Saturday, March 31, 2012


Something remotely related with the last post o'mine. It's Saturday, we're young inhabitants of a galaxy, what to do with our evening? The answer is simple: party with The Wookies.

Don't ask, they don't know Chewbacca personally. But still, they are a nice little bunch of DJs. I haven't posted music like this on my blog, and judging by my previous choices you probably wouldn't say that I could listen to something similar (most people say so), but let's face the fact, every human being likes to BUST A MOVE from time to time. And Discotecno is a perfect thing for a hard party.

Infernus by The Wookies

I'm not quite sure how to describe their style: it's somehting between french house/regular disco. Check it out yourself, there is a bit of pretty neat sampling here. And the album 'Discotecno EP' is available as a free download on their Soundcloud!

Infernus is IMO the best track on the EP, it could make every Stormtrooper leave his blaster behind and dance like a mad man.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Star Wars Legacy

I suppose that most of you aren't familiar with all those expanded universe things - books/comic books/games and other stuff from Star Wars merchendise which was released after the movies and creates the whole new ammount of content. The adventures of secondary characters and history of the galaxy far, far away are just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the titles actually have better plot than I-III movies! (not that I'm a hater, they weren't THAT bad). My post today is about, what I am convienced, the best Star Wars besides the movies, the Legacy series.

Star Wars Legacy is a comic book series, which started a new era in expanded universe. It takes place 130 years after episode IV: A New Hope, and is totally different from any Star Wars before. The galaxy is not as it used to be. Sith are rising again. But not like it was in the movies: Darth Sidious-Darth Maul, Darth Sidious-Darth Vader, etc. The rule of two is outdated. Now it's One Sith. One Order. Which means? Shitloads of red lightsaber blades united under one Emperor.

Darth Krayt, responsible for the rebirth of Sith, usurps the throne of Galactic Empire (which emerged after the one known in movies, leaded by the military, not force-weilders) and attacks The Jedi Order. Jedi Knights, not prepared, are slaughtered, some of them flee and become hidden for a long years. One of the younglings, after witnessing the death of his father, becomes a member of the Bounty Hunters Guild, and starts his new life with the company of pirates. Who is this one? A descendant of Luke Skywalker, Cade.

That's just the beginning, but I don't want to get too far, as the plot is really good. The writers did much better work than Lucas while writing the prequels, the characters are deeper than usual in Star Wars. Finally, there is a protagonist which is not dragged by any particular side of the Force - Cade is sliding on the edge of Light and Darkness, which makes him one of the most interesting lightsaber-weilders ever. Talking about the sides, did I mention completely new order of knights, neutral in Force, the Imperial Knights? Serving Roan Fel, the real, dethroned Emperor.

Star Wars Legacy was something new. The main story of comic books has already been finished, but there's probably more to come. I hope so. It's fresh, it's intriguing and was greeted very well by fans. I really recommend it, it becomes addicting, I've spent long hours reading non-stop. It takes places after yuuzhan vong war, you don't have to read it, few articles on Wookiepedia and you can hop right into the new amazing world of Star Wars.

I would love to see a full SW movie set in these times, but to be realistic, it won't probably happen, as Lucas restricted making any new movies even after his death. The new universe has a huge potential, it would be shame to not use it more than in one comic book series. They could make a Legacy game instead of releasing those crappy Force Unleashed ones.

Start reading, and join me in waiting for more stories from the future of Star Wars.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Uke!: An art of interpretation

Ukulele is a simple instrument, but it has got a soul that speaks to many brave musicians. Opposed to the size and notes limitation s (as you can't get a lower sound than C4) they try their best to rearrange pretty complicated songs with accuracy and passion to make them sound good. These three are my favourite covers done on ukulele:

The Legend of Zelda Medley
Yeah, I know, the quality sucks, but this one is just a little genius. He managed to play our beloved theme with such a passion. It's got the softness of good uke sound, yet it doesn't lack obligatory Legend of Zelda epicness. Also his skill is unbelievable.

Hoppipola (Sigur Rós)
This is huge. Dude in this video makes wonderful work by making free tabs and lessons online, yup, you can actually play this just like him with a little training. His site is This cover is amazing. It shows that uke can be used not only to play cheerful, happy songs, you can really get some moving tones from this little box!

