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May 27, 2013

Song of the Week - May 27, 2013

Song: "Blue Monday"
Artist: Orgy
Album: Candyass (1998)

How does it feel
To treat me like you do
When you've laid your hands upon me
And told me who you are

This provocatively-named alternative metal band, formed in 1994, originally consisted of vocalist Jay Gordon, guitarists Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh (who are now best known as the leading members of the alternative rock and electronic rock band Julien-K), bassist Paige Haley, and drummer Bobby Hewitt. (Following a hiatus in 2005, because of arguments between Gordon and the rest of the band members, the band reformed in 2011 with Gordon retaining his role as vocalist, guitarists Carlton Bost and Ashburn Miller, bassist Nic Speck, and drummer Bobby Amaro.) With artists of the new wave genre of music such as Depeche Mode and New Order as some of their influences, the fact that their rock cover of New Order's "Blue Monday" brought them to fame and the release of three studio albums as of now is probably no surprise. Besides, "Blue Monday" is one of New Order's most popular songs.

Of course, not all of us listen or really enjoy the simple, synthesizer-heavy music that characterized the new wave genre of music and 80's pop and rock music in general. Thankfully, Orgy came and presented their interpretation of New Order's lengthy classic. One familiar with with the original will easily recognize the song's opening of drums to set the song. Of course, in place of the synthesizers present in the original are guitars. Following the brief introduction, however, instead of immediately going to the first verse as it is in the original, Shuck, Derakh, and Haley blast away for a good period of headbanging. The rest of the song, in short, being a cover song, simply follows the original, but with more rock. Probably the best and simplest way to summarize Orgy's version of "Blue Monday" is to grab "Blue Monday," remove some of the new wave elements, add the guitars, and from there, make it harder and heavier.

May 20, 2013

"Who's That Character?" - May 2013 - Answer

Returning from last week, who is this?

This character is clearly none other than...

...Big the Cat.

To download and save:
1. Right click (or control click if you are using a Mac) the image and select "Save Image As."
2. Select the desired location on your computer where you want to save the image, and click "Save."

Download - [1920x1200]

You can alternatively find these wallpapers in the "Wallpapers" section.

The next "Who's That Character?" will be posted in about a month.

Images courtesy of SEGA, Sonic Team, and Sonic Channel.

May 18, 2013

Exclusive Partnership Between Nintendo and SEGA for Upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog Games

As most of you are aware, yesterday, SEGA announced an exclusive partnership with Nintendo for the next three games of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Out of the three games mentioned, however, only two were introduced - the next entry of the Mario and Sonic series, centered in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and Sonic Lost World. The third Nintendo-exclusive game will be officially announced soon.

Mario and Sonic at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games*

*Mario and Sonic at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games is NOT the title of the next entry of the Mario and Sonic series of games. More details about the game will be announced as soon as they surface.

As probably expected, the next entry of the Mario and Sonic series of games, centered in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, will be released for the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo's Global President, Satoru Iwata, introduced the game and discussed a few details about the game in yesterday's edition of Nintendo Direct. Above is yesterday's edition of Nintendo Direct; President Iwata starts talking about the next entry of the Mario and Sonic series as soon as it begins.

Sonic Lost World

Also, Nintendo, through yesterday's edition of Nintendo Direct, and SEGA directly and officially announced the next entry of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic Lost World. According to the game's official Japanese website, Sonic Lost World will be released this fall for the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. Besides these, no other details were officially released; more will come prior to E3, which will take place from June 11 to June 13.

Video courtesy of Nintendo.
Image courtesy of SEGA and Sonic Team.

