27Oct2010 1945: Book of Delish
A little late tonight, I had to prepare some chili for tomorrow's work potluck. Pre-prepare? The actual preparation will come tomorrow when everything goes from bowl to crockpot, with the paring five to six hours after that. Pregardless, it will be an interesting experiment in whether my favored recipe improves from marinating in the fridge overnight.
Today on Monty's Behind the Curve: The Book of Eli. It's...pretty good? It has the same sharp-edged hyper-real look that I first saw in Ninja Assassin, where light is blown out of proportion and blacks are actually black, not Hollywood blue. The reason I like Book of Eli is a spoiler, but that spoiler totally worked for me and I can totally see why 30% don't like it. Fun fact: there is no dialogue for the first eight minutes. That sets a mood. Just think of all the other movies that would be improved if they just cut out some talking at the beginning.
[Mallu Magalhaes - Versinho de Numero Um] is Spanish lounge/jazz that would be relaxing and soothing if I hadn't just rubbed at my eyes and OH SWEET CHRIST I DIDN'T RINSE ALL THE CHILI PEPPER OFF OH NO. Okay. Back. Think The Bird and the Bee. You can't go wrong thinking of The Bird and the Bee.
[Metallica + Slayer + Megadeth + Anthrax - Am I Evil?] cannot, through mere addition, make me care about any of these bands any more. And we wasted the weekly video slot on this? It's like the most terrifying Rock Band setlist I can think of brought to life and thrown into my eyes. It's interesting from a logistical perspective -- keeping eight guitarists and three drummers in synch is nothing to sneeze at. But the vid is 50% song and 50% live-in-concert froufrou. Although hahahahaha look at all that black clothing.
Hey that's right, Rock Band 3 is out! It is beautiful and you should all go play it.
[Neil Young - Walk With Me] is more reverb than note. Is this part of some Hendrix anniversary celebration? No? Then what the shit.
And then bam! Without warning, [Lylit - The Plan] explodes with some sort of modern Motown from the dying echoes of Neil Young. Good song with some excellent juxtaposition.
20Oct2010 1730: The Monster at the End of This Post
Short post, I'm about to embark on the feel-good adventure of The Day the Earth Stood Still and I just can't wait. I remember snarking at the time that it's the role Keanu Reeves was born to play: an emotionless, humorless alien that only happens to look like a human. I can't wait to hear him/it lecture me on how trees are great!
[Panoptica Orchestra - Complejo de Amor] is what happens when zydeco joins the 21st century. There's prominent clarinet(?) and squeezebox laid over a slightly robotic chanteuse and a New Order synth track. That's bizarre enough to appeal to me, even before I see the album art featuring a psychedelic sousaphone.
For half a verse I thought [Brendan James - The Lucky Ones] was also in Spanish. I could blame the washing machine rumbling in the other room or I could blame the wussy-pop inflection of his voice. He does that fading volume thing at the end of each line that I'm really getting tired of. Jack Johnson I think is the other one who does that? Anyway, standard piano-pop song, the kind that usually features a video of the singer standing on a cliff/building singing triumphantly into a headwind.
[The Ready Set - Love Like Woe] should maybe tour with The Go! Team; even typing their name puts a hitch in my brain, an important piece missing from the...the...okay, sorry, the video just actually started and derailed me. It starts with a spooky horror-forest opening and I was all "sweet this should be good" and then wham! It breaks right into a Disney-friendly vocoded teenpop ditty. On top of which, he uses the "woe" of the title more like "woah". Yeah, the horror tone of the vid has nothing to do with this song. Dammit.
[The Secret Sisters - My Heart Skips a Beat] brings us a 50s country duet. I'm sure there's still a market for this somewhere, but even with my increased tolerance for classic country I was never into...uh...Loretta Lynn? That's an appropriate reference, right?
