Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Mainstream" music.

     I don't want to sound self-serving here, (especially on a "hipster" basis), but I notice how I tend to gravitate towards things that aren't main stream, in basically any medium. (Except for Video games, I don't understand that one.) 

     Anyway, I think people who actually read books are in the same position. I feel like I'm actually pushed away from things like the Hunger Games because everyone is reading it. People who don't read books, are reading it. It's amazing how many people say, "Nah, I don't like books," or "Yeah, I read books. I read Harry Potter, right?," and then they read the next big book. Something similar happens with music.

     This might be my pretentiousness of being a musician, but people who's music library only consists of LMFAO and Breathe Carolina, there's something wrong. I remember reading on a blog one time, "Just because it's the way that everyone does it, doesn't mean it's the best way to do it,"(Steve Pavlina, I believe) and I think that can be applied to many situations.

     I'd venture to say the vast majority of people listen to music, and would say they enjoy music. They have the music they listen to, but just like reading the popular books of the time, listening to popular music of the time. I can't blame people for that, it's been the way of the world for God knows how long. But the point of this blog entry is to hopefully create a realization, that people are not exiting their comfort zone. 

     So I propose a challenge: exit your comfort zone. Listen to something new, something different. I believe I've found a direction for this blog, that music that's kind of hidden in the background. Of course there will be deviation, but the hope is to experience things, new music, like new foods.

     For the people who couldn't listen to the previous blog, here's a youtube video of Lana Del Rey's "Video Games". 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srO6AZxEqDo

Have a musical day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lana Del Rey

Lately I've been into someone I had never heard of before, again, something my friend introduced me to. It's been really great to listen to, such as the whole "Video Games," things like that. I would put it on an just relax, just lay. Turn in on quiet enough and it's great to fall asleep to, nothing disrupting. I hope you guys find the same interest as I did!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Google Music

Google Music

 
     Hey everyone! Sorry it's been a while. I recently started using Google Music. I know that this came out a while ago, but it never hurt to reinforce the idea.

     The reason I began using Google Music is because I now work on 3 separate computers, and an iPhone (Which has way too much data on it all ready). So, keeping everything on the internet works very well! :D The whole "online music" craze really started, things like Spotify and GrooveShark work, but I am a Google fanboy, so I decided to.

     What's your preference on storing music elsewhere? How do you listen to your music everywhere? 

Have a musical day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Unconventional Ambiance


     I began reading Azumanga a while back. It's a very large manga, so it took me a while to get through it. This then jogged my interest as to what the anime would be like.

     The anime: Great! But there was something that always stood out to be a little more odd than usual.

     As you may have guessed, the music! The music from Azumanga Daioh is completely unconventional. Instruments that are not normally used are used: reed flutes are combined with accordions, tubas, timpani's, to anything! The genre varies from a light rock to dischordal and atonal music, to random sound effects. 

     But, it worked! When going back and matching the manga to the anime, I could easily see how all of this music fit! 

     If you're interested in nontraditional music, this is a great thing to check out! 

Have a musical day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Final Fantasy XIII


     Hey guys! You'll never guess what game I started playing. That's right, Fallout:New Vegas!

     Obviously just kidding. I got FF:XIII on Tuesday, and I've had mixed feelings about it. I've played (And beaten!) all the Final Fantasies, excluding Tactics Advance 2, 3, 4, (Or whatever that mix-up was. I stopped caring at some point), and the Crystal Chronicles.

     So the unfortunate part is that playing this game feels like a bad habit. I have to, because I've been conditioned to play Final Fantasy. You fall in love with the series, and you hope and dream it comes back to being amazing.

     As far as the game play, the biggest negative about it is that it's very linear. Being used to the exploring abilities of Final Fantasies, this took me by surprise. About half-way through the second disc is when it becomes a little less linear, but the element is still there. The combat system is done very well, it's one of the big positives.

     But now one of the cool parts, how beautiful the game is. It's not crazy graphic intensive, but it looks nice. The feel of the menu systems is hugely graphic oriented. When selecting through the menus, everything clicks and works seamlessly. Running around, the camera angles are off to the side just a little bit, it makes it seem like every close up can be used as a wallpaper. All of the environments are magical, more similar to X then XII.

     And now my favorite part: the music. I had heard some of the pieces on an internet radio, which initially interested me in the game, (I wasn't going to get it, but $20 nowadays is much more reasonable). Every piece makes me feel like I can use it and fall asleep to, and relax all day long with it. There's an even level of ambiance with just enough interest to keep me wanting to continue through the game, which works beautifully for the environment, making playing through the game is more of a relaxing experience. The idleness of being able to play this game is a nice change of pace.

     It's nontraditional in a normal sense of Final Fantasy, in that it wasn't what I expected, but if you're up for a new experience, check it out! $20 at Best Buy. ;)

Have a musical day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA





     I think this is the obligatory post that most people have to do. If  you post videos of video games, music, or any copyrighted material, you should completely be against this. There's so much wrong with the government being able to block a website that has been embedded with copyrighted material. If you've been reading, obviously this is my blog as well.


