December 1, 2008

10 Iron Maiden, Steam

MUSIC Yes, THE Iron Maiden. Yes, for the first time IN PERU. March 26th, 2009. Still hard to believe, even though the band has it posted on their official website as part of their 'Somewhere Back in Time' tour. I'm still speechless. Just one day after I was talking to a friend about how incredible it would be to have Maiden here, it appeared in the news and it started spreading like wildfire. I don't want to think this much ahead, but I know I'll make everything possible to be in the first row, waving a giant flag and screaming: Up the Irons!!!
EDIT - Almost forgot to mention, tomorrow (December 8th) marks the 4th anniversary of the death of one of the most respected metal guitarists, off all time, 'Dimebag' Darrell. Pay your respects by blasting 'Cemetery Gates' on your stereo or by going to a tribute concert if there's one near you!

MOVIES Man, Bee Movie was a total letdown. What? That's like a year-old movie? Shit, sorry, I'm so far behind my movie-watching it's not even funny. Next up: Eastern Promises! (That's 2007 too? Aw, nuts.)

GAMES Since I've put off the pimpin' of my ride computer until next year, even though I'm dying to try out Fallout 3 (check my friend's screenshots if you haven't seen the game), I have to keep playing Roms and older PC games (I will even go back and play the Monkey Island series! How exciting) for now. Which hasn't been that bad: I signed up to Steam, and a friend gave me Half-Life as a gift (it was on sale for its tenth anniversary), and since I jumped straight into Half-Life 2 without even knowing what happened in the first one (I know, shame on me...), I knew it was time to learn the origins of the greatest FPS. Well, that's my opinion anyway. Steam has also been great for trying out demos like Tomb Raider: Underworld (nice graphics, has some big flaws overall), Football Manager 2009 (great, no complaints with this one), and Penny Arcade Presents: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two (long title, short demo). Great fun.

By the way, this is my
All-Time Top 5 First-Person Shooters:
- Half-Life 2
- Doom 3 (either this or the original Doom)
- Call of Duty 4
- Prey
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Happy Holidays. See ya next year!

November 4, 2008

09 Paradise Lost, Mobile games

MUSIC Monday, November 3rd 2008 came and paradise lost kicked ass. Everything started beautifully, with The Enemy (as expected) firing up the crowd, then Erased (a favorite of mine) got us jumping and chanting every word. And when the show was about to explode... the fuses exploded. Actually the whole block was cut off the power, something me and probably all of the people gathered there felt ashamed of. Who would've thunk? Power came back after 20 munutes which were deducted off the setlist because the band had to catch a flight that night and there was no making up for the time lost.. So that really sucked, and some of my favorite PL songs (True Belief, Isolate, Mouth) were probably those that were cut off. The rest of the show was amazing, Say Just Words and The Last Time put the crowd in a total frenzy, and after The Last Time it was time to say goodbye to Paradise Lost and a memorable night :(
There are no good (metal) concerts until the end of the year. I should be able to save some money now...
All I have now is great albums which I highly recommend: Volbeat - Guitar, Gangsters and Cadillac Blood, Bison BC - Quiet Earth, the new Týr, the new Satyricon, and so many others. There's no time for all of this!

GAMES I played it two full weeks before the release date. They said it wasn't out yet, but let me tell you, it was. Gears. Of. War. 2. If you loved the first one, I don't need to tell you it's awesome, you've already pre-ordered it! And if you didn't like the first one, go play Singstar or something, you douche-fag!
I finally played Guitar Hero's game rival, Rock Band. I will only say this: when I get my Wii and I have to make a choice between GH: World Tour and Rock Band 2, I'll simply have to pick both. I also realized I'm not that bad at singing (at least the couple tunes I had to sing). Take your place inside the fire with heeeeer! I still have to get the hang of playing the drums (it is totally different than air drumming).
And what's with all these crappy mobile ports of great PC or Xbox games? All I get for my phone are watered-down (not graphics-wise but gameplay-wise) versions that are either too short, too frustrating to control, or too slow to be entertaining. Where can I find a decent game (besides Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Assassin's Creed) for a lame-ass Nokia 5070? There are so few! I know... "get a better cellphone". Pfft.

October 28, 2008

08 Gus Chambers, Worst Case Scenario

MUSIC Paradise Lost in seven days! We're having a pre-concert party this weekend, watching The Anatomy of Melancholy and listening to their best songs, getting prepped for monday's gig at Iguana Rana. EDIT: Paradise Lost kicked ass! I'll be posting a small review soon.

