Posts Tagged ‘news’

It’s Friday and we’ve got news!  Bastion will be making a solo acoustic appearance at a several-band concert outside of Imagine Music in New Castle, IN, at 1:00pm on March 31 to support local businesses and charities!  We’ll be posting more information on facebook.com/graceatarms, but save the date!  Now, here’s the band:

Bastion:

I’ll make an official announcement if/when there’s something official to announce, but IF I/GRACE@ARMS had a solo/acoustic project coming out in January, which of our songs on YouTube would you like to see on there?

Vote for your favorites by either going to youtube.com/graceatarms and “Like”ing the songs you’d most like to hear (if you don’t have a YouTube account, they’re free) or by going to facebook.com/graceatarms and voting for songs in the Poll we posted!  If you do both, your vote counts twice.  Vote for as many songs as you’d like!

 (If my vote counted, I’d vote for “A Love Poem For Ghosts”!)

Milo:

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday completing part 1 of the national boards in optometry.  Now it’s time to relax [with me at the resort/casino in French Lick! – Bash]!

Cooper:

We are in the season of growing!  The grass is sprouting anew, trees are budding, and everyone and their buddy is crowding the weight room.  One observation I’ve made is that the best lat pull-down machine is never open!  If I have learned one thing in that place, it’s to circle that piece of equipment like a vulture.  That rant aside, it has been nice to work out more often and feel a little healthier.  Cheers!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) playing acoustic guitar in his home, Valhalla.
If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

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It’s hard not to enjoy a Friday.  The boys of GRACE@ARMS seem to be enjoying themselves today, too.  Here’s what they’re thinking:

Bastion:

Tomorrow is my birthday!

…and I guess I’ll finish that thought tomorrow.  So between the now and the future, here’s something I thought of in the past (you know, maybe this is a good quote for the day before the birthday of a man who’s so afraid to grow up):

As it turns out, the best is not necessarily the best, the one is not necessarily the one, and the end of everything doesn’t have to be the end of anything at all.

– Bastion Crider, 2009

Two heaps of chocolate candy bars leftover from Bastion's Chocolate Piano.  Photo by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS), 2012.

For those of us who can't read more than 200 words before needing to look at a picture, I've finally dismantled (and begun eating) my chocolate piano.

Milo:

Now, this is the world we live in,
And these are the hands we’re given,
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

– Land of Confusion
by Phil Collins

Cooper:

The weather in Muncie has been phenomenal!  Gorgeous temperatures and sun soaked skies have made commutes to classes so enjoyable.  I’ve been getting the lead out all week.  The beautiful driving weather has put me in a great mood.  Cheers, everyone!

A banner designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Grace at Arms' singer and front-man, Bastion Crider.  All art, logos, and designs copyright 2012 Grace at Arms, Bastion Crider, and Greg Crider LLC.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s Friday (already?) and we’re back with more thoughts! Have a great weekend and, if you live near New Castle, Indiana, start getting ready for Bastion’s return from his back surgery and Grace@Arms’ return to the stage at a very special full-band concert at Mike & Joe’s (find the Facebook event here)!

Bastion:

I’ve been cranking out a lot of videos and chocolate pianos lately, so I think it’s time for a short news recap! This week:
1. The Lorax is in theaters and it’s amazing (and oh, so faithful to Dr. Seuss). My review is here.
2. GRACE@ARMS’ YouTube page is booming these days! We’ve had record hits this month, which top our record hits last month, which topped the record hits the month before. We’re growing! Thanks so much for watching, listening, and spreading the word! Feel free to help us turn this trend into the norm by sharing http://youtube.com/graceatarms !
3. My back continues to heal! I’m taking short trips to work and to other calm environments now and easing back into the swing of things. Thanks for all the support!
4. I’m putting in the order for the new Baseball shirts and Anniversary shirts today so they should be here soon! Thanks again to everyone who pre-ordered them–we can’t afford to make them without pre-orders so really; thanks, thanks, thanks!!!!
5.  I’ve also discovered Instagram recently so I’ve been playing with some old photos on my phone.  I’ve attached a few of Milo’s and my Maine vacation, my Halloween costume, and some other silliness to the end of this article.  Enjoy!

Milo:

“Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.” – Epitaph on the Monument at Thermopylae

Cooper:

This week has been incredibly wild and crazy! Spring Break 2012! My week off has been spent with Raeanne, friends, and my new pastime. That pastime is the newly released Mass Effect 3! I’ve loved seeing some old friends and enjoying the time off.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) making a funny face.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in a suit, tie, scarf, and overcoat.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) looking out over the ocean while on vacation in Lubec, Maine.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) walking with a nurse's assistance after back surgery at the Naab Road Surgery Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) shows off his zombie costume in a mirror during Halloween 2012.A poster of Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in front of the movie screen at the Skyvue Drive-In in New Castle, Indiana.  All art, logos, and design by Bastion, copyright Grace at Arms, Bastion Crider, and Greg Crider LLC.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

The short version: the movie tells (or rather, includes) the complete and unadulterated story of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax in a fun, funny, beautiful, and generally unoffensive way.

