Morning Glory's Recent Tour Felt Like a Symbolic Farewell to Ezra Kire's Past, Invitation to his Future
December 27, 2011
With real-world distractions in the way, James, Aaron, and Harold haven't been able to find time for their podcasting chairs for awhile. But even with only a few games to chat about they're getting back in the game, and squeezing every drop of conversation out of their three games; The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Uncharted 3. Certainly big releases for the holiday season, and the guys find plenty to discuss about them. Plus hilarious tangents on movies, douchebags, and plenty more.
December 21, 2011
It's a whole Shuffled full of Christmas music! There is a lot of Christmas music out there these days, but you aren't going to hear these songs at the mall while you're getting that last minute shopping done. No, these are a different kind of Christmas song. Hopefully there's a bit of something for everyone. Enjoy!
December 20, 2011
Christmas; the one time of year a nerd can list everything he or she has ever wanted in the vain hope that Santa Claus (most likely their parents) will bring them the gifts they so eagerly anticipated over the last 11 months. But not all wishes are granted in the same way. So join the fine staff of Cerebral Pop as we relive some of our best and worst Christmas memories.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD promises nothing more than 2005’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath with more pixels. But pixels are powerful things -- exit the Bounty Store after completing your tutorial, and a sharply detailed western-style high street justifies those extra pixels and forces you to take in the view for a spell. Stranger’s Wrath pulls this trick a few times -- you’ll be platforming in an area of planar structures painted with detailed textures, only to round a corner or crest a hill and look out onto a vista of prairie or jungle that forces the brain to readjust. This is what happens when a developer gives more pixels to a game from 2005 -- an odd mix of new and old.
December 16, 2011
Alright, you might think we have more than enough Christmas songs out there. Well, we do. But singer/songwriter Kara McGraw's new single, The Chandelier, is still worth a listen anyway. Why? Because it's not blatantly Christmas-y, the lyrics are contemplative and happy in a sort of solemn way (which I like), and it's absolutely beautiful. Oh yeah, and until January 1st 100% of the profits go to small local farmers in Vermont who were affected by the damage from Hurricane Irene.
"I wanted a song that really captured what Christmas means to someone like me, who is very spiritual, but not necessarily religious, and I wanted a song that doesn't gloss over the dark stuff, but instead unravels the beauty of the complete picture." - Kara McGraw
Go ahead and give it a listen after the jump. If you like what you hear, throw some money at those farmers by donating and add the song to your collection of holiday tunes to brighten up the house when the relatives are over.
December 14, 2011
Every other Wednesday I share a playlist of songs tangentially related to a single game or series. Songs about alien sex for Mass Effect, songs about world leaders for Civilization, and so on. Searching for random terms on Spotify is a great way to discover new music and rediscover old classics. Make requests to @USPodcast on Twitter.
Grand Theft Auto 4 marked Rockstar North's first stab at a serious GTA game. The usual GTA problems -- missions that feel like errands, and a plodding 30-hour story -- spoiled it, but the shorter downloadable "episodes" provided much more focused stories. They also provided different perspectives on the city and more subject matter to inspire song picks in today's episode.
More than six years ago, on a now-defunct Internet fan-forum for the band The Mars Volta, I was introduced to The Paper Chase. "For fans of the weird." was the only description given, but it was all I needed to give them a listen. I downloaded God Bless Your Black Heart, their third -- and at the time most recent -- full length.
The opening track to that album, Said the Spider to the Fly, builds until at one point it sounds like the entire world is pounding out a beat together, as singer John Congleton spits out frenzied lyrics that sound like they're coming from an impassioned madman about to shoot someone. Keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, and a host of sound bytes that are nearly impossible to discern all meld into one gut wrenching pulse that causes an inescapable feeling of...dread. I didn't know why at the time, but I was hooked before the song was over.
December 07, 2011
We've gotten pretty used to television networks not taking risks. I mean, that's pretty much their whole M.O., right? Why gamble on something you aren't sure about when Two and a Half Men and its ridiculously cliché jokes and entire format is still one of the highest rated shows ever. But those days may be over.
Louis C.K. is a pretty big name, but mainly amongst comedy nerds and other comedians. If I mentioned him to my mother she would likely have no idea who he was. Of course, she might not even recognize a name like Jerry Seinfeld, but that's besides the point. The point being that FX definitely didn't have a sure bet when they gave him total creative control to spend their money however he wanted. But it didn't matter.
Time for another interview! This edition of Shuffled features James Keyes, a Worcester Massachusetts musician who has a knack for all things rock. We talk a bunch about his solo work, his other band the Numbskulls, playing the bar scene, and some tales from the road.
December 05, 2011
November is over and the end of the year is fast approaching. Which pretty much means all of the best music of the year has been released (very little gets released in December). But don't worry, this is about November still. There were plenty of great releases for me to feature. Sure, a lot of them were EPs, but just because they're shorter than a full-length doesn't diminish their quality any bit. Plus, there are still great full-lengths from the likes of Animals As Leaders, Childish Gambino, Florence and the Machine, Quilt, Steel Panther, and Jonathan Coulton. So let's dig in to all the November has to offer, shall we?