Why I Had To Play My Dad Card

gta5_logo

Normally I try very hard to keep my “dad card” tucked away in my wallet. There are times, though, I have to raise the bullshit flag and call it the way I see it. I give allot of trust to my children still living at home because, in general, they give me no reasons not to trust them. Sometimes, when the line gets crossed, it gets worked out without too many hard feelings. But not this time, this time its different for some reason. So, let me start with the way it all started. My 17 y/o volunteered to drive my 12 y/o son to the mall so he could spend his money that he had been saving on a new game for the Xbox 360. Now, I wasn’t aware what game was purchased at the time and had not seen the game in question played until this past weekend. The only reason I saw it then is because they where in the living room since the Xbox 360 is connected to the 70″ HD television in there. Still, no problem, they play games there every day. Anyhow, I took a seat in my recliner looking to hopefully catch a nap but the very graphic images and very racially graphic language caught me a little off guard, prompting me to inquire what game it was that they were playing. Very nonchalantly my son replies by telling me it is Grand Theft Auto 5. I watched him play for about 5 more minutes and then I instructed him to turn it off, put the game in the case, and set it on the end table next to me.

In a very disgruntled way he complied with my request. Then we talked for a minute, and then he headed off to his room to get ready for bed. My daughter remains behind along with my wife, who decided that my actions needed to be questioned.  My daughter explained what she knew about the game from the times she spent playing it, some of the ins and outs, and the general just of the game. This prompted me to do some reading online and to me eventually playing the game with my daughters assistance. I was not and remain not impressed with the game. Now, readers here know I don’t have the cleanest language. The bad language on the game only started bothering me when I got to thinking about the age of my son and how I really didn’t want him repeating any of the racially charged comments in the company of any human being. He isn’t raised being a racist dumbass and I will prevent it from happening any way I can. I could get into the morality of the game, which is about lieing, cheating, killing, stealing, and of course, car jacking. In the end, the game is pretty influential in the overboard glorification of some very negative behaviors in our society. The game is rated M for Mature Audiences, not 12 year olds. Personally I don’t see the draw to the game in any regard.

The verdict? Well, since an open game cannot be returned to the retailer I gave my son what he paid for it. He was also given some stricter guidelines and was told the next time I will not be as generous. Don’t mistake me for some kind of purest prude, because I am not, but I am a father who wishes to help my kids become proactive individuals in our modern society. The damn internet and television do not raise my children nor are they my children’s babysitter. With that being said, I know they have good heads on their shoulders and I know they wouldn’t take the game too seriously, but don’t think it is an appropriate game for any age. Now I have this stupid game which I will NOT be putting for sale on eBay but will instead be using for target practice the next time I head out. My opinion? Fuck this game. Save your “the game is harmless” comments for someone else because I don’t want to read them.

Bearknuckle: “Lost Woods” Album Review

Bearknucle Lost Woods

Bearknuckle: Lost Woods

First of all I will make it clear that I’m not a professional reviewer of music. However, I do know what I like and what I think sucks when it comes to music. Personally, I have just over one million digital songs in my library, over seven thousand physical hard copies of music, (to include LP, CD, 8-Track, and Cassette), and thousands more saved in a variety of music based websites. I listen to allot of metal and rock & roll all day long every day of the week, so, when I can add some new music that gets my ears twitching I jump at the opportunity. So, bust my balls if you must but I know what I like. I have never seen Bearknuckle live but I hear they put on one hell of a show. As is, I have never met the band, but I have heard a great deal about them. So, if y’all are in Atlanta Georgia, visit Atlanta Georgia, or plan on going to Atlanta Georgia, I highly recommend checking out their website, Bearknuckle or their Facebook Fanpage to see when and where they are playing next. Bearknuckle has a really cool website chocked full of great information, merchandise, downloads, and so much more. Y’all can trust me when I say that y’all will NOT be disappointed. Strange enough, I will be doing this “review” without an actual band interview, so I hope that y’all won’t feel that it lacks anything. By the way, just in case you need the information, look to the right at my “Great Places To Visit” and y’all will see the permanent link to Bearknuckle Band. So let’s jump right into the mix. The album “Lost Woods” is pretty spectacular, and I don’t use that word to often, in fact it is on the verge of holding the rank of Epic in my book. As artists and musicians, these boys will blow you away with their creativity and the explosive nature of all of their songs. In the short time I have had this album I have listened to it many times, as you will need to also, I have three personal favorites which I will acknowledge when I list them below. I remind everyone that everything Bearknuckle is copyrighted, to include images, websites, lyrics, titles, songs, and music. Y’all do NOT have permission to use any of it without express permission from the band. All of these young men have day jobs and perform their music as a passion. So, with that being said, I will urge everyone to visit their website, give them a listen, and pay the small price to download their music. I know they would all really appreciate any and all support that everyone gives. Plus, every dime spent at their website is very worth it, just trust in what I say.

