Thursday Night at the Cinema (bonus)

Happy Thursday!

This is one of those ideas I mentioned in my post, “100 posts and going!”, where I have the this idea rolling around in my mind.  I haven’t acted on it because of preexisting time restraints but also, frankly, I don’t watch nearly enough movies or television shows to have regular content for this column idea however since I left y’all hangin last week Wednesday, I figured since I’m on spring holiday I can share with you how I get my movie fix.

Image result for spring break netflix

This (hopefully) family has some interesting movie tastes.

I like to watch a wide variety of channels on youtube and one of my favourite generes is the movie analysis videos and video essay about movie making from a technical level.  Some of my favouries are Now You See It, Every Frame a Painting, Lessons from the Screenplay, KaptanKristian, and What it all Meant just to name a few(1).  

Every once in awhile I a channel surprises me.  Today’s example comes from a relatively new channel, The Discarded Image(2), released a 15 minute video called “Life Outside the Frame: Episode 1 Star Wars”

If you weren’t already sold on the title and image card, here’s the description:

Life Outside The Frame: Episode 1 – Star Wars, tells the story of Jarvis, an ex-Stormtrooper, who’s trying to reintegrate back home in London, after the destruction of the Death Star.

Trust me, it is well worth the 15 minute run time.  This is a fairly high quality episode if the full stormtrooper/blaster pistol costume/prop set, plus the fairly ambitious 7.5 – 8 sets shifts in 15 minutes all draped in an excellent soundtrack and the main actor who 100% nails his character, wasn’t enough of a high mark of quality but also vision.  This channel is going places and I want to witness.

Footnotes:

  1. This is just what I watch for movies.  I could write a number of articles about all the rest of the silly stuff  I watch on youtube because I feel like I am a bit way left field in my tastes since I am not directly in line with the pewdiepie and the H3H3 which are quality programs but I don’t have time to keep up with regularly. Though I do kinda keep an eye on pewdiepie via Matt Pat of Game Theory/Film Theory (SIDENOTE: O my god Matt Pat is a productive dude, I have no idea how he churns out so much quality content so regularly, easily one of my top favourite youtube personalities second to Ross of Accursed Farms).
  2. Such an excellent name right?

RJD2 (music)

Happy Wednesday!

Have I got something funky for you.  RJD2 is an artist that I found on youtube years ago and the first song I heard by this guy, Ghostwriter from his album Deadringer, continually blows my mind.

The introduction of horns at 1m30s just makes me so excited every time.

I also like this version of Ghostwriter with Jurassic 5 called “Golden Ghostwriter”

Another song off the Deadwringer album, Smoke and Mirrors is very nice.

I find that I’m a fan of minimalist lyrics in these type of songs where the music is complex and strange.  I particularly like the first stanza

“Who knows what tomorrow will bring
Maybe sunshine or maybe the rain
But as for me, I’ll wait and see
And maybe it’ll bring my love to me, oh…”

Another thing that’s interesting about RJD2 is this guy has worked with, seemingly, everybody from Tycho to Aesop Rock to Massive Attack. So when I found out that RJD2 did the introduction theme for Mad Men, I shouldn’t have been surprised but I still was.

The first three minutes are the iconic Mad Men theme but then the last 2m29s almost sound like an entirely different song.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski(book review)

Happy Monday!

Today I have a book review for you today by this guy named Charles Bukowski. Let me give you some background on this Dirty Old Man to give you an idea for what we’re getting into:

Image result for charles bukowski

This about sums it up.

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.[4] His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.[5][6]

In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”.[7] Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”[8]

-wikipedia, Charles Bukowski

Going into Post Office, I was pretty blind.  The extent I had heard was that he was an American Beat writer and the friend who gave me my copy of Post Office told me when I asked them “What’s this about? What’s Bukowski like?” They kinda looked off, chuckled, and said “Bukowski is a bastard.  You’ll like em.”  After reading Post Office, I get it.

Image result for post office bukowski

Imagine this copy except a couple of coffee spots at the bottom left.

Post Office falls square in this sub-genre called Dirty Realism and it wasn’t named because of this book but it could have been.

