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17Nov2010 1830: Knife Version 2.5

Lobstergiving was a great success, as it was foretold. The death toll was upped to 40 lobster this year, and one of my cousins proposed to his lady, and a visit to the Milwaukee Public Market netted me what is promised to be extra hot giardiniera. So yeah, don't just dive recklessly into any pasta I make for a few months.

I ran out of books to (re)read around here so I began a second attempt at the Mahabharata. Naturally my Netflix queue coughed up Sita Sings the Blues, which has been hanging out forever waiting for me to see what all that copyright fuss was about. It just started and I'm digging the art style, and old-timey blues don't bother me.

Holy shit did you know Assassin's Creed had a new sequel coming out this week? I sure didn't, until Monday. I thought this was still out in some distant, beautiful future, but no! It exists right now! I mean yeah yeah, it has some multiplayer component that looks pretty slick but! The feature I'm most excited about is the Deadly Knife Squad: you recruit extra assassins and can summon them with a simple button press to murder dudes in the face. Okay? SO AWESOME. My love for being an ancient stabby death machine is well known, but commanding an army of stabby death machines at my whim is a bliss I have never known. I mean, look at this shit! Hurry up, Sita! You have to hurry!

[Parry Gripp - Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig)] is 56 seconds long and exactly what it says on the tin. Do you have a two-year-old who is amused by the thought of a monkey riding a pig? That is the target audience.

Unfortunately, [Alejo Aponte & Latonera - Me Voy] is not a sequel to Convoy. Judged on its own merits it is a tight little Latin ditty that, if anything, is a little understated. It isn't exciting but nothing that I heard while searching for that Youtube link made me disappointed in what Alejo brought to the table.

Videos return this week with [Rascal Flatts - Why Wait], a countrified attempt to cash in on The Hangover. That's it, really. Four minutes of modern top 40 country and a bunch of scenes that reference/rip off The Hangover. It's almost inspired in how uninspired it is.

But after those four minutes of white-bread happiness, [A Day to Remember - ALl I Want] tried to explode my speakers. They take us through a good example of do I describe this?...choral punk? Screamo? It is pop punk in its structure and chords, but the vocals are entirely close harmony between the lead and the screamer. Like Sum 41 crossed with Drist.

10Nov2010 1915: Braliday

Dude, the new Call of Duty is out, brah. You totally gonna pick that up? I heard it's like, sick. Dude.

Okay I can't keep that up. I have this unfounded suspicion that CoD has taken over from Madden as the frattiest game, but I've still never fired one bullet in any of them. I even got one of them (it's hard to tell them apart) for free with my latest video card and ended up giving it away. My prejudice is of the supremely ignorant kind. I have some slight interest in the single-player story as seen in this Quick Long Look, but no more than YouTube could satisfy. The unreliable narrator could become something meta and beautiful, but I doubt that's what actually happens.

It is taking all my willpower to refrain from replacing all my periods with the word "Lobstergiving". That's how my brain is operating right now; every thought is punctuated and embraced by the impending bacchanal. And today? At the Chinese buffet? My fortune -- which is oddly a real fortune and not just a proverb -- was "A family reunion in the coming months will be a tremendous success!" I'm not sure what counts as a reunion being a "success", but if anything qualifies it's Lobstergiving.

[Ceci Bastida - Controlar] brings the beeps immediately. The Spanish techno-rap going on in the foreground can't completely obliterate the warm fuzzies I get from the Atarish backing. It's shameless manipulation of my feelings, is what it is. I bet she's not even singing about video games.

[Keri Hilson - Pretty Girl Rock] tries to push my "introduction song" button, which has worked for groups as diverse as MC Lars and Skindred, but sings the first verse twice in a row. That's no way to make an impression. The balance of the song is about how she's cute and it's awesome to be cute, but I don't think she knows what rock music sounds like. It does not sound like Destiny's Child.

Rock music sounds like [Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes], for instance. I'm not sure what this "Viva Elvis" album is all about, but it sounds like they're trying to recapture the magic of the official Beatles remixes. I've never heard this cut of the song, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that this happened at the height of his Vegas career. Oh wait, except for the fucking record scratching what the shit. Elvis, I'm sorry. I'm not a big fan, but you deserve better than this.

03Nov2010 1830: Life Gets Awesome

Welcome to November, where the usual small particles of awesome that I emit begin to be ionized by the increased Aurora Borealis blah blah blah EXPLOSIONS OF AWESOME. This Friday begins the greatest month in the greatest style, as Fall Baconnal 2010 lands in my kitchen. Do you know where my kitchen is? Then I bet you're invited! This year's dish isn't as involved as my previous bacogna or breakfast bombs, but it's tasty and reheats well in the microwave. As if there would be leftovers!

Next week is Lobstergiving, which is awesome enough for two weeks which carries us right into Thanksgiving. The best holidays are about eating.

A new month also means a new crop of cheap Amazon music. Last month wasn't too impressive, but right off the bat I saw both [Steve Miller Band - Greatest Hits] and [Billy Joel - The Stranger] have returned to $5 status. Why don't you own those albums? Seriously. A full survey of the store brought up the real winners:

[Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand] has a Streisand impersonator kick off their dance beat, and for most of the song "Barbra Streisand" are the only words. The last time I heard a song like this was Fatboy Slim, the fusion of one phrase and noise to produce dance. The video portion is a succession of Duck Sauce...collaborators? Members? All doing their thing, whether that thing be scratching records at a club or playing synth in a studio. Just...weird. I hope this doesn't become a big radio thing.

[Dapuntobeat - 0 (Dospuntocero)], like any band with "beat" in their name, is Euro-dance-techno-weird. It's like a girl robot teamed up with LCD Soundsystem and threw a house party in Ibiza. None of the beats or vocal effects are all that annoying and it's not ten minutes long so I can recommend it on those two points.

[Good Old War - That's Some Dream] brings us folk in the Dylan tradition. The guitar and phrasing style used are classics but the song doesn't have much momentum of its own.

[Fran Healy - Sing Me to Sleep (ft. Neko Case)] isn't the video this week, but I would understand if you were to watch [Chris Isaak - Wicked Game] while this song played. The drums and this guy's voice are hitting something in my brain that says Wicked Game, and the fact that I can even remember "Wicked Game" kind of scares me.