Crews already posted this but its worth reposting. They fucking brought it on Letterman, damn! This record is really good, seriously look into it. These guys are cool dudes and probably going to be pretty huge some day. They totally have the ability to crossover to the masses. Just saw they are on bonarroo now too. Good for them.
¶ posted by Zazz at 2:50 PM
I'm kinda surprised to see this. If you aren't into comics, Brian K. Vaughan is a young-ish writer guy who's responsible for some of the best comics of the last few years, like Runaways, Y The Last Man, and (my favorite) a really awesome Dr. Strange mini that came out last year. His comic work has kinda dwindled since becoming a staff writer on Lost last year. He was apparently in the dramatic writing program at NYU at the exact same time I was, but I have absolutely no recollection of ever meeting him. I think he was a year ahead of me.
Anyway, it's always great to see good comics get mainstream attention, even if the story is about tv as much as comics.
¶ posted by darkness at 1:03 PM
"Take me away to some other land. Thank you people."
Ween Monday January 28th - Athens - Georgia Theater Tuesday January 29th - Atlanta - Tabernacle
Holy hot shit. What a couple of bitching days. 6+ hours worth of music & 60 songs later, I am a better man. Ween destroyed. I mean absolutely fucking leaking brain matter destroyed. Georgia is destroyed.
Started off cutting out of work around 3:30 on Monday and driving straight to Athens. First stop was at Nick's Satisfactory tshirt shop. His shit is completely legit now - he has this huge octopus that spits out amazing shirts. Met up with him and picked up the UGA boog shirts and had a chat. Then straight down to the Caledonia to meet Griggs to start the Forum happyhour. Alan Corey and Sadia came by for a drink before borders, and so did zeig, ian, and mb. A BUNCH of people showed up and the ween mix was jamming. Really had a great time meeting folks and selling those shirts. They went over yall, really well. By the time Jon and I walked up to the theater (wearing them of fucking course!) you would have thought we were the band. Everyone was freaking the fuck out. I had people hugging me, wanting to buy 10 of them. I told everyone who wanted one to meet me outside afterwards. Bought the poster for the show (which is fucking insane) and quickly ran it back to my car. Got back and JC had 2 cold ones waiting. We decided to jam canned beer b/c god knows that Theater keg beer will cause a fungus in your kahonkis. Called Griggs, Kevlane, and MB who were waiting at the Caledonia and told them to get the fuck up here it was about to be on. Unfortunately didn't see Griggs or KevLane the rest of the night, it was so packed.
9:15 the band rolls on and the place fucking erupts. They are all in a really fucking good mood (except the drummer claude who had the flu) and were really giving us one to remember. The set list was incredible, one of the best i've seen hands down. The other cool thing was Jon (who has a moderate amount of ween stuff) knew all but 4 songs. So the average listener had a great jam too.
Athens Setlist: 1. Exactly Where I'm At 2. She Wanted to Leave 3. HIV 4. Spinal 5. Bananas and Blow 6. Learnin to Live 7. Voodoo Lady 8. Party 9. Take Me Away 10. Even if You Don't 11. Waving my Dick in the Wind 12. Touch my Tooter 13. Pandy Fackler 14. Buckingham Green 15. Bare Hands 16. Final Alarm 17. Mutilated Lips 18. Stroker Ace 19. Gabrielle 20. Johnny on the Spot 21. Did You See Me 22. The Mollusk 23. Frank 24. Booze Me Up 25. Fat Lenny *Encore* 26. Licking the Palm 27. Mushroom Festival in Hell 28. You Fucked Up 29. Fiesta 30. Blarney Stone
This setlist was brown as hell. Face melters. Deaner was bent over doing his hunchback solos half the show. So many crazy ones in here. Those that immediately stick out are Touch My Tooter, PANDY!, Buckingham Green, among others. This run: Stroker Ace > Gabriel > I'll Be Your Johnny On The Spot about killed me. Jon and I were going fucking crazy. Johnny was over the top as hell and they hadn't really even started with the browness. The rest of the set was WILD. People moshing, hippies jamming, the dudes in front of us who were TRIPPING BALLS were doing some killer interpretative dancing. At one point JC was running to get more brews (we broke by the way and started with the big keg beers) and the 2 dudes in front of us turn around to me and hold up a Visine bottle and ask me "is it time?" - i yelled, "WHAT IS THAT?!"...."Liquid mescalin, BRAH!"...."uh, no im jammin fine brah"... Then later the guy asked me if i knew where we could score some coke. Maybe it was my CB jacket? who knows. Flip and i are buzzin completely as they are closing the show and finish the set with one of the most rousing versions of "Blarney Stone" EVER maybe. Everyone was hugging and swaying and getting their balls punched. Incredible. Didnt want it to end but Claude the drummer looked like death. Show ends and we are hammered, yet jam jam jammin. I walk out front and there were a bunch of poeple waiting to get shirts.
