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World of Keiko 2017-06-27

It has been another week. I hope that you’ve had a good week. My week has been somewhat productive and enjoyable.

This past week has seen numerous people attending Vidcon, which I have followed with some interest on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Some YouTubers have apparently reconciliations and friendships made as a result of people talking to each other. It also saw the shutuptariq hashtag trending in response to a figure that shuts down criticism with accusations of the other party being a “white supremacist” instead of addressing those criticisms. People are fed up with this sort of intellectual dishonesty and with good reason. If a person truly wants to solve a problem, then they should address legitimate criticism of what they say and do.

Hubby and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary last week. Soon after, the Steam Summer Sale started and he got me the removing parts of the Saint’s Row franchise. After that, we played some multiplayer Saint’s Row the Third. It was a lot of fun but we still haven’t quite finished that run-through of the game. As such, we’ve been playing together a few hours each night. I may suck at driving and flying vehicles but I at least suck a lot less in the weapons department. I will certainly get a lot better with practice.
What games have you been playing of late? What makes them so enjoyable for you? Have you purchased anything during the Steam Summer Sale? Are you waiting for a discount on any games in particular for the Steam Summer Sale?

In other news, I am back to doing daily lessons at Duolingo. The focus this time around is French given that some of the characters in the book that I am currently working on are French. I studied a little in high school but it is very rusty. I have also spent a lot more time of late studying Dutch and German which is quite a bit different from French. Dutch and German use some similar words, which allows one to assist in learning the other much in the way that Spanish and Portuguese assist each other. I haven’t come across a language that assists with learning French as yet. There is apparently a difference between Quebecian French and Parisian French, but I have no idea what the differences are. My best guess is that Here’s hoping that I can be consistent with my daily lessons.
Are any of you currently learning a language? Are you bilingual? Feel free to post about your experiences in the comments section and social networking.

What sort of music have I been listening to this week? Here is a quick list:

Books? I am still reading Rachel Aaron‘s 2K to 10K book on improving writing output. It is a decent read but I am also working on planning a book in the background. The planning is taking a bit longer than expected actually. Turns out that the planned prologue will also work better as a short prequel story.

That is it for this week. Before I go, I’d like to offer a shout-out to new follower theindianindiehead. Kaustav Ray has a really neat music blog that I encourage folks to check out. I leave you with a live performance of the song ¡Que Paciencia! by Sundayers from their album Cógelo!.


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Music Review: What is Love by Melanie Ungar

Year: 2015 (I’m not sure if the album was released on platforms other than Jamendo before this time)
Genre: Country, Country Pop, Pop
Online: Youtube, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. What is Love
  2. Madly, Deeply
  3. Deeper For You
  4. One Day
  5. Open
  6. Let’s Start Again
  7. Madly, Deeply (Acoustic)

Melanie Ungar is a Canadian artist that I stumbled across on Jamendo whilst listening to one of the automated playlists a few years ago. I think that it was actually the third track of this album that drew me in initially. Since then, this debut EP has been a regular listen each week, with many of the songs making it into various playlists.

As mentioned above, this release fits into the categories of Country and Pop. I don’t listen to a lot of Country but when I do it tends to result in some regular listens. But what makes for good Country Pop? Well, not being generic is a good start.
Whilst the album doesn’t “change the game” it does offer solid compositions that a pleasure to listen to. I can’t say the same for some artists that have recently spent time in the charts. Her vocals are crisp and the catchiness of the lyrics makes me return time and time again.
So, do I have any favourite songs on the album? Yes. The third track Deeper For You probably gets one or two extra plays whenever I listen to the album. I also adore the fifth track Open. Why do I like these songs so much? Well, they cause me to reminisce about my own relationship with my husband of 21 years. These songs also do a great job of sharing the idea of growing attachment and intimacy between a couple.

In conclusion, I really love this album. What is Love is a must-listen for anybody that is a sucker for good love songs. If that is not your bag, then you have no soul. ROFL I also recommend the album for fans of Country Pop.
For those interested, Melanie Ungar posts videos regularly on her youtube channel (linked above). A lot of the content consists of covers, which she manages to add her own trademark style.


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Music Review: Neon by Vitne

Year: 2013 with a Jamendo release in 2015
Genre: Hard Rock, 80’s Metal
Online: Official Website, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. Destroyer
  2. Nasty Habit
  3. Silhouette
  4. Royal Nights
  5. Lick You Up
  6. To the Sky
  7. I’m Feeling Deadly
  8. Cruisin’
  9. Rest in Peace
  10. Fire (Outtake)
  11. It’s Me (Outtake)

Neon is the 2013 album release by Norwegian artist Vitne. I first came across Vitne in February of this year whilst listening to some of the playlists on Jamendo. The initial track that I listened to was Winter Love Song, a cute little single from 2014. I liked it enough to listen to some of Vitne’s other music.
The first thing that you will notice when listening to Vitne is the mild accent that seems to go well with the at-times delightfully cheesy lyrics. The style is deliberate and gives Vitne’s music that rock porn vibe. It is a guilty pleasure.

