Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Games of 2012

We often bemoan the encroaching invasiveness of the modern digital age.  Services like Facebook and Google are pretty notorious for collecting all kinds of data on us.  The amount of information that they know about a single person can be a bit creepy.  There's a fair amount of faith required to trust that they will respect our privacy, and it's clear that some are better at this than others.  But there are times when I really appreciate my digital footprint.  I like being able to explore my memory with the aid of some automatic stenographer in the cloud.  It's with this help that with a quick run through of Xbox and BoardGameGeek that I can tell you exactly what I played in 2012.

So, if you didn't already know it, I'm a gamer.  Hello.  It's pretty irrefutable when you look at these lists below.  I enjoy games at some fundamental level.  I love learning.  I love skill mastery.  I love interactive narrative.  I love the breath of experiences that games can often.

As various publications out there are putting together "game of the year" lists I feel like this is a good time to reflect back on my year of gaming.  Outside of Bastion I didn't make any game-related posts in 2012 (finishing the Music Made Me project took at the words out of me).  I'm not going to be able to comment on this entire backlog, or cough up some grandiose meta-editorial last minute.  But I can list them; that seems like a thing I can do.

So here you are: the games that I played in 2012, analog and digital, arranged by platform, then in reverse chronological order.

  • FEZ
  • Guardians of Middle-Earth
  • Rock Band 3
  • Borderlands 2
  • Dead Space 2
  • Rock Band Blitz
  • Darksiders II
  • Magic 2013
  • Trine 2
  • The Walking Dead
  • Halo 4
  • Mark of the Ninja
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Dance Central 3
  • Minecraft
  • Awesomenauts
  • Spelunky
  • Dance Central 2
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD
  • Geometry Wars Evolved 2
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Rayman Origins
  • Assassin's Creed Revelations
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Alan Wake
  • Brutal Legend
  • L.A. Noire
  • Lara Croft: Guardian of Light
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Clash of Heroes
  • Half-Minute Hero
  • Renegade Ops
  • Orcs Must Die!
  • Bastion
  • Gears of War 3
  • Halo: CE Anniversary
  • Insanely Twisted: Shadow Planet
  • Epic Dungeon
Windows Phone
  • Wordament
  • Feed Me Oil
  • Carcassone
  • BulletAsylum
  • Mush
  • de Blob Revolution
  • Parachute Panic
  • Fragger
  • Bug Village
  • Revolution
  • Katamaridamacy
  • Breeze
  • Tanks
Windows RT
  • Jetpack Joyride
  • Wordament
  • Fruit Ninja
  • FTL
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Artemis
  • Lord of the Rings Online
(no automatic tracking here, so these are by memory)

  • Frog Fractions
  • Highgrounds
(I don't have any ability to track these automatically, so what you have here are a couple that I remembered)

Board Game
  • Escape: The Curse of the Temple
  • Seasons
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Go Away Monster!
  • Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
  • Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre
  • Small World
  • Ascension
  • Infiltration
  • Tsuro of the Seas
  • King of Tokyo
  • Super Dungeon Explore
  • FITS
  • Elder Sign
  • Race for the Galaxy
  • Castle Panic
  • Penny Arcade: The Game - Rumble in R'lyeh
  • Sheepland
  • Power Grid: the First Sparks
  • Incan Gold
  • Dungeon Command
  • Zpocalypse
  • 3012
  • The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus
  • Nuns on the Run
  • Carcassonne
  • Small World Underground
  • Zombie Dice
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse
  • 7 Wonders
  • Cargo Noir
  • The Red Dragon Inn
  • Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill
  • Pandemic
(I manually log all my board game plays at BoardGameGeek, because I'm crazy like that)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Music Made Me 29

September - Earth, Wind & Fire

We celebrated Jessica's thirtieth birthday with a disco house party. We'd warmed up with a number of excellent New Years Eve events, but this disco party was where the house dance floor really hit solid gold. People dressed up and really got into it. Of course, disco is genetically engineered to speak directly to the booty, so there's no denying it.

1901 - Phoenix

There was this song on the radio that kept getting stuck in Jessica's head. She would try to sing it to me, but I had no idea what she was talking about. What the hell is "Lisztomania"?

