Looking Back on… And as the ring turns… (WWE, 2002)

And as the ring turns… (This was written in early December of 2002, but it hits a lot of points regarding shit that was going on during the year leading up to this post, so it should be an interesting retrospective and viewpoint on my current views, if nothing else.)

Okay, so let me see if I’ve got this straight: Soap opera angles are the way to revolutionize the wrestling world, if I don’t like my TV being hoarded with necrophilia I’m obviously too stupid to know better, I really wanted to see Lesnar/Big Show, Stephanie and Bischoff making out is supposed to make ratings, yet another Kane-HHH match will bring in the fans, even though we know Kane won’t win, and Scott Steiner is SURE to make a huge impact, right after he learns how to wrestle again while not breaking another part of his anatomy. (Yes and apparently it still is, no considering they no longer talk about that, yes and I apparently wanted to see it a bunch more times afterward, no and they never ultimately did anything with that plot point, that was the plan but they actually used the Kane/HHH match to unmask cane because Glenn was getting tired of wearing the mask, and Scott Steiner was such a colossal fucking disaster that no one pretend that was a good idea anymore.)

Y’know, I just basically summed up the entirety of my rant in a paragraph, but in the interest of entertainment, let’s stretch it out a bit, eh? (Relative to your definition of entertainment, of course.)

Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 1/23/15

Going back to the Curve discussion for a bit, on the other side, today’s piece is from the other side, Toni Halliday and her band Chatelaine:

So here’s the other side of the issue with the breakup of Curve: while Dean Garcia ended up in a position where he was making boring music focused on a vocalist who only had so much to offer, Halliday ended up on the opposite end, making music that focuses heavily on her vocals, to the exclusion of all else, and it’s… fine, but it’s the same problem Free Dominguez ran into during her break from kidneythieves. Basically, everything about the song screams “you’ve heard this already, and it was more interesting when (at the very least) Adele did it,” which doesn’t help your sound in the least. Say what you will about Curve and Halliday, but Curve had a distinctive sound few others can really replicate (even its own members can’t do it, apparently), while Halliday sounds like every other female vocalist with a piano on Earth.

On Vaping and the Formaldehyde Thing

Anyone who knows me personally (or, failing that, attends my livestreams) is almost certainly aware, but about five months ago, I made the switch from traditional cigarettes to a vaporizer device, in hopes of getting rid of a lot of the long-term issues cigarettes cause for me (hacking, smelling like cigarettes, a dude with a scythe following me around pretending I can’t see him). For the most part, it’s generally been a good transition, I think; I can smell and taste things significantly better than I used to, my breathing is better (if not where it used to be), I don’t cough… at all, really, and in general it’s been a positive change in my life. That’s not to say that vaporizing is some kind of amazing miracle alternative to smoking, of course. For one thing, it’s a bit of a difficult thing to really get into; it took me nearly three years to really get to a point where I could find the right tools and fluid balance such that my body’s immediate response to it wasn’t “Oh HELL no,” and I’ve met several people who have never had luck with it, so it’s clearly not a winning proposition for everyone. It’s also worth pointing out, though, that we kind of don’t know what using electronic cigarettes and vaporizers does to people long-term yet. While we know that nicotine isn’t great for your body, it’s more on the level of a worse version of caffeine rather than “death and destruction, woe to all,” and we don’t know what the rest of the chemicals in e-liquid might do. Aside from the scares a few years back about Chinese produced liquids having antifreeze in them, most modern liquid one can purchase in the US is manufactured in the US, and any website you go to is going to actively advertise how they make their fluids in FDA-grade facilities, using FDA-approved processes, because they want you to know their fluid is “safe.” It’s not, obviously, but not because they’re not trying to make it so; we just don’t know enough about e-liquid to say what the effects are, but hey, it’s made in the USA, so clearly you can feel safe using it, right?

Which brings us to the formaldehyde thing.

Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 1/22/15

Today, let’s look back at a point when KMFDM was still on top of their game, with “Ultra”:

In addition to being the soundtrack to one of the better fight scenes in anime, ever, “Ultra” is an awesome song on its own, that effectively showcased what KMFDM could be when all of its relative elements were tempered by each other. Modern KMFDM is mostly just political bullshit and a lot of specific sounds, but KMFDM in their prime featured somewhere around three “core” vocalists, in Sascha, En Esch and Raymond Watts (of Pig), and each brought a different style and sound to the experience. The record Nihil, which this song comes from, is as close to being the objectively best record KMFDM has ever produced as the scientific method would tolerate; while you probably can’t scientifically prove it through testing and such, from general discussion I’ve met few people who would actively disagree, and even then it’s more a case of pleasant disagreement rather than anyone saying “you’re on drugs,” at the assertion.

Point being, the whole record is fucking rad as hell and it’s one of the very few from KMFDM that doesn’t have a bad track on it. It’s also the record the song “Juke Joint Jezebel” comes from, which you know if you saw the first Mortal Kombat, among many other things from that time period.

I know I’ve spent a couple days ragging on KMFDM here, but songs like this were why, at one point, the band was my absolute favorite in the world. Anything negative I have to say about them comes almost entirely from the expectation that they can be better because they have been better, and the fact that they are not better is, honestly, frustrating.

Looking Back on… Shadow Hearts (Sony Playstation 2)

SHADOW HEARTS
Console: PS2.
Genre: Role-playing.
Developer: Sacnoth.
Publisher: Midway. (Aah, Shadow Hearts, probably one of my favorite modern JRPG’s in existence. It’s weird, I generally dislike the series as a whole, but I love this specific game because it actually allows for a happy and relatively understandable ending that the franchise itself wasn’t willing to even try at. The second game still had a good ending, but it was such a convoluted mess, and the game hemorrhaged fans to the point that no one bought it, and the third game ended up being brought over by XSEED rather than Midway. The developer ended up being merged into Aruze, who dissolved the development team, and much of the team went to feelplus, which was a part of AQ Interactive, who themeselves then merged into Marvelous, which is arguably the only company in that list who ever developed a good game that wasn’t named Shadow Hearts. Well, Moon Diver was okay.)

For me, there’s a point in every game where it hooks me; where it takes an holy act of god to pry my sweaty little palms from the controller, because I feel as though I NEED to complete this game. Sometimes that comes from being enthralled with the game and it’s mechanics; other times, from the realization that I PAID MONEY for this pile of crap, and goddammit, I’m gonna see it through. (Sometimes, I just do it out of spite, like with Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.) And sometimes, there’s a frustration point, too; a point where I get so pissed off with the game that I don’t want to play it anymore, ever. (Like in Watch Dogs.) Sometimes that point hits at a particular fight in a game; sometimes I don’t know where to go at a certain point; or sometimes, I just get so FUCKING BORED with what’s going on that I give up. (Also like in Watch Dogs.) Today, we’re going to look at a game that both hooked me and pissed me off to the point I almost didn’t finish it. Today, we look at Shadow Hearts.

Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 1/21/15

Since I brought it up yesterday, let’s take a look at what Depeche Mode has been up to fairly recently, with “Wrong”:

I have to admit, I kind of love this.

Depeche Mode is not a relevant band by any definition at this point, and if you listen to this, it’s apparent why, as they haven’t massively evolved stylistically from their debut. Their tools have improved, and their production is much better, but they still sound like you’d expect Depeche Mode to sound in 2014. Here’s the thing though: Depeche Mode in 2014 still sounds kind of interesting, mostly because the band doesn’t release records constantly, and they still know how to assemble an interesting beat and hook when they do release stuff. Thirteen CD’s in 32 years is fairly prolific, to be certain, but it gives you time to think about things and experiment a bit, rather than releasing a new CD every year that pounds your sound into the dirt. I mean, I’m just saying.

Looking Back on… KGC – Dirty Bomb.

KGC – <i>Dirty Bomb</i> Review (As mentioned, we’re looking back at my review of the, so far only, KGC record produced, Dirty Bomb, for a bit of perspective as to why I feel Dean Garcia and KMFDM have kind of fallen on hard times creatively.)

Website: <a href= http://www.myspace.com/kgcmusic/ target=new>KGC on Myspace</a> (Hahaha oh God Myspace.)

Continue reading