Still under the influence of this great album, I found another advert of this album and thought of post it here :)
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I didn't think that another Terminator movie would come out. However the new one will be in theaters next year. Obviously, there is no Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, but the main role is played by Christian Bale, who is known for his great acting in blockbuster like Reign of Fire, Equilibrium, The Prestige and lastly we saw him putting Batman suit in The Dark Knight.
I don't know about the chances this movies has coming out around the same time another blockbuster hit the theaters, I mean the latest Star Trek movie, which looks promising from watching the trailers.
Anyway, we shall see, because trailers and posters can be deceiving, exactly like Egyptian drama these days.
This post is not about political stuff, “Chinese Democracy” is the latest album of American rock band Guns N' Roses, released on 23 November 2008. I did not listen to the leaked song became aware from the internet and media sources (the album was in the making for the last 15 years), so all the songs from this album is new to me, but before reading this post till the end, go to the nearest record shop and get this album.
The first and most noticeable thing on this album is the heavy use of orchestral compositions on this album, which fitted every song assigned to it. The 12 songs album begins with the self-titled, takes the listener to a place where Chinese is spoken by a number of people, then the main riff bitch in the middle until a doubled-voiced Axl Rose starts singing. Very powerful song that has a mesmerizing guitar solo in the middle part of it.
The wait is over, Guns N’ Roses is back
The second song “Shackler’s Revenge” is another fast and heavy song. It didn’t fit with my taste on the first listen, but the second listen to it proved me wrong. Check out the singing immediately after the stunning guitar solo part in the middle of song.
“Better” is a unusual song, one of my favorites from the album. Axl Rose singing on this heavy and powerful song is indeed the evidence why he is considered as one of the best rock vocalists ever. In addition, it is obvious that there is a lot of emphasize on different guitar work parts, more than on any other song on the album.
Here comes the orchestral arrangements: "street of dreams" starts with a piano flair through the whole song, but it interrupted gently by the heavy guitar riffs and the change in melody throughout the song. Amazing! The orchestral arrangements here reminds me of another “November Rain” with a twist of blend and with a better taste to it.
I had a big smile on my face while listening to 1970's style arrangement on "If The World". The song starts in a Spanish like percussion in a mid-tempo, just beautiful. I think the intention was to give a Spanish flavor to the song, check the classic guitar solo out at the end of the song, excellent.
"There was a Time" is the longest song on the album is a masterpiece, another song with a lot of string arrangements, in addition to wizardry work on guitar. Axl Rose shines on this song, I can't say other than that. My favorite song on this album.
The next song is “Catcher In The Rye”, a heavy mid-tempo tune based on excessive riffing all along and continuous soloing while singing with soft highlights on piano. Nice, but least favorite
“Scraped” starts with double or triple vocal harmonies for 20 seconds till a bunch in the face riff with a welcome-to-the-jungle-look-alike feel to it.
The next song is one of the fastest, "Riyadh N' The Bedouins" is a difficult song, in my opinion, a song of more than 4 minutes with beats and changes in scales. This another song Axl Rose where he is doing one of his best performances.
“Sorry” is the heaviest ballad and one of the longest songs on this album. Straight forward rock song, nice, but I didn’t see some special in it. By the way, rock vocalist Sebastian Bach sings backing vocals on this song.
Guns N' Roses did not forget the I.R.S on this album, the song is a dark and heavy tune that breaks into a couple of second semi-acoustic rhythm guitar to embark into another heavy riffing with a med-tempo and beat.
The string arrangements with some horns background are the main elements on next song “Madagascar”. The middle part of the song includes Martin Luther King speech with a solo guitar and heavy string arrangements in the background. The distinguished thing on this song is the way Axl is singing
It is like Queensryche’s, Geof Tate who is singing on “This I love”. This was my first impression when I that song began. It is a ballad melody: with no drums till after 3 minutes of strings in the background, piano and guitar/bass all through.
The second longest song on this album is the last one, “prostitute”. Fast, heavy, and very strong lyrics. This song is the most complex song among all the songs, the variation in the building up of the song is just beautiful.
