Monthly Archives: August 2009

Hurricane season jolts back into gear; here’s how I’m watching it

In case you forgot, it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic. (Easy to do when there’s been nothing out there.)

Say hi to Ana and Bill. Ana’s got a shot at a South Florida landfall on Thursday, while Bill’s a bit too far out to call, though the early model guidance is encouraging for a recurvature before it hits the U.S. Time will tell — and these things are notorious for being unpredictable.

I’ll be doing periodic updates on the Charleston Weather blog as we learn more about the storms’ implications for our weather. TheDigitel’s hurricane page is a good place to monitor as well, and if you’re into maps and data and more maps and more data, I must recommend SCHurricane.com (@schurricane on Twitter) by the good guys at WCBD News 2. It’s pretty much every relevant map conveniently linked in one place.

So, stay tuned. It wasn’t going to stay docile out there forever.

BarCamp and SMC updates

Things are moving nicely with BarCamp: We’re got a location (the Lowcountry Innovation Center), a date (October 24th), and a signup page. Exciting stuff! Things are moving nicely along. We can still use plenty of help, so check out Eugene’s blog to see how you can get involved.

Social Media Club Charleston’s latest event, Social Media 101, will happen August 19 at 6:00 at the Wachovia Auditorium on the College of Charleston campus. Once again, much gratitude to the Graduate School for their help! RSVP over on Facebook.

Tantric’s new album, Mind Control, is incredible

It’s pretty rare when a band pumps out albums in back-to-back years. It’s even more rare when it’s a band that I like that does that. Well, Tantric has delivered with Mind Control, the reconstituted band’s followup to The End Begins, released last April.

The End Begins was a second debut for Tantric, which had a whole new backing band with only Hugo Ferreira remaining from the original lineup. I liked The End Begins, but I could tell at times where I would miss former guitarist Todd Whitener’s licks and harmonies. (Whitener’s harmonies were incredibly apparent on the underrated After We Go album, and you could tell he was missing on The End Begins.) It was a band in adjustment, getting a fresh start.

Mind Control strikes me as a much more cohesive effort. It’s a heavy, aggressive album — and a coming of age for this new Tantric. You really feel the aggressiveness in tracks like “Coming Undone” and “Kick Back,” which is my favorite song on the album and is quickly cementing itself as one of my five favorite songs this year (the chorus is simply incredible, triumphant-sounding). Hugo Ferreira sings in ways I’ve never heard him sing before, with an aggression and grit perfectly suited for his baritone, and it’s great.

I didn’t think the guitar work on The End Begins was anything too incredibly special, which was a letdown after hearing Todd Whitener’s work on two albums (and the unreleased Tantric III songs, which were all aborted after he left the band). Joe Pessia, Tantric’s guitarist (and friend of Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt) completely stepped up his game on Mind Control, though. In fact, he absolutely kills. For crying out loud, there’s an instrumental on this album called “Intermezzo.” I haven’t heard an instrumental on a modern rock album in a long time, it seems like, and Pessia just totally makes it work. I completely dig that, as it seems like introducing an instrumental piece seems like such a gamble these days.

This album deserves to be heard and deserves to make it big. This incarnation of Tantric has bonded, figured each other out, and put out a damn good rock record. Go get it at Amazon MP3 for maximum compatibility, 256-kbit, DRM-free goodness.