Sunday, December 18, 2011

illusion

from  a nifty little wallpaper app on my iPod
Halloo!

Hope your weekend has been splenderific! (I wasn't sure if this was a real word. How do I know it is? Spell check didn't correct me :)


As the mounting doom stress of my last two exams weighed down on me, plus the stress of christmas shopping, plus the stress of buying bus tickets to visit my grandma, plus the stress of interviews &ct... My weekend got off to a bit of a rough start, BUT, it was not completely unproductive :)

I present to you illusion, my "life, y u no give me a break?" playlist, complete with a little poem/lyrical mishmash created by yours truly. You may (or may not) be wondering: "Why the heck would you post something like this?" to which my response would be "well, I thought long and hard about it, and my conclusions were: first of all, I'm sure everybody feels like this at some point, so you can probably relate; and secondly, I spent 3+ hours creating/editing the playlist and composing/editing the accompanying 'letter'.... so why shouldn't I post it?" If nothing else, it was a fun creative exercise, and it helped me to go from the Kleenex-box-in-hand "Hello" (I cannot listen to this song without tearing up) to the I'm-going-to-throw-myself-though-a-hole-in-the-middle-of-the-planet-and-into-space-(but in a sexy manner) "Bliss" from Muse ^^ Once I get back to Muse, then I know that I'm alright again. *thumbs-up*

illusion 

  

Essentially, I began by selecting the saddest songs I could think of (which wasn't exactly helping the situation, I know) and then songs which reflected how I was feeling. 


Am I crazy? Yeah, maybe. 

But I do believe in catharsis (re: Aristotle), so wallowing in self-pity for a little while helps me to crawl out of whatever hold I've fallen into. That's pretty much the story behind illusion. If you decide to listen to all of it, you'll notice a transition in the sound from pretty depressing to better - it was meant to reflect the process of healing. Even though this playlist was created to be pretty dark, I love each of these songs individually or as parts of other playlists, and I do recommend you listen to them :)

The following letter is composed entirely from my favorite lyrics from the songs included in illusion, and in the order that the songs appear. Although I did create the final product as a whole, I take no ownership of the individual lyrics. I know it sounds a bit awkward with the transitions in person (ie. from "my/I'm" to "you" to "she" and then back again), but I wanted to preserve the original lyrics in all their beauty.



Hello, I'm your mind giving you someone to talk to.

My wounded rhymes make silent cries tonight. Sadness is a blessing, sadness is a pearl, oh sadness I'm your girl. The feeling sometimes, wishing you were someone else, felling as though you never belong. Please don't cry now. Please don't go, I want you to stay, I'm begging you please, please don't leave here. I don't want you to hate for all the hurt that you feel, the world is just illusion trying to change you. Gonna hold ya, gonna kiss ya, gonna take ya, away from harm. Maybe not from the directions you are staring at... seduced by the light  of butterflies - how they shimmer, how they glimmer, those butterflies. Look at her with her eyes like a flame. Ownership is an illusion... something burns in me, something turns in me, something yearns in me: I'm my own sun. You don't have to love me, all the time.

I travel the world and the seven seas everybody's looking for something. She's crying to herself because eyes never once looked cruel, but the moon in the blade shimmered like a jewel. Elude the harsh reality of our lands, we saw tears and tragedy, rejoin the back of rebel angels at night like apparitions of an infantry. I never knew daylight could be so violent. A revelation in the light of day, you can't choose what stays and what fades away, and I'd do anything to make you stay. No light, no light...

The times you don't want to wake up, cause when you sleep its never over when you give up. Dark out, but you still gotta lie up, you need to wake up, gotta keep your face up. I have no space, no room to move around and this box is getting smaller I'm trying to get out. How did I get so far from where I was? When did I decide to lose my way? Who have I become? I've got a new low, I see now that I won't let go. Well who am I? I've been right, I've been left. I've been wrong: I've been left, behind. I've been up, but mostly down.

Wait, I don't ever want to be here. Like punching in a dream, breathing life into the nightmare. And not to pull your halo down around your neck and tug you to the ground. Your halo's slipping down, your halo's slipping down to choke you now. No matter what name she goes under, I dig her deeply and no wonder, for she's been lovely to me, and I'm the better for having met her. Everything about you is how I'd want to be. Your freedom comes naturally. Everything about you resonates happiness, now I won't settle for less. Give me all the peace and joy in your mind...