There is nothing more to be said, this is album is excellent. It is enjoyable, it is heavy and powerful, and it carries high level of musicianship.
|Chinese Democracy|| |
Rose, Josh Freese
Rose, Robin Finck
|Street of Dreams||Rose, Tommy Stinson, Dizzy Reed||4:46|
|If the World||Rose, Chris Pitman||4:54|
|There Was a Time||Rose, Paul Tobias, Reed||6:41|
|Catcher in the Rye||Rose, Tobias||5:52|
Rose, Costanzo, Carroll
|Riad n' the Bedouins||Rose, Stinson||4:10|
|Sorry||Rose, Carroll, Mantia, Scaturro||6:14|
|I.R.S||Rose, Tobias, Reed||4:28|
|This I Love|| |
- Axl Rose – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (track 7), keyboards (tracks 1, 6, 13), guitar (tracks 6 and 12), Producer
- Robin Finck – lead guitar (all tracks), backing vocals, keyboards (tracks 3, 5)
- Bumblefoot – lead guitar (all tracks)
- Richard Fortus – rhythm guitar (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 14), backing vocals
- Tommy Stinson – bass guitar (all tracks except 5), backing vocals
- Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, percussion, backing vocals
- Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 11)
- Bryan Mantia – drums, percussion (all tracks except 1)
- Chris Pitman – synthesizer, programming; bass (tracks 5, 6, 12)
Former members who are featured
- Buckethead – lead guitar (all tracks except 7, 13)
- Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar (all tracks except 2, 8, 13)
- Sebastian Bach – backing vocals (track 10 - “Sorry”)
- Bob Ludwig – Final CD Mastering @ Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc. in Portland, ME
- Patti Hood – harp (track 13)
- Marco Beltrami – orchestral arrangement
- Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangement
- Pete Scaturro – keyboards (track 10)
Link to information on “Chinese Democracy”
TV Spot of Chinese Democracy
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I don't believe it is wise to have a husband and his wife working in the same company, the same department, that would be more dangerous, because as some say "problems at work will be taken home with that husband and wife."
Monday, November 24, 2008
I read today an interesting article on Nicolas Sarkozy titled “Sarkozy stamps his authority on world affairs” by Ahto Lobjakas. The article starts with identifying the French president as being “unique in the uncompromising manner in which he has directed France's EU presidency from the front.” Taking into account recent moves the French president took regarding the conflict and later the military confrontation between Russia and Georgia, or his opinion on the U.S. missile-defense shield hosted by the Polish and Czech, in addition to the attitude towards the US that took another turn recently. But what I find it more interesting is the articles view on French-German relations, namely, the author is arguing that Germany's Merkel ability to deal with the Russian question: “ Germany is known to back Sarkozy's general course for rapprochement with Russia, although the French president's unbridled ambition is a cause for concern in Berlin.” “Traditionally, Germany is looking to play a balancing role within the EU and the wider region. Writing in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" on November 14, one of the German daily's publishers, Guenther Nonnemacher, said the West -- the EU and the United States -- must continue to engage Russia. Much more than France, Germany appears to be worried about the future of the disarmament regimes affecting Europe after the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 and Russia suspended its participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty in 2007.”
This reminds me of the confrontation between former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and German foreign minister then, Joschka Fischer back in 2003 when Rumsfeld branded European countries that did not support the 2003 invasion of Iraq, specifically France and Germany by calling them “Old Europe”. I am never considered Donald Rumsfeld as being a clairvoyant, but he was right, a new Europe was born. However, it is either he missed that prediction part when he thought that change is not needed in the United States, and that his neo-conservative movement would last forever, at least till it reach its goals. On both sides of the continent there are those who are looking for a change: it is has been proven when Americans choose for Barack Obama. In fact, the whole world is going through changes, political change I mean; there are some countries where regime are resisting such change because it would harm the purpose of their existence, and there are countries who are already took brave steps into changing the course of their political path. Lets take Australia, for example, I realize that problems with the aboriginals still long to be solved, but would the apology by Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd can be counted as the first step towards that promised change, by extending and offering reconciliation among people of the same country?
