Category Archives: Music

Anything music related

Brütal Legend: Another nice game marred by rampart sexism.

Brütal LegendWarning: Some minor spoilers included

So I just finished my play through of Brütal Legend which I got from the latest HIB and I must say, even though I went in with reduced expectations due to how much internet anger there was about the RTS parts of the game, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Yes the RTS parts are clunky as fuck, since they are built for console controls in mind, and the general gameplay is nothing particularly groundbreaking, but I loved the theme and I especially loved the music.

It’s not that often that I get a game that includes some of my favourite songs as the themes to its greatest moments 🙂

The non-RTS gameplay was as good as can be expected, albeit lower than I would have liked on the musical part. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t (or they decided not to?) implement the guitar/music playing more into the gameplay mechanics, as it would have been far more interesting to see some kind of hybrid mix of mechanics similar to Guitar Hero implemented more thoroughly. As it is, it just ended up with mediocre driving, mediocre hack & slash and bad RTS.

But that’s OK, I can forgive a lot of these because of how much I just enjoyed driving around and enjoying the world, talking to its characters and generally seeing how they visualized the various Rock/Metal types into the setting. I really liked how your first enemy were the Glam Rock types while the second major enemy were the Emo/Goth Crowd. I.e. The classic cousins of the Metal Scene. Pity we didn’t see some rockabilies as well, the original enemies of Classic Rock.

The storyline was also quite nice, with interesting scenarios, lots of explosions and a fairly interesting twist. It wasn’t the greatest story ever told, but it made for a few enjoyable musical afternoons.

Exploring the world for the panoramas
Exploring the world for the panoramas

However what I just can’t digest was just how sexist1 the game was. While the game had some dynamic women as side characters, they were portrayed in the best way designed to give a boner to the young male metal audience. Slim figures with thin arms (even when wielding a polearm double as big as themselves, or being able to carry their own body weight in a single arm for long lengths of time) and even slimmer waists; Always sporting sexy-looking clothes and eventually reaching to the absurd via the introduction of the “Amazon-like” clan, who wear only enough strings and ribbons to make them look as desirable as possible.

Now I know the game is stylized and before you start telling me how all men have huge muscles or are dumb meatheads and so on, just remember that males actually had variations. You had handsome males (like the ridiculous Aryan “king” who fortunately has the good decency to die in the middle of the story), ruggedly handsome males (the protagonist), ugly males, tall males, short males, fat males, buffed males, lanky makes, disfigured males, monstrous males and so on. On the other hand, females had one mode only: Nymph2.

In other words, as usual, beastly males were there to serve as male power fantasies and expectations, while females, even theoretically strong females, were not allowed to escape the “…but desirable” contextual prison. They could be strong characters as long as they remained in the patriarchal paradigm of how a woman should look like.

The story suffered accordingly, although thankfully it didn’t plaster all the stupid tropes straight. It did Damsel In Distress the romantic interest in the end, but at least it wasn’t blatant about it. Still nothing particularly progressive there, only just less traditionally backwards than usual. I guess I can count my blessings that I didn’t have to suffer the atrocious Manowar song “Woman be my slave” which I hate with the heat of a thousand suns.

So if we really struggle to ignore all this3 then one can enjoy the game and indulge oneself in the heavy metal world that the minds of Take-Two have conceived. And at least on that end, they did a damn good job.

  1. Not to mention whitewashed. Zero People of Color []
  2. Oh there were two enemy females that didn’t fit this archetype: One tall daemon enemy that was monstrous but trying to be sexy nevertheless, and one fully clothed white-bride-like undead thing. The only fully clothed females in the game iirc. []
  3. And I am perfectly aware how difficult that can be for those not basking in my straight-male privilege. []

I is sad. Dr. Steel retired.

Dr. Steel (album)

I was wondering why I haven’t heard almost anything new coming from Dr. Steel ever since I learned about him 2 years ago or so, and now I found out he’s gone into retirement ever since 2012 🙁

 

Nobody seems to know exactly why, but a facebook posts attributes it to personal reasons and possible a rabid fan experience or two. Sure, the kind of image Dr. Steel created could possibly attract some unstable people, but to get so bad as to force him to retire as his persona was taking off? Wow! Things must have gotten really out of hand to make him give up 12 years of efforts like that >_<

 

That was a very sad turn of events 🙁

 

Ska-P is on tour?! FFFFFFFUUUUUU

Ska-P
Ska-P (via last.fm)

I just realized I missed the Ska-P concert in germany after their recent reunion. Now I find out that in mid-May they’re going to be in Greece and specifically in my home city Thessaloniki. To say that I’d like to see them live would be an understatement. Judging by how awesome and dancealicious their songs are by default, their live shows must be amazing fun.

So the title of this article goes to the fact that I will lose this concert unless I pull a brilliant plan to somehow be in Greece at this particular Fortunately for me, We (me and the gf) already plan to be there at around this time but we were planning for around June. I need to simply make pull it back a bit.

I was totally hooked to Ska-P from a colleague a few years ago and I’ve become a big fan since then. By the time I learned about them they had already disbanded but in 2008 they rejoined and brought a new album (which I need to acquire post-haste). Not only do they make awesome music – combining folk, metal and punk in a wonderful mix of Ska – but they also have a very uplifting tone and lyrics centered around liberty, anti-capitalism and racism. Just perfect.

