Great Guitar Solos – This Entire Show by Kaki King on TED Talks

I was looking for a solo by Kaki King to showcase, and decided it was impossible to find just one. Her playing is absolutely incredible and she absolutely deserves to be noted as one of the greatest guitarists of the modern age. Her playing is beyond brilliant, and it was very hard for me to narrow down just one.

So, instead, I decided to link to this amazing performance she gives at TED.

Watch the whole thing, because it’s mind-blowingly awesome:

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Quick Update and a Couple Links

As of right now, I have a few days off now (assuming I don’t get called in), so I’ll be working on a couple posts: one with lots and lots of links talking mostly about the police (in the context of the report that came out about just how bigoted and violent the Baltimore PD really is, and why it’s true of way more PDs than just Baltimore), and another light-hearted one about tea.

To get you started on the police thing, though, here’s a couple links to posts written by Caine I really need you to read:

1. Lethal Incompetence
2. Cop Who Killed 73 year old: record of excessive force

Also, tomorrow (Monday, August 15th), at noon, another Great Guitar Solos post featuring Kaki King will go up.

So that’s three posts you have to look forward to over the next couple days. One to really piss you off, and two to make you happy… if guitar and tea are things that make you happy, anyways…

Suicide Squad

(Warning… some spoilers ahead… also, I discuss the abusive relationship between Joker and Harley in the Batman animated series and the comics. Not in much detail, but still…)

The Suicide Squad cast, minus Amanda Waller and the Joker, posing in front of Belle Reve.

So let me be honest up front… I don’t read a lot of comics, but I do prefer DC to Marvel. That said, that’s only for two reasons: Batman and Wonder Woman. I’ve always been a fan of both, and through them I prefer Justice League to the Avengers.

When Marvel and Disney started on their Avengers cinematic universe, I was hoping for DC to do a Justice League cinematic universe. And I wasn’t the only one. Many had hoped that Nolan’s Batman movies would be the start, but he refused to go that route, and honestly, his movies would not have fit in a Justice League universe with fantasy and sci-fi all around, especially as Nolan’s trilogy was more of an exercise in “what would Batman be like in the real world” (even if TDKRises sort of ultimately failed that question).

Then, Man of Steel came out. I was… not impressed. Although I’ve never been the world’s biggest Superman fan, following Justice League through Batman and Wonder Woman makes the other heroes, including Superman, very hard to avoid (though no, I wasn’t trying to, as I like the Justice League in general, as well). Superman is not an easy hero to pull off. Being the first, his over-powered, nearly god-like status made sense back when he was created. But DC has never been able to successfully update him, and when he has been amazing (All Star Superman, for example), they never really understood why he was so amazing, and so would kill it. And, of course, DC and WB gave Zack Snyder (of Sucker Punch infamy… gods that movie was terrible) the reigns over Man of Steel… which means that what we got was a Superman based quite a bit on Dr. Manhattan (which really shouldn’t be that surprising in hindsight). That just didn’t work. It’s not too surprising that critics weren’t fans.

Then we got Batman V Superman. I’ve been promising a spoiler-heavy review of the ultimate cut, but have so far failed to deliver, and I apologize for that. Hopefully I’ll get one up eventually, but suffice it to say, I really did not like the movie… I think largely because what I wanted was something more akin to World’s Finest. But I’ll get to that in my spoiler-heavy review… if I ever get to it.

But now, we have Suicide Squad.

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Great Guitar Solos – Comfortably Numb P*U*L*S*E*

Welcome to post 1 of Great Guitar Solos. It’s a series in which I highlight guitar solos I consider to be incredible. This first one, and the next two, are being moved from my old blog space. Then I’ll be writing new ones to go up every Monday.

I love guitar solos. A lot. I love picking them apart and figuring out what’s being played and what techniques are being used and if it’s sloppy and if that sloppiness is on purpose and so on and so forth. I’m a bit of a snob about guitar solos, in fact.

It doesn’t help that I can’t play them myself. I want to; I want to be a lead guitarist, able to play mind-blowing solos, from slow, emotional, melodic, deliberate melodies to face-melting, mind-bending psychedelic, shredding goodness.

But I’m just not there, sadly. My playing is not that good.

I do, however, have solos that I hold up as pillars of what good soloing is, and what it should be.

And the first one I’m highlighting is the solo I consider to be the greatest guitar solo ever recorded.

The band is Pink Floyd. The album is the live DVD P*U*L*S*E*.

The song?

Listen to that guitar solo. It starts at 4 minutes and 54 seconds in, and ends at 9 minutes and 24 seconds.

Already listened to it?

Listen to it again…

I can wait…

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This is the Horror I Like (YouTube-Based ARGs)

(Note: this post has many, many links to many, many Youtube videos. The videos either are or are about Youtube-based horror series, which means the videos include lots of video/audio distortion, jump scares, disturbing imagery, and so on. Be aware of that if you decide to embark on the journey I’m laying out before you. This distortion [as well as the other stuff I mentioned] is extremely present in the series based around Slenderman, as that video and audio distortion is a major component of the stories.)

