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Listen/purchase: Rehearsal 05/09/13 by PVKAV

Improvised doom/stoner metal (with some noise and related elements, naturally) quartet that some friends and I just decided to start all of a sudden. Check it!

Playing the 666, as is my wont these days.

Fuck yes.
The sound of your face being used to wipe the floor.

Fuck yes.

The sound of your face being used to wipe the floor.

petethemexican420:

kecelakaanjalanraya:

Got the 666 in the mail a few days ago. It has basically caused me to radically re-evaluate my priorities in life and just stay at home messing about with it/learning it instead of, y’know, doing other stuff. It feels a lot more like an instrument than some other noise boxes I’ve tried, but that might just be because there’s a fair bit going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand/am yet to figure out.
Also those LEDs are fucking bright.

I want one so bad!!!

Finding it tough, at least with my way of working, to find a use for it other than ekeing out pale imitations of that classic Bastard Noise screech. But I guess I should stop being such an obsessive about recording everything live and use it as something to be turned on occasionally, instead of left going the whole way.
Some “raw” (as in, unedited) recordings of my initial attempts to harness the 666 towards the production of (un)musical sounds can be found here.

petethemexican420:

kecelakaanjalanraya:

Got the 666 in the mail a few days ago. It has basically caused me to radically re-evaluate my priorities in life and just stay at home messing about with it/learning it instead of, y’know, doing other stuff. It feels a lot more like an instrument than some other noise boxes I’ve tried, but that might just be because there’s a fair bit going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand/am yet to figure out.

Also those LEDs are fucking bright.

I want one so bad!!!

Finding it tough, at least with my way of working, to find a use for it other than ekeing out pale imitations of that classic Bastard Noise screech. But I guess I should stop being such an obsessive about recording everything live and use it as something to be turned on occasionally, instead of left going the whole way.

Some “raw” (as in, unedited) recordings of my initial attempts to harness the 666 towards the production of (un)musical sounds can be found here.

Got the 666 in the mail a few days ago. It has basically caused me to radically re-evaluate my priorities in life and just stay at home messing about with it/learning it instead of, y’know, doing other stuff. It feels a lot more like an instrument than some other noise boxes I’ve tried, but that might just be because there’s a fair bit going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand/am yet to figure out.
Also those LEDs are fucking bright.

Got the 666 in the mail a few days ago. It has basically caused me to radically re-evaluate my priorities in life and just stay at home messing about with it/learning it instead of, y’know, doing other stuff. It feels a lot more like an instrument than some other noise boxes I’ve tried, but that might just be because there’s a fair bit going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand/am yet to figure out.

Also those LEDs are fucking bright.

Been waiting for this for quite a while. I actually didn’t back it, but it feels good to be playing a pretty old-school, turn-based, Kickstarter-funded CRPG. About an hour in, seems pretty good so far. I’m pretty much a sucker for CRPGs with turn-based (or real-time-with-pause) combat anyway; just make sure the combat is good, and add an interesting world into the mix and you’ve got me hooked for sure. The fact that user-created content is already available is great, and I really hope that there’s a lot more to come over the next few years (or more; just look at the Neverwinter Nights games).
Bring on Wasteland 2!

Been waiting for this for quite a while. I actually didn’t back it, but it feels good to be playing a pretty old-school, turn-based, Kickstarter-funded CRPG. About an hour in, seems pretty good so far. I’m pretty much a sucker for CRPGs with turn-based (or real-time-with-pause) combat anyway; just make sure the combat is good, and add an interesting world into the mix and you’ve got me hooked for sure. The fact that user-created content is already available is great, and I really hope that there’s a lot more to come over the next few years (or more; just look at the Neverwinter Nights games).

Bring on Wasteland 2!