We heard the band might be hanging at GA Bar so we went to the Globe first for a drink and met up with a friend of one of Ween's managers and had a beer waiting for some time to pass before going to the GA Bar. Dude was cool as hell and i bet he thought Jon and i were totally retarded b/c we were krunkly yammering on and on about the show. WE walk out of the Globe and run into this dude who was freaking out to get one of the shirts. FREAKING OUT. He and his friend follow us down to the caledonia parking. The friend of the dude ended up being a total fucking DOUCHE. He got into it with Jon about what sized dress shirt he wore as we're standing with my trunk open. A few more big ass burley dudes (gentle giants) come down and buy up a few of the XXL ones while this kid is being a punk as bitch. We close up shop and head to get a cab home b/c we dont want to die. VAN cab pulls over and fuck 2 other people already in there, we get in anyway (little did we know). This girl and a guy (who was face down passed out leaning on her) were in the seat in front of us and Flip and I had to call Ice to give him some fucking updates. We were drunkenly recounting the night (in CNN talk) when i was telling ice about how the dudes in front of us at the show were hilarious stoners and wanted cocaine. The dude who was passed out starts swaying and leans back to Flip and says something like "you dont know shit about cocaine!" and Flip says "what the fuck do you know about me!?" then the dude starts to swing his arm back like he was taking the worst drunken swing at someone ever. Flip puts his hand on the dude's arm to stop him and then he starts pushing back on the seat and getting pissed off. Rising up out of the seat and trying to fight us all the while his bitch ass girlfriend was yelling at us. Ice said it sounded like we were in Baghdad over the phone with all the yelling. The cab pulls over and the driver starts yelling too. The bitch then says "they started it"...i thought flip was going to mind whip her. Everyone calms down and within 1 second the dude had passed out again. What a fucking piece of shit. I think we had some choice words for the asshole as he almost fell out of the van. Get home to Flip's safely and head right to bed to crash. Exhausted.
Next morning we get up and I get to JAMMMMMMMMMMM some new Flip jams. Mind scorch #47 in the past 24 hours. Woah, seriously. 4 horse strong. Meet up with my lady (who has a job going on in ATH) for lunch and then head back to ATL to catch a nap before heading to Ice's for the preshow jam. Get to ice's at 5:15 and he, AJ, and Ayers are already there jamming. Ayers brought the funnel. Its on. Ween jamming the stereo and we have a killer taco bell prejam at the Chardonnay Cooldown. SM and Laura make their way over and we are outta there. We head over to SIDEBAR which is a bar around the corner where more of the Forum folks were meeting up and was also where i told people i would meet them with the shirts. Walk in and blam sold like 13 shirts right off the bat. I am nearly out of them btw. Met some really really cool people. We were running kinda late so i had to jet quickly then ice and i had to run all the way back to the car to drop off the box of shirts as the rest of the crew heads in. We get back, no line to get in which was cool and grab a brew and walk in. At this point the place is half empty, but its usually a late crowd so it was nice to find a spot (right in front of the sound board up against the railing) and just chill. Ran into this guy Johnny who has been documented by the band as their biggest fan. He lives in Memphis and has been to every show since like '97, that was up until the Durham show this year - he was sick as a dog and he missed Durham, M Beach, and Athens. Anyway he is so close to the band that he rides in the bus with them and shit, bros. He had been calling me to get one of the UGA Boog shirts so when i introduced myself he was excited to see me. I gave him his shirt and 2 for Gene and Dean. Also met up with Tim at this point to pop his Ween cherry. Oh what a glorious night to do that. SM and I waxed poetic about the first time she saw them her freshman year at the 40 watt. Laura now has also seen them 2 times and had a great time. She really is a loving wife for putting up with my penchant for bands who play epic brutal live shows. Between Ween and GBV she's seen some barnburners with me, and i love her for it!
The band hits the stage around 8:10 and the world is right. Atlanta is a funny place for Ween. They have had some of their really craziest shows here but after the awesomeness of Athens i didnt know how it was going to roll esp with Claude being sick. But what the fuck to I know? The show was up to the hammjamm from the night before if not ready to hammjamm more. FUCKING INTENSE SHOW.
