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334825 Posts in 13711 Topics by 2200 Members
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31  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Leather Pants & Men's Fashion on: October 14, 2013, 06:10:59 AM
Well, "trends" are one thing, but I've never been much for them. What I'd like to do is have a good enough selection to build my own style, for the long term, seasonal fads be damned. Ever since late HS, I went against the grain, and built up my confidence with that. Yeah, I really feel bad for women, who are corralled into the latest fashion schemes, but there are other ways of building up a unique fashion sense without playing to the yearly craze. Do it for a while, and people will just know it as "you", and they'll respect you for neither playing to or playing against the latest trends. Maybe easier said than done, but I've witnessed people making it work.

Us guys... we almost don't have that option. I say "almost" though, because I've been able to play around A LITTLE BIT within the limited scope of acceptable modern day men's clothing options, but I do envy women for being able to play more.

That said, guys do have one advantage: we rarely struggle with finding the right sizes... if there are 1000 of the same type of pants, there's bound to be one in your size. Not so with women, who get a hundred racks of different clothing, all the same 5 sizes for the same body types. My girlfriend is 6ft with long legs... hell of a time finding the right sizes for clothing.
32  The Rest / General Discussions / Leather Pants & Men's Fashion on: October 13, 2013, 04:43:40 PM
Got mine in the mail yesterday, bought them for a music video shoot. Man do they feel comfortable and look awesome, not tight but not baggy. My girlfriend won't stop gushing over them, either. I'm all for leather, I think it's about time leather came back into men's fashion. Not the creepy shit from the 80s, though.

This also brings me another point. I'm a dude, I'm straight, but I also dig fashion. It just about kills me to walk into the average clothing store and see their selection for women and men. The girls get all this huge experimental assortment of thousands of different styles of clothing. And men, a thousand types of plaid shirts and blue jeans. Men's fashion has just become a contest of trying to look as indifferent as possible. I can't fucking stand it! Why is it so bad to care about how you look and making an impact? Throughout history, men have typically had just as many interesting fashion selections as women, but that all stopped about 80 years ago. Now doubly so because everyone's worried about "looking gay". I think gay guys are being more honest with themselves about their fashion interest. I believe a lot of straight guys purposefully bury their interests in personal looks in attempt to distinguish themselves more from feminine culture. But since when did fashion become a female-centric thing? Not in other cultures, and not in other periods of western history. This is weird.

Sorry, </rant>
33  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Why games like The Wonderful 101 are a poor fit for the Gaming Press on: October 12, 2013, 09:02:48 PM
The other thing is that so many games are just simply compared to a few basic archetypes. Entertainment media seems to group people and games into a very few common categories, and write reviews as if they're compared to that. If a game happens to be in first person and has some action, but steers far far from the typical FPS, it's going to draw some criticism for "not doing it right". There are a few things that are deemed "bad" by mainstream gaming press, and games that choose to do those things will get a frown, even if they're really great games.
34  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy VI enhanced remake coming to IOS/Android this Winter on: October 10, 2013, 02:25:02 PM
A) If it does well, there's nothing to stop SE from releasing it on Vita/3DS/Console Networks... all the assets will be there. Keep in mind, FFVI is the most popular FF game pre-FF7, once they have assets in place, they can port it around and print money!

B) Why should we assume it's going to be anything like the FFV remake? And would the graphic technology of the FFV remake be fine for FFVI? Sure it was a little more cartoony looking, but it didn't have to be. FFV is a pretty cartoony game itself, so I'm not convinced it didn't fit. FFVI is definitely not, so the sprite smoothing and detail increase could be used for more... sinister... means.

Come on people, we have been asking for an FFVI update for years, we finally get one, and even before we see screens we're complaining. Not cool.
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 03, 2013, 10:10:00 PM
Tall women freak me out, so I'm with you, joking or not. My wife is 5' 8" and that's tall enough. Then she wears super high heels and suddenly we're eye to eye. Weird.

And that's a bad thing?

Seriously, I've never noticed that I had any leaning towards height in women. I mean, I've seen women who seem tall and mal-proportioned... like really skinny or tinny head, and just freak me out, but that's different, because you can have the same thing with short women too. I ended up with a tall girl (about 2 inches taller than me), but I really never noticed. People in my family are tall in general, so I'm probably used to it.
36  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: October 03, 2013, 03:11:29 PM
Holy crap, someone's pissed!

Gunshots near Capitol lock down Congress
37  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: How do I kick out a bandmate? on: October 03, 2013, 02:22:51 PM
HAHA! I am strangely taken with the similarities, we haven't shut down, but we're certainly not working things out.

The drama continues: yesterday drummer insisted a new rule, that summer bass player is still in the band and should have a full vote for making band decisions while in Boston, even when he's not FUCKING DOING ANYTHING FOR US. Fiddle player and I put our foot down and said absolutely not, she practically had a tantrum.

