Saturday, December 29, 2012

The End of Year Review I: Music 2012

What a strange little year it has been for me in terms of listening to music.  There's not much that caught my attention this year and it was hard to motivate me to do anything more than purchase an album (usually on the Curse-Worthy $5 Amazon deals) and set it aside for my "listening pleasure" later.  It was the later that never really happened.

It also meant I did not really collect that much during the year but then TD5 came around in mid October and dropped a whole lot of music on me, while laughing maniacally the entire time.  He knew fully well that I would have no choice but to do something about it! But joke's on him because I only really listened to about 3 albums he gave me.  Mmhmm.  I'll get to them, TD5, I will.  But for the purposes of the Review...yeah, no.

Thus, I was stuck scrambling trying to cram most of it in at the end of year for this review I insist on writing and torturing myself with.

How fair is this review actually going to be then? As by the standard I did a few years, I listened to my albums and did a song by song rating for a best out of 5.  Of course, there are albums here that were not released this year as per usual and they will be counted towards my review.  In looking at it as a whole, there is probably only one that stood out as great this whole year.  That said, here goes...

9.  Muse - The 2nd Law

I saw it coming over a year ago.  The whole thing with the Unmentionable KHud happened, and I was not expecting much from Muse's new album.  And while it's undeniable that my expectations of Muse are incredibly high; I did not anticipate this level of rot.  Some may say that the album before this one is even more horrid but I think those people are blind.  There is so much to forget on this album that even being the best band in the world to see live, is not enough to bring myself to go see them on this tour.  It's downright cringe-worthy, this mess of an excuse for music.

It's filled with rip offs from other bands (tributes? no...hardly), pop sensibilities that cannot even masquerade within the genre and a whole lot of laziness.

Songs Worth Listening to (you know, if you had to): "Animal", "Panic Station", and "Survival" (the last I'll admit to liking if only that is the only true Muse song in the vein of some ridiculous grandiose thing you might find on Blackholes and Revelations.

H1 vs Or 2: 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Survival" over "Follow Me"

Album Cover Review: Psh.  Cool...I guess.  C-

8.   The Killers - Battle Born

TD5 was swearing by the great narrative qualities as exhibited by Brandon Flowers and while that's true, I could not bring myself to like this album all that much.  It was okay in an average sort of way but it started strong and I had hope.  The first track screamed inventiveness but then the rest of the album quickly descended into a sort of country feel that I could not love.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Flesh and Bone", and "Heart of a Girl"

H1 vs Or 2: 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "A Matter of Time" over "Deadlines and Comittments"

Album Cover Review: When it comes to The Killers, they do not often disappoint in this regard.  It's the least they could do.  B

7.  Keane - Strangeland

Admittedly, Keane will forever have a difficult task with any album they put forth after having one of the best albums in existence in Under The Iron Sea.  Yes, I am telling you that I will always be a biased jerk about it but can you blame me?

Strangeland does not come close but in its defense, it does recall the second greatest effort by Keane that was Hopes and Fears.  It does not quite get to that level even but there are some moderately good tracks to enjoy and it's not all a complete waste.  It's actually quite the average album making it non-offending, which is what Keane has become... familiar and familiarly dull.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Black Rain", "The Starting Line" and "Sea Fog".  The last song is mostly good save some bit at the end but it makes me realize that they should stick to songs about the sea.  That seems to work out for them.

H1 vs Or 2: 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "Still Life" over "Dive In"

Album Cover Review: It's a beautiful photograph but what's so Strangeland about it? It's reminiscent of another album cover great - Original Pirate Material.  I loved that one and I love this one too.  A-

6.  Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

At $1.99, I wanted to see what all the hipster fuss was about.  What I got is a very strange, uneven sort of listening experience.  Honestly, when I tallied up the songs total, they did not do so poorly on a song by song basis save that one song that achieved the unattainable - it managed to get a -1 on a sale of .5 to 5 stars.

They could be pretty fun in concert, I reckon but as an album...what exactly is their style? There are familiar sounds of Vampire Weekend (a band I don't care for really), Phoenix, Men at Work, electronic (?!) and one song in particular that is a call back to The Killers' Hot Fuss ("Hear Me") (and I have no problem with a Hot Fuss being that it held a solid place in my End of Decade review.)

Then there's the lead vocalist.  I have no idea what to make of that man's voice.  In keeping with the multitude of styles, his voice often sounds a bit out of sorts.  It's not grating but does not always fit either.  It's odd.

In all, it's a weird, uneven album all mixed together as if it's their first and last which leaves for a jarring listening experience when consumed in its entirety.  Direction? Who needs it.  And why not I guess, in a time when singles make stars and only nerds like me care about an album.

