Classic Rock Wednesday

“Where the Dogs of Society Howl”
#CLRW Listener here, we were sitting in the bullpen discussing this week’s Meat and Potatoes review for Rocket Man. Both of us may have different views and tastes in music but when it comes to Sir Elton John…the man is a legend and showmen of the highest caliber. I know I have said that about Freddie Mercury, but whereas Freddie was free to move about the stage and had the rest of Queen to back him up. Elton wasn’t as lucky and stationary behind his piano, leaving that his only way to emote and express his power as a performer.

Both are difficult acts to follow, no doubt about it so when I hear someone try a remake I am skeptical. That passion and heart has to be there and without it most times the song comes across hollow. Imagine my surprise when I discovered one of the best versions of the classic Yellow Brick Road I have ever heard. Her name is Sara Bareilles, a pianist and one of the most passionate singers I have seen. She has even preformed With Elton in the past and in my opinion what true heart sounds like in this modern age. To take a 46 year old song from Elton’s seventh album and bring about an emotional response is true magic. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Meat and Potatoes for Rocket Man and for your Classic Rock Wednesday I give you the best The Yellow Brick Road.
#ClassicRock #YellowBrickRoad #EltonJohn #SaraBareilles #Rocketman#TheListener #5280Geek

#ClassicRock  #YellowBrickRoad  #EltonJohn  #SaraBareilles  #Rocketman #TheListener



Smurfs High Five

#NewComicsDay Smurfs High Five is sponsored by All C’s Collectibles  by mentioning this will give you a discount at check out. Here are the #Top5 titles hitting shelves today along with his take on them. Along with these don’t miss out on the latest Savage Sword of Conan and Samurai Jack! Lots to get, lots to read and never leave a title behind!

middlewest-8Middlewest #8> Maggie’s band of nomads try to pick themselves up after a break in the storm. Meanwhile, Abel and the fox discover the forest they’ve been wandering in has been watching. (S) Skottie Young (A) Jorge Corona

Smurfs Take> Amazing story! Every issue has been a treat and have yet to be disappointed or found myself asking, “What the hell was that?”. The art is bold and fresh captivating the inner kid in me. This title has been an absolute wonder and I can’t get enough of it.




Hellboy BPRD one shotgHellboy and BPRD Best of Vargu> Mike Mignola and fan-favorite artist Duncan Fegredo reunite in this all-new one-shot! This first issue in a new era of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. sees Mignola and Fegredo send Hellboy to Romania for a pair of tales set in a small village with a centuries-old curse and a man-eating monster which culminate in a sinister puppet show and a demigod’s ill-fated dinner. (S) Mike Mignola (A/CA) Duncan Fegredo

Smurfs Take> At last, I was just thinking about this book. It feels like sooo long ago that we had a BPRD that had Hellboy in it. As much as I love the big guy on his own there is something magical when he get to work within the team dynamic.


batman 73Batman #73> “The Fall and the Fallen” part four! Batman has been defeated by Bane’s minions and chased out of Gotham. As a last-ditch effort to save his son from the lonely fate of being Batman, his father from another universe, Thomas Wayne, a.k.a. the Flashpoint Batman, is taking Bruce to the far ends of the Earth to try to give him the one thing that will cause him to give up crime-fighting for good. (S) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin

Smurfs Take> Well I can honestly say I have been seriously hooked on this story line. Every issue I’m not sure what to expect and I have not been upset at the end. Love all of the different moving parts to this story and everything that has gone on. The best part, there is a lot left to tell.

guardians 6Guardians of the Galaxy #6> The Guardians of the Galaxy vs. the Dark Guardians vs. Hela and the Black Order! It’s all out chaos, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse…with the resurrection of Thanos! (S) Donny Cates (A) Geoff Shaw (CA) David Marquez








Aquaman 49Aquaman #49> The truth about how Aquaman lost his memory is finally revealed! But can Arthur handle the shocking truth? Whom will Queen Mera decide to marry? And how will Arthur escape the jaws of the terrifying Mother Shark? The tides of changes are upon us, and it all leads to next month’s landmark AQUAMAN #50! (S) Kelly Sue DeConnick (A) Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion (CA) Robson Rocha, Danny Miki

Smurfs Take> I know for a lot of people this title has been flying under the radar. This has been a solid story for some time. I know it’s not had a lot of time in my top 5 but has been seriously considered. Right now is a great moment to get in just before the big 50th issue next month, try it you might like it.

