Friday, November 11, 2011

LoadedandPlay Presents: NOT HALF BAD

Posted by AreJay Smith
I had the great Privilege To interview NOT HALF BAD, a great DFW punk band. We got to hang out talk music, politics and just chill, it was a lot of fun.thanks to NOT HALF BAD we also have an exclusive acoustic performance featuring their single "A Song For Orwell"!

In-Depth


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shut Up and Prance Presents: A Night of Comedy... No, Seriously

Posted by AreJay Smith
Shut Up and Prance Is holding an event, a sort of coming out establishing their brand of comedy for all to see. On Nov 13 @ the 4 Day Weekend Theater, the boys will be premiering  “Legend Of Pimp Jacket" a short film about a man who finds a jacket that makes him irresistible to women. Chaos ensures as he must learn to harness his new-found power to get back to the woman he loves along with a few other short films they’ve made. The night will have stand up by Spencer Harlan and Patrick Puckett followed by an improv comedy troupe by the Shut Up and Prance Players. My Wooden Leg will perform a set to finish out the night! Local Music and Independent Films are at LoadedandPlay’s core, not to mention supporting local artist of all kinds and local events. I am truly excited to attend this awesome event. Who knows maybe we might get a brief sit down with the boys. Links to the trailer, event page, and fanpage are all below.
                            http://www.facebook.com/ShutUpandPrance
                                                 Trailer for Legend Of Pimp Jacket
                                                 EVENT PAGE

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Midi Madness! an in-depth with Paul Zimmer.

Autochthon


Posted by AreJay Smith
As someone who went from a live instrument musician into scoring film, I have deep respect and gratitude for the midi musician. Most of us composers can't or don’t have an orchestra at our disposal for scoring film, so we really on vst plug-ins, samplers, ect. I quickly found myself behind a computer screen with my Korg micro key more so than an actually guitar or other instrument. The process of midi in my opinion is a different beast all together from any other instrument. So when I hear or find artists who are able to harness the power of midi regardless of genre I get excited. Well, I found a great midi musician and a live musician from a past life!

I first knew of Paul Zimmer when I attended Centennial High in Corona California sort of a friend of a friend situation, crossing paths here and there. So needless to say I didn’t really know him at all but, in my recent searches to find new talent to feature on loadedandplay.com, I asked my old friends in Cali for a list or a who’s who in the local scene and sure enough Paul Zimmer and his band Sea of Skies both came up! I got in contact with him, next thing I know I'm jamming out to his brilliantly composed midi tracks! Now, enough of the back story lets actually get in to featuring and covering this amazing artist, cause lets face it that’s why you’re here!

Paul sprouted from a strong lineage of musicians forge in the volcano of…. Wait what? Sorry to much?
In all seriousness Paul comes from a family of musicians where learning an instrument was just as common as throwing the ball or learning how to ride a bike. His father being a professional classical guitarist. I first started off at the Fender Center for Performing Arts where his father taught as a drummer. Then quickly lead into piano lessons and just as fast lead to nothing. Then like many musicians try and do is join a band, but like many musicians know easy said then done. If I counted how many bands I “started” or was “in” it would be a very big list. For several reasons 98% of them just don’t work or even really get passed the stage of jamming once or twice. Which is frustrated for the already struggling musician to say the least. So like many of us he started writing himself and then once again found himself behind a keyboard this time armed with a midi keyboard and Reason. He started making great music which he describes as “ethereal and layered music”.

Heavily influenced by not only classical music brought on by his raising and his father, Paul also was influenced by Prog-Rock including the artist of Porcupine Tree, Peter Gabriel and Pain of Salvation. Which usually peaks its head up while listening to his music.

So now that we’ve covered the man lets get into the juicy details of his mind and music! I wanted to know the song writing method or process that he uses so I asked (duh, obvious right?). He replied with “ I mostly just jam out on my keyboard until something click. Once it does, I write the main underlying part first, then bass parts, drums and embellishments. I always write the leads last, for some reason. That just works for me. I love to fool around with arpeggiators and sequencers as well. I am a huge synth junkie!” simple right? Who doesn’t love messing around isn’t that how all good music is created? I know from my experience it is. I then asked him about presets and if he used them which for a lot of midi fans is taboo. “I do use presets for things I can’t do with synthesizers, namely strings and piano. I do however, tweak them to my liking. I create my own synth patches, though. I really, really want a modular synth and a mellotron. Then we from there quickly went into the equipment he uses. The keyboard of choice is a M-Audio Oxygen 61. He programs his drums by keyboard until he got an E-kit. He will be running superior drummer through that saying “so my drum parts will have some pizzazz.”

I truly excited I got to cover to feature this artist, and enjoyed exploring this musical expression and the vast world of midi and will continue to explore as a musician and cover the amazing artists in the midi world as a blogger. We will soon also be featuring Sea of Skies which Paul is drummer of! Be sure to check him and his band out on facebook and soundcloud.

http://soundcloud.com/paul_zimmer

thoughts about the track itself.