Songs Worth Listening to: "It's Time", "Bleeding Out", "Radioactive" and "Nothing Left to Say"

H1 vs Or 2: 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "Amsterdam" over "On Top of the World"

Album Cover Review: Reminds me of a dark video I watched this year by The Shins.  I like the dark colours and the expanse of wasteland.  A

5.  Menomena - Moms

I did not even know this was out this year! But TD5 and I happened to stumble upon a review of it someplace and it was immediately purchased.  The release of any new album from this bands leaves me excited at the promises of weirdness and uniqueness that Menomena creates.  But then it happened - we discovered that one of the three band members left the band.  I listened with apprehension, hoping that the one member whose vocals I enjoyed the most did not depart...Whilst understanding that they all equally contribute and there is no primary vocalist or writer.

Still... with a founding member gone (again, of which now two members had to create a plethora of sound and layering I've come to expect from them), I hoped for the best while expecting the worst.

From the very beginning, there was an upbeat quality to the usual melancholy.  It was completely unexpected while being completely refreshing.  Lyrically, it was biting and the weirdness and greatness of the music shone - talk about some heavy, in your face bass lines with underlying, accompanying drum beats! Sparse but noticeable piano keys all mixed in with Spaghetti Western sensibilities.  It was almost unrecognizable and daring while all the while retaining the Menomena quirk.

But it would not be Menomena without the brooding oddities with some of the content so sharp and disturbing that it can be quite the cringe worthy experience.  Somehow the album manages to present a more focused effort and that's not a bad thing necessarily.  I'm looking forward to the next and will enjoy this one greatly in the meanwhile.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Pique", "Tantalus", "Capsule", "Don't Mess with Latexas"and "Plumage"

H1 vs Or 2: 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Heavy is as Heavy Does" over "Giftshoppe"

Album Cover Review: Another fantastic, creepy cover.  Just stare into the abyss.  That's right my Master and I will do as you command and give you an A+

4.  The Shins - Port of Morrow

Had I not known that most of The Shins was no more, would I have heard the departure and a completely different band on Port of Morrow? James Mercer's voice is so distinguishable but it may have been a bit difficult and with songs like "Bait and Switch", it would be easy to be deceived by the fun nature.  Yet, as a whole, this album lacked some of the charm of their last (and super stellar - go get yourself a copy now) Wincing the Night Away.  

Maybe I'm just talking out of my arse since I have that knowledge in my head.  It's by no means a terrible album.  One of the greatest songs I've heard this year starts this album strong.  The aforementioned "Bait and Switch" keeps it The Shins happy but I found the album as a whole sort of average good (and on the quiet side) but it certainly is not without its moments of greatness but that's what I found - just some moments mixed into the otherwise solid listen.  Ah, the problems of high expectations.  But as with my initial short-sighted assness on Wincing the Night Away, maybe it'll take me a year or two to realize this one's potential.

Songs Worth Listening to: "The Rifle's Spiral", "Port of Morrow", "Bait and Switch", and "Simple Song"

H1 vs Or 2: 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "No Way Down" over "September"

Album Cover Review: Wait a minute...this seems a lot like Imagine Dragons'...but better!  A+

3.  Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

I was of the mind to dislike this or at the very least to be very "meh" about it but at TD5's insistence, I gave it an honest go.  What a year or a forced, repeated listen can make! Or maybe, this Sophomore album by Two Door Cinema Club is just better than their first (and I think I gave that a pretty poor review).  So good is this new one though that I have decided that I'll go back and give the first another chance.

Okay, maybe this album is not the best thing since sliced bread and as I'm looking at my notes, there were a few lowly scored tracks but of the 11, the majority were better than average songs much to my surprise.  One song in particular became an instant classic and on heavy rotation on first listen.  What I did like about this album was the musical arrangement on some of the tracks - the fast pace breakdown at the end of many of them or the initial set up (see "Pyramid") but I'm unsure on the ones that sound a bit smug - a (see "Pyramid").  There's some of the hipster sense going on here that angers the blood!

Still, decent work, Two Door Cinema Club.  Not bad at all.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Handshake", "Someday", "Wake Up", "Sleep Alone", "Settle", and "Pyramid" (okay, I'm still not sure on this last one).

H1 vs Or 2: 5 > 6.  A winner is H1 with "Someday" over "Sleep Alone"

Album Cover Review: I can't even begin to express how much I dislike this album cover.  Or wait, here we go:  F - -

2.  Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

On the one hand, I do not like the pull from different genres making this feel like an unfocused album but on the other hand, the album represents a complete celebration of music.

It's political, social, and off-kilter.  Give me an album that just flows one song to the next and I will be all over it.  With so many influences, it's actually a pretty terrific blend once you get used to the madness of it all.

Vocal maturity and accompanying fantastic musical genius make this album one of the most impressive displays of talent.  It starts like a powerhouse track after track and suffers only for being a bit too ambitious in length with closing tracks winding down the album and for me, some of the weakest.  And I say that yet, it's probably just the style I don't particular enjoy because they are still some solid numbers.

At it's core, The ArchAndroid is a brilliant journey in funk, emotional weight, dance, groove and all done with impeccable style in its artistic blend of classical, soul (and for good measure, a total Jpop styled song) and rock with heartfelt execution.

