Last Impressions: 3 great albums by PIG

It’s like Trent Reznor and JG Thirlwell had a baby. A sort of KMFDM-shaped baby, because Raymond Watts is the sultry sensation that co-wrote Juke Joint Jezebel.

Let’s just say I spent $100 importing three PIG CDs and it was totally worth it. Filing this under Last Impressions because it was a case of getting them back (let’s never be parted again!).

When Interscope set Reznor up with Nothing Records, Trent signed PIG to his label. Unfortunately most of the actual promotion went on Marilyn Manson, so while most NIN fans had heard of PIG, few of us had really heard the music, which is a shame because it’s brilliant. The early stuff (Praise the Lard) is a love-letter to Foetus wrapped up in sweet funky pop hooks, while mid-90s classics Wrecked and Sinsation are exceptional rock albums that will tickle the earlobes of anyone who loved bands like NIN, Ministry and Die Krupps.

There’s a lot more to PIG than these three, but if you’re remotely curious in Raymond Watts’s oeuvre, here’s where to start.

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Morrowind

Morrowind is today’s featured article on Wikipedia:

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a single player computer role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, and published by Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft. It is the third installment in The Elder Scrolls series of games. It was released in North America in 2002 for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox. Well-received publicly and critically, with over four million sales and 60 awards (including Game of the Year), Morrowind holds an average review score of 89% from both Metacritic and Game Rankings. The game spawned two expansion packs for the PC: Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Both were eventually repackaged into a full set containing all three, Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition, which shipped on October 30, 2003, for both PC and Xbox. The main story takes place on Vvardenfell, an island in the Dunmer province of Morrowind, which lies in the empire of Tamriel and is far from the more civilized lands to the west and south that typified Daggerfall and Arena. The central quests concern the deity Dagoth Ur, housed within the volcanic Red Mountain, who seeks to gain power and break Morrowind free from Imperial reign. Morrowind was designed with an open-ended free-form style of gameplay in mind, with a lessened emphasis on the game’s main plot. This choice received mixed reviews in the gaming press, though such feelings were tempered by reviewers’ appreciation of Morrowind’s expansive and detailed game world. (more…)

I love that it’s being featured this way. It’s difficult for me to really express how much I love that game, even still, though I haven’t played it in months. I suppose it’s the same way I love my home town: even though I’m unlikely to ever move back there, it feels like “home” in a way that nowhere else ever has and likely never will. I guess that’s what such an astonishingly detailed, compelling virtual environment can achieve – to the extent where sometimes I see something like a landscape feature and I have to stop to think about whether it’s something I’m remembering from real life or from in the game. That it managed to provoke such an emotional visual connection in 2002 is amazing. Morrowind: it’s home in a game.

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Timewaster Letters: Starbucks

For about three years I have envied my Stateside friends’ enthusiastic endorsements of Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte. When I heard it was that time of year again, I popped in at the coffee shop on my way to work and asked if they had it in this year, and yet again was told that it wasn’t something they were offering in the UK. I was genuinely disappointed, and decided to take a little action. All emails are genuine, although I might have fibbed a little when I wrote them …

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From: (Princess)
Sent: 09 September 2010 09:11
To: ukinfo@starbucks.com
Subject: Complaint

Dear Starbucks

It’s pretty rare that I contact a company in this manner, but I was so outraged by your company’s unethical practices that are destroying relationships and tearing communities apart that I felt obligated to submit a formal complaint.

I’m referring of course to the lack of pumpkin chai latte for the third year running.

My smug American friends boast daily of their enjoyment of the beverage leaving us Brits stricken with envy, and motivated by their tales of sweet spices and frothy lather, I go to Starbucks in town every year to ask if – just maybe – they might have a pumpkin chai latte for me to try?

The crushing disappointment is unbearable. It’s not fair, and it’s making me resent my Transatlantic buddies for their regular indulgence in your spicy brew.

Please rectify this sad situation immediately. If I find myself UnFollowing friends after their umpteenth update about how their chai “totally fixed” their day, I’ll blame you.

Regards

(My name) (Mrs)

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