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Lamp, broken circa 1988

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  1. General rule of thumb is I listen to it the same day I post it, although this year I was late on one or two so that's fair enough
  2. Alright, signups are now officially Closed, and there's one album left after this one. Thanks again for everyone who participates in this, I hope you enjoy reading this stuff as much as I clearly enjoy writing it. "Wide Awake!" by Parquet Courts "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel "Tell Me How You Really Feel" by Courtney Barnett "Drift" by The Men "Creation" by The Daysleepers "The Sciences" by Sleep "Ruby" by Macy Gray Of course I know who The Men are. I remember in 2011 coming to this board and screaming, at the top of my lungs, repeatedly, about how Leave Home was a modern classic and that if you didn’t listen to it, you did not actually like rock music and I no longer had to listen to anything you had to say. I still feel this stridently about it. All that’s changed is I just make a mental note of this failing instead of shoving people’s faces in the cataclysmic wrongness of not thinking The Men were the best rock band on the planet from 2009-2012. When I was in high school, I played music with a friend of mine. We were in proximity and had instruments. This is how this kind of thing goes. His parents were otherworldly rich, at least to me. They built a three story castle for them and their sons to live in together forever. They fucked that up. Anyways, they left the bottom floor of this place to their musician son. The living room was decked out with an electronic drum kit, multiple amplifiers, multiple guitars, a piano, a mixer, a PA system, and more. He would repeatedly tell me he didn’t want to do anything more than be in a band. He was a decent enough rhythm guitarist when we were kids. He sang with a British accent because he listened to the Beatles that much. I vividly remember the night that started unwinding for us. It was when we were driving somewhere. I had burned him a copy of Leave Home. We were young adults. I played it as loud as I could. It shook my nervous system the way it did every single time. At a point, he turned to me and said, “I think you just want to be in this band.” I screamed “hell yes,” and that was mostly because of my desire and not because I was trying to yell over Lotus. I also screamed “Don’t you?” He chuckled, and shook his head. In 2012, I released my first two albums and saw The Men in Los Angeles at The Smell. They played a lot of songs from New Moon, because they had already written New Moon, because they were the fucking Men and of course they had. It was the first concert I didn’t go to with that guy in several years. He later moved out of town to get a degree in geology. He moved to Texas with his now-Wife. We drifted apart before long before that. He never recorded a song, despite having every instrument he could ever want to make his Beatles/Jack Johnson dreams come true. The Men are very, very tightly woven into me. Not just my taste, but the reason I do anything at all. They were my platonic ideal band: a band with perfect playing of simple songs with no leaders, only songwriters who were game to play anything. The instruments turned electricity into sound, but their songs turned the sound into electricity. I am perfectly happy with being a solo musician, but every once in a while my body seizes up and demands I form a band like The Men. I’ve resisted so far. This is all to say that I listened to Drift twice, felt sad both times I listened to it, and it became the first record by The Men I do not own or plan to own on vinyl. Let’s revisit it and see if I was just being harsh.
  3. 1) Siege and Tekken still, but also I'm replaying Celeste and putting a bunch of time into a clicker game because I'm currently mid Extreme Depressive Episode and watching the numbers go up is about as much as I'm capable of some days. 2) Kentucky Route Zero Act 5.
  4. lol you can change it if you want, there's still one more before yours
  5. Obligatory Business Announcement: Since the end of the year is on monday, I’m gonna go ahead and say that the signups for this close on Friday. So if anyone else wants to suggest a thing for this, you’ve got a week. Thanks to everyone who’s already signed up! "Wide Awake!" by Parquet Courts "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel "Tell Me How You Really Feel" by Courtney Barnett "Creation" by The Daysleepers "The Sciences" by Sleep "Ruby" by Macy Gray My older brother put me onto Janelle Monae. She’s like one of his favorite artists at this point, and I’ve never like not gotten why. She’s very talented. I’ll also say that I was suspicious as fuck of this record after that Yoga song that came out last year, which felt kind of hollow and also caused me to learn who Jidenna is and I’m still unhappy about that. It also came out with the whole movie thing, and I’m not the biggest fan of that way of doing things that way. It feels like it undersells the importance of the music in favor of the spectacle. But hey, all that really adds up to is “I shouldn’t make movies about my albums,” so I wont. However, I did doublecheck with a friend that’s already seen it and they say there’s songs on the record that aren’t in the movie, so I’m going to do this based off the record.
