Ryan Davis, R.I.P.

He was the sole proprietor of cocainemountain.com. A man with an irrational dislike of pennies, and an ardent devotion to all things fashion. On occasion, he was known to travel space and time. In short, he was a pretty great guy.

Last week, Giant Bomb’s Ryan Davis passed away at the age of 34 – and though he couldn’t reconcile horse and rider, nor resist shaking the baby, he will be missed.

Ryan Davis Giantbomb

Until now, I’d struggled to understand the legacies of the likes of Peel, Cobain, and Cass. I couldn’t understand how someone could care so strongly for a person they had never met. I was perplexed by old newsreels eulogizing the departed: the iconic images of devout fans weeping and cursing; candlelight vigils and gallons of ink spilled for the sake of distant faces.

Now I’m here, spilling ink of my own.

If one thing speaks to Ryan’s influence, it’s the mere existence of this post.

Ryan Davis Giantbomb Game of the Year 2011

Ryan’s work at Gamespot and Giantbomb was a major part of my adolescence. Like many, I listened to him host the Bombcast every Tuesday – the three hours every week where he would wax lyrical about utter nonsense and somehow produce comedy gold. Remarks that he considered little more than asides would go on to become full-fledged articles on this blog, while his brand of irreverent – yet intellectual – bullshit assisted me through some of the more strenuous periods of university life. His videos pulled me out of dark places, and his words often proved poignant and inspirational – even when hidden behind the veil of poop jokes.

Ultimately, that was the center of his appeal. As dumb as a lot of his work may have been, it was always backed up by a readily apparent professionalism: the ability to reign in the drunken and the debauched and create something coherent, thought-provoking, and maybe a little bit magical. If the reaction to his death is any indication, it paid off.

Quite rightly, Ryan’s achievements are currently being celebrated across the internet. Fans of Giantbomb are collating his best moments on-screen, while a steady stream of videos and articles follow in kind to pay tribute to a journalist unlike any other. It’s just a shame it had to happen so soon.

I’ll never be able to look at a grown man drinking breast milk in the same way again. Rest in peace, Ryan Davis.

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2012 In Music: My Top Five

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I’ve never really mentioned music here, perhaps owing to the breakneck speed of that particular industry. It seems that by the time you truly learn to appreciate one release, another five hundred have come and gone in the interim, all of which are equally deserving of a stand in the limelight. I’ve always viewed music as something that warrants a dedicated blog of its own, one conducive to shorter, rapid-fire updates: something which you sure ain’t getting here.

Looking back over the year, however, I can’t help but feel that too much came out in 2012 not to warrant a quick look back. Considering this is the year that saw Psy orchestrate a successful bid for world domination, I’m surprised there were enough raw materials left to press discs that didn’t have the words ‘Gangnam Style’ printed on them, let alone to facilitate the continued rise of the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean. 2012 was somewhat of a poster year for experimental, intelligent hip-hop, but more than that, also saw the Deftones’ return to form, Carley Ray Jepsen’s dating masterclass, and the dawn of hamburger-based horror in music videos. We’re truly living in great times.

Tying in with my upcoming run-down of 2012’s videogames, it also wouldn’t be proper if I didn’t give mention to two soundtracks that, like Darren Korb’s work with Bastion last year, watered pants worldwide– Hotline Miami’s eclectic compilation of electro and psychedelica, and the ambient blips of Disasterpeace’s soundtrack to Fez. Throw money at them – they deserve it.

Anyway, here are my top 5 albums of 2012. You’re more than welcome to tell me how wrong I am, and I’m equally welcome to curl up in a ball and cry when you insult my taste. Give it a go; we’ll make a party of it. Continue reading