I’m a bit/quite tired of the tendency to over-intellectualise noise, particularly that modernist-ish tendency to harness/latch on to it as some sort of Revolutionary Cultural Spark that fucks with capitalism, the Culture Industry and so forth, but, at the same time, I’m finding that it’s somewhat impossible to *not* talk about noise in a somewhat intellectual manner, especially when noise is so often called “intellectual” (which is really a euphemism for “pretentious bollocks”). For one, it’s probably not as easy to go “meh I like it” and then, after being pestered for days, patiently sit down and show your friends/parents/girlfriend/whoever that, say, behind the incomprehensible vocals and shit-fi production, you still have riffs and melodic development and a sense of composition, like you can with metal or punk or whatever. 

Maybe the problem is that noise, whether you want to consider it music or not (having somewhat-codified standards/conventions does not immediately equal music, might I add, but that’s another topic for another time), is so unreducable, untraceable, to standard/accepted/historical musical conventions of pitch, tempo, melody, tonality (or atonality) and maybe even composition (although there are always exceptions… but even then I’m not sure that your average listener would listen to Alleypisser and think “yeah this is wonderfully composed… “noise composition” is a very different ballgame I think) that it’s impossible to explain noise, even in a non-/de-intellectualised/-lising manner without being, well, long-winded and intellectual. I mean, I consider the enjoyment of noise to be partially a very primordial, primitive, perhaps even ecstatic thing (can I bring in Freud’s death drive here? Must discuss this with friends), but how do I explain this without being, well, somewhat intellectual? Nobody’s going to believe me when I say that “yeah I like how it sounds, it strikes a chord with me”, so…

So I finished Infinite today. I’m not going to say anything spoiler-y about the ending, but goddamn it’s a pretty ridiculous ending, in both a good and bad sense. It does “grab” you (so to speak), it does make you start questioning everything that led up to it, and it does “work” on an emotional level, but it’s also built on more than a few moments of, to quote the PC Gamer review, “jump[ing] BioShark Infinisharks” and a general feeling of deus ex machina-ness. The reason they just about get away with this is probably the same reason that got me interested in the world in the first place, and the same reason that the ending feels so disappointing: the sense of mystery and wonder that pervades the whole Bioshock Infinite experience. How does all of this stuff exist? A flying city? Tears? A huge mechanical flying robot-bird? Two characters who are able to appear and disappear at will, wherever they like? The ending, even for its ridiculousness, is as much of a spectacular joy as most of the game, but it is a bit… I don’t know. I did get caught up in it—who wouldnt?—but as the credits rolled my feelings were decidedly mixed.
I guess it’s a hint at how impressively one can get sucked into the narrative that such a spectacular ending comes across as a bit of a let-down. But it could be, and has been, argued, that the ending isn’t the only way the game lets players down. Craig Owens’ Still Playing article about Fez closes with this paragraph:

In Bioshock Infinite‘s wake many of us asked why games aren’t content to build fascinating worlds and let us freely explore them, and why they’re so focussed on violence at the expense of tone and story. We wondered when a game would come that fashion a world as intricately, thoughtfully designed as Columbia, and let us immerse ourselves in it, pick over it, and not just fight our way through the space as if we were in a fairground ride.

He does have a point, and I did occasionally wish there was a bit more to the world than just shooting things up, but I do feel that there’s just about enough exploration within the broadly conventional FPS framework to stave off any creeping feelings of on-rails-ness. A bit more jarring are, as Alec Meer points out, the

worries about why civilians were so few in number, why they’d suddenly disappear entirely, why so many of them share the same faces, why we’re given little sense of where they live, why we see or hear almost nothing of how the practicalities of living in the clouds work.