Songs Worth Listening to: "Dance or Die (feat. Saul Williams)", "Faster", "Tightrope", "Wondaland", "Oh, Maker", and "Mushrooms & Roses".

H1 vs Or 2: 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "Cold War" over "Sir Greendown"

Album Cover Review: I think it's safe to say that you put that cutie Janelle on the cover of anything and I will more than likely swoon.  Make her up to be a doe in headlights Android and I'm okay with that too.  Experimental, weirdly scientific and pure B rated sci-fi mess of a Goddess! ("goddess" term as coined by TD5) A-

1.  Kimbra - Vows

Yes.  In a strange twist that not even I saw coming, I've placed an album by a female artist that sings as my number 1 album for the year.  The fact that I have willingly listened to an album by a female artist that sings on my own is a feat in of itself!

I do it sometimes but... yeah.  I am not known to be partial.

Then that grating, overkill of a song by Goyte came out and everyone and their mothers seemed to be all up ons.  I can't say I cared but H1 did the kindness of showing me the weirdo featured as the guest vocalist on that track in her own video for "Settle Down".  I expressed my shared concern at the sheer weirdness of her hands flailing about but it was when Kimbra had a breakdown dance after some equally odd vocal quirks that I secretly fell in love.  I became TD5 in that moment but kept my interest to myself.

A superb Amazon digital deal later, I "bought" this album under the pretense that maybe H1 herself was interested in listening to it.

She advised me she was not and so I listened with my good pair of headphones (yes...recall that I used H1 as an excuse to buy this album for myself after all but shhh, no one knew!).

I was so drawn in by the vocal prowess of "Settle Down" that it took me a few days to move along.  What I found was so much damned talent, in a brilliantly, superbly high-valued production presentation with layers upon layers of intriguing sounds coupled with layers upon layers of Kimbra's own vocal ambition acting as a the stand out instrument holding it all together.

And then I discovered she could perform live like no other.

This album is nothing short of amazing in its powerful delivery, soul, and sometimes pop like fun.  It's everything I'd expect myself to hate and yet, what's crafted here is just so much diversity and beautiful artistry that it deserves every sort of praise I can throw at it.  Now to get those fools (MC and Frass, two fools!) on board to listen and love as TD5, H1 and I have done...

Songs Worth Listening to: A favour to yourself would be to listen to the whole thing but indulge your ears on "Settle Down", "Cameo Lover", "Good Intent", "Come Into My Head", "Sally I Can See You" and "Warrior" (H1's favourite and her best) and then go grab "Limbo" (bonus track on the Deluxe Version).

H1 vs Or 2: 5 < 6.  A winner is me with "Good Intent" over "Old Flame"

Album Cover Review: It's our cutie black, white and strange.  B+

Currently listening to: "Scarlet Fields" by The Horrors.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Some of you are already well into the Christmas festivities whilst here at the HOchieS', it's bed time.  We will update the blog later today for the Christmas loot but for now, Merry Christmas!

We hope it'll be a great day for all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Airing of Grievances: 2012

It's that time of year's time for Festivus!

And with Festivus, comes the Airing of Grievances.

You lot have been pretty horrendous, I must say and are all deserving of the following:

But since we only had one, we sent it to MC.  That's not to say he made Number 1 on the list this year but we happened to get a package out that day and in it went.  And had we thought it about well, X surely would have gotten that.  Mmhmm.

I was also hoping that the World was going to End on Friday so that I would not be re-gifted that coal next year.  H1 and I have decided that we will keep this coal circled among the frenemies.  So...think carefully, MC...

Until next year!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

Even though there are now only 22 days until the Zombie Apocalypse, I am still intent on wishing all of my frenemies some good luck because now it's just about wishing you to become zombies instead of zombie food.

Good luck, all and Happy December.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Knuckle to the Eyeball and Storm King

In the place of wandering off to a Black Friday shopping mess with the ever so thrilling expectation of being trampled upon and pushed by complete strangers, the HOchieS with Luuuiiissss, TD5 and a gaggle of children went off to Storm King's Art Center.  It was the sensible thing to do! And we did not even need a knuckle to the eyeball to help us think.

Frankly, we've never actually gone Black Friday shopping.  Or maybe there was that one time TD5 and Luuuiisss went...but since then, and even at that time, it's been all about Black Friday shopping at the Happiest Place on Earth -

No, no.  It's not Disney, fools.  I thought we discussed this already?

It was a brilliant day on Friday weather wise.  It was sunny (alright, that's not brilliant for me but brilliant for photo taking opportunities, if I must), and not a biting cold November day and it was in fact, the perfect sort of day to walk the acres at Storm King.

So a-walking we went.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to TD5 and Bughie J.!!!!

