Friday, January 06, 2006

A Little Bit Country

It might have been the Longhorn win, but I've been digging into a little of my country archives today. Country can be one of those bad words, that upon utterance will hang in the air like a stale fart and taint anything else you say while trying to describe an album. Some people just can't get past that genre, they immediately conjure up Billy Ray, or Garth Brooks, cheesy line dancing honky Nascar music, (no offense I've tried line dancing, not bad, I've gotten drunk watching Nascar, not bad). I like country music as a whole, like any genre it has a few bad mass produced seeds that spoil it's history.
First we have a pair of what you could call, alt-country albums, both completely different. I had a request for a repost of Cuff the Duke and I'm more than happy to oblige. These guys are a local band with a very cool sound. Check this link for music and more on the band.

The second album is a quite different sound. 16 horsepower, has a very dark and surreal, southern backwoods feel. Singer David Eugene Edwards' voice is so haunting as he wails over slide guitar and banjo picking, "Sackcloth & Ashes" is one of those rare albums that not only is great musically, but its rich atmosphere literally transports you to another world. Really good stuff, give it a gander.
Finally a classic album, Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many colors". I know you're thinking "Dolly Parton, what the F?! What is this guy crazy". The answer is no, My good friend Scotty turned me onto this album a while back and I've loved it ever since. It was only because I truly trust his impeccable taste in music that I gave it a chance. It is a really nicely produced album, the bassist is incredible throughout, and Dolly's wavering voice is at it's peak. I could compare it to Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline", definitely similar. The best song has to be "traveling Man" a great story about a young Dolly's illicit relationship with a traveling salesman, she has to hide this from her mother but by the end of the song her mother steals her lover and splits town, now that's country. If you do download this album let me know what you think, I'm always curious if I've lost my mind or I have good taste!

Video Game Nostalgia: NFL Playoffs Edition

Being Canadian, college football is very confusing to me. The only major University football story that made the front cover of our National newspaper was about hazing rituals. However, being the football lover that I am, I tried to soak up as much information as possible before the Rosebowl. During my daily reading of Deadspin, I ran across this article comparing the incomparible Reggie Bush to someone (or something) tangible. As soon as the page opened and I saw the first photo of Bones Jackson my brain raced back to 1993, the year of Army of Darkness, Nirvana, Dr. Dre, and Mutant League Football.

Based on the Madden engine, Mutant League Football was a football video-game that was not confined by the governing body of the NFL or the laws of gravity. Eschewing the conventional (and boring) 11 man formations, the MFL only has 7 players a side. Each player is one of 5 different races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, the races are: Troll, Super-Human, Robot, Alien, and Skeleton. The most significant thing about the MFL is that there are no stupid rules to get in the way (at least nothing that can’t be fixed by bribing a referee.

That's a bullshit call!

To be fair though, it is a problem that can easily be dealt with.

Oh yes, you can kill the ref… and that’s not all – you can kill other players to.

"Your dead motherfucka"

Killing other players isn’t just something that happens, it’s celebrated. Your player even gets to crack a witty line, which compliments whatever variation of the “eat-shit-I-just-killed-your-quarterback” trash-talk that you simultaneously shouted at your friend very nicely. Here are some examples

Pointing at this screen pisses people off.

This screen goes really well with "lick my balls cocksucker".

When this screen comes up a simple "you're next quaterback is dead already assface" works.

The majority of the time you killed people by simply hitting them, but occasionally, you would use one of the trick plays designed to kill people. These trick plays included The Pass Blast (your QB has 5 sticks of dynamite that he can throw and kill defenders with), and The Bomb (the QB throws an actual bomb – DO NOT catch the bomb). Not only are the teams trying to kill each other, but the fields can be dangerous as well as they include land mines, fire pits, thin ice and just giant cliffs to nowhere. In fact, if the game didn’t end in a forfeit you were not playing Mutant League Football the way it was meant to be played.

Seeing this screen is more satisfying than anything Madden can offer.

While killing people is what I remember about Mutant League Football, I also remember Bones Jackson. Bones was Barry Sanders in Tecmo Bowl crossed with that psycho running back from The Last Boyscout. But really, he was Bo Jackson, just as Joe Magician is Joe Montana and Scary Ice is Jerry Rice (those guys at EA are hilarious). Bo was single handedly the best player in the game and basically took the “Chicago Blackhawks from 1994 NHL” status of being an unfair advantage.

I would love to see Bones' touchdown celebrations!

All this talk of Mutant League Football has got me excited for the upcoming playoff weekend. Go Bengals, Chad Johnson is going to do something good, make sure you are watching! And sign this!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Kid Koala

Montreal based wonder kid turntablist, doctor of mixology, and Dance Dance Nation pro, Kid Koala. This guy makes very interesting music, if you are in to DJ's at all check this guy out. I first saw him in 97 in Montreal, and he blew me away. It was the most energetic and sublime display of spinning skills I had ever scene, I remember snippets of pop culture (Monty Python "Quest for the Holy Grail" theme, Imperial Death March) mixed into and around funky beats and beautiful Japanese flute. In fact one of the most impressive parts of his act had Koala using 6 tables (could have been 8?), building this incredible Japanese symphony where each table played a different instrument. So basically you had Koala running and jumping from deck to deck in a frenzy maintaining this serene melody, stunning.
Kid Koala has a very unique approach to spinning, playing his records like instruments. For example he'll take a trumpet track, totally bend it, mold it, and warble the note into a completely new song.
I wanted to post some of Koala's stuff because I found (in my vast library) his graphic novel "Nufonia Must Fall". Its a great little book about a robot that falls in love AND it comes with a soundtrack to listen to (posted below). If you are into art, and/or comics, check this link for some more examples from the book.

