Friday, October 29, 2010

Thing You Might Like: Nanowrimo

Hoo boy!

Nanowrimo - or National Novel Writing Month for long - is an ingenious annual event which takes place from November 1st to November 30th. It'd appeal to all you budding (Heh.) young writers out there, looking to get some pages under your belt.

The challenge? To write a 50,000 word novel in a single month.

It's a great idea, emphasising quantity over quality. Just getting all your words and concepts down on a page all at once, then cleaning it up afterwards. Writing a novel is one of those things that too many people want to do but never end up doing, so participating in a mass challenge is one way to motivate yourself to get it done. Who knows? Maybe you'll get picked up. You'll definitely get an inimitable sense of accomplishment. Even if you don't finish, you'll still have something to look back on with pride.

Basically, give it a look. You might like it!

And if you had no vested interest in all of the above, here's a song.

It's like warmly melting in electric marshmallow paradise.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Artists You Might Like: Dhsu

If you like:

-Videogame music
-Sombre sombreness

then you might enjoy Dhsu! So read on.

There's a lovely website called Overclocked Remix which hosts plenty of videogame remixes. Dhsu is a musician who posts his artworks there.

He reworks classic tunes into tranquil arrangements that have that similar quality to Hans Zimmer's work: they make you feel something; usually nothing in particular, just emotion. It's also rather excellent chill music.

Here's a few stellar tracks. This one's all Mario Karty.

Download here:

This one's my favourite. GrayLightning helped out with this one. If you have fond memories of giving the dusty cartridge the "kiss of life" before booting up Ocarina of Time on your 64, this song should earn bonus points in your books.

Download here:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Activities You Might Like: Paintball

There really is nothing in the civilian life that can be compared to the primal fear that is aroused when the instructor asks who has been here before and your motley crew of first-timer friends sit on your sweaty palms while surrounded by grizzled 40-somethings, hands raised.

For those less informed, the game/sport of paintball consists of people running around arenas with guns that fire small balls of paint (DURR) at deceptively painful speeds. Your only protection - depending on where you play - is a visor and a grill for your mouth.

When playing paintball you can generally count on three things:

1. You will be scared.
2. You will be bruised.
3. You will enjoy it.

The adrenaline rush that comes with being let out onto the course and the instructor yelling that the match has begun is immeasurable. Where I played, you could shell out a few extra dollars if you wanted to upgrade from semi-automatic to automatic and when you heard the roar of that mechanical lion you stopped whatever you were even thinking about thinking about doing and hid wherever you could. People generally stop shooting when you've been eliminated - hit - but with the automatic they will not stop. Many, many bruises. I couldn't use my left leg properly for a few days as a consequence of an ill-timed rush.

Bolting from cover to cover, inventing creative new curses as you stumble across the uneven ground before sliding behind a slightly-too-small tombstone as paint spatters off the corner is absolutely intense and I recommend it to anyone who is vaguely interested by this review.

You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Albums You Might Like: Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

Hit 'em up if you have a passing interest in:

-Atmospheric music (?)
-The Jesus and Mary Chain

Another hit from the nineties; you'll probably see a pattern forming among my recommendations. Whereas the eighties was an era of over-the-top madness and self-absorption (with GOOD music, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise), the nineties was characterised by both an interest in the guitars and technology of the eighties as well as emerging genres that were undeniably utter bullshit.

My Bloody Valentine thankfully do not fall into the latter category.

Somewhat notorious for their impressive noise levels that warrant complimentary earplugs being handed out at their concerts, My Bloody Valentine led what has been termed the "shoegaze" genre. Their creative abuse of instruments and machines result in a sound you really aren't going to hear anywhere else - especially not after one of their 130 dB Holocaust Sections. But you will definitely want to.

Here's my favourite track off the album.

tl;dr version: If there were another plane of existence, this band may have composed its soundtrack.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Albums You Might Like: Adagio - T.H.C.

Check 'em out if you like:

- Chilling
- Trip Hop
- Relaxing
- Female vocalists
- Chillaxing

Alright then. T.H.C. were a tragically short-lived band from Los Angeles that developed, perfected and ditched their sound from 1996 to 1999. They didn't release too much. This album, Adagio, is one half of their entire offering of full-length albums.

Our good friend Wikipedia once described Adagio as "sexually-charged electronica" and this is perhaps the most accurate three-word description one could create. The only thing that I can really compare them to off the top of my head is Massive Attack's Mezzanine, but even that isn't quite proper.

The tracks generally fall into two categories. In one, the bass swirls with Folkman's voice to form a hypnotic trance of a piece. In the other, Folkman's vocals are absent yet the songs still grab your attention; not violently, but subtly. You know it is happening but you don't mind.

Here's Unsaid Warning. It's a quality opening to a quality album.

tl;dr version: if you're on this blog, chances are you'll like this album.

Just to clear things up.

Many blogs deal with the day-to-day lives of their authors. Now, I'm completely fine with this. They have interesting lives that make for interesting reads. Unfortunately I don't think my life can compare with all these others, so for the now this blog will be me recommending you things. I'll try not to steer you (too) wrong!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do What You Want

Think hard about what you have done today. Have you got everything you wanted to do done? How about things you didn't expect you would accomplish?

Extend that to, say, the week. What did you do? What didn't you do?

Now, maybe, your life. What do you really want out of your time here?

The purpose of this exercise in pretentious wankery was to have you evaluate your existence. We spend a flickering of time here and you must get the most of it. When I was a child, my parents shelled out a few bucks to take us to a fancy cafe for breakfast and I would have died if it weren't for the archaically-trained waiter executing the Heimlich Maneuver. I had completely forgotten about the experience until just the other day when a car, cruising through a red, clipped my backpack.

We don't have much time here. How do you make the most of it?