Was there cake this day? Lo Mein with pork? (on that I can be assured that TD5 had some) or maybe a cat meowing at your door at wee hours in the morning? Surely there only to wish you a Happy Birthday and surely not in some sort of twisted, evil cat plan?

Whatever happened, we hope it was a wonderful day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I trust my frenemies will have a wonderful day today even though quite the lot of you don't celebrate this day.  Just know we miss you all and that the HOchieS are thankful for all of you...  Some more than others.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

What the What.

My camera has finally returned to me and I couldn't be more excited.

And what sort of craziness do I get to take (awful) pictures of on it's first foray back into the world?

Yep, snow. 

I could not stay out there to take any sort of interesting pictures because it's pretty dangerous out there with the wind kicking up.

However, I just wanted to show you the shitnanigans regarding the snow, as H1 would probably want me to point out.

After the Hurricane last week and the Nor'Easter we're currently embroiled in, it's only serving to make me that much more convinced that the Zombie Apocalypse is soon headed our way.

Seriously though, this storm is a tragedy on top of all the hell many others faced last week and are still facing.

I did not get a chance to wish my good luck chant at the beginning of November but I'll wish it now for everyone.

"Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.  Hare, Hare, Hare."

November....please stop this ridiculous behaviour.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins and Lies at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

It's been a couple of years since we went to the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze at Van Cortland Manor, but it has not been long enough for us to forget the sights at the last exhibit.

October 12th was bitterly cold.  It was cold enough in fact, that Active Goat T. and Alex felt justified in proclaiming that "Winter is Coming" or rather, that "Winter Is Here".  I often marvel at their ridiculousness.  Everyone knows that the official start to Winter for our part of the world is December 21st.  Coincidentally, that is the start to the Zombie Apocalypse/Armageddon, so it's going to be our most brutal winter in the history of the world.

It might be the last Winter ever...but let us not dwell on that for now.

With the cold air, it was sort of nice trekking along with frenemies and family in tow, in the dark with our way lit by over 3,000 carved pumpkins.  It's the sort of fun October event to do to put one in the mood to celebrate all the tricks, treats and ghoulish fun of Halloween...

...Or so you may believe until you figure out that the exhibit is in fact full of shitnanigans.  As H1 and I made our way past the pumpkin grave yard, bursting with zombie hands (a preview of things to come in the near future) and single pumpkins that needed some grading (a lot of "F - -" pumpkins to be sure), our hearts trembled with fear upon the realization of something rather sinister.

Yes, even more sinister than this clownish, starry-eyed fool.  "D -", by the way.
 I believe it was past the house and around the bend that we made the startling discovery.

I don't know what is going on with those pumpkins on top of there.  I don't know what they're supposed to be.  Lumps of turds? Your guess is as good as mine.

The discovery was that not only was there a giant, skull faced spider lurking outside the house and the occupants should probably call in an exterminator for the hellish problem on their hands but it was also a very familiar spider.

No, no.  I'm pretty sure we did not meet him before at the bar or at a concert.

I'm fairly certain we met this very same spider at the Blaze some years ago.  I have no idea how long spiders can live (and this one may have been a special case being that...uh, he's...of special circumstances) but he was hanging out by some dinosaurs.

DINOSAURS.  The same damned dinosaur exhibit we saw when we were there the last time!

Look at them! Look at how familiar like they appear! Where's Stomp-a-saurus? Distant cousin to the Active Goat?
Logistically, there is no way for them to carve over 3,000 plus pumpkins to be able to withstand and hold up under warm weather conditions (which to achieve, they would have to be carving months in advance of October).

But, wax pumpkins? Fake pumpkins?! Are these the lies I've been dealing with all these years?! Are they using the same stencils and putting them in the exact same position as they did three years ago? Shitnanigans! Shitnanigans, I say!!!!!!!!

Don't you be beady-eying me!
And stop laughing at me Cheshire Cat!
Also, there are no such things as fairies!
And I will kick down your mushroom houses!
Ahem... anger aside, there were a couple of new portions of the fake exhibit that were spectacular.  There were giant jack-in-the-box displays as part of the Scary circus portion of the exhibit.  I did not get pictures of those because H1's phone battery died by the time we got to that point (and I still do not have my camera back from shop repairs hence double the anger and lack of blogging).

 Outside the house, a demonic dance around a giant fire pit looked like quite the fun to join in but alas, I do not think my living kind was welcome.

There were also some witches brewing some toil and trouble.  They also give us some stank eye which I did not appreciate.

But how is one supposed to take some witches with ridiculous hats seriously?
But perhaps the most brilliant display was the giant Grandfather, Halloween Clock complete with Jack O' Lantern Pendulum heralding the End of Times.  The Clock stood tall at the start of an eerie dirt road lined with mini Jack O' Lanterns that snickered and flickered off into the darkness, leading where? Who knows?

It was a spectacular sight and made me curse that much more for not having my camera to capture the sheer magnificence of the set up.

