Posts from January 2016

Friday, 29 January 2016

What Video Game Will Be Played Live on Stage at Fools Play Speed Run?

Which will it be?

Which will it be?

THIS WEEKEND (1/30)!! Fools Play Improv is performing a really hilarious show that involves a bunch of improvised comedy scenes, as well as one of the Fools (spoiler: it me) playing and attempting to beat a classic video game live on stage between the scenes.

But which game will Fools Play choose this weekend? They’ve narrowed it down to five choices, and have made some videos that give you more information about each game full of historically inaccurate “facts” and half-truths and heaping loads of misinformation. Enjoy!

Super Mario Bros.:

The Legend of Zelda:

Ghosts N Goblins:

DuckTales:

Mega Man 2:

But you’ll have to come to downtown Tacoma on Saturday night to find out which one I’ll be forced to struggle to beat for your amusement!

Details:
Fools Play Improv Presents: Speed Run (Faced Book Event)
Saturday, January 30th 8:00 PM
@ 924 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 (map)
All-Ages, $10 (tickets)

I shall see ye there!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Tacoma, Video Games, Videos.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello, EMP

Y’know, that great-big Experience Music Project museum thingy up in Seattle? Well, since I actually live in this state and am not a tourist, I’d never actually been there. Until last weekend! But the reason we went this time was not to see all the musics stuffs. It’s because they have a Hello Kitty exhibit, and both my daughter and my niece loooooove Hello Kitty.

It was pretty interesting!

I did not know she lived near London.

I did not know she lived near London.

The most important part of the Hello Kitty timeline.

The most important part of the Hello Kitty timeline.

Fun fact: the Smurfs are all 2 apples high. So Hello Kitty is 2.5 Smurfs high. I think we should all use "Smurf" as a measurement of height from now on.

Fun fact: the Smurfs are all 2 apples high. So Hello Kitty is 2.5 Smurfs high. I think we should all use “Smurf” as a measurement of height from now on.

We all live in a kitty submarine...

We all live in a kitty submarine…

All sorts of random crap with Hello Kitty's face on it. My favorite here is the Hello Kitty paper shredder, for all your adorable document destruction needs.

All sorts of random crap with Hello Kitty’s face on it. My favorite here is the Hello Kitty paper shredder, for all your adorable document destruction needs.

Nothing beats Hello Kitty motor oil, though. It makes your car's exhaust smell like cat breath.*

Nothing beats Hello Kitty motor oil, though. It makes your car’s exhaust smell like cat breath.*

Delicious?

Delicious?

"Papa, Hello Kitty has a snake on her head!"

“Papa, Hello Kitty has a snake on her head!”

This guy.

This guy.

My favorite part of EMP, though (to nobody’s surprise), was the Science Fiction Museum in the basement. It has some great artifacts.

O HALLO THERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?

O HALLO THERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?

Tiny war of the tiny worlds.

Tiny war of the tiny worlds.

"This is Ripley, the last survivor of the tiny Nostromo, signing off."

“This is Ripley, the last survivor of the tiny Nostromo, signing off.”

Leeloo Dallas multi-pass. MULTI-PASS.

Leeloo Dallas multi-pass. MULTI-PASS.

That pistol on the right was held by Sir Patrick Stewart. That needle tried to stab Agent Dale Cooper.*

That pistol on the right was held by Sir Patrick Stewart. That needle tried to stab Agent Dale Cooper.*

Darryl Hannah wore this Pris outfit on our first date.*

Darryl Hannah wore this Pris outfit on our first date.*

They also have fantasy and horror sections, which are inherently less interesting to me, but there were some cool stuffs:

Elderberries smell good.

Elderberries smell good.

As the world falls down...

As the world falls down…

They also had the mask of Hellboy’s personal Death from Hellboy II, but I neglected to take a poto of it.

They also had an Indie Game hall where you can play a bunch of new indie video games, and a Jimi Hendrix exhibit that had a bunch of his suitcases and passports and travel documents and stuffs like that.

EMP is an interesting place! But it’s pretty durned expensive to go there.

*This is a lie.

Categories: Articles, Life, Pictures.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Fools Play Speed Run this Saturday!

Can they do it?

Can they do it?

In the heart of the vibrant Tacoma nightlife and arts district, Fools Play Improv will be presenting Speed Run. In it, Fools Play members will perform a variety of improvised characters, scenes, music, and games. All the while, one fortunate improviser (spoiler alert: IT’S ME) will be challenged to beat a classic beloved video game before the show is over.