1. ICE CASTLES 2. AIDS 3. GOLDEN EEL 4. THE STALLION PT. 3 (FUCKING AMAZING!!!) 5. BANANAS AND BLOW 6. LEARNIN' TO LOVE 7. VOODOO LADY 8. ZOLOFT 9. TRANSDERMAL CELEBRATION 10. TAKE ME AWAY 11. STROKER ACE 12. OBJECT 13. BUCKINGHAM GREEN 14. WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS 15. YOUR PARTY 16. LAURA (woah!) 17. PISS UP A ROPE 18. DON'T SQUEAL ON THE PUSHER (LONG DRUM SOLO) 19. TOUCH MY TOOTER 20. MISTER WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP MY PONY 21. WOMAN AND MAN 22. ARABIC CHANT / CAN'T PUT MY FINGER ON IT 23. OCEAN MAN 24. THE MOLLUSK 25. EL CAMINO 26. BUENOS TARDES (WTF. FREAKIN') -------------------- 27. FIESTA 28. PUERTO RICAN POWER 29. DR. ROCK (!!!!!!!!!!) 30. SOMEDAY
Out of the two nights they only played 11 of the same songs both nights. Wow, there's something to be said for that. They were on fire, totally ripping and by the time it got to Transdermal...they had us in the palm of their hand. The show probably sold out b/c it was so fucking crowded. I went to go to the bathroom and make a beer run and it was almost impossible to get back. I was that dick walking through the crowd pushing my way back up, which meant that was the only beer run I tried b/c i dint want to jeopardize not getting back in our spot. Oh well. Woman & Man, fuck. Pony, fuck. Cant Put My Finger On It, FUCK!!! "Are you surprised when I touch the dwarf inside?" STALLION, TRIPLE FUCK! It was just a fucking jam session through and through. Saw a bunch of songs i have never seen before which was cool and it looks from the sound of things that these two shows might have been 2 of the best of the tour so far! Hell yes. When they started the closing number Dean rang one chord out that started like the first chord to one of my ace jams "Fluffy" which i have never seen live. This is the song i could easily see me sheding some man tears during (esp after all this recent dog drama). It ended up being the song "Someday" which was almost as epic, but not really. Fluffy probably would have put it over the top.
Anyway fucking insane coupla days. Loved every minute of it, even the Theater hangover yesterday. Best Ween shows i've seen, and I feel really lucky to be able to catch one of my favorite bands 2 nights in a row and having them deliver a completely different set both nights. This band is the real deal, i love them. Ok now i'll stop writing about them for a while, promise. i know you guys are probably sick of it. DEAL WITH IT! I'm just jammin'...
¶ posted by Zazz at 11:06 AM
This vote is now officially up for grabs. So get a-courtin', Senators. What will you promise to do for me? Like, specifically, directly, individually me? A snow-blower would be a nice start.
¶ posted by darkness at 10:26 AM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Fuck the Mets.
Johan Santana was my favorite non-Brave until today. Now I hate him with the fury of a thousand exploding suns. Unlike Pedro, Johan isn't nearly awesome enough to make me forgive his horrible Mets-ness. He's also an asshole for refusing Minnesota's totally reasonable 5-year / $100 million offer. Still, this'll make it even sweeter when the Braves when the division next year.
And shit, I have way too many Mets on my keeper team now. Johan, Pedro, David Wright: all are available, if you're still in Baseball Moguls. Which I don't think is a single one of you dickheads.
¶ posted by darkness at 5:10 PM
Can...Not....Fucking.... WAIT! The 2 night jam sesh starts tonight. For those in Athens, even if you aren't going to the show, come down to the CALEDONIA sometime after 6 to hang and have a drink. Griggs and I are hosting a happy hour thing. Brews & Ween jams up until show time. Should be a good time, so seriously come by - even if you don't have tickets because we're RAFFLING TWO TICKETS off. $2 an entry i think. Don't worry, the proceeds are going to Nuci's Space not our show beer fund.
For tomorrow, the ATL folks, I think we're havin' a hang at Ice's Chardonnay Cooldown before the show (maybe like 5:30?). The band goes on at 8 or 8:30 tomorrow, so we'll probably leave for the show at like 7:15-7:30?
was left at 9:49 am on February 5, 2004, by somebody called Franky. The commenter posted from the IP address 18.104.22.168 and entered email@example.com as his/her e-mail address. The comment reads in its entirety:
"hey at least you aint blowin up that new drowning pool!"
The comment was in response to this post, a list of Elliott's favorite records of 2003.
The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the "B-Ballnacht". Thousands upon thousands of the world's greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the "Verboten Jam"...
Flash forward 12 years to the post-cyberpocalyptic ruins of Neo New York, 2053. A Chaos Dunk rocks the island of Manhattan, killing 15 million. When the finger is put on the aging Charles Barkley, he must evade the capture of the B-Ball Removal Department, led by former friend and baller Michael Jordan, and disappear into the dangerous underground of the post-cyberpocalypse to clear his name and find out the mysterious truth behind the Chaos Dunk. Joined by allies along the way, including his son Hoopz, Barkley must face the dangers of a life he thought he gave up a long time ago and discover the secrets behind the terrorist organization B.L.O.O.D.M.O.S.E.S.
Matthew Mcconaughey might be the coolest dude on the planet. No shit. His website is an invigorating breath of fresh bro air. He is officially the long lost Forever Dude.
J.K. Livin' is a personality MM invented back in the 80's to "Just Keep Livin'" - WOAH. He now has a record label and is further giving back to mother earth through his spirit. Click the JK Livin' link in the upper right hand corner and take a trip. Jam some tunes. Live. His journal reads like a post from one of our own bros, just shootin' the shit about things that mean some shit to him. Like life. I want to hang with this dude so bad and just mind riff with him. He seems like he would be into everything we are. Just jammin' eternally. He lives an amazing life. Here's to you JK.
