Friday, October 30, 2009

iPhone Game of the Week Halloween Edition: Zombie Pizza

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:41 PM

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Appropriately released earlier this month, Zombie Pizza is a pretty addicting budget puzzle game for the iPhone. You’re trapped in a pizza parlor with nothing but dough, a cookbook and for whatever reason a seemingly endless conveyor belt of brains, eyeballs, hearts and bones. In order to keep them from busting into your shop and eating you, you need to feed them pizzas until the sun comes up and you’re safe again. Makes sense, really.

There is some strategy involved here though. You can’t just drag whatever you want onto your pie and think the undead will be happy with it. These zombies are very particular. You get the most points if you’re able to use the same topping in all four spots. This is generally more difficult as you have to wait longer for say four brains to come onto the conveyor. So you have to balance gaining lots of points and keeping the zombies at bay. You get less points if you split the toppings into twos and no bonus if you use four different toppings on one pizza. The points help you gain job levels (from prep cook to fry cook, for example). The difficulty increases with the introduction of broccoli, glass jars that take time to break, cockroaches, multiple pizzas at once and special orders.

As fun and as easy as this game is, it’s definitely a 99-cent game. You’re not getting a deal on some deep game that you can put hours into, but this is the perfect game to load up if you have a handful of minutes to kill waiting for a friend or the subway to arrive. Not to sell the game short, there is a bit of replay value here as new objects are introduced and the difficulty is upped. For the price, I would definitely recommend giving it, um, a taste.

The game's trailer is after the jump.

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That Character in the Wheelchair? It's You.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:33 PM

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Any horror movie worth its celluloid needs to produce a visceral response in the viewer. And, because these films are thus so concerned with the relationship between the seat-filler and the image, horror movies, more than any other genre, regularly explore issues of spectatorship.

This has been especially true lately: as I wrote in my review of A Perfect Getaway, “each in their own way, to varying degrees of success, Vacancy, Cloverfield, Diary of the Dead and Quarantine have [grappled with] the relationship between the camera and the viewer, between screen and spectator.” (Add to that Paranormal Activity and the superlative French thriller Them.) But it’s also been the case for decades, though perhaps in a less conspicuous manner.

One motif that runs, historically, through the horror genre is the wheelchair-bound character, who appears in films from at least the 1950s through The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), The Changeling (1980) and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), as well as many others, some of which are discussed after the jump; more often than not, this person serves as an audience surrogate. After all, who is more like the movie watcher, stuck in their seat, than the paraplegic? Or the broken-legged?

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Your L Magazine Guide to the New York Marathon

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:13 PM

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"Why are all these skinny people in Umbros running up Bedford Avenue? Is there a secret Arcade Fire show in McCarren Park?"

No! It is the New York City Marathon, which happens this Sunday morning, while you are sleeping off your Halloween hangover, because it's on a Saturday night this year and furthermore the nights we set the clocks back hence an extra hour of drinking(!). Here's our guide to what you will have missed by the time you wake up.

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Kanye West Makes Book Trailers the Way Most People Make 3D Sci-Fi Movies

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Kanye West's photo book Glow in the Dark (not to be confused with Through the Wire) supposedly features images from the eponymous world tour, but if the promo is anything to go by it's actually about Kanye traveling through hell and space while fighting dinosaurs and a malevolent HAL-type supercomputer. All of which is to say that it's the most epic video of any sort that you will ever see. (Fubiz)

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Spoon Announce New Album, Transference

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:24 PM

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Word comes from Merge Records today, via Pitchfork and Stereogum and other first tier media outlets not including The L Magazine, ahem, that January 26th 2010 will see the release of a brand new Spoon album, their seventh overall. The record is called Transference, and it features 11 songs, one of which, "Got Nuffin," has already been released as the lead track on an EP of the same name. It's a very good song, all tweaky and slick and infectious. One feels safe assuming the other ten will be a lot like it. The tracklist, should you care about that sort of thing, is after the jump, along with the video for "I Turn My Camera On," mostly because I really love that song, but also because I really wish I had the guts to paint my living room the same pink the living room in the video is painted.

