- The Washington Times - Friday, September 24, 2004

Each month the Browser features some pop culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free, interactive sounds and action.

Timeless Replacements

One of the bands that helped define the power punk scene with reckless abandon in Minneapolis during the 1980s lives on through its original record label’s Web site. Twin/Tone Records (www.twintone.com) brings the rawness of a live concert experience via “The Replacements” to folks with a broadband connection and patience to deal with no less than 16 free, multi-megabyte video downloads.

Shot in 1981 at the 7th Street Entry Club, the inebriated, out-of-tune antics of Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, Bob Stinson and Chris Mars came to life with reckless abandon as they plowed through such tunes as “Careless,” “Johnny’s Gonna Die” and “Rattlesnake” off their album “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash” and even a version of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” and Larry Williams’ “Slow Down.”

These roughly 60 minutes of pure rock ‘n’ roll require Apple Quicktime 6.0 to view and a damp cloth to towel off from the energy being emitted from the computer screen.

Cyber heroics

Movie theater screens heat up this Oct. 1 with the release of the John Travolta- and Joaquin Phoenix-fueled, firefighter drama “Ladder 49.” The film’s official Web site (https://ladder49.movies.go.com/main.html) features pages that literally burn open across a user’s browser screen. Unfortunately, they contain far more flash than content.

However, two sections are worth a look.

First, The Station provides a virtual walk around a firehouse as Mr. Travolta narrates the work done in the Watch Office, Engine Room and Locker Room.

Hot spots accessed with the click of a mouse explain the intricacies of the ladder firetruck, as well as such firefighting equipment as the self-contained breathing apparatus and the kevlar jacket with built-in alarm to find trapped colleagues.

Second, Everyday Heroes gives visitors a chance to post personal stories of their real-life unsung heroes and read about over 50 acts of courage.

Ge-Net-ic mutations

“Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” the live-action sequel to Capcom’s zombie-killing video game franchise, took a bite out of box office receipts in recent weeks as star Milla Jovovich killed various carnivorous creatures bent on overrunning Raccoon City and the world.

Fans of the series will enjoy a stop by the film’s official Web site (www.re2.com) to take on the virtual role of an Umbrella Corporation scientist in the business of creating mutated monsters.

A visit to the Laboratory begins the ghoulish task as players must genetically splice together two species’ DNA at the cellular, skeletal, neurological, muscular and mind levels. By carefully selecting the creatures, chemical compound catalyst and proper portion of experimentation points, they can unleash a character H.P. Lovecraft would love.

Completed hybrids can be assigned a three letter code that automatically posts them to the Resident Evil Web site for all to admire. Those requiring music to conduct their madness by can also listen to the entire “Apocalypse” soundtrack featuring the bands Slipknot, Deftones and the Cure.

Hold the Yo-Yo Ma

Music has merged with fast food in a new cross-promotion sponsored by Burger King, America Online and Musicnet. Through Oct. 3, anyone buying an original Whopper sandwich not only adds 700 calories of flame-broiled fun to their midsection, but also receives a code to download one free song from the Have It Your Way Web site (www.haveityourway.com or https://bkmusic.aol.com).

Whopper lovers can choose from a catalog of 700,000 tunes by artists ranging from the Velvet Revolver to Tony Bennett to Johnny Cash. The songs can be played on PCs through version 9.0 of the Windows Media Player, duplicated to CDs up to five times and transferred to a portable music player accepting the Windows Media Audio format.

Burger King has put out 43 million song-collectible Whopper wrappers, and redemption codes are valid through Oct. 17 or until participants explode from overeating.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send an e-mail message ([email protected]washingtontimes.com).

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