Tag Archives: Music

SSR #6: “Moaning Lisa”

Intro

Introduction:
During the first five episodes of The Simpsons; we’ve had two Bart episodes, one Homer episode, and two family episodes that you could qualify as Homer episodes. However, as far as the Simpson females are concerned, we’ve not really had much of a look at Marge, Lisa or Maggie yet. All of them provided relatively small supporting roles in the previous episodes and roles that could arguably be seen as unnecessary in moving the story forward. However, those times are a thing of the past as we have our very first Lisa episode today! “Moaning Lisa” debuted on February 11th, 1990 and was the sixth episode written and aired for the first season. The chalkboard gag is “I will not instigate revolution,” and the couch gag involves the family sitting down on the couch with Maggie popping out and Marge catching her as she is falling.

Sad LisaTeacher: “Lisa, we are playing dodgeball here. The object of the game is to avoid the ball by ducking or weaving out of its path.”
Lisa: “In other words, to dodge the ball.”

Plot:
The episode starts with a very glum Lisa Simpson. She’s very slow at getting ready for school, doesn’t seem very amused in her family’s morning antics, and lets her father and brother eat the last of the remaining cupcakes; claiming that one cupcake will not bring her any happiness. Later at school, when trying to express herself through her saxophone playing, her music teacher, Mr. Largo, scolds her for not following the instructions. Then to top everything off, during gym class she doesn’t seem to be in the mood to play dodgeball for the sole reason that she is ‘sad.’ Lisa’s teacher sends a note home telling her family about Lisa’s sadness.

The family doesn’t seem to understand why Lisa is feeling this way, and tries everything they can to make her feel better. Even Bart tries to cheer Lisa up with a prank phone call to Moe’s Tavern. However, all of their efforts don’t seem to lead anywhere. The only thing that seems to put her mind at ease is music and playing the ‘blues’ on her saxophone. While practicing, Lisa hears another sax playing in the distance and sneaks out of the house to follow the sound. This is where she meets a fellow sax player and jazz musician “Bleedin’ Gums Murphy.” They exchange words and then start playing together into the night. Meanwhile, after having dreams about how to help Lisa, Marge notices that Lisa is missing from her bedroom and follows the music to find her at the bridge and take her home.

The next morning, Marge tells Lisa some advice her mother once gave her; to smile and never stop smiling, even if she doesn’t feel like it, as it will be the key to making friends and getting other people to like her, thus making her more happy. Lisa tries this, but the other kids start trying to take advantage of her and her smarts by asking her to do their homework, and Mr. Largo makes a very demeaning and sarcastic comment in regards to her musical outburst the other day. This upsets Marge and she immediately pulls Lisa back into the car. She tells Lisa to forget everything she told her to do a few minutes ago and that if she wants to be sad, than she should be sad and let her mother do all the smiling for the both of them. This finally strikes a chord with Lisa and she starts to smile, saying that she finally feels like smiling.

Meanwhile, while this is all going on, Homer has his own little story for this episode. Yeah, you could call this the first Simpsons episode that has a “B-Plot” of sorts, or a story that complements (or just featured alongside of in some cases) the main story of the episode. In this particular B-plot, Homer is on an amazing losing streak with Bart on their “Video Boxing” video game. Homer’s constant losing is starting to affect him to a large degree, mainly with him having nightmares of Bart beating him up, so he decides to pick up some tips from the local video game arcade. He trains with a kid who teaches him everything he needs to know and challenges Bart to one final match.

During the match, Homer finally starts to do well and is about to knock-out Bart for the final blow, but before he can perform the final move, Marge comes into the room with Lisa, unplugs the video game system, and tells Bart and Homer that Lisa wants to do something the entire family will enjoy. Bart takes this instance to announce his retirement from Video Boxing with an undefeated record while Homer sobs that his golden moment was taken away from him. The entire family goes to the Jazz Hole where Bleedin’ Gums Murphy is performing the song that he and Lisa played the other night, ending the episode.

Undewear ThingMarge: “Bart’s such a handful, and Maggie needs attention. But all the while, our little Lisa is becoming a young woman.”
Homer: “Oh, so that’s it. It’s some kind of underwear thing.”
Marge: ” *murmurs* Good night, Homer.”

