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 411mania » Music » Columns

The Savage Animal 05.15.13 First Impression of Black Moth Super Rainbow
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 05.15.2013

I was really underwhelmed with WrestleMania 29. There just wasn't too memorable about it. It wasn't the worst show, but it was pretty lackluster. The Monday Night RAW after was more exciting and entertaining for a few reasons. Since then I've had a really hard time caring about the WWE product. I am a huge fan of their talent roster at the moment, but it's just exhausting to invest time or interest into WWE. I've tried too. I've attempted to watch RAW, I've watched some Smackdown, I've checked out stuff online, and I've kept up with news, rumors, and the columns I frequent. It's just all weak sauce.

Extreme Rules should be fun though. No matter how uninterested I am in the storylines and direction of the WWE, I think anyone can get behind a whole bunch of gimmick matches. 9 times out of 10, if you take the two shittiest wrestlers and put them in a gimmick match casual fans would be more interested than a typical 6 minute TV match. So take that sentiment and the fact I AM a fan of the roster, I'm looking forward to this show as maybe getting my interest back at least a little. Worst case scenario, I'll see a ladder match, a cage match, a strap match, and a last man standing match. Something in there has to be awesome… right?

For my picks, I have to pretty much go with vague logic. I am up to date with what's going on, but in broad strokes. I've not heard every line in every promo or every spot in every match over the past month or so. Still, I don't think it'll be too hard to get at least a few of these predictions right.

Orton and Big Show are having an "Extreme Rules" match, which is basically just a hardcore match. I assume that's a hardcore match with falls counting anywhere, but who knows. Big Show is constantly surprising us with stellar performances, but Randy Orton is due a good run. The problem is that it seems a lot of people are unsure if Orton is going to remain a face or go heel. If there is a change, he'd lose but I'm going to go with Randy Orton getting the win and then go on to feud with Dolph Ziggler. Then again, this could all change because the same stuff can be said for Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in their Strap match. Henry puts on surprising matches and Sheamus is sort of lost in the shuffle. Mark Henry just beat Ryback at WrestleMania and it seems like everyone has forgotten about it. Meanwhile, Sheamus got the loss in a Six Man. I still don't think they have an idea of what they want to do with Sheamus and it's always good to build the monster heel up so Mark Henry is going to win here.

I'm not excited about the Brock Lesnar/Triple H cage match at all. I'm sure it'll be a fine spectacle of a match, but this storyline is one of the main reasons I'm tuning out when watching the WWE product these days. I find entertainment and value in everyone involved, but this storyline doesn't have any fire to it. It feels really forced and is seemingly ineffective. I'd much rather see both guys take on new people. Would it hurt to put a Sheamus or Randy Orton in a program against Brock Lesnar? Why couldn't Triple H have a storyline with a fresh enemy like The Miz or even Wade Barrett? I'm going to go with Brock Lesnar getting the win and going for the belt. Hell, maybe they'll have Brock and Orton feud over the number one contender's spot while Cena and Ryback milk a little more out of their story. THAT would be at least mildly interesting.

The match I'm looking forward to the most is the Triple Threat Ladder Match. The ladder match is my favorite gimmick match of all time thanks to having my young fragile mind blown by HBK and Razor at WrestleMania 10. On top of that, Dolph Ziggler is my favorite person on the roster to watch these days. This match has a rumored to be injured Ziggler defending his belt against Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. I have grown to really appreciate Alberto Del Rio's work in and out of the ring. He's constantly improving and he can put on some good matches. The problem with this match is Jack Swagger. I can't get behind him. I don't care that he got busted with weed or that his gimmick is "controversial". In fact I like weed AND controversy. The problem is I just can't get into his ring work. I think he lacks "presence" so badly that it hurts anything he's involved with. I think fans would revolt pretty hardcore if Dolph Ziggler lost his belt so soon after winning it. I have no problem with him losing it sooner than later because he'll put on great matches and win more titles regardless. I think I just want his title loss to mean something. This wouldn't be that moment. Whatever happens, Dolph Ziggler wins! (Or we all cry like little girls!)