I truly love the serene almost atmospheric quality of this track. Makes me close my eyes and just sway my head and gain a floating feeling. The melodic line of the piano and the power and ambience of the strings and how they both interact with another is truly blissful and the explosion of the drums manage to still give that constant state of motion and edge needed to really pick the track up. All of it beautifully mixed together to provide a great balance and accents the sudden drops with out the feeling of emptiness or lack of audio.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tabs by Ultimate Guitar


Posted by AreJay Smith
There are one of two guitarists in this world who was classically taught or learned to read tabs for a quick way to pick up your favorite riffs. If you’re the second one, this app is for you! Although, it is in my opinion, a tad expensive. $9.99 in the Apple app store. It is a great tool to have thousands of tabs in your hands with some cool features I thought I’d never use. One being the "Now Playing" feature, where it takes the song you're currently listening to on your iTouch or iPhone and searches for tabs for that song, so you can play and listen. For learning metal, it's very handy to get the rhythms down and to simply just jam out. It also has a play list section, where you choose a genre of music and it gives you like 10 or 20 songs that you should learn how to play. Another disadvantage is just the size of the screen of the iPhone. You probably couldn’t use it live on the spot, but as I said, still a great learning tool. Ultimate Guitar has been a great source for tabs for years. They’ve made a great product, but again, I wish it was cheaper.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LoadedandPlay Presents To Kill For and their video "Unbreakable"


Posted by AreJay Smith
FUCKING METAL!!!! Here's an awesome video from To Kill For. I mean what's more metal then ZOMBIES!!! expect more from these guys here on LoadedandPlay.com!

Like Them on FACEBOOK!
http://www.facebook.com/ToKillFor

Monday, October 31, 2011

Once I was blind, but now I can see!

Posted by AreJay Smith
Since loadedandplay.com started, it has gone through several changes and has changed me and the way I look and have experienced local music. I have totally changed my mind on the Fort Worth/ Dallas scene. So before I really get started, I’d like to throw a little history your way, so maybe you can understand where I’m coming from. Up till about 5 years ago, I lived in Corona, California. I started my local scene experienced there at a little venue called "Showcase Theatre", which was an old one screen movie theatre converted into a venue. It was a heavily punk influenced scene I had never known or had heard anything like it, almost overwhelming. Needless to say, I was changed. To know that I could hear this great music live, just a few miles away from my house. From there, the rest was history, so cliché right? Oh, well fuck it, moving on.

When I moved here, I was desperate to find a scene... anything from attending open mic nights to meeting locals, asking them about other venues. First hitting up The Ridglea and The Aardvark. Then fast forward to me finding a band that actually stuck together for awhile called "Fractured" (not too great ourselves). We played several shows at The Profit Bar, Ridglea, Aardvark and The Rockstar back when it was still located across the highway from the Miller plant, which formally was the Penalty Box. I had made some great friends, but I never, or I should say, rarely found great local bands. I was disappointed and had lost hope. Years later, I started loadedandplay.com in search for good music in other places which turned out well! Here’s where the epiphany comes in! The veil had been lifted.

My friend, Brian Bailey( Intent Films click link below article to read up on his great work!), found it and shared with the world including myself threw his videos! It was a music video of My Wooden Leg and it was awesome. Then it blew up. Talent just appeared in front of me, just pure great talented artist! How could I’ve missed these bands and talent for all these years? Never excited about local shows, now I have so many shows I’d like to go to on the same day. It's hard to choose and to keep track of them all! Through my great friend Camren Yowell from "Overtone" (site link below) I now have and had the opportunity to get with these bands and soon they will be featured here on LoadedandPlay! This new scene, or I should say, "New for me", keeps growing exponentially. Now we will still continue our search for great talent world wide to feature, but I got to represent DFW. What kind of music blogger would I be if I didn’t?

I’m truly happy to have found the mythic great music scene in Fort Worth and Dallas that I’ve heard about. Lastly I am very happy to help share this great scene with everyone else! Here are some great local Fort Worth bands/artists( but not limited to these bands) with varying genres that you will enjoy! Be sure to like them all and share with friends!

Bands/Artist
The Hanna Barbarians
The Whiskey Prophets
Not half Bad
Sound Of Sulfur
Timmy Dixon
Whiskey Folk Ramblers
Luke Wade and No Civilians
Greg Schroeder

OVERTONE

A Man and A Camera

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kelly covers Adele's "Someone Like You"


Posted by AreJay Smith
I’ve known Kelly for years and I’ve always thought she had immense talent. I’m very glad she is back, getting out there and sharing her amazing talent with the rest of us! Show some love and spread this video! So just maybe we can convince her to sit down with us here and LoadedandPlay.com and do an in-depth!

The Whiskey Prophets.





Posted by AreJay Smith
Now I search daily on Facebook, Reverb Nation, iTunes, YouTube, ect for great music. I recently came across great music from several artists and bands and this is just one of them. The Whiskey Prophets are a great band with the tunes to prove it! Now music here at L&P, we take the job very seriously to provide great music. That being said, I truly love bands that have a sense of humor and show it in some artistic view! The Whiskey Prophet’s video for one of their singles “Swim Against The Tide” is a great song and the video they made for it is quite comical. Mixing clips from Lord of the Rings(tm) specifically scenes with Sam and Frodo, capturing the awkward funny moments in the movie that were always uncomfortable watching when I saw the film. I’m proud to say that soon we will be doing a feature and an in-depth with the guys from The Whiskey Prophets and if it's anything like this video, I’m sure it will be a fun and proud moment for us here at LoadedandPlay.com. Please check out all the links below and please help support local music by purchasing their album on iTunes and Cdbaby. Stay tuned for our in-depth!

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/TheWhiskeyProphets
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-whiskey-prophets/id436815421
http://www.reverbnation.com/thewhiskeyprophets
http://www.facebook.com/thewhiskeyprophets

Monday, October 24, 2011

LoadedandPlay and Texas Winters Productions presents My Atoned Faults ft. Justin Roelant


Posted by AreJay Smith
Available on iTunes Soon!