There is an wind of change that approaching the whole world, and not only Europe or the United States. There is a different scent in the air, with a flavor of a demand for changing old habits and outdated political attitude. Old school politics needs to go through a process of transformation, to be substituted by a new one. I guess the hide-and-seek between Italy Berlusconi and Germany Merkel would be the only thing left to laugh about, because there are changes in the political scene in Europe – they are still clanging by searching a way to save Alitalia (by negotiating the merge with Lufthansa) i.e. by looking separately into one issue while in fact it is part of a bigger problem within the collective financial system in Europe. The approach by the two leaders has no use anymore, a new political approach is needed. I won’t comment on the approach the German foreign ministry too by prohibiting the broadcast of Lebanese Hizballah, only that it is another expired approach to deal with foreign policy issues. There are new faces in the field, sitting and waiting for their role to be called, their assignment and strategy is ready for implementation. Sarkozy is not the first of those new faces, though, Vladimir Poetin is one of the first of those young, energetic magicians. The difference between Sarkozy and Poetin is that the latter like to play his tricks while watching the public with perspective, though. Nicolas Sarkozy is different from the Russian counterpart; the French president is like another wizard with lots of magical tricks in his pockets. He took people attention by surprise many times because of his fast moves, in France and abroad, some of his tricks brought him success, applause then stardom. At the end and in a very short time he managed to bring back France as a powerful player in the world, surpassing the United States who stumbled in its own foreign policy. The French president made his words heard, managed to cross some what is considered by some old-school politics as red-lines, given examples of his latest maneuvers on the financial crisis (check his speech in Strasbourg on this issue).
There is no doubt that this change taking place in Europe came as a result of seeing the sole super power launching illegal war, a war that was based on lies, that caused hundreds of thousands of killings and as much as it is of homeless Iraqis inside and outside the country. The Europeans watched the U.S. stuck in the Iraqi mud. Without pulling the plug entirely on the already damaged transatlantic relations (it won’t happen, impossible to cut ties like that with a historic ally) European politicians in their respective countries were anxious, especially that common European citizens became too agitated by U.S. policy (as a result common Americans and their reputation abroad was also at stake), this means that European leaders were to find a way to keep a balance to this difficult formula: this was one of the reasons change was essential and a new Europe was born. The winning of Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential elections helped in speeding up the matter and to take a wider look - this can be seen in different speeches and announcements by European leaders and politicians – even to criticize more openly the past and illustrate the consequences and who to blame.
Will this change be challenged? yes, it will, furiously, by whom? Is there a chance that this change can back-fire on those who want it to be successful? yes, but how? A clear answer would be found when a a solution for the current financial crisis is found, and from there change will be faster than anything else this continent has ever witnessed.
A couple of months ago the company I work for decided to make the building smokefree. They removed all smoking booths in the different floors so the only option is to either smoke outside at the main gate of the building or go to the parking lot where a smoking corner has been setup.
I know that the attempt by those who made such a decision was to promote the idea of quit smoking and minimize the complaints by non-smokers, but the situation does not look good. All smokers now should go outside or to the parking lot, it is extremely cold and today is snowing, many would catch a cold and maybe stay at home because of the flu. The result? less people would go to work and production is affected.
And don't suggest that we quit smoking
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I opened my Facebook page and found an invitation to join the Halal-TV! What is that? It is a Swedish TV talk-show presented by three young women wearing colorful headscarf (or Hijab). The show, according to its makers, is meant to show how the three women view their Swedish homeland through the lens of their Muslim beliefs. Halal, by the way, is an Arabic term meaning permissible and mostly used to refer to food, but some extend that to include other things. The first episode of that show broadcast has already created a lot of controversy among Swedes.
When I saw the picture of the three young women from Halal TV, I thought immediately of our own experience in the Netherlands with this type of media: Last year there was a similar show called Halal Maiden, which also presented by three young women (of Moroccan origin) in colorful headscarf, discussing many issues, but mainly its all about the integration of Muslims in Dutch society.
