So, today, do to extreme boredom, I decided to do a little research, and look around and start finding parts I can use to build my own Gaming/Music Production PC. I'v been wanting to do this for a while, and learned a great deal about hardware while doing it (i'v always been more of a software guy when it comes to computers) Anyway, here is what I found, with all the little notes I made for myself while browsing around............
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 3.4GHz Quad-Core AM3 Socket - $135
So yeah, that's what I came up with. I should mention that I made the my decisions based on what I was guessing Skyrim would require (and maybe a bit more )
In short, to those that know a bit about computers, did I miss anything? Can I save any money anywhere (I literally made that "D:" face after punching all those numbers into a calculator)? Anything that could be improved, but not cost me any more money? Anything I can skip? I'm still not totally sure if the PSU is enough to power all this (it's the 1 thing I still don't understand after learning all of this over the course of a day) I also don't know if the stock cooling in the case is enough (It still seems like overkill to me, what with 3 230mm fans in the front, top, and side, and another 140mm fan in the back ) Besides that, any other big no-nos? I also have no idea when i'll have enough money to afford something like this, and by that time, new stuff will have already come out, so, i'll wait till I have enough money to build this before seeking help from the the Computer Thread, and elsewhere.
Anyway, since that blog was written, the Overture has been written! For those who are not familiar with musicals or operas (most of you), an overture is a piece of music that brings themes from many of that pieces music. This was really a sort of proof of concept type thing for me, to see if I could even have a chance of writing this thing full stop. So, there's the first eight minuets of something that is supposed to last between an hour and a half to two hours. Progress!
I still have not yet the Book of Revelations all the way through. (Exams are next week, and after Thursday, i'm free until September. Reading will be done. Eventually.) Anyway, that brings me to my next point, you can listen to it! (And perhaps give me feedback. Hint hint >_> )
(I'd stay away from the GuitarPro version. I wrote this in TuxGuitar (Cus i'm a dirty hipster who uses open source software), and I hear that GP mixes up the drums, so you may or may not hear cowbell blast beats, as hilarious as that would be. And if by chance, none of those links work, here is an old-fashion mega-upload like http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MUI62SLC
A few more things, during the really doomy part, (you'll know it when you hear it), the tubular bell sounds are place holders for church bells, and I plan to have a rain loop over it, so take that into account if you plan on listening.
Oh hello there. A bit of back story before I get to the good stuff. Anyway, a few weeks ago in my music class, we were discussing religious versus secular music, and how a bridge was formed between the two in gospel music. We also talked about Jesus Christ: Super Star, and how it made many people upset, as it was telling the story of the Gospels in a musical form (yes show tunes. Scary) Anyway, during the discussion, my professor asks some of the students in the room, that if they were to write a musical based on the Gospels, what kind of score would they write it to. I answered back Symphonic metal, because, well.....yeah, I like it.
This got me thinking. I started thinking about what this musical would look like if it were to exist. Recently, I thought about, "What if the Book of Revelations had a symphonic metal musical written for it." I basically made an :O face, and thought it was a brilliant idea. So, I have decided that I am going to (at least try) to write a symphonic metal musical about the Book of Revelations. I already started working on something that could be considered an Overture, and over the summer, seeing as i'v never read the Book of Revelations, or the Bible for that matter, that I should probably do that before getting too deep into this project. I'm liking where the music is going so far. I'v only read an outline of it on Wikipedia, but it seems like it would fit. I'm not looking to try and make money on this. It's just for fun (and that means I can stop working on it if I feel like it ).
And on the topic of music, i'm also looking to do a few covers over the summer as well. Mostly because I want an excuse to practice vocals, but also because I want to practice mixing as well. Looking to do a death, black, and doom metal cover, and something from Megadeth, as i'v been told I do a good Dave Mustaine impression . So far, looking at Dethklok's Murmaider, Dimmu Borgir's Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, Candlemass' At the Gallows End, and Megadeth's Hook in Mouth, but if that proves to be too technical for me, i'll do either Sleepwalker, or In my Darkest Hour. If you have any suggestions for any of the above categories, post 'em.
