Here’s just a few pictures I’ve seen that I’ve enjoyed, I know I need to write a semester ending blog, but that’ll come! Hope you like these too.
I don’t play Pokémon anymore – but I can definitely relate to this. I’m definitely going to have a bit of nerd in me always from the good ol’ days of Pokémon.
I did have a Silver emulator on my laptop for a while…maybe I’ll start playing that again….
Who did you start out with?
I really hope this becomes a new meme. I lol’d. Also – song I like. I feel like I may have posted it here before… or written a blog by this title. Oh wells. Old post-emo stuff will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe I’ll look up what Circa Survive is up to these days.
Watching this video reminded me a lot of our upcoming Music Track Day. The concept is basically the same, but we’re not coming up with the ideas/writing a song in 8 hours. But we’re taking existing bands and recording their track in one day. We’ve given ourselves a massive challenge of 4 bands, and 9 hours per band. Hopefully it turns out to be a success! Stay tuned for all the music that will come out of next Saturday.
New trailer from some guy out of Argentina. Looks pretty spiffy.
From the trailer I have learned two things (for you redditors out there) TIL, that
- A) Kirsten Dunst MUST have done the voice for Navi in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – proof? Watch from 50 seconds.
- B) Kirsten Dunst also REALLY likes to make out upside down.
To me at least. Mostly because I’ve taken a class on this and actually understand what a merge sort is. Sigh.
Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys by Nicole Byblow (Shiny Nickle Music 2011)
Manitoba born, British Columbia educated, and now calling Ontario home, Nicole Byblow brings a sound that all of Canada can love. The young singer/songwriter who is finding her footing in the national music scene has embarked on a tour to promote her latest CD, entitled “Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys.” She made a stop in Victoria where I saw her play and met with her to discuss music, school, life and even a little fashion. Nicole and her piano are packed and ready to go back east with a few more stops in the prairies before heading home.
Over the years, we have seen enough examples of “boys playing guitar”, and Nicole falls into the female opposition of “girls playing pianos” which seems to be a common theme in recent musical trends. Starting with Alicia Keys and Vanessa Carlton, this movement led the way for the likes of Sara Bareilles, Sarah Slean and more.
Slean is one of Byblow’s biggest influences for the career path she chose. The Canadian Juno-Nominated singer was one of the reasons Nicole started playing piano and writing songs when she was just 16. Luckily, Nicole was able to meet her other idol at the 2011 Juno Awards Dinner and Gala in Toronto in March of this year. The spontaneous introduction initiated by her sister and singer Matt Dusk left Byblow both wide-eyed and starstruck. It’s nice to know that even people who make CD’s and tour get a little speechless every once in a while.
When listening to Nicole’s music, you can immediately hear the impact of her influences in her vocal and piano stylings. Citing Ben Folds as one of her biggest inspirations, Nicole told me of how she spent many hours trying to learn his songs. When things weren’t going well, she would write to Ben via email. She assumed that her angry rants about the difficult of Folds’ songs went unheard, until she received a reply from an artist who has sold over 3 million records in his career spanning almost 2 decades. The two pianists continued emailing and eventually Nicole was invited to meet Ben at his show in Seattle. Fully expecting to be turned away at the door, Nicole was shocked when two tickets had been left under her name. The evening concluded with a conversation at the hotel bar where Folds was staying.
Now, I think this is enough background for you, what you’re really here for is to know what her CD is like and whether or not Nicole Byblow is worth a listen. But before I give you that answer, I’ll do my best to break it down for you.
Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys actually comes with one of the “Parental Advisory” stickers commonly found on albums from Eminem, NWA and 50 Cent. This is rather unexpected from the girl on the cover with a white background and staring at a red balloon. Nicole’s been described as “hyper-feminine” and “delicate” and for me; this is one of the first things that grabbed me about this music: Nicole’s unabashed attitude towards profanity is rather striking. When hearing her drop an “F Bomb” for the first time in a small coffee house on a rainy night in Victoria, I instantly looked up from whatever it was I was doing and started paying attention. Not many singer/pianists of this genre have the guts to swear on their records. You’ll never hear Sara Bareilles say “I don’t give a shit” about her former job in a hospital, but Nicole is unafraid to tell it as it is. She speaks the way in her songs the way she does in her normal life and that translates to her songs. She’s not trying to beat around the bush or use a clever metaphor to say she doesn’t care; she just doesn’t give a shit.
