Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Music (page 4 of 18)

Mr. Jenkees is Back

After two years of YouTube hiatus, the internet’s favorite keyboard prodigy/savant, Ronald Jenkees, is back with a new single, “Try the Bass”. It’s from his upcoming fifth full length album. He also released an album late last year titled “Alpha Numeric“. I had no idea Alpha Numeric existed before he mentioned it in the video below – goes to show Ronald probably should post more videos to YouTube to promote his work.

The new single isn’t, at least not in my humble opinion, Jenkees best work, but the guy still knows how to work those keyboards.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015

We all have our guilty pleasure. It’s something that we enjoy, but that would normally be considered out-of-character. It’s not uncommon that we hide our guilty pleasures, perhaps it’s hard for you to tell your testosterone buddies about your favorite romantic comedy? Personally, I make no effort to hide my own guilty pleasure, the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is held once a year, is mostly associated with raging homosexuals, which is something I don’t consider myself to be. It has also got live performances from artists that often can’t sing, making everything amazingly awkward. That is something I usually hate, I can’t, for instance, watch television shows like American Idol because they make me physically ill.

But there is something strangely appealing about the Eurovision Song Contest. Many of the artist put on a great show and for some of them it’s a chance to get their big breakthrough, both nationally and internationally. They are really going all in. Other artist don’t seem to really give a shit, they are burned out and know that this is most likely one of the last stops before the inevitable death of their career and often themselves. There is also often a lot of drama, both on stage and behind the scenes. And I’m watching it all unfold, year after year.

Both semi finals and the final is now over, and of course I will force my verdict of each individual song on you. The official rules state that the top-ranked song shall receive 12 points, the second-highest ranked song 10 points, and then 8 other songs shall be scored from 8 points to 1 point. This means that not all songs will get a score, and that you can’t give more than one song a specific score. My scoring system uses the same scores, but it’s allowed to give more than one song the same score and all songs might get a score, but it’s not mandatory. What is mandatory, is that the score has to be explained. It’s also possible to get a negative score.

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2014 in Music

Not much blogging these days, but I’ll do my best to keep my end-of-the-year traditions. One of them is the Year in Music, so let’s sum up 2014 and introduce you to a few new artist you might not have heard of before.

According to last.fm, my top 491 artists for 2014 were: Biffy Clyro, Lonely The Brave, Nils Petter Molvær, Kent, Lissie, Eminem, Coldplay, Ben Howard, Tycho, Ed Sheeran, Moddi, Pink Floyd, Bastille, Boards of Canada, Solar Fields, Adam Fielding, Bonobo, Nubah, The Glitch Mob, OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene, Bush, Skambankt, Jon Hopkins, The War on Drugs, 36, Cinnamon Chasers, Rhian Sheehan, Snakadaktal, Tomáš Dvořák, Chrome Sparks, Aydio, Clean Bandit, Sync24, Koan, Hammock, Kvelertak, Todd Terje, Shingo Nakamura, London Grammar, Pearl Jam, The American Dollar, Clubfeet, Ellie Goulding, Matthew Good, John Mayer, Clint Mansell, Pharrell Williams, Rise Against, Northcape.

Not many big changes since last year. My taste in music is mostly the same, with Scottish heroes Biffy Clyro being the number one band in 2014, just like they were in 2013. The electronica genre has been pushed back a little, with the first artist in that genre being Tycho. This is not entirely correct, though. I’ve been listening to Soundrop’s ambient channel a lot at work, but there’s a huge span of artists, so it’s hard for them to make it to the top of any lists.

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Podcasting

Oh, no. Relax. I’m not in the process of setting up my own podcast to bother you audibly in addition to through writing. Instead, I thought I’d share a few of the high quality podcasts I’m listening to regularly.

Podcasting in various forms has been around for ages, but arguably didn’t hit mainstream until Apple released a version of their dreaded iTunes application with podcast support in 2005. Apple is also partly responsible for the “podcast” name, which was first mentioned in The Guardian newspaper in a February 2004 article. It is a portmanteau of the words “pod” (from Apple’s iPod) and “broadcast”.

I’ve never been into podcasts big time, partly because I felt I was getting all the information I needed through browsing the internet and partly because I never had the time (or took the time) to listen to them. But when we moved to Nesodden last year, I suddenly found myself commuting for an hour to and from work and decided podcasts could potentially be a nice way to kill some time.

Finding high quality podcasts turned out to be quite the challenge. There is a lot of crap out there. Like with the blogsphere, where it’s very easy for everyone and their mum to set up a blawgh, it’s also very easy to record a podcast and distribute it all over the internet, for instance via iTunes.

With the list below, I hope that I’ve been able to filter out some of the podcast universe’s noise to help you to quickly find a few high quality podcasts – at least if you’re looking for podcasts in the genres of electronic music, tech security and computer games.

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TechnoHead

I’m not sure how to write this without sounding like a total dick, so I’ll just write it: I’ve always considered myself rather creative. As a kid I drew a lot, nothing particularly great, but my production was impressive. I’m guessing there are quite a few boxes hidden in my parent’s attic filled with my drawings, which was mostly, for no particular reason, of war. Huge theaters of killing and maiming made up of several drawings taped together.

This site is also a result of my sporadic creativity. Although my posting has become less and less frequent, I’m still pumping out a little something-something every now and then. I also have a job where I have to be creative or wither and die. As a computer programmer, you continuously have to solve intricate problems that all demand some sort of creative solution.

But I was on my most creative from 1995 to 2000 when I composed music. The Amiga and PC music scene was exploding with talent, and I rode the shock wave. With the help of FastTracker 2, tons of samples downloaded from the internet and the inspiration from thousands of other basement musicians, I – using the artist names HYPERSPACE, Milo and Timid – crammed out almost 40 tracks over that five year period.

But before we continue, let’s have a look at another guy who I guess looked at himself as a pretty creative guy expressing himself through music.

Yeah…

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