San Diego Green Line Trolley Ride – Life In…Video 14

Green Line Trolley Up-Close

 

San Diego Green Line Trolley Ride – Life In…Video 14

 

Here is the video of my trip all the way down the Green Line from Santee back to Old Town!

 

*Update 03-09-2012: I uploaded the entire trip on YouTube so I switched out the playlist for the single video of the whole thing. Enjoy!*

 

Click here for the full-resolution photos (and some extras)!

 

Santee Mountains

 

Here are some pictures of the mountains in the Santee area.

 

More Santee Mountains

 

 

Yes Even More Santee Mountains

 

And Yes Even More Santee Mountains

 

Santee Mountains from the other side

 

Mountains from the other side.

 

Santee Town Center

 

Here are some pictures of the Santee Town Center.

 

 

The Pavillion at Santee Town Center

 

The Pavillion at Santee Town Center from another angle.

 

Or is it the Santee Trolley Square?

 

Once again, click here for the full-resolution photos (and some extras)!

 

TheAndySan

 

BGM: Dirty Kirby

BGM Artists: Prince of Darkness, Shnabulbula, housethegrate, & Travis Moberg

 

BGM: Bogus Bogey

BGM Artist: Ashane

 

BGM: Brinstar Minibossa

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Midnight Cocktails

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Contemplation

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Murdered By Flora

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Walk on Water

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Malac’s Cross

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Sanctuary

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Track 8

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: Winter Madness

BGM Artists: Ashane & Zoast

 

BGM: Go Blow Snow For a Year

BGM Artist: housethegrate

 

BGM: New Song 02 (2006-10-04)

BGM Artist: Ashane

 

BGM: Morning Sunlight

BGM Artist: Ashane

Deja Vuesday – Resolutions For A New Year

Alrighty, so this is the last Deja Vuesday of 2009!

This week, we’ll be going back only a year ago to when I was making my New Year’s Resolutions:

Currently Watching:
G3 – Live in Tokyo

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. Just wanted to clear that up.

The Year of The Ox Is Upon Us

So what have I been up to this past week? Well, I hung out with my friends and watched UFC. That was fun. We also ordered an enormous pizza from Cole’s Carry-Out called the King Cole. It was definitely good to get out of the house and do something with my friends again!

Besides that, I’ve been feeling trapped inside the house. Although I now have the freedom to go anywhere since I have a car, I don’t want to waste gas because my savings ran out and I have no money now.

Despite all of that, 2009 is gonna be my year, especially since I was born in the year of the ox (1985)! Here is a list of my new year’s resolutions:

1. Get a Job

Let’s face it, I don’t do much offline. Aside from eating, sleeping, showering, or shitting, I do nothing.

Getting the right job can help me get back on my feet mentally because it’ll be a break from my monotonous routine and I’ll be around some like-minded people for a change.

Also, I’ll have money again. That’s a plus! With this money, I’ll be able to fulfill several of my other resolutions as well as meet my needs.

Throughout this month, I’ve been hanging out with my friends as much as I could since they were in town for the holidays. Now, they’re on their way back to college so it might be awhile before I see them again.

I’ve been looking into several job openings as of late, and I think I might be hired soon. This is great news since I’ll be able to make more money and be able to live on my own again!

2. Live On My Own

I was debating on living with my parents until all of my debt had been paid off, but after reading Steve Pavlina’s newest article on overcoming indecision, I decided to make moving out on my own a priority.

Although I’ll have less money to allocate towards my other debts, my growth as a person is far more important. If I continue to live with my parents, then I’ll be constantly stifled and will be too scared to commit to paying off my debts. I noticed this when I looked at some of my old posts about my debts. I still haven’t done anything towards fixing this problem, and I blame it on living with others that hold me down instead of striking out on my own. Speaking of debts:

Although it was for 2 1/2 months, living on my own has been my most satisfying accomplishment to-date! It’s a no-brainer that I should go back to living on my own since I won’t have my family holding me back from working on my website.

