bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Spinemeet on Sunday was good - I'd forgotten how much fun it is to get together with the other people in the group and just chat, either about things in general or about Maelstrom. (Hazard of going to player events on my own.) Looking forward to event 1.

Got more sleep over the weekend, so am feeling better about work and have clearer ideas about what I'm doing.

Sonata Arctica gig on Friday was good as well. Musician's earplugs continue to hold up well (they're these ones - cheap, reusable, and even work with my ears that can't cope with in-ear headphones, so I'd recommend them to anyone looking for something better than disposible ones).

I, er, spent most of the opening acts reading a book I'd started on the train into London, as the O2 Academy Islington has sofas on its mezzanine level and they were quite comfortable. Found a spot half-behind one of the ceiling pipes that gave me a view of the stage when Sonata started playing, which had the bonus feature that I couldn't see the strobe light directly. Then listened and sang along to my heart's content - the music is singable and the band make their concerts fun.

Set list was as follows:

Sonata Arctica set list, 25/3/11, O2 Islington )
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (or two lines, or whatever) from the first 50 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both band and title.
Step 4: ???
Step 5: PROFIT.

Via several people, most recently [ profile] aquarionical. Filtered for instrumentals, tracks where the first line was the title of the song, and one track where I couldn't make out the lyrics and couldn't find them on Google.

Quite surprised how long it took for the first Japanese track to come up, actually.

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
Crossposted from #maelfroth this evening.

23:22 <Bluebottle> I have a fading memory of an assembly our deputy headmistress once gave at secondary school that involved Jerusalem (the hymn) as a metaphor for the National Curriculum.
23:23 <Bluebottle> I *know* she gave this assembly, and I have occasionally tried to find a copy of it somewhere, but...
23:23 <Bluebottle> (in case she got it from a book, that is; if she wrote it herself I'm out of luck :)

The only line of this I remember is the final one: "'England's green and pleasant land': English, fiction", which got a laugh from us students.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? People who were at Haberdashers' Aske's in about 1997-99 may remember the assembly in question (teacher was Mrs Templeton(?), assembly was in the dining hall because the Prevett was having maintenance done, if that helps), but I doubt it's stuck in anyone else's mind like it has mine.

I get the sneaking suspicion I'm going to have to write my own version to assuage the feeling of incomplete memory, and this is odd somehow. It's like I'm trying to reclaim something that wasn't quite mine to start with.


Aug. 27th, 2009 04:15 pm
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned)
Filk below the cut. Just as with the song it's filking, the title character bears no resemblance to [ profile] oxfordgirl's character beyond having a very Fidelian name. Written out because it started earworming me on the cycle back from lunch today. (Also crossposted to [ profile] lrpdrabbles.)

Read more... )

Last week

Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:53 pm
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Maelstrom. )

Then I predictably caught a sore throat near the end of the event, which blossomed into a cold that I'm just about recovering from now.

Also, last Wednesday I went with Bryony to see Nightwish at the Astoria.

Nightwish. )
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
So, while trying desperately to get my practical reports written by Wednesday, I've been listening to Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

My conclusions so far:
Les Miserables is quite awesome, both in French and English, and I want to go and see it. )
The Phantom of the Opera is reasonable, but not quite as good as Les Mis. )

NB: I haven't listened to Phantom enough to really be able to pontificate about this. I suspect that when I listen to it more I'll pick out more. :)
bouteillebleu: (Goth)
Because of utter disorganisation, I've been trying to find tickets for the third date that Nightwish will be playing at the London Astoria in March - the first two dates sold out, and they added a third.

I tried to book through Ticketmaster, but:

(a) they were quite expensive (£17.50 per ticket, fine; £3.50 per ticket handling charge, erk; £4.95 postage, um?)

(b) there were timeouts on every stage of the ticket-buying process, usually 3 minutes or less

(c) I decided to pay by credit card, and they then sent me on to sign up for Mastercard SecureCode. I'm still a little twitchy about this because by "sent me on", I mean "they opened an IFRAME on the page with a place to enter more details that I hadn't yet given Ticketmaster, such as date of birth".

I decided that this was a little too much, and asked around for other suggestions.

[ profile] gwyntar on #larp suggested, and I had a look, put credit card details and address in, and about two minutes later had ordered two tickets (for me and Bryony).