Cumulus can suck my balls...here's the playlist from my last show. The Whigs and the Selmanaires came by and jammed. Awesome! DJ...where the fuck were you beyotch!? The France had an open invite
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations Vampire Weekend - A Punk Editors - Road to Nowhere (Sunday School live session) Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins - Rise Up With Fists!!! Black Lips - Veni Vedi Veci (Diplo remix) Mastodon - Sleeping Giant MGMT - Time To Pretend Spoon - Don't You Evah Black Mountain - Evil Ways Gentleman Jessie & His Men - I Don’t Wanna Know Ween - Friends Mars Volta - Wax Simulacra The Whigs - Already Young (Live In Studio) The Whigs - Right Hand On My Heart Against Me! - Stop Rogue Wave - Lake Michigan (Sunday School live session) Janelle Monae - Violet Stars Happy Hunting Queens of the Stone Age - Make It Wit Chu Still Flyin' - Rope Burn Hot Chip - Shake A Fist Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts The Coathangers - Parking Lot The Selmanaires - Long Road (Live In Studio) The Selmanaires - Broken Mirrors in the Mud M.I.A. - Paper Planes
¶ posted by Elliott at 9:52 AM
Remember The Pitts? The sit-com that ran for four weeks on Fox back in April of '03? That starred Dylan Baker, Lizzy Caplan, and the late Kellie Waymire? Created by a guy who worked on The Simpsons for like 15 years, including the '91-'95 glory days? Directed by total pros like Tom Cherones (familiar to anybody who ever watched a bonus feature on the Seinfeld DVDs) and Lee Shallat Chemel (Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, Newsradio, Head of the Class, Cavemen, uh, Becker... like twenty dozen more...)? Had an episode where the teenaged daughter's brand new Volkswagon bug was possessed by the ghost of a pedophiliac black man? Which made the daughter depressed, because she already had a haunted cello? Had another episode in which the parents entered a fun run, wound up lost in the misty moors, and got bitten by werewolves? Well, it was a pretty great show, and apparently it might be returning in animated form. With the same writers, with Baker and Caplan, and with Andy Milonakis voicing the son. This is potentially good news.
¶ posted by darkness at 1:05 PM
This past weekend might have been the worst ones of my life, and I know L feels the same way. It all boils down to the fact that we had to return our new dog, Cooper, to its breeder. Friday afternoon Laura came home at lunch time to let Cooper out and noticed that his hind legs were shaking severely and he was bowing them out when he used the bathroom, he was being a puppy most of the time though and she thought he was ok. I get home at 3:30 and take him out. We are out in the back yard doing yard work and I quickly notice that he is having trouble walking. Its almost as if his hind legs were not working properly, he looked woozy and he was flopping around and falling down. His rear legs were just not working. I call L and tell her to meet me at the vet, and get in the car right away. We got there around 4 and after 4 hours of diagnosis, xrays, and vet analysis - our vet determined that Cooper might have a ruptured disc in the last vertebrae of his back, right above his pelvis. She gave us sedatives, and anti-inflammatory, and one other pill to rid his body of any bacteria. They told us to keep him as immobile as possible all weekend (which is almost impossible with a puppy) and to return on Monday to see if he had gotten any better. We got home and he conked out for the night. It was late and we emailed our Breeder to give her an update on everything that had happened.
Saturday rolls around and we met some family for lunch and to do a little shopping. We thought quiet time in his crate would do Cooper some good. When we returned Saturday afternoon, Cooper was much worse. He could not walk 3 steps without falling down. Laura and I were floored and could barely keep it together. To watch something like this have so much trouble walking absolutely kills you. We called the vet again. She said this was not a good sign and referred us to the UGA vet school for further prognosis with a neurologist. UGA, for those who don't know, has one of the finest veterinary hospitals in all the US. However, this is not a good sign at all, based on the fact that family members of ours have taken pets to UGA, and when they get sent to UGA - its quite serious. Our breeder had emailed us back and wanted to speak with the vet. We kept Cooper comfortable all Saturday and tried to keep him as quiet as possible but he is just a ball of energy. We were incredibly sad, but still somewhat optimistic about what Sunday will bring, maybe a long nights rest will do his back some good. Not the case. Sunday we woke up and he was still getting worse. He would go through periods where he could barely get up to periods of him being a normal puppy but the former were happening far too often. At this point we needed to contact our breeder. Laura called because I was a basket case and was afraid of how I would handle my emotions on the phone with her. Our breeder was great, she was right there with us and agreed that we needed to go to UGA for further prognosis and that she was going to try and come to the appointment. We again try to keep Cooper quiet all day Sunday, but it was hard - he was running low on his sedative and we went back to the vet to get refills. Late Sunday night we started to notice a new development. Cooper's head was now shaking and bobbing, sort of like he had Parkinson's disease. Tremors anytime his head was not in a sleeping/resting position. This was devastating to watch, b/c with this we basically know this is a very serious situation.