Personal History:
I had to have seen this episode at some point in my life, but I can never recall if it was from a clip show or the actual episode. I was very aware of the Bleedin’ Gums Murphy character and his relationship with Lisa, how Lisa looked up to him and how he was one of Lisa’s biggest inspirations when it came to music and playing the saxophone. However, I might be thinking of “Bart’s Dog Gets An F” in Season 2 where Lisa stiches an image of Mr. Murphy into the family quilt. Regardless, that is a plot point that has always stuck with me regardless, which I guess makes this episode a little iconic, in a sense.

One thing I would like to point out though is that, as a kid, I did own (and still probably do own) “The Simpsons Sing the Blues” album. This was basically a CD that features around 10 or so songs sung by Simpson’s characters. Most of the songs were original songs made for the characters, and some of them were actually used in animated music videos for the show as well, like “Do the Bartman” and “Deep, Deep Trouble.” A longer version of Lisa’s song in this episode, from her jam session with Bleedin’ Gums Murphy, is actually on the CD, and that was something I always enjoyed about watching this episode; finding out where that reference came from. I think at the end of this post I’ll include a link to the song or something, but yeah, I felt like mentioning that.

Bleedin' Gums“The blues isn’t about feelin’ better. It’s about makin’ other people feel worse and makin’ a few bucks while you’re at it.”
~Bleedin’ Gums Murphy

Favorite/Memorable Moments:
This is definitely an episode that relies more on emotional responses and character development than on jokes and humor. However, there is definitely some humor that can be found here still. Whether it’s the return to the Moe’s Tavern prank call joke, where Bart uses the name “Jacques Strap” (for jock strap), or the silliness of the sub-plot of Homer going to an arcade to get tips for beating his son at a video game, there were definitely some laughs to be had in this episode. The fact that Homer is becoming so scared of his son because of the video game is priceless, and the scream he makes when waking up from the nightmare is probably one of the best Homer screams of all time. I also think this episode features a really good Maggie joke where while Bart and Lisa are trying to get Maggie to choose which sibling she likes best, and in what will be classic Maggie humor, she chooses the television over the two family members. I think my favorite joke though is at the end of the episode when the family is listening to the song Lisa wrote. The family is just sitting there, listening to and enjoying the music, and when the song gets to the line about Homer acting like he belongs in a zoo, Homer just pauses for a second, realizes what was just said, and exclaims, “What?” in just a hilarious fashion.

I think the greatest individual moment of the episode though is when Marge finally realizes what she needs to do to make her daughter happy, and it’s by letting her daughter express herself in the way she wants and needs to, and by not trying to fix or change her. The advice she tried to give to Lisa; about smiling no matter how you feel…I never quite understood what the writers were trying to go for with that until very recently, and a large part of that realization is due to this retrospective series, where I’ve started analyzing these episodes a little more and seeing these things in different ways. At this point in the episode, the family has tried numerous times in trying to get Lisa to feel better, all of which have not been successful. The only thing that has been successful is Lisa’s expression through music, something the family has not really understood yet. So at this point, much like her teachers, Marge and Homer are telling Lisa what to do and how to feel, which just doesn’t work and is, if anything, the root of her sadness in the first place. When Marge sees how badly her suggestion is doing, she realizes that she was wrong and tells Lisa that it’s fine to feel sad if she feels that way, and that makes Lisa happy because she has that control now and she can use that sadness to further develop her music, in which she is very much invested in. It took me way too many years to realize that, but I am glad I can finally understand it now, because it does increase my overall appreciation for this episode.

Jazz Hole“I got a bratty brother, he bugs me everyday. And this morning my own mother, she gave my last cupcake away. My dad acts like he belongs, he belongs in the zoo. I’m the saddest kid, in grade number two.”
~Lisa’s Song

My Review:
I feel like I’m hitting the review section kind of early here, but after thinking about it, I really don’t have much else to say about this episode. To be quite honest, going into this retrospective, this was probably my least favorite episode of the six I’ve taken a look at so far. I feel I must stress that it’s not because I think this is a bad episode, by any means; this was just an episode I was incredibly neutral about. It’s nice they went for a more emotionally driven plot with this episode, but I guess for me growing up, I was definitely more about the humor than the emotional responses. These days, since I am well into my adulthood now, I can look at these episodes with a bit more understanding and more of an open mind. I’m not saying all kids are like this, heck, there were probably some kids out there who could relate with what Lisa was going through, but for me, I didn’t grasp all of that at first, and I’m glad that I do now because there is definitely a solid story here.

