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Archive for June, 2009

Just a thought. (With accompanying ramblings)

June 30, 2009 4 comments

So that CD I wrote about yesterday came with a DVD of the making of the album, which I watched today. Its basically just 40 minutes of interviews with the band, and some footage of them recording.. Oh and the first half is really about the new drummer, Steve Forrest, who’s really great btw! Good move Placebo!

But what stuck out to me most were the interviews with Brian Molko. I’d never actually seen or heard the guy speak before so it was quite a surprise. Something about him really creeps me out. I’ve never thought of myself as a homophobe, I don’t agree with homosexuality for biblical reasons, but I’ve always respected them. I’ve even got some friends at varsity who are gay, but he really scared me. And he’s bisexual. Its just his manner, he’s very effeminate, but has a kind of aggressive undertone. Very dark. But somehow at the same time I’d be fascinated to meet him. Maybe its just the human condition car-crash-syndrome thing. (You know the feeling:when you drive past an accident, and can’t help but look..)

All this left me wondering about prejudice.. I’ve always felt like someone’s actual sexual preferences don’t really matter when it comes to forming prejudices, ‘cos the way I see it, its just sin like anything else, like any kind of lust, that can, and should be overcome. My God is bigger than that stuff! Its more about the way someone carries them self. The glaringly obvious ways in which they differ from you or me. In which case the fault would seem to lie with me..

This doesn’t quite seem to cover it though, and the alternative is a little harder to accept.. The thing is, the outward expression has to come from some inner something. This is a much scarier though, that if my outward reaction is based on that person’s outward persona.. Then perhaps it really is a reaction of something inside me to the devil staring out of him..

I don’t know if I explained that quite right, like it was in my head.. But its a start. I’m also not sure how I would react to meeting someone like that in my life.. Certainly interesting to thing about though.

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Battle for the Sun

June 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I got the new Placebo album this weekend..
I don’t really know what to say about it, which means I probably have a LOT to say about it.. Lets see where this goes…
On first listen I was VERY disappointing. I Don’t know why. Maybe it was just how I was feeling at the time, but I was just really unimpressed by the album. I’ve since listened to it three more times, and my mind seams to have changed COMPLETELY! I’m really loving it now.. There’re some great songs on here..

There are a few issues I have with it though, that I picked up on the first listen and kinda distorted my opinion of it.

Firstly:
I don’t like how it starts! This may sound stupid, but I suppose that’s probably why I hated it when I first heard it, which says a lot for first impressions. It opens with a song called Kitty Litter. Its an odd song to me, because I love aspects of it (Especially that little a cappella bit: “I need a change, I need a change, I need a change of skin!”, which is one of my favorite moments on the album) but something about the opening riff doesn’t sit quite right with me.. It could just be the guitar tone, which is otherwise great on the rest of the album, but just sounds too compressed here. The song kind of comes in all at once, but it seems to trip over itself in a toe-stubbing move that as I said earlier creates a bad first impression of the whole album for me..

Secondly:
Molko’s lyrics just don’t seem to stand up to his previous work. A lot of the songs just seem really amateurish, which sucks, because usually I love his lyrics. For example, track 5, Devil in the Details starts off:

I’ve been wasting all my time,
With the devil in the details.
I’ve got no energy to fight,
He’s a f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
And he’s fixing up to take a bite,
I don’t see the point in trying,
I’ve got the devil in the details.
He’s gonna teach me wrong from right,
That f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
I’m gonna dance with him tonight.

Its not even the swearing I’m opposed to (although I probably should be), it just feels really disjointed, and a lot of the songs on the album have a similar feel.

Thirdly:
Some of the arrangements just feel uncomfortable. Its not something I can explain in words, its more of a feeling thing, and some of the verses especially feel a bit forced.

These sound like small things, but one the first listen to any CD I’m usually very judgmental. I generally pick up on all the little technical details, sometimes for better sometimes for worse.

There are however a whole lot of really great things about Battle for the Sun. The recording is excellent (although a little clinical at times, which doesn’t compliment the raw character of the music.. That’s another problem I had with the album actually come to think of it..), the new drummer is AWESOME, the string and brass sections make for a very interesting sound-scape, along with a lot of great synth! (Yay synth!!), and in contrast to the lyrics, Brian Molko’s voice is possibly even more genuine and real than the last album, and some of his melodies are just genius! Songs like Battle for the Sun, Speak in Tongues and Kings of Medicine really stood out to me..

The packaging of the CD is also absolutely amazing! It comes in a little hardcover, bound book, with 20 pages of great artwork, photography, pictures of the band and lyrics, with the CD and a DVD of the making of the album slipped into the inside sleeves of the cover. Definitely one to make you buy the album rather than pirating it off the net. (Which is what good album art should do!)

I’m still not entirely convinced by it, but its definately a good album, by a great band! The problem is though, that great bands should be producing great albums.

Hell that was a long post!!

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Fire Escapes

June 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Been messing around with Fruity Loops, trying my hand at arranging some oldish songs I wrote maybe six months to a year ago..

Its really fun.. Composing piano pieces, drum beats, guitar parts to spice them up a bit..

Well here’s one I’ve been working on since about Thursday last week (when I wasn’t playing Sims 3!!), Super stoked with how it came out! There are a couple little problems, like the third verse fading out completely! Dunno what happened there! Oh well..

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2288469&dest=-1]

Sweet!

