27Jul2016 1930: Sacks of Money
Earlier this year I decided to get some (more) laminate flooring. The carpet here is bland and beige, violating my personal style of "bland and brown". The laminate in my kitchen -- long may it reign -- is super dope and impervious to cat puke. Who wouldn't want more? The kind of chumps that would carpet a kitchen in the first place, that's who. So now that Ed has left his mark on a goodly portion of my visible carpet I feel the time has come for more fake wood.
Naturally I went to the guys who supplied the last planks. I don't know what the business proposition is for snubbing potential customers, but they led me on for weeks about getting samples and then didn't feel bothered to check their computer system when I showed up in person. Maybe they pursue some sort of dark nega-commission, dashing dreams against hard rolls of linoleum to serve a crocodilian spirit of despair. I walked in and did everything short of place a cartoon sack of dollar bills on their counter and they blew me off. Me! A middle-class white guy!
Now that I'm on the other side of all the summer vacations I turned my attention downward. Last Friday I made a trip to a second store in town and within twenty minutes a saleswoman had scheduled a measurement for that afternoon. This measurement actually happened, and she's already called back with an estimate. It is almost as if her business is designed to accept my money in exchange for goods and services. So I will do this thing, and right soon too, which brings me to my second middle-class-white-guy problem. I need to move six bookcases somewhere else in a condo, temporarily.
And do I really need both of these N64s?
20Jul2016 1830: Baby
I HELD A WIDDLE BABY.
She was asleep and unpoopy the whole time, which was ideal. Congratulations to my older younger brother and his wife! Actual celebrations are occurring on Facebook but it would seem extra crass if I didn't mention the real news before typing about
Earth Defense Force 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair! It's on Steam and apparently is a pretty good PC port? It's strange to consider an EDF game that runs at 60fps when that last disaster and the really good one didn't even pretend to care about framerate. EDF has always been about scope over technical acheivement, but why not both? I'm not going to convince my friends to pay $35 for this, but some fine day there will be a Steam sale that throws our force into action.
Google's surprisingly sparse free list comes to an end a week early: [Moglii, Novaa - Mother] is chill dubstep that seems to have a social message underneath all that wobbling. My attention began to wander immediately, shaken loose by the warbling woman tones, but Novaa sounds upset at something The Man did.
From the bandname and title, [Nahko and Medicine for the People - Tus Pies (Your Feet)] could have been some classic Native American music or a mariachi club remix. It is instead a very basic country-folk love song. It's in English so I have no idea what's up with the song title.
Esmé really really wants to be a punk star, but she accidentally bought expensive amps that guard against feedback and clipping. [Esmé Patterson - Feel Right] is the remarkably clean punk that came out the other end of that garage session. Occasionally even Regina Spektor wants to bang her head.
Beginning and ending the week with a mother, MOTHXR returns with the slow synth sex song [MOTHXR - Easy]. Hey ladies, want to get your freak on thirty years ago? MOTHXR is there for you. But Prince was also there, so why would you pick MOTHXR?
14Jul2016 1900: Infrastructure
Happy birthday to the niece!
This story came and went without a furor, but nutters are claiming a UFO sighting when the ISS feed cut out a week ago. NASA says the ISS regularly passes out of contact on its orbit but they would wouldn't they? How dare they say things just because they are true?! And that doesn't explain the sudden national cessation of weather yesterday! Did the continent pass out of communication range? I'm just asking questions here.
The answer to those questions is probably "COBOL".
[Pity Sex - Pin a Star] opens with all of your favorite major chords. This is a breezy little throwback to the waning days of shoegaze, when Belly and the Cranberries were losing their hold over radio. Google really went Full Nineties this month and I'm digging it.
[Nite Jewel - Boo Hoo] spends less time fooling around at the beginning of the song but more time being an annoying electro pop ditty. This is, again, a 90s throwback. There was a brief window between the close of the 80s and the moment grunge took over the media, and this is the evolution of a synth sound that got interrupted by flannel and feedback.
I never understood how somebody could mumble and shout at the same time. I never got into the off-tune weirdo punk songs (beyond Presidents), stuff like Primus or Butthole Surfers. [Weaves - One More] is one more of those. Keep this 90s train rolling!
Or not. [Sunflower Bean - Human Ceremony] is a floaty psychedelic jam, packing the experience of twenty minutes of stoned guitar noodling into a svelte four-minute frame. A thoroughly modern lady moons over the top of the guitar texture while a backup dude impersonates Bob Dylan impersonating David Bowie.
06Jul2016 2100: Paris Nouvelle
Over the long weekend I upgraded myself from a Life Is Strange fan to a DONTNOD fan thanks to the Steam sale on Remember Me. It's a member of the small and underloved not-famous-enough B-tier of gaming. These games are competent, have a good concept, but lack a certain something that pushes them over the edge into legend. None of them are great, but you'll remember them all fondly.
In the case of Remember Me we get
Batman-lite brawling mixed with customized punch combos a la God Hand, tacked on
to interminable walking and climbing sections that all games seem to think they
need, tacked on again to first-person adventure puzzle sections where you
hack people's memories. It's presented in eight chapters that all
hard-cut from the previous chapter and begin with voiceover narration, but it
wasn't released as an episodic game. It's beautiful madness. You can see
where DONTNOD pulled out the most interesting portion of the game and turned it
into Life is Strange. Memory hacking requires you to scan forward and backward
through a memory, making little tweaks to predefined items until the memory plays
out the way you require. There's more than a passing resemblance to Max's time-rewind
shenanigans. The moment Remember Me justified its existence is a spoiler at the
two-thirds point, when
Also it's the year 2084 in Neo-Paris and literally everybody has a brain-computer interface that causes a giant glowing augmented-reality halo to sprout from their neck, but also also there are stealth sections where enemies can't detect your giant neck halo clipping through walls.
Third time's the charm with [Modern Baseball - Wedding Singer], as the perennial Google pushees continue the slowest album release in recorded history. Listening to Modern Baseball is like watching Empire Records all over again.
The mild 90s punk continues in [Colleen Green - Between the Lines]. It's quiet Veruca Salt album filler, the downtime between the screamy bits that get play on the radio.
[White Lung - Kiss Me When I Bleed (Live)] crank up the amps and throw their punk back a decade, back to the place where everybody was screaming and nobody tuned and rehearsal was for yuppies.
White Lung was an 80s punk hangover in the middle of a 90s punk bender. [PUP - Can't Win] brings it firmly around into Ataris territory. Hey let's everybody shout all the lyrics in a big chorus of teenage nihilism.