2008 – Rehab – Graffiti the World

No, we’re not talking about physical therapy with the Wii, we’re talking about Rehab, the band. Many people know the band from their single, SittinÂ’’ At A Bar, but if you want music that’ll put you in a good mood, you need to listen to Graffiti The World.

Tracks like Bump literally paint a beautiful picture of “black trees / silhouetted against an orange sky” as you drive down the road with your music blasting. Every time I hear it in the car I go a little bit faster. Other songs like Bottles and Cans tell an interesting story about the cost of being the life of the party. Other songs like Red Water and Walk Away slow the album down and make you take a deeper look at your life, whether it’s from the perspective of someone who appears to have it all, or someone about to lose their marriage. There are several more good songs on the album, and this is one of those rare few I really enjoy beginning to end. This Town is a fantastic song about life in a small town, which always reminds me of where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I would, without a second of hesitation, tell anybody to listen to Graffiti The World.

Even if you’re opposed to the language on the album, you can’t come away from it without understanding that these guys have been there – or they know someone who has. Dealing with everything from suicide, to drug addiction, to struggling with their career in music, and even religion, on an alternate pressing of this album (a song was cut from this release, entiled “This I Know” which puts a modern spin on the children’s Sunday School song “Jesus Loves Me, this I know…”). I’m really a big fan of Rehab and enjoy most of their stuff, but this album finds its way in to my rotation over and over again!

Xbox 360: No picture on TV and controller not syncing? Try this…

Recently, a friend turned to me with a problem with his Xbox 360. When we started talking, he said that the lights on the console weren’t doing anything strange, but there was no picture on his TV. So I walked him through resetting his display settings by starting the console and pressing a certain combo of buttons on his controller. No luck – it turned out his controller wasn’t syncing. So, then, I told him how to sync his controller to his Xbox 360. No luck. He then plugged in a USB controller – still no change, the light on the controller never came on to show it was connected.

In the end, it turned out that he had recently rearranged his living room and the HDMI cable wasn’t snug in the back of the Xbox 360. He had gotten to the point that he had worked with Microsoft’s phone support and they weren’t able to help him, he was about to send the console off for repair – until he decided he could try another HDMI cable. When reaching to unplug his current cable, he realized it was loose.

I would suggest that you check both ends of your HDMI cable (Xbox 360 console and TV), and even use the HDMI cable of another working device such as a DVD player or a PS3, just for testing purposes. Even though the controller issue seems strangely unrelated, it seems that the Xbox 360 must detect that it is connected to a display source before it starts the controller up. Now, even if you have the incorrect display resolution selected, it will at least finish booting up. Not having a video out cable of any kind connected must stop the boot sequence. We learned something new today! And I hope it helps you!

It's Wii U Weekend!

The Wii U launches on Sunday. The Deluxe Model includes Nintendo Land. Of course, I’ll be buying New Super Mario Bros. U, and feeling like a kid on launch day (and then remembering exactly how much I hated having to turn my game off so my dad could have the TV to watch football, as I have a “prior engagement” for Sunday Night Football). And although I don’t have stars in my eyes and I’m not excited for this console as a gaming console, I’m excited to see it as someone who has owned every console Nintendo has ever released – I’m excited to see it Nintendo mature, to see what is going to come next. I’m excited to see if, this generation, firmware updates will be for more than combating piracy (and failing miserably at even that).

I’m almost anxious, but the feeling, with a little more than 48 hours to go, is nothing like 1996 when I knew there was a Nintendo 64 in the house, but I couldn’t have it until Santa delivered it. It’s certainly not like 1992, when I DIDN’T know there was a Super Nintendo in the house and was blown away to open my Super Mario World / Mario Paint Super NES Super Set. It seems like a life time ago.

To prep myself, mentally, I read up on the latest offering from Nintendo: Iwata Asks: Wii U: The Console. I have to say I’m not floored – we’ve already seen how the hardware barely holds up against the Xbox 360 and the PS3 – it basicall brings the Wii in to the HD era, but it is still sweating itself to be that much more than the Gamecube. Perhaps there is hidden potential to unlock, and I think I’ll have more to say on that next week – but I still have that “new console” buzz going through my mind. I wonder if I’ll get any sleep Saturday night?