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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moon (2009)

Moon premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and is the first film directed by Duncan Jones. I recently got an opportunity to watch the movie and was blown away by its top-notch visual effects and plot. Actor Sam Rockwell is phenomenal as the seemingly insane lone astronaut (Sam Bell) aboard a lunar energy-harvesting station of sorts. As Rockwell's character's three-year-contract aboard the Moon comes to an end, he begins to experience strange events and begins seeing things that are definitely out of place.

Moon is a fantastic movie with a sensational and haunting story. Rockwell resonates emotion and I was hooked by the art direction and amazing atmosphere. If you get the opportunity I highly encourage a watch; it will leave you breathless and shaking.

Director Duncan Jones is not yet finished with his newly created future universe; he plans on revisiting the same timeline in his upcoming movie Mute; in which a woman's disappearance is investigated by her husband, a mute bartender. Sam Bell apparently will make a reappearance.

Balti - The Album Before The Bomb

The "Tunisian 2-Pac" has just released a mixtape titled The Album Before The Bomb. Balti (Sidi Hasseen) is from one of the roughest towns in Tunisia, and has achieved international recognition due to his intelligent and meaningful rap and hip-hop. In addition to providing vocals, Hasseen also produces and composes for a multitude of other artists.

The mixtape and following album will both be released through Raw Phoenix Records. Balti raps in English, Arabic and French. Artists from appearing on the mixtape include Chace Infinite of Self-Scientific, and Infamous Mobb.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

iShield Mirror

The iShield Mirror is the coolest iPhone case in stores. For under $30, you can buy this ultra-protective case. What differentiates this case from the rest is the mirror. When your iPhone is asleep or off, your iPhones screen is a mirror, however when you are using your phone, the screen is as clear and protected as it could be without any reflection at all.

Get the iShield Mirror here.

iDaft Console

Quite possibly the coolest the on the internet; the iDaft Console by Najile.com allows you to make your own remixes of Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger" and "Technologic." The applet plays the background beats while you are in complete control of the synthesized voices.

It's very easy to use and ridiculously addictive. iDaft also allows you to link with Facebook, Digg, YouTube and Twitter. In addition, an identical app is available on the iTunes store.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

K'Naan, Wale & John Forte @ Boston House of Blues

Somalian rapper K'Naan is coming to the Boston House of Blues on April 1st with special guests Wale and John Forte. K'Naan released an album titled Troubadour in 2009 and has since toured very differently than his former small-acoustics style live performances. After his most recent album, K'Naan's live shows have had a greater focus on lighting effects and electrical instruments. He has also begun performing with big names in an effort to get his name out there. This show is expected to be no different.

D.C. rapper Wale is on-the-rise and quickly become a very popular mainstream artist. He has recorded songs with artists such as Kid Cudi and The Roots. Brooklyn native John Forte was commuted from a drug-possession jail sentence by former president George W. Bush in 2008; he has since worked on re-entering the music industry, and even recorded a cover of Kanye West's Homecoming with Talib Kweli.

Tickets are only available at the door, but for more info click here.

Nintendo 3DS

Just weeks before Nintendo's next handheld is released (The Nintendo DSiXL) Nintendo has made an announcement regarding its 2011 plans to release the Nintendo 3DS. The handheld is able to conjure three-dimensional images without the need of color-glasses.

It was not officially announced how the system will be able to achieve this goal, but speculation points to the handheld's use of a front-camera for face-tracking. If this is true, forget about playing in the dark; unless of course the camera is equipped with night-vision.

The announcement is a strange one, coming just a week before the company's newest handheld; an enormous carbon-copy of the DSi. The last time Nintendo foraged into the world of 3-D gameplay was back in 1995 with the Virtual Boy. The release was one of Nintendo's few failures.

