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Andru A.'s Profile

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Andru A. RSS Feed (Los Angeles, California USA)

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On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
by Robert Alan Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.09
86 used & new from $3.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The fallacy of self-exclusion, July 27, 2015
Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclusion, i.e. "Certainty is impossible except this one thing that is certain" which is a contradiction. If certainty is impossible then how should we epistemologically treat such a claim from those who are telling us so? Are they certain of their claims? If so, then their argument refutes itself. If they are not, then we can be equally as skeptical of the impossibility of certainty as they are of the possibility of certainty which gets no one, nowhere in terms of useful knowledge. The devilish details of these attacks on knoweldge seem to often rely on an equivocation of omniscience with objectivity. They state that because we cannot step outside of our minds, knowledge is subjective and therefore objectivity and certainty are impossible. But objectivity is not omniscience nor a view from outide of ourselves and it requires neither. If we cannot be certain of anything, then we are certain of at least one thing, and certainty is then possible. But if we cannot be certain that we cannot be certain of anything then we are still certain of one thing, and certainty is still possible. To question certainty is to question the very nature of knowledge itself. You simply cannot make a knowledge claim about the impossibility of knowledge. Scientific skepticism is good in evaluating reality but because it presupposes the fact of reality, it does not and cannot lead to epistemological skepticism.

Rimbaud Complete (Modern Library Classics)
Rimbaud Complete (Modern Library Classics)
by Arthur Rimbaud
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.52
94 used & new from $2.58

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Horribly Boring Translation, May 29, 2009
The complete works of Arthur Rimbaud is a truly a treasure to have and a necessity to the library of any lover of the poetic form. Unfortunately, in this collection Wyatt Mason renders Rimbaud sterile of all the visceral poetic beauty his works possess and reduces it to a modernized, lifeless and hum drum banality that does it a great disservice. Do yourself a favor and get Louise Varese's beautifully magisterial versions of A Season In Hell and Illuminations and if you want more go with Wallace Fowlie's translations for all the odds and ends and a more faithfully literal translation.

by Giles Sparrow
Edition: Hardcover
46 used & new from $7.83

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic to the Point of Tears, August 22, 2008
This review is from: Cosmos (Hardcover)
The subject of this book is so gargantuan and the sheer size of the book itself reflects that. When LOOKING at this book, one will become completely overwhelmed by the incomprehensible magnitude of the known universe and the absolute specs of dust (even less!) that we are as humans inhabiting it. The pictures in this book bring tears to my eyes often upon viewing. If anything came close to being able to fathom the unfathomable power, scope, size and beauty of known life, this book is it. I cannot believe I bought it for $29.95 when it should have costed at least $100. Its worth is priceless when you consider that its actually a book that can impact you so heavily with thoughts about life, the meaning of existence, god, time, eternity, etc. to such a degree that no other book I've read can come close to.

Dirty Words
Dirty Words
Price: $17.99
15 used & new from $3.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screw Franz Ferdinand's second album, get this!, June 28, 2007
This review is from: Dirty Words (Audio CD)
Essentially, The Departure sound like a combination of The Chameleons, early U2, & Gang Of Four with more reverb. This album also felt alot like what Franz Ferdinand's first album would have sounded like if all the guitars were put through huge reverb and delay effects. In that respect this is the album Franz Ferdinand wishes they had released in 05', but didn't. Lately, It seemed like every band was favoring disco over atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy me a good danceable groove, but there's a million bands doing that right now. I feel The Departure's strengths lie in their ability to create songs that are equally atmospheric AND angular, therefore danceable but with depth. I have also not heard such complimentary playing between two guitarists probably since Interpol's first album. With that in mind, Its somewhat annoying that this album hardly made a dent in the U.S. given that it was released before fellow UK post-punkers Editors released their album "The Back Room". This was close to being the best release of 2005 for me and wherever any other year-end "best of" lists have Franz Ferdinand's newest album, as I'm sure nearly every publication will have it in the top 10, I will just cut it out and put a picture of The Departure's "Dirty Words".

