October 19, 2010

Nostalgia seems to be a popular theme for young artists as of late. Chillwavers Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Memory Tapes and others have berthed a veritable genre of music centered largely on warm, woozy jams meant to invoke sentimental ganders back in time. If you throw on one of their records, you just might be brought back to the days when you used to ride a tricycle around the block wearing a football helmet. Back when Contra on Nintendo meant more to you than life itself. Back when “Dinosaurs” was on TGIF and Ricky Henderson was your favorite baseball player. The good old days. And the music’s damn good too.

But few songs I’ve heard make me reminisce on shit that I haven’t even experienced. Check out “Marathon” by the husband-and-wife duo Tennis. I don’t know about you, but when I close my eyes and listen to this song, I’m transported to a party on the beach at night. There’s a bonfire, but the entire scene is black-and-white, like in an old photograph. And the girls are dancing. Man, that sounds like fun.


Sega Genesis

June 18, 2008

If I had to pinpoint two things that remind me most of my childhood, I’d have to go with orange Flintstones Push-Pops and the greatest video game console known to man, Sega Genesis. For my money (read: allowance) it didn’t get much better than finishing the night’s homework to earn an hour of gameplay in the quiet comfort of my basement. Surrounded by stacks of cheat books for Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam, I’d go to work, fingers dancing across the sleek three button controller. On the weekends, my friends and I would engage in battle: NBA Jam tournaments, head-to-head races for rings on Sonic the Hedgehog, epic face-offs on Street Fighter and adrenaline-fueled match ups in countless EA Sports games. With Mortal Kombat alone we’d spend hours trying to master the damn near impossible “Fatality” codes. Remember how you used to have to enter the button combinations at warp speed? It’s partially due to that game alone that I can type faster than 30 words-per-minute.

Some might argue that Super Nintendo was the superior 16-bit system. This is simply not the case. What Sega may have lacked in graphics, it more than made up for in gameplay and breadth of game library. Talk about Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam, Earthworm Jim, Eternal Champions, NHL’s 94, 95 and 96 (!!!!), Road Rash, Lion King, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (!), Shaq Fu, Primal Rage, Triple Play Baseball…the list goes on. (If I’m forgetting any great ones, don’t hesitate to add on).

In today’s way-too-real realm of video games, Xbox 360’s and Nintendo Wii’s are flying off the shelves. Yet I’ll always prefer the simplicity of Sega to systems where I have to effectively play Twister to touch all of the buttons on the controller or have the dexterity and agility of an Olympic athlete just to be competitive. Plug in that cartridge, hit the “ON” button and let’s go. SEEEEEEEEEGGGGAAAAAAAA.