Monday comes and we get our vet to make the appointment with UGA, they are booked solid, but thankfully there is a cancellation on Tuesday. We stop the meds based on what UGA told us and took Cooper to Athens on Tuesday morning. Thankfully our breeder met us there and sat in with us on all the meetings with the neurologist, she asked a ton of questions we would have never known to ask. After a very long and thorough inspection of Cooper the neurologist came back in and gave us the news. It wasnt his back that was bothering him, it was his brain. Cooper more than likely had a severe problem in his CEREBELLUM. It could have been 1 of 5 things, ranging from (highly likely) degenerative cerebellar disease (key brain cells dying off) to cancer. The assessment though focused on the cerebellar abiotrophy. There isn't really a cure for this type of disease but the doctor basically told us that in a lot of cases with diseases like this - the animal reaches a plateau state, where it doesn't really get worse and it can live for an extended period of time. The symptoms matched perfectly - lack of balance, head and body tremors, overcompensating movements, etc.
The vet said that there is a silver lining to this situation. Cooper after some impending major surgery, will not feeling any pain. He may be clumsy and his head may shake, but he is not feeling pain caused from this. The past 5 days for Laura and I have been crushing - starting Friday morning with a completely 100% fine puppy and ending yesterday with a dog with a potentially life threatening disease. We are essentially 2 basket cases, I really don't think we have tear ducts anymore. 10 days and he's already completely bonded in our family. I had been saving for this surprise for 6 months and since Friday our vet bills have been over $1000 before UGA. Going into Tuesday, L and I talked and we could not deal with this situation either financially or emotionally based on what our vet told us to expect. The surgery on the low end could cost up to $3,300, and that's not taking into account any future care. Our last dog was an extreme special needs case and dealing with something like that on a daily basis is almost impossible.
All this being said, we truly feel as if this situation has come out in the best case scenario for all parties, including Cooper. As it is right now Cooper is going to go back to live with the breeder on her huge farm. She doesn't work and is a retired nurse who loves to take care of dogs in situations like these. One thing that L and I said was that we would never "abandon" or "give up" on Cooper and after yesterday, I feel confident in the fact that he is going to live a better life out at the farm than he would with us. We decided instead of demanding a refund on the money we paid for Cooper, that we would donate that money to go towards Cooper's surgery. As an incredibly nice gesture our breeder promised us a pup from a future litter. While we're no way emotionally ready to jump right back in, in a few months we'll be ready. Amazingly after hundreds of pups to come from this breeder, Cooper was the only case where something so wrong (something that couldn't be fixed with a simple shot) had happened. Freak anomaly.
These past 5 days have been absolutely devastating for us, and watching Cooper drive off with the breeder yesterday felt like someone kicked me in the heart. We truly feel that all things happen for a reason and now Cooper is going to "the clumsy one" running around with the gaggle of dogs out at the farm. We can go see him when we want seeing that the farm is about 25 minutes from our house, so that is a comfort as well. The support we received from our friends, the God-send of a breeder, and the professionalism of the UGA doctors have really helped us get through this shitty time. Truly, thank you to everyone who gave us well wishes and called and texted us. It meant more than you guys know.
¶ posted by Zazz at 11:55 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sidewalk: 1, My Back: 0
There's a reason you're legally obligated to shovel your sidewalk in Massachusetts. Today I completely wiped out on some lazy asshole's iced-over sidewalk on Mossland while walking to the train, and my back and elbow have been aching ever since. If this shit isn't better by tomorrow morning, I'm definitely suing the hell out of somebody. Good thing I wasn't walking Oscar, or I could've crushed the little guy.
And hey, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts - that was a total dickhead move you pulled yesterday. You know what I'm talking about.
¶ posted by darkness at 1:23 PM
Also for any interested parties, Griggs and I are hosting a Ween Forum Happy Hour at the Caledonia the day of the show (Monday January 28th), even if you arent going to the show you should come drink, and listen to a killer ween mix blastin'.
¶ posted by Zazz at 10:10 AM
I'm not ashamed to play video games. Not too ashamed. Okay, maybe kind of moderately ashamed, but only when around my father-in-law, or when I meet my boss's thirteen-year-old son and wind up talking about X-Box for ten minutes. But c'mon, I grew up with video games, they've grown up with me, and if the technology existed before our generation then I'm sure adults would've been playing them for decades.
I finally tracked down a Wii in February, picked up an X-Box 360 on New Year's Eve, and have never even seen a PS3 out of the box. I feel like my knowledge of 2007's Wii releases is fairly comprehensive, whereas I've barely scratched the surface of the 360's amazing line-up of games. Still, I've played a handful of the most acclaimed X-Box games, and you'll see a few near the top of my list. And despite what some on-line critics write, 2007 was a pretty damn good year for Wii games, too.
