Apr 28, 2011

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Twilight Paper Dolls

I was going to wait until I could make and upload clothes for these and make a how-to on how to make them stand up with poster board, but since I am still putting the finishing touches on my Rochantasy essay and trying to remember trivial characters from the books for my horrible exam in class at 3:30, and it is technically 24 hours until my final meeting with Jim Groom and I need to get this baby archived soon, here is my fan fiction project:

Edward: (Regular and Sparkly)
Kind of Sparkly Edward
Rainbow Sparkle Edward
Sexy Hunky Jacob
Make your own Bella–Put yourself in the story!
You As Bella

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Apr 27, 2011

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Young ds106 webhopper…

If you are reading this, you have stumbled into a world where you will create things each week. Instead of reading boring chapters in a textbook that you will only get $5.00 for if you sell it back to those creepy guys who give you “ca$h for book$,” you will read the magnificent posts created by your fellow ds106 webhoppers. You will make art for homework and you will never have to waste paper and ink EVER AGAIN. (If you don’t want to.) Instead of writing boring, long journal or response papers about books you don’t really care about because you thought that from the title of the class it would be fun and it isn’t really anymore (too much work for your buck$), you will comment on your friend’s blogs.

And you will make friends. Because there are people who do have the same interests as you do. (Unless your interests are really weird, but I am sure you will have something in common with some of your classmates and people who stumble upon your blog.) You will answer to a man called “Reverend” or “Jim Groom” and will be slightly terrified by his weekly emails that will begin to show up in your email inbox. For they will tell you that by the end of the week, you will have accomplished such things as that you will have a domain and it will be connected to some sort of hosting site and you will have to install this foreign thing called “WordPress” by the end of the week.

BUT STAY CALM MY YOUNG ds106 WEBHOPPER! All will be well. You will get your assignments done and you will make things–great fantastic things you will tell your mama about and try to explain to your grandparents about when they call you on the phone every Sunday night and ask you about how your homework is going–such as a video commentary in iMovie that you would have never thought possible or writing, recording, and making a 30 minute radio show (now, since it’s in the future, you’re probably doing it on ds106TV in most likely 3D!!!). You will gain many skills that you can (ab)use for fun and tell your future employers that you know how to use them now. You will show your work to your friends who are not in the class and they will be overcome by jealousy and the fact that they and their work are not known by Jim Groom.

And it is true that in times of great struggle with assignments or if Audacity decides to fail on you and erase your whole project that, yes, you may curse the name of Jim Groom once, or twice, or 3.333339 million times. But don’t worry, my child, it is okay. It is all part of the process. He will ask you to fight back eventually and you must use your creative power to defeat all the obstacles projects he challenges with you each week. He really only wants you to succeed.

In the end, if you stick it out and try a little, you will go on a wonderous journey to the ends of the internet and you will make great art. When you have finished this class, I ask that you return to this post and leave a comment of your own. For if you succeed and remember to come back, when all is said and done that there is only one more thing I can say to you…

My child, you are no longer a “webhopper,” but have fully achieved the title of “web wanderer.”

Now, go forth and conquer the internet.

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Apr 16, 2011

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When Florrie Takes Over, a mashup

For my mashup, I ended up taking the instrumental track of “When Love Takes Over”originally by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland and combining it with the acappella vocals of two tracks (“Panic Attack” and “Call 911”) by English singer-songwriter Florrie.

I first heard about Florrie on Popjustice.com. Her “Introduction” EP is one of the best things I’ve ever downloaded. If you like good pop music, especially anything by Girls Aloud or produced by Xenomania, or you need a good soundtrack of upbeat and amazing songs to get you through exam week next week, I highly suggest you check out Florrie. “Summer Nights” is my favorite song on the EP and “Left Too Late” is drop dead gorgeous.

I’ve been working on this mashup since Tuesday evening in Audacity and this is the tenth “take” on the track. Every so often, I would export the track and put it on my MP3 player and listen to it while I was walking to see if it worked. As I listened to the takes, it seemed that it sounded better when I let the chorus just be the piano mostly, which I think follows the assignment and changes the feel of the song from sort of a anticipating dance stomper to something more bittersweet and chill by letting the piano beats be the “ticks of the time bomb.”

