Monday, March 23, 2009

Spooky Radio Drama

This is the first draft of my latest radio project... Feedback?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Buzzing

I just read The Buzzing, by Jim Knipfel, who apparently writes a column for the NY Press. It was a Christmas gift from my Aunt who finds gently used copies of cool books at her local library for the family each gift season.

It's a light, predictable read for the most part, but it suffered from one of my least favorite tendencies in entertainment that's been popular for at least 15 years now.

Quentin Tarantino popularized a dialogue style that was fast and fresh, and thick with pop culture references. "Madonna" scene in Reservoir Dogs... Awesome. "Elvis vs. Beatles" in Pulp Fiction.... Good enough.

But recently I've been feeling insulted by this insistence by writers to insert their personal favorite "obscure" taste into their work. That's my biggest gripe with Tarantino lately. In "Death Proof" it's all "Nice one, Zatoichi" and "Vanishing Point is the best movie ever."

Barf. That kind of writing is soooo expository and insulting.

When I discovered that Tarantino had shot the bathroom scene of "Reservoir Dogs" after the bathroom scene of "12 Angry Men" I felt like I had unlocked a secret by virtue of experience.

But when you just add the titles of old movies into your dialogue, it's cheap and bewildering. It takes me out of the moment and it's condescending.

Juno suffered from this syndrome heavily. The "discussions" about Herschell Gordon Lewis and Sonic Youth were so heavy handed that I walked out of the theatre guilty that I hadn't ever listened to them and annoyed that now I was sure I wouldn't.

It's even worse when I know the reference, and that was the problem with "The Buzzing". There was too much dialogue discussing rare italian horror, Godzilla and Toho. When I'm already aware of these things, I want to interject. But that's impossible in a book or movie so here I am, subject to someone's endless rant about what's cool this week (does this sound familiar to you, dear reader?)

Okay. I get it, Knipfel (Tarantino, et al), you are a movie buff, and that's respectable. I'd like to have a beer and talk about trashy 70's movies, because I also enjoy them. But when your back-and-forth is purely obscure references, you end up sounding like that egoist dickhead at the party who puts everyone down because "What, you've never seen Bergman?!?"

Fuck off.

Here's an excerpt from "The Buzzing" that exemplifies my problem with this kind of writing. (The protagonist -Baragon- is answering a phone call from a friend- Slaughter)

"Hey Caulfield- pick up the goddamn phone." It was Slaughter's code- a reference that very few people ever got- especially when it was explained that it had nothing at all to do with J.D. Salinger.
Baragon picked up. "Hey, Kelloway." That was the proper coded response. "What goes on? You home?"

So these guys are so cool they call each other nicknames based off of some obscure media. Then it's explained that it's a code. Then it's explained further that it's not "that Caulfield you're probably thinking of." Thanks dick.

For your benefit, I googled "caulfield and kelloway" and discovered that it's a reference to "Capricorn One." So really, it's an "obscure" reference from a really popular 70's movie. Just like Tarantino likes to do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Paddy's Day Podcast

Here's my latest experiment- podcasts. I am realizing this might be the best way to share mixtapes. Ill put these together and you can listen streaming on this site or download from the hosting site and listen on your pod or computer. It's basically a radio show, but not live.

I'm ambitiously going to try to do one every two weeks or so, with some sort of theme. Or not, depending. If you have suggestions I'm keen. This week's theme is drinking songs. Go figure.

It's about 30 minutes long, FYI. So listen and enjoy. And let me know what you think in the comments! Levels aren't perfectly mixed.

Credit goes to Rachael for helping me compile the song list.

It's best served with a cold pint'o bitter.

TO DOWNLOAD: Go to this link and click on "Download Original" in the right-hand column.

Future Shock

Friday, March 13, 2009

Limerick Generator

With Spring Break nigh, I'll have lots of time on my hands. That's why I've selflessly decided to become, dear readers, your personal limerick generator. All you have to do is post a topic in the comments and I will grace thee with a poem of sublime brilliance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Would you get a load of this guy?!?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Guilty Pleasures Confession Minute

I can't hide it any longer. I'm a closet ScarJo fan. No, not the way most american dudes who spend all day on the computer are.

"Anywhere I Lay My Head," the album of Tom Waits covers she released last year, is good. Fuckin' good!

There I said it.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Themselves show was pretty fun. I missed the Starving Weirdos, but got to see littlestillnotbigenough, some variation of which I had seen before at the Tree House. I liked them better the first time.

Themselves were pretty hot. Drum machine central. I was realizing I probably first heard Dose One around 2000 on an Atmosphere mixtape or something. I've been listening to him for a while now.

They had good VJ stuff going on too, and the Hunter Plaid gallery was a lot more impressive venue than I had expected. They could use a stage, though.

There are a few pics I took at the show here. (Including the new title pic)

Games That I Rocked as a Kid (GTIRAAK)

Myth II: Soulblighter edition.

I didn't play Myth. I was introduced to Myth II by my uncle, who gave me his copy of Myth II because it was too violent for him. So 14-year-old me gleefully took it home and played the hell out of it.

Myth II was a groundbreaking in a lot of ways. It's realtime strategy, but without the hassle of mining, collecting, building and all of those tasks that plague other RTS titles (not that it's not fun, just refreshing to not use that gimmick all the time).

In Myth II you have a set number of characters for each level and you must get through each level using them and their special abilities. The characters are balanced and fun to use. You have dwarves, warriors, archers and eventually mages.

You can name your characters and if they survive they carry over from level to level, gaining experience. This makes me obsessive about having characters survive and I usually replay levels dozens of times just so I keep d'Artagnan or whoever alive.

Myth II was probably the first game I played that employed realistic physics. Archers would shoot further from a hill and god forbid your dwarf throws a grenade uphill.

There are moments of huge frustration when your dwarf decides to throw a grenade at the enemy who is standing amidst your warriors, effectively decimating half of your forces.

"Casualty! Casualties!" The narrator informs you.

Overall a fantastic game that I have replayed probably 7 times. In fact I think I'll go finish up a game now...

ADDENDUM: A game's save mechanics are probably the most hotly debated feature of any given game. I don't understand why any game wouldn't let you save whenever and wherever you want. That's common sense, but we won't argue that here. What I do miss most about game saves is being able to name your save file. Modern games don't let you do that. Myth II allowed you to save when you please and to name the file whatever you please. Which is crucial to a perfectionist like myself. Game designers take note.

Sad News

I hate to make light of this event, because it is truly sad, but the headline is priceless. Good copy edit work. I challenge anyone not to click on the link that reads: Martha Stewart's dog dies in blast. Whoa.

On a lighter note, you'll notice her dog's name was Ghengis Khan (KHAAAAAAAAAN). This has inspired me. I think that my first kitten will be named Vlad the Impaler. Warlords make great names for pets!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I can't tell if this looks stupid or great yet but you gotta love Galifianakis. Tyson + Collins = pretty funny.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Themselves in Arcata Sunday

And Eureka Saturday!

The Journal said some Starving Weirdos will open.

The poster won't fit, click on it to view for details

Radio Field Piece

Here's a "man (or woman) on the street" interview piece I did. Good responses but the bit rate was really low for some reason. I wasn't familiar with the recorders, but oh well. It's okay I guess.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Radio Spot, round 2

Another test of the embedding site... nothing new. Bear with me.