• Damn you, guitar hero!

    Nov 9 2010, 17:10

    Beautiful moments, gone

    You can find rest of the comics here.
  • Scrobbling again

    Ago 19 2010, 15:17

    The new Debian's Audacious killed the scrobbler plugin, and I never had the time to look into it, until now. I took the plugin from the previous version as the upstream authors considered the plugin too unstable. I never had any trouble with it and even if it actually lost a song or two, it's still better than no scrobbling at all.
  • Only human

    Nov 29 2009, 23:38

    I was browsing through Immortal's promo pictures, and it caught my eye how the guys are always wearing rather revealing outfits even in their winter pictures. That gave me an inspiration for the following:

    Only human

    You can find rest of the comics here.
  • Tearing the Winterking apart, Part 1.

    Giu 6 2008, 0:24

    Like I said in my earlier entry, Talvikuningas is an album that really deserves an entry of its own. However, it differs from the earlier CMX albums in that it's actually one story, although it's chopped into several pieces and it does change the narrator and time in each track.

    I've talked about this album with several people, with many of them rambling in the dark when it comes to understanding the actual story. I don't claim to know the Ultimate Truth(tm), but I believe I have re-arranged the pieces to see some kind of an image of how things are in the Talvikuningas' world. After expressing my views in several conversations, I've gotten lots of "wow, I haven't thought of that"-kind of comments, so maybe this will also help you to figure out new things of this album. If not, please comment and share your visions.

    This post will be a two-parter, with the first part giving you translations to all of the lyrics, then the actual interpretation. I've translated the tracks with emphasis on word-to-word translation; I believe that too liberal translation would lose some critical details to the story. So, without further delay, Talvikuningas, in english. (if you have the album, please press 'play' now :)

    I. Kaikkivaltias (Almighty)
    The sky begins to redden, it knows what to expect when the ships' bows glow at the docking stations. They rest like wounded animals, so tired, as the surrounded city awakens for its last day. Soon the figures of winged bulls march out of the night of times, from the night of the fog of the ancients, from the dark of nightmares. Soon the skies will open, swarms of angels storming down, their laps full of lightnings, their eyes glowing with justice.

    The king rests on his golden hand in the hides of his metal tower, his stare like a flame of sun, soulless, pale, inextinguishable. Now at the day of the defeat, under the judgement he looks down at his kingdom and with blank expression quotes the old story to empty walls:

    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there the mirrors smoke over the universe, on the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there lives the emptiness that can unite us.

    The air in the room tremors and the shadows move on the corridors, a figure awaits in the dark, silence, even it falls silent. Eventually the voices ring on open frequencies and speak like speaks the voice of ultimate winner: "You were the king of worlds, held the strings behind them, you were the ruler, out of your whim life could end, continue. At the end of the day even the king is weak like anyone else, soon you'll fall on your face and you'll want to rescue even the last one."

    Is the world limited, we its prisoners; then the god is behind everything, or boundless, without borders when we're alone, free... So what to do when you know, that the story is almost at its end. Be wise, give me a place to stand and I'll crank the world off its orbit.

    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there live the memories, that build us.
    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there lives the time, that prepares us for this moment.
    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there the mirrors smoke over the universe.
    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, there lives the emptiness that can unite us.

    "My grave is guarded by a light breeze, my grave is guarded by a drop of morning dew, my grave is guarded by one hundred thousand killer satellites, my grave is guarded by a teraton of antimatter."

    II. Resurssikysymys (The resource question)
    Expand and conquer and grow to the stars, bloom or pale and die off and suffer towards the destruction! So the rivalling kingdoms declare to eachother and four of them enter the battle and one is destroyed instantly, but three of them end up in the state of suspended wait and the time arrives of which many stories are told of, stories told of.

    We're afraid of the stars, don't scrabble coldness in our laps and the journeys are so bitter and the resources so limited, life so fragile and eventually each of the colonies are burning.

    Don't you dream of stars, don't you long for the open emptiness, the distances calling you, travel to glory, the colonies! Possibilities await you: unlimited possibilities as soon as you join the corps right away! The gold glittering in the horizons! Don't you long for the adventure, the building grounds of new worlds, step into our lines, the new federation, the interstellar dominion.

    III. Pretoriaanikyborgit (The pretorian cyborgs)
    Out of the swarms of rapture spirited, among the willing to sacrifice, were chosen the soldiers of the elite forces. From the people of young aristocracy, from the hopeless of the slums, the best, the craziest, the most foolish.

    From the sand of these fields, from the echoes of the barracks, from machine oil, from blood, did we gain our strengs. From the heaviest weapons, from the weight of the battles, our skins were bare scars, acid was our blood.

    Our war took years, burning under the stars. In the fear and sorrow of thousands of battlefields, us loving only the thunder of dropships, in the storm and snow awaits the losses, doubt.

    I rescued our commander from the destruction of the fregate, promoted me as the starship captain, I served far from home, in the lap of stars, back home the mighty men of my family hungered for power. I would their secret weapon, their slave, treator to my brothers, bringer of death.

