The Monthenorium - Official repository of all things Monthenor Redundant Site

26Sep2012 1945: Min-maxing

I knew this would happen; not four hours after downloading a calorie-counter app, I'm trying out "builds" for my "character". I was curious about my nutrition but was not about to look up numbers for everything I put in my gawp. That's what computers are for! But now that the numbers are exposed -- now that food is numbers -- I'm rapidly falling down a hole of excessive documentation. But what is up with the recommendation for 2500 calories a day? That's stupid high, program. There's no way that's right.

[Wild Nothing - Shadow] is accurate. This is a mild little nothing of a song, a shadow of rock cast upon the wall of an orchestra.

[The Heavy - What Makes a Good Man?] is linked in Google's mind to Fitz and the Tantrums, and yes, but it fuses that funky gospel sound with some 70s metal guitar. A metronome of jagged electric guitar accompanies what must be an entire church congregation, and then there's also a lead singer from a 2000s-era midrange radio-rock quartet. This is pretty not-bad.

After that rousing, unstoppable wall of classic energy, [Circa Survive - Sharp Practice] just shits in your Cheerios. This sounds like Coheed and Cambria with half the instrumentation. I hate Coheed and Cambria. I bet Circa Survive's hair is not nearly as awesome.

19Sep2012 1000: Plummet

Strap on your lollerskates!

Oh ohhh, it's magic! In one mere week, temperatures have plummeted into a very reasonable range for September Fargo. It's wonderfully mid-60s all the time now, and last night even had a frost advisory. Break out the flannel and finish your bags of charcoal, winter's a-comin'!

Today on Monty's Behind the Curve, all the movies from early in the year are finally hitting Netflix so I finally got around to Haywire. It's a heartwarming tale about a female MMA veteran punching the crap out of G.I. Joe, Magneto, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Zorro at the behest of D-Fens. This movie somehow avoids the trap of other MMA/wrestling action vehicles thanks to Steven Soderbergh's involvement. There are definitely artsy shots that probably didn't need to be framed that way, sure. But there's also a lot of delightful long takes and the best fight scenes of the past ten years. Jason Bourne essentially ruined the genre Spy Movie with its epileptic cutting and swirling camera movements; Haywire plants its camera for multiple seconds, letting its principals duke it out in full view. When punching goes down, the soundtrack disappears completely -- no bullshit Chemical Brothers. When shooting goes down, the sound disappears completely and the soundtrack takes over.

Now...plotwise it is still solidly Spy Movie. Elite team, disavowed, hunted, etc. Nobody wants to hear that shit any more. But it warms my heart to know that punch-lady is riding this into the next Fast v Furious movie. Fast and Furious is like Expendables for the 2000 generation.

I think I've figured out where Google keeps its free music, sort of its own Rising Artists list, so we should be set for mostly-terrible song reviews. They even have Purity Ring on there! Let's get going down the list.

Oh man, I already hate the URLs here. And it's not full of crap I can cut out, either. I'm actually going to use a shortener for my own sanity (and ampersand sanitation). [Kendra Morris - Pow] is a pretty good way to start the list. She's part of the jazz-chanteuse wave that I guess Adele and Winehouse kicked off. This is a movement I can get behind: more torch songs, less dance synth! Fedoras and martinis for everybody! RISE UP and smoke some classy-ass cigars!

Good thing [Homeboy Sandman - Hold Your Head] is here to bring me back to Earth. A droning, two-chord rap song about how tough life is boohoo, Homeboy waits nearly three minutes before busting out any kind of skill. By that point you've already suffered through two refrains that sound like Brad Sucks imitating an outboard motor.

Hand it to Google, I don't remember Amazon ever putting a growly metal song in their monthly list. [Burning Love - Karla] shouts and rocks and shouts some more, a genre I don't care for at all. The best thing I can say in its favor is that it doesn't go into some five-minute epic guitar wanking, shouting its piece and leaving in a svelte three minutes.

12Sep2012 1630: No More Free Lunch

...or the equivalent axiom in your local language. All mp3s on have been removed.

I got a warning email last night from my overly-gracious hosts; my prepaid balance was once again running low. This seemed odd, as I had just filled monies in mid-summer. One explanation is that my blog is super-popular and I am an Internet icon. The only reasonable explanation is that I got myself hacked.

I didn't have access logging turned on, but according to the very nice graphs that NFS gives me I experienced a sudden surge in popularity traffic in mid-March. By summer I was pushing over a gigabyte a week. For context, this entire site with all its images plus 52 Yo Mama is only around 200MB. Five entire sites per week. I looked in the error log and it was full of misaimed URLs, all of which were intended to reach the twelve mp3s I've uploaded in my six years of posting here. Real hott traxx like [Vernon Oxford - Redneck] or [Rumble Roses - B.E.C.K.Y.], ya know? Whenever I felt it absolutely necessary to illustrate my post with the song in question, bam -- song. BUT. Clearly the mp3s had to go.

