But I hate it when I get back from a week of training and find 17 projects that need to be worked on immediately. Ughh. I’m going to have to make this journal entry fastish, even if I had a number of things I wanted to talk about, particularly regarding music. But first:
NWN. I posted v1.1 of Pest Control; nothing major, just fixes some sound effects in the last boss battle. I’m also working on some conversations for module #0, the one that got corrupted… I’m writing them to an HTML document with indented lists, so I can copy/paste them in any time the module goes splat. A sample:
“Step right up, step right up! Evil for sale! You want braziers? I got braziers! You want sacrificial altars? I got sacrificial altars! Everything must go! Our prices are an affront to sanity! — you there, in the market for evil relics?”
“I prefer to stay away from the manyfold arcane dangers of the negative planes.”
“Don’t think of ’em as arcane dangers… think of them as interesting conversation pieces for your living room or den! ‘Say, Marty, what’s with the jeweled human skull next to your ale stein?’ Just picture it!”
God, I love making games. ^_^ My apologies to folks waiting for new UE, but this is gonna be my focus for the short term. UE is not dead; this is not like Starboard, which got stuck. I have the material needed to resume anytime I like, I just really wanna tackle this now. It’s been my lifelong dream to make computer games, and now I reasonably can! Yaaaay! I’m happy.
Minority Report. Saw it yesterday with family and friends. Walked out of the theatre going “Wow! He’s really redeemed himself after A.I.!” But… in hindsight, no. It’s a lot better CRAFTED than A.I. was but the plot is just filled with logic holes — you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one. Some can be hand-waving explaiend away, others just don’t click or make sense, others rely on a level of stupidity in government officials that goes beyond tolerable limits (a wanted criminal can use the same security hole TWICE with multiple days between uses? Ugh.) I’m going to have to rate this a B movie… a high B, a B+ since it’s exceptionally well done, but there’s just too many glaring flaws in the story to score the A.
Linkin Park. I’m really, really getting tired of these guys. Crappy anime music videos to it are one thing, but they’re assaulting me on a daily basis. Every day I drive to work — Linkin Park on the radio. Every day I drive home — Linkin Park on the radio. On the rare days I don’t hear them I hear one of the other clones of theirs that the record companies are payolaing down my throat in hopes that if I like LP, I’ll like these guys.
I do like some of their tunes, I really do! They have flashes of brilliance, little twists and things that really make their music good. The guy who’s doing the synthesizers in particular deserves high praise; he adds subtle effects to the basic grindy guitar work. The backup vocalist who does any rapping needed has a good way with word timing. And the unreleased track, My December? Incredible. But… you know what I hate?
Dear god, can they do one song without a section of mindlessly screamed repetitive words dragged out of a throat that’s scratched raw and nasty? Do we really need to hear such intellectual gems as ‘Shut up when I’m talking to you, shut up, shut up, etc’ or ‘Gonna run away, gonna run away’ pounding our eardrums?
And yes, I do see it reasonable to let this one thing spoil the whole experience. Because there’s really three components to LP… the stuff I like (synth, rap, good mix, decent lyrics) the stuff that I’m indifferent towards (guitar and drum work, basic song structure) and then the crap (screaming, juvenile attitude, shallow moments, things that overshadow the rest). When you only really enjoy 1/3rd of a product, and the rest you don’t care about or don’t like, what’s the point?
And frankly, they don’t NEED that ridiculous stuff, man. Their quieter, more introspective work is pretty good (My December). But when they decide to get all teen angsty rage-like and howl at the moon it all goes to hell and turns into cheeseball nu-metal inanity, sending me running for my They Might Be Giants Dial-A-Song website.
I was reading Leonard Ellroy’s “Be Cool” (sequel to “Get Shorty”) which deals in the music business, and the crap you gotta go through to get successful. Basically you make no money off the CD (the record company arranges royalties and costs so that your net profit is damn near zero), no money off the tour (see previous), and all you can hope is that people buy the t-shirts (which are mostly your profit rather than the label’s) and pay attention to your music (nearly impossible in today’s market glut) when the payola guys do their magic to get it heard.
When you take that into account, the only SANE approach to the music business is this:
Do it for fun, don’t bother trying to make it big, make sure you have a day job, accept that not everybody on earth will hear your music.
If it’s good music, those who do hear it will appreciate it and follow your work. If you love to make music, then for god’s sake avoid trying to make it ‘big time’ because the headaches involved will not get you anything more than more listeners, and will take away damn near everything else. Have a day job so you can afford to do this even if you’re not the second coming of Elvis Presley.
Unfortunately, most interviews I read (and the fictional band in Be Cool are the same way) say that artists are basically addicted to the concept of playing for 80,000 screaming fans in a stadium. That’s what rock is. The road to get there is unreasonable, 95% prone to failure, and lined with sharks and vicious bloodsucking lawyers who want to consume your soul for their own profit margins… but I guess if you’re a rock-star-lifestyle junkie, well, it’s the only way to go.
Me, I’ll just put together my cheesy little songs and my hopefully not cheesy little writing off to the side, and accept any listeners/readers I get because I have to create. It’s a part of me. It’s that simple. And I don’t really need the rest, not at that cost. If the cost drops to something reasonable, I’d consider it, but I have a very bleak view on the future of this Corporate States of Embarassment we live in today.