Records of Reference:
The Chameleons - Script Of The Bridge
U2 - Boy
Gang Of Four - Entertainment!
Au Pairs - Sense & Sensuality
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2013 4:43 AM PDT

Price: $17.51
21 used & new from $0.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody Waves of Melancholy & Walls of Grandeur, June 28, 2007
This review is from: Elesgiem (Audio CD)
this album, put out in 2001 was so great and almost completely overlooked. This band was hardly known about before they imploded 5 years ago shortly after the release of this record in 2001. They had a very dreamy sound reminiscent of all the great shoegaze bands of the 90's like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, etc., but it also bore a strong influence from many 80's Post-Punk bands like The Chameleons, The Sound, & Sad Lovers And Giants. The thing that is special about this band is that they were among the few groups whose sound preceded the whole "80's revival" four years before it ever happened (not to mention preceding Interpol's first album by a YEAR). It is a shame they did not last because if they did they might have had a better response commercially with the way things started to change in the musical climate. Today, this album still sounds fresh and just as amazing as it did 5 years ago and that itself is an accomplishment that 90 percent of the bands making music today probably will not live up to.

Records of Reference:
The Chameleons - Script of The Bridge
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
The Sound - From The Lions Mouth

Machines at Night
Machines at Night

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, sparkly, haunting melodies of fuzz and shimmer, June 28, 2007
This review is from: Machines at Night (Audio CD)
L.A. based band The Distortions have just released the album that you are going to be playing in your car all year for every one of those long breezy trips out of town and short excursions driving through the city at night. For that reason it is no coincidence that this album is titled "Machines At Night".

With "Machines At Night", The Distortions have released a remarkably subtle and nuanced album that effortlessly dispels any notions of the sophomore slump with such restrained & reflective cool that too many bands in the indie scene these days wish they had but fail to find for their follow up.

Though not a bad album in its own right, The Distortions first album "Exploding Teenage Body Part" was somewhat uneven. When comparing songs like the blistering punk fury of the title track to the more dreamy shimmer of a song like "Shoegazer", I felt like the band was being drawn in two different directions and could not fully commit to one. Such is certainly not the case with "Machines At Night". Where the previous effort felt like a collection of random songs, "Machines At Night" feels like a true album in the classic sense of the term.

Every facet of this album is ten notches above and beyond its predecessor. The songs on this album meander from a delicate intro into an otherworldly crescendo while others just drift by in a dreamy pace all accompanied by soul-searching lyrics that reflect on those unrealized promises that life makes us and the broken ones that we make in turn everyday. Whether its on the aptly titled song, 'This place doesn't have the balls to kill me' where singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist F sings, "I'm looking good / but hurt to touch, I'm so alone / much too much, I'm feeling good / but sometimes ache, from those who love / but love to take" or on "Galaxies rearranging" where he softly serenades the lines "I can see me crushing under thoughts of what's to come / I wonder if I got a soul no one could ever want / I think of losing everything and living in the street / I think of how the bad I've done is closing in on me / and then I think of you / I think of you / and from the chaos comes something new". Words like these bring a sincerity and depth to this album that you connect with immediately. Its personal but universal.

As good as the songs are themselves and the poetry of the lyrics, it is in the musicianship/instrumentation that the true accomplishment and beauty of this record really shine through the brightest. The Guitars sparkle, the Drums rumble, the Bass hypnotizes, Voices 'ooh' and 'ahh', Tambourines shake, the Glockenspiel chimes, the Pedal Steel wails and the Theremin moans all over this album. What is even more impressive is to see someone take such an obscure instrument that possesses such a unique sound as the Theremin does and use it in a tastefully artistic and specific way as multi-instrumentalist F does on songs like "Galaxies rearranging" and "Waiting for the searchlights to come".

Though alot of us may not be old enough to remember, there was such a time when music was not about bands having only one good song that you downloaded for 99 cents while the rest of the album was pretty much ignored. In this day and age of MP3 players and shuffled play lists, 'Machines At Night' stands in complete defiance of the idea that bands can't create an album of 10 songs that are every bit just as good as the other and flow perfectly from one song to the next. From beginning to end, The Distortions have succeeded in evoking a larger and greater experience that having only one good song can't even begin to compare with. It is for the lack of albums like this that the record industry's sales are at an all-time low.

