ENVY ON THE COAST 2004-2010.
Why is it that so many bands break right up as soon as they hit their perfect stride? Individually these kids were so talented; together they were a band to be looked up to, holding down their integrity and doing it their way. Their most recent album LOWCOUNTRY hit me with such force that it hasn't left rotation in my car, or my apartment, since it came out. I'm always going back to it, just like I found myself always touching base with it's predecessor, Lucy Gray.
Naysayers to the LI scene always had the existence of EOTC to deal with. "Oh, Long Island music has seen better days." Then you threw EOTC in their face and they sheepishly had to just agree with you and close their trap. Just wanted to say thanks to them for making some great music and sharing it with us. I'm genuinely hoping this isn't the last for them individually or as a cohesive unit.
Supposedly they are putting together 3 final shows as Envy On The Coast.
where are we? mexico!
this is the new single from MCGspot,
When i think of my love for any medium, it's often from the point of view of the observer. I don't play an instrument, I've never been published, I've no aesthetic drawing talent to speak of. And now, with Limbo, they once again take a genre that I've grown to love and have made me realize that I will never love it the way THESE GUYS do. Painstaking care has been taken with this game from the physics, the simple controls, and taut puzzle/platforming to the further reaches like the fuzzy soundtrack, the slow hum nightmare artistry, and the jarring impact and breathlessness in each death. This game is linear, almost exclusively left to right platforming, but there are turns at every corner. You build antagonists from the environment just by walking through it. There is little to no story here, and unless I'd read any reviews or previews for it prior, it wouldn't be known to me (I'll leave it to you to do the research if you'd like to know). And that didn't stop me for a heartbeat. The game stares directly into you, as if with wide eyes from beneath the threshold of a frozen lake.
The amount of times that I crossed an imaginary line in this game and shouted varying degrees of "oh my god" from awe, shock, terror, and sheer beauty is innumerable. The puzzles are tasteful. Frustrating but never unfair. As in any puzzler (I'm looking at you Layton) the joy you'll get out of getting through the ins and outs they'll lay ahead for you are much greater than the pain you'll put yourself through figuring it out. the achievements are moderately difficult, with about 8 little glass crystals scattered throughout the 'dream' attainable by going a bit of the extra distance, or taking a chance amidst one of the encounters.
Limbo is a great game and comes in the middle of a fairly DEAD summer for games. $15 (1200 pts) is a perfect price point to declare it UNMISSABLE. You definitely need this game. Unless cod call of duty bro prestige cod cod modern warfare 2.
so i know a bunch of you guys are video game fans. that being said, i know many of this generation are pokemon mavens. while i tried my hand at the game and understand its appeal, i still couldn't get down as much as i've seen some of you cats get down. there is a website, though, that is offering minimalist backgrounds for each of the pokemon that exist. some of them are cool, some of them i have no idea if it's cool or not. but check it out if you are into it.
this is a game i've had my eyes on for a while. i was completely absorbed by the trailer, blown away by the concept of it... and it's released on the xbox live marketplace as of yesterday. little did i know that it would get game of the month in game informer, and have a ton of buzz going on in all the blogs. i'm pumped. downloading it now, will check back with some feedback once i've played it.
checked out the new norma jean record, meridional. super different. nice chugs, nice riffs. dude's voice is kicked into thrice-gear for most of the record. couldn't really tell what i thought at first but eventually stepped into the shadow of what it could have been for me, and consistently grew. good stuff. there should be a full-on review by dave some time soon. tracks.
some of the only dudes on long island still playing music have a show going on JULY 30TH at the vibe lounge. they'll be releasing their new 6 track EP hellomind to attendees early, and if you're not there you'll have to wait until august. rough, but it's as easy as showing up for the show, my sons and daughters. tracks.
all the more, another band on long island still putting themselves out there on the line, just got back from tour and will be hitting us up with some notes/highlights from the road soon. if you haven't given them a listen yet, pop by over here. i'm still without myspace audio, so i couldn't tell you what songs are what, but i know a bunch of stuff is up there for ingestion.
yeah, i saw knight and day (tom cruise & cameron diaz). it was fine, standard action comedy stuff. fuck it, tom cruise is the man. watching the movie, though, i got the impression that the character he was playing is essentially the same way he is in real life. super saccharin, unflinching to the world exploding around him. just being tom goddamn cruise.
infamous, the ps3 greatest hit title? incredible. if you haven't made it there yet, please do. unreal.
also, not to push the mothership, but if you reserve the sequel to star wars: force unleashed, you get the following dope pre-order bonus (including the silver lightsaber crystal):
as always, if you want us to talk about you or someone else/something else: wrankmusic[at]gmail.com
POISON THE WELL. 1997-2010
Yes kids, unfortunately Miami, FL post-hardcore vets PTW have gone on "hiatus." Now although they are pretty adamant about letting us know that they still want the band to be a creative outlet and that they just need to take a break and focus on side projects for the time being, we all know just how permanent a "hiatus" can be. At The Drive-In, anyone? So let's just hope that these guys are serious when they say it's not going to be forever. As they did teach us, distance CAN make the heart grow fonder...