Kid Koala - Nufonia Must Fall
This majority of the music on this soundtrack is created with a toy piano.

Kid Koala - Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Debut Album, if you like it he has another "Most of My Friends are DJ's" and a live album.

Bullfrog - Bullfrog
A Jazzy, Funk band from Montreal with Koala on the decks, listen for Blu-Rum 13 a killer MC who hasn't had his day yet.

Give 'em the Horns

"You may all go to Hell, I'm going to Texas" - Davy Crockett
Easily one of the best football games I've ever scene. Thanks to a friend who gave me a killer Longhorns beer opener, that plays:

"The Eyes of Texas"

The eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them,
At night, or early in the morn.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
'Till Gabriel blows his horn!

everytime you open a bottle, I'm now obviously a die hard fan thanks to that pavlovian conditioning. Not to mention the amazing show Vince Young put on last night. I Knew there was going to be a show and was eagerly anticipating the quality shovelling of Leinart, and obviously the physics breaking Reggie Bush. I was initially hoping for a USC win but man did Texas make those Californians look sissy. Reggie Bush had moments of greatness, most notably his gravity defying touchdown, but for the majority of the game Texas had his number. Alas, I lost my love for Reggie when he tried that insane lateral on the Texas twenty, what the fuck was he thinking? Leinart is a solid, smart, white guy quarterback and will follow in the tradition of Bledsoe, Pennington, maybe Brady stature...But I loved the hit on him, if you watched the game you know the one, the one where Matt gets up staggering to the sidelines doing the concussed blink and puke, from that point on he was a little cross-eyed. I also loved the look on his usually smug, fat dad's face when he watched Young win the game. And that brings us to the star of the show... I had heard about Vince Young but never really watched him. He more than lives up to the legend. He carries that team both physically and emotionally, and won the game. Of course the O-Line is crucial in his success, and the rest of the team is solid. But the Longhorns are Young's team - no question, even the Mac Brown admits it, basically stating that Young's success is due in large part to a "hands off" approach from the coaching staff. One thing bothers me about Young though, he never blocks for his running back. I know that blocking is not ever expected from a QB but Young is not a normal QB. He's huge and strong, so block. I'll still take Young for the Jets anyday.
I'm so glad the Jets season is over, what a piece of shit. It's as if a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I didn't realize how much it was stressing me out until the season was over. Now we'll see what happens, it appears that Herm Edwards is headed to the Chiefs, good one down 2 to go. What will we do with Chad and Curtis? I'm not going to think about that for a while, I'm going to kick back relish the game from last night as I open some beers singing "The Eyes of Texas".

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ween Wednesday: Vol.2

Ween Wednesday again, I hope all y'all like the ween. This week's post is dedicated to Scotty Mac, who is currently stuck on an Island off the coast of central BC, trying to seduce the only single woman in the population of 50 people, unfortunately she's 75.
Pure Guava is an album of the funny voice, a wide variety of distortion and manipulation throughout.
The insanely catchy "Push the Little Daisys" will drive you crazy. The love ballad "Sarah" will have you in tears. The best way for me to describe "Pure Guava" is this, it's like an album made in another dimension, very similar to ours, but with strange and wonderful inhabitants, who have a completely different musical taste and influence while adhering to the laws of music in our world. Or an alien visitor returns to his planet describing all the beautiful music he experienced on earth and how pop music made him feel alive. This album is that same aliens attempt at sharing with his world the magic of music... Make sense? Probably about as much as this album will.
Chocolate & Cheese is probably the duos best known album, it spans all of Ween's various influences and addictions. Country Western, Heavy Metal, Doors-y blues, Soulful and Funky, Helium induced and Distortion Voice compete over psychedelic ballads and prog rock. Easily the most accessible album in the Ween catalogue. It has the best break-up song in history, "Baby Bitch", which legitimately taps into the pain and yearning we all have felt from a break-up (in highschool anyway where everything is much more dramatic). Released the same year as Beck's "Mellow Gold", it feels very similar but never reached the commercial success of Beck's album. What Ween lacks in cutesy Pop Icon appeal they more than make up for in composition and musical ability, although who could take these guys seriously when they don't even try. Have fun with both of these Gems.

Ween - Pure Guava Pt.1 & Pt.2

Ween - Chocolate and Cheese Pt.1 & Pt.2

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Je me réveille

I awoke as if from a dream, shook the dust from my weary bones, combed my long silver beard, wedged open my leathery eyes and headed back into the cold harsh world of reality. My two weeks of hibernation ended without fireworks or fanfair and now? Well I'm back in the chair if there is anyone still out there. I'll be posting tunes again starting tomorrow with another "Ween Wednesday". In the mean time here is a repost of that French minstrel Yann Tiersen, if anyone has any other albums (besides the Amelie Soundtrack) please hook me up, he is amazing. Hope the holidays were good for everyone.
a bientot,