Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Month: April 2023

VNV Nation – Electric Sun

After a two-week delay (I originally thought this album was due on the 14th, but when I bought it on 7Digital they said it was a preorder and I could download on the 28th), I finally have my hands (virtually speaking) on the new VNV Nation album, Electric Sun.

And it’s pretty good!

Look, I’ll keep this brief: There are no bad songs here, and a few really good songs. This is a very iterative album, which is to say it’s building solidly & steadily upon the records which came before it, with no wild departures or groundbreaking experimentation. And that’s fine! Sometimes a band just wants to show up, do their thing, and speak their mind. (VNV Nation in particular has always been a band with things to say, after all.)

Highlights? My favorite songs so far are “Artifice” and “Wait,” with honorable mention for “The Game,” “Invictus,” and “Sunflare.”

Electric Sun has a good chance of being my favorite album of the year… though one should keep in mind that the new Battle Tapes is due next week…

Eh? Aye.

We live in the future, and it’s both awesome and horrifying.

Collectively, many of us have spent the last few decades adding data to the Internet. Words, pictures, sounds, and so forth. And now, people with lots of money to buy lots of computer equipment are going to use what we’ve made to make themselves an even bigger pile of money.

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Satisfactory – New Clear Power Plan

In the co-op Satisfactory game with the kids (look, I get to call them “kids” even though they’ve been full adults for over a decade now, it’s my parental privilege) we’ve finally reached the point where we need to consider actually doing the thing we only really joked about early on: Tackling nuclear power.

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So long, Wonderduck

On March 8th, Eric T Carra lost his final battle against the ravages of ill health.

I found out about this over the weekend, when I decided to check his website in case there’d been any updates on his condition. (The news is in the comments thread of the final post.) If you read the slate of posts during the calendar year 2022, entered as he had the time, opportunity, and energy, you’ll see a litany of indignities (including COVID, but that was well after the initial problems had commenced). Through it all, when he could, he tried to inform and entertain in his clever, self-deprecating style.

It must’ve been hell. I can dimly imagine all the posts he didn’t complete, drafted then scrapped, about the ongoing interminable misery his life had apparently become.

To me, he’ll always be the one of the biggest fans of my silly webcomic project, Quacked Panes. Heck, early on I sent him the twin to my cast-iron duck, Rusty. I always looked forward to his reactions to my latest bad joke, and enjoyed following his interests on his blog (even if I’ll never understand the appeal of Formula 1). It’s no exaggeration to say that without Eric and a few other dedicated fans, I’d not have lasted four months at the webcomic project let alone four full years.

We shared similar-enough tastes in music, anime, and other odd bits of common culture to sustain a kind of distant friendship. Never close pals, but always cordial and supportive. Now I wish I’d been a better friend overall. Regrets, eh?

A font of knowledge and humor has left this world, and I’ll miss him always.

“Next episode: More zombies?”

Satisfactory – In And Around The Lake

“… mountains come out of the sky and they stand there!”

Yes, ha ha, the song “Roundabout” by Yes (ha ha) earworms me every time I think about building roundabouts in Satisfactory. Maybe you, dear reader, are young enough not to have this problem. I envy you your youth and your lack of Jon Anderson’s voice in your head.


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