ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Time for another round of "nos asks the hive mind". This time, music recommendations. The topic is "songs of vice and sin". Anything from "One Night in Bangkok" to "House of the Rising Sun" to "The Perfect Crime #2". I don't really care.

I, uh, basically might be doing something involving the seven deadly sins and need inspiration. And I'd like to see if I can actually make a playlist that doesn't involve Matthew Good in some way. :)
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ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
1) neboat got me addicted to Two Steps from Hell last week. I've been pretty much listening to them and only them since. It has the interesting property of making absolutely anything you do Epic. Highly recommend it for music while writing. (Two Steps from Hell is a group that writes original music for movie and game trailers. Brushing your teeth has never felt this badass.)

Current favorites are "Heart of Courage", "Black Blade", "Protectors of Earth", "After the Fall".

2) I seem to be writing an original fic. What is this I don't even

3) Finishing the Mass Effect series flipped something in my brain, and I seem to be desperately craving gritty space opera. Possibly, more accurately, a reconstructed space opera ('ware, TVTropes). Or sci-fi assassin/spycraft stories. I dunno. My brain is demanding something to chew on like those two (I've been reading a bunch of spycraft and information handling lately), or else I'm going to lose the battle against replaying the damn series.

This is slightly annoying because I have a giant pile of games right now, and other than Bastion, I haven't been able to convince myself to play any of them. Bastion, by the way, is excellent, and is currently the bonus game in the Humble Indie Bundle V. All the games in the bundle are excellent, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and proceeds go to the developers and charity (Child's Plan and the EFF), depending on how you want the split. In any case, if you're interested or curious, check it out. Or ask me if I think you'd like it if you're not sure. It's for an excellent cause.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
I've been watching the archives of Extra Credits on PATV (which are completely awesome and I need to link people to them at some point, because there are people I know in fandom who would eat these guys up because they get it). And, for the outro music, they often take tracks made from people on OCRemix, a group of various fan artist who remix video game music and share them. There was an epic rendition of the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past theme, and, curious, I traced it back to the source.

Imagine my surprise when, upon visiting OCRemix's homepage, I saw the announcement that they'd just released their newest album: Wild Arms: ARMed and DANGerous.

Look, I can understand why some people are like "so what?" The first Wild ARMs game was released 15 years ago for the PS1, with little fanfare. The 3/4 overhead was reminiscent of FF6, and the 3D battles looked like bobbleheads fighting. It got completely overshadowed by the release of Final Fantasy VII in terms of very early PlayStation JRPGs.

Wild ARMs was the very first RPG I played through start to finish. I'd played around with my cousin's copy of one of the Legend of Zelda games, when I visited and he'd let me, but Wild ARMs? Wild ARMs was mine. I'd rented it on a whim in the summer of 1997 and was absolutely hooked. I'd played through Rudy's intro twice because I didn't understand at the time that I had to save, because there was no way I'd finish in one sitting. 10 hours of gameplay later, we had to return the disc, and the next day, I'd begged my mom for a trip to the game store and minutes later, I had my very own copy in my hands.

I never looked back.

Fourteen and a half years ago, I was introduced to a genre that changed my life. If not for Wild ARMs, I would never have been introduced to Square-Enix, Nippon Ichi, Bioware, or Atlus. I would never have dove headfirst into DnD, WoD, Shadowrun, FATE, or homebrew tabletops. I would never have jumped at the chance to join my university's live-action role-playing group, simply because they had the phrase "role-playing game" in the title.

I would not have the friends I have today, nor had the experiences that made me who I am. I would not be me.

Whenever an icon meme rolls around, people generally ask me "who's that in your default icon?" That would be Cecilia Adelhyde, the one female character in the party of three main characters of the first Wild ARMs, from the animated intro to the game. She's awesome. And she reminds me every day of who I was and who I came to be.

I'm listening to the OCRemix album as I write this, and I can't really put into words what I feel to hear Michiko Naruke's work remixed by fans who love her work as much as I do. It takes me back to a time when I was 12 years old, playing the game on the floor of my brother's bedroom, and not yet realizing at the time that'd I'd fallen absolutely, irrevocably in love with a medium and a genre like none other before.
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
So I'm writing a bunch of characters from a whole lot of different backgrounds, and really, even I can only listen to so much Matthew Good (Band). So, rec me music? Don't really care what genre right now, since I really need an eclectic selection.

