February 11, 2012

Music I Like, Plus Bonus Fandom Ramble I Guess.

Sherclop Pones put a teaser image of Friendship is Witchcraft Episode 6 on their youtube page, so I was all like “SHIT, gotta find out when that comes out!” There are links to their tumblogs or whatever the fuck that’s called, so I went and looked at them to see if they had said any sort of timetable. (For the record, take your time, Sherclop Pones! I’m excited, but do that shit right, you know?)

I didn’t find anything, but the guy who does a lot of the editing and stuff had a link to this album. It had appealing art and wanted to give me a seizure, so I figured, you know, I’d try it. It was alright, so I downloaded it, and threw it on my MP3 player. I have then proceeded to listen to it constantly since. Like, constantly. I’ve pretty well fallen in love with it. It’s really silly mashups of songs with video game tunes and all kinds of shit, and… yeah. I like it a lot. I would recommend trying it. Here’s my favorite track, if you need convincing.

But yeah, anyway, I was surprised, so I’m like “Who is this Truxton guy? I bet I’d like more of his stuff.” So I do some searching and stumble onto the website with all this stuff on it. And I’m like “Wait, I remember this ridiculous nurse herm bullshit.”
Anyway, apparently there’s a guy with like a million fursonas that makes concept albums as different people? And Truxton is his most recent creation or whatever? I don’t know. Good for him? Though it makes me kind of feel all the weirder about really liking this album. I don’t know. I remember being like “What the hell is this?” the first time I saw some of those album covers that he’s had done. Plus, since I really enjoyed this album, I’ve been seeing if anything else he has done clicked with me, and I just have stumbled upon stuff that just makes me close my browser in shame.

Let me just make one thing clear. Apparently this is this guy’s job. This is how he makes money. That’s fucking amazing. Awesome! Clearly he loves doing it, and I don’t want to come off seeming like I think he shouldn’t create it and make money off of it. Doing what you love and being paid for it is basically the goal of life, and he made it!

But it just seems in many ways to represent that part of furry culture I just kind of want to be distant from.

I’m a furry, and I certainly don’t think I’m ashamed of it? I certainly make it pretty clear and am not shy about it. Any time I am asked to explain why the hell I am a furry, or what a furry is, I have an explanation, of course, but I know that what it all means to me is pretty different than the fandom at large. I see the furries in my little group, who are a big open accepting family, very inviting, always ready to try something new. The fandom at large is the sort of people who go to conventions, dance, hook up, all this shit. I don’t think if I ever went to a furry con I would feel that sense of family I do with most furries I meet online. Maybe they’re the same people. I know Aesa has gone to these things, and I love him to death. But in a group, it’s just… scary. The overall effect is wrong. That keeps me away. This music reminds me of that in a lot of ways. I can see the bunch of people that want a song entitled “Thorough Pinata Dicking Amateur XXX” and that bunch of people doesn’t seem like people I want to be around.

I suppose this whole “brony” whatever is the same way. I have accepted I’m a super-fan, but I tried watching panels and stuff from BroNYcon, and it just embarrassed me and I had to stop. It was no longer this kind of uninhibited love of something childish and nice which I feel when I talk to people one on one about ponies. It was no longer, say, Molestia’s “let’s make pointless dirty jokes about this because it is silly” fun. It became real. All the fun playing around became super serious and “no, I seriously believe this.” That put me off.
Maybe I’m a hypocrite. I certainly have super-serious but very stupid thoughts about “but no, seriously, if the Mane 6 were lesbians, here’s who I think would fuck based on personality compatibility” and completely ridiculous crap like that. That doesn’t really feel that wrong to me. Similarly, I can have similar dumb conversations about why Fluttershy would actually make a pretty good dom with a small group of friends and it doesn’t feel wrong. It’s just all of us joking and having fun, even if we seriously argue points. But when the scale gets that big, somehow that breaks.

I think I just figured it out. When this stuff scales, I can no longer trust that someone is doing this because it’s fun, and not because they’re insane. One person, one artist, one whatever? I can get that. My brain can handle processing motivations for doing this sort of thing that aren’t creepy or crazy. I can give someone the benefit of the doubt, or see where they’re coming from. Same with a small group. I can process each person individually and make that assessment. But when the group gets too big, suddenly individually working through each person is daunting. I don’t have enough information about each person. I can’t do it. So I can’t be sure their intentions are good. So the idea of being associated with them creeps me out.

