Monday, October 14, 2019

Cassette Review //
Bridal Party
"Too Much"
(Factotum Cassettes & Oddities)

$10 CAD //
Edition of 100 // //

The music of Bridal Party is not easily explained.   I've listened to this cassette a number of times now and every time I listen to it I seem to take something new out of it.    At first, I had this feeling of it being groovy, but ultimately it's rocking and a little tongue-in-cheek.

Influences come in the way of Corinne Bailey Rae, Dionne Warwick and that Alice Cohen & The Channel 14 Weather Team album that came out earlier this year.    Blissed out and beautiful it sometimes reminds me of Flaming Lips and other times can feel like something from Simon Hanes.

This feels strongly like something from the 1960's or even 1970's though.   Even though I wasn't alive at the time, my parents were and it was their love of music such as this which carried on during the 1980's.   I remember living in a two family house with grandma and uncle downstairs.   They would babysit my sisters and I while my parents went to the rollerdisco (my father had this yellow shirt as such) where I assume this type of music was played.

Bridal Party has a sound that might seem familiar but it isn't.   At times I think this has that television feel of a show like "Love Boat" or "Charlie's Angels", as is it definitely can have that 1970's spy thing going on for it.   But it just seems to be on the edge of these certain rock genres without falling into any of them specifically.

Lyrically these songs are about different topics but the words don't always seem to match the tone of the music.  It's more of an upbeat, lighter feel musically whereas the lyrics touch upon more serious subjects.   "Too Much" has suggestions of body image while "When I'm Naked" is more obvious in the title but still feels rather innocent in other aspects.   "Attention" is about wanting attention- in the sense of what I would crudely refer to as an attention whore- and "Speak Easy" sets the mood for this entire cassette as I could imagine Bridal Party existing during the time of prohibition.

Cassette Review //
odd person
"the flowers of arcadia"
(Ingrown Records)

$5 // //

We begin with the sounds of birds chirping, like we're in that kind of nature room, and then these tones come in which feel a bit like organ tones at first but as they progress they seem to take on this almost "Miami Vice" feel.    Beats fill the background and there is this sound which I would call acoustic vaporwave.   It feels a little bit trippy as well, but it's also just chill.   Blissed out tones fall in line now.    Video game tones come through now like triumph as they can resemble horns.

A dark sound comes into the background now, like thunder.   The birds chirping have returned.    That video game triumph is still back there.   A fumbling now, a lot of noises at once.    It is a chaotic symphony as it fades out with glee. 

The next song comes in with some static which sounds like a downpour.   Tones come in like horns but it sounds like someone is playing one of those instruments you don't always hear a lot about- like an oboe- and they're out in the rain doing it.    But it moves like a movie, there is a sense of wonder to it all.    There is this wavy sound behind this, perpetual motion, as the tones continue to tell the story of life, of birth.

This rowing sound becomes almost a moaning, but then it begins to feel like a warning.   A magic spell is behind this as well so it just seems to want to put me into a trance where I can feel like I'm under hypnosis and to what end is unclear.     Beeps send us back to that singular sound of rain falling with a few tones behind it.    This song ends with just that static rain, which is the same way as it began.

On the flip side we open with this sort of squealing sound which has some birds behind it but it just feels like a wild animal.    A smooth groove builds now and there is talking within it.    This just turned into a pretty technical electronic based song, even though you can hear some words in the background, it has just developed into this speed and drive.    The tones begin to glow now and they're getting much louder.    The intensity can make it feel like a carnival ride.

Everything about this song increases and so if you can imagine it as being like a carousel ride, where we're going around and around, you have to think at one point we begin to go off the rails, to come unhinged.    It then slows down a little bit, is reduced to just this acoustic percussion feel with some slight snarls behind it and then there is also this mystic air about it.     And it ends with these sort of dreamy hues, just fading out and completey confusing my sense of being awake versus being asleep.

