A quick note

I would just like to take the time to publicly thank German multi-instrumentalist Marten Kantus for taking the time and effort to send me one of his cds for free. I really admire artists who are willing to do that. It's not every day that an artist is willing to, with money out of his own pocket, send out cds for free (overseas, no less) to spread his music. Thanks, Marten.

Check out Marten's stuff at:




Junior Printer Extraordinaire

I suppose that previous post deserves some background. I can't just randomly post something and expect you to know that I have to cope with ink and grease collaborating in attempts to soil my pale skin on a daily basis.

On May 21st I began work at a small Christian printing company, henceforth referred to as NLL. I work in a three story building, in particular with the huge printing presses on the ground floor. The floor is home to four presses. I don't want to bore you with technical details, so I will refer to the presses as A, B, K, and T. I work on K, which can print in two colors. Basically my job is to take the printed paper off the machine, bundle it into neat little packages, and place it on a wooden palate. When the machine is not running, I am in charge of cleaning the ink off the machine's rollers. Printing machines are home to a host of rollers of all sizes (but only one shape, round). This is what I do for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Most of the time I work with a Nigerian guy named Gbenga Damola Mosaku, or, as he prefers to be called (and as his bling around his neck so boldly reinforces) 'G'. This dude is unbelievable. He was a semi-pro/pro boxer for 18 years and is unbelievably ripped. I'm talking like a perfect triangle torso. He does pushups when there are lulls in work. He has scars all over, most noticeably above his nose (which is to be expected) and, get this, in his left cornea. If that's not hardcore, I don't know what is. He used to be a street merchant before he took up printing (and by 'took up' I mean 'started last December'), and has that impeccable sense of style that goes along with being a black man who traded fashion accessories for a living. He's working extra hard to support his wife and two kids because he wants his wife to be able to stay at home and be a good mom. I really admire him for that.

NLL is too far away from my house to commute every day. Luckily, the third floor houses dorm rooms which are available for tenancy should a employee require such quarters. There are about nine rooms, and I fill one of them. I am the youngest person staying in the company dorms by at least 20 years. It's all a bunch of old guys. My dorm room is quite nice, and I find the time by myself relaxing. With my work being on the first floor and my room on the third, I find myself perpetually drawn to the comforts of a sit-back-and relax lifestyle.

Last week I did not once venture outdoors.

Here are some iSight-quality pics of my room. Enjoy.

At Exactly 2:47 P.M. Today-

My Boss: "Hey you know how at CAJ (my alma mater) they have that Wall of Fame?
Me: "Yeah..."
Boss: What do we have here, the Sink of Fame?
Me: "???"

Ok, so I did wash my hands like five times today, but my hands were all inky! And greasy! And inky and greasy!


A New Teen Anthem?

Every generation has a popular song that they can identify with. This song usually gets a lot of radio airtime and is often popular for years to come. Another possible staple for securing a song as a ‘teen anthem’ is ease of play. Quite a few people teach themselves guitar by practicing this song over and over. For people a few years older than me, Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was their anthem. This song led the hair-metal-bashing, rebellious, grunge scene, and is probably the best song of the most well known album of 1992, Nevermind. This as unfortunate because two other fantastic grunge albums, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, also were released that year.

Smells Like Teen Spirit is a song that was catchy, fast, and easy to play. Couple a simple song with Cobain’s dark lyrics (“I feel stupid and contagious/ Here we are now, entertain us”), and the result is a track that will appeal to teens worldwide. The song catapulted Cobain to star status almost overnight.

If the teens in 1992 had that song, then what song can the teens of my generation rally around? I’ve been a teenager since 2000, but I’m willing to add a couple of tweenage years to that count. What song was around then that my peers and I can relate to? Songs that immediately come to mind are ones like Blink-182’s ‘All the Small Things’, ‘Come out and play’ by Offspring, or perhaps maybe a Hootie and the Blowfish tune. But I’m gonna go ahead and say that, no, none of these are the teen anthem of my generation. There is a different song that I think is our teen anthem.

That song would be ‘Seven Nation Army’.

There are several reasons that I pick ‘Seven Nation Army’ over a host of other songs.
  • The opening bass line is instantly recognizable
  • The song is extremely catchy
  • The vague lyrics allow a host of interpretations
  • The song is easy to play, even by ear
Granted, Jack White is not Kurt Cobain. Neither is he Jack Black, for that matter. Mr. White, despite his attempts to shy away from the public view, is fast becoming a teen icon. Maybe it’s the red-and white outfits? Perhaps it’s his strict adherence to analog recording techniques? Could it be his once-mysterious relationship with his drummer, Meg? Whatever it is, teens and young adults alike are buying his music in droves. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Hopefully not suicide.