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What I’ve Been Doing 22 April 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 22nd, 2013 by Dan

Christmas 2012

I couldn’t really think of a new, appropriate photo for today so here’s a picture of dogs in my family

Nothing really big going on this week. Played a lot of Tomb Raider and edited a bunch of episodes to prep for some dry times ahead.

Movies

Not quite this week. Hopefully this one, but I’ll also be fairly busy.

TV

Parks and Recreation – The most reliable Parks and Rec laughs for me nowadays come from the way everyone (Leslie included) mistreats Jerry. Top notch pair of episodes this week, guys.

The Mindy Project – The Santa Fe episode was pretty good. Not amazing, but I laughed.

Community – So tired of the Chang stuff. Don’t really care…The episode itself was passable. I chuckled a few times.

The Amazing Race – Man, I was so worried about Joey and Meghan getting eliminated in Switzerland. So glad that didn’t happen. S3 is shaping up to be fairly interesting too, so I dig that.

The Americans – So far they’re doing a pretty good job of ramping everything up, but I think the FBI stuff feels a little thinner without a partner.

Music

FZ: Side F – Disasterpeace’s collaboration remix album has some interesting tracks and interesting interpretations going on. Neat album for sure.

Books

Not this week either.

Video Games

DmC Devil May Cry – I’m really suspicious of Vergil. I think he’s a bad guy. Poor Kat. Still enjoying the game and I’m digging all the new weapons too.

Tomb Raider – I feel like I’m getting reasonably close to the endgame. There’s a lot more gun battle sections and that’s kind of boring, but at least the plot’s also moving along nicely. Still haven’t run into the Oni again, but the way they’re all hyping it up we’re gonna have a fun confrontation.

What I’ve Been Doing 1 April 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 1st, 2013 by Dan

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins 29 Sept 2012

Everyone loves to mock it, but it’s home.

It’s that time of year again, everyone. Baseball season has begun anew!

Movies

Ruby Sparks – Way darker than I expected it to be, but, then again, I always expected it to be skewering the manic pixie dream girl trope. Well acted and quick. I dug it more than 500 Days

TV

30 Clubs in 30 Days – Watched the Orioles breakdown with Katie. Pretty fun. I think the team will exceed expectations this year too.

The Amazing Race – Oh man did I mainline episodes of this show. Finished watching S2 this week and loved Danny and Oswald and hated Wil and Tara like everyone else. Also saw the Botswana episode of the current season and rather enjoyed it as well.

Happy Endings – They came back hitting the wordplay jokes (seemingly) harder than ever. Good, if not quite as strong episodes.

Archer – The Vatican City episode was ridiculously good, guys. Pam getting stuck by the heroin needle was pretty funny. They’re just making everyone field agents now, huh? I doubt we’ll ever see Cheryl in the field, but with all of this going on now, who knows?

The Daily Show – I really dug the strong indictment of the President on veteran issues. It’s not common for Stewart to be so hard on Obama, so it’s good to see it happen every once in a while.

New Girl – I’m not sure that the Nick Kroll stuff (or any of the family stuff, really) worked, but it was a decent episode.

Music

This isn’t the first time I’ve put a Disasterpiece track on here. Enjoy it!

Books

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Still making progress on this guy and still loving it. Truly epic. I’m at the part where the fruit company is there and I’m wondering what’s gonna come of that.

Video Games

Mass Effect 3 – Got through all the required missions and did the Javik one as well because having him come along makes the game infinitely better.

Bioshock Infinite – Has a lot of the same issues as Bioshock. Really pretty and I’m interested in seeing where it goes, but I’m not impressed yet.

Dead Space 3 – Co-op time with David. Man do I love playing co-op games with him. It’s so much better than randos and we’re able to get some fantastic jokes in.

Music of 2012 [F]
Jan 9th, 2013 by Dan

Colorful Dream

They’re not a real band, but I think you get the idea.

