Monday, August 6, 2018

Mini Iwai 2018 Justifies A Full Status Quo Sunday

WHEW, that was a wild one!

So, this has been my first con show ALL YEAR. And I wanted to do something special for it, as well as add a little hype to my intro, so I'm not going "OK, we're here, let's do this!". I'm not spoiling it here, since I want it to be a surprise when you come out to shows, but I felt like it went over well. Some tech issues prevented me from doing some new tracks, but what can you do? Got a lot of new fans!

The 3000 Brigade show also went over big, as we did it as Completely Real Boy Band B12. It still astounds me how well that gimmick goes over, and yes, they WILL be back in November as part of the full show. I'd give you spoilers, but then the stage ninjas would get me. In the rock world we call the people who wear all black and give us stuff "roadies".

Get your tickets now!

Holy shit, they have a wedding package? I will offer my services to play one traditional song and one cheesy wedding song of your choosing


Yes! "Deep Space Tragedy" is a song I've played live for a while, and I get goosebumps singing it out loud. I do plan on putting it on my 10th Anniversary Album, which is why I've actually recorded a "good" version of it. Before it's only existed as a slap-dash demo for the comic's artist.

Deep Space Tragedy is a comic about a teenage rock n' roll band in outer space, and are unwillingly part of something greater.

What I liked about writing this is cribbing a lot of the internal lingo from the book, because it's so dense, but you're able to pick it apart in context. Also, it's very consistent tonally. All the buildings are comprised of sharp and twisting geometry, and originally the artwork is all these shades of a very dark gray. It makes everything just feel shitty, but the people have been dealing with the shittiness for quite a while. But then Deep Space Tragedy comes along and it sucks less!

Also robots. Did I mention robots?


In the words of Strong Bad, IT'S OVER!!!

Not as good as I remember, obviously. Some good moments in there, but it's clear that Heavy Rain was a MAJOR step up for them.

I don't know if I'm doing this series again, or streaming, then premiering the episodes on Fridays, but I at least owe you all Danganronpa 2.

JAM OF THE WEEK: "Super Rad" by The Aquabats!

How has this NEVER been a Jam Of The Week?

ANYWAYS, The Aquabats have a Kickstarter out now, to produce more albums and more episodes of "The Aquabats! Super Show!".

"Super Rad!" is the first song people know from them, with this music video directed by, of all people, Bobcat Goldthwait. This was back from when they were a third wave ska band, and had like 8 or 9 members. Travis Barker was drumming for the band, before he made it big as part of Blink 182. His Aquabat name was Baron Von Tito.

Super Rad! is a goofy, energetic song that you can not sit down during. It's a mission statement, that, even though the band has changed genres 2 or 3 times, have always stuck to for the past 20 years. 

My first album from them was "Charge!!" from 2005, and was part of their new wave/synth rock sound after trimming down their crew significantly down to 5. There's a lot of good songs there, my favorite being "Look At Me! I'm A Winner!" which is straight up power pop. The single "Fashion Zombies!" is OK, but "Look At Me!" is more upbeat and has that sick solo.

But for me, the sweet spot for The Aquabats! is their 1999 album, "The Aquabats vs. The Floating Eye Of Death!". That album was their last one with a horn section and represented a shift that would finalize in Charge!. Vs. The Floating Eye! is the closest they've come to straight up punk. It starts off with "Sequence Erase!", which the web series Mega 64! uses for it's theme song. Then it goes into "Giant Robot Birdhead" and "Anti Matter!" which is up there for the best three song run on an album.

I'll talk more about them in another JOTW, but man I love The Aquabats!

Also I share a birthday with MC Bat Commander.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


JAM OF THE WEEK: "Love TKO" by Teddy Pendergrass

This is a baby making jam. Hands down.

I can't think of many other songs that make me feel as comfortable and at ease as "Love T.K.O." does. There's nothing here that's complicated or over wrought (except for Teddy singing like he's 110% in love with the lyrics), and it doesn't need to be. All the little flourishes and bits that come in and out keep it from getting too dry in spots, even though all the verses are the same.

"Love T.K.O." is another song from the impossibly good Indigo Prophecy soundtrack, and plays during a scene where one of the playable detectives, Tyler Miles, is dancing with his girlfriend. Now, through my IP play-through I gave the character of Tyler a lot of shit, because he's a French person's idea of what an American black man is like.



Buuuut... this is also the perfect place to listen to a song like "Love TKO": lots of warm colors, fantastically retro, and chill as all hell.

Also, David Gasman, the voice of Tyler Miles, also does the voice of Lucas Kane, the main protagonist in Indigo Prophecy:

David Gasman Picture

AND the black police chief.


"But Rhythm Bastard," you ask, "why are you talking about Indigo Prophecy again?"


It's baaaack!

