Come On, Let's Go.


1957's miserable I Was A Teenage Werewolf had one redeeming feature beyond the fact that it made a pretty good MST3k episode. It was this completely inexplicable dance number -- complete with steps straight out of Gutterballs -- in what is otherwise a teen rebel/horror film.



Once in a while I really enjoy a piece of music the context for which is completely alien to me. So, I love the hell out of this medley, I know it is from Jamaica and ... that's about it. So if anyone wants to elucidate what this is, feel free to do so in the comments.


Gwen and the Stacies

If the movie trailer is a form of art -- or at least a genuine medium -- both the action and the indie movie trailer is genres. And, as with any genre, ripe for parody:


New York Was Great

Earlier this week I saw the Raveonettes play live. This was the second time as I previously saw them on their last tour/my 25th birthday. This time I got right up close, front-and-center, where people of my stature (and complete lack of consideration for future hearing loss) belong at shows. Directly in front of me, a girl was recording them on her cell phone and, luckily enough, two of her recordings popped up on YouTube a few days later. So, for the first time ever, I am proud to present some concert footage shot at almost my exact vantage point, as illustrated by the image above. So, live from the Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 20th, 2011, here are the Raveonettes with "Love in a Trash Can" off Pretty in Black:

...and "Dead Sound" off Lust Lust Lust:


Think of the Children

I've been reading IDW's Dungeons and Dragons series based entirely on the strength of Chris Sims' review and I am just absolutely delighted. John Rogers' dialogue just absolutely nails the bullshitting-through-sudden-death D&D experience. And then there's this offhand reference to Futurama...

IDW's Dungeons and Dragons #2

Co. Futurama Wiki



I've been following Freezepop since their first LP and, well, as much as I love the band, I feel like they've been on a steady downhill slope. Every album since 2002's debut Freezepop Forever has been just a little more mediocre than the last. Honestly, I liked a single song on their previous album Future Future Future Perfect and even that track felt more like a Le Tigre b-side than a Freezepop song. Just for kicks, here's one of my favorite tracks off the first album:

So color me surprised when I excitedly (I'm a glutton for disappointment, sure) listened to their new release Imaginary Friends and was just delighted. The band has both lost a member and gained two, and maybe that's what changed their sound. They sound like a "real" synthpop band now, giving up amateurishness without sacrificing that endearing quirkiness that makes Freezepop the band they are:


Moonbrooke Philharmonic

I remember very clearly the first four video games I had received for my NES. Unlike the Atari 2600 which my mother bought me when we juts came to this country -- under the mistaken assumption that it would perfectly well replace a babysitter -- the Nintendo did not come with a box of games. Rather, it was packaged with Super Mario Bros. 3, and each game after that was a struggled of dropped hints and counting the days to gift-getting occasions. I got Ninja Gaiden 2 around the same time as the NES from my mother's boyfriend, it must have been my seventh or eighth birthday. Three months and ten thousand rented cartridges later, I received Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Dragon Warrior II.

I never got far in any of these games. For all my love of video games, I am to this day spectacularly bad at them. I have neither the determination nor the patience to make it past the first act of most games. However, I did replay the opening parts of all these video games over and over again until I traded them for something else I would never finish. And nothing gives me pangs of nostalgia like the background music from Dragon Warrior II:


Italicized Excerpts

For a short while before some of my older and wiser friends helped me find the music that truly dragged me out of the classic rock ghetto I had sequestered myself within during high school, I still managed to find some fun, weird, obscure stuff out there thanks to Napster, TV, and my numerous magazine subscriptions. For instance, thanks to a short review in Rolling Stone, the few tracks off MC Paul Barman's debut EP It's Very Stimulating I could locate were on constant repeat. This was also the first hip-hop I ever really liked (read: the first I ever gave an honest chance to.)

Thanks to an internet-friend of mine, I heard my first Neutral Milk Hotel song long, long before I heard any of their albums. Rather, I noticed them in the "music" field of a LiveJournal post he made and was just entranced by the name of the band. From my senior (?) year of high school to about four or five years later when I finally scored a copy of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, this track was all I had of theirs.


Orthogonally Yours

You should go play with Otomata immediately. It's a cross between Conway's Game of Life and a Tenori-On. It is really hard to make something that doesn't sound delightful and pleasant. Watch the demo below:

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Bare Knuckle

When I was a kid, I had a friend with a Sega Genesis. Now, this might not be a big thing, but as a kid I a) didn't have many friends and b) most of us had working-class immigrant parents (Italy or the Soviet Union, take your choice) who weren't too big on electronic-based creature comforts. If you were gonna play, you best be playing outside and all that. Now, we weren't terribly poor -- most of us had Nintendos -- but the 16-bit generation took its sweet time making its rounds about Bensonhurst. Which is why it was just so awesome to have a friend with a Sega Genesis. My favorite game of his was Streets of Rage 2. It was just so badass, you see; going around, kicking ass and not having to plunk in quarter after quarter when you died. I think we must've beaten that game a half-dozen times, together. Or, well, at least we'd gotten to the last stage that often.

Click to enlarge
Co. Bomber Games

This is why I am so excited about Bomber Games' freshly-killed Streets of Rage remake.Composed entirely from scratch, it uses the old sprites to create a completely-customizable, seamless Streets of Rage experience. Pick any playable character from SoR 1-3 (enemy characters are unlockable) any stage and any game mechanic you like and just go at it. Now, yes, it has been recently taken down by Sega but mysteriously enough only after the final version was released and had enough time to get around the torrents and so on. As an Upstanding Member of Society, I can't condone downloading such things from your favorite torrent sites but it's not like I can actually see what you're doing.

Don't mind the blurriness of this video, by the way. Like any good retro game, you can have play this with original pixels intact, with scanlines, or 2xSaI like you see.

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