The Legend Of Captain John

The Legend of Captain John

Lonely Tonight

Bluer Shade of Green



Posted by AreJay Smith
Bluegrass is not one of my strong suites, nor my most knowledgeable genres of music, but I do love all genres of music. If it's good, then it's good regardless of the “box” or genres its placed in. I found a very talented artist and got a chance to get to know him. The first track I heard by him was
“The Legend Of Captain John”. Between the catchy chords and cross picking style and the warm classic sound of his vocals and just his tracks, there was such a classic vinyl sound to it all. Needless to say, it caught my ear and hasn’t let it go since. I could tell from the first listening, Eric Beaty was original and was a classic.

The bluegrass artist who considers himself a musician first and a song writer second has a passion for his instrument saying “My main influences in Bluegrass are mostly guitar players, because I have such a love for the instrument.” So I then asked him, "That being said, what were your main influences?"
“The overall main one has to be Tony Rice. He has the tone, power, and emotion in his playing like no other player.  When I first heard songs like 'Manzanita' and 'Church Street Blues', I was hooked!”. But this artist doesn’t just stick to bluegrass like myself. He loves various other genres and has many influences outside of bluegrass. Here is a list of other influences in other genres.

Blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang
Shred/Progressive: Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson
Fingerstyle/Instrumental: Tommy Emmanuel, Billy McLaughlin
Country:  Wade Hayes, Brad Paisley
Other: Kenny G

Some artists get highly offended when people in their mind wrongly classify the genres of their music, which I always found to be quite ridiculous. He said, “I write songs in many genres including instrumental, rock/shred, gospel, bluegrass, country, so I don't take offense to how people classify it, as long as they like it.” Which I strongly agreed with Eric. Quickly after, we got to talking about the song writing progress and how he approaches it. He started off with an example when he wrote “The Legend of Captain John” saying, “I had been fooling around on the guitar and just by accident (which is how most great songs happen) came up with the melody and chords.  I kept playing that same melody I know for what had to be at least a couple weeks; I just couldn't stop; it was such a haunting tune.” and concluded with, “Then one day, out of the blue, I began to think of a story involving a sailor who had given up sailing the seas due to an unfortunate event that had taken place in his life.  From the very first line 'Over in the state of Maine lived a man they called insane, but he wasn't that far gone.  His name was Captain John', the lyrics just flowed from my mind onto the page.  I'm so glad I had a notebook and pen handy!  It's the first song I've ever written with an actual story-line.  Most of my songs are Gospel songs, so they have a message in them, but no actual story.”

This unknown artist has a lot to look forward to and you can expect to see and hear more of him very soon. His band Wilder Mountain’s album called “Bluer Shade of Green” is available on createspace.com and Amazon mp3. Soon he will have an instructional DVD which will be available for public distribution very soon. He is now part of one of the great songwriting labels, SESAC which has major notoriety with others such as BMI and ASCAP. This great artist has so much promise and I guarantee we will be seeing and hearing a lot more from him very soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Intent Films Presents The Butts


Posted by AreJay Smith

Kool Kat by Digital Melon Productions


Posted by AreJay Smith
Check out this youtuber who did not only great work but was very comical at it! Be sure to subscribe to their channel!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

R.I.P. Steve Jobs An Ideas Man and A Revolutionary Thinker

Posted by AreJay Smith
First thing I do every morning is grab my iPhone. For a few reasons, one to turn off my alarm clock, then I proceed to check my email, Facebook, check how loadedandplay.com is doing, and check for texts and missed calls. Then I proceed to plug it up to my sound system and listen to my playlist I put together. I download all the new releases straight to my phone to keep up on today’s music. I could go on and on. Apple and the mind behind it all has changed our lives and our civilization as we know it,from the idea of an easy to use personal computer to how we listen to music. iTunes has given a voice to bands and music world wide and a chance to be heard because of digital downloads. These products have allowed us to stay connected 24/7 via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Country’s uprisings and revolutions have been able to be organized and staged. I am joining the hundreds of others for "Occupy Dallas" on Thursday, because of Facebook and my iPhone. I don’t even use a PC much anymore because of the convenience of my iPhone. I was able to find out about the protests and through computers, iPhones, iPads, and other tablets, there are now protest nation wide. Apple has led the revolution of music, not just because of iTunes, but to provide great computers to record and produce our music. Whether it's in the studio or bedroom, Steve Jobs has truly changed the world. I’m sure there will be hundreds of other posts that go in much more depth in honor of this great man and his legacy. I’m truly saddened by this event. I was not alive when Kennedy was shot nor Lennon’s death and how it effected hundreds. Some will dispute Steve Job’s death as not being as significant, and to that I say you are a fool if you don’t think or feel we should be saddened by this great man’s death.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Playlist feat. Music Videos Trailers and Vlogs!

Posted by AreJay Smith
For your pleasure we setup playlist of our videos!

Music Vids!

Loaded Vlogs!

Trailers!

Intent films presents Sealion!


Posted by AreJay Smith
Another great exclusive from Intent Film Production and a great cover of the Beatles from Sealion!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Command and Blunder!


Okay, I just have to get this off my chest...Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. Okay, first off...really? They couldn't have picked a better name? Did they watch the Twilight movies to the point they decided to tack that on at the end?

