Fall is Here.. And that means MOAR TV

Tuesday was the first day of Fall.  WOOT.  It’s my favorite season for so many reasons.  Colored leaves.  Cooler weather.  And SO MANY SHOWS TO WATCH.  The summer was so painful because I had to find other things to occupy my friday nights.  Now… I have new and returning shows.

Here are the ones I’m most excited about.

Sitcoms:

About A Boy

This show is hilarious.  I enjoyed watching the development of the relationship between the kid neighbor and the guy Will, who moves in next door.  It reminds me of how Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter would get into trouble when dealing with Mister Feeny.

boy_world

Drama:

Chicago PD

It’s a cop show about dirty cops.  I enjoy regular cop shows.. the dirty part makes it more interesting.  I think the acting is great, and the stories are even better.  I also think it’s cool how the show actually crosses over into Chicago Fire and vice versa.  As if this reality is real… that’s awesome.

reality

Red Band Society

I wasn’t going to watch this… because someone threw the word “Glee” around.  But then I gave in, and watched the first episode.  I was instantly in love.  This show is amazing.  It portrays the suffering these kids feel in so many ways.. and how they get through it all by their friendships with each other and the staff in the hospital.  I am going to keep watching because it’s well written.. and these kids are surprisingly good actors.

 Reign

It’s like the Tudors and Game of Thrones.. except the character concentration is on the teens (of course.. this is CWTV).  But that doesn’t discount the quality of the back stabbing, suspicion, survival acts, etc.  I would say it’s worth a watch.

reign

Fantasy/Sci-fi/Comic book:

The Flash

uhm… Superheroes are big right now.  Especially on the CW/WB.  They had the hit Smallville.  Then they had Arrow.  Although they’ve had some failures (Birds of Prey, Aquaman), I think the CW will hold onto the great writers and directors from Arrow in order to continue the success.  I’m excited because The Flash is a superhero we haven’t seen on the screen before (unless you count Smallville’s Impluse).. at least not my generation.  And… because it means the CW are on their way to creating a Justice League.  Hopefully better than Smallville did… and hopefully not too quickly.

flash

Arrow

uhm… if you’ve seen Seasons 1 and 2… you’ll know why this is up here.  I hope again.. that they aren’t overdoing this whole Justice League thing… because based on the press there are way too many superheroes being introduced this season…

Lost Girl

It’s the last season… and the writers really messed up last season in my opinion.  I am hoping LG goes out with a bang.

The Walking Dead

Zombies.

Resurrection

series about dead people who return to life.  The series follows the residents of Arcadia, Missouri, whose lives are upended when their loved ones return from the dead, un-aged since their deaths.

Unfortunately, the problem with new shows is that they come out once a week… which leaves so many free hours (if you have them) with nothing to watch.  I have watched an episode or two of the following shows.. and recommend them if you’ve never seen them before.  Anything else… well, if I’m not watching it, the show is probably not very good ;)

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Drama: Chicago Fire, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Revenge

Comedy-ish: Faking itMike and Molly, New Girl, Whose Line is it Anyway?

Fantasy/Sci-fi/Comic book: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course… there are also the shows that I’ve tried and I am unsure what to think… like

Gotham

The quality of the cinematography is alarming to me.  I get the vibe that it is supposed to be an urban atmosphere like Sin City.  The city clearly has some CGI going on.  This can go one of two ways… the directors can pretend that the CGI is part of the city, or they can own it like Sin City did.  Hopefully for them it’s the latter.  The acting was okay at first, but you are drawn into Jim Gordon’s cause.. to help Bruce find some closure and dealing with bad cops.  It’s also really cool.. the idea of Batman without Batman (although… any show based in the DC universe like Arrow or Flash is Batman without Batman).  We’ve already met several of Batman’s enemies (Poison Ivy, Cat Woman, Penguin, Riddler, Joker, and Two Face).  I’m excited to see how successful this show will be, especially since the show has a much darker feel than we’ve seen with other DC superhero shows on the CW.  It could be because it’s the CW, or it could be because Batman often has a darker feel.