What makes a good game, in my mind? I don't really care about graphics, per se, but look for good art design, intuitive controls, an engrossing story, and, above all else, enjoyable gameplay. A game can excel at the first three but still suck if it's not fun to play. If the gameplay is great enough, lapses in one or two of the first three are totally fine.
(I realize controls are an integral component of gameplay, but when I say "intuitive" I'm talking about controls that are easy to grasp and make sense within the context of the game and story. A game with good gameplay will have, at the very least, adequate controls. Metroid Prime 3, Wario Ware, and skate. are good examples of games with control schemes that are elegant and intuitive enough to be worthy of praise outside the rubric of gameplay. I guess it's more of a bonus than a necessity, then. Anyway...)
So here's my top five, with the caveat that I haven't played many of the most acclaimed games. I haven't played Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, anything on the PS3, or Bioshock beyond the demo. That demo alone almost got it a spot on my top five list. It could very well displace one of these games, whenever I get around to playing it.
1. Portal (part of The Orange Box for the X-Box 360) and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) (tie)
In the end, I couldn't decide against either game. Both games are simply amazing, and both rely heavily upon understanding the physics of the universes they create. Other than that there's almost no similarity. Portal is a revolutionary first-person shooter in which you don't actually shoot anybody or anything; Galaxy is a third-person 3D platformer that injects new life and a new perspective on perhaps the most classic gameplay elements ever devised. On one hand Portal should be the clear winner; it's definitely more important to the future of gaming than Super Mario Galaxy, and its story is far more clever (and cleverly told) than the almost non-existent story in Galaxy. Still, it is only three hours long. I’ve put four to five times that many into Galaxy and still don’t have all 120 stars. And almost every minute of Galaxy has been thoroughly fun and enjoyable. Galaxy is like downloading pure undiluted fun directly into your brain. It’s almost like Galaxy is the near perfection of what games have been, whereas Portal is a brief glimpse into what games can (and hopefully will) become*. Both games are supremely satisfying; Portal's satisfaction is more intense but short-lived, whereas Galaxy remains a constant source of fun for weeks on end. I simply can't label one better than the other. Both are absolute must-plays, and the best games released in 2007.
3. Rock Band (X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2)
My wife and I bought this on Friday; it was her decision, and frankly I've never been prouder of her. She loves to sing, and wants to learn the drums, and I'm all for that. Meanwhile, I kinda liked the Guitar Hero games, but got bored with them in maybe two days when I borrowed them from a co-worker. If I want to play "War Pigs" on a guitar, I'll play it on, you know, a real guitar. I also want to learn the drums, though, and playing fake video game guitar is a hell of a lot more fun when you've got your wife playing along with you. And I've been trying to get her to play video games with me for years now. So yes, Rock Band solves like two dozen different problems, right there, while also being tremendously fun. Once I'm able to kick ass on the drums on "Foreplay / Long Time" on the expert level, I'm heading directly to the nearest music store to buy myself a real kit.
4. Metroid Prime 3 (Wii)
The Metroid series has been my personal favorite since my older brother brought the original home from school one day back in 1988. It was the first game I ever played where I really felt immersed in its environment, and that immersion has only increased as the series has developed alongside advances in the technology. With the Prime series, Metroid's art design truly became, in my mind, the best in video games, and that accomplishment still stands (or at least did, until I played that Bioshock demo) on the game's first Wii incarnation. What's always been totally god-damned awesome about Metroid, then, is that the gameplay is always as excellent as that fantastic art direction. Prime 3 is no exception, as it finally finds a way to make the Wii remote (with nunchuk attachment) controls work perfectly in a first-person setting. The controls are the best in any game I played this year, truly intuitive and elegant, and a marked improvement over those found in the first two Metroid Prime games for the Gamecube. And the newly increased control over Samus's ship is a great, if underused, addition to the venerable series's gameplay. My only complaints are that the constant world-jumping slightly disrupts that classic Metroid retraversal gameplay, and that the hand-holding Aurora units make this installment noticeably easier than the previous two. Still, this is a beautiful game, and one of the most satisfying gaming experiences in recent memory.
5. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Wii)
Bad name, but an awesome game. Capcom's adorable adventure game is a throwback to classic point-and-click series like Maniac Mansion and Myst. Unlike the p&c standard, though, Zack & Wiki is broken up into distinct levels that are basically giant puzzles that need to be figured out one step at a time. Solutions are found through interacting with both the environment and objects found therein, and almost any misstep leads to Zack's gruesome death. It's not all trial-and-error, though, as common sense and knowledge gleaned from previous levels can help prevent the cute little guy's misery. It is supremely satisfying to finally figure out the solution to a level after dying repeatedly. The Wii remote is perfectly suited to the gameplay, and the cel-shaded graphics, reminiscent of Zelda: The Wind Waker, are amazingly cute and charming. This is almost the perfect example of how to successfuly utilize the strengths of the relatively underpowered Wii. Games don't need to be as visually amazing as Call of Duty 4 or have environments as large and densely populated as Assassin's Creed to be great; with the right visual flair and a gameplay style that exploits the system's unique controls, games for the Wii can be just as satisfying as anything on the more powerful consoles.