Cena and Ryback are having a Last Man Standing match. For some reason I'm interested in this match more than I should be. I'm not a fan of either guy's work, but I'm at least curious and open minded to Ryback's heel persona. It could evolve into something cool or it could be crap, but I'll give it a shot. Not much about Cena entertains me. I know he gives his all in big matches and this shouldn't be any different. John Cena rarely ever loses clean and this is a perfect chance for them to have him lose without actually losing. Maybe The Shield will finally reveal he's the fourth member. Who knows? I'm sure there will be some kind of shenanigans. Does Cena overcome them and still win or does Ryback get the belt to leave Cena on the chase for the summer? I'm going with John Cena as the winner. I hope I'm wrong, but I'll take the safe bet.

Electronic Goodness!!
Once again I'm diving deep into music I'm not familiar with. Once a month or so I take a "first listen" to a select band's discography. I go for bands I've not encountered for some reason or another, bands I've avoided, and some bands where I only know one or two songs. The reason I do this is because I like listening to a lot of music. It's easy to hear a song or judge a band by its genre, time frame, or even one single. We all do it. Of course Nickelback sucks, right? We don't NEED to listen to every song from their discography to prove this. So yeah, this is a gamble. I don't know if it's just a band I've not given a fair chance to or they just really suck. If anything, I get to know what I'm hating and after the one torturous listen I can wash my hands of them knowing 100% that I don't like them. Thankfully, every band isn't Nickelback. I've encountered some awesome bands in this journey. Who would have thought Simon and Garfunkel, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Regina Specktor, and others would rock? I wouldn't have, but I listened to their albums and my mind was blown. That's right; I'm in it for the mind blowing…

Why Black Moth Super Rainbow?
Why not Black Moth Super Rainbow? I was under the influence one night and the room was spinning. I didn't want to just go to bed because I wasn't too confident in whatever was in my stomach remaining there. I turned on my Direct TV satellite music stations and came across a song that really stuck out to me. It was electronic, it had a cool beat, and it made the trance I was in just that much better/weirder. I press the button to find out who the band is and find out it was a song by Black Moth Super Rainbow. So in a loopy haze I reached out, grabbed a pencil, and scribbled the name down on the back of an paper CD sleeve.

The next day I eventually woke up. As I gathered my brain, I recognized the CD sleeve and ended up looking the song and the band up. The song still rocked. I listened to it a few times in a row and then caught the video. I'm not going to lie, my mind was blown.

So now I have this dilemma. I REALLY liked the one song I've heard by this band I think I have a fair idea of what to expect. We have five full length LPs to get through. I'm optimistic that I'm going to love it, but I could be wrong. That's the risk of sitting down with a band's studio discography for the first time.

I'll warn you all now. I'm feeling "wordy" and I WILL be getting more and more inebriated as this listening experience goes on.

