Muses by Tom


Blog news

Posted in Music,News by Tom on October 31, 2010

Followers! Long time no blog, I know. My bad. Anyways, I’m gonna get right down to business. I always accept and encourage feedback on what I do, and, if it is constructive, I will listen the best  I can. With this in mind, you all know how important music is to me. You also know how easy it is for my blog to start overflowing with music related material. On one hand, it is important for me to write on a broad spectrum of topics and keep my intellectual juices flowing. On the other hand, I do need a niche, if you will… a speciality (music). The best way for me to go about this is to keep this blog music-free (yeah I said it), and dedicate it to my fiction and nonfiction writing, as well as other topics I see fit. I have put up a new blog (http://tomtalksmusic.wordpress.com) that will be dedicated to just music. Everything music. All day every day. This, I hope, will keep my readers happy and still help me reach out to as big an audience as I can.

As always, thank you for your continued support. Go check out my new blog, Tom Talks Music to help support my other passion. Subscribe to that one too and spread the word to all the music lovers you know.

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Choose Your Fate

Posted in Music,News by Tom on October 29, 2010
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Escape The Fate‘s new self-titled album, which is set for release on November 2, is now available for streaming at the band’s Myspace page. This is the band’s first major label release with Interscope Records. Craig Mabbitt and the boys have definitely changed up their game on this album, which sounds nothing like the album that first launched them on to the scene (2006’s Dying is Your Latest Fashion feat. Ronnie Radke). ETF will be touring through Noember 7 before taking a week off and heading to Europe. In a recent interview, the band stated that this is the album that “defines” who they are.

Youth “witches” killed

Posted in News by Tom on August 25, 2010
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In the dead of the night, a pastor plants his hand firmly on a woman’s head. He screams some chants at her and ultimately casts out the demons within her. She is free of all evil and is one of the fortunate few allowed to keep her life. This isn’t the plot of the newest wanna be horror film, or even Massachusetts circa 1692. This is present day Nigeria.

It’s something you would only expect to see in the most disturbing of movies; many children are being accused of witchcraft and subsequently punished by being cast out and sentenced to death. Pastors in Nigeria claim poverty and disease are caused by witches bringing evil and misfortune upon the community.

One mother recently cast out her two sons and daughter, accusing them of being witches after the premature deaths of two of their siblings. The mother claims her children used black magic.

When a child is accused of witchcraft, he or she is often “thrown into the river, buried alive, or stabbed to death.” said Sam Ikpe-Itauma, who runs Child’s Rights & Rehabilitation Network, an orphanage in Nigeria. CRARN is home to around 200 children, all of whom have been accused of witchcraft and cast out from their families.

If you thought this was bad, it get’s worse. Here is the story of Godwin, a five-year-old child. After the boy’s mother passed away, the church pastor said Godwin was to blame. Even though Godwin denied the accusations, he was still beaten and forced into falsely confessing that he killed his mother. As a punishment, Godwin was locked up every night with his mother’s corpse with very little food or water. Miraculously, a neighbor contacted CRARN and Godwin was rescued and taken to the orphanage. Sam Ikpe-Itauma says many of the children at the orphanage show the physical scars of being beaten, attacked with boiling water, and cuts from machetes.

“When a child is accused of being a witch,” Sam said, “that child is hated absolutely by everybody surrounding him so such children are sent out of the home… But unfortunately such children do not always live long. A lot of them, they’re either killed, abandoned by the parents, tortured in the church or trafficked out of the city.”

The orphanage is struggling at best, and has neither the finances nor the room to grow. Because of this, many children are forced to roam the streets, like fifteen-year-old Samuel.  Samuel says he has been living on the streets for five years after being blamed for numerous deaths in the family and beaten by his pastor. He lives in an abandoned building with 10 other children, also accused of witchcraft.

“Religious leaders capitalize on the ignorance of some parents in the villages just to make some money off them,” said Lucky Inyang, project coordinator for Stepping Stones Nigeria, a local group that visits the abandoned children.

“They can say your child is a witch and if you bring the child to the church we can deliver the child but eventually they don’t deliver the children… The parents go back to the pastor and say, ‘why is it you have not been able to deliver the child’ and the pastor says ‘Oh – this one has gone past deliverance – they’ve eaten too much flesh so you have to throw the child out.'”

Children in single-parent and broken home environments are the most likely to be accused and killed. The state looks down on organizations such as CRARN for tainting the community’s name and image. It would seem the churches are doing a pretty good job of that themselves, though, no? It is in the last 10 years that this extreme superstition has returned and caused mass hysteria in places such as Nigeria.

This kind of thing just blows my mind, not only that such strong superstition is bad, but that innocent children are being put to death by ignorant pastors and stupid parents. I’d really love to hear what you guys have to say about this. Comment, please.

Click here to read the full article and watch a video.

Book details revealed

Posted in News by Tom on August 22, 2010
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Alright, guys. I have another update.  Get comfy and feast your eyes on this.

Recently, I begun writing new material and writing a lot of preliminary ideas down for my next book. A lot of these ideas I feel are strong, and others I feel I need to continue to work on as new ones keep coming to me. I have also recently been receiving a lot of positive feedback and requests for new material, so I feel now is as good a time as any to light the match on my next project; book #2. Yeah, call me crazy deciding this right as my final semester is starting but hey,  crazy seems to work sometimes.