Lullaby (The Cure)
Play by Entertainment for the Braindead, a one-girl project. I consider making another post about her, she releases her music for free, and is a very tallented musician. Ukulele is not the only instrument in this video, she uses guitar and sampler too, but in my opinion, the most beautiful thing is her voice. So calming, yet the song's lyrics aren't very positive.

So, do you like these ones? Or maybe you have some other favourite ukulele covers? Discuss :).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boys Don't 109

Hello there.
Another musical finding of Tenment! I've been digging this artist for a while though, but I haven't really heard all of his stuff, he is very productive, has shitloads of demos, EPs, and still releasing new. Who I am talking about? Toro y Moi of course! 

Nothing new, Pitchfork (hipsters) has been fapping to his music since 2010, he's playing on most of the major alternative music festivals in the world, but most of listeners don't go any deep into his earlier stuff, and in my opinion, that's where you can find the best of his songs. Todays choice - '109'. Very lo-fi, very pleasant, little surf-like vibe, sounds like it was recorded on a tape, huh?

And why the title?
Because it sounds very similar to another delightful song which is following me recently. Chord progressions seems to be identical, maybe it's the voice - neither Toro y Moi nor Robert Smith has huge singing potential.
Judge, 'Boys Don't Cry':

Rip-off? Inspiration? Coincidence?
Doesn't matter, both of the songs are kick-ass.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jetpack Blues Sunset Hues

What's up!
Another, not necessarily normal music thing. I've been playing my Nintendo DS really hard recently and it woke up the mood for 8bit awesomeness. 'Jetpack Blues Sunset Hues' is a song by a band called Anamanaguchi, very bright mixture of 8bit and happy punkish guitar. Three minutes of pure, colourful joy, Nyan cats vomiting all over the place, take your sword and go on an adventure! Oh, it would perfectly fit Adventure Time soundtrack.

Prepare for a digital awesomeness raping your ears:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Movie Reviews: Into the Wild

It's been a while since I've posted last review, so here it comes. Latest ukulele posts lead me to Eddie Vedder, an author of soundtrack to this movie. I gave it a listen and it immediately made me want to watch it again. Totally worth it.

'Into the Wild' is a movie based on a biographical book about Chris McCandless, fellow who left all of his previous life behind him and began his big journey to the Alaska. It's quite unbelievable that the story is in the matter of fact real, life of Chris was so fascinating. So, who he was? Young, recently graduated student, in a perfect physical shape, with great perspectives on the future, but there was something that made him different from others. Passion in looking for a meaning of life, a huge admiration of living in the pure nature, unwillingness to become a regular part of society of egoists and conformists. Add bad relationship with family (except his younger sister) and you have a full reasoning of his decision.

His first step was to abbadon his possesions. He gave his money to the charity, left his car on a desert, burned his money and id. He took up a new name: Alex. Alex Supertramp. He began to hitchhike, worked on an ocassion and met many interesting people on his way.

Those people was the real treasure of his journey, they shaped him in some way. Wheter it was a couple of hippies, which befriended him, farm owner, who gave him a job or an old veteran without a family, who treated him as his own son, Chris got on well with them, opposed to his earlier relations with people. He was very passionate about his goals. All of the people he met tried to help him realise how crazy it was, but he was stubborn. Chris enriched them in some way, even changed a life of a few of them.

After few years of just travelling he managed to settle in deep forest of Alaska. He found an old bus, which served him as a new home. Chris finally felt alive. He was alone with the nature, living on his own, his life was depending only on his will to survive. He spent whole days just reading his favourite books, hunting for food or just meditating in the wild. It was all he ever wanted.


And here comes the tragedy. Chris wasn't prepared properly. He ignored the fact that the nature is changing, and when he finally wanted to come back, he had no way to escape, the river cut the road he came from. With reduced food nations, he was sentenced to starvation. He died after eating poisonous berries, alone.

The picture is really moving. The main actor played his role flawlessly, he really put much work to resemble real life Chris. The soundtrack is a thing which makes the impression even stronger, it's obvious that Vedder was fascinated by the story.