you-are-not-alone

The Mysteries of Laura

I watched the first two episodes so far.  Mostly because I’m a fan of Debra Messing.  I loved Will and Grace; and I thought Smash was wonderful.  The pilot episodes wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either.  A lot of people have complained about the script.  I don’t see anything wrong with the script, or the acting.  It’s a comedy about a detective who is also in the middle of a divorce with a husband she sees ALL the time.. and they have two kids who are primarily her responsibility.  There’s a lot going on.  I think the idea is great.   I think the humor is mediocre.  I think the actors are some of the best.  I think the writers and the director are probably new at this.. because the second episode is written significantly better than the first.  I am going to give the show at least a 5 episode run before I give up… you should too.

debra

and Selfie

This show makes me angry.  Maybe the obnoxious-ness of people obsessed with smart phones and twitter is the point.. but they use that damn Youtube song as their theme song… and the main character LITERALLY talks like those girls.  I get that this is supposed to be funny.  I even found myself laughing sometimes.  But people like this in real-life beg to get punched in the face.  How can I not feel the same way about the show?  I feel as though this is a reverse Miss Congeniality..  In the movie, Sandra Bullock  plays a woman who is a kind woman that everyone loves.  But she wasn’t what people would call beautiful (although I think Sandra Bullock was very pretty before they did her up in the movie).  In Selfie, the girl is “pretty” on the outside, but “ugly” on the inside.  I don’t think she’s ugly on the inside, I just think she’s stupid… But John Cho is the Michael Caine of this show.  Let’s hope they don’t cheapen the humor by making them fall in love.

naughty-memes-whats-going-on

Fall 2014 TV line up

There are Angel voices among us

I know you are a dedicated reader *peers at you knowingly*.  Then you’ve picked up on the fact that I’m a gay lady.  As such, I appreciate women.  Especially women who can sing.  So this post is a recognition of women or female-fronted bands in the genres of music I adore, i.e. rock (punk, pop, indie, acoustic, alternative, etc.)  Here I list bands in no specific order that I think deserve attention they may not get because people are clouded by the beauty of Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande.

1) Fit for Rivals

I think I’ve written a blog about this band before.  So of course I’m a fan enough to include Fit For Rivals in this post.  There’s an exclusive interview on AfterEllen.  Fit for Rivals formed in 2008 with Renee Phoenix as the lead vocalist.  Turns out she’s an awesome gay lady herself :)

2) We are the In Crowd

I don’t remember how I found WATIC.. Probably like all these bands.  I searched through Spotify looking for women to be up in my ear canal ;)  I really enjoy this band because they did the whole dueling vocals thing for awhile, and I am a huge fan of that particular style.  We are the In Crowd formed in 2009 in Poughkeepsie NY with Taylor Jardine as the front woman.  And while she’s not gay herself, she’s super cool!

3) Tonight Alive

And WATIC leads me to Tonight Alive… because pop punk bands are like family.  If you know of one, it won’t be too much longer until you find another.  It took me a hot minute to get into Tonight Alive.  After a few tries, I found that I really enjoyed the instrumentals and Jenna McDougall’s voice.  This band is from Australia and formed in 2008.

4) Sick of Sarah

There isn’t much to say about SoS except that they are awesome.  I do follow them on FB and they seem like a ton of fun.  This is an all-female band formed in 2005 with leading lady Abisha Uhl.

5)  Vanity Theft

I found VT because they were on tour with SoS one year… The Lady Killer Tour… THAT sounds like an amazing tour.  I listened to VT once… and I can’t seem to stop.  VT is another all-female band formed in 2005 with leading lady Alicia Grodecki.

6) Crystalyne

Wikipedia states: “Crystalyne is a Canadian rock band from the city of Toronto, Canada and formed in 2011.”  Leading lady Marisa Dattoli.  I am really only into two songs.. the one below, and “6 am in the Morning” … but there is something about both songs that is infectious.

7) Echosmith

I say “meh.”  But my brother thinks Echosmith is great… and he appreciates music that should be appreciated when I don’t.  Echosmith formed in 2009 with leading lady Sydney Grace Ann Sierota.

