Kevin's Music Reviews

Kevin’s Music Reviews: The 4th – Auditory Bliss Maker & Social Club

“Experience a place, beyond time + space, where art and music unites us all.”

Do you find that your idea of sweet electronic tunes is a little different than most clubs’ idea of sweet electronic tunes?  In-one-ear-and-out-the-other-variety club staples not a part of your aural diet? Allergic to staying logged into SL while at prim-heavy venues thanks to a sadistically unreliable connection (not unlike yours truly)? Well, look no further than/make yourself home at/walk on over to (really, pick your idiom) the abstract intergalactic haven known as The 4th. Stationed somewhere between the ripples of interdimensional fabric and within a nova’s distance of the galaxy’s busiest interstellar transit wormhole, the venue fueled by characteristic “auditory bliss” never fails to deliver exactly that. On one’s journey through the universe (read: SL), finding a place that suits your unique taste and comforts can sometimes be a fruitless endeavor, but if you’re anything like me and the words “trip-hop”, “downtempo”, “uk garage” or any other decidedly uncommon music tags collect dust in your search history, it’s probably about time you took a look at this rather tasteful social club.

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Perhaps the most impressive thing about The 4th is it’s ambition. We’re not just looking at a space-themed club for the sake of filling in the space-themed club population in SL. Aw hell nah. A little late night brain picking with one of the owners has revealed some interesting scheme taking place. She says “the 4th was born of a deep desire to find a music based hangout on the grid that catered to an artistic community, which wasn’t steeped in medieval, gothic, or some other kind of old world culture”, and true to the aesthetic, she imparts “from all my readings about 4th dimensional experiences or the astral plane, it’s a place (in theory?) that is whatever the dreamer/projector conjures up for the most part, and SL is that too”. Simply put, there’s a clear artistic vision in place, a true labor of love. Even better, this artistic passion paves the way for a particular goal she wishes to accomplish. “When I have some time I want to pursue relationships with artists on the grid (who create in either life), ideally invite those whose work centers on themes around exploring human consciousness, alternate realities, out of body expeirences, multi universes etc – to exhibit here on a rotational basis, as well as incorporate interactive exhibits that allow ppl to read up on these concepts or even share their own ideas”, she shares with genuine earnest. There’s a lot to look forward to, and various artists throughout SL would not only fit in great with the venue’s unifying motif, but would benefit from an art club-esque community set to take off in the future.

When you walk in the doors (big gaping hole in the wall) you’ll likely be warmly welcomed by the venue’s considerate staff, hosts or the excellent DJs, if not then by the good shit playing on the radio. Regulars at The 4th share a genuine passion for music, and the music on display is often of a respectable pedigree. You’ll hear everything from milky silky deep house, feel-good electronic soul tunes, indie delights, old-school hip-hop, and the kind of high-energy bangers that even snobs jaded by the typical trance fodder (me again) can get a dose of adrenaline from.  Good vibes pervade through your computer speakers, with relaxing beats making home wherever you are situated in real life, and the music is varied and consistently of a solid quality.

You can expect your aural fixation to be satisfied indefinitely, but there’s more to the atmosphere than what meets the ears. Taking on a minimal approach to interior design, The 4th looks and feels like a legitimate piece of the greater abstract beyond, with walls bearing no semblance of traditional symmetry and geometrical subtleties going hand-in-hand with the simple color scheme. Despite the unique look, furniture and textures are an exercise in minimalism, and it procures totally stylish results. The building isn’t particularly large, but it’s this modest approach that allows even pitiful SL users like myself to stay connected for hours on end – even on busy days –without worrying about getting nipped in the butt with a cheeky viewer freeze and connection drop.

Of course, technical convenience isn’t the only thing keeping me glued to The 4th – it’s the unfailingly kind and entertaining bunch that hang out and work here that grant this venue a genuine homey feeling, abstract though it may be. Visitors and regulars are also of an appropriately stylish and mellow nature, while also keeping public chat lively without turning it into a scrollbar-diminishing word dump – it could be called the perfect size for some. Though still fairly new, you’ll find it to be a blossoming venue, and a day hasn’t gone by (that wasn’t at ungodly hours of the night) where I walked in and cool people weren’t partying their asses off to cool music. That said, The 4th is a cool place, and it makes a pretty cool case for why auditory bliss should be at the top of your downtime priorities.

Visit if you like: electronic, trip-hop, hip-hop, dance, house, deep house, indie, downtempo, chillout, artsy things.

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Hidden Gems: T1 Radio & Legends Rock Club

T1 Radio & Legend's Rock Club Beach

T1 Radio & Legend’s Rock Club Beach

On this week’s Hidden Gems, we will explore the home sim of T1 Radio & Legends Rock Club.  Legends Rock Club, created in 2005, is one of the oldest and first clubs of Second Life. T1 Radio & Legends Rock Club is owned and operated in Second Life by Trade1 Whiplash and  Nuala Maracas.

