Sunday, 31 December 2017

Thank you for the cons...

...those endless cons, those sacred cons you gave me. Ahem, that's enough Kinks. (There can never be enough Kinks! —Ed.) Just for fun, I thought I might do a little three-and-one paragraph for each of the MLP conventions I've attended. Those numbers refer to the fact that I'll be giving you three good and one bad things about each one. (Hey, I liked them all!) Here goes...

BUCK 2013, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
+ My first convention in any fandom, and that will always mean so much
+ Michelle Creber and EileMonty on stage together in that incredible auditorium
+ "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows"
- Coming close to melting in the upstairs karaoke room

BUCK 2014, Manchester Central, Manchester (you astound me, Holmes)
+ The Summer Sun Celebration, notably (non-)Acoustic Brony
+ Dave Polsky's barnstorming presentation panel
+ Meeting G. M. Berrow and Blueshift (not together)
- Missing out on the Sunday morning Flash Fanfic contest

UK PonyCon 2014, Mercure "The Grand", Leicester
+ Discovering UKPC's fantastic family-friendly, multi-gen atmosphere
+ Actually knowing the G1 song played by the live band
+ The only con I've attended where people could pay on the door
- It was very, very crowded in there

UK PonyCon 2015, Mercure "The Grand", Leicester (again)
+ Informal singalong sessions around the piano
+ The plushie army on our table at Wetherspoons
+ First time seeing Idris's Battle Pony outfit in person
- Dreadful hall acoustics making some panels entirely inaudible

UK PonyCon 2016, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
+ My first Pub Quiz – and making the last bus afterwards
+ The season finale viewing – a tremendous experience
+ Custardcon. Come on, I had to mention this somewhere!
- A few too many people chatting noisily through panels

UK PonyCon 2017, UWE Exhibition Centre, Bristol
+ Dueting with Dodj on "Stop the Bats" at the karaoke
+ The wonderfully spacious and relaxed venue
+ Fulfilling an ambition and walking round hugging a plush most of Sunday
- Um... it finished?

Friday, 29 December 2017

Pony Music Library: What's coming... and what isn't

Those of you who follow my occasional "Pony Music Library" posts will know that the next one will be number 50 in the series. As such, I'm planning to feature a song that means something to me beyond "this is a nice piece of music". I expect the feature to arrive during January, but right now I can't be more precise than that.

Movie songs will become eligible for induction in January, too, since that's when my self-imposed film spoiler ban will expire. I'm not sure whether I really want to feature such recent tracks just yet, but I expect one or two of them will be inducted in time. And yes, album-only songs are eligible too. So, for the avoidance of doubt, are EqG shorts songs.

As for the second part of my title: I have decided not to feature songs which have been entirely removed from the musician's YouTube account, unless: a) they are freely available on an official account elsewhere, or b) there are very special circumstances. I am still considering unlisted songs (eg "Never Alone") as that's rather different.

One notable track which this affects is EileMonty's "I Am Octavia", which as far as I can tell she has deleted from her YouTube account – even direct links bring up "unavailable", which wouldn't be the case if the track had simply been unlisted. I don't know why EileMonty made this decision, but I want to respect it, even though the song is still everywhere online.

Any songs which get deleted after they have been featured in the PML will not be restrospectively un-inducted, as that would simply cause confusion. There are in any case limits to how much editing I can find the time for!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 185: Cold Mince Pies

Read it Later story count: 374 (-6)

Off we go with the final Ponyfic Roundup of 2017. It's been a bit of an up-and-down year, with rather more downs than ups in the last few months, but I'm optimistic that 2018 might see me get back to reading (and writing about) a little more ponyfic than I have done lately. Three stories in the mix this time, and they are:

Forest Trees and Morning Tea by PonyThunder
Hyperion by Meridian Prime
Fifty Shades of Brad by D G D Davidson

★: 0 | ★★: 0 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Hearth's Warming Eve!

I'll be away over most of the post-Christmas and New Year period, but I may have a couple of pre-scheduled posts ready. I say "may" because... well, you know why. That cold again. Still, I'll try to have something new before the end of the year.