    "From the tunnels of Antares to stardust of Laerte, from the mutinies of Plejads to the uprising of Orion, from the mandades of quasiheaven to the swallow of hyperspace, standing next to eachother until we were like one. The mutating gene of the pack of wolves makes cyborgs out of us hybrids, they throw us against the cherubs. The enemy develops golems, seraphs, the archangel boils villains in his wombtanks."

    IV. Vallan haamut (The ghosts of power)
    The fiery furnace of Kamara is molten lava, above us the the sky's like pouring lead, at the monument of the last battle the guardsquadron stands, and falls with burning clothes and peeling off lips, we slowly dance to the last psalm, how the blood lives in our veins and the flames like cold steel.

    And we wonder who we shadows are, what are we here to serve, who are we guarding here, we riders of chaos.

    We sing a song of evil deeds and the live ahead us grows short. We sing of empty beds, places we never returned to. And we do the greatest of sins without feeling anything, and out of all miracles the most beautiful is the will and trust in love.

    And we wonder who we shadows are, what are we here to serve, who are we guarding here, we riders of chaos.

    Only one detail can remain in your mind, remind in your from the whole life, some white glow after the day is passed, some gaze of your partner.

    Only one detail can remain in your mind, remind in your from the whole life, some white glow after the day is passed, some gaze of your partner.

    And we rise to the temple of the beautiful, and we rise after the day has passed, and we rise to the high mountain, and we just keep on rising.

    V. Tähtilaivan kapteeni (The starship captain)
    I wake in the middle of darkness - I'm tied down, in warm, in wet; screaming, waving my arms in terror. I soon calm down in my helplessness, feeling my senses, looking for something in my memory, it's barren, empty.

    Then the light turns on, slowly, and the cover over me opens. I'm in a coffin in a metal room and the tubes snake into my chest. I can't remember my name, my hands look unfamiliar and my naked being reflected from the wall looks like a strange machine.

    Through the nightmares I knew I was elsewhere, that I had to carry out a strange mission. How the oath binds me into deep abyss and currents. There's a seal over the secret in my heart.

    A prisoner or fugitive, a slave or a king? I have nothing in my memory, but the room starts talking, "get up and get dressed, we'll be arriving soon", who speaks and to whom? I ask for additional details.

    "Our journey was a long one, just as you ordered, and I know of nothing else, I'm just the ship's log, watching over you sleep for decades, counting the beats of your heart". So, the log, the ship and the space, because of some hidden destination that I would eventually only know myself, even when I no longer know anything.

    I get up and get dressed, touch the door, which opens to a silent corridor. If I'm here, my destiny's here, but where, is my mission to find out.

    How the oath binds me into deep abyss and currents. There's a seal over the secret in my heart.

    VI. Kosmologisen vakion laulu (The song of cosmic constant)
    The editor's notes of the sources of the Winterking
    Just a page of changes and codex of disappearing, just a excerpt of a wallrelief in the ruins of Katarakt, just a memory of the king's mechanical nightbook, just a verse of guardsquadron's shrine.

    And they say, his grave is guarded by one hundred thousand killer satellites, and they say, you'll be lost in the woods of metal trees if you try to reach him, and they say, his left eye guards every empty scene, and they say, he defeated time and lost his soul to darkness.

    Piece of of the chronicles of the dawn of the world, piece of the spell of the riders of chaos, the darkest of the apocryphas of the golden legends, a lost fragment of a whispered legend.

    And they say, his grave is guarded by one hundred thousand killer satellites, and they say, you'll be lost in the woods of metal trees if you try to reach him, and they say, his left eye guards every empty scene, and they say, he defeated time and lost his soul to darkness.

    He'll return then the biblical storms tear the skies apart again, he'll return when the methanehydratetorches conquer the horizon again, he'll rise when the Rusalkai of cruelty return again to the palace of the hunters, he'll wake when the prisoner dreams his life in a stasis suit.

    VII. Parvatin tietäjä (The seer of Parvati)

    The star is like spring's sun and the planet itself like the springtime. Its parks and fountains, its mountains and valleys and shady paths and deserts.

    There's the palaces of paradise and engines under the seas, they upkeep the motion, in the play of life, the countries and folk of the wonderland.

    Not many travelers come here, find the way or dare to arrive, the journey is so long, dangerous the road, and the comfort on it very limited.

    But one comes and escapes through the tunnel of thousand fires, through the abyss of time and eventually wakes up in his ship. Bring his ship down like a pillar of fire far away in his desert hideout and evades the searchers, and he begins his longest journey, he hears that there's an ageless woman at the mountains, maybe a madwoman or a seer, she's the cleric of the Kronos of stars and the carrier of the keys of Mitra.

    None of the stories tell when ever the traveler finds his destination, only the mountains know and the paths whisper, they traveled years together.

    Planning and learning, draining strenght from eachother, they mix the truth, start a myth, decide it's time for the wars to end.

    The rulers will fall of their high and cold seats, the kings will fall, the world will change. The gates will be open for everyone.

    VIII. Punainen komentaja (The Red commander)
    Of darkness they made our ship, it mocks the laws of nature. With its tows and ropes and rigs, sails, it sails the waves of emptiness. On its deck the red crew, dark like were they painted with blood, amidst cloacks, purple hoods shine they dark silvery eyes.

