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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BURN2 SKIN BURN 2013

We just got the following press release from Burn 2:

BURN2 2013: CARGO CULT was a fantastic event, filled with the joy of Burning community and a fabulous Burn of the Man. But it’s NOT QUITE over til we have the SKIN BURN!

What is Skin Burn?

It’s bringing the community together again in a low­lag way to watch the Man Burn one more time. We attend in just our skins (system clothing optional). No scripts, no attachments, no HUDs, no AOs ­ just US! Wear creative colourful, glorious skins or just come as yourselves. Enjoy great tunes, an awesome Burn, and Burning with the community!

All this will happen on Saturday, the 9th of November at two times to accommodate most time zones: 9:00am SLT and 6:00pm SLT. The greeter area will be open for 2 hours before each Burn time. When you’ve de­scripted and detached, you will get a special group invite and the landmark to the Man Burn site. You can only access the playa if you are in that special group.
Please let us know when you have included us in your publications as we link back to online TV, magazine and blog posts at http://www.burn2.org/media_coverage and would love to include you! Just email communications@burn2.org a link to your content, and we will include it.

BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man

festival and community into the world of Second

Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man regional event, and the only virtual world event out of more than 100 real world Regional groups.
The BURN2 Team operates events year around, culminating in an annual major festival of community, art and fire in the fall ­ a virtual echo of Burning Man itself.
We’d like to encourage you to use the following labels and hashtags when you write about the event: Burn2, #burn2 .

We will promote those tags to make it easier for people to find your content.
Want more information? Check out these resources:

Website: http://burn2.org

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/burn2/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/

BURN_two Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BURN2BURNERS

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Burn2.SL/

Regional Page: http://regionals.burningman.com/regionals/cyberspace/second­life/

Contact people: communications@burn2.org

Steering Committee: steering@burn2.org

BURNING MAN Regional Contact: secondlife@burningman.com

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Burn2 and Burning Man – What is it all about?

Many of you have probably heard about Burning Man or Burn2 and I bet quite a few of you wonder what it really is. I know I did, so I did some research into this event.

Burning Man is an annual festival held in the Black Rock Desert, a 40 square mile area of dry mud surrounded by mountains. Due to the harsh environment, the participants needs to be able to survive. They need to know how to survive in a hot arid environment, they need enough water and food to survive, but Burning Man is not about survival.

Since it is a festival, they also need to make room in their packing for party food, drinks, music, entertainment and festive clothing. Many even make room for entire buildings, right there in their back packs.

The main event, as the title of the festival suggests, is the burning of a wooden figure in the shape of a man. This was started in 1986 when two men, Larry Harvey and Jerry James, brought an 8-foot statue of a man made out of scrap wood to a beach and set fire to it. It got the attention of people around them and a small crowd formed to watch the man burn. Out of nowhere, the crowd began to “give into the burning man”, one person performed an act of kindness towards the man, another picked up his guitar and made up a song on the spot about the fire and soon they had a party going around the burning man.

The next year, the duo repeated the burning on the same date as the year before and this time they brought a much larger wooden man to burn. The crowd was larger this time, but the response was the same. They repeated the event every year, same spot, same date and it became a cultural event. That didn’t last forever thou.

In 1990, the crowd reached several thousands of people and police was called to the beach because the beach could not hold all of them and it became a hazard. This is when Michael Michael and John Law stepped in. They rescued the statue from the San Francisco beach and hauled it to the Black Rock Desert. When people came up in their cars to join the festivities, Michael Michael drew a line in the sand and proclaimed that whoever crossed that line would be forever changed.

All of this helped form what is today the 10 principles of the Burning Man. These principles are known by all participants of the burning culture and adhered not only during the now weeklong event, but through their whole lives. Over 50 000 participants braves the desert each year to build a town around the Man and party for a week, yet the day after the festivities, not a speck of dust shows that anyone had been there.

The 10 Principles:
  1. Radical Inclusion
    Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
  2. Gifting
    Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
  3. Decommodification
    In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
  4. Radical Self-reliance
    Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
  5. Radical Self-expression
    Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
  6. Communal Effort
    Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
  7. Civic Responsibility
    We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
  8. Leaving No Trace
    Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
  9. Participation
    Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
  10. Immediacy
    Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

How does this translate into Burn2 and Second Life?

