Category Archives: Music

Rockin’ Friday – Headbanging!

Jeff Loomis of Nevermore

Hello readers! Hope you’re all looking forward to a fun rock-filled weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anywho, thought I’d talk a little bit today about the manners of a metalhead, namely the rawkfist, the headbang, and the mosh.

THE RAWKFIST

Figure 1 – The Rawkfist.

The Rawkfist, otherwise known as ‘Rock Fist’, ‘Devil Horns’ or ‘Corna’, is most usually an outward gesture of inner appreciation. Simply put, the user of this gesture thinks whatever he’s gesturing at or about is awesome. But you all knew that.

THE HEADBANG

Figure 2 – The Headbang

The art of headbanging is a form of dancing reserved for the most rocking of situations. Usually done to the beat of whatever song the user is listening to. (If not in beat with anything, see moshing below. If no music can be heard or seen in the form of headphones, back off slowly.) It is worth nothing that there are various forms and degrees of the headbang, all seen here, as ridiculous as some of them are.

THE MOSH

Figure 3 – The Mosh

The Mosh, to the untrained eye, is a furious melee of drunk revellers, all running, pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, and generally paying tribute to the glorious Satan worshippers that are playing on stage in front of them. THIS IS (mostly) NOT TRUE. Well, that’s a half lie. A lot of people do enter the moshpit to beat the daylights out of their fellow concert-goers. But for plenty of others, it’s merely an extended form of the headbang, and in the right circumstances can be an expression of almost brotherly kinship, with fellow moshers picking up their brethren if they fall. That being said, it can be dangerous AND CANNOT BE ADVISED FOR THE WEAK OF HEART OR PREGNANT. They are also frowned upon at many metal concerts, notably at Iron Maiden gigs, which is less of a moshy affair than a Slayer concert. So save it for the right place, or you risk getting a kick up the arse or a kick out of the venue!

And that’s all for this week! Enjoy your weekends everyone!

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday – A few random videos

Brian May of Queen fame

Hello again readers ๐Ÿ˜€ Not much for you this week, so just a bunch of random videos I found:

First, here is the work of a comedian known as Jon Lajoie, who has a made a number of humorous songs, some of which are listed below:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5PsnxDQvQpw&feature=user

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM&feature=user

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wxp3zqIqO68&feature=user

http://youtube.com/watch?v=i2spZ-NDfS4&feature=user

The next thing I have is a band labelled as ‘the worst band ever’, Complete.

And that’s all for tonight ๐Ÿ˜€ Sorry for this rather tame and dry post, but until I find some more material you can revel in the brilliance of Complete ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rock on! \m/

Rockin’ Friday! – ’10 Inconvenient Truths’

Marty Friedman -Ex Member of Megadeth

Hello everyone! This week I will reply to this site I found about music piracy, simply titled ‘Music Piracy – Ten Inconvenient Truths.’ I found this on the ‘IFPI’ site, which represents the worldwide recording industry. Here are the 10 inconvenient truths it listed:

1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment โ€œfree musicโ€ rhetoric.

2. Allofmp3.com, the well-known Russian website, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.

3. Organised criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.

4. Illegal file-sharers donโ€™t care whether the copyright infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.

5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on โ€œundergroundโ€ artists and more inclination to invest in โ€œbankersโ€ like American Idol stars.

6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.

7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth โ€“ it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.

8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners.

9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.

10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.

Now, I wish to to dispute a few of these comments, and add my own. Of course, I have no numbers to back me up, unlike the IFPI, and this is merely my opinion. If I’ve said anything that’s blatantly wrong, let me know in the comments and I’ll take it back. So here are my 10 inconvenient truths:

  1. (Point 1) The Pirate Bay making money through advertising has little to do with the “free music” it provides/advocates. Advertising companies pay the Pirate Bay for advertising space, and therefore Pirate Bay can afford to provide free stuff. Webcomics such as Ctrl-Alt-Del sell advertising space so they can afford to continue writing their comics and hosting them. The Pirate Bay making money in such a way means that they aren’t making money at anyone’s expense.
  2. (Point 3) Sure, counterfeit CDs can be sold to make money for criminals. But what money can they possibly make from free file-sharing?
  3. (Point 5) Reduced revenues for record companies and therefore reduced interest in underground bands just forces these underground bands to find other ways to get in touch with the people which these record companies are further alienating through their brutish attempts to control them. An example is the Arctic Monkeys, who, although now a huge UK band, started off gaining mainstream popularity through MySpace. Underground bands don’t need record companies to get popular if they’re good. ‘Bankers’ do.
  4. (Point 7) Anti-copyright movements mostly consist of the consumers who are getting more and more fed-up with the methods of organisations such as the RIAA. They may not know much about the economical aspect of the music industry, but they know a lot when it comes down to how their rights are being treated, hence the backlash.
  5. (Point 10) Anti-piracy campaigners often claim that it is the underground and small bands that suffer, yet how is this true if it is mostly the popular music that is downloaded?
  6. And if it is the popular bands that receive the most attention from pirates, surely they are also the ones most able to handle it financially?
  7. The most money a musician or band makes is rarely from album or single sales. Merchandise and Live performances are the true money-makers for most.
  8. Due to the way the consumer is being alienated by these organisations and record companies, musicians are finding other ways to get in touch, and those that don’t are losing popularity. Look at what happened to Metallica when they took on Napster. And now look at bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, who are finding new ways to bring their music to the masses.
  9. Record companies and copyright organisations are, on the whole, still not realising the potential that the Internet provides financially, and therefore, rather than embracing it, they are trying to fight against something which is impossible to control. Again leading to the alienation of the consumer.
  10. The customer is always right ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yeah, that’s all. Again, if I’ve made an incorrect claim, let me know. I have no agenda, just playing devil’s advocate ๐Ÿ™‚

Rock on! \m/

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ )

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ ) 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 – 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/

First Sale Doctrine == $null? && RIAA == /diffused?

Hey faithful Underground readers. Normally I would post a life post, unfortunately it’s going to have to be delayed one week.

Currently, I am undergoing a project which collects the landmark events of digital history relating to piracy, laws on the electronic frontier, and the serious lack of competence and open minds in authority and political figures in today’s world.

I stumbled across this post yesterday, and felt it was my duty to link it and spread the news as much as possible. It’s yet again, a prime example of the ludicrous behaviors we see from the very people we entrust our sustenance and security to.

Essentially, Universal Media Group is [quoted] “saying that merely by putting some fine print on a CD, it can effectively โ€˜ownโ€™ that CD forever.”

I’ll let you read the article and decide for yourself.

http://svextra.com/blogs/gmsv/2008/04/uh_that_promo_copy_of_bad_we_sent_you_in_87_it_was_a_loaner_and_we_want_it_back.html

Another few day old piece of news, is posted here by the magnificent crew over at Ars Technica, about some interesting RIAA developments. This adds a great outlook on the recent Andersen vs. RIAA case from a few weeks ago:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080402-maine-law-students-try-to-derail-riaa-lawsuit-express.html

[ Sources: Article stumbled upon @ Silicon Valley.com ; LARGE PDF file of court case – EFF.org RIAA working diffusal – ArsTechnica.com ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

ยฅ

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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ )
And with that, I bid thee farewell!

Rock on! \m/

Download Music without a Program, Free.

wheresalltherumgone.jpg

Well, that’s not entirely true. You will need Notepad and an internet browser.

Open your browser, and navigate to http://www.projectplaylist.com

Project Playlist is a wonderful site where individuals upload songs they own for the sole purpose of use that does not infringe copyright laws, such as posting the song in a playlist provided by Project Playlist that you can embed to your MySpace, Facebook or website/blog in general.

Search for your favorite song, one at a time. For this tutorial we’ll use a personal favorite of mine: the man with the machine gun – typed right in the search. In this case it will be the second song in the search as of this date. You can preview the entire track to make sure it’s error free and the right song. Find the version you’re looking for, and click (visit site) to the right of the title. You will see a green URL in the top frame with some other Project Playlist graphics and text. Make sure your URL ends in .mp3 or .mp4 anything that you know you can play. Next, open Notepad and copy/type in this small HTML code:

<a href=”http://www.public.iastate.edu/~froboy/Ryan/The Black Mages – The Skies Above/07 – The Man with the Machine Gun (Final Fantasy VIII).mp3″>The Man with the Machine Gun</a>

or:

<a href=”URL HERE”>NAME HERE</a>

File > Save As… and click the drop down box to “All Files” and type something like man.html so the file becomes an HTML file that will open in your default browser. The alternative to this is just saving it as a regular .txt file, however you need to enable file extensions so you can see it on the file and edit the full name to name.html instead of name.txt which can be done through Folder Options in Control Panel and the View tab under “Hide extensions for known file types” remove the check mark.

Now open your new .html file and you should see a regular link (possibly blue) which you can right click and hit “Save Target As…” or something similar. Save the file to your hard drive, and within a short amount of time you should have your file! You may also left click the link and it will stream within your browser or within your default media player, depending on your setup. Enjoy : – )

God speed, and Best wishes.

ยฅ