Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Episode 18 - Part 1

It's that time of year again.

The Two Assholes, and all four Guestholes have gathered together to bring you the 2nd Annual Assies, in which we award the best and worst of geek and pop culture for 2009.

This year, we kept the format from the 1st Annual Assies, in that everyone is a winner (or loser), by which we mean that both Assholes, and all of the Guestholes get to give nods for their picks for the best and worst of each category.

The downside to this is that we have a lot of categories, 6 nerds, and a tendency to ramble and get off on tangents. This makes for an entertaining listen, I assure you, but a very long episode. The total runtime for this episode was about 3.5 hours. Therefore, we're going to try a slightly new format.

As Brent had mentioned before, one of our aims for 2010 is to produce shorter episodes, and more of them. Accordingly, we're going to release the 2nd Annual Assies in 4 parts. Organizationally, it doesn't make sense to split this episode up into Episodes 18-21, so it's just Episode 18, released in parts.

If you're a fan of the lengthy episodes, however, don't worry, because the High Quality version that has become a staple of our show will be the full 3.5 hour spectacular.

So, without further ado, give a listen to the first portion of the 2nd Annual Assies.

Monday, January 25, 2010

TATANS gets interviewed

Guesthole Alexander James (Krueger) decided that Adam and I would make good interview subjects for his first podcast with his blog State of Affairs.

It's a bit different to be on the other side of the stick for lack of a better term but I think we did well.

Part 1
Part 2

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Halo 3 for Haiti

Hi guys, normally I'm not a gung-ho, donate to charity, Bono wanna be or anything but I felt this might be a good and easy thing for those 360 owners among you to help out.

Bungie has decided that for every person that changes their armor insignia in the following fashion From Wed till Thurs at 11:59pm, Bungie will donate $100 per person (up to $77 000) to the Red Cross's Haitian relief effort.

All you have to do is the following:
a. Press START
c. Select “EMBLEM”
d. Select “Hearts” ICON, “Circle” BACKGROUND
e. Back out to the APPEARANCES menu and select “COLORS”
f. Set “EMBLEM PRIMARY” to RED (or MAROON / BRICK / ROSE depending on which game you’re playing!)

And play on Xbox Live Halo 3 or Halo 3 ODST.

It's that simple, no credit cards, no money orders, no Bono, but you will be helping.

I will be playing tonight probably after 9pm and probably a bit tomorrow evening as well. Please feel free to add me as a friend on Xbox live, my gamer tag is


If you want the full skinny check out:

Please feel free to send or post your gamer tags.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Episode 17

It's a little delayed, but the Two Assholes finally present to you the livecast of the Two Assholes Talking About Nerd Stuff: First Anniversary Special.

This was taped at the Fox and Fiddle at Bloor St and St. George in Toronto (right near St. George Station) on November 11, 2009.

A good time was had by all, and we'd like to once again thank all of our special guests, the Guestholes, the Fox and Fiddle, and everyone else who came out, for making it an enjoyable and memorable event.

If you missed it, here's your chance to pretend that you were there. If you want us to do another such special for our Second Anniversary, let us know in the comments.

Episode 17 (High Quality)

It's a little delayed, but the Two Assholes finally present to you the livecast of the Two Assholes Talking About Nerd Stuff: First Anniversary Special.

This was taped at the Fox and Fiddle at Bloor St and St. George in Toronto (right near St. George Station) on November 11, 2009.

A good time was had by all, and we'd like to once again thank all of our special guests, the Guestholes, the Fox and Fiddle, and everyone else who came out, for making it an enjoyable and memorable event.

If you missed it, here's your chance to pretend that you were there. If you want us to do another such special for our Second Anniversary, let us know in the comments.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The mystery of the Prince Vault

If you've followed the blog or the podcast. it's pretty easy to tell that I am a fan of Prince.

Hell, I've often said if Prince knocked on my door as a Jehovah's Witness that I would be more then happy to have him preach to me because it's freaking Prince!

And for those wondering, yes he is a JW and yes he does occasionally do the door to door thing.

Okay to qualify, more old Prince then current Prince but he's an artist that I will give a listen to just on principle. Album wise, he's never done anything terrible, just albums that are not to my taste.

I even love Purple Rain in it's craptacular glory...the movie I mean... the album is just awesome.

There is no denying his talent as not only a song writer but as a musician. Take a look at the following video for instance. This is taken from the 2004 Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Prince was among the artist inducted as was George Harrison (as a solo artist). Watch the guitar solo at the 3:30 mark.

Now you know why many versions of this youtube video are labeled "Best guitar solo ever".

On a separate note just when you look at everyone on stage, isn't it kind of like that old Sesame Street bit?

"One of these things is not like the others..."

He is definitely the best dressed.

But the thing I like about Prince is his mysterious "vault."

Now a good majority of the public discovered this vault through our good friend, Kevin Smith speaking about a documentary he did for Prince that will never see the light of day around the summer of 2001.

Now I have included it below but my summary up above pretty much sums up the story in less then 30 minutes. But if you haven't heard Kevin's version of the's worth a watch. But if not just scroll past the videos.

Prince fans however have known about the Prince vault for some time. Through out the years Prince has had a history of producing videos, albums and even a possible movie (although details on that are sketchy at best).

And it's not like all of it is based on rumor and conjecture. We know about the Kevin Smith documentary for instance due to the man in question talking about it. A number of Prince's unreleased albums we know about because they've been mentioned in Prince material or record company listings.

Let's take Prince's The Black Album for instance... speaking of which how many Black albums are there by various artists?

Originally planned for a December 7th, 1987 release, the album was suddenly canceled right before it was supposed to be released. Promo copies were out in Europe and a few legit copies had leaked into the hands of a few people in North America. At one point this album was thought to be one of he most bootlegged after The Beach Boys Smile. And much like Smile, The Black Album did eventually get a real release. (The funny part being that by this point most Prince fans had this album in one way, shape or form of bootleg)

Now here comes something I find astonishing. In it's place the Lovesexy album was released in January 1988.

That's right. Within a month, Prince recorded, mixed and mastered an entire album.

What's even more astonishing was that at that time Prince had two other albums on the shelf that weren't really known to the general public.

And this trend has continued over the years. 1988: Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic (not to be confused with a similar titled album he released years the way, Prince reuses names a lot), 1994: The Tora Tora Experience, 1994/95: The Undertaker, 1997: The Dawn (another name that pops up occasionally in the Prince unreleased catalogue), 1998: The Roadhouse Garden, and so on and so on.

The important thing to remember is during all these shelving's, Prince was more or less releasing music. There is a brief era during the 90's (when he became Symbol Man) where he wasn't releasing music due to a contract dispute but for the most part there is one or two albums released for each of the unreleased.

There are at least two documentaries in Prince's vault. One is the Kevin Smith directed one and the other is professionally shot footage during his 1981 tour called The Second Coming. There is an estimated 50 music videos (although that may be an exaggeration as I've only seen proof of a dozen).

As Kevin Smith mentions, money was spent. None of this stuff is cheap. Sure his recording costs are smaller due to owning his own studio complex but music videos and documentaries, even those done on the cheap, still cost money.

So the question is...what is Prince going to do with all of this stuff?

Kevin Smith figures it's an after the bomb scenario. Myself, I have two thoughts.

1) Eventually Prince will die and someone gets to host a tv special going into his vault like that Geraldo/Al Capone's vault special except way better music accompanying it. And then suddenly Prince will appear in the Vault and it will be the biggest box set release in the history of the music industry.

2) When Prince is ready, he will unleash all of it on the internet. All of it. He will become the most downloaded artist of all time due to fans, accidental downloads and sheer volume. Eventually leading to a sect of Prince worshipers.

Or he could be really weird and we'll never see any of it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Muppets, Jim Henson and Me.

For Christmas, Adam and his wonderful wife The Peanut Gallery (who can be heard yelling at us through out many episodes of the show but is really a sweetheart) gave me the first two seasons of Fraggle Rock.

God I love Muppets.

It's amazing the sheer amount of awesome that Jim Henson and his company created. The Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Storyteller, they even had a hand in bringing my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to life on the big screen.

And the best part is a whole new generation is going to be introduced to a bunch of the various Henson creations in the next couple of years.

Let's start with the first group and probably my favorite, The Muppets.

The first thing I honestly can recall watching on television ever is an episode of The Muppet Show. I'm sure I watched programs before I saw this (most certainly episodes of Sesame Street) but for whatever reason, the first program I can ever recall watching was an episode of The Muppet Show that featured John Cleese.

And it just blew me away. I remember Kermit being annoyed at his staff and I remember Cleese playing maracas.

