Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Going Retro

I'm younger than most (if not all) of you reading this. So, I feel a little awkward discussing the following subject as "retro" because, as Homer said to Bart when Bart told him he couldn't wear a Rastafarian hat at a rock concert, "Hey, I was safarian long before you were ever around." So, I'll call it retro and you'll all know what I mean.

I was not around during the Atari era, nor was I old enough to remember the big console crash of 1984. I did, however, get my first taste of Super Mario Bros. in late 1985/early 1986 at the tender age of 4/5. So that is the definition of retro to me. It is also when video game music started to get really good. If you have never heard the theme from Super Mario Bros. tickled on ivories or played on a xylophone, you have not truly experienced the beauty that is video games. It just sounds chincy when they take that and compress it down into a tiny midi file on an 8-bit disk. The main-theme from the Legend of Zelda is also quite captivating on piano. The themes from Tetris come across as energetic concertos. And having grown up on a steady diet of Metallica and Van Halen, something in me just loves hearing the theme from Street Fighter II played on an electric guitar (with lots of distortion). If you've never immersed yourself in video game music, give it a shot. There are tons of sites all over the internet that have original compositions based on game music, as well as fan reproduction of the original themes and songs on various instruments. Check out http://ericslittleshack.tripod.com/ or www.ocremix.org.

I'm just on a bit of a retro gaming music kick today. Don't mind me.

Speaking of music, something I have attempted to grasp and understand intensely is opera. And, ya know what?..I still hate opera. I like things like the overture from the Marriage of Figaro, but, toss in professionally trained voices on top of the music, and you've lost me. I like being a cultured person and being exposed to artistic influences of all types, but you've totally lost me when it comes to opera. You can keep it...really. That and abstract art. I do however really enjoy what is called outsider art. If you've ever seen that one Simpson's episode where Homer becomes an outsider artist, you can laugh and know what I mean (all these references to the Simpsons suddenly?). Often, outsider art is associated with art produced by handicapped/mentally ill people, but it is really just art outside the boundaries set by art professionals. I like outsider art that is produced with discarded/found objects, especially. Making a chair out of Coke bottles and bottle caps or welding metal sculptures from scrap would be some good examples. Here's a good article you might read on an outsider artist who did drawn art and music: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_Willis

Well, I'm off to brew and drink beer this weekend. It will be me, my dad, and some other family friends. It promises to be a really good time. Here's hoping I do get some sleep, as well.



Kathy Brown said...

No opera? Actually, I did not like any opera (except perhaps the famous song from "Carmen") until I was well into my 30's. My father got a Christmas CD by Kathleen Battle, and I could not believe her voice, especially when she sang Ave Maria. Unbelievable.

Then I heard some music on PBS one day and it turned out to be from "La Traviata". So I got a recording of that with Pavarotti and I forget the lady who sang. Oh man, that is really good, too!

But there is a lot of opera I simply don't relate to. My mom cries when she sees "Madame Butterfly", but I've never watched the whole thing.

Something for you to look forward to . . . perhaps. :)

majeau13 said...

dude...Wesley Willis is/was the man

Niki said...

HAHAHAHA I got you on the retro kick with my Atari comment, didn't I? ;)

I remember life before CD's, cell phones, and lower back tattoos. I remember when gas was less than 1.00/gallon, PacMan was THE game, and leg warmers were cool. O.K. I heard they're cool again and that makes me laugh. Anyway Jared - you young pup - thank you for the laugh.;)

Is 34 really old?

Looney Mom said...

Hey Niki, I'm 34 too -- MOST DEFINITELY NOT OLD!!

I had an atari; actually we just got rid of it like 5 years ago along with the Nintendo. I really miss that one with Super Mario Bros. and Duckhunt. I'm so mad at myself for getting rid of that one dangit. I'd probably be less stressed if I could shoot that duck... ha ha!

Anyway, I don't care much for opera either. But do you know what rocker is opera trained and I just love her voice? She kicks butt!