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05 Feb 17:31

Odyssey - Voids

by Max Rotvel
Arnvidr

New album from the fantastic guys in Odyssey!

Written by Professor D. Grover the XIIIth.


Greetings and salutations, friends. I, your venerable Professor, have joined you today to discuss a band near and dear to my own heart, Spokane-based instrumental trio Odyssey. I've been a vocal proponent of the group since hearing their Schematics EP several years ago, and an album and two additional EPs later we find Odyssey releasing a second full-length, titled Voids.

Over the past few years, the trio (consisting of guitarist Jerrick Crites and the Brothers Hilker, bassist Jordan and drummer Lukas) has been quite active, not only with Odyssey but also as three-fourths of the instrumental rock group 3H, a band that also features the talents of the Hilker clan patriarch Fred. In a remarkably short time period the three have honed their considerable talents to a fine edge, expanding their prog-metal sound with rock influences and establishing a solid identity as artists.

This brings us to Voids, a release that pulls together the stages of the band's evolution into a single cohesive package. Voids deftly mixes the bass-grounded heaviness of the early years with the more guitar-oriented experimentation of the group's recent releases, and the finished product is a perfect culmination of everything Odyssey has been building toward to this point. The album features some of the band's heaviest material since Schematics ("Before There Were Eyes To See", "Delineation"), but there's plenty of room left for extended guitar soloing and stripped-down melodic passages.

Odyssey have never been shy about their influences, and Voids seems to derive a fair amount from Dream Theater and Rush, but these influences are never heavy-handed and don't feel forced. They're a natural part of the band's DNA, an insight reinforced by familiarity with Odyssey’s previous work, and like any great band, the integrate the music that has inspired them without becoming mindless imitators. Crites and the Hilkers possess the necessary level of talent and creativity to pull off such an integration and make it look easy in the process.

In a previous review, likely from the long-defunct Number of the Blog, I discussed how Odyssey play music for the love of music, because there's not really a lot of money in prog metal, and I stand by that statement now. Listening to Voids along with their previous works, it's really apparent that there's a constant drive to better themselves as musicians and songwriters, to progress their sound organically without losing the identity that makes them unique. They create this music out of passion for their craft, and although it may seem like a cliche, that doesn't make it any less true.

It's been my great pleasure to witness firsthand (well, sort of) the evolution and growth of Odyssey. With the sheer number of bands fighting for your attention on a daily basis, it’s easy to become jaded and cynical when it comes to music, grumbling about the good old days (even if you were in diapers for the good old days). But it can be comforting to know that there are still bands like Odyssey who are out there making quality music for the simple joy of creation. To borrow a phrase from The Stranger in The Big Lebowski, “I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' they're out there. Odyssey. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.”


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

03 Feb 22:47

Harry Potter's best man speach at Ron and Hermione's wedding

Arnvidr

That's hilarious.

Harry: So I've heard there's a rule about best friends that they never let each other marry a ginger. Hermione, I think we both failed.
03 Feb 06:01

Comic for February 03, 2016

Arnvidr

Boom!

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
02 Feb 17:59

American Truck Simulator Out Now!

by SCS Software
Arnvidr

Fuck yes.

The launch process was even smoother than we had hoped, so we are happy to announce that American Truck Simulator keys will now activate the game, and that it has become visible and ready for purchase on Steam.

Actually the start is promising, we have good visibility for the game on the front page.


21 Jan 20:24

'Journey Live' blends video games with the symphony stage

by Jessica Conditt
Arnvidr

This sounds amazing. The Journey soundtrack is probably my favourite musical score since the Lord of the Rings film soundtracks of the early 00's. If this happens live anywhere near you, you should go.

Journey is going on tour. No, not the band -- the innovative PlayStation 3 game, Journey, and Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble are embarking on a tour that blends gaming with live, reactive music. Journey Live is an interactive event where selected people will play the game and the ensemble will respond to their actions on-stage. Grammy-nominated Journey composer Austin Wintory and fellow musician Patrick O'Malley drew up a special, interactive version of the game's score that allows the ensemble to mirror a live playthrough.

Journey Live will debut at the Music and Gaming Festival, or MAGFest, in National Harbor, Maryland, on February 20th. Other confirmed performances include Chicago, Illinois, on February 28th; Boca Raton, Florida, on April 9th; and Springfield, Illinois, on April 16th. Players will be selected to participate in Journey Live through competitions held before the shows.

Journey Live passed its Kickstarter goal of $5,000 within two hours, and some of the extra cash will go toward expanding the tour to more cities. The campaign closes on February 18th.

