1999 – Angry Salad – self titled

Boston boys Angry Salad had a few albums and received some national recognition. Their major label debut was also their last album together, but the self titled Angry Salad is one of my most favorite albums of all time. I, like many, was introduced to the band through The Milkshake Song, featuring the lyrics “she gave me / a milkshake and a kiss… / I don’t need / a whole lot more than this.” Angry Salad features a not-very-edgy 1990’s alternative rock kind of sound (remember bands like Tonic and The Flys?), and the album even features a cover of the famous song 99 Red Balloons.

The song was simple, sweet, and catchy. I heard it on local radio stations growing up, the band came to town (Erie, PA) a few times and I regret never making the time to see them now that I look back. But when I got a little older and found the album, I was thrilled to own it. I bought the CD on eBay when when I was older and still have it to this day. There are several more songs that will cut right to your core and it is clear that whichever band member wrote the lyrics was recalling specific moments and images from his life. The lyrics contain detailed images, and even references to those images… “in dreams I see his face / I recognize the place right next to / Dashboard Jesus” says the refrain in the song Rico.

Saturday Girl is another melancholy song which clearly deals with the pain and suffering of depression, from the point of someone who has either been hospitalized or institutionalized fighting the disease. Expecting her parents to come free her, but instead it seems they only visit on Saturdays. One verse has been so beautifully described it his played over and over in my mind for over a decade, now: “the ceiling reflects / headlights coming over the hill / she’s lying on her back / and she’s perfectly still / she knew they’d come back for her / but they fade out of sight.”

You’re not going to find this one easily, and it’s not being produced any more, so I would have to advise picking up a used copy and introducing yourself to Angry Salad.

How to tell how much power your Xbox 360 uses

Update 2: The 135 watt plug may not be the “end all” form factor. It turns out that there was yet another revision of the Xbox 360 Slim! The original, Xbox 360 S, uses the pictured 135watt power supply. I believe the newer model appears to look identical to the 135 watt, but the Xbox 360 E uses a 120 watt power supply. More information is on Xbox.com. If you cannot tell if your console needs the 135 or the 120 watt power supply, count the USB ports on your console. The S/135 console has 5 USB ports. The E/120 has only 4. Microsoft has a list of other differences between the 360 S and the 360 E.

Update: I have added a reference image for the Xbox 360 Slim’s 135 watt power connector.

As the Xbox 360 console kept getting revised, Microsoft got better at lowering the power consumption necessary to power the console. But what is the easiest way to know if you had a console that consumed less power than one of the first generation models? How do I tell how much power my Xbox 360 uses? Easy: look at the power pins. The power usage of the Xbox 360 has steadily dropped as the hardware has been revised. I found the helpful graphic above in a Microsoft support article.

I wish American news outlets advertised like this

If American news outlets advertised like this, I’d be far more interested in watching the news, rather than reading it from a hundred different sources and trying to decipher the truth. This video even makes TheGuardian seem like an actually balanced news organization. I don’t know how accurate that really is, but I have more hope for them than the biased coverages we get in the States! Still, no matter where you stand on how fairly the headlines are covered or how much you like one company or another, you have to admit when someone does something creative, and this commercial for TheGuardian is pretty impressive. Enjoy it.

Price Drop on Windows Phone 7 games

A few weeks ago, what I thought was just a short term sale turned about to be a price drop for some of the ‘greatest hit’ Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7. You can now get Angry Birds, Max and the Magic Marker, Toy Soldier, and severl other great games at their new reduced price: 99 cents!

A not-always-easy-to-find page was put up on Xbox.com celebrating the price drop. Head in to the Windows Phone Marketplace and find yourself some deals!