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26Aug2009 1800: Surfeit of Distraction

In the three evenings between last week's post and Saturday midnight, I played 10.5 hours of Shadow Complex. I 100%ed both map and items and, although my skin began to itch and burn, I managed to let it sit for all of Saturday. I greatly feared burning out on it like Diablo 2, or getting sucked in forever like Burnout Paradise. I spent a little time on Sunday getting the secret ending and then dove back into another run on the next difficulty level. After that I'll try to go through again with the minimum 4% of items. And after that I may play it again.

Shadow Complex is amazing, but I know I'd better finish it before Batman: Arkham Asylum shows up. I preordered from Amazon and got about $10 off, but in this case it doesn't seem worth waiting a week. From what I heard online before I went into spoiler lockdown, I should have worked a little harder to make sure I had it immediately.

Another thing: I saw Push 1.5 times last week and it joins Jumper in the "way better than it should have been" category. From the ads I thought there were only three powers in the world (Pushers, Movers, and Watchers)(yes, they're dumb names) and I gave it a huge miss in theaters. Turns out that was a mistake. Not only are there way more than three power archetypes, but it has a stealth Fanning. I had no idea that the blond preteen was Dakota Fanning until Morgion pointed it out...what happened to her?

So yeah, you could check this movie out on Netflix and not feel like a huge goober, but if you don't want to sit through both hours I'll just spoil the very best scene right here. Or I would, if the MPAA wasn't stepping up its game...I can't find the best scene on Youtube. Text lacks the same impact.

I could tell right from the album covers it would be a bad week for singles. [Omar Garcia - Quien Soy] did not disappoint -- or did, depending on how you look at it. Spanish rap with no extra gimmicks to catch my attention. I'm pretty sure it's talking about how hard he is; close to but distinct from my favored genre of "how awesome I am". It's all in the delivery. Holy shit wait what happened at the end?

[Pearl Jam - The Fixer] is new Pearl Jam! And a video! It keeps the rock coming, but (as far as I can tell) the lyrics are pretty generic this time around. Hey, they can't all be Alive.

[Mallary Hope - Love Lives On] hides her twang pretty well through the first verse, but when the chorus swells there's no doubt that this is country.

[Trailer Chorus - Rockin' the Beer Gut] is unmistakeably country. I thought the subject matter would fit right into my Redneck mix tape, but frankly the song doesn't go far enough into paroday territory. It's just like any other generic "hey country mama" song except they have beer guts for shock value.

19Aug2009 1730: Shadow Complex

Writing this ahead of time: by the time you read it I will be playing Shadow Complex. DO NOT DISTURB.

[Da Zoo - Excuse Me] is eluding comparison. I'm sure they sound like some other rap/techno band out there, but because it's not Gorillaz I couldn't tell you. Otherwise it's the kind of group rap that probably plagues modern top 40 stations.

[IAMX - My Secret Friend (ft. Imogen Heap)] doesn't have enough Imogen Heap, but I still like it. It's mellow and moody; I'm not sure it needs the constant synth bass fuzz in the background.

[Mr Hudson - Supernova (ft. Kanye West)] brings the video this week. What is it with iTunes normalizing their videos way below their songs? Anyway, it makes a good first impression and then throws in some near-albino Brit loser rapping. And then Kanye charges in with an autotuner and craps on everything left. Terrible.

Here we go. [Kate Earl - Melody] is fairly decent pop, the Feist-vibe that I look for. Unfortunately she didn't write enough words to fill all 3.5 minutes, so the last minute is just the refrain over and over again. And it had such promise!

12Aug2009 1800: Knowing Our Limits

Tonight is movie night, despite my burning desire to play more Splosion Man or Batman demo. Netflix has bestowed unto me a copy of Knowing, which I've heard makes (modern) Nicolas Cage almost palatable. Two hours seems a bit much, though...

After that there's a planned Xbox Netflix party featuring Tokyo Gore Police. It's another fascinating step towards omnipresent virtual environments, simulating a TV inside a living room inside a TV inside a living room. I still get occasional drops in Netflix streaming when I'm watching on my own, I have no idea how synching up with seven other random yahoos will even work.

[Quantic and His Combo Barbaro - Un Canto a Mi Tierra] fires up the Latin beats and doesn't stop for five minutes straight. This is not a good thing. Five minutes of ice cream or Corvette straightaways, sure. But not Quantic.

[Polkastra - Apolkalypse Now] spins a mean tune, but let's get real: I see a bass guitar and bass clarinet, but no tuba? You are not polka. And is that a French Horn? Get out.

[Jay Sean - Down (ft. Lil Wayne)] wants to autotune your socks off. It's typical jiggy-at-the-club fare accented by some absolutely terrible video effects, mostly sparkles. Not kidding. Our robot overlords have completely corrupted pop music.

[Gary Go - Wonderful] spends a third of their time building towards an awesome rock song and don't manage to reach it. I'm not sure what other modern soft-rock acts are on the radio these days. I'll just compare them to Goo Goo Dolls and move on. It's a point of pride that I can't name another Coldplay that's one Coldplay dammit.

07Aug2009 1800: The Goddamned Batman

Are you reading this on a computer? Good, then you can go get the Arkham Asylum demo right the hell now. You will never again see a videogame capture the pure glee of stalking a room of petty thugs and, one by one, hanging them upside-down from the rafters. Christian Bale wears the cape well, but Kevin Conroy is the Batman of my heart.

05Aug2009 2030: Turtles, Quickly!

Getting kind of a late start on this whole TMNT thing. I'm even putting off the plumbing work until tomorrow night...let's just jump right to the singles and I'll come back later.

[Sorcerer - Push to Freeze] is probably prog rock? I'm not sure what the official definition of prog is (besides "Rush"), but this song is rooted firmly in the mid-70s. It's six minutes of slightly-funk, slightly-rock instrumental harmonizing with some really really old synth. This is what a classic rock station could play as a "deep cut", if only it was from the Allman Brothers or ELO. And wow is it ever boring.

[Paulina Rubio - Causa y Efecto] brings us our video. I don't know where they thought they were putting the volume on this one, but at my normal listening settings it was like a Spanish mime was gesticulating about the 80s. So crank this up and...okay, stay with me. A woman who is trying to look like 80s Madonna is singing a song that sounds like mid-60s Beatles transformed into a 90s football arena anthem. Jock Jams - El Album Blanco. The cognitive dissonance is amusing, and she dresses up like a disco ball, but I really can't recommend seeing this more than once.

[Hello Seahorse! - Bestia] fulfills my punctuational requirements, now that Panic at the Disco is no longer excited. And surprise! you should remember to turn your volume back down after Ms Rubio. It's another Spanish-language track but otherwise sounds like the kind of chick-fronted indie rock I enjoy. Yeah, if this was in English I know I'd be giving it four stars right now.

Oh man I better turn off iTunes right now before it gets down to Cibo Matto's greatest hits and yes they have some.

02Aug2009 1330: The Turtle Club

I swear I didn't plan this, and I wasn't going to spend the billy bucks on the XBox Turtles in Time remake, but...but! My Netflix queue for next week is TMNT one and two. So Wednesday I will have TMNT one sitting in my DVD player and Turtles in Time sitting on my XBox, and Saturday will bring the Secret of the Ooze. Kismet!