Author Archives: TV Denim Chap

Rockin’ Friday – Metallica Shmetallica?

Welcome again to Rockin Friday! Today a discussion on one of the most famous metal bands in history. Above is a picture of their frontman James Hetfield (before he grew his crazy beard O.o)
Anywho, Metallica are one of the best selling metal acts of all time, second only to bands such as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. They are definitely the best selling and most widely known bands of the later generations of metal, which would include such acts as Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera etc etc.

After their first four albums, which includes what is seen as the best metal album of all time by many: ‘Master of Puppets’, they broke into the mainstream with ‘Metallica’, otherwise known as ‘The Black Album’, fronted by the single ‘Enter Sandman’, which is absolutely brilliant song. Since then, they have changed more and more into a hard rock group, becoming even bigger, but, as some see it, even more mainstream (and, therefore, shit. Depends how you look at it 😀 )

This spiral culminated in the ’03 ‘St. Anger’, which personally I think is a pile of crap (the single that is. Haven’t heard the album.) Basically, I believe they were going for the sound of a band jamming in a garage to try and bring their music back to the basics. While you can definitely feel the raw energy of the band, the downside is that it sounds like band jamming in their garage. I’d much rather listen to the polished music of a properly produced album. If I want raw, I’ll listen to the far rawer and polished sound of a band like Machine Head.

Back to the point, this led to great uproar among the people who’d consider themselves old school fans, as it saw a departure from their old thrash style into completely hard rock/nu metal. Which, for most metalheads, is considered rubbish.

Because of this, their new album is being widely anticipated, and hoped to be, a return to their old style and form. Recently, underground videos of their album in production have surfaced (considering what happened with Napster, I doubt Metallica would be too happy with this 😀 ) Anyway, this means you can judge for yourself. Are Metallica returning to what made them great in the first place?

There are a bunch more floating around as well.

Anyways, that’s all for this week. Enjoy!

Rock on \m/

Rockin’ Friday! – Two random music sites

David Gilmour

Welcome to another edition of Rockin’ Friday! Haven’t got much time and I’m a bit tired, so I’ll just alert you of two music sites I discovered this week.

The first is a site called Unsigned Band Web, and basically it has a large database of unsigned music! So if you’re the dude that has to have the most underground music, and once it goes mainstream it sucks, then this is most likely the site for you.

The next is a site I talked about here called SpiralFrog, which allows you to LEGALLY download music FOR FREE. However, it is only for US and Canada, and you need an invite apparently. I tried to sign up, but it said my e-mail was not verified. If I ever get an account, I will IMMEDIATELY say so and offer some invites if at all possible, or if that’s how it works. However, still worth checking out. I mean, free music. Totally legal. What’s not to like?

So, for now, that is all. Here as an awesome video which is awesome (if you’re into the music)

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday! (Or is it?)

Hello readers!

I have nothing of interest to say today (as if I ever do), so instead I’ll point out something my friend noticed.

So, you all know the story by now of the Austrian guy who hid his daughter in a custom-made cellar for 20 odd years and had 7 children by her, raising 3 as his own. (If you don’t, check it out. Freaky stuff). Anyway, he looks like this:

Now, my mate was looking at him and going ‘Hmmmm, he looks kinda familiar…’

AND THEN IT HIT HIM

Ingo from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time!

Just look at their mischievous grins, the sly glint in their eyes betraying a deeper sense of guilt, the arching eyebrows displaying an almost criminal intelligence, the manly-sculpted chin which was sure to attract many women in their prime… but I digress.

Apart from that, enjoy your weekend!

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday – Beating iTunes

Welcome back to another edition of Rockin’ Friday! Today I will be talking about how one might wrestle out of the grip that iTunes has on your musical freedom.

A little introduction first for those who have been living under a rock for the past few years. iTunes has become one of the more dominant media-players, and with that the iTunes Music Store has become the dominant online music store. However, by buying a song from there (which admittedly is very easy, cheap and of a very good, reliable quality) you get the song in a protected AAC format. What does this mean? Basically you’re restricted to listening to the song in iTunes and on your iPod. Not even Apple’s other media programs, such as iMovie, allow you to use protected songs. And this can be a major pain.

Recently, Apple have released ‘iTunes Plus’ which allows you to pay slightly extra to have the protection removed. However, this indeed costs money and only exists for a small few of the songs that Apple sell. For those who need other methods, I’ve been looking into other ways to combat this restriction.