The video shows a game tentatively called 3-D Hidden Picture (creative). The system does not yet have an official release date, but expect it before March 2011.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marvell Moby

The Marvell Moby is a tablet PC being produced by Marvell. The main difference between this tablet and other tablets being sold today, is the Marvell Moby is predicted to retail for only $100. The price alone will make this tablet incredibly popular. Even at this price, the tablet is still capable of nearly everything that the expensive tablets selling today are capable of doing. This tablet will surf the web, connect to WiFi, open eBooks, and do everything else that should be expected. The Marvell Moby should be available by the end of 2010.

Read more here.

Infinite USB

This picture pretty much says it all. The Infinite USB solves any USB port issues by making every USB head have a male and female connector. This means that you will never have to deal with the problem of plugging and unplugging USB chords again!

Read more about the Infinite USB here.

Moral Choices T-Shirt

Stemming from the 2007 game Bioshock, this shirt refers to the act of either "Harvesting" or "Rescuing" Little Sisters from the clutches of Big Daddies. The former resulting in murder and the latter resulting in the little girl being alive.

It's iconic, simple, and unmistakable by fans of the game; although your not-so-gaming-savvy friends might give you some strange looks. Either way, the shirt is being sold for $18.95 at SplitReason.com

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cardboard Record Player

This is a picture of a fully functioning cardboard record player. When the record is spun with the pencil, the vibrations of the record go through the metal needle and are amplified by the material of the corrugated cardboard. When the cardboard is folded, it is small enough to fit into an envelope. This project was a result of GGRP's proving its sound engineering capabilities.

Read more about this project here.

Dilated Peoples - You Can't Hide, You Can't Run

20/20 was not a typical album for Dilated Peoples. It was not assembled like a traditional album, but more like a mix-tape. A "greatest hits," if you will, of new recordings and tracks. Among them is You Can't Hide, You Can't Run; a phenomenal song with good rhymes and a better beat produced by member Evidence.

The album was somewhat of a flop and is a sour note among fans of DP, however many casual underground listeners loved the album. I highly encourage a listen, but do not take it as a good example of what DP can do. The album features guests such as Talib Kweli and Krondon.

Invisibility Cloak

It seems that "bending light waves" is the way to go about making something invisible in a 3-dimensional plane. Earlier this month German scientists were able to successfully hide a bump on a piece of gold. They did it by stacking "photonic crystals" in a wood-pile-like manner, and bent light around the surface's blemish.

The study of using "metamaterials" to bend and control light is referred to as Transformation Optics. It is a relatively new field that has many speculating that cloaking large-scale objects will be a possibility in the years to come.

For now, this small achievement with the gold is a very promising step in the future of Transformation Optics. This is an up-and-coming technology that has endless uses. Imagine being able to hide unsightly off-shore windmills, or being able to cloak special operations forces.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lupe Fiasco - I'm Beaming

Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco is currently working on his third and apparently final studio album titled Lasers. The album is scheduled to be released sometime in 2010. I'm Beaming is the second single that Lupe has released, the first being Shining Down. That track has been removed from Lasers due to the not-so-hot response from fans.

Fiasco has been on tour with B.o.B. since early March. The "Steppin Lasers Tour" hits the Boston House of Blues on April 7th 2010. Buy tickets here.

Antigravity Platform

Have a trinket (3 ounces or under) that you want to display? Want to display it in the coolest way possible? Have an extra 90 euros? Live outside the United States? If you answered all of those questions with a yes, then keep reading. If not, well, keep reading anyways. Internationally designed and tested, IWantOneOfThose.com presents the Antigravity Display Platform. The gadget uses electromagnets to levitate a metal disk.

Simply plug the platform in, place something on the levitating metal stand, and give the object a light push. Not only will it stay suspended, but the object will revolve indefinitely. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of display cases. Unfortunately, its only available in Europe right now. No doubt they will make their way to U.S. shores in due time.

The 90 Euro package comes with the large electromagnet (with built-in blue illumination lights), a levitating metal stand, and a globe for default display.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Aside from being a great time waster, Abbreviation.com is an extremely helpful tool. The site is simple, well designed, and allows for quick searches or in-depth exploration into the wide world of acronyms.