Falling Through a Field

(2003 – 42 minutes) -
Despite having another project before this, this is the first release as "Black Moth Super Rainbows". So this is not only a debut, but a transition of sorts from their past lives. Black Moth Super Rainbow's first album starts off with a track titled "Vietcaterpillar". It's got a quant beeping melody that is joined by a drum beat and then some soaring synths. It all comes together. It's the music I would hope to hear if there was ever a "Trippy Pimp" level on Mario. The title of the next song is "I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too". I'm sadly only one; green. I'm envious of those who didn't miss the boat on this band. A nice and distant sounding chill track plays. Scratchy half-spoken word vocals are quietly mumbled over. It puts you in a trance for sure. I like where this is going. "Season for Blooming" is a hypnotizing tune throbs in your ear hole. It's grizzled and easy to get lost in. There are staticy female vocals hidden in the mix, but it almost serves as nothing more than complimentary noise. "Letter People Show" drags you in one direction and then breaks in a totally different one. It's almost an abrasive chaos that somehow works buried in the organized tones. Then before you know it, it goes in a different direction again. "Experimental" is a word that comes to mind, but you have a sense they knew exactly what they were doing. Who can't relate to the lyrics "I hear sadness. I hear sadness. I am in love with everything"? Organs slowly build as "Dandelion Graves" begins. It eventually breaks into an awesome "head nodder". The music makes you want to dance, at least sway, along with it but the breathy and whispery vocals make you want to focus. It's a weird battle of music vs. lyricism. Both are interesting and I want to full absorb both, but with one listen it's nearly impossible. That is a really good sign of good art. The opening keys of "Boxphones" sound familiar. The bouncing tones compliment the vocals nicely, but there is this gargled noise that isn't all that appealing. Then there is what sounds like the most melodic dial up modem I've ever heard. It's still a dial up model so it's jarring as hell. Sadly, this song is my least favorite so far. It's not bad, just a little jarring for the unexpecting ears. "Smog in Cities" is a beautiful instrumental song. It has a seemingly simple melody, but the noticeable slips of the guitar strings gives it a really organic vibe. Next up is "Your Doppelganger". It starts off with a unsettling loop of 70's sounding synth and goes into the raspy whispered vocals. The unsettling loop doesn't end and only plays with your ears. I'm almost afraid to stop listening so when it just stops it's a bit abrupt. The title track, "Falling Through a Field", seems to be a bit more conventional. The music would be more accessible to someone not into this style as much as I am. The vocals are a tad bit clearer, but not in a "let's make this sound like a clean single" way. It just is. I legit found myself head banging and dancing a long to an organ loop. That's powerful stuff. "Colorful Nickels" starts off with an upbeat strum and drifts into a good song. The bad ass Peter Frampton sounding electronics on "One Flowery Sabbath" is cool, but the music is bad ass. It reminds me of a cross between old school 70's porn and old school children's programming. I was born in the 80's so that's a bit peculiar. "Sun Organ" opens with the deep bass of droning organs before being joined by an almost delicate sounding synth melody. It's not even a minute long so it basically ends before it gives you a chance to take it in. "Boatfriend" sounds like a sound that you'd hear underwater if more raves were thrown at sea. Steve Zissou would love this shit. "The Magical Butterfly Net" gives a taste of a cozy tone, but then pulls it back. It does this a few times before the grainy and unpolished raspy whispered vocals join in. The result is a pretty astounding chill out track. For some reason the way he says "the season is gr-owe-ing" is going to stand out in my brain for a while. There is a soaring sonic melody in "Last House in the Enchanted Forest". There is a lot going on, but it's like it's tied together nicely with barbwire shaped licorice. I don't even understand that analogy, but it feels right so we're going with it.
"Lake Feet" drifts you right into "Melody For Color Spectrum", the final track of the album. Quiet strumming turns into spastic noise and back to quiet guitar. This isn't something I'd necessarily listen to everyday, but it's pretty close to the ballpark of my favorite styles of music. I like the more cerebral songs more so, but the music quality and progression is outstanding. I appreciate the risks, the melodies, and balls of this album. How did I not know about this band earlier?

