Archive for July, 2008

The Captain Picks Thirty Albums For Thirty Years

My endless love of lists recently caused me to stumble upon a nifty little idea.  Apparently, music nerds like me have been making lists by picking their favorite album from every year of their life.  Some pick albums based on current taste, some pick based on their actual favorite from that year.1

I got to thinking, found a great website that actually ranks music by individual years, and carefully picked out my favorites.  Here are my thirty picks for my thirty years on this planet.  Feel free to comment, disagree or openly mock me.  If anyone makes a list, I’d be happy to post it here as well.  Without further ado,

1978  Son Of A Son Of A Sailor – Jimmy Buffet

1979  The Wall – Pink Floyd

1980  Remain In Light – Talking Heads

1981  Beauty And The Beat – Go-Go’s

1982  Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes

1983  She’s So Unusual – Cyndi Lauper

1984  Purple Rain – Prince

1985  The Head On The Door – The Cure

1986  Licensed To Ill – Beastie Boys

1987  Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses

1988  Nothing’s Shocking – Jane’s Addiction

1989  Doolittle – Pixies

1990  Ritual De Lo Habitual – Jane’s Addiction

1991  Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

1992  Little Earthquakes – Tori Amos

1993  Siamese Dream – Smashing Pumpkins

1994  Dummy – Portishead

1995  To Bring You My Love – PJ Harvey

1996  Odelay – Beck

1997  Whatever and Ever Amen – Ben Folds Five

1998  Mezzanie – Massive Attack

1999  Liquid Skin – Gomez

2000  Kid A – Radiohead

2001  Is This It – The Strokes

2002  A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay

2003  Elephant – The White Stripes

2004  Our Endless Numbered Days – Iron And Wine

2005  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

2006  Carnavas – Silversun Pickups

2007  In Rainbows – Radiohead

2008  Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Obviously years 1-10 don’t really count, so any list will have some picks based on current tastes.  Most of mine are current tastes, with a few throwback picks for fun.

The Captain Has Another Wicked Awesome Fourth

July Fourth has consistently provided me with stellar entertainment over the past few years.  In 2006 I drank free beer on the beach while watching fireworks over the Gulf.  Last year I docked a boat on a sandbar in the Gulf and relished in the sun with my friends in Sarasota.  This year continued the Wicked Awesome Fourth tradition, this time for three whole days.
My old friend Mike and his fantastic wife Irene came into town for the weekend and stayed with Meg and I.  Houseguests are always fun, especially when they excel at drinking and conversing like Mike and Irene.  We hit the bars hard on Thursday nite, and spent most of the day on Friday recovering and prepping for our big party.
And what a party it was!  We decided to have our loft-warming party on the Fourth, since we have such a lovely view of the Arch.  This was quite an undertaking, especially since Meg and I haven’t ever thrown a party together in St. Louis.  We wound up with about 25 people to enjoy Meg’s food, my drinks, and the downtown fireworks.

We even managed to mix groups of friends without any catastrophes.  After another morning of recovery, we spent the afternoon at the ballpark enjoying the lovely weather and the Cardinals win over the Cubs.  We walked all over downtown with our guests, and I even learned a thing or two about our up and coming city.

That nite we had a much smaller gathering over to watch the fireworks.  After such a busy weekend, Saturday’s low key vibe was quite relaxing.  By the time our guests left on Sunday Afternoon I was pleasantly exhausted.  72 hours of non-stop excitement added up to a Wicked Awesome Fourth like no other.  Here’s to America Baby!

Ciao,
The Captain

The Captain Spends His Nights And Weekends In Liberty City

This past weekend I completed Grand Theft Auto IV after two solid months of play.  Simply put, this is the best video game I’ve ever played.  Every entry is exponentially better than the previous game in the series.  Continuing this trend should be difficult, but Rockstar makes it all look effortless.  In honor of completing this groundbreaking game, here are my Top 5 Favorite Things about GTA IV.

1.  The Detail Put Into Recreating New York City

The programmers at Rockstar must have spent a lot of time with cameras in New York.  The recreation is near perfect, so much so that Meg actually noticed.  I was walking by the Fish Market, and she pointed out the building she lived in while at NYU.  She recognized it from across the room!  Not only did they recreate the look, they nailed the feeling of New York.  Having spent my summers as a kid visiting my dad in Jersey, I can definitely say that the seedy pre-Giuliani feeling of the City is spot on.

2.  The Enhanced Gameplay

Previous Grand Theft Auto games were heavy on visuals and story, and lighter on the actual gameplay.  It is noticeably easier to control the main character, Nikko.  Plus they fixed my biggest pet peeve, unlocked cars.  Unlike past games, Nikko actually has to break car windows and hotwire the vehicle when attempting auto theft.

3.  The In-Game Media

GTA has always been known for its subversive and highly ironic humor.  This go-around they kept the satirical tone and multiplied it.  Part IV features in-game radio stations, television programs, websites, and even a couple of new stand-up routines by Ricky Gervais.  There are mean parodies of everything from Fox News and VH-1, to NPR and Match.com.   Check out this fake TV commercial for a Gun Club:

4.  The Story

The main story is the game is actually quite compelling for a video game.  It revolves an Eastern European immigrant trying to escape the war in his home country by coming to America.  It gets a bit clichéd at times, but mostly Nikko comes across as a fairly three dimensional character.   The real draw is the enormous cast of supporting characters.  The sleezeball eastern-European cousin, the Rastafarian sidekick, the roid-rage playboy and the hard-drinking Irish punk are all broadly painted yet still fascinating , and the minor characters are about as funny as it gets.  My personal favorites are the five girlfriends Nikko accumulates.

5.  The Multiplayer Mode

Ultimately, the multiplayer mode is what will keep me playing this game for the next few years.  A variety of games and mission make this game well worth the investment.  And now that I’ve finally completed the story mode, I’m ready to take on whoever feels lucky online.  Bring it on Chris and Brian!

Ciao,

The Captain

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