(Things That I Learned When I Worked in the Hospital)
My favourite track from the album is “Things I Learned When I Worked in the Hospital.” Starting with the toy piano, and the rolling drums chugging along, Nicole’s witty lyrics bring you a real insight to the life of a hospital. Lyrics like, “Patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance, but you’d be surprised how accessible that information is when you have to sweep the room it’s in”, are the kind of sarcastic backhanded lines that riddle this song. The chorus reminds us “who cares what we do in the mean time, it builds character doing the things we hate all our lives,” which, in out of context is rather quite depressing. But in the nature of the song, it’s understood that this is a sarcastic inflection of the songwriter and just an excuse for her to get through her shitty job. The bridge of this song builds follows the typical pattern of most pop songs, with one slight deviation. We have all come to expect the key change going into the last chorus of songs (think “You Raise Me Up”, “My Heart Will Go On”, etc.), and thankfully, Byblow doesn’t go this route with this song.
Once you get past the occasional expletive, the music itself is simplistic in its nature. All the songs only feature piano, drums and bass guitar, with the occasional splashes of violin and the toy piano from the CD cover. It’s Nicole’s song writing and melodies that stand out musically. Some of her lyrics are complex and compact, not unlike the rap counterparts who share her “Parental Advisory” sticker, which is juxtaposed by simple melodies and hooks that make the CD a treat to listen to. The track “February” has a particularly catchy “Ooh ah” section, that later features the range of Nicole’s vocal in the bridge.
Aside from the first single “They Didn’t Think So”, which Nicole describes as a song about what would happen if Jesus came and let every person on earth ask him a question about life, the lyrical content of the album is mostly what you would expect from the genre of girls playing piano. “A Song About A Lover” and “If I’m Lucky” may not have different thematic content, but are striking and beautiful in their own right. The production quality of the entire CD is superb. Ben Nixon, who was the bass player, recording engineer and co-producer of the album, did a fantastic job in a “garage turned studio” to produce The White Keys. I can only hear one minor slight throughout the whole album, but overall I have been impressed throughout.
You will be happy to know that Nicole does play in keys other than C major and A minor, utilizing more of the piano than the album title implies. I hate to use the buzz-word “up-and-coming” to describe Nicole and this album, as I think it gets thrown around too liberally these days, but I feel that you hipsters out there need to latch onto this girl so you can say that you liked her “before she was mainstream.” Byblow’s album is a melting pot of the fairy tale wonder of Cinderella, the epic storytelling of the Princess Bride, with just a sprinkle of Tarantino-esque profanity. If you love “girls with pianos” but are missing something with a little bit of an edge, Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys will be able to fill that void for you. No matter what kind of music you enjoy listening to, I would highly recommend this album for anyone (even if there is a Parental Advisory on it).
This is what Canadian music is all about and I look forward to everything else Nicole Byblow has to offer.
You may have seen what it’s like to fly over the earth from the view of the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this week. This is the same thing – but of the stunning Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights). Super cool.
So I guess it’s about time I stopped whining about writing this and actually got down to writing this.
It’s here. In the last waking hours of the last day of my summer, here I am, on my computer writing this blog in between games of Modern Warfare 2 on PS3, which is something I bought this summer. After playing it lots in my second year, and then finally getting a PS3 for Christmas last year, I’ve actually been able to play again! Still working on my first nuke on my own. I’ve only done it once before and come close multiple times, but no dice as of yet. For those of you who don’t know what MW2 or nukes are, don’t worry this whole blog won’t be about that.
Aside from that, I’ve stayed in Victoria most of the summer, with one short jaunt to Calgary for my Dad’s birthday. I surprised my Mom at her doorstep, and then my Dad downtown for lunch later. My mom cried twice that one day. Thanks to all my friends who made that one happen.
I also applied and didn’t get on a TV show this summer. It was called “Operation Unplugged” and it was basically taking techno-addicted people away from their addiction and seeing how they fared in the wilderness. I had the most viewed video on YouTube (for the audition videos) for a rap I wrote but didn’t get on the show. In the process of trying to show that I was techno-addicted, I started using Twitter a lot more. I went from about 30 followers of mostly friends and random spams to 90+ as of right now. I’m slowly learning how useful it is for networking, especially in my industry. Most producers and a lot of studios are on Twitter. I’ve met one guy who would be willing to give me an internship when I finish my degree and everything. So that’s really cool.
Operation Unplugged Video
I spent all the summer working. With my side job at the Gap and then doing all the recordings that came in through the school. I was basically the go-to guy for recordings this summer. Which led to my promotion as the Interim Audio Manager at the school right now, replacing my current boss for the semester as he takes his parental leave. This summer I worked on; ESL audio tapes, the soundtrack for a play, a guitar quartet, my own covers, and this audition tape. I also did live sound for 2 separate Indian concerts and recorded piano and sax, a piano feature and dual pianos. All in all it was a great summer for me and furthering my experience as a recording engineer.
