Friday, February 26, 2010

Next Song, Please!


Well, I think I've spent about as much time on "Destiny" as I can for awhile. The re-mix is effectively finished. At this point, the only remaining question is whether or not I want to add a layer of guitar somewhere. The "holes" I thought I was hearing earlier this week seem to have vanished mysteriously, so I'm not sure now if I still want guitar or not.

This is an indication to me that I've probably been listening to the same song for a little too long and need to gain some distance from it before I make that call. So beginning next week I will instead start work on...

I don't know yet.

But it will be SOME song from Spirit Blade. Hmm... Any suggestions?

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (Movie Review)

The last several DC animated movies(Green Lantern, Batman/Superman, Wonder Woman) have been solid and enjoyable. This latest offering from DC is no exception.

From its opening scene that smoothly launches into some great looking opening credits, the moment when the final credits roll, this movie was engaging throughout.

On an alternate reality earth, Lex Luthor is the only remaining superhero, while a group of Justice League look-alikes are the world’s most dangerous criminals. Luthor travels to the world of the Justice League and requests their help. Their response to the situation leads o some great action and nice characterization.

Although none of the original cast from the JLU animated series return for this film, the assembled thespians do a great job of voicing their characters, with the possible exception of Superman. I could be wrong, but I think he has a slight lisp. Not good for the man of steel.

The movie sounds great in a 5.1 home theater but the visuals are the stronger point. Although the character design is not much more complex and detailed than in the animated series, the backgrounds and effects surrounding the characters blend cell animation and CGI wonderfully and create moments I wanted to reach out and touch.

Although the character designs are similar, this story is not an adaptation of the Grant Morrison “JLA: Earth Two” graphic novel. This story is actually better and easier to follow with more focused themes.

James Woods is the stand out performer in his portrayal of the sociopath “Owlman”. Geeky, creepy and extremely “badboy”. He’s the opposite of Batman and every bit his equal in skill and intellect. And we get to see him bring his talents to bear. The stakes don’t get any bigger than they do in this movie, and it’s a great ride!

It should also be noted that this script is adapted by Dwayne McDuffie from material he intended to use in a story arc for the animated series that never came to be because of that series’ cancellation. And although there are some minor continuity differences, most can be attributed to the passing of time if the viewer prefers, and any JLU fans can enjoy this movie as another installment of their favorite show.

Owlman’s worldview is clearly atheistic and his outlook actually represents the natural outflow of a purely materialistic worldview. He believes that there is no purpose or meaning to anything, and it drives his decisions from beginning to catastrophic end.

It’s not a major theme and may have even been unintended by McDuffie, but the fact remains that Owlman, in his villainous plot, is merely acting out what is only logical if an atheistic worldview is followed to the bitter end. Food for thought.

The 2- Disc DVD and Blu-ray editions come with some great bonus features, including an animated short featuring The Spectre and the live action pilots for Wonder Woman and Aquaman (unaired!). But the latter two are on the blu-ray version only. The Aquaman pilot is interesting for those who are curious, but it’s painfully clear why it was never picked up. Bland, obvious writing that leaves no room for subtext and weal performances to match all around.

The Spectre short, on the other hand, is fantastic! Based on the Jim Aparo run from the 70’s, the spirit of vengeance deals out wrath without mercy in a world where evil is evil and must be punished. As a fan of the Ostrander/Mandrake run (which bears similarities to Aparo’s work) I thought it was great, although I didn’t care for the 1970’s film grain effect they added for atmosphere, or the fact that the story took place in the 70’s, rather than the 30’s or 40’s where the character originates. But these are small complaints and this short adds tremendous value to the DVD.

If you’re a DC comics fan or a fan of the Justice League animated series, this movie is a must have. And if you have the option, grab the Blu-ray version!

Rated PG-13 for action violence

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 7.0/10

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Side Gig Taking Center This Week


Some of you may remember that I keep a "side gig" doing some substitute teaching. Usually it averages about five days a month (or once a week) but this month has been way above average and I'm subbing 4 out of 5 days this week! Nice for the family budget, but it tends to slow down everything else.

Blog posts and the podcast will run as usual and I'll answer e-mails as I'm able, but if you don't hear from me this week, don't worry. I'm not ignoring you.

I'm using what little time I have remaining to mix "Destiny" because I'm VERY close to finishing my work with it! (At least for now. I'm fairly sure I'll want to ask a guitar player to "fill in the gaps", after which I'll complete the final mix.)

