mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Music is a funny thing.

The associations that lyrics and tunes create for us are so strong that the music that clicks for us becomes something very personal-- in a good way, but also in the divisive, tribal, ideology-defining way. Admitting you like the "wrong" music in some circles is about as bad as admitting you've joined an alien comet cult or have a secret hobby as a serial killer. I'll confess to seeing other people talk about the music they associate with this character or that character and feeling that visceral "oh god no" pang in my gut, and I suspect my musical tastes (overwhelmingly slanted toward older white guys with guitars) probably make other people the same way.

So, while using lyric quotes as epigrams or titles in 'fic is common enough, publishing an actual fandom-themed playlist to the world is akin to getting naked before the f-list. It invites judgment. So here I go, sharing my primary Jugdral playlist with you all. :)

Under the cut )

I welcome commentary on this. Seriously. Even if it's "WTF, Mark."
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
After completing the Prologue, I have only this to say:

<3 <3 Azel <3 <3

He does get some crap level-ups, though.

As for Sigurd... holy cow.  It's like having Seth as your main character.  If he can't literally ride farther, hit harder, and kill stuff better than every other unit, it sure seems like it.  No wonder he thought he could rescue Adean (Aideen?) single-handedly.  I did manage to get him killed in Verdane, though.  Dammit, Ayra.  I was beginning to think he was immune to everything except the plot.  

So far I quite like the gameplay... the huge maps and masses of enemies would make this infuriating without the save function, but there is something very engaging so far in dealing with the character skill sets when it comes to fending off those masses of enemies.

As for FE5... dammit, how on earth does that Chapter 2 boss die?  He's as annoying as Hyman in FE11, except with no convenient save point to make resetting easier.  Do I have to give Evayle her Fire Sword back and let her handle him?  I don't want to.  :(

Leaf is probably going to eclipse Marth for "Number of Times I Have Seen the Game Over Screen."  I can feel it.

-x-

Things that are not Fire Emblem: reading The Blind Assassin.  Excellent book.  It took a while to get my head around the story-within-a-story, but once I got into that, all was well.  Very Canadian, but I'm into that sort of thing.

Also, Radiohead played the Detroit area last night for the first time since 1997.  In other words, back when OK Computer was their hot new album, which really came home as they were doing "Karma Police" during the second encore.  It was a brilliant, brilliant show, with both encores entirely deserved, spoiled only by the usual sort of shitty "fan" the Palace of Auburn Hills attracts.  I hate that venue.  

-x-

Playing games works its way into my dreams like few other forms of media.  The night before last I dreamed about, of all things, Lex and Azel.  Just... whatever. 
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Shearwater have a song from their forthcoming album available on soundcloud.  "You As You Were" is the song that really got my attention on listening to tracklist the first few times; it's quite different from any of their previous works.  Check it out.

-x-

Well, thanks to [personal profile] myaru , I now have my own copy of the Weiss Kreuz Animation Special artbook.  My chances of ever watching the show again are... remote... but damn do I like the character design, even after more than ten years.  Fangirl bait to the max.

Though I recall my husband being awestruck by how much Takatori Reiji (the bad guy for the first story arc) resembled Coleman Young.  I believe that improved the viewing experience.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
It's not harvest time around my house without a nice squash risotto.  This time, I got a little more edgy and made a "farrotto," which sounds like a commedia dell'arte clown (or one of Dante's hell-demons) but is actually a risotto-type dish made with farro wheat instead of short-grain rice.  It's a little heartier than risotto, with more heft in each bite and a nice nutty toasty flavor, and the chunks of acorn squash and shreds of red kale all worked to make quite a tasty dish.  The cooked kale, when refrigerated, turned an alarming shade of blue-green with hints of violet, but returned to normal after being re-heated.  It did take about 2.5 hours to prepare and cook, so this was a little more labor-intensive than I had hoped.  

Not convinced by this article extolling the virtues of paella compared to risotto.  Risotto really isn't hard to make (even if it does take a couple of hours) and every paella I've tasted Stateside has been kind of acrid and nasty.  I think I'll pass on paella unless I take a trip to Spain.

-x-

Shearwater have released a fantastic new single, "Breaking the Yearlings."  Even if you didn't like them before, give this one a chance, as the sound is a significant departure from the last three albums.  I do wish Jonathan Meiburg would sing a song the entire way through in his baritone register, though.  His baritone parts were the best thing about "Lost Coastlines" by a mile and a half.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
Got an awesome new band to rec: Slothpop, whose self-titled album is really a little gem.  Encountered them last week opening for Wye Oak, who were my awesome new band of 2010.  Wye Oak remain awesome, as they have a new album, Civilian, that is a damned good contender for best album of the year.  Also, they have this brilliant cover of Danzig's "Mother."  No, really.

Speaking of albums of the year, so far PJ Harvey's Let England Shake is tops.  It's a close-to-perfect album, and I say that as someone not enthralled by Polly Jean's previous work.  It works as a wonderful counterpoint to Arthur by the The Kinks, which is arguably the best narrative concept album in rock music history.  

