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Hmm…

11/06/2012

Maybe it’s time I brought this back.

Gorillaz – The Singles Collection 2001-2011

11/30/2011
Gorillaz the Singles Collection

Gorillaz the Singles Collection

I don’t think I’ve talked about it much here on Stu Station, but I was a big fan of the Gorillaz. Their song “Clint Eastwood” is one of those high school favorites I still enjoy today. The art style and musical arrangement and rap lyrics really hooked me, even to the point where I hunted the rapper down for some of his original material. I even picked up the remix and b-sides collections as they were released. The followup, Demon Days, quickly became one of my favorite albums the year it was released.

However, I lost touch with Gorillaz later in their career. Plastic Beach felt empty and pointless to me, with maybe one decent song on it. I haven’t listened to The Fall yet, either, as I don’t think I could stand being disappointed again, plus the reviews weren’t overly favorable. Logging in to Spotify today at work, I noticed that they have a greatest hits CD that just came out and is available for streaming on Spotify, so I thought I’d listen along to it to see what I had missed.

Here’s the tracklist:

“Tomorrow Comes Today”
“Clint Eastwood”
“19/2000″
“Rock The House”
“Feel Good Inc.”
“DARE”
“Dirty Harry”
“Kids With Guns”
“El Manana”
“Stylo (ft. Bobby Womack & Mos Def)”
“Superfast Jellyfish (ft. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul)”
“On Melancholy Hill”
“Doncamatic (ft. Daley)”
“Clint Eastwood” (Ed Case & Sweetie Irie Refix Edit)
“19/2000″ (Soulchild Remix)

I think it’s a pretty good mix and representative of their entire career, with some clear hits and classic songs as well as a few more deeper cuts that I imagine played really well in live shows or radio commercials or some other context than active listening. “Rock the House” feels a little out of place, but since it features Del the funky Homosapian, the same rapper as on “Clint Eastwood”, that makes sense including it.

I’d never heard “Superfast Jellyfish” before. Interesting song, may grow on me, same with “Doncamatic”. However, from Demon Days, I’d have included “Every Planet We Reach Is Dead” instead of “Kids with Guns”, and from their original release, I’d have included “5/4″ and “Latin Simone” or “Left Hand Suzuki Record”, but both of those songs fit the album as opposed to a singles or greatest hits release.

Still, this is the Gorillaz singles, and it’s a great compilation.

Castlevania, part 3

11/28/2011

Sorta dropped the ball on the whole Halloween thing. Too much came up, too much was happening to care too much about the blog. Fact is, the posts people comment on the most are the ones that I wish people wouldn’t comment on. No one comments on the stuff that I care about the most. But still, I promised to talk about Castlevania DS games, so here we go.

I don’t own my own DS. However, I bought one for my mom and my brother for birthday presents back when I was making good money and didn’t have a ton of debt hanging over my head. So from time to time I’ve been able to borrow my brother’s DS and play some games on it that I am more interested in. Obviously near the top of the list was the Castlevania games, the first of which is Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (see how they cleverly got the “DS” moniker into the title?)

Dawn of Sorrow was a sequel to the the Game Boy Advance game, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. And this is one that is far out there. So get this: Dracula’s castle has been sealed in a solar eclipse! You play as Soma Cruz, the reincarnation of Dracula! But you are good and not evil and helped defeat Dracula a year previously! But holy crap, some cultists and a sorcerous want to reincarnate Dracula and bring his castle back! And they have to awaken your latent powers to do so! Best go beat some crap.

Story aside, the gameplay was fanastic and the graphics even more so. It took everything great from Aria of Sorrow and doubled it. Unfortunately, it tacked on some DS specific features such as stylus action (a good idea from Nintendo that was poorly implemented in most games out there; just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to develop for it, programmers) in the form of having you draw “seals” to defeat bosses in the game. Wisely, I’ve heard Konami dropped that from later games.

Did I mention the game is just gorgeous? I seriously thought it was in HD when it came out, things were that crisp and clear and colorful.

Now here’s the sad confession. Dawn of Sorrow is the only Castlevania DS game I’ve played. The rest have been sitting on my wish list for a few years now. But, I picked up Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles on PSP a few years ago, and finally picked it up last month and started playing through it, mainly the port of Symphony of the Night from the original Playstation. And the game is awesome. However, having played all the Game Boy Advance and one of the DS games that came out after Symphony of the Night, it sorta feels like “more of the same”, although Symphony clearly was the inspiration and source of artwork and sprites for most of the latter games. And in some areas, Symphony hasn’t been surpassed in a 2D Castlevania. Unfortunately, I quit playing a few weeks ago and haven’t picked it up again yet.

So there you go. My experiences with the Castlevania games. I’m really looking forward to playing the rest of the Castlevania games as well as the recent console Castlevania. But that’s for another time.

Not the most exciting speedrun as he just abuses the game and it’s not recorded in good quality, but you can still get a feel for it.