When I get a job, I’ll begin to save up to move out and this time, I’ll do it right and save up the equivalent of at least four months’ rent. This way, if something bad happens to me again, I’ll have the means to cover it without it completely draining me.

3. Budget My Money To Pay Off My Debts

I’ve been in debt for far too long, and I want out! By properly budgeting my money with the advice I have been getting from the North Shore Advisory, Inc, I will set aside money to pay off my debts. Before I pay off anything, I’ll get my credit report so that I know all of what I owe.

To start things off, I’ll pay a little on my student loans so that I don’t go into default and then I’ll work my way up focusing on one debt at a time. I don’t expect to be 100% debt-free by 2009’s end, but I do expect to have at least taken out a good-sized chunk of my debt by then.

Although I intended to at least work on my debts in 2009, I haven’t done anything. Next year, if I’m financially able to, I want to at least work on some of my smaller debts so that I’m one step closer to being debt-free!

4. Buy Myself Some New & Exciting Things

With all this talk about getting out of debt, I also want to have some fun too! There are several things that I’ve been wanting to buy for years, but I never got around to it because of one reason or another.

I want to get myself a new computer first. Two actually. I want to get the Acer Inspire One netbook so that I can have the portability advantage of a laptop without the outrageous price tag. Also, the thing’s pimp as hell!

The second computer that I want to get is a Dell XPS 420 desktop/monitor bundle. It features a quad-core, which will make everything that I do online a breeze. Also, a flat-screen monitor and USB 2.0!! It’s pretty sad to admit that my desktop still uses USB 1.1, hehe. My current CRT monitor is so bulky that it’s right in front of my face when I sit down at my desk. My eyes will thank me!

Ever since I first heard of Carvin Guitars by listening to housethegrate and his brother Ashane, I’ve wanted a Carvin axe of my own!! For 2009, I want to get either a DC-127C or a V220C model. They’re both under $2,000 (the Dc-127C is $1,709 and the V220C is $1,654) and will be simply amazing!

Buying a new guitar amplifier is also on my list. Even though I started playing guitar again on January of 2005 (I can’t believe that it’s been almost 4 years already!), I still have the same amp I started out with. It would be different if it sounded good, but it’s just a crappy 15-watt practice amp. The two amps that I’m debating between are the Bugera 6262 combo and the Peavey Vypyr Tube 120 combo. I’ve read great reviews and watched demos of both on YouTube, and I gotta say that they have what appears to be a dynamite sound! I’m leaning more towards the Vypyr since it’s so versatile, but I’m not for sure until I play on them both.

Also, I might have to put some money towards my car just in case this one dies on me. If all else fails, I can temporarily put all of my saved-up money towards either fixing the car or purchasing another car.

I might not have gotten the netbook that I wanted, but I got a way-better laptop instead! Thanks eBay!!

In July, I tried to save up for a new guitar or amp with my tip money and spare change, but I had to ultimately use it to help me move back in with my parents. After I move out again and get all settled in, I want to save up again for a new guitar or amp.

5. Go On A Trip

I’ve always wanted to take a trip around the country, especially with my friends! The big question is where. I’m thinking someplace on the west coast. I’ve never been to that part of the US and I really want to.

There is also the possibility of MAGfest. According to their site,

“MAGFest is a video and computer gaming festival run by fans, for fans. It’s similar to most fan-based (anime, scifi, etc) conventions, but aims to be more of a laid-back video game party atmosphere. No crowded show floors here, but rather lots of fan art, film and music, and room to relax. Our special guests fit right in and socialize with the rest of the crowd. Game movies and cartoons are shown weekend-long. In addition to our 10 000 square foot game room, lots of attendees set up games in their rooms and invite others inside.