While, I have yet to play CNC4, I've seen enough videos of it that I kind of want to avoid getting it. At the same time, I do want to try it out because of my mere curiosity, and I'm sure it's a good game on its own in its own right and I'd play it, just I won't play it in the classic manner. I'd only play it to watch the series come to a close regarding the story since it's the end of the Tiberium-verse story arc. The mere fact that EA took out base building entirely is basically saying, "Hey. Let's screw over the franchise even more by taking out the mechanic that made the franchise successful initially in the first place!" That there hurts me as a fan of this series. If they had added what they have now in that game like as a separate sort of tactical mode and kept the default base building as the default game mechanic, I wouldn't be so critical about it, and would probably dive in to buy it. I think EA at that point didn't give a crap about the gameplay and just wanted to kill it off...in which I think they were trying for years. Or they gave a crap about the gameplay, but didn't put in quite enough effort that they should have to make it a CNC game that the whole community would want to play. While I agree that some franchises need to end eventually, I wish they had tried to end it in a more 'true to a sequel' way. Again, I have yet to play it, but I've seen enough of the gameplay on YouTube and on the official webiste to make my decision on this matter.

I am not going to call it a complete fail, because I'm not that kind of person, but honestly, if you're going to make a game...you've got to care about the fanbase. Command and Conquer has been my favorite RTS series since I've first played the N64 version of Tiberian Dawn, when I rented it from my local Blockbuster. I absolutely love the franchise, I do. It's epic. It's, in my opinion, the most epic RTS series I've ever played. I really have to give props to Joe Kucan, the man who played the role of the charismatic leader, Kane. The Tiberium series has always been my favorite. Red Alert was fine and I loved that series too, but the Tiberium series has to be my favorite. Why? I can't even begin to tell you. I guess I just like the GDI versus Brotherhood of Nod struggle a bit more than the Soviets versus the Allies one.

Then, of course, next to the Red Alert series and the Tiberium series, is the Generals series. Okay, only a game and one expansion for that one, but it's still pretty cool how it captured more of a modern feel...like our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've always loved the Command and Conquer series because of the base building and the massive amounts of units you can build up to go crush your enemy, not to mention the superweapons. At first glance, that seems like a rather simplistic RTS...and if you look at it, it kind of is...however, I think that's what the RTS standard should be. I know I sound a bit critical, but that's just always how I viewed an RTS game. Base building, unit building, you know...it's just nice to have that 'commander' feeling...where you feel you can conquer anything with enough tactics and strategy behind what you do. I am not saying I am not open to ideas....I am, but I prefer the base building formula as it has been since CNC95.

I am also not saying that I won't play Command and Conquer 4 based on the mediocre name choice and the formula alone...that's just silly. That's like saying that you won't talk to a person because they're wearing crocs or some other bizarre piece of clothing that looks rather....stupid. While I am open to the idea of the 'base on the move' thing in CNC4, I don't think that should be the main focus....that's just not how Command and Conquer has ever been and ever should be. It was always about base building and unit management....as well as power management. It puts people's command abilities to the test. As I said....I wouldn't have minded so much had EA made it like a different game mode for skirmish...but as far as the default gameplay goes, I think base building would've been ten times more efficient and would hit closer to home.

However, I noticed a severe lack of Tiberium fields in what I've seen...is that why they made it like they did? Oh wait, apparently we 'control' Tiberium now? You can't just simply control Tiberium! ....can you? Okay, I guess I'll let it slide a little, but the fact remains that the base building could have still worked. Okay...no harvesters? Gotcha. Apparently the Tiberium flows through large giant tubes? How about this...you build bases on or near Tiberium 'hubs' with those Tibtube things. Oh wait, I vaguely remember a video about Tiberium crystals with mechanical rings around them that you pick up and take back to your base? Great for a capture the flag gamemode, not so much for what should've been a basebuilding RTS in my opinion. I liked the classic 'build a Tiberium refinery, gain cash' method.

I guess I kinda get the 'crawler' concept now, but I feel making other classic buildings such as barracks and war factories useless is...well...wrong. People love building things. The crawler should have been no more than a mobile construction vehicle. Maybe it can have some defenses on it, sure. Just don't make it overpowered, have it allow you to build classic buildings, and there you go. Please old fans (somewhat), while sort of toying with a new idea, you know? Also....NO infantry whatsoever? Why? Is the ground poisonous? Can't you just put them in suits or something, then...kind of like the Nod Saboteur outfit in CNC3? Infantry combat is essential in Command and Conquer...or really, any RTS franchise. I'll admit that infantry are mostly cannon fodder, but they prove a nice distraction for when you bring your other forces from a different side and wipe out the enemy. I like doing that. It helps me think strategically and tactically. If this were the Sims, my logic skill would continuously be going up from playing this game franchise.

Maybe I am a bit critical, especially seeing as though I haven't played it yet, and typically when you're ranting about something, you really have got to have some hands on experience with it to help your case, and I agree with that. These are just my impressions of it from what I've seen from my own eyes and I'm sure I'll get some hate from it, but I just love Command and Conquer and I just don't want it being twisted into something that it shouldn't be. It's like trying to put out a forest fire with napalm...you're just making it worse. I've been a dedicated fan since 1995...I applaud EA for trying, but I think for the most part, they kinda dropped the ball and let it fumble on the field for a few minutes before realizing the play was over and the game was lost.