Suddenly I know I'm not sleeping.

Hello, I'm still here - all that's left of yesterday. 

This is what happens when iKaria is sad, lol

iKaria

P.S. I feel better now 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter Exams: A Playlist

If you've been following along with my playlist fiasco - I appreciate the two of you more than you'll ever know - then you'll know that ever since playlist.com blocked "my region" from listening to any music earlier this year, I've been searching high and low for a new site/method to upload playlists. I would have liked to say that thanks to my genius-ness, I cleverly discovered that I could simply upload YouTube playlists (since YouTube has EVERYTHING a little music blogger's heart could desire ^^) ... but, alas it was the genius-ness of my boyfriend to whom I owe thanks *sigh* Thanks hun! :DD

Sooo....

The Playlist! 

I present to you my "Winter Exam" playlist! A terrible title, I know, but at least it's pretty self-explanatory. Anyways, I figured if this worked out nicely then I could transfer all my previous and future playlists onto YouTube. Here's the story behind the two bands featured on this playlist:

Mogwai: bf linked "Letters to the Metro" to me on fbook, and I've seen him listening to them on YouTube while studying. They have a really nice ambiance to study to, a sort of mystic, yet I'm-sitting-in-a-coffee-shop-and-zoned-out kinda feel, which is exactly what I like when I'm studying! I can't listen to anything too stimulating otherwise I end up listening to the music and not studying (a VERY easily attained alternative).  



The Envy Corps: they were recommended to me on fbook by a friend who works at my campus radio station. The first song I listened to was "Ms. Hospital Corners" followed by "Make It Stop" which really reminded me of Radiohead cuz the guy's voice sounds a lot like Thom York. (Anybody else like to pronounce the "th" in their heads?) At any rate, they're a nice band to ease you into Mogwai and into some crazy "in the zone" studying state. 


*Disclaimer*: I don't guarantee that your studying will be more efficient, or that you will not get distracted because chances are, if you're on the Internet THEN YOU'RE ALREADY DISTRACTED, lol! Just take a look at the pic at the beginning of this post Ç

Ehhh, but I'm not one to point fingers.... why do ya think I created this blog two years ago during "reading break"? :P

Hope you enjoy! Rate/comment and tell me what you thought of it :D

Cheers!
iKaria

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bunny Videos

from the "The secret to humor is surpise" Facebook page
Hey guys! 
Guess what? I have an exam tomorrow, sooo... it's time to blog, haha!! 


*serious face*


You might be thinking: surely you can't be serious?


I would say: I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

And he would say: 


Today, I was not watching cat videos on YouTube (that's for next week's exams ... in actuality, I don't watch a lot of cat videos on YouTube), 

This is true
but I came across a bunny video on a friends wall (his girlfriend posted it), and then Xiaxue, who is AWESOME and the funniest blogger I've come across, recently bought a baby Holland Lop Bunny.

Exhibit A: Bunny in a Shower





Exhibit B: Xiaxue falls victim to my awesome timing 
(pause button for the win) 
My sense of timing is so bad... it's good B|


Her Holland Lop Bunny
I didn't just "lol" at this, I actually laughed out loud. Xiaxue's real name is Wendy, I'll just call her Wendy for simplicity's sake.


Then..

Some random stuff I saw on my home feed ... kinda like the random stuff you find at the bottom of your backpack like little bits of gum wrappers and striped paperclips...

The Worlds Fastest Clapper 

(imagine that conversation, eh?: 
"Who are YOU?" 
"I'm the worlds fastest clapper" *YEEEAAHHH!!!*)


Now, tell me you didn't try to clap like him after watching this!! :P


Lol, can you imagine this guy at a concert? xD


I'm going to leave you with this nice little tongue-twister couresty of Arrested Development:
Tobias Fünke
... I momentarily entertained the notion of renaming my blog, but then I realized that it just sounded like I was saying "the blah blah blah blah blah". Scratch that idea.

Cheers!
iKaria


 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Warning: Museum Graduate Programs Spawn Legions of Zombies!

museumtwo.blogspot.com
While studying for a final exam today (which will take place tomorrow ... that's why I'm blogging :DD), I had a conversation with a grad student friend about her faculty's grad program. I got a behind-the-doors look into some of the politics and email exchanges that (apparently!) aren't uncommon. It made me think of my own future graduate study plans :x The following article offers one interesting perspective!