Perhaps most importantly, MAGFest has a huge focus on game music — multiple concerts worth — filled with video game music tributes, some even with the original composers! On Friday and Saturday nights multiple bands perform on our main stage, and our ‘JamSpace’ is open 24 hours for collaborative music and special treats alike.”

Although I’m not as big of a gamer as I used to be, the main reason I would go is for the video game music. Since I can’t attend the MAGfest that’s coming up in a couple days, I would be aiming for the one at the beginning of 2010. What a way to start off a new decade, huh?!

Once again, I’ll be missing MAGfest 🙁 . It’s really a shame since both The Angry Video Game Nerd and LittleKuriboh will be there! What is it about winters that seem to spell financial doom for me?

6. Make A Living From This Website

As I’ve said before, I want to make this website my main source of income. Right now, I’m making about $24 a month. For 2009, I want to make at least $1,000 a month by year’s end. This isn’t an unreasonable goal at all considering that the income for this site seems to double every month ($5 in September, $10 in October, $20 in November).

So how am I going to make $1,000 a month? First, by continuing to make quality content. Second, by selling private ads here. Lastly, by searching for new methods of making money that I’m currently unaware of and experimenting with them.

Making $1,000 a month online seemed daunting at the time I made the resolution, which is probably why it hasn’t happened this year. Instead, I’m shooting for at least $50 a month by December 2010. Since I’m making about $34 a month already, it should be within my ability to make $50 a month as well.

Throwing It Back At You

So what resolutions are you planning to do for 2009? Are you going to buy something that was previously out of your financial reach? Are you gonna go on a trip? Or are you going to do something completely different?

Tell me what your new year’s resolutions are in the comments. See-ya!

TheAndySan

Out of the resolutions that I made for myself at the end of 2008, I’ve done half of them: I moved out, got a job, and bought my first new computer in five years. Granted, I had to quit that job and move back in with my parents, but still!

So what are your resolutions for 2010? Are they the same as last year’s or are they different? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

TheAndySan

On My 24th Birthday, I Give You 24 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

Keeping in the spirit of sharing myself with the world, I’d like to tell you the 24 things I want to do before I die:

1. I want to go to Japan.

2. I want to learn Japanese & dabble in other foreign languages.

3. I want to live in California.

4. I want to be on the cast of a TV show.

5. I want to write a book.

6. I want to be able to at least live on my own from doing what I love.

7. I want to meet all of my guitar heroes like Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Al Di Meola, & more!

8. I want to drive a car that’s worth more than a house.

9. I want to be a voice actor.

10. I want to have my own band & tour the world.

11. I want to inspire people.

12. I want to be a stand-up comedian.

13. I want to be the first American to create a successful anime series in Japan.

14. I want to travel around the world.

15. I want to build my own guitar.

16. I want to get my 4-year college degree.

17. I want to be a motivational speaker.

18. I want to get in better physical shape.

19. I want to improve my guitar playing.

20. I want to learn how to properly play the piano.

21. I want to have kids after I’m 30 years old.

22. I want a new wardrobe.

23. I want to move out on my own again.

24. I want to be happy.

TheAndySan

How To Get Out of a Musician's Rut

So I was browsing around my messages from TheShizz.org today, and I came across a new email from housethegrate:

thanks for the comments on the myspace tracks. those are recent jams i’ve done, completely improvised, so yes, very much lacking focus. i’ve had difficulty in the past few years focusing on music, which is one reason i haven’t had much in the way of new releases and shit. i’m working on my craft, though, for sure, trying to get solid on guitar for real. i appreciate you still diggin my tunes and i hope i can have some new stuff for you to enjoy soon.

i’ll keep in touch man.

-house

I replied by sending him this:

It’s good to hear that you’re still working to improve yourself! To be honest, aside from the jammy stuff and the gigs you did with Shawn Phase and Spamtron, I haven’t heard much new material from you since Houseworks was released.

When I get stuck in a funk playing guitar, I usually listen to my main inspirational players like Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, and Al Di Meola.