As I was standing there trying to get a decent enough picture to share, a chilling laugh could be heard in the dark somewhere down the path.  "That was not cool!", I shouted.  In that moment, it was fairly scary but yeah, it was actually fantastically cool and added so much more depth to an already amazing set piece. 

Despite the lies upon the realization of shitnanigans, we had a fun evening.  It's just not something we may revisit any time in the next few years or so.

Happy Halloween

Hi Ho, Halloween Hellions.

We're writing this to you from the past being that we do not know what the Future may bring on Halloween... 

There may be power, or there may be no power by the time Wednesday rolls around...who knows? As this is being written, we're just about to enter the extra dangerous spots of Hurricane Sandy that involve 60 to 80 mph winds.

With that said, we're saying goodbye to our Drinking Lego Robot.  Summer's long been over but without a working camera, we have not really been able to capture an ideal Autumn picture to represent on the blog.  What? Draw one? Yeah...I guess... but what's there to motivate us? WHAT, I SAY?!?!


Anyway, bye bye Drinking Robot.  Not that he has not had reason to drink as it has been unseasonably warm this October what with this Indian Summer type thing we've been having (and now a Hurricane...).

For now, hello to Halloween Hoodlums who dance around a giant fire where they're cooking up... humans.  I don't know, it's probably best not to ask or stare for too long lest you too end up as embers.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Currently: Listening to the wind outside, hoping to not lose power and thinking about everyone's safety.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Moon'ing

With Hurricane Sandy currently blowing through the Tri-State, The HOchieS are in our respective houses bunking down in true Harvest Moon style.

We hope everyone is safe wherever you may be during this storm.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Frass even though no matter what happens, he will get a lambasting some time this year.  You know, you're only making things worse for yourself.

Hope you are safe wherever you are with this madness of a Hurricane.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kimbra and Her Magical Frock in Limbo

It's true.

Kimbra has more than half a song in spite of what many of you clowns may believe.

Not only does she have more than half a song (as featured on Goyte's one-"hit" wonder song that was all the rage this year), but her album is 50 times better than that of the aforementioned Goyte.

It's an album that's actually 50 times better than most but I'll leave the gushing for the end of year review.

Thus, even threatening me with housing her concert at Webster Hall could not deter me.  Webster Hall's not that awful and it certainly is no Terminal 5 which I would have more than likely passed up.

But with TD5, Active Goat T., Alex and H1 in tow, I'm incredibly happy that TD5 and I did not pass up the opportunity to see the fantastic Kimbra.

We began the evening at Kenkas (sorry B.!) and ate a bunch of our favourites but nothing spectacularly strange as with past ventures being that Beetchie was not with me.  I don't think that gives me an excuse for going there without her and I won't tell her that the food was really good that night.

Especially our awesome fries which is fast becoming the only place to eat fries.

After a satisfying meal (and some trauma to the Active Goat's fragile, young mind of the aesthetics on display at Kenkas), we traipsed on over to Webster Hall for the best $20 concert I've ever attended.  In fact, I knew the evening could be nothing but awesome considering that's the cheapest I've ever paid for a concert.

That alone is amazing in itself.

Ushered upstairs, we were met with the sounds of opener The Step Kids.

We've seen some pretty horrendous openers in our time but The Step Kids should not be lumped with the lowest of the low.  They were more middle ground, I suppose.  Musically, they sounded pretty good but they were a bit too much funk and too much on a 70's vibe for my taste.  I mean, what business did these white boys from Connecticut have being so psychedelic, funk?!  It was funny save the forced falsetto of one of the vocalists ever so often.  That was done too much and everything just sort of blended into one song.

They did have an awesome little stage show though with the lights... 

...which you cannot really tell from this picture.  You can be assured that it was cool though.
After exiting stage right, and then brushing past us in the crowd (yeah, the drummer with some girl squeezed his way past us after their set was over), we had a little bit of wait while Kimbra's roadies set up her stage.  It was the point when her second microphone stand was set up complete with her boo boo tambourine that TD5, H1 and I lost it.

Some smoke machines later, a dimming of the lights and the extended opener version of "Limbo" playing over the loud speakers that things got under way.

It was quite the thrilling little builder of anticipation...I know I was excited as it's one of my favourite tracks.

There were lots of purple lights and soon, Kimbra came dancing out and straight into "Limbo", and she was dressed in an outfit that many considered doing for Halloween.  I loved its weirdness and the blast of multiple colours that Kimbra came dolled up in.  Soon, H1 dubbed the giant purple thing draped over her shoulders as "The Magical Frock" and so it shall be remembered from this day forward.

Our time spent with Kimbra felt incredibly short even though she played just about every song from her album but I guess time flies when you're having fun, which is exactly what we did.  We danced, yelled, screamed, cheered and marveled at Kimbra's genuinely excited demeanour.  The girl was so happy, it was too cute for words.