It did feel a bit weird early on, but I have to admit—is this a sign of not enough cultural refinement and/or too much bro-ness?—that I soon forgot about these things and started to focus on, well, just killing people. Which is, well, what the game is about. It might disappoint the sorts of people who think in the same way as the Craig Owens quote (I’m unsure if Mr. Owens thinks the same way, and it doesn’t matter, really), but it is an FPS (a pretty good one at that) and, frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That faint-but-present whiff of disappointment present Owens transmits is, I think, because the game seems to hint at, maybe even promise, being more than Just A Shooter, especially early on. Of course, it depends almost entirely on how you think about games, and what you enjoy; if you’re one of the “games can be art / games are art” brigade then maybe the “base” FPS-ness of the game will grate, but, again, I don’t mind. I don’t want to go too far into this line of thinking/questioning (suffice it to say I’m not the biggest fan of this whole, uh, New Wave of Contemplative andor Arty Indie Videogames), but I wonder whether being a solid, if not exactly brilliant FPS is all that bad of a thing.
But I can see why people would expect more. In a way, you could argue that the game as a whole is a victim of itself; the ending, with its twists and turns, condensed-as-hell exposition, incredible vistas (at least it didn’t disappoint in this regard) and numerous narrative liberties feels disappointing because it comes pretty much out of nowhere; all of the careful exposition and bite-sized tidbits of information, the sense of mystery and wonder that is present from the get-go, all of this is just steamrollered over by an ending that, while it does make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, seems to have been written with the express purpose of cramming as many plot twists into it as possible. The staunchly FPS nature of the game could be disappointing in light of those few moments where you’re not shooting, where there does seem to be a world, and a society, that exists independently of DeWitt (and the player), a world that isn’t there just to serve as an often-breathtaking backdrop to the mass slaughter of humans. While I don’t necessarily find this to be a problem, I think I can just about understand this particular grievance.
When all is said and done, though, it is a Good Game, and anybody who can play it, should play it. 10/10? Maybe not. But if, out there, someone is compiling a “required playing” list, a canonical list of videogames that any fan of the medium should be familiar with, Infinite definitely has to be on it, for its missteps just as much as for its successes.

So I finished Infinite today. I’m not going to say anything spoiler-y about the ending, but goddamn it’s a pretty ridiculous ending, in both a good and bad sense. It does “grab” you (so to speak), it does make you start questioning everything that led up to it, and it does “work” on an emotional level, but it’s also built on more than a few moments of, to quote the PC Gamer review, “jump[ing] BioShark Infinisharks” and a general feeling of deus ex machina-ness. The reason they just about get away with this is probably the same reason that got me interested in the world in the first place, and the same reason that the ending feels so disappointing: the sense of mystery and wonder that pervades the whole Bioshock Infinite experience. How does all of this stuff exist? A flying city? Tears? A huge mechanical flying robot-bird? Two characters who are able to appear and disappear at will, wherever they like? The ending, even for its ridiculousness, is as much of a spectacular joy as most of the game, but it is a bit… I don’t know. I did get caught up in it—who wouldnt?—but as the credits rolled my feelings were decidedly mixed.

I guess it’s a hint at how impressively one can get sucked into the narrative that such a spectacular ending comes across as a bit of a let-down. But it could be, and has been, argued, that the ending isn’t the only way the game lets players down. Craig Owens’ Still Playing article about Fez closes with this paragraph:

In Bioshock Infinite‘s wake many of us asked why games aren’t content to build fascinating worlds and let us freely explore them, and why they’re so focussed on violence at the expense of tone and story. We wondered when a game would come that fashion a world as intricately, thoughtfully designed as Columbia, and let us immerse ourselves in it, pick over it, and not just fight our way through the space as if we were in a fairground ride.

He does have a point, and I did occasionally wish there was a bit more to the world than just shooting things up, but I do feel that there’s just about enough exploration within the broadly conventional FPS framework to stave off any creeping feelings of on-rails-ness. A bit more jarring are, as Alec Meer points out, the

worries about why civilians were so few in number, why they’d suddenly disappear entirely, why so many of them share the same faces, why we’re given little sense of where they live, why we see or hear almost nothing of how the practicalities of living in the clouds work.

It did feel a bit weird early on, but I have to admit—is this a sign of not enough cultural refinement and/or too much bro-ness?—that I soon forgot about these things and started to focus on, well, just killing people. Which is, well, what the game is about. It might disappoint the sorts of people who think in the same way as the Craig Owens quote (I’m unsure if Mr. Owens thinks the same way, and it doesn’t matter, really), but it is an FPS (a pretty good one at that) and, frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That faint-but-present whiff of disappointment present Owens transmits is, I think, because the game seems to hint at, maybe even promise, being more than Just A Shooter, especially early on. Of course, it depends almost entirely on how you think about games, and what you enjoy; if you’re one of the “games can be art / games are art” brigade then maybe the “base” FPS-ness of the game will grate, but, again, I don’t mind. I don’t want to go too far into this line of thinking/questioning (suffice it to say I’m not the biggest fan of this whole, uh, New Wave of Contemplative andor Arty Indie Videogames), but I wonder whether being a solid, if not exactly brilliant FPS is all that bad of a thing.