The biggest change in 2012 for me was the rise of Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Sure, I still bought plenty of music from Amazon or Google, but an increasing amount of the stuff I picked up came from the individual himself. I mean, why would I expect the Fez soundtrack to occupy a spot in Amazon’s mp3 store? Thanks to Bandcamp, I can just pick it up almost directly from the artist.

2012 also marked the year that genre walls were officially smashed for me. I think the only stuff I can’t really tolerate is noise metal. Just about everything else can penetrate my cold, black heart and move me to sing and dance.

I certainly never would have guessed that I’d be listening to so much hip hop and R&B back when I started this blog in 2008. It was all punk, rock, and ska, but now I cast a much wider net.

Top Artists of 2012

1. The Beatles (409)

This has been a mainstay of every list since the catalog re-release back in 2009. There’s not really much more to say about how incredible this band is so I’ll instead comment on the fact that I listened to them ~1,100 fewer times this year than last. I really spread out my music time this year…

2. The Weeknd (333)

I can’t remember what month it was when I discovered the trio of mixtapes just waiting for me online, but I will say that The Weeknd opened my eyes to R&B in a way I would have thought impossible. Without him I guarantee you that Frank Ocean would not be on this list. Everything about his music is simultaneously sleazy and sexy and so wrong it almost feels right. “High For This”, “Wicked Games”, and “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” are all stunners.

3. Sambomaster (サンボマスター) (326)

Another mainstay ever since my Japan trip. My understanding of the lyrics approaches zero, but I feel like I understand everything Takeshi Yamaguchi is trying to say with that heartfelt, almost mournful, sandpapery voice. As cheesy as it sounds, it speaks to my soul, man.

4. Frank Ocean (270)

Think about this: I didn’t get channel ORANGE until November. Everybody’s talking about this record, I know, but allow me to say that Ocean penned and crooned the best album of the year. Nothing tops this in 2012, guys. Nothing.

5. Jonathan Coulton (269)

Some people would have you believe that Coulton is a novelty singer best enjoyed in small doses. Some people are wrong. Coulton’s earlier work may lean on a geeky, nerdy motif, but, like I said last year, Artificial Heart really takes him to a new level.

6. Disasterpiece (240)

I listened to a lot of game sountracks this year thanks to the ubiquity and ease of Bandcamp. Disasterpiece’s moody, quasi-ambient work on Fez proved spooky, lonely, and mournful while also igniting that spark for adventure. It’s all synth-y, but the notes never feel quite right, which is pretty much what Fez is all about.

7. Yoko Kanno (202)

I bet you’re thinking that this is all Cowboy Bebop music. You’d be wrong. Kanno’s work on the jazz tunes in Kids on the Slope opened my eyes to a genre I’d ignored for most of my life. That medley in the culture festival? Pure. Magic.

8. George & Jonathan (184)

One of their tunes was the theme to Polygon’s podcast, The Besties, and the album, Beautiful Lifestyle, struck just the right balance of playful and fun without getting obnoxious.

9. Regina Spektor (152)

I fell for What We Saw from the Cheap Seats as hard as a person could for an album. “All the Rowboats”, “Firewood”, and “How” are all so stunningly beautiful that I want to be listening to them right now…In fact, I think I’ll go put them on.

10. Rodrigo y Gabriela (151)

The first entry that confuses me about being on this list. I still dig their stuff, but I don’t really remember listening to it that much this year.

11. The Civil Wars (136)

I’m really worried about the state of this band now that they’ve canceled their tours. What will I do without Joy Williams’ beautiful voice? I hope they figure it out.

12. Kanye West (129)

The current king of hip hop, as far as I’m concerned. Yeezy goes big. Even though I haven’t loved his collab stuff as much as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, I can’t help but come back to this guy time and time again.

13. Fall Out Boy (126)

So few bands know how to craft a tune as instantly catchy as these guys. Too bad they broke up.