Thanks for your patience everybody!

-Paeter Frandsen

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 7:8-11


You may remember that in chapter 2 Paul described a strong letter he had written to the Corinthian church after having had a "painful visit" with them. The letter was written to test their obedience regarding some sin in their community that needed to be addressed and dealt with.

Paul reflects on that letter here. In one sense he regretted writing it because of the sorrow it caused them when reading it.(v.8) But in a more lasting sense, Paul was happy to have written the letter because that same sorrow caused the Corinthian church to take action and change for the better. (The word "repentance" in Greek means "a change of mind for the better".)

Sorrow that results in change for the better is the kind of sorrow intended and used by God. (v.9) "Godly sorrow" brings change that saves people. It is looked back on with gratitude instead of regret. (v.10)

We should clarify here what we mean when we say that Godly sorrow "saves" people. The term "salvation" in scripture is a general one. “Sozo” is the
Greek word in question here, and it has the general definition of “to
save”. And although we tend to use this word to specifically refer to
being saved from eternal punishment, it does not specifically have this
meaning whenever it is used. Its three common uses refer to different
types of salvation.

  1. Salvation
    from the penalty of sin. (Called “justification”, this form of
    salvation rescues us from eternal punishment and removes all sin from
    our record.)

  2. Salvation
    from the power of sin. (Called “sanctification”, this refers to an
    ongoing process of being “set apart” for God’s purposes, becoming more
    like God in character and moving further and further from sinful

  3. Salvation
    from the presence of sin. (Called “glorification”, this refers to an
    eternal existence with God, where the human body is made perfect,
    immortal and indestructible and all tendency toward sin of any kind is

Examining each occurrence of this word and its context is the best way to determine which definition applies.

Since this letter is written primarily to believers (who are already justified) and the context is referring to believers, we can assume that Paul is primarily talking about "sanctification", although the same principle can be applied to a non-believer who chooses to believe and "change his mind" after understanding his sin and need to be rescued. (v.9-10)

When Paul says "the sorrow of the world"(v.10), he is referring to the sorrow experienced as a consequence of sin in ourselves or in others who affect us. (The Greek word here for "world" refers to the natural, fallen world and the tendencies that come out of it.) Paul says that this sorrow brings death.

The Greek word here for "death" can refer to physical death, spiritual death(a separation from God's blessing and influence in life), or eternal death, meaning hell. Like the word "salvation", we have to treat this word in context. Although we may find application in all three definitions of "death", the most appropriate here is probably "spiritual death" and possibly "physical death". (Paul has indicated to the Corinthians before that sin can lead to physical death in some cases. See 1 Cor. 11:30)

The "Godly sorrow" the Corinthian church experienced as a result of Paul's correction brought about a number of positive changes. They became earnest to make things right and to clear their names. They became appropriately shocked and angered by sin and its harmful effects. Their desire for justice increased and they became passionate about doing the right thing. And their actions proved that they were caring about the right things. (v.11)

Next Week-

How strong relationships bring about change that God likes!

Coffee House Question-

What kind of scenario can you imagine in which "Godly sorrow" brings about positive change?

Friday, February 19, 2010



I hit a setback this week in my goals. After dropping my vocals into
the mix and fiddling with EQs and effects, I realized that the sound I
was using for the primary arpeggiation in "Destiny" was not working. It had a
flanger effect on it that shifted it from having lots of low tones to
lots of high tones and and everywhere in between. Sounds cool by
itself, but building an entire song around it would mean that I would
have to constantly shift the EQs in every other sound to counterbalance
it! Not something I want to take the time to do!

So I'm now developing a new sound for that track that is in keeping
with the original feel, but that will be much more consistent and
easier to mix around. (Big sigh...)

As I finish up this week, I'm hoping to finish developing the sound for
this track so that I can get back to mixing the entire song next week!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 7:2-7

After describing the folly of Christians "binding" themselves to non-Christians, Paul returns to expressing his desire for a close relationship with the Christians in Corinth. (6:11-13 and 7:2)

It is likely that the false teachers in Corinth had put a wedge between Paul and the Corinthian church by accusing him of manipulating or taking advantage of others. Paul defends himself in this regard so that the Corinthians won't be wary of him and remain relationally distant. (v. 2)

Paul's motivation was not to shame the Corinthians into loving him. This wasn't a guilt trip. He loved them deeply and so wanted what was best for them. (A willingness to die with someone was one of the deepest expressions of love in Greco-Roman culture.) (v. 3)

This is the kind of relationship we should aim to cultivate with a local church. A relationship in which we can speak openly (6:11), be vulnerable and invest emotionally (v.2) without fear of manipulation or finger wagging (v.2-3).