Cassette Review //
Cop Jokes / Law Years
"Human Drama"
(KiloHURTz Records)

$8 //

This one opens up with some distorted crackling like water electronics.   Static bursts come through and then there is a lightbulb rattle.   It gets quieter and more minimal before these static blasts come back and then it's an electric scramble.    And then it comes glitching through, like a failed transmission.   Rapid fire now. 

Dark tones come in like a video game and this feels like something from an arcade game or the NES perhaps, a game like Double Dragon but not quite.   There is also a triumph in this song.    There is a build to it, like a symphony and I'm just in love with the style of this song because it's a traditional sound played in such a non-traditional way.   Cymbals crashing full force.

Strong static crashes and bangs now.    This cassette is weird because the two artists take turns playing songs and then they play a song together, but I'm not really one to listen to music which isn't weird so I guess that should've been expected as distorted shots are fired down. 

Notes start off the flip side like a crazy video game and then there is a buzzing behind it, a swarm.   Drums come through now in rapid succession.   Someone pauses to say something and now there is a scraping.    Big beats.    Words like a news broadcast.    Heavy breathing now.

Somehow it feels like jazz flute now.   The drum is being banged.   Words are spoken and there is a humming like singing before it all turns into this pinball glitch sound.    That deep bass distortion follows.    Still, this has a soothing quality to it somehow.   Now it sounds like lions and tigers are roaring.   Back and forth between the peaceful and the chaos. 

Now it sounds like drumrolls in the rain.    It feels like we're in a full on metal storm now.   With that idea of like how they used to bend metal sheets in the radio days to create sound effects before the advent of television, this cassette comes to a most interesting end and, yes, you need to experience this one for yourself as well. 

Wrestling Review //
Prestige Wrestling

CageMatchdotNet Results :::

Official Prestige Wrestling Site :::

As with most of these wrestling events I watch on IWTV, I found out about this one on Twitter- saw a poster for it- and decided to watch it.   I do usually go through the recently added on IWTV though, look at the cards and then add shows to my watchlist, which is at something like twenty events now (and growing!)

This is my first time watching Prestige Wrestling but the commentary is done by Joe Dombrowski and I get his emails so that's cool.    I'm not sure what kind of genre to put Prestige in, as this show seemed to have a little bit of everything for everyone.   That seems to be my default wrestling promotion to watch now, even though I still love certain styles and want to see complete shows in one style.

Originally this show was to open with Puma King vs. Tony Deppen but something happened with travel issues and Tony Deppen was replaced by Alex Zayne.   Here's how/why wrestling is so fun for me.   The event I watched before this was Beyond Wrestling "All Hands On Deck" (right here on IWTV [cheap pop]) which was my first time seeing Alex Zayne.   The event I watched before that one was PWG "Smokey and the Bandido" on Blu-Ray, which had Puma King on it.   So it's one of those small world type of things, but just so great to see wrestlers I've seen on different shows coming together.

One thing I like about Alex Zayne (aside from his in ring style) is that he has the gimmick of being "body by Taco Bell" and some of his moves are named after menu items.  It's the little things which set you apart from others, even if it's as simple as being known as "that Taco Bell guy".

Kikutaro (!!!) took on Ethan HD.   This was my first time seeing Ethan HD and he is not a higher def version of Ethan Page.   But this match was worked where Ethan HD had diarrhea and at one point he shit his pants.   I don't know.   I love Kikutaro but this match was a bit much for me.    I just couldn't get into it and it reminded me of when WWE had Drake Maverick pee his pants.    Some people might not have a problem with it, but it really took me out of the match.

The third match of the evening had Rhyno vs. Bull James which was a great battle of the monsters.   I saw this question posed on a wrestling site about whether or not the era of the big man was over and I think some of these non-WWE wrestling shows have big guys (in terms of size) and they just get overlooked.   This was a great match up until the team of 4 Minute Heat came out and then got destroyed by Rhyno and Bull James.   Imagine Rhyno and Bull James as a tag team?  Why didn't WWE ever think of that?  They're such monsters, so together they'd naturally be unstoppable.

