50.Grind's Gotta Catch 'Em All
I'll be blunt; I don't keep up with the news. The most I get is what I see on Yahoo!'s main page when I check my mail and whatever's being discussed on the Snopes forums, usually something about babies and puppies being clubbed to death and four pages of people saying they'd do the same to the person who did that if they ever came across them. See, despite my general pessimistic attitude and negativity, I try to look on the bright side of life, as Eric Idle once sang, but considering you can't brush your teeth or close your eyes without being informed of something devastating happening in the world, it's a bit of a difficult task. That's why I live in obliviousness of world events. Keeps me uninformed and outdated on what's politically correct, but keeps me happy!
That doesn't really have a lot to do with the fact that my dad found a hoard of CDs I thought were long gone, such as the pack-in music CD to Comix Zone, Space Hulk and the surprisingly decent port of Samurai Shodown 2, and a bunch of Pokémon stuff received from newspapers, magazines and other such reading material. I used to be a huge fan of that before I realised that it's slow pace and how much shit there is to go through wasn't quite for me, but I've already gone on one tangent, it's too early for me to do another!
Among these was a CD from a 2001 publishing of the Daily Express; I keep thinking it's from January 2001, but I couldn't find any definite information, and it's not like I remember having it in the first place, so yeah. After a nice little loading screen that's presumably just cropped from some official art...
We're brought to a fancy Flash menu screen where there are a whopping seven things to do! I'm going counter clockwise, starting from Meowth, just to be crazy. The Team Rocket minion and one of the two first generation Pokémon on the menu, sadly, gets the least exciting feature: Wallpapers.
And they're not even good ones. There's one for 50.Grind, the band whose video is clearly the highlight of the CD (saving it for last!), two Japanese wallpapers of that Pokémon jet, and one that just screams of generic quality. Because covering this thing in the first place really is kind of begging for a law suit of some kind, here's the hugest versions of each in bloated PNG format!
Cyndaquil, the most dull of the new-generation starters in my view (though that's probably just my bias for crocodiles), allows one to watch the commercial for Pokémon Crystal, which highlights the alphabetical nature of the Unown. Which is pretty weird, really, because they weren't exactly that important if I recall aside from the fact that, dude, this Pokémon has twenty six different versions of itself! Which is part of the reason I kind of grew sick of the series, because it's bad enough with two hundred and fifty of the little buggers to catch, but also them having different genders, shiny versions and those Unown variations. Good grief!
Totodile, meanwhile, gets the commercial for Pokémon Stadium 2, where a kid's posters come to life in a feeble attempt to pry him away from the total rock-awesomity of the game. I found the mini-games and ability to play the game on the big screen to be the only high points about the previous one, so unless they managed to make those features five times more rock awesome, then I suppose I can rest easy that I never got it.
But what if it did? D:
Now we're moving onto the good stuff! Togepi, a Pokémon I couldn't help but revile in the cartoon series, hosts an interview with 50.Grind, the band that are featured in the page title and the guys that made a totally, ridiculously awesome song that's probably also one of the worst things mankind has ever made. It mostly features abrupt cuts to people skateboarding and the music video so that you can't really tell whether they're still talking or have shifted to a different topic, and they mention something about the music video having to be done in twenty four hours, but almost look like they explain how they kept so active for all that time before mentioning they got skateboarders in, like a non sequitur. They do manage to actually mention what their favourite Pokémon are, which has enlightened me on the fact that, yes, Farfetch'd had a fan!
And apparently one of the guys from 50.Grind, Nick Atkinson, is also from Rooster. I'm not hip or know anything about them so I can't comment on how crazy this is.
Pichu then reduces the rad factor with a trailer for the third Pokémon movie, aptly titled Pokémon 3: The Movie, but doesn't exactly reveal a whole lot about it aside from reminding me how decent the animation was in those movies, even if I wasn't actually aware Ash died in the first one. I'd seen Ninja Scroll, so therefore death had to be blatant, not Transformers style greyscaling. But now I know, and I may actually bother getting one of them just to see what it's like now that I have sense, and perhaps for the sake of review. Possible upcoming content! Or not. Maybe I do have sense.
Chikorita, a Pokémon whose cuteness I've only recently began to appreciate, is the selection button for what claims to be the clips from the show used in the 50.Grind music video, with a loop of the song playing over it. In reality, it's entirely different clips with unsightly high video compression, and the lack of skateboarding people and grown men hopping around while shouting "YOU GOTTA THROW DAT BAWL" really makes it less amazing than it should be, especially with it being equivalent of the majority of YouTube anime music videos. Meaning it's just random clips with music over it. No subtitles or station logos, thankfully.
And this is it, the grand finale...
Pikachu, the ever popular mascot of the series and total pain in the ass to catch in the first two games, is whom you must click to be subjected to 50.Grind's musical orgasm. The CD only features the middle half of the video, missing out on the flying Pokéball nearly missing the drummer's face and flying through a skateboarder's legs, but my oh my, is it still a wondrous experience.
The song, featuring little more than "what you gotta do you gotta catch 'em all", occasionally spicing it up with "you wanna be a master you gotta throw that ball" and throwing in the obligatory mention of "pika pika Pikachu", combined with blurry, rapidly cutting footage of grown men bouncing around with musical instruments, the oft-mentioned skateboarders and completely unfitting clips from the television series, it simultaneously offends and gives sensual foot rubs to all of your senses.
With Nick Atkinson and crew bouncing up and down like pogo sticks gifted with limbs and self-propulsion when they're not break dancing on a giant chess board, interspersed with clips of the characters coughing or frowning, it provides so much incredible material that I simply cannot praise it anymore. It's that awesome. It may even have persuaded me to buy one of those new-fangled instalments! (pfft)
The aftermath, sadly, is less joyous. 50.Grind no longer exist, their official website being one of those placeholder crap pages, and Rooster have apparently split up as well. The Box, the site that the interview originated from, is so haphazardly laid out that I can't find a single thing on it, 50.Grind related or not. The Daily Express still exist, and Pokémon is still far from dead, but what's the point if it doesn't have possibly insane rockers hopping around while flinging CGI capturing devices around their stage?
The other low point is that with this information, someone is surely going to make fanfiction of Nick Atkinson and Farfetch'd getting it on. I almost hope someone does because that means I won't have to fulfil that goal myself. =(