She found the album on Zune and downloaded it in time for our trip down to Portland for my friend Carlos' wedding. So at last I was able to hear this catchy tune. But wait, what's this next song… "1901"?

This is… perfection. I don't even know where to start. This song just drives the whole way through, taking you on an expertly crafted journey. I have no words for it. I'm completely in love with this song.

Later we're at the wedding venue, but it's the day before. We're hanging out in the pool outdoors, and another wedding is going down nearby in the place where Carlos will be married the next night. I remember them playing another song off that Phoenix album we'd listened to on the ride down: "Girlfriend".

Okay, it was settled. I had to explore this band for real. Upon returning from the trip I completely absorbed myself in Phoenix's discography. Was. Not. Disappointed.

Intro - The XX

This is one of my all time favorite album intros. It's exactly how you should prepare someone for the musical journey that follows. Simple, building, ear catching, but not overwhelming.

And what a solid album it is. A distinct point of view, and a refined sound. Generally super relaxed, but also completely capable of getting things moving in its own way. My only complaint with this album is that it's the only one. I demand more.

Underneath the Sycamore - Death Cab For Cutie

I find that I paint best when I have music on. So when I sat down for the crazy task of painting every day for thirty days, I needed a lot of music. Which made it a great time for a new Death Cab album. I don't think I would have listened to this album so much in immediate repeat if it hadn't been for the fact that I was spending hours painting every single evening. Not because it isn't excellent, because it is. I just generally try to space out my album listening more.


And at last we have caught up with the present. Thirty of years of my life, defined by the music I was listening to. 140 tracks in total.

It seems odd to just trail off here. But that's the thing, isn't it? Now that I've started this… it won't be done until I'm dead. Who knows what music the next thirty years will bring?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 28

Yes - Morphine

After nine years of courtship, I finally married Jessica. We had met so early in life, neither of us expected to find such perfection by then. So we felt no need to rush. Maybe we overshot a bit, but I'm much happier that we made our own decision on our own schedule, and walked into our wedding more confident and loving than ever.

We walked down the aisle to "The Nearness Of You" by Norah Jones. And we walked out to "Yes" by Morphine. Not a typical choice, I know. But a song by a band we both loved that chanted "yes, yes, yes" seemed like the perfect song to start our marriage.

Moondance - Michael Bublé

We'd been ballroom dancing for a number of years by this point. There was zero interest in half-assing our first dance. So months before the wedding we started working on our performance. The final number had foxtrot, swing, balboa, lindyhop… seriously, we went all out. I had a spreadsheet to block the whole thing out. It was probably the only thing I was nervous about on our wedding day. I mean, that whole wedding ceremony was obviously going to be fine… but could we pull off the dance?

The dip and kiss happens at 3:30, in case it isn't obvious.

Slow Dance - John Legend

Before the wedding Jessica's aunt Donna gifted her greatest piece of wisdom: play this song. I don't think I had ever heard it before. Which is a shame, because that's too many years without this absolute treat of a song in my life.

We played it immediately after "Moondance". The idea that was that people would join us and start the dance floor. We'd even seeded certain people in advance to set up the whole transition. But in that moment far too many of them lost their nerve. Apparently dropping a dance number like that wasn't good for convincing the general crowd that it was time for them to dance too. Oh well, their loss. Great song.

"Our love is… \  Our love is… \  Our love is… slow dancing together."

Loud Pipes - Ratatat

Oh hell yes, Ratatat. This was an introduction from Jevan. One of the awesome things about working on music software is how talking about music is just part of the culture. There was truly a love for music there.

Another Zune Arts video brought me Ratatat earlier, but it was so short I didn't dig deeper into the music. I didn't even make the connection that I'd heard the music before until a year later. But seriously, those videos are awesome. I highly recommend watching all of them.

Ratatat filled a void that Daft Punk had left empty. Instrumental, tightly mixed, conceptual but hard hitting and rhythmic. And like Daft Punk, I'm always left wondering why there isn't more of it.

Your Touch - The Black Keys

I first heard the Black Keys while tooling around on Zune looking for new music. I believe I started with Attack & Release, since it was the new release, but it was when I traveled back in time that I found what I was looking for.

