December 1st, 2008

wart

This Post Is the Pits!

As yet another indication that I have no life and devote too much of my brainpower to minor tasks, I've often wondered about the pits in the Super Mario Bros. series and other video games. When your character falls into one, he or she automatically dies. But what is it that actually kills them? I've heard rumors that the pits are bottomless, but if that's the case, how are they dying? If there's no bottom to hit, you presumably would stay alive until you starve to death, unless you die of shock. Or maybe you'd end up on the other side of the world, or burn in the molten core of the planet. If there IS a bottom, why would hitting that hurt, when falling out of the clouds to the ground doesn't? Are there spikes down there? Or are the pits actually wormholes to a dimension of instant destruction? What do you think?

I also have to wonder why Fire Flowers work underwater (are they GREASE fireballs?), and why Mario could originally breathe underwater indefinitely but no longer can. And how come you can only go down certain pipes, when plenty of others are big enough to fit into? Inquiring minds wants to know!

Speaking of Mario games, I might start re-watching my Captain N and the New Super Mario World DVD set pretty soon. Is anyone still interested in reading my reviews? I'll do a general post on the series regardless, but if no one has any desire to see my opinions on individual episodes, I might forgo them for the time being.
wart

Holy shit! World peace! All right!

So, it's Monday, and I'm not working! Hooray! I DO have to go get my oil changed today, though. Well, my CAR'S oil, that is. I don't use oil for my person. Anyway, bethje saw Stella live in Glenside last night. The opener was Eugene Mirman, whom we'd seen before with Michael Showalter and Leo Allen, and he was just as funny this time. It was the first night of the Stella tour, and the guys flubbed a few lines, but it was a great show nonetheless. In case you didn't already realize this, I tend to appreciate absurd humor. As an encore, they performed Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" with nonsense lyrics. After the show, the three of them signed stuff, but only one of them spoke to us. There was a long line for this signing, too, so I think I'll borrow a word from Beth, and say it was anticlimactic. Once we had left the theater, I told Beth she should have mentioned to Michael Ian Black how she'd held his sandwich once (which is true).

While I was at the Keswick, I bought tickets to Aimee Mann's Christmas show, and I feel stupid that I didn't ask whether there were any cheaper seats. Oh, well. I guess we'll get a good view this way. And the little advertising slip for the show says that Nellie McKay will be there, so that's cool. Oh, and speaking of Aimee, are there any publicity photos of her where she DOESN'T look gloomy?
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tmbg

No Album Review This Week

Get it? Because I'm reviewing the album No!? It's a pun, see? Oh, you're no fun anymore!

Anyway, They Might Be Giants' first children's album came out less than a year after Mink Car, but it was actually a project they'd been working on for some time before that. I think they had trouble finding a record label willing to release it. I think they ended up with a quality product, though. It's short, but in terms of song quality, it's easily on par with the "adult" albums they were releasing around the same time.

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One thing I appreciate with this album is that, while it's geared toward kids, it's still something older TMBG fans can enjoy, which isn't as much the case with their later children's records. I've seen interviews with the Johns where they said No! wasn't as good as the later kids' albums because it wasn't aimed at any specific age group, but one of the things I've always LIKED about TMBG is that their music never seems to be intended for anyone in particular. I get the impression that the Johns' attitude is more, "Here's some music we want to make, and if you like it too, that's awesome!" Granted, writing songs for a specific age group is different than writing them for a particular record executive or subculture, but still. If the later records have sold better, I have to wonder whether that was due to anything the Johns did, or more to the fact that they're Disney products, and hence have the Mouse's mega-marketing machine behind them.

There are still a few TMBG albums left, but they all came out since I got this LJ account, so I've already reviewed them. In case you missed them the first time, here are the relevant posts:

The Spine
Venue Songs
Here Come the ABCs
The Else
Here Come the 123s

I'm inclined not to review these again, but I would be interested in knowing what you think, so why not participate in the democratic process?

Poll #1307665 Future Album Reviews

Would you like to see new reviews of the more recent TMBG albums?

Yes! I want more recent opinions, consarn it!
3(27.3%)
No, you've already done them, so why bother?
0(0.0%)
Only mention cases where your opinion has changed.
8(72.7%)

What should I move on to next?

Side/solo projects by the Johns
2(18.2%)
EPs and miscellaneous stuff
7(63.6%)
Move on to another band already!
2(18.2%)
Quit doing these reviews! I'm sick of them!
0(0.0%)

When I'm done with TMBG, what band/artist should I start reviewing?

XTC
6(54.5%)
Young Fresh Fellows
1(9.1%)
Frank Black
2(18.2%)
Other (identify in comments)
2(18.2%)

Which of these do you consider to be official TMBG albums?

Severe Tire Damage
0(0.0%)
Long Tall Weekend
0(0.0%)
TMBG vs. McSweeney's
0(0.0%)
Mink Car
0(0.0%)
No!
0(0.0%)
Here Come the ABCs
0(0.0%)
Venue Songs
0(0.0%)
Here Come the 123s
0(0.0%)
Matt's Life Savings
0(0.0%)
Jesus, Hitler, and Me
0(0.0%)
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wart

I know our posters say "think differently," but our real slogan is "no refunds"

So, I saw Sunday night's Simpsons and American Dad episodes. The former wasn't too bad as far as recent episodes go, but the plot was very predictable. The subplot wasn't integrated that well either, but I did enjoy some of the swipes at Apple, obvious though they might have been. (Not that I have any particular dislike for Apple, but I can't quite understand people thinking they're some kind of hippie anti-company.) American Dad wasn't one of the better episodes in recent memory, but it was pretty funny. I liked seeing some largely forgotten characters from earlier episodes, like the mountain man and his Jewish wife. And Roger as the Phantom was pretty good.

I have to go to the doctor tomorrow, but there isn't anything else going on that I know of. That probably means you're going to see more useless entries from me. I'm sure you're all thrilled, right? :P