Big E-Hug for everyone that read the whole thing. (the hug emoticon is missing for blogs. Take my word for it.)
tl;dr Going to write a symphonic metal musical about the Book of Revelations. Going to do a Death, black, doom, and Megadeth cover. Post suggestions for them pl0x. So far looking at Murmaider, Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, At the Gallows End, and Hook in Mouth.
The musical genre known as Metal is a broad and fascinating subject. Since it’s birth 40 years ago, it has stirred up more trouble and controversy then every other genre of music. With its dark and pessimistic lyrical content, violent and aggressive nature, and the general feeling of uneasiness that pervades it within the eye of popular culture, it has been blamed for making kids commit suicide, murder, and has convinced many to convert to Satanism, or take in the belief of Atheism. However, many of the stereotypes that pervade it are usually unjustified and just plain false. That being said, this is still an interesting subject to study that any psychologist, sociologist, or musicologist can find something in to study.
Historically, many people say that metal was born when the band Black Sabbath launched. (2, Webster, Alex/Dunn, Sam) The exact time that people think they started is disputed. Some argue it was when the band first started playing together, others argue that it was when they changed their name to Black Sabbath. However, many people say that the launch of their first album is the official birthday of Metal. Friday, February 13, 1970 (1) is the time most point to as the birth of Metal. With the albums dark, pessimistic content, evil, brooding guitar riffs, and free flowing bass lines, this album stood as a stark contrast to the popular music at the time. This album, along with much of the rest of early metal, was heavily blues based, relying on heavy and consistent rhythms, and keeping much of the melodies within the blues and pentatonic major and minor scales. Even though blues had wide mainstream support at that time, Black Sabbath’s first album was universally panned by critics, but the album sold well. Well enough that the record company demanded a sequel.
In metal’s early phases, blues based sounds were popular, eventually, as newer metal bands came to the scene, many of them dropped much of the blues influence, but kept much of the heavy. New wave of British heavy metal bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden changed the sound of the still young genre. They added the metallic sound to the music that many associate with the genre. Along with this new sound, they evolved the writing of the songs themselves. The minor scale was and is very popular, as well as the augmented scale, and the Phrygian, Locrian, and Aeolian modes became popular in the composition of many of their songs. While still present to an extent in early metal, the new wave of British heavy metal popularized greatly distorted guitars, fast double bass drums, and just a general emphasis on large amounts of bass frequencies. (2, Weinstein, Deena)
The social aspects of metal are the things that really set the genre apart from most others. While most genres have fans, some of whom are very passionate, metal is notorious for having fans that show their love for the music in often over the top and extreme ways.(2, Zombie, Rob) The most highly accepted method of showing love for metal is the famous “Devil Horns” hand gesture. Long been associated with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, many people say that he is the one who brought the gesture into the spot light. According the man himself, it was while he was in Black Sabbath in the early 1980’s that he popularized the gesture, doing it numerously during their live shows. (2, Dio, Ronnie James) The reason this gesture has stuck around is that at the time, it was like a secret hand shake that only those who belonged to a secret society knew of. During live shows, many fans usually raise their hand(s) with the gesture. (3,4) This usually signifies that they are satisfied with the show the band is playing. It can also be used as a greeting, weather it is fan-to-fan, or performer-to-audience, and those who can convince the band to take a picture with them usually do the gesture. In recent times however, the gesture has been disenfranchised from its source material. With many pop musicians and fans using it, and it even being used outside of music now, just generally to mean “awesome” or something to that effect. However, something that has stayed truer to its roots is metal fashion. While the concept may be baffling at first thought, it does exist. At metal shows and events, an example being the recent Big Four movie, featuring popular metal acts Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica. Usually during their everyday lives, metal fans will often times wear tee shirts emblazoned with band logos and album art. It can be argued that the fans do this because they want to “show off” what bands he or she likes, or, if the band is a small independent or local band, they may wear it to give them some free advertising, even more so if the individual wearing the shirt is part of the band being advertised on it. At metal events