall thrashing and more hardcore influenced record, it is probably the best cd Thursday have put out. War All The Time has definite influences from both their very independant release Waiting and Full Collapse, their Victory Records release. War All The Time is a very good combination of the slower, more melodic Waiting and the post-hardcore, in your face Full Collapse.

Right now, Thursday are on a headlining tour with Thrice and Coheed&Cambria. With the combination of new releases from each band all on tour together, I highly suggest going to see this tour if you get the chance. Not only because of new releases, but because all three bands are very good live, espically Thursday. Check out Thursday’s War All the Time and see what all the talk about is.

Interview: Too Short Notice

BP:First off, What is the name of your band and where are you from?
TSN:Too Short Notice, we’re from north jersey.

BP:What are your names and what do you play?
TSN:Shannon — Vocals
Matt — Bass
Fred — Drums
Pat — Trumpet
Jef — Guitar
Scott — Trombone

BP:Who are your influences?
TSN:All of us are inspired by different kinds of music. Our influences range from Reel Big Fish and Sublime to Aerosmith and Motley Crue.

BP:How did you guys form?
TSN:After a bunch of different line ups and changes here and there wegot together about a year ago. we all met eachother through different friends, we tried playing together and everything seemed to work!!

BP:Besides Skate and Surf, have you guys played with any other big names?
TSN:We’ve played with mustard plug and big d and the kids table a few times. we’ve also played with Bigwig, The Toasters, Catch 22, Ann Berreta, Fall Out Boy and a few more… they’re all big names to us!

BP:Do you guys prefer to play local home shows or do you like to go on tour?
TSN:We love to tour, pretty much we’ll play wherever we can! we love to do shows around here, just because the kids that come to our shows in jersey are so loyal it’s crazy! we love them for that, but yeah, we definitely LOVE to tour.

BP:Are you guys signed to a record company? If yes, what record company? If not, do you know of any record companies trying to get you guys to sign on?
TSN:We’re not signedto alable. I have no idea if any lables are interested! I hope some are! If you know of any that are…send em our way!

BP:Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
TSN:Yeah, we always listen to Snoop, drink red bull, jump around and get our blood flowing, get in a huddle,get focused and do a “whoa bundies” (kinda a little inside joke we’ve got)

BP:What are your guys’ future plans?
TSN:We’re going on tour across the country in July and August, so we’re trying to get everything organized for that right now. we’ve been writing a lot of new material, some of which we play at shows now. and we’re looking to go into the studio either in June before we leave for tour, or in August after we get back! so, keep an eye out for the new cd probably in the fall!

BP:Any upcoming tours?
TSN:yeah, like i said we’re going out in June and July, all across the country, so if you’re in the area come out and see us!

BP:If you could tour with any one band, who would it be?
TSN:Probably Reel Big Fish or Bigwig. They are both good friends of ours and we always have a great time hanging out with them.

BP:Where’d you get inspiration for your songs?
TSN:Relationships, work, video games…. pretty much everyday stuff!

BP:Do you guys plan do to the Vans Warped Tour anytime soon?(yes please do!)
TSN:We would love to! I don’t know if we’ll be around for that though!

BP:Alright, that’s all I got for you, now that I’ve racked my brains. Thanks again!

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Review: Linkin Park – Meteora