When Florrie Takes Over by Call_lean

I hope it does Florrie justice and I send her a million thanks for letting me use her acappella tracks. If you want to listen to other remixes made by fans or make you own, you should go here.

In case you haven’t heard the original version, here is “When Love Takes Over.” The instrumental track that I used isn’t as crisp in the piano as this one, but I still think it is pretty nonetheless.

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Mar 31, 2011

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It’s all in the (Re)Mix

Most of what I know about remix and mashup culture comes from the many remixes and music mashups that I’ve found on or because of my daily stalking of occasional visits to Popjustice.com. For mashups, I really like Titus Jones and DJ Masa. For remixes, I really like OLM Remix (now 2nd Adventure).

I’ve had ideas for mashups, but since I didn’t have the technology (or if I did, I didn’t know I did or how to use it) I’ve never made any. My most recent one (that I feel like sharing) is a mix of Lady Gaga’s “Born This way”, Glee’s version of “Express Yourself”, P!nk’s “God Is A DJ”, and Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Take’s Over”. I think there are mixes of “Born This Way” and “Express Yourself” on YouTube, and I heard talk that “Born This Way” sounds like “When Love Takes Over” and “God Is A DJ,” but I’m unsure if there has been a mix of all three. If there hasn’t, please make one. If you need inspiration, I know how it should sound. If there is, I guess we’re on the same wavelength. Very cool. Please let me listen to it ASAP. 🙂

In general, I don’t think a remix or mashup is an “assault on originality” if you bring something new to the table when you use it. When looking at music, yeah, I get a little ticked when someone speeds up a song and calls it a “remix.” True, it’s a new mix of the song, but what else did you bring to the table. Although I do know of quite a few songs that I like listening to them sped up because they sound better. A remix should reinterpret the song (or work) to some degree. I mean, for many techno remixes, you basically just add a dance track, but you know the best ones are the ones that take a way out there dance sample and completely change the song.

Is the art of remix and mashup a “new” art? I don’t think so. I think the act of using something created by one person and using it for your own (or making it your own by using it in a way that is different from what it was intended to be) has always been around. With the rise of Web 2.0, it’s just made the act of getting the materials and making a mashup more accessible and more easier to be found/shared.

I never really considered that remixes or mashups can be used for educational purposes, per say, and I’m still a little confused about the article. On the topic of if you can be taught, I think the art of remix/mashup can be explained and given an example of, however the first and probably many times you attempt to make one. You learn more from the experience of doing it than having someone say “this is how you do it.”

After reading these articles (by Melanie McBride and Brian Lamb), especially Melanie McBride’s, I was wondering if it would be an interesting experiment (or assignment) to have a number of individuals all create original works and then swap them or put them in a pool where everyone must then draw from the original works in the pool to create their own remix or mashup. It doesn’t answer the copyright problem, but it might allow for students to do something perhaps more satisfying or what they want than working with what they may not like that’s free in the archives.

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Mar 31, 2011

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the videoessay

Here it is. I tried to have a theme of “this movie is about how Scott is basically an asshole and learns that he is one and therefore becomes a cool dude” but it may have been overshadowed by “yeah, real life should be like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and/or “Yeah, so I just love this scene because blahdiblahdiblahblah.” I may edit later and write more (but let’s be reasonable, probably not). If you have any questions, comments, concerns, general praise, please feel free to comment below.

It’s currently being hosted on Vimeo. So yeah.

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Mar 27, 2011

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Scott Pilgrim’s Hold on My Heart

Nothing can compete with my love for Scott Pilgrim. I’m sorry Girls Aloud. I’m sorry ds106. I’m sorry Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. I’m sorry Edward. Oh yeah wait. I’m really not sorry about that last one…

But listen all, you’ve just got to face the facts that you are not Scott Pilgrim.

Scott Pilgrim defines everything that is amazing in life and enhances it threefold by just his mere presence. You may scoff and say that I’m in love with a 2D Manga-drawn fictional character or just the character that Michael Cera plays in the movie version. But you are wrong. So wrong.

Real life should be like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (the movie version). And this I will show you. Probably by class on Thursday when my videoessay is due.

