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26Apr2007 1937: Woooooooooo


25Apr2007 2113: Ninjas are Awesome

Ninjas are awesome, which is why I'm not really worried about the content of my thesis defense tomorrow. Tomorrow. Breathe. No, I'm really worried about the setting...will there be enough soup? What if the soup goes cold before anybody is hungry? What if utensils aren't provided? Can I bring a bread knife on campus? What if I'm attacked by lions?!?

That's why I'm going to be extra-brief today. [Cole Deggs & The Lonesome - I Got More] is everything I detest about country, right down to the grammar of the song title. [Vega4 - Life Is Beautiful] is forgettable Coldplayesque/Killersine soft rock, but not so forgettable that I'll forget to delete it.

Why couldn't we have great music the day before my thesis defense and the world explodes oh god

18Apr2007 1746: 8 Days

Thesis defense is incoming. I have set condition red throughout the ship.

Music time! [Ceu - Mais um Lamento] is Latin and jazzy and has a pretty cute girl on the album art, so it gets a marginal thumbs-up. [Ozomatli - Magnolia Soul] starts off with a huge 70s bang, but is quickly buried under 80s rap. If I were forced to say something positive, I'd say it reminds me to download some Bay City Rollers. [The Guggenheim Grotto - Philosophia] has a floaty Simon and Garfunkel vibe to their folk meanderings, but their name grates and I think they forgot to write words for their bridge. "Zooma zoot zoo" repeated twenty times is not exactly poetry, although it is guaranteed to rhyme. And then the third verse repeats the first. Avoid this like it had the scabies.

11Apr2007 1847: Daywatch

I saw Daywatch this weekend and, aside from the rather horrible grammar in the subtitles, it rocked just as hard as Nightwatch. I look forward to the *ahem* official release, especially if we lucky Americans get the awesome arty subtitles again. I'm currently trying to rewrite the worst parts of the subs -- the Russians did a better job putting this into English than I could have with my Russian, but I'll take it from here.

Music time! iTunes is kinda stingy this week. [Robert Glasper - One for 'Grew] is a pleasant jazz piano tune that goes toodly-toodly the whole time. You know the ones. You've heard something like it at the beginning of Billy Joel's Piano Man. I predict this song will take J.C. Penny's by storm and totally enhance your shopping experience.

[The Cinematics - A Strange Education] is passable as music, especially at the beginning when its synth beat promises more 80s than it delivers. It's not for lack of trying, as the lead singer has that certain something in his voice that speaks to me of coming-of-age movies and leg warmers. Most of it slides right through my ears without leaving an impression beyond "this is kinda long". Indeed, this week's tracks clock in at 6:21 and 5:26 respectively, approaching my tolerance for songs that do not describe trips to (warning ad-banners ahead) New Mexico or a local eatery. This is known as the "Tool Threshold".

09Apr2007 1923: Born in Austin, Banned in Boston

And now you have another glimpse into my formative years. It's entirely appropriate for today's topic: movies.

Grindhouse is spectacular if you like that sort of thing. I absolutely must add this caveat as it will decidedly not cross over for modern horror or action fans. It successfully evokes an era of cinema that I have only seen in movies. Er. Everything I've heard about the 70s indicates that the cocaine flowed freely and the movie rating system had not yet created a nation of nancies.

Back on track: Grindhouse is two feature-length films edited slightly to fit the endurance of the human bladder. Both are set in and around Austin, Texas and highlight a different style of cheapo "grindhouse" flick that Tarantino/Rodriguez grew up with. They are wildly different movies and every forum that I've glanced over this weekend has had heated debates about which one was "best". The answer is Death Proof, but that's not material to this post. They are both amazingly awesome and well worth the Fargo matinee price of $6. They also use the "missing reel" excuse as a strategic/hilarious editing technique. The promised DVD releases (as separate movies) will apparently restore these scenes. You should probably see this in theaters last weekend, as the crowd was waaaay into what was being sold. It's the first movie(s) in a long time that gathered genuine applause afterwards. And non-spoiler: Fergie is ripped apart by zombies!

I'll definitely see that in theaters again, but next week is already promised to Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. I doubt that they can keep a normally-ten-minute show going for 86 minutes of solid hilarity, but if the ads are to be believed it's at least a probable bomb.

04Apr2007 1841: Puzzle Quest

Video games are falling from the sky. Last week I played through God of War 2 and, while I may not go through every difficulty and all the bonus extras, I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent ripping the Greek pantheon several new holes. Now I am consumed completely by Puzzle Quest. My level 16 Druid rides a griffon into battle, his Hierophant Staff lifted towards the heavens, and proceeds to match the hell out of some gems. Next week, Super Paper Mario!!

Man, we were doing so well lately. This week's free iTunes singles really blow. [Cosculluela et al - Easy] is Spanish rap, and not in the fun way I like. It sounds just like any of the irritating ghetto ego-stroking you can hear on the radio. The fact that I can't actually understand them talking about parties and shooting things doesn't save them.

Speaking of cliche radio play, [Jon McLaughlin - Beautiful Disaster] runs down a checklist of easy-listening piano-pop tripe. Title with an trying-too-hard-to-be-deep oxymoron? Rhyming "queen" and "teen"? Wishing he could take her home? Everybody knows that modern popular music is produced by large whirring machines in sterile white rooms, mouthed by plastic twenty-somethings with artificial harmonizers. They have laid this process bare and reveled in it. I'm saying that Jon McLaughlin could probably qualify for some sort of protected whistleblower status, as he seems to be leaking their design documents.

Sweet shit, there have been three Making the Bands? I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Trevor Penick, but the second group was literally called Da Band? It is telling that even Wikipedia doesn't bother with a picture of these drones.