    And oldest of them, Maltan Hiram, the red commanded, he knows the secrets of the Schwartzschild rings and the neutron stars and the cepheids. Upon his secret routes we sail like the ghosts of spaces. We strike deep, vanishing again, sometimes even the fear itself dreads us.

    But when the others rest after their day, the commander sits alone and quiet. He remembers all his years, and his sorrow, his distant love. Closes his lidless eyes, opens his composite fist and rubs a small white stone and smiles quietly.

    And oldest of them, Maltan Hiram, the red commanded, he knows the secrets of the Schwartzschild rings and the neutron stars and the cepheids. Upon his secret routes we sail like the ghosts of spaces. We strike deep, vanishing again, sometimes even the fear itself dreads us.

    IX. Langennut valo (The lapsed light)
    Once, in the arms of time, the spring of light shined upon us. Over the meadows, in the dew, we ran and hid in the dark groves. Once, in the arms of time, when the winds, clouds carried our people, when it carried the noble ideologies, the deep gorge of the

    On the far side of the lightwall, beyond reach of speed, lives the emptiness that unites us. The grey rooms of reality, abandoned spaces and roads of iron, all the coldness, that can hunt us.

    The spring, somewhere, you there, hear the thunder of heavy water, you wait, colors, the scents return, you walk the yard with troubled mind. But the spring doesn't utter a word, the myrtles, laurels fall off into yesterday. You think of how everything ends, the autumn, dark distances.

    On the lightwall, a face forged into metal, eternal calmness in its expression, in its expression of bronze, unchanging, strange, all the horror that stays on and on.

    But it's dream, just dream, all of it dream here far away, beyond all solace, banished from the beaches of beautiful.

    But it's dream, just dream, all of it dream here far away, beyond all solace, banished from the beaches of beautiful.

    So when the oldest of the counsil wanted to submit me into a test, I accepted the mission and disappeared onboard their most beautiful ship.

    X. Quanta (Quanta)
    "Thanatos 6, boggy territory, dropship fleet seventyfive,
    reporting, manpower 8, mission parameters clear."

    "The storm is rising, three are missing, the engines are running already on auxliary power. The wounded left in the gorge and the guards will never surrender!"

    From the gate of death into the light! To the victory via the road of sacrifices! So did the slogans from the parade fields echo in our ears, distorted and muffled, calls into emptiness, wheezing and panting the ever fading signal.

    I once look upon the skies through the smoke of battle, past the magnetic interference, past the commands in the radiocommunication, screams, pain of wounds and fatique. I look upon the skies for a moment, and almost understood when the fusion burners of the ships flamed and all over the thousand figures of the darkness only appeared as a dots in the tactical display. So just one second more, and I'd remember why we were made, how did we come here, but one second in the middle of the battle is a small and impossible luxury. Out of the flames of the night's emptiness, an EMP hits my forehead and I fell into a coma inside my suit, until I woke up somewhere else.

    One day all the matter will freeze, the darkness will claim every particle and the entrophy will sweep the mirror clean of photons, memories and records. The space is an empty picture, endless time.

    XI. Rusalkai (Rusalkai)
    Bring before me he, who sits on the deck of Gayomart. Throw on the ground before me him, who still has the courage to defy me. Him who does not realize he's just a creation of his king, know that his life is just a dream and a lie!

    Search and destroy, his only dommand, infinite will and the power of evil, over him just the silence of eternity, the music of broken bones, the gruesome choirs of the dead, the sockets of the blind eyes and the masks of skinned ones.

    Black, out of the night of Katarakts, they lift off singing death, the human-like habitants of shadows, the king's pale minions. The regions of humans, empty after them, and the coldness walking before them. Eventually they found what they're looking for, and he walks to embrace them.

    So our lord commands, so we're on our journey, soon into the palace of hunters, we'll bring our game.

    XII. Kaikkivaltiaan peili (The mirror of the Almighty)
    A single conqueror steps before the throne and the heavenly troops just wait for an order, she folds her powerfield wings, tilts her head and looks the soon falling king in the eyes.

    "Destroyer of the worlds, god of the living, holder of the skies, a golden mountain, those are just names and the names will be taken away now, if you fall on your face, what will it matter now."

    Consciousness is like an empty picture in the dusk, still something dribbles through, the scent of memories: The first memory so faint, so dark, is a hidden door of secret in the heart. The second memory, hovering gray grainy picture of a face and a scene behind it, third memory of numbers and figures, of formulas, fourth memory a dark and dangerous road. And a voice so quiet and serious, like something familiar, safe, gone long ago. It tells about the body being a map, the pain being a compass and the points of light in the consciousness as missions:

    I remember a great book under the holy seal, which the founding mothers carried under the new skies, I remember the alliances, wars, journeys, new treaties, I remember myself only like I'd remember a nightmare.