April 23, 2007
Okay, they don't eat people's brains. Heck, many of them are intelligent, sincere, interesting people. But someone needs to raise the red flag before it takes an MA to work the register at the admissions desk. 
Summer's coming to D.C., and with it flocks of museum studies / education / exhibit planning graduate interns. I’m always curious when I meet these folks, who are about my age, choosing a different entry path into the museum world. The value proposition of museum grad programs is cloudy in my mind. Is it a credential that serves as a gateway to better jobs? Is it an education that would make me a better person?

Sure, it’s great to learn museum theory and history. But I have some big concerns about museums studies programs, namely:

Standardizing the field limits the potential for radical change. I confess I often feel this way about school in general. One of the reasons I fell in love with museums is because they support learning that is distinctly un-school-like. So I see these programs as a threat, an encroachment of schoolishness on the willfully unschooled. Following a standardized curriculum to prepare for work in the museum field homogenizes the perspectives and skills people bring to museum jobs. I think one of the things that keep museums fresh, welcoming, and non-didactic is the fact that most exhibit designers, museum educators, and conservators come from a variety of backgrounds. You were a carpenter. I was an engineer. She was a ceramicist. He wrote poetry. Sure, we may have some communication trouble getting on the same page. But that’s worth it for the wealth of different experiences we bring to the table.

And by presenting the "right way" to do things, graduate school defines and judges other options as sub-optimal. Young people who walk into class with wild ideas may walk out (and into jobs) with the perception that those unique ideas are inappropriate or impractical. But those are the ideas we need to grow. Museum people aren’t mathematicians; our work can’t be traced to an immutable set of laws. The more we teach and judge based on laws, the less students and graduates will try to break them.

But this isn't just about my personal bias against school learnin'. I support pedantic educational models when goals and outcomes are clear. But no one can list the tangible skills these programs impart. When I ask alumni about the value of museum education/studies programs, they often say, “It was a good experience. But I wouldn’t recommend it for you.” This may sound reasonable; any life choice is a personal decision. But why isn't it right for me? Because I already have those skills? Because I'm already on the way? If I've learned in a few years of experience and reading--for free--what I would have learned in graduate school, why bother?

Other graduate programs develop hard skills. Last year, my museum was a “client” for an MIT product design grad course (in mechanical engineering). The students designed and fabricated prototype pieces of an upcoming exhibition. None of these students had backgrounds in educational theory or museum studies. And yet if given the choice to have one of them as an intern or a museum studies student, I’d choose a mechanical engineer in a second. All of those students had real skills—in building and design—to bring to the drafting table.

If the programs aren't about skills, are they a professional gateway? Not in my anecdotal experience. The credential is a crapshoot. I used to work at a children’s museum with another young woman who had a graduate degree in museum education. We cut the same construction paper. We taught the same programs. The only benefit her degree got her was 25 cents more per hour. I don’t think this is an unusual circumstance—most of the museum grad students I know have the same struggle as non-grad students to find museum jobs, made worse by hefty student loans. Worse, graduate school provides a sumptuous taste of exciting museum work via substantive intern projects which makes sinking into mundane entry-level jobs disappointing. At least I knew I wasn’t using a graduate degree to cut construction paper, that I was paying my dues without also paying thousands in loans. The grad students I know who have successfully transitioned from school to job did so because of connections they made in the program—connections they could have made on the job or at conferences. Why pay for an internship when you could offer yourself to a museum for free?

The graduate programs don't just offer false promises to students. The semblance of a credential creates a red herring that employers latch onto. Over the last 10 years, “graduate degree in museum X” has snuck into many listings for entry level museum jobs. Have these jobs changed such that a graduate degree is now a necessary prerequisite?

I asked my boss about this. She’s a graduate of a museum education program, and she originally hired me for a job that listed museum graduate degree as a prerequisite. She reflected and said that she would always prefer someone with interesting, diverse real-world experience over someone who just has a graduate degree. And yet, she admitted that seeing that MA on the resume imparts a certain comfort, a known quantity, that appeals to her. But how many interesting, diverse people like me would have turned away from that job listing because of a lack of the credential? How many resumes would she examine less closely due to lack of the MA? For her at least, the degree is a crutch that makes it easy for her to not seek out the best person for a job—which creates a lose-lose for the institution and for that best person, wherever he or she might be.