How did I get introduced to the music of Bearknuckle? Well, that in itself is a long twisted story. The short version is thru their loving and supportive mother, Kris Landt, (y’all may know her as helenafortissima at Blogcatalog). We have had many conversations about her sons and the band via Facebook and Blogcatalog. She does an excellent job of spreading the word and sharing in the life and times of her boys and the band. She is always posting YouTube videos on Facebook for the world to enjoy. These boys have a great mom!

Bearknuckle is:

  • Jordan Hayes, age 21, Drums
  • Nick Landt, age 23, Guitar
  • Willie Williams, age 23, Vocals
  • Rory Landt, age 23, Bass/Vocals

Bearknuckle: Lost Woods album is 7 songs that will please your ears for over 31 minutes.

  • Rite of Passage (4:10)
  • The Natives (4:30)
  • Mating Call (3:52) (favorite)
  • Conductor’s Hymn (3:30)
  • Hard Candy (6:52) (favorite)
  • Caveman’s Valentine (2:58)
  • Alive Today (5:10) (favorite)

So, what did I think of the album overall? I really enjoyed it. I was really surprised at the diversity of the song material, subject matter, and the range which was expressed musically. I could hear the talent and I could feel that they played from their souls. I can hear the passion in the vocals and well as the how the actual music is very complimentary. Sometimes, local bands sound local and lack the punch of people performing from the heart and soul. Not Bearknuckle, their hearts bleed the music, I could feel the pain, the confusion, and the desires in every song. I’m trying not to spoil what someone is going to experience when they hear the music for the first time. I was reminiscent of the first time I heard the song “Fairies Wear Boots” performed by Black Sabbath way back when I was just a teen. I have always liked the pain and passion that Ozzy (if you don’t know who Ozzy is then just leave now) would let rip in the way he sang. I can’t get away from thinking that one day I will be listening to Bearknuckle and remembering that I heard them the first time and was hooked. As an example, some months ago I had the opportunity to see an impromptu video of the band performing Purple Haze and I was forever hooked. They show great diversity and I hope that in 30 years I am still listening to great music from them. I mean that. For a moment there I felt like a teenage girl groupie expressing my love for the band. To be honest, in my opinion, if an average person like myself who has no musical experience doesn’t find their music great then they just don’t know shit about rock & roll in general. But, I can only speak for myself here, I can only relay how this emotionally charged album came across to me, and I can only share how their passion for music made me feel. Everyone will feel different and I know that. In the end I’m disappointed that I live here in Houston and don’t have the opportunity to see them live all the time because I would be there. Why does a 40 something man enjoy this 20 something band? Because, in my own way, I can appreciate talent when I hear it, the end and period. Will you like what you hear? Will the music move you? Will you feel the passion that bleeds into every song? I don’t know because I can’t speak for you. But, my answers are, yes, yes, and absolutely yes! I have you wanting to leave this post and get a head start on the listening don’t I? Feel free to crash the website with traffic, I’m sure they will appreciate it. In fact, spread the word, share the wealth, and see to it that more people in your circles have an opportunity to witness Bearknuckle. My overall impression of Bearknuckle: Lost Woods is that it is just freaking awesome! I can’t begin to relay how impressed I am with the music and lyrics I listened to. Listen to it loud and you will not be disappointed!

IMG_20140110_145554Bearknuckle Band Members: Jordan Hayes, Nick Landt, Willie Williams, and Rory Landt

One last time:

Bearknuckle website.

Bearknuckle Facebook Fanpage.

Stay Tuned for more new material from Bearknuckle and more from me about Bearknuckle in the future. Now y’all can leave and go show Bearknuckle some love. Just do it! By the way, the CD you see pictured above is a picture I took of my personal copy. The picture of the band members was provided by Kris Landt, the mother of Nick Landt and Rory Landt. Neither of the images are public domain and y’all do NOT have permission to re-use them at will. I hope y’all enjoyed my review of the music offered by Bearknuckle. I enjoyed listening to the album and writing the review and look forward to many more. I hope these talented young men read my review knowing that my best intents were to relay how great they are as performers, musicians, and as a band. Great job y’all, I look forward to all of your future works!

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