Barely Conscious Podcast – Episode #7 feat. Andrew Ostapchenko

Barely Conscious Podcast – Episode #7 feat. Andrew Ostapchenko

He's serious.

He’s serious.

 

Episode 7 features special guest Andrew Ostapchenko – a Harvard graduate film studies major. I met him at a gambling venue in Oceanside, California 3 years ago. We figure out why the impromptu impressions game isn’t quite working, try out some new voices/characters, and generally lose our minds locked in a basement together.

 

 – JA

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Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #6 – Alex Keating

Alex-Keating

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In this episode : Alex talks about living in Austin, TX, trolling Commerce, growing an enormous beard, dominating snapchat, and being a hockey goalie. Then we play another round of impromptu impersonations. Justin does a movie review of Sausage Party, and we get a preview of what life will be like with a mystery guest coming into the studio.

paying for a sprite at the wynn

paying for 1 sprite at the Wynn

You can follow Alex on snapchat – kadabra

and keatingsnaps on Instagram

 

– JA 

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #5 – Caitlin Williams

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #5 – Caitlin Williams 

Spream 'Em you ChoMo

Spread ‘Em you ChoMo


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In this week’s Episode, Justin talks with Corrections Officer Caitlin Williams about being a female guard at a prison where 70% of the inmates are sex offenders. Cait plays a round of impromptu impersonations, Daddy tries to prove that the world currently has more cookies than trees, and we check out a track from the band All Parallels.

Caitlin’s Recommendations :

Steven Covey’s : 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Weldon Long – The Upside of Fear

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #4 – Justin Oliver

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #4 – Justin Oliver 

Diamonds gravitate toward him.

Diamonds gravitate toward him.

In this week’s episode we check out some tracks from Dance Gavin Dance and chat with diamond expert turned poker pro Justin Oliver. We talk about MTV going back to being MTV, guns being mildly dangerous, and orgasming from soccer. We also debut the new game Impromptu Impersonations !!!

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sup

sup

 

Follow Justin Oliver on Twitter @Juiceypokerjo and head over to www.OliverPoker.com for some coaching.

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #3 – Andrew Satan

Barely Conscious Podcast Episode #3 – Andrew Satan

The last thing you’ll ever see.

In this episode of BCP Justin breaks down a Misha Mansoor guitar solo on the Latest Periphery album : Select Difficulty. Then, we have a chat with Andrew Satan about being a kid in Russia, Donald Trump nuking whoever he wants, Smurf Core, and what makes for a good comedian.

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Andrew’s bands of choice :  Deathgrips and Deafheaven

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016 film)

10 cloverfield lane

This font really worked for me.

I went to see a matinée about two weeks after this film’s release. Anytime there is a thriller with major 3rd act spoilers, I usually encounter some kind of information leak that dampens my experience. Through some minor efforts and a little bit of luck, I was able to view 10 Cloverfield Lane with my entire spoiler hymen intact.

The film uses a lot of conventional “thriller” techniques to garner desired emotional responses from the viewer. But, like watching a magician, if they are good enough at their craft, you can enjoy a trick you’ve seen before. There was nothing too ground-breaking in the writing or the performances, but it all worked roughly the way it was supposed to. This is making for a rather dull and uninteresting review, but I haven’t updated BC in so long, I decided I’d just force myself to muster out some sexy consonant and vowel combinations.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is really attractive. But, she’s a good enough actress to not let it get too distracting (as long as she’s wearing pants).

A brief glimpse of some bad acting.

A momentary lapse of ineffective acting amidst an otherwise solid performance.

Her character Michelle, was surprisingly relatable for a movie of this genre. Usually, characters in these kinds of movies make head-scratching, non GTO, button-clicking decisions that take you right out of the moment. It’s hard to get swept up in a character or a plot when you watch your main protagonist make a decision to fire off a titty pic on Snapchat while being pursued by a pedophile with a meat cleaver. This film stayed close enough to reality to get by, and it made a positive difference.

Speaking of pedophiles, there are really only two other actors in the film – John Goodman plays Howard Stambler, a creepy doomsday prepper with a penchant for kidnapping and murder. And John Gallagher Jr., who plays Emmett DeWitt, an uneducated sweetheart with uncomfortably low testosterone levels.