This is not to say that I don’t think education and learning is essential for our field. If anything, I support MORE educational opportunities in museums. But should they happen in a classroom? And is graduate school the best entry path for people new to the field? I want the head honchos of the museum world to spend some energy enabling apprenticeships, internships, and experimental projects, so that young people can learn real skills in the open, creative environments that museums can and should be. I want to see more graduate programs (and less formal opportunities) like Bank Street's Leadership program, which is for working, mid-career educators to collaborate and learn in a high-quality, focused environment. I want access and discussion around conference sessions, journal articles, exhibit critiques, and workshops.

When it comes to museum education, we need to stop grading and start enabling. “No one ever fails a museum.” But did they get an A in the class where they first learned that?
POSTED BY NINA SIMON at museumtwo.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MUSE Update: Back in the Studio for Album 6

Baby Bing ^^
Exclusive: Muse Manager Anthony Addis Talks New Album, Touring and the Challenges of Conquering America
October 17, 2011
Often praised as one of the greatest live acts in the world today, Muse's latest touring run was its most successful yet. Beginning in October 2009 and wrapping this summer with a headline slot at the U.K. dual-site Reading and Leeds festival, the U.K. alt-rock act's Resistance tour - in support of its fifth studio set, 2009's "The Resistance" - was a 14-month global trek that included headline gigs at festivals Coachella, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza, and a stint supporting U2 in South America. (The group's totals for the tour through the end of 2009 as reported to Billboard Boxscore saw a gross of $33,141,559 with 561,304 tickets sold on 45 shows, 21 of which were sellouts). 
In this exclusive interview with Billboard.Biz, Anthony Addis, the band's manager and director of U.K.-based Brontone Management, which also represents The Pogues and Pulled Apart By Horses, discusses what they plan to do next.  
Billboard.Biz: How is work progressing on Muse's next studio album?
Anthony Addis: They've now gone into the recording studio. The plan is to do it all in London... Hopefully, [the album] might come out October next year. They've written a lot of material already but you don't know how it's going to gel between them all. They write constantly. They write on the road, so before or after a gig they'll write nearly every night. It's a serious process, but you don't know how it's going to turn out [until] you start practicing it together, because everybody's done it individually.

BBB: Have you heard any of the new material?
AA: No -- I will not listen to it. I'm not interested until they believe it's in the right form. If you trust an artist, you've got to trust the music that they make. You've got to trust that they will get it right. What's the use of listening to something that is half-baked? ... Our job is to plan the next two and half/three years from when you think they will finish it.
 
BBB: The Resistance Tour was Muse's biggest and most successful yet. Is there room to further grow the band's live operations?
AA: In America, the answer is yes -- although I think the sheds are a problem. We did a joint headline show with Rage Against The Machine in L.A. at the 90,000-capacity Memorial Coliseum and there were about 55,000 people there. ... People haven't got the money anymore. I think it's worldwide. I think it's just hitting into the U.K. now as you can see with retail.
 
BBB: So what will be the live strategy going forward?
AA: I don't know. You've got to look at things as you get into that position. America you can actually go into places within a two/three-month period to book upfront, whereas in Europe, you're looking six months upfront. It's a different strategy. You've got to look at what the world is out there and what your fans can afford.
 
BBB: A key factor in Muse's growth as a live act has been keeping ticket prices affordable. Will that continue?
AA: Yes. Our strategy is never to rip off the fans. The fan comes to have an experience. .... He or she has worked for that money. Either that or they robbed a bank. So you've got to give them an experience at the right price. We've increased worldwide [ticket sales] by 40% each time. And that's how we increase the fan base, because they've enjoyed it as a spectacle. Every night after the show we have an analysis of what went down right and what didn't, and all of that is logged in into a database. We know what happened in every show and every city going back all the years. If a number didn't go down well, then it will not appear in the set next time.
 
BBB: Muse are one of the few modern rock acts to make the transition to arena-sized venues. Why do you think so few bands are making the grade?
AA: I think the music industry has a lot of mediocre artists and groups at the moment. The record companies are feeding off mediocre, instant success and "The X-Factor" was the trouble that started it... People don't follow the same band anymore. [Artists] are like disposable cartons. That's what we've got now in the music industry, and he [Simon Cowell] started it. And you're going to have more fallout if Warner or Universal buy EMI because they're going to drop all the lower level [artists]. There's still a lot of good stuff, don't get me wrong. But it's harder to build a career with a band because the record companies want it, but they also don't want it. They want a killer band within an album cycle.
Read the original article by By Richard Smirke (London), here. 


chevrolet-tweet.jpg
- from "Today in unfortunate auto tweets"
Just for funnies, here's a little article about the infamous Tweeter "Mott Bollomy".