Discovering The Black Keys felt a bit like unearthing one of my dad's old records. The band just doesn't sound like something from this era. Clearly this can't be music from the year 2006? What sorcery is this?

Raw simple blues rock. No tomfoolery. Heartfelt, pure, and oh so good. There are times when I find a new album, and there are times when I find a new artist to delve into completely. This was most definitely the latter.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 27

Dirty Laundry - Bitter Sweet

I'd been working on the same product at Microsoft for four years, and it had come time to change the scenery. My team was migrating from Media Center to work on this new music project called Zune. A friend of mine, Ian, was already over there, and was able to give me some preliminary info on what it was all about. Sometime before I'd made the switch Jessica and I were going on a trip (to San Francisco, I think) and Ian lent Jessica his Zune device for the duration.

Preloaded on the device was a number of surprisingly decent tracks. One of which was "The Mating Game" by Bitter Sweet. There was a big full sound to the band that reminded me of Supreme Beings of Leisure. So naturally I liked them immediately.

If "The Mating Game" was the entry point, "Overdue" quickly became the favorite. I love the stilted groove of that song. It hits so raw and hard with this odd collection of sounds that don't really map to instruments in my head. It's then swapped out for this super relaxed MMW-esque organ groove and excellent silky vocals. But it keeps coming back to that sublime groove. Love it.

However if we're picking the song based on sheer number of memory connections then it has to be "Dirty Laundry". One of the cooler things they did at Zune was commission these animated music videos to represent the brand. I don't think it did much good, but the videos were pretty consistently awesome. The one for this song, titled "Moodbot", was no exception.

I also remember recommending the album to a friend who ended up putting together a brilliant burlesque number to it. So I have not one but two visual aids for this song, one with robots and one with explosions of glitter.

And now I'm realizing that we're starting catching up to reality. Because around a year after this point I went to see a Bitter Sweet show and blogged about it here.

All Mine - Portishead

We'd already been listening to Portishead for awhile, but there was a bit of a rebirth of Portishead around this time. And none of it more than this song.

Damn this song is sexy. It crawls, it bumps, it slides. But I'm amazed at how this live recording manages to carry more weight than the album recording. I guess that's what happens when you bring a 35-piece orchestra to your live show.

Brick House - Commodores

My cousin Kelly got married some years before this. Halfway into their traditional first dance she and the groom broke into a surprise swing routine. It was highly entertaining, and provided the inspiration I needed to finally cave into Jessica and get some dance lessons.

So some time after that Jessica and I started partner dancing together. And then some time into that we started trying out west coast swing. It was at that point that we truly discovered the song that is "Brick House".

It's so perfect for a laid back sloppy west coast. It is impossible for this song to come on and for Jessica and I to not to dance to it. I couldn't even count how many times we've danced to this song, yet it's still awesome. It's a staple at most weddings, and there's a reason.

Move Along - The All-American Rejects

I've already mentioned here all sorts of music and rhythm games. Singing to Karaoke Revolution; drumming to Donkey Konga, and strumming to Guitar Hero. I even once threw a party where we had all of the above available at the same time. Thankfully someone else thought this was just as awesome as I did, because Rock Band was released and made the world a better place.

While working on Zune my team played plenty of Guitar Hero during breaks. When Rock Band came out we got a full kit for the office and kept the tradition going. The addition of drums was the newest most exciting element since they were obviously many steps above the crude bongo drums of Donkey Konga. A couple times before I had sat down in front of a real drum kit and felt immediately lost. But making a game out of it enabled me to grasp the basics.

Once I grasped the core it was possible to really feel the difference in performing various beats. This song became an absolute favorite, and one where people would fight over who got to play the drum part. It's exactly the sort of song I never would have a relationship with if not for Rock Band. It's total pop fluff, but I've had so much fun playing the song (all parts of it, even) that I unquestioningly turn up the radio when it comes along.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 26

Proper Hoodidge - Amon Tobin

I was at the Experience Music Project for some reason that I can no longer recall. I remember getting my dad a pass as a Christmas gift, but this particular time I know that I was there alone. Regardless of the reason, I found myself in the attached music store, which actually had a decent sampling setup. I found myself reading some staff reviews and trying out some albums in the store.

