Monthly Archives: January 2008

Good news, everyone

To remedy the hurt of yesterday, I have good news for those of you interested in the world of BLOGS:

Firstly, after a break of over a year, Parkes has started blogging again! This is excellent news, as his rants and diatribes against things I like were a crucial pillar of my daily routine. Check him out!

Secondly, the long-awaited fOwl is now finally here. fOwl, or the FaceOmeter Weblog, incorporates this blog and also a series of video episodes over at youtube. But why click there when you can just watch the whole of episode 1 in the comfort of this blog?

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Good news everyone – I have something new to hate!

I really, REALLY hate this.


What you’re looking at is a video trailer for a book. This is a phenomenon being pioneered by, amongst others, Circle of Seven Productions. Their slogan is “It’s our pleasure to make book videos fun and exciting, but it’s our business to make book videos effective tools!”


Thanks to Anna for the links.

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Progress Report #359

It occurs me to let you know, following not-really-new-years-resolution-1, how work on the album goes.

As of right now, To Infinitives Split consists of twelve tracks. Of these, currently:

  • Three are being mastered out-of-house by the excellent John Jones
  • Three are being produced, and nearly finished, chez moi
  • Three are being recorded, in that vague, unsatisfying way
  • Three are being written and/or concieved

So it’s all delightfully symmetrical, and kind of points to the album being “on track”, though we all know how vague my writing times can be…

But I’m really excited about what we’ve got so far – some really cool people are guest starring (including all the usual suspects), there are some “classics” on there and some new stuff to keep everyone happy (except hardcore D&B fans, you’re pretty much not gonna like this one*). The cover booklet is all planned out and its going to be amazing, and if you don’t want one it looks pretty likely that the thing’ll be available on iTunes as well!

Still optimistic about that June 30th release date…

* “Drum & Bass” fans. Fans of “Dungeons and Baddies” are more likely to find something

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Bargain Detector

Not to get all preachy on your ass, but in the course of this morning’s ramblings on the New Left Review I somehow managed to stumble across the fact that Amazon are selling the Jeffrey Lewis album It’s the one’s who’ve cracked that the light shines through for less than a fiver. If you’ve managed to get by the last few years without this CD, which is set apart by much more than simply having the best title of any album ever, you owe it to yourself to do the purchase. If you at all like FaceOmeter music I can pretty much assure you you’ll like it, since about 30% of everything I do is directly ripped off from Jeff (the rest is split more or less evenly between Lars, Terry Taylor and the Seeger Sessions).

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Suck My Mastersword

I delayed ranking my top games of 2007 until I’d finished Phantom Hourglass, which turned out to be the right decision… This is games released in the calendar year 2007 I’m talking about. Here goes:

3) Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)

My creepy leftfield “outside choice” award this year goes to Charged, mostly because I’ve been saying since about 1995 that the problem with football sims (FIFA vs Pro Evo) is that they fail to capitalise on the fact that they don’t have to conform to real physics. Whatever your views on football (an alcohol-fuelled violence industry) there are few who could argue that the ability to jump thirty feet in the air and split the ball into six wouldn’t make it a bit more interesting. This game has a few flaws, most notably the literally insane AI difficulty, but spiritually it’s right on the money. Also, waluigi is a GOD.

2) Portal (PC)

If anything, it’s only in second as a kind of reaction to the fact that
every computer-nerd and meme-bashing weighted cube companion love site
has been raping the bum off it ever since day one. Naturally none of
this detracts from the actual game, which is lean, mean, inteliigent,
funny, accessible, challenging, different, and more adjectives which
you can come up with by yourself. Its brief length, total linearity and
almost complete lack of replayability are not reasons not to play this
magnificent game.

1) Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)

I know, I know. But hear me out. This game was my friend and a meaningful part of my life. Like all friends, it has its flaws. There are problems with it. But like most JRPGs and all the Zelda I’ve played, it really rewards you if you’re really prepared to get into it. The control system is almost flawless (a Zelda novelty). Its length makes it approachable. You can play it in bed. The optional minigames are challenging but nearly all physically possible. Max is a character in it. I could go on extolling it all day, but to be blunt there are only two things to say – firstly that this game has the best boss fights of any game I’ve played in about five years, hands down (sharply differentiating it from its predecessor, the Wind Waker), and secondly that whatever reservations you do have about the game you’ll completely forgive by about halfway through the balls-tighteningly brilliant ending (phrase copyright yahtzee 2007). HAHAHA GOTY.

Team Fortress 2
Shadow of the Colossus*
Elite Beat Agents

It should also be noted that at this point I’ve only played about 10 minutes of Stalker and it looks brilliant.

* not released in 2007 but SO good that it is STILL a runner up. It will probably be a runner up in 2008 as well, just to warn you.

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A fitting Coda

As a conclusion to this week, allow me to excerpt a conversation I had with my token Indian friend, Vinay. Who is not in fact Indian. Suck that down, Daily Mail.

Will: you crazy Others
Will: youre all the same
Vinay: we’re all up in your face, giving you definition

Thank you, and goodnight

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Teh Biznits

Thanks to Jim O’Reilly for this. It’s the kind of thing you’ll only get if you’re me. Or Max. Or, presumably, Jim. However, I shat myself.

I’m aware that the last 900 posts on this blog have all just been links – I’ll try and write something meaningful sometime soon!

(Since we’re linking, check out this fundamentally flawed but well meaning FaceOmeter review on

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One distressing presentation about Said later…

I’m sorry to mirror content from Eurogamer, but there’s something about Porn Stars at a Porn convention being asked questions about Video Games which is just deeply funny. Check.

Yeah c’mon.

GD: Quick: If you had to choose between Sonic The Hedgehog and Mario, who would you pick?
Veronique: Mario.
GD: Why?
Veronique: Sonic is blue and he wears those old sneakers. I don’t find sneakers too attractive on my men.

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Check out the heated discussion of Ulysses going on on this BBC reader response article… then look at the name of the latest contributor.

Lord help us all. “Pretentious drivel”, “better off with a good walk rather than reading dusty books”. What possible hope is there for a country which with such self-righteous philistinism scorns its own treasures? Ulysses is the greatest novel of the twentieth century. It is is wise, warm, witty, affirmative and beautiful. it is less pretentious than a baked bean. Read it. read it out loud to yourself. It won’t bite. It wasn’t written either to shock or to impress. Only pretentious barbarians believe artists set out shock: and how these philistines delight in revealing how unshocked they are. Those who attack it are afraid of it and rather than look foolish they prefer to heckle what they don’t understand. Ignore all this childish, fear-filled criticism, Ulysses will be read when everything you see and touch around you has crumbled into dust.


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