Saturday, January 3, 2009

Best of 2008 (Hey, everyone else is doing it!)

Remember when we were kids and we'd think of some far-flung year of thew new milennium and imagine all the Jetsons-esque technological wonders that were gonna transform our world into a utopia?

Well, here we are in the year two-thousand-and-freakin'-nine and not so much. Although, I must admit that I'm perpetually amazed that I carry around a phone the size of a deck of cards that also houses most of my CD collection. I also dig playing ROCK BAND with a pair of chicks who live three time zones away from me. C'mon, that's cool stuff.

It's been awhile. I planned on writing sooner but I got the insanely addictive LEFT 4 DEAD for Christmas and I've spent way too much time the past week trying to survive the zombie apocalypse and yelling fruitlessly at the impared teammates Xbox Live usually hooks me up with. I manage quite capably to fight off the hordes of the undead without setting myself and my partners on fire; Is it too much to ask that others mind where they're chucking that Molly?

Anyhow, I thought I'd jump back in by taking my turn at proclaiming my favorite crap from last year. I'm not big on trying to establish a pecking order, so I'm just calling a handful of favorites and am gonna try to limit myself to five of each for the sake of brevity.


Lemme just get it outta the way now and say that I have yet to see everyone's recent darlings, THE WRESTLER and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, so there's no need to ask why I'm not slobbering over them. And even if I had, I'd reserve the right to not include them on my list if so moved, so there. Should also be noted that 2k8 was the year I was introduced to the perverse beauty that is John Rad's DANGEROUS MEN, Diablo Cody hugged me, I met Frank Darabont, I finally saw THE LAST DRAGON on the big screen and I caught THE WARRIORS THREE FREAKIN' TIMES. Niiiice!

Should also, also be noted that I'd have to say my favorite cinematic moment of the year was seeing THE MOVIE ORGY. Consider myself very, very lucky to have been in the audience for that one.

ALBUMS: Consolers of the Lonely - The Raconteurs; Live At Roadburn - Earthless; Gods of the Earth - The Sword; Graveyard - Graveyard; The Darkness Won't Hide You - Night Horse; Float - Flogging Molly; Appeal To Reason - Rise Against; Stop, Drop and Roll!!! - Foxboro Hot Tubs

SONGS: "Carolina Drama" and "Many Shades of Black" - The Raconteurs, "Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians" - The Sword, "Wild International" - One Day As A Lion, "Re-Education (Through Labor)" - Rise Against

VIDEO GAME: ROCK BAND 2 (But LEFT 4 DEAD really is all kinds of awesome)

I should also mention that it was a really, really good year for concerts: Earthless (Three freakin' times!), The Sword (Also, twice), Graveyard (Twice), Night Horse (Three times; Woulda been 4 but I was sick and missed their record-release party), Nebula/Totimoshi/Chingalera @ The Viper Room, The Racounteurs (Big, huge thanks to Cat) and the newly-reformed STP (Twice. Thanks, Kish. Still can't believe you didn't go!)

Two thousand and eight will also go down as the year I discovered Garage Pizza on Sunset Blvd. in Silverlake. Seriously, it's worth going out of your way for.

Pics of the New Year's Eve STP show will come soon. As will a bunch of photos off of the old camera that was replaced by a new, buffer one for Christmas. In fact, we'll be featuring more pics and fewer words around here from now on. It'll leave me more zombie-killing time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Congratulations PRESIDENT Obama get your ass to work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Campaign Memories

A. Thank God it's over. Now, let's hope the right guys wins.

B. Please read Matt Taibbi's latest blog, wrapping up the seemingly endless campaign season.

Maybe I've had too much of the Obama Kool Aid, but I truly do think that the media's fully in the tank for him because he has by and large run an excellent campaign and rised above the multiple character assassination attempts made on him first by the Clintons and then recently the Grumpy Old Man/Homecoming Queen ticket.

I do like Obama, but I don't want to. I want to be able to say I'm voting for the lesser of two evils, that they all suck and that we should just burn Washington to the ground like everyone else seems to claim. But the dude sold me on the promises that he'd govern with compassion and intelligence and that we'd actually face the mountain of problems that's crushing this country's collective will instead of trying to ignore them or blame them all on homos who want to get married and irresponsible black people.

