– Someone in the requests post asked for a general investigation into what I like and don’t like in music, and that’s coming later this week, but for the meantime? I really got into listening to Orishas this week. I really like hip-hop combined with traditional musical forms and Orishas do it very well, mixing Spanish rhyming (which admittedly I can’t follow, but their flow and performance is excellent even without understanding the words) with Cuban rumba- and salsa-style beats. “El Kilo” is probably my favorite single of theirs so far, but “Bruja” isn’t far behind.
– I’m really enjoying Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. It’s funny and clever and hard to put down, and that’s what I want out of a light novel.
– I’ve always had an inherent fondness for poker-dice type games, and Lock N’ Roll is one of the best I’ve seen in quite some time. Current high score is 7622, for those interested in beating me.
– I got Britannia this week at a discount, which is great, and of course the new Fantasy Flight edition of the game is gorgeous in most respects. My complaint, however, is that this is a game with eleventy billion tokens, and the plastic insert which is supposed to store the pieces is entirely random and doesn’t actually have anything to do with the various types of pieces, so you end up kind of mixing things together in untidy clumps. This isn’t a small deal, because Britannia is a looooong-ass game, and anything that can reduce its playtime – like, say, simplifying the storage of it – is welcome.
– I finally got around to reading all of Jack Staff this week and… it’s not bad, I suppose, but I don’t see why this comic gets so many raves. It’s a perfectly average, okayish superhero comic. If it was a Marvel or DC book it would be completely unmemorable. Paul Grist’s art gives it an additional sort of original character, sure, but I was expecting an A-plus book and got maybe a B-minus. Is this like Walt Simonson’s Thor – is it one of those comics everybody else jerks over and I just read it and think, “eh, whatever?” (Other than Beta Ray Bill, of course.)
– Whenever I see one of the old Big Books that Paradox Press used to print (The Big Book of Death, The Big Book of Hoaxes, The Big Book of the Weird Wild West, et cetera) in a used bookstore, I make a point to pick it up because they’re out of print and they’re always awesome: clever stories about real, obscure things, people and happenings. However, The Big Book of Urban Legends is just terrible, because it is full of boring stories about fake things that never happened that you have already heard half a dozen times. It’s like reading a book of knock-knock jokes when you’re older than eight; you know them all already, so it’s not fun or cool. It’s just bad.