Thursday, December 25, 2008
Jetswatch Week 17: Them boys have screwed up so much in the West Coast - they lost to the 3-11 Seattle Seahawks of all things - that they've lost their #1 spot in the AFC East, now competing (tooth and nail) with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots in a triple-threat situation. In order for the Jets to make it to the playoffs next week, they will need to win against the Dolphins Sunday and hope that the Buffalo Bills claim victory over the Pats. There's so much hoping and wishing involved that I just don't think this will end favorably. To simply hope that the Pats lose to anybody these days is stretching things. We'll see what happens on the 28th.
Joy to the World: This spot reserved. ETA most likely December 26th.
Bye-bye, Xbox: My 360 was shipped to the repair center this past Tuesday. NO it's not a red-ring. Rather, it's a bad DVD-ROM drive. Just a few weeks ago, it just stopped reading discs to the point that maybe after 10 attempts I'd get a game or movie going. I already miss it and hope that I can finish something for another console (friggin Baten Kaitos!) before it comes back. I want to get back at Caprici Di Diablo!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
On my first try, I did get about 10% into the song! I was amazed at that because I simply didn't know the opening blitz of notes off-hand. I practiced for about 10 mins and just took a shot at the song again, still rusty. My results are in video form, below. 21%! Once I get better at the verse (where I failed) the song should be manageable, as it does slow down a bit before going back to the verse. By the way, the lovely lady in the framed photo is my fiancée.
PS I'm working on some holiday music to perform with the choirs at my church on Sunday. I'll post a video of a rendition of "Joy to the World" in a few days.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Dragonforce played at Irving Plaza two days ago. The show was amazing! These guys, if you don't know, have a history of playing live drunk as all hell and being out of tune, among other things. I went to this show a bit skeptical and thinking that it might not blow over so well. Boy, was I wrong; And thankfully so! Herman Li and Sam Totman were nuts; they knew their guitars so well that they could pretty much do their taxes while playing. They talked to each other, made funny faces, jumped around, ran around and interacted with the crowd (Herman crowdsurfed while playing a solo) to make things very entertaining while listening to music so fast, it could get a speeding ticket. ZP Theart sounded very good and there were many people who knew the words to the songs so he had a nice back-up from the crowd. Near the end of the show he was showing signs of fatigue but he sang well overall.
Vadim Pruzhanov was also very entertaining to watch. He pulled out a neon green keyboard ax-thingy (I have no idea what the real name of that thing is) and rushed stage-front to play solos alone or with the guitarists. He and Frederic Leclercq (the bass player) spent some time playing solos in the middle of the set. Only thing is, Fred was playing some killer lead guitar! I thought his multitalentedness was especially intriguing. The drums, played by Dave Mackintosh, were mindblowing. I really can't grasp how people can play so fast, precise and for such a long time! The set was 2 hours long and included many hits from their three most recent albums. They did an encore which comprised of "Valley of the Damned," the single off their first album, and "Through the Fire and Flames."
Images and videos abound below! Enjoy!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Brett Favre is certainly forming a fantastic connection with his receivers, in particular Lavernues Coles, resulting in stunning TD catches and some excellent short and long-range connections. Leon Washington is a joy to watch as he shuttles down the field, evading opposing tacklers. Thomas Jones is quite simply a tank, charging into the line and blasting through the pocket to make some yards or simply eat away at the clock. The Jet defense, while I can't really drop any names, is performing much better than many previous years that I've been watching the team. They're forcing fumbles, stopping drives and making interceptions. Sometimes, though, they let the opposing teams just run all over them and make quick points late in the game. Maybe they just get really tired after all that earlier ownage. Really, though, the attention is on the offense and their growing communication and utilization of their combined skills to get the ball down the field.
I'm feeling proud of the new Gang Green, and I hope their continued success brings them Super Bowl rings, or at least a spot in the big game. Oh, what the hell... to victory!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Ready, set, GO!