With that being said, I designed and established http://jstasiuk.wordpress.com which is my website featuring all my work and my portfolio. It links directly with http://jstasiuk.bandcamp.com which is strictly my music portfolio. Both sites are currently under construction as I work to improve them and make it one seamless site – hopefully.
So I’m working hard to get my “brand” out there and promote myself. I’ve contacted a few other recording people and through volunteering at festivals like Rifflandia this fall, I hope to network myself more into this industry.
As most of all of you know, Harry Potter came out this summer! As most of you who actually read my blog probably know, I don’t actually like Harry Potter. I never got into the books and thus I was not interested in the movies. Well Girlfriend enjoyed the series and thus we commenced the HP movie marathon of the ages. We eventually watched all of them in preparation for the final installment. I think I enjoyed maybe 2 or 3 of them out of the entire 8. To me, it’ll never match up to Star Wars in terms of an epic saga. I guess it’s up there, but it’s definitely behind LOTR and Star Wars for me. HP7.2 was a satisfactory end to the series and I didn’t care enough to complain or dislike it.
Also in this summer, I bought myself a new computer! It had kind of been a long time coming as my laptop was slowly but surely living out it’s last legs. I bought myself a new 21.5″ iMac and now have quite the Apple collection. I still use my laptop for mobile recordings and Photoshop, but other than that, I’m officially a desktop guy. I think the set-up is pretty sweet. It definitely makes editing a lot easier with my two screens.
Girlfriend went away for the entire month of May, so I didn’t do a whole lot except bum around and work. I actually just went through my facebook page to see if there was anything else worth mentioning.
- Shotgunning a beer on the 16th hole of a private golf course
- The Oak Bay Tea Party with Girlfriend and Kath
- The Hunger Hush show in Calgary
- Naniamo with Jordo and Girlfriend
- Freaks and Geeks Cover –
I think that’s all for now. Not much else that really comes to mind. School starts tomorrow. First day of fourth year. I have the potential to finish this year, it’ll take me 11 classes. 5 first semester, and then 6 the second. And I’ll be taking a Ukrainian elective which will be pretty cool. Got rep’ for my heritage.
Hope you enjoyed this quick wrap up of the summer! Looking forward to much of the same in the fall!
If this gets 3 likes on any social media platforms I will write a post by the end of this week of my top 5 albums/songs/artists of the summer and what I’m looking forward to in the fall in terms of music!
- Ode to the Summer Cottage (daleymuse.wordpress.com)
- ALBUM PREMIERE: L.A. Up-and-Comers Grouplove (spin.com)
- The summer winds… (daisyfae.wordpress.com)
- Calgary mayor makes history as Pride Parade marshal (canada.com)
So we all remember Isaiah Mustafa, just Google “Old Spice Guy” if you need to refresh your memory, and the ads he did for Old Spice. They were funny, original, and made men want to buy their product. Even though the ads pandered to the ladies as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like“, most of us guys wanted to be that guy.
Even if it meant just smelling like him. Some people rank him next to the Dos Equis as the Two Most Interesting Men In The World.
The YouTube campaign was unprecedented in it’s use of social media like YouTube and Twitter. and resulted in an increase of sales by 107% for Old Spice (see here). The video has almost 34 million views on YouTube. I’m sure at least a few of us out there edited together the phone message video to have the Old Spice Guy on our answering machine.
Things were going great for Old Spice. Until now.
The new Old Spice Guy is now Fabio. Fabio? Are you kidding me?! Practically no one from my generation even knows who he is! We were all babies when he was gracing the covers of adult “romance” novels throughout the 80′s & 90′s.
One of my friends has a Tumblr dedicated to appreciating Fabio in his once great glory (ironic hipster appreciation of course – http://fabioisawesome.tumblr.com/) So why Old Spice wanted to pull him out of nowhere and start using him for their ads is beyond me.
This is the first Fabio Old Spice ad that I saw. This is definitely not the kind of guy I want to be buying deodorant from. Rolling around on a piano like that? Rubbing his face against the stick of deodorant? No. This is not cool. I tuned out as soon as he started rolling back over to the second girl.
Here’s the second one:
Great, Fabio has long hair. And again with the rubbing on his face?! What is this?!?!?!
What happened to the great single shot ads? Ones that knew they were being ridiculous and fantastic. These new ones were trying so hard that they just end up looking silly.