In the meantime, I wish all of you a very happy Hearth's Warming, and I'll see you back here in January as we wait to see what 2018 will bring.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Movie out digitally for US... but not for us

This is going to suck. Right over the Christmas and New Year period, we're going to be told again and again all over the ponynet that My Little Pony: The Movie is out on digital platforms and that we should rush to buy it. Guess what, guys? It isn't and we can't.

Because, as ever, too many people online think the world consists of the US, or of North America at best.

Here's Amazon UK's page for the film. You'll note two things. One, that the UK price is ridiculous – £13.99 for HD, which is more than the physical Blu-ray. Two, that not only is it not available, but there isn't even a release date listed.

I'm trying to be supportive of Hasbro right now over the hacks stuff, but Celestia it's hard when they treat by far the film's most successful non-NA market like dirt. Going back to add the "rants" tag to this post now. :P

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 184: Sick Beats

Interesting changes on Fimfiction... also, another free game on GOG today. This time it's Oxenfree, which normally sells for £14.99, so quite a deal! Usual setup: log into your account and click the banner on the front page.

Read it Later story count: 380 (+1)

I have had colds on and off this winter, but this latest one absolutely knocked me for six and I barely knew where I was until yesterday. I'm still not great, but at least I can string a few words together now. You're getting a second successive two-review PR, which I don't feel too happy about, but at one point it was looking like this wouldn't get published at all.

When You Fall by theworstwriter
Dear Idiot by The Descendant

★: 0 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Monday, 18 December 2017

Right, here's the deal with those hacks

> THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS POST <

As many of you will already know, someone has once again hacked into the MLP computers (speaking very generally) and got hold of a large amount of confidential information. If you remember what happened last season... this is bigger. This stuff has, of course, found its way to the public internet, because that's what always happens. I'm not really concerned with that here, though. I'm concerned with Louder Yay.

1) I will not post any of the content – files, images, videos – obtained in this way.
2) I will not post any links or discussion as to where to find this content.
3) I will delete on sight any comment that includes the above things.
4) If you want to see this stuff, you're on your own finding it. Do it elsewhere.

As usual, I am willing to discuss general points like "Do you think the fandom will die when G4 ends?" (Answer: no.) But Celestia help you if you spoil me for S8 in the process. :P

Saturday, 16 December 2017

UK PonyCon announces record charity fundraising total!

It's been worth the wait... UK PonyCon communications supremo daisyd has announced that this year's convention has broken UKPC fundraising records. For a start, the Charity Auction itself raised £4,045 – itself a record. After income from VIP and Supporter tickets, plus raffle and contest entries, were taken into account, that figure rose to £4,983.85.

But it doesn't stop there. The UKPC folks have announced that they'll be rounding up the total. And no, not merely to £5,000, nor even to £5,500. The final fundraising total will be an all-time record for UK PonyCon of...

£6,000!

This news is a fantastic early gift, and I'm delighted such a good amount is going to such a worthy charity as the RDA. This just underlines how well the convention was run and makes me even happier to have played my own small part in contributing to the final total. Huge thanks, once again, to everyone who worked so hard.

And now we have a target for 2018! It's going to be a very tough one to beat, but can we do it? We shall see...

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 183: Snow Day!

Grim Fandango Remastered is free on GOG today. Log into your account, find the banner near the top of the site's front page and click on it. Ta-da! A game that normally costs £9.99 – and a cross-platform game, too – shall be yours for £0.00!

Read it Later story count: 379 (-1)

As mentioned in my last post, my usual schedule has been thrown off by what is, for here, a massive amount of snow. As such, this is a very short edition of Ponyfic Roundup – and one which doesn't actually include either of the fic reviews I trailed last week. This also means that my review of iisaw's The Skyla Pseudonym will have to wait until January. For all of this, my apologies. Oh well, here we go with the whole two reviews that I have got for you:

You Forgot Your Toothbrush! by FamousLastWords
Corn on the Cob by mushrumluver

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 0 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Monday, 11 December 2017

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Apologies for the lack of proper posts. My part of the world has been hit by its deepest snowfall in over a quarter of a century (28 cm/11") and this has been accompanied by fairly lengthy power cuts. As such, everyday life has been somewhat disrupted. The weather forecast is better from now onwards, so I should be able to get things back on a more even keel. Not sure yet about the size of Ponyfic Roundup, but there should be something at least.

