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17Dec2014 1800: Dreckmas is Cancelled

Speaking of Korea, it's a fascinating pop culture moment that North Korean hackers nearly declared war over a Seth Rogen movie. 4chan is going to have to step up their game if they want to get America to capitulate to terrorism over an unreleased-but-probably-dumb comedy. You used to have to knock over entire buildings to get America to collapse in pants-wetting terror and betray their ideals/idealism.

Season finale, series finale, and universe finale of Legend of Korra is coming up this Friday. Unless a Neo-Nazi group objects to the thinly-veiled allegory of the Earth Kingdom's Great Uniter, Kuvira!

[Weyes Blood - Land of Broken Dreams] is bringing protest back. Something about the world has made Ms. Weyes Blood very sad and she is going to sit here with her Stone Poneys record collection and her ukelele until you are also sad.

[Nathan Bowles - Chuckatuck] builds an entire bluegrass song from scratch right before your ears. Just hold on, he's figuring out this banjo. Okay wait. No. There it is. Got it, start listening. You're already listening? Shit, okay. Uh, he didn't have time to write any words though. You sure you want to listen to this? Okay man. He'll just pluck away at the banjo for three and a half minutes and see if anything develops. Nothing? Okay, how about if the last two minutes are this really slow electric guitar solo? I guess this song is pretty efficient in packing two instrumentals into a single mp3.

I was hoping for some sort of mariachi Beastie Boys here, but [Mariachi El Bronx - Wildfires] is straight mariachi.

I heard a Radiolab once about how the hygiene theory tries to explain the rise in allergies in modern Western society, and there was a big segment about how hookworms lull your immune system and could maybe turn off allergic reactions to other substances. Is a little anemia worth not dying around peanuts? [Hookworms - Radio Tokyo] has shouty low-fidelity glam vocals and a rock organ and does not prevent allergies. I would not recommend this song for treatment of anything.

You can probably guess the genre of music from the name "SLAVVE". Who would decide to name themselves a slave and then assert individuality by doubling the V? Because that exact kind of person is making terrible noises in [SLAVVE - Pity Party]. They walk a tightrope between hard rock and soft metal and don't get either one right.

[Torn Hawk - Because of M.A.S.K.] seems to be going down the same route as Minus the Bear. While searching for "Because of M.A.S.K." Google tried to auto-complete as "Let's Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time". Your titles are trying a little too hard, guys. I enjoyed M.A.S.K. in my childhood but I don't see what it has to do with five minutes of neon-lit ambient synth.

[Jim-E Stack - Reassuring] soothes you with the two piano chords he knows. Once you're good and soothed he kicks in the drum machine and starts looping distorted vocal samples and god it just goes on and on. It shows an understanding of the craft of music, which can't be said of SLAVVE, but why are we ending December with all these chill tropical beats?

11Dec2014 2015: Cyber-Jonesing

Exciting news this week: thanks to me personally clicking the buttons necessary over Thanksgiving, my parents have now been upgraded to a full 1.5MB DSL line. That's potentially six times faster than the rural wireless that has been the bane of my vacations. YouTube might be usable! I'd like to congratulate them on taking their first step into the wonderful world of broadbaaaaaaand it's gone.

It's tough keeping up with the cyber-Joneses, who in this example are South Korea.

[Your Old Droog - U 47] is a mild rap/R&B tune that goes easy on the guns and hard on the jams. I didn't mind it spooling away in the background while I typed other stuff but it didn't leave much of an impression.

[Janine and the Mixtape - Hold Me] is the kind of diva slowjam that usually has the diva writhing around on a bed and smelling her man's shirts in the closet.

Here we go. [Snoh Aalegra - Paradise] picks up the tempo a bit with a slightly funky pop song. Her voice cracks like Billie Myers and the whole thing reminds me of high school music...but I don't need any more of that.

[Elizabeth Shepherd - What's Happening] would be a pretty good catch for a playlist with What's Up? and What's Going On? and What's the Frequency Kenneth?, and I do like the occasional foray into lounge acts. This gives me the feel of a 60s cop procedural or a classier-than-average Bond song.

[Beacon - Fault Lines] starts with a synth bassline that had me worried about Yet Another Dance Tune. There are actual words in here, though, and the overall effect is of an ambient videogame score like from Antichamber or Mirrormoon EP.

And after all the jazzy or absurdist bits I just waded through, [Kagoule - Adjust the Way (single mix)] feels like a completely straightforward rock song. This is what Top 40 stations play when they cast about for "hard rock". It sounds like nothing so much as Weezer covering a Marilyn Manson song but is kind of fantastic despite all my snide descriptions.

03Dec2014 1945: Total Nick Move

Everybody done eating? Good. Let's get back to this thing. While I wasn't looking, Nickelodeon started airing Legend of Korra on actual TVs again. Now it looks even more like Nick was not prepared for how intense Season 3 got and panicked it off the air without a PR plan. If that was all the news about Korra I could end this paragraph on a slightly positive note. Unfortunately Nick also dicked with Korra in a negative manner: they suddenly cut the animation budget to the point that one of the creators took to his blog to apologize in advance for the clip episode. I've never seen a contract for a television show, but I assume they exist. I wonder what theirs looked like and how this was possible.

Speaking of massive mismanagement in the entertainment industry, listen to a raging egotist explain how another raging egotist stunted his career and then he almost died from a staph infection. Wrestling is only great when you're seven but maaaaaannn the wrestling business is fascinating. I also find it interesting that every sport and sportlike product produced since 1950 has been a morass of concussions and steroids that is only just coming to light. Yes, even badminton. I Googled "badminton steroid use" to try and put a punch on this joke but did not expect to actually find something.

I've been remiss in blogging, between turkey and cat butts, so I'm way behind on hating the free music that is available to me from any computer in the world instantly. [Zola Blood - Meridian] is not about Blood Meridian, so there's a trick they'll never get back. It's yet another uptempo vocal track that exists solely to be remixed onto something danceable.

[Omer Avital - New Song] is an instrumental that even Omer didn't care enough to name. My policy on instrumentals is well-known but this one is loungey and jazzy and sounds like it might have come from a Sega Dreamcast menu screen. I'll take it!

Faster faster hurry up [Youth Decay - Little Winnipeg] is shouty punk in the 90s style. I won't keep it but I get pleasurable Tony Hawk flashbacks. [Fickle Friends - For You] is 80s dance-pop. [Steve Gunn - Milly's Garden] is a country-tinged soft pop song. Behold as I dismiss your masterworks with a few words while gorging on krumkake!

The end credits song for Despicable Me 5 will be [Ryan Corn - Wonderful Things]. A reformed supervillain jangling a guitar in a park while cooing about love. [Matuto - Ivory Coast] is zydeco-African, so...just let that sink in.

Whew! Caught up to December, at least. That means a whole new crop of dance synth crapping up my Wednesday nights. [New Build - Look in Vain] is the first of many. Even I get tired of comparing all these "new" bands to famous 80s pop acts. Maybe that's because all of them try to sound like The Smiths and almost succeed.

Yeah, hit me with that "feat"! "Teengirl Fantasy" sounds like a made-up Homestar Runner skit, and [Teengirl Fantasy - Lung (feat. Lafawndah)] is just as unlistenable as last year's dose.

I was staring at the Google Music webpage during [Deptford Goth - The Loop] and I forgot music was playing three times.