I even watch videos on how to play guitar for beginners, which may seem beneath players like us who’ve been playing for awhile (January 2010 marks my 5th year of picking up the guitar again), but we tend to forget things along the way as we progress as musicians.

Another thing I like to do is listen to music that I don’t normally listen to, which is not necessarily new music. I’ve been getting into jazz fusion beyond Al Di Meola like Casiopea a lot lately, although I still can’t get into Allan Holdsworth as much as I’d like to (his solos are dynamite, but his chords are too spacey and Muzak-y for me). I normally listen to a lot of classic 80s-90s metal so I popped in some new stuff like Atreyu’s new CD *hint-hint*. The throaty screams annoy me, but the guitar work is solid.

I’d love for you (and your bro too) to participate in DoD again! It’s been ages since you’ve done that, and I think it would help you get back into creating music again, regardless of the quality of the song!

Keep me posted!

Andy

P.S: The MySpace link still isn’t working.

So what do you guys do to break out of a funk, musical or otherwise? Leave me a comment below!

TheAndySan

P.S: I’m thinking about starting up a Question of the Week kinda post for Fridays. What do you guys think of that?

WAR 02 – housethegrate HOUSEWORKS Album Review

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

*Update 03-12-2011 – Buy HouseWorks Here*

For today’s album review, I’d thought that we’d review an independant release that most of you might be unaware of. This week, I popped in Houseworks, the debut album that I bought straight from the artist himself, housethegrate (a.k.a. house).

I had put off buying it for a very long time because my inner chronic music downloader thought it was flat-out retarded to buy music, regardless of its quality or whether or not I wanted to support the musicians.

Eventually, I just bought the album because I wanted to give back to house for being a high-caliber musician and for giving me so much good music already to listen to. I’ll admit, I was also curious as to how the new songs, as well as the songs that I practically burned into my cerebellum, turned out for the album. Let’s find out:

Personal Backstory

How I came to find housethegrate is almost an entire post onto itself.

You see, back when I was in ITT Tech, my friends and I would often go during our breaks to websites like Fugly.com and KillSomeTime.com and eBaumsWorld.com to watch funny video clips. For those of you who don’t know what these sites are, they were basically the YouTube of their day, but instead of people vlogging all the time, they just put up funny clips that were found on TV or that people recorded themselves or what-have-you.

One day, we stumbled upon (before StumbleUpon was around lol!) a clip of this androgyneous Asian (I still to this day don’t know if he/she is a he or a she) playing Super Mario Bros on an electric guitar, complete with sound effects! Needless to say, I was blown away by not only his/her playing, but by the concept of people using rock instruments like guitars to play music that was on video games that was mostly done with keyboards! I then was on a mission to see if anyone else had done something similar. Since YouTube wasn’t around at the time, clips of other people playing video game music were scarce and the quality was mixed.

After doing some extensive site-searching, I came across OCReMix.org (a.k.a. OverClocked ReMix a.k.a OCR), which was basically the jackpot of video game music performances and rearrangements. Although there were no video clips to be had of people playing the music, there was a seemingly never-ending amount of MP3s of video game music from just about every game imaginable! People did all kinds of strange and beautiful things to the arrangements: they would add a killer synth drum beat and techno-fy it, they would perform the music as a rock band would, and they would sometimes change the arrangement so much that it would almost sound like an entirely original piece were it not for the bits and pieces of video game music put in there. I felt like what the first kid who tasted sweetened chocolate for the first time must have felt like! It was bliss!

I eventually came across an excellent remix of a song from Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES called NinjaScape. It was done by another excellent musician named Ashane, who it turns out had an older brother who also did remixs of video game music. His name was housethegrate. I loved Ashane’s other remixes like Red Cap Assault, which is a remix of the battle theme from Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the SNES, so it was a no-brainer to check out what his older brother was doing.