and concerts, some metal fans can be seen sporting items such as leather pants or vests, studded belts or bracelets, so called “battle vests”, usually a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off and band logo patches sewn over it in many places. These vest fall into much the same category as the tee shirts, as the patches sewn onto it represent the bands that the person wearing it likes. They intend to show off what bands they like by going through all the work of custom making their own unique vest. Black is also the primary color that many metal outfits are based on. The reason this is because black in western culture signifies fear, or danger in general. However, it also means freedom, and both of these things are values many metal bands and fans embrace. This unofficial uniform is a popular calling card for fans of the genre.(2, Zombie, Rob/ Weinstein, Deena)
From those on the outside looking in, many see metal as “unsophisticated music for unsophisticated people.”(2, Dunn, Sam) Some call it “dangerous, sick, and repulsive.” (2, Dunn, Sam) Some believe that metal is a means to spread the ideals of Satanism to young, impressionable people. Even worse, many people see the fans as “low life’s, dead end kids. The bane of society.”(2, Dunn, Sam) Firstly, it is arguable that metal may be one of the most complex musical genres. Although, early metal was about as complex as blues, around the 1980’s, metal started to take a shift towards classical music, and performers such as Eddie Van Halen breathed new life into the genre. In fact, the metal sub-genre of Symphonic metal further proves this point, as artists such as Dimmu Borgir often have full orchestras playing, along with the traditional metal band. Secondly, the idea that because someone listens to metal, means that they are a burn out or a “leach on society” as some call it, is absolutely absurd on every conceivable level. Case in point is a man by the name of Joe Bottiglieri, a metal fan who was interviewed for the documentary “Metal: A Head bangers Journey.” At the time of the interview, he said “…I’m 34 years old, I was born in White Plains, New York, I’m an ex-Marine, I’m currently a director of technology for a professional services firm in New York City, and I’m a die hard metal fan.” This man is obviously the antithesis of the stereotype applied to those who listen to metal. This is not the type of person who sat around all day, and contributed nothing to society. The fact that he was able to make it into the Marine Corps alone proves that he is not a slacker, but then was able to find a really good job puts the final nail in the coffin about metal fans being burn-outs and slackers. (2)
In summary, we can say that metal is a genre of music with the most, or some of the most passionate fans on the planet. Its roots as a musical genre run deep, as far back as the blues and further. Along with the many passionate fans, who bring with them symbols of their passion, from specific hand gestures, to a specific style of dress that marks them different from other fans of music, they truly love it, even if that love brings them ridicule from the outside. Along with that ridicule, the music itself faces adversity form many sources. From ordinary, ignorant people who think that the music and those who write it are unsophisticated, and who only wish to see Satan rule the world, and condemn religion, and wish to see kids blow their brains out. Among those who think this are music critics who still bash the music, simply because it seeks not to sell a million units, rather it is created by people who love it for what it is and do not seek to become rich or famous from it. Ultimately, it comes down to this, as in all things in life. Even if you do not like something, at least be nice enough to respect it, and to not criticize those who do.
Yesterday in school a weird thing happened. I sneezed. Sure, not very weird at all. The guy next to me said “Bless you.” Again not very weird. However me being an atheist, I didn’t say thank you. (just like I never say “bless you to someone who sneezes, and no longer stand for the Pledge of allegiance.) However, what was weird was that this kid confronted me on it. Whispering in a semi-sarcastic voice “Your supposed to say thank you.” I could have not said anything and life would have been peachy. However I whispered back “I’m an Atheist.” Like a bat out of hell, this guy and the girl sitting next to him look wide eyed at me like I just declared myself the anti-Christ himself. (because really, as hard-core religious as most of the people are where I live are, an atheist and Satanist would probably draw the same reaction.) “Soooooo, you don’t believe in god??” The guy asks me. I replied in the affirmative. The girl sitting next to him then asks “Well, does that mean you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or Easter?” To this I replied, “Does anyone truly celebrate those holidays? Maxing out your credit cards and loading you kids with marshmallow chicks for Jesus?” Both of them got a disgusted look on there face, probably now labeling me as a blasphemer. If not for the teachers, call to quiet down for note taking, this may have continued but it did not. Still, it got me thinking.