  6. Alright I'm resurrecting this for two reasons. One, I feel bad about bringing an unrelated argument in here and dipping. Two, I've had a REALLY hard week, damn near bottoming out mental health wise and what I'm about to talk about is what pulled me out of it. Before old heads were yelling at mumble rappers, there was Cloud Rap pulling a majority of the scorn. This was mostly because of the association of the genre with Lil B (who i love but most people hate even though it's now clear he was way ahead of his time), but the only group I ever heard take up the mantle of Cloud Rap was the Best Duo Ever, Main Attrakionz. It's like this: no matter what mood I'm in, no matter how bad things are, listening to Main Attrakionz records fixes it at least for a little while. It is magical music, to me. And it's in that cloud rap genre; their choice in beats (especially their work with Friendzone, RIP James Lawrence) leads their music to this swelling beautiful quality that not a lot of acts really try to meet. There's LOTS of people out there attempting to sound hard, or attempting to make the hottest club song they can. Main Attrakionz are just out here trying to make beautiful songs about being alive. So if you need something to help you feel better, maybe this'll help because it works for me.
  7. lol well I did say “if you must.” On to the next! By the way, quick reminder, but I write everything that appears after the list first, preambles like this second, and the list third. I do this because I know the review is very long, and you don’t have to read it. As a result sometimes you get things like this, where the list is going to show that Parquet Courts is #1 and the first chunk of writing is going to be dismissive. Observe! "Wide Awake!" by Parquet Courts "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel "Tell Me How You Really Feel" by Courtney Barnett "Creation" by The Daysleepers "The Sciences" by Sleep "Ruby" by Macy Gray I’ll be honest: I’ve deliberately avoided listening to Parquet Courts for years. I have no sense of where my aversion even is rooted in. All I know is that the vibe I had gotten from them is that “this is probably not my thing.” No one I know has ever pulled me aside and been like “you gotta check out parquet courts” or anything either so this adds up to me having zero awareness of what this actually sounds like. So, let’s get open minded!
  8. golly gosh i had no idea I don't know how much interest you have but here's the short version: it's produced outstandingly, the construction of every song is immaculate, the lyrical content of the record is fucking incredible, and it cloaks those lyrics in pastiche and grace where most people that were That Angry At Earth would just scream them and be done with it. Like Pearly Gates (the song you skipped) fixates on a sentiment most people would sum up like "FUCK THESE CREEPS IN ENTERTAINMENT," she takes that sentiment and tells the bleakest possible extension of that, where even in the afterlife women wont be safe from assault and coercion from men in power. And it's a goddamn jam. I also don't view it as a rock record, for what it's worth. shortest version: I've only thought two* records were perfect in my life, and this is one of them. i'd change nothing about it. *the other is milo's "Cavalcade" which has been ruined in retrospect by featuring a rapper who turned out to be a victim-blaming groper POS, and he has a large part on one of the best songs on that record
  9. I have played Dragon Quest XI. It is extremely chill and it's really good at giving you natural stopping points so if you can only play for like an hour or two a night you can still make super good progress. It ends up feeling kind of like a TV show. So that's the pitch for that. Haven't touched Ni no Kuni 2.
  10. I don't know for sure if this'll be my last set of ratings for 2018, but let's address something real quick. This year, I have to acknowledge that I think GOTY is two seperate games- there's The Best Game of 2018, which is Celeste, and then there's my favorite game of 2018. I'm going to talk about my favorite game of 2018 now. Also, that score is going to be a 4.5. DO NOT interpret this as some Meltzerian Scale Destruction. I have an account on Glitchwave, which is basically Rate Your Music for games (I strongly recommend it!). Their scoring system goes from 0.5 to 5, with half points in between. So, I use the ratings on there in place of my current ratings (1 = I hate it, 2 = I regret playing it, 3 = I don't regret playing it, 4=I love it). But, with a 4.5 and 5 available, I decided to make use of those. So, 4.5 represents the Game of the Year to me, and all of the games I have set at 4.5 are the best games I've played from every year I've been alive, based on their international release date. (so, 1988 is Super Mario Bros 3, 1998 is Soulcalibur, 2008 is Burnout Paradise, etc). I also decided to use 5 to represent "A Dream Come True," or in other words, some kind of longshot franchise resurrection that would be impossible to be impartial about if it ended up being any good. The only game there is Fire Pro Wrestling World. The only other game I can think of that might someday qualify is Virtua Fighter 6. Now. DUSK [4.5] In a year where -the first game I completed was Celeste, and I vividly remember thinking "oh man if I just played the game of the year in January this is gonna be a really hard year" -story games have completely broken my fucking brain after I played God of War and got infuriated with the critical reception of a game that is not the game people are saying it is -I spent the rest of the night after beating Destiny 2: Warmind laying on the floor, muttering "I can't believe it's worse (than Curse of Osiris)" and watching my guild break apart over it -every AAA studio is almost completely