Amon Tobin didn't sound like anything I had heard before. It was electronic music on a more fundamental level than I was accustomed to. It wasn't just lightly remixed, it was as if someone was crafting music out of the raw waveforms in the ether.

It can be challenging to listen to. Not always satisfactory, but always interesting. Because of the uneven listen-ability of the album as a whole it's not something I can generally just put on, but there are many sparks of brilliance at work here.

Stitched Up - Herbie Hancock & John Mayer

I'm in Oslo, Norway. I've got a Creative Zen Micro and a pair of headphones. I'm sitting in a park, enjoying the scenery and the (unrelenting) sun. My dad is there too, and we're talking a bit about music. I remember playing a couple songs for him then, and just sitting there to enjoy the moment.

I know this was one of the songs. I'm not positive, but I think the others were The Shins "New Slang" and The Postal Service "We Will Become Silhouettes".

New Slang - The Shins

I was introduced to this song by that scene in "Garden State". And ever since The Shins have had this folksy throwback feel to me. Like that melancholy moment at the end of The Graduate where "The Sounds of Silence" plays. I guess there's just something Simon and Garfunkel-y about them.

The Shins have more versatility than I expect of them. "Kissing the Lipless" surprises me every time. And there's that the raw energy when "Sleeping Lessons" breaks through. I feel like I've put The Shins in a box, and I keep forgetting about how much more they have to offer. That initial association was so strong that it's hard to overcome for me.

Vultures - John Mayer

With Continuum John Mayer was officially forgiven of any prior trespasses. The pop is dialed way back here and makes way for the likes of "I Don't Trust Myself", which sounds more like a modern blues song, or "Gravity", with its excellently nerdy choice of a scapegoat. And of course "Vultures".

This is the album I was hoping from Mayer all along. It feels like what he wanted too, but he just needed some distance from being confused as just some pop heartthrob. Hard when the ladies are throwing their money and themselves at you.

Canned Heat - Jamiroquai

I'd guess that most people think of this scene from Napoleon Dynamite when they hear this song. I personally didn't find that movie nearly as funny as everyone else seemed to, so that association never formed for me. I had already long ago filed Jamiroquai and this song filed under "awesome".

It's time for CES, and I've decided to hitch along with some coworkers for their trip to Vegas to work the booth. This is at the same time as the launch of Windows Vista, and there's a corresponding party at some club at Caesar's. Naturally, we go.

The DJ at this event is notably awesome (I look up this "DJ AM" later and find him to be "kind of a big deal"). He has a knack for being able to play completely un-danceable songs and make them awesome without compromising their familiarity. I keep trying to get another drink from the open bar, but find myself pulled back to the dance floor by mix after awesome mix.

Despite the talent on display this is of course a party with too many geeks and not enough dancing. I decide that we need more Jamiroquai. But of course it's loud and verbally communicating a request to the DJ is not possible. I improvise, type "Canned Heat" into my phone and hold it up for him to see. He sees it, nods, and shortly thereafter makes it happen.

When the song comes on the dance floor gets a surge of new energy. It implants this idea in my head that "Canned Heat" is a song with magical powers. This is an idea that has yet to fail me; the song somehow always delivers. It took me some time to realize that this is probably mostly related to that scene from Napoleon Dynamite. Which is a bit disappointing for me, but whatever it takes to get the bodies dancing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 25

Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie

I remember having a rather vivid, deeply sad dream with this song as the soundtrack. I don't think my dreams generally have soundtracks, but this one did. I hear the song now, and my breathing instinctively slows. It's so sad, and so beautiful. Thankfully I know that I don't process lyrics well enough for that dream to actually be about what the song is about. I can pick up on emotion, and melody, but lyrical comprehension is not my strong point.

I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See - Chuck Prophet

Jessica got this album as a recommendation off of the radio. And I'm glad, because it's a solid album through and through. There's some blend of folksy and groovy happening on it, and I dig it.

There are lots of songs I could pick from this album. I was deeply considering "Summertime Thing", with its heartfelt nostalgia. Or the sweet album send-off that is "Old Friends". "I Bow Down" won over on account of just how damned slick it is.