A screen capture from the movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax cropped by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).

The long version:

First of all, it’s obvious that the minds behind this movie loved The Lorax the way I did growing up.  From the first line of the movie (“I am the Lorax.  I speak for the trees.”) to the quote printed on the screen before the credits scroll over beautifully Seussy artwork (“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”), Dr. Seuss’ work is not only preserved, but respected and praised.

A Movie Within A Movie

Dr. Seuss book is too short and too simple to be made into a movie without adding a lot of material.  Fortunately, The Lorax, in it’s paper form, is about the Once-ler telling the story of the Lorax to a child.  Instead of trying to chop that story up, the movie-makers simply told a larger story around the original one.

The movie takes place in Thneedville, where everything is plastic and everyone is, generally, happy.  One boy, Ted Wiggins, through a series of events short enough not to be boring, finds his way to the Once-ler’s to hear the tale of the Lorax–which is punctuated by a few of Ted’s short adventures (also short enough not to be distracting)–before returning to Thneedville with the knowledge he’s gained in what almost felt like a “thank you” to Dr. Seuss for the impact his book clearly had on the writers.

Highlights (Essentially, the most Seussy parts!)

The movie is packed with Dr. Suess’ original language (Betty White’s description of the The Street of the Lifted Lorax is almost word for word with the book), as well as homages to other Seuss tales like Yertle the Turtle and his various books about Whoville.

The mix of “original Lorax” and “the movie around it” allowed the writers to do a very cool thing by making the little boy who hears the Once-ler’s story (they named him Ted Wiggins) take an active role in the movie.  As a person who’s felt the impact of my childhood love for The Lorax echo in my actions throughout the years, it was exciting to see the characters and the in-movie world change as a result of the lessons taught by the story–it also saves the movie from being forced into an “all hope is lost” style ending.

One last thing I loved about the movie, which I’ll discuss more in the next section, is that both the Lorax and the Once-ler were made far more compassionate and human without sacrificing their original characters.

The Lorax and the Once-ler, arm in arm in a screen capture from the movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, cropped by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).

Industry/Environmentalist Controversy

Obviously, a review of The Lorax would be incomplete without addressing the light in which each side of this debate is portrayed.  This movie, like a fair and even divorce, should leave both sides satisfactorily unhappy and begrudgingly satisfied.

Both sides are depicted as hard-lined, but with the capacity (though not always the desire) to see each other’s sides.  They each use both noble and questionable tactics to get their way and, appropriately, a large portion of their disagreements are the result of misunderstanding each other’s tactics rather than hatred for each other.  Here’s a breakdown of the sides as they are portrayed:

ENVIRONMENT: 

The Lorax is just as shortish and oldish and brownish and mossy as in the original story and still speaks in a voice that is sharpish and bossy.  Pleasantly, though, he’s warmer to the Once-ler, urging “you’re better than this” rather than simply attacking him.  The Lorax’s real warning to the Once-ler, after the Once-ler has promised not to cut down any more trees but is suddenly faced with the opportunity to see everything he’s worked for become real, is that “a tree falls the way it leans.”  Worded for those who haven’t seen the movie yet; the danger isn’t in a single action (which often can’t be avoided), but rather in allowing yourself to ignore the impact of that action (and as a result, to perform that action again and again without thinking about it).
The trees, Swomee-Swans, Humming-Fish and Bar-ba-loots behave pretty much as nature does in real life–they interact with the Once-ler, at times fearful and at times appreciative, until they are destroyed.  They don’t fight.  They don’t shout their warnings over and over.  They don’t provide that “one last warning” before they’re gone.

INDUSTRY: 

The Once-ler, whose movie character stole my heart, is effectively trapped between own compassion and the demands of society and success.  As an aspiring artist with a dream I’m trying to sell, I really felt the Once-ler’s frustration as his thneed (for which he had worked so hard even though nobody believed was worthwhile) became popular and he was faced with the disgusting choice of “sacrifice your integrity to see your dream made real or throw away your life’s work for because you used to tell yourself you wouldn’t go that far to succeed.”
The Once-ler’s family, as well as the Once-ler (post-promise-breaking and rich-getting) are colder towards the environment, but are depicted as ignorant rather than evil.  Further, the consumers (the people of Thneedville) are kept ignorant to the amount of pollution that their consumerism is causing.  Pleasantly, their minds are changeable, though they require more than a simple, “change your ways!”

