New Music: Foo Fighters and Knuckle Puck

Two of my favorite bands with two new albums!
These aren’t reviews

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Foo Fighters: Concrete and Gold

Foo Fighters release their new album about a month ago in mid-September without me knowing. Bastards. I forgave them and listened to their new album. This isn’t a review, just my thoughts.

Foo Fighters have great music, but their albums from There Is Nothing Left to Lose and onward all sound the same. When I sat down, (well, laid down-I felt awful that day) I expected the same old, awesome music. I had already heard their first two singles, Run, a 90’s-esque, grunge tune, and The Sky is a Neighborhood, a blues-rock, almost sing-a-long song, and I liked them both. Not personal favorites, but they served their purpose and got me excited for the album.

The rest of the album was nothing like previous albums and blew me away. Thick, fuzzy guitars and snappy drums kept me engaged the whole time. Dave Grohl’s voice had a nice distortion around the edges, unlike Rival Sons, who go overboard with that effect. There’s also nice keys/synth action on some of the songs. If I didn’t have to watch my money, I would have bought the album on the spot.

“I’ve been drinking dirty water/The taste of sweet revenge, best served cold” Dirty Water off Concrete and Gold by Foo Fighters

Knuckle Puck: Shapeshifter

I got to see Knuckle Puck almost exactly a year ago, along with Real Friends and The Wonder Years, and while I went there solely for Real Friends, I walked out wanting more Knuckle Puck. Also with a new-found love of crowdsurfing and ears that didn’t stop ringing for two days.

Knuckle Puck-Royal Oak Music Theater
Knuckle Puck live. I was pretty close, wasn’t I?

Over the summer, Knuckle Puck has release a handful of singles (Gone, Double Helix, and Want Me Around) that got me super excited for the new album. I listened to Gone, and Double Helix pretty much on repeat, singing along where I knew the lyrics. I began looking up tour dates for Knuckle Puck so I could see them and even considered buying a shirt and their CDs (yes, the physical copies).

While Foo Fighters destroyed my expectations, Knuckle Puck barely met them. The songs, while catchy and fast, felt just a step above standard pop/punk. There wasn’t a song that really made me stop what I was doing and start dancing or scream lyrics, the way the singles did. The album was good enough that I was able to listen through and be entertained, but lacked that punch that made me want to hit play again.

Sometimes, a second listen can make or break an album and both of these albums do deserve a second listen.

Some people say they can’t listen to an album in its entirety. They can’t focus, they don’t care about the other songs, etc, but I think that’s what makes the artist shine. That’s where the gems lie. The songs that are so ladened with the artist’s emotions that you feel like you are them and they play every live show. Those are the songs that make an album. Anyone can write a good song. Writing an album? Twelve songs that pull you through and teach you lessons about yourself and others. That’s hard to do.

“You always did feel just like home/But you were always so unreachable.” –  Wait off Shapeshifter by Knuckle Puck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Time (Round 2)

Mowing lawn is actually one of my favorite activities, but I’m an outdoors person and mowing is pretty mindless. I try to brainstorm stories but my mind wanders and I usually end up singing songs to myself.

Mowing lawn with an electric push mower that needs to be plugged in with an 150 foot extension cord…A bit more of a pain. My roommate bought it and now I’m used to it, but I’d step on the cord every five feet at first.

And once the hard work was done, I settled down for homework (aka everything but) and a mug of tea. I don’t know how I’ll preface the next kinds.

I’m trying to be more scientific and keeping everything as consistent as possible. Keeping the tea bag in for a minute and a half, using the same mug, etc. I’m also seeing how long a glass takes to cool, and how long before it gets cold. Some outside variables there, but I’m not a scientist. Sue me.

(Please don’t)

First up: Peach herbal tea.

Time to take to cool to drinkable level: 21 minutes 6 seconds

Time before tea gets cold: 40 minutes (not ice cold, but where the tea is like room temp)

Time it took for me to drink it: 42 minutes

What I liked: It didn’t have that after taste that the others had so that was nice. It allowed me to power through the cup of tea fairly quickly.

What I didn’t like: I’m not a huge peach person. So the smell and flavor wasn’t my favorite but I was able to get past that.

Blueberry herbal tea

Time to take to cool to drinkable level: ~18 minutes 15 seconds

Time before tea gets cold: N/a

Time it took for me to drink it: 30 mins and I stopped. This is not my tea. (see below)

What I liked: It was drinkable way before the peach tea was. That was nice.

What I didn’t like: It didn’t really have a blueberry smell. I had to stick my nose in the glass, millimeters away from the tea before I smelled anything. Good way to burn the tip of my nose.

So far the Blueberry is my least favorite. I’m only halfway through it and its a struggle. Maybe it needs to be sweeter…No. Bad idea.

Anyway, I still have Raspberry tea to try but that’ll be for next time!

 

Tea Time

I have tried Peppermint, Black Cherry, and Mixed Berry teas. I talk about what I liked and didn’t like about each.

First, I’m going to apologize for missing last week and have decided to make this an every other week event. Darn school, but who really needs a college degree anyway?

So far I’ve tried three teas. Well, four, but I don’t remember what that first one tasted like since I had it months ago.

  • Peppermint
  • Black Cherry Herbal
  • Mixed Berry Herbal

I bought a variety pack of herbal teas, so I’ll be drinking those for a bit. Don’t worry, there’s five flavors! It was the first time I’ve tried any of them. Before I launch into any one of them, I’m going to say a few things in general about drinking tea.