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Beanie Sigel Releases a Jay-Z Diss Track, Sounds Like a Giant Baby

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM

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Just when I thought the day could not be salvaged, there comes news of a new track called "What You Talkin Bout (I Ain't Your Average Cat)" by Philadelphia rapper and onetime Roc-A-Fella family member Beanie Sigel, who's pissed off that Jay-Z doesn't want to be his friend anymore or something. The song's based on the hook from the unimpeachable Blueprint 3 opener "What We Talking Bout", and the most substantial gripe here, or at least the final straw, seems to be that Jay called the cops to have Sigel removed from the front row of a recent show in Philadelphia. And maybe that Jay wouldn't give him his blessing when Sigel had the opportunity to sign another more lucrative deal with a different label? Who knows.

Halfway through the seven-minute track, the rhyming (which is actually pretty great while it lasts) comes to an end, and Sigel just starts straight-up ranting like a deranged stalker or a scorned former lover. "You didn't come see me in jail!" "Didn't even write me a letter!" "You never buy me chocolate and why won't you take out the garbage on your own, or pick up your own clothes off the floor, or mow the fucking lawn without me having to beg you, and do you even appreciate it when I cook dinner for you?!?!?!" Not a good look at all, Beanie. Listen to the track below, while marveling at how super nice Jay's sweater is.

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The Game Just Called "Game" Now, Releases New Songs

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM

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In a totally radical move, Compton MC The Game (real name Jayceon Terrell Taylor) is changing his stage name! I know, crazy right? His new moniker is, um, "Game," which is the stupidest rap name-change since Puff Daddy became P. Diddy. The new name sounds to me like admitting defeat: he's no longer big enough to be the whole game, now he's merely a willing participant in a larger industry, he's game. Anyway, Game has a new record coming out, and HipHopWired premiered the first two singles off R.E.D. today, with a tentative album release date of December 8. The first, "Krazy," features a beat and verse by Timbaland, and a verse by Gucci Mane, and it's pretty great if only because of the awesome instrumental.

The second track, "Big Money," is a fairly mediocre instrumental from Cool & Dre where Game just sleepwalks through another list of all the things he owns, which seems to take up at least one song on each of his albums.

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"Like wearing a costume directly on your brain."

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:36 PM

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Tomorrow, on the second day of their Halloween-timed Freak Cats series, BAM screens Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 curio House. A report:

Like wearing a costume directly on your brain, this New Wave-playful Japanese nutbar deserves a slot on your Halloween itinerary. Seven BFF teens named Gorgeous, Fantasy, Kung Fu, Mac, etc. visit a spooky auntie’s country house, overseen/possessed by a white Persian cat. A Beetlejuicean assortment of things come alive—chandeliers, logs, mattresses, piano—and fly around, change colors, or eat people. Best of all is the pre-Evil Dead, proto-80s-MTV filmmaking—a scissoring together of hyperventilating gloss, collaged camera effects, stop-motion, pink painted sunsets, fake wind, and oddly cut shorts. Not aiming for coherence, this occasionally scary, always on-the-edge effort was the full-length debut of a director who shot experimental reels, commercials, and eventually quite popular features.

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Happiness Hat Zaps You Into a Better Mood

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

In a slightly precious opinion piece in the Science section of the Times earlier this week, Olivia Judson discusses research suggesting that the simple act of smiling eventually lifts your mood (and ponders whether certain languages are inherently "happier" because they cause us to grin more frequently). By that logic, designer Lauren McCarthy's hat that zaps the back of your head whenever you stop smiling must be the happiest invention ever—even though it looks like torture. (TDW)

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FREE BOOZE! Spooky Art Events Tonight

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Nicole Eisenman
Chelsea
Nicole Eisenman's monstrous party paintings (pictured) at Leo Koenig Inc., 545 W 23rd St (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves), 6-8pm
(Also, if you have $300 to spare there's the Performa opening extravaganza)

Dumbo
Collect Dumbo, Artlog and Brooklyn Arts Council's themed art walk/party around Dumbo isn't actually free, but for $15 there's an awful lot of parties, art and booze to be had. Details and tickets here.