The Lorax and the Once-ler in the movie adaptation of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, cropped by bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).

Other nice things:

The voice actors were great.  The movie was visually stunning and payed homage to Dr. Seuss original artwork.  The movie-in-a-movie aspect also gave kind of a past (original story) – present (Thneedville and it’s hard-to-break consumerism) – future (the opening of the consumer’s eyes to the lesson of the Lorax and the effort not to stop either side, but rather to compromise) aspect to the movie that provided a strong feeling of hope to the film.

Downsides:

I really have very little to say about the movie that’s negative.  The animation style caused me to feel at first like the character’s mouth-movements didn’t line up with their words as well as I’d like, but that either became less noticeable as the movie continued or I just got used to it.  Also, the songs at the beginning and end felt borderline preachy–an obvious danger in any message movie but one which the rest of the movie did a good job of avoiding.

Conclusion and recommendation:

I loved this movie.  As a from-the-time-I-could-read fan of the Lorax who can recite pages of the book from memory, I can say that I’m not only impressed by the movie-maker’s preservation of Dr. Seuss’ work, but I enjoyed the vast majority of their additions.  I would recommend this movie to anyone who has or has not read the book.

My only warning would be that the movie is fair and definitely paints a thorough picture of each side.  If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, you’re going to be offended by something (because you’ve got a chip on your shoulder–not because the movie was obtuse).  If you don’t, though, then get ready for an exciting, moving, funny, and fun movie!

A Facebook page picture for Grace at Arms designed by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).  All art, design, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" are copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.
If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again. Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s a spectacular Friday for Grace@Arms!  Bastion’s drinking Tabasco sauce, Milo’s quoting himself, and Cooper’s the one talking about zombies this time!  Before we get to all the nonsense, though, we need to thank all of our fans and supporters again for all the love and support this year!  Don’t forget to go to graceatarms.com/alive2012 to get your limited edition t-shirts!

The cover of the album, Chrysalis, a 7-song LP album from rock band Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).  Chrysalis was released March 1, 2011.  All songs, titles, art, photographs, and logos in Chrysalis, including those appearing on the cover, are copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

The Chrysalis of Grace@Arms was released one year ago yesterday and is available on iTunes (click the image) or can be purchased as a CD, complete with a highly detailed case and album insert at CDBaby.com/GraceAtArms.

Bastion:

You can’t own a hat like the one I got for Christmas two years ago unless you’ve got the kind of hot pepper appreciation that makes some people roll their eyes and other people dry them.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) wearing a Tabasco brand hat which contains three pockets for holding three small shots of Tabasco brand hot sauce in 2009.

Since I do own this hat (and since I could not think of anything clever, fun, funny, or otherwise awesome to do for this week’s FtBF), I decided to film myself doing something uncommon.  Some of you remember when I drank the three shots of Buffalo Wild Wing’s hottest sauce (click here for the video).  Well, today, I am drinking a 5 oz. bottle of Tabasco sauce, shot by shot.  …by shot.  …by shot.

Milo:

The only excuse for killing time is if you truly love to kill time.  Do everything deliberately.

Happy birthday to our album, Chrysalis!

Cooper:

The Walking Dead is my go-to show.  I can’t get enough of this series.  I live Sunday to Sunday right now.  Not only are there copious amounts of zombie gore, the character development is fantastic as well.  The undead sometimes take a very secondary role in this post-apocalyptic scenario.  I highly recommend this to zombie and drama lovers alike.

A logo for Grace@Arms' Facebook page designed by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) to match Grace@Arms' @LIVE 2012 visual theme.  All art and logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again.  Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

Today, March 1, 2012, is the one year anniversary of the official release of Chrysalis, of the creation of graceatarms.com, and of the effective birth of GRACE@ARMS.

That which matters most:

THANK YOU.  Thank you to all of my followers, subscribers, and friends as well as all the fans, supporters, collaborators, and friends of GRACE@ARMS.  I’ve said it a thousand times in a thousand ways, but it can never be said enough:

This band isn’t a story about me.  It isn’t a window into my heart.  It is me.  It is my hope in the real world.  It is my heart on earth.  I’m grateful for every comment from every fan and I’m moved every time my music, my words, my art, and my hope connects with someone else’s heart.  I can thank you a thousand times, but I’ll never be able to convey the appreciation I feel for all of those who’ve helped me begin to make my ambitious dream real.

A Facebook banner designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

The Bitter and the Sweet:

Obviously, sitting at home waiting for my back surgery wounds to heal isn’t the way I had planned on spending the day. More so, I hadn’t planned on spending most of February huddled on my couch in a drug-induced stupor. As a result, this isn’t quite the day of concerts and celebrations, or even the planned-for-weeks blog entry, merchandise giveaway, and growth opportunity that I had imagined.

