I’m trying to get into habit of commenting on at least one blog post every day, by whatever means. Even if there’s no reply, I’m hoping it’s a signal to other bloggers that they’re seen and appreciated.
Today was our Easter celebration — family vegan meal, toasted the arrival of spring. 💐🌸🌺🌷🌼
An extended show, showcasing two compilations pulled from my music collection — “This Is Strictly Rhythm” from 1991, which I converted years ago from cassette, and “Lush Life Electronica” from 2001.
- Dv8 - The Beat Is Over
- House 2 House - Hypnotize Me [trance mix]
- The Youngbloods - You Got Me Burnin’ Up [UK deep mix]
- Logic - The Warning [inner mix]
- Jasmine/Underground Solution - Luv Dancin’ Remix
- Chapter One - Unleash the Groove [e-funk mix]
- E-Culture - Tribal Confusion (Inhalation Mix)
- Rhythm Warfare - Two Notches [battle mix]
- Total Ka-Os - Get on Up [lover mix]
- Lovechild - Sweet Ambience [club mix]
- Afterhours - Waterfalls [3 a.m. mix]
- John Beltran - Soft Summer
- Sunrise Society - Astral Travels
- CiM - Shift
- Phenomyna - Earthfall (Nuron mix)
- Move D - Beyond the Machine
- Blueshift - Heaven 27
- Soul Circuit - What If
- Shad T. Scott - Sand Pail
- Pub - Summer (Arovane mix 1)
- Bochum Welt - La Nuit (Slumber mix)
Back after a short absence due to health stuff, and onwards with the A-Z of Funk & Soul!
- Barbara Mills - Queen of Fools
- Barbara McNair - You’re Gonna Love My Baby
- Barbara Pennington - You Are The Music Within Me
- Barbara Perry - Say You Need It
- Barbara Randolph - I Got A Feeling
- Barrett Strong - Make Up Your Mind
- Barrino Brothers - Trapped In A Love
- Barry Darvell - Lost Love
- Barry White - Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe
- Beatrice Kay - Boy You Better Watch It Girl
- The Beginning of the End - Bahaman Boogie
- The Bell Boys - I Don’t Want to Lose You
- Ben Aitkin - Satisfied
- Ben E. King - Save The Last Dance For Me
- Benny Johnson - Visions Of Paradise
- benny latimore - it aint where
- Benny Troy - I Wanna Give You Tomorrow
- Bernard Edwards feat. Jocelyn Brown - Don’t Do Me Wrong
- Bernard Wright - Master Rocker
- Bernie Williams - Ever Again
- The Best Of Both Worlds - Anyway The Wind Blows
- Beverly Ann - You’ve Got Your Mind on Other Things
- Beverly Williams - They Say Big Girls Don’t Cry
- Betty & Angel - Honey Coated Loving
- Betty Bibbs - Enough for Everybody
- Betty Boo - Say It Isn’t So
- Betty Davis - This Is It!
- Betty Everett - It Hurts To Be In Love
- bettye crutcher - as long as you love me
- Bettye Swann - Chained & Bound
- Betty Harris - Ride Your Pony
- Betty Lavette - My Man He’s A Loving Man
- Betty Moorer - It’s My Thing
Delayed from last week due to health issues, this show features tracks from an oddball compilation I picked up last year, “Alexis Le-Tan & Jess Present Space Oddities”. I through in a couple of tracks from Herbie Hancock and some drum & bass from Photek to round things off nicely.