Honkey Dong

Everyone turns in a fine performance. Nothing all that amazing, but enough to allow the story to hold your attention and be the real star of the film. The pacing was terrific, as this movie could have easily dragged on. So many before it have mistaken unnecessary rambling 5-10 minute lead-ups to stupid jump scares for genuine tension-building. Alas, director Dan Trachtenberg, and writers Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken did not take the bait, and gave us some well-timed peaks and valleys on our rollercoaster ride.

Dat Azzz Tho

Dat Azzz Tho

I usually don’t give a flying fuck about dumping spoilers all over my readers, but in this case, I think it would significantly detract from the film. And I think you should go see it, and live a happy life. So, I’ll make an exception and just end the review here.

 

Overall Rating :  7.1/10

 

– JA

The Big Short (2015 Film)

Shouldn't all the arrows be facing down?

Shouldn’t all the arrows be facing down?

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this film. As usual, I didn’t read the book, but I did have a rather up-close and personal experience with the real life fallout of both the financial and real estate market collapses depicted in the film. I have also enjoyed the previous works of both Director Adam McKay(Tim and Eric, Step Brothers), and the fantastic ensemble of actors including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Marisa Tomei.

As I started watching the film on opening week, I couldn’t help but notice the theater was practically empty. I didn’t know whether to attribute this lackluster turnout to Star Wars : The Force Awakens drawing away customers, or just general lack of interest in such an intimidating and dry subject matter. It certainly wasn’t because this was a bad movie – it was actually pretty damn outstanding. It received a well-deserved 86 on Rotten Tomatoes. So, at least critics could vouch for the quality being served up.

This was a delicate tightrope to walk. Adam McKay made some rather bold choices in his quest to pull off explaining the intricate, yet imminently pertinent nuances of how this whole mess went down – while simultaneously not boring his audience to tears. He achieved this balance by interjecting sexy and interesting celebrities (Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie) into the middle of the film, and having them explain key technical details in laymen’s terms and palatable analogies. Although Selena’s cameo actually ended up backfiring on me, and proved to be one of the only scenes where I had an inexplicable temporary mental blackout.

Wha.... ww. what happened? Where am I?

Wha…. wwa… what … h… haa …happened?  ….    Where am I?

Adam also utilized the Zach Morris technique by having Ryan Gosling’s character (Jared Vennett) basically narrate and speak directly to the camera in the middle of scenes. This helped clarify exactly what the audience needed to understand a great deal, as Gosling had both the most entertaining character in Vennett, and best performance given in the film. These risky bets put forth by McKay proved to be the equivalent of buying a bunch of credit default swaps in late 2006 – massive ROI realized in due time.

Character development.

Character development.

Christian Bale playing Dr. Michael Burry was a nice vacation from his uncomfortably silly Batman voice, and a welcomed return to his character comfort zone of weirdo, pseudo-genius, headphone-wearing sociopaths. He made me glow with delight as I watched him dust off his subtly powerful acting chops. The supporting cast, Brat Pitt, and Steve Carell were all solid as well.  Alas, I don’t feel like exerting much effort in describing all that, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Double kicking the asses of his pussy ship-jumping investors.

Double kicking the asses of both his pussy, ship-jumping, investors and the cocky, myopic banks.

There is an important point addressed at the beginning of the film. Which is something to the effect of – the financial industry creates smokescreens and erects barriers to entry for common folks in the form of an aggressive, misogynist culture who use intimidating and convoluted language in order to never allow their customers to realize how little they actually do for them. And, more importantly, not allow anyone to discover how much criminal activity and unadulterated fleecing of the innocent is actually taking place behind those closed doors. This language and intimidation is also unfortunately a hurdle this film must clear in order to properly broadcast its important message : These banks are fucking balls-out scumbag criminals of the highest order. And since none of them got punished the first time, you can bet your pretty little house they are going to do it again. Oh wait, you probably did bet the preponderance of your net worth using  your house, 401k, and pension as collateral against this kind of thing ever happening again. Maybe spending $6.00 on a matinée will be the most sage investment you ever make.