Simply type in the acronym that you do not know the meaning of, and the site will take you to a list of all common abbreviations using those letters. Alternatively, you can also type in random letters and amuse yourself with the often bizarre results. Here are some of my recent favorites:

DADS - Department of Aging and Disability Services
POOP - Pure Object Oriented Programming
GOAT - Geographic Ozone Assessment Technology
HAIR - Hardcore Alternative Indie Rap

Xbox 360 USB Storage Support

According to Joystiq.com, Microsoft's Xbox 360 is finally scheduled to receive a firmware update that allows for USB mass storage. At the moment, Xbox owners are required to buy pricey proprietary hard drives to store their DLC, music, movies, and downloaded files. The update is scheduled for Spring 2010, and may pave the way for the rumored "slimming" of the 360 console. With the update, users will be able to download DLC, and full disk-based-games directly to the USB drive; however, the system will require the disk to be in the console for authentication.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Roots, Malik B & Dice Raw - Here I Come

This song, featured on the soundtrack to the movie Superbad, is from The Roots' seventh studio album Game Theory. MC Black Thought's quick rhymes and the song's rock-inspired beat earned it a place as the opening theme for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. You can currently find The Roots working on their 9th studio album, How I Got Over as well as playing as the house band for Fallon.

Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack Confirmed

Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling confirmed on a podcast that a new map pack would be releasing on March 30th, 2010. The pack will be comprised of 3 new maps, and two slightly tweaked maps from the original Modern Warfare title. There was no mention of new weapons or perks. The DLC will be priced at 1200 MS Points, or $14.99. The price has many fans angry, since the original game had downloads for 4 maps priced at $7. Not only that, but many feel as though this download is simply 3 new maps and 2 "recycled" ones.

Look for Bailout, Storm, Overgrown, Crash, and Salvage on March 30th.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tetris Furniture

26 years later, the world is still being influenced by the mind-numbing simplicity and fun of Tetris. These stackable and rearrangeable shelves were the idea of Brazillian designer Diego Silvério. When you think about it, the concept of Tetris-block furniture is actually quite brilliant; much like in the game, you can utilize virtually any space to your advantage.

I have not been able to find anywhere to purchase the pieces, but they would make an excellent project in wood-shop.

Talib Kweli & Mos Def - Joy

Joy is my favorite track off of Talib Kweli's 2002 album Quality. Any time the Black Star duo are on a song together, you know it will be a good one. The samples used are light, jumpy and fun; reflecting the song's title. Kweli's rhymes are smart and Mos Def grounds the chorus nicely.

Look for Kweli's return on Reflection Eternal's upcoming CD, Revolutions Per Minute

Cyberdyne HAL Suit

With Iron Man 2 in theaters soon, the world's attention will be drawn again to Tony Stark and his robotic suit. While the movie is fictional, the idea of a robotic suit that enhances human ability is not. Japanese company Cyberdyne is currently testing a suit that can multiply a person's strength by a factor of as much as 10.

The suit is called HAL (Human Assistive Limb) and has been in development for well over 5 years now. HAL's creator, Professor Sankai, says that the suit is primarily being developed to enhance the capabilities of the human body, but the suit will also have rehabilitation and therapeutic use. Whenever humans want to move, the brain sends a nerve impulse to muscles, and we obtain motorization. However, as a result of this message being sent, weak biosignals resonate from the surface of the skin. HAL picks up on these signals, and moves in perfect correlation with the movement of the body.

At the moment the suit is being tested in hospitals around Japan, and Cyberdyne has recently opened a branch office to spread its testing to the EU. No word of a United States release yet. This is a new technology that has unbelievable potential. In the near future it is not only possible, but likely, that dock workers will have HAL suits to help lift heavy loads and that patients around the world who could not walk will find a suitable exoskeleton in the HAL suit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rapstar Heroes

Small game company Nitric Burn Studios are partnering with underground rap group Shindiggaz to create a web game titled Rapstar Heroes. The 4-person, San Francisco-based company is setting its sights high by infusing the game with elements from popular retro titles like "Turtles in Time," "Streets of Rage," and "Super Mario Bros."