- Roland Bocquet - Exotique
- Jean-Pierre Decerf & Gerard Zajd - Reaching the Infinite
- Alan Shearer - Sons of the Snake
- Phil Davies & Ch. Ried - Muscle and Heat
- Claude Perraudin - Energy
- Phillippe Besbombes - Flipper
- Yan Tregger - Girls Will Be Girls
- Thierry Durbet & Harry Williams Verschu - Systeme 80
- S. Olivier Nakara Percussions - Balimba
- Jean-Pierre Decerf, Gerard Zajd & Tony Cerrona - Black Safari
- Klaus Weiss - Sound Inventions
- Sauveur Mallia - Stone Roller
- Frank McDonald & Chris Rae - Robot Dancer
- Brian Bennett - Cloning
- Roger Roger - No 15
- Bernard Fevre - Dali
- J.L. Bucchi, R. Tambin, T. Lipton - Ozone
- Sauveur Mallia - Robot Avenue
- Herbie Hancock - Nobu
- Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island
- Photek - Terminus
Continuing Spiffy’s A-Z of Funk & Soul, from Aretha Franklin to Barbera Mason. And yes, a lot of Barberas to get through in the list! :)
- Aretha Franklin - Muddy Water
- Arin Domain - Silent Treatment
- Arlene Brown & Lee Shot Williams - Impeach Me Baby
- The Arrows - Boogedy Boogedy
- Art Freeman - Slippin’ Around with You
- Arthur Alexander - Rainbow Road
- Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music
- Arthur K Adams - I Need You
- Arthur Prysock - Baby I’m the One
- The Artistics - Hard To Carry On
- Asaase Ase - Ohiani Sua Efir - Asaase Ase
- The Ascots - Another Day
- Ashford & Simpson - Ain’t That Somethin’
- Associated Press - When He’s Gone
- The Auditions - Home From Vietnam
- August & Deneen - We Go Together
- B.T. Express - If It Don’t Turn You On (You Better Leave It Alone)
- B.W. & The Next Edition - Stay With Me Baby
- The Ba-roz - Come Back Boy
- Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters - Just Being Careful
- Baby Washington - The Ballad Of Bobby Dawn
- Backyard Heavies - Chitlin’ Strut
- The Ballads - Treat Me Like Your Woman
- Baltimore & Ohio Marching Band - Condition Red
- Banda Black Rio - Maria Fumaca
- The Bar-Kays - Midnight Cowboy
- Barbara & brenda - Don’t wait up for mama
- Barbara & Ernie - Play With Fire
- barbara acklin - I’ll Bake Me A Man
- Barbara Howard - Light My Fire
- Barbara Jean English - Danger Signs
- Barbara Lewis - Hello Stranger
- Barbara Lynn - You’ll Lose A Good Thing
- Barbara Mason - Girls Have Feelings Too
Continuing with Spiffy’s A-Z of Funk & Soul and the letter A this week, finishing up at Aretha Franklin and an appropriate song for the eve of Martin Luther King Day in the US.
- Alton Mcclain & Destiny - Taking My Love For Granted
- Altyrone Deno Brown - If You Love Me
- Amanda Humphrey - Power Of Love
- Amanda Love - You Keep Calling Me By Her Name (Starville 1203) (Chess 2003)
- Ambassadors - I Dig You Baby
- The Ambers - Potion of Love
- Amnesty - Mister President
- Amy Keys - Everytime I Close My Eyes
- Anacostia - Take It Or Leave It
- Anderson Brothers - I Can See Him Loving You
- Andraé Crouch - I’ll Be Thinking You You
- Andrea Henry - I Need You Like a Baby
- Angela Bofill - People Make the World Go Round
- Anglo Saxon Brown - The Man I Love
- Anita Baker - You’re My Everything
- Ann Peebles - Part time love
- Ann Perry - That’s the Way He Is
- Ann Sexton - You’ve Been Gone Too Long
- Annette Poindexter & the Pieces of Peace - Mama
- Annette Snell - You Oughta’ Be Here with Me
- Anthony & The Imperials - Better Use Your Head
- Anthony White - Where Would I Be Without You
- Apagya Show Band - Kwaku Ananse - Apagya Show Band
- The Apollas - Mr. Creator
- Aposento Alto - Good-by Old Friends
- Apple and The Three Oranges - What Goes Around Comes Around
- April Stevens - 165 Wanting You
- aquarian dream - 01 - phoenix
- Archie Bell & The Drells - I Could Dance All Night
- Archie Whitewater - don’t be short
- Aretha Franklin - Change is Gonna Come
Photo taken at home in Second Life yesterday. This sci-fi suit was a 2020 purchase I finally got around to setting up, very happy with it. :) I have a starscape projector pointed at a wall, great for taking fashion pics (and checking my shininess).
A slight change of plan with this week’s show — I had a sore throat on Wednesday, DJ Priestess covered for me by moving the show she normally does Thursdays on Gorean Whip Radio, “Temple of Twerk” as she had to attend to Real Life on that day. I decided to return the favour by doing this show during her slot Thursday. Thankfully I’d prepared playlist in advance, from a compilation called “Once Again, Again” compiled by Matthew Hawtin.
- A.S.I.O. & Paddee - Transparencies From The Outer Regions (Original Mix)
- Pineapple Circle - Circle Waves (Original Mix)
- Namlook - The Dutch Side of The Milky Way (Original Mix)
- Jet Chamber - Feedback Fluctuation (Original Mix)
- Further - Ugene (Original Mix)
- MLO - Aqua (Original Mix)
- Hiroshi Watanbe - After Time (Original Mix)
- Dubtribe Sound System - Quiet Earth (Original Mix)
- The Irresistable Force - Symphony In E (Original Mix)
- Gustavo Lamas - Naturales (Original Mix)
- A Positive Life - Aquasonic (Original Mix)
- FUSE - Carocell (Original Mix)
- Atlas - Compass Error (East) (Original Mix)
- Link - Amenity (Original Mix)
Kicking off Spiffy’s A-Z of Funk & Soul with the letter A!
- Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
- Ace Spectrum - Don’t Send Nobody Else
- Act - Party Hardy People
- A.C. Reed - I Got Money To Burn
- The Ad Libs - Nothing Worse Than Being Alone
- Adam Wade - Shine On Silver Moon
- Adams Apples - Don’t Take It Out on This World
- The Adventurers - Easy Baby
- African Music Machine - Black Water Gold (Pearl)
- Aggregation - A Child Is Born
- Ahead of Our Time - It Ain’t Fair (Pt. 1)
- Akira Jimbo feat. Maxi Anderson - Our Sweet Melody
- Akwassa - A1 - Have Patience
- Al “Mr Soul” Scott - What Happened to Yesterday
- Al Green - Back Up Train
- Al Hudson - If You Feel Like Dancin’
- Al Johnson with Jean Carne - I’m Back for More
- Al Kent - The Way You Been Acting Lately
- Al King - My Name Is Misery
- Al Perkins - Step It Up
- Al Williams - I Am Nothing
- AL WILSON - La La Peace Song
- Alex Brown - A1-I’m Not Responsible
- Alex Williams - The Thrill Ain’t Gone
- Alexander Patton - A Lil’ Lovin’ Sometimes
- Alfie Davidson - Love Is a Serious Business
- Alice Clark - you hit me (right where it hurt me)
- Alicia Myers - Don’t Stop What You’re Doin’
- All the People - Soul Jazz Records
- Allen Toussaint - Victims Of The Darkness
- Allspice - Love Fire
- Alphonso Johnson - Love’s The Way I Feel ‘Bout Cha
- Alton Ellis - Give Me Your Love
First of a new series of Spiffy Probes Your Ears, my more electronic-oriented show for Gorean Whip Radio. Brought the broadcast forward a little as it was getting cold last night! I decided to play a selection from the ‘Pop Ambient’ compilation series put out by Kompakt Records since 2001. You can find them, plus a load more good stuff, at kompakt.bandcamp.com
- Joachim Spieth - You Don’t Fool Me
- All - Alltag
- Geometric Farms - Men Of Many Sayings
- Mint - All (Remix)
- Reinhard Voigt - Premiere World
- Gustavo Lamas - Manana
- Triola - AG Penthouse
- www.jz-arkh.co.uk - ddrhodes
- Dettinger - Grount
- Novisad - Sommersonnenschein
- Ulf Lohmann - Java
- The Orb - Dilmun
- Uli Teichmann - Piano Tec
- Peter Grummich - Kimono
- Leandro Fresco - Buenos amigos
- Klimek - Sunrise
- Markus Guentner - Chrom
- Pass Into Silence - Sakura Andrew Thomas - Fearsome Jewel (3)
My first show of 2022 on Gorean Whip Radio, and as it’s a new year I went with a mix of uplifting and inspiring songs. I opened with “The Ballad of The Sandman”, which I regard as a quintessential New Year song, particularly for those who love radio. :) Arlo Guthrie’s original recording of “Alice’s Restaurant” also got an airing, for no other reason than its ability to make me laugh. Of course, Will Powers is there too with “Adventures In Success”, along with some covers by Nat ‘King’ Cole and Diana Ross and a few songs relating to starting anew. The final sweep contains, as Ben Elton used to say, “a little bit of politics” — I let the songs do the talking for me there. ;)
Broadcast my first show of 2022 on Gorean Whip Radio last night. Today I start the process of uploading my broadcasts to Mixcloud so they can be shared and enjoyed. And I’m bringing back my midweek electronica-infused show too. :)
Greetings, carbon-based lifeforms! This is Alan Ralph’s alter-ego from Second Life. I come in peace, bringing virtual photography and real audio, plus hopefully occasional video. :)
Okay, I'm making a note — always double-check when applying for performance slots at events in Second Life.
I realised yesterday that my DJ-ing slot at BURN2 wasn't going to be at 12pm SLT today, but at 12am, or 8am UK time. That would have been tough for me to do even on a weekday, but doubly so on a Sunday!
I let the performance organiser know yesterday, but I woke up to some offline messages from the on-duty stage hosts early this morning asking if I was going to be performing. It was several hours before I was awake enough to log into Second Life to answer them.
I'll most likely try and perform at BURN2 later in the year, but next time I'll pay more attention!
In other news, I had my second Covid-19 vaccination shot last Tuesday. The side-effects weren't as severe this time around, but I still felt rough for most of the week.
I thought I’d better post something to let the world know I’m still alive!
I ended up taking time out for most of March, both from broadcasting duties on Gorean Whip Radio and activity in Second Life generally, while I took care of my physical and mental health. A combination of sinus infection plus poor sleep had left me pretty frazzled, so I decided that sorting that out took priority over everything else. The time off ended up doing me a power of good, not only because my health has improved, but because I now have a lot more clarity on where I’m going and what my priorities are.
One side-effect of that is that I won’t be chasing after DJ-ing opportunities at big events like the SL Sci-Fi Con or SL18B. I will do coverage of events for Gorean Whip Radio when I’m able, and the good news is that the station is once again part of Sci-Fi Con 2021, meaning I’ll be doing a live walkabout around the event sims. :)
I do have one special event coming up soon — on Sunday 11th April I’ll be at BURN2 once again for their Burnal Equinox event, and that’ll be dual-streamed to Gorean Whip Radio. I’ll post the show recording plus a photo gallery afterwards.