Despite the correction Paul had to give to the Corinthian church, he expresses confidence and pride in them as well as encouragement, despite the personal difficulties he was experiencing at the time he wrote this letter to them. This is because of the report he received from Titus, Paul's assistant, describing how the Corinthians responded to Paul's last letter, in which he confronted them about some sinful behavior in their community.

The end of verse 4 finally brings us out of Paul's "great digression" and back to where he left off in chapter 2, Verse 13.

While having a difficult time with his ministry in Macedonia, Paul was comforted by God through Titus. Both his presence and his report about the Corinthian church (and how they had treated Titus) were comforting to Paul.

This is another reason why relationships between Christians are vital. Serving God will come with difficulty. Paul observes in verse 6 that God "comforts the downcast". But God did this for Paul in this instance through human relationships. (v.7)

Next Week- Are bad feeling ever good for us?

Coffee House Question-

What makes you hesitate to develop close Christian relationships? How might you compensate for this?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day Off?


Hey Folks,

In Search Of Truth will be here on Wednesday. I've decided to take the day off. Of course, if I were REALLY taking the day off, I suppose I wouldn't be writing this post right now. Better run! Bye!


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Wolf Man (Movie Review)

Universal Studios' first attempt at a monster franchise rejuvenation comes in an update of their classic movie, "The Wolfman". With names like Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins at the top of the bill, it looks as though the studio is hoping to lend dramatic credibility to this monster genre story.

In several regards, this movie succeeds in bringing class to an often classless genre. Yes there is blood and messy violence. But there is also an engaging subtlety to characterization that only the likes of Hopkins can bring. And Del Toro's eyes have a brooding quality to them that lends darkness to his scenes while still remaining sympathetic.

The look and feel of the movie is well done. The sets and location are wonderful and transported me easily to the world they were creating.

Genre fans will appreciate the attack sequences, which usually end with multiple body parts strewn about the room. But they may also be let down by the uninspiring transformation sequences, which utilize only CGI, rather than a blend of make-up and digital effects. Even if you prefer CGI to practical "in-camera" effects, we've seen all of these transformation beats before in movies like "An American Werewolf In London" and the "Underworld" movies. They still look pretty neat in this movie, but for a franchise relaunch attempt, I wish they had taken their time and come up with a new approach to the concept.

Fans of the classic universal movies will also notice that the werewolf look in this movie is clearly inspired by the original. For my tastes, this was a bad way to go. I've seen that "classic werewolf" look lampooned too many times to avoid seeing a shaggy man that looks a little silly and with a hairdo that seems to belong in the 80's for some unidentifiable reason. The face of the werewolf in this flick just reminded me too much of "Teen Wolf" for me to feel very intimidated by it. The more wolf-like bone structure seen in other werewolf movies works better for me than the "super hairy man" look used here. Some other updates to the physicality of the werewolf worked well in this movie, but the look of the face and head fell flat.

As with any story of this nature (The Hulk, Mr. Hyde, etc.) they have opportunity to deal with man's fallen state and the beast we all have within us. This movie contains a few lines in the script dealing with this theme, but the attempt seems half-hearted. It's doubtful the film will motivate any meaningful conversation. The plot is interesting and took a few turns I didn't expect, but some of the main plot points and story beats were very predictable.

Despite my issues with the flick, this is a very solid monster movie that genre fans should see. If not in theaters, than definitely on DVD. And with the performances involved, there may even be some appeal for non-genre fans. But there's nothing terribly new here. An enjoyable yet forgettable experience.

Rated R for bloody horror violence and gore.

Quality: 8.5/10

Relevance: 6.0/10

Destiny Almost Done!


With my vocals recorded and laid into the track, all I have left to do on "Destiny" is fine tune how I want the effects to sound and adjust EQ and volumes for each track!

It's been a very productive week and I'm anticipating finishing Destiny next week and getting started on the next song! Any suggestions on which song I should remix next? I'm not feeling drawn to any particular order at the moment. I'd love to get your feedback on the song you most enjoy or look forward to hearing the remix on from the original "Spirit Blade"!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to show someone you love them this Sunday!

-Paeter Frandsen

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paeter On The Malex Minute!


Recently I had a blast being interviewed by fictional characters (a first for me) over at "The Malex Minute"!

