Remember that the masters for Who’s Next had gone missing, so that album release was in danger? Well some news on that front has just arrived, and it sounds good.

No, they didn’t find the masters. Instead, they went to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey to create a best-of pack for the game. The result is a 12 song set that will be released for Rock Band July 15th (2 weeks from now). These are the songs:

  • Amazing Journey
  • Baba O’Riley
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Eminence Front
  • Going Mobile
  • Leaving Here
  • My Generation (LIVE)
  • Real Good Looking Boy
  • Sea & Sand
  • Summertime Blues (LIVE)
  • Who Are You
  • Young Man Blues (LIVE)

Sure, there’s room to complain here. For example, how did “Baba O’Riley” survive and “Bargain” not? But overall, this seems like a pretty fun package of songs. At least we get all the CSI opening themes. This is probably what we’re getting instead of an album for July, and I feel it’s a pretty good solution to the Who’s Next problem.

The Heart of Rock & Roll is Still Beating

The long-awaited announcement of Rock Band 2 just came today, and it sounds like everything we hoped for. The most important piece of news is that all Rock Band (1) DLC will work with the new game, and new DLC will work with both games. They also say there will be a new way to play the old DLC too, whatever that means. This is some fairly innovative technology, people.

The most surprising announcement was that Rock Band 2 will be released earlier on XBox 360 than on PS3 and the other consoles. They said that the 360 version will hit in September, around the release of Guitar Hero 4, and the rest before the end of the year. Thank God I’ve got the 360 game.

They also said there will be a new package for new players and those who have destroyed their instruments, with quieter, more realistic and more reliable instruments. I’m sure that would be nice, but I’ve already got what I need.

As far as innovation, Harmonix is waiting until E3 to reveal any other information. World Tour will be imporved, specifically random setlists, but they haven’t said much else. They also talked about improvements to gameplay for people who want to sing and play guitar. But we’ll have to wait a couple weeks for much else.

No artists have been revealed, but AC/DC was heavily hinted at. In an IGN article, it was announced that from this list, one or more of these bands will be in the game:

  • Agent Orange
  • The Beatles
  • Built to Spill
  • The Buzzcocks
  • Journey
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Modest Mouse
  • Pavement
  • The Replacements
  • Tool

Exciting times!

Another Brick in the WALL-E


Well the wizards at Pixar have done it again, with WALL-E they’ve created another extremely satisfying and unique movie. And with it’s fairly dark subject matter, and somewhat uncommercial use of a very minimal amount of dialogue, it probably makes it one of the most daring kids movies ever made.

The story of course follows WALL-E, a robot who is the last thing inhabiting Earth hundereds of years into the future. He then meets another, much more complex robot named Eve who arrives one day and befriends WALL-E and the story just blossoms from there. WALL-E may seem overly simplistic compared to any adult science fiction movie, but that’s really what makes it a great movie. The childlike wonderment that engulfs the movie really makes it awe-inspiring and heartwarming at the same time. There’s also a fairly simplistic style that’s been taken to the visuals, although there are certainly moments of inspired imagery that are hard to forget, such as the towers of waste that surround the Earth inhabited by WALL-E.

Basically, with this movie Pixar again shows that they’re still much more interested in great storytelling than special effects. The relation ship between WALL-E and Eve is very compelling, as is the film’s themes of man and robots becoming more and more alike, but there’s also plenty of slapstick comedy for the kids to enjoy. WALL-E is also quite a compelling kids’s film character, he definitely joins E.T. and R2-D2 in the elite class of endearing science fiction characters. There’s definitely a number of nods to other science fiction classics in WALL-E, but the film still manages to create a unique if somewhat desolate look at the distant future.

Pixar have always been one step ahead of all other CG movies and WALL-E makes no exception. They certainly take a chance with it’s bleak narrative, not to mention the almost complete absence of any A-list voice work, but in the end it’s easily one of the best kids movies of the last few years.

More, More, More!

