Underoath–not just a band, I’m not just a fan

The day I heard Aaron Gillespie left Underoath, I almost cried. I think people thought I made a really big deal about it. I told others, and myself, that this is why the news was so terrible to me:

1. Gillespie simply is an amazing drummer, and the chemistry that he and Spencer Chamberlain (lead singer) had as vocalists was really quite unique. Songs like “Too Bright to See. Too Loud to Hear” just wouldn’t be happening anymore.

2. I admit, I have a soft spot for Gillespie….the product of a past teenage-girl crush I had on him. Sorry. Don’t blame me, he was the red-headed drummer of my favorite hardcore band! What was I supposed to do?

3. Gillespie was the last remaining original member of Underoath when it started, from the ground up. Knowing he wouldn’t be there anymore was just weird.

4. I never would be able to see THIS in concert ever:

pig(Photo credit not mine)

So, those were the reasons I thought I was so upset about dear Aaron Gillespie leaving Underoath. As life moved on and I accepted my heartbreak (yeah, so dramatic), I still continued to follow Underoath, and I was happy to receive their new album
Ø (Disambiguation) for Christmas.

Yesterday, though, I watched the music video for their single “In Division.” Out of all Underoath’s bizarre, raw music videos, this one ranks at the top for me. Seriously; here’s a screenshot I found online of one of the scenes:

As I was watching the video, though, I found myself saying, “Oh my gosh, Tim!”…”Whoa! Look at Chris! He’s so crazy!”…”Haha, oh, James…”…”Aw, Grant!”…and, “Oh no! Spencer’s drowning! Sad…”

Then it hit me–even though I’ve never met any of these guys, much less seen Underoath in concert (truly a sad thing), this band has been part of my life ever since I started listening to them back in my early high school years. From the first time I watched their video biography from debut They’re Only Chasing Safety, it was like I entered into their world. And for the next couple of years, I grew up with the Underoath family–that was the special part of Underoath, how they never changed since Chasing Safety; no lineup rearrangements, no breakups, no hiatus. Unlike a number of other bands I listened to, Underoath held to consistency.

So when Aaron left, you could say this wasn’t the typical so-and-so-band-broke-up-that’s-too-bad-they-were-pretty-good sort of deal. No, we’re talking about a my-big-brother-just-moved-halfway-across-the-world-I-may-never-see-him-again sort of deal.

I was rather relieved to realize my feelings weren’t simply the product of a very disappointed fangirl.

Though I believe Underoath will never be the same without you, Aaron Gillespie, I will still listen, support, and love them. Ø (Disambiguation) is a rather fantastic album, and the “In Division” music video is a pretty good way to express its hardcore awesomeness.

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Hands (pt. 2)

Artist: The Almost

Album: Monster Monster

My previous blog on Hands was inspired from this music video of The Almost’s song “Hands.” May I encourage you to take a short break and watch it? The message in the music is simple, but powerful.

Lyrics:

With our hands up high we’re screamin’
Whoa whoa-oh, whoa whoa-oh

I’m not afraid
To make big mistakes
To fall flat on my face
I need to get this looked at
Need to get this looked at
I need some time to think
About what I’ve done
Oh, one last thing before I go

Chorus:
With our hands up high we’re sreaming
Whoa whoa-oh, whoa whoa-oh
And with our feet
We stomp a cadence for you

It’s all free and that’s real
It’s all free, you said I need
To accept, I need forget I guess
I’m glad I got this looked at
Finally got this looked at
I’m so glad you came for me
Get this, get this right
Before we go

Chorus

Bridge:
I am the one who needs you
I am the one who needs you
I am the one who needs you

Chorus

Summer Summer

Artist: The Almost

Album: Monster Monster

This song is definitely one of my favorites that The Almost has written, with heartfelt lyrics to match thick and moody guitar riffs and a layer of strings. As summer is now pretty much over for me, I deemed it appropriate as the Song of the Day. You can give it a listen on the band’s Myspace, http://www.myspace.com/thealmost

Walking around, looking down
For something better
There’s nothing better
Some old weird and familiar sound
It’s just you leaving town, my God
August came around

Summer comes and leaves you with a fever
That you caught
When you were young
Summer goes, makes you feel like life is real
And hanging on for more

Empty streets, empty me
Just call me vagabond
Wondering in the sun
This is getting sort of old
Wandering aimlessly
Is it empty streets or empty me?

Hanging, hanging
Holding on for me, hoping, praying
This will all start over
Come back for me
We will walk the streets
Of this old town
Make me a promise
This will all come back around

Underoath and cookies?

I am about to share with you one of my deepest, darkest secrets. It’s also a very yummy secret, so  brace yourselves…

I like to bake. That’s not the secret, though. I often like to experiment with recipes, since I’m a health nut. That’s not the secret either. The secret I’m about to reveal is a recipe I created for the best healthy cookies you will ever taste in your life–oatmeal chocolate chip beauties I like to call my Underoathmeal Cookies.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jenn! First…cookies that are good for me and taste amazing? At the same time? I don’t believe you…

And second, what’s with the name?

I’m so glad you asked! I’ll start with the name first…

Underoath happens to be one of my favorite bands (at least, before Aaron Gillespie left), and since these cookies are about as intense and yummy and insane as the band is, I simply combined “Underoath” and “oatmeal” (an extremely important ingredient) together. Hence, Underoathmeal Cookies.pigIf you don’t like these cookies because they’re named after Underoath…then go eat something packaged from Savemart.

Now, the healthy part…I hope you’re ready for this. You’re socks, if you’re wearing some, might just explode off of your feet. Or melt your nail polish. Anyway…

These cookies pack only a quarter of the butter and half of the sugar that regular oat/choco chip cookies do. Snap dizzle. Wait, there’s more!

In place of butter, I substituted low-fat plain yogurt, which adds moisture and protein. I used whole wheat pastry flour, lots of oatmeal, and walnuts. The whole wheat flour carries fewer calories than its white cousin, and oatmeal is just wonderful for you anyhow. The nuts add the good fats your body needs, and a wonderful crunch.

But the cookies are chocolate chip, right? And chocolate is not so good…right?

WRONG! Well, partially. First, the chocolate I put in these cookies is 72% dark, which is dark enough to be able to carry a significant amount of those amazing antioxidants! I get the pound-plus bars from Trader Joe’s (don’t you just LOVE that place?). Anyhow, chocolate is just wonderful, so I think you should eat it anyways.

So, I’m sorry if your socks exploded or nail polish melted…these cookies happen to be just that awesome. So awesome…that I’m giving you the recipe–right here!

UNDEROATHMEAL COOKIES
Blend well in large bowl:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Add in and beat well:
2 eggs
3-1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

Mix in well:
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda (add first so soda can react better with yogurt)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

Stir in: 3 cups of oatmeal
1-1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate
1 cup chopped walnuts

Drop rounded on nonstick cookie sheet, flatten just a leeetle bit (these cookies won’t spread as much as normal ones do), and stick in an oven preheated at 350 degrees, and cook about 11 minutes. Tip: Let the dough sit a little while before baking, to allow the oatmeal to soak up some moisture. Sometimes I let it sit over night, but I’ve had good results either way.

Well there you have it! I hope you enjoy these amazing cookies; this recipe has been kept mostly secret up until now. I suggest eating them with milk, coffee, or to top off a beastly lunch. You may have an even more heightened experience if you listen to Underoath at the same time.