As equally haunting as it is calming, much of what you will hear on this album will sound familiar; though at the same time strike you as something you will not necessarily know how to categorize. It is that sense of hearing something that you're so accustomed to feel so strange & foreign that summarizes not only what this album is about but also what makes it so good. The Distortions have truly stepped up with what can easily be considered one of the standout records of the year so far, and it stands to set them among some of their greatest peers like Doves & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Records of Reference:

The Verve - Storm In Heaven
Doves - The Last Broadcast
Beachwood Sparks - Once We Were Trees
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl

Note: Its also available on iTunes.

Into A New Mausoleum
Into A New Mausoleum
Offered by simply delicious
Price: $32.99
7 used & new from $1.32

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Brooding, Shoegazed Post-Punk, June 28, 2007
This review is from: Into A New Mausoleum (Audio CD)
Do you like post-punk? Do you also like shoegaze? Do you like your music dark like your Pornography-shirt-wearing rotting soul? Well, my friend you are in luck.

From the ashes of bands like Andalusia, Jada Morning & Astral, four forces united and out of the thick San Francisco fog emerged Veil Veil Vanish. Although I have never heard Jada Morning or Andalusia, I was always a fan of Astral and in some ways Veil Veil Vanish bears some sonic similarities to that band but I feel their sound is more focused than Astral and far more visceral and dark.

"Into A New Mausoleum" is their debut self-released six-song EP. Although not a full albums length, the six songs on this EP almost make it feel like an album as it gives the band enough space to flex their various music muscles. Whether it be the more intense post-punk feel of a song like "Shadows Dripping Like Honey Kissing" or the melancholy shoegaze grandiosity of "All Hands In Prayer" or a song like "What Will You Say Tonight" which finds the perfect balance between those two extremes.

What I personally love about this band is that you have frontman Keven Teacon on one guitar providing the more distorted staccato parts while Cameron Ray is on another creating huge atmospheric walls of sound that tonally sound very much like an old ARP Solina Strings Synth (Chameleons, The Cure, New Order) or better yet the string section of an orchestra. When you actually hear the music your ears will be fooled into thinking that they have someone on keyboard playing all these very gothic passages when its really just one man with a guitar. Personally, this is my perfect prototype for a 'two-guitar' band.

Whereas most bands these days who mine the catacombs of '90s shoegaze get lost in atmosphere for atmosphere's sake, Veil Veil Vanish avoid that pitfall thanks to their post-punk roots. Whether fast or slow, their songs actually reach out and grab you instead of lulling you off to sleep. Keven Teacon's vocals are never buried in the mix and are sung with emotion and intensity. Instead of just being brushed lightly, Robert Marzio's creative drum playing is right up in your face and along with Amy Rosenhoff's driving bass lines they provide a rhythm section that really grounds the band and at times thrust it forward. This passion is in essence what makes them truly a post-punk band and not just another Slowdive rip-off.

Personally, I have been waiting a long time for a band with this type of sound. In many ways "Into A New Mausoleum" very much feels like what The Cure's Pornogrpahy would have sounded like if Neil Halstead and Kevin Shields were on guitars. In other words, Veil Veil Vanish successfully blend their strong post-punk sensibilities with a love for shoegaze soundscapes all interwoven into a cloudy & foreboding atmosphere that brings a new edge to existential ennui.


Dark City
Dark City
DVD ~ Rufus Sewell
Offered by stephsstuff1113
Price: $12.87
274 used & new from $0.01

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neo-Noir Classic, April 16, 2006
This review is from: Dark City (DVD)
I'm not going to waste time divulging details of the plot or labeling this film "sci-fi" as you can read everyone else's reviews for that.

Although the film mixes in a science fiction plot with some imagery of that genre, Above all, this film is a tribute to the classic American Film Noir style of the 40's and 50's. Aside from brilliant cinematogrophay eliciting the stark angles, high contrast and deep shadows that play throughout the movie, you have the much talked about set design of the city which is noir to its bones from the shot of the neon hotel sign, to the vintage automobiles, to the jazzy club with the femme fatale singing, to the detective played by William Hurt, to the wardorbe of "The Strangers" who wear black trenchcoats and black fedoras.

To best serve this example and appreciate director Alex Proyas homage to the classic Noir style, just turn the "color" settings on your TV all the way off to desaturate it of color thus making it black & white. Turn your "Tint" control to the red spectrum, usually to the right to give the B&W the classic feel.

Now, watch the movie again and see ALL the shadowy shots and contrasted angles you missed watching it in color. You'll understand my point and possibly the directors.

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