Well I guess the most anticipated albums (at least for me and my chums) have already come out, but as I was surfing around the web after returning from my vacation I noticed “You know there’s still some intriguing stuff coming our way.” That is at least for me. One I’m actually pretty curious about (which I don’t think most would expect) is Beck’s upcoming album Modern Guilt to be released on July 8th and produced by Danger Mouse. I’ve been off and on with my opinions of Beck, I haven’t heard to much aside from his singles, but I do enjoy Odelay so that must be something. Anyways, it would appear that Beck is trying out a new more trippy kind of sound at least on his new single “Chemtrails” which kind of sounds like The Flaming Lips. Beck will as well be collaborating with Indie singer/songwriter Cat Power on a few tracks, so we’ll see where that takes us.

I wanted to mention a release (which I don’t think anyone will actually want to buy or listen to) but nonetheless I find to be an interesting tidbit, is the new album from what used to be The Darkness. If you remember not long after The Darkness’ second album, lead singer and front man Justin Hawkins was kicked out of the group while the remaining members decided to start a new band. This new band (Lead by most recent bassist Richie Edwards) have now reformed to become the “Stone Gods” So do they sound like The Darkness you may ask? Well unfortunately no, they pretty much suck. What used to be a silly but fun tribute to Hair Metal has now just become a bad joke. With a handful of incredibly generic Metal/Blues Rock tunes I couldn’t care less about Stone Gods (If you miss The Darkness then I’d say you’re better off waiting for Justin Hawkins upcoming solo album) I just wanted to point this out, i really don’t care so I wont even say when it’s released.. Sometime in July.

July 22 will mark a day for two releases, the latest album from inventive Indie Pop rockers Dr. Dog entitled “Fate” and Australian Garage Rock band The Vines 4th studio album “Melodia” Judging from Dr. Dog’s latest single “The Old Days” it would appear that there up to there same old bouncy retro sounding pop music again, which should be a nice midsummer treat. As for The Vines I’m not really sure what to think based off their leading single, the one minute and fifty-seven second tune “He’s a Rocker”. I don’t know why The Vines have become so obsessed with writing such short songs these days, but if anything Melodia could still manage to be a simple and fun 34 minutes of head-banging rock. I’d like to see them get back to their more psychedelic and experimental sounds that were present on Highly Evolved and Winning Days but what are you gonna do?

By the way you can probably expect me to do a “Retrospecticus” of The Vines at some point in time this July I’ve been thinking about it. So long for now C.F. enthusiasts.

T3: Most Hated Mariners

In lieu of quite possibly the worst Mariner season in franchise history, I thought we’d go back and look at some of the worst and most hated players in the M’s 31 years.

10. Richie Sexson
All in all I think Big Richie gets a bad wrap. He played pretty well for us for several years, and though he may not be worth the money he was paid, that is not necessarily his fault. It was not til this past season when he started getting booed nearly every home stand because of is dangerously Valle-like batting average. I expect him to be cut from the team soon, but I wish him well in his future endeavors if any team is stupid enough to sign him.

9. Bob Melvin
Even though he isn’t the worst manager of our generation, he most certainly is the most hated.
After inheriting a steller ball club from Lou Pinella in 2003, the team went 93-69 but just missed the playoffs. Unluckily Melvin’s stellar ball club reached that drop off age, and stars like Edgar, Olerud, and Wilson dramatically declined in 2004. He was fired after the second worst season in Mariner history and has gone on to great success in Arizona.

8. Jarrod Washburn
Probably one of the worst free agent signings in the history of competitive sports, Jarrod Washburn has turned out to be 37 million dollars worth of 85 mph fastballs and excuses. He’s complained through out the years of the weather, the catcher, and how he is just really bad. I hope he goes and rots in the National League so we never really have to hear about him ever again.

7. Heathcliff Slocumb
This one forced me to do a little bit of research, and it turns out that he was not really that bad. It was just revealed some years later that the guy we traded for him was none other than Jason Varitek, All-Star Catcher and captain of the 2004 and 2007 World Series Champion Boston Redsox. Looking back at this guy, he really was not worth making the 1997 playoffs if we could have kept Varitek and had a decent successor to Dan Wilson.

6. John Halama
Despite being the number 1 pitcher in the Atlantic Coast League right now, and throwing a perfect game for the Tacoma Rainiers, his mediocrety in the big leagues forced Seattle fans to develope a mild hatred for the man.