Start a People

(2004 – 39 minutes) -
The sophomore LP opens with "Raspberry Dawn", a funky groove track. It's not a dance floor track, but it's got a certain trance element to it that's kind of cool. "Vietcaterpillar" is a cool track. There is a noise in it that reminds me of a very iconic electronic song that's title slips my mind. It comes and goes. The real stand out so far is "From the See". It's a quiet synch melody with the atmosphere of what I think is the sea. It's a short track, but it compliments its elements nicely. "I Am the Alphabet" is another song that's really short. It's a fun danceable tune, but it's not around long enough to get going. "Seeeds" could have been a single. It's got a poignant melody and the grizzled robotic vocals just put you in a pleasant place. The next track is titled "I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too". Whoa. Déjà vu up in this bitch. The vocals are robotic this time around and it seems to have a much snazzier and fuller sound. I think I prefer the first version to this one, but on its own it's a solid track. "Count Backwards to Black" may be the coolest title of a song I've had to retype all week. It could be the coolest song I've heard too. The groovy as shit loop gets you moving and from pulls you in tons of different directions. Then the bass kicks in about 2 or so minutes in and it's almost too much. The next song has the title of "Early 70's Gymnastics", but it's also doing my job for me. The song sounds like early 70's gymnastics. It has a distorted and grizzled twist to it that makes it sound that much cooler. Then it breaks down about a minute and a half in and the music gets sleazier. I feel dirty going into "Snail Garden", the next song. It has a catchy melody and uses a warped synth in such a manner that it almost sounds like a pitchy voice. It's interesting to say the least. "Folks with Magik Toes" is not even thirty seconds long. WTF. I really like "Trees and Colors and Wizards". It basically repeats "1-2-3-4-5" over and over again in a robotic voice as a wandering and distant noise clash of a song swirls in the background. I wonder if I really like it or I'm just caught up in the album at this point. Like, would I enjoy this on its own or in a mix of songs I generally like? Hmmm. The next song is titled "I Am the Alphabet", but so was the song earlier on the album! That's cray! (That's right, I'm already bringing it back.) We're treated to a pimptastic staggering beat and cool synth touches. Things calm a bit as a stripped-down down-tempo melody rocks us on "1 2 3 of Me". Quiet robotic vocals hide behind the tones. It's calming and swanky at the same time. Like elevator music, but an elevator taking you up to an orgy specifically for stuffed animals. Yeah. That's it. "Hazy Field People" takes like 40 seconds to really get going, but at that point it comes at you with one of the most genuine songs I've heard on here. It's just so stripped down and soft sounding that you want to take a nap. Not because it's boring, but because it's a warm blanket for the soul. Great song. "Smile Heavy" is more upbeat. It's not an upbeat song, but it's a good middle of the road song. You don't need to dance to it, but a slight head bang is almost mandatory. You'd think that was the end, but no. The last track on this album is called "{Super Secret Track}", which is awesome. I appreciate the slight irony. Musically, I think this might be the most accessible of the songs but it still has that 1970's B-movie throwback meets 90's electronic vibe. That might be the best way to describe what I've heard so far. I like it. This album was not as good as the first album. It grew and evolved into what it needed to be, but I like the rawness and "experimental" nature of the first more. I'm also not a huge fan of robot voice. I'm cool with a voice being warped and screwed with, but hard to understand robot mumbles kind of suck. There weren't a lot of vocals on this to begin with. I think that might be the main reason I dug the debut more. Regardless I'll listen to this again, soon, and probably have a whole new perspective. I can't wait for that, but first we need to check out the third studio release of Black Moth Super Rainbow.

Dandelion Gum

(2007 – 47 minutes) -
The name of the album is Dandelion Gum and the first track is titled "Forever Heavy". What more do we really need to know? Based on titles a lone, this is a win. It's a slightly jarring loop, but it's layered with so much calming noise that you just deal with it. At a minute or so it breaks down into a really bad ass and trippy bridge. There is a lot going on. For what it is, this track is art. HUGE fan. "Jump Into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust" and "Melt Me" are the next two tracks and they too had a lot going on. I hope that's not going away. The layering of noise, synth, and electronics here comes together nicely. "Melt Me" is gets you dancing a little more, but both are cool.

"Lollipopsichord" sounds familiar at the start. The odd loop sounds like it's recreating a piece of another song while tripped out synths melt from the background to the forefront. Vocals are buried in the waves, but I couldn't make anything out on first listen. That was a lot to take in for a minute and a half song. "They Live In the Meadow" has a casio sounding loop that rocks my socks off. I INSTANTLY feel like I've heard "Sun Lips". That opening loop is just way too familiar. It has to be in a soundtrack or something. This song is amazing. It's a down tempo chill out track, but it's so good that you can't help but get into it. This song is going to end up on a lot of my upcoming mixes.

