Monday, August 31, 2009

A Captain Awesome Music Review

So the last time I did a music review, I reviewed several albums that had recently come out by several of my favorite musicians. Today, a new release from my all time favorite band came out (I had it downloaded last night around 10:30 courtesy of iTunes).

The Black Crowes released Before the Frost today. This is the second studio release since the band got back together in 2005 after a 4 year hiatus. If you purchase the CD in stores you'll get a download code for a second album titled Until the Freeze. If you use iTunes, then you'll get both downloaded together. This was done as a goodwill gesture to the fans of the Crowes over the years. Since I am only doing one album review today, I will put together my own Black Crowes greatest hits list that you can download, which in my opinion will be a little different then the one they released about 10 years ago. Anyway on to the review...
The Black Crowes- Before the Frost... Until the Freeze
Grade: A

It's hard to write a review of your favorite bands, particularly because you'll like just about everything they put out. I, to this day have yet to hear anything from several bands anything I just hated. This is extremely true in the case of the Black Crowes. I have seen them live in concert eight times, in 3 different states, and in 5 different cities. I saw them before they took they're hiatus, and several times after. I even had tickets when they were touring with Jimmy Page, but the Dallas show was cancelled... Needless to say I enjoy the southern rock sounds of the Crowes. The two studio albums released in the last two years though have had a different sound then the Crowes music before. Warpaint was an average at best release and seemed to point to a lack of trying in a way towards the Crowes. In fact if you remember, Rolling Stone was giving it bad reviews even before they heard it. While it had it's moments, overall as a Crowes fan, it was disappointing in comparison to albums like Shake Your Money Maker, Amorica, and the Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.

The new release shows hints of all their collective works. Warpaint showed a lot of country hints in it, and Before the Frost is no different. They have ventured away from the riff rock and blues combination they became known for in songs like "Hard to Handle", "Remedy", and "Jealous Again." They have really come to terms with their southern roots. They have taken those guitar riffs, the blues lyrics, and infused it with a little pedal steel guitar and turned it into a southern rock country album with some hints of bluegrass and blues. Just play the track "Garden Gate" and you can immediately feel and hear the bluegrass sound that the Crowes have brought us in this album. It makes you feel like the songs could have been written and released while they were performing in Atlanta during the Civil War in the 1860's. This though is not what you get from every single song. It is a good mix of music from the Crowes, and quite enjoyable.

I recommend this album to anyone who is a Crowes fan of course, but I think if you like any of the following genres, then you need to listen to this album. If you like: country, bluegrass, blues, rock, southern rock, you will find yourself enjoying these sounds. Just think James Taylor meets Bob Dylan meets Garth Brooks meets Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young meets Led Zeppelin meets Robert Johnson... You get it all, and so I think you should jump onto iTunes, or run over to Best Buy, or Walmart and pick this bad boy up. You'll even hear a few hints of the old Crowes in some of the songs, like "Greenhorn." Just do yourself and pick it up, now for that Greatest Hits...
Captain Awesome's Greatest Hits for the Black Crowes:
1. "Seeing Things"- Shake Your Money Maker
2. "She Talks to Angels"- Shake Your Money Maker
3. "Thorn in my Pride"- Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
4. "Sometimes Salvation" - Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
5. "My Morning Song"- Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
6. "Nonfiction"- Amorica
7. "Ballad in Urgency"- Amorica
8. "Wiser Time"- Amorica
9. "Descender"- Amorica
10. "Good Friday"- Three Snakes and One Charm
11. "How Much For Your Wings?"- Three Snakes and One Charm
12. "Welcome to the Goodtimes"- By Your Side
13. "No Use Lying"- Lions
14. "Soul Singing"- Lions
15. "Miracle to Me"- Lions
16. "Wee Who See the Deep"- Warpaint
17. "I Ain't Hiding"- Before the Frost
18. "Houston Don't Dream About Me"- Before the Frost
Well there you have it, and yes I am aware that I am leaving off some of their most popular songs like "Remedy", "Jealous Again", "Twice as Hard", "Only a Fool", and "Hard to Handle." I did this because while they were popular songs and are good songs, they would not in my opinion be classified as the BEST (but still very good) Black Crowes songs, just some of the most popular. I hope you try and download some of these songs, they are a good collection of The Black Crowes, who are an awesome band...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. Well it's a special occasion today, because well... This edition of Ménage à trois is the 99th blog post for Captain Awesome (pictured). I know, on that rainy and cold December morning in 2008, you never would have thought that Captain Awesome would have kept this going on for as long as he had. Well if you thought that, you aren't awesome. If you had faith in the Captain, you are indeed awesome. Anyway, wish me some congratulations or something. Anyway, I wanted to point out my 99th post, well because everyone talks about their 100th post, and I wanted to break that trend. My 100th post will come soon, but not today.
  2. On this day in 1904, Newport, Rhode Island, imposed the first jail sentence for a speeding violation on this day. This was a harsh sentence in 1904 because traffic laws were still relatively new--the first traffic code wasn't implemented until 1903, when New York introduced a two-page book of regulations. Early traffic regulations varied drastically from state to state, some having no speed limits at all.
  3. Ironically, on this day in 1938, Captain George Eyston established a new land speed record of 345.49mph when he sailed over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in a Rolls-Royce-powered Thunderbolt. The land-speed trials have been held every year since 1903, serving as a test of automotive technology and proof of climbing speeds. Captain Eyston's record was especially memorable, for it was one of the few years that the record was not held by Malcolm Campbell, who dominated the trials for almost 30 years. The current record is held by Andy Green at 763.035mph.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fantasy Football is in the air.