I don’t know if it is the same production company is behind both shows!
I am not against headscarf. In fact I consider headscarf as a matter of self-expression; I see it as a social symbol rather than religious. I perceive the headscarf or the hijab the same way as I see a Nigerian woman wearing her gele or an Indian young woman putting saris on. I don't judge someone’s belief by the way they dress: It happened to me that I meet a person on a certain social occasion, and that person is wearing a very elegant suit or dressed so nicely that make all around keep looking at him, but after a few minutes of conversation with that person I excuse him and go to the toilet, throw up my lungs out because of disgust. Having said that, my objection against having a TV show with three beautiful young woman wearing hijab is not meant to be against hijab as it is against the concept of making specific program or talk-show that target certain people or certain social community under the name of “ the effort to address the issue of integration” . The definition of integration is “ The bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association, as in society or an organization “. Would a weekly TV show like the Halal girls help to achieve the definition of integration? In my opinion it would achieve the opposite: a Dutch woman would watch the show and either she like it or not. Exactly like watching any local TV show, Dutch or Swedish, or even American spoken.
Before I continue, again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I don’t mean to offend any of the two shows or say that the six girls are bad. On the contrary, I enjoyed the Dutch version, especially their argument and the way they approach the different aspects in society – some of them are very funny and I compliment the young ladies for their talent.
There are specific programs for specific communities, such as the Nederlandse Muslim Omroep or the Joodse Omrope, both are broadcast once a week on Dutch TV. What is the purpose of such TV programs? they were made to address different issues related to specific communities living and working in the Netherlands based on their religious belief. It also bring awareness the non-Muslim and non-Jewish. The Halal ladies show can be put in the same category. They are nothing but an introduction to another culture and their activities. Nothing more, nothing less. Bring people of different racial or ethnic background can be achieved the other way around: I have to meet people from another culture, I have to talk to men and women from different ethnic group, and I have to learn about their habits, rituals, and the things they like and dislike. With this, acceptance will be easier, and rejection would not be a barrier in the development of society. I didn’t watch Kurdish or Assyrian talk shows, for example, to learn how to go along with them and to deal with the way they see things. I made contact; talked Christians and Turkmans on the street, in shops, in social occasions, at school, in the neighborhood next to mine. From there I made friendship with men and women, families and individuals, by becoming more selective.
Those who say that there are problems coming from immigrants because they don’t understand the values and principles of the country they live in, for that reason there is a lot of focus on displaying how those immigrants live is part of the solution to integrate those people into Dutch society. By the way, it is known that Dutch society is one of the most tolerant societies in the whole world. This is entirely true, it is less than years ago, yet, it still exist in wide range around the country, and that has its reasons, mainly fear. For that reason people like Geert Wilders took that opportunity successfully and managed to get more than one million votes in the last elections.
I love colors, nowadays every single society consists of colors formed and shaped by its different ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds. However, it is like a painting, there are some colors for some is conceived as being out of shape and context, but the smart artist can adjust this. How? many Dutch ask how? many immigrants ask how? the answer consists of: first to focus more on how to accept each other, as long as there is acceptance from both sides, the mixture of colors will definitely be easier and the end result will be a master-piece. The second is to focus less, much less, on negativity in dealing with problems here and there caused by immigrants (not saying ignore them, but deal with them differently). The media is not the ultimate solution to bring people together in reality. The media will make the concept of acceptance harder to be digested by many, because the media will be the only means to know about that culture or ethnic group – the media topics are a series of messages addresses certain consumers at a certain time of the day and the night, and like any sort of messages, there are the bad and the good ones. Unless the Halal-maiden can be seen in office and universities as colleagues; Partners in one club or on a trip somewhere; in hospitals as doctors; or onsite as engineers, the media will be the only means to form the nature of relationship among citizens. It is not difficult to achieve this, especially if we forget that behind that headscarf or saris or gele there might be a great mind / personality able to contribute in making the neighborhood, school, workplace, and the whole society a better place to live in.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
On September 22, 2006 I wrote a post on how George W Bush owes the world an apology for everything he has done during his two term presidency. Today I read an article on the independent written by British journalist and political analyst Robert Fisk where he echoed my words but in different context. He started the article with US intelligence reports and gave an example of these report about a possible kamikaze-style air attack on a US navy base at a south Pacific island location. The only problem was that no such navy base existed on the island and no US Seventh Fleet warship had ever been there. In all seriousness, a US military investigation earlier reported that Osama bin Laden had been spotted shopping at a post office on a US military base in east Asia. The point Robert Fisk wanted to make by putting forward such examples was to illustrate the kind of mess Barak Obama inherited from his predecessor. He asks "how is Barack Obama going to repair the titanic damage which his vicious, lying predecessor has perpetrated around the globe and within the US itself?"