I have about a 15 minute window to drink a whole glass. I can’t drink it when it’s freshly made because it’s too hot (who would have guessed?) so I usually wait until it cools down. But after that little window goes by, its too cold and just tastes…eh. That’s the problem with hot drinks in general (especially hot chocolate).

I also feel quite…what’s the word…proud? Noble? No. Stuck-up? Anyway, I look forward to trying these different teas and feel like dancing as I’m preparing myself a cup, so that’s a good thing. There’s a few drinks that haven’t lasted more than one glass. *cough* beer *cough*

Peppermint Tea

Surprise! It tastes and smells like peppermint! 0_o

I know you’re stunned. Pick your jaw up and I’ll continue.

What I liked about it: I love peppermint to be honest, and this one did not disappoint. From the smell of the pre-drink breath to the blossoming warmth of the peppermint, I drank this cup fairly quickly.

What I didn’t like: After the amazingness ended, I had this after taste, sort of like rubber. Or maybe not, I’ve never drank rubber, but the tea left me with a flat taste. Perhaps it was my mouth just begging for more, though I hate to be cheated like that. And honestly, I noticed this with all the teas I’ve tried so far. It might just be a tea thing.

Black Cherry Tea

What I liked: The smell. Hot cherry tea smells very similar to warm cherry flavored Jell-O, which you should try. It is amazing.

What I didn’t like: That amazing smell lied. It tasted like tea (which isn’t a bad thing) and not Jell-O. I was so pumped for warm Jell-O.

Mixed Berry Tea

What I liked: Again, this tea smelled amazing. I really love anything berry smelling food/drink so I could sniff this tea all day.

What I didn’t like: Like with the Black Cherry Tea, the smell had mentally prepared me to expect something other than tea. But it still tasted like tea, which again, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So I have 3 more herbal teas to try out, you can expect those in 2 weeks! I’ll try to have more solid ways of comparing the different teas. And as always, throw some different teas my way and I’ll try them out!

Tea For Thomas

Join me, for today I begin my adventures to discover the best tea…

Earlier in the summer, I tried coffee at my summer internship. Going from getting up at a luxurious 8 am to dragging my butt out at 6 am in a week’s time, wasn’t easy to say the least. Even when I’m at home, on the farm, I still get up about 7:30-8 am. I am not an early riser, so I needed some help waking up in the morning.

Coffee tastes like crap.

Not apologizing for that statement. I find it hard to enjoy something that tastes like boiled poop, and looks like it too. Plus, I had to put so much cream and sugar into it just to get it to be drinkable, that it could be argued that I wasn’t even drinking coffee, but syrup. Either way, I gave up.

I ended up getting Mio with caffeine and adding it to my water in the morning. It worked so I would drink a bottle, sometimes two, of purple water. I still do, but not as much since I am back to a normal sleeping schedule.

But what does this have to do with tea?

Well, some of my writing Twitter friends, suggested I try tea (some varieties have caffeine to my understanding). I refused, because all I had before was bottled or canned teas and they taste horrible. Close to coffee horrible, but slightly above it. They begged me to try it; well, I’m assuming they got down on their knees, but I couldn’t actually see, since it’s Twitter. They even started a hashtag #TeaForThomas and turned Teafor into my nickname. I decided this: since I heard blogs could help a writer with a platform and building audience, I agreed to try tea once I got back to school, then blog about it.

Last week I drank a peppermint tea and this week I bought a sampler pack of herbal teas (drinking a mixed berry tea right now and liking it so far). Next week, you should hear me talk about what I thought of those and others I try along the way. If you have any teas you think I should try, leave a comment, or a shoutout on Twitter with #TeaForThomas.

My twitter friends are @AnnaKaling, @AjChasingmytale, @Amberfyre, @AkkalonAS, @ilikeyourtalkin, and @RyanMacayden. Check them out, drink tea, and rock on.

Introduction

Well. I’m doing it. I’m writing a blog.

I’m going to place blame on a few of my Twitter friends, or else I’ll thank them. I haven’t decided.

But where are my manners? My name is Thomas Roggenbuck and I am an aspiring author, musician, student, and farm kid. I am writing a steampunk novel currently, though I will really write anything if it suits my fancy. I just submitted a short story to an anthology. I won third place last year in Writer’s Digest’s Annual Writing Competition for a Short Story and got Honorable Mention this year. Not to bad, so far…I think.

I listen to rock and punk, so bands like Real Friends, Foo Fighters, Shinedown, and Baroness. I *play* guitar, and by play I mean grab it, doodle for 15 minutes, then put it down because life and homework get in the way.

I study Audio Engineering Technology, which is really neat, but if you’re considering it, go for Electrical Engineering and minor in Acoustics or something. You’ll look more desirable and won’t have to explain to every company that talk with, that your degree is a light version of EE. Just some advice. But don’t get me wrong, I do like it.

I live on a farm, when I’m not at school that is. We have about 70 wonderful (pain in the rear) cows that we work really hard (slave over) to take care of. I do most of my thinking while I am working; it’s amazing the ideas that come to you while you’re milking a cow. Don’t go thinking that I can’t stand them; I have my own cows (different from dad’s) and I go home every weekend to help my parents. Willingly. Sort of. They pay my insurances given I come home. But it’s still nice to go home.

Anyway, that’s me. I’ll talk about trying some tea next week. I’m new to the stuff so it’ll be a good time.