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Music Review: Journey of a Feather by Ancelin

Year: 2010
Genre: Instrumental, Downtempo, Trip-Hop
Online: Jamendo
Tracks:

  1. The Journey of a Feather
  2. Walk on Air
  3. Apocalypse
  4. Fall in Jazz
  5. The Truth
  6. Happy End
  7. Childbearing
  8. Apolo 11
  9. Storm
  10. Go Up
  11. Eveux
  12. Une pensée
  13. Dance’s child
  14. Jungle of blues
  15. Un rêve
  16. Bubble
  17. Nanotechnologie
  18. Le_nouveau_né

I first came across French artist Ancelin on Jamendo a few years ago. The album Urban Cross was a pretty good album and lead to me downloading Journey of a Feather as well. It is one of the lengthier albums in my music collection as well but it is totally worth it.

Ancelin does a terrific job of evoking the sense of the modern cityscape in both albums. However, in Journey of a Feather there are a few more instrumental tracks instead of the entire album being Downtempo and Trip-Hop non-vocal tracks. However, all of the tracks seamlessly fit together under that wonderful theme.
The compositions are simply gorgeous and I find myself returning to both albums regularly. The songs offer that feeling of progression in time and space, bringing up repeatedly back to that idea of following something or someone. That continuity of theme also gives us a great starting point for creatives looking for some prompts.
Do I have any favourite songs on this album? If I had to choose, I would pick Dance’s Child. The song is an odd mix of world music with downtempo that makes it the obvious choice. Why? Because it evokes the sense of the multicultural city.

In conclusion, really enjoyed this album. I highly recommend this album to creatives looking to get in specific moods for creating their “shinies” and to people that are looking for some music to help them relax. Even if this doesn’t apply to you, it doesn’t hurt to head on over to Jamendo and stream the album.


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Music Review: Color Out (EP) by Color Out

Year: 2015
Genre: Indie Rock, Punk Rock
Online: ReverbNation, Jamendo, Twitter, Facebook
Tracks:

  1. Mercurial (featuring AJ Perdomo)
  2. Anything But Everything
  3. Ghosts
  4. By Your Side
  5. Winter Chill
  6. Pretense

A few years ago, I happened across Color Out on one of Jamendo’s playlists. It immediately perked my interest and I ended up downloading all of the releases available on the platform. Since then, I listen to their entire catalogue at least once a fortnight. Today, I will be reviewing their self-titled EP released in 2015.

Right from the get-go, the tracks on this EP have a more serious element that is reminiscent of bands such as Anima, Indytronics, and Floppy Dee. The vocals and other instrumentation do justice to the solid compositions. This is also backed up by quality production values as well.
Do I have a favourite song on the EP? Whilst I really love Mercurial, I would have to say that my favourite track is Ghosts. I don’t quite know why the song resonates so well with me. Perhaps it is those wonderful transitions and changes of tempo that make the song so impactful.
The weakest of the songs is Pretense. It isn’t as crisply engineered and sounds a bit more like a bonus track from a live performance. That being said, I still find myself enjoying Pretense.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this album and the rest of the Color Out catalogue to anyone with an appreciation for indie rock with a punk edge. And if you don’t quite fit into that category, then I recommend that you give it a listen regardless. If you check out the album, feel free to let me know what you thought about it in the comments section.

 


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World of Keiko 2017-07-04

Hello again! Another week has passed and not a lot has happened overall. I missed a few scheduled posts due to hubby wanting to play computer games nearly non-stop when he gets home from work. It’s also affected chores as well. I finally dealt with a rather large amount of laundry yesterday but the house in dire need of a good sweeping and vacuum. I will need to find some way to balance my quality time with him with my chores, blogging, socialising online, language learning and writing.

To the issue of gaming, we finally finished all of the missions on Saints Row the Third on Thursday. That led to several days of annoyance where we attempted to get co-op working for Saint Row IV. Because he had the international version, it conflicted with my censored AU version. We dealt with Steam Support repeatedly until an AU version became available for him. Due to some weird settings change my version wasn’t able to load at all. Hubby finally found the culprit. Checking one setting in Windows 10 allowed me to finally load the program and paved the way for us playing the game co-op.
We also have a few new games that we will attempt to play co-op, which includes Magicka. Hubby is sceptical of whether he will enjoy the game, but it should be a lot more enjoyable playing through the campaign co-op as opposed to alone. In all of these games, we will also be working towards finishing Steam Achievements as well. It is not mandatory, but many of these achievements offer extra challenges for players. This is a good thing as it gives some extra goal markers for a player or players.

To blogging, I am still having some issue finding a schedule that works within the various things that I wish to achieve each day and week. One thing that I will attempt to do each week is posting a weekly update on either Monday or Tuesday. The creative prompts will likely move to two posts a week. Manga reviews will be trickier given that I am feeling underwhelmed by some of the offerings of late. If folks have some recommendations, then suggest away. Same with anime and TV reviews. I will attempt to post a music review and playlist every Sunday along with a Video of the Week each Thursday.

I am making mild headway with learning French on Duolingo. I admit that I missed a few days this past week but I will need to put in extra effort to do a module each day ahead of revision of an entire grouping of modules. I have reached out to some folks on social networking to see if any of them are learning French and felt embarrassed when one of them pointed that French is his native language. How on earth did I forget that? I suppose that this is what comes from knowing some French people that no longer live in France.
Europeans often don’t have to drive very far to be in another country within the European Union because of the small distances between countries. I recall a friend talking about a UN conference that she attended last year where she tried to explain to a politician from Ireland just how big our regional council was. The chap had some serious time wrapping their head around the distances involved as his entire country could fit within our region.

How has my writing gone this week? Well, not as good as it could be but I have made some choices that make sense to the overall scope and direction of the project. I just need to write these changes into the pre-story. The prequel story will likely be between 15k and 20k in length once I am done. Probably a lot more wiggle room than a prologue. I am also playing with time travel and alternative realities which will have a HUGE impact on the progression of the world itself.
I am also still figuring out how explicit I want some of the sex scenes to be when I finally get to the steamy bits. How explicit they are will also have some effect on the genre as well. If I dial it back a bit, it will fit more readily into drama with some romantic elements, whilst being more explicit may venture closer to erotica. That being said, we’ve seen our share of TV shows that have explicit sex scenes whilst still managing to fit into other genres. I suppose that it is something that I will need to address when I get closer to integrating the scenes into the series.

What music have I been listening to this past week? Here is the quick list:

  • Day One (album) by Birds of Tokyo [Indie Rock]
  • Who’s My Baby (song) by Capashen [Electronic Dance]
  • Way Out [EP] by Could Ever [Electronic Dance]
  • Like It Never Happened: Noisetrade Exclusive [EP] by Elizabeth and the Catapults [Pop]
  • None of Us Will Ever Leave a Legacy (album) by Final Round [Punk Rock and Indie Rock]
  • The Girl (album) by Charlotte Perrelli [pop and Dance]

Books? I still haven’t finished the Karen Aaron book on writing. Yes, it is embarrassing that I haven’t finished it yet. I will get around to finishing it when I get around to finishing it. I have to be realistic here.

Anyway, that is it for this week. I leave you guys with the following film clip of Hold Onto the Metal by the band Royal Canoe:


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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.