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26Jul2012 1900: The Movie We Deserve

Now, nothing I'm about to say should in any way prevent you from seeing The Dark Knight Rises, because Batman is awesome and this set of Batman movies is the most awesome. If it wasn't for The Avengers showing us that a series of superhero movies could be consistently not bad and end in a satisfying climax, Batman would have been a total surprise. It pays off and calls back to everything in the series except for Heath Ledger.

But. It is painfully clear in this film that Christopher Nolan's incredible string of hits has left him with nobody to tell him no. Nolan's desires are thankfully skewed in the direction of "theme" and "weight", as opposed to George Lucas favoring "green screen", but make no mistake: you will be wallowing in Christopher Nolan for nearly three hours. I noticed very little dialogue in Dark Knight Rises; characters prefer to deliver serial monologues at each other. Christopher Nolan has something to say with his movie, and dammit you are going to listen!.

I don't know what Nolan is going to write/direct next, but I know three things. I will watch it, I will enjoy it, and it will be even more overwrought. I double-dog dare Nolan to do a romantic comedy.

That's assuming I still consume any new media by the time he makes a new movie. Guild Wars 2 releases in a month and I discovered Shortyz Crosswords, which promises all crosswords forever. I can't see myself needing anything beyond that.

[Jill Barber - Never Stop Loving You] is a 50s-style torch song, from when gin-joint chanteuses began to integrate their sound into the burgeoning pop scene. It's a prety good example of that genre, to the point that I'm not sure if it's a cover or not. Turns out Jill is trying to rerelease half of her old album filled in with new material. I guess that's an okay plan? Couldn't you put together 12 new songs? In fact, why is anybody releasing full albums any more?

[Kate Miller-Heidke - Ride This Feeling] vacillates between Ingrid Michaelson verses and Sarah McLachlan chorus, which is like the Voltron of being okay to hear in the background while doing something else.

[Preteen Zenith (feat. Erykah Badu) - Damage Control] has that accursed "feat", but doesn't immediately bust out with some lame rap song. It's actually a pretty laid-back indie rock song. Not sure what Erykah brings to the table here, Preteen Zenith probably could have pulled this little thing off on their own.

18Jul2012 1930: Beta Carotene

Beta Weekend the Third incoming! We can finally be the best race, but I'm going to save that for the game launch proper, which means this weekend I'll probably be a plant-man. Oh, wait. Sorry. Plant-man. A plant-man engineer. I want to know what a twenty-year-old creature made of cellulose can do with a flamethrower.

So yes, I survived Calgary. Oh me oh my, it was such a burden chilling in a cabin by a river while surrounded by fake horses. Do those links even work? I don't know Facebook's policy on deep-linking, but I bet those links don't work. Neener neener.

[Jesca Hoop - Born To] is artfully depcited as a gloomy pop minx sitting atop an exploding volcano, which is pretty great. But album art only gets you halfway. Good thing, then, that the song itself immediately put me in mind of the Cranberries. The accent, the lyrics, the pop-rock tone; it's all here. I may just investigate the rest of this album. 90s nostalgia up ins.

[Cold Specks - Blank Maps] is a quiet Motown-gospel tune, with quite lovely lead vocals over a choir and organ that creep along in the background. It's a display of skill to be sure, but not meant for my ears.

[POP ETC - Keep It For Your Own] is 70s-tinged pop with a couple guys just barely keeping their voices in check, as if at any moment they'd leap into full Bee Gees mode. They don't, but the threat is apparent. I dunno, with synth like this I'd be okay with having it on a Grand Theft Auto retro station but I don't want to keep it in my library for all time.

05Jul2012 1830: Post-Pre-Holiday

I'm bethumped with holidays right now; obviously yesterday was American Explosion Day (a great holiday to have), and next week is finally my Calgary Excursion. Not to be confused with an actual event like the Calgary Stampede, and only coincidentally coinciding with same. I should have lots of juicy pics in two weeks that I probably won't share on this site. Mountains!

I will probably be taking all these pics with my shiny new Galaxy Nexus, my first foray into smartphonity. So: today on Monty's Behind the Curve, I got a phone without any phone service. I'm planning on ditching my Verizon service and switching to a prepaid deal, but I was not planning on doing it right this week. Apple forced my hand. When companies can patent things like "swipe your finger to unlock" and "search multiple databases" -- things which aren't even things -- then it's time to burn down the legal system and start over.

[Ed Sheeran - Small Bump] can take his goddamn smirk elsewhere. And his goddman dentist music. The irony here is that even with my well-known distaste of vocoders, this would be a much better song with some roboting and some techno beats in place of the konga drums. This is like Owl City Unplugged, and I think Owl City is pretty alright just the way he is.

[Amanda Mair - Sense] is some Hermione-looking lady with a standard tale of love woes set to a standard bouncy pop backing.

[Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built] definitely has the best band name this week, and probably will for this month. This is some sort of early 80s rock throwback, where a garage full of guys played their not-quite-punk directly into a cassette recorder. I suppose this tinny bassless sound has circled back around to being hip. I really don't want to listen to this guy yell for five minutes, so this week ends up a bust. BIG DEAL now I get to play with my new phone.