Overall Rating :  8.9/10

 – JA

Good Tiger – A Head Full of Moonlight (album)

Most of their budget went into mixing.

As you can see from the Album art, most of their IndieGoGo budget went into mixing.

In the last three years, I’ve only reviewed a few albums on Barely Conscious, and I’ve been in love with all of them. I think it would be fun to take a massive dump all over someone’s sternum the next time I review any music on here – so, I’ll have to keep a mental note about that. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if that scenario could even arise as a possibility. Unless I hear something that is so god awful, it inspires me to waste my precious life seconds scrutinizing an entire album worth of garbage. And then follow that up with the massive effort of writing up a review that I deem amusing enough to post. And what if my review backfires in its effect? Where it somehow ends up giving the artist more notoriety and fame, resulting in greater success, and thusly, more music for the world to endure in the future ?? Fuck me. Maybe I’ll just review a single or something as a compromise. Sorry, where was I ?

Ah yes, the all-star lineup that is Good Tiger : Elliot Coleman on vocals, Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles on guitars, Morgan Sinclair on Bass, and Alex Rüdinger on drums. I wasn’t very familiar with any of their prior bands (Tesseract, The Safety Fire, The Faceless, Architects), but after listening to a few samples, I can definitively say they all made solid career choices in assembling the Good Tiger voltron. Whatever dark energy that triggered these guys to coalesce into planet Sickballs, is the kind of stuff science can only speculate about.

Mega Bits

Mega Men

They released their first single, “Snake Oil” a few months ahead of the album release “A Head Full Of Moonlight”, and I was totally enamoured. I’m not a big fan of screaming, but after the first verse, the melodic vocal parts quickly become both abundant and resonating. The chorus is as catchy as head lice, and my steering wheel has been adequately pummelled from getting double kicked to deformity. I’m also a huge fan of the unlocked, roaming movement of Morgan’s basslines. No doubt that Adam “Nolly” Getgood had a hand in the mixing and production of this album, as everything he touches seems to jump out of your speakers.

Speaking of which, their second single – “All Her Own Teeth” is a gorgeous work of art. It doesn’t have the bite of “Snake Oil”, but has an equal impact. Lyrics are a huge part of what makes me connect to a band, and Elliot proves to be quite the wordsmith –

“Chip away the glass it separates what’s real                                                                   With all these fragments I’ll build you                                                                                       Maybe we could show each other glass can bend                                                                 I must break you                                                                                                                       Maybe we can start to rebuild when I’m through
You’ll love this                                                                                                                       Are you a Scorpio?
I would like to know
Cause I think I might like this
Am I your Romeo?
Please don’t kill me yet
Cause I think that you’re still wet”

stubble unity

Strategic stubble

I played both of these jams incessantly in my car in the weeks leading up to the full album release (much to the chagrin of my friends, who have horrible taste). Then, Right before their Album dropped, they released their third single – “Where are the birds”, which surged through my speakers with dynamic perfection. I guess the band was very in touch with which songs of the lot were the three best on the album. Not that the other tracks aren’t far behind – “I Paint What I See” and “Aspirations” are fascinating exercises in spatial creativity and pacing.

It’s so hard to breathe a truly fresh sound across the stagnant landscape of rock. Good Tiger generate a giddy Christmas morning excitement I haven’t felt in a few years. In the evolution of music, there have been several generations of “almost” bands who didn’t quite make the natural selection cut. Wings proudly spread, Good Tiger have hatched from their egg with a dominant DNA combination that can soar far higher than their wet-feathered predecessors.

There are no throwaway tracks to find on this instant classic. Although, given that “AHFOM” has only 9 songs, it would have been quite the disappointment to find a dead fish in the middle of a sandwich of such succulent, choice cuts of meat. My only complaints were that I wanted a bit more of the “Snake Oil” hooks, and perhaps, an album with 12 or 13 tracks to better satiate my feral tiger lust. Play this bad boy front to back, and get those falsetto vocals warmed up.

 

Overall Rating :  9.1/10

JA 

Elliot also participated in a legendary tap-off/squeal-off contest against Wes Hauch. Please don’t try this at home. 

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