8) Eyes Set to Kill

ESK is a post-hardcore band.  They are quite unique to have two women (Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez) as primary members.  They formed in 2003 but didn’t release an EP until 2006.  The band has undergone many member changes, but they sound amazing.  Any band that can go through that and still sound wonderful.. well, that says A LOT.

9) Killola

I think you need to watch Girl Trash All Night Long before you listen to Killola.  Then listen to Killola.  They wrote the music for the movie, and the leading lady Lisa Rieffel plays a character as well.  The band formed in 2003.  The video below isn’t one of the songs I really like… but I couldn’t find a video with good enough audio.

10) Marmozets

Apparently there’s a genre called mathcore… and that’s what Wiki classifies the Marmozets.  They formed in 2011 with leading lady Becca Macintyre.  I personally really enjoy the part where she screams… and I mean that in a non-dirty manner.

11) Care Bears on Fire

Because this:

A lot of people seem to be hatin’ on the song in the comments section of this video… but I just think it’s funny and thought I’d include the genius band that wrote it.  CBF is an all female-band formed in 2005.

12) The Cliks

Okay… so technically this is not a female-fronted band.  Listening to the band at first, I thought the lead vocalist was female.  That’s why The Cliks made this list.  However, after looking at the bio, I’ve learned that the lead singer is a trans man (female at birth, male gender identity)… that makes him MORE AWESOME.  I debated whether to then take The Cliks off this list out of respect for his gender identity.

Then why does this band remain on the list?  Because this list is about recognition of a minority.  Women are rarely visible in the genres of music I listen to.  LGBTQ persons are even more rare.  So I decided that the Cliks remain because they deserve the recognition in a cisgender male dominated world.

The Cliks formed in 2004 with leading trans man Lucas Silveira.

13) He is We / Rachel Taylor

Unfortunately, He is We is no longer a band.  It’s too bad because their album My Forever is amazing.  Rachel Taylor is still creating music on her own, and I look forward to hearing what her next full length album sounds like.

14) To be Juliet’s Secret

I have blogged about TBJS previously.  I already told you how awesome they are.. nothing new has come out since that blog.  Buuuut, they are up here, so in the spirit of posting music.. I’ve posted music.

15) Perfect Pussy

Formed in 2012 with leading lady Meredith Graves.  The music is… interesting.  I don’t know why I like it so much because I can’t understand a word Mere says.  But if you like noise-grunge rock (which seems redundant to me) you should check them out.

16) Sharkmuffin

O.o  O.o  O.o

I am SO SHOCKED.  I just found something Wiki does not maintain a page.  Alas, I had to do ACTUAL research for this band.  Formed in 2012. And it’s an all-female band.  I couldn’t find anything else.  But go ahead.   Listen.  They remind me of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

17) Icon For Hire

I actually learned about these guys today.  My brother suggested them for this list.  And Wikipedia does have a page.. formed in 2007 with leading lady Ariel Bloomer.

Some of the older crowd may appreciate:

18) Melissa Etheridge

Formed in 1961… KIDDING.  No, really, that’s when Melissa was born.  She’s published music since 1988.  It wouldn’t be right for me to have this list and not include one of the first ladies in rock that I ever heard.  I remember listening to “I’m the Only One” on my mom’s walk-man XD

19) Fleetwood Mac

Another wonderfully classic lady in rock is Stevie Nicks.  The first time I ever heard of her was in college during Music club.  We were doing a cover of Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.  I also enjoy Landslide.

20) The Cranberries

Formed in 1990 with leading lady Dolores O’Riordan.  As if Irish accents weren’t attractive enough… now there’s a band with a singing irish woman.  I’m done.

But seriously, my brother was playing “Zombies” non-stop for WEEKS.  So, I fell in love.

So other than sharing a list of female-fronted bands I listen to… what’s the point of this post?  Visibility mostly.  If I had known there were more than 2 or 3 successful women in a genre of music I wanted to go into… well, I may never have given up on that dream.  I think others need to know that there are AT LEAST 19 successful women and one trans man.  And among the women listed above, there are at least 3 who are not straight.  Punk rock, indie rock, alternative rock, whatever rock… it all has come a long way.  Anything seems possible nowadays, and all 20 of these bands have shown that is true.

