Raging, gaming, lobbying

Blogs, eh. What do you do with a blog in this modern world, where the signal-to-noise ratio of writing stuff online is noisier than ever? I figured the thing to do is to write about stuff one likes. Here are three things.

1. The Neo-Kalashnikov’s burning fire of desire

There’s this reasonably good New Zealand rock band called the Neo-Kalashnikovs. They’re best known for getting British actress Helen Flanagan aka Rosie from Coronation Street to appear in their “Gorgeous Baby” music video, ensuring an admirable bit of hooha in the tabloid press. But they’ve become increasingly known for the angry online outbursts by one of the band members who can’t understand why the rest of the music world doesn’t think the Neo-K’s are as brilliant as the band themselves reckon.

This has resulted in some fierce online explosions at complete odds with the band’s cool, laid-back sound. There’s the review of “Gorgeous Baby” over at The Corner, but the best outbursts come from the band’s own blog, complete with a ’90s-style design. Recent posts include:

Prime Devastation were angry, but they were never that angry. It all reminds me of the olden days of NZmusic.com, the young bands who were so convinced of their greatness that they couldn’t accept criticism as being anything other than haters trying too cut them down.

They’ll get over it. No one stays that angry for long.

2. Device 6

There’s this iOS game called Device 6. It’s text-based, but it also uses sound and images, and it has a lot of fun with the extra dimension afforded by scrolling on an iPad. As far as genre goes, it’s kind of a thriller (all the best video games are), but with adventure and puzzle aspects as well. It’s unusual, in the best way.

The game is made by Simogo, a Swedish game developer, based in Malmö, which just happens to be where Eurovision was hosted this year. And given that Swedes tend to be really good at pop, it’s very pleasant that all the music in the game is really good. (Good music in video games is important. Monkey Island 2 got it right, whereas I am still traumatised by “Girl in the Tower” from King’s Quest VI.)

I don’t want to say too much about Device 6, because for me, part of the enjoyment was exploring its strange world without knowing much about it. Here are some screen shots:

And here is the trailer:

3. Hoyts Metro

There’s a new movie theatre in Hamilton. It’s actually the old Village 7 cinema given a makeover into the fancy new Hoyts Metro. It’s not an art house cinema or a “gold lounge” type arrangement, but it seems to be aimed at a mainstream-hipster demographic, if that makes sense.

hoyts-metro-2The decor of the old Village 7 was a generic ’90s multiplex. Hoyts Metro gutted all that and replaced it with something said to have been inspired by a New York subway. (I bet cinemas in New York don’t look like New York subways.)

This choo-choo theme came from the historical fact that the cinema is on the site of the original Hamilton railway station, as if designing a movie theatre lobby like a train station somehow makes up for there now being no central Hamilton train station.

hoyts-metro-1The lobby design even uses shipping containers, but rather than having a practical use, like, say the Re:Start mall in Christchurch, they’re just used as decor. The end effect is like the set of an am-dram production of West Side Story.

And then just to make things even weirder, there’s faux Banksy graffiti and the sort of uplifting slogans that are usually seen on Tumblr and/or workplace kitchenette noticeboards.

The brand new toilets are nice, though. Lots of tiles and quality fittings. That’s really important.

The cinemas themselves are much better than the funhouse lobby. The seating has been changed to a stadium layout, the seats are comfortable and when I saw One Direction: This Is Us, I had a very pleasant experience. The best bit of the film was when Niall dressed as an angry Scottish roadie and berated 1D fans for liking such a shite band.

And end sentences with a comma,
And end sentences with a comma,

8 thoughts on “Raging, gaming, lobbying”

    1. Weirdly enough, there’s a revival of email lists, which I suppose is one way to being heard above the noise. I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I could do with email.

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