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

House of Cards, Pt. 15

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Sep 8, 2006

Fading into obscurity



I've gotten a few emails lately from folks who claim they've actually been enjoying the music recommendations I've been tossing about recently. So, what the heck... here is another one.



Sloan is a Canadian band that, in various phases, has leaned towards many of the "classic" rock sounds that fall anywhere between the Beatles and ACDC. Each member of the band writes and sings their own songs, which makes for some pretty ecclectic and interesting material. They've been around for over a decade, and have managed to put out quite a few good albums. But as a Sloan fan I feel like I am still waiting for them to put out that one truly incredible "defining" album that I know they've got in them somewhere.



Well, a new Sloan album is dropping on the 19th of September -- a beast of a disc with thirty (thirty!) full length songs. So, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that this is "the one." Double-length albums can be risky and often filler-heavy affairs, but with four talented (and generally consistent) composers in the band I'm expecting this won't be a problem.



You can hear two of the new songs on the band's MySpace page. The surprisingly complex "Fading Into Obscurity" in particular has got me feeling pretty optimistic. I think it might be one of the best songs Chris has ever written!



Sam Logan


Sep 6, 2006

Bang!



So, the other day I decided I would finally give Shadow the Hedgehog a try. Sure, I knew the game took one of my favourite franchises and pointlessly injected gunplay into the mix. But hey, how bad could it be, right? Maybe the guns would not feel as invasive as I had feared.



After placing the disc in my Gamecube and powering up, I was greeted by message in a blue, innocent looking window. The message asked if I would like to create a save file on my memory card. Easy going fellow that I am, I gave the game my permission.



In Shadow, the mere act of selecting OK is accompanied by the sound of a gunshot. You don't just approve your menu selections, oh no... you pop a cap in them.



That pretty much sums up my experience with the game.



Sam Logan


Sep 4, 2006

Tat tat rat



Ratatat can be described by words arranged into phrases: one part thick electronic beats, one part juicy guitar riffs, one part Super Mario Brothers synths. (No parts vocals.)



But while their first CD was primarily a dance/hip-hop affair, their new album applies their trademark instrumentation to a much wider range of genres. In addition to more "traditional" Ratatat dance songs like Wildcat, you get really strange rock-influenced stuff like Tropicania, or almost Beck-like blues numbers like Loud Pipes. And hey, if you don't feel like settling for my shaky textual approximations, you can check out two of those songs at the band's (ugh) MySpace page. Maybe you will like it! Maybe it will change your life.



(Or maybe it will kill ten or fifteen seconds of your time before you close the window in disgust and send me a disapproving email.)



Sam Logan