Great band with great musicians. Definitely broke up too soon. Some of Clapton’s best work. Fun fact: apparently, John Bonham considered Ginger Baker his rival on drums and often used Baker’s records with Cream and later projects as motivation.

White Room

Sunshine of your Love

Crossroads (live)


Monday I got back from a family-visiting vacation (will post more about it next week). The trip was tiring, but had a lot of positives. I even made it to The Dark Knight Rises on opening day. To me, the film was the best of the three. Yes, it had its faults (plot-wise) which I’ll go into below. However, the strengths far outweighed the weaknesses in my opinion.

***Spoiler alert for all three movies in the trilogy.***

  • This movie was about Bruce Wayne/Batman. Although I love The Dark Knight, my biggest complaint on the movie was that it really focused on the villains (Two-Face and The Joker especially) rather than Batman. Like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises is all about the hero with the villains playing strong supporting roles.
  • Unbelievable characterization across the board. Very few weak spots in any of the major and minor character roles. All did a great a job. Despite any flaws I’ll mention below, the character arcs are what made this film so good to me.
  • Michael Caine – What can I say? The perfect Alfred. He immediately steals every scene he’s in. The emotion he brought to the movie was awesome and I found myself a bit misty-eyed in a few spots because of the delivery of his lines.
  • Anne Hathaway – Like everyone else, I was very hesitant about her casting. From the very first scene she had me. Best Catwoman yet, and probably the closest to the comics. Absolutely loved her performance and story arc.
  • Tom Hardy – The accent/voice was perfect. The swagger awesome. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of the Bane from Batman: The Animated Series, and that’s definitely a good thing. Great casting.
  • Christian Bale – His best performance as Batman and Bruce Wayne, and I liked him a lot in the prior two movies. I wanted more scenes with him as the focal point.
  • Great fight scenes. My inner fanboy was going absolutely nuts at the Bane/Batman fights above all else. Exactly how I wanted it to be. And on top of everything else, Bane actually said THE LINE. (For those who don’t know what that means, go read KnightFall.)
  • Awesome action sequences.
  • The Bat was really cool. The fight around the city was killer.
  • For being almost three hours long, the movie went by really quickly. I know some complained about the pacing, but I never felt it drag. I wanted more.
  • Loved all the nods and tie-ins to the previous films.
  • Cool references to all the various storylines within the comics.
  • Just enough humor to lighten the dark tone of the movie.
  • Another good film score.
  • Perfect conclusion for the series. Answered enough questions while still leaving a few out there.
  • First teaser trailer for Man of Steel! It looks awesome!
  • Miranda Tate – She was ok. I knew she was Talia long before the reveal. The references to tie her in to the series was kind of nice. However, I almost wish the reveal didn’t happen as it did since it diminished Bane’s awesomeness in my eyes.
  • The plot had several bumps. Characters did a lot of really dumb things in order to push the story along. Some of those instances took me out of the story for few seconds which I found jarring. I never felt that way in the previous two films.
  • HUGE info dumps. I cringed at several points in the film when a character went on this big speech to give information to the viewer that Nolan couldn’t figure out a way to work in elsewhere. Some of these instances were really bad as it happened at pretty suspenseful parts of the film (e.g. the very end when time was of the essence). There were moments like this in the first two films too, but nowhere near as bad as here.
  • Batman forgot he was the world’s greatest detective and had a brain. Despite being injury-riddled, older, and out of the game, Batman rarely used his brains to solve his problems. Instead, he almost bullied his way through everything. Very out of character for what Nolan established in the first two films and extremely out of character to who he is in the comics.
  • Speaking of being injury-riddled…wow, did Nolan drop the ball here. This is my biggest complaint of the whole film. The Dark Knight Rises starts off with Bruce being skinny and a wreck physically. He goes to the doctor and we learn just how much of a mess he is. However, these injuries are never addressed again once he decides he wants back in to being Batman. What a joke. The only injury they addressed was one knee (ignoring his other knee, shoulder, etc.) and that was done badly. Where did the brace go when he was in prison? Bane wouldn’t have left him that, yet he never limps again.

    Also, how did he get all these injuries? According to this film, his last appearance as Batman was at the end of The Dark Knight. We were never led to believe Batman was bad off then, and since he stopped wearing the cowl, Bruce Wayne only became a recluse. Basically, Nolan invented injuries out of the blue to show how far Wayne had fallen. Then he dumped them after the first act when they became too hard to address.
  • The Joker is still alive at the end of The Dark Knight. What happened to him? Obviously, I didn’t expect him to get actual screen time, but Nolan could have at least said they gave him the death penalty or shipped him off to Arkham or something.