While I'm talking of one-off brilliance, let me pimp Boxer by The National, an actual perfect album from a band whose catalogue is otherwise not worth a listen.  I don't know how they did it, but Boxer (whose underlying theme seems to be professionalism and work identity) is simply brilliant.

-x-

So, "Starchild" barrels along with Chapter 12.  I'm tempted to write up a glossary for this AU, a sure sign that one is Too Damned Deep in a project.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I don't think I've posted this before.

Shearwater's Tiny Desk Concert for NPR, circa 2008.  The singer is Jonathan Meiburg.  Yes, IRL I do fancy the tall, slender, mop-haired boys (see: Ephraim). 

Oh, yeah.  Since the "Island Arc" albums influence the mood/theme of "Dark Sun of Desire" pretty strongly, I have a strong desire to get back to polishing Chapter Four of that once I get home.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 I can already say that Shearwater's "Island Arc" concert is the best concert I will see in 2011.  It might be the best show I've ever seen, despite some sound-mix quirks and a few technical problems.

And Jonathan Meiburg hugged me.  <3 <3 <3

More later.  Gotta plane to catch tomorrow.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 In Austin tonight for an awesome one-off Shearwater show tomorrow.  My favorite band of the 2000s is playing their three great albums-- Palo Santo, Rook, and The Golden Archipelago-- back-to-back before taking the rest of the year off from touring.  Tickets were about eighteen bucks apiece, but the travel expenses are... a lot more.  A LOT more.

Staying here tonight and at the Driskill Hotel tomorrow.  This place is incredible-- the room is done up with genuine period pieces, including a wardrobe I'm almost afraid to touch because it's plainly so fragile-- and we have a balcony outside the room where we can just... chill.  Overlooking loquat trees in bloom, Corinthian columns, and so on.  The restaurant's food was excellent.  I had antelope, which was... interesting, but the soups were fantastic and the sides were done very well.  Experience was somewhat spoiled by the family at the next table over; the husband was OK but the woman was a repulsive creature and the two daughters were clearly headed in that direction.  We're talking the kind of person who sends a plate of food back, not because it's prepared wrong or there's a roach in it, but because they've changed their mind and want something else.

I dunno.  I go to some restaurants for the food and the ambience and maybe a bit of history.  Some people seem to go so they can feel important and lord it over the wait staff.

Austin is pretty darned cool.  Went to a genuine tea-shop today with some really nice oolongs; bought the Iron Goddess Oolong plus some black tea from an old-growth tea forest in Vietnam.  Enjoyed a cup of Coconut Assam and a plate of sesame cookies there at the shop and got to read a magazine dedicated to tea that featured extreme obsessive geekery over Red Mark Pu-erh and such.  Did not realize the publication existed, but it does and I can say that tea obsessives seem even weirder than wine obsessives.  We also met up with a friend from college days who took us on a driving tour of the city.  Hadn't seen the guy since June of '99, so that was really cool.

Sleepy now.  Zzz.
mark_asphodel: (FE3 OTP)
 Wow, whose bright idea was it to have Rush's "Tom Sawyer" on the playlist for a wedding reception?  

The sad thing was, that was one of the better songs the DJ played last night.  The rest was a mix of oldies so moldy they had entire civilizations of fungus growing on them, or totally soulless dance hits.  The happy couple has great taste in music, but the wedding and reception both were arranged and paid for by the parental units, so the ceremony and the party were tasteless and bore little overall relation to the very charming and personable bride and groom.  At least it was the kind of wedding where we were genuinely happy for the people involved-- intelligent, artistic, sweet, and truly nice people-- and can imagine them having a good lifetime together.  I have another wedding today (in about, uh, five hours) and that one I am slightly less positive about because the bride has a kind of unstable history, but the bridegroom is a good and responsible man and I think they finally have their act together.  I hope so, anyway, as they have three kids between them...  

Also.  Sedevacantists may be a scary and hateful fringe group, but they are 100% correct about the degraded nature of the modern Catholic liturgy.  If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.

Strong opinions on the modern Catholic mass. )

ETA: Wedding #1 was much more dignified, but there was no Holy Communion, which was weird.  The ceremony felt chopped-off; I've never seen a Catholic wedding without Holy Communion before.

Mind: Blown

Oct. 9th, 2010 08:25 am
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Saw a concert last night.

Not just any concert, but a show by the artist currently living who has had the most massive impact on my life-- including the direction I went at university, my decisions re: love and marriage, the choices I made for the unfinished original novel I spent ten years on, and my fandom interests up to and including Fire Emblem.

My most excellent spouse and I also met up with some "friends" we first met in virtual form via Usenet back in the late 1990s... which is where we encountered one another.

There are too many layers of personal meaning going on here for me to begin evaluating this show objectively.  Had a damned good time, though, and plan to see it again when it comes through Detroit.

More later, if my brain doesn't turn to jelly in the meantime.

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