Spoiler Free Summary and Review:

The Narrative follows a guy named Henry Chinaski and his drunken meanderings between Post Offices in California with a brief stint in Texas, the overall narrative reminds me of the movie, “Barfly” which is “Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.” (IMDB)

Overall I was a little offended, the story was strange, but I found that I was so amused I couldn’t quite stop until it was done reading.  I equate developing a taste for Bukowski like developing a taste for hot sauces: it’s never entirely pleasant but when you understand the burn an appreciation can be developed.

**SPOILERS BEYOND**

Continue reading

Imma make this heart great again (comic)

Happy Friday!

IMG_20170324_183545-1

Sorry I didn’t post Wednesday. This is the last week of term two at school and it has been crazy busy.  Will be back on schedule next week.

Martenisa: Grandmother March has a Spring in her Step (Folklore)

Cover Photo Source: Adventure Flair

Happy Monday!

A few weeks ago one of my flatmates gifted me a red and white bracelet with a purple butterfly charm on it.  I asked her why and she went to explain to me that it was a Bulgarian Spring ritual.  “It is just what we do.”

bulgarian spring twist

The martenitsi is usually made of red and white yarn. The red to ward off the gaze of evil spirits and the white represents long life.

Naturally I was curious for more and went digging around.  What I learned was that Martenisa is a spring celebration starting on March 1st when Martenitsi are tied around children’s wrists and necklaces of the same colours are hung around young women’s necks.  Martenitsi are always given as gifts, never bought for one self, and are given to loved ones, friends, and people they feel close to (aww thank you Tsveta!) with  the wish of good health and luck.

The Martenitsi is meant to be worn until the wearer first sees a stork, swallow, or blossoming tree (all signs of spring). What is supposed to be done with it at which point varies however I was told to tie it around a blossoming tree branch to pass on the good health and luck I have been gifted over the last month to the tree.  I like this a lot, trees are okay people.

The idea of wearing the Martenitsi is to protect the wearer from Baba Marta (Grandmother March) who is subject to mood swings bringing more cold weather.  By wearing a Martenitsi it’s a sign of welcoming Baba Marta and asking for a short and less bitter end to winter.

With that being said, I’m still wearing my Martenitsi but I’m hoping that soon (seeing as today is the first official day of spring) that I’ll see a blossoming tree so I can pass on the love.

If you want to read more, check out this wonderful post on Adventure Flair “What is Martenisa?”

Happy Spring!

 

A Heart Felt Letter to Trebek (Playlist)

Happy Wednesday!

Dear Alex Trebek of Jeopardy!,

Screw you.

Sincerely,

Fin & Louie

 

Alex Trebek thinks that nerdcore hip hop is not fun and for loosers as he stated in this clip from his general knowledge game show of the last 32 years, Jeopardy! I don’t think it’s particularly cool but it has inspired some fun songs across the nerdcore genre.

 

Trebek Diss by Twill.Distilled

This first track rocks.  Twill.Distilled represents the women of nerdcore in her lyrics. Check out these lyrics:

Alex Trebek, you aint polite, I thought you were from canada
after that im just like, bro, whats the matter with ya
lets take a look at your show and your key demographic
biting the hand the feeds you, thats just simply tragic

Wanna talk about losers, lets focus on you
The rhetoric of nerds is overplayed you know it’s true
slinging out insults like loser on a show of intelligence
your diligence of dreadfulness like a benighted emulous

I don’t know whats more tragic, your career or your fitness
A foreshadow of kardashian, Lucinda Moyers is the witness
not one but two heart attacks I think the universe is callin
time for you to tap out while nerdcore keeps on ballin

Callin our home girl and all ofus losers
bruh are you serious, just take a look at her
maybe you’re just getting old, or you got glaucoma
but your presence on this nerd scene is nothing but an adenoma

 

Fuck Alex Trebek ft. Osiris Green

I love this deep bass rap by Wreck the System.

“these guys who created music, hip hop music, that were hardcore about their nerdom hence nerdcore…being computer…programmers hackers…video game addicts comic book readers, they could explore that what they love and put it in to music”

-Fuck Alex Trebek ft. Osiris Green, 1m12s

That quote just makes my day man.

