kingandy: (Muzak)
Attendees of yesterday's landmark wedding! There is a point of curiosity which requires your attention.

[Poll #1627036]

If i've done this right, you shouldn't be able to see anyone else's guesses. If Ant allows me to spoil the mystery, I'll make it public in a few days.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh I guess you can't edit polls after they're published, so I'll just have to tell people if they got it right.

If you know because you've been told, leave a comment instead. Screening comments so nobody gives it away...
kingandy: (Muzak)
Not sure if I mentioned this: I bought a new stereo just after Christmas. It was good, excellent sound quality and a familiar brand (a Hitachi AXM136i), so I was confident that it would be fine despite it being a Curry/Dixon/PCWorld exclusive. (I think the "exclusive" part was the packaged iPod dock.) Also it was on sale, about 2/3 normal price, so win.

Within a month it developed a fault (overnight becoming unresponsive to controls, requiring unplug/replug to resolve - inconvenient at the best of times, and at worst rendering the alarm function useless). Took it back and got an identical replacement - and within a month it developed an identical fault.

Naturally, with the second replacement, I decided to go for a different model. I mean, I don't know if it's a general fault with the line or just with that Curry's batch, but I just didn't feel like risking it again. I went for a Sony, and wow, it's so much better, even though it's around the same retail price as the Hitachi's reduced sale price. Quick comparison of key points:

 Hitachi AXM136iSony CMT-BX70
iPod dockPlug in thing on extension leadBuilt into unit
Standby lightBright blue LED which lights up whole roomSoft unobtrusive red LED
While playing CDAnother, brighter blue light lights up the whole room even moreIt just plays it
Alarm functionTurns unit on, using whatever function happens to be selected when it was turned offAllows function to be selected when setting alarm, so you can go to bed listening to iPod and wake up to radio
After checking time with unit on standbyDisplay remains on, but at least the blue light goes awayDisplay switches off after 8 seconds
Remote sensitivityYou have to point it right at the unitVague approximation of direction will do
Station name displayBBC RADIBBC R2


It's, you know, little things like that; tiny points of usability that make the Hitachi unit basically unsuitable for use as a bedroom stereo and unsatisfying in general. Even without the Halt Until Reboot bug I was finding it fiddly and not 100% satisfying - the Sony's much better off the bat. I think there's a slight loss in sound quality (the Hitachi was 100W, the Sony is closer to 50) but it's not noticeable and certainly worth the £60 saving.

Oh - one flaw with the Sony - it doesn't come with a DAB antenna included. This isn't as big a problem as it might seem, though, as the internal one seems to work quite well, but I was still glad I had one lying about the place from an older unit.
kingandy: (Scarf)
Further to recent posts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF1f0ficW3E

(Not all of their stuff hits the mark, some of it's a bit shaky and they don't appear to know how to write for the lead vocalist's range. But I do like this one.)
kingandy: (ROAR)
Just watched MADAGASCAR - henceforth to be known as MADAGASCAR 1.

As we watched it (aside from noting how primitive the animation looked in comparison with MADAGASCAR 2) my attention was mostly grabbed by the soundtrack; there were two major themes which I realised had, in the sequel, been reworked into "Best Friends" and Alex On the Spot (slash Once Upon a Time in Africa). It's slightly odd watching things in reverse like that; you recognise the themes and interludes and the instinctive assumption is that it's a back-reference but a moment's thought reminds you that what must have actually happened is that the composer went back to his earlier work, picked out the theme, and developed it into more of a recognisable melody. Listening to the little tweety tension bed - as it appears in the first movie - it's hard to imagine that he didn't intend to blow it up into something larger as evidenced in the sequel.

We likes Hans Zimmer.

I think I may be turning into a movie soundtrack nerd.

I may have consumed about 4/5 of a bottle of mead.
kingandy: (ROAR)
Has just watched Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (cunningly titled because though technically a sequel you don't actually have to have seen the original - everything you need to know is recapped at the beginning).

The CGI, though by now par for the course, is stunning. Perhaps it helps that the animals are stylised, but the substance of the thing looks real. The fur looks furry. The water looks wet. In parts one could be forgiven for thinking it was stop-frame animation, or that the backgrounds were filmed from life. Also: Monkey-powered ornithopter with conning tower and banana overdrive! What is not to love.

Well ... actually, what's not to love is the amount of stuff that was in there simply because it tested well in the original. Notably That Bloody Song and the elderly lady. Oh and almost King Racism but I guess he did sort of drive the plot along and it was at least in character and plausible. Shades of MiB 2, but only shades. And such shiny shades.

Most of all, though, I liked the orchestral hip-hop.
kingandy: (Muzak)
The Crossroads, which despite a slow start and video game music roots is actually a pretty decent rtack.

