BeanBoozled

Harry Potter fans will love this one; have you ever wished those vile jellybeans from that Hogsmeade shop were real? Leave it to the Jelly Belly people to make it so. They’ve already come out with a collection of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, which combines regular flavors with the gruesome ones made famous in the Potter books, like “rotten egg” and “ear wax.” Now the company’s BeanBoozled game offers a variety of jelly beans in different flavors, both delicious and disgusting. Participants spin a wheel to pick a color, but if you get the brown jelly bean, will it be chocolate pudding or canned dog food? Green = pear or booger? Although BeanBoozled is ostensibly for children, this would make a great Halloween party game for any souls brave enough to possibly try beans that taste like “moldy cheese” or “skunk spray.” [Gwen Ihnat]

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Let There Be GWAR

Those not paying close attention dismissed GWAR as a silly gimmick—a metal band better known for outrageousness than music. But there’s an art to what GWAR does, and it goes beyond just making records and covering fans in fake blood (though that’s good, too). Let There Be GWAR is perhaps the bloodiest coffee table book in history, filled with hundreds of color photos and colorful stories about the pride and shame of Richmond, Virginia. Even if you’re not a fan of “Baby Dick Fuck,” it’s fascinating to read about the band’s formation, trouble with the law, and overall philosophy, which is as much art movement as it is metal band. And The A.V. Club even plays a role later in the book, since the band’s appearances on A.V. Undercover were milestones, with the first appearance of guitarist Pustulus Maximus, and of course a touching tribute to GWAR’s fallen leader, Dave Brockie, a.k.a. Oderus Urungus. [Josh Modell]

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The Front Bottoms, Back On Top

“This is what I want, motherfucker, make it happen for me” is my favorite line from a song this year, and it comes courtesy of “Help” by The Front Bottoms. The New Jersey band could generally be lumped into the pop-punk world—it’s on punk/emo label Fueled By Ramen—though Back On Top bears strong Weezer and The Dismemberment Plan influences. The latter is especially prominent with Brian Sella’s vocals, which recall D-Plan frontman Travis Morrison. Like that band, The Front Bottoms don’t comfortably fit into a particular subgenre, but Back On Top is packed with hooky, cleverly written rock songs that warrant lots of repeat listening. [Kyle Ryan]

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