Streets of Rage and Mario? If you think it sounds like a recipe for disaster, think again. The game takes place in 2011, when aliens invade the earth. Game play is split between real-world Pittsburgh (beat-em-up style) and an alternate 90's hip-hop/retro game world in which the player will jump 'platform-style' a la Super Mario Bros. (art is conceptual)

Nitric Burn Studios hopes to create a game that is not only fun to play, but also promotes music, art, and film. The hip-hop group Shindiggaz are producing and recording the entire soundtrack, so expect to be jamming while fending aliens away from Pittsburgh.

The studio was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the game and about themselves via e-mail:

Legendary Urban: What were some of your favorite video games growing up as kids?
Kader: Dungeon Keeper, Civilization 2, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sim City 2000, Doom
Pisano: Commander Keen, Sim City 2000, Jill of the Jungle, Whack Thorn
Weber: Duke Nukem, Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Monkey Island Series, Ultima 7 (Parts 1 & 2), System Shock
Jack: Toe Jam & Earl, Ultima

Legendary Urban: What are some of your favorite video games now?
Team: (At the moment)
Kader: Company of Heroes, Age of Empires 3, Civilization 4, Fallen Earth
Pisano: Ultimate Mortal Combat 3, Gun
Jack: Civilization 4, World of Warcraft, Fallout 3, Oblivion

Legendary Urban: The warp world in Rapstar Heroes is said to feature some hip hop and video game inspired enemies, could you explain a bit more?
Kader: Its not only enemies, but the whole environment is built to reference games like turtles in time, streets of rage etc. as well as 90's hip hop. For instance, the health powerups are a pizza box and chicken. Also, the warp world backgrounds will reference sonic stages (such as Emerald Hill Zone) and Mario levels.

Legendary Urban: Is the game being built around a soundtrack, or will a soundtrack be recorded later and integrated into the completed game?
Kader: The soundtrack will be built for the game but Shindiggaz already build beats using samples from old games and TV shows. All of the in-game characters are based on real people and will do the voice-overs and help out with the FX.

Legendary Urban: When can we expect to be able to play Rapstar Heroes?
Kader: Right now we are at a stage where all the artwork is about 80% done but the programming is yet to start. The project is on hiatus whist we wait for KickStarter funding but we expect to start developing again the end of this month [March 2010] with the game being complete the end of April [2010]. Not only will the game be finished but there will be some exciting features that integrate with our servers and gaming back end.

Thanks to the team for the interview. Like Kader said, the project is being funded on KickStarter.com. Help fund this project and you could end up getting your own character in the game! The team also expressed their hope to eventually create an iPhone app and possibly and Xbox Live Mutiplayer facet to the series if it is successful as a browser game.

Legendary Urban will keep you posted with the latest from this promising title!


Zazzle.com is home to some of the funniest, most unique shirts on the internet. The site offers diverse apparel across a wide range of subjects; from geeky to hip hop, if you're searching for it, Zazzle probably has it. And if by some miracle they didn't, Zazzle gives you the ability to create and order your own.

Visit Zazzle.com here,
and get the platypus t-shirt here.

Dragon Alliance

Made from the most quality materials and with the most recent styles, Dragon Alliance sunglasses rival even the older, more classic glasses companies such as Oakley. The relaxed style of Dragon makes all of their sunglasses appealing. The pair above, Cinch Jet Blue, go for $75 and are equipped with a Grilamid frame, 100% UV protection, and many other things.

Visit the Dragon website here.

