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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mutiny Universe Promotes Growth (Radio@MU #24)

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The grand irony is that this 30-second promotional spot ("commercial") for Mutiny Universe and the Radio@MU Podcast took the same amount of time as producing about three 30 minute podcasts.

Stay tuned for new Radio@MU episodes in February, with great music from great independent artists. And if the muse bites me (or is that a mosquito?), there will be more installments of Video@MU in the future.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Force Unleashed: Your Training Is Complete

This blog entry qualifies for some sort of ubergeek reward this year. Check out this video promoting the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game:

The exciting part (for me, anyway) is the mechanics that create the virtual environment of the game, which is a collaboration of three major physics emulators:

1. A program called Digital Molecular Matter tells wood to splinter, glass to shatter, metal to dent, etc.
2. A program called Havok makes sure that objects moved by The Force move according to Newton's Laws - that is, with The Force involved with actual physics.
3. A program called Euphoria gives non-player characters and enemies an advanced artificial intelligence, to deal with splintering wood, shattering glass, denting metal, projectiles thrown at them by The Force, and being thrown like a projectile by The Force.

The fanboys and fangirls of that long ago, far away galaxy would be more excited about the plot, which centers around Darth Vader's secret apprentice, who's going to kill more Jedi during the time between the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy. I guess having a secret apprentice is some sort of scandal in the Star Wars galaxy, like having a mistress or another family in another state. I suppose getting caught with a secret apprentice would be bad for Darth Vader's political career (it is an election year, after all).

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will be unleashed this summer (the current release date is August 26, 2008) in the above physics-robust format for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, a less physics-robust but with lightsaber swinging action version for the Wii, and other consoles as well.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Archived Forum Post: Arrested Development

On November 20, 2006, Jason Loya wrote:

I've been watching the Arrested Development first season DVD set (I know it's not a "film" but without the commercial interruptions and the fact that it is shot single camera qualifies it for this part of the forum). Being someone who doesn't actually watch any television at all, I wasn't sure what to expect when I borrowed the DVD set from a friend of mine. I was half expecting to have to lie to said friend and tell him how fantastic the TV show is just before I gouge my eyes out. This same friend usually doesn't hold back his opinions much regarding my personal favorites such as David Lynch - but what can I say - I'm a nice guy. In any case, with Arrested Development, it didn't even come to this. I am able to save the charade for another day because after just a couple episodes I found myself actually enjoying it! It is a 3 disk set and follows the Bluth family's endeavors and antics in a very film-like fashion. This is perhaps the first reason why I like it - the show doesn't reek of television. It is a 16:9 presentation with camera work that is far more interesting than a 3 camera studio setup. Most of the time, the shots are hand held, making you feel like you are a close observer of the family - like you're in the room with them and not really just some bored and listless lump on the couch. The characters are unique and entertaining and again - not usual television stock. The story for the most part is funny and witty and easy to follow while the writing is relevant to the show's contemporary audience.

The entire first disk is excellent. As the characters are set up in their world, I found myself easily engrossed and regularly laughing out loud. The first half of the second disk has signs of a production that was in turmoil. They swapped actresses for the same character and made about three or four episodes that just do not seem to go anywhere, lacking the same vibrancy as the others. At that point in my viewing, I almost gave up on the show. Certain characters that I had grown to like were not acting like themselves at all while certain themes began to seem redundant. However, right when I was about to chalk the first disk up to luck and banish the set to TV hell, I watched 1, then 2, then 3 more episodes and laughed my ass off. So at this point I'm 2/3 done with the set and the show has new life. So far, I definitely recommend this DVD set for some fun, lighthearted, and sometimes enjoyably crass entertainment. I'll write again when I finish the series.

On February 14, 2007, Katy Savage replied:

Arrested Development has got to be one of the funniest shows in recent TV history -- I'm glad our friend John strong-armed me into borrowing the DVDs. And although it's sad that it's off the air, I'm glad the show's writers wrapped everything up in the last episode and gave it some closure.

Remember that show The Wonder Years? My roommate's friend brought over a bootleg copy of the entire run of the show (some 800 episodes or something like that) and it just D R A G G E D... And in the end, the show never satisfies you. Winnie and Kevin never fulfill their companionship, and all the time you invested in the show is utterly wasted. Arrested Development, on the other hand, gives you everything you want... Even the cousinly sexual tension that keeps you on edge the whole show is resolved.

And YES YES YES, DVD is the ONLY way to go when you're watching anything with a continuous plot...