Why are people, even kids, still seem have such ideas that everyone they see is a god loving Christian? Does the idea of a non-Christian disgust them? Are they truly ignorant? Or do they just lack the forward thinking skills required to see the world through the eyes of others? What ever it is, I’m still in a mild state of confusion that people are still thinking in this way. As little as it may have been, we still learned briefly about other cultures in various social studies classes over the years. Learned how the United States is, metaphorically, somewhere between a tossed salad and melting bowl, meaning many different cultures and ideas coexist and blend to gather to create this place that 300 million people call home. Surely at some point that thought that there are some people out there who are different then them must have crossed there minds. I know that many people are ignorant, as many examples of ignorance exists (KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, ect.) however, at least these groups do, and I’m not endorsing them in any sense of the word, acknowledge that others are different then themselves. However, rather then accept others with open arms that we as humans are all related in some fashion, they choose to exploit what differentiates us, claiming that they are better then others. It seems as if people like these two kids are nearly the same, without the true outwards signs of bigotry. Ultimately, I can conclude that true acceptance of others is still a terribly long way away, something that not even my children’s children can ever rationally dream of seeing.
I originally wrote this essay as a project for my English class. We were assigned the essay to critique a movie, TV show, or music album and turn it in for grade (you know the drill). This is my essay about Heaven & Hell's Live at Radio City Music Hall. I fell it has relevance now that Mr. Dio has left us for good.
& Hell: Live at Radio City Music Hall.
The band Heaven & Hell may not be very familiar to
most people; however, the band has very familiar roots. Better known as Black
Sabbath, arguably the first heavy metal bands ever, this is one of the most
iconic bands of all time. Although, most people associate with the name is Ozzy
Osbourne, who is notably absent from this performance, his place at the
microphone instead being replaced by singer Ronnie James Dio, who sung on three
of Sabbath’ albums Heaven & Hell, The
Mob Rules, and Dehumanizer. As
you may have now guessed, the band has taken the name from the first album that
they did together, and have embarked on a tour together under this new moniker
to differentiate themselves from the Ozzy led material. All of the songs
performed on this album are taken from the previously mentioned albums and with
to bonus songs, again, led by Dio from the compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years.
This show was recorded at the world-famous Radio City
Music Hall on March 30, 2007. Technical wise, this is a very high quality
recording of any live show I have seen! The show was shot in High Definition,
but was, unfortunately, rendered in standard definition for playability in most
commercial DVD players. Even so, there is certain crispness to the picture.
Many small details, such as the winding on the guitar and base strings, are visible
on close up shots. The smooth frame rate is also a nice bonus. Audio wise, the
quality is very near the same. The mix is spectacular with no one member
overshadowing any other at any particular time. The vocal are crystal clear
with very minute details audible, the guitar absolutely roars with life, the
base isboth clicky and thumpy, the
drums absolutely pulverize, and they keyboards, while subtle, come across with
the proper effect that they had in the original studio recordings.
Now it is time for a blow-by-blow with each song, in
order that they are played in one the recording.
An instrumental track the band plays before going on stage; it has a very eerie
feel to it, and defiantly sets the mood for not only the next song, but for the
rest of the show in general.
(The Dead): A single spot
light shines on stage a left-handed figure walks out, and begins playing a
minor key riff. Soon a bass line follows with the drums when the lights turn on
and the first line of the first riff shakes the crowd awake. Rather fine
examples of this bands easy ability to craft moody and just damn evil songs,
this is an excellent opening piece from the bands back-catalogue. Performed
with such perfection that even the most extreme of perfectionists would be
whole heartily jealous.