Mance Warner was scheduled to be in a death match against Drexl but he is injured so it was Steve West instead.   This match made me want to watch an entire event of death matches (like Cage of Death) and if you've never seen Drexl before he's quite the character.   I want to say this was my first time seeing Drexl, but there are so many random eight person matches on shows I watch I feel like saying such things might be wrong.    Maybe he was in the multi-person match on that Bizarro Lucha show.   I don't remember. 

This was a good death match but at the end it felt like Steve West hit Drexl with everything he could, didn't get the three count and then one quick move and Drexl somehow won.   Oh well.  It was fun to watch at least.

Alex Zayne returned to be in a seven person match which also had Jaiden (he's the new DJ Z), Tony Deppen, Andrew Everett, Adrian Quest, Mike Santiago and Tyler Bateman-- the perfect mix of names I know and don't know, even if it was a bit crowded.   I think more than four people in a match is too many unless you can do tags or it's special like a battle royal.

In the semi-main event, Orange Cassidy took on Su Yung.   I've actually gone out of my way to watch parts of Impact Wrestling to see Su Yung who is this undead type of character and it's just insane how you would put her up against Orange Cassidy.    I think Orange Cassidy is my favorite current wrestler because of his relaxed in ring style, but I also think it's because he's so unique as a character that when you match him up with someone it's unlike anyone else that person has faced.   So you get this character- like Su Yung- and put them up against a character like Orange Cassidy and it's just crazy good.

During this match, Su Yung sprayed the red mist while Orange Cassidy sprayed the orange juice and this was a similar spot from the Orange Cassidy match against Gangrel, but what can you do?  The part of the match where Su Yung got lost and then kidnapped Orange Cassidy was worth watching for, but yes, bring on more characters such as these and somehow, someone out there says "This would be a great match"  I mean, these are matches I haven't even thought of (or thought were possible) and then when I read it I have to see it.

In the main event Tom Lawlor took on Chris Dickinson.   Tom Lawlor is the Prestige Champion and in this match the title was on the line and it must have been won by knockout or submission.   Chris Dickinson is like Nick Gage in that he is everywhere.   Tom Lawlor apparently gets around as well.   Lawlor won by submission and then after the match Davey Richards came out and turned heel, attack Tom Lawlor and basically saying he was coming for what he never really lost.

Fun Fact About Davey Richards: He has me blocked on Twitter and I don't know why.  (Though how I found out is a whole different story) I can't really say I'm excited to see Davey Richards in a wrestling ring again, but the rest of this show top to bottom was just so solid that you should do yourself the favor of going out of your way to watch this one.   IWTV will give you a free x number of days trial I think or just pay the $10 and watch this show.   I'm looking forward to more from Prestige Wrestling.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Music Review //
haha charade
"Goodbye Juliet" //

Right away I hear these guitars and seeing the shirts this band is wearing it makes me think of that Flock of Seagulls idea, where I can hear some sort of new wave type of vibe behind this.   On the surface it could be a pop rock, at times even reminding me of TMBG, but it has that distinct 1990's vibe behind it from when we were leaving the 1980's behind but still along those same lines.

The chorus (which sings the title) is interesting to me, as it goes:

"Goodbye Juliet
I never really liked you
I liked your silhouette"

Isn't it funny how we see people at times as a silhouette- as what we want to see them as- but then they come into focus and become who they really are in our eyes and that makes our opinion of them change?  It's something to be said about seeing someone for who they really are, basically.

It seems like, on the surface, this is a break up song because you can tell from the title.   But as the words go along it seems less like the singer is heartbroken over it and more like something which was seen as coming.   I'm not sure if everyone has been in this situation before or not, but I feel like I have been where you just kind of take a chance on getting to know someone even though you predict it will go down in flames and then it eventually does.