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Direct Link to songs

June 19, 2009 2 comments

Ok. Great!

In a previous post I was complaining about how I couldn’t upload songs directly onto my WordPress, and so I went the LONG way round and created a Myspace music profile and everything just so I could link it.. But you still just get a like that a visitor has to actually click on, open a whole new tab, wait for that to load, find the music player, play the song… Yeah. Lame.

But I’ve solved the problem. Here’s the link to the song:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2273163&dest=-1]

Yeah. Just like that! So much better..

I thought it would probably be of interest to anyone with the same problem I was having to know how I did that.. So here’s what I did.

The thing is.. That extra cash for the video-whatever upgrade is only for the extra hosting facilities. (I think) So it seems you’re allowed to embed audio files, just not host them on WordPress. Suppose that’s kind of obvious now I’m writing it down, but anyway..

1. First I had to sign up for a hosting service. I used Blip.tv. Its a free video hosting site for episode based TV shows.. Actually a pretty rad site (I was browsing while the file uploaded).

2. This is pretty obvious.. But you’ll need a file to upload.. I recorded with Audacity. Yay Open Source!! And I’ve got some other software for editing and VST stuff.. But this one was just a quick demo..

3. Upload the file, and when you’re done.. Blip.tv gives you options for cut-and-paste, one of which is specifically for WordPress.com.

4. Paste the code into the HTML section of your word pad of a new post.

Nice and easy.. (BTW I assume this works for videos too)

Stoked!

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Left Right Left Right Left

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Everyone loves free stuff right?
There’s just this kind of thrill I get when I get anything for free.. Open source software gets me particularly amped, not having to pay for software that does the same thing as something I WOULD otherwise have to pay for. Great! Yeah.. But anything really. I’m talking about ligit free stuff.. Not stolen stuff/piracy. (Which is a different thrill altogether! =P)

What am I talking about?

Coldplay have just (well maybe not just) released a live album called Left Right Left Right Left.. And its totally free.. No, not Bittorrent free, but Coldplay official website free!

Leftright

To be honest I was never really a HUGE fan of Coldplay.. But their new album blew my mind.. I bought that Prospekt’s March Ep Edition, which was basically Viva la Vida with a whole extra CD with like 6 new songs and a couple remixes.. For the same price as the normal CD!

Such great guys!

But something about their new sound is just so fresh, so exciting.. They sound like some little indie band that no one else should know about.. And yet they’re winning MTV music awards and stuff. Sweet!

But onto the live thing…

The album sounds amazing! You’d expect them to release some crappy little old club set with awful quality recordings and awkward crowd interaction.. But its not! The sound is crisp and full, and its really well mixed, which is usually the biggest problem with live recordings: The sound man generally thinks that, to get the best feel of the live performance, the recording should get pretty much the same mix as the show.. Which is ridiculous.
But this sounds fantastic! And they do some really great songs, some new stuff, and some of their absolute anthems, like clocks and fix you, not to mention Chris Martin is a great front man: Not too talkative, but just enough to be entertaining.

I’ve been listening through it now as I write this, and I’m on the last song now, so I think its about time to stop writing. The album ends on “Death and all his Friends” off Viva la Vida, with that really great little piano bit.. But they’ve swapped it around and now play it on guitar.. I really love it when bands do that, mix their songs up for a live recording, they do quite a bit of it on this album, which is great because you just get slightly different songs to listen to..

Super stoked! Well worth the 54 megs of capp! =P

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Time off..

June 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Wow it feels good to be on holiday!!

Now I finally have some time off to do all the things I wish I could do during the term.. Like write music!!

I’ve been doing some little home recordings lately. Its a really cool feeling to commit something to tape (well, hard drive), I dunno, I can’t really explain it unless you know it. Its kinda like the feeling you get in primary school when the teacher pins your little crayon drawing up with everyone else’s from the class, and you just think: Hey! That’s me up there!

Crayon

Its just kinda cool when you’re listening to your ipod on shuffle and every now and then one of your songs (no matter how bad the quality), comes on..

I write quite a lot.. Not for a while, because of Varsity stuff, but usually I do. I write mostly for my band, which I just restarted after a bit of a break (We’re STILL thinking of a name), but I also write a lot of folky acoustic songs, and sometime last year I started messing around with loop software, producing some electro kind of stuff, which is pretty fun too actually!

The acoustic stuff tends to sound like this:

Hiroshima Sunrise – Myspace

Sorry.. I tried to upload it straight onto WordPress, But you have to buy an upgrade to host music. Sigh. So I made a quick Myspace profile.. There some more songs here:

Hiroshima Sunrise – Facebook

Demo

If you enjoy them please let me know..

UPDATE: Click Here to find out how to embed music directly into WordPress.

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Stumble?

June 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m bored.

From the slew of open tabs on my browser, its obvious that, where this boredom could have evolved into something productive, it simply landed in a dead end of Facebook, Myspace and the almighty StumbleUpon

One more click

The only reason I’m writing this at all (apart from simply for something to do), is to give fellow Stumblers something vaguely amusing to look at(is it wrong to submit your own blogs?), because so far tonight I’ve been getting mostly really lame stuff.. And I get really annoyed when that happens!

In my current position, this amused me too..

Venn
From Dispair Inc.

Yeah.. Just as I thought..

So now you’re probably asking the same question as me..
What am I still doing here?

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Categories: Blogging, Internet Tags: ,