Domestic violence

I’m sure everyone, at this point, has heard about the abuse issue in the Rice household.  Great football star Ray Rice punches his woman in an elevator.  She falls to the floor unconscious.  He drags her out of the elevator.  All of it… ON CAMERA.  As a result, Rice has been suspended from the NFL.

im-not-sure-if-this-is-serious-or-a-good-joke

Of course.. I haven’t seen a video where he says he’s sorry, or that he’s going to follow the steps of Adam Sandler and go to Anger Management.  Nope.  Because it’s not his fault.

I don’t appreciate the injustices done to women by men just because they can.  It angers me whenever I hear of anything like sexual abuse or domestic violence or emotional manipulation.  It angers me even more when women don’t effing stand together…  and I don’t mean the LindseyLohan-v-RachelMcAdams shiz from Mean Girls.  I mean real life, stabbing in the back to stand next to your guy.

great-job

So, when I’m scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed and see one of my black female friends post this meme, my first thought is WHY THE EFF ARE PEOPLE MAKING THIS ABOUT RACE??  It doesn’t matter whether the guy is black, white, or from the moon.  You don’t stand by them.  He’s treating your fellow woman like she’s a piece of trash.  Ray Rice and Chris Brown aren’t the ONLY faces of domestic violence.  I’m sure Gibson, Cage, and Bale were all over the news when their drama went down.  But Rice and Brown are the role models of today’s youth.  Rice is not even that old, 27 years.  Our generation isn’t looking at Gibson and Cage.  I didn’t even know there were D.V. issues involving the oldies.  Brown has been all over the radio since Rice and I were in H.S., and now Rice has been all over football for the last few years.  THEY ARE RELEVANT.  It’s their own damn fault that it’s negative media.

I say we tell these guys to shove it, and those women to stop being stupid, and we stand together and stop putting up with this shiz.  Women deserve better given everything we are capable of doing.. since the beginning of time.

strong

Binge-watching TV.. there’s a medicine for that, right?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just binge-watched a show because it’s so good and then it ends because you don’t know how to control the amount you’re watching?!?!

Well, I just did that.  I literally just finished watching The Legend of Korra and Avatar The Last Airbender (not in one day of course… that would be impossible).  I should be ashamed of watching a cartoon at my age.  But I’m not.  They are both excellent cartoons.  Quite surprising since Nickelodeon really hasn’t had anything worth watching since they took Doug and the Rugrats off the air.

doug

The purpose of this blog is to both praise ALA and defend LoK.  

While both series share history and art and setting, they are quite different in terms of plot.  And from what I’ve heard, people hold that against LoK.  We’ll never get over our first love.  

obsessed

At least that’s how the saying goes.  But I’ve had the advantage of watching LoK first.  While I really enjoyed ALA, I enjoyed it for different reasons than I enjoy LoK, and that says a lot about how different they are.

First, let’s not forget that ALA is centered around a pre-teen male.  

bou

This significantly changes the mood of the story when we head into Korra’s world, where she is in the midst of her teenage years as a female.  

meangirl

My roommates have expressed favoritism toward ALA because it was more upbeat and fun.  That’s one of the reasons I like ALA as well, but LoK is not without humor.  It’s a different kind of humor, seemingly more serious, but just as fun.  The biggest problem in mood I think is the fact that Korra is a teenage girl.  Can we all sit back and remember Zuko for a second?  Imagine a show that is centered around him.  OMG, that would be horrible.  Ten times worse than Korra.  

Teenagers, amiright?

 Everything is tragic.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Since the most important people in Korra’s life for most of the first 3 books are teenagers themselves… obviously there is more seriousness going on, son.

Now if we ignore this.  The other issue I’ve heard about is the relationship business.  I don’t think there was too much of it.. in fact, the relationships between Mako and Korra and between Mako and Asami really didn’t last very long, maybe an episode or two.  The awkwardness that happens afterward adds to the funny, I think.  In ALA, there are relationships that last much longer, like Sokka and Suki or Zuko and Mai.

I just don’t understand this unfounded dislike.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  But you can’t hold an old flame next to a new one.  You’ll never see the greatness of the new one that way.