For Windows users, there are relatively few free ways to do this, as the programs are shareware. The most prominent of those that came up on Google was one called SoundTaxi. This has a free trial, but will eventually cost you $19 or more depending on the version. Once it converts the file, it will preserve the song, artist, album name and other metadata.

A free, but perhaps more inconvenient, alternative is QTFairUse 6. This is indeed free, but does not preserve metadata. It also requires Python to run, rather than being a program. The other downside is that it doesn’t seem to work in iTunes, although this could be just on the Mac version of iTunes. So if you’re a little adventurous, give this a try, but otherwise stick with SoundTaxi.

For Mac users, we have a program called FairGame, which is actually quite ingenious once you get it working. It requires a little setting up, but it is essentially a script that uses iMovie to convert your file in to a .wav, and then iTunes to convert it into an .mp3. It runs into a lot of problems, and disrupting it in anyway up until you have a .wav will mean you have to start all over again, but otherwise it works pretty well. And it’s free!

So that’s all for today, enjoy your weekend and see you next week!

Rock on! \m/

Rockin Friday!

Iron Maiden's guitarists

Hello again, and welcome to another edition of Rockin Friday!

It’s been a while, and unfortunately not a whole lot of underground stuff for you today. Next week I think I’ll look into how to rip iPods and whatnot, but for now just a bunch of random stuff.

Now bear with me American readers, as I will talk about two British music festivals. The first of these is Glastonbury, which is so famous it may even be known across the Pond. But otherwise, it is an annual festival, mainly populated by indie bands although it has plenty of other acts too. It runs for 3 days, and attracts a massive crowd every year, being the biggest greenfield festival in the world. This years festival has sparked some debate by announcing a certain rapper as the main headline act.

Jay-Z

There we have Jay-Z wearing a wonderful pink sweater. Now, of course, announcing a rapper as the headline act at an indie festival is going to cause some issues, and many people have vowed to boycott the event. While I don’t blame them for not paying for an act they wouldn’t want to see, some of the fuss people have been making is a bit OTT, and in fact some people have been calling them up for prejudice and racism. Perhaps that’s reading a little too much into it, but they certainly have a point about them not being open-minded enough.

Now, my next festival is a perhaps less well known rock festival called Donnington Download. (It used to be known as Monsters of Rock if that’s more well known). Now, in their own words, it is a punk rock/heavy metal festival (I may have paraphrased slightly), but in all honesty it’s a primarily heavy metal gig. So imagine the furor when last year MCR and Linkin Park were announced as headline acts besides the legendary Iron Maiden. Now, both bands were bottled and booed, as both are understandably tagged as ’emo’, which is, of course, a major offense to all things heavy metal. Now don’t get me wrong, I personally have nothing against the two bands, and in fact enjoy some of their songs. I think it was wrong of the organisers to have them as headline acts when you look at the calibre of some of the bands supporting them (Megadeth, Machine Head, Slayer, etc). But what can you do? Throw piss at them? I’d rather enjoy the show to be quite honest.

This year, alongside the equally legendary Kiss we have Lostprophets and the Offspring, two bands which I actually thoroughly enjoy. But in similar fashion, this has kicked up a major fuss, what with Lostprophets being ’emo’ (Listen to their first two albums and tell me that!) and the Offspring not really being a metal band. Ah well, some people are blinded by their prejudice, be they gansta wannabes, indie kids or metalheads, and they’re unlikely to change soon.

(Lostprophets in full swing at one of their more recent shows)

That’s all for this week. Next week I’ll hopefully have something a little more underground for you, in fact I have something in mind. But otherwise enjoy your weekend and this fairly old song I recently rediscovered!

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday!

Hendrix!

Hello again readers! Doesn’t Jimi look cool in the pic above?

Anyway, this week I will talk to you about the bane of all underground music and the antithesis of all decent guitar players:

GUITAR HERO!!!

Nah, just kidding. I got GH3 for Christmas, and gave up on it about a month ago when I hit the last few songs on Hard mode. Sure, it can be a little overrated at times, and when I see those people who’ve nailed Through the Fire and Flames on Expert (and LOL at what they’ve done to make that song as hard as it is) I do think that they could have spent their time on better things. However, I’m getting a little tired of those who constantly flame the game: “Awmagawd play a real guitar faaag,” or “You’re not a real fan of Metallica if you got One from GH”. PFFFTT. It’s just a game, seriously. And a good source of decent music. I’d never listened to RATM before I played the game, and I love Bulls on Parade. Does that make me less entitled to enjoy the song? Of course not!