Mind you, I ate nothing for probably 18 hours before eating this meal. My two sides were mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese - not too filling if I may say so myself but it's got some weight to it. My drink of choice was Dr Pepper, but I like a good Dew any time. I got about this far into the meal before finally calling it quits.
That's half a biscuit, half a strip, snacker bread and half of the mac and cheese. All very, very cold. Makes me a little sick just looking at this pic now (lol). I'm no fan of original recipe and I think I would have cleaned up if it were extra-crispy. I also didn't feel much like a guitar hero before, during or after the feast.
What do I rate this box meal? A hearty 7/10. I wish I had vegetables with this, but KFC isn't really known for its greens, yellows and reds. They were out of vegs that night, so maybe them greens are quite popular? Anyhow, would I buy this again? Sure, but I just wish they had it in extra crispy. Does this make me want to buy Guitar Hero World Tour? Nahh.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wow. Just, wow. I was blown away by the epic skills displayed by Yngwie Malmsteen Sunday night. Like a stark, raving mad man I howled my lungs dry as I marveled at the speed of his hands and the wail of his guitar as he powered through song after song. Energized by a quite mind-swaying mix of beer and liquor, I managed to shrug off four hours of sleep and the heat produced by the standing crowd to snap several not-so-great pictures (it was really dark and the lights heavily saturated the scene) and some pretty awesome (in my opinion) videos. Here, I will share these with you, so that you can take part in my witnessing of a man who 90% of guitar players (or more?) can't measure up to!
|Yngwie Malmsteen 10-26-08|
You may notice in the videos some utterly insane character screaming and possibly singing along with a song or two. That would be me; yes, I will be blushing each time you hear me go "Wooooo!" in each video.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- The band has a new drummer and we're working hard to get two singles out by the end of the year.
- Death Magnetic is absolutely awesome. I tip my hat to Metallica and Rick Rubin for coming out with their hottest metal album in 12 years!
- I'm all set to see Yngwie Malmsteen in October, Dragonforce in November and Metallica in January!
- At the time of this writing, the NY Jets are owning the Arizona Cardinals (4 mins left in the 3rd Quarter) and are reaffirming my hope that Brett Favre will get the team somewhere this year. Unfortunately, the Cards are rallying in a comeback attempt that I believe will fail (score is now 34-15 Jets)
I'm going to be writing some more solos in the coming weeks and will have some video to present very soon; provided that I have enough energy, that is.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I used to work at 43 Park Place, a small building near the 2 and 3 train station of the same street name. It was located adjacent to a bar and a bit further down was Burlington Coat Factory. The World Trade Center was about three blocks away, give or take a street or two. I worked in web programming for a fashion news web site. Being that I was a college student, I didn't have to work every day; things revolved around my school schedule, naturally. This day, though, I was previously scheduled to come into work.
I'm not sure as to whether I was supposed to come in but called out or was told that I could work from home that day, but one of those reasons put me home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn instead of on the streets of lower Manhattan. I recall receiving a phone call shortly after the first tower hit from my mother, worried that I might have been there. I quickly turned on the television to see the second tower's impact and from there the story has been set in history.
This event did affect me like it affected many hard-working citizens of New York City and beyond who survived this tragedy. Thousands were without work and income while having to provide for themselves or loved ones. I managed to receive some aid from the Red Cross after a long, cold and lonely winter's night wait at a Chelsea pier to be one of the first in line. Things certainly have permanently changed for me as a result of this event and has for countless other people. My heart goes out to those who have lost and have suffered as a result of reckless and selfish individuals.
Many months later, I (and my singer, Tyrone) wrote a (heavy metal) song about our abstract feelings related to the event. It's called Diary of Disaster and for your ears only I will share our collective efforts with you. Special thanks go to the bass player of my old band, Rene, who laid down the bass line in this recording.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Enjoy! Leave comments, dammit!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Also on the Metallica site is their music video (or short film, as they say) for the song The Day That Never Comes. The point of the video slightly escapes me - it seemed to revolve around war in the middle east but the first half focused on a hardship and the second (I think?) focused on perceptions between soldiers and civilians. I like the quality of the presentation and the song definitely rocks for me now. The actual point though... confusing!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
- It's a damn near 8 minute song that, while a very good listen, just doesn't give me that blast to the past that was claimed by the band. It could just be that this song isn't super-fast, of course. It's a bit on the heavy side musically (later in the song) but every track on UA would trump this.
