Monday, September 18, 2006

I used to know how this worked

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May I help you?

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Red Wall, RED WALL!

Here is our nicely painted RED WALL :)

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Barenaked Ladies are Mp3

Barenaked Ladies are Mp3

Like a caged animal I paced my cube, anxiousness and anxiety rained, anticipation had reached epic proportions, and yet my mailbox remained empty. I awaited a package, a package of two shiny plastic discs, their contents the album Barenaked Ladies are Me. As a 'rational' fan of the band, I have been eagerly awaiting the album since the start of the podcast.

This anticipation escalated with my attendance of the live concert I was lucky enough to attend back in May. That anticipation compounded when I was able to pre-order the album with a copy of the live concert I attended midway through the summer. The anticipation, which had taken on nearly anthropomorphic qualities (I call it Frank*) reached feverish new levels Tuesday, September 12, 2006, the day the album was released.

Now Frank and I didn't see eye to eye on CD release practice, as I understood it, CDs are generally available in store stock rooms the Friday prior to the release, so that stores can ensure they are all labelled and skew numbered before the unwashed masses smash in the door on Tuesday mornings. In the dark corners of the music store industry it is whispered that you can get your hands on those albums in the days between Friday and Tuesday, but it is required that you know the secret handshake. From an online distribution point of view, it is typical that these albums be packed in their shipping packaging, and labelled on Friday, and sometimes are even placed in the mail, so that they may be processed and delivered on or near the Tuesday of release (in some rare cases, where you live beside the post office you may get the album on Monday morning, record labels have accepted this concession in exchange for quelling the rabid fans.) These rare Monday cases not withstanding, one should receive the Album at some point during the week of the release. That is, unless you live in some esoteric local, like Antarctica, Alert, or Milton, Ontario.

Before I explain what that means, let me recount Frank's difference of opinion on the practice of CD releases. First off Frank expects a shipping tracking number from the online store, so he can obsessively press refresh on the tracking website, following the progress of his package as if it were a real time GPS tracking system. Also Frank expects the package on the release date, why does he have this irrational expectation? Simple, if it doesn't show up the same day it is available in stores, then why the heck did he buy it on the internet in the first place? This is of course the catch, Frank used the internet, because he wanted that exclusive pre-order content, curse his fanboi behaviour. Now, anticipation (aka Frank) is much like a werewolf, and failure to meet his expectation is his full moon. With a full moon he grows into an ugly savage beast, a beast that is generally not cordial to communicate, and has a tendency to savage those who cross it. Also, much like the mythical beast, anticipation-lycanthropy is apparently communicable as my poor friend Brad found out. Unlike a werewolf who is governed by the fortuitously short lived full moon, my beast becomes more savage until the anticipated event finally arrives.

So now that you understand the expectations both Frank, and my more rational self, you can see that when I opened the mailbox on Friday, September 15th I was nearly beside myself to find it empty. Hopefully I didn't receive anything important in the mail today as I transformed into my full beast form (I believe those in the know call it the Crinos form) and shredded what mail there was. Now the rest I can mealy imagine occurred, but in this age of docudrama I'm sure people will forgive my creative indulgence.

Meanwhile, at the Barenaked Cave, band members held Werkshop executives at guitar point while Barenaked Percussionist Tyler (Who was the creative inspiration for Fight Club's Tylar Durden,) drummed along with the tension in the air, tension so tangible the anger lines wafting from the band formed sheet music for a dirge so dire that if ever played would make all listeners fall to their knees and lament. Front men Steve and Ed berated the executives in their classic duet harmonies, "What do you mean our die hard fans who pre-ordered can't listen to our new album? These are our grass roots, these are our people!" Swiss Army Knife like musician Kevin Hearn punctuated their anger with vicious blast from his accordion. The simpering executives let out a wail of contrition, "My lords, my lords do not fret, we have a plan." "A Plan?" Steve questioned, "We are intrigued, tell us more?" Ed added. "Yessss, Massstes" and strange looking hunched executive began, his hands and fingers meeting with conniving intent, "Yessss, a plan, your fans, they love the masters, they worship the masters, they will wait for the masters, we shall makes them wait for the mas...." His sputtering was stopped with a choking sound as he collapsed to the ground unable to breath. Jim Creegan stepped from the shadows, and with a voice that is often attributed to Darth Vader, but in fact is Jim's true voice, and has only be licensed to James Earl Jones, and George Lucas, he uttered, "That is unacceptable." With a rasping intake of breath, Jim continued, "No, we shall not make them wait." He continued with at a measured pace, "We shall let them download our songs... Download them from the INTERNET"