    Eventually every kingdom crumbless into a dust and the names of the rulers fade in the oblivion, the systems will fail, great words die on the lips and only a gentle breeze travels the ruins. And even when I still live, everything's scattered in time, blown in the winds of suns, dimishing one day. The reign of mind learns the message of space, the silence of wordless star courts. Was it love, hate, that once flowed through my being. Life being its fabric, me being its thread. So were all these moments and everything inside me in vain, the defiance of a mortal towards the face of darkness.
  • My journey with CMX

    Gen 21 2008, 21:19

    I think I first ran into CMX back in 1997, visiting a friend who was a great fan of the band. Back then my friend was listening to Discopolis and was waiting for his copy of Cloaca Maxima. I considered CMX to be okayish, but didn't really dig it enough to get a copy for a private listen. Some time later Vainajala was released, and it was the first album that really caught my interest. Everybody else seemed to have a hard-on for the album's name song - Vainajala, my favorite was Vierasta Viljaa. This time I made a copy of the album, and I may be the very first person in finland, who dumped the album into MP3's as my friend got the album a day before it was officially released :) I listened Vainajala a lot, and eventually bought an honest copy of the album.

    During the years, I've bought the new albums as they've been released. Every now and then I've also bought some of the earlier ones aswell. Last tuesday I finally got the last 3 missing albums; the gold versions of Kolmikärki Gold and Veljeskunta Gold, and then their latest album, Talvikuningas. Completing the collection of so far released disks gave me the idea of listening them in chronological order to get a bigger picture of what happened to CMX during the years. After some Googling, I see I'm not the first one to get this idea, but I still wanted to go ahead, and here's the outcome.

    Johannes Kastaja (EP, 1987)
    Errrmm... okay. The 3 songs in finnish on this album are rather something .. peculiar. For example, Lapsi tells about raping an infant son. There's also 3 songs in english, and I think this was the last time CMX performed in english. If you ask me, I give this decision two thumbs up.

    Raivo (EP, 1989)
    This EP seems to pick up from where Johannes kastaja left off. No mercy, full on rage just like the album's name suggests. CMX has had songs that combine different styles throughout their career, but there are songs on this EP, Maailmoiden välissä for example, that use odd sounds like horns or other SFX to fill the silent parts of the song. This seems to remind me of Juice Leskinen's song Sika for some reason... :)

    Kolmikärki (LP, 1990)
    This one was CMX's first LP. My favorite here is Pyörivät sähkökoneet, although this time I like the re-make, Pyörivät Sähkökoneet '04 track better. Anyway, the first LP is a bit more refined than the two EPs before it, so I'd say it's a good start, and gives us evergreens like Nahkaparturi :)

    Tanssitauti (EP, 1990)
    Oh, this one has the ever-popular gig-song, "Matti". To be honest, I never understood why everyone seems to love that song, but out of Tanssitauti's songs, my personal favorite is Pimeä maa, which is the kind of slow moody tracks I love in the contrast of hard trashy songs, like Pornogeneraattori.

    Musiikin ystävälliset kasvot (EP, 1991)
    I had actually heard the re-made version of the name song, Musiikin ystävälliset kasvot before the original song. I can't really say which I like more, the original or the re-made version. This EP also has 3 other songs, which pretty much are prime examples of early days CMX.

    Veljeskunta (LP, 1991)
    Back in the days of BBSing we used to have meetings, where people of the BBS scene came together for a day of two. You could call those meetings the prototype of the modern LAN-meetings. Anyway, Veljeskunta has the #1 song we used to play back then - Kätketty Kukka. However, we didn't listen to it back then because we thought it would rock. No, we listened to it because it made us laugh uncontrollably for hours and hours. The part where the slow and easy lyrics all the sudden become shouting just short circuited something in our young heads. Years later I think I can relate to the feeling the song actually is about.

    Aurinko (LP, 1992)
    Aurinko is one of the albums I actually bought recently. It has the original versions of two of my favorites; Tähteinvälinen and Ainomieli. I most definately like this version of Ainomieli - the female sung chorus was both surprising and original. Timanttirumpu again is the most odd track on this album. Really.

    Aura (LP, 1994)
    Ruoste is probably my favorite on this one. I recall having a long conversation about this track in 2001, visiting an IRC-buddy and a friend at Lahti. For some reason, the message of this track seems to give people the most odd ideas and conclusions. I recall my friend back then insisting on that the song tells about female masturbation. To me again this reminds of that fact that eventually everything we own, does bind us and never let's us just "let go" and be free, and this song is about burning all that and finally being free. Go figure.

    Rautakantele (LP, 1995)
    I have to admit that at first I didn't really like this album at all. Pretty much everybody else were going nut about it, but it did have very little for me. Over the time, the songs Rautakantele and Kirosäkeet were the first two that got into my playlists. But it took years before finding the true "hit" on this album - Pirunmaitoa. It happened in the christmas 2005, when I found it I'm going to be a daddy. The song suddenly just sunk in and I found one way to approach this song: it's about the "what the hell I'm going say to this child? where on earth I'm going to get all the information I need? I'm standing here with a pint of devil's milk and I need to gulp it down". Total mindfuck stuff. Even after losing the child, the song still works for me.

    Discopolis (LP, 1996)
    This album has the original Aamutähti. I used to listen to this track and look out of the window watching as the snow falls at night. One of the best working mood songs ever. Epäonnisten Liikemiesten Helvetti again sounds like something from Kolmikärki. I don't know if that's a good thing.

