Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blue Raider football wins Dashie "awards"

While browsing, I also happened to stumble upon a couple of mentions of the MTSU football team. There was an article in which the website gave mentions to the top performers in each conference and nationally in a segment it called "The Dashie Awards." They have categories for some obvious things, like Coach of the Year and Freshman of the Year, but there are some more silly ones too. MTSU received the Dashie Sun Belt Moment of the Year for heaving two hail mary passes in the same season against Kentucky and Florida Atlantic. Here it is, in the words ESPN's Pat Forde himself:

"Middle Tennessee completed last-play Hail Marys twice in 17 days -- but only one of them worked. The Blue Raiders threw one against Kentucky on Sept. 13 that was caught on the carom, but the receiver was tackled at the 1-yard line as time expired. Against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 30, MTSU got the ball into the end zone on the final pass for the game-winning touchdown."

The Blue Raiders also received a shout out under the conference bragging points for their win over Maryland.
Plus, each conference had their own "Dashie presenter." Melissa Haro represented the Sun Belt. Quite a looker, dontcha think?

Former student trainer gets shout out on

It's not everyday that you scan through the pages of and acutally read about someone that you know, but it happened to me today. Andrew Haag was a trainer for the football team I played for in high school at Hendersonville High. When he was eight years old, Haag and his family were in a car crash that claimed the lives of his father and older brother, and his other brother was injured. He sustained abdominal injuries and a broken back that forces him to use forearm crutches and leg braces to get around, even to this day. He was always a really well respected guy at HHS, and I'd often see him around the locker room helping out with equipment and handling other various duties. I haven't seen him since I graduated, and I honestly didn't even know he was associated with the UT football program. But it was good to see him get a mention. I always thought he was a good guy who was always willing to work hard and was very down to earth. If I remember correctly, he should have one more year as a UT Vol. I wish him the best of luck there and to whatever he does down the road.

Monday, November 24, 2008

At a glance reviews: Miseration, Architect, and Science Faxtion

So I've basically recently really gotten into reviewing CDs for my radio station, WMTS. I basically listen to them, break them down so the average DJ will be able to see what the album is all about on the fly, and then decide if they want to play it or not. It's pretty important stuff cause it gets new music out there into our playing rotation. Here's what I've been reviewing lately:

Miseration - Your Demons, Their Angels: it's pretty much just straight ahead death metal with the typical growling vocals and the loud, heavy as hell guitars in the background. But there is a twist though: the singer actually throws clean vocals into the mix too, and does a pretty decent job of it. I compare them loosely to Opeth or maybe an extremely heavy death metal version of Iced Earth. Possibly what IE might have been like if they had gone totally over the edge on Burnt Offerings.
Rating 6 out of 10

Architect - Ghost of the Saltwater Machine: Gotta be honest, I didn't like this album very much, but I've heard that these guys have a pretty loyal underground following. It's metalcore, which basically means that you can expect extremely loud, intense, and in your face metal. The guitars blaze at decible levels of a jet engine plane, and the singer pretty much just screams the whole time. It personally isn't my cup of tea, but if you like metalcore then this may be for you.
Rating: 3 out of 10

Science Faxtion - Living on Another Frequency: Funk bassist Bootsy Collins teams up with guitar superstar Buckethead to make a strange but original funk/metal/space type of record. Brain, drummer from Primus, also joins the mix to form something of a supergroup. For those, who don't know, Buckethead is a masked virtusoso guitarist who always goes around wearing his signature KFC bucket on his head, and is known for highly creative riffs, mind-shredding solos, and adding odd quirks to his music. Collins, meanwhile, is well respected in the funk circles for his contributions to . Primus's drummer brain also joins the mix to fo
The album certainly is creative and has it's high points, but overall it just sounds like the group is trying to do too much. Tracks like Lookin for Eden stand out, as does What It is on which Chuck D guest stars. I see rockets is another great track where Buckethead actaully has a rare chance to sound like Buckethead, but overall it would be better just to grab a few singles off this record, cause that's probably all you'll be listening to.
Rating: 5 out of 10

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why it's good to be a moderate

The other day in one of my classes, the topic of hate radio came up. It's shocking to me some of the things that are put out there everyday.