Honorable mentions: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS); Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (DS); Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Wii); that damn Bioshock demo (Xbox 360)
¶ posted by darkness at 2:26 PM
I read somewhere that the reason this album is so fucking excellent is because it takes the past (samples from the last - I don't know - 50 years of music) and melds it with the future (the act of stripping and treating and bending and editing samples to the point that they no longer are parts taken from songs, but are only parts comprising a brand new song in and of itself). To think about this music in those terms makes this something to behold, but it's not even my favorite thing about the record, which are the glorious vocals shimmering on top of the music. The melodies are so gorgeous that you're glad you can't see music because this would blind you.
2. Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam
When Sung Tongs blew my mind in '04 the musical euphoria reminded me of high school, which made me think I was going to get deeper and deeper into "experimental" music, as my high school musical discovery days kept leading me deeper and deeper into (relative) obscurity. It turns out I didn't really delve any deeper than AC; they're pretty much exactly what I want to hear in music: adventurous pop songs. By now they've firmly settled in as my favorite current band (a term that doesn't hold nearly as much significance as it used to - I am old), and I am already foaming at the mouth in anticipation of their NEXT album. While the highs aren't as high as their previous two lps, Strawberry Jam is their most consistent album, with only one song that doesn't really do it for me. This one has a lot more Panda Bear on it than Feels, which is, duh, a good thing. Seriously, I considered putting a live post-Strawberry Jam song as my favorite song of the year. That shit is going to rival Sung Tongs.
3. Vampire Weekend: Blue cdr
The first three songs I heard (Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, A-Punk, and Oxford Comma) threw me into an obsession that ended when I found the rest of their songs from this demo cdr. They were all enjoyable, but I had started with the cream of the crop. Unfortunately the soukous comparisons don't really extend beyond the songs that directly reference it in their titles (i.e. only one song), but the singer sure has a stranglehold on melody, and the rest of the band understands the art of economy in arrangement.
4. Life Without Buildings: Live At The Annandale Hotel
Man alive with this was still a band alive. Hearing them live adds a new layer to my appreciation of them.
5. Bruce Springsteen: Magic
The boss and E Street band covering Magnetic Fields songs!
6. Robert Forster & Grant McLennan: Intermission
This is sort of a best-of compilation of choice cuts from their 90's solo albums. Either they were in a lull or something magical happened when they made music together under the same moniker, and that makes me even sadder that there won't be anymore Go-betweens albums.
7. Je Suis Animal: album demos
Gary and Yoshi requested that this band open for Still Flyin' in Oslo on our last Scandinavian tour. I was really excited to see them just because of their name; then they played and blew me the fuck away. Broadcast meets My Bloody Valentine is sort of the realm of what they're doing. They sent me a bunch of demos for their album and I love it.
8. Night Moves: Up A Crane
Makes me want to start a record label so can I put this out. It's a personal treat to hear Adrian knock it out of the yard fronting his own band. Nite grooves.
9. Various Artists: After Dark/ Chromatics: Night Drive
Satisfies some part of me I didn't know needed satisfaction.
10. Vit Pals: ep #4
Weird Swedish pop songs. Sounds like a dude with a four-track who made up a tune and played it for his friends at the murder mystery dinner party and everyone decided the murder mystery dinner sucked and opted to record some more tunes and just jam or sing in the background. Hang out music with no murder and no mystery, just a vit and some pals.