    Cloaca Maxima (Collection, 1997)
    This colletion is responsible for introducing me to the older parts of the CMX songs. It also bears some of the most successful remakes of songs, like Ainomieli '97, Musiikin Ystävälliset Kasvot '97 and Aamutähti '97.

    Vainajala (LP, 1998)
    So, this is the album that pretty much started it all. The first one that caught my interest. Like I said earlier, Vierasta Viljaa was the first song I liked, but I think nowdays my favorite is Vainajala. This album also has one well working "morning hours" song - Vanha Talvitie.

    Dinosaurus Stereophonicus (Double-LP, 2000)
    After Vainajala I pretty much gave up on music and listened to and for years. During those years, a friend of mine gave me a copy of a CD single with Jatkuu Niinkuin Sade. I had this single on my harddisk all that time, and I listened to it couple of times. Then one day in 2004 I remembered the track and Googled about it. I found out it was a part of Dinosaurus Stereofonicus, which I then acquired. When I got hold of the CD, I first thought it was a colletion, as the case had two discs, but then I realized it was something I had personally never seen before - a two disc release! After Vainajala, the album sounded really different. It was even slower and calmer than Vainajala, and virtually had no traces of the old trashy CMX. While this release is one of the smoothest one to listen, it's still one of my least favorite releases.

    Isohaara (LP, 2002)
    Some years after Dinosaurus Stereofonicus a friend of mine offered a copy of Isohaara in MP3s. I was rather reluctant after Dinosaurus Stereofonicus, but eventually I gave in and took the MP3s. Veitsenterä was the first one I liked on this album. Others followed, but I think the best part of this release was actually it's cover. I think I saw the cover as a poster on someone's wall, and remember looking at it for a long time. It was the type of desperation that attracted me a lot back then.

    Aion (LP, 2003)
    I bought this CD with Pedot, which was a bad decision, as I liked Pedot a lot more and this album never got as intensive listening as Pedot. Palvelemaan Konetta was the track that was overplayed in radio, but it did nothing for me. Then again the desperation and feeling of finiteness (is that even a word?) in Kuoleman risteyksestä kolme virstaa pohjoiseen really hit me hard.

    Cloaca Maxima II (Collection, 2004)
    To be honest, I bought this collection only because it had Vainajala '04 on it. Back when I first heard Vainajala, I also heard that it used to be a 12 minute song, which was then cut into 6 minutes. I really hoped to find the 12 minute version here only to get dissapointed. But Cloaca Maxima II wasn't a total waste - it gave me two new favorites: Olet Tässä and Lepattajat. It also had a new version of Pyörivät sähkökoneet, which I liked a lot.

    Pedot (LP, 2005)
    This album was an instant hit for me. I had heard Pedot on a radio several times before I got the album, and had completely fallen in love with it. Pedot is also one of the songs I really love after a pint .. or ten. The more drunk I am, the more this song rocks. But the songs that kick arse do not stop there. Uusi Ihmiskunta, Kain and Syysmyrkkylilja also got in my "best of CMX" list.

    Talvikuningas (LP, 2007)
    Talvikuningas is an album that probably deserves a journal entry of its own. After hearing about the new CMX album that was supposed to be a science fiction story, I had doubts. Serious doubts. Will this be the point of CMX's career, where to go so artistic no-one can understand them any more. And the album having one, an hour long song on it? WTF? At first I laughed at the special edition they released last year, and bought the normal version. After listening to it, I really regret that I didn't buy the special edition. This album sank in like a bottle of 80% vodka (oh and believe me, a bottle of 80% vodka sinks in REAL good). It's like a time machine, making one hour of my life disappear every time I hit the play button. I don't really think I should even consider about any favorite parts of this album (although it is chopped into 12 seamless parts), but the tracks Pretoriaanikyborgit, Tähtilaivan kapteeni, Punainen komentaja and Quanta are so total mindfuck both lyrically and musically, that it actually sets whole new standards for CMX. If I ever find the special edition, I will most definately buy it. I also pray to whatever gods necessary for them to make an actual movie out of the Punainen Komentaja's trailer.

    So, there you have it. When talking about CMX, I've encountered many people, who claim to be fans of the CMX's older songs and to loathe the new releases. I think I may have been thinking about giving up on the band somewhere in the time when Dinosaurus Stereofonicus was released, but listening to the latests albums like Pedot and Talvikuningas, I no longer have any doubts. I like CMX. I like it a lot. I guess I'm just your average mainstream listener or something :)

    Anyway, I'm looking forward for CMX's next release.

  • The Last.fm syndrome

    Dic 16 2007, 13:31

    I drew this for the ICCL-group, but it also summs up the problem so many of us suffer...

    (It'd appear that the large image conflicts with the last.fm page layout; visit the group page to see the full image)

  • My anti-xmas CD

    Dic 5 2007, 2:54

    It's christmas time again. The most exciting time of the year! .. well, atleast for those, who actually give a rat's fuck about the religious and commercial stuff they force down our throats. Anyway, I've pretty much been avoiding turning on the FM radio, as there's nothing else on but stupid christmas songs, that were already overplayed way back in my childhood.