Fisk wrote that:
Obama has got to close Guantanamo. He's got to find a way of apologising to the world for the crimes of his predecessor, not an easy task for a man who must show pride in his country; but saying sorry is what – internationally – he will have to do if the "change" he has been promoting at home is to have any meaning outside America's borders. He will have to re-think – and deconstruct – the whole "war on terror". He will have to get out of Iraq. He will have to call a halt to America's massive airbases in Iraq, its $600m embassy. He will have to end the blood-caked air strikes we are perpetrating in southern Afghanistan – why, oh, why do we keep slaughtering wedding parties? – and he will have to tell Israel a few home truths: that America can no longer remain uncritical in the face of Israeli army brutality and the colonisation for Jews and Jews only on Arab land. Obama will have to stand up at last to the Israeli lobby (it is, in fact, an Israeli Likud party lobby) and withdraw Bush's 2004 acceptance of Israel's claim to a significant portion of the West Bank. US officials will have to talk to Iranian officials – and Hamas officials, for that matter. Obama will have to end US strikes into Pakistan – and Syria.
In this case, Mr Fisk is suggesting that Obama would not only clean up the mess, but also take the responsibility of standing in front of the whole world and apologize on Bush's behalf.
However, Fisk has his doubts:
But Obama's not going to be able to make the break. He wants to draw down in Iraq in order to concentrate more firepower in Afghanistan. He's not going to take on the lobby in Washington and he's not going to stop further Jewish colonisation of the occupied territories or talk to Israel's enemies. With AIPAC supporter Rahm Emanuel as his new chief of staff – "our man in the White House", as the Israeli daily Maariv called him this week – Obama will toe the line. And of course, there's the terrible thought that bin Laden – when he's not shopping at US military post offices – may be planning another atrocity to welcome the Obama presidency.
After reading the article, I felt sorry for Barak Obama, there are high expectations of him to make the real change by the whole world, and not only by the US people - one can check a number of Iraqi bloggers and how they expressed their happiness to the result of the US elections last week. I hope there won't be any regrets by Mr. Obama after some time when he finds out that the burden is bigger than anyone would think or imagine.
By the way, I didn't know that a new US legislation will be issued by the Bush administration soon that would ensure that all British citizens will no longer be able to visit America without special security clearance.
full article here.
The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||Very High|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||Moderate|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||High|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||Very Low|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||Low|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||Moderate|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Very Low|
|Level 7 (Violent)||Low|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||Moderate|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||Low|
Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test
Thanks to Minx, that was fun.
What is the solution when your child of two keep on crying? he or she might be ill? but some say that this child is in the process of shaping up personality. I give an example: when a child want your mobile phone but at the same time you are expecting a phone call at any time. You try your best to take the phone from your child, the child starts with screaming, crying, kicking, and tears begins to come out of the little beautiful eyes that would break your heart!
What shall a father or a mother do? Shout back? be strict and take the mobile phone at any cost (let the child cry forever)? what a father or a mother should do?
Lifes Core is a blog I have been browsing through among other blogs today. One thing I can describe that blog: peace. The color, the subjects, the content of the blog, all gave me some peaceful and simplicity feeling to it. In fact, that blog reflected some sensitive personality that is combined with emtional character. I might be wrong, but this was my impression while reading through the different posts and looking at the pictures aligned with each post.