It all started with an insane video that Adam from This Boy Elroy posted... insanity like only the Japanese can conjure. Sadly, YouTube has already removed the video. Nonetheless, in the past 24 hours I came to learn much more about the bizarre elements of Japanese pop-culture, notably that they have an obsession with porn star Billy Herrington, who was big in the late 90s. (I remember seeing him dance here in Phoenix around 2001 -- he was even hotter in person!)
I don't claim to understand the whys and hows, but he now has his own action figure (figma for the purists)(even creepier than normal action figures) and is known as "Aniki" or Big Brother. Even though Billy is getting older and isn't close to being in porn shape anymore, it's great to see him back in the limelight, even though the whole phenomenon seems bizarre.
Porn stars with their own "action" figures. Ah, the insanity of the Japanese. You can read even MORE insanity about Billy's recent Tokyo appearance.
There's been a whole lot of new releases over at Masterbeat in the past month. I'm going to break them down into a few posts. Masterbeat New Releases - Pop - 2/15/08
Britney Spears - Circus (Linus Loves Mix) Okay, Britney's still a mess but I know The Gays still love her, so I can't ignore her latest release. For the record, I may not be the biggest Britney fan but she's had some memorable tracks over the years and some have been downright enjoyable. In stark contrast, Womanizer made my ears bleed. Fortunately, Circus is a definite step up from that. This is a mediocre track, so it's all up to the remixer to make it interesting. Junior Vasquez has three mixes, the Ringleader Mix has a funky bass line that separates it from the Club mix and Electric Circus mix which are solid but a bit plodding for my tastes. The release includes two mixes by David Morales -- the Camp David Remix and the Camp Epic Remix, the Camp David Remix is a bit lighter has more energy. Friscia and Lamboy have a mix with more of an electro feel that's got a good feel. My favorite of the bunch was the Linus Loves mix, which, like Morales's Camp David Remix is a bit lighter with good energy.
Beyonce - Diva (Jeff Barringer vs. Fingaz Extended Mix), (Redcap Mix) & (Maurice Joshua Extended Mojo Remix) Okay, I REALLY don't care for this track, so I chose mixes that had elements that made the track interesting. First off was Maurice Joshua's groovy style that seems to work with just about any track he works on. Classic groovy house feel with healthy doses of piano and groovy bass line. So silky smooth that it almost makes me ignore the rest... almost. The Redcap Mix goes for the other extreme -- the word that comes to my mind for this track is gothic. Something about it really worked for me. Finally, I really dug the Jeff Barringer vs. Fingaz Extended Mix -- it has a dubby feel at points with more of a techno feel. Definitely not what I'd expect from a Beyonce remix, which is probably why I like it.
Deborah Cox - Beautiful U R (Soulseekerz Club Mix) & (Yinon Yahel Club Mix) Praise Jesus, Deborah Cox is back! Okay, I love this track for all the reasons that I disliked Beyonce's Diva -- that is, Deborah Cox comes through with a track that is beautiful, uplifting and shows that pop music doesn't have to be crass and jaded. This release includes a mix by the Soulseekerz who I absolutely adore. This isn't one of my favorite of their remixes but it's solid and high energy. Massimo Nocito comes through with more of an electro-ish feel, though it's not straight up electro. My favorite is the Yinon Yahel Club Mix that manages to feel grand and soaring and has some more trance elements. I know there are some tracks from the early 2000s that this reminds me of, though I can't put my finger on them right now. Welcome back, Deborah, I missed you!
Solange - T.O.N.Y (Lost Daze Extended Remix) Ah, listening to Solange is so refreshing because it's like hearing Beyonce before she started taking herself SO seriously. I love the Lost Daze Remix -- it's like listening to something from the Motown days. The other remixes are solid, but they end up sounding very routine and contemporary, where the Lost Daze mix ends up coming off sounding classic, very much in line with the original track.
Brandy - Long Distance (Jody denBroeder Club Mix) Another solid track from Brandy. This release only has two remixes -- the JodyBroeder Club Mix and the Dub. denBroeder comes up with a solid pop remix, doing a good job moving the track from a slow ballad to the dance floor. I was surprised at the energy the track managed to find considering the original. This isn't a peak hour track but it's definitely something that would be great to help bring a crowd to a more relaxed place.
I went with Adam and my friend Chris to see Push tonight. Adam had directed me to the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and they were pretty grim. Adam was particularly put off by the presence of Dakota Fanning. Nevertheless, the movie starred Chris Evans, so after Chris envited me, I was determined to go and enjoy it simply for the presence of Chris Evans.
While my expectations were low, I have to say that the movie itself wasn't half bad. No, it's nothing award winning and the plot was a little thin in parts, but I'd give it a 6.5 or so, probably something best experienced at a matinee or on DVD for those of you who don't drool over Chris Evans (maybe just lesbians), but I'd have raised the rating to a 7.5-8 if he had taken his shirt off. That's right, he kept his shirt on for the entire movie. Nonetheless, Chris Evans was amazingly hot and I have to admit that he's come a long way as an actor. So, if you don't mind admiring him with his shirt on, Push is worth a look.
I suppose I'm like a lot of people out there, I hate to wait. I want what I want and I want it NOW. Unfortunately, that doesn't work out for me, just like the rest of the world. Anyway, I've always been a sci-fi/fantasy geek at heart, that hasn't changed over the years. I've played RPGs all my life but I've gotten bored with the current crop of MMORPGs, Vanguard: Saga of Heros being my last one, although I dabbled a bit in the soon-to-be-defunct Tabula Rasa. While the whole MMORPG phenomenon has been interesting, I'm big on story and most of the games out there just don't really give you much depth, it's all about "Kill x creatures" or "Get _____ loot." /yawn. I had been playing Dungeons & Dragons Online for about a year, and that's honestly been the most fun I've had in the MMORPG genre but I haven't really felt the urge to go back.
I've usually preferred the traditional one-player RPG. It's just nicer for me because I can decide when I want to play, how much I want to play and usually I have a much richer experience. The only problem has been that there hasn't been any game in a while that's really caught my attention, until recently. Toward the end of last year I received an e-mail from Bioware announcing the development of Dragon Age:Origins, and I knew I had to have it.
I went looking for updates on the game and found out the release was pushed back to the second half of 2009. Initially I was disappointed, but I realized that the push back is actually very beneficial for me... especially because my machine is SO slow and I've not yet figured out how I'm going to get a new one. This gives me some time to work before I have to rush to the store and buy Dragon Age: Origins. So, despite that I want both a new computer and the game NOW, I suppose it's a good thing that I'm able to have some time to work it all out. I suppose I could look a little deeper at some of the other things where I want the things I want that I haven't yet gotten and think about how the time lag is actually benefiting me, but I think I'll skip that for now.
I'm not sure how many of you have been keeping track of this, but the latest scandal regards photos published of Michael Phelps sparking it up at a party at the University of South Carolina. There was a resulting furor that the 23-year old Phelps is acting, well, like a 23 year old. Some have opined that this is just horrible and shocking and that this somehow erases all of Phelps's accomplishments and spells the end of his career. Phelps recently released a statement acknowledging the truth of the photo and expressing his regret over his "bad judgment" and "regrettable" behavior and swears never to do it again. Mea culpa, mea culpa.
How insane is this? Phelps should have released a statement explaining that all he does is eat, sleep and swim and if he decides he wants to spark up a bowl and act like a normal college-aged student, then congratulations for trying to have some semblance of a normal life. Yes, it sounds like he was a bit out of control but that's what happens when you spend your life trying to be superhuman and miss all the things that make life enjoyable. These outraged moralizers need to get a life and mind their own damn business.