In other news, I managed to snag myself a Catwa HDPRO Queen mesh head, which was briefly on sale for just L$1! It took me a while to get it setup to my liking, in part because my custom avatar shape caused it to break in a few places, but I’m pretty pleased with it. The best part is that the ears move by themselves, and unlike the old mesh ears from Stargazer Creations that I’ve worn in the past, they support Bakes on Mesh. :)
I’m also looking to reduce my monthly expenditure in Second Life, so I’m going to drop my Premium account in the autumn when it comes up for renewal. I’m now down to about 30 groups, and focussing on roleplay and events over shopping, so that won’t be a handicap for me. It does mean I’ve given up the houseboat Premium Home, which is a shame, but I can go elsewhere for sailing.
This past week, I finally ticked off one of the tasks I'd set myself for this year: designing myself a custom skin for my avatar. :)
The roadblock that had thwarted my plans was that while I had some guidelines for laying out the textures, I had no real clue how to do it. So I did some research online which led me to this resource page with templates for some simple skins. Exactly what I needed!
I downloaded the Photoshop files for the most recent example, the Starlight skin, but they have versions that'll work in Illustrator or GIMP.
Upon opening them in Affinity Designer, I was overjoyed to see that all the parts — shadows, highlights, freckles, make-up and other details — could all be separated out and their visibility changed as required. So the first order of business was to remove the fingernails and toenails, as they're superfluous on a Bakes-On-Mesh (BOM) mesh avatar, followed by various details that weren't required for my alien look. Then I replaced the base flesh-tone with a dark blue.
To test the new skin in Second Life required that I export the textures as PNG files, then log into Second Life and create a new skin in my inventory. To do that, open your inventory then right-click and select
New Body Parts > New Skin.
While you can put this new skin anywhere in your inventory, it's probably best to place it in the Body Parts folder that's already there. I've created a Skins folder to organise the skins that I've used. As you can see from the screenshot above, I've got a few that I've bought over the years, plus two of my own creations.
(And yes, my Firestorm Viewer is pink, because reasons.)
Before you go any further, make sure that you've saved your current appearance in you Appearance window. I keep a default one around for this very reason. Simply click the big
Save As button and enter a descriptive name. I name my base appearances starting with '-Base-' so that they will always appear at the top of the Appearance list.
Next, you'll need to go somewhere private in order to wear and then customise your new skin. While some areas may allow exhibitionism, most don't, and I cannot be held responsible for any sim or region bans you may incur from not heeding the above advice!
Okay, so you're hopefully at home in Second Life now and not liable to scare people with what happens next.
- If you're using Firestorm Viewer or another third-party viewer, you can use their built-in pose stand feature to place your avatar nice and steady, otherwise rez a pose stand from your inventory and hop onto that. (If, for whatever reason, you don't have a pose stand on you, there are plenty of free ones available on the Second Life Marketplace.)
- Set your environment to 'Midday' (
World > Environment > Middayin Firestorm) and turn off shadows if you've got them enabled — you're going to want to see how your avatar looks without any distractions.
- Speaking of distractions, it's time to strip off all your (Second Life) clothes and accessories. That includes hair, make-up and tattoos.
- Select your new skin in your inventory and double-click it to wear it. This will make you look like a mannequin, but don't worry, we're going to fix that.
- Right-click on your new skin in the inventory window and select Edit — you'll get the Skin Editor dialog in the Appearance window.
- Click on the box marked 'Head', and you'll see a texture selector appear. Click on
Localto switch the selector to textures stores locally on your computer. There's nothing there yet, but now you can open the PNG files you created earlier.
- Click the
Addbutton, then select the first texture file on your computer and click
OKto let your viewer know it's there. You can repeat this step for the other texture files if you wish, to save time, or select all three to link them in one go. Make sure that the
Apply Nowbox is checked, then pick the head texture from the list on the right. (Obviously, it will help if you've named your texture files so you know which is which!)
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the 'Upper Body' and 'Lower Body', and you should now have your skin on display in your viewer. Because you're using local files, other people won't be able to see them for now.
Now you can have a good look around your avatar to see how your new skin looks. If there are any area where the texture looks odd or isn't lining up correctly between body parts, you can re-open your working texture files in Photoshop or whatever app you're using, make changes then re-export them as PNG files using the same filenames you used before. Because you left that
Apply Now box checked earlier, your changes will be reflected on your avatar in Second Life!
Once you're happy, it's time to upload those textures so that you can use them in Second Life. Linden Lab will charge you a small fee per texture, so it's a good idea to double-check the textures so you don't end up wasting money!