11. Papercuts: Can't Go Back 12. Ladybug Transistor: Can't Wait Another Day 13. Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity 14. Times New Viking: Present The Paisley Reich 15. Architecture In Helsinki: Places Like This 16. Smallgoods: Down On The Farm 17. Lucksmiths: Spring A Leak 18. Clientele: God Save The Clientele 19. Folklore: The Ghost Of HW Beaverman 20. Panda Bear: Live at ZDB
2006 Album Jammer: Zebras: Worry A Lot
Albums that I haven't heard that I probably would/will enjoy: Dungen, Electrelane
1. Panda Bear: Bros 2. Animal Collective: Fireworks 3. Je Suis Animal: Secret Place By The Window 4. Panda Bear: Take Pills 5. Vampire Weekend: A-punk 6. UGK: International Player's Ball 7. Chromatics: Running Up That Hill 8. Vit Pals: Enda Stallet 9. Times New Viking: Teenage Lust 10. Animal Collective: Derek 11. Vampire Weekend: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa 12. Panda Bear: Carrots 13. Vampire Weekend: Oxford Comma 14. MIA: Paper Planes 15. Vit Pals: Loving You Was Crazy Shit 16. Bruce Springsteen: Livin' In The Future 17. Ladybug Transistor: Three Days From Now 18. Panda Bear: Ponytail 19. Shins: Australia 20. Smallgoods: Traipse Through The Valley
1. Konono no.1: April 28th Great American Music Hall SF 2. Je Suis Animal: April 12th Blaa Oslo, Norway 3. Jens Lekman: November 9th Bimbo's SF 4. Rump Posse: July 14th Drunken Unicorn Atlanta 5. Animal Collective: September 17th Fillmore SF 6. Lucksmiths: September 30th DC9 DC (yes it sounded excellent at that place that night) 7. Huey Lewis and the News: June 17th Stern Grove park SF 8. Night Moves: July 21st Caledonia Athens/October 5th 40 Watt Athens 9. Vit Pals: April 14th V-dala Nation Uppsala, Sweden 10. Forever Dudes: December 22nd Caledonia Athens
¶ posted by Jerkwater Johnson at 2:33 PM
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Movies I Jammed Last Year
1. The Lives Of Others (dvd jam) 2. Knocked Up 3. Superbad 4. Darjeeling Limited 5. No Country For Old Men 6. Hot Fuzz 7. Half Nelson (dvd) 8. Little Children (dvd) 9. Bourne Ultimatum 10. Last King Of Scotland (dvd)
I now have an X-Box 360, and with it an X-Box Live Gold membership. My gamer tag is currently Je Suis France, but that's kinda lame so I'll probably change it soon. Is that enough info for any of you guys to befriend me? We don't have wi-fi, so my 360's not always on-line. I plug it direct into the modem when I feel like downloading something. If anybody wants our consoles to high-five and play some Team Fortress 2, leave a comment with all relevant information.
Here are my Top 10 records of the year. These are the ones I listened to the most. There are probably some that are better, but fuck it. This was the first full year of doing my show, so I played the shit out of these on the air and I also started Djing a lot more around town, so that certainly influenced the list a lot too. Jam on!
10 – The Coathangers – s/t Girls from Atlanta are bad ass
9 – Rilo Kiley – Under the Black Light Jenny Lewis is rad…she was in the Wizard
8 - Justice – Cross French dudes normally are lame…these dudes aren’t
7 – Arcade Fire – Neon Bible These dorky ass Canadians ball like Shaq & Bron Bron
6 – Kanye West – Graduation Duuuuude…this album rules
5 – Lily Allen – Alright, Still Girl…why did you get preggers from that douche in the Chemical Bros. They’s gay
4 – White Stripes – Icky Thump You think you know, but you have no idea
3 – Against Me! – New Wave There’s a wildcat on the album screaming at your face
2 – LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver Sounds like my ears got a handjob
1 – Black Lips – Good Bad Not Evil This why is Atlanta is the greatest city ever…fuck you New York, fuck you LA, fuck you London, fuck you Brisbane. Athens and SF…y’all get a pass this time
Songs of the year::
10. Let’s Go Sailing – Sideways 9. Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe 8. Klaxons – Golden Skans 7. Modest Mouse – Dashboard 6. Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost? 5. Spoon – The Underdog 4. Justice – D.A.N.C.E. 3. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends 2. White Stripes – Icky Thump 1. MIA - Paper Planes
Remix of the Year: Peter Bjorn & John – Let’s Call It Off (Girl Talk remix)
Import of the Year: Kate Nash – Foundations
Show of the Year: Deerhunter – Georgia Theatre December 5th
Lifetime Achievement Award: Radiohead
Less art, more awesome…ohhh and they got jokes now too
Honorable mentions: Still Flyin' Je Suis France Jay Z Band of Horses The Shins Lil Wayne UGK....RIP Pimp C !!! Queens of the Stone Age
My favorite TV things I watched on Tivo/DVD/DVDR/BitTorrent:
1. the Wire s4 (dvdr) Soooooooooo easily the best show of all time.
2. the Office s3/4 (tv) Still doing it. The hour longs at the start of season 4 didn't work as well. 3. Battlestar Galactica s2/3/tv movie (dvd/bittorrent/tv) The highs approach the Wire in greatness, the lows approach the shitty sci-fi show you expect this to be before you see it. 4. Friday Night Lights s1/2 (tv) I should probably rank this number 3 or 2, but the fact is I don't get as excited too see this as the Office or BSG. Season 2 is not as good as season 1, but what is? 5. Deadwood s3 (dvd) Not as good as the prior two seasons, and the abrupt ending really left a bad taste in my mouth knowing that it was completely over. 6. Lost s3 (tv) Once they came back after the break they really nailed it. Finally.
7. 24 s5/6 (dvd/tv) Season 5 was great, season 6 nope. 8. Studio 60 s1 (tv) I would rather watch this than SNL. 9. Flight of The Conchords s1 (bittorrent) Funny to the point that I don't really laugh out loud, but I laugh a lot inside of my mind.
2008 is looking like a great year, dawgs! Oh yeah and the Fox announcers who were saying UGA looked unclassy in the fourth quarter after the dawgs ruined their bullshit "America's pullin for inspirational hawaii script" can bob my knob! GO DAWGS!
¶ posted by Zazz at 9:55 AM