    To counter all this crap, I came up with a CD of my own, that has PROPER christmas songs to play at the office. I'm sure you folks might have some fine additions to it, so feel free to give any suggestions you might have.

    And here they are:I wish you all overcommercialized and hypocritic christmas. And choke on your turkey/ham/whatever.
  • Total abuse of the Opera genre

    Dic 2 2007, 22:00

    Some of you might be familiar with my short story releases. But what most people don't know, is the very fragile state I do actually write in. For years, getting anything out required absolute silence, total darkness plus a candle and stressless environment. Background music of any kind was a total no-no.

    Checking back, I see my last text release is from 2004. I guess I lost my writing spirit back then and haven't quite gotten it back. I'm pretty near to writing something new, tho'.

    Anyway, after shutting down my original homepages, I've gotten lots of queries about if any of my text releases could be found online. And I've been promising to do something about it.

    Times, however, are very different from 1998, when I started releasing short stories to the public. Back then I could just throw out ASCII-text, hard-formatted to 80 columns terminal and everybody was happy. Or if they weren't, they were clueless Windows-losers who just didn't know what the 80x25 text mode was! In 2007, I see the majority of people being unable to convert the original CP850 texts into Latin1 or some other usable form and reading them, thus forcing me to do some major upgrades before getting the texts back online.

    But now in 2007, I noticed I can no longer work in silence. I need to hear something inspiratinal. I tried several genred for a background music; pretty much without success. If I want to listen to , I need to concentrate to the lyrics and the music itself. Otherwise it's just more interruptive than supporting. almost does it, but whoever said the constant beat kills brain activity was unfortunately right; I can do lots of repeative tasks while listening to almost any kind of , but it just doesn't work for writing.

    So, what's left? Playing totally random tracks on the last.fm player, I noticed most of Sarah Brightman's works to fit in just fine. Then I tuned to the Sarah Brightman's similar artists radio, and that was it! I listened over 3 hours on friday, 7 hours on saturday and 8.5 hours on sunday, finishing finally what I started. So from now on, I know what to play when I need to get creative.

    Oh, and in case you can understand finnish, please have look at my text releases. You'll find them here: http://apz.fi/kirjat/. And for those who enjoy rather questionable humor in online comic form, have a look at my online comic, The ICCL.
  • Completed my L&L collection!

    Nov 26 2007, 14:23

    Yay! I finally got the missing Leevi and the Leavings CD today! For years I've been after Onnen avaimet, and I finally found one in rather good condition. I now own all of the L&L's LPs, and couple collection CDs aswell.

    And here they are:
    - Suuteleminen kielletty (1980)
    - Mies joka toi rock'n'rollin Suomeen (1981)
    - Kadonnut laakso (1982)
    - Raha ja rakkaus (1985)
    - Perjantai 14. päivä (1986)
    - Häntä koipien välissä (1988)
    - Musiikkiluokka (1989)
    - Varasteleva joulupukki (1990)
    - Raparperitaivas (1991)
    - Turkmenialainen tyttöystävä (1993)
    - Rakkauden planeetta (1995)
    - Käärmenäyttely (1996)
    - Kerran elämässä (1998)
    - Bulebule (2000)
    - Onnen avaimet (2002)
    - Hopeahääpäivä (2003)

    And the collections:
    - Menestyksen salaisuus (1992)
    - Suomen parhaat (1994)
    - Keskeneräinen sinfonia (2004)

    As in all music, Leevi and the Leavings brings back a lot of old memories. I think Poika nimeltä Päivi might have been the first track ever that I remember. I was about 6 or 7 years old back then, and the chorus of that track made me go WTF - the track's name, "A boy called Päivi" (and Päivi being rather common girlie name in Finland) made me ask my mom why would anyone give a girl name to a boy. I guess I didn't get a satisfactory answer back then, and it took couple of years to figure out that the song was about a transvestite. Anyway, I liked the music and made a copy of the original tape, that belonged to my dad. The album was Raha ja rakkaus.

    Years passed, and I kept playing that tape. I didn't really have many other tapes back then, and out of the very few I still remember Dingo.

    When I was at 6th grade, the musical taste of my classmates was rather black-and-whitish; either you were a fan, or then you digged . There was no exceptions. Well, except me, of course. My classmates didn't understand how could anyone listen to such 'uncool' band, when everything they listened was so 'extreme' (I still can't wrap my brain around the concept of Metallica being 'extreme', but then again, kids are kids). CDs were becoming mainstream and the older L&L albums were re-released on CDs instead of LPs and cassettes. I never had a LP player, and all the cassettes I had were copies-of-copies-of-copies :) It was back then when I bought my first L&L CD; Suuteleminen kielletty.

    It's been a long time since those days, and during the years some of the people who dissed L&L, have actually fell in love with the band's tragicomic lyrics and -style.

