I set my old phone back to factory settings to see if I could download Jeopardy! episodes on it without having to put my new phone at risk of viruses. But before I did that, I was able to take pictures of these two drawings that I drew in an app on the phone in June last year. I know they look like a child’s crude finger paintings, but in my defence, I hadn’t drawn anything on my phone before and I hadn’t drawn anything at all in about 13 years!
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Then I remembered I emailed this Bandlab recording to myself a few weeks ago, which also dates from June last year. Again, in my defence, when I recorded this I had only been using Bandlab for two days and still wasn’t entirely sure how it worked, so I was just hitting all the keys and drum pads and hoping for the best. I conceived it as a Frank Zappa parody hence the “hungry freaks, daddy” at the end, but I didn’t have the ability to pull that parody off and it sounds nothing like him (I had been thinking along the lines of ‘Ruth Underwood going crazy on the xylophone during Zappa’s concerts’). I showed it to someone around the time I made it and they described it to me as “the worst piece of music I’ve ever heard”.
GTA V’s 10 year anniversary recently passed so here’s my ranking of the main GTA titles:
1. GTA IV (2008) - 5 STARS
2. GTA Vice City (2002) - 5 STARS
3. GTA III (2001) - 4.5 STARS
4. GTA V (2013) - 4.5 STARS (excluding GTA Online)
5. GTA San Andreas (2004) - 4.25 STARS
6. GTA 2 (1999) - 3.75 STARS
7. GTA 1 (1997) - 3.25 STARS
My experience with each: Sometime around October 1999 my uncle, who’s 8 years older than me, told me all about GTA 2 and advised me to buy it. He was living with my family at the time and I remember specifically we were sitting at the kitchen table watching ‘Monday Night Raw’ (on a Friday night which is when it was shown here) when he explained the premise of the game to me, and I was intrigued by what I heard. I probably rented it a few times over the next couple of months and then according to my childhood diary which I looked through recently I bought the game on January 8th 2000. I also rented GTA 1/GTA London during that period which felt like a step down from GTA 2, so I only played them that one time and didn’t rent them again.
Fast forward to two or three days before Hallowe’en 2001 and a few friends and I were collecting wood for a bonfire. The cousin of one of my friends was there and he began telling me about GTA 3 which had just been released. He informed me it was in 3D rather than a top-down view and that you could headbutt people and all this type of thing; I’m sure I tried to keep my composure but I was brimming with excitement. My fondest memories of GTA 3 are playing it on a portable television on my grandmother’s kitchen table. ‘Fade Away’ by Craig Grey is the most evocative/nostalgic song from that game for me.
Vice City was announced seven months later and was the first game of the series that I was aware of ahead of time and actively anticipated its release; buying €7 PlayStation magazines just to see two or three new pictures of it. When it came out in October 2002 I took the day off school so I could play it; I had just moved house and started secondary school the month prior. Its soundtrack was a formative influence on my taste in music. I played it for months. For Christmas that year I got the game ‘The Getaway’ which only held my interest for a short amount of time before I switched back to Vice City.
By the time October 2004 rolled around I had lost interest in video games in general and I wasn’t especially enthusiastic about the release of San Andreas. On the day it came out I was apathetic enough about it that I went soccer training that evening instead of staying home to play it. It simply arrived at the wrong time for me. Throughout 2003 and most of 2004 I had been listening to a lot of rap music, buying CDs, Hip Hop magazines, DVDs about rap feuds, listening to Hip Hop radio shows and recording them onto cassettes, watching ‘Boyz n the Hood’, and so on. Then along came San Andreas which was inspired by that whole culture but at that stage I was already mentally moving on from it. My feeling at the time was ‘this music is saying nothing to me about my life’, over a year before I knew who Morrissey was. If San Andreas had come out six months earlier I might have much fonder memories of it, but I couldn’t get into it the way I could with the two previous games.
GTA IV, in contrast, arrived at the perfect time. Because of my experience with San Andreas I was unsure about whether I wanted to buy it right up until the night before it came out. I sat up until the early hours of the morning waiting for gameplay footage to be uploaded to YouTube because every video was being taken down due to copyright strikes. Finally I found a video of the protagonist riding a motorcycle, crashing into a bus stop and leaving a blood stain on the glass with his head, and I decided I had to buy it. I bought it early the next day; I was 18 and it was the first GTA game I could legally buy. Around this time I had been dissatisfied with the music I was listening to, I was ready to branch out from 90s alternative rock and to hear something new but I wasn’t sure what I was looking for or how to go about it. This game’s soundtrack shaped my taste in music the way Vice City had; even more so.
