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" Life, will flash before my eyes
So scattered and lost
I want to touch the other side
And no one thinks they are to blame
Why can't we see
When we bleed, we bleed the same"

And that's why my obsessive song of the week is Muse's "Map of the Problematique".

If you don't know about Muse, well... they're very talented British alt rockers. They sing about social change, conspiracy theories and, um, aliens. And folks consistently say they're one of the best live acts out there right now. I get to do a little investigative reporting on the veracity of that statement when I go see them in September.

In the meantime, I'll keep enjoying this live clip of Muse performing "Map of the Problematique":

I'll confess, I'm all over any book that has to do with discovering what happened to the mysterious treasure of The Knights Templar. After all, I've wanted to personally discover that treasure since I was about nine years old.

Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet so it was with pleasure that I picked up a copy of Steve Berry's 2006 novel, The Templar Legacy.

The book has action,intrigue and a main character named "Cotton". (Who names their child that?!?)

Anyway, I wish the book would have just stuck to treasure hunting because it got waaay too Da Vinci Code on me. I didn't need for the treasure to be some secret about the Bible that proves that Jesus didn't do something we all think he did.

Along the way to finding out this major secret, some rogue, CIA agent type Templar monks try to kill each other. At times, their dialogue is so catty and fraught with sexual tension that found myself wondering if what they really needed to discover is the secret of having a wife.

Seriously, Steve Berry should have left all the theological philosophising to someone else and stuck to solving clues in order to find bars of gold and caskets of diamonds. When he does just that, the book shines. However, by the time Cotton and company find the "treasure", I felt like I'd just sat through a really bad "Lost Books of the Bible" Dateline NBC special. It's not a book I'll pick up again for the pleasure of rereading.

This reader gives The Templar Legacy a C+.

Some people don't like their favorite musical artists to change.

Some people want artists to stay the same. Sameness, as in wear the same clothes, have the same hair, have the same musical sound over and over again. Year after year. Forever and ever till death do them part. After all, it's comfortable.

To me, that's pretty boring. That's why I'm so thrilled that Davey Havok and Jade Puget from AFI have gone ahead and worked the goth-electro-industrial thing through their new side project, Blaqk Audio.

With lyrics like, "How it breaks their hearts, that we made an art of desecrating our sanctuaries," their first single, "Stiff Kittens" channels some mid to late 80's Depeche Mode and New Order. In my world, that's an infinitely good thing.

This isn't an official video, but here's the very danceable song. Enjoy:

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