This is Chris dot com
Music, Movies, & General Geekery: Life.
by Christopher Grant Harris

16 April 2014

I Don’t Know Who Amy Bockelman Is, but I’ll Be There Anyway!

Bockelfest #4! Rawr!

Bockelfest #4! Rawr!

Apparently there is a woman named Amy Bockelman. I only know three things about her:

  1. She’s from Germany.
  2. She has fantastic taste in musics
  3. She is friends with many fantastic musicians

She also apparently has her own mini music fest: Bockelfest. I gather from inference that it is really just a fancy birthday party, but nonetheless she manages to gather some awexome bands in an awexome venue and have a rockin’ (and public-invited) good time.

This year (Bockelfest 4) the shindig is at the lovely Sunset Tavern in lovely Ballard, and includes these lovely musics:

Details:
Bockelfest 4 (Facebook event)
Friday, April 18th 9:00PM
@ Sunset Tavern
5433 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA (map)
21+ $8 (tickets)

The Five Finger Discount on one foot each!

The Five Finger Discount on one foot each!

Since two of these bands are two of our very-favorite bands in existence right now (and I gather that the other one is some sort of ad hoc band created just for this event), you’d best believe that Carrie & I will be there! Perhaps we will even meet and befriend this Amy Bockelman person. SO CAN YOU!

Categories: Concerts/Shows.

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15 April 2014

Three Ninjas: Authentic County

Musician Three Ninjas has always been a bit of a dichotomy. He generally makes two types of music: self-deprecating (and often very funny) hip-hop musics, and old-school, “my truck broke, my woman left me, my dog died, all I can do now is drink” country musics. His hip-hop musics have been very well represented in his recordings, but except for a few one-offs he hasn’t actually released much of his country musics…

UNTIL NOW!

Threeni has now released a full-length album of nothing but authentic, old-school, wish-I-were-dead country musics, deliciously titled Alcohol & Isolation.

Three Ninjas: Alcohol & Isolation

Album Artwork by Jen McCreight!

With song titles such as “Your Mother Doesn’t Love You,” “Feeling Sad & Getting Drunk,” and “I’m Hanging Myself Tonight,” it might be tempting to dismiss this album as parodying or poking fun at country music. But quite the opposite; this is raw, soul-searing and angrily defeated music. This is white man’s blues, as only real country music can be. This is the opposite of ironic.

This is some good stuff.

Threeni and his good pal Joshua Stephens are going on a west-coast tour to celebrate. The tour kicks off this Wednesday 4/16/14 in Olympia at everyone’s favorite hole-in-the wall, Le Voyeur.

Details:
Joshua Stephens + Three Ninjas Tour Kick Off (Facebook event)
Wednesday, April 16th at 8:30 PM
@ Le Voyeur:
404 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA (map)_
21+ FREE!

Then they return on April 29th for a triumphant return show (and official CD Release Party) at The Skylark Cafe in West Seattle.

Details:
Alcohol & Isolation CD Release Party (Facebook event)
Tuesday, April 29th at 8:00 PM
@ The Skylark Cafe:
3803 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA (map)
21+ $6

I’m not going to be able to go to the kick off, but I will try my darnedest to catch the return. SO CAN YOU!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music.

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14 April 2014

The Bruce Timm Batman is Back… Kinda

He is old-timey vengeance... he is the old-timey night...

He is old-timey vengeance… he is the old-timey night…

Bruce Timm, the man who was the impetus for the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series and much of the rest of the DC Animated Universe, has returned to the Dark Knight for his 75th Anniversary, directing a brand-new animated short: Batman: Strange Days.

Rather than taking place in the B:TAS universe, Timm has taken the Caped Crusader back to his roots, imagining him in a pulp serial from 1939 (the year Batman debuted in Detective Comics) going up against Dr. Hugo Strange and Solomony Grundy (at least I’m pretty sure that’s Grundy) to rescue a blonde bombshell. It’s good fun, and really makes me miss B:TAS.

Categories: Cartoons, Videos.

