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

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

“Of the Month” October 2017

Show of the Month:

Comrade Detective

Did you know that in the early/mid-80s in communist Romania, there was a limited-series television show that was part cop procedural and part communist propaganda? It was called Comrade Detective, and it was thought lost to the dust of history… until now! Of course it’s all fake. It was filmed last year on location in Romania with all Romanian actors, and then dubbed into English by Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Nick Offerman. Let me tell you: this is my favorite type of satire, one that is so uncannily accurate that unless you’re in on the joke you almost wouldn’t know it is satire at all (see: Paul Verhoven’s Starship Troopers). Everything is played absolutely, 100% straight, and it is only the occasional scenes that go just a bit too far (such as the bumper segments that open each episode with Channing Tatum talking to an “historian” about the show) that peel back the curtain and let us laugh with the show’s creators rather and simultaneously at the very nature of popularized propaganda itself. Also (unlike Starship Troopers) the Comrade Detective show itself is thoroughly entertaining (though very NSFW) even beyond the satire. Apparently the show was created when Channing Tatum asked the producers to bring him their very worst idea. I think that’s brilliant.

Album of the Month:

Doom Wop by Prom Queen

Two amazing albums came out in September, but alas I can only have one Album of the Month per month. And since Prom Queen’s Doom Wop is more thematically Halloween-ish, it gets the slot in October (sorry, Mike, but don’t worry, your album will definitely get November’s slot). Doom Wop continues Prom Queen’s (A.K.A. Celene Ramada, A.K.A. Leeni) forays into the dark, lush aesthetic of late-50s and 60s pop. Think of The Flamingos’ version of I Only Have Eyes For You and you’ll instantly know the genre of which I speak. The lyrics on this album pretty much all touch on a theme of existential dread, and the music is lovingly crafted to fold into the dreamy 60s sound (though “Manic Panic” slips a bit into late 90s girl-power-pop (think Dressy Bessy)). Everything sounds like what velvet looks and feels like, and even the slightly fuzzy vocals sound like they’re coming out of a vintage amp. It’s all of a type, and if you like this genre (I happen to love it) then this is a wonderful dream of an album. These songs would fit right into a David Lynch movie without batting a fake eyelash.

Video Game of the Month:

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

A gothic castle base. A tormented sort-of-undead antihero. A sickle and cloak. Dark magic. Lots of skeletons. How could this not be my Video Game of the Month in October??? A prequel to Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, Specter of Torment shows the tragic origins of Specter Knight and how he recruited the Order of No Quarter for the Enchantress. It manages to be completely familiar to anyone who has played the original Shovel Knight game, while simultaneously being a thoroughly inventive and fun platformer. The jump-and-slash conceit of the gameplay is very intuitive, and makes for some refreshing level design. You also gain a new special item after every level (assuming you collected enough red skulls), though Specter’s sickle is so powerful and versatile that I wasn’t able to really discover the full usefulness of each item. I kinda just used the healing one a lot. And since the game is non-linear (you can choose in which order you’ll defeat each level), each level is designed to be able to be beaten without having to use any special item. It’s a very minor quibble in an otherwise excellent game.

Categories: Of the Month.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Oh, Hey, Come See Warren Dunes in Ballard Tonight

Yup, they'll be there.

Yup, they’ll be there. SO CAN YOU!

Oh, hey, yeah, sorry I haven’t been doing much bliggity-blog-blogging lately. I have a three-year-old. Keeps me kinda busy. Also I own a Nintendo Switch. Y’know. So I kinda missed a few things in the last couple of weeks, like how there were two Fools Play Improvs last weekend.

But I did wanna jump on here real quick to say that my wife and I will be heading up to Seattle tonight to see Julia, Jared, Dom, and Matt as Warren Dunes plays Conor Byrne Pub! You shouldst join us all up in there!

Oh, also, I guess this is going to be Matt’s last show as the bass player (for quite a while at the very least), because he suddenly got a job on a cruise that’s gonna last at least six months! Surprise!

Details:
Warren Dunes, DangerBird and Niagara Moon (Faced Book Event)
Friday, September 29th at 9:00 PM
@ Conor Byrne Pub
5140 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (map)
$8, 21+

Do it for Rey!

Do it for Rey!

Why is there a picture of Rey as the event photo? I DON’T KNOW! 😀 😀 😀

Categories: Concerts/Shows.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Most Adorable Feud Ever: Sir Fatrick Poowart vs Thomas Middlebitch

Sir Patrick Stewart is by most accounts an hilarious and delightful person to be around. He was recently involved in quite the spate with his Shakespearean-actor colleague, Thomas Middleditch. I’m not entirely certain what set off the row, but Thomas was the first to fire a (rather unintelligible) shot:

P-Stew thinks he's all that? Well NOT ANYMORE. Line in the sand, DRAWN. @sirpatstew

A post shared by Thomas Middleditch (@tombini) on

It took Sir Patrick about a week to respond (perhaps because he didn’t even notice to begin with), but then it was off to the races:

The insults became more and more sophisticated:

Shots. Fired. SIR. @sirpatstew

A post shared by Thomas Middleditch (@tombini) on

The two soon discovered the joys of Photoshop, and went to town creating scenarios for their heated feud. On Stewart’s part, he painted Thomas as “Middlebitch,” his personal servant:

Car Washer Middlebitch

Car Washer Middlebitch

Personal Chef Middlebitch

Personal Chef Middlebitch

Smells-of-Farts Middlebitch

Smells-of-Farts Middlebitch

Hedge-Trimming Middlebitch

Hedge-Trimming Middlebitch

Wood-Chopping Middlebitch

Wood-Chopping Middlebitch

Middleditch, for his part, painted Sir Patrick as “Sir Fatrick Poowart,” a doddering oldie-olson on the brink of inevitable death:

Not-Long-Now Stewart

Not-Long-Now Stewart

Sir Fatrick

Sir Fatrick

There was also this miscellaneous insult:

Poowart

Poowart

Things seem to have cooled down as of this week, though, which is a minor shame. It’s always a joy when two people with such obvious affection for each other decide to publicly delight each other and us by extension.