For Neon, Vitne kicks it up a notch, channelling a hard rock and metal sound from the early to mid-80’s. If the metal and hard rock from that era don’t appeal, then this album likely won’t be your cup of tea. I still recommend that you check out the album anyway.
If I had to choose some favourite tracks, I would pick two songs. The opening track Destroyer does a great job of setting the mood for the entire album. The twelfth track, an outtake of It’s Me, does a great job of further showcasing Vitne’s instrumental work with a kickass guitar solo that knocks it out of the park. I can easily listen to and enjoy each of the tracks though, which made picking favourites songs from the album difficult.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this album. Would I listen to it all of the time? No, but I play it on repeat every few weeks simply to “rock out”. In any case, you guys should check out the album and the rest of the Vitne catalogue. If you like what you hear, be sure to spread the word.


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Music Review: Traveling Songs by The Dada Weatherman

Year: 2016
Genre: Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Folk
Online: Official Website, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. Free Your Mind
  2. Traveler’s Song
  3. Desert of Love
  4. Rewind
  5. We Will Be Alright
  6. Rocking Out
  7. M.O.
  8. Falling in Love

I apologise for the delay in posting another album review. I decided to remove the album that I previously had on the top of the list on account of Canadian band The Rest being oddly absent from the interwebs nowadays. It made me a little sad but I suppose that even good bands break-up or fade into the ether. I recommend that you check out their album on Jamendo here. And this brings us to the next album on the list.

I first noticed French band The Dada Weatherman, otherwise known as Dada & The Weatherman, about two years ago when one of their new albums popped up on the front page of Jamendo. Folk.It.Up was a good listen and I soon found myself listening to some of their other releases. Last year, they came out with the album that I am reviewing today, Traveling Songs. Please note that all of their tracks are in English.
Traveling Songs is a collection of eight tracks that offer a more refined folk and psychedelic and blues rock edge, reflecting Dada’s roots growing up listening to classic rock and blues from the 60’s and 70’s. With all of TDW’s albums, there is a strong focus on vocal and guitar work to do justice to the compositions. Sadly, I can’t say the same for several other artists that I have listened to of late.
Do I have a favourite track in this release? I enjoy all of the tracks, but if I had to choose then it would be a toss-up between Traveler’s Song and We Will Be Alright. Be sure to post your favourite tracks of the album in the comments section if you take time out to listen to the album.
In conclusion, this is a great addition to the existing catalogue of releases by The Dada Weatherman. It offers something new whilst somehow managing to stay true to the roots of the artist. Be sure to also check out the other releases of TDW and let me know what you think of their music. And last but not least, if you have any other artist and album that you’d like me to check out on Jamendo, be sure to drop me a line and I will try to get to it ASAP. You can find a copy of the album on Jamendo along with a huge catalogue of their releases.

If you have any other artist and album that you’d like me to check out on Jamendo, be sure to drop me a line and I will try to get to it ASAP. I have a backlog of album reviews to get through so bear with me.


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World of Keiko 02/28/2017

It has been another busy week for me. Due to making the decision to play more BDO in order to spend quality time with some guild members, I spent much of the last five days playing. As such, some recent posts have been delayed.
I also made the decision to move my weekly music review to Sunday alongside my Sunday Playlist post. I figure that this should offer something more for folks to listen to over the next week. I hope that it doesn’t feel like overkill but I suppose that I will have to see what you guys think of the changes.
I will attempt to juggle my time a bit more effectively and efficiently but it might take a few weeks to find my footing. That being said, I am having fun playing the game again. For a few months there, I was a tad burnt out by the grinding for level and shinies. It was nice to have life skills as a back-up in the meantime.
I did manage to at least get an anime review out and am nearly halfway through the next series that I will be reviewing. I forgot how funny the show Bamboo Blade was. It seems that the show also managed to get more complex over time and still holds up quite well ten years later. I suppose that I will have to wait until Friday to tell you guys a bit more about it.

Not much to say on the writing front but I wasn’t really expecting anything special in that department. It is not to say that I didn’t think about Freak or my serial. I just simply didn’t put physically sit down to write. I don’t feel guilty about this because I do believe that I at least made a few relevant decisions regarding how the stories would progress.

