Apropos of nothing (and because I haven’t added anything here in, like, a week) – here’s my favorite video of Johnathan Coulton’s “Code Monkey:”
Despite the fact that the title references one of my favorite songs in Rock Band, I’m not actually going to discuss Social Distortion here. But I’ll go ahead and add the video anyway:
And so, with the amount of “OMG Watchmen!” that Watchmen was getting, I kind of put it on a back burner and never got around to it.
Then, last week during my volunteer shift at the Brea Public Library, I was digging through the stuff they had in the Friends of the Library bookstore. Lo and behold, there was a hardcover collection of Watchmen in its entirety for only $1.00! And it was in fantastic condition – I really think it hadn’t even been opened before.
So, yeah, for a buck? I’ll try just about anything for a buck. It seemed like it was finally time for me to give Watchmen a try.
The verdict: I am way digging it.
I really can’t say much that hasn’t already been said (also, I haven’t finished it yet). The characters, the themes, the atmosphere, et cetera, et cetera, et ceterama… Better critics than I have had decades to go into it, and left me very little room to comment.
But I can say this – Watchmen lives up to the hype. 100% as good as it’s been said. I can even see it becoming one of the very few things I read multiple times. And, for being a “comic book,” it’s taking me quite a while to read. I can tear through multiple issues of Deadpool or Spider-Man or what-have-you in one sitting, but Watchmen is forcing me to digest it chapter by chapter, taking time to think about what’s going on, what it means, how I feel.
And this is with me knowing the ending already! In fact, having had the plot “spoiled” is leaving me free to enjoy all of the deeper elements.
So maybe, just maybe, the next time something is a Big Damn Deal, I’ll allow myself to give it a try instead of believing that I’m just setting myself up for a Big Damn Disappointment.
(Still haven’t seen the movie, though. Saving that)
Anyone who knows me at all, or has so much as glanced at my Last.fm page, should know that I am a big-time fan of Alice Cooper. Everything about his career, I dig – the horror movie theatrics, the sardonic sneer to his vocals, his songwriting, his openness to experimentation and change, everything.
And so, when I saw that an Alice Cooper horror anthology of comic books (and possibly, fingers crossed & knock on wood, a TV series) was Kickstarting for funds, you can bet I was excited.
I don’t believe that I’ve mentioned my growing affection for nerdcore hip-hop on this site. It’s been going for less time than the site has, so I really have no excuse. So, yeah, “nerdcore hip-hop is fantastic!”
But I don’t want to get into the entire genre here and now.
I just want to share one particular track with you all, one which has been pretty much on permanent loop on my computer since I came across it. As the astute among you may have gathered, the artist is Dr. Awkward, and the track is “Allegory (Plato’s Cave).” The even-more-astute may have hazarded a guess that it is a hip-hop take on Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”
And Awkward is a great guy, too. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a show a couple of years ago in San Diego. He quite clearly loves what he’s doing, and is a pleasure to speak with, very warm and gracious. Not especially awkward, though – on stage or in conversation. I question where he obtained his awkwardness-doctorate, but that’s a strike against dubious educational institutions and not against the man himself.
Some years ago, I went to either an Art Brut or a Be Your Own Pet show with some friends. I don’t recall which group it was, we went to see both on different occasions, but it was one of those two fun, punky-indie groups. At any rate, when Johnossi (one of the opening acts) took the stage, I thought that they were at the wrong show. There were two guys, one behind a small drum kit and the other holding an acoustic guitar.
And then, they opened with this:
None of them American. As far as I can tell, they’ve been in the US twice in a decade. But they didn’t go away - they just went back to Europe. They released two more albums, and I imported them both, and they have a fourth coming up. Rather than play for hipster-cred and keep this Swedish group that nobody else in the States seems to have heard of all to myself, I try to do what I can to get them known stateside.
But, that doesn’t stop me from trying. (Because, you know, if they release albums here, I won’t have to pay import prices) Head on down past the break for a few more videos sampling all four of their albums.
The holidays are a time for family and friends, togetherness, well-wishing, and eating way too much food that one shouldn’t be eating in the first place.
That, and Die Hard.
. . . The Morrissey Scale!
I’ve come up with a method of measuring one’s ennui. Actually, two methods. The first is an X/5 rating of how much like a Morrissey song you’ve been feeling lately. Simple, but subjective, this is the Basic Morrissey Scale.
Slightly different, but the same in spirit, is the Objective Morrissey Scale. For this one, you take the number of Morrissey (or The Smiths) songs you’ve been listening to on repeat in an average day, and that’s it. Obviously, as his career continues, the maximum will keep rising, and as a result you may be inclined to think that a 12 on the OMS is becoming less meaningful; however, I say that if you’re listening to a dozen hand-picked Smiths/Morrissey songs on loop, that’s a bad weekend no matter how you look at it.
That said, have some Smiths!
Has it really been six years since Ding Dong Song? Wow…
Anyway, I’ve been posting Christmas songs on my Facebook account in honor of the holidays, and Günther’s appropriately-named Christmas Song (Ding Dong) was one of the ones I’d grabbed. This, in turn, lead to my discovery of the new single Famous:
I am convinced that this man is a brilliant satirist.
Well, maybe “brilliant” is overstating it. “Amusing” at the least. I eagerly await the new album, and I probably shouldn’t admit to that in public.
P.S., who is the second blonde in the Christmas video? There are only two Sunshine Girls any other time of year…
Downloaded the Tron: Legacy score by Daft Punk today. Currently $3.99 on Amazon. There are two immediately outstanding points. The first is that it isn’t an entirely electronic score; most of it sounds like a regular film score. The second is that it is epic in scope – the score sounds like it will nicely back up the movie which the trailers are promising us.
Don’t let my first point scare you off if you’re interested in the soundtrack. Daft Punk have done some nice work here, and after having listened to the album, I agree with their decisions. An all-electronic score, something like a standard Daft Punk album, would have been too upfront, too distracting. A good score should underline the movie, should help the film to feel exactly right at any specific moment. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I feel that this score will do what it should.
None of this is to say that their work will be completely foreign to Daft Punk fans. Their touch is evident in almost all of the tracks, some far more than others. I’m sure we’ve all seen the Derezzed video by now, and that proves my point – Daft Punk’s score stands out when it needs to, and stands back when it needs to. It’s epic and potent enough to get the emotions moving, but not enough to distract from the task at hand. I think I have some new writing music. :-)
I feel that this album works best for fans of film scores, then for fans of Daft Punk.
EDIT: Amazon really ought to support Linux better. Their Ubuntu downloader was versions outdated, and they don’t offer a 64-bit version. Urgh…