With that being said though, I wouldn’t say that I’m completely turned around on the subject. I definitely appreciate this episode a lot more and it’s nice to see the start of Lisa’s character development (especially after focusing so much on Bart and Homer on the episodes before this), but like…I wouldn’t be surprised if people start to lose interest during the middle of this episode. It’s kind of like “There’s No Disgrace Like Home” in a lot of respects, where it has some great moments, but they are towards the end of the episode, so you will only feel the impact of those moments if you stuck around and didn’t change the channel or turn away beforehand. And for that, I do see that as kind of a weakness for this episode despite the good moments that it does have. Also, the sub-plot with Homer and Bart, and the videogame? Although not the worst B-plot in the Simpsons’ history, it is very weak and doesn’t really complement the main plot of the episode that well. I honestly would have rather seen Homer and Bart try (and fail) to cheer up Lisa more and maybe come to a similar realization like Marge did, but in their own elements and in ways that would better benefit their individual character relationships moving forward. I ultimately feel like the writers were trying to stuff more jokes and gags into the B-plot because the A-plot was so emotionally-driven, but because of that, they prolonged the emotional moments and if anything made the episode a bit less focused on the main plot, which probably cheapened the overall experience.

However, the Simpsons will go on to do many emotional episodes in the future, particularly ones involving Lisa, and I have to say that the stories do not disappoint. For a first season episode and attempt, I will give props to the writers for going through with this story, because I do think it’s an important episode moving forward. It’s important in the sense that it helped make The Simpsons not just a cartoon show with jokes and gags being delivered every few seconds like Looney Tunes, the Flintstones, and Tom and Jerry, but also a show that focuses on delivering a good story and some emotion alongside the humor. And with that, let’s let our little girl of the Blues, Lisa Simpson, play us out as we close this episode.
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Have to admit, this was a fun episode to look at because it wasn’t an episode I truly appreciated until much later on in life. It makes me curious to watch the rest of the episodes from this season, especially in the near future, because we have some episodes coming up that I’m not the biggest fan of and I kind of wonder how I will feel about them when it comes around to this retrospective. So yeah, I’ll see you guys next week for another episode, and maybe at this rate, I may get a few more finished before my vacation after all.

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Question Corner #13 – 2/21/17

Question Corner #13 - 2/21/17

Ok guys, it’s time for another Question Corner. I don’t really have much to say here, so let’s just get this show on the road!

As usual, if you would like to submit a question of your own, you can do so here; at the contact page. Just make sure the question is appropriate, has some substance to it, and is nothing too personal (don’t ask where I live or what my family’s last name is, basically).

Q: Which Sonic game was worse, the Game Boy Advance version of Sonic the Hedgehog or Sonic the Hedgehog 2006?
A: I have not played either, but I’d probably say the GBA port of Sonic 1, just because of how bad it looks, how slow it is, and how crunched in the screen was. Sonic 2006 was definitely an unfinished bad dream, but at least there was “something” there, despite how broken it was. There was really no excuse to make a classic game like Sonic 1 look and play so badly.

Q: Would you ask your future father-in-law permission to marry his daughter?
A: I consider myself an old-fashioned guy, but not that old-fashioned. At the end of the day, I think the daughter’s opinion holds more value than the father, since she is the one making the decision. I do think it is important though to have a good relationship with the father, if you are going to marry into the family, but at the same time, he shouldn’t be the one making the decision either; if that makes sense.

Q: Do your parents enjoy playing video games?
A: My dad enjoys playing games every now and then, but he only sticks to Civilization and basic computer games (like Hearts and Spider Solitaire). My mom is even less of a gamer than my dad, but she did get into a tablet game once that involved killing zombies with bombs and other projectiles.

Q: Will you do Top 10s and lists for the handheld Mario Party games, and will you do skits for them as well?
A: At some point, yes, but not for awhile. As far as skits are concerned; I’ll consider it, but to be honest, I thought a lot of my skits were pretty dumb honestly, so I don’t see them returning. We’ll see though…

Q: Where would you like to go on vacation?
A: It’s a typical, unsurprising answer, but to my usual vacation spot in Orlando, Florida at my mom’s timeshare. I just love going there every year and it’s just very nice to go to our home away from home and relax for a week! Really don’t need to go anywhere fancy…just to a place where we can relax.

Q: What do you make of the Donkey Konga games?
A: I’ve never personally played them, but they were made at a time when rhythm gaming was picking up steam, so it’s not really surprising that they were made. They seemed pretty interesting though and games I wouldn’t mind trying someday in the future.

Q: Are you a fan of heavy metal?
A: I don’t know…it’s a little too heavy. It hurts my back whenever I try to lift it. In all seriousness, no, I’m not much of a metal guy. I can tolerate it sometimes when it comes to bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of it.