I'll play the game when I get the means to get it, but for now I stand with my opinion. I might budge a bit after I play it, however I feel as though I prefer the classic style just from looking at the classic stuff versus the new stuff, but that's how it's been with anything people like, really. I wouldn't say I'm a 'hardcore purist' or anything, I'm not....and honestly purists annoy the hell out of me, I just....I don't know. I just feel weird when I see gameplay of CNC4. It just conflicts with many of my thoughts. A few things I've seen, I just don't think should be there. There ARE some cool things about it that I've seen and liked, but...CNC4 looks like an acquired taste. It's like that drink where it tastes horrible when you first drink it, but then you get an after taste and you become uncertain...and then you eventually like it or just put it back on the rack and not touch it for the rest of your life. This is just my honest opinion and if you hate it, so be it. My opinion may or may not change once I play it. I really am an open minded person...I just feel EA took out what was precious about the Command and Conquer franchise. It's like they ate the classic concept, crapped it out into a nearby ditch, and lit it on fire. That might sound a bit extreme, but at first glance at CNC4, that's essentially what it looks like to me. Until I manage to gain a copy of CNC4, I will stand by my current opinion until I am otherwise able to give a more accurate opinion, but I'm confident that with the amount of gameplay videos I've seen....I can completely avoid playing it and have a valid point.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Minecraft Your Hearts Out!



Minecraft. A world made up of blocks. That could be summed up the first time you lay your eyes on this awesome game, however....there's more to this game than meets the eye. Moving on from my Transformers reference, I will talk about why Minecraft is such an awesome game.

Minecraft, inspired by Infiniminer and created by Markus Perrson, aka "Notch", founder of Mojang AB, is a sandbox game centered around cubes and other things, but mainly cubes. Though, it's more than just removing and placing them in the randomly generated blocky world...there's mining and crafting, as implied by the title of the product. When I mean 'randomly generated', I mean, when you click 'generate world' in singleplayer, you won't get the same exact world all the time. No two Minecraft worlds are the same! Not to mention, even if you're playing an existing game save, it keeps generating terrain. Pretty cool, eh?

Originally, before Survival mode, all you could do, technically, was remove and place blocks, build a few houses and some other things. Not that that's a bad thing, of course, because I do love creating things, and so does a good chunk of the community, but I am going on a tangent. Wait, survival mode? Before I get too ahead of myself, let me just break down what Survival mode in Minecraft is. You start your game off with nothing. No blocks...just your bare hands. What would be the first instinct for a survivor be? Build a shelter! But, ah! You have no blocks, so what do you do? You obtain the resources! "How?", you ask? Simple. Start by beating down the nearest tree with your fists. What? Don't look at me like I'm insane...everyone does that, right? Okay, maybe not...but beat down the nearest tree with your fists. Ah....now you got some wood! Now you can turn those log blocks into wooden planks, which then you can craft many other things.

I am not listing off the things you can craft in the game as that would take an ungodly amount of time...you'll have to figure out that on your own. Perhaps by going to the Minecraft wiki? Though, that would probably end up making this article a waste of time as it explains Minecraft in more detail, but whatever. Anyways, at night...well let's just say some things happen. No, you perverted freaks...monsters come out at night! Yeah, that's right, start freaking out....stuff just got real!

Seriously, though...you should probably make some sort of shelter. If you've not enough wood to make a small square house...your best bet is to just dig yourself a hole a few squares deep, get in....and...well...put dirt over you so monsters don't get in. Yes, it does sound a bit morbid and in reality you would've buried yourself alive, but this isn't reality, is it? Luckily, dirt doesn't fall on your face in Minecraft and suffocate you, unlike gravel and sand.

The bad thing about digging yourself a hole and sitting in it the entire night, is that you won't know if it's day or night, because you're literally in pitch black darkness unless you punch a hole upwards and see what time of day it is, but it's a dangerous risk. You've got to ask yourself if it's worth it. In our reality, you're literally waiting only 10 minutes in that hole until the sun rises, but sometimes it feels like an eternity. You must be a very impatient person if you can't wait 10 minutes, but I won't judge anyone here. However, if you've actually built a house and actually have some torches lighting up your place, you've had a pretty good first night I assume, and wouldn't have to worry about the nightmare I've described above. Granted, this is if you had found a coal deposit in the nearest mountain as well so you can craft said torches. Anyways, moving on, because at this point I'm just rambling.

While singleplayer is certainly fun...the multiplayer, especially survival multiplayer (shortened to SMP), even more so, if you know what multiplayer servers to look for. Feel like creating things and not wanting to worry about people or creepers blowing up your stuff, but want to show people your creations? Then find a creative server that disables monsters! Want to survive with other players and maybe roleplay a bit? Find a survival server! It's as simple as that. If you don't know what the term 'server' means, then go look it up! If you don't know what the word 'multiplayer' means, then you probably shouldn't be playing video games in the first place, but don't let that stop you.

Multiplayer is one of the major things of Minecraft. You can share your creations with your friends...and even people you don't know. I've seen videos of amazing things that people have created! The features of Minecraft are almost endless. While there maybe some sort of limit somewhere, well...that only boils down to the game engine (go look up that term if you're not familiar with it) or Java (again, look that up, I am not explaining it). Technicalities aside, you're only limited by your imagination. I've seen entire mountains being turned into homes! I've seen things ranging from pirate ships to underground secret layers with many traps to mansions and the list just goes on. If it's been thought of, it's most likely been mined....and crafted.

If you're going in expecting a full fledged and deep story, then you can just forget it. That's not what Minecraft is about. You create your own story! Minecraft is all about imagination. If you don't like using your imagination, then this game is not for you.

So if this seems like the kind of game for you and you haven't purchased it yet, then I personally recommend going to buy it. It's not that much...and totally worth it in my opinion. If you're still not convinced, well what can I say? Just move on, I suppose. Will the fact that you can have your own custom player skin sway you a bit? And not to mention, if you do not like the default look of Minecraft, you can download texture packs to make it appealing to you? Eh, it's up to you. It's a fantastic game and I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It would be a full 5 when it gets out of beta. So there it is....Minecraft! Mine, craft, build, survive, and create - it's your own blocky world! It's time to get out into it and create amazing things! On with you, get!