But I can see why people would expect more. In a way, you could argue that the game as a whole is a victim of itself; the ending, with its twists and turns, condensed-as-hell exposition, incredible vistas (at least it didn’t disappoint in this regard) and numerous narrative liberties feels disappointing because it comes pretty much out of nowhere; all of the careful exposition and bite-sized tidbits of information, the sense of mystery and wonder that is present from the get-go, all of this is just steamrollered over by an ending that, while it does make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, seems to have been written with the express purpose of cramming as many plot twists into it as possible. The staunchly FPS nature of the game could be disappointing in light of those few moments where you’re not shooting, where there does seem to be a world, and a society, that exists independently of DeWitt (and the player), a world that isn’t there just to serve as an often-breathtaking backdrop to the mass slaughter of humans. While I don’t necessarily find this to be a problem, I think I can just about understand this particular grievance.

When all is said and done, though, it is a Good Game, and anybody who can play it, should play it. 10/10? Maybe not. But if, out there, someone is compiling a “required playing” list, a canonical list of videogames that any fan of the medium should be familiar with, Infinite definitely has to be on it, for its missteps just as much as for its successes.

I’ve been playing a lot of videogames recently, now that I have a PC beefy enough to run recent AAA-type titles with decent framerates. Just finished Far Cry 3 (more on this later… maybe) and am a few hours into Bioshock Infinite.
It’s quite a remarkable game. As the screenshot shows, it is a wonderful-looking thing, easily one of the best-looking games I’ve played in a long time in terms of graphics, world design and art direction. But, really, the most remarkable thing about the game is probably Elizabeth. And it’s not just because she’s, in Achewood-ian parlance, hell of useful (and she is; the game’s combat seems to be pretty much built around her); even in these early stages (5-6 hours in) I’ve already formed a bit of an… attachment. She seems, so far, to be as well-written and as interesting as an NPC from one of those classic cRPGs from “back in the day”, and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve picked up a voxophone and thought “man I wish I could tell Elizabeth about this”. It’s remarkable… I’m not really used to shooters making me feel this way about an allied NPC (Call of Duty this ain’t)*. Of course, the fact that Booker and Elizabeth (and the player, of course) are all pretty much clueless about the world (which, of course, seems to want both Booker and Elizabeth dead) and what’s going on in it helps to foster this sense of, well, attachment, I think. Elizabeth’s been in a cage for her entire life, Booker is new to Columbia, and the player knows precious little about the backstory of any of these things; all of this, along with the fact that Elizabeth is an integral part of combat, help to foster this sense of attachment.
I’m not even sure if “attachment” is the right word, but, y’know, yeah…
* I have to admit that I never did finish Bioshock (it caught me at a bad time), and thus never got around to playing Bioshock 2, so maybe this is par for the course for the series, I dunno.

I’ve been playing a lot of videogames recently, now that I have a PC beefy enough to run recent AAA-type titles with decent framerates. Just finished Far Cry 3 (more on this later… maybe) and am a few hours into Bioshock Infinite.

