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"And Then I Thought, Hey! Loom."


Hello hello everyone! How have you been this past week my friends? Excited about the passage of time perhaps? Excited that each minute brings us closer to the Pensive tour? More excited that each minute brings us closer to the LOST series finale? Yeah, me too. I did get some unfortunate news today: there's a chance we might have a show that night. I will be rather upset if that were to happen. You know me, I'm obsessive about LOST. I mean I guess I can watch it when we get home that night since the potential show might be in the Orange County area. It won't be the same but I certainly won't be waiting till Monday, that's for sure! Its bad enough I'm gonna have to watch the next few episodes on my laptop while on tour but missing the finale?! That's just too much. Anyway! I guess the main point of this other than the fact that I'm crazy is that the tour is actually shaping up nicely and we're finding shows where we weren't expecting which is good news for everyone! More chances for us to make the monies which makes it more likely that we'll be able to do this again in the future and it means more chances for all of you to catch the show. Like I said, good for everyone!

Speaking of LOST, this week's show was simply fantastic! I'm very impressed with what they're doing with the alternate world portion of the show. We know that they're connected but I'm not sure how they might resolve it all. Will they intersect or will they merge or will the exist forever as separate timelines? Its very possible that what Daniel mentioned in the episode two weeks go is correct but there's at least one problem with it. Dr. Chang. I didn't want to admit it at first but yes, he does throw a wrench into the machine. I guess we will have to wait sadly. I want my answers! Though, I guess I would rather have more and more questions. Its a little scary that things might get wrapped up nicely which is how things are looking. Though, I do like the overall theme that is presenting itself. My obsession with LOST is so deep that I've had two lengthy, detail filled dreams about the LOST finale the past week. As cool as it would be if I somehow predicted the end of LOST, I'm guessing that I haven't. Yet. Especially not the dreams from last night that featured Superman saving the day at the end of it . . .

What else shall we talk about this blog? Its about time to start packing for tour. Its a very lengthy process for me as I decide what to take. No no, I'm not talking about clothes. Packing clothes for tour takes like 20 minutes if that. What I'm talking about is the other things I take. Obviously, laptop and iPod are a given but which video games shall I fill my time with? That's not that big of a deal since I have a harddrive full of PSP games, PS1 games, and SNES games. No no, the biggest concern is which books to bring. Books take up a lot of space and I read A LOT on tour. I've actually got an e-book reader but, unlike digital formats such as cds and dvds, there isn't exactly a way to "import" books into it and I'm very much the kind of person that likes to have the actual book/comics/cd/dvd/blu-ray/video game sitting on my shelf. As soon as someone figures out the best way to that (and oh I have some ideas) I will be so down. I mean hell, even that overpriced, damn near useless thing known as an iPad would be a worthy investment if it meant I could read my monthly comics while on tour while still getting my hard-copies when I get home without having to pay twice. So what does that brings us to? Thankfully, I actually bought several Stephen King books for my Sony e-reader a while ago that I still haven't read so thats good. I'm about half way through Subterranean by James Rollins so naturally I'll be bringing that and I'll probably bring another of his books, Deep Fathom, since I'm always down for some good entertainment (even if its follows the Crichton formula [but thats cool, I could read that formula forever! Hell, I'm sure that whenever I get around to writing my first novel, it'll follow that same formula]). I also thought it would be fun to mix things up a little so I got an astronomy book in an attempt to further the incredibly small amount of knowledge I have in the field. Its called "Parallel Worlds" by Michio Kaku. Seems like it might have that right balance between depth and accessibility that is hard to come by. I'll let ya know how it goes.

And now its time for 75-51 of my Top 100 Albums of the Decade List. I guess its a little presumptuous of me to continue this since I don't think anyone actually cares but oh well. I shall carry on anyway.

75. New Found Glory - New Found Glory
74. Senses Fail - Let it Enfold You
73. The Academy Is - Almost here
72. Spitalfield - Remember Right Now
71. Deathcab for Cutie - Plans
70. 30 Seconds to Mars - A Beautiful Lie
69. Lostprophets - Start Something
68. Coheed & Cambria - The Second Stage Turbine Blade
67. The Suicide Machines - The Suicide Machines
66. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake
65. Spill Canvas - One Fell Swoop
64. Jimmy Eat World - Futures
63. Pelican - City of Echoes
62. Saves The Day - Sound the Alarm
61. Recover - Ceci n'est pas Recover
60. Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic
59. Thrice - The Artist in the Ambulance
58. Vendetta Red - Sisters of the Red Death
57. Thursday - War All the Time
56. Thrice - Fire EP
55. Brazil - A Hostage and the Meaning of Life
54. Dashboard Confessional - Alter the Ending
53. Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
52. AFI - The Art of Drowning
51. Glassjaw - Worship and Tribute

Ok, that about does it for this week. I just accidentally hit "cancel" instead "preview & post" but thankfully, I had copied it all not too long ago so I was able to just paste it all back in, re-write this last paragraph again and call it day!

Baby Kangaroo Tribbiani

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None More Black

Howdy folks!

How is everyone doing this fine example of a weekend afternoon? Lovely, I hope. Its been a busy week for us as we attempt to prepare to embark upon our grand adventure next week. Today is the food shopping day. Gotta stock up on stuff to take on tour so we don't starve in between begging kind strangers at shows to bring us home and feed us. Oh, and speaking of the tour, no, we have not yet posted all the dates. Why? Cause we haven't gotten around to it and/or we're still waiting on a few details from the venue end of the arrangement. Bottom line: wait it out my friends for all shall be revealed real, real soon. As for me, I've had my hands positively overflowing with lyrics as of lately. We had set ourselves a fun little goal to finish another four songs by the time we leave. I don't think thats gonna happen seeing as only one song is ready for lyrics at the moment. Or at least, just one song is sitting in my iTunes library with scratch vocals on it that I can write lyrics to. Either way, you don't need to worry about it since if by some odd coincidence we end up playing something new on this tour, it'll be one of the four we debuted at the Epicentre a few weeks ago. Speaking of tour and such, it seems as though mainly San Diego people comment on this blog which makes me wonder: does anyone not in San Diego read it?