Anyway, when I first started looking for cheats for GH3 on my Wii, I found a lack of reliable material, most of which was mixed with cheats for other consoles and simply didn’t work. I have since found a complete list of cheats (for the Wii version, mind!) which I have tested and do all work. I was unable to test the Easy Expert, No Fail, and Unlock All Songs cheats, as I had unlocked them before and forgotten the codes 😛 But they seem legitimate. Click here for the full list.

I think next week I’ll start throwing some reviews about, but for now I have some videos for your amusement. In the UK we have these people called ‘Chavs’… It may partially be the snotty, snobbish side of Middle to Upper class Brits, but it’s also undeniable that there’s something wrong with a lot of those people. Just check out the following video to see what I mean:

So… yeah. You lol’d a little bit, right? I think I at least heard a giggle.

For the record, I have nothing against rap/hip-hop. It’s not what I really listen to, but there’s good stuff out there nonetheless. Thses guys though… they’re just on a completely different level. I especially love the piss-takes going around, including Cure, Kraftwerk, and the following remixes:

Before I go, make sure to check out GN’s post on getting free music using just Notepad and an Internet Browser. Should be helpful if you want to stay away from Frostwire (or Limewire if you’ve been living under a rock 🙂 )
And with that, I bid thee farewell!

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday!

Dave Mustaine

Hello, and welcome to a new addition to this blog: Rockin’ Friday! (The apostrophe is what makes it cool!)

Basically, I’ll write a little bit about my passion on a weekly basis, be it an album review, and outlook on the industry or even some of the more underground stuff 🙂 There probably won’t be a lot of new stuff for some of you, and I won’t have the inside scoop on the latest underground band, but hopefully I’ll have some interesting stuff for you nonetheless. But to start off this first issue, I’ll say a little bit about myself.

I guess you would call me a metalhead as far as my taste is concerned, although I like to think I’m open minded. I have on occasion listened to Aphex Twin and Daft Punk, for example, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of my favourite bands. But mainly, I would stick with my Megadeths and my Iron Maidens. I’m actually a member of the Iron Maiden Fan Club (with the alias Advent Chimp if anyone else happens to be 🙂 ) I’ve been playing guitar for close on two and a half years now and have a band in the works with my best mate, who is also a guitarist. I mainly get my fix off the iTunes music store, but have in the past used Frostwire and simply watched stuff on YouTube if I couldn’t find anything. If you ever want to chat, I’m available on TVDenimChap@jabber.org if you have Google Talk or Jabber.

So, for today, I’m just going to talk about a recent problem I ecnountered: discovering new music.

In the past, I’ve mainly relied on my friends to supply me with new music. They know what I like, and often share the same tastes as me. Plus it’s absolutely free if they decide to give me an album, so this is a no-brainer really. However, the pool can often run dry, so I must resort to other methods.

Of course, the radio is a pretty good way to hear new stuff. With the advent of digital radio, for internet users this is extremely easy. The only problem where I’m concerned is that there’s not a whole lot of metal radio, seeing as traditionally metal doesn’t get a lot of airtime. Fortunately, Bruce Dickinson (the Iron Maiden frontman) runs a Friday night rock show on BBC6 (did I ever say I love Fridays?) which keeps me going. He plays everything from the lighter Linkin Park and Lostprophets to the heavier Machine Head and even heavier stuff, so it’s quite varied. If you’re musical tastes lie elsewhere, a good station is no doubt only a Google search away.

If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, YouTube is quite a good source. I’ve only really used it to find more music from a band I already like rather than discovering entirely new bands, but I’m sure the latter is possible. For example, I would search ‘One’ by Metallica after having heard it on Guitar Hero. Down the side there would be a link to ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’, so I’d click on that and decide I like that song too. I would then see a cover of that by Dream Theatre, so I’d click that and find I actually quite like Dream Theatre. I would continue in that fashion and build up quite a list of good material, perhaps adding them to a playlist for later reference. The next step is Frostwire or a more legally acceptable method 🙂

The final way, which I only recently started using, are websites designed for discovering new music. As such, it makes sense that these are quite efficient and useful. Pandora, which unfortunately can’t be used in the UK, Hype Machine, and, the site I use, Last FM are three sites that spring to mind. Using Last FM as an example, you type in a band you like and it creates a station, continually playing music similar to that band. That’s the basic principle of Pandora and Last FM, and these are of course filled out with a bunch of extra features. My profile on Last FM is TVDenimChap if you use it already.