A few links for you guys to check out if interested!
http://www.minecraft.net
http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Minecraft_Wiki
http://mojang.com/

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gearslutz!

Posted by AreJay Smith
Ever wonder which microphone to buy? How to get that sound out of your guitar that you hear on your favorite record? Looking for talent to accompany a new track you're working on? The GearSlutz forum has always been the place to go to answer any question pertaining to recording, equipment, and to just shoot the breeze among fellow musicians and producers. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to use their forum to answer questions about everything. The app makes it extremely convenient to do so, especially those late nights I lay in bed just frustrated with a track that isn’t coming around the way I like. Besides the countless gobs of information, you can also post a question, which in my experience, I’ve received a reply promptly from someone with great experience in the recording arts. I’ve also worked with great talent that I met through GearSlutz such as Justin Roelant, who did the vocals for My Atoned Faults. When I saw that, world class producers such as one of my idols Butch Vig(producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind Album) had their own sections where they personally answered questions. I was giddy like a child who met their favorite superhero! The forum is a great place, period, for all that pertains to music. It's even better that they have an app that’s reliable and convenient.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nevermind the lithium, I’ve got teen spirit!

Posted by AreJay Smith
On September 24, 1991, Nirvana’s Nevermind Album was released . This album sparked a genre knocked off Michael Jackson of the number one spot on the Billboard charts. Spoke to a generation despondent from the 80s “Hair Metal” and, paved the way for rock and alternative the next two decades. Like many of Nirvana’s diehard fans I was only a new born when Nirvana was actually touring and when Kurt was still alive. It still impacted me greatly and is the reason I wanted a guitar and became a musician. Kurt’s angst, simple riffs, and his catchy timeless melodies. Dave Grohl’s machine gun snare and Krist Novoselic’s driving bass lines. All of it culminated together to a truly timeless album. Though a lot of fans debate the true meaning of Kurt’s lyrics, they all could agree that it spoke to them and at many time comforted them in times of despair and crisis.

For me this album is a statement, it’s the core of my music and was the deciding factor to pursue a career in the music business. Since that album I never looked back. It was the sole reason I picked up a guitar, started producing music and got in to the local music scene and supporting local bands and artist. I can continue to elaborate on how much this album changed my life but then there would be a complete unorganized novels worth of writing. Nevermind started my never ending love and journey in music. I can say with conviction Nirvana was my generations Beatles. Both bands completely changed music forever. So to celebrate this great album I’ve been listening to it for the last two days straight. For it’s the sole reason I’m a musician, producer and blogger of music. Nevermind is the reason of my being. It’s is amazing that still to this day you can hear “smells like teen spirit” on the radio along with all of the tracks from that album and still completely rock out! This album still manages to speak, comfort and change the life’s of many around the world. Again, this album has managed to ignite the roaring flame in my heart for music and the amazing musicians I hear today. If there was one album I could give someone to explain or describe myself it would be Nevermind.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Intent films presents Whiskey Folk Ramblers!


Posted by AreJay Smith
see A man and his Camera for more info on Intent Film Productions

A man and his camera.


Posted by AreJay Smith
1993, a young boy sat in a theater mesmerized by a film that would change his life and set his career in stone. The film was Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The young boy was Brian Bailey.
“Prior to wanting to pursue film, I wanted to be a writer” he said, and continued with, “I begged for a home movie camera for Christmas and started making short films in my backyard like every other kid with a camcorder.” Brian has worked on several short film projects and now is one of the leading film makers who covers live local bands and music videos.

His first professional experience, he worked as a production assistant for the film “Living and Dying” shot by John Keeyes. Then he goes on to explain what his job consisted of. “My job was to guard the closed set and Edward Furlong’s trailer.” During that brief time Brian had to come to realize he had a lot to learn about the business. “That day on set was fun, but I knew I had a long way to go, so I went out and began doing my own stuff more than ever before and started teaching myself as much as I could.”
Brian also had tried to get on a pilot as crew saying, “I was the only guy who showed up for crew.” Due to certain issues the pilot got put on hold, but it wasn’t all bad for Brian. He had met two guys, Riley Morris and Naaman Rodges, who he would grow a friendship with, and soon their production company Shut Up and Prance , which was put together after the three worked on a comedy short film “The Legend of Pimp Jacket” .

Question. Have you ever been on YouTube looking for one of your favorite local bands to listen to their song, because you deeply love that song? After 15 minutes searching just for that one video, you finally find the one clip of that song? You go to listen and watch it...the video is shaky, blurry, and sometimes so dark you can't see a thing? Then the audio is so distorted, muffled, and just plainly so bad that you close the tab in frustration? In other words to modify a line from Suicidal Tendencies’s Institutionalized “All I wanted was to listen to my song and YouTube wouldn’t give it to me!” This was one of the reasonings behind Brian’s determination to pursue Intent Films with full force.

Brian’s full explanations surrounding Intent Films,
“I personally kind of hate watching most live band videos, because the camera is so far back from the stage, or the performers, that it just makes me wish I was there to see the real thing and I feel disconnected with the music. I try to make videos that put you in the moment as much as possible with the performers. I got started by looking at local musicians that I was interested in as a fan and viewing their YouTube videos and realizing they sucked. This is by no fault of the musician’s; it was just bad camera work by a fan, or a video guy that was approaching the video in a half ass manner.” and finished with, “So I approached My Wooden Leg and Whiskey Folk Ramblers and offered to do video for them as a favor. Great bands deserve great video.”