#NewComics #Comics #Image #DarkHorse #DC #Marvel #SmurfsTake #5280Geek

Weekend Geek Update Artist Spotlight

#Podcast #WGU from Denver Pop Culture Com Smurf chats with Jon Messenger. Jon is an author who is pulling from some of his experience in the military and a great idea to create an incredible story. Jon talks about his different books, what is on the horizon, and how he came to find himself creating this amazing world.

#Interview #Author #Scifi #5280Geek

Finale Flops

What did I just watch continues as the final episodes of shows that just left us…blah advance. Is it all just going to fade to black? Will you try and just fly away or become a fisherman? Let us know and help advance the show that fizzled in the end on our Facebook page

#Bracket #FinaleFlops #FizzleFour #Dexter #Smallville #BreakingBad #BattlestarGalactica #5280GeekFinale Flops

Your Quarters Worth

Mining for Meaning

by John Andreula

edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

glitch pixels

It happened a few days ago…

My daughter wanted to play MINECRAFT, so she powered on our XBOX 360.

The console’s old, but it frequently gets use for viewing movies and television shows. Seldom does it get used these days for its primary intended purpose of playing video games.

There we were. My daughter was attempting to use the device for what it was initially coded for, but her efforts were curtailed. The game required a software update. Why wouldn’t it? It was only released in 2011, so why wouldn’t it need one now, in 2019?

Unfortunately, my fully expanded expandable memory was at too full capacity for the system to accept the download. We’ve all been there, right?


I had to come to the rescue. Who wants to see their lone precocious daughter disappointed?

Plus, it was my own fault. I’m the reason the hard drive was at max capacity in the first place. I am a data hoarder. I never seem to say no to the offers of free downloadable games, despite my increasingly less frequent gaming sessions.

I pulled up the system’s on-board memory and deleted one of the first games listed, ASSASSIN’S CREED ROGUE.

ASSASSIN’S CREED is a series that I have experience playing extensively. Each time I have tried out a new one I end up being disappointed. The stories are consistently hollow and they seem to go nowhere. This is only exacerbated by the awful endings that are awaiting those who wade through the entirety of the games.

assassins creed

Yet for some reason (because it was free, and I’m a sucker for free stuff) I downloaded this one.

After the file deletion we were in good shape. That piece of crap game accounted for over 6 GB. We now had enough free space to import the necessary data to get back on the MINECRAFT-craft.

Either the file was large, or my internet connection is slower than I realize, because the download took quite some time. I wisely moved on to some yard work while my daughter opted on watching the pot sluggishly boil.

It was somewhere in the midst of this nerdy sequence of events that I came to an unsettling realization: I probably should have my geek card revoked.

I haven’t purchased a video game or an anime in over a year, including digital downloads or expansion packs…

I haven’t made it to any cons or nerd culture gatherings in quite some time either…

And possibly most egregious of all, I still haven’t seen AVENGERS ENDGAME!


I couldn’t help but wonder What’s wrong with me? The same guy who writes columns about video games and pop culture is as out of touch and out of date as this? I am in such proverbially poor condition when it comes to my geek content consumption. How can I claim representation and the expertise required of such a role within the community?

My daughter stared patiently at the glacially-paced download status bar for a bit longer. Eventually, she was rewarded with the MINECRAFT title screen.

She immediately selected “Creative” mode. She’s a blossoming gamer, and this was a change from our past spins of the game. The previous handful of times we played in “Survival” mode. That version’s inevitable night-times and their resulting aggressive creatures intimidate her. She would end up not enjoying the game as much as she should have, and in turn was unwilling to attempt to play it without me.

I sidled up next to her and sat down at my girl’s side in front of the couch. What I witnessed tickled my nerd-senses.

“Creative” allowed my daughter a menu of unlimited resources, building materials, and in-game items. This mode was a built in cheat! It was incredible!

My daughter donned a full set of gold armor and a matching gilded ax. She proceeded to build a house out of diamond, gold, and emerald immediately afterwards. I was beaming with geeky, fatherly pride.

pink controller

Then, as any true video game enthusiast should, I asked for the controller. Previously we had witnessed some of my friends’ kids and daughter’s friends play the game. I knew there was a way to float around and build and destroy like a virtual god.

I opened the menu and uncovered a pair of “Elytra” wings. I didn’t know what they did, but they were cool. I put them on. I figured they may help us achieve my goal of her becoming a near-deity. I mashed various combinations of buttons to get our—her—character to fly, but nothing worked.