In other news - does anyone have any spare lrp kit of a rough Regency/Georgian period that might fit [livejournal.com profile] diegoliger (short legs, big chest)? Artificer is only a week or two away and he hasn't a thing to wear...
kingandy: (Muzak)
Today in a shop I heard a wretched pop cover of Ash's "Shining Light" on the radio. I am trying to track it down on the internet so that I can ridicule it.

I am worried that it may have been this one by Annie Lennox (WARNING: features Autons). "Worried" because, now I know who it is, I actually quite like it. I mean it's kind of pointless, doesn't do anything new and is vastly inferior to the original, but remains quite bouncy and fun. I am fickle, it appears.

In related news, I really do like forthcoming track So Human, despite the artist involved. Though this may stem from an affection for the 2004 BBC3 sitcom that used it as a theme song.
kingandy: (Erroo)
It's December the First, so now people can officially put their Christmas decorations up without looking like idiots.

To get people in the festive spirit, we present for your delectation and amusement the greatest and best Christmas song in the history of the world, ever.
kingandy: (ROAR)
Since I told it I liked that last German song, Last.fm is offering me more and more tracks in that language. Generally I skip/ban them, but it will not be told.

Still, it has thrown up one or two gems. Regular readers may already be aware that I tend to enjoy a familiar song played in an unfamiliar way[1]; apparently this includes unfamiliar languages, which I seem to find hilarious.

Kann es wirklich liebe sein? Im sanften augenblick...

[1] Not to be confused with One Song to the Tune of Another
kingandy: (Muzak)
I don't know what the hell these guys are saying

but damn I know what I like
kingandy: (Muzak)
Skybox - Various Kitchen Utensils

Stick with it through the intro. Trust me. It will be awesome.

ba badadida, ba badadida....
kingandy: (Muzak)
If you draw on the living room wall with a blue crayon
It will give you the power to fly.


Have you ever watched TV in the bathtub?
It's fun.


http://www.last.fm/music/Throwing+Toasters/_/Bad+Influence

Not musically great, but lyrically inspired.
kingandy: (Default)
In case anyone hasn't guessed yet, I am very fond of covers of familiar songs that are significantly different from the source material. In this case, a bouncy dance-pop sensation from last summer, in the style of an unknown Italian pop-rock-punk band.

Ella-ella-ella
kingandy: (Muzak)
Just spent all of £1 on Come Clean by Puddle of Mudd.

I wouldn't have actively sought the album out, but it has the uncensored version of the track "She Hates Me". I have a censored version, you see, which came on a compilation album[1] and irritates/entertains me every time it shows up. I figured £1 was about enough to pick up the album. I think I like "Blurry" as well, so there's a bonus.

EDITED TO ADD: Ooh, I know 'Control' as well. Where do I know that from? Probably another compilation...

[1] It's a bit of a schizophrenic album re censorship, I think they just slapped on whatever edit the record company provided. Thus some songs happily sing "fuck" and others edit out the word "gun". And "fuck".
kingandy: (Default)
Have picked up two Super Furry Animals albums from Tesco for £4, 'Guerilla' and 'Rings Around The World'. I mention this purely to win [livejournal.com profile] arwel's approval and esteem.

Am quite tired today, lamp outside our window (which has, for the last year or so, been intermittently clicking thanks to a broken motion sensor) decided it was time to ramp things up a notch, and began a dedicated buzz. Thankfully after only a couple of hours I was able to block the noise out by trying to smother myself with a pillow.
kingandy: (Muzak)
"E.S. Posthumus is a music group that produces cinematic style music." This means they do stuff that sounds like it could be from a movie soundtrack without actually being from a soundtrack, which in turn means it makes for a much better listen than most of the incidental music that you get on soundtracks these days. Fans of Apocalyptica may also enjoy.

In fact, they seem to be quite popular with the movie trailer crowd. Which can only be a good thing because, since actual soundtrack music is generally unavailable at the time the trailer is cut together, many editors grab music from some other movie, which I for one find quite jarring when it's one I'm familiar with. I mean stealing from "The Rocketeer" is one thing but I've seen movie trailers that use the theme from "Stargate" and that was used on the front of a TV series for 10 years so it's not exactly going to slip past the geeks in the audience.

A good example is Pompeii, whose central bridge (first heard at around 1'10) is very familiar from a whole load of trailers from Spider-Man onwards.
kingandy: (Muzak)
I have installed Last.fm and am trying out its "recommendendations" feature. It has suggested this track, which I am enjoying on a number of levels:

http://www.last.fm/music/Wheatus/_/Lemonade?autostart

(The chorus is safe for work, the verses are not.)

It's so adorable and plinky and light and fluffy and made entirely of filth.

In related news, I have discovered that Scounting For Girls' other songs are as good as the one that they keep releasing.
kingandy: (Scarf)
Hmm, I wonder if the chap who did that nice "Regenerations" mix, blending all the Doctor Who themes together, did a new one when the new theme came out.

Of course he did! He is a colossal nerd.

I am filled with nerd envy.

March 2012

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