Monday, December 31, 2007

Gurren Lagann

Anime Network Online has the first two episodes of Gainax's new show Gurren Lagann. Gainax has best been known for works that sort of rethink or revise old anime tropes. Neon Genesis Evangaleon re-imagined the traditional giant robot mileu with religious underpinnings and contemporary teen angst (way better than it sounds). Their feature, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise is a low-key drama about a fledgling space program -- a sci-fi flavored The Right Stuff. I'm a big fan of their FLCL -- perhaps their most navel-gazing and all around bizarre series.

Gurren Lagaan feels like straight up fantasy, with zany battles and a little bit of pre-pubescent fan service thrown in for good measure. And robots. Lots of giant, fighting robots.

The pilot, "Pierce the Heavens With Your Drill!" can be found under the "Giant Robots" heading at the Anime Network Online site.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cloverfield Monster Revealed

The only way to kill it is to hit it on the head three times.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote

Ohh Ohh me want! ME WANT!

so, if any of you see a fat man wearing red in your house tonight, no that is not santa coming a day late, taht is me stealing your wii and strapping it to my head.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Riverbottom Nightmare Band

I've always said that this song from Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas would make a great cover. I dig how the snake makes "deedle-deedle-dee" sounds when he plays the guitar solos.

via Idolator

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"It Has Swords"

TV's Steve Brule on his favorite video game.*

*Legendary Difficulty

The Amen Break

Last night I had a dream about turntablists. I must be, subconsciously, preparing for the upcoming DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist tour. On that note, here's an old, but fascinating documentary about the "Amen" break -- the six most ubiquitous seconds of drums in pop culture.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monster Mash

The best flash dungeoncrawler you'll play today has to be Monsters' Den. Sure, the title's a little pat but you won't find more hack and slash per minute this side of Progress Quest.

If that isn't your style, you may enjoy this CCG-style game I keep going back to. Wolf will love it if he can get past playing with a random deck each time. (*correction: The game does allow you to build a custom deck. Sorry for the mistake*)

Of course, the best ASCII dungeoncrawler you'll play today is still nethack.

Something For the Ladies: 25 Songs With Female Vocals That Should Be in Rock Band

1. Blondie: "One Way or Another"
2. Bow Wow Wow: "I Want Candy"
3. L7: "Pretend We're Dead"
4. Feist: "One, Two, Three, Four"
5. Kate Bush: "Running Up That Hill"
6. Ladytron: "Destroy Everything You Touch"
7. Nancy Sinatra: "These Boots Are Made For Walking"
8. Portishead: "Sour Times"
9: Rainer Maria: "Ears Ring"
10: Bratmobile: "Panik"
11: Concrete Blonde: "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)"
12: Kim Wilde: "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
13: The Breeders: "Cannonball"
14: Heart: "Magic Man"
15: The Go Gos: "We Got the Beat"
16: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: "I Love Rock and Roll"
17: Pat Benetar: "Heartbreaker"
18: Nico & The Velvet Underground: "All Tomorrow's Parties"
19. Kim Carnes: "Bette Davis Eyes"
20. Mickey: "Toni Basil"
21. Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
22. Eurythmics: "Here Comes the Rain Again"
23: Bikini Kill: "Rebel Girl"
24: Elastica: "Stutter"
25: Cansei Di Ser Sexy: "Fuck Off Is Not The Only Thing You Have To Show"

Go here to hear all the songs in full.

Samples below:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guys from Walk Hard playing Rock Band

Also included: sketch comedy, viral marketing, race humor.

Monday, December 17, 2007

BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo

I stumbled upon Toonami Jetstream the other day. It's Cartoon Network's web video service. The cool thing about this (compared to, say, major network feeds) is that it features shows not quite ready for prime time. Take BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo, an anime about an afro-clad hero who fights using his nose hairs to protect the populace from gangsters who want to force everyone to go bald. The show is seriously surreal and quite funny.

Also notable are Eyeshield 21 (a football drama) and Hikaru no Go (a show that gives Go lessons as it tells the story of a young player).

To me Toonami Jetstream is a clear sign that networks are loosening up to the idea of presenting foreign-made content with minimal (if any) localization. The Hikaru no Go lesson clips are subtitled for Pete's sake!

Anyway, the only downside to this service is that the episodes are only available for a limited time. That means the first episode of BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo and a good part of the Hikaru no Go episodes are no longer available. Lame.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Wicked Bad Itch

This video gave me one. Oh, the long hours I spent.

5 Minutes of Cloverfield

The Kinks "Destroyer"

The song is from 1981, but I see what you were getting at, Tim.

Check out The Troggs in 1968 pushing up against punk ever so delicately.

