The trailer is available here. I won't avert any attention from it with mere words. Die Hard is only truly understandable in explosions. Big. Fucking. Explosions.
Savor that trailer, and wait till December 20th, when the Transformers trailer is apparently supposed to be making a debut.
I'm usually in the know, or I don't really care about ... things like Pandora Internet Radio. Who knows? Maybe my news upkeep is getting slow in my old age. However, upon the suggestion of one of my new coworkers at the B&N Starbucks Cafe, I decided to try out Pandora and see how well this idea was being brought to fruition. In short: Well.
Pandora is an internet streaming radio that upon the suggestion of an artist or song title, proceeds to tailor-make a station suited to that particular variety of music. All with the purpose of suggesting new music that might have otherwise been missed. I was initially mostly worried that I'd enter a band I enjoy, say The Decemberists, and always find myself with recommendations to schlock like The Killers, and countless other bands that litter the pop/indie rock scene. It didn't work like that, actually it worked a little like this:
I suggested The Decemberists (For those not "in the know" The Decemberists are a folksy, mostly mellow band with suitably deep lyrics and a nice sparse guitar/melody backdrop. Pandora immediately plays a song from the band in question, the song chosen was, "The Shankhill Butchers."
"The Shankhill Butchers" is probably THE most sparse of the tracks on Crane Wife, so I was excited where this was going to go from here. Upon the next song, Pandora announces to me: "Based on what you told us, we're playing this track because it has subtle use of vocal harmony, minor key tonality, electric rhythm guitars, prominent organs, and acoustic rhythm guitars." Umm ... wow. The lineup continued on with music in the same vein:
"Tomorrow Too Late" by Saves the Day - I actually had this album, didn't like it much, but I hear the similarities now.
"Like You Know" by Film School - Never heard of this band, good song though.
"Somethings Always Wrong" by Toad the Wet Sprocket - Holy Shit! I haven't heard this group in years.
"Summersong" by The Decemberists - I like that it returned to the Decemberists, and it allows me to tweak my selections by suggesting that I liked this song more than "The Shankhill Butchers"
It kept going on after that, and I realized that the entire affair was pretty hotsauce. Eventually the player stopped me and I had to register, and even after that it forced me to stop skipping songs, as licensing only allows so many skips per hour ... or something. This can be avoided by just creating a new station with a new artist or song.
Curious to see if Pandora embraced other musical genres well, I delved into Nathan's blerphtacular musical selection of choice. The metal lineup, starting with my selection of supreme metal masters Dimmu Borgir, went as follows:
"Over Bleknede Blaner Till Dommedag" by Dimmu Borgir - I just know that's doomsday.
"Wolfera the Chacal" by Rotting Christ
"Clones" by Enclave
"April" by Chapterhouse
"Allegiance" by Dimmu Borgir
"Year or the Plague" by Mercenary
"Dusted" by Sepultura
This is going to require some approval, but with the seclusion of a few songs, the lineup seemed pretty fucking metal. I wanted to lastly try something unique: Matisyahu. What would Pandora suggest in comparison to a hip-hop, reggae, Hassidic masterpiece?
"King Without a Crown (Original Version)" by Matisyahu - I've never actually heard the original. Neat-o!
"Time is Getting Harder" by Culture - Excellent reggae artist/song I've never heard.
"All I Do" by Junior Kelly - The reggae continues, and gets better.
"Feed my Girl" by The Slackers - Kind of sucked. Thumb-downed it and moved along.
"Jerusalem" by Matisyahu
"Border Patrol" by Eek-A-Mouse - More unique reggae. I'm loving this.
"God Nah Sleep" by Assassin - Where was all this music hiding? Unbelievable.
I experimented with even more bands and genres, and I'm more happy to have discovered Pandora than most things. The entire system is fantastic, and I could see it totally opening my eyes to some new artists that I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. I could see if Mr. Metal himself were a little disappointed, as his particular genre of choice probably gets a little jumbled together under the larger scope of Pandora. Regardless, I'm thrilled. I can imagine the side-effects this is going to have on my Amazon Wish List.