So if you’re friends with me on Facebook, you know that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of horror movies. It’s honestly because I don’t like being scared. It’s not a fun feeling for me, and causes anxiety and an inability to sleep.

That said, however, there is something I find myself enjoying more and more these days, and that’s Youtube-based horror ARG’s. ARG, if you don’t know, stands for “Alternate Reality Game”. According to Wikipedia

An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players’ ideas or actions.

The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real time and evolves according to players’ responses. Subsequently, it is shaped by characters that are actively controlled by the game’s designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and collaborate as a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.

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We Are Not Allies

Decided to move this post from my old blog to here. Been wanting to include it for a while…

I was 21 when I first realized I was an atheist, and the same age when I told my mom and brother. I told my dad only a few months later, but after I turned 22.

During this period, it was all I was. I was just an atheist. I wasn’t anything else. I lived and breathed atheism, searched for atheists and atheist stuff online, and my antitheism came screaming out like never before. Because I was an antitheist first. Bill Hicks indulged my antitheism long before I realized I didn’t even believe in a higher power or powers. I realized I was an antitheist when I was 16 and started hating authority. It was only natural that I’d abhor religion, while still believing in a living god who’d talk directly to you, without the aid of some pathetic book or middle-man (clergy).

But then I read The God Delusion, and then the Bible. And I was an atheist.

And for years, I was happy with anyone who was an atheist. I didn’t care if they were feminists or misogynists. I didn’t care if they tried to fight patriarchy and rape culture or denied their existence. But I would only fight alongside atheists and I would never fight alongside a theist, because theists were crazy/delusional and faith was a virus… and “The God Delusion” was my bible.

So it’s safe to say I did the whole “critical thinking” thing wrong.

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Korryn Gaines #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter

Just when I thought I could start posting lighter stuff…

Cops shoot, kill woman barricaded with little boy wounded in Baltimore standoff (I don’t know if the video in the link shows the shooting… I can’t get it to play. I’m sorry. Be wary just in case.)

In a fit of road rage, Anthony Vigilotti pointed a handgun directly at a police officer, but was arrested later that day without incident. From his mugshot, it doesn’t even look like he received a scratch in the process.

Jed Frazier pointed his handgun directly at police, but “officers and medics took shelter and continued to make contact with Frazier. Shortly before 3 a.m. Police say they broke the windows in the truck and extricated Frazier. Frazier was treated for minor injuries before being taken to the Lawrence County Jail.”

In a quick search, I found a dozen similar stories from July alone. White men, be they mass shooters like Dylann Roof (Charleston), James Holmes (Aurora), or Jared Lee Loughner (Tucson) — or men like William Bruce Ray, Anthony Vigilotti, or Jed Frazier — all live to face a jury of their peers.

Korryn Gaines doesn’t have a violent history. She was a cosmetologist and, according to her friends and family, a doting mother. She should’ve received the treatment that all of those armed white men received. Somehow, in each of those cases, police found in their hearts to overcome their fears without unloading their guns on those men.

That’s white privilege.

It should be noted that at least 682 people have been murdered by the police this year.

Korryn Gaines posing with her son over her back. Both look very happy.

Korryn Gaines posing with her son over her back. Both look very happy.

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How to Cake It: Chocolate Chip Cookie Mega Cake

I had to share this. I’m not even hungry and I was drooling a river… it is a YouTube video. I’ll include the links to the recipe and such below the fold, after the video. I don’t have a stand mixer (not much kitchen space, and they’re expensive!), but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try and make this.

Like… holy crap…

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Tellin’ mother nature ‘bout you and me…

Moving more blogs over from my old space. Bringing this one here because I want to get back into blogging about music. See this as a segway to my Great Guitar Solos series, which I’m bringing back next Monday, and will (try) to do every Monday, starting with ones I already wrote. 

So I wanted to introduce everyone to my all-time favorite song. I don’t even know why it’s my all-time favorite song. What I do know is this:
a) It’s written by my all-time favorite band, Led Zeppelin.
b) It’s about a dog (Strider, the dog Robert Plant had at the time).
c) It’s my all-time favorite song.

I listen to it every morning when I wake up. It’s my ringtone. I know the lyrics by heart. I made myself a collection of every recorded instance of the song live. I have the studio outtakes and sessions on the electric instrumental version of the song. The studio outtakes/sessions, especially from Bron-Yr-Aur Cottage, of the acoustic version (which is the officially released version), are my Led Zeppelin collection holy grail.

Needless to say, I’m a bit obsessed with this song.

And I know you’re a Led Zeppelin fan if you already know what song I’m talking about.

And just which song am I talking about?

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