26Mar2008 2130: Planning Ahead
Rilo Kiley is in Minneapolis on May 22nd who is in I AM IN! After what, five years of seeing their concerts? I still get excited every time. Rilo Kiley and White Castle and I'll take Friday off of work shit yeah.
[Chana - La Duda] is a pop song that does not get rumps shaking or tears jerking or provoke any sort of reaction in me whatsoever. I'm not sure why this one fails and other marginal pop songs from iTunes have hung on. Maybe the knowledge that I can go find five songs from the early 90s that sound just like this, and I'll have some nostalgia attached.
[Hayes Carll - She Left Me for Jesus] is fantastically country and yet! I don't think I'm going to delete it. It's not the greatest country song ever written but it slots right into the tongue-in-cheek Redneck mix album I inherited from childhood road trips. Its absolutely standard twanging and rhyme scheme is somehow surmounted by the extremely silly notion that a country singer doesn't know who Jesus is.
[Lady Antebellum - Love Don't Live Here] started playing while I was typing up my review of Hayes Carll, and I shouted to my empty condo: "Hootie, is that you?!?" And lo, it is not, but if you've been dying for more Hootie and/or Blowfish, this song is free right now.
21Mar2008 1400: Surprised by Worm!
I've always had a soft spot for Tremors, right up through its progressively worse sequels and middling TV series. It's exactly the right blend of humor and creature effects that makes something like Slither appeal to me. Anyway, if you had told me that I could buy Tremors on DVD for $7 I'd have jumped at the chance. Tremors 1 and 2 for $15, okay. Tremors 1-3 would be neat if the price was right, not much more than $15 though. But when the total package is on DVD for the Wal-Mart price of $13.73, it is a foregone conclusion that this will end up on my shelf. Oh yes. $15 for the good movies, $3 for part 3, and -$4 for the fourth movie. Somebody at Wal-Mart was doing my math.
19Mar2008 2220: Chili Con Crossroads
Is it safe to post here yet? I'm glad I took that useless forum down a few weeks back or this image could have been a LOT more painful.
Releasing a YouTube video was a good idea, as that's when outside sites really began to care. Quite a few geek blogs linked to the video and had vaguely unkind things to say. That was great. If this is the extent of my Internet fame I'd be glad to have it, but I'm still waiting on somebody to 1up me with a gold Zelda cartridge and/or better harmonica skills.
I'm having a crisis of chili. The first time I made a batch of crockpot chili it was completely awesome, which is good because it's also the time I had company over to help eat it. I've tried twice since then and I still can't recapture the glory. I was out of onions when I made the second batch and it came out more like marinara, and over the weekend my third batch went a little heavy on the ground beef and is quite literally weaksauce. All of it is perfectly palatable, but if I'd just pay attention to the gorramn recipe I could have amazing chili all the time.
What I am having all the time is stuffing. Since my recent revelation that stuffing-in-a-box only takes five minutes to cook, I've been picking up two or three boxes on every trip to the store. Doesn't hurt that store brand stuffing has been on sale for a buck a box; at that price, I can't afford not to have some at every meal and for dessert.
[The Kills - Cheap and Cheerful] is minimal 80s synthpop that doesn't seem to have a lot going on lyrically but still got my attention. Could do without the drum breakdown near the end, but the whole song is barely two and a half minutes long so it's got that "adorably short" thing going on, like a kitten or Jon Stewart. Oh wait. That wasn't right.
[The Puppini Sisters - Walk Like an Egyptian] is something else entirely. Something else, from a universe populated entirely by "other", sent here in a spacecraft of inexplicability. It is of course a cover of the Bangles -- some titles simply don't happen by coincidence -- but done in a 40s pop style. Yes. These three young ladies are slotted right between the Brylcreem and Burma Shave advertisements on AM 540. They are serenading our brave boys over on the front, exhorting them to not only turn back the Axis advance into Egypt, but also to perhaps ambulate in the native way. They also have some strange trace of an accent that is driving me nuts. Yeah, you need to hear this song.
[Karyme Lozano - Ay, Ay, Ay] starts out strong with some Mediterranean squeezebox but quickly pushes that aside for a pop song that sounds generic even in a language I don't understand. I can picture the corporate ennui that went into writing this tune; the only difference between somebody hacking out a new Spears tune and this is that writing "Ay, Ay, Ay" was probably followed by a siesta rather than cocaine. They had cocaine after the siesta, of course.
12Mar2008 2256: Release
The future is approaching at high speed! I can think of one improvement to this amazing bionic eye: mount the sensor on a stem in the middle of the ball and put LEDs behind it. Sifl and Olly were ahead of the curve once again.