The song I've been working on is very much typical ol' Patrick as far as topics go. Vague poetic lyrics about the end of the world? Subtle message about taking value in life and not wasting it? Check. Yep, sounds like Patrick lyrics alright! Maybe one of these days I'll throw ya'll a curve ball and write about a broken heart. Oh wait, I did. Whisky & Memories. Only reason I went that route is cause it seemed to fit the vibe I wanted to song to portray. Country. What are country songs about? Broken hearts. Stereotypically of course. I've got some good topics saved up, just waiting for the right song. I have even better titles, though, we do have a tendency to name songs non-randomly so unless I can find a way to work my amazing titles in the overall tapestry of a song or two, they may have to go by unused. Time shall tell.

In non-band news, I have finished the storyline portion of Final Fantasy XIII! High five, high five!! So what did I think of it in the end? I have mixed views on it but overall, I see it as a step in a good direction for the series. The storyline was one of the most well constructed of all Final Fantasy stories but it suffered a bit in presentation. I imagine the developers faced a dilemma of how to convey information. You see, in order to fully understand the story, there's a lot of background information about they world these characters live in that you would need to know. However, since the entire story is told through dialog basically, it wouldn't make sense for these people that have lived in this world their whole lives to have conversations about its basic foundations. Hence, the use of the "datalog" where players can find out all that they need to know. While I always enjoy being able to find out more, the fact that the datalog is damn near necessary to understand what's going (at least at first), that just points to poor story telling. Presentation aside, I'm impressed with the storyline. Everything makes sense and everything comes together very nicely. The characters are well developed and each is captivating in their own way. The game does suffer a bit from its lack of a central antagonist for the vast majority of the story though. While there is one revealed eventually, he's certainly no Kefka or Sephiroth. No one will be talking about him for years to come. As for the actual gameplay . . . well, I think we might save that for next time seeing as this is already a long paragraph!

As promised, I shall now present you with 100-76 of my top albums of the past decade. I'm still not 100% happy with my ordering of this list though I'm sad to say. However, a promise is a promise. Just don't hate if by the time May 1st rolls around if I've changed things up a tiny bit. Please?

100. Thursday - Five Stories
99. MXPX - The Ever Passing Moment
98. The Juliana Theory - Love
97. A Fine Frenzy - One Cell in the Sea
96. Alkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch Fire
95. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
94. Movielife - Has a Gambling Problem
93. Midtown - Living Well is the Best Revenge
92. Silverstein - Discovering the Waterfront
91. Protest the Hero - Kezia
90. Recover - Rodeo & Picasso
89. Avril Lavigne - Under the Skin
88. Brazil - The Philosophy of Velocity
87. Fugazi - The Argument
86. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
85. Bigwig - Stay Asleep
84. Muse - The Resistance
83. Armor for Sleep - Smile for Them
82. Brand New - Favorite Weapon
81. Taking Back Sunday -Where You Want to Be
80. Mae - Destination: Beautiful
79. Straylight Run - Straylight Run
78. Lovedrug - Pretend You’re Alive
77. Opeth - Blackwater Park
76. Dashboard Confessional - A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

Well there ya go. Is it perfect? Not even close. I'm gonna fret over it forever basically but for now, that's the best I can give ya. For now. Tune back in next week when I reveal numbers 75 - 51! Things are gonna get mighty interesting, just you wait and see!!

Nigel Tufnel

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Shaken, not Stirred

Hello world!!

I must apologize yet again for being late on the blog action. Yet again. Or at least partially apologize since, considering we had a show in Vegas on Saturday and then a long drive home, its rather understandable that I didn't blog it up that day. Though, I do believe it is Tuesday and that's a bit too late. Even by my standards. I'm sad to say though that ya'll might have to get used to the blogs being a bit late coming up real soon here. As you should probably be very well aware of at this point (considering how often I've mentioned it), we shall be embarking on another cross-country tour very, very soon. Two weeks away actually I believe. We're lifting the veil of silence on it and starting to post the dates so keep an eye on the page for more details. And if we don't happen to be in your neck of the woods, just keep cool and wait since there's a good chance we'll be posting a date in your area soon! Or not. It depends on where you are. If you're Norway, we probably be posting a date near you sadly. I would love to go to Norway. They have fjords which are the coolest thing ever in existence not for just what they are but for having the most badass word ever spoken as their name. Fjord. Maybe someday I'll see the fjords. My cousin was actually living in Norway for a time and I was mighty jealous. Now she's in India. I used to think I was so cool for having been to almost all the states and then she goes and sees the world . . . Shucks. I have a lot of catching up to do in the family race to see the world. Hmm. Sorry for getting way off topic but what can ya expect?