14. Eirik Suhrke (119)

You may be wondering who this guy is. He did the music for Spelunky, a genius take on the Mega Drive soundchip that gives me that extra push to hit retry on the off chance that I get that sweet sax tune in the Ice Caves.

15. Tsunku (つんく♂) (114)

If I had properly tagged my Rhythm Heaven Fever music earlier in the year this number would be much higher. Academically I understand why other people might not love all the music in Rhythm Heaven, but in my heart I can’t understand why any awesome person would hate it.

16. Childish Gambino (113)

Part of that hip hop kick this year. Donald Glover is pretty awesome.

17. Nintendo (98)

You know what? I think that this 98 is supposed to be added to the Tsunku tally above. Hear that, Tsunku? You should be 7th.

17. Jim Guthrie (98)

The composer to the Superbrothers soundtrack knows how to make a sweet groove. Seriously, go check it out.

19. OK Go (97)

“Needing/Getting” will always be a favorite of mine because I’m a hopeless romantic (emphasis on hopeless).

20. Jasper Byrne (95)

The Lone Survivor soundtrack is responsible for this play count. It was equal parts creepy and beautiful and I couldn’t stay away last winter/spring.

21. Alex Cuba (91)

Man, that afro is cool, isn’t it? There’s a clarity and richness to his voice that soothes me and makes me feel funky.

22. Hannibal Buress (88)

Is your name really Hannibal? These plays are thanks to two of my favorite stand-up albums that I got this year. That Buress dude is pretty funny, y’all.

22. Ana Tijoux (88)

Saw her live this year. That was awesome. Her ability to spit rhymes in Spanish is mind boggling to me.

24. Juan Luis Guerra (85)

I wonder what percentage of these come from “Niagara en bicicleta”? (Answer: ~26%)

25. Kendrick Lamar (84)

I picked up good kid, m.A.A.d city at the same time (or close to it) as channel ORANGE and figured that it would definitely win, play-wise. Didn’t quite go like that, but trust that Kendrick Lamar’s rhymes are equally awesome. Definitely check out that disc.

Top 10 Tracks of 2012

1. The Weeknd – “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” (23)

It all sounds so drug-addled and sexy, but in a dirty way. This was the first track I heard by The Weeknd and the rest is history.

2. Juan Luis Guerra – “El Niagara en bicicleta” (22)

Quite possibly my favorite song ever? I honestly have no idea how it didn’t make the list last year.

3. George & Jonathan – “Little Marcus” (21)

The aforementioned former theme to The Besties. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and it’s super pleasant. A great little tune.

4. Carla Morrison – “Compartir” (20)

I would have expected “Una salida” to have this spot, but this is also a fantastic love song by a beautiful vocalist. Carla Morrison has this sweet, delicate voice that just breaks your heart while you listen to her. I absolutely love her and this song.

4. Neon Indian – “Polish Girl” (20)

I think I own two Neon Indian songs, but this chillwave track puts me in a spaced out place where I can’t not love it. Put a gun to my head and I wouldn’t be able to describe what makes this song so special, but I think it really does speak for itself.

6. Regina Spektor – “Small Town Moon” (19)

It probably ended up with the most plays by virtue of being the first track on her new album, but “Small Town Moon” is no slouch. It perfectly sets the mood for a thoughtful, beautiful album.

6. George & Jonathan – “Street Monsters” (19)

There’s really no good explanation for how this track got up here. It’s funky and it’s quick and I guess it got lucky compared to the rest of the album.

6. Frank Ocean – “Bad Religion”, “Pilot Jones”, & “Pyramids” (19)

And the list closes out with my three favorite tracks from channel ORANGE. All three of these are perfect in their own way. Be it the soulful poetry of “Bad Religion”, the simple hook of “Pilot Jones”, or that sexy electrofunk of the first half of the epic “Pyramids”, they all land so unbelievably perfectly on my ears that I’m shocked they’re not higher up on the list.

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