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Music, Movies, & General Geekery: Life.
by Christopher Grant Harris

Monday, 3 July 2017

“Of the Month” July 2017

Album of the Month:

Steven Universe: Soundtrack (Vol. 1)

It’s SOOOO GOOOOD. I already wrote a post about it, so go read that.

Show of the Month:

GLOW

A (very) fictionalized account of the origins of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) TV show and promotion from the 1980s. This is a raunchy, hard-R comedy about a struggling actress (played by Community’s Allison Brie), whom nobody likes, trying to find her place in this group of crazy and hilarious women. Standout performance by Marc Maron as the show’s director: a sleazy, insensitive man with a heart of more sleaze. It’s very funny and the 80s aesthetics are spot-on. There’s some great tension between wondering if this whole GLOW thing is empowering for the women involved or exploitative. Full disclosure: I’ve only watched the first 2 (of 10) episodes so far, so maybe the series sucks after that? But somehow I doubt it.

Organization of the Month:

Metropolitan Development Council of Tacoma (MDC)

In their own words:

MDC is a vital community resource for Tacoma and Pierce County. Founded in 1964 as a non-profit Community Action Agency. For most of our more than 50 year history, MDC has responded to community needs by providing services that address the needs of low-income families. We have introduced national model programs such as “Housing First,” “Healthcare for the Homeless,” “College Bound,” and the “Educational Opportunity Center,” which, in turn, have improved lives and given hope to thousands of residents. Known by many names in the early years (e.g. Tacoma Pierce County Opportunity and Development, Inc.), our legal name is Metropolitan Development Council. We are currently doing business as MDC.

These are good people doing real good for the people who need it. Donate today to help out.

Categories: Of the Month.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Warren Dunes Plays Musics with the Hoot Hoots & the Echolarks This Saturday

hootechodunes

hootechodunes

First things first, isn’t that an awexome poster? I just lorve it.

So this Saturday (July 1st) there’s gonna be a pretty durned great show happening up at the Sunset Tavern in Seattle. Apparently a couple of members of the band The Hoot Hoots have birthdays about now-ish, so they’re calling this a “Birthday Show” for The Hoot Hoots. They’re a great, high-energy, funny band with matching costumes and light-up glasses. Always a goot time! Then there are the Echolarks, and I’m afraid I haven’t actually seen them live before so I can’t comment on them, but their recorded music has an exceptionally high polish and professionalism, and is quite catchy. And finally there’s Warren Dunes, the supergroup mashup of the Five Finger Discount and Electric NoNo. This is Warren Dunes’s first public show (their previous one was invite-only)!

In order of appearance on the poster, here are some sample songs from each of the bands involved in this show so you can sample the goodness:

The Hoot Hoots:

The Echolarks

Warren Dunes

So, yeah, should be a grand ol’ time!

Details:
The Hoot Hoots (Birthday Show!), The Echolarks, Warren Dunes (Faced Book Event)
Saturday, July 1st 9:00 PM
@ The Sunset Tavern
5433 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (map)
21+ $10 Advance (tickets), $12 Day of Show

LET’S SO BRING IT! ON DOWN. (source)

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music, Videos.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Electric NoNo at Squeak & Squawk Tacoma this Friday!

Squeak & Squawk Tacoma

Squeak & Squawk Tacoma

As a TacoMan, I’m very pleased that there is going to be some excellent live musics in our town this coming weekend. It’s the return of the Squeak & Squawk Music Festival, an absurdly sporadic happening over the past 10 years (I think it’s been about 5 years since the last one).

And on Friday night, our good friends Electric NoNo are going to be playing at The Valley near the Tacoma Dome! That promises to be some kickass musics like this:

Also, LAKE will be performing on Saturday at an all-ages show at the Courthouse Square Ballroom. LAKE (it must be all-caps like that) is fronted by Ashley Eriksson, who you may know as the woman who made the end credits song for Adventure Time. Take a listen:

I betcha didn’t know she was a local, didja?

Anyways, there’s a buncha other musics happening from Thursday through Monday at various venues around town, so there’ll probably be at least someone you’ll wanna listen to. You can see the full lineup on Squeak & Squawk’s event page on the Faced Book. I’ll for-sure be at The Valley this Friday! SO CAN YOU!

Details:
Squeak & Squawk: Electric NoNo (Faced Book Event)
Friday, June 23rd 8:00 PM
@ The Valley
1206 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421 (map)
21+, only $5

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Fools Play. Improv Comedy. June 17th. Olympia.

Who. What. When. Where.

Who. What. When. Where.

Hey, gang, just letting you know that I will be one of the performers at this Saturday’s (June 17th) episode of Fools Play Improv in Olympia. Therefore, you, dear reader, should be one of the audience members.

Details:
Fools Play Improv in Olympia
Saturday, June 17th 8:30PM
@ The South Sound Estuarium
309 State Ave NE, Olympia, WA (map)
All-Ages, Only $5!