So, what would you like to hear about this week my friends? I'll just sit and here and wait for a response . . . Ok, I'm still waiting here folks. What's the hold up? Nothing? Well I guess I'll just ramble then. You asked for it by your silence. Ya know what bugs me? The fact that every single month, the cover story on Wizard is Marvel related. Its ridiculous. Even given the fact that for quite a bit of the past few months, the best selling books have been Blackest Night, Green Lantern, and Batman & Robin and yet nothing DC on the cover. I smell a conspiracy. Maybe when Disney bought Marvel, they bought Wizard as well! (Oh and no, I don't count the Dark Knight cover for the dvd issue. I'm talking about the comics, not the movies.) Oh well. What can ya do? Speaking of Blackest Night, it has ended, giving way to (wait for it) Brightest Day. Oh but of course. Its practically a given considering the Green Lantern oath. Anyway though, I was actually quite fond of the storyline. The final issue wasn't as epic as I was hoping for but I'm sure a lot of old school comic fans really dug it. The over arching story though was magnificent, drawing on plot threads from many different stories and tying everything together in a such a way as to blow your mind. In that sense, I really must take my hat off to Geoff Johns for pulling it off so well. And since this has become the designated comics paragraph, I should also mention that I finished All Star Superman. While I can't say its made me a Superman fan, I can say that it was an absolutely master piece. A remarkable, self contained story. That Grant Morrison is a genius storyteller.

I'm sure this quite old news by now, but did you feel that earthquake on Sunday?! I felt quite a few earthquakes in my days upon this Earth, but never have I felt one as strong or one that lasted anywhere near as long as that one was. It started out like any other earthquake and none of us thought anything of it until it kept getting stronger and stronger. Despite the title of this blog, it wasn't so much a shaking as it was a rocking or sliding type motion. Its actually rather hard to describe and very peculiar. A 7.2 is pretty sizable quake ya know. What was extra surprising was how strong and frequent the aftershocks were. They've all but subsided now as far as I know since I haven't felt anything since yesterday but its still a bit scary. Hopefully we've experienced the last for a while now . . .

Seeing as this is a blog from a band, I might as well talk a bit about music, yeah? Other people's music that is at least. My top 100 albums of the past decade is just about done and should be ready for mass consumption next week I believe. I'm thinking I'll post it 25 at a time, culminating with the top 25 on May 1st. How's that sound to you? In other music related news, Lovedrug has a new EP coming out soon. Though, if you pre-order it like I did, you'll get an early access download of it. I've been listening to it all weekend and I've gotta say, I all sorts of love it! Its very reminiscent of "Pretend You're Alive," which was their first cd. It has this special feel to it, as if it was written just for us Lovedrug fans, which I'm sure isn't hurt by the special early access and the fact they're putting it out all on their own. Its a shame to see a great band such as them suffer from label woes so help them out yo!!!!

That about wraps things up for the week. See ya in a few days! Don't forget to watch LOST tonight!!

Bond, James Bond

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"Look! Up in the Sky!!"

Hey there everyone!

How's my favorite batch of Pensive fans doing this lovely Sunday afternoon? I'm doing wonderfully, thank you for asking! Ya know which breakfast cereal I hadn't had in years till just a few minutes ago? That's right, Fruity Pebbles. Wow, good guess you guys!! You see, when I was a wee youngster back in the 90's I had quite an affinity for cereals of all sorts. They were my go to meal/snack at any time of day. As I grew older, my tastes were ever evolving and changing and I had a rotating cast of "favorites." Perhaps for a while it may have been Cinnamon Toast Crunch or perhaps the legendary Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and even occasionally, Lucky Charms (though unlike most children, the marshmallows were my least favorite part oddly enough). However, the cereal that held the title of "Patrick's Favorite Cereal" the longest would probably have to be Fruity Pebbles. I don't know what it is about it that held me enraptured for so long but hold me it did. It was like seeing an old friend you haven't seen in years a few minutes ago when Pebbles and I had our reunion. Waves of nostalgia washed over me and I transported back to my childhood and it was all sorts of fun. I think it might be time to revisit the Cap'n as well sometime soon. See how that fares the test of time. Chances are though that I'll still be sticking with my combination of "Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds" mixed with "Quaker Natural Granola Oats and Honey." Its quite good. I suggest you try it sometime, you just might be surprised. (as a quick tangent here while we're on the topic of mixing things together, here's a couple other great combos: chocolate and peanut butter of course, chocolate and orange [either in the form of orange slices dipped in melted chocolate or the far more peculiar bite sized Hersey's chased with a shot of Orange soda], and finally, a favorite of mine on those very rare occasions when I get a soda while out at a fast food type place that allows you to fill your own drink, Dr. Pepper with a splash of Orange Soda). Wanna know who else is obsessed with cereal? Geoff Johns.

Well that was certainly a fun little diversion know wasn't it? Maybe we should attempt to get back on track a little bit now, yes? So, who was at the show at the Epicentre? You? You? We're sorry that it had to be a Thursday night since we know that made it difficult for some of you to make it but for those of that were able to make it over to Epicentre, we sure hope you liked what you heard! For the first time playing those songs, I think it went pretty well, don't you? Questions, comments? We would love to know what you thought of them. Hopefully it looked like we pulled everything off smoothly because there was a fair amount of technical difficulties on our end. I suppose it might be a bit improper to divulge such trade secrets but I think we're all friends here, right? Well, the biggest thing is that for the song "Persephone," there are quite a few things on that song that really help make it what it is that can't be played with 2 guitars, a bass, a drum set, and vocals. Since we don't have ourselves a keyboardist nor did we want to hire one for just one song, we set about creating what is known as a backing track. This was much harder than it seemed. Till we figured out the twist and then it was pretty freakin' easy. So for those of you there, if the backing track wasn't perfect, I apologize. Presumably by the time we play it next, we'll have it perfected. We'll get the right level for it and everything even! And I have to apologize again since I didn't play the solo in Persephone perfectly either. Its quite a bit faster than I'm used to playing so I figured I'd better make sure that I warmed up my picking hand before we went on stage. Naturally, I attempted to play along to Creeping Death and Master of Puppets and let me tell you, that picking hand was plenty warmed up after that! And then lo and behold, I was too prepared!! Yeah, exactly, I started off playing the solo too fast!!! Thankfully I recovered quickly but me being me, it was rather infuriating. Oh well. Again, next time, it will be perfect!! I promise you that.