Today I learned about Gus Chambers -former lead singer of Grip Inc- having recently died, apparently a suicide. I feel bad every time I read news like this. You know something funny? I feel bad for someone who I not only have never met, but before today I had never even seen him (I just saw a photo), and still I feel sad because it wasn't his personality or his face, but his voice that I knew and liked; a friend of mine made me listen to Power of Inner Strength (1995) back in 2006 and I enjoyed it a lot, and immediately got hold of their latest album, Incorporated (2004), which is another great album. I'm gonna listen to Ostracized and Curse (of the Cloth) right now.

MOVIES Someone told me the amazing-looking upcoming nazi-zombie movie Worst Case Scenario has been scrapped. Is that true? I really hope it was all a rumor, and they're still gonna release it, I was really waiting for that one.

September 13, 2008

07 Pepsi Music, ROMs

MUSIC The East Village Opera Company came and went, and I couldn't find someone to tag along with me so I missed it. I guess most people don't have this kind of 'concert craving' that I possess. I've gone as far as thinking about traveling to Argentina for the Pepsi Music Festival '08, to check out Stone Temple Pilots (since they canceled the rest of their South American tour), Mötley Crüe, Nine Inch Nails, Catupecu Machu, and more than a hundred (yes) bands over the course of a month. In the end, I probably won't be attending, but I've always wanted to go on a trip with a music concert as the exclusive reason; so when they ask me at the embassy "what is the reason of your trip?" I say: to rock!
I heard Paradise Lost found a replacement drummer and might still be playing Lima in november. This is the neverending story... I just hope they come. Skid Row's still a rumor, REM have confirmed their concert in Lima, making this one of the best music news of the year. Even if I don't go.
Also, this was found in my brother's room:

I just cried. It's his bandmate's new toy. I never thought I'd see the day when one of Dimebag Darrell's favorite guitars was in my hands. This... device, it is cool beyond words.

MOVIES Nothing new lately, although Feast will be coming to theaters very soon. Can you believe that? It was released in 2005 in the States!!! Well, I'll try and watch it before it disappears from theaters -like Diary of the Dead a couple months ago- since I haven't had the time to watch it yet (I've had it since last year). Need to get back in the B-movie groove.

GAMES (from my last post): At this rate I'll go back to Super Nintendo emulators.
Well what do you know? I'm picking up again games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. And I'm loving it.
Something else to mention: This SuperNes / Game Boy Advance revival came because of The Backloggery, which is my new source of procrastination. I have more than 250 games logged already, with many more to come (when my memory allows it).

August 16, 2008

06 Old bands, Diablo (again)

I haven't updated in a while. I don't intend to pick up the pace, I have no time for this stuff. Heh.

MUSIC We truly are South America's music graveyard. After Cyndi Lauper being announced, along comes L.A. Guns, Ratt, Boy George (???), B-52's... what the hell. Actually, Ratt's not that bad, I liked them back in the day. But if they're gonna bring the dinosaurs, why not Slayer? Dream Theater? Or Rush, which was rumored months ago? Why B-52's???
Judas Priest is not stopping in Peru, which is a major disappointment for me. Also, Paradise Lost cancelled their south american tour, so that's two for this year.
But! Good news, Satriani's gig was amazing (or so I heard), Sodom is coming, East Village Opera Company would be a very interesting concert, and hopefully another big band will come before the end of the year.

GAMES If the last post was about Diablo III, this one will have to be about Diablo II, which I started playing again (like millions around the world, most likely) after getting hyped about the next installment. Since my computer will have to wait a little more for a pimpin', I'll be kicking the crap out of Meph, Diab and Baal for a while.
Not playing Mass Effect (takes too long to load, what kind of machine do you need to run it?) or LOTROnline (it was WoW with hobbits... I'd be playing WoW if I wanted the same old stuff) anymore. At this rate I'll go back to Super Nintendo emulators.

July 3, 2008

05 Kiss, Diablo

MUSIC Recently another musical rumor surfaced, this time regarding a possible KISS concert in Peru. Because of it, I'm writing about certain "journalists" that publish stories about big concerts and top-bill artists as soon as they learn about talks with the artist's management, just to get some kind of 'exclusive'. (What good is an 'exclusive' story like this? They get paid for exclusives so they start lying?) Talks for concerts are so common in the music industry I don't know why these persons assume it's a closed deal and publish it with set dates (which are actually tentative dates that coincide with the artist's tour). First they said Iron Maiden (right). Then AC/DC (ha! good one. They hadn't toured in 5 years and were supposed to play here all of a sudden?). And now this. It breaks my balls.
I sincerely don't think we're having KISS over. Don't worry, we'll be having Cyndi Lauper for sure... yay. Man, if it was Joan Jett I would give a damn.
PS: I forgot to mention on my last post that I saw Megadeth, didn't get to VIP zone but didn't pay for general admission either. I was in the middle, it was such a great concert. A clip here.