Will he or she (ME) be able to finish the game in time? What happens if they don’t? What other worlds of comedy will the rest of the cast be inspired to create? Will half-Life 3 ever be released? Come join Fools Play and find out.

Details:
Fools Play Improv Presents Speed Run (Facebook Event)
Saturday, January 30th 8:00-10:00 PM
924 Broadway, Downtown Tacoma (map)
All-Ages, Only $10

I will see you there!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Four More Songos from The Crazy Boy Floyds!

Hey, ‘member just a couple of weeks ago when The Crazy Boy Floyds didn’t have any officially released songs, just copied MP3s that had been passed around? Well, now it’s a new week and four new songs by CBF have been released into the wild.

This week we have a song about the problem of a sleepy shepherd who has to count his sheep without falling asleep, the joys of being a monster, a timely political tale of clashing protests, and a wistful song about all your beloved childhood toys and games becoming real:

That’s a grande totale of SIXTEENE songose from CBF now! Yikes!

Categories: Music.

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Secret Code in the New Crazy Boy Floyds’ Song…

New songos already??

New songos already??

It seems like just yesterday that I announced that The Crazy Boy Floyds would actually be officially releasing songs into the wild after 20+ years of gestating (it turns out their songs hatch from eggs). Well, later in the day after I posted about that, they released a whopping FOUR more songs!

Here they are:

I’m especially fond of “The Bullet That Never Slows Down” because I wrote the music for it, and it’s always been one of my favorite compositions. But that’s not the song this post is about!

Did you catch the secret code embedded into “My Control Pad“?? Here are the lyrics to that song; see if you can find it (don’t worry, I’ve bolded and italicized the relevant words).

MY CONTROL PAD

Beekeepers
Would grin in their masks and
Their honeybees would carry me UP to his steel hands
UP and we’d jump through the cool August sky
The world was the view seen by diving red barons and I

Knew what it did when I opened up the box lid
Didn’t even plug it in to play
Soon DOWN the gravelly road I’d run
Knowing by the pond was a waiting someone

And that beekeepers
Would grin in their masks and
Honeybees would carry me into his waiting hands
DOWN and we’d bound over grass growing high
And leap over fences that spread out for acres and I

Wish I still had that control pad
I wish I still had that control pad

LEFT and he went RIGHT
And he went LEFT if you moved RIGHT
That way if someone stole it they could never understand
Sometimes I would confuse it for the other one but use it
Sometimes I would say that I could just say my command

And the beekeepers
Would grin in their masks and
Honeybees would carry me into his waiting hands
B and his three mini missiles would fly
And pop on the fence posts and scatter the hornets and

Sometimes I still used it for its factory made function
Didn’t want to see the Blue Max crash or give Bub a concussion
It always worked despite the sight of mud and grass stains clinging tight
And a sticker so you’d know if he was friend or he was foe

Beekeepers
Would grin in their masks and
Honeybees would carry me into his waiting hands
A and we’d wave as balloonists blew by
And swat at mosquitoes that came out at twilight

Beekeepers
Would grin in their masks and
Honeybees would carry me into his waiting hands
START and his heart and the lights in his eyes
Would rev up so strong now those summers are gone and I

Wish I still had that control pad.

Categories: Music.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

They’re Alive! The Crazy Boy Floyds

The Crazy Boy Floyds: CBF

That’s me on the left.

Way back, well over 20 years ago, the Harris brothers and their friend Geoff for some unknown and unwise reason started to scrape songs together. Geoff & I would write music (usually without collaboration; he would compose songs and I would compose songs) on those extremely old-school music trackers like Scream Tracker and Schism Tracker. We would then give the music to Mike, who would write lyrics and melody. Those would be given back to Geoff to sing.

And the songs started pouring out. Dozens and dozens of them. About any conceivable nerdy/childish subject, like robots, halloween monsters, video games, and very weird people. We decided to call our trio “The Crazy Boy Floyds” based on a character from “Under the Mailbox Theater,” our sketch comedy TV show that we were creating concurrently.

And nothing much came of it. CBF recorded a full album in one sitting at one point, but weren’t entirely pleased with it (most of the recordings that people have of CBF are from this session), and there were a couple of other less-than ideal recording sessions here and there. A few years ago Geoff went to China to train in Kung-Fu, and in his downtime he was able to record many demos of songs, but they were just that; demos.

