Monthly Archives: November 2015

Vinyl Review: Nirvana

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Nearly 15 years removed from its original release, Nirvana still seems like a pointless record. With bands like Yes, Deep Purple or Aerosmith, greatest hits compilations can be vital. Their discographies are so vast (and of radically varying quality) the repackaged budget collection can be key into helping new fans, who might be otherwise overwhelmed and not know where to begin, discover the band.

But Nirvana only released three studio albums, one compilation of singles, and an an Unplugged live album during their short time together. All of these are not just great, but widely regarded as some of the most important music of its era. There’s no “bad” jumping on point for Nirvana, and kids today who are discovering the group for the first time are probably seeking out all the band’s actual albums and not this needless collection of “hits.” Continue reading

Finding Hope for Empathy via Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Last weekend my boyfriend and I were watching Kiki’s Delivery Service.

If you’ve never seen the film, you should, it’s a lovely story about a young witch who leaves her home at the age of thirteen to train and find her true calling. She eventually stumbles onto the city of her dreams, a large metropolis by the sea, and decides to open up a delivery service, as she figures her flying prowess an ideal trait for express shipments.

But she’s low on funds, has no place to stay, and no business acumen. She’s facing some pretty steep odds against her, but right when all seems lost, a kind woman by the name of Osono offers her room and board while she gets on her feet. She’s saved by the kindness of a stranger. Later on, her first delivery goes awry, and another stranger by the name of Ursula helps to save the day, ensuring that her small business can survive this first setback. And then again, later in the film, additional strangers come to her aid, asking nothing in return, even as she sulks into a depression that threatens to take her livelihood away.

Kiki’s entire existence and eventual triumph comes at the help of those around her, selfless individuals who give what little they can so they can help a stranger.

And that, in this film about a witch in a magical land who delivers packages by broom, was the most unbelievable thing in the film. Continue reading

I Don’t Want To Be Shocked Anymore


For me, Halloween has always meant one thing: scary movies. And not just Halloween proper, but the entire month of October. Back when I lived in America my friends and I would make it a point to watch non-stop horror and gore during the month of October, sometimes going through as many as four horror flicks a week.

Of course, this wasn’t all that different to our regular movie watching schedule. Between our Netflix accounts, the remaining local video stores, and a healthy supply of illegally downloaded rarities, we would routinely awash ourselves in depravity, spending hours on end watching some of the sickest, most violent and deplorable acts of horror ever put on film. Continue reading

Game Music Revue: iam8bit Vinyl Review Roundup

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Late last year, iam8bit jumped into the video game vinyl ring with their release of the soundtrack to Hohokum, a quirky indie title available on PSN. They followed that up big with their release of the soundtrack to Hotline Miami 2, a massive affair that came with the soundtrack spread across three colored discs as well as download codes to both the soundtrack and the game itself. It was a huge success, leading to three printings that have all sold out.

Now iam8bit is following that up with a new slate of releases. Three, Banjo Kazooie, Battletoads and Perfect Dark, are culled from the Rare back catalog, while the fourth, Journey, is the score to a relatively new game that was first released for the PS3 and later updated for the PS4. It’s really good by the way, you should buy it.

It’s ambitious for a company new to the vinyl game to ramp up their production so quickly, and with such big name titles. But thankfully it seems that they’ve done each title justice from an audio standpoint, albeit with a few notable presentation caveats and concerns that hopefully will get addressed with future releases. Continue reading

Tokyo Travelogue: Sagamiko Illumination

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Last week my boyfriend and I made an excursion to the outer limits of Tokyo, Sagamiko to be exact, for a trip to the Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest. Disregard the slighty lewd name, the area is actually a massive entertainment complex, none of which (to my knowledge at least) is the least bit X-rated.

There’s an a nice onsen (hot spring resort) on site, as well as a Paddington Bear branded camping ground, but the park is most well-known for it’s largely children’s themed amusement park. In the winter though, the park’s showcase is its nighttime illumination event, where the entirety of the grounds are decked out in what must be a few million lights. The theme for this year’s festival was the UK, and as my boyfriend is a total UK oktau (U-taku?) it was decided that we absolutely had to take the trip.

It was well worth it, even if it was more UK inspired than themed. Continue reading

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