The movie is really thought-provoking and controversial. Some people say that Chris was an idiot, he tried to survive in the wild without any training, with too little food and necessary equipment. Some say that he was a loser, he couldn't fix his relationship with the family and people in genreal, so he ran away, not facing the real problems. It's hard to not agree with such opinions, but a part of me still admires Chris and his actions. He was really brave to follow his dreams, of course he could do it without hurting others, but he is still an impressive person, and more important, inspiring person. Every time I see the movie I immediately want to leave all of the unimportant worries of everyday life and go on a journey full of adventures. Not necessarily on Alaska to live without others, but I feel that sooner or later it will happen, just because I'm young, stupid and as naive as Chris was :).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Uke!: Fine ukulele songs

Now when you know a bit about ukes, it's time to hear it sing. Three songs with ukulele, just to show the variety of moods that you can get from that little instrument!

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere over the Rainbow 

YEAH I KNOW. The most cliche choice I could make, but somewhat obligatory, it's a classic. Used in uncountable amount of movies, I don't think that there is a person who doesn't know this song. Extremely positive and relatively easy to play and sing, one of the first songs to learn when you pick up ukulele. 

Eddie Vedder - Longing to Belong

Powerful voice of Pearl Jam, personally an enthusiast of ukes. He gave vent to his passion at last year's album named simply 'Ukulele Songs'. Beautiful ballad, reminds a little of his earlier work from the 'Into the wild' album.

Matt Kresling - Ashes 

Less known than the previous ones, but still awesome. Brilliantly composed use of uke and accordion. Plus the lyrics are hilarious.

That's all for now. Next time: best ukulele covers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wait for the Summer

Just a song I've found recently. The weather is getting better and better, it's perfect for a sunny morning. One of the most pleasant tunes I know. Makes me wanna get naked and dance. Yup.

No more words needed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

From my old dream journal #2

Another one. I really sucked myself into reading my old dreams, my subconscious is wicked.

July 16, 2010

In the dream, I'm walking up to my house to open the front door and walk in, and the atmosphere of the dream is pretty terrible, everything feels really still. I walk in and my dad's with a bald, tall man with a crooked nose, 
He kind of reminds me of Freddy Krueger but only slightly. He's really creepy. I don't want to be home anymore so I say I'm leaving, but the man tells me that leaving would be impolite. I ask my dad questions but he doesn't answer, and the man tells me that he's going to rape me and slit my throat, only he says it in a way like he's trying to restrain hostility which makes it worse and more awkward. 
So I run into the living room, and my mom is sitting on the couch reading a book with a huge smile on her face. Like the people in the music video for Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. The man tells my dad to grab me and hold me down and I run to my mom, shaking her and crying and begging for her to pay attention to what's going on and save me. She just sits there, unmoved. And then, she turned to me, and gave me this awful grimace, and turned back to her book to continue ignoring me and reading. My dad grabs me and holds me down and he's laughing. You know, in the kind of way a parent would laugh if they were picking on you. Pouring ice water down your back, tickling you, or something like that. 
So the scary man in my nightmare tells me something along the lines of "Aww, cutie doesn't want his throat slit, I'll give you options." And then he ripped off my ear with a pair of pliers.

Dunno why I had this dream, my family relations were fine at this time :P. Guess I watched too many horrors. More to come, cheers!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Uke!: The Beginning

I think that you all know what is ukulele. Little guitars from Hawaii, four strings of delightful, delicate sound, somewhat funny, but incredibly nice to hear and to play. My adventure with ukulele began five months ago and I immediately fell in love in this little instrument.

We usually distinguish four major types of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone (from the smallest to the biggest). Their sound differ a bit, but the most common is definitely soprano ukulele, if you think about ukes, you probalby have this particular type in mind!

Ukulele has only four strings, the most common tuning is G4/C4/E4/A4, which is an important factor in how uke sounds, the lowest note we can get is on the second string - not on the first one like in guitar. First one is higher, and it's somewhat responsible for the sound: when we strum, high notes are played before the low ones.
Ukes come in all possible shapes and variations. Classical shape resembling an usual guitar is the best known, but there are many more, you can find models which are inspired by electric guitars - yup, Les Paul/Telecaster shaped acoustic ukes! There are electric ones too, but I'm not an enthusiast, pickups are taking this delightful ukulele soul away.

