Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wild flowers



I quite like looking at wild flowers and here's one I saw recently.

Monday, 24 August 2009

My Duran Duran DVD collection

Having seen my Duran Duran videotape collection here are the DVD's:
The first two exist for a reason, mainly that my precious Betamax originals taped on December 25 and 27th 1984 off air and the transferred on to VHS in the mid 80's died!

























This has the whole of Arena - the Sci-Fi DD concert movie- plus the making of and is in 5.1 surround sound. This is PAL colour only.

























Now this was the behind the scenes footage shot by Zenith Media for Central television in the English Midlands shown December 25th 1984. It is in a limited edition felt covered box with postcards and again is only in PAL colour.























This I believe was filmed by TDV and I'm not sure if it was previously issued on video but came out last week on Region 0 (zero) NTSC colour so will play in North America as well as Europe.
It's the Hammersmith Odeon, London concert from November 1982 and as a bonus has all the Rio era videos plus two UK Top of the Pops TV appearances.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Oh yes they're coming.....Fab news!!!!!







20 days to go and this is how the stereo discs will look. Notice the period label designs replicating that of the original records.
I have heard samples of the re-mastering for these albums and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the tonality - some might prefer slightly flatter treble - with very little signs of the misuse of noise reduction. Heck you can hear the tape hiss on When I'm Sixty-Four plus the bass on Come Together is incredible. The star of the re-mastering is in the presence region:frankly I have never heard it so clear almost as if you're in the session hearing John and Paul.
As for limiting if there is any, it is very little and seems to have been applied on a track by track basis so this is no 'horror story' unlike many modern re-mastering jobs that just have two volume settings - loud and off.
Whilst this project may not be what some might wish for one thing is plain, these compact discs are a genuine improvement on the originals from 1987/8 and are worth picking up come September 9th.

Past Masters: A while back I mentioned we were going to get the stereo From Me To You we used to have on lp and tape plus Thank You girl minus the echo on the Capitol record Second Album this time around.
Well I can confirm the German Language She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand will be stereo too just as they were on the Capitol Something New and Rarities albums rather than the almost mono versions used back in 1988. Plus they've re-done the edits on She Loves You and cleaned up the transfer from 45 rpm record of the original single version of Love Me Do.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Clannad




The best way of describing this series is it's a semi-fantasy romantic comedy drama. It is lovely show and it'll make you cry like nobodies business.The story is about the attempt to revive the Drama Club at Tomoya and Nagisa's high school. The anime is based on the popular game visual novel.
The main female characters have their own arcs, Fuuko, Kotomi, Ryou/Kyou, Tomoyo and of course, Nagisa. Its a bitter sweet story in that since only one girl can get the guy, and they all (bar Fuuko) like Tomoya.
As the year goes by the two leading characters begin to realize that real life is more complex than any stage play as new friends and rivals make everything more complicated.A strange visitor with a unexpected message enters to change Kotomi's life forever.

The second half afterstory outlining the 20 years in the life of Nagisa and Tomoya after graduation is available on DVD.

Added 10/30/09

I bought Afterstory but discovered my edition wasn't properly licensed as well as squeezing 12 episodes onto a single layer dvd which resulted in poor picture quality. I have replaced the first half Collection 1 with the proper US Region 1 two dvd set and intend to add the final bit Collection 2 shortly. I can see you need to be really careful when you buy discs from Ebay.



Tuesday, 11 August 2009

K-ON!




I was very fortunate to get the very recently released DVD of this acclaimed series that has only recently been show in Japan.

K-On!'
s story revolves around four Japanese high school girls who join their school's light music club to try to save it from being abolished. However, they are the only members of the club, and at first Yui Hirasawa has no experience of playing or reading music. Eventually, she learns how to be an excellent player of the guitar. The rest of the club helps her to buy a guitar, and they perform at the school festival. As you see from the above picture, this DVD has a extra - a attached CD of music from the series.

Main Characters:



Yui Hirasawa -Pictured above,A first year high school student, she plays a Les Gibson Heritage Cherry Sunburst electric guitar as well as being a vocalist for the group. Although when recruited she felt it was easy as she'd be playing the castanets but the group feels different! She is said to have perfect pitch but is known to forget lyrics in mid flow a symptom of her inability to concentrate on more than one thing at once!
Ritsu Tainaka: Drummer of the group
and President of the Light Music club
Mio Akiyama: Shy left handed Bass Guitarist
who while being a 'straight A's student can't handle macabre story telling. She is a friend of Ritsu.
Tsumugi Kotobuki: Keyboard player. a wealthy girl with a gentle and sweet personality she had been taking piano lessons from age 4 and won many piano contests.
Azusa Nakano: Guitarist. In same year and class as Ui, she is a self-proclaimed novice guitarist who has been playing the guitar since she was in the fourth grade. Her parents are working in a jazz band.Personality wise she's not comfortable with the socializing and cosplay aspects of the light music club.




Friday, 7 August 2009

Clamp



Clamp in Wonderland.

Various characters from the Clamp collectives manga and anime series gathered together

The joys of the Summer




Taken recently from my garden I thought these flowers looked lovely.

Sandpiper




Sandpiper was spotted recently on one of less rainy days here in deepest Cheshire.