That’s basically all I have to say this week. The only way to really appreciate the above methods is to try them out yourself. They’re nothing revolutionary, especially the first few, but hopefully you’ll find some new stuff if you’re getting tired of your current playlist. Other than that, see you next week!

Rock on! \m/

TGI Friday! #5

Ahhhh, it’s the weekend once again! This week didn’t bring a whole lot to the table, but with a little help from a little birdy I managed to scrounge up some material for your pleasure!

I love Fridays!

First off, we have the release of the new SexBox 3600!

LOL WUT??!?!

I think we can pretty much leave the rest to your imagination. Or if that’s too much effort on a Friday night read more here.

Next, Gizmodo and sister site the Consumerist have uncovered the conspiracy that is Monster Cables! Apparently they are insanely overpriced (with an up-to 80% markup price) for the same quality as any other cable. So bear that in mind when you’re looking for some cables! More can be found here.

That’s all for this week, so I leave you with this masterpiece of a video. Enjoy your weekend!

TGI Friday! #4

Hello again to another issue of TGI Friday! As we enter into the month of February (it’s February already!?!?!?!?), I will quickly look at what happened in this last week of January.

First off, Super Smash Bros Brawl was finally released yesterday across Japan. Having received a perfect score in the famous Japanese magazine Famitsu (10/10 from all four reviewers), this is certainly something to look forward to America and Europe. Meanwhile, we can enjoy all the spoilers of secret characters. I for one am disappointed that Captain Falcon STILL hasn’t been announced, and sincerely hope he’s an unlockable character. The Smash Bros site will continue to update, now providing information on secret characters and other tips.

Smash Bros Brawl

In other slightly less exciting news, yesterday a couple of cut cables in the Mediterranean put a lot of Asia’s internet out of service, particularly Egypt, the Middle East and India. Many of the Internet Providers in Asia reported a 50% cut n bandwidth, which was disastrous for some companies and businesses. Although this probably won’t affect many of our readers, it certainly puts a lot of things into perspective; how a little problem in Europe can screw over much of Asia. As of Friday though, this problem has begun to subside a little.

Finally, although not really technology related, Iron Maiden begun their grand ‘Somewhere Back in Time 08’ world tour today, setting off in their brand new plane ‘Ed Force One’, named after their mascot ‘Eddie’. This plane, a first for any band, will ferry the band, crew, roadies, and all the gear for the live show, to all of their concerts. For some, this is just cool. For others, it’s a greener and more practical approach to things, as it only involves a single plane rather than hundreds of different planes and buses. Not only that, it’s flown by the band’s lead singer, Bruce Dickinson! How about that! For more information, check this site out, and for Bruce’s Friday Night Rock Show, check here (may only be for UK residents).

And now I leave you with an awesome british beatboxer. Enjoy!

TGI Friday! #3

Ahhh, Friday! How we’ve all missed you!

I love Fridays!

Unfortunately, not a whole lot to report this week, at least nothing that I’m aware. I have two snippets of information, one of which you may already know and the other is… a little off the wall.

First off, the wonder that is Team Fortress 2 is set for some interesting updates in the upcoming weeks. Although I can’t provide any dates, the first of many class loadouts will be released in the form of a Medic update. This presents more acheivements, which in turn unlock different weapons for the characters. One of these will be a special Healing gun which permanently doubles a team-mates health but charges Ubercharge more slowly. Certainly something to look forward to.

The other big news is that Scientology websites around the world were brought down earlier this wekk by the Internet group known as ‘Anonymous’. If you don’t know who they are, then where the hell have you been recently? Anyway, using DDOS attacks they managed to bring down the websites, and now the Church of Scientology is giving a reward of $5000 to whoever can identify a member of Anonymous. What will happen now? Who knows, but for sure this is most definitely Serious Business.

And in the spirit of old news, here’s a video I saw a long time ago. Enjoy!