Friday, 8 December 2017

A small landmark

This is the 254th post I've made this year. That makes 2017 the most active year I've had on Louder Yay since it began in December 2012. Never let it be said that the MLP fandom is dying – it's doing no such thing! It may be a bit smaller and less visible to the outside world than it was a few years ago, but that's another matter. I don't expect to stop doing LY any time soon.

Also, it's nicely meta that my 254th post of 2017 is written to mark my 254th post of 2017.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Ponyfic Roundup 182: Chocolate Digestive

Read it Later story count: 380 (-6)

Another four-fic week. I was hoping I might make it up to five this time, but as usual the world conspired against me. Also, cricket. Just as I'd resigned myself to England being utterly useless in every department, they suddenly put in a really good performance. It's probably too late for it to save the match, and we're probably going to lose the Ashes as a result, but at least it's something. When you've been an England cricket fan for as long as I have, you take what you can get! Anyway, today's fics are:

App. Jack by shortskirtsandexplosions
Critical Condition by KR Chrome
Blink by ocalhoun
Burn by rogueunicorn

★: 2 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Frustrating news on the movie's Blu-ray release

Screenshot of Amazon.co.uk showing the 12th February release date

I discovered yesterday that the Blu-ray of My Little Pony: The Movie will be released in the UK on... 12th February 2018. That's more than a month after it comes out in the US (9th January). For some utterly bizarre reason, the UK DVD release is two weeks later still, on 26th February. I can't even remember split Blu-ray/DVD release dates before, and I have no idea why they're doing it.

I haven't been able to find out what's happening in the UK regarding download releases, but my guess is that the late release of the discs is because a couple of countries (eg Spain) are only getting the movie in the cinema this month. Whatever the case, I am not happy. It was bad enough waiting two weeks after the US for the big-screen release. Waiting five weeks for this is, frankly, a bit much.

Also on subject of the Blu-ray, it's still not clear what our "Triple Play" will be. I'd like it to be Blu-ray+DVD+download, but I have a feeling that we'll get Ultraviolet instead of the DVD. Much less attractive a package, but it's the way things have been going recently.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Pony Music Library 49: "My Little Pony Friends"


Well, would you look at that? Logan's put up a PML post without waiting a month and a half since the last one! This is an interesting song, too, and one some of you may find a surprising choice as a favourite of mine, so let's get going.

What? "My Little Pony Friends"

Who? Daniel Ingram and Lauren Faust (show theme segments)

Which? Unused EqG song

When? August 2014 (public debut)

Why? The closing credits of the first Equestria Girls film featured the song "A Friend for Life", which in all honesty is not one I find very memorable. That wasn't the initial plan, though. The movie was originally going to close with this song. Why the change was made I don't know, but I like "My Little Pony Friends" more. It tugs at my heart in a way that "AFfL" doesn't quite manage. This was Kaylee Johnston's first singing role for MLP, and I think her only lead singing role, another reason I'm sad it was cut. Oh, and yes, it does indeed include the phrase "We love and tolerate". So let's have no more about that not being canon! :P

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Here Comes the Sun... Stone

I finished watching "The End of Flutter Valley" yesterday evening. Quite interesting to see how G1 dealt with an extended storyline – it's ten 10-minute episodes – and there's a G4 link of sorts, given that parts of the plot are mentioned in the background by the Mane Six during the Big Mac IDW comic arc. I may do a little review of "Flutter Valley" here at some point.

Next up when I feel like returning to the world of G1 will be "The Ghost of Paradise Estate", which I'm pretty sure I've never seen at all. I know almost nothing about that four-parter, actually, nor indeed about quite a few of the other G1 stories. Other than "Rescue at Nightmare Castle", the only other one that has much recognition is "The Return of Tambelon", because it's the one featuring Grogar.

And no, this isn't going to turn into a G1 blog! But four years of UK PonyCon have made me sufficiently interested in the older generations that I want to see a bit more of what was produced in those years.