     Today seems to be a big day the internet. If you've tried Wikipedia, Cyanide and Happiness, and a few others, you'll see it's "blacked out". I know there was suspicion that Facebook and Google were going to do this as well. I haven't heard anything from Facebook, and I know Google blacked out their logo. I like Google's idea, seeing the blackout is a reminder, "I'm here for a reason. I wanted to look something up that I had seen before." The blackout makes you think, "What if I didn't have the ability to instantly look up information?" Wikias could be gone, pictures and ideas from video games that are on Wikias are copyrighted. (How else am I going to know everything about Fallout: New Vegas!?)


     I ran into a friend of a friend today that had never heard of SOPA, and he apparently lived on the internet. Supposedly. Today's a good day for the people who don't live on the internet to realize what's happening.


     Google gives you the ability to input a few pieces of information, (email, First / Last name, zip code). How they use your information: 


     "Your first name and last initial may be published publicly as part of the petition to Congress. Your email address may be used to send you updates on SOPA/PIPA and other Internet policy initiatives. Your zip code is used to display the groundswell across the country and inform the appropriate members of Congress for your district and state. That’s it. Your personal information is in no way connected to any other Google services or Google account."


     That's it. Do it, you won't.


    




</obligatory SOPA blog>

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Football!

     Hey guys! It was just a few days ago when I was watching the Packers get stomped (Sad day, btw), and it made me think about little jingles, that we hear all the time in media. Such as, NFL on FOX. Everyone's heard it. 




     So if a corporation keeps this theme for years and years, and the person who wrote it acquires commission for it, that's a small, tiny income. What's neat about that is, you write another piece and sell it for commission, and that income is now on top of the previous income.


     It's "passive" income, as opposed to "active" income. I do something, and keep acquiring money, and it's amazing how many different types of passive income there are. Just because most people have a 9-5 work job doesn't mean it's the best way of making money.


     So my challenge to you is to find what you enjoy doing, and try to figure out how to make it passive income! Such as writing commercial jingles. :P


Have a musical day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hey guys!

Excuse my absence. I'm doing this from my phone. Today is my birthday so I checked out for just a little, I'll be back with more awesome musical tips, ideas, and interesting facts when I return. Most likely tomorrow! C'ya then! ((21 feels very similar to 20...))

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Background" music

Orpheus and a lyre, Greek Mythology
     All righty. Today will be more of a history lesson, per se, then an example of the topic. I want to discuss the emergence of modal music with the ancient Greeks. (If it was created in Western Civilization, (Rock, Classical, genre's we know today that aren't Indian, Asian, etc) it's modal.) At about 500BCE, a lot of music theory was being developed, and developed around arithmetic. A lot of the philosophers had started to develop Western Music Theory. What's neat, and what's neat about the development of it, is that the Greeks felt that you can change mood AND behavior by changing the mode of the scale used to compose the piece or melody. 


     There was a legend that Pythagoras was passing by a very angered man who was about to burn down a house. Then, by singing in the phrygian mode, he was able to calm the man and put him in a relaxed state, and that got me thinking about how we use music to alter moods today.


     Most people remember this video:




     The music from it is a song called Mad World, by Gary Jules, and is detrimental to the success of this video.  That music makes me sad! You see the pictures! You read the facts! It's like an ASPCA commercial or something. But it works. It's amazing, isn't it?


     Let's try an experiment. I'll give you another video right here, and I'm going to ask you to turn the volume of the Miniature Earth video down, and this volume up. Start the Miniature Earth video, and exactly 3 seconds later, start Cliffs of Dover. When the "Miniature Earth" symbol appears is about when you should hear the first note of the song. 


     Think about how you're feeling now when you're reading the facts, and looking at the pictures. When you reach different parts in the song, (To tell when you're at a different section, listen for different material), you should notice a change in mood.


(It seems that in order to do this, it's much easier to open two tabs, or windows. Sorry.)




     When you get to the final, "And do your best for a better world" in Miniature Earth, you feel a little better about yourself, not some rich snob. (Insert "I'm on the internet. I am the 3%" joke here.) I felt like I wanted to get out there and change the world, not just sit down and slump all depressed-like.


     My next challenge to you, on ads while you're watching TV or something, really listen to the music. Ask yourself how the music changes (Either enhancing or diminishing) the message being said. 


Have a musical day! :D

((Those  old and really bright colored iPod 
commercials would not be as interesting 
if  they played depressing music. ;) ))

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hans Zimmer and The Dark Knight


     (This was the blog I had written from a few days ago which I had trouble posting in the order I wanted it to appear. ;P)

     All righty guys, well it wouldn't be fun if I only talked about the good happy things in Music and Media!  The above picture is a picture of the guy we all know, (Especially and coincidentally, if you read my first blog) the musical genius Hans Zimmer. The preface of this is, well, I think he's a musical genius and probably somewhere close to 500x smarter than many of the musicians I know, including myself. 

