With the last issue of the Campus Times this year comes a brand new end-of-the-year tradition. The Emmys, the Academy Awards, Spike’s Video Game Awards, the Oscars and even the Golden Globes have nothing on the glamour and glory that await this year’s recipients of the Campus Times first annual production of the 2009 ‘Willies.”
The holidays are right around the corner and you may be lost in a sea of media, wondering exactly what is good and what is not, what music is worth your hard-earned cash and which games float to the top of the brimming video game barrel. How to choose exactly what is worth your time is a daunting task.

I have worked hard to narrow down a list of the best of the best, the crme de la crme, the upper echelons of the entertainment industry for your reading pleasure. Without further ado, I proudly present ‘The 2009 Willies” awards.

Album of the Year:
Fake Problems-‘It’s Great to Be Alive” Label: SideOneDummy Records
The sophomore album from Florida natives Fake Problems took me by surprise. To say that the album sat on my desk for several months before I finally listened to it was a shame indeed. And to say that when I first listened to it I had already decided that out of all the other albums on my radar for the year, I didn’t think that anything was going to beat this one out. I was right, and Fake Problems’ ambitious album that mixes alligator marsh land stomp and Cajun flair with the raucous energy of a backing brass band, ‘It’s Great to Be Alive” is a musical adventure that won’t soon be forgotten and reminds all listeners just why it is great to be alive.

Video game of the year:
Tie between New Super Mario Brothers Wii and Wii Sports Resort-Nintendo Wii
The only category with a tie, both of these games are, in their own way, worthy of such praise. Allowing for the finest in local multiplayer, ‘Mario” brings four players together in an all out adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom, and ‘Wii Sports Resort” utilizes the Wii Motion Plus add-on for true 1:1 motion for a myriad of sports games.

‘New Super Mario Brothers Wii” should come as no surprise, as the new Mario adventure is a classic in the making. Returning to the serie’s 2-D roots the game is not only a great one-player experience, but allows four players to play through the same game, bringing an entirely new element to the already enjoyable game. It will either bring you and your friends closer or make you hate each other for all the times you threw your roommate in the lava, but either way you’ll enjoy every moment of it. Add to the fact that the Koopalings make a long-awaited return and the game ramps up the difficulty steeply, this is a true Mario game through and through.

‘Wii Sports Resort” is the game that everybody dreamed of when they first saw the Wii controller. Using Wii Motion Plus, WSR allows for players to compete in perfectly recreated sports (for most of them, at least). Swinging your controller becomes the slash of a sword, the minute changes in your hand are reflected on screen as the paddle tilts and turns the powerful back and fore spin on the table tennis ball, and your golf swing becomes perfectly recreated as your over swing sends the ball flying off the course. Some of the game additions (I’m looking at you, canoeing) lacked the magic of the rest, but nonetheless WSR is the perfect implementation of motion controls and allows for a deep and challenging game.

TV show of the year:
‘South Park” Comedy Central
Now in its 13th season ‘South Park” continues to be just as relevant, crude and funny as ever. While this show this season did have some low points, it more than made up for it by having a Jonas Brother fight with the ‘boss of Disney,” bringing back show-favorite Michael Jackson from the dead, Cartman becoming a pirate and heading to Somalia and even having the official dictionary change the definition of fag. ‘South Park” showed that, despite the thought that they have been everywhere already there will always be something more or someone to make fun of, thus continuing to be one of the best cartoons, if not comedy shows, on television today.

Live Show of the Year:
Flogging Molly- Waterstreet Music Hall
Last but certainty not least, and not that this was any surprise, but Flogging Molly’s two-night sold-out stint at Water Street Music Hall in March tops the list of live shows this year. Bringing their Irish-influenced rock and roll, Molly has time and time again lived up to their now legendary live show and performed with an intensity and passion that rivals any
band playing music today.
Be sure to check them out when they swing by Rochester again next February (moving up in the world to the Armory nonetheless) as part of their annual Green 17 Tour.

Clark is a member of
the class of 2012.

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