We spent hours shooting a music video he wasn't in, which I then spent tens of hours editing (I'll post it as soon as it's done), and she thinks he should have a say in it. Fuck no, you don't do the work (even if you're not expected to), you don't get a say. As long as we're not smearing his good name or the image of the band in general so that it effects him when he gets back, there is no reason he should have a say. I told her "He's not in the band while he's away" and she almost broke down in tears. Basically, she realizes she has no allies in the band, currently, so insisting that bass player be brought in is a way of making sure she can get her way.
38  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 03, 2013, 02:12:39 PM
Well, my clothing issue is that
(1) I am a woman who is almost 6 feet tall
(2) For some reason tall clothes are either baggy or for women with no curves. Pants/trousers are the worst since most are too short for me and don't accomidate an hourglass easily (at least not without buying a size too big to fit my butt and then taking in several inches off the waist so it doesn't gape).

Oh and all the XXS at the sales rack :p

Yeah, my girlfriend is 6ft. She's constantly having trouble finding clothes. rediculous. Clothing industry is so screwed up. I know many 6ft women, and the stores act like they don't exist.
39  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: October 02, 2013, 06:20:15 PM
In world news:

"America rapes itself!"

Yay for us! The most ridiculous thing about this is there's no possible way the House could win... so it's just a big mindless hissy fit. Even Senate Republicans are telling them to fuck off. I also love how government shutdowns stop everything that helps its people, but leaves open everything that dicks them and the rest of the world over. How did we come to this?
40  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: October 01, 2013, 05:55:21 PM
E and H have a really 1940s-50s vibe, E especially looks like something out of a WWII USO show... Cute but I think it might get old fast. I'd like to see C flushed out a bit more, the sketches look very unfinished. F looks like the best bet to me. G would be good too, but I don't particularly care for the doll jointed legs. I guess it's all a question of how robot-like you want the characters to feel. Megaman's always been a bit of a moving target, sometimes the characters look almost human, sometimes they're very hydrolic. The boys don't look as odd becAuse their legs look like metal trousers, but the females have exposed legs with joints, which is awkward.
41  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Guilty pleasure anime thread on: September 29, 2013, 05:51:26 PM
Very curious to see what some people call a "guilty pleasure". I see a lot of people associating guilty pleasure with upbeat anime. But to be honest, I find that the upbeat anime are often way more sophisticated than the "oh no the world is ending!" blood splashed dark anime that's out there.

For instance, I'm currently re-watching Slayers with my girlfriend, and I can't believe how good it is! It's really well thought out, the characters are all very unique and original, and often surprise me. I'm also shocked at just how D&D it is, it has different names for spells, but that's about it. Not too far from Record of Lodos War. Lina is a very intricate character that defies a lot of tropes. How many red mage female characters do you know of in anime? Especially cutesy ones? Except for The Third, I can't think of any.

I also saw Lucky Star mentioned, which I also recently saw. I love "daily life" anime like that and Azumanga Daioh, which is one of my all-time favorite anime. Nothing guilty about that, Lucky Star is a great series. Another killer one in that category is Genshiken, an anime about anime (and hentai) geeks. I often feel that anime tries so hard to get away from daily life, that when a series does it, it's really refreshing.

I think of guilty pleasures as things that are ridiculously long and have mass popularity for mass consumption. They're not made to be very good, just keep people watching week after week, but also have some of their own charm: Inu Yasha, Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, some of the Gundams, I would usually say Bleach, but I actually thought the series was a good notch above everything else here.
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: How do I kick out a bandmate? on: September 27, 2013, 03:05:39 PM
Starting a new band is definitely not a good option. I put 15 months and over 1000 hours into producing our album alone. We've gotten some national recognition on the contra dance scene... when we toured down in the states, we really started something. It seems we're likely to get chosen to perform in the national contra dance festival in Atlanta next spring. So our album and name holds a lot of weight to us both personally and financially.

Anyway, we had rehearsal the other day, I half expect her not to show, or there to be an all-out war (as there had been that day through email), but to my amazement, we had a very normal, even fairly good rehearsal with absolutely no mention of any issues. She talked about far off gigs and doing some long term planning. So it seems the idea of quitting hasn't crossed her mind for the last few months. I didn't know whether to be happy or pissed about this. On one side, she didn't lord anything over us or make things miserable and got down to playing, but on the other side, nothing got solved or exorcised.

Last night, I took Winter bass player and fiddle player to a jazz concert that a few cats I know were playing. They have this killer new drummer, and fiddle player was noticeably jealous. Strangely, the bass player went ga-ga over their bass player. I wasn't expecting that. Yeah, their bass player is amazing (about twice the age as our young winter bassist) but winter bass player is fucking insane as far as I'm concerned. At that level, it starts to require that you really play the instrument well to be able to distinguish between "great" and "amazing". His response was, "looks like I need to go back to the shed for a few more hours a day for a while" (he already practices about 6 hours a day).

