Music Monday: The Best of 2013.

Remember when I was going to fill each of the past Mondays with a different album, cementing my top 8 or 9 or 10 or so albums of the year? lulz. Oh well, I’m going to just do a composite list and maybe I’ll give them each their due later? Who knows. At any rate, I’ve got a few minutes left on  West Coast time before it’s Tuesday. So here it is, on the last Monday of 2013, my list of favorite albums.

Haim – Days Are Gone

Don’t judge them by their SNL performance or their John Mayer-esque performing faces. The album is a really solid piece of musicianship and even better sound engineering.

Big Black Delta – Big Black Delta

This guy has toured with M83, so of course that makes my hipstery dick wet. This guy is an epic song composer, though. Really great homages to loads of genres and artists all through this LP.  Lead single “Side of the Road” will make you move, I don’t care who you are. “Capsize” has wonderful traces of Pink Floyd’s 80’s influences all over it. “Money Rain Down” has some of the funnest horn synths I’d wager you’ve ever heard in a song.

Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull

Undeterred by the mediocre reception of their last outing, Come Around Sundown (which I liked,) the Tennesee Followill boys are back at it with what I’d argue is the purest culmination of their music to date. It has all of the pitter-patter frenzy of the first few albums that Americans largely don’t know about, mixed with the slightly more radio-friendly songwriting prowess that launched them to where they are now. Not to mention, Caleb’s voice has been distilled down – just like the whiskey he loves – to the smoothest version of itself. If it were a person, I’d fuck it.

Standout track: Beautiful War

Various Musicians – Bioshock Infinite Original Soundtrack

The only soundtrack to make the list, this one is an honest-to-Comstock doozy. This one isn’t even available for purchase due to licensing complications. If you’re not familiar with the game, here’s a quick breakdown: story takes place in 1912, but it’s an alternate 1912, and there’s sort of a way to travel between universes and time. It sounds much more convoluted than it is, but it opens the door for some wonderfully creative choices with music. Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as well as Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, not to mention “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys have all been reworked into styles of the pre-prohibition era. The latter was turned into a barbershop quartet piece, that, quite frankly is the best version I’ve heard of the song. The first song you hear in the game – and one that makes its appearance in many other forms throughout – is a choral version of the old Christian hymnal “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” that clearly invokes the riverside Siren scene from O, Brother Where Art Thou but stands up to it toe to toe.

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

I’ve already discussed this one here. Still though, goddamn. This is Ezra and the boys in peak form.

Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts

If you’re a fan of the CWK already, all I can say is this one is solid and you probably already like it. If you’re not a big fan, give this one a try. It’s not quite the seizure you’re used to hearing from them. In fact, the album closer, “Bitter Poem” is downright ethereal (by their standards.)

Lucius – Wildewoman

Again. Already discussed. Still, though. Great harmonies, great use of instruments. And the two ladies in the band have great bangs that remind me a lot of Emily V. Gordon.

Ivan & Alyosha – All The Times We Had

Again, again. Covered this last month. And I’ve covered them many times in the past. But dammit if I don’t love these boys with all my heart and soul. If you ever have a chance to see them live, do me, you & them a favor and go. Those harmonies… *chills*

Looks like I ended up with 8. There were more great albums, but these are the ones you must listen to. I WILL KNOW IF YOU DIDN’T.

Oscar Winner Jennifer Lawrence’s Butt Plug Collection

Isn’t it an exciting time to be alive? Joking aside, I do really love Jennifer Lawrence for being absolutely unafraid to share absolutely anything that comes to mind.

©Team Coco

©Team Coco

Combining iPhone + Penis = Unlocking or Un-Cocking?

Ok, I need y’all to help me find the source of this video, because I happened across it on a tube site. I want to give proper credit where it is due, because this is a fantastic demonstration as to how you can become even closer to your iPhone 5S than you already are.

Edit: that was quick. The peenor in question belongs to Roman Rivers, and the responsible party is Manhunt.

For the record, I always knew Apple’s TouchID was advanced enough to capture & encode more types of skin prints than just fingerprints, but I’m pissed I didn’t think of producing something like this before they did.

Nintendo Fails Online — Again

Nintendo has had so many missteps in the realm of online gaming, I’m not so sure they still deserve to be as beloved in the hearts of as many gamers as they somehow yet remain. Even I still have a misplace affinity for the company. Sure it’s largely nostalgic in nature, but I still somehow own both of Nintendo’s newest systems … and I didn’t want to. I wanted the 3DS, sure, I’ll admit that one. But the Wii U? Absolutely not. No interest in owning/playing/looking at that system. The only reason I do is because of the Legend of Zelda special edition system. My obsessive purchasing impulses kicked in on that one.

The original Wii was a smash hit during my college years, because it was the perfect passive gaming system. You put a group of drunken co-eds in a house with a Wii, and you KNOW there is about to be some epic (motion-controlled) bowling showdowns. Hell, I wanted the Wii so badly, I bought it for $50 above MSRP from a guy who had decided to sell his and go for an Xbox 360. But the Wii debuted without any sustainable online connectivity at a time when everything was moving online, not just gaming. Facebook had begun to launch en masse to the public and not just to college  kids, “tweets” were making their way into national news stories, the iPhone was a mere 6 months away, the original Xbox had found success with their online pay-service, Xbox Live. The closest they had mustered – so far – were eShops for the Wii and DS systems. Tiny microcosms consisting of some retro game releases and a smattering of original downloadable titles.