Fort Greene
Matt Miller's abstract constructions and canvases at John Frum Foundation, 66-68 Washington Ave, Suite 2 (at Park Ave), 5-8pm

Bushwick
Group show of collage artists Collage: Collage at NURTUREart, 910 Grand St (between Olive and Catherine Sts), 7-9pm
Jason Horvath's surreal furniture design at Eastern District, 43 Bogart St (at Moore St), 7-10pm

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Notes on Game 2 of the World Series

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 1:03 PM

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The Jay-Z performance. I am... worried? frightened? aroused? all of the above? by Alicia Keys' aggressive rap-hoochie moves, also by those pretty much armpit-high pink boots, seemingly made out of suede so soft that the calf can't have been more than a day or two old before it was butchered, for you, and me, and the crowd at Yankee Stadium.

-Would you have sent Pedro back out for the seventh? (That was a rhetorical question, Grady Little.) True, the Matsui homer was almost as cheap a shot as Utley's first one last night, but Pedro was clearly laboring, had been skirting disaster all game, and his luck was due to even out even disregarding how tired he would have been at that point, coming up on 100 pitches. A lot of high-effort two-strike pitches, or painted corners from behind in the count. (All of which was exciting and inspiring to watch in ways I won't articulate lest I bore you.) And it's not like Manuel didn't have a fully rested bullpen, or an off day coming up.

-If the Phillies face A.J. Burnett again this series, which seems likely, they may wish to consider not always swinging s'goddam early in the count. They had some good at-bats when they weren't too busy having shitty, shitty at bats that either lasted two pitches or saw them down in the count early because they didn't lay off the breaking stuff, which was nasty but definitely out of the strike zone.

-I love it when a hitter doesn't get a bunt down before strike two, the manager takes the bunt sign off, and then the hitter takes it upon himself to man up and get a bunt down—and then bunts the two-strike pitch foul, to strike out. Derer Jeter, your commitment to putting your personal sense of honor ahead of the team is just one of the reasons why every sportswriter in America wants to wake up next to you, just once.

-Since this unfortunate April incident, Eric Karros has done much better work with his high-volume combover. I can't find a picture of last night's pregame show, but he's looking practically Kennedy-esque.

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There is Nothing Going on Today, So Now We Will Watch the New Britney Spears Video

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 12:31 PM

It's barely noon, and I can already tell that today is shaping up to be mad lame. probably because everyone's busy having Halloween Fever? At least there's this new Britney Spears video, though, right? Right? (This video is boring, and unless something really awesome happens really soon, I'm going to the bar, like, before it even opens.)

Step Aside Segway, Honda UX-3, There's a New Foolish Device for People Too Lazy to Walk

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:51 AM

For obvious reasons, evil companies really want to make people pay for things they already get for free, like water and walking. The latest personal locomotion device is possibly the most ridiculous of such schemes. While Segways are doomed to fail because they're clunky and graceless, and Honda's unicycle-looking UX-3 is much too girly, the new AirBoard is like the Mad Max of walking substitutes. Imagine a mini-hovercraft combined with wind-surfing and a dash of the hoverboards from Back to the Future II (and $14,000) and you've got yourself an AirBoard. (NOTCOT)

Obviously, claims that it's strictly recreational and "has no brakes" will be resolved when the next version comes out. I guess we'd better start redesigning our cities for AirBoards.

