Archive for March, 2007

I call it… Peek-a-Choo

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
Peekachoo

Found it.

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Not sure how long it’ll be up on YouTube, but someone managed to get the “A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)” version with the duet between Mustaine and Scabbia. Some of the magic was lost when I realized they recorded separately in two different studios with Mustaine going through several singers before they landed Lacuna Coil’s front woman. Excellent choice IMHO.

The original is by far one of my favorite songs ever, as remixes are inherently unavoidable these days – I’m glad that Dave did it right. The only thing I might say is that it sounds a little… rushed. Thankfully I’ve still got my copy of Youthanasia to keep me company. Look for this track on the upcoming Megadeth LP.

Frikkin COOL.

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Check these guys out… Album I want isn’t in iTunes yet but I’m waiting.

A shining example…

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

…of why the old Big Music industry is on a freight train o death.

Last night on DiscoveryHD Theater they aired a special on Drift racing… You know, the type of racing where fast cars skid sideways in a constant burnout… it’s a treat to watch but I digress… The whole show, they’re playing music by some mystery band and it is damned good music. By the end of the show I have no questions about drifting, I just want to know who this is so I can pick up the album.

At the end of the credits, sure enough 80% of the shows soundtrack was performed by a band called Nural. I know absolutely NOTHING of them. They’re not on the terrestrial radar in my market, nor have I heard them anywhere on Sirius.

So I fire up the PC, hop in to the iTunes music store, find the album and… but WAIT! I check my shopping cart and see 2 other albums I had planned on buying a few months ago but never actually sealed the deal… Gabriel & Dresden‘s self-titled album, and How to Save a Life by The Fray. I clicked on “Buy Albums Now” and that was it, the tracks were tranfering, $30 was sucked out of my credit card, and within minutes I was listening to Nural.

Then it dawned on me again, I’d caught a new act on Sirius In This Moment – heavy metal like nothing I’ve heard in recent time with strong female vocals… Not the constant scream of Arch Enemy or the angelic tones of Lacuna Coil, I’d say it’s a pretty damned good blend that’d leave Amy Lee and Johnathan Davis hiding under the kitchen table after that HORRID duet.

*SIDE NOTE* Anyone catch the duet between Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing “A Tout Le Monde?” It’s circulating on Sirius and makes the aforementioned duet look even more rancid. When I find out how to buy that track I’ll happily hand more ducats over to Apple.

Back to the topic at hand… within the course of 10 minutes, I went from not knowing who performed the music I heard on a television show to owning the album and listening to the music without even leaving my house. Today, on the way in to the office I was listening to that very music through the Ipod jack in my Volkswagen. Now at my desk, I listen to it through the input jack on my stereo.

In the old way – where I’m expected to kneel at the altar of Big Music, I’d have maybe written down the band name, and likely had to wait until this weekend to tack on a trip to the music store for the album… That’s counting on me remembering, or not finding something more engrossing this weekend than a trip to the music store… like classifying my naval lint. Had I remembered, I likely would have spent $20 plus tax on 1 CD, and left with 1 CD. Due to the nature of how Apple’s OUTSTANDING electronic storefront works, I spent $30 plus tax and got 3 full albums. The market should cater to the consumer and not attack them, Apple knows this and that is why they’ve found such success with their music store.

I’d say if Apple could get involved in the ticketing aspect of music and offer tickets to shows – linked from the band and album pages in the iTunes store, we could effectively declare Big Music dead. Hell, all it took was an irate soccer-mom to down the RIAA’s war machine – only makes sense that an Apple could finally down the label’s long failed business model.

Last but not least, every one of the bands I picked up music by… have a completely free profile on MySpace which includes hits, bios, tour dates, etc… The music has embraced the new technology, the wave… and has seemingly left the industry behind.

Cheers

The Tax Man Cometh…

Monday, March 26th, 2007

So last night I sat down in front of the computer and took care of my taxes.

Every year I pay more. Most times when a tax cut comes along, I either get a new job that puts me into a higher bracket or the democratically elected mules in the State Senate up the taxes here in New York to compensate.

Last night for the first time since I began paying taxes, I wondered what sort of refund I would get at the end of the year. I won’t discuss what I make, but I will say that my total tax bill – State and Federal – literally cost me half of my shiny 2005 Volkswagen GTI’s sticker price.

