Kickboxing and Grappling Tournament

March 16, 2008

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Yesterday I competed in my first kickboxing and grappling tournament.  Although I got my ass kicked in it, I am still some what happy with my results.  It’s a weird feeling to have someone swinging at you and trying to remain calm and for the most part I did it.  Other than some sore shins from blocking some kicks I was fine.  I got defeated in the first round in the kickboxing division but the guy who beat me went on to win so that was reassuring in a way.  In the grappling division I again was defeated in the first round but it was from a guy who I’ve grappled with before.  We tend to trade submissions meaning that he wins one, I win one, etc… so once again it was kind of nice to know that.

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Joe Rogan and Isolation Tanks

March 13, 2008

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Joe Rogan has put up a new blog post in which he talks about isolation tanks.  I’ll let you visit the link if you are interested.  I’ve posted on it before.

 One quote from his blog that stood out for me is the following:

“I want to live my life in a way that, were I not me, and I saw that behavior, it would inspire me to be a better person.”
I know that sounds like some hippy, trippy horseshit, but isn’t it possible to live like that? Wouldn’t it make the world a far nicer place to live if everyone came to the true realization that the only way to truly be happy in this life is if you’re nice to other people?
Because truly, that is the only way, and if you ask basically anyone in the world what he or she wants most in life, it’s to be happy. Happy and in love, that’s the best feelings life has to offer, and the only people that want anything other than that, are the kind of people that need happiness and love the most.


Multitracks

March 4, 2008

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A few days ago I was told by a friend who has a career in music about multitracks.  In this definition they are tracks from studio recordings of each instrument before it is mastered.  For example there are tracks for the bass, vocals, guitar, snare, hi-hats, cymbals, bass drum, etc. but they are independent of each other.  So one of the files contains just the bass in the song while the other tracks contain different parts.  These tracks are also generally not mastered so they have no been eq’d or had effects added to them yet.

When I first heard about them the first one I downloaded was Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On?” and I only downloaded the bass line.  The reason for only downloading the bass line is that I love the bass in soul music and especially bass lines by James Jamerson.

This allows for people to look at and isolate certain instruments in a song which you cannot do with a finished recording.  It also allows for one to mess around with the songs in terms of mastering it and coming up with a recording different than the studio version.  Also there are some classic tracks floating around that are available as multitracks such as Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it through the Grapevine” and The Doobie Brothers “Long Train Running”. 

 I have pretty much no clue when it comes to mastering but I am interested in music and love messing around.  Here’s a link to my attempt at doing this with Bob Marley‘s “No Woman No Cry” [Rapid Share Link].  There are a lot of things I want to try and fix within it in terms of eq’ing and where each part sits in the mix.  It’s a first try though.


Sex Sells and Sensationalism

February 29, 2008

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It is a well known fact that sex sells.  I posted earlier today about Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities in regards to Playboy Magazine without putting much thought into how many hits I would get.  While my hits aren’t through the roof, I would say that 90-95% of the traffic I have got in the past 7-8 hours has been from searches dealing with “lindsay lohan playboy pictures”.  As a side note, I once got a hit from someone searching for “two girls one cup full video” which gave them the post I did on YouTube and 15 Minutes of Fame.  I wonder if they were disappointed.

I don’t know if I have said the before but I am doing this blog for a class on Sociology and Cyberspace.  Hopefully I will continue it after the class is done as I enjoy doing it.  In class on Wednesday we were talking about ways of increasing “hits” to our sites as there is a 5% bonus to the top 5 blogs in terms of hits.  This would be a nice bonus but I’m not trying to actively seek such traffic by writing on top 10 lists, sex, celebrities or current events.  I find it more enjoyable and a bigger a challenge to write on things that are interest to me.  

This isn’t to say that I am attacking people who do these things.  In fact, more power to them for knowing what people want and being able to write on it.  Instead I find that I like to write on topics that I enjoy and they quite often aren’t the most popular things.  The writing of this blog is enjoyable and challenging.  I have written two other blogs and my style on those blogs are quite different.  To be blunt they consist[ed] of offensive writing often laced with profanities.  With this blog I am trying not to swear as much.

Sensationalism sells and I think this idea can be transferred over to some blogs.  I don’t watch a lot of tv news anymore and don’t read the newspaper as much as I should.  The last few times I’ve watched it I can’t tell if it is news or Entertainment Tonight or a bastardization of both. 