Now, now. I hope you don't get the impression from that previous paragraph that we thought the show wasn't a success because that is clearly not true! It was so amazing to finally get back on stage again after such a long time away and it was great seeing all of our wonderful San Diego fans again. And it was tons of fun finally getting to play those songs live and let you all hear what we've been working on for so long. Now you have a very slight idea of the direction we might be heading in. Though, I must warn you that those 4 songs aren't exactly indicative of the whole of our song writing work of the past year or so. In fact, I'd say those are probably the most "Pensive" like out of the bunch and you can expect the rest to push towards the future instead of the past. What does that mean? Eh, who knows really. It means something good though. And before you ask, the answer is no, we don't have any plans to release these or any other songs just yet. You'll have to be mega patient with us on this one guys.

Anything else we need to cover? Hmm. I may not exactly be a Superman fan, but let me tell you, All Star Superman by Grant Morrison is an absolutely fantastic read. I'm loving every single masterful panel of it. I'm gonna need to start saving up my lunch money since there's a good chance I'm gonna be mighty tempted to shell out the $100 for the Absolute Edition when it goes on sale in the Fall. Though, I'm still currently saving my lunch money in hopes of finally purchasing that Billy Corgan Strat in June. But we'll see about that. For those of you that paid extra special attention to my blogs from a few weeks ago, you may recall that I got FFXIII at the midnight launch even though I had the Collector's Edition on its way from the UK. Well it finally got here and its lovely. However, since I already have the game, I now have two copies of the game since the Collector's Edition has the game in a regular case (as can clearly be seen here). I don't need two copies of the game. Therefore, I'm gonna be putting the UK version up on eBay. However, if any of you out there want it, you can have first dibs. And don't worry, I tested it and it works perfectly fine on an American PS3.

That about wraps things up for the week. See ya'll next week!!


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Hello hello!! How are you all doing this fine, fine Saturday? Yet again, the skies have failed me and there has been no rain, barely any clouds, and all sorts of heat. Now now, I'm very sure that you would rather not sit through yet another of my diatribes about the heat so I guess I'll spare you. And instead mention of gosh darn dry its been! I feel like my eyes are gonna turn to dust in my head. And my rat babies sure don't like it either. I think they pick up on my traits and as well don't like the heat. They get all sorts of lethargic. What's kind of scary is that Spring has barely sprung and it already feels like we're heading into summer. Not that that's bad on its own exactly more so that it frightens me when I picture what the real summer is going to be like. Alas. We'll fight through it together. Who knows, maybe we'll be on tour and after driving through Texas and Arizona, San Diego will feel like paradise . . . Did I ever tell you about how the last time we played a show in Dallas, when we drove to Sonic for our after-show meal, a bank on the side of the freeway proclaimed to temperature to be 97 degrees at midnight? Ok, ok, it could have been 96, I can't remember for sure but either way, that's hotter than it should be at noon let alone midnight!!

I'm sure I've hammered this into your head plenty by this point, but this is almost my last chance to do so: we've got a show this Thursday at the Epicentre and it would just make our collective night if you were there! Yeah, I'm talking to you. Come on, are you really gonna make me try to sell you on it again? Alright fine, here we go again . . . Its our 10th anniversary show. We're gonna debut 4 brand new songs for the first time. There are a bunch of other great bands including the new band of the former guitarist from Gatsby's American Dream. Sold yet? Good. If you want tickets (pre sales are $7 but its $10 at the door) just message us and we'll get it all worked out. I super, super promise.

In other Pensive related news, our April/May tour is really starting to come together nicely and hopefully we can make an official announcement and post dates for it very, very soon so make sure to stay tuned. After that, we might have a few surprise up our sleeves for the rest of the year but I can neither confirm nor deny any such rumors at this point. Oh, and while we're talking about such things (kind of not really whatever) we were totally on radio the other day. Grossmont College radio but the radio none the less. We had ourselves a good time. Talked about stuff. Played a rousing rendition of Without You Here. Gave away some tickets for the Epicentre show. Its a fun afternoon activity. Hopefully maybe a few of you knew about it. If not, well, clearly, I'm not doing a very good job of getting all the pertinent information out there into the world.

On an entirely different topic, I must say that Patrick Stump has become a much better version of himself: thinner, with more hair, and no Pete Wentz. :puts on flame suit:

As you may have noticed if you're an astute follower of this blog, I have been titling my blogs lately with seemingly none-sense words. However, this is surely not the case. They are sounds from Final Fantasies past. "Wark" is the sound that Chocobos used to make which has been changed lately to "kweh." However, the ever present Moogles' sound has been the classic and consistent "kupo!!" for quite some time now. I must say its a little sad that I have yet to see any reference to Moogles in FFXIII and I'm led to believe they make no appearance at all. That's a little sad to be sure but the rest of the game makes up for that in my eyes. There's a lot of fan outrage out there in the internet world over this latest game and how it has supposedly ruined the Final Fantasy legacy and I'm sorry but thats just not true. Unlike its closest Japanese competitor, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy has always been known for its willingness to adapt and change and push itself as a series forward. So, considering all the changes that were made, its almost more keeping in the roots and traditions of the series than if it were to be a carbon copy of its most popular entries. Granted, the Cyrstarium is incredibly reminiscent of the Sphere Grid from FFX and the beginning of the game with the train and scorpion-esque machine first boss is a total homage to FFVII (as well as the description of lead character Lightning as an ex-soldier) but the core game itself is a big step forward. It might be a bit awkward now, but I believe that down the line, this perhaps over stepping of progress will be beneficial in crafting an ever more perfect experience. You just wait and see. If you wish to debate the merits of this, or any video game (Final Fantasy or otherwise) feel free. That's what I'm here for : )

Yet again, my thoughts were unfocused. I rambled. I got off topic. I don't remember anything that I talked about. Yeah, sounds like a weekly blog to me! I hope you enjoyed it at the very least. Tune in next where I'll likely discuss how awesome the show that we were all at was, further discussion of FFXIII and/or any other geek related topic to springs to mind, and where I will hopefully come up with another Final Fantasy sound to slap on it as a title. See ya then!


