Sunday, June 29, 2008

Diablo III: The Return to Tristram

And so, yesterday, June 28, 2008, 8 years to the day since the release of Diablo II, Blizzard Entertainment officially announced the long-awaited Diablo III. I'm particularly overjoyed, because, as you will remember, not only am I a big Blizzard fan, but the Diablo series is one of my favorites. Diablo 2 was my PC game of choice from 2000 to 2004. Check out the official Diablo III site and be sure to download the 20-minute-long gameplay video. It's amazing. Blizzard revealed that Diablo III has actually been in development for four years and the game already looks incredibly polished and fun. It's nice to see that Blizzard is taking the same "don't mess with success" approach to Diablo III that they are taking to Starcraft 2. Prediction: Diablo III will be the game to tear me away from World of Warcraft, but it will be a number of years before that happens.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Exile in Guyville - 15th Anniversary

One of my favorite albums of all time is Exile in Guyville, made by one of my favorite musicians, Liz Phair. Almost to the day of release, Guyville is now 15 years old. Hard to believe. It's back in print as of today, in a new two-disc edition. The second disc is a DVD that includes an 80-minute long "Guyville Revisited" documentary with interviews with people involved in the making of the album and others giving their favorite memories of the album. Here's mine: December 1998. I was living in Clarion, Pa. and was halfway through studying for my MLS at Clarion University. Everyone had ditched the campus between semesters...except for me. I stuck it out by myself, weathered a particularly fierce western Pa. winter, shelved books in the university library for something to do and was just generally lonely. I listened to Liz's Exile in Guyville in its entirety just about every day during that month. I was miserable but her album made it somehow better. The picture at the left is from 2003 when I met Liz at an in-store at Vintage Vinyl here in New Jersey. Click on it for a closer look.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin R.I.P.

George Carlin is dead. Damn. This guy was my hero. He affected the way that I think about everyday stuff like voting and grammar. I'll never forget his voices. As a teenager in the 1970's, I would listen to his comedy albums like Class Clown endlessly. I had his routines memorized. Hal Sleet the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman. He's also responsible for one of my favorite quotes of all time: "Don't believe anything the Bush administration tells you. In fact, play it safe: don't believe anything anybody tells you." I'll miss George Carlin.