Friday, May 19, 2017

Ep. 67: Five of Me

Ever wish there were five of you? Josh and Emily do, and they're already locking in what each clone's specialization would be. Jump in, ponder along, and also consider the effect of memories on musical enjoyment, the dual destinies of Josh and Jake Kaufman, Aretha Franklin's vocals, and tiny 8-bit worlds that go on forever. There's also a bit of a shakeup in Josh and Emily's usual overworld adventures. How permanent is it, and what will it mean for our intrepid heroes? Only time -- and perfectly roasted marshmallows -- will tell.

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This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
Willow Battle Theme Harumi Fujita
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment Hidden by Night (Lich Yard) Jake Kaufman
Mario Kart 8 Wild Woods Atsuko Asahi, Shiho Fujii, Ryo Nagamatsu, Yasuaki Iwata
Rejoice: Aretha Ōkoku no Kanata Save Our Love Chackey
Bomberman Quest Beach Zone Keiji Ueno, Goro Takahashi, Jun Chikuma
Kurohige no Golf Shiyouyo BGM #01 Unknown

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  1. Man, that Mario Kart 8 track(haha) reminds me of a more slickly produced version of Sufjan Stevens' "C'mon! Feel the Illinoise!".

    1. Oh my goodness, I wasn't aware that anyone else in the world besides me and the person who recommended it to me knew of that album.

    2. It's pretty popular amongst a certain set. Sufjan Stevens' works in general are fantastic. I prefer Carrie & Lowell, but I can only listen to it at certain times because it's so overwhelmingly melancholy.

      But how about that John Wayne Gacy song? That's some brutal honesty in songwriting.

  2. I love that Mario Kart 8 track too! Man. So good.

    Emily, I am totally with you on people talking through the solos! I never understand why people spend a ton of money to go to a show, just so they can talk through it. And I hear what they are saying, so I know it's just mindless idle chatter. Why! WHYYYYY!?!! "I paid good money to hear _____'s music, not your stupid conversation about how drunk you are!"

    I love how Josh finds new ways to make Pokemon Go interesting. I've started to pay attention to the different sovereign nations of gyms in my neighborhood now. One random thought I have had about the game, is I find it some pessimistic commentary on life (all life) in the Pokeworld that every time a Pokemon evolves, they become bigger, angrier, and meaner. You would think some would evolve to be sexier (sexual selection) or cuter to attract caretaking Poke trainers (like cute cats or puppies). It seems like they all must live in a poke-eat-poke world. Poor things. Maybe if Poke trainers would stop fighting them, there would be room for cuteness enhanced evolvements.

  3. What timing. I catch up to the present – and there is my suggestion waiting for me at the top of the show.

    The five of me question:
    (1) A spare life to spend studying pure mathematics is a compelling idea. Mathematics is the second most interesting in this world – after people.

    (2) Music too. There is so much to be inspired by in the way early VGM is written, and the more primitive the hardware, the more inspiring.

    (For all n in N : n > 2) The pondering starts to dry up and crumble. I retreated from this way of thinking years ago, from questioning what shiny accomplishments I may find. In a lifetime, in a day, there is not enough time; in the space before something you dread or in each moment of something you enjoy, there just is not enough time.

    No time to wonder what to do with time, now I just wonder about time.
    But not as a philosophical aspiration.
    Haven’t even read the relevant phenomenologists.
    Where would I find the self-discipline? Or the, y’know… time?

    The beginning of the Bomberman Quest track gets me right in my chord spot.

  4. All right KeyGlyph, you need to listen to me.

    I am extremely picky when it comes to films. Whenever most people recommend films to me, they almost never live up to the hype that had been established. This is because I went to college for acting and have studied film making as well and so now I can't ever watch a movie without critiquing it the whole way through.

    But Drive is a great film and I would recommend watching it.

  5. Five of Me:
    1. Psychologist
    2. Zen Buddhist Monk
    3. Musician
    4. Survivalist hermit mountainman
    5. Drug addled hippie poet and comedian

    Honorable mention: astronaut

    I'm kind of a bit of each of these, but you know, jack of all trades, master of none.

    Fun fact, I have a super productive friend whose last name is Pantalone. We call him Pentalone because it is as if there are five of him.

  6. I have not left many comments for fellow time travelers recently -- I have had little stimulus to do so since catching up to the present, but here is one:

    ‘Willow’ is the name of a design found on ceramic plates, platters and such, it was very common in the 19th century. It depicts a river or lake, the banks of which house some pavilions and a great variety of trees. There are a pair of doves, a small bridge, a distant boat -- it is all arranged with little to no sense of perspective within a round frame of geometric patterns.

    One of the things I do at work is clean artefacts after excavations. For a particular recent project I have been sorting through a very large collection of fragments fresh out of the ground to clean just the interesting ceramic pieces. ‘Willow’, being so common, is not deemed interesting; thus many, many times throughout the day I would pick up a piece of glazed pottery, look at at, go “Uhg, willow...”, and toss it into a ziplock bag to be dealt with later.

    It was only a matter of time before I started thinking of the track from Willow I had suggested -- more-or-less random pieces of ‘Willow’ making nuisances of themselves were comparable to random battles that you don’t want to fight.

    The thing is, I had a wire crossed in my mind and, as I realised after a bit, the melody I would mentally play was not Willow’s Battle Theme, but the Konami Test Board Tune (see Episode 13: Tuxedo Boy Adventures).

    Which brings us back around to this episode’s discussion: I had created an association between a tune I like and a (mildly) unpleasant occurrence. Finding ceramic on a dig is good, but ‘Willow’ is disappointing in that it was so widespread for such a time that it doesn’t tell us as much as more interesting pieces.

    So my task is clear: maintain the association, hum or imagine the Test Board Tune when I encounter that design throughout my career, and report back how it affects the music. I have found three services for sending an email to your future self; and I will use them to send this comment fire years future-ward to me to remind myself to report back here. I’m using three in case one or two of them stop existing in the next five years.

  7. Something I forgot to mention the first time around is that Aretha Franklin is the best. In 1998, Pavarotti was supposed to perform at the Grammys, singing Nessun Dorma. It’s an incredibly challenging operatic piece, and the song for which he’s most well known. Shortly before the event, he called the producers to tell them he was unable to perform. Aretha was a friend of Pavarotti’s, and they asked her if she could fill in. She agreed. In spite of having to sing the song out of her natural key, she KILLED it and saved the Grammys. https://vimeo.com/285410731