MOVIES I wonder when Repo: The Genetic Opera comes out? I can't wait to catch it. That, Hellboy II, and also I'm a little curious about Midnight Meat Train, although I can't understand how could they make a movie out of a (very) short story.

GAMES Two words: Diablo three. That was enough to make me wet my pants. I've seen the 19-minute gameplay and the art videos, and I'm sold. I can't believe they're finally gonna release Diablo |||. I'll try to be a first day buyer, something I've never done before. I'm that excited.

Oh yes, I'm also playing Mass Effect and Lord of the Rings Online. But who cares? Diablo!!!

May 17, 2008

04 Kamelot, Puzzle Quest

I've noticed I write more about music than everything else, maybe this should be a music blog.
Or not.
MUSIC I've had the double-disc concert DVD Kamelot: One Cold Winter's Night for several months but never got around to watching it (my excuse: I have too many DVDs to watch and little time). I finally did this week, and it brought me back to 2005, when -as an exchange student living in Canada- I attended one of my most personal concerts ever. Of course, the DVD is a medium/large-sized arena in Oslo, whereas the one I went to was at Lee's Palace, a small bar in Toronto, but the feeling, the excitement, the energy that Kamelot emanates is something to highlight. I've seen them put 110% on their show, and it really shows on the DVD.
So I remembered I had written a review on the concert that day, a couple hours after the end of it. I searched for it (and the pictures I took) and here I present it, fully translated.

It’s 2am but I have to write this before going to sleep.
I just got back from a hell of a show… I had waited so long, imagining myself for years at one of their concerts and all, and it finally happened: November 19th, 2005.

Penetrator/Seven Witches/Kamelot So Penetrator (WTF kinda band name is that?) was on early, so early I didn’t even see them, thankfully. With that name, I wasn’t that interested. We got there when Seven Witches was starting their set, I had heard little from them (the one that struck me the most was “Metal Asylum”, which they didn’t play), and the first thing that got my attention was that the vocalist (Alan Tecchio, recently incorporated to the band) sounded –and looked a bit- like Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, which was very amusing (his high-pitched vocals were impressive too). Founding member Jack Frost stole the show when he disappeared from the stage at one point, only to reappear in the general admission area, playing a cordless electric guitar, while people around him were going insane.

Seven Witches ended their set at 11:30, when my friend and I pushed our way to the front of the crowded place, only to be held back at the fourth row. Luckily, some fellas from the third and second row were from Colombia, so I started talking to them, and a couple minutes later, the let me get in front of them (they were taller than me anyway), and that way I got to be in second row. Lee’s Palace is a small venue (I estimated 250-300 people) and the place was packed. I had never been so upfront in a concert before, it was going to be something to remember. The lights go out, the crowd screams, and the concert begins…

“Center of the Universe” is the song they start with, “Karma” the one they end it with. About 90 minutes of musical mayhem (only song missing for me was Shadow of Uther), with appearances by Mari Youngblood (guitarist Thomas’s wife, beautiful voice), who took my hand a couple of times when she was onstage; Oliver Palotai on the keyboards (recently made a permanent member of the band) who did a great piano solo; Casey Grillo did an incredible drum solo too, and I almost got one of his drumsticks (it was taken by a bigger guy standing next to me); Glenn Barry (bass) was the one I saw the least, he didn't stand at the center of the stage too often; Youngblood, whose feet I kept hitting when he was playing a guitar solo close to the audience =) ; and Khan, who shook hands with me more than anyone else there, I think (I was shouting a lot, I have to admit. I was very excited by the concert). I had a great time, a special concert for me, being so close to an excellent band whose music I enjoy a lot. I hope to see them again someday.

If you want to experience it yourselves, get a copy of "One Cold Winter's Night" and have them play for you right at home. Highly recommended.

GAMES I'm completely hooked on Puzzle Quest. Have you played it? If you had, you'd know what I'm talking about. Putting RPG elements in a puzzle game was not a bad idea as I first thought. In fact it's great! (Not for hardcore gaming, but casual puzzle solving was never this fun). I still have to buy a new motherboard + processor so I can get into Crysis and The Witcher, I hope it's very soon.