Friday, March 12, 2010


SpoofCard is a service that allows for complete privacy when calling someone. While this is a great use for the service, a greater use is definitely the prank calling you can do with it. SpoofCard allows you to have your caller ID show up as any number you want, and also supplies you with multiple voice changers, and even a call recorder!

This service was originally available for jail broken iPhones, then available on the iTunes store, but is now available on the SpoofCard website for iPhones, Droids, and Blackberries.

Free trials are available for those who don't believe how hilarious SpoofCard can be.

Visit the SpoofCard website here.

Norway's Svalbard Global Seed Vault

We've all heard the stories of Armageddon; global thermonuclear warfare, asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes, aliens and the like. It's a daunting thought, to think that one day the world will be turned into an inhospitable wasteland, but fortunately Norway has us covered. Well, at least in terms of seed preservation.

Norway's "Doomsday" Seed Vault opened in February of 2008 and has been carefully preserving boxes of seeds ever since. Here's how it works: Black boxes of seeds are transported to the usually uninhabited, yet highly monitored facility and are taken through dual blast-proof security doors and an airlock. Once the black boxes are categorized and stored (in up to three separate vaults for security) they remain there until they are needed; that is to say, they remain untouched until they are the last of their kind left on earth.

The vault lies in the frigid mountains near the remote village of Longyearbyen. The rough terrain and polar bear population serve as added security for the facility. Not to mention the cold climate is ideal for natural preservation in the winter months. In other words, it serves fine as a seed preserver, but if you need shelter when the world is coming to an end, don't seek refuge in the facility's -20 degree Celsius storage rooms.

Yesterday on March 12, 2010, the vault reached the 500,000 mark, making it the world's most diverse seed repository. (Approximately 1/3 of the world's known seed varieties are now housed there.)

Kidz In The Hall - Rise & Shine (Feat. Russoul)

Kidz In The Hall are back for their third studio album with Land of Make Believe. The album was released March 9th, 2010 and is another strong showing for the alternative hip-hop duo of "Naledge" (Jabari Evans) and "Double-O" (Michael Aguilar)

One of my favorite songs from the album is titled Rise & Shine and features UK artist Russoul.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

8-Bit Cities

Since I'm a fan of cities, and a fan of old-school video games, I was naturally drawn to M.I.T.-alum Brett Camper's new project. His vision is to make real-world maps of major metropolises that look like video games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), that is, to make them essentially 8-Bit.

In order to accomplish that goal, Camper put his idea up on KickStarter, a website where projects are funded by everyday people in exchange for trinkets and portions of the completed package. In a mere 2 days, Camper not only reached his goal of $3000 to buy server costs, but exceeded it by several hundred dollars.

He has already done a fully draggable, zoomable, and explorable map of NYC, but is planning to do maps of
  • San Fransisco
  • Boston
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington D.C.
  • Seattle
  • London
  • Paris
  • An additional 7 cities selected by voters
Camper uses the program OpenStreetMap for his project. The site is a wiki-like map of the world. He plans on doing a total of 15 pixelated maps, so contribute to your city, and vote for it to be transformed into 8-Bit.

Apple's iPad

Apple's new iPad is obviously a very eye-catching device, but it has a long way to go before it will encompass all the features that users need. The biggest flaw is that the iPad cannot play DVDs. The size and shape of this gadget screams DVD capabilities, however there are no moving parts (such as DVD drives) on the machine. Another feature Apple overlooked was the internet browser. Much like the iPods, the iPad cannot play Flash files which limits a lot of internet capabilities. Also, the starting price of $499 is for a Wi-Fi capable iPad, it'll cost you at least $630 for one that lets you use the 3G network as well.

With all these negatives, the iPad has a a lot of blatant positives. Apple's trademark interface is very easy on the eyes and easy to use. Not to mention Apple's app store gives iPad owners countless games and functionality options. While you are not able to play DVDs on the iPad, the iTunes TV and movie store is still a viable option that will make plane rides fly by. Another thing about the iPad that will be big is that it is prompting the opening of a book store on the iTunes store, making this gadget similar to the Kindle, and then some.

