6 Favourite Songs of 2010 So Far (And yours!)

I've been told I have a weird/diverse taste in music, which I suppose is true. I can listen to some Protest the Hero, then some DOOM, then some Enter Shikari, some Aesop Rock, then go back for some Every Time I Die. I surprise myself sometimes with the things I'll listen to. Anyway, 2010 so far (in my opinion) has been a fantastic year for music, with new CDs from Band of Horses, Wolf Parade, Tokyo Police Club, Shad, The Black Keys, Minus the Bear, Norma Jean, Born Ruffians, The Gaslight Anthem, AND ETC. So here are a few of my favourites of this year so far. Nothing horribly offensive, so feel free to click a video, any video! :)

1. Too Afraid to Love You by The Black Keys  

       I could listen to this song any day of the year at any time and enjoy every second of it. I only really got into The Black Keys this year, and rightfully so. Brothers is a fantastic listen for anybody, and highly recommended. Dan's bluesy-ass voice gets me every time.  

2. Blue Beard by Band of Horses

   I've been a big fan of Band of Horses ever since their first album, and although the new album might not have been able to live up to the hype, I still thoroughly enjoy it and listen to it often.  Ben and the rest are still at the top of their game IMO, and the outro to this song proves it. Just a general feel-good song. 

3. What to Say by Born Ruffians

   Probably a band that no one is too familiar with. I hate using genres, so I'd say just listen to it. But if you need to categorize it, probably indie-rock or something of that nature. It's pretty unique though. Very cool video, very under appreciated band, quality music. 

4. A Good Name by Shad

   Shad proves himself yet again with a track off of his new album TSOL. I only really get into rap when it has substance to it, makes me think, and/or has a strong emotional tone to it. Shad succeeds at all of these things, while pulling off ridiculous wordplay and just being generally fun to listen to. 

5. Bambi by Tokyo Police Club

   Another Canadian indie band! Incredible album, incredible song, etc. etc. Just give a listen! :) 

6. Ghost Pressure by Wolf Parade

   I always loved Wolf Parade, because they can manage to make long songs, but saturate them to the point where you never feel bored. Love this song, and the album. 
So that's it. If any of you are a fan of my music, and know other bands that I would like, please throw recommendations at me! I'm posting this to the forum so that people can discuss what their favourite songs/albums of this year so far are. So discuss away! :)

The Battle for Grunt: My Experience with Hardcore Difficulty

 *NOTE* This Blog has early game spoilers (first 6-7 hours most likely). Also, do not post any spoilers past this point in the game...I'm not there yet.*/NOTE*
     As soon as I got this game, I imported my ME1 character and began a new character on normal. Infiltrator, just like the last. However, I was kind of disappointed...it wasn't enough of a challenge for me. I felt like I was just shooting my way through like a Gears of War game or something. So, naturally, I created a new evil lady Shepard, a vanguard this time, to play on veteran. Nope. Wasn't hard enough. So, like a moron, I started an engineer on Hardcore. Hoo boy!
    I almost died at the first mech. I think I died a few times on Freedom's Progress, too. This was perfect...the rush of battle, the quick movements, the strategy, oh the strategy! I had been doing pretty well actually, getting used to the difficulty...until the mission where you have to recruit Grunt. Note that I had absolutely NO trouble with this mission on my Normal Shepard...I think I did it on the first try , actually. This was tough. At a few points I actually ran out of medi-gel and had to finish fights as solo Shepard, my teammates lying limp beside me. At one point I went through a 15-20 minute battle with just Shepard. Stressful. Finally, I make it to Okeer, and say "Okay, time for that battle. Didn't cause me any trouble the first time, so it shouldn't be that bad." I was extremely wrong.
   I must have died at least 20 times. If you don't remember the battle, let me jog your memory. A giant mech, a lady with shields shooting rockets at you, and spawning Krogans to ruin your day? Yeah. So, my starting strategy was to take care of all the Krogans, then the Mech, then the captain. However, due to the scarce cover and the rushing Krogans, I found that the giant mech/captains blasts would put me in just the right position for the Krogan to one-shot me. This wouldn't work.
    So after trying this SO many times, I decided, "You know what? I'm just gonna get rid of this mech first." And that I did. With the help of Garrus and Jack distracting the Krogans, I put missile after missile after missile after overload after cryo blast into that mech. So once that was done, I focused my fire on the Krogans, and then the captain went down without a problem. It felt so good...so rewarding. I had overcome what I thought was an impossible battle. So although it's quite frustrating, I LOVE Hardcore mode. I'm anticipating the upcoming battles (especially a few that I found hard on normal...yikes). I highly recommend Hardcore mode for those looking for a strategic, rewarding experience (without the insanity that is insanity).
Tell me your hardcore stories! Or better yet, Insanity stories! How did you overcome insurmountable odds?
And please no "You suck, that battle was easy" comments. Everybody plays the game differently...why can't we just get along, eh? :P


Expert Mode is the way to play Left 4 Dead 2

 Just made the jump from Advanced to Expert and DAMN! Big changes!
      To put it into perspective, in expert mode, each slash from an infected takes away 20 of your 100 health. My years of studying basic math tell me that 5 hits from a common infected will incapacitate you. Yes, common infected. You know the hundreds of them running around? 5 hits and you're down! One hit from a witch and you die instantly. This sort of scared me at first. However, if you work as a team and use items when needed, then it becomes a very fun experience. Everyone has to stick together at all times or else it's over. Friendly fire is more dangerous than ever. One shotgun blast will usually incapacitate.
     Please no one take this to literally mean "You are not playing l4d2 if you're not on expert." That's not what I mean. What I am saying, however, is that expert is a completely different experience. I'm gonna be playing on this for a while. Then I'll make the jump to realism, hopefully.
My GT is Skillface if anybody wants to add me and play! Happy L4D2ing and Merry Christmas!