April 27, 2008

03 Gamma Ray, Portal

MUSIC A little update on my last post: I got a hold of three of Gamma Ray's best albums and I was convinced to go to the concert by a friend. I'm not gonna bitch about the prices anymore :) I'm happy with general admission tickets (the farthest from the stage), I am still gonna enjoy the hell out of that concert.
A second update: The concert was better than I imagined it. Paid for general admission tickets but got to the VIP zone, thanks to Gamma Ray's Kai Hansen. A vid of the moment when he invited us to the front is goddamn unavailable as of yet, I'll just keep looking. Helloween was no less impressive. Both gave excellent performances.

I'll also attend Megadeth's gig, although most likely be paying for general tickets. Will I get to VIP this time...? Unlikely.

Great albums I've discovered recently: Lions Share - Emotional Coma, Brand New Sin - Brand New Sin, Gamma Ray - Heading for Tomorrow.

GAMES Even though it was way too short, I was awestruck during and after playing Valve's Portal. You can say I've seen the light after watching the ending; it was everything people had said. If you want me to spoil you the experience, click here.

April 20, 2008

02 Helloween, Jericho

MUSIC I'm almost decided on passing up april 30's Helloween/Gamma Ray concert here in Lima, Peru. The opportunity is unique, the music is one that I enjoy very much. My problem is, I fear, monetary. The ticket prices were barely bordering on the reasonable, but since the date of the show is approaching, the prices have gone up... I don't know if it sounds rational to someone out there. Does it only happen here, where greedy businessmen try to cover their butts charging the normal ticket price for the first month, only to increase it the folowing days, to finally charge more than 50% more than the original price the day of the show?
It reminds me of the time I almost saw Rhapsody (now called Rhapsody of Fire), but I didn't since they only had the opening slot (which probably meant a 1-hour maximum stage time), and the headliner was Manowar -which I tolerate, not enjoy-, and since Manowar is a "big name" band, they were charging $60+ for a ticket. I was furious, basically because I would've paid 60 bucks to see Rhapsody, but I would be paying Manowar to see Rhapsody play for an hour, which didn't make sense to me. Rhapsody Of Fire by themselves wouldn't have charged more than $30 anyway.

Anyway, I don't care because Megadeth, Capitán Memo and Joe Satriani are coming!

GAMES Deeply disappointed by Codemaster's Clive Barker's Jericho. I don't remember a recent game so ludicrous and incongruent in plot, game mechanics, and overall "fun" factor. It all went downward as you progressed through the game, until it gave you the most unsatisfying ending of all: the "rolling credits" ending... stupid. Barker is a great writer in my opinion -his Books of Blood can give the creeps to anyone- but this was a letdown compared to his other videogame venture, Undying (goddamn underrated).

More musings soon.

March 28, 2008

01 Stone Temple Pilots, Hellgate

Here we are, doing something I thought I wouldn't do: Blogging. I won't do this very often, only to point out interesting news/happenings in the entertainment world. And maybe one or two personal musings (it'll be few, for sure). Here goes.

MUSIC So, Stone Temple Pilots are together again. It may sound like a dream come true (to me and millions of grunge/alternative/90's music fans out there), but is it really?
Singer/songwriter Scott Weiland is well known for his substance issues, which he hasn't resolved until today. He is one of my top 5 frontmen/singers, but I can't overlook this: he's been in prison, he's had other run-ins with the law, and he was the main reason STP disbanded in the first place. He's leaving his recent band Velvet Revolver in the air, although I'm sure ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff and Matt will find someone as talented to replace him temporarily or permanently. Which I don't mind, since STP is higher up in my 'favourite band' list than VR (which is still damn good). I hope Scott can keep up with his commitment to revive STP and maybe record an album, the fans are hoping the same.
Now, as part of their reunion, the Pilots are playing some US cities and the Edgefest in Canada. I lived in Toronto for a while and I love the city. I've been planning on going back since last year, and this might be the perfect opportunity to see friends I left there. but the fear of the concert being cancelled because of one problem or another (ie. Weiland) is there. I wouldn't want to do all the visa paperwork to go to Canada and then find out I won't be seeing my favourite band when I go there. That would suck.

GAMES The latest I've acquired is Flagship Studio's Hellgate: London for the PC. It's such a great looking game, lots of fun although I still haven't ventured online to play, it's highly recommended for people wanting something different from the grind/grind/grind methods of MMORPGs like Lineage II and Sword of the New World. I'm probably close to finishing it, and the next in line is... Assassin's Creed (woot!).

More musings soon.