The happy couple look gorgeous ... and I love the room they're in!
It looks old and European! Oooo.. *the history student drools*
I wanted to end this post with a touching quote from Matt about his ex-finaceé, Gaia:

The moment I reached my highest professionally I was left by the woman I love. She's an Italian girl who lives in the area of Lake Como,where I bought a house to be with her.

To have your heart in pieces while every other aspect of your life couldn't go better is a traumatic experience.In appearance,life is fine.But as you put your day in focus,everything turns grey.What happened made me realise that complete,absolute happiness doesn't exist.She has left me,but I'm not giving up.I will do anything I'm capable of to win her back.I'm going to try everything."

-Matthew Bellamy-Panorama (18/3/2010) 
Copied from this awesome Tumblr page: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MUSE


Cheers!
iKaria

Say Whaat?

Now it all becomes clear to me 
Found these pics on the Stanton Warriors' Facebook page, ePIC. B)

... 
And I want to put my jacket on you, whatchu gonna do 'bout it?
Remember that saying, "two's a crowd"? It doesn't apply here.
Hey, could I order a drink with my Ice Tea?

This song is rad! I like it better acoustic, at least, the acoustic version is what caught my ear. This is the live on the Big Ugly Yellow Couch.
Cough Syrup -Young the Giant


... and this comment made me shake my head. What happens to people when they go on YouTube? All gloves come off and the comments get real nasty, or real weird O_o

This song makes me wanna strip naked, burst out of my window, free fall 28 floors, faceplant in the snow, make a snow angel mixed with my own blood, shiver from the cold, get hypothermia, DIE, go the pearly gate, say wuzzup to Jesus, do our secret hand shake, look for Buddha, find him, have him reincarnate me into a frog, meet a princess, kiss her, turn into a prince, order my subjects to bring me a computer, listen to this song again, cry myself to sleep. Wake up.. Repeat 
- yac311

This kid... will never do the dishes again (at least not without looking over his shoulder) xD


Enjoy your Tuesday evening and don't forget to check out the free songs on iTunes! 


Cheers from your music blogger still awaiting her iPod,
iKaria

New Music: Garbage Day



Hello!
I'm in the middle of a well-needed break between writing midterms/ assignments/ papers... so clearly that means my free time should be used on productive things like blogging.
My logic = good B)

Here's some tunes I've been listening to this week. Enjoy!

The Lady Is a Tramp - Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett
I LOVE it when Gaga sings like this! She has such a beautiful voice and the pop music we usually hear doesn't do her voice the justice it deserves. lol, and they have such cute chemistry in this video ^^


A Heavy Abacus - The Joy Formidable

According to the X92.9fm, Dave Grohl endorses this band.

Perfect Morning - Long Arm

Good music to get into 'the zone' 8)

Genie In a Bottle - Christina Aguilera

Listening to Christina and Britney is like the musical equivalent of comfort food - these are songs I listened to growing up that hold sentimental value now. lol, that borders on sounding sappy! Bad iKaria!

Sharin and Sune of The Raveonettes
In antici-pation of my new iPod that will fit full albums (64GB baby, oh yeah), I finally downloaded an album on iTunes that I've had on my Wish List for a while: The Raveonettes' Lust Lust Lust. I also bought Florence + The Machine's new album Ceremonials. 

You Want the Candy - The Raveonettes



Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine


Impatiently awaiting my new iPod,
iKaria


P.S. My current iPod is a first generation Touch... a music blogger using an 8GB iPod is like sleeping with a blanket that's too small - it covers the essentials, but leaves a lot out. (Not to mention how ridiculous it would look... LOL)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's Your Number?

