Some guitar, some musical discoveries and a lot of Guild Wars.


14. Apr. 2006, 19:19

My revision has started, and it's gone moderately well. I haven't got as much done as I'd have liked, but I've accomplished a lot more than I could have done. A few solitary beams of light pierce through the clouds of ignorance at last. I've not got very far with my revision and am not on schedule to get it done before the exams arrive, but I'll ignore that for the moment.
I've been trying to play Sweet Child o' Mine and have been quite successful. Amalgamating some sheet music I have with some tabs grabbed from the internet has provided me with material that sounds about right. Errors have been strangely easy to identify and correct so far and I've progressed onto the solo. I've learnt that attempting the outro solo's full tone bend at the 22nd fret is a bad idea if you try and translate that into a threee fret bend from the 21st fret because your guitar doesn't have enough frets. I hit the pitch wonderfully but my string broke a split second afterwards.
That was pretty badly timed as it happened on the morning of my guitar lesson on a day when all the music shops were closed, but my teacher gave me a new string so all is well now. I'll be dropping that bend down an octave in future though…
Having been reminded about the existence of The Darkness, I've rediscovered the brilliant songs from their first album (I hear their second album is not very good so I haven't listened to it). For those who don't already know, they are Get Your Hands Off My Woman, Love Is Only a Feeling and Love on the Rocks With No Ice.
In other news I've been playing a few megadrive games with my brother over the past few days. Micromachines is infuriatingly good fun, especially when you abuse the game's programming and win when you really shouldn't. Contra has also been brilliant fun - it's a side scrolling study in boss battles. Great level design and a high level of craziness and imagination throughout, as well as seizure-inducing colours are worthy of mention. This game has the effect of somehow inspiring the creation of phrases such as: "avoid the bricksickles" and "commando roll ftw", and making them seem perfectly normal whilst playing.

I've made a few musical discoveries too. I've always been meaning to look into the jazz genre, and following a recommendation from someone in the Obscure Music Recommendations group I've identified something I quite like - Earnest Walker Jr.'s sample tracks I've been directed to sound great. It's a shame that he's a session musician; I suppose I'll have to speak to that person again to direct me to some similar artists.
I've also discovered Camel after reading someone's journal about progressive music and venturing over to to hear a few sample tracks. I'll be ordering 'The snow goose' just as soon as my previous order arrives. They seem mellow, energetic and wonderfully melodic. In the track 'Lady Fantasy' they manage to convey emotion brilliantly too, and have an extremely energetic session of soloing towards the end of the track with some great keyboard playing. I think I may have discovered something special here, but I won't say anything more until I've listened to an album by these guys.

I've been playing a lot more Guild Wars than usual this week, and yesterday 7 of us from my guild and another acquaintance grouped up to tackle the impressively-named Sorrows Furnace. I won't bore you with all the details, but I will say that we managed to totally destroy the huge machine running the furnace. A suitably cinematic 3 or 4 hours were initially livened up by Winterheart's Guild, and then my playlist sensibly moved over to more epic tracks as we entered the cavernous residence of the Furnace Lord himself. There was lots of fire and it was wonderfully industrial so I enjoyed the architecture a lot. Tracks like Paschendale, Heading for Tomorrow, Rage of the Winter suited the occasion nicely, and the music stopped by the time things became very serious. Defeating the Furnace Lord himself was incredibly difficult, and we were almost conclusively defeated on at least 5 occasions. It was certainly a tense evening's gaming, but it was brilliant fun. The people I was playing with were (as usual) ceaselessly witty and intelligent and generally good-company. This session lasted long into the night, and was easily the most fun I've ever had on this game. The perilous route to victory would have made for a horribly clichéd film or story but being part of it as it transpired made for some brilliant gaming.
(Yes; that account was the condensed version)

Everything's going well with me at the moment. Revision continues reasonably successfully, Katie has returned from Iceland and I should be meeting up with a friend from my old school on Tuesday. And there should be film club on Wednesday to soften the blow of the return to school. I hope all my readers are doing okay.



  • parrymason

    Get the whole Mirage album by Camel. NOW!!! :-)

    14. Apr. 2006, 20:02
  • CAPacelli

    the darkness's second album is fuckin amazing...get it

    14. Apr. 2006, 20:20
  • freedmind

    I'd certainly like a guitar with a 2nd octave position as well, but that's a project for when i have a ridiculous ammount of time for research, and a ridiculous ammount of money ;) Contra definately is a study in strobing colours, boss battles and set peices; with two people playing its simply fantastic. Co-op gaming is something I love, its a shame it isn't featured in many games nowadays. The guild certainly are an amazing bunch, everyone is so great at the game that we all have time to joke around while playing :)

    14. Apr. 2006, 21:34
  • marxeonist

    I have time to joke around, although I'm not so sure if that's due to my level of competence ;). I should really get back into Garrysmod and then Sven when it comes out for HL2.... parrymason, I was thinking of getting Snow Goose first, then Mirage. Is that a good idea?

    16. Apr. 2006, 12:21
  • marxeonist

    Mirage arrived today. That is all :) Dramabitch, I've added you to my friends list so I'll see you online sometime (Tskytro Marxeonist)

    13. Jun. 2006, 12:24
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