2002 – Nerf Herder – American Cheese

I recently mentioned the band Nerf Herder when talking about the band’s front man Parry Gripp and how he releases a song a week then turns some of those songs in to crazy music videos. But this throw back punk rocker has had a fun-loving career lasting over a decade at this point. In the album American Cheese, the band Nerf Herder gets absolutely rediculous, it’s easy to see how this guy knows how to play to a YouTube audience and release songs directly to the internet: he’s a geek at heart. This should have been painfully obvious in that the name of the band is an overt Star Wars reference (who’s scruffy lookin’?).

No you needn’t / shed a tear / ’cause I’ve got waffles / and I’ve got beer / and I’ve got Mr. Belvedere / Welcome to my world.” References to Mr. Belvedere and Cheers pop up in the first track of the album (you know you’re a child of the 1980’s if…). Welcome to my World is the ultimate breakup song for “dudes.” Although the lyrics concede that, in his bachelor pad, it’s “non-stop no-girl action / without you” it is also a powerful mantra to staying positive and enjoying what a co-worker of mine once described as “beer in the fridge, underpants on the floor” single-living.

Other songs that draw out Parry and the rest of the band’s inner-geek include Mr. Spock, wherein the girl he is trying to impress clearly wants “something more than human / someone with blood that’s gold and green / you want someone better / than me.” Other songs deal with being the one picked last for a team, inspiring anyone out there who is willing to listen to put in the time and start their own band, and more relationship songs – all of which have absurd twists and laugh-out-loud lyrics.

Some of my favorite tracks, mostly for the rediculousness factor, are New Jersey Girl, Cashmere, and High Five Anxiety. So go on and give American Cheese a listen.

Should I upgrade to an Xbox 360 Slim?



Preorder the Limited Edition Halo 4 Bundle

People ask me all the time if they should “upgrade” to a newer Xbox. The answer is simple: if your console is working, then I say no. Sure it might be nice to have some newer features, but the Xbox 360 console is just the hardware of a platform. The platform is what delivers you the games, the movies, the music, everything you’re already enjoying. First generation Xbox 360 owners might not have an HDMI port, but if you haven’t had a Red Ring of Death and you’ve got a first gen 360 then you might just about have a collectable!

The changes made inside the Xbox 360 might have came with a few speed improvements, but the overall changes have been designed to increase stability, fix issues, and with the most modern revisions, to conserve power. But as far as your experience goes? It’s not going to change. I got sucked in to the hype after having a couple of minor disc read errors, I decided it would be a wise decision to plunk down the cash for a new slim console. Other than the occasional minor hiccup, my old console was working just fine. I still wonder why I wasted the money! People like the sleek new look of the slim console, but be honest: after the first day when you can’t take your eyes off of it, it will just be another one of those boxes under your TV that has a green light on it when you’re using it. It’s not the center piece of your living room!

Unless you have the scratch to afford one of the “limited edition” consoles, like the Star Wars Xbox 360, or the upcoming Halo 4 console as pictured above, I don’t think buying a new console is worth it. Even then, it’s only “worth it” if you want the collectable factor. Once it’s safely tucked away in your entertainment center, your experience won’t change at all.

Unless you’re experiencing frequent disc errors, lock ups, a red ring of death, an E74 error, or another serious failure of your Xbox 360 console… I would suggest holding on to it until you absolutely have to upgrade. You don’t get a better picture or sound, faster downloads, or any other benefits when you upgrade to a slim console. You get more storage. Other than that, your interaction with the console will be the same as it is now – so why spend $300 or more? It’s just not worth it, if you don’t need to.

Ooo-yah, I'm excited for Ouya

Yup. I did it. I bit the bullet on Kickstarter and pre-ordered an Ouya. And I’m glad I did. If you haven’t heard of it, you will, soon. I’ll describe what I’m talking about soon, but first, just know that I’m in the company of, oh, I dunno… tens of thousands of others. Listen, I’m writing this post early, because my mind is blown – so to tell you this: this post will appear July 13th 2012 at 0600 Eastern time. I’m writing at 2000 July 11th. At the time I’m writing, the Ouya has 27,615 “backers.” 3.5+ Million dollars. When I ordered it was over $1.5 Million. Their goal was only $900,000, which they raised in about a day. I’m glad I got in when I did, because the company is still trying to figure out what they’re going to do with all of their money, and just how many Ouya units they can produce!

So, what the heck is Ouya? I didn’t even watch the whole video or read the whole description when I jumped on it. If nothing else, it’s going to have some VERY nice features, but at its core, the Ouya is a new form of gaming console. It sound like it should be quite powerful, it will run Android, so there is a good possibility you should have direct access to a lot of pre-existing apps, and, one more small thing: the games? They’ll be free. It makes no sense to me, either – it’s the kind of thing that is going to turn the industry upside down… I don’t have any more details than anyone else, right now, but it sounds like they are planning a freemium model which will lead to in-app purchases and unlockables. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this – I certainly hope it isn’t an entire console of Zynga and Facebook games… but I noticed in the video a few key phrases, such as “free to try.” This sounds very similar to the Xbox Live or Windows Phone model, where everything is required to have a trial version, but I think that is one of the things that made the Xbox Live Arcade and Xbox Marketplace such a huge success. I know I certainly wouldn’t have purchased even half of the games I have in my Xbox Live Arcade collection were it not for the demo versions available to me.

The Kickstarter questions at the bottom of the page confirm my theory, when it states that: “For gamers, every game will be free to play: what this means is that there will at least be a free demo, or you’ll be able to play the entirety of the game for free but may have access to additional items, upgrades, or other features that come at a cost.” Which is fine by me, although I’m sure some people will pipe up down the road and wonder why games aren’t 100% free. By the time you read this, they’ll probably be sold out of all of the reasonably priced (sub $200) Kickstarter options (I got in at $99), but you can check Ouya’s Kickstarter page and see if you’re interested in the first new “gaming console” since the OnLive console appeared to polite applause a few years ago.