This is a real party invitation I received on Facebook... 
from a person that I actually know... *facepalm*
(Just as an aside, it's the same individual who first told me to check out Rebecca Black)

BBC News: Where do you fit into 7 billion?
I heard about this on the radio earlier today, so I go online to find it, lo and behold, it's already circulating around on fbook. Check it out!

iKaria


Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kerli Fries

It's Kerli with curly hair... xD
I created this playlist on the way to campus today. I present to you:


[Kerli Fries]
Army of Love - Kerli
Lights (Bassnectar Remix) - Ellie Goulding
Sick - Evanescence
Stinkfist - Tool
Iron - Woodkid
The Noose - A Perfect Circle
Haus Am See - Peter Fox
Pure Morning - Placebo
Ready, Able - Grizzly Bear
Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear
Slow Life - Grizzly Bear

I wish I could still make playlists on playlist.com so that you could listen to the songs as I can on my iPod, but alas, I can't listen to anything because I'm in the wrong "region".


Anyhoo, I first heard Kerli Kõiv (if you're wondering how to pronounce that, I put up a video at the end of this post :) about two years ago while searching up Kanon Wakeshima. Kanon did a couple songs for the Vampire Knight anime series that I'd been watching on YouTube (think Twilight - it's got vampires, a love triangle and it's set in a school) based off a manga of the same name. This was the song Kanon wrote for the opening credits:


Still Doll





iTunes describes Kerli as: "a mix of Bjork, Natasha Bedingfield, and Evanescence's Amy Lee ... with a touch of [Gothic Lolita] on her debut album, Love Is Dead." She kinda of reminds me of a Nightmare Before Christmas themed Lady Gaga. Wiki P. Edia quotes Kerli as describing her style as 'BubbleGoth' which is "putting together light and dark, opposites, and things that you don't really necessarily think go together."  

The funny thing with Kerli, and I suppose with a lot of the other artists I feature, is that I don't really click with them the first time I listen. I didn't dislike her when I first heard "Walking On Air" two years ago, rather, I added her to my iTunes Wish List and put her away for a later date. And as it turns out, that later date was yesterday! 


She's set to release her second album this fall and this next track is the first single. I definitely obsessed over this song for all of last night/ this morning/ today. I don't know what it is, but there's just something about it that I can't get enough of. It's a bit of a change from her previous sound, more electronic and dance-like, but I'm liking it!

Army of Love

vs.
Walking On Air

What do you think of her new sound versus the old one? 
Comment below! :D

Kerli explains the deviation from her sound in this interview:




How to pronounce her name in Estonian and English:


If you didn't catch how to say it in America, it's just like 'curly'. Heheh, like curly fries! xD


Cheers!
iKaria

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holy Tributes Batman!

It may be unreadable, but 12 of the above albums are tributes to Tool :o


Hello MuseontheMind-ers!

I hope you're all having a fabadabadosy evening (or night/ morning/ afternoon). I've got some music to share, but first I'd like to pass on a little tid-bit my mom told me - apparently, Maynard James Keenan of Tool (if you don't know this band you MUSE... *spell check* MUST go check them out!) specifically indicated that Tool songs could not be made available on iTunes, but the music from his other bands, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, are available. So what do I do after I hear this? 


Go straight onto iTunes and check it out for myself of course! 

And what do I find? Well... take a look at the screen shot above! 

So you can't get any official Tool tracks, but you sure as heck can get your full gamut of tributes! There's something for everyone whether you're in the mood for some Baroque Tool, string quartet Tool, Gothic Tool, or for the younger audiences, lullaby Tool. Yep. 
I've linked a couple samples below - my personal favorites are the Piano covers!   


Schism - A Baroque Tribute 


Sober - A Piano Tribute



*****

Thought I'd just tack this last little bit onto the Tool tribute post since it has some connection :D

Amy Lee in the music video for "What You Want"
I downloaded Evanescence's new album a couple days ago (a 5-year hiatus! Has it really been that long??) and I absolutely LOVE it. Amy Lee's vocals are just as sweet and powerful, but the music seems to pack a heftier punch in this, their 3rd self-titled album. 


So, the song in question with the connection to Tool? Take a listen:

Sick


Forty Six & 2


Beginning riff. Need I say anything more?

Cheers!
iKaria 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Hey guys,

It appears (or doesn't... eugh, bad joke) that all the pictures on my blog suddenly decided to join the invisibility club without inviting me.  According to some Google search results, I need to change the privacy settings on my Picasa Web Album, which is fine and dandy... if I knew where to access such an album. I opened up the Picasa on my desktop, but I couldn't find any albums or album settings to "change". If anybody can help, or at least steer me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

Until I can sort this mess out I don't think I'll post anything because it would be boring without pictures :( ... and maybe I'm a little disheartened at the whole situation...



