If you are unhappy with the fact that you could go to prison for ripping your CDs to your MP3 player (even if only in theory), sign Suw Charman's on-line petition: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format.
Via Boing Boing.
Simon pointed me at Last.fm the other night. Interesting site - It looks at what you listen to, recommends new bands that you might like based on other users with similar tastes, and will even build you a custom radio stream. Here's what I'm listening to:
It's a shame that it only takes note of what you listen to whilst on-line - it'll miss out on what I listen to whilst travelling. Even more sad, it can't take advantage of the enormous historical record that my iTunes library has kept for me: 25,879 tracks played, 73 days, 14:10:16 play time. The iTunes Registry does take account of your full history - but it doesn't do recommendations.
Right, that's it; I'm bored of waiting for a Burnt To Bitz track listing. I've done my own.
|Disk 1||Track 1||Escape Song||Graham Coxon||3:00|
|Track 2||Spectacular||Graham Coxon||2:53|
|Track 3||I Can't Look At Your Skin||Graham Coxon||3:24|
|Track 4||No Good Time||Graham Coxon||3:26|
|Track 5||I Wish||Graham Coxon||5:44|
|Track 6||Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery||Graham Coxon||5:20|
|Track 7||What's He Got?||Graham Coxon||4:33|
|Track 8||Girl Done Gone||Graham Coxon||5:04|
|Track 9||All Over Me||Graham Coxon||4:48|
|Track 10||Just A State Of Mind||Graham Coxon||5:11|
|Track 11||You & I||Graham Coxon||4:06|
|Track 12||Standing On My Own Again||Graham Coxon||4:30|
|Track 13||Right To Pop||Graham Coxon||2:50|
|Track 14||Don't Let Your Man Know||Graham Coxon||3:30|
|Track 15||What Ya Gonna Do Now?||Graham Coxon||3:01|
|Track 16||Bloody Annoying||Graham Coxon||3:20|
|Disk 2||Track 1||Freakin' Out||Graham Coxon||3:46|
|Track 2||That's When I Reach For My Revolver||Mission of Burma||4:27|
|Track 3||People Of The Earth||Graham Coxon||3:50|
|Track 4||Big Bird||Graham Coxon||7:26|
|Track 5||See A Better Day||Graham Coxon||5:37|
|Track 6||All Mod Cons||Paul Weller||1:12|
|Track 7||You Always Let me Down||Graham Coxon||2:52|
|Track 8||I Don't Wanna Go Out (Part 1)||Graham Coxon||3:20|
|Track 9||I Don't Wanna Go Out (Part 2)||Graham Coxon||1:31|
|Track 10||Gimme Some Love||Graham Coxon||2:52|
|Track 11||Who The Fuck You Looking At?||Graham Coxon||5:07|
|Track 12||Life It Sucks||Graham Coxon||4:04|
The Graham Coxon gig last night was fab. My ears are still ringing! Lots of silly jumping about, both on and off stage, and plenty of old-school post punk with all the trimmings.
Silly jumping about - how old do I sound?
Anyway, I picked up the Burnt to Bitz CD on the way out. It's really well put together - despite picking it up on the way out of the gig, it has a good case and cover, and the sound quality is good from what I've heard so far. I'm just waiting for a track listing now...
No tee shirt, though. They had none in my size. <jack-black>Hey, Graham's merchandise people - fat boys like to rock too, you know!</jack-black>
I'm off to see Graham Coxon next week at the Astoria. And this is a good idea - I'll be able to buy a CD of the gig on the way out. Beats the usual tee shirt - though I'll probably get one of those too.
Trivia, of interest to no one - Graham Coxon worked as a cook in Clown's Restaurant, Colchester, at some time in the eighties, at the same time as my sister waited table there. He was, apparently, a rubbish cook.
OK, Mac gurus - how do I rip the audio from a DVD to MP3, so I can listen to it on my iPod, preferably using open source software?
I own the DVD in question, FWIW. ;-)
The sound. Just that really, but oh, what a sound! Now, I'm no audiophile, but I can tell the difference between these and the other 'phones I've had. Everything feels so much more lively, and I hear things that I've not heard before.
