Articles

  • Out Of Tune

    9 oct. 2008, 15h11m

    Foo Fighters's My Hero became the latest song to be ticked off from McCain's playlist.

    First it was John Mellencamp ordering McCain to stop using his songs Our Country and Pink House in his campaign.

    Then came Jackson Browne who actually went so far as to taking legal action against McCain for using his song Running On Empty.

    Van Halen (Right Now) and Heart (Barracuda) both issued requests to the McCain campaign to stop using their songs.

    Here are my suggested additons to replenish McCain's quickly depleting playlist:

  • The Olympics 2008

    14 juin 2008, 8h42m



    Getting ready to attend the games? Get yourself acquainted with these signs:





























    Beijing Olympics 2008
  • What Hi-fi

    12 juin 2008, 14h44m

    I used to be one of those people who would spend hundred of dollars for a few feet of speaker cable, hundreds for a moving coil phono cartridge which couldn’t output a strong enough signal to directly feed into a pre-amp, hundreds for a pair of vintage valves which was nothing more than a high-resistance light bulb, several hundreds for a pre-pre amp which served no useful purposes other than stepping up the output of a MC cartridge, a couple of thousands for a pre-amp, a couple of thousands for a pair of speakers and several thousands for a power amp. After roughly USD6,000 and yet still could not get a single sound byte out of it because to complete the setup, it needed at least another thousand for a belt-drive turntable (excluding the arm, by the way).

    Feeling excited (deservedly so after emptying over USD7,000 from my pocket) for the set-up, I’d invite my ‘friends’ home to showcase my toy but only to find out that my set of equipment could hardly be classified as ‘audiophile’ - USD7,000 was barely enough to buy an ‘audiophile’ power amp. Not for a single piece of equipment? No, not for a McIntosh.

    Embarrassed, dejected, I went on in pursuit of the true and sweetest sound for the next 15 years until one day I had to flee the country (stupid me again) and dumped everything I owned behind.

    I have been playing through a pair of USD50 desktop speakers for the last few years now although I still have a set of so-called ‘hi-fi’ which I bought in a 2nd hand shop. At first, I was still trying to find a way to play music from my computer and stream it to my hi-fi because I thought the sound would be better and more realistic and for the simple fact that it’s not easy for an old woman like me to get up every 40 minutes to switch a CD. The simplest way to stream music from a computer to a hi-fi is to buy a Slimcenter which I couldn’t afford. I did, however, manage to find a software alternative to do the streaming after some hard googling. Having played with the streaming for a few days, I discovered that I actually didn’t enjoy the sound of my hi-fi. I went straight back using my USD50 desktop speakers.

    It’s not that my hearing is nearly gone. I can still hear if the notes are being played by the left hand or the right hand in Für Elise or A Certain Romance when a CD is played from my hi-fi. The problem, I believe, is the medium.

    The delivery of Music has changed so much from my ‘audiophile’ days when people were still arguing if a belt-drive turntable was reproducing more realistic sound than a CD player. Those days when I would be willing to play a 30% premium for a Chesky CD were long gone. What we have nowadays are m4p, m4a, mp3 and wma (a few flac maybe but I’m not sure). Very few of us would mind when playing ‘Candle in the Wind’ in an iPod, Elton John would actually appear standing on top of the piano instead of sitting in front of it. The extra USD20,000 an ‘audiophile’ spent is to get: Sound Stage (simply translated - Elton John should be sitting in front of the piano, not on top or 5 feet away from it.) and accurate Sound Imaging (simply translated – John Bonham should be playing in the middle of the stage behind Jimmy Page and stayed there for an entire song instead of shifting his position sometimes 5 feet to his left and sometimes 3 feet to his right in the space of 5 minutes or the 1st and 2nd violin doesn’t switch place in the middle of a concerto).

    It is physically impossible to talk of these qualities in a flattened audio image. What was not immediate apparent to me, however, was the fact that the deficiencies of these popular audio formats tend to be hidden from a set of low-fi equipment. It’s crappy but sounds pleasant enough. A set of ‘hi-fi’, on the other hand, will lay bare the inadequacy of a lossy audio format and at times, to the point of becoming irritating. In this low-fi age, we should be happy as long as John Bonham doesn’t appear to be drumming with a pair of chopsticks.

    Here is my current setup and I’m fairly pleased with it.





    And these are useless stuff, email me if you are interested in buying.





  • Take Me Back

    18 avr. 2008, 15h41m

    If I were to name one dish that would transport me to my childhood, this would be the one - Scrambled Eggs with Tomato:

    'Scrambled

    This is probably one of the most common dishes in a working-class family back then. Mom used put it on top of some rice with a little bit of soy sauce to get the flavour out.

    And to get our protein, she would substitute the tomato with some tiny rice fishes, also with scrambled eggs. We didn't have the large rice fishes shown on the photos below. They were too dear and unavailable locally. The ones we had were all tiny ones, not longer than half an inch. And even then we could probably afford them once or twice a month.