I loved ALA.  It was funny.  There were strong, powerful females.  

strong

The underdog wins.  Each episodes fit just enough of a subplot, and the three seasons carried the bigger story line perfectly.  I was super sad ten minutes ago when I started writing this.

But I also love LoK.  It’s good to see a strong, powerful female as a lead character.  It’s even more interesting to see a teenage girl handle the responsibilities.  I really enjoy the more subtle humor, and it’s great to see how people are interacting with each other after the Fire Nation has been knocked off their mantle.

My issue with LoK is with the planned trouble.  I feel like Korra has had to deal with more issues on a larger magnitude than Aang did.  Aman, her Uncle, and the Red Lotus.  All bad guys of superior knowledge and skill.  Not only does she have to deal with these situations, but she also has to do so with a limited amount of experience in the world.  I think the “universe” has unfairly thrown these blows at her.  In the season 3 finale, we see how they’ve caught up to her.  But viewers need to think about this.  While Aang has several challenges, most of them were not as difficult.  Aang kept running away from Zuko;  he wasn’t able to defend Bo Sing Se, so he had to run;  The only way to defend the Northern Water tribe was to go Avatar mode. etc. etc.  Most of the time, Aang did as airbenders do, and he ran to live and fight another day.  Korra… while she may be hard-headed, stood her ground and fought the bad guys, despite how much more skilled they are.  

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But my thing is… there’s only been ten episodes in each season.  It feels like too short amount of time for Korra to already have bested these bad guys… or maybe she doesn’t have a choice because the writers need to conclude the story before the end of a season.. who knows.

What I do know is… Season 4 of LoK needs to be out now so I have something to fill my Avatar void.

lemon-eyeroll

iiiiiiiiitsokay!

SPOILERS:  I will be talking about the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  If you haven’t read any of the books before Changes (Book 12), then you should not continue.

The summer is basically over, and I have not posted anything about books.  WHAT IS GOING ON?

naughty-memes-whats-going-on

That does not mean I haven’t been reading.  I just finished book 11 of the Dresden Files.

And I have some beef with Butcher.  What I want to know is what world does Dresden even live in?!

Each book has a good pace so that you get sucked right in and you can’t put the book down until 1000 chapters later.  I love how the characters interact with teasing sarcasm.. mostly because I do that all the time.  I also think Dresden can be funny… although that is rare.  But one thing has become very clear…

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Dresden lives in a world where EVARY woman is attractive.  And I mean EVARY woman.  From the women of the Fae world to the women of the mortal world to his effing 17 year old apprentice.  Dresden describes the women, and parts of the women, as hott or super attractive or some other synonymous phrase.

SONY DSC

Unless, of course, you are about to die.  Then you are allowed to be ugly.

What I mean is… the only female character actually described as ugly, thus far, is killed off.  I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER HER NAME.  But she was one of the important minor characters in Summer’s Knight.  She was part ghoul or gremlin or something.  I want to call her Gertrude or Meryl.. but that’s probably wrong.

Every other woman is not ugly.  They are either homely or fuck-able.  Neither of which are ugly.  Now don’t me wrong.  I love to look at attractive women, and reading about them isn’t any different.  I talk ALL day about how my celebrity crushes are going to walk into me one day and fall in love ;)

My-Celebrity-Crush-Seems-To-Have-Forgotten_o_100354

 

But as a woman myself, I know that the world that Dresden lives in isn’t realistic…. No shit.  There’s magic.

But ignoring the fantastical elements, the relationships between living beings is one of the few things that people can make a complete connection with when it comes to any type of fiction.  The lack of realism of Butcher’s women makes it hard for me NOT to roll my eyes every time we meet a new one.  I mean, damn.  The only OLD woman in Dresden’s life gets body-switched into a younger attractive one so that Dresden can be intimate with her.  WHAT THE HECK.  It reminds me a little of Freaky Friday…

freaky-friday-2

This is the only issue I have.  And I’m not the only one I know who has this issue.  Let me know if you’ve noticed this as well and whether it has bothered you a little bit as well.

Guacamelee: A Mexican Hero comes to Life

This is a review of the indie video game Guacamelee, based on my own experiences as a limitedly skilled gamer.