Sound exclusion is very good, too. It's possible to listen to classical and jazz on the tube now, which is fab, and I can listen to things much more quietly if I want ti, which has got to be good for my ears in the long run.
E2cs are awkward and uncomfortable. Part of that us just a function of their sheer size, but I also dislike the way the wire goes over and behind the ear.
The top of my ears is where I am accustomed to keeping the arms of my glasses, and the two just don't sit well together. The other day as I was removing my 'phones to buy a pint of milk on the way to work, the wire caught and I flung my glasses at the checkout girl. Now, fair enough, this is probably mostly due to the Brunning spanner gene enthusiastically extending its phenotype halfway across the supermarket, but didn't anyone with glasses try the design out?
Err, maybe not. They seem to come from Texas, where I'm sure that anyone unable to see while on the back of a bucking bronco doesn't live long enough to breed. Still, it's a minor pain for me.
Oh yes, and they weren't cheap, either.
The ugly? Just look at the things. Hideous. They look like NHS hearing aids - huge, molded from cheap (looking) plastic, and the cables look like you could charge a car battery with them.
Still, looks don't bother me too much. And since the kindest thing that anyone's said about my appearance recently is that I look like geography teacher, perhaps I don't have that much to lose anyway.
Well, for me, the sound's the thing, so I'm happy.
Oh, and if you do get any of these, do look before you cross the road, as you certainly aren't going to be hearing cars coming.
That didn't last long. Looking at my reciept this morning, I see that it reads "Arctic Monkeys, Whatever".
Well, I like it, anyway.
I screwed up last week - I carelessly bought a DRMed nearly-CD; K.T. Tunstall's Eye to the Telescope. Great musically speaking, but playing it on my CD player (actually a DVD player), it sounded like a record with a scratch. Rather a nostalgic moment, actually. ;-)
Ironically, I ripped it to my Mac without any problem whatsoever, and the CD that iTunes burned for me plays perfectly. They only thing they prevented was the legitimate use.
I'm not going to take this one back, but I'll be more careful to avoid not-quite-CDs in future.
Top film, I thought. It had a very 1980's French film to my eyes - bleak in plot, cynical in outlook, and naturalistic in the way it was shot. In particular, the way the main characters' relationship was built up then re-interpreted in the latter half was masterful. Recommended.
Besides - Rachel Weisz with her kit off was worth the ticket price by itself.
Bit of trivia for you - two spaces behind me in the ticket queue was Keira Knightley. Shorter than she looks on screen, but very pretty in a teenage sort of a way.
As if Aerial wasn't good enough, look what I found - Kate Bush in MP3. If you're a fan, you have got to hear these. And if you're not, you have no taste.
Something Like A Song is incredible. Why was it never released? Criminal.
I've listened to to it once, but I've been coding, not focusing on it, so I don't really know what I think of it so far. Besides, you can't judge a Kate Bush album 'till you've listened to it a few times. There are certainly some good bits, though. I'll let you know what I think when I've had a chance to listen to it a few more times.
Serenity, in case you've been living under a rock for the last six months, or aren't a total nerd, is the Film follow up to the excellent Firefly TV series. Fingers crossed it's good - and that the georgeous Saffron is in it.
I was at a bit of a loose end this weekend, so I watched some of Glastonbury on the telly. I left the window open and didn't hoover to give me that outdoor feel - or at least, as near as I'm comfortable with.
Hey, what can I say? I'm a city boy.
Anyway, Coldplay left me as cold as ever. Pretty, but shallow. I did enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs, though. Fabulous band. It's not serious stuff, it's just pop - but it's good pop. They just radiate fun. Employment is recommended.
I'm kicking myself that I missed The White Stripes on Friday. I gather that they mainly played stuff from their superb new album, Get Behind Me Satan. I stayed up 'till two in the morning the day I got this album, playing it again and again and drinking too much red wine.
I also enjoyed Roisin Murphy, too. I've not come across her before, but I'm very impressed. In fact, she may be my perfect woman; talented, beautiful, intelligent, interesting, red-headed, high maintainance, and mad as a snake. I may have to marry her.
Meme of the day via Aurblog.
Total volume of music files on my computer: 15.5 GB.
Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
1. Hysteria, Muse
2. The Song Is You, Jimmy Giuffre
3. Looking For Somebody, Fleetwood Mac
4. Sonata No.1 in G minor, Johann Sebastian Bach
5. Ball and Biscuit, The White Stripes
(That's not totally representative - some of these are relatively recent acquisitions, so naturally I'm listening to them a lot recently, according to iTunes. Old favorites are under represented. But there's no way I can pick five favorites, so it's as good a five as any.)
Five people to whom Iím passing the baton:
I picked up Firefly the other weekend, on DVD. What can I say? Andy was right, I was wrong. Firefly is the best TV Sci Fi I've seen in years. Believable characters, good actors, an interesting setting and a promising plot. It's a real shame that they cancelled it - I really would have liked to have seen where it would have gone.
Buffy was still rubbish, though.
I saw End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones this weekend. It was superb. If you are even slightly into The Ramones, or rock in general, you need to see this. These guys didn't just play punk, they were punk. Tap will never seem the same again...
It was part of a double bill at The Clapham Picture House. The other half was Coffee and Cigarettes, but that went so far over my head that I didn't even feel the wind. There was one obvious theme to start with - people talking but not communicating - but that seemed to tail off towards the second half, and all I was left with was a bunch of unconnected short films with a few shared lines. Some of it was funny, but I'm sure that I missed the point.
Who'd have thought it? I'd probably never have noticed if iTunes hadn't picked up the composer tag.
I'm not sure who's more to blame - Stephanie Fallows, the stupid cow who moved in next door to one of the countries foremost and most famous jazz venues and then was surprised to find that they played jazz there, or Richmond upon Thames Council, who gave planning permission for building the flats in the first place.
Well, a total inability to find their arse with both hands is only to be expected from a local council.
A few tips for house hunters: If you don't like aircraft noise, don't buy a house near an airport. If you object to traffic noise, don't live on a high street. If you want silence in the evening, don't move next to a music club. And if you fuck up and do move somewhere you don't like, either sell up and piss off or just learn to live with it. Don't be utterly selfish and try to close down a club that's been running since before you were born and gives pleasure to thousands.
To express your support, you can email email@example.com. Anyone got an email address for Stephanie Fallows?
What a nasty shock. John Peel has died.
John Peel has been at the forefront of progressive music for more years than 40 years. It's difficult to overstate the impact he's had - would punk have made it big without him? And how many other genres saw their first exposure on John Peel's show?
Obviously, it wasn't all good music - but if you aren't willing to look at new things with an open mind, how can you discover the wheat amongst the chaff? John Peel was always willing to listen.
In recent years, his unpretentious style found an additional natural home - Home Truths. He was able to talk to anybody about anything - always interested, never intrusive, sympathetic, but never condescending.
The BBC will miss him. So will I.
Update - I'm now listening to Teenage Kicks - according to John Peel, the best ever record. "I canít imagine anything you could add to it or subtract from it to make it better." and "I've known the Undertones for so long and I've always claimed that it was my favourite record of all time I'd have to take Teenage Kicks."
I'm not sure that the Busted version went down quite so well.
Another update: The UK blogsphere is in mourning.
I saw The Princess Diaries 2 with Freja this weekend.
Having said that, Freja loved it, as did most of the audience. So, let me be more specific. If you're female and between the ages of six and fourteen, or if you are Mark Matthews, you'll probably love it. Otherwise, avoid.
The royal brown-nosing was blatant. The Americans are obviously desperate for a royal family of their own own. Well, they can have ours.
What else was there? Oh yes, unfunny slapstick, suitable-for-pre-teen romance, and (oh, the horror!) Julie Andrews rapping.
Oh, and the product placement was shocking. Shocking.
It's here! It's charging and updating as we speak.
Double bugger - still no iPod. :-(
Still, plenty of ripping this morning:
I'll be loaded for bear by the time it does come.
I've been using iTunes today. I struggled with it briefly - I tried to get it to name and organise my MP3s the way I had been doing it. It wasn't having any of it. But in fact, the way iTunes wants to organise eveything is pretty nice, so I let it have its own way. It reorganised all my existing stuff for me, and all's well now.
Is this how Mac software is? You have to work its way, but if you do, everything gets organised for you? Sort of like being married...