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Oh why hello there!

So how's everyone out there doing this fine Saturday afternoon? Even though the weekend has barely begun, it does appear as though my prediction of rain will not be coming true. Alas. Not that I actually like the rain when I have places to go and things to do, it is nice from time to time. Much preferable to sunshine from my stand point at the very least. I'm not a fan of heat to say the least. Nor do I like it when its ice cold. Yeah, that's right. I like my weather in the middle. Mild. A bit of cloud cover. Hoodie weather essentially. Granted, there's still a day and half left of "weekend," but I'm fairly certain that the sky isn't going to suddenly grow dark and start raining. Ya know what's funny? That there's so many actors that were in Terminator that were then in Aliens. James Cameron must like to work with the same actors. The music in Terminator is terrible. Ya know what would be awesome? If James Cameron made another R rated action/sci-fi movie. In 3D. I'd see that. Though of course I thought Avatar was way awesome so when the inevitable sequel appears, I'm sure I'll see that as well. I really hope this Ridley Scott Alien prequel will be at least of some worth. Yes, we all know that he's a wonderful director but I'm curious to see where they might possibly go with it. Worried isn't quite the right word, more concerned I suppose. Aliens is quite easily one of my favorite movies ever and any continuation of the franchise is at least worth a look. I don't exactly count AvP though, despite actually enjoying the first one. Though, if they were to ever make a sequel to Freddy vs Jason, I would so be down to see that!

For whatever reason, my thoughts seem to be rather disjointed this week, don't they? Eh, I hope you can put up with it, cause I can't seem to help myself at the moment. We've continued working on new songs again. Moved onto the next ones in line. We're currently in the middle of getting all the rhythm guitars recorded and then leads and lyric writing. The plan is to get as many finished before we leave on tour as possible. Who knows how many that will end up being but hopefully at least 2-3 more done done done. Sadly though, my brain never stops working and I keep coming up with new ideas that who knows if we'll even get to. Its the unfortunate thing about our process sometimes. But hey, its cool. Song ideas last forever! I have rough drafts of songs from 2-3 years ago still waiting to be worked on. Oh well. I'm sure you've all been told enough times that we have a show on Thursday the 25th and that we'll be debuting four of our new songs that night so make sure you don't miss it. Now you've been told again. Remember it. For more insight into the songs, see last week's blog.

For those of you keeping score at home, my patience and self-control ran out pretty quickly on Monday night and I did indeed end up going home with my own copy of Final Fantasy XIII. It was money well spent I must say. Granted, I tend to love every Final Fantasy when its a new experience and sometimes change my mind down the line (I now like FFVIII more than I used to and like FFX a lot less than I used to), for the time being, I'm absolutely loving it! Granted, it is a much evolved and changed form of the series we once knew and loved but for the most part, all those changes are for the better. Yes, the RPG purist in me misses wandering through towns, talking to people, and buying weapons at shops but I mean really, is it a vital part of what makes the past games great? Not really. So can we do without it? Yes we can. If somehow you've been on the fence about this game, just go ahead and jump off and go for it. You can thank me in a comment on this blog ; ) I suppose I could go on and on but I'll leave ya with that for now. I'm sure you don't read this for my detailed insight on video games. Or maybe you do. Who knows.

I'd say that just about wraps things up for the week. Three paragraphs seems to be about my average as of late. Hope to see you at the show on the 25th and don't forget to get your tickets early!


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Hello world!

How is everyone out there doing today? It rained here yesterday oddly enough. It never rains here. We've now gotten two weekends in a row with rain and its starting to intrigue me. While of course, two does not a pattern make, if it were to rain this coming weekend as well, I think that could indeed be called a pattern. And a strange one at that. I guess we'll know in a week if this odd coincidence has the strength left in it to extend itself into a peculiar pattern . . . Back when I used to live in the Bay Area, there was one January were it rained straight on through the month without a break. I wanna say it was either '96 or '97 but I cannot recall. It never rains like that in San Diego though. If it did, there's a very good chance that many people living in the region would think it a sign that the end of days was upon us. Who knows what sorts of mass hysteria that could breed amongst these people unaccustomed to precipitation. I'm sure we'd get at least someone pulling a Rorschach and walking around with a sign proclaiming "The End is Nigh." Let's hope it never comes to that. Though, I must admit that I would rather enjoy seeing my rain coincidence turn into a pattern so everyone, think rainy thoughts this coming weekend!

Do you recall how many a times I've mentioned that we've been recording demos of some new songs? Well, four of them are done! Though, honestly, I don't think you can really call them "demos" considering how much work and perfectionism went into recording them. Demos are usually rough. These are pretty damn far from "rough." I don't know if I have the authority to do this but whatevs, I'm going to anyway: Do you wanna know the titles? Yes? No? It doesn't matter cause I'm going to tell you anyway. The "pop song" is officially titled "All I Need is You." The "country song" is officially titled "Whisky for Memories." The "dark song" as was sometimes referred to is officially named "Persephone." And the last song that never really had a working title still doesn't have an official title. So I guess we'll just have to wait on that one. As I'm sure you know, we're going to be playing these songs live for the first time ever at our show on March 25th but there is a way for you to hear them earlier. This was supposed to be for the Street Team but I'm widening it to every single person reading this. If you can get four of your friends to buy tickets from you (for a total of 5 including yourself of course) then you've won yourself an early listen. Its that simple. Now, obviously, for some this will be harder than for others. But hey, we used to run contests for most tickets sold and plenty of you sold way more than five so I've got all sorts of faith in you. Unfortunately, the deadline is this Friday. I know it doesn't seem like much time but I think we announced this a few weeks ago . . . Oh, and if you buy just one ticket, don't worry, we've also got something special in store for all of you as well. Same deadline, this Friday. I can't reveal exactly what it is since its a surprise for everyone! But trust me, you're gonna want to be in on this. So just message us and arrange a time to get your tickets before Friday!!