Let's take a few statements made by right-wing talking head and nutjob Michael Savage:

This one is his well-thought out opinion on autistic kids:
"Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

He also told Muslims to "take your religion and stick it up your behind" because "I'm sick of you." He also referred to the Catholic church as being "rotten from top to bottom."

Not to mention that he was also linked to Jim David Adkisson's shooting in a church which claimed one life when Savage's books were found in a raid on Adkisson's home. Savage's opinion on how the liberals are ruining American was rumored to have played a role in leading Adkisson to commit the crime.

There are plenty others, too. Jim Quinn and Glenn Beck have been equally as visceral. But don't fool yourself into thinking that this type of thing comes only from the right. Liberal blogsite ran a piece in which they basically said they were glad Tony Snow died.

If Janus is the god who represents good and bad, then might the new Janus album be the album that represents good and bad?

I’ll be honest: I really wanted to like this CD. As soon as I saw it sitting there in the metal box in our radio station’s office, I snatched it up. Something about the cover artwork signaled to me that this album would be different.

The bright colors, the bright reds, oranges, and yellows on the cover, as well as the picture of the oriental guy on the front, immediately signaled to me that this would be different than the usual derivative pounding metalcore crap that I usually get stuck reviewing. And indeed it was different, but I still can’t help but walk away with the feeling that I wanted something more…
Overall, I guess this is a pretty solid metal record. The sound of the guitar is pretty loud and heavy, but it’s not hardcore to the point that causal listeners of rock and hard rock can’t get into it. I’d say they sound a lot like Chevelle with a singer who sounds like the guy from Audiovent or Hoobastank. He has a higher, melodic voice but is able to strike a nice balance. But all in all, I wasn’t able to find anything here that really caught my attention.

The guitar is pretty nice and heavy, but it never really does anything to catch your attention. It just kinda gets pushed into the background and is more or less relegated to the role of a support instrument. I guess what I mean to say is there are no catchy or memorable riffs. It just basically drones on, which is a pretty good way to describe the album as a whole.

So I’d say that this a definitely a solid band with an interesting sound. I think they could have a future, but there just simply isn’t enough variation on this record. My advice would be to take a listen, and if you like it, then go on iTunes and download a track or two, cause once you’ve heard one track you’ve basically heard them all.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is it just me, or does the music scene seem like it's becoming trashier by the moment? Songs are starting to light up the radio with a penchant for exhorting sexuality. But something's different this time. Some of the songs I've been hearing lately are just way over the top. But I'm not offended... in fact, I think it's hillarious. Take some examples, like "Addicted" by Saving Abel. In a 3 and a half minute song, the singer tells us no less than five times how awesome it is to have his girlfriend sucking him off. That's great, but don't you think we get it already? Another prime example is the new Theory of a Deadman song, "A Bad Girlfriend." In it, he describes his girlfriend as being a dick magnet who likes to shake her ass and gets her ass grabbed. A less recent but just as viable example also comes from Puddle of Mudd, "Control." Where he keeps repeating over and over again how much he likes "the way you smack my ass."
I just really think that sometimes music can be way over the top when it comes to being explicit and in your face about describing sexual activity and sexuality in general, especially when there is no other redeeming values lyrically or otherwise.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A word before the election

So today is the day in which we will finally find out who the president will be. Today, we will learn who will be the man to lead us for the next four years. Somehow, I feel who we select will be more important than any election we've had in quite a while. I could make this a post hailing one candidate and deriding the other, but I won't. I just hope that we pick the best man for the job, because I think the last two elections have proven how crucial that is. I sometimes wonder what this nation would be like today if we had eight years of Gore instead of eight years of Bush. But all I really want to say is that I hope whoever it is will utilize their wisdom, courage, and integrity to lead this nation to a period of greatness in economic and social affairs and in world standing. And if you haven't voted, get out there and vote. Even if it's for a 3rd party candidate; there's nothing wrong with that, although some people would probably have you believe so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AC/DC turns down the volume on ITunes listeners