Continue reading

Club Capital

Tribute City Week – The clubs of Tribute

Tribute City has four clubs, Amelia, Club Nation, Capital and xTreme Rock.

Capital is the main club that have followed owner Jessii2009 Warhol around for many years, it has changed location whenever she has and it’s staff has been virtually the same since its start. Capital is playing electronic music of all kinds, from the disco beats of the 80′s to today’s Top-10 hits. Capital runs daily events with contests, raffles and other goodies. Capital is located opposite the bridge from the Newcomer Centre/Church.

“Capital plays music from the to 40 charts and has a good team of hosts and dj’s and is a nice place to come and dance if you like you top tunes that are in the charts.” – Donna Redrose

Club Capital Continue reading

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Spring Days 3: Irie Vibes

Feel the rhythm feel the beat over at Irie Vibes on the third day of Spring. This Caribbean themed club is for Reggae lovers all over the world.

You don’t always have to be on the dance floor to enjoy the music, vibes has a beautiful beach for you to relax on .

What? Is going to beach in Spring not a thing? Well it is in the Caribbean!

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Tribute City

Spring Days: Day 1 Tribute City

The days of Spring is here, the snow has melted, the flowers are beginning to blossom and there is a warm breeze in the air. It’s time to put away your winter rags and go shopping for a new Spring Wardrobe. So where do we go to find it? Tribute City of course.

Tribute City is a sim filled with stores to find the perfect outfit to suit you. Did I forget to mention there are several clubs and events happening everyday? Well it does, so you can totally show off your new outfits while winning Lindens in their Contests Events. Continue reading

My Trip InWorldz: The Trippest Place Ever!

Last night I took another trip into the virtual world InWorldz, remembering that I didn’t actually get to see any locations a part from the newcomer friendly landing zone. I logged in with my Imprudence viewer, which I find using Snapshot_007a lot easier than the default viewer and began my search for a good chill out location, I found two clubs that were empty and didn’t really have much to offer but then, I stumbled onto THE most trippy, weird yet really awesome place ever! It is an art sim called Area 54 and I was lucky enough to land when the owner of the place was there.

In Second Life there are a lot of talented and creative builders, I meet and work with  some of them on  daily basis, but this guy, he takes it to a whole new level. His name is Thoth Jantzen and at first glance his avatar looks like a weird mix between Hellraiser’s Pinhead if he were let loose in the Tron Universe.

There is simply no way to explain how creatively brilliant this place is without swearing. It is simply some place that has to be seen to believed.

It is powerful, so magnificent that it actually comes with a health warning! I am not lying, and I am not joking! You are warned against coming to the sim of your suffer from seizures or if you are epileptic due to the rapid flashing lights and the constant changing shapes and colours. So for those of you who can’t come to the sim, I’ll show you some awesome and crazy things that happen in this place, although I don’t really think my pictures can do this place any justice.

Snapshot_012.The Wormhole, the colourful entrance to Area 54.

Next is the:

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And there is:

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and there is so much more.

By the way the music is awesome, it’s a mix between Trance, House, and Club music. It fits in with the psychedelic atmosphere because the way the sim itself reacts (the lights, the changing of the changes  and everything else) depends on what kind of music is playing. You need the music. For example  there is one song called ‘IBM’ by Rechenzentrum, it is basically the Hal9000 from the 2001: A Space Odyssey singing Daisy while its beginning to malfunction. It is creepy as hell and because of this the walls seem as if they are starting to malfunction as well. Snapshot_015Snapshot_016

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However according to Thoth isn’t as complicated as I made it out to be, it plays what ever is on the video/media and since videos normally  go with the music they are placed with it made sense.

Either way I still think this place is brilliant and worth getting an InWorldz account to check out!

So You Want to Own a Business in Second Life – Part 2 (Clubs)

On our second segment of this series, we will focus on the club business in Second Life.  In case you missed the first part of our series on business owning in Second Life, you can view that story here.

If you are new to Second Life, it will not take you long to hear about clubs, events, or djing!  Owning a club in Second Life can be fun and rewarding, but it also takes a great deal of time, planning, and organization.