From the house party to the beach, "Goodbye Juliet" has one of the most fun and upbeat sounds for a breakup song I've ever heard that wasn't a complete slap to the face.   Through the process of going through a breakup- saying goodbye- there can be sadness and there can be anger, but at the end of it you kind of get that feeling of acceptance and moving on.   That's what this song best conveys and ultimately everyone will be able to listen to it and relate with it.

Cassette Review //
Phantoms vs Fire
"My Mind As Your Amusement Park"
(Blackjack Illuminist Records)

€8 //
Edition of 50 // //

This one starts off with eerie tones like ghosts, notes come through and can shake the speakers and then behind it all it feels like we're drifting- a little in that "Knight Rider" sense.   There is a darkness as it grows and then with a screech build up of sorts it all just comes together and ends in a second.

Magical tones find their way into the next song and there is a haunted part to this, like something out of "The X-Files".    As the intensity grows it hits this thundering sound like a storm and then fades out.    As you can feel it dropping down now, the tones back and forth pick back up and it has a rather "Alien" feel about it (like the movie)

As I feel like we're becoming hypnotized with a little of that black and yellow, it also seems to go more into the realm of sci-fi.   Spatial and desolate now, it feels like we are on some other planet with no way of returning home and yet you can still hear that occasional chirping of the birds.

A sad and hollow feel, a ringing and then it sounds like the radio station changes.   Someone says "Good evening ladies and gentlemen" and we're into a new loop of dark tones.   It begins driving now, somewhat industrial, as horns seemingly blare through glitches behind all of it.   In some other form, this could be the sound of traffic and road work, but through these tools it is profoundly deep music.

Beats kick in now and I'm thinking of "Run Lola Run".    It keeps kind of switching over into this old-timey music and I do enjoy that, but then it comes right back into these sharp howls and video game beats which make me feel like "Resident Evil".    More words- about Hollywood now- and we go into the darkness of that old rusty guitar sound: somewhere between the future and Johnny Cash.

Psychedelic laughing comes through now.   Calmer now, you can hear the drumsticks click.  Whooshes and whirrs.    Haunted like ghosts now- these screams- bring in this acoustic guitar riff on the next track and it has a classic rock vibe to it.    This has a drive to it as well, and then it feels as if vocals are trying to come through behind it. 

Notes enter to start the flip side in this Tell-Tale Heart type of way and it just has this pulsating drive behind it.   Next we have this sound which feels like a train whistle blowing and I'm reminded of such a setting as being on a train or at least near their tracks.   Notes ting in now.   The intensity of these notes persists and it feels like something out of a Hitchcock film, it's that type of suspense.   Once again it cracks into that thunderstorm.

The tones take on an Oriental sound now.    Then it switches to that instrumental hip hop feel, that black and yellow groove.  Once again, the birds are chirping now with those sad and alone post rock tones.   It's trying to come through with these notes but feels like it's slightly muted.    There is also a "Donnie Darko" vibe to this.   And a crackling brings that song to an end.

We're into full FNL mode now, the tones just echoing through the speakers. 

Cassette Review //

$4 // //

We begin with this distorted static that just slightly waves.    At first it feels like an airplane coming through but then you can hear these deeper moans as well, which feel like some sort of monster growling.   And yes, I'd hear that whether or not this was named Ogre.    It screeches a little bit like a dinosaur but I'm also reminded of dragons, so it's got that whole giant beast with fire coming to kill you vibe happening with a little bit of Transformers.

There's some great distortion just blasting through here.    I know there is this whole movie and concept series where the Transformers are dinosaurs (Dinobots) and this just really makes me think of that for some reason, as it would either be the music that they listen to themselves or the music that they create.

On the flip side we start with a sharper grinding sound.  It feels like a machine, like a drill or jackhammer you would find at a construction site.    If you told me that this was a field recording and asked me where it might be from my best guess would be something in the middle of the road, some crew trying to fix a pothole or whatever.    It's just this sound of constant drilling.