    For me, Leevi and the Leavings is one of the very few artists who have never dissapointed me with a new album release. They've managed to keep their style, while experimenting with other musical styles, some begin very far from what they started with, like the ish Moottoritiemurhaaja muistelee... or Tuhannen markan seteli, which also never fails to remind me of the 'Urheiluruutu' sports show from Finnish TV 1 :)

    Speaking of memories, here's some dear ones:

    Tulikuumat pakoputket
    I'd say this song is about a grown up man trying to relive his youth by tuning mopeds. Back when this album was released, I used to skip senior high to visit my friend Skraba at the city of Koria. We both rode mopeds and made these crazy exploring trips of the hidden roads and paths, sometimes ending up walking the moped back to home after engine fault or running out of petrol. Oh, those were the days :) It also reminds me of never trying to relive anything you have fond memories of.

    Yksin ruma tyttö tanssii
    Oh, this one gets to me every time. Back when I was like 12, we went on a luxury cruise. The ship had a disco (well, several actually) and there I saw something overly comical; a big girl of my age (and I REALLY mean BIG), dancing to some of the hits of that time. It was like the music transformed her into a tiny and fragile ballerina, and at the end of every song she returned to herself, appearing pretty bummed about the fact that she had to return to the reality. A friend of mine jokingly suggested that I should go there and dance with her; something I didn't do back then. After the last slow dance she left, giving us two the "I don't believe in humanity"-looks. We laughed back then, but given the ability to travel back in time, I'd probably throw myself overboard. I never danced sober again after that. NEVER! Been 15 years since then...

    Ohh... Windows NT 3.5! Back in the days of BBSing the system became way too large to be handled by one computer. I had been experimenting all kinds of LAN filesharing systems, ending up with LANtastic for a short period. Anyway, I was donated by an authentic Windows NT Server 3.51, which I promptly installed over the DOS-based LANtastic. Before that, I was only familiar with the DOS-based 3.x-series WFW, that hadn't exactly convinced me of Microsoft's superiority over software market. But NT 3.51; it was gold. Not only the server ran happily without rebooting every week, but the client programs were great aswell! For the DOS 6.22-based BBS dialup node machines there was the DOS-client, which was one of the most stable networking suites ever for DOS. And the networking worked great even with OS/2 Warp 3 Connections (and with Warp4 later). Anyway, this song reminds me of the installation screen of NT 3.51. :)

    Teuvo, maanteiden kuningas
    Oh yeah, Teuvo. This was the first song ever to be played while driving my dad's Saab all-alone just after completing the practical driver's exam. Although I've never totalled a car I've been driving, we did some crazy stunts back then, like driving forest roads at break neck speed, going from the wrong side of traffic dividers and such. Oh man it was cool to drive around with 16-17 years old friends; being the only one cool enough (cough, cough) to drive a real car.

    Before wrapping this up, I'd like to comment on the latest sacrilege, the 'tribute' album for Leevi and the Leavings by several artists. Shame on you! The version of Unelmia ja toimistohommia we keep hearing on every god damn radio channel makes Gösta spin in his grave. And I don't mean that flash-loop-like spinning! :)

    The news of Gösta Sundqvist passing away was probably the most disturbing news I've ever heard about celebrities. To whom do I now listen to, when I want to hear something bit naughty, yet funny and witty? All I can say is, "Gösta, I hope in heaven you find all the titties and cherry pie you ever sang of" :)

  • The turnaround

    Nov 10 2007, 15:02

    Some people who know me IRL have been quite perplexed about the kind of music I've been listening to the past couple of months. Many would assosiate me with the artists like Leevi and the Leavings or Kaija Koo. Or maybe even with or . So, why the hell after certain point in time you're seeing artists like King Diamond or Ozzy Osbourne leading the weekly artist top-10?!

    Well, the answer is rather roller-coastery-kind ride where one discovery leads into another. Before, I could tolerate most metal music, but there were very few real favorites (like CMX). Then two things happened:

    During the past 2-3 years, I've grown a rather long hair which I dye black. This has had nothing to do with my musical taste. Then one day I was giving a ride to a co-worker and I was playing Tall Paul in the company car. My co-worker took a long look at me and said: "Oh man, I always thought you were a er-guy!". I was like "well duh, I can't even say that I was much of a fan of any kind of rock, if you don't count out exceptions like Green Day and such". Anyway, I told the story back at the office and very soon they nicknamed me "Heavy Ari", which I considered rather funny as I was playing WestBam and the alike all day.

    The second thing that happened was one rather colorful bar-hopping night. I ran into a co-worker from another section sitting at my regular place. We're both drivers in the same company, but our section offices are at different districts of this city. Anyway, a long story even longer, he had couple of friends with him, and they wanted to move to some more place and asked if I'd tag along. Sure, I went there. After 2 or 3 places, I noticed I've found myself a date. I have no idea how that'd happen, but I was walking hand-in-hand with some chick, who was atleast as boozed up as me. So, we ended up in the last bar for the night and danced to the bands like Kotiteollisuus and others. Meanwhile the co-worker and his friends had disappeared and I was all alone there with her. We danced the last slow dance (which was more of titty-and-arse grabbing than dancing) and after the bar closed, we stood there outside. It was the "my place or yours"-moment. It was just at that moment, when I discovered she had a kid and husband at home. The first thing that came to my mind? AWWWW FUUUUUUUUUCK! I told her "good night, see you never" and gave my co-worker a call: "listen mate, I need to clear my mind like RIGHT NOW, HELP!" They were having a party of their own in some apartment nearby, so I dragged my sore (after all that grabbing) arse there. One of the guys there (who I hadn't seen earlier that night) commented "Oh, you're that Heavy-Ari, let's drink some hard booze and listen to even harder metal!". I was like "uh-oh, this will not end well". But actually it did. Althought I had the hangover of a lifetime the next day, I had actually found a artist I really liked: The Meads of Asphodel. The next monday I ran into a local second hand shop and bought Damascus Steel and The Excommunication of Christ and gave them both a good listening.

