26Oct2011 1300: Hey Guys: Batman
So yeah Batman was pretty dope. I completed the "story" missions on Saturday night after several late nights of play, which means I'm 55% done. Part of those percents are the challenge maps that I will never play, but the lion's share is devoted to tracking down the Riddler. Just like in the first game, the Riddler is the really actually final boss. He seems to call in less to mock you over your Bat-headset, but when he does appear he has a live video stream projected on walls around the city. And that guy...I'm going to Batman that guy right in his smug goddamn face. Batman is saving up a special punch just for him.
The Riddler sidequest is just one of the remaining diversions. There's a red-hooded guy who may or may not be Red Hood, a face-stealer who will probably turn out to be Hush, Deadshot still pops up from time to time and snipes a dude...there's close to an entire other game's worth of plot here besides the "main" plot. And what is a main plot to Batman, anyway? He has a whole city to patrol, a whole rogue's gallery to police. This approach to throwing in every villain at once is just the way Gotham is.
Amazon Free Singles are just trolling me at this point, as once again we have [Liam Finn + Eliza Jane - Honest Face] and [Ben Rector - Let the Good Times Roll] in the top two spots. Last week's #3 is currently #4, and [Joss Stone - Somehow] is back at #3. The thing is, I checked songs yesterday on a lark and none of those songs were top anything. I remember that [Metric - Gimme Sympathy] was up there, and that's a pretty good song, but now there's been complete turnover back to a set of songs that existed last Wednesday. That's not expanding my musical tastes at all. Is Amazon gaming the ratings on a one-week basis? Is there a botnet cycling through the items at a seven-day frequency?
None of the above? I refreshed the mp3 store twice and the rankings were the same, but the third refresh has now brought up a new set. I was under the impression that these were ranked by downloads, but I guess it's just Amazon picking from a pool of stuff. Trolling.
Don't download [Classic Christmas Singers - The Bell Medley]. It's not even Halloween.
[Breathe Carolina - Blackout] appears to be dance music, but at only 3:30 it must be the base song instead of any extended remix. It sounds like a boy band creating their dance track to slot in among all the ballads and ooo girls. The title is definitely "blackout" the noun but the lyrics use it as "black out" the verb every single time. Grammar D- see me after class.
Fortunately [Bess Rogers - Anchor] is here to pick up the slack. In a break from the modern singer-songwriter mold, Bess has forgone the piano in favor of...banjo? But that's the only break from that particular mold. This was crafted to appear in the background of a computer commercial; iPod likes to go for a little more energy, so maybe an ereader of some sort?
19Oct2011 1130: Goliath Rises
One week of research was enough to convince me to repair my aging Town Car, because all other cars are terrible. Yes, even yours. Especially yours. Paying $500 twice a year to fix shit isn't great, but it's still better than paying $300 every month for five years -- so new cars are a bummer. Used cars from dealerships are either $10k or an early 2000s generic sedan or both. Six years ago there were Grand Marquis and Park Avenues all over the lots, but now...now they're all gone. And so my Town Car gets another chunk of my money and I will continue to enjoy it. Moving on:
Amazon had the usual "we'll give you $20 Amazon Fun
Bucks" deal for preordering BATMAN, but for local pickup I recommend Toys R Us
and their buy-2-get-1-free deal. I picked up Infamous 2, Dark Souls, and
BATMAN and oh man I am set for entertainment.
Everybody secretly wants to be Batman. Don't try to tell me otherwise. I'll still get a 52 Yo Mama up on the weekend, but from here on out all my other free time will be Batman.
[The Rifles - Long Walk Back] is some fairly nice mellow rock, and by mellow rock I mean more Proclaimers than Creed. It's also nearly a one-chord affair; if you like your songs in the key of "pep", maybe gives this a shot.
[Ben Rector - Let the Good Times Roll] isn't a cover of the classic rock song, but it does sound like it came from the 70s. We've got a full band here, pianos and trumpets and bass guitar and backing singers, all contributing to that peculiar blend of saxophone and pop I associate exclusively with music born under the oppressive shadow of disco.
[Liam Finn + Eliza Jane - Honest Face] is just as weird and offputting as last time, a throwback to my very first week of Amazon Free Songs reviews. It has returned to #1 on the charts but hasn't added any good instruments, so NOPE.
12Oct2011 1415: Goliath Falls
Six years is a pretty good run for car ownership, right? Especially when they were the last six years of a sixteen-year lifespan. After replacing the intake manifold, the starter, the alternator, the water pump, two sets of oxygen sensors, both rear air springs, the serpentine belt, one of the tires (the one that went flat overnight), the stop lamp, the other three tires (routine), and the A/C blending door, this final failure of $500 worth of hoses in the power steering system is too much. Man, I didn't even remember half of that list, but looking at the maintenance record I'm appalled.
Fear not! As ridiculous as it was for a single 24-year-old man to drive a Lincoln Town Car, there are already plans in the works to replace it with something even more ridiculous!
"Ridiculous" segues nicely into the top three tracks for this week. I hate humanity for making me download [Kimberly and Alberto Rivera - How Great Is Our God], [Extreme Party Animals - Ain't No Mountain High Enough], and [Extreme Party Animals - Can't Touch This]. You are all monsters. One hymn and two compilation-covers of classic songs? It's like a nightmare. My favorite part is definitely how the hymn lasts for 5:37 and then, after all that time spent slowly dialing down the outro, cuts off suddenly in the middle of a word.
05Oct2011 1400: The Deluge
It's a new month! With a new set of music to get from both the $5 bargain bin or some relative unknowns. So if you've been waiting to pick up NOW That's What I Call Music! Number Thirty-Freaking-Nine, it's your lucky month. You monster.
Too many games, son. Too many games. I managed to close out Block That Matter last night, putting me only 4 games in the hole. Even if you consider that The Binding of Isaac is never really "finished" and that I've beaten both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus before, that still leaves Gears of War 3 to race through before Batman arrives. First World Problems, I have entertainment options overflowing my electronics.
I know enough of the names involved today -- and have seen enough of the album arts from the unknowns -- that I feel confident making a prediction that [Mason Jennings - Raindrops on the Kitchen Floor], [John Wesley Harding - Sing Your Own Song], and [Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations - Oh, Look What the Sun Did!] are all going to be mellow acoustic folkers. Let's listen! ... Yup. To be fair, I guess there's more piano than acoustic guitar overall. John Wesley Harding wasn't acoustic, but he did bring out the full mellow-pop orchestra. Bass, organ, backing "ooo"s; it's more of a modern Randy Newman song than it is folk. Syrupy dreck all around!
I hope the Rising Artists playlist turns out better. Fingers crossed for [Girls - Vomit]!