By Brandon Adamson
132 pages, Copyright 2008
Publisher: Wasteland Press (PDF Download)
That’s right! Just $2.50!
Written by one of a generation raised on “choose your own adventures,” Sidequests is one person’s chosen adventures, a somewhat oxymoronic search for mutual understanding in the confounding world of our time. Though nonlinear in theory, Sidequests is actually more along the lines of a loosely linear hodgepodge of poetry and philosophy, one which vaguely explores the ever blurring line separating man and machine, reality from dreams, past, present, future tenses, the world above, the great beyond, and various random things in between. A nostalgic piece of pop culture analysis, heavily influenced by 70′s sci-fi, and which contains a plethora of vastly obscure references, Sidequests is a book written for escapists by an escapist artist, a fugitive from one’s generation, fleeing to the sanctuary of an overactive imagination. The author, a self described “bard out of time” somehow finds enough with which he (among other things):
-ponders the struggles of what to do with one’s life once redemption appears highly unlikely
-attempts to reconcile race relations through the “Return to the Planet of the Apes” cartoon series
-manages to intertwine states’ rights politics with the classic 8-bit Nintendo game, “North And South”
-periodically delves into romance, misogyny, and love affairs with humidity. -introduces a new line of cologne called “Despair”
-makes the case for considering the remote possibility of intelligent design (while not openly advocating it)
-pontificates on the ambiance of illegal immigration and overpopulation -includes a passionate commentary on how The Monkees are “better” than The Beatles.
-Uses hamster science experiments as an analogy for long distance relationships.
-fantasizes of being able to time travel and live out the remainder of his life in the mod days of the sunset strip in 1966 Los Angeles.
-claims to deeply identify with “The Pink Panther” (the cartoon version)
Double Dragon (1994)
Double Dragon was a very popular video game from 1987 and is considered to be one of the first successful examples of the “beat ‘em up” genre. The characters had to beat up and destroy every enemy onscreen before you could progress further.
Basically, you were forced to fight and/or kill everything to get anywhere in the game. No puzzles to solve or anything. It was pretty much tailored made for people like Mike Tyson.
The film is loosely based off the game. It takes place in a then-futuristic Los Angeles of 2007, now referred to as “New Angeles” as it has been crippled by a large earthquake. The city is styled as a mix between a post-apocalyptic and 80′s/90′s punk environment. Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee are two brothers who poses half of a powerful ancient Chinese talisman. An evil gang leader has the other half, and is determined to get the brothers’ half to have the complete medallion and gain absolute power.
The movie stars Scott Wolf as Billy Lee and Mark Dacascos as twin brother Jimmy Lee. Also starring Alyssa Milano as Marian Delario and Robert Patrick as antagonist Koga Shuko.
I am positive the thinking behind casting Scott Wolf as the lead star was based on his role in PARTY OF FIVE, the baby faced, teen heart throb. Neither of the main stars seem to know any martial arts or fighting training whatsoever.
Like the movie version of SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, the producers didn’t seem to be going for authenticity, as more a movie aimed at teens only, but by the time the movie came out, most of their demographic had never played the game.
Its very PG style action, bordering on G, if it weren’t for the raw sexual chemsitry of Alyssa Milano (LOL). It is a pretty horrendous movie, but I know that I like watching it before bed because it wont give me nightmares. Totally safe to show any kids.
Fun Trivia (for Brandon): In one scene, Kogo Shuko asks his henchmen (Huey and Lewis), “Huey, Lewis. Any news?” a reference to the band Huey Lewis and the News.
Time for pictures!
Billy Lee from the video game and in the movie:
Jimmy Lee from the game and Jimmy Lee from the movie:
Marian from the game, and the movie
and Robert Patrick as the villain…. sort of…..
Picture a middle aged European guy with a thick foreign accent attempting say “Sex In The Movies” and it would sound something like the title of this review. Let’s get right to it shall we?(the review not the sex!)
Veteran pop singer/songwriter and Twitter verified social media megalomaniac Jonathan Sakas came out with a new EP a while back that didn’t get the attention that it deserved. Jonathan is known for writing dance songs about his favorite(or least favorite) subjects, sex and sadness. If you think those two things don’t go together at all, then you probably haven’t had much sex in your life.