Thing is, we're good. I'm one of the best keyboardists in town (there are pianists and straight jazz pianists that run circles around me, but my skill set is different), there are a number of progrock bands that are always trying to get me to play with them. Our fiddle player is one of about 3 upper-tier players here, and as far as I'm concerned, bass player is the best bass player I've ever played with, and comes up with things that I think are almost better than anyone I've seen (barring the bassist we saw last night). It just kills me that we're playing with a drummer that would barely hold her own in a HS garage band.

As far as being the "de-facto leader". Maybe in theory, but not officially, and that all depends upon who you talk to. Fiddle player says she thinks of me that way, and winter bass player most likely does (probably both fiddle player and me together), but that's precisely what the drummer seems to be constantly fighting: that we're all equals, and there is no leader. Currently she's fighting off the fiddle player, but she's usually on my case. I don't really care, personally. I don't really feel comfortable "taking command" if not everyone else wants it. But I would like to demand that everyone hold their own. Fiddle and bass totally pull their weight, I give them very little "commands", and always couch them in suggestions and subjective ideas with the clear understanding that they could take it or leave it, I trust their judgement enough that I don't think my own ideas are necessarily superior. But to be blunt, I don't feel that way about the drummer. She doesn't pull her weight, and she's not creative, so I'm constantly coming up with parts for her... but she doesn't like doing creative things (she picks one beat and plays it over and over again, no fills, very little alteration), and when I make suggestions she pushes back and tries to reassert that we're all equals. "get off my lawn" mentality (yeah, she leans that way politically, too, which makes sense).

Latest thing, I made a crappy iPhone recording of a new tune of mine we JUST started working on. I'm listening to it in the car and feeling the bass, and the fiddle is flying... drums are fucking repetitive. It's a floaty tune with a very "cinematic" modal chord progression, and she's sitting there banging out a 6/8 gallop! I've gotta say something, it totally goes against everything I intended for this tune to sound like. In this case, percussion should be a bit more atmospheric than strictly functional, and play with the syncopation, not just bang out the downbeats. I don't WANT to over emphasize the beat. But she's REALLY into hard core dance music, she believes that the bass drum should almost always be on 1, 2, 3, 4 and things like that. No implied pulse, no momentary lapse of time or polyrhythm, not even any fills. It feels like I'm playing a broken drum machine some times!

That said, I was able to make it work for the album by squeezing every little ounce of creativity out of her, and then using myself and the bass to produce the rhythmic interest. It worked, but I'm tired of it, I'd like a drummer who actually understands what I'm going for on a tune, and adds to it.
43  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Dream Theater on: September 26, 2013, 03:09:48 PM
Okay, now after listening to the full album, my excitement is even greater than before. This album flies, they really feel like they're into this one. A few things really stuck out:

1) they really let Manginni off the chain with this one. He's much more prominent in the mix, unlike the last album. The drums are nice and hot, just like they were with Portnoy. And he really puts in his own soul to this one... Like when I saw him with Vai about 14 years ago. Lots of tasteful tom work, creative instrument usage, he guy is a true master.

2) Myung is finally coming out of his shell! There is some great bass on this album, and now it's thick and ballsy... Almost reminding me of how the guys sounded with Tony Levin! He's finally using a bit of amp coloration (I wouldn't quite call it fuzz or distortion), but it sounds thick and juicy, words I would never use to describe Myung's playing in the past.

The final epic is easily the best 18min+ track they've done since ACOS. I used to think they'd be good at doing ultra long tunes, but when they finally got around to doing them, I was surprised that I always found them to be fairly weak, or really obviously 5-7 tunes strung together (Six degrees). This one has some nice meat on the bones. I found myself thinking of Deep Purple at times, LaBrie actually sounds pretty good! Even the orchestral interlude, though maybe a little long, wasn't as sacarine and "Disney-esque" as they've been in the past.

I believe that what makes this album successful is that I really think the guys were trying to be themselves this time. Playing with influences is fine, but on a lot of their recent albums I got the feeling that they were trying to force a particular image of themselves on people that really wasn't true. Metal (if you call DT that) often walks that line, often being fairly down-to-earth consummate musicians being cathartic and releasing their inner aggression. For the past 5 or so albums, it just sounded like an obvious act to me. And sort of like Iron Maiden finally saying that they didn't care if they were metal or not, it seem Dream Theater has also decided to stop trying to be, and just be.
44  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: How do I kick out a bandmate? on: September 25, 2013, 01:31:19 PM
Well, I have. They've all expected her to leave by now. Things are complicated by a seasonal switch. Our original bass player went off to Boston to Berklee but he comes back for the summer. Meanwhile, we have this amazing winter bass player who leaves during the summer. The winter bass player just came back a few weeks ago, and he's a really low key dude, and he doesn't feel like he has much say, and he wasn't here this summer when all the shit went down, but he's never been a fan of the drummer musically, they're really at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Problem is, summer bass player and drummer are dating... yes, it's one of those situations. The dynamic of the band changed overnight. The two of them used to never agree on anything until they got together. Usually the bass player was the crazy creative out there one, and I'd have to reel him in a bit, while the conservative drummer was totally at the other end. Once they started going out, he was wrapped around her finger, and has made a point NEVER to disagree with her. So now, she has all this power over half the say in the band, and convinces him of everything. This summer has been a nightmare, with basically being the two of them vs the two of us.