So yes, The Dark Knight Rises had its flaws, but I loved it all the same. As far as I’m concerned, there are no better comic book films than the three Nolan films. Man, I wish I could see more.

Batman Beyond, anyone?

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Scream Machine (live)

Coming at You

My Last Words


Since I talked about William Duvall last week, I thought I would a post about his album with Alice in Chains. Musically, vocally, and from a songwriting perspective, Black Gives Way to Blue is top notch. It is probably my second favorite AIC album, behind Dirt. It’s hard to pick three favs, but I tried to do my best below.

A Looking in View

Last of my Kind

Private Hell (easily my favorite song on the album and probably top 3 AIC songs, period)


There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. —Rod Serling

I realized the other day that this was the first year in quite awhile that I missed the annual Twilight Zone marathon that happens every 4th of July. It’s sort of become a tradition for me to catch as many episodes as I can throughout the day. Then later in the week, my dad and I will talk about which ones we caught since he and I have always loved the show. Unfortunately, I had to work this year on the 4th and then afterward some other things popped up that needed to be taken care of. Therefore, I might have watched 20 minutes of TV total that day and it never dawned on me to check the Sci-fi channel.

Despite some awful special effects (common for the time), I’ve watched many of the episodes multiple times over. Yes, some shows are better acted than others, but generally the writing is top notch across the board. Rod Sterling is obviously known as the king of the twist ending, but the message that came across in these half hour stories and the questions that were asked, still influence people to this day. I know it’s affected my own writing (mainly in a short story form).

It’s kind of sad that most people my around my age and younger seem to scoff at the show while raising a condescending eyebrow. They focus only on those lackluster special effects, failing to see the story being told.

When my kids get older, I promise I’ll do my part in setting them on the right path. Even though they are years away from being mature enough to watch The Twilight Zone, I can’t wait for them to become a 4th of July tradition in our house.


Some people might know William Duvall as the guy who replaced Layne Staley in Alice in Chains and did about as good of a job as someone could do in that role. However, before AIC he was the guitarist/vocalist for Comes with the Fall, an awesome hard rock band.

Check out a few songs below:



Strung out on a Dream (live)


When I originally started my blog, my goal was to have three new posts a week. Monday’s post would be something about music, and the other two days would cover writing, reading, and a slew of other topics. At the time I figured two posts a week wasn’t that hard to do. For awhile, it wasn’t.

However, things change and right now life is pretty hectic for me. I’ve also self-imposed some potentially tight deadlines in regards to my writing over the coming months. Therefore, I want to make sure that I have the necessary time to meet those deadlines while also fulfilling my other responsibilities. Therefore, my new posting schedule will be Monday (music related) and Thursday (everything else). Believe it or not, two posts a week is much more manageable for me than three.

That being said, if I do have something exciting to post or a new announcement that can’t wait, then you can consider that a bonus. Ha.


Steel and Sorrow officially has a cover!

Steel and Sorrow is the second book in the Blood and Tears Trilogy following the events in Rise and Fall.

Below is the current description (Warning: some spoilers to those who haven’t read Rise and Fall yet):
A Warleader proves his worth, a High Mage seeks revenge, a Commander overcomes his past, and a Queen solidifies her rule.
On the continent of Hesh, Tobin has finally gained the two things that have always been out of his reach—the respect of his clan and a woman’s love. Now, he seeks to finish what his father started. Tobin is left questioning not only his ability to rule, but also his sanity when he faces an enemy he never knew to suspect.

A High Mage has been humbled, but he has not been defeated. After spending his time devouring the history of Hesh, he’s discovered a way to return home and reclaim what was once his. But before he can exact revenge on his enemies, he must fulfill one last obligation to the only friend he has.

In the aftermath of great tragedy, Kaz has taken the role of commander, and with it, a mountain of headaches. He expected threats from his enemies. He did not expect the largest headaches to from within his own ranks. To make matters worse, the faded memories of Kaz’s previous life are returning and what he sees haunts him.

Queen Elyse’s kingdom faces collapse at the hands of a civil war. While her army has been organizing to secure the crown against traitorous lords, she has worked at her role as queen. Suspicion of traitors among the ranks of her council threatens to undermine Elyse's authority when a chance for peace presents itself.

A year after the events of Rise and Fall, Steel and Sorrow is the second book in the Blood and Tears Trilogy.

Right now, I’m hoping for an early September release.

Check out the cover and leave a comment on your thoughts!

Credit once again goes to Brooke White of Sprout Studio in Houston, Texas.

If you’re interested in procuring her services, please contact her at the following:
Brooke White
Sprout Studio (in Houston, TX)

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This is perhaps one of the most impressive feats of guitar work I’ve ever seen/heard. Unreal.

I heard about Mike Dawes after seeing this video on last week which is also pretty awesome.