Who doesn’t love free music? Now, like a lot of purists in the music-listening realm, I always prefer a physical copy—be it a CD, cassette and LP—but every so often, bands decide to share music by delivering free content to the masses via download. Who are we to say no? In keeping with the notion of giving, David Byrne and St. Vincent are bestowing a free download of the “Brass Tactics” EP online, which you can download simply by providing an email address and well ... clicking “download.”
You may know David Byrne from his name-making reputation as an innovative avant-pop specialist (known mostly for his work with Talking Heads), and you may know St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) by her hypnotic voice, righteous (or riotous?) guitar rhythms and interesting songwriting. But together, they released an album, Love This Giant, last year that touched on each of their strengths; the album showcased funkadelic pop arrangements with brass accompaniment and Clark’s signature guitar work. According to various news sources, the EP contains a track that didn’t make it on to Love This Giant, a couple of remixes and two live tracks (“Marrow” by St. Vincent and “Road to Nowhere” by David Byrne). So, what are you waiting for? It’s free, yo!
Network television took another hard hit to the family jewels when Netflix started cranking out original series (“House of Cards,” “Hemlock Grove,” the upcoming “Arrested Development”). Now Amazon is getting in on the action as well, producing an entire network’s worth of shows without so much as a television in sight. Is television dead as a medium? Hard to say just yet. But there are now plenty of other places—besides your television set—to watch bad TV.
Tower defense games are nothing new. Neither, for that matter, is steampunk. But how about putting two great tastes that taste great together together? Steampunk Tower has you fighting off waves of steam-powered tanks and floating dirigibles. Hurry up and build those defenses (including a Tesla-inspired lightning gun). Steampunk Tower's unique system allows you to take your weapons offline for repair and reloading. Just be sure you've got a few big guns in reserve as your tower gets bigger and bigger. Those artfully rusty enemies aren't going to give you any slack!
Adult Swim’s awesomely destructive, Atari 2600-style game Mountain Maniac gets a holiday makeover in Mountain Maniac Xmas. You're Santa (or a poor approximation thereof) and are tasked with smashing huge boulders off a mountaintop. Control their descent to cause maximum carnage. And watch out for rampaging reindeer!
It’s Friday night. It’s lovely outside. I’ve been trying to write something informative and newsy ... but I can’t concentrate long enough to finish a coherent serious sentence. I’m restless and in the mood for some people-watching.
If you’re similarly stuck inside in front of your computer on this balmy evening, itchily unable to satisfy your voyeuristic urges, I offer this clever timelapse creation by Jeff Deasom as a meager solution.
Holiday-themed Flash games are uniformly awful. And Thanksgiving-themed games are the worst of the lot. So Armor Games did us a favor when they took their already-entertaining Chuck the Sheep and dressed ol’ Chuck up in a turkey suit for Thanksgiving. You play Chuck, a sheep (or a turkey, I guess), who’s trying to escape the farm in some sort of homemade catapult/rocket. Launch yourself out of the barnyard and try to get as far as possible. Get a move on! You’re about to be sheared. Or served up for Thanksgiving dinner. One or the other. Or both. I'm kinda confused.
Remember when you were a kid and you made little buildings out of blocks just so you could knock them down? Rubble Trouble Tokyo has much the same feel. In this addictive puzzler, you’re in charge of a demolition company whose job it is to destroy buildings. Only your workers don't want to do it the old fashioned way. They want to use rockets and sumo wrestlers and giant robots and huge pachinko balls to take down the local architecture. Who are you to argue? Just get the job done!
“I hate the stuffy theater in the summer! More outdoor performances!” you shout. “Gimme free stuff to do with my kids because they’re out of school and they’re totally driving me bonkers being around all day!”
Fusion Theatre Company yells “Okay!”
Friday at noon, an ensemble of players theatricalize the Fourth Street mall, spinning tales in front of Creative Albuquerque’s home base. The Lost Ending, by Brad Gromelski, is an interactive play created with children in mind, but Fusion promises it will engage adults too. When a group of storytellers loses the book half way through the performance, they need the help of their audience to create an improvised ending.
Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics, and claim a spot early. Lay back in the shade and be entertained.
Dinosaur Zookeeper has now leaped to the top of my list of dream jobs. Alas, the actual career doesn’t exist. But, thanks to Adult Swim’s game Dinosaur Zookeeper, we can all get some early, on-the-job training until science catches up with us. The game is your basic business sim. Place dinosaurs, build fences, keep the carivores away from the herbivores. Also, try and keep casualties of park visitors at a minimum. That just seems like good business practice for any field.
Like a bumbling discoverer from centuries past, last week I stumbled on a populated continent: netlabels.org, a catalog of labels offering free mp3 downloads. You can shovel through the heap of costless audio by genre. There are 500 categories, each housing anywhere from one to 100+ labels. Those labels harbor scores of musicians and release their cuts on the web, no charge.
Now you can get intimate with even more bands than your compatriots, which is vital to reproductive success.