(If you need more time to work on your new skin, simply repeats steps 1 through 7 above to return to where you were. The skin file in your inventory won't be updated until you've uploaded your textures.)
- In the Skin Editor, select each of the top three boxes in turn, then click on
Uploadin the texture picker.
- You can change the name for the texture, and you’ll be shown how much Linden Lab will charge you for the upload.
- Once you click the Pay button, there will be a delay while the texture is uploaded, then it should show up in the Textures folder in your inventory.
- Toggle the texture picker to Inventory, then find and select the newly-uploaded texture, and click
OKto confirm the change.
- Repeat steps 8 through 11 for the other textures.
- Now, you can hit that
button in the Skin Editor window, and your new skin is now viewable by everyone in Second Life!
Okay, that's a very quick tutorial. The amount of time needed depends on how much detail you want to put into your new skin, and it'll probably take a few trials to get everything looking correct.
Now, here are some pictures of what I made!
I kept to a dark blue skin-tone, but went with rainbow stripes instead of spots as I could literally paint them on! :) I kept the colour gradient from the tattoo layer I'd been wearing previously, but now it extends down my hands, which I'm very happy with.
I had a barcode tattoo hidden above my butt, thanks to my friend Winterrose, but for my new skin I decided to make it intregrated and much larger!
There are some gaps in my skin where there are no rainbow stripes — you can see what I mean from the photo above, at the ankle level. I will probably fix that in a future version, but for now I'm happy with it.
On my face, the stripes are thinner but cover a lot more skin area. I've included lips and eyeliner, which now follow the rainbow gradient — my previous makeup was separate and clashed somewhat with my spots tattoo.
I took this photo above to show what I did for my hands. I have two open circles on the palms, and stripes running up each finger and thumb.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and perhaps feel inspired to consider personalising your own appearance. :)
The biggest benefit to myself, apart from pride in having a unique appearance, is that my avatar renders faster, as there are fewer layers to bake onto my mesh body.
The next phase of my makeover will involve creating a custom shine to complement and enhance my new look. I'll post more about that once I've worked out what I need to pull it off!
It has been a while since I updated here. Part of that has been due to recent health issues brought on by the sub-zero temperatures we experience the week before last, which greatly reduced the time I’ve been able to spend in Second Life.
Yesterday was the sixth anniversary (or ‘Rez-Day’ as it’s called by some folks) of my joining Second Life. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling up to celebrating, so it was pretty low-key this year.
I also had to contend with an extended loss of broadband access last Friday, thanks to a cock-up on the part of Virgin Media. That came at the end of a stressful few days as we worked, and waited on the phone, to haggle down the price Virgin are charging. Thankfully, the broadband returned last Saturday, but by that point I’d had to cancel my DJ set at Second Pride, which I was gutted about as I’d been looking forward to it.
But I’ve had some success, at least with my job as Advertising Production Manager for Gorean Whip Radio. With help from a few others (hi to Shaina and Volund!) several new adverts got put together and are now in rotation, making for very happy sponsors. :)
And I have a new home in Second Life! I’m renting a small apartment in MetroSomnia, the place where I role-play now, as well as the garage underneath. That has given me an excuse to rez and use the two hover-bikes I have in my inventory, one of which is a two-seater. As the sim is cyberpunk-themed they fit in perfectly, and I’ve taken them for a spin around the city. :) I do need to work on my driving skills a bit more, so I doubt I’ll be persuading anyone to ride with me any time soon. :P
Hopefully more posts soon!
For a change, I was able to get plenty of photos taken for this visit to BURN2, which is great because words along cannot fully describe the creativity (and craziness) on display on the Playa! :)
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Bubblegum & Duct-tape”, so there was much pink gooeyness and tape replacing the roads.
I took these photos on the day before I was due to perform, so it was marginally less laggy walking around the region and I could get unobstructed views of the various builds.
Suffice to say, there were a lot of Bernie Sanders meme pictures dotted around! I guess the Burners decided that he was perfect for a winter festival. :)
Incidentally, that last picture is the installation of Patrick Moya, who has an entire region of his own full of his wonderfully surreal creations. He’s in the bottom right of the photo, by the way. :)
I caught the end of one of the Saturday DJ shows, which was followed by a live performance by the Changhigh Sisters. They are regulars at just about every BURN2 event I’ve been to, and for once I was able to both watch the show and take some photos. These stills don’t really do them full justice, their performance combines dance, acrobatics and a lot of pyrotechnics!
My show was on the Sunday from 12pm to 2pm SLT, and once again I simulcast it on Gorean Whip Radio. There was a small technical hitch at the start where the radio didn’t get switched to my DJ stream right away, but everything went smoothly at my end. I say ‘smoothly’, but that was because for the most part I had my Firestorm Viewer setting cranked down so that I could still type and control my broadcast setup!
There was a large crowd during my show, and they enjoyed the mix of soul, funk and disco. :) Later on, I was able to bring up my viewer settings enough to snap some photos of the partygoers — lots of sexy pixels on display!
I had a great time, and will definitely be back for the next BURN2 event!
Move On Up — Curtis Mayfield
Soul Man — Sam & Dave
I Say a Little Prayer — Aretha Franklin
Sir Duke — Stevie Wonder
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — Otis Redding
Try a Little Tenderness — Percy Sledge
War — Edwin Starr
Walk On By — Dionne Warwick
Let’s Stay Together — Al Green
Ain’t Nobody — Rufus & Chaka Khan
Sweet Love — Anita Baker
It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who To Sock It To) — Marva Whitney
The Message From The Soul Sisters (Pt. 1 & 2) — Myra Barnes
Think (About It) — Lyn Collins
Super Bad, Pt. 1 & 2 — James Brown & The J.B.’s
Never Too Much — Luther Vandross
Le Freak — Chic
We Are Family (Single Version) — Sister Sledge
Boogie Wonderland — Earth, Wind & Fire, The Emotions
Give Me Just a Little More Time — Chairmen of the Board
Play That Funky Music — Wild Cherry
Disco Inferno (Single Edit) — The Trammps
Proud Mary — Tina Turner
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) — Marvin Gaye
We Have All the Time In the World — Louis Armstrong
A Change Is Gonna Come — Sam Cooke
I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, since before the New Year, but now I’m ready to go through with it.
This blog has always been self-hosted, but was subsequently linked to WordPress.com via the Jetpack plugin as a means to make my blogging life somewhat easier.
However, it turns out that WordPress.com is a Pain In The Posterior when used in this manner, both to get the integration fully working on my blog and to manage at WordPress’s end. I’m singularly unimpressed with their apps for Mac and iOS, and ended up going back to writing posts directly in my browser. And while I could use the WordPress apps to read other folk’s blogs, I already use Inoreader for that, which has the advantage of not being limited to just WordPress sites.
I am aware that I have quite a few folks who do use WordPress to subscribe to updates from my blog, and I don’t want to leave you guys behind. One option you have is to use the RSS feed for my site to stay updated — there are lots of apps and services you can use to do that, I personally use Inoreader but there’s also Feedly which is probably the best-known service. The alternative would a newsletter, but that would require some extra work to set up at my end.
So tell me, dear readers — which option do you prefer? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set up the newsletter and invite you to sign up for that.
Cutting the cord with WordPress.com will mean several fewer things for me to deal with here, and right now I’m all about simplifying my online life as much as possible.
This show was broadcast from 12pm SLT on the 1st January 2021, at the WHIP Club House in Second Life. I’d considered doing this show in the early AM, but logistics plus a likely lower listening audience ruled that out.
Part of the playlist was recycled from the one I did for New Year’s Day 2020 because I feel they’re good songs that symbolize a new beginning. :)
The first track is a poem that I first discovered several decades ago, and have kept as a text file across multiple computers since then. It was originally written by Mike Agranoff, and I found the audio version on SoundCloud. It is very much a New Year’s Eve song, but works just as well on the following day in my opinion.
The final song, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, is my go-to song for optimism, and one I’ve played whenever I want to convey hope for the future.
And yes, I sneaked in some classical music. :D I find ‘The Blue Danube’ both uplifting and relaxing.
Ballad Of The Sandman — Dan Teigen
Morning Has Broken — Cat Stevens
Feeling Good — Nina Simone
Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles
Mr. Blue Sky — ELO
Rip It Up — Orange Juice
Pick Yourself Up — Debbie Reynolds
Start Me Up — The Rolling Stones
Adventures In Success — Will Powers
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ — Michael Jackson
Things Can Only Get Better — D:Ream
Love Train — The O’Jays
As (Duet with Mary J. Blige) — George Michael & Mary J. Blige
Higher Ground — Stevie Wonder
Happy New Year — ABBA
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) — Kelly Clarkson
Fight Song — Rachel Platten
The Power of Love — Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Rainbow — Sia
The Blue Danube — The Philadelphia Orchestra & Eugene Ormandy
Imagine — John Lennon
I bookmarked this post by Strawberry Singh from 2017 — before her joining Linden Lab and becoming Strawberry Linden — ages ago, but never got around to doing anything about it due to… does the ‘all this’ gesture with their hands.
So, as part of my promise to myself to actually blog here regularly in 2021, here are my seven SL facts about myself:
- I have always had a female, or slightly female, avatar ever since I joined Second Life nearly six years ago. The thought of changing to a male appearance has never crossed my mind, and frankly I think I’d be very uncomfortable if I did, even more so than if I ever changed back to a more human appearance.
- I’ve owned three different types of Linden Home at various points over the years. The first two were the old style, 512 square metre homes — I forget the names, I’d need to look them up on the Second Life website. I do have a soft spot for my current Linden Houseboat in Belissaria, as it has given me the opportunity to try sailing. (With mixed results, but I’m hoping that the completion of Linden Lab’s moving of all SL regions to the Cloud might improve my sailing record.) I’ve not looked at any of the newer Linden Homes, and am not tempted to switch locations.
- Music, both played by DJs and performed by musicians and singers in Second Life, is one of the reasons I’ve stayed in Second Life. As someone who is intensely introverted in real life, being able to listen to and enjoy music together with others in a virtual space is incredible!
- Related to the point above, becoming a DJ in Second Life, and then a radio DJ on Gorean Whip Radio, allowed me to overcome more of my introversion, while also giving me a chance to share myself through the music that I love. :)
- I am constantly tweaking my appearance in Second Life, though often in ways that might not be immediately obvious. Part of that has been driven by the evolution of my persona in-world, but I’m also analysing other aspects like the number and weight of scripts I’m carrying on me and the complexity and load times for my avatar. Any opportunity I can find to reduce my script count and complexity is grabbed with both hands!
- The colour pink plays a big part in my Second Life. My hair, my clothes, even my furniture! The exact tone varies, and I have been known to turn up in multiple shades. :D But there is a method to my apparent madness — it has probably saved me a lot of money by deterring me from buying stuff that either isn’t pink or can’t be coloured pink. (Oh, and my Firestorm viewer is pink too.)
- My biggest peeves in Second Life? Definitely gachas, particularly when they contain an outfit I like. Followed by performance lag, and anyone whose avatar is so ridiculously complex that my Firestorm viewer refuses to render them at all.
So, that’s my seven — if you want to have a go, be sure to link to Strawberry’s original post, so she knows about it, and use the #SecondLifeChallenge tag if you’re doing this on the socials. :)
I've already posted a review of my real-world situation over the past year, so I won't repeat myself here. This is going to focus on what I've been up to in Second Life and on Gorean Whip Radio.
Overall, this year has been... okay. While I did achieve a lot in terms of DJ sets and broadcasting, I'm acutely aware that my output has been reduced due to anxiety and depression, which resulted in my skipping shows and not applying for some events.
My plan to relearn Blender, so that I can build mesh creations for Second Life, stalled. Likewise with my attempt at starting a podcast. Both of those are things I'm going to tackle again in 2021.
I am, however, very pleased that I managed to score three appearances at BURN2 this year, as well as a set at SL17B. I also represented Gorean Whip Radio at the Sci-Fi Con and Sci-Fi Expo, and did a few special DJ sets elsewhere too. Furthermore, I already have my first gig of the New Year pencilled in for the end of January at BURN2's Winter Burn festival, and I'm hoping to add SL18B to my tally along with Second Pride, both Sci-Fi Con and Expo, and a few others that I'm eyeing up. :)
Gorean Whip Radio has grown this year, with several new DJs joining along with some former DJs and staff who've returned to the fold. I've been helping out with advertising production, and enjoying the fact that I'm no longer out in the sticks on the schedules. :)
My personal Second Life situation hasn't changed that much this year, aside from my name change. I still have my Linden Houseboat along with a private land parcel, and my personal DJ stream is paid up. I've added a second DJ stream in case the original one ever goes down on me.
The one major change has been in my spending habits — I succeeded in putting myself on a shopping moratorium a few months ago while I cleaned up my inventory. That has given me the time and space to evaluate what I've been spending money on over the years, and frankly a lot of it is either not that great, no longer fits me, or was an impulse purchase that I never really used. The result has been dramatic! I've shed a lot of inventory, as well as most of the shopping groups I belonged to. And I've resolved to only spend money of stuff that fits the aesthetic that I'm aiming for now, and that'll be useful enough to justify the expense.
Sadly, that does mean that a lot of my alternate avatars have been mothballed. While they were fun to put together, I hardly ever touch them these days, as I prefer to present myself as the blue rainbow-speckled alien. And darlings, when you look this fabulous, it'd be a crime not to flaunt it at all times! :D
I did consider doing an early New Year's Day show, but the logistics of getting up before dawn here in the UK, plus the fact that not many people will be tuned into Gorean Whip Radio at that time, put paid to that idea. So, I'll be kicking off 2021 at 12pm SL tomorrow, and playing tunes to hopefully get people into the right spirit. :)
And I'll definitely be blogging more here in 2021. I feel bad about the radio silence (pun intended) about my Second Life, so I'm going to make more effort to keep this blog updated at least a few times a month.
Happy New Year everyone!
Okay, making a note here, next time stop at three hours, or else do it in the AM on Christmas Day. I didn’t log out of Second Life until after midnight UK time, and didn’t get to sleep until nearly 1am! 😫
But on the plus side, I had a load of fun putting this show together, with a little help from Apple Music. :) Pulled together soul, jazz and reggae covers of various Christmas songs and carols, plus some of my favourite songs of the season. And yes, a couple of songs get repeated in different versions. :P
I’m now taking a break from DJ-ing and radio until the New Year. Hope you’re all staying safe out there!