I’m not better than anyone. I’m plenty fucking creepy and weird when I want to be. I don’t feel like I’m being unfair here. But fuck, maybe I am. I don’t know. Maybe if I just gave in and didn’t worry about this bullshit, just assumed the best about people like I normally try to, I would be able to go have a good time. Who knows.

Wow, this blog sure went weird places! But seriously, try that album. It’s fun.

August 23, 2011

Behind One Door, A Muffled Roar. Behind The Other, A Voice.

Borders is dying. You might have heard. There was a Borders I always bummed internet from when I was in St. Louis, and now it is leaving! Boo! But I went to pick clean it’s carcass, of course. I was hoping for RPG sourcebooks, but had no luck there. However, at some point I went, “Wait, TMBG have a new album out,” and wandered to the music section. Then I bought it. On physical media. Crazy. But I told you that already.

I had heard Join Us was a better album than The Else, and I didn’t know what to think about that. I really hated The Else in the beginning. It just didn’t click with me at ALL. However, after a long downtime, I came back around to it and really ended up liking a couple tracks. I’m Impressed and Take Out The Trash, for instance, are pretty solid, and I enjoy them. It’s not their best album, but it was alright. However, people were talking about Join Us as a return to form, and that worried me. I enjoy a TMBG that rocks, not just one that makes silly songs.

I need not have worried. Join Us is a callback to some of their older stuff, but they still bring excitement.

By far, my favorite song is When Will You Die. (That is a pony video, but it’s the only one on youtube with the song! So, yeah.) It is just SO FUCKING UPBEAT and it’s language is so hateful. It is just so classic TMBG, and it’s so catchy on top of it. Lots of nice horns. SO GOOD.
I also really like The Lady and the Tiger and Cloisonné as well. Both interesting musically and catchy. I also like that they’re trying the weird round thing they do in Spoiler Alert, although that’s not one of my favorites. (Sorry, no good Youtube of that one.)

Really, though, what puts this album higher than The Else is that I find the whole thing listenable. I can pretty well go through the whole thing without issues. I especially like how the last track fades very interestingly into the first, if you have the whole album on repeat.

I don’t think Join Us is going to make new fans out of anyone who wasn’t into the Giants before. But seriously, even if you’ve kind of fallen out of love with them, this is worth a listen. It’s a fun little album that I’m glad I bought. I have bad taste in music, but this is good stuff.

July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday To The Ground.

I ended up subscribing to Amazon Cloud Drive for a year. We’ll see if that is ever actually useful. I’m not sure it will be. However, part of the shenanigans that lead to me doing that was me buying the album Turtleneck and Chain, which I’ve been listening to for a few days now.

I like it.

I mean, in general, a comedy album is only going to get you so far. You have to be dedicated to the joke, or be really catchy, to make a joke song worth listening to. Lonely Island is good at that. Classics like “Like a Boss” and “I’m On A Boat” meet those criteria. I was worried they wouldn’t be able to create good replacements on this new album.

It starts out weak, with We’re Back. I mean, it’s okay? It’s humorous the first time you start it up, certainly. I was worried. Even “Jack Sparrow,” which is just a fucking awesome video, loses something without seeing Michael Bolton dressing up in costumes. However, I started to hit the songs that are certainly my favorites. “Rocky” is hilarious and pretty catchy, and I really enjoyed it much in the way I enjoy Alberquerque no matter how many times I listen to it. It’s awesome. Similarly, “Japan,” “After Party,” and “No Homo” are solid tracks. I missed “Motherlover” the first time around, and it’s pretty fantastic to experience as well, and works completely without the video.

For sure, though, my favorite song is “Threw It On The Ground.” It’s a bad-ass sounding song, and the lyrics just make me laugh again and again. I watched the video, and it’s solid, to be sure, but it works without it. It had just about the perfect amount of fake bad-assery.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty solid. Not everyone is the sort of person who would listen to a novelty album like this often, but it’s solid stuff. Lonely Island knows what the fuck they’re doing. You have to at least give them that.

