Monday, December 19, 2016

Music Monday: Imagine Dragons ft. Kendrick Lamar - Radioactive vs M.A.A.D. City (Grammy Awards 2014)

I know this performance is a couple years old, and may be old hat for some. For those not familiar, first you must immerse yourself in each separate piece: Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," and Kendrick Lamar's "M.A.A.D. City."

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons has become one of my all-time favorite songs. The song speaks about the evolution of a you change, move on, become something more; sometimes at the expense of (or possibly, in spite of) everyone and everything around you. The meaning of this song affects me on a personal level, and that's something that doesn't happen often.

I'm not a fan of Kendrick Lamar. That's not to say that I don't like him or his be honest, I'm not familiar with his music. Rap/hip hop just doesn't resonate with me, so I tend to not gravitate to the genre. I can't speak authoritatively to the meaning of the song, but I'll offer a quick opinion from listening a few times and researching the song. It seems like it's about a tough upbringing and confronting the evils life throws in your path. I'll withhold any further judgement or someone who doesn't get the genre, I don't feel qualified to critique it.

However, having said all that...this performance is balls-out bad ass. Listen to the individual performances. Absorb both. Then, listen to this performance and marvel at how impeccably the pieces fuse together. The beat, the energy, the message. The artists knit together a piece which is solid on its own, but which also honors its constituent parts. Put simply, this is the art at its most pure. We should be so lucky as to see more collaborations like this.

Collaboration. That's a good word. One that should weave itself more thoroughly into our civilization. The spirit of this performance should be an anthem for humanity. Collaborate. Take a bunch of awesome things and build one giant, incomprehensibly awesome thing.

Enjoy your holidays and stay awesome, friends.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Music Monday Bonus! AC/DC - Moneytalks

Bonus music, bitches! It's good for you.

Music Monday: Foreigner - Double Vision

What? Foreigner two weeks in a row? Oh you daaaaaamn right! This tune has been stuck in my head lately, and that ain't a bad thing. Good classic rock tune.

So, my own double vision has cleared up. Crazy is done for me. Well...done for now, I guess. There's always more crazy to be met right around the corner. However, the single biggest source of stress for me over the last three or more years is now completely GONE and off my plate. It wasn't without bloodshed...getting rid of that beast took a heavy toll on me mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. Recovery and recouping begins now. I can't express how awesome that feeling is, especially during the end of year holiday season. Despite 2016 being a flaming trainwreck (which is also infested with spiders), I'm ending the year on one of the most positive notes that I can. Hooray.

Not much else to report as yet. You all know what season it is, and you know we're going to see some MASSIVE sales in the coming weeks. We'll talk again when the deals start flowing (or whenever I randomly feel like posting again).

Stay awesome, friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thirsty Thursday: Sierra Nevada - Celebration Ale

I don't know much, but I know what I like.

If there's a silver lining in the shit-filled dumpster fire that is the year 2016, for me it's my new love affair with craft beer. When it comes to alcohol, I'd been a strict wine drinker for a few years. Just couldn't find a beer I enjoyed (beyond Guinness), nor could I really appreciate harder faire (beyond a good Tanqueray-fuelled gin & tonic, or a couple fingers of my favorite scotch). All that changed, however, on a one-off date to (what is now) my favorite local brewery, 4 Hands Brewing Company. I had my first taste of their Devil's Invention coffee stout, and I fell in love. With the beer, not the date. The girl ghosted me (which is a SHIT thing to do...srsly, just tell someone you're not interested and you can both move on like adults). In the end, I gained a love of an AWESOME brewery and lost the attention of a shitty human. I think I won.

That all happened in the first quarter of this weird, fucked-up year. Fast forward to today, and we see that I've developed a love for craft beer. I may not be a scholar of brewing, but I know what I like. I may not be able to readily tell a difference between a 20 IBU brew and a 70 IBU brew, or specifically notice subtle floral notes, chocolate nibs, or other flavoring mechanisms...but, I'm learning to identify some of the subtleties that I enjoy. For instance, I fucking LOVE centennial hops. Every beer I've had, which is brewed with these specific hops, I absolutely love.

