Archive for September 5, 2009

Book Review – Daemon by Daniel Suarez

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Book Synopsis:

It all begins when one man’s obituary appears online. . .

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer—the architect behind half a dozen popular online games. His premature death from brain cancer depressed both gamers and his company’s stock price. But Sobol’s fans weren’t the only ones to note his passing. He left behind something that was scanning Internet obituaries, too—something that put in motion a whole series of programs upon his death. Programs that moved money. Programs that recruited people. Programs that killed.

Confronted with a killer from beyond the grave, Detective Peter Sebeck comes face-to-face with the full implications of our increasingly complex and interconnected world—one where the dead can read headlines, steal identities, and carry out far-reaching plans without fear of retribution. Sebeck must find a way to stop Sobol’s web of programs—his Daemon—before it achieves its ultimate purpose. And to do so, he must uncover what that purpose is . . .

“Daemon” is Daniel Suarez’ debut novel and it’s a pretty impressive debut. Daniel Suarez has been compared by many to Michael Crichton, and it’s pretty clear why – this novel is a true-blue techno thriller and the author doesn’t shy away from using cyber-computer jargon. I checked out Daniel Suarez’ website (, and it turns out that he’s a real-life computer geek which explains a lot (with how plausible the whole set-up of his novel is).

I was a bit confused when I started reading “Daemon” since there’s a whole plethora of characters who get introduced all at once (there is no actual clear protagonist here, but there is a dead anti-hero), not to mention the extensive computer jargon used, but Daniel Suarez is a gifted writer and it’s really easy to get swept up into his world. The novel is well plotted & fast-paced and the author has a deft touch for action sequences. I think we’ll be seeing the Hollywood version soon – I think it’ll translate really well to the big screen especially with the tying-in with the gaming world. I was also really interested in the glimpse that Daniel Suarez gives us on the hacker & gamer subculture.

I was a bit disappointed with how the novel has no ending or real conclusion, but I get that the author was setting things up for a sequel (Freedom TM which comes out in Jan 2010). Which I’ll be buying, so I guess he set it up well …

Click here to read some preview chapters (first 7 chapters) and if you like – buy a copy of Daemon!

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American Idols Live! Tour – Alliant Energy Center (Madison, WI)

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s DAY FORTY-THREE of the American Idols Season 8 Live! Tour at the Alliant Energy Center (Madison, WI). I’m gathering all the articles/reviews/videos/interviews here. All tweets are left behind in this post. For a round-up of Tour/Album news for Adam and Kris, click here.

Fair warning : I only care about Adam/Kris/Allison…

Check back – once they are up, All PERFORMANCE VIDEOS (Adam/Kris/Allison) will be on PAGE 2. The Rest of the Top 10 will be on PAGE 3.


Lambert delivers performance worthy of idolizing by KATJUSA CISAR

Adam Lambert isn’t an American Idol, he’s a rock star. If it wasn’t already obvious from his performances on television, the American Idol runner-up solidified it with his stunning performance Friday night when the American Idols Live! Tour stopped in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center. Lambert makes the other finalists, even winner Kris Allen, look mostly like a bunch of talented and charismatic karaoke singers. He’s one of the rare performers on the megahit television show who transcends its pageantry and overworked vocal covers with a blast of relevancy.
Allison Iraheta (#4) pounced and swaggered around the stage for Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and Heart’s “Barracuda.” In interviews, she comes across as just another 17-year-old girl, but onstage she wears the skin of a woman ten years older, somehow injecting the music with a decade of hurt and joy beyond her years. But as powerful as her singing is, she still gives songs the good ol’ American Idol vocal treatment. “Cry Baby” would be that much stronger if she just held back 10 percent and gave it some breathing room instead of beating every line into submission. Give her time and she’ll probably figure it out.
… the crowd lusted after Lambert. He was worth the wait, and he easily upstaged Allen, whose only real shining moment was an outta-left-field, absolutely genius cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” Lambert hit the stage like a live coal, dressed in leather coattails and pants. If the ultimate performance is to create a world onstage, he succeeded: he’s a tripped-out, Depp-esque Willy Wonka tour guide looking to strap the audience into a rollercoaster ride through his X-rated fun factory. His shot up Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” with enough thrusting and theatricality to fill up two Alliant Energy Centers. It was flat-out better than the original (and I’ll stand by that sacrilegious statement). That’s probably his only cover that transcends the original, but he still owns every song, especially his closing David Bowie medley.
With a few exceptions, like Allen’s “Heartless,” Lambert was the only one Friday night audacious enough to actually steal a song, twist it around like origami and own it. Future American Idols, the heat’s on.

