Robert Wm. Gomez's

Get Lamp DVD

Get Lamp Packaging What you see pictured here is some of the DVD packaging for the independently produced documentary film about text adventure games, Get Lamp. In the digital age, packaging matters and the creators of Get Lamp went above and beyond in creating a DVD package that satisfies collectable object fetishists like myself. The inner gatefold sleeve is covered with a nostalgic fantasy illustration that looks like it came straight off of an Atari 2600 cartridge. The DVD also came with a fancy numbered and editioned coin (mine's number 1540), which would seem kind of cheesy (alá the tin coin that came Ultima V) but is actually very well crafted and, dare-I-say cool. All this comes together in a well made cardboard DVD case that alone almost justifies the $40+ dollar price tag.

Professional Motion Graphics Artist

Video Screen Shot

Add to my slowly growing list of technical capabilities (in addition to Puzzle Quest Maester and lawn mowist) Motion Graphics Artist.The last couple of days of work have been spent making a video presentation for a major northeastern Illinois power company. I'll let you guess to which company I am referring. Video is pretty fun to work with but it is somehow physically exhausting.

Despicable Me (8/10)

I went in to this film ready to hate it but it wasn't that bad. It follows the same themes as Up with a cranky old man warming up to the joy of children. But, unlike Up, there is a dash of dark humor in the lead character which leads to the audience rooting on the side of crankiness and evil. I kind of wish there was more of an Addams' Family vibe through to the end of the film but, of course, they had to make it all heartwarming just like every other animated film that Hollywood cranks out.

Focus on Guitars by Lester Peabody (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Lester Peabody is an excellent finger-picking guitarist from Finland. His technical ability is absolutely amazing. At times he sounds like Jimmy Bryant, other times Chet Atkins. My ear for this type of music isn't trained enough to distinguish if Lester brings anything unique to the style, but all-in-all is a rather enjoyable listen.

All-Time Greatest Hits by Les Paul & Mary Ford (8/10)

Format: 
CD

A nice little collection of Les Paul & Mary Ford. As one might expect, Lots of fast harpsichord sounding guitars and multi-tracked everything. Paul's music can sound a bit like a tech demo at times. But there are also quite a few slow numbers which my my daughter refers to as "night time music."

The Other Ones by Other Ones, The (6/10)

Format: 
CD

This is one of the first CDs I ever bought. I really have no idea what I was thinking at the time because it's kind of lame. I guess I have to remember that in 1987 there weren't that many cool bands releasing their records on CD (at least not at Musicland in the Northwoods mall where I would make my ill-informed music consumer decisions). The shelves were stocked mostly with The Beatles and your typical major label pop groups—in the absence of "Ringo" on drums, I'm pretty sure The Other Ones fall into the latter category. Perhaps I am being somewhat harsh because they aren't really that bad. The single "Holiday" is probably what drove me to buy this CD and it is about as upbeat as a song can get. This single, like the rest of the CD, is awash with late 80's digital synths and chorus-y guitar effects. With my love of cheesy horror soundtracks, I actually am turning back on to this sound these days, but the problem is that they tend to fill the rest of the disc with ballads.

Sympathy Sessions by Oblivians (9/10)

Format: 
CD

This CD compiles all the Oblivians' Sympathy for the Record Industry records on one CD. There are quite a few "hits" here including "I'm Not a Sicko There's a Plate in my Head" and "Memphis Creep." The Oblivians play noisy, minimal, rootsy (but not retro) sounding punk rock. They are one of the few 90s era garage bands that still holds up. Listening to this again I am surprised by how similar Greg O's vocals sound to David Yow's legendary crooning.

The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1 by Ken Nordine (10/10)

Format: 
CD

This is a great Rhino Records compilation of Ken Nordine's "word jazz"—basically, spoken word stories told over free form beatnik jazz. Nordine's voice is deep and goes right to your brain. He could read from the phone book and I would still recommend this CD. But, on top of it all, the stories and poetry is great. At times the words truly become yet another instrument in Nordine's hep jazz combo. It's sooooo kooky man!

Days Away by Nonagon (9/10)

Format: 
CD

As you may know, I play bass in a band called Nonagon. Well, it turns out we weren't as clever as we thought we were when we decided on that name. There is also a San Francisco based electronical musician named John Brian Kirby also goes by the moniker, Nonagon. Rather than file angry cease and desist letters, our relationship with Nonagon S.F. has been quite amiable.