I asked Brian if being a musician himself had any advantages and he replied with, “Absolutely. I can usually predict changes in the song and adapt my camera work to it. For instance, I may be focusing on the guitarist, and if I can predict when the chorus is coming I can find the right moment to start moving my camera to the lead vocalist in order to flow with the song.” I then asked him, "What is the difference between shooting live and a music video?" “Definitely, you can’t control the environment of a live show, but you can on a video set. I can stop things, change lighting, get artists to repeat actions, choreograph motions, etc.” It's obvious that Brian found himself a niche with capturing live shows saying, “In regards to my live music work, I have been shooting live music for a while. There’s a beautiful thing about live music: everything that happens on the stage only happens once. Even if it’s the same song on another night, the performance is never the exact same twice. I’ve always made it my job to capture that moment as intimately and accurately as possible.” I finished with asking him "You’ve done a few music videos. Can you share some tips?" He went on to say “Communication and cooperation. When shooting a music video, you’re working with an artist that has a set vision. It’s the director’s job to ensure that the vision translates well to video. So you have to be certain of what the artist is looking for and they are okay with your concepts as well.”



Brian has accomplished much, and in my opinion, is quickly rising to the top in the DFW music scene, so I asked, "After conquering DFW, what area's next?" He responded quite modestly with, “I haven’t conquered anything man. And I’m not planning a world take over or anything. I’d like to work with bands that I have interest in, regardless of their location. For instance, I’m a huge fan of J. Roddy Walston and The Business. It’s kind of a secret goal to maybe one day do a video with those guys.” But music isn’t the only thing in Intent’s future. “It’s quickly turning into a future for music videos, short films, and documentaries.” Later on, I also ask if there was a script in the works. “Yeah, I have a few scripts that I’ve been nurturing for a while now. I gradually add to them. I have one or two that I’m really proud of and I think will be great. One of them is an indie sci-fi thriller. There’s sci-fi elements, but it’s not the focus. The best way I can describe it is Little Miss Sunshine meets Enemy of the State.” Earlier I asked him about his work with Lone Star Film Festivals and his experience to which he responded, “I had a great time doing some small stuff for the Lone Star Film Festival. I met a lot of really great people, but I’d rather be showing my films in the festival than volunteering or working in it.” It's clear that Brian Bailey has huge plans for Intent Films.

As a music and film lover myself, I not only respect, but get excited when I find someone who bridges the gap between the two. The passion I see in his work, and from what I’ve learned on a personal level as a friend, has made it clear he’s the real deal. His balance of professionalism and pure love for both music and film sparked me to feature him on loadedandplay.com. I’ve concluded we both are trying to do several of the same things, but in our own ways, his being the more obvious. Music, film, games and photography since the 20th century all have gone hand and hand. Whether it’s the iconic Jaws theme signaling the audience to watch out or Michael Jackson as a zombie on his iconic track “Thriller”, there are countless connections between all these forms of art. Because of people like Brian and their goals, I decided to pursue loadedandplay.com.

please be sure to like Intent Films on FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/intentfilm

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where does the underground end and the mainstream begin?

Posted by AreJay Smith
The last few years, the total change of music in general has been huge! With technologies that makes anyone with a computer and money, a producer. Producing is so much more of an art form and takes more talent that it’s given, but that’s for another day and another argument. I truly believe that unsigned bands are no longer the underground… at least not all of them, due to the amount of success they’ve obtained. There are now factions amongst the “unsigned” bands and I think we can forget about smaller record labels, because they are making just as much money as the huge studios were back in the hay-day before the digital revolution. For a small fee, with online digital distributions such as CD Baby and Tune Core, you can have your music available on every music store. No longer do you need a label to be heard world wide.

So where does the underground end and mainstream begin? Here on LoadedAndPlay, we don’t feature unsigned bands as it were. We feature unknown artists who have a little, but dedicated fan base, who want an outlet, who are talented, who want to get out there, and need help. You’ll never see an unsigned band on here who has 30,000 fans, or even 20,000. They are great bands, but that’s not who needs help. They have made it in my books, especially with the music business, the economy, and the fall of big studios.

I will probably get a reaction for the few who read this, but I firmly believe that just because you’re unsigned, doesn’t make you an underground or indie any more. Which is a good thing, I believe, because the music is completely in the hands of the artist and it’s the true litmus test for real talent on all levels. But loadedandplay.com will focus on the unknown, not the unsigned, which you can find every Monday. The bands, artists, and our site can’t do it alone! We need a following of our own and an underground that is ours for the taking.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nice photos. Wait... you took them on a what?




Posted by AreJay Smith
Photography and music have always gone hand and hand. Some of the greatest moments in music history have been captured in a picture and not in the studio. Gered Mankowitz, being the Godfather of  rock and roll photography, has captured countless, timeless photos of  some of the defining artists of the 60s’ and 70s’. If music defines the artist, I believe photography captures the scene and the era in which it took place.

"Raw", "Passion", "In the moment". These words can all be associated with Kim Augustine’s photography. She is one of the most interesting people I’ve recently met, her story is very interesting, and this is why I decided to feature her on this In Depth. She is someone, who, like most of us, use their passion to escape their troubles and everyday life. Did I mention she takes awesome photos because of it?
Here’s the best part: she started with and still uses her iPhone for most of the photos, which after only several months of being in the DFW music scene, has been featured in a art gallery! Needless to say, she has got talent. The relatively new photographer actually had no desire to take photos or even consider trying to make it as one, who at one time earlier in her life would make fun of her other friends who went to camera shops looking at lenses and were considering going to school for the art form. After she had lost her job, and with her mother’s death's anniversary quickly approaching, she had decided to escape into music and go to a local free show, where her friend’s band "Whisky Folk Ramblers" were playing a set. On the way out, she grabbed her husband's iPhone, hoping to get some photos with the band and her friend. The rest was history.