July 8, 2011

Songs What Be Stuck In My Head: Applejack’s Theme

Yeah, this is a pretty lame song to get stuck in my head, but here we are.

I was linked this video showing a pre-alpha build of an upcoming My Little Pony fighting game. Yeah, so, that’s a thing, certainly. But what really got to me was how well-done even this pre-alpha was. All those sprites of Applejack are custom, but look extremely true to the show. Same with the background.

What really caught me, though, is the custom song playing behind it. It’s really kind of amazing. It is, at the same time, completely perfect for My Little Pony, having some similar little musical cues to songs from the actual show that you can pick out if you’re as lame as I am. At the same time, this is clearly, clearly a fighting game track. It has that light into heavy bouncing energy that a good fighting game track has, like, say, this one. It just works. You tell me this music is from a MLP fighting game, and I say, “Of course it is.”

It’s also catchy as fuck, too, which is why it’s been stuck in my head the past couple of days. Oy. Ponies. Amirite?

July 7, 2011

I Saw Ok Go.

I saw Ok Go in concert, and I’m going to immortalize that in a blog post.

I’m not a huge band-going type. Ok Go marks the third band I’ve actually seen in concert, the others being They Might Be Giants many a time, and Franz Ferdinand once. They Might Be Giants is all about being fun, pleasing the crowd, and interacting with them. It’s a damn good time. Franz was very “we are playing music now” kind of band, and was less fun, even though I enjoy what they do musically.

Ok Go was much more in the fun side of things.

Seriously, not only were they rocking all the songs I loved from their earlier albums, thank goodness, but they really went out of their way to put on an entertaining show. They played a song completely on a set of handbells, which they described as “God’s Instrument.” They pulled a little kid out of the crowd to dance on stage, and a dude in a “Pugs not Drugs” t-shirt to play the guitar part in a song. A song was played right in the middle of the audience, an arm’s length away from me. They really seemed like they were in it for the fun, and really wanted to be there, which means a lot, because that energy is infectious. I started the show feeling kind of ill, to be honest, but when they really got going, I was really into it. It was fantastic.

Seriously, though, what really stands out is the amount of confetti they used. They literally had like an inch thick of confetti on the stage by the end of the performance. They were shooting off confetti cannons twice, three times a song. It never ended. Confetti. It was crazy.

But yeah, would totally see them again. A ton of fun, to be sure. Fun times all around, and I’m glad I took off to go and enjoy myself and watch. I’m also glad Jonathan did all the driving so I could sleep in the car. Thanks, Jonathan!

June 30, 2011

Songs What Be Stuck In My Head: White Knuckles

I’m going to see Ok Go in concert on the 4th, apparently! So I thought I should listen to their newest album, because I still haven’t.

I was kind of disappointed.

It really seemed like they were going back to what they did with their first, self-titled album. Which is cool, I suppose, but I also don’t like most of that album. Oh No was filled with tons of seriously ROKKIN’ tracks, and Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky just doesn’t have a lot of those.

Except White Knuckles, which I have listened to constantly. (For the record, I also like WTF?)

Not only is it just an exciting piece of music (with a cute as shit music video) but the lyrics also just seems to really fit my current situation. I mean, check this shit out.

“And you can’t go back, the way you came. Round all the pieces up, but they just don’t fit the same. White knuckles. Maybe it’s not so bad.”
“So just have fun, it’s far enough. Everybody needs to sleep at night, everybody needs a crutch. But couldn’t good, be good enough? Cause nothin’ ever doesn’t change but nothin’ changes much.”

I don’t know. I like a good rocking song, but lyrics? I’m a fucking poet. Lyrics speak to me. This may not be the super-deepest song in the world, but when I’m trying to both turn my world upside down and not lose anything from how my life was before? Well, this kind of shit is important to keep in mind. Nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much. Quite a nice little line.

Anyway, I’ll just listen to White Knuckles a few hundred more times. You all have a fun day.

June 23, 2011

Let’s Play Mixtape Making Game

Here’s my mood right now. In, you know, a progressive mixtape of songs linked on youtube. If you listen through it all, let me know. That’s cool of you. If not, well, no worries. Hopefully my mood will not be shit tomorrow, and I’ll write something.