Ukulele is fairly easy to play. With nylon strings there is no thing such as blisters on fingers, which you can get by playing an acoustic guitar. Playing is not difficult - most songs are based on a few chords, it's easy to sing-along to, and yet it brings you so much joy. It's not a surprise that playing uke is recommended by therapists as a cure for depression, you can see the results of learning in a very little time.

Have you ever played an ukulele? Do you like the sound or do you want to smash one against the wall when you hear it? Share your thoughts :).

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Beatles Lost Solo

Right, I've just heard the news and I'm pretty effin' excited. They found a solo by George Harrison, recorded for 'Here comes the sun', which wasn't used in the final mix. As a huge Beatles and Harrison fan, it's like christmas present in March. It's unbelievable that it just layed in the studio for so many years. They discovered it by an accident, while filming a document about George. Sweet!

Your thoughts? I don't think that many of you will be as excited as I am, but damn, I can't stop smiling when I listen to this :).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Black and White Photography

This time, some of my favourite b&w photos. I was getting through my gallery and stumbled upon some forgotten diamonds, I just had to share them!
Photos from the times when this style was a necessity, not a cool thing to put into your facebook folder like it is today.

The Fab Four. I can almost hear 'It's been a hard day's night' playing in my head.
Another four-man band. The mighty Led Zeppelin. Photo taken in their prime time. Full stadiums and unbelievable loudness.
I don't think I have to introduce him. Right-handed stratocaster played with a left hand, positive energy just about to explode.
Recognise these two gentleman? Nicolas Tesla and Mark Twain, known to be friends, in Tesla's lab.
Original 'Star Wars' cast.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Future of Electric Guitar

Is there anything we can do to innovate electric guitars?
All the good-looking shapes are already invented, increasing the number of strings works only for shredding enthusiasts, but there are still some brave people who try to do something new. As long as it's not coming to digitalised weirdos like these:

... the development is highly encouraged.

In the last few years there were not much news from the major companies like Gibson and Fender. It's not so bad - we all love them for Les Pauls and Strats/Teles, but the quality of those had significantly decreased. Gibson had been forced to deal with some major limitations in wood supply, so guitars from 2012 will be slightly different due to use of new, previously less popular types of wood. Apart from this, not much is gonna be changed in the shapes catalouge.

Fender released some info about the new prototype: Fender Voyager. Yep, looks like good old Mustangs and Jaguars, but the aesthetics are amazing - have you ever seen a guitar that reminds a sport car?

You can find pretty much good ideas, if you leave the legendary brands and look for the smaller ones. One of them is DiPinto, a brand which was once favoured by Jack White. Let's take a look on their Galaxie 4:

Reminds a regular Fender Jazzmaster, huh?
Maybe, but let's look a bit closer:

Yep, four pickups with four independent switches.
That's the kind of very classy, yet innovative style. Taking classic shapes, experimenting with colours and the most important factor - sound. Four pickups create many possibilites - many more than included in any other model in the past.

Guitars are very fascinating subject. They are in symbiosis with popular music since 20th century, and we are still not bored of them. It's my first guitar-related post, but be sure that more is to come!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Reviews: 50/50

You are in your mid twenties, you have a girlfriend, fulfilling job, good physical health, and all of the sudden you hear that you are suffering for very rare and dangerous type of spinal cancer. What do you do? It's a story of '50/50', a movie based on facts from real life of Will Reiser, an author of the screenplay. He was accompanied by his trusted friend - Seth Rogen, who helped him get through the disease and make the movie happen.

It was not easy for Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) when he discovered about his condition. He began the treatment, had to deal with his overprotective mother, breaking up with untrusting girlfriend, his overall mood was getting worse and worse.

He found his main support in his friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen). Kyle was the person who brought some smile in Adam's life. They smoked medical marijuana toghether, hanged out with Adam's chemo colleagues and even used the cancer as a way to pick-up ladies.

