Thursday, August 06, 2009

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Weeds (Season Four):
In the fourth season of Weeds, Nancy Botwin moves her family south to the Mexican border because of the events that occurred in the previous season finale. This was probably intended to get some fresh settings into the story, but some of the main characters that don't really fit into the new setting end up there anyhow and the writers go to convoluted lengths just to keep around familiar faces. The stories are amusing with more of the focus on character antics over family drama, although there seems to be a lot more unnecessary sex and nakedness for the pure sake of being an edgy Showtime show.

Final Grade: B+

Masters of Doom by David Kushner:
This book is the biography of John Carmack and John Romero, and, by extension, the history of id software and the DOOM games. It's written in a simple, engaging style with a fair bit of artistic license, and reads a little like David Sheff's Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World. You'll only get a kick out of it if you grew up at all with the DOOM phenomenon, but for those folks, it's definitely worth a read.

Final Grade: B

Like Vines by the Hush Sound:
Like Vines is the second CD by The Hush Sound, the band that I previously said was catchy, if bad at sound mixing. This CD is a bit more polished, and the songs are much stronger than their first outing -- other members of the group provide backup vocals, and there are more occasions for the male/female leads to sing together. The only downside is its length: 35 minutes. More and more CDs are being released with barely enough music to be worth it -- if you don't have enough music to release about an hour's worth, you shouldn't be releasing yet. Alternately, you need to repeat the chorus eight more times and call it a day (see also, Jem).

Final Grade: B-

Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba:
This is a campy benefit CD that takes popular rock and pop songs and mashes them up into Cuban salsa songs. Some are more successful than others, but it's longer than 35 minutes and is fun for background music. Samples can be heard here.

Final Grade: B

Marines ban social networking
Taxi service allows patrons to decide fares
Spain acquits sole black man in ID parade

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