None of these recordings were ever officially released. And in the meantime songs were still being written. Dozens and dozens of them.

Well, that all ended as of last week. Geoff, Canadian-ensconced and with copious free time, has at long last begun recording, mixing, and finalizing the real, final, actual versions of these songs that have been gestating for oh-so long—with a pledge to release a new one every week (in addition to the weekly Trevor Peach songs that he is producing).

How official is this?
THE CRAZY BOY FLOYDS HAVE AN EMM-EFFING BANDCAMP.

The songs are generally divided into four categories, which correspond with four albums into which the songs will be released:

  • The Crazy Boy Floyds:
    “This collection of music by The Crazy Boy Floyds is for the strange music that doesn’t fit in with their common themes. Much like the Island of Misfit Toys, the songs gravitate toward this “minus world” lacking any clear definition. Also, much like the toys on the Island of Misfit Toys, there’s actually nothing wrong with the songs.”
  • 8-Bit Halloween:
    “It is well known that The Crazy Boy Floyds are obsessed with Halloween specifically and Classic Monsters in general. Indeed, all monsters and modes of costuming are fair game in terms of subject matter in this collection of audio works. But will there be time…. to stop them if we must…”
  • Construction Paper Robot Assembly Line:
    “The first construction paper robots created by The Crazy Boy Floyds (designed in the German tradition – to go out of control) attempted to take over the world in the year 1992. They failed, of course, but they inspired The Crazy Boy Floyds musical fascination with robots that continues to this very day – on this very album.”
  • 25 Cents:
    “In the distant past, one could travel to an “arcade” to play “arcade style video games” which cost one US quarter- 25 Cents. This collection of music by The Crazy Boy Floyds celebrates that time, and celebrates classic video games in general, and the nostalgia of childhood play – though at times it is unclear how.”

Four songs were dropped in one big dump (that sounds dirty) last week. Here they are! Partake and enjoy:

And most likely I’ll be posting more songs as they drop, or every couple of weeks I’ll collect them and post them here. The point is, this is exciting, and something that has been percolating for more than half of my life. Literally.

Categories: Music.

Friday, 1 January 2016

“Of the Month” January 2016

Tabletop Game of the Month:
machi_koro
Machi Koro

Machi Koro is a fun card game from Japan in which each player is the mayor of a town. You win by being the first to build four major “Attractions” in your town. But those cost money! You generate money by building industries, restaurants, etc. in your town. When its your turn you roll the dice, and if the number matches a number on a card in your town then you gain (or sometimes lose) the amount of money that the card tells you to. There are different varieties of cards, like ones that get you money whenever anybody rolls their number and cards that let you directly steal money from other players. The dice are a very nice bit of randomization injected into a resource-building game. Once you get the hang of it (very easy) games go pretty quickly, usually in under 20-30 minutes, so you can play it over and over.

Video Game of the Month:
splatoon
Splatoon

Yes, this came out quite a while ago, but I was distracted by Super Mario Maker for so long that I finally just got it for Christmas. And you know what? it’s EXCELLENT. A third-person shooter where the goal is to cover more territory with your color of ink than your opponent’s team is a frikkin’ brilliant play mechanic. Splatting your opponents is just a secondary goal that gets them out of the way so you can keep spraying your ink on everything. The online play (you play in teams of 4) is seamless, and I love the fact that you can’t actually communicate with your teammates or opponents; you have to be able to quickly judge the situations and figure out how best to help your team. A variety of weapons and ability-enhancing outfits makes every team completely different every time you play. I’m partial to the sloshing buckets right now myself. If you’ve got Splatoon let me know and we can exchange friend codes and maybe meet up online somewhen!

Artist of the Month:
justin_hillgrove
Justin Hillgrove

My favorite artist that I saw at Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle in 2015. He has a detailed and lush-yet-whimsical style inspired by the likes of Maurice Sendak and Hayao Miyazaki, whose characters are often mashed-up in amusing ways in his paintings:

"We'll Eat You Up" by Justin Hillgrove

“We’ll Eat You Up” by Justin Hillgrove

He does other fun, pop-culture-inspired works like the Video Game Heroes & Villains seen above, as well as some Doctor Who and Walking Dead and Peanuts. He also has a YouTube channel where he uploads timelapse videos of him creating his paintings. It’s very cool to see an artist at work like this:

He has prints and original art for sale, and has also done a couple of comic books. Go check ’em out.

Categories: Of the Month.