You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

As an avid music lover, I pick up new stuff all the time. Of course I like the music or I’m not going to get it, but obviously some stick out more than others and earn some serious playtime on my computer. The Electric Panda tries to focus mainly on music as it involves the metaverse, but sometimes these things come by that require being shared. Today we’re sharing two songs at opposite ends of the spectrum. One simple but powerful in it’s minimalism and the other soars with booming drums, ascending orchestration and rich lyricism.

Lourdes Hernández AKA Russian Red AKA The Shit

Russian Red is the pseudonym of Spanish singer Lourdes Hernández. According to Wikipedia’s dumb ass, she has been called the Spanish Feist. If you were to compare her to anyone else (a sometimes necessary evil when describing music), I’d say the closest relation is Regina Spektor. Her quirky vocal fluctuations power a stripped-down, disarming acoustic act that stays sad but strangely soothing.

Russian Red – Cigarettes

florence-and-the-machineFlorence and the Machine is the brainchild of singer Florence Welch, the Machine being her backing band. They’re a fairly new outfit, coming to the scene in 2007. I’m sitting here trying to think of what to say about this track, but what is there to say? It’s an incredible song, the kind that you put on repeat, the kind you hear in your head all day when you aren’t listening to it. “Cosmic Love” is exactly what it sounds like, out of this world.

Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love


What is it about you, panda? You’re a giant fucking bear with mandibles of death and for some reason you can get away with whatever the hell you feel like doing. Most of the time it’s nothing, because all you eat is freaking bamboo and you’re lazier than a pot-smoking koala. You’d think that being a branch-eating, sedentary fat ass would mellow you out, but god forbid a human get anywhere near you. Maybe we’d just like to cuddle, did you ever think of that you irritable pretend-bear? We all know you’re really a raccoon.

And then here’s the real joke, you damn near kill a guy but get off scott free because you’re so damn cute. You just can’t help but be the most adorable animal on the face of the earth can you? Next time I rob somebody’s jacket I’m gonna roll around in it after and hope the police let me walk free. You know, panda, elephants get killed for this kind of shit but you just prance around with the world in your outrageously cute little panda hands. I bet you’re real pleased with yourself right now.

For about the last month, Koinup has been sponsoring the Rocking the Metaverse tour, the 1st ever cross-world music tour. Fittingly, the tour ended today in Twinity, making it the first ever live music event to hit the somewhat new virtual world. Twinity has a realistic take on virtual worlds, modeling its spaces after real world locations with the first being a replica of Berlin. A virtual Singapore and London are also on the way.

Dizzy Banjo rocks out in Berlin

Dizzy Banjo rocks out in Berlin

Second Life music stars Dizzy Banjo, Grace Mcdunnough, Slim Warrior and DoubleDown Tandino have been traversing the metaverse, bringing live music to Second Life, OpenSim, Metaplace and now Twinity. It’s been a groundbreaking tour, bringing fans of the musicians in Second Life across several virtual world platforms and now introducing the live music event to Twinity.

Folks in the virtual world business that I’ve talked to in the past sometimes speak of a future where there are no individual virtual worlds, just one main interface that all users connect to and interact. While this virtual “new world” will likely never come into existence as it is envisioned, Rocking the Metaverse is a good demonstration of a way that seperate clients can link and share content.

And as for Twinity, there is no news yet but I suspect the tour stop today will lead in to more live music events for the platform. Live music has been such a big part of the virtual world landscape that it seems only natural it should be brought into a fledgling one, especially one that is realistically modeled after real world locations. Imagine seeing your favorite band playing a concert in Singapore and you don’t even have to leave your laptop. While this may be the final stop for Rocking the Metaverse, it certainly isn’t the final stop in expanding the live music experience in virtual worlds.

Ever had those times where you’re sitting around with friends, talking to new people, and you realize that you and your conversation partner went to the same concert a while ago? Boom – instant connection. There is something about live music that has a magical quality to it. Sometimes the music doesn’t even have to be that good (on stereo at least), but the memory of the show will last forever. A website that’s been around since 2007 is beefing up their services to make the live show a way for people to connect. Songkick is taking social networking and music recommendation to a new level, letting users connect with past events and find others interested in the same things.