Just a note: Adam held a twitter party after the concert where among other things (mostly his favorite songs), he answered the ff Qs:

what are you MOST looking forward to after the tour? the album! moving into my new place, seein friends!
how many tracks will be on your new album? Prob 12 ish. 🙂
Brian May is raving about your song for 2012. What kind of sound is it? Classic rock ballad.Earthy and catchy
what do u think of collaborating with christina aguilera and lady gaga? I would loooove to. They’re both badass
IS THERE A POSSIBILITY FOR YOU TO DO A TOUR ON ASIA??? I’d looove to! If the album is successful, I prob will!

Matt Giraud is hoping to strike while the ‘Idol’ is hot by John Liberty – found this interesting… glad they all have a nest egg from the tour

As of last week, it’s the 14th-highest-grossing tour of groups touring now, pulling in $650,519 per show, according to Pollstar, topping Taylor Swift, Kid Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd and Green Day, among others.
Giraud said although each show is structured — they play the same songs — he’s enjoyed hanging out with the other finalists, as evidenced on his Twitter page, where he has more than 52,000 followers.
“You can get super stressed out on this gig because it’s all repetition,” Giraud said, but humor helps ease the stress. “We have a great time. We’re all pretty close friends. There’s no jealousy or anything like that.”
A number of reviews have mentioned the audience’s penchant for throwing undergarments at various Idols, especially runner-up Adam Lambert. When asked if he’s been inadvertently struck by such a flying object, perhaps intended for Lambert, Giraud replied quickly: “I’ve actually got a few myself.” And if fans are interested, the finalists store these items under the stage and they’ve dubbed it the “Wall of Fame.”
Financially, Giraud said he’s in a good place and has a suitable “nest egg” courtesy of the tour. “They take care of us,” he said. “We’re all doing well financially. That’s not the biggest issue anymore. It’s making an album and getting it out there.”

American Idol rocks Madison – there’s a video included with the article

Earlier today we caught up with a few of the top ten who are just as excited to rock the Madison crowd.
“We get a sense of what it’s about with the people, so I can’t wait to meet some fans and see what Madison is all about,” Finalist Adam Lambert said.

American Idols rock Boston By Megan Vick (very delayed piece!)

In August the season 8 “Idols”, including this season’s winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert stopped at Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden. Blast was lucky enough to get a few minutes with finalists Allison Iraheta, Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver to talk about the tour, life after Idol and their plans for the future.
“[My] personal life down the drain. People know who I am now,” said Iraheta.
The Boston day off was one of the few on the tour when Iraheta wasn’t shuttled off to recording her upcoming album. “It’s pretty crazy, you know. (On) days off you record. They have been sending me songs, so just cutting them and getting them out there,” said Iraheta. She has been working with famed producer Kevin Rudolf who is an idol of hers. “It’s definitely going to be the rock album I have always wanted to do,” explains Iraheta about the sound of the album when asked how much pop will have to be enthused with the album by record label request. While admitting that some compromise will have to be made, Iraheta is adamant about staying true to herself and her sound, “Hopefully it’ll be just a good rock album,” she said.

