My 10 Favorite Albums of Whatever This Decade Is Called
Nov 17th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Unlike the video game thread, I’m not going to confuse “favorite” with “best.” Although, reading most all-time lists for video games, they seem thrown together by stupid retards, so I felt totally justified at writing the authoritative list there. It’s likely that nobody will listen to a single quarter note from the albums listed below, but I don’t care.  (For our purposes here, the decade goes from from 2000 to 2009. I know there was no year “zero,” but there was, strictly speaking, no year “one” either, while people were living it. With bulletproof logic like that, I’m sure men of science and passion everywhere can’t wait to expand this entry and get with the shitty pop tunes.)

I’ll try to link to a Youtube vid of my favorite song from each disc. I know that record companies are shutting down loads of vids, but still – I’m choosing Youtube because, of the ten or twelve bit-rotten ways to link to music over the Internet, this way actually seems to be less likely to give us a situation where it turns out that we all built this geocity on rock n’ roll. Additionally, trying to get two straight blank lines in WordPress makes me want to shoot my computer with a chaingun. So, sorry about that.  Here we go!

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My Favorite Song In The World (Of The Next 48-72 Hours)
Oct 9th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

If you’re at all like me, you listen to three or four songs in constant rotation. You’ll get sick of them after a month or so – maybe! – but also maybe not. When I wrote Revenger, I placed the following into the credits:

I wrote this game unable to get that freaking Meja song out of my head. I am not proud of that fact. “Sucked Out,” by Superdrag, “Alright Again” by Sadie Hawkings, “Changes” by 2PAC, that Rockwell (who doesn’t, by the way) song and “Sick of Myself” by Matthew Sweet rounded out the woefully short WinAmp playlist I heard like 40,000 times while writing this game.

And that is unfortunately all too true. The Meja one really hurts, sort of considering another revision of the game over that one. But yeah, I wrote Revenger in a single month, and there were literally just six songs in rotation for that month.

(That being said – 2PAC!!! I don’t think I have thought of Tupac Shakur for more than two or three minutes since I wrote that game. Nothing against him, he’s just not done faking his own death yet. We’ll have a lot to catch up with.)

Up until recently, as in, last night recently, my playlist was even shorter. There were three songs by the band Mae, and then “Jenny” by the Click Five. You know what, I apologize for telling you that, as that’s pretty goddamn soft-serve of me to relate that information. I really don’t want it destroying the rest of my position here – I hope we can all still be friends. But you like what you like, when it comes to music, right?

I was on the ifMud last night when Jason Scott mentioned the MC Frontalot song “Diseases of Yore.” I went to Frontalot’s website to listen to the song. It is at this point that I have to paragraph break, smile, and compose myself before licking the wick of how MC Frontalot distributes music in 2008.

If you’re in your mid-thirties, like me, and spend most of the day computer programming / shopping for Roombas, then you are totally happy to support the artists that bring you joy. You want to give them money. I mean, yeah, fuck Lars and everything, but otherwise you feel good about supporting the artist. Frontalot’s site lets you do this. You can download MP3s of his singles right from his site. He has a new album coming out and lets you preview the songs that are on it. And that is where I became officially introduced to “Diseases of Yore.”

It is a really catchy song. Extremely catchy. I mostly listen to pop punk and the reason I do it not because I live in my mother’s basement or anything (although, boy, getting introduced to vacuums that don’t pick up cat hair as part of home ownership was baffling) (thus the, you know, browsing of Roombas) but because it is a catchy genre. And “Diseases of Yore” is certainly that.

You get about a minute of the song on Front’s site, and it will definitely be stuck in your head, like it is mine. I eventually noticed that Jonathan Coulton also performs on this song and the two of them really make a great team.

After about twenty plays of the cut-short demo, I was determined to get the actual thing. And MC Frontalot makes that very easy, as well. You can pre-order a physical copy of his CD and get instant access to the album in MP3, AAC and FLAC format. So at work today, I did just that.

And I have not played a single song since.

(I chalk half of that up to the fact that Coulton and Frontalot use more chords in just the chorus of this song than the entirety of pop punk, but that’s this whole other thing.)

Kudos, you talented fuckers – this is the best song in the world right now.

