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The Life of P

Left 4 Dead and Amazon mp3

I ended up miles away with no idea where I was, covered in vomit.

-Adam describing either a Boomer attack or his average Friday night

Left 4 Dead

Adam has spent a while trying to convince me to pick up Left 4 Dead, Valve’s apocalyptic zombie survival shooter. It’s less that I needed cajoling about the quality of the game — it is Valve after all — but rather that with four-player co-op as its backbone, I wanted to be assured there would be people with whom to play. Once Sparkie started pestering me as well, I swiftly realised there was nothing to worry about and jumped in. The game succeeds through its tempo, a mad rush of zombies is always followed by suitably edgy respite with staccato moments as the super-infected appear. These zombie specials each have their strengths, but it was the Witch (having read many review references with scant detail leaving me irrationally terrified) that I was anxious to meet. And what an introduction I had: spotting her in the boiler room, three simultaneously launched molotov cocktails and a hurtling fiery zombie later, I was left with a huge grin on my face. Particularly knowing next time will be completely different since the zombies do not spawn in pre-set locations but are rather controlled by the game’s AI director. Survival horror games are not normally my cup of tea, but this is something else.

Continuing my plugs for DRM-free music download stores, Amazon mp3 has finally launched in the UK. Hopefully this brand, coupled with bargain £3 albums from major artists, will finally draw the masses away from iTunes. Like 7digital they offer a small, tidy application to manage downloads. Interesting to note is that although the tracks are nominally encoded at 256kbps, a cursory glance at my downloads shows this is in fact VBR. At last. For those interested in what I bought, it was a perfect chance to pick up the debut album from LA rockers The Dreaming without an inflated import price tag. I’m a big fan of front man Christopher Hall who was the vocalist for Stabbing Westward.

And a few interesting recent finds:

5 Comments

  1. I like the way you’ve carefully avoided mentioning how you all left me to die! 8-x

  2. Sadly, Adam didn’t make it. :((

    That better? >:)

  3. Firstly, I am obliged to point out the irony of someone who calls himself “ADeAdMan” complaining about y’all leaving him to die…

    And second – Ok, so. Sometimes this thing happens to me, and I’m curious if this happens to anyone else. I’ll hear about something that I never knew of before, and then I’ve learned a new piece of information, and then for the next few days, I see references to that particular thing everywhere. And this is not your usual, “Oh, you’re only noticing it because you’ve never known of it before, and now you do.” No. It’ll be like, I’ll learn about a particular thing, and then the next day there will be a huge newspaper article about that very thing, or someone totally unrelated to my original knowledge of the topic will ask me, “Hey, do you know about this thing?” Stuff like that. It’s very strange.

    This has happened to me in your post here, you see. Yesterday, I fell in love with this track by Mike Doughty, who used to front Soul Coughing. I heard the song because Anne put it on this mix CD she made for me, so I told her about it. And she said she liked him, and Soul Coughing, and Stabbing Westward. And then I said, “Who is Stabbing Westward?” and she told them me all about them. And now hear you are, mentioning them in your blog for the first time ever that I know of. (of that I know?)

    The Mike Doughty track being on the CD at all is one of those things too, actually. Logan has been going on and on and on about Mike Doughty and how awesome he is and how I have to listen to him, and then Anne makes me a mix CD to say sorry for being a jerk, and there’s this song on it that I love love love and listen to on repeat in my car sometimes, so I call her to say, “who is this by?” and she says Mike Doughty.

    See, these things happen to me all the time!

    After that annoyingly long comment: do you know Mike Doughty and are you a fan?

  4. Here. “here you are mentioning them”

    I swear to God, I know how to spell.

  5. No.

    That seems kind of anticlimactic after your reply – I’ll listen to some soon and let you know what I think.

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"Lack of imagination is an occupational hazard for an apex predator."

(CC) BY-NC 2005-2019 Priyan Meewella

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