(Bonus points for something relating or reminding you of New York City.)
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ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Last night was the VGO concert at Symphony Hall, which was incredible. The program was divided into two sections: the first part, they performed arrangements from film and television, such as The Lord of the Rings, Steel Magnolias, and Back to the Future (the last of which had the actual composer, Alan Silvestri, conducting). The second half was from video games, and is what is "standard" for the VGO. However, this time it was a full orchestra plus rock band in Symphony Hall. It started with the Super Mario Bros. suite, and then got more awesome from there. Myst, which is new for them since they usually don't play Western video game music. "Baba Yetu" from Civ IV with full choir. The Afrika suite with Wataru Hokoyama conducting. The Metal Gear Solid suite, with "Snake Eater" performed by a young woman with a seriously impressive set of pipes. The Final Fantasy VII suite, which, yes, meant "One-Winged Angel" with full orchestra and choir. And ending with a rendition of "Scar of Time" from Chrono Cross, which never gets old, because it has the most crazy-awesome flute and violin solos in existence. (I swear to god, the music was the best part of that game.)

I like it when I get "culture"!

Speaking of music, I rediscovered my absolute adoration of Matthew Good's music, after not paying attention for roughly 5 years. Which is somewhat ironic since one of two posters hanging in my room is a poster from the 2003 Avalanche tour. This meant I discovered two studio albums, a live album, and that a new one is coming out next month. My wallet kind of hates me right now. But my ears don't! And I discovered that Matthew Good still pretty much writes the soundtrack to my life. I really wish I had had Hospital Music back in 2007 when it came out. :/

(I'm back to playing around with mixes and playlists, so don't be surprised if post a thing. I might try something new and have it appear as a Grooveshark playlist instead of a downloadable .zip for streaming listening. And legality. Unsure though. Thoughts?)
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ultranos: kino and hermes on a coffee break (i need a coffee break)
I've decided that digital distribution is going to be the death of me. Or at least my wallet. I thought it was bad with Steam, but I finally bit the bullet and bought a few albums off iTunes (Yoshida Brothers) and AmazonMP3 (Ladytron, Little People). This plus Grooveshark? I am this close to buying the discography of God Is An Astronaut, which is apparently my latest obsession along with the Yoshida Brothers. The latter of which I somehow got hooked on while asking Pandora for chiptunes. What is this I don't even.

Speaking of digital distribution, I should figure out within the next, uh, 7 days if I'm pre-purchasing Dragon Age II off Steam, or if I'm going to wait for a few DLC packs. I downloaded the demo, but haven't gotten around to playing it, and don't really want to until I finish Origins and Awakening. There's also the problem that I've been thinking of picking up KH: Birth By Sleep and possibly a Layton game before PAX East. Yes, my life is hard.

In other news, I'm working on a tenday for the Guild, and recently got convinced to write a three-day as well. I'm clearly crazy. Recent discussion among Guild members has made this a fraught endeavor. Ironically, we started designing the game as a backlash against some of the recent trends in Guild writing, because we wanted to be a bit edgy and different. Now, it looks like there already is a backlash, and these things are going to be demanded of us. It's taking a bit of my focus to recalibrate things, just because the environmental dynamic got shifted. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, I just fear that we (the GMs) might be under a harsher microscope. Luckily, we have roughly 11 months.

Then there's Ides (a game mechanics writing talk/discussion session for Guild writers), which of course is happening the same weekend as PAX East. I was thinking that I really wanted to go to Ides this year because I seem to have acquired the job class "Mechanics GM" recently. That, and my zephyr class has turned into a source of mechanics discussion lately. But I've already paid for a 3-day pass to PAX. At least it's on the Sunday; I hit my threshold for being able to deal with crowds Saturday night last year, so we'll see. I guess it depends on if there are panels I'd want to see.
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
[livejournal.com profile] surreallis asked me for a music mix of instrumental music: "it needs to evoke feeling. I'd love it to be lush or sad or angsty or painful, but without vocals.". I added "heroic" and "determined" to that list too. The mix is actually purely video game music, and from mostly two composers: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series) and Shoji Meguro (Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series). There are a few tracks by composer Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenogears), but it ended up as a near-perfect split between Uematsu and Meguro.

Masks We Wear (21 tracks, 97.7MB .zip, 1:15 play time)

Track List )
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ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
I've been working on projects (mostly coding. Yeah, I know.) and chewing through some new music I acquired. This has been making me want to flex my songmix muscles. While I want to make some mixes for various gaming runs I'm in, I'd be willing to make other people mixes as well.