I mentioned in some earlier posts that I was unsure what direction I wanted to take my next project in, but after some discussion and guidance I feel I have reached a decision. My next project, as of right now, will be another poetic work. Whether it will be a concept-book or a book of stand alone poetry is still up in the air. This was not an easy idea for me to come to, I assure you. I originally wanted to have my second book be a mini novel or collection of short fiction. However, I came to the realization that for the time being, the poetic direction is more practical.

I am going to keep writing and persevering and aim to have book #2 out and in your hands no later than early December. That’s right–mark winter 2010 on your calendars ’cause I’m going to blow your minds. I know this is only gives me a short amount of time to get everything done (i.e. writing, editing, final selections, organizing, and publishing), but I am sticking with the deadline for now.

With all that  being said, I thank you for reading. I am looking forward to getting new work out to you guys and hope that the new project can bring me as much joy as Deep Shadows & Shallow Graves did. Stay tuned to my blog, my official Facebook page, and my Twitter for up to date info as it becomes available.

Thanks and see you soon!

Wyclef who?

Posted in Celebrities,News by Tom on August 19, 2010
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Everyone knows who Wyclef Jean is. But if you have been sleeping under a rock for the past two months, dude’s been running for President of Haiti. No, it’s not an ill-timed joke, it’s for real.

Anywho, according to the latest news, we may not have to worry about the possibility of a President Jean much longer. Why, you ask? I shall tell you. Reports say that Wyclef Jean failed to make the list of legally approved candidates for the election on November 28. Is this the final obstacle in Wyclef Jean’s campaign? Is this the straw that broke the camel’s back? I bet everyone in Haiti cares about this story. Maybe I’ll start broadcasting to them.

It’s a slow news day week.

Let’s talk about D.R.U.G.S.

Posted in Music,News by Tom on August 19, 2010
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Ex-Chiodos frontman Craig Owens has finally announced the name of his new project after months of anticipation. The band, which also features guitarist/vocalist Matt Good (From First To Last), guitarist Nick Martin (Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers), and drummer Aaron Stern (ex-Matchbook Romance), is named D.R.U.G.S. The name is an acronym for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows. You can keep up to date with the band via their official Twitter page.

On a related note, Chiodos have begun streaming the first single from their new album, Illuminaudio, entitled Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together. The track is the first to feature new vocalist Brandon Bolmer. While musically the track has its strong points, Bolmer needs to realize he is not Craig Owens and that he should stop trying to imitate him. In my opinion, Bolmer sounds like a bad clone of Craig Owens. Only Craig could pull off Chiodos– this new guy is gonna sink fast. This track would make a decent  Chiodos tune if it wasn’t for Bolmer. The music is impressive as always but BB, he is in way over his head. Check out the track for yourself on the band’s Myspace page.

New Chiodos

Posted in Music,News by Tom on August 3, 2010
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It has been revealed that Chiodos‘s third studio album, Illuminaudio, will be released on October 5. This will be the band’s first album without ex-frontman Craig Owens and will also be the first to feature new vocalist Brandon Bolmer. Bolmer has a lot to live up to and personally, I don’t think he can pull it off. His mediocre vocals are no match for those of Owens, who was the essence of Chiodos. The band is going to go downhill without Owens. I’ll give the new album a chance, but I’m not holding my breath for anything amazing. Sorry, guys.

Illuminaudio tracklisting:

1. Illuminaudio

2. Caves

3. Love is a Cat from Hell

4. Modern Wolf Hair

5. Notes in Constellations

6. Scaremonger

7. His Story Repeats Itself

8. Let Us Burn One

9. Hey Zeus the Dungeon

10. Stratovolcano Mouth

11. Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together

12. Closed Eyes Still Look Forward

Matt Good joins Craig Owens

Posted in Music,News by Tom on July 29, 2010
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From First  To Last announced today that they are going on hiatus. After four albums, eight years of awesomeness, and the loss of Sonny Moore and Travis Richter, the band has decided to explore other opportunities. A statement from FFTL’s only remaining original member, guitarist/vocalist Matt Good, regarding the shocking news can be found here.

Shorty after this was announced, Craig Owens (ex-Chiodos) announced via his Facebook page that Matt Good is the newest member of his new band, which has yet to be named.

I, like many Craig Owens/Chiodos and Matt Good/FFTL fans, am excited to see what will happen next and to hear new music from the duo and their band mates.

A Thouand Suns

Posted in Music,News by Tom on July 9, 2010
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Linkin Park have announced that they will be releasing their fourth studio album, entitled A Thousand Suns, on September 14. The first single from A Thousand Suns, The Catalyst, will be released August 2. Linkin Park will be touring throughout Europe in late 2010.

Image: Altpress.com

Arizona music boycott

Posted in Celebrities,News by Tom on July 1, 2010
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Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine fame) has boycotted playing in Arizona in protest of the state’s SB 1070 legislation. This law allows police to actively seek out and question people they “reasonably suspect” to be in the country illegally. In other words, AZ is allowing racial profiling.

More than 300 artists including Chris Rock, Cypress Hill, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Rise Against, and Tenacious D have Joined Morello, refusing to play in Arizona until the legislation has been overturned.

For a complete list of the artists involved with the boycott and for more information, visit The Sound Strike‘s official website. If you feel inclined to do so, you can also sign the petition against SB 1070.

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