Rockstar have been keeping a tight hold on what are the exact songs broadcast on the radio stations of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV. However, now that the game is out, and available to buy t…darkzero.co.uk
GTA IV got a bad rap at the time because it wasn’t as cartoonish and ‘fun’ as San Andreas but I loved everything about it: the setting, the grittiness, the main character, the soundtrack, all the small details that were put into it. I’m not much of a gamer, I haven’t owned a console in years and haven’t played anything from many of the most popular gaming franchises out there such as Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Assassin’s Creed, so this statement probably doesn’t mean much but I consider GTA IV my favourite game of all time.
GTA V, again, like San Andreas, came along at the wrong time for me. I had just started at university in 2013 when it was released. I was taking literature modules and reading 19th century authors that semester, and there was a disconnect when I tried playing GTA V. I felt like I shouldn’t be playing it, that there were better uses for my time. I still bought it in HMV on its day of release despite some reluctance, and it came with a big rolled up poster which I believe I took although I was embarrassed to be seen with it. I played the game on and off for a few weeks before tiring of it, but eventually came back to it, particularly in 2016 when I reached level 150-ish on GTA Online before my PS3 broke down (which I bought on the day GTA IV came out in 2008).
Now after ten years I’m waiting to read news about GTA VI, because I’m curious. It’ll likely be the first GTA main title that I don’t buy on its launch date since 2001 as there’s no chance that I’m paying €500 for a PS5. Waiting for five months for Vice City in 2002 felt like an eternity so if I had to wait three years back then, let alone ten like people who are anticipating VI now, I would have lost my life. If you’ve read this far I’m sorry you wasted your time because there was no particular point to these reminiscences (other than the fact that I haven’t been watching Jeopardy! and therefore had some extra time on my hands), but here’s five gold ‘wanted’ stars for your effort
I think it's not good for you to live on your own like that in a shack in the middle of nowhere at your age! It's time you settled down with a nice girl! Your minds going to pot!!!!
I’m an FKA twigs enjoyer. Below is the song that got me into her music a few years ago. I loved the fusion of Frozen era Madonna with modern trap beats. She sings beautifully and her visuals are always captivating. The one thing I’m not so enamoured with is that her songs have too many featured artists, but the features are worth sitting through to get back to the twigs parts. What a talent she is
i loved hulk hogan when i was little! i can see why, he's rad. ive always had good taste! i remember always wanting hulk hogan and real men dolls for christmas, and santa would always leave a note saying that he didnt have any left because he gave them to all the little boys
Aww honey bunny, are you one of those people who needs to have ‘profundity’ spoonfed to them and can’t see any value in a piece of music unless you get the immediate impression of ‘depth’ from it? FKA twigs’ music is intelligent in abstract ways, like a Mondrian painting, let’s say! At first you might think “what’s the point of this”, but after a short while you begin appreciating what she’s doing and extracting meaning from it.
A worse move would be if she was trying to make rock music in 2023, that’s what Willow Smith does and it sounds pleasant enough but it’s nearly impossible to be innovative in that genre any more, it went as far as it could go. Maybe you’ll think this song sounds less dumb because it’s more conventional:
I might have misunderstood what you were getting at with “dumb” though and perhaps you’d like to go into detail regarding what was disagreeable to you about the twigs video I posted, so we can all see how insightful you are
Holy moly honey bunny, you’re really showing your age with this comment! When I began watching the WWF around 1994, Hulk Hogan was already gone from the company and was obliterating foes with the Legdrop of Doom in new surroundings down in Georgia. And here you are remembering The Hulkster in his prime; you’ve sure been on this earth for a loooong time! It’s wrong of me to be arguing with you, I have to start showing more respect towards my elders!
i could do that, honey bunny, you bet i could! i have an innate feel for modern art! i understand it implicitly! it would only be a matter of finding the right words to convey that understanding. im a rather busy lady though so i cant really be bothered. you have the time though! what meaning can be extracted from this, honey bunny?! i only ask because i am sOOOoooOOoo interested in your feelings about modern art!!!I don’t chase darker skinned dames, unlike you with your Mexicans! My honey bunny likes some hot tamales . Maybe you’d be kinder towards me in my thread if my last name was Rodriguez or Ramirez or Gonzalez. You might even call me your Latin lover and ask me to roll my Rs for you. “Oh Raúl, say that again”, you’d say.
I’m sure I could come up with a meaning for a Mondrian painting if I was shown one in particular and asked for my thoughts on it! You’re putting me on the spot here, since that’s not what I was even suggesting in my post! I was talking about twigs’ songs and about extracting our own meanings from abstract work, and that her music is intelligent in abstract ways, like a Mondrian painting is. I was speaking about artistic or creative intelligence not comparing their work in a literal sense, though that’s how you chose to take it in your attempt at a gotcha moment. But since we’re on the subject: I’m sure YOU could go into detail about the meaning that can be extracted from a Mondrian painting if I asked you, and you could do it no trouble and with no Google, since from the way you were typing it seemed like you feel as though you have some knowledge in the area. I would never put YOU on the spot and ask you to do that however (so you can breathe a sigh of relief, now nobody ever has to know whether you can do it or not ).