So far I’ve downloaded the Fastest YouTube Downloader thingie and tried to get clips (because even though I do own the DVD, I do not want anything to “harm my precious Scott”). It didn’t really work last night when I tried to download a clip, but I’m going to see if it works tonight because I’m getting this thing done ASAP. I have too much crap to do this week for classes and for my dance show on Sat/Sun to lose sleep over you, video. I’m hoping to beat you silly with the epic awesomeness of Scott Pilgrim.

So in short: Scott Pilgrim vs the videoessay should be coming soon. Unless it fails to work properly, and then you will see Inception the videoessay, since I have the ability to legally download a digital copy of that.

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Mar 27, 2011

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Five Weeks to Go

Hello, blog. I know I haven’t updated you in awhile, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive and sort of well (even if I almost die every time I leave my apartment to walk outside from allergies) and I’ve been living in a mountain of homework, but I’m hoping to find a light in the tunnel. Or you know, a tunnel so I can get out of this mountain.

Just wanted to let you know that today I made a calendar of all the crap I have to do for everything before the end of the semester. I know I should be “cherishing” the time I have left with ds106 Section 3 and my apartment, but frankly, I don’t want to. I want it to be late spring/early summer now. If it could actually be May 8 tomorrow, that would be even better. Partly, because I would have a diploma and partly because I will have a huge mound of birthday gifts to open, but most of all because I would have a great amount of free time. And there is the slight possibility that I’d never have to step inside a school again. Of course, I may end up getting a Masters at some point, but I’m just going to believe I’ll never have to be a student again until the end of this blog entry, so I can at least remain partly sane and excited to never go to school again.

Since I really just want everything to end right now and I have no motivation to get anything done, I’ve made a list of things that I might eventually do once I never have to wake up and do homework again to get me through these next few weeks in my boring, untidy, over humid apartment.

Things I will do with my free time once I graduate/5-6 weeks are up:
-Sleep. I know it’s the old college kid standby, but seriously, I have not gotten like any sleep this semester and it’s really ticking me off. I keep telling people that once I graduate, I’m sleeping for a week straight and only waking up to eat and take showers. It’s funny how they laugh and don’t really believe me…
-My Seven Deadly Sins Barbies. Now since I will have all the time in the world, I will get out my Barbie trunks and make the five I need–Sloth, Gluttony, Pride, Lust, and Greed. I had an idea for two of them yesterday. Should be pretty cool. I’m more excited for this than writing that long paper for Rochantasy…
-Finishing my Rubix cube pillow/purse. Two springs ago, I took a fabric dying and painting class and made 12 colors on the color wheel. Long story short, I took 6 of these and cut them into 3×3 squares and started sewing them onto black fabric to make a cube. I have maybe 2.5 sides done (they’re all hand sewn). And I want to finish them. I have no idea if it’s going to be a pillow or a purse, but it definitely won’t be one of those tacky pillow-pet things for sure.
-Clean all the crap off of my computer. I gave it a good DVD back up and purge yesterday, but I eventually want to remove all of my school related Word Documents that I will hopefully never need again off of my computer. And you know, since I’m an English major, I have what can only be correctly referred to scientifically as a metric crap ton.
-Buy the three books from the Scott Pilgrim series that I’m missing. (Hey, I have to have something on this list that is easily accomplished.) 🙂
-Maybe attempt to do an assignment from each category for fun, but this is a very little maybe and it might be squashed by sunblock and strawberry plants.
-Buy two new strawberry plants. I had two last summer and it was the best thing in the world to go out back and pick fresh berries off of them. For anyone who doesn’t know, I LOVE strawberries and will give someone a lot of money and nominate them for a Nobel Prize if they figure out a way that prevents strawberries from molding and becoming overripe in transit.
-Buy, listen, and love Lady Gaga’s new album. It’s out May 23, 2011. I cannot wait to hear “Government Hooker” in full/headphones/cd quality.

So yeah. Today begins Week T Minus 5 overall and Week T Minus 4 of classes. So keep in mind, if you’re procrastinating and reading this blog entry, we only have 8 more days of Tuesday/Thursday classes. So get yo stuff done, yo. 🙂

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