While both brothers share an excellent melodic feel to their music, house’s music seemed slighty more mature and refined than Ashane’s. After talking with them online a couple of times, I found out about an indie rock band called the minibosses that do strictly music from NES games, as well as a monthly competition that Ashane and house participate in that’s held by the people on the minibosses’ forum called the Dwelling of Duels (or DoD).

From there, I got the chance to listen to a lot of perfectly-legal music done by independant artists that strayed far from the norm. Because I was so passionate about the music and the ease of contacting these wonderful musicians, I then started acting like a total attention whore on their message board, which is why most of the members still don’t like me even to this day (keep in mind that I first joined back in 2005), but that’s another story altogether.

The Track Breakdown

This album was released back in 2006 and people are still talking about it even today!

The first track, Sanctuary, is a medley of songs from the CastleVania series. It has a big jazz fusion feel to it, especially in its quick musical changes.

The next song, Light In The Fortress, is a remix of a song from Mega Man X for the Super NES. With it’s keyboard-meets-guitar-meets-techno beats style, it is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Alien Corpses, which is a remix of a song from the game Duke Nukem 2, reminds me a lot of a rhythm section in a Joe Satriani song.

Up next is a short piece from King’s Quest 6 called Murdered By Flora. Although it’s barely over a minute long, I loved the nylon guitar work that house did.

After that, it’s Midnight Cocktails, a song from the game Leisure Suit Larry. This is about as jazzy as you can get without breaking out a semi-hollow guitar and plucking a bunch of jazz chords. The song’s very smooth and an especially good listen if you’re writing.

Madara: 1st Movement is a combination of songs from the game Madara, and another one of my favorites! It feels like a prog-rock song without being a 9-minute+ opus, which works out just fine for me.

The seventh track, Seized With Fury, comes from the game Final Fantasy 6. It is classic house, complete with backing orchestra and smokin’ guitar licks!

Malac’s Cross, a remix of a song from Betrayal at Krondor, is another short-but-sweet nylon acoustic piece in the same vein as Murdered By Flora.

Brinstar Minibossa, a remix of a song from Metroid, is next on the disc. It has more of an old-school 50s-60s jazz flavor to it compared to Midnight Cocktails, which has a contemporary jazz sound to it.

Track 10 is Walk On Water, a remix of a song from Sonic & Knuckles, and the most anticipated of the CD-exclusive tracks. It’s another great jazz fusion song that really reminds me of Al Di Meola in how the song is structured.

The next track, Crumbling Statues, is from the game Magic Sword. Next to Walk On Water, Crumbling Statues is the best of the new CD exclusive material. Once again, I’m getting an Al Di Meola feel from this track in terms of structure and it also reminds me of Light In The Fortress.

After that is one of house’s signature tunes, Waltz of the Dolls from Final Fantasy 4. Only housethegrate could take a waltz and make it rock! This track is also a fine example of house’s overall musical style.

Track 13 is Track 8. Wait, did I read that right? Yes I did! The 13th track is actually called Track 8, and it’s based on the game Metal Gear 2. It’s a slow, industrial-beats-meets-jazz-guitar-sensibilities kind of track.

Up next is Snowflakes on a Rosegarden, a track that house submitted for the DoD competition, but pulled the MP3 from the site because he didn’t like the way it sounded. Thankfully, he redid it an released it on this album! It’s quite a moving classical piano number.

Hurry!, the 15th track on this CD, has some nice alternative guitar picking that makes me think of what a combination between Alex Skolnick and Al Di Meola would sound like.

The 16th and final track on Houseworks is housethegrate’s masterpiece, La Hora Es Tarde, from the CastleVania 3 game. It’s a combination between prog rock, latin jazz, classical, and neoclassical music all rolled into one glorious track! If Jason Becker and Al Di Meola did a song together, this would be what it would sound like! If you only listen to one song on this entire album, listen to La Hora Es Tarde!!