No sign of my iPod turning up today. Sigh. Still, I've been ripping CDs all morning - I brought in a big stack with me:
I'll do another pile like this tomorrow, so when it does turn up, I'll have plenty of stuff to get me started.
Neil Turner recommended dBpowerAMP Music Converter for doing the ripping. It works a treat - composing this post took far longer than doing the ripping did, discounting the churning-away-in-the-background time. But is there anything better? CDex any good?
So, who would you be really embarrased to admit to having in your CD collection, but that you actually like even though you know you shouldn't? My top five, in no particular order:
- Sting. Pretentious, moi?
- Tori Amos. How sensitive can you get?
- Dire Straits. It's like the ninties never happened.
- Harry Connick, Jr. What's wrong with real jazz?
- Marillion. Thanks, Andy. ;-)
I say had fixed this, because the odious Odeon people have forced him to take the site down.
Sadly this attitude towards accessability is very far from uncommon; I raised the issue with some clients of ours recently for whom we are building a web application, and was ridiculed for my trouble. :-(
Also in my hectic social calendar in the next couple of weeks, So Long Angel, the thinking man's pub blues band, will be at The National Theatre on Wendesday the 14th. They are well worth a listen; they are better at music than they are at web site design, trust me. ;-)
I wasn't actually there, I'm afraid; I watched it on (mainly) BBC3. Cath took my girls to Glastonbury yesterday, but they would have been in bed by the time Muse came on. Shame - the girls quite like them.
Muse are the find of the decade as far as I'm concerned. I have all three studio albums now; Showbiz, Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, plus their b-sides-plus-live-set effort, Hullabaloo. They are all good, but what's more, the later albums are better than the earlier. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
Andy will leave a comment in a minute, calling them Radiohead rip-offs, or some such. You'll see. I think he's wrong, though; cetainly, Radiohead are an influence, but they have a voice of thier own, I think. Besides, I don't intend to start taking guidance in musical taste from a man who raves about Marillion. ;-)
A suspension? Bring back the birch, I say.
Hey, while we are doing music; a happy birthday to pocket sized pop temptress Kylie, 36 today.
"Acquiring the rights to the Iliad was very expensive" - very sharp, Cory.
Liam Gallagher looses two front teeth after a brawl with a "group of five computer consultants". Well, if you pick a fight with a bunch of roughy toughy computer programmers, you are bound to get your head kicked in, aren't you?
God, I hate XFM.
The problem isn't the music. The music isn't too bad at all, though the playlist is a little short, so it gets a bit repetitive.
No, the problem is all the bloody talking. The 'zany banter' between the records is bad enough, but the ads are driving me insane.
Funny thing is, I love Radio 4. So perhaps it isn't talking that I object to so much as asinine bollocks.
I've put some Thelonious Monk on. It's not going down too well. :-(
"Thelonious Sphere Monk" - that's a name! I suppose that he didn't have too much choice of career with a name like that; it was either jazz-man or preacher.
I might try Bluesbreakers next.
Working here is introducing me to loads of new bands, some of whom are great. Muse, Absolution - fantastic.
"His career with the BBC spanned 70 years. Since Letter from America began, Cooke presented 2,869 shows, making up more than 717 hours of broadcasting time." Wow.
Prior to Peter Jackson's superb Lord of the Rings, this would have horrified me. It's difficult to turn a book into a film, and the Earthsea trilogy is special to me. (Yes, Yes, I know that there are five books now; but I've known it as the Earthsea trilogy for so long know that it's difficult to change.) Jackson has demonstrated that it's possible to get it right, though, so perhaps there is some chance that they won't butcher Earthsea too badly. Let's cross our fingers.
Though the new film version of I, Robot starring Will Smith (no, really) doesn't bode well...
As men of discernment agree, Spinal Tap is one of the two funniest films ever made (with the other being Life of Brian). So it was with considerable trepidation that I went to see A Mighty Wind at the weekend.
I needn't have worried. It was brilliant. As with Tap, the humour came from going just that 1% over the top.
I saw Lost in Translation yesterday, just off Leicester Square. A brilliant film, I thought, but extremely bleak. A more evocative exposition of loneliness I can't remember. Don't see it alone!