Alternia from Homestuck’s AlterniaBound soundtrack

Hopeless Bleak Despair by They Might Be Giants

Failure by My Robot Friend

Un Dia by Juana Molina

Want It All Back from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack

Grace and Glory from the Jet Set Radio soundtrack

Advice [FLCL Arrange Version] by The Pillows

Skies of Skaia from Homestuck Vol. 1

Three Minutes Clapping from The World Ends With You

Up to the Roof by Blue Man Group

It’s Getting Better (Man!!) by Oasis

When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade by The Boy Least Likely To

Fear (Rez Version) by Adam Freeland

Killed by BR8K Spider!!!!!!!! from Homestuck’s AlterniaBound soundtrack

September 18, 2010

Songs What Be Stuck In My Head: It’s A Disaster

I had a soundtrack to the past few days! And it’s this song.

Seriously, I tend to go through through phases when I find an album that I just listen to constantly. It’s this kind of obsession that caused me to listen to so much Presidents of the United States of America that I wrote a whole, whole book of poetry about it. Ok Go’s second album, Oh No, has recently fallen into that rotation for me. I’ve been listening to it constantly, letting it flow through me.

It’s damn good.

Like, seriously! There’s a lot of songs on their first album I don’t particularly care for. Get Over It is good. Otherwise, I dunno. But man, I really like most of Oh No. The first four songs are solid gold, and there is plenty other good songs on the album.

I’ve focused on Invincible and A Good Idea At The Time in the past, but now at the moment the main focus of my love is It’s A Disaster. It’s upbeat, exciting, but it also has pretty solid lyrics. The chorus just rings true. Bad shit is happening, but in the end, that bad shit is all we have, so we might as well enjoy it. We might as well sing a happy song about it and just have fun, you know? As things fall to shit around me, I could stand to remember that.

Anyway: Ok Go is pretty neat. I don’t really like the single with the Rube Goldberg machine, but I should still check it out at some point. Yep.

August 7, 2010

Play That Pessimistic Victory Music

I’ve been playing Persona 3 Portable, so I was once again struck by the most amazing of battle themes. No, not Mass Destruction. After the Battle, the fight victory music. Maybe this sounds weird, but this is by far my favorite bit of music in the game. Give it a listen while I ramble about it for a bit.

I feel like this little song is a success on so many levels. It fits perfectly with the whole music themes of the game for one. It has the sort of hip, pop-y sensibilities of the rest of the game in the guitar bits that come in after a little bit. It’s also completely functional battle victory music. But I feel like it does more than that. I feel like it reflects the themes of the game in general.

Most RPG victory tunes are extremely happy. I mean, you know, like, the classics of Final Fantasy. These songs say, “We did it, we won, everything is awesome now!” It’s a celebration of an accomplishment. Ironically, any single battle in most of those games ISN’T an accomplishment, even though it treats it like one.

Persona 3 takes a more sinister take. It’s darker. There’s a bit of that “we won” excitement, eventually, but that isn’t where it starts. It starts with a very dark little melody and goes downward. While Final Fantasy is trumpeting the victory from the heavens, Persona 3 is saying, “This is only the beginning.” The fight is over, but the battle has yet to be won. It’s pessimistic, like most of the game it’s around. Because, let’s face it, there’s always going to be another encounter. There’s always going to be another fight. The game knows it. It uses it.

I just find that refreshing, I guess. It’s different. This is the track, more than anything, that sticks out and stays with me from that game. (Well, besides Mass Destruction. Nobody can escape the BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY!)

May 17, 2010

Songs What Be Stuck In My Head: Robot High School

I order Essner’s birthday present from Amazon I get this electronic mail that says that hey, I have $5 of MP3 credit for no apparent reason now! Therefore, I felt like I needed to go attempt to search for music. However, I’m horrible at such things. I ended up wandering around the site for a long time, but eventually I looked up My Robot Friend, and found their latest album, and… well…

Take a listen. And watch.

This song is amazing. It kind of sums up exactly what I love about Hot Action, their first album. It’s kind of creepy, kind of upbeat and kind of not, and it just hits all the important notes. The lyrics are just so awesome as well, and that video is kind of creepy.

Needless to say, that’s all I’ve been listening to since. Just that song, over and over and over again.