Access logging overnight revealed the real issue. The errors were sporadic and mostly coming from Russian sites, but by far the most access coming in was from some Android app. It's worldwide and laser-focused on my copy of Tank from Cowboy Bebop. Now an unknown number of users from around the world won't get their Tank fix.

So here, leech-app developers. You're welcome.

Only one music review this week: [Amanda Palmer - Theatre Is Evil] is finally out, concluding Phase One of her grand Kickstarter experiment. I described Amanda Palmer to a friend as "a piano lady shouting at you" and then linked him to The Killing Type, which didn't impress him, but maybe it'll impress you? I dig it. Album is good overall and mostly huge; the preordered super-album I received is an hour and forty-eight minutes spread over 23 songs. The real(?) album is only(?) fifteen songs, then there are a couple B-sides, and then there are another five...C-sides? Picture an extradimensional vinyl record, and perched in the center of its nebulous three-sided topography is a piano that wants to escape and sing a song about beds.

05Sep2012 1515: Punctuation Works for Us

"TL;DR" is a popular sentiment around the Internet -- "too long; didn't read". I see this all the damn time on Reddit. It is generally accompanied by a humorous and pithy statement that is completely unrelated to the main text of the Reddit post. Proper etiquette is to either bold or all-cap the "TL;DR" to draw the eye's attention, which frequently causes a kind of mental stuttering when I try to read past it. And when you encounter it fifteen times a day, even this abbreviation (initialism {shut up}) seems unwieldy. I therefore propose to replace it with ~, which is how my inner reading voice pronounces it anyway.

~ Use ~.

I neglected the story missions of Guild Wars 2 during the beta weekends, preferring to save that one-time-only discovery for the actual release. Well, come the release I've been playing in the same style I developed during the betas, roaming the world and ignoring the story entirely. So on Labor Day I made an effort to power through a bunch of story missions and I think I'm into the meat of it. And it is a weird meat. Ostrich sausage. I will undoubtedly type your ear off about it when I'm all done, but right now it appears that the central story conflict of Guild Wars 2 is an in-world representation of fictionalized real-life guild conflict as performed by a fictional in-game guild in a game called Guild Wars 2 that is filled with guilds created by real people. Excuse me. I have to sit down after typing that.

Apparently the guy with an IRL girlfriend ditched the team in the middle of the raid boss, causing the neurotic guild leader's carefully balanced plan to go awry, resulting in the failure of the raid and a member rage-quitting the guild entirely. The aggressive sarcastic guy is still needling girlfriend-guy about it, the nerdy girl is upset that rage-quit guy rage-quit, and the stoner just wants the guild to get back together with a group hug.

Oh wait. No. What I meant to say was that Logan Thackeray abandoned the guild during the fight against the crystal dragon Kralkatorrik in order to protect his queen, resulting in the failure of Eir Stegalkin's plan and the death of Snaff. Rytlock Brimstone still mocks Logan over this perceived weakness, Zojja isn't over the death of Snaff, and Caithe the plant-lady is trying in vain to move everyone past this rift. That's what I meant to say. Absolutely nothing to do with comedic gamer archetypes.

[Divine Fits - My Love Is Real] is odd. It's not actually being played on an NES sound system, but it sounds like it should be. It's not actually sung by Corey Hart, but it could be. It doesn't follow the two verse/bridge/wrap-up format that pop music inflicts upon me, choosing instead to cut itself off mid-word. This song is odd.

True confessions time; it wasn't until very early this year that I considered that Collective Soul, a band with "soul" right there in their name, a band whose biggest radio hit included the refrain "Heaven let your light shine down" was only in February 2012 that it suddenly occurred to me that "hey, maybe those guys were a Christian Rock band". I'm pretty sure it was all coincidence, but I'm not some sort of Collective Soul scholar. So I'm going to get out ahead of this one: I haven't even listened to the song yet, but [Purity Ring - Fineshrine] is Christian music. See, they're named "Purity Ring" and the song title is about a shrine. Okay. Song time...

Was not expecting Disney Princess dubstep.

After all this ambiguity and shattered expectations, [Shel - Freckles] is a comforting warm blanket of heavily-focus-tested mediocrity. It's nothing more or less than some violiny girl-pop, something I might find nestled in between Regina Spektor tracks. Not once do they bust out a sawtooth wave or a breakbeat. Just piano, violin, and some lady voices singing about picking petals off a flower.