Journey is the ideal candidate for a tour like this. Its soundtrack is reactive, responding to players' actions even when they're playing at home, rather than on a stage. It's already a collaborative experience, allowing online players to meet up and guide each other through the game's vast desert. And in 2013, it became the first-ever complete game soundtrack to be nominated for a Grammy. Besides, it's an all-around gorgeous work of art.

We talked with Wintory shortly after he learned of his Grammy nomination in late 2012, and aside from expressing humble excitement, he had the following to say:

"Games are going to earn people's respect on their own terms more than anything else as time goes forward. I think that people are going to fall in love with them because they play them and they listen to them and it will be a direct one-to-one communication. For them to really take hold they won't need validation from third-party sources, even one as prestigious as the Grammys."

I am astounded to report that we have finished day 1 @ 200% funding and additional cities are being actively sought https://t.co/q2H3gKqSuG

— Austin Wintory (@awintory) January 20, 2016

Source: Journey Live on Kickstarter

21 Jan 12:00

Marysieńka Soundtrack: 1. 01

track art
20 Jan 06:03

Photo

Arnvidr

What? *tears of joy*





















18 Jan 04:49

Photo

Arnvidr

Bastard time.



15 Jan 20:00

Photo



07 Jan 22:22

The cat in the hat.

Arnvidr

So after the photo project is at an end, time to move over to a new tumblr. I'm changing the pressure from one *photo* each *day*. I'm now doing one *whatever* each *whenever*. Good times.



The cat in the hat.

01 Jan 01:43

iraffiruse: Onward, steed! I Raff I Ruse Top 10 Posts of 2015...









iraffiruse:

Onward, steed!

I Raff I Ruse Top 10 Posts of 2015 Countdown - #5

Previous:

6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

05 Jan 04:39

Ask Me About My Beard

Arnvidr

Same.

sleep is dumb
03 Jan 17:15

2015

Arnvidr

Another year gone, and this photo project done. Some good stuff happened this year, but it's kind of overshadowed by how much I miss Annie. Still hurts like a motherfucker. Ready for 2016.



2015

04 Jan 08:28

Meters Never Prosper

by Adam
Arnvidr

Metric 4eva!

2016-01-04-Meters-Never-Prosper

28 Dec 00:34

Yoda is pruning up

01 Jan 04:34

iraffiruse: Help! I’m trapped by tiny humans! I Raff I Ruse...



iraffiruse:

Help! I’m trapped by tiny humans!

I Raff I Ruse Top 10 Posts of 2015 Countdown - #1

Previous:

2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

01 Jan 03:09

iraffiruse: Me trying to park I Raff I Ruse Top 10 Posts of...





iraffiruse:

Me trying to park

I Raff I Ruse Top 10 Posts of 2015 Countdown - #3

Previous:

4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

31 Dec 01:26

December, 30th

Arnvidr

Sometimes you just want to play Super Mario, but the SNES machine doesn't want you to.



December, 30th

28 Dec 22:14

Death Metal Bird Song Takes Flight

by Ty Arthur (aka xFiruath)
Arnvidr

Bird metal

It's finally happened... we have a death metal project based entirely around the subject of bird watching. Bill "Cuckoo Braaaaains" Barnes is pleased to announce he has started writing his debut album "Anally Fisting Your Moms With a Bluebird House" with his bird-watching, misanthropic death metal crossover project, Death Metal Bird Song. He ... Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
27 Dec 23:00

Our Messiah

by Kristian

The three wise deep ones brought squid, cod and gold, basically what everyone wants for Christmas.

This depiction of The Nativity is probably just wishful thinking on my part. Oh well, one can dream.

21 Dec 14:58

December, 18th

Arnvidr

Laziest decorator was here.



December, 18th

21 Dec 14:55

December, 16th

Arnvidr

Had snow for one day.



December, 16th

22 Dec 00:45

Now Available on Steam - Aviary Attorney, 15% off!

by Valve
Arnvidr

Bird it up.

Aviary Attorney is Now Available on Steam and is 15% off!*

The hottest bird lawyering game to come out of 1840s France! Join Jayjay Falcon and his witty apprentice, Sparrowson, as the two take on clients, interview witnesses, collect evidence, and deliver justice to the guilty.

*Offer ends December 28 at 10AM Pacific Time
18 Dec 11:22

TPP Ratification Process Grinding To A Halt As Canada Launches 'Widespread Consultations' On The Deal

by Glyn Moody
Arnvidr

Good news, everyone!