Eple - Royksopp

While we were playing games Rob put this on and introduced it as "Swedish Daft Punk". Well, they're technically Norwegian, but I guess that's close enough. It's a softer sound that Daft Punk for sure, but I could see what he was getting at.

He burned me a sampler disc which I know now as a subset of Melody A.M.. It's odd when someone pre-filters an album for you. Because later you can come across the album in full and become curious about those unexplored tracks between. Are they undiscovered treasures, or awful that you were mercifully spared from? Do you trust your friend's taste or not?

I general I think Rob pulled out the high notes, but he maybe didn't need to filter so heavily. But it's all good, it just gave me some b-sides to search for later.

Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughan

This odd little game came out that required a plastic guitar as a controller. I didn't even technically own a PS2 of my own, but I bought a copy of Guitar Hero because it was just so damned awesome. Sure it wasn't playing a real guitar, but it was still freaking cool. Much cooler than bongos.

I was already quite familiar with this song, but playing it in the game was an entirely new experience. Stevie Ray was far out of my range on a real guitar (and it's not as if I'd picked one up in years anyway), but in the game I could incrementally close that gap. A false sense of accomplishment maybe, but it didn't feel like it. Striving to keep up with Stevie felt deeply satisfying. Gamer me and musician me were finding some common middle ground.

Train - Goldfrapp

Goldfrapp rocks my face. After listening to them I'm always left wondering why I don't listen to them more often. Great super-danceable grooves, gritty electronic elements, sultry vocals. There are so many totally ass-kicking-ly awesome tracks to choose from. How is it that I keep forgetting to come back to them? What's wrong with me?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 24

Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye

I don't know what inspired Jessica to start delving into a 1971 album all of the sudden in 2003, but she did. It was less of a discovery of Marvin Gaye and more of a rediscovery. "What's Going On" is a great album, but there was no question about what song to put in here. Makes me wanna holler...

Love and Happiness - Al Green

At the same time as Jessica was rolling out the Marvin Gaye she was also dropping the Al Green. I think she did this specifically to confuse me. They sound very different to me now, but at the time I was very mixed up. Al Green seems to on average have a groovier sexier sound, but Marvin Gaye is the one to really call out "Let's Get It On" and lay down some "Sexual Healing". However Marvin Gaye is the one with the thoughtful social commentary, while Al Green is the Reverend. It was a bit disorienting.

But ever since I'm prone to, as Morphine put it, "put the Al Green on". You really can't go wrong. Everybody wins.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love - The Darkness

Music games. They're a huge thing now (or maybe a huge thing that's jumped the shark a bit), but not so long ago they were new and niche.

I remember Ben first bringing around Karaoke Revolution to our gaming gatherings. His idea was simple: he wanted to get better at singing, and a game seemed like a great feedback mechanism to make that happen. The idea of a game judging your musical ability was still a novel idea back then. So we played this game, and soon it became clear that non-gamer people were interested in this too. Even, gasp, girls.

Fast forward to the sequel, and we have a growing crowd of people. But no one has the balls to tackle this song. Until Rand does. And he fucking nails it. He committed, he delivered, and it was awesome.

For years I was waiting for this song to make it to Rock Band. It always seemed like an obvious pick. Fun and challenging vocals, rocking guitars, and of course a big cup of awesome flair. I mean, have you seen the video? One of the best ever. Anyway, someone had once figured out the rights to get this song into a music game, so what was the hold up? I did eventually get my wish, although only a year ago. I'm still waiting for someone to really step it up and deliver the vocals...

Habanera - Carmen (Donkey Konga)

Okay, so no orchestral recording of this song is going to accurately represent how this song exists in my head. Thankfully bored people on the internet exist to archive this stuff for me.

So, somehow this crazy Gamecube game that came with a plastic bongo controller made it stateside. The track selection was… well… I'd be generous even calling it "uneven". But beating drums to music is pretty much fun no matter what. Even if they're fake drums, and even if the music is often terrible.

By the time Donkey Konga 2 came around we had a setup with a TV and two bongo controllers at work. When the mood was right at the end of the day we'd have some drinks, bang some bongos, and have an all awesome time.