Hopefully the community explodes with hate for Fabio and brings back the man we all loved.
Look at your new man, now back to me, now back at your new man, now back to me.
Sadly, he isn’t me.
- Meet Your Newest Old Spice Guy: Fabio (Yes, That Fabio) (adweek.com)
- Fabio: The NEW Old Spice Guy? (celebs.icanhascheezburger.com)
- The New Old Spice Guy Is an Old, Familiar Face: Fabio [VIDEOS] (mashable.com)
If Banksy taught me anything, it’s to not really like Mr. Brainwash in his movie “Exit Through the Gift Shop” (if you like graffiti and haven’t seen this movie already, go do that), I really like this piece.
Mostly because the guy in the chair is the guy from Dolby or Sony or some other company that I don’t know the name of right now that is all about their great sound systems, it’s a nice juxtaposition of graffiti with sound and music. The idea is retained but the source, in this case music, is replaced with spray paint. It’s clever.
Anyways. I just like this. I hope you do too.
I SAID this was true, but Girlfriend was all like, Nahhh Harry Potter was better, it’s all just an archetype. Nope! Nice try!
Dave Grohl is a BAMF.
In other news, Japan has created a band member that is composed of the best part of every other member in her group. Yes, you read it right, she was composed, computer engineers have created a way to make hyper-realistic images and videos of people who don’t actually exist. The whole article is here.
Fans of the band were told that she was an actual real 16 year old extraordinarily hot girl from Saitima Prefecture who liked track and field. Which is a very hot sport for a hot girl to like. Perhaps warning signals should have went off when Aimi blogged that her goal was to, “… become a new idol like never before by taking the best parts of my AKB big sisters.” Which is sounds way more like an alien who gets its powers by leaping onto people’s faces and sucking their souls out through their mouths than a 16 year old girl.
So Japan is now capable of creating photo realistic human beings in video form, surely that won’t lead to a dystopian nightmare where powerful governments trick us into thinking we’re electing new leaders when we’re really electing hot photo-projections of fake human beings who are actually saying things that creepy old rich men want them to say.
I just want to say that Arthur did it first.
Graphs of each country in relation to the colour of their flags.
I hope you enjoyed this Matt Good song. One of my favourites off of his newest album.
So this post is going to mostly be about my music and recording stuff that’s been going on lately….
The two songs below are two I worked on for a girl auditioning for CBC’s “Cover Me Canada”. It’s basically a competition like American Idol but open to solo acts and bands and what have you. It was all organized via email, and I was apprehensive about it because it’s sometimes hard to explain what we can and can’t do. And clients have this great image in their heads of what they’d like, and most of the time we just don’t have the equipment to do it. In this case, we didn’t have the background track for the girl to sing along to, for both songs, so we had to re-create it. Which meant bringing in a band and re-recording it. For me this wasn’t a big deal, more recording experience, but it gets frustrating to have to change your idea of a project – it was initially only a vocal track – and then it spiraled into this. All in all, it actually turned out really well and I was impressed with the final product(s). I hope you enjoy!
Another weird thing has happened with my music lately. Way back this year, I recorded a band Carmanah, and they’ve started getting more publicity and more shows and what have you. And they took the tracks I recorded for them, and went back and recorded over the parts that weren’t so nice (due to the limitations I was referring to before), and put out their own CD. Basically, I ended up getting no credit for it, which was pretty much not cool. Anyways, I was looking at my Bandcamp stats (the website I post my music), and from June 28, 2011 – July 8, I have 222 plays of my music. Most of which is from that CD. Which is kind of unusual to me. But I guess someone out there likes it, so that’s nice.
I’ve also finished recording some ESL Tapes for a company a few weeks ago. It was basically recording conversations and monologues and then editing them. They’re going to use them for teaching and testing purposes for what’s called the IELSTs test (I think). The students will have to listen to the recordings and be able to answer questions based on that. The recording sessions went really well, and the people were great, so it was a good experience for me, and will definitely be a resume booster. Woot.
Other than that, I haven’t really been working on my own music or covers too much. I tried starting a “Freaks and Geeks” cover a few days ago (I posted the video a while back), but I am not very good with transposing melodies and such so it makes it kinda tough for me. I’m getting there though. Hopefully I’ll be able to work with that in the days off I have coming up. We shall see.
- Bandcamp Recommendations 6/30/2011 (thesodashop.wordpress.com)
- Video Killed the Radio Star: Focusing on Singers in Music Videos (brighthub.com)
- 10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday] (makeuseof.com)