Saturday, September 15, 2007

Adventures in attempting to download Russian music that isn't Tchaikovsky.

I enjoy many forms of music to some extent, but I must admit that my favorite genre is heavy metal. Certainly some of the best metal bands are from northern Europe. With this in mind, I set out to find some Russian metal to listen to.
A quick Google search led me to the Russian Metal Home Page. (Mostly in English.) So I went to download some music from their list of "The Great 5 of Russian Metal"
The first step was to figure out how to use Limewire, which had decided to convert every scrap of text to Russian after I installed the Phonetic Keyboard settings. Hmm. After a stressful 5 minutes I found the preferences panel that allowed me to reset everything to English.
Next challenge, finding the music. Those of you who use Limewire will know that it can be difficult to find what you're looking for. (Especially when the first band on the list has a generic musical term like Aria for a name.) But I needed something to block out my roommate's rap, and soon.
I found one song with "English Version" in the title and hit download. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't anywhere near what I was looking for. So, I went to Aria's official site. It was all in Russian. Discouraged, I opened a new window. Wikipedia has everything, I thought to myself, as I ran a search for "Aria Russian metal". Indeed, there is an article about the band! (I put on some Black Sabbath to block out the radio while I read. Seriously, my roommate listens to some awful music.)
Wikipedia says: "Aria (Russian: Ария) is a popular Russian heavy metal band that formed in 1985. The music of Aria resembles the sound of NWOBHM bands, and they have been dubbed "Russian Iron Maiden" by media."
Oh! That's promising. I realized that I would have been better off searching in the Cyrillic in the first place, and went to try it. After a bit of searching I finally found the и.
My search resulted in a number of Quicktime files marked only by a track number. Ohh, this is going to be fun. :( I downloaded the only result with Russian characters in the name. And waited. Limewire is terribly unreliable at the worst times. I was finally met with a statement which is the bane of my existence: "Need More Sources."
It was time to try a new strategy. I located a page for Aria on (A site I had never used before.) Hooray! I was finally getting warmer. I waited for my roommate to leave so my first experience listening to Russian metal wouldn't be tainted by the angry, shouting men on the radio. (I even lent her some makeup to speed her progress getting ready. Then I had another cup of чай. Then I played some Neopets games. How can it possibly take someone that long to get ready?)On a completely unrelated note, I happened to notice this item on Neopets: Banan
Finally, my roommate turned off the radio and went to her party.
I pressed play on the page, and was disappointed to hear only 30 second samples of the songs. I looked at the front page and read "Sign up and the music gets better." Ok, then. Hopefully by "better" they mean I get to hear the whole song. I signed up. I downloaded and installed the software. I went through the setup process, and finally got to the point where I could type in Ария and press play.
Success! The time listed for the track was now over 6 minutes. And the music was beautiful. They have a classic metal sound which is, indeed, similar to Iron Maiden, and of course, they sing in Russian, so it has to be good. XD
I would say that my time spent wrestling with search engines and music programs was worth every second, and now it's that much easier for you if you want to hear some awesome Russian metal, just click the link and If you don't have it yet, download the software.



Dr. Michael A. Denner said...

Kelly! I didn't know you loved metal! You do know about my life before academia, right?

Dr. Michael A. Denner said...

More Ария videos… on YouTube, of course. Good stuff. I'm not a big metal fan, but this stuff has a great, over-the-top, attitude to it.