Oddly enough, this song was the best one. So many times Jon and I would be scrolling through the track list, pondering, and just end up back on Habanera. It makes zero sense until you've actually drummed along to it.

Go It Alone - Beck

Beck, you're not so sad anymore are you? You've had years to heal that broken heart, and as a result you were able to give birth to Guero. Which I like to believe is so much better for the heartbreak that preceded it. So... thanks for taking one for the team.

This song… yum. It's a foot stomping, snappin', can't help but bob your head kind of a groove-a-long. A minimalistic triumph. So. Good.

I actually first hit this album via the GameBoy Variations remix. Okay, it's not all proper chip tune mixes, but the thought is still there. I actually prefer the remix version of "Hell Yes" to the album version. The "Girl" remix is also pretty rad.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Music Made Me - Part 23

Transatlanticism - Death Cab for Cutie

I remember listening to this song, lying face-up on the floor of the townhouse we lived in at the time. Jessica had put on this album on and it was this song that first stood out to me. Which is saying something, because the song is pretty deep into the album, and there are a lot of great songs that come before it. But it was the one that operated on the wavelength I needed.

I think the reason for that is that this song isn't as concerned with being, well, a song. It finds a space, and then it spends some time just existing there. Building without building. I can see myself lying there on the floor, listening, and then really starting to feel it as the song enters its latter half of pure jam. Then at 6:31 the vocals come on in this lifting way that's perfectly justified and made more powerful by what preceded them. And then of course it just expertly blends into the next track. Album planning for the win.

Once my ear was cocked, I delved into Death Cab pretty deeply, and they quickly became a favorite. This was the bridge.

Catch Me - Supreme Beings of Leisure

I discovered Supreme Beings of Leisure in a bit of a roundabout way. I got the Animatrix DVD as a gift. I want to say that the soundtrack came with it, but it's possible I just followed up and checked it out later. Doesn't matter. There were a couple interesting tracks on it, but the one that matters here is called "Under the Gun" by Supreme Beings of Leisure. I enjoyed it, but didn't immediately dig deeper.

It took hearing the name a second time, from Francis if I recall, to lead me to Divine Operating System. And with that came many things, but especially the excellent James Bond anthem that never was: "Catch Me". This band is one sexy, classy act.

Somersault - Zero 7

Ambient chill background music, it's a thing. Here is some more. But there's a bit of a story to go with this one.

I remember hearing about this band on the pilot episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. For those first couple episodes they had some other dude sitting in the questionable "culture" seat. I remember him riffling through the subject's CD collection and criticizing it. Making fun of a dude's clothes and lame bachelor apartment is one thing, but it's something else entirely to hate on their music. Sure, I think some music is less than worthy; not all of it is good. But it's ridiculous to think that you can take someone's entire music history, dump it in the trash, and replace it with something hip. They can't un-experience all of that. Maybe other people don't have the emotional nostalgic connection to music that I do, but I can't imagine completely changing my music tastes overnight. I mean, that's why I'm doing this whole thing - I consider music to be part of my identity.

Anyway, the culture guy had the subject put on this Zero 7 album in the background during his date. It's odd how despite my negative reaction to the whole scene I actually looked up the album. The thing is, it's not the music recommendation that I found repulsive; it was the request that the subject also throw out their pass.

The album actually has a number of good tracks on it. Super soft, super chill, but good.

Panther Dash - The Go! Team

This is something that my officemate Krishna brought to my attention. We would close our door, crank up the volume, and groove to Go Team.

The entire album sounds like it was duct-taped together in a basement with bargain bin recording equipment. But there's so much energy in the music that it doesn't matter. Actually, I prefer it this way. It's raw. The only downside is that this makes it incredibly difficult to insert into a mix with more-produced music.

I mean, this whole album is bat shit crazy. It's got this bizarre backbone of cheerleading chants. Mix that with funk, and pop, and hip hop. And a harmonica. And trashcan drums. And a string section. And... holy crap what the hell is happening and why is it so awesome? How did I get this huge grin on my face?

The sort of raw delight that this music can induce is probably why they decided to use "Get It Together" as the theme for the adorable Little Big Planet. Which is a good pairing. But despite that huge marketing association Go Team always takes me back to those times with in that office with Krishna.