I promise there won't be any more salesmanship action going on in this blog. I promise. Except for this: you should totally do all the stuff I talked about in that last paragraph. Ok, I'm done. Ya know what's really sad? A few years ago, Kraft, the makers of the best Mac & Cheese in the world (which, if you don't know, is one of my go-to meals for pure awesomeness) started making "Organic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese" and oh dear lord was that an amazing piece of perfection! Sadly, the Kraft Corporation must have deemed their experiment a failure because about six months ago, Vons had that deliciously perfect item on sale for next to nothing. I theorized that it must be because they needed to get rid of them all. Sadly I was right. At least I bought the rest they had! I have a stockpile of three currently. I'm saving them in case the Queen of England stops by for a meal or if I win a Noble Prize. Translation: They'll probably never be eaten. Ever since then, I've had a rather sizable void in my heart and I have decided to attempt to fill it. There is a competing brand of macaroni and cheese known as "Annie's." For years people told me to switch and I never did. Why? Because Kraft is far superior. (Oh and for what its worth, I refuse to eat the plain M&C from Kraft. Its gotta be either Spirals or shapes, like Pokemon!) The void left in the wake of the disappearance of my magic "Organic White Cheddar" though has sent me into the arms of its competitor. Its almost like shopping at Borders! Its a rough time indeed. Now you see, they have three different products in the white cheddar family. Regular white cheddar (not quite right), whole wheat noodles with white cheddar (better but not quite perfect), and organic white cheddar (which is waiting downstairs for me to make it as soon as I finish this blog). I'm hoping either the final option is magnificent or that I can grow to love it for it would be nice to not have to gaping hole in my soul any longer. Which reminds me. Aerosmith has a song called "Hole in my Soul." Its a damn good song. It was on 1997's "Nine Lives" cd which just so happens to be the first real cd I ever bought. Thats a good bit of trivia for you. Remember that for it will be on the test later. (And I'm not the only musician with an intense fondness for Macaroni & Cheese. You may have never heard of him but he was a musician in a band in the late 80's and early 90's. The band was called Nirvana. Heard of them? Well, either way, their singer, Kurt Cobain, loved Macaroni & Cheese.)

I think we should wrap things up for the week now. That was a good note to end on, wouldn't you say? I know a lot of random Kurt Cobain trivia. Oh, and I'm sure you're all very well aware, but Final Fantasy XIII comes out tomorrow. Mine is coming from the UK since I want the Collector's Edition but I've been scheduled to work the midnight launch at Gamestop. Its gonna be really, really hard not to break down and get one. I am a master of patience but everyone has a breaking point . . . Wish me luck!!


P.S. Did you know that Kurt & Courtney used to check into hotels as Sid & Nancy?

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"Gum Would be Perfection"

Hello world!

How are all doing on this wonderful day? Today is the first day of March (yes yes, I know that blog is supposed to be for the end of last week which was technically February but let's not pretend like we don't all know what day it is today). It feels good to start a new month doesn't it? I think this will be a glorious example of what a March can be. Especially since not only will it be a big month in the Pensive world, its also a big month since the non-Japanese speaking world will be finally getting a chance to play Final Fantasy XIII and as you should all know, this is big news for me. But we'll get to that later. I'm sure I'll have plenty to rant and rave about. Though, I do promise that I will try to keep it all to the bare minimum once the time of the blog arrives. First up, let's address some Pensive related news. As I'm sure you're aware of, we've been doing some pretty heavy duty song writing action. We kind of ended up going a bit off the deep end as far as recording and over-dubbing goes so its taken a bit longer than we anticipated. Good news though: we're pretty much done! By the time this week reaches its end, the songs will be done, mixed, mastered, and amazing. Want to hear them? You have two chances. You can (and totally should) come to the show at the Epicentre on March 25th where for the first time ever, we'll be playing these four songs live. Want to hear them before then? Well you can. Want more info? Join our Street Team and ask ; ) For those of you not living in the greater San Diego area, you might have to wait a bit longer. We will be touring in April and May but currently aren't planning on playing the new songs. So if you wanna hear them, you better make sure to get to the show early and try to bribe us into playing a few. We accept bribes in the forms of meals, brownies, cookies, money, comics, video games, etc. Or I guess that's my bribe list. It might be different for everyone else but I mean really, you convince me and I'll convince the rest of them. Don't worry!

Let's see, what else might be going on in the world. Well, I have expanded my circle of TV shows that I watch. Now in addition to LOST, Friends, and Stargate Atlantis, I have added The Big Bang Theory! (and yes, as you can gather, I don't deem many shows worthy of being watched and half of "my" shows are over. also, I took Heroes off my list cause let's face it, that show blows now) Its quite the hilarious show actually. Right up my alley. A show about physicists that like video games, comics, and Thai food. Perfect!! Heck, I even know like 20% of that physics stuff that they talk about and that makes me feel special : ) Ya know, I used to be way into physics and astronomy and such. I might not remember much but I still have a relative working knowledge base. Its fun. Speaking of LOST, it has been amazing this season! I was worried they might not be able to handle it all but they've done great so far and I know it'll only get better. I'm desperately anxious to see how the two timelines intersect or whether they do. If you haven't been watching this season, you've really, really been missing out! I'm especially curious to see how exactly Jack ended up with a son and who his mother is. If my calculations are correct, the side-wise timeline is taking place in 2004. Jack's son appears to be at least somewhere between 11-13 maybe. Meaning that he couldn't be the offspring of Jack and his (in the other timeline) ex-wife since they met and got married and divorced a few years before the crash; certainly not long enough ago to have had a near teenage son. I wonder . . .

