Wednesday, October 27, 2004

MP3: Prodigy

Almost forgot to put an MP3 up...
Here's one I found recently. It's a chop/edit beats and breaks mix of Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". One of Prodigy's best tracks ever. And one of the most controversial, sexy, trippy and surprising videos ever.
The video plays over on XRM, btw. If you watch long enough you may catch it.

This mix is done by a guy known as JPL - Master Remixer.

Monday, October 25, 2004

GTA: San Andreas

Well, here we are on the eve of one of the most anticipated games of the year (the other being Halo 2).
We're gonna be dressing up at work for the release.

Get your thug on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

For the Couch Potatoes

Here are a few links that I've had stored for quite a while in my bookmarks.

Two are schedule grids (so you don't have to buy TV Guides or Satellite Guides). These are TV Guide and Zap2it. Both are really useful. I've been using Zap2it for the last few years. TV Guide is just as good, if not more well known.

TV Now has a theme search feature with lists movies for a particular theme. And it tells you the scheduled times and stations for them, usually within a month's time. You can get listings based on actor, actress, director, Sci-Fi, Horror, G-Rated, Martial Arts, Musicals, Foreign, Letterbox, Classic Comedy, Classic Mystery, Classic Western, 4-Star, Film Noir, Detective, World War II and Silent films. Very useful if you just want to watch specific types of films.

TV Tome has what would be the most comprehensive online guide to almost every show ever broadcast. Great resource. Includes episode guides and character info, as well as details about the original airdates. Here are a some samples: The Avengers, The Prisoner, Twilight Zone, Aeon Flux, La Femme Nikita, Alias, The Saint, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charlies Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Firefly, Star Trek, Batman, Mission Impossible, Moonlighting, Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

And for individual channels, here are the sites for BBC America, The Sci-Fi Channel, Starz Action Channel, Starz Mystery Channel, Sundance Channel, and The Independent Film Channel.

Monday, October 18, 2004

More Pulp Fantastic

I recently posted a blog about the new Hard Case Crime books. I hope it at least sparked a little interest in you folks to check them out.

I just got the third book, Top of the Heap, by Erle Stanley Gardner, yesterday. Gardner was the creator of Perry Mason. I'm not too keen on this one's cover but I'm sure given the level of talent involved I won't be let down by the story.

However, Little Girl Lost, by Richard Aleas, also comes out this month and has a very cool looking cover. So far, I've like the covers to this one and Fade to Blonde the best. I'll be keeping an eye out for this one.

And I just found out that Glen Orbik, who did covers for DC Comics' Pulp Heroes Annuals and American Century, has been chosen to do covers for Hard Case Crime. Orbik was my favorite cover artist during the Pulp Heroes event. He captured the pulp feel beeter than most everyone else. His work on American Century only proved that he was very at home with the style.
His first work will be for Branded Woman, by Wade Miller. It's scheduled to come out sometime early next year. Here's the cover:

Nice, huh?
Hard Case Crime.

Ten Ways to Get More Music in Your Head

One of the best reasons to have the internet and a dsl/broadband connection would be all the choices a person has to enjoy music. If you can think of a genre, chances are that there's someone out there broadcasting that very thing.
I'm going to share with you guys the stations or groups of stations that have had me enthralled in recent memory.

The one I've been spending some time watching/listening to recently is XRM's techno video stream. If you like Basement Jaxx, Underworld, Chemical Brothers, ATB, Tiesto or any other artists who fall into this category, then you should check XRM.
They even have a chat room, too, if you want to hang out with others who are also watching the videos.
XRM Radio.

KCRW and KCRW Music are Public Radio stations, much like Public TV (PBS). Both stations are broadcast over the net. I mention them because a show, called Metropolis, has managed to keep my attention. It airs weekdays and features electronic artists, usually premiering songs before you hear them anywhere else. Worth checking in on routinely just to see what's happening.
KCRW Music.

SomaFM has several streams branching from electronic music. One for droning, atmospheric music, one for ambient beats and another for downtempo. They just added a Trance station.

Digitally Imported was at one time THE internet broadcaster, with great quality streams featuring current trance, house and electronic music. Recently, however, they downgraded the free streams and put the better streams in a "members only" access. The free ones (at 96kbs) still aren't bad.
Digitally Imported.

Music One plays more popular and up-to-date dance, trance and house tracks. There is a rather annoying over-abundance of voice-overs and station identification, though.
Music One.

Global Pop Conspiracy is just different. You really have to check it out to know what I mean. Their website hasn't been updated in a month or so, but the stream continues on. There's also links to free MP3s on the site.
Global Pop Conspiracy.

Netmusique has three streams: Housemusique, Jazzmusique and L'Electrique. Great quality streams, too.

Another multi-streamer, Energy Radio has eight streams, including chillout and club.
Energy Radio.

Proton Radio plays mostly house music. I just found this station, so I don't have a lot of info. Sounds great, though.
Proton Radio.

And for those who like their music a lil rougher or darker, there's AmpedOut. They have a wonderful selection of industrial/ebm for your listening pleasure. Perfect station to listen to on Monday mornings. Or even after a long week of work. Talk about stress relief...

And for a bonus... An alternative music station from the campus of Southwestern Louisiana University, KSLU. It brings college radio to the internet.

Plus, here are two of the most useful resouces I've found for minding music on the internet:
Public Radio Fan -filtered to show only music programs.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Well... That Lasted Long...

As you may remember, I recently prrchased an X-Box. Along with Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and XIII.
Unfortunately, the system has been doing nothing but collecting dust as I spend most of gaming time playing Star Wars Galaxies. I've even gone so far as checking games out from work, such as Ninja Gaiden and Chronicles of Riddick... both really great games... but I just can't invest the time into those games that they require.

So, I've decided to make a change.

I'm going to trade my X-Box for a Gameboy SP. Why? Because it's more accessable to me.

If during Star Wars Galaxies I find myself waiting for a planet to load, I can conveniently pick it up and play for a bit. I can keep it by the bed and play there before going to sleep. If I was to get up and sit to play the X-Box, I'd just turn on the computer. They're at the same spot.
And I can take it with me. Wherever I go.

I think I need a little hands-on for a while to really make a decision, though.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

MP3: Aphex Twin

Here's another song from the Amp vaults.
This one, by Aphex Twin, is called On.
A nice ambient track featuring a persistant high melody contrasted by a slow and steady, deep, resonating bass. It also has a slight rumble of thunder in the background at times to keep you relaxed.

Review: New Mutants #18-37 and X-Men Unlimited #43

Beginning with the Demon Bear story in the issue pictured above, New Mutants (a book I was already a bit interested in as I had read the first few issues) took on a much more energetic look and feel.

Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, this era introduced us not only to the Demon Bear, but also Rachel Summers (the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from the future who comes to the present and becomes the Phoenix), Warlock (an alien renegade who seeks refuge with Xavier's students), Legion (one truly messed up individual) and reunited us with a member long thought dead who's put on quite a bit of weight and gone insane. We also get an appearance by Cloak and Dagger, popular characters at the time that never had much in the way of direction.

This part of the series surely stands out to me as the peak of it's run. I also consider this one of Bill Sienkiewicz's biggest achievements. And it wasn't until after I saw his art in New Mutants that I became aware of his past work in Moon Knight. At the time I started reading comics Moon Knight was only sold in comic shops. And I had yet to see such a place.
Sienkiewicz's art had a great impact on me and I find myself quick to accept artists such as Alex Maleev (Daredevil) and Tommy Lee Edwards (The Question) because of their similarity.

I recommend checking this run out. Don't worry about missing anything previous to #18. The shift in the art and the ability of Claremont to make it accessible leaves nothing necessary from the earlier issues. And as for after #37...

Well... that's easy. The reason why it closes up so well is that they all get killed. Yep. Each and every one. In #37 they have a run in with the Beyonder, a God-like being who was the antagonist of Marvel's Secret Wars II crossover event at the time. He considers them an anomaly and decides to clean house. Killing them all off, he then removes the school from existence. One of the best endings to a book ever. With great characterization of the characters in a sort of tragedy style.

For those of you who are curious... The Secret Wars II story ended between #37 and #38 and the team returned to existence.
#38, while not part of this suggested reading, is worthy of note for the cover which was very fitting.