So. Give me some kind of prompt if you want a mix. For the record, my music collection is eclectic, so if there are specific genres you might want or not want, let me know.
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ultranos: Actual MIT hack of roadsign. "MASS AVE BRIDGE CLOSED / SUNDAY 04/22/07 6AM-3PM / TO APPEASE GODZILLA" (have you appeased godzilla today?)
So as I mentioned on Thursday (Thursday?), I went to PAX East this weekend. It was a highly-fun weekend where a couple thousand gamers descended on the city of Boston for three days of gaming and gaming-related panels and music. Video games, boardgames, card games, tabletops, you name it, it was probably there. Plus, companies came to show off their new wares. Let me tell you, NVidia's new 3D graphics card (that actually does 3D) is really, really sweet.

Yeah, I'm going to babble about the con )

Today, I decided to forgo the last day of PAX in favor of going to something else. The Tamagawa University's Taiko and Dance performers put on a show at the campus auditorium. I wasn't entirely familiar with taiko prior to today, beyond the basics, but all I can say is, if you get a chance to see them, do it. They're amazing. They're doing a bit of an east coast tour right now (I think they're going to be in DC for the National Cherry Blossom festival on 4/10, I think).
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
Things That Make Me Happy (partial list):

-Figuring out the error in my pset on units that make my answers make sense to the correct order of magnitude. This involves literally leaping out of bed and opening MATLAB to do the calculations.

-Tokyo Brass Style playing Studio Ghilbi music. What is Tokyo Brass Style? An all-female swing band who do covers of various anime music. It's just about as awesome as it sounds.

-Second-ever US showing of Summer Wars on campus, with Q&A with the director and producer tonight! And I get to have dinner with the director, Mamoru Hosoda, today! (Okay, so it's pizza, and it's being arranged by one of my professors for his class, but STILL. AWESOME.) I might be a little excited.

--Relatedly, helping map out the timeline(s) from Hosoda's last movie The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and realizing that the theory of time travel is less a "wibbly-wobbly timey-whimy" ball and more of "time travel as a version-control repository". I believe the phrase "time travel is like a git-repo" was used.
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
So, I've got a bit of a "problem". See, I got this new iPod, Moros. Moros has roughly 6x more space than I currently have music. (Moros is also bigger than my sole computer at the moment, but lets ignore that.) And despite my recent addiction to Bang Camaro, they only have one album. And, really, I can only listen to so much Shostakovich and Haydn before I want something with less...woodwinds and strings.

Which brings me to this: what kind of music do you like/would recommend?As far as my tastes go, it's pretty eclectic (witness as I jump from Matthew Good Band to Orbital to Queens of the Stone Age to Bach to Freezepop). I'm asking because I'm starting to wonder if I'm not just confusing the hell out of the Last.fm and Pandora algorithms.

I'll admit to an aversion to rap, hip-hop, and R&B, but that's mostly colored by only being exposed to the genres via my brother who listened to albums with incomprehensible lyrics and lackluster beat and tone that sounded indistinguishable from each other (and not in the amusing way like how All Linkin Park songs look the same). I'm also not fond of the "really twangy kind" of country, probably because really twanging on an acoustic guitar makes me cringe.
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ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (welcome to the rocking grounds)
I love version control. I really do. It's just, well, this time I'm the one figuring out how to work Subversion and set up the repository. On a Windows box (which I have solely because I need software that doesn't have a Linux version). While ssh'ing into a Linux box. Oh, we are having All Kinds of fun here.

The things I do for my players.

Anyway. I'm still pretty happy overall, because not only did I actually get sleep last night, but I finally bought a new iPod. Fujin, my old 30GB, kept randomly pausing during songs. I'd been putting up with it for months, but after not being able to get through a 3 minute song without having to hit the play button 15 times, I kind of gave in. Moros, the new iPod, has a bigger harddrive than Erebus, my laptop. I do not have enough music to fill Fujin; the amount of space free in Moros is hilarious.

(Also: Yes, I name my electronic devices. What?)

I guess it's time to go steal Yarmond's classical collection. Because I guess I'm getting a bit sick of listening to VNV Nation and Orbital all the time (I've been having to read a lot of documentation lately. It's harder for me to concentrate on documentation while listening to, say, Queens of the Stone Age or Coheed and Cambria. Mostly because I kind of want to start singing along. Which is odd because Cake was wonderful while studying). Although pretty much anything is great while having to write MATLAB code.

I should go on a "discover new music" quest.
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] sureallis did this, and I got a mix from her a week or so ago. So this? Is sharing the wealth.

Comment with a theme, and I'll make you a music mix. Like, music to listen to while eating nachos. Or something less lame.