This has to be the best game I’ve played all year.  Of course, it is quite different.  Typically I play puzzle-like games… ones that don’t require me to play and deal with adrenaline at the same time XD  Guacamelee is definitely a great starter action game.  It’s mostly a button-masher, like Castle Crashers, so it doesn’t require much.  However, there is much more to this game that makes it so great.

guac1

First, let’s take a minute to appreciate the music.  I personally feel as though it is hard to screw up Mexican music.  It’s just like Polka music, with a few “ondelay!” or “ayayay!”… I mean… that’s all I hear outside.  But, the game not only captures this real-life element in the music, it also includes an element which captures the environment of the game as well.  The game is light-hearted with funny characters and relationships, and yet it is dark because of the impending doom.  I feel as though the music gets this across in a catchy tune.  I usually mute game music and play my own.  For this game, I didn’t.

Now, let’s appreciate the art.  The more I draw and the more I learn about programming, the more I appreciate all the hard work that goes into a video game.  That SH** is hard.  Especially when you’ve got to consider all the different variables involved in a game.  In other words, I am not as hard of a critic as most.  The game perfectly captured the idea we all have of Mexico: bright and rural.  The art pieces of the towns even capture, more so, the Mexican culture: chickens, mariachi band, farms, beautiful señoritas, rounded señoras, and the namesake guacamole.  I’m not sure what the style of art is… but when I google “Mexican art”, I feel like this is where the game’s style is based.  And that makes sense.

guac2

That brings up the next aspect of the game.  The plot.  Obviously, both music and art capture the concept of Mexican culture.  But without the plot, none of that would be necessary.  The plot is just wonderful.  The setting is in Mexico, which is clear by now.  But the story line involves Mexican myth/legend/lore/etc, that of Calaca.  Wikipedia states:

A calaca  is a figure of a skull or skeleton (usually human) commonly used for decoration during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. Calacas are generally depicted as joyous rather than mournful figures.  This draws on the Mexican belief that no dead soul likes to be thought of sadly, and that death should be a joyous occasion.

Those of you that don’t know anything about Mexicans should know that the Day of the Dead is a BIG celebration.  You can think of it as the Mexican version of the American Halloween.  The creators of the story have taken a symbol of death in Mexico, and have used it in a more negative manner than in real-life.  That’s okay.  Because a calaca is as much a symbol for death as the Grim Reaper.  If Scrooge can shake in his slippers when the third Ghost of Christmas to Come (who looks an awful lot like the Grim Reaper) shows up, then why can’t Mexicans shake their maracas when a walking, talking Calaca walks into the room.

you-are-not-alone

This is something about the story that I enjoyed.  The fact that the hero of the story must fight Calaca, who is trying to take over both the world of the dead and the land of the living.

I haven’t completed the game yet, because it is just challenging enough that I need to take breaks.  I’ve played up until I actually fight Calaca, but I’ve seen enough of all of this.  I give it a 5 out of 5.  You should go check it out.  Or at least let me know what you thought.

   guac3

Brand New is Brand New

Get this sh**: Did you know that “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct sentence?!  Check it out.

But that’s not the purpose of this post ;)

The purpose is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7loS7c850kM

I’m one of those Brand New fans that absolutely loved the albums Your Favorite Weapons (2001) and Deja Entendu (2003).  Then became extremely disappointed with The Devil and God are Raging Inside (2006).  Typical fan.  Angry at the change in style because it’s beyond my comprehension that style changes with the humans involved in the music.

second

Well, now that I’m older.. and I’m more willing to give things I hated at first a second chance (not quite ready to give TBS’s Happiness Is (2014) a second chance YET).. I listened to Brand New’s album Daisy, and

… ohmygod

I do have to say, what was I thinking?!  Brand New came out of nowhere with this amazing album.

great-job

It’s not quite the Brand New I first fell in love with, but it is a new Brand New with a style that is different yet still GREAT.   There is a darker tone to the sound compared to the earlier version of Brand New much like the 2006 album, but there is a slightly more chaotic sound.  And they just work together SO much.

Daisy_(album)