So everyone who has a penis, and even a few with a vagina, they know that they have to set aside at least 1 day toward the end of August every year. Why you ask? Well football season is upon us at that point. Even more important, the new fantasy football season is upon us.

While I have yet to find any real success in the playoffs in recent years (I finished third two years ago), I feel that after the draft I have the best team for success this year. I have decided to let you readers evaluate my picks. I held the 9th pick overall out of a 12 team league, in a draft that is set up to snake. So here we go:
Scoregasm (2009)
Round, (Pick):
1, (9): LaDainian Tomlinson, RB (SD) (pictured)
2, (16): Brian Westbrook, RB (PHI)
3, (33): Jason Witten, TE (DAL)
4, (40): T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (SEA)
5, (57): Carson Palmer, QB (CIN)
6, (64): Santana Moss, WR (WAS)
7, (81): Jerricho Cotchery, WR (NYJ)
8, (88): Larry Johnson, RB (KC)
9, (105): Dallas, DEF/ST (DAL)
10, (112): Matt Hasselbeck, QB (SEA)
11, (129): Patrick Crayton, WR (DAL)
12, (136): Sebastian Janikowski, K (OAK)
13, (153): Laurence Maroney, RB (NE)
14, (160): Todd Heap, TE (BAL)

I feel like I have the best starting lineup potential. Health I think will be a huge issue. The health of Carson Palmer, Matt Hasselbeck, Brian Westbrook, and of course LaDainian Tomlinson. They are going to be my key players this season, and they all have dealt with some form of injury of the past year. Either way, I smell championship. This team is awesome, but then again I am Captain Awesome. I will keep updates throughout the year and let you know how awesome I am doing.

Another note, I have survived week one of law school, and I am starting to get into full gear on that shit now. Of course I keep putting off my reading tonight. As I finish this I will be reading Property and Torts for class tomorrow. I am starting to get the hang of briefing cases. Good start.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. On this day in 1920, seven men, including legendary all-around athlete and football star Jim Thorpe, meet to organize a professional football league at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton, Ohio. The meeting led to the creation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), the forerunner to the hugely successful National Football League. The APFA began play on September 26, with the Rock Island Independents of Illinois defeating a team from outside the league, the St. Paul Ideals, 48-0. A week later, Dayton beat Columbus 14-0 in the first game between two teams from the APFA, the forerunner of the modern NFL.
  2. On this day in 1989, Lyle and Erik Menendez (pictured) shoot their parents, Jose and Kitty, to death in the den of the family's Beverly Hills, California, home. They then drove up to Mulholland Drive, where they dumped their shotguns before continuing to a local movie theater to buy tickets as an alibi. When the pair returned home, Lyle called 911 and cried, "Somebody killed my parents!" The Menendez murders became a national sensation when the new television network, Court TV, broadcast the trial in 1993.
  3. There are several celebrity birthdays today, so I'm going to wish them a happy one. Well first is Demi Lovato, who is actually from Dallas. So that's pretty awesome, but she is only 17, so that's not. A better birthday wish next year maybe? But also Amy Adams, Robert Plant, Fred Durst, and Al Roker. The late Issac Hayes would also have had a birthday today, but we lost him last August.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pudge is a Ranger Again...

So, I feel like I have to be a true Rangers fan again. I've been fighting it all year, as I have stated in previous blogs that the Texas Rangers are the most frustrating team to be a fan. Well as of yesterday, they are on the path of redemption. They made a deal to get Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, the possibly greatest player in Rangers history. And yes I am aware that Nolan Ryan pitched for the Rangers, etc.

Anyway, I am back on board the Rangers train. I know I've said they had to make the playoffs to get me back as a fan (even though I am featured in Fox Sports "Built For Fun" Texas Rangers commercial (if you see it, I'm the focus of the "Built for Sound" portion holding a drum). If I can find a link of that video, I'll post it, but if you watch the games, then you'll eventually see it.

