July 2009

Groucho And Me by Groucho Marx (5/10)

This autobiography was pretty uninformative. Reads more like a compilation of unrelated essays about with a little bit of anecdotal commentary added to personalize it. Not awful, but would have been better as an audio book read by Groucho himself.

Liar by Jesus Lizard, The (9/10)

Format: CD

Goat laid the ground rules for the Jesus Lizard's sound and Liar solidified it into a formula. It's a swell formula indeed, but after Liar, the JLs records start to blend into one and other. This is still a great CD.

Goat by Jesus Lizard, The (10/10)

Format: CD

Jesus Lizard's finest record. Crazy bluesy licks on top of a pounding rhythm section and off-the-wall vocals. This could possibly be the best record of the 90s. Seriously.

Head/Pure by Jesus Lizard, The (10/10)

Format: CD

I'd have to say it's a toss up between Goat and Head as my favorite Jesus Lizard album. Pure/Head shows a lot more variety than the later records which is both good and bad. It's good because the songs are never boring, bad because the experimentation doesn't always work (Happy Bunny Goes Fluff Fluff Along). Because of the drum machine and distorted vocals, this early JL is much more industrial sounding than later efforts too, which I sorta like.

For Your Own Special Sweetheart by Jawbox (8/10)

Format: CD

More of Jawbox being Jawbox. The only thing that signing to a major may have changed about the band is that this CD seems to have been mastered louder than previous releases.

T.S.B. (Tom's Strip and Bowl) by Mono Men (4/10)

Format: CD

As much as I appreciate Dave Crider and his label Estrus Records, I could never get in to his band, Mono Men. They always seemed like the most generic of the already generic garage rock genre. Anyhow, this is a live recording of a show in Bloomington, Illinois. I guess you had to be there to "get" this.

Novelty by Jawbox (8/10)

Format: CD

Good 90s post punk music. Much more rockin' than say, Fugazi, but the songs are not as memorable.

The Happy Return (aka Beat to Quarters) by C. F. Forester (8/10)

Thought I'd give this series a try after finishing the Aubry/Maturn series. Hornblower is definately a simpler read, and it's almost as good O'Brian. The characters were not as vivid as O'Brian's.

"Dippy Golf" - Another Apple ][ Game I Wrote as a Kid

After posting Malfunction, my text adventure game for the Apple ][, I have been spending a whole bunch of time tinkering with my old Apple ][ software creations. Another one of my better creations was a golf game that I titled, Dippy Golf. This game featured nine holes which were loaded in from external graphics files and, even more impressive, was the use of audio samples of my voice! The game worked but still felt somewhat unfinished, so I decided to complete the game and post it here on the Pages of Fun!

My Apple ][ Masterpiece, "Malfunction"

(Okay, Masterpiece should probably be in quotes too!) I have been on a bit of a retro computing kick this evening. I have been playing around with AppleWin, which is the best Apple ][ emulator for Windows that I know of. I played a little bit of the original Castle Wolfenstein and then decided to fire up my trusty Apple ][gs and port some of my old Applesoft programs to PC.

Kick by INXS (6/10)

Format: CD

This is one of the oldest CDs in my collection. It was given to me as a gift. At the time I never really liked it that much... except for maybe "Need You Tonight." In hindsight, it's not THAT bad. There are plenty of hits that you can sing along with. And even the schmaltz like "Never Tear Us Apart" is appealing to my aging ears.

However, I was a big fan of Shabooh Shabah, and this record does even come close to that one. They seem to have lost much of the phat-synth sound in favor of a more sparse pop structure.

My God Is Alive! Sorry About Yours! by Knights of the New Crusade, The (9/10)

Format: CD

Knights of the New Crusade are America's premiere punk rock Biblical literalists. Religious viewpoint aside, this is some of the rawest, skuzziest garage rock since The Mummies. Michael Lucas of The Phantom Surfers provides most of the vocals so you can probably take their message with more than a few grains of salt.

Quantum of Solace (7/10)

While still better than the majority of post-Connery Bond films, this one lacks the intrigue and story of Casino Royale. It relies too heavily on choppily edited chase sequences that are really just standard Bond faire.