So as I was driving to school one day, they played the new AC/DC song, Rock and Roll Train, on 97.1 RQQ, and right before they announced that the band would not be making their new album, Black Ice, available on ITunes. Singer Brian Johnson said that he preferred that the album be listened to as a whole and that fans should not purchase single tracks to listen to individually.

Well, I'm not so sure about all this.

On the one hand, I can see where Johnson is coming from and I not necessarily saying that there isn't something to what he's saying. But ultimately, I think this is a sign that big bands have begun to forget that the fans are the customers. The fans are the guys who write your paycheck, and if they only want to buy one track off the album then that should be their right. Let's think of this in economic terms. If I go onto ITunes and download Rock and Roll Train, that's one dollar you've made off me that you wouldn't have made otherwise. But by refusing to put it on there, you've now lost that potential to make money. You've lost the dollar you would have made off me.

Doesn't sound like good business sense, does it? But if you think about it, apparently it is.

Now fans are forced to buy the entire album if all we want is Rock and Roll Train. So that's now somewhere between 11 and 18 dollars we have to pay just for that song. That doesn't mean that there might not be other good material on the album, but that isn't the point. If the customers only want one song, then they can pay their money to AC/DC and their record label, go home and listen to the song, and both sides are happy. Or at least they should be. And this whole Wal-Mart deal? Huh? Why deny all other retail outlets the chance to sell your CD? This doesn't make a lot of sense.

Well basically, I'm willing to acknowledge that technically the band does have the right to do what they want with their product, but if people don't like the way they do business then they don't have to buy it. As for me, I can say that this is 11 dollars that AC/DC won't be seeing from me. Honestly, I don't even like the song that much anway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

MTSU housing department bans sitting

Would you believe it? The MTSU housing department has come up with some rules that I haven't always agreed with, but I think this one has gone a bit too far. The housing department has recently mandated that no student can sit in front of the service desk in Monohan Hall. But I think the point they're missing is that this is our home. I wouldn't go into your home and try to tell you where you can and can't sit. And secondly, we, as the residents, are the ones writing their paycheck. If we don't like it, we can move out and sit wherever we want. And the best part is, MTSU houing wouldn't be getting a single penny from us. If you're going to mandate these thing, they should at least try to give us a reasonable explanation, which they have not.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rapid Reaction: MTSU 14 Florida Atlantic 13

Alright, I'm going to (slightly) rip off Paul Kuharsky and ESPN a bit here and do a "rapid reaction" type of piece; that is, give you my thoughts on the game within two hours of it ending.

First off, it was a great ending to what honestly was a pretty crappy game. FAU led 10-0 most of the way, the offense sputtered, and the defense bent but didn't break. About the ending, though, I will say that the stadium was louder than I have ever heard it been, and I've been to every game here since 2007. That includes the likes of the Maryland and Virginia games. You always hope that winning in dramatic fashion will be a shot in the arm, but even if it doesn't, it sure is a hell of a blast for your fan base. Even though we still failed to make the front page of

Other things that jumped out:

  • If it weren't for the last 5 minutes, I would almost be willing to say that this was the game where MT proved they had one of the worst offenses in Division 1 football. They were shut out for 53 minitues against an FAU team that surely doesn't rank very high defensively out of the 119 teams in the nationm (I'll check this later). The Blue Raiders could get drives going but they couldn't sustain them once they crossed midfield, and that's what was so frustrating.

  • Can someone explain Rick Stockstill's call to go for it on fourth down inside the FAU 10? Getting a field goal would have allowed the Raiders to tie the game with the late touchdown and taken a lot of pressure off the offense. It's just easier to operate when you get the shutout monkey off of your back.