Well I'll leave it at that. Good luck Pudge, I hope you take the starting job from Teagarden and lead the Rangers to the "Promise Land" as you did the Tigers and Marlins...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Learning the Law

This will be short, as there is really not a lot to say.

I started law school today. It will be a whole new world, and in three years time, expect to see Captain Awesome either sending you or keeping you out of prison for crimes you may or may not have committed.

If you have any advice or information, feel free to lend it to me. Anyway, like I said, short and sweet. I will be back soon with a tantalizing new post on some savory cigars soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. Former New York Yankees star Mickey Mantle (pictured) dies of liver cancer at the age of 63. While "The Mick" patrolled center field and batted clean-up between 1951 and 1968, the Yankees won 12 American League pennants and seven World Series championships. Although he received a liver transplant, by then the cancer had spread to his lungs, and he died at just after 2 a.m. on August 13, 1995, at the Baylor University Cancer Center in Dallas. At the time of his death Mantle held many of the records for World Series play, including most home runs (18), most RBIs (40) and most runs (42).
  2. Fidel Castro, who of course is known for his love of baseball and cigars, turns 83 today. I guess that is kind of cool. He shares his birthday with Alfred Hitchcock and Annie Oakley.
  3. Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city. After World War II, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though technically part of the Soviet zone, was also split, with the Soviets taking the eastern part of the city. After a massive Allied airlift in June 1948 foiled a Soviet attempt to blockade West Berlin, the eastern section was drawn even more tightly into the Soviet fold. Over the next 12 years, cut off from its western counterpart and basically reduced to a Soviet satellite, East Germany saw between 2.5 million and 3 million of its citizens head to West Germany in search of better opportunities. By 1961, some 1,000 East Germans--including many skilled laborers, professionals and intellectuals--were leaving every day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Celebrating the Captain

So how does Captain Awesome celebrate his birthday you ask? Well he binges like no other. This proved true this year as well. I would love to recant the night with charm and wit to make a funny story, but to be honest I can't. I drank heavily throughout the day, and in the process of killing memory cells in the brain and further damaging my liver. So now for the highlights of the binge.

1:00pm: We went to Rahr & Sons Brewery in Fort Worth and had a couple of big beers a little price.
4:00pm: We hung out at the pool and had a few beers.
6:30pm: We had burgers and beers at the Love Shack/White Elephant (where they filmed parts of Walker, Texas Ranger)
9:00pm: Pregame drinking at the apartment before walking to Sundance Square, I switched to scotch from beer.
10:00pm: Arrived in Sundance, started at Durty Murphy's. The good people of Marlboro gave us free Zippo's and cigarettes.
11:00pm: We went to Vice on Shea's urging were he, Tanner, Crystal, and a girl who looked like Amy Winehouse had gone. We were not allowed in do to not being on a list and one guy was out of dress code. We told them to go fuck themselves and we might come back if decide to become douche bags and get Affliction shirts to wear.
11:03pm: We went to the Library. Over the course of the next few hours I probably had onwards close to 15-20 drinks and shots. There was a disagreement with some of the service staff, and so we retreated upon the urging of some Fort Worth police officers.
1:15pm: We decide to finish at the Flying Saucer, I have no recollection of going there, or being there. He was what was recalled by people who had fewer drinks than I:
  1. I slapped some fat girl's ass, and her boyfriend did not take kindly. He apparently tried to fight me, and I just laughed it off. I also told him it was ok because it was my birthday and tried to high five him. They left very unhappy.
  2. My buddy Tim lit one of our free cigarettes up in the non-smoking area. The bartender was not happy about that and said something about putting it out, then said she had told him several times already (she hadn't). She decided, after he didn't put it out, that the police outside should have him leave. They did, and after some nasty words to the bartender, that she took great offense to, we left.
  3. Walking back, I apparently was not walking very well, and had unbuttoned my entire shirt. Some girls thought it was a good idea to hollar at me, so I yelled back. The driver no longer paying attention to the road, apparently rear ended a Lexus in front of them (and remember, I have zero recollection of this event.)
  4. Arriving home, I proceeded to vomit on the downstairs porch of the person on the 1st floor of my complex (I'm on the 4th floor). In between throwing up, I had incoherent and random sputterings about my shirt and where I was at, because I was apparently lost in my own apartment. I'm told it was entertaining. Everyone else was eating my chips and taking pictures.
  5. I proceeded to pass out on my living room floor (picture courtesy of Tim's phone).
  6. An hour later, I awoke to take my vomiting to the bathroom. I then passed out in the bathroom.
  7. Around 5am I awoke and got in bed.