The Goodies, The Baddies & The Uglies

I was estatic when house announced that he was releasing an album, but at the time, I didn’t have the money to buy it. I’m glad I eventually bought it though, as it’s one of my all-time favorite CDs! Housethegrate even sent me a written personal message in the album jacket when he sent the CD to me! How awesome is that?

Although most of the tracks on Houseworks are solid, I do have some gripes about this CD.

I could go into the fact that house put out way too much of his older and freely-available material, but most of it sounds great so I’m not gonna complain about that. What I will complain about is that the production value on the older tracks, and even on some of the new tracks, doesn’t seem like a leap forward that’s expected from an album release.

For example, even though I disliked the redone older songs like The Saltwater Room and Hello Seattle on Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes, I can at least admit that the sound quality was higher even though the overall song quality was not. I know that house didn’t have the budget that Owl City had, but I think that he could have done a better job mixing the songs.

With the re-release of so much older material (10 tracks out of 16 total), I’m disappointed that he didn’t put out a remix or a live version or even an acoustic version of at least one of his older songs.

Also, since the songs were fairly short (exactly half of the songs were over 4 minutes long and only three of them were over 6 minutes long), I’m sure that house could have also included video footage of him playing some of the songs or a behind-the-scenes of the making of Houseworks that would be viewable via computer or DVD player.

The Verdict

Despite the technical shortcomings and the re-release of a lot of otherwise freely available material, housethegrate’s Houseworks is a staple in the small-but-growing collection of rearranged video game music albums available for purchase!

6 Tracks To Give a Clicky-Click

– Light In The Fortress

– Midnight Cocktails

– Madara: 1st Movement

– Walk On Water

– Crumbling Statues

– Waltz of the Dolls

– La Hora Es Tarde

TheAndySan

Resolutions For A New Year

Currently Watching:
G3 – Live in Tokyo

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. Just wanted to clear that up.

The Year of The Ox Is Upon Us

So what have I been up to this past week? Well, I hung out with my friends and watched UFC. That was fun. We also ordered an enormous pizza from Cole’s Carry-Out called the King Cole. It was definitely good to get out of the house and do something with my friends again!

Besides that, I’ve been feeling trapped inside the house. Although I now have the freedom to go anywhere since I have a car, I don’t want to waste gas because my savings ran out and I have no money now.

Despite all of that, 2009 is gonna be my year, especially since I was born in the year of the ox (1985)! Here is a list of my new year’s resolutions:

1. Get a Job

Let’s face it, I don’t do much offline. Aside from eating, sleeping, showering, or shitting, I do nothing.

Getting the right job can help me get back on my feet mentally because it’ll be a break from my monotonous routine and I’ll be around some like-minded people for a change.

Also, I’ll have money again. That’s a plus! With this money, I’ll be able to fulfill several of my other resolutions as well as meet my needs.

2. Live On My Own

I was debating on living with my parents until all of my debt had been paid off, but after reading Steve Pavlina’s newest article on overcoming indecision, I decided to make moving out on my own a priority.

Although I’ll have less money to allocate towards my other debts, my growth as a person is far more important. If I continue to live with my parents, then I’ll be constantly stifled and will be too scared to commit to paying off my debts. I noticed this when I looked at some of my old posts about my debts. I still haven’t done anything towards fixing this problem, and I blame it on living with others that hold me down instead of striking out on my own. Speaking of debts:

3. Budget My Money To Pay Off My Debts

I’ve been in debt for far too long, and I want out! By properly budgeting my money, I will set aside money to pay off my debts. Before I pay off anything, I’ll get my credit report so that I know all of what I owe.

To start things off, I’ll pay a little on my student loans so that I don’t go into default and then I’ll work my way up focusing on one debt at a time. I don’t expect to be 100% debt-free by 2009’s end, but I do expect to have at least taken out a good-sized chunk of my debt by then.

4. Buy Myself Some New & Exciting Things

With all this talk about getting out of debt, I also want to have some fun too! There are several things that I’ve been wanting to buy for years, but I never got around to it because of one reason or another.