Another important person in Adam's life was the beginning therapist, Katherine (Anna Kendrick). The young girl, still learning her way to communicate with patients, had some hard time to get along with Adam, but they eventually found a common language.

The movie shows that struggling with a disease can be much easier with a humour and help from the others. It's got either hilarious and moving scenes. The soundtrack is amazing, a perfect match for the image. Whole thing is really though-provoking. Cancer is a condition which everyone of us can develop, so it's not hard to understand Adam's reactions. It made me ask myself a question: would I keep such a positive approach if I found that my chances of surviving are 50/50?

Upcoming blockbusters of 2012

Blockbusters. Cursed movies, placed on the thin line between love and hate. Let's face the fact, they are mainstream, they are overdosed with CGI, the plot and acting is not always as good as we would wish it to be - but we all love them. Doesn't matter if you are a film connoisseur and you think that the best masterpieces of cinema are those which are screened in small festivals with the audience numbered less than 20 viewers - there is something magical in buying coke and popcorn, sitting in your seat and just enjoying two hours of pure fun. My choices are the most cheesy and cliche ones from the 2012 film catalogue, but as I suppose, they're all gonna be huge.

The Avengers

All the best Marvel heroes united in one group against one badass villain! Basically, non-sucking version of Justice League. Ok, maybe not all of the best heroes - lack of Spidey or Wolverine is quite disappointing, but hey, we still got Iron Man/Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr., one of the best chosen actors for a comic book based character in the history.

Tony Stark: No offence, but I don't play well with others. 
Steve Rogers: Big man, in a suit of armour... take that away, what are you? 
Tony Stark: Uh... genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist... 
[Thor laughs] 
The Dark Knight Rises

We all loved Heath Ledger's Joker. What could possibly top this role? Better plot in the next movie.  Why? Well, Catwoman. Not enough? What about even more badass bad guy than the last one? Bane is an intelligent with superhuman strenght and he's the one who is responsible for the retirement of Batman in the comic books, we may expect to see this scene:

The trailer is amazing, especially the scene on the stadium, but it's a pity that they didn't leave it for the movie, it would be astonishing to watch such a thing on a big screen for the first time. 

Seriously, can any movie go wrong with this magnificent bastard included?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I don't think that I have to explain this. Back in the Middle-Earth with Gandalf, Bilbo and Gollum.

It seems that 2012 will be a very good year in movies.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lucid Dreaming Basics

The post about my dream raised some interest in the lucid dreaming subject. Some of you have already had some experience with LD, most of you are familiar with the theory, but in general, LD is being aware of dreaming during the dream. Sounds Inception-like? It's very similar to what have been shown in the movie. You can live through your favourite movies, climb mountains, take part in historic battles, make lightsaber fights, whatever you want, while sleeping. But it takes practice.

There are many valid techniques. I'm not going to focus on desribing them, there are pretty good sources which cover them in detail (link shall be provided), I will give you some tips on starting.

First, very important step in your training, is gaining an ability to recall dreams. Sounds easy, but it's a problem for many of us, some people think that they don't even have dreams, which is not true, we all get 3-6 per night. We usually remember some images of the last two dreams before waking up. If you don't recall dreams at all, your goal is to learn how to do it. If it's not a problem for you, you'll try to increase the number of remembered dreams and the ammount of details.

Keeping a dream journal is the best way. It can be anything: a notebook, some random pieces of paper, text file on your computer/phone, whatever. Try to keep it close to the place where you sleep, and make sure you always have a pen nearby.

Of course writing in a notebook is always the coolest option.
When you already have the journal ready, you have to prepare for a good sleep. Go to bed a little earlier, with a strong intention of remembering your dreams (auto-suggestion is very useful if it comes to lucid dreaming). Set your alarm clock on 15 minutes before your usual waking up hour. You have to be quite relaxed in the morning, so read about sleep cycles and choose your falling asleep time wisely (I strongly recommend application, it really improved my sleep quality). After waking up, don't get up immediately. Lay with your eyes closed for a while and slowly try to focus on the images from your dreams. When you recall some, grab your journal and make a note. It can be plot of your dream written in detail, description of things you saw, keywords, doodles or drawings, anything that comes to your mind. Don't get too disappointed when you remember nothing - it may take a while to gain this ability. For me it was a week.

