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25 April 2006

New Music From Brian Vander Ark (of The Verve Pipe)

Brian Vander Ark - lead singer of Michigan band The Verve Pipe - is about to release his second solo studio album and from what I can tell it'll be another awesome one.

Please listen to this at Brian's MySpace website!

I've been a fan of The Verve Pipe for a very long time.  Not as long as some, but longer than most to say the least.  I first heard about the band in the fall of 1993 while at Western Michigan University.  They were a pretty popular local independent band that had recently one a "Battle of the Bands" contest in Grand Rapids and won $30,000 to record a new album - their second album entitled Pop Smear.

Anyway, the album was released in early November that year, and although I'd never heard any of their music, I scooted over to Discount Den to pick up a copy.  I went back to my dorm (French Hall, that year) and listened to it.  I loved it.  So much that I went BACK to Discount Den about 2 hours later and bought their other album, I've Suffered A Head Injury.

Some of you may remember The Verve Pipe from their #1 smash hit "The Freshman" from 1997, and a few other minor hits from that CD (Photograph and Villians were the other two that they made videos for).  After that, we didn't hear much from TVP on the radio.

In fact their fifth and last studio album "Underneath" was released in 2002 and I loved it.  I thought it was their best album yet - but by that time, RCA had dropped them and of course they own the album but had no interest in promoting it, so it essentially went nowhere.  It's a great CD.

In fact, Brian had a small role in the movie "Rock Star" (with Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg), and if you saw the movie, the song "Colorful" that Wahlberg sings at the end of the movie was not only written by Brian and appeared on "Underneath", Brian sung it while Wahlberg lip-synced.

Brian embarked on a solo career with his first album aptly titled "Resurrection".  He does a lot of touring - typically just him and his guitar, even though Resurrection was recorded with a band.

Anyway, Brian played a couple of the new songs here in Raleigh last time I saw him, last fall, and they were really good.  One of those songs was "I Don't Wanna Be", which you can listen to right now on his Myspace web site.

Posted by rickroot at 7:54 AM | Link | 2 comments
24 April 2006

Westinghouse Joke

A lady opened her refrigerator and saw a rabbit sitting on one of the shelves.

"What are you doing in there?" she asked.

The rabbit replied, "This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?", to which the lady replied "Yes".

"Well," the rabbit said,  "I'm westing".

This wabbit is westing!

Posted by rickroot at 8:39 AM | Link | 0 comments
20 April 2006

Donate to the Foundation For Fighting Blindness

As some of you know, I have a slight visual impairment - an inherited eye disease called "Best Disease".  Best Disease is a form of macular degeneration but unlike age-related macular degeneration which can progress rapidly once it stars and cause total blindness, Best Disease is unlikely to cause blindness, and it's a very slow progressing disease.

It's also uncorrectable and there is no cure.

At this point, with my glasses (which correct some of my vision problems that are unrelated to my Best Disease), I have 20/50 vision in my right eye and 20/70 vision in my left eye.  It kind of sucks.

But I appreciate that I *CAN* see a lot better than some.

From time to time I make donations to the Foundation for Fighting Blindness - a charitable organization that I feel is worthy of my charity.

I received a notice from them today that one of the organization's founders, a fellow named Gordon Gund, is matching all gifts 2 for 1 - so for every dollar you donate, he'll donate 2 dollars.  Seemed like a good deal, so I donated $50.

If you have a visual impairment - or if you know someone who has a visual impairment - consider making a donation by clicking on this link: https://www.regonline.com/94944

Visit the Foundation for Fighting Blindness web site too.

Posted by rickroot at 5:36 PM | Link | 2 comments