The release date of the iPad is April 3rd, 2010

Read more about the iPad here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

GDC 2010

The 2010 Game Developer's Conference (GDC) kicked off March 9th in San Francisco. The conference is the world's largest professional-only game industry event. Over the course of four days the world's biggest game companies will reveal some of their plans for the years ahead.

Most of the major gaming websites are currently reporting on the waves of information pouring in from the conference.

At the moment, the biggest announcement was that of Sony's new motion controller. The device is called the Playstation Move. It will be incorporated into the next SOCOM title and will work with the Playstation Eye. The device looks very similar to the Wii's motion controllers, and will most likely work in the same way. It can be assumed that this is Sony's response to Microsoft's Project NATAL.

Nintendo and Microsoft's press conferences are still to come.

iFight Pro App

iFight Pro is different from every other gun game app on the iTunes store because it does more than just make a gunshot sound or a swooshing sword sound. This game actually integrates bluetooth connectivity to allow iPhone users to literally fight with each other. It is essentially laser tag for the iPhone, allowing users to pick their weapons and utilize the accelerometer to swing or shoot each other to death. The app is also available on the Android Market.

The Tesla Roadster

It may look like the typical, fast, stylish sports car, but it's way more than that. The Tesla Roadster is completely electric. Don't be fooled, the vehicle does not make any sacrifices by running solely on electricity. The Roadster can go from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, can go 236 miles on a full charge, and can be charged by any average 120 volt outlet. However, driving this completely "green" car is not cheap, the Tesla Roadster goes for about $130,000.

Visit the Tesla Motors website here.

Tron: Legacy

The original sci-fi epic, Tron, released in 1982 was one of the first films to ever make extensive use of computer graphics. Nowadays it looks primitive, but nonetheless the film still maintains a cult-following around the world. The original film starred Oscar award-winning actor Jeff Bridges.

Bridges is back for the sequel, Tron: Legacy, scheduled for a December 2010 release. The esteemed actor will play the same character as he did in 1982, a computer programmer named Kevin Flynn. Although this time around, Garrett Hedlund will be the lead role as Flynn's son. Olivia Wilde, Beau Garrett, and John Hurt will also have prominent roles in the sequel.

The coolest thing about Tron: Legacy is that its soundtrack will be entirely composed by French House artists, Daft Punk. In 2009 it was announced that the techno-duo had already finished 24 songs for the movie. It was also reported that they will have a cameo appearance in the movie, sporting their trademark helmets.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bodega x Converse PoorMan Weapon

These shoes were designed as a cross between Bodega's classic style, and the traditional converse style. They are very functional shoes, made to be worn throughout the winter and spring in rain, sleet, and snow.

The stylish, extremely high top can be worn rolled down and are made with deerskin leather to keep you warm when your cold and vice versa. 100 sets of these shoes will be available March 13, only at Bodega, for $120 so get there early before they sell out!

You can read more about these sneakers here,
and visit Bodega online here.

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

1. Orchestral Intro (Feat. sinfonia ViVA)
2. Welcome to the World of Plastic Beach (Feat. Snoop Dogg & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
3. White Flag (Feat. Bashy, Keno & The Lebanese National Orchestra)
4. Rhinestone Eyes
5. Stylo (Feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack)
6. Superfast Jellyfish (Feat. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul)
7. Empire Ants (Feat. Little Dragon)
8. Glitter Freeze (Feat. Mark E. Smith)
9. Some Kind of Nature (Feat. Lou Reed)
10. On Melancholy Hill
11. Broken
12. Sweepstakes (Feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13. Plastic Beach (Feat. The Clash)
14. To Binge (Feat. Little Dragon)
15. Cloud of Unknowing (Feat. Bobby Womack & sinfonia ViVA)
16. Pirate Jet

Gorillaz is a "virtual band" created by Damon Albarn in 1998. The group is comprised of 4 characters, with Albarn's 2D being the only consistent contributor, appearing for a third time on their third studio album Plastic Beach. The album is a whirlwind of jumbled genres, styles, and results. On no other album will you find a collaboration list like the one on Plastic Beach; De La Soul, sinfonia ViVA, Snoop Dogg, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, British rappers Bashy and Kano, The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music, soul-singer Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Lou Reed, The Clash, Gruff Rhys, Swedish-Japanese singer Little Dragon, and Mark E. Smith are all featured on the album.