I'm trying this as a new thing...reviewing beers on Thirsty Thursday (as regularly as I can get, anyhow). Today we focus on Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. At 6.8% ABV, you can nurse a few of these and have a nice buzz on a weeknight. At 65 IBU's, Celebration has a nice, crisp bite without being overwhelmingly hoppy. Smooth mouthfeel with a pleasant aftertaste. The website says it pairs well with Fish and Chips, Turkey and Dressing, or Polenta and Grilled Vegetables. Tonight, I paired it with a Red's Chicken & Cheese Burrito garnished with Cholula Original hot sauce (the ONLY hot sauce), and it was a very pleasant experience. Maybe it's just me, but I seriously dig IPA with spicy food. This is a seasonal brew, and it runs Oct. - Dec. I love this beer, and I highly recommend trying it. I'll be making it a yearly tradition, myself.

And that's it for this Thirsty Thursday. If you're in the Lou on Thirsty Thursday, I highly recommend stopping by the tasting room at 4 Hands Brewing Company, as they do $9 growlers ($12 if you are a good human, and take care of your bartenders) every Thursday. As always...stay awesome, friends.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Music Monday: Foreigner - Hot Blooded

No theme here this week...just good classic rock. Enjoy it. Don't read anything into it.

I missed last week. I blame life. Lots of crazy happening for me right now. Good news is, all that crazy should be ending soon. 2016 has been a shite year for everyone, myself included. I'm hoping to be able to calm things down in 2017 and be able to start doing some new stuff here. I'd like to start doing some more "Time to Play a Game" vids, and maybe some more new content. Some friends and I have talked about doing some "drunkstreaming" with either some vidja games or board games. Time will tell what we can accomplish.

Holiday countdown has begun. Don't care what holiday you celebrate. Hope you have a good one. Buy many games, drink many brews, eat much food. Celebrate being alive. We'll talk again before this year checks out.

Stay awesome, friends.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Music Monday: Adam Sandler - Thanksgiving Song

It's that time again, folks. 2016 sincerely sucks, and if you're an American you may struggle to find something to be thankful for this year. But, if you're reading this it means you're alive. It means you have the freedom to use the internet. It means you have the freedom to read a shit blog, which is updated (at best) a handful of times a year (thank you, by the way, for reading). This year may have sucked donkey dong, but at least you're still alive. You're alive and you can fight on. Drink your gin and tonica, and smoke your marijuanica. That might be a different holiday. I dunno. Overarching fat and happy, and revel in your freedom.

That may be a tall order for some folks. In the wake of the recent election, I know some humans are feeling...well, less than human (which sucks). If you aren't one of these folks, then fight for someone who is. If you are one of the oppressed masses, there are people willing to help.

A long-perpetuated myth says that the suicide rate spikes during the holiday season. I'm no therapist. I can't verify or deny that (though the CDC seems to say otherwise). What I do know is that depression sucks. I know that life is hard. I know life can be downright shit. But I also know that if you're drawing breath, you have hope. If you have a pulse, you have a chance. If you're alive you have potential. If you're feeling like you have no alternatives, if you feel like you have to or want to end your life, please reach out. Contact the National Suicide Hotline via the web or by phone at 1-800-273-8255. Or you can reach out to me. I'm no professional. I'm not trained to handle or de-escalate a suicidal situation. But, I will listen. Please know that you're not alone.

And if you're doing alright, keep an eye on those who might not be. If you see something, SAY something. Talk to your friends. Talk to your loved ones. to a stranger.

Stay awesome, friends...and be awesome to each other.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday: R.E.M. - It's the End of the World

Tune seemed appropriate, considering what's been happening lately. And that's as political as I'm going to get. The election is over. There are plenty of venues to discuss it, but this isn't one of them. Back to video games and crap.

I recently picked up Battlefield 1, and I'm enjoying it immensely. The single player campaign is enjoyable, and the multiplayer is fun, frenetic, brutal, and satisfying. I've also recently picked up Mad Max because I'm a sucker for anything post-apoc (and Fury Road was awesome). Haven't put much time into it yet, as I've been spending most of my gaming time exploring all of the Fallout 4 DLC, but from the short amount I've played it seems fun. Recommend both of these titles, especially if you can find them at a discount.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Stay awesome, friends.