Suburban Midnight - "Tomorrow's Fool"

The debut album from the Ohio-based quartet is one of the years' most pleasant surprises (And they ain't too hard on the eyes, either!). There's a nice mix of sounds on this album, from a pained acoustic ballad ('Runaway'), to their first single, a catchy pop-rock tune ('Anyone But You'). Great lyrics, (most written by lead singer Tristan Mitchell) nice hooks, and musical enthusiasm makes this a band to look for. Charismatic Mitchell is unarguably the 'heartthrob' of the group (a claim he laughed off when brought up in an interview), but his bandmates (Perry Williams, guitar; Jake Hanson, bass; and Ian Carrigan, drums)all have their fanbase. All in all, it's a fun album for any music fan. **** 1/2 out of *****

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"Do you like Suburban Midnight?" The TV asked. "Then you'll love this contest. You could win a three ay trip with your favorite member to four different locations, and 500 dollars spending money! "

"If your name is chosen, you'll have to answer three trivia questions, and if you're right, you'll be off for three fun-filled days with a member of Suburban Midnight, and it'll all be taped for an MTV special! Enter now, and be sure to write down who you wanna go with."

It then gave the usual restrictions: You have to be 18 or older, can't be an employee, blah, blah blah.

Kieran Sheppard was studying Shakespeare's Hamlet when he heard it. He hopped up and quickly wrote down his name, age, address, phone number, e- mail address, and Tristan's name on an index card and put it into an envelope. He addressed it and put a stamp on it, then ran outside to put it in the mailbox. 'Good thing that commercial came on,' He thought. 'I almost forgot I had one last notecard.' He'd already sent in 11 other entries.

When Kieran returned from the mailbox, the phone was ringing.

He plopped back down onto his bed and picked up the phone. "Hello?"

"Hello, Mr. Sheppard? This is Sarah Johansen at MTV. Congratulations, you're one of the finalists."

Kieran promptly dropped the phone. After jumping up and down a few times, then picking the phone back up, he managed to make his voice sound more calm. "...I.. I am?"

"Will you be home at three pm tomorrow for the trivia segment?"

"Yes! Yes, three tomorrow! I'm here! Tomorrow!" So much for sounding calm.

"Wonderful. Congratulations, Mr. Sheppard."

"Thank you!"

She hung up. Kieran's mother walked in the door with a sigh. "Hello, sweetheart. Did you make dinner?"

Kieran was still bouncing up and down. "Dinner?"

"..yes, you know. We eat it at the table?"

"I've been studying... the time got away from me. Want to um... just order pizza?"

She looked at him with a raised eyebrow, and took in the fact that her eighteen-year-old son was -bouncing-. ".. Honey, are you on the crack?"

"Um... no, Mom. I uh... remember that contest I was entering for? On MTV?"

"... the one where you could meet that singer you like?"

"Yeah. I'm one of the finalists!" He practically squealed.

"Oh, congratulations, sweetheart." She went into the kitchen. "I bet they're no Barry Manilow." His mother gave a wistful sigh and hummed 'Mandy' to herself as she flipped through the phone book to find the number of their favorite pizza place.

"Ew, no. They're way cooler." He zoomed to get his CD case and back, showing her the pictures. "See?"

"Is he the redhead?"

"No... the blonde."

".. blue hair. How.... nice.. The one in the back looks like a real dreamboat."

"Meh...That's Jake. He's alright... but Tristan..." He sighed almost dreamily.

She kissed the top of Kieran's head and ordered them pizza for dinner. "What do you win again?"

"A three-day skiing trip to Colorado, with Tristan. And $500."

".....but honey, you don't ski."

"That's a minor detail."

".. it's a ski trip."

"...but... how hard could it be?"

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her briefcase. "Can you pay the pizza man when he gets here, Kieran?"

"Sure." He didn't have the heart to tell his mother that if he got his way, he and Tristan would be doing very little skiing.

His mother didn't have the heart to tell him that she guessed her son wasn't into this blue-haired boy for his singing, and that if Kieran had his way, there'd be very little skiing going on during this ski trip.

Kieran smiled and went back to his studying, although he found himself thinking more and more about Tristan, and less and less about Hamlet.