The 2nd track on the EP is “I’ll Never Ever Let You Go,” is weirdly reminiscent of the Taylor Swift hit “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” It’s as if it were the obsessed crazy guy from that song telling his side of the story. Being the misogynist that I am, i’m inclined to take Jonathan’s side on this. Bros before hoes and all, but man it’s Taylor Swift(one of the only classy people left in pop music ever since Miley Cyrus started sticking her tongue out like Gene Simmons from KISS and nudging down the path of Britney Spears’ shaved head era.) As a bonus, “I’ll Never Ever Let You Go,” actually even includes some LFO style rapping(Rich Cronin RIP.)
summer love that you’d only find in movies
we were cool like the pool
but we were hot like a jacuzzi
My other favorite tune on this EP has got to be the opening song, “Movies.” It has a lovely melody and memorable lyrics and is simply a pop gem of of a jam. You can just feel it when it starts to kick in during the chorus, which appears to include a reference to none other than Leo on the Titanic:
It’s like we think we’re in the movies…
We always know just what to say.
So even though the ship is sinking…
we hang on another day
Basically this music is a lot like the crap they play on the radio, except better and made by a more intelligent person with actual creativity and talent(but minus dancing ability.) So if you enjoy listening to the radio more than I do(not including AM oldies stations or ironically entertaining political talk radio,) you will love Jonathan Sakas’ album, 1984.
When most veteran trollish internet dwellers see the term “puppet masters” in a title, they start believing an incoherent rant about either the illuminati or the Anunnaki is coming. However, whenever I think of the word “puppet,” I’m reminded of “Senor Sock,” a talking sockpuppet from the classic 90′s show, “Talk Soup.” When I think of puppet masters I drudge up memories of Metallica and my own regrettable metal phase in 7th grade, the pictures from that era not even being suitable for a #tbt post on instagram(much like the photos from Halloween 1986 when I went dressed as PeeWee Herman.)
Anyhow, what’s all that have to do with the Noise Puppets, another electronic music project from Australia? Absolutely nothing, except for the fact that an article reviewing weird music demands a bizarre intro if it is to reach it’s targeted demographic. As for the Noise Puppets, they(I say ‘they’ because it is somewhat ambiguous as to how many are involved or whom they are, and I think they like it that way) describe their music as “weirdo dance music from down under,” and I have to say it lives up to that description. What I noticed pretty quickly while listening to Noise Puppets’ debut album “Social Paranoia” is the diversity of styles within individual songs. It’s not uncommon for a song to completely change direction midway through. For example, the 5th track “A Matter Of Time” starts off with an almost tribal feel to it. If you listen creatively, you can hear imaginary voodoo chanting in the background as you picture a death scene from the Bond Film, “Live and Let Die“. However, shortly after that, the song morphs into spacey sci-fi “the super computer is about to attack it’s human creator” mode. The tracks all maintain this level of unpredictability, which keeps the listener engaged. When a song clocks in at 7:00 minutes plus, nobody will listen to the whole thing if they think it’s going to be the same loop the entire time.
The opening track, “Let’s Go F*cking Mental” opens similarly to the Brian Jonestown Massacre song of the same name. Beyond the opening though, they are not even remotely similar. It’s a solid way to kick of the album, with plenty of energy that sets the mood for some creepin’ on the dance floor. If I had to describe the difference in tonality between Subterralien and Noise Puppets, I would say that though they utilize many of the same synthy sounds and patterns, Noise Puppets’ music has a slightly more tribal or groovy feel to it. My favorite song on the album is “Midi Evil,” a catchy tune that seems to be the most melodic of the bunch. Noise Puppets also get bonus points for coming up with cleverly abstract titles that somehow manage to accurately convey the character of each individual song.
You can(and should) purchase Social Paranoia here.
I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t another article about illegal aliens tunneling underground to get to their day labor jobs or a paranoid warning of a surprise Chinese invasion such as the one depicted in the 1967 classic, “Battle Beneath The Earth.” Perhaps less controversial(but equally as creative,)I’m actually talking about an electronic music artist from Australia, who goes by the name “Subterralien” and is currently signed to Face Melt Limited.
He describes his sound as having “elements of glitch hop, IDM & psychedelic trance,” yet his Twitter account simplifies this further, stating matter of factly, “I make weird music.” Most people in the US who listen to his new debut album “Modnar” would likely associate it with the popular 8-bit old school video game or chiptune music movement, bringing to mind groups like the Minibosses. Yet Subterralien’s music seems slightly more artsy and creepy than the geeky and nerdy. I would say it goes back a bit further in time stylistically as well. His sound would fit in nicely in the era between 1976-1982, the tracks reminiscent of the synthesized background music of John Carpenter and other scifi/horror films of the same period. For example, the song “Madspace,” would not have seemed even slightly out of place on the soundtrack to Logan’s Run(Hollywood please spare us from another awful remake of a beloved movie.) “Mangoloid,” on the other hand(track number five) seems to have more of early nineties techno vibe, bringing back some fond memories for me of big pants, chain wallets and “Rave Krispies.”