The music, the scene, just the vibe of it all really spoke to her and it hit a core. During the time she had been taking pictures of the band, and had not thought much of it, it seemed she found a niche for the music and the scene that encompassed it. The next day she had uploaded the photos she had taken to Facebook and thought nothing of it. “Much to my surprise, I got a ton of comments. Not just from my friends that had never seen me upload a photo, but by the two bands. Saying how much they truly loved the pics and how raw and lively I made them look.” She continued with, “I had never created anything of interest  before. It had meant a lot to me for them to even reply to it. After that, I was asked back to more shows to take more pictures, and that as they say, was that.”

I had asked Kim, her being a huge music fan, "What music do you love and couldn’t live without?" Which she responded with “Well, my mother was an accomplished piano player and 'A Girl And Her Piano' has always held a warm place in my heart. That said, I’d have to say Tori Amos, as well as Counting Crows. With them, you’ve got beautiful vocals and lyrics.” and finished with “With live recordings that make you feel like your live at the 10 spot or in the circle at VH! Story Tellers with them.” Then I asked, as a musician myself and huge supporter of local music, "As you are... what do you think is an important message to pass to someone who listens to mainstream music and might dismiss local music?" She responded with, “Those mainstream artists had to start some where.” and goes on to say “If you have ears, you're bound to find something you dig!”

"This interview might step on some toes of “serious” photographers who will dismiss your photos as amateur or not serious because you use an iphone not a Nikon. What do you have to say about that?" She mawkishly said, “Haters gonna hate.” and continued to say “In every form of art ever created, there has been people trashing it. The important thing is, I’m happy, and hopefully making the people this is really about, the musicians, happy. She finished with “For the photographers who think my line of work is cheating or bullshit. Maybe they should rethink their life and become Amish? Technology is ever changing, and without it, we wouldn’t even have the music that drives us, or the resources it takes to even read this article.





At the end of all this, I asked the biggest and most clichéd question “What’s your dream for your photography? Where would you like to see it go?”

Her exact words: I'd like to be known as the Photographer that has the passion and ear for music that makes capturing what the artists are so desperately trying to convey, but visually. Not as the propped, posed performer we see in so many photos, but what they're feeling when writing the song in the first place. It would be my dream to work with only local musicians for the duration of my time in the photography world. Getting their name and sound out. Seeing the baby bands blow up the radio stations and move onto larger labels and venues. I wanna be on the ground floor when it comes to music. Would I turn down a high paying gig? Hell No. But I will NEVER turn down a local show at Lola's 6th Street, Fred's Cafe, Mambo's Cantina, The Where House or The Good Show Live Music Series, to name a few. It's because of them and the people affiliated with them that get the "Baby Bands" names out.


In closing, like the many of the bands and fans that drive photographers, are just as big as the music and the scene they capture. It is the glue that connects the bands, the scene and the fans and when looked at provokes the emotion and excitement that took place in which that moment was captured. As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words". Some of the best memories are brought back by looking at photos shot at shows. Similar feelings from the best moments of my life come back to me when I look at these photos. All that and more gets brought up when I look at photos that Kim took. Photos do in fact tell a story, show a piece of history, much like Gered Mankowitz’s famous photo of The Stones and Jimi. I wasn’t even born then, but you can still feel and take in that era of music by looking at it.


Bands You Need To Know According  To KIM
Kim's Epic List of DFW Talent!

RTB2
My Wooden Leg
Whiskey Folk Ramblers
The Hanna Barbarians
The Red 100's
Pablo Ans The Hemphill 7

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FourTrack by Sonoma Wire Works

Posted by AreJay Smith

This is not a new product on in the itunes arsenal but it is truly my most frequently used music app and a go to songwriting tool. The FourTrack app really brings me back to when I bought my first recording setup it was a simple 2 ¼ input zoom 4 track digital recorder with only 12 min little SD card except this app is better on all fronts and a simple and quick setup for song ideas. The simple easy to use four level with active record buttons below comes with a metronome some EQ options although don’t expect to make audio masterpieces with it. I plug my headphones without into canceling speaker while still keeping my iphones built in mic to record my acoustic and/or electric guitar. Again not amazingly crisp quality esp. with using to mic an amp but good enough to get those late night ideas out of my head into audio form and to help develop a second rhythm or lead line along with vocal melodies. Sonoma Wire Works really put together a great product with a slew of compatible apps for drumbeats, loops, piano ect. My personal favorite match up is the instant drummer apps which I’ve used on actual studio songs. Also this app allows bounce and wifi sync so you can place each track or a mixdown of the song idea to your pc. FourTrack was one of the first app to go in the “porta-studios” category for songwriters but it is not alone nor is the best now there’s multi track studio apps made by several serious brands that are well respected in the music business but, if your looking for something to lay down simple acoustic guitar tracks with some vocal ideas down this is the app for you . Its my go to songwriting tool for easy simple click and record app and has served me well and was money well spent. For only 10buck in the itunes store.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Intent films presents my wooden leg!

Posted by AreJay Smith
Brian Bailey is the man to hit up when it comes to making music videos and covering live shows if you’re a band in the dfw area! This video is his handy work! His work will be featured here weekly on loadedandplay.com and we might have something in the works together soon if we get the support loadedandplay and intent films needs! This weeks videos the band My Wooden Leg and their song “The Schmuck”. which just so happens to be a great band and and an awesome song! Show him support by liking his face book!