Jump-cut to: Today. My Xbox Live account is 6 years old. Various roommates of mine over the years have owned Xbox 360s, so even when I didn’t have one myself, I had an account because I was always near a system. Online operability is so intrinsically necessary in today’s world for a whole host of reasons, the most important of which is convenience. Sure I downloaded a load of the older NES, SNES & N64 games on my Wii, but the process was unintuitive and complicated. Thankfully all of the newer systems now just allow you to link a credit card to your account and download, but there was a time when it was required that you purchase proprietary points and use those in lieu of actual currency. Hell, because Nintendo had no account-based system, your purchases were not tied to you, but rather to your console.

In the last month+, Nintendo has actually taken the step toward unifying purchases and information into one account (almost a decade after everyone else) by introducing the Nintendo Network unified account. This is not to be confused with the Club Nintendo account (which they also sort of use to verify purchases, but not in any substantial way.) No, this is a real effort to broaden their online capabilities and unify users on both of their current platforms regardless of which they may own. Your Mii & (Nintendo’s avatar version of yourself) and your account nickname is now the same on both your Wii U and your 3DS. For once, Nintendo actually seemed to be righting some wrongs and gearing up for the real world of online gaming and operability.

BUT… that wasn’t the case. In October, Nintendo released latest games the still wildly popular Pokémon series, Pokémon X & Y. They announced then that two compatible services would be launched in December which would allow you to store your Pokémon in the cloud – Pokébank – and transfer them from older DS games -Poké Transfer. That due date was two days ago. Ever the woefully unprepared, Nintendo discovered that this big plan of theirs was in fact too taxing on their servers. (Servers which, I can only guess, had not been upgraded for the occasion.)

Related articles across the web

At this point, there’s no word on when the services will be officially introduced beyond this pitiful message found on Nintendo’s website:

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International have postponed the launch of Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter – two software applications that were originally scheduled to launch for Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 27 – due to a large volume of traffic to the Nintendo Network service. Due to the high traffic, players are having trouble setting up Nintendo Network IDs and downloading content in the Nintendo eShop on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. We truly regret the inconvenience, and wish to reassure everyone that providing a solution is our top priority. We apologize for the delay and thank you for your continued patience.

I hope they get their shit together. I really do. But things just aren’t looking up.

TellTale’s ‘Walking Dead’ Season 2 Is Here!

Coming Soon It’s Here!! The video game version of the Walking Dead is geared up for the second season. Told in episodic chapters, the game is an adaptation based on the Walking Dead comic book universe, rather than the television show universe. I’ve got to hand it to Robert Kirkman for turning his ten year old series into a string of recent successful revenue streams.
Anyway, the first ‘season’ of the video game saw focus being placed on protecting a little girl named Clementine. This season, it appears she’s the protagonist, so we’re sure to get a look into the developing psyche of how a child becomes a post-zombie-apocalyptic adult.

The game is coming to all major previous-gen consoles and also to iOS, so give it a spin! Season two, chapter one is available now on consoles, and will be launching soon on iOS!

OHBOYOHBOYOHBOYOHBOY! ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2 is Coming!

Netflix just released the teaser trailer for season 2 of their original series “House of Cards”. Season one, as well as the original British series it is based on are currently streaming on Netflix now, so if you haven’t watched it, you need to catch up, pronto!

Intense! Drama! Politics! Tight Buttholes!

Doctor Who 2013 Christmas Trailer is Here!

Matt Smith’s reign as the Doctor is coming to a close and with it comes what promises to be an epic Christmas episode!

The Time of The Doctor certainly looks exciting but…I don’t know that I’m feeling it, actually.

I mean, yes, I’m just crazy about Matt and the 50th anniversary episode literally had me in tears, but I honestly think he should’ve left two seasons ago. We’ve been over-saturated — drowning with him as the face/identity of the Doctor for so long, and that’s what’s keeping me from being excited about his end.

I’m ready for a fresh breath of air. Let’s get Capaldi and his intense eyes here already!

GOJIRA!

Oh. Fuckin’. Snap.

The Godzilla trailer is here! From the looks of things, the filmmakers are looking to revive the property in a very big way after 1998’s cringeworthy outing. And I mean very. very. big.

Seriously, I mean, the sheer scope of this iteration is insane. He’s literally a metropolis-destroyer. I can only assume the city we’re seeing is New York, and the entire city looks like it’s about to crumble in the wake of this one gargantuan Godzooky Godzilla.

Sidebar: I’m not so sure how believable I find David Strathairn as a General. But, as I’m thinking about it now, the last few Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been sort of Strathairn-esque: thin, wiry & bookish-looking but capable of organizing some serious strike-force operations. So, I guess it follows. Strathairn can stay. (I just prefer him in political & intelligence agency roles a la Good Night, and Good Luck or the Bourne movies.)

Can You Believe He’s Bottoming?!

I just read a headline on Tumblr (and I have no idea how recent it is) that Paddy O’Brien will be bottoming for the AMAZING FIRST TIME EVER WHAT A HERO.

What a trooper, can you believe his sacrifice?

Has me all like:
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