Monthly Archives: January 2010

New Music for listenin’s

So yes I only just posted a new update yesterday after a horribly long hiatus but I am just so damn excited to be back I need to post more crap!

Actually in all seriousness it’s really more of a log jam of topics that I want to talk about that has me wanting to get on top of my updates so I can get back to talking about new things that nobody cares about.

I am dedicating Today’s post to music, two new albums have recently been released that I was actually on top of and got immediately upon their release, a momentous feat on my part and so I need to share with everyone my thoughts and evaluation of the albums because frankly I am a music genius and I know very definitively what is good and what isn’t! So gather round my disciples and hear me well as I regale you yet again with more expert analysis on pop culture.

First album up is Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra. Following up on the unprecedented success of their self-titled début it’s fair to say that great things were expected. The band’s unique uniquely blended indie pop sound is an upbeat cross of African inspired drum beats with classically inspired melodies in an amalgam that sounds distinct unto itself. The album opens strong with what I consider possibly it’s best song Horchata, which is some sort of love ballad to the drink of the same name, and a ballad of loathing of wintertime. While this may seem irrelevant it’s important to note the lighthearted and easy-going tone of the song as it seems to carry throughout the entire album. The songs have a fast paced off-beat tempo with quick-firing vocals laced with fun and clever lyrics. Since getting the album I’ll confess to listening to it countless times, the album is entertaining from start to finish with a lot of high points such as Horchata, California English, Run, and Giving up the Gun being notables in my opinion. The album strikes me as a better and more consistent album than their first, I would recommend it to any fan of the band as well as fans of the indie pop genre.

Vampire Weekend's second full length album

The second album to recently be released was Spoon’s fifth full length album Transference. Spoon has at this point reached the status of indie rock legends after their work being featured in movies, television, commercials, and pretty much anywhere where people appreciate good music. I have followed spoon for a long while now and have always enjoyed their past efforts, with their last album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga they had released a strong effort with a good portion of the album being really great songs and only a couple of misses (the ghost of you lingers goes down as their worst song to date in my opinion) but ultimately a truly great contribution to their body of work. Transference is a tough album for me to gauge, while I enjoy the album well enough it’s not quite what I was expecting from them. This time around Spoon seem to have kept the album very subdued, consisting of tracks that build up very slowly and keep a pretty deliberate pace, with the exceptions of Got Nuffin and Trouble Comes Running which take the tempo up a notch the album is pretty slow, certainly for Spoon’s standards. The tone of the album certainly keeps to the band’s style, with their punchy beats hitting hard and frontman Britt Daniel’s distinct vocal style as present as ever I wouldn’t go so far as to say the album is a massive deviation from their past efforts. Really every album spoon has made has had at the least flashes of the tone this album portrays, this is simply a consistent collection of their more down tempo style. It’s a good effort and its by no means a discredit to the band’s excellent name. However, I will say that it didn’t take me the way past albums have, it’s simply solid by Spoon’s standards.

Spoon's fifth album transference


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Hello again, loyal readers!

Your cries have been heard! the weeks and weeks of the people crying for biting sarcasm and cynicism have finally been answered, I HAVE RETURNED.

Alright so maybe thats my delusional nature getting the better of me but regardless I am happy to say I’m back on the bloggity bandwagon once more! I’m actually really annoyed with myself for not posting sooner, I have now completed 2 new games I was hoping to review before christmas (Assassin’s Creed 2 and Dragon Age: Origins) but exams and holiday schedule conflicts prevented that. It’s a shame too, because my poignant and concise observations may have been helpful back when best buy and future shop had them on sale for 39.99 each.

Anyhow I’m going to do a mini-review of each and then move on to something more current, deal? deal.

Dragon Age Origins:

I recently finished my first playthrough of this game and logged just over 40 hours of gameplay in the process, I didn’t manage to finish half of the total side-quests so needless to say this thing offers lots of content to sink your valuable time into. You have the choice between six main character types with all the standard creation tools, the intro stories add some replayability but ultimately they all turn into the same storyline about 2 hours in anyhow, so it’s not limitlessly varied. The story itself offers several forks in the road though where you side with one group or ideology or the other, it’s not exactly black and white either which is refreshing as opposed to so many other games which offer you either status as patron saint or evil fucking incarnate. These decisions will ultimately shape the environment both in how people interact with you and what is available to you so really there are two somewhat unique playthroughs of the game to be had, but beyond that you will basically tread an awful lot of familiar territory. Gameplay wise the game is nothing new considering past games by Bioware, you have a party of four characters which you can choose between various party members you recruit through the story. There are warrior, rogue, and mage classes which offer the sort of gameplay styles you might expect in a fantasy rpg such as this. Also it’s worth noting that the fantasy realm they have created for this is immense, spanning hundreds of pages of backstory and general factoids, as well as two god-damned novels! Well to keep it short and sweet I’ll say this, it’s an engrossing game that while not perfect is serviceable enough to provide a very satisfying addiction. also, bonus points for being able to digitally bone this chick:

*The Digi-boning is totally PG though...

Assassin’s Creed II:

Continuing the adventures embedded deep within the cranium of it’s predecessor’s pseudo-protagonist Desmond Miles (which is arguable considering Altair was considerably more badass where Desmond was mostly just a little bitch) Desmond now touches on the memories of a new ancestor, Ezio De Auditore Di Firenze…et fettucine bolognese (yes, I am aware that’s a penny-arcade joke.) This time around Ezio is responsible for avenging his family and taking on his father’s legacy as a super badass assassin. Ezio goes along killing templars and crazy conspiracy and intrigue run amok…it’s more of the same high quality story-telling of the first. The game is a massive improvement on the first installment, adding a wide variety of mission types, larger and more detailed environments, and the addition of a home villa which you can upgrade and make a profit off of.

casa dulce casa

The story is a long an winding one, with many a twist and turn, but the end result of beating it is mostly rewarding, also if you’re a trophy whore this thing hand’s em out like candy, giving you a silver for each chapter of the story completed. All in all it’s a rich experience, with a lot more to offer than the first, the challenges and optional quests have a real sense of purpose to them adding to either the story or to your villa’s worth, making the pursuit of the game’s many hidden treasures an insatiable passtime.

There all done, that wasn’t so painful was it? Now on to more relevant issues. How about that earthquake in Haiti!? As if Haiti really needs more shit on it’s plate, that place is a hotbed of poverty, civil strife, and hurricanes …It seems as though a 7.0 Moment Magnitude level earthquake just seems a little overkill.

It’s good to see how people have come together to raise money to help the cause, recently I’ve looked into it and via text message alone there has been roughly $27 million has been raised already via various text message services that take donations, while Telethon’s in the states have raised over $57 million and $16 million was raised by the CBC’s telethon. I am always skeptical however of charitable organizations initially though as it is never easy to tell how well these organizations allocate funds and how efficient they are. To make a personal suggestion, I would recommend donating to UNICEF which is one of the finest organizations providing aid to ailing children.

I actually want to end this post with a couple of questions. What do you think of the efforts being made to aid Haiti after the earthquakes? Is it surprising the amount of money being raised and efforts being contributed? and how do you think this response reflects on efforts of past crisis’ ?(i.e. the tsunami in 2005, New Orleans after hurricane Katrina)


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