Thursday, 25 June 2015

141: We met this great guy, Flat Bock

I can't help it, you know. There's a certain kind of guy who has a kind of ... flat stare, looking off into the distance, it just turns me on. I used to date a lot of pilots. I see a guy like this, I just have to meet him and get to know him. That enigmatic thing just fascinates me.
   So when Alex Thaub and I were out at Pride 2015 today, wandering around, we met this great guy at a booth -- Flat Bock. He kind of reminded me of this Swedish
royal guy who's a famous blogger, Bock McMillan, that I've seen around at clubs and art openings, but gee, you know, I get nervous talking to handsome guys like that. Flat Bock was the strong silent type.
   Alex and I persuaded him to leave his buddy with the jester hat and come and hang out with us for a while on our dock -- then we brought him back to the house and had a few drinks. Turns out he's an excellent DJ, just like that guy he resembles, so we were drinking and
dancing and laughing, and then we thought we'd show him around the house, and the bedroom was right there, and, well, you know, the guy is HOT, okay?  Alex and I have never brought anyone into our bedroom before, probably won't again, but we were both ready to have some fun with Flat Bock.  Not really sure why he wanted us to dress up and do that stuff with the feathers and the peanut butter, but ... you know, WOW.
   God, I hope he phones us back.
Happy Pride, everyone!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

140: An evening at eSound

Alex Thaub and I had a good time last night dancing at the new eSound club, with DJ BJF [Floyd Arun] on the decks and his partner Harden Underwood handling hosting duties. eSound is a new club with an interesting idea -- if you're a DJ working in the area of electronic music, you can use the club and invite your
friends. I hasten to add that that is my understanding based on what I see coming through the club's feed; confirm this with BJF and Harden before you make plans.
   The club is fun, a nice open air concept. I know that people are loving the music, they just kept arriving last night faster than I could take pictures. Not too much lag, and one thing I like
about this club is that the dance board is easy to use and gives you an identifiable "stop dancing" button. But then, I'm easily pleased. Lots of hot bodies last night, male and female, a good mix of people, not too many gestures, people chatting in the open channel, and even a Linden who was having a social evening and bopping along to the tunes.
   And you know, this is a nice place.
I know that because when BJF lost his feed and the music stopped, DJ Hotboy Lockjaw stepped in and kept the music going until BJF retrieved the feed a few minutes later. THAT is the kind of thing that endangers confidence and goodwill and a sense that everyone is working together to create a good time for all.
   The SLURL is here. I would recommend joining their feed if you want
to keep in touch with what's happening when; I've noticed occasionally they have a good party on short notice.

Friday, 12 June 2015

139: RED, a new club from Cupric Router

The latest dance spot from Cupric Router's fertile mind is RED -- last night a bunch of hot bodies came out and danced to a great set from DJ Cupric! My friend Coop has the knack shared by only a couple of SL DJs for finding and mixing great EDM that's cheerful and fun and makes you want to move. He creates a great
atmosphere in his clubs by inviting everyone: male, female, gay, straight. And he keeps the action moving with his occasional comments with his sexy deep purring voice. Low lag makes things more fun ... different groups of people from all over the grid, mixing together and having fun in the open channel, keeps the fun going ... and a minimum of gestures means that people are actually
chatting and joking and relating to each other.
   Here's the SLURL. Hope to see you there next Monday!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

138: "Tanabata", a machinima by Joseph Nussbaum

I was chatting with Joseph Nussbaum the other night and he gave me advance notice that he had been working hard on a new machinima and would be releasing it soon. He just dropped it tonight and, my oh my, is it beautiful.

You can find it here. I'm not technologically equipped to give you stills (other than one I swiped from Joe's Facebook feed), but I can tell you a little bit about the story. It's from an ancient Japanese folk tale that is still told today. (And pardon me, Joe and readers, if I have the details wrong. This story has been told a number of different ways over the years, but I think I understood what was going on.) Brave young Hikoboshi falls in love with the beautiful weaver Orihime, daughter of Tentei, a powerful lord. They are blissfully happy and get married. However, Hikoboshi and Orihime neglect their duties, preferring to spend their days making love, and Tentei becomes upset. Finally he separates the lovers with a magical river and they may only meet once a year -- after the ravens build them a magical bridge.

That's the story, more or less. What it doesn't tell you is that Joe has done wonderfully well at making the limitations of machinima into stylistic flourishes. If animations are not perfectly smooth, that becomes a kind of theme -- the actions are stylized and have a kind of elegant stutter about them that perfectly suits the mood. I also really liked the idea that although this was a Japanese myth with Japanese costumes, neither the music (by Tom DePlonty) or the dancing were especially Japanese to me. The whole piece has a kind of hallucinogenic quality that transcends time; the story is slight but it's there, like an old, old story, and there are associated emotions that are delicate and smart.

Orihime was played by Bianca Xavorin, who also did the costumes; Walter Gedenspire played Hikoboshi; Joseph Nussbaum himself played Tentei; and Boris Twist played the priest. Dance by Tim Risher; poses by Diesel, dances by Abranimations. And it was filmed at Harvest Town and Tempura. These talented people did various other things, and you should check the credits to see who's responsible for what (I know Bianca Xavorin did the costumes). I don't know who's responsible for the tumbling leaf-patterned cows ;-)

Obviously this is a labour of love; I don't know what machinima competitions there might be in SL, but this should be winning a bunch of them. A beautiful job, everyone!