Posts from December 2017

Sunday, 31 December 2017

“Of the Year” 2017

Album of the Year:

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

There were so very many great albums released this year, and I must apologize to all my other friends who came out with some really amazing work in 2017. But this album just eclipses them all.

A few years ago Mike released Dark Comedy, an hilarious album tinged with anger and darkness. Well, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is kind of the opposite; it’s a dark and angry album tinged with hilarity. And it is SO SO GOOD. A concept album about the now-destroyed Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago where Mike (and earlier, Mr. T) spent some of his youth, BBKSD is a stark exploration of some very big injustices. It’s also at times extraordinarily beautiful. Just listen to “Daydreaming in the Projects” here:

Also listen to the sun-drenched, wistful nostalgia that gushes out of the just lovely “95 Radios” here:

I don’t want to make this album sound like a complete drag; Mike is still as geeky as ever, and there is some genuine hilarity like in “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending it Don’t Hurt),” in which very funny braggadocio serves to illustrate both the toxic environment that induces men to act tough and unfeeling as well as the toxicity of such behavior itself.

Man, this album is smart. The best album of 2017 by leaps and bounds. Also, very funny:

Movie of the Year:

Wonder Woman

I saw shockingly few movies in 2017, far fewer than I actually wanted to see, and almost all of those were somehow under the Disney banner. All except for Wonder Woman. We’ve been getting big-budget Superman movies since the 1970s. Batman movies since the 1980s. X-Men and Spider-Man movies since the early 2000s. But it took until 2017 for Wonder Woman to finally get her own movie. And, oh my, is it goooooooood. I don’t know if I can honestly say it was worth the wait, but thank goodness this production fell into the hands of people who did right by it. Gal Gadot is endlessly entertaining as the main character, and even though the third-act climax kinda devolves into a big CGI power-vs-power mess, Wonder Woman at its heart is a story about being a decent, loving human being (or goddess, as the case may be) in an indecent, hateful world.

TV Show of the Year:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wins by being one of only two TV shows that I actually watch anymore (even though I stream it later on Hulu), and the only one that actually airs on a regular schedule and has, y’know, actual seasons. In the shadows of the Marvel movies, this TV show has been churning out some of the most entertaining and comic-booky live-action adventures out there. The show went really gung-ho in its 4th season, with a trio of interconnected story arcs that delved into Ghost Rider and the Darkhold, Life Model Decoy androids, and a stint in a Matrix-style alternate computer reality. And now in the 5th season the cast has been flung into space… and the future! It’s great seeing these characters whom we’ve come to know and love get thrown into all manner of insanity and still keep their wits about them (upon learning that they’d been transported to outer space one character simply grunts, “Space, huh? Makes sense; we’ve done everything else”).

Streaming Show of the Year:

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2 is to Stranger Things as Aliens is to Alien. Sometimes in some very direct ways. It takes the original concept and expands upon it mightily without losing the fan-frikkin-tastic characterizations that you came to love in the first season. Plus, Paul Reiser is in it as a very sketchy and somewhat smarmy individual! A loving tribute to both Steven King and Stephen Spielberg, with plenty of callbacks and references to them both. Also Aliens.

Video Game of the Year:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I mean, come on. This is the game of the year. It’s so good. Just take a look at this:

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Categories: Articles, Of the Month, Round-up.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

For Your Wednesday Listening (and Dancing) Pleasure: It’s Over, Isn’t It?

I’m not crying, you’re crying. Shut up:

Ballerina Juliet Doherty teamed up with Cartoon Network to transform herself into a “living Pearl” and dance to this song from Steven Universe. Yes, this song is from a “children’s” cartoon.

You can watch the original version from the episode (highly recommended) right here. Now go dry your eyes.

Categories: Cartoons, Music, Videos, Wednesday Listening Pleasure.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Great Ideas on the Internet: Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force

NEEDS MORE COLONS!

When the President’s mistress is kidnapped by ninjas, there’s only one team you can trust… Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force!

My good pal, comic book author (and former Green Fool of Fools Play Improv) Michael Tanner (of Junior Braves of the Apocalypse fame), has a new project and he needs SPECIFICALLY YOUR help to get it out into the world! It is, as the kids say, absolutely awexome:

Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force is a one-shot comic book homage to action exploitation films from the end of the grindhouse era. It is full of brutal martial arts action, explosions and an awesome robot who gets faxes from the president.