On paper, these seemingly random collaborations would make most skeptical. However, in motion the most brilliant thing about this album is that all of the guests work. Never once did I question why Albarn chose to work with a specific artist because the songs all feel like they sound precisely how they were intended from conception. This does not mean that I liked all of the songs, it simply means that, in my mind, Damon Albarn made exactly what he wanted to make of the album; a more precise, dark, and electronic sounding work than any of the previousGorillaz outings.

The album opens with Orchestral Intro and Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.Sprinkled with gull noises and fog horns, you will feel like you are travelling to a lost and polluted island. Snoop Dogg's slow and precise rhymes work brilliantly, but are a bit quirky, as is his nature. Overall, the initial two tracks serve their purpose and open the album in a mellow and flowing manner.

Without The Lebanese National Orchestra, White Flag would not be worth listening to. The decent, if shallow, rhymes of Bashy and Kano are saved by the foreign and exotic melodies of the orchestration.

Rhinestone Eyes is most assuredly the first standout track of the album. It's beautifully poetic lyrics are complimented by a kick-ass electronic beat.

Stylo was the album's first single, and while it's a great mash of soul, rap and europop, I couldn't help but feel it was missing something. Nonetheless it is a fantastic collaborative effort with Mos Def and Bobby Womack both contributing vocals. You really have to watch the music video however.

Why yes, that is Bruce Willis

The album continues with the track Superfast Jellyfish. It's a ridiculous and comical break from the linearity of the album's pollution and conservation message. The song instead makes a statement about the vulgarity of fast food culture. It's silly and catchy, but it's not a song I would ever listen to on a regular basis.

Empire Ants is probably my favorite song on Plastic Beach. It's starts almost painfully slow, but once the tempo and melody changes about halfway through the song, it transports you to an elegantly synthetic and mellow world. Little Dragon's vocals take you away from it all in a way not unlike Feel Good Inc. does on Gorillaz' second album, Demon Days.

Glitter Freeze is a purely electronic track and for me was not anything special. If anything it served as a break from the meaningful lyrics of Empire Ants to something a bit more playful.Some Kind of Nature follows it with a catchy and surprisingly deep tune.

The next two songs are complete opposites. The feel-good of On Melancholy Hill is utterly shattered by the juxtaposition of the lone desperado-sounding Broken. Both are great songs, although I believe On Melancholy Hill is the stronger and more memorable of the two.

Sweepstakes, is probably the weakest song on the album. It's awkward beat and trance-like feel didn't sit well with me. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble definitely outshines Mos Def on the song, but unfortunately they don't make an appearance until late in the track.

Plastic Beach, the album's title track, is an intriguing collaboration with The Clash and is, quite frankly, weird but good. At this point in the band's history, its fans expect to find the unexpected on Gorillaz albums. This song, album, and the concept behind them both are all testament to that statement.

To Binge is a meaningful and emotional duet with Little Dragon. Although this track isn't as memorable as the earlier collaboration, Little Dragon would still get my vote for best contributor to the album. The emotion continues with Cloud of Unknowing, and poetic song that ends with the same gulls that the album opened with.

Pirate Jet is the closing track, and is unfortunately not very good. I'm curious as to why Albarn chose to end the album with this song and not let Cloud of Unknowing finish it. It may have something to do with the bonus tracks that I was unfortunately not able to listen to. Nonetheless,Pirate Jet ends the album with, what I presume is, an escape of the Plastic Beach.