Another important thing is making reality checks. Mistaking the dream for the reality is quite common when you finally get the consciousness in your dream. You have to know what are the differences between the dream world and real world. The most common reality checks are reading and looking at your hands. Texts in the dreams usually behave crazy: they change as you're reading them. Hands may do not work as usual: they can have more fingers, different shapes or colours. If you spot these signs, you are close to realization that you are dreaming.

As I mentioned before, I'm not going to desribe the methods. This page on wikibooks is very good source of information, and if you're interested in scientific nature of lucid dream, you are free to research. The ammount of sources on LD is really huge, it's advised not to limit yourself to one tutorial, try reading about different approaches.

Some random tips:
  • The MILD method was the one that worked for me, and I recommend it. If you try one of the techniques and don't succeed, don't demotivate yourself. Learning how to LD takes a while. Try another method.
  • It's quite common to get very excited when you realise that you are in a dream. It's possible to lose control over the dream and wake up suddenly. Try meditation in order to have better focus (it has beneficial affect not only on your dream, so it's a win-win).
  • Don't get too cocky in your first lucid dream. Learning how to live in a dream enviroment takes a while. In one of my first lucid dreams I tried to mess with the surroundings: I was walking down the corridor and trying to make it longer. It caused the lost of control and waking up, which sucked. Take small steps and after some time, you will surely be able to do stuff like this: 

Ok, that's all for now, hope you like it. I think that I will desribe my own LD experiences in one of the next posts. 

I recommend reading about LD while listening to this delightful piece of art. Whole album is set in very sleepy mood, I've had one of my best dreams after falling asleep to this track.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From my old dream journal #1

I decided to write about some of the dreams I had back when I was learning how to lucid dream. The process requires you to keep a dream journal - because it increases your ability to remember dreams, which helps you control them in the future.

It's the first one, one of the more spectacular I think:

May 26, 2010
Everyone on the planet was dead, and we were all ghosts. I don't know how it happened, but whatever caused it separated me from the girl I was dating at the time. I couldn't hear or see her anywhere but I could sense that she was calling for me and that she was in some sort of danger.
I ran along a path etched into the side of a mountain and found an entrance into an expansive network of vast caves and grand tunnels which were filled to the brim with confused dead people. We were all composed of the same filmy ectoplasmic substance and I had to fight my way through thousands of aimless shuffling dead to get to her. I found her, but she wouldn't follow me. I knew that something terrible was about to happen and we couldn't stay where we were, so I had no choice but to leave her behind.
I got back out to the mouth of the cave just in time to see these gigantic obsidian pyramids rising from every water source for as far as the eye can see. They rotated and floated into the air, but they were anchored to the ground with gigantic chains. There was a sort of terrible splitting sound, as if the very earth would be ripped apart from its core, and I woke up.

More to come, typing them from my notebook takes a while, and I still have got pretty interesting ones to share.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In Today Already Walks Tomorrow

About two years ago I became interested in underground, little-known music, distributed online, in most cases for free, released in netlabels. By then I had no idea how big the underground scene is. If you wanted to take a rest from the mainstream, you could listen to couple of free albums every day, and never run out of new music. Of course, not many of the releases are outstanding, but it makes whole thing a lot more interesting. Once in a while you find a real diamond. I found a few whilst my adventure with netlabels, this is one of them.

Sleepmakeswaves - In Today Already Walks Tomorrow

Debut EP by a post-rock band from Australia. One of the best post-rock albums that I've ever heard, perfect for listening with your eyes closed and just drifting away or taking a really long walk with nothing but your thoughts. Let the music speak for itself: 

Last year, the band released another great album '...and so we destroyed everything', but 'In Today Already Walks Tomorrow' is still my favourite. Don't know why. Maybe it's this little rough, unpolished sound or just a memory of all those days I spent on dreaming while listening...

The album is available for download on bandcamp in 'name your price' system.
You can buy there their other albums too.