"Rollerdisco" takes a step back is even more relaxed in tone. The melody is a smooth bounce. It's hard not to enjoy. The same can be said for "Neon Syrup for the Cemetery Sisters". It made me nod along to it, but it really didn't stick out too much. Well done though. The loop on "The Afternoon Turns Pink" is a bit more enthralling and inviting. It takes you on a little trip or sorts. I like the spring. "When the Sun Grows on Your Tongue" is an interesting track and seems to go in a more distorted direction. That's one thing I've noticed about this album so far is that there isn't a whole lot of grizzled distortion. I mean its electronic music so there is plenty of warping and what not, but that speaker phone/static of the older albums is missing. "Spinning Cotton Candy In a Shack Made of Shingles" breaks down hard. Its a few quiet strums that goes into a slightly harder beat when the drum kicks in. It's a slow burner. It reminds me of one of those late in the album tracks on an old Nine Inch Nails album. That's a pretty specific comparison, but NIN is my favorite band of all time so it's one with much respect. "Drippy Eye" is kind of in the same groove, but with-in fact MORE groove. I like it a lot. There are plenty of songs like this out there, but what makes a good electronic based song is a good seamless ride. It should come together like the brush strokes of a perfect painting. I know that sounds pretentious as fuck, but so be it. Its way too easy to make some Casio sounding beep fest can pass it off as music. This shit is craft. "Lost, Picking Flowers In the Woods" has a stronger vocal presence hidden and when the song REALLY picks up you'll start hearing gongs! There is seriously not enough non-ironic use of gongs in music these days. "Caterpillar House" comes and goes. It's not bad, but it just doesn't hook me as much as the rest of this album. "Wall of Gum" on the other hand does. It's got a snazzy loop that draws me in, but sadly it's less than a minute long. Grrr! "Untitled Roadside Demo" starts off really slow. It's a slow build with a chorus sound blending. It's almost too calming. About a minute it you start to hear a screech enter the soundscape, but instead of being jarring or taking you in a different direction it just adds another sonic layer to the already beautiful mix. And the layers grow. The strangest name of a song has to be "...what went wrong?...# of tracks > # of names". It's a "hidden track" and the closer to this beast. It's got a good mid tempo beat that makes you sway with it. Nice ending. This was a great album. No shit. There are some tracks that go in one ear and out the other, but some stuff is going to stick. The two things that stand out in my head is "wow, this reminds me of Trent Reznor" and "why the hell isn't this the soundtrack to EVERYTHING?" So pretty much at this point I'm all in. I'm excited to hear the next album.

Eating Us

(2009 – 35 minutes) -
Black Moth Super Rainbow's fourth album kicks off with "Born on a Day the Sun Didn't Rise". It doesn't try to kill your brain off the bat. It slowly builds up with a cool Futurama-like intro and then some chilled out robotic vocals. The thing I notice is that the robotic vocals seem to have more of a rasp to them. I think that works better and compliments the often startling music I've been hearing the past few albums. I wonder if the grizzled spoken word vocals of the first album will show back up. Regardless, really good opener.

"Dark Bubbles" throws a lot at us in terms of change ups and layers, but it all meshes together like a pimp. At this point, I'm really liking this stuff. The opening melody of "Twin of Myself" is so pleasant that it possibly end world hunger if noise were in fact edible. It doesn't end there. It rocks you with its swaying groove. "Gold Splatter" is a unique monster. It's relaxing, but too interesting to get too lost in. On the wiki page for this album it lists one of the genres as "folktronica". I'm starting to understand what is meant by that. It has a really stripped down "vibe", but any ear could hear the immense layering and digital brilliance going on. I listen to "Iron Lemonade" as I drink a bottle of Leinenkugels "Summer Shandy". If you're able to drink this brew then you'd know how appropriate this is. The song is a slow taunt that doesn't need to make you dance. It makes you dance, but it doesn't need to. There is a staunch confidence to the beat. By the time the bridge hits towards the end I'm thinking this is another one of those "this reminds me of Trent's work" songs. The same can be said for the music on "Tooth Decay". It feels like a Nine Inch Nails song, but with wispy robotic vocals. It's harder edge synths makes it stand out a bit more. One could even argue it's bordering on "industrial". "Fields Are Breathing" is a down tempo tune that just has a constant buzz of smoothness. The vocals compliment it well. The harmony on "Smile the Day After Today" is worth noting. The composition is outstanding. I expected this track to go towards a more electronic direction, but it stays within the same awe-inspiring flow through out. "The Sticky" is just over two minutes, but still doesn't give you enough time to full take it in. Before you know it you're wondering what the hell is going on with "Bubblegum Animals". It sounds like elves chanting at a Christmas murder. Basically, it's enchanting but still eerie and dangerous sounding. "American Face Dust" sounds country. The instrumental choice gives it that vibe. The vocals and everything outside of the "country strumming" sounds really cool. The contrast makes it interesting, but I'd almost prefer they'd have kept it more in the other direction. I appreciate the experimental nature of it though. There are portions it really works, but the few moments it doesn't really takes away. The album ends with "Untitled Hidden Track". It's a minute and half instrumental that leaves you adrift at sea as the album closes. Why the abandonment, bro? For realzies, I think I can safely say this is where the band really comes into their own. You can hear them experiment and evolve on the other albums, but this project is the total package. The production on this album matches some of my favorite Nine Inch Nail albums. The music is simply awesome. This is right up my alley. I'm typically not into robotic/auto tuned vocals, but it works in this case. I'd generally prefer my voices to be more organic, but I'm still a big can. This is one of the best albums to come in 2009. I wish I had heard it then so I could have included it in my lists. There is a lot of great stuff leading into the most recent release.