- I was really hoping that the first single out of these guys was going to show up all the naysayers. I don't really see that it will have that effect. It sounds very St. Anger era but has the potential to be an awesome live song. Lots of clean, moderate guitar and a good vocal melody.
- The last 2 minutes, as stated by many, are really great to listen to. I loved Kirk's solo and look forward to hearing some great stuff on the album. Harmonies rock too.
- It could just be the sound quality (low) from the stream but the song itself seems to just lack in power. I'll peg it up to the low quality of the stream and make a final decision when the album releases.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
So many things can happen with this team... actually, only three things:
* The Jets will win many games, making this trade mentioned in the link above a wonderful choice.
* The Jets will lose many games, making this trade mentioned in the link above a disasterous choice.
* The Jets will do much better than they have with Chad, but won't garner much attention.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Summer's done in about 51 days (34 days unofficially).
I'm hitting vampire status (working overnights).
Metallica's new album, Death Magnetic, is a month away.
The Summer of Finishing Games is in full swing.
My guitar is still not fixed.
zOMG Too Human is actually going to come out this month! It's been in development for what, 10 years?
Leos are out of control. As of this writing, I count eight birthdays of family and friends to celebrate.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a month away.
That is all. It's time to save up some money, if that's even possible with the state of the economy!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Guitar status - still haven't sent to the shop due to financial issues. I feel like buying another guitar but you know... financial issues! Que sera, sera.
My birthday's coming up! Sunday, it is. I hope that I can enjoy my birthday weekend in a relaxing and stress-free environment, with lots of fun attached!
Err, umm... my band still rocks. We're hastily working on getting our live thang together and I think we could actually have our first show next month. We have also a majority decision on a name, but I'm not sure if it's going to be official, so I won't drop it here.
That's about all I got for now. I hope to add an update before my birthday. With video.
UPDATE: Here's a video of me playing the solo I wrote for one of the band's new songs - Vuelo Letal!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
PS - I'll be getting my guitar fixed by next week, the latest! Videos will come soon!
Monday, June 16, 2008
They played songs from 1980 - 1989, although they cheated and played Fear of the Dark, from their 1992 album of the same name. All of the songs were great hits with the sold out crowd. I personally screamed by vocal chords weary and had a great time.
The pictures below are from the show. The camera died before the end of Powerslave, which was smack in the middle of the show. Basically if you were to loop these images another time, it would practically be the second half of the show anyway as there wasn't much else to see (except a great redux of the Eddie Sphinx and mummy from the Live After Death tour (circa 1984-85) and a monstrous cyborg Eddie (from the cover of Somewhere in Time - see below). Enjoy!
Steve Harris, the band's founder and kick-ass bass player, put his daughter on the stage as the opening act and while her group wasn't bad, it just wasn't something you'd see me listening to. I took a couple of pictures of that show (literally two, I think) just as test photos.
|Iron Maiden at MSG 6/15/08|
Friday, June 6, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I must admit that I had trouble waking up in time to comfortably make it to the airport for my flight, scheduled for 12:15PM. I work nights and must balance sleep and after-work activity. I did hope that I could squeeze in as I had no luggage and only a Zune and cellular phone to pass through the x-ray scanner. Unfortunately, I arrived at the check-in line at 11:55AM, putting me in front of a representative at about 12:03PM. Our conversation went something like this:
Delta Rep: "Hello, there!"
Delta Rep: "Where are you going?"
Me: "Going to Washington, D.C. ..."
Delta Rep looks at the Itinerary for a second
Delta Rep: "No you're not."
Delta Rep: "This flight has already boarded."
Me: "It's boarding?"