It starts at 8:30, which is a weird time for a show to start, I admit. But it ends around 10:00-10:30, so there’s plenny of time to go out afterward and get your drank on. If, y’know, that’s your “thang.”

See you there! 💖💖💖

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Whew! Now What?

Fait accompli.

Fait accompli.

So… last week I beat all the Shrines in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And last night I finally completed all 76 of the Side Quests. Whew! Even though I only found just under 300 Korok Poops Seeds* (out of apparently 900 possible) it was enough for me to max-out my weapon slots, so I’m gonna go ahead and call this game complete. The only other thing I think I could do is upgrade all of my armor that I haven’t already upgraded all the way (I’m pretty sure I have collected every piece except for those you can only get using amiibo), but that just involves a bunch of grinding to get the materials you need, and that’s not really in the spirit of the rest of the game.

So, yeah, let’s just look at this close-up and let it sink in:

A boo-yah to that.

A boo-yah to that.

I guess now I can take a break from playing and do other things with my extremely scarce free-time. I have a couple o’ books I haven’t read yet.

At least until the DLC is released…

*Seriously, next time you get one of those Korok Seeds, look at its graphic and read its description and tell me it’s not a dollop of forest person poo.

Categories: Video Games.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Get the Official Steven Universe Soundtrack. Do It.

Qui sont les Gemmes de Cristal? NOUS sommes les Gemmes de Cristal!

Qui sont les Gemmes de Cristal? NOUS sommes les Gemmes de Cristal!

Last week finally saw the release of something Steven Universe fans have been clamoring for since days of yore, the release of the Official Soundtrack! I’ve been listening to it a lot and I’m not crying you’re crying shut up.

This isn’t just some “Best Of” travesty that has a handful of songs from the show, this album has 37 whopping songs for your enjoyment:

Most of these songs have been available on teh internets for a long time in various forms, especially from series composers Aivi and Surasshu’s Soundcloud account. Many of the songs, though have only been available because the audio was recorded directly from the broadcast episode, so the quality hasn’t been all that high. BUT NO LONGER! The songs on this album have all been re-mastered and any interfering sound effects removed. The results are gorgeous clarity.

Amusingly, even at 37 tracks there are some omissions. Most are tiny little ditties that Steven bursts out that only last a second or two, like “Steven Tag” and “Hey, Mr. Postman,” and “It Might As Well Be Your Birthday”—the last of which even has background music, watch:

But the two most grievous omissions are “Do or Do Nut,” Mr. Smiley’s hilarious workplace-safety song, and “Li’l Butler,” the brilliant theme song for an absurdly awful sitcom:

Minor quibbles, I assure you. Listening to this album in order is like listening to the core emotional evolution of the whole Steven Universe series. I mean, you don’t get songs like this in just any children’s cartoon:

Shut up I’m not crying you’re crying shut up.

The Steven Universe Soundtrack Vol. 1 (VOLUME ONE, PEOPLE; THEY GONNA MAKE MORE!!!!) is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Google Play. All 37 songs for less that ten bucks. GIT IT.

Categories: Music.

Friday, 2 June 2017

“Of the Month” June 2017

Album of the Month:

Great and Powerful by The Gentlemen of Leisure.

A wonderfully eclectic EP, featuring influences from soul, smooth R&B, hip-hop, and even surf rock, Great and Powerful is the debut release of a group that just so happens to include some very close, personal friends of mine. I’ve posted about them a few times before; now get off yer duff and get this album. My two favorite songs are the lovely “Please Know” and the frikkin’ hilarous “Don’t,” the latter of which includes one of my favorite lyrics in recent memory:

Y’all gonna make me go off and smack somebody
These hands right here are rated “E” for “Everybody”

Take a listen:

Show of the Month:

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

It’s back! One in a long, seemingly endless line of shows and movies from the past that are being revived in some form or another, MST3K is back with a whole new cast (though some of the same characters) but the exact same format, one that worked so well for the original series. So why change it? Did you like the original MST3K? Then you’ll like this new version. Jonah is an engaging host, Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt are inspired choices to play the mads. Sometimes during the screenings the bots’ and Jonah’s voices are just a bit too similar and it’s difficult to tell which of them is saying what, but it’s all really funny stuffs.

Tabletop Game of the Month:

5-Minute Dungeon

A harrowing and hilarious cooperative card game in which your team has to play cards from your hands to match symbols on the dungeon cards in order to defeat them. If you defeat all the dungeon cards, you then have to defeat the boss of the dungeon in order to emerge victorious. The cats (as the name of game spoils) is that you only have 5 minutes to defeat the whole dungeon and the boss. And there are a LOT of dungeon cards to get through. The result is some of the most hectic and frenetic card-playing I’ve ever seen. It’s a lot of fun, but it can get harrowing as you watch just how slowly the dungeon deck seems to deplete while the timer (a phone app you can download that includes dramatic music and a narrator marking your progress) counts ever further downwards. It’s not unusual to win with only a couple of seconds on the time… or not to win at all. But since each game is only 5 minutes long, you can just play again!

Categories: Of the Month.