Q: What is your opinion on GiivaSunner and his high quality video game rips?
A: Click Here

Q: What is your ACTUAL opinion on GiivaSunner and his high quality rips?
A: Real talk, I love his high quality rips. Listening to them last year and checking his channel every single day for new videos was always a good time I had with my friends. My favorite ones were ones that involved the DK Rap, Snow Halation and of course, good old FLEENSTONES!

Q: Do you think HAL should make a Kirby game like the 3D Mario platformers, or keep his games in a 2D format?
A: It’s a tricky thing with Kirby, because his gameplay style just seems to work very well in 2D and I don’t really see how it could in 3D. Not saying it’s impossible…I just can’t see it. I imagine it could be done though, but all of the newest Kirby games have been great in my eyes and I would like to see them create more of them.

Q: Who are your favorite video game composers?
A: David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Koji Kondo are my favorites for sure. I even had the pleasure of meeting and getting autographs of the former two.

Q: Do you find it sexist that Ocarina of Time has more female sages than male sages?
A: No.

Q: Did someone seriously ask you that last question?
A: Yes…

Q: Do you think Mario Party is the best party series that exists right now?
A: Yes, definitely. Say what you want about Mario Party 10 and Island Tour, but even those games can lead to enjoyment and I just haven’t been able to have the same joy with any other party game.

Q: Would you want to see more Sonic characters in Smash Bros., like Tails and Knuckles?
A: Yes I would, and those two are probably the only two characters I would like to see. They are pretty unique with their own abilities, I can see them controlling in unique ways, and they are good characters.

Q: Do you have any favorite cartoon shows aside from the Simpsons?
A: I am a very big Futurama fan as well. I’ve also watched a lot of South Park as well. In recent years, I’ve also started watching MLP: Friendship is Magic and Steven Universe, so those shows are the ones I feel most strongly about, in a good way.

Q: What do you make of leaplings?
A: I feel no different about people born on February 29th than I feel about any other person that is born on any other day of the calendar year, whether it’s Leap Year or not.

Q: What new games are you looking forward to playing in 2017?
A: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are already very strong front runners.

Q: Now that Mario Party DS and Wario Land 3 have been done, what is the most requested game for you to Let’s Play on your channel?
A: Pikmin 3 is easily the biggest request I have right now and it will probably remain that way until I do the game. The only thing is….not really sure when I want to do it. I did a stream playthrough last year, but I want to play it again before I feel comfortable playing it in an LP format, since I did have some issues getting through the game.

Q: What’s your favorite Michael Jackson song?
A: My favorite MJ song is either Smooth Criminal or Billie Jean.

Ok, I think that’s it for another Question Corner! Thanks for reading guys and remember, if you want to ask a question, go to the intro of this episode where I have a link to the Contact page!

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SlimKirby’s Holiday Name That VideoGame Tune – 12/23/16 @ 4:00 PM EST

SlimKirby's Holiday Name That VideoGame Tune - 12/23/16 @ 4:00 PM EST

Introduction: Hey guys! I’m hosting a Video Game “Name That Tune” competition on Friday, December 23rd 2016 at 4:00 PM EST at my SlimKirby stream channel! This competition is heavily based and inspired by Odinspack33’s competition that he hosts on his Twitch co-op channel, Ami_Bros. I did another competition like this in October and due to its success, I’m bringing it back for a special holiday edition, this time with more notice beforehand and more songs, which means more competition!

Concept: The concept is quite simple. I play a song, and you guys try to guess what game it is from. The fastest (and correct) users will get points for answering correctly and at the end, I will crown a winner. Don’t expect any rewards though, as this is merely for fun. I just want to test you guys and see how well you will do.

Games: Any video game console, handheld and PC game is eligible to have songs in this contest, and some series will no-doubt be covered multiple times. However, no single game will be used twice. Also, these are all games that I have played at some point in my life. There will be songs from games I have Let’s Played, but there are also a lot of songs from games I have NOT Let’s Played. I also tried to pick only a small number of songs that appear in my stream grinding playlist, and the ones I picked should be very recognizable tracks anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much of an advantage for anybody.