In 2003 a small corporation formed to create a virtual world. This corporation is today known as Linden Lab and the world is Second Life. Many of the “Lindens” (employees of Linden Lab) were Burning Man regulars, but the development of Second Life prevented them from going to the event. Phoenix Linden asked the Burning Man organizers for permission to recreate the events in a virtual format and they built a digital replica of the Man and “burned” it in Second Life.

Over the years, several different Lindens have helped facilitate Burn2, but in 2007 the whole company was too busy with new developments to take care of the event, so private interests took over from there. The new organizers had never been to a real burning and only had previous Burn2′s to go by along with the principles, so they decided to stick as close to the 10 principles as they could.

Concerns arose about how the events would be portrayed in the future and how well the principles would hold without official backing, so Everett Linden, the head of Community Initiatives and experienced burner, hired Dusty Udal, one of the worlds most experienced burners, to make sure the events held true to the real Burning Man.

In 2010 Linden Lab suffered from some downsizing and the partnership between Linden Lab and Burning Man was dissolved, but on friendly terms. From that moment and still today, Burn2 has been in the care of the real life Burning Man organizers, to ensure that the events mirrors those of the real life burnings as closely as possible.

These organisational shifts also mirrors the real life shifts, as Burning Man underwent similar organisational shifts in its youth, until it found the stable organization it has today.

Burn2 will be held from October 19th to October 27th this year. If you are interested about the events or would like to participate, you can check out their website for more information.

Garden Of Dreams

Spring Days 4: The Forests of Second Life

When sims on Second Life are born, they are one of two things a desert and a grassland island, Residents who love nature preserve their sims natural look from time to time, creative, amazing sims that are perfect for photography and relaxation.

 Second Life several amazing nature sims for you to visit.

Taiga

Tagia is a beautiful quiet peaceful forest found on the Tagia Awesome sim. Based on the Siberian taiga. The Stream Plays: 24/f smooth pop music.
Features: Beautiful Lake, an air ship to relax on, bike rides around the sim. Interactive relaxation spots, A cottage opened to visitors.Visitors can also go jet skiing on the lake as well as have a nice nature walk through the woods.

Garden Of Dreams

Garden of Dreams is a beautifully magical sim is lined with large trees., made to bring lovers together.
Stream playing: Romantic, classical , new age music.
Features: Interactive boards on landing spot for visitors to explore, such as vendors a store and teleport used to visit different parts of the sim.

 

A Forest close to our hearts is from the Isle of Dee, the forest is not only beautiful but is home to a race of beings called the Wylds, they aren’t too friendly about strangers wondering into their Forest. Nevertheless it’s a beautiful and peaceful place, well until you venture in there.

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A little friend from the Forests of Dee.

Happy Exploring.

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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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Spring Days: Day 2 Linden Realms

The second day of spring finds you walking through a bright and colourful forest. On your travels you find yourself picking up crystals of different colours.

There is a rumble that seems to be coming from behind you… and just as you turn…

This is Linden Realms, Second Life’s very own MMORPG created by Linden Labs. You run around collecting different types of crystals. Each crystals gives you a Linden reward. But be careful….listen out for the rumbling. Continue reading

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

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Second Life Walkthrough: How to Get Lindens in SL? ( How do I get a job?)

Second Life has its own, very active, economy and currency. It is called the Linden Dollar (L$) and is about 0.01USD = 1L$. Time  for a few FAQ (or Frequently Asked Questions)

Why do I need Lindens?

To buy goods and services, such as clothes and a place to live.

How do I receive Lindens?

There are two ways:

1) Buy Lindens from the Second Life website using real money. You can do this by signing in to the Second Life website (using your SL username and password), go to your Dashboard, then to buy. It will ask you how much you want to purchase noting that the minimum allowed is at least 500L$ or 3.00USD.

2) You can get a job in world. There are several jobs that you can do in Second life. You can find these jobs through Job Agencies in world.( Search Job agencies). You can also create items to sell for Lindens or open your own business.

What kind of businesses/jobs are there in Second Life?

There are several jobs/businesses you can become involved in. The most common jobs are available through clubs and other music based establishments  , working as a DJ, Host/Hostess, and Dancer. There are others jobs that are less common such as Managers, Assistants, Models, Writers etc.