Since owning a business in Second Life, mirrors business owning in real life somewhat, I am going to employ a real life business concept—the SWOT Analysis.  No this is not MBA 101, but you should analyze your own capabilities before jumping into what can be a costly venture in Second life.  I have streamlined the concept of SWOT into four categories.  Please consider these five things, as they are the key to making or breaking your club in Second Life:

  1. Budget- Decide from the beginning, how much of your real life money you can put into a club.  You will need money to pay for property for the club, as well as for events if you decide to hold contests, and for advertising the club.  There is also the possibility of paying for special events, dj’s, or event hosts. You also have to budget for club equipment and the actual club building.
  2. Theme-Will your club have a theme? Is it going to be a rock, pop, top 40’s, country, etc type of club? You can also make your club appeal to a specific community in Second Life, such as goth, vampire, furry/neko, steampunk etc to name a few. What will the rating be? Adult, mature, or pg?
  3. Location-do you want your club located on the mainland or will you rent private estate land? Each type of property has it’s plusses and minuses.
  4. Staff-How will you find DJ’s and hosts? Do you have the time to host or dj yourself? Will you used managed DJ’s or will you simply send out in DJ groups?
  5. Time-Do you have the real life time to devote to the club? This is very important, particularly if you cannot find enough staff to keep your club going, you may end up hosting or DJing or at times doing both.

If, after considering the five things above and you still would want to own a club in Second Life, then keep reading! So let’s imagine you have a club set up, fully staffed, and you are ready to open for business. Before you throw open the doors, consider the following tips:

  1.  Consistency-It’s important that you have a consistent schedule, not only for your staff, but for our VIP’s.  People have routines in Second Life and if they know their favorite club is opened a certain time, they are more than likely to plan to go to your club.  Try to narrow down days and times that work for your staff and your VIPs.
  2. Advertising and Promotion-this is important so people know you even have a club in the first place!  Make sure your location parcel is listed in search, take out a classified ad, and put your club on your picks.  Encourage your staff to do this as well.  You should also strive to put events in the Second Life event’s listing daily. Of course promote your events in your group. Consider setting up a blog and tweeting events using the Secondlife tags.
  3. People-keep the drama out of your clubs, ensure that your club staff and the VIPs are happy! This means listening and paying attention to their wants and needs to ensure that your club can function without any real hassles.

Once you are ready to open and have considered everything on this list, the next steps is to keep your club fresh and a great place to be in, this means reevaluating things such as times, themes, genres, and even the location of the club. Of course paying attention to the trends of Second Life also helps.  Remember owning a club can be challenging and a lot of work, but it can be as fun as you want it to be!

The Torch RFL March Hare Madness

And so it begins, the first Torch RFL event. Jessii Warhol lends us Club Capital for a few hours of fun, music and good company… and donations.

RFL, for those who doesn’t know yet, is Relay For Life, a collection of organizations that comes together to collect donations for the American Cancer Society. By doing events and collecting small sums, RFL can donate massive amounts to the research about cancer.

This year, The Torch has a RFL team and will do events around one time per month, and first out is March Hare Madness at Club Capital.

What? March Hare Madness
When? 31/3-2012 10am-12pm SLT

Where? Club Capital

Roleplaying in Second Life: Goin’ Back to 1920′s Chicago

It’s the 1920s, things have changed. Women walk the streets displaying  their new-found freedom. Those who survived the first world war are trying their best to forget it. Prohibition roams the streets and brings with it new waves of crime and injustice. Mobs and the Mafia clash trying their best to gain power over the streets. Speakeasies secretly open filled with moonshine, the only place to get a drink nowadays.

When I came to Chicago, it was bustling with noise, my dreams to be a singer within my grasp. The lights of the big city seems to be calling to me, teasing me, pulling me forward. My name in lights, that’s what I want. I saw it, the lights. “Empire Burlesque.” The first building I see, the sound of a crowd calls me to it. As I enter there is a glorious sight, men and women sitting down enjoying the show of 3 half naked women dancing,  I could not help but turn away, blushing.

Another step into the world of Second Life roleplaying, takes us to the adult sim 1920′s Chicago, and adult it is with good reason. Replicating the roaring times of the 1920′s when the world was recovering from a terrible war, but was opening itself to a new decade of growth. What a growth it was! Our first stay in 1920′s Chicago was spent by attending a very sassy but lovely Burlesque show, that represents, quite nicely, a time where sexuality, though taboo but was beginning to be explored openly.

(Oh note this wasn’t our first visit…our first visit wasn’t very productive and our second was met by the end of a tommy gun which was very funny and this is our third visit.)

SpOoKy YOU!

Something wicked this way comes in the form a fashion event, a celebration of everything that is dark in Second Life on this, the dark month of October. Venture into the graveyard, with your Linden bills held tight, or else one of the undead will reach out of hell and snatch it from you!

Spooky You is a celebration of dark and twisted fashion. The disturbed and tormented souls of 50 SL vendors gather around from October 15th to November 3rd to celebrate and they are extending an invitation to you! With hellish fun from trivia contests, to testing your luck with their UnLucky Chairs as well as Trick or Treat items that cost 1L$ – 10L$.

Dance your life away with the Grim Grinning Ghosts at their Halloween party on October 29th.

Your Hearse IS HERE! 

Happy Halloween.