Delta Rep: "It's boarded."
I panicked for about 0.09135 seconds, then thought: "Well, I'll get there somehow. It will be a bit late, but I'll get there!" We managed to work out an alternate flight for no extra charge to Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport, leaving at 12:45PM and arriving at 2:00PM. It seemingly worked out for me because I was to land in DCA at 1:45PM and the Delta rep told me BWI was the closest airport, "not too far away from Reagan." The next flight to DCA was at 3:50PM which would land me at the time I'd have to be flying back. I promptly contacted the guy who was to pick us up at DCA but he didn't pick up; I left a voicemail during one of the six or seven hastily re-dialed attempts.
I decided that I wouldn't miss this substitute flight and just manage when I get to BWI. The flight was 40 minutes long - I couldn't even finish an Iron Maiden album (Somewhere in Time) before we touched down. I even thought they turned around and went back to JFK! After landing, I got in touch with him and determined that BWI was, in fact, too far from DCA to pick me up and make it to Virginia on time for the event. the solution was to get a van from BWI to take me to McLean. I never thought I'd be doing such interstate traveling but I just had to make it. Found a SuperShuttle, plopped fitty-five on the ol' CC and waited 20 minutes for it to arrive. An hour and 40 minutes and two passenger drop-offs later, I arrived in McLean.
During those 100 minutes I enjoyed the "sites" of Washington, D.C. - the street traffic, crazy cell-phone using drivers and long, narrow highways. I saw on one highway that there was a divider on which a train passed over; very cool! I also took a nap as I had very little sleep the morning of this trip. I was called several times to give updates on my trip; I felt really bad about being late and really thought that I was being a nuisance as a result of being in this circumstance. They at the home took it very well and were eagerly expecting me to arrive before the event ended.
When I arrived, there were two elderly ladies who had been on the van for longer than I (almost 3 hours) who commented that I had "rich friends." I let them know that they helped me get through college and promptly exited the van. I was pleasantly met at the door and finally united with my peers and members of the NACME team! (cue Final Fantasy battle fanfare music here)
I downed a hefty glass of merlot, discussed details of my trip and caught up with everyone while taking pictures. I felt kind of special when I arrived because of the very positive reaction to my appearance, and I thank everyone for their kindness. 20 minutes later, it was all over. We returned to DCA and flew back home (1 hour flight - seemed like 10 minutes).
Overall, I enjoyed my day and didn't really mind spending the extra money to get there. It was completely worth it. I enjoyed talking with everyone and had a great time!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is a pretty fun game so far. It's a massively multiplayer online RPG (adventure game) set in the world now ruled by Conan (played in movies by the Governator formerly known as Arnold Schwarzenegger). It's similar to other games of this type where you run errands for people, kill monsters and the like. What makes this game unique is that battles are real-time. Instead of clicking on an enemy and waiting for your turn to attack, you press keys on the keyboard to slash downward and toward the left, right and center. Later, you can open up the ability to slash upward and left or right if your class allows it. It really makes the game more interactive and entertaining. Graphics are very purty and the inner workings of the game are pretty complex. I also like the world of Hyboria a lot, while not being a fan of the Conan series.
I should find some time to get some practice in and post some videos. Maybe I'll finish up the Phantom of the Opera cover and pretty it up. Just gotta learn the solos.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Here are a few things that I fooled around with, live and with MIDI.
First, here's a short orchestral track I wrote containing trumpets, violins, a viola, cellos, a tympani and a flute. This was inspired by the many beautiful scores written by Nobuo Uematsu, primarily known for his compositions used in the Final Fantasy games of the past. Written in March '02.
This one's an introduction to a concept song that I wrote in 1999 and would still like to publish. It's tentative title is "Crusade" and is based on a medieval fantasy land where a war is waged between an overworld kingdom and demons of the underworld. The drums and bass are MIDI and I recorded two guitars on this. The intro depicts a battlefield scenario - it feels very intense!