Even though it does feel like we're going in this circle, like a crank, there is also just this overall feeling of drone on this one.   It gets a little bit sharper now and can become harsh noise throughout the entire time.    It even gets a little bit higher in that metal detector way, but overall it just maintains that quality of something I'd listen to through headphones to keep people from bothering me. 

Music Review //
Cairo Liberation Front
"Basha" //

At first with the claps and  swirls this has an indie vibe to it.   It reminds me of something like Foster The People, but also a little bit more rowdy than what I'm used to hearing from them.   It has a punk energy to it with distorted beats and it just moves in a way which can also feel rather electronic.   In some ways, this song could be thought of as some sort of electronic punk but I'm not quite sure what that means.

Sometimes it skips and the vocals will echo and that reminds me of UB40 or Sublime and I don't know why.   Perhaps it does have some sort of dub undertones that you really have to be a strong fan of dub to appreciate.   At the same time, the energy of it all really reminds me of an artist such as Deerhoof, which is just to say that they could be in that weird outsider rock category I love so much.

One of the biggest things a single should do is make you want to go out and listen to more songs by the artist.   This is exactly how I feel about Cairo Liberation Front and as they have music in their past, it is worth noting that they have a new EP on the way as well.    So if you haven't already done so, this is the best time for you to listen to "Eurabia, Vol. 1" in preparation for "Eurabia, Vol. 2" coming out on October 18th, 2019.

Something about the culture or the Middle East also makes me want to think of this along the same lines as Gogol Bordello.   It's not that it's what I would say is "gypsy punk", but that's where it gets confusing because I'd almost want to call it "gypsy electronics", though that makes me feel like it doesn't have any punk influence and CLF certainly does.    Most importantly though, this is just high energy so put it on and get up and dance.

Cassette Review //
"Heavenly Host"
(Flower Room) //

We begin with a slow drone that seems to be building, like the way you'd blow that horn to summon a village in a time of need.   A light, acoustic drumming comes in with some rattling now and this has changed so quickly yet so easily from a droning hum into something which will make you get up and dance.   As it kicks in now I feel like we're into this magical ride which somewhat reminds me of The Who.

The pace picks up now and so does the magic somehow.    It's gone from being at this steady driving speed to urgent.    Vocals comes in now but they just seems to be singing the numbers seven and eight, unless I'm just hearing what my mind wants me to hear.    Notes blister through now as the percussion still feels acoustic.  Words are spoken and this one is becoming somewhat trippy, which is nice.   I really feel like those bongos are just being pounded as well.

Magic tones bring in some percussion and bass lines which makes me feel like we're in a fantasy soundtrack, something not quite like LOTR but along those same lines.    I'm thinking about "Willow" because I've had that movie on my mind a lot lately (if not for so much else to watch, I might watch the Blu Ray tonight) but I also am thinking of something like a video game with that magical feel.

On the flip side we open with these distorted tones and then those delicate string plucks join them.    There is a slight sense of a buzzing in here and it just feels like these tones are really resonating now to where this just becomes hypnotic.    The percussion slowly creeps in now.    It builds and then dies down and just feels like we've been off to fight a mighty battle and perhaps we didn't all come back, but we survived it and that is good enough of a win for me.

And then it picks up.   It feels brighter now, like a new life has been born.    Vocals are in the background with this bass and it might be words they are singing but it just feels more of a trance chanting.    This still just has that feeling of being on a magical quest but also feeling like a video game at the same time.    It's a situation where I feel like you should listen to this while not doing anything else because it can create such a scene in your imagination.

This goes into a song which has these tones which make me think of a harmonica and this is just being carried away, as it feels like it could go into a strong rock song but just stays right on the border of it.    That drumming makes me feel this rhythm, like we're going around the desert on a nameless horse, but it's just pushing that boundary where we're almost into classic rock but not quite.   

