Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wordy Wednesdays – “Ship of Fools” by Richard Paul Russo

More sci-fi! And this was a pretty good one.

As with many good sci-fi books, Ship of Fools mixes some action and technology with a dash of romance. Russo also adds religious questions, expanding the scope of the novel from the wonders of space travel to the deeper questions – what are we doing here?

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Timmo Tuesdays: Songs I can’t get enough of

There are just some songs that don’t get less awesome no matter how many times left on repeat in a drunken stupor (or a sober stupor even).  TV on the radio’s “Wolf Like Me” is one such song of uncontainable awesomeness. It may just be I’m a sucker for songs about werewolves, but this is a special one to be sure. The beat and bass-line carry a haunting energy. And the lyrics sound like they were written by a bona-fide werewolf (can’t say for sure that they weren’t). There’s also this great dissonance made by some kind of brass, and by the end of the song I am ready to run through the woods shirtless.

We’re howling forever, oh oh.

Note: I actually don’t have much of an opinion about this video, I think because when I hear the song I rock out so hard I stop watching what’s going on.

Regina Spektor Releases Single From New Album

First, go listen to it immediately on Soundcloud. Or through her website (which just embeds the Soundcloud track, but still).

(Source)

“All the Rowboats” is an old song. Spektor has played it live numerous times, but this new version departs significantly from the old one. The old version was just her singing and making noises while she played piano. It’s very stripped down. Check out the old version for yourself:

The new version has a lot of big sound, and the ‘gun noises’ (as I think of them) are now heavy mechanical beats, though Spektor’s voice still comes through underneath. It has more electronic noises. It is excellent.

The new album,What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, supposedly comes out sometime in May – but this is according to a Facebook post, so who knows. I’m dying to hear it though; Spektor is a musician that moves me like so few others can, and she does it so consistently it’s hard for me to believe.

“All the Rowboats” will be on iTunes tomorrow.

I’m going to hold off on talking about how much I love Regina Spektor’s work for another post – but you can bet I’ll be talking about the new album pretty much as soon as it comes out. I can’t wait for a tour as well – I haven’t seen her live enough. It’s almost like a religious experience for me. Wait, I said I’d spare you the gushing nerdy fandom love for another post.

I will say I’m hoping that “Loveology” will get the studio treatment.  Just listen:

It was on her Demo Tape, if I recall correctly, which was nice. I still want a fresh studio version.

Okay just a little gushing here I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS NEW ALBUM I CAN’T WAIT OH MAN OH MAN THIS DAY IS A GREAT DAY alright that’s enough for now.

Musical Monday – “We Share Our Mother’s Health” by The Knife

“Take me somewhere weird,” I told my iTunes as I put it on shuffle. It took me to The Knife.

My favorite song by The Knife, it has everything I like about them – weird, jerky sounds on top of steady electronic percussion, with slightly distorted vocals. The voices work together very well here – and they are both from the same woman with the pitch changed. Read the rest of this entry

Wordy Wednesday – “Silas Marner” by George Eliot

I wasn’t impressed with this novel.

I liked the characters, many of whom were humorously written, but the overall story was only okay. It’s about love and redemption and doing the right thing – and while I’m interested in those things, none of them were executed in a unique or new fashion here.

(Photo source)

Maybe for its time it was new, but I suspect it wasn’t and refuse to do any responsible research into the matter.

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Timmo Tuesdays: a review of Costume Quest

Before

After

In an era where the turn-based rpg is becoming an endangered species, Costume Quest is a silly, entertaining, and casual turn-based game. Double Fine Productions (headed by videogame legend Tim  Schafer) made this neat little Halloween romp for pc and consoles. You lead around a band of kids whose costumes allow them to transform into zany surreal monstrosities to wage battle against evil for the pursuit of candy (and saving the day).

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Musical Monday – “Black Tongue” by Mastodon

It’s a solid metal song!

Mastodon makes good music, even though I haven’t loved their latest, The Hunter, taken as an album. Individual songs off that album, however, are pretty good.

Take this:

For me, the drums come through powerfully in this song. Even when they’re showcasing a bit of guitar, the drums are pulling on my ear.

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Indie Game – Iji

I play games mostly to see how to story works. If it’s a good game, the story will be interesting, make sense, and involve believable (or entertaining) characters. If it’s a bad game, the story will be cliché, confusing, or twist itself into knots just to give the player an excuse to move on to the next level or area.

I like this gun, even though it knocks you down when you fire.

Iji, by Remar Games, has a good story. But even if you don’t care about storytelling in games, Iji is worth playing.

I urge you to play the game right now, without reading any further. There are minor spoilers under the cut, and Iji is best enjoyed by playing through and learning as you go. Check out the official trailer – watching it again has gotten me all pumped up to play Iji again:

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Wordy Wednesdays – William Blake, Crazy Poet (Part 1?)

This is Part 1 because I’m taking a class that is entirely about Blake, and I’m certain that I’ll encounter more things that I want to talk about.

But holy shit this guy is the best.

Sexy pants, right?

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Musical Monday – Jenny Owen Youngs Has A New Album Out!

And it’s a good album!

That’s a single from AN UNWAVERING BAND OF LIGHT, Jenny Owen Youngs’ new album. I’m not sold on the video but I really like the song.

The whole album is solid, start to finish, and you should go buy it right now from her Bandcamp page. It’s got a nice mix of big sound and slower, even-paced rhythms. If you’ve ever liked one of JOY’s songs before (I’m thinking you maybe enjoy Drinking Song, or her excellent cover of Hot in Herre) you’ll most likely enjoy this album.

Be sure to check out “Sleep Machine,” one of my favorites on the album. I couldn’t find a good Youtube video of it, but you can listen to the entire album on the Bandcamp page.