Songs: When I am getting ready to play a song, I will mute my microphone and let people know in chat when I’m about to start playing the song. I’ll let the song play for about 30 seconds (maybe longer to account for twitch delay), so during that time, please post in chat what you think the song is from. After I stop the song, I will mute the audio again, write down who got the question correct, and then move on to the next song. After every 5 songs, I will recap the answers and who got points. This will continue for 64 songs. The last round will only be 4 songs, but may be 5 songs if needed…

Answers: There are a couple rules you need to keep in mind when answering.

a)Only the first 3 correct answers will be accepted and will get points. The first correct answer will get 2 points, while the following 2 correct answers will get one point. There will be a cut-off though for how long I accept additional correct answers, just to prevent copy/pasting and cheating.

b)You only get one answer, so only your first answer will be accepted if you answer multiple times.

c) If you don’t know the answer, GUESS! Sometimes you would be surprised how often your guess would be right, just by knowing certain styles and sound fonts of music.

d) You are answering with the game where that music track FIRST appeared in. Songs that are featured in subsequent games (unless they are remixed) will not count. Super Smash Bros is a big example here. Make sure you know the difference between original songs and remixes. If it’s a Smash Bros. remix, answer with the Smash Bros game, but if it’s the original, unchanged song, answer with where it’s from.

e)A correct answer must have correct spelling. If you spell something wrong, or make an accidental typo, sorry, your answer will not count. However, you don’t need to have exact punctuation. So don’t worry about colons or hyphens if you don’t include them. I’m also flexible when it comes to spacing as well.

f)Give full titles! Name abbreviations and acronyms are not correct answers. Example: Don’t shorten “Super Mario Bros. 3” to “SMB3” or “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” to “Zelda: OoT.” You need to spell out full game answers, only exception being the following subtitle rule.

g)Subtitles are unnecessary unless they differentiate the game in question. Example: All “The Legend of Zelda” games NEED their subtitle because if you just say “The Legend of Zelda,” that could mean the original game or any of the other games that have subtitles. However, “Zelda II: The Adventure Link” doesn’t need the subtitle, because there is only one “Zelda II” so “Zelda II” would be an acceptable answer. For another example, “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest,” an answer of “Donkey Kong Country 2” is acceptable. You can still type out the full names, but you won’t get bonus points, and are potentially missing out on points by typing out more than necessary.

h) Roman numerals and numbers can be interchangeable, so “Final Fantasy 8” and “Final Fantasy VIII” are both acceptable answers. The only time this would matter otherwise is if the game needs the roman numerals to differentiate from another version. For example, “Mega Man 3” is an NES game while “Mega Man III” is a Game Boy game.

i) If a game is on multiple gaming machines and has a slighty different soundtrack or is a different game entirely, like the console and 3DS versions of Sonic Generations for example, you don’t need to differentiate between the two versions if they are named the same. Both games are called “Sonic Generations.”

j)Stick with North American names only. If you live in a different region and are used to calling a game by a certain name, I may make an exception in that case, but only if it would give you a point otherwise. The answer is whatever it is on the box or game disc.

Cheating: If you are caught cheating, you will be timed out. Any further cheating will result in a disqualification or a ban on my stream channel. No exceptions. This is for fun and there are no prizes involved, so don’t cheat. Unfortunately, since this contest will rely a lot on the honor system, cheating can’t be policed very easily, but in my experience, cheaters usually slip up eventually, so just don’t do it.

Lag and Stream Buffering: If you are experiencing lag or stream buffer during the event, my only advice would be to refresh the stream or reset your router/connection. In between rounds, pause the stream and play again to get caught up for optimal performance. If you continue to have problems, there is not much I can do because unfortunately with streaming, there are a lot of factors that affect performance, like twitch servers, my internet, your internet, or sometimes just random luck. WHATEVER YOU DO THOUGH, DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT LAG OR TWITCH DELAY IN CHAT. We know it’s frustrating, but it can be ridiculously annoying watching someone complain about it over and over again. If you make a habit of complaining, you are risking a timeout or potential ban.

My Screen is Law: Sometimes, it may show you answering before someone else on your screen, but sometimes, due to people answering at the same time, on my screen it may show a different result. Whatever it shows on my screen is what is correct, even if it shows you first on your screen. That’s the only fair way to do this.

Common Courtesy and Respect: During the event, treat all individuals; streamer, moderators and fellow competitors with respect and kindness. Do not insult anyone and if you think someone is cheating, let the moderators take care of it and not yourself. If you have a problem with the contest and think something was done unjustly, address it in between rounds and we’ll discuss it before moving on to the next one.

I think that’s all I need to address. The only other thing I can think of is just to have fun and a good time listening to video game music with other like-minded gamers! See you then!
~SlimKirby

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