It’s quite a remarkable game. As the screenshot shows, it is a wonderful-looking thing, easily one of the best-looking games I’ve played in a long time in terms of graphics, world design and art direction. But, really, the most remarkable thing about the game is probably Elizabeth. And it’s not just because she’s, in Achewood-ian parlance, hell of useful (and she is; the game’s combat seems to be pretty much built around her); even in these early stages (5-6 hours in) I’ve already formed a bit of an… attachment. She seems, so far, to be as well-written and as interesting as an NPC from one of those classic cRPGs from “back in the day”, and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve picked up a voxophone and thought “man I wish I could tell Elizabeth about this”. It’s remarkable… I’m not really used to shooters making me feel this way about an allied NPC (Call of Duty this ain’t)*. Of course, the fact that Booker and Elizabeth (and the player, of course) are all pretty much clueless about the world (which, of course, seems to want both Booker and Elizabeth dead) and what’s going on in it helps to foster this sense of, well, attachment, I think. Elizabeth’s been in a cage for her entire life, Booker is new to Columbia, and the player knows precious little about the backstory of any of these things; all of this, along with the fact that Elizabeth is an integral part of combat, help to foster this sense of attachment.

I’m not even sure if “attachment” is the right word, but, y’know, yeah…

* I have to admit that I never did finish Bioshock (it caught me at a bad time), and thus never got around to playing Bioshock 2, so maybe this is par for the course for the series, I dunno.

findars:

Findars proudly presents:

Pairs “If This Cockroach Doesn’t Die, I will” South East Asia Tour

Pairs from Shanghai first ever live showcase in Kuala Lumpur.

They have taken their broadway smash music to various death traps, both North and South and survived to tell the tale to deaf ears.

Pairs make music and don’t make it particularly well, almost like people who have lost their talent.

Their name is often misspelled as Paris, and Pairs understand that this is an easy mistake to make.

http://pairs.bandcamp.com/

Supporting Acts:

Nao
https://www.facebook.com/isnao.likepage

Think!Tadpole!Think!
https://www.facebook.com/iwantyourmoney?fref=ts

ZDICM
http://www.facebook.com/zdicm

Probably the best set this band of mine has ever played. Heading off into a new direction, at least for the coming month or so. A bit more sparse, no beats, less quasi-krautrock/prog synth/kosmische textures in favour of drawn out gloom (with badly played saxophone).

Slowly, slowly.

an apology to nobody in particular

Man I really wish I had the energy to write longwinded and frankly incoherent posts about politics/”social issues” (urg I hate that term)/culture/various quasi-intellectual lefty things (ruminations on Adorno and “revolutionary art”, etc) but, goddamn, this MA—which I’m nearly done with, thank god*—has totally and utterly killed any and all desire, motivation or will on my part to talk or think about anything other than music and improvisation… and I can’t even pull my thoughts together long enough to say anything coherent about those two topics either.
blah blah blah blah middle class problems
I was all excited about using my Tascam (see previous post) to play my tapes, but then I remembered that “HS” stands for “high speed” (and that it doesn’t do normal speed), so… yeah. This is not a very financially sensible purchase, but goddamn I have to admit that I do have a bit of a Tape Fetish thing going on here. Man.
Note that my choice of tape is in no way ironic. Dem be good tunes. Slightly depressing that this tape, which is probably as old as I am (or even older) has lasted better than most of the stuff I bought when I was young and broke and could only afford tapes…

I was all excited about using my Tascam (see previous post) to play my tapes, but then I remembered that “HS” stands for “high speed” (and that it doesn’t do normal speed), so… yeah. This is not a very financially sensible purchase, but goddamn I have to admit that I do have a bit of a Tape Fetish thing going on here. Man.

Note that my choice of tape is in no way ironic. Dem be good tunes. Slightly depressing that this tape, which is probably as old as I am (or even older) has lasted better than most of the stuff I bought when I was young and broke and could only afford tapes…

Got this for free. Stoked. Loaded in some cheap consumer-grade Maxell UE tape and recorded some noisy test tracks, works fine. Fact is, noise just sounds… better recorded to tape. Will probably be using this a lot.
Knowing my luck, though… this might just stop working in a few weeks, conveniently in the middle of recording sessions. Hopefully it’ll last for a while, though.

Got this for free. Stoked. Loaded in some cheap consumer-grade Maxell UE tape and recorded some noisy test tracks, works fine. Fact is, noise just sounds… better recorded to tape. Will probably be using this a lot.

Knowing my luck, though… this might just stop working in a few weeks, conveniently in the middle of recording sessions. Hopefully it’ll last for a while, though.