Category Archives: Music

Weekly #6: The World of Gaming

Computer and video games were a big part of my childhood. I have fond memories playing games with my friends and family. I especially enjoyed my original Nintendo game console. I spent countless hours rescuing the princess in Super Mario Brothers, killing game in Duck Hunt and running for gold on my Power Pad. When I wasn’t home, I had the ability to continue playing. I brought my Game Boy and Sega Genesis portable with me everywhere.

Computer games were also one of my favorite pastimes. I tracked Carmen Sandiego’s whereabouts and built the infrastructure of new cities across America thanks to Sim City. We seemed to spend endless hours in middle school playing Oregon Trail. There’s even a Facebook group dedicated to the game with 2,245 members appropriately titled I Just Tried to Ford the River and My Fricken Oxen Died.

Looking back at those years, my life as a gamer seemed to end abruptly. I began to think of video games as dorky and a total waste of time. Oddly enough, one of my main clients today is a major player in the entertainment software space. Each and every day I spend countless hours writing about technology and how the industry is playing an increasingly important role in our society. Although I spend much of my day thinking about computer and video games, I never get the opportunity to play them and actually experience how far they have come. That briefly changed for an hour or two before the Christmas holiday. My coworker brought in The Beatles: Rock Band. I won’t deny it – I was super excited about the opportunity to jam with my all-time favorite band. I picked up the guitar and selected “I Am the Walrus” and joined John, Paul, George and Ringo on stage. I was lucky enough to meet Paul face-to-face in 2002. This was almost like the real deal.

I’ve heard quite a bit about Second Life and thought I’d give it a whirl and immerse myself in this new world. I flew around a city, ran into some walls and found myself in a lounge sitting on the bench of a white grand piano. I felt as though I had escaped my own life. I was in a magical land far, far away from reality. I also checked out Persuasive Games and was absolutely amazed by the selection of fun, interactive and educational games available. I gave Killer Flu and Debt Ski a shot. Next on the agenda – Fatworld. Computer and video games have certainly come a long way. I look forward to learning more about the mobile and online video game space in tomorrow’s class.

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Weekly #4: The Online Music Scene

If you read my last post, you are well aware that I am a big music fan. I am not fully engaged in the online music scene, but believe I would benefit from doing so. My online music time is mostly spent watching videos on YouTube, checking out new bands on MySpace and giving the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to songs on my Pandora station.

I also follow my favorite artists religiously on Twitter. I find this to be a particularly useful tool to get a heads up on upcoming concerts and artist-related news. It is also a very fun way to see what your favorite band is up to in your town the day of the show. I also currently subscribe to VH1, MTV and Rolling Stone’s RSS feeds and monitor them regularly from my Google Reader.

We briefly discussed Last.fm in last week’s class. I had previously heard of the Web site, but never took the time to actually stop and check it out. I am so glad I did. Last.fm is a haven for music junkies. How to describe it? Think Pandora and YouTube meet MySpace. The site is absolutely amazing and offers endless possibilities. For instance, a search for Cat Stevens allows me to:

  • Listen to music
  • Watch videos
  • Obtain a list of top tracks and most popular albums
  • Get a list of tour stops
  • Rave about him in the “shoutbox” comment box
  • Order tracks and albums through Amazon
  • Join groups associated with him
  • See who is also listening to him at that moment
  • Sign up for an e-newsletter

I’ve always been a big fan of Alltop, which is essentially an online magazine rack. Users can click on a word or topic to determine the most popular blogs within that category. A click on “music” produces a list of top music blogs. I can view the five latest posts and link directly to the blog. As you can see, I have a lot to explore. I think I’m off to a good start!

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Personal #2: Living for Live Music

I’m a self-admitted music junkie. There is nothing I enjoy more than listening to music and going to concerts. In fact, just today, I bought tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band (one of my all-time favorites) at Nationals Park in July.

I’d have to say 2009 was a great year. I was lucky enough to see U2 kick off their 360° Tour at Solider Field in September and again a few weeks later at FedEx Field. I also saw Coldplay, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Swell Season, Hanson and Tony Bennett.

Here’s a look at my 2010 concert lineup:

  • Ani Difrano (3/2 – 9:30 Club)
  • Ben Folds (3/26 – 9:30 Club)
  • Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds (5/20 – DAR Constitution Hall)
  • U2 (6/26 – TCF Bank Stadium)
  • Dave Matthews Band (7/23 – Nationals Park)

I wish I could say I was going to another show this spring. Phoenix, the Grammy award-winning French alternative rock band most popular for their hit song “Lisztomania,” will be at DAR Constitution Hall this April. Unfortunately, the concert happens to fall on the night of my final Capstone presentation. I’ll eventually get over it. On a lighter note, Tom Petty announced this week that he’ll be making a stop in the nation’s capital this August.

I’m already considering applying for a part-time gig at the 9:30 Club in May when I’m officially a Georgetown alum. If I juggled a full-time job and grad school effectively, I think I can handle a few music-filled nights on the side. Now that would definitely be good work-life balance.

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