Businesses include Clothes Designer,Builder, Script Writer, Club Owner, Property Owner, Blogger (Fashion, News, Music & Destinations). These are jobs that takes a lot of commitment, so if you do not have the time and don’t want the stress the most frequent jobs would be more ideal for you. Some jobs, particularly the most common ones, have a promotion system (Start at the bottom and work your way to the top) but this depends on the owners. 

How do I find work?

Job agencies are a great way to find jobs. There are tons Job centres and agencies for you to find work. Most jobs require you to fill out an application form and send it to the employers. 

What are employers looking for?

Many employers are looking for Reliable employees, someone who will show up when they say they will and do their job well. As a result many employers will not hire you until you are 30 days old and in Second Life on a regular basis.

There are some jobs that will need experience and even training. Being a DJ in SL will require you to have training and experience (There are schools and help guides out there that specialize in  DJ training). Hosting is another job that requires training,  most clubs will offer to train you since  Hosts need  to use different marketing equipment to pull customers in.

Helpful Links:

So You Want To Own A Business in Second Life Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 & Part 4

Becoming a Dj in 8 Steps 

Jobs in Second Life Series

These are some of the questions that have been the FAQ for the Torch, if you have any more questions ask at valkyrie@thetorchslguide.com

Well,  you have the money, how about we look for a place you can call home? Join us next time on Second Life Walkthrough.

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Second Life Walkthrough: Just Joined Second Life? What Now?

First of all, welcome to Second Life, congratulations on getting your account and taking your first confusing steps into this confusing as all hell virtual world. Now you are here? What do you do first? Some Residents of SL would say that nothing really interesting happens until you reach 30 days old, but that isn’t true. It is true that you can’t really do anything until you are 30 days, like apply for jobs but we’ll get to that when we get to the living in Second Life bit of this walk through. You can do anything you want before you reach your 30 days in SL and Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life, have happily done something to help newcomers find their way.

I always tell newcomers that the best way to experience SL in their first few weeks is to explore the places in the destination guid. Back to Linden Labs making the kind of easier for new residents to explore the world.

Seven places as soon as your land in world, introducing you to Seven part of Second Life.

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Art

Second Life is ripe with culture and very creative people, one of ways residents show their creativity is through art. If you are interested in seeing the amazing creations of Second Life’s Art community go through that Portal.

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Roleplaying

Second Life’s roleplaying community is large, with several different kinds of sims dedicated to Roleplaying. From Lovercraftian Horror to Medieval Fantasy to Futuristic Cyber, if you are interested in checking out Second Life’s Roleplaying Go through the portal.

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Popular and Social

These two Portals lead you to popular hotspots as well as social communities, great places to hang out and meet other Second Life residents. Go through the portals to meet new people and make friends.

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Music

There are so many musical places in Second Life, from clubs to pubs, live musicians to teaching schools for wannabe musicians. Follow this portal to start your musician journey.

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Editor’s Picks

These Destinations were picks by the editor of the destination guide on the Second Life website. This portal leads to them.

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Linden Realms

Second Life’s very own video game, Go on quests, collect crystals and earn Lindens. Just head through the portal.

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Adult

Finally a portal that leads to the seedy side of Second Life, the adult sims.

Exploring Second Life will allow you to see and experience  every part of Second Life before you finally decide on what you’re interested in doing, but what happens when you don’t have found that special thing and you’ve reached 30 days? Well how about we answer a few questions that we are always asked here at The Torch. About things  that happen in every day Second Life, beginning with ‘How do I get a job in Second Life?’

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The Romantic Spots of Second Life: Ajax’s Romance Garden

It’s that time again, last year around this time we talked about relationships in Second Life. We gave our page to three couples who wanted to share their stories about meeting each other and falling in love in the virtual world. Well this year, we thought we would look at the Romantic spots of Second Life, the places where couples go to relax and enjoy their relationship. Since our Haunting of Second Life series was so popular, we are going to do the same, but this time adding a few pictures along with the articles.

First up is the magical garden, Ajax’s Romance Garden, one of the first romantic spots in Second Life that you are likely to visit (since it’s on the destination guide). With love songs streaming 24/7 this is the perfect spot to bring your loved one on a date. There are events in the Romance Garden ballroom, you’ll have to join the group to find out more information. Why is it called a Romance Garden? Well that is easily answered with these pictures be low.

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Why not bring your Valentine to a romantic picnic at Ajax’s Romance Garden?