Granted, the bright-text-on-black look is still somewhat eye-searing for me, but the site itself seems to be well done, and I'm happy with the ticket ordering process. :)
bouteillebleu: (Goth)
I went to my first gig on Monday!

My impressions. )
bouteillebleu: (:3)
...ten thousand miles I'd travel.

(Now to see how many people I know get the song playing in their head. I've only just learned how the tune goes, and I am liking it. :)
bouteillebleu: (DDR)
Things that are awesome.

1. Puzzle Pirates and our soon-to-be crew. We have a ship on order (it'll be ready in a day or two), we've been training up at puzzles, and I've been trying to memorise routes so as to not need to worry about charts.

I don't think I'll manage to memorise any before we start sailing, but I've been getting island league points on my world map at least. I would have had the third archipelago of the ocean mapped if I hadn't accidentally teleported home when playing this morning.

Remember, kids - don't pirate while asleep, or while using a touchpad laptop mouse. It never helps.

ETA: I now have our ship, and a whisking potion so I can skip to islands I've been to before.

I do not, unfortunately, have the option to make a crew. Still need Narrow in swordfighting and battle navigation.

2. Reading computer science papers. The history of Haskell makes for interesting reading. (I have been warned off Haskell by Fib, who suggests I learn ML instead if I really want to learn a functional language. I need to play around with ML more.)

3. Three songs:
'Tribute' by Tenacious D
'Title of the Song' by Da Vinci's Notebook
'Finite Simple Group (Of Order Two)' by The Klein Four Group

4. Spoof CS tripos papers. I couldn't find them on the university site, but a bit of hunting produced 2006's paper. Question 3 amuses me far too much.

A little more searching produced all the papers from 1999 to 2006. Warning - most of these contain swearing, marijuana references and very bad jokes about curry (there's one almost every year). Do not inhale. Do not take orally. Oh, and probably best not viewed at work, either.

More random links:

The photos from this year's 3YGB.
Homepage for Philip Wadler, one of the inventors of Haskell.
Oz and Ends, a blog that's mainly about children's and young adult fiction.
bouteillebleu: (:3)
Wish upon a star
Believe in will
The realm of the king of fantasy
The master of the tale-like lore
The way to kingdom I adore
Where the warrior's heart is pure
Where the stories will come true

I've had Nightwish's album Wishmaster on repeat at work for the last two days. Fantasmic really makes me want to play Kingdom Hearts II again, every damn time.

I will be getting my hands on Final Mix + at some point. I don't care if the text is in Japanese... :)
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Finding a balance between "waaa I am a slave to romance" songs and "Isis Astarte Diana fractal Mother Earth" songs in female-voiced metal is difficult.

Well, would you want to sing about being a slave to romance with fractal Astarte? )

"But [ profile] bouteillebleu," you may ask, "if you don't like whiny romance or pretentious wankery in your music, what on earth do you like?"

Good question. )

In conclusion, I'm going back to Nightwish and finding songs that remind me of KH2. Such as the *whole damn Century Child album*. ^_^

(And now I'm thinking "King of Heroes, do you have enough sitars?" and what the hell Demyx as Gilgamesh is such a stupid idea. But funny. "I am /too/ the King of Heroes! Don't be so mean.")
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
I bought a lot of books and music today, so I'll be giving my thoughts about them for the next few days.

New music:

Naio Ssaion - Out Loud

Another metal band with a female vocalist. Bought it on the strength of "The Mirror", which Pandora has put in my playlist recently, and it doesn't disappoint. The singer is very good, there are no growls, and one of the band members plays an electric violin - he's even on the album cover with it.

Nightwish - Nemo (single)

This is the first single I've bought in about seven years. It was the non-album track (White Night Fantasy) and the orchestral version of Nemo that got me to buy it.

(I also have an Archer AMV and a Riku AMV floating around my head every time I hear this song. Perhaps I'll make one of them some day, though someone's already done an Archer one to the anime series.)

New books:

Web Hacking, by Stuart McClure, Saumil Shah and Shreeraj Shah.
£4.95 at Galloway and Porter.

A vaguely interesting guide to security holes in websites. Covers some things I've known for a long time (such as View Source in browsers), some things I've learned from The Daily WTF (such as SQL injection attacks and the infamous &OR1=1 in CGI GET requests), and some things I didn't know (such as how to identify web servers from the HTTP headers they send).

