Thursday, January 10, 2013

Music Rambles: The Departure of Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace

Recently, Three Days Grace announced that lead singer Adam Gontier resigned from the band due to health issues. My first thought was, “That sucks.”

It does suck. I love the sound of Mr. Gontier’s voice, the distinctive quality it gives to the wonderful songs 3DG puts out. It’s not something that can be picked up by someone else and it still be the same.

That said, I applaud the band for marching forward. Their tour was already planned out, tickets sold, and though I know it won’t be the same, I’m sure Matt Walst of My Darkest Days will do an excellent job. (MDD puts out some sweet music, too.)

Sometimes, things change. It happens.

Thank you, Adam Gontier, for the music you’ve fill our lives with, and I hope you feel better soon. And thank you, 3DG, for that same music, and for passion to keep going. I hope you continue to give us awesome tunes and wish you all the best.

I want to thank Matt Walst as well, for stepping up to fill the vacancy. It’s not an easy thing he does, I’m sure.

You can check out the rehearsals with Matt Walst here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Difference Between YA and NA to Me

New Adult is emerging. Agents and publishers are acknowledging that the 18-24 crowd is a bit different than the 14-18 crowd, and not quite the same as the adult crowd.
Unfortunately, some articles are simplifying the difference into YA issues plus steamy sex scenes. And that’s a gross understatement.
As a reader, to me YA generally deals with issues like finding a place in the world, who you want to be, and gaining a sense of independence. It’s about personal identity and friendships and the evolution of a person from a child to a young adult. Sometimes it is about first love.

Does it sometimes cover sex and sexuality?
Why, yes, yes it does.

Now, while some of these issues continue—some of us never know exactly who we want to be—there are new issues and experiences when someone becomes a new adult. A new adult is free from the relative uniformity of spending the last 13 years or better of their life in a regimen of classes and homework. There are new options. Lots of options.
Life has just become Choose Your Own Adventure without a finger holding your place as a safety net.
They are responsible for themselves. They have decisions to make. Though their parents may give them input, it is their decision to follow the advice they are given or cast it aside. Mistakes are bigger, and there are mistakes. There is the college experience. The roommate. Maybe even the first apartment. Jobs become more important because now they have rent and food and other bills.  
While young adults are trying to figure out who they want to be and want to do, new adult is trying to figure out how to put those earlier goals into action. They are building the foundation for their future. Maybe it’s solid, or perhaps it will fall out from under them. Maybe they’ll decide their YA self completely had the wrong idea and they’ll demo the whole thing and start over.
And maybe they discover that intense relationship with their high school sweetheart was nothing more than puppy love. Maybe they discover a deeper love, or even their sexuality now.

Could there be sex?
Does it necessarily have to be there?
Because new adults have plenty of new discoveries to keep them occupied.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Anime Rambles: Trinity Blood

I love Trinity Blood. Enough said.

Well, no it’s not all I have to say about it, but that sums it up.

Nine hundred years after Armageddon, tensions remain high between the two great world powers: the human (Terran) world, led by the Vatican, and the Methuselah—vampires—who are ruled over by their Empress in Byzantium. While some on both sides strive to achieve peace among the peoples, there are other factions undermining their efforts. Some humans want the vampires to vanish for good, some Methuselah hope to gain the upper-hand in this age-old power struggle.

And the Rosenkreuz want a whole new world order which puts them on top.

First off, I love the layers of this series. On top, you have the political battle between the Empire and the Vatican. But under that are other scrabbles for power. The Vatican, whose figurehead is young Pope Alessandro, is really directed by his siblings, Cardinals Caterina and Francesco, who have very different ways of handling things.  And so they have two separate teams to carry out their sometimes contradicting orders. Caterina’s AX Agency leans toward more discreet operations whereas Francesco’s Inquisition members strike first…well there are no questions after because God has seen the righteousness of their fight and granted them victory.

Yeah, they’re a little too enthusiastic about their job.

Meanwhile, in the Empire, Methuselah extremists would like to see the enslavement or annihilation of the Terrans. Some see humans as lower beings incapable of peaceful living. Some see them as food.

And underneath it all, the Rosenkreuz pulls its strings, manipulating both governments toward ultimate failure and sabotage.

So besides all the political intrigue, I love the characters. No one is purely good or bad. Everyone has flaws, makes mistakes, or has something they are desperately searching for. Not just little mistakes, either.

Which leads me to Father Abel Nightroad, a gentle and somewhat klutzy AX agent whose stipend never matches his appetite.

I love goofy heroes. (cheese grin) I do. Especially when that goofiness is set off by crazy and scary powers. Abel’s got them, yes he does.

Hey, evil vampire. It’s dinner time, and you are no longer top of the food chain.

You see, Father Abel isn’t human or vampire, but a Cruznik, a being who drinks the blood of vampires. And when he activates the nanomachines rolling around in his body, he sprouts wings and calls up a wicked scythe-like weapon made of blood.

Abel made a vow to protect the human race and swore himself into the service of Caterina, but he also made another promise to one he loved and is long dead. He promised to never kill, and it is a promise he is forced to break again and again. Despite the blood on his hands, Abel remains a loyal and gentle person, always looking for the best in a situation and guiding those he aids toward hope and redemption.

I could go on all day fangirling about Trinity Blood, but I think the blog would explode.