just when I was thinking…

…that there’s too few covers Mike Howe ever recorded (like… one?), and here they go =D

For all my “classic rock” childhood, my familiarity with Nazareth started and ended at Love Hurts – oh wait, I actually saw them live once. But I honestly don’t remember anything about the original version of this song.

Since I’m still quite grumpy because of my idiotic migraines (that I can do literally nothing to prevent because they’re all about atmospheric pressure!!), I want to complain that there’s too many vocal tracks in this one! Mike’s too good for studio tricks!

Other than that – yeah, Mike is just too good. Same as the whole band. I hope this compilation gets a digital release with Russian licencing – because no way am I ordering physical media, especially given that I’m only interested in this track and LaTorre’s stuff (Barracuda?! That’s quite a surprise).



right when I give up on him…

…he returns, and makes it a birthday present for me.  Which I obviously missed.

Yeah, someone redefines DAZ Soon ™. Liz Soon ™, all the way. This is what he promised to deliver… what, two years ago?!

Making the pause between Appointment with Death and this new LP over ten years.

Eleven frelling years.

And people think Blind Guardian take long to record new stuff.

In the press release, Liz says he considers this album something of a reset (again? OMG LOL) – and judging by the song titles, something did happen indeed. “Love” mentioned twice, directly, and everything else is kinda in that vein.

For the uninitiated, a theme running through all the LB releases since 1985 was that love was basically a dirty word, or a tragedy at best.

Next thing we know, sky falls in and Lizzy’s getting married.

Alright, I’ll stop here because I’m clearly giving myself away in terms of how far my fanaticism extends regarding Lizzy. Music, you say? Well…

Nice song.

I don’t like the production. I don’t listen to Appointment with Death often enough because I haven’t yet dared to try and remaster it for this particular pair of ears – I’m not sure it’s even possible. The production here is suspiciously similar. Maybe it’s the fault of youtube; let’s hope.

I also think he’s being a bit lazy with the vocals. What can I say… Deal with the Devil is quite possibly one of the best albums I’ve ever heard – production-wise and vocals-wise. I’m not sure he bothered to double-track his leads there at all – which is always a plus in my book. I often wish some other favourite singers of mine released “mix your own adventure” versions of their stuff, y’know =)

And – there was _that_ _track_. Pure insanity, but that’s actually good, right? The intro with the kiddo spoken word might be a bit too slow to build up, but it’s worth it ;D And those lyrics!..

All in all, I’m pretty sure this new record isn’t going to beat either this or the Starwood record – but hey. A new Lizzy Borden album coming mid-June. That’s an event, y’know!

on sampling bias

There’s that website called The Long Hair Community, which has quite a lot of good advice but also a lot of weirdness. But what we’re interested in right now is their ponytail circumference poll:


According to their poll, the average ponytail circumference would be somewhere around 3.5 inches (approx. 0.09 m).

I’ve known about this poll for years, and I’ve always wondered how this result would compare to a hypothetical survey of the general public. Yes we have the data for average hair counts in various hair colours, we have those average thicknesses of individual hair strands per ethnicity, but there may be a good number of combinations.

Is there any organisation actually keeping track of that?

I’m primarily wondering because… If you look at the early 20th century photos, it seems that just about everyone back then had hair that today would be called “thick” (obviously it’s hard to tell whether they had thicker individual strands or a lot of them – just more of it on average). Even if you look at, say, random male (to try and take dyes and styling out of the equation) rock musicians from the 60s, 70s and even 80s, and then look at their counterparts the same age today, it seems as if the dudes of today have way less hair than their spiritual ancestors. And I’m not talking about length.

Is humankind going bald, or what?

not just an academic world problem

// disregard everything below if you only use “art” as a “hobby”, i.e. to relax, to “play” etc; my musings only apply to the situation where it’s a “passion”, i.e. you don’t “want” to do it, you “must” do it //

Here’s a link:


The takeaway:

You can’t trust anyone on the internet in this day and age.

Unless you are able to retrace their cred.

It gets harder and harder as well – unless you are well-versed in the field and are able to tell good from bad. This ain’t easy if you are not competent enough. I’m not even talking about the Dunning-Krueger effect: you may well be aware of your lack of skills, but it won’t obviously help you judge.