Cobra Juicy

(2012 – 39 minutes) -
The band's latest studio release starts off with "Windshield Smasher". The music still has the harmonious nature we're used to, but there is a layer of staticy feedback noise that works well. It breaks down about half way in and goes bonkers. It's like a rave broke out at a robot factory.

Things take a step back to give a really emotive song sung by a robot. Of course this experience would be called "Like a Sundae". And next up is "Hairspray Heart"! THIS is the song that drew me in to begin with. I was half out of it and caught this song on TV one late night. It's one of the coolest songs I've heard in A LONG time. It's one of those situations where you listen to a song over and over again because you can't bring yourself to stop putting it in your ears. It's a funky electronic song that does what it says. The words "I can hypnotize you" aren't just a lyric, it's a valid threat. I dare you to listen to this song and not become at least a lot in love with it. The music is great, but then you see the video and there is a whole new treat in it for you. I don't find it weird that I repeated the words "Like a fuckin' diamond!" to myself for about a week straight so you shouldn't either. Please don't.

Anyway, next up is "Psychic Love Damage". It starts with a twangy drift that makes you think it'll be another country-esqe track. It's not. It's got a twang, but it blends into a dreamscape of awe. The song makes me want to go to sleep just so I can wake up and stretch. Really well done. "We Burn" starts off a little cautiously in the droop of the beat. That's not a typo. I meant "droop". This is another spectacular example of what I wish more music could sound like. The change ups, the layers, and the vocal delivery complement each other so well that it's almost surreal. "Gangs In the Garden" got me dancing in my computer chair. I am not afraid to admit my dorkiness in that. The break down is great in it. Things get swanky and droney at the same time with "The Healing Power of Nothing". This song feels like I should be listening to it at 2 A.M. in a haze of illegal smiles. "I Think I'm Evil" could have easily been a single. The music is accessible enough to not scare away people who wouldn't normally be drawn to this genre style, but also bad ass enough for the trained ear (okay, aka "delusional music snob") to know it's the shit. "Dreamsicle Bomb" starts off with the same vibe and sounds of other songs. It's not a bad thing because I'm into it. Then there are some deeper and more basier vocal sounds coming in that really shake things up. I like the change ups A LOT in this. "Blurring My Day" reminds me of what Prince could have sounded like if he had been born a cyborg. I'm fairly certain if you played this song around a toaster that it would attempt to fellate or at least molest you. THEN the song goes in a different more "tripped out" direction. Well, that was fun while it lasted. The last song on this five album journey is "Spraypaint". It's an tremendous finish that fades into the atmosphere. This was another step forward. You can hear the evolution forward. Things came together nicely on this one. I'm sold on this band.

