Quilliam's Epic 10 of 2008

See more posts in the "Epic Ten" series.

10. Epic Time Vacuum -- Fallout 3

Set in the future, post-apocalyptic ruins of Washington, D.C. and surrounding suburbs, Fallout 3 is my ideal video game, and one of the few things that makes living with my parents tolerable. Within the first few hours of playing, I had trekked through the crumbling metro tunnels of Dupont Circle, blasting ghouls, only to happen upon a cult of mutated vampires who tried to convince me to join their ranks. Awesome. I tend to look at Fallout as less of a game than as a "dry-run." This game got me into such a post-apocalyptic mindset that when my friend casually mentioned that she had a case of bottled water in her trunk, my first thought was, "Pure water... so valuable. How can I steal it?" I'm not sure how to convincingly argue that digging through every single virtual garbage bin, rusted container, and overturned vending machine for scraps of irradiated food is fun, but trust me -- it's amazing. If you're still not convinced, then don't come begging for help when the bombs start to fall.

9. Epic Quotables -- The Beaver Boys

I approached this video as a skeptic, as I usually do for everything that Matt tries to introduce into my life. But the epic charm of these Tim and Eric characters soon broke down any barriers I had put up between myself and their intellectual wares. They preach a simple gospel: shrimp, and white wine. And the occasional Richardson Richardson. Are they from Jersey? Are they gay? Does half-digested shrimp and white wine really look like pepto-bismol? Constantly quoting from this video almost lost me several friends and a relationship.

8. Epic Remix -- The Hipsterrunoff Remix of "Nude"

This song is the only worthwhile thing that came out of Radiohead's remix contest. Carles, author of the blog Hipsterrunoff, created a hilariously irreverent track. Halfway through the contest, it was winning by a wide margin of votes, but eventually succumbed to Holy Fuck. If only the world knew their loss.
"I'll never forget the day that the drummer from Metallica shut down Napster."
"My favorite album of the 1990s was In Rainbows, by Radiohead."

7. Epic Film -- Primer

Made on a budget of $7,000, Primer unexpectedly turned out to be my favorite movie in 2008. The basic premise is that two young engineers accidentally build a time machine, and then go nuts with it. Though time travel movies are often categorized as "science fiction," this film comes across as a more serious, plausible story. The dialogue is fast-paced, technical, and parses out just enough information to make the audience do some work. Having seen it several times, I still have only a tenuous grasp of the actual plot points -- but somehow it makes the experience more enjoyable. After a viewing, Primer had myself and a few friends crowded around a piece of paper trying to illustrate our theories using absurd diagrams that involved a lot of arrows and stick figures, and asking questions like, "So, if I went back in time to kill my third double, but the second double gets into a new box, what happens to my current self?" Primer is a big puzzle that will keep you up at night -- beautifully shot, vaguely menacing, and bizarrely enticing.

6. Epic Radio -- NPR
Yes, I had listened to NPR before 2008 -- but in 2008 I have a regular commute to work. And during that commute, NPR is a lifesaver. This praise comes with the notable exception of Harry Shearer's "Le Show," which is the worst thing to ever happen to radio since the invention of television.

5. Epic Lunch -- The "Bruce Springsteen" Panini
As a regular working stiff, I understand the importance of a delicious lunch to properly rejuvenate before returning to the salt mines. And so I was ecstatic to discover this sandwich at my favorite Doylestown lunch spot, Lilly's. I can say, without hesitation, that the Bruce Springsteen is the best sandwich I've had in my entire life. It's fortunate that I recently learned to love the song "Born to Run," because otherwise I would never have paid money for something with The Boss's name attached. I have some suspicion about the patriotism of Lilly's management, however, since the constituent ingredients of the Bruce Springsteen are arguably un-American, and decidedly un-working-class. I'll let you be the judge:

Grilled chicken, provolone cheese, fire roasted peppers and baby spinach with balsamic vinaigrette on grilled sourdough.

4. Epic Brewery -- Russian River

The two best beers I've had all year are courtesy of Russian River, out in California: Blind Pig IPA and Pliny the Elder, a double IPA. They inexplicably appeared on tap at my local suburban-drunk sports bar, and the bartender always seems a bit confused when I order them. This beer is so good that I almost don't mind the ridiculous Chimay chalice it's served in. I say almost, because that stupid cup draws a lot of suspicious stares from under the hunting-caps of said suburban drunks, who probably think I'm "one of the gays."

3. Epic Fictitious Band -- Crucifictorius

Yes, Landry's rock band in the Friday Night Lights television series. The more the writers develop Landry's character, the more we get to see this fantastic band. Their music might suck, but the band embodies everything that's totally sweet about the concept of Landry. And in the most recent season, he's been working the "band mack" for all it's worth. Additionally, Crucifictorius gave us the debut of two new characters, both of whom have nothing to do with football: the lesbian bass player -- totally sweet; and the unnamed drummer dude -- totally sweet. Unlike Driveshaft, a similarly great fictitious band that met an early demise, Crucifictorius is just getting started. I already give their debut album a 9.8.

Honorable FNL mention -- Saracen's Mom (totally sweet)

2. Epic Album -- Cut Copy -- In Ghost Colours

I understand if you haven't had time to stop listening to the Fuck Buttons, Fucked Up, and Holy Fuck albums on repeat, simultaneously -- but before the year closes I highly recommend giving "In Ghost Colours" a chance, because these slick dudes from Australia have released the best album of 2008 (go buy some shaving cream, Fleet Foxes). Cut Copy achieves the perfect blend of pop, dance pop, and rock pop. Did I mention pop? Their music is soaked with unashamed optimism. Almost without exception, their songs can be classified into these four categories: songs about hearts; songs about ghosts; songs about dreams; or songs about love. And sometimes dreams about ghosts, or loving dreams, or ghosts with hearts. Having spent the better part of my youth listening to Thom Yorke screech about riot police, paranoia, and car wrecks, it's a nice breath of fresh air. If nothing else, Cut Copy has ensured that Australia will crush France in the impending Electrowars, and will rule gasoline-powered iPods in the post-electro-fallout wasteland that will follow.

1. The most epic thing of all time (in 2008) -- "Undefeatable"

This video is the most epic thing I've seen in my entire lifetime.
And yes the movie is actually called "Undefeatable."

I have so much to say about this video. Words almost seems fruitless in the face of such visual grandeur. I had a whole essay prepared about the mechanics of the fight and the underlying homoerotic/heterosexual messaging contained within, but it seems more appropriate to let it speak for itself. If nothing else, make sure you watch the last 20 seconds of this video -- I believe it contains a potentially explosive future catchphrase. After the villain is hoisted up to the roof of a warehouse via a meat hook in his eye socket, our heroes let the puns fly:
Girl: "Keep an eye out for ya, Stingray."
Dude: "Yeah. SEE YA."

Everything -- the context, the emphasis, the stupid look on his face. It's perfect. SEE YA.
Here's to another glorious blog year.


Daves n' Davin' said...

Good form, Andy. Crucifictorius might be my favorite Epic 10 choice so far.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Great call on the drummer guy from Crucifictorius. I hadn't previously paused to think about how consistently hilarious his presence is.

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Coaltrain said...

Alright, that does it, I'm getting a fucking Xbox 360 so I can play Fallout 3.

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