"2 Your Memory," a short song in remembrance of all those who have passed on to the next life, afterworld, or any place we believe our loved ones go to when life ends. Recorded with four guitars. If I ever record this song for real, it would be played with three guitars and a bass and drums. Kind of like the original MIDI, originally written by my best friend and I in 1998.
Finally, I've got a "controversial" track from 2005 called "I Am He (Messenger of Satan)." It's really just my take on songs from bands like Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Venom and what not. It's got a nice groove to it, I think. The ending is very Mercyful Fate-ish (<3 Hank Shermann). It's only recorded with MIDI drums and a guitar, but with bass this song would sound so much better! I also have some "funny" lyrics for this song.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I also did about 10 minutes of a jam along with the backing track that Matt of Genetically Different did earlier. It's on my cheap guitar because I was short on time and needed a guitar with standard tuning. I think my playing was pretty good, but could certainly be better and use a bit more variety. Here's a minute or so sample of the jam.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
For those who can understand, here are my PC specs:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ (3.2 GHz Dual Core)
eVGA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
2.0 GB DDR2-800 RAM (Kingston brand)
Sound Blaster X-Fi (Xtreme Fidelity) Xtreme Audio
Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA2 Hard Drive
Lite On 20X DVD-RW drive
CoolerMaster Centurion+ 534 case with CoolerMaster 500W power supply
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
...And half an Iron Maiden cover.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Also, I managed to catch Snakes on a Plane and have time to watch the thing in almost its entirety - I missed the first 17 mins (boo hoo). My impressions and observations:
Note: Edited due to wanting to expand my audience (lol)
- A girl got bit on her nipple, much like a baby would attack a teat. Hilarious.
- An old lady got her eye bit off. Hilarious.
- This one woman went to barf into a bag and a snake jumped out and bit her tongue. Ultra-hilarious and unexpected!
- A man went to pee, got bit on the junk from a snake hiding under the rim of the toilet. He proceeded to bash his head on the mirror above the sink and wipe his bloody head on the wall as he died. Hella funny.
- This one cold-hearted businessman decided that to save everyone from a python (fell out of a light fixture), he'd throw this girl's annoying toy dog to it for lunch. After berating the old fogey, he said something like "It's just a dog! It would do the same thing to us!" Moments later, he was the python's dessert.
People who didn't die from snakes:
- This dude got trampled and a woman's high heel got lodged into his ear! Nasty and painful!
- People started getting impaled after falling off the stairs (stairs on a plane!?) when the banister broke off. This one guy got paled in the jugular! Raw! (lol)
Samuel L. Jackson said:
- "Well, that's good news - snakes on crack." After hearing about the snakes possibly aggro after being exposed to pheromones that women may be wearing.
- "Turn left! Turn this big mother****er left, Troy!" Yelling at Troy (played by Kenan of Kenan and Kel fame) when he had trouble stopping the plane after landing.
- "All praises to the Playstation!" After landing, thanks to Troy's flight sim game skills.
- Of course, there's the ever-famous: "Enough is enough! I've had it with these mother****in' snakes on this mother****in' plane!" That was said approximately 1 hour and 27 minutes into the movie.
One thing I didn't know about snakes: they can climb stairs! I'm not talking about any old stairs, but those that are disjointed, like spiral stairs. Let's just forget for a moment that these were CG snakes.
Finally, no black people (i.e. African-Americans who had lines in the movie) died! Is this a first for the horror genre?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The next video is of an exercise also from Rock Discipline. It is a left-hand speed and accuracy exercise based on the fourth inversion of the A major scale. The lesson involves slowly fitting the notes into the spaces of the metronome as eighth notes (two per click), then moving to eighth note triplets (three per click) and sixteenth notes (four per click) which I do in the video. I started slowly, of course, and hope to dazzle by playing 16th notes as fast as 180 BPM. John Petrucci does them in 208 BPM in his video and it's absolutely mind blowing!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
OK - I'll pick that name back up.
I'll upload some video tonight of me completely screwing up those exercises. I'll also post a compilation of my work from April 24, practice day #1.