I want to get myself a new computer first. Two actually. I want to get the Acer Inspire One netbook so that I can have the portability advantage of a laptop without the outrageous price tag. Also, the thing’s pimp as hell!

The second computer that I want to get is a Dell XPS 420 desktop/monitor bundle. It features a quad-core, which will make everything that I do online a breeze. Also, a flat-screen monitor and USB 2.0!! It’s pretty sad to admit that my desktop still uses USB 1.1, hehe. My current CRT monitor is so bulky that it’s right in front of my face when I sit down at my desk. My eyes will thank me!

Ever since I first heard of Carvin Guitars by listening to housethegrate and his brother Ashane, I’ve wanted a Carvin axe of my own!! For 2009, I want to get either a DC-127C or a V220C model. They’re both under $2,000 (the Dc-127C is $1,709 and the V220C is $1,654) and will be simply amazing!

Buying a new guitar amplifier is also on my list. Even though I started playing guitar again on January of 2005 (I can’t believe that it’s been almost 4 years already!), I still have the same amp I started out with. It would be different if it sounded good, but it’s just a crappy 15-watt practice amp. The two amps that I’m debating between are the Bugera 6262 combo and the Peavey Vypyr Tube 120 combo. I’ve read great reviews and watched demos of both on YouTube, and I gotta say that they have what appears to be a dynamite sound! I’m leaning more towards the Vypyr since it’s so versatile, but I’m not for sure until I play on them both.

Also, I might have to put some money towards my car just in case this one dies on me. If all else fails, I can temporarily put all of my saved-up money towards either fixing the car or purchasing another car.

5. Go On A Trip

I’ve always wanted to take a trip around the country, especially with my friends! The big question is where. I’m thinking someplace on the west coast. I’ve never been to that part of the US and I really want to.

There is also the possibility of MAGfest. According to their site,

MAGFest is a video and computer gaming festival run by fans, for fans. It’s similar to most fan-based (anime, scifi, etc) conventions, but aims to be more of a laid-back video game party atmosphere. No crowded show floors here, but rather lots of fan art, film and music, and room to relax. Our special guests fit right in and socialize with the rest of the crowd. Game movies and cartoons are shown weekend-long. In addition to our 10 000 square foot game room, lots of attendees set up games in their rooms and invite others inside.

Perhaps most importantly, MAGFest has a huge focus on game music — multiple concerts worth — filled with video game music tributes, some even with the original composers! On Friday and Saturday nights multiple bands perform on our main stage, and our ‘JamSpace’ is open 24 hours for collaborative music and special treats alike.

Although I’m not as big of a gamer as I used to be, the main reason I would go is for the video game music. Since I can’t attend the MAGfest that’s coming up in a couple days, I would be aiming for the one at the beginning of 2010. What a way to start off a new decade, huh?!

6. Make A Living From This Website

As I’ve said before, I want to make this website my main source of income. Right now, I’m making about $24 a month. For 2009, I want to make at least $1,000 a month by year’s end. This isn’t an unreasonable goal at all considering that the income for this site seems to double every month ($5 in September, $10 in October, $20 in November).

So how am I going to make $1,000 a month? First, by continuing to make quality content. Second, by selling private ads here. Lastly, by searching for new methods of making money that I’m currently unaware of and experimenting with them.

Throwing It Back At You

So what resolutions are you planning to do for 2009? Are you going to buy something that was previously out of your financial reach? Are you gonna go on a trip? Or are you going to do something completely different?

Tell me what your new year’s resolutions are in the comments. See-ya!

TheAndySan

The Five Things Meme – 5 Bands I Like That You May Not Have Heard Of

Yeah, I decided to get in on this thing and tell you guys five things you might not have known about me:

5 Bands I Like That You May Not Have Heard Of

1. Owl City: Adam Young (the only apparent member) is a bloody musical genius! His music is quite soft and smooth, despite some oddly-timed lyrics. Check out their MySpace for more about them!