Back to the gaming front, I managed to get the awakening for my Ninja this past weekend after sitting on level 55 for a few months. It was a bit of a rush and I found myself really digging how easily the character was able to take out several pain-in-the-ass golems in Mediah. Some folks will know exactly what I am referring to when I say “Wilderness Golems”. For those that don’t, Wilderness Golems are slightly overpowered compared to many of the other creatures in the zone. They also have some rather annoying abilities. What the hell is up with a lot of Mediah creatures having stun abilities?
I also started on the task of getting some other characters in the early 50’s closer to their own awakenings. I should have 3 more toons with awakenings in the next five days. This should be made a lot easier with some purchases that I made in the marketplace yesterday. Hubby gave me a pep-talk, as he often does. It had to happen and it makes a HUGE difference to overall damage output. I am also very thankful that many if not all of the items can be shared with my stable of twelve characters. My next awakening will be for my Sorceress which is two-thirds of the way to level 56. After that, it will be a toss-up between Musa and Valkyrie, with a slight inclination to play my Musa first.

Well, that is it for this week. I will post my creative prompt after this and try to deal with my weekly manga review before I turn in this evening. Here’s hoping that I will be able to post on time tomorrow and for the rest of the week. A big shoutout to new followers Edhein (anime) and shadowoftheoperaghost (KDrama). I look forward to conversing with you and the host of other followers. In any case, I leave you guys with this clip by Allie Farris.


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Music Review: The Banquet by This Public Life

Year: 2011
Genre: Indie Rock
Similar Artists: The Boxer Rebellion, Radiohead, Monoral
Online: Official Website, Jamendo, Bandcamp, Triple J Unearthed, Facebook
Tracks:

  1. Smile
  2. Look Up
  3. Bombs Away
  4. Gypsy
  5. Born Again
  6. War Machine

After some deliberation, I have decided to move my weekly music reviews to Sunday instead of Saturday. I hope that folks don’t mind but I also want to get back into playing Black Desert Online again and figure that Saturday is a good choice due to the number of guild members that are usually on during that day. In any case, this week’s album review will be for a release by Australian Indie Rock band This Public Life.

The Banquet is a six-track album that came out in 2011. Though small, the collection packs a bit of a punch. No two songs are alike, showing a variety of tone and style but each still manages to showcase some excellent vocal and instrumental work. I find this especially important given that a lot of bands tend to release a lot of the same even on a single album. It also means that can see what to expect from the band in terms of composition and performance. The sound engineering also does justice to a collection of songs from a band that really deserves a lot more recognition than it currently gets.
When this album originally went live on Jamendo, I took an immediate liking to it. Years later, I still find myself listening to it in the foreground rather than in the background. It is nice to sit there and just take in the individual elements of a song and that crisp sound engineering allows me to isolate the instruments and vocals easily. For me, The Banquet is a good example of why I enjoy Indie Rock so much. There is this feeling of purity to it that comes from not being ordered around by a big record company. That being said, we see a lot of talented bands that don’t get the recognition that they deserve.

In conclusion, I recommend this album to anyone looking for some solid Indie Rock. Be sure to give it a listen and check out their release It Shouldn’t Cost the Earth from 2016 while you are at it. If you like what you hear, be sure to spread the word and maybe leave a comment to let me know what you thought.


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Music Review: Falling Apart by LukHash

Year: 2012
Genre: Electronic, 8Bit, Chiptune, Darkstep, Electronic Dance
Similar Artists: Trancendam,
Online: Official Website, JamendoBandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook
Tracks:

  1. Alpha
  2. Pixelove
  3. Detached Reality
  4. Falling Apart
  5. China
  6. Computer Date
  7. Room 12
  8. Broken Star
  9. 65536
  10. Gravity
  11. H8 U 2
  12. R3born
  13. Bonus Track – Woken Up @3AM V2

LukHash is an electronic artist from Poland that I discovered on Jamendo last year. They’ve been around for a while now, developing a bit of a following online in the process. It is certainly understandable why they are so popular as well.

Falling Apart is a thirteen-track compilation that does a great job of offering a glimpse into what makes LukHash so unique and entertaining to listen to. Whilst no two albums in their catalogue are alike, you know from the start that you are about to listen to will give soundtracks for the likes of Gianna Sisters a run for their money. I could waffle on about this and that but I doubt that I would do the album near as much justice as simply listening to it yourself.
Do I have any favourite tracks on this album? I would say that H8 U 2 is my personal favourite even though it is a mild rehash of a song from an earlier release. It has the deep bass and percussion that I find myself repeatedly going out of the way to listen to. Perhaps it is because it is one of the darker tracks on the album.

All in all, I really like this album. If you enjoy old-school side scrolling RPGs you will likely appreciate this album a bit more as well. In any case, be sure to check it out along with the other releases in LukHash’s catalogue.