  • And what the hell was the defense's problem on the final drive? All night long, the defense had given up chunks of yardage but had kept the Owls off the scoreboard. Then, in the course of one drive, they played 10x worse than they had all night and almost cost MT the game. To be fair, it didn't help that the kickoff went out of bounds, but it's a team effort. FAU ran two plays for about 40 yards and looked like they were in position to sew things up. Right after the offense finally put the ball in the endzone on a fourth down play, we get hit with this. Deflating.

  • And lastly, what was with everyone leaving at halftime? We saw a mass exodus from the stadium that was so large you would have thought the game was over - literally. I got up from my bench to see where everyone was headed because there was no way I was believing that everyone I saw was heading for the exits. But like I wrote on my facebook page - if you left early, you missed a good one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Like an anime nerd at a frat party, Titans struggle to find acceptance.

For the most part, the Tennessee Titans have had little trouble with their early season opponents on the way to starting 5-0. Gaining attention from the media and pundits, however, has been a bit more difficult. Take an example I found while browsing I was reading a blog posting by Paul Kuharsky who covers the AFC South for In it, he was trying to defend himself against readers who claimed that he was giving the Titans too much coverage.
Wait, what?
I'm honestly not sure if those guys were reading the same articles that I have.
Up until their win over Minnesota, the Titans had largely been ignored by the mainstream sports media. Take for example Kuharsky's blog posting after the Titans' Week 3 win over Houston. At the time, Tennessee was among a handful of undefeated teams in the league, and had a two game lead in the division. But all the talk still centered on the Colts and Jaguars, as their story was one of the top stories.
Okay, I can admit that whenever the Colts play Jacksonville, it's going to be big business. After all, both teams qualified for the postseason a year ago. But even the smaller budget written about the Titans game made an effort to push the blue and white out of the limelight. Let's take a look. Only three of the eight paragraphs in this story focus on the Titans and what they did, and the final paragraph sounds more critical and pompous than anything else. The Titans don't even get a mention until the third paragraph, when you get a blurb about Ed King.
Things have begun to turn around for the Titans, though. After beating the Vikings, we get this nice little piece. And with that win, coupled with a win over the Ravens, Tennessee has been all over the front of the NFL page on But it isn't all over yet. On Kuharsky's latest blog, the Titans get somewhat slighted. The rapid reaction piece he wrote was a paltry 88 words --shorter than any blog I've ever posted -- while the Jags game got 173 words and the Colts-Texans gets a full write-up that the other games didn't get from Kuharsky. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Kuharsky and handles AFC South coverage as the season progresses.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So who am I, and why should you care?

Hello everyone! As I'm sitting here in front of my screen put on the spot to come up with a my first blog post, several things are running through my mind. Firstly, starting a blog is a rather momentous occassion. I've got several ideas in mind for possible posts, but I feel the need to fine tune them before posting, so I'll make my first post the boring generic sterotypical choice for a first post: the get to know me post! Okay, I promise I'll do my best not to make it boring, stereotypical, or generic (which I'm fairly confident I can achieve). First off, I want to mention a tidbit about my username, The Author, which is also my DJ name for my radio show, Authorization Required, on WMTS 88.3 from 2-4 p.m. every Thursday (cue shameless advertising). This blog will somewhat be an extension of my persona from the radio, so if you came here after hearing me announce my blog over the air, then welcome! I'm involved in several other things this semester, including a writing gig for the local on-campus publication, The Record, which is bi-weekly by the way, in case you were wondering. I like movies, music, (obviously) games, sports, and reading. I follow Blue Raider football, basketball, and baseball, I'm pumped for the new Metallica CD coming out Friday, and the last book I read was Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. Well, I think that's enough, so I'm gonna wrap this up. I hope you guys enjoy my blog post, and if not, then :P