Saturday, September 26, 2015

Me and Aldaris Season 2 (p1): Welcome Back

I yawned, stretching out over my bed with a smile.  It's kind of annoying to do that, considering that my bed is kinda small, so every time I stretch when I'm not on the exact top of the bed means my feet get to stretch over the side and allow cold air into my sleepytime cuccoon.  But whatever, that's my one complaint.  It was the first day after my graduation: associates in accounting.  Huzzah!  No class to go to or test to make up!  Now I only have to study my korean, write a bunch of stories that I can get published, and study my textbooks so that I don't forget anything important.  And get a job that doesn't entail shelving books, food service, or customer interaction in general.  Bring on an office in the back and tedious paperwork!  Hooray!

But today, the happiness of sleeping in.  Or it would be, if my body didn't force me up at nine in the morning.  That's sleeping in for some people.  For the time being, I just got out of bed and put some real clothes on.  Y'know, I really need to sleep in my clothes until I know for sure Aldaris' teleporter is fixed.  I ran downstairs to the kitchen for to caffeinate that thought out of my brain.  That works, right?

"I need more Infected Mushroom in my life." I said out loud as I loaded the coffee maker, even though I live alone.  "Computer, summon the internet and make it so."

Because my computer is not from the twenty-third century, it does no such thing.  So I typed up some videos and got them playing.  I really need to get Infected Mushroom's cds.  Even though I can listen to them on the internet, I'd much rather just own the discs.  It's kind of annoying to depend on the internet to listen to what I want.  That, and I want to support my favorite band.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Write Club: How Not to Write with Dr. McNinja

Hey y'all.  So the webcomic Dr. McNinja is coming to a close.  It's a fun webcomic, if randomness is what you're after.  Y'know, what with a doctor who is also a ninja, and all the silliness that Chris Hastings decides he wants to jam in there.

However, as much as people like it, it's kind of...well, not great.  Several things about it get on my nerves.  Given that I'm not a fifteen year old male, that's to be expected.  But when I was younger, I did in fact share many likes with that particular demographic, which is how I got started with it, when it was...oh, about the beginning of issue three.  I really liked it at the time, but at the end of issue three is when Gordito was introduced.  I somehow got the feeling that something had gone wrong in the comics, and that Gordito's entrance would somehow damper the comic.  I was half right.  Something did change, but it wasn't his fault.  Interestingly enough, Hastings mentioned in an interview that issue three was in fact a turning point for both himself and the comic.

This isn't going to be a proper review, for the record.  There are many reasons why a review of it isn't entirely appropriate.  For one thing, Dr. McNinja appears to be something Chris Hastings created more for fun than anything else.  It comes across as more stream of consciousness than straightforward, and serves as a way for Hastings to develop his comicking/storytelling abilities.  This tends to be the case with many webcomics. The long stretches a webcomic lasts mean that they can't always think of everything as a narrative the same way a novel writer would.  Everyone needs practice, so what better way for a comic guy to practice than to make a webcomic?

There's many positive aspects of the comic.  It's funny, and has good ideas on how to parody life as it is.  If you're a guy who enjoys stupid humor, I highly recommend you take a look at it.  Note that I don't mean "stupid" as an insult.  "Stupid humor" is pretty much its own genre by now, is all. Y'know, the kind of humor that makes people laugh at how dumb it is.

However, I've always wanted to get off my chest why exactly this comic gets on my nerves at times.  As a result, the things I write here will make the comic seem more negative than it really is.  Bear in mind that despite these errors, the comic is not the worst thing ever, or horrible in general.  It's fun for what it is.  This will just be a post addressing the writing errors present within the story that any writer worth their salt should be aware of.  Flaws in storytelling transcend their particular mediums, in most cases.

Alright, so quick story summary.  Dr. McNinja is an Irish American ninja who abandoned his family's more ninja occupations so that he could become a doctor.  After teaming up with tween Gordito, nephew of the Mexican raptor bandits, he goes after such enemies as ninja-killer Frans Rayner and ruler of all things cool King Radical.  Together they face time travel, evil dinosaurs, a weatherman, giant robots, and all manner of random whatnots.

This post will probably be easier to understand if you've already read the webcomic.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Nitpickery: Converting Vegetarians II

Hey y'all.  So Converting Vegetarians II is out digitally, and the audio cd will be out in October.  The songs, however, are all out on Soundcloud now.  I don't know if that's the best business decision, but what do I know about the music industry?

It's been weeks since I started my Daft Punk vs. Infected Mushroom review.  I've been listening to IM near nonstop since then, with a break for three different versions of Los Peces en el Rio when the mood struck.  But it's been a crap ton of Infected Mushroom, particularly a number of their non-album songs.  Holy crap, these guys do a lot of work.  Apparently Duvdev and Erez have their solo careers as well.  I don't know how they get it all done.

In any case, the point is that my experience with the band has changed.  I still love them and everything, but my inner cynic is rising to the surface.  As it does.  After repeated listening, I'm starting to see what the critics of Infected Mushroom are saying.  Granted, I never did fully disagree with them.  Over time, Infected Mushroom has become a little more open to people not of the electronic genres.  My defense was that this was IM's choice because of what they as musicians like, not because of executives, and that they stuff they make, whether mainstream or not, is generally good.

Also, some of the protest against IM's apparent usage of more mainstream sounds is because some people want their musicians to be like their secret club: only the hardcore allowed.  I sympathize with this opinion only to the degree that I don't want IM to just do club music.  Club music, particularly these days, is generally shallow.  It only requires a danceable beat.

All the same, complexity is very important.  These guys need to remember to be complex, because their complexity has generally been their major draw.  Particularly if they're going to do a throwback album.  I was very excited for Converting Vegetarians II, especially since I discovered the guys at the right time to get into their stuff and learn to appreciate them for who they are in time to anticipate it.  Now that I can listen to it, let's assess how well it did.  I'll be judging its songs based on two criteria: how much I want to listen to them, and how much they reflect the Converting Vegetarians spirit, as established by the first album of that name.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Top Ten Songs and a Review Conclusion

Hey y'all.  So what better way to end a series of music reviews than with a top ten list? Two, in fact?  So these are my top ten songs for Infected Mushroom and Daft Punk.  That is, the top ten I like to listen to.  While I normally like to be objective, this is music, and to call something a top ten song of a band, well, you've got to have pretty clear standards for why those particular songs are the best.  Here, these are just my personal favorites.

Let's start with Daft Punk.  I like a fair number of their songs, and Musique is good to play when I'm baking.  It keeps me going.  The only downside is that Daft Punk's best songs tend to be the more popular ones, making searches for hidden gems a difficult task.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Nitpickery: Discovery and the Musique Mixes

Hey y'all.  So I've been really hard on Daft Punk, but there's a reason why they got so popular.  Usually it's due to their singles rather than their full albums, but with Discovery they struck gold.  Not only do the songs feel like they're really an album, but the fun and funky sounds chosen to create the album are appealing and emotional.  It's surprising they went a more warm route after their edgy, avant guarde Homework, but hey, I'm just grateful they did. 

Thence came Discovery, the album that launched Daft Punk into the semi-approval of the mainstream, as well as attracting attention from the anime crowd for its conversion into the anime Interstella 5555.  It deserves its accolades, overall being a solid album that anyone can enjoy.