Oh yeah, I forgot: these days, “judge” is a bad word altogether. It’s one of the reasons I left dA and minimised my DAZ forum stints, BTW: there is next to no way to get actual constructive criticism. It’s basically frowned upon.

// more under the cut //

Continue reading “not just an academic world problem”

if only any affiliate program paid for negative reviews!..

I mean, constructive criticism, of course.

DAZ rolled out this new fae/crone character:


Which is actually very tempting – the face, the HD add-on, just wow.

But that body shape…

We were just (again) discussing that DAZ disease with Michele. It’s not a DAZ-specific disease, of course, but since they’re one of the few base figure suppliers in the scene, and the biggest one… you get the drift.

See, it’s a fact that DAZ female figures tend to have shoulders noticeably narrower than average real-world females do. Especially for their height, which is generally above average.

// will make a post with numbers and measurements later, if anyone needs to be convinced with hard data //

Then there is the trend to stylise the shape even further, whenever we’re moving into vaguely “fantasy” territory – by exaggerating the booty and next to obliterating shoulders and ribcage. It somehow is rarely _that_ evident in the promos; but when you start working with the figure, it shows.

The trend is not new, and non-DAZ figures exist that suffer from this same problem; I’ll just link to two that I have and actually like a lot (despite the fact that, well, I have to fight that body shape whenever I’m making an actual character and not using the figure as-is):

http://www.sharecg.com/v/47687/gallery/11/Poser/H.E.R. – free

https://www.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/telka/62636/ – paid-for

Of course, with any Genesis version you should be able to dial in just the head. And yet.

It’s annoying, y’know.

Politically speaking, DAZ add to reinforcing body image issues in younger users with their pliable minds.

And then there is another problem which enrages me a little bit. Oxymoron, right, but that’s the best way to describe my emotions.

The promo for the starter bundle shows the dress texture that is not available in the bundle.


I’ll sit and wait this all out, then. I did get Edward the character right away. But I’ve been on the lookout for a decent older male for years. This – this is a different story.


you might’ve heard about that Telegram messenger…

…getting blocked here. I thought this was not going to affect me at all since me and messengers don’t really mix, and that one I never used and never planned to.

And yet.

Turns out our internet police has not grown any more competent. See, we already have issuu and slideshare blocked because some local activist soul found something religiously offensive there and managed to take it to court successfully, and it’s way easier to block access to the whole website instead of that to one specific page.

And the way they’re carrying out the Telegram thing, they’re telling ISPs to shut down access to this or that IP range, and these are mostly those mega cloud service ranges.

Which means that image tiles in DuckDuckGo image search results have become invisible for me. And Renderosity promos don’t load inline. I have to open each of them separately.

Annoying as hell.


I do find most metal band photos offensive.

How could I not?

Almost all of them are unbearably bland, uninspired, and plain out a disservice to studio photography as an art form. Moreover, at least nine times out of ten a photo tells you nothing about the band either.

So I hope the world will forgive me if I steal and post here two pictures that actually have character. Two of my favourite bands – but let’s just say not all their presskit photos are equally cool.



those fantasy conventions make me sad


At the first glance, it’s not a bad outfit. No boobplate; the cloth part has no boob windows; kinda practical.

Lalala… scrolling on…

High heels.

I honestly wish all those artists who think that heels are oh so badass-looking would be forced to wear a pair while doing the sort of work their characters do. For a month or two. Or even while doing their own artist work, y’know?

“Fantasy,” they say. “Anything goes,” they say. “It’s not real,” they say.

And it’s one of the reasons why the SF/F genres are not really taken seriously, neither in academic circles nor among common people. Because of all those artists and authors who do not take their own work seriously themselves.



this is how you do it

Waiting, sighing, an own record label, a best-of with some interesting re-recordings, revived hopes, hints and rumours, and then –
Doro will release a DOUBLE studio album this summer.

If the album art is to anyhow represent the guests… is that Nikki Sixx then?!

Of course, this is hardly going to be progressive metal or even, I don’t know, deathcore. But hey. Can’t always get what you want. And even if it’s all hard rock, it’s still Doro.

The Metal Queen.

The only authority I will ever recognise.