Midweek Media: The Jacked-in Edition

Y’all want some hot, sexy story time? Too goddamn bad, KB and I have both been sick in turns for over a month now, and since neither of us have a snot fetish, the hottest thing going is chicken soup.

So let me awkwardly tie together some of the media I’ve been enjoying lately. I mentioned in a previous post that I picked up a copy of Neuromancer (while at a sci-fi/fantasy focused con, as I might also have mentioned that I am a big nerd) and have been reading it on and off. It’s pretty much meat and potatoes cyberpunk, with the requisite fetisization of Japan, sex, drugs, violence and cyberspace that sounds a lot like the Vegas strip with more people wearing leather jackets and mirrored shades. I only consider it better than Snow Crash because Snow Crash has some extremely dense, repetitive exposition, and I’m not all that nutty about how a lot of male sci-fi authors write rather creepily about young teenage girls. Which is a shame because YT is one of the best cyberpunk characters I’ve run across. If nothing else, the opening chapter of Snow Crash is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read, and I love the uncomfortably close to reality franchise states and burbclaves. One of my great regrets of missed apparel is not having bought the Cosa Nostra Pizza shirt when ThinkGeek had it.

Coincidentally, I also recently ran across the NewRetroWave channel on YouTube, and I’ve been enjoying their focus on 80’s style retro electro, some of it more Miami Vice, some of it more Max Headroom. (1) One of the things from it I’ve really been enjoying the hell out of is Scandroid’s eponymous album. It is delightfully cheesy in a way that I find essential to good cyberpunk.

As a young lassie being trained for the technological dystopia rushing at us, I naturally played a lot of video games, and very much enjoy chiptune, the musical genre that fills of us who are old enough to remember 8-bit video games, with nostalgia. I can’t express how ridiculously delightful it is to see people making music by rewiring old gameboys, and that Kraftwerk once used a Nintendo Power Glove to make MIDI music. No, seriously, that last fact makes me as giddy as if I were in the Tour de France. (2) My current favorite is Chipzel, and I spend a lot of time listening to her album Spectra.

If you enjoy roguelike dungeons and beat matching games, Crypt of the Necrodancer has been really well received as a hybrid of the two, and Chipzel put out a remix album of the soundtrack.

I also really love the soundtrack to the game Open Hexagon. I don’t want to talk about the game. I REALLY don’t want to talk about Super Hexagon. *sulks*

I’ve also been replaying Final Fantasy VII (I’m pretty sure I scared off a twitter follower who followed for mean femdom and was like “WTF is this nerd shit?!”) and the beginning of the game is pretty classic urban dystopia. Shinra drops a whole goddamn section of the city on the slum dwellers for … some squiffy reasons about blaming the group trying to blow up their reactors. It’s a fun game, and generally emotionally effective, but the plotting is frequently silly and the dialogue is… I like to be kind and blame its general awfulness on the bad translation work. I’m really curious to see if they do a complete rewrite or just a better translation for the remake.

Finally, I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek: Voyager. The Doctor is my faaaaaavorite. Neelix is the Jar Jar. Janeway is a fine captain whose sense of humor and warmth are lowkey but present. I always thought that Riker was a low rent Kirk, but it turns out that Tom Paris is a low rent Riker. Harry Kim is a precious cinnamon roll and also functionally The Redshirt Who Survives. B’Elanna is #lifegoals (given that Kira Nerys is on DS9). These opinions are 100% correct. I could try to something something utopian goals/dystopia sci-fi something something to tie it in, but I just like Star Trek.

(1)I had to pause here in writing to look up on IMDB what Matt Frewer is doing these days… awww dammit, I really am going to end up watching Orphan Black, aren’t I?

(2) I’M SO FUNNY YOU GUYS DID YOU GET THE JOKE BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYONE READING THIS IS ALSO AN ELECTRONIC MUSIC FAN.

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Excitate Vos E Somno, Liberi Fatali

I am a giant nerd. Not because I’m a vast compendium of knowledge about a STEM subject, or a particular brand of geeky pop culture (both of those things are more descriptive of KillBoy), but because of the nerdy things I love. I don’t pretend that I like them for any high minded reasons and I don’t feel the need to excuse them as guilty pleasures. I am very much not at all a fan of the idea of enjoying things “ironically”… what kind of sneering asshole or insecure jackass does that?

Media that is both well put together and makes me think is appreciated, but I’m not about to pretend that everything I enjoy is somehow intellectually oriented. Though as a side note, none of it is beyond criticism. Sometimes I have to wince my way through bits of media that are more full of prejudiced content than a Hot Topic has Nightmare Before Christmas branded merchandise before I can get back to enjoying it. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed all the things about Rogue One and Fury Road that make brodudes on Twitter mad.

Sometimes I just want to shoot radscorpions, read romance novels in which the heroine is skilled in elemental based magic, watch Hellraiser for the nth time, or drive my darling property up the wall by demanding he stat out a housecat sized dragon character for me to play in our tabletop game merely because the whim took me. My favorite JRPG is Breath of Fire III. While the game is better than, say, Paper Mario, on thematic content that’s deeper than just saving the world/princess/MacGuffin, it’s mostly just fun. There’s fishing! You can turn into a dragon! There’s a bunny girl scientist and an animate onion! It’s weird as shit, brightly colored, and the soundtrack is jazzy and fun.

While I’d be happy to go to an opera and hit up a stage musical not too long ago, I’m the kind of broad who would be more impressed by an invite to a symphonic performance of the work of Nobuo Uematsu.

I don’t think that nerdery makes me particularly unusual: geekiness has become a mainstream thing as a wide swath of the population now plays some form of video games (candy crush doesn’t exactly use a deck of cards), a ridiculous amount of money and star power gets poured into blockbuster comic book movies (MCU 4 lyfe!) and an astrophysicist (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) has 6.5 million twitter followers

Right now I’m going through a serious bout of PS1 nostalgia and listening to various game OSTs on YouTube. It’s actually led me to remember a few games I haven’t thought of in years, like Azure Dreams and Legend of Legaia. The former ended up being so damaged by a bad removal of dating sim aspects that it literally had no ending, but I’ve put as many hours into playing with the monster tower as any game. The latter was incredibly hideous visually, even by the standards of the day, but had one of the most fun, interesting combat systems of the day in its genre. These are good memories for me, even if they haven’t always aged well.

Screw the the roses and the thorns. Just give me a footrub and be able to debate me on which Final Fantasy game was the best and don’t touch my dice or GTFO.

 

Midweek Media: Whistle While You Work

If you’ve seen Kill Bill, you’re probably familiar with the whistling tune that gets repeated throughout. The internet tells me that it also got played on American Horror Story, and that it was written by Bernard Hermann for a British horror movie named Twisted Nerve.

It’s quite an earworm for me, including today when I heard this while driving to work:

As it turns out, this is not the only time it’s been sampled in rap, Cayman Cline used it in “Crowns” a couple of years ago.

I’m really enjoying this Glen Chaos instrumental version with added beats

And finally, of the samples/covers I’ve found and enjoyed, here are a pair of danced up versions

 

Midweek Media

Lately I’ve been listening to a Pandora station that’s decided to unexpectedly serve up lots of modern swing, and I really dig it, daddy-o.

So, I’m bringing you a little Parov Stelar and Caravan Palace for your Wednesday.

If you enjoy this and like platformer video games, Parov Stelar did a track for Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, which has a really decent soundtrack. A free demo can be downloaded on Steam.