Festive Voice-bed: Dubstep Christmas Robot — Jaywalker Jack
O Come, O Come Emmanuel — Enya
Purple Snowflakes — Marvin Gaye
Walking In the Air (Duet) — Aled Jones
Jah Rasta Claus Aka Christmas Time — Cosmo
Good King Wenceslas — Mel Tormé
Mull of Kintyre — Wings
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) — John Holt
Back Door Santa — Clarence Carter
King Tubby’s Snow Dub — Roots Radics Meet Scientist And King Tubby
Ecce Novum — Ola Gjeilo, The Choir of Royal Holloway & 12 Ensemble
O Christmas Tree — GIVĒON
Santa’s Got a Bag of Soul — Soul Saints Orchestra
In the Bleak Midwinter — James Blake
I Want To Come Home For Christmas — Marvin Gaye
White Christmas — Bing Crosby, Pentatonix & London Symphony Orchestra
The Twelve Days of Christmas — Peter Broggs
Simple Gifts — Alexis Ffrench
We Wish You A Merry Christmas — Victoria Monét
Deck the Halls — Herbie Hancock
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: IV. Troika — Paavo Järvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
O Tannenbaum — Vince Guaraldi Trio
In dulci jubilo — Mike Oldfield
Just Another Christmas Song (This Time I’ll Sing Along) — Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
This Christmas — Donny Hathaway
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus — Johnny Clarke
Ave Maria — Jax Jones
Rich Man for Christmas — Lady Saw
Es Ist Ein Ros’ Entsprungen — London Brass
My Favorite Things — Tony Bennett
Christmas Will Really Be Christmas — Lou Rawls
Frosty the Snowman — The Mighty Diamonds
Little Saint Nick — The Beach Boys
All I Want for Christmas — Bria Skonberg
Wonderful Christmastime — Paul McCartney
Winter Wonderland — Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
Happy Christmas (feat. Toots and the Maytals) — Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Santa Baby — Eartha Kitt
Wish You a Merry Christmas / Ahameric Temple — Jacob Miller
Last Christmas — Joy Crookes
The Nutcracker Suite — Les Brown & His Band of Renown
The 12 Days of Christmas — Straight No Chaser
O Holy Night — Mickey Guyton
Jingle Bells — Ella Fitzgerald
Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas — The Staple Singers
Stop the Cavalry — Jona Lewie
Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto — James Brown
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — Andy Williams
Portsmouth — Mike Oldfield
Cool Yule (feat. The Commanders) — Louis Armstrong
What Christmas Means to Me — Stevie Wonder
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) — Nat “King” Cole
All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) — Spike Jone & His City Slickers
A Christmas Carol — Tom Lehrer
Winter Wonderland — Macy Gray
Baby It’s Cold Outside — Ella Fitzgerald
Fairytale of New York — The Pogues
Apollo 8’s Christmas Eve 1968 Message — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders
I Believe in Father Christmas — Greg Lake
Sadly, I didn’t get much interest in-world in Second Life, but I had fun, nonetheless, and as long as I’m amused, that’s what counts! :)
Many tracks by the H.P Lovecraft Historical Society in this show. Oh, and Cliff Richard, possibly even more scary than the Elder Gods! :P
The final song comes from the (in)famous album Christmas In The Stars, which I will probably play in full next year… :D
Ghetto Santa — Spyder-D
All I Want For Solstice Is My Sanity — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Last Christmas — Crazy Frog
White Christmas (Dubstep Remix) — Iggy Pop
Chillin’ With Santa — Derek B
Have a Cheeky Christmas — The Cheeky Girls
Awake Ye Scary Great Olde Ones — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Walking In the Air — Nightwish
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (feat. Rick Wakeman) — William Shatner
Jingle Balls — Korn
When Was Jesus Born? — Lil Gee
Dominic the Donkey — Tainted Flavor
Away in a madhouse — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Something That Santa Claus Left Behind — Peter Cetera
Do You Fear What I Fear — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
O’ Holy Night (Erik Cartman) — The Humorist
Santa Claus (Has Got the Aids This Year) — Tiny Tim
Deck the Halls - Dubstep remix
Dana Dane Is Coming to Town — Dana Dane
Fishmen — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Freddy the red brained Mi-Go — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Christmas Wrapping — Spice Girls
Carol of the Turrets — Harry Callaghan
Oh Come All Ye Faithful — Twisted Sister
Shake Up Christmas — Train
I saw mommy kissing Yog-Sothoth — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Leroy the Redneck Reindeer — Joe Diffie
Jamaican Drummer Boy — Shaggy
If I were a Deep One — H.P Lovecraft Historical Society
Mistletoe & Wine — Cliff Richard
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree — Mel Smith & Kim Wilde
A Christmas Sighting [‘Twas the Night Before Christmas] — Meco (feat. R2-D2 & Anthony Daniels)