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The Best Day of the Year: Halloween on The Today Show

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:23 AM

So, like, I'm definitely not the only one who looks forward to seeing what Matt Lauer and the rest of the Today Show cast is going to dress as for Halloween, right? Yeah, I didn't think so. This year? Star Wars characters! You really have to watch the whole clip. It's long, but it just gets better and better, or at least more and more awkward, as it goes on, culminating with Meredith Vieira telling an Ewok not to grab her ass. Other highlights include Hoda doing a Yoda voice, Kathie Lee doing a C-3PO voice, and Al Roker not being dressed as Lando Calrissian.

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First Annual Art Award Winners Are Surprising (Happily So)

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Art Awards statuette
Last night marked the art world's first (long overdue) foray into the always dubious business of the gala awards ceremony, with the Guggenheim hosting the First Annual Art Awards, with celeb artist creator Rob Pruitt, scenester-y MCs the Delusional Downtown Divas, and a ridiculous set of celebrity presenters (James Franco, Kylie Minogue, Julianne Moore, etc.). And, though it's silly to say this after the inaugural show, the winners proved to be very well-chosen and when they defied expectations did so in the best of ways.

Not only did several of my predictions pan out—Ryan Trecartin took Best New Artist, Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns? took best gallery group show, The Pictures Generation took best museum group show—but a few of my merit-based "should win" predictions prevailed: Martin Kippenberger's MoMA retrospective took the award for best solo museum show, and the Pier Manzoni show at Gagosian won best solo gallery exhibition. The surprises were the best part though: Connie Butler of MoMA took curator of the year, and Mary Heilmann won artist of the year, which is truly a beautiful upset. All in all a very promising start to an annual art world tradition. (And as with all award shows, it's never too early to make wild predictions: Marina Abramović for artist of the year in 2010!)

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(Really Great) New Yeasayer Single Available as Free Download

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

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I'm calling it right now. 2010 is going to belong squarely to Brooklyn's very own Yeasayer. Their new album, Odd Blood, isn't out until February 19th, but the first single, "Ambling Alp," was released this morning, and it is a monster. You want to play the "What other bands does it sound like" game? Sure, no problem: Animal Collective, Apples in Stereo and early Ted Leo (or Chisel, actually), and one 80s band in particular that I cannot place, and it's driving me totally batty. Go here to download it. [via Pitchfork]

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Yes, There is a Giant Birthday Cake Designed to Look Like Lil Wayne's Head

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:08 AM

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Today in the department of "Things Everyone Else is Writing About So I Feel Like I Have to as Well," I give you the Lil Wayne birthday cake, designed by a Beverly Hills bakery for the daughter of Kim Bassinger and Alec Baldwin. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs here, but I think it looks more like Al Roker than Wayne.

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Jay-Z and Alicia Keys Overcome the Worst Sound in the History of Sound, Kill It at World Series

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 9:56 AM

There is simply no excuse for the sound on last night's Jay-Z/Alicia Keys performance of "Empire State of Mind" before game two of the World Series being as abysmal as it was. But there's also simply no logical explanation for how there came to be a song that is this awesome. The first time she comes in with the chorus? Chills, yo. (Still rooting for the Phillies, though.)

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Your Morbid Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

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This Is It: Already a moneymaker before the weekend even sets in, I can't help but read the title of the Michael Jackson rehearsal doc This Is It as a carnie-barker cry (just in time for Halloween): this is it, this is it, this is all you get of Michael 'cause he's dead, so step right up and have a gander! I know it's supposed to be a tribute to the fallen Jackson's artistry in his final days, but it skeeves me out, as does all of the trailer-and-interview blather about how Jackson and his cohorts were putting on a multijillion dollar fifty-night series of stadium concerts for l-o-v-e, world peace, and the rainforests. I'm happy to hear that Jackson wasn't a complete mess before he died; I'm just as happy not to watch the rail-thin proof that he could still shake it.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nirvana Live At Reading Trailer Released

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Maybe everyone's already seen this. I don't know, and I don't really care. I'm going to buy the shit out of this when it comes out on Tuesday. But let's make a pact: No nostalgic looks back at how much we liked Nirvana when we were in high school, ok? [Rolling Stone]

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