All things considered, the album is a deep and phenomenal addition to the Gorillaz discography. Dark, moody, and electric, it will require a couple listens to fully absorb all that Damon Albarn is throwing at you. Even if you have never heard of Gorillaz, you owe it to yourself to visit Plastic Beach and hear for yourself what exactly it is and why Damon Albarn created it.

1. Rhinestone Eyes
2. Empire Ants
3. On Melancholy Hill
4. Stylo
5. Some Kind of Nature

Monday, March 8, 2010

God of War 3 - PS3

The third and final chapter of the God of War saga will arrive March 16th, 2010 amid high praise from all major video game websites. The ultra-violent beat-'em-up series is known for its outrageously epic boss battles and its total bad-ass main character, Kratos.

The game is a PS3 exclusive and has a SRP of $59.99. If you simply can't wait for its release, pick up a copy of District 9 on Blu-Ray to receive a free demo of the game included on the disk. Alternatively, simply download the free demo from the online PSN store. The demo features a gruesome battle with Helios, as well as some other minor battles.

God of War 3 has received

For more info, check out the

Sam Adams - Boston's Boy

Massachusetts native, Samuel "Wiz" Adams, has been rising rapidly up the charts and is quickly becoming a household name in the Boston area as the Bay State's next big thing. As a fan of the grittier side of hip hop, I find it hard to take Wiz seriously. His use of auto tune and his shallow rhymes leave much to be desired, but it's undeniable that he has talent. I believe that, with time, Samuel "Wiz" Adams will become a very popular artist.

Wiz's first EP, Boston's Boy, is already a top seller on iTunes. At the time this post was written, it's #4 on iTunes' top albums chart. Make sure you keep an ear open for this young promising talent.

Halo: Reach

After reading that the new Halo: Reach for Xbox 360 wasn't going to have teabagging, I was worried that this new Halo wouldn't actually be an improvement. Fortunately, I read on IGN that this was just a bug and the developers were quick to jump on this issue and fix it.

Halo: Reach will have a completely new gaming engine to bring the franchise's already amazing graphics and audio to the next level. Combat and character changes include bigger Spartans and smaller Humans, along with different power-ups.

Read more about Halo: Reach here
Watch the multiplayer trailer here.

The Bloom Box

I can't make much sense of the scientific explanation as to why the Bloom Box is our answer to the energy crisis, but if eBay and other big companies have started using these mini generators, they must be the real deal.

Considering that their creator K.R. Sridhar has worked for NASA on making a machine to create oxygen on Mars, I think its reasonable to believe that his company might have made the ultimate, green, power plant.

You can read more about the Bloom Box here
and the company, BloomEnergy here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

?uestlove Design

This fantastic piece of art was done by an artist named William Pope a.ka. Popephoenix. He is a self-taught artist who is very focused on t-shirt design and illustration.

?uestlove is the drummer for the critically acclaimed hip hop group The Roots. Currently, you can see them live every weeknight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon while they work on their ninth studio album, How I Got Over, due out June 2010.

Please, please, please head over to Popephoenix's blog to check out more of his incredible designs.


FM365 is an apparel company that sells 7 different designs every week. Every week the designs are replaced with brand new ones, and the previous week's designs go into an archive. The website and all the designs are the works of Hon Lam a.k.a. Flying Mouse. A prolific and very talented artist.

All designs are printed on American Apparel tees and sell for $15 for the first week. The website also offers hooded sweatshirts with Flying Mouse's designs.

FM365 is similar to TeeFury.com, a site that sells one unique t-shirt from a random artist per day, but I prefer the former since I don't have to check back every day in the hope I won't miss something I really like. Check out 3 of my favorite of Flying Mouse's designs below and make sure you check the site for some great deals on beautifully designed shirts.

IS OVER (out of stock)
Great Creation (out of stock)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Did You Know?

This is cool, creepy, and depressing at the same time. Very hard to believe.

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