Moonsong – Prelude: Power

Because I am forced to be away from my home (and my computer, and all of my free time), I thought instead of giving another bit of Muramasa: Blood Drinker, I would give everyone a taste of what I wrote last year. This is the prologue to Moonsong, an epic fantasy story I began writing last year in pieces sent one at a time to the woman who would become my wife. Eventually the story grew so large (some 325,000 words) that breaking into volumes became necessary to pursue publication. The third I’m hoping to get to this fall, after…

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Shores of Null – Quiescence (Album Review)

I haven’t tried to review anything in years, but this rather unknown doom band I came across recently compelled me to write one. Looking back at my Amazon reviews from 2005, I think I’ve improved quite a bit! I’ve included some videos and links at the bottom so you can preview their material or possibly support them by buying the album. My overall score: 9 out of 10 Shores of Null is a band from Rome that combines a diverse set of influences and styles, including doom, death, and black metal. Sounds reminiscent of November’s Doom, Woods of Ypres, ICS…

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Nostalgia Chronicles, part 3: Moving?

Another year, another room Where you hang a few things on the walls It’s just where you call home for now, Until it’s time to take them down and move on. -David Gold, from “To long life in the Limbo Union” Woods 4: The Green Album The act of moving, and by that I mean changing your home from one location to another, is usually not looked back upon fondly. This is for good reason, as moving can involve hours of physical labor, tedious organizing, and frantic cleaning in an attempt to recover one’s security deposit. Having moved some five times…

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“I’ll Never be Good Enough” and Other Lies you Tell Yourself

I’ve done many different things in my life. I’ve played concerts, written books, recorded albums, and written sonatas and symphonies, along with plenty of other things people mind find more than a wee bit daunting. Sometimes, people disparage themselves and say that such things are impossible for them; that they lack the skill, talent, time, or intelligence to do what they really wish they could do. I am here to tell you that such impossibilities exist only in your mind. You can write a book if you choose. You can play a concert, solo or otherwise, if you choose. You…

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The Grand Magicians and False Prophets

There is no magic; There are only illusions. There are no wizards; There are only magicians. The crowd waits for the reveal with bated breath. The curtain drops, and what was, is no longer. The magician bows and accepts the prestige of the illusion. They love the show, and the lights, and the costumes. The crowd love watching the impossible become real. Not because they really believe it, but because they know, ultimately, that it is all a lie. That’s the fun of it. We know that what our eyes see and our hears hear is not what is true.…

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Why We All Have High Hopes for Net Neutrality

1: Radio emerges. Some stations broadcast on the same wavelength. 2: Create the FCC to keep the airwaves “clean.” 3: FCC creates broadcast monopolies within each local market, hurting consumers and benefiting established broadcasters. 4: FCC institutes sweeping censorship laws retarding the growth of art and prevents wholesale any political discourse. 5: Television emerges to challenge radio. 6: FCC licenses, monopolizes, and censors television. For decades, only three major networks exist. 7: Cable companies emerge to challenge existing broadcast monopolies, offering a much wider variety of programing direct to consumers. 8: The government grants cable companies a total monopoly in…

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Nostalgia Chronicles Part 2: Super Mex Cantina

Continuing my series on nostalgia, which for me is a feeling akin to a flashback, only packed with emotion and often consisting of highly condensed time, I thought I might speak about a place that was near and dear to my heart, rather than a piece of intellectual property. That place is Super Mex, a Mexican restaurant and bar at Sunset and Pecos in the city of Las Vegas. I say that the place “is” Super Mex because, even though it has been re-worked by the owner and is no longer known by that name, the memory and reality of…

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Man! Why is the sound so bad at this concert!

A veteran’s insight into live amplified sound. “Man, that band would have been amazing if it weren’t for the awful sound!” I said as the house lights went up and the band known as Holy Grail, along with what few people constituted their road crew, began hastily clearing their gear away for the next act. “I know, all I could hear was bass drum,” Matt said, pulling his ear plugs out. “If you go in the bathroom you can actually hear the guitar,” Ron said, sipping his bass pale ale. It was our last beer of the night before the…

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Discrimination: Rights and Consequences

There has been a great deal of jabs thrown about a bill recently passed by the Arizona state legislature that is intended to protect freedom of religion or enshrine discrimination against gays, depending on your position. The bill, called “SB1062” (or AB 1062, the assembly version) in the typical fashion of laws, is short by most legislative statutes and attempts to expand the state’s definition of free exercise of religion to include economic activities, or more specifically, the denial thereof. Though no specific mention of LGBT categories of persons are made, both proponents and opponents of the law have made…

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Nostalgia Chronicles, Part 1: Berserk

Nostalgia… For me, nostalgia is always an interesting phenomenon, like the sudden influx of déjà vu and yet clear and tangible. My memories, when I slip into them rather than merely draw upon them for some piece of information, are akin to a waking dream. I can see myself where I was, smell the smells around me, and even feel part of the emotions that I felt when the memory was made. When I am overcome with the images and words of the past, I call it nostalgia. It’s an intense experience, and can create feelings undulating between extreme pain…

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