Scarlett Johannson and Bill Murray richly deserved their Baftas, I must say. (This morning on Radio 4, I heard someone opine that Murray's Bafta wouldn't lead to an Oscar, because 'best actor' awards aren't often handed out for comedy roles. Comedy!? Did they see the same film as I did?)
BTW, Leicester Square was a mistake yesterday - it was heaving.
School of Rock. It does.
Freja, my Father and I all went to see School of Rock this weekend, and all three generations enjoyed themselves immoderately. Recommended to everyone - though if you are or have been a fan of rock, you'll get more out of it. Think of it as Spinal Tap for all ages. And there's no praise higher than that.
A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I saw Freaky Friday. As expected from a Disney flick, there was a certain amount of cloying sentimentality. But unexpectedly, it's also very funny. Jamie Lee Curtis' teenager is fabulous. Go. You'll laugh.
I was helping out at Dad's club again on Saturday night. I don't intend making a habit of it, but the band, So Long Angel, is particularly good. Besides, Dad was a little under the weather, and needed the help.
The club next door was running an "Over-40's Nite" (sic). From my post at the door, it looked more like a "Comfortably Over-40's Nite". Paul, the landlord, rather uncharitably referred to it as "Grab a Granny".
Sigh. I'm just a few short years off 40 myself. Is this what life holds in store for me?
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
For me, Hugo Weaving (Smith) hamming it up like crazy, and Ian Bliss (Bane) taking him off were the best bits of the film. In general, it wasn't a fraction as deep as it pretended to be, and the action scenes were far too Star Wars-like.
The Matrix: Revolutions - the abridged script (spoilers) is very funny.
Another shameless plug. I'll be helping my dad run his new club this Saturday night. The music will be good, at least, and if anyone is brave enough to come to Morden on a Saturday night, I'd be glad to see you.
I recently heard a story that a gaggle of Japanese tourists pitched up at Morden, thinking that they were going to visit Mordor, The Land of Shadow. They didn't go too far wrong, in fact. (Whether this story is actually true, I just don't know. Nor do I care, really.)
Now, I know that my colleague Mark will disagree - he loves the program. Along with, amongst other things, Charmed and (would you believe it!) Popular. Should Mark's IT career stall at any point, he has a good job ahead of him as TV critic for Sugar.
OK, I'll admit to watching Charmed occasionally - but only 'cos Rose McGowan is as fit as a butcher's whippet.
This weekend, I took Freja to see Spirited Away.
I can't remember the last time I was so knocked out by a film. Truly magical, fantastically beautiful, utterly original, funny and moving, Freja was entranced, and so was I.
Recommended without reservation to those with children of, oh, five and up. If you don't have children, well, I'd recommend it anyway, provided that you're not wedded to realism. This is a "kid's film" in the same way as Philip Pullman is a "kid's author", (and the way J.K. Rowling fails to be, IMNSHO).
I'll almost certainly see this again at the cinema, and the DVD will be bought on sight.
Grauniad review here, BTW, but I'd read no reviews before seeing the film.
Viewers miss Doctor Who the most, says the BBC. Viewers also voted for long-running comedy series Last of the Summer Wine to be taken off air.
I can't disagree with a syllable of that.
I wonder if the BBC will be putting "Reading the Decades" online soon? ;-)
A while back, I bought 24 series 1 on DVD. I've just finished watching it.
Despite the rave reviews, I never watched in on TV. It was as much a lifestyle choice as a TV series, and I just didn't feel ready to make the commitment.
I kept quiet about watching it, too, 'cos I just knew that some smart arse would drop hints and spoil if for me if I let it out. Or is that just 24's paranoia getting to me?
Anyway. Fab series. Restores ones faith in the possibility of decent television.
Series 2 any good?
How sad am I? I'm actually looking forward to this.
Let's hope the production values of the new version aren't too high, though, or it just won't be the same.
Update: Slashdot catches up eventually. ;-)
Take a look at the new Spider-Man II poster.
The last early release Spider-Man movie poster used the World Trade Centre as a back-drop. Now they are (I think) using the Empire State. Not asking for trouble, I hope.
Swish Cottage likes xXx. I think that I'll have to see it. ;-)