While announcing Dragon Quest IX solely for the DS is probably Squeenix's stab at propelling Japan into Ragnarok, it shouldn't be forgotten that across the shores, here in the land of cheeseburgers, Jesus, and fat people; the impact of DQ isn't nearly as economically threatening. We tend to go frothy over a different IP, and I think without realizing it, we're under the swing of that IP's mightiest push ever. Breaking it down:
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 - (While this is FFT ADVANCE, there is still a realistic possibility it could go to DS.)
The very recent announcement of Tactics Advance 2 is very awesome, and it will probably inspire me to return and play the entire way through the first one.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core
Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War
It's really, really time for me to get a PSP with these announcements. The Lion War is supposedly a port of the original FFT, but with new jobs and new FMV sequences.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII Versus
Final Fantasy XIII Agito
That makes 10 Final Fantasy branded titles currently in development (I may have even missed some.), and a majority of them are titles I'm definitely going to be purchasing. It's a shame that Sony still has such a strong hold on the Final Fantasy series with 4 of the 10 titles, and my interest in the PS3 is still fairly minimal. I'd say somewhere right around my interest in receiving a butter cream enema. Yeah ... that low. Hopefully, with Dragon Quest's recent jumping of the ship, any unannounced Final Fantasy titles might be doing the same. I don't necessarily want to see Final Fantasy only on Nintendo products, but, well, that's what I have.
I've been feeling ABSOLUTELY restless lately, and for mostly that reason, things like Gaming, schoolwork, and this Blog, have fallen slightly out of my favor. I don't know, maybe it's the forced happiness of Jolly Ol' Saint Nick's season that weighs me down, maybe it's finals, ... or maybe I'm just feeling a touch bipolar.
Regardless, this Blog flailing about without updates is never something I want to see happen, because it happens with far too many blogs, and it's a real disservice to anyone reading. Anyone? ... Yeah, I thought so. Anyways, I apologize for the lack of anything interesting on here, and I hope to rectify that sometime soon. That sometime being some day, that isn't today.
The only tidbit of information I could think of conveying at this moment is that, For Hero: For Fool, by Subtle, is probably my shoe-in candidate for album of the year. Even if some of my favorite artists dropped their best albums this year, (which they didn't) Subtle would probably still handle the competition just based on sheer creativity and style.
The genre: Indie Electronic Hip-Hop with a dash of Rock, and a generous helping of the worlds most competent lyrics, beats, and speechcraft.
Note the full glory in the lyrics to Return of the Vein:
Things are in black and white
You are the sole member of tonight's studio audience, splayn before you is the made for t.v.
2-d back drop of some classic cooking show set. the dead man from one dollar,
only 30 years younger is stood contra posto before you.
Front and center on stilts, pressing the drawn fangs
of a tore in two fork
tenderly against the quivering lip of a plastic champagne flute.
Several beads of clean water
quickly slip from the pulled teeth tips
and tangle softly to a body
in its empty crystal pit.
Fingers in your mouth out of fear...
your shadow's somehow shot itself up on the wall behind him
throwing a peace sign up like the devil's horns,
above his ever so signature presidents head silhouette.
He catches your eye and calls you up to the stage.
while he opens a wee door in his overall armor.
He then shows you a change slot bore
where his appendix would be
and says softly, "see how" he too
had been bit by the audience once...
He takes to the floor from his stilts.
As you make for beside him on stage,
you bump exposed flesh by mistake.
the heat from his hurt has its way with the hairs on your neck,
till your glasses go black
and you lean back on a yell...
just then he wiggles a pec with the quickness,
and wishes your mouth flooded shut
full of steel wool, safety glass, and loosed teeth.
your shadow now cringed in tight behind you
is puddled up soaking the skin on your heels...
you're busy scraping your tongue down,
like a wildman with the jagged edge of your house key.
and angry dream George is once more top his stilts,
still swallowing your yell.
calling your attention yet again to the slot tore in his side
as he shouts something down about you
sucking out venom.
you motion to cover your eyes
while your shadow breaks free and lets dive,
through your back, sucking in its blacks
as you gag from the pit of your person