Linkin Park, a group of six from SoCal. An array of hip-hop, rap metal and amazing vocals. This sixtet is made up of two vocalists, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, Phoenix on guitar, Brad Delson on bass, Joe Hahn on the turntables and lastly, Rob Bourdon on drums. The band first formed in the late 90s, without Chester, otherwise known as Xero. Then the moment of truth. Chester answered the call for a lead singer, leaving his own birthday party in Arizona and tried out for the band and made the cut. The band changed its name to Hybrid Theory and put out the Hybrid Theory EP. After one more name change, the band is now the ever famous, Linkin Park. Linkin Park are on Warner Brother Records. Linkin Park have an EP, the Hybrid Theory EP and of course the [Hybrid Theory] LP. The [Hybrid Theory] LP went eight times platinum and was #1 on the Billboard.
The first track off Meteora is a 13 second intro, which leads into “Don’t Stay”. A very get off your feet and jump around. The scratching by Hahn and Chester’s hard edge voice really reminds me of “One Step Closer”. “Somewhere I Belong” came shortly before the release of Meteora. Inspiration would be the not fitting in, in society. Being someone different, not the typical, everyday person. The band’s Dj, Joe Hahn, directed the video for “Somewhere I Belong”, his second video directed. The inspiration for the video is having simple objects in Chester’s bedroom turning into a new sort of enviroment for the band to play “live” in. On March 25th, I snagged my copy along with hundreds upon thousands of crazed fans. On first listen through, you detect a little maturity, but similar sounding songs. Now after hundreds of listens, many hours spent filling my ears. A definite maturity is still there, more bass heavy, more screaming, better rapping, more experimental. And my favorite track would be “Lying From You”. The song that debuted on the Linkin Park website. Starts off some scratching and a few bass thumps, and the song explodes into an anger filled mixture of guitars, bass, drums and turntables. Mike steps in and starts laying down his rhymes about how how his personality has taken apart by some girl. So now that “Somewhere I Belong” has had its affect on the music industry, Linkin Park has instantaneously put out two more singles, “Faint” and “From the Inside”. After the huge success that [Hybrid Theory] had and after all the singles, the album was turned into one hit song and I really wouldn’t like to see that happen to Meteora.
After much listening to, I really feel this album gets a definite 4 and a half. I have few disagreements with this album, except for track 6, “Easier to Run”. It really just doesn’t fit with the rest of the surrounding song. Chester’s voice is too long and drawn out, which really irritates me. Other then “Easier to Run” I’d say this album is solid, absolutely amazing. Right now, you can catch Linkin Park on Projekt Revolution 2, after this short stint, next up is Summer Sanitarium, featuring Metallica, Limp Bizkit, the Deftones and Mudvayne.

Review: Taproot – Welcome

Taproot hits the mainstream with the release of 2002″s “Welcome” as their hit single “Poem” has grabbed the attention of many, including Mtv. Taproot put Ann Arbor, Michigan on the map back in 2000 when Taproot was first recruited by Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst. After talks fell through, Taproot left Fred Durst and signed with Atlantic. Steve Richards, Mike DeWolf, Phil Lipscomb and Jarrod Montague make up this four piece set. The band first met back in 1997, and started writing stuff that would later appear on their self-released “Pimp Ass Sounds”, “…..Something More Then Nothing”, “Mentobe” and “Upon Us” EPs and LPs. In 2000, Taproot released their first major LP off Atlantic Records. “Gift” put Taproot on the map, with the big hit “Again and Again” and “I”. Taproot”s “Gift” apparently peaked at 160 on the Billboard Chart, but Welcome is n/a.

The first track gives you such little light into what “Welcome” is made of. The first song, entitled “Mine” starts off with a bang. Everything comes together, guitar, bass and drums start this cd off with huge burst of energy, then Steve”s mellower vocals announce that some person or maybe himself are his for the taking. “Poem” is the first and mega hit off “Welcome” so far, many people had heard this song before though. Taproot first debuted this song on Linkin Park”s Street Soldiers tour in 2001, the band also played “Poem 2 Self”(as it was called) on Ozzfest that year. The video was shot in an abandoned house, with the band jamming out while the main character reacts to his girlfriend cheating on him. Trapped in a dark house trying to get out his feelings on paper, he fails, but keeps trying, until he breaks out of the house and into the light.

Most every song was newly written by the band. Throughout all of Taproot”s touring, they had been writing new songs for an upcoming record and that is where “Welcome” began. All songs are unique in their own way, after months of writting material and layering of Steve”s voice(yes that background voice is his) to the multi-layered guitars and bass, their really is a change in every song. From the downright rock “Sumtimes” and “Time” to the most mellow in “Like” and “When”, Taproot stays true to its original self, but the maturity is there. A few years ago, Rolling Stone admitted that Taproot will be “the next contenders for the new-metal crown”, and who can disagree” The song I feel most strongly about is “Like”, I wouldn”t want this song to be released, cause it shows the softer side of Taproot and some people have seen that side with the release of “I” off “Gift. One song I would like to hear on radio would be “Myself”. This song starts off loud and encompasses a part of “Again and Again” which I think is pure genius.