Check it out at:


-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1


As we've seen in both 1st and 2nd Corinthians, the people in the church in Corinth had a tendency to be connected to the surrounding culture in a way that distorted their understanding of the truth and harmed their ability to serve God and love others. Paul wanted them to be open and accepting of Paul and his words in the way they had been open and accepting of the false ideas and philosophies of their surrounding culture. (v.11-13)

The Corinthians had become "bound together" or "yoked together" with unbelievers. (v.14) The original Greek word for this idea presents a picture of two unequal animals yoked together to pull a weight behind them. If one of the animals is much stronger than the other, they will be harder to control and one will be doing most of the work. This idea is an echo of Deuteronomy 22:10, referring to purity in its context.

Obviously, Paul spent time with non-believers. So did Jesus. The difference is that their faith was not infected and their worldview was not distorted. They didn't "bind themselves" to unbelievers in the way Paul is warning against here. Verse 14 gives us plenty to think about as we consider who we will "bind ourselves" to. Dating relationships, marriage and even some business relationships are meant to unite people to work toward the same vision, sharing the same values. If a Christian enters a relationship like one of these with a non-believer, it will result in a serious lack of unified Biblical direction and there is great risk of damage to the faith of the believer. Goals will naturally separate, parenting will be a source of conflict and the potential unity that can exist between believers will be completely absent.

Paul makes his point by asking a series of rhetorical questions. ("Belial" in verse 15 is another Hebrew name for Satan.) This isn't to say that marriages, dating couples, co-owned businesses and other similar relationships can't have any good come from them. But for the deepest kind of unity we are meant to experience with others, believers and unbelievers are simply not compatible.(v.14-16)

God's desire has always been for us to be close to him. As Paul reminds us, believers actually serve as "temples" that God lives in! (v.16) But God is Holy. The word Holy means to be set aside for the specific purposes of God. So for God to be Holy means that he is set aside for his own purposes and unique by his very nature. He is "other". He is so different from us, we have no concept for how amazing and wonderful he is. God wants a perfect existence for both himself and for us. But for this to be the case, he can't allow himself or us to be unified with something less than perfect, truthful or outside of his purposes. For this reason, Paul echoes God's consistant desire as spoken in the Old Testament (Isaiah 52:11, 2 Samuel 7:14).(v.17-18)

It's amazing that God wants us to have any kind of unity with him. It's amazing that he has bothered to do anything for us. It's stunning that he would submit himself to torture and death so that we could be with him forever, completely and justly forgiven and perfectly positioned to experience all the unknown wonders he has waiting for us.

It's this promise of eternity that should motivate us to remove sinful thoughts and habits from our lives. It's this promise that should motivate us to understand the truth about the world, ourselves and God, tossing aside any priorities or philosophies that would distract us or cloud our perception of the truth. Our aim should be to perfect our separation to God's purposes (the meaning of holiness). Not so that God will accept us. Believers are already accepted because of Christ's sacrifice. Instead, our motivation should be a sober recognition of who God is.(v.7:1)

Next Week- Are bad feeling ever good for us?

Coffee House Question- In general, what harmful effects have you witnessed or experienced in binding relationships between a believer and a non-believer?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Destined" to Finish Soon!


The basic track for "Destiny" is finished and I've been working on re-mastering the vocal tracks for "Destiny" this week. Joyce's vocal track is currently being "cleaned up". This means that I am balancing out volume levels for the entire track (something I didn't do the first time) and correcting pitch here and there, trying to decide how much I want to do for practical reasons and how much I want to do as an effect. The jury's still out.

I haven't touched my own vocals yet, because I'm thinking I may just re-record them. It would probably take less time than cleaning up the original, and I'm thinking I might make some subtle changes to my performance that will add a little intensity to the song.

Once the vocals are laid down, it will mainly be a matter of balancing levels for each track element and the song will be done!

That's all for now! Have a great weekend!

-Paeter Frandsen

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Way Of Shadows, Brent Weeks

The last few months have been a really good reading season for me. I read strictly fantasy of the sword and sorcery variety, but it's been getting harder to find authors I like. I took a chance in a bookstore in December and read the first chapter of a fairly new paperback. (I almost always buy only used.) Brent Weeks is a pretty new author, having only published the "Night Angel" trilogy so far, of which "The Way Of Shadows" is the first.

I'm not finished with the book yet, so I can't technically recommend it. But I can say how much I'm enjoying it! It has all the ingredients that have become vital to me in the last few years.

