Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekend of Drums & EVE Alliance Tournament X

Wishmaster and The Rockline

What a crazy summer I'm having! Putting aside some gaming to get better at drums is starting to pay off not only in terms of drumming and musical skills but also in terms of new experiences. Last weekend was a big one for the Rockline drumline as we had our first public appearances since the official foundation of the group. On Saturday we went to a Drum Corps revival event in Sherbrooke Qc; the activity is far from what it used to be in the 80's, but it does seem to be slowly creeping out of the darkness it fell into in the late 90's and early 2000's. I personally don't think it will again reach the heights attained in the mid-80's, but at least it's fun to know that Drum Corps is getting some exposure again and new generations of players and performers are being groomed.

That said, the Rockline was performing the last number of the evening before a traditional Drum Corps retreat, playing two tunes with the band Wishmaster ("Scaretale" and "Romanticide") with whom we'll be playing with at the big fund-raiser Metal show in October. Our almost brand-new drums had been the talk of the day as we got small groups of spectators at rehearsal, when half the group was busy in the senior corps Les Diplomates du Quebec. My bass drum especially was a head-turner by its size and its deep boom. I can safely say I play THE largest marching bass drum in the entire province :) We also had our timpani player with us for the first time and he did a great job even though he had never played with us before. And the performance itself? Mind-blowing is the only word I can think of. If you listen to "Scaretale" you know it starts with as series of punches after a soft intro, right? Well those punches were echoing in the valley below the stadium like cannon shots! The older and more traditional-minded people in the crowd weren't too sure but could do nothing but notice the quality of our drumline. Those who like Metal literally freaked out! I can now safely say that Drum Corps Metal not only works but is a total percussive orgasm :))

After the retreat all the participating corps and any Drum Corps veteran who was interested was invited to get on the field for a 200+ player mass band rendition of "Can't Take my Eyes Off Of You". The mass band had praticed it during the afternoon at the same time we were practicing our stuff, but that didn't stop about half our drumline from participating, with me and my monster bass officially nicknamed "The Beast" representing the bass line. I had to grab some bass drum players from other corps and ask "WTF do we play?"... boom click boom-boom, click boom-boom... wow, that's hard! and of course at the right spots people were improvising left and right so I didn't disappoint! All in all a great night, if a bit insanely hot as a heat wave is currently hitting the South of the province.

On Sunday we had another public appearance in the form of a parade in my hometown's Percussion Festival, in Longueuil Qc. This was my first ever parade, and I have to say it was a slightly painful one. As you see in the Rockline picture, I usually play with the bass drum mounted on a stand (yes, this is me at far right with "the Beast"), but for a parade I have to carry that thing. And I did. Ow my back! Well, I didn't suffer too much and I ain't dead, but I do still have a few aches even two days after the event. It was a lot of fun, nobody played perfect but everyone was in a festive mood. I do admit that the last two street corners were the longest and very hard and I wanted to stop but I made it. I even found the energy to take part in an impromptu jam session with a bunch of percussion groups that closed the parade. Kids big and small got to play on our drums, total mayhem. A perfect finish for my drum weekend!

The Retreat; Rockline is in the foreground, in our "Black-out" uniforms; I'm the second in line from the front

EVE Online Alliance Tournament X

I knew that this weekend wouldn't be an easy one so I took a couple days off this week, and I needed the break, especially yesterday where my back was hurting. So I took the time to catch up on this little game that got me into blogging called EVE Online. With Alliance Tournament X in full swing I got to watch Day 5 and Day 6, and I have to admit it's making start to miss the game! A few things have changed since last I played and a whole of  modules I have no clue about have appeared (Ancilliary Shield Boosters?). I do plan to get back in the game in mid/late September but with so many changes I will have some adjusting to do. Hell I don't even know if the fits I know still work! And the Vaga... the poor poor Vaga that has been circumcised by mad vikings... :*( Oh well, I guess I'll fly the Cynabal more. I also have a crazy Fleet Stabber fit I want to try!

But back to the tournament I was happy to see that the alliance I want to join (Purple Alliance, Red vs Blue) is doing so well, and in the same bracket as Rote Kapelle (hi Cerui and Ripard!) and Pandemic Legion (hi Mintchip!). And that last RK vs PL match... with the Bhaalgorn flagship and FOUR Malice assault frigs... Holy Shit !!! Gratz to Rote Kapelle on that win, and gratz to Pandemic Legion for the size of those testicles XD It'll be kinda hard for me to catch the end of the tourney live as I will have my boys with me and do plan to go outside and do some stuff, but I do plan to hit YouTube later next week and catch all the action. Now that I've made my peace with ISK making (meaning I won't try much) I'm actually anxious to come back to EVE and do what I love to do most, blow some shit up!

Fly balls to the wall !!! (actual aviation term)


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