Also big Thank You goes out to Lady J (Wreck the System) and Paleface for last week’s press release of their music video Link With a Kink and interview.

 

“Suck It Trebek” A Response RAP | TEAMHEADKICK – Mega Ran – MC LARS

The last one I have up is an excellent flow trio between TEAMHEADKICK and Mega Ran and MC Lars.

Let’s not forget Susan Cole for being the one to stand up for the genre.

 

BONUS LETTER:

Dear Susan Cole,

Thank you for being awesome.

Sincerely,

Fin & Louie

Offbeat, On-point

The Passage by Justin Cronin (book review *SPOILERS*)

Happy Monday!

Spoiler Free Summary and Review:

This book should come with a warning: “Buckle up, this book will grab you by the FUCKING throat. Read at your peril.”

I read a lot(1) however it’s not often when I pick up a book that gives me problems, as in when I start reading the book I have such a strong compulsion to continue reading that I start stealing time from other things like sleeping or coursework(2).  That being said, I should say that this book is less of a page burner from page 1 but more of a shadow slowly stalking up on you until about page 241.  At the time, I didn’t realize it until about page 315 that I was screwed.

the passage

Cronin isn’t messing around with the “Something is coming.” subtitle.

At 963 pages, The Passage by Justin Cronin is a physically daunting book and it’s ambitious. The story takes place over the course of 97-1008 years depending on how you count, the setting spans most of the United States west of the Mississippi from New Orleans LA to Southern Oregon, and there are about 9 core characters.  This both works for and against the passage.

It can be exhausting keeping track of that many characters and the first and last part of the book has several separate story lines to keep straight.  Some of the characters and story lines I found more interesting and while nothing in the book is boring, some story lines felt jarringly interrupted by switching gears to other story lines.  However for the majority of the book when all the character arcs are plaited together it transforms into a tour de force of action, drama, intrigue, science fiction, fantasy, Gothic horror.  Highly recommended.

Footnotes:

  1. I average a book a week/300 pages.
  2. I lost 2 solid days reading 648 pages.

 

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Continue reading

Fear the Beard-punch! (comic)

Happy Friday!

Today’s comic is inspired by my very funny fried, Chris from Poorly Drawn Thoughts and his series of “Beard Punch” comics.

Just to give you a taste of what his humour is like:

…and here is my comic:

This is seriously one of my dream super powers.

LINK WITH A KINK – NERDCORE GROUP RELEASES MUSIC VIDEO INSPIRED BY POPULAR VIDEO GAME (plus interview with Lady J and Paleface)

Happy Wednesday!

Today is a good day because I have a double feature for nerdcore fans!  Lady J and Paleface have been so generous to reach out to me with a press release of their new song, Link’s Arousing (The Musical), and an interview with both Lady J and Paleface.  Big thanks goes out to them!

LINK WITH A KINK – NERDCORE GROUP RELEASES

MUSIC VIDEO INSPIRED BY POPULAR VIDEO GAME

Paleface and Lady J release nerdcore single about Link’s sexual frustration

DALLAS, TX: Since 1991, Link’s been rescuing the princess. He has saved her from Ganondorf, Demise, Ghirahim, and more, and she has never really thanked him. At least, not in the way he wants. The princess has teased Link for too long, and he is ready to let her know.

“Link’s Arousing (The Musical)” is the brainchild of Paleface and Wreck the System’s Lady J. The two were inspired by the new installation in Link’s adventures that is scheduled to be released this spring.

lady-j-links-arousing-2

LadyJ loading up The Legend of Zelda.

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Left to right: Princess Zelda, Paleface, and LadyJ at the arcade

When asked about their inspiration for the song, Lady J said:

“With the new Link game coming out, we wanted to do a throwback to the old school games, the games we grew up with, so we came up with Link’s Arousing.”

The song is written from the point of view of the series’ hero Link. Through the lyrics, he tries to convince the princess to take their relationship to the next level, a sexual level. In the video, Paleface plays the role of Link, while Lady J acts as his wingwoman. Actress Megan Caulfield plays the role of the princess.

In traditional nerdcore fashion, Lady J and Paleface incorporate numerous classic video game references. As well, Paleface and Caulfield dress up as popular video game characters and film a majority of the video inside an arcade.