I like reading about security things, perhaps because I never get to use them. :)
bouteillebleu: (Chocolate)
This evening's task: trying to track down the purported track list for Elite Beat Agents, the English-language semi-sequel to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!.

So far, I have the following leads:

  • N-Sider has an article about the game, with a one-page interview with the game designer. No mention of tracks other than the demo one; however, it appears trustworthy.

  • A GameFAQs thread which has the apparent track list, but posters are casting doubt on whether it is genuine.

  • A NeoGAF thread which was apparently the source for the GameFAQs post, and is linked to from there. Posters here also doubt the news is genuine.

  • The latest headline at, which claims that "in liu [sic] of the recent fall release list Nintendo sent out, they also made some details on Elite Beat Agents available". The phrase "in lieu of" means "in place of", so this implies that either Nintendo have sent out EBA details instead of a press release, or the person who wrote the post doesn't understand the phrase "in lieu of".

Searching on Nintendo's official website has so far revealed nothing.

I'll try to keep this up to date as I find out more.
bouteillebleu: (Brown eye)
Because after listening to them all day for a week, Nightwish just won't cut it, so I need something else to listen to at work.

Within Temptation (album - Enter):

Lose for two reasons - (a) annoyingly breathy soprano, and (b) Growly Goth Guy. Look, if you're a female-fronted band, stop letting your bloody guitarist growl into the mike.

The Gathering (album - If Then Else):

Sound like Skindive, which is good.
Are incomprehensible because the music's swamping them, which is bad.
Aren't the sort of thing I'd sing along with, which is bad for what I want them for.
As far as I can tell, they make good background music and that's it.

Midnattsol (album - Where Twilight Dwells):

Too much guitar and percussion. I like my goth metal veering towards orchestral.
Guitar solos I do not care about; flute solos I like.
Also, singer has a weak voice and has moments where she just seems to lose what key she's singing in. She's also either swamped by the instruments or far too loud.

Flowing Tears (album - Razorbliss):

For once, no Growly Goth Guy. And the singer is a woman with a voice so low she could probably pass as a male singer.
Unfortunately, this means her voice blends into the instruments so well that she's almost incomprehensible.
The title track, Razorbliss, isn't terrible, but it's still not good enough to keep.

Theatre of Tragedy (album - Velvet Darkness):

I really wanted to like this, because it has track titles like "Seraphic Deviltry", which is an awesome title if you're not taking yourself seriously.
Of course, they are. They also have Growly Goth Guy. Stop letting your musicians sing, damn it!

Epica (album - Phantom Agony):

The choral track at the beginning hooked me, and even a short passage of Growly Goth Guy (does he get paid per album he appears on?) didn't hurt this album. I like this a lot.
Track 3 was a close thing, as it started with Growly Goth Guy (hereafter called GGG), but the rest of the album makes his occasional appearances tolerable.

Octavia (album - Winter Enclosure):

I started listening to them by accident after the Epica tracks finished. They're not bad - no GGG, and the singer's reasonably good - but they don't grab me like Epica did.
Like The Gathering, this is probably background music more than anything else.

Most of these albums seem to stay entirely in one octave. Makes the music very, very boring.

And for no other reason, the Takarazuka Revue:

Not a goth metal band, but a female-only theatre troupe, approximately half of whom cross-dress on stage (and often off) for a living.
Alas, the music isn't as good as Sera Myu, but the samba rhythm on Southern Cross Revue is very catchy.
bouteillebleu: (Eye)
A few days ago I found a page that had an mp3 version of a track that amused me when I first heard it - Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" and "Someday" edited and combined. They harmonise very well together, frighteningly well in fact. Read more about it (and listen to it) here.

On Monday the only people who turned up for Korean class were me and our teacher, so we spent an hour or so talking about Korean food and British university marking systems. He also recommended a useful way of practising my Korean - keeping a journal each day. I'm considering doing this for Japanese as well, because my Japanese vocabulary is far better than my Korean vocabulary, while my grammar is probably more shaky. At least I have A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Sentence Patterns to fall back on. I'm also tempted to do this with all the languages I know, just to keep my hand in... but then I'd end up writing six short journal entries a day, and my hands have to have some rest at some point.