So there you have the semi remembered story of Captain Awesome's birthday binge. I hope you have enjoyed. Next year I may have someone follow us with a video camera so that we have it on film. Anyway, keep on being awesome out there, and maybe one day you can learn to binge in the ways of Captain Awesome, or something like that.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Captain Awesome's Cigar Reviews: Kinky Friedman Cigars

Well so, I was in a debate with myself over which cigars to review next. This is partly why I did not post Wednesday, but now I am posting on Friday. After debate, I have decided to go with Kinky Friedman cigars, mostly because I have recently smoked them with Kinky personally. I will give a short review on his five main cigar lines. Well let's get it started, so you can go out and be awesome smoking some Kinky's...

I'll start with the basics of all 5 of the cigars and then I'll get into a little detail of each. They all have a similar blend that feature a Habano wrapper grown in Honduras from Cuban seed, a medium bodied filler with tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua, and the binder is Costa Rican. The first tastes of these cigars is generally going to be spicy and then it will move into a creamy flavor with hints of coffee and cocoa. Now on to the individual cigars.

The Governor:

This is a Toro Gordo, it's a thick ring gauge that provides a powerful smoke that burns cool from increased airflow. It's a mellowing medium to full smoke and is the largest ring gauge in the collection.

Price: Around $14

Kinkycristo:

The Kinkycristo is a torpedo modeled after the Monte Cristo number 2, and this cigar concentrates the flavors onto the tip of the tongue. It has a bit more spiciness then the other cigars and is modeled after the Cuban blends of the Monte Cristo line. This cigar comes from decades of Kinky smoking Cuban cigars.

Price: Around $10

The Willie:

This is a different type of cigar all around. It has a twist head and a shaggy foot of tobacco for an easy light. The first few puffs allow for the creamy part to overtake the spicy flavor and over time you get back into the coffee and cocoa flavors. The shaggy lighting is meant to represent the red beard (as it is a reddish tobacco) of Willie Nelson. This is a fantastic smoke.

Price: Around $8.50

Texas Jewboy:

This is another torpedo in the Kinky line, but this is a larger ring gauge than the Kinkycristo. This larger cigar allows for more tobacco leaves, and so it makes this a more complex cigar. The torpedo shape allows you to concentrate on certain flavors at a time as opposed to tasting a blend of flavors.

Price: Around $9

The Utopian:

This is a traditional corona made in the classic entubar style allowing for a long relaxing and enjoyable smoke. You could say it's Utopia. The profit from the sales of this cigar go toward the benefit of Kinky's Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. This makes it Captain Awesome's choice of the Kinky lines to smoke.

Price: Around $7.50

Overall I enjoy and recommend everyone give these cigars a try. My favorite smokes, are the Willie and the Utopian, but the Governor is also an extremely enjoyable smoke. These cigars are not just a joke or an attempt at publicity for the man trying his luck at the seat of governor in the state of Texas, but these are genuinely a grand smoke. Check them out, and try each. Rumor from Kinky's lips himself is that he has a new cigar coming out this month. I may be able to give you a review on that at a later date. Hopefully this one is helpful, and remember if you live in Texas, vote Kinky for Governor in 2010, I mean, "Why the Hell not?"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ménage à trois

  1. Well first and foremost, the most important order of business of today's ménage à trois, well today, August 6th, is Captain Awesome's (pictured) birthday. Yes that is correct, today is my birthday, so send me some sweet gifts or love.
  2. Other famous birthday's today include M. Night Shyamalan, David Robinson, Lucille Ball, Andy Warhol, and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice). Of course, Captain Awesome is still the most important of the day...
  3. August 6, 1945, the United States becomes the first and only nation to use atomic weaponry during wartime when it drops an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Though the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan marked the end of World War II, many historians argue that it also ignited the Cold War. Since 1940, the United States had been working on developing an atomic weapon, after having been warned by Albert Einstein that Nazi Germany was already conducting research into nuclear weapons. By the time the United States conducted the first successful test (an atomic bomb was exploded in the desert in New Mexico in July 1945), Germany had already been defeated. The war against Japan in the Pacific, however, continued to rage. President Harry S. Truman, warned by some of his advisers that any attempt to invade Japan would result in horrific American casualties, ordered that the new weapon be used to bring the war to a speedy end. On August 6, 1945, the American bomber Enola Gay dropped a five-ton bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A blast equivalent to the power of 15,000 tons of TNT reduced four square miles of the city to ruins and immediately killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more died in the following weeks from wounds and radiation poisoning. Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 more people. A few days later, Japan announced its surrender.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Living Downtown

So it has been a few days since I posted anything, and well that's because I just got internet. But I am completely moved to Fort Worth, and I am living in a pretty badass apartment in a great location.

Being able to walk to Flying Saucer has been nice, and the whole Sundance Square area is awesome.

There is not really a lot in this blog, just information on why I took a few days off from any significant post. Tomorrow will have a new installment of Captain Awesome's Guide to Cigars, and Thursday will have it's normal post of Ménage à trois. So just keep on being awesome until then.