This is a video that I put together from a lot (read hours) of swimming and diving footage that I took this summer. Please do give it a watch and let me know what you think of it.
As you may remember, the last two Septembers, I participated in Kilted To Kick Cancer. I will again be participating this year. Last year’s project made it possible to shoot these videos that I find hilarious, even if they were not widely watched. When you get a minute, please do.
And, I shall also remind you that last years donations to my KTKC effort made Jennifer and me fulfill our promise to make this very special video. I will point out that my YouTube channel has had 28,936 total views, and this video alone has 26,157. So basically, it makes up over 90% of my traffic on YouTube!
Yes, I embedded the video yesterday. Yes, I mention it and link to it again today. See kids, starting Monday, I’m going to be wearing a kilt every day for thirty days. I’m doing this to solicit donations to benefit male-specific cancers. I’ll have all the info on how you can participate soon. Also, there will be dares, bets, challenges, and thrown gauntlets. We’ll probably have some special offers here, and Jennifer and I will be hearing requests for crazy stuff we can do to earn your donations. I’m not sure what that will look like as we were pushing some personal boundaries with that aforementioned video last year. But, if you have any great ideas, shoot us an email or drop it in a comment somewhere. And please do let me know how you like my videos!
When my commute to work included a drive in the car, I would often listen to the radio on my way in because I always forgot to change out the CD selection in the car. Of course, the stations that played any of the good indy stuff that I liked never made any money and so were always short-lived. There were two Christian stations in town, but the good one went belly up and the remaining one was a little koombayah for my taste. So, I wound up listening to NPR. Even though their ‘news’ broadcasts are a little slanted, their shows are entertaining. I especially liked their music reviews.
Radio is now dead. When I was a kid, there were multiple stations in town that gave a nice cross-section taste of what was out there. There were multiple CD stores in town that had nice selections of new and used CDs. They had single-disc CD players set up with headphones where one could pre-listen a used CD prior to buying it. The clerk didn’t care if I sat there and listened to the full 45-minute CD prior to spending my eight bucks to take the CD home with me in my little station wagon. There, I discovered Bjork. There, they’d recommend new CDs to me that they had just gotten in, based on my tastes. If I pointed out that it was wrapped in cellophane, they would roll their eyes and unwrap it so I could give it a listen. In those days, I’d hear something on the radio and go buy the CD locally.
Now that radio is dead, we have the internet. Youtube and Pandora have filled the space of FM. When I find something interesting on the internet, I seek it out at the stores. I see embedded videos and links to songs that are entertaining. When I go to a store that has a generous CD section, I scan interesting selections with my smart phone to compare prices on Amazon. This Johnny Cash CD is eight bucks here, and I can get it for five on Amazon Prime.
For at least a decade now, the artists and even more so, the record labels, have fought to keep music from being downloaded off the internet. And yet, the smarter artists have freely given their music in various forms. In listening to NPR, I was fascinated by Infected Mushroom when they were featured one afternoon. When I found their website, I found that their music is all streaming there. In working at my last place of traditional employment, and subsequently for myself, I have streamed Infected Mushroom for many hours for free.
I decided that I wanted to hear Infected Mushroom in better sound quality than is streamed online. For years, we had cut out all of our excess spending for the purpose of business building. I had asked about Infected Mushroom at several CD stores because I couldn’t find any of their CDs. I was usually met with, “No, I’ve had all my shots.” No, do you have any of their CDs? “Is that the new Garth Brooks album?” I kid, I kid. To all you who may be IM fans out there, do you download MP3s, or order CDs on the internet, or do you find them in stores?
I know that MP3s are the new thing, but they lack depth of sound definition and clarity. Personally, I prefer the warmth of vinyl, but I can certainly live with the resolution of modern CD tracks or WAV files. It’s also nice to get cover art and a physical, hard copy. I have ripped all of our CDs to the hard drive on our media server and stream that when I want to listen to our music library now. Hard drive space is cheap, and it keeps the wear and tear off the originals. This has pointed out some transfer speed weaknesses in the network, which has been interesting.
Anyway, having grown fond of Infected Mushroom, I placed a $45.00 order on Amazon for some of their CDs last night. I’m excited to receive them. I will rip the discs to the media server and listen to them from there, which will certainly be better sound quality than streaming from their website or YouTube. And, I will have put a little money in their pockets too. For all of the musical artists out there that don’t make their work more accessible, I don’t know of their work and have not placed an order for CDs. There is the difference.
Aging in a changing world is interesting. I try very hard to roll with the punches without blindly folding to whatever comes next. Shopping for music is vastly different than it used to be. I don’t hate all the new music in a generalized fashion, but MP3s aren’t worth the price of a physical disc that has superior sound quality and cover art. It benefits the artist to put their work out there to be heard prior to purchase. Just as I would spend hours pouring over used CDs on the player in the CD shop in town, I now spend hours listening to music on the internet to determine what I want to invest in. Where I used to adventurously put money down on a disc to add to the collection, now I see if I can have it delivered for a better price, but plenty of times I still buy on location.
I wish that the record shop was still a major industry, but I understand why it can’t be anymore. MP3s are inferior in sound quality, but they aren’t the sucking mistake that cassettes were. I keep hoping for an improvement over CDs, as this is now almost thirty-year-old technology on the consumer level, and it leaves sound resolution to be desired, but despite SACD, HDCD, and DVD Audio, nothing better has stuck. As Murphy’s Law dictates, once I settle into CDs as the defacto, common use, audiophile medium, the next great thing will happen and then all my stuff will be obsolete. And, it probably won’t even be played over conventional speakers.