As if six languages (other than English) weren't enough, I'm tempted to learn Finnish. It's an agglutinating language, quite highly inflected as well (which somehow hasn't phased me, even though the way I've learnt about language typology usually separates languages into either inflecting, isolating or agglutinating), to the point of having fifteen nominal cases. Whee. Of course, these cases are in place of prepositions or postpositions, which makes sense. It's not an Indo-European language either, which makes it both interesting and difficult, though it does have quite a few loan words from Indo-European languages. There's an interesting introductory website that I glanced at, but in order to actually learn anything I'd need a textbook of some sort. I'll wait until a reasonably cheap one presents itself, or I get one from a library.

それでは、はじめます。 テーマがないけど、話します。私に宿題がありますから、明日勉強します。それにしても小説をよみます。その本の名前は『Gardens of the Moon』であって、作者はスティベンエリクソン。[ profile] theblunderbussは私に本を推せんした。

(So, let's start. I don't have a topic, but I'll talk anyway. Since I have homework to do, tomorrow I'm studying. Even so, I'll be reading a book. The book's name is 'Gardens of the Moon', and the author is Steven Erikson. theblunderbuss recommended the book to me.)

I'd add a Korean entry, as that was most of the point of doing foreign-language paragraphs, but it's far too late for me to spend half an hour slaving over what'll end up as two badly-written sentences.

내일아침에강의다니서, 오늘밤치금아요. (Because I have a lecture tomorrow morning, I'm going to bed now.)

And not a moment too soon, either. (I annoyed Semagic with this post - it won't let me enter something that's not UTF-8, and thus balks at the Japanese and Korean.)
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Dissertation's coming on reasonably well. Just passed 4400 words today, though I'm getting near to the end. At least I've got whole paragraphs about studies that I've only put in a sentence on so far, and I've still got another section, the introduction and conclusion to do - so I should manage to hit the 8,000-10,000 word criterion by the time I've actually finished it.

Still waiting for Katamari Damacy to arrive from the eBay seller, though it seems like I won't be playing it a lot - once the dissertation's done, I'm going to be going very light on my hands to give them some more time to heal.

And reading through random files on my computer has just given me a plan. From now on, if I ever feel angsty about life and so on, I shall write fiction rather than keeping a journal. Good lord, but my journal was full of self-indulgent angst.

The entry in question was written two years and a day ago (in a text file, not on LJ). I apologise to anyone I was spouting this angst to at the time, particularly one person who got the brunt of it... actually, let's be fair, it was just one person I was spouting angst at. Life's changed somewhat since then, for the better, and certain changes have made it much easier for me to talk rather than angst.

So, in general, I am a (mostly) happy bunny. My schedule's much more free this year, which could be a good or a bad thing - we Linguistics finalists are left very much to our own devices, and all we have to do is choose exam topics, read lots and lots on them, arrange supervisions and write essays. Next term I'll have... sixteen supervisions, I now realise. Just like last year. Whoops. (Only with more reading.) Maybe I ought to start panicking again, then.

On a happier note, the Gregorian - Masters of Chant albums are hilarious. (Though I maintain that you should not have soloists in Gregorian chant versions of pop songs. Oh, and Nothing Else Matters is probably the best of their tracks.)
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Anime music videos.

I don't know how many people have heard of them, and of those how many people would willingly watch them. There seem to be enough that can thrive - there even seem to be enough willing to pay for storage space for their AMVs that there's already a system set up on the website.

Now, there are several ways to make anime music videos, basically depending on the software or hardware you have access to. Generally, the best way to produce something that people will watch is to use decent clips from stuff that's not got subtitles in (in fact, the rules of the site prohibit using fansubbed anime - it's DVD source or nothing, folks - but that doesn't stop the vast majority of the video makers, me included), and use a nice non-linear editor like Adobe Premiere. Premiere also has many special effects that can be used to spice up videos. In fact, there's even been a fairly well known video posted there called Euphoria (done to footage from RahXephon) which shows off how many effects can be added to a video to go with the music and still not overpower the whole thing.

According to an acquaintance in our university anime society, Euphoria also has a fairly rabid fanboy following, since whenever anything threatens to displace it from its "Best Video" slot on the website, the fanboys go and vote for it many many times to get it back to the top. This, to me, seems to be a pity. Not only is it stopping other good videos from being recognised, it's also sending completely the wrong message to AMV creators - "More is better".

This has resulted in many videos that I have downloaded, only to find out that the thick coating of Premiere filters on the footage has rendered them unwatchable. The video's entry on is here, and is called Fade to Black. In fact, before this filter-mania started, the only place I'd seen this many ridiculous effects used was in a video that parodied the large amount of crappy Dragonball Z videos posted on the website, the All Purpose DBZ Music Video.

