10,000 Days First Listen

http://toolband.com/

So after lining up for the midnight release (and boy was there a line) I finally got the latest installment of the Tool saga.

I’ve only had one listen end to end and tried to absorb as best I can. This release is more layered than previous, mixing in the rocky tunes of Aenima/Undertow with the abstraction/new direction that Lateralus achieved. Its a refinement more than a new sound but thats not a bad thing.

There is much going on at once, I felt throughout listening that I was listening to a Pink Floyd type record, long tracks, interesting segments/interludes, it is definetely a great journey end to end.

The vocals were a bit softer, but this give all 4 contributers the chance to equal out the record. I’d kinda say it is a bit harder to listen to (in terms of seeking imagery and meaning) simply because there is so much to it. I’m used to the vocals making (the understanding of) a Tool song for me, but at the same time realising that on 10,000 Days, everything appears to be on more equal footing and it really does work. (and perhaps that I should learn more musical understanding to fully appreciate the process behind that work.)

Once I’ve listened a few times, I’m sure the tapestry will start to make itself more accessible. There is so much to it, where do you start? How do you do justice to it all? Will you get to take it all in? Have you ever taken everything in from the previous records?

Just like one of the punters collecting the CD last night said “See you all in another 6 years”, I think in this case, most easily, Tool have bought their time well. Whether it will take you a shorter or longer period than the last to digest, this one feels much more intense – time will tell whether it is a bright spark that will die out the quickest or whether the tapestry will keep us enthralled/imaginative/appreciative/understanding/content until the next record (I know its the later, my pesimism feels the need to state the former though)

If I could state a favourite bit (with such a limited listening behind me), I would have to say its in the middle of 10,000 Days. There is a music change and Maynard roars about going to the gates (of the heaven/holy trinity?) to take back/give back what they have deserved for their injustices. That part just blew me out of the water, the endorphins kicked in for sure, I was awake, in total ecstasy and thinking my god, this is the shit.

I heard the Triple J interview yesterday where Maynard was talking about their song writing process (again) and he mentioned about how the songs are refined from the jams, they collect the bits where their hairs stand on end and work backwards to find the emotion that created it. I can understand and attest that without any assistance or external provacation, that this record does that. I can only imagine (and will experience over the course of digesting this record in the next few years) that there are a billion more of these moments hidden within and I can’t wait.

Half the time I was in a self induced hypnosis while listening to this record. Perhaps I’m older, less intelligent, have the flu, but it is really something that you need to digest – chew your food before you swallow – perhaps its the fact I’ve got these hypnosis techniques under my belt – my brain didn’t take it all in at once – or rather, my awake consious didn’t take it in – my subconscious was busy experiencing it. My endorphins worn out (is that possible?), my mind taking part in recreational neuroscience and the mental gymnasium has ripped my brain muscle and is craving more work with the new Tool machine.

Somewhere in this blog, I should mention the packaging. Tool have found a way to make a CD case into a viewmaster. Google around for some images and you’ll see what I mean. The 3d imagery is fun to watch. I’m trying to see the meaning of the images standalone without trying to integrate their position within the record, again so much to take in…

These are only my first comments and I’m sure much will be revealed and change in the future. Don’t flame me if you don’t agree, I’m sure we’ll have moments when we see I to eye or we are like ships passing each other on the wrong side. For now I’m just “thank god you are here”, the reason which gave Tool the motion to make this record and “thank god you are here” that there is another soul experiencing this too.

O.H.M.

http://myspace.com/ohmtribute

Before Opus Dai, there was O.H.M.

They consisted of almost the same lineup with an extra female vocalist. There songs are still just as great. They made a video for Sora – personally I like the newer Opus Dai version better but still worth checking out.

They’ve done a cover of Tool’s Bottom, which if you are really eager, can buy from amazon here – appears on yet another tool tribute cd. To hear the vocals of Opus Dai infused into a great Tool track is a humbling listen.

OperaHistoryComponent for Google Desktop Search and Opera 9

If you are using this plugin to keep track of your browsing history in the Opera 9 pre-release you’ll need to change a registry key to point to the location where 9TP2 stores its profile (slightly different to the default)

Its mentioned in the release notes and readme but it doesnt tell you where the key is:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareOpera History Component

There are two values in this tree you have to change

BookmarksLocation:

set to your documents and settings folderyour usernameApplication DataOperaopera9TP2 (yours may vary)profileopera6.adr

HistoryLocation: set to

your documents and settings folderyour usernameApplication DataOperaopera9TP2 (yours may vary)profileglobal.dat

… and so we have learnt

http://www.10000-days.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=663&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

Music Distributors have become ofay with the use of the internet. Where it is not practical to send a courier of a new release to a radio station, they release a wav file on a supposedly hidden part of their webspace.

After someone has discovered Vicarious here on the Zomba Label Group site, I’m sure the record companies will tighten up their net security and distribution in future. (maybe a VPN, maybe an encrypted download first with a key released on the actual date to decrypt said file – ala Steam distribution for Half Life 2)

But I guess we all learnt a lesson today. Well no, just the record companies did. Tool fans simply get the next installment of their Tool lives a few days earlier than expected.

Whoever is paying for Zomba’s bandwidth will have kittens.

Edit: Please, please, please get the wav file over the MP3. Due to the compression the MP3 does, the vocals come out much softer, and like most of my lossy rips of existing tool stuff, some drums get muted down. Its the little things that contribute to the experience and I can strongly recommend getting the WAV version. Suck it up, its big but its also a few days before the radio release and even then the streaming / broadcast quality won’t be as good as the rips. This song is growing on me much faster than schism did, I definetely didn’t think I’d say that 3 hours ago.

Non-Vicarious Resonance

http://culturebully.blogspot.com/2006/04/tool-first-single-released-vicarious.html

Ok, so I decide to use googles blog search for the first time. I type in ‘tool’ as you do when you try out a search engine. The linked site above I found points to an MP3 of the first single which is due for radio play next Tuesday. Turns out Vicarious was leaked today… whilst waiting for the download to complete I confirmed via fourtheye that indeed it was released.

Toolnavy also confirmed their is a 60~MB .wav file available… searching now.

I won’t comment on it, there is the natural vicariousness of a Tool song that you’ve come to expect, but I will not impose my vicarious faith on you kids. 😛

And now my ears are ringing. (the non vicarious bit)

FreeMind: a very excellent and cheap mindmapping tool

FreeMind: a very excellent and cheap mindmapping tool

Another thing I learnt at the Speed Reading course I took recently was the use of Mind Maps to help study and prepare notes.

The presenter showed off ActionOutline as their preferred tool to brainstorm and plan. I had already been using OneNote to do a similiar thing but OneNote is too bulky to have running in the background (and lacks any vector line drawing) and ActionOutline was too simple (I feel I could hobble together something similiar in VS2005 in a short space of time – FreeOutline anyone?).

FreeMind is the middle ground, it allows you to quickly create notes and text. You can embed html, text and images and you can export your maps as html & svg so others can access them. It has calendaring attached to notes (like ActionOutline) and you can attach icons to those items. You can also import from a variety of sources, handy if you’re migrating from another mindmapping tool.

There are so many features so go and try it out. Best of all it’s an open source project (ie IT’S FREE AND WILL STAY THAT WAY – I’ll bloody develop the thing if the existing developers get bought out 😉 ) It also runs on Windows, Linux and Mac so you’ve got no excuse.

It’s still a very young product (only up to version 0.8~). There can be some clumsiness in getting it to run initially. The documentation (yes, its a mindmap too), is easy to navigate and search, but obviously still needs a little more work

Here are some tips that can help you get accustomed to the product:

  • The start menu shortcut (and corresponding .exe file) would not start the product for me in Windows. There is an included freemind.bat file in the program directory (C:Program FilesFreeMind) that will launch it for you. You can change the start menu shortcut to use freemind.bat instead of freemind.exe.
  • It’s a java app. (suprisingly fast UI though!) You need Java 1.4 or up installed AND your java.exe for that version needs to be in your PATH variable. Some users have multiple versions of Java installed on their machines (some programs like Oracle database include an older version not compatible with FreeMind). See here for more info on setting this up.
  • When you add nodes to the root node, they take turns at appearing on the right side or left side. If you want to move a child from one side of the root to the other, drag the node over the top of the root node. The node will be highlighted and you can drop it on the left or right side to dictate what side you want that branch on (the highlighting on the root node will reflect the choice you are about to make)
  • You can use Anti-Aliased text if you have version 1.5 of Java installed. Edit the Freemind.bat file and place a -Dswing.aatext=true before the last parameter. It’s not too flash though.

Yoga Nidra

http://www.yogapoint.com/Courses/Course7/yoganidra/ses1_ind.htm

After attending a speed reading course recently, I was given a meditation CD titled “yoganidra”.

I found it much like hypnotherapy, except much less reliance on you to imagine things and more focus on relaxing your body in a step by step method. Admitedly it was late and I was tired when I tried it, but I pretty much conked out in the first 10 minutes and awoke to the bit which says “you can now wake up to a concious state. You have now finished Yoga Nidra.” Much like the hypnotherapy stuff I’ve used in the past.

I’ve had various people tell me how hypnosis is similiar to yoga and meditation so I guess this just proves, its the same thing with two different names.

10,000 Days to go

http://www.toolband.com/


Ok, so its not that long until Tool’s next album gets released here.

Although dates vary, according to Sanity, the release is Monday 1st May…. 30 days to go 😀

Being a Tool fan(atic) I can’t believe I took such a long time to post this, but there are so many other good sites devoted to them which update regularly, that if you were a said Tool nut, you would already have known and visited them many times since the album announcement.

… and after the CD there is the tour, rumoured to be sometime in August……… faaaaaaarrrrrrkkkk!!@#$@!@#$#!@!@#$#!!!!!