1. Sword and Sorcery
2. Dark and Brutal (Good is good and evil is EVIL!)
3. Internal Character Portrayal

That 3rd ingredient seems the hardest to come by. There are many fantasy authors who spend much time on what their characters are doing and saying, and others who spend time describing the world and environment of the characters. Few seem interested in taking me inside of the characters to experience the thoughts they are wrestling with.

I found Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind to both be very good at this. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman also tend to do well when writing together. Robert Newcomb is a new author for me that does this well, though he has a few writing flaws that I've had to get used to. But Brent Weeks is right up there with Brooks and Goodkind in this department. The "Night Angel Books" are all over 600 pages long, but I'm flying through his chapters faster than I have on many 300 page books. Very gripping stuff!

I'm interested to see where Weeks sits philosophically. Although his characters are mostly corrupted in major ways, or incredibly broken from evil done to them, redemption is a very strong theme. He also presents a polytheism believing world in which there is also a "One God" religion. He paints its followers as good and compassionate and the religion itself is placed in a very positive light, with none of the (overdone) hypocritical- overpowering-church, (AKA,"the author has a chip on his shoulder") kind of monotheistic representation typical of most fantasy novels.

But even if Weeks happens to be a Christian, this book will never sell in a Christian bookstore due to the extremely dark content and the use of a few F-bombs and less intense swearing. A shame, really, because I think he uses the language well, without exploiting it, to present a dark world in need of redemption. And so far this book strikes me as a great starting point for discussion that would lead to examining the Bible.

Very cool stuff!

The Dark Ritual Commentary Is Complete!


At long last, the final part of the Dark Ritual Interactive Audio Commentary has been released! You can now download Part 9 and the rest of the commentary for free at !

Thanks to everyone who wrote or called in to be a part of this experiment! It was a great success and I look forward to doing it again!


-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Search Of Truth, 2 Corinthians 6:1-10


In chapter 5, Paul talked about the free gift of reconciliation with God made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus. Now in this chapter he urges the Corinthian church to live differently because of this undeserved favor (grace) from God.

The Greek word for "vain" in verse 1 implies a lack of purpose as well as the presence of evil. After receiving God's gift of reconciliation, we should live purposeful lives that prioritize what God wants.

Paul quotes a passage about the Messiah from Isaiah 49:8 and applies it to his time, though it is just as applicable today. Like so many modern people, the Jews of Paul's time were hoping to "get right with God". Paul's urgent statement here is that we don't have to wait or hope any longer. Reconciliation is available as a free gift this very moment.

Next, Paul outlines how he works to keep a good reputation for his ministry. (The "ministry of reconciliation" from chapter 5.) Since all believers share this ministry, Paul's example is worth learning from and can help us to be more effective.

The word "commend" in verse 4 might be better translated as "show" or "prove". The message we share is validated or "commended" to others by the lives we live. Paul endured physical and emotional pain and turmoil. (v.5) His attitude was sincere (the meaning of "purity" in verse 6), sympathetic and patient toward those he interacted with. (v.6) His will was united with God's (the Holy Spirit) and motivated by genuine love for others. (v.6) He communicated truth well and was made effective by God. Rather than a combative personality, Paul's "weapons" were righteousness. In other words, Paul's "battle tactic" when confronting difficult people and situations was to conform his actions to the standards set by God. (v.7) The kind of service that God makes effective is marked by sincerity in relationships, obedience to God and communication of truth.

In the course of sharing the truth and investing in others, Paul had been spoken well of. He had also been slandered. He'd been called a liar despite speaking the truth. (v.8) He was unrecognized at times and recognized at others. Paul had been at death's door, but still alive and able to serve God. (v.9) Paul experienced great sadness but still always had reason to celebrate. He didn't have many material things, but he knew he was helping to make others rich in the most important way possible, while recognizing the same kind of enormous wealth that he had.

When you experience pain or difficulty, even though you are obeying God and trying to share truth and love with others, remember that the difficulty you experience isn't because you are doing the wrong thing. It may be that God is validating your efforts! The race we're running as Christians is sometimes difficult. It comes with great fulfillment, even now! But it also comes with various degrees of pain. But we can have a very real hope for the incredible future waiting for us if we remember the truth and have the "eternal perspective" that Paul demonstrates in these verses.

Next Week-

Relationships: When to be united and when to be divided

Coffee House Question-

What is something you are encouraged by or take hope from in these verses?