(2003 – ) -
If you've read my rambling "real time" review then you'd take the hint that I'm a fan. I really think I lucked out here. I know my review is a tad glowing, but this is a musical style that I really like. The way the music is structured and produced reminds me a lot of Trent Reznor's work at times, which is good. But the majority of the time, you're absorbing the art. It's a digital symphony. The layers, the loops, the balls, and the depth all stand out. There wasn't much on any of these albums that I can say I hated. I AM going to listen to these albums again and I will fully recommend them. If you like electronic music that's NOT dubstep or too new agey then you'll want to give this a shot. It's like if VAST took better drugs. There a lot of good and respectable artists I could pin point comparisons to, but it's only because I want to relate it to stuff I like. I guess it's a form of trying to rationalize the fact that my mind is blown by Black Moth Super Rainbow. Get at em' on iTunes, Go to their shows, and Support! Support! Support!

"Mike Goodpaster's Unpaid Programming"

I normally review movies here because it's called "Random Movie Review". It's a pretty simple concept. Still, I'll sometimes stray from this to review some other visual video type of presentation. Today I'm going to review a comedy special that was aired too late on a Sunday with too little promotion.

I've been in the middle of a lot of comedic writing lately myself. When you're in that "gear" your brain is triggered in a weird way. A lot of stuff goes in one ear and out the other because I'm too caught up filtering the funny. I came across this stand up special expecting to be amused and came away with a lot more. Comedy Central has been cranking out some really good specials over the past few years. The problem is that I'll watch them, enjoy them in the moment, and then forget about them. I don't think that'll be a problem with "Nice Try, The Devil", Pete Holmes' hour special.

Pete Holmes' special "Nice Try, The Devil" has to be one of the most enjoyable standup comedy specials I've seen in a REALLY long time. I'm not saying he's better than Louis C.K., Bill Burr, or anything sacrilegious like that. I'm just saying this special was special. Most stand up sets fall into a certain set of categories. Some will be edgy push the sexual limits, the political limits, the quirky limits, the awe-shucks limits, etc. These labels aren't a bad thing. I can probably name a dozen comedians who fit into each of those groups that I am a fan-boy of. It's just there is a certain "style" that Pete Holmes brings to the table that's hard to match. He's accessible, likeable, and seems like a guy that would be friends with everyone. He's got a charm to him that makes him almost too likable. The whole time you're caught in this "grandma friendly" personality he's delivering some great non-"grandma friendly" material. His material IS edgy and quirky but he also brings a really honest perspective. I don't want to "review" his material because repeating the dude's jokes here wouldn't do them justice. The content covers things people can relate to and random Pete musings. He talks about how parents mispronounce celebrity names, winning "one", making his bed, a creepy man-crush on Ryan Gosling, and the best description of a pimp ever.

What made me want to review this special was more about how refreshing and entertaining it was. It's all about how it was presented. Pete is not angry or trying to put on a show. I mean he is, but he it comes off more genuine here. A lot of the Comedy Central specials and mainly the "alt comics" have this stage presence to them as if they're presenting themselves. It can be funny and cool, but it's almost become cliché as 1980's shoulder pad blazers. Holmes' gives off a vibe that he's just walking out there and telling strangers his stories. He has no problem laughing at himself. I appreciate that. I know when I make a random funny remark to a friend I'll laugh with them. Why wouldn't a comedian unless they were trying to put on some sort of persona? You laugh with him and it makes you feel good. The energy is just "on". These are obviously jokes he polished over time and his cadence and delivery is well versed, but this hour still feels like a great "captured moment". I think it's mainly the enjoyment of seeing someone do something they enjoy. He's having fun so you have fun. Pete has the energy of a properly medicated Robin Williams. No suspenders of Flubber necessary.

I just really enjoyed this special. I guess I am a little bias though. I do listen to Pete's "You Made It Weird" podcast regularly, was a fan of his first half hour, and am stoked to see his upcoming talk show after Conan. Is being a fan being "bias"? Who knows. I'm just rambling off one guy's opinion. I'm just confident that even after this buzz of "new toy" freshness of this special fades that we'll be able to look back at this hour in the same respect as Donald Glover's first half hour, Aziz's first hour, or even Hedberg's first half hour. Almost like a "oh shit, this dude is for real" coming out party. Holmes keeps his A-game crispy. A!