As we noted recently, the arrival of a new government in Canada has meant that the corporate sovereignty provisions in CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, might be re-examined, even if they are unlikely to be dropped completely. The other major trade deal involving Canada, TPP, is much more complex, since there are 11 other nations to consider. Although that limits the Candian government's scope for changing course, it appears that it is nonetheless taking a radically different approach compared to its predecessor. Where Stephen Harper's government was unwilling to involve the public in any way, Justin Trudeau's team seems willing at least to ask for their views:

The Liberal government, under pressure from labour unions fretting about what they fear will be big job losses once TPP comes into effect, have launched widespread consultations on the deal. This could take considerable time, said the government, which strongly advocates the idea of free trade.
As that paragraph from an article in The Globe and Mail makes clear, the Canadian government is still keen on TPP, and aims to pass it, but it does seem that the process is going to take far longer than originally envisaged. According to The Globe and Mail, Canada aims to sign soon, but not ratify it -- the final part of the process. That's in part because it's not at all clear when the US will get around to its own ratification. Doubts about the US timetable have increased after The Washington Post published the following:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dealt a significant blow to President Obama's global trade agenda Thursday, declaring that a sweeping pact with 11 Pacific Rim nations should not be sent to Congress for approval until after the 2016 elections -- and maybe not until after Obama leaves office.

McConnell, who previously supported efforts to enhance Obama's trade negotiating powers, signaled that he was undecided on how he would vote on the deal, but he was clear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be defeated if it were sent to Capitol Hill next spring or summer, as the administration was planning to do.
That uncertainty is unnerving other TPP nations, as The Globe and Mail notes:
"Why would you expend any political capital on ratification if the whole process isn't going anywhere?" said an official from a third TPP nation.
One consequence of the other TPP parties not ratifying the agreement quickly is that it makes it even harder to pass the agreement in the US -- a classic vicious circle:
“It would certainly be helpful if other nations moved to ratify,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
That's clearly not going to happen anytime soon in Canada, as the government there makes good on its promise to consult the public on the deal. TPP may be done, but it's by no means dusted.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+



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18 Dec 06:14

Plain cigarette packaging likely to snowball globally

Arnvidr

There's been talk of this here as well, although it might have been put on the backburner by the new government we've had the last two years.

Health campaigners celebrate after Philip Morris loses court case challenging Australia's strict tobacco laws.
18 Dec 03:30

Photo



15 Dec 06:27

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Arnvidr

Polka poker!

Brevity by Dan Thompson for December 15, 2015
14 Dec 15:43

Luke Skywalker, Terrorist: A Jedi's Path to Jihad

by takyon

HughPickens.com writes:

With the imminent release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, many theatergoers are re-watching the original movies to reacquaint themselves with those stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. This time, however, they may find themselves surprised by how much the film's characters and themes echo the current War On Terror. According to Jonathon Last, in the Star Wars films (not the Expanded Universe) the Empire is good and is engaged in a fight for the survival of its regime against a violent group of rebels who are committed to its destruction. Now an interesting article on the Star Wars films at Decider takes the re-interpretation a step further, arguing that the films are actually the story of the radicalization of Luke Skywalker. From introducing Luke to us in A New Hope (as a simple farm boy gazing into the Tatooine sunset), to his eventual transformation into the radicalized insurgent of Return of the Jedi (as one who sets his own father's corpse on fire and celebrates the successful bombing of the Death Star), each film in the original trilogy is another step in Luke's descent into terrorism.

According to the article Luke Skywalker is just the kind of isolated disaffected young man that terror recruiters seek out. Obi Wan — a religious fanatic with a history of looking for young boys to recruit and teach an extreme interpretation of the Force — tells Luke he must abandon his family and join him, going so far as telling a shocking lie that the Empire killed Luke's father, hoping to inspire Luke to a life of jihad. In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is ordered to travel overseas to receive training and religious instruction from Yoda, an extremist cleric who runs a Jedi madrasa on Dagobah. Yoda's push to radicalize Luke, rob him of an identity, and instill obedience are apparent when at various points he instructs Luke to "Clear your mind of questions," "Unlearn what you have learned" and, most grimly, "Do, or do not, there is no try." Armed with new combat training and cloaked in a hardline religious fervor, Luke leaves Dagobah, impatient to put his terror training to use.Finally in Return of the Jedi, we see a darker, hardened Luke, fittingly dressed in black and eager to use violence as a tool to enforce the twisted "judge, jury, executioner" value system of the Jedi. "With Darth Vader the final casualty of Luke's jihad, Obi-Wan and Yoda have succeeded in catching yet another young man in their web of Jedi extremism," concludes the article. "Star Wars is clearly a cautionary tale of the dangers of radicalization, and how even a seemingly harmless young man who kept to himself on Tattooine can become the terrorist next door."


Original Submission

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

14 Dec 01:58

Trump with an Eagle vs Colbert with an Eagle

Arnvidr

Epic bump.







Trump with an Eagle vs Colbert with an Eagle

11 Dec 04:19

Photo

Arnvidr

Berb lyfe