The Alaskan Pirate
Genre: Crusty pup shanty styled orignial compositions.
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement
With their album “Come Aboard,” The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen bring the listener a variety of traditional and original compositions, although most of us would be hard pressed to say which is which. Indeed, every track on this album, be it ancient or freshly written, sounds like it’s been sung by seagoing lads for generations. And what’s more, not one single track sounds even remotely “folkish.” These aren’t sea shanties as sung by an armchair sailor or children’s sing-a-long – not remotely. Rather, this is music as sung by the saltiest amongst us – those who’ve been to sea, had their fingers frozen to the oars and watched their mates get hauled below by tentacled creatures of the deep. The compositions are simple yet bold, the vocals crusty yet listenable. If Quint from the movie Jaws had a band, it would sound a lot like The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen. Continue reading
Pirates R Us
Genre: Alternative pirate carnival punk
Target Audience: Just about anybody
Some albums are meant of listening, others are meant to be dissected, considered, and analyzed. But Pirates R Us’ CD, Songs of Modern Piracy, is meant for neither – it’s to be loved. True, we could discuss the lyrics – by and large these six songs are about piracy (historical), piracy (illegal filesharing), piracy (breakfast cereal icons), and Kevin Bacon. The words are generally catchy and humorous – Ballad of Captain Crunch is particularly amusing. But every time I try to listen to the lyrics, I keep getting caught up in the music of this album. The vocals and instruments all blend together into a wonderfully whimsical mix of guitars, accordians, tubas and trombones (and something called an erhu, according to the album liner.) The net result is a swaggering russiany carnival of strangely pirate songs that are an absolute joy to listen to. One of my favorite non-traditional pirate albums of all time.
Front Porch Classics has a reputation for tabletop games that are a) expensive as all hell and b) worth every penny. They bring an old world craftsmanship to their games that makes them virtual works of art, and playing them therefore seems to feel just a bit more authentic and worthwhile than it does when breaking out the more bourgeois Parker Bros variety. But alas, sometimes economy must outweigh art, and it’s in this vein that Front Porch Classics has introduced its Discovery Edition games. The quality of these sets remains high, but the metal and wood has largely been replaced with the more ordinary (and affordable) plastic and cardboard.
Dread Pirate: Buccaneer’s Revenge is the Discovery Edition’s direct answer to Old Century Dread Pirate (truly one of the most glorious pirate games on the market.) The play area and pieces are virtually identical in shape, if not material, with the only significant difference being the cards. In the Old Century version, the goal was to plunder towns and each other, and to end the game with the most booty – fairly straightforward. But Buccaneer’s Revenge has modified gameplay, sending players forth on a number of missions dictated by drawn cards. The ultimate goal is still to gather booty, and players can still bombard each other in combat, but the additional missions serve to add a bit more variety along the way. And what’s more, upon completing missions, players earn booty and skills that they can use in the future. Continue reading