    After listening to both of these albums, I knew I was on a brink of a Chain Reaction. What I loved about all the black/death-metal albums was mostly the tracks that others usually hated. But the real question was, what I had been missing all these years? I need more; I was ready to conquer another continent of music! But where to begin?! I have no map of the capitals of this new continent. I have to dig deeper, but I need a metal detector to hit the gold.

    Then I recalled a part of a metal song a friend used to play. It went like this: "There are no impossible dreams, there are no invisible seams, each night when the day is through, I dont ask much, I just want you". I quickly Googled it up and it was I Just Want You. All I knew about Ozzy Osbourne was the reality-TV show and Black Sabbath. At the next payday, I went to buy Ozzmosis and Down To Earth. Oh my god! I found Dreamer! I had never known who was the performer and I didn't know Ozzy also made such slow and moody tracks. I think Down to Earth was the best 6€ I have spent in my life! The album is nearly as good as sex (but only the ordinary kind, not the kind where you have Chinese midgets, whips, leather outfits and goats)! I was ready to explode and pull the hair off my head - I need MORE, MORE!

    Where to go now? I asked around for recommendations, and got bands like the Guns N' Roses, but they were nothing new to me, I even own their collection CD that I bought because of Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Then it hit me; I have nearly 20 friends right here in Last.fm. I'm gonna take a closer look at them, find the one that has the lowest compatibility with me, and start playing his/her radio, until I find enough new artists to check out. This "lucky" friend was Diozpyroth - I recall her playing all kinds of odd tracks back when I visited her place, so this should be good.

    The very first track that was played in her radio was Heijala's Kuolleen poltteen näky. The very first thing to come into my mind was "WTF?! She listens to something this calm and witty?". Listening to that track just gave that "WTF"-feeling over and over again. Then, it opened to me very slowly, until I came to realize it's actually very good shit indeed! Heijala has lots of free tracks in last.fm, so I downloaded each and every one of them, uploaded them to my modified iRiver H120 and played nothing but Heijala for days. I actually started hating getting out of the car I was delivering stuff at work. I quickly threw the stuff at customers and returned to the car to listen more. Man, I haven't had this kind of addiction since I discovered Red Jerry years ago.

    Unknowingly, Diozpyroth gave me lots of other artists aswell, like King Diamond, Kitaro, Sentenced, Marilyn Manson, Mokoma and so forth.

    But the story doesn't quite end there yet. There's one great contributor left. That would be this piece-of-crap I call my home town - Kouvola.

    It started out like once before - me sitting in my regular bar, playing 8- or 9-ball with the other drunken fools, when the same co-worker appeared there, and dragged me with him to Rytmikatti bar once again.

    It was that night when I first had the great revelation - the very far ends of music, and are actually very close to eachother, althought the hardcore fans of the genres would probably argue - a lot. The point here is, that when you go nearer and nearer to the extreme, certain things are cut off, leaving the bare essential - the rythm and bare lead sound. This gives you the kind of music you can dance/mosh to and to immerse yourself so deep it takes you away from the world for the duration of the song. I've never done drugs, but I bet the feeling's somewhat like that. I first experienced the "out of this place" feeling when I was dancing to Celebration Generation, and now with Dead Revolution; the band I was taken to check out. I liked 'em so much I even bought their shirt (and woke up wearing that the next morning) :)

    This brings us back to Kouvola. Checking out Dead Revolution's Last.fm-page, I noticed the Kouvola-group. Well I knew Peer Günt is from here, but what else was just waiting to be found? The first thing was Kivimetsän Druidi. Unfortunately I also noticed most of the people in Kouvola metal scene seem to relate to those, with whom I had rather colorful disagreements back in the BBSin days of the 90's. I can only hope, that after so many years we could put away our differences and just enjoy the music.

    And as a quick note, Spoonful of Punishment did ring a bell when I took a closer look at Kouvola's metal scene. I recall one of my co-workers telling me he has a band. So I work with a celebrity :)

    To wrap up all this, now you know how "Heavy Ari" was born. But being a chameleon-like personality, "Heavy Ari" isn't me. It's an integral PART of me. In my world, loving the eachother hating extremes is just a thankless everyday job. I'm the kind of person, who'd throw in , , , , , , and in one playlist, shuffle it and enjoy. Too bad I can usually enjoy playlists like this when I'm on my own. Fortunately most one-genre loving persons usually give me something new to check out to.

    But back to the subject, The Bottom Line? I think I've successfully managed to start conquering one more genre of music, broading my taste in music a lot. I'm very interested in recommendations, so feel free to use the 'recommend this to a friend'-option here in last.fm.

    Thanks :)