(Link to Diseases of Yore, and the other tracks on MC Frontalot’s new album, Final Boss.) 

The New Metallica Album
Sep 15th, 2008 by Pinback

Here’s my experience with Metallica:

I’ve bought three of their albums, Kill ‘Em All, Master of Puppets, and And Justice For All. I thought Kill ‘Em All was weak, and I thought the other two were classic, fantastic albums that I could (and have) listen to over and over forever.

I don’t own the Black Album, though of course I’ve heard all those songs a hundred times, and they never really grabbed me. Seemed like Metallica Light. The three studio albums released since then I’ve largely ignored, save for whatever singles were put on the radio, and all of those just left me limp. Gone were the days of master riffage, thrashy, time-signature bending pownage, replaced by power ballads and straight-ahead rock, which many bands do better.

Thus it was with great TREPIDATION that, on the strength of the last half of the new single, I plunked down my $10 on Death Magnetic this weekend.

The review is this:

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. It’s like they got in a time machine and went back to 1990, still had the crazy chops and the desire to rip your fucking head off. It’s got ONE power ballad on it, but even that one’s fairly strong. Nearly everything else FUCKING ROCKS. \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Usually (i.e., “every single time”) an old-ass band comes out and says, “the new album is a return to the old sound”, it is complete horseshit. This is the first time it’s actually happened.

It’s early yet, but it’s not out of the realm of sanity to place this one up there with Puppets and Justice — if those albums had higher high points, DM has more of them.

Anyway, an amazing return to form from a band I never totally loved except for those two earlier albums. If they’d kept this up the last 20 years, I would be a much bigger Metallica fan than I am.

Acceptance – Phantoms (2005) review
Jun 17th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I bought this CD off THE BAY, as it was only $3 and I have been listening to a rip of it virtually every day for the last two years. Before you project me as a monster, please note that the band broke up soon after this CD was released, as the lead singer no longer wanted to be in a rock band and went to work for his family’s business. So I didn’t even get the chance to screw them out of money. I’ll never understand why a band will practice and do gigs for years (they started in 1998) before releasing a very listenable CD and then break up, but it happens all the time.

Reviewing music is pretty pointless, because you can’t change people’s feelings when it comes to what appeals to them. Pinner could write a few paragraphs and make me not dislike the movie Magnolia. Worm can write a few instant messages and make me understand why I shouldn’t play The Witcher. But that doesn’t apply to music, so I won’t bother to say what I think of the disc, other than it successfully captures the feeling of being in an alternate reality game, one that involves traveling to the part of the USA that is equally distant from Denver and Kansas City on a Sunday night in the summer, as you wait for a phone call on a payphone and wonder if you’re going to get back to work on time, but then not caring if you do. This CD, to me, makes me feel like I am outside the hamster’s wheel of work and mortgage and traffic and getting hassled, and I have recently started every coding session that I have done for pleasure by playing it.

This was the first actual CD I have played around with in quite some time. When I put it into my computer, it wants to install some shit, and I declined the EULA. I went to find the audio tracks, but couldn’t. The back of the disc says it’s OK to rip it, so I fired it up into CDex… and whattayaknow. It identified the disc, and I was able to export the tracks I couldn’t find to .wav files. That’s how I am listening to it right now, in a lossless format. What the fuck. Thanks I guess? The weird part is that I can’t detect any difference between the 20MB wav files and the 192KB MP3 files I had been listening to. gg, ears (mine).

The songs on the disc are in a different format than what “Advance” MP3 I had grabbed. And I think I prefer the order they are in for the Advance, but there’s little I can do about that. I’d love to know why it was changed, but there’s just not a lot of prose written on this band. This post will probably shoot right up the search results chart.

At any rate, I like the disc so much because the songs blend into each other so well. There’s one song that stands out, the last one, which is called Glory/Us, and I think it best exemplifies the feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere. It’s also the only song I have ever heard in my entire life that speaks to an absolutely positive and uplifting reaction to having your life destroyed by the deceit of another. It being the only one is amazing to me. Maybe it’s just the kind of music I normally listen to, which is fair, but I prefer to attribute it to the fact that this band really was talented, and it’s a shame that they won’t make a second CD.

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