Has the time arrived to discuss Final Fantasy finally? Yeah, it has. I'll try to get it as lean as possible. Let's be blunt here. I'm excited. I've been an officially obsessed fanboy since I got FFVII for my 13th birthday back in '97. Twelve and a half years ago to the day almost. Considering that I'm 25 (.5), that's damn near half my life. That's a long time to be obsessed with something. Granted, I'm also going into this installment with my usual amount of trepidation as I have each one since I know they could fail me anytime, but so far, so good. I mean yes, for me, FFX wasn't really that great and didn't connect with me very well, but the rest were damn near perfect. That's partially the problem really. With previous installments being so near perfection, and holding such a dear place in my heart, that's one hell of a legacy to have to live up to. The game finally comes out next week though so we'll know very soon. Well, maybe not that soon since I'm importing the Limited Collector's Edition from the U.K. so I might not get it when the rest of America does. Don't worry though, I'll keep you well updated as I make my way through my most anticipated game since the last one came out. To prepare, I'm indulging in a brief trip through Final Fantasies past. Starting with FFXII. I'll play it for a few days and move on so I'll be way ready whenever my copy of XIII arrives. Oh and while we're on the subject of video games, if you own a PS3, get Heavy Rain. Or at least download the demo first. It was such a unique experience. There's nothing else quite like it. It was so intense. You have no idea. Remember the movie Se7en? This feels a bit like that except more intense since you're experiencing it.

Ok, let's call it a day. See ya'll next week!


P.S. Expect my top 100 albums list soon. I'm working on it, I promise!!

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"If You Didn't Know You Were a Robot, Would You Want Me to Tell You?"

Hey there everyone!

How have you been this past week? Wonderful? Thats great to hear! So guess what, I have a surprise for you! Know what it is? Yeah, thats right, I didn't miss the blog this week! What a great surprise, huh? I hope you like the surprise. I got it specifically for you. So there, you better enjoy it! I guess we could count it as a Valentine's Day gift for you. In the past we've given away a free download of Red Letter Day but you all have that song by now, don't you? I bet you're anxious to maybe get your hands on some new Pensive songs right? Well, you're gonna have to keep waiting I'm sorry to say. Though, just like I promised, I did indeed write and record that solo for the country song (which does have a name but I won't reveal it yet! [though, I have actually mentioned it at one point in a very offhand way so you eagle-eyed readers have heard the title already]). Wait. What was I talking about? Oh yes. The solo. Sorry, its very easy for me to get distracted. So yeah, I had an idea of how I wanted it to go that I had worked out on my own but once it got time to actually put it in the track, it just didn't work at all. So, other than the first 4 or 5 notes, I had to completely re-write the rest. Thankfully, it turned out much better than my original. A little improv and a lot of luck and re-recording later, BAM! A solo was completed. It felt good. No, no, I haven't recorded the other necessary solo for these four songs that have been receiving the bulk of our song writing attention as of late but I shall do that very very soon. I promise. At least that should be a lot easier since I won't have to improvise it.

So, was anyone fascinated by my video game cover art ramble from last week? No? Well thats ok. I think for all of our sakes, I shall do my best to avoid situations akin to that in the future. Though, while on the topic of video games, why don't we dig a little deeper. Dante's Inferno finally came out this week. For those of you that have been playing along at home, you should know that I've been massively pumped for this game since playing the demo at Comic Con last year. Its been a rough 7 month wait but let me tell you, it was totally worth it! I've gotta say, I was right when I told you back then that it was gonna be awesome. Since this supposed to be a Pensive blog, I shall refrain from going on and on about the minute details and such but I must say that I throughly enjoyed every minute of it. I finished it last night and started it right back up again. Sure, the game is a bit reminiscent of a game about Greek mythology but so what? The controls are similar as is the structure of camera movements between areas but so what? What it really comes down is the fact that by the time you reach the end of the game, with all the upgrade options and relics that you can make use mean that you can play that game pretty much anyway you'd like. I've gone off the deep end here. I'm sorry. I promised to go easy on the details and rambles and I'm clearly not doing a good job. If I had one complaint, it would be that it left me wanting MORE . . .

In other video game news, it would appear pretty much final at this point that Square-Enix is not going to release a Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XIII in North America. This saddens me for multiple reasons. First off, just like with FFXII, the regular cover is not exactly the best (see last week's blog) and the Collector's Edition is. Secondly, well, I'm an obsessive collector and I want it. Lucky me though, Europe is getting the Collector's Edition which is helpful since Britain is in Europe and I can speak British. I can't speak Japanese otherwise I would have gotten the game from Japan in December. So I guess this black cloud has a silver lining, yes? In other news, it would appear as though another game I have been highly anticipating, Resonance of Fate, has finally gotten its release date. March 16th. A week after Final Fantasy. Maybe not the best timing, but its better than the actually day FFXIII comes out which was actually the rumor for a while (and still the truth oddly enough according to the GameStop computers but oh well).

