Category Archives: Music

weekly rounds

  • We managed to hit a couple of concerts this week, starting with the Nitzer Ebb Industrial Complex Tour, and topped off with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra‘s show at the 1st Mariner Arena. The Nitzer Ebb gig was fun – Anders Manga brought the awesome, as did Ego Likeness, and Nitzer Ebb provided an interesting and energetic end to the evening. The TSO put on an excellent show, as always. As their concert (and the story told in therein) has become a holiday tradition for us, I was interested to see if they would change their musical routine based on their new CD – they didn’t. They also announced that they will have a spring tour for the first time ever this coming year, which answers the question of how they’ll work their new songs into live performances.
Chris Caffery in the spotlight at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra winter 2009 tour, photo by John Cmar
Chris Caffery in the spotlight at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra winter 2009 tour, photo by John Cmar

Wish Upon A Blackstar, Chapter 2 – @celldweller

Celldweller - Wish Upon A Blackstar Ch 02, image via Celldweller
Celldweller - Wish Upon A Blackstar Ch 02, image via Celldweller

This week marks the second release in Celldweller‘s five part project, Wish Upon A Blackstar. Much like Chapter 01, this contains two new tracks, and the deluxe package also includes instrumental versions of both, as well as three bonus remix songs, numerous beta tracks, audio commentaries from Clayton, and some damn fine artwork. It’s a stupid amount of delicious creativity for a few measly bucks.

The new songs, Eon and The Best It’s Gonna Get, are quite different from each other in terms of influence and style. Both stand up excellently to repeated listenings, and continue to demonstrate Klayton’s skillful nuance in a musical style that is not necessarily known for such. Also, they are completely badass.¬† You can check them out for free on Celldweller’s MySpace site, or buy the whole 100+ minutes of audio goodness from the FiXT store. It should be enough to tide me over until Chapter 03 hits in a few months…

weekly rounds

  • Laura and I had a blast going to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm on Friday night at the Ram’s head On Stage. While we’ve caught a show of theirs before, this one was notably better, mostly due to a hotter crowd. Paul and Storm are incredibly funny, and Coulton’s songwriting has an emotional depth that I think is often (unfortunately) overshadowed by his geeky topics and humor. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
  • Columbia saw it’s first snow of the season yesterday, which was relatively minor, and still resulted in the usual extremely inappropriate freakouts about driving dangers in the local populous. Sadly, grossly inefficient local plowing did cause me to miss a much-anticipated hospital holiday party, but roads aside, it made for quite the picturesque scene:

first snow of the season
first snow of the season, photo by John Cmar
  • Over on the GLF, I had the chance to try Clipper City’s Yule Tide Belgian Tripel, which ended up being a perfectly acceptable beer… and since they were aiming for a result much higher than that, it was a significant disappointment.

a logical flow of thought

On the way in to work today, I found myself making a brief tally of gifts that Poland has bequeathed the world, either wholly or in part:

Naturally, the latter thought derailed me from finishing said list, and brought me in mind of the following hilarious map of Norway v. Sweden that was compiled from a similar chain of musings on Diesel Sweeties:

Learning America Smarter: Northern European Geography 101, via
Learning America Smarter: Northern European Geography 101, via

That is all.

Wish Upon A Blackstar, Chapter 1

I loves me the era of digital music.

Today marks the practical release date for the first two tracks of Celldweller‘s latest project, Wish Upon A Blackstar. I say “practical,” as yesterday was the actual release… and the FiXT store website has been down until today. One can only hope that this was due to the demanding hordes crashing against the gates of the interwebs, lusting for the latest tasty metalectronica.

I just download the two tracks that comprise Chapter 1, and they are most excellent. It appears that Klayton is releasing this project in 5 Chapters, which will comprise a full-length CD’s worth of material when complete. “Wish Upon A Blackstar” as a title comes from a synergy of the ideas of “wishing upon a star”… and “be careful, or you may just get what you wish for.”

Chapter 1 is available for a free listen at Celldweller’s Myspace site, and can be purchased for less that $2 at the FiXT store… unless you are a completest like me, and throw in an extra $3 for multiple beta tracks and commentary. Either way, it’s a sweet deal, and my appetite is duly whetted for Chapter 2.

Dancing for Keeps

Playing for Keeps - August 25, 2008

I have a select few moral imperatives. Topping the list is this: no dancing. Oh, sure, slow dancing with a partner is wonderful, but frenzied, bouncing public epileptic fits are a thing that I just don’t engage in. I have been frequently told that I am “awkward,” “gangly,” or “silly-looking” whenever I’ve attempted said spectacle in the past. Furthermore, I recognize this to be true, and beyond that, completely agree with Stephen Fry’s cogent analysis on the ridiculousness of the current social role of group dancing.

That said, there is something that I will break this moral imperative for.

As previously noted, Mur Lafferty‘s excellent novel Playing for Keeps is being published by Swarm Press, and will be released on August 25. If you’ve listened to the podiobook (and if you haven’t, for all that is good and right in the world, why not?), you know that Beatnik Turtle created the theme song Playing for Keeps just for that production. As a way to promote the book’s release, Mur has decided to put together a music video for the song, starring… you.

The details are here, but the summation is this – if you want to participate, drop her an email, and she’ll respond with a 20-30 second portion of the song for you to create a video segment of. Dancing, lip synching, or creating a skit are all fair game – the more creative and entertaining, the better. But what’s in it for you, you ask?

If your segment ends up in the final video, you’ll win one of many fabulous prizes, including books from Swarm Press, Beatnik Turtle CD’s, and a Flip camera! You will also have helped do a great thing to promote an awesome book, and become a bonafide interwebs video celebrity in the process. Finally, if enough people participate, Mur will contribute her own dancing video to the effort… and she says, she’s “the geek who doesn’t dance.”

So get the details now, as this is time sensitive – all entries need to be in by August 15. And aren’t you the least bit curious to see what I’ll come up with? I know I am…