I don’t understand Twitter

I don’t tweet. I’ve never had a Twitter, never wanted one, and never plan to get one. So this should be an interesting thing.

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Mortal Kombat X, the prequel to the upcoming game. Probably for fans only, but great for them. You know what you’re getting. Pretty kool.

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                Powers is a look at the world of supers from the police that have to deal with their world. Strong women, noir vibe, fun new angle.

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                Spider-Man and the X-Men, has the stupidest premise ever, but fun once you get past that. Also dinosaur team up, what more could you want?

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Catwoman as the head of a major crime family. Trying to clean up the underworld from the inside. Threats all around. What can go wrong?

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                Mega Man is the retelling of the classic side scrolling adventure game that consumed your childhood. Go, go Blue Bomber!

 

So there it is, my horrible attempt to understand twitter. It’s hard share how awesome these books are in so few characters.

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Five Music Tweets

Natalie-Prass

If you’re like me, really good pop music gets played on loop all day when you find it.
Loop it up with Natalie Prass:
http://bit.ly/1GiihQD

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Hundred Waters makes intricate music. Remixes of them tend to miss the point to me.
Except for here. Mesmerizing:
http://bit.ly/1yKMpzk

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Who would have thought a song about a professional wrestler would be this poignant, let alone good?
https://soundcloud.com/mergerecords/the-mountain-goats-the-legend-of-chavo-guerrero

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There’s fewer than 40 words in this song, but good frickin luck getting this out of your head for the rest of the day
http://youtu.be/bsOTCoJfYcg

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This cover of the theme song to the children’s show Arthur actually made me cry when I listened to it once.
No joke.
https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/everyday-wonderful-arthur

-Brandon Telg-

Parks & Recreation

parksandrec01We all have that one show we turn to when we’re having a bad day, like “comfort food” pop culture. When I’m feeling grumpy, my comfort food is Parks & Recreation. The show is about a Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana, and starts with Leslie Knope, the Deputy Director of the Pawnee Parks & Rec Department, trying to turn a vacant lot into a public park. From there, the show goes many places, but the general idea is Leslie serving for the greater good and coming up against self-serving opponents along the way.

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I’ll admit, when I first started watching the show I didn’t have very high expectations for it. I thought it was funny, and I already loved Amy Poehler, but it seemed pretty goofy. After the first season, though, the writers take a big turn with Amy’s character. Instead of being clueless, she becomes much more driven and honest. From there out, the show has a heart that turned it into one of my favorite shows instead of a goofy comedy I’d watch when I didn’t want to think too hard.

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One of my favorite things about Parks & Rec is its amazing ensemble of characters, each of which starts out as a goofy two-dimensional caricature and goes through an arc that makes them real. I end up loving all of them, and have a hard time choosing a favorite.

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But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. Chris Pratt, who plays Andy Dwyer, is amazing on this show and has been able to build a career off of his success on it. Andy was never even supposed to be a permanent character on the show, but the showrunners decided to keep Chris on. Each character on the show (except Leslie Knope), which uses a mockumentary shooting style, looks at the camera for a different type of reaction. Andy looks at the camera every time something happens that he considers to be the greatest thing ever, and it’s adorable and hilarious.

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The show was originally supposed to be a spin-off of The Office, which is where the mockumentary style of the show comes from. But it’s evolved in its own right, and I love the feel good vibes I get from it every time I sit down to watch. The Pawnee Parks Department may or may not win against the bad guy of whatever particular episode, but they always learn it’s better to win or lose together, no matter the outcome. And that’s what I love about this show.

Parks and Recreation - Season 5

Parks and Rec is available on Netflix, and is in its seventh and final season now on NBC.

Legends of Baldur’s Gate

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Every now and then I really wish I’d held out and not talked about certain titles when I did, because I’ve already talked about a lot of the books I go to when I need a pick me up. This week is also topical, because well I needed a pick me up. It made it easy to pick which title to talk about, the first one that made me smile. Dungeons and Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate is a fun romp, and very familiar to anyone who’s played DnD.