Back in the real world, I was calming down from my empty mailbox inspired rage, when I stumbled across an email in my other mailbox. At some point on Friday, so version of the preceding conversation must have occurred, and awaiting me was a friendly apology indicating CD printing/shipping problems, and a link to download my album. Luckily for the band, the album met all my expectations, and that beastly anticipation was satiated with its quality. My actual CD's will show up in the mail eventually, but I've been able to enjoy the actual music (which is really what is important) all weekend. My initial impression is that I think this is their best album since Stunt. There are a lot of great tunes that are more the just a single quirky gag, or something repeated over and over. It also is a great look at the entire bands creative skills, while they are all in accord with what I've come to know as BNL, you really get to hear the individual style of each member featured in at least one song. Including Tyler reading the weather. I've rambled on long enough, so I will leave it with it's a good album, and I recommend people who were fans of their older stuff to give it a try, and a thanks to either the band or the distributor for taking the right steps to make sure those of us who really wanted the album got it, before it came to angry torch bearing mobs in the street.

*While I seemingly extracted this name from the ether it actually came out of this Penny Arcade comic, which I read recently in Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings, and linked to from today's news post.

Irresponsible journalism...

A continuation from last weeks link to the Toronto Star article on the Montreal Shooting, I saw today's Toronto Sun, and it is either a case of an irresponsible journalism, or inaccurate fact checking. Emblazoned on the cover of the Sun is the headline "Video Game Killer" adding layout balance to the image of the dipshit Gill aiming down the barrel of his gun. Now I'm at first questioning if this pathetic creature has gone on a rampage violating the civil rights of computer software with the weapon he is brandish with a poor facsimile of menace.

What the journalist I'm sure intends for me to infer is that this scumbagGill has been spurred to action by video games, while I appreciate the Sun's desire to sell news papers by using sensational headlines, this headline is no more factual then those you see on the tabloid rags at the grocery checkout counters. (A popular belief of my wife and her family, and a belief I subscribe to, is that one may safely read the headlines while waiting in the checkout, if you actually pick up these 'news' papers you will in fact become stupider.)

The truth is that video games were no more responsible for hisGill's actions then any of the myriad of other subculture activities he participated in. To single one out is to stigmatise that community, and gives us no true closure to the events that happened. In truth he Gill was a marginal human being, with no aspirations, or goals. He was shallow, and pathetic, and chose to make himself something by going out in wave of selfish destruction. We are giving him exactly what he wants, (sadly I am part of that problem right now.) Instead we should forget him; he should become an inconsequential footnote in the tragic passing of Anastasia DeSousa.

He should never be memorialized or canonized as the Saint of destruction and disaffected youth, he is neither worthy of that, nor mention. His actions, well tragic, do not warrant the level of attention they have received. I'm not intending to trivialize the loss or destruction that has touched the people involved, but his actions do not warrant the title of Massacre that they have been bestowed by some media outlets. So lets honour the victims, and forget... forget .... sorry, it seems I've forgotten his name.

*edited to reduce reference to the individual, as per Anonymous's suggestion

Friday, September 15, 2006

Avast, Make Sail for TLAP Island

Well me mates its that time of year again. Yarr, when the days getshorter, the coasts more trecherous, and Davey Jones trembles beneath the ocean, with a hunger that only blood of a fool headed sailer can slake.

So man your mizzen masts, stopper up the bung holes, and set sail for the high seas, because time has run short, and ITLAP Day is upon us! For you slack jawed land lubbers, thats International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and it be this 19th of September, arrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

There be more of this foolery when I return, but I must set sail for a tankard of grog on this fine friday afternoon. Consider ye selves warned, yarr!

Some Brutal Truth

Following on the heels of this weeks violence in Montreal is the pundits, the talking heads, and the finger pointers. Here is one account that I feels firmly points the finger in the right direction, follows it with a round house kick, and concludes with a different finger gesture.

I have nothing meaningful to add to this discourse, so I won't.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Long time no post, Wierd Al Album

Sorry for not posting for a while, but I have been using my blogging time reading, I will get into what I'm reading when I actually get around to posting, but I wanted to put this up because it cracked me up.

Anyways here is a link to Weird Al's new video, and his MySpace profile where you can download the track. The album is due out this month. You know, I almost thought he was serious until he got to the part about the golden hummers. Watch and enjoy!