Even Lower, Middlebitch.

Even Lower, Middlebitch.

Categories: Celebrities.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Help Open Mike Eagle Out and Buy a Damned Ticket, Wouldya?

The man is a professional, after all.

The man is a professional, after all.

Hey, listen: Open Mike Eagle could use your help. See, he’s trying to put on a independent tour to promote his upcoming album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (which comes on on Friday—pre-order it RIGHT FRIKKIN’ NOW). It’s… not going so well. Just watch this premiere episode of his new reality show, “Dead Ass:”

But it’s easy to help him out! He’s coming to Seattle in early October, so all y’all gotta do is buy a damned ticket (and as an added “bonus” you’ll see me at the show, ’cause I’m going too).

Details:
Open Mike Eagle with Billy Woods (Faced Book event)
Thursday, October 5 at 8 PM
@ Barboza
925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122 (map)
21+, $12

Help his Dead Ass out.

Help Mike go from this…

…to THIS.

…to THIS.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music, Videos.

Friday, 8 September 2017

“Of the Month” September 2017

Show of the Month

The Tick

I’m surprised at just how well the Tick always seems to work. There have been 4 iterations of the character and premise and they’ve all been great (though later comics that weren’t written by Ben Edlund didn’t quite grab the mustard as mightily as they might’ve). This latest version on Amazon Prime has much of the same absurdity and humor as the other versions (see: Very Large Man), and Peter Serafinowicz’s performance in the blue suit is full of the blind, enthusiastic gusto that you expect from the Tick. But this is the first version where there is actually deep, psychological development of some of the more “regular” characters, especially Arthur. For the first time these characters aren’t just send-ups of superhero tropes (though they are still that), but they’re actually fully-developed characters that have real lives. I’m also very surprised that Edlund decided to go for a much more mature-rated program: there is lots and lots of realistic blood and quite a but of foul language. But somehow the contrast between the Tick himself and this more-realistic world makes the character even more himself. Also: I <3 Dangerboat.

Link of the Month

I Went Gaming

A pair of people, the Lundy brothers, who make video games. They’re in the midst of a “game a month” spree throughout 2017 (though they’re a month behind). Are the games any “good?” It’s… hard to say, but the appeal lies in their absurd and funny themes and aesthetics. All the art is hand-drawn by Laramie Lundy (the Olive Fool of Fools Play Improv) in his signature disturbing style (he’s one of the artists behind The Abyss art book that came out last year). There’s a menu-based street fighter game, a punk Guinea pig racing game, a door-to-door knife salesman game, a game about joining a cult, and the like. They’re completely unpolished and rough, but there’s something irresistible (for a few minutes at least) about the worlds that they create.

Podcast of the Month

The Official Steven Universe Podcast

This podcast, all about the best TV show on the air right now, is actually recorded at the Cartoon Network offices and hosted by an intern there. As such, it has unprecedented access to all the people involved in the show; they mostly work literally just outside the room where this is recorded. It’s full of amazing insight and anecdotes and behind-the-scenes work about making the amazing Steven Universe.

Categories: Of the Month.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Newscaster Cam Pebbleman Trying to Leak Mike Eagle’s New Album!

The explosive new single from super-famous celebrity gangsta rapper, actor, and philanthropist Open Mark Engels.

The explosive new single from super-famous celebrity gangsta rapper, actor, and philanthropist Open Mark Engels.

Newscaster Cam Pebbleman of DCTV’s DCPN Tonight news show has uncovered an exclusive preview from the ultra-top-secret upcoming Open Mike Eagle album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream! Take a look (and more importantly, a listen) here:

Wasn’t that just scintillating? I think that Cam Pebbleman is the most professional and ethical journalist in the business today.

Also, I’m very excited for Trauma’s upcoming match on DC Championship Wrestling this Tuesday at 6:00 PM!

“Only two things you can do about that: nothing and deal with it, damn it!”

I hope the bunnies in that rabbit sanctuary will be safe from the eagle sanctuary next door.

Categories: Music, Videos.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Go See Fools Play in Olympia This Saturday… For Me!

'Cause I ain't gonna be able to be there!

‘Cause I ain’t gonna be able to be there!

It seems like Fools Play was just in Olympia a couple of weeks ago (because it WAS), but it’s back this Saturday the 12th! So you’ll need to go see it… for me, because I won’t be there.

*GASP!*

It’s true; I will be camping this weekend (in all the hazy glory right now) and will be unable to attend. But that just means that now’s your chance to finally see this show without my ugly mug messin’ up the view fer ya!

Details:
Fools Play in Olympia
Saturday, August 12th 8:30PM
@ The Puget Sound Estuarium
309 State Ave NE, Olympia 98501 (map)
All-Ages, Only $5!

I will see you there! NOPE!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play.