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8 April 2014

“Of the Month” April 2014

Artist of the Month:
goshadole James “GoshaDole” Franzen
James Franzen is a local (Olympia) web designer, graphic designer, animator, and artist who has developed a really cool, chibi, pseudo-anime style. His characters tend to have very large, circular heads with nubby hands and feet (think PowerPuff Girls hands). He has prints of most of his work available on his storenvy shop, my favorite of which is this collection of chibi versions of all the Robot Masters from Mega Man 1 through 10:


Radio Gosha x Mega Man by GoshaDole on deviantART

He has animated a good handful of videos, including a couple for my favorite chiptune musician Leeni:

Find James Franzen:

He can also usually be found with a booth at local comic/anime/game conventions:

Radio Gosha at ECCC

Radio Gosha at ECCC

Check his stuff out when you get a chance.

Game of the Month:
Cartoon Wars 2 Cartoon Wars 2

Your basic Tower Defense game (2D version) — you send out waves of your troops to the right to destroy the enemy’s castle, while the enemy sends out waves of troops to the left to destroy your castle. They meet somewhere in the middle for massacre/massacre funtimes. The selling point of Cartoon Wars is that they’re all stick figures and cartoony monsters. But what is so addicting about this game is the vast options of troops and castle upgrades you can purchase. It makes it a really engaging resource management game: should I spend my gold on a troop upgrade? A new type of troop? Making my tower’s defense better? Its offense? The difficulty scales nicely, although sometimes if you choose unwisely you can get stuck on a level for a LONG time while you try to rack up the moneys to upgrade troops to fight your way out of it. I find it hard to put down.

Tweeter of the Month:
the_ironsheik The Iron Sheik
Yes, the REAL Iron Sheik. The professional wrestler who fought Hulk Hogan and whose dreaded “Camel Clutch” finishing submission move threatened to break your back and make you humble. He now has a completely uncensored twitter feed that is brutally hilarious and written in the same accent as Sheik’s verbal speeches. It is also very NSFW. I had a hard time finding any example tweets to embed, because they usually involve telling people (or the readers) to go f**k themselves. Here’s the best I could do:

He also has an Instagram account which is equally hilarious. And, yes, it is really him.

Categories: Of the Month.

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19 March 2014

Social Media Advice from Jon Hendren!

Jon Hendren (@fart) created a very funny narrative on Twitter yesterday. What started out as a series of inane, buzzword-babble “advice” tweets about social media quickly went to a dark and hilarious place:

Dark comedy at its finest, people. Follow Jon Hendren on Twitter.

Categories: Links.

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11 March 2014

Neighbor Gary is Sent from Somewhere Else

Tacoma's B&I is Somewhere Else all right...

Tacoma’s B&I is Somewhere Else all right…

Sometimes the guy who lives across the hall from your first apartment likes to take photographs. And sometimes, almost 14 years later, that same guy has an art gallery exhibiting his photographs.

At least that’s the case with me and Carrie, and our across-the-hall Neighbor Gary “Terrapin” Lappier, whose exhibit is entitled Sent from Somewhere Else. Here’s what he says about it:

I received a camera for my fifth birthday, which is around the same time I made my first visit to the B&I. It was a technicolor buzz full of goodies and amazements. A crown jewel in a city full of promise named Tacoma. Since a young age I had fantasized about documenting this unique place and the variety found within. As I grew and developed my craft, the B&I aged and declined. Sent from Somewhere Else is the photographic result of this exploration.
-Gary Lappier

We’re fortunate enough to own several Gary Lappier originals that adorn the walls of our house:

Gary Lappier Originals.

Gary Lappier Originals.

He doesn’t live across the hall from us anymore. But he does live in a house only about three blocks away from ours. So we’re super excited to head to Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma this Friday night for the Opening Reception of his exhibit. SO CAN YOU!

Details:
Sent from Somewhere Else: The Black and White Photography of Gary Lappier (Facebook event)
March 14th – April 5th
Opening Reception Friday, March 14th 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Fulcrum Gallery
1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma
More info: http://www.fulcrumtacoma.com/category/now-showing/

Categories: Artists, Concerts/Shows, Tacoma.

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10 March 2014

New Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

Let it go...

Let it go…

Frozen (2013): ***½

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

In very many ways a spiritual successor to Disney’s Tangled, Frozen takes many very similar elements and improves on most all of them. It also does an excellent job of taking many familiar tropes of fairy tales and twisting them in clever and new ways. I don’t like to review movies by comparing them to other movies, but Frozen really does make Tangled seem like a rough draft in many ways. More… »

Categories: Movie Reviews.

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