My music tastes are all over the board, with rock, classical, techno, electronica, and at least 7GB alone of Final Fantasy music, so expect to see a whole bunch of stuff in the same mix. If you'd rather not hear something in a mix, let me know.
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ultranos: black on white safety stick-man getting a companion cube to the head (well this sucks)
My day has graduated from being a "Bad Day" and is straying into "Very Fucking Bad Day" territory.

The migraine medicine got prescribed today has not defeated the headache that's been plaguing me for over two weeks now. So I get to go back tomorrow for something better. "Yay."

Why am I posting this to here instead of to the other journal? Because I'm getting cranky enough to start playing with playlists. I'll probably share the mix once its finalized. Beware of heavy beats, angry guitars, and the odd trumpet.

Also, because the near-constant stress has been forcing muses into overtime to keep me sane. There are currently:

1. the sequel(s) to the universe spawned in the apocafic currently at the beta. Um, yeah. They don't shut up.

2. kind of an episode tag to the Atlantis s4 finale. Because apparently I'm trying for "worst human being in the universe". Or something.

3. Laocoon. Laocoon is an NPC in my currently-on-hiatus Stargate RPG campaign. (He's only recently been introduced to the PCs) Laocoon is an Ancient. Laocoon is an Ancient who may or may not actually have a sense of ethics and morality. Laocoon will not shut up. The backstory I kind of started forming in my head when he turned from "one-shot NPC" to "plot-critical NPC" is being expounded upon. There may even be fic.

4. XAOS, as always. Because when I think I'm miserable, all I have to do is look at my poor characters there and realize it could all be much worse.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (the world in my hand)
I have this habit of, when I'm bored and in the mood, of making mixes/playlists to provide background music for whatever it is I'm doing. (For example, there is still the playlist "Anger Management", for when I'm pissed off at the world. Thankfully, that playlist has not been seeing much action these days.) Others are "soundtracks" to various things I'm writing.

I'm considering sharing some of these things, but am unsure of the best way of preserving playlist orders while throwing the entire thing into a .zip or .rar. iTunes apparently exports it as a .txt file. (Um, why?) Since iTunes has apparently failed me, I am left with a choice of:

-Windows Media Player (slightly less-than-thrilled with this option)
-Winamp
-Media Monkey (less-than-ideal solution, because I never use it for this)

(And yes, I do have four different audio programs. No, I don't have a problem.)

I guess I'm just curious as to what other people have used.
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
Solutions to the that music meme

I guess this means that my tastes in music are esoteric? Maybe? (I should not subject my flist to Coheed & Cambria, Matthew Good Band, Wolfmother, or Queens of the Stone Age. Should not. *is devious*)

Housemate #1's got us watching Dr. Who (the new one, starting with the Ninth Doctor). This puts a damper on my plans to figure out what "new" series to watch. Top contenders are Farscape and BSG. (Yes, I know. I'm slow.) BSG is currently winning because it's 3 seasons (plus Razor), before s4 starts in March April.
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
Dear brain-

Why have you latched on to "Comfort Eagle" by Cake as part of the Ori music for the "Bringing Down the House" playlist? This feels so wrong.

Plz to be making sense again.

Love and razor blades,

-the Management
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
I need to write. (I am currently suffering from Strike Fiss's definition of writer's block.) I wrote down awhile ago a list of current WIPs. That list never really stays static for long. Usually, I'm writing stuff and gathering more ideas, so the list is fluid. Unfortunately for me, the balance between the two is rather out-of-whack, and in the Creative-Brain-is-Getting-Bossy way. "The number, it keeps growing!"

That sort of thing.

So what do I do, when faced with the prospect of even more things to write?

Apparently, I start making playlists in iTunes.

In theory, these are supposed to be mixes that will "inspire" me to write whatever work, character, or place I'm currently working on. I started out with a XAOS one, that then multiplied, and then the Stargate works I'm "supposedly" writing got their own, and suddenly the characters wanted their own mixes. *sigh* (For as sadistic as I am to these characters, they're awfully bossy. Smug bastards.)

These are also currently very fluid, and it's going to be a pain to get the lists cut down to a reasonable mix length. Maybe when I'm finished with them, I'll put them up here to share (at least, the titles and artists).
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Profile

ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
ultranos

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)


Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)


Currently Reading:

Manga
-[null]

Fiction
-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

Nonfiction
-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


------------------

"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."

--------

"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."

--------

"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"

--------

"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"

--------

"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."

--------

"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."

--------

"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"

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"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

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