Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gogol Bordello

Boasting an incredible nine members, gathered from all corners of the former Soviet Union, plus one American and two Israelis, Gogol Bordello represents itself as a legitimate spiritual successor to the gypsy music of old. With elements of punk, cabaret and dub, the majority of Gogol is fast-paced, high-energy music that makes you want to get up and dance like nobody is watching. Well-known for their theatrical concert performances and never-ending touring, Gogol is a band that must be seen to be believed.

Frontman Eugene Hütz may be the most inspiring portion of Gogol, however. Following the disaster at Chernobyl, he was evacuated to the Western Ukraine where he fell in love with the mystical quality of gypsy music. Experiencing life as an outsider himself while living as a refugee in Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Italy, Hütz took to heart the quality of the gypsy lifestyle: emotions that can easily be felt in his singing and playing.

Gogol's music has appeared in quite a few films, but most prominently in Wristcutters: A Love Story, where the main character is partly based on Hütz, who has appeared in two other films: Everything Is Illuminated (with Elijah Wood) and Filth and Wisdom (a film directed by Madonna).

(As a sidenote, I highly recommend all three movies.)

Friday, March 25, 2011


Down + Quarter Circle + Forward + Punch = Hadouken!

Pumping up the bass, Hadouken! rustles my jimmies like the girl at the Dairy Queen, and I'm not talking about my ice cream. With influences in the techno and electronic genre, Hadouken is self-described "new rave," with emphasis on synthesizer riffs and an incorporation of guitar, along with Game Boy sound samples. The band's lyrical focus is on modern youth culture, but their most recent album is themed around nuclear war.

Hadouken! is exemplified by their danceable beats, moshable bass, and hooky synth, as demonstrated in the following song:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Achievement Unlocked

Thanks for the support everybody! I figure I should use this occasion to make a little informational post, perhaps?

For starts, my name is Sean and it's nice to meet you all. I'm unemployed, but not by choice, I live in a semi-popular tourist-town in New Jersey where people either break free or get stuck here for the rest of their lives (clearly I am hoping for the former). I go to community college, earning general education credits while I try to figure out if I want to spend the time at a four-year school or not.

I'm a writer at heart, though I feel as if I can more accurately express my intentions through visual means (drawing and the like), but I'm not artist, so for the past month or so I've been doing figure drawing and slowly honing my skills. I have a lot of dreams, a lot of things I'd like to do, to try. My primary goal, though, is to make a webcomic that is popular enough to support myself on. Many have tried, many have failed, but perhaps where they made mistakes, I will prevail.

In my spare time I also play guitar and I've been trying to learn music theory, but it's some complex stuff. I also enjoy anime, though not nearly to the extent that I used to, and have basically sworn off cable television in favor of Netflix. I own an Xbox 360, though I will always be a Nintendo fanboy. If you happen to own a 360 and play Halo: Reach or L4D2, my GamerTag is "Sean Fury" and I'd be happy to have some new friends to play with (if I'm ever on, don't bother asking, just jump right in).

Okay, I'm going to shut up now. Thanks a lot for following me guys and I hope to entertain, mystify and instill further knowledge into you in the future. Cheers!

EDIT: As a sidenote, I've started up a second blog two more blogs, because I feel like I need to rant sometimes it. If you'd like to follow it them, you can find it them right nyah and over nyah. Also, I like love strikeout.


On the eve of my co-op completion of Borderlands, I felt it only right to take the time to switch things up and give a little insight into the apocalypse style world of Pandora (Na'vi need not apply). For the sake of atmosphere, listen to "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked" while reading this post.
The opening cinematic is narrated by Marcus Kincaid, your character's bus driver and purveyor of weapons and ammunition. Following his explanation of where the hell you are, you're given the option to choose between four different characters: Mordecai (The Hunter), Roland (The Soldier), Lilith (The Siren), and Brick (The Berserker). Each character specializes in certain weapons, but their real draw is Action Skills, unique to each character: Mordecai has a pet hawk named Bloodwing, Roland can deploy a sentry turret, Lilith possesses Phasewalk that allows her to turn invisible, and Brick gets angry and kills everything.

Marcus shortly kicks you off the bus, where you are greeted by the, sometimes lovable, and other 90% of the time annoying, Claptrap. The game throws you right into the mix with a, move-at-your-own-pace tutorial that gives you the jist of the game's mechanics, followed by your first friendly NPC (Claptrap doesn't count) and the beginning of a seemingly endless chain of quests.