Music Monday – New Music

11/28/2011

It’s funny. The guy who wrote that we should sing new songs continually had a son that said there was nothing new under the sun. That takes a special kind of rebellion, I guess.

korn – get up

red hot chili peppers – the adventures of rain dance maggie

Yes, my music tastes are eclectic.

Music Monday – Mock the Devil

11/21/2011

“One must always do what Satan forbids. What other cause do you think that I have for drinking so much strong drink, talking so freely and making merry so often, except that I wish to mock and harass the devil who is wont to mock and harass me. Would that I could contrive some great sin to spite the devil, that he might understand that I would not even then acknowledge it and that I was conscious of no sin whatever. We must put the whole law entirely out of our eyes and hearts, — we, I say, whom the devil thus assails and torments. Whenever the devil charges us with our sins and pronounces us guilty of death and hell, we ought to say to him: I admit that I deserve death and hell; what, then, will happen to me? Why, you will be eternally damned! By no means; for I know One who has suffered and made satisfaction for me. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where He abides, there will I also abide.” – Martin Luther

Teen Mania

11/16/2011

So this is something. Christian Nightmares found this MSNBC piece on a Texas based “ministry” called Teen Mania, where those who are desiring a deeper relationship with Jesus can go through a form of Christian boot camp in order to teach them self-control and beat their flesh into submission.

Watching this video was interesting. A bunch of disenchanted teenagers being called to something new, something deeper, with a desire for their life to have meaning. You can hear the rhetoric in the leaders throughout the video: “we call people to not be Christians, but disciples of Christ“, etc. Frankly sickening, and stuff I’ve heard before.

The experts MSNBC brought in to go over the descriptions of a cult are on the right track. Pretty much every point they bring up is illustrated through testimonials of either survivors or cult leaders and participants. The “group rhetoric” one makes particular sense. Words have meanings, and it’s very easy for them to change their meanings and for everyone to be speaking in “code” when they are using the same terms as “the enemy”. That’s another big sign as well: everyone outside of the group is unsaved, unspiritual, just doesn’t understand, not a forerunner, part of the problem, etc.

Yup. I’ve had enough. In a way, watching this MSNBC piece was prophetic. I’m starting to think this is where the majority of Christianity is going, sadly. Leaving Christianity, whenever I actually do, may be an act of grace and mercy from God.

The video embed may not work, but you should watch it nonetheless. Parents, be wise and discerning, and warn your kids about environments and organizations like Teen Mania, and in particular, do your best to not create an environment where young believers are drawn toward these types of cults.

Side comment – ever notice it’s those who are most closely associated with cult type groups that are the hardest on “watchtower”, “discerning”, “cult watch” type of blogs and ministries? Maybe they are burying something…

Also ever notice that cults teach how to watch out for and avoid cults?

Doctor Who

11/15/2011

The best Doctor and the best Companion, Martha Jones

The best Doctor and the best Companion, Martha Jones

I mentioned in a previous post that my first Doctor Who episode was “Blink”, with the Weeping Angels. Very Doctor lite episode, but with enough teaser about the regular episodes to want me to watch from the beginning.

And I have. I’m currently watching the David Tennant specials before watching his final episode as the 10th Doctor before Matt Smith takes over as the 11th Doctor. And I’ve been absolutely loving this show!! I’ve been watching 3 or 4 episodes per day, as Netflix is removing all Doctor Who (and Torchwood!) at the end of the month. Stupid, stupid Netflix. So right now I have maybe 3 more specials to watch plus Series 5 of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who run.

Some of my thoughts regarding Doctor Who:

• David Tennant is my Doctor. While I quickly grew to like Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor, he only had one season. And when it comes to outer space episodes, I much prefer Christopher Eccleston, yet I prefer David Tennant on Earth. Eccleston was first the bad guy from 28 Days Later to me, so I had a tough time accepting him as an extraterrestial time traveler. He was just some guy in a leather jacket. David Tennant seems more “doctorish” to me.

• Martha Jones is my favorite companion so far. She is stunning, brilliant, fantastic, funny, and keeps on coming back.

• Rose Tyler is an interesting character, but it took me a while to get past the spoiled blonde girl look, yet near the end of Series 4, she really comes back with a vengeance.

• Captain Jack Harkness is awesome. Which probably says something about me, but I’m not sure what. I wouldn’t change a thing about him.

• Weeping Angels. Daleks. The Pit. These are my favorite villains.

This show is getting under my skin. I don’t know if I’m going to become obsessed with Doctor Who like so many currently are, especially since I don’t much care for Matt Smith or really any of the new cast with the exception of River Song. I was pretty mad when Martha Jones left, especially since I really really disliked Donna Noble in her first appearance, but their decision to rein the character in a bit was quite good.

I like this show. I really do. Doctor Who is brilliant tv that fills the void American television has had lately. I’m glad I finally took a chance on it. I remember seeing Doctor Who books all the time in libraries growing up, but it just seemed some cheesy, weird space Sherlock Holmes type of thing. And I guess it kinda is. But not this Doctor. Not this Who. This stuff is brilliant!

Allons-y!

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