Eddie Bravo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

February 28, 2008

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The past few weeks I’ve been unable to work out or practice kickboxing and brazilian jiu jitsu (bjj) due to a fun thing I ended up getting.  A few weeks ago I was “rolling” (or sparring bjj) and ended up getting a knee to the face.  A few days later I had a welt under my eye and thought it was a black eye.  No big deal.  A few days later the mark got bigger and closer to my eye and looked different from a black eye so I went to the doctor.  Ends up that I caught a staph infection near my eye.  It surprised me because I’ve heard horror stories about how they are painful but mine wasn’t.  Anyways because of that I stayed away from the gym and working out because I didn’t want to take a chance in being the guy that gives it to everyone else.

So I’ve been on some anti-biotics and the doctor told me to not work out while on them because of the side effects they can cause.  I hate sitting around at home and not being able to workout when I’m frustrated or bored.  So the past few days I’ve decided to watch and read some of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructionals I have.

Eddie Bravo is one of the guys who’s material I’ve recently been watching.  To quote Wikipedia, he is known for ” his win as a brown belt against Royler Gracie by triangle choke in the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling championships the year 2003, and his unique style of no-gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu”.  As well he is the pot head buddy of comedian Joe Rogan.  While I don’t have a problem with his pro-marijuana stance, it sometimes gets annoying when you are reading one of his books or watching one of his instructionals and he spends a decent portion of time talking about it.  It just seems out of place. 

What really impresses me about Eddie Bravo’s bjj style is how fluid he is and his crazy flexibility.  Here’s part of an instructional from a magazine featuring him that demonstrates his ingenuity and flexibility in regards to bjj:

It hurts me just to watch this.  I guess I better start stretching.  I hope he comes out with a stretching instructional.


Guitar Hero and an Ironic Anecdote

February 28, 2008

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Before I even played it I mocked Guitar Hero.  I thought it was a lot like Dance Dance Revolution which I despise.  I’ve played guitar/bass for around ten years and although I’m not great at it, I can play both instruments well enough to jam with friends.   So I’m not Yngwie Malmsteen or Jaco Pastorius.  Once I actually played it a bit, I changed my mind.  It actually is quite a fun game (especially with a few friends and some alcohol involved).   

A few of my friends who’ve played the game ask me if it is as easy to play guitar as it is in Guitar Hero.  I find it kind of an odd question because they are two seperate things.  There is a big difference between touching 5 buttons and pressing on a knob up and down in time to a song than playing a 6 stringed instrument that may have 21 or more frets.  Not to mention on a real guitar there are many things you can do on it that you can’t in Guitar Hero (sweep picking, harmonics, pinch harmonics, tapping, tap harmonics, etc…)  I don’t know if you can even do hammer ons and pull offs on Guitar Hero.  At the same time, I’ll admit I suck at Guitar Hero.  It just seems odd to me at times that some complex song, complete with guitar solos (such as Metallica’s “One”) is broken down to pressing 5 buttons.

Today I was at a music shop killing some time and saw a guitar book for sale that made me smile.  It was songs from “Guitar Hero“.  Maybe it’s just me but I found it kind of ironic. 


Matt Good, Drunken Jackasses and “Freebird”

February 27, 2008

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In November I had the opportunity to work at and see Matt Good perform an acoustic concert in Medicine Hat.  As my friend is a co-owner of a live audio company, I also had the opportunity to see him do his soundcheck in exchange for helping him load out some gear after the show.  It was a great experience to see Matt perform “Born Losers” at soundcheck with only ten people being in the theatre.  It was very intimate.

The actual concert was great as well.  Except of course, there were drunken jackasses yelling out during the show.  This venue seats around 400-500 people and 3 people were booted out during the concert.  A friend of mine saw Matt Good perform at the Jack Singer in Calgary which is much larger and no one was kicked out.  During the show in Medicine Hat one person kept screaming out random remarks or comments between songs until Matt would respond and then the drunken audience member would keep the conversation rolling like it was a Q&A until he was booted.  The other two people who were kicked out were just being obnoxious.

I believe that the audience banter with musicians can partially be blamed on Lynyrd Skynyrd.  On their live album “One More from the Road” the band asks the audience “What song do you want to hear?” and the audience replies “Freebird!“.  This has lead to many drunken audiences screaming out “Freebird” at non-Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts.  It may have been funny the first few times but now it’s about as funny as “Git-R-Done“.  Because of this, Lynyrd Skynyrd has led to audiences thinking that they can and should be allowed to talk with musicians even when they aren’t asked to.

As a side story, a few years ago my friends and I would go to Boston Pizza to drink.  As we were drunken jackasses, we would go to the jukebox and choose songs that were long just to annoy people who were there.  The live version of “Freebird” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and “Moby Dick” from How the West was Won were classics to choose.  After doing this a few times a waitress finally got so pissed off and that she just unplugped the jukebox.  We stopped doing this afterwards.