Enough talking about video games. I'm sure you're ready to move on. For you long time readers, you might like to know that I have indeed begun work on my long rumored Top 100 Albums of the Decade list. I have it narrowed down to the 100, but now I've just gotta get them in the right order. It might take a while but there's a good chance that I could have it done by next week in which case I would present it to you in all its glory. I had to make some tough decisions with it already. I mean, first I even had to set my guidelines for what could be on the list. Should it be only full lengths or EPs as well. What about something like The Alchemy Index? How should that be classified? As a whole? As the 2 halves that it was released as? As 4 separate releases? I went with the last one and I shall be including EPs on the list. For the actually list of albums as it stands now, I had to make some real tough cuts but I think its all how it should be. Oh, and of course of course I had to decide how to rank them. Purely based on my opinion of them now? Do I incorporate the initial reaction to it upon its release as well? I think I'm gonna go with a bit of a hybrid. Mainly my opinion of it as it stands today but it certain cases it might be necessary to throw in the effect it first had upon release and the impact it had on my development as a musician and a human being. So, we'll see how it all shakes out soon I would believe.

Ya know what else I believe? I believe that brings us to the end of this blog. I hope you enjoyed our time together. Have a lovely day and I shall see you next week.

The Doppler Effect

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Juliet is da BOMB!!!

Greetings world!

Now now, I know what you're thinking. That I missed yet another week and I'm certainly not living up to my promise of a weekly blog. But ya know what, last year got off to a rocky start as well so I wouldn't lose hope just yet. In case you were curious, I finally caught the illness that's been floating around for the past couple weeks. Quite the nasty head cold if I do say so myself but its ok, I'm all better now. Hopefully. Anyway, I've found myself wondering over the week whether the very idea of a blog is egotistical. I mean, its not like there has been a mandate from the masses demanding me to write a blog each week. No. This is just me throwing a bunch of gibberish out into the world assuming that people read it and care about my silly opinions. Seems a little egotistical to me, don't you think? Perhaps the very essence of being a musician is a bit egotistical as well. Well, maybe not quite the same seeing as whether Pensive existed or not, I would still want to make music whether or not anyone else ever heard it. I guess the idea of pop music then. The concept of making music for others to hear. I dunno. Its an odd thing when you really get down and think about it. Maybe its better not to get overly analytical about such things. Have I lost you? Cause I think I've lost myself. Let's move on shall we?

Even though I said I wouldn't, I did end up watching the Super Bowl earlier today with a couple of past Pensive members (though none of the Indy folks so thankfully there was no Colts cheering section at the Pensive house today!) Was I excited that the Saints won? Yeah. I was. I'll admit it. I got wrapped up in the game and I screamed and cheered when the Saints got the interception and basically nailed the Colts' coffin shut. It was fun to have to ol' Pensive line up hanging out altogether. Not that there was ever really any bad blood between us (at least, not since many, many years ago) its just that its rare that we're all ever in the same the place at once. Speaking of Pensive ancient history, some of you may not be aware of this, but this April shall mark the 10 year anniversary of the founding of Pensive. Thats a damn long time if you ask me. We've been in this band and been giving it our all for ten years. How many things can you say that about? You may be wondering just when you might see us again, am I right? Well, its looking like it maybe be pretty soon. Relatively speaking at least. I can't reveal anything just yet but as the winter nears its end, Pensive will be coming out of hibernation. Stronger and meaner than ever! Sadly since there's been lost of illness floating around the Pensive house as of late, not much headway has been made in the recording department but don't worry. I'm thinking that by the end of tomorrow, I'll have knocked my two solos out of the freakin' park and then we'll just have to see how long any other things take. Not that much of this really affects you since it doesn't really change the fact that you won't be hearing them any day soon. Sorry!

I'm sure at least a few of you are expecting a long rant about how freakin' amazing the LOST season premiere was but you're not gonna get it. I'm gonna keep it short and sweet. LOST is the best show to ever air on TV. Deal with it. Yes, I have theories about what's going on but I'm gonna save them. Though I will say that Pensive collectively freakin' called it that John Locke was the smoke monster! "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." Classic.

Up next, we have a fun little rant heading your way. Very, very few of you will care about this, but by god, I sure do! And I'm betting you'll never guess what my newest rant topic is. Go ahead and take some time and think about it all you want but you will never, ever, ever guess it. Ready for it. The covers of North American video games as compared to their overseas counterparts and what it says about our intelligence level. It would take far too long to draw all the proper inferences to point to the second half of my statement so we'll solely focus on comparing and contrasting covers and I'll let you draw your own conclusions. First up, and our most recent example and the game that inspired this rant: Resonance of Fate (or as its known in Japan: End of Eternity). First up, here's the Japanese cover. Here's the American cover. Next up we have the also soon to arrive Final Fantasy XIII. The Final Fantasy series has been legendary for its horrendous North American covers, and FFXIII sure seems to follow suit. The Japanese cover and the far less elegant American cover. Though its nothing compared to some of the past travesties that Square has inflicted upon us Westerners. Japanese FFVI and American FFVI (known as Final Fantasy III here when it was originally released for the SNES back in '94). The simple Japanese cover and the laughable American cover. Oddly enough, sometimes the European nations get stuck with the crappy NA box art, while other times, they get much better ones as well. Like with Resident Evil 4 for the Wii. European CoverAmerican cover. (though granted, as far as differences go, while the European cover is far more artistic, at least the American cover is lazy) Finally worst of all, we have the majestic ICO. Here's the equally majestic and understated Japanese cover and its horrendous American counterpart. Why do these video game companies seem to think that American's have such rotten taste? There are many, many, many more examples but I think you get the point. Granted, there are probably some instances of the American cover being better and there are plenty of well done American covers for Western games (Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins immediately spring to mind) but it is still a grotesque trend that needs to stop. Please.

Alrighty! I think we're done for the week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and the rant. See ya'll next week folks.

Jim LaFleur

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