Relient K on eBay

Mmhmm by Relient KGotee Records is auctioning off a giant 7-foot square version of the cover art of the new Relient K album to benefit DATA. Gotee commissioned artist Jimmy A to paint his interpretation of the cover art and is now auctioning the painting on eBay. All proceeds will go to DATA, which works to fight AIDS, unpayable debt and unfair trade in Africa.

You can watch the painting come to life in a quick time-lapse video.

The new album is called Mmhmm and comes out November 2. You can listen to samples on purevolume and watch a goofy promo video on the band’s mini-site.

Though I can’t help but notice the first video, “The Pitch,” bears a striking resemblance to the HappyFunTime video “Egh!” (which you can watch on or the new HappyFunTime DVD Brain Matter). While “The Pitch” has a short, sweet, laugh-out loud quality, “Egh!” is funny and deep.

Nickelodeon: Turn off the TV

Nickelodeon: Let's Just PlayOn Saturday, October 2 Nickelodeon will go off the air for a day to promote physical activity. The popular children’s cable channel will go silent all day Saturday in an effort to get kids and their families playing as part of the Worldwide Day of Play.

But on Nickelodeon’s web site hyping the day for kids there’s little mention of the blank screens they’ll find come Saturday. Maybe it’s just too hard to admit.

Broken Again

Bad news comes in the form of unexpected communication. A phone call interupting the otherwise normal day. A letter with a strangely familiar return address. An e-mail from someone you haven’t heard from in a while.

It’s that long streak of silence that’s so worrisome. Then suddenly a burst of communication and you want to curl up and cry. Or sigh. Or hang your head and keep asking why. I knew it was coming, too. It was just a matter of time.

I wonder how long we’ll have to deal with it, how long we’ll have to go back and forth, from walking on egg shells, to getting comfortable again, to not hearing anything and then a sudden blow. The distance is getting farther, but the pain is no less. It’s not the same without her.

I know it will probably be like this forever. I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. It may not always be as extreme, I pray it won’t, but it will always exist. Like an alcoholic, there will always be the danger of relapse. It’s the human condition.

It reminds me of a poem I wrote so long ago, when it was just beginning. A beautiful dandelion, so much potential, and your head’s getting popped. It cuts to the bone.

And all I can write are cryptic ramblings to a unexpecting public. Sorry folks, it’s not all quips and quotes.

Poker: It’s Not Just for Old Men Anymore

The newest fad among teens? Sitting around a table in a darkened room shuffling cards and cracking jokes. You’d think they were a bunch of old men. Thanks to the popularity of online poker and cable TV shows like “Celebrity Poker Showdown” and “World Series of Poker,” Texas Hold ‘Em is the latest must-do activity for teens.

And it’s not just for fun. Money definitely exchanges hands, though it may only be in small denominations. State officials say private, social betting is legal — even for minors. But parents should be wary, watching for high-stakes games or a developing gambling addiction.

“Let them play cards, but be mindful of the betting. If you see them betting their allowances, say, ‘Why don’t you play for toothpicks or monopoly money?'” says Frank Ball, the director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division.


Jesus Raps

Seems like everyone is noticing those rapsters talking about Jesus. At least Kanye West anyway. This time around it’s The Washington Post, focusing mainly on the Stellar Awards committee nominating Kanye West for best rap/hip-hop album and then taking it back.

Apparently you can rap about Jesus and despite what West says, the radio will play it. It seems Christians, however, might not.

I’m in a Place Called Vertigo

U2's Vertigo singleThe new U2 single “Vertigo” is available today. Officially it’s available on radio, but that seems rather quaint. Several U2 fan sites are either providing or linking to downloads of the song (I’ll let them do the heavy linking)* or you can buy it from iTunes.

The commercial single will be available November 9 along with remixes and the b-sides “Are You Gonna Wait Forever” and a Kraftwerk cover, “Neon Lights.” The full album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb will be available November 23.

Continue reading I’m in a Place Called Vertigo

Teenager in the Cinema

Ready to be frightened by the tremendous power movies have on the lives of teens?

58% of teens go to the movies in a given week.
92% of teens list going to the movies as an “in” activity (ranked higher than any other)

A study of teens and their summer movie preferences found Spider-Man 2 as the clear winner, with 41 percent of teens seeing the movie and 67 percent of those saying they “loved it.”

Intriguingly, the R-rated Fahrenheit 9/11 was seen by 11 percent of teens, but a full 95 percent of those who saw it either liked it or loved it. You could draw a lot of conclusions from that (only anti-Bush, pro-Michael Moore teens would even go see the movie), but one conclusion might be that teens can be effectively reached by a movie. That’s probably pushing it based on this study, since they only liked the movie, they weren’t asked about their support of Bush or Kerry.

At any rate, it’s clear that movies have a firm grip on the consciousness of teens. (numbers from Teen Research Unlimited)