Recommended songs: I’ll Meet You There, Hello Seattle, The Saltwater Room, and Rainbow Veins.

2. the pillows: If anyone out there’s an anime fan, I’m positive that you’ve heard of these guys. They contributed a good portion of songs to the soundtrack of legendary wacky anime FLCL. They remind me of 60’s British rock mixed with garage rock, or to be more accurate, a hard rock Japanese version of The Beatles. Here’s their MySpace so you can check out some of their songs.

Recommended songs: Little Busters, Carnival, Runner’s High, Last Dinosaur, I Think I Can, Ladybird Girl, too many to list!

3. Housethegrate / Ashane: I’ve been following this guy for years now, at times obsessively. He does covers and remixes of video game music. His guitar playing is quite technical (he’s what got me into guys like Marty Friedman and Jason Becker in the first place). However, he doesn’t shred for shredding’s sake and is quite melodic.

His younger brother Ashane, who I discovered House through, also does video game remixes/covers and can definitely hold his own against his brother. Here’s House’s website and Ashane’s, where you can download their music and watch videos of them for free.

Recommended Songs by Housethegrate: La Hora es Tarde, Light In The Fortress, Murdered By Flora, Waltz of the Dolls.

Recommended Songs by Ashane: Ninjascape, Red Cap Assault, Rose Of Solemn, and Zealous Entropy.

4. Frou Frou / Imogen Heap: Their music, which can be called ambient indie pop, sometimes combines real instruments like acoustic guitars and a string section with ambient synths and drum machine grooves. To alleviate some confusion, Frou Frou is the group Imogen Heap was in before she decided to go solo. Be sure to check out Frou Frou and Imogen Heap’s MySpaces for a sample of their music.

Recommended Songs by Frou Frou: Must Be Dreaming, Let Go, and Breathe In.

Recommended Songs by Imogen Heap: Hide and Seak and Speeding Cars.

5. Al Di Meola: This guy’s an amazing guitar player! He combines jazz, latin, and fusion and whether he’s playing an acoustic or an electric guitar, he burns up the fretboard with every song. When I’m writing a blog entry, I usually have a good playlist of Al Di Meola that I listen to.

Recommended Songs: Kiss My Axe (Live), Cruisin’, Race With The Devil On A Spanish Highway, Mediterranean Sundance, and Elegant Gypsy Suite.

There you have it; five bands I like that you may not have known about! So, what five bands do you listen to that aren’t well-known? Leave me your comments below!

TheAndySan

Tact Is My Middle Name, But My Last Name Is Liss

Good afternoon, it’s TheAndySan hurr to tell you guys about 2 rad dudes who are a-freakin-mazing at guitar.

Their names are Housethegrate and Ashane. I first heard about Ashane through a site called OCReMix.org. I downloaded his song NinjaScape. At first, I thought it was too slow so I skipped by it for a long time. Then one day, I decided to listen to the whole thing and was floored. I was hooked. I had to have moAr. I eventually found a video of Ashane performing another song called Red Cap Assault. He put it up on YouTube for grate justice, and here it is:

I don’t remember exactly how I found out about Housethegrate, but chances are, I found him via his brother Ashane. Oh yeah, did I mention that they were brothers? I listened to some of his songs and thought they were ok. I really didn’t start to get into House’s music until I saw his video for La Hora es Tarde:

Then, I had to hunt down moAr videos! Here are some vids of him up on YouTube:

Waltz of the Dolls:

Light In The Fortress:

Guitarmageddon 2002:

Walk On Water:

As I’ve said before, House has released his own CD called Houseworks. I bought it and it’s still the best $10 I ever spent. You too can have House’s CD of Grateness. Go to http://www.housethegrate.com/?id=order and order that shit, suckas!!

Well, I’m gonna chill before I go to work so I’ll be going now. Later!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 1,512 days since I had a website.