Nevertheless, my dream has been real for an entire year and in that time I’ve gone from editing tracks in my basement, telling myself over and over that someday someone would want to hear them, to selling albums internationally.

The question now, which I’d planned on pondering all month, is what to say to mark the occasion.

A Facebook page picture designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Well, for starters, NEW T-SHIRT!!!!!!!!!

Where do Grace@Arms shirts come from? Essentially, I ask myself what I want to wear, and then I make it. This time, I wanted to cover both Grace@Arms birthday and my own (March 17–Bastion-Day, B-Day, or St. Patrick’s Day) in the same shirt. I also LOVE long sleeve t-shirts with writing on the sleeves. So basically, those ideas came together into this:

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain as part of the B-Day 2012 t-shirt from Grace@Arms.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

One drawback (well, I’m absorbing the drawback because I love this shirt and want people to be wearing it, so it’s really more of a deal or a sale than a drawback) to long sleeve shirts, shirts with more than one color, shirts with writing on the sleeves, or especially all at once, is that they cost more to make!

As a result, the birthday shirts will pre-order for $25 (IF there are any extras in the order, they’ll sell for $30) and will be available to pre-order ONLY until Sunday. That didn’t feel like a celebratory-enough deal, though, so I decided to release a special package for those interested:

1 Long Sleeve Birthday T-Shirt, 1 “Baseball” Tee, and 1 Chrysalis CD for $40

And we’ll get to the rest later…

Like I said, the anniversary crept up on me so the “year in the life” article will be showing up later, but in the mean time, I’ve revamped the band’s Facebook page, both of the new shirts are pre-orderable until Sunday, and our April 28 concert (the only G@A show on the horizon–thanks, back surgery) at Mike & Joe’s in New Castle, Indiana has been converted from an acoustic show to an electric show!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

It’s been an incredible year and it’s about to be another one.  If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms).  You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again.  Keep rocking with all you are.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

It’s Friday again and the band is back with more news and thoughts! Don’t forget, Bastion will be making two acoustic appearances this weekend (but we’ll let him tell you about them)!

Bastion:

If you’ve haven’t read Parts 1 and 2 of my back surgery adventure, then let me say, in short, that things haven’t been easy lately. Nevertheless, I had a pre-spine-surgery procedure done on Wednesday which has put me in a position where I can rock a little (even though the medications I’m on prevent me from doing a lot of things, they tend to share a friendly history with rock and roll). Be sure to come see me this weekend at the following shows:

Tonight at The House (1401 Walnut St., New Castle, IN) with Area Revolt, The Goodnight Fields, Forever Flux, and The Plan. All ages welcome, admission is $7 at the door. I’ve never played at The House or with any of the other bands on the ticket so come explore with me. 6:30-10:30pm. I’ll take the stage at about 9.

Saturday (tomorrow) at the Guyer Opera House, where Val Temples has organized a Valentine’s Day event to raise money for Reader’s Theater’s telling of several Dr. Seuss stories. You know I support the reading of Dr. Seuss, and fortunately I’ve written plenty of love songs so grab a date and come support local theater (and have a good time while you’re at it). $20 per couple. 7:30-9:30pm.

Bastion Crider, Milo Crider, and Cooper Wallace, of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Cafe Royal in New Castle, IN in 2011.  All art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" are copyright 2012 by Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Milo:

“He who requires urging to do a noble act will never accomplish it.” – Kahlil Gibran

Bastion Crider, Milo Crider, and Cooper Wallace, of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing on stage at Birdy's Bar and Grill on January 27, 2012 in a rock concert with Minute Details and Audiodacity.  The image is a screen capture, cropped by Bastion Crider, from video footage filmed by John Sweigard III of Swagtree Productions.  All art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" are copyright 2012 by Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Cooper:

“Star Wars: Episode One comes out in 3D tonight. This is the movie in the saga that everybody [especially me – Bastion] loves to hate. However, this movie holds a very special place in my heart. This was the first Star Wars film I was able to see on the silver screen. I’ll always love this movie if for no other reason than that first magical time I heard the 20th Century Fox drumroll and fanfare lead me into those blue words etched into any self respecting moviegoer’s mind. I highly recommend the experience. However, as a loather of 3D, I’ll be seeing the films in 2D. And I hope you’ll join me!

Bastion Crider, Milo Crider, and Cooper Wallace, of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing on stage at Birdy's Bar and Grill on January 27, 2012 in a rock concert with Minute Details and Audiodacity.  The image is a screen capture, cropped by Bastion Crider, from video footage filmed by John Sweigard III of Swagtree Productions.  All art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" are copyright 2012 by Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

For GRACE@ARMS’ music, check them out on iTunes or YouTube.
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