 

 

The song, Link’s Arousing (The Musical), is available at https://youtu.be/hc2vXaieCek

paleface_ft_lady_j_link_s_arousing_the_musical

Get down, Link!

Interview and appointment requests with Paleface and Lady J are available by contacting em@geeksmash.com or by phone at (916) 904-9193.

About Paleface: Paleface is a rising nerdcore artist. He is best known for his song “Polly Wanna Beat” and his collaboration with Lyoness and $kittlez’ “Birds of Color”. His music videos are available on Channel 38’s Youtube channel.

About Lady J: Lady J is a part of the popular nerdcore group, Wreck the System. Her style is often described as a “punch in the face” by fans. She has performed at many conventions and shows including MAGfest, Bitgen, and 8 Bit Bonanza. Her songs are available on her Soundcloud “createladyj”.

 

Interview

Offbeat, On point (OBOP): What’s one thing you want everyone to know about you, above all else?

Paleface (PF): Art comes in many forms, but it’s always and only the product of proactive creativity.  Whether my output is good or bad, I want the world to know that I used every nanosecond of free time to express myself creatively.  After all, at the end of our lives, the artistry we leave behind is the only evidence we ever existed–it’s the only tangible proof that we contributed something unique and meaningful.

Lady J (LJ): “Be Who You Are Without Fear” Happiness is the root of this. Having the things as needed to live, and doing the things you want/desire. I push this cause I have a very huge tie to mental health. Music also drives the fight to mental health.

OBOP: How long have you been writing music? Did you play music in school or did you just do your own thing?

PF: Music has always been a refuge, but it’s only been through the contributions of others that I’ve extended my ability to externalize the music inside me.  Hip hop is among the most incredible innovations in the modern creative environment, since it enables individuals to bring forth rhythms that might otherwise require lots of money and training to express.  All you need is a beat and flow and suddenly a channel appears.  However, with each new collaborator, I’ve found a new means of expressing a facet of talent inside me.  Linking up with Lady J as a producer gave a flash and edge to what otherwise would have been a simpler product than my potential demanded.  And she introduced me to Cam3, from whom I obtained ever doper beats.  Linking up with B-Wein for the first time added a whole new component–video–that further enabled me to bring to life my songs.  Every song is so much more than the sum of its parts.

LJ: It’s been a huge factor in a lot of interactions coming up. I want to help people get thru their day, always motivated others thru music or other means. I’ve always strived to be a leader and a movement is what I’m looking to create. The center to our movement is “Be Who You Are Without Fear”. So answering your question. Did my own thing. Lol

OBOP: What’s your first or favourite (why not both?) video game memory?

PF: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.  That’ll always be my defining favorite.  In my hand in the early ‘90s I held a console that exposed me to a whole new world.  That game sucked me in completely when I was a kid, and was both an escape from my real life AND an inspiration to make my real life so much more of an adventure.

LJ: Sonic!! I loved him, the memory is tied to my Nana and mother who have both passed away from Breast Cancer. I remember sitting on Nana’s bed, Playing Atari… (note: I was born 1989, they made sure I knew my ish and played games from the beginning)  I When they bought me a sega, I was THRILLED!! Sonic was the first game I had from on the system, and Nana would sit on the bed, cheering me on thru the levels. Since then, gaming and connecting with others thru gaming has been a very big part of my life.

OBOP: What game world/cannon are you most looking forward to explore/play in Virtual Reality?

PF: WOLFENSTEIN.  I’ve got some scores to settle, and a virtual reality tour of that classic is my avenue to do so.

LJ: RESIDENT EVIL!!!! Love scary games. It’s hard to scare me, I hope this succeeds. 🙂

OBOP: Who would you pay dues to for inspiration in music or gaming or life?

PF: My favorite creative plane is “absurdist satire”… so I feel like I owe a debt to Monty Python, Howard Stern, and the original Donkey Kong!

LJ: All my Mom, All of it. She loved music and introduced gaming in my life. She is the inspiration for the two’s merging. Her and a friend, Viga, who’s a huge personality and the Con scene.

 

Again big thank you goes out to Lady J and Paleface!