Now I'm hoping he has a chance to deliver and then actually follows through.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wall Street: Less Responsible Than a Coked-Out NFL Running Back

The reason I keep pimping Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi is because I inevitably go, "Damn, I never thought of it that way" every time I read one of his essays. I probably do that because he's a helluva lot smarter than I am.

Wall Street: Less Responsible Than a Coked-Out NFL Running Back

Damn, I never thought about Great Depression v.2.0 that way.

But I did think of the Republicans' plan to pin their mess on liberals and poor minorities this way, taken from an earlier Taibbi blog:

There aren’t enough low-income minority homeowners in the remaining years of human history to create $62 trillion worth of pressure on the economy. You’ve got not billions but trillions of dollars tied up in the Wall Street equivalent of a craps game – the ruling class of the earth gambling away the whole world’s bank deposits on a dice roll, which is about as irresponsible a use of resources as can be imagined – and guys like York want to blame the blowout on a few black people who tried to do something absolutely and completely sensible with their money, buying houses they intended to live in.

I'd love nothing more than to offer a link to his blog, but I'll also keep pimping him to you all just in case.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Peace Through Rock & Roll

I guess it goes without saying that I pre-ordered Guitar Hero World Tour, but through some scheduling snafus I really didn't get any time with my new game until yesterday when I played the hell outta it.

Cliff Notes Review: Loads of fun; Great additions like drum and vocal tracks, create-a-rocker/guitar, loads of cameos, an Amoeba Records stage and an improved battle system that's more in the spirit of the game. Instead of beating them with tricks like snapped strings or amp overloads, you just gotta keep up with them in an intense jam session without getting booed off stage. This last touch goes with a much-needed step down in difficulty from the insanely hard Guitar Hero 3, which was often too brutal and competitive to be fun.

That said, I do prefer Rock Band, largely because of the setlist. Between the songs I've saved on the hard drive from the first game, the ones I've downloaded and those included in the second edition, it's a badass playlist that has a lot of tunes I absolutely love. There are some nice ones on GH4, but it lacks the "I gotta have that one" factor that the previous music games had. Definitely the weakest rundown to date.

Nonetheless, something very cool happened the other day as I finally got acquainted with both the game and the wonderful world of playing online.

You randomly get placed in a band and have nothing to go on in these anonymous gaming encounters except a screen name and character. Early on during the experience I found myself in a band with Dr Ice Berg and DiabolikLord. I'm not one for chit-chat, so I keep the headset that allows you to talk with your fellow gamers turned off. But upon being placed in this new band I was greeted with a strange "R0CKET King...Allllllooooooo, R0CKET Kiiiing?" coming from my speakers.

My silence was interrupted by the *other* bandmate, who began speaking German of all things. Then the first responded in kind. Soon, I was privy to a conversation that was likely taking place halfway around the world. I couldn't understand much...Actually I couldn't understand a damn thing that was said except when they mentioned a song title.

"Ich bin ein 'Love Removal Machine'"

"Ich möchte spielen 'Hot For Teacher'"

The funniest bit came when one of the dudes said something to the effect of, "Was wenn wir spielten 'The Joker' (Mimicing song's signature guitar effect) Weeeeeeet-wooooooo"

So as we ripped through a few songs, this gave me a vision of a better tomorrow, one in which a generation who have learned understanding and cooperation with people different than they are through years of joining forces via Xbox Live to hammer out Bullet For My Valentine songs stop blowing each other up over their nationalistic, religious or cultural differences.

Peace through rock & roll...Just like Rufus said it would be.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Death of a Red State

This is another Rolling Stone essay written by the brilliant author of the Sarah Palin essay I pimped here a couple weeks ago.

The Death of a Red State

The author validates a hope I've long held; Racism, if not dead, is at least in critical condition in this country and Obama's color and exotic name really won't be issues for most of the voters 9 days from now. If true, it would explain the GOP's sudden struggles as they no longer have the same tried and true villains to use as a distraction.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The geeks shall inherit the Earth

Woman Arrested After Murdering Online Ex-Husband

I say throw the freakin' book at her. If some psycho chick messes with my musicians on Rock Band she better pray that the authorities get to her before I do.