- Travel/Hot Spots
- World News
iPhone 3GS: I know, I know. The obvious choice for the Apple Fanboy in the audience but bear with me. I never bought a 3G back when Steve and Co. debuted the new “faster internet” version of the iPhone. My old 2G hooked into the web just fine, ran Apps decently and did everything I wanted it too. Or so I thought. With this little beauty, not only do I have a much needed compass to help me find my own house when I’m lost, it allows me to stream podcasts and music on the fly and take videos of my kids before they turn into teenagers tomorrow. Hell, I can even mistakenly send that picture of me with no pants to my loan officer instead of just texting him insults to his mother. Technology is, truly, grand. What was already a device that had my very life housed inside it has somehow become an even more important and valuable piece of equipment. I’m never without it.
Vintage 1952 Telecaster Reissue: Like every red-blooded American boy, I’ve always wanted to be a guitar player. Aided by the impending Classic Rock inspired Shmopera 3.0, I decided it was time to stop fucking around and do it. I’ve had my eye on this guitar since I first saw Springsteen playing on an actual 1952 Telecaster as a kid and when it came time to buy my first serious guitar, there could be no other. It may be a reissue but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t rock the shit out of everything you play. It’s a dream and plays like a classic American guitar should: loud and sexy. Add in a new VOX tube amp and I’m in rock and roll heaven. Tom Petty cover band, here I come. If I wasn’t married, I would sleep with this thing. I’m in love.
Up!: I’ve heard tell of animated movies that made crowds weep with emotion. I’ve never had an animated movie move me that way, until Pete Doctor’s Up!, that is. In the course of about three minutes, the story of a man and his wife goes by and ends with the main character sitting alone and holding a balloon after the funeral of his wife. An animated movie had me crying in the theater. Call me a baby, call me a wimp. I call Pete Doctor and the artists at Pixar some of the best storytellers and craftsmen that have ever lived. Thank God they exist.
Twitter: Hilden from 2008 wants to punch the Hilden of 2009 right in his pussy fucking face with this pick. It’s true, however, that Twitter has become one of the most important communication tools for Drunken Gamers Radio and it’s community of kick ass listeners. Not to mention, it’s a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on in world of entertainment, politics, comedy, music, comics and anything else I have an interest in. It’s everything I love about forums but without all the shit I hate. It’s what I wanted Facebook to be before a shit ton of people I didn’t even talk to in High School made the social network the equivalent of a yearbook popularity contest. Twitter is how I like to keep in touch with people. Short and to the point communications with a link to more shit if you want it. Twitter, I hate to say it, is the missing piece to the DGR/Robot Panic puzzle that started with a forum burned to the ground by a merciless robot. I love to Tweet. There. I said it. Fuck you.
LOST: For a show that really started to flounder around Season 3, this show really found it’s stride and once again sits as one of the best shows on television. In it’s 2009 Season, the element of time travel was used, not as a groan-inducing “we don’t know where to go from here” cop-out but as a brilliantly executed tool that was integral to a compelling and pivotal story arc. With only one season to go, LOST has taken it’s place as one of the most engaging stories I have witnessed on television and in 2009, it consistently delivered on it’s promise. My only regret is that it’s only got one more season before it’s over.
The Beatles Re-Masters: I’ve always been a Beatles fan but I’ve never seriously delved into their music. I’m not sure if it just wasn’t the right time in my life or what, but I’ve always had a passing fancy with the group. When the Re-Masters hit this year, the aspiring audio engineer in me decided to pick them up just to learn something about the mastering process. What ended up happening is a multiple month long voyage of musical discovery regarding song writing and construction. Those lessons ended up infusing most of my contributions to the ZomBOOsical! and gave me a whole new insight into what makes a great band great. My only regret is that it took me this long to really understand what the Beatles were all about. The new versions of these classic albums not only sound fantastic but they also restored my love of the physical medium of the CD for my music purchases. While I still download many songs digitally, if it’s anything of worth, I’m back to buying it on CD thanks to these albums.
The Protomen: Act II-The Father of Death: We’re obviously big fans of the rock “opera” thing here at Robot Panic. As such, The Protomen’s latest offering is one of my favorite albums of the year. Yes, it tells a great little story that is set in the world of one of my favorite videogames. However, it’s the songs themselves that set this album apart. They all have great hooks, some fantastic 80’s synth action and they’re catchy as hell. It’s a really well produced album and from a musical perspective, it sets the bar high for other folks hoping to do much the same. Um..yeah…that would be us.
Dexter: I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I have to mention that Dexter goes down as one of the most cleverly crafted shows to appear on television. It got my wife and I to plunk down another $10.00 a month we don’t have just to see them all in time. I was in love with Season 3, even though many didn’t like it as much. I, however, thought it would be pretty hard to top. With Season 4’s scary, disturbing, brilliant and completely shocking story now over, I have NO idea where things go from here but I’ve never been more anxious to see a season of television start.
And that season finale ending scene will haunt me for months. I’m fucking serious.
All of You: Excuse the bit of cheese that’s about to be written here. I have to say that one of my favorite things of 2009 was all of you who read, listen and contribute to our little home on the web. I’m not gonna lie. A little over a year ago, I was done with websites, forums and podcasts. For reasons of my own addled brain, I was fighting hard to kill everything and shut it all down. Thanks to my good friends talking me down off the ledge, we managed to find what was missing and move things in a more positive direction for the three of us.
In turn, all of you who have been with us since the beginning of Team Fremont (or even GWX) and those of you only a week old have written in, called, submitted articles, left iTunes reviews and (most shockingly) donated your hard earned money to our show. There are simply no words to express how grateful I am for all of you and your contributions. I only hope that our show and site continue to entertain you or at least make you laugh once before you unsubscribe in disgust.
Thank you for making 2009 the best year we’ve ever had.