May 16, 2013

Song of the Week - May 16, 2013

Song: "Never Dance Again"
Artist: Blue Stahli
Album: Never Dance Again (2013)

I saw you hold his hand and walk across the street one day
You and your lover never made it out of the way
So I guess you'll never dance again

Blue Stahli is a Detroit-based, American electronic rock project by multi-instrumentalist Bret Autrey, who was also behind American electronic projects Voxis, Remorse Code, and Dark Places. Blue Stahli came to be what it is now beginning with Autrey's meeting with Klayton (Celldweller). Following releasing his first single, "Kill Me Every Time," and his first collection album, Antisleep, Vol. 01, all of which came to be through Blue Stahli's connections with Celldweller, Blue Stahli would continue with his first and eponymous studio album and two more trailer-friendly collection albums simply named Antisleep, Vol. 02 and Antisleep, Vol. 03, among other releases.

Blue Stahli's most recent release is a single entitled Never Dance Again. The song from which the single was named is, according to Blue Stahli himself, "a sarcastic, yet upbeat slice of 80's chainsaw pop." Indeed, "Never Dance Again" is a brief nod to the pop rock of the 1980s, complete with synthesizers, synthesized guitars, and rather cheesy lyrics that fit to the cheery tone of the song. Two minutes, however, seems very short for a relatively catchy song. In short, "Never Dance Again," although very brief, is Blue Stahli's interpretation of 80's pop rock.

May 15, 2013

"Who's That Character?" - May 2013

Whom from the Sonic the Hedgehog series do you think this is?

Do you know who this is?
Feel free to give your answers in the Comment Box.
The answer [and the wallpaper showing this character] will be revealed in a future post.

You can alternatively find these wallpapers of your favorite characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog series in the "Wallpapers" section.

Images courtesy of SEGA, Sonic Team, and Sonic Channel.

May 7, 2013

Song of the Week - May 7, 2013

Song: "Forget Me"
Artist: BT
Album: These Hopeful Machines (2010)

Let us remember
Life's such a beautiful mistake
It's precious and fragile
Sometimes more than we can take

It's stronger than fire
Created in all the walls we reach
And I don't know what you want from me
But I don't want to be perfect anymore

The majority of my music library so far consists of aggressive tracks, most of which are of the metal genre. However, I have exceptions for all of the good reasons.

Brian Transeau, better known as BT, is a Grammy-nominated American musician of the electronic music genre, specifically in the IDM (intelligent dance music), trance, and ambient subgenres. He is often considered to be a pioneer of the trance subgenre. He holds a Guinness World Record for the most vocal edits in a single recording with "Somnambulist (Simply Being Loved)," which has 6,178 vocal edits. Throughout his career, Transeau released eight studio albums beginning with 1995's Ima and most recently with 2012's If the Stars are Eternal So are You and I and Morceau Subrosa.

Although a number of his hits fit into the pop genre and often considered to be mainstream at the time, Transeau is, by almost no doubt, a musical genius, mainly because he is a classically-trained musician. With his creativity and expertise in electronic music, Transeau's songs, notably his earliest works from 1995's Ima and 1997's ESCM, are often complex in structure. He also especially applies his classical background in his studio albums This Binary Universe, If the Stars are Eternal So are You and I, and Morceau Subrosa. Additionally, Transeau's works really tap into one's emotions and feelings. For the songs with vocals, the lyrics that accompany the songs definitely tie to the songs' overall tones and sounds. As a musician of the trance and ambient subgenres, one might unknowingly doze as he or she explores the landscapes, or rather, soundscapes, brought by Transeau.

Coming from the two-disc, Grammy-nominated album, These Hopeful Machines, is "Forget Me." The sixth and final song from the first disc, "Forget Me" is an electronic pop rock song. On the surface, "Forget Me" seems to be a simple, upbeat song with messages of love and togetherness written all over it. However, reading the lyrics and exploring the song a little more carefully and further, the song conveys deeper messages than simply about love and togetherness. Note the end of the song; Transeau's only daughter, Kaia, sings a variation of the chorus (shown above), emphasizing the song's overall tone and theme. Also note, following Kaia's brief appearance, the sound of rain that makes up the final few minutes of the nine-minute song; that also adds to the song's overall tone and theme. To sum everything, "Forget Me" is a beautiful song that one should listen to at least once because of the deep message it conveys.