One of my favorite things about Borderlands is that, while many areas are "off-limits" until you complete story-related quests, you are still given a lot of room to explore and trust me, you will. The creators of Borderlands aren't shy about shoving treasure into every nook and cranny of this game. However, like the original Fallout games, you will be punished for treading unknowingly into high-level territory (Alpha Skags are your worst nightmare for a long time). 
This leads me to another favorite feature: Second Wind. When you are reduced to 0 HP, you will enter "Crippled" status, at which your character will scream for help and take a knee. The words, "FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE" will appear, along with a draining red bar, signifying the time you have left before you expire. This works in two ways: a co-op ally can come revive you , before your bar drains and you are teleported back to a New-U Station (for 7% of your credits), or you can kill an enemy for a Second Wind, which will fully restore your shields but leave you in critical health.

One of the big draws to Borderlands is the dark, campy humor, reminiscent of hilariously bad 80's movies. Unfortunately Borderlands doesn't feature much voice-acting outside of "HEY" and "RAHSDUHDAH." Following suite, you can see the game itself mature on playthrough. In the beginning it seems kind of goofy, the cel-shaded graphics ring of a childish tone and the jokes are often facepalm worthy, but as the story progresses and your search for the Vault becomes more serious, the game itself becomes more serious. Enemies begin to look like enemies, rather then baddies you'd see in a Bruce Campbell movie, and the quest flavor text becomes richer. 

The one major flaw I found in Borderlands is that, if you want a challenge, you cannot explore: you have to do the quests and the quests alone. If you, as my friend and I did during this co-op playthrough, explore other areas rather then jump right to the task at hand, you will find yourself over-leveled and laughing at the enemies feeble attempts to kill you (example; I have a blue quality shotgun that shoots nine bullets at once and at close range, I kill basically every enemy in one shot, and I'm playing as Mordecai). 

Other than that, which is an easily remedied ailment (you end up going to every location on your map anyway through quests), I would have to say that Borderlands has easily Phasewalked into my heart. And for those wondering, the level cap, with the four additional DLC (there's a Game of the Year Edition out as well that has all four DLC packs with it) is 69. For comparison, my friend and I are level 35 and have clocked in about 20 hours worth of game time. 

Now get off my bus.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vitamin String Quartet

Have you ever wondered what Mozart would compose, were he modern musician? Look no further than the Vitamin String Quartet. Self-described as being "about applying rock n' roll attitude to classic technique," VSQ has covered over 100 separate albums by popular artists such as: Daft Punk, Bob Dylan, The Clash, Dragonforce, Elliot Smith, Foo Fighters, Jimi Hendrix, Korn, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and many, many, MANY more. With a diverse catalog, VSQ brings a literal army of classically trained musicians to reach out into the depths of the music scene. Even for those who do not possess an air for classical music, one must be impressed with the skills this collective group possess to transform such genre defining songs into something completely new.

I highly recommend you open up RainyMood while listening to the following song and, indeed, all of VSQ's discography: it takes the music to an entirely different level.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Machinae Supremacy

A metal band from Sweden, how original.

I kid of course! Machinae Supremacy is anything but music for your average headbanger ball. Self-identified as SID-metal, Machinae Supremacy incorporates a Sound Interface Device from a Commodore 64 to produce their electronic sound. Combined with intense riffs and stunning vocals, this band is what Tron would have on his iPod.

Many of their tracks can be downloaded for free from their website and I highly recommend the album "Overworld."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birdy Nam Nam

From Paris, France, not much is actually known about this low-key DJ crew: aside from their stunningly intricate turntablism music. Using music from friends and their own music catalog, they press beats and patterns into vinyl and assemble their music live. A sight to behold, one might refer to Birdy Nam Nam as psyclectric, as they have gained a cult following in the astral realm of psychonauts.

An eclectic mix of electro with a hint of hip-hop influence, Birdy Nam Nam has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the music world, stunning SXSW goers in 2006 with their debut. Their goal has been stated as to use the turntable player as a actual musical instrument and not just a medium.

This post is dedicated to Triper, who I am sure will enjoy the following music video.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Relatively unheard of, even in their home town of New York City, the release of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game garnered the band a cult following of thousands of people with robot ears: Anamanaguchi skyrocketed in popularity.

A chiptune band, Anamanaguchi unleashes their fast-paced, upbeat, 8bit style rock through synthesizers made out of a hacked NES console and Game Boy. Perhaps it's the nostalgic value of the beeps and boops that keep us coming back for more, calling us back to the days of sitting on our living room floor with a 15 inch television. 

Or maybe they just rock.

A little unconventional, but please help

Please reblog this!

This girl is endangering her child by frequently drinking hard liquor late in her pregnancy. Please join the fight to have her child taken away and her punished in a way that is deemed fit by the law enforcement. Social services will not do anything because her friends and family are publicly supporting her.

Please help, because if we don't do something, nobody else will.

Link to the facebook group (click me).