But now that we're back to winter bass player, she's suddenly not getting her way anymore, and she's pissed. See the winter bass player is a technical jazz/metal guy, and the drummer comes from a "keep it simple" country background, so even though they personally get along, musically, they're not anywhere near the same page. And then there's the fiddle player and I, who are both very sore over the bit about her kicking out the singer, as well as generally being absent, late to gigs, and passive aggressive.

So it's complicated. We would dissolve the band and start anew with the three of us and another drummer, if it wasn't for the fact that we JUST released our new album, did a small US tour, and are getting very well known up here in Alaska. It's at this point that we're ready to go full steam ahead, when this happens.

For the moment, I've told myself that I'm just no longer going to coddle to her frail opinions anymore. I used to give her the benefit of the doubt and REALLY try to let her have a chance to do what she wanted and give her a voice in the band. I used to go out of the way to organize things so she could introduce her own ideas, etc. But this summer, all of that got thrown back in my face, and so I'm not doing it anymore. She wants something, she's going to have to speak up for herself and work for it just like the rest of us... but she won't. And I was thinking that she would eventually give up and quit on her own. But she hasn't even been to the last few rehearsals to get a sense of the new dynamic. In the meantime, the three of us have bonded and are working on new material, so she's in for a shock. The other day, we shot a scene from our music video, which I thought we had all agreed on, and she didn't want to be in it. When I edited the video and sent her a draft, she was furious and told us that she wasn't included! The fact is, she didn't show up to rehearsal the day before the shoot, when we were pinning down some last minute specifics. So now she wants us to include her on every decision we ever make, even if she's not there... I just can't run a band like this.

You don't show up, you don't put in the time, you don't get to have a say. That's my feeling anyway.
45  The Rest / General Discussions / How do I kick out a bandmate? on: September 25, 2013, 05:20:02 AM
I know this sounds really bad, but I'm at my whits end. I have this band, and I know we're really quite unique and solid. Every one of the players puts in a lot of work: practicing, writing, accounting, marketing. And everyone really can hold their own on their instrument (all of us have 25 years experience+). Except one person: the drummer. Not the typical drummer problems of banging on their instrument or not understanding the arrangement... no, she's timid, uncreative, always tries to tone down anything complex or aggressive. Furthermore, she's not a very skilled drummer, she'd only played a bit before we all got together, and she's improved the least out of all of us the 3 years we've been playing together. And lastly, she doesn't practice or put any outside effort into the group. The moment rehearsal or a gig ends, I can just see its, "well, that was fun... back to my real life."

I used to just go "oh well, I guess this band will have to rely on other instruments for creative interest," but now she's started demanding the final word on every decision, when she puts in so much less than anyone else. We used to have a part time singer who everyone else used to like (my girlfriend, actually), but our drummer forced us to kick her out because SHE wanted to sing more. At that point, myself and the fiddle player, who basically do the majority of the organization, composition, and business for the band, kinda lost all respect for her, and really don't feel the need to give in to her every demand. She's extremely passive aggressive, so we have no idea she has any problems till far after she's lost it, and we have to backtrack.

Respect is earned, and not only has she not earned it, but I think she's sorta lost a lot of it too.

Problem is, even though I tend to take the dominant roll: I produced the album, much of the compositions are mine, we don't have an official band leader, so I don't really have any authority. But I just feel worse and worse every day, like I'm putting in all this effort and having to compromise on a really subpar drummer. There's actually some great drummers around in this town, and I think we could find one easily.

I want people to be happy, I want to make things comfortable and everyone have a voice, but I also have standards, and dreams and goals for this group, and I just don't think we'll be able to achieve the high escellon we're going for without a better percussionist. I keep thinking that she's going to quit: she's threatened to before, and she seems more and more unhappy, and more and more paranoid, but she hangs on. I do think she eventually will, but this hanging on is excruciating, she just needs to leave.

I've never had to break up with a girl, I've never had to end any relationship or fire an employee... and what's worse, I'm not in any official position to do so. The rest of the band is either in agreement with me, or kind of indifferent, but we're all really nice people, and no one wants to really be the bad guys. How do I do this?
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