"Worst Case Scenario" is a new take on the concept of "fantasy booking". For years professional wrestling fans would spend endless hours of thinking up the coolest things that could happen. Why waste the energy? This only leads to high expectations. "Worst Case Scenario" flips that. Instead of looking through rose colored glasses, let's take a bi-weekly look at the worst possible scenarios in professional wrestling. I'm not going to be malicious or anything too mean, but I will not refrain from letting my brain come up with the worst possible shit I can. Sadly, it seems the writers and producers of mainstream TV wrestling and the mainstream iPPV level indies are doing the same thing but charging us for it. And now…

"TNA's New Division!"

TNA has always tried to push the envelope. Sometimes it doesn't work out and sometimes it's at least somewhat interesting, but rarely every entertaining and worth the time. Regardless they've found a small fan base to follow them and they'll get the casual wrestling fans stepping in here and there out of curiosity and basically just because it's wrestling. Some random "innovations" include the "King of the Mountain" match, that weird round robin thing they did for like a year, and Women's Tag Team Titles. They've done PLENTY more and I'm sure some of it was cool. I've just not seen it, read about it, or heard about it.

TNA is at that point where when they do something crazy it's not a big deal. They've "jumped the shark" so much that I'm pretty sure they're miles past the water. Moving forward anything good is basically a mirage. Aces and Eights? I loved The Dudleys as much as anyone, but the second largest company in the US is being fronted by a guy named "Bully Ray". I'm happy for him and the dude totally deserves it, but I wonder if it'll result in any real company growth. Will ratings go up? PPV buys? Merch? Anything? If so, awesome.

TNA has put a new twist on their X-Division. It's something different at least. I'm pretty sure I know the next "new division" for TNA and that is the MMA Division. Yep, let's just admit that a good chunk of MMA is all a work. TNA seems to cling on to MMA as much as they can. Spike TV had them paired up with UFC and it worked kind of nicely. There was cross promotion and Kurt Angle's insane "I'm gunna fight in MMA!" campaign at least got people talking. If people are talking, TNA knows. If something is popular, it almost feels like TNA goes out of their way to put a stupid spin on it.

So let's imagine this "MMA-Division" in TNA. OBVIOUSLY we'd have "bad ass" guys like Kurt Angle, Joe, and others be all about it. They'd be able to go in there, do all their grappling and then at the end work the finish. There is NO WAY they could do it legit without egos getting screwed up and animosity spreading over to the "normal wrestling" portion. This opens up a lot of doors though. Bobby Lashley and Batista are two dudes who tried to get into MMA on a big level, but didn't. This would be a reasonable enough compromise for a lot of the border-line MMA/pro wrestling guys.

But this is TNA. As interesting as this COULD be (it's not), they'd surely screw it up. You know that somehow and someway Hulk Hogan or Sting would have that belt. Imagine Sting locking on the Scorpion Death Lock on Kimbo Slice to win the MMA Division Title.

MMA and Joker paint… THIS IS WRESTLING!

Grown Ups was not a movie for me. It was a little too family orientated and had a lot of "aw shucks" moments. The things I remembered most from the movie was that Chris Rock was barely around despite being a main character, Kevin James is not Chris Farley despite being pretty cool on his own regard, and the whole "I want to get chocolate wasted!" line. I'll still quote that line in the most snarky asshole way I can. I know not every movie has to be an R-rated vulgar comedy, but a little edge and a little substance would have gone a long way in that first movie. And now there's a second one? This one is about the last day of school and gives us cameos from Andy Samberg, Milo Ventimiglia, and Steve Austin. This movie is such a bad idea that Rob Schneider isn't even coming back for it. Rob Schneider is turning down work. The sky is falling.

That's all for now. I really enjoyed this one. I did get a little tipsy and a little rambley-pretentious, but I've not reviewed many albums this heavy in electronics. Finding interesting and honest ways to describe that kind of music is a pretty challenging task. Hopefully they gain at least a few more fans from this. They at least got one in me. Next week I'm going to check out the album covers of The Cure. They have over a dozen different studio albums so it should definitely be interesting. After that I'll be checking out the studio albums of a band I'm not familiar with in my next "First Impression of", another videography, and probably something about masks. We'll see. Until next time… Have a Great Week!


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