My girl grabbed the controller back from my hands. In a perfect modern world moment, she accidentally stumbled upon the command that allowed her character to float. Her avatar flew around the screen for a bit before I suggested she float up as high as the game would allow.

I had recently seen a Quora thread that spoke about kids who were addicted to MINECRAFT. Ironically, the parents and the children who were engaging in the thread, were primarily complaining about how each was treating the other in regards to time spent gaming online. A central theme was the struggles in detaching from a gaming session when real world responsibilities beckoned.

What piqued my gamer interest, however, was one troll’s passing reference to kids being able to travel to multiple dimensions within the game. I figured my daughter and I may as well take our first shot at it.

minecraft portal

The female avatar rose into the sky. She floated above the clouds. The ground slowly shrank away, and then disappeared completely from our viewpoint. We directed the character straight at the pixelated sun above her head.

We took turns rising, but never seemed to close the distance. After a few more minutes I got the feeling that our character may have been stuck in some sort of glitch.

We attempted to reverse our trajectory and head back down to the cold calculated familiarity of terra below. The return journey was very disorienting. Without being able to see the ground we couldn’t be sure we were even heading in the right direction. We had climbed so far into the virtual sky that we couldn’t be certain we were going anywhere at all.

Then, by a stroke of similarly dumb luck and accidental key inputs, our character ceased floating and plummeted back down to the comfortable familiarity of the ground.

My daughter and I both recognized what our discovery implied in terms of what we should be able to accomplish within the coded reality of the game. Unfortunately, we were unable to duplicate the condition of floating again, despite several failed attempts.

minecraft city

Next I did what any impatient borderline-millennial does in this position. I reached out to the internets. After a brief search, the spoiler and instant gratification production community provided me with exactly what I was looking for. I discovered how to reestablish our floating ability through simply double-tapping the jump button.

I also found out how to engage the Elytra wings I had equipped. They would allow us to glide around our icy, rocky mountains at a much higher, but significantly less controlled, speed.

We equipped a blank map and zoomed off. I watched as the map slowly filled itself in. We journey around and through the various locations within the game and barely made an impression on the map’s face.

It came time to bring our session to a close and disconnect for a while. That afternoon, we had spent double the standard amount of time my wife and I usually allot for our daughter to have in one sitting of screen-time.

tv off

It was a struggle to get her to turn it off.

I don’t have as much trouble as my daughter in compartmentalizing these urges. I have big people responsibilities like chores, work, and writing columns for constantly pulling at my attention and energy.

However, the following day I did feel that all-too-familiar pull to play some more MINECRAFT. I have to admit, our marathon session left me feeling that old itch as well. I’ve been thinking about sneaking in more game-play after she goes to bed, so I can build a castle in the sky.

Don’t worry, though. I’ll make sure she has ample opportunities to get her turns in as well.

The course of events, and the connection with my daughter, reminded me that I am still justified in pontificating on gaming. I still know what a quarter’s worth…

minecraft sunset

John Andreula is a geek & gamer residing in Westminster, Colorado.

Reach him for commission work or media requests at:


Meat and Potatoes

GodzillaKingMonstersI grew up loving the old Godzilla movies, something about big monsters fighting and destroying everything around them was just cool. I was so happy when the big budget “Godzilla” remake came out in 2014 because it had a lot of Godzilla and Monster fighting with plenty of collateral damage. Basically, Godzilla comes, kick’s butt, destroys cities then returns to the sea a hero. That’s what a Godzilla movie is all about. So, here’s hoping “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is that and more.

*The MEAT* The story makes sense for once in a Godzilla movie, well about as much sense as a giant lizard movie can be, I guess. But all and all, it was *Okay*

*The POTATOES* The acting was, well what can I say, it was a little *Over the Top*. The main character, played by Kyle Chandler, was a tad bit annoying with his over acting. Everyone else did an admirable job. But acting is not why you see a Godzilla movie, right?

*The Verdict* I have a very good friend that loves all things Godzilla, so I asked him his opinion on “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” He expressed his big disappointment in the fact that there was just not enough Godzilla in this Godzilla movie. And I couldn’t agree more. Especially with all the old Monsters in the previews, I feel a little *Ripped Off* that there wasn’t more Monster fighting in this film, and a little too much talking. Definitely not as good as the last film. So, save your money and wait for it to hit the small screen.