The great and mighty Boo

The great and mighty Boo

Part of what makes it so fun is the balance of a dramatic story, with some good elements of comedy. Most of the comedy comes from a single character, Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster. That last bit doesn’t make sense even in context. Minsc actually hails from video games based in the same world. I swear he has to be representation of a very specific type of player, one who often goes for laughs over substance. It’s a player type I’m familiar with from when I used to run games. He’s actually use well here, he’s certainly silly, but he doesn’t detract from the more serious story being presented. Writer, Jim Zub, does a really good job of not over using this fan favorite character.

The gang's all here

The gang’s all here

The story itself focuses mostly on Delina, an elf sorceress, and her search for her twin brother. Along the way she manages to bring back Minsc from 100 years in the past, and teams up with a theif duo of Krydle and Shandie while running from the city guard. The four set out to find Delina’s brother, and the source of a group of cultists out to capture the sorceress. All and all it’s the makings of a fun fantasy romp. Reading it makes me miss my old play groups, because making stories like this with friends was always a lot of fun.

The art, by Max Dunbar, is appropriately fantastical. The character designs capture personality and flair fitting of the setting. Dunbar’s use of body language is absolutely amazing, distinguishing two fraternal young twins while drawing them almost identically. His expressions also capture the feelings of the subjects, a quivering chin accompanying a single tear of frustration. He also manages to capture the change from youthful jealousy to the face of a broken man. John-Paul Bove’s colors feel like a mix of classic fantsy art with an infusion of the bold color styles often associated with comics. It makes for a surprisingly unique art set that is classic fantasy and modern comic.

Just some pretty lights.

Just some pretty lights.

Now if you’re not familiar with DnD, or the old Baldur’s Gate video games, this series might not appeal to you as much as it does me. You don’t need to know much about either to enjoy this though, and if you like fantasy adventure stories you may just find this book as fun a time as I do. It’s only four issues in, so not hard to catch up. It’ll run you about 10 bucks total on Comicxology. Go forth, and happy adventuring.

Father John Misty

The artist that I have to recommend for “Feel Good Music” may seem like an odd choice given that lyrically, he’s often someone that uses his platform to cynically describe the foibles of our society, but he always does it both with a smile and in a way that makes me smile, and that’s Father John Misty.

Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)

Father John Misty is the stage name of Josh Tillman. The narrative about him reads: indie singer/songwriter J. Tillman… was drummer of Fleet Foxes… blah blah. None of the backstory matters unless you care. Father John Misty is, tonally, miles away from his previous work. I like to imagine that his work just appeared out of the void. The man just appeared with this finely honed craft for songwriting. His songs feel that way. Nobody else that I know of combines sardonic humor with country folk sensibilities in quite the way that Papa Juan does.

I’m Writing A Novel

I can pop on his album Fear Fun at pretty much any time in any circumstance and I know I’m going to go for a nice ride. Its fun and thoughtprovoking, and dude, the tunes just kill. From the first time I heard Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, I was like, “this guy is something else” and I listened to it non-stop. And then, months after, I actually got what the song is about: having a “good time” in a cemetery. Thats one of the great quality of this guy’s songs. They unfold for you if you want them to. They are great songs on their own, but then when you dig a little deeper, there’s always something there to unpack. Check out Now I’m Learning To Love The War for another example of this.

Bored In The USA (Live On David Letterman)

His new album, I Love You, Honeybear (out February 10) promises to be every bit as good as Fear Fun. His leadoff single Bored in The USA is another grower whose resonance grows the longer it sits with you. And the second single Chateau Lobby #4 is just a catchy freaking tune.

Only Son of the Ladiesman (Live on David Letterman)

In conclusion, I can’t write an article about this guy and not mention his persona. His on-stage antics are amazing to watch (see the Letterman performance of Only Son Of The Ladiesman) and his banter (unfortunately not shown here) in interviews and between songs: hilarious.

Check this guy out if you haven’t. You’ll be glad you did.

-Brandon Telg-