Scary at times, too.
 To recap as we always do, here are the highlights and lowlamps -

The Lowlamps

1.  I was expecting hipsters.  Hipsters are lowlamps for sure but what I was not expecting was probably one of the rudest crowd I have ever encountered.  I don't know what the fans could be categorized as but they were not hipsters.  Hipsters, at the very least, are polite and tend to stand around not doing much.  The jerks at this concert were pushing their way to the front, cutting off a lot of us and standing way too close to us and others in an attempt to get up to the front.  These people exist at all concerts but it was particular horrendous this night.

2.  The Great Herding of Webster Hall.  Marketing or herding, it was awful.  After Kimbra was done, there was a herding situation of epic proportions that had us going down flights of stairs and into a section for "more live music", the bar area (in which we almost lost TD5 because he was very tempted to sit down and have one) and an eventual street escape.  It was ingenious and pure evil at the same time.

The Highlights

1.  Our girl, Kimbra! Her vocal range is nothing short of spectacular.  She sounded great live and even better than on disc (if even possible!) changing up songs just enough to be interesting and not jarring.  Her personality on stage was playful, joyous and again, she was just so darn cute.  I think it's safe to say that TD5, H1 and I can highly recommend seeing her live if anyone is afforded the opportunity.  I really do hope this girl is going to get a lot more exposure than she is being given.

2.  Webster Hall's Sound System.  Everything sounded so incredibly awesome which H1 rightly pointed out at some point during the evening.  It was clear, and fantabulous.

3.  Two Microphones? Kimbra's vocal prowess is so intense that the girl needs two microphones to sing with.  Two.  At the same time.  It's a spectacle.  I say vocal prowess, while others might say she's a wide-mouthed frog.  Same difference?

4.  That outfit.  The purple Magical Frock that completed the outfit was just dynamite.  It wouldn't be a Kimbra concert without some weirdness/artistic madness and insane hand gestures on her part.  At one point the Magical Frock got away from her shoulders which she mentioned too as "having never happened to her before...must be New York". 

  1. 5.   "Settle Down".  Apparently, we weren't playing along.  By "we" I meant the fools in the crowd.  We were supposed to be singing along and we didn't (TD5, H1 and I did) but no.  Anyway, she restarted it and the entire performance was the best.

    The Kimbra at Webster Hall on October 19, 2012 Set List:

    1.  Limbo
    2.  Posse
    3.  Good Intent
    4.  Plain Gold Ring
    5.  Two Way Street
    6.  Marigold
    7.  Old Flame
    8.  Warrior
    9.  Something in the Way You Are
    10. Settle Down
    11. Cameo Lover
    12. Come Into My Head


    13. Withdraw
    14. Call Me
    As you can see from the set list, I got the better song.  Or rather, we had never heard that song before but it was quite the danceable fun song that I cannot wait to get on a follow up cd or something.   I managed to get the better song over H1's.  Heh.  I think I got choked for that at some point.

    In closing, (I don't know why my blog post just got messed up - unrelated but I cannot seem to fix it) it was a great night with lots of fun with friends and to Kimbra: Our hearts are already open.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It was Boohead's Birthday yesterday.  I blame my lateness on the Lego building that has been consuming our lives every evening since Sunday. 

Curse you, Haunted Mansion!

Little is it you're six years old already?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

Last month was terrible, I have to tell you.

Hope this one is better for all.

Good luck everyone.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A "Keed"napping at the Job

It was Thursday when members of The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. and Friends of Hello Kitty went missing.

A missing report with Reward details were posted.

I guess no one will take a knuckle to the eyeballs seriously.
A ransom note and follow up "demands" letter were received.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Have Not a Clue

If this trailer for the upcoming Wii U game "Little Inferno" does not creep you out, then you are a stronger person than I.

I have no idea what the gameplay is like but this trailer was enough for me to be highly interested and that alone is way frightening to me.

I absolutely adore it but mostly I'm pretty worried at the same time.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wii Send Thee Off

Yeah, it's been a while since I blogged so that was not the most clever of titles but hell, the Wii did not have the best name for a console either.  The concept behind it may have been sort of appealing but then the atrocity that is the "Wii U" name for the new console...::shudder:: is anything but.  However, like all things, I'll get over it and get used to it as well I'm certain.

For now, I'm doing a bit of retiring of the Wii.  Kinda...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to little H1 who this day does not get closer to zero.

I hope you like your prezzies and I am sorry for the boring Birthday post this year...what with the broken camera and all.  Yeah...I really should get that sorted.  And fast.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Gravity Falls

My dislike of Disney is still intact.

But, as I've always maintained - if the evil Disney dollars allows greatness such as Pixar to thrive (without an evil Disney hand involved in the creative process...something that sadly happened with Brave) then I can turn a blind eye.

The recent buzz surrounding Alex Hirsch's Gravity Falls had me curious to watch even if the show was on the Disney Channel.  I was not completely sold as some episodes were that much stronger than others.  However, thanks to some stellar voice acting (my immediate interest that Kristen Schaal was involved was enough alone to make me take the dive), top notch animation and a world built around the heavy influence of what can only be described as Twin Peaks meets The X-Files, I became hooked and I've not even seen all 9 of the episodes that have aired thus far.