This episode I slept on because there was a lot I wanted to talk about, but the audio was muted. I didn't have a lot of time otherwise, but I managed to get this one out.

Thankfully there was at least one REALLY stupid sequence to get hyped over, and it's before the game takes a massive nosedive into "OH SHIT WE RAN OUT OF MONEY END IT NOW WITH KUNG FU" sequences.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

JAM OF THE WEEK 7/15/2018

JAM OF THE WEEK: "Tangerine Speedo" by Caviar



Recently I've been catching up on older shows for the 3000 Brigade. One of the fun things watching them from year to year is what becomes a recurring joke. The crew has been mostly intact for their 10+ year run, so it's natural stuff sticks around.

Most people would recognize Red Link being introduced with a fanfare and everyone shouting his name, Princess Peach sleeping around, Toad dying in every show, etc. While every show is always going to be someone's first, these bits make it feel like "Hey, we're all good friends doing this for fun"

Doing my second show with the 3000 Brigade is interesting, because I see first hand what comes back from last year: sometimes it's something the people liked, sometimes it's an old charachter coming back, etc.

Oh right, the song.

"Tangerine Speedo" by Chicago's Caviar, is the song that plays whenever Yoshi comes out. Yoshi, in 3KB Canon, is a sassy rich (?) gay (?) dino who wears a tangerine speedo, which is most likely covering up a horrible deficiency with the costume.

It does fit in with the image the song paints: Mr. Tangerine Speedo is a guy with a lot of money and a beachhouse, who goes crusin' for action and is most likely shitfaced on the least hardest liquor you can imagine right now. The vocals are sleazy throughout, and the crunchy chorus provides a nice counter to the lounge lizard feel of the verses. It works!

"Tangerine Speedo" is also featured in the movies Charlies Angels and The Cat In The Cat.


Caviar only lasted 5 years, breaking up in 2004. According to Wikipedia, the most recent thing they are notable for is their song "The Good Times Are Over" being in a DBZ TV Special for like, two seconds. 

Hmmm... Goofy first single that was in a lot of movies, and then they disappeared after 2 albums? Holy shit, this is what happened with The Vapors!

I like this song, but it could have only happened in the early 2000's where stuff like "Flavor Of The Week", "Teenage Dirtbag" and "Right Now" could be big hits.  

BONUS JAM! "Campfire Song" by Single White Infidel

Also Jeff Webster aka weffjebster aka Single White Infidel put out this track on his side project, "The Sixth Shot" and I liked it a lot.

Monday, July 9, 2018

JAM OF THE WEEK 7/8/2018

JAM OF THE WEEK: "So Wrong" by The Interrupters

For reasons I can't remember, I'm subscribed to Hellcat Records on YouTube.

And last week, I'm glad I did, because they introduced me to The Interrupters, a ska punk band in the same vein as Rancid.

They recently came out with a new album, 'Fight The Good Fight'. The song I've chosen from it is "So Wrong", the one I happened upon first. I'd also recommend the rest of the album, since this one doesn't standf as well on a closer listen, but "So Wrong" is a great entry point if you're a fan of more straightforward punk.

While Rancid is an obvious influence, it does remind me a lot of some of Social Distortion's faster songs. Especially since lyrically it's very reminiscent of "I Was Wrong". That is "I was an asshole and probably fucked everything up, and this is me realizing I'm the asshole". However, "So Wrong" has so much more energy, it made me forget that I was driving to work- oh

oh I have work again tomorrow


Anyway, here's the first single from the album, "She's Kerosene":

It's a better showcase of their style, and a way more fun hook. That bass playing is still smooth as all heck!

Monday, June 25, 2018

JAM OF THE WEEK 6/24/2018

JAM OF THE WEEK: "Party Like It's Your Birthday" by The Studio Killers

Studio Killers, Mystery Skulls and Goldfish are the the holy trinity of "dance music I love and they also have kick ass animated music videos".

While most of the internet was (rightfully) gushing about The Gorillaz's "Humility", this what was kicking on my stereo. Like The Gorillaz, the Studio Killers are a "virtual group" that is a "side project" of another band (Damon Albarn from Blur, Teemu Brunilla from The Crash).

Studio Killers are really good "night driving music", especially if you're dressed like you're straight out of Miami Vice and wearing shutter shades: It's energetic without being too intense, and full of soothing synths. I've sung the praises of their first single "Ode To The Bouncer" before, and "Jenny" is a solid recommendation, so it's welcome "Party Like It's Your Birthday" continues the tradition of excellent summer jams.

One thing I'd like to bring attention to is that The Studio Killers are 2D now. Not a complaint, I just found it intreresting, considering the 3D models from "Bouncer" and "Eros and Apollo" weren't bad or anything. But new album, new look. By making everything more angular, it feels less dreamlike. The "magic" is lost, but the music is still great, and if they flesh out the "world" of this new look, I'm still 1000% on board.