But DO NOT take MY word for it! Here is the man, the legend, Mr. Michael Tanner hisself to explain it all to you in a 100% fact-filled and not at all bullshitted video:

See? 100% REAL.

So I definitely backed this project AND SO CAN YOU, RIGHT HERE:

I can’t wait to get my copy and dirty it up with my filthy fingers… or will IT dirty ME up???

Categories: Comics, Great Ideas on the Internet, Kickstarter.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

For Your Wednesday Listening Pleasure: Christmastime is Wunnerful

‘Nuff said:

Thanks, Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick!

Categories: Christmas, Music, Wednesday Listening Pleasure.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

For Your Wednesday Listening (and Viewing) Pleasure: Large Titanium Viceroy

On Whom All Our Hope Is Invested!

On Whom All Our Hope Is Invested!

For today’s Wednesday Listening Pleasure, we have a holiday treat come early! A song by The Crazy Boy Floyds, “Large Titanium Viceroy” (from their Construction Paper Robot Assembly Line album) now has a nifty new animated lyric music video. Not only that, though, but the music video serves as the opening introduction to an “episode” of the adventures of the Large Titanium Viceroy and his Unskilled Boy! Just take a watch:

This was all brought to you by Geoff, one of the members of The Crazy Boy Floyds (that’s him singing in the song), who animated the whole thang on Adobe After Effects by hisself. Hope you enjoyed!

Categories: Cartoons, Music, Videos, Wednesday Listening Pleasure.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

“Of the Month” December 2017

Video Game of the Month:

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Boy, have I missed Animal Crossing. This mobile app game does scratch an itch. It is fun, funny, and very nice to look at, though Pocket Camp is much more “gamey” than a real Animal Crossing title. Goals are much more clear-cut, including things like leveling-up and timed goals and stretch goals. You don’t just wander around doing whatever you feel like; there are things you’re supposed to be doing. The crafting system is an intriguing addition to Animal Crossing that I actually quite like, and I’m curious if that will carry over into the next full-fledged title. Also, be my friend:

It me!

It me!

Show of the Month:

Marvel’s Runaways

One of the single greatest comic book runs of the current century, Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways from Marvel Comics had a jaw-droppingly engaging blend of teen angst, comedy, and comic book superheroics. I am sometimes still shocked at just how good it was. This adaptation keeps the core characters but changes the storytelling from a frenetic, straight-ahead adventure to a slow-burn, laterally-expanding mystery. It works best when it focuses on the kids and their interactions. All the actors are great in their parts, even all 10 parents (geez that’s a lot). Ariela Barer is a particular standout as Gert, full of bluster and snark but also awkwardness and hope. The first few episodes have me intrigued enough to keep watching.

Tabletop Game of the Month:

The Oregon Trail

A shockingly-accurate transformation of the classic schoolhouse video game into card format, you and your cooperative team have the unenviable task of trying to survive the Oregon Trail with limited resources and oh-so-many rivers you have to cross. The way the cards form the actual trail is an ingenious mechanic. The only thing this game is really missing is a recreation of trying to shoot a buffalo or bear to get the 100lbs of meat as you could carry (but there’s a hunting expansion, so maybe that handles it). Spoiler: you’re probably all going to die before you can play the 50 trail cards you need to win. Oh, also: You have died of Dysentery.

Categories: Of the Month.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Open Mike Eagle is One of the Best

Better than Bob Dylan.

Better than Bob Dylan.

I swear this website is not becoming just an Open Mike Eagle fansite. But He just keeps on a-doin’ amazing things, so I’m gonna just keep on a-postin’ about them.

Case in point: Rolling Stone recently came out with their Best 50 Albums of 2017 list. Guess what came in at #34, right above a Bob Dylan album?

Tha’s right. Open Mike Em-Effing Eagle’s new album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. This was, of course, my “Album of the Month” in November, so I’d like to think that I was ahead of Rolling Stone on this one. BBKSD is a really remarkable album. Voila:

*Ring-Ring* Hey, Mike! It’s the Congratumaphone. It’s for you!

It's the Congratumaphone!

Congratulations, Open Mike Eagle!

Categories: Celebrities, Music, My Famous Friends.