SAM & FUZZY, by Sam Logan (updates M/W/F)

House of Cards, Pt. 11

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Aug 30, 2006

Destroy rock and roll



A few months ago, I mentioned an upcomming website redesign that never actually materialized. But now, I'm happy to report that I've powered through my designer's block and finally come up with something that I like.



Now it's only a matter of chopping up my design and coding the sucker. That's no small job, but it's strictly grunt work that doesn't rely on inspiration or imagination. So, I should be able to finish this beast without taking another six months. Woo!



Sam Logan


Aug 28, 2006

Zap!



Did you know that the Ed Palermo Big Band has a new CD out? Did you know that the Ed Palermo Big Band... er... exists? Well, you do now!



For years, Mr. Palermo has been taking the music of 20th century music legend Frank Zappa, creating his own incredible arrangements of it, and then performing them with a band of extremely talented jazz musicians. The end result is, in my opinion, some of the best and most unique big band music to be recorded in years.



The Palermo Band's older CDs are kind of tricky to come by. But their latest album is available now, both on their website and on Amazon. If you are a fan of Zappa's work, you absolutely have to check it out. But even if you're not a fan, or if you've never even heard Zappa's music before, you should still check it out. A degree in Zappa-ology is not required to enjoy these sounds. (I am living proof of this.)



If I had to think of the most similar sounding music that my website's readership is most likely to have heard, I'd say that the Palermo Band's sound is not that far off from the juicier, jazzier big band cuts on the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack. If you liked that stuff, I bet you will dig this.



Sam Logan


Aug 25, 2006

Scurge



It looks like Orbital has finally found a distributor! Orbital is a video game developer that seems to specialize in 2D handheld games based on original IPs. In other words, they make GBA games that don't star Spongebob or Shrek, which makes them a bit of a rarity these days. They debuted with an amazingly deep racing game for the GBA called Racing Gears Advance, and when I saw that they were planning to follow it up with a trio of completely unrelated 2D games mired firmly in completely different genres, I was really excited to see if they could match the quality of their first title.



Unfortunately, no one wanted to distribute their new games! They've been sitting unreleased for over a year. Until now. So, I'm excited! I mean, for all I know, these games could be terrible. But I've been waiting to try them out for so long that just seeing them actually get released is going to be a big thrill.



More and more I have found myself abandonning my home consoles and going back to 2D, sprite-based handheld games like Phoenix Wright and Screw Breaker. Maybe it's because these are the kinds of games I grew up with. Maybe it's because I'm busier these days, and handheld games tend to accomodate short, quick bursts of play. Maybe it's just because I like 2D sprite artwork a lot more than most 3D graphics, or because I find precise 2D gameplay easier to wrap my head around than most 3D games.



All I know is, I'm finding it a lot easier to get excited about Scurge: Hive than anything lined up for the Playstation 3. I just wish that there were more developers putting out non-licensed non-sequels for Nintendo's handhelds, because the handheld market is even more inundated with boring, unoriginal, unpolished crap than the home console market. I'm really excited to see that developers like Orbital are still managing to get their titles released. (Even without Spongebob's help.)



Sam Logan