    'Rice

    As for breakfast, a typical day would begin with Congee. We ate only plain congee (sorta a traditonal passed down from my grandpa's county) and didn't mixed it with any meat.

    'congee'

    And if we behaved, we would be rewarded with this once in a while:

    'Mantou'

    I missed these dishes and I missed my mom!
  • Friends Online

    18 avr. 2008, 14h54m

    All my last.fm friends are online and scrobbling. A rare sight!

    'Last.fm

    And all of a sudden, everyone's gone. Also a rare sight!

    'No
  • Kick-ass Album Cover

    10 jan. 2008, 17h51m

    I love album art - it used to form a significant part of an album release as it not only gives the artist an identity but also often used to convey ideas as to what may be found inside the album cover. But as the size of LP shrinks to CD and from CD reduced to thumbnails that come with the online download, album art has perhaps slowly but surely been losing its importance. The size reduction is also affecting album art as a art form as what apparently looks good in a LP size image may turn out to be not-so-good when it is zoomed out to 50x50 pixels or a 160x160 thumbnails.

    Here are some of my favourites:


    Thirteenth Step


    Aladdin Sane


    Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs


    The Best of The Doors


    Dark Side of the Moon


    Houses of the Holy


    Nevermind


    The Autumn Effect


    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


    Beyond Skin


    The Nightfly

    And here are some for my friend, Sir Ginger gingerweir


    Candy-O


    The Crablouse


    P!nk: The Remixes EP


    Chocolate and Cheese


    Courage


    X
  • Song Ideas for My OhMiBod

    8 jan. 2008, 18h49m

    Have been toying with a gift from louiggy. Would you suggest 3 songs that work best with my newly found gadget?

    My current favourites are:

    Call Me - Blondie
    Hot 'n Nasty - Humble Pie
    Just Like Heaven - Katie Melua



    You may get your iphone compatible OhMiBod here.
  • Your Numerical Aptitude

    26 mai 2007, 21h02m

    Just a little game that comes to mind after receiving a message from a last.fm pal.

    The first user gives a number, the next user will have to come up with a song or album that contains the specific number given and he/she will give another random number for the game to play on.

    Say I give: 1919

    Answer: John Cale - Paris 1919

    3

    Soulfly - 3

    ok you get the idea. Play fair, no last.fm search, no google :-)

    Now, an easy one to start with:

    1812
  • The Most Obscene Song Title - Add Yours

    21 avr. 2007, 22h57m

    Yflmd (YFLMD = You fuck like my dad)
  • 20 Most Important Albums Since Emile Berliner

    12 fév. 2007, 17h25m

    Horses
    - kickstarted punk rock. without this, no R.E.M. or Razorlight and even Madonna has to thank her for re-writing the rules how female artists have to be treated in the music industry.

    Highway 61 Revisited
    - the birth of modern rock.

    King Of The Delta Blues Singers
    - 'the most important blues singer that ever lived' said Eric Clapton. Without this, no Rolling Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin.

    Kind of Blue
    - it defines the meaning of 'cool' as far as music goes. Mood music at its best.

    Blue
    - a standard yet to be matched by any singer-songwriter. Without this, no Tori Amos, no Fiona Apple. Cited as major influence even by Elvis Costello and Prince.

    London Calling
    - it legitimised punk. Without this, no Green Day, no Lily Allen.


    Are You Experienced
    - re-defining guitar playing. Fingering blues and psychedelia, dexterity and feedback trickery at the same time.

    Black Sabbath
    - the birth of heavy metal and arena rock. Without this, no Nirvana, no Alice in Chains.

    The Bends
    - the beginning of 'girly' sound which others are still copying 10 years after. Without this, no Coldplay, no Keane

    The Smiths
    - setting the trend to mix punk and disco. Without this, no Oasis, no Belle and Sebastian.

    Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    - without this, pop rock might have sounded very differently.

    Pet Sounds
    - Considered by many as Best Album of All Times. Cited by both the Beatles and Bob Dylan as influence.

    The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
    - you don't really know what pop or hard rock is if you have not listened to this. Without this, hair color would have remained dull and no Queen, no Kiss, no Madonna.

    Trans-Europe Express
    - the beginning of techno and the birth of a genre. Without this, no Pet Shop Boys.

    I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
    - iconic symbol of black american pride. setting free the girl power. Without this, no Tina Turner, no Mariah Carey

    Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
    - blending 2 extremely opposite genres: acid-rock with country. Without this, no Shania Twain, no Willie Nelson.

    Dark Side of the Moon
    - no prog rock without this.

    Elvis Presley
    - the birth of a King. Without this, we wouldn't know how to mix sex and music.

    Head Hunters
    - the root of everything jazz/funk/R&B.

    Thriller
    - the biggest pop album ever. Without this, no Justin Timberlake or Madonna.

    Liege And Lief
    - the birth of English folk-rock. Without this, no Pogues, no Waterboys