     My friend Bryan had showed me a video not too long ago, I think any movie soundtrack / OST / music buff in general would enjoy viewing.


     I'm sure you have your own opinions of the guy, and this video brings up a lot of valid points that I agree with. I believe that the music samples are too similar to dismiss that there's a connection. What I want to say is I actually support Hans Zimmer in this. Sure, he looked at someone else's work, but he found that it can be manipulated just enough to fit his need, musicians do it all the time.

     Some instances are the inspiration for all of the Star Wars music, by John Williams. How about Metallica, in their song Don't Tread On Me? The first few bars are directly quoting a song from the musical West Side Story, America. From West Side Story, the song Tonight (Quintet and Chorus) is direct homage to Mozart! 

     The "Mozart" thing to do is during an opera, to have one melody and present it with that character or that emotion in the beginning. Progressively, add more melodies through the opera. Then at the end, before a climax, at the climax, somewhere, 3 or so of these melodies would then start to be sung at the same time, and sound really good! Leonard Bernstein decided he wanted to do 5 melodies at the same time, and then produced Tonight in the same fashion.

     So if you're ever presented with the idea that taking music from other sources, sometimes directly to the point of plagiarism, just know that it is most certainly not the first time it has happened, nor will it be the last. 

     Have a musical day! :D

(All right, I'm done with Hansy and Williams for a while. ;P)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A little more about me.

     In the "About me" section, there's this awesome disclaimer that says posts may or may not always be about music in media, so you gotta give me that, huh? :D

     The purpose for this post is just to explain my awesome school schedule. I have classes basically 8:30-3:30, then 6-8:30 on M/W/F with two, one hour breaks in between somewhere, and T/TH are basically free. There's one class, called Music Forum where you go and show up, but you only have to go so many times a semester and there's outside credit, (such as concerts, other performances of music) that I have gotten every semester to replace it, so we're good!

     Because of my un-happy M/W/F, I've decided on on something that will help with making this a more functioning blog. I taped a piece of paper to my wall, right behind (But still visible) my screen! It's divided into two columns, "Yes!" and "Ideas". "Yes!" is where I put the topics that I have all ready, preemptively written posts. The "Ideas" is self-explanatory, so cool! :D The idea is to be one day ahead, at least, all the time. T/TH are my good days for writing, but I'll try to keep it updated and fresh. Because of this, I was capable of posting something today! Yay!

Have a musical day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is dubstep becoming mainstream?




     This is a question I had to ask myself when I was watching a few movie trailers not too long ago. My hypothesis: Dubstep is becoming mainstream! Every shout for joy and celebration! Dubstep is being used more with mainstream media!

     ... now that you're done, I'd like to explain myself, prefaced with, I am a dubstep fan. It might not seem like music, but I can assure you that because of this comic, I'm on a mission to get people to understand.


     The problem is that it is true that there's different types of dubstep, and some people haven't experienced something they enjoy about it in order to accept there is "good dubstep." Check out this movie trailer for a popular movie, which features Seven Nation Army dubstep by a prominent figurehead in dubstep and electronic music, The Glitch Mob.


     It's nice to see upcoming styles of music, especially during my generation. People of their 40's or 50's hold onto classic rock so heavily (as well as my generation ;P) because that's what they grew up with. Rock operas were written, people started to flood concert halls and go crazy, and they hold on to that. Sure, I might prefer a little bit of The Who every once in a while, but upcoming music should be supported. The current age will hold on to something. What are you going to hold on to?

Have a musical day! :D

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Music from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"


     Last night I had gone to see the recent movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I generally enjoyed the movie, it was really nice. The transitions from scene to scene in the beginning were different and exciting, it almost reminded me of something like Scott Pilgrim, but less interesting transitions were used later.


     As for the music, the trailer music was a big hit, the Immigrant Song remake by Trent Reznor and Karen O, but in the movie was a lot more ambiance. Not the ambiance like rain water and tree frog type that your grandma used to listen to, but rock or synth, mixed with eerie movie ambiance. 

     As for the more eerie music, it's implemented like most, but as for the rock, it reminded me a lot of the the stuff Trent did in the Nine Inch Nails album, Halo_Fourteen. That left and right album they did. The right side is what I'm referring to, a lot of harder rock and electronic sounds, but used well.


     A lot of music composers are going for the "less is more" attitude in movies lately. We've come a long way from John Williams, big and robust scores to Hans Zimmer making some full action scenes in The Dark Knight music-less.  


     If you're into the harder rock music scene, then this is perfect for you, especially as background music for your ever day tasks. When driving, I don't normally enjoy listening to music with too much going on, (Unless it's classical music, of course!), so I prefer this over most others. 

     Overall, the music of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a great movie, with great music.  Suggested!