Your woefully playlist-less and now picture-less music blogger, 
iKaria


*****
UPDATE:
Hee hee, I fixed it!!!! Turns out, the "Sign Into Web Albums" link was in the farthest upper-left-hand corner of the screen (in size 10 font...). I am not disheartened anymore and you can expect new posts - one of them about a new album!

Yours joyfully (but still playlist-less),
iKaria

Friday, October 14, 2011

Florence + the Machine - Ceremonials

Florence Welch's new album Ceremonials is set to hit stores on October 31 (at least in the UK)!

The first single - and I apologize for not posting this sooner... I think I linked it on Facebook on August 24th... is titled,


"What the Water Gave Me". Have a listen:


Ooo, sounds spooky! Not to mention the album comes out on Halloween...

Here's a video from her official website:


Can't wait to hear it! Now if only she would make a trip up here for a concert...

Cheers!
iKaria

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SIBERIA _ My Review

Lights live in action - photo from iamlights.com
I won't deny it - I've listened to nothing else but Lights since I downloaded her album this weekend. I wasn't sure if I liked the new album at first - yes, it's heavy and she has incorporated some pretty sweet dubstep beats, but the divergence from her 'sound' took some getting used to. I think it's great when artists experiment and play around with new sounds, but sometimes you like an artist for their unique sound and in this case, The Listening was very unique; an enjoyable blend of electronic beats, space-y themes, and quirkiness that came to represents Lights for me. Her dabbling in the heavier beats almost - and I don't really like saying this but the thought did cross my mind at the time - almost made her sound like any other female pop star (NOT that there is anything wrong with pop singers, I just never pegged Lights as one).

That was then... now, I've decided I quite like Siberia. My favorite tracks are:
Toes

Peace Sign


Suspension
Banner
Everybody Breaks a Glass
Siberia 

Toes




Peace Sign



Suspension



Banner



Everybody Breaks a Glass



Siberia


I did buy a ticket to her concert next month - kinda stoked to see her again... for the 3rd time xD And this time.... this time, I will squirm my way to the front even if I have to use underhanded tactics such as The Well-Placed Tickle (muahahahah....) just kiddin'. 



'Cuz that would be WEIRD O_o



Although, speaking of being weird at concerts, I really wanted to do something funny at last night's Opeth concert... people seemed so serious! (Insert: "Y so srs?" *Joker face*) Opeth didn't have the berserk rowdiness of Amon Amarth, instead, it was more of a contemplative, head-nodding appreciation for metal. Still saw the long hair and black clothing (one guy even had a spiked helmet and fangs! - a pic forthcoming...) but there was no circle-pit and very little shoving (thank goodness!). The opening band, Katatonia, was pretty sweet too - and I bought a t-shirt from both bands. I'm definitely going to have to cut them though - even though I got the last small sizes (in both shirts! What luck!) the "small" sizes are 'small' enough to fit my guy friends and I'm a pretty small person :o Once I upload the pics from my phone I'll write up a review of the Amon Amarth and Opeth concerts :)




Cheers,
iKaria

P.S. A note from the sponsor: this 
blog post is brought to you by Procrapstination Inc. - where all students can invest their time in creative, productive outlets that are completely unrelated to 'studying' for the midterms and/or quizzes taking place the next day. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SIBERIA _ A Review

Lights (camera, action!)


Ello, ello, ello!
Light's 2nd album Siberia hit stores yesterday and there's already a review up on msn! Read on below... (and in case you were wondering, I will write my own review... eventually :P)