By 1970 Iggy's got it all figured out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Akira Kurosawa

When Mike was in town he mentioned that he'd finally seen The Seven Samurai. I promised that I'd turn him on to some other awesome samurai flicks. Thematically The Hidden Fortress might be the closest, but I'd probably rent Yojimbo and Sanjuro first. These are the flicks that inspired Sergio Leone's three Man With No Name movies, particularly A Fist Full of Dollars, which is a straight-up remake of Yojimbo. I also mentioned Throne of Blood, which is a samurai retelling of MacBeth -- total Shakespeare emo, but very awesome.

In our conversation I also mentioned that four of Kurosawa's early films had fallen into the public domain. Rashomon, Stray Dog, Sugata Sanshiro and Ikuru can all be streamed from the site. I recommend nabbing the higher quality divx files and streaming them to your Xbox 360 from your PC.

G Love & Special Sauce

G Love will be in town 1-16-2008 at First Ave. Karri and I just ordered our tickets. Will we see any of you there?

His new stuff is more smooth than funkified.

Monday, December 10, 2007

No No No

Why Why Why? Wachowski brothers doing Speed Racer.

Hot Damn

Portishead played All Tomorrow's Parties yesterday, revealing a much harsher sound. The change is welcome considering how fouled the trip hop waters have gotten. Deaf Indie Elephants has ripped mp3s of the band's three new songs. Their new LP is due in '08. Joy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

FCU: Fact Checkers Unit

An offical Sundance selection this year.

Songs That Need to Be In Rock Band: Part 1 - The '00s

I've used this space to bag on the lame, new songs that made the cut in Rock Band. So now I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Here's a list of awesome songs, recorded in the last decade, that would make ideal downloadable tracks. Sure, most people haven't heard of half of these bands. But, you know what? It's about time they did.

Call the Lawyers:

1. Art Brut - "Formed a Band" - Duh, right?
2. Spoon - "I Turn My Camera On" - I wish so many of their songs weren't all sparse and piano-y
3. The Black Lips - "Veni Vidi Vici" - I find this song imminently singable
4. LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends" - There's a single edit that's a little shorter. It was a toss up between this and "New York I Love You"
5. Liars - "Mr. Your On Fire Mr." - Easily their catchiest song. They've been running from it for the past five years
6. Death From Above 1979 - "Blood on Our Hands" - I know, these guys are a trio. Sue me
7. TV on the Radio - "Young Liars" - Rock Band could use some nice, down-tempo tracks
8. My Morning Jacket - "Off the Record" - I always think Joe Jackson when I hear this
9. Wolf Parade - "I'll Believe in Anything"- I like the idea of everybody pitching in to sing this one
10. The Decemberists - "Sons & Daughters" - Jeez. I'm thinking that song about Los Angeles would be pretty hot too.
11. Raconteurs - "Steady as She Goes" - If they wanted they could get those versions of the White Stripes songs with bass parts added in by the guy from Redd Kross
12. Entrance - "Grim Reaper Blues" - Rock Band needs more psyche
13. The Sword - "Winter's Wolves" - I always hoped that Guitar Hero II would help blow this band up
14. Tool - "Schism" - For the prog metal geeks
15. The Mars Volta - "The Widow"- To make the Pitchfork guys scream. I really, dig this as a single
16. The Thermals - "Here's Your Future" - For guys who like Fugazi, Bad Religion, etc.
17. The Hold Steady - "Chips Ahoy"- I was tempted to pick something from the older record
18. Arcade Fire - "Wake Up" - What a racket you could make with this one
19. The Rapture - "House of Jealous Lovers" - Dance punk is perfect for Rock Band
20. Wilderness - "End of Freedom" - A little moodier than your typical track
21. The Ponys - "Exile on My Street" - A straight rocker. The vocals reminds me of Faith No More's first singer
22. Klaxons - "Magick" - I could do with their whole album as a download
23. Early Man - "Death is the Answer" - For the guys who can channel Ozzy
24. !!! - "Heart of Hearts" - Another dance punk jam
25. McLusky - "To Hell With Good Intentions" - Only a sample on imeem, but damn does this song rock. Albini.

Here's an imeem playlist with all of the songs:
EDIT: Launch the playlist as standalone to hear the full tracks.

Next time: Songs That Need to Be In Rock Band: Part II - Something For The Ladies

One Regret

I try not to let opportunities slip past me. It's not like I run around screaming, "carpe diem" or anything, but I am a bit of hedonism bot when it comes to granting myself things and experiences. Listening to Alive, the new Daft Punk concert record, makes me want to kick myself squarely in the ass for not finding some way, any way to see these guys in person. Serves me right for looking down my hipster nose at Lollapalooza.

Seriously. Cop this record. It's the closest thing you can get to cramming transcendence directly in your ear holes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Deal

You can hear the latest single from The Breeders on their MySpace page. It's a languid, down-tempo track with a tantalizing but brief interlude of rockage . Oh, how I've missed Kim's sweet, sweet voice.

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