Wrestling Review //
Beyond Wrestling
"All Hands On Deck"

CageMatch results :::

Official Beyond website :::

Right away, I like this event because it's at the beach.    Yeah yeah, I know WCW did that whole Bash at the Beach thing, but how long has it been since someone has had a themed show that just really stood out?  I really do miss that about WCW: the Halloween Havoc shows and the ones with the motorcycles.   This is my first time watching Beyond Wrestling, though I've read a lot about it, and I'm diving deep into my IWTV subscription now so I'm not counting how many shows I've watched and written about anymore.

What I like about Beyond Wrestling- and this show- is that it was the perfect mix of everything.    Some names I didn't know and some I'd only seen recently, since starting my IWTV subscription, and some I've known about for years, so it blended the talent in that way.   There were also an interesting mix of matches, as some were singles, tag and even the ladies got on the show- sometimes versus the men.   My feeling about "intergender wrestling" is to simply look at it like a sport and what would be weird about having an NBA team vs. a WNBA team?

Nick Gage is on everything these days.  I'm surprised he hasn't signed with NXT (ha!) or AEW, but I'm too scared to ask him why not.    Erick Stevens is making a comeback to wrestling that somewhat lines up with my watching wrestling so I can dig it.   I'm still not 100% a fan of Kimber Lee and I feel like her win here over John Silver was a bit of a fluke.

Warhorse (who is the IWTV Champion) defended his title against DL Hurst (seeing for the first time) and Wheeler Yuta in a great match.  I am a fan of all three of these men and Warhorse is quickly becoming one of my favorite all around wrestlers.    I usually like the odd wrestler (like Orange Cassidy) but in terms of just fighting style and being badass, Warhorse is the one to watch.

Now, I'm jumping around a bit, but towards the end of this show you will see Chris Dickinson face Kenn Doane and if you're thinking "All that time in the Spirit Squad finally caused Kenny to crack", just know that this show- in 2019- also features Shark Boy.   Yes, I am going to admit that while I enjoyed the idea of this being at the beach I also maybe 95% clicked to watch this because Shark Boy was on the poster.

Beyond Wrestling seems to have that perfect look back to the past while looking ahead towards the future as well balance figured out.   They also seem to have the right characters in play because if you think back to when the Spirit Squad was in WWE... Yeah, some characters from that time I wouldn't want to still see now (Though I wonder what happened to Jonny Jeter) Chris Dickinson vs. Wheeler Yuta is also in the future so this would be the best time to get into Beyond Wrestling if you aren't already watching.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Tony Njoku [ Interview # 2 one 7]

1) The first song I heard of yours was "Drifting", which I felt interested in maybe because of the title, but it had that sound where it really made me want to listen to more of your music.   Do you feel like music misses a lot of that these days?  Songs that make you want to hear more songs by the same artist?

Thanks, i’m glad it had that effect. I mean there’s so much music that’s easily forgotten these days, so much fast food type stuff, but I don’t think it’s any more or less than any era before. There’s always great stuff to find out there and i’m always finding new music that gets me wanting look up the artist and listen to more.

2) I feel like you have a very unique sound and it is one even I can't describe to people easily.  What are some terms you like to use to explain your sound to people in ten words or less?

I mean I really try to avoid answering that question genuinely, I always try and make a joke about it. Because it’s very hard for me to describe my sound without sounding like a pretentious twat haha. But I reckon I can just simple say is a my very unique version of Avant Garde Pop music.

3) "YOUR PSYCHE'S RAINBOW PANORAMA" is your second album, which I always feel is the most difficult to make.   Do you feel like there was an added pressure creating to live up to the expectations set by the first?

Not at all really. I make music mainly to explore my experiences, my feelings and wider ideas I consume from other artworks and mediums, be it visual arts, philosophy, literature etc. so i’m just constantly creating with a focus on trying to learn something new as opposed to trying to live up to anything i’ve made previously.

4) To me, it's strange that twenty years ago when CDs were sent out through the mail and all, I might not have ever heard your music before and yet now we live in an internet age where people can hear music from halfway around the world in seconds.   Still, your music has a physical release (which I enjoy)  Do you feel there is an importance for that still?

