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Posts published in “Life”

Max von Sydow is the killer.

Minority Report, the Tom Cruise/Steven Spielbergo film based on a PKD story of the same name, was a pretty solid SF action film. It is by no means perfect, but it does have a whole lot of awesome about it. There are some solid chase scenes, massive action, a good twist (but not good enough not to be predictable), and an unsurprisingly rad cameo by Peter Stormare.

It also features one of the coolest near-future SF computer interfaces I’ve ever seen. It’s right up there with the thing Deckard uses in Blade Runner to search through the picture. Well, apparently, some group of genius geeks (I love you) have built a real working version. All it needs is the holographic display and we’ll be in business. I’ll take two.

Check out the video.


g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

How rad is that shit?

3 new music videos.

I was watching my recorded Headbangers Ball yesterday—which has mysteriously moved to the wonderful 2 to 3am time slot on MTV2, double ewe tea ephraim?—and I saw three new videos worth commenting on.

The first is the new Motorhead video for “Rock Out”.

I’m not a Motorhead fan. I can appreciate the band for what they are, but their music has never really done it for me, whatever “it” is. That’s not to say I have no respect for a band that has made a career out of writing essentially the same two and a half minute song over and over and over and over. How can you not respect that? It takes a special kind of balls to pull that shit. Their new video, however, is amazing. I’m not sure what about it I like so much. It’s not the song. It might be the cinematography, which is quite nice for a metal video. It might be the de-emphasis on the band’s performance. It might be how personal it all feels. In all likelihood, it’s all of these and something else. Just watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

My friend Chris

Let me introduce you to my friend Chris. Chris is a wildly talented cinematographer and maker of images. He’s also a wonderfully goofy son of a bitch and a good, old friend of mine. Coming from a social group of Luddites, neither of us knew we had Flickr accounts until he saw my (awesome) site and link to my Flickr account.

There are samples of his photography and his reel after the jump.

On singing in metal 2 – Intronaut’s “Australopithecus”

This morning while avoiding sitting down to do actual real work, I was cruising the Deciblog and stumbled upon this new video by Intronaut. It’s stupidly awesome. The video echoes Jan Svankmajer’s Alice, but with a distinctly modern feel. The cut is sharp and punchy, and the cinematography conveys a palpable sense of dread. What more could you ask for from a metal video? That the song is appropriately killer? Taken care of. Harmonized growls, double bass, breakdowns, gnarly chorus; this song has it all.

So why is it in On singing in metal? I filed it there because of the musical shift at 2:14. I fully anticipated some truly awful singing destroying my initial impression of this song as pure slaughter. How delighted I was to make it through the calmer section to be greeted at the other end by the brutal crunch of the chorus! This is a perfect example of how to integrate melodic sections into your metal song without succumbing to the misguided need to throw in some contemptible “singing”. Intronaut, I salute you and your restraint and show of good taste. Well done.

The rest of you, pick up their record from Century Media here—Intronaut – Prehistoricisms. Only 10 bucks! That’s two beers WITHOUT tip. Do it.

Some interesting facts about Barry

I was cruising Boing Boing today as I am prone to do during a bustling workday, and I read an article they’d posted from The Telegraph. It’s a list of facts about our next President that I, for one, had no clue about. There were some excellent tidbits in there. Here are a few of my favorite.

  • He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia
  • As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine
  • He repaid his student loan only four years ago after signing his book deal

Pretty awesome. Go Barry! Check out the rest of the article here: Barack Obama-The 50 facts you might not know

On singing in metal songs

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I have a passionate, undying love for all things metal. Fist in the air, I throw the horns for the power of metal. It is catharsis on a primal level unmatched by anything else I do to blow off steam. I rock the fuck out and I don’t care who dislikes it. I am a relatively unpicky consumer of metal records. If it has a strong groove and some double bass, I’m into it. I try not to discriminate.

That said, there is one trend in metal over the last few years that I cannot tolerate. Have you guessed it yet? That’s right. I loathe singing in metal songs. But that is not wholly true. What I hate is bad singing in metal songs.

Let’s enjoy an object lesson, shall we?

A few notes on the layout…

You’ll notice that I am using a truly delightful stock theme. I intended originally to use something unique, but designing a website that looks awesome and functions correctly is fairly low on my priority list these days. Yet, I wanted to get The Black Laser up and running so that I could use it as a sort of sketchpad to get my brain running while I get stuck in a writing hole. With that in mind, I settled on the most attractive theme I could find and will make something later, probably when time frees up after the holidays. Or around the holidays depending on what the future brings and if I can manage to blast out 20 to 25 pages of sparkling, warm, cynical, magical, wondrous prose by then. You never know. Maybe—just maybe—I will stumble into the most productive period of my life, spewing forth such prose and quality of thought as I never before. More likely though, I will struggle to finish right up to the deadline, as is my wont. Some patterns you just can’t fuck with.

Nevertheless, stay tuned (that is a TV/radio metaphor, not a stringed instrument one). Good things are to come to The Black Laser, the darkest, most devastatingest laser in the universe.

The inaugural posting at The Black Laser.com/.net

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I’m not sure if this will be a lively place or not, but at the very least I will have a place to post whatever random crap I am thinking about. I imagine that this is all very interesting to you, noble reader, so I promise to keep these things moving briskly. Oh, what fun!

Maybe, one day, we can occupy a thriving, bustling iWorld, but until then it’s just my ramblings and nonsense. Come back for more!