And today, using the company's Blogger account, Ryan DeRamos posts another episode of Arrested Development, hosted on Hulu:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jonny Greenwood, Eddie Vedder, and the D.I.Y. Ethos

I was extremely disappointed to see the Academy Award nominations today, when it came to music nominations. Neither Radiohead guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood nor any part of Eddie Vedder's Golden Globe-winning Into the Wild soundtrack were nominated for an Oscar. Apparently, according to Rolling Stone magazine:

"On the music front, Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood was disqualified from the competition despite already picking up a Critic’s Choice Award and getting nominated for a British Academy Award. Eddie Vedder’s omission is confusing, as his “Guaranteed” from Into the Wild seemed to be a shoe-in for Oscar love after winning a Golden Globe."

(By the way, I first received news of the nomination list from Rama's SCREEN, run by someone I knew from high school but have gotten to know better through blogging. There's a lot of great, late-breaking movie news at Rama's SCREEN.)

Anyway, check out the trailer for There Will Be Blood, with bits and pieces from Greenwood's score:

And if want to hear some more Greenwood ASAP, your best bet is to download the album through's DRM-free MP3 service: There Will Be Blood.

Eddie Vedder's "Guaranteed" won the Golden Globe for Best Song, but Vedder's work has been snubbed in favor of not one, not two, but three songs from Enchanted. At least Cate Blanchett's two nods come from two different movies (the Elizabeth sequel and I'm Not There). Anyhow, check out the music video for "Guaranteed":

The quickest way to hear the rest of Vedder's soundtrack is to download it through DRM-filled iTunes, as the album hasn't made it to DRM-free iTunes Plus or DRM-free MP3 yet: Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild (Music for the Motion Picture) [Deluxe Version] [Deluxe Version] | Eddie Vedder - Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild

Before I try to provide some analysis to my lamentations, let me just quote what I wrote in the comments of the Rama's SCREEN Oscar Nomination entry: "It’s a bit reassuring (in a masochistic way) that these 1990s alt-rock heroes are still underrated by the mainstream…the establishment. The spirit of D.I.Y. ethos and not selling out lives on, I guess…"

The moral of the story is that the establishment doesn't have to recognize fantastic artists, as it often doesn't. And so what if the mainstream often rewards things that are more popular and less timeless? It's a cliché, but it happens all the time. It shouldn't - and doesn't - stop some really wonderful, timeless work from being produced, regardless of acclaim.

If it's any consolation, not having a Golden Globes ceremony and not being nominated for the currently green-lit Oscar show actually saves Vedder the trouble of being part of a potentially awkward situation. The only thing left is this year's Grammy Awards, in which Vedder is nominated and could win and could say something like twelve years ago:

Jonny Greenwood photo credit: Zach Klein.
Eddie Vedder photo credit: Jim Bachalo.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Haiku Current Events

Oscar nods today.
Heath Ledger, twenty-eight (!!!), dead.
More comments later.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)

Chess master Fischer
Mr. International
Dead at 64.

Anyhow, if you remember the book and/or the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer (I don't), apparently it had something to do with someone considered the next Bobby how Hilary Swank succeeded Ralph Macchio as The Next Karate Kid. Classy.

But if you're literally searching for Mr. Fischer, you'll have to go old school for this adventure. Do I hear epic adventure? Here's how:

1. Go to the banks of the River Styx. You might try one of the following Stygian rivers:

But you will not be successful. Try the Acheron River in northwest Greece. Keep walking until you find some poor (literally poor) wandering shades unable to pay the Ferryman.

2. Choose a Ferryman. Most people expect to ride with Charon (the one on the far left), but he's much too expensive for most people. On the plus side, Charon serves Louis XIII cognac on his boat.

If you want to save some money, you're going to have to settle for Phlegyas' boat. It's like coach class, but it'll take you from point A to point B.

3. Avoid any all all three-, two-, or one-headed hellhounds, especially the one named Cerebus. Or at least take the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan along as a traveling buddy...and as a decoy.

4. Once you reach Hades...well, there are a whole lot of places to look and a whole lot of residents to potentially piss off. So you're on your own. Why are we searching for Bobby Fischer again? Anyhow, this map might help:

5. Good luck. Well this shaggy dog story went nowhere...

Bobby Fischer photo credit: Chris Lott. Acheron River photo credit: Samuli Lintula. Michelangelo's rendition of Charon in The Last Judgment photo credit: Ghirlandajo. Phlegias with Dante and Virgil, stained glass in Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan photo credit: G. Dallorto.
Underworld map credit:

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Doogie's "Blog Entry" Turns Eighteen

I pretty much wrote this entry on another blog, but here's a blog entry from the First Blogger, Dr. Doogie Howser, apparently written (or in reality, broadcast) exactly 18 years ago, on Wednesday, January 17, 1990:

Doogie writes:
January 17, 1990... Jealousy. You never outgrow it. As Bogey might have said - the only thing worse than a jealous lover is a slug from a .44... then again, there's nothing better.