Adam Lambert Songwriter Says Debut Mixes Fall Out Boy, Kylie Minogue By Jocelyn Vena – I think this title should be qualified as this songwriter “hopes” that’ll be the sound since no one knows if the songs he submitted will be on the album…

Kevin Griffin made a name for himself in the ’90s with Better Than Ezra, but these days, when he’s not busy working with the band and releasing new music, he’s writing with some of the biggest names from “American Idol.” He’s worked with everyone from Jason Castro to David Cook and David Archuleta, and this time around, he’s written some songs for Kris Allen and Adam Lambert for their top-secret, highly anticipated debuts, both out this fall. He’s hoping the songs he submitted for Lambert make the final cut.
So what should fans expect from Lambert’s upcoming debut? “Adam has that potential for that worldwide, crazy success, ’cause his taste is kind of an international kind of thing,” Griffin said … Griffin said that there will probably also be some disco thrown in. “I know that they’re going for more of an international, pop-rock, goth sound,” he said. “I know what they’re wanting, and I think it’s going to be something that you could hear in between a Fall Out Boy song and a Kylie Minogue song. You’d mash that together and put some mascara on it.”

— ETA : Turns out this Kevin guy is an ass … I hope none of his songs gets picked … check out his old interview.

KG: It’s not easy. And watch “American Idol.”
BE: You know what, dude, I was going to ask you that and I forgot. Who do you like?
KG: I like Kris.
BE: So do I!
KG: I think Kris is cool and he’s the one viable guy. Adam needs to go ahead and go do theater.
BE: Or some metal tribute band or something.
KG: Some metal tribute, kind of cross-dressing, you know, those Vegas things with like Cher. He could do the Cher look-alike thing. That’s his future. And I think America is going to sour on him in the next couple of weeks. Kris is good. I’ve come around to him.

Allison Iraheta: The ultimate interview, Part Three by Fred Bronson

During Michael Jackson week you sang one of his lesser-known songs, “Give in to Me.”
That was one of the songs I had never heard in my life. But Slash is on it and I thought that was pretty cool. I was going to do “Beat It” and I gave it to Anoop. He hated me after I gave it to him.
He didn’t have to take it…
I make fun of him now because we’re a dysfunctional family and I tell him, “Anytime you need me to give you a song, Anoop, just call me up and I’d be glad to help.” He just says, “Shut up.” After I gave “Beat It” to Anoop, I was still a little off as to what song I was going to do. I was thinking of “Bad,” “Thriller,” I don’t know. And then I was talking to Kris and he helped me out. He said, “There’s a really good song. I’m hearing it right now, and you’d sound great on it.” He showed it to me, and the first time I heard it, I fell in love with it. So I went for it. I learned it and it went great.
Let’s talk about Motown week and the song you chose – “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”
Adam helped me out on that one. They were throwing songs at me. I had no clue which one I wanted to do. I knew “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” I’d heard it plenty of times before, but he said I should do it. I had a lot of fun singing it. I kept it the way it was. I didn’t want to change it at all, because it’s one of those songs, like “Give in to Me,” that was perfect the way it was. You don’t want to change Motown. You don’t want to touch that.


103.7 Kiss FM Interview (Kris/Matt/Danny) – YouTube link
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “103.7 Kiss FM Interview (Matt, Kris, …“, posted with vodpod

American Idol rocks Madison WKOW 27 – click here to view video
Here’s a clip of Adam on WKOW Ch 27

Young Hollywood Interview w/ Idols (just posted but really old)

Anoop Message to Fans (Facebook Video link) – w/ cameos by Matt/Kris


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Get Any Song Priced at or Below $1.29 on Amazon.Com for FREE

September 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Your Choice: Get One of Millions of Songs. To celebrate the milestone of surpassing over a million followers to Amazon MP3’s Twitter feed, you can get one of millions of songs valued at $1.29 or below on Amazon.

Click here to go to the offer at Amazon. Apply coupon code FIRSTMIL (exp. 09/06/09 11:59 PM PDT) and FREE credit of $1.29 toward any MP3 download is placed in your Amazon account. Thank you Amazon!

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