The best way for me to describe Subterralien’s album would be “retro futuristic.” In the same way that the dystopian films of the late 70′s depicted a future that once seemed way ahead of where we actually ended up(but not so much now,) “Modnar” is still slightly ahead of it’s time musically, mostly due to the fact that mainstream pop music has taken us so far intellectually backward. Do the world a favor, buy this album. Support melodic music that is interesting, that you can dance to, and that won’t shave points off your IQ in the process.
Seriously though, I don’t mean something fleeting like the Beale Treasure or that German gold bar stash out of “Kelly’s Heroes.” Rather I’m talking about musical treasure, a little known band from Melbourne, Australia, called “Secrets Of A Wooden Hut.”
About 5 seconds into their EP, “From The Outside,”I realized just how incredibly polished their songs are. The production values are as good as anything on the radio in the USA, but without the dumb lyrics or overproduced “autotune feel” that plagues most top 40 American music. My favorite song on their EP has to be the catchy and melodic track, “The Madness,” which I listened to several times in a row. The lead vocals by Samantha Sharpe(an unassuming and mild mannered yet amazing singer) really sparkle. They carry all the songs well and are assisted from the effects which were chosen by some people who obviously know how to mix a jam. The same can be said of Heath Mitchell on guitar. Out of the zillions of different pedals, amplifiers, plugins, filters, etc, he manages to nail down precisely the perfect tone for the music at hand. Drummer Scott Murdoch keeps a solid clean rhythm without any of those overly abrasive hi-hat frequencies I’ve come to expect from indie bands that still play traditional drums. Watching their mini documentaries, you can’t help but notice that for such a talented bunch, the members of Secrets The Wooden Hut seem uniquely down to earth and likable.
If there was any area for Secrets Of The Wooden Hut to improve on, it wouldn’t be in the music but in the marketing. They need more exposure. That’s the thing with treasure though. One actually has to get curious, take the initiative and go out and listen for it.
If you really want to annoy your romantic interest, just start talking like Edd “Kookie” Byrnes when you’re hanging out with her. I used to listen to this album around Christmas time in 2008, and after a while I started actually talking like this dude in real life on a day to day basis, to the disgust of many people. I picked up a lot of his phraseology and lingo. Enjoy a girl’s mortified reaction when you hit on her by telling her she’s the “ginchiest” in town. Or if you really want to impress her just say “I do 130 in a full house Deuce, with a Corvette mill on nitro juice.”
I wish I could find some of the other songs on this album to post…
Your GF will get mildly irritated but you can’t help but listen to this on repeat. Don’t let her bag on your groove. Let me clue ya, some of the jams on here are so far out they’re in. Shazam! I mean we’re talking the maximum utmost! The best ones are “Kookie Kookie Lend me your Comb,” “I don’t Dig You, Kookie” and “Like, I Love You.” Kookie (Edd Byrnes) is Kaptain Kool and an American original.
My ex girlfriend’s response was always to roll her eyes and curiously ask the all too familiar “so, is this like considered music or what would you call this?”
This is part 1 in a series of movies released in America that are based off popular video games. I saw these mostly as video rentals from when I was growing up and some in theatres when I was an adult. The results weren’t always as bad as their reputation suggests. Here we go!
Mario Brothers (1993)
It’s logical that the biggest video game would be turned into a theatrically released movie. By 1993 anyone that played home video games knew who Mario was. He became the mascot for Nintendo.
I will totally acknowledge that this movie is a mess. It feels like a movie where the script went through several different writers and revisions. The story tries to stick too closely to the video game, which is pretty insane considering the game was about plumber saving a princess from a demon turtle.
The great UK actor Bob Hoskins is cast as Italian plumber Mario.
Colombian born actor/comedian John Leguizamo is Luigi (sans mustache).
and legendary Dennis Hopper starred as the monster turtle villain named King Koopa.
Obviously the reason people went to see SUPER MARIO BROTHERS was because of the video game. So to that target audience, it didnt matter who was cast, who was writing the movie, who was producing, and who was directing. They just wanted to be entertained. Entertain us! that’s what they must have shouted in their minds. It makes sense as the movie is based off a pure form of entertainment, video games.
I started this article with the intent to defend the movie in a way, to explain why I enjoy watching it from time to time. As a reminder of an era where studios began making movies strictly for the under 21 crowd. But then I was reminded of the passing of Bob Hoskins, and a majority of the idiots on the internet show their sorrow using pics from WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and this movie. That was a reminder that his amazing acting career had been reduced to kids movies. That made me furious.
So super fuck you to anyone who used SUPER MARIO BROTHERS or WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT as reference points when Bob Hoskins passed away. That is such ignorant bullshit. He was so much more than this kid movie garbage! Fuck WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and fuck SUPER MARIO BROTHERS!!!!
Go fucking see THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY!!
or MONA LISA!!
obligatory SUPER MARIO BROTHERS trailer… bur really, see the other movies first…..