In terms of my creative life, I can pinpoint a lot of my direct influences and the muppets certainly left their mark. I still laugh at Alice Cooper trying to get Kermit to sell his soul to Alice's "boss" and occasionally even quote the episode.

The great thing about the Muppets and the original Muppet Show is a lot of the jokes are timeless despite the fact that the a number of the guests on the show are no longer known to audiences. While kids who are in their pre and early teens may have no idea who Alice Cooper is but they can get the joke.

The Muppet films are still incredibly re-watchable. And the original film has one of the greatest lines in film history.

"Ahh..a bear in his natural habitat...a Studebaker."

Not only that but with people around my age, The Muppets stuck. For instance, the Muppets version of Bohemian Rhapsody. It hit the internet somewhat quietly a month ago and then it was like an atomic bomb went off. Everyone I knew had seen it, posted about it and shared it. Dozens of status updates on Facebook and for once, I didn't mind.

The Muppets are now on youtube for the time being. Disney has been really smart with them since they purchased the characters a few years ago. After a few not so good movies, the Muppets were placed on the shelf for a bit and are being slowly reintroduced to the world through youtube. The reason why?

There is a new Muppet movie in the works. The writers have promised it will bring back the glory of the early Muppet films complete with celebrity cameos.

Looking forward to it.

For the record my favorite Muppets are Kermit, Animal and Gonzo and my favorite episodes are the Mark Hamill and Alice Cooper episodes.

And of course, Muppet Labs was always good.

Sesame Street is still a fixture in the lives of children and at this point it's hard to remember a time.

Well okay, I wasn't alive before Sesame Street began to air but the fact of the matter is, Sesame Street essentially created educational children's programing as we now know it. No Sesame Street, no teletubbies, Barney or anything else along those lines.

I'm glad to say despite it's competition, Sesame Street is still alive and well with it's mix of education and fun. The cast is still multi-cultural and the show has not been dumbed down.

Now for those of you who are curious, Disney does not own the Sesame Street characters, they were sold separately a few years before. The kicker being is that the deal is such that Muppets that appeared on Sesame Street (Kermit for example) before the Disney deal can still appear and vise versa.

Favorite Sesame Street character; Grover without a doubt. He was also a superhero. I'm also a fan of Bert and Ernie...and celebrity cameos. It's a show that got Jeremy Irons to sing and dance.

Now Fraggle Rock is kind of in an odd spot for me. It was for me what I termed a Sunday Cottage Show. It was on Sunday nights and during the summer it'd be one of the shows I would see on one of the two channels we got up at the cottage, right before we packed up to go home.

As a result, I really ever saw bits and pieces of the show when I was a kid. I've now seen more of it and as I am older I can now realise how ambitious a project this was. You have different scales of puppets, remote controlled pieces, live actors, live actors in giant suits, the whole nine yards. Not to mention each episode had a song or two.

The show was also developed in part, to be easily localised. The live action segments would be changed in different regions and the puppets themselves made for easy re dubbing. And the idea worked and the Fraggles not only did well in North America but around the world.

Fraggle Rock tends to be forgotten. Part of that is due to it's syndication. While I don't have hard facts, I don't ever remember Fraggle Rock be re-ran that much in Canada. Certainly not to the extent of The Muppet Show.

But that may soon change.

Fraggle Rock has been getting increased exposure over the last five years. First with the release of show on dvd and then with rumblings of a Fraggle Rock movie.

The Henson company held on to the rights to Fraggle Rock when making the Disney deal and we may see the film sometime in 2011. Apparently Ahmet Zappa (one of Frank's sons) is heavily involved.

As for a lot of the other Henson built properties?

The Creature Shop is still in business, their latest major work being the amazing suits in the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see something to do with The Dark Crystal in the next couple of years. There's been work done on a sequel since 2005 but by the sounds of things the major problem is financing. The Dark Crystal was one of those movies that portions of which really frightened me as a child but yet somehow I look forward to seeing the story continue.

I love the Muppets. They and their brethren from the Henson company have been a key component in my media viewing life for as long as I can remember. I can't wait to see more of my favorite Muppets. They have such a timeless quality but yet can stay current. Look at their yotube channel for instance. If you watch all of the videos in order it's esentially a new version of the original Muppet Show. But it's been updated to fit the format.

I wonder if I can get a cameo in the new movie...