A Post In Which I Address A Radio Station As If It Were A Sentient Being

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Sting, I’ll admit, but golly, SmoothJazzWJJZOneOhSixPointOnePhiladelphia, did you have to ruin “Fields of Gold” for me for all time by playing that awful Muzak version?
And let’s not even talk about that horrific rendition of “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” that you spewed out across the airwaves this morning.
Good grief!

Arrrrrrrgh! Curses!

What is it with friends’ weddings? Gah! Looks like I’m going to have to miss yet another U2 concert because of one.
Thanks, Brad, thanks Andy. Can’t you guys get ESP and sanity check your wedding days for potential U2 concert dates? I mean, c’mon.

Sometimes You Feel Like An Idiot

…other times, you know you are.
Now, I’m not saying that I know this from personal experience, but let’s just take a hypothetical situation:
Let’s say that you just saw Shaun of the Dead and really enjoyed it, particularly the scene that took place in The Winchester where the castmembers beat the tar out of the zombified barkeep to the strains of a Queen song. Let’s say that you then spent the next couple of months looking for that particular song, convinced that it was called “Mr. Fahrenheit”. Let’s also posit that you were never intelligent enough to search based on lyrics instead of song title, thus preventing you from figuring out that, while “Mr. Fahrenheit” does indeed occur in the lyrics of the song in question, it is in fact called “Don’t Stop Me Now” and it resides on your wife’s best-of Queen two disc set.
Given all that, then I do believe the sound of you slapping your forehead in personal disgust and frustration may well have been audible as far away as Cleveland.

Nostalgia-Inducing Music

I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with remixed video game music. Back in college, before MP3s had really and truly taken root in the collective American media consumer psyche, there were many young artists providing MIDI remixes of some of the greatest video game titles, and Lo! They were Good. However, MIDIs began to lose their shine once Napster came onto the scene and I was able to obtain “high quality” (“Like, wow! 128kbps, man!”) copies of legitimate music. I soon forgot about those glorious MIDI remixes.
I’ve “stumbled” over OverClocked Remix several times over the past two or three years and from my samplings, Lo! It is Good as well. The wonders contained within its hallowed virtual halls include (but are not limited to) fully instrumentalized versions of the Castlevania theme, “Rammstein” remixes of River City Ransom music, and more swing/jazz/lounge remixes of the Super Mario Brothers theme than you can shake a stick at. However, I had largely forgotten OCRemix until the other day when I discovered that you could download the first 1000 remixes by means of two very convenient Torrents. If you’ve any interest in video games, music, or the study of geek culture, I suggest you immediately order your computer to do thy bidding and download those 1000 files as soon as is feasible.
Not sure what BitTorrent is or how to use it? Head on over to the official BitTorrent site and download it first, hit their FAQ and then hit Freshmeat to perhaps find a BT client more to your liking.
And, if the OCR stuff hits your sweet spot, you may want to hit VGMusic.com. A lot of their stuff is straight MIDI (gasp!) rips directly from the old games themselves.
Happy downloading! And remember to leave BitTorrent running after you’re done downloading as it helps others to get the same files you just ungraciously leeched off your fellow netizens. *chuckle*

Things That Make You Go “Hmmmmm.”

This article raises an extremely interesting question, namely: what, pray tell, constitutes the best Jewel concert ever?
I, for one, would have enjoyed the sight of a hopped-up folk singer lambasting her fans for being fat, drunk and stupid.

Musical Notes

I’ve recently added two albums to my “Listening” queue (over to the right) and both come highly recommended.
First off is Since I Left You by the Avalanches. Taken individually, each of the songs can be mildly amusing, with the exception of the one single off the album, “Frontier Psychiatrist.” However, taken as a whole, the entire album is simply wonderful. The songs all flow together and provide an unobtrusive background “soundtrack” for your extended gaming/reading/coding sessions. Although it may be hard to track down, I’d recommend you see if you can pick it up in a bargain bin.
The second is Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars by Fatboy Slim. While it’s no “Better Living Through Chemistry” or “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby”, it is still greatly entertaining. The first three or four songs are ultimately forgettable, but once you get to “Ya Mama,” the rest of the album is pure gold. This album, too, is a good background listen, but it’s also suitable for a good long car ride.

Curse You, Jack Black!

Curse you and your infernal School of Rock! For lo, now unto every hearing of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant’s Song am I forced to mentally add a picture of your “Mystery Machine”-esque van flying down the road, smoke billowing in its wake! I am ridden with images of your Manny Calavera bobblehead doll (where do you GET one of those? I want one!) bouncing its eerily grinning skull to the rhythm!
Fie! Ptui!

Assorted Reviews

[Originally created a week ago and just completed/posted today]
I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought I would run down some of the excellent media experiences I’ve encountered recently.

  1. Jak II. Extremely entertaining. Mix the first J&D game with some Grand Theft Auto and you have a compelling gameplay experience. It was so engaging, in fact, that my wife refused to let me play unless she could look on and backseat drive. *grin*
  2. Soul Calibur II for the Gamecube. I spent a good amount of time playing this over the Christmas break with my brother-in-law and was given it for my birthday by the in-laws. I’ve really enjoyed it and the single player mode, while a bit frustrating at times, really is worth playing, if only for all of the bonuses that you can unlock (in the form of bonus characters, new weapons and costumes). I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, easily accesible fighter for any of the three major consoles. (I picked the GC version as my version of choice because it featured Link. I mean, how could I not?)
  3. Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers. Wow. I was absolutely floored by this album. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s upbeat, it’s witty, it’s catchy. I actually caught myself smiling involuntarily the first time I listened to the entire album. If you have any interest in “pop” music, I would rush out and grab this CD posthaste.
  4. Evanescence – Fallen. I received this one from my sister for Christmas. What a great disc! The fan reviews on Amazon apparently disagree with me. I’m not quite sure what they’re railing against, but it seems as if they don’t like it because it’s popular. Oh well.
  5. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Save My Soul. A good album, although nowhere near as good as their self-titled major label debut.
  6. Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash. This album is nowhere near as immediately accessible as the Jaxx’s past two albums, but give it a chance. It really has grown on me with repeated play. It has tracks reminiscent of Moby, there is a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a Portishead album, a track you could swear is a cover of a Prince hit, as well as tracks reminiscent of Deltron 3030. I recommend that you reserve your judgement on this disc until you’ve given it repeat listens.