Okay now don't be mad at me but my big announcement, the HarmoNESica, went live back on Friday night. I forgot to post a blurb here to link it, and then NearlyFreeSpeech.net got hosed by their building management to the tune of like a day's worth of downtime. So...yeah, by then I had pointed out the link to people in person and figured that was good enough for now. Downside is that you are possibly five days behind on the latest Internet sensation (from me). Upside is that I had time to complete my live demonstration/fool-making.
That's old news. On Sunday Super Smash Brothers Brawl exploded into my Wii. This game is...it's not great art. Okay? We're clear on that? This is a game in the finest beep-bloop tradition stretching back to the venerable Atari. Even the "story" mode is a fanfiction-thin veneer on the act of beating the digital bejeezus out of characters you may or may not recognize from other video games. You can turn on the Wii and within five minutes be throwing exploding eggs at a pair of eskimos while Shyguys race gocarts into your face. This is the kind of exquisite surrealism that begs you to shut down your brain and hit the A button button hard.
You can watch any number of videos telling you what the game's about. You don't really need me for that anymore. What you should hear is that the game is a victim of its own popularity; I haven't been able to play online yet. What does work, and works very well, is the online Spectator mode. "Spectator mode" is certainly descriptive, but if you need some more "hip" "punchiness" in the title, you could do a lot worse than BrawlTube. It's like ESPN for Smash Bros, 24/7. You spend twenty seconds in a lobby looking at the characters and stage that are about to play, and then you get to watch a match that was played by people who actually managed to connect to the online matchmaking service. Immediately after the match you go to the lobby and wait another twenty seconds. For hours.
Watching anonymous matches in the already-anonymous Brawl multiplayer can lead to some hilarious moments. There was one match where a Pikachu player got up on the highest platform and spent the entire three minutes doing the breakdance taunt. The other three combatants encouraged him with the absence of their violent attentions. In another round, a Kirby stood at the edge of the stage and just inhaled constantly. The instant some unlucky soul got knocked into his mouth, he calmly turned around and walked off the edge. An instant from death, he'd spit the opponent out and calmly float back to the stage. Never mind that this tactic only worked twice in the entire match; it was awesome.
[Los Mono - Promesas] is electronic dance-rap and not very compelling. The beat is fine but the vocals just don't do anything for me...and no, it's not because of the Spanish this time. I hate myself for thinking this, but it could really use some mechanical voice-processing to really techno this thing out. Right now he just rattles off each line in a way that, yes, conforms to a beat, but it doesn't sound like it'd be fun to dance to.
[Madita - Better Brother] is a low-key pop song that spends way too much time in the chorus and doesn't feel finished in any aspect. The myriad bells and claps exist only as a counterpoint for Matida's standard diva jacking around. You don't have to download this, I'm sure you'll hear it about fifty times on the radio tomorrow.
[Duffy - Mercy] is probably the best on offer this week. It has this weird 60s vibe to it, a sound and recording quality that I thought had died years ago. In recalling the pop music of decades past it's about as powerful as last week's [Ana Laan - Paradise], but nowhere near as enjoyable. Also I'm pretty sure every single lyric was lifted from a Motown classic; how many can you spot?
05Mar2008 1816: Anticipation
Nothing to say today, but next week should be a corker. I'm enjoying Dexter and re-enjoying Babylon 5 but there hasn't been an event or occurrence of particular note recently.
The singles this week aren't even that exciting. Bad, but not exciting. [Eric Durrance - Wait Till I Get There] lays on the country thick, like a horsehair blanket. It's all about his grandpa dying and sounds a lot longer than its alleged 3:25. Plodding, mopey country that never once glorifies Jim Beam. Who listens to this crap, honestly?
[Ana Serrano van der Laan - Paradise] has a fantastically high ratio of artist name to song name. I'm not sure if this song proves the existence of time travel; I don't know where else you could get ridiculous pop music like this except in some far-off melding of the 60s and 70s. Perhaps it was recorded forty years ago and has only recently been unearthed? Don't get me wrong, I'm going to delete this, but I feel like it's contributed something positive to my day.
Addendum: I put the rest of this post in the hopper before heading off to tae kwon do, and my feelings on Ana Laan have mellowed. I think I'll keep it. It sounds like it belongs somewhere in here, and there's not many better places to be.
03Mar2008 2130: Buckle Up
Thanks to Raharu for pointing this out: space probes are doing weird things with their velocity. Buckle up for the future, kids, because the results of investigating this are bound to be awesome.
03Mar2008 1832: Before Anybody Asks...
...yes I did see the bacon-flavored vodka on Fark. Oh yes.