Today, due to a lack of motivation to write a blog entry, I started splicing some of the miscellaneous shooting video clips that we have amassed over the years. It’s less than two minutes, and I’d really appreciate if if you would watch it and give me some feedback. I really wasn’t setting out to make a statement, but this is what I wound up with:
I think it came out pretty well. What do you think? Overall, I think my videos are turning out better and better. I might eventually wind up as one of those people.
Edited *twice* to FINALLY fix a typo in the captions on the video.
I know I’ve been hitting the politics pretty hard and heavy recently. Let’s take a break from some of that, shall we? Teen Bot pointed me to this YouTube video, and I must say that it did induce some laughing out loud in a very literal sense. So, please do check it out. There are more than a couple of familiar faces in this little production. I hope it brings a smile to your face as well.
Srsly. I wish life could be more light hearted and silly.
Feeling like I can’t do more involved content options justice today, I’ll leave you with some Korean pop music instead. And no, I’m not going to link gingham* style here. You’ve all already heard that, no doubt. However, I will link Kim Hyun-a, who has incidentally done work with Psy. Here’s her video “Bubble Pop”, which is every bit as light as the title implies, but it’s still fun:
In fact, let’s just stick with Korean girl pop for that matter. Here’s “Twinkle” by Girls’ Generation. I would have embedded the video here, but they aren’t letting that happen. It’s hard to blame them for limiting embedding on a 30-million view video, I suppose.
I’d say that pop singers in the western world should watch their backs! Have a good weekend everyone.
*Yes, I misspelled that deliberately. Not hating, just having some fun.
Toward the beginning of September, Firehand came out to our secret farm range for some shooty goodness. And yes, he was wearing his kilt in a show of solidarity for Kilted To Kick Cancer. He brought with him some modified .22 lr rounds that he had opened up the hollow points on. Here’s a short video that we made of him testing out the expansion characteristics on the modified bullets. Please do take a minute and give it a watch. I’d love to hear how you like it too!
One of the greatest things about modern technology is that just anyone can record and publish themselves, with or without any credit beyond the will to do so and a handfull of relatively cheap tech, without being accountable to anyone else. One of the most horrible things about modern technology is that just anyone can record and publish themselves, with or without any credit beyond the will to do so and a handfull of relatively cheap tech, without being accountable to anyone else. Erin has said that I should watch My Little Pony on one occasion or another. See, the problem is that as a Lady Gaga fan, if I also became a brony, I’d have what’s left of my man card confiscated forever.
Regardless of any of that, I had a sudden urge to listen to the Born This Way CD while I was emailing, which has become my Monday work routine. Thank God for YouTube! And between emails, I discovered that there are enough Lady Gaga covers floating around YouTube to gag a horse! Therefore, as one of the unchecked jackasses on the interwebtron, I’ve compiled Teh Official, Unofficial, Born This Way Fan Tribute Album!!!1!!. Check it out! I think this one is really good, and the spirit matches the original even if the style is quite modified. If I wasn’t already familiar with the song, I would have my doubts that it was actually a Gaga piece:
This next one is so close to the original, but it does have some new flavors from the artists’ personal touches that it works into a nice little cover. To all of you thinking of covering others’ work, this ain’t a bad way to do it:
Don’t do it like this though, unless you’re going for the comedic value. Which I don’t think that’s what this guy was going for:
I will give this dude an honorable mention actually. Apparently, he got a hold of the lyrics before the music or recordings were out, and he ran with them and a good helping of personal creativity. Which makes it less of a cover or remake than like a premake or something. Anyway. Shalalala!!!!:
There are a bunch of accoustic covers running around, but this one has a particular energy and charm that some of the others lack:
Of course, I can’t accuse this next one of lack of energy or charm. She has impressive mastery of the language that brought us the phrase “besame mucho”. Close your eyes and you’ll forget this girl is a white blonde:
I like this one for its simplicity. The artistic liberties that she took are respectful and appropriate to the original. And her look makes me kind of believe that it’s true for her:
And this is just fun. It would make a good back track for a car chase scene with machine guns. Don’t feel like you have to go through the whole three minutes. It does get a little repetitive:
I couldn’t find much on “Bad Kid” that did much for me. Although this is not bad, I wish this kid would express a little more in the performance. The technical bobble a the 0:43 mark really gets to me too:
This gal has a lot of talent. She’s posted several song covers to YouTube. She needs better monitors as she has some tonal issues in some of her videos although it’s not a consistent problem. I’d also like to see a little more interesting interpretation on the guitar part. Still, she’s worth a listen:
And of course someone would do a metal version of “Heavy Metal Lover”! He does a nice job of it too, IMHO:
And this is just creative and funny. I’m not sure I really get the point of the video, but I may have to watch it while I’m not doing something else when I get a chance:
My hands-down favorite song on the CD is “You and I”. The best cover of this song that I could find on YouTube in five minutes of searching is the version by Jenny Lane and Adam Stanton, but I can’t embed their video. And Kalifornia? Seriously? Soooooo, I’ll just embed Savannah Outen’s cover of this song instead, which is also excellent:
One of the problems that I keep running into is that most dudes who decide to do a Lady Gaga cover come across more queer than Elton John singing Lady Gaga. I don’t have a problem with them being queer per se, but nobody should ever come across as more of a cupcake than Sir Elton Herculese John. This guy, on the other hand, does a nice job with this song. I could make complaints about the stylistic lilting that’s so popular right now, and I could make fun of his rolled sleeves, popped collar and feaux-hawk, but after the “Government Hooker” guy from above, I don’t really see the point. Enjoy:
So, there you have it. If you have made it this far and actually listened to all of that and followed every link, I salute you!
UPDATE: As to the little girl singing “Born This Way”, it turns out I’m not the only one who noticed: