Los Cheevos Hermanos: Forgettable Journeys, Forgettable Riots

Los Cheevos Hermanos: Forgettable Journeys, Forgettable Riots

Ian: I wanted to hit Wetlands after Westfall, to be honest. It’s a zone which I knew had been reworked somewhat and it was always a favorite. The problem with the Wetlands is that it’s now the same level as Duskwood, a zone which has long been considered one of the best examples of what WoW’s narrative capabilities (inasmuch as WoW has narrative capabilities worth contemplating favorably) can do. It was my favorite zone in the original game, one whose absence bothered me when I went Horde all those years ago. Before that, though, Peter began to yammer on about Shadowfang Keep, an instance of slightly higher level requirements than the completed Deadmines. The minor problem involved was that we’d set down rules about how we did dungeons and one of the main ones was that we queued from the entrance. Shadowfang is situated way to the north of where we were, with no flight paths and no friendly quest hubs nearby to shorten the journey. The idea to hit Shadowfang Keep was made on a night on which we were a little short on time, so I was in favor of skipping it for the time being; dungeons tend to be relevant content for about ten levels after they become available, so I was in no rush. Peter, however, decided that it was queue as soon as you can or not at all. Being the magnanimous, awesome fellow I am, I relented and decided to join him on the trek to Silverpine Forest and its resident dungeon. It was his punctured memories at stake, not mine. Peter: I...

Los Cheevos Hermanos: Stormwind COINTELPRO Agents

Peter: Ian and I finally got to quest together when we met up in Westfall. First I had to figure out how to manage the boats which journey into and out of Stormwind, and then I had to find my way through the city itself. Stormwind is pretty sweet, and I’d never really seen it except for once many years ago when I raided it with some other Horde players. At that time, I mostly just remember a mad rush into the place and then pure chaos. This time I got to look around. When I got to the border of Westfall I met up with my new companion Boggins. He was very grey. Then things got weird. I had to talk to “transients” who were loitering around in someone else’s farmland. Unless I gave them money, they beat me up. I gave in and handed over the copper so they would play nice, but wondered if I was in some sort of simulation designed to train future neighborhood watchmen. Things continued to become more and more uncomfortable. I was spared a lot of the details because I don’t read my quest text, so I’m sure Ian can tell you more, but I’m pretty sure I ended the zone by fighting against a socialist cell of anti-war protestors. Oh, I also got to take part in my first vehicle quest. I’m not a huge fan of Blizzard’s vehicle quests, but this one was particularly bad. I jumped inside of a mechanical scarecrow of some sort and pushed two buttons while I killed other mechanical scarecrows. Maybe I should have...

Top Ten Albums of 2013

 I’ve made up lists of best albums for ages but this is the first time I’ve posted one outside of social media. So a quick disclaimer: this doesn’t represent G&G’s staff picks or anything, just mine. This was a really hard year to pick. The past three years have been absolutely excellent for music but 2013 may be the best of the century so far. Any of the top six below could be number one and I rearranged them a few times. Slots seven through ten could switch out with any of my honorable mentions easily. Heck, that I had to make an honorable mentions list at all just to sort the sheer volume of really good stuff is remarkable. Then you have all of the excellent singles out in the techno and deep house scenes this year and, well, there’s just a ton to deal with. 10. DIANA – “Perpetual Surrender”: I wouldn’t even know about this group had they not opened up for Austra on their recent tour. Expecting nothing much, I was really impressed by what Diana put on display: an energetic, jazzy synth style, flirting with influences like Sade and 80s era Roxy Music. It’s only natural that we’d end up here, with electronic music of all sorts surging into an unprecedented era of critical acclaim on the back of repurposing older styles for a new century. We’ve done industrial, cold wave, techno, rave, house, and everything in between. Why not draw on the mellower, dare I say smoother, forms of the metagenre? That it’s done with such skill is what surprised me; this isn’t usually my thing...
Los Cheevos Hermanos: The Startening

Los Cheevos Hermanos: The Startening

My brother and I always have the best ideas. For example, this most recent one. Let’s hop on a ten year old MMO and make new characters together. But let’s do it like we’re completely fresh. No gold given to our new characters. No gear hand me downs. No guild but the two of us. Let’s also do it on the faction neither of us had played since said MMO launched their major leveling content reboot. That’s how we ended up on an underpopulated World of Warcraft RP server, playing Alliance characters with barely 1 gold between us, I on my fierce dwarf warrior (Boggins) and he on his really dumb looking wargen druid (Mathenwulf). I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s not been a truly new WoW player in at least five years, maybe longer. It’s a game that’s almost certainly buoyed by alts and recycled players, with server transfers acting in lieu of or as supplements to rerolls. Cataclysm, WoW’s third expansion, was all about redoing the low level content. Leveling curves were smoothed, content made more streamlined, and everything was made more tightly tied to WoW’s story. So, in addition to the merry adventures of our guild of two, I’m legitimately curious if the game has been tuned for the theoretical new player. I want to see if you can come in from ground level and do well, not just muddle through. These are our ground rules: No outside gold or items. Everything has to be gotten legit. Mounts are the only thing which don’t count, since those are account wide. No guild for support other than...
That South Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

That South Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

At some point, certain television shows become signifiers of your age. It just kind of happens. Today’s “Breaking Bad” becomes tomorrow’s “Murder She Wrote” or “Lawrence Welk Show”: a thing to be enjoyed ironically, if at all, and most probably relegated to the realm of laughably uncool by mere virtue of its remaining viewer demographic. Case in point: “In the Heat of the Night”. No, not the classic, brilliant movie of that name. I mean the television show which maybe you didn’t know about beyond it being the last thing of note which Carroll O’Connor (of Archie Bunker fame) did before his death. Go on. Search for it in Twitter. “Matlock”. “In the Heat of the Night”. Lots of mentions of grandparents. You might catch me mentioning it on Twitter, too, possibly in reference to the disappointment the handful of new followers I’ve gotten when I’ve written something online feel when they find out I mostly just retweet people talking about the show. But ITHOTN (I’m using shorthand from now) is in my head* and has been since it was still new and fresh. I dearly, unironically love the show in all its low-budget, actor recycling, shot on location in Covington, Georgia, splendor. It’s like a cultural security blanket for me, coming on, still, at 11am and noon, seven days a week, on WGN America. I’ve seen every episode more times than I can count (though I’ve still only seen the David Koresh inspired TV movie starring Peter Fonda once) and I keep tuning in any time I’m able. In the weeks since WGN has started airing ITHOTN on Sundays, I’ve...