incapable of tricking me anymore (I'm not saying I'm invincible, but I am saying that Hitman 2 has been out for two months and everyone that loved the last Hitman says "go get this it's amazing" and I STILL don't trust it) -My playstation's disk drive thought it would be fun to start breaking and randomly spitting disks out constantly around the time I got Dragon Quest XI, preventing me from being able to make progress in it because when they designed the save system they didn't take into account "A Malevolent Spirit can invade the eject button and make the PS4 eject for forty minutes straight no matter what you do to it" ...Dusk comes out and says "KILL THE INTRUDER" and drops me in a basement with two sickles and three chainsaw wielding freaks and that's all the set up start playing go go go. It's easy to claim that it's a Quake knockoff, but within the thing they have built so carefully, it ends up being more. Strafe is a Quake knockoff. Dusk is the real fucking deal. It alternates between campy and genuinely unsettling. It's linear, but densely packed with secrets. If you, like me, get overwhelmed with atmosphere easily, you can take a break and load up the multiplayer and it is EXACTLY PERFECT in it's unending arena chaos. There's also an Endless Mode if you want to just kill monsters and listen to podcasts. It is a first person shooter that can, and happily does, meet you wherever you are and shows you something cool. It's also coming out on Switch next year which seems like a cruel joke, but Quake got a saturn port so it's at least in character. KILLER7'S UNCEREMONIOUS PC REMAKE [4] So again on the topic of my Game of the Year thing: Killer7 is 2005's game of the year in a universe where Fire Pro Returns didn't come out. Killer7 is straight up one of my favorite narrative games ever made. It's a game entirely out of people making Choices. It is the reason that everyone that talks about Suda51 as some visionary makes me sad, because the odds are that they're talking about No More Heroes more than Killer7, and Killer7 is a game that's About Something. It's About Something bigger than interpersonal drama. It's about the division of East and West, and it's many fluid points. It's so About Something that even the control mechanics are about the message that it's trying to impart. Yes the controls are awkward. Why are the controls awkward. Because it's straddling the line between Western marketability (First person) and Eastern design independence. Everything it does is in service to the message. It is my Platonic Ideal Story Game. the PC rerelease adds exactly one thing: A similarly mechanics-only joke about how little Capcom did to bring it into the modern age. It sorts saves by Slot (as in memory card slot). It used to play a cartoon while the game was saving. It still tries to, but because of modern hard drives, you see it for a millisecond. They remapped the controls in the tutorial to an x-box 360 controller. They offer no insight as to how you would control this game on a keyboard if you wished to control it on a keyboard. They did not expect you to have access to a mouse, so in return the aiming moves so sluggishly that if you want any chance of hitting anything, you have to manually adjust your mouse's DPI to the maximum. It would be understandable to get mad at a remake of a game controlling poorly. But if the original game controlled awkwardly with deliberate, fascinating purpose, the idea that it somehow controls worse on PC- the only system this remaster has been announced as coming to!- is objectively funny, and a joke at the expense of Capcom, the company that currently can only do one thing right. also when you play it it's still killer7 so that's awesome
  11. you know it's funny you mention this. From EventHubs: Another Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament shut down, many in the community are blaming Toei And this tweet from Joey Cuellar, who runs Evo. Which makes more sense to interpret as "there's no way to pay the licensing fees they want and still turn a profit." Based on things I've heard (how wonderfully cryptic), I wouldn't be surprised to see them crack down on streams soon too. Toei once sent a cease and desist to an embassy, so what's a fight night in comparison?
  12. Well! Now I'm gonna get the chance to bust a few of these out over the next like two weeks. EDIT: This also seems like a good time to remind people that if they want to listen to my AOTY and write about/dunk on it in here, that's totally fine. Repay me with scorn if you must. The album is "In A Poem Unlimited" by US Girls. "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel "Tell Me How You Really Feel" by Courtney Barnett "Creation" by The Daysleepers. "The Sciences" by Sleep "Ruby" by Macy Gray I have never heard of The Daysleepers. Their cover art reminds me of a really specific indie game. The hoard of genre tags at the bottom there basically translate to “as much pedalboard as band.” This is not a judgment. My pedalboard for the thing I’m working on is somewhere around 13. It’s just an approach. They seem to lean on Space Rock a lot, and I don’t know what that would necessarily imply. It makes me think of like Spiritualized, but that’s because they literally have a record called “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.” So I guess let’s learn what a space rock is!
  13. leased Baby's Arms to Bank of America and then acted like a real dickhead about it like "I gotta pay the carpenter on my house so whatever." EDIT: Misremembered the quote, it was "sorry [Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus]. i did it to be like the carpenters.and to buy my daughter high end diapers. and to pay back my publishing advance. and because i never cared about that sorta thing. whoops,i even have a bank of america account.”