13Oct2010 1845: Comic Jumper
I hate Comic Jumper. That's the short version. The long version is that I have a mild distaste for the game, and the remainder is made of disappointment that this is what Twisted Pixel chose to do with their previous year. It'd be like Pixar making Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Even more specifically, everything about Comic Jumper that is not the running/shooting is fantastic. It is absolutely up to par with the humor found in their previous games Splosion Man and The Maw. Their use of FMV and low-budget sets is great, their complete lack of a fourth wall is right up my alley, and once again their songs are absolutely hilarious. But c'mon, guys. Make a game to put that stuff in. Every level is a flat run down a corridor and up a rope (repeat several times) or a Sin and Punishment over-the-shoulder run down a corridor. Actually that Sin and Punishment video is a good point of comparison: note how everything except the bosses takes a few bullets -- at most a half-second of focus -- to kill. Now watch this video of Comic Jumper and note how long everything takes to die. The entire game is that way, even after I upgraded my guns to the max. It's just a long slow slog to get anywhere, where sometimes slides take you past projectiles and sometimes not, where every room hides like twenty enemies popping out of the ceiling.
Bonus: one of the acheivements is broken right now, so I can't even put the game to rest quite yet.
Through all this disappointment, Minecraft keeps me going. Going well past my bedtime.
Maybe [Madame Recamier - Pam Pam Pam] will cheer me up. Spanish Regina Spektor? Awesome. That's a good start, iTunes, don't let me down...
Whoa. Robert Plant? Like, the Robert Plant? [Robert Plant - Central Two-O-Nine] brings us some country bluegrass that could have been on the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack. A little more twang than I was expecting but a solid tune nonetheless. Rocking, okay, keep it coming iTunes...
Motherftaghing Soundgarden?!? I heard that a new album was coming out, so this video for [Soundgarden - Black Rain] must be part of the media blitz. It begins with a syzygy and gets 70s-animated-psychedelia-awesome fro...oh shit that's Deathklok! Okay, so if you ever wanted a pretty good Soundgarden song fronted by a montage of scenes from Metalocalypse, Princess Mononoke, and Final Fantasy The Spirits Within, have I got a deal for you! It's free!!
This has been an exciti -- wut. [Far East Movement - Don't Look Now] brings our week to a halt with a techno-pop embarassment. It's like somebody let the boy band from Hot Chip's much better song have their own album.
06Oct2010 1830: Sup, Bitches
Remember last time I tried to make chicken? That's the most I've felt Food Satan's influence in a long time. Tonight I'm just slapping the other package of leg quarters on the grill and letting them char thoroughly. What could possibly go wrong?
The fall shows have started trickling out:
I already talked about Supernatural's somewhat terrible
premiere, but since then I've seen The Event and No Ordinary
Family and SGU and...they're all not bad. Expectations were
necessarily low for The Event and NOF, but the Event has already
ramped up into an Alien Nation + post-911-insurgency-tale
that could go places (if it were on cable). I am completely
on board with No Ordinary Family because the very first episode,
number one the premiere, had a
Meanwhile SGU killed a baby and revealed
Cylon alien infiltrator. If they
would just ditch the ep-ending song montages I wouldn't be
so wary of loving it.
[Luz Rios - Es Lo Que das Que Cuenta] is the typical soft-rock love ballad. As opposed to the "truck ballad", I guess? Something like this is on at least one radio station or medical waiting room at any moment of any day. Everything - the chord progression, the diva trills, the very timbre of the vocalist - is rooted deep in the Jungian archetype of the female ballad.
[House of Heroes - God Save the Foolish Kings] immediately kicks up the tempo and...that's about it. I had hopes that this was going to turn out like the Ataris, but at the very moment that they could have chosen punk explosion they chose unambitious rock explosion. So the first 15 seconds of the song is good? In comparison to Luz Rios? I actually tabbed away to pay my electric bill rather than pay attention to this song, and the crafty House of Heroes chose that moment to go into a fully Meatloaf breakdown. There's things going on in here that maybe you should check out once.
[Deluka - Cascade] represents its video with an image of a smiling brunette at a piano. "Oh," my brain said, "this will be like Luka." Do not let your brain do this. The video opens with a scrolling starfield and flashing imagery of the band like the Monolith wanted you to hear its killer Debbie Harry mixtape. It eventually settles into a slightly-spastic band-on-stage medley, but the Debbie Harry comparisons remain.
I'm not going to reproduce the accented letters that [Melee - The Ballad of You and I] apparently insists on. At least it had the decency to warn me it's a ballad, in the key of U2 major.
That batch was just uninteresting. Very sad.