Mob Rules: After a quick announcement of the next
song, a mighty guitar riff plays in just the nick of time, so well timed it’s
spooky. A rip-roaring tune that’s sure get the funk off the excess creepiness
left over from the last song, this is one that is sure to catch anyone’s
of the Sea: A an upbeat but slower paced then the
last song, this is just about as straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll as it gets. With
some very soulful lyrics, this one goes above and beyond the level of
Evil: Starting off with a funky bass riff, this clearly
blues-inspired song is another good song in this set list. Although not very
well known, it is a crowd favorite
Clearly one of the most metal songs with a fast and chugging riff and not one
but two blistering solo’s, and some very dark and deity like lyrics, this is a
fine example of the groups broad examples of many styles of music.
of the Southern Cross: A Nearly nine minuet long epic,
that follows a sad and soulful to hard rocking’ then back again for most of it.
Many would argue that this is a song and a half and it certainly seems that way
as this is one of the most unusual but creative pieces all night.
Another clearly blues influenced piece, it speaks of the evil that is inside
everyone, and does so brilliantly. Even better with the fact that this is a
special extended version for the live performance, with an extra verse, guitar
solo, and even a mini jam session. All great fun.
Devil Cried: One of the new songs of the
compilation, this is a strange song with one of the goofiest opening lines ever
penned in a song: One fine day, in Hell!
That line went. It also set the rest of the song up with its equally goofy premise
in that if you can make the Devil Cry, he will let you go to heaven. With some
very cool riffs and solos, this song is a highlight of the album.
Solo: As far as drum solo’s go, this is one of the better
ones that I’ve heard. While most tend to revolve around how fast the drummer
can hit the drums, this one had a very cool grove about it. The last third of
it even had some spooky keyboard accompaniment. In actuality though, this drum
solo was mostly used (I think) for the singer to change in to a new outfit, and
also to signal a change to a darker tone for most of the rest of the show…
…And no sooner did it arrive then with this song, about how the increased
dependence on technology will ultimately hinder us as humans in the long run. Ironically
enough it has all kind of come true since that song was written back in the
off the Edge of the World: Starting off as a slow, sad, and soulfully
sung piece with some clean guitar, it eventually ramps up and becomes an
absolute monster with a “call to arms” type of feel lyric wise. A unique piece
for this band and a very cool track.
of the Wind: A track so enigmatic that the band
literally dares the audience to guess what it means before they begin to play
it. This dare is certainly well founded as the lyrics are very obscure and
different, but what’s not is the music itself, slow doomy plodding and just
plain awesome, it’s a wonder that the indoor venue didn’t become an outdoor
venue from the sheer power of awesome.
Solo: A beautiful show case for Mr. Iommi’s talent as
both an incredible talent guitar player in both his technicality and ability to
create haunting melodies.
Young: A spectacular piece that is sure to provoke thought
in anyone with its ominous message of death at an early age, this piece is a
highlight of the show, and is also a good contrast for the song that comes
& Hell: An over 20 minuet long extended version
of the original six and a half minuet studio version hit, this is the crowning
jewel of the performance. With two new verses, a jam session, and two improve
solo’s this is the defining track for this album.
Today is Sunday, May 16, 2010. Ronnie James Dio passed away earlier at 7:45 am. An incredible legend he was, he left us with so much to love him for, but still had so much to give. I find it sad that he left us in the midst of his writing of Magicka II, and that a new Heaven & Hell album was in his future plans as well. One can really on speculate on how these works would have sounded. Knowing his track record, i have no doubt in my mind that what would have spawned would have been another masterpiece from the man.
Whats even more sad is that this will get no mention outside of the metal community.
With the mainstream media still (really: they are) talking about MJ's death, i can't help but think that no one shall care about the passing of this legend, despite his incredible talent and writing ability, simply because he was associated with metal, not a damn person will care. I don't know how metal is looked at outside the states, but i can guarantee that this is how it will go down in the mainstream media.