Doogie Howser's words written by the writers of Doogie Howser, M.D. Support the Writers!

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Late Night Talk Show Host Exchange Program

The beleaguered late night talk show hosts (without writers) have evidently joined forces...because they're running out of regular ideas. Truthfully, this sort of out of the box thinking is going well, for the time being.

Last Wednesday...or Thursday...night, Jimmy Kimmel was the first guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Jay Leno was the first guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The staggered time slots of both shows made it possible for people in most major TV markets to watch both interviews.

From about midnight to 12:10 AM, Jimmy was on Jay (the pun is appropriate!):

From about 12:15 to 12:25 AM, Jay was on Jimmy (who needs professional writers for these one-liners?):

Watch a clip on AOL.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Ryan's List-Worthy from Last Year List: Books I Read for the First Time

Since I didn't read any books last year...there's more to this sentence...that were published in 2007, I'm going to list three good reads from last year, regardless of release date. Why only three books? I only read about eight and a quarter books in 2007, which is probably an 825% increase than the previous handful of years combined.

1. My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn Buy from
Along with Ishmael (which you'll have to read before this one), The Story of B, and Beyond Civilization, this book is a great read for those who have enough chutzpah to leave the pyramid schemes of the world and run a small business (or similar way of life) that isn't very pyramid-like. And if you can't totally leave the pyramids behind, there's a lot of philosophical stuff that might help subvert the status a good way, of course. And if that doesn't sell you on these books - the hero is a wise, telepathic gorilla.

2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu Free e-Book | $1 Audiobook | Free Audiobook | Buy from | Buy for Kindle
If the above selection (and related books) represents yielding to nature when it comes to lifestyle (in general) and business (if applicable), then this one represents badass, yet strategic, warmongering - which is slightly necessary when it comes to competing with rival businesses and bigger fish. I personally feel that several seemingly contradictory qualities are necessary for success. Then again, I am neither a self-help guru nor a life coach. In any case, The Art of War just badass.

3. Old Greek Stories by James Baldwin Free e-Book | Free Audiobook | Buy for Kindle
I love anti-Zeus/Jupiter propaganda. Textbook author James Baldwin's interpretation of Greco-Roman myth is light on the Greek and heavy on the Roman, even to the point of ignoring the whole Cronus/Saturn eating his children storyline. It's this kind of storytelling that makes you want to play God of War II (where Zeus is also the bad guy), or at least watch a YouTube video or two:

By the way, Kindle e-Books require a reader, like Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device.

If this list doesn't float your boat, you can always watch (good) TV:

Francisco Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son" rocks.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ryan's List-Worthy from Last Year List: Non-Podcast Rock Music

Other than spinning the fine music heard at Radio@MU, I haven't consumed much music in 2007. Early in the year, I cut demos to some of the Elan Vital soundtrack. In the middle of the year, my band The Society of Gloves recorded a couple of tracks. At the end of the year, and continuing to this day, I've been tracking music for the Elan Vital score. Instead of listening to new music, I've produced music and grooved to a bunch of classics released in previous years.

Anyhow, here's a sadly brief (but great-sounding!) list of three good songs released last year. They're not necessarily my top favorites from 2007, but each song comes from some of the new albums I spent a great deal of time to listen last year:

1. Radiohead "Reckoner" Radiohead - In Rainbows - Reckoner | MP3
BAD. ASS. You can't get anymore badass in 2007 than Radiohead's In Rainbows and the way it was initially for sale - and Mutiny Universe broke the news (at the same time as virtually everyone else), too! "Bodysnatchers" was initially my favorite track off the album, that is, until "Reckoner" got under my skin! Here's a video of a live performance of "Reckoner," and it is IMPERATIVE that you concur that the song is badass:

2. Eddie Vedder "Hard Sun" Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild (Music for the Motion Picture) [Deluxe Version] - Hard Sun | Eddie Vedder - Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild - Hard Sun
Into the Wild is a fantastic soundtrack/solo album by Ed. I haven't seen the film, but I've heard great things about it. I'm also partway through the book of the same name, and my brother (who read the book before me) says great things about it. Ed has written great songs, and continues to do so - but this selection is a cover song, which goes to show that Ed can consistently record great cover songs, with or without Pearl Jam: "Love, Reign O'er Me," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and "Last Kiss," to name a few. Here's a music video that promotes the film:

3. Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin "United States" Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist - United States | MP3
On paper, they're called the Smashing Pumpkins, but since they recorded the album Zeitgeist and their latest EP American Gothic with neither the two other original or the three new Pumpkins, they might as well stick to calling themselves BC/JC. Anyhow, Zeitgeist was a better-than-average comeback album that has been tainted by typical record company greed: Multiple versions and album colors, as well as Ford commercial airplay. Ironically, the previous Pumpkins album, Machina II, was a loud-and-clear F-YOU to the record industry, as the band gave the music away for free online. On any other list that involves new Pumpkins tracks, I would have written "Bring the Light" instead, but "United States" is a nearly-ten minute heavy rock epic, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin recorded the drum track in ONE TAKE and NO CLICK TRACK. Supposedly, there's one flubbed note in there, but I'll take a Jimmy Chamberlin flubbed note any day to my flubbed notes! Here's a live performance of the song:

So that's my short list. It's definitely missing a lot of good stuff from 2007, so I guess I'll have to catch up in 2008.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Conan O'Brien Rocks

Jay Leno's decision to write his own monologues falls in a dark gray area of the WGA strike, but Conan O'Brien seems to go the lighter gray route by ad libbing in a quasi-reality show fashion:

That's right - Conan rocks! On last night's show, Conan sang a rockabilly song with the band. With these one-man show antics, I'm sure Conan can endure the rest of the strike without his writing staff.

As a reminder of what a great writer/writing staff can do, here's the next episode from the first season of Arrested Development (as we've been posting Hulu-approved entire episodes of shows for the couple of months):

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Why TV Needs Its Writers Back...

Because of the writer's strike, we'll miss broadcast TV sketch comedies and late night comedy bits that make fun of Britney Spears being pulled around on a stretcher.

We'll have to settle for non-union, Internet comedians (and wannabe comedians) in drag (or at least a blonde wig, bedsheet, and a stretcher) to satirize this event and post videos ad nauseam on YouTube. Here's to new media!

That is, except for Jay Leno, who may or may not have scabbed by writing his own monologue material. Jay is a WGA guy who delivered not only a premeditated, but a written, monologue. What do you all think of this?

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

New moxy phinx Video

One of Mutiny Universe's favorite artists, moxy phinx has released a video for the song "silence." Check it out:

moxy phinx- silence

Add to My Profile | More Videos

We'll be back with regularly scheduled MU TV soon. By the way, did you catch the mostly-bearded late night talk shows last night? Dave sports a beard, and so does Conan. Even Jimmy Kimmel Live's Guillermo augmented his moustache with a goatee.

In case you're wondering where the mystery meat hyperlinks go:
favorite = Elan Vital blog;
artists = Right-click to download The Society of Gloves feat. moxy phinx "Time Lose Your Hold";
moxy phinx = moxy's MySpace profile;
MU TV = Episodes we've posted from Hulu. Unfortunately, FX has taken down episodes from the first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, not because of copyright infringement but because they want you to buy the DVDs, as Hulu has the support of the bulk of the big media oligarchy.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Haiku Current Events

Democracy news:
Pakistan: Star Wars prequel?
Heh. I wrote caucus.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ryan's List-Worthy from Last Year List: Computer Programs

Happy New Year!

Since it's that time of year where virtually everyone writes a list or two about their favorites from the year before, I think I'll join in with my insignificant opinions about random stuff. I've been creating more media than consuming it in 2007, so these lists will be rather short.

Anyhow, here are my Top 5 new computer programs, installed in 2007:

1. Upgrade to Pro Tools 7.3 - I wouldn't be able to properly score Elan Vital without the video function.

2. Digidesign Strike
- I loves me my robot. Requires Pro Tools.

3. FXpansion VST to RTAS Adapter - RTAS plugins cost money. Lots and lots of money. Several VST plugins can be found on the Net for free, and some of them are pretty darn good. Only really useful to wrap VST plugins for use in Pro Tools.

4. Upgrade to BIAS Soundsoap Pro - Awesome. I tried it a little bit last year, but I'll really put this program to the test when I get back to dialogue editing for Elan Vital. Works in Pro Tools (RTAS), as well as other host programs (VST, etc.).

5. Upgrade to the latest iTunes ("iTunes Plus" with the DRM-free mp3s for sale) - Because I think I've run out of 2007 programs to praise. Anyhow, has a competing high-bitrate, DRM-free mp3 store.

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