5.Dave Valle
Although he is one of our most beloved color analysts on television, there was a time where no one wanted him near the Kingdome, let alone the press box. Looking at this baseball card that Sean gave me, I can understand why my dad is still frustrated to the day when he hears his voice on tv. He was afraid of confrontation at homeplate, unlike Wilson, a former hockey goalie, who would block the plate with his legs and not allow any one to get anywhere near that plate. He hit right at or below .200 most of his career w/ the Mariners, and sometimes local bars would have Dave Valle Specials, selling hard drinks at the price of his batting averege.

4. Horacio Ramirez
This man solitifies why Bill Bavasi is and was a terrible general manager. In the winter of 2007 Bavasi traded one of our premier relievers, Rafael Soriano, for veteren suckbag Horacio Ramirez. The front office kept talking through out the season how Horam would turn it around and start pitching like he used to. The problem was, he always sucked. Ever since his reconstructive elbow surgery he has been terrible, and there was never any sign of him getting better. Then last off season the Mariners signed him again, striking fear into any fan, but then thankfully released him before the season started.

3. Jose Mesa
I can remember sitting on my couch begging my parents to stay up and watch the rest of the thrilling Mariner games on tv that would go past 10:00. But it seemed like whenever they would let me, Mr. Mesa would come in, walk the bases loaded, then just keep walkin them in like they needed excersise. It is a memory that is engrained in my head, and I will never get it out. So for that, I hate Jose Mesa.

2. Jeff Cirillo
It seems like whenever the Mariners sign a free agent like a Jeff Weaver or a Pokey Reese, I am always optomistic. Cirillo’s numbers in Colorado were great. He batted .313 with a good OPS for Colorado in 2001. But we soon found out why his numbers would not transfer over to Safeco Field. 1. He was playing in the National league, 2. He was playing in Colorado, where AJ could probably hit a home run. In his 2 years as a Mariner he batted .227 and was one of the most disapointing Mariners of all time.

1. Bobby Ayala
What can we say. The man, the legend, the goatee. He was possibly the worst Mariner pitcher and most hated man in the Pacific Northwest, yet he managed to stay on the team for several years after he should have been booted. I’ve heard everything from he was Lou’s stepson to he had dirt that he would reveal on Lou. But if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have the hilarious Almost Live jokes or this phenomanal list.

C.A.T: Doolittle

Doolittle – Pixies (1989)
After recently playing through this album on Rock Band, it seems quite appropriate to do this week’s CAT on the Pixies crowning achievement, the cult alternative rock classic Doolittle. Filled with dark and offbeat numbers with no two songs sounding alike, Pixies renovated a sound that was quite unlike anything else of the time or today. Fueled by the intensity and ingenuity of Black Francis (or Frank Black or whatever you want to call him) Doolittle presents a more polished sound than it’s predecessor (Surfer Rosa) while utilizing Black’s trademark dark humor presented lyrically and musically.

Though Black is the creative force behind this legendary alternative group, you can’t deny the contributions of the other members on this album. The distorted unique riffs of Joey Santiago, the precision and versatility of drummer David Lovering and the pounding bass/spacey backup vocals of Kim Deal. Pixies show a strong sense of camaraderie here giving the album a very personal feeling. To go over this album track by track would be a very interesting process as every song seems to have it’s kind of unique charm. “Debaser” and “Wave of Mutilation” are heavy latin inspired rock classics while the 60s sounding “Here Comes Your Man” and the memorable “Monkey Gone to Heaven” present a softer side to the group. Songs like “Tame” even started the technique of using soft spoken verses followed by howling and heavy distortion on the chorus (a technique later employed by legendary rockers Nirvana) Top it of with some off-the-wall zaniness and inventive singing styles and you’ve got a classic album. Doolittle is a staple of alternative music and just as influential then as it is today.

Favorite Tracks: “Debaser”, “Here Comes Your Man”, “Hey”

I’d like to continue discussing this with you but it appears I have to leave for Seaside, Oregon right now. I’ll be back this friday, Otteni out…