Now I have my W2’s configured so that they take the least amount of money from my paycheck every month, and at the end of every year I owe a little. This year, like last, I had to pay a few hundred dollars to settle my tab with the Fed. At least 10 years ago I adopted the mantra that I do not want the Federal Government to hold a large amount of my money – without paying interest – just so every year I get to look forward to the return of my hard earned money.

I still can’t believe the amount I pay, it is unacceptable. Every year I hear some politicians praise tax cuts – something I agree with – while others claim we (the Government) cannot afford tax cuts and I ask WHY!? If I walked into my neighbors home and stole enough money to pay off half of my car – I would go to jail for longer than a rapist or a murderer. However, if the Government takes that money it is AOK. Bullshit.

For my life, I have lived by the words “Do not take what is not offered.” I never offered the Government my money, and “No taxation without representation” is a copout. If anyone actually represented me in Government I wouldn’t be paying these damned taxes.

So another year, another chunk of change that’d make a politician blush, all so I can watch the never-ending soap opera that is the battle between Socialism and Conservatism on a grand scale. Frankly folks, if I had the option I’d choose a different provider. I hear Dish Network has some good pricing…

Common SensiCare – my solution for Socialized Medicine.

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Socialized medicine doesn’t work. Sure, Canada may have some really spiffy hospitals – with lines of patiently waiting Quebeqois eagerly anticipating a bandage after the wound has long since clotted and healed. America’s healthcare system – despite its cost – is a shining example of how it SHOULD be. That said, any time a politician (ie Hillary Clinton) gets near power they start rattling off about the wonders of Socialist medicine. Political idealogies aside, has greater government involvement in any facet of our society actually done something to protect and promote Life, Liberty, and Property (beyond their own)?

Here’s my solution. First, tax incentives for the insurance carriers who agree to provide free or low-cost coverage to Americans who have a verified annual income below X number of dollars per year. Cut the rate of taxation on these corporations, or outright eliminate them. Second, tax incentives for the individuals who can only afford this special brand of health care. There will be NO government intervention in this process beyond the steps required to cut or eliminate the taxes leveed on the common citizen and the corporations that support them.

Tax dollars won’t pay for it, and with every American able to access quality health-care, productivity will increase, the economy will take off like a rocket, and we’ll end up with another dickhead politician to fuck it up once everything is said and done.

So what?

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Iran has captured British troops allegedly trespassing in Iranian waters… We’re being diplomatic about it.

I say fuck diplomacy – the Brits should go in, guns blazing, with Prince William at the head of the pack and get their boys back.

There’s a time to be diplomatic, and there’s a time to resort to swift and blinding violence. As the former can never and will never work with the terrorist mind ala Akmanemijihad or whatever his name is… Go in, stomp on his pee pee, and go home. Show that regardless of any threat – even nuclear – you’ll never yield to this sort of garbage.

15 out of 18 provinces can’t be wrong.

Long lost Sammy Hagar footage from YouTube

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Over G Fighters [**—]

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I’ll admit that my recent slew of FPS type games has worn away at the level of enjoyment I get from running around with a big gun and painting the asphalt red. Call it the curse of Gamefly, while I’d get a game or two every few months, now I can plow through the latest and greatest in rapid sequence and unless the game has a hook good enough to get my ass firmly anchored into the futon – it’s back in the mail before the 360 reaches room temperature. OGF’s an example of wasted potential. The graphics are top notch. The planes, exquisitely detailed. The controls? Sluggish as shit. The gameplay? Monotonous. Simply put, every mission involves flying out to a target, shooting it the moment you get radar lock, then flying back to base. Evading an inbound missile is possible, but the best you can do is ‘wing it’ and hit retry if you get exploded. Regardless of aerial or ground targets, the game is about fun as masturbation with sandpaper.

Call of Duty 3 [*****]

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

A solid sequel in the series with graphics and game play, a step above the groundbreaking COD 2 for the 360. Blood and gore are a plus, and the level of detail and control is a welcome compliment to a 360 + HD. Not too difficult, and not a cakewalk, a shining example of how an FPS game SHOULD be structured. The weapons as always are accurate representation of their WWII counterparts and there’s always joy to be found in a game where the bad guys are referred to as Krauts.