So um, yeah. Other than a blatant opportunity for me to post some vids of them in an attempt to hook y’all. This was simply an exclamation on the fact that I may lose my last chance to see them. This must not be.

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Lost the last

So after 3 years of faithful subscription to last.fm, I’ve finally been unsubscribed. This is because they stopped accepting Paypal subscription payments.

They did however give me 6 months for free so that’s alright 🙂 I think I’ll stay unsubscribed for a while and see how annoying it is for me.

How I made Steam play nice with my Ubuntu

I tspent last afternoon trying to make this damn program work normally but for some reason I was always getting stuck when trying to register an account. Eventually I traced the problem with wine’s iexplore version which for some reason would freeze as soon as I start it. It would ask to download the gecko engine (if I hadn’t already downloaded it) and then display a white screen and become unresponsive. I tried various things, even testing it on a clean profile, but nothing fixed it (Wine 0.9.56 btw). This not working IE caused in turn Steam not to work well. It would open but it would also crash when clicking on the “create account” button.

Hopefully a quick googling directed me to the Ubuntu Forums and from there to the IEs for Linux page. Fortunately, that version of IE worked in my PC (PS: I was amazed by the simple and easy installation. Props to the developer!). Unfortunately I couldn’t it run through my normal wine installation. As it is installed on a different .wine directory, I tried linking to the iexplore.exe over there and replacing the one coming with wine but apparently due to different dlls, it didn’t work out. In exasperation, I renamed my .wine directory to winebak and copied the .ies4linux dir as .wine. I then installed Steam in that and started it.

It worked. And it worked perfectly. I was able to run it, create and account, log in and buy a game (which was the sole reason why I wasted my time making wine work) via a credit card (because paypal didn’t work).

Unfortunately, even though navigating steam worked very well, playing the game didn’t 🙁 Steam would vehemently complain that I didn’t have the current DirectX version when trying to run the game, even though I knew from the cracked version that it works without a problem. I could see no way around this unfortunately as I couldn’t figure out which .dlls are necessary to make Steam think I’ve got the correct one.

So, once again in exasperation, I renamed the current .wine dir to winebak2 and renamed winebak to .wine. I then copied the Steam client (which has Audiosurf installed) from winebak2 to .wine and tried again. Now steam would launch but would crash as soon as I logged in due to the annoying iexplore problem. Very fortunately for me, since Audiosurf created a program shortcut in the wine menu, I run it from there and lo and behold! It worked. (Albeit with the same problems as before)

So I now finally have an up-to-date version of Audiosurf and can finally submit my scores to the servers (which seem to running at a crawl, I guess do to the unforeseen popularity) . I must say that I’m loving it. A great luck that the game run on wine out of the box 🙂

Lawful Evil

I have now seen the true face of Corporate Ethics first hand.

See how low the music recording cartel industry and their cronies will go to attack file sharing networks. They have now added domain stealing as well as licence and trademark abuse to their wonderful repertoire of threats, cracking, brainwash and extortion.

There is simply no limit to their immorality; and the latest case is just a wonderful example of how rabidly they are fighting against their inenvitable demise (which they have brought down upon themselves). It’s like the thrashing of a cornered beast. Now that they have decided to shit all over the GPL however, is where I draw the line.

Not only did they threaten an innocent person (the domain holder) with legal action in order to get him to pass the domain name to them. Not only did they subtly modify the site in order to trick regular users to please their corporate masters. Not only are they now giving away a (almost certainly) spyware infested propriertary client (in order to poison the credibility of Shareaza). They are not trying to get the trademark of “Shareaza” in what must be the sleaziest move yet. And they know it! (what with them opening a Cypress shell company to do it so that the true perpetrators won’t be litigated against).

All you D&D players reading this, take note. This is how lawful evil should be role-played.

At this point there are a few things all of us should do:

Finally, my personal idea is to put pressure on these scum. What we could probably do is use the Six Degrees and find out who is behind this. Once we do then their friends and families should be informed of their behaviour and perhaps given the appropriate social treatment they so deserve.

Seriously, the law is not our friend here. These people are using the law in order to go against the spirit of it. They are hiding behind shell companies and lawyers because they know they are in the wrong. They deserve no mercy and like Mediasentry before them, they will eventually get what is coming to them.

In Solidarity.

SHAREAZA™ IS THE PROPERTY OF THE SHAREAZA DEVELOPMENT TEAM.

W:O:A 2007 Gallery filled

Faces to loveSo, I’m back as you probably figured out. No big post yet but the gallery for the festival is filled with stuff. Until I can get around to writing the damn blogpost check it out and feel free to comment on stuff.

Unfortunately, two of my better and bigger vids where corrupted after I took them (no idea why. Size I guess?). But if you think you might be able to restore them, by all means attempt it! I’d be grateful if you did.

As for the post, I’ll try to split it into two parts. The first will be about my experience in the festival and will be hosted here, while I’m planning on writing the second over at my last.fm journal just for the heck of it.

Write to you soon.