Yeah it’s awesome to me how tangible new music is but yes physical releases are still great as well. I love having my work on vinyl, it’s a great way to consume music as it slows down how you listen to it. You can’t easily skip from track to track, theres a whole ritual around preserving them and the machine you play it on and feel like the vinyl sleeve is a beautiful artwork in itself.

5) What role do you think music videos play in 2019?

We’re a more visual society right? Even before we listen to any music we see some visual content around it, artwork, song title, ig post etc. For my music, videos are just an extension to the music. I want it to help create context as visual artworks are not as abstract as musical ones.

6) What is it like being part of Silent Kid Records?

Yeah it’s great, James is a good guy, i’m very grateful for all the work they’re doing with me.

7) If you could play one show with any artist- living or dead- who would you want to play with and why?

Right now probably Nils Frahm, he’s one of my favourite live acts, i’ve seen him 9 times or more in the last few years. I like the musical ideas he chooses, his chords, the way he treats his piano sonically, I feel like that would be a great person to play with live.

8) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc…. ???

I’d like to give a shout out to all the artists in situations that make it hard to put their all into their work, be it financial, health, social or whatever reasons that are hindering you….if you love what you do keep making, keep dreaming, keep going! Wish us all the best!

Event Review //
Retro World Expo 2019
Hartford, CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album located here :::

For the second time, Quentin and I went to Retro World Expo.   This time I feel like we had a better idea of what was going to be happening versus going in last time with less of an idea and that worked out well because there were people there from last year so it felt like an old reunion with friends or family of sorts.   I tried to tell Quentin going into this that he would be on a budget but how well I stuck to that budget remains to be seen because I'm not really going through and adding up all of the money we spent throughout the day.

The first difference between this year and last year was that there was a will call area set up on the second floor so we had to go up the escalators prior to checking in.  However, the lovely women there knew who I was somehow so it was nice and easy.    When we got in, as usual, our first stop was the bathroom.   After this we headed towards the arcade area because who doesn't want to free play classic arcade games.

To his credit, Quentin spent time trying various games even if he didn't know what they were, but he mostly just played the Super Mario Bros. game they had set up.  We played a game of hockey as well, with those old spinner guys like foosball, and I just wish that was a concept that they brought back with new characters, like a Marvel themed one somehow.   My favorite arcade game, for the record, was Robocop. 

As we headed out onto the floor, I followed Quentin around the merchants.   The problem I had this year (which I felt less last year) was that Quentin would stop and see what he wanted, which I was fine with, but when I wanted to stop and look at something he'd get upset because he wanted to keep going and see what he wanted to see.   I found myself buying a lot of random stickers from various artists there and I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of them but that's okay. 

Quentin's first purchase (and perhaps his biggest one) was some yarn toys that look like objects from Super Mario and one is a Pokeball which actually opens up.   I was rather impressed by them and, yes, I think this is still a great place to go to buy things that fit the general aesthetic of my home.   
We then found a man selling Lego mini figures, which had Mario and Luigi among others, so we picked up some of those because Quentin loves Mario.   We actually saw the artist who last year sold us the mystery box (which Quentin talked about for an entire year) but they weren't selling mystery boxes this year just the pillows.   We found the vendor with the beads from last year though so we got some more of those.

At some point I headed towards the cafe because I knew if I didn't buy food then I was at least going to get something to drink.   As we were walking, Quentin asked if we could get food so I told him that's where we were headed.  Chicken tenders and a Sprite for him plus a BLT wrap and purple Mountain Dew Game Fuel for me made for a good lunch I'd say. 

After lunch we found the Pixel Pop Maid Cafe, where Quentin sat down to play some Jenga.   He will tell you that he lost once but the time he did lose it fell on him so it was kind of funny.   We spent a while playing there and I wanted to buy something but didn't have cash at that point and didn't want to do the charge for just a dollar or two so I bought this package they had where you get a photo, sticker and pins.