  14. dude from philly with one good song (Jesus Fever), a million terrible ones, and no problem doing business with evil fuckers the best thing Kurt Vile has ever been involved in was that one time Pissed Jeans took a press photo in front of that building he had painted for an album cover
  15. My semester is over so this will be the last one I had to write in a notebook for. Which means the next few listens will be the off-the-cuff style from last year. Yay! I’m excited for you too! "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel "Tell Me How You Really Feel" by Courtney Barnett "The Sciences" by Sleep "Ruby" by Macy Gray I have a family tradition. I drive up with my older brother to our family's christmas stuff, and I burn a big long playlist to listen to so he can catch up on what’s come out in the last year and see what he wants to check out on his own time. This is how we discovered Courtney Barnett, listening to and laughing with Avant Gardener on that mountain route (“The paramedic thinks I’m clever because I play guitar / I think she’s clever because she stops people dying” is still an amazing lyric). I loved the first two records, but as I stated last year, I don’t fuck with anyone that fucks with Kurt Vile, so I was planning on missing this one. Now to be fair, I was also planning on missing At The Drive-In last year and that turned out great. So maybe this’ll turn out great!
  16. lol y'all have weak stomachs. all these covers have most of the same notes in them still. Get on Bono's level. Or don't. Please don't. The closest is the Ska Crazy Train.
  17. Inspired by a friend assaulting me with this fucking thing today. Give me what you've got.
  18. This is a reminder that at the outset of this, I did not guarantee I am going to write positive things about these albums. I still appreciate you all submitting albums anyways. 1. "You Won't Get What You Want" by Daughters 2. "Vile Luxury" by Imperial Triumphant 3. "II: Sojourn" by Wytch Hazel 4. "The Sciences" by Sleep 5. "Ruby" by Macy Gray I vaguely remember when Macy Gray hit. There was a lot of to-do about her voice and I never thought it was worth carrying on about. It’s like the same kind of grainy as D’Angelo, just with a higher timbre. As I’m writing this, I’m relistening to “I Try” to refresh myself. I hope this is giving you an idea of how often I’ve thought about Macy Gray since the turn of the century. So how did the album go?
  19. Hi! Haven't forgotten about this! Finals this week! See you like thursday/friday! EDIT: also if you want me to listen to one of those records zakk you're going to have to pick one, I'm not listening to three for anyone else y'know?
  20. I love this. Nothing makes me happier than tech companies announcing they're about to Sideshow Bob themselves to death. It's like they completely forgot that the reason they got their userbase was because LiveJournal banned "adult content." By the way, the actual paragraph of what they're going to be going after is a hoot. Here: "Don't upload images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples —this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though). Certain types of artistic, educational, newsworthy, or political content featuring nudity are fine. Don’t upload any content, including images, videos, GIFs, or illustrations, that depicts sex acts." Top three things I love about this: 1) Their shitty fucking attitude. "ALL YOU REALIST PAINTERS PAINTING TITTIES ARE REAL WISE GUYS, EH?! I SEE YOUZE" 2) "female-presenting nipples." Because nipples are to breasts as Fats is to James Brown's Live At the Apollo. 3) "newsworthy or political content featuring nudity." So doxing, basically. Consensual porn bad, private photos stolen off of iCloud good. Got it.
  21. CRUSADER OF CENTY [3] So I saw this in some article that was like "Sega Zelda-likes you haven't played!" that I think might have been on HG101? Regardless, it was the one game on that list I hadn't heard of. I know why. It's, like, fine? But the idea that someone would be screaming about this as like a fantastic Zelda-like is a little confusing. I'll probably keep playing it. HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER ON SWITCH [4] would it be unfair to call this my game of the year because fuckin hell I still love this damn game ICONOCLASTS [3] I bought this a week before I learned it was going to be free on PS4 next month. That's the only thing that keeps it from a 4. It is a very good metroid from the creators of Noitu Love, so it basically looks and plays like a sketch of "Video Games Of The Future" circa 1991. This is not a bad thing. It's very fun, it's got a really interesting world that is maybe at points a little too anime for my taste, and the action feels great. I'll finish it. I wish I had waited literally a week to start it.
  22. My first impression of the Earl record is that it makes me extremely uncomfortable to think of all the people that are going to call it revolutionary and trailblazing like this isn't the path milo/scallops hotel has been journeying down for years. if you fuck with the Earl record, I beseech you, go listen to milo's output this year- sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face, Nostrum Grocers, and budding ornothologists are tired of weary analogies. You'll like them.
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