I was a bit disappointed, however, with X-Men Unlimited #43. I actually had higher hopes for the book. It really did serve as nothing more than a reunion for Chris Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz and the New Mutants. What could have been a fantastic event for longtime fans was marred by a rather trivial plot that appeared forced to get the characters together. It was nice, though, to experience a bit of nostalgia for a time that deserves to be remembered.

Friday, October 08, 2004

A Patriot Act

Well, November's almost here and I was originally considering not to vote. Not because I don't care about the future of my country. But, rather... because I just wasn't sure which candidate would be better for the position of President of the United States.

This is a very stressful time for my country, where a President has done great on one hand and poorly on another. And to replace him with someone who is yet to be tested is just as worrisome as keeping him.

I have friends who are voting for Bush and I have friends who are voting for Kerry. And they all have legitimate reasons. So, I'm sure they'll respect me for my decision as I respect them for theirs.

I'm voting for John Kerry.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

More Galaxies Screenshots

I said I'd be posting more pics soon. And here we go. For this batch, I'm focusing on my friends. All three of these guys live in the same town with me and we've all been buds for quite a while.

The first one is Schlona (shown in the pic above -he's the one on the left). Originally a Bounty Hunter, has has recently switched to Commando. We have a bit of friendy resentment to each other as he's a Rebel and I'm an Imperial. But we still get along pretty well.

This is my friend Nakiel (again on he left). Currently working on making a fortune by Smuggling, he has to have two houses to store all his stuff. Also an Imperial, but of lower standing, he calls me "Sir" most of the time. I kinda like it. However, I know that Schlona is secretly trying to persuade him to change over. And I don't think he's really getting all that money from smuggling...

And this is my other friend, Asraizi (on the left again -by the green droid). Unlike us "normal" types who play humans, Asraizi is a Bothan, which is best described as a dog-person. He's working on becoming the best Scout in the galaxy. After visiting his house, I asked why he had no bed. To which he replied, "The world is my home, every bit of ground my bed."

I snapped this pic and felt it belonged with this set. This is me looking over as my friend Asraizi, after being incapacitated, finds a bull ronto on top of him. It was really quite dramatic. Once we killed the ronto it made a very satisfying (and loud) thud when it fell. On top of my friend's body. You can see his arm protruding out from under the ronto's neck. I laughed a long time. I tried to hide it, but my countless typos that followed only made it evident that I could not control myself.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Return of the Pulps

Ohhh... look what I found: Hard Case Crime.
I got the first two books, "Grifter's Game" and "Fade to Blonde", yesterday.

They have a great line-up for their first titles. And what really got me was the brand new pulp style covers!

I just started reading "Grifter's Game".
I have read some Lawrence Block stuff previously, but they were all short stories reprinted from pulp magazines.

This is cool stuff, indeed!

BTW... the website has sample chapters of each book, along with the covers.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

MP3: Dire Straits

One of the reason I like some '70s songs is because it exhuberates a sense of gritty, urban earthiness. Kinda hard to explain. Perhaps I have some sort of suppressed memory where I'm attacked in a dark alley on a rainy night or something.

Anyway, I will say that for some reason music like this makes me want to turn the lights down, smoke a cigarette (and I don't smoke) and get all decadent. Which to me was what the '70s was all about.
Cigarette ashes on a torn carpet, with a stained wall of faded panelling reflecting the glow of a dirty lamp through a thick haze of smoke. A record player (one of those big console types, with a tv on the bottom) plays Earth, Wind and Fire in a level that just barely covers the sound of night itself.

Quentin Tarantino gets this. As does a few comics writers, like Dennis O'Neil.

So, turn down the lights... pop in Six Blade Knife and take a trip to the underside of the city.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Mis-Adventure!: Money Matters (1 of 1)

Here we go. I'm going to attempt to move all my comics pages over from my old site to here. I was really worried about the resizing that blogger does to the pics and if it was going to make them unreadable. I think I can change the ratio in "Hello", but I haven't really messed with that aspect of it.

Bear with me as my work I've done previously has a bit of an amateurish charm to it (meaning it's not perfect). I was doing this as a learning process and I'm still learning to this day.

BTW... art and story copyright 2003, 2004 Lee Stone.