Okay so imagine if Superman lost his shit and started killing everyone. Can you even fathom the amount of damage he would do if he just started HATING Earth and everyone living on it? This is basically the plot in a new comic series called Irredeemable, written by the well-known Mark Waid and put out by Boom! Comics. The Plutonian is an all-powerful being whose life parallels Superman in many ways, probably done on purpose. His life as a super hero is intelligently looked at from a very human perspective; what would your mindset look like if everyone on Earth depended on you, expected you to help them? What if all you could hear from a minute-to-minute basis were cries for help, and you couldn't ever have an hour to yourself just to sit there and listen to nothing? The series dissects The Plutonian's fame as the world's greatest super-hero to his eventual downfall, losing his mind and becoming the world's most powerful super-villian and most successful mass murderer (spoiler alert: he completely obliterates the city he once swore to protect, and that's definitely not all; sinking entire countries, anyone?). Watch as what's left of the world's super-heroes scramble to do all they can to figure out how to defeat a being who they know is way more powerful than all of them combined; it's a losing proposition, and a fucking excellent ride. You can collect the issues, but your best bet is to just buy the graphic novels. 1 and 2 are out and #3 is on the way.
if you've played the original crackdown and hated it, stop here. the review is as follows:
"same shit. game blows."
- adam siegel
however if you didn't touch the first one and are curious, or if you were a fan of it and weren't sure if they were going to continue with the open city sprawl of questionable justice, allow me to indulge your fantasies and tell you that YES, you will have the freedom to take crime out at your leisure. my only gripe is there is little to no motivation keeping you tied to the matter at hand. for the hours that i've put into it, a majority of my time was spent checking my HUD, heading into the general direction of some random marker and shooting those that shot at me, or anything with a health bar in general. there is no mission structure, there are no true antagonists, and rarely is there anything out there that can kill you outside of the realistically structured city and its 30 story drops.
this sandbox genre has been my bread and butter since the first mercenaries came in and stole my heart (then crushed it with the sequel). having little to no linear design and no pressure to rush and complete any task or objective works as both a positive and a negative, fueling the fire for time killing when i'm in the mood for this game and this universe, but completely turning me off and losing my intention if i need the kick in the ass. the places i need to destroy, defend, build, or capture are laid out and waiting for me. if i want to race across a rooftop or the streets of the city, then so be it. salvation can wait.
the best part of the game though is the fact that you can mob up with three of your friends (or three random strangers) and do the exact same thing. in fact, microsoft is pushing this feature SO hard that there are certain orbs (power ups) only attainable while playing in an xbox live game. this is a killer for achievement hunters and completionists who aren't comfortable going social with their gaming.
a little soulless but tons of fun, i gotta recommend this game for a casual romp with heavy trigger fingers. +1 for fans of co-op games, +1 for fans of the first game. -1 for anyone who needs a storyline, -1 for anyone looking for a solid solo shooter.
i saw trailers for this before a bunch of movies i'd rented and finally was able to check it out and see what all that screaming throughout the minute and a half had been about. it wasn't 100% clear at first, but what was sure by the end of the movie was that the film SHOULD have been called POLITICS[!!!!]. the movie is approximately an hour and a half of us talking to the actors on how to torture a terrorist, and then finding out, much like a well scripted facebook survey, where you stand politically based on your reactions to the final 20 minutes of the film. remorse? victory? eroticism? write down your emotion, share it with the person to your right. are you a left-wing babyist? CONGRATS! unthinkable has pinned you down.
to sum up, it got me pretty amped up for what was actually happening, but the "OUR MILITARY! BAAAD!" was a little more than i was ready for. but if your samuel l. jackson badass meter was running low, rent this movie and watch him cattle prod your confidence back to the mesosphere.
help, she can't swim
help, she can't swim is band that used to be active out of england up until a couple of years ago. i'd never come across them before, up until a bit earlier this week, a friend anthony mentioned their name in passing after i told him i started listening to on broken wings again. he thanked me for the new nod to a new band, and while he was checking them out, i should dive into this band. here, i'm expecting breakdowns, or something equal to the dish i'd served him. m'mmm. nothing of the sort. these guys (+girl) are a post-punk quasi-bloc party indie group who at their best can be reminiscent of the anniversary who show less concern for traumantic dramatics [a lyric: open my asshole. stick your dick in. see if i care]. initially, they weren't catching my interest (big surprise) until i caught the piece of the playlist that was going through their record the death of nightlife. a bit upset they broke up, and even more upset that i hadn't heard of them earlier. check out their stuff. maybe dig, maybe not.
saw a simple man saturday night. flawless. completely in love with it. the most intriguing part of the work is that it's directed by tom ford, regularly a fashion designer. in fact, this was his directorial debut. ending was a bit heavy handed but appropriate. please check it out at your earliest. redbox. $1.
dave (of wrankmusic.com) pointed me in the direction of texas in july (a href="http://www.myspace.com/texasinjuly" target=_blank>here. ripped me to shreds. lurved it. also, they've just recently signed to equal vision which seems a bit of a move in a new direction for a label, but from the band's standpoint, i couldn't be more excited for them.
any bands still doing things on long island?
or have we all painted our doorways with blood?
Yeah, I'm still the zombie guy. It's a problem.
But there's something coming in October that a few of us are excited about, and I have a feeling when it comes around that feeling will spread. I'm talking about The Walking Dead tv series coming to AMC. If you've never read The Walking Dead, it's not only a juggernaut of zombie comics but really of graphic novels in general. It's done with the kind of quality writing and artwork that crossover hits are made of. Simply, it's a story of survival. If you never have, do.
The announcement of a tv show some months ago was made doubly incredible by the fact that it was a project of Frank Darabont, the director of Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile, which alone would be enough, but add to that this is the man who made The Mist and there's no doubt he is capable of legitimate, realistic horror.
If none of this is news to you, the reason for this post is this: I just learned there's an official production blog that's been up and running and churning out photos and interviews and behind-the-scenes videos. So far, everything I've seen looks to be shaping up into a visceral, not-watered-down-at-all series. You can find it here and join me in looking forward.