False Four: Springtime

Springtime music

Springtime movies

  • Bambi – I can’t think of a more appropriate film for the season.
  • Field of Dreams – This could be a summer film as well. But Spring seems to be the season I associate most with the sport of Baseball. A wonderful story about a man who misses his father and the sport that connected them.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Guess it shows I was raised by someone who loved musicals. This story centers around a family of brothers who steal themselves wives… Yeah, it’s pretty great.
  • The Producers – A delightful and light musical that features “Springtime for Hitler.”

Springtime books

  • Pawn of Prophecy – The first book in David Edding’s Belgariad pentalogy. I don’t know if I can say this is a good book. I just know that I read it every spring for about 15 years of my life. My thoughts and concepts of Spring as a season are inexorably tied up with this book.
  • The Secret Garden – A young orphan and her ailing cousin healed by the power of Nature’s ability to re-grow an overcome adversity. A perfect book for the season.
  • The Odyssey – There isn’t anything particularly “springish” about Homer’s epic poem about the trials of the Greek hero Odysseus as he tries to make his way home from Asia Minor to the island of Ithaca. Spring seems like the ideal time to read the poem and the growth of Odysseus from trope ‘hero’ to conflicted man, loving father and dutiful husband is reminiscent of the new growth we see in this season.
  • The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss’ most famous book! The rains that keep our two protagonists in always seemed to be spring rains to me an t

Springtime dates

  • Day hike – With the weather warming up it’s time to get out of the house and get some exercise. Whether it be an urban adventure or among the great outdoors. Hiking is an excellent way to learn about and spend time with that special someone in your life.
  • Picnic in the Park – Skip the resturants and cafes during Spring and instead pack a basket full of fresh bread, fruits, and a cured meat and head out to your local park to soak up the wonders of the season.
  • Farmer’s Market Trip –  Turn a grocery store trip into an exciting outing to the local Farmer’s Market. Get to know your local food producers and sample their wares!
  • Evening stroll through your local arboretum or botanical gardens – Can’t get out into the Wilds? See if your town or city has an arboretum or botanical garden. Avoid the crowds an go just around sunset and surround yourself in the beauty of a Spring evening.

Mix Tape to the Apocalypse

Viktor M. Vasnetsov ‘s Apocalypse

Seeing as the world will be ending soon, what with the Mayan calendar and all I thought it’d be appropriate to put together some music to accompany the complete destruction of Humanity and the Earth.

  1. Dies Irae – Mozart
  2. Pop goes the World – Men without Hats
  3. The Times They are a-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
  4. Of the Psychic Wars – Blue Oyster Cult
  5. Final Countdown – Europe
  6. Space Oddity – David Bowie
  7. It’s the End of the World as we Know it (and I Feel Fine) – REM
  8. Come Sail Away – Styx
  9. London Calling – The Clash
  10. End of the World – Gary Moore
  11. The End is the Beginning is the End – Smashing Pumpkins
  12. Dies Irae – Verdi

Enjoy listening to these on Friday while you witness the end of the world. If, by some miracle, the world and yourself are not destroyed on Friday leave your recommendations for the Mixtape to the Apocalypse in the comments!

Chiptunes that Bury Deep into Your Cranium and Stay There

Never figured it out, still awesome after all these years

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who spent countless hours on weeknights and weekends in front of their televisions as a kid playing Nintendo that to this day I find myself humming bits and pieces of game soundtracks.  Despite the limited ability of the old NES music designers managed to squeeze out of it, with the help of additional soundchips in cartridges, some astonishingly catchy music. Furthermore, despite all the technological advances these old catchy tunes remain the bedrock on which new music for old franchises are built upon. That tune that plays whenever Link gets a new item in the Legend of Zelda? There from the very beginning! Mario’s theme? Yup. Vampire Killer? Check! The music might be tweaked, reworked, remixed, and molded but behind it all you still find these iconic, simple ditties.

Ditties that have been firmly lodged in my head for over 20 years at this point! Here are the ones I find myself humming in elevators most often! Not all of these are from the NES but the majority are. (Click the images to listen to the songs.)  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of the tunes showcased here are from games that I go back to play over and over again. How else do you think they became automatic responses for me?

Wicked from Castlevania 1 Stage 3
Bubbleman's Theme from Megaman 2
Wily's Stage 1 from Megaman 2
Frog's theme from Chrono Trigger
Bloody Tears from Castlevania 2: Simon's Curse
Overworld theme from Super Mario Bros. 2
Opening Theme to Shadowgate
Stage 3 theme from Metal Storm
Kraid's Lair from Metroid
Act 4, Part 2 theme from Ninja Gaiden

There are some more quite a few more (like Terra’s theme from Final Fantasy VI, or the second stage music from Shinobi 3)… This is enough to get you started though! Youtube is a great resource as are quality fan sites (think The Castlevania Dungeon) If you want even more chiptunes and don’t care if they’re from video games check out 8-bit Peoples.

So, folks what are your favorites pieces of 8-bit and 16-bit music? Please let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for great tunes as well as great games that come with them!

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