“Welcome” is definitely one of the best albums of 2002, it really shows a maturity and the big, bright and huge future the guys from Ann Arbor have. This cd is a four star rating, all the songs are original, they kept their hard rock and the melody that they had in “Gift”. As of now, Taproot are in Europe, but will be back in the US to help kick off Disturbed”s Music As A Weapon Tour.

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Review: Chevelle – Wonder What's Next

Chevelle hits the mainstream with their second big release entitled “Wonder What’s Next”. Brothers Pete, Joe and Sam Loeffler offer up an excellent follow-up to their 1999 release entitled “Point #1”. The trio of brothers hail from Chicago, Ill and take after their family name, by which they are also mechanics and musicians. As of now the band is on Epic and has been on Epic since they entered rock music’s scene back in ’99. So far, Chevelle has released only “Point #1” but we can expect greater things from this band, as their two hits “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below” are ripping up radio stations across America. As of recently, “Wonder What’s Next” was just deemed Gold and has peaked at # 14 on the Billboard.

The first track is entitled “Family System”. This song is absolutely rocking. It starts off with a few simple strums of guitars, then explodes into the song. The vocals and sound make this song one of the highlights of the cd. Inspiration for “The Red” was quite obvious after seeing an interview with the band(extra features on cd). They came up with the idea, after having all this pent up anger and eventually making a fictional character that gets so anger ridden that he sees red. My personal favorite is “Comfortable Liar” and “Send the Pain Below”, both melodic songs, but then Joe’s vocals kick in and rip the song in two. As of now, I think the choices in released songs have been wise and I personally wouldn’t want to see another song get released.

In closing, the cd on a whole is very good and should platinum with the growing success of “The Red” and the newly released “Send the Pain Below”. The cd really shows how anger can build up in certain people and in just one instant be released onto everyone. My rating gives it three stars. The cd is a hard rocking, anger releasing and melodic combo. As of now, Chevelle are on tour in Europe supporting Audioslave and eventually will be touring once again here in the US on Disturbed’s Music As A Weapon tour.

Review: Thursday – Five Stories Falling EP

Thursday comes out with another amazing cd, this one entitled Five Stories Falling. Thursday is a five peiece set from New Brunswick, New Jersey. The members of the band are Geoff Rickly on vocals, Tom Keely and Steve Pedulla on guitars, Tim Payne on bass and Tucker Rule on drums. Thursday originated in 1998 and had known each other for years and finally formed in ’98. Thursday were first part of New York’s own Eyeball Records where their first cd Waiting, came out in 1999. Then came the big break through, Full Collapse came out in 2001 and includes both “Understanding in a Car Crash” and “Cross Out the Eyes” off Victory Records.

This five song cd includes four live tracks and the ever rare “Jet Black New Year”. The cd contains “Autobiography of A Nation”, “Understanding in A Car Crash”, “Standing on the Edge of Summer” and “Paris in Flames” as live tracks. The main focus of the cd is “Jet Black New Year”, the brand new song. So far no video plans are in the works for any of the songs off Five Stories Falling. Personally, I’d like to see “Jet Black New Year” on the radio, “Cross out the Eyes” and “Understanding in a Car Crash” are just too old and Thursday need a new song to keep the people satisfied.

In closing, I feel this cd should get 2 3/4 stars. The recording quality isn’t that bad, but the screaming of back up lead singer can get quite irritating. Thursday’s live show is amazing, but this recording takes away from their overall presence and sound. “Jet Black New Year” really shows how Thursday are good recorded in the studio. As of now Thursday are back in the studio writing for another LP and follow-up to Full Collapse.

This cd was recorded on this past year’s Vans Warped Tour @ Randall’s Island in New York City(I think) .