Archive for the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: PHISH-Buenaventura (2013).

Buenaventura was a bonus CD with Ventura featuring ten tracks handpicked from Phish’s March 21, 1993 Ventura Theatre show.

So, the same venue just four years earlier. The mix has a lot of bass—its not bass heavy but you can really hear all that Mike is doing.  There’s also a lot of echo on the voice.

“Maze” sounds great with a long keyboard solo followed by a long guitar solo.  “Sparkle” has some pretty piano and ends with some really fast guitar riffing.

“Divided Sky” opens with mostly with piano and bass (a high solo from Mike).  There’s some great solos where you can really hear mike playing along.  “Split Open and Melt” is great–a long ending solo where Trey goes nuts until it all just “falls apart,” ending with just drums and then some very sharp three note progressions.

Then you hear him say “Let’s do ‘Lawn Boy'” which he dedicates to the guy who taught him how to surf yesterday.  They follow it with “Tweezer” which is notable for there being a chorus of them singing “Tweezaaaah.”  After the Ebeneezer section there is noisy chaos and a noisy solo till it all sort of crawls to a halt.  Then they launch into a really fast “Llama” with lots of really fast keys from Page.  “My Sweet One” is also really fast and then segues into a “Big Ball Jam” which is mostly a wild drum solo with other instruments peppering it.  The disc ends with a romping “Cavern.”

After all of these full shows, it’s a little weird to not have excerpts, but it’s a nice sampling of a show from 1993 and it’s a great collection to boot.

The full show consisted of:

SET 1: Maze, Sparkle, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Esther > All Things Reconsidered, Split Open and Melt , Poor Heart, Punch You In the Eye, Lawn Boy > Possum

SET 2: Loving Cup, My Friend, My Friend, Rift > Tweezer > Ya Mar, Llama, You Enjoy Myself, My Sweet One > Big Ball Jam, Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin’ Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood , Cavern

ENCORE: Sleeping Monkey, Sweet Adeline, Tweezer Reprise

 [READ: November 21, 2016] The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device

Madras Press publishes limited-edition short stories and novella-length booklets and distributes the proceeds to a growing list of non-profit organizations chosen by our authors. For this particular book, proceeds to benefit the Arkansas Literary Festival.

This book is a grown up choose your own adventure.  And who doesn’t love a choose your own adventure story?

The one thing that was a mite disappointing is that all of the stories end up in the same place, but I guess that is the point after all.

Your choices are things like: would you say that you’re not wasting your life? [page 33]  Would you say that you are? [page 109]
If you decide to stop for a while at the coffeehouse, go on to page 45 If you head for the McDonald’s across the street, turn to page 113.

If you decide to do a little grocery shopping, turn to page 93; if you decide to clean the bathroom mirror, turn to page 121

And the most realistic one for me: (more…)


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mewanSOUNDTRACK: “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC-Mandatory Fun #1 (2014).

way1So, yeah I’ve spent the last few weeks talking about the songs from Mandatory Fun.  What could I possibly have left to say?

Well, only that I think it’s pretty awesome that Al’s viral campaign worked and that his album made it to #1 on the Billboard charts.  (Of course, I have my disclaimer that I really don’t care about charts and usually have no idea what is number one, but I’m always pleased when a band I like can get that honor).  I think it’s pretty cool that he’s been doing this forever (and I’ve liked him since “Another One Rides the Bus”), and that he is not only still successful, but is even more successful than ever.

I’ve also enjoyed seeing him all over the media lately.  It’s interesting to see how smartly he deals with stupid interviewers and how much he enjoys the intelligent interviewers.  I met Al once and he was a very nice  person (as far as celebrities go).  He seems to genuinely appreciate his fans, and so I’m glad he’s collecting more fans.

Clearly, the album sales will plummet after this #1 accomplishment (it’s not like people are going to start buying the album as if they were unfamiliar with it), but while it lasted, it was pretty cool.  And this scene on the Tom Green Show (who even knew he had another show?) when he was presented with this plaque was quite touching.

[READ: July 29, 2014] Meanwhile

This book is like a culmination of cleverness from Jason Shiga.  As the cover states: Pick Any Path.  3,856 Story Possibilities.  And while I did not count them all, I did run through all the possibilities.  And it is a crazy, time bending, mind-swapping fun ride.

And is it really a choose your own adventure?  Indeed it is.  Each page has a tab and each panel in each cartoon has a tube. The tube runs from one panel to another, sometimes going to a tab so you go to another page.  The author’s note at the beginning of the book says it began as a series of 7 increasingly complex flowcharts, then he used an algorithm to determine the most efficient way to make each story line.  And wow, what a doozy.

The story starts simply enough with the main character getting an ice cream.  And your choices are chocolate or vanilla.  The choices lead down a series of deepening paths, bringing you to a scientist who has created the Killitron 2000 (which does what it says), the SQUID (which transfers memories between people) and a time machine.  As you can imagine each of these thing leads to very different results. (more…)

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