The mystery and lore in the world of Gravity Falls continues to be stitched together quite interestingly each episode and the show has turned into nothing short of amazing in that regard.  And while there's so much more to talk about to get others drawn in as well (people, just watch it!), I was so impressed by the opening theme from animation to music - especially that music! - that I'm just going to leave this here for you to enjoy:

And then, I'm going to leave this fan video based on Adam WarRock's bit of mixing, rap fun to the main theme of Gravity Falls, (which is called "Made Me Realize" by Brad Breeck), here too:

P.S. Did anyone see Bigfoot in the original theme song video?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

Finally! August is out of the way.

Good Luck to all Frenemies in September as we begin H1's Birthday Month.

Also, if this post is posted on September 2nd, just know that I started it on September 1st in keeping with tradition.

It counts!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Adventures in the Last Week of August

The crap month that is August is finally coming to a close.  If the Zombie Apocalypse occurs at the end of the year, I'm sure I'll quite happily take another August over that.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to speak ill of the month in which my camera broke.  Yep, August continues to prove that it is pure evil because it was all August's fault that happened! Don't you see?!

In some sort of end of August madness, I wound up coming home late three nights this week for fun events with friends.

It was as if August was trying to redeem itself for its asshattery but I know better.

On Tuesday, I attended a Yankees game at the new stadium upon invitation by a work buddy along with Alex and Active Goat T.  While my usual practice would be to root for the other team other than NY (to be a contrary jerk - no other reason), on principle I could not do so for Toronto.  You know, Canada and all... haha, Canada! I only kid.

The Delta Lounge or whatever it's called.  Too lazy now to look it up.  Laaazzzyyy!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Happened

There are no high hopes for Muse's new album after hearing that rubbish new single "Madness".  If I could describe a pop song in the most disgusting of ways, I would do so for this.

However, there are currently no words to describe the horror.

That is all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unfreakin' Believable

Say what you will about the official song for the Olympics 2012 but as the OFFICIAL song, you'd think NBC wouldn't cut it out of their closing ceremony "broadcast", right?

It should come as no surprise to me the level of assness NBC has displayed during these entire games and yet they still managed to piss me off this day in one final hurrah.

I might be on a bit of a breakup from Bells but that is besides the point and what NBC did was really, really idiotic.


Yet I had to sit there and listen to that asshole Ryan Seacrest talk out of his asshole showcasing his lack of musical knowledge, watch Posh Spice almost fall off her car (which would have been fabulous except she didn't), Kate Moss heroin walk in a daze, Jessie J. butcher Freddie Mercury and waste two and a half hours of my life watching commercials and terrible performances when I could easily have wasted that time playing Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance instead.

Absolute brilliance, that.

Edit at 12:39 a.m.: I'm sure they cut tons of material and I'm seeing Kate Bush got cut too.  Complete shitnanigans.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Shitnanigans of the Olympics Google Doodles

What does it take to get Gold on Google Doodles Featured Page during the Olympics 2012?!

This week, the Google homepage has been hosting Google Doodles you can "Play".

On Tuesday, I jumped hurdles and made a score of 13.4 seconds, jumping every hurdle without fail and only got silver.


I call Shitnanigans!

Tonight, I was defending my goal like nobody's business in Football (which reminds me, I saw a great shirt today that read "I play football with my feet".  I need it) and managed to save 23 times.




Curse you, Goolympics.

I curse you with my silver tongue.

Oodles- of Noodle+

As if we were not gluttons enough the evening before (hell, we still have to eat a meal the day after, right?), we made our way to White Plains on Saturday to try a new Noodle place that had been getting a lot of buzz.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sushi in the Summer Time, with a Side of Blue Pig

It's Restaurant Week once more and once more, The HOchieS & Co. found themselves at Hatsuhana for sushi.
Fake candles were on our table.  It's almost as if they recall some sort of alleged fire to cloth napkin that may have occurred at our table last year.
It was Boohead who made the request but I was not opposed to the idea either.

Mk (sans X - much to her chagrin what with the pictures of sushi torture we kept sending to her during the meal) and new frenemy, "Active" Goat T* accompanied us for a night of fishy fun.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Chitauri, It is

In shopping for A'Face's Birthday presents and a potential scheme of racking up Lego Club points for the discounted purchase of a Haunted Mansion (which we have now estimated will take me 29.1 hours to build given my current building rate...ugh), H1 confiscated the Lego Captain America Avenging Cycle that I was going to buy for myself and squirreled it away for my Birthday.

I was bored yesterday, found it and built it.  I think this means I'm not getting a Birthday present come October 4th and I may be regretting things at the moment.  

In any event, I did not have that much fun building Captain America and his Avenging Cycle.  There was not much to it but I did love his shield and the finished product.  It was pretty cute.