The jumping off point for Lights' frenetic new sound arrives at the end of the Canadian pop star's sophomore album, "Siberia," in the form of an epic, nine-minute synth jam called "Day One."
"Every second of that song is completely live," Lights says of the track in a recent phone interview. "It was a really special thing to throw in there. I didn't have to do it but I just thought it would be this really cool, musical adventure."
Two years after the 24-year-old Timmons, Ontario native made her major label debut with the glitteringly pristine pop production "The Listening," she found herself far removed from that lofty world and on the cusp of this cool new adventure. Banging away on a toy Yamaha keyboard double-wired through a makeshift cable to a drum machine, she began to experiment in the cluttered dining room that Toronto dance group Holy Fuck call their recording space.
Lights, born Valerie Poxleitner, met Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh at a British music festival a year earlier but, at first, the thought of working together never crossed her mind. Sometime later, while clubbing in Montreal, she heard the song "Where You Should Be" by UK dubstep producer Skream and had a revelation: her next record should embrace a darker, raw and rough-hewn quality to dirty up her pretty melodies and vocals.
 "My music is very melodic and very pop forward," Lights says. "I wanted to evolve and go to another level with the next record. The initial thing that came to my mind was how can I contrast what I already have and bring two things together that make this one a little different?" 
Holy Fuck certainly are different -- at least as far as Lights' shimmering, streamlined sound is concerned -- so at the suggestion of her manager, the CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi, she asked Borcherdt and Walsh to jam. "It seemed a little far out at the time," she says. "After having met them I didn't ever think that we'd be collaborating. You just never know what's gonna work and what's not." 
She went into the first session with few expectations and wound up conceiving the album's thematic musical thrust and three of its songs: the title track, "Everybody Breaks A Glass," and "Day One," the tripped-out, nine-minute instrumental jam that closes the album. 
From there, she began mapping out more songs with Borcherdt and her co-producer Thomas 'Tawgs' Salter (Fefe Dobson, Josh Groban). She wrote some songs in more traditional ways -- on acoustic guitar, for example -- and recruited Juno-winning rapper Shad for two guest verses, all the while careful to extract the minimalist grit that dubstep evokes but not necessarily its distinctive, wobbly beat structures (save for one instrumental breakdown). 
Like any trend, dubstep has started to incur backlash from critics and producers alike the more ubiquitous it has become in clubs and mainstream pop production. 
"I'm sure the days of dubstep are gonna come and go just like any other popular genre that comes in really hot and dissipates," she says. "Going back to tracks like 'I Want It That Way' and 'Larger Than Life' by Backstreet Boys, in that era there was a very prominent punching snare drum that marked the time. It's the little things, production-wise, that tend to date something. I'm learning about that as I go." 
Alongside her music career, Lights is learning game design and software development through Alberta-based online school Athabasca University. An avid gamer and comic book nerd (the look for her debut album was heavily influenced by Wonder Woman), she's made forays into the world of online entertainment in 2009 through the 10-episode MTV motion comic series "Audio Quest: A Captain Lights Adventure," conceived in collaboration with Marvel Comics animator Tomm Coker. 
Asked how she plans to creatively apply her computer science skills, she answers a number of ways: to code and manage her own website and social community, perhaps build bespoke software to use in composing future music or maybe to develop and design her own role playing game (RPG). 
"Soundtracks to games have become more crucial than ever," she says. "But there has yet to be a game that involves music in a really cool way -- like some kind of RPG where you're exploring and looking for sounds." 
The character in Captain Lights, for example, is an audiophile that traverses the universe collecting specific sound samples. "How cool would it be to apply a concept like that to a game?" 
In the meantime, she's adopting a more natural look for "Siberia" in line with the record's grimier sounds. The video for lead single "Toes" was shot guerilla style in alleys and subway stations around Toronto and she hopes that earthy vibe will carry through future videos and live gigs. "There were no glamorous little space outfits, spaceships or energy plasma fights," she says. "It's all true and gritty. I feel good at this place with this record."



Read the original article by Kevin Ritchie on msn Entertainment here!

iKaria

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mad World


This song isn't new, nor is the choreography in the video, and for that matter this particular music video came out 8 years ago, but I still found that it was a powerful combination when put together.



Mad World



I'd heard the song before, but I never gave it much thought until I saw this music video. How did I come to watch the video? Well... I was on Pandora.com (STILL looking for websites with free playlists .... that work in Canada...), and on the Muse-inspired custom radio station they'd created for me, "Mad World" came on. This isn't the original version - Michael Andrews and Gary Jules covered Tears for Fears' "Mad World" (1982) for the movie Donnie Darko (2001).

So it's not new, but it has value therefore, is it still creative? 

****

Meet "IZ":
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole (1959 - 1997) was a Hawaiian musician who became famous for his covers of "Over the Rainbow" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World".

Over the Rainbow


He inspires me to pick up my ukulele and give it another go!

His video was in the sidebar for Mad World... the YouTube sidebar works in mysterious ways :)


iKaria