Jan. 19th, 2009

reileen: (music - proofread score)
First off, some linkage!

Scientists are making steps towards creating a "cloak of invisibility". They've developed a material that will "cloak" an object from detection by microwaves, and they're trying to scale it up to include infrared and visible light. I wonder how long that'll take? I'm pretty sure that the primary use of this particular piece of technology would be for military purposes, but I wonder if it'll ever go "mainstream", for lack of a better term?

Eight commonly misinterpreted songs.

[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith muses upon what makes a villain work in a story, and provides a collection of helpfully villainous links. Perfect for writers wishing to make their villains more than just The Big Bad.

From Namco-Bandai, who brought us the amazing and awesome Tales series of RPGs and the classic arcade game Pac-Man, we have...a really shitty-looking fighting game for PSP based on the upcoming live-action Dragonball movie. Holy hell, look at those graphics! The last time we had graphics like that was back in the Nintendo 64 era! (I wonder which'll be worse, this game or Superman 64...)

Over at Making Light, Teresa Nielsen Hayden posts a summary of the Bush administration in the form of a list of links to articles from the satirical newspaper The Onion.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kiirobon, I've gotten into an all-female Japanese rock band Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re. They have a very quirky, idiosyncratic sound, characterized by synthesizing a number of disparate, jarring elements either in the lyrics or in the music (usually both). The first song of theirs I ever heard was Manhole, the lyrics of which contemplate what lie beneath manholes. The video I've linked is particularly amusing for the sheer fact that the lead singer, Mari, is wearing this cute little pink dress with a matching set of cat ears WHILE SINGING THIS PUNK ROCK SONG ABOUT MANHOLES. But I think my current favorite is Ocha Ska, where the vocals alternate between sweet, cute harmonies reminiscent of usual female-fronted Japanese pop...and right-out death growls. Admittedly, Mari doesn't do the growls too well, but it works enough for the purposes of the song. I can't stop myself from giggling whenever I listen to the song; it's just so full of awesometastic WTF.

Finally, I just dissolved into a pile of fangirlish glee when I saw the artwork for the cover of Vienna Teng's new album. DO FUCKING WANT, HOLY SHIT! Why is it coming out earlier in Germany (February 6) than in the U.S. (April 7)? ;____;

(As an aside, the theme and composition of the artwork reminds me a little of the cover for Evanescence's The Open Door.)

***

I heard back from the performance manager at Borders, and now have a list of dates to choose from for my next performance. I'm still trying to decide on which one(s) I want - I'd want to perform when the weather might be warmer, but the later dates (2/27 and 2/28) are approaching the end of my winter quarter, and I don't think I want to be worrying about performing while I also have to worry about schoolwork (despite me doing some quick GPA calculations recently to see how much I can slack off this quarter. The answer: a fair amount, actually). Good thing I've transcribed major dates from my various syllabi onto my desk calendar, so I'll just have to take a look soon and figure out how I want to play things (no pun intended).

I've decided this time around that I'm going to have a setlist. I didn't have one when I performed in December, because I thought that surely, between my various covers, originals, and instrumental pieces, I could manage to just wing things. Which, well...I did. But I didn't feel very good about it, and due to my hands almost entirely freezing up due to extreme cold and extremer nerves, there were a couple of time-eaters songs that I had to pass up on performing because I physically could not play those songs. Luckily, my original songs are painfully simple, and so they are/were mostly safe from the curse of frozen fingers. Speaking of which, another change: I'm completely tossing out my classical pieces (and other miscellaneous instrumental pieces) and focusing on vocal covers and my original work. I enjoy playing classical pieces, but I'm not very good at them, and being a classical pianist isn't what I'm aiming for with my music anyway. The point of me imposing my screechings and plunkings upon unwitting Borders customers is to practice performing my work in front of total strangers without freezing the fuck up from stage fright. It would also get my music out there, as embryonically skeletal as it is at the moment, but really, performing at Borders right now is more for my sake than it is for the sake of publicity.

So, here's what my current setlist looks like, in no particular order:

Triskaidekaphobia
Between the Lines
Cynthia's Lullaby
Almost
Cold
Bacchanalia (instrumental)
Gravity (Vienna Teng cover)
Harbor (Vienna Teng cover)
Woods Part of When (Noe Venable cover; a cappella)

Estimated total running time, not counting pauses between songs, etc., is a little under half an hour. Which is pretty short, I think, but it should be good as a starting point for a few reasons:

1) I'll get more chances to play those pieces in front of people per performance slot. I get two hours of performance time from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, and if I do the divvy I can play three half-hour slots with two ten-minute breaks.

2) People seem to be more inclined to tip when someone is finished performing. So having three chances to perform a complete set may, just possibly, net me more money in tips. And more money is good!

3) Having those rest times between sets will be good for me, since I don't yet have a lot of vocal stamina.

I was a little dismayed to find myself with so tiny a repertoire of original songs, but I'm not going to stress myself out with trying to get more original songs (such as "Wasted", "Hot", and "Daughter Mine") polished for performances in the near future. Despite calculating that I can slack off and relax a bit this quarter while still earning high grades, I will actually still have to do the work for those grades, and I need to focus on that right now. I think it's good, anyway, that I'll be forced to play my older songs, since although I can play them, technically, I haven't yet mastered them. In fact, I think as a result of going back to harder classes and working on learning "Momentum", I've forgotten bits and pieces of my songs. "Shit, what chord comes next here?" Or: "Aw, crap, I can't remember what I composed for this part!" Gotta start practicing those daily now, to reduce the chances that I'll have a brain fart in the middle of my performance.

-Reileen
you're pitiful, it's true

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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