So here's the thing with my abilities to use decals: I have non-existent skills.  From finger prints to crookedness, it's usually a right mess with me.  I can never be a Surgeon for many reasons and that's definitely one of them.  No comments from the Peanut Gallery, H1!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Buns of Fun

July is just a memory at this point and all the food fun we had, I never posted.  I tend to slack in the Summer because the sun and hot weather addles my brain.  Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now that August is here, I'll just to stagger the posts of all the food (mis)adventures we had in July because goodness knows there will probably not be much to talk about in August.  Ha.

You'd be convinced I like July but you'd be incorrect.  It's still part of Summer and it's awful stuff as far as I'm concerned.

All of it!

But as I said, we did have some adventures in food.

Thanks to Alex for trying to photo-bomb my picture.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

It's that time of year again...August.

I've nothing further on the matter except for good luck wishes to all.  Hope it's a good month.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back to Brunchie Munchies at Birdsall House

Ah, July.

Some may say that it's the Dog Days of August (those "some" are loons.  Dog days of Summer, perhaps...) but I know that you're one hell more of a bastard July.

Though you know July, as much as I hate how hot you are, August will always hold the spot for the "Most Boring Month of the Year" Award.  August is my vile nemesis but that is probably a well-known fact at this point.

At least things happen in July though by the looks of it, you'd swear the HOchieS have done nothing all month long!

And you'd be sort of correct in your assessment because there were many mornings of rolling into the house between the hours of 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. due to work obligations.

Hey...wait a minute, how come this July is sounding really close to anything but awesome right now?

...moving along...

This July found us on way too many Food Adventures and one of them included a trip back to the Birdsall House for brunch.

The last time we went there, I was cursing the concept of Brunch but certainly not the food at the amazing Birdsall.  This second trip with X and Moodou was no different.

What better way to start brunch than with Hard Apple Cider? Hm?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Final Fantasy VII Taught Me

Recently, I finished Persona 3.  

 It took me some years - almost completing one play through and then booting up an entirely new game with some 80 plus hours later (not counting the 60 plus I previously sank into my first run) - but now it's over.

This time around I enjoyed the game that much more including building up my S-Links (relationships), fusing Persona and of course, that soundtrack by Shoji Meguro.

While I may have almost finished my first playthrough, I never allowed myself to listen to any later tracks on the soundtrack since I had not yet encountered them in the game which of course meant not listening to the Final Boss music.  It's a bit of a code that Bughie J. and I enforced many years ago and a sensible one at that.

And if Final Fantasy VII taught me's that you need to experience everything as an entire package while playing to build up that great memory you will forever hold dear; and you should always (if a game is good and enjoyable enough) play your games to the end.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


In case you missed it a couple of posts down, I've come to the realization that I enjoy building Lego sets.

Now, I've only done two so far and while I'd like a Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria set and The Avengers Quinjet set, there's one set out there on the horizon that makes me forget my wish for a Cave Troll or my desire to destroy a Lego Black Widow.

I present to you, the Lego Monster Fighters Haunted Mansion set:

As if it was not cool enough, it actually opens up like a play house with various rooms in your typical haunted mansion - a torture/potion/kitchen type room, a creepy basement, and a piano room.  I may be stretching it wtih a 'torture' room but I'm using my imagination as Lego would like me to and thinking up things my Haunted Mansion will have, okay? Okay.

Even cooler!!! (because why stop there), the set comes with a a zombie chef.  A zombie freaking chef.  And! ghosts...ghost that glow.  In.  the.  dark.

In discussing this with Bughie J. (Confidant for all my musings of ridiculous schemes involving Lego, toys and video games (while kindly reminding me I have a Hot Toys Loki to pay for at the end of the year)), we decided that all manners of things can live in this Haunted Mansion.

Some where along the way, the conversation on the Haunted Mansion went a little like this:

Me: ...people could live in there.  Like Loki.

Bughie J.:  and command his zombie chef to make him fish n chips! and Dalek cakes for you.

Me: He and I still trying to sort out the alleged chortling.  Let's not talk about it.  There was no chortling! pfppbbttfftt.  Hm? What? You heard nothing.

Bughie J.: Nothing? Or Something.

Me: Uhh...pancakes? No, nothing.  Really though, do we want to eat fish n' chips from a Zombie Chef?

Bughie J.: Depends how good!

Me: It's probably Gollum's fish, all rotten and stuff.

Bughie J.: Might be worth the risk.  Fish n' Chips and all.

Me: True.  True.

Bughie J.: Plus i'm sure the alcohol will protect me

Me: Who's brewing alcohol in the basement? The ghosts? Well, who else to brew some alcohol than some spirits, I guess.

I can see great things for this house and great frustration in my trying to build it.  14+ difficulty at 2,064 pieces, huh? Should make for hilarious times.

Currently: Trying to justify spending $16 for tax and shipping on the Wizard Edition of Ni No Kuni

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