Of course, I am rather biased on this matter, as I don't have a copy of Premiere and the program I use to edit my AMVs is VirtualDub, which really isn't intended for that sort of use at all - everything has to be done linearly, the frame rates have to match up exactly, and there's no way to put (say) credits on the end, even a short screen with writing on. This is why the only video I've actually done enough on to post is still not properly finished, and thus there is no proper link to it, even from my profile page (yes, that's a blatant plug for publicity, I know).

Still, even without taking into account my opinions as someone who makes rather poor videos rather slowly with not-particularly-good software, I prefer to watch videos where the effects are only used to help the story, not to hide it behind layers of funky waveforms and page-turning transitions. So I'll leave you with a good (though full of spoilers for the end of the series) video for Angelic Layer, called Beyond the Angelic Dome.

(Oh, and I recommend all the videos I linked to here, other than Fade To Black. Even Euphoria has its good points.)
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Well, I gave [ profile] aqouli an activation code today, and set up his account (he's someone I RP with on PokeMUSH, y'see), and he wrote about what type of music he likes. So I figured I'd talk a little about my taste in music...

Hmm. When I was younger (up until about the age of 13), all the music I listened to was the stuff in my parents' record collection. Mostly classical, that is, apart from an Elton John album, a Beach Boys tape we used to play in the car, and a few Stevie Wonder tapes (he's still great. I bought a new copy of Songs In The Key Of Life a few years ago, as the tapes finally died).

At about 13 or 14, I started to listen to the radio... where I live, there's a fairly good FM radio station called Capital FM. (I live just inside the M25, which is the motorway which encircles London. So I'm close enough to get London radio, but not close enough to vote in the London mayoral elections which were held a few years ago...) So for the rest of my time at secondary school, I listened to that, and as a consequence heard (and taped) a lot of British and American pop music. Most of my albums date from that time, although they were almost all fairly old when I got them. Garbage's first album, Jagged Little Pill by the oh-so-eloquent Miss Morrisette (I want to know how she sings like that - when I sing along, my voice dies before the fifth song), Fin de Siecle by the Divine Comedy... also, "Hooray for Boobies", by the Bloodhound Gang, prompted by me seeing the video to "The Bad Touch" on a German music video channel while on holiday in France. (That's the one where they dress up as monkeys, for any of you who may have seen it.)

Anyway. That was up until the end of school. Then I ended up at university at a place that's some distance from London - yes, only about an hour's drive from home, but it's enough that you won't get Capital FM up here. I did listen to Radio Cambridge for a while, but I eventually couldn't be bothered. Then I found Audiogalaxy.

Now, Audiogalaxy is not particularly legal. It is (well, was) a system by which you could download MP3s, and would also be sending them to other people at the same time. It even, shockingly, worked on a 56k modem connection. That, and a search for "anime music videos" which lead me to Kestrel's site at, got me into October Project, and I also had the chance to listen to Ella Baila Sola (Spanish pop group of two girls), who I remembered as one of the groups my Spanish exchange liked.

Time passed, and Audiogalaxy got Napstered, and then I was introduced to the world of anime leeching, and with it the world of anime MP3s...

Currently, my playlist in Winamp is usually my unsorted anime songs. Which means I get random things like a Gensoumaden Saiyuki song which could be Ricky Martin if it weren't in Japanese (Bunny Doll), a Pokemon song which includes the lyrics "Karate Chop, Aurora Beamu wa Hydoru Pumpu" (Rival), and a spectacularly silly song called "Fantasy" which is the third Hikaru no Go opening song. And if you haven't heard of Hikaru no Go... you haven't known me long enough.

So I'm usually listening to stuff sung in a language I can barely understand. I can even sing along with some of it, too...

In other news, I got a new optical mouse which is working wonders, I've downloaded waaaay too much in the last two days, Battle Athletes(s) Victory is brilliant, Haibane Renmei is good but still mysterious, Hikaru no Go is as good as ever (I need more!), and I actually managed to finish one of the four Special Relativity questions I had to do over the holidays. Only those, and two other example sheets, and my two CATAM reports, and... *pants* Not enough time!

And back to "Fantasy" again. So silly. Probably never should have been associated with Hikaru no Go. I don't care - I love it. :D


bouteillebleu: (Default)

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