Sunday, September 25, 2011

Diablo 3 Beta Envy

As most gamer geeks know, Blizzard has opened the beta for Diablo 3. They've invited mostly media at this point. But hopefully they will soon invite random players (like myself) to try out the beta version as well. Rather than regurgitate all the details about Diablo 3 that's already everywhere else on the net, I just wanted to share the 4 part walkthrough video that posted on their YouTube channel. They run through the entire campaign available in the beta. Which is really just a portion of the 1st Act, with a max level cap of around 13 or 14.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

/wipe geeky drool off face


Saturday, September 24, 2011

SunDownMuse at Last Home

Our SunDownMuse gig at Last Home last August 26, 2011 was also symbolic of many "firsts". This was the first SunDownMuse gig sporting our new lead guitarist Gigo. I was the one who suggested to Briggs to bring Gigo into SunDownMuse. Gigo was a perfect fit not only for his guitar skills, but because he had very little issues with himself and others. Gigo was already playing with us for another band, Rolling Paper Soctiety, which is a cover band of 70s classic rock tunes. So we already knew how he approaches music and how he meshes well with myself, Briggs, and Islaw both as musicians and as friends.

(The next pictures in this post are from Dash Lee of Plasma Graphics.)

It was also the first time in a very long time that we felt the band was "drama-free". Everybody was comfortable with the style and skill of each band member. We were also all relatively settled in our personal lives, and therefore didn't bring any major personal issues into the band.

Andrew, our drummer, was especially excited to play this gig since he got the gig for the band. The event was a Blaster Productions event, who are all essentially friends that he grew up with musically. Given that most of them have continued music when he went on a haitus post-Mindbender, the excitement was shared by himself and his peers to see him strut his stuff again behind a drum kit.

Below are videos taken by my good friend Joseph using my Zoom Q3HD of our entire set that night. Apparently the bassist of Mistress was smug enough to just keep putting his beer bottle in plain view of my video camera. However, the guy was apparently on to something because the beer in the foreground gave the videos a beer-stained bar feel.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Mari's Wedding and my Jack Daniel's JD Set 7 Tour Launch Gig

I coursed through this day (August 19, 2011) through sheer willpower given the day involved traveling to Batangas, to Tagaytay, and then to Eastwood. I had to attend my good friend Mari's wedding in Batangas. Then head to his wedding reception in Tagaytay. Then head to Eastwood for a Jack Daniel's JD Set 7 gig with one of my bands, Jack Versus the Crab. This entire day affair was coupled with bringing a lot of percussion gear, and battling through cluster headache attacks in between.

That morning started off with me waking up early to a mild cluster headache attack. Luckily it was just a lingering headache and not a full blown attack. My suki cab driver picked me up at my apartment. I loaded my 2 congas, and a gig bag with my rig, chimes, and toys contained within. I got to Roland's place and he seemed just as sleepy as I was. We loaded my percs gear into his car, and just chilled at his place while having some much needed coffee. Roland was nice enough to offer to drive me to the wedding and to the gig, and even help me with all my percs gear. The coffee and some medication helped my headache. So I was momentarily encouraged that I will actually pull this entire day off.

(Photos from Mari's wedding were from my Blackberry. The Eastwood photos, except the Urbandub picture, are from Shaui Padua, Joanne Salas, and Leo Dimaano)

We first had to head to Tagaytay, the venue of Mari's wedding reception, to dress up into our formal wear. The drive over to Tagaytay was pleasant. I got to talk to Roland about the latest that was going on in our lives. And he seemed relieved that despite all the heavy things happening in his life that I was relatively understanding and non-judgmental.

Arriving at the hotel of Mari's wedding reception, I stepped out of Roland's car and breathed in the fresh and cool Tagaytay air. I was thinking to myself that I should move out here some day. It would be a pleasant place to retire in. As I was part of Mari's entourage, I had to have a barong made by his fashion designer friend. So that I would have the same style and design barong as the rest of the entourage. Roland being not part of the entourage wore a stylish suit that Millet put together.

After some awkward feeling picture taking at the hotel grounds, everybody started proceeding to the church where the wedding was slated to take place. The church was small, yet cozy. While I was waiting for the ceremony to begin, I would get slight spikes of head pain possibly signalling a headache attack coming. I would cringe my eyes each time and just hope that it wouldn't get worse. The ceremony began and throughout the ceremony, I was swimming between the area of pain and slight pain. The wedding ceremony was your standard ceremony proceedings. The string ensemble up in the church rafters was a good touch in terms of musical accompaniment for the wedding.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Urbandub at 19 East Once Again

After the fun-filled bustling week in my personal life prior to this particular night (watched Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn), I felt like my Saturday night would be utterly boring if I didn't go out and do something. I decided to watch one of my favorite bands Urbandub at the SonicBoom event at 19 East last August 13, 2011. My friend Joseph asked me what I was up to. So I invited him to come along to 19 East with me. He brought his wife, Sarah, along, and the three of us die-hard Urbandub fans headed to 19 East after meeting up at my place.

19 East has always been a pleasure to hang out in given how nice the place is, and how good the gear and acoustics of the place sounds. This particular night was no exception. We got in soon after of the crowd piled in the place. We were lucky to even get a table at the back when we arrived.

We watched a few bands prior to Urbandub. One band of note is a new band by former Dicta License vocalist, called Malay. The frontman had so much rockstar pull that all of Urbandub along with other known musicians like Audry of General Luna, etc. all piled in from outside just to watch the band. Malay's music was certainly a big departure from how Rage Against the Machine influed Dicta License sounded back in the day. It wasn't all that bad for a 3 piece band.

Below is a video of Urbandub's performance of "Gravity" that night. Janjan, Urbandub's drummer, couldn't make it for this particular gig. So the band got Subscapular's drummer to fill in again. It was getting odd that I've been watching Urbandub's gigs with the sessionist drummer more often than the regular drummer. The sessionist was started to seem like the regular drummer. This is the only video I took that night that I'm gonna post because the other videos had too many protruding heads, or macking couples obstructing my Zoom Q3HD's view. LOL!


Joseph, Sarah, and I were busy getting drunk off of Red Horse bottles and Cuervo shots while watching Urbandub's set. There's really just something about their music that makes you want to drink some more. Before we knew it, we were singing all the lyrics to their songs up loud aside from Sarah incessantly fangirl screaming. The people around us couldn't help but notice. But we didn't care about the people around us. We went to 19 East to have fun, and that's what we did.

After Urbandub's set, we went over to the band to get some pictures with them. Sarah most especially wanted to have pictures with the band because she kept missing out the last times Joseph and I watched them perform.

Personally, I just wanted another picture with Lalay, the bassist. /sigh

Another fun night. More to come.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Korn Live in Manila

I had to break this one up to a separate post because it plainly deserves a post of its own. This is about part 2 of the concert double header, Korn live at the Araneta Coliseum, last August 10, 2011.

Tired but still high from the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, Briggs and I took a short nap that afternoon when we got back to Manila from Hong Kong. Briggs drove using her Tucson. We surprisingly found parking near Araneta Coliseum fairly quickly.

We could really notice the difference from AsiaWorld Expo in Hong Kong and Araneta Coliseum. Araneta Coliseum felt old and was litered with throngs of security guards.

We made sure to buy Korn concert t-shirts already. The t-shirts were nowhere nears as nice in material and printing as the RHCP shirts we bought in Hong Kong. But then again, this is the Philippines after all. Again, we were definitely back in Manila.

The venue didn't fill up all that much especially between the lower box and bleacher seats up above. The hefty tickt prices were probably the biggest deterrent for a large audience attendance. The standing floor area below and the bleachers filled up quite nicely, however.

Slapshock fronted Korn for this particular concert, which was only fitting as that band was heavily influenced by Korn from the beginning. I was a fan of the band only on their first album back in college and lost track of them ever since. Below is a video of one of their old school songs that I liked.

"Agent Orange"

After Slapshock, this DJ sporting a midi trigger and Macbook came onstage mixing tracks from Rob Zombie, Prodigy, etc. Although he performed sufficiently adequate, the crowd didn't really get into his performance much. Poor guy.

Korn came on stage soon after and that breathed life back into the crowd. Below are videos of some of the Korn songs performed that night. Briggs and I were much closer to the stage this time around compared to the RHCP concert. So the videos I took were much clearer and the sound came out fantastic.

"Here to Stay"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers Live in Hong Kong

This post is one of the longer posts I will put up in this blog sheerly because it's the only overseas trip I've taken since 2008. This is about my trip to Hong Kong to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers from August 8 to August 10, 2011.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were supposed to have a concert in Manila. But for some reason, for the nth time, they cancelled on Manila. So instead, my good friends Briggs and Carol, and myself decided that if RHCP won't come to us, we'll go to them. So about a month in advance, Carol started booking our flight and hotel reservations. And we all filed leaves from our respective day jobs (albeit difficult). This was actually all our SunDownMuse bassist, Islaw's idea in the first place. He called and texted us after he had already bought his concert tickets online. He was excited at the fact of seeing us and a number of his other friends all converging in Hong Kong for the concert.

Briggs and Carol suggested that I sleep over their place on Sunday, August 7, 2011. So come Monday, we all can leave for the airport together. I was so stoked that Sunday. Waking up real early the morning after was a chore but willpower prevailed, with the help of coffee at the airport. Thankfully, our flight arrangements were at NAIA 3 airport. Therefore, we didn't have to toil with how chaotic things are at NAIA 1. Only in the Philippines would you have to pay airport tax AND an airport terminal fee, when most airports only had an airport tax or even none at all. That's the Philippines for you.

The flight was not really memorable since it only took about 2 hours at the most. I put on my noise-cancelling headphones and listened to my iPod the entire time. The Cebu Pacific stewardesses were running these games during the flight. But I didn't really given them much attention.

Arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport ushered in the realization that we were indeed in a different country. The airport is expansive and very well maintained as I remembered it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Don't Panic

I haven't posted about a random song that I like in a long while. I figured I'd wedge this here in between posts about my actual musical or geeky life experiences.

I woke up about an hour or so ago, and was thinking of what I wanted to do. This song popped into my head since I've been meaning to learn to play this song on guitar and sing it. The song is Coldplay's "Don't Panic" from their "Parachutes" album. It's a really simple song yet I've always been drawn to the vocal melody, particularly during the choruses.

Below is official music video of the song along with the song's prose.

Don't Panic
by Coldplay

Bones sinking like stones
All that we've fought for
Homes, places we've grown
All of us are done for

We live in a beautiful world
Yeah we do
Yeah we do
We live in a beautiful world

Bones sinking like stones
All that we've fought for
Homes, places we've grown
All of us are done for

We live in a beautiful world
Yeah we do
Yeah we do
We live in a beautiful world

We live in a beautiful world
Yeah we do
Yeah we do
We live in a beautiful world

Oh all that I know
There's nothing here to run from
'Cause yeah, everybody here's got somebody to lean on

As always with songs I post here, below is a live version of the song.

The song is amazing. My only comment about this song is that it's way too short.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Urbandub at the Kerplunk Anniversary Party

This is actually part 2 of the night when I watched Caren Tevanny's acoustic gig at No. 38 last August 2, 2011. This is actually the reason why I couldn't catch Caren's 3rd set. /hides from Caren

My friend, Kenny, had to go meet up with his wife and head home. But Joseph and I wanted to gamble and see if Urbandub hadn't played yet at the Kerplunk anniversary party at Casa Nami. It was drizzling/raining when we got out of No. 38. So it took a while for us to get a cab. When we got to Casa Nami, Urbandub was setting up for their set. Joseph and I looked at each other and gave each other high fives and raised our fists in the air in triumph. Yes!

Below are videos of their entire set that night. I couldn't get the whole band in one shot because I was close to being right in front of the stage. I couldn't back up either because if I did, I wouldn't have gotten a clear shot of them. Janjan, their regular drummer, wasn't able to make it for the gig. So they employed the mad skills of Subscapular's drummer to fill in for the night.

"Soul Searching"

"First of Summer"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Acoustic Caren Tevanny

This is actually a span of two separate nights. But I figured I'd roll this into one post. Caren Tevanny of Sanctus, General Luna, and a slew of other bands, has been doing acoustic gigs the past few months. She usually has one other guitarist and at times a drummer. She plays acoustic covers mostly from the 90s, anywhere from Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer".

Her vocals and guitar playing on her acoustic gigs aren't as good as opposed to her Sanctus or General Luna gigs. But I do appreciate that she goes for high notes even if it's just shy of her vocal range. The sheer effort to go for it vocally, added to the fact that she's very pleasing to the eyes, makes her acoustic act entertaining.

Below is a video of one of the cover songs she performed at Cafe Alfonso. The venue is extremely close to my apartment. So I headed over there alone to eat dinner and wind down the work day. This cover song was from Guns 'n Roses. So I couldn't pass up uploading this to YouTube.

Admittedly, I was too shy to approach Caren in between her sets. Yes, this is a typical fanboy reaction of mine. I was happy enough just to get to watch her perform.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SunDownMuse and Julianne

A lot has happened that's blog-worthy since the last time I posted in here. But I just got caught up with everything between work and my increasingly busy personal life, that I really haven't gotten around documenting all the highlights the past month and half. Rather than get into the recent woes that I've been going through, I'll just play catch up with the good things that have happened since my last post.

I actually skipped over this particular night. But I'll get into it in this post. This night is about SunDownMuse's first gig in a long time. Not counting the gig we had at my company Christmas party last year, this band hasn't gigged in over a year. We were fortunate to be invited by Sari-Sari Sounds at their launch party at B-Side last July 1, 2011.


There were a few "first"s and one "last", about this gig. This was the first gig of the band in a long time. This was also the first gig with our new drummer Andrew. We only had about 2 practices with this new drummer. So we weren't as tight as we should be. However, the band wanted to gig so badly. So there we were, we took the gig invite without hesitation.

This was also the last gig of our lead guitarist Charles. I am saddened by this more than he knows. But I've obviously lost track with the guy despite my attempts every so often to keep in touch. But all that is another story entirely.

Below are a few videos that my friend Joseph took of our set that night, using my Zoom Q3HD.