It's funny because at first I asked Quentin if he wanted to take a picture and he said no, but then later on after I decided we should buy the package deal he said he would take a picture and he had so much fun doing it.   Once again, the Instax Mini proves to be worth its price because of how much fun it provides (They had the same one as us just in a different color / This immediately bonded us like family)

On our way back to the main floor, the band came on and it was more of an orchestra playing video game music and that was pretty rad.

Even though I knew this was going to have a lot of video games for sale, I wasn't prepared for this many.   I also don't think I was prepared for the number of toys which were here.   I have a Sega retro deal but this really made me want to buy an old school console and then that way even if I only buy games here, once a year, and spend like $500, it'd be so worth it because I could spend the next year playing those games. 

I think my favorite aspect of this all this year though was the people.   Which is weird to type because I tend not to like people.   But, there were people here in costume.   There were people in video game themed shirts.  But also there were people in comic book themed shirts.   There were people in wrestling themed shirts (Shout out to that one guy in the old school ECW Taz shirt) And I even saw one guy in a Mets shirt.  It was just so wild how all these people came together for the same common bond and I wish it was something we could do every month.

Though I feel like I always make these promises, this time I will stick to them.   By next year, I want to dive further into classic games.   Buy a console and look for games for it because there were just so many here and at such great prices.  I also want to get into tabletop gaming, specifically D&D, because I told Quentin that's what he has to do if he wants shiny metal dice.   But I feel like every year I'm going to get a little bit deeper into RWE and eventually it's just going to consume me completely.   By that time Quentin might be 10 years old so it will be the perfect time for him as well.

Wrestling Review //
"Smokey and the Bandido"

October 19, 2018
Los Angeles, CA
$14.99 DVD / $19.99 Blu Ray

PWG is on such a weird schedule because if you aren't watching their shows live and in person, you must wait for the physical release such as this.    So while going down this pro wrestling hole, trying to find a way to stream the newest BOLA (which I couldn't find) I instead found this Blu-Ray themed around Bandido and thought why not give it a go.   At one point in time, years ago, I used to have quite the PWG collection of DVDs courtesy of eBay, but then I fell out of love with wrestling and, yeah, now I'm back.  Here I am again.  Hopefully to stay this time.

I'm watching this event almost a year after it happened and it's crazy to think of the talent involved at the time and where they are now.   The opening contest featured Darby Allin and Trevor Lee, who will now be competing in a Wednesday Night War between AEW and NXT.   Flamita, Puma King, Rey Horus, Hechicero, Bandido and Rey Fenix all bring the great lucha action.   Zack Sabre Jr. is on here against Hechicero while there is also this big man fight between Brody King (now in ROH) and Timothy Thatcher (now in MLW)

The Rascalz (at the time PWG Tag Champs, now with Impact Wrestling) took on LAX (recently departed Impact Wrestling) in the only tag team match on the show- which is good because these were all singles matches otherwise except for the one triple threat.  During this show I had the thought of how professional wrestling is like music in the way that an artist must consider an order to the songs to complete an album the same way matches must be put into an order to complete a wrestling card. 

In the main event, Jeff Cobb defeated WALTER to become the PWG Champion and it was such a great battle of the big guys.   Jeff Cobb is currently over in ROH while WALTER is under the WWE banner in NXT/NXT UK and it's one of those matches that I didn't know existed last year so I didn't think about it, but when you say "Hey, this happened", of course I want to see it.   As the title match, yes, it does deserve that last spot as a main event, but every match on this show is really a main event. 

One of my favorite weird moments during this event was during that three way match and someone (I want to say it was Puma King) said something which it felt like we might not were intended to hear when all three guys were outside of the ring and it was "No more Irish whips".   I just found that to be so funny for some reason.  Also though, this is one of my favorite Bandido matches and if you've seen Bandido in ROH or wherever and have wondered what the big deal was or wanted to be sold on him as a wrestler, simply watch this match because the money you'll pay for this is worth one match and you get seven.