"What a coincidence! I was acid tripping at the Dead show too!"

"What a coincidence! I was acid tripping at the Dead show too!"

A friend forwarded me an article from Tech Crunch and I immediately started salivating over the idea. Songkick is essentially the IMDB of live shows, catalouging over 1 million shows thus far and continuing to grow their database. For each show, users can add photos, videos and comments on the show. You can also click “I was there” to add the show to your user profile. You can find other users who have gone to some of the same shows you have, as well as “follow” other concert goers whose taste you respect.

What if you can’t find the show you were looking for? Songkick lets users add it to the site, letting the community take an active part in buildingin it’s database. So, even though it came from the mouth of founder Ian Hogarth, calling Songkick the IMDB of live shows is a little unfair because the depth of the site is so much broader than that. For audiophiles, connecting over music tastes is important, and Songkick lets you seek out and connect with other people who share your style. In the end, it saves you the trouble of dragging your lame ass roomate to an indie show he’s never heard of because everyone else you know is saving their money for the next time Nickleback is in town (reference based on a true story).

Remember how much fun was back in the day? The site is still around and offers an impressive library of games to play, but companies are pushing the direction of casual gaming. In my industry, casual gaming is often incorporated into virtual worlds as things for people to do, but a new site (or at least new to me) offers a sizeable casual game portal as a way to advance ranking and increase currency.

Chat filter with hilarious results (If you have the mentality of a 13 year old)

Hilarious chat filter (If you have the mentality of a 13 year old) is a flash-based virtual world run by Flowplay that is pretty standard fare as far as those kinds of virtual worlds go. Avatars can explore different stylized sections of the world, express their fashion choices, go dancing, etc. What’s unique about the world is the way gamers progress, all by earning “Flow” which can then be used to play other games, resulting in more currency and advanced rankings.

Players can do this a number of ways from gaming to dancing and other social activities. The more interactive the activity is the more flow the players earn. What I’ve seen from the world is the gaming is probably the best part of the whole thing. I went to a couple fashion shows where attendees vote on avatars, but a lot of people in the crowd just kept asking when it was over.

One day I dream of owning a balloon-popping monkey

One day I dream of owning a balloon-popping monkey

The games though, are bad ass. I wasted way too much time throwing down on Bloons Tower Defense and Warlords, two of the new games being offered in the world. Beweled has also been recently introduced. The only problem with the games is that there isn’t a social aspect to them as there is no in-world multiplayer mode. Still, if you’re looking to pimp out your avatar, unlock furniture and other goods for your virtual apartment in this world, the gaming is a great way to do it. While a site like Addicting Games is still a lot of fun, at least in Ourworld it makes you feel like you’re “accomplishing” something.

Never say no to Chocobos

Never say no to Chocobos

Sony announced yesterday that the new MMO thats been whispered about is indeed a Final Fantasy game after all (w00t!), but aside from the trailer they offered little details about the new game. I’m letting out a big sigh of relief that they went with the Final Fantasy title. To be fair, Square Enix is great at making RPG’s, but nothing comes close to the Final Fantasy brand, arguably the best RPG titles ever created.

Luckily for Final Fantasy and MMO fans, Wired has reported on a Q&A at E3 today with Shinji Hashimoto, senior VP at Square Enix. The design for FFXIV will be the similar to FFXI but the gameplay is going to be reworked, allowing for a more creative style of gameplay. This means that whether you’re a lone ranger or like to team up with friends, you’re going to find a niche in the world that suits you. I think it’s a great move, both from a gameplay perspective and a business one. With franchises like Grand Theft Auto on the market, players are getting used to having freedom in their gameplay. Not only that, it will bring in more people who don’t necessarily have the time to schedule meet-ups with friends to complete challenges like in FFXI.

Lastly, I’m happy to hear that the new MMO will be back to a medievil motif unlike the highly anticipated single player FFXIII. Square Enix is great at sexing up knights and princesses in any kind of setting and I’m sure this one will be no different. Aside from those details, little else has been revealed about the gameplay. As always, Square Enix likes to keep us guessing.

You can check out the trailer below.


Tweet this!